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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (12/20/22)

Tag Title Tuesday 2!

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NXT White 'n' Gold Era

Who will have gold for the holidays?

The New Day defend their NXT Tag Team titles against Briggs & Jensen, and the NXT Women’s Tag Team titles are defended in a TRIPLE THREAT!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Axiom VS Carmelo Hayes w/ Trick Williams; Melo wins.
  • Zoey Stark VS Nikkita Lyons; Stark wins.
  • NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance VS Toxic Attraction VS Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley; Kayden & Katana win and retain the titles.
  • Indi Hartwell VS Elektra Lopez; Lopez wins.
  • Alba Fyre VS Sol Ruca; No Contest.
  • NXT Tag Team Championships: The New Day VS Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen w/ Fallon Henley; The New Day wins and retain the titles.

PLAY BY PLAY

Axiom VS Carmelo Hayes w/ Trick Williams!

The Undeniable Truth didn’t win the Iron Survivor Challenge, but he had one of the most exciting moments in it! It even caught The A Champion by surprise! But now, these two look to step up, wanting to be next in line after Grayson Waller. Who hits the mark and who misses like an air ball as the New Year approaches?

The bell rings and the two tie up. Melo waistlocks, he throws Axiom down, then pie faces him. Melo talks trash but Axiom trips Melo to a toehold! Melo rolls, Axiom cartwheels through, and he pie faces back! Melo scowls, rushes in, but Axiom facelocks! Axiom rolls Melo to a cover, ONE! Melo clinches, whips but Axiom reverses to snapmare! Things speed up, Axiom springboards to arm-drag, and Melo narrowly avoids the spin kick! Axiom says it was that close. Fans rally up, the two tie up, and Axiom headlocks. Melo powers up but Axiom hits a tornado takeover! Melo headscissors, Axiom kips free, but Melo holds onto the wrist!

Melo drags Axiom down to the headscissors, Axiom moves around and headstands. Axiom turns Melo over, bridges back and hooks up the legs! Fans cheer the exchange and Axiom gets a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Melo pops out to cover, ONE, and Axiom ducks a kick to waistlock. Melo wheelbarrows, trips Axiom, but Axiom kicks him away! Melo kips up, Axiom trips him and covers, ONE! Axiom jumps the sweep, Melo ducks the kick, Melo sunset flips but Axiom rolls through to come back with a prawn hold! TWO, Axiom whips but Melo rolls. Things keep moving, Axiom arm-drags with a twist to have an armlock!

Fans cheer this great exchange, and then the fan rally up. Axiom bridges to twist the hammerlock! Melo endures, Trick coaches him up, and Melo stands. Axiom adds a chinlock, but Melo RAMS him into a corner! The ref calls the ropebreak, but Melo throws a back elbow. Axiom throws one back! Axiom goes up to FLYING ARM-DRAG and then DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Axiom waistlocks to rear bearhug and hold Melo down. Fans rally, Melo fights up, and Melo throws elbows. Axiom ducks, Melo bucks the O’Conner but he runs into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Fans rally and duel as Axiom bearhugs again.

Melo fights up, throws a back elbow, and he talks trash. Melo runs, but Axiom goes the other way to DROPKICK the springboard down! Fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” as NXT goes picture in picture.

Both men are down and the ref starts a standing count. Axiom flounders around at 4 of 10, he and Melo rise, and Axiom PENALTY KICKS! Melo sputters, but Axiom KICKS him again! Melo throws a body shot, but Axiom KICKS Melo back down! Axiom drags Melo up, to KICK again! And again! But Melo SWATS the leg! Melo runs, springboards, and FLYING LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Melo grows frustrated but he drags Axiom up to scoop and SLAM! Melo dribbles, he shoots, and he scores his free throw! But Axiom trips him up on the rebound! Melo stomps away on Axiom out of frustration! Melo covers again, TWO!

Melo clamps onto Axiom, he pulls on the mask! The ref reprimands but Melo shifts to have a cording hold. Axiom endures as Melo pulls on the arm. Axiom fights up, only for Melo to throw him down! Melo keeps on the arm, even digs a knee into Axiom’s side, but Axiom fights up gain. Axiom throws forearms, runs, and ducks a clothesline to crucifix takedown! TWO, and Melo CLOBBERS Axiom! Cover, TWO! Melo has the arm back in the cording hold! Axiom endures all over again, and he fights back up. Melo wrangles Axiom back down! NXT returns to single picture as fans rally and duel.

Melo pulls on the arm but Axiom fights up again. Axiom throws knees and gets free, but Melo ROCKS him with a right! Axiom ROCKS Melo back, but Melo SLAPS Axiom! Axiom CHOPS, Melo ROCKS! Axiom goes to ropes, Trick talks trash, but Axiom comes back to CHOP! Axiom fires palm strikes, he whips, and then DROPKICKS Melo down hard! Fans fire up with Axiom while Melo goes to a corner. Axiom runs corner to corner to GAMANGIRI! And then a FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Not quite perfect but fans argue the count. Axiom hurries to waistlock Melo again, but Melo resists the lift.

Melo runs to ropes, bucks Axiom again, and he BOOTS Axiom down from the kip-up! Melo runs to tilt-o-whirl FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! But into the CROSSFACE! Fans rally and duel as Axiom endures! Axiom rolls the hold to a cover, TWO! Melo lets go, springboards, but into a SLIDING GERMAN SUPLEX! Axiom goes up top fast and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! But Axiom has the arm for an ARMBAR!! Melo flails, moves around, but ends up in a TRIANGLE HOLD! Melo endures, fights up, he claws at Axiom’s mask! The ref reprimands, Melo lets go to deadlift Axiom for a POWERBOMB! But Axiom springs up to TRIANGLE HOLD!!

Melo endures all over again but Axiom pulls him in deep! Melo dribbles Axiom’s head off the mat! Axiom lets go and Melo grabs hold of an arm. Melo drags Axiom up by his arm and mask, and he BOOTS Axiom! And BOOTS him! And BOOTS again! Axiom eggs Melo on! Then he blocks the boot to CHOP!! Axiom knuckle locks, CHOPS, goes up and up, but Melo trips him up! Axiom just double knuckle locks to bring Melo up! Axiom then jumps up to the top, but Melo follows! Axiom SUPER DUPER STEINERS!! Fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” while Trick freaks out! Melo distracts the ref, Trick throws Axiom down by his mask!

Melo hits a CODE BREAKER!! Melo goes up top and he takes aim, NOTHING BUT NET!! Cover, Melo wins!

Winner: Carmelo Hayes, by pinfall

As always, it’s Trick with the assist, but Melo made his shot! Axiom know sit, too, so he ASAI MOONSAULTS onto Trick! Axiom says that’s what happens! Will the Undeniable Truth prove that Melo can’t make his shots without help?

 

Backstage interview with Grayson Waller.

McKenzie Mitchell says Waller requested this time, so what’s on his mind? “I still can’t believe Roxanne Perez is our new NXT Women’s Champion. I never thought she could do it. And honestly, McKenzie, it’s inspired me. If Roxanne didn’t have to wait until New Year’s Evil, then why should I wait for New Year’s Evil for my match with Bron?! I want my title match… TONIGHT!” Seriously? Dead serious! Roxie called her shot, so Waller’s calling his! But Bron’s not here, he’s on a media tour promoting Vengeance Day. Why? He’s not going to be champion come Vengeance Day, Waller will! Well, he’s in Carolina right now-

Waller doesn’t care where Bron is! The challenge is made! If Bron wants to show he’s a gutless champion, then so be it. But Bron has the USA Network, probably streaming on his phone right now. Waller tells Bron to meet him the ring tonight! “BITCH!!” Is the 21st Century Success Story just puffing up his chest because he knows the champ isn’t here? Or will Bron find a way to return home in time to break the Grayson Waller Effect?

 

Tony D’Angelo is on the phone with someone.

It isn’t Stacks, because he’s right next to The Don. Tony can’t believe “he said that.” But absolutely, yeah. Tootles. Who was that? Well, guess who has a North American Championship match next week? Wow, let’s go, Don! Is he the don or not? So Wes Lee agreed to that? It was his idea! What a great guy. But what do they now? Well, Stacks is gonna tell Dijak to stay out of their business. And when Tony beats Wes, Dijak can have the first crack. But until then, Dijak needs to stay out of his way. Stacks has to go tell him now? No, wait until tomorrow. YES right now!

Stacks heads out, but Waller has him and Tony hold on. Have they seen Bron Breakker? No. Stacks leaves, and Waller tells Tony to tell Bron that Waller’s looking for him. Can the Don do that for Waller? Yeah, sure. Waller heads out, and Tony shakes his head. Does even Tony D know some things just aren’t possible?

 

Zoey Stark VS Nikkita Lyons!

Once a role model and “big sister” to the new recruits, The Hunter is only looking out for herself now. She and the Lioness have a score to settle, but who will be the hunter and who will be the hunted?

But as Lyons makes her entrance, Stark rushes out after her! Lyons avoids the cheap shot to ROUNDHOUSE Stark down! Lyons says if that’s how she wants it, then she RAMS Stark into the apron! They get in the ring, fans fire up and the bell rings! Stark swings but into counter punches from Lyons! Lyons whips, then HEEL KICKS Stark down! Stark flounder sup, Lyons RAMS her into the corner! And again, and again! Lyons whips corner to corner, runs in and FOREARM SMASHES! Stark staggers away, Lyons is right after her with body shots! Stark shoves back but Lyons fires off more shots! The ref counts, Stark shoves Lyons away and bails out!

Fans boo but Lyons pursues. Stark gets back in the ring, but Lyons avoids the sliding dropkick! Lyons whips but Stark reverses to POST Lyons! Stark rains down fists, then she roars! The ring count is climbing, fans taunt Stark with “OH~ Zoey Is Angry~!” Stark RAMS Lyons into the apron, pushes her into the ring at 7 of 10, and then stalks her to ropes. Lyons gets up but Stark CHOKES her on the ropes! The ref counts, Stark lets off at 4 of 5, and Lyons sputters to a corner. Stark CHOPS Lyons! Lyons CHOPS back, but Stark CHOPS again! Lyons CHOPS, Stark CHOPS, then Stark kicks low. Stark snapmares and clamps on a chinlock.

Lyons endures, fans rally up, but Stark CLUBS Lyons across the chest and shoulders. Stark wraps on a tighter hold but fans rally up again. Lyons fights to her feet, but Stark wrangles her right back down! Fans continue to rally, Lyons continues to fight, but Starks throws her down by her hair! Stark pie faces Lyons around, saying she’s nothing! But Lyons avoids the spin kick to sweep the legs! Stark staggers back up, Lyons rallies with clotheslines! Lyons waistlocks to GERMAN SUPLEX! Lyons roars, runs in and PENALTY KICKS! And HIP ATTACKS! ROUNDHOUSE, then a cover, TWO! Lyons grows frustrated but she watches Stark stand up.

Fans rally as Lyons fireman’s carries. Stark fights free with elbows, goes to a corner, and Lyons runs in. Stark dodges to HEEL KICK!! Lyons staggers, Stark reels her in, but Lyons fights the full nelson. Lyons elbows Stark away, but Stark comes back with a DROPKICK! Lyons hits a ROBINSON SPECIAL! Cover, TWO! Stark says Lyons is ungrateful, and then she goes to a corner. Stark springboards, but Lyons avoids the ax handle to ROCK Stark with a right! SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO! Stark survives and Lyons grows further frustrated. Fans rally, both women stand and Lyons waistlocks. But Stark elbows free!

Lyons blocks a superkick, shoves and scoops Stark, but Stark slips off! Lyons SUPERKICKS Stark, then runs to FOREARM SMASH in the corner! Lyons whips Stark out but Stark goes up and over. Stark waistlocks, Lyons switches to O’Conner Roll, TWO and Stark has the O’Conner Roll Bridge! With the ropes!! STARK WINS!!

Winner: Zoey Stark, by pinfall

Fans boo as The Hunter steals a win! Lyons is furious, will she be hunting down Stark for a rematch?

 

Backstage interview with Cora Jade.

McKenzie says she can only imagine what Cora is feeling right now. Cora was seconds away from being the Iron Survivor until Roxanne won. And then Roxanne won the NXT Women’s Championship. Her thoughts? Cora says she was there for all that. Roxie is the luckiest person alive. That should’ve been Cora’s moment! Roxie doesn’t deserve the title, Cora does! And a lot of people think they deserve things, but Cora- GETS ATTACKED BY WENDY CHOO!! Wendy is in candy cane stripes but she’s more like a bat outta hell as she and Cora brawl! Referees rush in to stop this, but we all know this animosity isn’t going away! When will we see these two finally settle the score?

 

Fallon Henley, Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen look at the family expenses.

Fallon has no idea how her parents will get through this one. The interest rate alone is a killer. What did the financial advisor say? Mr. Henley met with him and talked it out, but they can’t just make money magically appear. Jensen is sure something will come up. It has to! The Henleys have rode out some tough times, especially 2021, but they have to keep their fingers crossed. Briggs says 2023 is right around the corner, surely things will get better. Jensen says he and Briggs are gonna walk into the New Year as NEW NXT Tag Team Champions, so they’ll host events and watch parties for New Year’s Evil and Vengeance Day!

Briggs likes that! They can put their heads together and come up with something. But in walk Kiana James & Gina. Kiana tells Gina to take stock of everything, from the furniture to the wall fixtures. Anything that can get them money in liquidation. Gina’s on it. Jensen says hi, but Fallon asks what the hell they’re doing here. Briggs says they should’ve read the sign, y’all ain’t welcome here. Welcome? They should be rolling out a red carpet. A little birdie told them about the Henley financial woes. So she’s going to take care of them. Jensen…

Kiana did some digging, and her friends at the banks told her about the “dreadful financial mismanagement” by the Henleys. This bar owes THOUSANDS in commercial taxes! And they sure don’t have enough in the Escrow to cover it, so Kiana paid it all for them. The bank then placed a lien on the bar. So sorry, but Fallon’s childhood memories aren’t worth much. Kiana will soon buy this bar outright and do whatever she wants with it. Fallon calls Kiana a bitch. Kiana says she prefers “businesswoman.” Okay, then let’s talk business! Next week, Fallon VS Kiana, and when Fallon wins, her family gets the bar, debt free!

Is Fallon delusional? Why would Kiana agree to that? Because if Kiana wins, she can have the bar for “pennies on the dollar.” Deal? Deal. See you next week. Kiana & Gina leave, Jensen isn’t sure what to say. But can Fallon fight to keep her family’s bar? Or will this be a hostile takeover by the Professional Professional Wrestler?

 

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance VS Toxic Attraction VS Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley!

Speaking of settling scores, KC Squared has been dealing with Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne talking and stalking them when it comes to these titles, and then the Diamond Mine’s Pitbull and Prospect got in the mix! With the odds not in the champions’ favor, will Kayden & Katana be able to survive for the holidays? Or will we see NEW tag team champions just in time for Christmas?

NXT returns and the Diamond Mine make their entrance. Then the champions make their entrance. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see if the numbers spell disaster for KC Squared!

The teams sort out, and in this Triple Threat, only two teams are legal at a time. Kayden and Gigi start, forcing Tatum & Ivy to stand down. Gigi and Kayden circle, tie up, and Gigi wrenches to then CLUB Kayden. Gigi bumps Kayden off buckles, tags Jacy, and Gigi whips Jacy in for a back body block! Jacy helps Gigi hit the BRONCO BUSTER, then Jacy adds a CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Jacy says Kayden is nothing, but Kayden waistlocks! Jacy switches, Kayden goes to ropes but Ivy tags in as Kayden bucks Jacy away. Ivy runs in, spins Jacy and steps over to hook up an arm! Ivy drags Jacy down to a cover, TWO!

Fans rally for Ivy as she gator rolls with Jacy! Ivy brings Jacy up, whips her to the Diamond corner, then runs in to RIDER KICK! Tag to Tatum, she and Ivy double suplex! They double kip up, then Tatum gets an assist for the STANDING MARIPOSA! Cover, TWO! Tatum drags Jacy to the wrong corner and realizes it before she tags out. Tatum drags Jacy over to tag Ivy, and Ivy drags Jacy up. Ivy wrenches, KICKS and runs, but Jacy ROCKS Ivy! Jacy snarls, runs, but Kayden sneaks a tag! ROLLING ELBOW for Ivy, but then SUPERKICK for Jacy! Gigi runs in but so does Katana, and KC Squared DOUBLE DROPKICK Gigi!

Fans fire up as KC Squared BLAST Tatum off the apron and onto Jacy! All four challengers are gathered together, KC Squared both climb the same corner, for a SUPER DOUBLE CROSSBODY! Fans fire up as the champs stand tall and NXT goes to break.

NXT returns again and Ivy endures a Bow ‘n’ Arrow Stretch from Gigi! Fans rally, Ivy pops out to cover, TWO! Gigi and Ivy get up, Gigi grabs an arm to keep Ivy from Tatum! Gigi short arm LARIATS, then she DECKS Tatum! Ivy KICKS Gigi back, and tags Kayden! Kayden dodges Gigi, BLASTS Jacy, then DECKS Gigi! Gigi gets up into another haymaker! Kayden whips Gigi to a corner, but Tatum tags in! Kayden BOOTS Tatum down, then runs to DROP-SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Kayden grows frustrated but she keeps on Tatum. Fireman’s carry, but Tatum fights and handsprings free of the throw! Tatum DECKS Katana, goes up and over Kayden!

Kayden puts Tatum on the apron, ROCKS her, but Tatum ROCKS Kayden back! Tatum climbs up to get Kayden, but Katana climbs up to tag in! Katana CLUBS Tatum, then gets Tatum for a SUPER DUPER STEINER! Cover, Ivy breaks it! Gigi ROUNDHOUSES Ivy! Kayden SUPERKICKS Gigi! Jacy SUPERKICKS Kayden! Katana ENZIGURIS Jacy! Fans are thunderous as all six women are down all over ringside! “This is Awesome!” as teams regroup at their corners. Ivy tags in, drags Katana up, and she fireman’s carries. Katana fights free, Gigi tags in! Gigi runs Ivy down but Ivy grapples with her to get a cover, TWO!

Gigi CLUBS Ivy, drags her up, and tags Jacy in. Toxic Attraction wrench and ROUNCHOUSE, SUPERKICK, and then FALLING HEDBUTT to a SENTON! Cover, Kayden drags Jacy off! They argue, Jacy tells Kayden to “SUCK IT!” Jacy shrieks, runs in to UPPERCUT Ivy, then runs in to CANNONBALL, but she only gets buckles! Tatum tags in, Ivy gives her a hand, ICONOCLASM TORNILLO!! Cover, Gigi breaks it!! Gigi drags Tatum up, but Tatum throws Gigi into Kayden! Hot tag back to Ivy and she drags Jacy up! But Jacy spins through to hit a NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up as Jacy aims at Ivy. But Katana sneaks a tag!

Kayden YANKS Jacy out of the ring as Katana runs at Ivy! CODE BREAKER! Ivy is down, Kayden tags in! But Tatum SHOVES Katana off the top and onto Toxic Attraction!! Ivy spins things around on Kayden, DIAMOND DRAGON SLEEPER!! Kayden endures, pushes off ropes to get a cover, KC SQUARED WIN!!

Winners: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance, by pinfall (still NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions)

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, Kayden & Katana keep the party alive! That was a close one, but will KC Squared always find a way?

 

Oro Mensah speaks.

“The vibe. The beat. The nightlife. It’s like Orlando is my home away from home. I keep it fresh. I keep it fun. Because music and wrestling have the same frenetic energy. I may not have been here for a long time, but I am here for a good time.” Oro Mensah is on his way back, will he bring the funk and the noise to NXT?

 

Booker T has a sit-down interview with Roxanne Perez.

Booker starts with just, “Wow. We’re here.” He feels like Morpheus in the Matrix searching for The One, and here she is. Roxie was the one who said when she was a little kid that she’d be the one to make it here. She is now NXT Women’s Champion. Take us back tot hat night. “It was a mix of emotions. I think for the most part, overwhelmed. I honestly didn’t expect for it to happen, but I pulled it off.” Booker knows that she walked into his wrestling school at just 16 years old, and she said, “I want to be in the WWE one day. What can you do to help me get there?” They put in the work, put their foot on the gas, and here, just five years later, NXT Women’s Champion.

Booker says this was like a meteoric rise for her. Roxie wanted to be the youngest-ever champion, and she became an NXT Women’s Tag Champion, the inaugural Women’s Breakout Superstar, and the first-ever Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge winner. And now, she really is the youngest NXT Women’s Champion. All of that within nine months of signing. She did not expect all this to happen. Booker says Roxie made history. She could’ve waited, but why take the shot and want it that night?

Roxie remembered a conversation she had with Booker about her tryout. She remembered what he said: “You need to bet on yourself. You need to bank on yourself.” That is what she remembered when Mandy attacked. She didn’t wanna wait, she wanted to bank on herself, and that is what she did. And then it all worked out. Booker says preparation is the only luck anyone has, and that is what it is for Roxie. She’s been preparing for this since day one, and now she’s champion. Congratulations, Roxie.

Roxie says he’s been asking questions, but he knows from their days in Reality of Wrestling, she’s had plenty of questions. So her first question is, as champion to legend, does he have any advice? Booker has always been about two things: checks and championships. You’ll be nervous, you’ll have butterflies, but you gotta make those butterflies line up and fly straight. When you lose that feeling, that is when it’s time to get out. So Roxie just has to go out there, win, make history, and fight her way to becoming a Hall of Famer. Everyone back home is so proud of her, so she just has to represent. Roxie’s ready! But then, who is next for The Prodigy?

 

Apollo Crews is here!

Fans cheer the man who was almost NXT Champion at NXT Deadline. But that loss doesn’t seem to have slowed him down, he still has energy as he goes to the ring and gets the mic. “Before I get started, I just have one thing to say. I gotta congratulate the NEW NXT Women’s Champion, Roxanne Perez! I gotta say, that was very, very well deserved. Now, I thought that I’d be leaving Deadline as the NEW NXT Champions. As a matter of fact, I knew it. I knew it in my heart. Man, it was my night! The vision was clear! I had the opportunity to capture the title that I came back to this building for. The title that I came back to this energy for!

“I had the opportunity to capture the title that I cam back to this brand to win. Now we all saw what happened. It didn’t go down like that, and I understand completely that I have been knocked down a few pegs. But that is okay. Cuz I am NOT out of championship contention. Now at New Year’s Evil, Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller will battle it out, and just three weeks after that, NXT is back on the rooooad~! They’re back on the road for Vengeance Day, and that is the time that I see myself stepping-” But wait! Melo makes his way back out! Melo has them cut the music there.

“For a man who talks about visions so much, how can you see that title from the back of the line?” Make no mistake, if we’re talking about who’s next, Melo’s next. Apollo, you’re nice, you’ve got it all, but what you don’t got is what Melo has, and that’s next. They’ve never been 1v1, but Melo has no problem at all putting a future Hall of Famer among those jerseys in the rafters. Apollo expected more from Melo. But credit where credit is due, Melo has everything! He is one of one! Just look at him! Fans do chant for “MELO~! MELO~!” Apollo says Melo looks cool, he has the swagger, the drip! Bell to bell, Melo’s at the top of NXT’s depth chart!

But one thing Melo doesn’t have… Oh, what’s that? The title? Because as Melo looks at Apollo, neither does he! Apollo frowns and Melo talks more trash. Apollo tells Melo, “Let me tell you something, dog. The one thing that you don’t understand, is that no matter how good you think you are, there is always, ALWAYS, someone out there better than you. And I don’t have to stand out here and tell you I am. You name the time, the place, and I’ll show you I am.” The gauntlet has been thrown down, will Melo accept the challenge?

 

The New Day talks backstage.

Woods is telling Kofi something someone else told him. They told Woods that the number of people that are older than you will never increase. Whoa…! But then Pretty Deadly rushes in with Christmas gifts? Kofi says hi to the #1 contenders! That is, if Kofi & Woods beat Briggs & Jensen. And if Kit & Elton got them everything on their wish lists. Yes! Everything! Oh, really? So they got Kamala’s mask? And Bart Gunn’s Brawl for All trophy? And Santino Marella’s Cobra? Ahmed Johnson’s Legion of Doom shoulder pads? Stevie Ray’s slapjack? Then that means they also got Honky Tonk Man! Kofi took that off the list, you can’t just go get a person. Fair.

But surely, Pretty Deadly got everything else. Kit & Elton double check the list and say they didn’t get quite everything. Then they can’t have their rematch! But how were they supposed to get Nail’s prison jumpsuit? He’s still in prison! Oh, like they’ve never broken the law and been to prison. NO! Then they’re gonna have to! How badly do they want the belts? SO badly! But can’t they pledge allegiance to the flag this time? No, that was last week! And they know inflation is running rampant. Last week’s price is not today’s. The only thing that remains the same is ya bois, the NEW~ DAY~! As the W! W! E! N! X! T! World! Tag! Team! CHAMPIONS~!

And also, get that last one. Tyler Breeze’s selfie stick. Very important, it’s for a party. Okay, see you later. Elton says this isn’t giving them any time to shop for themselves! Kit reminds Elton that this is Christmas time. It sure doesn’t feel like it! Will Kit & Elton be able to pull off an admittedly selfish Christmas miracle?

 

Alba Fyre walks around backstage.

And then she spots Isla Dawn! Isla laughs, Fyre raises her bat, but she gets RED DUST blown into her face! Fyre staggers around into piping, an official rushes over to help her. They shout for medical, but knowing the Wicked Witch of NXT, was that dust just dust or something worse?

 

NXT shares footage from last week.

Odyssey Jones, Malik Blade & Edris Enofe were heading out after the show, and they spotted Simone Joh- er, Ava Raine! They invited her along “to get that one two step.” Ava said, “When are you three going to stop trying to fill the void in your lives? Better question, when are you gonna realize the feeling that you’re chasing is temporary?” What? Ava, it ain’t that deep. They just wanna have fun living their best lives. If she doesn’t wanna join, that’s fine. But just know that they don’t believe in all that Schism bull-

But then in walks The Schism! Joe Gacy says, “What’s not to believe, Edris?” What he sees is a family. Jagger Reed says all he sees is three individuals bonded by a false reality that they’ve convinced is fun. Ava tells them to have “fun” tonight. Oh, they will. The Schism leaves, Jones won’t let them ruin the mood.

 

NXT checks in on Alba Fyre in the medical room.

The dust is stinging Fyre’s eyes and the doc did an eye check. Waller walks by asking about Bron. Fyre tells him to leave! Why’s she mad at him for? Waller goes off still trolling for Bron, but what of Fyre’s eyes? Will she make sure Isla doesn’t see the revenge coming?

 

Indi Hartwell VS Elektra Lopez!

Another score is being settled here tonight as #IndiWrestling and La Madrina finally have it out in the ring! Will Indi continue to be impressive all on her own? Or will it be Lopez living the high life in NXT?

The bell rings and Indi RAMS Lopez to a corner! Indi RAMS Lopez more, fans fire up but Lopez shoves Indi away. Indi BOOTS Lopez right back down! Cover, ONE, and Lopez tackles Indi! Lopez rains down fists, Indi shoves her away, but Lopez kicks her low. Lopez whips Indi into the corner, but Indi goes up and over! Indi hip tosses Lopez, then covers, ONE! Indi drags Lopez up to whip but Lopez stops herself to KICK back! Lopez ROCKS Indi, KICKS her out of the ring, then goes out after her. The forearms fly, Lopez CLUBS Indi then POSTS her! Lopez talks trash, puts Indi back in, and then KNEES Indi in the back!

Lopez throws another knee, drops an elbow, covers, TWO! Lopez wraps on a chinlock but fans rally up. Indi fights up, but Lopez throws her down by her hair! Cover, TWO! Lopez clamps on a chinlock and she thrashes Indi around! Indi endures and fans rally up, but Lopez fishhooks Indi’s face! The ref reprimands, Lopez stops to KNEE Indi in the back! Lopez CLUBS Indi, CLUBS her again, and then clamps on a chinlock. Lopez smothers Indi but Indi fights up again. Fans rally, Indi rolls Lopez up! ONE, but Indi kicks, CLUBS and JABS! Indi CLOBBERS Lopez, then CLOBBERS her again!

Fans fire up as Lopez goes to the apron. Indi drags Lopez through ropes to UPPERCUT and BOOT! Cover, TWO! Indi is annoyed but she drags Lopez up to whip her to ropes. Lopez ducks ‘n’ dodges and DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Fans rally up as Lopez crawls to a corner. Indi stands, she storms up but Lopez BOOTS her away! Lopez goes up the corner, and brings out brass knuckles from inside the padding!? Indi drags Lopez off the top, but Lopez BRASS KNUCKLE PUNCHES Indi down! Cover, Lopez wins!!

Winner: Elektra Lopez, by pinfall

Lopez hides the evidence in her top, but she got away with one! Will La Madrina make her way to the top of NXT by any means necessary?

 

NXT again checks in on Fyre.

She tells the doc that she’s fine now. She just wants to be cleared. Well, if her vision is normal and there’s no more pain, then she’s cleared for her match tonight. Okay, thank you. Fyre heads back out, but will there be any side effects of her run-in with Isla?

 

Backstage interview with Wes Lee.

McKenzie asks him about making a title defense against Tony D’Angelo. Wes says that he refuses to be a reactionary champion. He is bringing the fight to every opponent every single time. He might get some bumps and bruises, but he got here by pushing the envelope, so why stop just because he’s champion? That’s fair. And Wes says after he beats The Don, he can move on. He has to take it one opponent at a time, and he’s starting with the man with the biggest mouth. If Tony wants the title as bad as he says, then he can try taking it from Wes next week. After Tony fails, Wes knows Dijak is waiting to deliver “hard justice.”

Wes says he’s ready to deliver his own cold hard facts. One: this title isn’t leaving Wes’s shoulder any time soon. Will the Must-See Kid stay the Must-See Champion of NXT? Or will Tony D tell him to FOGEDABOUTIT?

 

Alba Fyre VS Sol Ruca!

The Fire Keeper is fuming after what Isla Dawn has done to her, from that Last Woman Standing match against Mandy to Deadline, to the red dusting here tonight! Will she take out all of that anger on the #SolSurfer? Or will Ruca ride a wave that puts out the Fyre?

Speaking of Dawn, she attacks Fyre inside of her own smoke! The Wicked Witch stomps and ROCKS Fyre, CLUBS her, then ROCKS her again! Dawn grabs Fyre’s hand, puts it between steel steps and post, and then she grabs the baseball bat! Dawn grins as she SMACKS the steps with the bat! Fyre writhes as she clutches her smashed hand! Dawn mocks Fyre’s pain then laughs as she leaves, bat still in hand. Will nothing stop the Wicked Witch from cursing all of NXT?

 

Chase U holds a holiday party!

Andre Chase and all his students are together and exchanging gifts. The students line up to give Mr. Chase present after present. Thea Hail got Chase a brand new Chase U sweater. Cookies from Anna, and a fruitcake from Scott. Is he crazy?! Chase is ALLERGIC to fruitcake! Another student who brought fruitcake realizes they’re also in trouble… Chase asks if Scott wants him to break out in hives and have his throat close up! “Scott, you dumbass! I hope mother [censored] Santa Claus brings you a mother [censored] lump of coal! A FRUITCAKE?!” Scott leaves, dejected. And then the other students with fruitcake bail out.

Duke Hudson realizes the gift exchange was today, when he thought it was on Thursday. He looks at what Alex has. Duke tells Alex that the principal wants to talk to him. He means the Dean? YES! That! He gets them mixed up, going back and forth from Australia. But it’s something about Alex’s scholarship not rolling over to next semester or something. What?! Alex needs the scholarship! Duke says he’ll hold Alex’s gift and place in line. Alex thanks Duke, and Duke says it’s okay, everything always works out. At least, it works out for Duke. Duke goes up to Chase and says he wasn’t sure what to get the man who has everything.

Duke presents Alex’s present, and Chase is impressed: a “#1 Professor” plaque! Duke hasn’t even been here the whole semester, he didn’t have to do this. Oh, but he did! It’s from the heart. Well Chase appreciates that. He thanks Duke. Duke thanks Chase one hundred times more. Group hug! Merry Christmas from Chase U! But will Duke be the one getting that coal from Santa for being so naughty?

 

Backstage interview with Briggs, Jensen & Fallon.

McKenzie wants to talk about the confrontation with Kiana James, but she turns to Briggs & Jensen as they’re moments away from challenging The New Day for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Briggs says it’s one thing at a time with the bar. Tonight, they’re ready to rock! They never thought they’d be facing the New Day, let alone in a match for THE NXT Tag Team Championships! Tonight, they’re going balls to the wall! Jensen says New Day are first-ballot hall of famers, this is the biggest match of their lives.

Jensen may have a knot in his stomach right now, but he did say last week that 2023 is gonna be their year! And the best way to walk into it is as the NEW NXT Tag Team Champions! Fallon says, “Boys! Let’s go kick some-” Kiana walks in now? Now’s not the time, Kiana, this isn’t about the bar. Kiana says to save it. Their issue will be handled next week. She’s not here for Fallon. She’s here for Jensen. Jensen drops his hat out of shock as Kiana wishes him good luck! Jensen thanks Kiana for that. And then he nervously says to go to gorilla. Seriously? Fallon and Briggs can’t believe it, but they head out with him.

McKenzie looks at Kiana and she says, “What? I may be all business, but I’m still a woman.” Is there something brewing between Brooks and Miss James?

 

Drew Gulak is working with trainees.

The Philly Stretcher helps one guy find a way out of a headlock, to a waistlock and to his own headlock. The trainee shifts to a cravat, but then Gulak throws him down for an armlock. “See how easy that was?” Hank Walker then walks over and asks “Mr. Gulak” for a word. Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Gulak, but- No, no, don’t do that. Call him “Drew.” Oh, okay then, Drew. Hank saw Gulak scouting a few weeks ago, including his. Hank knows he isn’t Charlie Dempsey, and he knows he isn’t that good at this, but he isn’t afraid to work hard to get better. He just hopes Gulak has any advice for him. Hank knows he has a lot to prove, but he’s willing to bust his ass.

Gulak admires Hank’s zeal and eagerness. Tell you what? Next week, Gulak’s hosting a seminar, so he wants Hank to attend. Not participate, just observe. Okay then! Yes, sir! Hank will be there. Sorry to interrupt. Gulak says that’s okay, and he returns to the trainees. Will Hank learn a lot from the Catch Point Professor?

 

NXT Tag Team Championships: The New Day VS Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen w/ Fallon Henley!

Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods join a short but elite list of WWE Tag Team Triple Crown Winners, and they’re looking to make this reign their biggest one yet! But will they make it through the country boys to reign in the New Year? Or will Briggs & Jensen pull off a Christmas miracle just before Christmas?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see just who (who who who) rocks around the Christmas tree!

The teams sort out and Jensen starts against Kofi while fans sing, “HEY~ We Want Some New~ Day~!” Kofi and Jensen tie up, go around, and Jensen shoves Kofi down! Kofi likes that, and he ties up with Jensen again. They go around, Jensen puts Kofi in a corner but Kofi turns it around to CHOP! Jensen says okay, he swings, but Kofi bobs ‘n’ weaves to SLAP Jensen on the back! Kofi headlocks, Jensen powers out, but Kofi goes up and over in the corner. Kofi bunny hops to the beat, “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” Jensen rushes in, Kofi waistlocks him to headlock him. Jensen powers out and runs Kofi over!

Jensen CHOPS Kofi down, then does a two step. Things speed up, Kofi hurdles, hurdles and leaps, but into a waistlock! Kofi flails to resist the lift but he can’t get loose. Jensen shoves Kofi away, scoops and POWERSLAMS! Cover, ONE!! Kofi hurries away and he tags in Woods. Woods and Jensen tie up, fans sing “HAIL KING WOODS!” as Jensen puts Woods in a corner. Jensen storms up but Woods elbows him away! Woods goes up, leaps, but Jensen catches him! Jensen swings Woods around, but Woods slips off the scoop! Woods shoves Jensen to mule kick! Woods CHOPS Jensen, whips, but Jensen reverses!

Woods ducks, dodges ‘n’ slides under to ROLLING ELBOW! Jensen goes to the corner, Woods runs in to forearm smash! Kofi tags in, Kofi taunts Briggs and forearm smashes! Woods runs in to forearm smash! Kofi runs in to SHOTGUN Jensen down! Fans fire up as Kofi stomps away on Jensen! Tag to Woods, Kofi whips Woods in to basement dropkick! Woods drags Jensen out, covers, TWO! Fans rally and Woods smirks as he brings Jensen up. Woods whips, Jensen hurdles, Briggs tags before the FACEBUSTER! Kofi runs in but Briggs runs him over! Fans are torn as Briggs & Jensen whip The New Day.

The New Day wheelbarrow but Briggs & Jensen turn that into atomic drops! Briggs & Jensen shove the New Day onto ropes, then they both slide out to ROCK the New Day with haymakers! Fans fire up and Kiana is in the front row to cheer Jensen on as NXT goes picture in picture.

Briggs & Jensen get back in the ring, Briggs drags Woods up and ROCKS Woods with a haymaker! Tag to Jensen, Briggs feeds Woods to a bearhug! Jensen squeezes tight, then he RAMS Woods into the corner! Tag to Briggs, feed to another bearhug! Briggs squeezes tight, RAMS Woods in, and Jensen tags back in. Another feed to another bearhug! Woods endures as Jensen RAMS Woods in again! Tag to Briggs, but Woods sunset flips this time! Briggs breaks free, to NECK TWIST! Woods writhes, Briggs stays between him and Kofi. Briggs brings Woods up but Woods throws body shots! Woods ROCKS Briggs, mule kicks, and tags Kofi!

Woods KNEES Briggs, wrenches an arm, and Kofi goes up to AX HANDLE! Kofi keeps Briggs from Jensen to wrench the arm again. Tag to Woods, Woods climbs up and he AX HANDLES the arm! Woods whips Briggs, Briggs reverses but Woods goes up, only for Briggs to stop him from going over! Briggs reels Woods in for a BIG back suplex! Briggs covers, TWO! Briggs keeps Woods down, tags in Jensen, and Jensen drags Woods into a chinlock. Woods endures as Jensen grinds him down and NXT returns to single picture. Fans rally with “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” and Woods fights up! Woods reaches out, Jensen keep shim away, but Woods throws Jensen off!

Jensen gets a leg, Woods hops on one foot, but he ENZIGURIS Jensen away! Jensen staggers around in a daze, Woods crawls over, hot tag to Kofi! Kofi CLOBBERS Jensen, DECKS Briggs, then CHOPS and CHOPS and DROPKICSK Jensen! Jensen rebounds, he ducks Kofi’s leaping lariat and kicks low! Jensen whips Kofi but Kofi goes up and up to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Kofi fires up and fans cheer the “NEW~ DAY~” BOOM DROP! Fans fire up as Kofi claps it up in the corner. Jensen stands, Kofi spins, but into a waistlock! Back suplex, but Kofi lands on his feet! Kofi clinches Jensen, for an SOS! Cover, ROPEBREAK!!

Kofi can’t believe it but Kiana is impressed by Jensen’s wherewithal. Kofi brings Jensen up, reels him in again, S O- NO, Jensen gut wrenches free and POWER- NO, Kofi ranas! Briggs tags in and he rallies on the New Day with fists and a BOOT! Briggs CROSSBODIES Woods on the outside! Kofi FLIES, but Briggs catches him! Briggs RAMS Kofi into the apron, pops him up against the ropes and CLOBBERS him! Woods baseball slides, but Briggs catches him, too! And he pop-up CLOBBERS Woods, too!! Briggs shoves Kofi in the ring, he tags Jensen, and Kofi spins, but into a clinch! POP-UP ATOMIC DROP, to the BOOT!! High stack, TWO?!!?

Kofi survives and Jensen is beside himself! Jensen wipes blood from a busted lip and fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” Jensen TOSSES Kofi to the corner, tags Briggs, and they put Kofi up top. Briggs & Jensen climb but Woods gets on the apron. Jensen CLOBBERS Woods, but Kofi slips out under Briggs to DECK Jensen! Briggs BOOTS Kofi down, then adjusts up top, to MOONSAULT!! Cover, TWO!?!? Fans are stunned and Fallon can’t believe it! Briggs hitting the moonsault was one thing, but Kofi surviving it is another! “This is Awesome!” as Briggs drags Kofi up again. Briggs Electric Chair Lifts, and Jensen is up top!

But Woods SHOVES Jensen off the top! Jensen hits the announce desk! Kofi POISON-RANAS Briggs!! And then, TROUBLE IN PARADISE!! Tag to Woods, Kofi FLIES to take out Jensen!! Woods is up top, LIMIT BREAKER!! Cover, New Day wins!!

Winners: The New Day, by pinfall (still NXT Tag Team Champions)

The country boys couldn’t survive taking on the living legends, but fans are saying it again, “That was Awesome!” Kofi & Woods show respect to Briggs & Jensen, and Briggs & Jensen show it back. The New Day rocks in NXT, but who will be next to step up?

 

Channing Lorenzo finds Dijak.

Stacks tells Dijak that this is how they dish out justice. Next week, Dijak stays out of The Don’s way and Stacks won’t have to end the return before it gets going. Deal? Oh, Stacks was just rehearsing that in front of Dijak’s room. Stacks says he has this, and he storms into Dijak’s room. Will Hard Justice hear out The Don’s right hand man?

 

Waller is still searching.

“Where you at, Bron?” Waller doesn’t know where Bron went, but Bron knows where to find Waller! Waller says he’s going to the ring, because he is the future NXT Champion! Waller continues on to gorilla, but will he get what he wants? Or just what he deserves?

 

The countdown to January 10th continues!

“New Year. New Me. No resolutions needed.” But just who IS this?

 

The Diamond Mine is heading out.

NXT Media walks up to note the “tough loss” for Ivy & Tatum. They sticking together as a team? What kind of question is that? Everyone goes through growing pains. Just look at Katana & Kayden. Ivy says that it was a tough loss, but she knows she and Tatum made progress. The reporter asks Julius & Brutus Creed if they’re proud of Ivy & Tatum. Hell yeah they are! Ivy & Tatum busted their asses in that ring. But then Indus Sher calls over to the Creeds. They heard a rumor that Julius is cleared to compete. Oh, now they wanna talk? Yes, he is cleared! Sanga & Veer can get it whenever!

Veer says Julius has shown his judgment can’t be trusted. They needs to show Indus Sher something. Then watch  next week! Julius is going 1v1 with JD McDonagh, the guy who hurt him, and will prove it to them. Then Indus Sher will be out of excuses! They’ll make this happen. Diamond Mine leaves, Indus Sher is ready. But will Julius make it through the Irish Ace in one piece to settle things with Veer & Sanga on the other side?

 

Grayson Waller heads to the ring!

The winner of the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge was “inspired” to call out Bron Breakker, but Bron wasn’t even scheduled to be here tonight. Waller still expects the NXT Champion to show himself tonight, and he gets a mic to shout, “Where you at, huh?! I ain’t waiting any longer! I’m calling my shot! I want the NXT Championship right here, right now! Let’s do this!” But oh wait, he forgot that Bron’s a coward! Waller has carried NXT on his back for the entirety of 2022, making moment after moment after moment! He’s the biggest star here! No one can touch him! He lives NXT 24/7, and there isn’t a man or woman on NXT or in the WWE that can do what he does!

Waller says he’s the biggest star, the greatest Iron Survivor, and soon to be the greatest NXT Champions of ALL TIME! “And people think that Bron likes the bark because he got that dog in him.” But Waller doesn’t think Bron is a dog at all! Bron’s just a- Wait, who is honking as they pull up to the arena? IT’S BRON!! Well good! This is what Waller wanted! Waller isn’t afraid of Bron! He’s not afraid of anyone! Let’s go! Waller sure is barking, but here comes Bron! Bron runs into the ring, he ducks the lariat to SPEAR Waller!! But wait, Bron goes down, too!? Waller sits up, and unzips his jacket, and he reveals A KEVLAR VEST WITH A STEEL PLATE IN IT!!

Fans boo as Waller gets the better of Bron! Waller gets the mic to say, “I outsmarted you tonight. I outsmarted you at Deadline. And at New Year’s Evil, I’m gonna outsmart you one more time when I become NXT CHAMPION! Because that, Bron Breakker, is the Grayson Waller Effect!” Waller holds up the title while Bron finally comes to. Will Waller take this title from Bron by any means necessary?


My Thoughts:

A very good NXT here to set up what’s coming at New Year’s Evil. Melo VS Axiom was a great opening match, but I should’ve known Trick would help Melo cheat. This kinda extends from last night’s complaint about Heels using assists to win all the time. But at least Axiom got to wipe Trick out at the end there. Melo then confronting Apollo later is a great set-up for a match between the two of them for New Year’s Evil, the winner going on to Vengeance Day to challenge the champion. And the winner there surely depends on who is champion at the end of New Year’s Evil.

I figured that Waller calling out Bron, even though Bron was supposedly in Carolina, was going to result in Bron showing up tonight. Now, Waller having a metal plate to defend against Bron’s Spear was a really good surprise, and a pretty smart move. But Waller again holds up the belt, so given that math, I do not see him winning at New Year’s Evil. As such, Apollo VS Bron happening again doesn’t seem likely, so Melo has to win at New Year’s Evil to finally challenge for the top title at Vengeance Day. Melo can be the first big win on the road, which is great for him and for NXT.

Tony D’Angelo getting a title match for the last NXT of 2022 is fitting. They could really close out the year with a great match and great story stuff. Good promo from Tony to set up Stacks, good promo from Wes to respond, and I like that Stacks wasn’t quite brave enough to tell Dijak off on camera. For all we know, he did tell Dijak all that and now he’s in a dumpster out behind the Performance Center. I would hope for the sake of the title match, Dijak lets it end properly, then he goes after the winner, who I presume will be Wes because his reign can’t end with just one title defense. Then Wes and Dijak can take their title match to New Year’s Evil for something even bigger.

Really good stuff out from Stark VS Lyons, and good cheating win from Stark. Pretty sure the feud isn’t over here, it’s just beginning, and these two can escalate things to something bigger for New Year’s Evil. Same can be said for Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre. The dust was apparently just to delay Fyre’s match so Dawn could strike again. Dawn going after Fyre’s arm like that, that definitely helps delay the rematch until New Year’s Evil. And then Cora’s promo, smug as it was, was cut off by Wendy and they brawled, so we know we’re getting that match. And then we got a good match from Indi and Lopez, but what a great cheat from Lopez. Their feud is far from over, too, so there will surely be a rematch on the way.

It seems that Odyssey, Malik & Edris are moving on from Von after all, and they’re on to The Schism. That at least has some continuity to it from when Grimes was feuding with The Schism and Malik & Edris were dragged into it for a short moment. We’re getting a Six Man Tag, but chances are, Ava will interfere on The Schism’s behalf because that always happens in these kinds of stories. Who knows, maybe Odyssey’s side adds a female superstar that’s been waiting for a story to this story.

The Chase U segment this week was really funny with Chase cussing out the student who brought fruitcake, and how Duke sniped Alex’s gift. I was wondering if they were going to show us Duke’s sneaky side again, and it seems it’s still alive and well. Good promo from Hank Walker and Drew Gulak, it feels like they’re already setting up a team-up where Hank and Drew take on Damon Kemp and Charlie Dempsey. Maybe Hank tries to make a transition from a brawler in jeans to a wrestler in tights, but I didn’t see this coming so I would like to see where this is going.

Great Women’s Tag Team Championship match, and I like how great Ivy & Tatum got to look, even in losing. Kayden & Katana basically survive with the titles, but now I have no idea where they go from here. Good promo from Diamond Mine as a whole later on, Ivy & Tatum are clearly going to keep trying so maybe they move into the same role we saw KC Squared in pretty much this entire year until now. They’ll scratch and claw, face whatever teams they have to, and then finally get to be challengers again by perhaps Stand & Deliver. As for the Creeds and Indus Sher, Julius setting himself up against JD McDonagh, I have a feeling that isn’t going to go well for him.

We also got some really good development in the story of Fallon and her bar and how Kiana wants it. At the same time, it seems Kiana has actual interest in Jensen, so that’s an interesting layer. Maybe Kiana ends up the one torn between a choice as Jensen begs Kiana to spare Fallon and her family. But she had a good part of the promo with Jensen, Briggs and Fallon before the main event, as did The New Day in their promo with Pretty Deadly. It’s hilarious how the New Day is creating hoops for them to jump through to get a title shot. And then great main event for the tag titles, probably the best showing from Briggs & Jensen since they won the NXT UK Tag titles. But I figured New Day would win, so now we’re going to get a great build to Pretty Deadly’s rematch.

My Score: 8.7/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (2/26/24)

Scores will be settled!

Published

on

The Road to WrestleMania gets intense!

Raw has grudge matches on tap as Sami Zayn faces Shinsuke Nakamura, and The New Day faces Imperium in a Tag Team Street Fight!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sami Zayn VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Sami wins.
  • Chelsea Green VS Raquel Rodriguez; Raquel wins.
  • Tag Team Street Fight: The New Day VS Imperium; Imperium wins.
  • Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark VS Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell; Shayna & Zoey win.
  • Nia Jax VS Liv Morgan; Nia wins, by disqualification.
  • Cody Rhodes VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory; Cody wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dominik Mysterio is in the ring.

San Jose is booing but Dom has the mic to say, “Everyone, please welcome the greatest Women’s World Champion of all time! RHEA RIPLEY!” The fans fire up as Mami makes her way to the ring, and she feels great after retaining her title at Elimination Chamber. Rhea gets the mic to welcome us to “Monday Night Mami!” The fans cheer Mami on and she smiles. Rhea says this weekend, she walked into her home country our Women’s World Champion, and she walked out of it still our Women’s World Champion. Nia Jax might’ve been the biggest threat to her reign, but it doesn’t matter how big you are. Rhea may be from Down Under, but Mami’s always on top! Because she’s Rhea BLOODY Ripley!

Wait! Here comes Becky Lynch! The Man started the Elimination Chamber match, won the Elimination Chamber match, and now she’s here to step to the champion she’ll be facing at WrestleMania! The fans cheer Becky on and she gets a mic now. “The Man has come around to San Jose!” The fans cheer that! Becky says The Man is also coming back around to WrestleMania… to fight Rhea. “But The Man came out here to say congratulations. What a night that you had on Saturday. Hell, what a night we both had on Saturday, hey?” Becky won the Chamber, Rhea successfully defended her title against Nia in her home country, stadium filled and in the main event!

Rhea had her family and friends there, what a moment. And even better, because now they won’t have to fly all the way to WrestleMania to watch her lose. Dom tells Becky “Nobody talks to Mami like that.” Fans boo Dom and Becky tells him to listen to them, “ya dirty kumquat!” Becky was talking to Mami, and if Mami won’t put Dom in his place, The Man will. The fans cheer that! Becky says Rhea is on a hell of a run, one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen. And even though the last year, Rhea has been the face of this company, she’s spent most of the time being fed grapes by this loser.

Meanwhile, Becky has been the backbone, the heart and soul of this company! She became a Grand Slam Champion, all while writing a best-selling book! The Man can do it all, including beating “Rhea Bloody Ripley.” Becky throws down her mic but Rhea asks if she’s done. Yeah? Cool. First off, never disrespect her Latino Heat like that again. Secondly, “congrats” on winning the Chamber. It’s about time Becky stopped disappointing Rhea and actually won something to get even this close to Rhea’s level. Becky says she’s the backbone, but The Man always thinks they’re the backbone of everything.

The funny thing is, that behind every great Man is an even greater woman. But Rhea isn’t behind Becky, because Mami is ALWAYS on top. Rhea drops her mic now but the two still talk some trash. Rhea & Dom leave, title in Mami’s hand. Will Becky leave Philadelphia with that title in hers? WAIT! Nia Jax runs up from the crowd to CLOBBER Becky! Fans boo as Nia HEADBUTTS Becky then dribbles her off the mat! The sore loser drops a leg on Becky! Rhea dares Nia to try her then, but Dom says Nia’s not worth Rhea’s time. Nia drops another leg on Becky! And then she drags Becky to a corner, but refs rush out here!

Fans boo Nia while Adam Pearce tells her to stop this. The producers also get Becky to safety. Pearce says Nia’s getting a fine if she keeps going rogue. Nia backs down, but will she make sure everyone feels her wrath on the Road to WrestleMania?

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

Jackie Redmond has caught up with the “heated” Irresistible Force, and asks why Nia attacked Becky. Nia says, “Why? Are you kidding me?” Becky won Chamber but she should NOT be going to WrestleMania over Nia! Nia beat Becky clean, so there’s no way Nia is letting Becky make it to WrestleMania. Then with Mania still weeks away, and Nia having a match with Liv Morgan tonight, will- Nia says whatever just happened to Becky, expect ten times that for Liv. Nia storms off, will she look to end Liv’s revenge tour cold here tonight?

 

Sami Zayn VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

Speaking of WrestleMania, The Great Liberator still wants a spot on the Grandest Stage of Them All, even if the path isn’t quite clear. However, the King of Strong Style says Sami just plays it up so people will pity him. Will there be no sympathy from Nakamura as he looks to take that spotlight for his own? Or will Sami get even with Nakamura for their previous match’s controversial finish?

Raw returns and Nakamura makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Sami wrenches to wristlock, but Nakamura pulls hair to put Sami on ropes. The ref counts, Nakamura lets off slowly, but then he KICKS Sami in the side. Sami goes to a corner, comes back, and they tie up. Nakamura headlocks, Sami powers up and out, things speed up and Sami hurdles to arm-drag! Sami has the armlock and the fans rally up. Nakamura fights to his feet, puts Sami in a corner and throws body shots and knees! The ref reprimands, Nakamura lets off and Sami bails out. Nakamura goes out to kick Sami low!

Nakamura whips Sami, but Sami goes up the barriers to QUEBRADA! Direct hit but perhaps still double-edged for Sami, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Nakamura has Sami in a seated cobra twist! The fans rally, Sami endures and fights with elbows! Sami gets free, he stands up, but Nakamura KICKS him in the side again! Nakamura storms up in a corner, whips corner to corner hard and Sami falls in a heap! Nakamura drags Sami up, fireman’s carries to put him on the top rope, then TOP SHELF KNEES! Nakamura keeps Sami up there, to run and TOP SHELF KNEE again! Cover, TWO! Sami is still in this but Nakamura kicks him around. Nakamura drags Sami up while fans sing “OLE~ OLE OLE OLE~!” Nakamura whips, Sami goes up and over and LARIATS!

The fans fire up and Sami grits his teeth to stand. Sami storms up to fire hands on Nakamura! Sami whips, Nakamura reverses to KNEE low! Sami drops, but then he scoops and MICHINOKU DRIVERS! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives and Sami is stunned! Sami grits his teeth from the pain in his side, and he hauls Nakamura up. Nakamura RAMS Sami into a corner! And again! And again! Nakamura puts Sami up top but Sami CLUBS Nakamura! Sami reels Nakamura in, TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up while Nakamura flounders out of the ring. Sami builds speed but runs into a kitchen sink knee!

Fans boo as Nakamura stalks Sami to the outside. They’re both on the apron, and Nakamura stands Sami up. Nakamura hits an APRON GOURD BUSTER! Sami flops to the floor while Nakamura soaks up the heat, and Raw goes back to break.

Raw returns yet again, Sami blocks a kick but Nakamura fires forearms! Sami fires those back, the two brawl and the fans fire up! Sami gets the edge but Nakamura fires a strike fest! Sami ducks the roundhouse but not the WHEEL KICK! Nakamura goes to a corner and takes aim, KIN- NO, Sami gets around to BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura survives and Sami can’t believe it! Sami watches Nakamura crawl to a corner and then goes to the other side. The fans fire up as Sami runs in, but Nakamura JUMP KNEES! Nakamura then goes up the corner to FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives and shocks Nakamura!

The fans fire up as Sami flounders to ropes. “This is Awesome!” as Sami bails out and Nakamura pursues. Nakamura stalks Sami, KICKS him in the side again, and then drapes him along the barriers. Nakamura CLUBS Sami, goes up the steel steps, and FLYING GUILLOTINE KNEES! The fans boo Nakamura while he leaves Sami behind. Sami sputters on the floor as the ring count climbs! We’re past 5 of 10, and then 8! Sami springs up at 9 to slide in at 9.9! KINSHASA!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Sami saves himself by a literal foot, but Nakamura stomps away on him for it! The ref counts, Nakamura argues with him, then goes back to a corner.

Nakamura aims again, “YAO~” but Sami sends Nakamura into buckles! BLINDSIDE HELLUVA KICK!! The fans are thunderous as Sami goes to the far corner! Sami roars, wants Nakamura to get back up, and he runs in again, HELLUVA KICK!! Cover, Sami wins!!

Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall

Sami gets even with Nakamura and gets back on the winning track! Is this just what Sami needs to find his way to WrestleMania?

 

Chelsea Green VS Raquel Rodriguez!

The Hot Mess is always complaining and bringing up issues, and she’s got an issue with the woman who eliminated her from the Last Chance Battle Royal. But will she only end up complaining more when she loses to Raquel 1v1? Or will Chelsea somehow, someway, bring down Big Mami Cool?

Raw returns and Chelsea has the mic to say, “San Joseee~! I’m speaking! Let it be known that tonight, after issuing a formal complaint to WWE Management, I will be competing in protest. That’s right. Last week, I would have won the Last Chance Battle Royal, and I would have gone on to become the most illustrious winner in Elimination Chamber history, had Pea Head Pearce not added that secret, stupid last entrant, Raquel Rodriguez!” Fans cheer Raquel but Chelsea says that was wrong! The people want HER! She’s the star! Raquel flew all that way to Perth, and for what? To lose? HAHA! To be a big dumb loser like the San Jose Sharks!

Fans boo but Chelsea laughs, and then she says after tonight, everyone will SHH when Chelsea proves Raquel is a loser, by kicking her- Oh, wait, here comes Raquel! The bell rings and Chelsea draws a line int he sand, daring Raquel to cross it. Raquel steps right over it! Chelsea draws another line and dares Raquel to cross that. Raquel does! Chelsea SLAPS Raquel out of panic! Then Chelsea apologizes, only to turn and run! But Raquel reels her in, whips her, and Chelsea ducks one lariat, but not the SOUTHPAW! The fans fire up as Raquel drags Chelsea up, scoops her, and hits a FALL AWAY SLAM! The fans fire up as Chelsea staggers back up.

Chelsea bumps into Raquel, and Raquel scoops for another FALL AWAY SLAM! Chelsea flounders, Raquel drags her up and tells her to shush. Raquel hits the TEXANA BOMB! Cover, Raquel wins!

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez, by pinfall

What was that about kicking someone’s butt? Chelsea might still need to figure out how to think before she speaks, but will Raquel let her actions do the talking for her on this Road to WrestleMania?

 

Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

Jackie congratulates him on the big win over Shinsuke. They’ve been talking for weeks now about adversity, and Mania is 40 days away. How much did Sami need tonight’s win? “Need” is an understatement to Sami. He’s been bottling stuff up for weeks now, trying to keep his cool, but this has been in his mind all week. A loss tonight, he couldn’t even tell you what it would’ve done not just to his path to WrestleMania, but to him emotionally. It would’ve perhaps disproved his claims of being a contender. But he doesn’t need to worry about that, because this win reaffirms what he’s been saying!

The belief in himself, the fire inside, he IS a contender and will be a champion, and that his path to Mania will come to him. And if it doesn’t, then he will go out and he will find it himself. Because this isn’t the first time nor the last that- Imperium walks over. Ludwig Kaiser looks Sami up and down, then scoffs and moves on. Giovanni Vinci smirks as he walks right past Sami, and then Gunther walks by. Gunther looks Sami in the eyes, then looks him over. Gunther laughs then leaves. Does Der Ring General not think Sami is a contender? Will Sami prove him wrong?

 

Backstage interview with Cody Rhodes.

Cathy Kelley is with the American Nightmare and says he made big news at Elimination Chamber by calling The Rock out for a 1v1 match. A lot of people question if that was smart given Cody’s match with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Cody isn’t sure it was smart, either, but it’s simple: The Rock slapped Cody, Cody challenged him to a match for anywhere, anytime, and we await the rebuttal this Friday Night SmackDown. Then for tonight, Cody has a match with Grayson Waller, how does he see that going? Cody asks back, “Do you like Grayson Waller? Right? No. You don’t have to answer that right now.”

But Cody has been watching Waller. Waller won the Iron Survivor Challenge, has tons of skills, and not just on the mic. But if anything, Waller should certainly like Cody. The first time Cody was on the Grayson Waller Effect, he brought Jey Uso back to the WWE. And this past time, in front of over 50 THOUSAND people in Waller’s home country, Cody called out The Rock. And tonight, Waller gets his very first Monday Night Raw main event against Cody, and finds out first hand. Cody thanks Cathy for the time then heads out. Will the American Nightmare completely neutralize the Grayson Waller Effect tonight?

 

Imperium goes to the ring.

Ahead of their Street Fight match, Imperium is here so Der Ring General can speak. However, the fans boo so he waits it out. Gunther smiles and says, “After successfully defeating Jey Uso last week, I am standing here still your greatest and longest reigning Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion of all time!” Fans are torn on that, but Gunther continues by saying that he has to be honest, it was very, very close. Jey almost had Gunther beat, and Gunther actually felt it slipping away from him for the first time. But let’s be honest, he got lucky. Nobody’s perfect! But Gunther is still very, very close to it.

And before Kaiser & Vinci “outclass” The New Day, Gunther wants to address his future! Understand that over 600 days, Gunther has worked hard, putting his heart, soul and body into making this title into the most prestigious in this company! Fans do cheer that. “And I’ve beaten everybody along the way to achieve this.” Which leaves one question: Who will be Gunther’s opponent for WrestleMania? Fans have different ideas, but Gunther says he has seen all the ridiculous claims! Sami Zayn? Fans cheer that name! Chad Gable? “A THANK YEW~!” The Miz?! Fans cheer again. Gunther says it gets worse! He even sees people want R-Truth!

Fans really cheer for Truth, but wait! The Judgment Day makes their way out here? Finn Balor & Damian Priest are still Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions after defeating “New Catch Republic,” Tyler Bate & Pete Dunne, and they’re leading the way, JD McDonagh & Dirty Dom right behind. These four step into the ring to stand across from Imperium, and the fans are torn seeing these seven stare down. Priest says, “Big Bad Gunther. We don’t sweat you, man. Although you’ve have quite the dominant run, second only to the run The Judgment Day is on.” Priest hopes Gunther was watching Chamber as Judgment Day ran the table.

And Judgment Day plans to do it again at WrestleMania. Except, they plan on adding even more gold! Priest tells Gunther in Spanish, and then in English, that they mean the Intercontinental Championship. Gunther says since they’re not cashing in the MITB briefcase, who is it gonna be then? Finn Balor? Big headed JD? Who? DOM steps up!? Fans boo and Gunther almost laughs again. Dom tells Gunther, even as fans boo louder, that when Dirty Dom and the Judgment Day say they’re gonna do something, they mean it. And that means that the Intercontinental Championship now belongs to them.

Gunther still grins at Dom, and then pushes him back. Judgment Day keeps Priest back, and Gunther dares someone to do something then. Priest says they’ll be taking that title one way or another, and Gunther doesn’t stand a chance. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and Senor MITB throws off his vest, but Finn and the boys keep him back. Gunther holds up the belt, will nothing stop him from continuing his historic reign? Or will WrestleMania be his judgment day?

 

Judgment Day regroups backstage.

Priest has cooled off, and Mami asks what Dom is doing stepping to Gunther of all people! Dom says he’s got this! Well, he better. Rhea heads out again, and Finn tells Dom that he really should smooth things over. Dom agrees, but encounters Andrade on the way. Dom says long time no see, and Andrade says hey, kid. Dom says he has to smooth things over first, but good seeing him. Wait, wait, wait. Andrade has a meeting with Pearce to discuss his first opponent. See you soon, huh? Yeah, maybe. Dom wishes Andrade luck, but will the Prodigal Son have to face El Idolo before getting to Der Ring General?

 

Tag Team Street Fight: The New Day VS Imperium!

After almost two years of fighting back and forth, these two top level teams are putting things to rest! No disqualifications, no count outs, and no limitations on what they’re allowed to do, who will prove they are the superior team once and for all?

The New Day make their entrance, and Imperium rushes out of the ring to attack! They brawl on the ramp and the bell sounds while fans fire up! The New Day are dressed in San Jose Sharks uniforms, which the fans appreciate, and the brawl goes up to the stage. Kaiser ROCKS Kofi, Vinci kicks Woods, but New Day hits back with haymakers. Vinci sends Woods into the LED  screen! Kaiser UPPERCUTS Kofi! Then Vinci DECKS Kofi! Kaiser rains down fists on Kofi, Vinci stomps him, but the fans rally for New Day. Kaiser drags Kofi up, feeds him to Vinci, but Woods has Francesca MK II Turbo! And he CRACKS Ludwig with her!

Woods uses the slide to SMASH Vinci, and then Kofi uses the horn piece to SMASH Kaiser! Woods uses the broken pieces to beat up on Kaiser! The brawl goes back to ringside, Kofi throws headbutts! Woods ROCKS Vinci, then helps Kofi go looking under the ring. San Jose fires up as New Day brings out a TABLE! But Imperium CLOBBERS The New Day! The fans boo as there’s no furniture yet, Imperium puts New Day in the ring. New Day DECKS Imperium off the apron! The fans fire up as New Day builds speed and they DOUBLE DIVE! Kofi wipes out Kaiser, Woods wrecks Vinci with a dropkick, and the fans fire up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and the brawl is now in the crowd! Kofi ROCKS Kaiser, Vinci ROCKS Kofi, but Woods SMASHES a beer can on Vinci! The fans fire up as this keeps on moving, and Woods headlocks Vinci to bring him away. Kaiser ROCKS Kofi, Woods dumps Vinci back to ringside, but Kaiser sends Kofi into barriers! Woods CHOPS Vinci, Kaiser ELBOWS Kofi in the forehead! Vinci hits an APRON BACK SUPLEX on Woods! Kaiser GAMANGIRIS Kofi down! Fans want tables, but Imperium doesn’t care as they put Woods in the ring. Kaiser goes looking under the ring, and he brings out a table after all! Only to put it right back!

Fans boo but Kaiser gets himself a chair. Vinci drags Woods up, Kaiser aims and JAMS Woods in the ribs! Then SMACKS him on the back! Kaiser talks trash while fans boo, but Kaiser and Vinci sit Woods up. PENALTY KICK! Kaiser drags Woods, puts him in the ropes, and Vinci adds a chair to the mix. Vinci & Kaiser go side to side and back again, FULL METAL DOUBLE DROPKICK in the corner! Woods sputters as he falls from corner to floor! Kofi returns and he HOTSHOTS Kaiser, GAMANGIRIS Vinci, and he goes up top! DOUBLE CROSSBODY! The fans fire up as Kofi keeps going, and he RUSSIAN LEG SWEEPS Vinci!

Kaiser runs up, but Kofi scoops and SLAMS him onto Vinci! The fans fire up as Kofi runs for the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kaiser gets away but Kofi clinches him! Kofi and Kaiser throw elbows, then Kofi drags Kaiser down. Kofi DECKS Kaiser, then hurries to get that table! The fans are thunderous as Kofi sets it up and brings Kaiser around. But Vinci makes the save! Imperium DOUBLE SUPLEX Kofi into the ring! But Woods is back to SHOTGUN Kaiser, and mule kick Vinci! Woods fires off, Vinci kicks and CHOPS! Woods falls, Vinci stomps him out of the ring. Vinci & Kaiser regroup, Kaiser has kendo sticks!

Kaiser SMACKS Woods, then hands one to Vinci. Vinci and Kaiser DOUBLE SMACK Woods again and again and again! They stretch Woods across steel steps, and Kaiser gets space! Fans boo as Kaiser runs in, but Kofi JUMP KNEES first! Vinci LARIATS Kofi! But Woods waits on Vinci in the ring! Vinci ducks ‘n’ dodges to CROSSBODY! Vinci gets the kendo stick to SMACK away on Woods again and again and again! Kaiser has the chair and he SMACKS Woods, too! Fans boo as Imperium stands tall, and Raw goes back to break.

Raw returns again and Imperium RAMS Woods into barriers! Kaiser smirks, turns around, ARMCHAIR ATTACK! Kofi takes Kaiser down with that, then BOOTS Vinci! Kofi whips Vinci into steel steps! Fans fire up as Kofi puts Kaiser in the ring, stalks him, and Woods is there, too! Now New Day has the kendo sticks! The fans fire up again as Kaiser realizes the trouble he’s in! The New Day SMACKS away on Kaiser again and again and again! The kendo sticks are coming apart! The fans are thunderous as Woods tells Kofi, “GET THE TABLES~!” Kofi & Woods go out, stomp Imperium down, then find a table under the ring!

New Day sets the table up at ringside, then Woods CLUBS Vinci. Woods brings Vinci over, Kofi throws some hands, then they put Vinci on the table. The fans rally up as Woods climbs up a corner! Woods aims, the fans are on their feet, and Woods SUPER MACHO ELBOWS through the table!! Vinci writhes while Kofi & Woods roar! They haul Vinci out of the wreckage, put him in the ring, and Woods climbs again. Kofi hits a BACKBREAKER, Woods adds a KNEE DROP! Cover, Kaiser yanks the ref away!! The fans boo but Kaiser gets away with that one, but Kofi KENDO STICK DIVES! Down goes Kaiser!

Vinci flounders out of the ring, a red line of blood on his back from where the table got him. Kofi puts Kaiser in so he and Woods can kick him around! The fans know “This is Awesome!” as New Day drags Kaiser to his feet. Woods scoops Kaiser, Kofi climbs up, but Vinci rises! Vinci SHOVES Kofi down through a table!! The one from earlier! Woods ELBOWS Kaiser away, grabs at Vinci, Vinci SMACKS Woods with a cookie sheet! Kaiser RAMS Woods into a chair wedged in a corner!! Roll up, Imperium wins!!

Winners: Imperium, by pinfall

The New Day brought the fight but they lost the fight! Will Kofi & Woods be able to rebound from this crushing defeat? Will Kaiser & Vinci look to confront Judgment Day over the titles Finn & Priest have?

 

Adam Pearce is on the phone.

He talks with Bronson Reed, and says this isn’t the first phone call he’s had just like this. But yes, “it” is on the front of everyone’s mind, Pearce will address it soon enough. But congratulations on the newborn baby, see you soon. Pearce finishes the call, Chad Gable walks in and they shake hands. Gable over Ivar was a hell of a win, congratulations. Oh, well A THANK YEW~ then. But Gable just wants momentum going to WrestleMania. And speaking of, we all know Gunther wants an opponent going into the big show. Everyone will be coming to Pearce with their reasons why they’re the guy.

Gable has reasons of his own. He comes here as not just a competitor but as a father. Last time Gable faced Gunther, he was this close to taking the title. But that’s not what haunts him. What haunts Gable is that Gunther reduced Gable’s daughter to tears, and laughed at her misery! Gable needs to make this right. Gable’s reasons are honest. To anyone else, this match would be about the title. But for Gable, this means more. Pearce sees that. He has a lot to think about. Who will be in the running for a shot at Der Ring General?

 

Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark VS Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell!

Speaking of title chases, The Queen of Spades & The Hunter are hot on the trail of Damage CTRL! Will Shayna & Stark be primed for their shot at Asuka & Kairi Sane? Or will the Poison Pixie & #IndiWrestling find the way to a rematch from Elimination Chamber?

Raw returns as Indi & Candice make their entrance. The teams sort out and Candice starts against Shayna. Shayna runs up, Candice dodges to kick a leg out and ENZIGIRI! Then STEP-UP SENTON! Candice hurries to BLAST Zoey, then she dodges Shayna to back body block! Candice goes out to CANNONBALL Zoey! The fans fire up as Candice then avoids Shayna’s shoulder to KNEE her away! Step-in TORNADO- NO, Shayna SLAMS Candice outta the DDT and KNEES her down! Candice is dazed but Shayna stands on her arm! Shayna lets her hair down and STOMPS Candice’s elbow! Tag to Zoey and Zoey storms right up.

Zoey wrenches and YANKS the bad arm, then YANKS it again. Zoey steps over to HIP DROP the elbow, then she stalks Candice to ropes. Zoey wraps the bad arm around ropes and pulls! Zoey grinds forearms into Candice’s face while saying she’s a nobody! Zoey whips Candice into buckles hard, then grinds her forearms in again! The ref counts, Zoey lets off, and she brings Candice up for an INVERTED EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Candice stays in there but Zoey pushes her around. Zoey stands Candice up but into a CODE BREAKER! Hot tag to Indi and the fans rally up! Indi dodges Zoey in the ropes to UPPERCUT and BOOT her away!

Indi hurries in, LARIATS Zoey, BLASTS Shayna, and LARIATS Zoey again! Indi CLUBS, DECKS and then stalks Zoey. Zoey swings, Indi dodges, but Shayna tags in before the SPINEBUSTER! Indi roars, but Shayna grabs her! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Indi taps, Shayna & Zoey win!

Winners: Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark, by submission

The Queen of Spades & The Hunter put away Candice & Indi faster than Asuka & Kairi did, will this be more than enough to name them the next contenders? Or will not even Shayna & Zoey be ready for DMG CTRL?

 

R-Truth is in the Judgment Day clubhouse?

And then he’s joined by The Miz and “DX,” aka DIY. They all sit down and Miz asks what Truth is even doing here. Well, Judgment Day’s gone for the night. He doesn’t want them to see him like this, but he was reminiscing about all the good times. Johnny Gargano says Truth’s always cheering them up, so they’ll return the favor. They’ll get revenge on The Judgment Day. And speaking of, Ciampa has a plan. Are you ready? What? He said… Are…! You…! Ready!? Oh, Truth gets it now! They’re gonna regenerate, right? What? Y’know, Regeneration X. Now that’s what’s up! No, no, it was Degeneration- Never mind. That is what’s up, and it’s AWESOME~!

Truth says let’s do it then! Hold on, he’s taking the TV back. Don’t worry about unplugging it, ain’t no cords on it. So it’s wireless? Nope. Truth, Miz and DIY head out, just what will they do to finally get one over on Judgment Day?

 

Drew McIntyre is here!

The Scottish Terminator and the winner of this year’s Elimination Chamber match is in San Jose, primed to face Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship! McIntyre gets the mic to say, “We did it.” He wants to thank the fans. You don’t achieve success alone, so everyone here and around the world, thank you for praying harder than ever before. Because of them, it is happening! McIntyre VS Rollins for the WHC at Mania! McIntyre feels like hell, though. He is more jetlag than man right now, especially after being the first man in the Chamber and the last man standing. He got hurt in there, an eardrum blown out. It was a bit of an incident after the show.

McIntyre was talking with the doctor afterward, and he told McIntyre that he is hurt, he might not make WrestleMania. Fans boo, but McIntyre told the doc, “Who do you think I am? CM Punk? Nothing’s gonna stop me from making Mania!” Fans are torn, they should’ve known McIntyre was going there with this. And then McIntyre sits down cross-legged a la Punk! “Don’t look up my kilt, ya pervs.” McIntyre tells Punk that he knows it hurts not to be part of Chamber or WrestleMania, and it probably kills Punk to see McIntyre in the world title match instead. But he wants Punk to know he thought about him after the match.

McIntyre wants to do something special just for Punk. We know Punk is straightedge, doesn’t drink alcohol, so McIntyre drank twice as much for both of them to celebrate. McIntyre grins and says okay, to more serious business. He has to talk to the champ, so if he’ll indulge McIntyre, “Mr. Rollins, c’mon down.” And here he comes! The fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” as Rollins makes his way out in a baggy, wine red suit. Rollins joins McIntyre in the ring, and McIntyre points to the sign. Rollins says yeah, we’ll get to that, but if McIntyre will indulge Rollins a moment… “SAN JOSE! Welcome to Monday Night Rollins!”

And a congratulations to Drew McIntyre! Fans boo but Rollins says no, no, McIntyre did it. Rollins is proud of McIntyre for clawing his way back to a title match with him again. And this time, McIntyre has an opportunity to do what he’s been wanting since 2020: win the world title, but not in an empty warehouse! This time, it’ll be in front of a capacity crowd at the BIGGEST WrestleMania of all time! But… there is just one thing standing in the way. He is the Visionary, he is the Revolutionary, he is Seth FREAKIN’ Rollins! The fans sing again and Rollins revels in it. McIntyre says yeah, Rollins is standing in the way.

McIntyre says beating Rollins is no easy job, but beating McIntyre is no easy job, either. So why is Rollins making it so hard on himself? We’ve seen what’s going on with Roman and Cody and The Rock, Rollins should just stop. Rollins doesn’t need that in his life. McIntyre’s talked with Rollins about this, from the bad knee to the bad back. Rollins should take time off, rest up, and be at 100% for WrestleMania. But Rollins won’t listen, doesn’t have to, he’s a grown man. But it just doesn’t make sense to McIntyre why Rollins is going to SmackDown this Friday to fight Cody’s battle when Raw needs Rollins here!

That stuff is their business, screw them! When McIntyre is champion, he won’t care if SmackDown is on fire and begging for help, McIntyre wouldn’t piss on ’em to put it out! McIntyre’s responsibility will be Raw and the World Heavyweight Championship only. But here is something for Rollins to think about: The Bloodline situation. We know where this is going, Rollins doesn’t need to go down that path. We know the outcome, it has happened time and time again, and to McIntyre personally. You push Bloodline too far, you know what happens! Their match at Mania will be a killer match, the fans going wild, Bloodline will hit the ring and cost Rollins the title!

So please, for Rollins’ sake and McIntyre’s, just back off. Fans boo and Rollins takes off the sunglasses. Rollins tells McIntyre, “I respect everything you just said. But respectfully, some risks are worth taking.” Fans cheer that, and Rollins says that he’ll be straight here. McIntyre’s known Rollins a long time, he knows what Rollins is about, so he knows that everything McIntyre just said, Rollins has already thought about. Rollins has replayed it over and over, all the negative outcomes. It’s why Rollins is the Architect, the Visionary, and the truth is… McIntyre might be right. Rollins’ knee may not be ready, the back may give out, and Bloodline might leave him broken in their wake, just like they have everyone else.

WrestleMania might be an easy night for McIntyre. McIntyre might be right, but what if he’s wrong? Like Rollins said, some risks are worth taking. He’s been selfish in his career and in his life, and Rollins thought that the goal at the end of the road would fill the void. But every single time, when Rollins got to the top, he felt empty inside. It wasn’t until he had his daughter that Rollins realized not everything is about him. There are some things in life bigger than all of us! The World Heavyweight Championship is bigger than us! Taking down the Bloodline is bigger than us! Fans cheer that!

Rollins asks McIntyre back: If they don’t take care of Bloodline before Mania, then what? Let’s say McIntyre does take the title from Rollins. It doesn’t matter if McIntyre is champion or Rollins is champion, The Bloodline wants power, and it’s only a matter of time before they come for the World Heavyweight Championship. So McIntyre might be right, but what if he’s wrong? What if Rollins’ knee is 100%? What if his back is ready to go? What if they can rip The Bloodline apart once and for all to secure the future of this industry!? Because if they can do all of that, then at WrestleMania, it is just Rollins, McIntyre and the World Heavyweight Championship.

Rollins said this before Crown Jewel, and he’ll say it again here: May the best man win. And some risks are worth taking. Rollins drops the mic and takes his leave, will this gamble go his way? Or will McIntyre find his own way to win it all?

 

Nia Jax VS Liv Morgan!

The Irresistible Force is a sore loser, determined to prove she’s far more worthy of a WrestleMania moment than every single woman that was in the Elimination Chamber match. To her point, she did get the better of them all just last week. Will she do it again tonight? Or will Liv make Nia #CryAboutIt some more?

Raw returns as Liv makes her entrance. The bell rings and Liv SHOTGUNS Nia! Liv fires off forearms but Nia shoves her away. Liv runs up to back body block! Liv runs up again, SHINING WIZARD! Liv keeps moving, but Nia stops the rana! Nia swings Liv up and around, SAMOAN DROP! Nia soaks up the heat while she paces around Liv. Nia drags Liv around to pull on the arms! The fans boo and Liv endures, but Nia STOMPS her down! Liv sputters but Nia drags her up and puts her in a corner. Nia runs in to SPLASH Liv, and Liv flops down. Nia runs back in, HIP ATTACK! Nia rubs it in quite literally, then drags Liv up.

Liv fires body shots, runs, but Nia ELBOWS her down! Nia drags Liv around, and has a leg for the STRETCH MUFFLER! Liv endures as she dangles off the mat! Nia then swings Liv into buckles! Nia drops Liv, kicks her around, and then goes to the apron. Nia lines up a shot, but Liv dodges the leg drop! Fans taunt Nia with “MY HOLE! MY HOLE!” while Nia hobbles away. Liv aims, builds speed, and DVIES! Down goes Nia and the fans fire up while Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Nia has Liv in a BEARHUG! Liv endures as Nia squeezes and thrashes her around! Pat uses the telestrator to show us just how much Liv was suffering in the Stretch Muffler. Back to present, Liv fights out of the bearhug and ENZIGIRIS! Nia wobbles, and then CLOBBERS Liv! Nia runs to SENTON but misses as Liv moves! Liv goes to a corner, Nia runs up, but Liv slips to the apron! Nia hits buckles, Liv KNEES her back! Then HOTSHOTS her away! Nia staggers, Liv goes up the corner, and fans fire up for the MISSILE DROPKICK! Nia staggers to the corner but Liv runs in! Nia blocks the Code Breaker!

Nia puts Liv in the corner but Liv ROCKS her! Liv leaps, FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Nia is still in this and Liv grows frustrated. The fans rally up as Liv rushes Nia, but into a fireman’s carry! Liv sunset flips through, but Nia stays up! Nia drags Liv to her feet for a HEADBUTT! Liv ends up in a corner, Nia runs in, but Liv dodges, Nia POSTS herself! Nia falls out of the ring and Liv hurries to the apron! Liv runs but Nia catches her! SAMOAN DROP into the post! The fans boo but wait! BECKY LYNCH FLIES IN!

Winner: Nia Jax, by disqualification

The Man fires off on Nia and SMACKS her off the desk! And again and again and again! The fans fire up as Becky dribbles Nia! Becky then SMACKS Nia off the apron, puts her in the ring, and storms up on her to CLUB her right back out of the ring! Nia hurries up the ramp while the ref keeps Becky back! Becky wants Big Time revenge, will she tear Nia down before going after Rhea? And how will Liv feel about this when Becky’s revenge just cost her a win?

 

Backstage interview with Grayson Waller & Austin Theory.

Cathy Kelley is now with A-Town Down Under and brings up Elimination Chamber’s “massive scoop.” Does Waller feel Cody being the guest on the Grayson Waller Effect backfired on him? Waller says once again, Waller gets the biggest scoop via his show, not surprised! Big for Waller, big for Australia, but that doesn’t change the fact Cody disrespected Waller in his home. He beat up Waller’s boy, Theory, and Waller did everything he could to protect him (not), but now they flip the script. Waller will disrespect The American Nightmare in his house, and then The Rock & Roman can pick the bones. This lad ain’t ever gonna finish his story!

Cathy thanks them for their time, will the Grayson Waller Effect be super effective? Or will nothing stop Cody from making it to Mania?

 

WWE mourns the loss of Ole Anderson.

The OG Four Horseman passed away today at the age of 81. A great tag team wrestler and one half of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, he will be missed.

 

Adam Pearce finds Becky backstage.

She says after what Nia did to her, Becky was not gonna be able to move on until she ends this. Becky wants her shot at Nia. Oh, really? Then how does next week sound? Sounds perfect to Becky. Then it’s official. Becky thanks Pearce, but then Liv storms in! Liv says she was in the middle of something out there, but guess Becky doesn’t care about anyone else. Not everything is about The Man! Liv storms off, is Becky only going to settle one score to have to worry about another?

 

Backstage interview with Jey Uso.

Jackie Redmond is with Main Event Jey and says despite a hell of an effort against Gunther, not an outcome Jey wanted. How does Jey plan on getting back in the title scene? Jey says he’ll keep on being him, doing what he does, keep on showing up to Raw and being Main Event Jey Uso. Last week, he was this close to having his first singles title. Feels like when he tries to get close to something, he falls short. When he tries to complete the mission, he falls short. When he tries to do something positive for himself, he falls short. When he tries to pull himself up, he falls short. Whether it is his past enemies on Raw, or his own flesh ‘n’ blood.

Jey then spots said enemy in McIntyre. McIntyre says he knows Jey is having a tough time. McIntyre is in a good place, riding high, but he felt this was a good time to have this talk. McIntyre knows how Jey is feeling, and McIntyre wants Jey to know that from the bottom of his heart, Jey deserves it. Jey fires off on McIntyre and it’s a brawl! Refs and security rush in to pull these two apart! The Scottish Terminator can’t help himself when it comes to pushing buttons, but will he regret getting on Jey’s bad side?

 

Cody Rhodes VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory!

The American Nightmare wants after The Rock, but it seems the Aussie Icon has just ended up a pawn in the Bloodline’s game. Will Cody get past this obstacle to have a clear path to WrestleMania? Or will Waller be drinking a shoey in The Tribal Chief’s honor?

Raw returns as Cody makes his entrance, the fans singing along, “WHOA~ OH~!” The bell rings and the fans rally up behind Cody. Waller is annoyed by that as he circles with Cody. They tie up, go around, and Cody headlocks for the takeover. Waller headscissors, Cody kips free and hits another takeover. Waller headscissors, Cody kips free again and waistlocks. Waller elbows free, runs up and bumps Cody off buckle! Waller taunts the fans but they rally behind Cody. Waller JABS Cody, CLUBS him, but Cody turns things around to CHOP! Cody stalks Waller to a corner, whips him corner to corner but Waller reverses hard!

Waller storms up to cravat Cody and fires off knees! Fans boo but Theory soaks it up for Waller. Waller throws body shots on Cody, has him against ropes and CLUBS him. Waller ROCKS Cody with a forearm, throws body shots, and he keeps Cody on the ropes. Waller wrenches and whips Cody but Cody reverses to kick, drop and RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then reels Waller in to suplex, and he holds Waller up! Fans cheer as Cody waits until ten for the GOURD BUSTER! Cody then clotheslines Waller up and out! Fans fire up as Cody stands tall and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns once again and Cody throws body shots to get free of a chinlock. But then Waller LEG LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Waller keeps on Cody with a cravat and he cranks the neck wrench. Waller says he won’t let Cody disrespect him! The fans rally, Cody fights up, and commentary says Paul Heyman is somewhere in the building. Did he bring The Bloodline with him? Cody throws more body shots to get free, then he CHOPS! Waller kicks low, reels Cody in to back suplex, but Cody lands out of it! Cody CLOBBERS Waller, goes to a corner then goes up and over, to SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up with Cody as he rises!

Cody runs, springboards, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! Cover, TWO! Waller stays in this but then Theory distracts Cody! Cody glares at Theory, runs him off, but Waller is up, to JAB! Cody drops to his knees, and Theory says that’s teamwork! Fans boo but Waller whips. Cody ducks ‘n’ dodges to DIVE! Theory is sent tumbling up and over the desk!! The fans fire up but Waller goes out to LARIAT Cody down! Waller puts Cody in, says this is the real deal, and he somersaults, but Cody dodges the flatliner! CODY CUTTER! The fans fire up again and Cody dragon sleepers for the CROSS RHODES!! Cover, Cody wins!

Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall

A-Town Down Under probably wishes they’d stayed home on this one! Cody is rolling down the Road to WrestleMania, but “Ladies and gentlemen,” The Wise Man confirms he is here by stepping on stage. Heyman has private security but Cody still gets a chair! Cody also gets a mic while Heyman says it’d figure “San Josie” would boo ladies. They’re ruining his shtick! Heyman continues his introduction, but Cody doesn’t give a damn! If this is a set-up, then come get him! Heyman has everyone calm down. This is not a Bloodline set-up. The only member of The Bloodline here tonight is Heyman. Does anyone see a drop of Polynesian blood anywhere in the security?

That’s rhetorical, because the answer is no. These gentlemen are Heyman’s “friends” from the NYPD. They are off-duty, technically, because they’re suspended, but that’s a whole different story. Heyman came here to California to let us know no one wants an apology. Heyman understands how insulting it must be to get Will Smith’d across the face. But Heyman wants Cody needs to take The Rock’s name out of his freakin’ mouth. Because The Tribal Chief, Roman…! Reigns…! has authorized Heyman to let Cody know, that if Cody does not back away from this… Like, you can’t just say you want a match with The Rock and then it magically happens.

Well, it magically happens if you ARE The Rock, but Cody screwed that all up, didn’t he? See, a year ago, they were crying in the ring with each other, Heyman forgives Cody. But The Rock doesn’t. And understanding that Cody is in the WrestleMania main event with Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Championship, Heyman is begging and pleading, “Please, Cody. Please. Pretty please, with a cherry on top… Withdraw this challenge from The Rock… or else.” Cody takes a seat and asks, “Or else what, Mr. Heyman?” Does Heyman wanna know why Cody hasn’t rained holy terror on this mic about Heyman’s new boy, Dwayne? Why Cody hasn’t trashed The Rock in media?

It’s simple! Like everyone here, Cody was a fan of The Rock! How could he not be? Put yourself in Cody’s shoes! He comes from a family where every meal was determined by ticket sales, and nobody sold more than The Rock! But Cody is done, fed up with being nice! If this is a set-up, then like Cody said, “Come and get me.” Heyman says he has a better idea. Heyman and his “friends” go to the apron and Heyman asks if he may step inside. Heyman may not. Heyman says that’s just rude. But the “friends” step in and Cody says okay, then he’ll make this clear. If one more person steps towards Cody, he is dropping every single person in this ring.

The fans fire up and Heyman says okay, he respects that. As Cody will surely respect that his threat doesn’t apply if Heyman is that one person, right? WRONG! Cody gets his chair and he JAMS everyone up! Then SMACKS them all down! And then CHUCKS the chair into the one guys’ face! CROSS RHODES!! The fans fire up as Cody stands his ground! He dares Heyman to send The Bloodline, but Heyman has his phone to call Roman Reigns. And another phone to call The Rock! Cody says go ahead, call whoever he’s got! Because the Bloodline isn’t hunting Cody, Cody is hunting The Bloodline!

Heyman looks a little worried as Cody has another round to JAM and SMACK the “friends!” Cody TOSSES one, TOSSES another, then TOSSES the third! Did this little stunt backfire in the worst way possible for The Bloodline?


My Thoughts:

Another great Raw, with great build upon the WrestleMania stories. I really like this intertwining of stories between Judgment Day and other groups. Great opening promo from Dom, Rhea and Becky, which then turned into Nia attacking Becky, which then in turn became Becky attacking Nia during her match with Liv. Now, while we’re getting Nia VS Becky 2, it feels like Liv is adding Becky to the revenge tour. There’s talk of Triple Threats for world titles at every 10th WrestleMania, what if it was for the Women’s World Championship? Granted, it’d be a shame since Becky fought her way to earn the shot, but it would hearken back to Mania 35 where Becky won a Triple Threat.

Judgment Day confronting Imperium over the Intercontinental Championship was some good stuff. And I do appreciate that even Rhea felt Dom was biting off more than he could chew stepping to Gunther. Now, it sure feels like they want Sami to get his shot after that encounter with Gunther, but I like that Andrade is also in the mix after his talk with Dom. Sami VS Nakamura was an awesome opening match, it probably should be Sami given he mentioned “doing something historic” last week. But Sami having to get through Andrade, Bronson, Gable and maybe even Dom would really make it a great road to Mania.

Awesome Street Fight tag match, too, and I was rather surprised Imperium won. But I have a feeling Kaiser & Vinci will be getting in on the Undisputed Tag Team Championship story, same as The Awesome Truth. Good but short promo from Truth, Miz & DIY to keep up the “DIY is DX” gag and establish that the feud is continuing. Awesome Truth still feels like they’re set for their shot at Mania, but maybe Imperium and a team from SmackDown get involved to make it easier for Finn & Priest to lose the belts.

Raquel all but squashing Chelsea was entertaining, though Shayna & Zoey all but squashing Candice & Indi was a little disappointing. I suppose Shayna & Zoey are still being established as challengers for DMG CTRL, we might get a Fatal 4 tag title match for the women. As I said at Chamber, maybe Bianca gets in on the tag title story since the top titles are spoken for. Meanwhile, great promo from McIntyre with Rollins, though it maybe took a little too long to get where it was going. It is good character stuff from McIntyre to be hypocritically worried The Bloodline is going to screw Rollins over when McIntyre just wants the title regardless.

Great bit with McIntyre and Jey, too, though it felt like Jey was just going on and on to stall for time as McIntyre was heading over there. McIntyre VS Jey one more time will be really good stuff to give McIntyre momentum going towards Mania. And really good stuff from Cody Rhodes tonight. Good promo before his match, good promo from Waller as well, and really good main event from Cody VS Waller. Heyman showing up was a nice surprise, though it was a weird move for him to bring fake cops that were supposedly suspended. We all knew they were getting beat up by Cody anyway, maybe this was some kind of adlib to keep from Cody beating down Jimmy and/or Solo. There’s a very good chance that happens on SmackDown anyway, so they probably didn’t wanna be redundant.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW New Beginning Sapporo Results & Report! (2/24/24)

Night two!

Published

on

The New Beginning comes to an end!

It’s a WrestleKingdom rematch here in Sapporo as Tetsuya Naito gives Sanada a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship! Will NJPW still be tranquilo? Or will the Cold Skull once again be the Gold Skull?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Frontier Zone: Toru Yano & Tomoya VS Tomoaki Honma & Katsuya Murashima; Yano & Tomoya win.
  • 10 Man Tag: The House of Torture VS Shota Umino, El Desperado, YOH, Togi Makabe & Boltin Oleg; Shota, Desperado, Yoh, Makabe & Oleg win.
  • 10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Matt Riddle & The United Empire; Chaos wins.
  • Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa VS El Phantasmo & Hikuleo; ELP & Leo win.
  • Nic Nemeth & Ryusuke Taguchi VS David Finlay & Gedo; Nemeth & Taguchi win.
  • BUSHI VS Taka Michinoku; Bushi wins.
  • Hiromu Takahashi VS DOUKI; Douki wins.
  • Shingo Takagi VS Taichi; Taichi wins.
  • Hair VS Hair Match: Yota Tsuji VS Yuya Uemura; Yota wins and Yuya must cut their hair.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA; Naito wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa VS El Phantasmo & Hikuleo!

It’s Guerrillas of Destiny VS Guerrillas of Destiny in the Good Bad Guy’s farewell to NJPW! Will Tama and the Silverback “big brother” The Headbanga and Young Guerilla on the way out? Or will ELP & Leo prove their title belts aren’t just for show?

For those wondering which corner Jado would, he chose neither, as he is now the special guest referee! You can bet The Master Heater will keep this one fair and square. And in a great throwback, Tama comes out in his ghost face killer paint! Meanwhile, Loa has the Mr. Terrific T paint. The four fist bump to show respect, and ELP gets the fans rallying for Tama. The teams sort out and Leo starts against Tama. The fans rally for “G O D! G O D!” as the brothers double fist bump. They circle, tie up, and Leo shoves Tama away. Tama comes back, gets around, headlocks, but Leo endures the grind. Leo powers up to lift Tama, but Tama thrashes the hold.

Leo powers up and out, but Tama slides under the boot! The fans cheer as the stand off. They reset, speed up, and Tama dodges to DROPKICK! Leo stays up and he runs Tama over! Leo runs but Tama avoids the elbow drop! The fans cheer as the two stand off again. Leo and Tama then back off, tag to ELP and Loa. The fans rally as these two circle now. ELP and Loa feel things out, tie up, and they go around. ELP headlocks, Loa powers up and out, and they RAM shoulders! Neither falls but Loa applauds ELP. ELP dares Loa to go then, so Loa runs. They RAM shoulders and ELP falls! Loa fires up and the fans cheer.

Loa flexes, runs, but ELP drops. Loa sunset flips, ELP sits on it, TWO! Loa has it, TWO! ELP has it, TWO! Wait, aren’t those counts kinda fast? ELP and Loa rock back and forth and Jado can’t even keep up! ELP and Loa let off and ask what’s going on. Jado gives them shoves, telling them to respect his authority. ELP and Loa shove back, but Tama and Leo get in! Tama tells ELP not to shove Jado, but Leo tells Loa the same, and now they’re all shoving each other! Jado tells them all to stop it, this is a clean fight! The fans cheer and GOD all agrees. So they start throwing forearms! Nothing wrong with a brawl!

Tama gets the edge on ELP and Loa gets the edge on Leo. Tama & Loa whip, but ELP & Leo dosido! Tama & Loa dodge, but then so do ELP & Leo! They each SPLASH, then ELP feeds Tama to Leo’s SIDEWALK SLAM! ELP hits the FALLING AX HANDLE! But Loa throws hands on them both! The fans fire up, Loa runs, but ELP hurdles and Leo DDTs Loa down! The fans fire up again as ELP winds up and high-fives Leo! ELP then ROCKS Loa with a forearm, and Loa ends up on ropes. ELP fires more forearms, puts him in a corner and throws body shots. Loa shoves ELP away so ELP BOOTS him!

Tag to Leo and ELP CHOPS Loa. Leo stands Loa up to CHOP! Leo grits his teeth but Leo brings up the vest is too much padding for Loa. Jado says there’s nothing he can do about that, so Leo bumps Loa off buckles. Leo stomps Loa, then CHOPS again! Leo then scoops Loa, ELP tags in, and Leo POWERSLAMS! ELP then springboard SWANTON BOMBS, then LIONSAULTS! Cover, ONE!! ELP argues the count but Jado says he’s being fair. ELP clamps on a chinlock and grinds Loa down. Loa endures, the fans rally up, but ELP smothers Loa. Jado reprimands, ELP lets off with an ELBOW to Loa’s head!

ELP brings Loa up and around, whips but Loa blocks! ELP pushes Loa, whips, but Loa reverses! Loa runs in to A-LIST LARIAT! Loa then goes up and MISSILE DROPKICKS ELP across the ring! The fans fire up while both men are down! ELP and Loa both crawl, hot tag to Tama! Tama rallies on ELP with body shots and uppercuts! Tama fires off in a corner, then whips corner to corner. ELP reverses, runs up but Tama CLOBBERS him first! The fans fire up as the vest comes off! Tama claps and the fans clap along. ELP goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! Then EXPLODER! ELP flounders but Tama goes over to cover, TWO!

ELP is still in this, but Tama keeps his cool. Tama CLUBS ELP, throws down hands, then brings him up. Tama dragon sleepers but ELP snapmares free! ELP dodges the superman punch to straitjacket and torture rack! Tag to Leo, Leo runs, BOOT and BRAIN SALAD! Cover, Loa breaks it! Loa kicks ELP, scoops him, but ELP slips free, feed to Leo’s UPPERCUT! Loa roars, but gets a BOOT ENZIGIRI COMBO! Tama runs up but Leo stops Gun Stun! Feed to SUDDEN DEATH! Tama is down, Leo & ELP reload to aim at Loa! SUDDEN DEATH and GODSEND!! Then Loa is in the drop zone as ELP goes up!

ELP climbs onto Leo’s shoulders, for the SUPER- GUN STUN!! Tama intercepts Thunderkiss, but then Loa grabs Tama! GOD- SPEAR from Loa!! All four men are down and the fans fire up! Jado checks them all, they all stir, and the OG GOD rise up first. They stand Leo up, bring him around and pick him up, MAGIC KILLER!! But they’re not done there, they each take a corner! Loa DIVING HEADBUTTS, Tama SUPREME FLOWS! Cover, TWO!! Leo survives the onslaught from his own brothers and the fans fire up! Tama & Loa are frustrated but they reset and call their shot again! Even Jado’s surprised they want to go this far!

Tama & Loa double whip Leo to a corner, and Loa runs in to clothesline! Tama hits the STINGER SPLASH, and then Loa goes up. The fans rally both ways as Tama tries to suplex Leo, but he’s so big! Leo suplexes Tama instead! Leo stands, Loa leaps, AX HANDLE! Leo drops to a knee, Loa fires up and kicks low. Loa scoops, but Leo slips free! Leo kicks but Loa blocks! Loa dodges the lariat, runs, but into the SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up for Leo as he aims at Tama! Choke grip, but Tama breaks free to ROCK Leo! Leo choke grips again! But Tama breaks free again, so Leo UPPERCUTS! Choke grip again, for GOD-

NO, Tama slips free, shoves, runs, GUN- NO! Leo stops that and choke grips through! GOD- GUN- NO!! Leo counters the counter, then scoops, for a POP-UP CUTTER!! ELP fires up with Leo, and Leo LARIATS Tama inside-out! Cover, ONE?!!? And that’s with Jado’s faster than normal count! Tama fires up, Leo fires up, and Leo hauls Tama up and POWER- NO, Tama fights it! Leo stops the counter, though, to POWERBOMB after all!! Cover, TWO?!?! Tama survives again and everyone is shocked! The fans are thunderous as Leo drags Tama back up with the choke grip. Leo hesitates, but he still hits GODSEND!!! Cover, ELP & Leo win!

Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall

The younger GOD duo defeats the older, and now the torch has been passed. Tama’s farewell to NJPW will be bittersweet, but he will leave knowing he gave it his all, and he has all of our love and respect. Tama stands with his brothers, with Jado and with ELP, and they group hug over the lion logo. Ain’t nobody realer than Guerilla, is the future in good hands with ELP & Leo?

 

Hair VS Hair Match: Yota Tsuji VS Yuya Uemura!

The Gene Blast and The Heat Storm both want to be THE face of NJPW’s future. They’re both so determined to rise up and leave behind their Young Lion days, they’re willing to put their glorious manes! Who wins and moves forward while the other must relive their past?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as the two stare down. They circle, feel things out, but Yota avoids Yuya’s lunge in for a leg. They knuckle lock, Yuya gets around to waistlock, but Yota wrenches and switches. Yuya wrenches out to hammerlock, but Yota elbows then switches. Yota has a nelson, then he spins Yuya to a cravat. Yuya endures the neck wrench, swings an arm to bring Yota down, then rolls to wrangle Yota with a top wristlock. Yota keeps his shoulders up, moves around, and he trips Yuya. Yota gets past the leg guard to cover, ONE, but Yota holds off Yuya’s attempt at a lateral press.

Yuya lets off slowly, Yota gets up, and the fans cheer this exchange. The two reset and circle again, feel things out, and knuckle lock again. They go shoulder to shoulder in a Test of Strength and the fans rally up. Yota’s height gives him leverage, and he powers Yuya to ropes. The ref calls the break, Yuya turns things around, but Yuya still lets off. Yuya then CHOPS and whips! Yota rolls Yuya up, TWO! Yuya cradles, ONE!! Yuya tries to roll up now, TWO! Yota bails out and fans cheer. Yuya storms right up to ropes but Yota backs away. Yota paces around the outside so Yuya rests on a corner, willing to wait.

Yota walks around as the ring count climbs, and he steps back in at 5 of 20. Yuya hops down and he resets with Yota. They stare down, Yota just smiling. They go forehead to forehead, then Yota kicks low! Yota headlocks, Yuya powers out then goes the other way! They run the ropes crisscross, then Yuya drops, hurdles and HIP TOSSES Yota down! The fans fire up and Yuya covers, TWO! Yuya keeps cool, and he brings Yota up. Yuya wrenches to wrangle Yota with another top wristlock, then he drops an elbow on the elbow! And then another elbow drop! And another elbow drop! Yuya goes for another wristlock but Yota gets the ROPEBREAK!

Yuya lets go quickly and he waits on Yota. Yota stands and Yuya whips him to a corner. Yuya runs in but Yota BOOTS him! Yuya staggers back, runs in again, but Yota dodges! SPLASH! Yota keeps moving to run Yuya right over! And then he runs to SOMERSAULT SENTON! Yota just keeps moving for a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up as Yuya stays in this. Yota keeps cool, though, and he storms up on Yuya. Yota reels Yuya in but Yuya fights the suplex. Yuya shoves free but Yota BODY BLOWS! Yuya falls in a heap and the ref checks him. Yota drags Yuya up, bumps him off buckles, and RAMS him again and again!

Yota snapmares Yuya to KICK him in the back. Yota kneels for the cover, TWO! A bit cocky from Yota but he grins as he looms over Yuya. Yuya sits up, Yota stands him up, and Yota winds up to ROCK Yuya in the back! Yuya staggers to ropes but Yota storms up. Yuya CHOPS Yota, but Yota fires forearm after forearm. Yota snapmares and KICKS Yuya in the back again! The fans rally as Yuya writhes and Yota paces. Yota grabs the legs, but Yuya scrambles and reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Yota doesn’t let go so Yuya kicks him away. Yuya runs, but into a scoop! BACKBREAKER! Yota gets the legs again, and he turns Yuya over for the BOSTON CRAB!

Yuya endures as Yota sits deep and the fans rally up! Yuya powers up, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Yota lets go while the fans applaud. Yota says okay, and then he runs to baseball slide dropkick Yuya out! Yuya even tumbles to the railing! Fans rally up again as Yota grins and builds speed, but Yuya drops down! The damage to Yuya’s back keeps him from standing and taking a tope. Yota eggs Yuya on, the ring count starts, and Yuya drags himself up at 3 of 20. Yota drags Yuya to the apron and stops the count. Yota suplexes but Yuya slips free! Waistlock, but Yota bucks the O’Conner! Yota runs up, but into an arm-drag!

Yota swings, Yuya ducks, and Yuya hits another arm-drag! Then a DROPKICK! The fans fire up while both men are down! Yuya grits his teeth and clutches his back while Yota stirs and checks his chin. Yota rolls to a corner but Yuya kips up! The fans fire up and Yuya runs corner to corner, to CHOP! Yuya whips corner to corner but just reels Yota in, for a BIG back suplex! Float-over to the cover, TWO! Yota toughs it out but Yuya keeps his cool. Yuya brings Yota up, but Yota fires forearms and a knee! Yota whips, Yuya reverses to SAYANAGI! GROUND ARM SCREW! And then basement dropkick to the arm! Yota writhes, Yuya hurries to cover, TWO!

But Yuya has the top wristlock! Yota reaches out but Yuya drags him away for the DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Yota flails, reaches out, blocks the twist on the arm, but Yuya pulls harder with his top mount! Yuya breaks the grip for the DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Yota still reaches out for ropes but Yuya drags him right to center! Yuya keeps on the double wristlock but Yota kicks around. Yuya shifts into an ARMBAR, but Yota has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Yuya lets go. Yuya is frustrated but he stands back up and brings Yota around. Yuya wrenches, cording holds, and then goes for the other arm. Yota throws Yuya down and rolls back, into the BOSTON CRAB!!

Yuya endures as Yota sits deep on the hold! Yuya powers up but Yota drags him away! Yota’s bad arm forces him to change to a HALF CRAB! Yota still sits deep and Yuya has to bite his thumb to ignore the pain! Yuya fights forward, but Yota drags him away! Yota manages to get both legs on one side, LOBSTER CRAB! Yuya endures as Yota pulls! Yuya tries to fight, but Yota then digs a knee in! LION TAMER!! Yuya bites all his fingers just to keep from giving up! Yota lets go in frustration as his arms can’t hold on any longer! Yota grabs at both legs this time, and he SWINGS Yuya around! He only gets five rotations but he fires back up!

Yota tries for the legs again but Yuya traps the bad arm, to SNAP it! Yota staggers, Yuya swings but Yota catches him! BACKBREAKER, but Yuya swings out of the clinch to full nelson! Then he spins Yota to DIVORCE COURT DDT! Yota clutches the arm while both men are down! Yuya rolls to ropes while Yota writhes at center. Yuya goes back to Yota and they both stand. Yuya throws a haymaker, then another! Yota backs up to a corner, Yuya CHOPS him! Yuya CHOPS again, then fires haymakers! Yuya CHOPS then runs Yota corner to corner to bump off buckles! Yuya throws hands, runs Yota to the other corner and again bumps him off buckles!

Yuya CHOPS Yota, climbs up, and he rains down fists! The fans fire up and count along, Yuya goes all the way to TEN! Yuya pulls at Yota’s hair but Yota grins. Yuya drags Yota out by his legs, stomps him and covers, TWO! Yota rises up but Yuya fires up. Yuya runs up but Yota gets around, goes up and over to sunset flip, TWO! Yuya stands, swings, but into a wrench and wrangle, lateral press! TWO, and Yota arm-drags! Float over, headscissor cradle, TWO!! Yuya escapes, Yota runs up, but Yota blocks the arm-drag! Only for Yuya to swing around and arm-drag after all! Yota gets up, swings, but into a spin and backslide! TWO!

Yuya holds onto the arms, rolls into another backslide, TWO! The two men fight for control, stand back up, and Yuya spins Yota around for underhooks! Yota fights that to back drop but Yuya sunset flips it! TWO and Yota BOOTS Yuya down! The fans fire up while Yota catches his breath. Yota finally goes for the cover, but Yuya drags him into a ghost pin, TWO!! Yuya shifts around, sunset flip! TWO and it’s back to the ghost pin! TWO!! Yota escapes but Yuya UPPERCUTS! Yuya runs, but into a scoop and BACKBREAKER! The fans fire up, Yota runs, but Yuya gets around the lariat! Yuya underhooks for the BUTTERFLY SLAM! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up again and Yuya grows frustrated. Yuya goes to a corner, then climbs up! Yota rises, then runs up to GAMANGIRI! The fans fire up with Yota as he climbs up! Yota fires hands, then goes to the very top! Yota brings Yuya up to join him, for a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Yuya survives but Yota roars! Yota drags Yuya up and suplexes, but Yuya knees free! Double cording holds, DEADBOLT PLEX! But both men are down! The fans fire up as they stir, and Yuya goes to a corner. Yota eggs Yuya on, Yuya runs up, and DOUBLE FOREARMS DECK both men! The fans fire up again while the ref checks them!

Yota and Yuya stir, and Yota blinks through the daze. Yota stands up, but then falls right over! Yuya is also still down so the ref says it’ll be a standing count! The fans rally up for both guys, and they’re both down at 5 of 10! And then 7! And 8! Both men rise at 9 and the fans fire up again! We hit 25 minutes, leaving five left! Both men rise up, stare down, and they rush right in! Yuya headlocks, Yota powers out but Yuya runs him over! Cover, ONE!! The fans rally again as Yuya stands, but Yota runs him over! Cover, ONE!! Yuya storms up but Yota blocks the scoop with a facelock! Yota scoops Yuya to SLAM him!

Yuya rises and runs up, but into another scoop and SLAM! The fans fire up and Yota grins as he drags Yuya back up. Yota runs, but Yuya back drops him away! Yuya roars and the fans fire up again as he goes up the corner! Yuya aims as Yota rises, CROSSBODY FLOPS! CURB STOMP!! Yota then hauls Yuya up to suplex and FALCON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Yuya survives and the fans fire up as Yota roars again! Yota powers up his arm, we hit the three minute warning, and Yota aims from a corner. GENE- RANA!! Then ARMBAR!! But Yota stacks him, TWO! Yota is free and KNEES Yuya! And SUPERKICKS! And GENE- ARM-DRAG, Ghost pin! TWO!!

Yuya ENZIGIRIS but Yota stays up! GENE- CUTTER!! Yuya has had an answer for every spear attempt, and now he drags Yota back up! Yuya cording holds, swings for the other arm, and roars to DEAD- NO, Yota HEADBUTTS! But Yuya HEADBUTTS! Two minute warning and a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men rise, GENE BLAST!!! Cover, YOTA WINS!

Winner: Yota Tsuji, by pinfall (Yuya must cut his hair)

Yuya let Yota have too much space and he got blasted! Yota has the epic tiebreaker, will he make his way towards championship opportunities now? And Yota stands Yuya up by pulling his hair, as if adding insult to injury. Yuya says fine, just get it over with. The ring staff set out a white tarp and bring in a chair. Yuya reluctantly sits in the chair, and Yota has the scissors and clippers. Yota gathers up the hair in a ponytail, and Yuya grits his teeth as all of that is cut away. Then Yota just goes right down the middle with the clippers! Yuya says stop, and he does the rest himself! Yuya won’t let Yota have the satisfaction of humiliating him.

Yuya leaves to finish that haircut in the back. Will the Heat Storm find a way to shine while looking like a Young Boy?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA!

WrestleKingdom 18 was only 50 days ago but it feels like only yesterday that NJPW had the largest LIJ roll call in history! The Uncontrollable Charisma finally had his moment, but will the Cold Skull take it back? Or will even Sapporo be tranquilo?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who closes out this New Beginning!

As usual, Naito takes his time with his elaborate entrance attire, but again Sanada is patient because he knows all about this. Naito finishes with the pants and the bell rings. The fans rally up as the two stare down. Red Shoes assesses the cheering and feels it favors Naito. Sanada doesn’t seem bothered by that, but Naito doesn’t seem fired up by it, either. The two circle, approach, but back away. Sanada knows this trick by Naito, too, and doesn’t let it get to him. They tie up now, Naito powers Sanada back to ropes then headlocks. Red Shoes calls the break, Sanada turns things around on Naito, but Naito doesn’t let go.

Red Shoes counts, Naito slowly lets go and Sanada pats Naito on the shoulders. The fans cheer as the two reset. They circle, feel things out, and Sanada gets a leg. Sanada moves to waistlock but Naito wrenches out. Naito hammerlocks then full nelsons, but Sanada fights the hold. Sanada breaks free, hammerlocks then headlocks, and he grinds Naito down. Naito powers up and out but Sanada runs him over! The fans rally up as things speed up, and Naito arm-drags only for Sanada to counter that! Sanada then trips Naito, has the legs and he ties Naito up into Paradise! The fans cheer as Sanada has Naito caught!

Sanada pulls on the legs to put some pressure on, then he DROPKICKS Naito out of Paradise! Naito bails out but Sanada waits on him. Sanada then builds speed, but he tumbles up and out as Naito moves! Naito sweeps the legs, then dropkicks Sanada down! Naito builds speed, but he rolls and tranquilos! Sanada still fell for that old trick! Sanada cools off as he paces around, though, and takes his time returning. Naito stays back, Sanada slides in, but then Naito bails out! The fans cheer but Sanada goes out to CLUB Naito! Sanada isn’t in the mood for games and he whips, but Naito reverses to CLAW Sanada’s eyes!

Naito whips Sanada, but Sanada reverses! Naito is sent into railing after all! Sanada brings Naito around, hangs him off the apron, but Naito kicks free of that to turn things around! DRAPING DDT to the floor!! Sanada writhes while Naito strikes like a Viper! The fans rally up while Naito leaves Sanada behind. The ring count starts while Sanada clutches his head and neck. Sanada is still down at 5 of 20, and then 10! Sanada sits up at 12, pushes himself up and stands at 15. Sanada shakes out the arm and slides in at 18, and fans cheer. Naito brings Sanada up to CLUB away on the neck, though, then he whips.

Naito arm-drags Sanada, ELBOWS him down and basement dropkicks! Naito floats to a cravat and he cranks on the neck! Sanada endures and kicks around. Naito leans his weight but Sanada fights up. Naito CLUBS Sanada again, and again! Sanada goes to ropes, but Naito whips him. Naito hip toss NECKBREAKERS! Sanada writhes again, rolls to the apron and flops to the floor, but Naito pursues. Naito sits Sanada up to SAMBO LEG NELSON! No ropebreaks on the outside, is Naito going to grind Sanada down for a count out? The count does start again, and Sanada can only kick around as Naito puts on the pressure.

Naito stops at 10 of 20, then slides into the ring at 14. Sanada is down at 15, rises as the fans rally, and slides in at 18! Fans cheer but Naito is right on Sanada to CLUB away on the neck! Naito whips, Sanada holds ropes to avoid the arm-drag, and he dropkicks a leg! Naito hobbles but Sanada runs up. Naito kicks low then whips Sanada to a corner. Naito runs in but Sanada BOOTS him! Sanada goes up and QUEBRADA, but Naito gets under! Only for Sanada to dropkick the legs out! Both men are down as Naito clutches his knee and Sanada shakes out his arm. Sanada stalks Naito, brings him up and has the leg, but Naito CLAWS the eyes!

Red Shoes reprimands but Naito SPITS at Sanada. Naito whips but Sanada reverses to hurdle, hurdle and DROPKICK! Sanada’s legs work just fine, and he watches Naito bail out again. The fans rally and duel, Sanada PLANCHAS! Down goes Naito and the fans fire up! Sanada encourages them to get louder so they oblige. Sanada goes back to Naito, still loving the adulation, and he brings Naito back up. Sanada puts Naito in, fireman’s carries, but Naito fights free. Naito shoves Sanada to a corner, runs up, and he blocks boots! Naito puts Sanada in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER!

Naito drags Sanada up, whips, and HIP TOSS NECKBREAKERS again! Sanada writhes and Naito shakes out his leg. Naito drags Sanada up again, puts him up top, and then climbs up after him. But Sanada slips out to DROPKICK Naito down onto the post! That post might’ve saved Naito from a worse fall, but certainly not from a softer one! Sanada climbs up behind Naito now, brings him around, and hits a SUPER FALLING BACKBREAKER!! Then a suplex for the MAGIC SCREW! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and Sanada seethes but the fans fire up! Sanada hauls Naito up to the SKULL END! But Naito arm-drags free!

Naito runs up, Sanada sidesteps and O’Conner Roll, into SKULL END! The body scissors are in and Naito is caught! The fans fire up and duel as Naito endures! Naito kicks around, reaches out, but Sanada squeezes tight! Naito kicks and kicks and fights to gain ground but Sanada’s body scissors keep him stuck at center! The fans rally as hard as they can for Naito but he’s fading! Sanada follows his formula by letting go to go up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees!! Naito saves himself but in double-edged fashion! Both men are down and the fans rally up again! Naito rises first and hobbles over to Sanada.

Naito drags Sanada up to kick and ELBOW! And kick, and ELBOW! Naito fires off more elbows, and Sanada staggers away to the corner! The fans rally up again, but Naito drags Sanada up to kick and ELBOW! And kick, and ELBOW! And ELBOW, ELBOW, ELBOW! Sanada falls again and this is all going to Naito’s formula! Naito drags Sanada up, puts him up top, and climbs up again. Naito CLUBS Sanada again and again to make sure he stays put this time. SUPER STEINER!! The fans fire up as both men are down! Naito then aims from the corner as Sanada rises, and the fans rally behind him.

Sanada stands, Naito runs up, into a DROPKICK! Naito stays up so Sanada whips. Naito reveres but Sanada denies the DDT to fireman’s carry! TK- DESTINO!! Naito hits it outta nowhere but he won’t leave it at that! Naito drags Sanada up, SPITS at him, then throws those ELBOWS! Sanada drops to his knees but Naito drags him up again. ELBOW! ELBOW! ELBOW! But Sanada roars! Sanada runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Naito stands Sanada up, wrenches, but Sanada denies the tilt-o-whirl! Naito and Sanada fight for control, and Naito CLUBS away! Tilt-o-whirl, DESTI- NO! Sanada fights that to the clinch!

But Naito fights from below! Sanada wrenches Naito, but Naito dragon sleepers! Is Naito trying to steal Skull End?! Sanada snapmares free before Naito truly can, and Sanada SHINING- NO, Naito ducks it! Naito UPPERCUTS, ENZIGIRIS, and then wrenches! Tilt-o-whirl, but Sanada slips free! Clinch and DEAD- NO, Naito gets around to waistlock! Sanada powers out to fire forearm after forearm! ROLLING ELBOW! Naito leans on ropes and the fans fire up! Naito CLUBS Sanada again and again, then ROCKS him! Sanada fireman’s carries! TKO! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up!

Sanada and Naito stir as the fans rally and duel. The “NA-I-TO!” is still stronger than the “SA-NA-DA!” but Sanada stands up first. Sanada scoops and BACKBREAKERS Naito into position! Sanada goes up again, ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and the fans are thunderous! Sanada snarls, goes back up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! But Sanada won’t stop there, he clinches and DEAD- NO, Naito slips free! Tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!!! And then another wrench, another tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO~!!! But that’s still not enough!? Naito scoops Sanada, but Sanada fights it! The fans duel as the two fight for control!

Sanada powers his way out of the grip and ENZIGIRIS! Naito roars?! But he turns around into a SHINING WIZARD!! Clinch and DEAD- NO, Naito slips free again! TORNADO- NO, Sanada stuffs it, so Naito just holds onto the facelock! Naito has the squeeze on Sanada now, but Sanada moves around. Sanada reaches out but Naito has body scissors to keep him down! The fans rally, Sanada fights up, so Naito clinches, to steal DEADFALL! Sanada rolls through!? BLINDSIDE SHINING WIZARD!! The fans are thunderous again as both men are down! Sanada kips up!! The fans fire up as Sanada runs up, SHINING WIZARD!!!

Sanada isn’t done there, he drags Naito back up! Clinch and DEAD- NO, Naito just fights free again! TORNADO CRADLE! NAITO WINS!!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)

Sanada is furious that he got caught! Sanada stubbornly tried for his new ace card and that was perhaps his downfall. Will he have no choice but to go to the back of the line when it comes to this title?

As for Naito, he gets some water, and then takes the belt from Red Shoes. Naito drops it in a corner for a moment so he can get his baseball cap. Naito then gets the mic so he can say, “Buenas tardes, Sapporo~!” The fans cheer, and Naito thanks everyone for being here at NJPW: The New Beginning in Sapporo, “Gracias, amigos.” And tonight, here in Sapporo, there is someone who won’t be in the ring anymore. It was August, 2007, the first person that man wrestled in NJPW was Naito himself. And so Naito feels it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t address that man. The fans know he means “O-KA-DA!” who was on commentary for this match.

Naito says that all that said, this was a main event title match, and Naito won. So we have to end this the only way it can! It has been a minute since we heard this, so are you ready? The New Beginning in Sapporo must of course end with… “Bushi! Hiromu! Takagi! Titan! Yota! Y Naito! Nosotros…! LOS! INGOBERRRRRNABLEEEES~! DE! JA! PON!!” The confetti flies and the fans cheer as the tranquilo era continues! But then Naito invites The Rainmaker into the ring! Okada obliges by stepping off commentary and stepping through the gate. Okada steps inside and he stands with Naito right at the center of the ring.

Naito offers the LIJ fist bump, which fans cheer. Okada sighs and figures this is the last time he’ll even get the chance, so he reaches up. But then Naito SPITS in Okada’s eye and CLUBS away on Okada! Fans are torn as Naito whips, but Okada reverses! Naito avoids the dropkick, Okada avoids the lariat, and then ripcords! But Naito ducks the Rainmaker to tranquilo! The fans cheer and even Okada has to smile. Naito stands back up and says Okada can go now. Okada says fine and he exits. The fans cheer as The Rainmaker takes his leave, and the Uncontrollable Charisma waves goodbye. But will Naito prove he’s the true face of NJPW now that we’ve made it through the New Beginning?


My Thoughts:

A great finale to the New Beginning series here, though it’s a shame Tanahashi is hurt and could not take Nemeth up on his invitation to have a tag match, nor could he be part of the 10 Man Tag with Okada and Chaos. It’s an ankle injury, hopefully he’ll be alright. But at the same time, he doesn’t really have to wrestle, he’s President of NJPW now and should be taking it easy. Anyhow, great tag match from the Guerillas of Destiny to be Tama’s sendoff. As such, Leo & ELP naturally won, and they take the banner up for GOD, certainly as a tag team. I don’t think Loa’s leaving NJPW, so maybe Loa becomes a singles guy within the faction?

Bushi beating Taka, Douki beating Hiromu, Taichi beating Takagi, Just5Guys win that best of three, but LIJ wins out the night because both Yota and Naito win the last two matches. A really good, really cerebral match from Yota and Yuya, the storytelling of wanting to win with Young Lion moves continues between them, and I really liked how many times Yuya countered the Gene Blast, only for one to still hit. The New Japan Cup is up next, I’m sure Yota is going to have a strong showing as he tries for the world title.

Naito VS Sanada was really good, though I’m not sure it was quite like their WrestleKingdom match. But I suppose part of that was that of course Naito won. I appreciated the parallel to Yota VS Yuya with Sanada failing to hit Deadfall again and again. Naito then snatches the win with a cradle, not a finisher, technically keeping Sanada strong. I’m just not sure how Sanada does in the New Japan Cup. English commentary was pointing out getting Naito VS Sanada Part 3 through the New Japan Cup would be too much.

Sanada could obviously go for a different title in the meantime, though I have no idea what one. Just5Guys already feuded with House of Torture, they can’t default to that and the NEVER Openweight title. Nemeth just got the Global title and Riddle just got the NJPW World TV title, so I don’t think they’d lose to Sanada, but those would make for some interesting feuds. And I don’t even think Sanada would care about the KOPW Championship, though it would  be interesting to see what matches he’d come up with.

My Score: 8.8/10


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