Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (12/31/20)
The final NXT UK of 2020!
NXT UK looks back at 2020 and looks forward to 2021!
In one last retrospective of the year, NXT UK throws things back to TakeOver: Blackpool II once more, and relives Tyler Bate VS Jordan Devlin!
- NXT UK 2/13/20 – Gallus VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.
- NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II – Tyler Bate VS Jordan Devlin.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and NXT UK mourn the loss of Jon Huber, aka Luke Harper.
Andy Shepherd welcomes us back to the show!
It’s a special New Year’s Eve episode for the brand that’s been the home for some of the best sports entertainers in the world today! To begin the night, we look back to February to see a showdown of Gallus and the BritAm Brawlers!
Gallus VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch!
Mark Coffey and Wolfgang were just starting their reign as NXT UK Tag Team Champions, and were willing to prove Gallus Boys are always on top! Did the One Two prove them wrong?
The teams sort out and York is already fired up for the “One, Two!” Burch and Mark Coffey start with the bell. They tie up and go around, and Coffey puts Burch in a corner. The ref backs Coffey off but Coffey still gives Burch a push. Burch and Coffey tie up again, Burch waistlocks to a headlock. Fans rally up as Coffey powers Burch to the Gallus corner. Tag to Wolfgang and Wolfgang throws body shots. Wolfgang headlocks Burch and throws him down. Burch grinds his forearm back at Wolfgang’s face. The two stand up, Wolfgang shifts to a cravat and neck crank. Fans rally as Wolfgang puts Burch back in the Gallus corner. Mark tags back in and Gallus mugs Burch in the corner.
Mark wrenches the arm and mounts Burch for the armlock. Fans boo Gallus but join Oney in the chant. Burch powers up, reverses the hold, and tags in Oney! Oney CHOPS Mark then double whips with Burch. Oney hits an atomic drop and then CHOPS Mark! Tag to Burch, they double atomic drop! Then split the wishbone! Oney exits and Burch throws European Uppercuts into Mark. Burch whips corner to corner, but Coffey slides out and Wolfgang gets in. Wolfgang distracts Burch long enough for Mark to get back in. Mark waistlocks but Burch bucks the roll off. Burch turns around, into a BIG leaping EuroUpper!
Mark stomps Burch then drags him up into the Gallus corner. Tag to Wolfgang and Gallus mugs Burch more. Wolfgang snapmares to a half nelson chinbar. Fans rally up and Burch fights his way up, only for Wolfgang to wrangle him back down. Burch endures and fans continue to rally. Burch stands but Wolfgang knees low. Wolfgang whips Burch to a corner, Burch goes up and under, to tag Oney! Oney fires off hands on Wolfgang, but Mark comes in. Oney EuroUppers Mark first! Then hits Wolfgang with one! Then goes corner to corner to hit Mark! But Mark grabs Oney and keeps him trapped, as Wolfgang runs in and corner CROSSBODIES! Oney falls and Wolfgang hits Burch off the corner.
Wolfgang drops an elbow on Oney, then tags in Mark. Gallus mugs Oney now while fans troll with “ET Finger!” Mark drops knees on Oney’s back. Oney throws body shots back but Mark shoves and kitchen sink knees! Tag to Wolfgang, who runs and drops the basement senton! Cover, TWO! Wolfgang keeps on Oney with a half nelson chinbar. Oney endures as fans rally and duel. Oney fights his way up but now Wolfgang gets him in a full nelson. Wolfgang thrashes Oney around, Oney arm-drags free! Oney runs but Wolfgang intercepts to ram him into the Gallus corner! Tag to Mark and they mug Oney more.
Mark knees Oney to the apron, then hotshots the arm off the bottom rope! Wolfgang lurks nearby but the ref keeps him back. Oney gets in the ring but Mark stomps Oney down. Mark throws forearms then tags Wolfgang. Gallus mugs Oney more as fans duel. Wolfgang toys with Oney but Oney grits his teeth. Oney CHOPS Wolfgang but Wolfgang forearms back. Oney gets back up and CHOPS again! Wolfgang throws another forearm but Oney just powers up again. The Boston Bulldog just powers up from every forearm! And then he CHOPS, CHOPS and CHOPS! Wolfgang fireman’s carries for the Wasteland slam! Wolfgang MOONSAULTS, but FLOPS!
Oney crawls but so does Wolfgang, hot tags to Burch and Mark! Burch dropkicks Wolfgang down then comes back to throw hands on Mark! Forearm after forearm and then EuroUpper! Burch whips and elbows Mark down! And again! Burch spins Mark for another EuroUpper! Burch runs into the corner, clothesline, enziguri and German Suplex! He holds on, reels Mark out, for a HEADBUTT! Tag to Oney and the One Two work together. Burch lifts Mark but Wolfgang saves him from London Tower! Oney CHOPS and Burch HEADBUTTS Wolfgang down for it! Mark Polish HAMMERS Burch! Oney CHOPS Mark but Mark CHOPS back! We have a CHOP fight!
Oney gets the edge but Mark whips, only to get a BLOCKBUSTER! Tag to Burch, and Oney brings Mark up. Mark fights back, boots Burch then throws Oney out. Burch boots back and hops up, but Mark YANKS him down! Tag to Wolfgang, and Wolfgang tags Mark back in. Wolfgang catapults Burch into Mark’s fireman’s carry. Burch fights out and wrangles Mark down to a CROSSFACE! Oney tackles Wolfgang, for the BOSTON CRAB! Double submissions and York is thunderous! Joe Coffey coaches the Gallus Boys, and Wolfgang manages to turn over. Wolfgang shoves Oney onto Burch!
All four men are down but the teams regroup. Wolfgang SPEARS Oney out of the ring! Mark grabs Burch for a half nelson SLAM! Wolfgang hustles back to tag in. Fans rally as Gallus works together, enziguri powerslam! Cover, Gallus wins!
Winners: Gallus, by pinfall
Markus and Wolfie win, and we know they’re still on top as NXT UK Tag Team Champions now. Oney and Burch would find their own path to gold thanks to Pat McAfee, will we get to see these two teams battle again in a Champions VS Champions scenario?
NXT UK superstars share New Year’s greetings!
A-Kid says Feliz Ano Nuevo and hopes we have a prosperous 2021. Amir Jordan wants to wish us a Happy New Year. Aleah James hopes we all had a Merry Christmas and wishes us a Happy New Year. Dave Mastiff likes to wish us all a very happy New Year. Kay Lee Ray says that as we approach the end of this year, she hopes we have a Happy Holidays, and invites us to a celebration of the forever champion, her. Mark Andrews is back to give a big thanks to the fans who stuck with NXT UK in 2020 and hopes 2021 will be the best year yet!
Ashton Smith says it’s December 31st and Oliver Carter still hasn’t called. But he’s here to wish us a Happy New Year and that 2021 brings us all the success we could desire! Amale wishes us all a Happy New Year and hopes 2021 will be filled with hope. Gallus wishes us all a Happy New Year, all the best for the bells, Gallus Boys on Top. Isla Dawn wishes us a Happy New Year. Wild Boar also wishes us a Happy New Year HUNT! Noam Dar says it’s time for a celebration, and reflection. Dar’s already celebrating the ridiculous amount of gold he’ll be winning in 2021, just take his word for it from the Scottish Supernova.
Sam Gradwell speaks.
“Alright, here we go.” This is the Thunderstorm with a review of 2020. And just ignore his pet rabbit in the pen. Gradwell is a “wonderful man with a fantastic brain and a remarkable set of lungs. I’m the only man in the history of mankind that can breathe on the moon.” But that’s just between him and NASA. But Gradwell knows exactly what happened in 2020, so you don’t need to tell him. He keeps a very detailed journal, but not written down. It’s all in his brain. “You’ve got to use every sense you’ve been given, otherwise atrophies and you go daft and soft, like a yogurt.” And his buddy, Jeff, told him that, and Jeff owns a giraffe so you know he’s not wrong.
Anyway, 2020, January, “was very cold.” February was only slightly warmer, and March is where it all went wrong. COVID came and locked us all down, but we adjusted, overcame, and Gradwell became an expert in celestial navigation. Gradwell likes to fish, and he went down to the river every day to swipe with his bare hands and grab up from the water no less than 12 Basa, aka Vietnamese catfish. They’re extremely difficult to grapple with, but he did it.
NXT UK in 2020 “had enough steak in the freezer to keep the people fed all the way through lockdown,” and when it emerged, the Heritage Cup Tournament was there to blow people’s heads off. There was also a main event for the ages in Walter VS Ilja Dragunov for the NXT UK Championship, where they treated each other “exactly like my granddad treated the hedge that wouldn’t stop growing. Chop chop chop, off you pop.”
Then there was the return of the Thunderstorm, Gradwell himself, who defied the odds, got back on our screens, and showed us all what a “complex, beautiful man” he really is. In 2021, he plans on doing nothing but rattling kidneys, wobbling jowls, and wrecking people from January to next December. “So Happy New Year, you bunch of yogurts!”
Pretty Deadly speaks.
Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley wish us a Happy New Year and welcome us to “Casa Yes Boy!” For one night only, their casa es su casa. Sam’s been the DJ so Lewis slaved away in the kitchen in return. Lewis has been trying some new cocktail ideas. This first one is… Oof, it looks bad and tastes worst. Well, Lewis calls that one “The Hunt” so it makes sense. How about this one? Smells like fear, that’s interesting. Strong, good, but missing some ingredients. Been on the top shelf for far too long and now it’s stale. Lewis calls that one “The Gallus.” The third one, Sam doesn’t even want a part of! Oh, sorry, that’s Ashton-Oliver, sorry! Awful, terrible, shouldn’t have been playing around.
But to make it up to him, this one he will surely like. Lewis does some serving tricks, pours it out and… Oh yes this smells good, looks good, tastes good! A winner! Of course it’s the Pretty Deadly. #YesBoy! A drink to truly quench the thirst. 2020 gave a taste, a tease even, but 2021 will have a mouthful. So whether dancing the night away with a partner, or alone crying, Pretty Deadly wishes you a Happy New Year.
More superstars have New Year’s messages.
Jinny wishes us all an amazing New Year, and does not want us to set resolutions because we will fail them all. Dragunov says this will be another year filled with beautiful moments, maybe even challenging ones. Be grateful for what is to come, and have a Happy New Year. Kenny Williams wishes us a Happy New Year, from his family to ours, and hopes that 2021 will be the luckiest year ever. Primate sighs and wishes us a happy new year because he has to. Dani Luna sends her best wishes for 2021 and says a happy new year is just inevitable.
Joseph Conners says a new year is a chance for a new you, and you can knock those resolutions out of the park. Perhaps it can be a new Conners, too…? Even referee Chris Sharpe wishes us a happy and healthy 2021! Jack Starz wishes us all a Happy New Year, stay hungry and get after it! Nina Samuels wishes us all a very Happy New Year, and wants us to take our seats to watch the Nina Samuels Show.
Noam Dar’s Supernova Sessions will have a great start to 2021!
The return of Mr. 11’s talk show will have the newest superstar to join NXT UK, Benjamin Carter! What will Dar ask the newest prodigy of pro-wrestling?
More superstars wish us well!
Saxon Huxley maniacally wishes us a Happy New Year and a brave new world for NXT UK. Piper Niven wishes us a Happy Holiday and New Year. Levi Muir wishes the entire WWE Universe a new year and promises that 2021 will be his breakout moment on the brand. Oliver Carter wishes us a Happy New Year and hopes our year will be blessed. Ready and Forward, Always Forward! Xia Brookside wants to wish us all a Happy New Year and hopes we’re ready, because we’ll all #FlyWithBrookside in 2021! Rampage Brown wishes us all a happy and healthy new year. Tyson T-Bone wishes us a very Happy New Year. Eddie Dennis is here to wish us a Happy New Year that’s just as good as 2020 was. “Because frankly, that’s all you deserve.”
Tyler Bate VS Jordan Devlin!
This match dates back to the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament, in which Bate would of course become THE inaugural WWE UK Champion. The Irish Ace does not have fond memories of that tournament. But now, three years later, Devlin feels Bate was a waste of a TakeOver: Cardiff contender, despite the incredible match Bate put on with Walter. In the end, a loss is a failure. Will the Big Strong Boy prove to Devlin he is no failure?
The bell rings, and fans are of course singing for Bate already, just like they were for Seven earlier. Devlin is annoyed and Bate smiles. Bate and Devlin circle and tie up. Bate pushes Devlin to ropes but Devlin turns it around. They end up in a corner as fans chant for the “Big Strong Boy” already. Devlin dirties the break with a quick headbutt but Bate keeps his cool. The two circle again and fans troll Devlin with songs comparing him to Finn Balor. Devlin and Bate tie up, Devlin wrenches and wristlocks, then yanks on the arm. Bate endures the wristlock and spins through to arm-drag. But Devlin holds the wrist and wrenches again.
Bate gets up, spins again, and then monkey flips! But Devlin still has the wrist. Bate gets up a third time, rolls, handsprings and wrenches back. Bate rolls Devlin and has the wristlock now, but Devlin kips up to slip through and kick a leg out. Devlin yanks Bate up but Bate headlock takeovers to counter the saido! Bate uses the legs to bring Devlin up but Devlin trips Bate to jackknife cover. TWO as Bate bridges but Devlin escapes the underhooks. Bate throws Bop up but Devlin is ready for Bang and blocks it! Fans cheer, they do respect that. Devlin kicks low and headlocks but Bate powers out. Things speed up, Bate hurdles and FLIPS Devlin!
Devlin flounders up, Bate whips him to back drop him! Fans chant for the “Big Strong Boy!” again as Bate military presses Devlin! Bate SLAMS Devlin down then dropkicks him out of the ring! Fans rally up as Bate builds speed, but Devlin catches him for an urenage! Arabian Press! Cover, TWO! Devlin argues with the ref but fans start to duel. Devlin rains down furious right hands on Bate but lets up as the ref reprimands. Devlin whips Bate and takes him down with a kitchen sink knee. Cover, TWO! Devlin drags Bate up and back suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Devlin keeps his cool as he drives an elbow into Bate’s forehead.
Fans rally and sing for Bate, even as Devlin chokes Bate on the ropes. Devlin lets up at the count of 3 to drag Bate back up. Butterfly suplex! Fans boo as Devlin mocks the moustache check. Devlin stomps Bate then drags him up for toying kicks. Devlin gives sharper kicks mixed in, then says “There’s only one ace!” Bate blocks the ripcord! Bate whips Devlin HARD into a corner and Devlin tumbles right out! Bate builds speed again, to FLY! Direct hit at the ramp! Bate puts Devlin in fast as fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” Bate climbs up top but has to catch his breath. Bate leaps, into a GUT BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Devlin is frustrated but damage was done.
Fans rally for Bate again as Devlin paces. Devlin drags Bate up and shoves him into ropes to forearm hard into the back! Devlin springboards to drop down on Bate, and then stands on Bate’s head. The ref reprimands and Devlin lets up to drag Bate around by his legs. Devlin hooks the legs up and grabs at the arms. Bate resists but Devlin brings Bate up into the Romero Special! That’s a show of strength from Devlin! And then he chinlocks to bend Bate all the way back! Devlin tosses Bate out of the surfboard and Bate lands hard. Devlin tells fans to stop cheering as he stomps Bate more.
Devlin whips Bate but Bate rolls him! TWO, and Bate dodges. Devlin dodges, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Fans cheer as both men are down and stirring. Bate and Devlin get to opposite ends and stand. Devlin runs in but blocks a boot, only to get a knee! Bate hops up, leaps for a flying uppercut! Devlin ends up in the other corner, Bate runs in for another uppercut. But Devlin follows and leaps, into Bate’s arms! EXPLODER! Bate kips up, but sees the knees coming for the Shooting Star. Bate sits Devlin up to Penalty Kick! Then Shooting Star! Cover, TWO! “This is Awesome!” but far from over!
Bate and Devlin stand and Devlin is in a corner. Bate runs back in but Devlin slips out. Devlin slingshots, but Bate catches him in a torture rack! Bate flips Devlin around, for the Airplane Spin! Around and around and around, for a count of over 30! And he picks up speed! Blackpool is thunderous as Devlin flies off at 50!! Bate wobbles over, brings Devlin up, BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Devlin survives and Bate is shocked! Fans are singing again as Bate and Devlin slowly stir. Bate is up first and fans rally. Bate brings Devlin up, underhooks, but Devlin huricanrana SPIKES! Cover, TWO and Bate sunsets! TWO and Devlin blocks the victory roll, to waistlock and GERMAN! Cover, TWO!!
Bate survives and Devlin is frustrated. Fans rally again as Devlin grits his teeth. Devlin and Bate go to opposite ends again, and Devlin runs in. Bate puts him on the apron, but Devlin slingshots back in for the CUTTER! Bate gets under the bottom rope and to the apron but Devlin pursues. Devlin slingshot CUTTER to the apron! Both men crash and burn but are somehow okay to continue. A ring count begins, and starts to climb as Devlin and Bate lean against the barriers. The count passes 5, then 7 as both men stand. Devlin ROUNDHOUSES Bate before going into the ring at 8! Bate hears 9, gets in at 9.9!! Fans rally again as Devlin grits his teeth.
Devlin drags Bate up, kicks him in the face, but Bate grabs the leg! Bate endures the clubbing forearms to give heavy forearms of his own. Devlin returns it, so now it’s a forearm fight! Fans are on Bate’s side with every CRACK of the forearm. Devlin DECKS Bate with a jab! Devlin drags Bate up but Bate JABS back. JAB for JAB, they have lead in their hands! And fire in their eyes as they keep going!! Fans are at a fever pitch as Bate body shots and ROCKS Devlin. But Devlin throws more hands! Bop up but Devlin hits BANG! So Bate rebounds to the rolling heel kick! Bate drags Devlin up, underhooks, but Devlin slips out to HEADBUTT!
Devlin yanks, but Bate wants a sunset flip so Devlin bucks him off! Only for Bate to rebound, into a SPANISH FLY! BANG still hits!? Devlin flounders up to HEADBUTT again! Both men are down in a daze but Blackpool is rumbling again! Blackpool sings, “Are~ you watching, Vince McMahon?” Devlin is up first and he drags Bate over to a drop zone. Fans chant “UK! WOOP WOOP!” as Devlin climbs slowly. Devlin reaches the top but Bate springs to life to trip him up! Bate turns Devlin around and climbs up to join him. Fans fire up again as Bate brings Devlin in, but Devlin choke grips!
Devlin forces Bate to switch places with him, SUPER SPANISH FLY!! DEVLINSIDE!! Cover, TWO!?! Bate survives and Devlin finally sees what Walter had to deal with. Blackpool hopes they “Fight Forever!” as Devlin drags Bate up for quick kicks to the face, then stomps! Devlin stands on Bate’s hand to then grab it. Devlin mocks Bop, and BANG! Then he underhooks Bate, but Bate slips out to get Devlin! Devlin puts Bate on the apron, Bate HEADBUTTS hard!! Devlin flounders but Bate springboards, TORNADO DDT! Underhooks, TYLER DRIVER ’97!! Cover, TWO!?!? Bate hurries up top to CORKSCREW! Cover, Bate wins!!
Winner: Tyler Bate, by pinfall
Incredible!! Bate returns to Blackpool and finally gets a TakeOver victory! What is better than being an Ace? Being a Big Strong Boy! But it’s already been some time since this win, will Bate return to former glory in the new year?
A really good retrospective to be the 2020 finale for NXT UK. Pretty much everyone on the roster gave New Year’s wishes, and it was clear most of them were recorded at the same time as the Christmas messages, but that’s fine. But Sam Gradwell is an incredible talker. I had to keep going back on the Network’s player to make sure I heard him right and understood what he was saying. That guy should definitely be considered for the Heritage Cup or NXT UK Championship, once he’s built himself up.
And the match choices to replay were great, as well. Gallus VS Lorcan & Burch definitely seems interesting now with Lorcan & Burch as NXT Tag Team Champions. I would love if both teams are still reigning come a Worlds Collide 2021 special so that we could have that match again but even better somehow. And of course anything with Tyler Bate is great, and his match with Devlin from Blackpool II was part of what made that TakeOver a strong one.
My Score: 8.4/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)
The semifinals are here!
The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!
Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?
- Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?
The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!
Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!
Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.
Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.
Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.
Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!
Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.
Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!
Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!
Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.
Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!
Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!
New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!
Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!
Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!
Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!
Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?
Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!
Sanada spins, into JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?
The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?
Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.
Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?
A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.
Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)
It’s lights out, but for who?
Who rounds out the Final Four?
The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?
The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.
Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!
Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!
Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.
Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!
Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.
Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!
Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!
Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!
Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.
Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.
Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.
Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.
Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!
Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!
Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.
The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!
Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!
Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.
Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!
USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?
As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?
Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.
My Score: 8.7/10
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