Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly take on the NXT Tag Team Champions, together!
Though the Men’s and Women’s Dusty Cups continue, the Prince looks to cut down Pete Dunne’s back-up! Will Finn and Kyle hold together long enough to settle things with Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch?
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: MSK VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain; MSK wins and advances.
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai VS Aliyah & Jessi Kamea w/ Robert Stone; Gonzalez & Kai win and advance.
- Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Dante Rios; Rust wins.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Grizzled Young Veterans VS KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff; Grizzled Young Veterans win and advance.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar w/ El Legado Del Fantasma VS Curt Stallion; canceled.
- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins.
- Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch; Balor & O’Reilly win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: MSK VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain!
The quarterfinals begin and the newest team in Nash Carter & Wes Lee takes on perhaps the most functionally dysfunctional one in the Rockstar Spud and Belfast Beast! Will MSK get another big win to follow up their shocking debut?
The teams sort out, Dain lets Maverick start against Lee. They tie up, Maverick waistlock slams Lee down and flips him over for a cover, TWO! Maverick headlocks, grinds Lee down, but Lee fights up. Lee puts Maverick on ropes, the ref calls for the break, and it is clean. Dain’s a little disappointed, he wanted Maverick to show some aggression there. Maverick and Lee circle, approach, Lee waistlocks now and slams Maverick back. Maverick slips around to facelock but Lee fights up. Maverick cranks on the facelock, Lee wrenches out and clamps onto the arm, but Maverick fights up. Lee whips Maverick to a corner, runs in but is put on the apron!
Carter tags in, Lee swings in, and it’s a fake-out to a BRONCO BUSTER! Carter bounces around, lets off and drags Maverick to a cover, ONE! Carter keeps Maverick down, tags Lee back in, slingshot senton! Lee tags Carter back in for another slingshot senton! Cover, TWO! Carter keeps his cool, brings Maverick up, and ROCKS him! Maverick fires back but Carter ROCKS Maverick again! Carter whips, Maverick holds ropes to deny the dropkick, but Carter trips Maverick as he heads for his corner! Maverick gets away and tags Dain in anyway! Dain throws Maverick at Carter! Then Dain DECKS Lee, and goes after Carter with fast hands in the corner!
Dain CLUBS Carter to the corner, tags Maverick in, and then whips Carter to use Maverick as a speed bump! Carter falls, Dain drops the back senton! Dain scoops Maverick to SLAM him on Carter! Cover, TWO! Maverick clamps onto Carter with a chinlock and grinds him down. Dain tags in, taunts Lee, then runs in to back elbow Carter! Dain puts Maverick on the apron, and they meet in the corner with the enziguri BOOT combo! Cover, TWO! Lee was ready to break the cover but Dain glares at him. Dain drags Carter up, fireman’s carries, but Carter slips out to tag in Lee! MSK go after Dain with fast strikes, enziguri to DOUBLE STOMPS!
Fans fire up but Dain is furious! Lee throws haymakers but Dain just tanks them! Lee goes up but Dain shoves him down! Lee crashes down and Carter checks on him! Maverick keeps Dain calm, or at least tries to, as NXT goes picture in picture.
Dain refuses to stay away and he pursues Lee outside. Carter backs off, Dain drags Lee up and CHOPS him against barriers! Dain puts Lee in the ring, stalks him, then drags him back up to bring him to the corner. Tag to Maverick, Dain digs his knee into Lee but Maverick wants him to let off. Maverick drags Lee to a cover, TWO! Maverick keeps Lee at the ropes, Dain tags in but Lee rams Maverick back. Dain kicks Lee in the ribs, brings him around but Lee throws body shots! Dain shoves Lee, Lee hits Maverick but Dain splashes Lee! Maverick tags in and he drops elbows on Lee, then a leg drop! Cover, TWO!
Maverick drags Lee back up, wraps on a chinlock and thrashes Lee around. Lee endures, Maverick cranks harder on the hold, but Lee fights his way up. Maverick headbutts low, throws elbows and puts Lee in the corner. Tag to Dain, Dain stomps Lee, then drags Lee up only for Lee to jawbreaker back! Lee leaps but Dain catches him! Carter can’t reach before Dain RAMS Lee into the other corner! Dain glares at Carter, goes back to Lee and drags him up. Tag to Maverick, and they mug Lee in the corner. Maverick brings Lee up for body shots, then snapmares him to a back senton of his own! Cover, TWO!
Maverick tags Dain and keeps Lee down for Dain to step on him! Dain drags Lee up to clamp on a neck wrench! Lee endures, NXT returns to single picture, and fans rally up. Dain shoves Lee to an open corner and hits a corner splash! Dain drags Lee up but Lee throws a haymaker! Dain DECKS Lee for it! Dain scoops Lee to SLAM him and drop another BACK SENTON! Tag to Maverick, Maverick covers Lee, TWO! Maverick keeps Lee down with a facelock but Lee works towards the MSK corner. Maverick shifts position to a headlock but Lee keeps fighting! Maverick kicks Carter’s hand away, shifts position again but Lee tosses him! Tag to Carter!
Carter rallies on Maverick, fires up and throws knees and a kick! Maverick switches the waistlock to shove Carter to a corner but Dain wants in! The ref keeps Dain back as Carter hits a GAMANGIRI on Maverick! Carter snapmare rolls Maverick and PENALTY KICKS! Carter dropkicks Dain down and fires up! Tag to Lee and fans fire up with MSK as they focus on Maverick! PUSHING MOONSAULT! Cover, but Dain breaks it! Dain drags Carter out to throw him out, but Carter kicks back! Lee dropkicks Dain out! Carter goes up to MOONSAULT onto Dain at the ramp! Lee sees that but Maverick rolls him up! TWO!!
Maverick keeps on Lee but Lee slips under and UPPERCUTS! Tag to Carter, he scoops Maverick, BLOCKBUSTER HART ATTACK! Cover, MSK wins!
Winners: MSK, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
Carter and Lee are bringing the fight to the NXT Tag Division, and will meet Lucha House Party or El Legado del Fantasma in the next round! Will MSK shock even those experienced teams in the Dusty Cup?
The Kings of NXT arrive.
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan are fired up but Pete Dunne is stone cold as always. Will the One Two represent for the team tonight?
NXT profiles tonight’s Women’s Dusty Rhodes Classic match-up!
For Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, “One year ago, an unbreakable bond was created.” And a trail of broken bodies have been left in its wake. History is just three victories away as one team looks to win the first-ever Women’s Dusty Cup! But Robert Stone speaks for his brand, saying Aliyah and Jessi Kamea have been waiting for a breakout opportunity. That starts tonight, then ends at TakeOver when they win this historic tournament. Will #CobraKai and #BigMamiCool crush the dreams of the newly redesigned Robert Stone Brand?
NXT shares an exclusive interview with Curt Stallion.
McKenzie Mitchell sits with the Lonestar and asks what the fans need to know about him. “You ever drive 19 hours straight one way by yourself?” She has not. Well that’s fine. Stallion has more times than he cares to remember. But the reason why was because he had to make it from West Texas to Chicago, Illinois. He looked outside his window to see tumbleweeds blowing around so he looked up at the sky to see shooting stars. He followed those stars with his eyes, and at the end of the skyline is the brightest star he’s ever seen. And that was when he realized he is THE Lonestar Stallion.
“That road I’m traveling down, it represents the life that I want to live. It represents freedom, and to maintain that freedom here in the WWE, I’m gonna strap the proverbial rocket to my back.” That rocket is the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. When he straps that bad boy on, the Lonestar becomes a super star. Then best of luck tonight. Stallion finally gets his shot at Santos Escobar, will he hit his target?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai VS Aliyah & Jessi Kamea w/ Robert Stone!
Ricky Desperado crushed Rhea Ripley in their New Year’s Evil Last Woman Standing match, but with a little help from Captain Kota. Now the devious duo looks to take the Women’s Dusty Cup for their own! Will the Robert Stone Brand be a mere stepping stone to history?
The teams sort out, Raquel starts with Aliyah. Raquel dares Aliyah to bring it, they tie up, and Aliyah can’t even push Raquel back! Raquel swings and TOSSES Aliyah away! Aliyah scrambles up, Jessi tags in, and she goes after a leg. Raquel pries Jessi up to a Canadian rack and even pulls hair! Jessi fights free, sunset flips but Raquel breaks that. Jessi avoids the elbow drop to then dropkick Raquel to a corner! Jessi runs in and hits a BIG forearm! Jessi cravats, Raquel powers out and Dakota takes a swing, but Jessi avoids that only to get CLOBBERED! Tag to Dakota, she throws hands on Jessi and CLUBS her, then pushes her around.
Dakota pie faces but Jessi dodges the clothesline to scoop and SLAM! And springboard elbow drops! Cover, ONE! Jessi scowls, tags in Aliyah, and the Brand drags Dakota up to double whip. They both do the splits, Jessi hurdles Dakota for Aliyah to ROCK her, then Aliyah talks some smack. Aliyah runs to BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Aliyah keeps on Dakota, drags her up and whips her to a corner but Dakota reverses. Aliyah goes up and over and runs back in to BOOT Dakota down! Aliyah talks more smack but Dakota gets out of the ring. Aliyah builds speed to slide but Raquel saves Dakota, and Dakota BOOTS Aliyah! Dakota puts Aliyah in, covers, TWO!
Dakota drags Aliyah up, tags in Raquel, and they mug Aliyah in the corner. Raquel drags Aliyah around to CLUB her down, then taunts her and Jessi to tag. Raquel KICKS Aliyah down, brings her up to scoop and swing for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Raquel drags Dakota up, whips her to a corner hard then tags in Dakota. Dakota runs in to BOOT WASH! Cover, TWO! Dakota snarls, clubs Aliyah down, then brings her up. Aliyah hits back, Dakota clubs her again, then bumps her off buckles. Dakota digs her boot in as Raquel tags in, and Raquel stomps then RAMS into Aliyah! Raquel lets off to taunt Jessi, then she bumps Aliyah off more buckles.
Raquel throws hands, tags Dakota back in, and whips Aliyah for a BIG hip toss! Then Raquel gives Dakota a boost on the DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO! Aliyah survives but Dakota cravats to grind Aliyah down. Stone coaches Aliyah as she fights up, and Aliyah throws body shots. Dakota kicks but Aliyah blocks, only for Dakota to throw Aliyah down by her hair! Aliyah gets up, runs and hits a SATELLITE DDT! Both women are down, Aliyah and Dakota crawl, hot tags to Jessi and Raquel! Raquel CLOBBERS Jessi! Raquel drags Jessi up, fisherman and DESPERADO BOMB! Cover, Raquel & Dakota win!
Winners: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
The unbreakable bond might’ve just broken The Brand! Will Dakota and Raquel do the same to KC Squared in next week’s semifinal?
Backstage interview with The Way.
McKenzie congratulates Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell on their win in the Women’s Dusty Cup. As if there was any doubt! Ever since William Regal announced this tournament, Candice knew the cup was as good as theirs. And Indi says they do not care who they face, they always find a way to succeed. Nice. Meanwhile, does Johnny Gargano have any comments on Regal discussing the North American Championship with the man who has beaten Gargano twice in Kushida? NO! Don’t say his name! Someone else talk to her. Gargano storms off, Candice follows, and Austin Theory says we do not say “Kushida” around Gargano. It’s like The Curse.
Gargano comes back having cooled off, and Theory lets him know he talked to McKenzie about Kushida. STOP! Don’t you know now to say that! About Kushida or The Curse? SHH! Both! All of it! It doesn’t matter if he has two fluke victories over Gargano, he is not getting the title. And most importantly, you don’t say his name! Gargano storms off again and Theory apologizes again about Kushida. DON’T SAY THE NAME!! The Way leaves, and WOOSH! Dexter Lumis appears from behind the curtain!! Does the Tortured Artist have his eyes on a new subject?
Scarlett Bordeaux reads the tarot cards.
“Foolishness tempts the course of fate. The Hierophant’s goal: pass on his wisdom, elevate his followers. Such conviction leads to… obliteration. Stay on your journey, or he will alter his.” #FallAndPray.
NXT shares Brie Larson’s workout, as coached by Tegan Nox!
Captain Marvel has the Shiniest Wizard guiding her fitness journey with upper body exercises! Check out the full routine on Brie Larson’s official YouTube channel, under the series, “Training Captain Marvel!”
Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Dante Rios!
Bivens says last week’s loss to Bronson Reed was the smallest speedbump on the journey to the top. This week, Rust has an opponent more his own size. Will Rust get back on track against an opponent Bivens picked personally?
The bell rings, they circle and tie up. Rust waistlocks and slams Rios, brings him back up to slam him again, then step all over him. Rust isn’t so sure Bivens chose a worthy opponent but Rios sneaks up to waistlock! Rust switches, Rios pries at the hold but elbows free! Rios runs, sunset flips, ONE! Rust runs into an arm-drag but then fakes Rios out! Rust headlocks, Rios powers out and hurdles then drops, but Rust fakes out the next hurdle to DECK Rios! Rust shakes out his arm, drags Rios back up and wrenches the arm from wrist to elbow to KICK! And KICK! Rust drags Rios up to stomp him down, then he hammerlocks the arm to STOMP it!
Rios writhes and shakes out his bad arm, but Rust is after the arm with a wristlock. Rust brings Rios up, clubs the arm, then wrenches to an elbow breaker! Rust hoists Rios up with the arm and spins around to then WRING Rios out! The ref checks on Rios but he’s okay to continue, and Bivens cheers Rust on. Rios throws body shots and forearms but Rust DECKS him! Rust snarls as Rios goes to a corner, and Rust runs in, only for Rios to get around and roll him up! TWO, Rios CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Rust shoves, Rios gets around to backslide, TWO! BACK HAND! Rios fires up, runs, ducks and tilt-o-whirls, to a GUILLOTINE!
Rust endures, powers up by going after the bad arm and he RAMS Rios into a corner. Rios BOOTS Rust, hops up and leaps, into an UPPERCUT! Rios wobbles into a BOOT! Cravat, for the FLIPPING SLAM! And then the roll into short arm scissor, omoplata, DOUBLE ARM BUTTERFLY!! Rios verbally taps, Rust wins!
Winner: Tyler Rust, by submission
Bivens made the right call, and he takes his phone out for a celebratory selfie standing over the fallen Dante Rios! Will the Diamond in the Rust start to shine soon enough?
NXT profiles tonight’s other Men’s Dusty Rhodes Classic match-up!
The Grizzled Young Veterans say they’re not here to be a runner up again. They’re here to win the whole damn thing! Leon Ruff and Kushida are two excellent singles competitors, but they won’t stand in the way of GYV proving they are THE BEST tag team of this generation. But Ruff responds by saying the game plan is simple: survive and advance. Both he and Kushida believe they can compete with any team in the tournament. Kushida says, in Japanese, that “The Dusty Cup represents everything great and prestigious about our business.” He vows that he and Ruff punch their tickets to the semifinals tonight! Who will SSSOON be recognized as the next team into the next round?
Backstage interview with Finn Balor!
What are his thoughts about tonight’s tag team match with Kyle O’Reilly? Before he can answer, in walks Kyle himself. Is Finn ready? Always ready. Then can Kyle trust him? What does Kyle think? Well, Kyle doesn’t have to trust Finn so long as they’re on the same page. Then see you out there. Will these two men, who put each other through Hell, stay united and put Lorcan & Burch through even worse?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Grizzled Young Veterans VS KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff!
Zack Gibson & James Drake were the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions, and they want their shot at THE NXT Tag Team Championships! Gibson has the mic and says, “Another wannabe team who want to take a shot at the GYV.” Kushida in jeans and the “One Hit Wonder” in Ruff! “Lads, what makes you think your five MINUTES of tag experience can match up with our 15 YEARS?! At the end of this tournament, the nameplate on that trophy will read one thing and one thing only: The Grizzled Young Veterans, SSSSOON to be recognized as Dusty Classic winners!” Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem hit the ring, but will they have to hit the brakes against the Super Junior and NXT’s ultimate underdog?
The teams sort out, Kushida starts with Gibson and they circle. They tie up, Gibson gets Kushida in a cobra twist, drags him down to a body scissor clutch and rolls him around. Kushida slips out the back, drags Gibson down to an armbar but Gibson uses legs to hook legs and shift to a headlock. Kushida slips out the back again to hammerlock an arm, but Gibson slips around to trip Kushida, only for Kushida to headscissor back. The two stand off and fans cheer. Gibson swings, Kushida dodges to kick, CHOP and CHOP! Kushida throws haymakers, kicks Gibson to the corner and throws elbows. Kushida whips corner to corner but Drake saves Gibson from buckles, and Gibson knees Kushida low!
Gibson puts Kushida in the corner, tags in Drake, and Drake runs in to back elbow! Gibson hits a clothesline and feeds Kushida to Drake’s windmill kick! Cover, ONE, but Drake keeps on Kushida with haymakers! Drake brings Kushida around, suplexes but Kushida blocks! Kushida wrenches out, headlocks, and Ruff tags in as Drake powers out. Drake ducks but Kushida hurdles and Ruff sweeps the legs! Ruff KICKS the leg and Drake hobbles, but Ruff KICKS him to a corner. Ruff runs but is put on the apron, to ROCK Drake! Ruff goes up and around and under to then dropkick again! Ruff grabs Drake to wrench the arm and tag in Kushida.
Kushida and Ruff double wrench and double elbow breaker! And double knee smash! And double basement dropkick! Cover, TWO Kushida keeps on Drake’s arm and wrenches it, then tags in Ruff. Ruff climbs up to DUMDUM STOMP the arm! Ruff wrenches, steps over and jams Drake’s arm, then wrenches again to another elbow breaker! And another! And another! Ruff brings Drake up again to PELE the arm, then knuckle locks to CHOP! Ruff goes up the corner, hops around and HURICANRANAS! Drake flounders, Ruff headlocks then facelocks and keeps Drake from Gibson. Ruff throws knees, Drake blocks the suplex and wrenches out to WRING Ruff’s arm!
Drake DECKS Kushida, then tags in Gibson. GYV coordinate on Ruff with a double suplex, but Kushida saves Ruff to ROCK Drake! Kushida dodges Gibson, Ruff goes up for a FLYING CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! GYV almost got caught there as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Drake has Ruff’s arm but Ruff fights back! Ruff reaches for Kushida, throws more forearms on Drake, but Drake hauls Ruff up! Ruff sunset flips, Drake flails but eventually topples over, TWO! Drake CLOBBERS Ruff! Ruff gasps but Drake drags him up by his hair to ROCK him with a forearm! Drake tells Ruff to #GritYourTeeth and then DECKS him! Tag to Gibson, GYV coordinate for the PLANCHA BACKBREAKER! GYV taunt the fans then Gibson puts Ruff back in the ring. Gibson stays between Ruff and Kushida, drags him up, and scoops him, but Ruff slips out to hit a neckbreaker! Fans fire up as both men are down!
Gibson and Ruff crawl for their corners, hot tag to Drake and he drags Ruff away. Drake taunts Kushida but Ruff slips under! Drake gets the leg and anchors Ruff, then drags him back into a waistlock. Ruff elbows out hard, and tags in Kushida! Kushida goes up, leap sand ax handles! Kushida rallies with more forearms, then atomic drops to a whip and hip toss! Handspring basement dropkick! Fans fire up for Kushida as he aims at Drake and runs in to dropkick the arm! Kushida drags Drake back up, reels him in, hammerlock and underhook but Drake blocks! Gibson tags in, GYV mugs Kushida in the corner!
Gibson brings Kushida up, but Kushida slips out of Helter Skelter to ROCK Gibson! Kushida clamps on for an IRON OCTOPUS! Gibson endures, pries free and rolls Kushida to then throat chop! The ref reprimands but Gibson tags Drake. GYV coordinate again, Electric Chair and Drake climbs, GRIZZLED DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and shocks GYV! Drake drags Kushida up to rain down fists, then tags in Gibson. Gibson drags Kushida up, whips him to Drake for a scoop but Kushida fights out! Gibson and Drake keep Kushida away from Ruff, double whip but Kushida handsprings for double back elbows! Hot tag to Ruff!
Ruff climbs and leaps to missile dropkick Gibson! Ruff builds speed to DIVE onto Drake! Drake hits announce desk, Ruff gets back in and runs to go up, up and FLIES onto Gibson! Fans fire up for Ruff as he puts Gibson back in! Kushida coaches Ruff on as Ruff runs, twists and rebounds to LARIAT! Ruff keeps going, goes back up top, and leaps for a SWANTON FLOP! Drake saves Gibson again! Tag and Drake DROPKICKS Kushida down hard! GYV coordinate, gut wrench and TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, GYV win!!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
The Ticket to Mayhem is also the ticket to the semifinals for Gibson & Drake! Will GYV repeat as Dusty Cup finalists? Will they break through to be the tournament winners and then contenders to the titles?
And to add insult to injury on Kushida and Ruff, Gargano and Theory rush out to attack them! Gargano stomps Kushida while Theory tosses Ruff! Kushida fights back with haymakers! Gargano SUPERKICKS Kushida down! Ruff gets up but Theory DECKS him, then goes out after him to DECK him again! Gargano stomps Kushida more as Theory drags Ruff up. Theory makes Ruff watch as Gargano gives Kushida ONE FINAL BEAT! Gargano holds his NXT North American Championship up in Kushida’s face, but what Theory doesn’t see is that Lumis has appeared behind him!! Theory looks over and freaks out!
Theory gets in the ring to warn Gargano, but Gargano says they have nothing to fear from “the freak.” Johnny Wrestling may not have to worry about the Timesplitter, but what about the Tortured Artist?
NXT finds Curt Stallion down backstage!
Someone attacked the Lonestar right before his title match! He knows it’s Legado, but what does this mean for the Cruiserweight Championship match tonight?
Backstage interview with El Legado del Fantasma.
It was decided over commercial that, given Stallion is in no shape to compete tonight, the Cruiserweight Championship match has been canceled. Santos Escobar says that’s really, really unfortunate, because he was going to teach “that punk” a lesson. But then Regal barges in and is just as adamant that Legado did this! Escobar says that’s not true, he has been in his room all night. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza confirm the alibi, but that isn’t good enough for Regal. Next week, Escobar will defend his title against Stallion. And if Stallion “mysteriously” gets attacked again, all three members of Legado will face serious consequences. The ultimatum has been issued, but Legado just laughs it off.
Wait, what’s this in Escobar’s bag? The Hierophant tarot card…?! Scarlett dealt that earlier tonight! Escobar, Wilde and Mendoza are all a bit spooked, this is a bad omen. The end is near? The end is near?! Not! Legado doesn’t take any of these threats seriously, but will they have no choice when time is up?
Toni Storm is here!
The Lightning from Down Under gets the mic and she calls out Io Shirai! “When I want something, I don’t just wait my turn. I make it happen.” When Toni wanted to be NXT UK Women’s Champion, she took it from Rhea Ripley. When Toni wanted to win the Mae Young Classic, she did, and it was against Shirai that she did it! Now, Toni wanted to be one of the first women to win the Women’s Dusty Cup, but Shirai took that from her. So now, Toni wants to hurt Shirai and ruin her. But more than anything else in the world, Toni wants to take the NXT Women’s Championship from Shirai! Toni doesn’t have to wait any longer, Shirai is here!
The Evil Genius storms right to the ring, Toni eggs her on, but Shirai snatches the mic away! “I’ll fight you anywhere. I already made it clear. Toni, I don’t like you!” Toni trips Shirai and throws down fists! Shirai turns things around to give those fists back! They scrap back up to their feet, Toni shoves Shirai but Shirai dropkicks Toni down! Toni flounders out of the ring and Shirai eggs her on! But Mercedes Martinez BLINDSIDES Shirai! And then hits the TWO HAND CHOKE SLAM! Mercedes grins as she picks up the NXT Women’s title, but Toni gets in to take it from her. They argue over who gets it first, but Shirai dropkicks them both out! SHOTEI for Mercedes!
Shirai runs in, SHIKANSEN for Mercedes! And then Shirai goes up, only for Toni to trip her up! Toni drags Mercedes out, just so she can RAM her into the apron! Then Toni looks at the title before she HIP ATTACKS Shirai, and then HIP ATTACKS again! And again! Toni gets the hat trick, and then she picks up the belt. Toni wants a new #ShinyShiny, will she get what she wants?
Backstage interview with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
Why did Swerve get in Bronson Reed’s minutes before his match last week? Get in his face? Are we pointing fingers now? Swerve had a “conversation” with Jake Atlas, Bronson got in Swerve’s face about it. But when Swerve decides to get in Bronson’s face, he’s the bad guy. Swerve is starting to understand how things go in NXT, but also how things always go. Everyone’s always blaming Swerve. So here’s an experiment: Point the finger, McKenzie. She does, at Swerve, and then he looks at the hand. How many fingers is she pointing back at herself? Get it? But no more putting the blame on anyone, Swerve’s House has a Colossal visitor, after the break!
Alexander Wolfe begins by saying “Imperium stood together on American soil,” and at Worlds Collide, they showed everyone that they are a force to be reckoned with. “Then everything changed.” Marcel Barthel says they were isolated in different parts of the world for the last year! And while they’ve been apart, Walter still rules as NXT UK Champion. Barthel and Fabian Aichner held the NXT Tag Team Championships, but that was not enough. Aichner says “Imperium’s power is in its unity.” Their unity will restore global domination. Wolfe’s return to NXT is only the beginning. Will a refocused and reunited Imperium regain the gold?
Backstage interview with The Undisputed Era.
What are Adam Cole’s and Roderick Strong’s thoughts on their quarterfinal Dusty Cup match against the newly formed team of Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher? Nobody knows Ciampa like the Era does. They’ve gone to war with him more times than they can count, and they know how tough Ciampa is. As for Thatcher, if the tag match is anything like the Fight Pit, they have their hands full. But they’ve had their hands full ever since they came to NXT. Ciampa and Thatcher are experienced, tough men, but as a team, Cole & Strong are tougher. And as a team, Cole & Strong have more experience. There is no way “those two dorks” are going to stop the UE from becoming two-time Dusty Cup champions. And you know what that is? That is Undisputed.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed!
The issues between Swerve and Atlas were spilling over backstage so Auszilla thought he’d put an end to it. But instead of squashing the beef, he just redirected Swerve’s attention to himself. Will Reed squash this beef by crushing Swerve’s House underneath him?
The bell rings and Swerve circles with Reed. Reed gets Swerve to a corner, the ref counts and Reed lets off, but Swerve KNEE TRIGGERS back! Swerve fires off hands but Reed powers Swerve to a corner! Reed gives those fists back, then tosses Swerve out! Swerve handsprings off the apron to land on his feet! Reed grabs Swerve and drags him back up! Swerve body shots and BOOTS Reed off the apron, the BOOTS him from the apron! Swerve drags Reed up and lines up another shot, but Reed blocks the boot to FLIP Swerve! Swerve tumbles hard and Reed drags him up into the ring. Reed stalks Swerve to a corner, runs in and SPLASHES!
Swerve flounders to ropes, Reed clotheslines him back out, then Reed DIVES?!?! Direct hit at the ramp and fans are going nuts as NXT goes to break!
NXT returns and Swerve has Reed down with an armlock. Swerve throws down forearms as he cranks on the shoulder, but Reed fights up. Swerve knees low, wrenches to a hammerlock and he RAMS Reed into buckles! Swerve keeps on the arm, hooking it with his leg. Swerve drives elbows into Reed’s head and then he pulls on the fingers. Reed fights up, Swerve headlocks, but Reed reaches out to get the ropebreak! Swerve holds on as the ref counts, and he even sneaks in some claws to Reed’s face! Swerve brings Reed up for heavy body shots and then pushes him to slingshot and somersault, only for Reed to SWAT him down!
Swerve staggers up, Reed runs him over! And again! Reed whips, and he uses a FULL BODY ATTACK! Then he drops a back senton! Swerve is gasping for air as he crawls to ropes! Reed drags him up, suplexes him, and holds Swerve up to then shift to a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives but Reed keeps his focus. Reed drags Swerve up, choke grips, and lifts, but the bad arm gives up! Swerve smirks as he runs in at Reed in a corner but Reed BOOTS him! The legs still work as Reed hops up, but Swerve EDDY GORDO KICKS! Swerve CHOPS Reed, climbs up, goes after the arm but throws more elbows.
Swerve cranks on the arm, for a SUPER ARMBAR DDT! HOUSE CALL! Swerve goes up, up and 450 SPLASHES! Cover, TWO!! Reed survives and Swerve is furious! Swerve sits Reed up and tells him to his face, “Never get in my business ever again!” Reed gets up, Swerve SLAPS him, and SLAPS him, so Reed HEADBUTTS! And LARIATS! Reed goes right up top, TSUNAMI!! Cover, Reed wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
Reed crushes Swerve’s House again, will it be Swerve who never gets in Reed’s face again?
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“I’ve been doing this thing for 16 years now. There are the fights you win, the fights you lose, but then there’s the fights you remember.” Timothy Thatcher pulls up a seat next to Ciampa as Ciampa says there are the fights that command respect. Thatcher says the Fight Pit changes a man both physically, mentally, and even changes his vision going forward. “Out of anguish and struggle, respect grows. That’s why I accepted the offer.” The Dusty Cup represents opportunity. Next week, against the Undisputed Era, “it’s gonna be a war.” Will this tandem of tough as nails superstars tear down even the strong combination of Cole & Strong?
Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly VS Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch!
William Regal told The Prince to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. But with no friends to turn to anymore, the NXT Champion had no choice but to turn to a rival. Will the fact they have a common enemy in the Kings of NXT help Balor and O’Reilly stay on the same page?
NXT returns as Balor makes his entrance. He and Kyle stare down but they have to remember their teammates tonight, not opponents. The NXT Tag Team Champions make their entrance now, and they hold their belts up to remind us who they are. The team sort out, Oney starts against Balor and fans fire up as they tie up! Balor headlocks, Oney powers out but Balor runs him over! Cover, ONE! Balor arm-drags Oney right to an armlock! Oney gets up but Balor wrenches and tags in Kyle. Oney gets away and Burch tags in. Fans rally as Kyle and Burch circle, tie up, and Kyle headlocks. Kyle grinds Burch but Burch keeps off the mat. Burch powers out, but Kyle runs him over!
Kyle arm-drags Burch around, has the armlock, and fans fire up as Kyle shows no pain in his jaw. Kyle wrenches Burch, reaches out to Balor but Burch brings Kyle away with a headlock. Oney tags in, the One Two double wrench and double CHOP! Kyle throws a forearm but Oney EuroUppers Kyle off his feet! Tag to Burch, they hand off the wrench and Burch throws a EuroUpper of his won! Burch hits a headlock takeover and maybe now Kyle feels pain in his jaw. Burch throws short palm strikes, but Kyle rolls to a cover, ONE! Fans rally up, Kyle tries to headscissor but Burch shrugs that off.
Kyle fights up, Burch holds onto the headlock, but Kyle throws body shots. Burch scoops Kyle, Kyle slips off and wrenches to tag in Balor. Balor kicks the arm, clubs away on it, wrenches again and tags Kyle back in. Kyle CLUBS the arm, YANKS on it, then rams shoulders with Burch! Kyle wrenches, tags Balor and Balor hops up to drop ax handles! Balor wrenches, clamps on, Kyle tags back in and Kyle goes up to drop an ax handle of his own! Oney runs in but gets double back elbows from Balor and Kyle! Kyle and Balor double whip Burch to double elbow! Balor and Kyle stare down again as NXT goes picture in picture.
Oney and Burch regroup outside, Kyle waits in the ring for them to come back. The tag champs take their time returning and Burch gets in. Burch ties up with Kyle but kicks low! Burch headlocks, Oney tags in, Kyle powers out but Burch dodges the roundhouse and Oney BLASTS Kyle with the running EuroUpper! Oney rains down fists on Kyle, taunts Balor, then drags Kyle up to ROCK him with a EuroUpper! Tag to Burch, the champs mug Kyle in their corner, then Burch pushes Kyle against ropes and chokes him! Burch even fish hooks the jaw! The ref counts, Burch lets off and Kyle clutches his chin.
Burch brings Kyle up to ROCK him with another EuroUpper! Burch snapmares, drops knees, then covers, TWO! Burch keeps Kyle from Balor with a facelock, tags in Oney, and Oney wrenches to snapmare Kyle into a keylock. Kyle endures as Oney thrashes him around, then fights his way up. Oney cranks on the hold, Kyle throws forearms and NXT returns to single picture as Oney ROCKS Kyle with another EuroUpper! Oney half nelsons but Kyle snapmares out of the Half ‘n’ Half, hot tag to Balor! Balor rallies on Oney, hits Burch for good measure, then trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Oney down! Fans fire up as Balor stomps away on Oney at the ropes!
The ref counts, Balor stops at 4, and he sees Burch slide in so he stomps Burch down! Oney runs up to half nelson but Balor swings, only for Oney to put him in the corner! Burch tags in, Balor fights back but the One Two mugs him. Burch wrenches the arm but Balor throws forearms back! Oney tags back in, he gets Balor’s arm for an armbar DDT! Oney rains down rights, fans boo but Oney looms over Balor. Oney drags Balor up, CHOPS him, and Burch taunts Balor as he tags in. Burch ROCKS Balor, drags him up to wrench and YANK the arm, then ROCKS him with a right. Burch keeps on the arm but fans rally as Balor endures.
Balor fights up, throws more forearms, but Burch wrenches and YANKS the arm again! Balor goes to a corner, Burch runs in to clothesline! Cover, TWO! Burch drags Balor up and chinbars to then tag in Oney. Balor fights back again with forearms and CHOPS but Oney ROCKS Balor! The tag champs double atomic drop, to a Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, TWO! Oney keeps Balor down with a half nelson and then shifts to a keylock. Fans rally and Balor endures as Oney leans on the hold. Balor fights up, Oney knees him low and drags him back down! Oney keeps the arm hooked with a leg then pulls on the other! Balor endures but Oney YANKS on the arm!
Fans rally but Oney drags Balor up for another EuroUpper! Balor wobbles, Oney eggs him on, then throws another EuroUpper! Balor reaches for Kyle but Oney EuroUppers, Balor PELES! Both men are down and fans are thunderous as the two crawl! Oney grabs at Balor to keep him away but Balor throws forearms! Balor keeps reaching, as does Kyle, but Oney whips Balor to the corner! Balor BOOTS back, elbows Burch then SLINGBLADES Oney! Fans fire up as Balor rises and tags in Kyle! Burch tags in but Kyle BOOTS him down! And ROUNDHOUSES! And again! KNEE for Oney! Kicks and palm strikes and knees for Burch! Leg sweep and Kyle fires up!
Burch gets to a corner, Kyle runs in to forearm smash! Kyle wrenches to an elbow breaker, then goes after a leg, but Burch SMACKS Kyle in the jaw! Kyle just fights through that to trip the leg! Burch BOOTS the jaw! Kyle runs in but into another boot! Burch goes up, missile dropkick caught to a KNEEBAR! Burch taps, Kyle and Balor win!!
Winners: Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly, by submission
The Undisputed Era’s three-time tag team champion helps the two-time NXT Champion put away the current tag team champions! But wait, here comes Pete Dunne! But while they’re distracted, Oney drags Kyle out to RAM him into the boards! The Bruiserweight and Balor brawl! But Oney gets in and goes after Balor, too! Kyle returns to fight but Burch is in, the 3v2 advantage goes the way of the Kings of NXT! Oney and Burch grab Balor for Dunne to BOOT down! The Kings stomps away, then drag Balor back up, so Dunne can bend the fingers! But here come Strong & Cole! Dunne SNAPS and runs!
The UE run off the Kings of NXT but the damage has been done! Balor and the Era boys stand together against Dunn, Lorcan & Burch! But what will it take to finally settle things between the warring factions?
A great episode for NXT on the road to TakeOver: Valentine’s Day. One thing that’s a bit disappointing but in a way intriguing is what happened with the Cruiserweight Championship. Just as we think Stallion is going to finally get his time on NXT, we get a bait ‘n’ switch and it’s somehow a way to shift things to Escobar VS Kross. Escobar namedropping Kross was a subtle indication this could happen, but I’m still surprised it has. Will Kross cost Escobar his title next week so they can feud without it? I was also genuinely surprised by Lumis popping out of the curtain after The Way had a promo. I have a feeling that with Kushida & Ruff out of the Dusty Cup, Lumis becomes Kushida’s new tag partner to go after The Way, leading into Gargano VS Kushida at TakeOver.
Speaking of, GYV VS Kushida & Ruff was a great match, but it seems a tradition now for Kushida’s team to put the other team over. Last year when Kushida & Alex Shelley reunited, they lost to GYV to send GYV into the finals, now it’s happened for the semifinals. At the same time, GYV is up against either Undisputed Era or Thatcher-Ciampa so maybe GYV does even worse this year. And with Ciampa’s promo, I just knew Thatcher would pull up a chair to join in. UE VS Thatcher-Ciampa could go either way, because there are many story reasons. Thatcher and Ciampa did well against Daivari & Nese on 205 Live but that could fall apart. But at the same time, we know UE has story still with The Kings of NXT, so Oney and Burch could try to screw UE over.
Balor & O’Reilly VS Lorcan & Burch was a great main event. I’m glad there was no dysfunction in Balor and Kyle, they were focused on the opponents, but I do find it odd that NXT continues the WWE trend where two great singles guys still beat a great tag team. The great tag team should’ve still found a way to win, but I suppose that would’ve made Kyle the fall guy, and they can’t do that if Kyle is still to be rolling towards a potential third NXT Championship match. The episode closing with Balor and the UE standing together was a really great image, but perhaps this adds to the math that UE loses the Dusty Cup match.
Imperium had a great promo, but don’t expect Walter to show up. I’m still surprised they got Wolfe out of the UK to the US but maybe the time he was gone on NXT UK was used for quarantine protocol. Depending on how things go with the North American and Tag Team Championships, I feel like Wolfe will go after the former while Barthel & Aichner obviously go after the latter. Swerve has a good promo but he still loses to Reed, so I’m not sure the point yet. Will Sore Loser Swerve return and he goes after Reed like he did Atlas? We got a great segment with Toni, Shirai and Mercedes, I’m starting to think we’re getting a Triple Threat at TakeOver: Valentine’s, just to help get through the amazing contender’s list.
MSK beats Maverick & Dain because MSK is the hot hand coming in debuting in the tournament. Lucha House Party VS El Legado could go either way, and either will make a great match-up with MSK, but does that make MSK a finalist? That’d be surprising, but perhaps in a good way. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez VS Robert Stone Brand 3.0(?) was good but naturally Kai & Gonzalez win. And while Kai & Gonzalez look like the favorites against Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, I feel like that’s reason enough for KC Squared to make it to the finals. Gonzalez is herself waiting in the wings to face Shirai, and it makes for great story if KC Squared are one match away, only to lose to The Way, Candice & Indi.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)
American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!
Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!
AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
- Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
- Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
- AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)
And then there were four!
The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!
A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
- Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.
Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.
Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.
Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”
Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!
Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.
Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!
Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!
Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!
Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.
Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!
It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?
Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!
Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!
Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!
Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!
Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!
Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!
Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!
Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!
Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!
Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!
But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!
Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?
As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”
Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.
Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?
A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.
But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.
Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.
My Score: 9/10
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