In NXT, grudges lead to gold!
Toxic Attraction has been doing whatever they want, but that could change! Will Kay Lee Ray lead her team to victory over the women’s champions of NXT?
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 Opening Round: MSK VS Jacket Time; MSK wins and advances to the semifinals.
- No Disqualification Falls Count Anywhere Match: Boa VS Solo Sikoa; Sikoa wins.
- Duke Hudson VS Guru Raaj; Hudson wins.
- Six Woman Tag: Toxic Attraction VS Kay Lee Ray, Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta; KLR, Hartwell & Pirotta win.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 Opening Round: Grizzled Young Veterans VS Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward; GYV wins and advances to the semifinals.
- Io Shirai VS Tiffany Stratton; Shirai wins.
- NXT North American Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Cameron Grimes VS Tony D’Angelo; Grimes wins and will challenge Carmelo Hayes for the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
MSK admire the Dusty Cup.
Tonight’s the night! They won last year’s, and thanks to Matt Riddle, they know what it takes to get to the top again. But don’t touch it! Bad things happen when you touch the cup! Wes Lee says nothing’s gonna happen. They’re destined to win again. It all starts in three, two, one!
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 Opening Round: MSK VS Jacket Time!
Wes Lee & Nash Carter are ready to make history as repeat Dusty Rhodes Classic winners! But that means getting through Kushida & Ikemen Jiro! Will the semifinals be must-see or handsome?
The teams sort out, Carter and Kushida start and fans rally for Jacket Time. Kushida and Carter tie up, Kushida waistlocks but Carter switches. Carter drags Kushida down, floats, but Kushida gets a leg to a press, ONE! The two reset, Kushida gets a wristlock, Carter rolls, handsprings and flips to arm-drag free! Fans fire up, and the two reset again. Carter kicks but Kushida blocks to push him back. Carter sweeps the leg, tags Lee, and MSK get Kushida up to bump off buckles! Table top and SUPERMAN CLUTCH! Cover, TWO! Kushida kicks but Lee jumps over. Kushida still gets an arm and wrenches to a wristlock!
Jiro tags in and Jacket Time double wrench for DOUBLE ELBOW BREAKERS! Kushida and Jiro then DOUBLE PENALTY KICK the arms! Lee crawls but Jiro runs in, only for Lee to sweep legs! Cover, ONE! Lee sweeps legs again to cover, ONE! Lee avoids Jiro’s sweep with a handspring, but Jiro shows off his own moves! Lee dropkicks Jiro but Jiro stays up! Fans rally up, Le block s the jacket punch, but Jiro comes back with a JACKET PUNCH! Jiro stomps Lee to the corner, brings him up to CLUB, then tags Kushida. Jiro runs side to side, JACKET PUNCH! Kushida runs in, SHOTEI! JACKET PUNCH! SHOTEI! DOUBLE BULLDOG!
Fans are fired up as Kushida drags MSK and wrenches the arm. Tag to Jiro, Jacket Time CLUB the arms! Jiro ROCKS Lee then whips, but Lee reverses to ROCK Jiro back! Lee whips Jiro in, but Jiro puts him out! Carter tags in, Lee ENZIGURIS, then holds Jiro in for Carter’s BRONCO BUSTER! Carter taunts, covers, Kushida breaks it! Carter focuses on Jiro and holds him down with a facelock. Jiro moves around, Carter gets a chinlock. Fans rally, Jiro fights up and throws body shots. Jiro then throws hands, whips, but Carter holds ropes. Lee tags in, Jiro blocks Carter’s kick and shoves Carter into Lee!
Fans duel, Jiro dodges Carter to JACKET PUNCH! Carter falls out of the ring, Jiro builds speed, but into a STUNNER HOTSHOT! Carter holds Jiro for Lee to GAMANGIRI! Fans are torn as NXT goes picture in picture.
Lee gets in, covers, TWO! Jiro survives but Lee drags him around. Lee wrenches the arm, tags Carter, and MSK whips Jiro for a trip, Chancery and basement dropkick! Carter covers, Kushida breaks it again! Carter gets annoyed with Kushida but he stomps Jiro down. Carter drags Jiro up, EuroUppers him to the corner, then tags Lee. Snapmare and slingshot kneeboard senton! Lee paces, throws down fists into Jiro’s ribs then covers, TWO! Lee keeps cool, he drags Jiro up but Jiro throws body shots. Jiro JACKET PUNCHES, runs, but into a BIG dropkick! Cover, TWO! Lee drags Jiro by his leg, tags Carter in, and sets Jiro up for Carter’s slingshot senton! Cover, TWO!
Jiro reaches out, Carter drags him away and tags Lee back in. MSK mugs Jiro, Lee throws more body shots, and then back suplex, CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Jiro reaches out again but Lee keeps him from Kushida! Jiro schoolboys Lee away, hot tag to Kushida! Kushida rallies with SHOTEIS on Lee, then SHOTEI for Carter! Kushida whips, Lee sunset flips, Kushida rolls through to BUZZSAW! Carter runs into an atomic drop! Hip toss and basement dropkick! Kushida fires up, FAST BALL for Lee! Kushida then PENALTY KICKS an arm out! Kushida runs corner to corner, HANDSPRING KICKS for MSK!
Kushida goes out to put Lee back in, tag to Jiro. Jacket Time gets Lee up, double whips him to the corner, then Kushida goes in, but Lee tosses him out! Lee BOOTS Jiro, fakes Jiro out, and boots him away to hot tag Carter! Carter rallies, CHOPS, then whips Jiro. Jiro reverses, but Carter catches him out of the air for a flapjack! SNAP GERMAN! Fans fire up, Carter fires off kicks, sweeps the legs, PENALTY KICKS! STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO!! Jiro survives and Carter can’t believe it! Fans are loving this as Carter gets Jiro up. Carter CLUBS Jiro, tags Lee, “This is Awesome!” Lee goes up but Jiro fights free to shove Carter into him!
Jiro SUPERKICKS Carter down, but Lee shoulders in. Lee slingshots, but sunset is turned into Alabama lift! Jiro tucks Lee for the CRUNCHY! Cover, TWO!! Fans are dueling, “That was three!” “It was two!” Tag to Kushida, Jacket Time double whip to double hip toss, double basement dropkick! DOUBLE BUZZSAWS! Cover, Carter breaks it!! Kushida throws Carter out, tags Jiro in, and Jacket Time coordinate. Dragon sleeper, but Lee fights out to shove Kushida into Jiro! ROUNDHOUSE takes Kushida down! But Jiro is still up top, SWANTON FLOP! Both men are down, fans are thunderous, hot tags to Carter and Kushida!
Carter dodges Kushida to JUMP KNEE! MSK coordinate, PUSH-SAULT onto knees! HOVERBOARD LOCK!! Carter fights up to his feet but Kushida gets the body scissors!! Kushida cranks the arm but Carter RAMS him into buckles! Lee tags in, MSK coordinates, MUST-SEE BLOCKBUSTER!! Cover, MSK WINS!
Winners: MSK, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
This was just the first round and it felt more like the finals! Biggest of all, Jacket Time and MSK show respect with bows and handshakes. But will MSK be able to make it back to those finals? Or will Malik Blade & Edris Enofe be bracket busters again next round?
Zoey Stark talks with Io Shirai backstage.
Zoey Stark says the Men’s Dusty Cup is in full swing, and asks if Shirai remembers that Zoey made her debut in NXT in last year’s Women’s Dusty Cup. And that is right around the corner. Zoey has been rehabbing like crazy, but she won’t be able to make it back in time. So…? So Zoey thinks Shirai should find a new partner. What? Well, Shirai has done everything there is to do in NXT, so how awesome would it be to have her name on that trophy? Shirai doesn’t want a new partner. Hold on. Is that because she likes Stark? NO! Tiffany Stratton walks in to say, “OMG, what are you wearing? Did you find it off the clearance rack?”
But fashion aside, Tiffany figures Shirai will have plenty of time to find a partner after she loses to Tiffany tonight. Toodles! Shirai rants in Japanese, but says it’ll be okay, she’ll definitely show Tiffany what’s up. Will the spoiled rich girl learn not to anger the Evil Genius?
Cameron Grimes speaks.
Tony D’Angelo, last week, before I put that portrait over your head, I heard you talking about your boys. Rick the Stick? Well I got some boys of my own. Ben, Benji and a whole lot of Franks.” But they’re not talking about their boys, but about who is the better man, the tougher man. And there is no man tougher than Grimes. Tony D, you’ll be dropped off at Lil’ Italy as Grimes goes after Melo and the North American Championship to take it #ToTheMoon.
Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams arrive.
But not just them, OllieJayy was riding with them! Will they have VIP seats for when OllieJayy performs for NXT live?
MSK celebrates on stage, but they’re interrupted.
Legado Del Fantasma heads to the ring, but they simply move past MSK without a word. What will the Emperor of Lucha, Santos Escobar, have to say about his own near future? We find out, after the break.
NXT returns and Escobar has the mic. “Each and every week, ever since Bron Breakker has shown his hideous, ugly face in NXT, every single superstar says the same thing. At first, they go after the low hanging fruit. They mock him. Because of his father, because of his uncle, and of course, because of his family’s poor, poor math skills. And then when the jokes are done, everybody tells Bron just how special he is, and how he’s not only gonna be a huge star someday, some have the nerve to say he is a huge star now. Can you believe that?” Escobar refuses to do that, Bron. Escobar prides himself in being real, from the start, because that is a trait passed down to him by his father.
Bron and Escobar have similar upbringings. But that is why Bron’s family doesn’t impress Escobar, and why Bron himself doesn’t intimidate Escobar. Escobar doesn’t like Bron. Actually, he DESPISES Bron! He despises how fast Bron got here, how he’d been given all those opportunities, and most of all, he DESPISES hat Bron won the NXT title before Escobar! Bron’s been here only a handful of months, and he already makes Escobar sick! But here comes Bron! The NXT Champion gets in the ring with Escobar and Legado, gets himself a mic, and says let’s get to it then. Bron thinks Santos is a great superstar, but he’s insecure. He needs Mendoza, Wilde and Lopez.
Now yes, they have similar upbringings. But Bron’s family taught him to handle business head-on, while Escobar’s- Escobar won’t let Bron talk about his family! But Bron tells Escobar to callete! The champ’s speaking! If Escobar issues the challenge, then Bron will accept it. It’s that simple. Well Bron has a huge target on his back for someone who is always alone. But like Escobar said, things are done on his time. And trust him, when Escobar’s ready, Bron will know. Fans boo as Legado backs off, but then Wilde and Mendoza rush Bron! Bron CLOBBERS each of them, then dumps Mendoza out of the ring! Bron rips off his shirt, throws it at Escobar, but when will Escobar say it’s time?
“Once I become one with these powers, impeding doom awaits you. These powers are uncontrollable.” He tried to warn Solo Sikoa, “You don’t understand the fire you have ignited.” Solo fought Boa and got burned, but now nothing is holding these two back! Where will this fight end when these two can do anything and go anywhere?
No Disqualification Falls Count Anywhere Match: Boa VS Solo Sikoa!
NXT returns, and Sikoa makes his entrance, only to be blindsided by Boa! The Tian Sha paint is on, the vengeful spirit is in control! Boa uses a kendo stick to SMACK Sikoa into the ring, the bell sounds, and Boa keeps firing off! Fans rally up for Sikoa but Boa goes out to bring out chairs! Boa puts the chairs in the ring but Sikoa grabs one. Boa tosses a trash can in, gets in, but Sikoa hits a SAMOAN DROP! Fans fire up as both men crawl. Sikoa and Boa each get a chair, and they each wedge them into the corners. There’s one chair left, both men jump for it! They each get hands on it and fans rally up as they tug-o-war!
Boa gets the chair, JAMS Sikoa then SMACKS him down! Boa SMACKS Sikoa in the arm, then SMACKS him in the other arm! And again! Boa tosses that chair aside to get the trash can. Boa throws knees then reels Sikoa in, BUTTERFLY SUPLEX onto the can! Cover, TWO! Boa roars, goes back outside, and brings out a TABLE! Sikoa flops out of the ring as Boa sets up the table at ringside. Sikoa ROCKS Boa with an uppercut! They go towards the crowd and brawl into the back. Sikoa DECKS Boa into spare armchairs, then uses a chair to SMACK Boa down! Sikoa and Boa keep brawling and go further into the back.
Sikoa whips but Boa stops himself to then BOOT Sikoa into a table. Boa RAMS Sikoa into spare ladders, then KICKS him against them! Boa RAMS Sikoa back into the ladder, CLUBS him, then throws ladders! Sikoa avoids getting hit, but Boa RAMS him with one! Boa runs in, but Sikoa dodges and Boa hits garage door! Sikoa dribbles Boa off the garage door, gets the ladder and he RAMS it into him with a body check! Sikoa covers on the cement, TWO! Sikoa dribbles Boa off the garage door more, then gets space. Sikoa runs, but Boa dodges and Sikoa hits only garage door! Both men sputter but Boa drags himself over to Sikoa.
Boa dribbles Sikoa off the steel, then KICKS him against it. Boa throws Sikoa out through the door, then fires up, only for Sikoa to block the door! Boa decides to raise the garage door, but all that damage done to it makes that hard. Boa gets it open enough and Sikoa SPRAYS Boa with fire extinguisher! “Got yo’ ass!” Sikoa punches Boa and SMACKS him with a chair, and they return to ringside! Sikoa POSTS Boa, puts him in the ring, and gets that third chair to put in another corner. Sikoa gets Boa up, throws knees, then RAMS Boa into one of the chair corners! And then the second! And then the third! SUPERKICK!
Sikoa goes up and fans are fired up! But Boa hits ropes to trip Sikoa up! Sikoa falls out of the ring, Boa goes out to bring him towards the table. Boa smacks Sikoa off the announce desk, KICKS him, and KICKS him, but Sikoa SAMOAN DROPS Boa against the hood! Boa flops down, Sikoa rains down fists! Sikoa puts Boa on the table he set up, then goes to the ring. Sikoa climbs the corner, fans are going nuts as he FLYING SPLASHES through the table!! Cover in the wreckage, Sikoa wins!
Winner: Solo Sikoa, by pinfall
Sikoa threw caution to the wind and took the win in this brutal battle! Has Sikoa exorcised Boa and that evil spirit from his path?
Marcel Barthel says, “Our name stands for dominance, our name stands for pride, and our name stands for success.” The same goes for Walter’s new name. “The name I’m known as all over the world, the name my parents gave me in honor of our family patriarch, my grandfather, the man who introduced me to this great sport. But now it’s time to leave the past behind and guide Imperium into the future, standing on my own two feet, with my own identity.” Barthel says this is the “dawn of a new time for Imperium.” They’re closing the door to the past to open one to a whole new future, a whole new age!
Fabian Aichner says “It’s going to be a future led by this man, a man who will spread pain and fear throughout the entire WWE.” He is now… GUNTHER. A rose by any other name would still have thorns, so will Walter’s transformation into Gunther simply mean he brings his devastating power into a new realm to conquer?
Duke Hudson VS Guru Raaj!
No more jiggery-pokery, the deck has been put away and Duke is playing for keeps! He demolished Guru Raaj’s match with Dante Chen last week, will Duke just demolish Raaj directly?
The bell rings, and Duke BOOTS Raaj right down! Duke rains down furious fists, turns them into clubbing forearms, then drags Raaj up to put in a corner. Duke throws body shots, forearms, haymakers, and stomps! “Dukie Sucks!” but Duke just whips Raaj into the corner to scoop and SIDEWALK SLAM! Duke shouts at the fans but they boo him. Duke drags Raaj up, reels him in, and gut wrenches to the crucifix, for THE RIVER! Cover, Duke wins!
Winner: Duke Hudson, by pinfall
But Duke can’t celebrate long as Dante Chen appears to call him out! “I’m going to give you the respect that you didn’t give me last week, by letting you know, here I come.” Dante gets in and brawls with Duke! The refs hurry in but Duke KNEES low! Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and then Duke gets free to CHOP BLOCK! He went right for the leg of Dante’s that just healed! Has Duke made sure the Singaporean Warrior can’t raise the stakes?
Backstage interview with Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta.
Persia loves Duke’s aggressive side. And he looks good with short hair. Indi tells Persia to focus, but Persia says “Mrs. Lumis” is one to talk. But in all seriousness, they’re focused. This is a big match tonight, and Indi’s been training her butt off. These two are gonna be one step closer to winning the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. Kay Lee Ray walks in, with her bat, saying, “Championships, championships, championships. We know that there’s more to being champion than just doing photoshoots. But what Mandy Rose represents is the complete opposite of that title around her waist.” Persia says to add Gigi & Jacy to that, too.
KLR says that tonight, they can all stake their claims to the titles. “Soon, Toxic Attraction are gonna realize that the next photoshoot they do might be without those titles.” Will the Scary Queen of Scots and the impressive duo behind her soon make Toxic Attraction face utter destruction?
Backstage interview with Legado Del Fantasma.
Wilde & Mendoza are still seething, and though McKenzie asks why Escobar didn’t take Bron on, Mendoza answers. “What the hell is going on?” He goes off in Spanish, and then Wilde says that Bron needs to find out what happens when you disrespect Legado! Escobar says the young champion has made a mistake. These two will get a piece of Bron, 2v1. Unless of course, Bron can find a friend. That’s unlikely since Bron is NXT Champion, and that is a very, very lonely job. So safe to say, Bron’s growing pains are just going to continue. Lopez remembers Bron said it himself, he’s first to arrive and last to leave. Maybe Legado hangs around, too.
Six Woman Tag: Toxic Attraction VS Kay Lee Ray, Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta!
NXT returns and KLR makes her entrance. Indi and Persia are already there, and the teams sort out. Persia starts against Mandy and the two circle. KLR wants in and Mandy doesn’t want any of that! KLR tags in, Mandy runs away to her corner, and Mandy talks things over with Jacy. Jacy tags in, Jacy circles with KLR. They tie up, go around, and KLR powers Jacy to the corner. Tag to Indi, Indi stomps away on Jacy then waistlocks. Jacy switches, Indi runs to ropes to buck Jacy away. Jacy comes back, is put on the apron through ropes, and Indi EuroUppers to then BOOT Jacy down! Cover, ONE!
Indi keeps on Jacy but Jacy wrenches and shoves Indi to then KNEE her to the corner! Jacy RAMS in, tags Gigi, and the tag champs mug Indi. Gigi snapmares, but Indi ducks the Penalty Kick to roll her up! TWO, and Gigi KNEES Indi down! Gigi drags Indi up, whips her to the corner, then CHOPS her! Tag to Mandy, Mandy stomps Indi, then Mandy brings Indi in for a snap suplex! Mandy soaks up the cheers and jeers, then pie faces KLR. KLR runs back in and that scares Mandy, and Indi rolls her up! TWO, but Indi CLOBBERS Mandy with an elbow! Indi drags Mandy over, tags Persia, and feeds Mandy to a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Indi adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Persia drags Mandy, KLR wants in, so Persia tags her in! Mandy bails out, but KLR gives chase! They go out, around, back in, but Mandy kicks at KLR. Mandy runs in at the corner, but KLR puts her on the apron and shoulders her down! Toxic Attraction regroups with their leader, Persia and Indi are there, KLR goes up and up and DIVES! Direct hit onto all of Toxic Attraction! KLR drags Mandy up and puts her in, fans rally as KLR stalks Mandy, but Gigi distracts from the apron. Mandy crawls, tag to Jacy, and KLR is furious! KLR fires off on Jacy, CHOPS her, then CHOPS her again! Tag to Persia, and she stomps away on Jacy!
Persia RAMS her shoulders in, tags Indi, and Indi stomps away on Jacy! Indi brings Jacy out but Jacy DECKS Indi with a right! Jacy runs in but Indi BOOTS her! Indi ROCKS Mandy, ROCKS Gigi, but they both pull Indi down! Jacy hits a CANNONBALL! Cover, ONE! Jacy CLUBS Indi, drops a SENTON, then drags her back. Tag to Gigi, she whips and ROCKS Indi with a forearm, then whips and ROCKS her again! Gigi snapmares Indi to KICK her in the back! Gigi gives Indi Kowata Kicks! Gigi bumps Indi off buckles, tags Mandy in, and they mug Indi. Mandy keeps Indi from her corner with an elbow drop!
Mandy mocks Indi’s pain, drags her back, but Indi crawls forward. Indi kicks Mandy away, but Mandy comes back to get an arm. Indi blocks the whip, sends Mandy into the corner, but Mandy DECKS KLR! Mandy backs away from Persia, but into Indi’s SIDEWALK SLAM! Jacy rushes in to drag Indi from Persia, but Indi kicks Jacy out of the ring! Indi and Mandy crawl, but Jacy YANKS Persia down! Gigi tags in, and she kicks Indi down! SWITCHBLADE KICK! Cover, TWO! Gigi is frustrated but fans rally up as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Indi fights out of Mandy’s body scissor chinlock combo. Indi pushes back to a cover, TWO! Indi is free but Mandy stomps her down! Mandy drags Indi up, fans rally, but Jacy tags in. Toxic Attraction mugs Indi, then Jacy stomps Indi down. Indi hits back with body shots, then shoves, but Jacy ROLLING ELBOWS! And a RUNNING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Indi is showing impressive toughness, and her team coaches her up. Jacy drags Indi up, CHOPS Indi but Indi CHOPS back! Jacy CHOPS, Indi CHOPS, then Indi blocks the lariat. Jacy dodges but DOUBLE BOOTS take them down!
Fans fire up as both women crawl, hot tags to Gigi and Persia! Persia rallies on Gigi, and she runs into the corner to SPLASH! Persia scoops Gigi for SNAKE EYES! Then a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, Jacy SENTONS to break it! KLR ROCKS Jacy, Indi hits a SPINEBUSTER! Mandy KNEES Indi down, but KLR glares at Mandy. KLR dodges the boot and SUPERKICKS Mandy down! KLR gets her baseball bat! “You wanna run, Mandy?!” Mandy gets out of the ring but KLR gives chase! Mandy dodges and KLR hits steel steps! But KLR still stalks Mandy around the way, and SMACKS the post! Mandy runs away to the back but KLR just keeps following!
Persia and Gigi get up, Persia kicks Gigi and reels her in. Suplex, but Gigi fights to a cradle! TWO! Gigi can’t believe it, but she turns around into a BOOT! Persia fireman’s carries for the FACEBUSTER! Cover, Persia and team win!
Winners: Kay Lee Ray, Persia Pirotta & Indi Hartwell
Powerhouse Pirotta just put this one away, and now she and Indi are on the doorstep of those NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions! Is Toxic Attraction just one match away from losing all the gold?
NXT hear from Malik Blade & Edris Enofe.
Malik can’t believe they’re in the semifinals! And Enofe says they could go all the way. If they do make it and win, they can ask out Mandy Rose. Whoa, what? But she won’t ever say yes. What? No one thought they’d make it even this far, and yet here they are. People thought they’d lose to Harland & Gacy, and then to Legado. But they’ve shocked the world and busted brackets. They can win the whole damn thing, and get those NXT Tag Team Championships! And asking out Mandy. Well, we’ll see. Enofe says Malik can ask out Mandy, while he asks out Gigi AND Jacy.
Malik has seen Enofe’s Instagram. He’s a bad influence. Some might say toxic. Enofe shows off the dancing pecs, but will they be able to impress against MSK?
Cora Jade finds Raquel Gonzalez working out.
So, has Raquel thought about it? Yes, and the answer is still no. What? Why? Raquel isn’t interested in the Women’s Dusty Cup, Cora. What does Cora have to do? Does she have to lift the same weight Raquel does? She can totally do that. Don’t go hurting yourself, kid. Cora tries but it doesn’t budge. Cora asks if this is about New Year’s Evil. No, it’s not. Raquel won the Dusty, knows what it takes, and as much as she hates Dakota, Dakota also knows what it takes and does whatever it takes to win. So can Cora! Okay, Cora jumped off the top of a cage, but that was one time.
The Dusty Cup is round after round. Raquel needs someone she can trust, someone who can get up after getting knocked down. And that just isn’t Cora. Cora says it is! No it isn’t. Yes it is! NO. IT’S NOT. Cora wants to prove it, but Raquel easily blocks her slap. Don’t push it. Raquel storms off, but will Cora get the hint?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 Opening Round: Grizzled Young Veterans VS Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward!
Ever since arriving in NXT UK, Zack Gibson has been saying he and James Drake are SSSOOOON to be the top tag team in the WWE. But NXT UK Tag Team Championships aside, “soon” has yet to arrive. Will GYV finally get one step closer to that lofty goal? Or will they get failing grades against the professor of Chase U and his star pupil?
NXT returns as Team Chase U makes their entrance. The teams sort out, Drake starts against Chase. They tie up, go around, Drake wrenches an arm to a wristlock. Drake wrangles Chase, steps over and JAMS the arm. Chase backs off, Drake eggs him on. Chase returns, circles with Drake, but Drake gets his arm again. Drake wrenches, wristlocks, but Chase rolls, kips up and WRINGS Drake out! Fans fire up for Chase and even Bodhi is impressed. That was a #TeachableMoment! Drake throws a fit but Gibson calms him down, only for Chase to get a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Chase stomps and fans spell out “CHASE U!”
Chase EuroUppers Drake to the corner, tags Bodhi and Bodhi CLUBS the arm. Bodhi wrenches, tags Chase back in and Chase CLUBS the arm. Chase wrenches, tags Bodhi back in, and Chase feeds Drake to Bodhi’s shoulder. Slingshot sunset flip, TWO! Bodhi wrenches Drake’s arm, tags Chase in and Chase climbs up. Chase hits an AX HANDLE! Drake shoves Chase but Chase JABS, JABS and JABS! Flip, flop, fly and BIONIC ELBOW! Gibson backs off before Chase can give him one! Drake gets Chase, Gibson tags in, Drake powers out and Gibson trips Chase up! Gibson gut wrenches, Drake slingshots, ASSISTED SHOULDERBREAKER!
GYV get in Chase’s face, “Do something!” “This is what we meant!” Gibson puts Chase in the ring, rams shoulder after shoulder into him, and then gets in Chase’s face. Gibson DECKS Chase, drags him back up and whips him into the corner, Chase boots back and elbows Drake! Chase fights out of the GYV corner, but Gibson whips him! Chase spins things around, backslide! TWO, and Gibson keeps Chase from Bodhi! Drake and Bodhi each reach out, Gibson back drops but Chase sunset flips! Gibson stays up, steps through but Chase kangaroo kicks, then flips around to hot tag Bodhi! Fans fire up as Bodhi CLOBBERS Gibson and DECKS Drake!
Bodhi keeps going, Gibson dodges but Bodhi catches him for a scoop SLAM! Bodhi fires himself up, then hits a SPLASH! And then another SPLASH! And then a third SPLASH! Bodhi gets Gibson up but Drake distracts him. Gibson throat chops Bodhi down! Drake tags in, he dropkicks Chase down! GYV run at Bodhi, DOUBLE CODE BREAKER! Cover, GYV win!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
Andre Chase U put up a fight but it wasn’t enough against the street smart savvy of Gibson & Drake! Will they have another game plan to take out The Creed Brothers? Or will Diamond Mine soon break Grizzled Young Veterans?
Von Wagner gets in and attacks Bodhi! OLYMPIC SLAM! Robert Stone is there, too, admiring Von’s work as he gives Chase a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Stone then enters the ring, and he gives Von a suit to wear. The Robert Stone Brand has been resurrected, and it has incredible brawn to match Stone’s brains. Will these two take over NXT soon enough?
Grayson Waller speaks.
“LA Knight. You thought you had me dead to rights. Dexter Lumis doing your dirty work, but NAH NAH. You thought it was going to be the end of Grayson Waller, but my star is shining brighter than ever. Now, the Grayson Waller Effect is going global, baby!” He has the Bollywood Star by his side as his secret service, protecting NXT’s hottest commodity. And Knight is at a third grade reading level, so he needs to read the restraining order. Sound out those bigger words. It’d be a shame if he goes to jail. Knight might find a way around it, but Waller will be waiting for him. And Sanga, well, he’ll wanna meet Knight first.
Io Shirai VS Tiffany Stratton!
Whether or not the Evil Genius has warmed up to Zoey Stark, she can’t stand Daddy’s Spoiled Princess. Will Shirai simply add Tiffany to the long list of people she’s defeated here in NXT?
NXT returns and Tiffany has made her entrance. The bell rings, fans sing, ‘Io’s gonna kill~ you~!” They tie up, Shirai waistlocks but Tiffany switches. Shirai wrenches free, Tiffany cartwheels through to wrench back. Shirai rolls, kips up and wrenches to another wristlock. Tiffany slips through, goes up the corner and rebounds to arm-drag! Shirai comes back but into a knee. Tiffany runs, Shira drops to hurdle, Tiffany leaps over. Things keep moving until Tiffany holds ropes. Tiffany sticks her tongue out at Shirai, Shirai rushes over but Tiffany sends her out of the ring! Tiffany dusts off her hands but Shirai gets upset.
Shirai goes around the way as Tiffany shrugs. Shirai gets in, Tiffany ROCKS her with a right, then whips but Shirai reverses and FLAPJACKS! Shirai kips up, fans fire up and Shirai mocks Tiffany, “Do you wanna call your dad?” Shirai stomps Tiffany down, runs and runs and basement dropkicks her down! Cover, TWO! Shirai keeps on Tiffany with a crossface! Tiffany scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Shirai lets go at 4, and Tiffany throws her down by her hair! Tiffany says Shirai doesn’t do that to her! Tiffany stomps Shirai, and wraps on a cobra clutch. Shirai endures, fans rally, and Shirai fights up, only for Tiffany to wrangle her down.
Shirai fights to move around, Tiffany leans on her but Shirai gets to her feet. Shirai pries the hold but Tiffany knees low. Tiffany whips Shirai to a corner, handsprings and SPLASHES! Cover, TWO! Tiffany grows frustrated, drags Shirai up but Shirai pushes her away. Tiffany kicks low, talks trash but Shirai blocks the kick. Shirai spins Tiffany for a SHOTEI! Tiffany ends up in a corner, Shirai runs in, SHINKANSEN! And then a scoop SLAM puts Tiffany in the drop zone! Shirai steps on Tiffany, goes to the corner, OVER THE MOONSAULT! Cover, Shirai wins!
Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall
Money can’t buy the experience and talent Shirai has! Is it still 100 years too early for Tiffany to ever beat the Evil Genius?
Malcolm Bivens speaks.
“Gunther? What an awful name, I can’t believe your parents named you that. It should’ve been ‘DUMBASS,’ in all caps. I don’t care what you call yourself or what your legacy may be, because everyone keeps talking about, ‘This is a new beginning for Imperium.’ No. This is the beginning of the end for Imperium, because the Creed Brothers are gonna win the Dusty Classic, and then they will become the new NXT Tag Team Champions. And then Roderick Strong, the leader of Diamond Mine, Gunther, he’s gonna chop you down like the big dumb Austrian tree you are.” And then, Ivy Nile will stretch Gunther from here to his mama’s house.
So next week, Gunther can bring his boys, Bivens will bring his, Six Man Tag big money. Julius Creed says Imperium thinks they’re tough, but compared to Diamond Mine, they’re just European pretty boys. Brutus agrees, and says that they’re world class athletes that will take them down whenever they want! Strong says no one out trains, outlasts, or outworks Roderick Strong and Diamond Mine. Enjoy last week’s win, because that is never gonna happen again. Diamond Mine forever!
Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams head to the ring.
Trick says, “Now as you know, Trick ‘n’ Melo always here to steal the show. But tonight, we’re here to introduce our girl to the WWE Universe!” Melo says y’all better put some respeck on the name! She is the FLIEST chick to ever set in the WWE, so make some noise for OllieJayy! Ollie thanks the boys, and says she IS NXT 2.0. She’s here to perform her track, “Make ‘Em Fall.” After Ollie finishes, Melo says Ollie don’t miss! That’s all it is, and that’s all it ever gon’ be!
Tony D’Angelo speaks.
He heard Grimes chirping earlier. That’ll stop when Tony busts Grimes’ face open in two seconds. Then after Grimes, Tony D has a date with destiny and the North American title at NXT Vengeance Day. Will the Made Man make himself #1 contender in tonight’s main event?
Tiffany Stratton complains to her dad.
Did he see what happened? That ref was so unfair! The incompetence level was so beyond, she couldn’t believe it! Hold on. She sees Wendy Choo sipping her drink. Tiffany shouldn’t feel too bad. Everyone loses to Io. Tiffany gets upset and slaps Wendy’s drink out of her hand! That was her free refill! Tiffany says there are so many freaks here. Wendy says she’s not a freak, she just likes being comfortable. But will Tiffany stop whining long enough to actually work and get better in the ring?
NXT North American Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Cameron Grimes VS Tony D’Angelo!
The Carolina Cash Money Caveman was once Million Dollar Champion, but “that damn” Ted DeBiase took back that golden legacy real quick. Now Grimes wants more gold so he can go #ToTheMoon! But Tony D, he sent the Bruiserweight to the hospital with a busted face from a crowbar. Will Tony break the bank and take the golden ticket to Vengeance Day? Or will Grimes be the one cashing in big like he did all last year?
The bell rings, the two circle, and Grimes shoots in for a leg. Tony stays up, gets to ropes, but then he pulls Grimes’ hair! Grimes wrenches a wristlock, Tony rolls and drags Grimes down to get the wristlock back. Grimes kips up, slips through to wrench and arm-drag Tony around! Grimes tells Tony to #KissMahGrits! Tony seethes, rushes Grimes but is sent out of the ring! Grimes then goes to the apron to PENALTY KICK Tony down! Melo and Trick watch from the perch but Grimes puts Tony in the ring. Grimes gets around to waistlock and CLUB Tony, then EuroUpper! Tony staggers into a KICK and a CHOP!
Grimes bumps Tony off buckles, whips him to ropes, but Tony throws Grimes down by his hair! Tony then sets up, clinches Grimes and hits an EXPLODER! Fans rally with Tony as he talks trash to Grimes and Melo. Tony stomps Grime sin a corner, digs his head into the mat, but the ref counts. Tony lets off at 4, stomps Grimes, then RAMS his shoulder in. Tony whips Grimes corner to corner hard, and Grimes tumbles up and out of the ring! Tony goes out, puts Grimes back in and pushes Grimes around. Tony whips Grimes to ropes, scoops and hits a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Tony grows annoyed but fans rally as NXT goes picture in picture.
Tony stomps Grimes, talks more trash, and Grimes drags himself to ropes. Tony chokes Grimes on the ropes, the ref counts, and Tony lets off at 4. Tony reels Grimes in, throws body shots, and then cranks on the facelock. Grimes endures, fights up, but Tony whips him to ropes. Grimes ducks and dodges, to then CROSSBODY! Down goes Tony and fans fire up! Grimes watches Tony go to a corner, storms over but Tony YANKS him into buckles! Tony scuffs Grimes’ head, drags him up and puts him in the corner. Tony clinches for a BELLY2BELLY! Cover, TWO! Tony gets frustrated, and he digs his forearms into Grimes’ head.
Tony sits Grimes up and wraps on a chinlock. Grimes endures as Tony squeezes tight and leans his weight on him. Grimes fights up, Tony throws body shots and brings Grimes back down. Grimes reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Tony lets off and stomps away on Grimes! The ref has Tony back off, Grimes gets up but Tony reels him in for more body shots. Tony clinches again, BELLY2BELLY! NXT returns to single picture as Tony covers, TWO! Fans are thunderous as Grimes fights back up but Tony stomps him down. Grimes blocks a stomp, SLAPS Tony in the face, but Tony reels Grimes in for more body shots!
Tony hits a HALF HATCH! Tony wraps Grimes up in a modified chinlock but Grimes fights up. Tony TACKLES Grimes, covers, TWO! Trick doesn’t seem impressed, but Tony rains down forearms on Grimes. Tony shifts to a rear bearhug but Grimes endures. Fans rally up, Grimes fights up, reaches out, but Tony keeps him from ropes. Grimes stands, throws elbows, and then arm-drags Tony away! RANA! Fans fire up behind Grimes as he runs, and Grimes rallies with forearms! Grimes goes corner to corner, but Tony dodges the boot! Grimes gets stuck in the ropes, Tony brings him out, GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!!
Tony is furious as Grimes survives but fans are fired up! Tony drags Grimes up, throws more body shots, but Grimes turns fisherman into a cradle, TWO! Grimes ROCKS Tony, Tony ROCKS back! Grimes throws a forearm, Tony throws a haymaker! Tony runs, Grimes dodges, COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO!! Tony survives, Melo and Trick just shrug. “This is Awesome!” and Grimes grits his teeth. Grimes sees Tony flounder up in the corner, and he fires off KICK after KICK after KICK! Grimes runs corner to corner, GAMANGIRI! But Tony CLUBS Grimes in the back! Tony blocks the kick for an EXPLODER into the buckles!! Cover, TWO!!
Tony is losing his cool and even Melo is shocked by that one! Tony paces around in frustration, but he drags Grimes up to ROCK him with a haymaker! Grimes BOOTS back from the corner! Grimes goes up, but his legs wobble! He goes again, QUEBRADA! Grimes still hits Tony, then runs corner to corner to FLYING BOOT! Tony staggers, Grimes goes up and CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Tony survives and Grimes is shocked! Fans fire up, “TO~ THE~ MOON!” But Tony bails out to the announce desk. So Grimes gets Tony’s hat! The ref tells Grimes to put that back, but PETE DUNNE SMACKS Tony’s hand with a wood cricket bat!!
The Bruiserweight glares at Tony as he gets his revenge, then shrugs. Tony gets in the ring in a huff, CAVE-IN!! Cover, Grimes wins!
Winner: Cameron Grimes, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT North American Champion)
Grimes is coming for the gold! He and Melo are gonna meet on Vengeance Day, but will it be the day Grimes finally gets that North American Championship?
NXT Media catches Bron Breakker on his way out.
What’re his thoughts on Escobar’s tag team challenge? Who will Bron ask to be his tag partner? Bron says Escobar is a number’s guy. As far as partners go, it doesn’t really matter. But wait, who is this pulling up? Legado is here, ready to jump him! NOW is the time Escobar wants to fight Bron! Bron’s ready, but stepping up to reinforce him is TOMMASO CIAMPA! Bron says the math checks out. See you later! Bron and Ciampa fist bump, will they break Wilde & Mendoza to leave Escobar without his pawns?
A great NXT, with a lot of great stuff set up for the return of NXT Vengeance Day. That main event, especially. Grimes wins in a great match with Tony D’Angelo, and Grimes is going to have an awesome match with Melo. However, I’m moderately confused with Pete Dunne showing up. If he is being called up to RawDown, why is he back? I suppose screwing Tony over is good enough, but perhaps they’re giving him one more match for a better sendoff than that crowbar to the face? Similarly, what about Ciampa? I like that he’s the one backing Bron up against Legado, but what about Xyon Quinn? Shouldn’t Xyon want payback on Legado for his own story? Or is that going to happen in next week’s tag match anyway?
We got awesome Men’s Dusty Cup matches tonight, especially MSK VS Jacket Time in the opener. That really could’ve been how they booked the semifinal or final match, and I think MSK’s in-ring action is finally winning the performance center crowd over. Enofe & Malik have a good promo to hype their match with MSK up, but it again seems like erryone in NXT 2.0 is thirsty. Grizzled Young Veterans VS Chase & Bodhi was good stuff, and Chase U got to look great in defeat. Diamond Mine is calling Imperium out, so I’m thinking Imperium wins the Six Man Tag to give Creed Brothers the math to win against GYV. Though that’s a bit of a shame for GYV.
Speaking of Imperium, their promo was very good, and it does give reason for Walter to change his name to Gunther, but I gotta agree with Biven’s line about it being a dumb name. But Walter-Gunther will certainly be on his way to a singles title past Vengeance Day, so the winner of Grimes VS Melo better watch out. Waller had a good promo to call out LA Knight and give us Saurav Gurjar’s new name. Sanga better be more careful on social media this time. But he’ll have a good match against Knight to give Knight the momentum going into whatever match he has with Waller. Duke dominating Raaj was great, as was his brawl with Dante. Their match is going to really good, too.
Boa VS Sikoa in the No DQ Falls Count Anywhere match was awesome stuff. They didn’t explore as much of the arena as they could have, and they really focused on the garage door. Maybe too much, since it was so hard for Boa to pull the chain and lift it after all the dents made. But that table spot was an awesome finish, and Sikoa himself could be waiting on the other side of the Vengeance Day North American Championship match. OllieJayy is here, she’s clearly going to be NXT 2.0’s answer to Poppy. Having her already have a kayfabe link to Melo & Hayes is a good start to getting fans to know her, but honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me if she shows up more or not. I was behind in watching and just used fast-forward through her song.
Tiffany Stratton of course loses to Shirai, but I’m curious to what she’ll get Daddy to do about her complaints. The interaction of Shirai and Stark was much more interesting, but I’m not sure Shirai will bother with the Women’s Dusty Cup, even if Stark was healthy. I didn’t think Cora’s new strategy to get Raquel on her side would be to slap her, and we’re going to get a match out of that. Pretty sure Cora will “impress” Raquel by getting up after every big shot she takes until the Chingona Bomb. Then they end up a Dusty Cup team, and who knows how that goes. The Six Woman Tag was good stuff, I still feel like Jacy was a bit awkward but she’s been improving.
KLR chasing Mandy off was great, as was Persia finishing it off. If the tag title story doesn’t go in their favor, I see Persia going after Indi and they feud. Persia could definitely be built as a singles wrestler since Vince loves big powerhouses. The next two weeks will definitely set up title matches for Vengeance Day, but who knows if Toxic Attraction drops any of the belts.
My Score: 8.7/10
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.187 ~ 29TH SEPTEMBER 2022
Keiji Mutoh continues his Retirement tour and bringing out faces from the past! NOAH has a new champion! Interesting inter-promotional battles on the horizon as well!
Kaito Kiyomiya is the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, nominates Kazuyuki Fujita as challenger
Following provocation by Kenoh not only saying that he was going to be the one to inherit Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard and the memory of Keiji Mutoh himself (and the outright claim that Kiyomiya would simply forget about Mutoh once Mutoh had retired, which Kiyomiya didn’t even bother responding to), Kenoh went one step further at their last pre match on the 19th September by pulling Keiji Mutoh’s pose, kissing his hand, putting it to Kiyomiya’s lips and then exploding it. Kiyomiya erupted in fury at this, it was far more than any verbal provocation of Kenoh’s, which I guess he has learned to ignore over the years. They fought for the GHC Heavyweight in Nagoya on September 25th, with Kiyomiya emerging victorious following a modified Shining Wizard. As Kenoh left it was like a spell was broken. Kenoh went backstage and muttered about Kiyomiya being the company favorite and in his interview the day after winning the title, Kiyomiya said nothing about Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh as we know had been a focus of both Kiyomiya and Kenoh leading up to the title match.
Back in the ring, Kiyomiya called out his next opponent. Kazuyuki Fujita. Fujita came to the ring, carrying a can of beer which he swigged from. Getting in the ring he circled Kiyomiya and took off his t-shirt. Kiyomiya said that he was expecting a fight, but Fujita did something that no other NOAH wrestler had (or perhaps would) do, and that was to throw himself at Kiyomiya and then make nuzzling motions against his head, while he licked the belt. Kiyomiya pushed him off, and Fujita retaliated by pouring beer over his head.
Kiyomiya screaming that he hated beer was met with Fujita toasting him from the ramp and yelling “Kampaiii” (“cheers”) after a fight had broken out, and Kiyomiya threw him from the ring.
Backstage, Kiyomiya said his reason for nominating Kazuyuki Fujita as his challenger was that he had never been defeated for the GHC Heavyweight. Fujita had to give up the belt due to Coronavirus. It has been a recurring theme of most of the GHC Heavyweight champions since Go Shiozaki, that Fujita has been the man to beat in order to cement yourself as champion. Kiyomiya was picking up that torch.
As for Fujita, he played it as if he was a Casanova and had been asked out on a date by warning Kiyomiya that when you experience Fujita, you can never go back because you were never going to be the same. He was going to “make it a night to remember”. He sipped his beer, and licked his lips afterwards.
Title match has been set for NOAH’s return to Ariake on the 30th October.
STINGER lose, NOAH Junior Regulars win, enter Tadasuke (with a chair)
Following a period of brutal attacks on Seiki Yoshioka (by the end of the match he could hardly use one side of his body) and a title challenge where Atsushi Kotoge was bloodied up, The NOAH Junior Regulars emerged victorious and bought the tag titles home to their unit. They had very little time to celebrate their win and put ice on their wounds, when Tadasuke burst in and attacked Atsushi Kotoge with a chair while Hi69 beat up on the already incapacitated Seiki Yoshioka. Tadasuke (wild grin on his face) got on the microphone and made a challenge for the tag titles. Then Tadasuke wiped the blood from Kotoge that had got on his hands on his hair, leaving red streaks in the peroxide. Tadasuke was even waving the bloodied seat of the chair, which had detached during the attack, around backstage.
Title match will be on the 30th October when NOAH return to the Ariake complex.
Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima, NOAH’s most dysfunctional tag team, win the GHC Heavyweight tag titles
It must be said that with the combined efforts of Satoshi Kojima and Hideki Suzuki, we almost have our Sugi back.
At the press conference/title match signing, Sugi and Kojima appeared dressed in suits and wearing dark glasses. They looked something between The Men In Black and “Dangerous Detectives” (as Tokyo Sports called them which stems from a Japanese TV show). Hideki Suzuki was on form, not only mistranslating Timothy Thatcher and stating at one point that Thatcher said he came to Japan to “beat you up” and being rude to a journalist for being overfamiliar with his “punk mouth”, the highlight of the press conference was his long close up stare at Sugi, who was trying not to laugh.
The dysfunctional team won the titles in Nagoya on the 25th September, and despite their falling out during the match, Sugi actually gave Kojima a proper handshake. Then they went back to squabbling backstage over Kojima talking on the mic when it was Sugi who got the win. No challengers have come forward as of yet.
HAYATA retains the GHC Junior, Ninja Mack makes his long awaited challenge
It had been an emotional match for YO-HEY, and for fans. Cutting out the aerial techniques that had characterized their earlier matches, both he and HAYATA demonstrated how much they had both evolved by concentrating on a more NOAH based ground attack with submissions. YO-HEY might have failed in the challenge, but he had at least gotten one win over HAYATA in the pre-match. He knew the title match would be different and he would need to level up, and afterwards he reflected and said he would start from rock bottom in order to make his next challenge. What fans had noticed that while things had changed between them, some things were the same, such as YO-HEY coloring his hair, his tongue (and even his boxer shorts) purple, which is HAYATA’s color, and HAYATA not speaking as much as he has done in previous title challenges, as he is content to let YO-HEY talk. After the match, Ninja Mack came to challenge. HAYATA accepted by saying, that he was “finally interested in the belt” and acknowledging him as challenger. Title match will of course be on the 30th October. But HAYATA is not immediately going into a fallout match with Ninja Mack at NOAH’s next event on the 30th, but is having a tag match against YO-HEY.
Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Road
Keiji Mutoh has been very busy.
– 23rd September: Great Muta appears in AEW
The Great Muta made a surprise appearance in AEW to rescue Sting, who had been tied to a chair by Darby Allen. Muta came to the ring, advanced on Sting and then turned and spat green mist into the face of Allen and then reunited with Sting. Keiji Mutoh announced that Sting would attend Muta’s retirement on the 22nd in Yokohama, but has not said in what capacity, although it is assumed that they will tag. Regarding any further appearances in America, Mutoh said he didn’t think it was likely, but did warn that The Great Muta may pop up somewhere as you never knew where he would turn up next.
– 25th September: Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road: Love Forever 2
Keiji Mutoh teamed with his junior Kazuyuki Fujita to take on Mutoh’s classmate, Masakatsu Funaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima, who Mutoh has known since he was a boy, and still calls affectionately “Katsuhiko”. Nakajima said he was going to break up this class reunion, and while Mutoh did get kicked (Nakajima smirked and said it was fun when Mutoh later complained his leg still hurt) but it was Fujita who got the worst of it. During the match, Nakajima pulled out Mutoh’s Space Rolling Elbow. Mutoh was initially not pleased, but then he became very happy to see it and said that he thought that “Katsuhiko” did it because he had some small measure of feeling for him. I think had Nakajima been a more acrobatic wrestler, Mutoh might have handed it to him. Mutoh won the match with The Shining Wizard, pinning Nakajima. This was Mutoh’s farewell to Nagoya, his classmate, his junior and Nakajima.
– 26th September: Hiroshi Tanahashi comes to the press conference and a tag match is announced
Hiroshi Tanahashi presented 38 roses to Mutoh when he came to the press conference. Each rose symbolizes a year of Mutoh’s career. Mutoh joked that he should have laid them at his feet, as had happened in boxing recently. Tanahashi said he wasn’t good at ad-libbing, and then introduced himself as “one of the greatest New Japan talents in the past one hundred years”. During the press conference, a tag match was announced. New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Honma Tomoaki will team together against the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh and Keiji Mutoh. This will take place on the 30th October. Mutoh has not given up hope of appearing one final time in the New Japan ring.
– 16th October: A new match is announced
NOAH announced that due to fan demand, Keiji Mutoh will be appearing in Fukuoka. He will tag with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima against Naomichi Marufuji, HAYATA and Jack Morris. Satoshi Kojima is of course connected to Mutoh through All Japan and New Japan, Naomichi Marufuji has wanted a match against Mutoh (he will be tagging with him as we know on the 30th October) and HAYATA has been a big fan of Mutoh for a while, as he has influenced a lot of his style and persona. HAYATA thinks of himself and The Great Muta as “The Phantom Team”. Muta doesn’t like to speak and HAYATA said, neither does he.
Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima head overseas
Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima will appear for Evolution Pro Wrestling in New York for their anniversary show on November 12th. Marufuji’s match is yet to be announced, but Nakajima will take on Josh Alexander. Alexander has said he wonders how Nakajima is going to kick after he snaps his ankle. They will also appear at King of Indies in San Francisco on November 19th.
NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (and Kenoh)
After being beaten up by Katsuhiko Nakajima who gave him some pretty stiff soccerball kicks outside the ring at Korakuen Hall recently, (although he would tell you that Nakajima tried to beat him up), NOSAWA Rongai has been on a quest to face Nakajima in a match. Then he threw in Kenoh, so it could be himself and Eita versus Kongoh. Hideki Suzuki told him that he was probably going to die, but NOSAWA has taken no notice and kept on with his demand. His demand has not been met because rather than facing Nakajima and Kenoh, NOAH have booked him against rookies Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. NOSAWA thinks he is having to go through some kind of trial.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Hideki Suzuki has hinted that perhaps Takashi Sugiura might like to get back online.
– Yoshiki Inamura and YO-HEY continued their guild, despite the fact that YO-HEY said someone attacked and burned their castle down. A picture was taken of YO-HEY and Inamura playing the game, with YO-HEY seated cross legged on Inamura, who was doing a bridge in the ring. We have seen Inamura used as a weight, but is he now used as furniture?
– NOAH’s Director, Narihiro Takeda, wrote on a NOAH Note that he would like for Darby Allin to come to NOAH one day.
– Tadasuke got a match thrown out by ripping off Alejandro’s mask. Tadasuke did not care, and did not even respond when Alejandro asked if he wanted a mask for himself?
– Daiki Inaba had his long awaited singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima, but failed to revenge himself for Nakajima’s behavior in W-1. Nakajima even went for the cocky pin by grinning and leaning on Inaba.
– There was usual chaos at the NOAH Junior Space sessions as Daisuke Harada is not there to take control. Atsushi Kotoge seems to be the main culprit, forgetting to invite Seiki Yoshioka in and at one time even failing to press record.
– It’s probably best that Daiki Inaba, who apparently likes to be in the nip backstage, was not present when NOAH was at Differ. It was bad enough that Sugi used to wander around naked…
– Mitsuharu Misawa wrote in a diary entry for 2006 about filming an advert for THE LEAVE, and having to sing first thing in the morning while they were filming. Probably due to the fact that he had a problem with his throat anyway, was a heavy smoker and had taken “so many chops and kicks” to it in his career, he said he sounded very hoarse.
EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS
SUNNY VOYAGE – September 19th
N-INNOVATION – September 21st
GRAND SHIP 2022 IN NAGOYA/KEIJI MUTOH RETIREMENT ROAD – September 25th
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Ninja Mack, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hi69), [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)
(This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
– Friday, October 7th
STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Time: 18:30 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse/ABEMA (live)
– Saturday, October 8th
STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Time: 18:30 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)
Note about broadcasts
Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
Wednesday, 5th October: Keiji Mutoh debut anniversary (38)
Wednesday, 5th October: Seiki Yoshioka debut anniversary (14)
“Taka & Satoshi” reveal a “dangerous detective” look, mischievous Suzuki is a reckless interpreter, the GHC tag signing ceremony is thrown into chaos by bizarre question and answer between the two teams
With thanks to: Metal NOAH
GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube
Picture credit: YO-HEY & NOAH.co.jp
Andrew’s IMPACT Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 9.29.2022
Bound for Glory is 8 days away, but Victory Road just happened. What kind of show do we get with some fallout and penultimate hype?
Victory Road just happened, but Bound for Glory is like 8 nights away? You know I forgot that it was such a quick turn around. That makes tonight weird, since there’s some fallout, but then there’s gonna be a lot of table setting for Bound for Glory.
This episode could be awful. The last week or so haven’t exactly set the world afire, so I’m curious if the highlight really is just gonna be the Monster’s Ball with Masha and Allie Katch.
*insert joke about possibly gagging and balls and Swinger’s Dungeon*
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
- Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid: Bullet Club win via Finesse & Fold – **
- IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve: Myers retains via Roster Cut – ** 1/2
- Delirious vs Black Taurus: Black Taurus wins via Destination Hellhole – ** 1/4
- PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath: Rich wins via Phoenix Splash – ** 1/4
- Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch: Masha wins via Russian Death Device – *** 1/2
Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid
I don’t think I could care less about this match if I tried. Trey and Laredo are worthless. Laredo has eaten so many terrible losses and Trey is just bad. If the BC Juniors don’t win…I will really question the booking.
My biggest takeaway early is the commentary tries to put over Trey “turning heads”. No he doesn’t, he is legitimately hard to watch and everything that Will Ospreay did wrong in his early career; is basically Trey, but with less personality. Oh did you expect play by play? They isolate Laredo, decent tandem attacks, when Trey comes in it’s bad offense typical Cruiser garbage with laughable facials and body language.
Just typical crap with Trey. Were there some cool high spots? Sure. Do I care? NOPE.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve
Steve starts with some of his quirky mat wrestling, Arm Wringers into Drop Toe Holds and face biting. It shocked Myers early, but he takes a small shortcut and starts trying to slow down the psycho from Decay. Steve bounces off the ropes and Myers does his sliding trip move before commercial.
Back from commercial, Snapmare from Steve and the neck twister into some corner offense of Hip Attacks and Sentons for 2. Myers dodges King Kill 33, lands a few pot shots, Implant DDT for 2. Into the corner, face bite, Upside Down, after the rope break Myers grabs the referee to block Steve. Eye Poke, Roster Cut, AND STILL…
Simple, but entertaining. Plus it continues Myers’ arrogant, full of himself for absolutely no reason persona. Oh and he offers up an Open Challenge for Bound for Glory. Maybe Bobby Fish? Someone new? Could be interesting.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
Delirious vs Black Taurus
Delirious is between gibberish and Stone Cold early on while they’re just trading shots. Delirious twists the Nose Ring…in the mask…and Taurus sells it momentarily before stomping the foot and decking him. This is just a weird match. I mean we all know Delirious is weird, but he’s not all comedy; and Taurus is supposed to be legit-ish.
Admittedly, with the exception of Victory Road, it has been years since I’ve watched a Delirious match. So the level of ridiculousness has hit Toru Yano levels, especially after the 10 count Leg Drops. Taurus powders, comes back in, Shoulder Tackle, Blackhole Backbreaker into a Samoan Drop. As soon as Taurus looks in charge, Delirious throws together a combo, eats a Headbutt and then Destination Hellhole.
Sheesh okay after 2 interview segments we get to Honor No More’s victory celebration segment. Just a lot of talking and inaction, so this just goes to feed that weird feeling I had coming into the show because of the timing. Eddie does the usual thing where hates on PCO and accuses him of being the weak link, which is a smart story angle since the fans tend to like PCO’s gimmick and this makes him more sympathetic to casual observers.
Oh good Taven is talking now. Wait did I just say that? DAMN YOU IMPACT! Made me like Matt Taven. Maria stirs the pot a little saying that Eddie is a better wrestler than Josh and Moose…by the implications.
Thank God, Josh Alexander finally breaks up the segment with…more talking. Okay never mind. Jesus since the end of the Delirious match it was like 15 minutes before Josh finally charged the ring and threw down a bit with Honor No More. Rich Swann and Heath make a bit of the babyface save for Josh, but the numbers are still on Honor No More’s side. Oh MCMG come down in a tracksuit and dress clothes! Someone wasn’t ready to be doing a run in.
PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath
Well isn’t that convenient that four of the men in the donnybrook were supposed to be in a match anyway.
Rich uses his quickness to try and stay ahead of PCO, but PCO cuts him off in the corner into the Corner Hung Codebreaker, then the leaned against the ropes Leg Drop thing. Vincent throws together a T-Bone Suplex into a Flatliner and keeps the vibes flowing on Rich Swann.
PCO clears out Heath, but PCO’s hand gets stuck in the ropes. Vincent eats a flip kick and the Phoenix Splash while PCO and Heath are brawling on the outside after the rope issue with PCO.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch
Haymakers and Headbutts start things off as they both hit the ropes and lay out one another with dual clotheslines. Trash can lid duel, Masha gets first contact, but Allie blocks and returns 3 shots. German Suplex from Masha into whipping her with a chain, some choking and then general pulling with the chain in Katch’s mouth or around her eyes. Katch claws at Masha’s eyes to try and get some space.
Headbutts and Biting from Masha as Allie tries to power out of a Bow and Arrow. More chain choking…I’m not sure if this is a wrestling match or BDSM prep at the moment. Ahh Masha needs more Cowbell but Allie cuts her off with a trash can lid. Allie tries a Piledriver through a door, but Masha turns it into an Air Raid Crash into the opposite corner.
Commercial break, and Allie is getting choked again. Spots get a little redundant, slams, chokes, and blood. OHHH – it’s a “Use the Door” chant. I thought it was – nah – I won’t say what I thought it was. Chairshot from Masha misses, but a Snap Suplex from Masha onto the chair gets some usefulness. Straight Right to the gut and an Axe Kick allows Masha to hit the Death Valley Driver onto the propped up chair. Masha goes back to biting after it was only 2. Allie cuts off Masha going to the top, Superplex onto the trash can lid, into a Death Valley Driver through the door – but Masha kicks out.
Allie tries a Piledriver on the apron a few times, but Masha blocks. Masha tries for the Release German to the floor but Allie holds on. Dazed strikes, bites and then a Russian Leg Sweep through the table lays both out for a short time. Masha grabs a black bag, it’s gotta be tacks for Monster’s Ball. Masha eats a few tacks for good show, picks up Allie but Allie fights. Piledriver into the tacks from Allie, only 2. Allie opens a trash can, and empties a bunch of cut up soda cans. Hits Masha with the can, Masha fires, Spinning Heel Kick and then Russian Death Device into the pile of tacks and cans.
Overall Score: 6.25/10
The main event was pretty good, maybe even a little better than I gave it credit for; I’m just sick of seeing some crazy hardcore match so often from Impact. It feels like its weekly, and that’s too damn much. Trey is terrible, and that’s a hill I’m willing to die on. He sells poorly, he doesn’t tell a story with his wrestling and he looks like an idiot pretending to be something he isn’t; and that’s talented.
Myers is fine with his classic delusional heel style, Delirious gave a bit of a rub to Taurus so I’m guessing he’s probably next up in the X Division. But a straight 15 minutes of interviews and talking is just too damn much especially when the surrounding wrestling isn’t very good or hearty enough to help people tolerate talking time.
I do however love Joe Hendry. So…yeah. There’s always some quirky gimmicks that just resonate well with me, and this is gorgeous.
All in all, decent enough; though next week could be a real banger of a Go Home.
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