Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (5/13/20)
NXT has a MAJOR announcement!
NXT is full to the brim!
Rhea Ripley returns, the NXT Tag Team Championships are on the line, and Triple H returns with a major announcement, all in one night!
- NXT Tag Team Championships: Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher VS Imperium; Imperium wins and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
- Tegan Nox VS Indi Hartwell; Nox wins.
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: Tony Nese VS Jake Atlas; Atlas wins.
- Finn Balor VS Cameron Grimes; Grimes wins.
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group B: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Jack Gallagher; Gallagher wins.
- Aliyah VS Kayden Carter; Carter wins.
- Matt Riddle VS Timothy Thatcher; Riddle wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT Tag Team Championships: Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher VS Imperium!
Bro… Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner ruined the Newly-Bro Show and want to end the young friendship of Stallion Riddle and Stallion Tim! Will their plans be what’s ruined instead?
The teams are introduced and the belts are raised. Thatcher starts with Barthel at the bell. They tie up, go around, and Thatcher shifts to a half nelson and then hammerlock. Thatcher drags Barthel to the mat and grabs the other arm for a cover, TWO! Barthel gets a facelock but Thatcher slips right out to have the hammerlock again. Thatcher digs his knee in but Barthel rolls and headscissors back. Barthel squeezes tight but Thatcher rolls him over. Thatcher pops out, has the legs and the chin for the Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch! Barthel rolls off but Thatcher keeps on him with a facelock. Barthel trips Thatcher up and the two fight for control. Barthel tries ground ‘n’ pound but Thatcher SLAPS back! The two lock up legs and headstand for just a moment before Thatcher rolls it over. Thatcher gives slapping ground ‘n’ pound, then goes after the arm! Barthel gets the ropebreak with his legs and Thatcher lets go.
Aichner tags in before Thatcher whips Barthel. Barthel reverses and ducks and Aichner arm-drags Thatcher down. Thatcher fights his way up but Barthel goes after Riddle! Riddle is ready and fires off forearms and CHOPS! Riddle clobbers Barthel against the barriers while Aichner CLUBS Thatcher! Aichner waistlock slams and facelocks Thatcher. Thatcher fights up, wrenches out and Riddle tags in. Riddle gets Aichner in a headlock but Aichner powers out. Aichner runs Riddle over, things speed up, and Aichner catches Riddle into a fireman’s carry. But Riddle slips to a sleeper hold, only for Aichner to throw him off. Aichner runs into a gut wrench suplex! Barthel tags in but runs into a BROSPLODER! Penalty Kick! Riddle rocks Aichner off the apron then drops a Broton onto knees! Tag to Aichner and Imperium hits Riddle with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Imperium has control as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Aichner has Riddle down with a high keylock sleeper hold. Riddle fights his way up and fights back, but Aichner shoves. Riddle kicks back but Aichner catches his leap! Aichner rams Riddle into the corner and tags in Barthel. Imperium meets at the corner with dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Thatcher coaches Riddle up but Barthel talks trash while throwing down forearms. Tag to Aichner and Aichner stomps Riddle down. Riddle chops back but Aichner just stomps him more. Aichner hammers away and digs a boot into Riddle’s neck! The ref backs Aichner off but Aichner drags Riddle up. Tag to Barthel but Riddle fights back! Riddle KNEES Aichner down but Barthel runs in to intercept. Riddle back drops, Barthel sunset flips but Riddle rolls out. Riddle misses the Final Flash and Barthel waistlocks. Riddle elbows Barthel away, but Barthel grabs the trunks. Riddle ROUNDHOUSES Barthel down!
Thatcher reaches out, but Barthel brings Riddle back around. Riddle monkey flips Barthel, but into Thatcher! A miscalculation from The Bro and his bro is down! Thatcher gets up with a grimace, and he leaves Riddle?! Riddle didn’t mean to do it, but that was the last straw for Thatcher. Aichner tags in and Riddle is all alone! Imperium smiles as they finish Riddle off with the EURO- NO! Riddle powers out and hits BRO TO SLEEP! Barthel leaps into FINAL FLASH! Aichner escapes the bomb and Barthel tags in. SPINE BUSTER and PENALTY KICK! Then Imperium resets, EURO BOMB!! Cover, Imperium wins!!
Winners: Imperium, by pinfall (NEW NXT Tag Team Champions)
The Newly-Bros breaking up at the worst possible time allows Barthel & Aichner to take away the gold! Will Riddle ever get his Bruiserweight back to get a rematch?
Backstage interview with Timothy Thatcher.
Why did he walk out on Matt Riddle in the middle of their match? Thatcher says that all Riddle had to do was knock ’em out, so that he could tap ’em out. Instead, Riddle wants to do game shows, kick off his flip-flops, be all “Bro…” Thatcher wants to be a champion, but not with this hot mess. But Riddle comes by to ask what that was about. Thatcher shoves Riddle, Riddle pushes back, and it’s a BRAWL! Referees and security rush in to put a stop to it but clearly tensions are running high. When will we see Riddle and Thatcher have it out in the ring?
Tegan Nox VS Indi Hartwell!
The girl with the Shiniest Wizard is back, looking to move past her own tag team implosion with Dakota Kai. Will she be able to kick it up a notch and head for the top?
The bell rings and Tegan ties up with Indi. Indi pushes Tegan back and Indi is immediately not impressed. They tie up again and Indi throws Tegan down. Tegan gets up, gets around, but Indi blocks the arm-drag. Indi throws Tegan down by her hair then stomps her around. Indi taunts Tegan and throws haymakers. Cover, TWO, and Tegan scrambles to ropes. Indi drags Tegan up but Tegan rolls. Indi denies the sunset flip with slaps and stomps, then drags Tegan up just to club her down. Tegan is getting mad but Indi stomps away on her in the corner. The ref counts and Indi lets off before bringing Tegan up. Tegan throws body shots but Indi clubs back. Tegan kicks but Indi clubs again. Indi whips and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool as she brings Tegan back up. Indi whips Tegan corner to corner then runs in, but into an elbow! Tegan dumps Indi to the apron but walks into the shoulder.
Indi springboards, but into the choke grip! CHOKE SLAM! Tegan staggers back but aims at Indi. She brings Indi up to CHOP and CHOP and throw forearms. Indi reverses the whip but Tegan goes up and over to uppercut! Tegan enziguris then sweeps the legs. Tegan goes corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Indi rolls but Tegan climbs, for a flying crossbody! Tegan hits the SHINIEST WIZARD! Cover, Tegan wins!
Winner: Tegan Nox, by pinfall
Indi wasn’t impressed at first, but surely Tegan just left her mark! Will NXT’s Captain Marvel have a marvelous rise towards the title?
NXT hears from Rhea Ripley.
“Yeah, WrestleMania didn’t go as I planned.” And Rhea hasn’t rested much since. The thought of Charlotte Flair walking around with her NXT Women’s Championship sickens Rhea. Io Shirai put up a great fight last week, but in the end, she couldn’t get the job done. The person that will bring the title back to NXT is Rhea. Even if Rhea has to beat that into Io herself! Rhea isn’t done with Charlotte, but as the saying Charlotte’s old man used to say goes, “We’ve only just begun.” Charlotte’s title belongs to Rhea. When will we get to see the Queen and the Riptide have a WrestleMania rematch?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle.
The Bro finishes up a video call with Mr. William Regal, and he is very thankful and happy. What did Regal have to say? He made a match for Riddle VS Thatcher later tonight. And unlike Stallion Pete, Thatcher’s just a stupid- Oh no! Thatcher blindsides Riddle! A referee hurries over to tell Thatcher to back off, but Thatcher uses a spare television screen to SMASH Riddle down! Thatcher says he’ll see Riddle later tonight, but did he just make sure that won’t be the case?
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group A: Tony Nese VS Jake Atlas!
The round robin tournament enters its final round before THE final match! Will the Premier Athlete play spoiler tonight? Or will he be unable to stop Atlas’ journey towards the title?
Before the match, Byron Saxton interviews Atlas, reminding him that it all comes down to this match. What are his final thoughts? This is do or die for Atlas. Atlas needs to defeat a former Cruiserweight Champion to even have a shot. And as the biggest Drake Maverick fan, Atlas hopes Maverick beats Kushida to force the tie. But he can’t think that far ahead. He just has to handle business.
The bell rings and Nese circles with Atlas. They tie up, Nese gets a takedown but Atlas counters to a chinlock. Nese fights up but Atlas wrenches the arm. Nese powers Atlas to ropes but the ref calls for the break. Nese headlocks instead, but Atlas reverses to one of his own. Nese back suplexes but Atlas lands on his feet, only to run into a mule kick and knee lift! Nese adds the roundhouse but Atlas jumps the sweep. Atlas kicks but Nese avoids that, and the standing moonsault! Nese goes to trip Atlas but Atlas cartwheels over it. Atlas tells Nese to stop, and he take a bow. Nese throat chops back! Nese brings Atlas around for the bulldog hotshot! He goes back in to ground ‘n’ pound but the ref backs him off. Atlas pushes Nese but Nese kicks low. Nese clubs Atlas on the back then toys with him. Atlas throws body shots but Nese CHOPS! Nese stomps away on Atlas then brings him out for a big suplex! Cover, TWO!
Nese keeps on Atlas with a facelock and even traps on arm in the hold. Atlas endures the grind and fights his way up. Nese cranks on Atlas harder then knees low. Nese catches Atlas’ kick then slips under to get the waistlock but Atlas elbows out. Atlas ROCKS Nese with that forearm, but Nese ROCKS Atlas back! Atlas grits his teeth to BOOT Nese down! And hit a SNAP GERMAN! Basement enziguri! Cover, TWO!! Nese survives but he scurries away. Atlas walks over into a CHOP! Nese pushes Atlas into a corner and grinds in forearms. Nese whips, slips under and pump handles, but Atlas fights free! Atlas hits a leaping neckbreaker! Atlas grits his teeth again and goes up top. Nese SHORYUKENS! Nese CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS until Atlas is dangling over the edge! Then he stomps away between the romps! The ref backs Nese off but Nese comes back to put Atlas on the apron.
Nese hops up top and toys with Atlas, but Atlas CLUBS back! And CLUBS and CLUBS! And sweeps the legs! Nese bounces off buckles on his way down! Atlas climbs up, handsprings on the ropes for the DDT!! Cover, Atlas wins!!
Winner: Jake Atlas, by pinfall (moves up to 2-1; Nese drops to 0-3)
Somewhere over the rainbow is Atlas’ chance at the championship! But now, it’s all about Kushida VS Drake Maverick next week! Can the ultimate underdog force a three-way tie in Group A?
NXT shares Adam Cole’s video call with Kyle O’Reilly.
The best buds miss seeing each other, because it feels like it’s forever. But how has the movie role been going for Kyle? Unbelievable! He sets the stage: “The world’s greatest athlete” in Kyle, Daniel Day-Lews, Devito, a bit of a buddy comedy meets Ghostbusters meets Titanic. It’s all so amazing. Kyle yells at someone about his latte, and then Bobby Fish joins the call! The Infamous One misses his pals, the OG3 Undisputed Era. Wait, Roderick Strong joins the call! Strong has his FitBit! Sweet! Kyle looks so different with that beard. Yeah, he’s like Tom Hanks in Castaway. But seriously, Kyle loves what the rest of the Undisputed Era is doing on NXT, such as destroying Velveteen Dream’s dreams. Cole “embarrassed the crap” out of him. Dream is a joke! But speaking of embarrassing, what Dexter Lumis tried to do to Roddy and Bobby, pff. Who even is that guy? What is his problem? Someone needs to take care of this guy.
Kyle gets an idea: throw a name up on who should take Lumis out. On three… RODDY! They all agreed! Time to break Lumis’ back. Great minds think alike. Dream and Lumis will be moved out of the way and then the Undisputed Era can run roughshod on NXT all over again. And that is Undisputed. Throw up the UE! But when will we see all four of them back in the ring again?
NXT hears Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux.
“The world is always tirelessly searching for answers. The question is, motives, explanations, great certainty as to why terrible people do terrible things.” They are not here to shock the system. They are not here to save you from your black hearts. Tick tock. They are the reckoning. “It’s time to wake up from the dream, before you stand asleep forever.” Tommaso Ciampa was just the first. #FallAndPray.
NXT takes a closer look at Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.
Dakota says she cared “way too much about what the fans thought of me, what people backstage thought of me.” Her injury made her realize something had to change. More times or not, she’d have to stop her own rehab session just so she could be part of filming Tegan’s. “They” didn’t care about Dakota. So when Dakota returned, being in the shadow of others, that moment told Dakota it was time for a change. Her attack on Tegan was just the beginning. “It felt good.” Tegan wanted revenge in Portland, but that was Dakota’s stage. Dakota’s career went to a new level with Raquel’s appearance. Raquel is all muscle, and the new dominant force in NXT. But more importantly, she’s the only woman Dakota can truly trust.
Raquel says she and Dakota share a common bond. They both know what it is to be outcasts. Be warned: they’re in the hurt business, and business is going to be good. Who will be first to feel the hurt from #CobraKai and the Daughter of the Desperado?
Backstage interview with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
Swerve’s match against Jack Gallagher is also a “win or go home” scenario. What will it take for him to stay in this tournament? “Confidence.” Swerve has a lot of it. The way he’s been moving in the ring has been so smooth and innovative, he feels untouchable. Fantasma found that out real quick. Fantasma thought he was going to run through this division, but then Swerve stopped that. Now the task at hand is Gallagher, but we know how that’s going to go. Swerve isn’t someone who isn’t going to get even a single win. If he couldn’t get a single win, he’d quit wrestling all together. Swerve excuses himself to protect the house. Whose house? Swerve’s house.
Degeneration X takes over NXT!
Triple H and Shawn Michaels are backstage in the production area to inform us that GM William Regal could not be here in person. But the announcement set for tonight needed to be made, so they’re here to give it. Hopefully this goes better than that HHH XXV celebration a couple weeks ago. But funny to mention that. Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the very first WWE In Your House PPV. Whoa! Road Dogg shows up! He heard them say In Your House, and brings up how he had a match on that event against Razor Ramon. And HBK had a match against Jeff Jarrett. HHH had a match, didn’t he? HHH doesn’t recall, because he lost. But that’s beside the point. What’s important now is that the 25th anniversary of In Your House is coming, and a lot of people are stuck spending time in their houses. So it all makes sense that right now, NXT does something about that.
So on June 7th, it will be NXT TakeOver: IN YOUR HOUSE! The brand that delivers will deliver once again! And if you aren’t down with that, they’ve got two words for ya! PIG CRAP! That’s what happened! HHH got his faced shoved in pig crap and it was all in his beard. HHH has cameras cut away, but the big news is that TakeOver is going to be In Your House! With just a month away, who will we see earn a spot on this special 25th anniversary celebration?
Finn Balor VS Cameron Grimes!
The Prince knows there’s a snake slithering in the locker room, but he’s going to worry about the weasel in front of him first. Will the Carolina Caveman be able to Cave-In before Balor can hit his Coup de Grace?
The bell rings and Grimes tries for Cave-In right away! But Balor easily avoids it to CHOP Grimes to a corner. Grimes powers Balor across the way to ram in, but Balor knees back. Balor bumps Grimes off buckles then throws body shots. Balor snapmares to a chinlock and he thrashes Grimes about. Grimes endures and claws at Balor but Balor holds on. Grimes tries to power out but Balor still holds on. They go around as Grimes keeps clawing. Grimes gets out and has an armlock. He digs his fingers into Balor’s face but Balor fights up to trip Grimes. Balor stomps Grimes down then Penalty Kicks him for good measure. Balor CHOPS then whips Grimes corner to corner. Grimes avoids the chop to waistlock and slam Balor down! Grimes falls on Balor over and over then hammers away.
Grimes claws at Balor’s face again but the ref backs him off. Grimes brings Balor up to roundhouse him back down! He chokes Balor at the ropes but the ref counts. Grimes lets up at 4 to whip. Balor reverses, Grimes sunset flips but Balor slips out to basement dropkick! Balor wants a Slingblade but Grimes blocks. Balor blocks Grimes’ lift and underhooks, but Grimes powers up to swing and SLAM Balor down! Cover, TWO! Grimes is in shock but NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Grimes grinds Balor into the mat with the chinlock. Grimes cranks back in a half camel clutch and shouts, “This is what you wanted, Balor!” Balor fights his way up and the two go around. Grimes wrangles Balor back down and grinds his forearm into Balor’s face. Balor fights up to forearm free but Grimes whips and hits a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Grimes keeps on Balor with another armlock and a wrench. Balor forearms free again, and keeps on Grimes with those forearms. Grimes turns things around to whip Balor hard into buckles! Grimes glares at Balor and stands on Balor’s head. He steps away at the ref’s count but stalks up behind Balor for forearm shots. Grimes pushes Balor into buckles then rams his shoulder in. He whips corner to corner again, but Balor BOOTS back! Balor runs into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Grimes keeps his cool but he also keeps talking trash. He CLUBS Balor down and is feeling confident now. But Balor trips him to DOUBLE STOMP him down!
Balor KICKS and stomps away at the ropes but the ref backs him off. Grimes bails out and drags Balor out to join him, but Balor bumps him off the apron. Balor stomps on Grimes’ head over and over, then stops at the count of 4. Balor lines up the shot to PENALTY KICK Grimes down! But wait! Is that Damian Priest? Is he the snake Balor talked of? Balor decks Damian and SLINGBLADES Grimes! Balor puts Grimes in the ring at the count of 6 and leaves Priest behind. But then Priest uses his night stick to CLUB Balor on the back! CAVE-IN!! Cover, Grimes wins!!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall
The Archer of Infamy just helped the technical savage get a win on Balor!! Grimes takes his hat and runs off into the night, but now Priest goes after Balor directly. Priest slides a chair into the ring and then looms over Balor. Priest drags Balor up, RECKONING onto the chair!! Priest grabs the chair takes a seat on Balor’s neck! The Archer of Infamy wants to #LiveForever, so why not take out NXT’s Prince? Priest just didn’t realize he’d enjoy it so much. Just like he did three weeks ago. The snake reveals himself! Priest wants to annihilate the Prince, but will Balor have something to say about that?
Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Group B: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Jack Gallagher!
Swerve lost to Akira Tozawa but won against El Hijo del Fantasma. The gentleman turned jackal, meanwhile, has yet to win once. Will Gallagher end up in the same boat as the winless Nese? Or will Gallagher be Swerve’s spoiler?
But before the match, Nese attacks Swerve! He sends Swerve into steel steps! Nese clearly heard Swerve’s words about being winless and all that, and points to the Cruiserweight Championship as he angrily retorts, “You’ll never have this!” Gallagher is very confused that Nese did this now, but he isn’t going to complain, either. Swerve gets up and in the ring and wants to have this match. The bell rings, and Gallagher hits the JACKAL DROPKICK! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Swerve saves himself but Gallagher wants after him. Gallagher goes out and brings Swerve around to enziguri the back! And again! The ref reprimands and Gallagher goes in to cover, TWO! Gallagher drags Swerve up to whip and kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Swerve winces but Gallagher shows no mercy. Gallagher drags Swerve by his legs to stomp the ribs. Gallagher clamps onto Swerve with a seated stretch, but Swerve still endures.
Swerve fights his way up and breaks free with body shots. Swerve goes to suplex but Gallagher throws body shots of his own. Gallagher swings but Swerve fires back. Swerve blocks the kick, trips Gallagher and rolls him to a dead lift! Gallagher breaks free and runs, but misses the corner to corner dropkick! Swerve goes corner to corner, for the HOUSE CALL! Cover, TWO!! Gallagher survives and Swerve grits his teeth, but Swerve is far from through. Swerve KICKS Gallagher in the chest tattoo. And again! Swerve brings Gallagher up and runs, but into Gallagher’s leaping guillotine! Gallagher drags Swerve down with the body scissors and shouts for the ref to check Swerve. Swerve keeps moving, keeps fighting, and powers back up. Swerve powers Gallagher into a suplex, but Gallagher breaks free! ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, Gallagher wins!!
Winner: Jack Gallagher, by pinfall (moves up to 1-2; Swerve drops to 1-2)
Gallagher says “Thank you very much!” as he keeps from being winless in his own run. Swerve has been taken out of the running, too, leaving Group B all to the winner of Tozawa VS Fantasma!
Aliyah VS Kayden Carter!
The Bougie helped the Robert Stone Brand withstand the spice last week, but will they return the favor as Aliyah takes on the fiery Filipina?
The bell rings and Aliyah rushes KC for a takedown. Aliyah turns KC over but KC gets up and trips Aliyah up. KC has the leg but Aliyah kicks her away. KC gets the leg again and hooks it up for a deathlock, but Aliyah pushes her away. Aliyah kips up in a huff and argues with KC. They start pushing, but KC dodges the punch to waistlock and O’Conner Roll. TWO and KC springboard dropkicks! Cover, ONE, and Aliyah scurries away. KC runs in but Aliyah puts her on the ropes to kick away on the back! Aliyah is a bougie banshee as she SLAMS KC down. Cover, TWO! Aliyah keeps on KC with a BIG hip toss! Aliyah throws forearms from all sides then shouts at the ref to back off. Aliyah cools off but KC dodges and stomps her back! KC backs off to run in, but Aliyah boots her back! Aliyah storms over to choke KC on the ropes. Robert Stone appears and seems to like what he sees. Aliyah goes back to KC but KC cradle counters! TWO and Aliyah dropkicks KC down!
Aliyah goes to the corner to show off for Stone. She goes up even higher but KC trips her up! KC throws forearms and CHOPS then whips. Aliyah reveres but KC wheelbarrows and victory rolls to SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! KC drags Aliyah into the deathlock and TWISTS! Aliyah taps, KC wins!
Winner: Kayden Carter, by submission
Robert Stone didn’t like that. Aliyah hurries after Stone and grabs his sleeve, but he politely has her let go. Will Aliyah get another chance to impress the hottest rising stable? Or has she missed her one shot?
NXT has dinner with the Garganos.
Weeks ago, Johnny and Candice realized what they had to do to fix NXT. And now look at them! Candice stomped a hole into “a freakin’ ninja,” Kacy Catanzaro. Johnny took out the 7′ 8″, 385 pound Dijagoofavic! They watch replays of their matches, such as Gargano’s chop block. “What a stud!” Candice married a stud! If that colossal goof took Keith Lee to the limit, what does that say about Keith Lee? Gargano thinks it says Keith is just another flavor of the month. But Dijakovic learned a very valuable lesson: If you say Gargano’s name, there will be consequences; If you stick your nose in the business of the Garganos, you will find out that it is their way or none.
But Johnny, don’t forget Candice had a match, too. Of course not! He had the best seats in the house to a five star classic! But the undeserved rewards keep being dished out. Mia Yim got to go toe-to-toe with Charlotte Flair on the same night Candice was given Kacy Catanzaro. Kacy is not a ninja, or a warrior. She is American, though. But what she really is, is an example. That is what Candice and Johnny will do to every undeserving imbecile! That is an example Mia should take heed of. Because time and time again, Mia has lost, yet she gets opportunity after opportunity. Why!? Because she panders to fans? Candice refuses to be that pathetic. They don’t deserve anything. But just look at the company Mia keeps. She’s dating someone more concerned with everyone basking~ in his glory~, which is an awful song in the Garganos’ opinion, than being champion.
Johnny lived that live, rode that ride and knows what it’s like. The chants, the cheers, the adulation. Everyone loves you, until they don’t. The glory Keith wants doesn’t exist. It’s just a catchphrase to get fans on his side. But it doesn’t last, and you’re left feeling empty, hopeless and helpless. The fans are leeches that bleed you dry, then move on to the next. Keith may be the biggest and strongest physically, but not mentally or emotionally. But The Johnny Gargano Way is about giving people what they deserve. Candice wants to show Keith and Mia what glory really looks like. And then everyone will have to bask in that.
NXT makes it official!
Rhea Ripley said she’d beat some sense into Io Shirai, and now she’ll get her chance! The Mosh Pit Kid and the Evil Genius will go 1v1 next week! Will this match go a long way to determining Charlotte Flair’s In Your House challenger?
Matt Riddle VS Timothy Thatcher!
Newly-Bros no more, and all because of differences in personality! Will Riddle knock Thatcher out before Thatcher makes Riddle tap out?
The bell rings and Riddle goes right at Thatcher with strikes! Thatcher gets a leg and trips Riddle up to go for ground ‘n’ pound! Riddle pushes him away and gives kicks back! The two go around again and clinch. They fight for control but Thatcher gets the takedown! Riddle gets out of the mount fast but Thatcher floats on him. Riddle dumps Thatcher down to rain rights. Thatcher moves but Riddle gives kicks. Thatcher gets a leg again but Riddle gets ropes. The ref backs Thatcher off and the fighters reset. Riddle and Thatcher feel it out and clinch again. Riddle gets the arm-drag takedown to a headlock, but Thatcher slips out and turns it around. They’re in the ropes so Thatcher lets off but Riddle comes right back! Riddle gets a takedown and hits where he can. Thatcher does the same, but Riddle shifts to get around back! Riddle half nelsons and knees Thatcher in the ribs! Riddle grabs the arm and wants the double wristlock but Thatcher resists.
They go around, Thatcher gets a cover, ONE but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher digs his knuckles into ribs and cranks on the shoulder, but Riddle moves. Thatcher has the facelock again, but Riddle fights his way up to throw knees. Riddle kicks, fakes Thatcher out to ROUNDHOUSE! Riddle is enraged as Thatcher bails out and NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Thatcher has a standing toehold. Riddle fights back but Thatcher cranks on the ankle. Riddle hammers Thatcher’s leg so Thatcher drops on Riddle. Thatcher clamps onto the leg again and cranks the ankle! Riddle endures, kicks with his other leg, and then CHOPS away with slapping palm strikes. BOOT but the knee misses! Thatcher hits a German Suplex, but Riddle roars back for a FINAL FLASH! Riddle waistlocks but Thatcher stomps the toes! Thatcher ROCKS Riddle with that EuroUpper! And he RAMS his knees into Riddle’s back! Thatcher digs his knee into the spine as he clamps on with a chinlock. Riddle endures the modified camel clutch and fights up, but Thatcher clubs away. Riddle still powers up to the Alabama lift, but Thatcher sunset flips. But Riddle drops to get the triangle hold! Thatcher sits up to make it a cover on Riddle, ONE! Riddle holds on but Thatcher gets a ropebreak! Riddle lets go but the damage has been done.
Thatcher comes back to KNEE Riddle down! And again! And again! Thatcher climbs on for a slapping ground ‘n’ pound, and he wants his own armbar! Riddle resists, shifts, and makes it a cover! TWO, and Thatcher keeps pulling on the arm. Riddle shifts again but ends up in a triangle. Riddle powers up to POWERBOMB!! Both men are down but Thatcher grabs at Riddle. The two men throw shots and uppercuts! Thatcher SLAPS away on Riddle’s face, but swings into Riddle’s PELE! But Thatcher catches the foot for an ANKLE LOCK! Riddle turns, but Thatcher just turns him back over! Thatcher has the Ankle Lock on the other foot, but Riddle pushes him away! Thatcher comes back to GAMANGURI! But Riddle fireman’s carries for BRO TO SLEEP! Riddle has to crawl over but he doesn’t cover. He climbs up top, for FLOATING BRO onto knees! Thatcher has the FUJIWARA! Riddle endures as Thatcher cranks back harder!
Riddle rolls and powerbombs! “You’re not my bro!” But Thatcher grabs the arm again! Riddle rolls again, but Thatcher gets a KNEEBAR! Riddle hammers Thatcher and kicks with the free leg! They roll around, Riddle hammers Thatcher where he can, but Thatcher boots and kicks Riddle in return. Riddle powers up and around to get a cover! RIDDLE WINS!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
Thatcher can’t believe it! Riddle outsmarts him, but Thatcher CLOBBERS Riddle! And RAMS his arm into the buckles, then hits an armbreaker DDT! FUJIWARA! NOW Riddle taps, but it doesn’t matter! Thatcher lets Riddle go, only to clamp on again! Riddle screams in pain and futilely taps out! Thatcher glares at the camera to let the whole world know what he’s about! Does Pete Dunne regret teaming up his Bro with this ruthless animal?
A great episode with a lot of unexpected developments. First, I almost thought the announcement was going to be a bad thing, but then realized there’s no way it’d be that on a WWE TV program. I am glad to hear we’re getting a TakeOver event even during the Empty Arena Era, and I’m really excited to see it’s inspired by the classic In Your House series. I don’t think there’d be anything particularly different about this TakeOver just because it celebrates In Your House, but I do hope they go big for it. Rhea VS Shirai being next week, I wonder if something happens where there isn’t a clean winner. As I said before, the best thing would be an NXT Women’s Championship Triple Threat. That way Charlotte can lose without being part of the decision, and hopefully we get Shirai as champion. And I hope we get the Mixed Tag Match of Johnny & Candice VS Keith & Mia at TakeOver, that’s going to be incredible.
I was surprised we learned who Balor’s attacker was so soon. Damian Priest moving on to Balor is pretty great, like a title match in itself. This is the second time Grimes benefits from Priest attacking someone, I think. Priest and Balor is definitely a TakeOver worthy match and I’m intrigued to see where the build goes. I also like where the build for Robert Stone Brand is going, in that Aliyah lost. Aliyah growing desperate to join the brand might make for some good material, and then she and Chelsea Green can become a tag team to FINALLY get NXT in the mix for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. The NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament had great matches tonight. Atlas winning to then put pressure on Drake Maverick makes for a great story going into next week, and I just knew Nese was going to attack after Swerve said what he said. Nese VS Swerve will be a good holdover story while the Cruiserweight Championship situation sorts itself out.
The developments in the NXT Tag Team Division are really great. It is a bummer that Thatcher and Riddle broke up, but that main event we got was incredible. Obviously this story continues since Riddle gets a quick pin win and Thatcher destroys him right after. That is going to make for a great TakeOver match, and I would love if Pete Dunne could make an appearance somehow. Dunne going after Thatcher for turning on Riddle would be an interesting part of the story. And then as I touched on with NXT UK, Imperium was surely meant to become NXT UK Tag Team Champions before all the pandemic lockdowns, so getting these NXT Tag Team Championships was like compensation. I am not sure who Imperium faces at TakeOver, but I’m sure whatever match we get will be incredible.
My Score: 9.1/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)
The semifinals are here!
The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!
Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?
- Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?
The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!
Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!
Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.
Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.
Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.
Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!
Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.
Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!
Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!
Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.
Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!
Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!
New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!
Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!
Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!
Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!
Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?
Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!
Sanada spins, into JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?
The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?
Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.
Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?
A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.
Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)
It’s lights out, but for who?
Who rounds out the Final Four?
The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?
The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.
Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!
Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!
Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.
Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!
Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.
Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!
Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!
Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!
Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.
Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.
Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.
Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.
Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!
Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!
Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.
The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!
Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!
Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.
Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!
USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?
As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?
Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.
My Score: 8.7/10
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