The NXT North American and Women’s Champions team up against their challengers!
Before TakeOver 31 and their respective title matches, the Evil Genius and Archer of Infamy take on Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling in a Mixed Tag Match! Will Io Shirai and Damian Priest make sure Johnny and Candice don’t get their way?
- Dakota Kai VS Shotzi Blackheart; Shotzi wins.
- The Cameron Grimes Invitational Stepping Stones to the Moon: Cameron Grimes VS Ariel Dominguez; Grimes wins.
- Cameron Grimes VS Ridge Holland; Grimes wins, by disqualification.
- KUSHIDA VS Tony Nese; Kushida wins.
- Adam Cole VS Austin Theory; Cole wins.
- Kayden Carter w/ Kacy Catanzaro VS Xia Li; Carter wins.
- Mixed Tag: Io Shirai & Damian Priest VS Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano; LeRae & Gargano win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Dakota Kai w/ Raquel Gonzalez VS Shotzi Blackheart!
#CobraKai and the wild child were in the NXT Women’s Championship Contender Battle Royal, but neither won it all. Dakota wants payback on Shotzi for eliminating her, but will Shotzi just welcome her to the ball pit?
The bell rings, Dakota says Shotzi doesn’t need to worry about Raquel at ringside, and then she pie faces her! Shotzi trips Dakota, has the legs, but Dakota pushes her away. Dakota dodges a boot, Shotzi whips but Dakota reverses. Shotzi blocks the monkey flips but runs into a waistlock. Shotzi pries free, waistlocks back but Dakota ducks down to trip Shotzi up. Dakota runs, Shotzi ducks the kick to roll Dakota, TWO! Dakota trips and jackknifes, TWO! Shotzi Oklahoma rolls Dakota, TWO! Dakota gets up, Shotzi atomic drops her, trips her, and has both legs for a Jeff Hardy leg splitting leg drop! Shotzi drags Dakota up, wrenches and arm-drags Dakota around. Shotzi spins Dakota for an armbreaker!
Shotzi holds onto the wrists to kick Dakota from below, then spins to victory roll her! TWO, but Shotzi whips Dakota! Dakota reverses. Shotzi holds ropes and side steps to snap Dakota back and get a takedown! Shotzi laces up the legs for a drop into a modified Muda Lock! Dakota endures this Cattle Muda-lation, and Shotzi bridges up to drop down her weight! Shotzi drops again and keeps the arms hooked, but Dakota rocks and gets free to a Fujiwara! Shotzi endures, clasps hands, fights her way up and she arm-drags Dakota again. Dakota is in the corner, Shotzi storms over to throw forearms, but Dakota counter punches to rock Shotzi! Dakota bumps Shotzi off buckles and digs her boot in. The ref counts, Dakota stops at 4, but Shotzi hits back!
Dakota forearms Shotzi, sweeps the legs and digs her boot in again. The ref counts, Dakota lets up but scrapes Shotzi’s face. Shotzi gets up but Dakota reels her in for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Dakota grows frustrated and Raquel argues the count, too. Dakota throws forearms in the corner, puts Shotzi on ropes and digs her knees in! The ref counts, Dakota stops at 4 to run, but into Shotzi’s drop toehold! Dakota ends up on ropes now, but Raquel saves her from the cannonball! Raquel glares at Shotzi, Shotzi turns around into Dakota’s URENAGE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi survives and Dakota is furious as NXT goes picture in picture.
Dakota cools off, stalks Shotzi and mocks her. Dakota chokes Shotzi against ropes, bumps her off buckles, then runs side to side to BOOT her! And then again! Dakota snapmares Shotzi to a cover, TWO! Dakota stands on Shotzi but lets off at the ref’s count. Shotzi staggers away, Dakota clinches but Shotzi throws body shots. Dakota grabs hair but so does Shotzi. Dakota throws Shotzi down, covers, TWO! Dakota drags Shotzi around, turns her over and laces up the legs. Dakota chinbars Shotzi and brings her into the Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Shotzi endures being bent back, pops out to cover, TWO! Dakota escapes and gets up to clobber Shotzi!
Dakota throws forearms on Shotzi in the corner, then runs back in, only for Shotzi to boot her! Shotzi hops up, FLYING SUNSET! Cover, TWO!! Dakota BOOTS Shotzi down! Cover, TWO! Shotzi clings to the ropes while Dakota seethes. Dakota drags Shotzi from the ropes, drags her up into a seated cobra twist and stretches her! Shotzi endures as Dakota cranks on the crossface. Shotzi gets her arm free and arm-drags Dakota away! NXT returns to single picture as Shotzi dodges Dakota to bait her into a corner. Shotzi goes up and over Dakota, rolls and comes back to shotgun dropkick Dakota into buckles! Shotzi hits a corner splash, snapmares Dakota and runs for the SLING DOG!
Shotzi fires up but Raquel coaches Dakota. Dakota walks into a KNEE, and a ROLLING ELBOW! ENZIGURI! Dakota is back on the ropes, the ref keeps Raquel back, CANNONBALL! Shotzi brings Dakota up, chicken wing to TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Dakota survives and Shotzi grows frustrated. Raquel coaches Dakota but Shotzi runs in, only to get BOOTS! Dakota staggers, hip tosses Shotzi into a trapped-leg cover, TWO!! Shotzi escapes and Dakota talks things through with Raquel. Dakota drags Shotzi up, fireman’s carries, but Shotzi fights out. Shotzi baits Dakota into another corner to put her on the apron. Shotzi forearms, but her shoulder gets a KICK!
Shotzi ends up on the apron, Dakota goes out to follow, but Shotzi kicks Dakota’s legs out! Dakota even lands on Shotzi’s knees in the process! Shotzi stands up, throws forearms on Dakota, but Dakota counter punches! Shotzi kicks Dakota’s legs, Dakota SCORPION KICKS! Dakota boots but Shotzi blocks to spin and QUESTION MARK KICK! Shotzi has Dakota for SLICED BREAD to the apron!! Shotzi takes herself out, practically! The ref checks on them both, somehow they’re both okay to continue! Shotzi gets in the ring first, builds speed, but Raquel trips her up! So Rhea TACKLES Raquel into steel steps! Referees rush out to get Rhea to leave, but Raquel wants to give chase! Dakota runs Around the World, Shotzi dodges the boot to roll her up! Shotzi wins!!
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart, by pinfall
A nasty spill could not stop NXT’s Tank Girl, and Shotzi was able to #TCB! Will Shotzi barrel through the rest of the NXT Women’s Division to challenge whoever is champion after Sunday?
NXT holds a dual video interview with Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
The NXT Cruiserweight Champion and the only man to pin him twice, let alone once, are set to battle for that title at TakeOver: 31. To start, Tom Phillips asks Swerve about how he has Escobar’s number yet falls short in the matches. That’s true. Swerve has had his shots but it’s hard to believe there was fairness to those matches. Swerve is the better competitor, is still the only man to pin Escobar in NXT and all of WWE. So frankly, when they have their rematch, Swerve will come out on top.
Phillips asks Escobar if Swerve is right about things being fair this time around. Escobar laughs but tells Swerve he is a parasite that Escobar just can’t get rid of. It doesn’t matter, Swerve just lingers. And there’s nothing Escobar hates more in life than things that linger. Escobar vows Swerve will lose again and tie up loose ends. Swerve complains about what’s fair and what’s not. But Escobar promises this will be fair. Will it? Swerve can’t believe that. Every time they face off for the title, there’s always something or someone. El Legado del Fantasma interfering, a loaded lucha mask waiting under the ring, there’s always a bag of tricks. Escobar says those are excuses. When it counts, Swerve just can’t deliver.
What Escobar calls excuses are actually reality. And the reality here is that Swerve has adapted to everything in this business, and in life. Swerve is ready for whatever Escobar will throw at him. Good, Escobar is glad Swerve has prepared himself. Swerve isn’t just prepared. He is ready to show us all what he’s truly capable of. And he’ll show how the champion is just a fraud. But that’s the difference between them. Swerve makes things about himself. That is why he will fail. Escobar has built the division back up in his image, and infused it with respect for lucha libre, from which Cruiserweight wrestling was born, a culture that Swerve has no respect for. All that “showcasing” will not be enough. What Swerve claims are a “bag of tricks” is actually a century of tradition. Escobar vows to bury Swerve with it, but Swerve says he can try.
NXT hears from the anonymous alumni.
“I’ve heard them say you can never go back home. Too many roads in life to take. But sometimes, you have to stop and look around you to see that home may not be the same place it was when you left it. And you realize, doing something about it will be your best moment.” Just who or what is returning to NXT at TakeOver?
NXT presents Prime Target: Kyle O’Reilly!
“When I first stepped into a wrestling ring, a small kickboxing gym in British Columbia,” he took to it like a fish takes to water. He felt at home. This is something he has put every once of himself into for his entire adult life. Even if he never made it to NXT, just wrestling for a few dollars every other weekend, he would still be doing it with his everything. “This is my love, my passion.” The Undisputed Era is the best thing that ever happened to him professionally and personally, because these are three guys who are legitimately his best friends.
Adam Cole is so proud of Kyle. They’ve known each other for 12 years, travelled the world together, and Cole has known for a long time that Kyle is one of the best. “Blood on our lips and smiles on our face,” Kyle, Cole, Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish have all gone to war against each other and alongside each other. That’s what’s special about the Undisputed Era, “It is real.” More than anything, Kyle wants to be the NXT Champion. There is nothing more important to him right now. It is cliché, but Kyle has had his sights set on Finn Balor for a long time. As Kyle came to America, Balor was already big in Japan. When Kyle went to japan, Balor was in NXT. When Kyle got to NXT, Balor was on Raw.
“Needless to say, the fact that this match is finally happening is one thing. But to put in the main event of TakeOver and it’s for the NXT Championship, that’s what the last 15 years has been building up for.” Every moment, match, opportunity, country and company, it has all led to this Sunday. Kyle thrives under pressure, and if he wins, the Undisputed Era will be the same as when Cole won. This is just the second wave of the Golden Prophecy. And that is Undisputed.
NXT has an update on Tegan Nox.
As they tweeted out earlier today, NXT informs us that after the attack from Candice LeRae backstage, Tegan has suffered another torn ACL. The Shiniest Wizard again must recover and repair, will she ever get past being the comeback kid?
Backstage interview with Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae.
They “feel awful” for Tegan, but this was karma. Tegan broke their TV, Candice tears Tegan’s ACL. Even Stevens now. But moving on from that, their mixed tag match with Io Shirai and Damian Priest- Johnny scoffs at that. He knows Sarah is nervous, but just breathe. NXT’s Power Couple is teaming up tonight, but what are they hoping to accomplish before TakeOver and their respective title matches? Sunday is destiny for them. Gargano said they are destined to be the first married couple to be champions in NXT, and that is already here. It starts tonight, and finishes at TakeOver. The Garganos compliment Sarah, but they don’t really mean it. But will this twisted fairy tale of theirs really have a happily ever after?
Cameron Grimes VS ???
The Technical Savage didn’t win the gauntlet like he wanted, but there’s still time for it to be Grime Time in NXT. Before his match, Grimes gets the mic to say, “To tell you the truth, I’m not in the best mood right now.” Last week, he had all the opportunities, but it was all taken away to a match called the Gauntlet Eliminator! Whose idea was that? Not Regal’s, he’d make something way better! But Grimes can cheer up! Grimes is gonna make a match right now! How about this? The Cameron Grimes Invitational Stepping Stones to the Moon match! What you think of that?
To make it better, Grimes has handpicked each of his opponents tonight. Here comes the first opponent: Joey Pistachio! Actually the jacket says Ariel Dominguez but Grimes is right about him being the NCAA Champion in the 85 pound weight class. Ariel is here, all the way from San Diego, California, and he’s here to go to the moon! “Pistachio” gets in the ring and the match begins!
The Cameron Grimes Invitational Stepping Stones to the Moon: Cameron Grimes VS Ariel Dominguez!
CAVE-IN!! Cocky cover, Grimes wins!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall
The fastest win of Grimes’ career, is against a man quite literally half his size. Grimes feels great about it, but admits that was a little rough. But he wouldn’t be the man he is if he didn’t have more competition lined up. The second opponent is: “Joey Strong.” But whether that’s his real name or not, it doesn’t matter, because RIDGE HOLLAND tosses the guy out to the stage! Holland HEADBUTTS Joey over and over and then throws him off the stage! Also, judging from Joey’s singlet, his real last name is “Lockhart.” Grimes introduces himself to Holland and says that he’s a big fan. Holland is great, really. But he’s not part of this invitational! If Holland is here to shake his hand, that’s fine. But this isn’t a match. Holland HEADBUTTS Grimes instead! This IS a match, and here’s the bell!
Cameron Grimes VS Ridge Holland!
Holland grabs Grimes for more headbutts, and then an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Grimes to a corner and Holland storms over to club away on him! Holland CLUBS and CLUBS and crossface forearms over and over! Grimes scrambles away but Holland stomps him at the ropes! The ref counts, but Holland won’t stop!! The ref rings the bell!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by disqualification
Holland doesn’t care, he just wants to turn Grimes into Carolina tar! Grimes flops out of the ring, probably thinking he’s on the moon. Will Holland bring him back down to earth next time they meet?
Backstage interview with Austin Theory.
Theory requested this interview time, is it about his recent struggles? Struggles? “Theory” and “Struggles’ do not belong in the same sentence. As for Damian Priest, that should’ve never happened. Theory should’ve been in the gauntlet match Kyle O’Reilly won. Theory saw the Prime Target video, and it is very touching and inspirational to learn it took Kyle 15 years to finally get an NXT Championship match. But that’s a long time. More than half Theory’s life. Theory was already part of WrestleMania at 22, but Kyle is the future? Kyle should try to be catching up to Theory. Will Theory prove he is the one everyone should be putting stock into?
NXT hears from Kushida.
“The migration to this new environment, the United States, has been truly the biggest event that has happened to me and my family. It was a struggle to juggle my work and private life. It was hard to concentrate. But now it’s time! The setup is complete. I can concentrate on the ring.” Now Kushida will show the real him. He hasn’t had many opportunities at titles, injuries set him back, and now he is impatient. He’s changing gears, ramping it up a notch, and will go “ballistic.” Everything has its meaning, and TakeOver will see an explosion. Velveteen Dream will learn HE is the stepping stone, and Kushida will become the core of NXT. “The new Kushida is VICIOUS! Here I come, TakeOver!” But first, we’ll see the Timesplitter tune-up, after the break!
KUSHIDA VS Tony Nese!
Before taking on The Experience, the Super Junior wants to give us all a sample of the new aggression he is about to unleash! Will the Premier Athlete wish he could go Back to the Future to avoid this?
The bell rings, Nese and Kushida circle, approach, but Nese flexes on Kushida. Kushida enziguris! And Kowata Kicks, and Penalty Kicks the arm out! Kushida whips, Nese holds ropes to throat chop back! Nese hotshot bulldogs Kushida down! And drags him out to whip him, but Kushida reverses to POST Nese! The crowd goes wild as Kushida puts Nese in and kicks the arm again! And again! Kushida whips, Nese slides under to pump handle, but Kushida gets the arm! Kushida wrenches Nese for a bulldog to the arm! Nese gets to a corner, Kushida is after his arm again! The ref counts as they’re in the ropes, but he just gives Nese another arm bulldog! Kushida gives Nese DANIELSON STOMPS! Kushida doesn’t stop the stomps, then he wraps the arm into the Hoverboard! Nese taps, Kushida wins
Winner: Kushida, by submission
Kushida shows us he wasn’t kidding! This was a faster, meaner and more precise Kushida here tonight. But the lights change purple, and Dream speaks from the titantron. “Will the real Kushida please stand up?” Because it doesn’t matter who shows up, the spotlight will be too bright for Kushida. Dream always puts on his best performances under the brightest lights. See you Sunday. A simple message for simple game plans: win. Who will see that plan through to success at TakeOver?
NXT Media finds Grimes backstage, nursing his eye.
Grimes tells cameras to get out of his face or direct him to William Regal! But then Grimes walks into Dexter Lumis! Lumis is back?! Grimes walks past the “freak,” and storms off down the hall. Between Northern Grit and the Tortured Artist, will the Carolina Caveman have to be much more careful walking around Full Sail these days?
NXT returns to Adam Cole in the ring.
The former champion makes a surprise appearance as he says, “Three years. For three years, the Undisputed Era has been part of NXT. And for three years, we have dominated. We’ve done what we want, when we want, and nobody has been able to stop us.” The prophecy came true! They said they’d win every title and they did! But even more important than that, people in the locker room knew that if you crossed them, you would pay. Then the prophecy ended and they lost their titles. And somewhere along their way, people felt the Era changed. People felt like they could say whatever and there’d be no repercussions.
Cole is telling us here and now, “Nothing has changed! We are the same Undisputed Era that won the first-ever WarGames match in WWE history! We are the same Undisputed Era that has DOMINATED this brand unlike anybody has or anybody will!” So then, Austin Theory, if you want to run your mouth about Kyle, fine. Do Cole a favor and bring your ass down to this ring to say that to Cole’s face! Theory does make his way out to the ring and he wants Cole to calm down. Why is he so mad? Cole dares Theory to get in the ring since he’s so big and bad.
But if not, fine. Cole keeps this simple so even Theory can understand. Two options: bring your stupid face in and fight like a man; stay right there, so that the rest of the Era can beat him where he stands and make him BEG to go back to option one. Theory decides to take option one and heads for the ring. The ref gets in, too, and this is a match!
Adam Cole VS Austin Theory!
Cole dodges Theory to CHOP and forearm and CHOP! Theory staggers, Cole follows to fire off forearms! Cole stomps away on Theory in another corner, lets off as the ref counts, then goes after Theory at the ropes. Cole KICKS Theory, BOOTS him down, then dares him to get up. Theory stands, Cole gives him a neckbreaker! Theory pushes Cole away but Cole stomps him down. Cole drags Theory up, wrenches and whips but Theory grabs ropes to bail out! Theory mocks the UE sign, but Cole goes out to BOOT him down! Theory sits up in a daze, Cole tells him he’s nothing. Cole bumps Theory off the apron, the ring count climbs to 5 but Cole refreshes it. Cole whips Theory into steel steps!
Cole says Theory mocked the wrong people, then he drags Theory up into the ring. Theory gets Cole at the ropes but Cole PELES first! Theory checks his face but Cole is on him with another neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Theory survives that Rude Awakening, but then he talks trash about going #AllDay. Cole stomps Theory, drags him back up and snap suplexes him down. “Wrong guy, Austin. Wrong guy.” Cole drags Theory up to club him back down! Theory gets to a corner, Cole laces his leg in the ropes to dropkick him in the stomach! Theory falls with the leg twisted up, and Cole wraps on a chinlock to grind him down. Cole tells Theory to quit but he refuses. Theory tells Cole they’re “Undisputed Crap” but Cole just wrenches harder.
Cole and Theory stand up, Theory fights out but runs into a back elbow! Cole storms back after Theory to knee him down and put him in the corner. Theory hits the buckles hard, Cole throws more forearms then wrenches for a corner to corner whip. Theory reverses, runs in but is put on the apron. Theory shoulders into Cole, slingshot somersaults to shotgun dropkick! “THAT is undisputed!” Cover, TWO!! Theory grows frustrated but the crowd fires up as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Theory is stomping a mudhole into Cole! Theory talks smack but fans rally up as he drags Cole up to snapmare and stomp! Theory slaps Cole around before clamping on a chinbar armlock combo. Cole endures, Theory digs his elbow into Cole’s face, but Cole fights up. Cole fights back, Theory knees low and hits a backbreaker! Theory hits a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Theory has his arrogance back as Cole gets to a corner. Cole elbows him away, then boots him away! Cole rallies with clotheslines now, and another BOOT! Theory sits up in another daze, but Cole stalks him to ropes. Cole brings Theory into a waistlock, Theory standing switches but Cole PELES and BACKSTABBERS! Cover, TWO!
Cole grows frustrated but he has control again. He gets up while Theory stirs. Cole brings Theory to a fireman’s carry but Theory fights off. Theory whips, Cole reverses and BOOTS again! And then the fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives but Cole smirks. Cole might actually respect Theory now, but he’s not going to take it easy on him. Cole goes to a corner, Theory anchors a foot but Cole stomps him. Cole hops up, takes aim, and leaps, PANAMA-NO! Back drop, and no sunset flip, MULE KICK to the back! Theory drags Cole up, torture rack, for the TOWER HACKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Cole is a Triple Crown winner for a reason!
Theory talks trash on Cole and throws forearms. Cole gives them back. They brawl from mat to their feet, Cole gives as good as he gets, then runs, into Theory’s elbow! Theory runs, into a SUPERKICK!! Theory ends up on the apron from that one! Cole sees him floundering, drags him up, but Theory hotshots! Theory slingshots, into another SUPERKICK! Suplex, UNDISPUTED BRAIN BUSTER! LAST SHOT SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Cole wins!
Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall
And THAT is Undisputed! “Kyle O’Reilly was born ready! Nobody wants this more, nobody has earned an NXT title shot more.” Cole promises Kyle will #ShockTheSystem, but it won’t be a shock to the UE. Will this new Undisputed Prophecy come true this Sunday?
NXT returns with a backstage interview with Io Shirai and Damian Priest.
The champions are teaming for the first time ever against their respective challengers. How confident are they against the Power Couple? Hah, that’s cute. They can keep that nickname, because these two are keeping the titles. Tonight is a preview of TakeOver as the Women’s Champion and North American Champion, “the rockstars of NXT,” take care of business. Shirai says she is on another level than Candice, and Priest is literally on a different level than Gargano. In the end, that is why Johnny and Candice have no chance at becoming champions. She’s ready to rock, and Priest likes that. Will the champs stay golden all the way through Sunday?
Kayden Carter w/ Kacy Catanzaro VS Xia Li!
NXT’s Ninja Warriors are a great tag team, did very well in the Women’s Battle Royal, but things are about to get spicy! Will Xia Li divide and conquer KC Squared?
The bell rings and Xia circles with Kayden. They tie up, Xia rolls Kayden, ONE! Kayden sits on the cover, ONE! Xia sunset flips, ONE, Kayden is up but Xia sweeps the legs! Cover, ONE, Kayden reverses the roles to sweep and cover, ONE! The crowd cheers the fast and furious technical exchange, and both women fist bump out of respect. A bit different compared to the scowling Xia did last time these two faced off in that tag match. But they go again, Kayden waistlocks, Xia standing switches, but Kayden drops down, slides under and waistlocks back. Xia uses ropes but Kayden still O’Conner rolls. TWO, Kayden springboard missile dropkicks! Cover, TWO!
Xia bails out but comes back to trip Kayden up! Xia spins Kayden to ROCK her with that right! And then drags her out more to DUMP her on the ground! Kacy coaches Kayden but Xia gets back in the ring. Xia waits for Kayden to return, Kacy coaches Kayden on but Xia stomps away! Cover, ONE! Kayden gets to a corner, Xia is after her with a CHOP! Xia fires up and fires off knees! And a back kick! Cover, ONE! Xia tries again, ONE! Again, ONE! Xia gets spicy with the ref, Kayden staggers about and into a corner. Xia is after her, Kayden elbows her away. Kayden kicks but Xia blocks and trips. Kayden kicks Xia to a corner, Kacy coaches her up but Xia is after her. Kayden CHOPS, forearms, knees and repeat!
Kayden whips, Xia reverses, Kayden wheelbarrows, victory rolls and MULE KICKS! Cover, TWO!! Kayden is frustrated, Xia shoves her but then sunset flips up and over, TWO! Kayden sits up, brings Xia up, Xia bucks her to a prawn hold but Kayden rolls through to sunset Xia! Kayden wins!!
Winner: Kayden Carter, by pinfall
Xia can’t believe she got caught like that! Kayden still shows respect with her hand held out, but Xia shoves her down! Kacy asks what her problem is, but Xia shakes her off, too. Xia is going from spicy to burning with anger, will she explode soon enough?
NXT returns to Shawn Michaels in the ring.
The NXT Championship sits on a table as HBK says, “This Sunday, on the WWE Network, Finn Balor will be defending his NXT Championship against the #1 contender, Kyle O’Reilly. Gentlemen.” Balor and Kyle step in and we have our face-to-face. There isn’t animosity here, but please shake hands before you sit down. They shake hands and take their seats at the table. Balor wishes Kyle a congrats for winning the gauntlet match. Balor has the utmost respect for Kyle and what he’s done, and looks forward to their match. The feeling is mutual for Kyle, there’s nothing but respect. HBK appreciates all that, but let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Balor has told us all, and HBK agrees, this is the best Balor yet. But Balor is facing someone who HBK has said for a long time, the best kept secret in wrestling today. How does Balor prepare for a guy like Kyle? Balor doesn’t think this is a secret. Maybe a fringe, casual fan doesn’t know Kyle, but the business watches Balor because Balor watches the business. Balor has known how great Kyle is. Kyle has proven himself in the NXT Tag Team Division, but more importantly, Kyle has proven himself around the world as a singles competitor. Balor knows how hard that is.
Kyle likes Balor. He is a fan of Balor. Sitting here and seeing Balor expertly stroke his own ego, thinking he can beat Kyle. Balor is a fighting champion, and this is what a fighting champion does: defends the title, even when defeat is certain. And that’s what this is, Balor. “Absolute certain defeat.” Oh? Well there’s one thing Balor isn’t so sure about. Is Kyle going to show up with Undisputed Era, or be a man? He’ll be a man. But he appreciates the question. See this? One hand, and then the other, watching each other. That is how UE has operated since the beginning. That is the foundation to their success. But this Sunday isn’t about the UE. It is about Kyle’s moment.
HBK says that in regards to that, the elephant in the room is the “apparent conflict” that Kyle could be champion and that could upset Cole. Anything to that? Kyle says this “nonexistent power struggle amongst the Era boys, quite frankly, is laughable.” Yes, ol’ Grimey had a point with his, “You ain’t nothin’ like Adam Cole, hurr hurr,” and that’s true. They’re nothing alike because Cole is a beautiful man! Kyle has mismatched ears, freckles all over, and- Balor vows to slap the freckles off Kyle’s face. Now there’s the Prince! “A good Irish boy, this one.” Kyle welcomes that. Balor can’t say Kyle got lucky or making other excuses. Balor agrees, there’ll be no room for excuse from Kyle. And no room for jokes. Balor has proved himself for 20 years.
Big whoop! Kyle’s been here 15, so what’s another 5 years? Every month since walking in here, it’s been “the biggest match of my career.” This week, next week, and this Sunday. This isn’t the biggest match of Kyle’s career, but of Kyle’s life. Balor explains what “the big whoop” is. It’s understanding the difference between the main event of one night, versus the main event that alters your life. Not just for Kyle, but for everyone watching. Kyle gets it. Balor’s first big title defense. No one ever loses their first defense, right~?
But the truth is, Kyle being considered the underdog is BS! Kyle is not the underdog here, because Balor has never faced Kyle, or anyone like Kyle. Kyle will change Balor’s mind. “There’s something about the sound of a man’s knee caps exploding, tends to say a certain opinion.” And this Sunday, the so-called tag team specialist will do it again.
HBK says Balor is champion, so he gets one final word. “Kyle. You’re witty, you have charisma. You are really, really good in the ring. I believe you have everything it takes to be NXT Champion. And you will be, if this title was on anybody else except for Finn Balor.” HBK thanks them for their time. But who triumphs when it’s time to back up all these words at TakeOver 31?
Mixed Tag: Io Shirai & Damian Priest VS Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano!
The Evil Genius and the Archer of Infamy face their TakeOver contenders together in this special sampler main event! Will the Pint-Sized Poison Pixie and her Wednesday Knight take the first steps toward a historic power couple reign?
The “rockstar” champions fire up and rush the ring to brawl with Johnny and Candice! Things are furious under the strobe lights, but the challengers bail out! The referee hurries in to cool everyone off, Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling complain as they take their corner. Priest starts for his team so Gargano gets in. The bell rings, Gargano fires off a haymaker but Priest kicks. Gargano gets under and uppercuts, but Priest grabs him to throw him to a corner! Gargano dodges to CHOP and forearm but Priest shoves, kicks and swings. Gargano dodges those but not the BOOT! Priest fires off fast hands in the ocrner, Cnadice protests but Priest stops at the ref’s count.
Priest whips Gargano corner to corner, scoops him for a BIG sidewalk slam! Gargano rolls away, Candice tells Priest to back off, and Candice checks on her husband. Priest tags Shirai in so Candice has to come in! The crowd is thunderous as these two step to each other. Candice fires off but Shirai gives it back! Candice knees low, whips Shirai to a corner then runs corner to corner, but Shirai dodge and kicks back! Shirai goes up, leaps, but Candice gets under. Candice comes back, Shirai waistlocks but Candice blocks the German to standing switch and roll up! TWO, SHirai FLAPJACKS Candice! Then basement dropkicks!
Candice gets to a corner as the crowd fires up. Gargano gets in the way of the bullet train, but Priest backs Shirai up. And ROUNDHOUSES Gargano into the corner! Candice gets a bit of hubby’s buns as Priest leaps in to hit the back elbow! Then Shirai runs in, Gargano bails out so that Candice takes the SHINKANSEN alone! Some husband he is. Candice bails out, Priest gives Shirai a boost for an INFAMOUS CROSSBODY! Direct hit on Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling at the ramp, and NXT goes picture in picture!
Shirai drags Candice up and puts her in the ring. Shirai stomps Candice around, and in the corner! The ref counts, Shirai lets off, but then digs her boots in! Shirai swings to meteora! Candice flounders around, Shirai drags her up and throws her! Shirai runs but Gargano redeems himself by taking the tiger feint kick for Candice! Candice hits Shirai with a DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Candice is furious as she clubs away on Shirai! Shirai gets to a corner, Candice slaps her around, then hauls her into another corner to ram her into buckles! Candice snapmares Shirai into a chinlock and grinds her down. Shirai endures, fights back and fights up, but Candice throws her down. Candice talks trash to Priest but he tells the little lady to calm down.
Shirai knees Candice back! Candice rolls Shirai away to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! Shirai flounders but Candice drags her away from Priest. Candice has a neck wrench as NXT returns to single picture. Shirai endures, the crowd rallies up but Gargano talks smack. Candice knees Shirai, clubs her, and paces. Gargano is the only one applauding as Candice kicks Shirai. Candice toys with Shirai, tells her the belt will be Candice’s, but Shirai gets up to SHOTEI! Candice wobbles, Shirai counter punches her and waistlocks her for a GERMAN! Both women are down, hot tag to Priest! Gargano gets in but gets clobbered over and over! Priest ROUNDHOUSES Gargano, and LRAIATS him in the rebound!
The crowd fires up as Priest aims and fires the flying back elbow in the corner! And then BROKEN ARROW! Cover off the toss, TWO! Gargano crawls to a corner but Priest brings him back up. Priest reels him in, Canadian racks to a crucifix, but Gargano slips off! Gargano boots Priest back, hops up, TORNADO COMPLETE SHOT! Gargano grits his teeth, fires himself up and kicks, but Priest ducks to kick away! Gargano enziguris, Priest staggers and Shirai tags in! Candice is now legal, but Shirai missile dropkicks Gargano! Shirai rallies on Candice with shoulders, then underhooks, but Candice fights out of the Tiger Driver! Shirai ducks the enziguri and drops down on Candice for the crossface!
Candice flails, reaches, endures, Gargano drags Shirai out of the ring! Priest comes around to choke grip and lift, but Gargano lands on his feet to mule kick from the apron! Shirai SHOTEIS Gargano! Candice cradles Shirai, TWO! Shirai wheelbarrows but Candice turns it into a FACEBUSTER! Step-up senton! Candice grins as she springboards, LIONSAULT flops! Shirai underhooks, TIGER BACKBREAKER! Shirai has Candice in the drop zone and climbs up top, but Gargano gets Candice out of the ring! Shirai shouts at Gargano, but Priest BELL CLAPS and ROUNDHOUSES Gargano! Gargano is down, Shirai still gives him the MOONSAULT!
Tag to Priest, Priest grabs Gargano for the dragon sleeper! The ref is busy telling Shirai to go back to the corner, he doesn’t see Candice LOW BLOW Priest!! Shirai goes after Candice but the damage is done! Shirai stomps Candice down, Gargano slingshots, ONE FINAL BEAT!! Cover, the Gargano Way wins!!
Winners: Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae, by pinfall
Mr. Wrestling secures the victory only because Mrs. Wrestling kicked the Archer of Infamy in his arrow! Shirai shouts at Gargano but Candice hits her with a BACKSTABBER! And in a bit of premature celebration, Gargano grabs the belts and hands the Women’s title to Candice. They raise the belts up as if they’ve already won. But if #TheJohnnyGarganoWay only succeeds when they’re both together, do either of them stand a chance on their own?
An incredible go-home for NXT! Not much was advertised match-wise, but they were all solid to say the least. A lot of great stuff has also been added to TakeOver 31 given circumstances are clearly keeping the NXT Tag Team Championships off the card. The Cruiserweight Championship getting to be on TakeOver is exactly what I was hoping for, and while the video call interview segment was just a tad awkward, Escobar VS Swerve is going to be great once again. Kushida put a hurting on Nese, Dream had a good promo for keeping it simple, and their match is going to be a lot of fun, too. It is truly a shame Tegan is out of action again, her story with Candice had so much going for it. We can only hope Tegan can recover and still wrestle at all.
Dakota VS Shotzi was really good, and I like that Rhea and Shotzi are basically being teamed together again. I felt like these two meshed very well when going against Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez, they’ll do the same here against Dakota and Raquel, and maybe, just maybe, NXT starts getting properly involved in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship scene. Though, if WWE is keeping their stupid Draft as just Raw and SmackDown, it seems not at all likely. Grimes was hilarious, thinking he could do the same scrub gauntlet Ariya Daivari did on 205 Live, and just hilarious in general as Holland not only mauled that jobber but then mauled Grimes. Lumis returns, too, so maybe what was meant to be Lumis & Dream becomes Lumis & Holland to put some literal heavy hitters in the tag division.
I like that this mysterious return is being kept so secret, it’s not even clear if it’s a male or female superstar. The robot voices are more male and female, the person picked up a TakeOver flyer that had both the men’s and women’s title matches on it, and in the current era, the only difference between the male and female title belts is color, which gets washed away in the night vision green. It cold be Bo Dallas, it could be Ember Moon, it could be… Paige? Maybe not, that’s something that might’ve leaked by now. And while Paige was literally born into wrestling, I feel like she’s fine with where she is in both WWE and in life right now. Though the robot-cyborg gimmick could work for her as much as it does Ember with injuries being the only thing in her way, and the idea of her repairing herself to retake NXT.
I like that the story of Xia Li, and by proxy KC Squared, is getting airtime. They’ve all been around for a good amount of time, really working hard to be notable parts of NXT, and this is it paying off. Xia continues to be a sore loser of sorts, and a full Heel turn would be something interesting to see. The Mixed Tag match was a great main event, and it was a bit out of nowhere to see Priest and Shirai work so well together, but I suppose you credit the fact they have a common enemy in Johnny and Candice. But the math indicates that the #NXTPowerCouple standing tall tonight, touching the belts no less, means they’re not both winning. Maybe Gargano gets the better of Priest, being that Gargano is the Triple Crown winner, I’m not sure about Candice. If Tegan wasn’t actually out with the torn ACL, I could see her interfering with the women’s title, but now it’ll just have to be a clean win for Shirai.
Adam Cole basically being the big brother to Kyle against Theory was unexpected, but that match Cole and Theory had was incredible. It felt on par with a midcard title match, in which case the reputation of Cole being an NXT Triple Crown was itself the prize. The Prime Target for Kyle was incredibly well made, but if he doesn’t win… In the face-to-face, Kyle sure came in with a bit of ego, but he did make some good points. They’re both much more experience than the average fan probably realized, so this isn’t an underdog story but two peers who finally meet to see who is really the better man. It’d be so wild if Kyle won, but this also feels like it’s meant to puff Kyle up so much that he falls that much harder when he loses.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/26/22)
BOSJ, round six!
The blocks keep rolling into round six!
Round five was red hot but the Best of the Super Juniors is far from over! Will Hiromu Takahashi still have a leg to stand on in A Block? Who between Desperado, Phantasmo and Lindaman will be EL GANADOR? (The Winner)
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: Master Wato VS Titan; Wato wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: DOUKI VS TJP; TJP wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Clark Connors VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Connors wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Ryusuke Taguchi VS Alex Zayne; Zayne wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: YOH VS Francesco Akira; Akira wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: Wheeler Yuta VS EL LINDAMAN; Lindaman wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Ace Austin VS Taiji Ishimori; Austin wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: BUSHI VS El Desperado; Bushi wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS SHO; Sho wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS El Phantasmo; Eagles wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current standings in A Block!
Taiji Ishimori: 4-1, 8 points
Ace Austin: 4-1, 8 points
Alex Zayne: 3-2, 6 points
YOH: 3-2, 6 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 3-2, 6 points
SHO: 2-3, 4 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 2-3, 4 points
Clark Connors: 2-3, 4 points
Ryusuke Taguchi: 1-4, 2 points
Francesco Akira: 1-4, 2 points
Here are the current standings for B Block!
El Phantasmo: 4-1, 8 points
El Desperado: 4-1, 8 points
El Lindaman: 3-2, 6 points
Wheeler Yuta: 3-2, 6 points
Douki: 3-2, 6 points
Bushii: 2-3, 4 points
TJP: 2-3, 4 points
Robbie Eagles: 2-3, 4 points
Master Wato: 1-4, 2 points
Titan: 1-4, 2 points
Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: Master Wato VS Titan!
These two champions each lost last round, but the round robin isn’t done yet! Will the Way of the Grandmaster or the Immortal get away from last place?
The bell rings and fans rally up. The two circle, they shake hands to show sportsmanship and the fans applaud. Wato and Titan then tie up, Wato waistlocks but Titan spins to facelocks. Wato slips out to hammerlock but Titan reaches back to headlock. Wato spins Titan to facelock but Titan wrenches out to a wristlock. Wato rolls, kips up, wrenches back and wristlocks, but Titan spins and slips through to spin Wato and wrench back. Fans applaud the exchange and Titan kicks Wato around. Titan wrenches again, then whips Wato. Wato reverses, drops, hurdles, but Titan waistlocks. Titan then spins Wato to a knuckle lock and CHOPS!
Titan goes up the corner, tightrope walks, and fans rally as he jumps and bounces and FLYING ARM-DRAGS, but Wato handsprings through! Wato wheelbarrows and arm-drags, but Titan handstands then handsprings through! Titan sweeps the legs, covers, ONE! Wato sweeps, covers, ONE! Titan handsprings while Wato somersaults, and fans fire up as the two stare down. Wato and Titan nod and fans rally up. Wato throws a forearm, Titan throws it back. Wato throws another so Titan gives it back. Fans rally as they go back and forth, faster and faster. Wato gets the edge, runs, but Titan dropkicks him down!
Wato bails out, Titan builds speed, and rolls to FOSBURY, but Wato gets back in the ring! Titan looks for Wato and Wato already builds speed, but Titan ducks. Wato stops, Titan looks up, PLANCHA! Fans fire up with Wato and he dusts himself off before he brings Titan up. Wato puts Titan in the ring, aims from the apron and springboards, but Titan gets under! Titan ducks the roundhouse to fire off palm strikes, a back hand and a ROUNDHOUSE! But he runs into the back elbow! Wato runs, but Titan goes Matrix to dodge! CALF KICK! Wato wobbles, Titan springboards, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up while both men are down!
Titan and Wato stir, Wato gets up first and he drags Titan into a waistlock. Titan throws elbows but Wato holds on. Titan backs Wato into the corner, and he throws more elbows! Wato lets go and fans rally again as Titan powers up the arm. Titan runs corner to corner, but Wato BOOTS him! Wato goes up, throws Titan down, but Titan kips up to PELE! Titan then goes up after Wato, drags him out to a Canadian Rack, and brings Wato out for a SPINNING SHOULDER BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Wato survives and fans fire up! Titan hurries to get Wato up and whip him to the corner. Titan roars, runs corner to corner, DRIVE-BY LARIAT!
Wato falls into the drop zone and Titan gets back up on the apron. Titan climbs the corner, leaps, but Wato avoids the double stomps! Titan hobbles on the bad leg, Wato reel shim in, HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!! Fans fire up as each man goes to a corner. Wato roars and he runs corner to corner, but Titan puts him on the apron. Wato blocks a punch to GAMANGIRI, then he springboards! FLYING UPPERCUT! Fans fire up with Wato again and he brings Titan in for the MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Titan survives and shocks Wato! Wato drags Titan up and reels him back in, but Titan escapes the scoop!
Titan fires off a strike fest, sobat and BUZZSAW, BUZZSAW, and fans fire up! Titan aims from the corner, SUPER- NO! Wato blocks, spins Titan, and SUPERKICKS back! Scoop and T T D!! Tenzan Tombstone Driver!! But Wato isn’t done there! He goes up top and aims, R P P!! Cover, Wato wins!
Winner: Master Wato, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Titan earns 0)
Wato wins and is rising up! But can he make the comeback in time for the finals? As for Titan, is he doomed to be stuck at the back of the pack?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: DOUKI VS TJP!
Japones Del Mal and Public Enemy Number One both won big last round, but now someone’s momentum has to come to a screeching halt! Will Douki step closer to the front of the pack? Or will TJP dab on ’em as he drags Douki down?
TJP rushes Douki the moment he’s in the ring! But Douki dodges the dropkick, and swings his metal stick! TJP dodges that, kicks Douki and whips but Douki reverses and throws TJP out! The bell rings as Douki goes to the apron, and Douki hits a FLYING FOREARM! Fans fire up and Douki drags TJP up and POSTS him! Douki puts TJP in the ring, but then TJP bails out the other side. TJP gets a chair and the ref has him stop! TJP wants after Douki, he shoves the ref aside, but Douki dropkicks TJP down! Douki takes the chair, stands it up, and runs, but TJP gets in and uses the chair to jump up! RANA!
Douki flounders out and fans fire up again! TJP goes out after Douki and he drags Douki up. Douki fights the suplex, TJP keeps trying, and Douki hits an APRON DDT! Fans fire up and rally again as Douki gets back in the ring. Douki climbs up, aims as TJP stands, but TJP trips Douki up! Fans rally and TJP drags Douki to the ropes. TJP goes out to slingshot senton back in! Cover, TWO! TJP jams his knee into Douki’s back, then scrapes his sole on Douki’s face! TJP stomps Douki, but Douki throws body shots and forearms. TJP EuroUppers Douki back down! TJP puts Douki in a corner, stomps his leg, then digs his knee in.
The ref reprimands but fans rally up as TJP gives Douki boot washes. TJP runs side to side, for a big BOOT WASH! Fans rally again, TJP drags Douki up and EuroUppers. Douki staggers to ropes, TJP whips him to ropes, but Douki holds ropes to stop. TJP runs but Douki drops down and TJP tumbles out! Douki PLANCHAS TJP down! Fans fire up and Douki gets back up. Douki gets the chair and he sets it up nearby. Douki ROCKS TJP and makes him have a seat, then he builds speed in the ring! Douki DIVES and WRECKS TJP out of the chair! Fans fire up while the ref checks on TJP. TJP’s somehow okay to continue, so Douki gets him up and in.
Douki stalks TJP, scoops and SLAMS him, then runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, Douki drags TJP up and Gory Especials. But TJP fights off, and Douki spins him around to HELL STAB! Douki runs in but TJP goes up and over! Only for Douki to catch him in the Gory Especial! TJP arm-drags free, spins Douki around, but Douki breaks the dragon sleeper. TJP keeps Douki from running but Douki kicks and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up again and Douki runs, but TJP springboards for a FLYING FOREARM! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while TJP is frustrated. TJP grits his teeth and he drags Douki back up.
TJP spins Douki, dragon sleeper, but Douki slips out of the inverted suplex! Gory Especial, DOTON NO JUTSU! Cover, TWO!! TJP survives and Douki is beside himself! Fans rally up, Douki fires up, and Douki drags TJP into the wheelbarrow! But TJP victory rolls to the leg lock! TJP wants the crossface, but Douki slips around to get the ITALIAN STRETCH #32! But TJP scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts and Douki lets go at 4. Fans rally up, Douki fires up, and he gets TJP up in a torture rack. But TJP slips out, dragon sleeper, SUDDEN IMPACT! Cover, TWO!! Douki survives and fans fire up again!
TJP drags Douki to a drop zone and he points up to the sky. This one’s for Kobe! MAMBA SPLASH into the ITALIAN STRETCH!! Douki pulls back but TJP endures and fights his way to ropes! But Douki rolls him away! ITALIAN- NO, TJP steps up, slips through, PINOY STRETCH!! Douki taps, TJP wins!!
Winner: TJP, by submission (gains 2 points; Douki earns 0)
The Fil-Am Flash turns things around in a flash, and he has a tiebreaker win over Douki! Will TJP’s 3-3 prove stronger? Or will Douki manage to turn things around in these last few rounds?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Clark Connors VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru!
The Wild Rhino ran through the Nova Fireball, while the Heel Master snatched a win off the Bone Soldier! Will Connors keep barreling through towards the top? Or will Kanemaru wrangle him like he did the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. They tie up, Connors shoves Kanemaru to ropes but Kanemaru stays up. They circle again, tie up, and Connors headlocks. Kanemaru endures the grind, tries to pry free but Connors holds on. Kanemaru throws body shots, powers out, but Connors runs him over! Fans fire up and Connors runs, things speed up but Kanemaru bails out to slow it down. Fans rally, Connors rushes out but Kanemaru kicks low! Kanemaru CLUBS Connors, Connors uppercuts Kanemaru! Connors puts Kanemaru in the ring and hurries in, but Kanemaru hurries right back out.
Connors keeps cool, and he dares Kanemaru to get back in. Kanemaru dares Connors to come back out, so Connors does. Connors chases Kanemaru back in, and Kanemaru stomps Connors down! Kanemaru puts Connors in a corner with a rake of the eyes! The ref reprimands, Kanemaru whips Connors corner to corner, but Connors comes right back to CLOBBER Kanemaru! Fans fire up and Connors calls for a flip? Connors drags Kanemaru up, whips him and scoops him, but Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls to a cradle! TWO, Kanemaru gets a jackknife bridge! TWO, and Connors knees low! Kanemaru rakes Connors’ eyes!
Kanemaru runs, but Connors goes sideways, but Kanemaru catches him for a sleeper! But Connors slips around to back suplex, only for Kanemaru to kick and headlock takeover! Kanemaru makes it a cover, TWO, and Kanemaru dropkicks Connors down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Kanemaru sees Connors go to a corner, he runs in, and BOOTS! Then he reels Connors into a scoop, for BRITISH FALL! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Kanemaru goes up the corner and waits on Connors. Kanemaru leaps, but Connors blocks Deep Impact! Connors then suplexes Kanemaru, but Kanemaru slips off and kicks low.
Kanemaru runs, but Connors drops down and goes the other way, to POUNCE! Fans fire up as both men are down again! Connors grins as he aims from a corner and revs up. Kanemaru gets up slowly and Connors grows impatient. Connors storms up but Kanemaru victory rolls him! TWO, and Kanemaru runs, into a POWERSLAM! Connors shakes his head and roars! Connors drags Kanemaru up as fans rally, but Kanemaru fights the lift! Kanemaru whips, rolls Connors up, TWO!! Connors escapes, and he SPEARS Kanemaru down! Fans fire up and Connors gets Kanemaru back up, TROPHY KILLER!! Cover, Connors wins!!
Winner: Clark Connors, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kanemaru earns 0)
Connors keeps winning in Korakuen! Is he going to stampede his way to the top of the block? As for Kanemaru, will he go back to drinking his sorrows away?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Ryusuke Taguchi VS Alex Zayne!
The Funky Weapon tried and failed to break the Murder Machine, while The Sauce lost to his own tag partner, Ace Austin! Will Taguchi get burned again this round? Or will he stay cool and keep his pants on?
The bell rings and fans rally up, “TA-GU-CHI!” “AL-EX ZAYNE!” The two approach, circle, then tie up. Zayne wrenches to a wristlock, Taguchi rolls and wrenches to wristlock back. Zayne rolls, handsprings, wrenches again and headlocks. Fans applaud this opening exchange, but Taguchi throws body shots. Taguchi powers out, then keeps Zayne moving with dropdowns and sidesteps. But Zayne disrupts the pattern with his springboard knee drop! Zayne then rolls, RUNNING MARIPOSA! Fans fire up as Taguchi bails out! Zayne builds speed, but Taguchi gets in, only for Zayne to sidestep! Taguchi HIP ATTACKS but misses as Zayne sidesteps again.
Fans fire up while Taguchi tumbles to ropes. Zayne shrugs, then he drags Taguchi up. Zayne snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Fans rally, Zayne gets a leg and KICKS Taguchi in the butt! And then again! Zayne drags Taguchi up to ROCK him with a forearm, then has him in a corner. Zayne wrenches, whips corner to corner and runs in, but Taguchi boots him! Taguchi goes up, headscissors, and he RAMS Zayne into his butt! And again, and again, and again! Taguchi lets Zayne go, fans rally and Zayne rushes in, but Taguchi drops down a la Nakamura to dump him out! Taguchi then FLYING HIPS from the apron!
Fans fire up, Taguchi brings Zayne up to put him in, and springboards for a MISSILE HIP! Taguchi kicks Zayne out so he can TRIANGLE JUMP PLANCHA! Direct hit, and Taguchi even bows in respect to Shingo Takagi on commentary. Taguchi then puts Zayne in, and he calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!” Zayne drops but Taguchi was just faking him out! OH MY GARFUNKLE! Zayne rolls and throws Taguchi away, then ROCKS him with forearms and elbows! Taguchi rebounds but into a leg sweep, and Zayne runs to SOMERSAULT AX- NO! Taguchi dodges, and he brings down his tights!!
But Zayne blocks the hip attack! “ITADAKIMAAASU~!” EH!? Zayne BITES Taguchi’s ass!! The ref reprimands, Taguchi flails, and Zayne lets off. Fans fire up as Zayne runs, but into a HIP ATTACK! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Taguchi slowly gets up, clutching his cheeks. Taguchi throws a forearm, but Zayne gives it back. Taguchi throws another forearm, Zayne gives it back. The forearms keep going back and forth as they stand, but Taguchi gets the edge. Taguchi runs, HIP ATTACK hits JUMP KNEE, but Zayne’s knee takes more damage?! Taguchi then gets the leg, ducks the enziguri, and has OH MY GARFUNKLE!
Fans fire up as Zayne reaches out, but Taguchi reels him in! Zayne fights free to scoop Taguchi, but Taguchi sunset flips, TWO! Zayne EDDY GORDO KICKS! Zayne hurries to the corner while Taguchi is down, CINNAMON TWIST!! Cover, Zayne wins!
Winner: Alex Zayne, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taguchi earns 0)
The Sauce was too spicy and the Funky Weapon misfires! Will Zayne heat up at the right time to take the block? Is Taguchi only good as a spoiler now?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: YOH VS Francesco Akira!
Direct Drive got a huge win just yesterday in the main event, but it’s back to the grind! Will Yoh keep moving forward and show us that passion? Or will Nova Fireball burn him up already?
Akira DIVES on Yoh as soon as he’s ringside! Akira POSTS Yoh, and he fires up! The fans fire up, the bell rings, and Akira brings Yoh up to RAM into the apron! Then TIGER FEINT down! Fans fire up more and Akira gets Yoh back up and in the ring. Akira climbs up the corner and leaps, CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Yoh is still in this but Akira keeps cool. Akira gets fans to clap, “A! KI-RA!” and he finally takes off his shirt. Akira stomps Yoh, pulls Yoh’s jacket off and then stomps Yoh to ropes. Akira drags Yoh up to pull his shirt off and throw it away, but Yoh kicks back! Yoh throws a forearm but Akira gives it back!
Akira CLUBS Yoh, follows him to ropes, and he CLUBS Yoh against ropes again and again. Yoh ROCKS Akira back! And again! But Akira knees low! Akira runs, things speed up, Yoh drop toeholds and runs, but Akira dodges the sliding kick. Akira kicks, whips but Yoh reverses to dropkick Akira out of the ring! Fans fire up and Yoh aims, PLANCHA! Down goes Akira and fans fire up with Yoh! Yoh catches his breath and the ring count climbs. Yoh goes back to Akira as Akira gets up at 10 of 20. Yoh puts Akira in at 12, puts him in a corner, and CHOPS him! Akira staggers away to the next corner, and Yoh CHOPS him again!
Akira goes to another corner, Yoh walks over to CHOP him again! Fans fire up and Yoh wrenches to whip corner to corner. Yoh runs in to back elbow, then he reels Akira in for a NECKBREAKER! Then he gets Akira up for a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Yoh grits his teeth. Yoh drags Akira into a waistlock, fans rally, “A! KI-RA!” “Y! O H!” but Akira powers Yoh back to a corner! Akira elbows free, runs corner to corner but Yoh dodges. Yoh mule kicks, runs, but Akira follows to wheelbarrow, victory roll, STOMP 182! Fans fire up while both men are down! Akira and Yoh go to opposite ends and drag themselves up the ropes.
Akira runs corner to corner at Yoh, corner clothesline! Then he goes corner to corner again, back elbow! Akira fires up, reels Yoh in, GOURD BUSTER! Akira wants Yoh to get back up, and he winds up, BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO! Akira seethes but fans still rally. Akira vows to end this and he drags Yoh back up. Akira goes from the corner, FIRE- NO! Yoh ducks to SUPER- NO! Akira blocks and ROUNDHOUSES, but Yoh JUMP KNEES! Akira SUPERKICKS! Yoh drops, Akira aims from a corner again. Yoh sits up, Akira runs in, YOH SUPERKICKS!! Both men are down again and fans fire up more!
Yoh and Akira slowly stir, and Yoh grits his teeth as he crawls after Akira. Yoh waistlocks and reels Akira in, GERMAN SUPLEX! Yoh holds on, gets Akira up again, GERMAN SUPLEX! Yoh gets Akira up again, but Akira kicks to resist the third! Akira elbows back, switches with Yoh, but Yoh resists and throws elbows. Yoh runs, Akira follows, wheelbarrow, but Yoh full nelsons! Akira breaks the nelson but Yoh gets the waistlock, GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Akira escapes but Yoh fires up now! Fans rally with Yoh and he drags Akira up. Yoh bumps Akira off buckles, puts him up top, and CHOPS!
Yoh goes up to join Akira, CLUBS him, then brings him up. Fans rally but Akira fights free! Akira tucks Yoh in, CHEEKY- NO! Yoh mule kicks Akira away! Yoh adjusts, but Akira is right back up! SECOND ROPE SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!! Yoh survives but Akira roars! Akira brings Yoh up, reels Yoh in, SPEEDFIRE!! But Akira won’t cover, he goes to the corner! Yoh slowly sits up, Akira runs in, FIREBALL!! Cover, Akira wins!!
Winner: Francesco Akira, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yoh earns 0)
Direct Drive falls apart so soon after his big win! Will his passion not be enough to get back to the finals? As for Akira, is there still a chance he can be more than a spoiler?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: Wheeler Yuta VS EL LINDAMAN!
The ROH Pure Champion won against the CMLL World Welterweight Champion just last round, but now he’s up against another champion! Will the Decoder have a winning formula for the G-Rex Champion? Or will Lindaman rebound and be feeling GLEAT again?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two approach. Lindaman offers a handshake, Yuta takes it, and fans applaud the sportsmanship. They circle, tie up, and Yuta gets around to the waistlock. Lindaman wrenches out to the wristlock but Yuta rolls, wrenches and hammerlocks to then spin and wrangle Lindaman down to the mat. Fans applaud the exchange, and Lindaman gets up. Lindaman wrenches, hammerlocks, waistlocks, but Yuta fights and pushes Lindaman into the corner. Yuta runs, Lindaman drops then hurdles, but Yuta avoids the dropkick! Lindaman staggers up, Yuta CLUBS him to the corner.
Yuta whips, Lindaman reverses and then runs in, but Yuta goes up and over. Lindaman comes back, into a scoop SLAM! But he avoids the senton! Lindaman runs but Yuta ducks the Penalty Kick to roll Lindaman. Lindaman rolls through, gets around Yuta, and kicks the legs out to then dropkick Yuta in the back! Fans rally up and Lindaman brings Yuta up. Lindaman bumps him off buckles, sits him down and stomps a mudhole! The ref counts as Lindaman digs his boot in, but Lindaman counts along! Lindaman lets off, shakes the ref’s hand, then stomps Yuta one more time! Fans rally as Lindaman eggs Yuta on.
Yuta gets up and he throws forearm after forearm! Yuta runs but Lindaman elbows him at the ropes! Lindaman CLUBS Yuta, runs and dropkicks Yuta down! Yuta bails out, Lindaman builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit and fans fire up again! The fans rally, “LIN-DA-MAN!” and he drags Yuta up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Lindaman pushes Yuta down again to cover, TWO! Again, ONE! High stack, TWO!! Yuta is still in this and fans fire up! Lindaman brings Yuta up, whips him to a corner, then runs in, but into a BOOT! Lindaman comes back, blocks the boot, but Yuta dodges the lariat! Lindaman BOOTS!
Lindaman goes up, Yuta GAMANGIRIS and sends Lindaman tumbling down! Fans fire up and Yuta builds speed, to DIVE! Lindaman is sent into the Young Lions and fans fire up with Yuta! Yuta drags Lindaman up, puts him back in, and he gets Lindaman’s arm to wrench and HOTSHOT! Lindaman staggers, Yuta goes up top. CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Yuta hurries to get the arms, CATTLE MUTILATION! Lindaman endures and fans fire up, and Lindaman manages to crawl backwards and reach his leg out! ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Yuta lets off and is a bit surprised. Yuta drags Lindaman up with a facelock, but Lindaman’s almost dead weight!
Yuta wrenches, lifts but Lindaman fights free and knees low. Lindaman runs and ROCKS Yuta with a forearm! Yuta runs to ROCK Lindaman back! Yuta eggs Lindaman on, Lindaman runs and ROCKS Yuta! Yuta runs, ROCKS Lindaman, but they both roar! They both run, DOUBLE FOREARMS! Both men wobble and fans fire up! Lindaman stands up first, he runs again, but Yuta atomic drops! But Lindaman ducks the enziguri! But Yuta reels Lindaman in, atomic drop and ENZIGURI after all! Yuta runs, into a DROPKICK! Both men are down again and fans rally! Lindaman fires up and he brings Yuta up to KUMA-
NO, Yuta throws Lindaman down and has the arms! They roll, stand, Yuta wrenches for the OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Yuta roars! HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Yuta then hooks the arms as he rolls, but Lindaman slips out of Dragon’s Lair to float and deadlift waistlock! HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!! Yuta survives but Lindaman chicken wings the arms! TIGER SUPLEX!! Bridging cover, Lindaman wins!!
Winner: El Lindaman, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yuta earns 0)
A GLEAT rebound victory for Lindaman, will the G-Rex Champion still have a chance at the finals? Will Yuta have to rework his formula to get that winning combination?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Ace Austin VS Taiji Ishimori!
The Inevitable comes off a huge win while the Bone Soldier comes off a rather shocking loss. Will the Impact X-Division Champion add to Taiji’s woes? Or will THE IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion make sure he only owes one golden ticket?
The champions show off their belts, and while Austin brags he’s a three-time, Taiji has him beat with four-time! Fans applaud Taiji’s accomplishment, and rally up as the belts are put away. The bell rings and the two champions circle. Taiji kicks low, ROCKS Austin, then throws haymakers in the corner. The ref reprimands, Taiji whips corner to corner, but Austin stops himself to roll, drop toehold and EDDY GORDO! Austin runs, but handsprings over the dropdown to headlock. Taiji powers out but Austin runs him over. Austin poses but Taiji kips up while Austin runs, and Taiji hurdles to then duck and dodge and tilt-o-whirl!
Austin avoids the Mistico to arm-drag Taiji, then hurries to get the DISARMER! Taiji endures but Austin brings out his ace! PAPER CUT! Taiji scrambles out of the ring while Austin hides his ace. Fans rally up, Austin waits on Taiji as he takes his time to come back. Taiji gets in but just slides back out. Austin goes out after Taiji but Taiji gets back in. Austin sees Taiji coming and dumps him out! Austin CHOPS Taiji right in front of the fans, but Taiji blocks the apron bump. Taiji kicks, but Austin dropkicks! Austin kips up on the apron, handsprings to avoid the sweeps, then PENALTY KICKS Taiji down!
Fans rally up and Austin slingshots in to build speed. But Taiji runs around the corner to deny the Fall to Glory. Taiji slides in, Austin rushes him, but Taiji fireman’s carries to HOTSHOT Austin! Austin tumbles to the floor, and Taiji undoes the blue buckle pad! The ref reprimands but too late, the Bullet Club Special is in play. Fans rally while Austin stirs on the outside. Taiji waits as the ring count starts, but Austin gets up and in at 8 of 20. Taiji brings Austin up by the bad arm, CLUBS it, then wrenches it to a hammerlock. Taiji RAMS Austin’s bad arm into the buckles! Fans rally, “ACE AU-STIN!” but Taiji CLUBS the bad arm again.
Taiji wraps Austin up in a cobra clutch but Austin endures. Fans rally more and Austin fights up. Austin throws body shots, but Taiji ripcords to RAM the arm then WRING it out! Taiji gets fans to fire up, but they then go back to “ACE AU-STIN!” Taiji gets Austin up but Austin throws body shots and forearms! Austin CHOPS and forearms and CHOPS and forearms, then CHOPS away at the ropes! Austin fires off forearm after forearm, then whips corner to corner. Taiji reverses but Austin holds ropes to stop himself. Taiji runs in but Austin goes Spider-Man to dump Taiji out! Austin builds speed and he FALLS TO GLORY!
Fans fire up for the Fosbury Flop and Austin shakes out the bad arm. Austin drags Taiji up, puts him in, and then steps in to FLYING- NO, Taiji ducks the kick to gut wrench and CIPHER UTAKI! Fans fire up while both men are down. Taiji crawls to the corner, fans rally again, and Taiji grits his teeth as he drags himself up the ropes. Austin runs in but Taiji sends him into the POST! Austin falls back, Taiji gets him up to hammerlock and half nelson. Taiji scoops for the SHOULDER BUSTER! Austin writhes and Taiji crawls back to his corner. Fans rally up, Taiji waits on Austin to stand. Taiji runs in, but Austin elbows him away!
Austin knees, knee lifts, but Taiji ducks the heel kick! But Austin reels Taiji in to RIPCORD SLAM! Then HOUSE OF CARDS! Taiji flounders, Austin aims, THE FOLD!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!!! Taiji barely gets his foot on the rope and Austin can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous and Austin fires back up. Austin builds speed, but Taiji flops down? The ref checks Taiji and Austin goes out to fetch him. Austin drags Taiji up to put him in, and fans rally as Austin goes to the corner. Austin slingshots up to springboard in, but Taiji avoids the flying leg drop! Austin lands on his feet but Taiji runs in to tilt-o-whirl, MISTICO! And then BONE LOCK!!!
Austin flails, kicks, reaches out, scrambles over, ROPEBREAK!! Austin survives but he clutches his arm. Fans are thunderous as Austin gets to the apron. Taiji runs in but into a shoulder! Austin steps in, FLYING CHUCK! Austin aims again, THE- NO, Taiji catches him to a dragon sleeper! Inverted suplex to BACKBREAKER! Taiji crawls to the cover, TWO! Fans are thunderous again as Taiji drags himself up the ropes. Taiji storms over to Wato, drags him up and reels him in, BLOODY- NO! Austin wrenches out, reels Taiji in, but Taiji wrenches out. But Austin NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans fire up and Austin fires up, but Taiji gets around to MISTI- NO, Austin rolls him, O’CONNER BRIDGE! AUSTIN WINS!!
Winner: Ace Austin, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taiji earns 0)
Taiji can’t believe it! The three-time Impact X-Division Champion trumps the four-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion! And now, Austin leads the block!! Will the Inevitable have a shot at that title no matter what now? Can the Bone Soldier regain the lead with what little time is left?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: BUSHI VS El Desperado!
The Black Mask lost to Douki but the Rogue Luchador toughed it out and got the win on Master Wato. Will Bushi lose to two Suzuki-Gun members in a row? Or can he make Desperado tranquilo on that title comeback?
Desperado yawns while waiting on Bushi to take off the entrance attire. But then Bushi rushes Desperado and fires forearms! The bell rings, Bushi whips Desperado to ropes but Desperado holds ropes to stop himself. Desperado then BOOTS Bushi, but Bushi dodges and RANAS Desperado out! Fans fire up and Bushi builds speed, but Desperado gets in to run Bushi over! Bushi bails out now, and Desperado builds speed, to slide! Bushi ducks, but Desperado avoids his kick. Desperado pops Bushi up to the apron, Bushi mule kicks him down! Bushi then aims, and SLINGSHOT RANAS! Fans fire up and Bushi roars!
Bushi drags Desperado up, puts him in the ring, and he KICKS Desperado in the back. Desperado sits up, Bushi kicks him, then brings him up to throw a forearm. Desperado hits back, they start going back and forth but Bushi gets the edge. Bushi whips corner to corner but Desperado reverses. Desperado runs in but Bushi swing kicks him! Bushi goes up but Desperado DECKS him! Desperado goes out, scoops and SLAMS Bushi, and fans fire up as Desperado gets space. Desperado catches his breath, comes back to get Bushi’s leg and drag him around, to SMASH the leg on the floor! The ring count is climbing but Desperado brings Bushi up and in at 10 of 20.
Desperado drags Bushi back up, whips him out of the ring, and then stomps the bad leg! The ref reprimands but Desperado POSTS Bushi! Desperado takes the medic’s chair away and he throws it down on Bushi’s leg! Desperado stomps the chair but the ref stops him at that. Bushi writhes, Desperado says he didn’t hit Bushi with the chair so it’s fine. Desperado gives the chair back, then puts Bushi in the ring. Desperado SPLASHES the leg, fans rally up, and then Desperado stomps the leg again. Desperado stomps more, drags Bushi up, and he scoops to SLAM Bushi down! Fans rally up and Desperado grabs the leg for a toehold!
Desperado thrashes the leg but Bushi still endures. Fans rally more, Bushi CLUBS Desperado but Desperado rakes Bushi’s eye! KNEE JAMMER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Desperado drags Bushi up. Bushi fires forearms but Desperado knees low. Desperado ducks the enziguri to get the STRETCH MUFFLER! Bushi endures as Desperado thrashes the leg around! Bushi crawls, reaches out, Desperado thrashes more, but Bushi gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans applaud and rally up more but Desperado wags his finger. Desperado brings Bushi up, gut wrenches, GUITARRA- NO, Bushi slips out, but the bad leg jams!
Bushi gets to a corner and Desperado shrugs. Desperado runs in, but into a BOOT! Bushi goes up, FLYING RANA! Fans fire back up while both men are down, and Bushi crawls to Desperado. Desperado swings but Bushi ducks and spins Desperado to a DDT! Fans rally more, Bushi rushes in and blocks Desperado’s boot to put it in the ropes. Bushi dropkicks the leg, then hits a DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up more while Bushi shakes out his bad leg. Bushi hobbles over to Desperado, drags him up, FISHER- NO, Desperado slips out! Bushi dodges, ENZIGURI! A glancing blow but enough for FISHERMAN SCREW! Cover, TWO!
Fans continue to rally, and Bushi drags himself to the corner. Bushi goes up, leaps, but Desperado gets under! Bushi’s leg buckles and Desperado CHOP BLOCKS! Both men are down again but the fans still rally! Desperado gets up and snarls as he gets the leg, GROUND DRAGON SCREW! STRETCH- NO, Bushi makes it a cradle, TWO! Bushi rushes in, into a SPINEBUSTER! Desperado rolls Bushi around to gut wrench, GUITARRA DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Bushi survives! Desperado gets Bushi back up, reels him in and underhooks, but Bushi fights off Pinche Loco to backslide! Desperado rolls through, underhooks, PINCHE-
NO! Bushi fights it off again, Desperado blocks a kick and ducks the enziguri but Bushi HEEL KICKS! Fans rally again and Bushi gets to a corner. Bushi runs out but Desperado blocks the Code Breaker to LOCO MONO! Desperado runs, into a DROPKICK! Both men are down and fans fire up again. Both men go to opposite ends, Bushi runs in, CODE BREAKER! Bushi hobbles up to hop on, DESTROYER!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!!! Desperado survives and Bushi is beside himself! Bushi drags himself to the corner and gets up the ropes. Bushi fires up and calls his shot, MX!!! But Desperado flounders away! Bushi manages the cover, Bushi wins!!
Winner: Bushi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Desperado earns 0)
The Black Mask breaks even at 3-3, and he brings Desperado away from the top of the block! Can Bushi get past the Rogue Luchador to have a chance? Or can Desperado salvage this before the end?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 A Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS SHO!
The Ticking Timebomb has lost two in a row, with Kanemaru and Yoh both going after his leg. Will he be able to defend that leg from the Murder Machine? Or will Sho blow up Hiromu’s chances of a threepeat?
The ref is very thorough with his check of Sho, given his reputation with House of Torture. But then Sho decides to get a chair and wait for Hiromu at the entryway! The ref wants Sho to stop, but where is Hiromu? Hiromu came out the other entrance! He tells everyone to stay quiet so they can surprise Sho. Hiromu gets himself a chair, and when Sho turns around, he freaks out to see Hiromu! Hiromu throws the chair at Sho, Sho shields himself with his chair, but his fingers still get pinched! Sho falls over and shakes out his hands, and Hiromu smirks as he takes off his jacket. Hiromu then gets Sho up and POSTS him!
Fans fire up and Hiromu gets his own scrapbook to SMACK Sho with it! Hiromu has a Young Lion deliver the book to Milano Collection AT-san, then he puts Sho in the ring. The bell rings and this is on the record as Hiromu CHOPS Sho! Hiromu whips Sho corner to corner, runs in and SPLASHES! Then snapmare and basement dropkick! Fans fire up, Sho bails out, and Hiromu aims from the apron, FLYING JOHN WOO, but Sho uses a Young Lion shield! The Young Lion goes down and Hiromu can’t believe what just happened! Sho gets the chair back to SMACK Hiromu on the leg! Hiromu tumbles, the ref tries to stop Sho but Sho digs the chair into the leg!
The ref reprimands and gets Sho to let off, but Hiromu hobbles. Sho complains that Hiromu did stuff to him, but fans rally up for “HI-RO-MU!” Sho storms over after Hiromu, stomps the leg, then gets the leg for a STANDING KNEEBAR! Hiromu endures, the ring count is starting, and Sho keeps on the leglock! Sho then lets Hiromu go to get in at 10 of 20! Sho wants the count to go faster, Hiromu gets up and hobbles at 15. Hiromu gets in at 17! Fans rally but Sho stomps Hiromu’s leg. Sho drags Hiromu to DDT the leg! Fans still rally but Sho gets the leg in a KNEEBAR! Hiromu gets to the ROPEBREAK, the ref counts, and Sho lets go at 4.
Sho looms over Hiromu but Hiromu CHOPS him! And CHOPS again! Sho kicks the bad leg, drags Hiromu up, wrenches the arm, and he KICKS the leg. Sho digs his heel into the leg, wrenches again, then KICKS it again. And then wrenches again to KICK again! Sho digs his heel into the leg again, and fans rally up as Hiromu endures. Sho kicks, KICKS and SUPERKICKS Hiromu down! Cover, TWO! Hiromu clutches the knee but Sho kicks him around. Sho toys with Hiromu, taunts him, kicks him more, but Hiromu eggs Sho back on. Fans rally, Sho kicks Hiromu more then starts slapping him around.
Sho runs, but Hiromu clotheslines him out of the ring! Hiromu goes out and snap suplexes Sho to the floor! Fans fire up and Hiromu gets Sho up to bring him around and throw into barriers! Sho writhes and fans fire up as Hiromu drags Sho back up. Hiromu whips Sho to the back wall behind the bleachers! Hiromu mocking asks what’s wrong, then he drags Sho back to ringside. The ring count is climbing, but Hiromu RAMS Sho into the barriers again! The count is 10 of 20, but Hiromu brings Sho back into the ring at 14. Hiromu then has Sho on the apron, fireman’s carries, APRON DEATH VALLEY!
Hiromu grins, feeling much better, as he now drags Sho up. Hiromu runs to SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB!! Fans fire up, Hiromu puts Sho back in, and runs, to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are fired up as Hiromu gets back up and brings Sho around. Hiromu suplexes, for a NECKBREAKER! Then dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, but Sho slips out! Sho shoves Hiromu at the ref, then blocks Hiromu’s kick! Sho hands it to the ref but the ref throws it back and Hiromu ROUNDHOUSES Sho! Fans fire up and Hiromu hugs the ref for the assist. But Sho uses that to shove them both down! GERMAN SUPLEX on Hiromu!
Sho laughs but fans rally up as Sho goes to his corner. Sho brings out his friend, the wrench! Hiromu staggers up, but he SUPERKICKS Sho first! Hiromu roars, fans fire up, and Hiromu gets Sho up to fireman’s carry! But Sho slips off, ducks the elbows, but Hiromu spins Sho to a RAN- NO! Sho blocks the rana to get Hiromu up, POWER BREAKER!! Cover, TWO!! Sho still laughs because he feels he has Hiromu right where he wants him! Fans rally up but Sho drags Hiromu into the straitjacket, but Hiromu RANAS the piledriver, into D!! Sho flails and reaches out, but Hiromu has him caught! Sho reaches for the ref, but then he deadlifts Hiromu, but Hiromu pulls the arm harder!
Sho fades, he’s back on the mat! The ref checks, Sho is still conscious! Wait, EVIL drags the ref out of the ring!! The House of Torture strikes again! Hiromu lets go of Sho, thinking he’s won, but then wonders where the ref went. Sho gets something from under the ring? Evil gets in, but Hiromu dodges to SUPERKICK! And D!! Evil is caught but it won’t matter if he passes out! Sho fits whatever that plate is inside his boot! Evil is fading, Hiromu lets him go and kicks him out. Sho gets back in, Hiromu brings him up but Sho KICKS the bad leg with his loaded boot!! Then KICKS again and again and again! Sho steps through, ties up the legs, FIGURE FOUR KNEEBAR! Hiromu taps, Sho wins!!
Winner: Sho, by submission (gains 2 points; Hiromu earns 0)
Young Lions get in to make Sho stop torturing Hiromu! The Murder Machine may have just ended Hiromu’s chances at the threepeat! Is there no way Hiromu can take the block with what his leg’s been through? Is Sho going to add insult to injury by going to the finals in his place?
Best of the Super Juniors 29 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS El Phantasmo!
The Sniper of the Skies was shot down by the Fil-Am Flash while the Headbanga got one over on Lindaman. Will Eagles reload and fire back up? Or will ELP maintain momentum and lead the pack?
The bell rings and fans rally as the two stare down. “EA-GEL-SU!” “E L P!” Eagles encourages them to get louder and faster and the fans oblige. ELP and Eagles tie up, are in a deadlock, and they break. They go again, are in another deadlock, but ELP uses leverage to push Eagles to ropes. Eagles turns things around but then so does ELP, and they go along the ropes, in a corner then out of the corner to another corner. Red Shoes calls the break, ELP lets off and Eagles pats him on the shoulder. But then ELP throws a forearm! Eagles hits ELP back, ELP hits Eagles again, and the forearms go back and forth.
Fans rally as the forearms go faster and faster, but ELP knees low! ELP headlocks, grinds, but Eagles powers out. ELP runs Eagles over, and fans cheer as ELP flexes. ELP runs, Eagles stays low, but ELP steps on him and struts. Fans rally as he adds a little pizazz to it, but Eagles gets up and tells him “SUCK IT!” ELP runs in but Eagles trips him up, runs and handsprings over the dropdown to strut. Fans rally as Eagles speeds it up, and then still tells ELP to “SUCK IT!” ELP rushes in but into a headlock takeover! ELP headscissors, Eagles kips free, but ELP sweeps to cover. ONE, but ELP jumps Eagles’ sweep to body scissor and roll, TWO!
Eagles sits on the cover, TWO! Eagles rolls through the sunset to jackknife, TWO as ELP bridges up! ELP spins Eagles to the backslide, TWO! Both men stand again, Eagles steps forward for ropes, but ELP swings him around. Eagles uses that to go up and around and arm-drag ELP away! Eagles ducks and dodges to RANA! ELP gets up but into the WHEEL KICK! Eagles kips up and ELP bails out, fans fire up as Eagles builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and the Young Lions manage to stop them from crashing into the crowd, for the most part. Fans fire up and Eagles roars! Red Shoes checks on ELP, he’s okay to continue, so Eagles brings him up.
Eagles CHOPS ELP off his feet, fans rally more, and Eagles brings ELP up to CHOP again. ELP staggers and flops, but Eagles drags ELP up again. ELP CHOPS back, throws forearms, then he rakes the eyes! And gives PURPLE NURPLES! ELP ROCKS Eagles with a forearm, then he puts some stank on his hand, but Eagles SOBATS first! Eagles cravats and uses the post, but ELP blocks the Shiranui! LAWN DART INTO THE POST! Fans rally up while both men are down and Red Shoes checks Eagles. ELP staggers up, he takes the doctor’s chair away just like Desperado earlier, and he sets it down. ELP brings Eagles up to DDT onto the chair!
Both men writhe but ELP gets in at 12 of 20! Eagles gets up at 15, and springs in at 17! Fans fire up but ELP covers. Red Shoes refuses to count and ELP says no fair, he hurt himself on the DDT, too. ELP stands Eagles up in the corner and CHOPS him! And then CHOPS again! ELP brings Eagles along by his ear and has him in another corner. Eagles dodges the chop, but ELP dodges back to CLAW Eagles’ back! ELP puts Eagles in a Tree of Woe, digs his knee into Eagles’ neck, then runs corner to corner and back again, BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up, ELP goes corner to corner again, and he rallies up the fans as he aims.
ELP runs back in, for a HESITATION DROPKICK! Eagles falls out of the Tree, ELP covers, TWO! ELP is annoyed, he drags Eagles up and suplexes, and he holds Eagles for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Cocky cover, TWO! Fans rally and ELP is annoyed again. ELP pushes Eagles around, CLAWS his back, and Eagles writhes. ELP drags Eagles up to DECK him! ELP brings Eagles up again to DECK him again. Fans rally up, ELP ROCKS Eagles to a corner. ELP whips corner to corner, Eagles reverses but ELP goes up and over and rolls and then ducks and dodges to springboard, CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!
LIONSAULT, but Eagles bails out! ELP lands on his feet and builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and Eagles falls against Young Lions again! Fans fire up and ELP gets Eagles in the ring. ELP builds speed again and FLIES! ELP takes Eagles down but lands pretty hard himself! Fans fire up for the daredevil tope but Red Shoes checks on ELP. ELP manages to get up and he tells fans to move aside for a moment. He grabs up all their chairs, and then has more fans move aside! ELP BUZZSAWS Eagles, then goes to the corner?! ELP climbs the corner?! Fans are thunderous as ELP is up top, for a tightrope walk, ARIHARA MOONSAULT!!
BUT EAGLES MOVES! ELP manages to land on his feet but he still tumbles and crashes into the Young Lions! ELP clutches his leg, Eagles hurries and DOUBLE KNEES ELP against the barriers!! Fans are stunned and Red Shoes checks again. Fans rally back up while Eagles shakes out his legs. ELP sputters and is somehow okay! Eagles gets up and into the ring, and the ring count starts. ELP flounders up at 4 of 20, drags himself up at 6, but flops over at 9! He gets back up again at 12, flounders around at 15 of 20, hobbles up at 16, and bumps against the apron at 18! ELP springs back in at 19.9!! Eagles is shocked, but he hurries to kick the leg!
Eagles hits a SPINNING TOEHOLD, then gets ELP around to trap an arm and grab the legs! INDIAN DEATH- STOMP! And then RON MILLER SPECIAL!! ELP scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Eagles lets go quickly, ELP gets to a corner. Eagles is after him as fans rally, and Eagles stomps him. Eagles whips corner to corner but ELP falls over from the bad leg. Fans rally, Eagles aims from a corner and runs corner to corner, DOUBLE- NO! ELP blocks and puts Eagles outside. Eagles blocks a punch to GAMANGIRI ELP down! Eagles springboards, to dropkick the legs out! ELP writhes, Eagles gets the legs, RON MILLER SPECIAL! ROPEBREAK!!
Eagles lets ELP go again and fans are thunderous! Eagles drags ELP around to stand him up. ELP fights off the backpack to straitjacket, but he can’t lift for the torture rack! Eagles ROUNDHOUSES, SUPERKICKS, but ELP ENZIGURIS! Both men are down and fans are thunderous again! ELP clutches his leg, grits his teeth, and crawls his way over to bring Eagles up. Eagles SLAPS ELP, ELP SLAPS Eagles. They SLAP each other, it’s becoming a SLAP fight! Fans rally and the slaps become forearms! ELP hits first, Eagles hits back. ELP stands up and throws off the elbow pads. Eagles eggs ELP on and ELP throws a big elbow!
ELP eggs Eagles on but Eagles gives that elbow back! ELP staggers, but comes back to slap again. Eagles slaps, they slap and slap and then stare down. The haymakers start flying and fans fire up! They slow down, but ELP slaps. Eagle SLAPS, they double SLAP, Eagles ducks to SLAP! Eagles runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, ONE?!? Eagles then dodges and LARIATS! ELP stays up to LARIAT again!! Fans are electric while both men are down! ELP drags Eagles up and in, hooks the arms, but Eagles back drops free and sits down! TWO, Eagles slips around to backslide, TWO! Eagles rolls ELP and wants the leg, but ELP kicks him away!
Eagles hotshots off ropes, ELP rolls but with tights! Red Shoes sees that clearly and ELP feels stupid for not being more careful! Fans rally, ELP CHOPS Eagles, then tries the torture rack again. ELP gets Eagles up but Eagles lands out of the throw to kick the bad leg! SUPER- NO! ELP blocks the kick to CHOP, and tuck! ELP steals TURBO BACKPACK!! Cover, TWO!!! Eagles survives his own move and ELP is furious! ELP gets to a corner and fans are thunderous again! ELP flounders with the bad leg but he still works to climb! ELP shakes out the bad leg, gets to the top, and 450 FLOPS!! Eagles manages to dodge another stolen move!
Wait! Eagles straitjackets and torture racks! But Eagles doesn’t spin or swing, it’s a BURNING HAMMER!! Fans are electric again and Eagles drags ELP to the drop zone. Eagles goes up now, to steal THUNDERKISS 86!! Cover, TWO!!! ELP survives the stolen move, but Eagles hurries to bring him up! ELP is dead weight but fans are rallying! Eagles gets ELP up, SUDDEN DEATH OUTTA NOWHERE!!! Well, of course, it’s sudden! ELP drags himself over to cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as ELP slashes his throat and vows to end this! ELP hauls Eagles up, tucks the arms, but his leg won’t let him lift Eagles!
Fans rally more, ELP shakes out his bad leg and he brings kneepads down. ELP gives Eagles some Kowata Kicks, then reels Eagles back in. ELP tucks the arms, gets Eagles up, but Eagles RANAS to a cover! TWO!!! Fans are electric again as ELP staggers up! ROUNDHOUSE! SUPERKICK! PELE!! Eagles roars, gets ELP up, SHIRANUI, but ELP slips free! Eagles blocks the elbow, spins ELP, underhoosk for a TIGER DRIVER! High stack, TWO, into THE RON MILLER SPECIAL!!! ELP flails, reaches out, fans are thunderous, ROPEBREAK!! Eagles lets go and he drags ELP back to a drop zone.
Fans are thunderous, Eagles goes up, but ELP trips him! And then ENZIGURIS! Eagles flops onto the ropes, ELP goes up top and he drags Eagles back. ELP has a torture rack, for a SUPER SWINGING NECKBREAKER!!! Fans are electric all over again as ELP drags Eagles back up, tucks the arms back in, C R II!!! But the bad leg is slowing ELP down! ELP pushes Eagles to the cover, TWO!?!?! HOW?!?! The fans are volcanic and ELP is in shock! Eagles and ELP go to opposite ends, Eagles flounders around, and ELP takes aim. ELP runs in, to KNEE Eagles against ropes! Not quite V-Trigger but good enough with one leg!
ELP hoists Eagles up with an Electric Chair Lift, he wants to tuck Eagles in! But Eagles slips off to POISON-RANA!!! ELP is down and the fans are rallying again! Eagles goes up, to 450 SPLASH the legs! And then RON MILLER SPECIAL!!!! ELP flails, TAPS, Eagles wins!!!
Winner: Robbie Eagles, by pinfall (gains 2 points; ELP earns 0)
This was only the main event of round six, yet this was almost like a BOSJ finals! ELP may only have two losses, but is this one big enough to derail his run? As for Eagles, he gets the mic, and gets fans to clap, “EA-GEL-SU!” Eagles tells ELP, “I may hate you, but thank you for bringing out the best in me.” Fans cheer that sentiment after what we just saw. But ELP still flips Eagles off, he’s a sore loser. Eagles says he does hate ELP, but he loves Korakuen Hall! Eagles says this is his first time winning a singles match main event in NJPW, and for that, he is so proud! Fans applaud, that is a great accomplishment.
Eagles says, “Get used to this. Get used to this sight. Robbie Eagles, main event, with his arm raised high in victory. Now there’s still plenty more of the tournament to go, so I’ll rest up, put this ice on my neck, my head, sit in the bath with ice if I need to, but I will recover, and I will go on to get to the finals in the Budokan.” Eagles can’t wait until the fans can all say, “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE! OI OI OI!” Fans clap along with that, as well as, “ROBBIE! OI! ROBBIE! OI!”
Fans applaud, and Eagles says, “It’s my dream to hear you all chant again. But just to leave you with one last message, to thank you all for the support you’ve given me…” And in Japanese, Eagles says, “Thank you for believing in me.” Fans applaud, will their support be the wind under Eagles’ wings that lifts him to the top?
Here are the current standings in A Block!
Ace Austin: 5-1, 10 points
Taiji Ishimori: 4-2, 8 points
Alex Zayne: 4-2, 8 points
YOH: 3-3, 6 points
SHO: 3-3, 6 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 3-3, 6 points
Clark Connors: 3-3, 6 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 2-4, 4 points
Francesco Akira: 2-4, 4 points
Ryusuke Taguchi: 1-5, 2 points
Here are the current standings for B Block!
El Desperado: 4-2, 8 points
El Phantasmo: 4-2, 8 points
El Lindaman: 4-2, 8 points
Robbie Eagles: 3-3, 6 points
Wheeler Yuta: 3-3, 6 points
TJP: 3-3, 6 points
Douki: 3-3, 6 points
Bushi: 3-3, 6 points
Master Wato: 2-4, 4 points
Titan: 1-5, 2 points
What a night for NJPW and the BOSJ! This was awesome stuff, especially with some great surprise results. They’re really keeping us guessing on who is taking these blocks. Well, for the most part. Titan and Wato are both pretty far back, but I am surprised Wato won here. I didn’t expect Titan to take as many losses as he has, but maybe they’re planning him to be a big spoiler in the final round. TJP winning was more expected and Douki is still an outside shot, but I think he’ll serve a similar role of just being a final round spoiler. Connors gets another great win, I think he’s been winning since they all arrived in Korakuen. However, he hits a really strong part of the block these final three rounds, he might not keep the streak going.
Taguchi VS Zayne was genius stuff from a comedic standpoint but that’s how Taguchi is. Did not think Zayne would bite Taguchi’s butt, but thankfully for all, the red undies were in the way. Zayne winning makes sense, though, stays just outside the top. Akira winning was also a surprise with Yoh having the main event win last night. The fans kept with the “A! KI-RA!” rhythm more than I thought, too, so I wonder how the Japan audience feels about Yoh. Great match out of Yuta and Lindaman, and Lindaman wins to stay strong near the top. Austin beating Taiji and being the only 5-1 entry was a great surprise. I would be quite surprised if someone from outside NJPW got to the finals.
Bushi beating Desperado was another great surprise, especially with Desperado VS Douki being the very next round. Douki beat Bushi, so if Douki were to beat Desperado, he’d be ahead of both of them and that’d be nuts. As for Hiromu, he’s only going to make the finals if he wins all three remaining rounds and Sho and Yoh each lose before the ninth. Sho and Yoh each have a win over him, so those two meeting in the last round is even bigger now. And then regardless of standings in the block, Eagles VS ELP was an awesome match. That was probably match of the tournament so far, really puts pressure on ELP to win the rest of his matches, this is going to be quite the home stretch.
My Score: 9.1/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 5.26.2022
OLD TNA, a sprinkle of ROH and the current IMPACT roster makes for an interesting night! The Battle of Futures Past has to have most TNA fans happy, with a little Frankie Kazarian versus some Hail Sabin. VBD taking on all the gold holders will make for something interesting. You have to assume the heels go over here to stoke the fires for Slammiversary main event, right?
Aside from that we definitely have a small Queen of the Mountain preview with Jordynne and Chelsea. Plus another Ultimate X Qualifier with “The worst wannabe Spiderman outside of Time Square” Trey Miguel facing Alex Shelley. I feel like I can already read the tea leaves here, but I’ll save that for drunk thoughts before the match starts.
Let’s get the show started!
Since we got some old vibes, IMPACT gave us the old Fox Sports Net intro, with the modern twist!
This is Wrestling Reinvented.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 27, 2022
- Ultimate X Qualifier: Alex Shelley vs Trey Miguel: Trey wins via Crucifix Counter Cradle – ** 3/4
- Masha Slamovich vs Havok: Masha wins via Russian Death Device – SQUASH
- Chelsea Green vs Jordynne Grace: Jordynne wins via Grace Driver – ***
- Battle of Futures Past: Chris Sabin vs Frankie Kazarian: NO CONTEST – ***
- Shera & Raj Singh vs Bhupinder Gujjar & Massive Cassidy: Gujjar wins via Gargoyle Spear – ** 1/2
- Violent By Design (Eric Young, Deaner & Joe Doering) vs Josh Alexander & The Briscoes: EY wins via Piledriver – *** 1/4
Ultimate X Qualifier: Alex Shelley vs Trey Miguel
So Shelley has been on a tour of putting over the newer X Division stars. As much as I hate Trey, I expect Shelley to lose this but put up a damn good fight.
They set the stage that during the small stint where The Rascalz left IMPACT, which ended up with Wentz & Dez heading to NXT with Trey coming back a little later; apparently Shelley trained Trey. Sadly for Shelley, it hasn’t done anything. Sure Trey has learned a few more moves, but he can’t put a match together to save his life, can’t cut a promo and doesn’t evoke sympathy or anger, he’s just a waste of space.
We get a little back and forth early, Trey thinks he’s got a bit of an advantage when he turns around the offense on the outside so he taunts a bit with Push Ups in the center of the ring. Trey turns things around shortly after the taunt, as the crowd goes mild. Trey slides in Shelley, attempts a Senton but Shelley avoids and aims for the Basement Dropkick sending Trey Ass over Tits. A little corner work as Shelley props Trey in the ropes and wrenches with a Dragon Screw. Shelley is playing the arrogant role again, and much like again Mike Bailey, I don’t foresee this ending well.
Some solid strikes from Shelley, PK to the shoulder blades, rolling into the Border City Stretch but Trey gets a foot on the ropes. Trey starts trying to fight back the close chops, Shelley goes to run the ropes, and we see a clunky but somewhat effective Sliding Dropkick/Jump Over Double Stomp spot. After some recovery time, Trey is posted in the corner, Front Flips over Shelley, doesn’t sell the dinged up knee, really weak strike combination into a Stomp to the back and it all just looks terribly choreographed including the bad miss from Shelley into the Death Drop float over to Dragon Sleeper Stretch.
Trey’s offense is just one bad move after another, he is truly everything bad about early years Ospreay. Moves with no purpose aside from the move looks cool. Shelley tries to sell and slow things down from time to time, but Trey’s lack of understanding how to wrestle makes this match hard to watch. Trey doesn’t even sell convincingly…ugh this is sad. Shelley must understand the match is lacking because he tries to turn up his cruelty, and that helps but seems hard to buy since everyone loves Shelley.
One thing I do love is Shelley pulls out Marufuji’s Pole Shift Flowsion for a close 2, Automatic Midnight (Air Raid Crash) is a near fall but Shelley immediately goes into the Border City Stretch. We get a few cradle counters from both until Trey apparently gets the best of the counter roll garbage. The crowd reaction was Kyle Petty sour.
Trey is trash, stop pushing him until he learns how to wrestle.
Masha Slamovich vs Havok
Masha’s first somewhat real test, so lets see if Havok’s gatekeeper status continues.
Masha and Havok go for tough strikes, Masha hits the Headbutt and Havok tosses her showcasing the power. Masha eats a corner splash, then comes out of the corner, Spinning Heel Kick, lights up Havok and Russian Death Device.
I expected Gatekeeper status, but Masha put this match away so fast all of Decay comes out and are completely confused. Either Havok is on her way out, or they might go for some super natural power up storyline.
Chelsea Green vs Jordynne Grace
Chelsea tries to powder early to mess with Jordynne, but Jordynne chases her down and pounces. Chelsea is just eating offense for a while, until she manages a Middle Rope Rewind Kick and then starts handling Jordynne on the outside. We go to commercial, come back and Chelsea has Jodrynne in the corner landing that Double Wrist Capture Curb Stomp into the turnbuckle.
As Chelsea keeps up some offense, Jordynne seems to be getting more and more pissed off. Chelsea hits the ropes for a Big Boot or something and eats a Spinebuster for her trouble. Strike/Scoop Slam exchange but Chelsea actually got the best of things until we get an awkward spot in the corner that Chelsea looks like she had to stick around too long to tell Jordynne to grab her in the Sleeper.
Big Power moves after make you forget about the bad spot for a while. Spinning Torture Rack Bomb gives Jordynne the 2, and Chelsea barely kicks out a few times. Jordynne tries to pull out the Muscle Buster as shades of her past and TNA past. Lifted Flatliner gives Chelsea a near fall. Grace Driver attempt but Chelsea fights back before Jordynne lays in some Vader Hammers. UnPretty-Her attempt number two, and countered yet again.
After a One Winged Angel or Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex potential fake out, Chelsea slips out of the Electric Chair and then gets captured in the Grace Driver for the pinfall.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 27, 2022
Battle of Futures Past: Chris Sabin vs Frankie Kazarian
Quick attempts at offense before Kaz hits the Shoulder Tackle right into the Ground Headlock. Kaz is doing a good job trying to wear down Sabin and keep him off his feet. Holy crap Ole Dinosaur Bone referenced Serotonin as part of Kaz’s past factions. Big props to Tom for that pull.
A small series of roll ups keep the even footing moving, while if you were scoring things Kaz might be a little ahead since he was using a lot of the Headlock control, before Sabin just dumps Kaz out and over the top rope off the apron. From this point, Sabin drives Kaz into the post, hits an Apron Soccer Ball Kick and generally keeps control.
Kaz tries to pop back into the fight when they’re back in the ring, but Sabin stifles all of that with a damn good Lariat. Then a Foot Choke in the corner (Sabin didn’t team with Nash, what the hell man). Rocks Kaz, puts him in the Cross Arm Bow and Arrow before Kaz tries to rise out of it. Sabin sees the situation changing and German Suplex, drives him into the corner, stomps, tries to pull him out but Kaz lands on his feet and we get some classic Kaz offense! Up and Over, Alley Oop into the Springboard Guillotine Leg Drop. Back and forth, transition through the ropes, Sabin tries to follow but the old Leg Cutter with the middle rope stuns Sabin. Outside In Slingshot DDT, for 2.
Cradle Shock, slip out, Enzuigiri, Yakuza Kick and Sabin is rolling a few things together all of a sudden. Tornado DDT and it’s only 2. Kaz counters the corner attack with the back elbow, tries to jump to the top rope, Sabin follows for the Avalanche German, and near fall again! Both men try for some move to give them momentum, counters all over, both run the ropes, Double Crossbody spot.
As they sell, Honor No More hits the ring and ruins a really damn good match.
Honor No More are furious with what they call "20 years of lies and disrespect." #IMPACTonAXSTV @TheEddieEdwards @KennyKingPb2 @PCOisNotHuman @TheHorrorKingVM @RealMikeBennett @MattTaven pic.twitter.com/QnuLl7C9z9
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 27, 2022
Taven with a fantastic line after Heath says they sound stupid and he just chirps “With that accent”. Why is IMPACT Taven 10000% better than everything he did in ROH? Dammit why.
Shera & Raj Singh vs Bhupinder Gujjar & Massive Cassidy
Cass gets the best reaction of this crowd all night. It even seems to hype up Gujjar a little.
Raj and Gujjar start, which makes sense given the story they were working with of Raj trying to manage Gujjar and attach his name to the successful newcomer. Gujjar hits a Slingblade into Fame Asser before tagging in Cass. Cass Scoop Slams Gujjar into Raj, counts 2 big elbow drops while pointing at Gujjar so he can tag him in, Slingshot Elbow for the babyface team. It takes until Shera distracts Gujjar and the mob mentality backfires for the faces since Cass is mad and keeping the referees attention.
Shera and Raj double team and beat on Gujjar until the Power Slam on Raj gives the opening. The Massive One runs with the hot tag and eats all of their lunches. Shera postures up to Cass, Cass hits the Big Boot and Lariats him out, Gujjar gets the Crossbody on the outside. Cass Chokeslams Raj, motions to Gujjar and asks the crowd “him” which gets a decent reaction. Gargoyle Spear looks a little less ridiculous in tag team action.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) May 27, 2022
Violent By Design (Eric Young, Deaner & Joe Doering) vs Josh Alexander & The Briscoes
Josh leads off against…Deaner. Well nice to know the faces will get the early momentum. Josh works a Wristlock, keeping Deaner grounded of flipped but always controlled. Sussex County Chicken next in and lets Deaner slap and just sparks up the Red Neck Kung Fu. But Deaner gets the best of the situation and brings in EY. EY was caught a little unawares by Mark’s…well Mark offense, and Jay gets tagged in. Let’s also remember that Jay is a two time ROH Heavyweight Champion. So he starts to take it to EY and that shouldn’t be seen as a surprise.
Dogpile moment with Jay hitting the Tope con Hilo and Mark with the Corkscrew Splash into all three VBD members. Commercial break comes back with EY taking control back from Jay but there’s a bit of a back and forth. Jay tags in Josh, and EY doesn’t run for the tag. He wants to lead by example. Josh rocks him in the corner, 10 count punches, throws EY into the other corner for the Flair Up and Over, but EY ducks down getting Josh caught in the ropes, Deaner side swipes Josh as Joe distracts the referee.
EY tags in Deaner, Deaner hits some frantic offense, EY comes back in for a few near falls and a corner Neck Jammer using the quick tag with Deaner to keep thing fluid. Great tug of war momentum spots where Josh tries to fight back, but VBD pulls him back, and Josh has to fend off the entire faction before finally tagging in Mark for the Chicken Flavored Hot Tag. Jay blind tags to hit the Neckbreaker, Froggy Boy combo, but VBD breaks up the pin.
Big Joe hasn’t been the legal member yet, but he keeps making his presence felt. Jay has to fight back, EY tries something off the ropes, Jay hits the Frankensteiner. Assisted Powerbomb for 2, Doomsday call, but a distracted ref allows for a flag hit on Mark. Deaner DDT, but Josh breaks it up. Josh tries to finish Deaner, but EY dumps him out and Joe comes from off screen with the Flying Crossbody to squash Josh. Casey Jones mask usage, EY with the Piledriver, and VBD pick up an interesting win.
Overall Score: 7/10
Well the main event not utilizing Doering in the match and just having him run…legal interference is an interesting strategy that ultimately worked. So you know, you can’t argue with results. Getting some Dusty BS finish on the Battle of Futures Past makes me hope it’s leading to OGK + Eddie vs MCMG + Kaz. Yes that’s the Mark in me just loving Motor City and all things old school TNA. Havok being completely destroyed corroborates what I said after she lost to Tasha where she’s useless now. Granted yes Decay has all the spooky stuff, so maybe they can give her a magic potion, James Mitchell comes back, sacrifice Sunny’s sex tape or something, bring back some of the old Disciples of the New Church, like Vampiro could be cool. OR – she’s on her way out of the company. Either way, I like it when the card logically shakes out how the visual presents things.
I think my last real talking points are: 1. What move was Jordynne going for from the Electric Chair? 2. Ain’t it nice to see Cass help Gujjar get over a little? – Never really expected Cass to be back in a position to help anyone else like this, but it’s nice to see. So all in all, solid show with decent implications leading to Slammiversary.
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