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Andrew’s AJPW Chiba Extra Dream 24 Results & Match Ratings 7.18.20

With tag champions about to face off for the Triple Crown on 7.25, do we see both stand strong, or a twist? Catch up with All Japan Pro Wrestling!

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Now to those not familiar with All Japan, this is a smaller event. The main event is a World Tag Team Championship match, but this will have many tag matches to set the stage or further establish feuds.

The two Young Boys who made it to the Finals of the Asunaro Cup are in faction action, Yusuke Okada has a chance to prove himself since leaving Evolution and the Aoyagi brothers are teaming together. Plus the main event is actually the All Asia Tag champions versus the World Tag champions, so it’s an interesting clash there since general perception is All Asia is a step below.

It also can’t go unmentioned, yes, this show does have fans. Granted, not done the same way as New Japan, and that could just be because it’s a smaller venue. The seating looks a little more spaced out than usual (walking distance between chairs instead of nearly connected), but definitely less than even 1 foot. All fans do see to be wearing masks, so I guess we’ll see how this one goes.

On to the show!

Ratings:

  • Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto & Tajiri vs Takao Omori, Yoshitatsu & Black Menso-re: Iwamoto wins via Japanese Leg Clutch @7:40 – **
  • Atsuki & Yuma Aoyagi vs Dan Tamura & Hikaru Sato: Tamura wins via Texas Cloverleaf @9:30 – ** 1/2
  • Enfantes Terrible (Shotaro Ashino & Yusuke Kodama) vs Purple Haze (Zeus & Izanagi): Izanagi wins via Inside Cradle @7:25 – ** 1/2
  • Akira Francesco & Kento Miyahara vs Hokuto Omori & Kuma Arashi: Hokuto wins via German Suplex Hold @12:30 – *** 1/4
  • Hair vs Hair Match: Yusuke Okada vs Seigo Tachibana: Okada wins via Fisherman Buster Hold @8:55 – *** 1/4
  • AJPW World Tag Team Championship: Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & SUWAMA) (c) vs Yankee Two Kenju (Isami Kodaka & Yuki Miyamoto): Ishikawa retains via Giant Slam @19:35 – *** 3/4

Results:

Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto & Tajiri vs Takao Omori, Yoshitatsu & Black Menso-re

This is an understood setting for an opening tag match. Each side has a veteran, a heavyweight and a junior. The main thread I can see to tug at here, is that Jake Lee beat Yoshitatsu a few shows ago, so this could be setting up Jake Lee for a Gaora TV title match. Amusingly, Tajiri’s team decides to play Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who starts, Jake loses, so he’s first up!

Jake goes back and forth with Takao a little before Yoshitatsu wants in. Jake amuses it before tying up and moving to his corner to tag out. Yoshitatsu’s interactions were odd in this match. Recently losing a singles against Jake, you’d think he’d have a bone to pick there; but he and Tajiri had some odd interactions. Tajiri seemed to be messing with him, taking a few pot shots, grabbing at limbs to prove he’s still fairly technical…but it seemed off. For those who don’t know, Yoshitatsu beat Tajiri for the Gaora TV title in May of 2019…so being a year ago, that’s a weird thread to tug on.

As it is similar with New Japan, once the two Juniors get in, then we know we’re getting close to a finish. Menso-re incorporates comedy, but he’s looked more and more competent during quarantine. Iwamoto catches him with a Knee Upper, then follows it with the Oklahoma Roll style rope follow, for the Japanese Leg Clutch and victory.

Hopefully this is the momentum Iwamoto needs to propel him through his Junior title challenge and be the first All Japan wrestler to capture the new belt. But I guess we wait and see there.

Atsuki & Yuma Aoyagi vs Dan Tamura & Hikaru Sato

We don’t see it often, but the actual brother Yuma and Atsuki Aoyagi are tagging against Hikaru Sato and newest Evolution member, Dan Tamura. After winning the Asunaro Cup (think of it like the Young Lions tournament), Dan was invited into Evolution. Since I didn’t watch the Asunaro Cup, I can say that Dan has come a long way. He definitely looks like the more polished young wrestler in this match, and compared to most of his experience level, he’s quite good.

Atsuki showed a lot of heart, which is mostly what his role in this match was. Hikaru put on a technical display as he turned Yuma into multiple different styles of pretzels, as to which, Dan decided to join in. Apparently Dan has started using a Texas Cloverleaf as a finish, and when he sunk it in today, he sat down deep and nearly broke Atsuki in half. Very solid match, but as I’ve said before, quarantine shows have generally not been kind to Yuma…so I don’t know where he stands on the card anymore.

Enfantes Terrible (Shotaro Ashino & Yusuke Kodama) vs Purple Haze (Zeus & Izanagi)

Now, I have not been a big fan of the Purple Haze entrance; but FINALLY they do something clever. As Enfantes are in the ring, the music plays a bit before Zeus and Izanagi hit from the sides. It was smooth, looked kinda cool, and took Enfantes by surprise.

This match did two things, it showed Izanagi being less of a dork relying on bad heel tactics, and Zeus versus Shotaro is something I definitely want to see. They worked fairly well in the match, but thanks to Zeus’ build and Shotaro’s “Master of Suplex” moniker, it definitely passes the eye test. Izanagi had a few hope spots even when Enfantes wiped out Zeus to double team the smaller member, so that was really refreshing to see.

As Shotaro goes to the outside to keep Zeus back, Kodama attempts a Swanton Bomb, misses, Izanagi grabs Kodama’s head, pulls him down, then hooks the legs for the nice tight Inside Cradle. He even held on longer than the 3 count, I guess to get the point across.

The finish does well as to make it look like Enfantes just got caught, but not outright beat, and hints towards Zeus/Shotaro which will be awesome.

Akira Francesco & Kento Miyahara vs Hokuto Omori & Kuma Arashi

This is very smart that All Japan has kept Kento with Akira in the tag division. Kento needs some space away from the Triple Crown scene to establish more main event players, and Akira already had a sweet spot in the hearts of fans. So this keeps them both beloved and raises Akira’s status across the board. Plus if anyone can get the visible on Kento, that will immediately raise their profile as well. Just very good stuff.

More context, Hokuto made it to the Asunaro Cup finals, only to lose to Dan Tamura. But in still doing so, elevated himself and sided with the invading heel stable Enfantes Terrible. So he comes out with this Hot Topic Emo Band look. As the rebellious teen look implies, he immediately calls out Kento and has a decent back and forth which frustrated Kento at first so he tags out. Then we get to see that Kento is a bad coach since after taking it to Kuma Arashi, Kento implores Akira to do a Tope, and Kuma catches him, which starts to turn the match.

Hokuto took every pot shot at Kento possible. Tagging in, then attacking Kento when he wasn’t legal, and just being the definition of “a little shit”. After a Crosslegged Fisherman’s Driver, Hokuto hits the German Suplex Hold on Akira for the win as Kento looks on. Since that’s one of Kento’s bread and butter moves, the intent was obviously to insult; then Hokuto flips off Kento as they exit the ring.

Assuming Kento is game to give Hokuto a little bit, this could immediately rocket him up the card if he has a good showing; in what feels like an inevitable singles match. 

Hair vs Hair Match: Yusuke Okada vs Seigo Tachibana

My guess is this match was set up during the Asunaro Cup with preliminary tags and what not. Seigo is a freelancer, but also a bit of a Wrestle-1 orphan, so this could be a good way for him to establish himself in All Japan. Seigo comes out looking like every anime interpretation of an upper classman street thug, which also explains his nickname of “Big Bro”; since he’s only 22 but looks about 35.

We get a nice back and forth match that really highlights the athleticism of Okada and the personality of Seigo. In the end, Okada manages to counter Seigo’s attempts, hit a Diving Headbutt followed by a Fisherman Buster Hold to grab the victory. In more general confusion, Okada doesn’t want to shave Tachibana’s head. It’s a nice babyface move, but Yoshitatsu (who came out with Seigo), starts cutting away.

After cutting a few pieces, Yoshitatsu issues a challenge to Okada; for his Gaora TV title. So if I’m confused, you’re prolly confused. Yoshitatsu picks Okada has his opponent, while they kind of tell Seigo to shut up and they’ll get to him later, so that’s solid comedy…but the belt situation is odd. You would think Jake Lee should have a challenge available, but Yoshitatsu gets to pick? This is almost as confusing as when Yoshitatsu kept poking SUWAMA for the Triple Crown and then Shotaro just swoops in for the challenge. I’m looking forward to when storylines are less murky. 

AJPW World Tag Team Championship: Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & SUWAMA) (c) vs Yankee Two Kenju (Isami Kodaka & Yuki Miyamoto)

Well we’ve got the All Asia Tag Team champions against the World Tag Team champions. The added interesting part to this, is the fact that Shuji will challenge SUWAMA for the Triple Crown on the 7/25 show; but they are still a well established, and dominant tag team. So it’s unlikely that either will cause the team to lose on purpose, but it should be interesting to see if All Japan allows them to stay tag champions even through the Triple Crown bid.

So initially the size difference is staggering to the point where you’d have to expect shenanigans or a surprise cradle/flash pin for Violence Giant to lose. Which funnily enough, Yankee Two Kenju focus heavily on Shuji’s left leg to bring the big man down to size. Miyamoto shows off a few interesting ways to set up submissions, including a back handspring, that instead of going into a back elbow, he extends for a drop toehold and manages to grapevine the worked over leg. Be it a save or a botch, it looked cool and was smart with the story of the match.

We saw Kodaka counter out of the Splash Mountain multiple times, once flipping through and hitting a Shining Wizard, and another time with a Sunset Flip pinfall attempt. After a tandem Meteora/Diving Knee, it looked like Yankee Two would pick up the upset, but SUWAMA broke it up. Shuji managed to hit the elusive Splash Mountain, but only for a near fall, having to bring out the big guns with the Giant Slam.

Shuji getting the win adds even more credibility to his Triple Crown bid (not like he needed it), but after taking most of the punishment, he powered through to win. So this will be a damn good Triple Crown match.

 

Overall Score: 6.75/10

This show did a great job at establishing existing feuds and working in the new personas for the stand out Young Boys from the Asunaro Cup. Shuji looked great, Iwamoto looked fantastic, Okada branching out on his own looked really good, and Zeus/Shotaro is something that may pop up again in the Champion Carnival; but it’s still a match up that got a small tease. One last positive could also be, nothing went super long. Some of the complaints with New Japan is that everything goes forever. This show had only 2 matches go past 10 minutes, and nothing went over 20; so a relatively easy watch.

As for downsides, the whole situation with the Gaora TV title is confusing/dumb to me. If certain losses don’t matter against a title holder, the match shouldn’t happen. Also as much as I appreciated the way the tag match made Shuji look, it wasn’t exactly the easiest to suspend disbelief for. Plus I guess as much as I like Kento being as far from the Triple Crown scene as possible, painting him as part of the reason the team lost is interesting. It could be over confidence (he’s never been the most humble). Maybe they break Kento down, through Akira taking the brunt of the abuse? Akira is already a fan favorite, and if it’s starts looking like Kento is giving bad advice, or being responsible for making our favorite Italian gaijin with the Japanese name look bad…that could work.

Hmm…I’m prolly over thinking it, but that would be an interesting way to work the angle.


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (6/22/21)

Adam Cole hits the ring, BAYBAY!

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NXT Coverage 2021

NXT lights the fuse, get ready for fireworks!

Before an explosive rematch on the Great American Bash, Kyle O’Reilly takes on NXT Cruiserweight Champion, Kushida, and Adam Cole takes on…?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Adam Cole VS ???; Cole wins.
  • Io Shirai & Zoey Stark VS The Robert Stone Brand; Shirai & Stark win.
  • Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory VS Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan; Gargano & Theory win.
  • Franky Monet VS ???; Monet wins.
  • Ever-Rise VS Hit Row; Hit Row wins.
  • Kyle O’Reilly VS KUSHIDA; O’Reilly wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Adam Cole VS ???

The Panama City Playboy is back, but he never gave an answer to last week’s “pick your poison” challenge as posed to him and Kyle O’Reilly. Cole is confident as ever, though, does he have an idea?

Cole gets the mic and reminds us that William Regal set up Cole VS Kyle at Great American Bash. Oh, and Samoa Joe assaulted and attacked him! Now this week, he gets to handpick his opponent. Cole was doing some thinking, so ain’t no way in hell HE is going to do that. He doesn’t have to start following the rules just cuz Joe is here. And Cole wants Joe to know there’s a new king of this brand, and you’re looking at him! After Cole embarrasses Kyle at Great American Bash 2021, Cole will be recognized the best in NXT ever! So the fans can consider themselves lucky for having seen Cole, but this isn’t happening.

Oh wait, here comes Carmelo Hayes! This newcomer came close to the Cruiserweight Championship in his debut, seems he’s aiming at another prize. “Hey, Cole, you might not know who I am, but I know who you are.” Melo introduces himself, and says if anyone changes Cole’s mind, it’s him. Oh is that so? Then enlighten him on how. Melo says there is this famous phrase. How does it go? “RUTHLESS! AGGRESSION!” Same energy, bruh. And then Melo SLAPS Cole!! Cole is pissed and the match is on!

Hayes dodges, fires off hands on Cole but Cole knees low! Cole ROCKS Hayes, runs, but Hayes springboards to FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Hayes chases Cole but Cole gets out of the ring. So Hayes just PLANCHAS Cole down! The CWC fires up for Hayes as he gets Cole up and into the ring. Hayes gets on the apron but Cole BOOTS him down! Fans fire up as Cole finally throws off his merch shirt. Cole goes out after Hayes, drags him up and into the ring, then stalks him to a corner. Cole stomps a mudhole into Hayes, throws forearms, does more stomping, but lets off as the ref counts. Cole gets Hayes up but Hayes shoves him away.

Cole ROCKS Hayes again, then brings him out for a snap suplex! Cole dusts off his hands as fans rally up. Hayes sits up, Cole gets him up, and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cole is having fun now as he stalks Hayes to ropes. Cole chokes Hayes on the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, and fans are dueling between the veteran and the new kid. Hayes throws body shots and CHOPS but Cole throws haymakers and forearms! Hayes kicks from the mat, but falls for 52 Fake Out! Cole grins, but Hayes blocks the superkick to TKO KNEE SMASH and LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Coles gets to a corner but Hayes keeps his cool.

Hayes storms over to fire off body shots, windmills clubbing forearms, but lets off as the ref counts. Cole yanks Hayes into buckles! Cole gets space, comes back, but into a boot! Hayes goes up but Cole SHOVES him down! Hayes hits the floor hard and Cole goes out to RAM him into barriers! Cole gets Hayes back up to TOSS him into boards! Fans boo Cole as NXT goes picture in picture.

Cole paces, refreshes the ring count, and fetches Hayes, just to TOSS him into the boards again! Hayes gasps and sputters as Cole refreshes the count again. Cole puts Hayes back in the ring, JAMS his knee in Hayes’ back, then wraps on a headscissor necklock. Hayes endures, even as Cole drives in elbows into his head. Hayes turns, rolls, and gets the ropebreak! Cole holds on until the ref counts, and then lets off at 4. Hayes hits Cole as he goes, but Cole stomps him down. Cole drags Hayes up to throw haymakers and then bumps him off buckles. Cole throws hands, wrenches, and whips him corner to corner hard! Hayes bounces off buckles and Cole smirks as he taunts the rookie.

Cole drags Hayes up, Hayes shoves free but Cole kicks low! Cole gets Hayes up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Cole grows annoyed now but he looms over Hayes before bringing him up again. Hayes throws forearms so Cole gives them back! Hayes knees low, Cole EuroUppers! Hayes CHOPS but Cole kicks low! Cole fireman’s carries for the USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Hayes’ toughness is getting on Cole’s nerves and Cole wraps on a chinlock. Hayes endures as Cole grinds him down. Cole talks some trash while cranking the hold back, but Hayes fights with hammering hands.

NXT returns to single picture and fans rally up as Hayes keeps working on the chinlock. Hayes sits up, pries the grip open and gets to his feet to throw body shots. Hayes is free, runs, but Cole CLOBBERS him with a back elbow! Fans duel again as Cole gets Hayes up. Cole bumps Hayes off buckles, wrenches and whips Hayes corner to corner hard, and Hayes slumps down in the corner. Cole says Hayes chose the wrong guy to step to. Hayes bails out, Cole lets the ring count climb. Hayes stands at 5 of 10 and flounders a bit, but gets himself in at 7 of 10. Cole smirks as he stalks over to the corner. Hayes gets up but Cole throws forearms!

Cole says “You’re a nobody, you hear me? I’m Adam Cole, BAYBAY, and you’re nobody!” Hayes gets up but Cole SLAPS him down! Hayes gets up to throw forearms and Cole gives them back! Cole whips Hayes to ropes but Hayes rolls off Cole’s back to BOOT him down! Fans fire up with Hayes as he runs, but into a BOOT from Cole! Hayes wobbles, Cole gets him in a suplex, but Hayes suplexes to a CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Cole survives but Hayes gets him up and reels him in. Cole cradle counters, TWO! Hayes boots but Cole blocks, ENZIGURI follows! And a HUGE Code Breaker!! Cover, TWO!! Cole survives and Hayes can’t believe it!

The CWC is fired up while Hayes refocuses. Cole goes to ropes, Hayes grits his teeth and storms over to CHOP him! Hayes whips, Cole reverses but swings into a spin and fireman’s carry! Cole slips off to BACKSTABBER! High stack cover, TWO!! Hayes survives and Cole is getting mad now! Cole goes to a corner, hops up but Hayes gets away from the drop zone. Cole still leaps, into a SUPERKICK! Hayes runs, springboards, into a SUPERKICK!! Cole goes back to a corner, goes back up and leaps, PANAMA SUNRISE!! Cover, Cole wins!

Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall

The Generational Talent came close again, but this is why Cole considers himself the king of NXT! However, Cole has two weeks to get ready for the rematch with Kyle O’Reilly! Will Cole be ready to bash it up at the Bash?

 

Franky Monet talks with Jessi Kamea & Aliyah.

Monet is so excited for tonight. The Robert Stone Brand has a match with Zoey Stark & Io Shirai, and Aliyah says it’ll be a piece of cake. Jessi says it’s already in the bag. And of course, Franky has her second match! These three should be the Winner’s Circle! Yeah, great name. But then suit man Stone come sin and Franky says tonight is going to be a great night for them all. Good luck, ladies! Thank you! The high-five to Stone is a little hard, will it hurt even harder if and when his clients ditch him for Monet?

 

Backstage interview with Zoey Stark.

We all just saw Monet talk up Jessi & Aliyah, but why did she help Shirai last week? Well Shirai gave Stark her big break. All last week was was paying it back. But tagging tonight is a surprise, especially with how notorious Shirai can be when playing with others. But speaking of, Shirai comes in to say it for herself: She did pick Stark for tonight, but that doesn’t mean she likes her. Mutual respect is all they need tonight as far as Stark is concerned. Will that help them get a win against the bougie bad brand?

 

LA Knight speaks.

The Million Dollar Ladder match made him the NEW Million Dollar Champion, “So let me talk to ya.” Knight’s coronation made him drop what he didn’t need, and that was the old man DeBiase boarding the gravy train! Then the ungrateful NXT fans are all shouting “TO THE MOON!” for that “Hilljack” Grimes, who comes out to go after Knight. Good on Grimes, because even Knight thought Grimes only cared about the title and the money. Turns out, he cares about the old man. That’s so sweet. Grimes is what Knight knew he was on day one: a moron idiot!

That fall Grimes took at TakeOver was beautiful, but that won’t compare to when he gets dropped on his head by the Million Dollar Megastar, the- Oh, thank you! Drinks on Knight! Whose game is it? L A Knight’s game! Toast to that! But will Knight be living the high-life after coming face to feet with a Cave-In?

 

Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory are here!

They make their way down to the ring, and Gargano says these are exciting times! There is new management in town so we need a new NXT Champion! A new face of the brand! We don’t need the big, mean, angry, leather jacket wearing doomsday guy. No! We need the handsome, the hardworking, the headband wearing, respectable family man! We need Johnny! Theory agrees, of course. The 57 days Gargano was champion, NXT THRIVED! It was a paradise! Chef’s kiss and all that. At TakeOver, Gargano proved Karrion Kross is NOT on Gargano’s level. Gargano outshined him every time they were in the ring together! And everyone knows Gargano can outwrestle Kross on his worst day!

But instead of Kross, Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan show up! The Bruiserweight has a mic to respond, “Are you mad?” This is so stupid. Gargano must be nuts if he thinks he’s #1 contender over Dunne. And shut up, Theory. Theory gets heated but Gargano has him stop. These two are trying to provoke them and start chaos! There is a new way to do things around here, the Way does not partake in hijinks and shenanigans! They are law-abiding citizens, and there are rules to follow, Peter. The Way are good people. If Dunne and Oney want a fight, it won’t come from them. Gargano puts the mic down, he and Theory wash their hands of this as they leave the ring.

Oney picks up the mic as Theory says he is watching Dunne. Theory points at Dunne, but Dunne grabs those fingers to SNAP them! Theory needs to be more careful around the Bruiserweight! Will Gargano find a way to get back at Dunne that follows the rules?

 

Cameron Grimes rolls up.

Everyone says hey and Grimes gives them money for their troubles. How is DeBiase doing? He’s alright, Grimes will keep checking on him. Ari Sterling says Grimes must’ve just come from the nursing home. Had to check on Gramps and all that. What was that? Grimes heard him. Grimes did, and he laughs, before he DECKS Sterling! That’s for Ted, this is for you. Grimes gives Sterling a $100 even so, and laughs his way into the CWC.

 

Backstage interview with Adam Cole.

McKenzie asks him about his coming match with Kyle, and Cole says no. He is not talking about Kyle at all. He doesn’t care about Kyle, he doesn’t care about Kyle VS Kushida tonight, because what Cole did to Hayes will happen to Kyle at the Bash. But here comes Regal. Cole asks what he wants. Regal appreciates Cole going through with that match tonight. Cole says he did it for himself, not for Regal. Regal hopes there’s no animosity between Cole and Joe. According to who? Well Cole touched Joe, Joe got him with the clutch, that’s the end of it. Don’t provoke Joe again.

Oh is that how Regal sees this? How great that Regal has done absolutely nothing to reprimand Joe for putting his hands on Cole! But don’t worry, Cole will do Regal a favor by getting out of his hair. Cole takes his things and goes, will this make things considerably easier on the General Manager tonight?

 

The battery continues to charge.

We are now at 31%.

 

Gargano is fuming and he gets the cameraman to follow him.

He and Theory storm up to the GM’s office and since Theory’s fingers hurt, Gargano knocks. Regal lets them enter and Gargano hopes he saw what happened. Regal did. The Way are being model citizens, and look! A new pencil to replace the other one. But there need to be consequences! Regal agrees, there should be. Alright, so what’s gonna happen? Is Joe gonna go get them? Put them through a wall? Or better yet, Coquina Clutch! Regal stands up and Gargano wants to see Regal get those brass knuckles and “knuck ’em up!” No, no, they’re going to face Dunne & Oney in a match, later tonight.

What?! They’re not even dressed, they don’t have their stuff! Doesn’t matter, they have to go. Gargano and Theory panic and rush out of the room, will they suffer more than two bad fingers tonight?

 

Io Shirai & Zoey Stark VS The Robert Stone Brand!

The Evil Genius and the Rising Star(k) are ready to shine, but Franky did fire up Jessi & Aliyah backstage. Will Shirai’s return to the ring be a great success or a disappointing stumble on her way back after the title?

The teams sort out and Aliyah starts with Shirai. They tie up, Shirai headlocks, but Aliyah powers out. Shirai counters the hip toss to an arm-drag, then fireman’s carries. Aliyah slips out and pulls hair, but Shirai CHOPS and punches her on repeat for it! Shirai pulls hair now but Aliyah shoves her away. Aliyah runs but into a FLAPJACK! Shirai runs and basement dropkicks Aliyah down! Shirai brings Aliyah over, sits her down in the corner and digs her boots in! Swinging knees! Tag to Stark, Stark gets Aliyah up to wrench and fireman’s carry takedown. Stark wrenches the arm, Aliyah throws forearms, but Stark blocks the whip to reverse it!

Tilt-o-whirl, Aliyah throws Stark but Stark handsprings through to SLIDING LARIAT! Aliyah scrambles and tags in Jessi, Stark dodges the boot to waistlock. Jessi bucks the O’Conner roll and hits a sliding wheel kick! Cover, TWO to a Oklahoma Roll, TWO! Stark avoids the dropkick to Oklahoma Roll again! TWO, but Stark DOUBLE STOMPS! Stark fires up, gets Jessi up on the apron, but Jessi hotshots her down! Jessi slingshots in to then springboard for an elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Stark grits her teeth but Jessi is frustrated, and now Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell make their way down to ringside.

Jessi puts Stark in the corner, Aliyah tags in and stomps a mudhole then fires off hands! Tag to Jessi, they mug Stark then Jessi CLUBS Stark down! Tag to Aliyah, she stomps a mudhole into Stark again, and then Aliyah brings Stark out. Stark rolls Aliyah, ONE, and Aliyah calf kicks Stark down! Aliyah covers again, TWO! Stark tries to get away from Aliyah while Shirai glares at Candice, and NXT goes to break.

NXT returns and Jessi keeps Starks down with clubbing forearms. Tag to Aliyah, she gets a boost for a tilt-o-whirl SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Aliyah puts on a body scissor squeeze and thrashes Stark around! Stark endures, pushes back to a cover, TWO! Aliyah clubs away on Stark but Stark turns around to fire off on Aliyah! Aliyah squeezes tighter then gets a facelock to keep Stark down! Stark powers up and powers out to SLAM Aliyah down! Fans fire up while both women are down, and The Way isn’t sure what to make of this. Hot tags to Shirai and Jessi! Shirai rallies then FLAPJACKS Jessi down! Shirai DECKS Aliyah for good measure, then hits a 619 on Jessi!

Jessi flounders, Shirai dodges Aliyah’s swipe to AX KICK her down! Springboard missile dropkick for Jessi! Cover, TWO! Shirai keeps her focus and she gets Jessi up. Shirai underhooks but Jessi wrenches out to KICK! Tag to Aliyah and she gets Shirai up for a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Shirai survives and Aliyah shrieks! Tag to Jessi, they double suplex, but Shirai lands on her feet! Hot tag to Stark and she DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICKS! Stark gets Jessi up for a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Tag back to Shirai, and Shirai makes sure Candice sees this! Shirai goes up, and OVER THE MOONSAULT! Cover, Shirai & Stark win!

Winners: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark, by pinfall

The Evil Genius stares Candice down as she and Stark have their hands raised. They dare The Way to get in, but then Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai come out from the crowd side. Raquel teases that Shirai goes on vacation and came back to get a friend. If either of them think they’re jumping the line for that #1 contender’s spot, they’re crazy! Those titles belong to Kai & Gonzalez! But whoa, whoa, whoa! Shotzi & Ember show up! Now certainly no one forgot about them! They done lost their minds! MARBLES! But also, they beat Kai & Gonzalez for that contendership spot, right? Right! So then that puts Kai & Gonzalez at the back, right? Right!

But, wait, Ember… They DID forget! Whaaa…? Well let’s remind them! And by that, Shotzi means, KICK SOME ASS!! It’s a chaotic brawl in the ring, but the champs stay far away from it all! Shirai, Kai and Ember, then Raquel, Shotzi and Stark! Samoa Joe comes out and Candice says this isn’t on them! Joe has referees and security get in this, and teams are separated from other teams. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but that’s not happening! Shotzi and Ember are the ones left in the ring, Shirai and Stark are on one side, and Kai and Gonzalez are on the other. Will Candice & Indi have to watch out with this many teams targeting them?

 

Kushida speaks.

“I knew my professional wrestling life wouldn’t last forever. This will be a special moment in my career. Nobody can take this moment away from us.” The Time Splitter is ready, but will he come out on top against a motivated Kyle O’Reilly?

 

BREAKING NEWS!

The Great American Bash just got bigger! After Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher got past the Grizzled Young Veterans, they are getting their shot at the NXT Tag Team Champions! Will the Must-See Kids find themselves in a must-win scenario?

 

Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory VS Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan!

The Way scrambles to finish dressing but they’ve made it in time! Will they make the Bruiserweight and Boston Fury regret getting in their way tonight? Or will it be the other way around?

The teams sort out and Oney starts with Gargano. Gargano fires off hands but Oney knees low and waistlocks. Gargano switches, shoves, then follows to RANA Oney! Oney is up but Gargano dropkicks him down! Oney scrambles to tag Dunne, Gargano arm-drags Dunne but then Dunne fakes Gargano out. Dunne goes for La Magistrol but Gargano slips right out to arm-drag Dunne after all! Fans rally as Dunne kips up, but Gargano wrenches. Tag to Theory but that was the bad hand! Dunne throws Gargano out, but Theory gets Dunne with a forearm! Theory headlocks, Dunne powers out and things speed up, Dunne CLOBBERS Theory!

Tag to Oney, he and Dunne double wrench and double CHOP Theory! Oney CHOPS Theory in a corner, then CHOPS him again! Theory flops down, Oney gets him up to wrench the bad arm and wristlock the bad hand! Dunne tags in, Dunne takes those fingers and bends them! Theory shouts in pain as Dunne hammerlocks the arm into the mat and STOMPS it! Theory flounders, Dunne stays between him and Gargano, then he stomps the bad hand! Dunne gets Theory up, tortures the already damaged digits, and then digs knees into the elbow. Dunne gets the bandages off the fingers to stomp them directly!

Dunne again keeps Theory from Gargano, CHOPS him, then tags Oney. Oney CHOPS Theory, and Theory might have to worry about his chest as much as his fingers. Oney wrenches the arm, bends the fingers, but Theory throws hands. Oney ducks but comes up into a back elbow! Oney is in a corner, Theory hits a clothesline then throws Oney down for slingshot stomps! And a dead lift suplex! Fans fire up as Theory tags Gargano. The Way double whips Oney and double elbow him down! No look high-five and double elbow drop! Gargano is after Oney but Oney kicks low. Tag to Dunne, but Gargano atomic drops!

Tag back to Theory, Gargano whips Dunne and Theory somersaults, SHOTGUN SPINEBUSTER COMBO! Cover, TWO! Theory storms after Dunne in a corner to throw forearms. Theory’s arm bothers him, Dunne fires off KICKS to the leg! Dunne has the arm again for a hammerlock, then pulls the far arm! Dunne digs knuckles into ribs, a knee into the shoulder, and he hammers away on Theory’s side! Dunne drops knees on the bad hand! Chinbar and hammering hands, Dunne just tortures Theory! Dunne sits on Theory to bend the arm back, bend the fingers, and then PENALTY KICK the triceps! Theory sits up into another KICK!

Dunne brings Theory up, whips him to a corner, but Theory manages to go up and over and duck to DROPKICK! Oney gets in but Theory clotheslines him back out! Theory aims, and manages a PLANCHA but misses! Dunne comes around to CLOBBER Theory! Dunne gets in to DECK Gargano, and he tags Oney! Oney & Dunne get Theory up for a DOUBLE APRON SLAM!! The Way is in a bad way as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Dunne drags Theory by his legs. Tag to Oney as Dunne gets Theory up in the Surfboard! Oney CHOPS Theory over and over while he endures, but Dunne lets go at the ref’s count, and Oney DDT’s Theory right down! Gargano coaches Theory but Dunne tags back in. Oney isolates the arm for him and Dunne STOMPS it again! Theory writhes but Dunne gets his wrists. Theory dodges the stomps to roll Dunne up! TWO, and Dunne trips Theory before he gets to Gargano! Theory BOOTS Dunne, Oney tags in, and Oney just barely keeps Theory from Gargano! Theory ROCKS Oney, hot tag to Johnny!

Johnny Wrestling rallies, ENZIGURI for Dunne and CHOP for Oney! BULLDOG CLOTHESLINE COMBO! The fans rally, Gargano whips but Oney puts him on the apron., Gargano SUPERKICKS Dunne, slingshots and SPEARS Oney down! Gargano DIVES to take out Dunne! Fans are thunderous as Gargano gets in and tags Theory. The Way works together but Oney fights hem both off! Oney goes up but Gargano GMAANGIRIS, Theory ARABIAN SPANSIH FLIES! Cover, but Dunne breaks it in time! Gargano scoops Dunne but Dunne slips out to pump handle! BITTER- NO! Gargano slips out but Dunne ROCKS him! Gargano rebounds to DISCUS!

All four men are down and fans are loving “NXT! NXT!” Theory gets Oney back up, Oney CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! Theory CHOPS back! And throws a BIG forearm! Oney comes back with a BLOCKBUSTER! Tag to Dunne and Dunne KICKS Theory to ropes. Dunne WRINGS out the bad arm, locks it, and tortures the fingers before he pulls way back on the arm!! Oney blocks Gargano but Gargano boots him down onto Dunne! Theory is free thanks to that, and Dunne gets his legs moving. Gargano tags in but Dunne ROCKS him! Gargano ROCKS Dunne back with boxing elbows, but Dunne SNAP GERMANS! STOMP to the hands, but Gargano ducks the kick to schoolboy KICK!

Gargano keeps moving, Dunne dodges him, slingshot SPEAR into a FOREARM! Tag to Oney, he and Dunne get Gargano up but Gargano fights free! Gargano shoves Dunne and Oney into each other, then runs and tilt-o-whirls Dunne. Dunne fights off the takedown, and feeds Gargano to Oney’s half nelson! HALF NELSON POWERBOMB COMBO!? Cover, Theory breaks it in time!! Fans are thunderous again as Theory fires off on Dunne! Dunne is after the bad arm again! Theory kicks low, reels Dunne in, but no bomb as Dunne slips out and ENZIGURIS! EuroUpper from Oney! And a CHOP! Oney runs, into Gargano’s SUPERKICK!

Gargano tosses Dunne, runs and DIVES! TOPE TORNADO DDT!! Gargano gets back up to ONE FINAL BEAT!! Cover, The Way wins!!

Winners: Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory, by pinfall

Bad fingers, little time to prepare, but a victory all the same! Gargano is feeling great, until KARRION KROSS blindsides him with a forearm!! Fans boo cranky Kross for attacking Gargano, but Gargano should’ve known better than to call out Mr. Apocalypse. Will there be any way for Johnny Wrestling to take that title from Kross 1v1?

 

The batter continues to charge.

We are now at 41%.

 

Backstage interview with Kross and Scarlett.

Kross won’t talk to the media, he wants to talk to management. Joe is the one to meet him, though. Kross says, “So, these are the new rules. Remember, ‘unless provoked.'” Of course, champ. Joe lets Kross through to the exit. Scarlett shoots Joe a sneer, and then Joe turns around to see Dunne. Another silent stare down between these two certified destroyers of men. Will there ever be words exchanged?

 

MORE BREAKING NEWS!

After the huge brawl earlier tonight, we’re getting a TRIPLE THREAT to determine #1 contenders to the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships! Shirai & Stark VS Shotzi & Ember VS Gonzalez & Kai!! Who wins to make their way to the Great American Bash to take on Candice & Indi?

 

Franky Monet VS Elektra Lopez!

While La Wera Loca calls this her “encore,” it’s really just her second match in NXT. However, she is against a debuting face. Will Franky foil another superstar’s premiere to shine brighter again?

The bell rings and the two tie right up. Franky headlocks, hits a takeover, and cranks on the hold. Lopez gets up, pries free and wrenches to a wristlock, but Franky rolls and wrenches back. Franky powers Lopez into a corner, the ref counts and Franky lets off to CHOP Lopez! Franky dares Lopez to do something, but then runs into Lopez’s elbow! And boot! Lopez storms after Franky to scoop and SLAM her! And drop an elbow! And then another! Lopez does a little dance but Franky bails out. Lopez storms over but into a shoulder! Franky runs into forearms from Lopez! Lopez runs but Franky follows, blocks and wrenches to KICKS and an STO!

Franky fires up and the fans follow as she floats around to ground ‘n’ pound. Looks familiar, like a certain guru taught her. Franky stomps Lopez, then drags Lopez up to TOSS her by her hair! Franky eggs Lopez on again and Lopez throws body shots, only for Franky to CLUB her down! Franky whips Lopez to the corner, runs in and elbows her! Franky makes Lopez take a seat, then goes corner to corner, but Lopez dodges! Franky bumps into buckles, and Lopez gets up to CHOP! And CHOP! Lopez dodges, comes back and back elbows! Fans fire up with Lopez and she BOOTS Franky, to then fireman’s carry! Franky fights free, blocks Lopez and spins her to ROLLING ELBOW!

Franky gets Lopez up, chicken wing, GLAM SLAM! Cover, Franky wins!

Winners: Franky Monet, by pinfall

The sequel is a success, just like the first! Will it only be a matter of time before #BougieBad goes after the belt?

 

Backstage interview with Bronson Reed.

The North American Champion knows Santos Escobar is calling him out, and his response is that he is confused. He squishes Escobar, puts him through a barricade, what more does Reed have to do? Does he have to squish Escobar into this TV here? Or put him through the windows? Through walls? Reed could destroy the whole CWC and- Hit Row interrupts by walking in, and Swerve gets in Reed’s face. Swerve eyes the title, and Top Dolla says, “Everybody’s colossal, until a colossus walks in the room.” True, Top Dolla is talla than Reed. Adonis tells the fans that Ever-Rise are about to get a crash course, without seatbelts.

Also, Reed ain’t even from North America. Yeah, cuz that’s how to get this. Reed doesn’t sweat Hit Row, but will he worry about them more after dealing with Escobar?

 

NXT shares a video from social media.

Apparently, this incident earlier today is what Hit Row was referring to before the break. Ever-Rise was lurking like parking lot ninjas, and they crept up on Hit Row’s ride. They shake up the spray paint, but “Dolla King” was already in the driver’s seat. Does he know that Ever-Rise is Ever-Rise? “Ski masks don’t work when your name’s on your shirt.” Oh, right. RUN FOR IT! Will Ever-Rise at least rule in the ring?

Ever-Rise VS Hit Row!

Matt Martel & Chase Parker take on Top Dolla & Ashante “Thee” Adonis, and if you didn’t know, now you know!

The teams sort out, Martel gets bulldozed by Dolla and Dolla even hits Parker for good measure! “What is my name?!” Dolla DECKS Martel, stands on him, and tags Adonis. Adonis takes his shirt off to throw it at Parker! Parker gets mad but Martel gets around to tag him in! Parker ROCKS Adonis but Adonis hits the AIR-DROP! Adonis hammers away on Parker, fires off knees, and B-Fab tells him to cool off. Adonis drags Parker back, tags Dolla back in, and Hit Row gets Parker up. Dolla taunts Martel but Parker wriggles free! Tag to Martel and Ever-Rise fires off hands! Dolla shoves them both away, but they dump him out hard!

Fans fire up for Ever-Rise as they fire each other up. Dolla gets up and he’s pissed! Parker runs in but Dolla DECKS him, then TOSSES him! Dolla gets Martel with a choke grip, shoves him to the corner and SPLASHES! Tag to Adonis for the LONG KISS GOODNIGHT! Tag back to Dolla, and Swerve says to end it. Dolla drags Parker up, reels him in, and coordinates with Adonis, POWERBOMB NECKBREAKER! Cover, Hit Row wins!

Winners: Hit Row, by pinfall

Parker checks on Martel, but he gets a HOUSE CALL from Swerve! Ever-Rise might not ever get back up! Will they make sure to keep Hit Row’s names out of their mouths from now on?

 

Backstage interview with Mercedes Martinez.

McKenzie has huge news, there will be a mixed tag with her against Boa & Xia Li! But who has she chosen for a partner? Well, Mercedes can get down with this. But she doesn’t make friends that easily. She can go, with or without- But then XIA LI attacks from behind! Boa talks some smack to Mercedes, too, but JAKE ATLAS comes in and BOOTS him down! Atlas says he’s just joined the fight! Mercedes and Atlas tell Tian Sha’s warriors they’ll see them next week. Will Mean Ms. Mercedes and the Muscle of El Monte make Tian Sha shrink back into the shadows?

 

Kyle O’Reilly speaks.

“Sometimes, you come across a guy you were just born to wrestle, and Kushida is that for me.” When Kyle and Kushida face off, the world watches a great match that is just a byproduct of them stepping in the ring. Kyle will wrestle like this is the last match of his career, and he is sure Kushida will do the same. That match is coming! Will Kyle keep pace with Cole? Or is he going to find why Kushida is still the Super Junior?

 

Kyle O’Reilly VS KUSHIDA!

This match may have come about because of the “pick your poison” challenge, but both men (and the fans) are more than happy to have this dream match happen in NXT! Will Kyle be fired up just weeks away from the Great American Bash? Or will plenty of fireworks go off right here?

The bell rings and the two circle. They give a quick low-five of respect before they clinch and go for control. Kushida hooks a leg to block a takedown and they end up on ropes. Kyle gets the other leg, trips Kushida, but Kushida’s leg guard is strong. Kushida trips Kyle, Kyle’s leg guard is also strong, and they knuckle lock on top of the leg grapple. Kyle turns things back around, cover, ONE! Kyle pushes that arm down for another cover, Kushida bridges. Kushida uses his leg guard to keep Kyle away, and then gets up to push Kyle over with body weight. Kushida throws elbows, handsprings through and gets Kyle for an ARMBAR! Kyle gets up and gets free, and fans cheer the exchange!

Kyle and Kushida go again, another leg hook to block a takedown, and Kushida gets a waistlock. Kyle pries the waistlock open, tackles Kushida, and uses his knee to keep Kushida down while going for the Triangle! Kushida gets the ropebreak, Kyle lets off, and fans cheer again. Kushida and Kyle circle, tie up, Kyle waistlocks but Kushida pries at it. Kyle headlocks, Kushida powers out and things speed up. Kyle rolls to BOOT, but Kushida stays up. Kyle whips, Kushida handsprings, into an ARMBAR! Kushida gets free and comes back to go around with Kyle! Kyle holds Kushida off to put Kushida in the cobra twist! But Kushida hip tosses free and cartwheels to basement dropkick!

Fans love this as Kushida looms over Kyle. Kushida steps over to hammerlock the arm, and TWISTS it! Kyle writhes but Kushida gets him up for a top wristlock. Kyle tries to fight free but Kushida wrangles him down. Kushida bends fingers, twists the wrist, and drags Kyle around. Kyle pushes a forearm into Kushida’s face but Kushida KICKS him to a corner! Kushida whips Kyle corner to corner, Kyle stops himself and comes back to go for a leg. Kushida gets free and he goes for a leg, but Kyle steps over to get Kushida’s leg. Kushida shakes Kyle off and goes for Kyle’s leg, but Kyle gets free. They both shoot in and their heads collide! Fans fire up how even these two are, and NXT goes picture in picture!

Kushida and Kyle back off to opposite ends and Kyle even goes out of the ring to walk it off. Kushida sees him, Kyle gets on the apron and Kushida is after the arm! Wrench and elbow breaker HOTSHOT! Kyle flops down, Kushida gets him inside and has the arm for another wristlock. Kushida grinds Kyle down, hooks up the arm and pulls the other back! Kyle endures, Kushida steps over and further, for a RECLINER! Kushida’s wrestler bridge is leverage enough but he gets back up to fall back! Kyle writhes from the snap in the shoulders! Kushida gets Kyle up but Kyle waistlocks and drags Kushida down to CLUB him! And KNEE him! And float to CLUB and KNEE again!

Kyle backs off to run and KNEE DROP! Kushida writhes now, but Kyle gets him up to tie up the legs in a figure four knot. Kyle adds on a cobra twist, Kushida endures what Kyle wants to call this combination, and pulls hair to pull Kyle back! TWO, and Kyle grimaces but Kushida KICKS him in the leg! Kushida KICKS the leg again, but Kyle kicks back! They kick and boot each other on the mat, then get space again. Kyle gets Kushida up to throw forearms, but Kushida KICKS the arm! And again! And again! Kyle walks around, clutching his elbow, but Kushida YANKS the arm! And YANKS! And YANKS again!

NXT returns to single picture and fans rally as Kyle tries a chinlock. Kushida snapmares free then PENALTY KICKS the arm in the corner! Kushida keeps moving but Kyle KNEES him back! Kyle wants a sayanagi but Kushida blocks the first time. Kyle gets the throw after all, and wraps on body scissors and sleeper! Kushida moves around to resist, and he hooks Kyle’s legs for a toehold! Kyle CLUBS Kushida, the two separate, and Kyle KICKS and SLAPS and KNEES and KICKS! Kushida jumps the sweep to CLOBBER Kyle! Kyle staggers up into an atomic drop! Kushida whips and hip tosses to an ARMBAR! Kyle moves around but into the HOVERBOARD!

Kyle slips free and he wants an armbar! Kushida moves around, waistlocks, but Kyle switches! Kushida drops, slips under and trips Kyle to the Hoverboard! But Kyle headscissors! Kushida floats, gets free, PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kyle clutches the wrist and Kushida KICKS away on the biceps! Kyle blocks a kick to slip around, fisherman but Kushida knees free! Kushida underhooks for a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Bridge, ROPEBREAK! Kyle saves himself and Kushida is a bit surprised! Kushida goes to the corner, climbs up top, and leaps, but Kyle avoids the flying knee! Kyle gives knees, forearms, KICKS and a rolling takedown! HEEL HOOK!

Kushida gets up to BRIDGE! TWO!! Kyle escapes but Kushida ROCKS him! Kyle forearms, both men try to fake the other out, but Kyle KNEES Kushida! Kushida holds off the suplex to ROLLING ELBOW! Kyle yoyos but Kushida dodges to PELE! Kyle still yoyos to LARIAT!! Kyle drags Kushida up, suplex and BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives, this is why he is a champion! The CWC is thunderous as they rally and duel! Kyle goes to the apron, to a corner, and he climbs up. Kushida HANDSPRING KICKS Kyle down! Kyle is on the apron, Kushida gets his arm, and RAMS the arm into the post!

Kushida goes out to join Kyle on the apron now, and Kushida KICKS the arm again! And again! And again! Kyle grits his teeth as he blocks, but he has to reverse grip. Kushida fights off the guillotine and HAMMERLOCK SUPLEXES Kyle to the apron! Both men fall to the floor and fans are thunderous as a ring count begins! We’re at 5 of 10 as Kushida drags Kyle up and into the ring. Kushida aims and PENALTY KICKS the arm again! Kushida keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl but Kyle KNEES Kushida! AX ‘N’ SMASH! But Kushida FAST BALLS!! Both men fall over and fans are still loving this! Kushida gets Kyle up by his bad arm, wrenches it and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! TO THE HOVEBOARD!

Kyle moves around and around, slips out and whips Kushida to a corner to KNEE him! Kyle keeps moving, but runs into a body scissor! HOVERBOARD!! Kyle uses his own tights to block! But Kushida keeps Kyle from ropes! HOVEBOARD IS ON! But Kyle victory rolls?! KYLE WINS!!!

Winners: Kyle O’Reilly, by pinfall

Kyle just snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! Kushida can’t believe it, but Kyle gives Kushida his due. Kushida returns the favor, these two have great respect for each other, and for good reason! But here comes Cole! Kyle was ready and he tackles Cole over the announce desk! They brawl and bounce each other off desk and barriers! Then they throw more hands! Cole bounces Kyle off desk and barriers again, security rushes out to stop this, but Kyle wants payback! Cole goes after him, too, but Joe is

Wait, who is that going after Kushida?! Waistlock and SLAM!! That’s RODERICK STRONG?!?! Strong, Tyler Rust and a third man are here, and Strong KNEES Kushida down! Strong and his new compatriots have matching jackets, and MALCOLM BIVENS is here, too? Bivens shows Strong the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, and says “THIS! IS! DIAMOND MINE!!” Finally, we see just who was coming to NXT! And Strong tells Kushida, “Soon.” The Diamond Mine is open, and the Messiah of the Backbreaker is coming for gold! Will Kushida be able to withstand the pressure?


My Thoughts:

What an awesome episode! Cole opening with his promo about not wanting to and then Carmelo Hayes coming out and literally referencing John Cena, and especially the match, all of it was great stuff. Hayes is definitely a future champion on any if not all levels of NXT, this was perhaps Cole’s seal of approval on him. We got a good promo from Knight, and a good, quick segment with Grimes. I am pretty sure this means Grimes VS Ari Sterling is next week to help get Grimes back into the swing of things before going after Knight in a Million Dollar Rematch. Also, Ciampa & Thatcher VS MSK for Great American Bash, that’s a great move and could go either way to me.

Bronson Reed had a good promo to respond to Santos Escobar, their 1v1 match should definitely happen at Great American Bash. Given Swerve getting in Reed’s face tonight, Reed has to retain so Swerve can get his shot. Escobar can still come back around later, but Reed and Swerve have history so it just makes sense they have their match. Hit Row VS Ever-Rise was really good, really fun, lot of character work from everyone. Hit Row of course wins, Adonis and Dolla might need to work on that bomb neckbreaker combo, but they’re gonna get in the title scene soon enough. I’m just curious as to if and when “B-Fab” Briana Brandy gets in a match.

Franky Monet is totally swiping Robert Stone’s team from him, just a matter of when. Franky of course wins her second match, but I will say Elektra Lopez gave her a lot better fight than I expected. Franky leading an all female faction will definitely help keep her bougie bad persona from getting stale, she is already having good chemistry with Aliyah and Jessi, they could definitely make big moves in the division. Though, obviously, not right now. Shirai & Stark did great in their match against the Robert Stone Brand, and I did like that we got that big brawl of the women’s teams to set up next week’s contender’s match.

The only shortcoming was Shotzi & Ember having awkward banter. I appreciate Ember sticking to a catchphrase but I feel like Shotzi should change up her add-on. She already used “MARBLES!” so maybe other synonyms for going crazy should be used. In that Triple Threat, they all have reason to get after The Way, but given the recent build, I think Shirai & Stark get the nod for Great American Bash. At the same time, I don’t think the challengers take the titles off The Way, unless Dexter Lumis returns to distract Indi with his apology about that Poppy misunderstanding. Love conquers all, and #InDex is gonna conquer The Way.

The other half of The Way had great stuff, too. Gargano and Theory are so great together, both in promos and in matches. They had an awesome match with Dunne & Oney, Gargano got to unleash again, and Kross going after Gargano totally means those two face off, maybe even at The Great American Bash. Kross will certainly cross off Gargano and just keep going until Kyle comes back around. Speaking of which, Kyle and Kushida each had great promos to hype the main event, and it was definitely a match that lived up to the hype. Kyle winning with a quick pin rather than any finisher is great, it keeps Kushida strong enough given what’s coming next.

Cole attacking Kyle makes sense, and I like that it wasn’t used to “ruin” the main event. And it all worked that Joe was more focused on that chaos than what ended up happening in the ring. The Diamond Mine was hyped for showing up tonight, and just when it seemed like they wouldn’t, they did! I could not have ever guessed it was Roderick Strong coming back after claiming he was quitting. And at the same time, the writing was there for Rust and Bivens. “Diamond in the Rust,” that all comes back around to be Rust is in the Diamond Mine and that is clever.

The third man, though not named here, is apparently Hideki Suzuki, who has built his career for the last 13 years in the Japanese independents, having Pro-Wrestling Zero1’s Triple Crown. I therefore know very little else, but if he’s in NXT and debuting through this group, he’s a big deal and will show us some great stuff in the coming weeks.

My Score: 9.3/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (6/22/21)

The Path of Cage grows Dark!

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AEW Dark 2

AEW Dark paves the way towards a Dynamite Saturday!

Abadon, Brian Cage, Lance Archer and The Dark Order are in action as AEW prepares for a super Saturday Night Dynamite!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Lance Archer VS Rex Lawless; Archer wins.
  • Brian Pillman Jr. w/ Julia Hart VS Bear Bronson; BPJ wins.
  • Brian Cage VS Chandler Hopkins; Cage wins.
  • Diamante VS Ashley D’Amboise; Diamante wins.
  • Colt Cabana w/ The Dark Order VS Kit Sackett; Cabana wins.
  • Chuck Taylor w/ Best Friends VS Dan Barry; Chuck wins.
  • Abadon VS Ashley Vox; Abadon wins.
  • Marko Stunt VS Griff Garrison w/ Julia Hart; Griff wins.
  • The Bunny w/ The Blade VS Reka Tehaka; The Bunny wins.
  • Stu Grayson w/ The Dark Order VS Serpentico w/ Luther; Grayson wins.

MY THOUGHTS

Wow, only ten matches and only 48 minutes? Now these are numbers for Dark I can get behind. Varsity Blonds having a promo to open to respond to what happened with Miro on Dynamite was good, and the promo itself was good. BPJ’s match being second on the card is a bit odd, why not just go right to him? It was still a strong match because Bear Bronson is doing great stuff even though he’s on his own. BPJ wins, of course, because he’s headed for that match with Miro. Lance Archer going right after Lawless from his entrance was good stuff and keeps with the promo he and Jake the Snake had last Dynamite. I’m thinking All Out is when Archer finally “wins the big one.”

Brian Cage being third was definitely more for the sake of having Ricky Starks on commentary so he could be bitter. Taz added good character to this with his frustrations about Starks and Cage not getting along. Hopkins got a really good showing against Cage, but Cage wins all the same. Cage chasing Starks backstage was a good detail, too. Hopefully Starks will be healthy by All Out, that makes the perfect place for this to blow off. Then Diamante gets a good and fast win off D’Amboise, really showing that fire. I still wonder what her route will be with Ivelisse and those women’s tag medals gone. There are still a few factions that have no female presence, I wonder if she’d be open to joining up with one.

Colt Cabana starts off strong and wins fast against Sackett, I feel like they could’ve again had a case where another faction member on the card just has their match right after. Stu Grayson being the main event with Serpentico was both good for them, and made for a really good match. The Dark Order is going to maintain this midcard momentum, but I really wonder if any of them will ever get titles. Maybe as AEW enters year three, and maybe as Hangman finally “wins the big one,” the Dark Order will make that breakthrough to get gold again.

Just as I was wondering when the other Best Friends would return to action, Chuck is here to get a win off the debuting “Detective” Dan Barry, but Barry had a great showing. Abadon still scares me but that goes to show her character work is top tier. And she just keeps winning so she’s gonna be sticking around. Griff keeps the Blonds strong winning against Marko Stunt but Marko is always fun to watch. Bunny Allie and Reka Tehaka getting the penultimate match is great for both of them, really builds the women’s division as a whole, too. Bunny of course wins, HFO needs to be strong in all title chases and she’s a very complete character so she’s a natural choice.

My Score: 8.2/10


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