NXT has breakouts, badasses, and Bronson Reed VS Adam Cole BAYBAY!
While Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher want to bruise the Bruiserweight & Oney, Adam Cole looks to show us all why NXT is still HIS brand! Who gets torn up and who gets washed away by a Tsunami?
- Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher VS Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan; Dunne & Lorcan win.
- NXT Breakout Tournament 2021 Opening Round: Carmelo Hayes VS Josh Briggs; Hayes wins and advances to the next round.
- Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter VS Franky Monet & Jessi Kamea w/ Robert Stone; Catanzaro & Carter win.
- Hit Row VS Imperium; Imperium wins.
- Adam Cole VS Bronson Reed; Cole wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher VS Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan!
When it comes to being badass, when it comes to being technically sound, Old Man Ciampa and #ToothlessTimmy are each of those things. But the Bruiserweight says he’s the top in both categories, and the Boston Brawler is willing to back him up on it! Will Ciampa & Thatcher make Dunne & Oney put their money where their mouths are?
The teams sort out, Dunne is ready and starts with Thatcher. Fans fire up, the two tie up, and Dunne puts Thatcher on ropes. Thatcher brings Dunne away to get the wristlock. Thatcher shifts to a hammerlock, Dunne works on an escape with his leg to then get a leg. Thatcher stays up to slap Dunne but Dunne turns Thatcher over to tie up the legs! Thatcher turns back over, they knuckle lock and Thatcher gets up. The test of strength bends Dunne back but he bridges! Thatcher sweeps a leg to get a cover, TWO as Dunne bridges again. Thatcher stands on Dunne’s face then gets the ARMABAR! But Dunne slips right out to get the legs again!
Dunne twists, Thatcher tries to kick Dunne away but Dunne lets off. Fans rally and duel as the two stand off. Dunne and Thatcher knuckle lock again, Thatcher turns to wrench but Dunne drops to drag Thatcher into a triangle! Thatcher stays up, and gets a leg for a HALF CRAB! Dunne rolls, gets Thatcher’s leg for a heel hook, but Thatcher makes it a cover. TWO, Thatcher boots Dunne away and Ciampa tags in! Fans cheer but then Dunne tags out to Oney! Oney and Ciampa tie up, Ciampa headlocks and holds on as Oney tries to power out. Ciampa grinds, Oney powers up but Oney still can’t power out!
Oney pushes Ciampa to a corner with fingers in the face. The ref counts and Oney lets off at 4, and Oney CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS and CHOPS, SLAPS Oney on the back, then throws him through the ropes to KNEE off the apron! Fans fire up as Ciampa stares at Dunne. Ciampa goes out to get Oney, mocks the shrug, then puts Oney in the ring to stomp him! Tag to Thatcher, Thatcher knees Oney at the ropes. Thatcher wrenches Oney’s arm to a double wristlock, throws Oney down with it and has the arm mounted for a short arm scissor. Oney endures, clasps hands, but Thatcher drags him away to tag in Ciampa. Ciampa stomps Oney, wrenches the arm and then isolates it.
Ciampa mocks Dunne’s fist-to-jaw pose, then stomps Oney’s arm! Oney scrambles away to tag in Dunne! Dunne and Ciampa tie up, go around, and Ciampa wrenches an arm. Dunne whips, things speed up, and Dunne CLOBBERS Ciampa! Dunne gets an arm and wrenches it to twist the wrist and bend the fingers. Ciampa snapmares Dunne down, clamps on a chinlock, and Thatcher intercepts Oney! They both CLUB away on Dunne’s and Oney’s chests! The ref reprimands, Oney turns things around on Thatcher and they fall out of the ring. Dunne gets Ciampa’s finger to bend it, but Ciampa throws Dunne out! Dunne and Oney both get tossed into boards!
Ciampa and Thatcher sit on the announce desk as Ciampa applauds himself and pats himself on the back! Fans fire up as NXT goes picture in picture.
Ciampa and Thatcher go back to get Dunne and Oney, and Ciampa CHOPS Dunne against barriers! Thatcher does the same to Oney, but Dunne CHOPS Ciampa back! Ciampa RAMS Dunne into the barriers then CHOPS him again! Ciampa gets Dunne in the ring, whips him to ropes and CLOBBERS him with an elbow! Thatcher leaves Oney behind to tag in, and Thatcher gets Dunne’s arm to stomp it down! Thatcher gets Dunne on ropes, the ref counts, but Thatcher lets off with a snarl. Dunne sucker punches Thatcher down! Then dropkicks him! Dunne gets Thatcher up to CHOP him to the corner! Tag to Oney and they double wrench and double CHOP Thatcher down!
Oney gets Thatcher back up for EuroUppers, but also keeps Thatcher from Ciampa. Oney RAMS Thatcher in the corner with shoulders, then tags Dunne in. Dunne gets a leg, brings Thatcher down with a toehold and then hooks up the legs into a TRAILER HITCH! Thatcher endures and Ciampa coaches him, but Dunne shifts to get an arm. Thatcher clasps hands to avoid a Fujiwara Armbar and then he rolls Dunne. Dunne rolls Thatcher back, drags him away, and tags Oney while keeping Thatcher down. Oney stomps Thatcher, drags him up and bumps him off buckles. Oney CHOPS, stomps, and brings Thatcher around to DECK him with a EuroUpper!
Oney paces, then gets Thatcher’s leg for a standing heel hook. Thatcher holds onto Oney’s leg to prevent the Crab, but Oney fights through that to still turn Thatcher! Thatcher crawls to a ROPEBREAK as NXT returns to single picture. Oney stands on Thatcher, tags Dunne and Dunne hooks up the legs. Tag back to Oney, Dunne gets Thatcher up in a surfboard and Oney CHOPS away! The ref counts Dunne but he lets go as Oney CHOPS Thatcher a fourth time! Oney dares Thatcher to tag Ciampa but Thatcher EuroUPpers! Oney EuroUppers and rocks Thatcher! Thatcher and Oney each grab each other by the ears! Thatcher blocks a chop to CHOP Oney!
Oney wobbles, Thatcher grabs at him but Oney grabs Thatcher by the chin! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! Thatcher breaks the half nelson to ENZIGURI! Hot tags to Dunne and Ciampa! Ciampa rallies on both Dunne and Oney! Ciampa starts up the endless clotheslines in the corner! Dunne, Oney, and back again! Ciampa ducks the retaliation from Dunne and Oney to hit a DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE! Thatcher gets in, he and Ciampa fire each other up, and they unleash endless clotheslines and EuroUppers! But Oney CLOBBERS Thatcher! Ciampa comes back to DISCUS Oney! Dunne ROCKS Ciampa but Ciampa comes back with forearms!
They go back and forth, Dunne wobbles but sidesteps Ciampa to SNAP GERMAN! Dunne STOMPS the hands, then BUZZSAWS! Pump handle, BITTER- NO! Ciampa drags Dunne down to the FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Oney grabs Dunne’s hand but Thatcher drags Oney out with an ANKLE LOCK! But then BLAM! RIDGE HOLLAND is back!? And he clobbered Thatcher?! Oney breaks Ciampa’s hold on Dunne but Ciampa KNEES Oney out! Dunne rolls Ciampa up, TWO!! Pump handle, BITTER END!! Cover, Dunne & Oney win!
Winners: Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan, by pinfall
Northern Grit gets in the ring with Dunne & Oney! Ridge got hurt because of Oney all those months ago, but he’s on their side now?! They beat down Thatcher & Ciampa! Ciampa is made to watch as Ridge scoop SLAMS Thatcher into ropes! And then again! Then they feed Ciampa to Ridge’s uppercut! “You like that, Tommaso? You like that?!” Fans chant, “YOU SUCK!” as this new trio, will they be the new Kings of NXT?
NXT hears from Carmelo Hayes.
Just 26 years old out of Boston, Massachusetts, he doesn’t wait for opportunities. He took Kushida to the limit, stepped right up to Adam Cole, all opportunities he took. This tournament is THE opportunity, and there will be only one man that comes out on top. And you’re looking at him, the brightest star of them all!
Samoa Joe arrives.
And in his hands is a very formal folder. What business proposition is inside? We’ll find out after the break!
Hit Row speaks.
Swerve says last week, they produced a bop, courtesy of Joaquin Wilde’s back. Swerve’s been after Santos Escobar for so long now, but spooky season has arrived. It’s a Hit Row Summer. B-Fab talks trash on Legado in Espanol, and translation: if you didn’t know, now you know. Swerve plays the guitar, and if Wilde’s back had no back-up cuz his boys left him flat. Top Dolla knows Spanish, too, as he says Escobar may be El Jefe, but he ain’t in charge in NXT. Hit Row are the kings of the jungle, and Adonis says there are still jokers like Imperium talking real spicy. So pause, rewind, and watch your mouths. Talk that talk again, and y’all gonna get knocked out!
Maybe Hit Row needs to speak Imperium’s language so they can understand. Dolla talks with a European accent to tell Imperium that if they’re gonna pop off, they’ll get popped. If you didn’t know, now you know.
Samoa Joe heads to the ring!
Joe gets a table and a chair out the second he hits ringside, and sets it all up in the middle of the ring. Joe gets a mic to say, “Karrion Kross! I could come out here and bark about you until I’m blue in the face, but I’m well aware you’re too much of a gutless coward to be in the building right now.” So instead, Joe was proactive. Mr. Regal, please join Joe in the ring, sir. William Regal does walk out to the ring and Joe offers him the seat. Regal stays standing and Joe understands Regal’s anger. Joe sees the rage in his eyes and Joe understands. What Karrion did was reprehensible and wrong, and tonight, Regal wants to fire Kross. But Joe wants Regal to listen to his “much better solution.”
We can all be satisfied in three easy steps. Step one: Joe tenders his resignation as management effective immediately. Step two: Joe is reactivated as an NXT Superstar! Fans love the sound of all that! Regal takes the pen, and signs Joe to the roster! And that leads us to step three: making Kross VS Joe for the NXT Championship at TakeOver 36!! Fans really love the sound of that! Regal signs that and it is done!! Fans chant, “Thank You, Regal! Thank You, Regal!” and Joe secures the paperwork. The clock is ticking on Kross’ time, will Mr. Doomsday be the one to face the apocalypse?
NXT hears from Josh Briggs.
From Nothing, Arizona, he will go through Hayes to reach his destiny. There will be bodies and dreams left broken as his hand is held high as this tournament’s winner.
NXT sees that LA Knight went golfing.
Cameron Grimes asks how long Knight needs him to wash his balls. Grimes, don’t shout that! Just let him see. Okay, these are fine. They go on and Grimes asks Knight for his driver. Grimes IS his driver. No, the club! Grimes grabs the club, but this is the sand wedge. Grimes mishears it as “sandwich” and thinks Knight is hungry. Grimes, as the caddy, you need to know each and every one of the clubs in the bag. The driver is the big, long one! Right, Mr. Knight, sir. Knight lines up but Grimes makes a bet that Knight hits the ball into the trees. Knight tells Grimes to stand off to the side and Grimes moves over. But Grimes then interrupts the swing by saying this should be a $5000 bet.
Knight is trying to concentrate so shut up! Right, sorry, Mr. Knight. Knight hits the ball, and wouldn’t you know? It goes into the trees. Grimes says Knight owes him 5 grand! Knight doesn’t owe Grimes a thing, and tells him to go fetch the ball. Yes, Mr. Knight. Knight is heated and not just from the summer heat. Will he get through nine holes with Grimes opening his mouth every time?
NXT Breakout Tournament 2021 Opening Round: Carmelo Hayes VS Josh Briggs!
The opening round is in the second half and we see if Hayes has any hope of getting past big, bad Briggs! Who faces Duke Hudson in the semifinals?
The bell rings and fans are on Hayes’ side as he stares down with Briggs. They tie up, Briggs scoops and SLAMS Hayes, then tells him to just leave. Hayes gets up, gets away from Briggs, but Briggs scoops him again. Hayes slips off to fire forearms and chops! Briggs blocks the whip, whips Hayes, and then catches Hayes’ springboard into a BEARHUG! Briggs clubs Hayes, Hayes fights out and BOOTS Briggs to a corner! Hayes fires off hands, Briggs shoves him away. Briggs runs in but Hayes dropkicks a leg out! Briggs hits buckles, Hayes swings to throw in a knee! Fans fire up for Hayes as he runs but Briggs TOSSES him up and out!
Hayes is down on the outside and a ring count begins. Briggs goes out after Hayes at 5, puts Hayes back in, but Hayes gets Briggs in the ropes to kick him! And kick, and kick, and kick! Hayes then springboards for IMPLODING LEG DROP! Cover, TWO! Hayes clamps on with a chinlock but Briggs fights up. Hayes clubs Briggs, Briggs fights up and lifts Hayes, but Hayes makes it a GUILLOTINE! Briggs endures, reaches out, clubs Hayes on the back, but drops to a knee. Hayes holds on, Briggs pries free so Hayes fires off forearms! Briggs shoves Hayes and CLOBBERS him with a back elbow! Fans boo but Briggs scowls as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Briggs grinds Hayes down with a chinlock and a knee in the back. Briggs CLUBS Hayes, and we see that Duke Hudson has joined commentary to watch this closely. Hayes fights up, throws body shots, but Briggs scoops Hayes for a SIDEWEALK SLAM, and a BIG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Hayes survives and Brigg scowls but fans fire up. Hudson says Briggs is a big boy, tall as a tree, but Hudson can cut trees down. Briggs gets Hayes up but Hayes fights the bomb! Hayes RANAS Briggs to a corner! Briggs comes back, blocks a boot but Hayes ENZIGURIS! And ENZIGURIS again! Hayes dodges Briggs to springboard, FLYING HEADBUTT!
Fans fire up as both men are down! Briggs and Hayes go to opposite corners. Hudson says whoever win this will have it tough against him next round. Briggs storms after Hayes but Hayes dodges to cravat KNEE SMASH and then again! Briggs staggers but he choke grips Hayes! Hayes slips out of the slam to CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Briggs survives but Hayes keeps his focus. Fans rally up, Hayes gets Briggs up and reels him in, but Briggs tosses Hayes away! Hayes comes back to BOOT Briggs in the corner! Hayes rolls, returns, but Briggs BOOTS Hayes in return! Choke grip, CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, TWO?!! Hayes lives and shocks Briggs!
Fans rally up even harder as Hayes stirs. Briggs gets up, runs, but Hayes dodges! Briggs finds him in the corner to BOOT him, and then scoops him, but Hayes tilt-o-whirls out of the slam to hit a take down! Hayes runs and hits another tilt-o-whirl takedown! Hayes then goes to a corner, climbs up and leaps, FLYING LEG DROP!! Cover, Hayes wins!!
Winner: Carmelo Hayes, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
The brightest star outshines Briggs, and Hudson looks forward to this one. But will Hudson have as easy of a time as he thinks? Or will Hayes topple another tower on the way to the top?
Backstage interview with Franky Monet.
She has Jessi Kamea and Robert Stone by her side as McKenzie congratulates her on another victory. But what is the exact relationship with the Robert Stone Brand? Franky says there are so many possibilities. She could merge with them, making them more powerful than ever, or he could rebuild them from the ground up. Maybe she and Jessi could go after the tag titles! Stone loves that but Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro walk in. O M G, Franky thinks it’s that easy to just walk in here and be champions~? It’s not! Franky can’t just throw together chemistry. KC Squared is a unit, in and out of the ring. They even finish each other’s- sentences! Right! So Franky, get your ass to the back of the line!
Franky says she’s sHaKiNg in her boots. But seriously, their spunk is cute, but now it’s just super annoying. Jessi says it’s definitely annoying. They leave and Stone quickly agrees that KC Squared is annoying. But will La Wera Loca overlook them and be left behind in the title race?
NXT checks back in with Knight and Grimes.
Knight checks the grade of the green, Grimes does commentary. “Mr. Knight steps up to a miraculous par three here with a lot of confidence.” Knight gets annoyed and tells Grimes to shut it. Grimes does commentary a little quieter but it still throws Knight off, and he hits right into the water hazard. Grimes laughs and says that’s TEN thousand Knight owes him now! Knight asks if Grimes can swim. Yes, he can. Then go get the ball! What? Grimes throws off the cowboy boots and as a man of his word, a man has to do what a man has to do. Grimes was only a few feet in when he grabs the ball.
Ted DeBiase rides up!? What’s he doing here?! Grimes is asking him that? What’s GRIMES doing in the water? Getting a golf ball. DeBiase tells Grimes that “guys like Knight, all they’re ever gonna do is hang you out to dry. But why are you doing this? You’re better than this!” Grimes is a man of his word, though. He thought DeBiase would be m ore upset if he didn’t do this. What DeBiase knows is Grimes wasn’t born to be a butler. He was born to be a champion! Grimes, don’t lose your pride. Fight for what you believe in! And the Grimes that DeBiase knows is a fighter! Think on that. Grimes does think, but will he step up to the Million Dollar Megastar?
NXT Media catches up with Ridge, Dunne & Oney.
Why did Ridge Holland attack Thatcher & Ciampa tonight? It’s none of our business. Thatcher’s not the first person Ridge has smashed up, and he won’t be the last. Ridge rolls on with Dunne and Oney, who else will be mangled by Northern Grit?
Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai head to the ring!
The NXT Women’s Champion and her partner in crime are back after Ricky Desperado dominated and damaged Xia Li in last week’s title defense. Raquel gets a mic to say, “I crushed one of the most feared superstars in the Women’s Division. I have dominated every single person who has stepped up to the plate.” Who is next? Raquel is THE greatest women’s champion in WWE today! And all she has to say is, “Keep ’em coming.” Dakota says 18 months ago, Raquel debuted. And she’s been unstoppable ever since. Dakota tells people that her best friend, Big Mami Cool, is the most dominant woman in NXT history! More dominant than Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Shayna Baszler.
Raquel defeated great champions such as Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Ember Moon, and that list will go on and on! “Do you know why the NXT Women’s Division is one of the greatest? It’s because of one woman.” NXT TakeOver is four weeks away, so Dakota will ask this: Who is woman enough to challenge Raquel? Any takers? Huh? Who knows in their soul they can walk down the ramp, stand in the ring and face Raquel? Anyone? Anyone at all? We’re waiting~! None! No one! Dakota and Raquel have been through so much together. As long as they have each other’s back, Raquel will always be champion! Raquel agrees and fires up as she gets up on the corner.
But as Raquel hops back down, Dakota BOOTS her down!! #CobraKai strikes again! She holds the belt up as she stands over Raquel and fans are fired up for Dakota! Dakota says SHE is woman enough! The first shot has been fired, but who shoots the last at TakeOver 36?
Adam Cole speaks.
“Lately, everybody has been trying to attach themselves to yours truly. Last week, you’ve got Kyle O’Reilly screaming my name like an absolute maniac. And then also last week, Bronson Reed. He’s talking to Wade Barrett, he’s talking about how Adam Cole is gonna be his rebound? Are you kidding me?” Adam Cole is not someone’s rebound, he is at the top of the mountain. And tonight, Cole makes Reed fall off the mountain. There is a reason Reed lost his North American Championship: he’s not good enough. Cole couldn’t give a DAMN about Reed’s 14 year journey, because tonight will be another very sad chapter, written by Adam Cole BAYBAY.
NXT Media watches Io Shirai finish training.
But as she exits, Zoey Stark walks over to say she no longer has to train alone. They’re the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions now! They should train together, create a bond, a relationship! Relationship? Like a friendship? Yes! No thanks. Oh, okay, hold on. Maybe not friends, but teammates. They should hang out, get on the same page. Shirai respects Stark but she doesn’t like her. Yes, okay, she doesn’t like her yet. This can be good for them. They can hang out, and if Shirai trusts Stark, it’ll work out. Fine… Okay! Stark promises Shirai won’t regret this! But will Stark be able to keep up her end of the bargain?
Mandy Rose is spotted talking with other female superstars.
Mandy is trying to get Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne to agree to something, but Jacy points out the camera. Mandy shoos the media, this is a private conversation. But then, what is it about?
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter VS Franky Monet & Jessi Kamea w/ Robert Stone!
KC Squared told #BougieBad that a team isn’t just two people put together. But will Franky give them her brand of bad in her tag team “premiere?”
The teams sort out and Kayden starts with Jessi. They circle while Wade Barrett defends Robert Stone’s “men’s clutch bag,” aka murse. Kayden dodges Jessi, fans cheer her own, and Kayden does a little dance to taunt Jessi. But Jessi taunts Kayden back by calling for a test of strength, and pointing out the height difference. Kayden dodges the kick to give a kick, and then she waistlocks to O’Conner Roll! ONE, Kacy tags in and Kayden dropkicks Jessi! Kayden whips Kacy so she can trip Jessi, then Kayden adds another dropkick! Kacy gets up to slingshot senton Jessi back down! Cover, ONE!! Kacy keeps on Jessi, facelocks, and Kayden tags in. Kayden rolls Jessi up, TWO!
Jessi gets up and BOOTS Kayden down! Jessi drags Kayden but Kayden kicks her away. Franky tags in to cool things off. Kayden dodges, Eddy Gordo kicks, then runs in, but Franky dodges. Kayden back elbows but Franky blocks a kick to put the legs in ropes, for a DDT! Kayden flounders in a daze but Franky gets her up. Franky TOSSES Kayden to the corner, fires herself up and runs in, DOUBLE KNEES! Tag to Jessi, Franky gets Kayden up and whips her into the corner. Franky back elbows, Jessi SPLASHES! Jessi snapmares and covers, TWO! Stone says it’s all good as Jessi tags Franky back in. Jessi stomps Kayden, Franky KICKS Kayden in the back!
Franky CLUBS Kayden, but Kayden SLAPS back! Franky KICKS Kayden’s leg, then gets her at the ropes to whip her into the corner. Kayden DECKS Jessi! Then BOOTS Franky! Kayden hurries but Franky throws her down by her hair! Franky rains down furious fists, “I AM LA WERA LOCA!” Stone wants Franky to use his murse to finish this?! This is why Aliyah ditched him! He throws the shoe in, it gets Franky in the side! Franky is upset, Kayden tags Kacy and SUPERKICKS Franky! Kacy is up top, 450 SPLASH BREAKER!! Cover, KC Squared wins!!
Winners: Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, by pinfall
And Franky is FURIOUS! Her record has a blemish on it in the shape of Stone’s tacky man purse! Is this going to hurt the brand’s chances of working with Franky? Or is it just going to hurt Stone’s physical body?
Wade Barrett interviews Roderick Strong & Malcolm Bivens.
The minds behind the Diamond Mine sit with him, and he asks Strong how this came about. After the Undisputed Era exploded and fell apart, Strong quit NXT and disappeared, so how did he come into contact with Bivens? Strong says, “When you compete at the level that I do, this game is 90% mental and 10% physical.” Bivens agrees. Strong says his 10% is better than everyone else’s 100. But the fact is, all that drama was just something he couldn’t break through, until he got a call from Bivens. Bivens reminded Strong of exactly who he is, and so he knew the Diamond Mine was for him.
Bivens says that Strong is one of the greatest performers of this generation. That isn’t opinion, that’s fact. Not fourth, not third, or second. He is THE ONE, because he is a leader! And who would’ve thought, in the year 2021, it’d be Malcolm Bivens who brought Strong back to NXT? Even our esteemed GM, William Regal, couldn’t do that. That is true, and it seems on the meantime, they are trying to manufacture an opportunity against Kushida for the Cruiserweight Championship. But it also seems Bobby Fish is making noise. Would they agree then that the next big match up for Diamond Mine is Strong VS Fish?
Bivens says that’s a good idea. Does Wade like money? Of course. Bivens says that whoever said, “Money can’t buy happiness” is a liar and broke, Money gets you happiness, and there IS a big money match up in Strong VS Fish. Let’s get that money! Strong says next week, when he finishes “Bob,” it is over between them. Will it be that easy to sink Fish and move on to Kushida’s gold?
NXT shares the big news for TakeOver 36!
As first said on NXT UK, Walter VS Ilja Dragunov was delayed due to Walter injuring his hand. But management has decided that this rematch is so big, this should be seen by the entire world! It will happen at TakeOver 36!! Will the UK Championship’s return to the States be big for the Ring General or the Moscow Madman?
NXT Media catches up with Dakota Kai.
Can she explain her actions in attacking Raquel tonight? Dakota storms out into the parking lot without an answer. Maybe her actions spoke for her. Will Raquel have an equally brutal response by next week?
Hit Row VS Imperium!
It may not look it to Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner, but the NXT Tag Team Division is getting serious again with all these teams targeting MSK! Will Top Dolla & Ashante “Thee” Adonis educate Imperium real quick? Or will the mat be sacred tonight?
The teams sort out, Adonis starts with Barthel but Barthel rushes Adonis. Adonis slips away, they tie up, and Barthel headlocks. Adonis powers out but Barthel comes back to knee low. Barthel whips, Adonis reverses, things speed up and Adonis AirDrops Barthel down! Adonis gets Barthel up but Barthel whips him away. Adonis ducks but Barthel pops him up to CHOP, kick and CLUB! Barthel whips again, scoops and SWINGING SLAMS Adonis down! Adonis slowly gets up at the ropes but Barthel is after him. Tag to Aichner, Imperium whips and arm-drags Adonis down. Aichner gets Adonis up right to a fireman’s carry! Adonis fights free and CLUBS Aichner down!
Aichner shoves Adonis away, Adonis turns it around for a Rude Awakening! Cover, TWO! Adonis facelocks, CLUBS Aichner, Aichner throws body shots and EuroUppers. Adonis knees low, Aichner blocks the whip to reverses it, but he also blocks a boot to CLOBBER Adonis! Fans duel as Aichner paces around Adonis. Aichner grabs Adonis’ ear, stands him up, but Adonis jawbreakers back! Tag to Dolla and Aichner clotheslines, but Dolla doesn’t budge! Dolla shoves, catches Aichner’s crossbody to a fireman’s carry! Aichner fights out, CLUBS Dolla, then runs into Dolla’s JUMPING KNEE! Dolla talks smack and fans chant “HIT~ ROW~!”
Dolla gets Aichner up, tags in Adonis, and then Dolla pops Aichner around, AIR DROP BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Aichner is still in this but Adonis gets him up. Aichner throws body shots, Adonis CLUBS him, but Aichner turns neckbreaker into a BIG back suplex! Tag to Barthel and he gets Adonis up to bump off buckles. Barthel puts Adonis in the ropes,. Imperium meets at the corner but Swerve is in Aichner’s way! B-Fab also swipes at Barthel, and the ref reprimands Swerve. Adonis gets around to block Barthel’s boot, fire off forearms, then roll Barthel to a whip and SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Barthel is still in this but Adonis soaks up the heat as we go to break.
NXT returns and now Imperium hits their double corner dropkick! Adonis flops out, Aichner covers, but Dolla breaks it! Adonis gets to ropes, Aichner goes after him but Adonis throws body shots! Aichner knees low, tags in Barthel, and then SPINEBUSTER to PENALTY KICK! Aichner gets Adonis up, Barthel climbs, but Adonis RANAS Aichner away! Barthel still leaps but into a body shot! Adonis hurries for the Hit Row corner, but Barthel grabs a leg! Adonis kicks Barthel away but Barthel still anchors him! ANKLE LOCK! Adonis endures, stands but Barthel ducks the enziguri! Barthel drags Adonis back, Aichner tags in and Aichner drops an elbow! Cover, TWO!
Aichner stomps Adonis, CLUBS him down, then drag him up to scoop and BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Aichner grows annoyed but he drags Adonis back up to tag Barthel. Adonis throws body shots but Aichner knees him down. Barthel gets Adonis up but Adonis throws hands. Barthel hits a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Adonis survives but Barthel clamps on a chinlock. Adonis fights up and moves around as fans rally, but Barthel drags him away from Dolla. Adonis throws Barthel out! Adonis hurries, Aichner runs in but Adonis dumps him out! Swerve and B-Fab coach Adonis on, but Barthel slides in to intercept, only to get a back drop! Hot tag to Dolla!
Aichner tags in but Dolla rallies on Imperium, CLOBBERS and ROCKS Barthel, then kicks and runs to KNEE LIFT! Aichner gets in, Dolla puts him in the corner to SPLASH! One arm SIDEWALK SLAM! And a kip up! “Who hotta than Top Dolla?” NOT NADA! Dolla does his own little dance for a BIG elbow drop! Cover, but Barthel breaks it! Dolla tosses Barthel, gets Aichner up and tosses him to the corner. Tag to Adonis, Dolla feeds Aichner to a FLAPJACK! Adonis kips up now and fires up, but EL LEGADO jumps Swerve! They POST him, then talk trash to B-Fab! But Dolla CLOBBERS them both! Escobar stays away but Imperium as Adonis!! EUROBOMB!!! Cover, Imperium wins!
Winner: Imperium, by pinfall
Dolla rushes back but Legado jumps him now! Dolla shoves Wilde & Mendoza away but they DOUBLE SUPERKICK him! They get Dolla back up, but Dolla BOOTS Mendoza down to avoid the double team! Dolla DECKS Wilde, but Escobar leaps in to missile dropkick Dolla down! Legado gloats then beats Dolla down with stomps in a corner! Swerve returns with a chair!! Swerve runs Legado off, but this fight is far from over! Will Legado pay for ruining Hit Row’s run?
The Way talks backstage.
Johnny Gargano doesn’t know where Austin Theory is, and Candice LeRae is quick to blame him for it. How is it his fault that Theory ran away from home? Indi Hartwell doesn’t want to talk to Candice so she tells Johnny to tell Candice this is Candice’s fault. Candice hears Indi, she doesn’t need Johnny to be a middle man. There’s a knock at the door and Johnny is optimistic that it’s Theory. It isn’t, it is someone delivering a gift for Indi Hartwell. Did Johnny & Candice get her something to apologize? No, it’s from DEXTER! Dexter Lumis drew himself as part of The Way! Indi loves it but Johnny & Candice don’t! Dexter doesn’t deserve Indi! Why doesn’t Indi get that?
Why don’t they give Dexter a chance? He doesn’t deserve a chance! He’s a bad boy with a stupid face! Everyone deserves a chance. No! No chance! Then how about a match? Johnny VS Dexter. Why!? Because if Dexter wins, The Way has to give him a chance. At what?! A chance with Indi! Uh, um… Fine! But if Johnny wins, #InDex is DONE! Yeah! No more Dexter! Deal. Indi goes to talk with Regal about it! Johnny says go ahead, and tell him Johnny says hi. But do NOT put that drawing on the fridge! The fridge is too nice for that art. But will Johnny take care of nipping #InDex in the bud?
NXT checks in with Knight & Grimes again.
Grimes and Knight work on their form but the Grizzled Young Veterans show up? They ask what’s the hold up, and Knight says, “I thought the standards were a little higher around here.” Zack Gibson tells Knight to watch his mouth. Just hit the ball into the pond again so these VIP’s can play through. Grimes says he’s the caddy, and he won’t let anyone rush Knight. Yes, Knight hit it into the water, and yes he did hit it into the trees, and yes he owes Grimes $10 thousand, but not even Grimes will let GYV disrespect the Million Dollar Champion. If GYV wants to play, start back at the first hole.
Well if we’re talking gambling, how about a side pot? Next person to sink the ball into the hole doubles that 10 grand. Grimes is in! He’ll take that bet any day of the week! Knight tells Grimes to never talk for him again, ever. But yeah, challenge accepted! They’ll take GYV’s money. Knight hits but ends up in the water again… The GYV say, “Absolutely rotten!” Knight blames Grimes and gives him the club. Grimes gets his golden golf ball on the tee, reels back and gets Knight in the nuts! But also hits the ball, and then BOPS Knight on the back swing! The golden ball flies, and it is IN THE HOLE!! That’s $20,000 for Grimes! Oh, Mr. Knight, what happened?! Look what GYV did to him!
GYV run away before Knight can get up and demand money or payback. Grimes says he loves golf. “Who knew it could be this fun?” But which will come first? GYV coming through on the money? Or some kind of in-ring revenge?
Adam Cole VS Bronson Reed!
The Panama City Playboy said his peace but Auszilla is looking to turn him into a golden springboard back into the title scene. Will the Grand Slam BAYBAY be too much for even the Colossal Bronson? Or can nothing withstand a Tsunami?
The bell rings, Cole and Reed circle and fans rally and duel. Cole waistlocks, Reed smirks and throws Cole right off! Reed eggs Cole on and Cole tells him to shut up. Cole and Reed circle again, feel out the grapple, and Cole headlocks. Reed stays up and powers up but Cole thrashes the hold. Reed throws body shots and powers out to run Cole over! Fans rally and duel as Cole clutches his head. Reed scoops but Cole slips out to chop block a leg! Cole fires off forearms and kicks, then gets the leg on the ropes. Cole kicks the leg, the ref reprimands but Reed shoves Cole down! Things speed up, Cole tries to hurdle but Reed SWATS him out of the air!
Reed gets Cole up to a military press! And he DROPS Cole, to then drop an elbow! Cole gets to ropes, Reed stalks up behind him and Reed gets Cole up. Reed whips Cole but Cole sunset flips, only for Reed to SIT on him! Cover, but Reed’s foot is under the rope. Reed shrugs and stands up, and Cole gets out to the apron. Reed gets Cole up and to a corner to bump him off buckles. Reed climbs, drags Cole up to join him, and fans duel as Reed throws hands. Cole resists and throws body shots, then bumps Reed off buckles. Cole sunset flips but he can’t bring Reed down! He avoids the punch to SUPERKICK the legs out! Reed falls and flops out of the ring as NXT goes picture in picture!
Reed clutches his leg but Cole goes out after him. Cole kicks the leg, brings Reed around to throw forearms, then whips him into barriers! Cole gloats and soaks up the heat as he refreshes the ring count. Cole goes after Reed again but Reed blocks the steel step bump! Reed elbows Cole, Cole knees Reed and shoves him in the ring. Cole dusts off his hands, gets in the ring, and has Reed in a corner. Cole stomps the bad leg, gets it back on ropes, and the ref reprimands but Reed CLUBS Cole away. Cole BOOTS Reed down! Cole throws clubbing crossface forearms then lets off to stalk Reed. Cole pushes Reed to drop an elbow on the knee! Cole drops a splash on the bad leg!
Cole flexes to mock Reed, then he has a standing kneebar. Reed endures, keeps his shoulders up, and NXT returns to single picture as Cole goes after the knee more. The fans rally and duel more as Reed throws hands! Cole shifts to DDT the foot! Cole watches Reed slowly stand up, and he gets the leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Cole taunts Reed, stomps him, and fans rally as Reed gets to ropes. Cole gets the bad leg, puts it through ropes again and kicks it! The ref counts, Cole stops at 4, and he drops down on it! Cole paces while fans cheer and jeer, but he comes back to set the leg back on the ropes. Cole jumps for another drop down!
The ref checks on Reed, Reed refuses to quit here. Reed crawls, Cole says he’s still king of NXT. Cole gives toying kicks but Reed throws body shots. Cole throws forearms, Reed throws them back! They brawl, fans fire up, and Reed ROCKS Cole! And JABS, and CHOPS, and repeat! Cole is in a corner, Reed whips him corner to corner, then SPLASHES! Reed whips and CLOBBERS Cole! Fans fire up as Reed drops a BACK SENTON! Cover, TWO! Reed keeps cool as he gets Cole back up. Reed suplexes but Cole knees free. Cole dodges and PELES! Reed stays up, Cole goes to suplex but Reed suplexes first, for a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO!!
Cole survives, fans rally and duel, and Reed gets back up. Reed drags Cole up, reels him in and gets him up, but Cole throws hands to get free! Cole elbows Reed from a corner, but Reed ROCKS him with a right! Reed runs into the corner but Cole SHINING WIZARDS him down! Cover, TWO!! Cole is frustrated but he gets up and BOOTS Reed! Reed stays up but Cole BOOTS him again! Cole blows a kiss to Reed but Reed blocks the superkick! Reed CHOPS Cole back! And CHOPS again! And again! And again! The ref counts, Reed CHOPS until 4 then lets off. Cole mule kicks the bad leg! Cole hops up, leaps, PANAMA SUNRISE!! Cover, TWO!?!
Reed survives and fans are thunderous as Cole is shocked! Cole thinks what he has to do now and he brings down the knee pad. Cole finger guns, runs, but into a LARIAT! Reed drags Cole up to a POWERBOMB! But he isn’t done here, he goes to a corner! Reed climbs, aims, and TSUNAMI FLOPS!! Cole dodges the splash to SUPERKICK and LAST SHOT!! Cover, Cole wins!
Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall
Cole grins because he won just as he said he would, but that was a close one! Will Reed be able to rebound from this? Is Cole going to use this to reestablish himself as the top dog? But then KYLE O’REILLY attacks Cole with a chair!!! Kyle digs the chair into Cole’s neck!! No more Cool Kyle, this is KILLER KYLE, and he pulls steel steps apart! Kyle wants to finally give Cole payback from months ago, BRAINBUSTER TO THE STEPS!!! Kyle stands over Cole as Cole did over him! Has Kyle given up his soul yet again in order to finally crush Cole?
Another great NXT again, as always, even with stuff that felt inevitable and obvious, but done in a way that was still a lot of fun. For one, Samoa Joe resigning as enforcer and returning to action and getting his title match against Kross at TakeOver, all awesome stuff. If Kross is going to go to Raw full time, then Joe is definitely someone who he can lose to in an epic battle and it wouldn’t hurt him at all. Of course, the way Vince is booking Raw, that will hurt Kross, as it already kinda has in some people’s eyes, but that’s on Vince and Raw, not on Kross himself. Dakota turning on Raquel was another one of those obvious but awesome moments, that promo was the perfect set-up to it, and that title match is another awesome one that win or lose, neither woman looks bad.
There were some not so obvious things, too, and they were just as great. No offense to Hayes but I honestly thought Briggs was going to win tonight. It is great that Hayes breaks through to the next round and changes things up so it isn’t all big men. Next week’s closer to the opening round could still see another big man get through as Joe Gacy takes on Trey Baxter, but Baxter could get his own surprising win so that we get two parallel match-ups of Cruiserweight VS Big Man. Another surprise was Franky & Jessi losing, but at the same time, Robert Stone is shooting his own brand in the foot. Though, it probably won’t be his much longer.
But that win was great for KC Squared. They are again a team that could’ve been moved to RawDown because they’re a fairly complete package, but it is great for them to still be here because now they actually might get a title match. Shirai and Stark had a good segment together, I hope they give us whatever this “hanging out” will be, and we’ll have to see if it works out for them to become a closer team. And it works here for story, where one team has been a team longer than the championship team and are going to test them. It’s like what Raw has tried to do with their men’s teams but better because NXT is better.
Mandy Rose being seen talking with newer women in NXT is a good detail for her story. She’s been watching Robert Stone Brand, watching other women matches, she could be trying to make a stable to counter Robert Stone Brand and follow in the footsteps of Absolution with Paige. We got a decent interview promo from Diamond Mine to finally make it known that this was Bivens’ idea, improving upon his essentially failed “Bivens Enterprises” and using Strong as the face of that endeavor. Strong VS Fish is going to be a very good match, and I bet the winner is seen as contender to Kushida’s Cruiserweight Championship.
I loved a lot of what we got out of Knight and Grimes tonight. Grimes as the optimistic yet inept butler is still gold, there’s great slapstick comedy with that golf club hitting Knight, and GYV getting involved, they might be trying to turn this into a buddy comedy style tag team where Grimes and Knight unite over fighting common enemies. At the same time, I don’t want that to work out, we’re already getting enough “two singles guys become tag team” these days. It is more in Knight’s character to turn on Grimes the moment they lose, we get another rematch for the Million Dollar Championship and Grimes wins it this time, at TakeOver 36.
Ciampa & Thatcher VS Dunne & Oney was a great match, and Ridge Holland making his return was surprising. Ridge being on Dunne’s side is also rather surprising, because last we saw, he got hurt brawling with Oney. But maybe they’re making up for what was meant to be his story if he wasn’t hurt, where Pat McAfee was the one paying Ridge to do the brutalizing of Undisputed Era, meaning Ridge has always been on the side of Dunne and Oney or something like that. Ridge against either Ciampa or Thatcher is awesome stuff, can he tag with Dunne to be in the first-ever Tag Team Fight Pit against them?
Hit Row VS Imperium was good stuff, as was Legado interfering because of the story for the North American Championship. We’re only getting a 2v2 not a Six Man, feels like missed opportunity, but that doesn’t change that Swerve VS Escobar is going to be part of TakeOver. Cole VS Reed was a great match, Reed looked awesome even in losing, and Kyle attacking with that brutality was great. Don’t pay attention to how the crowd reacted there, though, they weren’t liking Face Kyle all that much compared to Cole, this is not a double turn. This is all within the story that Kyle has to go back to being a heartless monster in order to win against Cole. If anything, they’re both Tweeners and you decide what they are in your own head.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)
American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!
Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!
AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
- Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
- Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
- AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)
And then there were four!
The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!
A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
- Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.
Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.
Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.
Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”
Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!
Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.
Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!
Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!
Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!
Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.
Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!
It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?
Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!
Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!
Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!
Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!
Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!
Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!
Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!
Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!
Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!
Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!
But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!
Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?
As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”
Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.
Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?
A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.
But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.
Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.
My Score: 9/10
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