The Queen returns to NXT, for a match!
While she has a WrestleMania date with NXT Women’s Champion, Rhea Ripley, Charlotte Flair first settles things with The EST, Bianca Belair!
- Cameron Grimes VS Dominik Dijakovic; Grimes wins.
- Xia Li VS Mia Yim; Li wins.
- Tommaso Ciampa VS Austin Theory; Ciampa wins.
- Bronson Reed VS Killian Dain; Dain wins.
- The Forgotten Sons w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
- Charlotte Flair VS Bianca Belair; Flair wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT General Manager, William Regal, welcomes Charlotte Flair!
The Queen is ready to fight the EST, but she makes sure there is someone to carry her bags. Will Charlotte take back the Full Sail throne? Or will Bianca Belair make good on her promise from last week, and “whoop dat ass”?
Cameron Grimes VS Dominik Dijakovic!
Speaking of last week, the Croatian Colossus confronted Keith Lee and said they’re not done fighting. The Limitless NXT North American Champion agreed, and said that if Dijakovic can prove himself to Regal, they can #FightForever. Will Dijakovic crush Grimes to earn a rematch from TakeOver: Portland? Or will the Carolina Caveman cause the biggest Cave-In of his career?
The bell rings and fans duel between “Let’s Get Grimy!” and “Feast Your Eyes!” Dijakovic and Grimes tie up, Grimes goes for a leg and reels Dijakovic in. Dijakovic headlocks and holds on tight as Grimes tries to power out. Grimes chinbars Dijakovic and tries again but Dijakovic grinds down harder. The two go around, Grimes brings Dijakovic down to a knee and chinbar again. Grimes throws a low knee and finally powers out, but Dijakovic runs him over! Things speed up, Grimes leaps but into the fireman’s carry! Grimes shifts and sunset flips, but Dijakovic stays up to clamp a hand around Grimes’ throat! Dijakovic drags Grimes up to lift, but Grimes wheelbarrows! Dijakovic denies anything else, but Grimes standing switches, only to be bucked off. Grimes dropkicks Dijakovic first!
Grimse whips and knees Dijakovic hard against ropes! And then rams knees into his side. Grimes grinds knees into Dijakovic in the corner but the ref backs him off. Dijakovic throws body shots but Grimes rakes the face! Grimes kicks Dijakovic in the arms and legs, then clamps on with a neck wrench. Dijakovic has the ropebreak, so Grimes lets go and runs, into the discus BOOT! Cover, TWO! Dijakovic stalks Grimes to a corner and stomps a big mudhole. Dijakovic throws big forearms, too, but Grimes throws body shots back. They brawl to a corner and Dijakovic throws big back elbows and forearms. Dijakovic whips then scoops Grimes for a backbreaker! And a second rope SPLASH! Cover, TWO!
Dijakovic stalks Grimes to another corner but Grimes CHOPS back. Dijakovic CHOPS Grimes then throws more elbows. He reels Grimes in and says, “TIME TO FLY!” But Grimes slips out to throw forearms to the back! Grimes jumps up to SNAP-RANA! Grimes runs but his crossbody is caught! Dijakovic gives Grimes standing rib shots and then THROWS Grimes out of the ring! Fans rally up for “NXT! NXT!” as Dijakovic goes out to fetch Grimes. Dijakovic drags Grimes up and into the ring, but Grimes dropkicks the legs out from under him! Grimes goes to the apron to PENALTY KICK! Dijakovic is down and Grimes paces as NXT goes picture in picture.
Grimes puts Dijakovic back on the apron to club away on his chest. Grimes catches his breath before he grinds his foot and stomps down on Dijakovic’s head! He drops knees and grinds his knuckles into Dijakovic’s face, but the ref reprimands him. Grimes drags Dijakovic up to throw big forearms, but Dijakovic gives body shots back. Grimes ROCKS Dijakovic then chokes him on the ropes. The ref reprimands Grimes but he grinds his boot into Dijakovic in the corner. Dijakovic kicks back and throws uppercuts from the mat! Dijakovic CHOPS Grimes to back him off, but Grimes enziguris in return! Grimes glares at Dijakovic as he puts him on the ropes. Dijakovic blocks the whip to BOOT Grimes away!
Grimes is in a corner and Dijakovic runs in, but Grimes goes up and over! Dijakovic hits nothing but post! Grimes CLOBBERS him on the return! Cover, TWO! Grimes grits his teeth as he clamps onto Dijakovic with a chinlock. Grimes adds crossface forearms then brings Dijakovic around for an armlock. Dijakovic endures as Grimes cranks on his arm. Grimes wrenches the arm to a hammerlock then KICKS it! Dijakovic clutches the bad arm as Grimes stands on his head! The ref reprimands and Grimes lets up, to drag Dijakovic up and around with the armlock. Dijakovic endures as Grimes grinds his forearm into Dijakovic’s face. Dijakovic fights up but Grimes wrangles him down! Grimes won’t let up on Dijakovic’s face!
Grimes stomps Dijakovic over and over then clamps back onto the arm. NXT returns to single picture as fans rally up. Dijakovic fights his way up, but Grimes again wrangles him down with a chinbar! Grimes digs his fingers into Dijakovic’s mouth, but Dijakovic fights up to whip free. Grimes kicks him back but Dijakovic throws forearms. We have a brawl and Dijakovic throws strikes. Grimes SLAPS Dijakovic so Dijakovic fires off forearm after forearm! Dijakovic wrenches, kicks and ELBOWS! “TIME TO FLY!” Suplex TOSS! Fans fire up with Dijakovic as he throws elbows and knees on Grimes. Grimes ROUNDHOUSES, Dijakovic SUPERKICKS and LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Grimes survives but Dijakovic still has more to try.
Dijakovic watches Grimes rise, and clamps on the choke grip. Grimes spins out to waistlock but he can’t get Dijakovic up. Grimes ducks the elbow to SUPER FOREARM and SUPERKICK! He throws kicks then GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Dijakovic survives but Grimes knees him down again. Grimes kicks Dijakovic to the apron as fans duel again. Grimes runs and baseball slides, but Dijakovic jumps over it, to MOONSAULT! Direct hit wipes both men out at the ramp! Dijakovic hobbles as he puts Grimes back in. Dijakovic gets on the apron, but DAMIEN PRIEST appears! Priest uses a collapsible BATON to SMACK the back of Dijakovic’s bad leg!! Dijakovic tumbles down as Priest gets away with it!
The ref starts a ring count as Dijakovic clutches his leg. Dijakovic uses the railing but the count reaches 7! He hobbles in at 9.9!! CAVE-IN!!! Cover, Grimes wins!!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall
Give the HUGE assist to the Archer of Infamy! Will Dijakovic make Priest pay for that sneak attack? Will Grimes move up to take on the Limitless One next?
Backstage interview with NXT GM, William Regal.
With Rhea Ripley VS Charlotte Flair for the NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania now official, Regal has a major announcement for the NXT Women’s Division. “Starting next week, there will be a number of qualifying matches. And the winners of those matches will go on to TakeOver: Tampa, and they will compete in a match that will determine the #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship. And that match will be a Ladder Match.” HUGE news that escalates the level of competition! Who will qualify for this match as the Road to WrestleMania enters the home stretch?
Finn Balor is back!
The Prince defeated Johnny Wrestling at TakeOver: Portland, and is perhaps the catalyst behind Gargano’s betrayal of Tommaso Ciampa. But Balor doesn’t care about all that, he is about to make another move on the chessboard that is NXT. Balor takes up the mic as fans cheer. “I’m not a moves guy. I’m not an internet guy.” And he’s not “a sneaky stooge to the office politics guy.” But when the bell rings, Balor is THE guy. Fans agree with that! Balor says he builds brands. “Japan: done it. Mexico: done it. Intercontinental Championship: done it. Universal Championship: done it! NXT Championship: done it!” And now, it’s WrestleMania season. Everyone in the business wants to peak. Balor’s been at his peak for 20 years!
“So the big question is: what’s the next move for the Prince? Who’s gonna get that Finn rub?” Matt Riddle got his. Johnny Gargano got his. Hell, even Ilja Dragunov got it. But what about IMPERIUM? Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel are here to represent NXT UK’s top faction, and address “Mr. Baylor.” Balor is misinformed, because there is still something Balor hasn’t done. “The NXT surface belongs to the Ring General.” The NXT UK Champion, WALTER, sends Balor his regards. That is to say, these two will strike. But Balor strikes first with a double dropkick! Balor trips up Aichner to DOUBLE STOMP him down! Barthel runs in but is sent over the steel steps! SLINGBLADE for Aichner!
Balor grits his teeth as he aims at Aichner. But Barthel intercepts the shotgun dropkick with a flying European Uppercut! Barthel and Aichner beat Balor down and fans boo as they throw him into the apron. They stomp him more and Balor has no reinforcements. Aichner RAMS his knee into Balor against steel steps! The Prince is down and Imperium stands tall. Will Balor have a response to Walter’s message?
Austin Theory has a message for NXT.
“Austin Theory is the future of NXT.” Evolution’s top star has some rage that he hasn’t gotten to show. But he’ll show everyone that Theory can go #AllDay, and that Ciampa won’t make it through the night. But will Theory be proven wrong after going against the Blackheart?
NXT receives a new cryptic message.
A clock, the desert, explosions and death. Apocalypse and chaos. Who, or what, is coming?
NXT Media catches up with Bianca Belair.
The EST arrives for her match with Charlotte. What are her thoughts about facing The Queen? Charlotte is trying to take over and put her hands on Bianca to do it. Charlotte is woman enough to take on “the strongest, the toughest, the roughest, the quickest, the greatest, the best.” Bianca will give Charlotte what she wants. Will Charlotte be able to handle it?
Xia Li VS Mia Yim!
The Spicy Warrior has a new hairstyle and a new outfit, but the same fire. Will this help her rise up the ranks? Or will the HBIC stay the Head Baddie in Charge in this one year anniversary of this very match-up?
The bell rings and fans cheer for both women. The two shake hands to show there is respect here, but then Mia pulls Xia in. Mia makes sure Xia knows she means business, so Xia throws roundhouses! Mia stays clear of the kicks and gets to a corner. The ref keeps Xia back and Mia comes out to dropkick her down! Things speed up, Mia and Xia redirect each other, and Mia tackles the legs out to basement dropkick Xia down! Cover, TWO! Mia keeps close to Xia but Xia boots her away. Mia runs in to BOOT Xia in the corner! The HBIC grinds her boot into Xia then gives her a scrape. The ref counts and Mia lets up at 4. Mia cannonballs but only gets buckles as Xia manages to evade!
Mia staggers up into Xia’s haymakers! Xia LARIATS Mia down then thrust kicks and BOOTS her down! Fans fire up with Xia as she runs into the corner for the flying forearm! Xia keeps moving, but Mia dodges the dynamic kick to give her SOLE FOOD! But wait, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez appear! Captain Kota reminds Mia how she took Dakota’s spot at WarGames III, only for Dakota to take it back. Mia still looks upset over that. But right now is the perfect time to rub it in. Xia rolls Mia up, and wins!!
Winner: Xia Li, by pinfall
And now Raquel adds on as she goes after Mia! She clubs and BOOTS Mia down! Raquel drags Mia up but Xia comes in to help her! Xia kicks but Raquel blocks to LARIAT! Dakota applauds but Mia jumps on Raquel with a sleeper! Raquel throws her off to knee low and club her around the ring. Fans boo as the Daughter of the Desperado gives Mia a single-leg lift POWERBOMB! Dakota smiles as her new teammate just kicked Mia to the curb. Will Tegan Nox be able to avenge both Mia and Xia in her coming cage match with Kai?
Velveteen Dream speaks.
“Life is not as bad as you think it is, Roderick Strong.” That is, until you find yourself with a broken back. Strong did that to the Dream. But Dream remembers beating Strong last week. “But that’s not enough. I mean, you broke the Dream’s back.” So Dream wants it all! Next week, Mr. Regal will grant Dream’s request for Strong to experience a steel cage of their own. Snap, Dream out. Will the steel cage be double booked next week with two huge grudge matches?
Tommaso Ciampa VS Austin Theory!
The Psycho Killer was in no mood last week when he gave an ultimatum to his best frenemy, Johnny Gargano. Mr. All Day didn’t get the hit, so Ciampa had to make it much more blunt for him. Will Theory be able to respond in kind with this first-ever match-up?
The bell rings and Theory glares at Ciampa. They tie up, go around, and Ciampa headlocks. Theory powers out but Ciampa bumps shoulders with him. Neither falls so Ciampa throws haymakers. Theory kicks low and whips but Ciampa reverses. Things speed up, Ciampa hurdles but Theory runs him over! Theory clubs away on Ciampa as fans rally up. Theory throws jabs and body shots and more clubbing forearms. He whips Ciampa but Ciampa holds ropes and BOOTS back! Ciampa CHOPS Theory then whips to run him over with an elbow. Fans cheer as Ciampa stomps Theory and throws him with a headlock takeover. Theory endures and fights his way up, but Ciampa counters the back suplex with another takeover.
Theory rolls Ciampa off but misses his dropkick. Ciampa throws Theory out and fans cheer as Ciampa gets Theory in the ropes. Theory drops down to drag Ciampa out, but Ciampa haymakers back. Ciampa aims for barriers, but Theory stops himself from repeating history! Theory elbows Ciampa away then bumps him off the apron. He puts Ciampa in and stalks him to a corner to throw hands. Theory whips corner to corner but Ciampa reverses, only for Theory to go up and over. Ciampa swings but misses and Theory dropkicks him down! Theory catches his breath as he glares at Ciampa. Cover, ONE, but Theory has him in the corner with a CHOP! Theory runs in to clothesline and go to the apron. Ciampa elbows Theory away and drags Theory up for a neckbreaker hotshot!
Ciampa goes out to fetch Theory and throw him into the post! Ciampa pats himself on the back and fans cheer as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Theory is in control as he stomps a mudhole into Ciampa. The ref backs Theory off and fans boo. Ciampa stands and elbows Theory back! Theory blocks the kick, sweeps the legs, and standing moonsaults to Ciampa’s back! Cover, TWO! Theory keeps on Ciampa with a chinbar and armlock. Ciampa endures as Theory cranks on him and fans rally up. Ciampa fights up and fights back, but Theory throws forearms of his own. Theory whips corner to corner, but Ciampa comes back with a LARIAT! Ciampa throws big hands and whips, but Theory reverses. Ciampa knees Theory back, then clobbers him again! He starts on a rally, waistlock to GERMAN SUPLEX! Theory flounders and Ciampa KNEES him against the ropes!
Ciampa underhooks Theory but Theory slips out to waistlock. Ciampa elbows free and blocks a boot, but Theory DECKS him! Theory somersaults and leaps, into a KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives and Ciampa looks a bit frustrated. Fans rally up as Ciampa stands and Theory crawls. Ciampa drags Theory up and CHOPS him again. Ciampa hoists Theory up top but Theory resists, so Ciampa CHOPS him again. The Blackheart climbs up and hoists Theory onto his shoulders, but Theory slips out of the Air Raid! Theory carries Ciampa but Ciampa fights out of the bomb to throw a forearm. Theory gives it back, then ROCKS Ciampa. Ciampa enziguris back! Theory comes back, both men clothesline but neither falls. ROLLING THUNDER BLOCKBUSTER!
Theory brings Ciampa up, powerbomb, BUCKLE BOMB! Theory figure fours Ciampa’s legs, ATAXIA! The modified Ushigoroshi hits! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa survives, showing Theory isn’t quite at that level yet. Theory keeps his focus on Ciampa as he loom over the former NXT Champion. Theory drags Ciampa up, but Ciampa CHOPS him! Ciampa counter BOOTS, then bobs ‘n’ weaves. Theory back elbows, but Ciampa makes him fall for the feint! Ciampa knees Theory, drags him in, and underhooks, only for Theory to back drop! Ciampa tries to sunset flip but Theory stays up. Theory slips free to MULE KICK! Theory underhooks and pump handles, UNPROVEN THEORY! Cover, TWO!?! Ciampa survives again!!
Fans rally as Theory works to keep his cool. Ciampa bails out of the ring but Theory follows. Theory blocks the boot to ROCK Ciampa! Then in return from before, Theory throws Ciampa around the barriers! Then into the ring, to slingshot, into a KICK! WILLOW’S BELL!! Ciampa drags Theory back up, underhooks, and hits FAIRY TALE ENDING! Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Theory may not have won, but he proved himself worthy of being in NXT! The future is not today, but will Theory find his time? As for Ciampa, he sees Gargano coming and punches first! The two brawl and Ciampa gets Gargano in a corner! Gargano turns it around to stomp away on Ciampa and then throws his jacket off. Ciampa BOOTS back! The brawl continues but Theory gets involved, to get DECKED! Gargano SUPERKICKS Ciampa down! Fans chant, “Johnny Sucks!” as Gargano makes Ciampa look him in the eye, for the SUPERKICK!
Gargano watches Ciampa move to the apron, and then sits with him a la their many DIY days. Gargano mockingly applauds Ciampa as he flounders about. Then Gargano drags Ciampa to the floor. He eyes the TakeOver: Tampa logo on the floor mats as he circles Ciampa like a vulture. Gargano takes the DIY banner and looks at it. Does that friendship mean nothing to either man anymore? Will this be the final chapter in their story together?
The Undisputed Era speaks.
“Fellas, this is going to sound crazy. But the Dream and I actually agree on something.” What? Really? Yes, because it should be Strong VS Dream in a steel cage! But Strong wants Dream to understand this: “When they lock that door and there’s nowhere to run, there’s nowhere to hide, I am going to break him, and I’m going to end him for good!” Meanwhile, Bobby Fish is angry with “Peter Dune and your stupid name, Matt Riddle and your stupid face,” he isn’t sure which he hates more. But the fact is, TakeOver: Portland, the Broserweights got lucky against “the baddest team on the plant.” They won’t get lucky again.
Kyle O’Reilly says those two are swimming in shallow waters while reDRagon has been together for eight years. Do you know how many championships they won in those eight years? And how many they lost. Do the Broserweights think they’re going anywhere? The Undisputed Era are sharks in the deep end. Adam Cole says Strong will get rid of Dream and get back the NXT North American Championship. Kyle and Bobby will once again be NXT Tag Team Champions. And all the while, Cole himself will keep THE NXT Championship to restore the prophecy and remain the MOST DOMINANT faction in the WWE. And that is Undisputed.
Bronson Reed VS Killian Dain!
Can you say, “superheavyweight?” Because this match is literally the biggest of the night! Will Aussie Strong Style be able to stop the North Ireland Nightmare? Or will the Belfast Beast feast on Auzilla?
The bell rings and the two tie up right away. They break up when neither budges, and then try again. Dain puts Reed in a corner then rams his shoulder in over and over. The ref counts but Dain rings Reed out. Dain tries but can’t scoop, but Reed sure gets Dain up! Dain slips out to BOOT Reed! He whips but Reed reverses to ENZIGURI! Dain tumbles out and Reed builds speed to DIVE! The Supersized Tope takes Dain down! Fans fire up for Reed as he puts Dain into the ring. Dain is up and knees Reed at the ropes and clubs him between the ropes. Dain kicks Reed hard then hops up for a GUILLOTINE LEG DROP! Cover, TWO!
Reed gets to a corner but Dain is after him with body shots. Dain whips corner to corner hard, and Reed falls to the mat. Cover, ONE, but Dain is on Reed right away with EuroUppers. Dain backs Reed to the corner, wrenches and snapmares to clamp on with a grounded cobra twist. Reed endures as fans rally up. Reed fights up and throws body shots of his own. He ROCKS Dain with that right, then hoists him up for an atomic drop and elbow. Dain dodges but so does Reed, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES! This collision of kaiju leaves both men down and gasping for air! Fans rally up as Reed and Dain get up to throw forearms. They go back and forth, Dain CHOPS but Reed clubs. Dain fires off strikes then headbutts! Reed gives the headbutt back and then some! Dain chops, Reed CHOPS!
Reed scoops Dain and SLAMS him! The straps come down as Reed brings Dain up for the SAIDO! Dain ends up in a corner, Reed runs in to HIP ATTACK! Reed drags Dain up, fireman’s carries but Dain slips out. Dain fireman’s carries to Samoan Drop! Dain steps on Reed to go up top, for the VADER BOMB onto knees! Reed hops up now, and FLYING DDT’S! But Reed isn’t done there, he fireman’s carries Dain for the DEATH VALLEY BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Dain still lives but Reed keeps his cool. Reed drags Dain to a drop zone and heads up top. Fans fire up as Reed climbs, but Dain stops him with forearms. Dain climbs up to join Reed and throws more forearms. Dain brings Reed up, SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT SUPERPLEX!!
Reed crawls but Dain drops the back senton! And another! A third! Dain goes up again, for the VADER BOMB! Cover, Dain wins!
Winner: Killian Dain, by pinfall
Big Damo downs Auzilla for a big win here tonight! Will Dain stake his claim for the North American Championship?
NXT replays the Forgotten Sons’ response to the Grizzled Young Veterans.
“Fellas, this is the land of the free because of the brave. And y’know what? I think it’s time we beat that into you.” As such, we get a fight of American patriots and the British invasion! Will Zack Gibson and James Drake SOON be the ones to be forgotten?
The Forgotten Sons w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
As GYV make their entrance, Zack Gibson has a mic. “America’s Forgotten Sons, typical Yanks sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.” They defend the spoiled brats of the NXT Universe and the USA. Fans chant for “USA!” while holding shoes up. Gibson says the Forgotten Sons epitomize America today: Redneck, white trash, blue collar IGNORANCE! The GYV have conquered all of Europe, and are never gonna- Well, they stop talking as the Sons make their entrance! Will Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake make GYV regret talking down to the USA?
The teams sort out and Blake starts against Gibson. The two circle and tie up and go around. Gibson pushes Blake and waistlocks to club him on the back. Gibson headlocks but Blake powers out, only for Gibson to run him over. Blake gets up but Gibson headlocks again. Blake powers out again, ducks down and hurdles over, but Gibson arm-drags, only for Blake to a make it a headlock! Now Gibson powers out, things speed up again, and Gibson goes to hip toss, only for Blake to counter with a hip toss of his own! Blake dropkicks Gibson down and then again! Drake protests so Blake dropkicks him!
Tag to Cutler and the Sons double whip to double elbow and double headbutt drop! Cover, TWO! Cutler keeps on Gibson with an armlock. Gibson endures as Cutler cranks, but Gibson pushes Cutler to a corner. The ref counts but Gibson throws in cheap shots. Cutler turns it around to stomp away! And punch! Cutler whips corner to corner but Drake saves Gibson from buckles, and Gibson knees Cutler down! Gibson tags Drake and then scoop slams Cutler. Drake is the human weapon, scoop splash! Cover, ONE, but Drake DECKS Cutler! And again! And then lariats! Drake covers, ONE, but Drake clamps on with a chinlock. Cutler endures as Drake leans on him. Fans rally up and Cutler gets up, but Drake throws him down!
Drake throws forearms on Cutler then tags Gibson. Gibson throws a clothesline, then feeds Cutler to Drake’s windmill. Cover, TWO, but Gibson clamps on with a chinlock. Cutler endures and fans rally up with “USA! USA!” Drake tags back in and the GYV mug Cutler. Drake snapmares and drives his knees into Cutler’s back. He wraps on another chinlock but Cutler fights his way up. Cutler tags to Blake as he powers out of the headlock, Blake hits a spinning powerslam! Drake bails out but he sees Ryker standing there. Rykder backs Drake down, and Blake CHOPS away! Blake puts Drake in the ring but Drake headlocks. Gibson tags in before Blake powers out. Leap frog but Blake ducks Gibson to dropkick Drake! Blake huricanranas Gibson and tags in Cutler!
Cutler and Blake whip Drake to double hip toss! Gibson runs into a double hip toss! The Sons military press and TOSS Drake out onto Gibson! Fans fire up for the seemingly forgiven sons as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns as Blake fights up in Drake’s chinlock. Drake knees low and whips Blake into the GYV corner. Blake fights back with haymakers and back hands! Drake rocks Blake and Blake tumbles out. Blake comes back to rock Drake then Gibson, then shoulders into Drake. Blake slingshot sunset flips but Drake tags to Gibson! Gibson stomps Blake and covers, ONE. Gibson clamps onto Blake with a chinlock and grinds him down. Blake endures while fans troll Drake with “Ass Face!” Clearly NXT fans watch NXT UK and picked up on the chants. Gibson grinds Blake down as he cranks harder on the hold. Ryker and Cutler coach Blake up and Blake fights his way up.
Gibson knees low to back suplex, but Blake lands on his feet for a jumping neckbreaker! Both men crawl for their corners, tag to Drake and he drags Blake away from his corner. But Blake back drops and hot tags! Cutler rallies on Drake with big forearms! Overhead suplex for Gibson! And one for Drake! Cutler whips Drake and Drake bounces off buckles for Cutler to LARIAT! Fans fire up with Cutler as he underhooks, butterfly backbreaker! Cover, TWO! But to the Boston Crab! Cutler sits down deep but has to deck Gibson! He grabs Drake but Drake back drops! Drake hits Blake but Cutler dodges the enziguri. Cutler lifts to BUCKLE BOMB! And then a Fisherman DRIVER! Cover, but Gibson helps Drake get the ropebreak!
The ref suspects foul play but Gibson swears he had nothing to do with it. Ryker comes around to chase Gibson down! Gibson doesn’t want none of the Gunner but he trips over the steel steps! But Drake jawbreakers Cutler to DIVE onto Ryker! The GYV throw Ryker into steel steps! But Cutler LEAPS onto Drake and Blake LEAPS onto Gibson! Cutler puts Gibson in, tags to Blake and then hops up top. But Gibson anchors Cutler as Drake enziguris Blake! Drake uses Gibson for MAYHEM N MOTION! Cutler crashes ‘n’ burns! Blake sends Gibson out but Drake rolls him, ONE! Blake hammerlocks and CHOPS Drake to then atomic drop and dropkick!
Gibson tags in but Blake is ready. He dodges, leaps, but Drake helps Gibson get clear! Gut wrench, TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, GYV win!!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall
Fans boo as Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem get away with one! But while they’ve won one battle, will they win the war with the Forgotten Sons?
Backstage interview with Tegan Nox.
With all the history between her and Dakota Kai, how has she prepared for their coming steel cage match? “At TakeOver: Portland, I thought I had everything scouted.” Tegan knew all of Dakota’s tricks and tactics, but she didn’t expect Raquel Gonzalez. To be honest, she still feels that table. But next week, Raquel won’t be a factor, because all she can do is watch as Tegan takes out her anger on Dakota. Dakota started this in a cage, and it will end in a cage.
NXT Media catches up with Damien Priest.
Does the Archer of Infamy have an explanation for that attack on Dijakovic? “It’s nothing personal with Dijakovic. He’s just in the way of something I want. And now, Keith Lee knows exactly what I want.” So the message through Dijakovic is for the Limitless One. What will Keith Lee’s response be?
Charlotte Flair VS Bianca Belair!
The Queen doesn’t even go here anymore, but she’s coming back to her alma mater to settle things with one of the biggest names in this generation of NXT. Will Bianca put Charlotte in her place just 40 days away from WrestleMania?
The bell rings and fans chant “You Don’t Go Here!” at Charlotte on Bianca’s behalf. Some fans do chant, “Welcome Home!” for Charlotte, though, as she ties up with Bianca. They go around, and Charlotte puts Bianca in the corner. The ref counts and Charlotte lets up at 4. Fans duel as Charlotte draws the line she dares Bianca to cross. Bianca does and they tie up again. Charlotte headlocks, hits the takeover, but Bianca headscissors back. Charlotte pops free but Bianca headlocks to reverse the roles. Bianca pops out of Charlotte’s headscissors, but Charlotte sweeps the legs. Cover, ONE, and Bianca sweeps. Cover, ONE, and Bianca waistlocks.
Charlotte standing switches but so does Bianca. Charlotte drop toeholds and floats to the facelock and talks trash. Bianca fights up but Charlotte clubs her down. Fans rally and duel as Charlotte whips Bianca to a corner. Bianca goes up, over, handsprings and goes up and over again! Charlotte gets annoyed, but Bianca dropkicks her down! Bianca kips up and tells Charlotte to kiss this. Bianca then RAMS into Charlotte in the corner! She lets up at 4 to toss Charlotte around. Fans duel harder than ever as Bianca scoops and squats. Charlotte slips out and CHOPS! And CHOPS! “I’m the Queen here!” Charlotte unloads more and more CHOPS! She snapmares Bianca down to run and BOOT! Fans are all riled up as NXT goes picture in picture.
Charlotte looms over Bianca and some fans bow down. Charlotte stands on Bianca’s ponytail then brings her around to whip. Bianca holds ropes and kicks back, but Charlotte clotheslines her down! Charlotte is annoyed with Bianca as she stalks her to a corner. Charlotte runs into Bianca’s elbow, but blocks the boots. She turns Bianca sideways for the draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Bianca sits up but Charlotte is on her with a thrashing chinlock! Charlotte grinds Bianca down, brings her around to bend her back, but Bianca endures. Bianca fights up with elbows but Charlotte throws her down! She dusts her hands off as she stalks Bianca to another corner. Charlotte whips Bianca corner to corner but Bianca reverses.
Charlotte tumbles over and out and shoulders back into Bianca. She slingshots over to then arm-drag and armlock Bianca down! Bianca endures as Charlotte grinds her knee in. Bianca throws body shots but Charlotte clubs her down. Charlotte throws Bianca out of the ring and then climbs up top to soak up the cheers and even the jeers. NXT returns to single picture as Charlotte watches Bianca crawl up on the apron. Bianca dodges the baseball slide to throw clubbing forearms, and then throw Charlotte into the post! Charlotte flounders as Bianca goes back into the ring. Fans rally and duel again as Charlotte hurries after. Charlotte brings Bianca up but Bianca cradle counters, TWO! Charlotte CHOPS Bianca down again!
Bianca goes to a corner but Charlotte whips her corner to corner. Bianca ducks the chop but Charlotte spins her around for a neckbreaker! Bianca fights the dragon sleeper off with knees, and climbs the corner to go up and over! She shoves Charlotte into buckles, then runs back in to hit a facebuster! Bianca chicken wings and lifts, GLAM SLAM! Cover, TWO! Charlotte lives and Bianca grows annoyed. Bianca pushes Charlotte around but Charlotte anchors a foot. Bianca kicks Charlotte and stomps her, then handsprings, into a Penalty Kick! Charlotte drags Bianca up to throw big knees in. Charlotte grabs at Bianca for the cobra twist! She even pushes Bianca’s head and uses the ponytail! The ref reprimands but Bianca slips around to put the twist on Charlotte!
Charlotte endures and pulls on the ponytail again. Bianca tries to stop Charlotte, but Charlotte back drops out! But Bianca sunset flips, only for Charlotte to roll through! Bianca gets clear of the basement dropkick! Bianca handsprings and MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Bianca grows frustrated but she calms down. She stands up as fans duel again. Bianca scowls as she drags Charlotte up and reels her in. Powerbomb lift but Charlotte slips out the back. Charlotte bails Bianca in for an elbow, then the backbreaker to buckle shot! Charlotte drags Bianca around and scuffs her face as she heads to the corner. Fans boo as Charlotte climbs up, to MOONSAULT! Bianca gets boots up! But Charlotte catches them for a BOSTON CRAB!
Bianca endures as Charlotte bends her back! Bianca crawls to the ropes but Charlotte drags her away! So Bianca slips under to throw haymakers. Charlotte jackknifes, TWO! STRETCH MUFFLER! Charlotte lifts, Bianca shifts, so Charlotte DEAD LIFTS for a POWEBOMB! Matchbook, TWO!! Charlotte is growing frustrated, and her boot gets hung up! Bianca clubs Charlotte on the back, then dropkicks her out! Bianca goes out and fetches Charlotte. She goes to whip Charlotte but Charlotte fights back. The two fight for control but Bianca sends Charlotte into a post! Bianca puts Charlotte in and drags her up to club her on the back.
Bianca climbs up and leaps but Charlotte gets under. Charlotte runs into Bianca’s SPEAR! But then Charlotte gets up to SPEAR Bianca! Fans fire up as Charlotte hits NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, Charlotte wins!!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by pinfall
But The Queen wants to make Bianca to pay, and she brings in a chair! Here comes Rhea Ripley! Charlotte hurries to put Bianca’s leg inside the chair, and STOMPS it! Bianca’s leg might be busted! Charlotte keeps on it with a FIGURE EIGHT! Rhea still takes her time rushing the ring, and Charlotte gets away. The Nightmare is furious, will she take it all out on Charlotte at WrestleMania?
A great episode for NXT to move things towards Tampa. Grimes VS Dijakovic was a great opener, and Priest making his presence felt was a nice twist. Grimes winning does move him up in rankings, and then we get a pretty good Dain VS Reed match. I suspect that a Triple Threat of Grimes VS Dain VS Priest will help determine a TakeOver: Tampa opponent, and I would think Dijakovic goes after Priest for revenge, leaving it to either Grimes or Dain. As great as Lee VS Dijakovic has been, it’d be better if we wait a bit for the next rematch, give them time to come up with something that can outdo Portland’s match. Ciampa VS Theory was really good, Theory is proving his worth even in losing. Gargano’s attack was fairly logical, but I was really expecting him to escalate there. Maybe next time.
What NXT didn’t really hype up as much as they should have is all this anniversary stuff. It was good to revisit Mia VS Xia from a year ago, but they only briefly touched on how this was basically the 10th anniversary of NXT. Of course, those who remember 2010 know NXT was just that lame “reality show” version, but it’s still an origin story of this brand. There should’ve at least been a Network special relating to it. But that aside, it was great use of continuity to have Dakota and Raquel pay Mia a visit during her match. Xia steals the win but still tries to help Mia against them, but it adds to Raquel’s monster quality that she puts them both down. Perhaps Xia and Mia will become allies with Tegan against this new Team Kick?
I really like that next week is going to become Steel Cage Night. Tegan VS Dakota is going to be great, so long as they learn from AEW’s recent cage match in that escapes don’t matter. Those two should finish things in the cage so that Raquel being ringside won’t even matter. The same goes for Strong VS Dream now that it’s a Steel Cage match. I wonder if one will open the night (Dakota VS Tegan) while the other (Dream VS Strong) closes. I feel like that’d make a lot of sense card wise. GYV VS Forgotten Sons was a really good match, but as I figured, the fans weren’t all going to jump on the bandwagon just because of patriotism. Forgotten Sons really are a good team, from in-ring to in character, but it’ll take time before NXT fans accept the Face turn.
Charlotte VS Bianca was great stuff! Maybe a little messy in the middle but this was their first time 1v1 with each other so it wasn’t going to be perfect. Bianca looks amazing though she loses, but I feel there could’ve been something different about that ending. Maybe they realized they went long and that’s why Charlotte was hurrying on that “leg breaker” spot? Rhea should’ve hustled, too, in that case. Given their “We Are NXT” moment together, Rhea should’ve skipped the entrance procedure and ran to save Bianca. Now Bianca has leg damage and we still miss that trash talk to end the show because of time constraints. A minor hiccup in this build, really, and there’s still time to make up for that, but it was just a bit messy for an otherwise great night.
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Summer Struggle Nagoya Report! (7/24/21)
Nagoya says GO ACE!
NJPW keeps the Summer Struggle going in Nagoya!
Before going up to bat at Wrestle Grand Slam Tokyo, NJPW visits Nagoya! Stone Pitbull steps up to King of Darkness and The Ace takes on Fang Revived!
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Evil wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS KENTA; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Tomohiro Ishii VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
Chaos knows Bullet Club wants the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag titles, but that isn’t just going to happen! Will the Stone Pitbull take a bite out of the King of Darkness? Or will Nagoya learn Everything is Evil?
But the second Ishii gets in the ring, he DECKS Evil and chases him out of the ring! The bell rings to get this on the record as Ishii stomps away on Evil and whips him hard into railing! Fans fire up as Ishii drags Evil up to whip him hard into more railing! The ref wants this in the ring, Ishii just whips Evil even harder into railing! Dick attacks Ishii but Ishii doesn’t flinch! Ishii ROCKS Dick, puts him in the ring, and the ref wants Ishii to hold off but Ishii shoves him down! Ishii grabs Dick around the throat to then DECK him! Fans fire up and Ishii throws his shirt off to drag Dick up, put him in the corner, and clothesline him down!
Dick flops down but Ishii ain’t done with him yet! Evil is getting up on the outside as Ishii gets Dick up. Evil saves Dick from the bomb and stomps Ishii down. Evil whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back to run him over! Ishii chases Evil outside the ring again, but Ishii takes a page from Evil’s playbook by getting a chair from under the ring. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but the ref wants Ishii to stand down. Ishii refuses, shoves past the ref and TOSSES the chair! Evil gets out of the way and the chair hits railing! Ishii pursues Evil around the corner and Evil wants mercy. Ishii instead kicks Evil up the ramp, and brings him up to SMACK off railing!
Ishii pulls railing apart to SMACK Evil with the piece he took! Fans cheer the ferocity as Ishii looms over Evil. The ref reprimands and wants this to get in the ring for once, but fans rally as Ishii drags Evil up. Ishii reels Evil in but Dick saves Evil form a brainbuster to the floor! Ishii glares at Dick and Dick runs away, egging Ishii on. They go in the ring, Evil gets in and CLOBBERS Ishii! Evil looms over Ishii as fans still rally. Evil drags Ishii up, throws him out, and whips him hard into railing! The ref reprimands but Evil wants to cash the rest of his receipts! Evil gets two chairs, drags Ishii up and puts his head through one chair. Evil gets the other, to HOME RUN!
Some fans do cheer, but the ref continues to reprimand. Fans rally back up for “I-SHI-I!” as Evil goes into the ring. Dick taunts Ishii but the ref keeps his eyes on him. The ring count begins and Ishii stirs at 7 of 20. Ishii sits up at 10 of 20, stands at 12, and drags himself in at 15! Evil is fine with that and he walks over to drag Ishii to a cover, ONE! Evil is annoyed with the count but the fans cheer. Evil gets Ishii up, then throws him out again! The ref has had about enough of this, but Evil RAMS Ishii into the railing! Timekeeper Abe-san goes down! Will Evil ever stop bullying him? And Dick undoes the blue corner pad while the ref is busy with Ishii and Abe!
Evil and Dick Too Sweet and then Evil gets in the ring. Ishii stirs and Abe gets his timekeeper table back up. Fans rally for Ishii even harder now as Evil waits. The ring count starts again, Ishii staggers about at 4 of 20, clutches his back and heads over at 8 of 20, and gets in before 10. Evil drags Ishii back up, and whips him into the bare corner! The ref only now realizes what Bullet Club did as Evil drags Ishii to a HALF CRAB! Dick taunts Ishii at the ropes, Evil drags Ishii away and has the Half Crab even deeper! Ishii fights to turn as fans rally up but Evil fights it. Ishii reaches, Evil sits on the hold even deeper, but Ishii gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Evil finally lets go at 4.
Evil paces while Ishii is getting mad. Fans still rally as Evil kicks at Ishii mockingly. Ishii eggs Evil on, Evil kicks him more and more, but Ishii gets up. Ishii throws hands and chops but they don’t do enough. Evil CHOPS Ishii and Ishii staggers back. Evil taunts Ishii, CHOPS him again, and Ishii grits his teeth as he stays standing! Evil taunts and CHOPS Ishii again! Ishii stays up by supporting himself with his hands. Ishii stands up, Evil DOUBLE CHOPS! Ishii stays up and shocks Evil with a CHOP in return! It was a high one and Evil falls right over as he gasps and sputters! Ishii gets up, fans rally behind him, and he gets Evil up to whip him. Evil reverses to send Ishii into the bare buckles!
But Ishii fires up and RUNS Evil over! Fans fire up as both men are down. Ishii rises while Evil gets to a corner. Ishii heads over, CHOPS and forearms on repeat! Fans rally with each shot, Evil falls down and the ref wants Ishii to let off! But Ishii shoves the ref and stands Evil up to fire off more forearms and CHOPS! Ishii finally lets off and Dick checks on Evil. Ishii comes back to get Evil up but Evil SLAPS him! Ishii stands Evil up to fire off more HIGH CHOPS! The ref reprimands, he’s getting Evil real close to the throat! Evil falls over and gasps for air. Ishii shows no mercy and gets Evil up. Evil fights the back suplex by thumbing Ishii in the eyes!
The ref reprimands but both men are down again. Fans rally up while Evil slowly sits up. Evil still coughs and sputters but he gets Ishii up. Evil throws Ishii out and argues with the ref, DICK whips Ishii into railing! Dick puts Ishii back in, Evil covers, TWO! Evil kicks at Ishii, toying with him. Ishii gets up but Evil pokes him in the eyes again! Evil throws Ishii back out for Dick to cheap shot! Dick whips, Ishii reverses and Dick hits railing! Dick is down, Evil rushes out but Ishii throws him over the railing, onto the timekeeper’s table! Abe gets back as Ishii hops the railing, and he SMACKS Evil off the table! And again!
Ishii makes Evil take a seat, then drags Dick up to RAM into the railing! Now Evil knows how he makes Abe-san feel as he goes flying back! Fans cheer but Abe isn’t really sure what to do now. Fans rally as “I-SHI-I!” goes around the railing to get Evil out from under the table. Ishii puts Evil in, drags him up, and reels him in to suplex! Cover, TWO! Ishii keeps his cool as he gets back up. Ishii dares Evil to sit up, and then runs, but Evil dodges the lariat to waistlock. Ishii switches but Evil RAMS him into the bare buckles! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Ishii and Evil slowly stir, Ishii goes to a corner. Evil stands, runs in, and clotheslines!
Evil reels Ishii in to hoist Ishii up top. Evil climbs up, gets Ishii up on the very top, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Ishii writhes and Evil covers, TWO!! Ishii survives and fans are fired up again! Evil slowly gets to his feet, gets Ishii’s legs, and steps through! Ishii blocks the Scorpion Deathlock to punch Evil away! Evil comes back, gets Ishii up, but Ishii blocks the fireman’s carry. Ishii throws elbows, but Evil blocks a kick to rake eyes! Evil throws the kick into the ref, then gets Ishii up! Dick helps out in the MAGIC KILLER! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up as Ishii survives! But Evil gets Ishii up again, fireman’s carries, but Ishii fights free!
Evil elbows and whips Ishii but Ishii reverses! Evil hits bare buckles and staggers into a BACK SUPLEX! Both men are down again and fans rally back up! Ishii and Evil stir, rise, and Evil gets to a corner. Ishii runs in and clotheslines! Ishii hoists Evil up top now, climbs up and gets Evil up for a STALLING SUPERPLEX!! Fans are thunderous as Ishii covers, TWO!! Evil survives and Ishii is getting mad! Fans rally hard as ever as Ishii roars and rises to his feet. Ishii wants Evil to get up again, and Ishii runs, but Evil blocks the lariat, to get a DISCUS LEFT! Ishii gets Evil back up, reels him in, but Dick distracts! So Ishii RAMS Evil into Dick! Then GERMAN SUPLEXES Evil!
Ishii isn’t done, he sits Evil up and SLIDING LARIATS! Cover, TWO!!! Evil survives again but Ishii’s anger builds! Ishii gets Evil up again as fans return to a thunderous rally. Ishii reels Evil in but Evil wrenches and reels Ishii! Ishii avoids the STO to HEADBUTT! Ishii runs but is put on the apron. Ishii ROCKS Evil, steps in but Evil kicks the ropes! The rope gets Ishii in his stone pitbull! Fans rally up as both men are down. Evil gets up first and hobbles over to get Ishii up. Ishii is dead weight and Evil wants the ref to check on Ishii. The ref does check but Ishii is still conscious, so Evil gets him to his feet. Fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS!! Cover, TWO!!?
Fans are still fired up as Ishii survives and both men are down again. Evil slashes his throat as he vows to end this! Evil stands Ishii up, spins him around, but no STO as Ishii elbows back. So Evil chokes Ishii and shoves him into bare buckles! Evil runs but Ishi blocks lariat with lariat! Evil tries again, Ishii ducks and waistlocks but Evil elbows free to LARIAT after all! Cover, TWO!!! Ishii barely kicks out in time but Evil vows to end him! EVERYTHING- NO! Ishii spins and HEADBUTTS! Both men fall over again! We’re in the last few minutes of the time limit and fans are thunderous! Dick throws a chair in! Evil gets it, the ref stops him, but that distracts from Dick sliding into the ring!
Dick goes after Ishii with the SPOILER CHOKER! Ishii powers up and pries free?! And HEADBUTTS then LARIATS Dick! But EVERYTHING- NO! Ishii shoves Evil at the ref, but Evil stops himself. Evil tries to low blow but Ishii blocks it, and ENZIGURIS! Fans are thunderous yet again as Ishii slaps himself to fire up! Ishii powers up, runs, and LARIATS!! Evil gets turned inside out! Ishii covers, TWO!?!? Evil survives and shocks everyone! Ishii gets up, slashes his throat because he vows to end this! Ishii drags Evil up, suplexes, and Evil fights free! Evil RAMS Ishii into the ref! They’re all down in the corner but YUJIRO TAKAHASHI appears!
Tokyo Pimp is aiming with his pimp cane, but Ishii ROCKS him with a forearm first! Ishii grabs the cane to toss it aside, but Evil LOW BLOWS from behind! Yujiro gives Ishii PIMP JUICE! The basement DDT takes Ishii down and Evil gets back up. Fans rally hard as ever for “I-SHI-I!” but Evil drags him up. EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, Evil wins!!
Winner: Evil, by pinfall
Ishii has fallen! But considering it took the entire trio of #EvilDickPimps to break the Stone Pitbull, what chance to they have against the entire trio of Ishii, Hashi & Goto?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS KENTA!
The Ace and Fang Revived have had beef before in the NEVER Openweight Championship race, and it seems that beef will continue in Nagoya! Can Kenta be a good guard dog for current champion, Jay White? Or will the Once in a Century Talent get through the knight to get at #KingSwitch?
Tanahashi takes off his jacket to show off the muscles and fans cheer. The bell rings and the fans rally, “LET’S GO ACE! LET’S GO ACE!” as Tanahashi and Kenta stare down. Kenta and Tanahashi circle, approach, and Kenta bails out to use a very Jay White tactic. But the fans still rally for The Ace so Kenta mocks the clapping. Kenta paces around, sees Shibata on commentary, and then slowly gets back in the ring. Fans cheer as Kenta and Tanahashi circle again. They tie up, Tanahashi puts Kenta on the ropes and Red Shoes calls for the break. Tanahashi lets off and Kenta bails out. Kenta walks around again as the fans continue to clap, “LET’S GO ACE!”
The ring count starts, Kenta goes to the apron at 3 of 20 but he wants Tanahashi to stay back. Kenta claps, the fans follow along, and Tanahashi easily turns that back into “LET’S GO ACE!” Kenta returns, circles with Tanahashi again, and they tie up. Tanahashi throws Kenta down, then gets him up to throw forearms. Tanahashi whips Kenta to a corner, Kenta reverses, but Tanahashi back elbows from the corner. Tanahashi goes up and CROSSBODIES! Fans fire up and Tanahashi adds as BACK SENTON! Tanahashi air guitars, Kenta bails out, but Tanahashi goes out and fetches Kenta back into the ring. Fans fire up as Tanahashi goes back in and runs, but Kenta sends Tanahashi out!
Tanahashi skins the cat but Kenta catches him to shove him down! Then Kenta is on the apron and he DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS Tanahashi on the floor! Kenta gets Tanahashi up to whip Tanahashi hard into railing! Fans rally for Tanahashi but Kenta gets him up to whip him hard the other way! Tanahashi slumps down and Red Shoes reprimands but Kenta gets in Shibata’s face. Kenta dares Shibata to do something and Shibata stands up! Shibata still isn’t cleared to compete but that doesn’t mean he won’t fight Kenta. Kenta goes back to Tanahashi, throws hands, but Tanahashi grits his teeth as Kenta keeps hitting him.
Kenta gets Tanahashi up to POST him! Tanahashi falls back down and Red Shoes starts a ring count. Kenta gets Tanahashi up to put in the ring at 5 of 20, and he covers, TWO! Kenta stomps Tanahashi, then gets fans to clap for him, “KEN! TA! KEN! TA!” Then Kenta does his weird clapping just to troll the fans before he stomps Tanahashi down. Kenta acts like it’s the fans fault they can’t get it right. Kenta gets Tanahashi up, turns him, and NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO, but Kenta keeps Tanahashi down with a headlock. Fans rally up, “LET’S GO ACE!” as Tanahashi endures. Tanahashi fights up but Kenta throws him down by his hair!
Kenta paces, drops a knee on Tanahashi’s head, then another. Kenta brings the knee pad down, jumps, but just scuffs Tanahashi’s face. Kenta air guitars, probably the bass, and he stomps Tanahashi more. Kenta kicks at Tanahashi but Tanahashi gets mad. Kenta KICKS him right down! Fans still rally as Kenta takes his time getting the cover, ONE! Kenta wraps on a chinlock and grinds Tanahashi down again. Tanahashi endures and the fans rally again. Tanahashi fights back up, throws elbows and body shots and is free, only for Kenta to knee low! Kenta BOOTS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi only drops to a knee. Kenta throws hands but Tanahashi gets mad!
Kenta keeps throwing hands but Tanahashi eggs him on! Kenta kicks low, snapmares and KICKS Tanahashi! But Tanahashi gets right up to scowl at Kenta. Tanahashi fires off forearms, EuroUppers, and he whips Kenta to ropes. Kenta reverses but Tanahashi hits FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as Kenta gets to a corner. Tanahashi runs in but blocks Kenta’s boot to put the leg through ropes. Tanahashi gets the other leg, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi drags Kenta back up by the bad leg to DRAGON SCREW it again! And then he has the leg for a GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Fans rally for Tanahashi while Kenta clutches his knee.
Tanahashi drags Kenta by both legs, ties the legs up, and has the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Kenta endures and crawls towards ropes and manages a ropebreak! Tanahashi lets go fast to stomp the bad leg. Tanahashi powers up, runs, but Kenta dodges slingblade to roll Tanahashi! With tights! TWO, and Kenta goes to a corner. Kenta boots Tanahashi away, and again, then hops up top. Kenta reels Tanahashi in but Tanahashi tosses Kenta off the tornado! Tanahashi runs but into a SPINNING POWERSLAM! Both men are down but fans rally back up. Kenta gets Tanahashi up for KICKS, then reels him in, FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi is still in this but Kenta keeps focus.
Kenta goes to the apron, climbs up a corner and he waits as Tanahashi slowly stands. FLYING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! The Ace is tougher than that and Kenta grows annoyed. Fans still rally as Kenta KICKS Tanahashi in the back. And again! Kenta has Tanahashi through ropes but Tanahashi fights out to dump Kenta out! Kenta gets up and Tanahashi throws forearms! Kenta hits back, but Tanahashi gets the edge! Tanahashi swings but Kenta shoulders in and hotshots Tanahashi down! Kenta drags Tanahashi to the apron and out along it! DRAPING DDT to the floor! Both men are down after the #BrainKiller as fans rally up again!
Kenta leaves Tanahashi behind to get in the ring. The count begins, and reaches 10 of 20 as Tanahashi starts to rise. Tanahashi stands at 14 and staggers back at 15! He crashes into railing, flounders at 17, hurries up again and in at 19! Kenta aims from the corner as Tanahashi gets back up, and runs in to BOOT Tanahashi in the corner! Kenta keeps going, HESITATION DROPKICK! Kenta is definitely sending Shibata a message with that one! Kenta goes up top, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives the coup de grace but Kenta gets back up. Fans rally up as Tanahashi slowly rises. Kenta fireman’s carries but Tanahashi slips off!
Tanahashi swings a punch but Kenta gets Tanahashi again, but no GTS! DRAGON SCREW! Both men are down, the fans rally up with “LET’S GO ACE!” once again. Tanahashi and Kenta crawl towards each other, and Tanahashi throws a forearm! Kenta hits Tanahashi back, so Tanahashi hits Kenta again! Kenta forearms back, Tanahashi throws another forearm, repeat! They brawl their way back to their feet and fans fire up as they pick up speed! Tanahashi, Kenta, and back again, until Kenta pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls hair, Red Shoes wants them both to stop, but they both shove him down! Tanahashi and Kenta keep the forearms going and fans fire up again!
Kenta hits twice, Tanahashi hits twice! Kenta hits three times, Tanahashi hits three times! Both men stagger a moment, but Kenta comes back with four forearms! Tanahashi stays up and roars as he fires off four in return! Kenta wobbles, but he comes back with FIVE forearms! So Tanahashi comes back with five! Kenta falls over and fans fire up with Tanahashi! Tanahashi drags Kenta back up, but Kenta gets around and shoves Tanahashi at Red Shoes! Red Shoes gets out of the way, Tanahashi hits buckles, but Kenta reels Tanahashi back in. Kenta keeps aiming at Red Shoes! Red Shoes runs around, Kenta pushes Tanahashi along as they chase him! Red Shoes falls out of the ring!
Tanahashi steadies himself and dropkicks Kenta’s legs out! Red Shoes returns as fans rally up again. Tanahashi has Kenta in the corner and he throws down forearm after forearm! A dozen forearms in the corner as Kenta falls down! Tanahashi goes corner to corner, but Kenta uses Red Shoes as a shield to take the dropkick! Red Shoes sputters but Tanahashi goes after Kenta! LOW BLOW! Kenta copies Evil from earlier! Fans rally for Tanahashi but Kenta starts looking under the ring. What is the beat-up old IWGP US Championship contract briefcase doing under there?! Kenta can’t let go of the past as he brings that in and kisses it for luck.
Tanahashi stands, Kenta aims, BRIEFCASE SHOT!! Down goes Tanahashi! But Kenta wants more! Wait, Shibata got off commentary!? And into the ring?! Fans are thunderous as The Wrestler stands in Kenta’s way! Kenta looks at his briefcase, takes a swing, but Shibata BOOTS him down!! Fans cheer even louder as Shibata helps Red Shoes get in the ring. Shibata also makes sure Tanahashi is good to go. Tanahashi is, and he fires back up! Tanahashi powers up, runs at Kenta, but Kenta fireman’s carries! GO TO- NO! TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi runs again, to SLINGBLADE! Kenta flounders back up in his own blind rage, but Tanahashi gets him for another SLING BLADE!
Kenta rises again as fans are electric! Tanahashi runs but into a PSYCHO KNEE!! Both men are down and fans rally back up! Kenta goes to a corner, demands Tanahashi get up, and then Kenta runs in, to PSYCHO KNEE AGAIN! Cover, TWO!?!? Tanahashi survives but Kenta slashes his throat as he vows to end it! Kenta brings his kneepad down, he fireman’s carries Tanahashi, but Tanahashi slips off and DRAGON SUPLEXES! Kenta ends up in a corner and Tanahashi runs corner to corner to HESITATION DROPKICK! Tanahashi gives credit to Shibata as he goes up top! Tanahashi aims, Kenta stands, HIGH FLY CROSSBODY!
But Tanahashi keeps going! He’s back up top, and he HIGH FLY FLOWS!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall
And that is why he is a Once in a Century Talent! Shibata returns to commentary to commend Tanahashi on this one. Tanahashi also goes over to thank Shibata for the assist, and both are optimistic for the day Shibata can finally get back in the ring for real.
Tanahashi takes a moment to rest in the ring and he gets the fans to clap, “LET’S GO ACE!” again to give him love and energy. Tanahashi then gets back up to get the mic so he may speak. “Hello, everyone.” Thank you for being here as NJPW returns to Nagoya. He gets the fans to rally with “HAI! HAI! HAI!” Tanahashi knows he’s sweaty, but he’s not tired, and his “tireless body” will lead NJPW into the future. But as he’s about to leave, fans clap, “LET’S GO ACE!” and that convinces Tanahashi to give them an encore! Tanahashi gets his air guitar from Tsuji, and Tanahashi rocks out for Nagoya! And the fans rallying keeps him going for more!
Tanahashi then asks fans hush as he “smashes” the air guitar! He can easily get another one, of course. Tanahashi gets one from a fan in the crowd! He thanks them for lending it to him, and he rocks out even more! “DOZO!” Tanahashi throws the guitar back to the crowd and they cheer. But Tanahashi has one more thing to say! “Everyone, I hope you enjoyed that.” But instead of giving his big good-bye, he wants to bring up the main event in tomorrow’s Wrestle Grand Slam special. He knows that Kota Ibushi’s health is still not quite 100%. But maybe, just maybe, he could ask a favor? He wants his title shot! Because that’s how much he loves the fans! So then, if the Golden Star cannot compete, will The Ace get a chance to challenge The Dragon?!
A very good event just a day before the big Wrestle Grand Slam event. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t have skipped that opening Six Man, though. It was short, but the fact Robbie Eagles got a quick pin off El Desperado was really surprising. Of course, this dooms him just on the math to lose tomorrow, but I didn’t see Desperado losing anyway. But I skipped the others because they were other rehashes from the last few events. Ishii VS Evil was very good just on Ishii turning things around on Evil and giving him that timekeeper’s table spot. But I should’ve figured Bullet Club would cheat Ishii so Bullet Club could go strong into the eventual NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag title match.
Tanahashi VS Kenta was also very good, and what a great moment to see Shibata get involved. I feel like this could mean Shibata’s doing much better, but I still don’t know if we’re any closer to his return, this might just be NJPW keeping the hope fires burning. Tanahashi gets a great win, and him stepping up to be a substitute should Ibushi not be cleared tomorrow is a bold move. I would love to see Takagi VS Tanahashi, that is a great generational match-up in NJPW, fans in Japan might go even wilder over this than Takagi VS Ibushi.
And as I said before, Ibushi shouldn’t feel bad for missing Wrestle Grand Slam, his health is more important. Takagi VS Ibushi could even happen at another of these events they’re lining up before the G1, and maybe the loser will choose to use the G1 as their way back.
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (7/23/21)
Can Jake Atlas handle The Sauce?
The Muscle of El Monte returns to 205 Live!
Ari Sterling’s been running hot, but look who’s back in 205 Live! Jake Atlas wants to show there’s still a long way to go before The Sauce is ready!
- Guru Raaj VS Asher Hale; Hale wins.
- Jake Atlas VS Ari Sterling; Atlas wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Guru Raaj VS Asher Hale!
Yes, we saw these two face off just last week, and the Highest Flying Wrestler in India took the win! But will The Saint redeem himself in this sudden rematch?
The bell rings and the two circle. They feel out the grapple as fans rally up, and the two tie up. They go around and break, fans duel and the two go again. Hale gets a leg, trips Raaj, but Raaj kicks him away. They reset, tie up again, and Raaj headlocks. Hale rolls free but Raaj is back with another headlock. Hale rolls free again but Raaj facelocks. Hale slips out to facelock back, but Raaj fights up and wrenches to a wristlock. Raaj reels Hale into a clinch, but Hale powers out, only for Raaj to run him over! Cover, ONE, and Hale bails out. Raaj waits as Hale cools off. The ring count climbs to 5 of 10, Hale gets in at 7.
Hale and Raaj go again, Raaj gets a leg but Hale stays up to wrench and wristlock. Hale wrenches, wrangles Raaj down and has the wristlock. Raaj rolls, gets up and wrenches Hale back. Fans cheer for “205! 205!” as Hale rolls and wrangles Raaj down. Raaj kicks Hale away then dropkicks him down! Fans fire up as Raaj hits a big headlock takeover! Hale gets frustrated and he pushes back with a chinbar. Fans rally and duel as Hale fights up to his feet. Raaj uses the corner to go up and around and hit another takeover! Hale is upset again and Raaj keeps shrugging off the chinbar. Hale fights up, goes to the corner and Raaj uses the corner again!
Hale shoves Raaj away but he runs into a hip toss! Raaj clotheslines Hale at the ropes, then clotheslines him up and out! Raaj checks his own hand, he might’ve overdone it. Hale gets up slowly but gets to ringside at 6 of 10. Raaj reaches for Hale but Hale trips him up! Fans fire up as Hale spins Raaj and gets him on the apron for a NECK TWIST! Raaj writhes under the ropes while Hale seethes. Hale goes in, BOOTS Raaj down, then stomps him all around! Hale eggs Raaj on, KICKS him in the back, then gets him up. Fans duel, “ASH! ER SUCKS!” “NO!” as Hale reels Raaj in, and SNAP HALF HATCH SUPLEXES! Float to a cover, TWO!!
Raaj is still in this but Hale is still on him by tying up the legs. Hale just sits on the figure four knot, the Indian Deathlock, and Raaj suffers. Hale bridges back for the MUTA LOCK! Raaj endures, fans rally and duel even harder, but Hale twists and turns Raaj around in the hold! Raaj still endures so Hale lets him go to push him around. Hale stands Raaj up to EuroUpper! Raaj staggers to a corner and Hale KICKS him down. Hale kicks and stomps and eggs Raaj on, then KICKS him more! Raaj fires up to throw body shots! Raaj backs Hale down to a corner, RAMS into him, then throws him back in for more shoulders! Hale can’t get away as Raaj keeps RAMMING him!
The ref counts, Raaj lets off but Hale pushes the bulldog away! Hale waistlocks, Raaj switches, then Raaj ducks the back elbow to KICK a leg, and basement dropkick Hale down! Hale staggers up into Raaj’s headlock, for the BULLDOG! Cover, TWO!! Hale survives but Raaj drags Hale back up. Raaj reels Hale in, Hale wrenches out to sweep the legs! Raaj ducks the buzzsaw to trip Hale up! LA MAGISTROL! TWO!! Hale gets free, but Raaj wants a backslide! Hale resists, this is what got him last time! Raaj drops, Hale rolls through and KICKS Raaj, to reel him in for a ROLLING NECKBREAKER! Hale gets Raaj back up, hooks him up, FISHERMAN BUSTER!! Cover, Hale wins!
Winner: Asher Hale, by pinfall
The Saint redeems himself and ties things up with Raaj, 1-1! Will Hale and Raaj come right back next week for the tiebreaker? Or will both men need a little time to make sure they’re both 100% first?
Jake Atlas VS Ari Sterling!
The purple ‘n’ orange means so much to the Muscle of El Monte, he couldn’t help but want to be back. And while he’s still pretty young in his career, he wants to show the newest wave where he stands in the division. Will The Sauce be the one getting burned tonight?
The bell rings, the two circle and fans duel already. Ari and Atlas tie up, Atlas gets around to the waistlock but Ari blocks the lift. Ari moves around, reaches back, and uses his headlock to get free. Atlas chinbars to spin Ari to a facelock, but Ari spins out. Atlas dodges to waistlock again, but Ari again resists. Ari switches, Atlas switches back, but Ari wrenches to a wristlock. Atlas rolls, slips through and waistlocks to finally SLAM Ari down. Atlas looms over Ari, brings him up, but Ari arm-drags him away! Atlas gets Ari back with an arm-drag of his own! Atlas eggs Ari on but Ari blocks the arm-drag! Atlas keeps trying but Ari keeps blocking.
Atlas whips, Ari reverses but Atlas reverses back, only for Ari to RANA! But Atlas handsprings through! Atlas wags his finger, then runs in to tilt-o-whirl headscissor! Ari handsprings through, though it could be cleaner. There’s a stand off and fans fire up. Atlas dodges the dropkick but Ari trips Atlas up. Cover, ONE! Atlas sweeps, covers, ONE! Ari waistlocks, drop toeholds and ties up legs to cover, TWO! Inside cradle, TWO! Atlas knees low and CHOPS Ari to a corner. Atlas whips corner to corner, Ari goes up but is put on the apron. Ari GAMANGIRIS Atlas, then slingshots to headscissor Atlas, only for Atlas to CALF KICK! Cover, TWO!
Atlas keeps cool, gets Ari up and scoops for a SLAM! Cover, TWO! Atlas gets around to waistlock Ari for a rear bearhug. Ari endures as Atlas shifts to a body scissors. Fans rally up as Ari elbows the legs. Ari pushes back, covers, TWO! Ari is free but Atlas scoops again for another SLAM! Cover, TWO! Atlas keeps his cool as Ari stays in this, and Atlas goes back to the rear bearhug. Ari endures the squeeze, even as Atlas leans on him. Ari gets the ropes, fans rally and duel as the ref calls for the ropebreak. Atlas ducks Ari’s back elbow, scoops, but Ari slips out to ROCK Atlas with haymakers! Atlas then spins Atlas to LARIAT! Ari keeps going, and he rallies with forearms!
Atlas staggers to a corner, Ari whips him corner to corner but Atlas reverses. Ari goes up an dover for a TWISTING SUNSET! Cover, ONE!! Atlas gets Ari turned around to KNEE him in the side! Cover, TWO! Atlas starts to get frustrated but he pulls Ari by his hair into the body scissors. Ari endures, even as Atlas adds a chinlock. Fans rally, Ari fights with back elbows and he gets free. Ari stands, brings Atlas up to throw BIG elbows, then another back elbow. Atlas staggers into the leg sweep, then Ari runs to SOMERSAULT AX KICK! Cover, TWO! Atlas survives but Ari keeps cool. Ari gets Atlas up but Atlas trips Ari to a HALF CRAB!
Ari endures as Atlas sits deep on the hold! Ari powers through to turn over and cradle! TWO, and Ari gets a COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Ari grows frustrated now but he gets up. Atlas slowly rises, Ari scoops him, but no Baja Blast! Atlas JUMP KNEES and ROLLING ELBOWS! Atlas chicken wings and spins Ari but Ari elbows back! Ari runs, Atlas follows to uppercut! Atlas runs, into a JUMP KNEE from Ari! Ari runs but Atlas follows. Ari dodges, and again, and leaps, into Atlas’ arms! FALL AWAY SLAM! Cover, TWO! Atlas grits his teeth as fans rally up again. Atlas drags Ari to a drop zone and he goes up to. Ari rises and CHOPS Atlas first!
Ari throws forearms, positions Atlas, but Atlas CLUBS Ari. Ari ROCKS Atlas back, goes up to join Atlas, but Atlas shoves Ari away! Ari lands on his feet, comes back, NO HANDS STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Atlas survives and fans argue the count. Ari gets back to his feet, drags Atlas into the drop zone now, and stomps him down. Ari goes up and 450- NO! Atlas moves, CORNER GERMAN SUPLEX!! Ari is dazed, Atlas goes up top, CARTWHEEL DDT!! Cover, Atlas wins!
Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall
The Sauce was strong but Atlas was stronger! But there is also still respect between them. Will this win mean Atlas is heading back towards the Cruiserweight Championship gold?
Another good episode, and a part of me likes that they redid Raaj VS Hale already. Granted, there aren’t a lot of wrestlers under 205 Live after Nick Khan pissed all over it, but this could turn into a rivalry between Raaj and Hale that helps elevate them both. Then Atlas being back in 205 Live is really more because again, there’s no one in 205 Live anymore. But also, Atlas had that one bit in the Mixed Tag against Tian Shaw and that was a bit rough on Mercedes Martinez so it seems whatever more might’ve been planned was ditched. Atlas needs something to do, becoming the new top guy on 205 Live seems like a good spot for right now.
Also, it seemed like he was trying to wrestle the way Tony Nese wrestled, with more power and strikes than acrobatics. Commentary made note of it, and it’s not like Atlas can’t do it, but I feel like the style change created some stiffer, more awkward moments between him and Ari. Now more than ever, I feel like NXT really should try for more integration of 205 Live. Get the champion and other wrestlers normally on NXT over here on 205 Live to make people want to watch it. Of course, it feels like that request keeps getting repeated over and over, but that’s because it’s a good idea.
My Score: 8.1/10
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