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Mitchell’s NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day Results & Report! (2/14/21)

Everyone loves a good TakeOver!

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TakeOver: Vengeance Day Coverage

Whose hearts will be broken on this historic TakeOver?

NXT is taking over Valentine’s and replacing the roses and chocolates with gold and grudges! Will Finn Balor still reign after battling the Bruiserweight?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez; Kai & Gonzalez win and will challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
  • NXT North American Championship: Johnny Gargano VS KUSHIDA; Gargano wins and retains the title.
  • Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Grizzled Young Veterans VS MSK; MSK wins and will challenge for the NXT Tag Team Championships.
  • NXT Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Io Shirai VS Mercedes Martinez VS Toni Storm; Shirai wins and retains the title.
  • NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Pete Dunne; Balor wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

It’s the TakeOver Preshow!

Join Sam Roberts, Wade Barrett and the host of Barstool Sports’ podcast, Rasslin’, Brandon Walker, analyze discuss and predict all the great action on this lovely holiday!

 

Backstage interview with MSK.

Wes Lee and Nash Carter are here and excited to be in the Dusty Rhodes Classic finals! They haven’t slept since Wednesday, Carter has been pacing in his house all pumped up. Lee is the same, because they’ve been in the WWE for a very, very short time and already they are Dusty Cup finalists. “It doesn’t get any better than that.” And apologies to Grizzled Young Veterans- That’s how you say it? Because every time they walk out they’re like, GRRRIZZLED Young Veterans. Well they’re going to be the GRRRIZZLED Young LOSERS tonight, second year in a row. MSK takes the cup! It’s their time! MSK all night and all day!

 

Wait, who is this crashing the panel?

“It was about that time that we went ahead and injected a little bit of star power! Let me talk to ya!” Wait, it’s ELI DRAKE! And he’s telling Sam to step back, no one is here to hear his “prepubescent voice.” At least with Wade, there’s some bass in his voice. But this isn’t about sucking up to Wade, because if he looks at Eli the wrong way, he’ll still drag Wade out of retirement just to send him back into it! “Because I’ve got the scoop!” Standing right here, in front of this awkward idiot from Barstool Sports, this is gonna go viral! NXT just got LA! Eli Drake is now LA Knight!

What that means is NXT being THE premier roster, the greatest talent, all right here. So that means it is a stacked deck. While everyone’s playing cards, he’s rolling dice and he changed the game! So then everyone back there, from North American Championship to THE NXT Championship, watch out! Knight’s coming for you! Just like these bewildered, cross-eyed halfwits behind him will be saying, everyone’s gonna go, “Whose game is it?” It’s LA Knight’s game!! Is Knight about to put every other player in check?

 

NXT, will you be my Valentine?

Wrestle & Flow, himself, Josiah Williams, breaks it down from top to bottom! Women’s Dusty Cup makes history for the Women’s (R)Evolution, the Evil Genius tries to ride the Mercedes and weather the Storm, and while some #MustSeeKids take on some Grizzled Young Veterans, the Prince protects his throne from a Bruiserweight!

 

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez!

History is being made once again! The first-ever Women’s Tag Team tournament in NXT has finally reached the goal, and only one duo can challenge the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions! But will the wild child and Shenom Take Care o’ Business? Or will #CapKota and #BigMamiCool crush those dreams while chasing their own?

The teams sort out and Shotzi starts against Raquel as fans fire up already. Shotzi runs but gets run over, and Raquel drags her up to scoop. Shotzi slips around to a sleeper and body scissors! Raquel throws Shotzi off hard, Ember tags in, and Ember gets around to waistlock. Raquel tries to throw Ember off but Ember holds on, so Raquel elbows free! Ember comes back and tilt-o-whirls into an IRON OCTOPUS! Raquel stays up, powers up and hits a SIDEWALK SLAM! Shotzi tags back in and Raquel dares them both to bring it! Raquel runs in but into double kicks! Ember and Shotzi club, wrench, but Raquel kicks Shotzi away and whips Ember to a corner.

Ember leaps but the Code Breaker is blocked! Raquel throws Ember out, but Shotzi comes around to springboard and sunset flip! Raquel drops down to cover, TWO! Raquel brings Shotzi up and around and thrashes her into a corner! Raquel RAMS Shotzi, scoops her, and then spins around before she RAMS Shotzi into another corner! Dakota tags in, Raquel still holds Shotzi up and Dakota BOOTS her into the SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Dakota drags Shotzi up and whips her to a corner. Dakota runs around the world but Shotzi dodges! The boot gets stuck, Shotzi kicks the leg! Dakota shoves Shotzi away but Shotzi gets the legs for a Cloverleaf SPINEBUSTER!

Shotzi steps over and sits deep, but Dakota reaches for ropes! Dakota gets the ropebreak, Shotzi lets go to tag Ember. Shotzi puts Dakota on the ropes, and welcomes her to the BALL PIT! Ember KNEES Dakota back in then slingshot SPLASHES! Cover, TWO! Ember drags Dakota back up, wrenches, tags in Shotzi, and they split the wishbone on Dakota! Shotzi gets the leg, drags Dakota over, throws forearms, then puts a leg on ropes. Dakota fights both Shotzi and Ember off, but Shotzi blocks the Penalty Kick to roll back! HALF CRAB! Shotzi sits on the leg deep, Dakota endures and fights her way up, to enziguri but miss! Tag to Ember, she and Shotzi each take a leg for a rolling TOSS!

Ember has a HEEL HOOK! Dakota endures, punches at Ember’s leg, but Ember cranks harder on the hold! Dakota drags herself and Ember, but Ember drags Dakota back the other way! Dakota endures, throws hands, but Ember hits back. Ember cranks on the heel more, but Dakota keeps kicking and crawling. Dakota reaches, but Ember drags her away from Raquel again! Fans rally while Raquel is chomping at the bit. Dakota uses her free leg to kick and stomp Ember! Dakota drags herself back over but Ember kicks and stomps her back! Ember drags Dakota over, but Raquel distracts the ref from seeing the tag to Shotzi!

Shotzi has to go back out, Ember argues with the ref but Dakota is crawling to her corner! Ember runs over to DECK Raquel and drag Dakota away! Ember gives the leg a DDT! Ember turns the leg for a scorpion crab! Dakota crawls for an open corner, rolls and throws Ember into buckles! Hot tag to Raquel! Raquel rallies on Ember, Ember dodges one clothesline but Raquel pulls hair to give another LARIAT! Raquel shoves Ember to a corner and dribbles her off buckles! The ref reprimands, Raquel TOSSES Ember across the way! Raquel sucker punches Shotzi, then scoops Ember for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Raquel drags Ember up to FALL AWAY SLAM again!

Raquel drags Shotzi in, scoops her, and gives her a FALL AWAY SLAM! Cover on Ember, ONE!! Raquel is seething but Dakota is back. Raquel tags her in, then helps Dakota balance up top, to leap and LARIAT Ember! Cover but Shotzi sentons it apart! Shotzi throws hands on Raquel, Raquel throws her to the apron, but Shotzi drags Raquel out! Shotzi keeps throwing hands, then leaps, only for the rana to be blocked! Raquel BOMBS Shotzi into the boards! Raquel tells Dakota they can finish this now that it’s just Ember. Dakota tags Raquel but Ember runs in and dropkicks Raquel down! Ember boots Dakota away then hits a SPINNING POWERSLAM!

Raquel returns, Ember fires off on her but Raquel clinches Ember for Dakota’s DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!! Ember survives but Raquel drags her up, only for Ember to jawbreaker! Raquel ROCKS Ember with a right and tags in Dakota. Raquel whips Ember to a corner, Dakota runs in side to side to BOOT WASH! Dakota drags Ember to a cover, TWO! Dakota grows annoyed, but she drags Ember back up and over. Tag to Raquel, but Ember moves and Raquel CLOBBERS Dakota by accident! Ember dodges Raquel, then sends Dakota into her! Ember runs to LEG LARIAT Raquel and make her DDT Dakota!

Ember goes up top, leaps, ECLIPSE!! Cover, but Dakota distracts the ref! Dakota saves Raquel but Ember gets the ref’s attention. The count finally starts, TWO!! Raquel survives thanks to Dakota! Ember is furious and she drags Dakota in by her hair! Raquel gets Ember but Shotzi missile dropkicks outta nowhere! Cover, TWO!! Ember SUPERKICKS Raquel down! Cover, TWO!! Raquel is still in this but fans are fired up! “This is Awesome!” as Dakota and Shotzi tag in! Shotzi shotguns Dakota down, then arm-drags her around! Shotzi runs in to corner splash! Shotzi rolls Dakota to SLING-DOG! Fireman’s carry, SWINGING FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!!

Dakota survives, Shotzi fires up, but Dakota throws Shotzi into ropes! Tag to Raquel, Shotzi enziguris her first! Raquel wobbles, Shotzi cravats and goes up the corner, but no Sliced Bread! Raquel shoves Shotzi to the ropes, Shotzi elbows her back, and then cravats again, for a SUPER SLICED BREAD!! Cover, but Dakota breaks it! Ember storms right in to throw Dakota out hard! Ember opens the way, Shotzi DIVES! Direct hit takes Dakota down! Fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” as Shotzi hurries back in. Raquel staggers up, Shotzi tags Ember. Ember climbs, Shotzi sets Raquel up, NECKBRAEKER to CODE BREAKER! Springboard SUNSET BOMB! Ember covers, TWO!

Ember hurries right up but Dakota is there! Ember kicks Dakota away, Shotzi grabs Dakota! SUPER DOOMSDAY!! Shotzi and Ember rise and high-five, but Raquel comes around to CLOBBER Shotzi! Ember avoids Raquel’s clothesline, and DROPKICKS her into the steel steps! Ember gets in the ring, Raquel grabs a foot but Ember kicks her away. Raquel still pursues, Ember kicks the legs out, then gets those legs for a figure four, EMBER’S LAW!! Raquel endures the crossface, but Dakota BOOTS Ember down! Dakota hurries away, tags in, but so does Shotzi! Shotzi fires off on Dakota but Dakota shoves and SCORPION KICKS!

Dakota hops on for KAI-ROPRACTOR! Cover, TWO!?! Shotzi survives but Dakota tags to Raquel! Raquel scoops Shotzi, Dakota runs, ASSISTED GO TO KICK! Cover, Ember breaks it! Raquel shoves Ember, and then POUNCES her out of the ring onto the ramp!! Ember crashes and burns, Raquel storms out and POUNCES her to the boards!! Raquel makes sure Ember is out but Shotzi triangle SPLASHES Raquel down! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi dropkicks Raquel, but Dakota runs over! Shotzi throws Dakota out to Raquel and they crash onto the ramp! Fans are thunderous as Shotzi goes up top, only for Raquel to shove her right down!

Raquel picks Dakota up to TOSS her onto Shotzi for a splash! Then Raquel drags Shotzi up to finish her, with the DESPERADO BOMB!! Double cover, Raquel & Dakota win!!

Winners: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, by pinfall (inaugural Women’s Dusty Cup Winners)

And history has found its makers! William Regal congratulates them on stage, and the confetti flies! But this is just the beginning! When will these two have their shot against the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions? And who will they be facing when that time comes?

 

NXT North American Championship: Johnny Gargano VS KUSHIDA!

The Way has been doing things their way and getting away with it. But the Time Splitter wants to end that! Will Kushida start to get his way with the title?

The Way hypes Johnny TakeOver up backstage, and they head out together. But with Johnny and Candice leading the way, they don’t see Dexter Lumis KIDNAPPING AUSTIN THEORY!! Indi didn’t even notice and now they’re down the #RealSuperstar! And Gargano can’t get his No Look High Five! Candice and Indi realize Theory is gone, so they go look for him. Gargano has to focus, but can he?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, Gargano and Kushida finally have this match out!

Gargano and Kushida tie up, Gargano headlocks, Kushida powers out but Gargano runs him over! Things speed up, Gargano rolls but Kushida leaps on with body scissors! HOVERBOARD! Gargano gets to ropes right away and Kushida lets go. Kushida says it was that close, but Gargano just shakes his arm out. Gargano and Kushida go again, Kushida wants a leg but Gargano guards. They clinch, Gargano goes low to get the leg, trips Kushida, but Kushida uses legs to hold him off. Kushida shifts around, Gargano has the leg to toehold, but Kushida moves around to get Gargano’s arm again. Kushida gets a chinlock, digs his elbows in, then shifts around again to get the arm.

Fans rally as the two go back and forth, Kushida facelocks but Gargano blocks with holding Kushida’s leg. Kushida ties up Gargano’s legs for a figure four stretch, then wants an arm. Gargano blocks that but Kushida rolls to go right after it! Kushida digs forearms into Gargano’s face, pries at the arm, but Gargano shifts and gets a double wristlock of his own. Kushida fights up, Gargano facelocks, wrenches, wristlocks, and leans on Kushida. Kushida wrenches and sips around to drop toehold. Kushida shifts right to a facelock and fans rally again. Kushida wants the arms, Gargano blocks, so Kushida KNEES him in the shoulder!

Kushida holds on as Gargano rolls, then he floats all over to get the chinlock. Gargano endures as Kushida pulls back, then they fight up to their feet. Gargano powers out of the hold but Kushida runs him over! Things speed up, Gargano hurdles but Kushida leaps. Gargano ranas but Kushida handsprings through! Kushida runs into the school boy but ducks the kick! Gargano avoids a kick, too, then kicks low to whip. Kushida reverse, hip toss but Gargano rolls through to drag Kushida down to a press, then hooks the legs but Kushida escapes the ghost pin to STEAL the GargaNO Escape! Gargano scrambles to ropes, Kushida lets go, and fans are fired up for this technical exchange!

Kushida wrenches but Gargano ROCKS him and EuroUppers! Kushida fires off forearms in return but Gargano throws Kushida out. Gargano runs, slides but Kushida avoids the dropkick! Kushida is on the apron, Gargano avoids his leaping attack, then Gargano goes to the apron to SUPERKICK! Gargano drags Kushida up and RAMS him into steel steps! “This is MY world!” The ref checks on Kushida but he’s okay to continue, and fans jeer Gargano with “Johnny Sucks!” Gargano drags Kushida up, but Kushida suplexes to FALCON ARROW, to an ARMBAR! The ring count begins, it passes 5 of 10 and Kushida lets go at 7!

Kushida refreshes the count, throws off his shirt, and drags Gargano back up. Kushida hammerlocks Gargano’s arm, drags him around in a facelock, and hits a suplex ONTO the hammerlock’d arm! Gargano writhes from the chicken wing suplex, and the ring count is back up at 7! Kushida puts Gargano back in, then aims from a corner. Kushida runs around the world to dropkick the arm! Kushida stands on Gargano’s head and SLAMS the arm down! Gargano tries to leg guard but Kushida fights through it to go after the bad arm. Kushida throws down elbows, then pulls on Gargano’s arm. Gargano endures, Kushida SLAMS the arm again!

Kushida sits Gargano up, wrenches the arm, then isolates it, but Gargano powers out of the bulldog. Gargano runs into an elbow, then a boot! Kushida ends up on the apron but Gargano catches him in the ropes for a HOTSHOT NECKBREAKER! Kushida flops down to the floor while Gargano works on his bad arm. Gargano goes out to fetch Kushida but Kushida hits back. Gargano boots Kushida down, drags him up and puts him on the apron. Gargano SLAMS Kushida on the apron edge, then clubs him with elbows! The ring count is climbing, but Gargano gets in at 7. Gargano drags Kushida up, snap suplexes then covers, ONE!

Gargano drags Kushida up, turns him, but Kushida takes advantage of the bad arm to hook them! Gargano fights the backslide to spin Kushida for a GOURD BUSTER! Gargano PENALTY KICKS Kushida’s arm! Gargano mocks Kushida checking his watch, then stalks Kushida to a corner. Kushida clutches his arm but Gargano pulls Kushida against ropes with a chinlock! The ref reprimands and counts, Gargano lets off and brings Kushida up. Gargano wrenches, hooks up the arm and twists the neck. Gargano’s bad arm makes it difficult to hold the neck wrench, and Kushida fights free. Kushida hooks Gargano up for the IRON OCTOPUS!

Kushida gets the bad arm isolated and pulls! Gargano powers out, sits on the sunset flip, TWO and Kushida completes the flip! TWO, Gargano high stacks, ONE as Kushida pops him to a sunset! ONE as Gargano pushes to a lateral press, ONE as Kushida drags Gargano to a ghost pin! TWO, Gargano steps over an arm, but Kushida trips him up to do the same, La Magistrol! TWO, and DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! Fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” as Gargano and Kushida stir. Gargano gets his bad arm moving, Kushida grits his teeth. They both rise up, Gargano throws forearms but Kushida returns them!

Kushida kicks, Gargano blocks, Kushida fires off more then atomic drops to hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick! FAST BALL!! Kushida has the arms for INVERTED DANIELSON STOMPS! Kushida drags Gargano back up, underhooks the arms, but Gargano blocks! Gargano slips out to ROCK Kushida! Kushida ROCKS Gargano! Gargano ROCKS Kushida, then intercepts the Fast Ball with an enziguri! Kushida enziguris but Gargano ducks! Kushida ducks the buzzsaw and trips Gargano up, ANKLE LOCK! Gargano endures, fights up, gets the ropes, but Kushida reels him into a GERMAN SUPLEX! BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives because of his superhuman heart and Kushida can’t believe it!

The fans rally up, Kushida wrenches but Gargano CLUBS Kushida! Gargano runs but Kushida throws him out, to then handspring kick, but Gargano gets clear! Gargano slingshots, but Kushida catches the spear! Kushida hooks up the arms, rolls, chicken wing suplex with a BRIDGE! Cover, TWO!?! Gargano escapes and fans chant, “That Was Three!” Fans duel, Kushida stalks Gargano to the apron, but Gargano resists being brought back up. Kushida gets him up but Gargano ENZIGURIS back! Gargano slingshots, into the FAST BALL! Kushida drags Gargano up to wrench the arm through ropes, to POST the arm!!

Fans are thunderous as Kushida climbs up and drags Gargano up the corner. Gargano resists but Kushida has the KIMURA! Kushida drags Gargano up but Gargano shoves him away. Gargano adjusts but Kushida HANDSPRING KICKS! Kushida sits Gargano up, positions him just right, then climbs up to get the arm! Gargano endures the Kimura, Kushida shifts, but Gargano borrows and modifies MS. LERAE’S WILD RIDE! Gargano drags Kushida up, TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO?!?! Kushida survives and fans are thunderous again! Gargano seethes, staggers up and drags Kushida into a scoop. Kushida fights out, waistlocks, but Gargano has the arm!

Gargano wrenches, Kushida spins and arm-drags, but Gargano dodges to tilt-o-whirl! Kushida slips free, he tilt-o-whirls and hits a takedown! But Gargano slips out, gets Kushida, but Kushida slips out! They keep switching back and forth, Kushida gets a FUJIWARA! Gargano shifts but Kushida makes it an ARMBAR! Gargano makes that a cover, TWO!! DOUBLE LARIATS! They both fall to knees, and DOUBLE LARIAT again!! The fans are into electric territory as both men are down! A standing count begins, Gargano and Kushida slowly rise, and Kushida throws a forearm! Gargano throws a forearm back, so Kushida throws another.

They go back and forth, fans duel as they go, and Gargano brings Kushida up. Gargano throws a forearm but Kushida KICKS away on the arm! Kushida whips, Gargano reverses, but Kushida handsprings, into Gargano’s TAKEDOWN! GargaNo Escape!! Kushida endures, moves around, and fans rally as he reaches. Kushida gets his one arm free to go after Gargano’s bad arm! They roll around, Kushida has the KIMURA! Gargano endures, flails, Kushida adds leverage but Gargano gets up. Kushida rolls Gargano away, but Gargano makes it a EuroClutch! Kushida makes it a EuroClutch of his own, TWO!!! SUPERKICK! FAST BALL! Tilt-o-whirl, but Gargano blocks the takedown to LAWN DART Kushida into buckles!

Both men are down again and fans hope they “Fight Forever!” at this rate. But someone has to win, and Gargano starts to rise. Gargano drags Kushida up, but swings into Kushida’s clinch. Gargano fights off the buckle shot but Kushida elbows him, then CORNER HALF HATCHES! Kushida fires up, climbs up, and fans are thunderous again! Kushida reaches for Gargano, drags him up the corner, onto the top rope, and brings him around for a SUPER ARMBAR TAKEDOWN!!! Gargano flails, kicks, manages to clasp hands but Kushida punches away! Kushida pulls, breaks the grip, and Gargano is stuck!! Gargano flails, reaches, flaps his hand, but manages to turn over!

Kushida turns him again, but they’re closer to ropes! Gargano can’t reach, Kushida pulls harder, but Gargano gets the ropebreak by a foot! The ref counts, Kushida won’t let go but Gargano drags him out of the ring! Gargano grabs for fencing but Kushida holds on. Gargano RAMS Kushida into the apron, but Kushida still holds on! Gargano RAMS Kushida into the barriers and is free! Gargano scrambles back to the elevated ramp, and decides to retreat, but Kushida runs from the stage to PENALTY KICK the arm!! Maybe NOW it’s broken! Gargano staggers up, Kushida hops on, HOVERBOARD!!! Gargano stays on his feet to put Kushida in the rope and HOTSHOT him!

Kushida flops to the ramp, fans say “Johnny Wrestling” is back as he slingshots to ONE FINAL BEAT to the RAMP!!! Gargano puts Kushida back in, then crawls after with one good arm. The ref checks on Kushida, he is still okay, and he slowly rises. Gargano aims, slingshots, ONE FINAL BEAT AGAIN!! Cover, Gargano wins!!

Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall (still NXT North American Championship)

This dream match is an instant classic! And Gargano won it all on his own! Is he finally going to leave the Time Splitter in the past? What challenges are in store in the future? Oh, and what about Austin?!

 

Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Grizzled Young Veterans VS MSK!

Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem are back in the finals, where they ended last year, but without the win. And now, they’re against a young team who made it here their first year in NXT! Will these #MustSeeKids, Nash Carter & Wes Lee SSSSOON~ leave GYV reliving history? Or will the hot streak end here as Zack Gibson & James Drake finally put their names on the trophy’s plaque?

Gibson has the mic to tell MSK they’ve had “quite the emotional journey to get here today.” But take this “friendly advice” from the veterans: “Wipe that stupid smile off your face and take this seriously!” This is not here for fun, and they are not going to enjoy a single second of this fight! They can take their sob stories, their flips, spins and “daft green pajamas,” and stick them all up your asses! That trophy belongs only to the Grizzled Young Veterans! The teams sort out and Gibson starts with Carter.

Gibson and Carter hear the fans rallying up, then they tie up. Gibson powers Carter to a corner, Carter goes up the buckles and pushes back. Carter headlocks and hits a takeover. Gibson hooks a leg with a leg to pry Carter off. Gibson goes after the arm and grinds it down. Carter fights up, rolls, hooks a leg and gets the chinbar, but Gibson drags Carter off. Gibson pulls on fingers, twists the wrist, and tells Carter, “This is what you signed up for!” Carter fights up, Gibson wrenches but Carter rolls, handsprings and flips to arm-drag Gibson away. Gibson rams Carter into the GYV corner and Drake tags in.

GYV mugs Carter, Drake ROCKS Carter with a right, and Drake headlocks to hit a takeover. Drake grinds Carter down, Carter fights up but fans rally. Carter powers out, drops then hurdles and runs around. Carter dodges, to springboard tornillo attack! Carter wrenches Drake and whips him to the MSK corner! Carter runs in to uppercut Drake, tag in Lee, and Lee enziguris Drake down! Lee swings in to boot Drake, then Carter runs in to BRONCO BUSTER! Carter adds some bounces, Lee drags Drake up, but Drake denies the lift! Drake wrenches out, headlocks, but Lee powers out. Gibson tags in, they play leap frog, Lee BOOTS Drake and RANAS Gibson!

Tag to Carter, Lee blows past Gibson and Carter KICKS! Lee KICKS, Carter KICKS, Lee enziguris and Carter DOUBLE STOMPS! GYV regroups on the outside but Lee builds speed to handspring, SASUKE SPECIAL! Direct hit and Lee gets back in, to be Carter’s launch pad! Carter FLIES and takes out Drake! But Gibson CLOBBERS Carter! Gibson drags Carter up, puts him in, and stays in his way to throw forearms and elbows. Gibson turns Carter to the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Carter barely escapes but Gibson shifts to a modified half nelson. Carter gets the ropebreak with a foot but Gibson smothers him!

Gibson ROCKS Carter to the corner, tags Drake, and Drake rolls to run in for a big back elbow! Gibson adds a clothesline and feeds Carter to Drake’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! A third cover, ONE!! Drake is growing frustrated with Carter and he digs a knee into Carter’s back. Drake pulls Carter back with a chinlock, Carter fights up, and Carter arm-drags free! Drake CLOBBERS Carter with an elbow, covers, TWO! Fans duel as Drake stays between Carter and Lee. Tag to Gibson, GYV double whip Carter to ropes, and double clothesline Carter down! Cover, TWO! Gibson has the arm, gets another cover, TWO! Gibson shifts around, another cover, ONE!

Lee coaches Carter up but Gibson has a facelock. Carter fights up, throws body shots, but Gibson EuroUppers! Tag to Drake, GYV double whip but Carter holds ropes. Carter BOOTS Drake, goes up and over Gibson but Drake CLOBBERS Carter! Cover, TWO! Carter survives and Drake is losing his cool. Drake drags Carter and puts him in the GYV corner. Carter throws elbows and forearms to fight out but Drake kicks low! Drake reels Carter in but Carter hits the suplex first! Both men are down and fans fire up! Drake and Carter crawl but Gibson goes after Lee! Lee ROCKS Gibson but the ref separates the two.

Gibson gets in, drags Carter up, Drake climbs, GYV hit a missile dropkick complete shot combo! Cover, TWO!! Carter survives but Drake drags Carter around to throw elbows into his shoulder over and over and over! Drake looms over Carter, drags him up, snapmares and KNEES him in the back then wraps on a new chinlock. Carter endures but is starting to fade. Fans rally and duel as Lee coaches Carter up. Carter gets to his feet, throws body shots but Drake knees low! Drake wrenches, whips, and tags Gibson. Gibson runs in to clothesline, then he feeds Carter to- No! Carter slides under Drake’s windmill, hot tag to Lee!

Lee leaps over Gibson to CLOBBER Drake, then he hits Gibson after all! Lee clotheslines Drake out, fires off strikes on Gibson, snapmare to basement dropkick! GYV regroups on the outside, but Lee goes corner to corner to FLY!! Lee goes over the corner to take them both out! Lee puts Gibson in, aims from a corner, springboards and handsprings to PELE Gibson down! Cover, TWO!! That was a Must-See Kick, but it didn’t end things! Lee heads back to the corner, climbs up, but Drake anchors a foot! Lee kicks Drake away but Gibson trips him up! Lee hits the mat, Gibson slaps the stars away, and Gibson drags Lee back up. Gibson brings Lee up but Lee counters the bomb to a FACEBUSTER!

Tag to Carter and MSK coordinates, catapult into a SUPERKICK! Then an assisted shotgun dropkick to Drake! Carter fires up and the fans follow. Carter glares at Gibson and Carter asks if Gibson really wants to see the serious side of MSK! Gibson swings but Carter fires off haymakers! Carter drags Gibson down and rains down fists! Gibson gets away, Carter dodges the chop to springboard and CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Gibson survives and Carter is beside himself! Fans are thunderous as both men are down but rising again. Carter stomps Gibson, tags Lee, and MSK bring Gibson up. Gibson elbows free, elbows Lee then boots Carter! Lee hits back with body shots but Gibson throat chops!

Gibson storms over but Lee moves to ENZIGURI! Lee snapmares Gibson, handsprings but into a KNEE! Tag to Drake, Gibson lifts Lee, HELTER SKELTER to the 450 SPLASH! Cover, TWO!?!? Lee still lives and no one can believe it! “This is Awesome!” and far from over! GYV coordinate as Gibson tags, and Gibson Electric Chair lifts Lee. Lee fights, VICTORY ROLL out of Doomsday! Cover, but Drake breaks it! Gibson rains down furious fists, then gets up to tag Drake back in. GYV coordinate again, feed to the gut wrench, but Carter saves Lee! Lee shoves Drake into Gibson, GYV goes down, and MSK coordinates for the PUSH-SAULT! Lee POISON-RANAS Drake!

Tag to Carter, he goes up top, and Lee tags back in. SWANTON BOMB and TORNILLO SENTON! Cover, TWO?!?! Drake survives and MSK is in shock! Lee tags Carter, Carter brings Drake back up, and Lee runs, only for Gibson to dump him out! Drake clubs Carter, Gibson Electric Chair lifts Lee on the outside, Drake builds speed! TOPE DOOMSDAY SUICIDA!!! The fans are electric for “NXT! NXT!” again! GYV regroup to go after Carter but Carter ROCKS Drake! Carter DECKS Gibson but Drake CLOBBERS Carter! Tag to Gibson, and he drags Carter up. Carter still fires off fists and CHOPS on GYV!

Gibson ROCKS Carter, hoists him up for Drake, POWERBOMB BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO!!?!? How is Carter doing this?! Drake has to exit but he wants to finish this. Gibson sits Carter up and shouts, “You are in over your head!” Gibson SLAPS Carter, tags Drake, and then feeds Carter to the gut wrench. But Lee pushes Gibson away to save Carter! DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Carter tags Lee in, brings Drake up, slingshot for the BLOCKBUSTER HART ATTACK!! Cover, MSK WINS!?!?

Winners: MSK, by pinfall (2021 Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Winners)

The new kids on the block just shocked the world!! This must be seen to be believed! Regal returns to congratulate the winners, and even more confetti flies! Is this historic 4-0 from round one to the finals just the beginning of big things for Carter & Lee?

 

WWE and NXT celebrate Black History Month.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Cameron Grimes has a Wrestle & Flow song and music video!

Grimes is stackin’ up them dollar bills TOOO~ THEEEE~ MOOOOON~! And if you don’t like it, Grimes has three words for ya: KISS MUH GRITS!

 

NXT Women’s Championship Triple Threat: Io Shirai VS Mercedes Martinez VS Toni Storm!

The Evil Genius has had a golden target on her back, and while she won this belt in a Triple Threat, she might lose it in one! Will the real Mean Mercedes or the new Lightning From Down Under be the one to shoot Shirai out of the sky?

The introductions are made, but Mercedes doesn’t wait for any of that! She DECKS Shirai out of the ring, but Toni is right after Mercedes! The bell rings but the battle’s already begun!

Mercedes brawls with Toni, Toni kicks but Mercedes blocks and spins into a SLAM! Mercedes rains down rights, but Shirai comes in with a METEORA! Cover, ONE! Mercedes hits Shirai back, whips, but Shirai reverses to send Mercedes out hard! Toni kicks and whips but Shirai reverses, only for Toni to run her over. Things speed up, Toni rolls over Shirai’s drop, Shirai runs to handspring and side-step. Shirai goes Matrix to avoid the boot, then rolls Toni. Toni rolls through but runs into a FLAPJACK! Shirai dropkicks Mercedes back out, victory rolls and STOMPS Toni down! Fans are already fired up behind Shirai, and Shirai stomps away on Toni in a corner!

Shirai digs her boots in, then swings, but into Toni’s Alabama lift! Shirai fights off, Toni BOOTS her down! Toni runs and SLIDING LARIATS at the ropes! But Mercedes ROCKS Toni at the apron, drags her out, DRAPING TWISTING NECKBREAKER! Shirai watches from the apron to MOONSAULT, but Mercedes moves! Shirai hits barriers, Mercedes throws her over and out! Mercedes stalks Toni, puts her in the ring and stalks her. Mercedes clubs and covers Toni, TWO! Toni gets up but Mercedes stays on her. Toni throws a forearm, but Mercedes hits a TWO HAND SLAM! Cover, TWO! Mercedes grows annoyed but she stomps Toni down.

Mercedes drags Toni up, brings her around, and snap suplexes! Una amiga, another snap suplex! Dos amigas, but Toni blocks the third! Shirai returns, and missile dropkicks Mercedes down! Shirai runs corner to corner, SHINKANSEN for Mercedes! Shirai runs again but Toni gives her a SCRAPBUSTER! Toni runs in to HIP ATTACK Shirai! Toni runs the other way, but into Mercedes’ SPINEBUSTER! High stack cover, TWO! Mercedes is seething and she stalks Toni. Mercedes gets the legs, ties them up and gets a chicken wing crossface for a Queen Angelito STF! But Shirai dropkicks it apart! Shirai mule kicks Mercedes and drops down to a traditional crossface on Toni!

But Mercedes gets Shirai in a dragon sleeper! It’s a chain of submissions, but who will tap out first?! Toni endures, Shirai endures, Mercedes cranks harder and Shirai lets Toni go. Mercedes hits an INVERTED SUPLEX! Mercedes runs, but Skirai dodges and the boot gets caught up! Shirai runs to 619 Mercedes down! Shirai steps up to springboard missile dropkick! Mercedes flops all the way out but Shirai wants to keep after. Shirai climbs up but Toni stops her! Toni climbs up, but Mercedes trips Toni up! Mercedes shoves Shirai away, climbs up behind Toni and clubs away on the back! Mercedes hauls Toni up, SPIDER GERMAN SUPLEX!

Mercedes sits up to see Shirai and Shirai throws forearms! SHOTEI! Mercedes holds on but Shirai adjusts, WOE STOMPS! All three women are down and the fans are thunderous! Fans rally as the three stir, and Mercedes flops out of the ring to be safe. Shirai goes out after her and clubs away on Mercedes. Mercedes ROCKS Shirai with a haymaker, then fireman’s carries! DEATH VALLEY into the barriers! Toni gets Mercedes now with a SIDE EFFECT! Toni grits her teeth as she gets up and pulls apart the announce desk cover! The desk falls apart, Toni was too rough with it! Toni drags Mercedes up and underhooks her arms, but Mercedes fights out to DDT Toni down!

Mercedes staggers, but Shirai is up on the girders again!! Shirai SUPER CROSSBODIES Toni and Mercedes down! Fans are fired up for “NXT! NXT!” all over again as all three women are down! The ref checks on them all but they’re all somehow okay to continue. Mercedes rises first and she hobbles along the ring apron. Mercedes looms over Shirai, drags her up, and THROWS her into the steel steps! Shirai writhes but Toni grabs Mercedes. Mercedes blocks the apron bump to bump Toni first! Mercedes puts Toni in, runs and KNEES her down! Toni flounders up, Mercedes has the wrists, for KAMIGOYE! And another! And ANOTHER!

But Mercedes isn’t done there, she drags Toni up and into a fisherman BUSTER! Cover, TWO!?! Toni survives all of that and Mercedes can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous again as Mercedes gets up. Mercedes drags Toni into a fireman’s carry, but Toni fights free! Toni rolls Mercedes to HEADBUTT! Toni underhooks, for STORM ZERO!! Cover, TWO?!?! Now Toni is in disbelief! Toni drags Mercedes around, goes to a corner, climbs up top, FLYING HEADBUTT!! Cover, but OVER THE MOONSAULT!! Cover on Mercedes, Shirai wins!!!

Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall (still NXT Women’s Champion)

The Evil Genius finds a solution to the Triple Threat and retains her title! What will it take to take that title away from her?

 

William Regal official signs LA Knight to NXT!

We see Regal hand Knight the contract and Knight signs it on the dotted line. Will Knight look to make major moves as soon as this Wednesday?

 

NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Pete Dunne!

The Prince knows he is a target, and dared everyone to step up. The Bruiserweight did step up, but he did have some help from Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. Will the Kings of NXT add another belt to the collection by dethroning Balor? Or will Balor show us what Edge meant when he said Balor’s “operating on an entirely different level?”

The introductions are made, THE belt in NXT is raised, and tensions are high as this battle of UK-Euro wrestling icons begins!

The fans are already fired up for “NXT! NXT!” as the two tie up. Balor puts Dunne on ropes, Dunne turns it around but Balor turns it back. They end up in the corner, the ref counts and Balor lets off. Balor and Dunne circle as fans rally more. They tie up with knuckle locks, Dunne brings Balor in and wants the arm. Balor counters to get Dunne’s arm and grinds Dunne down. Balor shifts to clamp onto the shoulder but Dunne gets a leg. Dunne has a toehold, fights off Balor’s forearms, but Balor avoids fingers being snapped! Balor gets the arm but Dunne gets away before the armbar is on. The two reset and tie up again, and Balor wants Dunne’s arm.

Balor wrenches to a wristlock but Dunne throws Balor down, only for Balor to hold on. Balor has a wristlock, Dunne fights up and grabs at Balor. Dunne hooks a leg, chinbars, but Balor pulls on Dunne’s fingers to bring him down! Balor has the shoulder again, Dunne moves around, and Dunne gets to his feet. Balor wrenches to another wristlock, Dunne powers him back, and then Dunne jumps up to monkey flip! Balor still has the wrist! Fans cheer as Balor stays on Dunne’s shoulder, but Dunne fights up to arm-drag! Balor drags Dunne back and is again on the arm. Dunne endures, fights free, kips up, and wrenches. Balor gets away to avoid the finger snapping!

Dunne and Balor reset again, circle more, and fans fire up as they tie up again. Balor hits a headlock takeover, Dunne grinds forearms in Balor’s face, but Balor cranks on the hold again. Dunne fights his way up, powers out, but Balor powers out! Balor headlocks to hit a takeover and grinds Dunne down again. Balor pushes the shoulders down, ONE as Dunne gets up. Dunne powers out, but Balor runs him over again! Cover, TWO! Balor has the headlock takeover again but Dunne headscissors right away! Dunne holds tight with an almost figure four necklock! Balor endures, fights his way around, but Dunne drags him back down.

Balor tries to pry the legs apart but Dunne pushes up to add leverage! Balor moves again, Dunne tries to keep him down but Balor pops free to get the headlock! Dunne headscissors, Balor kips free but Dunne handsprings up and away! Fans cheer the technical exchange and stare down! Dunne and Balor circle again, tie up, and Dunne pushes Balor to ropes. The ref calls for the reak but Dunen rams into Balor point blank! Balor staggers away, holding his jaw. Balor feels Dunne closing in and puts him in a corner. Dunne is after the fingers, Balor tries to get away but Dunne straddles Balor. Dunne keeps Balor stuck as he tortures the arm and fingers!

Balor endures but back drops, only for Dunne to sunset flip! Balor rolls through but Dunne drags him into a triangle hold! Balor moves around, pops free, hooks Dunne’s arm but Dunne resists being turned over. Balor keeps after the arm, Dunne goes to clasp hands, but Balor sneaks in to cording hold and bring Dunne to a cover! ONE and Dunne has an ARMBAR! Balor clasps hands, Dunne uses his leg against Balor’s jaw to get leverage! Balor fights up, they move around, Dunne has the arm mounted and uses his leg to pry things apart. Dunne hammerlocks an arm, stands on it, and gets the other arm! Balor endures but Dunne YANKS the arm way back!!

Balor’s caught and Dunne bends even the fingers! Balor moves around, rolls away and gets to a corner. Dunne is after him again, drags him up and wrenches to a double wristlock. Dunne drags Balor down, Balor tries to clasp hands from behind, but Dunne mounts Balor’s head. Dunne BENDS those fingers way back! And then the elbow, and Dunne has a double wristlock with headscissors! Balor endures as fans rally, and he moves around. Dunne keeps on the arm, stands on Balor’s head and digs elbows into ribs. The ref reprimands the standing on the head, Dunne stops to dig his elbow into every bit of Balor’s arm!

Dunne uses knuckles then clawing fingers, then he STOMPS the armpit! Balor clutches that side of his body, but Dunne won’t let off! Dunne gets the arm but Balor stomps Dunne’s foot! Dunne hobbles and Balor trips him up! Balor ties up the legs for a figure four stretch! Dunne endures, pushes with his arms but Balor shifts his own position to hold the legs together. Balor rolls for a modified butterfly deathlock! Dunne tries to grab at Balor but Balor adds pressure! Dunne sits up to go after Balor’s hands! Dunne jams the fingers but Balor lets Dunne go to stomp the leg! Balor shakes out his arm while Dunne clutches a leg. Balor trips Dunne and wants the Half Crab!

Dunne resists, Balor drops elbows on the knee! Balor has the toehold, Dunne tries to chinlock back but Balor pulls on the foot. Dunne wants to pull at Balor’s ear but the ref already reprimands, and Balor just adds torque to the toehold! Dunne clubs away on Balor’s back then goes after the face. The ref reprimands, Dunne stops but then sits up to give short headbutts. Balor elbows Dunne down, cranks on the leg, but Dunne sits up again to grind his forearm into Balor’s face. Dunne is free of the toehold and has a facelock! Dunne cranks on Balor in return but Balor fights, only for Dunne to give him a nasty X-PLEX! Cover, TWO! Dunne snarls as he and Balor rise.

Dunne forearms, Balor forearms back, repeat! They brawl, Dunne CHOPS and Balor ends up in a corner. Balor gets the leg to put it on the rope and drops a knee on the knee! Dunne crawls, clutches the leg, and fans fire up again. Balor gets the bad leg, trips Dunne up, but Dunne resists with an armbar. Balor has a cover from this position, ONE, and Dunne drags Balor down! Leg hook cradle, TWO! Balor grabs Dunne’s bad leg but Dunne enziguris hard! Balor comes back to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Balor seethes while Dunne clutches his leg. Balor grits his teeth as he paces. Dunne crawls to ropes but Balor stomps him down!

Balor stomps Dunne again, then moves to springboard stomps over and over! The ref counts and Balor tops it off with a springboard knee drop! Balor has the leg, clubs away on it, then drops down for a deathlcok! Dunne resists so Balor just clubs away on him! Balor reaches through and gets the STF! Dunne is caught, fading, but he pries at the fingers! Balor tells him don’t, but Dunne uses his forehead to get loose, and then Dunne JAMS the fingers into the mat! Dunne is free of the hold while Balor clutches his fingers, but the fans rally up. Balor CHOPS Dunne in a corner, pulls him against ropes, then lets off to CHOP him again!

Dunne hits back but Balor whips him corner to corner and CHOPS again! Balor stomps and chokes Dunne at the ropes but lets off as the ref counts. Balor CHOPS Dunne, Dunne CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS back! Dunne whips, Balor reverses, Dunne goes up but can’t quite go over because of the bad leg! Balor dropkicks the leg out! Balor drags Dunne right up, dragon sleeper, elbow drop- NO! Dunne arm-drags then ROCKS Balor with that forearm! Balor PELES, but Dunne catches it! Dunne throws Balor down and gets the wrist for DANIELSON STOMPS! Dunne drags Balor around, reels him in to HEADBUTT, then brings him back in for a SIT-OUT BOMB! Cover, TWO!

Balor survives but both men are down. Fans fire up as the two stir and Dunne kicks Balor away from his leg. Dunne goes after Balor’s arm but Balor resists. Dunne twists the arm into the hammerlock, and STOMPS IT! Balor clutches his arm but Dunne drags him up. Dunne shoves Balor to ropes, SNAP GERMAN! Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS Balor’s hands! But Balor ducks the buzzsaw to kick out Dunne’s leg! Balor rises, fires off on Dunne, and hits a BACKSTABBER! Then the elbow drop DDT! Balor fires up, aims from a corner, and Dunne stands up to get the SHOTGUN! Balor hurries as Dunne is in the drop zone! COUP DE- NO! Dunne catches Balor to a TRIANGLE!

Dunne throws elbows into Balor’s head and Balor is already turning red! Dunne slaps and hammers Balor’s head but Balor moves around! Balor reaches, but Dunne rolls him from the ropes! Dunne squeezes even tighter, gives more hard shots to Balor’s head, but Balor scoots back! Balor finds the ropes with a foot! The ref counts, Dunne lets go but Balor might already be out! The ref checks on Balor but Dunne shows no mercy! Dunne drags Balor in, but Balor flops and gets to ropes. The ref keeps Dunne back and asks Balor if he wants to continue. Balor does, so Dunne BOOTS him in the jaw! Pump handle, but no Bitter End! Balor reels Dunne in but no 1916 as Dunne has the fingers!

Balor knees low and reels Dunne into the cobra twist! Dunne falls and Balor makes it part crossface! Dunne sees fingers and grabs at them! Dunne SNAPS the fingers!!! Balor clutches his digits but Dunne drags him up. Balor throws forearms with the good arm and he knocks Dunne down! Balor gives those Danielson Stomps back but Dunne won’t let go! Dunne pump handles but Balor elbows Dunne away! Dunne yanks the arm harder for an unofficial low blow! And he hits BITTER END!! Cover, TWO!??! Balor survives Dunne’s best shot?! Fans are thunderous for this match again as Dunne stalks Balor.

Balor sits up, Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS the hands! And then DOUBLE STOMPS again!! BUZZSAW! Powerbomb- DDT COUNTER!! Balor fires up, runs, but into an ENZIGURI! He PELES through! Dunne PENALTY KICKS from behind! Pump handle, BITTER- NO! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!! Dunne survives, AND has Balor’s fingers! Balor tries to get away but Dunne rises! Balor stomps the bad foot! Dunne still SNAPS the fingers! Balor DOUBLE STOMPS Dunne on the back! Balor sits Dunne up, and takes his mouth guard away! Balor takes aim, to basement dropkick Dunne in the face! Dunne is down, Balor goes up top, COUP DE GRACE!!!! Balor shows no mercy, he gives Dunne the 1916!!!! Cover, Balor wins!!!

Winners: Finn Balor, by pinfall (still NXT Champion)

The Prince continues to endure and overcome immense pain to stay on his throne! Finn keeps the Bruiserweight from taking over NXT, what will it take for anyone to stop him? But wait, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch attack! They aren’t happy that their guy lost! They mug Balor, throw him back into the ring, and Dunne joins in on the mugging! Fans boo and gives thumbs down, but referees can’t stop this! Burch and Lorcan throw the officials out, that’s a fine! Balor sits up just to get punched and stomped more! But here comes the UNDISPUTED ERA!

Adam Cole, Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly run the Kings off! Kyle checks on Balor, which Balor is surprised by. Kyle says he respects Balor and offers to help him up. Balor accepts the help, and Kyle says the UE have Balor’s back when he needs it. Balor appreciates that, and fans cheer as Balor stands with them. Is he going to throw up the UE? Cole SUPERKICKS Balor?!? Kyle and Cole argue, Strong tries to keep the peace, and Cole argues with Strong now. Cole SUPERKICKS Kyle?!?!? But Kyle was Cole’s friend! Cole was supportive of Kyle this whole time and yet he does this!? Cole tells Strong to follow him but Strong is speechless. Strong is frozen in place as Cole goes up the ramp. What does this mean for the Undisputed Era as a whole?!


My Thoughts:

Was this perhaps the best TakeOver ever? This feels way, way up there! Historic nature of everything aside, the matches were all top notch, we even got some bonus Wrestle & Flow for both the intro and that Cameron Grimes recap-meets-vignette, and some shocking story progressions. We even got something in the preshow, Eli Drake is here as “LA Knight,” which is any number of references in one name. He comes in pretty much Heel, so I don’t know what champion he’s facing, because there’s any number of reasons to think Balor’s card is full from here to the Summer. Though, Kross VS Escobar could be used to allow Knight a chance to test things with Balor.

The Dusty Cup finals matches were both great stuff, but I personally am just a touch confused by the decisions, probably because I’m looking at the “big picture.” Opening with the historic Women’s Dusty Cup finals was a great choice, and that match really could’ve gone either way, but here’s the thing. Naomi & Lana VS Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler is coming, and I don’t think the Heels lose. There could be Nia & Shayna VS Sasha & Bianca on SmackDown, but again, the Heels aren’t losing, that will be used just to build Sasha VS Bianca for Mania.

I suppose the beat-for-beat of the match is just standard formula for Dakota & Raquel, but it felt very Face formula. Would Dakota & Raquel end up the Faces- Actually, yes, they would be Faces by comparison to Nia & Shayna, and it’d be great if the inaugural Women’s Dusty Cup winners also became champions to mostly bring those titles to NXT for once. Again, this is still a great moment for Dakota & Raquel, they’ve both put in so much work over the years, they deserve something. Just not sure it lasts long if they’re just going to lose to the Raw superstars on virtue of Raw is “the main show.”

Similarly, I am very surprised that MSK won, but not necessarily in a bad way. The Face VS Heel dynamic makes sense, Oney & Burch are Heels and they still have the belts. But at the same time, GYV going back to back but not winning kinda hurts them. Now, Heel VS Heel doesn’t really fit how WWE does things, or how most promotions do things, really, but I felt like a “Faces by comparison” dynamic could’ve actually worked with GYV against Kings of NXT. Kings of NXT having that arrogance and swagger a la McAfee, Gibson giving them what for on the mic like he does everyone would’ve gotten fans on his side. Despite MSK being Faces, the CWC crowd was really into GYV, so it’s not impossible for Gibson to be a trash talking Face.

I love that, while on the way to the ring, Theory gets abducted by Lumis. This really takes the story to another level. Gargano VS Kushida was perhaps the best match of the night, though that is up for debate with Balor VS Dunne doing what they did. Kushida looked like he could’ve won at any point, but it was the math that doomed him with how he stood tall for the go-home. Gargano retains, and clearly Lumis is next. With how Gargano is going, if Kushida didn’t win tonight, I have no idea who is taking that from Gargano. But at the very least, Gargano and Kushida going this strong, Gargano can definitely give Lumis some in-ring shine.

Kushida himself still seems to be floating in the middle, would he be the one to take the Cruiserweight title from Escobar? The Cruiserweight title has finally gotten out of isolation on 205 Live, and Kushida, an international name perhaps even greater than Escobar, could elevate that entire division. The Women’s Triple Threat was great stuff, though that poor desk couldn’t hold up apparently. But that’s okay, a table spot of say a back drop out of the Strong Zero wasn’t going to be all that incredible. Everything else was, and it made a lot of sense for Shirai to take advantage of Storm taking out Mercedes. After this, we’ve got to get Shirai VS Mercedes 1v1, then maybe Shirai VS Storm 1v1 at another point.

Then, as I just said, Balor VS Dunne was also up there tonight. There was great story because of Balor’s bad jaw, how Dunne went after Balor’s fingers just last Wednesday, and how Balor managed to use technical skill to match Dunne. Balor retains because there are many Heel contenders moving up, but that twist with the Undisputed Era was amazing. Thinking back, maybe Cole being so supportive of Kyle only for Kyle to fail each time is exactly why this has happened. Cole still thinks HE is leader, he doesn’t like Kyle moving up and this is him asserting dominance. But whatever the motivation, Cole VS Kyle for the first time since they were both in ROH and fighting over the ROH World Championship is going to be some amazing stuff. Strong and Fish need to choose sides, and at the very least, I’m hoping reDRagon sticks together.

My Score: 9.7/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (3/6/21)

A Dark Dozen before Revolution!

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AEW Dark 2

It’s a bonus Dark before AEW Revolution!

AEW Revolution is coming, but there is still some Dark to get through! Will the Murderhawk Monster be rolling into that Face of the Revolution Ladder match?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Natural Nightmares VS Cezar Bononi & Peter Avalon; The Natural Nightmares win.
  • Chuck Taylor w/ Orange Cassidy VS JD Drake; wins.
  • Penta El Zero M VS Azriel; wins.
  • Jack Evans w/ Angelico VS Jake St. Patrick; wins.
  • Thunder Rosa VS Tesha Price; wins.
  • Tay Conti VS Leila Grey; wins.
  • The Sydal Brothers VS Chaos Project; win(s).
  • Ricky Starks & Brian Cage VS Angel Fashion & Fuego del Sol; win.
  • The Gunn Club VS M’Badu & D3; wins.
  • Bear Country VS Ryzin & Cameron Stewart; win(s).
  • Preston Vance & Alan Angels w/ The Dark Order VS Labron Kozone & Vary Morales; win.
  • Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake VS John Skyler; wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Natural Nightmares VS Cezar Bononi & Peter Avalon!

Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall are ready for the Casino Tag Battle Royal, but so are the Brazilian V8 and “Pretty” Peter! Who builds some momentum before running into the Revolution?

The teams sort out, Bononi starts with Dustin, and they circle. Fans rally for Dustin but PPA tells them to shut up. Bononi and Dustin tie up and Bononi shoves Dustin to a corner. Dustin comes back to headlock but Bononi powers out. Dustin rams Bononi but Bononi stays up and shakes his head. Dustin runs again, he dodges Bononi’s clothesline to ROCK him with an uppercut! Dustin wrenches and puts Bononi in the corner, QT tags in and Dustin whips QT in to forearm smash! QT feeds Bononi to Dustin’s POWERSLAM! Fans fire up as QT ROCKS Bononi, whips him, but Bononi reverses. QT holds ropes, BOOTS Bononi, but Avalon gets a cheap shot in!

Bononi then stomps away on QT at the ropes! Tag to Avalon, they mug QT, and Avalon CHOPS! Avalon clubs QT to the other corner, wrenches and whips him corner to corner, and QT bounces off buckles. Avalon stomps QT but fans rally up. Bononi tags in, they mug QT again, but QT hits back! Bononi knees low and throws hard back elbows! Bononi dares QT to reach for Dustin, but QT throws body shots. Bononi throws elbows but QT handsprings for a NEURALIZER! Bononi staggers and Avalon tags in to drag QT from Dustin. QT boots Avalon away and hot tags to Dustin! Dustin dodges Avalon and rallies with clotheslines! Dustin whips and back drops Avalon!

Bononi gets in to kick low, then he whips Dustin. Dustin stops and uppercuts Bononi! Dustin CLOBBERS Bononi, and gets Avalon with a POWERSLAM! Dustin drags Avalon up but Bononi clubs him! QT gets in to ROCK Bononi with haymakers! Bononi knees low, throws QT out, but Dustin clotheslines Bononi out! Dustin dodges Avalon to hit a BULLDOG! Cover, Dustin & QT win!

Winners: The Natural Nightmares, by pinfall

The Natural is fired up because he and the Gift are ready for the Casino Tag Battle Royal! But will they win it and become contenders?

 

Chuck Taylor w/ Orange Cassidy VS JD Drake!

The Kentucky Gentleman and Freshly Squeezed will be in for a fight with the Superbad and Best Man! But first, can Chuck get through a scrap with Scrap Metal?

 

 

Penta El Zero M VS Azriel!

The third point of the Death Triangle is back! And though he’ll surely want revenge on Kenny Omega and his Biz Cliz, he’s going into the Face of the Revolution Ladder match! Will Cero Miedo strike fear into everyone with his Dark return?

 


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Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/6/21)

New Japan Cup, day 2!

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NJPW New Japan Cup 2021

Will the Rainmaker redeem himself in the New Japan Cup?

Kazuchika Okada vows that it is time he returns to the top of NJPW! But this is only round ONE of the 2021 New Japan Cup! Can he make it to the end?

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.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki; Suzuki wins and advances.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA; Kenta wins and advances.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi; Takagi wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire!

Tetsuya Naito lost in the first round of the NJCUP, Bushi couldn’t win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but Sanada is still in the running! Will LIJ be a powerful obstacle in the way of Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay?

But as soon as LIJ gets in the ring, the Empire attacks! Cobb throws Bushi out while Ospreay goes after Sanada, and Khan keeps Naito in the ring to revisit their recent NJCUP match. The bell rings, Khan drags Naito around but fans rally up. Khan clamps onto Naito with a chinlock but also adds his claw into it! Sanada sends Ospreay into railing while Naito and Khan brawl with forearms! Khan ROCKS Naito then Mongolian Chops him at the ropes. Naito reverses the whip to atomic drop, Bushi dropkicks the legs out and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans cheer and Naito grabs Khan’s ponytail! Naito drags Khan around by it, fans rally up and Khan grabs the ropes.

The ref counts, Naito lets off but tags Sanada in. Sanada climbs up and drops ax handles on the ponytail! That still tweaks Khan’s head and fans fire up again. Sanada drags Khan up while Ospreay protests, and Sanada headlocks to punch Khan down. Sanada throws haymakers, brings Khan up for clubbing elbows, then tags in Bushi. Bushi clubs Khan, drags him up by the ponytail, and bumps him off buckles. Bushi CHOPS Khan, puts Khan’s leg on ropes and dropkicks the leg out! Cover, TWO! ans rally, Bushi drags Khan around and tags in Naito. Naito clubs Khan, drags him up and cravats for a standing neck wrench. Khan endures, reaches for the Empire, but Naito keeps him away.

Khan throws body shots but Naito throws an elbow, into a standing katagatami! Khan kicks a leg out and drags Naito down! Cobb and Ospreay attack Sanada and Bushi! They brawl on the outside, Naito gets a ropebreak but Khan holds on! Khan cranks on the hold, the ref reprimands and counts, and Khan lets go at 3. Brawling continues outside but Khan drags Naito around to stomp away on the leg! Naito clutches his knee and fans rally up, but Khan drags him up first. Khan tags Cobb in, the Empire mugs Naito, and Cobb gives Naito a headbutt! Naito ends up in a corner, Cobb whips him out to whip him back in hard! The Empire likes that and Cobb scoops Naito to carry him around.

Cobb taunts LIJ by holding Naito out to them, but then throws in knees! Cobb puts Naito in the Empire corner, tags in Ospreay, and then sets Naito up for Ospreay’s DRAPING DOUBLE STOMPS! Ospreay BOOTS Sanada, Cobb RAMS Naito back into the corner, and Ospreay digs his boot in. The ref reprimands and counts, Ospreay lets off to throw haymakers and more stomps! Ospreay digs his knee in, the ref reprimands and counts, but Ospreay lets off again. Ospreay snapmares and wraps Naito up in a chinlock. Ospreay grinds Naito down, fans rally up, and Naito endures. Khan keeps ropes away from Naito but the ref reprimands.

Ospreay drags Naito away, cranks on the chinlock then shifts to a facelock. Khan tags in, and Mongolian Chops Naito on the back! Khan drags Naito up for more Mongolian Chops! Khan mockingly asks what’s wrong and he eggs Naito on. Fans rally, Naito throws haymakers and forearms! Khan knees low, whips, but Naito reverses to tornado, only for Khan to block the DDT! Naito fights out of Khan’s grip, elbows him, then spins him for a neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans fire up! Naito sits up but Khan follows. They both go to their corners, hot tags to Sanada and Ospreay! Sanada rallies, whips but Ospreay reverses, only for Sanada to reverse back and RANA!

Sanada dropkicks Cobb away, then blocks Ospreay’s boot to trip him! Sanada ties Ospreay up in Paradise! Fans fire up as Sanada encourages them to get loud. Sanada runs in and dropkicks Ospreay out of Paradise! Cover, ONE!! Fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as he drags Ospreay up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Ospreay elbows free and waistlocks, but Sanada resists the lift. Sanada elbows free, runs in but Ospreay puts him up top! Ospreay tucks him in, for CHEEKY NANDOS! Ospreay hurries and tags in Cobb! Cobb runs corner to corner to LEAPING back elbow! Cobb scoops Sanada, pops him up into the suplex, holds him up, but Sanada reverses to snap suplex!

Fans fire up again as Cobb goes to a corner. Sanada crawls and hot tags Bushi! Bushi runs corner to corner but Cobb dodges. Cobb runs in, Bushi slips out and swing kick shim away! Bushi goes up, missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Cobb runs back at Bushi but into a basement dropkick to the legs! Bushi basement DDT’s and covers, TWO! Fans rally and Bushi brings Cobb up. Cobb throws forearms, whips Bushi to a corner, then runs in, but Bushi dodges! Naito rocket kicks and leg sweeps, COMBINACION CABRON! LIJ whips Cobb, Sanada elbows and snapmares, for a TRIPLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!

Naito dropkicks Khan down but Ospreay drags Sanada out. Bushi has Cobb, but no Fisherman Screw! Ospreay hits PIP PIP CHEERIO on Bushi! Sanada dropkicks Ospreay, but Khan BOOTS Sanada! Naito dropkicks Khan’s legs out, then dodges Cobb, only for Cobb to LARIAT him! Cobb goes back to Bushi as fans rally up. Bushi kicks, Cobb blocks then ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! Bushi runs in, but the Code Break is blocked and popped to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb drags Bushi up, reels him in and hits a TOUR OF THE ISLAND! Cover, the Empire wins!

Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall

The Hawaiian Hulk is building up power and momentum towards his NJCUP battle with Evil! The Dominator is also already in, and the newly deemed “Global Kingpin” Ospreay has his battle tomorrow, March 7th! Will the entire United Empire advance towards the finals?

 

2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki!

These two have been warming up in tag matches and finally get to throw down 1v1! Will Everyone’s Kokeshi be able to knock the Meanest Man in the World out of the tournament? Or will Suzuki brutalize and leave him behind while going for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?

The bell rings and fans rally up already. Suzuki and Honma stare down, but then Honma shoves and CHOPS! And CHOPS! Suzuki CHOPS, Honma CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Fans rally as the CHOPS fly harder and faster! Neither man is backing down, but Honma does get the edge! Honma CHOPS and CHOPS then DOUBLE CHOPS! Suzuki eggs Honma on, Honma CHOPS and then scoops Suzuki to slam him! Honma fires up and runs, but Suzuki dodges the kokeshi! Honma gets mad and tries again, but again Suzuki dodges! Suzuki gives toying kicks to Honma and fans rally up. Suzuki throws knees and forearms and Honma goes to a corner.

Suzuki throws body shots, whips him corner to corner but Honma reverses. Honma runs in but Suzuki boots him. Suzuki slips to the apron, and catches Honma’s arm to a DRAPING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Suzuki lets go at 3 and then drags Honma out to join him. Suzuki whips Honma into railing! Suzuki slaps Honma then throws forearms and elbows! Suzuki puts Honma’s head through railings and pulls him back against the top bar! The ref reprimands and counts but Suzuki stops at 3. Fans rally but Suzuki puts Honma in a cravat! Suzuki grinds Honma down, the ref reprimands but Suzuki holds on until the ref counts. Suzuki stands Honma up and RAMS him into railing!

Suzuki digs his knuckles into Honma’s eyes! Commentary is really close to the action but Suzuki leaves Honma behind as the ring count climbs. The count is already 10 of 20 as the fans rally. It passes 15, Honma stands at 18 and gets in at 19.5! Suzuki drags Honma into a facelock, then shifts to a chinlock stretch! Suzuki digs a knee into Honma’s back as he pulls him back! Fans rally as Honma endures, and Honma fights, only for Suzuki to crank harder on the hold! Honma reaches with feet and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go and eggs Honma on. Suzuki gives Honma more toying kicks but Honma rises as fans rally again.

Honma throws forearms but Suzuki laughs them off. Suzuki eggs Honma on then ROCKS him! Honma wobbles, Suzuki ROCKS him again! Honma wobbles and falls over! Suzuki runs to PENALTY KICK! Honma stays seated up!? Suzuki PENALTY KICKS again but Honma just gets stronger! Suzuki runs, Honma blocks the kick, elbows it, but swings into Suzuki’s grip! Honma spins through and gets Suzuki for a DDT! Fans rally up as both men slowly rise. Honma reels Suzuki in but Suzuki throws elbows, only for Honma to power through and hit the back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Honma CHOPS Suzuki to a corner!

Honma CHOPS more, and more, and then whips Suzuki corner to corner. Honma runs in to back elbow then hit a BULLDOG! Honma fires up to hit the KOKESHI! Fans fire up again as Honma dares Suzuki to get up. Suzuki rises, Honma runs, but Suzuki ducks the lariat to waistlock! Honma counters with a facelock, but Suzuki wrenches the arm! Suzuki ducks Honma’s haymaker, back hand, and fires off SLAPS! And kicks and clubbing elbows! Honma falls over again but Suzuki brings him back up. Suzuki reels Honma in as fans rally up, and that only angers Suzuki more. Suzuki Gotch holds but Honma resists the lift! Suzuki powers through but Honma flails his legs!

Honma powers up to back drop Suzuki over! Suzuki gets up and he looms over Honma. Suzuki gives more kicks but Honma eggs him on! Fans rally as Suzuki stomps but Honma growls. Suzuki fires off slapping palm strikes and big forearm shots but Honma just gets stronger! Honma ROCKS Suzuki with a right! Suzuki comes back to palm strike, but Honma POINT-BLANK KOKESHIS! Both men are down again and fans fire up! Honma rises, drags Suzuki up and throws more forearms! Honma has Suzuki in the corner but now Suzuki eggs Honma on. Suzuki leans into the forearms as Honma throws them, no guard at all! Honma headbutts!

But Suzuki roars, so Honma throws more forearms in the corner! The ref wants Honma to let off but Honma ROCKS Suzuki again! Honma clubs Suzuki at ropes, brings him up to the top rope backwards, then clubs him more. Honma climbs up behind Suzuki and fans rally up. Suzuki resists, throws elbows, then cravats Honma to grind him down! Fans still rally but Honma ends up tumbling to the apron! Suzuki adjusts, brings Honma up, but Honma RISING KOKESHIS! Suzuki falls, fans fire up and Honma climbs! Honma leaps for a FLYING KOKESHI! Cover, TWO! Suzuki survives but fans rally for Honma!

Honma drags Suzuki by a leg, and hooks him up with the step-over deathlock! Suzuki resists the crossface but Honma still tries. Honma gets an arm in it for a chicken wing STF! Suzuki endures, Honma shifts to a cover, TWO! Fans rally again as the two stand. Honma brings Suzuki around to scoop but Suzuki slips out to get the sleeper hold! Honma snapmares Suzuki away and throws a LARIAT! Suzuki stays up with pure anger, and he eggs Honma on! Honma runs and LARIATS, but again Suzuki stays up! Suzuki ROCKS Honma with a palm strike, Honma wobbles, but he powers up! Suzuki SMACKS him again, Honma staggers back, but he powers up to ROCK Suzuki in return!

Suzuki throws a forearm, Honma returns it, and again! Fans rally as these two pick up speed again! Suzuki laughs as things get faster, and he ROCKS Honma, to then ROCK him again! Honma wobbles around and staggers to a knee! Honma stands as fans rally, but Suzuki ROCKS him a third time! Honma wobbles and Suzuki seethes, but the two keep going! Forearm for forearm, Honma wobbles and stumbles about again but he comes back to palm strike. Suzuki ROCKS Honma, and again, and then palm strike! Suzuki gets Honma in the SLEEPER! Fans rally as Honma manages to stay standing! Honma turns red and Suzuki squeezes tighter!

The ref checks, the hand drops once! The hand drops twice, but Suzuki turns Honma around! Gotch hold, but Honma’s second wind helps him resist! Suzuki KNEES Honma, and reels him in, but Honma makes it a GANNOSUKE CLUTCH! Cover, TWO!! Honma runs into palm strikes and haymakers! GOTCH PILEDRIVER!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!

Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

Honma gave it his all, but in the end, it wasn’t enough! Will Suzuki take the Cup and then the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?

 

2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA!

The Flamboyant One and Fang Revived are back in Japan in time for the Cup! But who moves on towards the next round and faces Suzuki?

The bell rings and Juice has fans rally up. Juice and Kenta circle, tie up, and Juice uses leverage to power Kenta to ropes. The ref calls for the break but Kenta turns things around and pulls Juice’s hair! Kenta brings Juice into a headlock, Juice powers out but again Kenta pulls hair. Kenta grinds the headlock but Juice powers up to power out, only for Kenta to again get the hair. Kenta grinds Juice down and talks trash, but Juice throws body shots. Juice powers out but Kenta rams him with a shoulder. Juice stays up, Kenta eggs him on but then pulls Juice’s hair. Juice powers up to back suplex high and hard! Fans fire up as Juice drops the back senton! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally as Juice keeps cool. Juice drags Kenta up, JABS, CHOPS, and whips him to a corner. Juice wrenches, whips corner to corner, and then runs in to clothesline Kenta down! Fans fire up with Juice as he runs corner to corner again, but Kenta bails out before the cannonball. Kenta walks around the way, the ref keeps Juice in, but Kenta grabs the ring bell! Finlay tries to tell the ref as Juice storms over, but Kenta CRACKS Juice with the ring bell! Kenta gets in to drop knees on Juice’s head and then dig knuckles into the eye! The ref counts, Kenta lets off at 3 and Juice gets to ropes. Kenta goes after Juice to choke him and claw his eyes!

The ref counts, Kenta stops at 3, and Juice checks his eye. Kenta drags Juice up to throw him out of the ring, and then he pursues. Kenta drags Juice up and whips Juice hard into railing! Juice slumps down and Kenta digs his face into railing! The ref reprimands, Kenta stops and Juice crawls away. Fans rally up but Kenta traps Juice’s head in between the gate and railing! Kenta squeezes tight but stops as the ring count starts. Kenta drags Juice up at 7 of 20 and puts him in at 10. Kenta stomps Juice, throws haymakers, but Juice gets up! Kenta throws more haymakers then rakes at Juice’s eye! Juice gets to a corner, the ref reprimands and warns Kenta.

Fans cheer the ref while Kenta drags Juice up. Kenta headlocks and punches Juice, then scrapes Juice’s face on ropes! The ref counts and Kenta lets off. The ref checks Juice’s eye while Kenta makes up his mocking clap rhythm. Kenta boots Juice down then clamps on a facelock. Kenta grinds Juice down but fans rally up. Juice fights up, fights out, but Kenta claws Juice’s eyes! Kenta runs but Juice hits a SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down! Kenta gets to a corner, Juice rises and runs in, but Kenta boots him away! Juice fires up, runs back in and clotheslines! Juice whips Kenta corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines again!

Juice keeps moving to LEAPING LARIAT Kenta down! Fans fire up and Juice watches Kenta rise. Juice pumps up and fans clap along. Juice JABS, JABS, JABS, then powers up, but Kenta claws his eyes! Juice claws Kenta’s eyes in return! The ref reprimands, Juice headbutts Kenta to a corner! Juice runs in but Kenta boots him! Kenta hops up, reels Juice in and hits a tornado hotshot! Kenta climbs up while Juice staggers, and he hits a FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta clamps onto Juice’s arm but Juice flails and gets the ropebreak! It’s not Game Over yet! Fans rally, Kenta drags Juice up and reels him into a waistlock.

Juice elbows free, runs, but Kenta BOOTS him! Kenta runs but into Juice’s boot! Juice fires up and runs, but Kenta sends him out! Kenta runs to BOOT Juice off and at the railing! Kenta goes out to fetch Juice and drags him up. Kenta goes to bump Juice off the timekeeper’s table but Juice blocks to bump Kenta! Juice powers up but Kenta dumps him up and over onto the timekeeper’s table! Fans rally but Kenta drags the table aside to get Juice up. Kenta rains down rights, the ref has him back off and Kenta goes back to ringside while Juice slowly rises. Kenta climbs the corner?! Juice hurries to stop him with a body shot and a headbutt! Juice has a target and he grabs Kenta!

Kenta rakes Juice’s eyes and clubs him down! Juice staggers away, Kenta goes to the apron and leaps, into Juice’s arms! Juice moves Kenta around, fireman’s carries, and DEATH VALLEY DRIVERS Kenta to the floor!! Fans fire up as both men slowly stir. The ring count begins again and reaches 10 of 20 before Juice puts Kenta in. Juice drags Kenta back up, reels him in, and lifts, for a RUNNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Kenta survives and but Finlay coaches Juice up. Juice fires up and brings Kenta up. Juice chicken wings and turns Kenta, but Kenta rolls Juice up! TWO, and Juice runs at Kenta, only to be put on the apron!

Kenta drags Juice through the ropes for a DRAPING DDT! Fans rally and Kenta rises first. Kenta goes to one corner, Juice is in the other. Kenta runs in to JUMPING BOOT! Kenta keeps moving, HESITATION DROPKICK! Kenta climbs up the corner while Juice is down, but Juice avoids the double stomps! LEG LARIAT! Both men are down, fans rally up again! Juice and Kenta stir, and Juice stands first! Juice drags Kenta but Kenta gets the arm! Juice rolls out of the hold but Kenta BOOTS him! Juice fires up, Kenta blocks the clothesline but Juice ducks the back hand! Juice fireman’s carries Kenta to the JUICE BOX! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and Juice is beside himself!

Fans rally up and Juice gets to his feet. Juice drags Kenta back up, reels him in and chicken wings, but Kenta slips through to fireman’s carry! Juice fights off to chicken wing and turn, but Kenta slips out again to fireman’s carry! GO TO- NO! Juice blocks and rolls Kenta up, TWO!! Juice powers up but Kenta blocks the left Hand to BACK HAND! Kenta fires off palm strikes over and over, but he swings into the chicken wing! Kenta elbows out, but the back hand is caught! Juice swings, Kenta ducks, but the RIGHT HAND O’ GOD hits! Juice drags Kenta up, chicken wings and turns, but Kenta slips out again! Kenta drags Juice down, hooks up the arm and gets the crossface! GAME OVER!!

Juice endures, moves around, but Kenta cranks way back! Juice taps, Kenta wins!!

Winner: Kenta, by submission (advances to the next round)

And it was indeed Game Over for the Flamboyant One! Will the Fang Revived sink his teeth into Suzuki next round?

 

2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi!

The Rainmaker said at Castle Attack that it’s about time he returns to the top of NJPW! But in his way is the Dragon! Will Takagi end Okada’s road back to redemption already? Or will Okada slay the dragon and head back for the gold?

The bell rings, and fans rally up already for “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Okada gets the clap-clap-clap-stomp going already while he stays back in the corner. Takagi is patient, and he waits as Okada steps forward. They circle, feel out the grapple, but Okada backs off to focus. They tie up right away, Okada powers Takagi to ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Okada lets off and fakes the chop to pat Takagi. Takagi ROCKS and CLUBS and CLUBS Okada back! Fans cheer as Takagi toys with Okada. Takagi brings Okada up, Okada fires off forearms and elbows! Okada reels Takagi into a headlock, but Takagi throws body shots. Takagi powers out, rams Okada but both men stay up!

Fans cheer as Okada runs, and he rams Takagi! Takagi stays up and eggs Okada on. Okada runs, rams Takagi, then drop toeholds on the rebound to elbow drop Takagi’s back! Okada is after Takagi at the ropes, brings him up and throws forearms. Takagi goes to a corner, Okada heads over and throws back elbows. Okada throws more elbows, then brings Takagi around for a neckbreaker! Cover, ONE! Okada keeps his cool, clamps onto Takagi with a chinlock, and digs his knee into Takagi’s back. Takagi fights up, gets a ropebreak with a foot, and Okada lets go quickly. Okada keeps close, brings Takagi up and elbows him again.

Okada snapmares and runs to then basement dropkick Takagi out of the ring! Fans fire up, Takagi gets annoyed and the ring count begins. Takagi takes his time, and gets back up on the apron at 9 of 20. Okada keeps his distance but then Takagi dares Okada to come out after him. Takagi continues to take his time, and the count restarts. Okada gets impatient, Takagi gets on the apron but draws Okada in to drag him out! Takagi bumps him off apron, and again, then whips Okada, only for Okada to reverse and send Takagi into railing! Okada reels Takagi in, puts him on the apron, but Takagi fights off to RAM Okada into railing! And then RAM him into the apron!

Takagi fireman’s carries to SNAKE EYES Okada off the apron, and then kick to DDT! Fans fire up and Takagi flexes as he looms over Okada. The ring count starts again, Takagi drags Okada up and puts him in the ring. Takagi slingshots to STOMP Okada! Takagi digs his knee into Okada, then stands on him, but steps off as Red Shoes counts. Takagi kicks at Okada, drags him up and throws forearms into the back! Takagi whips and KNEES Okada against ropes, then runs to run Okada over! Fans fire up with Takagi and they clap “TA-KA-GI!” “O-KA-DA!” again. Takagi drags Okada up, suplexes, and drives Okada down hard! Cover, TWO!

Takagi clamps onto Okada with a chinlock and grinds him down. Okada endures, fans rally up, but Takagi shifts. Okada fights up, throws body shots to fight free, but Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS him down! Takagi mockingly asks what’s wrong and eggs Okada on. Takagi brings Okada up, Okada throws forearms back! Takagi ROCKS Okada with one! Takagi brings Okada up, Gory Especial, but Okada fights it! Okada gets the arm for the MONEY CLIP! Takagi powers Okada to a corner and is free, then runs but into a BOOT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Fans rally as Takagi and Okada stir. Okada stands first and fires off forearms.

Okada whips, Takagi reverses but Okada ducks and ELBOWS Takagi down! Okada fires up and the fans fire up, too! Okada whips Takagi to a corner, runs in and elbows him, then kicks to DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus while fans continue to rally. Takagi gets to ropes, then a corner, and Okada storms over. Okada hoists Takagi up top, but Takagi boots him away! Takagi runs but into an uppercut! Okada runs but into the elbow! JAB! LARIAT! Takagi fires up and the fans fire up, too! Takagi drags Okada up again, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Takagi is copying Okada’s style and LARIATS him down again!

Takagi scoops and slams Okada and goes to a corner, also formula Okada! For the FALLING ELBOW! Takagi keeps moving and mocks the Rainmaker pose, to then double gun flex! Takagi drags Okada up, wristlock ripcords but Okada stops the steal with a BOOT! Okada fires forearms, throws EuroUppers, but Takagi blindside LARIATS! Takagi runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous now as the two stir! Okada sits up, Takagi follows and the two go forehead to forehead. Okada forearms, then again, but Takagi fires up to forearm back! Okada eggs Takagi on so Takagi hits again! They go back and forth, faster and faster and fans rally up!

Takagi gets the edge, ROCKS Okada, and brings him back around to whip. Okada reverses but Takagi holds ropes to avoid the dropkick! Okada avoids the sliding lariat, but Takagi gets Okada in a fireman’s carry! Okada slips off, Takagi elbows him away, blocks the boot and clotheslines! Takagi runs, Okada catches him for the MONEY CLIP! Takagi fights out, Okada goes to backslide, but Takagi counters to NOSHIGAMI! But Takagi can’t make the cover! Fans rally up, Takagi crawls over, and fires himself back up. Okada slowly rises, Takagi runs but into the dropkick! Okada gut wrenches to a TOMBSTONE! Okada gets the arm for MONEY CLIP!

Takagi endures and fans rally up again. Okada cranks on the hold but Takagi reaches with his legs, and gets the ropebreak! Okada lets go quickly and both men are down again. Fans rally up, Okada stands first, and he hobbles over to Takagi. Okada drags him up, scoops and slams him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs slowly and Takagi hits him first! Takagi climbs up, clubs away on Okada’s back, then talks some smack as he drags Okada up. Okada resists but Takagi gets him up for the SUPERPLEX! The fans are thunderous again as both men writhe from that impact! Takagi rolls over towards Okada, sits Okada up, and hits a SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!

Fans cheer but Takagi grits his teeth. Takagi gets the fans rallying with “OI! OI! OI!” Takagi gets up, runs again, but Okada ducks the lariat to backslide! Takagi rolls through, Okada reels him in but Takagi avoids Rainmaker to pump handle! MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO?!? Okada survives and Takagi can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous as Takagi catches his breath. Takagi drags Okada back up, reels Okada in and pump handles again. Okada clubs free of that but Takagi POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Fans rally, Takagi kicks at Okada then drags him back up. Takagi gives Okada forearms from all sides, then ROCKS him!

Okada leans against ropes, Takagi whips but Okada reverses and dropkicks! Okada grabs at Takagi’s arm and gets the MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures, fights up, but Okada gut wrenches for the SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Back to MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures as Okada squeezes tight! Takagi fights up again, reaches out for ropes, but Okada drags him back to a back2backbreaker! And back to the MONEY CLIP! Takagi is turning red and is fading as Okada squeezes as tight as he can! Red Shoes checks on Takagi, the hand drops once. But Takagi gets a second wind now and he powers towards ropes, starts to fade again, but still gets a ropebreak! Okada lets go and fans are thunderous again!

Okada catches his own breath while he stands up. Okada grabs at Takagi but he resists. Takagi throws body shots but Okada stomps Takagi down. Takagi grits his teeth and rises, but Okada SHOTGUNS him! Takagi’s right up to LARIAT! Okada stays up!? Okada gets Takagi’s wrist, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada is going to show Takagi how it’s done as he brings Takagi up, but swings into a full nelson! Okada breaks free, catches Takagi for a spin but Takagi swats the discus! Takagi ripcords, PUMPING RAINMAKER!! Cover, TWO!!! Okada survives and the fans are electric! Takagi gets to a corner, fires himself up by smacking the padding, and then aims at Okada.

Okada rises as Takagi runs in, to PUMPING BOMBER! But Takagi isn’t done, he pump handle fireman’s carries, but Okada slips off! Okada ducks the back hand to back drop, and sit on Takagi! Cover, TWO!! Takagi stays close to Okada and brings him up, but Okada gut wrenches again! Takagi fights free, and hits a BACK SUPLEX BACKBREAKER! That was rough, even for Takagi! Fans rally up again, Takagi drags Okada up and runs, for MAX PUMPING BOMBER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Takagi can’t believe it but this is the Rainmaker fans have come to know! Takagi fires up and drags Okada back up to the pump handle fireman’s carry.

Okada fights free again, ripcords, but into the pump handle! LAST OF THE DRAGONS!!! Cover, Takagi wins!!!!!

Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

This is almost unbelievable! Okada called his shot at Castle Attack, but falls in the first round!! The Dragon slays Okada, and the Rainmaker’s return to the top stops already! What does this mean for the rest of Okada’s 2021? Takagi gets the mic to speak! “Ota Cityyy~!” It feels really good to have won. But seriously, that was a tough match! Takagi hopes everyone enjoyed the match, and Takagi tells Okada that he’s one tough opponent. But the winner here is Takagi.

Takagi can tell NJPW is entering a new era, and Kota Ibushi is the champion after the 49th Anniversary. Takagi thinks the world title is going to be pretty awesome. But in the NJCUP, Takagi vows to make this his time! Ibushi better be ready to defend that new belt against Takagi! Will the “Pumping Maker” be heading for the top now that he’s beaten one of the best in the world?


My Thoughts:

A great event, especially the NJCUP matches. The Empire keeps winning in solid Six Man Tags, and with Cobb finishing it off. Cobb is going to build momentum all week until he faces Evil on 3/11, that’s a given. Ospreay has momentum for his match, too, but it’d be a great twist if he lost to Tenzan after getting a big head. Honma VS Suzuki was really good, perhaps a touch better than Kenta VS Juice, but maybe it was just all the brawling and wobble selling. I figured Suzuki would win, and it makes sense for Kenta to win against Juice. Just something about pacing felt better in Honma VS Suzuki.

Okada VS Takagi is probably match of the week, and is so far leading the way as best match of the opening round. It’s going to be really hard to beat that, especially because Takagi won! I really thought there was going to be a moment for Okada to turn things around, but that’s huge for Takagi to win. Takagi also has a lot of guts for copying the Rainmaker formula, but I wonder if this is some kind of Okada seal of approval that Takagi won here. Takagi VS Goto is going to be another great match given their NEVER Openweight Championship matches in the past, but I would think Takagi keeps winning until the semifinals now. The Suzuki VS Kenta winner faces Takagi on 3/16, Takagi can totally beat Kenta but Suzuki is a harder choice. But if there’s a chance we could get Takagi VS EVIL, I hope NJPW gives us that.

My Score: 9.3/10


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