Let’s relive an NXT UK classic for Christmas!
NXT UK and the superstars wish us all a Happy Holidays, and have a flashback to Blackpool! Relive the epic battle of The Ring General VS The Iron King for TakeOver: Blackpool II!
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 – The Broserweights VS South Wales Subculture.
- NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II – NXT UK Championship: Walter VS Joe Coffey.
PLAY BY PLAY
Andy Shepherd welcomes us back to the show!
This is a very special Christmas Eve edition of NXT UK, and as we celebrate this festive time, we look back at this “unique” year, with the start! Yes, January of 2020, when NXT UK was well represented in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic!
NXT 1/15/2020, Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2020 – The Broserweights VS South Wales Subculture!
The only part of this that wasn’t from NXT UK was The Original Bro! Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne were on a road trip to glory, were Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews just a speedbump?
The teams sort out and Dunne starts against Mark Andrews. Andrews and Dunne tie up, Andrews headlocks but Dunne powers out. Things speed up, Dunne hurdles but Andrews leaps. Riddle tags in, Andrews huricanranas Dunne. Andrews ducks the Penalty Kick and dodges the moonsault to tag in Flash Morgan Webster! Riddle sees the Modfather’s knee coming and doges, but FMW dodges the enziguri! Dunne handsprings up and the two teams stand off as we go picture in picture.
The teams cool off and back away for Riddle and FMW to tie up. Riddle waistlock slams FMW down then floats around to get the arm. FMW gets up but ends up in Broserweight territory. Dunne tags in and wrenches FMW, and then the Broserweights torture the fingers. They both stomp the hands! FMW gets to an open corner but Dunne is on him right away. He brings FMW back and tags Riddle. Dunne whips FMW into the corner but FMW elbows back. FMW boots and then walks on Dunne to huricanrana Riddle! Things speed up. FMW arm-drags Riddle and tags to Andrews. SWSC work together, moonsault and moonsault! Cover, TWO!
Andrews keeps on Riddle with a wristlock and brings Riddle up. Tag to FMW and FMW climbs. FMW leaps to dumdum stomp the arm! FMW wrenches but Riddle forearms free. Riddle gut wrenches and throws FMW around! And again! And then Andrews runs in, but Riddle manages to back drop him while suplexing FMW! Riddle clubs FMW and brings him to the Broserweight corner. Tag to Dunne and Dunne gives Riddle a boost for the standing corkscrew! Dunne then hooks onto FMW’s legs and pulls on the arms. Dunne tortures the wrist before stomping the knees! And then he stomps the arm! FMW crawls to a corner but Dunne brings him up to wrench and wring out.
Tag to Riddle, and Dunne stomps the arm again! Riddle kicks FMW while he’s down then drags him back up for a scoop and slam! Cover, TWO, and NXT returns to single picture. Riddle yanks FMW up by his legs but FMW lands on his feet! And dropkicks Riddle away! Dunne tags in to keep FMW from Andrews, but FMW lands on his feet out of the German! FMW leaps but Dunne catches him, only for FMW to slip into a guillotine! But Dunne powers out to an X-PLEX! Tag to Riddle and Riddle drops a Broton! Cover, TWO! Riddle keeps his eyes on Andrews before going back to FMW with a sharp ax kick! Riddle CHOPS FMW then tags in Dunne.
Dunne and Riddle double wrench but FMW breaks free! FMW fights back with big hands! Dunne pushes FMW, FMW goes up and over to evade, tag to Andrews! Andrews springboards, Riddle gets under, but the huricanrana gets Dunne! Andrews goes after Riddle with forearms and CHOPS! Andrews whips, Riddle reverses, and Dunne returns. Andrews slides under both clotheslines to DOUBLE PELE! Fans fire up for Andrews as he runs at Dunne. Dunne puts him on the apron but Andrews enziguris back! And then slingshots over, to victory roll and spring up, DDT on Riddle! Riddle falls out of the ring, Andrews dumps Dunne out!
Andrews tags FMW and SWSC decides to FLY! Double direct hits! SWSC get Dunne up and in fast and tag. Toast at 3AM, the standing 450! Cover, TWO!! Dunne is tougher than that, but FMW isn’t deterred. FMW brings Dunne up, underhooks, but Dunne breaks free. Dunne turns things around to go after FMW’s fingers, but FMW breaks free to KNEE TRIGGER! FMW springboards, into a BIG RIGHT! Both men are down but fans rally up, hot tag to Andrews! Andrews grabs Dunne for a full nelson but Dunne breaks free and elbows back. Dunne goes up and over and enziguris Andrews! Then GERMAN SUPLEX! Hand stomps and buzzsaw!
Tag to Riddle, Dunne drags Andrews up, X-PLEX BOMB!! FINAL FLASH BUZZSAW! Cover, but FMW breaks it! Fans are fired up as all four men are down! Dunne drags FMW up and tosses him out. Riddle drags Andrews up in a waistlock dead lift GERMAN! Cover, TWO! Andrews survives but Riddle is seething up. Riddle drags Andrews back up, suplexes, but Andrews slips out and waistlocks. Riddle standing switches to wristlock ripcord, FINAL FLASH! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Riddle drags Andrews away for a Broton! Tag to Dunne, and Dunne has the legs again. Dunne wrenches an ankle and stands on both feet, to STOMP!
Dunne goes after the legs again with an Ankle Lock! Andrews endures, flails, and rolls to throw Dunne off. Dunne comes back, into a Northern Lights and STOMPS! Both men are down again as NXT goes to break, but NXT UK skips that! Andrews gets the hot tag to FMW! Riddle and Dunne run over but FMW elbows them into each other. Then QUEBRADA! FMW hits them both and has Riddle on the apron. FMW dropkicks Riddle off then triangle dropkicks Dunne back out! Fans fire up with the Modfather as he goes up top. FMW SWANTONS onto the Broserweights!
FMW puts Riddle in but Dunne follows. FMW stalks behind them both as Riddle tags back in. FMW kicks low then tags in Andrews. SWSC coordinate, but Riddle fights FMW off and catches Andrews! Fireman’s carry, but Andrews pops up! FMW is back, KNEE TRIGGER POISON-RANA! Cover, but Dunne barrels in just in time! Fans are still fired up for “Tag Team Wrestling!” Andrews tags to FMW, then moonsaults onto Dunne for a TORNADO DDT! FMW is up top, 450 but he has to bail out! BRO SPEAR! Andrews is back, BRO SPEAR! Riddle has FMW, for the- NO! INSIDE CRADLE! TWO!!
Riddle spins FMW for a Pele! Tag to Dunne, Riddle fireman’s carries FMW, Bro To Enziguri! Cover, TWO!?! FMW survived a ladder match, so he can surely survive a tag team com-bro-nation! Fans love “All These Guys!” because “This is Awesome!” Dunne and Riddle have FMW, X-Plex Bomb countered to a rana! Andrews springboards in to block Dunne! FMW with the cover, but Dunne DECKS Andrews and Andrews falls on the pin! Somehow, someway, Dunne saved the day! Dunne goes back to the Broserweight corner as Riddle kicks FMW away. Hot tags to Andrews and Dunne!
Andrews slides but Dunne BUZZSAWS! Then pump handles, but cradle counter! Dunne blocks the cradle, X-Plex STUN-DOG MILIONAIRE! FMW fakes Riddle out, HEADBUTT! FMW DIVES, but into Riddle’s BRO DEREK!! Andrews is up top, aims for Dunne, but shooting star into a FOREARM! Tag to Riddle, pump handle, BITTER FINAL FLASH!! Cover, Broserweights win!!
Winners: The Broserweights, Matt Riddle pinning (advance to the next round)
Incredi-BRO! Like peanut butter and chocolate, this duo just seems to work. In the end, this combination would win the cup, but would be broken up by circumstances beyond their control. Riddle is now on SmackDown, Dunne is now a King of NXT, will they ever meet in the ring again?
NXT UK Superstars have well wishes for the holidays!
Tyler Bate says Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the fans, and Xia Brookside finishes trimming the tree as she wishes us a Very Merry Christmas. Jordan Devlin has been told to wish us all a Merry Christmas, so here it is. His gift to us? How about in 2021, he gives us one more year, 12 more long months as the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion in history? And then, the French Hope, Amale, wishes us a Merry Christmas, or as they say in France, “Joyeux Noel.” Levi Muir, the newest NXT UK superstar, “The Best Athlete in the Game,” wants to take a second to wish us all a Happy Holidays. Eat, drink, love, laugh and enjoy the festivities.
Aoife Valkyrie also wishes us a Merry Christmas to all the NXT UK viewers, and thanks us for making her debut year one she’ll never forget. Tyson T-Bone wishes us all a Merry Christmas, as does The Modfather, Flash Morgan Webster. FMW even wishes the NXT UK roster a Happy Holidays, except for Eddie Dennis & The Hunt, who can go play in traffic. Cheers, lads!
A-Kid says, “Hola,” and wishes us a very merry Christmas, all in Spanish. Isla Dawn wishes everyone a happy yuletide season. Joseph Conners knows it’s that “festive” time of year, where everyone must ask themselves if they’ve been worthy, or not worthy. Conners knows which category he falls under. “Yes, boy!” Pretty Deadly’s Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley wish us all to stay safe, and though our lives aren’t as great as theirs, to still have a Merry Christmas. Piper Niven also wishes us all a very Happy Holidays.
Sam Gradwell admires his little train and has some “festive pleasantries” as he wishes us a Very Merry Christmas, and tells us to get on it, “you bunch of yogurts.” Same goes for Lil’ Gradwell! Eddie Dennis quotes American businessman, James Cash Penney, “The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of giving, and forgiving.” Dennis does NOT forgive SWSC, but The Hunt have a gift waiting for them in the new year.
“Queen” Jinny gives a Christmas “speech.”
“As this year has passed by us so quickly and draws to a close,” we take time to reflect on what we have achieved. Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how irrelevant they or we are. “This year has shown that no matter what, nothing will hold us down. The relaunch of NXT UK showed the entire world how passionate every single roster member is about this great business. And most of all, I returned more ruthless and fabulous than ever.” Explains why the slideshow is only of her… Jinny says she inspired so many all around the world. And despite the fact we will never be as successful or as fabulous as Jinny, we can be mediocre, just like Piper Niven.
“The year 2021 is just around the corner, and it will provide us all with a new, clean slate. A new book with empty pages to write words on.” Of course, Jinny doesn’t simply write words in books. She has an assistant to do that for her. But 2021 will be the Year of the Fashionista, and she will put every single girl in her place on her way to being crowned Queens of NXT UK. But she still wishes us all a Very Merry Christmas. She knows we won’t have a spectacular day celebrating like Jinny does, but that is because we do not live a life of luxury like her. She still hopes we can celebrate with what little we all have. Merry Christmas, and stay safe.
NXT UK goes back to Andy Shepherd.
“Humble and inspiring as ever,” Jinny is. No doubt her stocking will be overflowing as every year. But from Night Bridge to the North Pole. Or is it the Black Country?
Dave Mastiff welcomes us to more of this special episode of NXT UK! He may be The Bomber, but this special time of year, he is Banta Claus! The NXT UK roster has sent Banta their Christmas lists. Jack Starz would like some life insurance after all the beatings he’s taken. Tyson T-Bone wants more crayons to color himself in. Noam Dar wants a great, big, giant gobstopper. Ilja Dragunov wants decaf coffee and a meditation guide. And TRIPLE H wants a multipack of flavored water. Joe Coffey wants a brand-new cricket bat. When NXT UK wakes up on Christmas, they’ll find which list they’re on. The Naughty List gets seasons beatings from Dave Mastiff!
More NXT UK superstars wish us well!
Mark Andrews wants to wish us all a Happy Holidays, except for of course, Eddie Dennis & The Hunt. Then he sings his own cover of Jingle Bells, “Wild Boar smells, Primate ran away~!” Ashton Smith says it’s the festive season! If you’re lucky enough to have your loved ones nearby, hug them, kiss them and make sure you cherish them. If not, just give them a call! Right, Oliver Carter? But anyway, he hopes we all have a Merry Christmas. Aleah James wishes us a Very Merry Christmas and hopes that we all get what we wanted this year. Amir Jordan wishes us a Happy Holidays, hopes we stay safe and enjoys the festivities.
Dani Luna wishes us all around the world the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of Holidays. Kenny Williams hopes we have more luck this year than he does, as he has a goofy sweater from Amir. Oliver Carter wishes the whole WWE Universe a Merry Christmas. Oh and he should call Ashton. But that’s future Oliver’s problem.
Nina Samuels wishes us all a Very Merry Christmas. Except for Xia Brookside. Gallus all together wishes us a Gallus Christmas. Noam Dar says it’s the holidays, and he would like to wish us fans a very special Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. Then for the real fans, the Pinky Party, get an even bigger Christmas and Hanukkah. See you next year, thank you, bye-bye. Rampage Brown even wishes us a Merry Christmas! Jack Starz also wishes the entire WWE Universe a Merry Christmas. The Hunt’s Wild Boar wishes us a Merry ChristMRAAAA! And Assistant GM, Sid Scala, wishes us all a Happy Holidays.
Saxon Huxley has a lot of Christmas spirit as he wishes us a Merry Christmas. Ilja Dragunov says on this day, “when we always realize the love and appreciation for our close ones is truly Unbesiegbar,” he wishes us all a Merry Christmas.
NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II – WWE United Kingdom Championship: WALTER VS Joe Coffey!
The Ring General has THE title in NXT UK, but the Iron King returned to Blackpool, planning to literally leave his mark. Gallus retained the tag titles just before, but would NXT UK truly become their kingdom? Or was this still just the beginning of the Era of Imperium?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the battle for the brand begins!
Walter rushes Coffey but Coffey dodges! Coffey knew better this time. The two tie up but break, and now they circle the ring. They tie up again, and Walter powers Coffey back, only for Coffey to turn things around. Coffey SLAPS Walter, so Walter throws a forearm! Walter puts on a sleeper hold, but Coffey powers out with a back suplex! Walter bails out but gets up in a huff, only for Coffey to boot him down! Coffey goes to the apron and LEAPS to RAM Walter into barriers! Coffey throws hands as the ring count climbs, but Walter throws hands back. Walter uppercuts hard, then refreshes the count.
Walter whips Coffey but Coffey reverses to send Walter into barriers! The barriers move, but Coffey comes running in. Walter puts Coffey up and over but Coffey lands on his feet. Coffey throws hands then gets space. Coffey runs back in to LEAP and RAM Walter again! Fans fire up behind Coffey as he drags Walter up. Coffey puts Walter in and circles like a shark. Coffey dares “Wally” to get up. Coffey knees Walter then throws haymakers and body shots. The ref backs Coffey off and Coffey paces. “Has he got the balls, huh?!” Coffey drags Walter up and throws more body shots, but Walter hits back. Coffey whips and belly2belly suplexes Walter! Cover, TWO!
Walter is down but Coffey stalks him. Coffey runs corner to corner to back elbow! And then Coffey hops up, blocks punches and clamps on, TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO! Walter survives but he’s in an unfamiliar place on the mat. Coffey clubs Walter’s back and drags him up. Coffey tries to suplex but Walter is too big and strong. Walter and Coffey fight over suplex control but Coffey throws big elbows from both sides. Walter throws them back, so Coffey throws them harder! Coffey rocks Walter, and manages the suplex! Cover, TWO! Coffey keeps his cool as fans rally up. Coffey watches Walter slowly rise at the ropes. Fans duel as Coffey throws body shots and a CHOP!
Walter glares as Coffey eggs him on. Walter eggs Coffey on, too, so Coffey CHOPS again. Walter wants more, and fans hush so they can hear the CHOP. Walter CHOPS back! But Coffey grits his teeth as he gets back up. Walter throws forearms and CHOPS Coffey again! Coffey sputters for air this time but Walter CHOPS him again! And kicks him while he’s down! Fans are divided as Walter poses over Coffey. Coffey bails out but Walter pursues and CHOPS again! Everyone is stinging from that one. And then Walter BOOTS Coffey! Walter goes back to the ring to leave Coffey behind as the count climbs to 5. Coffey gets up and in at 8, and CHOPS away on Walter!
Walter scoop slams fast and then leaps to SIT on Coffey! Cover, TWO! Walter grabs Coffey with a chinlock, trying to make it part crossface. Coffey fights up so Walter floats over to knee Coffey in the ribs! Walter sits on Coffey as he sinks in a Half Crab! Coffey fights but Walter shifts to get an STF! Coffey fights so Walter shifts back to a normal chinlock. Coffey gets a ROPEBREAK, and Walter lets go. Walter gets up and eggs Coffey on. Fans duel as Coffey stands to take a HARD forearm. But Coffey doesn’t back down so Walter hits again. Coffey still comes back and he eggs Walter on. Walter forearms, forearms, half straitjackets and CHOPS Coffey down!
Walter catches his breath but Coffey is up! Coffey headbutts and uppercuts but Walter CHOPS again! And then neck CRANKS with his legs. Coffey sputters and rolls out of the ring but fans rally up. Walter heads over and drags Coffey up by his hair. Walter has Coffey against the ropes to CLUB with a forearm! Walter wants a sleeper hold but Coffey resists, so Walter CLUBS Coffey again. And AGAIN, but Coffey catches the arm! Coffey throws big forearms and Walter falls over! Fans fire up as Coffey heads up top. Coffey didn’t do so well a year ago with this… Coffey LEAPS, but into a BOSTON CRAB! Walter sits deep on Coffey, but Coffey powers up.
Walter shifts back to the STF, then just mugs Coffey with elbows! Modified cravat crossface! Coffey shouts “NO MERCY!” as he claws forward, but Walter grabs an arm for a chicken wing! ROPEBREAK with a foot! Coffey is free and Walter has to catch his breath, but fans are firing up again. Walter looms over Coffey again and brings him back up. Walter wrenches, and CHOPS Coffey off his feet! Walter yanks Coffey up for another CHOP! And then wrenches the arm, only for Coffey to slip through! Coffey clotheslines but Walter stays up! Walter ROCKS Coffey with a forearm but Coffey rebounds and the two collide!
They ram shoulders again and again, Coffey dodges and rams again. Coffey runs, Walter hurdles, the boot is caught and the two men fight for control. Walter snap suplexes Coffey! Cover, TWO! Walter is growing annoyed with Coffey as he drags him around for another sleeper. Fans rally and Coffey fights up, but Walter becomes a backpack. Coffey carries Walter for a backpack senton! Both men are down and a standing count starts. Walter sits up first and then stands at 5. Coffey flounders after him in the corner and hoists him up top in an Electric Chair! Walter fights and pops free, but Coffey RAMS him into buckles!
Coffey clubs Walter, then waistlocks and DEAD LIFTS for a BRIDGING GERMAN! TWO, but barely! Both men are exhausted but fans rally up again. Coffey crawls and comes around to a corner. Walter sits up as Coffey hobbles over. Coffey throws clubbing forearms then hops up, but Walter grabs Coffey! Coffey fights him off then tries again, double jump QUEBRADA! Cover, TWO!! Coffey keeps his focus as fans rally again. Walter rises, Coffey runs, but Walter BOOTS! Coffey staggers and keeps going to clothesline against the ropes. Coffey spins, but Walter CHOPS! Coffey stays standing and powers back up, but Walter SLAPS him! And then WALTER BOMBS! Cover, TWO!! Coffey survives and Walter can’t believe it!
Walter clamps on with a sleeper hold again. Fans still rally as Coffey fights his way up and throws Walter off. Coffey runs to RAM Walter again! Coffey rolls but Walter pursues, Coffey dodges Walter’s GIANT dropkick, and it takes out the ref!! Blackpool loses their minds over that one, and Walter shouts at the ref to get up. Walter drags Coffey up but Coffey throws hands! Coffey manages to POWERBOMB Walter! But there’s no ref to count the cover! Coffey would’ve won here! And here comes Alexander Wolfe! Wolfe BOOTS Coffey and helps Walter up. But here comes ILJA DRAGUNOV! Ilja and Wolfe brawl! Ilja KNEES Wolfe down!
Fans are fired up for the Moscow Madman! Ilja aims at Wolfe, “UN! BE! SIEG! BAR!” Torpedo Moscow sends Wolfe INTO Coffey! Coffey clutches his knee as he falls out of the ring! Ilja realizes the error but he goes after Walter, only to be CLOBBERED by that clothesline! Walter focuses and Coffey hobbles on the bad leg. Walter goes out to BOOT Coffey down! Fans rally for Coffey but Walter throws him into steel steps! Walter brings Coffey up for an APRON WALTER BOMB!! Walter drags Coffey into the ring and then reels him in, LARIAT! Cover, but the ref isn’t there. A new ref comes in, counts, TWO!?! Coffey survives?! Walter can’t believe it, but at least things are even now.
Ilja keeps Wolfe out of the ring and the two brawl again! Walter heads up top to recreate TakeOver: New York, where he won the belt. Coffey stops Walter with a CHOP! But the bad leg won’t let Coffey climb! Walter clubs Coffey and CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! Coffey falls and Walter adjusts, but Coffey is up!? SHORYUKEN! Coffey manages to climb this time, and has Walter for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Coffey crawls over but Walter is so far away. Fans rally up again as Coffey and Walter meet in the middle. Walter throws a forearm but Coffey gives it back. Walter kicks from the mat but Coffey gets up to his feet. The two brawl with forearms, but Walter kicks the bad leg. Coffey throws hands from all sides, and blocks a chop! To ROCK Walter! Then throw more hands! Coffey is boxing Walter!
The ref counts but Coffey lets up at 4. Walter kicks the leg out again! And sweeps the legs! Walter hurries to the top, WALTER SPLASH! Cover, TWO!?! How is Coffey still in this?! Blackpool doesn’t care, they’re still thundering up for both men. Coffey crawls but Walter pursues. Fans sing the tune of Ozzy Osborne’s Iron Man for the Iron King. Walter drags Coffey up but Coffey resists the bomb! Coffey tries but can’t lift Walter in return. Walter clubs and lifts, but Coffey slips out! ALL THE BEST! Glancing blow, so a SECOND All the Best hits! Cover, TWO! The bad leg bothers Coffey but the fans haven’t given up. Coffey throws his elbow pads off because he hasn’t given up yet, either. “MY KINGDOM!” But he spins into the SLEEPER!
Walter smothers Coffey, Coffey tries to fight back up, but Walter gets around behind. They stand, Walter KICKS Coffey in the back! Then CLOBBERS him on the back, to put the Sleeper back on! ROPEBREAK! Walter yanks Coffey off the ropes, for a SLEEPER SUPLEX! Coffey twitches but Walter finishes him with a WALTER BOMB, and a CHOP, and then ANOTHER WALTER BOMB!! Then the sleeper! Walter wants to make Coffey suffer as he puts on the modified crossface! Coffey taps, Walter wins!
Winner: WALTER, by submission (still WWE United Kingdom Champion)
The Ring General conquers the Iron King! Imperium joins him in celebrating, despite only have the one title to their name. But even so, Imperium has THE title in NXT UK. Will it be only a matter of time for them to completely take over the brand?
Of course, a part skipped was the shocking sneak attack by The Undisputed Era to get Imperium’s mind on them and Worlds Collide. Imperium managed to win that battle, as well, only cementing their foundation in NXT UK.
Next week will be a special New Year’s Eve NXT UK!
Pretty Deadly, Sam Gradwell, Gallus’ Mark Coffey & Wolfgang, as well as Tyler Bate and Jordan Devlin will be major highlights of another festive episode! Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Well of course the holiday episode was simply replays of matches, but they were both great matches to choose from. I like that pretty much the entire NXT UK roster was featured in this episode with their holiday video messages to us, probably the one time when everyone in NXT UK will be seen on one episode. I like that Webster and Andrews took digs at Dennis and he gave them back, gotta keep the rivalry alive. Jinny’s “speech” to the fans was very well done and very Jinny.
While broadcast did not actually have the entire match of Broserweights VS South Wales Subculture, I kept it all because I have it all on record from January so it was only fair to have it all. Same goes for the Blackpool II WWE/NXT UK Championship match. Obviously it was a great reminder of Walter’s dominance, even though we just saw him and Dragunov destroy each other in October. Maybe part of this is to also suggest Coffey could come back for a third attempt at the title, though I’m not sure we’re getting Blackpool III in 2021 because of COVID.
My Score: 8.3/10
WWE 24/7 Championship Results & Report! (4/10/21)
BEHOLD! The Night Panther!!
It’s the epic conclusion to the Legend of the Night Planter!
Mild-mannered Old Spice salesman, Joseph Average, finds himself in the middle of an incredible WWE 24/7 Championship prophecy! But is he hero or villain?
- WWE 24/7 Championship Picnic Panic: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa & Night Panther; Truth retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
R-Truth is having a picnic.
“This is just not your ordinary picnic. We eatin’ good.” And after spraying some Old Spice Night Panther, they’re smellin’ good, too! But Akira Tozawa is sneaking up to snatch Truth’s snacks! Truth goes to reach for some, sees Tozawa, and Tozawa says, “Say cheese~!” What’s Tozawa doing at Truth’s picnic?! And with Ninja Referee (Drew Gulak) and the Night Panther! Truth finds he’s outnumbered! Tozawa and Ninja Ref Gulak grab Truth, and Truth says, “Oh no! Say it ain’t so, Joe!” He went from Average Joe, to Average Ninja! But if you go full ninja, you go evil. But, Joe’s not evil…
Tozawa shouts, “ATTACK!” But stand back, there’s a Hurricane comin’ through! A hurricane? Truth’s insurance covers that. But what is he doing here? What’s he doing here? Everyone knows that hurricanes and night panthers are mortal enemies. Truth confirms. And yet, here Joe is, ruining Truth’s picnic with his baby. Wazzupwiththat?! Night Panther, attack!! Night Panther punches at Hurricane but is blocked and counter punched! Truth breaks free of the kung-fu grip, and hurries with Hurricane to the Truth Cave! AWAY~!
The ninjas pick themselves up and Tozawa blames Night Panther for this. But he tried…! Tozawa takes away Night Panther’s seemingly endless blackbelt. Was this Yokozuna sized? But Tozawa doesn’t care what the prophecy says, Joseph Average is NOT the Night Panther! The “HAH! HAH! HAH!” turns into laughter at Joe’s failure, and Joe runs away in shame. Ninja Ref Gulak tries to talk with Tozawa but he won’t hear it. Will Tozawa ever get the 24/7 Championship away from Truth? Will Joseph Average redeem himself? Or is there truly someone else who the Night Panther mantle is meant for?
Not quite as conclusive as I thought, but this was a pretty great next part to this story with Eric Bugenhagen, aka Ricky Buge, aka The Buge, now Joseph “The Night Panther” Average, who may not even be the Night Panther anymore. I like that we got The Hurricane in this, and if it weren’t for the divide of WWE and AEW, I would love if the cinematic wrestling universe got Matt Hardy involved with this title. Having a brand deal feels right up the “Big Money Matt” gimmick’s alley. I hope Buge returns and proves himself as the Night Panther, or even just as Joseph Average. This is the kind of fun this title needs to be having either way.
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.10.2021
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Given the fact the incumbent champion lost his first round, the ace lost and there were a few main event players that picked up hard fought wins but don’t have an easy day today, this should be interesting. What kind of tournament are we looking at?
Since the tournament is 1 block, each person gets 9 matches, similar to the G1. So using G1 logic, 2 losses puts you on the bubble of being out, and 3 losses is basically death with the exception of weird breakers or fun rock/paper/scissors situations.
So for everyone’s sake, let’s hope we end up at mostly parity to continue to keep everyone alive for most of this single block tournament!
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino: Aoyagi wins via End Game @9:22 – ** ¾
- Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi: Doi wins via Murder Lariat @4:52 – * ½
- Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus: Zeus wins via Arm Trap Facelock @10:41 – *** ½
- Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara: Kento wins via Blackout @13:23 – *** ¾
- Jake Lee vs Suwama: Suwama wins via Last Ride Powerbomb @18:23 – ****
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino
So very similarly to the match against Otani, Aoyagi starts slow. The match begins with a handshake, then he gets driven to the ropes, Ashino slides under his legs during the break to trip him up and starts working over the leg. An early Stretch Muffler indicates that Ashino is most likely aiming to win with the Ankle Lock.
Aoyagi was on the move and constantly clawing for an opening. A few strikes and early knockdown give Aoyagi hope as he goes for End Game, but Ashino powers up and slams him into the corner. Ashino controls most of the tempo until we get a German Suplex trade off spot. Aoyagi ends up taking the worst of it, and Ashino goes for the Ankle Lock.
While in the Ankle Lock, Aoyagi tries to roll through 3 times, but Ashino moves with the roll and holds the move in place. Right before Aoyagi looks like he’s going to tap, he adjusts, grabs Ashino’s head for the Small Package; Ashino manages to kick out. But before Ashino can really re-orient himself, Aoyagi slaps on the full version of End Game. Ashino tries to fight through, but succumbs.
Ashino with two big losses almost writes him out already. Hopefully he makes a small run to suspend disbelief for a little bit and this isn’t his swan song from AJPW.
Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi
Doi comes out of a loss to a major player, Shuji Ishikawa, of current AJPW and Sato avenged his loss to the current Triple Crown Champion Suwama. So at face value, one should think this is a perfect time for Sato to gather some momentum to make sure he gets another shot at the title.
Contrary to logic, this match was interesting. Doi starts off with a quick flurry and picks Sato up into a Torture Rack. Sato eventually fights out and then we get a chop battle, which Sato is notoriously bad at and throws some of the lamest looking chops. Granted, even though he was losing the chops, apparently a well-placed Forearm rocked Doi enough to have Doi selling the forearm for nearly the rest of the match.
Referee Nikkan Lee gets up to seven before Doi starts responding enough to be on the receiving end of a Soccer Ball Kick from Sato. Sato senses the match is over, picks Doi up real cocky for a Brainbuster, but it gets countered into a Brainbuster of Doi’s own! A short range lariat rocks Sato afterward and then off the ropes for Murder Lariat! Sato is stacked up, Doi covers and Doi gets the win!
Well we look to be in an interesting starting spot so far. Who would’ve figured Koji Doi would have more points than Shotaro Ashino…ever. Also for clarity, the low rating is because the match was so abrupt. It wasn’t inherently bad, just not really anything to sink teeth into beyond an upset win.
Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus
There is history with these two, most notable in my head is during Zeus’ only Triple Crown championship reign, Shuji was his first and only defense. So Zeus looks to continue momentum this year, possibly running back the undefeated record of last year; while Shuji is trying to protect his position and title as Gaora TV champion.
This goes the way most of their previous meetings have, where Shuji tries to overpower Zeus. Because even though Zeus is a bodybuilder, he’s a bit on the short side (5’10”). So with Shuji standing about 6 inches taller and not being of a slight build, Shuji loves to buckle Zeus and play the power struggle. Tests of Strength, Shoulder Tackles, Lariat battles, it’s all great power wrestler spots.
Shuji does however start to catch Zeus. So after a chagrining Lariat into the corner, the middle rope Mushroom Stomp and a few Tsunamis; it looks like Shuji is setting up to win with a Fire/Thunder Driver – but Zeus slips out the back! Zeus locks in the Arm Trap Facelock, and Shuji is dead to rights. Stuck in the middle, twisted about in the move, it only takes a few moments before Shuji is forced to tap and Zeus moves on with 4 points!
Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara
Dueling boots start the match, which Kento bails after being on the losing end of the exchange. Otani decides to remind him that recovering on the apron isn’t safe, so he charges and lands the Bootwash through the bottom rope sending Kento flying. As the match plays out on the outside, Kento regains his swagger, talks smack to referee Wada and does his “headbutts around the ring” spot.
After rocking Otani, Kento gets cocky, poses back in the ring and the smug Kento from his previous Triple Crown champion days starts making a return. He gives Otani too much space though, charges the corner, and takes a Drop Toe Hold into the bottom turnbuckle, and then Otani revs up the old kicking boot across Kento’s face for a few Bootwashes.
From this point, both men’s stubbornness comes out in spades. Kento gets a little cocky, Otani catches him on the corner, they fight back and Otani refuses to fall before hitting Kento with a Superplex. Then we go into a strike exchange where both are just wailing on one another. Otani manages to rock Kento and then catch him with a Dragon Suplex for a near fall.
Moving quickly, Otani hits Spiral Bomb, but again only two. So he tries a Dragon Suplex again, but Kento fights out. Kento hits a Blackout to the back of Otani’s head, and now they are throwing haymakers. Kento catches Otani with another Blackout, but Otani returns the favor with one of those Hashimoto Overhand Chops that put down Aoyagi yesterday! Otani goes for another, but Kento Blackouts the chop. The clash leaves Otani in more pain, another Blackout and Otani powers out of the pinfall at 1, but is scrambling and stumbling around, unable to find his feet. Kento hits one more point blank Blackout, and picks up his first points of the 2021 Carnival!
Jake Lee vs Suwama
So watching this second tournament match for Jake, I’ve come to realize what I’m referring to him as during this Total Eclipse gimmick. He is very much “Light Yagami” Jake Lee. He’s cackling when he accomplishes something, unbridled frustration and nearly schizophrenic reactions do really scream Death Note crazy Light.
This match was interesting since early on Suwama didn’t really know what to make of Jake, and Jake tried the same stuff he pulled on Ashino, where he was a little awkward, took advantage of situations and tried to bait Suwama into bad spots. The difference is, Suwama is a veteran and Triple Crown champion; so even though Jake got a few early shots, Suwama eventually forced him back into old habits.
Jake was forced to wrestle, hitting interesting flying kick and knee variations, pulled out the old Kitchen Sink and put in a lot more effort than the first match. Suwama managed to stay resilient and push our new Total Eclipse Death Note wielder. This match was built more around Jake coming into his new persona, and yet still not being able to get passed certain old hurdles.
Suwama absorbed a lot, hit some short range lariats, his Double Chop comeback, and the spinning chop. Jake hits the back of the head Giant Killing, attempts D4C, but Suwama blocks. Jake keeps the pressure up, attempts and old Giant Killing/Knee Lift, but Suwama catches the leg, lifts him into a Last Ride, and puts him away!
Suwama finally gets on the bored, and Jake is left stunned and seething. Which plays perfect for Jake to win the Carnival and earn his Suwama shot, and prove his evolution then.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
So this ended a little stronger over all than day 1, but both days so far have been a fun start. The mixture of upsets and oddly abrupt matches are perfect for a tournament even if they don’t rank high. In the larger picture of things it’s nice to see that a competitive match can end in less than 5 minutes without comedy tactics.
Seeing how Jake took the loss to Suwama gives me hope for this anime antagonist character. I’m honestly a little surprised that the whole tournament is knotted up except for Zeus at the 2-0 and Ashino at 0-2. I really did not think Ashino would be the slow kid in the pool right now. But I suppose since he was just betrayed he’s still finding his footing. Like I alluded to before, it would be nice if he’s just getting broken down to be built back up and not just putting people over on his way out.
Now since the only unique records are first and last, the rest of the tournament isn’t hard to figure out, but here are the standings! Solid first 2 days so far!
- Zeus: 2-0 – (4 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Suwama: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Koji Doi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-2 – (0 Points)
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