NXT’s towering titans battle for one title!
WrestleMania is coming but NXT is taking over! Will Keith Lee continue his Limitless reign as North American Champion in tonight’s huge match?
- The Velveteen Dream VS Bobby Fish; Dream wins.
- Dexter Lumis VS Jake Atlas; Lumis wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Ladder Match, Second Chance Gauntlet; Dakota Kai wins and joins the Contender’s Ladder Match.
- KUSHIDA VS Joaquin Wilde; wins.
- NXT North American Championship Triple Threat: Keith Lee VS Dominik Dijakovic VS Damian Priest; Lee wins and retains the NXT North American Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Velveteen Dream VS Bobby Fish!
Adam Cole does not see The Experience worthy of an NXT Championship match. If Dream wants to take over, he’ll have to get through the Undisputed Era’s Infamous One first! Can he do it?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fish waistlocks but Dream pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Fish drags Dream down with a leg but Dream pushes him away. Dream slithers up on Fish but the two circle. Fish kicks the leg but Dream stays up. Dream keeps Fish back with a chop feint. They tie up again and Dream gets the arm, but Fish rolls through to ROCK Dream with a right. Fish throws kicks but Dream DECKS Fish with haymaker after haymaker! Dream whips Fish to ropes and clotheslines him down! Dream goes after Fish in a corner and wrenches him to a snapmare. Big knee drop! Cover, ONE, but Dream keeps his cool. Dream drags Fish up with a hip swivel and suplexes. But Fish slips out to a sleeper!
Dream flails about and reaches for ropes. Fish traps an arm then spins Dream to throw hands! Fish kicks the legs out and Dream crawls to a corner. The ref keeps Fish back to check on Dream. Dream refuses to quit but Fish BOOTS him down! Fish runs in but Dream slingshots out to escape. Dream’s leg slows him down and Fish pursues. Dream backs away and gets back in the ring. Fish stalks up but Dream slithers out to ROCK Fish with that uppercut! Dream leaps with ax handles! Dream grits his teeth and rallies through the pain. He back elbows Fish to a corner and throws big haymakers! The ref counts and Dream whips corner to corner. Fish reverses but Dream boots him back. Dream swings but Fish dodges, so Dream SUPERKICKS!
Fish is down and Dream goes up! Dream stands, blows a kiss to the cameras, but Fish bails out of the ring. Dream just LEAPS to ax handle Fish down! Both men slowly rise and Dream puts Fish back in the ring. Fish bails back out so Dream pursues. Fish RAMS Dream into railing! Dream is down as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Fish DECKS Dream off the apron! Fish argues with the ref but Dream crawls back into the ring. Dream hooks Fish’s face and then throws Fish out! Dream slowly pursues but Fish sweeps the legs! Fish hurries in after Dream and grabs the bad leg. Dream holds ropes but Fish Dragon Screws anyway! Dream clutches the knee but Fish is after him. Fish turns Dream around to tweak the knee in knee drop. Fish drags Dream to a corner and digs his knees in. The ref backs Fish off and Dream gasps as he sits up. Dream kicks Fish back and hobbles over, into a big back elbow! Fish drags Dream around by his legs and stomps away at the bad one. Dream flounders and pushes Fish away but Fish comes back with body shots.
Fish rams knees into Dream, then drags him around for a grounded dragon screw! Dream writhes and pounds the mat in frustration. Fish drags Dream up to snapmare. Dream anchors Fish’s feet but Fish stomps him down. Fish slingshots out then in for the senton! Cover, TWO! Dream is still on the defense as NXT goes back to break.
NXT returns again, and Fish has Dream in an ankle lock! Dream writhes and flails and reaches, and manages the ROPEBREAK! Fish lets go for just a moment, arguing Dream tapped during the flailing. Fish grabs the ankle again but Dream throws hands! Dream still holds ropes, so Fish spins him to get a sleeper. But Dream fireman’s carries! Fish holds onto ropes and the ref counts. Fish slips out, and hops on for a backpack sleeper! Dream stays standing, and manages to throw Fish off. Fish runs into the DREAM VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, Dream wins!!
Winner: Velveteen Dream, by pinfall
Fish gave Dream quite the fight, but the Experience isn’t done yet. Will Dream continue to fight his way up to the NXT Championship?
But before leaving, Dream grabs a mic. “NXT Champion, Adam Cole. If you’d put your video games down long enough and take a second to open your third eye, maybe you would realize that the time for playing is over. Your Experience is coming. Play hard, because you’re about to work harder than you ever have before, courtesy of The Dream.”
Backstage interview with Malcolm Bivens and his associates.
The NXT Universe saw the debut of this new stable when they beat down Matt Riddle last week. What exact message were they trying to send? First, it is great to know Bivens’ reputation precedes him. He is a business manager and traveled the world to find the biggest and the baddest team to bring to NXT. And that team is right here before you now. Rinku Singh at 6′ 4″, 275 pounds! “When he hits you, you will drop like a sack of bricks.” Then there’s Saurav Gurjar, 6′ 8″, 300 pounds. “I dare someone to get in his face!” Together, they are Indus Shera, and they are #BivensEnterprises. Saurav and Rinku each speak in Hindi to tell the NXT Tag Team Division that this is their brand now. They put it on the Broserweights now.
Dexter Lumis VS Jake Atlas!
One of the Breakout Tournament entrants finally returns from “an undisclosed location”, but his opponent is brand new to NXT TV. Will Atlas crumble under the weight of Lumis’ unsettling stare?
The bell rings and Lumis stares into Atlas’ soul. Atlas paces but Lumis just stands like a statue. Atlas rushes in but Lumis dodges and clubs away! Lumis throws body shots and haymakers. Atlas shoves but Lumis just hits back. Lumis stomps and uppercuts Atlas, then claws his face! The ref reprimands and Lumis stops. Lumis whips but Atlas dodges to springboard and arm-drag Lumis! Atlas adds an enziguri and Lumis staggers! Atlas whips but Lumis reverses to a SPINE BUSTER! Lumis drags Atlas around into clubbing crossfaces over and over. Lumis stops to bring Atlas up for a BIG uppercut! He paces and stomps Atlas down, then brings him up to club on the back.
Lumis whips Atlas to a corner but Atlas boots and huricanranas! Lumis staggers up but dodges Atlas to put him on the rope! Then Lumis runs to slide out, turn around, and UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Atlas lives but Lumis is on him with a neck wrench. Lumis digs his fingers into the eyes and jaw but Atlas endures. Atlas fights his way up, throws body shots, and then hits a jawbreaker! Lumis clotheslines but Atlas handsprings to dodge! And then jumps for a neckbreaker! Lumis flounders out of the ring but Atlas builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Lumis into railing! Atals puts Lumis in and rushes, into a throat chop! Lumis sit-out URENAGES, into an ARM-TRIANGLE! Atlas taps, Lumis wins!
Winner: Dexter Lumis, by submission
Lumis stops, pats Atlas on the head, then shoves him away. Lumis’s thousand yard stare returns, but it seems he isn’t spacing out. In fact, it may be Lumis seeing and analyzing everything before him. Will Lumis use that calculating coldness to conquer NXT?
NXT receives another message from… him.
His face is visible in shadowy darkness as claw-like hands reach out. More images of destruction and doom. Tick tock, time is running out. When will he arrive in NXT?
Next week, it’s #OneFinalBeat!
As Triple H promised both Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, a location has been secured for these two to finally have it out. It will be the Black Heart VS the Rebel Heart, for the last time in NXT!
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Ladder Match, Second Chance Gauntlet!
Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, Chelsea Green and the returning Io Shirai are all in the Six Woman Ladder Match originally meant for TakeOver: Tampa. But with one spot left, the six not in get this second chance! And first out, it’s the wild child, Shotzi Blackheart and the Virtuosa, Deonna Purrazzo! Will either one make it to the end and into the high stakes Ladder match?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Deonna Purrazzo!
The bell rings and Shotzi circles with Deonna. They tie up, Deonna forces Shotzi to a corner and throws body shots and stomps. The ref counts but Deonna lets up at 4. Deonna whips Shotzi corner to corner but Shotzi reverses. Deonna goes up and under and baits Shotzi in for a roll up, ONE! Shotiz runs in but Deonna waistlocks. Shotzi bucks Deonna off, slides under and enziguris back! Deonna flounders to ropes and Shotzi fires up. Shotzi runs for a CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Shotzi headlocks but Deonna powers her off the tornado bulldog and BOOTS her down! Deonna catches his breath while Shotzi goes to ropes. Deonna stomps Shotzi down then drags her back up for a big clothesline! Cover, TWO!
Deonna grows frustrated and stomps Shotzi down. She drags Shotzi back up to throw big forearms. She clotheslines Shotzi against the ropes over and over then snapmares her down. Deonna scrapes her soles on Shotzi’s face! Cover, TWO! Shotzi gets to ropes but Deonna drags her up for another snapmare. Deonna clamps on with a chilock and leans on Shotzi. Shotzi endures as Deonna grinds her down. Shotzi fights her way up and throws body shots. Deonna clubs Shotzi on the back, then drags her up for a headbutt! Shotzi ends up in a corner and Deonna stomps her more. Deonna runs from the center of the ring, into a BOOT! Shotzi hops up, but Deonna forearms her back!
Deonna climbs up top but Shotzi brawls with her. Shotzi gets the edge, then headbutts Deonna down! Shotzi adjusts and leaps, SUPER SENTON! Cover, Shotzi ELIMINATES Deonna! One down, four to go! But Shotzi must now prepare for… Xia Li! Things are about to get spicy! Can Shotzi handle the heat?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Xia Li!
No hesitation from either woman, but Xia ducks Shotzi’s clothesline to shotgun dropkick her down! Xia is fired up after being screwed out of her match last week, by who we still don’t know. Shotzi stays on her feet to throw forearms. Xia fires off a strike fest then whips but SHotzi leaps over the sweep. Shotzi ducks and slides under the roundhouse but misses the enziguri. Xia HEEL KICKS Shotzi down! She talks trash in Mandarin while Shotzi checks her face, and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Shotzi fireman’s carries but Xia slips out. Xia shoves and lariats and BOOTS Shotzi down! Shotzi gets up to get a SUPERKICK! Xia fires up, runs in and hits a forearm! Xia keeps moving and DYNAMIC DROPKICKS Shotzi down! The spice is fired up, but her spinning kick misses! Shotzi hits an Edge O’Matic, to a butterfly variant of Cattle Mutilation! Xia TAPS and Shotzi ELIMINATES another opponent!! Shotzi is ready to #TCB, Take Care o’ Business! But now, Aliyah heads to the ring. The Bougie thought she was in when Xia was taken out, but Io Shirai changed all that. Can Aliyah change things again here and now?
Shotzi Blackheart VS Aliyah!
Aliyah rushes Shotzi to waistlock, but Shotzi bucks her off. Aliyah comes back with a sunset flip, TWO! Shotzi jackknifes, TWO as Aliyah bridges out! Aliyah backslides, TWO and the two stand up together. Aliyah spins Shotzi to a cradle, TWO! Shotzi has the cradle, TWO and the two roll and roll and roll until the separate. They’re both dizzy but Shotzi gets Aliyah for a takedown! Shotzi traps an arm, rolls with it and gets a Rings of Saturn, with a headscissors! Aliyah fights her way out of this to a cover, TWO! The two stand, Aliyah swings but Shotzi waistlocks. Aliyah bucks Shotzi off and throws her down by her hair! Aliyah grins and covers, TWO! Shotzi gets to ropes but Aliyah stomps her down.
Aliyah drags Shotzi up to a corner and throws her across the way! Aliyah runs corner to corner to BOOT Shotzi down! Cover, TWO! Aliyah grows frustrated, because she shouts, “I’m more deserving!” Aliyah pushes Shotzi around and then drags her up. She grabs Shotzi’s hair, but Shotzi grabs Aliyah’s hair! Shotzi CHOPS and CHOPS and forearms back. Then she hits a big knee lift then a question mark kick! Shotzi waistlocks but Aliyah grabs ropes. The ref calls for the break but Shotzi gets Aliyah to let go, with a TIGER SUPLEX! Aliyah flounders but Shotzi’s on her with that BUTTERFLY MUTILATION!! Aliyah TAPS, Shotzi ELIMINATES her third opponent!! But that just brings out the fourth, Kayden Carter!
Shotzi Blackheart VS Kayden Carter!
The fiery Filipina wastes no time going after the exhausted Shotzi. KC chops and forearms away on Shotzi then whips. KC tilt-o-whirl scoops but Shotzi headscissors out. But Kayden handsprings through to then dropkick Shotzi down! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi survives but Kayden stays right on her. Kayden whips, Shotzi reverses and reels Kayden in for a knee smash! Shotzi fireman’s carries for a BIG knee smash! Shotzi heads up top but Kayden is up fast! Kayden mule kicks the legs out, and Shotzi is stuck in the ropes! Kayden runs to dropkick Shotzi down out of the corner! Shotzi’s hot streak might come to an end, but NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Kayden runs into the corner. Shotzi dodges then comes back with a shining wizard! To a DRAPING DDT! Shotzi goes up top again, for the SUPER SENTON! Cover, Shotzi ELIMINATES Kayden!! Shotzi’s about to run the gauntlet! But the last competitor is of course Dakota Kai! Raquel Gonzales follows behind as #CobraKai gets in the ring!
Shotzi Blackheart VS Dakota Kai w/ Raquel Gonzales!
Dakota BOOTS and clubs away on Shotzi! Cover, ONE! Dakota sneers as she stomps away on Shotzi. Shotzi rises but Dakota AX KICKS her down! Cover, TWO! Dakota laughs at Shotzi as she stands on her neck! The ref counts and Dakota lets up at 4. Shotzi gasps for air but Dakota drags her up to grind her foot into her face! Dakota lets up again, then clubs Shotzi. Shotzi hits back but Dakota boots her down again. Dakota drags Shotzi up and whips, but Shotzi holds ropes. So Dakota goes out to trip Shotzi! Then spin her around for another BOOT! Dakota puts Shotzi in and covers, TWO! Dakota stalks Shotzi to ropes then drags her away to choke her on them! The ref counts but Dakota lets up, and Raquel gets her shots in!
Dakota drags Shotzi around to cover, TWO! Dakota keeps her cool as she stalks Shotzi. She kicks Shotzi around and Raquel encourages it. Dakota snapmares to a grounded cobra twist! Shotzi endures as Dakota cranks on her, but then Shotzi pushes back! It’s a cover, TWO! Dakota BOOTS Shotzi and covers, TWO!! Shotzi survives and Dakota grows further frustrated. Dakota stands on Shotzi again but the ref counts. Dakota backs off but grins again. Shotzi slowly stands in the corner but Dakota goes side to side, for the BOOT! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi will not die! Dakota kicks Shotzi around, toying with her. Dakota stands on Shotzi in the corner, then lets up. Shotzi stands, blocks the kick and then kicks back. Dakota blocks but Shotzi rolls her! Dakota kicks Shotzi away, runs into the corner, but only gets post!
Shotzi rolls and LARIATS! She rallies on Dakota and enziguris! Dakota flounders and Shotzi runs in, to waitlock and SAIDO SUPLEX! Dakota bails out and Raquel goes to her side. The two get to the ramp side and want a time-out. But Shotzi builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit on them both! Shotzi howls, having her second wind! She drags Dakota up and into the ring, but Raquel attacks! But Shotzi throws her into steel steps! Shotzi hurries back in but Dakota BOOTS her again!! Dakota drags Shotzi into a fireman’s carry, for the GO TO KICK!! Cover, Dakota wins!!
Winner: Dakota Kai, by pinfall (joins the #1 Contender’s Ladder Match)
Captain Kota better be sharing some of the winner’s purse with Raquel after that one. But will Raquel be an even bigger insurance policy in the Six Woman Ladder Match?
KUSHIDA VS Joaquin Wilde!
The Time Splitter returns, still on a winning streak. Will that streak continue as he takes a walk on the Wilde Side?
The bell rings and Kushida circles with Wilde. They tie up, Wilde gets the wristlock and wrenches. Kushida rolls and drop toeholds to a facelock. Kushida holds on as Wilde rolls around, then Kushida floats all over Wilde. He pats Wilde on the back, then drags him into a cover! ONE, and Wilde sweeps to cover. ONE and Kushida sweeps to cover, ONE! Wilde stands up but Kushida wheelbarrows to a victory roll, that he then stands on. Kushida rocks back to pop Wilde up into an armbar capture!! Wilde moves around to get the ropebreak! Kushida lets go and the two back off. Kushida says it was that close. Wilde and Kushida circle again then approach. Kushida kicks but Wilde stays back.
Kushida jumps on for a body scissors and knuckle lock. He uses that to wrench but Wilde steps in to headlock. Kushida powers out but Wilde slides under to headscissors back! Wilde arm-drags Kushida to an armlock! Kushida endures, powers his way up but Wilde wrenches again. Wilde grinds Kushida down but Kushida endures. Kushida fights up but Wilde wrenches and elbows away. Wilde runs but Kushida hip tosses to handspring and dropkick! Cover, TWO! Wilde gets to ropes as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Wilde has Kushida in a corner. Wilde CHOPS and whips to then run and hit a falling inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Wilde keeps his cool and drags Kushida up with a chinbar. He scoops and flips Kushida for a modified knee smash! Cover, TWO! Wilde grows frustrated that his unique move didn’t work. Kushida gets to a corner but Wilde drags him up. Wilde bumps Kushida off buckles then stomps away. The ref counts and Wilde backs off, but he CLUBS Kushida back. Wilde bumps Kushida off more buckles then rams his shoulder in. The ref counts and Wilde backs off to then wrench and whip. Kushida reverses but Wilde goes up, only to get caught and kicked down! Wilde clutches the targeted arm and Kushida wonders if Wilde’s okay. Kushida brings Wilde up but Wilde throws forearms!
Wilde keeps on Kushida so Kushida kicks back! Kushida ROCKS Wilde with a right then runs, but into a jawbreaker! Wilde and Kushida both stagger, then Wilde whips. Kushida handsprings to back elbow! Kushida whips Wilde and hip tosses, INTO the armbar!! Wilde taps, Kushida wins!
Winner: Kushida, by submission
The Super Junior gets another win! Will Kushida reach a title in NXT in the near future?
NXT Media catches up with Joaquin Wilde.
Wilde is in the parking lot when he’s asked about his match with Kushida. What is going through his mind after that defeat? It was a great match, but another loss. That just seems to be the pattern ever since arriving in NXT. Wilde thought he was going to be a Breakout star, make an impact, but whoa! An SUV just pulls up outta nowhere! And two luchadors are telling Wilde to get in!? This is just like what happened to Raul Mendoza! We haven’t seen Mendoza since that night, either! Wilde is given little choice but to go with the luchadors! Will he end up in the same place as Mendoza? Will we ever see either man again?!
NXT North American Championship Triple Threat: Keith Lee VS Dominik Dijakovic VS Damian Priest!
The Limitless One and the Croatian Colossus have already redefined what supersized superstars can do in the ring. Now the Archer of Infamy interjects himself into their storied rivalry! Will Priest #LiveForever off the legacies of Lee and Dijakovic? Or will he only be a footnote in the history of this feud that quite possibly could #FightForever?
The introductions are made, stats are given for the first time ever as an upper third, and the belt is raised. The bell rings and this massive main event begins!
Priest swings a kick at Lee, but Lee catches him! Lee throws Priest at Dijakovic, who catches Priest in a choke grip! Priest ROCKS Dijakovic to free himself, but Lee ROCKS Priest! Dijakovic ROCKS Lee but Priest kicks. Dijakovic blocks and kicks back, but Priest also blocks. Lee spins but both Dijakovic and Priest duck the big heel kick! All three men ROUNDHOUSE the man to their left! All three titans stagger back and lean on the ropes, and NXT goes to break!
NXT returns again and Dijakovic runs corner to corner at Priest. Priest boots him away and ducks the discus to hit a COMPLETE SHOT! Both men slowly rise with Lee on the outside. Priest throws big body shots and a haymaker on Dijakovic in the corner. Priest climbs up to rain down rights but Dijakovic powers up and lifts Priest off! Only for Priest to counter with a DDT! Cover, but Lee pushes Priest off. Lee clotheslines Priest out but Priest lands on his feet! Priest ROUNDHOUSES Lee back! Lee wobbles and Priest climbs, but Lee ROCKS Priest back! Lee climbs the corner and drags Priest up top with him! Priest fights the superplex off, clubbing away. Lee clubs back and brings Priest around. Lee tries again and has a bearhug! Dijakovic slides in and joins in!
Priest and Dijakovic both club Lee, then an ear clap staggers Lee! Dijakovic has Lee on his shoulders in the Electric Chair, and Priest adjusts. HEEL KICK DOOMSDAY!! All three titans are down in the ring! Priest flounders over towards Lee but so does Dijakovic. Dijakovic stands first, but Lee follows. Priest is up last and Dijakovic clubs him. Priest clubs Lee then Dijakovic forearms. They work on Lee together with haymakers and kicks. They double choke grip, for a DOUBLE CHOKE SLAM!! But Lee rolls away before either man can cover. Dijakovic grabs Priest for the torture rack but Priest fights free. Priest whips Dijakovic to a corner then drags him up in a crucifix! Dijakovic resits, but Priest still THROWS out of the ring!! And Lee CATCHES him!
Lee and Dijakovic brawl but Priest builds speed to FLY! The tope conjilo wipes them all out and NXT goes to another break!
NXT returns once again, and Dijakovic MOONSAULTS, but FLOPS!! Priest avoids disaster and then choke grips Dijakovic, for a SOUTH OF HEAVEN Choke Slam!! Cover, TWO!?! Dijakovic lives and Priest grows frustrated. But Priest takes aim as Dijakovic slowly rises. Priest spins but his kick misses. Now Dijakovic choke grips, but Priest slips out, to a dragon sleeper! Priest drags Dijakovic up but Dijakovic brings Priest up instead! Lee returns as Dijakovic spins Priest. Priest lands on his feet, so it’s TIME TO FLY! Dijakovic THROWS Priest, but Lee catches Priest! Lee brings Priest up to swing into Dijakovic! And then BOMBS him on Dijakovic’s back! Lee holds on to DO IT AGAIN! And AGAIN! Lee keeps going, for a FOURTH bomb on Dijakovic’s back! And then SPIRIT BOMB!! Cover, Dijakovic breaks it!!
All three men are exhausted, but Lee rises again. Priest crawls to a corner but Lee brings Dijakovic up. Dijakovic elbows and forearms Lee back. Lee SLAMS Dijakovic with a huge spine buster! Lee runs and splashes Priest in the corner! He hops up top but Priest enziguris Lee first! Then spinning ROUNDHOUSES the arm! Priest climbs up top and rains down hands. Priest SUPER STEINER, but Lee blocks it! Lee brings Priest back up, for a SUPER SPIRIT- NO! Priest gets the Super Steiner after all! Dijakovic with the MACHO ELBOW outta nowhere!! Priest aims at Dijakovic and Dijakovic aims right back. Both men hit CYCLONE KICKS!! They both fall onto Lee for a cover, TWO?!? All three men are down but this match is not over yet!
Priest and Dijakovic crawl to ropes. They are on opposite ends of the same corner. Dijakovic choke grips Priest but Priest choke grips back. Lee breaks they bonds to GRIZZLY MAGNUM each of them! Lee climbs up top again and brings each man up. But Priest choke grips, and so does Dijakovic! DOUBLE SUPER CHOKE SLAM!! Dijakovic mule kicks Priest off the top and adjusts. His target is Lee, and he CORKSCREW MOONSAULTS!! Cover, TWO?!?! Lee is superhuman! But he, Dijakovic and Priest are still moving. Wait, Priest has his BATON! Triple Threat means No Disqualifications, but Dijakovic ducks the attack! FEAST YOUR EYES! And a POUNCE!! Priest is sent out of the ring! Lee fireman’s carries Dijakovic, for the BIG BANG CATASTROPHE! Cover, LEE WINS!!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall (still NXT North American Champion)
You could call controversy on Priest’s nightstick hitting Dijakovic’s knee in all that, but a win is a win. Forget #LiveForever or #FightForever, will Lee #ReignForever so that we all shall #BaskInHisGlory?
A great episode that also starts the TakeOver compensation programming. If you aren’t sure what I mean by that, the TakeOver: Tampa logo was on the titantron the entire main event. Honestly, I thought this night could’ve been just Dream VS Fish, the Women’s Gauntlet and the NXT North American Championship. But Lumis’s return was really good character work, and even Atlas looked good for his debut. Kushida VS Wilde was really good, and I did not expect Wilde to be brought into the same luchador abduction angle as Mendoza. Are they going to return as brainwashed luchadors to fill the NXT Tag Team Division during this era of travel bans and pandemic policies?
Dream VS Fish was a solid opener, and naturally Dream wins so he can advance in his story. If anything, taking the time for Dream to run an Undisputed Era sweep works out since the world is having to take things very slow right now. We can get Cole VS Dream for the title at whatever TakeOver we get when things return to somewhat normal, with an audience shouting and dueling and what not. The Women’s Gauntlet was great, and I am pleasantly surprised to see Shotzi booked so strong! However, I knew 50-50 booking of equal Faces and Heels would require Dakota Kai to win it all. The Six Woman Ladder Match is going to be great just on story with both Mia and Tegan wanting payback on Dakota.
And then the Triple Threat was definitely TakeOver worthy, if not the direct copy and paste of the match they were going to have. For a moment, I thought Lee was losing, but they did a great job of steering it back to his win. Yes, Dijakovic can claim controversy with the nightstick, but I feel that we need Lee VS Priest 1v1 first before bringing things back to the Lee VS Dijakovic feud. And speaking of feuds, I really liked the video package for #OneLastBeat. Ciampa VS Gargano is going to deliver again next week, and could honestly go either way to me. I’m just curious to see if Killer Kross goes after the winner or the loser, which in itself could be a very creative twist on things.
My Score: 9.1/10
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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