Mitchell’s WWE Worlds Collide Results & Report! (1/25/20)
NXT VS NXT UK! Who you got?
Even before the Rumble, worlds will collide!
To prove which brand is the better half of the NXT umbrella, USA and UK go head to head! Whose side will you be on when the Undisputed Era clashes with Imperium?
- Preshow: Mia Yim VS Kay Lee Ray; KLR wins.
- Finn Balor VS Ilja Dragunov; Balor wins.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way: Angel Garza VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Jordan Devlin VS Travis Banks; Devlin wins and becomes the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion.
- DIY VS Moustache Mountain; DIY wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley VS Toni Storm; Ripley wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
- 8 Man Tag: The Undisputed Era VS Imperium; Imperium wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the Worlds Collide Preshow!
Join Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts and Andy Shepherd as they hype up and predict the incredible crossover between NXT and NXT UK! “This is what it looks like to build a global brand from the ground up.” NXT and NXT UK aren’t all that old as brands, and yet here we are, kicking off not just Royal Rumble Weekend, but the Road to WrestleMania!
Preshow: Mia Yim VS Kay Lee Ray!
The Head Baddie In Charge is always up for a fight, but the Scary Queen of Scots does more than just fight. Will Mia make the NXT UK Women’s Champion eat da feet in the States? Or will KLR leave Mia with a killer headache?
The bell rings and Mia SHOTGUN Dropkicks KLR right away! Mia stomps and stomps but lets up at the count of 4, to CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO, and KLR scrambles away. Mia drags her back in but KLR pushes her down. KLR SLAPS Mia, but Mia just grins. Mia CHOPS and CHOPS and SLAPS and fires off, but KLR pushes her back. KLR’s superkick is blocked and Mia throws her down to ax kick. Mia whips, KLR reverses, Mia headscissors KLR down! Fans fire up as Mia CHOPS KLR more! KLR blocks the whip and ROCKS Mia with that right hand. KLR whips now but Mia ducks and redirects to then sweep the legs. And basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! KLR gets to a corner but Mia runs in, only for KLR to wrench and tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!
Fans start to duel as KLR stomp Mia down. KLR drags Mia up, suplexes and gourd busters! Cover, TWO! KLR grabs Mia in a grounded cobra twist and even adds a neck wrench. Mia endures and fans rally up. Mia gets up but KLR throws her down by her hair! KLR stands on Mia’s face while taunting her, then grabs the arm while standing on hair! The ref reprimands and KLR lets go, but Mia kicks from the floor. KLR stomps Mia then puts her in a corner. KLR CHOPS Mia and it echoes out in Houston. Fans duel as Mia gives CHOPS back. KLR whips and SUPERKICKS then covers, TWO! KLR grows frustrated, but she brings Mia into a drop zone. KLR climbs up top and SWANTON FLOPS! Both women are down now and fans rally up.
Mia stands up first, KLR follows. Fans duel as Mia rallies with clotheslines and a boot! Neckbreaker! Mia fires up and runs in at KLR but KLR puts her on the apron. Mia enziguris then steps in to tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Mia grows frustrated but she keeps close to KLR. Mia watches KLR rise, to throw jabs. But KLR sliipis around, gets in position, but Mia back drops her off! KLR bails out, Mia builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit at the ramp! Houston fires up as Mia drags KLR up and into the ring, but KLR SUPERKICKS again! Mia is down, KLR builds speed, triangle SWANTON! Direct hit wipes both women out and Houston is fired up all over again! “This is Awesome!” and “NXT! NXT!” are both echoing out as a ring count begins.
The count reaches 5 before either woman stirs. KLR sits up first, then brings Mia up at 7. They both get in at 8, and Mia throws hands. KLR SLAPS, so Mia slaps back. They throw forearms back and forth, then palm strikes! It’s a scrap with 13 minutes to spare! Chicken wings for the Gory Especial, but Mia reverses to CODE BLUE! Cover, TWO!?! KLR survives but that’s why she’s champion! Mia grows frustrated but she drags KLR back up. Fans duel as Mia wrenches and puts a foot up, but KLR pushes Mia off to then wrench and STEAL Eat Da Feet!! Cover, TWO!! Mia survives her own move being used against her and that infuriates KLR!
KLR stalks up to Mia and chicken wings again, but Mia blocks the lift. Mia ducks and blocks the huricanrana, to then POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Mia is further frustrated as KLR rolls away. Mia hurries over but KLR kicks a leg out. KLR goes to lift but Mia silps out to get back on, ANOTHER Code Blue! Cover, TWO!?! Fans continue to duel as Mia tries to keep her cool. Mia hooks an arm but KLR rolls her up, TWO! Mia waistlocks, KLR elbows but Mia O’Conner rolls, TWO! KLR does the same, with the ropes! KLR WINS!
Winner: Kay Lee Ray, by pinfall
See what I mean? KLR doesn’t just fight, she CHEATS! But a win is a win in the end. Will KLR keep getting the better of her opponents? Will Mia Yim want payback the next time these two brands meet?
“We shall go on to the end.”
Fight on the seas and oceans. Fight with great confidence and great strength. Whatever the cost may be. Fight on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets. “We shall never surrender.” This has been building for weeks and it finally explodes in one night! The best of NXT, the best of NXT UK, but there can only be one top brand!
Finn Balor VS Ilja Dragunov!
Worlds Collide gets rrrreeeal as The Prince and the Madman go head to head! But as Balor says, when you aim at the Prince, you better not miss. Will Torpedo Moscow hit its mark? Or will Dragunov be the one shot down?
The bell rings and Balor circles with Dragunov. They tie up, Balor waistlocks but Dragunov pries out to wristlock. Balor reverses the wristlock to get Dragunov down. Dragunov rolls and gets headscissors but Balor pops out. The two stand off and Houston is fired up. Dragunov and Balor tie up and Balor headlocks to a takedown. Dragunov works his way up but Balor stays on tight as Dragunov tries to power out. Balor headlock takeovers again, but Dragunov headscissors again. Balor pops out again, and roles reverse as Dragunov headlock takeovers. Balor rolls to a cover, TWO, and Dragunov holds on. Dragunov grinds Balor, Balor powers out, things speed up, and Dragunov crossbodies! Cover, TWO and Dragunov keeps Balor back with his fighting stance.
Dragunov dares Balor to bring it, but Balor gives his finger guns. So Dragunov SLAPS Balor! Then kicks and whips, only for Balor to reverse. Dragunov sunset flips but Balor slips out, to SLAP back! Fans cheer as Balor drags Dragunov up and throws him out. Balor builds speed to wreck Dragunov with a dropkick! Balor shouts, “You’re in here with Finn Balor!” before putting Dragunov in the ring. Fans cheer with “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” as Balor CHOPS Dragunov. Balor whips but Dragunov wrenches and CHOPS Balor down! Then drops the senton! Cover, TWO! Dragunov clamps onto Balor’s arm and grinds hard. Balor powers up as fans rally, and Balor gets to a corner. The ref breaks the two up and Dragunov kicks low! Dragunov clubs and stomps Balor, but Balor slips out to the apron, only for Dragunov to DECK him!
Balor is down but gets clear as Dragunov runs in, so Dragunov uses the 619 to go back in. Dragunov fakes Balor out, then hops onto the apron to mule kick! Dragunov springboards to crossbody! Direct hit at the ramp, and fans are divided as Dragunov puts Balor in. Balor bails out the side, so Dragunov climbs up. Dragunov LEAPS, but Balor gets clear of the ax handles! Dragunov crashes ‘n’ burns, and now Balor seethes as he stalks over. Balor stomps Dragunov down as the ring count climbs, and even BOOTS Dragunov down. Balor CHOPS Dragunov and puts him in at 7. Balor drags Dragunov up to snapmare, run and basement dropkick in the back! Cover, TWO! Balor keeps close and clamps on a chinlock. Dragunov endures and fans rally up. Dragunov gets to his feet and pries free, but Balor scoops and slams and drops elbows! Cover, TWO!
Balor grows frustrated with Dragunov and he stomps Dragunov at the ropes. Balor lets up at 4, to then springboard stomp Dragunov! And again! Balor hears the ref reprimand him, but Balor keeps going! Houston fires up as Balor just unleashes on Dragunov! Balor backs away finally, but Houston still loves him. Dragunov flounders up to throw forearms but Balor gives back a CHOP! Balor whips Dragunov corner to corner to CHOP again! Cover, TWO! Balor clamps back on with the chinlock, but Dragunov again endures. Dragunov fights his way up, but Balor knees low. Balor reels Dragunov in, suplexes, but Dragunov resists. Dragunov suplexes Balor back! Both men are down but crawl to opposite corners. Houston rallies up as Dragunov runs corner to corner, and hits a BIG knee! Dragunov keeps moving, but Balor ducks one clothesline, only to get the other!
Dragunov fires up but Houston is divided. Balor is in a corner but Dragunov gives him another clothesline. Dragunov leaps up, flying knee drop! Cover, TWO! Balor gasps but survives and Dragunov gets fired up again. Fans start to duel as Dragunov drags Balor up. Dragunov wristlocks and back hands Balor over and over and over and over and over! Dragunov knees Balor a few times, but Balor trips Dragunov up. Dragunov pushes Balor away, then baits him in, for a KNEE! Cover, TWO! Balor lives and fans rally up as Dragunov stands. Dragunov drags Balor back up, fireman’s carries, and runs, only for Balor to slip out and trip Dragunov up. DOUBLE STOMPS! Now Dragunov gasps for air while Balor stands up. Balor gives Dragunov forearms, but Dragunov eggs him on. Dragunov hits back and now we have a brawl.
Balor runs to forearm but Dragunov hits back. They go back and forth, fans divided, but Dragunov CHOPS! Balor CHOPS, Dragunov enziguris! PELE CAUGHT! Dragunov rolls and scoops Balor but Balor breaks the grip. Balor wants his own lift but Dragunov fights, so Balor spins him around for the elbow drop DDT! Fans fire up and Balor grits his teeth. Balor gets up and aims from the corner. Dragunov rises to get the SLINGBLADE! And then Balor gives finger guns, but Dragunov’s BOOT hits first! Dragunov then uses a single leg SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Balor barely escapes and Dragunov can’t believe it! But Dragunov refocuses as fans rally up. Dragunov and Balor both rise, and Dragunov uses the 6-1-LINE! Balor bails out but Dragunov is up top, to LEAP! Direct hit with a full body attack!
Fans are still divided as Dragunov puts Balor in the ring. Dragunov is up top again, COAST2COAST! Cover, TWO!! Balor survives because he is that tough! Though, he is bleeding from the bridge of his nose. Balor ends up in another drop zone and Dragunov climbs again. Dragunov aims and leaps, but onto knees! Dragunov stands, SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Balor has Dragunov in position now and Houston explodes! COUP DE GRACE!! But that’s not enough for Balor, he drags Dragunov up for 1 9 1 6!! Cover, Balor wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall
It was a bloody Saturday for Balor but he came out on top! Dragunov wasn’t quite Unbesiegbar, but has he at least won some respect?
Front row interview with Grizzled Young Veterans.
Cathy Kelly is with Zack Gibson and James Drake, one half of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals. But not too far away are the Broserweights, Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle. Fans like those two more, obviously. But we just got word that not only will the finals be about the prestigious Dusty Cup, but it will serve as a #1 Contender’s match to THE NXT Tag Team Championships in TakeOver: Portland! Gibson speaks but fans boo. “Honestly, I’m surprised that these two jokers have actually made it this far.” Don’t get it wrong, Dunne and Riddle are two accomplished singles wrestlers. But as a tag team, Gibson saw their resume. There’s nothing on it! The Dusty Cup Finals is the biggest match of the GYV’s career. Look at the tournament has done for previous winners. Then imagine what it will do for “the most legitimate tag team in all of NXT.” They are the Grizzled Young Veterans, SOON to be recognized as 2020 Dusty Classic winners.
But to get their response, Cathy goes to the Broserweights. Riddle responds with, “Bro… Why so serious?” They just found out the winners get a tag team title shot. Those two should be smiling. Riddle has a huge smile. And he knows Dunne, his “Bro From Another Mo,” has a huge smile on his face, ear to ear. Well, not exactly. That’s Dunne’s happy face. Dunne himself speaks, “Listen. I’ll just be blunt.” Blunt? Riddle will smoke the two Grizzled Young Veterans, and the Broserweights walk out with the trophy. And all of Gibson’s hopes and dreams come to a bitter end, bro. Shrug. But will the Broserweights be able to shrug off the Grizzled Young Veterans once they’re in the ring?
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way: Angel Garza VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Jordan Devlin VS Travis Banks!
El Latino es en la casa with the title, but will he have it for much longer? Or will he find away to out maneuver Swerve, trump the Irish Ace and cut down the Kiwi Buzzsaw?
The introductions are made, the newly redesigned belt is raised, and literally the largest match in Garza’s young reign begins!
Houston cheers for Garza as he stares down with his three challengers. But fans do speak up to shout, “Whose house? Swerve’s house!” Swerve starts winning fans over just by standing there. The four men approach, and we have a Fatal 4 Way grapple! Swerve uses one arm to whip Banks away then he boots Devlin! Swerve half nelsons Garza but Garza elbows out. Devlin kicks Garza but Garza forearms the ripcord away. Banks grabs Garza but Garza forearms him, too. Garza tells his three challengers to wait… because he wants to tear off the pants! But he’s stopped by a TRIPLE KICK! Devlin then elbows Banks and kicks Swerve.
Devlin whips but Swerve reverses, Devlin springboards to quebrada! He has Swerve in the dragon sleeper but then Banks runs in. Devlin catches Banks to urenage him on top of Swerve in the inverted DDT! And then Devlin standing moonsaults onto them both! Garza gets in to grab Devlin, but gets caught into an atomic backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Devlin stomps Banks then runs at Swerve. Swerve goes up and over, forearms Banks and elbows Devlin. Banks catches Swerve’s boot to send it into Devlin! Banks waistlocks, Swerve switches and O’Conner rolls, TWO, leaping Complete Shot on Devlin! Headscissors for Banks and a strike fest for Garza! Houston fires up for Swerve as he does it so easy!
Devlin throws Swerve out, only for Swerve to handspring through and land on his feet! Devlin runs in, gets a boost from Garza and MOONSAULTS onto Swerve! But Swerve catches him! Death Valley Driver! Banks is up, and Penalty Kicks Swerve! Garza runs in and FLIES over Banks to wipe out Swerve! But Banks DOUBLE STOMPS Garza down! All four men are down but fans are loving “NXT! NXT!” Banks boots Devlin as they get up, and then CHOPS Swerve. Banks boots Garza then CHOPS Swerve again! Banks CHOPS Garza, then goes back to Devlin. Devlin backs up but gets caught for a CHOP! Swerve stands to CHOP Banks, but Banks shrugs it off to CHOP and forearm! Banks puts Swerve in and follows after.
Swerve flounders up but Banks Penalty Kicks him back down. Swerve and Banks brawl but Garza gets in, only to get a kick for himself. Banks kicks Swerve, then Garza, repeat! Banks fires up but ducks Swerve’s roundhouse, that goes into Garza! Banks grabs Swerve in a SNAP German! Fans fire up with Banks as he has two targets. Banks back elbows Garza in the corner, runs corner to corner to elbow Swerve, then goes all the way back to elbow Garza. Swerve comes in, Banks sweeps the legs and Swerve tumbles onto Garza! Banks DIVES onto Devlin! Fans stay hot for the Kiwi Buzzsaw as he returns to CANNONBALL onto Swerve and Garza! But Devlin returns, only to miss and be belly2belly suplexed onto them both! Banks takes a moment to check his leg as the other three crawl around.
Banks drags Devlin up, suplexes but Devlin slips out. Banks elbows him back then whips, but Devlin puts Banks on the apron. Devlin body shots Banks, dodges Swerve, then run side to side. Swerve sends Devlin out but Banks is there for Devlin to use as a rebound, to tornado DDT Swerve! Fans are thunderous, and then Garza runs into Devlin’s SPANISH FLY! Cover, but Banks drops in with a DOUBLE STOMP! Cover on Devlin, TWO!! All four men are down again and fans are rallying up. Banks sits up while Devlin and Garza kick at each other. Garza hits Swerve while Banks hits Devlin, Swerve hits back. The four men have paired off by their brands, and we have brawls in stereo. All four men work their way to their feet, and Swerve whips Garza. Devlin and Banks double hip toss Garza to ropes but he rebounds and rolls to kangaroo kick Swerve! Garza sends Devlin into Banks then pop-up KICKS Devlin! And OFF COME THE PANTS!!
Devlin runs in but is caught, and then Banks runs in, only to get stuck! Swerve is up top, he adds on KILLSTOMPS! But Garza covers Devlin, TWO!! Fans are thunderous for that stomping powerbomb powerslam combination, this match is innovative to say the least! Garza and Swerve fight with CHOPS! And then Garza throws forearms, only to get a pop-up KNEE! Swerve backs off while Garza wobbles, but Devlin dropkicks the House Call! Banks sweeps Devlin’s legs, but misses the buzzsaw to get a HEADBUTT! Devlin holds onto Banks’ arm, and ripcords, for a DESTROYER!?! All four men are down, and Houston is loving this! Banks gets up as fans chant “This is Awesome!” Banks puts Devlin in a drop zone, then climbs up top. But Garza shoves him down hard!
Garza drags Devlin into position as he climbs up, but Swerve hurries over to CHOP! Garza holds on and Swerve climbs up. Garza hits back but Swerve does, too. They brawl up top but Devlin rises to join in. Devlin gets up top, elbows Garza and Swerve into position, DOUBLE SUPER SPANISH FLIES!! But then SLICE OF HEAVEN from Banks! KIWI KRUSHER!! Cover, TWO!?! How?! How any of that!? But fans are loving “All These Guys!” as they’re all down again. Banks stands Swerve up to CHOP, but Swerve headbutts back. Banks CHOPS so Swerve CHOPS! And CHOPS! And whips, but Banks goes up to headscissor, only to be flipped into a DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve grits his teeth and drags Banks up again.
Garza is climbing in the background as Swerve Electric Chair lifts Banks. Garza missile dropkicks Banks, who uses that to POISON-RANA Swerve! Garza throws Banks out to grab Swerve, WING CLIPPER! But Devlin pulls and HEADBUTTS Garza! Devlin goes to Swerve, ripcord, DEVLINSIDE!! Cover, Devlin wins!?!?
Winner: Jordan Devlin, by pinfall; NEW NXT Cruiserweight Champion
Garza was fingertips away from breaking that cover! But “close” only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, and now Houston is exploding with the first-ever NXT UK Cruiserweight Champion! And to celebrate, Devlin gets a mic and on the announce desk to shout, “Do you believe me now?!” Devlin says he told everyone that he is pound-for-pound the BEST wrestler on this planet! He is no longer denied, and he proved tonight that you never bet against the Ace! Is this going to completely revolutionize the Cruiserweight Division?
Robert Stone and Chelsea Green find seats up front.
The budding new stable wants to see all the action for themselves. Will they be impressed by anyone enough to recruit them to the Robert Stone brand?
DIY VS Moustache Mountain!
Two incredible tag teams reunite to give us this incredible dream match! Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa take on Tyler Bate and Trent Seven, but what happens when the heart of NXT collides with the pride of NXT UK?
Houston is already electric for this moment as the teams sort out. The bell rings and fans duel as Gargano starts with Bate. Bate and Gargano circle and tie up, then Gargano wristlocks to wrench. Bate rolls, hooks a leg and pries at the hold, but Gargano sweeps the leg to get Bate down. Gargano has the arm but Bate works his way back up. Bate monkey flips Gargano but Gargano holds on tight. Gargano has the armlock as fans sing for Bate. Bate arm-drags but Gargano holds on to arm-drag back! Gargano still has the arm but Bate fights his way up. Fans rally and duel but Gargano wrenches. Bate rolls, bridges, handsprings and finally gets free. Fans cheer that and even Gargano has to nod respect. Gargano and Bate circle and tie up again, and Gargano hammerlocks. Bate slips out but ends up in a headlock and takeover.
Bate powers his way around with his legs, gets back to his feet, and spins out to arm-drag. Now Bate has the wristlock and control but Gargano kips up to wrench and drop toehold. Gargano floats to a facelock but Bate rolls. Gargano holds on tight again, but Bate keeps trying. Bate powers Gargano up but Gargano holds on. They end up on the ropes and the ref calls for them to break. Gargano lets go and Bate throws him. Things speed up, Gargano headscissors but Bate handsprings through! Things keep moving and Bate runs Gargano over. Bate runs, Gargano ducks under then jumps up, into a fireman’s carry! But Gargano slips and sunset flips, only for Bate to bring him up in underhooks! Gargano gets free and wants to drag Bate down, but Bate avoids the submission.
Gargano shifts to a hammerlock, Bate squats and pries free to get under, only for Gargano to roll to a cover! ONE, Bate pushes Gargano over but Gargano gets a leg. Bate slips over, Gargano slips over, Bate avoids the school boy kick, Bate waistlocks! Gargano fights free, wrenches but Bate handsprings. Gargano swings, Bate swings, both men boot but catch it! Bate gets free first, but he’s a good sport and lets Gargano go. Fans cheer the respect between these amazing superstars! Gargano and Bate shake hands, then back away to tag in their partners! Fans fire up all over again to see Ciampa and Seven in the ring together. Houston chants, “Daddy’s Home!” as Ciampa circles with Seven.
Seven teases Ciampa’s beard but Ciampa mocks the mustache tweaze. Seven shows him how to do it right. Ciampa shows him how to flex. Seven fires himself up, to offer a handshake. Ciampa takes it and fans cheer. Ciampa and Seven tie up, Ciampa headlocks but Seven powers out only to get run over! Seven tries to anchor Ciampa but he gets free to run again. Seven fakes Ciampa out but Ciampa still reverses to get Seven down. Ciampa wants the Psycho Fujiwara! But Seven quickly counters with a crucifix pin, TWO! Fans cheer as Seven says it was this close. Ciampa and Seven tie up again, go around, and Seven wristlocks to wrench. Tag to Bate but Ciampa gets free. Seven leaves and Bate shows he can flex, too. The Big Strong Boy has fans chanting, but Seven is a big strong dad.
Ciampa asks for a test of strength, but also mocks Bate’s height. Bate still ties up with Ciampa and they go shoulder to shoulder. Bate has the strength to bring Ciampa to his knees! But Ciampa gets back up to give some back! Bate powers up to slip around and wrench the knuckle locks. Ciampa turns Bate around and flips him over his back, but Bate hops up to monkey flip! They both keep the knuckle locks and it’s a double cover, TWO as they both bridge! Fans cheer as the two roll off and both break free. Bate waves at Ciampa, but Ciampa shows him how that’s done. Ciampa and Bate tie up again and go to ropes. The ref calls for the break, Bate whips instead. Things speed up as Bate hurdles, then stops himself to show Bop. Ciampa DECKS Bate then sucker punches Seven!
Ciampa puts Bate on the apron to KNEE down! Gargano has Seven for a SUPERKICK! DIY throws Bate over the announce desk, then Seven! Ciampa pats himself on the back, and Gargano joins in! Thumbs up, too. Ciampa puts Bate in the ring and stomps him down. Ciampa aims at the tape on Bate’s shoulders as he stomps and clubs Bate down. Tag to Gargano and Bate is fed to Gargano’s boots. Gargano mocks the Big Strong Boy pose before bringing Bate up. Gargano snapmares Bate and basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO, but Gargano keeps on Bate. Tag to Ciampa, and DIY mugs Bate in their corner. Ciampa CHOPS Bate, whips Bate to the ropes, then runs him over with a shoulder! Ciampa drags Bate up to put on a thrashing chinlock.
Fans rally and duel as Bate endures, but Ciampa cranks harder. Bate works his way up and throws elbows into Ciampa’s stomach. Ciampa keeps Bate away from Seven and clubs him back down. Fans rally harder and Bate gets up, only for Ciampa to back suplex. Bate lands on his feet, goes under and tags Seven! Seven flapjacks Ciampa and CHOPS Gargano! And again! Seven fires up, fakes Gargano out, DDT! Seven CHOPS Ciampa in a corner, then runs to CHOP Gargano. Ciampa runs in but gets a SPINE BUSTER! Seven SLAPS Gargano out of the ring before going after Seven. Seven POWERBOMBS and high stacks Ciampa, TWO! Cartwheel LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Seven keeps his focus as fans rally and duel. Seven grabs Ciampa in the wristlock ripcord, but Ciampa boots the lariat away. Ciampa ducks the back hand then hits a jumping knee!
Both men are down but crawling for their corners. Fans fire up as each man hot tags! Bate and Gargano are back in, Gargano slingshots to BOOT Bate down! Gargano enziguris Seven then ducks Bate to kick and facelock. Seven runs in but gets caught, Complete Shot DDT combo! Fans fire up with Johnny Wrestling as he watches Bate. Gargano puts Bate in a corner to CHOP and CHOP. Gargano runs corner to corner but is put on the apron. Bate runs but into the SLINGSHOT SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Bate crawls away to get out of the ring, but Gargano just builds speed. Seven anchors Gargano but Ciampa baseball slides him away. Bate grabs Gargano but Ciampa runs in to KNEE Bate down! Ciampa holds the ropes and Gargano DIVES onto Bate! Fans cheer for DIY as Gargano puts Bate in the ring.
Ciampa intercepts Seven at the ropes and Gargano lines up Bate, Willow’s Bell draping DDT in stereo with the slingshot DDT! Cover on Bate, TWO!! DIY keeps their cool and bring Bate around. Gargano CHOPS Bate then tags Ciampa. Gargano whips Bate back in, DIY meets at the corner with knee and enziguri! Gargano sees Seven and CANNONBALLS! Bate enziguris Ciampa and waistlocks but Ciampa elbows out. Ciampa runs in but blocks a boot only to get a knee! Bate hops up, leaps but into a dropkick! Ciampa drags Bate around, underhooks, but Bate slips out to underhook for his own! Ciampa back drops, Bate lands on his feet, REBOUND LARIAT! Underhooks, TYLER DRIVER ’97!! Cover, TWO!?! Seven CHOPS Ciampa! Gargano SUPERKICKS Seven but Bate has the cover back! Gargano SUPERKICKS Bate and now Ciampa has the cover! TWO!! Houston is thunderous as all four men are down!
Houston also hopes they “Fight Forever!” as the two teams regroup. Gargano tags in and goes after Bate as fans duel again. Gargano throws big forearms on Bate then scoops, but Bate slips out to waistlock, O’Conner roll, TWO! Bate catches Gargano out of the air for an EXPLODER! Bate kips up to standing shooting star, but onto knees! But Bate still hits the rolling heel kick! Bate ducks the discus but Gargano ducks the rebound, tilt-o-whirl but then the fireman’s carry, AIRPLANE SPIN! Into the takedown! GargaNO Escape! Ciampa gets Seven for the Psycho Fujiwara! Deja vu to DIY’s feud with The Revival!! Bate and Seven grab for each other while enduring, and then Seven powers up to fireman’s carry. Bate does the same, and Moustache Mountain DOUBLE SPIN! They orbit each other like binary stars, then dump Ciampa down to throw Gargano into a double clubbing slam! Cover, TWO!
Bate gets up to tag Seven in, and Moustache Mountain coordinate. Seven full nelsons Gargano, Bate rebounds, but Gargano gets free! The LARIAT hits SEVEN! Hot tag to Ciampa! BIG KNEE for Bate! Now DIY gets to coordinate for a classic, and Houston is ready for it! But Seven gets in to shield Bate, so he just gets added to it! D I Y- Double Bop? DOUBLE BANG!! Seven torture racks Ciampa and Bate goes up top, FLYING KNEE BIRMINGHAMMER! Cover, TWO!?!? Houston cannot believe this! Seven tags Bate back in, and then Bate tags Seven back in. Moustache Mountain drag Ciampa up and rock him into DOUBLE BIRMINGHAMMER! But that’s not all, as Bate goes up top! CORKSCREW SENTON, but Ciampa pulls Seven into it!! Ciampa covers off that, but Bate breaks it just in time!
Gargano crawls back in as Houston shouts, “This is Awesome!” DIY and Moustache Mountain regroup and then stand up. Fans cheer as the two teams start throwing hands! DIY then Moustache Mountain! Seven fires up, but Ciampa sends the back hand into Bate! Bate still rocks Gargano, but Ciampa KNEES Bate! Seven Snap Germans Ciampa, Gargano BUZZSAWS Seven and Ciampa knees him, too! Bate goes up top to leap into double dropkicks! Seven is down and DIY take their corners! Houston is thunderous for the D I Y MEET IN THE MIDDLE! Cover, DIY WINS!
Winner: DIY, Ciampa pinning
“Incredible” doesn’t even cover it! That was above all expectations, because what is this other than a dream come true? Gargano and Ciampa reunited “for old time’s sake,” and they won one to go out on! At the same time, they give much deserved respect to Seven and Bate. Fans agree, and cheer for all the men involved as the teams shake hands and hug it out. When and where will we see these two teams again, whether against each other or others?
Dakota Kai is spotted in the front row.
The cruel Kiwi isn’t all that impressed with what she’s seen, apparently. But then Tegan Nox blindsides her! Their grudge match is finally happening next week, but Tegan doesn’t care! She’s stomping Dakota and hammering away right here in front of the fans! Security gets in but Dakota goes after Tegan! Then Tegan SPEARS Dakota and knocks railing over! Tegan won’t let up but Dakota hits back, too. More security gets in there but Houston boos. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but they aren’t on the card. This will happen on Wednesday, but will it end there?
NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley VS Toni Storm!
This is a throwback to not just the early days of NXT UK, but to the second Mae Young Classic tournament! Toni Storm won that prestigious trophy, but it would be Rhea who became inaugural UK Women’s Champion. Of course, Toni took that from Rhea, only for Rhea to move on and dethrone the Queen of Spades. Will Toni cause history to repeat in Houston? Or will the Storm be wiped out by the Riptide?
Of course, taking a front row seat for this one is Bianca Belair. The EST is also the actual #1 Contender, and awaits the winner of this match in Portland. The introductions are made, the title is raised, and this red hot rematch begins!
Rhea and Toni stare down and circle slowly as fans cheer. Toni and Rhea tie up, and go around the ring. Fans duel as Rhea puts Toni in a corner. Rhea backs off and they circle again. They tie up, go around, and Toni wristlocks and wrenches. Rhea yanks and reverses the hold, but Toni spins through and bridges back to also handspring and fire off strikes! Mule kick and Toni runs. Rhea drops but Toni redirects to dropkick! Toni throws big forearms but Rhea shoves and CHOPS! Toni sputters but ducks to CHOP Rhea on the back. Rhea scowls but Toni laughs. Toni swings another but Rhea blocks to clothesline Toni down! Rhea brings Toni up to lariat again, and again, then SUPERKICK! Toni staggers to a corner and Rhea stomps her down. Rhea drags Toni up to ram her shoulder in over and over. The ref counts, Rhea lets up and argues with him, but then Toni SUPERKICKS and German Suplexes Rhea into buckles!
The ref checks on Rhea as she writhes in pain, but Rhea gets out of the ring. Toni catches her breath as she waits for Rhea. The ring count begins, but Toni won’t wait any longer! Toni clubs Rhea on the back then puts her in the ring. Toni kicks Rhea while she’s down and then drags her up. Toni half hatch suplexes then covers, TWO! Toni keeps close as she brings Rhea around. Toni grabs at the legs but Rhea chops her on the butt. More of a spank then, isn’t it? Toni ignores that as she laces the legs and drops down, Queen Angelito STF! Rhea endures as she crawls and claws her way forward. Rhea drags both herself and Toni forward, even as Toni cranks back hard! Rhea reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Toni lets go quickly so as not to waste time.
Toni stomp Rhea but Rhea hits back with body shots. Toni clubs Rhea down then scuffs Rhea. Toni stands Rhea up to CHOP and CHOP again, then DDT! Rhea flounders and flails in pain but Toni covers, TWO! Toni keeps her cool as she drags Rhea from the ropes. Rhea holds on so Toni stomps her down. Fans duel again as Toni drags Rhea back into a chinlock. Rhea endures as Toni leans on her, and powers up again. Rhea throws body shots but Toni clubs her down. Toni stands on Rhea’s head and kicks her in the back. Cover, ONE, and Rhea grits her teeth. Toni drags Rhea up but Rhea throws more body shots. Toni clubs Rhea but Rhea ROCKS Toni. Toni throws more haymakers but so does Rhea! They go back and forth, fast and furious! There’s no stopping this one!
Rhea swats Toni then clubs her back. Rhea shoves and LARIATS! Then again! Rhea spins Toni for a cravat and knee strikes, then a snapmare and basement dropkick! Toni is in a daze as she gets up, only for Rhea to BOOT her down! Rhea brings Toni up, back suplexes to throw her face down! Rhea catches her breath while kicking at Toni on the ground. Fans still duel as Rhea stomps Toni more. Rhea grabs Toni’s legs now, figure four, Inverted Cloverleaf! Toni endures being upside-down but Rhea cranks harder. Toni handstand walks but Rhea keeps her away from the ropes. Toni keeps trying, and rolls to send Rhea into ropes! Toni waistlocks but Rhea elbows out hard. Rhea pump handles and lifts, but Toni makes it a crossbody! Cover, TWO!
Toni headbutts low then brings Rhea in. Underhooks, but Rhea resists to Alabama lift. Toni sunset flips through, Rhea slips out but the kick is blocked! Toni waistlocks, GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rhea survives landing hard again but both women are down. Fans rally and duel, though “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! OI OI OI!” applies to both women… Toni stomps Rhea at the ropes, then springboards to drop knees! Toni whips Rhea but Rhea reverses to swing a kick. Toni ducks that but Rhea hits the heel kick, and then the dropkick! Rhea runs, into a HEADBUTT! Toni wobbles but stays up and puts Rhea in a drop zone. Toni heads up top, to FROG SPLASH! It FLOPS! Rhea pump handles, lifts, RIPTIDE!! Cover, Rhea wins!!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall; still NXT Women’s Champion
Rhea gives Toni some chippy kicks as she gets up, but she still got the better of perhaps her most storied rival. The Riptide downs the Storm, will Toni return to NXT UK with her head hanging low? Or will Toni stick around to try and strike again? As for Rhea, she and Bianca are getting geared up for Portland! Who wins when it’s Nightmare VS EST?
While Rhea and Toni battled for the NXT Women’s Championship, something broke out backstage! Gargano was being interviewed about DIY’s reunion and victory when Finn Balor said “hello” with an attack! Balor threw Gargano over catering! Security and other superstars came to stop this but Balor threw the guards aside. Balor is ready to fight anyone and everyone, but he has his fight with Johnny Wrestling first. Will Gargano make Balor pay in Portland?
8 Man Tag: The Undisputed Era VS Imperium!
As this event drew closer, the two dominant factions started taking shots at each other. Adam Cole led Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish on a Blackpool ambush, but Walter would lead Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel in a counterattack at Full Sail! The war is only going to rage harder in Houston, which side comes out on top, waving their brand’s banner high?
The factions sort out and fans are cheering “U S A!” as we begin with Aichner and Kyle. Kyle and Aichner circle and tie up, and Aichner powers Kyle down. Kyle is back up but into a waistlock and slam! Aichner talks trash as he circles with Kyle again. They break, tie up again, and Kyle gets a takedown! Armbar to kneebar to heel hook! Aichner crawls to a ropebreak and Kyle lets go. Aichner gets a cheap shot in then EuroUppers. Kyle forearms back and also kicks. Aichner knees then CHOPS Kyle in a corner. Kyle turns things around to forearm but Aichner CHOPS again! Kyle fires off a flurry of forearms and fans fire up. Kyle whips, Aichner reverses but Kyle boots back. Kyle runs into a spinning powerslam! Tag to Barthel, and Imperium’s elite tag duo coordinate to flapjack EuroUpper! Cover, ONE but Barthel looms over Kyle.
Barthel talks trash then runs but Kyle ducks the Penalty Kick to throw kicks. Barthel blocks them then ducks to uppercut! Barthel runs but into a knee! Tag to Strong, and he gut busters for Kyle to knee drop on Barthel! Cover, TWO! Strong drags Barthel up but Barthel uppercuts him down! Barthel throat chops Strong into Imperium territory and Wolfe tags in. Wolfe snapmares Strong and Barthel hits a basement EuroUpper! Cover, ONE, but Wolfe clubs Strong down. Wolfe puts Strong in a corner and throws body shots. Wolfe throws EuroUppers of his own, then wrenches Strong. Strong forearms and CHOPS back, and tags in Fish. Fish and Strong double suplex Wolfe for the gourd buster! Then they add a kick CHOP combo! Fish covers Wolfe, TWO but barely! Wolfe might be in bad shape as the ref checks on him. The ref puts up an X and medics come over. Fans are bummed as the match has to pause.
Fish waits in his corner as Wolfe is helped away. This 8 Man now becomes 4v3 as Walter steps in for his fallen comrade. Cole tags in, and now we get NXT Champion going against NXT UK Champion! Walter and Cole tie up, and Walter just TOSSES Cole aside! Cole is shocked, but he comes back for more. Walter hip tosses Cole but Cole SLAPS Walter. “How about that?!” Walter puts Cole in a corner but Cole headlocks before that massive chop can come. Walter powers out but Cole kicks him back, then goes to superkick. Walter blocks that but Cole again avoids the chop. Fish runs in to take a forearm and Cole goes after Walter with clubbing forearms and stomps! Tag to Strong and Strong drags Walter up for clubbing forearms of his own.
Walter shoves, Strong forearms again, then runs. Walter HURDLES Strong to then BOOT him down! Walter glares at Cole before going to Strong. Strong is put in Imperium’s corner and Aichner tags in. Aichner stomps away on Strong and then reels him in for a back suplex! Aichner strike a pose but fans boo as he scuffs Strong. Strong throws a forearm but Aichner knees him down. Tag to Barthel and Imperium mugs Strong. Barthel bumps Strong off buckles and stomps a mudhole in! Barthel shouts “NEIN!” but Strong throws body shots. Barthel shoves Strong, Strong kicks back then throws more forearms. Barthel uppercuts, Strong boots and Cole tags in. Strong hops up but Barthel blocks the headscissor, but Cole kicks the legs out! Strong still gets bombed but Barthel is down for Cole to rain down rights!
Cole hammers away even as he adjusts his mount. Cole drags Barthel over to drop elbows and ax handles. Cole brings Barthel up and grinds him in as Fish tags in. Fish and Cole mug Barthel then Kyle tags in. Kyle throws forearms and shots of his own, and even kicks and knees. Tag to Strong and Strong CHOPS while Kyle kicks! CHOP, kick, repeat! The fans fire up but the ref has to keep Walter back. Strong toys with Barthel and mocks the Imperium pose. Tag to Fish and they both bring Barthel up for more knees. Fish snapmares Barthel, slingshots out and in for the senton! Fans duel as Fish tags Cole in. Cole brings Barthel up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cole clamps on with a chinlock and Barthel endures being ground down on the mat. Barthel fights his way up as Aichner coaches him from the corner.
Barthel gets up and throws body shots, only to get a BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO! Cole keeps his eyes on Walter and drags Barthel to tag in Kyle. Kyle goes side to side for a sliding knee! Kyle brings Barthel up for a waistlock slam and then rams elbows and knees into the ribs. Kyle is just picking Barthel apart as he runs to ram another knee in. Fans cheer the dominance, but Kyle boots Walter! Walter is just angry but Kyle makes fun of “Walterstein.” But Kyle gets caught with a Russian Leg Sweep by Barthel! Both men are down now and fans rally up. Hot tag to Walter! And now Walter rallies on the Undisputed Era! He throws Fish out, BOOTS Cole, and Strong gets clear to check on Fish. Kyle realizes he messed up, but he still tries to throw hands with the Austrian Anomaly!
Walter blocks a kick to make it an Ankle Lock! And then a trapped-leg GERMAN! Kyle flounders up to clothesline, but then Walter just CLUBS Kyle down! Walter drags Kyle up but Kyle slips into a GUILLOTINE! Kyle can’t bring Walter down to the mat, and Walter powers out with a suplex! Kyle slips out to waistlock, Walter standing switches, but Strong gets in to help keep Kyle grounded! But Walter gives a tug and Strong just ends up part of the GERMAN SUPLEX! Two men for the price of one! Walter tags Aichner in, and Aichner tags Barthel in. Barthel brings Kyle up as Aichner climbs. Wheelbarrow, FLYING DDT! Then the cover, TWO!! Kyle survives that blitzkrieg but Barthel is back on him. Barthel whips and runs Kyle over with an elbow, covers, TWO! Barthel drags Kyle up while talking trash and then tags in Aichner.
Imperium mugs Kyle, underhook and butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO, but Aichner clamps on with a chinlock. Aichner grinds Kyle down but the Undisputed Era coach Kyle from the corner. Fans rally up and Kyle fights his way up. Kyle throws body shots but Aichner shoves to hit Kyle with the kitchen sink knee. Aichner toys with Kyle then tags in Walter. Imperium mugs Kyle more, and then Walter brings Kyle around to scoop and slam. Walter runs to LEAP onto Kyle! The seated senton all but squashed Kyle, and Kyle crawls into the Imperium corner. Walter clubs Kyle in the chest, but Kyle is gritting his teeth. Kyle is hulking up and throwing hands! Kyle slaps Walter, decks Aichner, but Walter CHOPS! Cover, TWO!! Kyle survives the Walter Chop, and fans want more. But Aichner tags in to drag Kyle up for a back suplex.
Kyle slips out and boots back. Kyle sweeps Walter’s leg but Aichner boots Kyle down. Tag to Barthel and Kyle is set upside-down. Imperium meets in the corner, double dropkicks! But there was some mistiming, Barthel hit Aichner more than he did Kyle. Barthel gets Kyle by the foot but Kyle rolls through the Ankle Lock! Barthel hits buckles but Walter tags back in. Walter drags Kyle up but Kyle slips under to tag in Strong! Strong rallies on Imperium, dropkick for Aichner, CHOP for Walter! Dropkick for Barthel and another CHOP for Walter! But Walter CHOPS Strong! Strong stays standing so Walter CHOPS him again! Somehow Strong keeps throwing forearms and CHOPS on Walter! Walter grabs Strong but Strong just keeps throwing CHOPS! Then forearm for forearm for a LARIAT from Walter!
Fans are fired up again as Walter brings Strong up. Strong slips out, STRONG KNEE! Aichner tags in as Strong runs, PSYCHO KICK for Walter! Aichner runs in, Strong sees him coming and spins him around for a butterfly BOMB! Cover, TWO, into STRONG HOLD! Aichner endures as Strong sits deep! Aichner turns it around to kick free. Aichner CHOPS and kicks and EuroUppers Strong to DISCUS! Both men are down but Houston is fired up again. Strong and Aichner go to their corners, tag to Fish and Barthel. Fish rushes Imperium and just throws elbows all over. But Barthel shoves Fish, Aichner SPINE BUSTERS and Barthel PENALTY KICKS! Aichner feeds Fish to Barthel’s AIR RAID! Cover, TWO! Fish survives but Imperium regroups.
Barthel feeds Fish to Aichner, but Fish back drops out of the bomb! Fish BOOTS Barthel and EXPLODERS Aichner onto him! Fish tags in Cole and Houston explodes! Barthel falls for a 52 Fake Out and then Cole heads up top. Cole leaps, but Barthel gets clear of the Sunrise. Cole fireman’s carries but Barthel slips out. Barthel’s boot is caught but Barthel pries free and knees back! Barthel waistlocks but Cole PELES! Fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, but Walter stomps it apart! Strong, Kyle and Fish return to go after Walter! A 3v1 mugging in the corner! The ref backs them all off but the Undisputed Era drag Walter up to throw him out. They don’t stop there, they decide to clear off the announce desk! Fans fire up because they’re anticipating a table! Walter CHOPS away and throws big forearms!
Walter brings Strong around, but Kyle kicks a leg out! Strong is saved and then reDRagon mug Walter. But Walter just fights out again! CHOPS all around and Fish is put into a post. Walter clears off the other announce desk as fans chant his name. Walter puts Kyle on the desk then climbs up to join him. But Fish kicks Walter’s leg! Ax ‘n’ SMASH! OLYMPIC SLAM ONTO THE OTHER DESK!! Strong and Walter crash down and Houston loses its mind! Fans also chant “MAMMA MIA!” since Mauro Ranallo isn’t here. Back in the ring, Cole has Barthel. Suplex, but Barthel fights out. Barthel dodges and Cole gets buckles. Barthel runs to EuroUpper to butterfly suplex! Barthel is up top, flying EuroUpper! Kyle returns but misses Barthel to get an enziguri! And then Barthel tosses Kyle to Aichner’s BRAIN BUSTER! Strong returns, to get a SAIDO! SUPERKICK for Barthel! Aichner flies in, to a SUPERKICK!
Cole drags Barthel up, suplex, LAST SHOT 1.0! Cover, TWO!! That wasn’t the last one as Barthel survives. Cole tags in Strong and Strong drags Barthel up. Strong fireman’s carries for the gut buster drop, Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO!! Strong drags Barthel up, tags in Fish and Fish tags in Kyle. Strong lets reDRagon handle this but Aichner gets in to save Barthel! It’s a brawl and Aichner gets the pop-up double kicks! Barthel is on the apron and he baits Fish in. Barthel hits Kyle but Kyle dragon screws back! Cole distracts the ref so that Fish can sweep the legs! Kyle climbs up and leaps to drop knees on Barthel’s back! HEEL HOOK! Barthel endures, flails, reaches, but CHOPS Kyle! Kyle just cranks harder! Barthel manages to crawl his way over, to the ROPEBREAK! Aichner triangle MOONSAULTS onto Kyle!
Fans are loving “NXT! NXT!” for this incredible international instant classic! Teams regroup on the outside and Aichner helps Barthel in. Fish and Strong go after Aichner and into a corner of the barriers. But Walter rises?! Barthel fights Kyle off with kicks but Cole tags in! Cole drags Barthel away, but Cole ducks the enziguri, and it hits Kyle! Barthel gets away to tag in Walter! Houston erupts as Walter CHOPS Cole! And CHOPS Kyle on the back! Fish runs in but gets a CHOP, too! Cole is back up to SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK! The knee pad comes down, Cole runs, into a CHOP!! Walter decks Kyle and clobbers Strong! Strong gets back up so Walter gives him a WALTER BOMB! Walter heads up top and fans remember seeing this before. WALTER SPLASH!
But Cole is right behind Walter, LAST SHOT 2.0!! Cover, but Barthel breaks it up!! Houston can’t believe what they’re seeing, but they know “This is Awesome!” The factions regroup, 4v3. And it fires off again! Cole spills out but Strong ROCKS Aichner! Barthel gets Kyle out of the way as Walter puts Fish in a sleeper hold! Barthel clobbers Strong and Kyle climbs onto Walter for a sleeper of his own! Fish pries free, TOTAL ANNIHILATION ON WALTER! Who is legal!? Barthel climbs the apron to leap onto Cole! Kyle throws hands on Barthel but is scooped for a slam! Strong lines up his shot to FLY out onto everyone! Fish and Walter are slowly sitting up as Aichner triangle LEAPS onto the rest! Fish goes to the corner to MOONSAULT but FLOPS! Walter SHOTGUN dropkicks, and then brings Fish up, WALTER BOMB!! Cover, IMPERIUM WINS!!
Winners: Imperium, Walter pinning
Even after losing Wolfe, NXT UK’s dominant force overcomes the odds! The mat is sacred, their brand stands tall, and that is undisputed. Is this a sign of how much bigger and stronger the NXT UK brand is becoming? Or is it a sign that the entire NXT franchise is going to take over the world of wrestling entertainment?
Honestly, what is there to say? his was an incredible event from start to finish! Even the preshow match of KLR and Mia Yim was really good! Balor VS Dragunov was an amazing main show opener. A new Cruiserweight Championship belt goes to a new champion after an incredible Fatal 4 Way. I was always talking about NXT UK getting a midcard title and having Devlin be in that conversation, so now the Cruiserweight Championship just becomes the shared midcard title between both brands! I don’t recall where 205 Live will be this week, but we need Devlin to show up in person to make his presence known to everyone and just shake up a lot of what was going on. At the very least, send some 205 Live guys to NXT UK in response. DIY VS Moustache Mountain couldn’t have been any better, and it works out great for DIY to win and for Finn to attack Gargano backstage. That is the RRRREEEAL Prince Balor right there.
Ripley VS Storm should just go down as the biggest female rivalry in NXT history, those two do great against each other. Though, it was pretty clear Toni wasn’t going to win here. Now Rhea and Bianca get to have more build for a couple weeks before TakeOver: Portland. Though, I’m confused as to why Rhea was only being refereed to as the NXT Champion when she’s the NXT Women’s Champion. It’s not like they renamed Adam Cole’s belt to be the NXT World Champion or something. The only distinction at this point for a Women’s Champion is that there is a Women’s Division because WWE doesn’t officially do co-ed wrestling. And then, while it was a shame Wolfe went down with a legitimate injury, the main event of Undisputed Era VS Imperium was still an amazing match. Adding Wolfe would’ve only made it better, but this still blew the roof off the place. It was very surprising that Imperium won, but HHHBK do seem to be putting a lot of effort into NXT UK. It’s crazy how an event fans weren’t so sure about turned into perhaps something as good as any traditional TakeOver event, maybe even better.
My Score: 9.8/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)
The semifinals are here!
The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!
Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?
- Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?
The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!
Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!
Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.
Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.
Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.
Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!
Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.
Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!
Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!
Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.
Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!
Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!
New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!
Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!
Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!
Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!
Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?
Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!
Sanada spins, into JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?
The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?
Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.
Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?
A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.
Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)
It’s lights out, but for who?
Who rounds out the Final Four?
The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?
The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.
Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!
Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!
Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.
Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!
Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.
Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!
Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!
Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!
Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.
Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.
Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.
Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.
Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!
Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!
Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.
The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!
Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!
Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.
Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!
USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?
As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?
Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.
My Score: 8.7/10
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