Simply the best of New Japan Cup’s first week back!
NJPW is back and brings us the tournament we were all hoping for! The New Japan Cup 2020 begins with simply the best!
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- 6/16/2020 – Hiromu Takahashi VS Tomoaki Honma; Hiromu wins and advances to the next round.
- 6/16/2020 – Tomohiro Ishii VS El Desperado; Ishii wins and advances to the next round.
- 6/17/2020 – Yuji Nagata VS Minoru Suzuki; Nagata wins and advances to the next round.
- 6/17/2020 – Kazuchika Okada VS Gedo; Okada wins and advances to the next round.
PLAY BY PLAY
Hiromu Takahashi VS Tomoaki Honma!
The Ticking Time Bomb sadly could not have his match against Tetsuya Naito at the Anniversary Show this year, but no matter! He will do everything he can to make it to the finals and win an opportunity at his leader in Los Ingobernables de Japon! But will The Innovator of Lighttube Deathmatches have something to say about that?
The bell rings and Hiromu circles with Honma. They approach, feel out the grapple, but break before coming back. Hiromu headlocks, Honma powers out, and the two collide. Neither falls so Hiromu tires again and again. Homna tries and Hiromu staggers. Honma hits Hiromu again, Hiromu comes back but gets run over! Honma stomps Hiromu then clubs him around. Honma cravats and cranks on Hiromu’s neck. Hiromu endures but Honma snapmares him down then sits him up for a neck crank. Hiromu endures and gets the ropebreak. Honma lets off fast to stomp Hiromu down. Honma brings Hiromu up to throw big forearms and then scoop slam Hiromu down. Honma fires up, runs, but the falling headbutt flops as Hiromu moves!
Hiromu drags Honma up and whips him to a corner. Honma reverse but Hiromu comes back to ram him! Honma stays up but Hiromu runs again to run him over! Hiromu fires up but sadly, there are no fans to join him. Hiromu circles Honma as he sits up. Hiromu brings Honma up to CHOP and CHOP and CHOP! Hiromu whips corner to corner, and hits Honma with a corner clothesline! He snapmares then runs to basement dropkick Honma down! Honma rolls to ropes and out of the ring. Hiromu watches Honma, goes to the apron, and comes around to flying knee Honma down! Hiromu claps but there’s no one to respond live. Honma crawls after Hiromu but Hiromu does a full lap! Hiromu comes back to JOHN WOO Honma into the railing! The speed of the Ticking Time Bomb amazes commentary!
Hiromu leaves Honma behind tot he mercy of the ring count. The count passes 5 of 20 but Honma stands. Hiromu climbs up top but Honma gets in the ring. Hiromu digs a knee into Honma’s chest and the ref counts, but he lets up at 3. Honma gasps for air but Hiromu stomps him. Hiromu drives his knee in again. He stops at 3 and kicks Honma while he’s down. Hiromu brings Honma up to snapmare back down to a headscissor hold! Honma endures but Hiromu pulls on the arms to bring him in deeper! Honma kicks around and reaches, and he kicks his way to the ropebreak! Hiromu has the ref help him get free, and then Hiromu taunts Honma. Honma hits Hiromu but Hiromu doesn’t back down. Hiromu throws forearms on Honma but Honma eggs him on. Hiromu throws harder and harder forearm shots, but Honma turns one into a DDT! Both men are down but stirring.
Honma rises and brings Hiromu up. Hiromu knees low then runs, but into Honma’s elbow! Honma drags Hiromu back up to CHOP! Hiromu staggers to a corner but Honma CHOPS him again! And again! Honma whips Hiromu corner to corner, runs in and forearm smashes! Then hits a bulldog! Honma fires up, runs and drops the headbutt, to flop again! Hiromu mocks Honma, but he fails the falling headbutt, too! Honma rises and brings Hiromu up again. Honma suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Hiromu barely escapes but Honma drags him back up again. Honma CHOPS and Hiromu wobbles. Honma CHOPS and CHOPS again, and Hiromu falls to the mat! Honma doesn’t give Hiromu time to rest. Honma goes to scoop, but Hiromu resists! Hiromu throws forearms but Honma gives them back. They brawl back and forth, and are picking up speed!
Hiromu wobbles and Honma eggs him on. Hiromu hits again and again but Honma gives it all back. Honma runs, but Hiromu elbows! Hiromu runs but Honma elbows! Honma runs, and they both collide with clotheslines! They don’t fall so they try again! Honma ducks to GERMAN SUPLEX!! Hiromu flounders to his feet, but catches Honma to a waistlock! Honma fights off the lift, runs, but into a LARIAT! Both men are down again and the commentary is very excited. Honma crawls towards ropes drags himself out to the apron. Hiromu stands and builds speed, to SUNSET FLIP! But Honma holds onto the ropes for dear life! Hiromu keeps trying to pull Honma away but Honma stomps on him! Honma gets back in the ring, Hiromu climbs the apron, but Honma HEADBUTTS him off! Hiromu hits railing on the way down, and Honma goes up top!?
Hiromu stops Honma with clubbing forearms! They brawl, Hiromu CHOPS and fireman’s carries, for an APRON DEATH VALLEY!! Honma falls to the floor and the referee checks on him. The ring count begins and passes 10 of 20. Honma flounders, falls again, hears the count hit 15, rises again, and gets in at 19! Hiromu isn’t frustrated, he just scuffs Honma with his boot. Hiromu toys with Honma then brings him up. Honma is dead weight so Hiromu lets him be. Honma gets up on his own and eggs Hiromu on. Hiromu throws big forearms while Honma’s response is weak. Hiromu stands on Honma’s head, then eggs him on more. Honma rises and throws forearms but Hiromu gives them back. They brawl, picking up speed again. Hiromu slows for just a moment but the brawling starts up again.
Hiromu and Honma change to CHOPS! CHOP, CHOP, CHOP! They don’t look to be stopping! Honma fires up for a string of CHOPS! Hiromu goes down, Honma runs, but the falling headbutt flops again! Hiromu brings Honma up, fireman’s carries, but Honma elbows against the move. Hiromu powers through, but Honma slips off. Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Hiromu builds up a lot of speed, but Hiromu runs into the HEADBUTT! Honma runs, the falling headbutt HITS! Honma keeps moving, BASEMENT HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO!! Honma keeps moving, he scoop slams Hiromu to a drop zone and heads up top. SUPER FALLING HEADBUTT FLOPS!! Cradle counter, TWO!! Hiromu isn’t done, he watches Honma rise. They brawl again, Honma shoves, RABBIT HEADBUTT! He hits Hiromu in the back, builds speed, but runs into a LARIAT! Cover, ONE?!?
Hiromu can’t believe it and he grows frustrated. But he fireman’s carries again, only for Honma to slip out. Honma ducks the superkick to UPPERCUT HEADBUTT! Honma scoops Hiromu, Hiromu slips out, SUPERKICK! Hiromu fireman’s carries, to CORNER Death Valley! Hiromu drags Honma back up, fireman’s carries again, TIMEBOMB!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion conquers a headstrong heavyweight! But with as much as it took out of him, will Hiromu be ready to have more, more, MORE fun next round?
Tomohiro Ishii VS El Desperado!
The Stone Pitbull wants to finally sink his teeth back into someone, and Suzuki-Gun’s masked wrestler! Who shakes off the dust and ring rust and makes it to the next round?
The bell rings and Desperado stares Ishii down. They circle, approach, and tie up. They’re in a deadlock but Ishii gets Desperado backing down. They end up on ropes, go around, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Desperado lets off to pat Ishii on the shoulders. Desperado then mocks Ishii’s height, and pats “little Ishii” on his head. Ishii grabs Desperado by his mask and backs him down. Desperado gets away before Ishii can hit him, and then tells Ishii to calm down about the short jokes. Ishii dares Desperado to hit him first then. Desperado does but Ishii doesn’t budge. Ishii eggs Desperado on, Desperado hits Ishii more, and now we have a brawl! They throw forearm after forearm, Desperado wobbles and Ishii fires off! Desperado stomps on Ishii’s foot! Desperado runs but gets run over!
Ishii kicks Desperado while he’s down, and again! And again! Ishii stands on Desperado’s head but Desperado pushes him away. Desperado throws more forearms, runs and rams his shoulder, but Ishii stands solid! Desperado tries again but Ishii still tanks the shoulder. Ishii whips, Desperado reverses but Ishii holds ropes. ishii stomps Desperado and stands on his face this time. Red Shoes reprimands but Ishii keeps toying with Desperado. Desperado gets up to CHOP, and that finally affects Ishii. Desperado runs, bumps Ishii then runs him over on the return! Now Desperado gives Ishii back the taunting and toying. The two talk smack, and Desperado KICKS Ishii in the leg! Desperado keeps on that leg with a takedown and leg tweak!
Desperado splashes down on the knee and then paces as Ishii clutches the knee. Desperado yanks on the leg then brings Ishii up for headbutts. Ishii forearms back but Desperado kicks the bad leg. Desperado digs his fingers into Ishii’s face in the corner, but stops when Red Shoes counts. Ishii goes down, Desperado is on his leg at the corner! Desperado SWINGS the bad leg into the post! And again! Desperado drags Ishii out to whip him into railing! Ishii staggers while Desperado goes back to the ring. The ring count passes 10 of 20 before Ishii gets back in. Desperado is on Ishii’s bad leg with stomps! Desperado drops knees on the knee! Ishii writhes as he clutches his leg, but Desperado brings him back up. Desperado wraps the bad leg on the ropes and pulls!
Red Shoes counts, Desperado stops for just a moment, but then he pulls the leg again. Desperado pushes Red Shoes away to then stand on the bad leg in the ropes! Red Shoes gets Desperado to stop, but while Red Shoes is helping Ishii, Desperado goes to untie a buckle pad! Desperado brings off the white pad and tosses it before Red Shoes is aware. Desperado drags Ishii up but brings up Ishii has bad knee. Then he stomps it! Desperado brings Ishii up to whip into the exposed buckles! Red Shoes disapproves but Desperado just shrugs. Desperado brings Ishii up and whips him back into the exposed buckles! Ishii writhes in pain and Red Shoes reprimands again, but Desperado doesn’t care. Desperado stands on Ishii and flexes, but he still needs to finish Ishii off.
Desperado whips Ishii back in again, but Ishii uses his pain and anger to propel himself and RAM Desperado! Ishii drags Desperado up now and CHOPS and forearms over and over in the corner! Desperado starts to fall but Ishii just stands him back up for more! Ishii keeps going, even as Desperado is sitting down in the corner! Red Shoes tries to reason with Ishii and Ishii backs off. Red Shoes checks on Desperado, and Desperado asks for mercy from Ishii. Ishii drags Desperado up to a waistlock but Desperado grabs ropes to deny the suplex. Desperado elbows Ishii away, then runs, but Ishii just catches him! And powerbomb lifts! But Desperado digs at Ishii’s eyes! Ishii wristlocks and runs, but Desperado goes the other way for a SPEAR!
Desperado grabs a leg, STRETCH MUFFLER! But Ishii powers out to get a KNEEBAR! Desperado kicks away at Ishii but can’t get him to let go! Desperado crawls for the ropebreak! Ishii lets go but the damage is done. Desperado clutches at jhis bad leg, Ishii drags him up, but Desperado fights the shin breaker off. Desperado kicks but Ishii catches it! Ishii STOMPS the bad leg! Desperado screams in pain, but Ishii whips him to ropes. Desperado reverses, and manages a SPINE BUSTER! And he’s back to the STRETCH MUFFLER! Desperado tortures the bad leg, but Ishii reaches, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Desperado holds on until Red Shoes counts 3. Both men have a bad leg now, but Desperado rises first. Desperado stomps Ishii around but Ishii still gets up. Ishii eggs Desperado on and Desperado kicks the leg.
Desperado runs, BOOTS, but Ishii stays up! Ishii roars, swings, but Desperado kicks and whips. Ishii reverses and Desperado gets bare buckles!! Desperado writhes, Ishii builds speed, but Desperado uses Red Shoes as a shield! Ishii gets Red Shoes away, but Desperado dropkicks the legs out! Desperado gets the leg again for another STRETCH MUFFLER! Ishii endures as Desperado moves around and even adds the arms into the hold, NUMERO DOS! Ishii resists it becoming a cover, and flings Desperado off! Both men are down and exhausted, but Desperado gets himself up first. Desperado drags Ishii up and around to a standing cobra twist. Ishii fights it off, ducks the clohtesline and backhand but Desperado mule kicks. Cobra Twist SCOOP, but Ishii slips out!
Ishii shoves Desperado to a corner, Desperado comes back, but swings into a big suplex! Desperado gets up from the pain, but he runs into a spinning powerslam! Both men are down and the commentary is all fired up! Ishii and Desperado stir, but Ishii is up first. Ishii hobbles over to Desperado, brings him back up, and reels him in. Desperado resists the powerbomb so Ishii kicks Desperado in the face. Desperado dares Ishii to give him more! So Ishii does! Desperado shakes his head, shoves Ishii, and gives him the kicks back! They brawl with forearms but Ishii hits the elbows from all sides! Desperado fires up but Ishii DECKS him! Ishii fires himself up and brings Desperado up and around. Powerbomb lift but the leg gives out! Desperado hits the mat from Ishii letting him go, but Ishii brings him back up.
Ishii tries again, powers through the pain to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Desperado survives but Ishii keeps his focus. Ishii waits for Desperado to stand, then runs, but Desperado blocks and waistlocks. Ishii switches, Desperado grabs at Red Shoes, but Ishii blocks the low blow mule kick! Ishii HEADBUTTS Desperado, but Desperado tilt-o-whirls to a crucifix! Ishii stays up and turns the takedown into a SLAM! Ishii sits Desperado up for the SLIDING D!! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but Ishii won’t let up! Ishii drags Desperado up, suplexes, but Desperado slips out to shove him at Red Shoes! Ishii stops himself, but Desperado quickly LOW BLOW UPPERCUTS! Desperado cradles Ishii, TWO!! Ishii survives Desperado’s dirty tricks but it sure hurt!
Desperado grows frustrated while Ishii rolls to the bare buckles corner. Desperado runs in at Ishii, but only gets buckles! Ishii runs in, BUCKLE SHOT! Cover, TWO!!! Desperado hurries, GUITARRA DE ANGEL! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives but Desperado is too tired to be frustrated. Desperado rises and drags Ishii up. He double underhooks but Ishii resists the lift. Ishii slips out, swings, but back into double underhooks! Desperado lifts, Ishii back drops out, SUPERKICK! BIG FOREARM! Ishii goes down and Desperado fires up. Desperado drags Ishii up, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Ishii fires himself up, runs, and LARIATS! Cover, TWO!?! Desperado still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! Ishii drags Desperado back up, suplexes, but Desperado fights out, hooks a leg, EL ES CULERO! TWO, Desperado SLAPS Ishii but Ishii LARIATS Desperado! Ishii suplexes for the BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall
Desperado goes down and the Pitbull advances! But what does Ishii have left in the tank to make it further on?
Yuji Nagata VS Minoru Suzuki!
Blue Justice still has a lot of fight left in him, and he’s still hungry for gold! But the same goes for the Meanest Man in the World! Who proves they’ve got the grit and determination to make it to round two?
The bell rings and Suzuki fires off on Nagata, but Nagata gives it right back! It is a fast and furious brawl right away, and Suzuki laughs! Suzuki throws another big forearm, but Nagata gives it back. They brawl again, and Suzuki just keeps laughing. Nagata eggs him on, so Suzuki ROCKS him! Nagata stays up and throws another big forearm. They go back and forth again, Suzuki throws a string, but Nagata still stays up. Nagata gives forearms back and Suzuki wobbles! But Suzuki laughs again as he paces. Suzuki pats Nagata on the shoulder before he ROCKS him with forearm after forearm! Nagata gets back up, and throws forearms back! Suzuki staggers, but he’s still smiling! Suzuki ROCKS Nagata, and again, but Nagata eggs him on. Suzuki hits Nagata again and dares him to come back. So Nagata does!
Nagata throws forearm after forearm but Suzuki gives plenty back. These old warriors won’t let up on each other! Nagata wobbles Suzuki and Suzuki just keeps smiling. They keep brawling, and Suzuki ROCKS Nagata again. Nagata shakes it off to throw more forearms again. And again! And again! Suzuki even puts his hands back as he dares Nagata to hit him harder. Nagata does, but Suzuki stays on his feet. They each egg each other on, and Suzuki SLAPS Nagata. Nagata SLAPS back, and now it’s a palm strike battle! Suzuki staggers but comes back, and the brawling continues. Nagata roars and Suzuki grits his teeth. Suzuki eggs Nagata on and they just keep hitting each other with slapping palm strikes! Nagata’s turning red on that left side, but he refuses to fall! Nagata ROCKS Suzuki, and again, and again! Suzuki manages to stay on his feet, so Nagata BOOTS! And SLAPS!
Suzuki slaps back, and just keeps egging Nagata on. Nagata hits, Suzuki hits, repeat! BOth men wobble, Suzuki blocks the boot to get the KNEEBAR! Nagata fights, reaches, but Suzuki shifts around for another angle on the leg! Nagata gets the ropebreak but Suzuki won’t let go! The ref counts, Suzuki lets go at 3, and Nagata gets to the apron. Suzuki pursues as Nagata goes to the floor. Suzuki kicks Nagata and whips him into railing! Suzuki goes looking and finds a chair under the ring! The ref stops Suzuki from using it so Suzuki pushes the ref down. Suzuki runs and BOOTS Nagata, then grabs a bucket from under the ring. Suzuki SMACKS Nagata with the bucket! Suzuki then grabs a bottle of water and opens it up, to SMASH off Nagata’s head! Water goes all over and the ref reprimands Suzuki.
Suzuki leaves Nagata behind and fetches that chair from before. Suzuki grins as he brings the chair around the way. The ref spots him and tells him not to use the chair, but Suzuki argues with him again. Suzuki throws the ref down, grabs a second chair, and SMACKS Nagata’s arm with it!! Nagata clutches that shoulder but Suzuki drags him up. They brawl again, Suzuki puts Nagata’s arm through the railing and pulls! The ref starts a ring count but Suzuki holds on to the arm until 10 of 20. Suzuki chokes and stomps Nagata down before leaving him behind. The count passes 15 but Nagata flounders in at 19! Suzuki toys with Nagata at the ropes but the ref pulls him away. Nagata sits up but Suzuki knees him back down! Suzuki taunts Nagata as Nagata gets to his feet. Suzuki throws forearm after forearm but Nagata eggs him on.
Nagata hits back, but Suzuki throws body shots and ROCKS Nagata with that right! Nagata is still conscious, so Suzuki grabs his leg and brings him to the post! Suzuki locks the legs up and pulls! The ref tells Suzuki to stop and counts, but Suzuki stops at 4. Nagata sits up in the corner and glares as Suzuki returns. Suzuki KICKS Nagata down then stomps the bad arm. But Nagata gets up in anger, so Suzuki throws more knees! Suzuki CHOPS Nagata, and again, but Nagata just glares at him. So Suzuki CHOPS and KNEES again. Suzuki goes corner to corner, to BOOT! He snapmares Nagata and Penalty Kicks, but Nagata blocks it! Nagata elbows the knee! Nagata KICKS Suzuki down, then Penalty Kicks! Suzuki sits back up and glares at Nagata, but Nagata KICKS again! Suzuki sits back up so Nagata just keeps kicking!
Suzuki powers up just to stay sitting up, so Nagata hits him again! Suzuki eggs Nagata on, and Nagata powers up to kick even harder. And again! And again! Nagata boots Suzuki to a corner then BOOTS again! Suzuki denies the slam to get a guillotine facelock! Suzuki cranks on Nagata’s head but Nagata pries free. Nagata wrenches to an arm wringer! Suzuki scrambles to ropes but Nagata KICKS the bad arm! Nagata has Suzuki on the run as he kicks again! Nagata wrenches the arm again, to another wringer! Suzuki clutches the arm and falls to the mat. Nagata dares Suzuki to get back up, but when Suzuki doesn’t, Nagata stomps him. Nagata brings Suzuki up for forearms, then wrenches the bad arm yet again. Suzuki catches Nagata to a sleeper hold! Nagata fades fast as Suzuki squeezes tight! The ref checks on Nagata, but Suzuki shifts to a cover, TWO!!
Suzuki drags Nagata back up and puts the sleeper on again! Blue Justice is turning purple! But Suzuki spins him around, reels him in, Gotch hold, but Nagata resists the lift! Nagata powers up, but Suzuki KNEES him down! Suzuki drags Nagata back up and in, tries the Gotch again, but Nagata kicks the piledriver away! Nagata powers up to back drop Suzuki! Both men are down, but refuse to stay down. Suzuki stands first, brings Nagata up and throws more forearms. Suzuki ROCKS Nagata and sweat goes flying! But Nagata comes back to throw forearms in return. Suzuki ROCKS Nagata again and Nagata tastes blood in his mouth. Nagata fires off forearms and the brawl is on again! Neither man backs down, but Nagata makes Suzuki stagger! Suzuki gets back up and SLAPS Nagata! Nagata SLAPS back, and Suzuki wobbles! But Suzuki smiles again!!
Suzuki throws more palm strikes but so does Nagata! They’re just picking up more speed! Suzuki fires off a flurry but so does Nagata! Suzuki fires off half a dozen, but Nagata comes back with his own trio. Suzuki HEADBUTTS! Nagata falls to a knee, but Suzuki headbutts him again! Nagata staggers about, Suzuki headbutts him again, and both men fall!! Suzuki sits up and smiles again! He’s truly evil! Nagata sits up and grits his teeth as he and Suzuki head for each other. They throw more forearms, and Suzuki eggs Nagata on. Nagata ROCKS Suzuki, then eggs him on. Suzuki ROCKS Nagata, Nagata wobbles, but still hits Suzuki again. Suzuki laughs as he wobbles, then comes back to ROCK Nagata again. And again! Suzuki swings another forearm, but into Nagata’s EXPLODER! But Suzuki’s right back up!?
Suzuki rushes Nagata, Nagata side steps and swings on Suzuki, but Suzuki gets around him to headlock! Nagata hits a SAIDO SUPLEX! Cover, NAGATA WINS!!
Winner: Yuji Nagata, by pinfall
Incredible! Blue Justice triumphs over the King of Pancrase! But after such a battle, can he recover in time for round two?
Kazuchika Okada VS Gedo!
The Rainmaker gets back in the title hunt, but he also finally gets his hands on the man that betrayed him! Will Gedo finally face the consequences of choosing The Switchblade over his friend?
Wait, Gedo claims his arm is in bad shape? He says he can’t wrestle Okada because of it, as much as he really, really wanted to. Okada makes his entrance and sees the “bad arm.” Gedo tries to reason with his former friend, but Okada isn’t falling for it. Red Shoes isn’t, either. Gedo takes the sling off, and has a can of pepper spray! But Okada swats it right out of his hand! Gedo tries to explain, but for one, his arm isn’t in bad shape. Red Shoes confiscates the spray and Gedo gives himself up? He’ll let Okada just cover him? The bell finally rings, but Okada sees the cradle trap coming! Okada stomps Gedo over and over, then frisks him just in case. Wait, there’s something in the jacket! Gedo resists so Okada stomps him more, and brings out the brass knuckles!
Okada tries them on for size, but Gedo begs for mercy while Red Shoes reprimands. Okada hands the knuckle dusters over to Red Shoes, but Gedo has something taped to his side?! Gedo brings it out and JAMS Okada in the ribs with it! The item is a wrench! Gedo stalks Okada on the outside and JAMS him with it again! And again! Red Shoes hurries after Gedo to figure out what’s going on, but Gedo hides the wrench in a pocket. Gedo gives Red Shoes his jacket but still has the wrench, and he CLUBS Okada down! Red Shoes finally spots the wrench and takes it from Gedo. Gedo drags Okada up to shove into railing! The ribs just keep taking damage as Gedo brings Okada around to RAM into more railing! Okada falls, Gedo kicks him while he’s down, but the ring count begins.
Gedo kicks and kicks then refreshes the count at 13. Gedo goes around to take the timekeeper’s table from him! Okada hurries over and kicks Gedo back. Gedo knees Okada down and brings the table up and over the railing. Gedo folds the table up to use it as a battering ram! Okada falls while clutching his stomach, but Gedo digs the table’s edge in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, and Gedo stops at 3. Gedo tosses the table aside and kicks Okada while he’s down. Gedo leaves Okada to the mercy of the count as it passes 10 of 20. Okada gets up and flounders into the ring at 15, but Gedo is right on him. Gedo tosses Okada out the other side, then RAMS him into railings again! Gedo goes looking under the ring and he finds a chair! Red Shoes disapproves but Gedo grins as he stalks behind Okada. Okada gets up, Gedo JAMS the chair in! And again!
Red Shoes takes the chair from Gedo but Gedo taunts Okada. Gedo drags Okada up and puts him in, to double stomp him down! Gedo keeps kicking Okada, but Okada gets angry. Gedo stomps Okada but Okada gets up. Gedo throws punches but Okada just gets angrier! Okada throws forearm after forearm, but Gedo body shots. Gedo runs, kicks, but Okada catches it to spin Gedo around for a BOOT! Okada can’t capitalize as he clutches his ribs, but he brings Gedo up for more forearms. Okada whips, Gedo reverses, but Okada still comes back with the elbow! Okada fires up as Gedo gets to a corner. Okada whips corner to corner, runs in and hits a back elbow! Then kicks to DDT! Cover, TWO! Gedo survives and Okada clutches his ribs again, but Okada won’t let up. Okada scoops Gedo for a slam, and standard formula brings Okada to the corner. Okada climbs but Gedo knows that formula and bails out.
Gedo looks to run away but Okada pursues. Okada catches up to Gedo on stage but Gedo has something in his hand again! Gedo JAMS Okada with a hammer?! Gedo hammers away on Okada but Red Shoes takes the hammer from him. Gedo “apologizes” but he grins as he brings Okada up and into the ring. Gedo kicks Okada over and over again at the ropes, then stomps away. Gedo brings Okada up, whips, but Okada reverses, only for Gedo to deny him his dropkick! Gedo kicks Okada in the ribs then covers, TWO!! Okada toughs it out but Gedo is on him with a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Gedo goes after those ribs but Okada endures. Okada gets his arm free and reaches for ropes, but Gedo grabs the arm again to bend Okada back. Okada still reaches, even as Gedo pulls as far back as he can! Okada gets the ROPEBREAK! Gedo holds on until 3 and grins as he watches Okada slowly rise.
Okada turns around into Gedo’s mule kick! Gedo mule kicks again, but Okada gets under it for the Alabama lift! Gedo kicks free and pokes Okada in the eyes! Gedo runs in, Okada pops him up, Alabama swing to the REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Both men are down from all the damage done, but Okada sits up first. Okada brings Gedo up and scoops, but Gedo grabs at Red Shoes! Okada clubs Gedo and throws European Uppercuts, then gets the gut wrench. Gedo knows this, too, and slips out to shove Okada into Red Shoes! LOW BLOW!! Gedo must’ve been watching Ishii VS Desperado! But Gedo can’t capitalize with a cover while Red Shoes is down! So instead, Gedo undoes part of the ring apron, and finds a hidden pair of brass knuckles?! Did Gedo go that far to prepare his cheats?
Okada stands up and gets DECKED!! Gedo hides the knuckles and revives Red Shoes. Gedo puts on the GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!?!? Okada survives and no one can believe it! Gedo drags Okada up, slashes the throat a la The Switchblade, but Okada denies Blade Runner! But Gedo dodges the dropkick! Okada crashes down on the mat, and now Jado has appeared! The Master Heater is helping out his brother, and Gedo has another pair of knuckles! Jado grabs Red Shoes while Gedo aims, but Okada ducks to dropkick! The knuckles go flying, Okada whips Gedo and hits the dropkick! Okada clobbers Jado and stalks Gedo. Gedo tries to run away but Gedo stands on him at the ropes. Okada drags Gedo back inside, scoops him for the TOMBSTONE! Then Okada clamps on a keylock cobra clutch! Gedo’s #DeepInDebt! Gedo taps, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by submission
To think the Rainmaker could win without using his Rainmaker! Gedo gives up, and Okada finally has his vengeance! Will Okada rise back to the top and take the New Japan Cup?
It’s so great to have NJPW back in action! If you want to read the full review of Day 1, 6/16/20, check out Andrew Balaz’s article covering it and even giving his own star ratings. And I’m sure he’ll have Day 2 at some point, too. But as stated at the beginning, I’m just focused on the top tier matches for these events. Which means next week’s stacked cards for 6/22 and 6/23 are going to be hard to pick from. Hiromu VS Honma and Ishii VS Desperado were great matches, far better than I expected. Though maybe I should’ve expected something amazing for the first serious event for NJPW in months. They definitely wanted to give it their all for the fans watching at home.
Suzuki and Nagata couldn’t possibly have given more, that was as true of a slug fest as it could be. And I am incredibly surprised Nagata won, that is pretty great for him. Obviously Okada was going to beat Gedo, but there were a lot of great gags involving Gedo’s cheating being foiled. It’s also quite surprising Okada won using a submission hold, but it shows Okada is adapting and changing his style, especially for opponents that know him so well. Okada is almost always a top choice for a tournament, so he’s at least becoming a semifinalist in a final four of a very competitive New Japan Cup.
My Score: 6/16 – 9/10; 6/17 – 9.1/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Royal Quest II Results & Report! (10/1/22)
NJPW returns to the UK!
NJPW + FTR + UK = A classic in the making!
NJPW returns to the UK, and FTR is coming with them! Cash & Dax defend the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against the NJPW Strong Tag Team Champions, Aussie Open!
- Gabriel Kidd VS Dan Moloney; wins.
- Great-O-Khan & Gideon Gray VS Michael Oku & Ricky Knight Jr; win.
- Kanji & Jazzy Gabbert VS Alex Windsor & Ava White; win.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; wins.
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS JONAH & Bad Dude Tito; win.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tama Tonga, Hikuleo & Jado VS Bullet Club; win(s).
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
- Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
[NJPW has scheduled Royal Quest II for “On Demand,” coverage will begin sometime tomorrow]
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
This one has been a long time coming! Music City Mayhem saw the United Empire win a Six Man Tag, but they pinned Alex Zayne. Can Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis beat Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood 2v2? Or will the #ForeverTripleReign continue for the joint ROH, AAA & IWGP Tag Team Champions?
Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino
Speaking of title fights, The Commonwealth Kingpin just retained his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against David Finlay, only to find Tetsuya Naito AND Zack Sabre Jr. are after him! Will Ospreay be able to keep his focus tonight? Or will #SHOOTER hit a bull’s eye and add himself to that title picture?
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/30/22)
The Acclaimed are on a Rampage!
Everyone LOVES the NEW AEW World Tag Team Champions, The Acclaimed! Except for the Andrade Family Office! Will Max Caster & Anthony Bowens lose their titles after just getting them?
- AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade; The Acclaimed win and retain the titles.
- Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol; Moriarty wins.
- Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale; Hayter wins.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds; Rush wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade!
The Open Challenge was answered in a big, BIG way! Max Caster & Anthony Bowens aren’t just facing one team, but TWO teams, both under the Andrade Family Office. Will Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy and the menacing mercenaries make El Idolo proud? Or will it be a Mic Drop from the #ForeverChampions?
Justin Roberts makes the introductions before The Acclaimed make their entrance. “Yo! Listen! Listen! Yo! Yo! Everybody loves the new champions. Even Adam Lavine was in our DMs! Philly knows Private Party sucks! Y’all need to hop off Matt Hardy’s nuts. Tonight, yo, our hands go up. Y’all’re losers, and that’s why your band broke up. Y’know Acclaimed been winning. We run your who team into the ground like Ben Simmons!” Bowens takes over to say, “PHILADELPHIAAAA~! The Acclaimed have arrived! SCISSOR ME, DADDY ASS!” And they do! But will Platinum Max & the Five Tool Player stay golden with the odds stacked against them?
In this kind of Triple Threat Tag, only two teams are active at any time, so Bowens steps up against Kassidy. The fans sing “OH~ Scissor Me, Daddy~!” for The Acclaimed. Matt Hardy is watching backstage, quietly cheering on Private Party. Bowens and Kassidy circle, tie up, and Bowens wrenches an arm. Kassidy rolls, kips up, wrenches back, and has a wristlock. Bowens slips through, wrenches back to a hammerlock, spin and snapmare to a ghost pin, TWO! Kassidy gets a backslide, TWO! Bowens runs in but Kassidy sweeps the legs to a cover, ONE! Bowens returns the favor, ONE as Kassidy goes Matrix! But Bowens schoolboys, TWO!
Things speed up, Kassidy RANAS Bowens, and fans are torn while Kassidy talks trash. But Butcher & Blade tell Kassidy to focus and he rushes Bowens, only for Bowens to ELBOW, JAB, CHOP and SUPERK- NO, Kassidy goes Matrix again! Bowens says it was that close. Kassidy offers a handshake, Bowens shakes hands to show respect, but then Butcher & Blade reach out for a tag. Kassidy says no way, homies. He swings on Bowens but Bowens gets around and puts him in the Acclaimed corner! Caster tags in, Bowens feeds Kassidy to a takedown. Caster then shifts to get a leg, he stomps it, and he makes scissor fingers.
Caster drags Kassidy up, ducks his haymaker to CHOP and DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Caster SCISSORS Billy! Caster brings Kassidy up to a headlock but Kassidy powers out. Bowens sneaks a tag, Caster sunsets and Bowens runs in, NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up, Quen runs in but Caster tackles him. Bowens goes up top and Caster drags Quen over. Bowens says it’s scissor time! SCISSOR LEG DROP! Fans fire up while Private Party regroups. But then Butcher & Blade attack! The ref reprimands but they don’t care, they’ve had it with the champs! Blade stomps Bowens, Butcher stomps Cater, then they drag Kassidy over to their corner.
Blade tags in, he drags Kassidy up but Kassidy fires off hands! Blade knees low, he whips Kassidy to the ropes but Quen is there for some SILLY STRING- NO, Blade SHOVES Kassidy down to the floor! And Butcher BLASTS Quen for good measure! But Bowens fires off on them both! Haymakers and CHOPS back and forth, but he runs into a DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Butcher DECKS Caster while fans boo and Billy protests. The mercs mug Bowens while AEW goes picture in picture.
Blade digs his boot in, tags Butcher, and Butcher digs a knee in. The ref counts, Butcher lets off, but he drags Bowens up to CHOP! Bowens staggers away but Butcher stays on him. Cover, TWO! Butcher knees Bowens in the back, tags Blade, but Bowens fights back again. Blade CLAWS Bowens’ eyes! The ref reprimands but Blade whips Bowens to ropes to LARIAT! Blade mocks the scissor fingers, and he SLAMS Bowens’ arm down. Blade taunts Caster then goes back to Bowens. Bowens kicks from below! And fires off haymakers! Blade rakes Bowens’ eyes again! Blade drags Bowens up, reels him in, and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO!
Blade is annoyed but he drags Bowens up again. Rampage returns to single picture as fans rally. Bowens endures a chinlock but he fights his way up. Bowens throws body shots, runs, but Blade hits a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Blade drags Bowens up, scoops him, and he carries him over to tag Butcher. The mercs combine for a LEG DROP SIDEWALK SLAM! Cover, TWO! Bowens is still in this and Hardy tries to will Private Party back into this match. Butcher bumps Bowens off buckles, tags Blade, and Blade brings Bowens around. Bowens throws more body shots and forearms, but Blade ROCKS Bowens!
Blade runs, but Bowens ELBOWS, JABS, CHOPS, and SUPERKICKS! The Five Tool Combo finishes and Bowens crawls for his corner! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster first! Bowens dodges Butcher, BOOTS him away, but Caster is down! Bowens ELBOWS Butcher, runs in, but into a back drop! So Quen tags in! Quen GAMANGIRIS Butcher, springboards and CROSSBODIES Blade! Butcher runs in, Quen ducks to go up and up and QUEBRADA! Direct hit on Butcher! Blade pops Quen up but Quen DROPKICKS! Quen kips up and tags Kassidy! Private Party double whips Blade to a corner, Kassidy hurries to triangle jump STUNNER Butcher!
Quen sets up, Kassidy runs in, PARTY IN MOTION! Quen FLIES onto Butcher! Kassidy then feeds Blade to Quen and Kassidy goes up top! HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL!! Cover, Caster breaks it! Fans cheer as The Acclaimed are still in this but Hardy is stressed. Quen rushes Caster but Caster back drops him up and out! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster! Kassidy runs in, but into a fireman’s carry, TOSS to a GUTBUSTER! And then a gut wrench POWERBOMB! Cover, Bowens breaks it! Butcher tosses Bowens out now and the mercs drag Kassidy up. They double whip, Kassidy slips around and shoves them into each other!
Butcher falls out, Kassidy sends Blades out then takes aim. Bowens sneaks a tag as Kassidy springboards to PLANCHA! Down go the mercs! Caster climbs up now, to SUPER CROSSBODY everyone!! Fans are thunderous as Caster puts Blade in! Bowens fires up, THE ARRIVAL! The MIC DROP!! Cover, The Acclaimed win!!
Winners: The Acclaimed, by pinfall (still AEW World Tag Team Champions)
A massive first defense for Caster & Bowens, and they come away the champions! And they SCISSOR~! Will this victory only make the celebration on National Scissors Day that much bigger?
Backstage interview with The Firm.
Lexi Nair is trying to get a word with Stokely Hathaway and the Gunn Sons, Austin & Colten. They are talking among themselves but she speaks up. Austin & Colten had some “harsh words” for FTR last week. Oh, you mean Mr. Mustache and Mullet Man? Well, since the Gunn Sons get TV time and they don’t, Colten & Austin will gladly things. Austin wants to know how FTR holds the “Ring of Horror” tag titles- No, the Ring of Honor tag titles. Oh, right. Well, they also have the “Triple A Batteries” titles. No, no, Triple A. And the IWGP R2D2 titles. It’s just IWGP. But speaking of those, FTR is currently in London to defend those.
“Well, regardless,” Colten says, “they don’t have what we want, and that’s the AEW titles.” Austin says that’s right. Also, FTR has been holding on to their #1 contenders status for like eight years now and have yet to make moves! So the Gunns will make the move everyone else in AEW does, and that’s leap frog FTR to go right for the champs! Top Gunns, out! Will Austin & Colten’s need for speed get them to the top? Or will they crash ‘n’ burn against The Acclaimed?
Backstage interview with Jade Cargill & The Baddies.
Lexi Nair says that was an incredible win last week at Rampage: Grand Slam, where even hip hop legend, Trina, anointed Jade as the NEW “Baddest B*tch.” Jade knows that, “Lindsey.” But that’s besides the point. “All you whack ass, fat ass-” Leila Grey says Jade should chill out, but Jade says she’s gonna say what she wants! She’s so bored because AEW hasn’t brought her any kind of competition. But then Nyla Rose, Marina Shafir & Vickie Guerrero walk in. Vickie reminds Jade that the last time she faced Nyla, Jade won but didn’t pin her. That doesn’t matter! Jade beat Nyla! And Marina, too! Vickie has the Problem Solver stand down and Nyla speaks up.
“What’s the matter, Jade? I’m not one of your precious little numbers? Scared of a little one-on-one?” Oh, one on one? Okay, Jade will give Nyla what she wants, but on Jade’s time. Now get outta her face! Vickie takes off her scarf and throws it at Leila, telling her to cover herself up. The Vicious Vixens head out, and the Baddies wonder what’s wrong with how Leila’s dressed. Will the Native Beast be the one that finally ends the undefeated streak?
Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol!
Someone else with title aspirations is #TAIGASTYLE, who ditched Matt Sydal to join Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s faction on retainer. Moriarty wants the ROH Pure Championship around Daniel Garcia’s waist, but will he stomp out the Fire of the Sun first?
The bell rings and fans rally up. The two tie up, Moriarty headlocks and grinds then shifts to a cravat. Fuego endures but Moriarty pushes him down. Fuego keeps himself up, but Moriarty sweeps the arms to then roll Fuego into a snapmare cradle, TWO! Fuego gets up into a CHOP, headbutt and EuroUpper! Moriarty grins, he wrenches Fuego and whips, but Fuego reverses to mule kick! Fuego runs, handsprings over Moriarty’s dropdown, but Moriarty DROPKICKS Fuego down! Moriarty grins again while fans boo. Moriarty stomps Fuego at the ropes again and again until the ref counts. Moriarty lets off, to then stomp away again!
The ref counts, Moriarty lets off and Fuego goes to a corner. Moriarty runs in in to SHINING WIZARD! Moriarty reels Fuego into an arm-trap SAIDO SUPLEX! Moriarty mockingly applauds at the fans, then he looms over Fuego. Fans rally, Moriarty wrenches and hooks Fuego up, for a FACEBUSTER! Stokely likes what he sees as Moriarty clamps on the BORDER CITY STRETCH! Fuego taps, Moriarty wins!
Winner: Lee Moriarty, by submission
The fans boo as Moriarty holds on past the bell, and Moriarty lets go when Fuego stops tapping! Moriarty says this is HIS time, but Fuego’s not done suffering! Morrissey clamps on a claw and deadlifts Fuego by his head! And then holds him up with one arm! For a SKYSCRAPER CHOKE SLAM!!! Fuego just fell from the sky, will The Firm dominate AEW sooner rather than later?
Backstage interview with Hangman Page & The Dark Order.
Lexi Nair stands with The Cowboy, as well as Evil Uno & Preston Vance. She notes that last week on Rampage, Hangman won the Grand Slam Golden Ticket Battle Royal and is now headed to Cincinnati and an AEW World Championship match with Jon Moxley. Hangman says his match with Mox is just a few weeks away, and this is one Hangman has been looking forward to for a very long time. Uno says that everyone will be in Hangman’s corner for this. But wait, here come Andrade and Jose. Jose points out that if you look back, look what happened when Vance got eliminated. Jose uses his tablet to play the footage on the TV.
Jay Lethal triangle jumps, aiming for Hangman, but Hangman ducks and Vance takes the hit. Jose says it’s Hangman who eliminated Vance! Uno says that’s ridiculous logic. Andrade says he just wants to help Vance. This week is a big opportunity for Vance. What does Vance say to a 1v1? If Andrade wins, Vance gives up his mask. Deal? Vance shakes hands, but then he then pulls Andrade in. Vance has his own condition: If Vance beats Andrade, Andrade leaves AEW for good! High stakes between Number Ten and El Idolo, who wins for the Dynamite Anniversary?
But wait, the Firm walks in now? Stokely says they haven’t been snitching cuz they don’t like snitches, but… Jose says if Stokely wants to speak with El Idolo, he has to go through Jose. Oh, so Jose’s the boss? Ethan Page thought the boss was Andrade. And if he is, then maybe pay a little more attention to them. Be more firm with Private Party. Because Ethan knows there’s some “contract tampering” with their new-old friend, Matt Hardy. Stokely says that’s a bit messy. Andrade asks Jose what that’s about, and Jose does admit Hardy’s sniffing around. Will El Idolo crash the #HardyParty before it begins?
Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale!
These two got into it during the Lumberjack match on Dynamite, and now they’ll settle things here on Rampage! Is Hayter gonna hate on the ever energetic Willow? Or will Willow show everyone how to deal with a Hayter?
The bell rings and Hayter rushes Willow, but Willow dodges and hits a THESZ PRESS! Fast hands, but Hayter returns those! Willow gets back on top to rain down HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Fans fire up with Willow, and she waistlocks Hayter. Hayter switches, Willow switches, but Hayter stomps a foot. Hayter elbows Willow, runs and RAMS shoulders, but Willow stays up! Willow shakes her head and Hayter is annoyed. Hayter runs, she RAMS Willow again, but Willow stays up to flex! Fans rally for both Hayter and Willow, Hayter runs again but Willow follows to run her over!
Fans fire up, Willow scoops and SLAMS Hayter, for a SENTON! Willow sits Hayter up to run and BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Willow drags Hayter up. FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect and Hayter survives. But Willow powers up, runs and CHOPS! Fans “WOO~!” while Hayter goes to another corner. Willow runs in to CHOP again! Britt protests, the ref does count, and Willow whips. Hayter reverses, only for Willow to handspring through! But Hayter BOOTS Willow down! Rebel & Britt are happy now and Hayter HIP TOSSES Willow to a corner. Willow sits up, for the METEORA!
Hayter lets the ref check Willow while fans rally and duel. Rampage goes picture in picture as Britt talks trash on Willow. Willow swipes at her but Hayter drags Willow away. Hayter snap suplexes, covers, ONE! Hayter clamps on a chinlock and she leans on Willow. Willow endures, but Hayter thrashes her around! Hayter wrangles Willow but Willow fights up. Willow throws body shots, but Hayter throws her down by her hair! The ref reprimands but Hayter soaks up the heat. Hayter stomps Willow around, then drags her up to CLUB back down. Willow goes to ropes and Hayter storms over, but into a back elbow.
Hayter CLUBS Willow again and Willow goes to the corner. Hayter mocks the fans rallying up, then she brings Willow around to bump off buckles. And again! Britt likes what she sees but the ref reprimands. Hayter “apologizes” but it’s just a distraction so Britt can pull Willow’s foot against the crossbar! Willow gets free but Hayter storms up again. Hayter pulls Willow’s hair to grind her head into the ropes! The ref reprimands, Hayter lets off and she whips Willow corner to corner hard! Willow bounces off buckles and hits the mat, but Hayter digs her knee into Willow’s face. The ref reprimands, Willow pushes Hayter but Hayter CLUBS her down.
Hayter stands on Willow’s back to use her like a skateboard! Willow shakes Hayter off but then Hayter straddles Willow to CLUB away on her! Hayter drags Willow up to UPPERCUT against ropes. And CHOP! Hayter has control as Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns, and Willow fireman’s carries Hayter! Hayter flails to get free, and she ripcords. Willow ducks the Hate Maker but Hayter elbows Willow away. Hayter then hits an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Willow survives and fans fire up! Rebel and Britt are worried, but Hayter drags Willow up. Hayter CLUBS and ROCKS Willow, then gut wrenches. Willow slips off, shoves and POUNCES!! Hayter ends up flopping out of the ring! Britt is there to check Hayter and then claims that is cheating! But fans fire up with Willow and she brings down the straps! Willow goes out after Hayter and puts her in the ring.
Britt & Rebel are creeping, but Willow’s glare scares them away! Willow gets in the ring but Hayter stomps away on her! Hayter tells the booing fans to shut it, and then she drags Willow up. Hayter EuroUppers, then whips Willow. Willow reverses, fireman’s carries, and hits a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Hayter survives and Britt breathes easy. Willow stays positive and she goes up a corner. Fans fire up, but Hayter has the ref check her so that Britt can anchor Willow! Willow CLUBS Britt away but Hayter waistlocks! HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Hayter holds on, ripcords, HATE MAKER!! Cover, Hayter wins!
Winner: Jamie Hayter, by pinfall
Hayter flexes but give a big assist to Britt Baker, DMD. With their friendship stronger than ever, will Hayter & Baker take over AEW?
Wardlow and Samoa Joe speak.
The AEW TNT Champion says, “Together, the power, and the mayhem, and the chaos is limitless.” The ROH World Television Champion says, “What stands before you is WARDJOE! It is a creed and it is a call, to all that battle, to all who seek to stand before all, that all will fall, and all who think they’re ready for what we will do… will be left wanting.” Will there be no stopping this Two TITAN Power Trip?
Ryan Nemeth is in the ring.
The Hollywood Hunk introduces himself, and he wants to set things straight. First off, Rocky Balboa is not real! Secondly, Ben Franklin was nothing but a two-pump chump who moved here to DIE. He will give Philly credit, they do have a long-standing wrestling tradition. What was it again? Extremely Crappy Wrestling? Is that what it was? Wait! Here comes HOOK! We were expecting to see the FTW Champion, and now he has even more of a reason to show up with someone talking crap on ECW. Hook gets in the ring to CLOBBER Nemeth! And then he drags Nemeth up to bump him off buckles, and then SAYANAGI with authority!
Hook then sits Nemeth up to give him CLUBBING crossface forearms! Nemeth is a ragdoll as it is but Hook puts on REDRUM!! Nemeth taps fast but passes out just as quickly! The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil just showed everyone you do NOT insult Extreme Championship Wrestling with him around. But wait, as Hook heads up the ramp, The Trustbusters walk out. Ari Daivari has Sonny Kiss and “Jeeves Kay” (AKA VSK) with him. And Jeeves, being the butler, has an invitation for Hook on a silver platter. Jeeves leaves it on the ground for Hook and the Trust Busters leave. Hook snatches up the letter and takes his leave, what is Daivari Dinero planning now?
AEW shares footage of Swerve’s visit to Rolling Loud NYC.
As Keith Lee let us know last Wednesday, Swerve had this prior engagement to attend, hence the champs defending against other teams. But despite the good time Swerve had with the hip hop and rap stars of today, he is still furious about that loss at Grand Slam. Will Swerve look to be the rock that smashes National Scissors Day this Wednesday?
AEW looks at Jon Moxley VS Hangman Page.
The Blue Eyed Battler says, “I remember this building. I remember Hangman Page.” That is to say, it was last year’s Dynamite Anniversary that these two did battle in the Casino Ladder Match. “They say he’s the future of AEW. Okay. I’m the present. I am the here and now.” The Cowboy says, “So I’ve won the Golden Ticket Battle Royal on Rampage and I am the #1 contender to the AEW World Championship.” Moxley says, “Cowboy Sh*t, right? Yeah, we’ll see.”
Hangman says, “The one thing that I need almost as much as the AEW World Championship, is the people. The people have always been behind me, they light a fire under me. They keep me going.” The cameraman hates to break this to Hangman, but their title match is in Cincy. “Aw, sh*t.” The Cowboy knows he’ll be walking in as the enemy, but will he find away around homefield advantage? Or will this title stay with the Blackpool Combat Club?
Mark Henry talks with tonight’s main eventers.
The World’s Strongest Man says to the Dark Order that LFI, La Faccion Ingobernables has been trying to poach Vance from them. How do they feel about that? And what is their course of action tonight? Silver says that honestly, LFI’s little man crush on Ten is starting to come off a little bit creepy. Alex Reynolds says that all this stuff, this poaching attempt, will not affect The Dark Order. They’re a real family, and they are one. And because of that, “Mr. Rush,” tonight the Meat Man beats you! Andrade says okay, “piqueno,” calm down. Tonight, LFI shows everyone who they are. They are winners! The Dark Order doesn’t deserve Ten!
Jose points out that Silver can’t ignore that Rush eliminated him from the Battle Royal. Rush tells the “little boy” that all this talk is too much. He’s not here to talk. Rush is here to fight! He’ll see you in the ring, perro! Andrade has Rush tranquilo and Mark Henry says it looks like there’s been enough talk. It’s time for the main event! Will Johnny Hungy prove LFI doesn’t win everything? Or will El Toro Blanco bulldoze through Silver to further damage the Dark Order?
BREAKING NEWS for Battle of the Belts 4!
After the controversial way The Bastard retained the title against Orange Cassidy, he must now defend the All-Atlantic Championship against Trent Beretta! And speaking of which, we hear from #JustTrent!
“Something my mom always told me growing up, ‘You never hit a man in the head with a hammer.’ Pac, you broke one of Sue’s rules. Orange, he’s not here. He’s hurt right now. And when you hurt one of our friends, we hurt you.” But legally, cuz they’re good boys. So in DC, Bastard, Trent’s gonna hurt you. “Hands in, boys.” Chuck Taylor, Danhausen and Rocky Romero put their hands in with Trent, this one’s for Orange!
Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds!
LFI wants to grow stronger by making the Dark Order weaker, and while Andrade takes on Vance in a Mask VS AEW Career match, this one is straight up about pride and machismo! Will Rush fire the first salvo in this faction warfare? Or will the Meat Man make ground beef outta El Toro Blanco?
The bell rings and fans rally up. Silver and Rush approach, and Philly cheers for “JOHNNY HUNGY!” Rush shoves Silver but Silver headlocks back. Rush throws hands, powers out, and runs Silver over. Rush stomps away, flexes to mock Silver, then runs. Silver stays low then hurdles to drop again. Rush leaps over, they both run, and Silver UPPERCUTS Rush out of the ring! Fans fire up as Silver flexes now. LFI regroups but Silver builds speed, only to roll and copy Tranquilo! LFI is furious now, and Andrade wants Rush to end Silver! Rush gets in, and he DECKS Silver with that right! Silver sits up in a daze, Rush stomps him back down.
Rush pretends to take something from Silver’s head, either a mask or his actual head, and he “punts” it into the crowd! The kick is good, and Rush goes back to Silver. Rush CHOPS Silver in a corner, CHOPS again, then whips corner to corner. Rush clotheslines then whips again to clothesline the other corner. Rush snapmares and basement dropkicks! Fans boo as Rush kips up to mock the #JoinDarkOrder hand. Silver goes to the apron and Reynolds checks on him, but Rush goes out to drag Silver of and whip him into railing! Rush then brings Silver around to throw hands, and he whips Silver into more railing!
Fans boo but Silver CHOPS and ROCKS Rush! Rush CHOPS back! Rush grabs camera cables but the ref reprimands. Rush snarls but he kicks Silver around. Rush puts Silver in the ring, tells everyone to tranquilo, but fans boo. Rush grits his teeth and gets in, he blocks a kick and he DECKS Silver again. Rush then stomps away on Silver in the corner! Rush runs corner to corner, only to stop short and BOOT Silver instead! Fans boo while Rush Tranquilos, and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Rush soaks up the heat, drags Silver up, but Silver throws hands. Rush HEADBUTTS Silver, then throws him out! It kinda catches Andrade by surprise, he was watching the crowd. Rush distracts the ref, and Andrade stomps Silver down! Andrade gets away and Rush soaks up more heat. Andrade mocks Silver, dares him to get up, and the ring count climbs. Silver drags himself up but Rush goes out after him, to SMACK him off the timekeeper’s table! And again! Then he CHOPS Silver onto the table! Silver gets up but Rush is after him again, to RAM him into the railing. Rush takes a water bottle to pour it out on his head, he’s getting hot in Philly.
Silver CHOPS back! And ROCKS Rush! Rush pulls Silver’s beard but Silver ROCKS him again. Rush grabs a trash bin and SMASHES Silver with it! Trash goes flying and Silver sputters. Rush stalks Silver back to the ring. The ref reprimands but Rush just shrugs it off. Silver CHOPS! Rush eggs Silver on so Silver CHOPS! Rush SLAPS Silver, then CHOPS him down! Silver sputters again but Rush kicks him around. Rush drags Silver onto the ropes to CHOKE him! The ref reprimands, Rush lets off at 4, and he argues with the ref. Rush drags Silver from ropes to say this is over. Rush goes up the corner, fans rally up, and Rush SUPER SENTONS but FLOPS!
Silver avoids disaster while Rush writhes! A standing count starts, Reynolds rallies the fans up for Silver, and Rampage returns to single picture as the Meat Man rises! Silver runs in to SPLASH Rush! Silver runs but Rush follows to SPLASH! Rush runs corner to corner but Silver follows to SPLASH again! Silver runs, but he suckers Rush in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Rush gets up, swings, but into another GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up with Silver as he has a wild look in his eye! Silver drags Rush up, whips him to ropes but Rush reverses, only to jump into a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Silver is seething!
The standing count is back while Rush is down but fans rally. Silver stands, snarls, and drags Rush up to suplex. Rush blocks, throws body shots and then pushes Silver. Silver KICKS! And KICKS! And runs, but Rush follows! CHOP! CHOP! SUPERKICK! Silver wobbles into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rush can’t believe Silver survives and Andrade looks worried. Andrade tells Rush to finish this but Rush gives toying kicks to Silver. Silver stands and Rush eggs him on. Silver throws a forearm but Rush gives it back! Silver throws another but Rush does, too. Fans rally for Silver as the CHOPS start going back and forth!
Silver CHOPS, Rush DECKS Silver!! Rush snarls as he looms over Silver, then he runs, into a swing! But Rush gets around to backslide. Sliver slips off to KICK, KICK, SUPERKICK and BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Jose gets on the apron! But Reynolds YANKS Jose down! Jose clutches his knee after it bangs off the edge, but now Andrade distracts Silver. The ref reprimands Andrade, Silver tells Andrade to get in the ring then. But Andrade backs down and Rush SUPERMAN FOREARMS Silver down! Silver is sitting in the corner, Rush goes corner to corner, BULL’S HORNS!! Cover, Rush wins!
Winner: Rush, by pinfall
LFI gets the better of the Dark Order here tonight, Jose should get some kind of hazard pay for his assist. But then Andrade and Rush start stomping away on Silver! Reynolds gets in but he gets mugged, too! LFI has 3v2 advantage but here come Uno & Vance! They DECK Jose, fire off on Andrade, but Rush goes after Vance! Uno goes after Rush, but now Butcher & Blade rush out! The AFO are here to help their boss! Now the numbers are back in LFI’s favor! But wait! Here comes Hangman! The Cowboy dodges Andrade, BOOTS Blade, dumps Butcher out, then stares Rush down. They fire off hands, a revisit from how the Golden Ticket Battle Royal finished!
Hangman gets the edge with all his haymakers, then he whips. Rush reverses, Hangman goes up and out and loads up, but Rush bails out! Jose hobbles, Hangman figures what the hell. BUCKSHOT for the assistant! Rush is furious, and it is clear he and Hangman have unfinished business. So THIS JUST IN! Tony Khan makes it official for the Dynamite Anniversary episode! Hangman Page VS Rush 1v1! Will the Cowboy wrangle El Toro Blanco before taking on the AEW World Champion?
A great episode for Rampage to follow up Dynamite and the Grand Slam, as well as to help set up things for the anniversary week. The tag title match was a great opening match, and it did a great job propelling multiple stories. For one, Acclaimed retain, which I figured anyway. They’re surely going to defend against Austin & Colten next, since the Gunns called them out while also calling FTR out. Acclaimed will win there, too, and who knows how it goes with FTR. I don’t wanna say Tony Khan booked himself into a corner, but he’s come close. FTR can’t really lose since they have THREE different tag titles, but The Acclaimed are so popular that it’d be a shame if they lost.
Good segment from The Baddies and the Vixens. Nice character work with Jade; she wants stronger competition yet is hesitant when such a competitor steps up. Nyla VS Jade will be a great match, and with both Marina and Vickie, they’ll be able to cancel out with Kiera and Leila, meaning Nyla will have a fair(er) shot than most. Moriarty gets a quick win off Fuego, but the big thing is Moriarty’s new Heel aggression and Morrissey also getting his in. Assuming Garcia leaves the Jericho Appreciation Society to go full Face, he and Moriarty are gonna have one hell of a feud and match. Also I like that The Firm has to be the one to tell Andrade about Hardy wanting Private Party back, it adds another dimension to that faction’s identity.
Really good promo from #WARDJOE, and I like the idea that they’re going to be some new kind of Two Man Power Trip. They might not go for the ROH tag titles since FTR are technically Wardlow’s pals, but that also adds to the complexities of the AEW tag title picture. Unless Wardlow & Joe each go for other singles titles instead. That could be a way around it, especially with Jericho wanting to bury former ROH World Champions. Jericho VS Joe would be some awesome stuff. Hook whooping Nemeth was also pretty awesome. But I bet with the Trustbusters’ invitation to Hook, the options are A) join the Trustbusters or B) put up the FTW title. And I think we know which one Hook will choose.
Great stuff from Hayter VS Willow, fans love them both and those two can go. Again, there was wasted potential in just doing away with Hayter VS Britt as a feud. But whatever, Britt helps Hayter win, Hayter can have momentum while Britt’s nose heals up, and then we wait and see if they ever/never circle back to a feud. I mean, it could work, with Britt getting jealous of Hayter being just as beloved by the fans and getting opportunities for titles. Glad to see the feud of Death Triangle VS Best Friends continues, as now Trent gets a shot at Pac for Battle of the Belts IV. Not sure Trent wins that one, but it’ll be an awesome match.
And I like what we’re getting out of the LFI VS Dark Order feud. Good promo segment to set up Andrade VS Vance, but I don’t see Andrade leaving AEW so he’ll be taking Vance’s mask. Rush VS Silver was a great main event, but of course Heels win with Heel tactics. Reynolds and Jose should’ve been more careful with that apron trip-up spot, though, that was not a clean drop. Of course we get a brawl, and of course Hangman helps the Dark Order. Hangman VS Rush 1v1 is going to be an awesome match for the anniversary show, and it’ll help Hangman get some momentum going into the title match in Cincy. Great promo from him and Moxley, too, and Hangman was perfectly in character realizing he’s going to be at a disadvantage.
My Score: 8.7/10
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