Mitchell’s NJPW New Year Dash Results & Report! (1/6/21)
Happy New Year Dash!!
NJPW keeps things rolling even after WrestleKingdom 15!
Nothing slows down in NJPW! WrestleKingdom 15’s fallout is felt here on New Year Dash 2021!! Will Sanada build momentum against Kota Ibushi tonight?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Six Man Tag: The Empire VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji; The Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Bullet Club; Chaos wins.
- 10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Master Wato, Sho, Rocky Romero & Golden Aces; LIJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: The Empire VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji!
Rather shockingly, Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb all LOST at WrestleKingdom 15! But can they all rebound and redeem themselves together?
The Empire doesn’t give Tenzan’s team time to sort out, they attack the moment all six are in the ring! Khan clubs Tenzan, Ospreay throws Kojima out and Cobb is after young lion Yota Tsuji! The bell rings to put this on record and Ospreay continues after Kojima while Cobb throws Tsuji out. Khan clubs Tenzan more while Cobb headbutts Tsuji and Ospreay throws Kojima into the apron. Khan CHOPS Tenzan, pushes him against ropes and CHOPS him again! Khan clubs Tenzan, taunts him, but Tenzan headbutts low and kicks. Khan stops Tenzan from using the Mongolian Chops, and he puts some stank on his hands. Tenzan kicks Khan before Khan can Mongolian Chop!
Tenzan headbutts Khan to a corner, kicks and CHOPS him, then CHOPS again. Fans fire up as Tenzan headbutts more! Tenzan clubs Khan, whips him corner to corner and runs in to clothesline! Tenzan fires up and suplexes Khan up and over! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Tenzan pulls Khan’s hair. The ref reprimands, Tenzan stomps Khan and throws more headbutts. Khan blocks the Mongolian to give the Mongolian CHOPS! And more Mongolian CHOPS! But Tenzan headbutts and Mongolian CHOPS! Fans fire up as Tenzan chokes Khan! The ref counts, Tenzan stops, but Tenzan tells the ref to back off as he stomps Khan.
Tenzan brings Khan up, Khan slips out of the slam to get the arm! Ospreay BLASTS the corner, and clubs Kojima down! Tenzan crawls and gets the ropebreak! Khan cranks the Fujiwara armbar harder until the ref counts 4. Khan stomps Tenzan, drags him up and wrenches the arm to wrap on the ropes! The ref counts, Tenzan lets off to Mongolian CHOP that arm! Khan drags Tenzan up, bumps him off buckles and clubs him! Khan sits on Tenzan in the corner! Fans rally as Khan taunts Tenzan’s team! The ref counts and Khan hops off at 3. Khan clubs Tenzan, tags Cobb, then sucker punches Tsuji and Kojima!
Cobb headbutts and clubs Tenzan, stalks him as he crawls, then knocks Kojima off the apron. Tenzan throws body shots but Cobb CLUBS him down! Cobb drags Tenzan up, hauls him up, and rams him into the Empire’s corner! Ospreay tags in, Khan claws Tenzan’s face and Ospreay throws hands! Ospreay CHOPS Tenzan, throws forearms, then boots Tenzan down! Ospreay stands on Tenzan’s throat but the ref counts. Ospreay stops at 4 and fans rally up. Ospreay clamps onto Tenzan’s arm but Tenzan fights free. Ospreay runs but Tenzan WINDMILL KICKS! Fans fire up and Tenzan crawls to his corner, hot tag to Kojima!
Kojima hits Khan and Cobb and fans fire up with him as he MACHINE GUN CHOPS Ospreay! Kojima whips and runs in to forearm Ospreay, then pushes him down! Ospreay is right up to ROCK Kojima! Ospreay rolls Kojima, goes to the apron and springboards in but Kojima dodges Pip Pip Cheerio! Kojima kicks low and hits a DDT! Fans fire up as Kojima brings Ospreay up. Kojima fires off forearms, spins, but Ospreay blocks to forearm back! Ospreay body shots with an elbow, then reels Kojima in. Kojima fights the waistlock, cravats but Ospreay powers out to ROLLING ELBOW! And a suplex! Ospreay grits his teeth, tags Cobb in, and Cobb drags Kojima up.
Kojima throws forearms, whips but Cobb reverses to get the ATHLETIC PLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up but Cobb drags Kojima up to scoop. Kojima slips off and swats Cobb’s punch away to COZY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Kojima hot tags Tsuji! The young lion BLASTS the Empire corner, fires off on Cobb, then whips! Cobb reverses, they collide but neither falls! They ram each other again and again and Cobb actually staggers! Tsuji runs in for a leaping forearm! Tsuji runs Cobb over! LEAPING SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Tsuji has the veterans hit the Empire down, and then Tsuji suplexes! Cobb blocks, fans rally, and Tsuji fires off forearms! But it’s Cobb who suplexes Tsuji!
Tsuji slips out, waistlocks, but Cobb switches to shove! Tsuji leaps, into Cobb’s arms! Cobb RAMS Tsuji into buckles, then hits an OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, but Kojima breaks it! Tenzan and Kojima stomp Cobb, have him on ropes, and then double whip. Cobb fights off the combo move, Ospreay DECKS Kojima! Khan BOOTS Tenzan! The Empire coordinates, drags Tsuji up, and Ospreay goes to the corner while Khan and Cobb lift Tsuji up! IMPERIAL OSCUTTER!! Cover, The Empire wins!
Winners: The Empire, by pinfall
They have redeemed themselves, but they’re not done! Ospreay rains down furious fists on Tsuji and Khan adds his kicks. Tenzan gets in to go after the Empire, but Khan Mongolian CHOPS over and over! Khan drags Tenzan back up, scoops and TENZAN TOMBSTONE DRIVERS!! The Empire stomps away on Tenzan but Kojima shields him, so he gets beat up, too! Ospreay even shoves the ref out of the ring! Cobb sits Kojima up for Ospreay’s HIDDEN BLADE!
Ospreay gets the mic and he says, “Do you think we’re weak?” Ospreay is weak? Cobb is weak? Khan is weak? They don’t look weak now, do they? They look pretty strong! “You think I was angry before WrestleKingdom, now I’m pissed off!” They will not be defined by what happened at WK15! The Empire will be united, and 2021 will be the year they take over! Khan says it in Japanese that Ospreay, Priestly, Cobb and himself are the UNITED Empire!!
After Ospreay leads his team away, medics check on Tenzan. That brutal TTD did some serious damage, and a backboard is needed. Kojima stays by his friend’s side as a neck brace is put on, as well. Fans clap for Tenzan, will he be able to return to the ring? Or will another have to avenge him against The United Empire?
8 Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club!
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru are still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, but the Dangerous Tekkers lost the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships to the Guerrillas of Destiny! Will Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa help Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasma get a leg up on the Rogue Luchador and Heel Master so that Bullet Club can have even more gold?
Douki and Jado are threatening each other with their respective sticks as the teams sort out. Things are tense, and then just explode into a brawl! Taichi chokes Tama, Loa throws ZSJ out, Kanemaru is after ELP and Desperado stomps Ishimori! The ref has the bell ring just to get it on record as Loa saves Tama from Taichi, only for Taichi to choke Loa! Ishimori attacks Taichi and then calls ELP in. They double whip Taichi but Taichi holds ropes to then choke them both! Fans fire up but Jado gets on the apron. Taichi chokes Jado! Tama runs in but is sent into Jado!
Taichi chokes Tama to a corner, ZSJ adds on, and the ref counts at the Tekkers! The Tekkers finally stop at 4 and Taichi tells the ref to shut up. Suzuki-Gun all dig their boots into Tama but stop as the ref counts. ZSJ tags in, Taichi stomps Tama on the way out and ZSJ snapmares Tama for a NECK CRANK! ZSJ drags Tama up by his ears, puts him back in the corner and Kanemaru tags in. Kanemaru grabs the leg to trip Tama, and he KNEES Tama down! Kanemaru stomps and clubs Tama, tags in Desperado, and they stomp Tama down. Desperado taunts Bullet Club then stomps Tama more. Taichi gets his shots in but Desperado brings Tama up, only for Tama to suplex!
Desperado fights free to stomp Tama’s foot! Desperado runs but Tama plays up the foot pain to distract him, and Jado kendo stick SMACKS Desperado! Bullet Club rushes out, Tama clobbers Desperado while the others hit Suzuki-Gun! ELP and Loa mug ZSJ, Jado SMACKS Douki and then Bullet Club focuses on Desperado. Loa hits Taichi as he gets in while ELP drags Desperado to the corner. Tama chokes Desperado but the ref counts. Tama lets go, ELP and Ishimori choke Desperado now! Tama comes back to tag Loa and they bring Desperado up. Loa headbutts Desperado down, Jado gets in Desperado’s face and Loa chokes Desperado on the ropes.
The ref counts, Loa lets off but Jado uses the kendo stick to choke Desperado! Suzuki-Gun protests but Loa drags Desperado up. Taichi storms in anyway but Loa ROCKS him! Loa throws Taichi out at his team, Ishimori and Jado go after Desperado with chokes! Loa stands on Desperado at the ropes, Douki goes after Jado but gets another SMACK! ELP talks smack on Douki and then tags in. ELP climbs up, Loa holds Desperado, jumping CLAWS to the back! ELP drags Desperado up, tags Ishimori in, and Ishimori also jumping CLAWS Desperado! Fans rally as Ishimori wraps Desperado up. Desperado throws elbows to get free but Ishimori elbows him down.
Ishimori taunts Suzuki-Gun, drags Desperado up but Desperado throws hands. Ishimori snapmare and neck CRANKS! ZSJ gets in but the ref backs him down. Ishimori pushes Desperado to the corner and tags in Loa. The ref is busy with Suzuki-Gun and Loa stands on Desperado’s neck! Desperado flails and ELP gives Desperado PURPLE NURPLES! The ref finally gets Suzuki-Gun to calm down and Loa stalks Desperado. Fans rally, Loa back suplexes but Desperado rakes eyes to get free! Desperado crawls, Loa brings him up, and Loa blocks the straight right! But Desperado pokes him in the eyes! And ROCKS Loa!
Tag to ZSJ and ZSJ runs to EuroUpper Loa into a corner! And again! And again! Loa fires up, ZSJ throws more EuroUppers, but Loa DECKS ZSJ with a forearm! ZSJ fires up and fires off more EuroUppers! Loa ROCKS ZSJ, runs, but ZSJ dodges and leaps to GUILLOTINE FACELOCK! Fans cheer but Loa stays standing, to RAM ZSJ into a corner! But ZSJ holds on tight! Loa powers up again to RAM ZSJ into another corner! ZSJ still holds on tight! Fans fire up but Loa throws body shots. Loa powers out to suplex but ZSJ just drags Loa down to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Tama and Taichi get in, DRAGON SLEEPER!
Kanemaru DECKS ELP then gets Ishimori in a HALF CRAB! Suzuki-Gun has triple submissions! Taichi and Kanemaru let Tama and Ishimori go as ZSJ drags Loa around into a deeper triangle! Loa endures, fights up, dead lifts, but ZSJ wrenches to PELE the arm! ZSJ boots the clothesline then BOOTS Loa! ZSJ runs into Loa’s SPEAR! Fans rally up as both men are down! ZSJ crawls but so does Loa, hot tags to Kanemaru and ELP! ELP dodges Kanemaru, knees low but Kanemaru reverses the whip. ELP elbows Kanemaru away but Kanemaru uses the ref as shield!
Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out, Desperado DECKS Ishimori, then the Junior Heavyweight Tag champs coordinate, dropkick back suplex! Kanemaru scoops ELP to a dragon sleeper, BRITISH FALL! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Kanemaru climbs up the corner. ELP rises, Kanemaru leaps but ELP ducks under! Ishimori seated sentons Kanemaru, but runs into Desperado’s SPINEBUSTER! Tama gives Desperado a TONGAN TWIST! Taichi AX BOMBERS Tama! Loa ENZIGURIS Taichi! ZSJ PENALTY KICKS Loa! ELP Superkicks but into an ANKLE LOCK! ELP rolls and throws ZSJ out, Kanemaru returns but the whiskey shot misses!
ELP rolls Kanemaru, TWO! Kanemaru rolls ELP, TWO! ELP rakes eyes! ELP runs, Kanemaru uses the ref as a shield but ELP gives him back! Kanemaru dodges the superkick to ENZIGURI! Kanemaru brings ELP in, suplexes, but ELP slips out to shove. Ishimori gets a cheap shot in but Kanemaru DECKS him! ELP SUPERKICKS! Cover, Bullet Club wins!!
Winners: Bullet Club, by pinfall
It seems GoD did help ELP and Ishimori get a pin on the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! ELP grabs the Junior Tag titles as if they’re his and Ishimori’s already but Desperado gets in! But Ishimori sneaks up on him, tilt-o-whirls and drives Desperado down! Douki and the Tekkers run Bullet Club off, but will 2021 be just… too… SWEEEEET~?
10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Bullet Club!
Toru Yano is the provisional Mr. KOPW 2021, the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships still belong to Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, and The Rainmaker is still The Rainmaker! But will Jay White redeem himself alongside his faction?
The factions sort out, after Yano plugs all his stuff, and Owens gets impatient. The Crown Jewel wants to take on Mr. KOPW 2021, so Bullet Club lets him start. Bullet Club gives a Low Sweet, and Owens calls Yano out. Yano accepts the challenge, and fans rally behind Yano already. Yano and Owens circle, Yano stays back to ropes but then sees Gedo is up to something. Red Shoes looks at Gedo but Owens knees Yano low! Owens whips but Yano holds ropes. Owens kicks low, whips again but Yano reverses. Owens holds ropes, bails out and goes after the KOPW trophy! Yano keeps Owens from tossing the trophy, kicks Owens, but Fale attacks Yano!
Fale puts Yano in, Owens pursues but Yano gets away to tag in Goto! Owens backs away to tag Tokyo Pimp. Goto and Yujiro circle, Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro headlocks, Goto powers out and the two collide. Neither falls, Yujiro runs again and they collide again, but still no one falls. Yujiro runs but Goto runs him over! Goto drags Yujiro up, headlocks, grinds, but Yujiro BITES the hand! No one ever learns! Hashi gets in to kick Yujiro but Yujiro forearms. Hashi CHOPS, whips, Yujiro reverses but Hashi dropkicks Yujiro’s legs out! Fans fire up with the Headhunter as he brings Yujiro up. Yujiro bites Hashi’s hand, too! Yujiro throws Hashi out, runs at Goto and BOOTS him in the corner!
Yujiro rolls Goto to run but Goto dodges and Hashi basement dropkicks! Owens gets in, Hashi kicks, he and Goto double whip. Hip toss senton! Fale runs in but they dodge and Ishii rocks him! Double shoulder tackle! Evil runs in but the Six Man Tag Champs all hammer away! Dick Togo gets up but they drag Dick in! Okada and Yano join in, and all five hammer away! Fans fire up for Chaos as Dick crawls away. Tag to Okada, Okada clubs Yujiro then drags him up for a forearm. Okada whips, Yujiro reverses but Okada dodges, only for Evil to trip him! Evil tags in and works with Yujiro to double whip. Okada kicks Yujiro, pushes Evil into him, then kicks Evil for the DDT! Cover, TWO!
Okada clap-clap-clap-stomps and fans follow. But Dick takes a swipe! Okada glares at Dick but Evil clotheslines him out! Bullet Club blasts Chaos off the corner! Evil goes out to stomp Okada down, then he finds chairs from under the ring! Evil whips Okada into railing, Evil puts a chair around Okada’s head, and then hits the HOME RUN! Bullet Club regroups as Evil stands on Okada’s head. White talks trash, Evil drags Okada up as the ring count passes 10 of 20 to put him in at 14. Cover, but Red Shoes refuses because of all the shenanigans. White protests but Red Shoes doesn’t care. Evil stands on Okada’s head, then stomps Okada down.
Tag to White, he drags Okada up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! White tags Owens and they mug Okada. Owens brings Okada up, whips him to a corner and hits a forearm smash to clothesline! Cover, TWO! Owens drags Okada over, tags Fale in, and they stand on Okada! Yujiro adds onto the “massage!” Red Shoes is busy with Chaos as they protest, and Bullet Club gets away with it all. Fale covers, TWO! Fans cheer and rally up for Okada but White tags back in. White puts Okada in the corner, rams his shoulder in over and over, then pushes Okada down. White slaps Okada around, then mockingly pats him on his head. Okada stares White down so White rakes his eyes!
White EuroUppers Okada but Okada hits back. Yujiro and Evil rake Okada’s eyes and White digs his boots in! Ishii attacks and fights Bullet Club off! Evil hotshots Ishii down and Owens anchors Okada’s feet! Owens and White drag Okada out to throw him into barriers! Evil mule kicks Okada then claws at Okada’s face! Evil puts Okada back in for White to cover, TWO! Fans rally up but White tags Evil. Fale and the others hit Chaos while White and Evil double whip Okada. Bullet Club starts a string of attacks! Owens forearms, Yujiro boots, Evil clotheslines, Fale splashes, and then Evil mule kicks to FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
Okada survives but Bullet Club attacks Chaos on the outside! Fans rally up, Evil and White mock their clapping, and Evil drags Okada up. Evil fireman’s carries, Okada fights free and gets the MONEY CLIP! Evil powers Okada to buckles and breaks free, but runs into boots! Okada pops Evil up to the Alabama, REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Okada and Evil are down but fans rally up! Evil and Okada crawl, hot tags to White and Ishii! The Stone Pitbull swings on White but White dodges. Ishii dodges back, they switch waistlocks, Ishii spins White but White fights off the suplex! White wrenches but Ishii fights the urenage, only for White to suplex.
White forearms, Ishii roars and forearms back! Ishii whips, White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles but White ROCKS him! White runs but Ishii hits the POWERSLAM! Chaos hits Bullet Club back! Goto and Hashi whip White and then Goto whips Hashi, Hashi CHOPS White! Goto clotheslines White, they feed White to Yano’s atomic drop, and Ishii’s GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Ishii keeps his focus as Chaos and Bullet Club brawl outside. Ishii drags White up, reels him in, but Gedo distracts! Ishii storms over to Gedo but White boots, only for Ishii to block! Ishii ROCKS White, runs in but White dodges to kick and DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up.
White hobbles, Ishii goes to a corner but White runs in to EuroUpper! White suplexes for BLADE BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! White grits his teeth as fans rally up. White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White gets a leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Yano gets in and throws White down by his hair! Owens knees Yano, whips but Yano throws him down by his hair! Fale runs in but Yano dumps him out! Yujiro reverse DDT’s Yano, Hashi SUPERKICKS Yujiro! White knees Hashi, but runs into Goto’s fireman’s carry! SUPERKICK USHIGOROSHI! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, Evil breaks it!
Okada throws Evil out and tells Ishii to finish it! Ishii fires up, fans fire up with him, and Gedo panics! Ishii watches White rise, runs, but White blocks the clothesline! Ishii fights out of the sleeper, then out of Blade Runner, only to run into SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White drags Ishii up, but Ishii spins through to BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, Ishii and Chaos win!!
Winners: Chaos, by pinfall
If the Switchblade didn’t want to quit before, he might now! Chaos stands tall together, will they stand atop NJPW even now?
10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Master Wato, Sho, Rocky Romero & Golden Aces!
Tetsuya Naito is no longer IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Champion, but Sanada is looking to bring those belts back to LIJ! Kota Ibushi rejoins Hiroshi Tanahashi and some other friends to take on the ungovernables, but will he be rolling into his rematch with the Cold Skull?
The teams sort out, and after a photo op for Ibushi’s team, High Voltage steps up. LIJ has the group fist bump, and the Timebomb starts. Fans cheer as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion goes forehead to forehead with Sho. Sho shoves and forearms, Hiromu forearms back, and we’re already fast and furious! Fans rally as the two keep going back and forth, and Hiromu likes it! He and Sho keep throwing forearms, Sho staggers first but he comes back for more! Sho rocks Hiromu now and eggs him on! Hiromu grins as he throws more forearms, and Sho gives them back! Hiromu eggs Sho on and Sho throws more, but Hiromu gives them back!
Sho ROCKS Hiromu, runs, but they ram shoulders and neither falls. Things speed up as Sho dodges and ducks to run Hiromu over! Sho throws more forearms and puts Hiromu in the corner. Hiromu fires up but Sho knocks him down and digs his boots in! Red Shoes counts, Rocky tags in and he has Sho cool off. Fans rally, Rocky goes to Hiromu but Hiromu throws a forearm! Rocky forearms back over and over, then ROCKS Hiromu with a right! Hiromu ends up in a corner, fans fire up with Rocky and he starts up the Forever Lariats! Hiromu boots back, then elbows Rocky away. Wato gets in but Hiromu puts him on the apron.
Hiromu ROCKS Wato, but Rocky grabs Hiromu for Wato’s springboard dropkick! Cover, TWO! Rocky looms over Hiromu and brings him up to CHOP! Fans fire up as Rocky eggs Hiromu on, and Hiromu CHOPS back! Rocky CHOPS, eggs Hiromu on more, but Hiromu CHOPS again! Hiromu eggs Rocky on and Rocky kicks low. Rocky whips, Naito trips Rocky and Hiromu dropkicks Rocky out while LIJ goes after the team! Hiromu goes out after Rocky to whip him into railing! Sanada, Takagi and Bushi club Wato and the Golden Aces as well as Sho. Bushi headlocks Wato while Naito joins in to go after Sho. Hiromu digs his boots into Rocky, then tags in Bushi.
LIJ mugs Rocky, Bushi CHOPS and clubs Rocky down. Bushi snapmares and chinlocks Rocky, then claws his face! Red Shoes counts, Bushi stops at 3, then tags in Takagi. Takagi facelocks and elbows Rocky down then hits the corner! Takagi lets Tanahashi get off easy and he goes back to Rocky. Takagi cravats Rocky, snapmares and runs to then hit Tanahashi after all! Fans cheer as Takagi steps on Rocky then drops a big elbow! And another! And then the back senton! Rocky flounders, Takagi storms over and sits him up to elbow over and over and over! Cover, TWO! Rocky is still in this and fans cheer, but Takagi tags to Naito.
Naito brings Rocky up as fans rally and Naito ROCKS Rocky with forearms! Naito throws more forearms, whips Rocky corner to corner then runs in, rocket kick! COMBINACION CABRON! Fans cheer as Naito poses. Naito scuffs Rocky while fans rally up. Rocky gets up as Naito gives more toying kicks. Rocky throws forearms but Naito eggs him on! Naito fakes Rocky out to then rake the eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, but Naito turns Rocky, only for Rocky to fight out of the neckbreaker! Rocky kicks but Naito blocks and Naito toys with Rocky as he stays out of reach. Bushi clubs Rocky on the back! Red Shoes reprimands but Naito stomps Rocky to ropes.
Naito and Bushi double whip, Rocky ducks under and DOUBLE RANAS! Fans fire up as Rocky crawls to his corner. Naito also crawls, hot tag to Sanada, and he DECKS Ibushi before the tag! Sanada whips Rocky but Rocky RANAS Sanada! Now Rocky and Sanada are both down, Rocky hot tags Ibushi! Ibushi hits LIJ’s corner then goes after his challenger! Ibushi forearms and whips but Sanada reverses, only for Ibushi to FLYING KICK! Fans rally with “I-BU-SHI!” as Ibushi drags Sanada up. Sanada throws forearms but Ibushi ducks to KICK him down! Sanada ducks the Penalty Kick but the standing moonsault hits! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool and he drags Sanada up.
Ibushi waistlocks, Sanada backs him down to a corner! Sanada runs in but blocks a boot to reel Ibushi in. Ibushi kicks Sanada away before Paradise, then sunset flips! Sanada rolls through to get Ibushi into Paradise! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder! Sanada is satisfied with the volume and he dropkicks Ibushi out of Paradise! Cover, TWO! Fans rally with “SA-NA-DA!” now as he fireman’s carries Ibushi. Ibushi fights out, shoves and runs in at the corner but Sanada elbows! Sanada Quebrada but Ibushi gets under, only to run into the fireman’s carry! Ibushi slips off to dragon sleeper, but Sanada spins that around for his own!
Ibushi fights free, Sanada ducks a kick to give a kick. Sanada whips, Ibushi reverses but Sanada tumbles out to springboard back in! Both men are down and fans fire up! Sanada and Ibushi crawl, hot tags to Takagi and Tanahashi! The Ace dodges the Dragon but they brawl with forearms all the same! Fans rally as Takagi ROCKS Tanahashi, whips, but Tanahashi forearms back! Tanahashi hits LIJ’s corner then runs at Takagi, but he blocks a boot! Tanahashi DRAGON SCREWS the Dragon! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he runs, but Takagi follows to clothesline! Takagi runs, Tanahashi gets around, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Takagi steals Twist ‘n’ Shout?!
Fans fire up with “OI! OI! OI!” and Tanahashi goes to a corner. Takagi runs in to clothesline! Tanahashi fires off a strike fest then runs, but into the elbow! JAB! But Tanahashi SHOTEIS, only for Takagi to DISCUS! Fans fire up as both men are down! Takagi tags Bushi and Bushi climbs up the corner. Bushi aims at Tanahashi, missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Bushi drags Tanahashi up, fisherman but no screw, just TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Both men are down, Tanahashi crawls and tags in Wato! Wato fires off kicks and KICKS Bushi down! Wato drags Bushi up, whips to ropes and hurdles to back elbow, back hand and SOBAT!
Bushi staggers to a corner, Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Wato kicks Bushi away, springboards in, FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up, Wato drags Bushi up and KICKS away from both sides! Bushi writhes and Wato aims again, but Bushi ducks the buzzsaw to shove! Naito kicks, Bushi sunset flips to send Wato into Naito’s basement dropkick! LIJ hits the corner, Bushi drags Wato up and FISHERMAN SCREWS! Bushi goes to the corner and climbs up. Wato rises, Bushi leaps, M- No, Wato gets under! Rocky gets in to JUMPING KNEE Bushi! Naito dropkicks Rocky’s legs out! Sho LARIATS Naito, Hiromu and Sho collide but Hiromu ranas!
Sho blocks to lift, but Hiromu slips out of the bomb to SUPERKICK! Wato LEG LARIATS Hiromu! Wato dodges Bushi, DREAMCAST KICK! Fans fire up as Wato drags Bushi up. Wato wrenches, reels Bushi in, but no Mouse Trap! Bushi slips out, Wato BACK HANDS him down! Wato whips Bushi corner to corner, runs in but Bushi dodges! Takagi corner clotheslines Wato, feeds to Sanada’s kick, calm ‘n’ fury combo! Bushi BACKSTABBERS! Cover, the Golden Aces break it! Sanada throws Ibushi out, Takagi throws Tanahashi out, and Bushi wrenches Wato to hook him up, INVERTED PAGE TURNER?! Cover, TWO!?! Wato survives but Bushi doesn’t lose focus. Bushi goes up, takes aim at Wato, M X!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
The Death Mask downs the Grandmaster and wins for the team! But even so, Tanahashi stares down Takagi and Sho stares down Hiromu. Do they have the NEVER Openweight and IWGP Junior Heavyweight titles in their sights? Of course, the same goes for Sanada wanting both of Ibushi’s belts. As Ibushi’s team takes its leave, Bushi gets the mic. “Too bad for you, Kawato, but I beat you tonight. Coming out of WrestleKingdom, it’s me and Naito with our hands in our pockets.” Naito seems a bit surprised to hear that.
Takagi has the NEVER title, Hiromu has the Junior title, and Sanada has lined up a title match. What about the rest of them? Bushi wants after Kawato! Try as he might, Wato will never beat Bushi, because Bushi won’t allow it. “In 2021, this ring will belong to us. EN SERIO! MA-JI-DE!” Hiromu sets his BOSJ 27 trophy and title belt up front as he and LIJ pose together. Will 2021 truly be El Ano del Ingobernables?
This was a pretty fun New Year Dash. Yes I skipped some things, but Yuji Nagata was of course going to beat a Young Lion, and Tiger Mask was teamed with a Young Lion so his team was losing. The Empire didn’t get to have any of their moments at WK15 but they seem to be using that to justify having their moment today, and then making the rest of 2021 their year. If they are not the United Empire, perhaps they will go after the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships. If they can’t beat Okada, they can at least take their frustrations out on the rest of Chaos.
Chaos stands tall over the part of Bullet Club they fought, so it’d be a good story for 2021 that the apparent top faction has to fight the newest one. The other part of Bullet Club wins the 8 Man Tag to set up a Junior Heavyweight tag title match, which I’m sure is going to be really good stuff. LIJ VS Ibushi and friends was a lot of fun, but with everything being set up between the respective wrestlers, LIJ wins to go strong into the rest of the year. It is clear we’re getting Takagi VS Tanahashi, Hiromu VS Sho and Ibushi VS Sanada, and I suppose Bushi VS Wato will make for a good story. Perhaps bring Naito and Taguchi into it since Taguchi teams with Wato, and because Naito needs something to do.
My Score: 8.2/10
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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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