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Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (10/29/20)

FINALLY, Walter VS Dragunov!!




The NXT UK Champion finally defends his title!

Walter and Ilja Dragunov will finally settle things one on one and for THE NXT UK Championship! Will UNBESIEGBAR be the one to finally dethrone the Ring General?


  • Aoife Valkyrie VS Dani Luna; Aoife wins.
  • Jordan Devlin VS Levi Muir; Devlin wins.
  • NXT UK Championship: Walter VS Ilja Dragunov; Walter wins and retains the title.


Aoife Valkyrie VS Dani Luna!

The NXT UK Women’s Division continues to grow stronger and stronger as the chase is on! Will the “Irish Angel” or the punk rock powerlifter take a big step up in the rankings towards Kay Lee Ray’s title?

The bell rings and Dani stares down with Aoife before tying up. Dani headlocks, Aoife endures, but Dani shifts to a cravat. Dani cranks on the neck, snapmares but Aoife cartwheels through! Aoife drop toeholds Dani then hammerlocks an arm. Dani fights up, reaches back to get the arm and then a fireman’s carry takeover! Dani holds Aoife down, but Aoife reaches up to headscissor. Dani kips out and the two stand off. Aoife and Dani go again, Dani wrenches the arm to a wristlock. Aoife spins and bridges then turns and handsprings to facelock. Dani spins out, wrings the arm but Aoife handsprings through. Dani knees low and hard, then drags Aoife back up. Dani whips, Aoife goes up but is caught! Aoife arm-drags free, then goes at Dani but Dani reverses the whip.

Things speed up, Dani hurdles but Aoife headbutts low! Aoife whips, Dani reverses again but Aoife hurdles and dropkicks! Dani bails out, Aoife runs and slides, but into a wheelbarrow and apron facebuster! Both women catch their breath but Dani puts Aoife in to cover, TWO! Dani is after an arm and also chinbars Aoife. Dani cranks on arm and neck but Aoife endures. Aoife fights her way up, Dani knees low and scoops to slam her! Cover, TWO! Dani is back to the armlock and chinbar but Aoife fights up. Aoife throws body shots and clubbing forearms, then kicks away on a leg! Dani knees low again, whips Aoife to ropes but Aoife leaps, into Dani’s arms! Dani pops Aoife up to a fireman’s carry, but Aoife pops up and spins to headscissor Dani down!

Aoife keeps moving, springboard for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Dani gets up, Aoife runs and spins her to PELE! Cover, TWO! Dani stays in this and Aoife takes a moment to think. Aoife drags Dani up, scoops but Dani resists! Dani shoves, ducks the enziguri and DEAD LIFT GERMAN SUPLEXES! And then DEAD LIFT STANDARD SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Aoife survives those strong throws but Dani drags her up. Dani has the arm, but Aoife spins out to ROCK Dani with slapping haymakers! Dani goes to a corner, boots back but into a takedown! Gedo Clutch, TWO, but Aoife rebounds, into a waistlock! GERMAN, but Aoife lands out of it! Dani turns around, into the HEEL KICK! Aoife goes up top and watches Dani, for the PERPETEIA! Cover, Aoife wins!

Winner: Aoife Valkyrie, by pinfall

The Turn of Fortune is always good fortune for Aoife, but will this win be the first step towards title opportunities? Aoife also shows Dani respect by helping her up and shaking her hand. Will Dani keep on fighting and grinding to make her own impact in the division?


The Heritage Cup semifinals are coming!

In the opening round, Noam Dar had a gritty but perhaps controversial victory over the Dresden Hatchet Man. The Modfather was trumped by the Spanish Ace, and now we’ll have a showdown of the two youngest men in NXT UK! Will Supernova 11 hit the jackpot or bust against A-Kid? On the other side, Joseph Conners could not prove he was worthy as he could not withstand the heavy hands of The Bomber, Dave Mastiff! Mastiff is the only man so far to have a win by knockout, he could end up doing that again to Trent Seven, who managed to outlast and out maneuver the Lucky Yin. The second round begins next week, how is your bracket looking?


NXT UK, get ready for a rampage!

Rampage Brown, famously known for his time in PROGRESS Wrestling, ICW and Rev-Pro, is coming to the WWE! Johnny Moss knows it’s a long time coming and is very excited to see Rampage again. The experience, the power, the aggression and the ruthless attitude is going to put the locker room on notice. Ashton Smith teamed with Rampage, and he says the fans are going to see something special. Pete Dunne knows Rampage has been a big deal in the business for a long time, and it’s finally time for us all to see what he can do.


South Wales Subculture is in the ring!

Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster have both been attacked backstage by a mysterious culprit, several months apart. “And Eddie Dennis wants to walk around-” Well wait, here he comes! Dennis says Mark sounds like he doesn’t trust him. They’ve known each other 15 years, so yeah, Mark doesn’t trust Dennis! Dennis agrees, and in those 15 years, he’s never met a man who as narcissistic as Mark! Mark used Dennis on the indies, and now he’s using Flash in the WWE. FMW says that for a man who is so smart, Dennis talks out of his arse a lot! Well ask yourself this then, Flash. What were you doing right before you were jumped backstage? Proving yourself as a singles competitor! Who has the most to lose if they break up as a team? Like Pacino says, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

FMW keeps Andrews from doing something to Dennis but Dennis has Pretty Deadly as back-up anyway. Well FMW knew they’d play things this way, so they remind them that they have friends, too! The Hunt shows up! Dennis tells them they’re like the children who never listen! Dennis says it’s about keeping your friends, and your enemies closer. The Hunt attacks SWSC!! It was Wild Boar and Primate all along!! Primate POSTS FMW, then helps Boar mug Mark! Pretty Deadly leave to let the wild animals take care of this. Boar runs and hits the CANNON-BOAR! Dennis tells them to go after FMW, and then he makes Andrews watch as they hit a DEATH VALLEY SIT-OUT BOMB! The Welsh Dragon is the mastermind but The Hunt are the muscle! Will these three beasts run roughshod over all of NXT UK?


NXT UK Media catches up with Piper Niven.

What’s her plan in NXT UK now? Well, the same as it’s always been: get after Kay Lee Ray. “Title reigns fade. But injuries? They can last forever.” The Scottish Viper has something planned for the Scary Queen of Scots. Will she get the title off KLR, just not through a title match?


NXT UK Media talks with Sid Scala.

Can he shed any light on this situation with Eddie Dennis? Pretty Deadly walk out and Sid asks them what is going on. They honestly don’t know. But they don’t care about that. They feel they’ve earned a shot at the NXT UK Tag Team Championships, and want an answer on when it’s happening. But Sam Gradwell comes over to tell them not to worry about Gallus. The real headline now is that the Thunder Storm is back. See ya around! Pretty Deadly shrug that off and asks Scala for a time on that title match. They leave, but Gallus comes by now to say they just heard Pretty Deadly. Is Scala gonna do something about that? Or will they have to handle it? Scala says they can arrange something. Just remember this, Scala. Gallus will be back to full strength soon enough. But go ahead, take time to think about it. Scala breathes a sigh of relief after they leave. What will Scala decide for the tag titles?


Jordan Devlin VS Levi Muir!

He’s baaack~! The “rightful” NXT Cruiserweight Champion returns to the ring, wanting to establish that there should be no other Cruiserweight Champion anywhere! Will “The Best Athlete in the Game” be just a stepping stone towards that end?

The bell rings, Devlin circles with Muir and ties up. Devlin wrenches, yanks the arm, wrenches more, then gets under to suplex Muir up and over! Muir gets up and circles with Devlin again. They tie up, Devlin headlocks but Muir endures the grind to power Devlin off! Muir says he’s too strong for that, and he circles with Devlin again. Devlin shoots in to CLUB Muir with a forearm then DECKS him with a haymaker! Devlin stomps away on Muir then CLUBS him again! Devin wrenches to a wristlock, brings Muir around by a chinbar, but Muir wrenches out. Devlin rolls, handsprings and elbows hard! Muir goes down and Devlin says he doesn’t belong in the ring with him! Devlin stomps Muir, whips him then runs him over with a big elbow!

Muir sits up in a daze but Devlin drives elbows into his head! Devlin slaps Muir around but Muir shoves back. Devlin scoops and slams Muir fast! Devlin toys with Muir, talks trash, then brings him up to throw a hard body shot! Muir uppercuts back! Muir runs but into the URENAGE! Standing moonsault! Devlin says there’s only one Ace and that’s him! Devlin brings Muir up, Muir cradle counters, TWO! Devlin rushes Muir, Muir tries a school boy but Devlin blocks to STOMP Muir down! Devlin seethes as he paces about. Muir sits up, Devlin CLUBS him back down, then looms over Muir as he writhes. Devlin drags Muir up to elbow him back, but Muir gets angry. Devlin shoves, kicks and whips to then ALABAMA SLAM!

Devlin rains down fists, then drags Muir up to whip. Muir reverses, Devlin sunset flips but Muir stays up! Muir drags Devlin up, pops him up to a gorilla press, but Devlin slips out to crucifix pin! TWO!! Devlin HEADBUTTS Muir down!! Muir is in a daze, Devlin yanks him up, DEVLINSIDE!! But Devlin isn’t done, he laces up the legs for a CLOVERLEAF!! Muir taps, Devlin wins!

Winner: Jordan Devlin, by submission

Devlin could’ve put it away at the dead lift suplex, but he wanted to make sure everyone understood: he isn’t playing around. “This is a message to the Cruiserweight Division! Your champ, the one REAL Cruiserweight Champion, is back! If you want a shot at this title, you come here to the Jordan Devlin Show! But before you take a shot at me, remember this. You never bet against the Ace.” Will Santos Escobar respond with more than just words this time?



Sid Scala has made a decision in regards to Gallus! With Joe Coffey coming back next week, he, brother Mark Coffey and Wolfgang will reunite in a Six Man Tag against Pretty Deadly and Sam Gradwell! Will Sam Stoker and Lewis Howley reaffirm their claim to a title match with help from The Thunder Storm?


NXT UK Championship: Walter VS Ilja Dragunov!

There is so much history here, even before both men entered the WWE. The Ring General has dominated ever since joining, from sweeping British Strong Style to defeating some of the biggest and the baddest. The Moscow Madman struggled, scratched, clawed, and managed to outlast 19 of the greatest NXT UK had to offer as he won a battle royal to earn this match. However, the world going through crisis kept this match from happening before the Summer. But now, in the Fall, we shall finally have this instant classic play out! After 573 days as champion, will Walter fall to UNBESIEGBAR?

Tensions are at their peak as the introductions are made and the belt is raised, and the battle promised to “redefine violence” finally begins!

Dragunov BOOTS right away! He fires off hands, Walter turns things around and CHOPS and CHOPS and BOOTS and KICKS! Dragunov eggs Walter on as he CHOPS and forearms! Walter BOOTS Dragunov, drags him up, but Dragunov slips out of the bomb to throw KNEES! Walter is in a corner, he boots back, but Dragunov comes back to KNEE Walter down! Dragunov hurries up top but Walter CHOPS him first! Walter climbs, Dragunov fires forearms and CHOPS again! SUPER SENTON! But Dargunov doesn’t bother covering! “UN! BE! SIEG! BAR!” Torpedo Moscow launches into the sleeper hold! SLEEPER HOLD SUPLEX! Dragunov writhes while Walter catches his breath! The ref checks, Dragunov is okay to continue, and both he and Walter rise.

Walter throws a European Uppercut, Dragunov CHOPS, so Walter CHOPS! Dargunov wobbles, Walter scoop SLAMS him, then KICKS him! Dargunov is up to SLAP and SLAP and CHOP! Dragunov forearms then back hands, but Walter blocks! Walter pulls hair, and whips Dargunov INTO the ropes! Dragunov snaps back and tumbles out of the ring, and Walter dares Dragunov to get up! The ref keeps Walter back, Dragunov staggers up and in but Walter stomps him down! Walter drags Dragunov up to ROCK him with a forearm! Dragunov CHOPS and CHOPS but Walter DECKS him! And STOMPS him! Walter drops down for a chinlock but Dragunov tries to chinbar back. Walter chinbars Dargunov for a cover, TWO! Walter drops a Regal knee!

Walter stalks Dragunov to ropes, drags him up, but Dragunov wrenches to throw in a KNEE! Dragunov’s neck bothers him and Walter CLUBS him down! Walter kicks at Dragunov, but Dragunov SLAPS and UPPERCUTS! Walter and Dragunov clinch in the corner, Walter CHOPS Dragunov down! Dragunov goes to the apron but Walter grinds his boot into Dargunov’s head! The ref counts, Walter lets up and Dargunov gets up. Walter throws a forearm, Dragunov throws one back, but Walter DECKS him again! Walter sits Dragunov up for a neck wrench! Walter leans on the head, drags Dragunov up to a sleeper, but Dragunov goes after the arm! Dragunov hits an elbow breaker! And CHOPS and SLAPS! Walter ROCKS Dragunov, uses double knuckle locks to bend Dragunov back, and STOMPS the thraot! Walter uses his legs to CRANK the neck! Cover, TWO!!

Dragunov refuses to give up, even if his head is about to come off! Walter SLAPS Dragunov then STOMPS him more! The ref backs Walter off as Dragunov is in the ropes. Dragunov gets up to CHOP and CHOP, but he swings into a waistlock, GERMAN SUPLEX! Walter seethes as Dargunov writhes. Walter gets up, drags Dragunov into a seated stretch with a chinbar then neck wrench. Walter CHOPS the shoulder! Dragunov endures and resists as Walter goes after his arm. Walter stands on Dragunov’s head and pulls the arm to then drop a knee! Dragunov goes to a corner, Walter digs his boot in and even slaps Dragunov. The ref backs Walter off, Dragunov gets up to CHOP and CHOP! Walter CHOPS Dragunov off his feet! Cover, TWO!! How is Dragunov still doing this?!

Dragunov goes to ropes, Walter drags him up, places him on the top rope, and he CHOPS Dragunov in the throat! Walter climbs up to STAND on Dragunov and bend him against the crossbar! Walter CHOPS Dragunov and dumps him out! The ref reprimands but Walter just waits for Dragunov. Dragunov flounders up as the ring count climbs, but Walter stands on Dragunov’s arm! And then on his throat! Walter STOMPS Dragunov more! The ref reprimands, Walter gets in and the ring count continues. Walter kicks Dragunov at the apron and knocks him off to the floor! Dragunov shakes his head, he refuses to lose this way. Dragunov gets back on the apron, but Walter is on him again to CLUB him chest! Walter CLUBS Dragunov more, then CHOPS his back!

Walter swings but Dragunov catches the arm! Walter tries a claw in the shoulder but Dragunov SLAPS and SLAPS and then drags Walter around to CLUB away on Walter!! Dragunov stops at the ref’s count of 4, but steps into a BOOT! Walter waistlocks, but Dragunov standing switches to GERMAN SUPLEX Walter! Dragunov and Walter stand, Walter CLUBS the neck! Another waistlock but another switch and GERMAN SUPLEX! Dragunov smiles?! Walter and Dragunov rise, Walter SLAPS, but Dragunov SLAPS and GERMAN SUPLEXES AGAIN!! Dragunov fires himself up and aims from a corner! Walter slowly rises, Dragunov takes aim and runs, to BOOT! Walter CHOPS, but Dragunov comes back to ENZIGURI! And again! Dragunov crotch holds, GOTCH BACK SUPLEX!! Cover, TWO!! Walter survives and both men are down!

The studio audience is fired up as Dragunov rises! Dragunov SLAPS and CHOPS Walter then rains down furious fists from all sides! And he gives back all those stomps! Walter is at the ropes, the ref counts, Dragunov lets off but comes back. Walter kicks a leg, SLAPS Dragunov down, then CLUBS him on the back! Walter goes for another sleeper but Dragunov resists. Walter CLUBS Dragunov again, drags him up and wants the sleeper, but Dragunov again breaks free. Dragunov elbows, wrenches, steps through and SPINNING BACK HANDS! And then LARIATS! Walter is still up, he ducks a lariat to get the sleeper hold! Dragunov gets ropes, Walter breaks his grip, but Dragunov switches again to O’Conner roll! Dragunov tries to bridge but Walter gets a SLEEPER! Dragunov fips over to cover, TWO!!

Walter BOOTS, Dragunov fires off lariat after lariat! Dragunov runs, tiger feint, ODE TO CONSTANTINE!! Cover off the lariat, TWO!?! Walter survives but Dragunov is too tired to be frustrated. Dragunov also has no use for frustration, he just says, “Niet. Niet!” Dragunov goes to a corner, “UN! BE! SIEG! BAR!” Torpedo- CHOP!! Walter swats Dragunov out of the air but can’t make the cover! The ref starts a standing count, Walter sits up and Dragunov follows. The count is at 8 but both men get up at 9! Walter CHOPS, Dragunov wobbles and falls! Walter drags Dragunov up, wrenches the arm, and CHOPS again! Dragunov stays on his feet but Walter slaps him over! Walter stands on Dragunov, stomps him, then drags him back up.

Walter tells Dragunov to get up as he chops him! And CHOPS him! And pushes him around! Walter toys with Dragunov, wanting to see that fight. Dragunov sits up, eggs Walter on, and then gets up. Walter slaps him around but Dragunov gives those strikes back! Dragunov fires off forearms and a boot! Walter LARIATS!! Walter reels Dragunov in, WALTER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!?!? Dragunov is proving he is superhuman! Walter runs, to LARIAT again!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Dragunov survives what put Tyler Bate away in Cardiff?!? Walter is furious, he wraps Dragunov up then CHOPS the neck! SLEEPER HOLD! And with body scissors! Dragunov powers out of the hold, but Walter makes it a DRAGON SLEEPER!

Walter smothers Dragunov with his body weight and even headbutts the chest and abdomen! Dragunov rolls and they end up in the ropes! The hold is broken and Walter drags Dragunov back up. Walter slaps Dragunov’s hands from the ropes, drags him up in a sleeper, then KICKS him! Back to the sleeper! But Dragunov still resists?! Dragunov pries free to CHOP and SLAP and CHOP and SLAP! Walter chops, into a cording hold! Walter uses point blank shoulder ramming! Dragunov and Walter knuckle lock, Dragunov HEADBUTTS over and over! Dragunov CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, wrenches and KNEES! And KNEES! And KNEES!! DOUBLE CHOP! Both men wobble but Dragunov goes to a corner! Dragunov goes up top, for a COAST2COAST MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!!!!

Dragunov clutches his neck, somehow still holding together after everything Walter has done! Both men are down, but the fighting spirit is still there! Walter and Dragunov talk trash to each other in German. Walter CHOPS, Dragunov CHOPS, then Dragunov goes for a leg. Walter elbows him, but Dragunov hooks the leg. Walter resists the leg sweep, throws CHOPS, but Dragunov throws point blank lariats! Dragunov tries again, EXPLODER?!? Cover, TWO!?!?! Dragunov is beside himself but he has not given up! Dragunov goes back to his corner, blood in his mouth, and blocks a boot to CHOP Walter on the back! And CHOPS him again! TORPEDO MOSCOW BLINDSIDE!!! But Dragunov can’t make the cover because of damage to his own head!

Dargunov goes to another corner, “UN! BE! SIEG! BAR!” But Dragunov’s body buckles! Walter CHOPS, Dragunov TACKLES him! It wasn’t quite the torpedo but it was good enough! Cover, TWO!!!! No, it wasn’t good enough! Walter himself is inhuman as he and Dragunov still stir. Walter wants mercy?! Dragunov does not show it as he stomps! And drives elbow after elbow into Walter! Walter runs away to the outside but Dragunov pursues! They brawl, Walter sleeper holds for a SLEEPER SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR!! The ref tells Walter to get in the ring, then he checks on Dragunov. Dragunov refuses to stop, so Walter BOOTS him into the steel steps!! Walter drags Dragunov up for an APRON WALTER BOMB!!

The ref asks but Dragunov refuses to give up. So Walter hits ANOTHER WALTER BOMB!! Walter flounders to a corner, climbs up top, WALTER SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?!?! BUT HOW?!?! Dragunov survived the very splash that dethroned Pete Dunne!! Walter mounts to ground ‘n’ pound with BIG slapping hands! Dragunov slaps back so Walter goes to forearms! Walter turns Dragunov over, brings him up in a sleeper hold and body scissors! Dragunov is OUT, Walter wins!!

Winner: Walter, by submission (still NXT UK Champion)

Just what are these two men in the ring, that it took this much to finish the fight? Is there even anything left in the body of Dragunov? If not even the invincible could dethrone Walter, what can?!

My Thoughts:

HOLY HELL that episode, but especially the main event. That had to be the level they were hoping for with TakeOver: Dublin that we never got to have this year. And it was definitely worth the wait. And as much as I was hoping Dragunov wins, the math obviously doomed him with how he won the tag match and then stood tall in the contract signing just last week. But this isn’t just kayfabe sensationalism, I am really unsure who dethrones Walter. Dunne didn’t in the rematch, but that was fine, Walter’s reign was new and needed to get going. Bate couldn’t but the Cardiff match basically raised the bar for the entire NXT UK Championship scene. As such, that’s why Dave Mastiff and Joe Coffey didn’t win, because they’re not on that Dunne-Bate level. Ridge Holland showed promise but the pandemic shutdowns compelled NXT to move him to USA, and now he’s hurt! I really thought it was going to be Dragunov, but maybe with how he lost by passing out more than tapping out, he will come back around one day.

Everything else was pretty good, such as Aoife VS Dani as our opener to keep Aoife on our minds in the NXT UK Women’s Division. I do like Piper’s veiled threat to KLR about injuries over victories. That’s an interesting edge they could give Piper, especially with Jinny as a Heel. A Heel KLR VS Heel Jinny, Tweener Piper getting involved, the division could use something like that. We had great hype for the Heritage Cup semifinals, and Dar VS A-Kid opening the second round next week is great. I saw the swerve from Hunt coming miles away, but I didn’t think they were working with Eddie Dennis, that was a good addition. I wonder if Mastiff joins forces with SWSC again to have a Six Man Tag. Mastiff and Dennis have history in NXT UK so it’d work. And Rampage Brown as a new signee to NXT UK, that’s exciting.

Devlin’s return was pretty definitive, but Levi Muir does look like a strong talent with potential. I’m not sure who his first feud on NXT UK will be, but I’m really hoping we get Worlds Collide: NXT VS NXT UK 2 to settle things in the end. And speaking of returns, Sam Gradwell and Joe Coffey will both return to the ring, and those two are going to be heavy hitter. With Pretty Deadly wanting after the tag titles, I feel like that’s just a feud to ease Gallus back into things and to build their reign. I wonder when Grizzled Young Veterans and Imperium’s Aichner and Barthel are coming back, I haven’t seen them in awhile. Of course, we’ve seen both those teams fight for the tag titles before, so I’m not sure if they’d be given the greenlight to dethrone Gallus.

My Score: 8.6/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)

The semifinals are here!



New Japan Cup 2023

The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!

Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?


  • Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
  • Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
  • YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
  • Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
  • YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.


New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!

The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!

Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!

Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.

Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.

Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.

Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!

Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.

Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!

Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!

Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.

Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!

Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!

Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?


New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!

New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!

Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!

Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!

Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!

Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?

Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!

Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!

Sanada spins, into  JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?

The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!

Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?

Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.

Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?

My Thoughts:

A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.

Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.

My Score: 9/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)

It’s lights out, but for who?



New Japan Cup 2023

Who rounds out the Final Four?

The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?


  • Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
  • YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
  • Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
  • Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.


New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!

The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?

The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.

Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!

Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!

Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.

Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!

Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.

Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!

Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!

Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!

Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.

Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.

Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!

Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?


New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?

The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.

Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.

Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!

Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!

Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.

The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!

Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!

Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.

Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!

USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!

Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?

As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?

My Thoughts:

Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.

My Score: 8.7/10

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