NXT might never be the same again!
Two huge title matches and two big announcements from GM William Regal! Will NXT be forever changed on this Road to WrestleMania?
- NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai VS Toni Storm; Shirai wins and retains the title.
- Jake Atlas VS Pete Dunne w/ Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch; Dunne wins.
- NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez VS Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon; Blackheart & Moon win and become the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
- Kayden Carter w/ Kacy Catanzaro VS Xia Li w/ Tian Sha; Xia wins, by disqualification.
- El Legado del Fantasma VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Legado wins.
- NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Adam Cole; Balor wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT General Manager, William Regal, is already in the ring!
“WrestleMania is always a very special time here in WWE. And with that in mind, I have two game-changing announcements for you tonight. The first…” A dramatic video package plays and the narrator says, “Seven years ago, NXT revolutionized the sports entertainment industry, and we haven’t looked back. From London to LA, Toronto to New York, WarGames to In Your House, when we TakeOver, NXT always delivers.” So now, for the first time ever, TakeOver is so big, it has to be TWO NIGHTS!! TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! April 7th, TakeOver will be LIVE on television, and then April 8th, it will be live exclusively on Peacock! “Two nights, one message: We will Stand & Deliver, because we are N! X! T!”
The Capitol Wrestling Center loves that news! But Regal says NXT will continue the trend in making history, because the second announcement, the Women’s Division is here to hear that “each and every week, these ladies prove that they are the greatest women in the wrestling business. To be a competitor in the NXT Ladies’ Division, you have to be very special, and these ladies prove it week in and week out.” Therefore, the winners of the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, now join Regal in the ring.
The CWC is thunderous as Regal formally announces that after the “unfortunate happenings of last week, and the injustice of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship” that these two suffered, Regal is sick and tired of waiting for others to make decisions for him! Therefore, the NXT management has made a decision of their own! These two are now the inaugural NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! Congratulates, “You Deserve It!” Raquel and Dakota raise up their belts and the rest of the division applauds, because now they, too, get to compete for their own belts. Dakota and Raquel are feeling amazing!
They thank Mr. Regal and he’s right, this IS the most talented division in the world! “And we went through every single one of you!” Don’t shake your heads for not facing them in the tournament, you would’ve lost, too! Dakota & Raquel dominated, NXT had to make these belts just for them. But this is just the beginning! Taking over the entire world is next! “Y’all better get used to this. Because we’re going to carry these championships for a very long time.” But then Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon step up as the very first to “congratulate” the new champions. It is amazing, really. NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships! Truly amazing!
But if there are champions… Then there will be challengers! And in the Dusty Cup, Dakota & Raquel beat everyone in their bracket. But so did Ember & Shotzi. But in the finals, it could’ve gone either way. So the point is, why not defend those titles against Shotzi & Ember, tonight? Dakota and Raquel talk it over, and with Regal right here, the match is made! Another historic moment as the Women’s Tag Titles will have their first defense in a Women’s Dusty Cup rematch! Will Dakota & Raquel lose these titles the same night they get them? Or will they #Stand&Deliver to take these titles to TakeOver and beyond?
NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai VS Toni Storm!
But speaking of the amazing Women’s Division, the top title is on the line in another rematch! The Evil Genius of the Sky and the Lightning From Down Under were two very different people when they met in the Mae Young Classic finals! But if lightning doesn’t strike twice, does that mean Shirai will get back that loss and retain her title? Or will it be #ToniTime then, now and forever?
NXT returns and Toni makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this 1v1 rematch a long time coming finally happens!
Shirai and Storm circle, tie up, and Shirai puts Storm on ropes. The fans rally, the ref counts, but Shirai lets off clean. She and Storm tie up again, and this time Storm powers Shirai to ropes. Storm lets off to SLAP Shirai! Shirai tackles Storm and rains down rights! Storm pushes Shirai over to rain down rights in return! Shirai rolls Storm, Storm kicks Shirai away and then BOOTS her down! Storm paces while Shirai goes to a corner. Storm runs in to HIP ATTACK! Shirai flops out of the ring, Storm builds speed but slides into a forearm! Shirai slingshots to stomp Storm on the back, and Storm ends up in a corner. Shirai stomps Storm, digs her boots in, then hits a swinging METEORA!
Shirai fires up, stomps Storm more, then brings her up for forearms. Shirai CHOPS and CHOPS Storm, runs but Storm follows to BOOT! Shirai forearms, goes Matrix to dodge a boot to roll Storm, and then basement dropkicks her! Storm gets to ropes, Shirai drags her up to bump off buckles and stomp her down. Shirai clubs Storm, brings her up, whips her to ropes, but Storm reverses. Shirai reverses back to reel Storm into an IRON OCTOPUS! Storm endures, Shirai digs her elbow in, but then Shirai CLUBS Storm, wrenches her hair, and CHOPS her to a corner! Shirai CHOPS again, whips her, but Storm reverses!
Storm runs in but is put on the apron. Shirai ducks the forearm to shoulder Storm down! Shirai goes to the apron and kicks Storm, but Storm YANKS Shirai out of her springboard, and Shirai crashes off the apron! Storm drags Shirai up and throws her into steel steps! Fans boo and Shirai writhes while NXT goes picture in picture.
Storm drags Shirai up, CHOPS her, and then follows her around the way. Storm throws EuroUppers, CLUBS Shirai into the ring, then covers, TWO! Storm smirks as she drags Shirai back up, and wrenches Shirai’s hair to TOSS her to a corner! Shirai sits up, Storm stomps her down. Storm stomps a mudhole in, but lets off as the ref counts, and Storm “apologizes” before she snapmares Shirai to a cover. TWO, but Storm hooks Shirai up with a seated cobra twist and neck wrench. Shirai endures, Storm shifts the neck wrench the other way, but still Shirai endures. Storm stomps Shirai, drags her up, and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO!
Storm wraps Shirai up in a half straitjacket, then switches arms to get a cobra clutch. Shirai endures and reaches for ropes as NXT returns to single picture. Storm CLUBS Shirai down, but Shirai avoids the elbow drop! Shirai rallies with shoulder tackles and a FLAPJACK! Storm is on ropes, Shirai hits a 619! Shirai springboards to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Shirai drags Storm up in a waistlock but Storm switches. Shirai wheelbarrows and victory rolls to STOMP 182! Shirai goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Storm intercepts with a headbutt! Storm climbs up, CLUBS Shirai over and over, then brings her up for the SUPERPLEX! Both women are down but fans fire up!
Shirai and Storm stir as a standing count begins. Fans rally and duel as Shirai rises but Storm follows. Storm runs and SLIDING LARIATS! Storm hauls Shirai up for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Shirai survives and rolls away but Storm is on her. Shirai fires forearms, counter punches Storm then runs, but Storm clotheslines at ropes Storm runs, Shirai goes Matrix again, but Storm drops an elbow on her! Storm runs again to SLIDING LARIAT Shirai at ropes! Shirai flops to the apron, Storm goes out to join her, and drags Shirai up. Storm underhooks Shirai’s arms but Shirai powers up to back drop Storm to the apron! Storm hits hard then flops down!
Shirai climbs a corner! ARIHARA MOONSAULT!! Direct hit and both women are down! The ring count climbs as they stir, and Champion’s Advantage could come into play! Shirai gets up and puts Storm in, she wants to win this without excuses! Shirai goes up but Storm clubs her! And carries her out for a SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Shirai survives and Storm is furious! Storm gets up, drags Shirai back up and underhooks again. Shirai wrenches out to SHOTEI! SHOTEI! SHOTEI! Then a takedown to a CROSSFACE!! Storm scrambles around, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Shirai lets off fast, but Shirai runs corner to corner, SHINKANSEN!!
Shirai steps on Storm, goes up top, and OVER THE MOONSAULT FLOPS!! Storm hauls Shirai up, STORM ZERO!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Shirai survives and shocks Storm but the CWC is thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” Storm hurries to the corner and goes up top! Storm leaps, DIVING HEADBUTT FLOPS!! Shirai gets a CROSSFACE! Storm flails, reaches around, moves around, but TAPS! Shirai wins!!
Winner: Io Shirai, by submission (still NXT Women’s Champion)
The Evil Genius rarely wins like that, but it shows her arsenal has more depth than we knew! Will Shirai use every style to stay on top of the best Women’s Division anywhere?
Finn Balor speaks.
“Finn Balor, Adam Cole. Two biggest names in NXT history. You were talking real tough last week, Adam. Talking like a big man with a bunch of referees holding me back. But remember: You’re a one man act now. Might not be anyone to hold you back, but there’s no one to back you up. Tonight, no blindsides, no cheap shots. Just me and you, face to face, for that,” the NXT Championship. And remember, Adam: Balor beat you to win that, and will beat you again to keep it. Will the Prince stay on his throne against Adam Cole BAYBAY?
Backstage interview with LA Knight.
Since coming to NXT, he’s had a lot to say, and he made his presence felt. He requested this time, so what’s on his mind? “Let me talk to ya.” Last week, everyone thought, “Oh man, I bet it’s gonna be LA Knight’s in-ring debut!” WRONG! But to put it like this, quick spoiler alert for everyone out there: that time is about to come! If anyone can step up, “find enough tingle in their loins” to take LA Knight on, then we’ll see how that ends up. That is not an insult, that is just a fact of life. But then BRONSON REED attacks! The Colossal is still pissed over Knight screwing him over against Cameron Grimes, and he rams Knight into a wall!
Security and staff rush in to pull Bronson away from Knight, but Bronson tells Knight, “Good luck with your debut!” Will Knight wish he’d picked on someone closer to his size? Or will Reed end up playing LA Knight’s game?
Jake Atlas VS Pete Dunne w/ the Kings of NXT!
The price of El Monte has been wanting to show NXT what he’s made of, but has he bitten off more than he can chew taking on the Bruiserweight?
The bell rings and the two tie right up. Dunne wrenches to a wristlock but Atlas rolls, spins and handsprings. Dunne wrings the arm but Atlas handsprings through! They circle again, tie up, and Dunne gets the arm to wrench it and bend the fingers. Dunne hammerlocks the arm while also isolating fingers! Atlas endures, rolls over but Dunne wrenches through to bend fingers again. Atlas spins, slips through, wrenches and arm-drags Dunne! Atlas goes back for more but Dunne fakes him out to get a leg and trip him! Dunne stands on an arm, drops down to get a headlock, and cranks back on Atlas’ neck. Atlas fights up, powers out, hurdles and RANAS!
Dunne goes to a corner, Atlas runs in but is put on the apron. Atlas kicks a leg out, slingshots and springboards to arm-drag again! Atlas rolls under the clothesline, handsprings back to headscissor, but Dunne PENALTY KICKS an arm out! Dunne grabs that arm and drops knees on it! Dunne even chinbars to pull Atlas’s head around. Fans boo as Dunne digs his knee into Atlas’ arm and bends it back! Dunne twists the wrist, tortures the fingers, and bends the arm around again, to drop a knee on it! Atlas writhes but Dunne KICKS him in the back! Dunne sits Atlas up to SLAP him to a corner! Atlas seethes but Dunne stands him up to SLAP him down, and STOMP him!
Dunne keeps Atlas from ropes, but Atlas body shots and CHOPS and throws forearms! Dunne shoves but Atlas rebounds to BOOT! And ROUNDHOUSE! Dunne avoids the Penalty Kick but Atlas STANDING MOONSAULTS, only for Dunne to catch him to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Atlas handsprings out, throws uppercuts, and then hits a SNAP GERMAN, to PENALTY KICK! STANDING MOONSAULT hits this time! Cover, TWO!! Oney and Burch are a bit worried as Atlas brings Dunne up. Dunne disrupts the tornado DDT, Atlas gets around to spin Dunne and DISCUS LARIAT! Fans fire up with Atlas as he goes to a corner. Atlas cartwheels but Dunne UPPERCUTS the arms out!
Dunne STOMPS Atlas’ arm, hooks one to grab the other, and then Danielson Stomps Atlas on the head before he tortures the fingers and SNAPS them! Then YANKS the arm into an armbar!! Atlas verbally quits, Dunne wins!!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by submission
The Bruiserweight makes Atlas suffer a little longer, then lets go to simply shrug. Dunne then gets a mic as he stands with the NXT Tag Team Champions and says, “This is the time of year that everybody wants to step up their game. When you step up to me, that’s exactly what happens.” Dunne made a name for himself in the UK, but he is THE best technical wrestler in the world! Dunne dares someone to try and prove him wrong. The gauntlet has been laid down, but who will accept this open challenge?
Marcel Barthel tells Timothy Thatcher, “The entire NXT Universe is talking about us. What I said last week, what I proposed to you. Well, a long, long time ago, we created something very special. Something only we could create. Something so unique, no one ever will be able to represent it like you did.” Barthel wants “Tim” to take his rightful spot, step in, and together, they can take what has always been theirs. Fabian Aichner tells “Tim” that Imperium is here for him. They’re doing all this for him.
But if Thatcher has to go ask “his friend,” Ciampa, for permission, then please, bring him along. They’ll still make it work, out of respect for Thatcher. Because Imperium is taking over, no matter what. Will Thatcher accept this invitation? How will Ciampa receive it?
Leon Ruff speaks.
“Let’s talk about it, Swerve. I mean, let’s talk about it. I knew you were a snake the moment I met you! You want to say I tripped and fell into my opportunities? I am so sick of people thinking that I lucked into this! I busted my ass to get here!” Ruff scratched and clawed for everything that he’s gotten, and it wasn’t luck when he beat Swerve two weeks ago! Swerve says this is his house? Ruff is the one who’s been holding it down since he got here! The opening match to the main event! And he’ll be holding Swerve down again in another #RuffLanding!
NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez VS Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon!
These titles are brand new, and the inaugural reign is barely 40 minutes in! Will the inaugural Women’s Dusty Cup winners stay the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions just one month away from WrestleMania Week? Or will the rematch go the other way, with the wild child and Shenom howling to the moon?
The introductions are made, the brand new belts are raised, and history is once again forged in gold!
Ember rushes Raquel and dropkicks her to the corner! Dakota tags in fast to kick and SCORPION KICK! Ember goes to her corner, Shotzi tags in and gets around to waistlock. Shotzi dodges the elbow, shoves Dakota to a corner and runs in, but has to block boots first. Shotzi ties up the legs, drags Dakota out of the corner, and gets a CLOVERLEAF! Dakota endures, Raquel reaches out and even tries to push the bottom rope closer to her! Dakota claws her way around, but Shotzi drags her away! Raquel is freaking out but Dakota still endures as she heads for more ropes. Dakota finally gets the ROPEBREAK!
Shotzi lets go fast, kicks but Dakota ducks. Shotzi blocks a kick and DOUBLE ROUNDHOUSES take them both down! NXT goes picture in picture as fans rally up!
Shotzi and Dakota crawl for their corners, Shotzi clamps onto Dakota first to throw forearms. Dakota forearms back, Shotzi forearms again and the two brawl, Shotzi fires forearms, has Dakota against ropes then runs, but Dakota avoids the cannonball, sucker punches Ember, and gives Shotzi a DRAPING STOMP! Dakota drags Shotzi away, Raquel tags in and drops elbows! Raquel drags Shotzi up to scoop and SLAM her! Cover, TWO! Raquel looms over Shotzi, drags her up again, and CLUBS her down! Raquel kicks Shotzi to a corner, drags her up, but Shotzi throws forearms. Raquel makes her pay by throwing even more forearms!
Tag to Dakota, Raquel stomps Shotzi down for Dakota to BOOT WASH! Dakota drags Shotzi to a cover, TWO! Shotzi crawls for her corner but Dakota drags her away while mocking Ember. Dakota bumps Shotzi off buckles in an open corner, but Shotzi boots back! Shotzi hops up to leap for the sunset flip! TWO, and Dakota BOOTS Shotzi down! Cover, TWO! Dakota is annoyed but she drags Shotzi up into a seated cobra twist. Shotzi endures, Dakota leans on the hold, and Shotzi fights up, only for Dakota to throw her down! Cover, TWO! Dakota keeps Shotzi from Ember, puts her in the corner and tags in Raquel. Raquel throws back elbows, then brings Shotzi out.
Shotzi throws body shots but Raquel CLOBBERS her! Cover, TWO! Raquel keeps close to Shotzi, and brings her up for a bearhug! Shotzi endures, starts to fade, but she powers up to throw forearms! NXT returns to single picture as Shotzi gets free, only for Raquel to CLOBBER her again! Tag to Dakota, and she gets a boost to DOUBLE STOMP Shotzi down! Cover, TWO! Dakota keeps on Shotzi with body scissors and clubbing forearms. Shotzi endures as Dakota pulls her hair. Dakota clubs Shotzi, fans rally up, and Shotzi pushes back to a cover, TWO! Dakota lets Shotzi go, to BOOT her back down!
Dakota drags Shotzi up, scoops her, but Shotzi slips out to DECK Raquel, and dodge Dakota! Dakota almost runs into Raquel, but Raquel tells her to hurry after Shotzi. Dakota stops Shotzi but Shotzi breaks free to ENZIGURI! Hot tag to Ember! Ember dodges Dakota, DECKS Raquel, then rallies on Dakota! Ember spins Dakota to a back suplex SLAM! Ember runs to drop the back senton! She keeps going, mule kicks Dakota down, then drags her up for a Canadian rack, AK 47! Basement dropkick! Raquel gets in, Ember dodges, goes up and hits a FLYING CODE BREAKER! Raquel drags Dakota out to save her, but Shotzi joins in, to DIVE! Direct hit takes Raquel down!
Ember fetches Dakota and bumps her off the apron. Ember puts Dakota in, runs and rolls her up, with a bridge, TWO! Dakota flounders around, Ember grabs a leg but Dakota kicks her away. Dakota gets to her corner, Ember storms in but is put into buckles! Dakota runs side to side to BOOT Ember! Raquel tags in, she brings Ember around to a fireman’s carry, and Dakota coordinates, ASSISTED GO TO KICK! Cover, TWO!!! Raquel is furious! Raquel drags Ember around, but Ember throws body shots. Raquel kicks low, hauls Ember up to a Canadian rack and bends Ember, before the DOMINATOR BOMB!! Cover, Shotzi breaks it!!
Shotzi gets away from Raquel’s wrath, Raquel drags Ember and tags in Dakota. Dakota waits as Raquel scoops Ember, but Ember slips off to avoid the boot! Raquel and Dakota steady themselves, Shotzi tags in and climbs up, to DOUBLE CROSSBODY! Raquel is up but Shotzi springboards to RANA her out! Shotzi runs at Dakota to forearm smash, snapmare and SLING-DOG! Fans fire up with Shotzi as she KNEES and ROLLING ELBOWS! Then QUESTION MARK to a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi keeps going, dragging Dakota up and putting her on ropes. Tag to Ember, Ember holds Dakota, WELCOME TO THE BALL PIT!
Ember adds a KNEE, then a SLINGSHOT SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Ember grows frustrated but she tags Shotzi back in. They drag Dakota up for knees, then get the legs for a double wheelbarrow GERMAN! Cover, but Raquel breaks it but dragging Shotzi into a sleeper! Ember climbs up, Shotzi jawbreakers free, and Ember hits the ECLI- NO!! Raquel blocked the Eclipse, pops Ember up, and blocks a rana to get Ember up. Ember keeps fighting, they end up on ropes, and Shotzi staggers. Raquel hauls Ember back up, but Shotzi dodges and shoves Dakota into Raquel! Raquel and Ember go tumbling out of the ring! Shotzi rolls Ember, with a bridge!! THE CHALLENGERS WIN!!
Winners: Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart, by pinfall (NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions)
A second reign on the same night as the first?! Now THAT is historic! And Ember is the first ever woman to have been both NXT Women’s and NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion in her career! Will she and Shotzi set the pace for this new era in NXT?
Adam Cole speaks.
“A lot of people have been asking me why I did what I did. But instead, I’m going to explain how we got here.” A couple weeks ago, Kyle O’Reilly decides to step out of line, and Cole “put him in his place.” Roderick Strong tried to play tough guy and Cole beat him where he stood, and he “reminded both of those chumps who the leader of the Undisputed Era is.” But don’t get Cole wrong, the UE is dead when COLE says it’s dead, and he was just getting rid of dead weight.
“Which brings us to tonight. Because, boys and girls, TakeOver comes to us four weeks early, because it’s Adam Cole VS Finn Balor for the NXT Championship.” And Balor thinks he has Cole right where he wants him, but Cole played Balor like a fiddle. This has always been about the NXT Championship, and it will always bee about that. A lot of people looked at Balor as the greatest NXT Champion of all time, and then Cole showed up to have the greatest reign at 483 days! Cole beat everyone from NXT to Raw to SmackDown! And tonight, Cole becomes a two-time NXT Champion! And if we thought Cole’s first reign was something special, “trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” Are we about to see something that is even more than Undisputed?
The NXT Women’s Division celebrates their new new champions.
Shotzi & Ember are so happy to hold gold together, and many of the women are happy they’re the ones holding the belts. However, The Way are the lone dissenters. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell of course believe it should’ve been them, but they regroup with Johnny Gargano. They all wonder where Austin Theory has been, but he walks up behind them. Theory learned that Gargano paid the therapist off, mostly because it was all on tape. Gargano admits to it, and Theory asks why he’d do that! Well, therapy ain’t free. Oh, true. But Gargano spared no expense, and he got Theory the best money could buy. And now we all know how Dexter Lumis really feels about Theory.
Is Theory crying? N-No…! He’s mad! Well good! Theory should be mad and should want to rip Lumis’ head off! Lumis said Theory was annoying, and doesn’t know how to dress himself, and that he has “a mediocre abdominal region.” Theory is furious and he rips his shirt off! Lumis crossed a line!! Theory storms off, The Way hurries after him, but will things really be okay when Gargano’s lies are exposed?
WWE and Girl Up team up again!
Female athletes set an example for young women and girls to dream big and succeed! Learn to #LeadLikeHer by going to Girl Up’s official website!
Kayden Carter w/ Kacy Catanzaro VS Xia Li w/ Tian Sha!
Though brutally injured by her last week, Kacy is still going to be ringside to watch Xia take on Kayden, in hopes that justice will be served! But will Kayden only end up the same way as Kacy at the hands and feet of Tian Sha’s living weapon?
The bell rings and Kayden dropkicks Xia right down! Xia sits up and Kayden KICKS and KICKS! Xia blocks to ELBOW Kayden down, then stomps away! Xia clubs Kayden down, then drags her up, only for Kayden to jawbreaker! Kayden rallies with clotheslines, CLUBS Xia and whips her to ropes. Xia reverses, Kayden comes back to victory roll and mule kick! Xia is staggered Kayden runs to BOOT WASH her into ropes! Cover, TWO! Xia flounders but Kayden is after her at ropes! The ref backs Kayden up and Xia kicks a leg out! Kacy cheers Kayden on but Xia drops elbows on Kayden’s leg! Then KIKCKS it!
Xia glares at Kacy as she whips Kayden HARD into buckles! The legs take a hit, and Xia grabs them to drag Kayden to the apron. Xia stomps away on Kayden’s legs! Kacy shouts at Xia but Xia just glares at her and says, “This is for you!” Xia puts Kayden’s leg against a crossbar, but Kacy uses a crutch to SMACK Xia!!
Winner: Xia Li, by disqualification
Kacy won’t let Xia break Kayden’s leg like she did to hers! And she SMACKS Xia again to make sure! Kacy gets in with a crutch, Xia wants mercy, but Kacy JAMS Xia in the stomach! Kacy won’t show mercy to the one who took it too far first! Kacy smacks away on Xia, but Boa gets in! Boa blocks the crutch attack and takes it away to break it! But that’s just one crutch, because Kayden has the other! Tian Sha orders Boa to break Kacy, but Kayden SMACKS Boa with the second crutch! KC Squared get away together, but is this only the beginning of a much more brutal battle?
NXT hears from Jordan Devlin!
“Y’know something? I absolutely love this time of year. So much to be excited about. Summer’s right around the corner, WrestleMania season. NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver’s coming up in a couple of weeks. The only thing I don’t like is this Irish weather, man. Could really use a change of scenery. And it would be an awful shame if the biggest TakeOver in history didn’t have the NXT Cruiserweight Champion on the card. The real one, I mean.” So lucky for Devlin, and for NXT, his travel ban exemption got lifted today. That means, Santos Escobar, “your time playing make believe is up!”
Devlin is coming to the States and we are finally finding out who the REAL NXT Cruiserweight Champion is!! Devlin reveals he’s at the airport, his flight booked. Will you be foolish enough to bet against the Irish Ace?
NXT profiles one of their newest standouts.
“I’m Zoey Stark. There were quite a few things from my childhood that I’ve seen that were very rough. Growing up on the wrong side of those tracks, I had two roads. One road was continue living my life this way, where another road was to live a better life for myself and for my family.” Pro-wrestling was her escape. Whenever she was mad or upset, she’d turn on wrestling and it was her favorite thing in the world. Stark made an impressive debut that even champion Io Shirai acknowledges. Stark graduated, chased her dream from 18 and is here. Training helps her focus, and after years of hard work, NXT offered her a spot, it was mind-blowing! To be here is amazing.
As soon as she got in the ring, all the insecurities went away and she knew she was home. She’s a powerhouse, a striker, a chain wrestler, and goes all out in the ring. She is putting the Women’s Division on notice. “Hard work pays off, and there is no limit to Zoey Stark.”
Santos Escobar complains to William Regal.
“Who the hell does this guy think he is?” Devlin coming here, telling people that he’s the champion? Regal knows, Escobar knows, everyone knows that the REAL champion is him, Santos Escobar! Regal tries to explain to Escobar the situation, but he doesn’t want to hear. The music starts, but he tells Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza they can handle their business just fine without him, and that he needs to sort this out with Regal. Wilde & Mendoza head out, will Escobar convince Regal of his perspective?
El Legado del Fantasma VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
Naturally, Zack Gibson & James Drake have mics as they enter. “How does it feel, lads, to be internationally recognized as Santos Escobar’s puppets? Is this honestly how you wanted your life to go? Because while you have been taking bullets for your boss, running his errands, giving him massages, we have been making an impact in this division!” But what they did to MSK and poor Wes Lee’s hand is nothing compared to what Legado is in for! These are the Grizzled Young Veterans, SSSSOON to be recognized as NXT’s Number One! But will Gibson & Drake be feeling like number two after taking on a riled up Wilde & Mendoza?
The teams sort out, Gibson starts with Mendoza and they tie up. Gibson waistlocks, snapmares Mendoza but he handsprings through to headlock. Gibson throws body shots then powers up to hit a back suplex! Gibson drags Mendoza up, throws forearms, then tags in Drake. Drake holds Mendoza back as Gibson runs in but Mendoza dodges to RANA Drake and dropkick Gibson! Drake ends up in the Legado corner, Mendoza runs in to clotheslines and Wilde tags in! Wilde runs in to clothesline and then Mendoza tags in. Mendoza runs corner to corner to GAMANGIRI, tag to Wilde!
Wilde gets a boost to dropkick Gibson, then Mendoza helps with the hip toss rebound SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Wilde is annoyed, but wait what is going on now? The Fashionable Astronauts are back! Breezango finally get to have the entrance they were supposed to last week as they walk through space. Drake ENZIGURIS Wilde, and surprise! It wasn’t Breezango! It was MSK! Nash Carter and Wes Lee get the better of Legado AND GYV with that trick! Wilde rolls Drake up, and Legado wins!!
Winners: El Legado Del Fantasma, by pinfall
MSK has the last laugh on GYV, but then are ready for a fight! Lee SMACKS Gibson with his space helmet, and then Carter does the same to Drake! And then Lee SMASHES Gibson’s hand on the steel steps!! An eye for an eye, a hand for a hand! But wait, the REAL Breezango gets the drop on Legado! Fandango and Tyler Breeze brawl with Wilde and Mendoza, then DECK them with haymakers over and over! SUPER MODEL KICK for Mendoza, and a SUPER MODEL KICK for Wilde, to the FALCON ARROW!
MSK gives Breezango their helmets back, and they do the Dango! Fandango makes sure Carter does it right, with the helmet on! They all hip swivel together, but will they all get proper payback on their common enemies?
Backstage interview with Dakota & Raquel.
They’re obviously in bad moods after what happened. We all saw what happened so stop asking questions! But it doesn’t matter if it was for five seconds, five days or five weeks, they were STILL the inaugural NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions and they still made history! But then Io Shirai walks in and in Japanese then English, tells Raquel that she’s calling her out! Raquel tells Shirai, “Be careful what you wish for.” Will Big Mami Cool and the Evil Genius #Stand&Deliver in a battle over THE NXT Women’s Championship?
Backstage interview with Timothy Thatcher.
Imperium revealed their takeover plans, and they even offered an invitation to him and Ciampa. How does he respond? But before he can answer, Ciampa walks over. “I don’t know what you’re thinking, man, but I know my answer. I’m not interested. I’ll tell you what I am interested in: the Ring General. Y’know, the guy who sits safely across the pond, holding onto his NXT UK title while his recruits come here and do his bidding for him.” Walter is intriguing.
Now not to put the cart before the horse, there’s that old saying of, “If you’re not with them, you’re against them.” Ciampa is pretty sure they’re against Imperium. So how about “Toothless Timmy” and “Old Man Ciampa” VS Imperium next week? Sounds good to Ciampa. But Thatcher doesn’t answer. Will his actions speak for him?
BREAKING NEWS for next week’s episode!
After The Way riled him up, Austin Theory is getting his match with Dexter Lumis! But will the Tortured Artist reveal the truth to Theory? Plus, after the back and forth both in and out of the ring, Swerve and Ruff have a rematch! Will this still be Swerve’s House after Leon runs #Ruffshod? And LA Knight gets in the ring to wrestle! Will it be against Bronson Reed? Or someone a bit less colossal?
NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Adam Cole!
This match has been building for months, and once again the two best NXT Champions ever battle it out! Cole makes sure to remind us all of history as he wears the ring gear he wore the first time he won this title. Will history repeat itself for ADAM COLE BAYBAY~!? Or will the Prince deny the Triple Crown Champion his throne?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and perhaps we’ll finally see who is THE GREATEST in NXT history!
Fans are thunderous already as these two stare down and talk some trash. Balor rushes right in to get a headlock but Cole powers out, only for Balor to run him over! Cover, ONE, Cole headlocks but Balor powers out for Cole to run him over! Cover, ONE! Cole headlocks to a takeover but Balor rolls him over to get the headlock instead! Balor grinds Cole down, fans rally and duel, and Cole pushes with his forearm, only for Balor to crank the head. Cole makes it a cover, ONE, and Balor holds on. Cole tries again, ONE, but they stand up. Balor grinds the headlock, Cole pries at the hold, but Balor wrangles him back in. Cole brings Balor to a knee, slips out the back, and hammerlocks.
Balor reaches back, Cole shifts to a headlock but Balor tries to power out, only for Cole to hold on. Cole grinds Balor down now, and pushes back for leverage. Balor endures, Cole talks trash, but Balor fights up. Cole fights off the back suplex, hits the takeover but Balor headscissors. Cole kips out, Balor headlocks and takes over but Cole headscissors. Balor kips free, and avoids a superkick! The fans are fired up as the two stare down and NXT goes picture in picture.
Balor and Cole reset, circle, and tie up again. Balor gets an arm to a wristlock, then hammerlocks to wrangle Cole to the mat. Cole endures as Balor leans on the hold, and gives it a SNAP lock! Cole sits up, reaches back, stands up, but Balor spins Cole to a headlock and goes for the other arm, only for Cole to DECK him! Cole shakes out the arm, drags Balor up and wrenches his arm to a wristlock and has Balor on his knees. Balor fights up, rolls and hooks a leg, but Cole throws body shots. Cole wrangles Balor back down and leans on the short arm scissor. Balor kips up, wrenches but Cole DECKS him again! Balor checks his jaw but Cole bumps him off buckles.
Cole wraps Balor’s arm around ropes and pulls, but the ref counts. Cole lets off at 4, Balor goes to another corner, but Cole ROCKS him! And ROCKS him again! Cole stomps Balor in a corner, digs his boots in, but lets off as the ref counts. Balor gets up but Cole brings him up for more forearms. Balor staggers to another corner, Cole is on him with haymakers. Cole stomps Balor down, but argues with the ref about it. Cole bumps Balor off more buckles and gives him more stomps as NXT returns to single picture. The ref backs Cole off, Cole wrenches Balor to whip him to ropes, but Balor reverses. Cole sunset flips but Balor rolls through and basement dropkicks!
Fans fire up and Balor clamps onto Cole with a cobra clutch! Cole endures, Balor drags Cole down and leans on the hold. The fans rally, Cole fights up, but Balor wrangles him back down! Cole fights up, Balor shifts to wrench but Cole knees low! Cole runs, but Balor elbows him down! Balor storms over to Cole at ropes but Cole throws him out! Balor gets on the apron but Cole BOOTS him down! Cole goes out and brings Balor around to whip into Plexiglas! The ref starts a ring count, Cole drags Balor up and puts him in to stalk him to a corner. Cole whips Balor corner to corner hard and Balor bounces off buckles to hit the mat.
Cole drags Balor up, wrenches again, and whips him corner to corner. Balor comes back to dropkick Cole’s legs out! Cole goes to the corner, Balor CHOPS him then KICKS the legs out! Cole is in the corner, Balor wants after the leg but the ref backs him off. Balor CHOPS Cole again, drags him out and hits a SHIN BREAKER! Balor is after the leg still but Cole kicks him away. Cole stands up, Balor trips him and DOUBLE STOMPS him! Balor drags Cole up by his leg but Cole ENZIGURIS! Cole brings Balor into a fireman’s carry, but Balor slips out to ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Balor seethes and grits his teeth as Cole slowly rises. Balor stomps Cole at ropes, then stomps him more!
Fans rally and duel, Cole bails out to avoid stomps, but then grabs at Balor’s leg! Cole BOOTS Balor down! The ref starts a ring count but Cole pulls steel steps apart! Cole refreshes the count, brings Balor over to the base steps, but Balor suplexes first, and takes Cole all the way to the ramp! NXT again goes to picture in picture as both men are down!
The ref checks both men and somehow Cole, who got the worst of it, is okay to continue. Balor is also alright, but both men slowly stir. Balor sits up as the ring count starts again. Balor heads for the ring and leaves Cole behind. Cole crawls as the count passes 5, and gets in at about 8, for Balor to drop an elbow on him! Balor brings Cole up for a back suplex, covers, TWO! Balor keeps his focus and rams in KNEES! And then more knees! And more knees! Balor looms over Cole, gets the legs, and steps through to get a SHARPSHOOTER! Cole endures as Balor sits deep! Cole crawls and gets the ROPEBREAK! Balor lets off fast and drags Cole back up.
Balor CLUBS Cole, but Cole ELBOWS back! Cole throws a forearm, Balor staggers, but Balor comes back with a forearm! Cole forearms again, but Balor KICKS a leg! Cole forearms, Balor forearms, and NXT returns to single picture as they brawl! Fans rally as they pick up speed, and Balor CHOPS! Cole forearms again, then BOOTS! Balor PELES! Balor drags Cole in but Cole suplexes first, for an USHIGOROSHI BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Balor survives but Cole is too sore to be frustrated. Cole goes to the corner, climbs up slowly, and aims, but Balor avoids the Sunrise to SLINGBLADE! And SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Cole is down but Balor climbs!
COUP DE- NO! Cole moves, and comes back to SUPERKICK!! Balor clutches his jaw as Cole covers, TWO!! Cole is after Balor with a CROSSFACE!! Cole wants to break Balor’s jaw again but Balor endures and reaches for ropes! Cole rolls Balor away!! Balor still endures, shifts things around and pops free, to get Cole for a clinch of his own! Cole fights off that to get the CROSSFACE!! Balor endures, moves around, reaches, fades, but gets the ROPEBREAK! Cole holds on until 4.5! Fans are thunderous as Cole stomps Balor at the ropes. Cole lets off, but Balor trips him to ground ‘n’ pound! Cole kicks Balor away but Balor COBBERS him!
Balor drags Cole into the dragon sleeper, suplexes, but Cole slips out to mule kick the leg! Cole brings down the knee pad, runs, LAST SHOT to the jaw!! Cover, TWO!?! Balor survives and “This is Awesome!” Cole hurries back to a corner, climbs up again and takes aim. Cole leaps, PANAMA SUNRISE!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Balor survives and shocks Cole! Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this has to end somehow! Cole waits for Balor to sit up, and then positions him, for another- NO! The Last Shot misses as Balor throws Cole out of the ring! Cole flounders to barriers, and he sees Kyle O’Reilly lurking in the shadows! It’s like he’s seen a ghost! Balor runs in to FLY and take Cole down!!
Balor drags Cole up, reels him in, and looks to Kyle. This is for him! 1916 to the floor!! Balor puts Cole in, climbs up top, and leaps for the COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Balor wins!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall (still NXT Champion)
The Prince holds on to his title, and now Kyle hops the barrier to survey the scene. Balor says Kyle can go ahead and handle his business with Cole, and Cole asks Kyle to have mercy on him. Cole says Kyle doesn’t have to do this, but then Kyle sees the low blow coming! Kyle takes Cole’s Undisputed Era armband off him, throws it away, then rains down furious fists on Cole! Cole flounders up but Kyle is just after him in the corner! The ref pulls Kyle away, Cole bails out, but Kyle pushes the ref to pursue! Kyle grabs Cole by his hair to drag him up, but Cole ROCKS Kyle with a haymaker! Kyle still hurries after Cole and gets him at the ramp!
The ref tries to stop this again, but Kyle knocks the ref down! Kyle brings Cole up to RAM him into barriers, then RAM him into the barriers on the other side! Kyle shouts that Cole did this! Cole tried to end Kyle’s career but now he’s going to pay! Kyle brings Cole to the steel steps but more referees rush out to stop this! They hold Kyle back as Cole runs away, but then Kyle gets loose and CLOBBERS Cole on the stage! The refs again grab at Kyle, Cole retreats but Kyle gets loose to pursue! And back to Balor in the ring, he stands triumphant, but then senses someone is near. “What took you so long?” KARRION KROSS stands in the ring with Balor!!
Kross stares Balor down and simply says, “Tick-tock.” Balor’s reign is on the clock, but will he cancel the apocalypse come TakeOver?
What an amazing episode for NXT! Firstly, one of the announcements was only expected. I did not think TakeOver would also be two nights for this year, completely packing WrestleMania Week aside from Tuesday, though they might still look to move normal episodes of NXT to it. The NXT Women’s Division getting their own tag titles was rather apparent after the nonsense from last week. This is still big, but it just continues to show WWE has no idea what they’re doing. NXT’s the third brand until it’s not the third brand because Vince McMahon is fickle and impulsive. But it does make a lot of sense for Dakota & Raquel to be crowned the inaugural champions as a prize for being Women’s Dusty Cup winners.
The tag titles being put on the line tonight was quite the surprise, and while it technically hurts Dakota & Raquel to lose them already, it’s great for Shotzi & Ember to be the new champions. Clearly, The Way’s Candice & Indi are going to challenge Shotzi & Ember for TakeOver, a great continuation of the feud between those teams. Then the was a great segue (a pun cuz the pronunciation is seg-way) where Theory finds out the truth but is easily tricked into believing Gargano again. Lumis VS Theory happening is the natural course of action, and I feel like Lumis winning will be his way of getting a North American Championship match come TakeOver.
Shirai VS Storm opening the night was a good call, really got things going. It wasn’t quite their MYC match, but it came very close. Shirai retaining makes sense, and Shirai challenging Raquel to be her next challenger makes the short tag title reign easier to accept. That match is going to be great, and could go either way at this point. Shirai’s had a great run in NXT, and losing to Raquel isn’t a bad way to go before (hopefully) going to SmackDown and taking on other great talent. Shirai was back on the rise while Bianca Belair was already heading out, so seeing Evil Genius VS EST on a Friday night would be pretty awesome.
Xia VS Kayden wasn’t as much as I expected, but it did make sense for her to threaten Kayden’s leg and for Kacy to attack first. Still waiting on Tian Sha to get involved, but with the crutches combined with the lore of Tian Sha the character, I wonder if NXT would be up for using one of the TakeOver nights to do a cinematic match. There haven’t really been that many lately, and certainly not with mostly women superstars. Sure, last year’s Corporate Ladder MITB had the women as much as the men, but Tian Sha & Xia Li VS KC Squared would be just the four women, very gritty and tough, almost like the Boneyard Match but with more acrobatics.
LA Knight finally has his in-ring debut, and it surely won’t be against Bronson Reed, but Bronson Reed could definitely make his presence felt in return for last week. He sure did this week, and if Reed VS Knight is for night one of TakeOver, that’d be pretty great. I am very happy that Devlin is going to be making the trip out to finally shut Escobar up and take away his title, and the lift of the travel ban is a great sign overall. Hopefully we can get more travel between NXT and NXT UK. That also bodes well for Thatcher & Ciampa VS Imperium. And it would seem Ciampa wants after Walter and the NXT UK Championship, which is awesome. There aren’t many in NXT UK ready to challenge Walter, so biding time with a great former NXT Champion is a good move.
GYV VS Legado being mostly a way for MSK to return was alright, but it was clever that it first looked like it was Breezango. I imagine we might get an 8 Man, Breezango & MSK VS GYV & Legado, but maybe with two nights at TakeOver, we just get both 2v2 grudge matches, and then MSK moves on to finally get that tag title match with Lorcan & Burch. Dunne VS Atlas was good, but of course Dunne wins. I hope Dunne calling out technical style wrestlers means we get Dunne VS Kushida at TakeOver.
Then of course, the NXT Championship match and the promos from tonight were great stuff. I like that Kyle didn’t directly screw Cole over, but his presence did mess with Cole. Kyle with the denim vest was a pretty cool look, and I feel like he should use that as part of his post-UE character. Kyle VS Cole is going to be great stuff, and I should’ve expected Kross to show up tonight. Balor VS Kross was clearly set even back when Edge visited NXT to at least tease that NXT was an option for WrestleMania. Kross and Scarlett can try their spooky stuff, but it won’t have any effect on the man who was also The Demon. Hell, Balor might even bring The Demon back just to throw it in Kross’ face and make TakeOver even more amazing.
My Score: 9.5/10
Mitchell’s NJPW New Years Golden Series Results & Report! (1/20/22)
So much more than a dash!
NJPW starts on a new journey!
NJPW starts a month long journey that will culminate in an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match of Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!
- Great-O-Khan VS Yuto Nakashima; Khan wins.
- Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryohei Oiwa; Hiromu wins.
- Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji Ishimori & Jado; Makabe & Tiger Mask win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun; Honma, Kojima & Yano win.
- Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun; Wato, Taguchi & Tenzan wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun!
It’s a Great Bash Heels reunion as Everyone’s Kokeshi, Bread Style and The Producer are taking on Taka Michinoku, Taichi and the Meanest Man in the World himself! Yano wants to get the KOPW 2022 trophy, but will he even survive Suzuki at the start of this series?
Yano gets impatient during Suzuki-Gun’s entrance, seems he doesn’t hold the same reverence for the theme song as fans do. Suzuki and his team wait for the introductions to finish, and then the attack! Taka is after Kojima, Taichi chokes Honma in a corner, and Suzuki stomps Yano! The bell rings to get this on record, and while Taka throws Kojima out and Suzuki sends Yano out, Taichi keeps on Honma in the corner. Suzuki throws body shots on Yano, then uses his own spray bottle against him! The ref reprimands Taichi and Taichi stops choking Honma to argue with the ref. Honma kicks back but Taichi kicks, and Taichi gets the edge.
Taichi snapmares to KICK Honma in the back. Honma gets up to forearm but Taichi kicks his leg. Forearm, kick, forearm, kick, repeat! Taichi gets the edge again, eggs Honma up, then chokes him! The ref reprimands, Honma breaks free! Taichi tells him to shut it and sobats! Taichi runs, but Honma dodges the boot to run Taichi over! Fans fire up with Honma as he runs, but he waits for Taichi to roll out of the way before he drops the KOKESHI! Kokeshi gets the better of Taichi, and then tags in Yano! Yano fires up and he goes to the corner to untie the pad! Taichi tags out to Suzuki and Yano turns around to face a nightmare!
Suzuki kicks, whips, but Yano holds ropes and dodges the boot to SLAP Suzuki! Yano whips, Suzuki reverses and Yano hits bare buckles! Suzuki boots Yano, snapmares and PENALTY KICKS! Taichi and Taka go after Honma and Kojima while Suzuki drags Yano out. Suzuki sends Yano into railing, then smacks him off the apron! Taichi and Taka do the same to the others, then Suzuki goes looking under the ring. Suzuki drags Yano up, wraps his arm around railing, and cranks on the arm! Suzuki even claws Yano’s forehead and fish hooks the nose! The ring count starts, Suzuki leaves Yano behind and fans rally up.
The count is 10 of 20 and Taichi taunts Yano while he’s on the floor. Taichi stomps Yano, Yano still gets up at 17 and in at 18. Suzuki powers Yano to a cover, TWO! Fans rally, Suzuki tags Taka. Taka stomps Yano, sits him up and digs his knuckles into the forehead! The ref reprimands and counts, Taka lets off with the other hand! The ref reprimands more, counts again, and Taka lets off to scrape his soles on Yano’s face! Taka puts Yano in the corner, throws an uppercut, then tags Taichi. Taichi chokes Yano! The ref reprimands and counts, Taichi stops at 4. Taichi drags Yano up to snapmare and CHOKE! The ref notices and reprimands Taichi again!
Taichi lets off, but then he chokes Yano again! The ref reprimands, so Taichi says that’s not a choke. THIS is a choke! The ref warns Taichi, he lets off, and fans rally up as Taichi drags Yano up by his hair. Taichi feeds Yano to Suzuki’s boot! Suzuki tags in, he stomps away on Yano, then has the leg! Yano has the ropebreak but Taka stands on Yano’s neck! Taichi gets in to intercept Honma and throw him back out! The ref restores order, fans rally up, but Suzuki drags Yano up. Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips Suzuki, Suzuki narrowly avoids hitting bare buckles! Yano runs in but Suzuki dodges and Yano hits buckles!
Suzuki runs, but Yano gets him for an atomic drop! Yano hurries over, fans rally up, hot tag to Kojima! Kojima hits the Suzuki-Gun corner before he stomps Suzuki to a corner. Kojima fires off the MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Suzuki just snarls and turns things around for machine gun forearms! But Kojima turns it back for another round of MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kojima whips Suzuki into the bare buckles, then hits a forearm smash! Kojima throws Suzuki down, but Suzuki gets right up to kick low! Suzuki brings Kojima out but Kojima fires forearms! But Suzuki knees low! Suzuki wrenches, Kojima kicks, but Suzuki blocks the cutter to a SLEEPER!
Kojima fights up, fights free, but Suzuki talks trash. Kojima CHOPS, so Suzuki CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS, Suzuki CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Kojima gets the edge with forearms, then hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Kojima runs, but Suzuki shoots around to DECK Kojima! Tag to Taka, he DECKS Honma then stomps Kojima. Taka whips Kojima in to the bare buckles! SHINING WIZARD! Taichi adds a corner clothesline, then he runs Kojima to the corner! Snapmare, to a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Yano and Honma break it! Suzuki and Taichi throw them back out, and Taka drags Kojima up. Taka scoops, but Kojima fights free! COZY CUTTER!
Kojima throws off the armband and runs, but Taka goes the other way to BOOT! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Kojima survives Taka’s Super K, but Taka runs. Taka ducks the lariat, Kojima throws a low kick but Taka hits a CALF KICK! Kojima still hits COZY LARIAT!! Cover, Great Bash Heels win!
Winners: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano, by pinfall
Suzuki-Gun’s Blue Playmaker fumbles again! And somehow, Yano has cuffed Suzuki to the ropes! Yano dares Suzuki to do something about it, but obviously he can’t without the key. Taichi gets in with his mic stand so the Great Bash Heels take their leave. Will Suzuki be unable to do anything as Yano goes after the KOPW 2022 trophy?
Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun!
The Way of the Grandmaster joins forces with his mentors as he takes on Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado! Wato is rolling towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but will the Rogue Luchador turn the tides?
The teams sort out and Wato steps up to start against Desperado. Fans rally for this IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship teaser, but Desperado trips Wato. Desperado runs, Wato stays low, but Desperado steps on him! Desperado stands Wato up to CHOP, then whips him to ropes. Wato holds ropes, Desperado runs in but is tossed out! Wato runs to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo! Fans fire up as Wato puts Desperado in, covers, TWO! Desperado sits up, Wato KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Wato tags Taguchi. They drag Desperado up, whips, double drop toeholds and double basement dropkicks! Taguchi covers, TWO!
Fans rally, Taguchi throws point blank hip attacks! Desperado gets up but Taguchi bops him again and again and again! Taguchi winds up to BOP Desperado into the corner! Tag to Tenzan, he talks trash on Suzuki-Gun while Taguchi digs his boots in. Tenzan tops it off with a stomp, then a headbutt. Tenzan fires off Mongolian Chops on Desperado in the corner, and fans rally as Tenzan headbutts Desperado down. Tenzan whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and hits a TENZAN BRAINBSUTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tenzan ROCKS Desperado and kicks him at the ropes.
Tenzan whips, Desperado reverses, and Douki trips Tenzan! Douki drags Tenzan out and rams him into railing while Desperado blasts the corner! Kanemaru goes around the way to go after Taguchi! Desperado goes out to bring Wato up and ROCK him with an elbow! Douki chokes Tenzan with his metal pipe! The ref tries to restore order but Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi! Douki keeps choking Tenzan, Kanemaru returns to the corner and Desperado tags him in. Douki sends Tenzan in, Kanemaru sits Tenzan up to throw an elbow into his head. Kanemaru then runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Kanemaru stomps Tenzan, drags him up and elbows him on the neck! Tenzan fires up! Kanemaru throws hands, then rakes eyes! Tag to Douki, Douki snapmares Tenzan and runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Douki reels Tenzan into a grounded cobra twist! Tenzan endures, grabs at Douki’s head and powers out. Douki stomps Tenzan, feeds him to Kanemaru’s boot, then tags Kanemaru in. Tenzan kicks Douki but gets mugged! Kanemaru rakes eyes, he and Douki whip Tenzan to the open corner! Douki runs in but Tenzan runs him over! Kanemaru kicks low, runs, but into a MOUNTAIN BOMB! Fans fire up while everyone is down!
Tenzan crawls, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi runs at the ropes to give Kanemaru a hip attack! Then he runs to give Douki a hip attack! Then back to Kanemaru, then back to Douki! Taguchi slides to apron GAMANGIRI Kanemaru back in! Fans rally, Taguchi springboards, MISSILE HIP! Cover, TWO! Taguchi kips up and fans rally as he calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!” But Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru gets a leg to SMASH the knee into the mat! Then steps through, but Taguchi KICKS Kanemaru away! Taguchi runs, but Kanemaru counters the hip attack with an atomic drop!
Kanemaru hits an ENZIGURI, but Taguchi ENZIGURIS back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Kanemaru and Taguchi crawl, hot tags to Wato and Desperado! Wato BOOTS, Desperado CHOPS! Wato KICKS, and KICKS, and KCIKS, but Desperado blocks to spin Wato, but Wato fights the back suplex! Wato then runs, but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR! Desperado gets Wato up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Desperado stomps away on Wato, then drags Wato by a leg. Wato kicks Desperado away with the free leg, then gets up to kick, kick and sobat into a front kick, then SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!
Wato grits his teeth and fans rally as he drags Desperado up. Desperado resists the Mouse Trap, spins around and rakes the eyes! But Wato kicks and whips, only for Desperado to reverse and SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado tags Douki in and he hits Wato with a corner clothesline. Douki runs, Wato gets around but Douki fights the waistlock. Douki goes to run but Wato reels him in. Douki breaks free with his leg, mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Wato wobbles, Douki reels him in, DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Wato up and torture racks, for a swing, but Wato slips out!
Douki knees low, runs, but into Wato’s SCREW HIGH KICK! Fans rally up, Taguchi runs in to knock Desperado and Kanemaru down while Tenzan stomps Douki! Wato whips Douki to the corner, then runs in to back elbow. Tenzan adds a clothesline, Taguchi hits a hip attack! Double whip feed to Wato’s scoop, T T D! Cover, Desperado and Kanemaru break it! Taguchi and Tenzan go after them, throw them out, and Wato fires up! Wato goes to the corner, climbs up top, R P P FLOP! Douki Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! La Magistrol, TWO! Wato gets up but Douki HELL STABS! But Wato fires up!
Douki still dodges the roundhouse, Gory Especials, but Wato sunset flips! TWO!! Wato has Douki caught in a BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Douki endures, but he taps! Wato and team win!
Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall
The Way of the Grandmaster is victorious, holds on a little longer, but then lets off as Desperado storms back in. Desperado swipes at Wato but Taguchi and Tenzan back him up. Desperado still pie faces Wato, Wato gives it back, and then things turn to hair pulling and mask pulling. The ref tries to keep the peace but it takes Taguchi and Tenzan to break this up. They assure their young ward that waiting for the title match will be worth it. Wato and Desperado are on a collision course, will the Rogue Luchador survive the rising tide?
8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture!
Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoh are far from through with Evil, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & Sho! Will Chaos strike back for WrestleKingdom 16? Or will Darkness Fall again?
The House of Torture Low Sweet, but Chaos attacks first! Yoh is after Sho, Hashi has Yujiro, Goto has Dick and Ishii has Evil! Yoh keeps Sho in while Goto, Hashi and Ishii throw the others out, and the bell rings to get this on record. Ishii CHOPS Evil, Hashi CLUBS Yujiro, Yoh stomps away on Sho, and Goto POSTS Dick! Yoh drags Sho up, but Sho bends Yoh’s fingers! Sho CLUBS the arm, headlocks, but Yoh powers out, only for Sho to pull hair! Sho headlocks, Yoh throws body shots and powers out. Things speed up, Yoh keeps things moving to drop toehold and basement dropkick! Fans fire up and Yoh tags Hashi.
Hashi and Goto get in, they and Yoh hammer Sho down! Yujiro gets in but he gets hammered, too! Evil thinks about it but he stays away. Dick does, too, but Ishii throws Dick in! All four Chaos members surround Dick, but then Dick plays dead! That doesn’t stop them from dragging Dick up and hammering him! Fans fire up as Chaos controls the ring and Evil is furious. Hashi drags Sho out from the corner, CLUBS him and CHOPS him! Hashi brings Sho around, bumps him off buckles, then digs his boot in. Ishii and Goto add on, the ref reprimands and counts, and they all let off at 4. Hashi drags Sho back up but Sho bends the fingers!
Sho whips Hashi to the House of Torture corner, and tada! Evil removes the blue buckle pad! Hashi hits bare steel, Sho hits Yoh off the apron! Sho also knows Goto and Ishii down, Dick chokes Hashi at the ropes, Evil SMACKS Ishii with the blue buckle pad! The ref is busy with everyone else, Dick digs his boots into Hashi. Sho then digs his boots into Hashi while Evil stands on Ishii. Dick tags in, he drags Hashi up to throw hands. Dick drags Hashi up to CLUB him down, then brings him around to snapmare. Dick runs to drop the fist! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while the House protests. Evil tags in, he drags Hashi up to wrench and wrench and wrench.
Evil whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Hashi staggers and falls, Ishii runs in but he’s send into bare buckles! Evil grins, Sho keeps the ref busy with Ishii and Evil claws Hashi’s eyes! Yujiro tags in, he talks some trash but Hashi throws body shots. Yujiro CLUBS Hashi, snapmares him then runs to basement BOOT! Cover, Yoh breaks it! Yujiro hits Yoh back and sends him out. Sho PENALTY KICKS Yoh from the apron! Yujiro drags Hashi up, but Hashi fires off forearms! Yujiro knees low, puts Hashi on the ropes, and runs but blocks Hashi’s boot! Yujiro throws Hashi down to run and basement boot!
Yujiro drags Hashi back up, fisherman, but Hashi fights free to suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi and Yujiro crawl, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on the House, but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro runs, but gets run over! Goto fires off forearms, whips Yujiro to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Yujiro back up but Yujiro breaks free, only to swing into a suplex! Yujiro fights that off by BITING Goto’s hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro whips but Goto reveres and fireman’s carries! Yujiro slips off, Goto elbows him but Yujiro throws a forearm. Goto forearms back then whips.
Yujiro holds ropes, dodges Goto, and Evil hooks a foot! Yujiro BOOTS Goto down! Tag to Evil, and he has the ref watch Ishii. Evil and Yujiro double whip, but Goto DECKS Evil! DISCUS for Yujiro! Evil kicks and runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Ishii! The Stone Pitbull runs in to clothesline the King of Darkness! Evil reverses the whip, kicks and runs but gets run over! Ishii snarls, runs in and clotheslines Evil at the ropes! Ishii whips, Evil reverses, and Sho trips Ishii! Evil runs, but Yoh trips him! Yoh and Sho get in, Yoh dropkicks Sho down!
Evil runs, Yoh feeds him to Ishii’s forearm! Yoh dropkicks, Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Yoh PLANCHAS to take Sho out! Fans fire up, Ishii runs, but Yujiro is there with his pimp cane! Evil waistlocks, Ishii fights the lift, but he runs into Dick’s cheap shot! Evil trips Ishii and gets the legs, SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Fans rally and Yujiro keeps Hashi out but Ishii endures. Ishii fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Dick tries to make Ishii let go, but Ishii has an iron grip! Dick tags in and stomps away on Ishii! The ref reprimands and counts Evil, Evil lets off at 4. Fans rally for Ishii but Dick keeps stomping. Dick talks trash and kicks Ishii around but fans rally harder.
Dick drags Ishii up, eggs him on, and Ishii reels back, but Dick pokes him in the eye! Dick whips, gets a sleeper, but Ishii powers up. Dick blocks the back suplex with punches, Sho blasts the Chaos corner! The House whips Ishii to a corner, Dick runs in to back elbow! Sho runs in to clothesline, Yujiro runs in to boot! Evil hits a clothesline and FISHERMAN BUSTER! Dick covers, TWO! Fans fire up, but Yujiro distracts the ref and Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Sho has his wrench, but Hashi SUPERKICKS him down! Dick runs at Hashi but Hashi DECKS him! Yujiro kicks Hashi and runs, but into a LARIAT!
Evil returns, kicks Hashi and rakes the eyes! Goto runs in, Evil waistlocks, but Goto ducks for the HIDDEN FLASH SUPERKICK! Fans fire up, Goto and Hashi glare at Dick but he wants them to take it easy. But Yoh is there, too! Yoh EuroUppers, Goto fireman’s carries, Yoh and Hashi DOUBLE SUPERKICK into the USHIGOROSHI! Ishii adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Then Ishii gets Dick up for the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Chaos wins!
Winners: Chaos, by pinfall
Direct Drive, Fierce Warrior, Head Hunter and Stone Pitbull combine to break the Spoiler! And they add insult to injury by stomping Dick and throwing him out! Is the House of Torture going to be demolished and lose the NEVER Openweight titles? Or can they find a way to survive Chaos?
Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Rainmaker is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and The Ace is IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. But they have Tetsuya Naito and Sanada coming for their gold! Will the dream team and Blue Justice stand tall? Or will Uncontrollable Charisma, Cold Skull and Rampaging Dragon make this golden series tranquilo?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans applaud. The teams sort out, LIJ fist bumps, and Sanada starts against Tanahashi. Fans rally for this US title preview as the two circle. “LET’S GO, ACE!” “SA-NA-DA!” They tie up, Sanada waistlocks but Tanahashi switches. Sanada wrenches but Tanahashi drops to get a leg pick. Tanahashi floats to a facelock but Sanada wrenches out. Tanahashi arm-drags but Sanada drags Tanahashi back down. Sanada keeps on the arm, Tanahashi fights up, but Sanada wrenches. Tanahashi wrenches back and headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes the headlock, Sanada powers up and pries at the hold, but Tanahashi clamps it on tighter.
Sanada endures the grind and throws body shots. Sanada powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Sanada powers out the back, headlocks Tanahashi in return, and holds on tight as Tanahashi tries to power out. Fans rally up, Tanahashi powers up but Sanada hits a headlock takeover. Tanahashi headscissors, Sanada kips free but roles reverse as Tanahashi hits a headlock takeover and Sanada headscissors. Tanahashi kips free, but then roles switch back the other way as Sanada hits a headlock takeover and Tanahashi headscissors. Sanada kips free, roles reverse again, but Sanada holds tight as Tanahashi tries to kip up.
Fans cheer for the technical exchange, but Tanahashi moves around. Tanahashi headstands and pops free to then get a headlock. Sanada headscissors, Tanahashi kips free, and the two clinch. Tanahashi gets the headlock and the takeover, but Sanada headscissors again. Sanada holds tight again, but Tanahashi turns Sanada over and pops out to have the legs in a figure four. Tanahashi then floats to a headlock, but Sanada fights up to his feet. Tanahashi grinds the headlock, but Sanada wrenches out. They fight for control, and fans fire up as the hold starts to tip one way or another! Sanada gets the headlock takeover, but Tanahashi headscissors, and now Tanahashi holds on tight!
Sanada kicks around, but Tanahashi puts on more pressure. Sanada keeps kicking, turns and headstands but Tanahashi works to keep him down. Sanada hops and hops and handsprings free! Fans cheer the technical exchange as the two stand off. Tanahashi even air guitars. Tanahashi throws it to Sanada, and fans cheer for Sanada to try. Sanada strums it a couple times, then gives it to Red Shoes. Red Shoes carefully sets it aside, and Okada tags in. Sanada backs off and Naito tags in. Fans rally up again, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” and the two tie up. They go around, Naito puts Okada on ropes, but Okada turns things around.
Naito turns it back around, lets off slowly, and then pats Okada on the shoulder. But then Naito arm-drags Okada, only for Okada to get up before Naito can rush over. Fans cheer as the two reset and circle again. they tie up, Naito gets a leg, and then turns it into a cradle! ONE, they move around, ONE, and Okada gets a lateral press. Naito keeps his shoulders up, so Okada lets off slowly, and then scrambles for a waistlock. Naito rolls to get a headlock and he grinds Okada down. Okada fights up, powers Naito to ropes, and Red Shoes calls the ropebreak. Okada lets off slowly, and he doesn’t even fake the chop! Fans cheer as Okada takes Naito seriously.
Okada backs away to tag in Nagata, and fans rally for Blue Justice. Naito tags Takagi and now fans cheer as Blue Justice circles with the Rampaging Dragon. They both fire up, tie up, Nagata headlocks but Takagi powers out and the two ram shoulders! Neither falls, Nagata eggs Takagi on and Takagi runs, to RAM Nagata. Nagata stays up, they each egg the other on to run, so Takagi kicks and whips. Nagata reverses, BOOTS, then snapmares and KICKS! Takagi gets up and eggs Nagata on! Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Takagi to the corner! Nagata gets Takagi up, whips him corner to corner, but Takagi reverses.
Sanada runs in and back elbows Nagata! He sets Nagata up for Takagi’s corner clothesline! Takagi throws Nagata down, Naito and Sanada double basement dropkick him! Takagi knocks Tanahashi and Okada off the apron and fans rally as LIJ controls the ring! Takagi drags Nagata up, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Takagi drags Nagata up, Nagata blocks the back suplex with elbows, then he fires elbows. Takagi fires back, and it’s a brawl! Fans rally, Takagi throws more forearms but Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Takagi blocks a kick to CLUB the leg! But he runs into an EXPLODER!
Fans rally while both men are down. Nagata tags in Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Takagi, whips, but Takagi reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! Tanahashi decks Naito and Sanada, dodges Takagi and dropkicks a leg out! Then he gives Takagi a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with the Ace as he runs at Takagi. Takagi ducks the slingblade but Tanahashi denies the suplex. But Takagi ELBOWs, JABS, and YUKON feints to DDT! Hot tag to Sanada! Sanada rallies on Tanahashi, arm-drag and back suplex BACKBREAKER! Tanahashi bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder.
Sanada puts Tanahashi in the ring, covers, TWO! Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” “LET’S GO, ACE!” Sanada fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free. Sanada ducks the shotei to steal the SHOTEI! Sanada fires off forearms, but Tanahashi ducks the rolling elbow to a SLEEPER! Then a DRAGON SLEEPER! But Sanada fights it to a dragon sleeper of his own! Tanahashi fights through to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi holds on to drag Sanada up, but Sanada suplexes and puts Tanahashi on the ropes. Tanahashi kicks away to hit TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hot tag to Okada!
Okada drags Sanada up, fires off forearms, then whips. Sanada reverses, but Okada CLOBBERS him with an elbow! Okada glares at Naito but he stays on the outside. Okada whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grabs at Sanada but Sanada still tags Naito in! Naito fires off on Okada, whips him to ropes, then hip tosses for the basement dropkick! Naito whips Okada to a corner, ROCKET KICK! Leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Takagi DECKS Nagata, Naito puts Okada up top. Naito climbs, SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Okada flounders. Naito runs in, CORRIENDO SHIKI- MONEY CLIP!
Okada squeezes tight but Naito endures! Naito powers Okada into buckles and is free! Naito runs in, but into the Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up, Okada drags Naito up. Okada gut wrenches but Naito blocks! Naito CLUBS Okada, Okada uppercuts! Okada whips, Naito jumps, but into a waistlock! Okada ripcords, Naito dodges, but Okada DROPKICKS! Ripcord, but Naito ducks to ENZIGURI! Okada staggers, Naito whips, but Okada reverses. Naito reverses back and uses the ropes, TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Hot tag to Nagata! Nagata storms up to Naito and KICKS and KICKS and KICKS!
Nagata has Naito in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Nagata runs in to BOOT! Naito fights the exploder off, but Nagata ROCKS him with a forearm! BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, “NA-GA-TA!” “NA-I-TO!” Nagata drags Naito up, suplexes, but Naito fights free. Naito wrenches to throw back elbow after back elbow! But Nagata hits a kitchen sink knee! Nagata drags Naito back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Another suplex, dos amigos! Nagata gets Naito up again, THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO!! But Nagata clamps on the NAGATA LOCK II! Tanahashi DECKS Takagi while Naito endures!
Takagi gets past Tanahashi to CLUB Nagata, but then Okada CLUBS Takagi! But Takagi spins Okada around, suplex SLAM! Tanahashi returns, Takagi dodges the basement dropkick to SLIDING LARIAT! Nagata is up, Takagi hits an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as LIJ regroups! Sanada and Takagi whip him to a corner, Sanada uppercuts, Takagi clotheslines and Naito atomic drops! PUMPING BOMBER! Rolling jackknife! TWO!?! Nagata escapes, but Sanada and Takagi keep Okada and Tanahashi down on the outside. Naito wrenches but Nagata fights with back hands. Nagata BOOTS then ENZIGURIS!
Fans fire up as Nagata whips, but Naito hits FLYING FOREARMS! Naito gets Nagata up, wrenches through, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
Blue Justice falls as the ungovernables stand tall! Takagi gets Naito water while Sanada stares down with Tanahashi. Will the Cold Skull have a leg up on The Ace going into their US Heavyweight Championship? Or can Tanahashi turn it around in the rest of this Golden Series? Tanahashi, Okada and Nagata leave, so Naito gets the mic. “Beunas noches, Korakuen Hall! It might be awhile, but please listen to what I have to say. Last February, I was opposed to the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. I worked to try to stop it. But I lost my challenge to Ibushi and now we have the IWGP World title.”
Naito will be honest, he has no attachment to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. So why is he challenging for this title? He has three reasons: first, he wants to take on the top guy in NJPW, and that is Okada; second, he wants to beat the top guy in NJPW; third, he wants to be in the Tokyo Dome main event next year, January 4th, 2023. Fans cheer all those reasons. Naito says that, “For nobody’s benefit other than my own, I will go for the win in Sapporo.” Now, today obviously begins a new series, and there will be several warm-ups between Naito and Okada.
“Who will have the title after February 20th? Everyone, speculate, enjoy, and of course, until the title match in Sapporo on February 20… TRANQUILO! Assen na yo!” Now, they’ll see everyone here back tomorrow, but they’ll end the kickoff the only proper way they can. “Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi, y Naito. Nosotros Los! Ingoberrrrrrnables! DE! JA! PON!” The New Years Golden Series has only just begun, but will it end with Naito taking the world title from the Rainmaker?
A great event here, even though I did skip the first few matches. The very first two were against Young Lions so of course Khan and Hiromu were winning. But I did skim through, it was pretty neat for Hiromu to wrestle in his old Kamaitachi mask just to make a point about the Young Lion not being ready. I also skipped Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji & Jado cuz Jado is basically one step up from Young Lion and he ended up taking the loss. But there were a lot of great tag matches here to get momentum going from after WrestleKingdom 16. Suzuki-Gun losing both Six Man Tags was surprising, but it gives Yano some momentum going towards a KOPW match with Suzuki, and I liked seeing some edge in Wato as he gets ready to face Desperado.
Chaos VS House of Torture was on par with the usual NJPW 8 Man. Chaos winning is also a good way to give them momentum as we’re going to get WrestleKingdom rematches for the NEVER Openweight singles and Six Man titles. I don’t know if Evil is only going to be Mr. NEVER for only a couple months, but at this point, he might as well keep that going until Jay White returns and we can finally get Bullet Club Civil War take two going. Then the Six Man main event was really good, we got to see everybody face everybody, and LIJ gets momentum for their coming title matches.
Naito has a good promo to frame his role in the IWGP World title story, but he himself said there will be a lot of these Six Man tune-ups. I probably won’t worry about covering these next few dates, they’re going to be VOD only anyway and those always seem to take forever to show up. I’ve already skimmed through the coming Golden Series dates, and it’s rather fitting that February 7th is the next one NJPW is advertising for livestream. That’s the one I’m thinking of waiting for, and then it’s all the February events, even just in part like I did here.
My Score: 8.5/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 1.20.2022
We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!
We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!
Another week with Tom Hannifan as the play by play, and he just sounds right. We’ve got Charlie Haas’ first match in IMPACT, Tasha Steelz versus Chelsea Green and Steve Maclin is aiming for the ROH Heavyweight Title.
There should be other things, but those take most of the initial attention. Let’s see what else goes on!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
- Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green: Tasha wins via Crucifix Bomb – **
- The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary): Influence wins via Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – *
- The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy: Cassidy wins via BQE – SQUASH
- ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c): Gresham retains via Rope Assisted Figure Four – *** ½
- Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino: Gallows & Doering win via Double Chokeslam – **
- Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander: Alexander wins via Ankle Lock w/Grapevine – *** ¼
Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green
Tasha is jawing with the crowd as the bell rings, Chelsea goes right at her and hits the Shotgun Dropkick as Tasha is turning to face her opponent. Chelsea stays on the offensive, baits Tasha to the apron, drops her on her face, Curb Stomp, attempt at an Unprettier…but no counter into a Codebreaker from Tasa and we see Chelsea’s momentum slow down a little.
After some back and forth with Tasha having a lot of advantage, Chelsea makes her comeback. Chelsea hits a middle rope Crossbody but Tasha continues to rotate and rolls it into a pin attempt. Chelsea kicks out and pulls off a Package Flatliner, but only for a near fall. Chelsea goes to grab Tasha, Tasha kicks her to stun her, looks to get caught in a Crucifix, but turns it into a Crucifix Bomb. Tasha picks up the win with the Crucifix Bomb again.
After the win, Tasha cuts a promo that doesn’t seem to really fit. Trying to portray herself as a savage, from the wrong side of town, but she’s a smack talking 5 foot nothing brat. So the second half of the promo works a lot better than the first. She also took some shots at WWE’s women’s division being Barbie Dolls, NWA, Nick Aldis and then brought the son into the mix, so of course that got Mickie fired up. Things look bad for Mickie, but Chelsea Green manages to recover and make the save for Mickie.
Video Package courtesy of Ring of Honor showcasing some of Charlie Haas’ work with Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk involved in certain clips.
The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary)
The Influence attack while Havok and Rosemary are distracted by Kaleb. Rosemary clutches her shoulder after the mugging, the doctors throw up the X and tell her she can’t go. Rosemary asks if Havok can go, the doctor says yes, so Rosemary tells Havok to go destroy the Influence.
Havok put up a valiant fight but the heels prevail! Cross Rayne into a Spotlight Kick into…whatever their tandem finish is called. I’m going to call it Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
The IInspiration have a reactionary video promo which is pretty solid. I do enjoy their work. Hopefully their match ends up being pretty solid because I’d like to see The IInspiration start getting over their abilities in the ring as much as their abilities on the mic.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy
The highlight of this match is Hannifan and Myers on commentary. There was a like 4 second spot where the Learning Tree landed a move, but then Cassidy kills them. So we’re in and out, double Pinfall murder happened.
Post-Match the Massive one goes on his search for Moose, D’Amore stops him in the back and says he’s got a title shot coming. Then we see the OGK ROH invaders have tickets this time around, and I’m going to be sick saying this…but Matt Taven is pretty great in this segment. Jesus Christ, I popped for Taven. Shoot me now.
ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c)
Early on it looked like Gresham was toying with Maclin as he forced early rope breaks, but Maclin returned the forced rope breaks in kind. Maclin eventually started coming into his own when he utilized the one closed fist warning rule. Maclin really worked over Gresham’s back after a Butterfly Backbreaker, Boston Crab, Camel Clutch, and a lot of back work.
Gresham was really on the back foot until he managed to force Maclin to use his final rope break. Then we saw Gresham hyper extend Maclin’s knee, and keeps working on the knee. It all made sense as we saw Gresham utilize the Figure Four for the victory. It was entwined in the ropes, Gresham used it for leverage and Maclin’s will power gave out as he couldn’t get his shoulders up fast enough and succumbed to the three count.
IMPACTPlus Flashback Moment: No Surrender 2009: Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs The Beautiful People – Innaugural TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
"We're gonna see ourselves out"
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino
So Good Brothers and VBD looked really sloppy. Gallows got rocked by Rhino, Doering was caught off guard often by Heath and there was just a ton of odd moments where it looked like they tried to regroup and until we saw the extra members get involved, Heath and Rhino dominated the legitimate tag team aspects.
I’m wondering exactly how much of a shift the Guerrillas of Destiny will have in the tag scene and if we’ll need to see the Good Brother and VBD implode first before we get the Bullet Club foundation match.
Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander
They start with a classic grounded start with headlocks, hammerlocks, leg picks and positioning advantages. Alexander managed to take some early momentum before the commercial break, but when we come back we see Haas pop over out of the corner, striking Alexander’s knee and starts focusing a body part. A very methodical attack on knee comes off far more aggressive and cruel than Haas usually goes for. Haas locks in the Indian Deathlock, and they begin slugging at each other. The hold breaks, Alexander goes for the Finlay Roll but Haas counters into a Crucifix Cradle for 2.
Alexander locks in the German Suplex, hits 2, obviously going for 3 to make a point, but Haas blocks the third. Haas pulls off 2, before Alexander blocks and hits one more German before Haas grabs the ropes, feeds in for a lariat but gets caught in another German Suplex this time with the bridge but only for 2.
Haas manages to charge Alexander in the corner, stumbled a bit but lands in the legs that he’s been aiming for, and then goes back to the other corner and hits the mid-section. Haas looks for a leg pick, Alexander counters into his own Ankle Lock. Charlie tries to counter it a few different ways but Alexander holds on and locks in the Ankle Lock with the Grapevine so Haas taps out.
Things moved a little too quickly, so it was alright but could’ve been better. After the match they shake hands and the ROH invaders hit the ring. Haas, Alexander, Chris Sabin comes in, then Rich Swann and Willie Mack, Heath and Rhino…finally Eddie Edwards hits the ring with a kendo stick and drives the ROH guys out.
Overall Score: 6.25/10
I think Maria named the invading stable as Honor No More, so I suppose for like a Pop Punk or Emo band that sounds cool…but it’s a bit dumb for a faction name. Can’t really chant it, the abbreviation is dumb, H.N.M. sounds like a clothing company, but I guess this is them distancing themselves from ROH.
Either way, this was kind of a janky episode. The matches weren’t great, a lot of stories were touched upon but left wide open, and the next major event being No Surrender on Feb. 19th, feels like a lot of time to fill. So maybe it was just a little too redundant, maybe it was also that the general match quality was down to further storyline angles…not sure. This still wasn’t bad, just definitely felt extremely lacking.
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