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Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (6/24/21)

NXT UK will once again see violence redefined!



Coverage NXT UK 2021

Who survives the sheer volume of violence brought out tonight?

With NXT UK Champion, Walter, simply waiting for a challenger, there’s going to be a guaranteed WAR between three of his previous opponents!


  • Mark Coffey VS Sha Samuels; Coffey wins.
  • Stevie Turner VS Laura Di Matteo; Turner wins.
  • Teoman VS Oliver Carter; Teoman wins.
  • Triple Threat: Joe Coffey VS Rampage Brown VS Ilja Dragunov; Dragunov wins.


Mark Coffey VS Sha Samuels!

While Wolfgang already leads the friendly rivalry with a win, and while brother Joseph looks for his biggest win yet, Markus looks to keep pace! But will going against the East End Butcher keeps this Gallus Boy down?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Samuels grinds his forearm into Mark’s face. Mark shoves him but Sha comes back with a headlock. Sha grinds the hold but Mark wrenches free and headlocks Sha back. Sha throws body shots, powers free, and rams shoulders with Mark. Both men stay up but Mark keeps moving. Mark blocks Sha’s hip toss, ducks his clothesline and waistlocks, but Sha uses ropes to buck him. Mark comes back with a BIG EuroUpper! Sha’s right back up, but Mark arm-drags him down! Mark has an armlock and he grinds his knee into Sha’s face. Sha gets mad, fights his way up, but Mark wrenches the arm.

Sha throws body shots, whips Mark to ropes, but Mark dodges and comes back, only for Sha to CLOBBER him! Sha BOOTS Mark, then kicks him! Mark gets up and fires off forearms! Mark whips Sha, Sha reverses and then SPLASHES in the corner! Sha keeps moving to LARIAT Mark inside! “EAST~!” Sha sits Mark up to throw down elbows and grind his forearm into Mark’s face. Sha gives Mark more clubbing shots, then pushes him around. Sha KICKS Mark in the back, then covers, TWO! Sha keeps on Mark with a chinlock and he leans on the hold. Mark endures and BT Sports Studio rallies up. Mark fights up, throws body shots and EuroUppers!

But Sha scoops and SLAMS him down! Sha watches Mark get up in a corner, then runs in to SPLASH! Sha keeps moving, but Mark kicks him first! Mark throws more forearms then RUSSIAN LEG SWEEPS! Sha slowly gets up as Mark follows. Mark runs in but Sha side steps and sends him the other way to then CLOBBER him again! Sha stomps away, drops elbows, and covers, TWO! Sha is right there to rain down fists! “EAST~!” Another cover, TWO! Mark is hanging tough but Sha keeps his focus. Sha stalks Mark, straddles and goes for the arm. Sha wants the Butcher’s Hook but Mark gives one arm an ELBOW BREAKER!

Mark then elbows Sha away and gets him up for a BIG back drop! Both men are down again as BT Sports Studio fires up! Sha gets up first, Mark follows again, and the forearms fly! Mark counter punches, whips, and CLOBBERS Sha! Sha gets up so Mark rallies with more clotheslines! Sha staggers to a corner, Mark runs in to corner clothesline! Mark shoves Sha then climbs up for a FLYING BULLDOG! Cover, TWO!! Sha survives and Mark grows frustrated. Mark and Sha rise and Mark wrenches but Sha throws elbows. “EAST~!” But Mark still gets Sha for a SIDE EFFECT! Cover, TWO!! Sha survives again and hobbles his way to the ropes.

Mark whips but Sha holds ropes to dodge the enziguri! Sha scoops Mark for a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Mark survives now and shocks Sha! Sha gets up, brings down the straps and storms after Mark. Sha grabs at Mark but Mark uses the corner to push back and SLAM Sha down! Mark and Sha end up on opposite sides of the ring but head for each other. Sha throws a forearm, and another! Sha clubs away but Mark shoves him and GAMANGIRIS! Then a BASEMENT EUROUPPERS! Cover, Mark wins!

Winner: Mark Coffey, by pinfall

Another Gallus Boy on top, and Markus keeps up with Wolfie! Will Joe add to the successes of the firm tonight? What will Wolfgang have to one-up Mark next time?


Backstage interview with Emilia McKenzie.

NXT UK Media asks her what she thinks about Meiko Satomura becoming the NEW NXT UK Women’s Champion. She is so happy for her mentor, there is no one who deserves it more. Wait, what’s going on with the lights? Oh, it’s Isla Dawn! Millie isn’t sure why she’s here now, but they do have unfinished business. Isla licks her lips in anticipation, and that just weirds Millie out. Will things get weirder when these two meet in the ring again?


NXT UK Media interviews some new recruits.

Their first time at the UK Performance Center has been great but- Wait, more stuff with the lights? Did someone forget to tell them it was closing? No, it’s just Aoife Valkyrie having her turn. Jinny says Mila is sad watching another person train. Especially when that someone, Aoife, watches from afar but is completely unaware of who is watching her. Mila doesn’t mind. She can probably beat Aoife, same as Meiko did. Okay, first off, don’t look at Jinny, look at the floor. Second, Jinny doesn’t care what the new kid does. But will Mila look to show everyone who she is?


NXT UK shares footage from after last week’s show.

Subculture was fired up after their victory, naturally, but then Pretty Deadly found them. Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley point out “the nerve” Subculture had for staring them down at the end of the night. So rude. But maybe Pretty Deadly will teach them a lesson by beating them again. Oh, so they’re not gonna cheat this time? Well, Pretty Deadly won and they’re the champs so… Then put your money where your mouths are! Pretty Deadly leave without another word, and Dani Luna says the boys know what they need to do now. That they do. When and where will management deem it Subculture’s time to go for gold again?


Stevie Turner VS Laura Di Matteo!

The fourth dimensional superstar is back and ready to expand our minds. But will she grow her power and rise through the rankings? Or will the debuting #LDM surprise us all?

The bell rings and Turner circles with LDM. They tie up, Turner throws LDM down but LDM comes back for another tie up. They end up in a corner, Turner lets off but elbows LDM hard! Turner snapmares LDM down and SMACKS LDM’s head off the mat! LDM sits up and Turner BOOTS her down! Turner stomps LDM more, brings her up and headlocks. LDM endures so Turner shifts to a cravat. LDM throws body shots, Turner snapmares her and has a chinlock. LDM slips out to wristlock, but Turner steps through to wristlock back. BT Sports Studio rallies as LDM rolls, handsprings and wrenches back. Turner CLUBS the hold apart, then drop toeholds LDM onto ropes!

Turner BOOTS LDM, pulls her hair and then goes to the apron to BOOT LDM again! LDM stays up but Turner runs in to DECK her with a forearm! Turner is having fun while LDM is dazed. Turner returns for a SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Turner drags LDM up but LDM throws body shots! LDM throws forearms, whips Turner but Turner reverses to BOOT her down again! Cover, TWO! Turner has the knuckle lock and she wrenches the arm. LDM stands up but Turner blocks her haymaker. Turner turns LDM for a standing straitjacket stretch! Turner makes LDM knee and she pulls back harder on the hold. LDM falls to the mat and Turner digs her knee in.

LDM fights up, Turner holds on but LDM powers up! LDM arm-drags Turner away and rallies! LDM dropkicks Turner to a corner! Turner dodges to send LDM into buckles! Turner pulls hair, KICKS LDM in the back then drops an elbow on her! LDM flounders up, Turner runs back in to clothesline and COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, Turner wins!

Winner: Stevie Turner, by pinfall

LDM just went through time and space with that one! Is it only a matter of time before Turner takes aim at the title?


Gallus talks backstage.

Wolfgang likes Markus’ big win, and acknowledges it is 1-1 right now. They find Joe getting ready, and the three shake hands. They know Joe has this, and they’ll let him go it alone while they watch from the back. Will the Iron King be ready for Rampage and Dragunov?


NXT UK Media watches Nathan Frazer training.

The British Prodigy is fine tuning his holds and throws, and says things are going great. But Kenny Williams comes by to taunt Frazer that training with a coach is fine and all. But it’ll be very different when he’s in the ring with someone actually trying to knock his head off. So here’s a suggestion: start winning rather than wrestling with the old boys. Williams leaves but Frazer gets back to the training. Will Frazer’s hard work and sharpened skills help him shut the Scumbag’s mouth?


Someone new is coming to NXT UK.

They open a briefcase and inside is a contract. Blair Davenport signs on the dotted line. But just who are they? And when will we see them in the ring?


Teoman VS Oliver Carter!

“Family first” is the way both these men operate, and why Ashton Smith is staying home. But will the Babo of NXT UK learn from the Predator Killer that family is more than just your blood?

The bell rings and the two tie right up. Teoman wrenches Carter’s arm but Carter rolls. Teoman still wrangles Carter down with a wristlock and he twists the arm over and over. Carter kips up, breaks free, snapmares Teoman and wraps on a chinlock, but Teoman slips right out to get the arm. Teoman waistlocks, SLAMS Carter down, but Carter avoids the sliding attack! Things speed up, Carter leaps over then comes back to headscissor! Carter eggs Teoman on but Teoman kicks him low and SLAPS him hard! Carter scowls and DECKS Teoman! Carter fires off, throws big body shots and forearms and he CHOPS Teoman in a corner! “Who do you think you are?!”

Carter lets off as the ref counts, Teoman tries to rush him but he gets a LEG LARIAT! Carter clotheslines Teoman out and eggs him on! Teoman gets up, fakes Carter out, but Carter still saw the apron skirt trap coming! Carter PLANCHAS to take Teoman down! Carter is all fired up as he CLUBS Teoman! And CHOPS! And RAMS him into steps! Carter runs in but Teoman dodges! Carter’s boot hits steel steps, Teoman KICKS that leg, then WRINGS an arm into the steps! Teoman puts Carter in, runs in and SLIDING FOREARMS! Cover, TWO!! Carter isn’t done yet but that was close! Teoman gets Carter up, wrenches the arm and CLUBS the elbow!

Teoman wrenches the arm again and CLUBS it again! Teoman DECKS Carter now, and dares Carter to do something. Carter throws body shots with the good arm but Teoman punches the bad one! Teoman stomps Carter, drags Carter around by the bad arm and wrenches. Carter ROCKS Teoman with windmill haymakers! Carter CLUBS Teoman down again and again, then CHOPS him against ropes! Teoman crawls and Carter grabs at him, but Teoman boots Carter away then CLOBBERS him from behind! Teoman stomps again and again, clamps onto the bad arm, CROSSFACE! Carter resists so Toeman shifts to just a FUJIWARA! Carter scrambles for the ROPEBREAK!

Teoman holds onto the arm until 4.5, and then he KICKS Carter’s bad arm! Carter clutches the shoulder but Teoman KICKS him again! Carter swings with the good arm but Teoman just KICKS him again! Teoman shouts at Carter but Carter ROCKS him! Teoman handsprings, Carter dodges and QUEBRADAS! Direct hit and BT Sports Studio loves this! Carter aims at Teoman, runs in, and LARIATS! And LARIATS again! Teoman dodges the third to body shot, but he swings into a clinch! Teoman elbows free of that but Carter SUPER FOREARMS! Carter gets Teoman back up but Teoman blocks the kick to get the arm! Carter rolls free, SUPERKICK!! Cover, TWO!!

Carter can’t believe Teoman survives but BT Sports Studio fires up! Teoman staggers up, ducks Carter’s blindside but the BOOMERANG HEEL gets him! And the SCISSOR KICK! Booker T would be proud of that one! Cover, TWO!! Teoman survives and Carter can’t believe it! Teoman has a busted lip but Carter brings him up in a waistlock. Teoman elbows free then boots Carter from a corner. Carter leaps but Teoman dodges the Steiner! Then DEEP IMPACT!! The flying DDT takes Carter down and Teoman covers, TWO!?! But into the CROSSFACE!!! Carter is caught, he taps! Teoman wins!

Winner: Teoman, by submission

Carter fought so hard but Teoman still came out on top! Oh no! Teoman is putting Carter back in the Crossface!! Wait, ROHAN RAJA is here! He gets in the ring and Teoman lets Carter go. Teoman dares Raja to get his revenge for their first battle. Raja simply stares Teoman down but then Teoman points to his eye. RAJA ATTACKS CARTER?! Raja fires off forearms, then roars! Raja looks to Teoman, and Teoman nods. CODE BREAKER!! Is this what the Evil Eye watching Raja meant last week? Is Raja now part of the Boba’s extended family?


A-Kid speaks.

“Defeat is the fate of every champion. Every man has to lose at some point.” And for him, he lost the Heritage Cup to Tyler Bate. AK is learning and improving, while Jordan Devlin has become deluded since losing the Cruiserweight Championship. Devlin wants someone to find him to pick a fight with him, so here it is. AK will beat Devlin and teach him to respect defeat. Which ace ranks higher in NXT UK after this head-to-head showdown?


BREAKING NEWS for next week!

Speaking of the Heritage Cup, Tyler Bate’s offer has been accepted! Jack Starz worked up the confidence to take on the Big Strong Boy, but will that confidence help him take the cup? Plus, Meiko Satomura returns to address her incredible victory over Kay Lee Ray, and what is next for her and the NXT UK Women’s Championship.


Triple Threat: Joe Coffey VS Rampage Brown VS Ilja Dragunov!

Each man in this main event have faced the Ring General, Walter, in the past. Each man has proven their merit, as well as their toughness and aggression, time and time again. But now, all three will collide in one match! Who will prove they are the most fearsome, most violent, and perhaps most worthy of another round with the NXT UK Champion?

The bell rings and the three circle. Coffey and Rampage focus on each other in the stare down, but Dragunov cuts in with a shove. Coffey HEADBUTTS Dragunov but Rampage ROCKS Coffey! Rampage whips, Coffey whips him back, then back drops Rampage! Dragunov knees and CLUBS Coffey then fires off body shots in a corner. Coffey swings but into a waistlock. Coffey wrenches free, whips Dragunov but Dragunov elbows him away. Dragunov runs but into a pop-up EuroUpper! Coffey runs to EuroUpper Rampage in a corner, then runs corner to corner, into Dragunov’s BOOT! Rampage BOOTS Coffey down, then catches Dragunov’s leap into a SPINNING POWERSLAM!

Rampage goes back after Coffey with CHOPS! Rampage whips, Coffey reverses, clinch and OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Rampage gets to a corner. Dragunov JUMP KIJCKS Coffey! Dragunov KNEES Coffey in the corner, then hits a HALF HATCH SUPLEX! BT Sports Studio fires up as Rampage and Dragunov stare down now. Dragunov rushes in but into a scoop. Dragunov slips free, goes after an arm, but Rampage holds him off. Dragunov uses a leg to hook and roll Rampage, and then he throws down hammering elbows! Dragunov floats to a facelock but Rampage tosses him to Coffey! GERMAN SUPLEX! Coffey tells Rampage to finish this themselves!

The two behemoths ram shoulders again and again, but Rampage gets the edge and dropkicks Coffey down! Rampage runs in but Coffey TACKLES him to a corner! And then hits a SPINEBUSTER! Coffey has the legs and turns Rampage for a BOSTON CRAB! Rampage endures as Coffey shouts, “NO MERCY!” Dragunov gets back in and he throws forearms on Coffey! Coffey holds onto Rampage so Dragunov gives boxing elbows! And a CHOP! Coffey eggs Dragunov on so Dragunov runs to BOOT Coffey! Rampage gets free, Dragunov gets Coffey’s arm for a knuckle lock and he CHOPS away on Coffey’s neck and shoulders!

Coffey throws body shots back! Body shot for CHOP, back and forth! They ram shoulders, Rampage barges in but he gets DOUBLE CHOPS! Rampage comes back to DOUBLE LARIAT! BT Sports Studio is thunderous already as Rampage gets both men in facelocks! Both Dragunov and Coffey fight back but Rampage fights off the double suplexes to GIVE DOUBLE SUPLEXES! Rampage’s strength might be the most of all three, and he gets Coffey up. Coffey resists the Doctor Bomb but Rampage CLUBS him! Rampage tries again but Coffey back drops Rampage out of the ring! Coffey steadies himself, dodges Dragunov’s clothesline!

Coffey comes back but Dragunov hip tosses to a cover! ONE, but Dragunov keeps on with a chinlock. Coffey fights free, but Dragunov hits an URAKEN! Then Dragunov spins to CHOP Coffey’s leg! Dragunov pump handles Coffey for a GOTCH LIFT GERMAN!! Bridging cover, TWO!! Coffey narrowly escapes that perfect form but Dragunov stomps him down. Dragunov snarls and sputters as he goes to a corner but is side won’t let him climb. Dragunov STOMPS Coffey to keep him down, and he tries to climb again. Coffey UPPERCUTS him first! Coffey climbs, CLUBS Dragunov on the back, but Dragunov forearms back! Coffey stays up but Dragunov CHOPS him!

Rampage slips in as the other two brawl. Dragunov HEADBUTTS Coffey down, Rampage SAMOAN DROPS Coffey! Rampage sees Dragunov get up so he gets out of the way, SUPER BACK SENTON crashes down on Coffey! Rampage runs in but Dragunov goes Matrix to PELE Rampage! Coffey gets Dragunov’s leg, Rampage hauls Dragunov up, Rampage SPINEBUSTERS Dragunov onto Coffey! Coffey writhes but Rampage covers him, TWO!! Coffey survives and BT Sports Studio rallies back up. Coffey drags Dragunov up to ROCK him with a right! Dragunov CHOPS back! Rampage CHOPS Dragunov off his feet! But Dragunov gets up to egg him on! Rampage DECKS Dragunov!

Rampage drags Dragunov up but Dragunov fires off point-blank lariats! Rampage DECKS Dragunov again! Rampage swings, Dragunov blocks, runs and fires off clotheslines! Rampage SUPERKICKS?! Rampage whips but Dragunov tiger feints for the CONSTANTINE SPECIAL! Rampage falls and BT Sports Studio fires up again! Dragunov sees Coffey’s Spear coming and KNEES him down! Dragunov’s berserker rage is boiling back up! Rampage staggers up, Dragunov is up top and he leaps for a COAST2COAST MISSILE DROPKICK! “GALLUS BOYS ON TOP!!” GLASGOW SENDOFF sends Dragunov into Rampage!

Rampage falls out of the ring, and Dragunov flops out after. Dragunov goes after Rampage, they brawl, but Coffey goes up and up and CROSSBODIES onto them!! Dragunov and Rampage are down but Coffey is up first. Coffey puts Dragunov in, gets up the steps, and then up top again! Coffey leaps to SHOTGUN MISSILE DROPKICK! But he has to crawl to the cover, TWO!! Both Coffey and Dragunov are down but the BT Sports Studio rallies up. Coffey stands to throw hands on Dragunov. Dragunov ENZIGURIS back! Dragunov writhes from landing hard, bot he and Coffey just glare at each other. They go forehead to forehead, then fire forearm after forearm!

Coffey ROCKS Dragunov but he stays up! ALL THE BEST- NO! Dragunov JUMP KICKS Coffey! But Coffey stays up to rebound and EUROUPPER! Dragunov tumbles and sits up in a daze. Coffey is up on the opposite end and BT Sports Studio is electric as the two fire up! Dragunov runs in, but Torpedo Moscow gets ALL THE BEST FOR THE BELLS! Coffey wants a leg but Rampage POUNCES Coffey and himself right out of the ring! Coffey and Rampage ram each other again! And fire off forearms! Coffey BOOTS, Rampage SPINNING POWERSLAMS!! Coffey writhes on the ground, Rampage gets into the ring.

Rampage grins as he has Dragunov alone now. Dragunov slumps over from the pain in his side, but Rampage gets him back up. Dragunov fires off KNEES into Rampage! Step over KNEE, then an ENZIGURI! Rampage staggers about, comes back, but into a SPIENBUSTER! Dragunov rains down furious forearms, then gets Rampage in a waistlcok for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Dragunov holds on! Rampages with headlock punches, but Dragunov still gets the second GERMAN SUPLEX! And again Dragunov holds on! Rampage RAMS Dragunov into buckles, but Dragunov hops on to rain down elbows! Coffey slides in, adds on, but Rampage holds ropes!

Rampage elbows Dragunov, switches to get Coffey, DOUBLE GERMAN SUPLEX! Dragunov flops all the way to the apron, and Coffey flounders to a corner! Rampage staggers to an opposite corner as BT Sports Studio says, “This is Awesome!” Rampage runs corner to corner, Coffey dodges and the boot hits buckles! Rampage is stuck, Coffey Electric Chair lifts! Coffey hits an ELECTRIC CHAIR SLAM!! But he can’t make the cover! Coffey slowly rises, Rampage gets up and then Dragunov. ALL THE BEST to Rampage WHILE Dragunov hits Coffey with TORPEDO MOSCOW!! That actually saves Rampage from the worst of Coffey’s attack!

Rampage gets Coffey up and gut wrenches for the DOCTOR BOMB!! Cover, Dragunov breaks it in time! Rampage clamps onto Dragunov, reels him in and gut wrenches, but Dragunov slips free! Dragunov dodges a clothesline to go up a corner, FLYING TORPEDO MOSCOW?!? Cover, DRAGUNOV WINS!!

Winner: Ilja Dragunov, by pinfall

Udivitel’nyy! Russian for amazing, because that reckless, relentless Russian IS amazing! UNBESIEGBAR bests two of the toughest men in the brand, and wait! WALTER is here! Dragunov doesn’t realize it until Walter stands in the ring with him. The NXT UK Champion holds up his belt and wonders if he wants it. Dragunov stands up, and Walter SLAPS him right back down!! Walter stands over Dragunov, and puts him in a SLEEPER!! Walter swings Dragunov up and then drags him right back down to put him out! The Ring General smothers Dragunov but makes him look at the belt. Walter vows he will always be champion, has this preemptive strike made sure of that?

My Thoughts:

Another great episode! Mark Coffey VS Sha Samuels made a great opener, and of course Mark won to keep the friendly series tied. It might take something a bit more to see if either man falls behind the other. I almost wonder if we’ll get a match between Mark and Wolfgang as a tiebreaker. We got good promos, such as A-Kid calling out Devlin, Isla Dawn creeping up on Millie McKenzie and Kenny Williams getting on Nathan Frazer’s case. Hyping up Blair Davenport, whoever that new name is being given to, is cool, too, but the odd segment was Jinny, Mila Smidt(?) and Aoife Valkyrie. That was totally just a weird filter, not actually lights changing just so Aoife can train. But at least it means a few superstars in the women’s division are going to mix it up now.

Stevie Turner’s return to the ring was a pretty good match with debuting Laura Di Matteo. LDM has a pretty good following in the Euro indies so that’s great to see her here. Teoman VS Oliver Carter was a surprisingly great match! Certainly Carter’s best match in a long time. Teoman wins, of course, and I was sensing someone joining him against Smith & Carter. Raja is the best choice for that, and they should make for a strong team. Subculture and Pretty Deadly have a good promo from after last week’s episode, and Subculture challenging for the tag titles makes sense. But I don’t think they’re winning. It’ll be a great match, but Pretty Deadly will surely find a way to win.

But holy crap that main event! That might as well have been called an official #1 contender’s match, it was on that level and maybe beyond. For a moment, it felt like Rampage would win because of his incredible strength, but Dragunov has his toughness, his aggression, his speed, and a great story going with Walter. And Walter showing up to pick Dragunov apart was of course further indication that we’re getting a highly anticipated rematch. This is a case where NXT UK will have to come up with a special episode while TakeOvers aren’t really possible.

And while WWE as a whole is trying to keep big moments for when live audiences return, NXT UK can’t just sit and wait for UK government to feel comfortable with that. A big moment to get people to watch would be someone finally dethroning Walter.

My Score: 8.5/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)

The semifinals are here!



New Japan Cup 2023

The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!

Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?


  • Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
  • Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
  • YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
  • Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
  • YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.


New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!

The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!

Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!

Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.

Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.

Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.

Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!

Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.

Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!

Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!

Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.

Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!

Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!

Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?


New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!

New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!

Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!

Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!

Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!

Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?

Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!

Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!

Sanada spins, into  JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?

The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!

Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?

Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.

Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?

My Thoughts:

A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.

Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.

My Score: 9/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)

It’s lights out, but for who?



New Japan Cup 2023

Who rounds out the Final Four?

The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?


  • Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
  • YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
  • Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
  • Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.


New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!

The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?

The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.

Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!

Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!

Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.

Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!

Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.

Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!

Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!

Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!

Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.

Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.

Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!

Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?


New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?

The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.

Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.

Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!

Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!

Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.

The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!

Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!

Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.

Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!

USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!

Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?

As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?

My Thoughts:

Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.

My Score: 8.7/10

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