NXT takes over USA Network!
Apologies to Tampa, but more of the TakeOver plan moves to television! Who stands tall as THE heart of NXT after #OneLastBeat?
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Ladder Match: Chelsea Green VS Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Io Shirai VS Tegan Nox VS Dakota Kai; Shirai wins and will challenge Charlotte Flair for the title.
- Partial Replay – NXT UK 3/12/20: Finn Balor VS Alexander Wolfe w/ Imperium; Balor wins.
- Indus Sher w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Ever-Rise; Indus Sher wins.
- One Last Beat: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano; Gargano wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT’s most intense and storied rivalry all started with one moment.
It was TakeOver: Chicago three years ago. DIY lost, and Tommaso Ciampa lost it! A throw into an LED wall and an Air Raid Crash off the announce desk through spare tables sparked a saga. “In the history of NXT, there has been no greater rivalry, no personal issue more intense than what we have witnessed over the last few years between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.” Both men have given blood, sweat and tears while trying to take the other man’s heart and soul. The Black Heart and the Rebel Heart have fought each other over and over, and tonight it all ends. Two walk into a building, one walks out, and “it’s done.” When it is over, it is over forever. This will be Gargano VS Ciampa, #OneLastBeat.
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Ladder Match: Chelsea Green VS Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Io Shirai VS Tegan Nox VS Dakota Kai!
There is a NEW NXT Women’s Champion after WrestleMania, and yet it is also an old one. Charlotte Flair is back on top of the black ‘n’ yellow, but she’s already going to have a challenger lined up! Who among this super six pack stands atop the ladder as #1 Contender?
The bell rings and all six women stare down. Then things spark into brawls! Tegan of course goes after Dakota and Candice goes after Shirai! Mia goes after Green in a corner and stomps her down. Shirai stomps Candice while Dakota bumps Tegan off buckles. Shirai hits a swinging meteora! But Dakota throws Shirai out! Dakota clubs Mia and Green scurries away. Dakota tells Raquel to get her a ladder, and a tall one! Raquel does as ordered while Dakota stomps whoever moves. The ladder is in but Mia and Candice dropkick it back out at Raquel! They glare at Dakota, who tries to calm them down. But then Dakota bumps into Tegan, and she stops smiling. Dakota ends up in a 3v1 punch cycle!
Candice throws haymakers and chops and fires off! Tegan runs in to uppercut Dakota, then gives Green a shot just because. Mia adds on to Dakota and Green, then so does Candice! Green tumbles down and Tegan gives Dakota the CANNON-BOAR! Mia adds her CANNON-BALL, and they both help Candice hit a BIG cannonball! These three feel good working together, but then Candice gets clear as Shirai flies in! Shirai takes Mia and Tegan down with a missile dropkick! Candice runs back in but gets a flapjack! The Evil Genius goes out to drag a new ladder from under the ring. Meanwhile, Robert Stone helps Green get a table! Shirai has her ladder in but Candice climbs it like steps! Shirai shakes her off and kicks her low, to Alabama lift! Candice fights free and lifts, but Shirai resists.
Shirai blocks a kick but not the enziguri! She staggers, but still SHOTEIS Candice back! Green gives them BOTH a bulldog to the ladder! The Hot Commodity clears the ring with a grin as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Green now has a chair. But Mia trips her and she falls on said chair! Mia drags Green out to throw hands but Green throws them right back. Tegan gets in but Dakota follows to throw hands. The former Team Kick partners brawl fast and furious! Tegan choke grips but Dakota breaks free to Scorpion Kick! Tegan rebounds to HEADBUTT! She runs but into a big forearm! Dakota runs but Tegan uppercuts! Tegan runs but Dakota follows Around the World to BOOT! Dakota runs corner to corner but Tegan follows! Dakota dodges her at the last second, but the boot is blocked to another uppercut! Tegan choke grips and CHOKE SLAMS! Tegan sees Green slide a ladder in and stands on it. They tug-o-war, and Tegan rams Green into railing!
Tegan stands the ladder up under the contract briefcase. She climbs up but Dakota hurries after her! Dakota and Tegan are both up top and Dakota SMACKS Tegan off the top! But Candice YANKS Dakota down and Dakota SMACKS off a rung! Tegan clings to her side and Candice climbs up. The two friends hesitate, but Green and Dakota attack in that opening! Green DECKS Tegan and Dakota feeds Candice to buckles! Dakota and Green climb and brawl but get yanked down by Mia and Shirai! Mia knocks Green down and Shirai kicks Kai. They climb now, but Candice returns with a ladder. She and Tegan bring that over while Dakota goes back after Shirai. Dakota kicks Shirai out of the ring and Green goes after Mia while Candice and Tegan set up this other ladder.
Mia kicks Green away while Tegan and Candice climb. Dakota returns to go after Tegan and Green goes after Candice. Green brings Candice down then goes back after Mia. Mia elbows Green away and keeps climbing. Dakota and Tegan take each other out, leaving Mia alone to reach for the briefcase! But Candice pulls her back down! Candice swings, Mia ducks, and wrenches Candice’s arm, PROTEC YA NECK! Mia leaves Candice down and heads up again, but Green SMACKS her with a chair! Green tosses the chair to Mia to then BOOT, but she misses! Green is caught in the rungs of a ladder set in the corner! Mia gives Green’s knee a CHAIR SHOT! Green screams and Mia pushes her out of the ring. But Shirai returns to basement dropkick Mia! Shirai GUILLOTINE CATAPULTS Mia into the ladder!!
Shirai shouts that this is her time! She hurries up the ladder, but RAQUEL pushes her over!! Shira falls onto everyone else! The irony is that Raquel just took out Dakota, who she’s supposed to be helping! NXT goes to break while everyone is down!
NXT returns as Raquel guards the ladder. She throws Candice out then makes sure everyone else is down. Robert Stone says Green is not a threat now, so Raquel hurries to help Dakota. They go into the ring, and Raquel even lifts Dakota on her shoulders. Raquel climbs for Dakota, but Mia returns! Mia attacks Raquel but Raquel boots her down! Dakota is at the top but Candice yanks her down! Raquel climbs up and drags Mia up by her hair! Mia fights back with body shots and forearms! Mia gets under Raquel and wants to bomb! Raquel holds on but Tegan joins in! Tegan choke grips Raquel, and together, she and Mia SUPER CHOKE SLAM BOMB Raquel THROUGH A TABLE!! But Mia goes all out for it, taking herself out with Raquel!!
Tegan watches Mia and Raquel in the wreckage a little too long, and Dakota goes after Tegan on the top rope! Dakota runs side to side, to BOOT Tegan down! Tegan crashes through a ladder bridge!! So much carnage at ringside!! Dakota sees she’s alone with Raquel down, and Candice is climbing! Dakota hurries to stop her, and they’re both up top. They both have a hand on the case, but Candice SMACKS it off Dakota’s head! Shirai springboards in to SMASH Dakota’s head off the ladder! Dakota falls but even Candice stumbles back. Shirai ducks Candice to waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX! BUZZSAW MISSES! Candice waistlocks and GERMANS Shirai!
Robert Stone says this is Green’s chance! Green hobbles up and into the ring with him cheering all the way. Green drags herself up the rungs but her bad leg is too much. Stone throws off his jacket to climb up on the other side! He hesitates the higher he goes, and then helps Green from the other side. They’re almost there, but Shirai and Candice tip the ladder over! Green falls onto the ropes and gets tangled up!! Everyone is down, but Shirai and Candice are still in the ring! They both bring the ladder back up and start to climb again. Candice reaches the top first, but Shirai stops her from touching the case. They brawl way up high, back and forth. Candice throws haymakers and Shirai wobbles.
Shirai blocks Candice’s hand, then rakes her eyes!! Candice falls back onto the corner ladder! Shirai finishes the ascension, and grabs the briefcase off the hook! Shirai wins!!
Winner: Io Shirai (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship)
The Evil Genius shouts her own praises in Japanese as she literally sits atop everyone else! But will she finally be at the very peak of the NXT Women’s Division after facing the Queen of All Eras?
NXT looks back on The Prince VS Imperium!
After defeating Johnny Gargano in Portland, Finn Balor openly wondered what his next move would be. To that effect, NXT UK’s Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel told Balor that it would be to fall in line behind The Ring General, WALTER. Balor refused and was beaten down for it that very night. But then Balor would turn the tables and go to NXT UK to take the fight to them!
Balor glares at Walter as he stomps Wolfe down. “You want some, Walter?!” Balor springboard stomps over and over, and says they’re all for Walter! The ref backs Balor off and Wolfe slowly rises. Fans are thunderous as Balor hits Wolfe with a SLINGBLADE! Fans troll Imperium with “Walter is a baby~!” Balor aims from a corner but Aichner and Barthel go after Balor! He fights them off but Wolfe LARIATS Balor down! The referee EJECTS Imperium! Imperium protests but fans sing, “Hey hey hey~! Good bye!” Balor and Wolfe rise, and Balor glares as he throws forearms. Wolfe gives them back and we have a brawl!
Balor runs into a EuroUpper and enziguri! Wolfe reels Balor in, but Balor slips out of the bomb to trip up and DOUBLE STOMP Wolfe! Fans fire up as Balor is in the corner. Wolfe denies the Slingblade to roll Balor up, TWO!! BOOT and GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO! Wolfe drags Balor up to a fireman’s carry but Balor slips around to a sleeper! Dragon sleeper, elbow drop DDT! Balor aims from a corner again, SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Wolfe bounces off buckles and Balor heads up top! COUP DE GRACE!! But Balor won’t end it there, he gives Wolfe 1916! Cover, Balor wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall
Wolfe went at Balor, but he missed and got taken down instead!
Finn Balor speaks.
“Walter. You and I share a lot of traits.” They both do things on their own terms. They both have control over their own worlds. But here they are, both poised to make their next moves. This time will pass, and Walter will learn that the NXT UK Championship he holds is on borrowed time. Will the Prince take over the UK when he and Walter meet again?
Indus Sher w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Ever-Rise!
Bivens Enterprises brings a new destructive force to the NXT Tag Team Division. Rinku and Suarav already showed the Bro what they can do. Will we all see just how much more they have in their arsenal?
The teams sort out and Rinku starts against Matt Martel. They tie up, Martel waistlocks and headlocks, then wristlocks and wrenches. Rinku isn’t bothered at all and he throws Martel off! Chase Parker tags in and Rinku dares him to bring the fight. Rinku swings, Parker dodges and Parker sucker punches Suarav! Parker throws hands on Rinku and CHOPS! Rinku just roars and throws Parker at ropes! Parker holds ropes to boot back! Tag to Martel, and Ever-Rise throws hands on Rinku together! Martel powers Rinku to the corner and Parker adds the enziguri! Martel CHOPS Rinku then tags Parker before tripping Rinku up. Parker slingshots to drop an elbow on Rinku’s back! Bivens is mad as Parker covers, but Rinku powers out at ONE! Rinku is up and LARIATS Parker down!
Rinku drags Parker up and brings him to the corner. Tag to Suarav and Indus Sher double whips. They double shoulder Parker down! Suarav drags Parker up to scoop and SLAM! He glares at Martel before looming over Parker. Suarav tags Rink and they bring Parker up for a double HIP TOSS! Rinku stays between Parker and Martel as Martel rallies. Rinku BOOTS Parker down! And stomps him down to the Bivens Enterprises corner. Rinku drags Parker up to scoop for a sidewalk slam! Tag to Suarav and Rinku DECKS Martel! Indus Sher drags Parker up to whip into an open corner. Suarav corner clotheslines hard! Bivens is pleased as Suarva tags Rinku back in. Indus Sher mugs Parker in the corner, then Rinku CLUBS Parker down. Rinku drags Parker up and CLUBS him again!
Parker throws forearms back and scrambles, but Rinku drags him away from Martel. Rinku DECKS Martel again then tags Suarav. Indus Sher whips Parker to a corner. Rinku runs in for a corner clothesline, and feeds Parker to Suarav’s BOOT! They finish this with the backbreaker elbow drop! Cover, Indus Sher wins!
Winner: Indus Sher, by pinfall
The lions have destroyed their first opponents and Bivens promise they’ll do more of the same! Will the NXT Tag Team Championships simply be prey for Rinku and Suarav?
Adam Cole speaks.
“Bravo, Velveteen.” He beat Bobby Fish because he got lucky. Unfortunately for Dream, lightning never strikes twice. Especially when it comes to the greatest NXT Champion ever in Adam Cole Baybay. Cole explains something to Dream: Dream does not deserve a shot! Dream is a pretender but Cole is the real deal! Cole has proven it time and again. How many times does he have to explain it to Dream so Dream understands? If Dream keeps pushing, maybe Cole will one day feel the need to end the Experience. How about shattering the spotlight? And when that happens, there will be nothing Dream can do about it. And that is Undisputed.
NXT shares Charlotte Flair’s post-match interview after Night 2.
Charly Caruso starts to congratulate her, but The Queen says she doesn’t need anyone to do that. Charlotte says that when she was little, Ric Flair had custom cars, custom robes, and custom suits. Everyone thinks the suit makes the man, but no. Ric always said the man makes the suit. So therefore, the title doesn’t make the wrestler, it is the wrestler that makes the title. Charlotte has been Raw Women’s Champion, SmackDown Women’s Champion, and even retired the Diva’s Championship. Now she is a two-time NXT Women’s Champion. Rhea Ripley was alright. But she does what ever other woman does: Bow down to The Queen. “WOO~!” Will Charlotte once again make the black ‘n’ yellow brand bow to her?
NXT also shares Rhea Ripley’s own post-match interview.
The Mosh Pit Kid can’t help but be emotional after losing the title she fought so hard to win. “She’s a lot better than I expected.” That’s all she can say now, but when and where will the Nightmare be back?
One Last Beat: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano!
The Cruiserweight Classic. TakeOver: Chicago I and II. TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, and everywhere in between. Three years culminates in one night. Which heart of NXT takes its #OneFinalBeat?
Johnny Gargano pulls up to the location HHH found for him and Ciampa. Candice is also in the car and walks with him. Gargano even redesigned his DIY shirt to be #TJGW. Gargano tells Candice it’ll be alright, and she gives him something wrapped in a brown paper bag. She drives off to wait as Gargano heads inside. HHH waits in the ring, and both Gargano and Ciampa arrive at the same time. “Alright, guys. Right on time.” This is where it ends. It starts in this ring and ends in this ring. It doesn’t matter what they do to each other, but when it is done, it is done. Senior referee Drake Younger will officiate the match to simply count pins and submissions. Nothing more, nothing less. HHH tosses down his chair and says that once he’s out the door, “it’s on.”
HHH leaves the ring, walks to the exit, and looks back one last time before pushing through the doorway. Gargano and Ciampa both get in the ring, keeping their eyes on each other, and HHH’s chair. They step forward, but Ciampa kicks the chair aside. Ciampa says they don’t need that, it’s about him and Gargano. Gargano throws the first punch and it begins! Ciampa backs Gargano down but Gargano hits low. Gargano throws haymaker after haymaker! He whips but Ciampa reverses, and Gargano takes an HBK tumble up the buckles. Gargano gets in but Ciampa stomps him down. Ciampa throws Gargano out but Gargano stays on the apron. Ciampa runs but into an enziguri! Gargano slingshots in, but into a knee! Ciampa catches his breath and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Ciampa grabs HHH’s chair after all. He aims at Gargano but Gargano hits low! Gargano reaches for the chair but Ciampa kicks him down! Gargano curses from pain in his arm but Ciampa is on him with stomps. Ciampa says they were brothers, but asks who turned on who. He stomps Gargano’s legs then guillotine catapults him into the bottom buckle! The ref checks on Gargano while Ciampa catches his breath. Ciampa knows Gargano isn’t going to stop this here, he’s “Johnny Wrestling.” Ciampa claws at Gargano’s face as he brings him up against the ropes. Gargano resists the DDT and drags Ciampa out. Gargano swings Ciampa’s leg into the post! And then again! And again! Ciampa flops down to the floor but he won’t let the ref check on him.
Gargano mocks Ciampa’s pain as he boots him down. “How long’s it been? How does it feel?” Gargano throws hands on Ciampa while he’s down on the floor. Ciampa crawls but Gargano drags him up. Gargano brings Ciampa over for a suplex but Ciampa fights him off. Ciampa suplexes Gargano to SLAM him into the post! The ref checks on Gargano again but just as Ciampa said, he isn’t quitting. Ciampa clears off a spare table but Gargano gets in the ring. Ciampa pursues but Gargano stomps away on him! Gargano kicks Ciampa out to then build speed and DIVE! Direct hit and Ciampa tumbles away! Gargano sits on the apron and mocks “Daddy” with the slow clap and a pat on the back. Gargano brings Ciampa up to throw into random furniture! And then boot him further in!
Gargano pushes things aside to drag Ciampa back up for more punches. He dares Ciampa to get up after each one, and he punches him so hard, the trash can starts to break! “Heart and soul of NXT? This is it?” Gargano drags Ciampa up and SMACKS him with the trash can lid! Ciampa writhes but Gargano just brings out a new trash can. Gargano SMASHES it on Ciampa’s back! Gargano says he’s disappointed in Ciampa, because he expected more. He puts Ciampa back in the ring and looms over him. Ciampa throws hands but Gargano stomps him down for it! Gargano mocks Ciampa for all the talk of being tough. How many surgeries did he come back from? The torn labrum gets a JAB from the chair! The torn ACL gets a JAB from the chair! And who can forget the neck! Gargano JAMS Ciampa in the back!
The ref checks on Ciampa but Gargano won’t let this stop. Gargano takes a seat and says this is what Ciampa wanted. The ref says this is going too far, but Gargano doesn’t care. Gargano brings the chair up again, to SMACK Ciampa on the back! Gargano paces and grins. “Don’t worry, old man. You’re not going to last much longer.” Gargano wedges the chair into a corner then brings Ciampa up. But Ciampa reverses the whip to send Gargano into the chair! Both men are down and writhing in pain as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns again as Ciampa stands up. He goes after Gargano but Gargano throws him out of the ring! Gargano slingshots, into a trash can lid SMACK! Things are even now but Ciampa still has the lid. “You want to see how my ACL’s doing?!” Ciampa uses the lid for a FULL METAL KNEE! Gargano flounders but Ciampa SMACKS him down again! Gargano reaches and grabs HHH’s chair but Ciampa stands on his hand! And stomps it! Ciampa brings the chair around and puts it around Gargano’s neck! Flashbacks to TakeOver: Chicago II’s brutal Street Fight! But this time, Ciampa throws Gargano into a post!! Then he gives back all the mocking applause and pats on the back, before stomping away! “QUIT! QUIT!” But Gargano refuses.
Ciampa takes off his shirt as Gargano crawls. Ciampa throws cables down on Gargano, then finds the trusty old crutch. Nostalgic, isn’t it? Ciampa brings the crutch over and Gargano begs for mercy. But Ciampa uses it to choke Gargano! Ciampa says if Gargano wants to talk injuries, he’ll talk injuries! Ciampa powered through the torn ACL in that tag match for Gargano! Not for the fans, but for him! Ciampa kicks Gargano around, but they end up by the table. Ciampa throws more haymakers but Gargano hits back, so Ciampa stomps him back down. Gargano flounders about and finds a fire extinguisher! Another flashback! Gargano grins while Ciampa grabs a water bottle. Ciampa washes out his eyes but Gargano is right on him.
Gargano brings Ciampa over to a table and lifts, but Ciampa resists. Ciampa throws body shots and forearms to then reel Gargano in. Ciampa lifts and POWERBOMBS Gargano through the table!! Gargano gasps and sputters and Ciampa’s eyes still sting, but this is far from over. Ciampa says this is going to end in the ring, so that’s what’ll happen. Another flashback as Ciampa undoes the strings on the ring mat! Ciampa stomps Gargano down for good measure before pulling the ring mats up! The ref says THIS is too far, but Ciampa also ignores him. The wood is exposed once again! “I’m sick of the lies! I lived with him so I know!” Ciampa goes out to fetch Gargano, but Gargano throws cable. Gargano misses wide right and Ciampa kicks him down for it. Ciampa brings Gargano up for more haymakers and Gargano flounders into trash.
Gargano heads for the door, but Ciampa says it’s supposed to end in here! Ciampa pursues, and Gargano RAMS him with a road case! And then bounces him off the top! Gargano throws Ciampa into the side of a truck trailer! And again! Gargano punches Ciampa against the tires over and over and over! Gargano goes back for the road case, and runs it at Ciampa! Ciampa moves and the case hits tires instead. Ciampa crawls under the trailer to go out the other side. Gargano looks for Ciampa but he’s already gotten on top of the cab. Ciampa then goes up to the top of the trailer. Gargano sees him up there and now it’s a stand-off. Ciampa dares Gargano to join him, so he does. The ref follows them and the two brawl! They throw hands fast and furious over and over and over!
Gargano SUPERKICKS Ciampa, but Ciampa CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Ciampa spins into another SUPERKICK! Gargano brings Ciampa up but Ciampa BOOTS him back! Ciampa drags Gargano to the edge but Gargano elbows him. “Is this fun!? I think it’s fun!!” Ciampa stomps Gargano but Gargano hits back! Gargano drags Ciampa to the edge now, in the GargaNO Escape! Gargano cranks back on Ciampa’s neck but lets go when his grip gives up. He drags Ciampa up but Ciampa blocks the kick! Ciampa kicks back but Gargano SUPERKICKS anyhow! Ciampa BOOTS, Gargano SUPERKICKS again, but both men fall over! And NXT goes to break!
NXT returns once again and Gargano hobbles his way back to the arena. Ciampa rises and follows after. Ciampa doesn’t see Gargano until Gargano kicks him from the folded bleachers! And then Gargano LEAPS onto Ciampa, sending them both crashing through a table!! Gargano drags himself away while Ciampa gasps and sputters. Gargano rains down fists on Ciampa and says it ends how it started. He drags Ciampa up and into the ring. They’re on the exposed wood now, and Gargano throws in trash can lids and steel chairs. Gargano stalks over to Ciampa and throws more haymakers in the corner. Gargano picks up speed as he punches and stomps Ciampa down! “This is it!” He puts Ciampa up top, throws more haymakers, then climbs up to join him.
Gargano brings Ciampa up in a fireman’s carry but Ciampa clubs and elbows back! Ciampa picks up speed, too, and then keeps going. Ciampa brings Gargano up, for a SUPER AIR RAID CRASH TO THE FLOOR!! The referee can’t believe what these two are doing to each other! He checks them both but they’re somehow still moving. Ciampa sits up while Gargano feels around. Gargano finds the ring frame but Ciampa is the one to bring him up and in. Ciampa covers, TWO!! Gargano refuses to be the heart that dies and NXT goes to another break.
NXT returns once again, and Ciampa hobbles ringside. He finds the crutch and brings it back to the ring. This is yet another flashback as he aims at Gargano. But Gargano SMACKS Ciampa’s bad knee with the trash can lid! Gargano drags Ciampa in, and uses the crutch to trap an arm! Ciampa resists but Gargano gets it around! It may not be a knee brace, but it’s still being used in the crossface! Ciampa endures as Gargano cranks back! The two move around and Ciampa grabs the lid! Ciampa SMACKS Gargano in the face! Gargano SMACKS him back with it! And again! And again and again and again! Gargano only stops because he gets tired. Both men are sore and exhausted, but it is Gargano who uses the crutch now. Gargano flounders about as he supports himself with it, and SUPERKICKS Ciampa back down!
Ciampa is in a daze but Gargano brings him up again. Gargano supports himself on the crutch again, for yet another SUPERKICK! Ciampa teeters over and Gargano flounders about. Gargano shouts at Ciampa, “You’re a failure!” A failure as a man! As a husband! And as a father!! But Ciampa laughs?! Gargano sits him up and dares him to keep laughing. Ciampa is a monster, and he’ll finally pay! Gargano swings but Ciampa dodges! Ciampa kicks low then stomps Gargano! Ciampa has the crutch to hit Gargano over and over and over and over, until the crutch breaks apart! He wants Gargano to say all that again! He shouts in Gargano’s face about it! “You’re a piece of s*it!” Ciampa knows Gargano isn’t done, so he dares him to get back up. But Ciampa sits down to catch his breath, and NXT takes one last break.
NXT returns as Gargano sits up. Ciampa aims with the jagged crutch, but Gargano ducks! Gargano goes for a headlock but Ciampa slips out to use the crutch in a crossface! Ciampa gives Gargano a taste of his own medicine as he cranks back! The ref asks Gargano if he’s done, but Gargano pokes the ref in the eye!! The financial punishment doesn’t matter, just as long as Gargano doesn’t lose the match! Ciampa lets go of Gargano in frustration, and runs at Gargano. But Gargano moves, and the ref is hit with the Psycho Knee!! Younger goes down and Gargano SMACKS Ciampa with the crutch!! Gargano flounders after Ciampa and puts him back in the ring. But what doe sit matter without a ref?! Ciampa gets Gargano with the DRAPING DDT TO HARD WOOD!! The final flashback needed to win, but there’s no one to count!!
Ciampa sits against the ropes, completely exasperated. And yet, Gargano reaches for his hand, like in the days of their friendship. Ciampa pulls his hand away from Gargano, and finds the crutch again. Or, what’s left of it. Gargano has the other piece of the crutch! Ciampa stalks up behind Gargano, but runs into a SUPERKICK! Gargano swings but into a boot! Both men have pieces of crutch, and they both SMASH the other! Candice finally walks in, perhaps wondering what’s taking so long. And she sees them both down in the ring. She’s almost in tears as she joins the two. “What’re you guys doing?! Stop!!” Ciampa and Gargano realize she’s there, and back away to opposite ends. Candice asks who this Johnny even is. And she asks if Ciampa is happy doing this to his friend and her husband.
But then she dares him to finish it. Go ahead, they’ve gone this far. Gargano reaches for Candice, but she LOW BLOWS HIM!? WHY, CANDICE, WHY!? She leaves without another word, and even Ciampa seems speechless. Ciampa kneels by Gargano’s side, because Candice just did something far worse than anything he has done tonight. Ciampa again has compassion for his friend, and helps him sit up. They stand, but Candice returns to LOW BLOW Ciampa!!! And Gargano laughs?! This was the plan all along! Because the thing wrapped in paper before, was a CUP!! A protective athletic cup protected Gargano’s Johnny! “You lose!” Gargano drags Ciampa up and the ref comes to, in time for Gargano to STEAL the Fairy Tale Ending!! Cover, Gargano wins!!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall
Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling concocted a scheme that no one saw coming! And now, Ciampa can never get his revenge. What happens now that this feud has had its #OneFinalBeat?
An incredible second part to the spread out TakeOver card! The only real low parts of tonight were in the middle. I appreciate getting some NXT UK footage to fill for time but I feel like there could’ve been more to Finn Balor calling out Walter. If the timeline was different and TakeOver went as originally intended, we probably would’ve gotten a great NXT UK Championship match in Walter VS Balor that then also tied into NXT UK’s Dublin event. But WWE surely has all of this in their back pocket for when the world gets over the virus. And while replaying the Raw package of Charlotte’s win, complete with Charlotte’s interview, thankfully we got Rhea’s too. Rhea has her own real-life problems with her work visa, but hopefully that gets sorted quickly so she can come back.
Obviously Indus Sher was going to win, but I’m surprised they let Ever-Rise do as much as they did. Word is that there will have to be big changes to both the NXT Tag Team and Cruiserweight Championship plans since there’s crossover with the UK that can’t happen now. A shame if titles are stripped, but at least the WWE would be showing more consistency in the rules of defending a title. The Women’s Ladder Match was an incredible opener, and I’m thrilled Io Shirai is the #1 contender. As I’ve been saying about Kairi Sane wanting to go back to Japan, Shirai is in the same boat (no pun intended given Kairi is the Pirate Princess). Shirai winning this match doesn’t guarantee she wins the title when it’s Charlotte she’ll be challenging. But at the same time, a loss to Charlotte doesn’t mean Shirai is gone. Yet.
The #OneLastBeat/#OneFinalBeat (I hate it when WWE changes their marketing) was incredible, too. It’s hard to follow great cinematic matches like the Boneyard or the Firefly Fun House, but the one thing this had was that it was an actual match. But this one was definitely the best thing NXT put on since having to do Empty Arena shows. I loved that this was just dripping with references to everything over the last three years. It especially focused on the Unsanctioned Match to get Gargano his career back, and the Street Fight thereafter. But the best was the twist of Candice’s Heel turn. She was the only one not to go Heel yet, so that adds a new layer to this. I’m still lost as to the motivations, though. Was there an affair we don’t know about? Either way, great stuff and I’m ready for what’s next.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mitchell’s NJPW New Years Golden Series Results & Report! (1/20/22)
So much more than a dash!
NJPW starts on a new journey!
NJPW starts a month long journey that will culminate in an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match of Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!
- Great-O-Khan VS Yuto Nakashima; Khan wins.
- Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryohei Oiwa; Hiromu wins.
- Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji Ishimori & Jado; Makabe & Tiger Mask win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun; Honma, Kojima & Yano win.
- Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun; Wato, Taguchi & Tenzan wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun!
It’s a Great Bash Heels reunion as Everyone’s Kokeshi, Bread Style and The Producer are taking on Taka Michinoku, Taichi and the Meanest Man in the World himself! Yano wants to get the KOPW 2022 trophy, but will he even survive Suzuki at the start of this series?
Yano gets impatient during Suzuki-Gun’s entrance, seems he doesn’t hold the same reverence for the theme song as fans do. Suzuki and his team wait for the introductions to finish, and then the attack! Taka is after Kojima, Taichi chokes Honma in a corner, and Suzuki stomps Yano! The bell rings to get this on record, and while Taka throws Kojima out and Suzuki sends Yano out, Taichi keeps on Honma in the corner. Suzuki throws body shots on Yano, then uses his own spray bottle against him! The ref reprimands Taichi and Taichi stops choking Honma to argue with the ref. Honma kicks back but Taichi kicks, and Taichi gets the edge.
Taichi snapmares to KICK Honma in the back. Honma gets up to forearm but Taichi kicks his leg. Forearm, kick, forearm, kick, repeat! Taichi gets the edge again, eggs Honma up, then chokes him! The ref reprimands, Honma breaks free! Taichi tells him to shut it and sobats! Taichi runs, but Honma dodges the boot to run Taichi over! Fans fire up with Honma as he runs, but he waits for Taichi to roll out of the way before he drops the KOKESHI! Kokeshi gets the better of Taichi, and then tags in Yano! Yano fires up and he goes to the corner to untie the pad! Taichi tags out to Suzuki and Yano turns around to face a nightmare!
Suzuki kicks, whips, but Yano holds ropes and dodges the boot to SLAP Suzuki! Yano whips, Suzuki reverses and Yano hits bare buckles! Suzuki boots Yano, snapmares and PENALTY KICKS! Taichi and Taka go after Honma and Kojima while Suzuki drags Yano out. Suzuki sends Yano into railing, then smacks him off the apron! Taichi and Taka do the same to the others, then Suzuki goes looking under the ring. Suzuki drags Yano up, wraps his arm around railing, and cranks on the arm! Suzuki even claws Yano’s forehead and fish hooks the nose! The ring count starts, Suzuki leaves Yano behind and fans rally up.
The count is 10 of 20 and Taichi taunts Yano while he’s on the floor. Taichi stomps Yano, Yano still gets up at 17 and in at 18. Suzuki powers Yano to a cover, TWO! Fans rally, Suzuki tags Taka. Taka stomps Yano, sits him up and digs his knuckles into the forehead! The ref reprimands and counts, Taka lets off with the other hand! The ref reprimands more, counts again, and Taka lets off to scrape his soles on Yano’s face! Taka puts Yano in the corner, throws an uppercut, then tags Taichi. Taichi chokes Yano! The ref reprimands and counts, Taichi stops at 4. Taichi drags Yano up to snapmare and CHOKE! The ref notices and reprimands Taichi again!
Taichi lets off, but then he chokes Yano again! The ref reprimands, so Taichi says that’s not a choke. THIS is a choke! The ref warns Taichi, he lets off, and fans rally up as Taichi drags Yano up by his hair. Taichi feeds Yano to Suzuki’s boot! Suzuki tags in, he stomps away on Yano, then has the leg! Yano has the ropebreak but Taka stands on Yano’s neck! Taichi gets in to intercept Honma and throw him back out! The ref restores order, fans rally up, but Suzuki drags Yano up. Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips Suzuki, Suzuki narrowly avoids hitting bare buckles! Yano runs in but Suzuki dodges and Yano hits buckles!
Suzuki runs, but Yano gets him for an atomic drop! Yano hurries over, fans rally up, hot tag to Kojima! Kojima hits the Suzuki-Gun corner before he stomps Suzuki to a corner. Kojima fires off the MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Suzuki just snarls and turns things around for machine gun forearms! But Kojima turns it back for another round of MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kojima whips Suzuki into the bare buckles, then hits a forearm smash! Kojima throws Suzuki down, but Suzuki gets right up to kick low! Suzuki brings Kojima out but Kojima fires forearms! But Suzuki knees low! Suzuki wrenches, Kojima kicks, but Suzuki blocks the cutter to a SLEEPER!
Kojima fights up, fights free, but Suzuki talks trash. Kojima CHOPS, so Suzuki CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS, Suzuki CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Kojima gets the edge with forearms, then hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Kojima runs, but Suzuki shoots around to DECK Kojima! Tag to Taka, he DECKS Honma then stomps Kojima. Taka whips Kojima in to the bare buckles! SHINING WIZARD! Taichi adds a corner clothesline, then he runs Kojima to the corner! Snapmare, to a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Yano and Honma break it! Suzuki and Taichi throw them back out, and Taka drags Kojima up. Taka scoops, but Kojima fights free! COZY CUTTER!
Kojima throws off the armband and runs, but Taka goes the other way to BOOT! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Kojima survives Taka’s Super K, but Taka runs. Taka ducks the lariat, Kojima throws a low kick but Taka hits a CALF KICK! Kojima still hits COZY LARIAT!! Cover, Great Bash Heels win!
Winners: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano, by pinfall
Suzuki-Gun’s Blue Playmaker fumbles again! And somehow, Yano has cuffed Suzuki to the ropes! Yano dares Suzuki to do something about it, but obviously he can’t without the key. Taichi gets in with his mic stand so the Great Bash Heels take their leave. Will Suzuki be unable to do anything as Yano goes after the KOPW 2022 trophy?
Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun!
The Way of the Grandmaster joins forces with his mentors as he takes on Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado! Wato is rolling towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but will the Rogue Luchador turn the tides?
The teams sort out and Wato steps up to start against Desperado. Fans rally for this IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship teaser, but Desperado trips Wato. Desperado runs, Wato stays low, but Desperado steps on him! Desperado stands Wato up to CHOP, then whips him to ropes. Wato holds ropes, Desperado runs in but is tossed out! Wato runs to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo! Fans fire up as Wato puts Desperado in, covers, TWO! Desperado sits up, Wato KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Wato tags Taguchi. They drag Desperado up, whips, double drop toeholds and double basement dropkicks! Taguchi covers, TWO!
Fans rally, Taguchi throws point blank hip attacks! Desperado gets up but Taguchi bops him again and again and again! Taguchi winds up to BOP Desperado into the corner! Tag to Tenzan, he talks trash on Suzuki-Gun while Taguchi digs his boots in. Tenzan tops it off with a stomp, then a headbutt. Tenzan fires off Mongolian Chops on Desperado in the corner, and fans rally as Tenzan headbutts Desperado down. Tenzan whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and hits a TENZAN BRAINBSUTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tenzan ROCKS Desperado and kicks him at the ropes.
Tenzan whips, Desperado reverses, and Douki trips Tenzan! Douki drags Tenzan out and rams him into railing while Desperado blasts the corner! Kanemaru goes around the way to go after Taguchi! Desperado goes out to bring Wato up and ROCK him with an elbow! Douki chokes Tenzan with his metal pipe! The ref tries to restore order but Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi! Douki keeps choking Tenzan, Kanemaru returns to the corner and Desperado tags him in. Douki sends Tenzan in, Kanemaru sits Tenzan up to throw an elbow into his head. Kanemaru then runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Kanemaru stomps Tenzan, drags him up and elbows him on the neck! Tenzan fires up! Kanemaru throws hands, then rakes eyes! Tag to Douki, Douki snapmares Tenzan and runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Douki reels Tenzan into a grounded cobra twist! Tenzan endures, grabs at Douki’s head and powers out. Douki stomps Tenzan, feeds him to Kanemaru’s boot, then tags Kanemaru in. Tenzan kicks Douki but gets mugged! Kanemaru rakes eyes, he and Douki whip Tenzan to the open corner! Douki runs in but Tenzan runs him over! Kanemaru kicks low, runs, but into a MOUNTAIN BOMB! Fans fire up while everyone is down!
Tenzan crawls, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi runs at the ropes to give Kanemaru a hip attack! Then he runs to give Douki a hip attack! Then back to Kanemaru, then back to Douki! Taguchi slides to apron GAMANGIRI Kanemaru back in! Fans rally, Taguchi springboards, MISSILE HIP! Cover, TWO! Taguchi kips up and fans rally as he calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!” But Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru gets a leg to SMASH the knee into the mat! Then steps through, but Taguchi KICKS Kanemaru away! Taguchi runs, but Kanemaru counters the hip attack with an atomic drop!
Kanemaru hits an ENZIGURI, but Taguchi ENZIGURIS back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Kanemaru and Taguchi crawl, hot tags to Wato and Desperado! Wato BOOTS, Desperado CHOPS! Wato KICKS, and KICKS, and KCIKS, but Desperado blocks to spin Wato, but Wato fights the back suplex! Wato then runs, but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR! Desperado gets Wato up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Desperado stomps away on Wato, then drags Wato by a leg. Wato kicks Desperado away with the free leg, then gets up to kick, kick and sobat into a front kick, then SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!
Wato grits his teeth and fans rally as he drags Desperado up. Desperado resists the Mouse Trap, spins around and rakes the eyes! But Wato kicks and whips, only for Desperado to reverse and SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado tags Douki in and he hits Wato with a corner clothesline. Douki runs, Wato gets around but Douki fights the waistlock. Douki goes to run but Wato reels him in. Douki breaks free with his leg, mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Wato wobbles, Douki reels him in, DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Wato up and torture racks, for a swing, but Wato slips out!
Douki knees low, runs, but into Wato’s SCREW HIGH KICK! Fans rally up, Taguchi runs in to knock Desperado and Kanemaru down while Tenzan stomps Douki! Wato whips Douki to the corner, then runs in to back elbow. Tenzan adds a clothesline, Taguchi hits a hip attack! Double whip feed to Wato’s scoop, T T D! Cover, Desperado and Kanemaru break it! Taguchi and Tenzan go after them, throw them out, and Wato fires up! Wato goes to the corner, climbs up top, R P P FLOP! Douki Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! La Magistrol, TWO! Wato gets up but Douki HELL STABS! But Wato fires up!
Douki still dodges the roundhouse, Gory Especials, but Wato sunset flips! TWO!! Wato has Douki caught in a BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Douki endures, but he taps! Wato and team win!
Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall
The Way of the Grandmaster is victorious, holds on a little longer, but then lets off as Desperado storms back in. Desperado swipes at Wato but Taguchi and Tenzan back him up. Desperado still pie faces Wato, Wato gives it back, and then things turn to hair pulling and mask pulling. The ref tries to keep the peace but it takes Taguchi and Tenzan to break this up. They assure their young ward that waiting for the title match will be worth it. Wato and Desperado are on a collision course, will the Rogue Luchador survive the rising tide?
8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture!
Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoh are far from through with Evil, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & Sho! Will Chaos strike back for WrestleKingdom 16? Or will Darkness Fall again?
The House of Torture Low Sweet, but Chaos attacks first! Yoh is after Sho, Hashi has Yujiro, Goto has Dick and Ishii has Evil! Yoh keeps Sho in while Goto, Hashi and Ishii throw the others out, and the bell rings to get this on record. Ishii CHOPS Evil, Hashi CLUBS Yujiro, Yoh stomps away on Sho, and Goto POSTS Dick! Yoh drags Sho up, but Sho bends Yoh’s fingers! Sho CLUBS the arm, headlocks, but Yoh powers out, only for Sho to pull hair! Sho headlocks, Yoh throws body shots and powers out. Things speed up, Yoh keeps things moving to drop toehold and basement dropkick! Fans fire up and Yoh tags Hashi.
Hashi and Goto get in, they and Yoh hammer Sho down! Yujiro gets in but he gets hammered, too! Evil thinks about it but he stays away. Dick does, too, but Ishii throws Dick in! All four Chaos members surround Dick, but then Dick plays dead! That doesn’t stop them from dragging Dick up and hammering him! Fans fire up as Chaos controls the ring and Evil is furious. Hashi drags Sho out from the corner, CLUBS him and CHOPS him! Hashi brings Sho around, bumps him off buckles, then digs his boot in. Ishii and Goto add on, the ref reprimands and counts, and they all let off at 4. Hashi drags Sho back up but Sho bends the fingers!
Sho whips Hashi to the House of Torture corner, and tada! Evil removes the blue buckle pad! Hashi hits bare steel, Sho hits Yoh off the apron! Sho also knows Goto and Ishii down, Dick chokes Hashi at the ropes, Evil SMACKS Ishii with the blue buckle pad! The ref is busy with everyone else, Dick digs his boots into Hashi. Sho then digs his boots into Hashi while Evil stands on Ishii. Dick tags in, he drags Hashi up to throw hands. Dick drags Hashi up to CLUB him down, then brings him around to snapmare. Dick runs to drop the fist! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while the House protests. Evil tags in, he drags Hashi up to wrench and wrench and wrench.
Evil whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Hashi staggers and falls, Ishii runs in but he’s send into bare buckles! Evil grins, Sho keeps the ref busy with Ishii and Evil claws Hashi’s eyes! Yujiro tags in, he talks some trash but Hashi throws body shots. Yujiro CLUBS Hashi, snapmares him then runs to basement BOOT! Cover, Yoh breaks it! Yujiro hits Yoh back and sends him out. Sho PENALTY KICKS Yoh from the apron! Yujiro drags Hashi up, but Hashi fires off forearms! Yujiro knees low, puts Hashi on the ropes, and runs but blocks Hashi’s boot! Yujiro throws Hashi down to run and basement boot!
Yujiro drags Hashi back up, fisherman, but Hashi fights free to suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi and Yujiro crawl, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on the House, but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro runs, but gets run over! Goto fires off forearms, whips Yujiro to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Yujiro back up but Yujiro breaks free, only to swing into a suplex! Yujiro fights that off by BITING Goto’s hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro whips but Goto reveres and fireman’s carries! Yujiro slips off, Goto elbows him but Yujiro throws a forearm. Goto forearms back then whips.
Yujiro holds ropes, dodges Goto, and Evil hooks a foot! Yujiro BOOTS Goto down! Tag to Evil, and he has the ref watch Ishii. Evil and Yujiro double whip, but Goto DECKS Evil! DISCUS for Yujiro! Evil kicks and runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Ishii! The Stone Pitbull runs in to clothesline the King of Darkness! Evil reverses the whip, kicks and runs but gets run over! Ishii snarls, runs in and clotheslines Evil at the ropes! Ishii whips, Evil reverses, and Sho trips Ishii! Evil runs, but Yoh trips him! Yoh and Sho get in, Yoh dropkicks Sho down!
Evil runs, Yoh feeds him to Ishii’s forearm! Yoh dropkicks, Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Yoh PLANCHAS to take Sho out! Fans fire up, Ishii runs, but Yujiro is there with his pimp cane! Evil waistlocks, Ishii fights the lift, but he runs into Dick’s cheap shot! Evil trips Ishii and gets the legs, SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Fans rally and Yujiro keeps Hashi out but Ishii endures. Ishii fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Dick tries to make Ishii let go, but Ishii has an iron grip! Dick tags in and stomps away on Ishii! The ref reprimands and counts Evil, Evil lets off at 4. Fans rally for Ishii but Dick keeps stomping. Dick talks trash and kicks Ishii around but fans rally harder.
Dick drags Ishii up, eggs him on, and Ishii reels back, but Dick pokes him in the eye! Dick whips, gets a sleeper, but Ishii powers up. Dick blocks the back suplex with punches, Sho blasts the Chaos corner! The House whips Ishii to a corner, Dick runs in to back elbow! Sho runs in to clothesline, Yujiro runs in to boot! Evil hits a clothesline and FISHERMAN BUSTER! Dick covers, TWO! Fans fire up, but Yujiro distracts the ref and Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Sho has his wrench, but Hashi SUPERKICKS him down! Dick runs at Hashi but Hashi DECKS him! Yujiro kicks Hashi and runs, but into a LARIAT!
Evil returns, kicks Hashi and rakes the eyes! Goto runs in, Evil waistlocks, but Goto ducks for the HIDDEN FLASH SUPERKICK! Fans fire up, Goto and Hashi glare at Dick but he wants them to take it easy. But Yoh is there, too! Yoh EuroUppers, Goto fireman’s carries, Yoh and Hashi DOUBLE SUPERKICK into the USHIGOROSHI! Ishii adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Then Ishii gets Dick up for the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Chaos wins!
Winners: Chaos, by pinfall
Direct Drive, Fierce Warrior, Head Hunter and Stone Pitbull combine to break the Spoiler! And they add insult to injury by stomping Dick and throwing him out! Is the House of Torture going to be demolished and lose the NEVER Openweight titles? Or can they find a way to survive Chaos?
Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Rainmaker is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and The Ace is IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. But they have Tetsuya Naito and Sanada coming for their gold! Will the dream team and Blue Justice stand tall? Or will Uncontrollable Charisma, Cold Skull and Rampaging Dragon make this golden series tranquilo?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans applaud. The teams sort out, LIJ fist bumps, and Sanada starts against Tanahashi. Fans rally for this US title preview as the two circle. “LET’S GO, ACE!” “SA-NA-DA!” They tie up, Sanada waistlocks but Tanahashi switches. Sanada wrenches but Tanahashi drops to get a leg pick. Tanahashi floats to a facelock but Sanada wrenches out. Tanahashi arm-drags but Sanada drags Tanahashi back down. Sanada keeps on the arm, Tanahashi fights up, but Sanada wrenches. Tanahashi wrenches back and headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes the headlock, Sanada powers up and pries at the hold, but Tanahashi clamps it on tighter.
Sanada endures the grind and throws body shots. Sanada powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Sanada powers out the back, headlocks Tanahashi in return, and holds on tight as Tanahashi tries to power out. Fans rally up, Tanahashi powers up but Sanada hits a headlock takeover. Tanahashi headscissors, Sanada kips free but roles reverse as Tanahashi hits a headlock takeover and Sanada headscissors. Tanahashi kips free, but then roles switch back the other way as Sanada hits a headlock takeover and Tanahashi headscissors. Sanada kips free, roles reverse again, but Sanada holds tight as Tanahashi tries to kip up.
Fans cheer for the technical exchange, but Tanahashi moves around. Tanahashi headstands and pops free to then get a headlock. Sanada headscissors, Tanahashi kips free, and the two clinch. Tanahashi gets the headlock and the takeover, but Sanada headscissors again. Sanada holds tight again, but Tanahashi turns Sanada over and pops out to have the legs in a figure four. Tanahashi then floats to a headlock, but Sanada fights up to his feet. Tanahashi grinds the headlock, but Sanada wrenches out. They fight for control, and fans fire up as the hold starts to tip one way or another! Sanada gets the headlock takeover, but Tanahashi headscissors, and now Tanahashi holds on tight!
Sanada kicks around, but Tanahashi puts on more pressure. Sanada keeps kicking, turns and headstands but Tanahashi works to keep him down. Sanada hops and hops and handsprings free! Fans cheer the technical exchange as the two stand off. Tanahashi even air guitars. Tanahashi throws it to Sanada, and fans cheer for Sanada to try. Sanada strums it a couple times, then gives it to Red Shoes. Red Shoes carefully sets it aside, and Okada tags in. Sanada backs off and Naito tags in. Fans rally up again, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” and the two tie up. They go around, Naito puts Okada on ropes, but Okada turns things around.
Naito turns it back around, lets off slowly, and then pats Okada on the shoulder. But then Naito arm-drags Okada, only for Okada to get up before Naito can rush over. Fans cheer as the two reset and circle again. they tie up, Naito gets a leg, and then turns it into a cradle! ONE, they move around, ONE, and Okada gets a lateral press. Naito keeps his shoulders up, so Okada lets off slowly, and then scrambles for a waistlock. Naito rolls to get a headlock and he grinds Okada down. Okada fights up, powers Naito to ropes, and Red Shoes calls the ropebreak. Okada lets off slowly, and he doesn’t even fake the chop! Fans cheer as Okada takes Naito seriously.
Okada backs away to tag in Nagata, and fans rally for Blue Justice. Naito tags Takagi and now fans cheer as Blue Justice circles with the Rampaging Dragon. They both fire up, tie up, Nagata headlocks but Takagi powers out and the two ram shoulders! Neither falls, Nagata eggs Takagi on and Takagi runs, to RAM Nagata. Nagata stays up, they each egg the other on to run, so Takagi kicks and whips. Nagata reverses, BOOTS, then snapmares and KICKS! Takagi gets up and eggs Nagata on! Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Takagi to the corner! Nagata gets Takagi up, whips him corner to corner, but Takagi reverses.
Sanada runs in and back elbows Nagata! He sets Nagata up for Takagi’s corner clothesline! Takagi throws Nagata down, Naito and Sanada double basement dropkick him! Takagi knocks Tanahashi and Okada off the apron and fans rally as LIJ controls the ring! Takagi drags Nagata up, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Takagi drags Nagata up, Nagata blocks the back suplex with elbows, then he fires elbows. Takagi fires back, and it’s a brawl! Fans rally, Takagi throws more forearms but Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Takagi blocks a kick to CLUB the leg! But he runs into an EXPLODER!
Fans rally while both men are down. Nagata tags in Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Takagi, whips, but Takagi reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! Tanahashi decks Naito and Sanada, dodges Takagi and dropkicks a leg out! Then he gives Takagi a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with the Ace as he runs at Takagi. Takagi ducks the slingblade but Tanahashi denies the suplex. But Takagi ELBOWs, JABS, and YUKON feints to DDT! Hot tag to Sanada! Sanada rallies on Tanahashi, arm-drag and back suplex BACKBREAKER! Tanahashi bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder.
Sanada puts Tanahashi in the ring, covers, TWO! Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” “LET’S GO, ACE!” Sanada fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free. Sanada ducks the shotei to steal the SHOTEI! Sanada fires off forearms, but Tanahashi ducks the rolling elbow to a SLEEPER! Then a DRAGON SLEEPER! But Sanada fights it to a dragon sleeper of his own! Tanahashi fights through to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi holds on to drag Sanada up, but Sanada suplexes and puts Tanahashi on the ropes. Tanahashi kicks away to hit TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hot tag to Okada!
Okada drags Sanada up, fires off forearms, then whips. Sanada reverses, but Okada CLOBBERS him with an elbow! Okada glares at Naito but he stays on the outside. Okada whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grabs at Sanada but Sanada still tags Naito in! Naito fires off on Okada, whips him to ropes, then hip tosses for the basement dropkick! Naito whips Okada to a corner, ROCKET KICK! Leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Takagi DECKS Nagata, Naito puts Okada up top. Naito climbs, SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Okada flounders. Naito runs in, CORRIENDO SHIKI- MONEY CLIP!
Okada squeezes tight but Naito endures! Naito powers Okada into buckles and is free! Naito runs in, but into the Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up, Okada drags Naito up. Okada gut wrenches but Naito blocks! Naito CLUBS Okada, Okada uppercuts! Okada whips, Naito jumps, but into a waistlock! Okada ripcords, Naito dodges, but Okada DROPKICKS! Ripcord, but Naito ducks to ENZIGURI! Okada staggers, Naito whips, but Okada reverses. Naito reverses back and uses the ropes, TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Hot tag to Nagata! Nagata storms up to Naito and KICKS and KICKS and KICKS!
Nagata has Naito in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Nagata runs in to BOOT! Naito fights the exploder off, but Nagata ROCKS him with a forearm! BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, “NA-GA-TA!” “NA-I-TO!” Nagata drags Naito up, suplexes, but Naito fights free. Naito wrenches to throw back elbow after back elbow! But Nagata hits a kitchen sink knee! Nagata drags Naito back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Another suplex, dos amigos! Nagata gets Naito up again, THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO!! But Nagata clamps on the NAGATA LOCK II! Tanahashi DECKS Takagi while Naito endures!
Takagi gets past Tanahashi to CLUB Nagata, but then Okada CLUBS Takagi! But Takagi spins Okada around, suplex SLAM! Tanahashi returns, Takagi dodges the basement dropkick to SLIDING LARIAT! Nagata is up, Takagi hits an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as LIJ regroups! Sanada and Takagi whip him to a corner, Sanada uppercuts, Takagi clotheslines and Naito atomic drops! PUMPING BOMBER! Rolling jackknife! TWO!?! Nagata escapes, but Sanada and Takagi keep Okada and Tanahashi down on the outside. Naito wrenches but Nagata fights with back hands. Nagata BOOTS then ENZIGURIS!
Fans fire up as Nagata whips, but Naito hits FLYING FOREARMS! Naito gets Nagata up, wrenches through, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
Blue Justice falls as the ungovernables stand tall! Takagi gets Naito water while Sanada stares down with Tanahashi. Will the Cold Skull have a leg up on The Ace going into their US Heavyweight Championship? Or can Tanahashi turn it around in the rest of this Golden Series? Tanahashi, Okada and Nagata leave, so Naito gets the mic. “Beunas noches, Korakuen Hall! It might be awhile, but please listen to what I have to say. Last February, I was opposed to the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. I worked to try to stop it. But I lost my challenge to Ibushi and now we have the IWGP World title.”
Naito will be honest, he has no attachment to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. So why is he challenging for this title? He has three reasons: first, he wants to take on the top guy in NJPW, and that is Okada; second, he wants to beat the top guy in NJPW; third, he wants to be in the Tokyo Dome main event next year, January 4th, 2023. Fans cheer all those reasons. Naito says that, “For nobody’s benefit other than my own, I will go for the win in Sapporo.” Now, today obviously begins a new series, and there will be several warm-ups between Naito and Okada.
“Who will have the title after February 20th? Everyone, speculate, enjoy, and of course, until the title match in Sapporo on February 20… TRANQUILO! Assen na yo!” Now, they’ll see everyone here back tomorrow, but they’ll end the kickoff the only proper way they can. “Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi, y Naito. Nosotros Los! Ingoberrrrrrnables! DE! JA! PON!” The New Years Golden Series has only just begun, but will it end with Naito taking the world title from the Rainmaker?
A great event here, even though I did skip the first few matches. The very first two were against Young Lions so of course Khan and Hiromu were winning. But I did skim through, it was pretty neat for Hiromu to wrestle in his old Kamaitachi mask just to make a point about the Young Lion not being ready. I also skipped Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji & Jado cuz Jado is basically one step up from Young Lion and he ended up taking the loss. But there were a lot of great tag matches here to get momentum going from after WrestleKingdom 16. Suzuki-Gun losing both Six Man Tags was surprising, but it gives Yano some momentum going towards a KOPW match with Suzuki, and I liked seeing some edge in Wato as he gets ready to face Desperado.
Chaos VS House of Torture was on par with the usual NJPW 8 Man. Chaos winning is also a good way to give them momentum as we’re going to get WrestleKingdom rematches for the NEVER Openweight singles and Six Man titles. I don’t know if Evil is only going to be Mr. NEVER for only a couple months, but at this point, he might as well keep that going until Jay White returns and we can finally get Bullet Club Civil War take two going. Then the Six Man main event was really good, we got to see everybody face everybody, and LIJ gets momentum for their coming title matches.
Naito has a good promo to frame his role in the IWGP World title story, but he himself said there will be a lot of these Six Man tune-ups. I probably won’t worry about covering these next few dates, they’re going to be VOD only anyway and those always seem to take forever to show up. I’ve already skimmed through the coming Golden Series dates, and it’s rather fitting that February 7th is the next one NJPW is advertising for livestream. That’s the one I’m thinking of waiting for, and then it’s all the February events, even just in part like I did here.
My Score: 8.5/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 1.20.2022
We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!
We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!
Another week with Tom Hannifan as the play by play, and he just sounds right. We’ve got Charlie Haas’ first match in IMPACT, Tasha Steelz versus Chelsea Green and Steve Maclin is aiming for the ROH Heavyweight Title.
There should be other things, but those take most of the initial attention. Let’s see what else goes on!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
- Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green: Tasha wins via Crucifix Bomb – **
- The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary): Influence wins via Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – *
- The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy: Cassidy wins via BQE – SQUASH
- ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c): Gresham retains via Rope Assisted Figure Four – *** ½
- Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino: Gallows & Doering win via Double Chokeslam – **
- Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander: Alexander wins via Ankle Lock w/Grapevine – *** ¼
Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green
Tasha is jawing with the crowd as the bell rings, Chelsea goes right at her and hits the Shotgun Dropkick as Tasha is turning to face her opponent. Chelsea stays on the offensive, baits Tasha to the apron, drops her on her face, Curb Stomp, attempt at an Unprettier…but no counter into a Codebreaker from Tasa and we see Chelsea’s momentum slow down a little.
After some back and forth with Tasha having a lot of advantage, Chelsea makes her comeback. Chelsea hits a middle rope Crossbody but Tasha continues to rotate and rolls it into a pin attempt. Chelsea kicks out and pulls off a Package Flatliner, but only for a near fall. Chelsea goes to grab Tasha, Tasha kicks her to stun her, looks to get caught in a Crucifix, but turns it into a Crucifix Bomb. Tasha picks up the win with the Crucifix Bomb again.
After the win, Tasha cuts a promo that doesn’t seem to really fit. Trying to portray herself as a savage, from the wrong side of town, but she’s a smack talking 5 foot nothing brat. So the second half of the promo works a lot better than the first. She also took some shots at WWE’s women’s division being Barbie Dolls, NWA, Nick Aldis and then brought the son into the mix, so of course that got Mickie fired up. Things look bad for Mickie, but Chelsea Green manages to recover and make the save for Mickie.
Video Package courtesy of Ring of Honor showcasing some of Charlie Haas’ work with Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk involved in certain clips.
The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary)
The Influence attack while Havok and Rosemary are distracted by Kaleb. Rosemary clutches her shoulder after the mugging, the doctors throw up the X and tell her she can’t go. Rosemary asks if Havok can go, the doctor says yes, so Rosemary tells Havok to go destroy the Influence.
Havok put up a valiant fight but the heels prevail! Cross Rayne into a Spotlight Kick into…whatever their tandem finish is called. I’m going to call it Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
The IInspiration have a reactionary video promo which is pretty solid. I do enjoy their work. Hopefully their match ends up being pretty solid because I’d like to see The IInspiration start getting over their abilities in the ring as much as their abilities on the mic.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy
The highlight of this match is Hannifan and Myers on commentary. There was a like 4 second spot where the Learning Tree landed a move, but then Cassidy kills them. So we’re in and out, double Pinfall murder happened.
Post-Match the Massive one goes on his search for Moose, D’Amore stops him in the back and says he’s got a title shot coming. Then we see the OGK ROH invaders have tickets this time around, and I’m going to be sick saying this…but Matt Taven is pretty great in this segment. Jesus Christ, I popped for Taven. Shoot me now.
ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c)
Early on it looked like Gresham was toying with Maclin as he forced early rope breaks, but Maclin returned the forced rope breaks in kind. Maclin eventually started coming into his own when he utilized the one closed fist warning rule. Maclin really worked over Gresham’s back after a Butterfly Backbreaker, Boston Crab, Camel Clutch, and a lot of back work.
Gresham was really on the back foot until he managed to force Maclin to use his final rope break. Then we saw Gresham hyper extend Maclin’s knee, and keeps working on the knee. It all made sense as we saw Gresham utilize the Figure Four for the victory. It was entwined in the ropes, Gresham used it for leverage and Maclin’s will power gave out as he couldn’t get his shoulders up fast enough and succumbed to the three count.
IMPACTPlus Flashback Moment: No Surrender 2009: Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs The Beautiful People – Innaugural TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
"We're gonna see ourselves out"
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino
So Good Brothers and VBD looked really sloppy. Gallows got rocked by Rhino, Doering was caught off guard often by Heath and there was just a ton of odd moments where it looked like they tried to regroup and until we saw the extra members get involved, Heath and Rhino dominated the legitimate tag team aspects.
I’m wondering exactly how much of a shift the Guerrillas of Destiny will have in the tag scene and if we’ll need to see the Good Brother and VBD implode first before we get the Bullet Club foundation match.
Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander
They start with a classic grounded start with headlocks, hammerlocks, leg picks and positioning advantages. Alexander managed to take some early momentum before the commercial break, but when we come back we see Haas pop over out of the corner, striking Alexander’s knee and starts focusing a body part. A very methodical attack on knee comes off far more aggressive and cruel than Haas usually goes for. Haas locks in the Indian Deathlock, and they begin slugging at each other. The hold breaks, Alexander goes for the Finlay Roll but Haas counters into a Crucifix Cradle for 2.
Alexander locks in the German Suplex, hits 2, obviously going for 3 to make a point, but Haas blocks the third. Haas pulls off 2, before Alexander blocks and hits one more German before Haas grabs the ropes, feeds in for a lariat but gets caught in another German Suplex this time with the bridge but only for 2.
Haas manages to charge Alexander in the corner, stumbled a bit but lands in the legs that he’s been aiming for, and then goes back to the other corner and hits the mid-section. Haas looks for a leg pick, Alexander counters into his own Ankle Lock. Charlie tries to counter it a few different ways but Alexander holds on and locks in the Ankle Lock with the Grapevine so Haas taps out.
Things moved a little too quickly, so it was alright but could’ve been better. After the match they shake hands and the ROH invaders hit the ring. Haas, Alexander, Chris Sabin comes in, then Rich Swann and Willie Mack, Heath and Rhino…finally Eddie Edwards hits the ring with a kendo stick and drives the ROH guys out.
Overall Score: 6.25/10
I think Maria named the invading stable as Honor No More, so I suppose for like a Pop Punk or Emo band that sounds cool…but it’s a bit dumb for a faction name. Can’t really chant it, the abbreviation is dumb, H.N.M. sounds like a clothing company, but I guess this is them distancing themselves from ROH.
Either way, this was kind of a janky episode. The matches weren’t great, a lot of stories were touched upon but left wide open, and the next major event being No Surrender on Feb. 19th, feels like a lot of time to fill. So maybe it was just a little too redundant, maybe it was also that the general match quality was down to further storyline angles…not sure. This still wasn’t bad, just definitely felt extremely lacking.
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