NXT has awards to hand out, and some scores to settle!
As 2020 draws to a close, the NXT Year-End Awards return! Who will win the coveted Female Superstar, Male Superstar and Match of the Year trophies? Plus, Johnny Gargano takes on Leon Ruff and the title defense curse in a rematch for the North American Championship!
- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins.
- Breezango VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
- Mercedes Martinez VS Valentina Feroz; Martinez wins.
- Pete Dunne VS Roderick Strong; Dunne wins.
- El Legado del Fantasma VS Lucha House Party; Lucha House Party wins.
- NXT North American Championship: Johnny Gargano w/ The Way VS Leon Ruff; Gargano wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and NXT mourn the loss of Jon Huber, aka Luke Harper.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed!
The swagger has been turned up to 11, but it might be dropped down to zero after tonight! Will The Colossal crush Swerve’s House under his foot?
The bell rings and Reed ties up with Swerve. Reed headlocks, Swerve works to power out but Reed holds on tight. Reed hits a takeover, Swerve works his way back up, and he uses a leg to get up and around to go after an arm. Reed stays up and dead lifts Swerve back up! Swerve lets go, dodges and drops, but Reed rolls over Swerve and that is painful enough! Swerve scrambles to ropes but Reed clotheslines him out! Reed goes out to then LEAP and BLAST Swerve to the ramp! Fans fire up for Reed as he puts Swerve back in the ring and gets in. Swerve goes to a corner, Reed storms over but the ref keeps him back. Swerve claims he has a bad shoulder, but then he uses it to chop block! HOUSE CALL!
Reed bails out, Swerve goes to the apron and BOOTS Reed! Reed flops against the apron and Swerve says “Suck it!” Swerve drags Reed in, covers, ONE! Swerve keeps his cool and he stomps Reed’s leg. Swerve stands on the leg but Reed hits him back. Swerve stomps Red, goes to the corner and hits the FALLING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Reed gets up but Swerve brings him up. Reed throws body shots and forearms but Swerve goes after the leg. Swerve gets Reed in a corner but Reed clubs away on Swerve’s back! Reed lifts Swerve but Swerve fights free to get on the corner and flip back! Swerve runs in, blocks the boot and puts it on the ropes to UPPERCUT!
Swerve runs side to side to dropkick the leg! Reed hobbles into the somersault COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Swerve seethes but he goes after the leg with a standing kneebar. Reed endures but Swerve stands on him for a cover, ONE! Reed endures, throws a haymaker and he rocks Swerve! Swerve throws haymakers back, but Reed just gets angry! Swerve kicks the bad leg, runs, but Reed choke grips and tosses him! Swerve sunset flips, but Reed SITS on him! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives but he is gasping for air! Reed scowls as Swerve rises, and Reed rallies with big forearms! Reed whips Swerve to ropes, then CLOBBERS him with an elbow!
Swerve flounders to a corner, Reed runs in to corner splash! Reed COLOSSAL CHOKE SLAMS! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives again but Reed keeps his cool. Reed walks off the pain in his leg as he dead lifts Swerve into a waistlock! Swerve scrambles and gets the ropebreak! Swerve sneaks in the headbutt! Reed staggers but he’s just pissed off! Reed CLOBBERS Swerve, then drops the back senton! Reed goes up as fans fire up, and TSUNAMI SPLASH!! Cover, Reed wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
Swerve’s House just got demolished by Auszilla! Will Reed continue this colossal comeback towards a championship?
NXT GM William Regal presents the first Year-End Award of 2020!
Regal thanks everyone who voted on Breakout Star of the Year. The nominees were Pat McAfee, Damian Priest, Shotzi Blackheart, Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, Timothy Thatcher, Raquel Gonzalez, Santos Escobar, and Ilja Dragunov. The winner is… Shotzi! The wild child howls to the moon and says from the Royal Rumble to hosting Halloween Havoc to leading an army into WarGames, what a wild, fun and absolute dream of a year. Her dad taught her to #TCB, and is sure her dad is very proud of her. But the good times will roll into 2021! Will this Breakout Star find an even bigger opportunity to seize in the new year?
The Way arrives together.
Johnny Gargano is already bragging that the champion is here to stay, but then he, Candice, Indi and Austin all see a black cat down the hall. Will the superstitions get in their head and curse Gargano for good?
Breezango VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
Tyler Breeze & Fandango are back, determined to climb back up towards the NXT Tag Team Championships! But Zack Gibson & James Drake are after those same titles and the two men that hold them. Will Gibson & Drake SOON be recognized as the two men who mauled the #ModelCitizens?
The teams sort out, Prince Pretty starts with Mr. Mayhem. They circle, tie up, and go around. Drake headlocks, hits a takeover, but Breeze fights up and turns it around to a facelock. Breeze wrenches to a wristlock, wrangles Drake down with it, and digs a knee into Drake’s head. Drake gets up, rolls, handsprings, but Breeze wrangles him down again. Breeze twists the wrist and wrenches to tag in Fandango. Fandango takes the hand off and headlocks but Drake powers out. Fandango runs Drake over then keeps moving. Fandango handsprings to arm-drag Drake back to the armlock! Drake moves around, gets up and knees low! Drake wrenches and tags in Gibson.
GYV hand off but Fandango escapes the scoop and headlocks. Gibson powers out, drops down and arm-drags Fandango, but Fandango counters to a headlock right away! Fans cheer as Fandango grinds Gibson. Gibson powers up, powers out, but Fandango goes up and over to sunset flip! Cover, TWO! Gibson gets up, Fandango wrenches the arm to a wristlock and yanks on it. Tag to Breeze, Breeze wrenches and whips but Drake saves Gibson from buckles and Gibson CLOBBERS Breeze! Drake tags in and he throws haymakers on Breeze! Drake drags Breeze back up, scoops and slams him down! Cover, ONE!!
Fans rally as Drake drags Breeze back up to a snapmare. Drake digs knees in, wraps on a chinlock, but Breeze endures. Breeze fights up, fans rally and Breeze throws body shots. But Drake rams Breeze into the corner, tags in Gibson, and GYV hit a boosted suplex, only for Breeze to slip out! Hot tag to Fandango and he starts throwing hands on GYV! Atomic drop for Drake, to a LARIAT! Fandango turns into Gibson’s kick and whip, but Fandango sunset flips! Drake helps Gibson stay up but Breeze dropkicks them both down! Cover, TWO! Fandango knees low, suplexes and hangs Gibson out to dry. Tag to Breeze and Breezango makes it rain with double boots!
Breezango hurries to coordinate, and Fandango goes to the apron. Breeze catapults Gibson but Gibson throat chops Fandango down! Drake is there to shove Fandango into a girder! Gibson sits on Breeze for a cover, TWO! Breeze WRECKS GYV with a dropkick! Gibson and Drake flounder, Fandango has gone up the girder and he LEAPS down onto them! Direct hit, but perhaps a bit risky for the Lord of the Dance. Fandango holds his leg as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Drake tags in Gibson. Gibson goes after Fandango and Drake slingshots, PLANCHA BACKBREAKER! Fans boo but GYV soak up the heat as they loom over Fandango. Gibson drags Fandango around by his leg to SLAM the leg into barriers Gibson refreshes the count, puts Fandango in, and then keeps between Fandango and Breeze. Gibson has the leg again but Fandango clubs him away. Fandango elbows Gibson, hops up, and boots, but Gibson blocks to SUPER DRAGON SCREW! Fandango crashes hard, Gibson covers, TWO! Another try, TWO! Another, TWO!
Gibson keeps after Fandango but Fandango slips away. Gibson drags him from Breeze and scoops, to SLAM Fandango into the ropes! Drake tags in as Fandango clutches his legs, and Drake drags Fandango out. Fandango boots Drake into barriers! Gibson hurries to help Drake up and in, then he tags in to go after Fandango! Gibson has the leg, flips Fandango around but Fandango slides under to tag in Breeze! Breeze fires off on GYV, dropkicks Gibson then forearm smashes Drake! Forearm for Gibson, another for Drake! Breeze baits Gibson into the corner, dodges then enziguris! Drake tags in but Breeze dodges to clothesline him out!
Gibson runs in, Breeze throws him out, and then he slingshots! Drake and Gibson get clear to forearm sandwich Breeze! But Fandango leaps and takes Gibson down! Drake gets Breeze in the ring, but runs into a KNEE! Both men are down but Fandango is back on the corner! Gibson yanks him down to deny the tag, then he RAMS Fandango into the steel steps! Drake rolls Breeze up, TWO! Drake ROCKS Breeze, Gibson tags in, but Breeze rallies with more forearms! Gibson blocks the Super Model Kick, feeds to Drake’s gut wrench, TICKET TO MAYHEM! Cover, GYV wins!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall
Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem get a big win, but will things only get bigger for them in the new year? Wait, Ever-Rise rushes out because they want a piece of GYV! Chase Parker and Matt Marthel don’t like Gibson and Drake, but the referee holding them back has had it with their nonsense! The ref leaves, and now Ever-Rise doesn’t have an excuse as GYV storms up the ramp. Ever-Rise retreats, but will they have to face these Grizzled Young Veterans soon enough?
The new year will bring back a classic NXT tradition, in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic! The tag teams we’re seeing compete tonight, and many of the tag teams in the NXT Tag Division, will have a golden opportunity to not only go down in history, but to go after the tag titles! Whose in and who will win only the sixth ever Dusty Cup? And speaking of tag teams…
William Regal presents the next Year-End Award!
This is for Tag Team of the Year! The nominees: The Undisputed Era, Breezango, Imperium, Gallus, Legado del Fantasma, and Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. The winners: The Undisputed Era! They stand with Regal, and for the third year in a row, “The Era boys are the baddest on God’s green.” It’s never ending for them. They’ve ran NXT for years with no signs of slowing down. But they should make an announcement. This year, in the Dusty Cup, representing the UE will be Adam Cole Baybay and Roderick Strong! They are ready to go! But to keep that momentum going, they have another tournament to win. And that is Undisputed.
The training is almost complete.
Xia Li and Boa demonstrate their new levels of strength, speed and skill in a flurry of strikes and use of weapons. “She” has Shifu stand by as she stands to adorn her followers with a special mark on their foreheads. Then she breathes a special smoke, and leads them into the light. What does “she” have planned for NXT? We find out, at New Year’s Evil!
Mercedes Martinez VS Valentina Feroz!
The vicious return that decimated the NXT Women’s Champion was a statement to say the least! Will Mercedes run right over the young hopeful in the ring with her?
The bell rings and Mercedes circles with Feroz and kicks her low then ROCKS her with a right! Martinez eggs Feroz on but Feroz dodges in the corner. Feroz whips, Martinez reverses but Feroz rolls and rolls, only for Martinez to ROCK her with a right! Martinez gets Feroz with both hands for a TWO HAND SLAM! Martinez dares Feroz to get up, then she drags her up to DECK her! Feroz goes to a corner, Martinez chokes her on the ropes! The ref counts, and Martinez even claws Feroz’s face, but she lets up at 4. Martinez gives a toying kick, then suplexes Feroz up. Feroz slips out and gets a sleeper hold! Martinez RAMS Feroz into buckles and is free, to then throw elbows!
“Who do you think you are?!” Martinez whips and SPINEBUSTERS Feroz down! Martinez gets in Feroz’s face, then pushes her down. Fans boo but Martinez ROCKS Feroz with an uppercut! Martinez drags Feroz up, hauls her up, but Feroz sunset flips. Martinez stays up, yanks Feroz back up, for an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Martinez stalks Feroz, drags her up and fireman’s carries, for the AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, Martinez wins!
Winner: Mercedes Martinez, by pinfall
That was almost as rough as what she did to Shirai! But will Mean Ms. Martinez cut ahead in line to go after the NXT Women’s Championship in the new year?
Regal presents the next Year-End Awards!
It’s time for the Female Competitor of the Year award! The nominees are Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Kay Lee Ray, and Tegan Nox! The winner is: Io Shirai! Naturally the current NXT Women’s Champion wins, and the Evil Genius of the Sky says, “Thank you to everyone who voted for me. This Women’s Division is so talented. Thanks for voting me the best of the best. Domo arigato!” Will Shirai continue to dominate a division that is only growing more powerful by the day?
And now, the MALE Competitor of the Year award! The nominees are Finn Balor, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Keith Lee, Walter and Tommaso Ciampa, but the winner is… ADAM COLE BAYBAY! Another golden bell for the UE, but Cole accepts this one on hi sown. Last year he said he’d this award again, and he did. He said he’d be the longest reigning NXT Champion ever, and he did. Truth be told, he couldn’t have done it without his “brothers,” the guys who will fight alongside him to the very end. As much as this golden bell means to him, back-to-back, seeing Kyle O’Reilly win the NXT Championship off Finn Balor will mean even more. That is Undisputed! But that means voting is now open for OVERALL Competitor of the Year! Will Shirai or Cole be the best of the best of the best in 2020?
Pete Dunne VS Roderick Strong!
This grudge between Bruiserweight and Savior of the Backbreaker will not go away until one of them is gone period! With the Dusty Cup returning, will Dunne stop Strong’s run before it even starts as the ultimate revenge? Or will Strong only be stronger for getting past his past?
The bell rings and Strong tackles Dunne right away! Strong rains down rights while trying to get the cover but Dunne resists. Dunne gets away but Strong CHOPS and haymakers, repeat! Strong goes after Dunne on ropes but Dunne kicks back! Dunne kicks more but Strong hits a headlock takeover! Strong throws more right, but Dunne fights up and powers out! Things speed up, Dunne leaps, drops, but Strong hits a leaping lariat! Strong kicks low, throws more haymakers on the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Fans rally for Strong but Dunne trips him up to trap an arm. Dunne has a headlock and Strong endures the grind. Strong fights as fans rally, and gets up to power out, and calf kick Dunne down!
Strong stalks Dunne, digs knees into him then rains down more rights! Strong brings Dunne up, CHOPS him again, then CHOPS him again! Dunne goes after an arm, pulls on the fingers, and throws Strong down to headscissor with the wristlock. Strong endures as Dunne tortures the fingers. Dunne sits up to bend the fingers way back, then go to a double wristlock. Strong endures, moves around, but Dunne traps his legs to keep him stuck. Strong keeps fighting, gets up, but Dunne wrenches on the arm more! Dunne body scissors, Strong puts Dunne through ropes to hotshot him! Strong is free and now he stalks Dunne to a corner.
Strong forearms, CHOPS Dunne down, but Dunne kangaroo kicks Strong all the way out of the ring! Dunne goes out, and BOOTS Strong down! Dunne drags Strong up, puts him in the ring, and stalks up to bring him up. Strong throws forearms, blocks a boot and yanks Dunne into a BACKBREAKER! Dunne bails out but Strong runs to WRECK Dunne with a dropkick! Dunne ends up over the barriers but Strong pursues and drags Dunne back up as NXT goes picture in picture.
Strong has Dunne by his hair but Dunne pries free to enziguri back! Strong staggers, Dunne comes back to CHOP Strong and put him in the ring. Dunne then brings Strong around and uses a facelock to grind Strong into the apron edge! The ref counts, Dunne stops at 4 and goes back in to stalk Strong to a corner. But Strong BOOTS back, Dunne flounders, and Strong brings Dunne up to KICK him in the ribs! Strong CHOPS Dunne, hoists him up top, and throws haymakers. Strong climbs, Dunne resists the superplex but Strong throws body shots. Strong brings Dunne all the way up but Dunne bends fingers!
Dunne GOURD BUSTERS Strong down, and then leaps to STOMP the hands! BUZZSAW! Strong flounders, Dunne paces, and Dunne uses Strong’s legs to turn him over. Dunne stands on the legs, pulls on one arm, then gets the other. Dunne pulls but Strong resists the surfboard, so Dunne STOMPS the knees! Strong writhes, Dunne grabs at him again but Strong kicks back. Dunne grabs an arm, wraps it around the ropes, then pulls! The ref counts, Dunne kicks Strong down then ROCKS him with a right! Dunne keeps on Strong in the ropes and BOOTS him down! The ref reprimands but Dunne just takes his time stalking Strong. Dunne basement dropkicks Strong out of the ring!
The ref starts a ring count, Strong flounders up at 3 and stands at 4, but Dunne is after him! Strong kicks Dunne away, but Dunne comes back to BOOT him down! Dunne drags Strong up but Strong throws forearms! NXT returns to single picture as Strong whips but Dunne reverses and Strong hits buckles hard! Dunne drags Strong around, hammerlocks one arm and chicken wings the other for a modified crossface! Dunne even twists an ear for added pain! Strong endures, fans rally up and Strong fights out to throw knees. Dunne drops knees onto Strong! Strong writhes, Dunne gives him toying kicks, and fans chant, “You Still Suck!”
Dunne puts Strong in a corner and throws hands, then trips Strong up to dig his boots in! The ref counts, Dunne lets off, and he storms in but Strong kicks back! And CHOPS! Strong forearms, whips, but Dunne goes up and over and keeps moving, but runs into a dropkick! Fans fire up for Strong as he and Dunne are both down! “This is Awesome!” but far from over as both men slowly rise. Dunne throws haymakers but Strong gives them back, it’s a brawl! Dunne bounces off ropes and Strong clips him with one clothesline, to CLOBBER him with the next! Dunne staggers into Strong’s back suplex TOSS! Strong runs into the corner to SHINING WIZARD!
Fans fire up, Strong runs side to side and he unleashes endless forearms on Dunne! Strong brings Dunne in for an OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, TWO! Dunne survives but Strong keeps his focus. Strong drags Dunne but Dunne kicks him away. Dunne bails out, Strong runs but the dropkick misses and Dunne mule kicks! Dunne whips Strong into steel steps! The ref starts a ring count but Dunne refreshes it. Dunne drags Strong up and pump handles, but Strong slips out of Bitter End to APRON BACKBREAKER! Strong gets Dunne in to cover, TWO! Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” at this point, but it has to end somehow!
Strong drags Dunne up, Dunne rolls him, TWO!! ENZIGURI! Strong BOOTS back, enziguris back, and brings Dunne in for a butterfly, but Dunne counters the lift to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Strong dead lifts for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Dunne survives abut Strong is too tired to be frustrated. Fans are thunderous as the two rise, and Strong grabs at Dunne first. Strong suplexes but Dunne inside cradles, to DANIELSON STOMP! Dunne drags Strong back into the Triangle Hold, Strong makes it a cover, ONE! Strong rains down fists until Dunne lets go and then still throws hands! Strong tries to turn Dunne but Dunne kicks back from below!
Strong is dazed, Dunne wants the arm again! Strong resists, but the fingers go SNAP! Dunne pump handles for the BITTER END!! Cover, Dunne wins!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by pinfall
A bitter fight until the very end, but in the end, the Bruiserweight breaks the Savior of the Backbreaker! Does this not bode well for the Undisputed Era taking the Dusty Cup?
The next Year-End Award is for Match of the Year!
The nominees: Super Tuesday’s Fatal 4 Way 60 Minute Iron Man Match of Balor, Cole, Ciampa & Gargano; NXT TakeOver 31’s NXT Championship match, Balor VS O’Reilly; the NXT UK Championship match of Walter VS Ilja Dragunov; NXT TakeOver: WarGames’ Undisputed Era VS Kings of NXT; and the NXT TakeOver: In Your House Triple Threat for the NXT Women’s Championship, Charlotte Flair VS Rhea Ripley VS Io Shirai! But the winner is… Balor VS O’Reilly at TakeOver 31!! Balor arrives to tell Regal that he can keep Balor’s golden bell. But Balor will take Kyle’s, so that he can give it to Kyle personally.
Balor walks through the backstage area, and encounters Dunne as he’s on his way back in. Dunne tells Balor he better be ready, because he’ll be coming for that title soon enough. Balor says a lot of people want to face the champion, so Dunne better get in line. With that, Balor goes to the ring! Will he peacefully give Kyle his part of the MOTY prize? We find out after the break!
NXT returns as Balor has set belt and bell down in the middle of the ring. He picks up the belt and puts it on his shoulder, then gets a mic. “Finn Balor VS Kyle O’Reilly, TakeOver 31, for the NXT Championship. Match of the Year!” Kyle surprised a lot of people that night, but not Balor. Kyle proved to everyone that he belongs in the ring with Balor. The way Balor sees it, Kyle deserves this honor. And before Balor can say more, Kyle heads to the ring! Kyle sees the gold bell, and Balor says he can go ahead and pick it up, because it’s his. Because Balor doesn’t need it when he has the NXT Championship!
Balor doesn’t need a trophy to remind him of that night, he has three steel plates in his jaw that remind him every single day! “The only thing that trophy is good for is gathering dust.” Oh, so it doesn’t mean much to him? Kyle gets that. But it means something to Kyle. To Kyle, it’s proof not only that he belongs in the ring with Balor, but that he belongs at the top of NXT! Kyle puts the bell aside and says he also doesn’t need it, and he certainly isn’t going to carry it around. It’s more a consolation prize, a participation award really. Kyle’s been “participating” for 15 years, and he’s done with it. He wants a REAL prize.
The bell is just a reminder that in the fight of Kyle’s career, he came up short. It is a reminder that Kyle may respect the hell out of Balor, but next week, respect is left at home! “I will do anything and everything to become the NXT Champion! You have what I want! That says you’re the best, that says you’re number one, that says that these last 15 years have been worth a damn! That says that Kyle O’Reilly is worth a damn! And Finn, that comes home with me.” Balor says that’s great and all, but he tells Kyle that he will do everything in his power to make Kyle suffer.
Last time, Kyle broke Balor’s jaw! So this next time, Balor will make Kyle pay by dragging him all over the canvas, and then make Kyle wish that he had stepped on Balor’s throat the first time! This couldn’t possibly be more intense, but then Scarlett Bordeaux interrupts. “What’s in that ring belongs to us.” It is irrelevant who leaves with it, because the champion’s fate is already sealed! Karrion Kross says doomsday is here! Tick-tock. But Damian Priest is right behind Kross!! These two stare down now, and Kross asks if Priest has something to say. “This is how you step like a man.” And then Priest ROCKS Kross with a right! A brawl is on at the top of the ramp!
Priest fires off hands but Kross BOOTS back! Kross throws off his jacket, Priest kicks him back, reels him in, but Kross slips out to ROCK Priest back! Priest BOOTS Kross, Kross staggers down the ramp, and Priest ROCKS him again! Kross picks Priest up to RAM him into the girder! And then runs in, only for them BOTH to go crashing through boards!! Fans are thunderous as Priest and Kross continue to throw hands!! This brawl heads backstage, then back around until Priest throws Kross and the curtains come tumbling down! Priest eggs Kross on and Kross gets up to throw more hands!
Kross puts Priest on a road case to club away on him! Priest rakes Kross’ face, they both climb up the trunks. Priest ROCKS Kross again, then shouts, “Get up, you son of a bitch!” Kross does, for a DOOMSDAY SAIDO through tables!! Both men are down in the wreckage, and Scarlett just admires Kross’ work. But will Kross and Priest even make it to New Year’s Evil?
NXT reminds us what the Fight Pit is all about.
Timothy Thatcher says it is “the ultimate measure of a man. No ring ropes, only steel!” Ciampa knows there’s no doors, no pinfalls, and no escape. The only ways to win are by tap out, or knockout. Ciampa says that sounds like fun. Thatcher says weakness are exposed and toughness is showcased, as the only weapons are your skills and ability to absorb pain. Lose an ear? Keep fighting. Lose some teeth? Keep fighting! Nose smashed? Keep. Fighting!! Ciampa says he had homefield advantage at TakeOver, but he doesn’t mind “playing in a hostile environment.”
Thatcher won the first-ever Fight Pit when he put Matt Riddle to sleep. Next week, New Year’s Evil, Thatcher promises that Ciampa enters his world! Ciampa says he already took Thatcher’s ear, so imagine what he’ll do next. Who doesn’t so much win but survives their jump into the Fight Pit?
NXT takes a closer look at Ripley VS Gonzalez, Last Woman Standing.
Rhea says when she first came to the WWE PC, she felt alone. She and Raquel gravitated towards each other and became great friends. “We sort of just felt like we only had each other. We had each other’s backs when no one else did. And it was that special bond that led us to tagging, led us to going on the road together, led us to pretty much being sisters, which is something that I didn’t have over here.” Every time they were on the road together, they’d get some sort of tattoo, and they have matching “RNR” tattoos, that is how close they are. Or, were. Things change, and people change. “Raquel’s not the same person that I knew back then.”
Rhea admits she doesn’t really let people in. She let Raquel in, and trusted her, relied on her, and maybe even needed her. But the thing with Raquel is, they were there for each other, until Raquel wasn’t there. Raquel’s ego got in the way, she got jealous of Rhea’s success, and left her. Rhea would’ve been there for Raquel, but we’ve heard Raquel say it herself, she thinks Rhea walks around like she owns the place. Raquel has made sure time and again that Rhea doesn’t get the wins she was so close to getting. Raquel says she’s the biggest and the baddest, but Rhea has had enough of it! “I don’t care what we used to be! I don’t care if we were friends, we’re nothing now!”
Raquel says maybe she was playing a game since the first moment they met. All those years of teaming together, working out together, spending time together, rooming together, Raquel’s thrown it all away. They fought at Halloween Havoc but that wasn’t enough. Will it finally be enough when it is Last Woman Standing?
El Legado del Fantasma stands in the ring.
Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza stand with Santos Escobar as he has the mic. “Y’know what? Let’s take a moment. Look around. See where we are. Enjoy the moment!” What a year they have had! What a year Escobar has had! The NXT Universe can vote all they want for the Undisputed Era as Tag Team of the Year. “It’s a sham!” Escobar isn’t here to be popular. He is here to dominate! That is exactly what he has done! NXT GM William Regal is out trying to find the next challenger for the Cruiserweight Championship, but no one can touch Escobar! Regal can look all over the world, and the fact is, he can’t and he won’t find anyone, NADA, who belongs in the ring with Escobar.
With Legado, the Leaders of Lucha Libre, their dominance will continue in 2021! And Escobar knows exactly what they’re going to do. Their first order of business- Is Lucha House Party!? Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado from Raw are on NXT! And Lince says it’s nice coming to a place where they’re not having to chase a champion. But they do have a question for Santos Escobarrrr. Does he really think he owns Lucha Libre? He’s buggin’! No one owns Lucha Libre, it’s for everyone! Todo mundo! But Mendoza tells Lince to shut up, and show respect to the leaders of lucha! Oh, well then, guess it’s time to lucha! LHP rushes the ring, Lince tosses Wilde and Metalik dropkicks Mendoza!
Escobar sneaks up, but LHP turns around to see him! Escobar’s 2v1 so he stands down. But a ref comes out, Regal just sent word that we’re getting a tag team match! LHP VS El Legado is about to get #LuchaLit! But then Wilde and Mendoza blindside LHP from behind! They whip Lince but Lince handsprings to DOUBLE GOLDEN REWIND! Metalik runs and gets a boost to double dropkick Legado out of the ring! Then LHP double DIVE! Double Tope takes Legado out at the ramp! Will Lucha House Party bring the fighting fiesta to Legado del Fantasma after the break?
El Legado del Fantasma VS Lucha House Party!
NXT returns and Wilde whips Metalik to speed things up. Wilde dodges the handspring attack but Metalik knuckle locks to CHOP Wilde! Mendoza runs in but into a mule kick, and Metalik goes to the corner to go up and leap to huricanrana Mendoza! Metalik tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS Wilde! Cover, TWO! Metalik grows annoyed but he brings Wilde up. Wilde shoves him away, Lince tags in and Metalik boots Wilde. Lince goes in, gets a boost from Metalik on the springboard and he FLYING RANAS Wilde! Wilde hurries and tags Mendoza, but Lince hip tosses and runs to QUEBRADA! Cover, TWO!
Lince stomps Mendoza and clubs him, but Mendoza shoves, only for Lince to CHOP! Lince handsprings but Wilde blocks the Rewind for Mendoza to dropkick Lince down! Mendoza stomps Lince, brings him around to whip into the corner, then fire sup as he runs in to clothesline! Wilde tags in, runs and clotheslines! Mendoza tags in, clotheslines, then tags Wilde. Legado double suplexes Lince, Wilde covers, TWO! Wilde keeps Lince down with a chinbar but Lince fights up. Lince throws body shots, but Wilde puts him in the corner. Lince elbows Mendoza, boots Wilde, then hops up to leap and crossbody! But he bounces off and both men crawl, hot tags to Metalik and Mendoza!
Mendoza rushes in but Metalik springboards over him. Metalik keeps moving, dodges and rolls off Mendoza’s back to then SUPERKICK! SLING-DOG! Metalik goes back to a corner, walks the ropes, and missile dropkicks Mendoza down! Cover, TWO! Escobar is still smug as Metalik drags Mendoza up. Metalik fireman’s carries, but Mendoza slides off and shoves. Lince tags in, Metalik SUPERKICKS Mendoza again, and Lince puts Mendoza up top and CHOPS him! Metalik goes up and SUPER STEINERS Mendoza! Lince hits the FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Wilde breaks it!
Wilde kicks Metalik down, runs at Lince in a corner but Lince puts him on the apron. Lince rocks Wile, then gives Metalik a boost to RANA Wilde off the apron and to the ramp! Lince dodges Mendoza, hits a POISON-RANA, then tags in Metalik! Metalik goes up, he walks the tightrope, and springboards for the ELBOW! Cover, Lucha House Party wins!!
Winners: Lucha House Party, by pinfall
Metalik and Lince have had a big week to end their 2020, and Escobar is furious that his men have failed him! Will the Leader of Leaders go back to the drawing board on his plans for 2021?
The next Year-End Award is Future Star of the Year!
The nominees are Austin Theory, Jake Atlas, Leon Ruff, Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Indi Hartwell, Xia Li, A-Kid, Aoife Valkyrie, and Pretty Deadly! The winner is… Austin Theory! And The Way is with him as he accepts his very first golden bell. But he has to share with Indi. Indi greedily snatches the bell and takes the hammer. She rings it, and realizes it’s a real ring bell. Austin says that he has been saying he is the future, and the bell proves it. He has truly found his Way. And now Gargano is going to defend his title and break that curse! Austin, you never mention the curse!
Johnny snatches the Gargano Whey from Austin and throws it, but it breaks a mirror!! That’s bad luck! And then Gargano walks under a ladder!! MORE BAD LUCK! But don’t tell Johnny that! Will Gargano have to worry about more than just a title curse after tonight?
And finally, NXT presents the Overall Competitor of the Year Award!
William Regal proudly announces that between Shirai and Cole, the winner is… Io Shirai! The Evil Genius is so honored and thanks the fans for this. With two golden bells and her NXT Women’s Championship, will Shirai make 2021 her year?
NXT North American Championship: Johnny Gargano w/ The Way VS Leon Ruff!
Johnny Wrestling has felt more like Johnny Bad Luck when it comes to first title defenses of his reigns. Will Leon look to make this a rough way to end 2020 for The Way?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Gargano can turn his luck around to end the year!
Gargano and Ruff circle, tie up, and Gargano gets the arm. Ruff tries a chinbar but Gargano slips around to a hammerlock. Gargano spins Ruff, hits a headlock takeover, and grinds Ruff down. Ruff goes for a headscissor but Gargano fights that off. Gargano gets up, wrenches to a wristlock, but Ruff rolls and kips up and shows off his agility to then flip back and wring Gargano out! Cover, ONE, but Ruff rolls Gargano up, TWO! Ruff gets Gargano in the victory roll, TWO!! Gargano escapes and bails out to regroup with The Way. Gargano cools off and Candice says he has a 10 count. Theory distracts Ruff, Gargano slingshots, but Ruff avoids the spear to ghost pin! TWO!!
Gargano gets up, Ruff ranas him, then arm-drags him around! Gargano blocks one but Ruff rolls Gargano to kip up and kick! Fans fire up with Ruff and Ruff drags Gargano up. Ruff bumps Gargano off buckles, throws hands then CHOPS! Gargano staggers away but Ruff is on him with big forearms! Fans fire up more, Ruff runs and BOOTS Gargano in a corner! Gargano flounders, Ruff brings him up, but Gargano pushes out of the bulldog. Ruff goes up the corner but Gargano shoves him down! Ruff crashes and burns, and The Way taunts Ruff’s rough landing. Gargano goes out, brings Ruff up and CHOPS him against the apron!
Gargano bumps Ruff off the apron, brings him around and throws him into barriers! Gargano refreshes the count, gloats as he goes over to Ruff, and he brings Ruff up by his hair. Gargano whips Ruff but Ruff goes up the boards! Then he leaps to the steel steps, then back to some boards, and then he mule kicks Gargano away! Ruff leaps and RANAS Gargano down! Fans fire up with Ruff and he gets Gargano in. Ruff watches The Way closely but they say they haven’t done anything. Gargano kicks Ruff in the ropes, and hits a hotshot neckbreaker! Ruff tumbles down, Gargano builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit sends Ruff into boards! Gargano RAMS Ruff into steel steps!
NXT goes picture in picture as Gargano grins and Ruff writhes. Gargano gets the no look high five from Theory before he KICKS Ruff in the ribs! Gargano puts Ruff in the ring and elbows him against the apron! And again! Gargano grabs his The Way shirt and rubs it in Ruff’s face. Gargano goes back in, drags Ruff up against the ropes and has him in a rope camel clutch! The ref counts, Gargano lets go at 4, then mocks the ref with the counting. Gargano drags Ruff back up, and hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps his cool as he looms over Ruff and brings him up. Ruff throws body shots and haymakers!
Ruff rocks Gargano, Gargano rolls him for a KICK of his own! Cover, TWO! Gargano grows annoyed, but he wraps Ruff up in a cobra clutch. Ruff endures as Gargano stands over him in the hold and NXT returns to single picture. Fans rally up for Ruff and Ruff fights up. Ruff throws body shots, but Gargano hits a BACKBREAKER out of the clutch! Gargano then steps over to leg hook the hammerlock and pull on the far limbs, for a Bow ‘n’ Arrow SNAP! Ruff writhes and Gargano smirks as he stalks him. Gargano drags Ruff up, turns him again, but Ruff fights the neckbreaker off to a backslide! Gargano slips out but Ruff ducks the buzzsaw to ENZIGURI!
Gargano flounders, Ruff kicks him low! And back kicks, then uppercuts! Ruff throws forearms, Gargano shoves, but Ruff comes back with flying forearms! And more forearms! Ruff fires up, runs corner to corner but Gargauno dodges. Ruff dodges to enziguri! Backbreaker to neckbreaker! Ruff brings Gargano up, but Gargano slips out of the tilt-o-whirl, only for Ruff to get around and GERMAN SUPLEX! Gargano ends up in a corner, fans fire up with Ruff and Ruff runs corner to corner to TORNILLO CANNONBALL!? Cover, TWO!! Fans are loving this as Ruff rises and brings Gargano up. Ruff fireman’s carries but Gargano slips off and CLUBS Ruff!
Gargano throws forearm after forearm and Ruff rebounds, to LARIAT! Ruff grits his teeth as he runs and rebounds again, into a SUPERKICK! Ruff wobbles, Gargano scoops him, to LAWN DART! Gargano aims from the corner, but he fakes Ruff out to SUPERKICK him on the second! Cover, TWO!! Gargano seethes and The Way can’t believe it! Gargano drags Ruff up and over to the ropes. Gargano goes to the apron, aims and slingshots, but no final beat as Ruff slips to the apron and enziguris back! Ruff slingshots now to crucifix, but Gargano blocks to BACKBREAKER, and DISCUS! Gargano drags Ruff up, for a POWERBOMB! High stack cover, TWO!?!
But the GargaNO Escape is right on!! Ruff endures, reaches around, and gets the ropebreak! Gargano holds on but lets go at 4! Gargano is frustrated and he glares at Ruff. Gargano shoves Ruff out, stalks him to the ramp and drags him back up. Gargano scoops, aims at a girder, but Ruff slips off the Lawn Dart! Ruff dodges Gargano, runs in but is put on the apron. Ruff mule kicks Gargano away! And then FLYING CUTTERS to the floor! Ruff drags Gargano up and into the ring, hurries up to the top rope, and FROG SPLASHES!! Cover, TWO!!! Gargano survives and fans can’t believe it! But Ruff keeps his focus while Gargano flounders to a corner.
Ruff drags Gargano up, puts him on the top rope, and CHOPS him! Ruff climbs up now, throws some haymakers, but Gargano turns this into an ALLEY-OOP SNAKE EYES! Ruff flounders, Gargano is on the apron, ONE FINAL BEAT!! Cover, Gargano wins!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall (still NXT North American Champion)
The curse has been broken! Gargano has the belt and The Way has their golden bells, is this just the beginning of them leading NXT into the future?
Dexter Lumis is watching from the rafters!
The host of New Year’s Evil uses his artwork to announce that for New Year’s Evil, it will be Santos Escobar VS Gran Metalik for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship! Will the Leader of Leaders no longer own Lucha Libre after taking on the King of the Ropes? What else will happen on the first NXT of 2021?
A great episode that was one part awards show, one part regular episode and one part go-home to New Year’s Evil! First off, all the winners of the Year End Awards golden bells make sense. Shirai is currently champion after beating two great superstars in Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley, and has been going strong ever since, so of course she is the Female Competitor of 2020. Adam Cole has also been incredibly consistent all year so he’s naturally Male Competitor of 2020, but with Shirai on the way up and Cole somewhat coasting, it makes sense Shirai wins the Overall Competitor of the Year.
Match of the Year being Balor VS O’Reilly at TakeOver 31 worked out as a great way to give us a final promo between Balor and O’Reilly. The rematch they’re going to have is going to be amazing, no doubt. Dunne and Kross making their interests known were also good, and Priest brawling with Kross was really good. Dunne VS Strong was a great match, and it made a lot of sense for Dunne to win since he wants his part in the title chase. Strong and Cole being the combo for the Dusty Cup and therefore another try at the NXT Tag Team Championships was a given, and I can’t wait to see who else is put in the tournament. Though after seeing a great match of GYV VS Breezango and of LHP VS Legado, I think we have half the field right there.
For that matter, I like that Lucha House Party has come back to NXT much like Balor and Ember Moon have. LHP made mention to chasing the 24/7 Champion, and they were honestly stalling out on Raw. Metalik won over Miz but as I said for Raw, it didn’t matter once Miz got his MITB contract back because of a “technicality.” Escobar VS Metalik is going to be a great match, but I feel like Escobar will retain. Escobar’s promo was a bit odd, though. Did he forget Curt Stallion has a title match in his back pocket? Or is he doubling down on thinking that doesn’t matter? Did something happen to Stallion that WWE doesn’t want to say yet? I hope not, Escobar VS Stallion still needs to happen.
Bronson Reed crushing Swerve was a nice crossover of their stories. I almost thought Jake Atlas was going to get a segment where he rubbed the loss in on Swerve, but maybe that’ll be a social media exclusive or something like that. Martinez has a good squash match win and she’s definitely in the mix for the NXT Women’s Championship chase after her attack on Shirai. The “RNR becomes RVR” video for Rhea VS Raquel was almost a Prime Target and it a was great way to give more perspective on their Last Woman Standing match. But with Rhea having done so much already in NXT, you would think Raquel wins this and also moves up in the title chase.
We also got a pretty good Fight Pit vignette, and that match is naturally going to be great stuff. Thatcher won the first one with Matt Riddle to send Riddle to main roster, but this one feels up for grabs. Ciampa surely doesn’t want to leave NXT, but he’s already beaten Thatcher 1v1. Thatcher being undefeated in the Fight Pit would be a great thing for him, and would basically make the match synonymous with him. In a way, it’s a similar situation to Rhea VS Raquel, in that the more accomplished one puts the rising star over to open the door for them.
The Way were great all night with their gags about bad luck piling up on Gargano. And them being able to tie Austin Theory winning Future Star was great, even Indi’s little bit where she found out the golden bell trophies are actual ring bells. Gargano VS Ruff was a great match, and it built upon the previous ones, and naturally “the curse” had to be broken so Gargano could move on. With Gargano still champion and Bronson Reed now back in action, I think what NXT will do, and should do, is revisit the feuding between Gargano and Reed on the build to the NXT North American Championship ladder match from after Keith Lee vacated it. Reed having Candice as a backpack as he super splashed Gargano is a very memorable moment, so maybe Reed can rub that in in their feud.
My Score: 9.1/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 12.8.2022
Josh Alexander finally addresses what happened at Over Drive! MCMG gets a title match! Eric Young was written out, how does Deaner change Violent by Design?
We get a new era of VBD, Motor City Machine Guns with a tag title shot and Josh Alexander will finally address what happened at Over Drive. I doubt we’re going to get a clean resolution to the tag match since Brian Myers and Matt Cardona are just assholes, but hopefully we get something fun.
Apparently since Deaner is the Violence, the group is just called The Design.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 9, 2022
- Tag Team Titles: Motor City Machine Guns vs Heath & Rhino (c): No Contest – ** 1/4
- Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Taya Valkyrie w/Death Dollz: Savannah wins via Full Nelson Bomb – **
- Kon w/The Design vs Sami Callihan: Kon wins via Death Valley Driver – **
- IMPACT World Championship Open Challenge: Mike Bailey vs Josh Alexander (c): Josh retains via C4 Spike – *****
Tag Team Titles: Motor City Machine Guns vs Heath & Rhino (c)
Rhino and Sabin start off and they work to Shelley and Heath with a little bit of MCMG tandem work. Guns are tying up Heath, some corner work where the ref is allowing a little more contact than usual; main point is that Heath is getting twisted and torqued.
Heath tries to paint brush his way out of a Figure Four, but Shelley dips into his heel tendencies. Heath gets to the ropes and Shelley lays back and tells the ref he’s willing to break. He doesn’t and forces the referee to untie their legs, so he gets some extra damage in. Dragon Screw attempt gets turned around, Heath drops Shelley and finally gets Rhino back in.
Guns try to utilize some tandem attacks, but as we see Sabin and Heath swinging back and forth; the Major Players hit the ring and hit simultaneous Wake Up Calls on Heath and Sabin, causing the no contest.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 9, 2022
Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Taya Valkyrie w/Death Dollz
Savannah starts off honestly just overpowering Taya. A few quick shoves, Bear Hugs, rag dolls…and Taya is on the back foot. A little bit of ducking and dodging gives Taya the chances to hit the Spear and send Savannah out.
Savannah puts the brakes on anything Taya can start, we go to commercial and Savannah throws Taya with a Butterfly Suplex…so there’s just a lot of Taya working from underneath. Flying Headscissors finally gives Taya a breather, Blue Thunder Bomb for 2 into an Indian Deathlock transitioning into an STF before Savannah fights out.
Road to Valhalla attempt, Savannah blocks it, a little back and forth before Savannah connects with the Full Nelson Bomb for the win.
Kon w/The Design vs Sami Callihan
Early on Sami is struggling with Kon’s power and size. This is hard to really swallow, even as an early “debut” of a new stable. Sami keeps fighting the good fight, grasps for a Jaw Breaker and turns a Kon charge into a Scoop Slam…but Kon tries to keep being the immovable object.
Sami buckles Kon’s knee and hits the Tanaka style forearm and tries to stay on the bigger guy. The numbers eventually start to distract Sami, Angels distracts the referee, Deaner stops Sami and Kon hits a Death Valley Driver for the win.
I’m not really impressed with this, but I guess you really can’t have the new stable get punked out. Even though they are all punks.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 9, 2022
Josh Alexander comes out to address the Over Drive fallout and states an open challenge with the intent to drag out Bully Ray – but Bully has a whole video set up goading Josh and saying he’s not there.
So Speedball Mike Bailey comes down to see if the open challenge is still on the table.
IMPACT World Championship Open Challenge: Mike Bailey vs Josh Alexander (c)
Bailey tries to come at Josh hard, and Josh shows that his left arm is still bothering him some; but he generally shrugs off Bailey for the early goings. A big Forearm and Kitchen Sink have Josh slowly stalking his opponent. His attention isn’t on Bailey, so his style reflects as much.
Josh sends Bailey to the ropes, back handspring, machine gun kicks send Josh reeling and a Tope con Hilo finally gives Bailey some momentum. Commercial break comes back with Bailey hitting a big Double Knees, but a Running Boot from Josh puts things back in his favor. Josh lands kick after kick, big forearms, and just hits Bailey with disdain because he’s not Bully Ray.
A Shotgun Dropkick opens things up for Speedball, Sole Butt doubles over Josh, Axe Kick, Roundhouse into a Corkscrew Shooting Star Press for 2. Buzzsaw Kick missed, German Suplex train begins! Two in a row, Bailey tries to block, so Josh pins the arms and hits a Shutdown Suplex for 2. C4 Spike, spun out, Ankle Lock attempt, blocked and turned into a Kimura from Bailey, but now they’re just jockeying for submission positions. Josh counters the Octopus into running him into the corner twice, but Speedball doesn’t let go. One more attempted jam, but a Poison Rana gives Bailey a 2 count.
Another commercial comes back to Josh driving his knee into Speedball’s shoulder blades. Flipping Stomp miss from Bailey, Tornado Kicks land, Ultima Weapon misses and Josh goes for a C4 Spike but the arm gives out! They spill to the outside and Bailey strings together some offense. A big Missile Dropkick leads into Round Kicks, and then open hand chop exchange. Both men after just firing back and forth, neither is relenting. Forearms and kicks, finally into a proper Fighting Spirit spot that Bailey counters a Rolling Forearm with a Straight Side Kick. Bailey charges into the ropes, Josh catches him in Capture Suplex position but drags him over the ropes and slams him onto the apron.
This is a third commercial break and we’re perched with Bailey going for a Super Frankensteiner, Josh blocks, feigns the Avalanche Styles Clash, but Bailey counters! Flamingo Driver attempt, Josh gets pissed, counters and then throws Bailey with a Torture Rack Bomb. 2 count immediately into the Ankle Lock, but Bailey blocks, manages to get away, counters Josh in the corner, Ultima Weapon connects! But Bailey can’t get the pinfall as he sells his legs. Speedball gets up, PK as he keeps selling the legs but still uses his offense. PK again! Backflip Double Knees, a few missed kicks before finally connecting and then charging through with the snap kick. Open Hand Chops from Josh, Kicks from Bailey, Josh just grabs him and starts the locomotion German Suplexes.
Six suplexes and another commercial! Back perched, Kimura Lock from Bailey, Josh fights, Bailey tries a kick, but Josh grabs him and dumps him back into the ring with an Olympic Slam for a near fall. Josh climbs to the top, Moonsault misses! Bailey slowly climbs to the top rope, Josh pops up, Avalanche Olympic Slam for 2! Josh struggles to try and pick up Bailey, so they have a slow rise as both men are banged up. Bailey pops up with the Straight Kick to the face for a near fall, and we actually hear the 10 minutes remaining call from Penzer.
Ankle Lock again from Josh, but Bailey keeps squirming. Josh Death Rolls with the Ankle and doesn’t want to let go, he’s trying to end this. Bailey tries to stretch up to get out of it, but gets scooped into a Tombstone Piledriver but only another 2 and back into the Ankle Lock! Up Kicks break the submission, Bailey tries to stop Josh from charging back into the corner with a kick, but Josh drivers his knee into Bailey’s leg, drags him back to the center and Grapevine’s the Ankle. Speedball barely manages to claw to the ropes.
Josh tries to climb the corner with Bailey, but Bailey slips down and now he’s trying to get up to Josh but can’t quite muster the energy to get past Josh. Josh keeps clocking and dropping Bailey. Bailey finally powers through the offense, stares down Josh and Avalanche Frankensteiner! Ultima Weapon… connects again but foot on the bottom rope! Flamingo…nope, Styles Clash from Josh into the Ankle Lock again! Bailey grabs the bottom rope and tries to kick Josh away, but Josh finds adrenaline rips Bailey into his arms for an Inverted Piledriver. Josh and Bailey keep struggling as Josh is going for a C4 Spike, 2 C4 Spikes with about 15 seconds left!
Overall Score: 9/10
A Western company actually mentioning time remaining, having to bump a “scheduled main event” and dedicate the last hour of the show to literally one match is a little surprising. The show also did try to add credibility to The Design, Savannah Evans got to look impressive and the fact the tag match was interrupted…to no one’s surprise, helped sell the epic main event even harder.
I don’t really have a lot to say aside from that was a hell of a match, and the fact that it was about 15 seconds short of a Broadway is both crazy and almost feels dirty that it didn’t quite get there. But it was great, built off their previous match and was a great endcap to the year both men had as being fighting champions and two bastions of hope of the company in 2022. IMPACT loves to just to clip shows for the last two weeks of the year, so we only have 1 maybe 2 more real episodes before Hard to Kill is around the corner. But hot damn was this match amazing!
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/7/22)
The Super Jr. Tag League penultimate round!
The Super Juniors are so close, they can almost taste it!
NJPW continues on and the Super Jr. Tag League is almost done! Is it inevitable that Ace Austin & Chris Bey are finalists in the tournament? Or will they get burned by the #GLEATSAUCE?
- Yuto Nakashima & Ryohei Oiwa VS Oskar Leube & Kosei Fujita; Leube & Fujita win.
- Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Toru Yano, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma & Master Wato VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight VS TJP & Francesco Akira; TJP & Akira win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Ryusuke Taguchi & Clark Connors VS YOH & Lio Rush; Yoh & Lio win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS SHO & Dick Togo; Douki & Kanemaru win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask VS BUSHI & Titán; Bushi & Titán win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Alex Zayne & El Lindaman VS Ace Austin & Chris Bey; Zayne & Lindaman win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current Super Jr. Tag League standings!
Austin & Bey: 6-1, 12 points
Bushi & Titan: 5-2, 10 points
TJP & Akira: 5-2, 10 points
Yoh & Lio: 5-2, 10 points
Zayne & Lindaman: 5-2, 10 points
Taguchi & Connors: 3-4, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Eagles & Tiger Mask: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Douki & Kanemaru: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
KUSHIDA & Knight: 1-6, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Sho & Dick: 1-6, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight VS TJP & Francesco Akira!
The Time Jet may be out of the running, but they could use this moment to turn it all around! Will Kushida & Knight find #Time2Fly? Or will Catch 2/2 not be denied their spot in the finals?
The Orchestrator, Gideon Grey, is here to make the introductions for the Public Enemy & Nova Fireball. The teams sort out and fans applaud as Knight starts against TJP. Fans rally as the two circle. TJP avoids Knight’s rush at the legs, gets around to a waistlock, but Knight switches. TJP sits, pries at the hold, but Knight brings him up to SLAM him down! Knight floats to a facelock, TJP rolls but Knight stays with him, but TJP slips away. Fans applaud this opening exchange and the two reset. Knight and TJP circle, knuckle lock, and TJP spins to wrench and wrangle Knight with a top wristlock.
Knight rolls, stands, TJP wrenches his arm again. Knight rolls, handsprings and wrenches back! Fans applaud while TJP works on a return. TJP rolls, spins, cartwheels, but Knight stops the headscissors to CHOP! Fans applaud as TJP staggers to ropes. Knight CHOPS TJP again, then whips TJP to ropes. They RAM shoulders but neither man falls. Knight flexes and fans applaud. TJP runs, they RAM shoulders again and Knight stays up. Knight says TJP doesn’t have it, but TJP kicks low! TJP runs, but Knight hurdles over! TJP rebounds, and he blocks the hip toss into a cobra twist! Fans applaud while Knight endures.
TJP drops for a ground cobra cradle, TWO! Knight whips, TJP stops himself and comes back to tie Knight’s one arm up, and he YANKS Knight’s other arm back! Fans applaud while TJP drags Knight away. Tag to Akira and Catch 2/2 mug Knight. They double whip but Knight DOUBLE FLYING SHOULDER TACKLES them down! Fans fire up as Knight brings Akira up. Knight wrenches Akira, tags Kushida, and he hands off the wrench. Kushida wrenches to a wristlock, then tags Knight back in. They hand off the wrench again, tag, and then hand it off again! Kushida CLUBS Akira’s arm, wrangles him down, and traps the arm to TWIST!
Fans applaud as Kushida drags Akira up to wrench again. Tag to Knight, they hand off the wrench again and again and again! Then they double snapmare to double knee drop both arms! Fans applaud but TJP runs in! Into a drop toehold and PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kushida & Knight secret handshake, then they double whip TJP to a corner. Then they double whip Akira into TJP! Kushida runs in to back elbow sandwich the champs! Knight runs in to STINGER SPLASH SANDWICH the champs! Knight pushes Akira aside to whip TJP corner to corner. TJP goes up and over, Akira returns for a RAILGUN DROPKICK!
Fans rally as Akira drags Knight up to CLUB him on the neck. Akira stomps Knight in the corner and digs his boots in! The ref counts, Akira stops at 4, then tags TJP. Catch 2/2 drag Knight up, they double whip him to ropes, and SOBAT, KICK, KICK and BASEMENT SHOTGUN! Cover, TWO! TJP sits Knight up to KNEE him in the back! TJP drops knees on the arm, then on a leg. Then TJP has the leg for a standing toehold. Knight endures, even as TJP twists the ankle! Fans rally, Knight fights up and stands. TJP stays clear of the haymakers but Knight breaks free. Knight kicks with the other way but TJP blocks it!
TJP slips around, but Knight ENZIGURIS TJP down! Fans rally, Akira grabs Knight’s legs but Knight kicks him away. But TJP runs past Knight to BLAST Kushida! Knight run sin but TJP goes up and over to get a TARANTULA! Akira intercepts Kushida at the apron for a TARANTULA! Fans fire up for the double shoutout to Tajiri, and Catch 2/2 lets off as the ref counts. Akira returns to his corner, TJP stalks Knight and fans rally up. TJP drags Knight up, scoops and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron. Slingshot SENTON! Tag to Akira, and he runs to go up the Electric Chair! “Take Picture!” But Knight JET FLIGHT DROPKICKS Akira down!
Fans fire up while all three men are down! Knight crawls, hot tag to Kushida! Kushida climbs up and AX HANDLES TJP down! Kushida KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Akira, then whips him to ropes. Akira reverses but Kushida FLYING FOREARMS! Kushida dodges to PELE! TJP kicks Kushida, runs, but into a hip toss! Cartwheel, basement dropkick! Fans fire up with Kushida and he winds up, but Akira blocks the Buzzsaw! Akira whips Kushida to ropes, but Kushida reverses. Akira sunset flips but Kushida stays up! Kushida has the arm, for an ARMBAR! The fans fire up as Kushida pulls back, but Akira rolls to the ROPEBREAK!
Kushida lets go quickly and fans rally up. They clap for “KU-SHI-DA!” as he wrenches Akira’s arm to an ELBOW BREAKER! Kushida aims, but Akira dodges the Penalty Kick! Akira CHOPS, but Kushida ROCKS! Akira SUPERKICKS, but Kushida SHOTEIS! Fans fire up while both men are down! Kushida crawls, hot tag to Knight! Knight hurries after Akira, brings him up and whips him to a corner. Knight runs in and Kushida runs in from the apron, SPLASH ENZIGURI COMBO! Knight hoists Akira up top, climbs up after him, but TJP gets in! TJP Electric Chair Lifts Knight, but Kushida HANDSPRING KICKS Akira!
Knight fights free of TJP while Kushida has a KIMURA on Akira! TJP lets Knight go to go after Kushida! TJP has the Electric Chair Lift, but Kushida fights free to get the HOVERBOARD KIMURA! Knight jumps to SUPER STEINER Akira! Fans fire up and Knight leaps, SATELLITE DDT!! Cover, TJP SLAMS Kushida onto it! Fans fire up while Kushida throws TJP out. Knight drags Akira up, fans clap “TIME TO FLY!” They double suplex but Akira fights it. Akira ROCKS and CHOPS on repeat! But Knight knees low! Time2Fly double whip but Akira shotguns the clothesline apart! And TJP runs in to DOUBLE BULLDOG!
Fans fire up and TJP blocks a kick to spin around, LEG CAPTURE BACK SUPLEX for Knight! Kushida DECKS TJP! Akira GERMAN SUPLEXES Kushida! Knight SLIDING SHOULDERS Akira down! Fans are thunderous as all four men are down! Knight sits up, he brings TJP up but TJP throws a forearm. Knight forearms back, so TJP forearms again. The forearms keep going, then TJP UPPERCUTS! Knight UPPERCUTS in return! The forearms return, Knight gets the edge! Knight runs, into a ROLLING SOBAT! TJP runs, ducks a lariat and SUPERKICKS! TJP runs, into a DROPKICK! Knight kips up and fans fire up again!
Knight runs corner to corner at TJP, but TJP goes up and over! TORNADO DDT!! Cover, TWO!! Knight is still in this and fans are thunderous! TJP drags Knight to a drop zone, goes up the corner, but Knight is up! Knight springs up to join TJP, he throws body shots, but TJP hits back. Fans rally as TJP slips under and trips Knight! Knight is in a Tree of Woe, TJP helps Akira walk the tightrope, for a MISSILE WOE DROPKICK! Knight is down in another drop zone and TJP goes back up! MAMBA SPLASH!! Cover, but Kushida breaks it! Kushida CLUBS Akira, CLUBS TJP, then BUZZSAWS Akira! Kushida runs, but into an ALLEY-OOP!
Fans fire up as Catch 2/2 sit Knight up! 2 BY 2!! Cover, Catch 2/2 win!
Winners: TJP & Francesco Akira, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Kushida & Knight earn 0)
That’s two more points for a dozen total! Will the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions prove they are THE best tag team in the division?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Ryusuke Taguchi & Clark Connors VS YOH & Lio Rush!
The Wild Hips haven’t had much luck in the league, but they’re not giving up! Will Taguchi & Connors stampede through Direct Drive & The Bad Child? Or will the Men of the Hour still have time on the clock?
Taguchi and Connors reach into their bags, and they have beer again! Fans applaud, and the Wild Hips offer some to Yoh & Lio. Really? Right now? Sure! Think of it like a party. Fans applaud but Yoh & Lio aren’t sure, they’re technically working. Yoh and Lio take a can each, Connors & Taguchi crack theirs open and drink. Fans applaud, it’s now or never for Lio & Yoh. They argue it out, but Lio says his stomach doesn’t feel good. Connors understands and fans applaud. The beers are put aside for now, and the teams sort out. Lio starts with Connors and fans rally up at the bell. Lio and Connors circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock.
Connors shoots in but Lio sprawls and facelocks. Connors slips out to facelock and then waistlock then back to a facelock. Lio slips out to waistlock, they stand up, and Connors pries free to switch. Connors drags Lio down, goes back for a facelock, but Lio switches that onto Connors. Connors fights back up, throws a knee, and fans applaud as Connors headlocks. Lio powers up and out but Connors runs him over! Fans applaud again and Connors runs the ropes. Lio drops, then redirects to whip Connors. Connors redirects, too, and then again! Lio handsprings to dodge, then he mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up and Lio covers, TWO!
Lio has the fans rally up, and Lio wrenches Connors’ arm. Tag to Yoh, they double whip Connors and double kick. Yoh whips Lio but Connors avoids the scissor kick! Lio whips Yoh now but Connors avoids Yoh to rebound and run them both over! Fans fire up with Connors and he calls to Taguchi. Taguchi hops in, Connors EuroUppers Yoh. Yoh is in one corner, Lio is in the other and the Wild Hips combine. WHIP HIP into Lio! WHIP HIP into Yoh! And then another for Lio! And another for Yoh! Then Taguchi WHIP HIPS Connors into Lio, and then WHIP HIPS him into Yoh! Fans fire up as the Wild Hips butt bump.
Taguchi sets up on the corner and Connors brings Yoh around. But Yoh reverses and sends Connors into the Funky Weapon! Lio returns to LARIAT Connors down! Taguchi hops down and runs at Yoh, but Yoh atomic drops the hip attack! Yoh scoops and SLAMS Taguchi, then he and Lio hook Taguchi’s legs into the ropes! Not quite a Tree of Woe, more a Bush of Woe. Fans rally as Lio and Yoh fire up. They hook up, ROLLING DIVING HEADBUTT into the Bush! Fans fire up while Taguchi flops over. Yoh drags Taguchi to the apron, and he uses the ropes in a Paradise Lock!? Yoh learned a form of Paradise!
Connors returns but Yoh kicks him down. Yoh drags Connors up to ROCK him with a forearm, and then stomp him in the corner. Tag to Lio, he and Yoh double whip Connors to DOUBLE ELBOW! Then Lio runs to get a wheelbarrow boost from Yoh, WHEELBARROW SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Lio taunts Taguchi then clamps onto Connors with a sleeper and body scissors! Yoh plays defense, but Taguchi can’t get free anyway. Connors fights up with Lio as a backpack, and he RAMS Lio into the corner! Yoh tags in, Connors hurries to his corner, but he can’t tag Taguchi like that! Lio whips Connors to the corner, Yoh & Lio mug him!
Yoh & Lio drag Connors up again, throw forearms and haymakers, then Yoh has Connors on ropes. Yoh throws more forearms, puts him back in the corner, but Connors fights back with forearms and elbows! Fans rally, Connors crawls, but Lio drags him up for a BIG back suplex! Fans rally, Yoh & Lio drag Connors up and double whip. Connors ELBOWS Yoh away but Lio kicks him low. Lio runs, Connors drops and POUNCES Lio into Yoh, and Yoh falls on Taguchi! Taguchi’s free from Paradise! Fans fire up as Connors hurries over, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi fires up, and he HIP ATTACKS Yoh at the ropes! Then HIP ATTACKS Lio at the ropes!
Taguchi keeps going, another HIP ATTACK for Yoh! Another HIP ATTACK for Lio! Baseball slide and APRON HIP for Yoh! Fans fire up and Taguchi takes aim from the apron. Springboard and MISSILE HIP! Taguchi covers, TWO! Taguchi drags Yoh up but Yoh swings, into a waistlock. Yoh elbows free, runs, but Taguchi follows! Yoh catches the hip attack into a waistlock, but Taguchi elbows free. Taguchi fakes Yoh out into running into a HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up and Taguchi runs side to side! PEOPLE’S T-BAG!! Cover, TWO!! Yoh survives and fans fire up. Taguchi calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!”
But Lio gets in the way, and offers the beer! He wants to have the drink now? Lio gets the fans to applaud for it, and they crack open the beers. They drink, and Lio hits a STUNNER on Taguchi! Lio laughs at Taguchi falling for it, then he HAANDSPRING KICKS Connors off the apron! Lio hurries to get another drink of beer, then he builds speed! But then Lio feels queasy! Connors runs in to SPEAR Lio down! Fans fire up, Connors drags Yoh up but Yoh throws forearms! Yoh ROCKS Taguchi, UPPERCUTS Connors, but runs into DOUBLE HIP ATTACKS! The Wild Hips combine their powers, take a drink, and show the RED UNDIES! CROSS HIPS!!! Cover, Lio breaks it!!
Fans fire up and Connors throws Lio out. Taguchi stands back up and fans rally. Taguchi stands Yoh up, to ENZIGURI! Fans fire up and Taguchi drags Yoh up into chicken wings! But Yoh wheelbarrows and victory rolls, only for Taguchi to sit on it! TWO!!! But Taguchi has OH MY GAH ANKLE!! Yoh flails, reaches out, moves around, and Connors keeps Lio on the outside! Yoh scrambles to get a BEER! Yoh stands up to make Taguchi drink!! Taguchi chugs, Yoh shakes him up!! Taguchi is dizzy now, but he SPITS the beer! He’s gone from The Rock to The Game! Taguchi kicks low, runs, but into 3K!!!! Cover, the Men of the Hour win!!
Winners: Yoh & Lio Rush, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Taguchi & Connors earn 0)
It’s all about the game and how you play it, but the Wild Hips got beat at their own game! Will Yoh & Lio close in on that outside shot to the finals?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS SHO & Dick Togo!
Japones Del Mal & The Heel Master got the biggest win they could by beating the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Will that momentum help them finish strong? Or will the House of Torture ruin things for them right before the end?
Both sides argue about the other needing to be thoroughly checked. After all, Douki has the pipe and Kanemaru has the whiskey, but the Murder Machine has a wrench and the Spoiler has his choker. But for now, the teams sort out and Dick starts against Kanemaru. Fans rally as the two circle. They tie up, Dick powers Kanemaru to ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Kanemaru dodges the sucker punch and tells the ref that’s what he was talking about! Dick apologizes, and offers a handshake. Kanemaru says don’t even bother with that. Dick shakes Sho’s hand and Sho hops in to shake the ref’s hand. Dick also shakes the ref’s hand.
Douki steps in and the House of Torture offers him a handshake, too. Douki & Kanemaru reach out to accept, but then they block the cheap kicks! Douki throws Sho’s foot into Dick, then he throws Sho out while Kanemaru rolls Dick up! TWO!! Dick escapes, Douki goes out after Sho while Kanemaru stalks Dick to the corner. Dick pokes Kanemaru in the eye! Dick then whips corner to corner but Kanemaru reverses. Dick BOOTS Kanemaru, runs, but into a dropkick to the legs! Tag to Douki, Suzuki-Gun SMASH both knees! Cover, TWO! Douki stomps Dick around, then puts the leg on the ropes for a HIP DROP!
Fans rally while Douki drags Dick up. Douki kicks low, whips Dick to ropes, then runs in, only to be put on the apron. Dick swings but Douki shoulders into him. But Sho trips Douki up! Dick BLASTS Kanemaru, Sho stomps Douki around by commentary. Sho drags Douki up, brings him all the way to the back wall, rakes the eyes, and then goes into the rear stage area! Sho sends Douki into the wall! Dick keeps after Kanemaru while Sho whips Douki at the edge! Douki keeps from falling, he turns around and Sho BOOTS him off the stage! Fans applaud as Sho stands tall. Sho stomps Douki in front of the back row, then says to turn our attention back to ringside.
The ring count starts while Dick waits on Douki. Sho wants the count to go faster, and then he touches the Super Jr. Tag League trophy. Fans rally as Douki stands, and he hurries up the aisle! We’re at 12 of 20, Sho gets on the mic to shout that this is over! Sho rings the bell himself! The ref tells Sho no, but Sho makes the ref raise his hand in victory. Doukik returns! But Sho and Dick mug him! The ref reprimands them, counts, but both Sho and Dick let off at 4. Douki fights up but Dick fights off the scoop. Dick throws body shots and he CLUBS Douki down! Dick scoops and SLAMS Douki down! Dick then clamps onto Douki’s arms for a motorcycle stretch!
Fans rally as Douki endures and reaches out. Douki gets the ROPEBREAK, and Dick lets off. Dick scrapes his sole on Douki’s face, then he tags Sho. Sho runs to BLAST Kanemaru, then he and Dick mug Douki. Douki hits back but Sho rakes the eyes! Sho shoves Douki down, brings him back up, and throws him out of the ring. Sho distracts the ref so Dick can ROCK Douki! Dick puts Douki back in for Sho to ROPE GUILLOTINE! Cover, the ref refuses because of shenanigans. Sho stomps Douki then covers, TWO! Fans fire up while Sho is upset with the ref. Sho drags Douki back up but Douki throws forearms! Sho rakes the eyes!
The ref reprimands but Sho grins as he brings Douki up again. Douki blocks the suplex and fans rally. Sho powers Douki up but Douki fights it. Douki powers Sho up, but Sho bends Douki’s fingers! Sho suplexes but Douki slips out! Douki waistlocks but Sho elbows free. Sho runs, but into a FLYING HEADBUTT! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Sho and Douki crawl, hot tag to Kanemaru! Kanemaru stomps on Sho then BLASTS Dick! Kanemaru whips, Sho reverses but Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru drags Sho up, SHIN BREAKER and then a dropkick to the legs! Kanemaru steps through for a FIGURE FOUR!
Sho endures the leglock and Kanemaru trashes about! Dick gets in to stomp away on Kanemaru! The hold is undone but the ref reprimands Dick. Kanemaru drags Sho around, stomps the legs, but Sho bends the fingers! So Kanemaru rakes Sho’s eyes! The ref reprimands them both, Kanemaru kicks Sho and runs. But Sho uses the ref as a shield! Sho then runs but now Kanemaru uses the ref as a shield! Kanemaru kicks low, ELBOWS Sho in the head, then runs, but Dick gets a cheap shot in! Sho SPEARS Kanemaru down! Tag to Dick and the House of Torture stomps away on Kanemaru. They whip him corner to corner, then Sho runs in.
Kanemaru dodges Sho, kicks Dick and sends him into Sho! ENZIGURI for Dick! Fans fire up while all three are down! Douki calls out and Kanemaru heads that way! Hot tag to Douki! Douki goes up to CROSSBODY! Dick staggers up, Douki dodges him to springboard BACK ELBOW! Douki drags Dick into the drop zone, for a RUNNING DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Dick up and hooks him up! But Dick fights the Gory Especial to snapmare and ghost pin! TWO! CROSSFACE!! Fans rally while Douki endures! Douki reaches out, claws his way over, but Dick rolls him way!
But Douki slips out to waistlock! He baits Dick into a double pump handle and he flips Dick over! Douki then rolls Dick into ITALIAN STRETCH #32! Fans fire up while Dick endures! But then Sho drags the ref out! Sho gets in to stomp away on Douki! The Young Lions check on the ref while Sho gets his wrench! But Douki gets his PIPE! Fans fire up as Douki’s is bigger! Sho still swings but Douki dodges! Douki swings but Sho dodges! Douki blocks the wrench attack and Sho drops it! Douki JAMS Sho with the pipe, then CHOKES him with it! But Dick slides in to use the SPOILER CHOKER! But Kanemaru takes a swig!
Yujiro & Evil rush out from the back! But Kanemaru WHISKEY MISTS Yujiro! Then he KICKS the ropes to hit Evil down low! Then Kanemaru WHISKEY MISTS Dick! But Sho LOW BLOWS Kanemaru! Everyone falls at the same time! Fans fire up and rally as the ref returns! The ref can’t make heads or tails of what happened, but Dick and Douki stay in the ring. Dick drags Douki up, underhooks, but Douki blocks the Pedigree! Dick CLUBS Douki down, drags him back up and tries again. But Douki wrenches out! Dick rakes the eyes! Dick gets the whiskey and tags a swig!? But Douki HELL STABS! The whiskey spews into the air!
Douki drags Dick back down, ITALIAN STRETCH #32!!! Dick verbally quits, Suzuki-Gun wins!!
Winners: Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru, by submission (gain 2 points; Sho & Dick earn 0)
Incredible! Douki the underdog has gotten his team to three wins in this latter half of the tournament! Is this a sign that things are finally clicking for Japones Del Mal?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask VS BUSHI & Titán!
The Flying Tigers may not have a shot at the finals, but they can shoot down another team’s chances! Will the Sniper of the Sky and the Junior Heavyweight legend eliminate LIJ? Or will the Black Mask y El Inmortal stay alive for one more round?
The teams sort out, Eagles calls out Titan, so LIJ fist bumps. Fans applaud as Titan and Eagles circle. They tie up, Eagles wrenches an arm to a wristlock, but Titan rolls, handsprings and wrenches back. Eagles endures the wristlock now, but he uses the ropes to flip through and wrench back. Titan endures now, rolls, kips up and bridges to then handspring and wrench back! Fans rally as Titan wrenches again. Titan whips corner to corner, Eagles reverses but Titan goes up and over to handspring away. Fans cheer and things keep moving. Titan jumps over, whips Eagles but Eagles reverses to go up and around and arm-drag! But Titan handstands walks!
Titan rolls, handsprings, and fans fire up as things keep moving. Titan hurdles, Eagles counters the arm-drag to a takedown, and then he handsprings to basement dropkick! Fans cheer the opening exchange as Eagles covers, TWO! Eagles keeps on Titan, brings him over, and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Tiger and he KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Titan down! Tiger stomps Titan, brings him up and ROCKS him with a forearm. Tiger runs but Titan DROPKICKS him in return! Fans rally and Titan rolls to tag in Bushi! Bushi stomps Tiger, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS! And CHOPS again!
Bushi pushes Tiger out, turns him, and hits a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Bushi goes after Tiger’s mask! The ref reprimands, Bushi stops going after the laces to pull at the chin! The ref reprimands and counts, Bushi stops at 4. Bushi stomps Tiger down, then he tags in Titan. Titan climbs while Bushi drags Tiger up. Bushi wrenches an arm and Titan DOUBLE STOMPS it! Titan kicks Tiger around, then mule kicks him. Titan snapmares Tiger to PENALTY KICK! Fans rally and Eagles coaches Tiger, but Titan stands Tiger up. Tiger throws body shots, then throws KICK after KICK! Titan blocks a kick but Tiger SPIN KICKS him away!
Fans rally, Tiger rolls and hot tags Eagles! Eagles springboards up and over Titan, BLASTS Bushi, then RANAS Titan! Fans fire up as Eagles WHEEL KICKS Titan and kips up! Titan bails out, Eagles builds speed, but Bushi trips Eagles up! Titan mule kicks Tiger, CLUBS him down and gets back in the ring. Titan KICKS Eagles while he’s down, then he tags Bushi. Fans rally as LIJ mug Eagles, then double whip him corner to corner. Bushi runs in to back elbow Titan, and then sets up for INMORTAL IN MOTION! Feed to a lift, DROPKICK SPINEBUSTER COMBO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Titan BLASTS Tiger!
Fans rally up as LIJ loom over Eagles. They kick Eagles around, drag him up and double whip again. Eagles reverses to send Bushi away and then he knees Titan low. Bushi returns and Eagles sends him into Titan! Titan falls, Eagles mule kicks Bushi then runs, BASEMENT DROPKICK BLINDSIDE LARIAT COMBO! Fans fire up while all three men are down! Eagles crawls for his corner, hot tag to Tiger! Tiger goes up top and CROSSBODIES Bushi down! Titan CLUBS Tiger, holds him up, but Tiger BOOTS Bushi and KANGAROO KICKS Titan! Bushi returns, into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally as Tiger brings Bushi back up. Tiger underhooks Bushi but Titan runs in! Tiger mule kicks Titan, Eagles runs in to KICK, and then DOUBLE ROUNDHOUSES take Titan down! Fans fire up and Bushi fires forearms on both Flying Tigers! Bushi fires off on Tiger, but Eagles SOBATS Bushi! Eagles cravats Bushi and Tiger gives him a boost into the ASAI DDT! Roll and feed to the underhooks, TIGER DRIVER! Cover, Titan breaks it! Eagles throws Titan out and Tiger goes to a corner. But Titan POSTS Eagles! Tiger reaches the top but Titan attacks him first! Titan ROCKET LAUNCHES Tiger off the corner!
Bushi crawls to the LIJ corner, hot tag to Titan! Titan roars, fans fire up, and Titan springboard MISSILE DROPKICKS! Titan drags Tiger up, reels him in and suplexes for the GOURD BUSTER, to a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Tiger is still in this and fans rally up. Tiger goes to a corner, Titan powers up and runs in, LOCO- NO, Tiger BOOTS Titan away! Then crucifix takedown! TWO!! Into the REVERSE DOUBLE ARMBAR!! Titan endures, flails, Eagles intercepts Bushi into the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! But Titan gets the ROPEBREAK! The Flying Tigers let LIJ go and Eagles kicks Bushi out.
Eagles rallies the fans and he joins Tiger in bringing Titan up. The Flying Tigers double whip Titan to a corner, Eagles goes to the apron. They both run in, ENZIGURI ROUNDHOUSE COMBO! Fans fire up as Tiger brings Titan up to the top rope. Bushi rushes in but Eagles springboards and missile dropkicks the legs out! Tiger climbs up after Titan, underhooks the arms, and fans rally up! SUPER BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Titan survives, but Tiger has a KIMURA! Titan endures as Tiger also traps his head! Bushi barrels through Eagles to break it up! Fans rally as Bushi fires forearms on Eagles.
Eagles knees low, Bushi ducks a roundhouse to spin Eagles into a DDT! Tiger fires off on Bushi, knees low and SOBATS! Tiger runs, but into a DROPKICK! Bushi runs to BLAST Eagles! Then Bushi builds speed to DIVE onto Eagles! Fans fire up and Titan roars! Titan drags Tiger up, reels him in to a fireman’s carry, and spins for the LANDSLIDE! Cover, TWO!! Tiger survives again and fans fire up! Bushi returns as Tiger goes to a corner. Titan runs in, LOCO LARIAT! Bushi hits the CODE BREAKER! Titan springboards, but slips! Angel Inmortal is more a diving headbutt botch! Bushi hurries to get Titan back up and Titan resets.
Bushi watches Eagles while Titan COAST2COAST dropkicks Tiger!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Bushi & Titán, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Eagles & Tiger earn 0)
It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective! LIJ stay alive for another round, will they make the Super Jr. Tag League finals tranquilo?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Alex Zayne & El Lindaman VS Ace Austin & Chris Bey!
The #SAUCEHEARTS holds their fate in their own hands! If they win, they take over the top spot! If they lose, their bubble bursts right before the end! Can Zayne & Lindaman stop the Inevitable? Or will Ace & Bey keep things Too Sweet?
The teams sort out, Zayne steps up and calls out his former friend, Ace. Ace & Bey Too Sweet and then point finger guns at Zayne. Lindaman says, “Boo~!” but Ace starts against Zayne. The fans rally as the two stare down, but then Ace tags out to Bey. Bey & Ace laugh at Zayne thinking he was going to get his way. Zayne and Bey circle, fans rally up again, and the two tie up. They go around, Zayne puts Bey on ropes but he stares Ace down. Red shoes counts the break, Zayne lets off with a pat on Bey’s shoulder. Bey acts like he’s gonna punch, but he just hands Red Shoes some of his gold chains that’re coming loose.
Zayne and Bey reset as fans rally up, and Bey gets around to waistlock. Zayne works on the hold but Bey shifts to a headlock. Zayne throws body shots, then elbows, then he powers out, only for Bey to pull on Zayne’s beard! Bey laughs and flexes while Red Shoes reprimands. Bey headlocks, but Zayne powers up to put Bey on ropes! Zayne then powers out to wrench Bey’s arm. Bey endures the wristlock, but Zayne pulls on Bey’s beard! Tag to Lindaman and Lindaman kicks Bey low. Fans applaud as Lindaman wrenches and wristlocks Bey to then YANK the arm! Lindaman YANKS the arm again, and he keeps Bey from Ace.
But Bey pulls Lindaman’s hair! Red Shoes reprimands but Bey knees Lindaman low, tags Ace, and Bullet Club mugs Lindaman. They double whip Lindaman corner to corner, Bey runs in but Lindaman picks Bey up! AIR RAID CRASH! Ace runs in and knees low. Ace whips, Lindaman reverses and SAYANAGIS! Then BASEMENT DDT! Fans fire up with Lindaman and he looms over Ace. Lindaman drags Ace, scoops him and SLAMS him, then rallies the fans as he goes to the corner. Lindaman runs, stomps and goes to the other corner! Fans fire up as Lindaman climbs, but Ace wants Red Shoes to check him. This is a distraction so Bey can trip Lindaman up!
Ace hobbles over and tags in Bey. Bey BLASTS Zayne, then he and Ace double whip Lindaman! POMMEL KICK, and then FINESSE IN MOTION! Bey feeds Lindaman to Ace’s drop toehold and Eddy Gordo Kick! Bey DOUBLE STOMPS Lindaman down! Bey stands on Lindaman in a cocky cover, TWO! Fans applaud while Bey drags Lindaman up. Bey ROCKS Lindaman, drags him up again, and then CLAWS Lindaman’s eyes! Red Shoes counts, Bey lets off and pretends he can’t hear the fans rallying up. Bey KICKS Lindaman in the side, then coordinates with Ace. Bey bumps Lindaman’s face off Ace’s boot!
Red Shoes reprimands while Bey tags Ace. Bullet Club double wrench Lindaman, double CLAW his back, then double drop toehold to Too Sweet CLAW his back! Fans applaud while Ace stomps Lindaman. Cover, TWO! Fans applaud more, Ace stomps Lindaman more. Ace CHOKES Lindaman with his shirt, then drags Lindaman up to gut wrench suplex! Ace stands on Lindaman before a LEG DROP! Cover, TWO! Ace KNEES Lindaman in the back, and again, but Lindaman gets up to ROCK Ace! And again! But Ace NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Ace drags Lindaman up and tags in Bey.
Bullet Club mugs Lindaman, double whip him to ropes but Lindaman holds ropes. Ace runs in but Lindaman steps aside to send him tumbling out! Bey runs in but Lindaman puts him on the apron. Bey holds onto Lindaman to keep him from Zayne, and Bey shoulders in. Bey slingshots up and over, but Lindaman CLOBBERS him! Fans fire up, hot tag- NO, Ace trips Zayne off the apron! Bey CLOBBERS Lindaman while Ace stomps Zayne. Bey snapmares and UPPERCUTS Lindaman in the back. Cover, TWO! Bey argues the count while fans rally up. Bey sits Lindaman up for a chinlock and grinds him down.
Fans rally as Lindaman endures. Lindaman fights his way up, throws elbows, but Bey CLUBS Lindaman down! Tag to Ace, and Ace brings Lindaman around, DOUBLE SWEEP COMBO! And then the STANDING MOONSAULT LEG DROP COMBO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Ace grows frustrated. Ace drags Lindaman up, whips him hard into the corner, and Bey CHOKES Lindaman while Ace distracts Red Shoes with talk about Zayne. Red Shoes keeps them apart, and then Ace goes over to Lindaman. Ace tags Bey, drags Lindaman up, and Bey takes a crane stance. Bey crane steps to then poke Lindaman in his eyes!
Fans applaud while Bey crane steps around. Bey drags Lindaman up, reels him in, and says he’s gonna give us three amigos. But Lindaman blocks the first amigo! Bey throws body shots, then a knee! Uno Amigo! Then Dos Amigos! Then THREE AMIGOS! Bey kips up and fans applaud. Bey goes up the corner, fans fire up, and Bey mocks Zayne with “ITADAKIMAAASU~!” MOONSAULT, but Bey has to roll through when Lindaman moves! Lindaman runs in, gets around, kicks Bey’s legs out then dropkicks him in the back! Fans fire up while both men are down, hot tags to Ace and Zayne! Zayne fires off hands on Ace, then spins him for the DISCUS LARIAT!
Fans fire up as Zayne storms up on Ace, fires off boxing elbows, then mule kicks! Zayne runs but Bey runs in to SOBAT! Bey whips, Zayne ducks ‘n’ dodges, then he DOUBLE RANAS Bey & Ace! Fans fire up and Zayne swings, but Bey catches him! Ace runs up but Zayne BOOTS him! Zayne elbows free of Bey to knee him low, then he runs again, DOUBLE ROLLING SCISSOR KICK! Fans fire up again as Zayne focuses on Ace. Zayne stalks Ace, drags him from the corner, and he pulls the kick pad away from the boot! Ace kicks Zayne away, but Zayne blocks the roundhouse! Zayne drags Ace down and Ace desperately claws for the ropes! ROPEBREAK!
Zayne holds on but Bey drags Ace out to safety. But then Lindaman runs in and he uses Zayne as a boost to SOMERSAULT SENTON out onto Bullet Club! Fans fire up with that direct hit, and Zayne waits on them to stand back up. Fans rally, Lindaman drags Ace up for Zayne and puts him in. Zayne drags Ace up, reels him in, but Bey SUPERMAN PUNCHES Lindaman! Zayne suplexes, Ace slips out and goes to ropes. Zayne runs in, he blocks Ace’s boot and flips him to the apron. Bey gets up to join Ace, Zayne runs in but he gets DOUBLE KNEES! Ace & Bey dump Zayne out, and then Bey gets in to build speed. Bey FLIES and takes out Zayne!
Lindaman swipes at Ace but Ace handsprings up and over! Ace PENALTY KICKS Lindaman down! Ace and Bey get Zayne up, Ace slingshots in and kips up to build speed! THE FALL TO GLORY! Fans fire up for the Fosbury Flop and Bey says that was great! Ace puts Zayne in the ring, fans rally up and Bullet Club sees Zayne go to the corner. Bey sets up, but Zayne ducks the pommel kick! Zayne BOOTS Bey, puts Ace in the corner to ELBOW, then he hoists Ace up top. Bey runs in but is sent into Ace’s knees! Zayne uses Bey to get up and SUPER STEINER Ace! And GERMAN SUPLEX Bey onto Ace! Fans fire up as Zayne drags Ace up.
Zayne scoops for the BAJA BLAST! Cover, TWO! Ace survives but Zayne keeps his focus. Lindaman returns, he and Zayne coordinate. Lindaman drags Ace up and Zayne goes to the corner. Lindaman hits KUMAGOROSHI, and Zayne shouts “ITADAKIMAAASU~!” Zayne climbs up, but Bey GAMANGIRIS him down! Lindaman storms over but Bey GAMANGIRIS him, too! Ace hits a BIG back suplex on Lindaman, and Bey climbs up after Zayne. Zayne is reclined along a top rope, Bey DOUBLE STOMPS him down! Bey drags Zayne up and torture racks! Ace steps in to FLYING CHUCK and Bey spins to RACK NECKBREAKER!! Ace covers, TWO!?!?
Fans are thunderous as Zayne survives! Bullet Club grows frustrated, but they decide to bring out the trump card. But Lindaman BOOTS Ace! And ROCKS Bey! And ROCKS Ace! Lindaman fires off on Bey, then BOOTS Ace! Lindaman whips but Ace reverses. Bey SPLASHES Lindaman, hoists him up top, and then Ace goes up top with Bey. They bring Lindaman up, but Zayne CLUBS them first! Zayne adds on now, for a TOWER OF DOOM, DOUBLE POWERBOMB SUPERPLEX!! Fans fire up as all four men are down! They all stir, and Bey slowly rolls out of the ring, as does Lindaman. That leaves Zayne and Ace alone.
Zayne crawls over to Ace, and Ace SLAPS Zayne! Zayne SLAPS Ace, and they SLAP back and forth! Then they throw forearms back and forth! Fans rally as the two fight up to their feet to throw more forearm shots! Ace gets the edge, knees low then swings, but Zayne spins him! Ace blocks the lariat, Zayne blocks the kick! Zayne ducks a kick to wrap Zayne up! TACO- NO, Ace slips out! Ace KNEES, KNEE LIFTS and HEEL KICKS! Zayne wobbles, Ace runs, THE FOLD!!! Cover, LINDAMAN BREAKS IT!! Fans are thunderous as Lindaman waistlocks Ace and deadlifts! Bey saves Ace to PELE Lindaman!
Fans fire up, Bullet Club coordinates, ONE TOO- NO, Lindaman catches the cutter to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bey lands on his feet, but Lindaman GERMAN SUPLEXES! Zayne kips up, Ace BOOTS him, but Zayne ducks the roundhouse! Lindaman GERMAN SUPLEXES! DOUBLE BRIDGE!! SAUCEHEARTS WIN!!!!
Winners: Alex Zayne & El Lindaman, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Ace & Bey earn 0)
INCREDIBLE! The top team falls, and now we have a NEW top team! Can the Bullet Club still have an impact on the Super Jr. Tag League finals?
As for SAUCEHEARTS, Lindaman gets the mic to say he and Zayne just won! “This league started back on November 21st in Korakuen, and now we’re here. I’m delighted we won the main event here, in Sasebo.” Fans applaud as they’re happy to see it, too. Lindaman says he’s “got a lot of personal feelings for this place. My father was born and raised in Sasebo. My mother was also born and raised in Sasebo. Make no mistake, Sasebo runs in El Lindaman’s veins.” Fans applaud to know he’s one of theirs. But then Lindaman says, “Sorry, I lied! I’m from Tokyo! Sorry! I might have told a little white lie about Sasebo, but I’m not lying when I say we’re taking this Super Jr. Tag League!”
Fans applaud that, and Lindaman continues to say, “After this win here, we’ll continue to do the same when we face Douki & Kanemaru. Then we’re off to the finals in Sendai.” Fans also applaud that. Lindaman says he’s proud to be holding the mic after a NJPW main event, but some fans may not know him. “El Lindaman doesn’t belong to NJPW, but I represent the promotion known as GLEAT. But since I have the mic, mind if I close this the GLEAT way?” Fans applaud, they’d love to see it! Lindaman says, “For those of you unfamiliar in Sasebo, let me give you a crash course! Don’t worry, it’s very simple. Learn it and try it at home.
“When I say, ‘Let’s,’ you pump your fist and shout, ‘GLEAT!’ Did you get that?” Fans applaud, as that is pretty simple. So are they all ready? Lindaman then admits, he didn’t get the pin so Zayne should have a part to say. They can “remix” this for the occasion and get some “Itadakimasu” in. Lindaman asks, “Everyone, did you enjoy NJPW today?” Fans applaud because they did! “Did you enjoy Super Jr. Tag League?” Fans applaud because they did! Then watch them as they head for the finals in Sendai! “Everyone in Sasebo, let’s… GLEAT! And…” “ITADAKIMAAASU!” The SAUCEHEARTS are fired up, but will they bring the heat all the way to the tournament finals?
Here are the NEW Super Jr. Tag League standings!
Zayne & Lindaman: 6-2, 12 points
Austin & Bey: 6-2, 12 points
Bushi & Titan: 6-2, 12 points
TJP & Akira: 6-2, 12 points
Yoh & Lio: 6-2, 12 points
Taguchi & Connors: 3-5, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Eagles & Tiger Mask: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Douki & Kanemaru: 3-5, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
KUSHIDA & Knight: 1-7, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Sho & Dick: 1-7, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
A great event for the Super Jr. Tag League, and I am surprised that we still have FIVE teams, aka half the block, still alive going into the final round! Hilarious stuff from Wild Hips VS Yoh & Lio with the beer and the references to The Rock, Stone Cold and I suppose Triple H. Douki & Kanemaru getting a win over Sho & Dick was great, even if it didn’t affect the finals. Eagles & Tiger gave LIJ a great match but LIJ was the team I expected to win out. I did not, however, think #GLEATSAUCE #SAUCEHEARTS Zayne & Lindaman were gonna get this one, and that is great stuff. It is revenge on Ace for him betraying Zayne and joining Bullet Club, and keeps him and Lindaman alive.
Now, three of the five matches on Friday the 10th matter, with LIJ VS Yoh & Lio, Zayne & Lindaman VS Douki & Kanemaru and Catch 2/2 VS Ace & Bey. Yoh & Lio have a “win and they’re in” scenario for having beaten SAUCEHEARTS and Bullet Club, and they’d eliminate LIJ from the running. And for LIJ, they beat Catch 2/2, who beat everyone else, but they lost to Bullet Club. Ace & Bey would have to lose for LIJ to get in, but then I think that gives us LIJ VS Catch 2/2 for the finals. That match-up seems to fit the story, but I wouldn’t mind another scenario just so we don’t get LIJ VS Catch 2/2 before a potential WrestleKingdom title match.
My Score: 8.8/10
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