Will A-Kid make history again?
The Spanish Sensation made history by being the first-ever NXT UK Heritage Cup Champion. Can he make history again by being the first TWO-TIME Heritage Cup Champion?
- Pretty Deadly VS Sam Gradwell & ???; Pretty Deadly wins.
- Isla Dawn VS Emilia McKenzie; Dawn wins.
- NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship: Noam Dar w/ Sha Samuels VS A-Kid; Time Limit Draw, Dar retains the NXT UK Heritage Cup.
PLAY BY PLAY
Pretty Deadly VS Sam Gradwell & ???
Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley didn’t appreciate being snubbed from the NXT UK Tag Team Contender’s series, but they also didn’t appreciate the Thunderstorm calling them names. They’re looking to get back at him, and whoever Gradwell managed to find for a tag partner. Did Gradwell get someone to team with him? Or will he end up in a Pretty Deadly handicap match?
Before the match, NXT UK shares Gradwell’s journey to finding a tag partner. He surprised Nathan Frazer during a workout, asks the pizza guy, the drive-thru attendant, A-Kid while he’s in the restroom, and even tweeted at Stone Cold Steve Austin! And Elon Musk! And Paul McCartney! Gradwell says Pretty Deadly think he has no friends, and Frazer says they might be on to something. As for A-Kid, he reminded Gradwell that he has a match for Thursday, the Heritage Cup match. Frazer reminded Gradwell that he claimed there were more cows than people on the Jersey Islands, Frazer’s hometown. Frazer at least wished Gradwell luck on the search.
A-Kid brought up how Gradwell insulted Spain and Gradwell says that could’ve been anyone. Gradwell tried asking a coach and got an arm-drag for his troubles. But then it struck him: Finlay! Finlay loves to fight, right? But then Kenny Williams laughed at Gradwell, saying, “That is preposterous!” Gradwell replied with, “You wot, mate?” and Kenny got up to repeat it, “That was preposterous.” The lights are preposterous, the camera crew is preposterous, and Gradwell himself is a buffoon! Gradwell grabs Kenny by the ear and tells him not to forget where a little cockroach sits on the food chain! But then, just who is Gradwell’s partner?
Gradwell is waiting at gorilla and wonders where his partner is. Oh here he comes! Right on time! Saxon Huxley is Gradwell’s partner?! “You can count on Saxon!” Will the raving mad Divine Beast of the Astral Plane help the Thunderstorm crush the former tag team champions?
The teams sort out and Gradwell starts with Howley. They stare down, tie up, and then break. Gradwell smirks as he and Howley circle again. They tie up and break again, and Gradwell still smirks. They go again, Howley turns Gradwell around to CLUB him in the back. Gradwell comes back to headlock, Howley powers out but Gradwell runs him over! Howley scrambles back to his corner, Stoker tags in, Howley gets Gradwell’s leg and Stoker runs him over! “No one likes you, Sam!” Stoker brings Gradwell up for EuroUppers, whips him corner to corner hard, then throws forearms. Stoker whips corner to corner, Gradwell reverses and Stoker tumbles up, back and into a forearm!
Gradwell has Stoker by the ear! Gradwell CLUBS the ear, scoops and SLAMS Stoker, then tags Huxley! Fans fire up as Huxley corners Stoker, keeps him from getting away, but then Stoker gets around to CHOP and CHOP and forearm. Stoker avoids the boot, headlocks and punches, but Huxley powers out. Things speed up and Huxley runs Stoker over! Huxley stomps around, knees Stoker t ropes, then whips him for another knee. Huxley whips to scoop for a BACKBREAKER! Huxley runs, steps on Stoker, keeps running, and keeps running, to drop a big elbow! Huxley keeps moving and he CROSSBODIES Stoker against ropes! Cover, Howley breaks it!
Howley tags in, he RAMS into Huxley and fires off hands! Howley whips, Huxley reverses and SPLASHES in the corner! Then a whip the other way, but Howley elbows back! Only to run into a THESZ PRESS! Huxley runs, but Stoker saves Howley from the crossbody! Howley drags Huxley up to POST him! Howley stomps away on Huxley, drags him up and RAMS him into the corner. Tag to Stoker, and Howley holds Huxley in for Stoker’s flying uppercut! Stoker stomps away, fans chant, “We Want Yogurt!” Stoker blocks a boot to CLOBBER Huxley at the ropes. Tag to Howley, Pretty Deadly double suplex to hang Huxley out on the ropes! Cover, TWO!
Howley drags Huxley up but Huxley throws body shots. Howley clinches to KNEE Huxley low over and over! Howley stomps Huxley at the ropes, fans rally up, but Howley stomps Huxley down. Huxley hits back from below with more body shots, but Howley knees him down! Howley drags Huxley up into a cobra twist, Huxley endures, even as Howley jams elbows into his ribs. Stoker reaches out and links up with Howley for more leverage! But Huxley fights up! Howley CLUBS him in the side to stop that but fans sing and rally for Huxley. Huxley endures as Howley digs his elbows in. Huxley shakes and fights to pick Howley up! And THROW him off!
Huxley and Howley crawl, Howley anchors Huxley to tag Stoker! Stoker gets the leg, but Huxley fights his way up, hot tag to Gradwell! The Thunderstorm rallies on Stoker! Gradwell hits a big forearm in the corner, whips corner to corner then back drops Stoker away! Howley gets in but Gradwell clotheslines him right back out! Stoker kicks low, CLUBS Gradwell to a corner, but Gradwell reverses the whip to knee low! BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Gradwell goes up, Howley rushes over but Gradwell CLOBBERS him! Gradwell leaps, into an UPPERCUT from Stoker! Fans chant for “GRAD~WELL!” but then Kenny Williams walks out along the barrier.
Huxley is distracted y the Scum of the Earth, and Howley CLOBBERS him off the apron! Williams CLOBBERS Huxley into barriers! Fans chant, “You Suck!” at Kenny, but Gradwell CLOBBERS Stoker! Huxley is down, though, with Williams waving and laughing. Stoker tags Howley in! SPILT MILK for Gradwell!! Cover, Pretty Deadly win!
Winners: Pretty Deadly, by pinfall
Stoker & Howley may have won, but Kenny Cockroach gets the last laugh here as he gets back at both Huxley and Gradwell. Will Kenny be laughing when Gradwell and Huxley come looking to exterminate him?
“Hope. Amale, you choose to call yourself The French Hope. But I see straight through your pity story. The daughter of immigrants. Has a degree, had a very successful career outside of the WWE. Seems very, very familiar.” But the difference between Amale and Jinny is that Jinny doesn’t exploit her past for sympathy. Jinny doesn’t exploit the past for pity from the fans, because that’s what fans do. Fans pity Amale every time she’s in the ring, because she’s just like them: nothing. Jinny gets in the ring and gets booed because she is everything the fans wish they could be and never will be.
Next time Amale gets in the ring with the Queen of NXT UK, all that hope Amale has is going to be destroyed. Will the Spoiled Princess be the spoiler of hopes and dreams for Amale?
NXT UK looks at the fallout of last week’s tag team tournament match.
Rohan Raja & Teoman are furious over how Gallus cost them the match against Jack Starz & Dave Mastiff! But Gallus tells Die Familie that there’s no more running, hiding or sneak attacks. It’ll be a square go of 3v3! Die Familie can have their candlelight dinners, but GBOT! Gallus is the top firm, this is THEIR kingdom. But Raja says Die Familie has made Gallus look vulnerable. Gallus knows that Die Familie is the most dominant faction! Dempsey says no matter what, Gallus won’t like next week’s results.
And Teoman says it is family VS family, but only Die Familie is about respect, honor and loyalty! Everything that is NOT in Gallus! The Nezar sees all, and it sees that Die Familie will be on top against Gallus. #OneForAll. What happens when NXT UK has an international incident on its hands?
NXT UK hears from Blair Davenport.
“I’m a product of my environment. I am simply what my lineage made me to be. I am a Davenport, from a long line of Davenports. I was taught that everyone who isn’t us is an enemy. Davenports only care about Davenports. And is it really so wrong to only care about yourself? Hate me, ostracize me and reject me all you want, as long as you fear me. Scared, Meiko? You should be. Because I’m fury, and I am fire. And you have put me in a position where I have to show you how cold-hearted I can get. The simple fact is that Blair Davenport is the rightful heir to the NXT UK Women’s Championship. And enemies of the heir beware.”
Isla Dawn VS Emilia McKenzie!
The Wicked Witch of NXT UK has been building power, even through defeat, and now she could be heading for the NXT UK Women’s Championship! Will #SuplexMillie do her mentor proud and stop Dawn before she rises? Or will something wicked this way come?
The bell rings and fans sing for Millie as she circles with Dawn. They tie up, Millie waistlocks, but Dawn reaches back to grab at hair. Millie throws Dawn down and floats to shoot the half, ONE! Millie keeps the facelock to then get a hammerlock. Millie keeps Dawn grounded but Dawn keeps reaching for Millie’s face. Millie grinds the arm, hooks her for a lateral press, TWO! Millie is right back on Dawn to wrench the arm and have a wristlock. Fans sing more but Dawn throws body shots. Dawn headlocks to grind Millie, but Millie rolls to a cover, TWO! Dawn holds the headlock but Millie fights up.
Millie throws body shots, powers out, but Dawn blocks the arm-drag! Millie wrenches through but Dawn wrenches back to whip, and Millie SHOTGUN dropkicks! Then a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Cover, TWO! Millie keeps cool but Dawn knees low. Dawn throws Millie out, but Millie shoulders back in! Millie slingshots to sunset flip, but Dawn stays up to DOUBLE STOMP! Dawn BOOTS Millie against the ropes, then chokes her! The ref counts, Dawn lets off with a kick. Dawn drags Millie up by the hair, reels her in, SAIDO! Fans rally as Millie flops to a corner, but Dawn stomps her down. Fans chant, “Burn the Witch!” as Millie throws forearms back!
Millie goes up the corner, Dawn ROCKS her with a right! Dawn climbs, Millie fights back, and Millie shoves Dawn down! Dawn scrambles up but Millie kicks her back. Millie sunset flips through, TWO! Dawn blocks a kick but Millie ENZIGURIS! Millie rallies with lariats, then gets around to hit a BIG back suplex! Dan flounders up, Millie storms in to fire off forearms! Millie whips, Dawn reverses but Millie SPEARS! Cover, TWO!! Dawn survives and she’s furious as she shakes her head. Dawn and Millie stand, Dawn ROUNDHOUSES! Then back suplex, but Millie lands on her feet! Millie gets around, Dawn drops to victory roll, ONE!
Dawn get sup, but into another SHOTGUN! Dawn bails out, Millie DIVES! Direct hit into barriers and fans are fired up! Millie puts Dawn back in, climbs up the corner, and leaps, but FLOPS as Dawn moves! Dawn snarls as she stalks up behind Millie, and drags Millie up for a fireman’s carry. SWINGING SIDEWALK SLAM! Cover, Dawn wins!
Winner: Isla Dawn, by pinfall
The Unholy Enchantress gets another win! She talks to her box of treasures, and she promises she will win the title. She takes out Millie’s wristwatch she took months ago, and returns it to Millie. Is Dawn giving up the treasures to prepare for the greatest treasure of all in the NXT UK Women’s Championship?
NXT UK hears from Amale.
“Jinny has completely misunderstood the message I was trying to send. It’s not about her, it’s not about me, it’s about representation. Unlike her, I haven’t forgotten where I came from. For someone who says she’s a graduate like me, she doesn’t sound very smart. You said I call myself the French Hope. My name is Amale, I AM hope! And hope never dies.” Will Amale refuse to let Jinny crush her spirit?
NXTN UK prepares for another UK Championship match.
The champion, Ilja Dragunov, whose life was always hard and whose path was always difficult. The challenger, Jordan Devlin, the Irish Ace who sees the NXT UK title as the cherry on top of the cake that is his life. Dragunov has his family behind him, but Devlin hopes his family doesn’t weigh him down. One fights for feeling and family, the other fights in spite of the distractions and animosity from the crowd. Dragunov says he is enough, but Devlin says there will be no even playing field. There’d have to be an empty arena match or something. And then it clicks. No one in Dragunov’s corner. Not a bad idea.
If Dragunov is the Czar, the champion, the man he says he is, then face Devlin when it is truly 1v1! No one cheering him on! See if you can step to the Irish Ace when the playing field is truly even! Challenge accepted! UNBESIEGBAR VS Irish Ace, just the emotions in their souls! Devlin breathes in air to breathe out words, but Dragunov breathes in air to breath out FIRE! Next week, only two men walk in, and only one walks out THE NXT UK Champion!
NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship: Noam Dar w/ Sha Samuels VS A-Kid!
The Scottish Supernova became the third-ever holder of this trophy through some nefarious and controversial circumstances, and has held onto it ever since. However, the Spanish Sensation wants to prove he can win the cup again and return to the former glory of being the first-ever Heritage Cup Champion. Will Dar fulfill the East End Bookie’s prediction of a win in the fourth? Or things not go as Dar and Sha plan?
The introductions are made, the cup is raised, and we see if history is made in a rematch from the inaugural tournament!
Dar and AK circle as the first round begins. They feel things out, knuckle lock, and go shoulder to shoulder. Dar cranks the wrists and taunts AK, but AK fights up. AK bends Dar back, Dar bridges but AK trips the legs. Cover, ONE, the two grapple but Dar gets away to ropes. Sha tells Dar to control the pace and the two circle again. Fans sing the Noam-perial march for Dar as the two tie up. AK rolls, trips Dar, drops down for a headlock and even traps an arm. Dar rolls to a cover, ONE! AK grinds the hold, Dar rolls around but AK keeps him down! Dar fights, headscissors, and holds tight as AK tries to kip free.
Dar goes for the rib tape but AK moves around to turn Dar over and pop out. AK has the legs, then a waistlock but the two roll. We’re under a minute as the two fight for control and the two break and reset. They tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, are in a deadlock, but Dar gets an arm. Dar wrenches, has a wristlock and then an armlock at 30 seconds. Cover, TWO, but Dar hits a hip toss. Cover, TWO! Dar is annoyed but AK waistlocks to SLAM Dar down! Fans rally, the last ten seconds count down, AK has the facelock but Dar looks to swing. The bell ends the round, Sha has Dar back off even as Dar eggs AK on.
Dar: 0; A-Kid: 0
Sha talks with Dar about keeping things on his pace. The break is over, on to round two! Dar and AK feel things out again, Dar shoots in to waistlock and drag AK down. Dar floats, AK slips out and facelocks and he keeps on Dar as Dar keeps trying to get away. Dar turns things around but AK bridges up to snapmare Dar down. AK has a cravat, Dar endures and fights up, then snapmarse, only for AK to hold on! AK grinds Dar, Dar uses a fish hook to get free! Dar wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! AK goes to a corner, Dar stomps him down. AK hits back but Dar hits a headlock takeover. Dar traps an arm and grinds AK down.
AK fights up, powers out, but Dar runs AK over! Cover, TWO! AK gets to a corner, Dar drags him up to kick the taped ribs! Dar wrenches the arm, has a top wristlock and throws more knees into the tape. Dar wrenches, knees low again, then taunts AK before hooking his nose and grinding his forearms in. We’re under a minute again, But AK pops Dar around to a EUROCLUTCH! TWO, and Dar bails out to the apron! Sha reminds Dar of the time, and Dar resets at 30 seconds. Dar kicks, whips, but AK springboards to arm-drag and dropkick! Cover, TWO! AK has the facelock again, Dar fights up and we’re under ten!
Dar puts AK on the ropes, runs side to side, and he boots, only for AK to dodge him! Dar takes a tumble out to the floor and AK taunts him with his one pinkies out. Sha talks trash and helps Dar up. Sha reminds Dar they’ve got until the fourth, so this is fine.
Dar: 0; A-Kid: 0
Dar steadies himself, Sha reminds him to use strikes. The third round begins and the two feel out another grapple. AK avoids the kicks, blocks a kick, then avoids more shots. AK blocks a kick but Dar ROCKS him with a forearm! AK BOOTS Dar, but Dark puts him on the apron. AK avoids the leg sweep but Dar ROCKS AK with an uppercut! Dar drags AK through the ropes, and he nods, but then drops AK to KICK him in the face! The Supernova doesn’t need to be the Viper, and he covers, TWO! Dar is frustrated but he drags AK up. AK swings but Dar blocks to knee away and KICK AK down! Sha cheers Dar on and Dar aims from a corner.
AK gets up, Dar runs in, but AK kicks! Dar blocks that, shoves AK away then sweeps the legs out! Dar resets, runs in again, NOVA ROLLA! Cover, Dar gets the fall!
Dar: 1; A-Kid: 0
The third ends with a minute and 25 on the clock! But now is the crucial money round! Sha says Dar can win big money on top of the cup with this one! Dar tells AK no one makes Dar bleed his own blood! The fourth begins, Dar shoots in to get a leg! AK boots Dar away, then gets a FLYING ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Dar clasps hands, scrambles around, but into an omoplata! Dar resists, rolls AK back and has the tights! TWO!! AK gets up, runs in but into a BOOT! Dar high stacks, but with the ropes! The ref sees that and stops the count! Dar and Sha argue with him, but AK rolls Dar up! TWO!!
AK staggers up, ducks the back elbow and PELES Dar out of the ring! Sha shouts for Dar to get up fast, but fans rally up and AK runs in. AK DIVES, but Sha gets Dar out of the way! AK crashes and burns! Sha tells Dar to get up and in so this can be by ring out! The count is climbing, Dar is in, and Sha has his head on a swivel. AK is up at 8 of 10! And in at 9.5!! Dar ELBOWS AK down, high stacks, TWO!!! Dar is shocked and fans are fired up as we’re under a minute! Dar hurries to get after AK, but AK KICKS Dar in the arm! And then the head! Dar staggers into a HAYMAKER! AK knuckle locks, goes up and up and avoids Sha for a FLYING DDT!! Cover, AK ties it up!!
Dar: 1; A-Kid: 1
And there goes the big money!! Sha is freaking out! He’s lost it all! “What’ve you done to me?!” But now, it’s round five! Can Dar even win flat out? Dar flounder sup, but he avoids AK’s attack! Dar dodges again, to sweep the leg! Dar hurries up top, but AK GAMANGIRIS! AK climbs up to get Dar, for a SUPER HALF HATCH! Cover, TWO!! Dar survives and AK is shocked! AK gets Dar with a waistlock for a rear bearhug. Dar fights up, pries free, drops down and kicks away on AK! Dar grapevines a leg, but AK fights up out of the kneebar to an ARMBAR! Dar scrambles, hooks legs with legs to turn AK back over, then get a FUJIWARA!
AK endures, turns over, drags Dar down, omoplata! Dar resists, moves around, rolls, but into a TRIANGLE HOLD! Dar fights to a high stack, TWO, and AK still has the hold! Sha shouts to Dar, Dar kips up to roll back, but AK slips under to GERMAN SUPLEX! AK holds on as we are under a minute! AK gets Dar up, Dar breaks free again to kick and kick and he drags Dar into an omoplata! Dar wants to use AK’s move but AK makes it a cradle! TWO, PENALTY- NO! Dar ducks to get the leg! AK fights up to avoid the kneebar, but Dar trips AK into a REAR NAKED CHOKE! But AK kicks and scrambles to roll back! TWO!!
Under ten seconds and now AK gets Dar for a SLEEPER! AK squeezes tight as the clock ticks away, Dar is still fighting, so AK lets go to run and PENALTY KICK! Cover, saved by the bell!!
Dar: 1; A-Kid: 1
Sha shouts for AK to get back. This is the last round, Dar has to win so they can at least have something! Dar manages to stand, but here’s round six! AK and Dar throw forearms, AK EuroUppers but Dar EuroUppers back! Dar then hooks the uppercut to a backslide, TWO! AK La Magistrols but Dar blocks! TWO, AK has it, ONE! Dar has it, TWO, AK again, TWO!! AK waitslocks, but Sha hooks Dar’s feet to save him! The ref reprimands, AK dodges Dar and DIVES onto Sha! AK takes out Dar’s insurance policy, then body scissors Dar for a HEEL HOOK!! Dar endures, SLAPS, but AK SLAPS back! AK keeps on the hold, Dar throws more SLAPS, but AK cranks harder!
Dar reaches out, ROPEBREAK! AK lets go to KICK the arm! AK drags Dar up, stomps him, but the ref wants him to let off. AK brings Dar up, throws hands, but Dar throat chops! Dar turns things around to KICK, but that’s double-edged given his bad leg! Dar hobbles up, blocks AK’s kick to then BACK ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! AK survives and fans are thunderous! We’re at a minute left in this whole match! If it’s a draw, Dar will retain! Dar has pinkies out, he wants to end this! But he runs into a DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!?? AK is stunned, but he drags Dar up and fires off strikes! Just 30 seconds and Dar kicks AK in the leg!
AK ducks the roundhouse but not the URAKEN! Roll-up, TWO!! And to an omoplata! AK gets the other arm, CLUBS away on the shoulder, RINGS OF SATURN!! But we’re under 10 seconds!! THE BELL RINGS!!
Time Limit Draw (Dar retains the NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship)
AK can’t believe it! This ends in 1-1, so Dar is STILL Heritage Cup Champion! Will A-Kid ever be back to try a third time? Or must he move on from the title he cherished so much? As for the Scottish Supernova, will he rebuild Sha’s fortune as he continues to reign over the Heritage Cup Division?
A great episode, with great stuff set up for the next few weeks. Jinny and Amale both had good promos, I appreciate the spin Jinny was trying to put on Amale’s promo and then Amale getting it through to Jinny that it’s her life and her name, not just a catchphrase. Their match is going to be killer. Same for the promos from Gallus and Die Familie, that Six Man is going to be a lot of fun. For all anyone knows, this could be Gallus’ last hurrah before the move to NXT 2.0. I really hope not but what else is there for them to do if Joe Coffey isn’t seen as singles champ material? It seems Blair Davenport as a persona for Bea Priestly is all in, even giving us a backstory of her lineage. As a Murican, it felt very Harry Potter Malfoy family.
And whoa, an Empty Arena Match for Dragunov VS Devlin? Was this to work-shoot COVID stuff? I do like that Devlin felt Dragunov’s real source of power was the interaction with fans, and on one level, he’s got a point. Dragunov lost to Walter- Er, Gunther, when it was Empty Arena Era of BT Sports Studio. But then Dragunov won when it was TakeOver 36 and fans were in the CWC. But Dragunov won plenty of times when BT Sports Studio was empty, so I have a feeling Dragunov wins in an epic showdown. Devlin also feels like a guy who could move on to NXT 2.0 but again, I hope not.
Dawn VS Millie was great stuff, and Dawn is clearly continuing her story of returning the trinkets she took as her power grows. Davenport may want after Meiko Satomura again, but it feels like Dawn is going to be a force of nature by the time she’s a contender. I loved Gradwell’s montage of failing to get partners, and I loved that Gradwell and Huxley ended up the team. Williams getting involved was an interesting move, maybe Williams gets a buddy to fight Gradwell and Huxley, but who knows. Personally, still hoping Williams, Dar, Sha and Devlin become a faction, but it feels less and less likely as time goes by.
Dar VS A-Kid was great stuff. They gave us the story going in of Dar wanting to end this in the fourth, and that added some drama when it didn’t work out that way. Dar winning because of the time limit draw was actually a great move, and that’s the fun of the British Rounds stipulation they’re using. There’s some realistic sports feeling here where AK could’ve won if he had more time, and Dar survives rather than wins. Maybe AK is on his way to the top title now, and things are open for Dar to face just about anyone next.
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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