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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (7/15/22)

Liv for SummerSlam!



SmackDown 2022

The Queen of Harts puts Liv Morgan to the test!

Liv Morgan will defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam against Ronda Rousey, but will she get past Natalya here tonight?


  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Contenders Match: Liv Morgan VS Natalya; Liv wins and denies Natalya a title match.
  • Aliyah VS Lacey Evans; No Contest.
  • Undisputed WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus w/ The Brawling Brutes; changed to…
  • Drew McIntyre VS Ridge Holland w/ The Brawling Brutes; McIntyre wins.
  • (Austin) Theory VS Mad Cap Moss; Moss wins, by disqualification.
  • Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford VS Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso; Dawkins wins.


Michael Cole is in the ring.

He welcomes us to the show tonight and introduces us to the man who signed a multi-year extension to remain in the WWE and remain Cole’s commentary partner. It’s PAT MCAFEE! Orlando fires up as McAfee makes his way to the ring. Cole hands the mic over to McAfee and they fist bump before Cole returns to commentary. McAfee says, “Orlando, it is an honor to be inside of you tonight!” Fans cheer and chant his name so McAfee gets on the corner. “I would like to take this moment to apologize to the entire WWE Universe, because my absence last week forced all of you to have to listen to Corey Graves for two hours. And that BUM ASS~ CORBIN~! For 17 minutes.”

McAfee gives us a look back at why he even missed a week. Corbin attacked McAfee as Money in the Bank went off the air! And then last Friday, Corbin claimed he was going to be better on commentary than McAfee, and parodied McAfee rocking out for Nakamura. McAfee says the best thing Bum Ass Corbin has ever done in the WWE is celebrate Nakamura the way he deserves. But now, it turned out McAfee’s neck was merely bruised, so he is back for the next few years. And McAfee knew Corbin long before the WWE did. Bum Ass Corbin and McAfee were roommates as rookies for the Indianapolis Colts.

McAfee knew Corbin back when he had hair, a bad body, only one bad tattoo, and was humble, hardworking and willing to grind. But as soon as “his ugly dumbass” stepped into the WWE, he became an “insufferable douchebag who would do anything for a dollar.” We ain’t TV-14 yet, but McAfee knows that “Douchebag Corbin” is a fitting title. And McAfee feels it is his job that at SummerSlam in Nashville to smack Corbin in the mouth, beat the hell out of him, and humble him into being a good member of society! McAfee has been on an island, clangin’ and bangin’ and watching film, getting ready to smack those trash tattoos off of Bum Ass Corbin’s body!

But speaking of Corbin, he gets McAfee’s attention via the titantron. Corbin wants McAfee to stop and look at him. Corbin is glad McAfee is back, but it is a shame that McAfee is too stupid to stay in his own lane. McAfee needs to take a seat at the commentary table where he belongs. Did you see how easy it was for Corbin to drop him in Vegas? That’s because Corbin is a fighter and McAfee is someone who runs his mouth and used to punt footballs. Corbin would finish the job tonight, but he’s contracted something nasty from sitting in McAfee’s chair, and/or being near the WWE Universe. Look at these spots on his arm! What is this?

Corbin says this must be monkeypox! But anyway, Corbin is staying far, far away. For now. Corbin will see McAfee at SummerSlam. Fans boo and McAfee says, “That’s not monkeypox. That’s the fact that Bum Ass Corbin is allergic to being great. Bum Ass Corbin is allergic to being in front of the electrifying WWE Universe right here in the Sunshine State! And since that coward faked monkeypox so he couldn’t come out here, I think the time is now to move this show along. And is there a better person, a better star to introduce than the woman that went into Las Vegas and changed the entire trajectory of her career and her family. Miss MITB, the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion…! LIV MORGAN!

Fans fire up as Liv makes her way out and is ready to prove she’s champion for a reason! Will we see Liv trump the Queen of Harts on the road to SummerSlam?

SmackDown Women’s Championship Contenders Match: Liv Morgan VS Natalya!

SmackDown returns and Natalya makes her entrance. The bell rings and the two tie up. Natty kicks low, throws hands, fires off on Liv in the corner, but lets off as the ref counts. Liv comes back with haymakers of her own! Natty knees low, hits a headlock takeover, but Liv headscissors. Natty moves around, kips free, but Liv headlocks for the takeover. Natty moves around, headscissors back, but Liv kips free. Fans fire up and Liv eggs Natty on. Natty tells Liv not to get ahead of herself, then SLAPS her! Natty headlocks. Liv powers out, but Natty goes up and over. Things speed up, Natty bypasses Liv a couple times but Liv SHOTGUNS Natty down!

Liv drags Natty to a cover, TWO! Liv wheelbarrows and victory rolls, TWO! Natty gets up but Liv gets around to O’Conner Roll, TWO! Another SHOTGUN! Liv drags Natty up, whips her to a corner, then run sin, but Natty dodges to pick Liv up. Rebound and sit down, then Natty steps on Liv, only for Liv to dodge the basement dropkick! Jackknife bridge, TWO into a sunset flip! TWO, and Liv gets to a corner. Natty runs in but Liv slips out. Liv KICKS Natty through the ropes, brings Natty to the apron, but Natty trips Liv! Natty has the legs but Liv kicks her into the POST! CODE- NO, Natty blocks that to CATAPULT Liv into the post!

Liv crashes and burns and Natty grins while the ring count starts. Fans rally up but SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Natty has Liv in a Canadian Rack for a stretch! Liv powers out, sunset flips, TWO! Natty kicks low and whips Liv into the corner. Natty runs in but Liv BOOTS her back! Liv goes up and leaps, to missile dropkick! Fans fire up while both women are down and a standing count starts! The count is 5 of 10 but only now does Liv stir. Natty also gets up about 8, but Liv kips up! Liv fires up to fire off on Natty! Liv kicks, kicks and ENZIGURIS! Natty flounders and Liv roars, and Orlando fires up with the SHOTGUN! Liv scoops Natty to a cradle, TWO! Natty escapes but Liv keeps on her, FLYING-

NO, no arm-drag, but Liv ducks the discus! BROKEN WINGS and she boots Natty away! Liv runs in to back body block! And then another, but Natty catches her! GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Natty is frustrated but fans rally up for Liv. Natty drags Liv up, reels her in and RAMS her into the corner! Natty puts Liv up top, SLAPS her then climbs up after her, but Liv fights the suplex to slip out and trip Natty up! Fans fire up and Liv runs in again, but Natty pops her up to a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Liv survives but Natty has the ANKLE LOCK! As much of a message to Ronda Rousey as it is to hurt Liv!

Liv reaches for ropes, Natty drags her away, but Liv rolls to send Natty into buckles! Natty checks her face, but turns around into a CODE BREAKER! And then ObLIVion!! Cover, Liv wins!

Winner: Liv Morgan, by pinfall (DENIES Natalya a title match)

Liv still lives, having given Natty one hell of a match! Kayla Braxton congratulates Liv on the win, and points out this win over Natty wasn’t as dominant as Ronda’s win. Well, okay, Liv fully understands the insinuations. And she is fully aware that she is waling into her own title defense as the underdog. But she has been the underdog her whole life. So call her what you want, but at SummerSlam, we will still call Liv the SmackDown Women’s Champion! Liv is ready in her heart, but will she be ready in mind and body for the Baddest Woman on the Planet?


Backstage interview with (Austin) Theory.

Megan introduces him but he wants her to “get it right.” He is the Youngest Mr. MITB in WWE history, including the Youngest United States Champion in WWE history. And yes, it is so hard to be him, but with great power comes great responsibility. He has enemies on Raw and SmackDown, from Bobby Lashley waiting at SummerSlam to Dolph Ziggler lurking around the corner. And tonight- Paul Heyman walks in? Heyman says Megan is doing a great job, much better than Kayla. But could he have a moment with Mr. Theory? Megan leaves and Heyman shakes Theory’s hand. Theory asks how Heyman is doing, and Heyman says he’s doing all the better just standing here.

But Heyman knows that Theory knows that Heyman is the one responsible for the big break in Theory’s career. And that they both know that deep down, this theory of cashing in against Roman Reigns at SummerSlam makes no sense at all! Where is the box office? And that 15% failure rate! Theory doesn’t want to expose himself to that! What Theory wants to do is work with Heyman so that Heyman can talk to the Tribal Chief, and they can arrange a scheduled title match on a major event! Think of it! Theory VS Reigns for the Undisputed Title! Think of the prestige, the spotlight, the box office! All Theory has to do is not cash in at SummerSlam and let Heyman handle this for him.

Heyman asks what Theory says, and Theory says thanks, Heyman always has great advice. But Theory is going to cash in on Roman or Brock and become the NEW and youngest Undisputed WWE Champion ever! And then, Theory will need advice while he’s champion. Maybe a Special Counsel? Theory leaves Heyman speechless, but will things go Theory’s way with Heyman in his way?


The Viking Raiders are- Wait.

That’s not Erik & Ivar, that’s The New Day! Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods are cosplaying as the Viking Raiders! “The New Raid” is here, but will they regret poking fun at the vicious Viking Raiders?

SmackDown returns and “The New Raid” get the mics. Woods is growling, and he says, “It is I, Erik the Gross!” Kofi says he is “Ivar the Ugly!” Just kidding, of course. It’s ya bois the NEW~ DAY~! But it feels like a millennia since they sailed their ships across the seas! Kofi has Woods hold on. They were supposed to be Vikings, why does Woods sound like a pirate? Man, every time… Woods isn’t good at accents! Okay, oaky, fair. Viking up, though. Woods tries that line again, and Kofi says “Ve ver not very good.” Instead of reverting to tactics like honor and respect, they played a lot of Assassins Creed: Valhalla on PS5.

AND! They watched ALL the Thor movies! Even the new one! And they resorted to underhanded tactics, like shoddy face paint to scare people! HA! HAH! And guess what? IT WORKED! Just like their Viking family before them- Uh oh. That’s the REAL Viking Raiders making their entrance now! Woods call them IMPOSTERS! BOO THEM! Erik says they are new and vicious. Ivar says once they’re in the ring, the only words left to describe The New Day are “mangled” and “broken.” Woods says to be rude, are the only words those guys know? Woods went to college, he’s smart. How about “disgusting?” “Detestable?” “Deplorable!”

Or maybe “U G L Y, you ain’t got no alibi! You ugly! YEAH YEAH, you ugly!” Ivar and Erik drop the mics then storm to the ring! But Woods blows his war horn? What good is that? But then JINDER AND SHANKY attack! They disarm Erik & Ivar, then Woods & Kofi FLY! Direct hit and down go the Vikings! Woods, Kofi, Shanky and Jinder stand tall together, and then everyone but Jinder dances to celebrate. Erik & Ivar are scowling as they retreat, will the New Day and company still regret this?


Backstage interview with Imperium.

Kayla points out that after declaring there would be NO Open Challenge for Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship, Ludwig Kaiser faced Shinsuke Nakamura in a match and lost. Ludwig also got chopped over and over for losing, but why? “Because there is no room for failure. We will never lose. Losing is unacceptable! Losing has consequences!” Gunther says that all in Ludwig’s face, but Kayla says there will be a rematch between Ludwig and Nakamura next week. Gunther stares at Ludwig and Ludwig apologizes. He tries to explain himself but Gunther says no excuses! Undo the jacket! NOW!

Ludwig unzips slowly but Gunther opens his jacket by force to CHOP Ludwig down! Kayla is stunned, but will it be even more painful should the Impeccable German lose to the King of Strong Style again?


Aliyah VS Lacey Evans!

These two were supposed to be a team last week, but the Model Soldier was fed up with the fans not absolutely adoring her. Lacey took her frustration out on Aliyah, and now we have this match. Will #Aliyah316 show Lacey that she’s not a punching bag? Or will another Woman’s Right be headed her way?

SmackDown returns and Lacey makes her entrance. Again, Lacey’s not satisfied with the reaction so she has the music cut so they can go again. Lacey gets a mic and says she may not be better than anyone here, but no one here is better than her. She served her country and put her life on the line, and overcame obstacles that would completely crush the average American, and she admitted she is disgusted at the lack of appreciation they should give her! That is all 100% true. And she could add a few other accolades because she is an American hero! She is a prime example of what you nasties should be yet can’t be, and you hate it!

Lacey says she may have offended a few of them, yes, and the vocal minority thinks this is all too hard to handle. So she will just take a minute, and from the bottom of her heart, she will apologize to those she offended. Fans boo as Lacey waits quietly, so she rescinds her apology. And just like she said last week, “GO. TO. HELL.” Lacey drops the mic and fans boo more as she turns to leave. She doesn’t want to have a match with Aliyah or against Aliyah, or in front of the fans. Will she ever get the respect she thinks she deserves acting like this?


Undisputed WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus w/ The Brawling Brutes!

This match was supposed to happen last week, but The Fella faked coming down with something and sent Butch after the Scottish Warrior. McIntyre won that easily, and now gets his fight with the Celtic Warrior! Will Sheamus have another excuse ready to go? Or will he man up and fight McIntyre for the golden ticket to Clash at the Castle?

SmackDown returns and The Brawling Brutes make their entrance. Wait, did the ring announcer say Ridge Holland is taking on McIntyre? Is Sheamus tagging out again? McIntyre glares at Sheamus and Dunne gets the bell and hammer?! Sheamus tells Dunne to hold on! Sheamus puts those on the desk, but Dunne rings the bell! So supposedly, Ridge is taking Sheamus’ place by pure coincidence? Hmm…

Drew McIntyre VS Ridge Holland w/ The Brawling Brutes!

McIntyre CLOBBERS Ridge, bumps him off buckles, fires off hands and a CHOP! McIntyre whips corner to corner but Ridge elbows back, Only to walk right into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! McIntyre stands Ridge up for BEATS OF TEH BODHRAIN! Sheamus is furious as McIntyre goes all the way to nine! Sheamus saves Ridge from whatever the tenth would be, and fans boo. McIntyre goes out to get at Sheamus, but he ducks Dunne flying in! Ridge POSTS McIntyre! The Brutes’ plan is working out as Ridge CLOBBERS McIntyre! And then clotheslines in the corner! Ridge scoops McIntyre, POWERSLAM! Cover, ONE?!?

Ridge hurries to CLUB away on McIntyre and throws down elbows! Cover, ONE!! Ridge clamps onto McIntyre with a chinlock but fans rally as McIntyre endures. McIntyre fights up, throws body shots and then ROCKS Ridge, CHOPS Ridge, but Ridge HEADBUTTS low! Ridge whips corner to corner but McIntyre comes back to CLOBBER him! And again! McIntyre hits a NECKBREAKER and kips up! Fans fire up with McIntyre and he goes to a corner, Dunne gets on the apron but McIntyre DECKS him! Ridge HEADBUTTS and scoops, but McIntyre slips off to HEADBUTT back! WHITE NOISE! McIntyre keeps copying Sheamus!

McIntyre counts it down, and CLAYMORE! Cover, McIntyre wins!

Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall

Sheamus is seething, because once again, McIntyre clobbers one of Sheamus’ sidekicks. Dunne runs at the ring but Sheamus stops him from facing McIntyre and his sword! Will the Fella have no choice but to fight McIntyre for that #1 contender’s spot?


Maximum Male Models will return next week.

And they will not only be bringing us the swimsuit collection for 2022, but Max Dupri’s sister, Maxxine Dupri, will join them! Will your guilty pleasures be titillated?


(Austin) Theory VS Mad Cap Moss!

Vince McMahon’s newest golden boy knows how to run his mouth, but he also did find a way to win the Money in the Bank briefcase. Will Moss use that briefcase to shut Theory’s gigantic mouth? Or will Theory find a way to win this one, too, and continue smoothly towards SummerSlam?

SmackDown returns and Megan interviews Moss at gorilla position. What is Moss’ strategy for tonight? Well, Theory has a really big head, so Moss is going to flatten it like a pancake. Heyman walks in again and again asks for a moment with the guest. Megan walks off again and Heyman introduces himself to Moss. And Heyman knows that Moss knows that Heyman knows he is responsible for Moss’ big break. And we know that what Theory has in mind, cashing in at SummerSlam, doesn’t make sense. Now, Moss gave Corbin a beating so severe that Corbin wasn’t seen for weeks. And if that happened to Theory… Well, Heyman could go to Roman Reigns.

Imagine it now: Roman Reigns VS Mad Cap Moss, the main event of a huge WWE event! The spotlight, the box office and the prestige! Think what it will do for your career, Moss, to main event a scheduled match against Roman… Reigns…! Moss tells Heyman, “It sounds, to me, like you are really worried about Theory cashing in at SummerSlam.” Moss’ music hits and he heads out, also leaving Heyman speechless. Will Moss’ actions speak loud enough for the both of them?

SmackDown returns again, and the bell rings. Theory and Moss tie up, Moss powers Theory to a corner, and the ref counts. Moss lets off, Theory complains, but Moss gives him space. They reset and circle again, and fans are dueling, but with more in Moss’ favor than Theory’s. They tie up again, Theory works to power Moss back but Moss then powers Theory to a corner. Theory turns things around, lets off and talks trash while flexing, but Moss rushes in to get around! Waistlock and SLAM, and then Moss looms over Theory to waistlock and SLAM again! Moss gives the trash talk back to the “pretty boy” before picking him up again.

Theory elbows out hard, headlocks, but Moss endures and powers out. Theory runs Moss over then flexes again. Fans boo as Theory says he’ll do this all day! But Moss fireman’s carries him! Theory slips off, waistlocks but Moss bucks him to run him over! Moss flexes and fans fire up! Things speed up, Theory leaps but Moss catches him in a fireman’s carry! Theory almost falls off but Moss steadies himself and pops Theory back up to then FALL AWAY SLAM! Fans fire up with Moss as Theory flounders to a corner. Moss storms up to throw big haymakers, and he follows Theory around the ring. Theory hits back and CLUBS Moss to then snapmare and chinlock.

Fans rally while Moss endures. Moss fights up, throws body shots, Theory knees low and bumps Moss off buckles. Theory bumps Moss off more buckles, then talks trash while he puts the headlock on. Theory goes for another buckle bump but Moss blocks and turns it around on Theory! Moss bumps Theory off more buckles and fans rally. Theory gets to ropes, Moss clotheslines him out of the ring! Moss then pursues, counter punches Theory, smacks him off the apron, and scoops him. Theory slips off, hurdles over and Moss runs into steel steps! Moss is down and Theory is grinning while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Moss throws haymakers! Moss whips Theory to a corner then runs in, only for Theory to drop toehold Moss into buckles! Theory then goes outside and slingshots back in, for the SOMERSAULT SHOTGUN! Cover, TWO! Theory is furious but he wraps on a chinlock. Theory leans on Moss and fans rally up as Moss endures. Moss fights up but Theory knees Moss and CLUBS him down! Theory throws haymakers, talks trash, slaps Moss around then throws more haymakers! Fans boo but Theory soaks up the heat, only to run into a POUNCE from Moss! Fans fire up while both men are down!

A standing count starts, Moss and Theory get up, and Moss throws forearms! Theory throws haymakers, Moss throws them back! Moss counter punches again and again, then fires off! Moss whips, Theory reverses but Moss CLOBBERS Theory! Theory staggers up into a corner and Moss RAMS into him! Moss whips corner to corner and RAMS into him again! Moss brings Theory out but Theory wrenches free. Theory ROCKS Moss, but runs into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Moss drags Theory back up. Moss reels Theory in, but Theory holds off the lift! Moss throws hands then gets Theory up, but Theory stomps a foot!

Theory reels Moss in, BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Moss is still in this and Theory is beside himself. Theory says it’s time, but fans chant “Theory Sucks!” Theory fireman’s carries but Moss fights free! Moss dodges Theory to put him on the apron, Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory slingshots in but Moss builds speed to RUN Theory over! And BLAST him off the apron! Moss goes out after Theory as Theory crawls away. Theory gets to the timekeeper’s area, SMACK with the briefcase!

Winner: Mad Cap Moss, by disqualification

Theory doesn’t care, he SMACKS away on Moss more! Fans boo but Theory takes his leave, that briefcase still in one piece. The ring announcer makes it official that Moss won by disqualification, but Theory even has a mic to say, “No one cares! And still Mr. MITB, and soon to be the NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion… THEORY! HAHAHA!” But Sami Zayn walks out now? He has an arm in the sling and asks if he heard that right. Theory thinks he’s going to be the next Universal Champion? Well when you say that, you are disrespecting the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns! And when you disrespect The Bloodline, there are consequences.

So as a representative of The Bloodline, The Honorary Uce Sami Zayn is strongly recommending that Theory apologize. Theory asks, “What is this?” Is Sami some kind of Bloodline suck-up? What’s he going to do with one good arm? The USOS are here! Jimmy & Jey Uso each have two good arms, holding up the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships! Theory backs off from the Usos, but Moss scoops Theory to POST him! Moss then takes the briefcase, puts it in Theory’s face, and TOSSES them both over the barriers! Moss got his payback, but will Theory ever be humbled?

As for the Usos, they’re here for the main event, the match meant for Raw! Will Jimmy pile on from the win against the Street Profits and R-Truth? Or will Angelo Dawkins get even before the tag title rematch?

Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford VS Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso!

SmackDown returns once again as Sami joins commentary for this match. The Profits make their entrance and the bell rings. Jimmy and Dawkins circle, tie up, go around, and Dawkins puts Jimmy in a corner. Jimmy turns it around, but then Dawkins powers out to put Jimmy in another corner. The ref counts, Dawkins lets off, but dodges Jimmy’s cheap shot to hit a SPINEBUSTER! Dawkins waistlocks, Sami protests the legality of that exchange, but Dawkins pushes Jimmy to a cover. ONE, but Dawkins is back on the waistlock. Dawkins drags Jimmy up, Jimmy pries at the hold, but he elbows out hard!

Jimmy waistlocks, Dawkins rolls free, and then runs, but into a SAMOAN DROP! Jimmy snarls and he drags Dawkins up. Jimmy tosses Dawkins out but Dawkins lands on the apron! Dawkins ROCKS Jimmy, blocks the kick but not the DRAGON WHIP! Dawkins drops down and Jimmy builds speed, into a HAYMAKER! Dawkins then clotheslines Jimmy out, goes out after Jimmy, and POUNCES him over barriers and into the timekeeper’s area! Sami again protests if that was a legal move, but Orlando is fired up as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Jimmy is raining down hands on Dawkins in the corner! Jimmy lets off to go to the far corner. “UCE! SO! UCE! SO!” Jimmy runs corner into corner to HIP ATTACK! But Dawkins is right back up?! And he ROCKS Jimmy with an uppercut! Both men wobble but Dawkins works on a waistlock. Jimmy fights out but Dawkins rallies! Jimmy mule kicks Dawkins, whips him to ropes but Dawkins hurdles and FLYING ELBOWS! Fans fire up and Dawkins brings Jimmy up to hit the SILENCER! Cover, TWO!! Jimmy survives but Dawkins hurries to aim again. Dawkins runs in at the corner, CYCLONE SPLASH!

Dawkins ENZIGURIS, then he DECKS Jey from the apron! Dawkins whips Jimmy and things speed up, Jimmy ends up running into the ref! The ref goes down, Sami says this is bad officiating! Dawkins rolls Jimmy up, he’d have this won if not for the ref bump! Dawkins checks on the ref, Jimmy SUPERKICKS Dawkins! Cover, but again, no ref! Jimmy drags the ref into the ring, but turns around into the SKY HIGH! Cover, Dawkins wins!!

Winner: Angelo Dawkins, by pinfall

But wait, Sami is shouting about it, and he might be right! Jimmy’s shoulder was up, just like Montez Ford’s at MITB! Will this controversy be exactly why we need a special guest referee? Sami says he wants to be the special guest ref? Adam Pearce walks out to say before any of this gets out of hand, he knows the Profits were upset over MITB, and the Usos are upset over tonight. So that is why there will be a special guest referee, and Pearce has officially found the perfect man for the job. It’ll be DOUBLE J! JEFF JARRETT! The WWE Hall of Famer and Tennessee’s own will call this one down the line! Ain’t he great?

The Usos and Profits like that news, but aren’t satisfied about tonight, so they BRAWL! Jimmy is after Dawkins, Jey is after Ford, the Profits turn it around on the Usos, and refs rush out there! Sami says Jeff Jarrett is not as good a choice as himself. The brawling continues, Dawkins RAMS Jimmy into a corner but Jimmy shoves him away! Jimmy helps Jey get away from Ford as SmackDown goes off the air! Will there even be a need for a ref at this rate?

My Thoughts:

A good SmackDown, but it had just more of the same as last week. I knew that Sheamus switching out with Pete Dunne was going to happen again with Ridge Holland. And I get that the way they got to it was supposed to be awkward, but this was the awkwardness caused by bad execution. But there’s a good chance this will “force” them to put the contender’s match on SummerSlam. I just hope they also think the put a ringside ban on the Brutes, and then actually have more than Ridge Holland watch “Butch” so he doesn’t run out to the ring again. And of course McIntyre wins out in the end, he’s been the one talking about Clash at the Castle since it was announced.

I am never not going to ram my head into the wall (metaphorically) over them going through with “Lacey’s a Heel despite her sharing her life story.” One of, if not THE stupidest thing they’ve done. But Lacey is at least delivering the promos smoothly, no real mistakes. I really expected Aliyah to get at Lacey about storming off and then anticipate the right hand coming, but no. Maybe that’s next time. On a slightly more positive note, the New Day mocking the Viking Raiders was pretty fun. I forgot about Assassins Creed: Valhalla existing, but was very happy they mentioned Thor. And of course the Viking Raiders attacked, but it was a great surprise that Shanky and Jinder attacked back. I don’t know how that alters things, but I would still just really like a great match out of New Day VS Viking Raiders.

The Imperium interview promo was good, with Gunther doubling down on being domineering towards Ludwig. Nakamura VS Ludwig next week will be another good match, but I feel like Gunther will attack should Ludwig be about to lose. And from there, WWE Intercontinental Championship, Gunther VS Nakamura. That’ll probably be on the go-home on the 29th but I would hope they decide to put it on SummerSlam. McAfee had a great opening promo segment with Corbin to plug their SummerSlam match, and talk trash on Corbin while also plugging the TV-14 rating change news. But also wow, Corbin’s arm, maybe that was mosquitos or something, cuz damn.

WWE didn’t really advertise this Liv VS Natty match well on their own site. I believe last week they said, “This is a contenders match,” but their preview online said nothing about it. I almost thought Natty was going to win to make SummerSlam a Triple Threat, but Liv winning is the right move. Liv got to get a solid win over Natty, and she had a good promo to establish that she won’t let Ronda’s reputation intimidate her. I don’t know who, but I would think/hope Liv retains against Ronda, because fans will go right back to crapping all over Ronda’s WWE career if Liv is a one month champion.

We got good stuff out of the MITB cash-in story and how it ties into the Bloodline story. It was very clever that Heyman gave almost identical offers to Theory and Moss, and that both men turned him down. Theory VS Moss was really good stuff, and it was a good move for Moss to win by disqualification. Theory stands tall in the match but then Sami gets up in his face. The Usos intimidated Theory and Moss got his payback, so in a way Theory doesn’t stand tall. Sami was good on commentary, and I did think it was clever for them to have Jimmy’s shoulder up in the loss. Now, clearly, Jeff Jarrett is guest ref because of Nashville, Tennessee, but I would love if Sami uses the next couple of weeks to get in Pearce’s face and say he should be the ref, and then Sami and Jarrett have a confrontation.

My Score: 8.1/10

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

The semifinals are here!



New Japan Cup 2023

The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 9/10

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

It’s lights out, but for who?



New Japan Cup 2023

Who rounds out the Final Four?

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

My Score: 8.7/10

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