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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/16/22)

And your semifinalists are…!



NJPW G1 Climax 32

It’s the final round of the round robin!

NJPW’s biggest G1 Climax ever is at the doorstep of the semifinals! Who will take the A, B, C and D Blocks to head forward into history?


  • G1 Climax 32, D Block: Will Ospreay VS Juice Robinson; Ospreay wins.
  • G1 Climax 32, D Block: Shingo Takagi VS El Phantasmo; ELP wins.
  • G1 Climax 32, C Block: Hirooki Goto VS EVIL; Evil wins.
  • G1 Climax 32, C Block: Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
  • G1 Climax 32, B Block: Tomohiro Ishii VS SANADA; Ishii wins.
  • G1 Climax 32, B Block: Tama Tonga VS Jay White; Tama wins.
  • G1 Climax 32, A Block: JONAH VS Bad Luck Fale; Jonah wins.
  • G1 Climax 32, A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS Lance Archer; Okada wins.


Here are the current standings!

A Block

  • Kazuchika Okada: 4-1, 8 points
  • Lance Archer: 3-2, 6 points
  • JONAH: 3-2, 6 points
  • Tom Lawlor: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Jeff Cobb: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Bad Luck Fale: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Toru Yano: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]

B Block

  • Jay White: 5-0, 10 points
  • Tama Tonga: 4-1, 8 points
  • SANADA: 3-2, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Chase Owens: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Great-O-Khan: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Taichi: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Tomohiro Ishii: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]

C Block

  • Zack Sabre Jr: 4-1, 8 points
  • Hirooki Goto: 3-2, 6 points
  • Tetsuya Naito: 3-2, 6 points
  • KENTA: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • EVIL: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Aaron Henare: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]

D Block

  • Shingo Takagi: 3-2, 6 points
  • Will Ospreay: 3-2, 6 points
  • YOSHI-HASHI: 3-3, 6 points
  • Yujiro Takahashi: 3-3, 6 points
  • David Finlay: 3-3, 6 points
  • El Phantasmo: 2-3, 4 points
  • Juice Robinson: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED?]


G1 Climax 32, D Block: Will Ospreay VS Juice Robinson!

The D Block has been wild this entire G1, but it could finally settle down here. The Commonwealth Kingpin has to win and hope El Phantasmo wins to have a shot at the semifinals. Will The Booster give Ospreay a Rock Hard spoiler to open the night?

But as Juice makes his entrance, Ospreay attacks from behind! Ospreay still has beef with Juice over the IWGP US Championship debacle, so he’s not waiting for a bell! Ospreay DECKS Juice, fans fire up and then Ospreay brings Juice back up. Juice swings on Ospreay but Ospreay ducks and ROCKS Juice again! And then CHOPS him against railing! And then whips him, only for Juice to reverse! Ospreay hits railing hard, and Juice whips Ospreay the other way! Ospreay hits even harder this time! The ref reprimands but Juice scoops Ospreay as fans fire up. SNAKE EYES on the railing! Ospreay sputters and Juice rips up floor mats!

The ref reprimands again but Juice doesn’t care, this isn’t even a match yet! He drags Ospreay over to the bare patch but Ospreay fights the lift! Ospreay powers up but Juice CLUBS the back drop down! Juice puts Ospreay in the ring, the ref finally signals the bell, and now it’s a match! Juice rushes over but Ospreay dumps him out! Ospreay then builds up speed for the SASUKE SPECIAL! Direct hit and fans fire up! Ospreay shakes the railing and then drags Juice up. Ospreay ROCKS Juice, fans rally behind him, and Ospreay CHOPS Juice again! Juice is stinging but Ospreay drags him up to whip at railing! Juice reverses but Ospreay leaps up and over the railing!

Ospreay ROCKS Juice, jumps up, but Juice boots the railing and trips Ospreay up! Ospreay hits the railing hard! Fans fire up as Ospreay falls over and Juice catches his breath. Juice drags Ospreay up and turns him, NECKBREAKER to the railing! The ref checks Ospreay while Juice goes to the ring. Juice unties a neutral corner’s buckle pad while fans rally for “O-SU-PREAY!” Juice goes out and tells the ref to shut up! He drags Ospreay up and into the ring, then pulls at Ospreay’s shoulder tape. Juice drags Ospreay up and whips him hard into the bare buckles! Ospreay writhes, Juice covers, TWO!

Fans rally up while Juice argues the count. The ref says two is two, so Juice drags Ospreay up for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Juice clamps on a neck wrench! Fans rally as Ospreay endures, but Juice puts on more pressure. Ospreay fights up, throws elbows and is free, but Juice CLUBS him on the neck! Ospreay ROCKS Juice again! Juice wobbles but he dodges Ospreay. Ospreay goes up and out and springboards for PIP PIP CHEERIO! Direct hit and fans fire up as both men are down! Ospreay drags himself up the ropes and grits his teeth. Juice stands into a strike fest!

Ospreay whips, Juice reveres but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER KICK! Juice bails out so Ospreay aims and PLANCHAS! Direct hit again and fans keep rallying! Ospreay drags Juice up, puts him back in the ring, and he aims from the corner again. But Juice intercepts the springboard to a fireman’s carry! Ospreay fights free, ROCKS Juice, but Juice CLOBBERS Ospreay on the apron! Juice snarls while Ospreay flounders and fans fire up. Juice goes out to the apron to drag Ospreay up. Juice reels Ospreay in but Ospreay resists the lift! Juice stands Ospreay up for HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Juice talks trash and Ospreay ENZIGURIS!

Fans fire up and Ospreay looks to the corner. Ospreay calls his shot, but Juice chicken wings him! Juice turns Ospreay but Ospreay shoves free. Juice goes around the corner but Ospreay leaps over! SUNSET- NO, Juice fights it off! Juice throws down fists, but Ospreay APRON POWERBOMBS! Fans are thunderous while Juice rolls back into the ring. Ospreay goes up the corner, takes aim as Juice stands, BLINDSIDE CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Juice is still in this but Ospreay pushes him to a drop zone. Ospreay goes up top as fans rally again. Ospreay aims for the 450 SPLASH onto knees! Juice fireman’s carries to the JUICE BOX!! Cover, TWO!!

Fans fire up while Juice pulls at his own hair in frustration! Juice drags Ospreay back up, chicken wings him and says “Nighty-night, bitch!” But Ospreay shoves Juice away at the ref! Juice stops himself, but turns around into a SHOTGUN dropkick! Juice falls into the ref and they both hit the corner! Fans rally up while Young Lions check on the ref. Ospreay drags Juice up, reels him in and turns him, but Juice MULE KICK LOW BLOWS! Ospreay sputters as he falls over and Juice grabs the IWGP US Championship belt! Juice brings it into the ring, takes aim at Ospreay, and he runs in, but Ospreay dodges to HOOK KICK!

Fans fire up as Ospreay prepares his arm! Ospreay runs in, BELT SHOT from Juice!! Juice gets the ref back in the ring and covers, but the ref counts so slowly! TWO!! Juice is furious with the ref over that! The ref defends his count given what happened, but Juice drags Ospreay to the bare floor! PILEDRIVER to the floor!! Juice puts Ospreay back in, roars and calls his shot! Fans rally as Juice brings Ospreay up, turns him, and PULP FRICTION!! Cover, TWO!?!? That was a normal count but Ospreay still survives!! Juice is almost pulling his hair out while the fans are thunderously applauding! Juice roars again and drags Ospreay back up.

Juice torture racks, but Ospreay throws elbows! Juice powers up to keep Ospreay up but Ospreay slips around to a sunset flip! TWO! Juice blocks the superkick to throw the LEFT HAND O’ GOD! But Ospreay SUPERKICKS after all! And then Ospreay springboards, into the torture rack!! Juice spins into the ROCK- NO! Ospreay lands on his feet, for HIDDEN BLADE!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Juice earns 0)

And the Kingpin stays alive in the block! The chaos is almost over, but it all depends on what happens in the very next match!


G1 Climax 32, D Block: Shingo Takagi VS El Phantasmo!

We just saw Ospreay win, so all The Rampaging Dragon has to do now is win! Will Takagi be the first of Los Ingobernables de Japon to get into the semifinals? Or will the Headbanga be a Too Sweet spoiler?

The bell rings and fans rally, “TA-KA-GI!” “E L P!” and the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Takagi finds leverage to put ELP on ropes. The ref counts, Takagi lets off but ELP avoids the chop to fire off forearms! ELP headlocks, Takagi power out then runs ELP over. Things speed up, ELP leaps, but into a fireman’s carry! ELP fights free, Takagi elbows him and whips him, but ELP RANAS! ELP handsprings and DROPKICKS Takagi out of the ring! Fans fire up and ELP builds speed to go up, up and THUNDER PLANCHA! Direct hit at the ramp! Fans fire up and ELP stands Takagi up to CHOP!

ELP goes to the apron but Takagi anchors his legs. ELP CLUBS and mule kicks Takagi away, to then TOO SWEET ASAI MOONSAULT! ELP almost overshoots his target but he still brings Takagi down! Fans fire up and ELP drags Takagi up. ELP puts Takagi in the ring, climbs the ropes and springboards to SWANTON! Then LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and ELP is annoyed. ELP quickly tunes the band, but Takagi gets away to the far corner. ELP CHOPS Takagi, scoops and SLAMS him, then goes up the corner. Fans rally and ELP lines up his shot to drop, into BOOTS! ELP staggers away and Takagi gets to his feet.

Takagi ELBOWS, JABS, and YUKON LARIATS ELP down! Fans rally up more and Takagi gives a thumbs up. Takagi storms up on ELP, runs in but blocks the boot to still clothesline! Takagi fires up and fires off forearm after forearm! Then JAB, CHOP, JAB, CHOP, JAB JAB JAB! The ref has Takagi let off and Takagi brings ELP out from the corner. Takagi suplexes but ELP slips off to CLAW Takagi’s back! Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS then SENTONS! Takagi drags ELP up, suplexes again, high and hard for that slam! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again and Takagi looks to the camera. But ELP is lurking as Takagi says, “There’s more to come!” BUZZSAW!!

ELP drags Takagi up, straitjackets and torture racks, for the SPINNING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and ELP is seething. Fans rally up as ELP drag Takagi up and reels him in. ELP wants to tuck the arms but Takagi resists! Takagi back drops ELP away and fans fire up again. Takagi runs in at the corner, but he ducks under as ELP goes over. ELP ducks and dodges to springboard CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO, but Takagi avoids the Lionsault! ELP keeps moving, and DIVES into a JAB! Fans fire up as ELP is slumped in the ropes! Takagi nods and this time, there’s more to come!

Takagi drags ELP out of the ropes into a fireman’s carry, DEATH VALLEY DRIVER to the floor! Takagi gets ELP back in the ring, pushes him to a cover, TWO! ELP survives but Takagi shakes out his arms. Fans rally up, “TA-KA-GI!” “E L P!” Takagi shouts “OI! OI! OI!” and the fans clap along. Takagi runs in at the corner to clothesline! But ELP just gets in Takagi’s face! Takagi runs, ELP boots him then ENZIGURIS! But Takagi rebounds to SLIDING LARIAT! But ELP stands up! Takagi ELBOWS, ELP MULE KICKS, Takagi JABS, ELP JABS, Takagi YUKON feints to the DDT! Fans are thunderous as both men are down!

ELP and Takagi stir, and Takagi crawls after ELP. Fans rally up and Takagi stands. Takagi brings ELP up and fireman’s carries, but ELP grabs the ropes! Takagi gives ELP SNAKE EYES, then fireman’s carries again! Takagi climbs up the corner with ELP and fans rally up as Takagi tucks the arm. ELP BITES Takagi’s ear! ELP then moves around, but Takagi throws body shots! Takagi shoves ELP away but ELP backflips to land on his feet! SANKAKUGERI! Takagi wobbles from that step-up enziguri, and ELP ROCKS Takagi with haymaker after haymaker! ELP goes up top now, for a SUPER DUPER STEINER!!

And then ELP goes right back up, for the THUNDERKISS 86!! Cover, TWO?!!? Takagi survives and fans are thunderous again! ELP and Takagi stir, ELP sits up first and shakes his head. ELP takes aim from the corner, BANG, and he reels Takagi in. ELP tucks the arm but Takagi fights the lift. ELP throws KNEE after KNEE into Takagi, then tucks the arms again. C R- RANA!? And PUMPING BOMBER! Fans rally as hard as ever and Takagi drags ELP up to hook his arms. NOSHIGAMI! But that’s not all, Takagi gets moving to PUMPING BOMBER!! Cover, TWO!?!? ELP survives and Takagi can’t believe it!

Takagi pounds the mat, the fans clap along, and Takagi stands again. Takagi reels ELP in, pump handle and torture rack, but ELP turns it into a CRUCIFIX DRIVER! TWO, and ELP runs, into a POP-UP DEATH VALLEY!! But ELP stands back up! Takagi throws boxing elbows on ELP again and again! ELP wobbles and Takagi hooks him up, LAST- SUNSET! But Takagi rolls through, and ELP reels him in! C R 2!!! ELP pushes Takagi to the cover, TWO!?!?! Takagi survives again and no one can believe it!! ELP is beside himself as he crawls to the corner. ELP shakes his head, he vows to end this! And so, he tunes up the band!

Fans clap along as ELP stomps and stomps. ELP rushes in, but Takagi JABS and HEADBUTTS! ELP SUPERKICKS! But Takagi runs in, into another SUPERKICK!! ELP hurries to get Takagi up and tuck him in, C R PILEDRIVER!!!! Cover, ELP WINS??!!

Winner: El Phantasmo, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Takagi earns 0)

What a shocker! ELP takes down Takagi, allowing OSPREAY to advance! Will the Kingpin make the most of this good fortune in the semifinal round?


G1 Climax 32, C Block: Hirooki Goto VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!

The Fierce Warrior is right on the bubble! If he wins, Tetsuya Naito is OUT! If not, then the next match will have even more drama heaped onto it! Will the King of Darkness choose to spoil Goto’s or Naito’s run here in the final round?

Goto makes his entrance, and Evil attacks him from behind! The King of Darkness is copying the Kingpin! But Goto uses his staff against Evil! And then knees low and throws him away! Then Goto kicks and SMACKS Dick! And then the same for Evil! Goto CHOKES Evil with the staff! The ref rushes in and takes the staff away, but Goto just SMACKS Evil with his jacket! Fans rally up as Goto drags Evil up and CLUBS him! Goto puts Evil in the ring, the ref signals the bell, and this is a match! Goto CLUBS Evil more, then whips him corner to corner. Evil reverses but Goto comes back to run Evil over!

Fans rally as Evil crawls to a corner. Goto runs in and clotheslines! Goto pushes Evil down, fires up and climbs the corner! Fans rally but Dick grabs Goto’s feet! Evil throws hands and then THROWS Goto! Evil takes off his House of Torture merch shirt and CHOKES Goto with it! The ref reprimands and counts, Evil lets off at 4. Evil tells the ref to shut up and then he kicks Goto around. Fans rally for Goto, Evil kicks kicking him around, but Goto gets up to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Evil whips Goto to the blue corner, and surprise! Dick has already removed the buckle pad! The Bullet Club Special is in play!

Goto writhes and Evil crawls his way over to cover, TWO! Evil argues the count but the count was fair. Fans rally again while Evil paces around. Evil drags Goto up, but Goto throws body shots and haymakers! Evil knees low, runs, but Goto follows! Evil dodges but Goto deflects the boot to DISCUS LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down. Goto drags Evil up, whips him to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And then BULL- NO, Evil fights the bulldog, so Goto hooks him up for a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Goto drags Evil back up. Evil pokes him in the eye! Evil runs, but Goto runs him over!

Evil crawls to ropes, Goto runs side to side, but Evil dumps him out! Evil distracts the ref so that Dick can whip Goto. But Goto reverses and Dick hits railing! Evil goes out, CLUBS Goto, then whips him at railing! Goto rebounds and runs at Evil! But Evil uses a Young Lion as a shield! Evil then kicks Goto low, and brings him over to snap suplex to the ramp! Goto writhes and Evil slides into the ring. Evil wants the ring count so the ring count starts. Fans rally for Goto as he crawls his way back to ringside. Goto is there at 10 but he staggers. Dick springs out from under the ring to anchor Goto! The count is 15! Goto stomps Dick, gets free and in at 19.9!!

Evil is furious and Goto points out Dick was up to no good! But then Evil clotheslines Goto into the corner, and fireman’s carries! DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Evil is furious but the fans are fired up! Evil slashes his throat and vows to end this. He drags Goto up, spins him, but Goto fights off the STO! Evil rakes the eyes! Evil whips but Goto reverses, but Evil reverses back! Goto hits bare buckles, Evil runs in but Goto scoops Evil into the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Goto stands back up and roars as he builds up power. Evil rises, into the BUZZSAW!

Evil staggers up but Goto fireman’s carries for USHIGOROSHI! Fans rally and Goto roars again! Goto drags Evil back up, clamps on the dragon sleeper, but Evil claws Goto’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Evil lets off, and then he blocks Goto’s kick! Evil throws the foot into the ref, Dick gets in, but Goto fights Magic Killer! Goto turns things around, and he uses Dick to help steal MAGIC KILLER!! Fans are thunderous as Goto drags Evil back up. Another fireman’s carry, for G T W!! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Goto drags him back up. Fans rally as Goto puts the dragon sleeper back on. But Evil turns things around onto Goto!

Evil grabs the ref to keep him from seeing Dick get in! Dick LOW BLOWS Goto! Evil then spins Goto around for EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, Evil wins!

Winner: Evil, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Goto earns 0)

The Fierce Warrior has fallen! He will NOT be advancing! Will Evil expect to be thanked by whoever wins the next match?


G1 Climax 32, C Block: Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

Now that Goto is out of the way, both the Uncontrollable Charisma and Submission Master have something to fight for! Will Naito make sure his last G1 is his greatest? Or will he #JustTapOut to the man who put him on the shelf last time?

Naito of course takes his time with his entrance attire. ZSJ says go ahead, he’s got time. Fans rally already, “NA-I-TO!” “Z S J!” as Naito goes even slower now. Naito throws the jacket to ZSJ, but ZSJ says no thanks and he throws it out of the ring. Fans still rally as Naito throws his shirt to ZSJ, but again ZSJ says no thanks. Naito then throws him the belt, but ZSJ puts that aside. Naito fakes throwing the pants, but he just puts it around ZSJ like a scarf. ZSJ BOOTS Naito! ZSJ fires off stomps, the bell rings, and the ref reprimands as ZSJ digs his boots in. ZSJ shoves the ref then digs his boots in again!

The ref reprimands, ZSJ really shoves the ref this time, and he stomps Naito over and over! ZSJ drags Naito up, whips, but Naito holds ropes to block. ZSJ wrenches the arm, EuroUppers and whips, but Naito slides out to slow this down. Fans fire up as ZSJ chases Naito back into the ring. Naito arm-drags ZSJ, kicks him and whips him to a corner. Naito runs in but ZSJ dodges. Things keep moving but Naito atomic drops to then RUNNING JACKKNIFE! TWO, ZSJ has the sunset flip, TWO! Naito sits on the prawn hold, TWO! ZSJ pops Naito around to drag him into another sunset, TWO!! Naito escapes and fans are shocked!

Naito gets up, he hooks ZSJ, spins him, but ZSJ avoids the enziguri! Body scissors and EURO CLUTCH, TWO!!! Naito escapes again and ZSJ is furious! ZSJ runs in but into an elbow! ZSJ wrenches the arm to PELE it, but Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito whips, ZSJ reverses but Naito leaps! ZSJ scoops, Naito knees free, spins ZSJ around to a snapmare and cradle! NAITO WINS?!?!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (gains 2 points; ZSJ earns 0)

Naito gets the ultimate revenge on ZSJ by not beating him down, but beating him quickly! ZSJ’s head is still spinning, and he throws a fit! He kicks railing, he throws the timekeeper’s table and even takes the chairs! ZSJ gets in the ring with a chair but Naito gets out of there! ZSJ continues to rampage as he SMACKS the ring post with the chair, then goes after the table with the chair! He DECKS Young Lions, and he SLAMS the bell! Naito keeps poking the bear by offering ice packs! Naito even throws one like a baseball, and ZSJ SMACKS it with the chair!

ZSJ realizes he played baseball with Naito and is even more upset! He rips up railing on his way out! Will ZSJ ever live this one down? As for Naito, will he make the most of this opportunity and take the whole Climax?


G1 Climax 32, B Block: Tomohiro Ishii VS SANADA!

Unfortunately, this is the one match that has no affect on the Climax! But pride is still important, so will the Stone Pitbull get one more win? Or will the Cold Skull finish strong?

The bell rings and fans rally already with “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” The two approach, tie up, and Ishii headlocks. Sanada powers out, things speed up and Sanada goes the other way, but Ishii avoids the boot. Sanada waistlocks,  Ishii standing switches and shoves Sanada to a corner. Ishii runs in but Sanada dodges, only for Ishii to dodge him back. Ishii avoids another boot, but Sanada avoids the forearm to waistlock again. Sanada also ducks the back elbow, but Ishii returns the favor as he avoids a forearm and back elbow. Ishii swings but into a full nelson, and Sanada uses that to spin Ishii around. Ishii wrenches out of the facelock to swing again!

Sanada dodges to waistlock, but Ishii switches. Sanada switches again, pushes Ishii to ropes and gets the DEEP O’Conner Roll! TWO!!! We almost had another fast one! Both men have to check to be sure, and yes, it was only two! Sanada swings on Ishii but into a BIG back suplex! Fans fire up as both men are down! Fans rally up and Ishii looms over Sanada. Ishii drags Sanada up, CLUBS Sanada down, then drags him back up to CHOP off his feet! Ishii eggs Sanada on as he stands over him, then drags him up again. Ishii CHOPS Sanada again, and CHOPS again, and CHOPS again! Sanada fires a forearm but Ishii doesn’t budge!

Sanada keeps throwing forearms but Ishii eggs him on! Ishii leans into the shots and corners Sanada. Sanada keeps throwing forearms, but Ishii CHOPS and JABS on repeat! Fans fire up and the ref counts but Ishii sits Sanada down with those shots. Ishii eggs Sanada on while fans rally up. Ishii gives Sanada some toying kicks and Sanada fires up! Sanada fires forearms and Ishii feels these, so Ishii HEADBUTTS back! Ishii brings Sanada around, suplexes, but Sanada slips out to waistlock. Ishii elbows free, runs, but Sanada hurdles, hurdles and DROPKICKS! Fans fire up while Ishii bails out, and Sanada PLANCHAS!

Ishii avoids the hit and kicks Sanada. Ishii suplexes, but Sanada fights free! Sanada suplexes Ishii and has him draped on the apron! MAGIC SCREW! Fans fire up while the ref checks on Ishii. Ishii is okay to continue somehow, and Sanada drags Ishii up. Sanada puts Ishii in the ring and he encourages fans to cheer louder. The fans reach the right volume and Sanada goes to the apron. Sanada aims as Ishii rises, springboard MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Fans still rally and Sanada keeps focus. Sanada drags Ishii up, fireman’s carries, but Ishii fights free! Ishii has the dragon sleeper! But Sanada spins around, only for Ishii to suplex!

Fans fire up while both men are down again. Ishii and Sanada both growl as they sit up, and Ishii runs in at Sanada, but Sanada elbows him away. Sanada QUEBRADA but Ishii gets under to run Sanada over! But Sanada stands back up! Sanada gets around to back suplex! But then Ishii stands up! Sanada ROCKS Ishii, but Ishii roars! Ishii ROCKS Sanada, but Sanada ROARS! Sanada EuroUppers, but Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fans fire up while both men are down again! They rally up as Sanada and Ishii stir, and Ishii stands first. Ishii drags Sanada up, reels him in, and POWER- NO, Sanada fights the bomb off!

Ishii ROCKS Sanada but Sanada DROPKCISK! Ishii comes back but Sanada avoids the sliding forearm! Sanada runs to BASEMENT BLOCKBUSTER, and then roll through to the MAGIC SCREW!! Fans are thunderous as Sanada drags Ishii back up. Fireman’s carry, T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii is still in this but Sanada vows to end it! Sanada drags Ishii up into the dragon sleeper, and SKULL END! The body scissors are locked in and fans rally as Ishii endures! Ishii moves around, reaches out, but he’s fading! Ishii gets a second wind to grab at Sanada, but that goes out fast! Sanada lets go to go up top, ROUNDING BODY FLOP!!

Ishii moves just in time and now both men are down again! Fans rally back up as Ishii stirs. Ishii goes to a corner as Sanada slowly rises. Fans rally “I-SHI-I!” “SA-NA-DA!” Ishii runs in, but Sanada ROCKS him with a forearm! Ishii HEADBUTTS back! Sanada SOBATS, then dragon sleepers! Ishii fights with haymakers but Sanada DREAM SMASHER ELBOWS! Then ROLLING ELBOWS! Then RUNNING ROLLING- ENZIGURI! Ishii takes Sanada down and he roars as fans fire back up! Ishii waits on Sanada, then he runs the ropes, LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives but Ishii just roars again!

Ishii drags Sanada back up, suplexes, but Sanada knees free! Sanada swings, but into a nelson, then a spin, but Sandaa shoves free. Sanada follows Ishii, tilt–whirls and dragon sleepers! But Ishii spins through to suplex, only for Sanada to SATELLITE DDT! But Ishii’s back up?! SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO, to the ghost pin! TWO!!! Sanada can’t believe how close that was! The fans are thunderous again, Ishii runs in but into a full nelson! Ishii breaks that but Sanada chicken wings. Ishii mule kicks a leg out, runs back in, but Sanada gets the full nelson! Sanada then shifts to a cravat, to SHIRANUI, into the SKULL END!!

Ishii endures, spins through, but Sanada wrenches out! Ishii HEADBUTTS again! Ishii runs, but into an O’CONNER BRIDGE! TWO!?!? Ishii escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada is frustrated but the fans are thunderous again! Ishii and Sanada stand, run in, and Sanada fireman’s carries, to throw Ishii into the dragon sleeper! But Ishii fights to a full nelson, for a DRAGON SUPLEX! But Sanada stands back up!! Sanada runs to ROLLING ELBOW! And then TIGER SUPLEX! But Ishii rises?!? Ishii runs, into a DROPKICK! But he comes back to LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!!!! Ishii is roaring and the fans are electric!

Ishii suplexes Sanada, BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Ishii wins!!

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Sanada earns 0)

The Cold Skull could not tame the Stone Pitbull, and he finishes flat even! Will he have to try harder next time? Will Ishii also rebound from his 2-4 finish to be stronger next year?


G1 Climax 32, B Block: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS Jay White w/ Gedo!

It all comes down to this! The winner here will advance without dispute! Will the Good Bad Guy get the ultimate revenge by spoiling the “Jay1?” Or will he have no choice but to Breathe with the Switchblade?

Tama wants after Jay now, but the ref has Tama wait for the bell. Jay and Gedo Too Sweet, and then the bell rings. And of course White bails out. White waits for Tama to back off to slide in, but then Tama DROPKICKS White down! And OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama is serious as he stomps and punches White in the corner! The ref counts, Tama lets off at 4, but rushes back in. White kicks low, returns all those stomps and punches, then he CHOPS! Tama just glares at White! Tama turns things back around for more forearms and stomps in the corner! Tama whips corner to corner, White bounces off buckles and into Tama’s back drop!

Fans fire up as White bails out again. Tama pursues and puts White back in. Tama rushes in, dodges White’s haymaker and back drops again! Fans rally behind Tama as he aims at the corner. Tama runs in but White bails out again. Gedo protests but Tama goes out to fetch White. Tama throws hands, then tells Gedo to stay the hell away. Jado also has his eyes on Gedo as Tama fireman’s carries White. White flails, claws Tama’s face, then POSTS Tama! Gedo laughs at Tama and applauds White, but fans rally for “GOOD BAD GUY!” White drags Tama up, brings him around and APRON GOURD BUSTERS!

Tama flops back to the floor and Gedo grins. White stretches out his back and then goes back to Tama. White drags Tama up, puts him in the ring, and takes his time stalking Tama to the corner. Tama kicks back, but White CLUBS the leg and EuroUppers! White RAMS his shoulder in, then HALF HATCHES into buckles! White drags Tama to a cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and White is annoyed. White and Gedo argue the count but the count is fair. Fans rally for Tama, White drags him up in the sleeper! Tama fires elbows, White waistlocks and SAIDOS! White flexes while Gedo cheers, and White says this is why he’s the champion. Cover, TWO!

White is almost amused, but he says he has a special gift now. Tama slowly rises and White gives him a Too Sweet CHOP! And another CHOP! White whips but Tama holds ropes! Tama eggs White on so White gives him more and more CHOPS! Tama eggs White on more, so White digs his fingers into Tama’s face! Then CHOP, CHOP and CHOP! Tama sits down, White drags him back up and whips him corner to corner. Tama comes back to CLOBBER White! Fans fire up as both men are down! Tama nods as he gets up, and he rallies on White with clotheslines and elbows! Then a scoop SLAM! Fans fire up more as Tama paces around.

White gets to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! To a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Tama keeps cool and fans rally again. Tama paces around, drags White back up and throws down elbows. Tama CLUBS White more, then dragon sleepers. White fights free of that, but Tama EuroUppers him right down! White goes to the apron but Tama is after him. White HOTSHOTS Tama away! White storms in, but Tama fireman’s carries! White rakes eyes again, then hits a DDT! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Tama gets to a corner but White runs in, to EuroUpper! And then suplex for BLADE- NO, Tama slips out to dragon sleeper!

But White slips around to suplex and BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! White is frustrated and he stares Jado down. Fans rally up, White drags Tama back up, and he reels Tama in. Tama fights the Urenage to SUPERMAN- COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Tama into the deadlift GERMAN SUPLEX! Gedo is all fired up as White says, “Like a baby.” White drags Tama up by an arm while the fans rally again. White reels Tama in but Tama fights the Urenage! So White throws KNEE after KNEE into the gut! UREN- VENENO!! Tama takes White down with the DDT and fans rally again as Tama and White stir.

Tama stands up, he drags White up, but White swings a chop! Tama ducks it, fireman’s carries, but White slips off to CHOP! Tama ENZIGURIS! White goes down but Tama gets him into the fireman’s carry! S R C! Gedo is freaking out as Tama goes up the corner! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! White survives and Gedo is relieved! But Tama and Jado pound the mat! Fans clap along but White crawls to Gedo. The ref tells Gedo to get off the apron! Jado drags Gedo down! Jado keeps Gedo down while still pounding the mat! White stands, GUN- NO, White fights that off to URENAGE! Both men are down again and fans fire back up!

White shakes out his arm, crawls over to Tama and brings him back up. Fans rally as White wraps on the sleeper! Tama backs White down into a corner! White holds on to put Tama in the corner and RAM his shoulder in again and again! The ref counts, White stops at 4, and he drags Tama out and into the sleeper! But Tama throws elbows! White holds on to SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White doesn’t stop there, he slashes his throat and drags Tama up! BLADE- NO, Tama gets the dragon sleeper, and the TONGAN TWIST!! Fans are thunderous as Tama paces and takes aim! GUN- NO, still no stun! White reels Tama in, BLADE-

NO, Tama slips around to BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the original Bullet Club leader! Cover, TWO!!! Tama is shocked but he vows to finish this off! Tama drags White up, reels him in and underhooks, but White fights that off with a back drop! Tama staggers up into BLADE- NO, Tama cradles! TWO!! White stands up, into GUN- NO, White SLAMS Tama down!! White drags Tama back up, for a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! And then the clinch for BLADE- NO, Tama slips free! GUN- NO!! White stays up! White pushes Tama away, but Tama comes back to GUN STUN!!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!!

Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (gains 2 points; White earns 0)

Gedo can’t believe it, but the Jay1 falls apart at the end!! The Good Bad Guy is moving on into the semifinals, will he take the whole thing and head to WrestleKingdom?


G1 Climax 32, A Block: JONAH w/ Bad Dude Tito VS Bad Luck Fale!

After crushing the Rainmaker but losing to the Murderhawk Monster, the Top Dog is a dark horse in this block! He must win, as must Archer, but will the Rogue General blow up Jonah’s chances? Or will the Grenade be no match for the Torpedo?

The bell rings and fans rally up as the giants stare down. They step forward, stare down some more, then step forward again. Jonah throws the first forearm! Fale stays up and he throws a forearm back! Jonah throws another, and fans applaud, and Fale throws another! Fans rally up as Jonah throws a heavier shot, and then Fale throws another! Jonah eggs Fale on, throws another forearm, and Fale wobbles! Fale THROAT CHOPS! Red Shoes reprimands but Jonah sputters. Fale runs, but Jonah BODY CHECKS him out of the ring! Jonah then pursues, FLYING SHOULDER off the apron! Fale is sent into railing while fans fire up!

Jonah warns Chase Owens on English commentary, but then Fale runs Jonah over! The Crown Jewel ended up a good distraction, and Fale CLUBS Jonah on the back. Jonah staggers away and Fale stalks him. Fale throws heavy body shots, follows Jonah to the ramp, then throws even more body shots. Red Shoes tells Fale to get this in the ring but Jonah throws body shots in return! Jonah ROCKS Fale with a forearm and Fale leans against the apron. Fans rally up again as Jonah CLUBS Fale. Jonah pulls on Fale’s ear, then HEADBUTTS him! Fale leans against railing and fans rally up more as Jonah brings him around.

Fale throws heavy body shots and forearms! Jonah staggers away, Fale brings him up and whips him, but Jonah reverses to POST Fale! The ring manages to stay put, but Jonah runs in! Fale moves and Jonah POSTS himself! The ring count finally starts while both men are down on the outside. Fans rally up, we’re at 8 of 20 as Jonah gets back up. Fale goes to the ring at 13 of 20 but he doesn’t get in. Jonah staggers, flounders, and both giants get in at 19! Fans applaud as the match continues! Jonah goes to a corner and Fale runs in to SPLASH! Jonah wobbles, Fale runs in to SPLASH again! Jonah flounders again and Fale runs in to SPLASH again!

Fale goes corner to corner and he runs in, but Jonah dodges! Fale hits buckles, Jonah SUPERKICKS! Then Jonah SPLASHES Fale in return! And SPLASHES again! Fans rally up as Jonah keeps moving, and he SPLASHES a third time! Fale falls over and fans fire up with Jonah! Jonah goes corner to corner, but Fale SPEARS him down! Fans fire up again as both giants are on the mat! Fale drags himself up the ropes, storms over to Jonah, and he runs to drop an elbow! Cover, TWO! Jonah is still in this but Fale prepares his best weapon! Fale choke grips but Jonah kicks free to DDT! Cover, TWO! Fale survives that supersized DDT but Jonah snarls.

Fans rally up again and Jonah drags Fale up. Jonah reels Fale in, but that’s way too much weight to lift like that! Fans rally as Jonah keeps trying, but that just hurts his own back. Jonah brings Fale up, LARIATS point-blank, then runs to LRAIAT again! Fale staggers but stays up! Jonah runs in, ducks the lariat, but not the choke grip! GREN- NO, Jonah ducks to HEADBUTT! Jonah runs to LARIAT Fale down! Fans are thunderous as Fale rises again. Jonah scoops and SLAMS Fale!! And then Jonah drags Fale to a drop zone and climbs up the corner! TORPEDO!!! Cover, Jonah wins!!

Winner: Jonah, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Fale earns 0)

The Top Dog is the top monster in the G1! But he isn’t the top of the block! Will a miracle happen to allow him to advance?


G1 Climax 32, A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS Lance Archer!

In the end, the main event will determine it all! When it’s win and you’re in, will Okada make it rain? Or will Archer prove that no matter how great you are, no matter your legacy, #EverybodyDies?

Archer spares the Young Lions because he is laser focused on one target tonight. Archer even stays put as Okada makes his entrance. It’s almost like he’s meditating. Fans rally up already as Red Shoes does his check. The bell rings and Archer still doesn’t move. Okada circles around him, wondering what Archer’s strategy really is. Okada steps up to Archer, Archer looks at Okada, and then Archer choke grips! CHOKE SLAM!! Was it all just to lure Okada in!? Fans fire up as Archer fires up, and then Archer tells them to shut up. HELLICOASTER! Okada is dazed while Archer looms over him. Fans rally up as Archer drags Okada back up.

Archer says Okada’s time is over, but Okada throws a forearm. It doesn’t do much to Archer, and Okada drops to a knee over the damage he’s taken. Okada stands up to throw another forearm, but Archer taunts him! Fans rally up, Okada EuroUppers, runs, but into the DERAILER! Fans fire up as Archer snarls and Okada flops out of the ring. Archer goes out to fetch Okada, sit him up against railing, and then RAM Okada’s head against the railing! And again! And again! Archer digs his knee into Okada, tells Red Shoes to shut up, and then Archer goes to the far side. Fans rally as Archer runs in at full speed to CANNONBALL against railing!!

Fans are thunderous as Okada gets squashed by Archer! Archer then DECKS a Young Lion and drags him over. Archer scoops the Young Lion to SLAM onto Okada! Red Shoes isn’t even sure what to make of that! Fans continue to rally as Archer drags Okada up. Archer brings Okada to the ring, laughs and lifts for an APRON- NO, Okada lands on his feet! Okada kicks Archer, but Archer trips Okada! Okada crashes down, and Archer BOOTS a Young Lion! Archer’s rage is building and he’s taking it out on everyone around! Fans rally up while Red Shoes says to get this in the ring. Archer glares at Chase Owens and Chase backs up.

Archer wants El Desperado on Japanese commentary to tell fans that there will be no more Okada! Desperado says okay, no more Okada, only the Murderhawk Monster. Archer drags Okada up and into the ring, then he stomps away! Fans rally up, “O-KA-DA!” “LANCE ARCH-ER!” Archer stands Okada up to CLUB and CLUB and then SMACK off buckles. Archer knuckle locks and goes up the corner to give us some Old School! Into a MOONSAULT! Direct hit! Cover, TWO!! Archer is furious but Red Shoes says two is two! Archer drags Okada up, reels him in to scoop, but Okada slips off to ripcord and RAINMAKER!!

Fans fire up while both men are down! Okada hit his best move but he can’t capitalize from all the damage done by Archer. Archer and Okada stir and push themselves off the mat. Okada crawls to ropes and drags himself up. Archer choke grips again, but Okada DROPKICKS free! Okada ducks the lariat to DROPKICK again! Fans fire up, Okada goes to scoop but Archer’s too big! Archer scoops Okada but Okada slips off and shoves Archer to a corner! Then he scoops to SLAM Archer down! Fans fire up while Okada catches his breath. Okada goes to a corner and climbs up top, for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose!

Fans fire up as Okada reels Archer in. Ripcord and- NO, Archer ducks the lariat to full nelson! Archer spins Okada around but Okada uses that to get a cradle! TWO and Okada stands up to uppercut! Okada runs, but into Archer’s DROPKICK?! Archer drags Okada up, ripcords, and steals RAINMAKER!! Cover, TWO!?! Archer can’t believe it but Okada survives! Archer drags Okada back up, puts him in a corner, and hoists him up top. Archer ROCKS Okada, then brings him out with the inverted crucifix! BLACKOUT BOMB!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Into a GHOST PIN! TWO!!! Okada survives but Archer escapes, all by mere nanoseconds!

Fans are electric while Archer seethes. Archer looms over Okada and stalks him to a corner. Archer taunts Okada, laughs at him, and then runs corner to corner and back again, BIG back elbow! Okada doubles over but fans rally up again. Archer drags Okada up, hoists him back up top, CHOPS him, then pats him on the face. Archer SLAPS Okada, tries the crucifix again, but Okada fights free to CHOP BLOCK! And then Okada gets the arm for the MONEY CLIP!! Archer endures and fans rally up as Okada squeezes tight! Archer already looks pretty red, but he gets a second wind! Archer rises up and snapmares free!

Okada rushes in, gets around, spins and DISCUS LARIATS! Archer rebounds to LARIAT Okada down!! Fans are thunderous as Archer watches Okada from the corner. Okada sits up in another daze, and Archer says “F YOU, OKADA!” But he runs into a DROPKICK! Archer stays up!! And he runs back in, into a scoop?! AND LANDSLIDE!! Okada ripcords for the RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Archer earns 0)

The Murderhawk Monster falls, and both his and Jonah’s runs are done! But in the end, Archer respects Okada and Okada respects Archer, so they fist bump. Will both Archer and the Top Dog have to try again next year?

As for Okada, he catches his breath and gets the mic. “Everyone here today, thank you for your red hot support. There’s just two days left in G1 Climax 32. However, we can still get even hotter! This isn’t all that the G1 Climax has to offer. And if you don’t think that we can bring even more fire, than you aren’t really a pro-wrestling fan!” Fans applaud that sentiment, and Okada continues to say that everyone here, your red hot support is multiplied by the power of the wrestlers, and that equals the best G1 Climax ever! So let’s finish this strong, with even more hot, hot, hot support!

Okada thanks the fans then drops the mic. Will the Rainmaker be able to do this all over again tomorrow in the semifinals? Or will another take the Climax in the end?


Here are the current standings!

A Block

  • Kazuchika Okada: 5-1, 10 points [SEMIFINALIST]
  • JONAH: 4-2, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Lance Archer: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Tom Lawlor: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Jeff Cobb: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Bad Luck Fale: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Toru Yano: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]

B Block

  • Tama Tonga: 5-1, 10 points [SEMIFINALIST]
  • Jay White: 5-1, 10 points [ELIMINATED]
  • SANADA: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Chase Owens: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Great-O-Khan: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Taichi: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Tomohiro Ishii: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]

C Block

  • Tetsuya Naito: 4-2, 8 points [SEMIFINALIST]
  • Zack Sabre Jr: 4-2, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Hirooki Goto: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • KENTA: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • EVIL: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Aaron Henare: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]

D Block

  • Will Ospreay: 4-2, 8 points [SEMIFINALIST]
  • Shingo Takagi: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • YOSHI-HASHI: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Yujiro Takahashi: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • El Phantasmo: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • David Finlay: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
  • Juice Robinson: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]

My Thoughts:

What an awesome way to wrap up the round robin this year! Now, it is a shame that not every block could mathematically work to bring drama into all eight matches, but all eight matches were still awesome. The blocks going in reverse alphabetical order was a logical scheduling choice, and it helped keep the energy moving because the story of each block stayed fresh in our minds. Ospreay VS Juice was a great opener with how fast and furious it all went, and Takagi VS ELP was even stronger for how it had to follow that. Ospreay being the semifinalist when he’s also got to be in the States for AEW this Wednesday is wild, but I do appreciate that NJPW isn’t going to change their plans, even for a partner promotion. I just wonder if Ospreay will be able to properly compete on both shows.

Goto VS Evil was great stuff but of course Evil and Dick cheat to win, and that screwed Goto over hard. But that was of course going to happen to put the drama back on Naito VS ZSJ. And while I had a feeling Naito would win, I did NOT expect things to go down like that. ZSJ was doing so well this G1, but then Naito snatches it away right here. But ZSJ’s violent tantrum was still great stuff, very Minoru Suzuki-esque. And maybe ZSJ still has a route to his first singles title in NJPW. There’s still a long road to Wrestle Kingdom, so maybe ZSJ finds a way in.

Ishii VS Sanada was the only match tonight that didn’t affect their block, but that was still an awesome match between them. A shame Sanada didn’t win but it would’ve also been rough if Ishii went 1-5. Again, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of titles to go around, both these guys can try for something between now and Wrestle Kingdom. Tama VS White was awesome, practically a title match in itself, and it was the right choice for Tama to win. Even if Tama doesn’t win the tournament, Tama has the golden ticket to be one of White’s challengers on the road to Wrestle Kingdom, and maybe White gets his revenge there, or maybe Tama shocks us all and wins the big one.

Speaking of big, Jonah VS Fale was a great match for two guys as big as them. They were perhaps playing up the slug fest, and the ref really let their brawl on the outside have time to breathe. But in the end, it made sense for Jonah to win to put the drama back on Okada VS Archer. I don’t know if Jonah’s math was right, but according to him, if Archer had won, we would’ve had three guys at 4-2, and Archer’s win over Jonah before wouldn’t have outright made him the semifinalist. Honestly, a Triple Threat of Archer, Okada and Jonah to perhaps open tomorrow’s show would’ve been cool, but it makes sense NJPW wants a clear winner in each block.

Okada VS Archer had a great start with that trap of Archer’s, but in the end, of course Okada wins. Okada VS Tama, Ospreay VS Naito, that is quite the final four.

My Score: 9.2/10

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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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