Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (8/26/20)
Who took over at TakeOver?
There is a NEW NXT Champion, but at what cost?
TakeOver: XXX closed with an epic clash between Keith Lee and Karrion Kross, and in the end, The Limitless One was taken past his limit! Kross won and brought doomsday to NXT, but at what cost to his body?
- NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium VS Breezango; Breezango wins and becomes the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
- Jake Atlas VS Tommaso Ciampa; Ciampa wins.
- Mia Yim VS Mercedes Martinez w/ Robert Stone Brand; changed to…
- Mia Yim VS Shotzi Blackheart; Shotzi wins.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
- Drake Maverick VS Kyle O’Reilly; O’Reilly wins.
- Io Shirai & Rhea Ripley VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez; Kai & Gonzalez win.
PLAY BY PLAY
The NEW NXT Champion is here!
Karrion Kross, as well as Scarlett Bordeaux, head to the ring, having triumphed over the Limitless Keith Lee. However, it is clear Kross’ right arm is in a sling as Scarlett hands him a mic. Karrion says, “I told you again and again that I would become the NXT Champion. And I warned you that on the way there, everyone would suffer!” At TakeOver: 30, he kept his word when he ripped this title off Keith’s “carcass, like flesh from bone!” Everyone should now that when you go to war, there will be casualties on both sides. Kross’ shoulder was separated. He is in pain, but he loves it. However, he is a realist. He understands the reality of his situation. There is no way he can defend the title in this condition.
“On the path, there are obstacles. But for me, the obstacles are the path.” Kross lays down the NXT Championship, and Scarlett sets an hourglass beside it. “Let this be a warning. This changes absolutely nothing. Doomsday is coming.” In the end, everyone pays the toll. God help the “obstacles” that will be in his path. #Ticktock. The sands pour, counting down the days until the new champion now turned former champion can come back to truly take the throne.
Wade Barrett returns to join commentary!
The former WWE Intercontinental Champion is back and honored to be here in NXT. The wind has been taken out of his sails from Kross’ huge announcement just now! But as someone who had to relinquish a title for the very same reason as Kross, Barrett’s heart goes out to him.
NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium VS Breezango!
Speaking of returns, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner return to action to properly settle things with Tyler Breeze and Fandango! The fun-loving Prince Pretty and Lord of Dance are keeping it all business as they get one more shot at the Impeccable German and Pride of Italy! Will Breezango become the fun-loving tag team champions? Or will the mat forever be sacred?
But before introductions and belt raising, Breezango attacks Imperium! They fire off fast hands and kick Barthel and Aichner out! The champions get back in and are red hot but the referee keeps the peace. The teams sort out, Fandango and Aichner start, and they tie up. Aichner waistlocks, Fandango standing switches, Aichner pries free, rolls back and arm-drags Fandango down. Fandango gets up, Barthel tags in and Aichner whips. Barthel arm-drags Fandango down and cranks on the bad arm with an armlock. Fandango gets up, Barthel headlocks but Fandango powers out. Barthel runs Fandango over, speeds things up, but Fandango hurdles and dropkicks Barthel down! Barthel staggers up as NXT goes picture in picture.
Barthel facelocks Fandango and drags her to the other corner. Aichner tags in, Imperium mugs Fandango, then Aichner clubs him down. Aichner drags Fandango up and CHOPS him back to the corner. Aichner stomps a mudhole, digs his boot in, but lets up at the ref’s count. Tag to Barthel and Barthel talks trash as he stomps Fandango. Barthel stomps a mudhole of his own, lets off to taunt Breeze, but Fandango fights up! Fandango CHOPS Barthel, Barthel kicks low and throat chops! The ref reprimands but Barthel has Fandango on the apron. Barthel DECKS him, and Fandango staggers about on the floor. Barthel drags Fandango back up to clobber him in the ring!
Barthel kicks Fandango to the open corner and stomps away. The ref counts, Barthel argues, but he whips Fandango back to the Imperium corner. Fandango reaches for Breeze but Barthel brings him around, shoves and throws a body shot. Barthel elbows Fandango at the ropes, tags Aichner, and they mug Fandango more. Aichner scoops Fandango for a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Aichner keeps Fandango from Breeze with a facelock, tags Barthel back in, and they mug Fandango more. The ref reprimands, Aichner exits but Barthel toys with Fandango. Barthel drags Fandango up to throw European Uppercuts! He whips Fandango and elbows him down, covers, ONE!
Barthel keeps close to Fandango and facelocks again. Fandango endures but Barthel shifts to a chinlock and grinds Fandango down more. Fandango fights as the crowd rallies up. NXT returns to single picture, Fandango fights back with body shots but Barthel throat chops again! Tag to Aichner, Barthel fires off hands then Aichner throws some of his own. Fandango hits back, but Aichner picks him up to feed to Barthel’s EuroUpper! Fandango staggers into Aichner’s LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fandango crawls to the ropes but Aichner is on him with a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! Aichner drags Fandango up, bumps him off buckles, tag to Barthel. Imperium double whips, Fandango kicks back and throws Aichner out! Hot tag to Breeze!
Prince Pretty runs into Barthel’s kick, Barthel DECKS Fandango, and Barthel sends Breeze at the Imperium corner. Breeze SUPER MODEL KICKS Aichner off the apron! Breeze mule kicks Barthel, runs and hits a forearm in the corner! Breeze whips corner to corner for another big forearm! Breeze keeps moving but Barthel EuroUppers him at the ropes! Barthel runs, Breeze KNEES back! Barthel staggers to a corner, Breeze whips corner to corner, but Barthel reverses and redirects Breeze at the ref! Breeze stops himself by going up and over, but Barthel EuroUppers him again! Then Half Hatch suplexes Breeze to center! Barthel hops up, leaps, but into Breeze’s BEAUTY SHOT! Cover, TWO!!
Breeze is surprised but he refocuses. The crowd rallies as Breeze drags Barthel around. Barthel resists as Breeze brings him up with the double chicken wings. Barthel bumps Breeze into buckles but Breeze holds on. Barthel rams back in again, throws elbow after elbow, then enziguris Breeze down! The ref reprimands all the corner action but Barthel talks trash while dragging Breeze around by his hair. Breeze trips Barthel up and drags him around! Barthel kicks away, hot tags Aichner, and Aichner runs into an ENZIGURI! Breeze shakes out the cobwebs and drags Aichner over. Fandango tags in, Breeze catapults Aichner into Fandango’s forearm! Fandango climbs up, FASHION FAUX PAS!! But Barthel bails Aichner out!
Fandango FLIES! Down goes Aichner, but Barthel EuroUppers Fandango off his feet! Aichner dead lift GERMAN SUPLEXES Fandango to the floor! Imperium immediately takes control back and NXT goes to break!
NXT returns as Aichner grinds Fandango down with a keylock arm triangle. Fandango fights up, fights free, and rocks Aichner. Fandango DECKS Barthel, BOOTS Aichner, but leaps into Aichner’s arms! Aichner pops Fandango up to a rolling senton! And moonsault! Cover but Breeze breaks it! Barthel BLASTS Breeze with another EUroUpper! Barthel throws Breeze into the boards, then tilt-o-whirl SLAMS him down! The ref reprimands and Barthel returns to his corner. Aichner drags Barthel up and suplexes for a toss! But Fandango lands on his feet! JAWBREAKER! Barthel tags in but Fandango dodges, only to run into a SPINE BUSTER! PENALTY KICK! AIR RAID CRASH!! Cover, TWO!! Fandango survives and Imperium can’t believe it!
The crowd is thunderous for Fandango but Barthel drags him back up. Barthel puts Fandango in the corner and stick shim between the ropes. Tag to Aichner, Imperium goes side to side, but Fandango moves and the dropkick sandwich ends up double-edged! Barthel dropkicks Aichner down and is in shock! Fandango crawls, Breeze is back on the corner, Barthel gets Aichner back in, but Breeze tags in! Aichner LARIATS Breeze!! Tag to Barthel, but Breeze escapes the bomb to SUPER MODEL KICK Barthel out of the sky! Aichner swings but misses, SUPER MODEL KICK! Hot tag back to Fandango, and he climbs up! Fandango leaps to DOUBLE LEG DROP!! Cover on Aichner, Breezango wins!!
Winners: Breezango, by pinfall (NEW NXT Tag Team Champions)
Simply stunning! Breeze and Fandango finally have championships in their WWE careers! An incredible journey finally strikes gold, and now the former Fashion Police have the greatest accessories added to their wardrobes! And they celebrate with commentary! Will Barthel and Aichner have to answer to Walter the Ring General for this?
The NEW North American Champion, Damian Priest, arrives.
Mackenzie is there to ask him questions, and he knows she has many, but he will answer them all in due time. But the after party is still rolling from TakeOver. But Timothy Thatcher walks by and says it’s EMBARRASSING to see how Priest behaves. Priest doesn’t even know who Thatcher is. Well Thatcher is a guy who can show that title the respect it deserves, and should be the guy who gets the first shot. Oh? Yeah! Because if Priest steps in the ring with Thatcher without a bunch of ladders to hide behind, Thatcher will show how “unequipped” Priest is. Priest takes a chug of champagne and tells Thatcher he’s plenty well equipped. Priest laughs now, but will Thatcher make him eat those words?
NXT Media peeks in on a very important meeting.
NXT General Manager, William Regal, as well as top executives Matt “A-Train” Bloom, HBK Shawn Michaels and HHH himself sit at a table. We cannot hear them, but we can only assume it has to do with the suddenly vacated NXT Championship. With former champion, Keith Lee, now part of Monday Night Raw, the possibilities are limitless.
Jake Atlas VS Tommaso Ciampa!
The bright and rising star has a style and presentation quite the opposite of the returning Psycho Killer! The song still says #NoOneWillSurvive, will that still hold true?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Ciampa powers Atlas to a corner, the ref counts and Ciampa lets up, to then stomp low and CHOP hard! Atlas shoves back and gets in Ciampa’s face, to get a HEADBUTT! Ciampa stomps a mudhole into Atlas but lets off at the ref’s count. But then he goes after Atlas with even more fire! The ref counts, CIampa lets off at 4, to drag Atlas through the ropes for WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa wins!!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Welcome back, Blackheart Ciampa! Perhaps Ciampa’s fastest and most furious win, and thereby Atlas’ most brutal defeat. And Ciampa isn’t done as he drags Atlas out to throw into steel steps! And into Plexiglas! And back into steps! Atlas goes up and over and the crowd is divided between die hards who like this Ciampa and those who are upset seeing him brutally attack Atlas even more! Ciampa stops when extra referees appear, only to PSYCHO KNEE Atlas!! Ciampa drags Atlas to the ring, puts him under the frame, but thinks better of the guillotine catapult. Until he does it anyway!! Ciampa sits on the apron while a stretcher is brought out for Atlas.
Referees shout “What the hell are you thinking?!” What did Atlas do to deserve this? Ciampa doesn’t speak, but perhaps it was just getting the short straw on the match draw. Ciampa doesn’t even stop here, he drags Atlas off the stretcher for ANOTHER WILLOW’S BELL! The crowd turns on Ciampa, but that never bothered Ciampa in the first place. Will Ciampa do this to everyone on his path back to “Goldie,” the NXT Championship?
Candice LeRae speaks on her “friendship” with Tegan Nox.
They met as Candice was coming up on 10 years in the indies, and was fortunate to find her. There was obviously something special about Tegan, and it reminded Candice of herself. Tegan is amazingly talented, has a great attitude and a passion for wrestling. Candice roomed with Tegan in Wales, Tegan showed Candice a castle, and that’s basically a great way to win Candice over. It was an amazing time, going all over and shared stories, and even did some cooking. It was like peanut butter and jelly, but Candice thinks Tegan is the one who doesn’t get it. Candice would help Tegan, but where was Tegan to help her?
Candice says she’s on the right path. Tegan can join that path, but she just needs to open her mind. If Tegan doesn’t want to follow Candice, then stay out of Candice’s way. “Sometimes, you just gotta be selfish.” If Tegan doesn’t get that, that’s life.
NXT returns with a backstage interview with Bronson Reed.
Auszilla knows Thatcher called his shot at Priest for the North American Championship, but Reed has been in that title picture longer. How does Reed feel about Thatcher’s comments? Reed “appreciates” Thatcher’s ambition, but Reed’s the one who actually has a win over Priest. Therefore, Reed should have that opportunity. But Austin Theory walks in! For one, quite the surprise to see Theory back and on NXT instead of Raw. But Theory congrats Reed on that long, long climb to TakeOver: XXX. Of course, it only took Theory a couple steps to be part of WrestleMania at just 22, but hey! Here’s some advice. If Reed keeps chasing the stars, maybe when he’s 55, he’ll be champion. Funny. SLAP! Theory laughs off that “warm welcome,” but will he have a response for Reed waiting next time?
Mia Yim VS Mercedes Martinez w/ Robert Stone Brand!
The Head Baddie in Charge is proud of Keith Lee for his debut on Monday Night Raw, but that means she’s truly solo in NXT. And right away, Robert Stone says, “C’mon, Mia! Your lack of intelligence is astounding to me!” Did anyone really think he’d let Mercedes Martinez get in the ring after what Rhea Ripley did to her? Yes, Mia is the HBIC of NXT, but this is #SuitManStone, and he- is getting run over by Shotzi Blackheart’s tank! Again! Aliyah can’t move it off him and Shotzi hurries to the ring! She’ll take on Mia in Mercedes’ place! Will this change of plans throw Mia for a loop? Or will she show Shotzi how to really #TCB, Take Care o’ Business?
Mia Yim VS Shotzi Blackheart!
The bell rings and Shotzi and Mia fist bump with respect, completely ignoring the fact referees dragged the tank off Stone’s legs and now carry him to the back. Shotzi and Mia tie up, Shotzi waistlocks but Mia standing switches to slam Shotzi down. Mia facelocks, Shotzi gets up, Mia slips around to hammerlock. Shotzi works on a reversal and trips Mia up. Shotzi wants the legs, Mia resists, “WELCOME TO THE BALL PIT!” Jeff Hardy style leg splitting leg drop! Mia hobbles up, Shotzi whips but Mia reverses. Mia follows, redirects Shotzi and huricanranas! Shotzi gets up, counter punches, bobs ‘n’ weaves but the monkey flip is blocked! Mia swings a kick but Shotzi slides under it, to come back and pop up for a huricanrana takedown! Cover, TWO!
The two get up, Mia body scissors and rolls Shotzi to a cover, TWO! Shotzi and Mia both boot but they both block, too. They talk it out and agree to put the legs down at the same time. A nod of respect and another fist bump, and Shotzi howls, only for Mia to throat chop her! Mia shrugs then throws forearms in the corner. Mia whips corner to corner, Shotzi boots but Mia blocks! Mia has both legs for a DOUBLE DRAGON SCREW! Shotzi hobbles away, Mia gets her legs again and matchbook covers, TWO! Mia stalks Shotzi to a corner, drags her up to snapmare her back down and KICK her! Mia digs her knees into Shotzi’s back and laces up the legs for a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Shotzi endures being bent back, but pops free to cover! TWO, and Mia shotgun dropkicks Shotzi to a corner!
Mia runs, Shotzi boots back! Shotzi goes up and over, rolls and runs back, to corner splash and whip! Mia rolls, Shotzi SLING DOGS her! Shotzi fires up as the crowd does, and she KNEES Mia, then rolling elbows! QUESTION MARK KICK! SNAP SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi grows frustrated, drags Mia up and runs again, but into Mia’s full nelson, for a DRAGON SUPLEX! Shotzi ends up in a corner, Mia runs in to give her a helluva BOOT! Mia rolls Shotzi out, climbs up and missile dropkicks, only for Shotzi to deflect! Shotzi back sentons then climbs up top! Shotzi aims, for the SUPER SENTON! Cover, Shotzi wins!!
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart, by pinfall
A huge win for Shotzi for coming out of nowhere! Will Shotzi ride that tank all the way to an NXT Women’s Championship match? Will Mia be able to rebound on her own road back to a title opportunity?
NXT Media finds William Regal exiting his office.
They ask the NXT GM about the meeting we saw earlier. Was a decision made? Yes, and Regal is going to take this news to the ring. What decision has been reached for the uncertain future of the NXT Championship?
NXT returns with a backstage interview with Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.
What are their thoughts on tonight’s tag team match with Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley? Dakota says Rhea should’ve minded her business at TakeOver. But if you’re wondering how they feel about the match, they’re not bothered! It’ll be easy because they’re an actual team. Rhea and Io are not, because they barely get along. But Rhea wants what Io has, and Io wants to keep it. Dakota still deserves to be champion and will prove that tonight. Raquel tells Rhea she messed up getting in her face. These two head out, will #BigMamaCool and #CobraKai show both the Mosh Pit Kid and NXT Women’s Champion who the real nightmares and evil geniuses are?
William Regal is in the ring.
He stands with the NXT Championship and mentions TakeOver: XXX’s incredible main event of Keith Lee and Karrion Kross. Even after suffering a shoulder injury halfway through, Kross overcame that and Keith to become the new champion. But as we know, the injury was too severe and the title was relinquished. As hard as that is, Kross has handled that the same as every situation since coming to NXT: “With conviction and ferocity.” So Regal feels it is his duty to wish Kross well on his recovery.
But the show must go on, and we need a new NXT Champion. And after conferring with the “NXT Advisory Board,” they have an “incredible solution.” Next week’s special Tuesday Night NXT, FOUR of the greatest superstars in NXT history, all former champions, four who can claim to be the greatest ever in this industry, will compete in a Fatal 4 Way! All four have numerous accolades and any one of them could be considered the face of NXT, title or no. Those four are: the historic first Triple Crown winner, Johnny Gargano; one of the most ferocious competitors Regal has ever seen, and who never truly lost the title, Tommaso Ciampa; a man who reigned for 292 days, the first WWE Universal Champion, Finn Balor; and finally, the other Triple Crown winner and the number one longest reigning NXT Champion in history, Adam Cole!
NXT’s Super Tuesday will see one of those men become THE NXT Champion! But it won’t be so easy. For the first time in history, it will be decided in a Fatal 4 Way, 60 Minute IRONMAN MATCH! A what?! That match is unheard of, but it will truly prove who is the rightful next champion! Will you be ready for #NXTuesday?!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
Speaking of championships, the Leader of Leaders has been trying to lead the Cruiserweight Division but it’s hard to say “by example.” But he’s finally entering Swerve’s House, unable to deny that Swerve is the only man to beat him in the WWE! Will Swerve soon have gold to justify all his confidence? Or will the legacy of Fantasma grow stronger still?
Somewhat surprisingly, Escobar walks out with El Legado’s Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde, but has them return to the back. We’ve also seen him do this before and they only returned later on to be an ace in the hole. Will Swerve be ready for that?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this battle for the top spot in the division begins!
Swerve and Escobar circle, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm for a wristlock and whip. Swerve goes up the ropes, hops to the apron, and reels Escobar in for a boot! Swerve then hops up, flips and arm-drags Escobar out of the ring! Escobar staggers around but Swerve goes up and out to the apron again. Escobar gets away and wags his finger but Swerve says it was that close. The two are in a stand-off as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns, Escobar has a headlock and grinds Swerve, and holds on as Swerve tries to power out. Swerve tries again, and hits a back suplex! Cover, ONE, but Escobar still has the headlock. Swerve pushes Escobar to the ropes, powers out but Escobar runs him over. Escobar snapmares but Swerve rolls away to avoid the cover, then goes Eddy Gordo to headscissor Escobar! Swerve dodges Escobar’s boot, throws Escobar down then gets the arm and rolls to a DEAD LIFT SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! The crowd fires up for Swerve but Swerve grits his teeth as he watches Escobar. Swerve drags Escobar up to the Gory Especial, and bends Escobar back! Backslide out of it, TWO!
Swerve keeps his cool as he stalks Escobar to a corner. Escobar mule kicks, throws haymakers and whips Swerve to ropes. Swerve reverses, goes Gordo again to throw Escobar with an arm scissor! Escobar bails out again but Swerve follows on the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up but Escobar LAUNCHES Swerve into the boards! Escobar grins as he drags Swerve up to fireman’s carry and snake eyes off the steps! Swerve clutches a wrist that hit the steps, too, but Escobar kicks him around. Escobar puts Swerve back in, stalks him and kicks him down! Cover, TWO! Escobar grins, perhaps amused. Escobar drags Swerve up, CHOPS and stomps him down, then stomps the bad arm. Escobar stomps and stomps, drags Swerve up and rams him into a corner.
Escobar rolls back to run corner to corner for DOUBLE KNEES! Cover, TWO!! Escobar still grins and he stomps Swerve more. Escobar drags Swerve up by his hair, puts him in the corner with double knuckle locks and a headbutt! Swerve pushes back but Escobar knees low. Escobar trips Swerve up but Swerve keeps Escobar away with his feet. They both hop up to the ropes and start brawling! Swerve jumps but the steiner is turned into a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives and that shocks Escobar, and NXT goes to another break!
NXT returns again, and Escobar CHOPS Swerve on the ropes! Escobar taunts Swerve, whips him and pop-up atomic drops Swerve for a basement KNEE! Escobar keeps talking smack and SPITS on Swerve! Swerve grits his teeth as Escobar kicks him, and he catches the boot to grab Escobar by the jaw! Swerve pushes Escobar to the opposite ropes and fires off fast hands! Swerve has Escobar in the corner, fires off until the ref counts 4 and pushes Escobar out. He climbs up to leap and hit the flying uppercut on Escobar’s back! Escobar bails out, Swerve follows and BOOTS Escobar down! The crowd fires up as Swerve builds speed to FLY! The Fosbury Flop takes Escobar out at the ramp!
Swerve drags Escobar up and puts him in to slingshot, somersault and LEAPING COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives and here comes El Legado! Wilde distracts from one end but Swerve swipes at Mendoza on the other. Escobar enziguris! Cover, TWO!?! Breezango even things with El Legado and they brawl up the ramp! Swerve and Escobar are in opposite corners now that they’re all alone. Escobar runs into a KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Escobar is on Swerve first but Swerve trips Escobar to roll and DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO! Swerve grits his teeth as he and Escobar rise. Swerve focuses, demands Escobar sit up, and then hits the HOUSE CALL!! Cover, TWO!?!? Escobar survives and Swerve can’t believe it!
Swerve drags Escobar back up, fireman’s carries but Escobar slips out to shove Swerve away. Swerve is in the corner, Escobar runs in, but Swerve pops him up for the CONFIDENCE BOOST!! Cover, ROPEBREAKS! Swerve can’t believe it. Wait, there’s a mask? There’s something attached to the inside, too. Escobar puts it on, Swerve comes over, and Escobar HEADBUTTS him! That loaded mask takes Swerve down! Cover, Escobar wins!!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
Someone check that mask! What was it in that mask’s forehead that made Escobar’s headbutt a lethal weapon? Will anyone be able to dethrone Escobar when he has tricks both up his sleeve and in his masks?
NXT hears from Johnny Gargano.
“I know better than anyone that life can change in a moment.” Just last Wednesday, he was inches away from breaking his neck and having his career ended! It made Gargano sit back and think on what he would be leaving as a legacy. “An unfulfilled promise.” Gargano said he was going to fix NXT and rule it. Slow and steady, brick by brick, Gargano has been building his kingdom, but it would seem as if by fate that he has a golden opportunity. #NXTuesday, a Fatal 4 Ironman Match will help Gargano remind us who he is! He’s been NXT’s Ironman for years, and will once again have the title to prove it. But will the Wednesday Night be able to triumph on Super Tuesday?
NXT hears from Finn Balor.
“Life comes full circle in this business. And while some fall and pray, The Prince rises to the occasion. All the pieces are set. The four cornerstones of NXT.” Balor is going to enjoy every second of that one hour proving that he isn’t just a cornerstone, but the centerpiece! And next Tuesday, “everyone from the marketing department to the TV networks to Joey at home trolling on the internet,” are going to get Finn Balor as NXT Champion again.
Drake Maverick VS Kyle O’Reilly w/ The Undisputed Era!
Rockstar Spud is not at all okay with the Undisputed Era wrecking his match with Killian Dain, and so he dared a member of the UE to take him on 1v1! O’Reilly returns to singles action to step up, will NXT’s #1 underdog put him in his place?
The bell rings, and Maverick fires off fast hands and feet! Kyle pushes Maverick away, Maverick ducks the roundhouse to come back with more fast hands! Maverick kicks, haymakers, but Kyle knees. Kyle goes to boot but Maverick dodges again! Maverick fires off more fast hands and he whips. Kyle reverses, Maverick dodges and dropkicks a foot out! Kyle falls out of the ring but the UE regroups with him. Maverick climbs up top to LEAP onto them! Kyle gets clear and back into the ring, but Maverick hurries up and in. Kyle kicks away, SLAPS Maverick, fires knees and KICKS Maverick down! Kyle grounds ‘n’ pounds, moves around and throws down heavy fists!
Kyle kicks Maverick around, paces around and taunting him. Maverick sits up as the fans rally, Kyle kicks him and knees away. Kyle snapmares, KICKS Maverick in the back, but Maverick gets right up! “C’MERE!” Maverick snampares Kyle to KICK him in return! Kyle gets to a corner, stinging from that one! Maverick runs corner to corner, forearms and bulldogs! Then back sentons! Kyle flounders while Maverick grins and runs corner to corner. Kyle kitchen sink KNEES Maverick down! Maverick clutches his stomach, Kyle brings him up to wrench the arm to a shoulder breaker! Maverick throws a forearm, Kyle gives it back, and the two brawl! Kyle kicks the legs, bobs ‘n weaves then fires off a flurry! Kyle KICKS that leg out from under Maverick!
Kyle paces again as Maverick crawls. Kyle grabs the leg, brings Maverick up with a heel hook, but Maverick enziguris! Maverick has a cravat, Kyle powers out of Sliced Bread and gets the KNEEBAR! Maverick fights, rolls but now Kyle has the other foot for a heel hook! Maverick grabs Kyle’s head to punch away! Kyle cranks on the legs even harder, Maverick taps!! Kyle wins!
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by submission
The UE celebrates by stomping Maverick down! Kyle wants them to let off a bit but Strong is just mad. Fish fetches a chair for Strong, but here comes KILLIAN DAIN! The Beast of Belfast was the other half of that ruined match and he WRECKS Strong and Fish! Kyle gets clear as Dain gets the chair and SMACKS Strong! Kyle distracts long enough so Fish and Strong can bail out! The UE regroups and retreats, but what of Dain and Maverick? Maverick isn’t sure, but he does thank Dain. Dain CLOBBERS him! Dain didn’t do it for Maverick, he’s fighting the UE for himself! Will the Undisputed Era watch out for the Belfast behemoth from now on?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley.
Dakota and Raquel said Rhea and Io don’t even like each other, and that Rhea just wants the NXT Women’s Championship. What is her response? Rhea says it’s no surprise that she wants the title, but she won’t let that get in the way tonight. And Rhea didn’t show up at TakeOver to save Io, but to send a message to Dakota and Raquel that Io is Rhea’s now. And if Raquel wants Rhea to get out of her face, then she’ll have to make her! That fierce 2v2 is happening after the break!
NXT returns and hears from Adam Cole.
“Next Tuesday, I have the chance once again to make history. Because the Mount Rushmore of NXT, Gargano, Ciampa, Balor and Cole, we are in a Four Way match, a 60 minute Ironman match, to determine the new NXT Champion.” And now that Cole has gotten past Pat McAfee, he’ll focus on the important stuff, and that’s getting back his NXT Championship. When he held it for the record breaking 400+ days, he was called many things. One of those was the Ironman of NXT, so a match like this is right up his alley. It’s one thing to be NXT Champion once, it’s another ball game to be it twice. And that is exactly what Cole vows to do, and #ThatIsUndisputed.
NXT has another big match for Super Tuesday!
After the brawling and controversy in the Cruiserweight Championship, Swerve and Breezango again take on El Legado del Fantasma, but now in a Six Man STREET FIGHT! Will Swerve and the new NXT Tag Team Champions finally put Escobar, Mendoza and Wilde in their place? Or will El Legado cement their legacy as the leaders of Cruiserweight and Lucha Libre wrestling?
Io Shirai & Rhea Ripley VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez!
The Evil Genius overcame Dakota trying to stack the deck with help from Big Mama Cool, but now things are much more even. Will the Aussie Nightmare make sure she and Shirai win so we can get flashbacks to In Your House? Or will the Daughter of the Desperado help Dakota establish she deserves a rematch?
The teams sort out, Rhea tells Shirai to go so she and Dakota can start. They tie up, Rhea throws Dakota down then whips her to a corner. Rhea runs in, Dakota goes up and over but Rhea won’t budge as Dakota tries to roll her up. Rhea stomps Dakota, drags her up and throws her to the corner. Rhea wants Raquel to tag in, so she does! They tie up, they’re in a deadlock so Raquel breaks it. They try again, Rhea breaks it. Raquel gets in Rhea’s face but gets a headbutt for it! Raquel still comes back to shove Rhea! Shirai tags in, goes after Raquel and Rhea is beside herself. Raquel whips Shirai, Shirai goes up and leaps to huricanrana Raquel out! Dakota gets in Shirai’s way but Shirai kicks her down! Raquel catches Dakota and tensions are high as NXT goes picture in picture.
Shirai waits for Raquel to come back but Dakota gets in to distract her. Raquel sneaks up on Shirai, Shirai dodges one clothesline but not the blindside! Raquel drags Shirai up to whip to a corner! Then she wrenches, shoulder breakers and clamps onto the arm. Dakota tags in, takes the hand-off and wrenches Shirai’s arm to a whip. Shirai stops herself but Dakota is there to club her down. Dakota puts Shirai’s arm through ropes to pull on it! The ref counts, Dakota stops but she keeps Shirai from Rhea. Dakota bumps Shirai off buckles, tags in Raquel and Raquel digs her boot into Shirai’s chin. The ref counts, Raquel stops, but Dakota gets in a cheap shot almost literally behind the ref’s back!
Raquel wrenches a wristlock, lifts Shirai up with one arm, then sets her down to LARIAT! Raquel drags Shirai back up, lifts her again, holds her for even longer then lets her down to RAM her with a shoulder! Raquel drags Shirai up again to clamp on a choke grip, for a CHOKE- NO! Shirai huricanranas to a cover, TWO! Shirai staggers forward, avoids Dakota’s cheap shot, but turns around into Raquel’s tackle! Dakota tags in, she taunts Rhea then runs at Shirai, to get a BOOT! Shirai fights out of the corner, ducks Dakota but Dakota reels her in by her hair! Shirai resists the whip, reaches for Rhea, but so does Dakota for Raquel. NXT returns to single picture as Shirai wheelbarrows and STOMPS Dakota down!
Tag to Rhea and she side steps Dakota’s boot to DECK Raquel! Rhea dropkicks Dakota, fires up to cravat knee over and over! Rhea hook kicks then fireman’s carries Dakota, but Raquel saves Dakota! Raquel grabs Rhea’s hair but Rhea swings a big haymaker! Both Raquel and Dakota manage to avoid it, and they drag Rhea up and out to the floor! The ref reprimands and the crowd boos as Raquel bounces Rhea off the apron. Raquel puts Rhea in, covers, TWO! Raquel grows frustrated as she drags Rhea up. Raquel whips Rhea hard to a corner and Rhea bounces of buckles to hit the mat! Raquel drags Rhea back up, Rhea throws body shots but Raquel CLUBS her down! Raquel drags Rhea away, covers, TWO!
Raquel drags Rhea over to tag in Dakota. They mug Rhea in the corner, Dakota brings Rhea around for a roll up, TWO! Dakota clubs Rhea down, digs her knee brace in, and pulls back on an armlock. Rhea endures, the crowd rallies up and Rhea pulls hair. Dakota stomps Rhea down, keeps her from Shirai, and Raquel tags back in. They mug Rhea more, Raquel whips her to a corner, and runs in but blocks the boot. Rhea boots with the other foot, but Raquel still keeps her from Shirai. Rhea ROUNDHOUSES Raquel away! Tags to Dakota and Shirai! Shirai rallies on Dakota, and hits a FLAPJACK! Raquel rushes in but Shirai SHOTEIS! Dakota waitlocks Shirai, Shirai elbows free, blocks Dakota’s boot and sends it into Raquel!
Shirai baits Dakota into a drop toehold then runs to SHINKANSEN Raquel! TIGER FEINT for Dakota! Shirai springboards and missile dropkicks Dakota down! Cover, TWO!! Shirai drags Dakota back up, underhooks, but no Tiger Driver. Dakota SCORPION KICKS, then KAI-RO- NO! Shirai powers out of that to KAMI-GOYE!! Shirai drags Dakota up in a waistlock for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, but Raquel barrels in to break it! Rhea gets in, Raquel boots but it’s blocked! But Dakota BOOTS Rhea! Shirai SHOTEIS Dakota! Raquel LARIATS Shirai! Raquel helps Dakota to the corner, Raquel tags in, and Raquel drags Shirai up. Raquel scoops, Dakota runs to BOOT for the POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!?!
Raquel is seething while Shirai is crawling. Raquel drags Shirai up, Shirai rolls and enziguris from the mat! Dakota gets in to distract from the tag to Rhea! The ref doesn’t see it, it doesn’t count! Raquel takes Shirai to the corner to stomp away! Raquel stomps away on Dakota, and MERCEDES MARTINEZ attacks Rhea!! Robert Stone he wouldn’t let Mercedes in a match, not that she wasn’t here! Mercedes gets payback on Rhea and slips away into the shadows while Raquel scoops Shirai for a SWINGING POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!?!? Raquel is furious! Raquel drags Shirai up and tags Dakota back in. Raquel whips Shirai corner to corner, but Rhea rises! Rhea pushes Shirai out of the way as Dakota comes in Around the World! Dakota only boots buckles!
Dakota hobbles away, Rhea tags in, but so does Raquel. Rhea runs right into a BOOT!! Raquel drags Rhea up, scoops for the MEGA CHOKE SLAM! Cover, Raquel and Dakota win!!
Winners: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall
Give an assist to Mercedes Martinez! It seems Rhea’s far from through with the Robert Stone Brand, will Rhea find a way to shut them down once and for all? As for Dakota and Raquel, will Dakota be the one getting the nod when it was Raquel doing the literal heavy lifting?
A great NXT to follow TakeOver! And in an interesting way, it was part aftermath and part go-home to #NXTuesday, aka Super Tuesday! Kross relinquishes the title because of the shoulder separation, which is a definite misfortune, but NXT knows how to improvise and give us something incredible. A Fatal 4 Way Ironman match?! That’s an amazing idea. Ciampa returns to up the old “Psycho Killer” side as he destroys Jake Atlas. Is Atlas needing time off and this is how they write him off? Because how is he NOT written off NXT for about six weeks? The promos from the other three were good, too, but I feel like Finn Balor needs to get this win for at least his character’s sake. It’s been great seeing him bring up others, but Balor should become the next two-time NXT Champion.
There’s also a lot of action setting up around the North American Championship. Thatcher is practically following Priest’s example of losing to Balor yet moving up to something, and I wouldn’t mind seeing those two fight for the title. Reed does have a point, too, as someone who has beaten Priest, but it seems like he’ll have to deal with the returning Austin Theory first, which isn’t so bad either. Maybe something big on NXTuesday sets up for another big title match for the North American Championship. Candice had a good promo about Tegan but I was hoping to have Tegan’s response tonight. Maybe that’s for Tuesday, leading to a grudge match between those two.
I really liked that Imperium VS Breezango happened tonight, if only because it gets things moving. NXT UK is set to make their return to new action with September 17th so I’d imagine Imperium does have to regroup so they can tape episodes together. Plus things move right to Breezango VS El Legado as they still fight it out during the Cruiserweight Championship match. Another sneaky way to win only mildly ruins the great match between Swerve and Escobar, but I give credit to him using a “loaded” mask instead of a glove. I wonder if that trick comes up again in the Six Man Street Fight. And I have a feeling El Legado wins to make a point that they’re up next for the tag title opportunity.
Maverick and O’Reilly had a really good match, and I’m intrigued as to how O’Reilly was trying to keep Fish and Strong from going Heel on Maverick afterward. Dain shows up and I thought he and Maverick were going to be a duo, but it seems not. It could still circle back that way, but it definitely works with both characters that Maverick reached out and Dain turned him down the hard way.
There was some great stuff with the Robert Stone Brand, Stone himself is again great as the comedy relief just shrieking when he got “crushed” by the tank. Shotzi and Mia have a great match and it was quite the surprise for Shotzi to win. Mercedes showing up to basically screw over Rhea and Shirai in their great tag main event was also a nice touch. I feel like there could be a Six or Eight Woman Tag, with Dakota and Raquel joining Robert Stone Brand to face Mia, Shotzi, Rhea and Shirai. Mia turns on Shotzi for that feud, Raquel finishes it off just like tonight, and it’s Raquel who gets a shot, to Dakota’s chagrin.
My Score: 9.3/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)
The semifinals are here!
The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!
Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?
- Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?
The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!
Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!
Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.
Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.
Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.
Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!
Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.
Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!
Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!
Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.
Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!
Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!
New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!
Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!
Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!
Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!
Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?
Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!
Sanada spins, into JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?
The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?
Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.
Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?
A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.
Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)
It’s lights out, but for who?
Who rounds out the Final Four?
The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?
The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.
Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!
Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!
Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.
Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!
Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.
Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!
Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!
Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!
Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.
Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.
Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.
Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.
Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!
Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!
Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.
The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!
Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!
Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.
Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!
USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?
As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?
Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.
My Score: 8.7/10
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