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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/5/23)

March towards history!

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New Japan Cup 2023

Will the opening round be tranquilo?

As NJPW enters year 51, the New Japan Cup returns! Will Tetsuya Naito kickstart his journey back to the IWGP World Championship with the Spring?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Tama Tonga & Ryohei Oiwa VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; ZSJ & Fujita win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato, Ren Narita & Shota Umino VS The House of Torture; Taguchi, Wato, Narita & Umino win.
  • Six Man Tag: Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yuto Nakashima VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Toru Yano, YOH & Lio Rush VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma VS Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii; Goto, Hashi & Ishii win.
  • New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: Tetsuya Naito VS El Phantasmo; Naito wins and advances to the next round.
  • New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: SANADA VS Taichi; Sanada wins and advances to the next round.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma VS Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii!

The Rainmaker is still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion after defeating The Ace, but the world (title) is not enough! The dream team wants after the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, but will Okada’s ambition hurt his friendship with Chaos?

Tanahashi and Honma both show off their abs and fans applaud. The trios sort out, and we start with Tanahashi and the Fierce Warrior. Fans rally, the two circle, and they tie up. Tanahashi headlocks, grinds Goto down, but Goto powers up and out to headlock in return. Tanahashi powers up, pries the hold open, and manages to wrench and wristlock. Goto ROCKS Tanahashi, runs, but Okada runs in to help double shoulder Goto down! Fans fire up, Hashi runs in but into double elbows! Ishii runs in but into double kicks! The Dream Team feeds Ishii to Honma’s forearm! Fans fire up for Okada’s trio as they stand tall.

Hashi and Ishii exit the ring, Tanahashi brings Goto up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Okada, and Okada stomps Goto. Okada ROCKS Goto with a forearm, then he snapmares Goto near ropes. Okada runs side to side to then basement dropkick! Fans rally while Okada paces. Goto goes to the apron, Okada tags Honma, and Honma brings Goto back in. Honma stands Goto to CLUB him, then CLUB him again. Honma CLUBS Goto again but Goto fires back with CHOPS! Honma eggs Goto on then HEADBUTTS him down! Honma whips Goto to ropes, ELBOWS him down, covers, TWO!

Honma tags Tanahashi, Tanahashi brings Goto up but Goto CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Tanahashi fires off a strike fest in return! Tanahashi scoop SLAMS Goto into the drop zone, then goes up to SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tanahashi tags Okada, and Okada brings Goto up. Okada turns Goto for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans applaud but Okada clamps onto Goto with a chinlock. Goto endures, fights up, and throws body shots. Okada CLUBS Goto, whips him to a corner, but Goto reverses. Goto runs in but into BOOTS! Okada runs, Goto follows and LARIATS! Fans fire up while both men are down!

Goto and Okada crawl for their corners, hot tag to Hashi! The Head Hunter CLOBBERS Okada, DECKS Tanahashi and CHOPS Honma! Fans fire up and Hashi aims at Okada in the corner. Hashi runs in to ELBOW, then he whips, to CHOP! Mule kick! NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Hashi brings Okada up, and Hashi hangs Okada out to dry. Ishii holds Okada in place for Hashi to run and DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up, Hashi brings Okada up but Okada fires forearms! Hashi ROCKS Okada in return! Hashi whips Okada to ropes, but Okada ELBOWS Hashi down! Fans rally again as both men go to opposite corners.

Okada runs in, but Hashi avoids the elbow! Hashi returns but Okada pops him up to a REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Honma runs in to BLAST Ishii, and Tanahashi helps Okada with Hashi. The Dream Team double whip Hashi to a corner, Tanahashi whips Okada in to back elbow! Tanahashi adds a forearm! Tanahashi feeds Okada’s SPINEBUSTER, and then Okada CATAPULTS Hashi into the DRAGON PALM! Tanahashi then runs, to SLINGBLADE Hashi onto Okada’s knees! Okada covers, but Ishii breaks it! Fans fire up, Honma gets in to throw Ishii out. Ishii and Honma brawl but Okada focuses on Hashi.

Fans rally up as Okada scoops Hashi. Hashi fights free, waistlocks, but Okada elbows free. Hashi swings, but into the MONEY CLIP!! Fans fire up as Hashi endures and Okada puts on the squeeze! Hashi fights up, pries free and arm-drags Okada away! Goto sneaks in, to fireman’s carry Okada! Okada slips off, but into the HIDDEN GAP! Tanahashi returns, but Hashi sends him into the fireman’s carry! FIERCE FLASH! Fans fire up with Bishamon as they get Okada up! Dragon sleeper and leg hold, but Okada fights free! Okada blocks Goto’s kick to DRAGON SCREW! Hashi CHOPS, runs, but into the DROPKICK!

Okada and Hashi are both down and fans are thunderous! Hashi and Okada crawl for their corners, hot tags to Honma and Ishii! They RAM shoulders, and again, and again! Ishii runs to RAM Honma but Honma roars! Honma ROCKS Ishii, runs, RAMS him, but both men roar! They both run, and Honma runs Ishii over! Fans are thunderous again as Honma whips Ishii to a corner. Honma runs in to back elbow, then BULLDOG! Honma fires up, runs, KOKESHI FLOPS! Ishii drags Honma up, reels him in, but Honma fights the suplex with elbows. Ishii CHOPS, but Honma CHOPS! They CHOP back and forth, faster and faster!

Fans rally with every CHOP, and Ishii gets the edge! But Honma DOUBLE CHOPS! Honma swings, into a SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Honma survives but Ishii keeps focus. Fans rally up, Ishii runs, but Honma catches him! Ishii blocks the suplex, Honma blocks Ishii’s suplex, and then Honma suplexes Ishii up and over! Fans fire up again as Goto runs in. Honma dodges, but Goto deflects the boot to LARIAT! Tanahashi runs in, Goto blocks the kick to CLUB the leg! But Tanahashi blocks a kick to DRAGON SCREW! Hashi SUPER- NO, Tanahashi blocks the kick to DRAGON SCREW! Ishii runs in but Tanahashi dodges the lariat!

Tanahashi gets a leg, but Ishii ROCKS Tanahashi! Ishii blocks the haymaker into a spin and suplex! But Okada saves Tanahashi! The Dream Team double suplex Ishii! Honma fires up and runs, KOKESHI! The Dream Team fires up, Okada brings Ishii up, UPPERCUTS, and then Tanahashi SLINGBLADES! They set Ishii up for the RUNNING KOKESHI!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and shocks everyone! Tanahashi & Okada keep Bishamon out, and Honma brings Ishii up. Ishii ROCKS Honma, Honma HEADBUTTS back! Honma runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ishii roars as fans are thunderous again!

Ishii stands Honma up, suplexes, but Honma fights free! Honma wrenches, Ishii HEADBUTTS, but Honma JUMP HEADBUTTS! Ishii rebounds and runs back in, into a JUMPING HEADBUTT! Honma roars and fans are with him as he brings Ishii up! But Ishii suplexes! BRAINBSUTER!!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi & Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall

Despite facing the Dream Team and an icon, Goto-Hashi-Ishii wins out! Will things be the same when Bishamon defends the belts? Will Chaos survive such a collision?

 

New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: Tetsuya Naito VS El Phantasmo!

The Stardust Genius defeated the Wrestling Genius, Keiji Muto, sending him off into retirement. But now Naito wants to reestablish himself as NJPW’s best! Will the cup be just the thing he needs? Or will he face Sudden Death instead?

ELP mocks Naito from the crowd, and then takes a young fan’s LIJ hat. Fans boo, but ELP gives the hat back. ELP returns to the ring as fans cheer his sportsmanship. ELP gets fans to cheer Naito, then he gets them to cheer him. “E L P! E L P!” Naito finishes with his entrance attire in this time, and the bell rings. Fans rally up for Naito as he and ELP stare down. “NA-I-TO!” “E L P!” ELP shrugs, and he circles with Naito. They approach, but Naito slips away. Naito claps for “E L P! E L P!” ELP uses that to fire up and the tow go again. But then Naito slips away again, just to clap along. ELP is annoyed now and he gets in Naito’s face.

ELP mocks Naito’s eye opening but Naito still claps for ELP. They tie up finally, and are in a deadlock. Naito pushes ELP to the ropes, the ref calls the break, and Naito lets off slowly. Naito pats ELP on the shoulder, then kicks him low! Naito CLUBS ELP, whips him to ropes, but ELP reverses. Naito holds ropes, BOOTS back, then runs to RANA! ELP handsprings through! Fans applaud and ELP struts, rolls, and mocks tranquilo! Naito is amused, and he offers the fist bump. ELP throws the Too Sweet, so Naito kicks him and throws him out! Naito builds speed, but fakes ELP out so that Naito can mock the Two Sweet spasm!

ELP gets in to rain down fists! Fans are torn, the ref reprimands about closed fists, so ELP stomps away on Naito! ELP KICKS Naito in the back, ROCKS him with a forearm, then ROCKS him again! And again! ELP winds up, runs and clotheslines Naito up and out! Fans fire up as ELP goes out after Naito. ELP CHOPS Naito, CHOPS again, then hushes everyone. ELP CHOPS Naito against railing! ELP then DDTs Naito to the floor! ELP goes out to the bleachers and among the fans. Fans rally and ELP aims from the edge, BIG CROSSBODY! Fans are thunderous for “E L P!” after that one! The ref checks Naito but he’s okay to continue.

ELP goes to the apron, goes up the corner, but then hops down as the ref freaks out. Naito stands, and ELP goes back up top! ARIHARA MOONSAULT! Direct hit and fans fire up again! Fans rally for “E L P!” as he stands up and catches his breath. ELP Too Sweets the kid from earlier! ELP then stands Naito up and puts him in the ring, covers, TWO! Naito is still in this and fans rally up for him again. ELP kicks Naito around, and into a corner. ELP digs his booth in but Naito mocks the Too Sweet. ELP stomps away on Naito for that! Naito is still doing the Too Sweet! ELP stomps him more, so Naito stops.

ELP stands Naito up, whips him corner to corner, then handsprings, into BOOTS! ELP runs back in, but Naito dodges. Naito blocks ELP’s boot, then spins ELP around to a NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up again while both men are down. Naito mocks the Too Sweet on and off, but he brings ELP up. Naito ROCKS ELP, kicks and CLUBS him, then dragon sleepers for the NECKBREAKER! And basement dropkick to the back! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and duel, but Naito brings ELP up into another dragon sleeper. NECKBREAKER, into the PLUMA BLANCA! Naito mocks the Too Sweet while ELP endures the hold.

Fans rally, ELP moves around, claws at Naito, but Naito puts on the pressure. ELP fights over, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Naito pulls on ELP’s arms, but he lets off at the ref’s count of 4. The ref helps him get the hold completely undone, and fans continue to duel. Naito drags ELP up, but ELP ROCKS Naito with a forearm! ELP drops to a knee, but he stands up again. Naito ROCKS ELP with a forearm! ELP ROCKS Naito back! Naito staggers, ELP mocks the eye opening, so Naito winds up to ROCK ELP! ELP mocks the LIJ fist, winds up, and JABS, JABS, JABS and ROCKS Naito! Naito and ELP start throwing forearms back and forth!

Fans rally, Naito gets the edge, and he whips. ELP reverses to DROPKICK! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Naito sits up but ELP kips up! ELP hits an atomic drop, then CHOPS Naito down! ELP stands Naito up again to scoop SLAM! ELP then goes up the corner, for a DIVING AX HANDLE! ELP then goes to the corner and tunes up the band. Fans rally, Naito stirs, and ELP aims. SUDDEN- NO, Naito ducks and ENZIGURIS! ELP staggers, Naito hits a TORNADO DDT! ELP flounders to the far corner while fans fire up again. They rally for “NA-I-TO!” as he crawls after ELP. Naito brings ELP up, for heavy back elbows!

ELP drops to a knee, fans continue to rally, and Naito stands ELP up for more heavy back elbows! Naito looms over ELP as fans duel, and ELP crawls to the corner. Naito brings ELP around, for even more heavy back elbows! Naito then goes up the corner, brings ELP in, and hits ESPERANZA! Fans rally even harder, Naito aims from the corner, and Naito runs in to tilt-o-whirl, but ELP makes it CIPHER UTAKI! And then he clamps on the CROSSFACE! And then the YES LOCK!! ELP shouts out Ishimori and fans rally as hard as they can! Naito endures, reaches out, but ELP shifts his grip on the crossface!

ELP bends Naito back, thrashes around, but Naito keeps kicking and flailing! ELP lets Naito go in frustration! ELP drags Naito up to throw a haymaker! And then another! ELP sits Naito up top, GAMANGIRIS, and then climbs up to join him. But Naito shoves ELP away! ELP backflips and lands on his feet, to GAMANGIRI again! Then SUPER STEINER! Naito has a rough landing, ELP goes back up top! THUNDERKISS 86!! Cover, TWO!?!? Naito survives and fans are thunderous again! ELP roars, he drags Naito back up, and he tucks the arms. Naito fights the lift! Naito back drops, ELP sunset flips, high stacks, TWO and ELP deadlifts, but Naito makes it a DDT!!

Fans rally for Naito as he aims from the corner again. Naito runs in, tilt-o-whirl, CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!! Cover, TWO?!?! ELP survives and fans are dueling as hard as ever! Naito drags ELP up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO! ELP slips free, but Naito suplexes! ELP slips free again, SUDDEN DEATH!!! ELP isn’t done there, he hooks Naito up, only for Naito to slip free! Hammerlock and roll-up, POLVO DE ESTRELLA! NAITO WINS!!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

Naito snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! And he continues to mock the Too Sweet. The Uncontrollable Charisma is on a roll, will he not stop until he reaches the top?

 

New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: SANADA VS Taichi w/ Just4Guys!

The Cold Skull and Holy Emperor are basically rivals at this point, having met five times 1v1 and three other times in tag matches. But while Sanada is still Los Ingobernables de Japon, Taichi now leads #Just4Guys. Who breaks out with a major main event victory?

Fans already cheer “Let’s Go, Taichi!” as the coats are put aside. The bell rings and the fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” “TA-I-CHI!” as the two stare down. Taichi and Sanada slowly circle, then tie up. Taichi pushes Sanada to ropes, but he lets off slowly and cleanly. Fans applaud the sportsmanship, and Sanada resets with Taichi. They tie up again, Sanada pushes Taichi back now, and they end up on ropes again. Sanada lets off slowly and cleanly, and the fans applaud again. Taichi and Sanada reset again, tie up again, and Sanada puts Taichi back on the ropes. Sanada lets off slowly, Taichi dares him to do something, but Sanada just pats him on the shoulder.

Taichi kicks low! Sanada kicks low! Sanada headlocks, Taichi powers out but Sanada dropkicks a leg! Then dropkicks Taichi! Sanada kicks Taichi, throws him out, and PLANCHAS! But Taichi SLAM DUNKS Sanada instead! Taichi brings Sanada up, whips him into railing, and Sanada falls to the floor! Taichi drags him back up, brings him around the way, and whips him into more railing! Sanada falls in another heap, and Taichi starts pulling up floor mats! He exposes more of the bare linoleum floor but Red Shoes tells him to get in the ring. Taichi ignores that, to DDT Sanada to the linoleum!! Sanada writhes and Red Shoes checks him.

Fans rally and duel, Sanada is okay to continue so the ring count starts. Taichi taunts Sanada, kicks at him, but the count is already 10 of 20. Taichi stands Sanada up at 12, puts him in at 13, and fans applaud. Taichi looms over Sanada and brings him back up. Taichi snapmares Sanada, KICKS him in the back, then covers, TWO! Fans applaud and rally up for “SA-NA-DA!” but Taichi taunts him more. Taichi stomps and kicks Sanada around, dares him to get up, so Sanada CHOPS! Sanada CHOPS again, but Taichi just brushes that off. Taichi then wrenches to HOOK KICK! Sanada falls down while fans fire back up.

Sanada flounders to a corner but Taichi brings him back up. Taichi whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada reverses. Sanada runs in, Taichi dodges and GAMANGIRIS! Taichi drags Sanada to a cover, TWO! Fans applauds but Taichi drags Sanada back up. Taichi pie faces Sanada, then kicks him at the ropes. Taichi whips, kitchen sink knees, and then looms over Sanada again. Taichi stands Sanada up, whips him to ropes, but Sanada hurdles, hurdles and DROPKICKS! But Taichi stays up!? To AX BOMBER! Sanada falls and fans fire up again. Taichi paces around Sanada, dares him to get up, and Sanada stirs.

Sanada stands, but Taichi KICKS him back down! Taichi eggs Sanada on and the fans rally harder. Sanada grits his teeth, sits back up, but Taichi KICKS him again! Sanada stands, Taichi KICKS him! Sanada grits his teeth as he stays standing, and he CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Taichi starts feeling those, so he KICKS Sanada down again! Fans rally up as Taichi looms over Sanada. Taichi dares Sanada to stand again and bring the fight. Taichi stomps Sanada, talks some trash to egg him on, then stomps him more. Sanada sits up, Taichi gives scuffing kicks. Taichi gets frustrated with Sanada, and gives him Kawada Kicks!

Sanada snarls at Taichi, so Taichi KICKS him hard! Sanada’s bad eye twitches, but he blocks the Buzzsaw! Fans fire up as Sanada ROCKS Taichi! Taichi SLAPS Sanada! Sanada SLAPS back! Sanada throws Taichi out, goes out after him, then whips him hard into railing! Fans fire up as Sanada brings Taichi to the rampway and UPPERCUTS him! Then reels him in, to PILEDRIVER to the linoleum!! Fans are thunderous for “SA-NA-DA!” now that he’s evened things with Taichi. Red Shoes checks Taichi, and both Taka Michinoku and Yoshinobu Kanemaru hurry over to coach Taichi up. But the fans rally hard for “SA-NA-DA!” as he stands Taichi up.

Sanada headlocks Taichi and brings him to ringside. Sanada puts Taichi in and fans applaud. Taichi runs in to BOOT Sanada! Sanada shakes that off to CHOP! Taichi snarls and KICKS! Sanada CHOPS! Taichi KICKS, so Sanada CHOPS! KICK, CHOP, KICK, CHOP, and fans fire up again! Taichi shakes it off and CHOPS Sanada! Sanada CHOPS again! Taichi CHOPS, Sanada CHOPS, repeat! They CHOP back and forth, again and again, and fans rally up! Taichi CHOPS and Sanada wobbles! Fans fire up as Sanada comes back with a flurry of forearms! ROLLING- ENZIGURI! But Sanada stays up!? ROLLING ELBOW!!

Fans are thunderous as Sanada stands over Taichi now! Sanada drags Taichi up, headlocks, but Taichi DANGEROUS SAIDOS!! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Taichi snarls and stands up, and OFF COME THE PANTS! But Sanada stands up to stare him down! Taichi BOOTS, but Sanada UPPERCUTS! Taichi rebounds and BOOTS, but Sanada comes back to UPPERCUT! Fans rally, Taichi BOOTS again, and Sanada comes back to UPPERCUT! Sanada blocks the boot, UPPERCUTS, but Taichi SOBATS! Only to run into a DROPKICK! Sanada fireman’s carries but Taichi slips free.

Taichi waistlocks, Sanada standing switches, but Taichi fights the lift to PELE the arm! But Sanada still fireman’s carries! T K O!! Fans are thunderous while both men are down again! Just4Guys coach their leader but Sanada climbs up top. ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees!! Taichi body scissors to GEDO CLUTCH, but Sanada turns it right over! O’CONNER BRIDGE, TWO!! Taichi reels Sanada back in, GEDO CLUTCH, TWO!?!? Sanada escapes by nanoseconds and no one can believe it! Sanada and Taichi go to ropes while fans rally up, and both men run in! Sanada dodges, but Taichi DROPKICKS!

Taichi roars and he brings Sanada up again. DANGEROUS SAIDO!! BRIDGING COVER, TWO!?!?! Sanada escapes by another thin margin! Just4Guys coach Taichi while the fans are divided. Sanada and Taichi stir, but Taichi crawls to a corner. Taichi roars, fans fire up, and Taichi aims as Sanada rises. TENSHO- NO! Sanada deflects superkick and waistlocks, but Taichi bucks the O’Conner! Sanada runs in, into an Alabama Lift! But he fights it to a TIGER DRIVER!! Taichi stands?! And AX BOMBERS!! But Sanada stands!?! To fireman’s carry and throw into the dragon sleeper! SKULL END!!!

Taichi is caught in the body scissors! Just4Guys coach Taichi and the fans duel as Taichi moves around! Taichi flails, reaches out, but he’s fading! Red Shoes checks, Taka shouts at Taichi to keep fighting, but Taichi’s arm starts to drop! Taichi reaches out feebly, he grabs at Sanada’s hair, but then Sanada lets him go. Sanada goes up top, ROUNDING BODY PRESS to Taichi’s back!! And then Sanada goes back up top, ROUNDING BODY PRESS to Taichi’s front!! Cover, TWO!?!??! Taichi survives by the narrowest of margins! Sanada is furious and time is running out! Fans are electric as Sanada has the SKULL END!

But Taichi rolls through! TENSHO JUJIHOU!! Cover, TWO!?!?!??! Okay, that was by the narrowest of margins!! Sanada and Taichi are both down and the fans are thunderous again! Sanada and Taichi crawl, they snarl, and they grab at each other’s hair. Fans rally up as Taichi says they’re not done! Sanada agrees, and they stand. Taichi throws a forearm and Sanada staggers away. Sanada steadies himself, comes back, and he throws a forearm in return. Taichi staggers now, but he comes back with another forearm. Sanada wobbles, but he throws a forearm. Taichi throws a forearm, Sanada throws a forearm.

Taichi slaps himself, then comes back to ROCK Sanada! Sanada shakes his head?! Sanada ROCKS Taichi! Taichi staggers, and Sanada UPPERCUTS! Sanada roars, but Taichi BLINDSIDE AX BOMBERS! Sanada staggers, rebounds, right into a JUMPING GAMANGIRI!! Taichi roars, fans are electric again, and Taichi Alabama Lifts! But Sanada slips free! Dragon sleeper! Taichi spins out to reel Sanada in, but Sanada Alabama Lifts! Sanada steals BLACK MEPHISTO!!! And Sanada’s still not done! He drags Taichi back up, into the dragon sleeper! SKULL END!!! And then, SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!

Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

The Cold Skull puts a new twist on things, and that brings him the victory! The Holy Emperor is out of the tournament, does this already seal the fate of Just4Guys? As for Sanada, he shows respect to his rival, and fans applaud the sportsmanship. Sanada helps Taichi stand, and Taichi offers a fist bump! Sanada puts that aside, to offer a handshake! Fans like the look of that, and they shake hands! And though Sanada closed out the show, he chooses to leave without a word. Will the strong, silent Sanada be the one to take over the tournament? As for Just4Guys, they also fist bump to show they will move on from this. What will it take for them to take over all of NJPW?


My Thoughts:

A great opening night for the New Japan Cup, though I’m surprised they’re stretching the front round out. Two matches tonight, a couple matches as part of the Anniversary Show tomorrow, and then more as the week goes on. The Six Man Tag was good stuff, but I figured Honma and Ishii would be the finish. Ishii wins and that technically means Bishamon stands tall. The IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match is also tomorrow as the Anniversary Show main event, and I can’t be sure which way that goes. Maybe Okada & Tanahashi win and Okada has two belts, which NJPW could tell some interesting stories with, but there’s a chance Bishamon retains.

Great matches for the New Japan Cup, and I’m actually a bit surprised both LIJ guys won. Naito beating ELP made sense, as he’s on a comeback story of his own after the “this will be my last WrestleKingdom” story he did. But Sanada was the surprise because it felt like Taichi was going to win as an example of what Just4Guys will do. Sanada wins, but chooses not to say anything in the ring in lieu of showing respect. Naito is going to face Chase Owens in the next round, I would think he wins that. Sanada will face Kenta next round, that could go either way. But then if they both win, Naito and Sanada would face off and I don’t think NJPW would do that.

My Score: 8.7/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (2/27/24)

The Czar and… HIM!

Published

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NXT White 'n' Gold Era

Ilja Dragunov confronts Carmelo Hayes face to face!

Before they once again battle for the NXT Championship, Ilja Dragunov dares Carmelo Hayes to look him in the eyes! Will Melo man up and do it?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kelani Jordan VS Kiana James w/ Izzi Dame; Kiana wins.
  • The Good Brothers VS Malik Blade & Edris Enofe; The Good Brothers win.
  • Roxanne Perez VS Jakara Jackson w/ Lash Legend; Roxie wins.
  • DIJAK VS Luca Crusifino; Dijak wins.
  • Von Wagner w/ Robert Stone VS Lexis King; Von wins.
  • Gigi Dolin VS Jaida Parker w/ OTM; Jaida wins.
  • NXT Heritage Cup Championship: Noam Dar w/ The Meta Four VS ??? w/ The No Quarter Catch Crew; Charlie Dempsey wins and becomes the new NXT Heritage Cup Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

Ilja Dragunov is here!

The NXT Champion heads to the ring and the fans are all fired up, because the Mad Dragon is not going to wait any longer! “Carmelo Hayes! You disgusting rodent of a man! Let’s go!! I’m not in the mood to wait around all night. This is Stand & Deliver season!” The fans fire up for that! Dragunov says what did Melo say last week? That if this isn’t about the NXT Championship, there’s nothing to talk about? What Melo is looking for is right here. So come on out of your little hiding place, and let’s talk about it. Melo makes his entrance and the fans boo, and now security moves in to be a wall between Dragunov and HIM.

Melo has a mic of his own to say, “Ilja, you the NXT Champion, for now. But you ain’t the superstar that make this brand go, I am. And it’s been that way since I stepped on the scene with that ruthless aggression. Y’see this right here, Ilja? This security. They’re Melo’s security. And they’re here to do whatever it is I need them to do. Look at you. You still pissed off that I used you, huh, Ilja? That I made Trick doubt the Great Ilja Dragunov, with your custom suits, so honorable and all your integrity. Ugh, you make me sick.” Fans boo and tell Melo to “Shut The Hell Up!” Melo says he can tell Dragunov is spiteful.

Dragunov says after what Melo did, he is damn right about Dragunov! And that is why Melo isn’t stepping in that ring with him. Not until he sees a contract and Ava makes this official. Because, Ilja, losing that NXT Championship is your biggest fear. And Melo knows Ilja isn’t the type to try and take Melo out before the match. So go ahead, get it all in order, and then they can talk business. Fans boo more but Melo says Dragunov has until the end of the night. Dragunov drops the mic, rushes up, and he CLOBBERS security guard after security guard! Melo falls back, the remaining guards form a circle around him.

Dragunov stays back, he raises the belt, but will Melo still get what he wants?

 

NXT Media catches up with Ava Raine.

Just before the show began, reporters asked the NXT General Manager about the big show planned tonight. Yes, this is a big lead-up to Stand & Deliver. Then she spots Gigi Dolin and asks what’s up. Gigi says she just wanted to talk about what’s next for herself. Absolute, this is a competitive Women’s Division, they can definitely talk it out. Awesome! They went to Ava’s office, where Jaida Parker was already waiting. How’d she get in here? Jaida says she had a key. Now, no disrespect, but they gotta talk about Jaida’s future. She ran through Rizzo, and- Gigi says great win, yeah. But Gigi’s meeting was first, line starts behind her.

Jaida says she doesn’t wait in any lines, and especially not behind Gigi. Gigi says Jaida should learn who she’s talking to. Hold on, World Star’s never mentioned Gigi. Well, she’ll give them something to talk about then. Ava has them both stop. They’re not gonna World Star in here. What’s next for both of them will be each other. So now they can leave, starting with Jaida. Jaida heads out, will she be making World Star news after getting toxic with Gigi?

 

Kelani Jordan VS Kiana James w/ Izzi Dame!

The Gym Princess has been getting the spotlight, and that put her on the Calculator’s hit list! Will Kiana prove she’s still the future of NXT and no one else? Or will Kelani’s potential be off the charts?

The bell rings and Kiana circles with Kelani. They tie up, Kiana powers Kelani to a corner and gets up in her face. The ref counts, Kelani avoids the elbow, and she wags her finger. Kiana runs up, but Kelani wrenches and wristlocks. Kiana rolls, handsprings, and wrenches back to YANK the arm! Kelani spins through then goes up and up to ARABIAN PRESS ARM-DRAG! The fans fire up and Kelani storms up, but Kiana rams her low! Kiana whips, Kelani goes up and headscissors to RANA Kiana away! Kiana bails out, Kelani runs up, but Izzi plays roadblock! Kelani goes up and out to ASAI MOONSAULT them both then! The fans fire up as NXT goes picture in picture!

Kelani tells Izzi that’s what she gets, then she drags Kiana into the ring. Cover, TWO! Kiana sits up, into Kelani’s SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Kelani drags Kiana up, whips her to a corner hard, then storms up. Kelani whips corner to corner, Kiana reverses but Kelani goes up again,. But Kiana blocks the rana to SLAM Kelani down, then literally KICKS her out of the ring! Izzi is there to taunt Kelani, and Kiana goes out after her. Kiana drags Kelani up to SMACK her off the apron! Kiana then CHOPS Kelani, high fives Izzi, then RAMS Kelani into the apron! The ref reprimands, the ring count climbs, but Kiana puts Kelani in.

Kiana talks trash while she stalks Kelani, then brings her up. Kelani throws body shots, only for Kiana to knee her low! Kiana drags Kelani up to TOSS her to a corner. Kiana handsprings, runs in and RAMS into Kelani! Kiana then brings Kelani out to kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Kelani stays in this but Kiana scowls as she looms over her. Kiana taunts Kelani, CHOKES her on the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Izzi laughs at Kelani while she crawls away. Kiana drags Kelani up to CLUB her down, then goes to ropes. Kiana whips but Kelani turns knee into roll-up! TWO, and Kelani gets around to backslide! TWO!

Kiana stands, knees Kelani low again, then drags her around. Kiana suplexes, GOURD BUSTERS, and covers, TWO! Kelani toughs it out but Kiana clamps onto her for a seated cobra twist! Kelani endures being stretched and bent! Kelani fights up and throws body shots. NXT returns to single picture but Kiana knees low! Kiana whips, Kelani ducks ‘n’ dodges, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Izzi is worried for Kiana while both women are down. The fans rally for Kelani as she sputters, but Kiana crawls her way over. Kiana throws a forearm, but Kelani forearms back! Kiana forearms again, but Kelani gives it back!

The fans rally up but Kiana kicks low. Kiana back suplexes, Kelani lands out, and she CLOBBERS Kiana! And again! And then cartwheel BACK ELBOW! Kelani kips up, the fans fire up, and Kelani blocks a kick to step-over WHEEL KICK! Cover, TWO! Kelani is frustrated but she watches Kiana rise. Kelani handsprings but Kiana catches her! Kiana pops Kelani around but Kelani slips free, rebounds, hurdles and handsprings again! Clinch and FLATLINER! The fans fire up as Kelani pushes Kiana to a cover, TWO!! Kiana survives and Kelani growls. Izzi is worried but Kelani drags Kiana up. Kelani hooks Kiana up but Kiana slips free to KNEE low again!

Kiana puts Kelani on the apron, but Kelani RAMS into her! Kelani slingshots up and over, keeps moving, but Kiana SPINEBUSTERS! High stack, TWO!! Kiana loses her cool as Kelani stays in this! Kiana drags Kelani back up, reels her in, but Kelani cradle counters! TWO!! Kiana kicks low, whips, but Kelani holds ropes! Kelani kicks, Kiana blocks and flips Kelani to the apron! Kelani ROUNDHOUSES Kiana back, but Kiana distracts the ref. Kelani slingshots but Izzi YANKS her right down!! The fans boo but Izzi gets Kelani in the ring! Kiana hurries to drag Kelani in, for the DEAL BREAKER! Cover, Kiana wins!

Winner: Kiana James, by pinfall

The Izzi insurance policy strikes again! Will nothing stop these two in their hostile takeover of NXT?

 

NXT shares footage from after last week’s show.

Roxanne Perez was still seething over someone else swooping in and getting a title shot before her. Last time was Tatum and Lola, this time was Shotzi and Lash Legend! Is the universe just against her? And leave the broken TV where it is, it doesn’t matter! But Jakara says, “Check, please.” This is just how a superstar operates. Lash Legend stays ready so she ain’t gotta get ready. That’s something Roxie needs to understand. Roxie says Lash was just in the right place at the right time. Unlike Jakara right now. Oh, whatever, you lost, just go- Roxie fires off on Jakara! The rest of the locker room rushes in, but this explains tonight’s match. Will Roxie’s wrath wreck Miss Jackson?

 

The Good Brothers VS Malik Blade & Edris Enofe!

In a shocking return last week, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows ran in, wrecked some top teams in NXT, and then staked their claim to the top spot! Will the Machine Gun and Big LG make NXT Too Sweet? Or will they learn Malik & Edris are far from rookies?

NXT returns as Malik & Edris make their entrance. The teams sort out and Malik starts against Karl. Karl kicks low, bumps Malik off buckles, then fires off haymakers. The ref counts but Karl stomps away until 4. The fans fire up, Karl talks some smack on Malik, then storms back up. Karl whips Malik to ropes, but Malik ducks ‘n’ dodges, cartwheels and DROPKICKS! The fans fire up for “Malik! Da Freak!” as he wrenches and brings Karl over. Tag to Edris, they double whip Karl to ropes, then double drop toehold! Then they DOUBLE DROPKICK! Gallows gets in but he gets DOUBLE DROPKICKS, too!

The ref reprimands and Gallows bails out. Edris runs at Karl but Karl UPPERCUTS him away! Then UPPERCUTS him again! Karl whips, Edris goes up and over and keeps moving, to RANA Karl away! Karl flounders, Edris runs up to CHOP! Tag to Malik, he and Edris double whip Karl again. Double shoulders knock Karl down, then Malik sets up so Edris can run and POMMEL HORSE SPLASH! Edris sets up now and Malik runs, step-up ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up for the combo moves and Malik brings Karl around. Gallows shouts at Malik and that’s a distraction enough for Karl to pull Malik’s ear!

Karl puts Malik in the corner, tags Gallows, and the Good Brothers mug Malik! The ref counts, the Good Brothers let off and Karl eggs Edris on. Gallows digs his boot in, stands on Malik, then lets off. Gallows brings Malik up, suplexes and puts him on the ropes, to then run and BOOT Malik down! The fans are torn as Big LG drags Malik up. Malik throws body shots but Gallows UPPERCUTS! Malik sits back, only for Gallows to rain down elbows! Gallows clamps on a chinlock and he grinds Malik down. The fans rally as Malik endures and fights up. Malik throws body shots, but Gallows HEADBUTTS him down!

Gallows puts Malik in the corner to fire body shots, then he UPPERCUTS! Malik sits right down and the fans fire up. Gallows stomps Malik, tags Karl, and Karl stomps Malik. Karl clamps on a chinlock and he grinds Malik into the mat. Malik endures, the fans rally up, and Malik fights to his feet. Malik throws elbows but Karl CLUBS Malik. Karl reels Malik in for a back suplex, but Malik lands out of it! Malik sunset flips Karl, TWO! Karl stands up but Malik dodges him, hot tag to Edris! Edris dodges Karl to BLAST Gallows! Edris rallies on Karl with big clotheslines, then he runs to SLING-DOG! Gallows runs in, Malik & Edris DUMP him back out!

Edris kicks Karl, reels him in, JACKHAMMER! Malik LEAPS at Gallows, but Gallows catches him! Gallows SHOVES Malik into steel steps! Edris BOOTS Gallows from the apron! Edris then climbs, aims at Karl, 450- NO, Edris has to roll through as Karl moves! Karl comes back to SPINEBUSTER! Tag to Gallows and the Good Brothers get Edris up. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, Good Brothers win!

Winners: The Good Brothers, by pinfall

But before the celebration can begin, Chase U is here! Andre Chase says if the Good Brothers wanna interrupt a Chase U victory, then they’re gonna learn that karma’s a bitch! Duke Hudson says Gallows & Anderson aren’t the first team to come into NXT thinking they can just do what they want. But this time, Chase U’s backs aren’t turned. And y’know what that calls for, Mr. Chase? Oh, yes. These two deserve an Andre Chase University sized- WAIT! Axiom & Nathan Frazer storm out here! Frazer says here we go again. Mr. Chase, Duke, congrats on being #1 contenders. But when it comes to Gallows & Anderson, Axiom & Frazer have next.

Good Brothers wanna jump people from behind? Well, at least when a team like LWO shows up to NXT, they confront people to their face. Axiom adds that he and Frazer have no problem dealing with Good Brothers. Duke says not if Chase U gets them first. But then speaking of LWO! Cruz & Wilde are up top, they DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICK the Good Brothers! And all the teams go after Gallows & Anderson! Gallows & Anderson bail out, and then we see the Wolf Dogs watching from the perch! The NXT Tag Team Champions are very amused at all the teams fighting each other, but will they be ready for when Chase U looks to be a Roadblock next week?

 

Ava Raine is on the phone.

She confirms to whoever this is, that there will be some big title matches for Roadblock, it will be a great show. Someone walks in, and it’s Oba Femi! Ava excuses herself from the call and asks what’s up. Oba wants to know who is his next “victim.” Ava says she is figuring that out because there are many guys who’d love a shot at the North American Championship. Oba says they might say that now, but when they get in the ring with him, they will regret those words. But then in steps Ilja! Champion stares down champion, and Oba smiles before he leaves. Dragunov says he and Ava need to talk. Is The Czar going to acquiesce to Melo’s demands?

 

Roxanne Perez VS Jakara Jackson w/ Lash Legend!

We saw how this match came about, now we’re gonna see how it goes! Will The Prodigy use her new edge to cut down one of the Meta Four? Or will her anger get the better of her this close to Stand & Deliver?

NXT returns as Jakara makes her entrance, Lash right by her side. The bell rings and the two rush in! Roxie hits a THESZ PRESS and fast hands! Jakara gets away, goes out, but Roxie runs up! Lash gets Jakara away so Roxie stops herself. Roxie rushes out there but Lash stands in the way. Jakara runs up but Roxie avoids the sucker punch to ROCK Jakara! Roxie pushes Jakara in but Jakara kicks back! Lash talks trash and Jakara puts Roxie in. Jakara runs up to DROPKICK Roxie to a corner! The fans rally, Jakara fires body shots on Roxie, then says she’s Miss Jackson! CHOP! Roxie sputters and crawls, Jakara talks trash, but Roxie elbows her back!

Roxie puts Jakara in a corner and UPPERCUTS! Roxie CHOPS, CHOPS, and then shoves Jakara down. Roxie goes up and up and LIONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Jakara survives but Roxie got her with legs more than anything. Roxie puts Jakara on ropes, whips her, but Jakara reverses. Roxie stops herself to SOBAT! Roxie then reels Jakara in for a facelock! Jakara endures, they go around and around, and Roxie CLUBS Jakara down. Roxie hops on, but Lash reaches out to save Jakara! The fans boo, but then the ref EJECTS Lash! Lash protests but she did it in plain sight! Jakara is devastated, but then Roxie goes after her!

Jakara gest around, pulls hair, EDGE-O-MATIC! Cover, TWO! Roxie goes to ropes, Jakara runs up and trips Roxie! Jakara drags Roxie to the apron to CLUB her, then Jakara shoves her back in. Jakara clamps onto Roxie with chicken wings but the fans rally up. Jakara shifts to a motorcycle stretch and she leans back to really pull on the arms! The ref counts as Jakara pulls hair now! Roxie pops free to cover, TWO! Jakara SMACKS Roxie off the mat, she pie faces her around, then stands her up. Roxie SLAPS Jakara! Jakara SLAPS back! Roxie SLAPS again, now it’s a SLAP fight! Roxie gets Jakara good, then fires off body shots!

The fans fire up with Roxie and she whips. Jakara reverses but Roxie CLOBBERS her! Roxie SMACKS Jakara, then SHOTGUNS her down! Roxie kips up, fires up, and she runs in to UPPERCUT in the corner! Roxie wrenches and clinches, RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! And then CROSSFACE!! Jakara taps, Roxie wins!

Winner: Roxanne Perez, by submission

Roxie lets go and has a sinister smile on her face. Jakara said you say ready so you don’t have to get ready, so is this prove Roxie is ready for one more shot at the title?

 

Thea Hail talks with Jacy Jayne & Jazmyn Nyx.

So Thea talked with Riley. He came crawling back? Men always do. Because the women don’t chase the men, the men chase the women. Right… No. It was the opposite. He was really excited to go on the date with Thea, but then the girl he went out with wasn’t the girl he expected. So he said they’re better off as friends. Wait, what’d he expect? Uh, duh, the happy, energetic, fun-loving Thea. Oh, so the old Thea. Well, sorta. So, the Thea that was a loser? What? No, not this Thea. The old Thea! That Thea was a loser. Well, Fallon- Fallon Henley? She’s a moron! She practically begs people to be her friend!

The Thea that Jacy saw, who desperately needed help in her Chase U shirt and uncontrollable energy? Trust Jacy, Thea is much better off. What about Duke & Chase? They’re losers! They’re all losers! If not for Jacy, Chase U would be gone. True… But then in walks Kiana & Izzi. Kiana compliments Jacy on the calendars. Didn’t they sell out three times already? Thank you! Someone gets it! Jacy tells Kiana that Thea wanted to actually take advice from Fallon. Pfft, Fallon? Really? They all laugh and say Fallon is the last person to listen to on anything. Agreed. So, tell Kiana more about the calendar.

Jacy & Jazmyn leave with Kiana & Izzi, and Thea sighs. A loser? Seriously? Is Thea starting to see Jacy’s true colors aren’t Chase U black and red?

 

The Wolf Dogs are backstage.

Bron Breakker is talking to Baron Corbin about spicing up the jacket. Bron has an airbrush guy, they can do something about this. Corbin doesn’t care, this isn’t Spring Break 99, he’s not spray-painting his jacket. Okay, okay, fine. Maybe just put some tanner on his pasty face then. The Good Brothers walk by and Corbin asks if they had a rough night. The tag division’s got some depth, huh? Karl says look, it’s Corbin acting like he loves this place. Corbin says they got jokes. NXT reinvigorated Corbin’s career! Reinvigorated! Corbin’s back to kicking asses. Back to kicking asses! And he won these tag titles all by himself! All by him-

Wait. Corbin, c’mon, stop messing around. Corbin tells Bron he’s just messing around, Mr. SmackDown. That was a really good Spear from Bron last Friday, right? Gallows says these are the NXT Tag Team Champions? Then this is gonna be easier than they thought. Karl agrees, and while the Dogs have their jokes, it stoked a flame inside the Good Brothers that’s been gone a long time. See, Good Brothers came here like Corbin did eight months ago. And he doesn’t like that, because he knows it won’t take them that long to become NXT Tag Team Champions. Corbin says last week, they said Corbin was a comedian.

But what’s really funny is the sound Karl’s face made when AJ Styles slapped him across the mouth. Bron adds an “OHHH~!” Karl says then you go ahead and try something. Gallows says not yet. Bron says between the four of them, yeah it’s a good time, he and Corbin make jokes. But when the bell rings, the dogs come out, and they destroy everyone. Good catchphrase. Let’s see if the dogs get past Chase U. And if they do, Good Brothers will be waiting. Is The OC ready to Stand & Deliver?

 

DIJAK VS Luca Crusifino!

#HardJustice and the Legal Eagle had a… disagreement on how to treat Joe Gacy. Luca believes no one is above the law, but Dijak says he IS the law! Cliche as that may sound, will Dijak prove to Luca that might makes right? Or will Luca bring Dijak to true justice?

NXT returns and Luca makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two tie up. Dijak knees low, then ROCKS Luca! Luca staggers, Dijak talks trash but Luca fires off body shots and haymakers! Luca CLUBS Dijak, swings more, but Dijak pulls hair! Luca avoids the haymaker to clothesline Dijak up and out! Luca runs to WRECK Dijak, and Dijak tumbles up and over the desk!! The fans fire up and Luca gets Dijak in. But he can’t lift Dijak! Dijak throws hands, Luca hits back, the fans fire up. Luca runs up but Dijak ELBOWS him! Dijak goes up, leaps, but into an UPPERCUT! Luca runs corner to corner to CANNONBALL!

The fans fire up with Luca, and he drags Dijak up. Dijak still fights the back suplex, throws more hands and then CLUBS Luca down. Luca clutches his back but Dijak stomps him. Dijak stalks Luca to a corner, then throws elbow after elbow! The ref counts, Dijak CLUBS Luca in the chest. Dijak stands Luca back up, and CHOPS! Luca screams in pain and the fans “WOO~!” Dijak says how’s that? He CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Luca CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! They fire hands, Dijak SUPERKICKS Luca back! The fans are thunderous as Dijak reels Luca, TIME TO- NO, Luca slips free! And he back suplexes! Only for Dijak to land out and LARIAT!

The fans fire up while both men rise. Dijak choke grips, but Luca fights with elbows and a LARIAT! And another LARIAT! Dijak stays up, so Luca runs to LARIAT! Dijak is still up, so Luca runs again! LARIAT! Dijak swings, Luca gets around, BIG back suplex! The fans fire up while both men are down again. Luca roars, runs corner to corner, and clotheslines in the corner! Luca keeps moving, but the CYCLONE BOOT finds him! Dijak roars, drags Luca up and torture racks, FEAST YOUR EYES! Cover, Dijak wins!

Winner: Dijak, by pinfall

Hard Justice might have won out, but Luca put up a hell of a fight! And wait! Here comes Joe Gacy! He is tearing free of the straitjacket! Dijak is furious, he shouts at Gacy, and Luca finds Tony D’Angelo’s crowbar?! Luca CLOBBERS Dijak, and then Gacy goes after Dijak! Gacy CLUBS away, sending Dijak to the back! And as for Luca, well, the D’Angelo Family is watching backstage. The Don confirms with Stacks and Rizzo, he saw what we all saw. Tony tells Stacks to go get Luca. Right now? No, Tony has bigger business to handle. Then Stacks can go get him. Stacks says, “You got it, boss.” Does Tony mean all this in a good way or a bad way?

 

Backstage interview with Noam Dar & Oro Mensah.

Kelly Kincaid spooks Supernova 11 while he was drinking, and he says don’t do that! He has PTSD from the sneak attack by Von & Stone! She doesn’t even care! Kelly apologizes, and then asks that the Catch Clause means he could be facing anyone from the No Quarter Catch Crew. Who would Dar prefer to face tonight? Dar says Meta Four is ready for anything. Tonight, Jakara took Roxie to her limit, Lash had two matches in one night, and in the second one, with no preparation, she nearly won the NXT Women’s Championship. Kelly, who is doing it like them? NOBODY~! Dar & Oro high-five.

Dar says Catch Clause this, Catch Clause that, it can be Papa Gulak, Uncle Mullet, it can be… Uh, who’s the fourth guy? Oro says just call him “new guy.” It could be the new kid or Charlie the Chocolate Factory. The result remains the same: Meta Four, five trophies, one picture. Check, please! Back to you, Vic & Booker! Dar’s always wanted to do that. But will all the confidence in the world not save Dar from whoever the NQCC is sending his way?

 

Lyra Valkyria is here!

The Morrigan heads to the ring and the fans cheer. The NXT Women’s Champion gets the mic, and says first thing’s first: We all wish Shotzi a speedy recovery. The fans cheer that, and Lyra wants to make it known that when Shotzi makes it back, Lyra owes her the title shot. And we gotta give Lash her flowers, she showed up, showed out and stepped up. And Lyra still has the battle wounds to prove it. But Lyra promised us she’d still be here the champion, and well, she’s a woman who keeps her promises. And last week, Lyra made Tatum a promise. So trust her, no one is as shocked as Lyra that Tatum held up her end! Time to give her what she’s earned, right?

So then, Tatum, please come out here. The superfan hurries her way out, but from the crowd side! Lyra says of course. But Tatum gets into the ring with Lyra and says it is so good to see her. Lyra, last week was so hard for Tatum. And then Ava Raine came out to issue an open challenge just so someone else can get near her! “My sweet, sweet dove, in danger of losing her title!” Yes, but, Lyra didn’t. And Tatum actually did what she was asked to do. OF COURSE! Because Tatum would do anything for Lyra. And Tatum has proven her devotion for her! Er, uh… She proved she’s a woman of her word. Yes, that she did.

And Lyra did promise Tatum a surprise. So is Tatum ready? Tatum closes her eyes and holds out her hands but Lyra says no, she can keep her eyes open, it’s not like that. Oh, okay. Lyra spoke with Ava, some calls were made, and next week at Roadblock, Lyra & Tatum team together! OMG Tatum knew it! Lyra said it was a one time thing, but Tatum knew that they’d be together forever and ever and- Whoa, whoa, hold on. It is not them teaming as friends. So more than friends? As a team, taking on The Kabuki Warriors for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships! The fans fire up and Tatum can barely speak!

Tatum puts it together. Tatum.. And Lyra… against Asuka & Kairi for the tag titles? But wait! Ridge Holland comes out here now? He apologizes and says he is very happy about their opportunity, and he wishes them the best of luck in becoming champions together. But if they’re finished, then please leave because he has something very important to get off his chest. The fans boo Ridge stepping on Tatum’s moment, but Lyra & Tatum do exit. Ridge says he is a man of action more than he is of words. But it seems his actions as of late have gotten him in this predicament. When he retaliates, it is always Ridge who takes it “too far.”

But whether he likes it or not, whether he understands the bias, he is still here to apologize for all his actions. Fans boo, but Ridge says he was defending himself against Gallus. He was defending his family! There was no true malice behind it. But wait, the lights go out! And then the tron lights up! A voice says, “Truth will ultimately prevail. But there is pain in bringing it to light.” The lights go out again, and then someone is behind Ridge! They SMASH him with a chair! The fans chant “TEN! TEN! TEN!” because yes, it is TYE DILLINGER!! Or rather, Shawn Spears! The Chair Man is in NXT! The fans lose their minds, they didn’t think it was him! Is he going to take NXT to a perfect ten?

 

Brooks Jensen confronts Oba Femi!

Jensen says if Oba’s still looking for a challenger, then he’s that guy. Oba chuckles and asks if Jensen is sure. Because Jensen seems to be confused. Jensen says Briggs told him to grow some balls, so he put up that fight and busted Briggs up. Now if Oba takes the challenge, Jensen will bust him up! Oba stares Jensen down. Standing up after a fight is one thing, but after Oba is done, Jensen won’t even be able to walk away. Oba heads out, will he be right about his next “victim” soon regretting their decision?

 

Backstage interview with Carmelo Hayes.

At least, Kelly is hoping to, but security stands in front of the door. But word is, Ava is drafting a contract for a signing later tonight. Security lets Kelly through now, and Kelly asks Melo about earlier tonight. Melo has her stop, and says it is pretty simple. He wants Ilja out there, and Ava with a contract, signed, sealed and delivered. Then all Melo has to do is put his name to paper. But tell Ilja for him, no contract means no Melo. Kelly thanks him for his time, will Ava come through for both sides of the fight?

 

Von Wagner w/ Robert Stone VS Lexis King!

Though they failed against The Meta Four, Von & Stone are still proud of the fight they put up. However, effort doesn’t matter to The Drama King, only the results. Will Lexis make big bad Von bow down to him? Or will King be thrown off his throne and right through a table?

NXT returns and Von makes his entrance, Suit Man Stone by his side. The bell rings and the two circle. The fans rally, the two tie up, and Von shoves King right down! King gets up but gets thrown again, and again! Von swings, King dodges and CHOPS! Von just frowns, then he CHOPS King down! Von headlocks, King powers up and out, but Von hurdles then runs King over! Von whips King and back drops him! King writhes and the fans fire up! Von drags King up, says we’re going up, and he suplexes King! Stone starts a count for how long King is in the air, and Von goes past TEN to SLAM King at 13!

The fans fire up and Von waits on King. King is in a corner, Von runs up but King dodges! Knee hits buckle, then King dropkicks the knee! Von hobbles back up, but King KICKS his leg! And KICKS it again! King mocks Von but Von ROCKS King! King staggers, Von runs up but the boot gets stuck on ropes! King KICKS the leg, CHOPS and kicks Von more, then has the leg for a SHIN BREAKER! Then a DRAGON SCREW! King keeps on Von’s leg by puling it to the apron! King SLAMS the leg on the apron, then SLAMS it into the post! The fans boo, Stone is frustrated for Von but King pushes Von to a cover, ONE!!

King mocks Von, pushes him around, then kicks him. Von throws body shots but King CLUBS Von! King has the leg, and he SMASHES the knee into the mat! And he SMASHES the knee again! Von writhes, King grabs the leg, but Von kicks at King with the good leg! King still holds on, but Von BOOTS him! Von choke grips King, stands and shoves him, then DECKS King! And DECKS him again! Von whips but King KNEES back! Von roars, King runs, but Von BOOTS him down! The fans fire up with Von, and Von runs up to clothesline King up and out! The fans fire up as Stone mocks King. Von storms out but King throws hands.

King and Von brawl, but King sends Von into Stone! The fans boo but Von ROCKS King! Von checks Stone but Stone says focus on King. Von hurries back in, hauls him up but King CHOP BLOCKS the leg! King lines up the shot, and he BLINDSIDE KNEES Von! King then crosses the arms but Stone distracts King! King rushes up on Stone, and Von rolls King up! VON WINS!

Winner: Von Wagner, by pinfall

King is shocked but he just got a taste of his own medicine! So King goes after Von for it! King stomps the leg, rains down fists, but stone gets in! Stone drags King away by his hair but King SLAPS Stone! King crosses the arms, CORONATION! Fans boo but refs rush out to get King to back off. King may not have won, but he made Stone pay for it. Will nothing stop The Drama King from doing what he wants?

 

Tatum and Lyra regroup backstage.

They finish watching the Kabuki Warriors highlight package like the rest of us, and Asuka was undefeated for a really long time. But imagine, Lyra & Tatum take the Women’s Tag Team Championships back to NXT. And that would also mean Lyra is a double champion! Tatum will always look out for Lyra. She’s a really good partner. Who told her that? Jaida walks in and says she was gonna feel bad for Gigi, given she’s about to whoop dat ass. But uh, y’all two? You’ll be embarrassed by Asuka & Kairi! Lyra keeps Tatum back, and Arianna Grace stands up. Ladies, we’re all supposed to be supportive role models who settle arguments with words.

Not everything has to end in a fight! What problem does Lyra have with the Kabuki Warriors? There is no problem. Then why challenge them to a fight? Because they wanna be tag champions, duh! They are all champions in their hearts and in their minds. Jaida says she’d rather have a title around her waist than some dumb tiara on her head. Arianna is upset, and Lyra says this is pro-wrestling. Fighting is the norm. Arianna says it is only normal until they change it. What is the pageant queen inspired to do now?

 

Dijak argues with Ava.

Gacy should be in a padded cell! He’s a maniac! Ava says Dijak’s the one who threw the guy in a dumpster! Gacy says Dijak may be done with him, but he’s not done with Dijak! Wait, Gacy’s the one behind the camera?! Gacy attacks, security rushes in to stop these two and Ava says they cannot keep doing this! What will it take for Dijak and Gacy to put this to rest?

 

Gigi Dolin VS Jaida Parker w/ OTM!

Speaking of titles, of course both ladies want their shot at the top title. To get up the ranks, they’ll have to go through each other. Will Jaida from the block do as she promised and whoop dat ass? Or will Gigi make Jaida respect the former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion?

NXT returns as Jaida makes her entrance, Nima, Price & Scrypts following behind. The bell rings and the fans rally. The two tie up, Jaida waistlocks and SLAMS Gigi down. Jaida talks trash on Gigi but Gigi runs up, Jaida gets around to waistlock, but Gigi switches. Gigi headlocks, spins, and drop toeholds! Gigi floats to a facelock and she grinds Jaida down. Jaida fights up, wrenches out and WRINGS, but Gigi rolls through! Gigi rolls Jaida up, TWO! Jaida knees low, talks trash, and she has Gigi on the ropes. The ref counts, Jaida lets off, and fans duel. Jaida SLAPS Gigi, eggs her on, then whips. Gigi ducks ‘n’ dodges to then hook and arm-drag!

Jaida tumbles to ropes, Gigi runs up and HIP ATTACKS! Gigi keeps moving and she DROPKICKS! Jaida sputters but Gigi covers, TWO! Gugi stalks Jaida to a corner, but Jaida kicks a leg out. Jaida bumps Gigi off buckles, throws hands, then stomps away. Jaida lets off, eggs Gigi on, but Gigi fires off forearms! Jaida ROCKS and CHOPS Gigi, hen knees low. Jaida scoops Gigi to put her in ropes, then CHOPS! Jaida runs, goes up and up and HIP DROPS! Cover, TWO! Jaida scowls, and she drags Gigi up. Jaida suplexes but Gigi cradle counters! TWO, and Jaida runs up to knee low! Jaida runs, and hits a BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO!!

Gigi survives and Jaida grows frustrated. Jaida clamps on with a seated cobra twist but the fans rally as Gigi endures. Gigi fights up, throws body shots, but Jaida knees low. Jaida whips, runs in, but into a BOOT! Fans rally, Gigi goes to another corner and Jaida runs in, Gigi BOOTS Jaida, runs up, gets around and ROCKS Jaida with forearm after forearm! The fans fire up but is that Arianna Grace making her way out here? She’s pleading with Gigi and Jaida to stop fighting? Gigi dodges Jaida to SHOTGUN her down! Gigi then lines up the shot to LARIAT! And wrench, and ROUNDHOUSE! Gigi reels Jaida in but they both see Arianna.

Jaida avoids Gigi’s ripcord lariat to ROCK and CHOP Gigi! Gigi ROCKS Jaida, CHOPS her and fires off fast hands! Arianna keeps begging, Gigi blocks Jaida’s shot to kick a leg out! Kawada Kicks! Arianna gest on the apron, the ref says to get down, but Arianna stops Gigi from hitting Jaida with a haymaker! Gigi HEADBUTTS Arianna! But Jaida CLOBBERS Gigi! Jaida runs to SLIDING FOREARM!! Cover, Jaida wins!

Winner: Jaida Parker, by pinfall

Arianna didn’t want anyone fighting, and now she costs Gigi the fight! Jaida still gets the win, will she be the one primed for a title shot? Arianna says that NXT needs to come together, but does she even understand what this sport is about? Or will Gigi have to slap some sense into her?

 

Waves are rolling in.

And in the sand is written, “See you soon.” Does this mean the Soul Surfer is on her way back to NXT?

 

BREAKING NEWS for Roadblock!

Ava Raine wants the madness to end, so she is putting Dijak and Gacy in an ASYLUM MATCH!! The weaponized cage is making its return, will either man be walking away from this one?

 

NXT Heritage Cup Championship: Noam Dar w/ The Meta Four VS ??? w/ The No Quarter Catch Crew!

The Scottish Supernova has held onto this trophy through every trick in the book and then some, but he might’ve just run into a trick even he can’t get around! The Catch Clause is gonna keep everyone guessing until the moment of truth, will this be the moment Dar finally loses the Cup?

One thing Dar has to worry about is that Meta Four isn’t at full power. He only has Main Man Mensah in his corner after Roxie beat down Jakara. The introductions are made, and that reveals it’s DEMPSEY stepping up! The fans cheer, will Dar be ready for the Son of the Gentleman Villain?

The bell rings and round one begins. Dar and Dempsey circle, feel things out, and they tie up. Dempsey waistlocks, Dar wrenches to wristlock, but Dempsey rolls, wrenches, and wristlocks. Dar spins, slips through, wristlocks, and he wrangles Dempsey to the mat. Dar has a top wristlock but Dempsey fights up to his feet. Dempsey powers Dar to ropes, the ref counts, and Dempsey lets off fast. Dar and Dempsey dare each other to do something, and the two reset. They feel things out, Dar kicks, then bobs ‘n’ weaves to KICK again! Dar clinches but Dempsey turns that around to cravat! Dar throws knees to get free, but Dempsey gets around to whip him to a corner.

Dar goes up, under, and RAMS into Dempsey! But Dempsey cravats again! Dar snapmares free, but Dempsey ducks a kick! Dar spins around the wiastlock but Dempsey whips. Dar holds rpoes, table tops Dempsey, then steps over to roll Dempsey up! ONE!! Dempsey is up, he blocks a kick but Dar rolls free! Dar goes to rpoes, Dempsey is on him to whip but Dar reverses! But Dempsey catches Dar, spin and backslide, with bridge! DEMPSEY SCORES!!

Dar: 0; Dempsey: 1

With a minute and 13 to spare, Dempsey takes the crucial first point! The ref backs Dempsey off Dar, and Damon Kemp uses that to blindside Dar! Oro rushes in, seems NQCC is giving Meta Four more than just a taste of their own medicine! Oro drags Dar back towards their corner while Dempsey cools off. Oro says he saw the funny business, but is there anything he can do about it? Round two begins, Dempsey runs up to UPPERCUT! And GUT WRENCH PLEX! Then cover, TWO! Dar stays in this but Dempsey stays on him with a KNEE to the back! Dempsey clamps onto a top wristlock while NXT goes picture in picture.

Dar endures as Dempsey pulls on the arm. Dar moves around, gets to his feet, but Dempsey arm-drags him back down! Dempsey bends the fingers, but Dar scrapes Dempsey with a boot. Dempsey still holds onto the arm, drags Dar around, DOUBLE WRISTLOCK SUPLEX! Dar is back down but he kicks around, and even kicks Dempsey from below. Dempsey shifts to chicken wing the arm, an d he wants the crossface! Dar fights that off, but Dempsey pulls on the chicken wing. Dempsey whips, Dar reverses, and then runs in, but Dempsey ELBOWS him away! Dempsey goes up but Dar sweeps the legs!

Dempsey flounders, NQCC shouts at Dar but Dar goes after Dempsey with a KICK! And a KICK! And a feint to sweep the legs! Dar runs to SLIDING GAMANGIRI! Dar says pinkies out, and he then drags Dempsey back up. Dar goes up a corner, reels Dempsey in and ELBOWS him in the head! Dempsey staggers away, Dar pursues and goes up the corner again. Dar ELBOWS Dempsey over and over, the ref counts, but Dar ELBOWS Dempsey down! We’re under 45 seconds left in the round but Dar doesn’t seem to be in a rush. Dar clamps onto Dempsey, throws him down, then STOMPS an arm! Dar drags Dempsey back up, reels him in, but Dempsey fights the suplex.

NXT returns to single picture, Dar CLUBS away on Dempsey but now we’re in the last ten seconds! Dempsey suplexes Dar first! The two stand, they DOUBLE FOREARM, then time is up! They still wanna brawl!

Dar: 0; Dempsey: 1

Dempsey DECKS Dar, the ref reprimands, but Dar is dangerously close to where NQCC is standing. Dar gets away before any more cheap shots come in, and Dar refreshes. Dempsey is also good to go, and round three begins! the two rush in to fire off more forearms! The fans rally up as the brawl continues, and Dar UPPERCUTS! Dempsey UPPERCUTS! Dar UPPERCUTS, Dempsey UPPERCUTS, repeat! Dar swings again, but Dempsey catches him to a backslide! Dar rolls through, gets around, REAR NAKED CHOKE!! Dempsey powers out to roll back, ARMBAR!! Dar clasps hands but Dempsey breaks the grip!

Dar flails, uses his leg to get Dempsey’s leg in a grapevine, and he gets Dempsey on his stomach! Dar CLUBS away on Dempsey, then shifts into a TRIANGLE HOLD! Dempsey stays on his feet, smothers Dar, but Dar shifts to grapevine again! Dempsey fights off the kneebar to have an ANKLE LOCK! Dar endures and the fans are thunderous! Dar rolls to throw Dempsey away, then hobbles up. Dar avoids the lariat to roll Dempsey, schoolboy bridge! TWO and both men go to ropes. The fans rally, Dar storms up but Dempsey RAMS into him! Dempsey UPPERCUTS, reels Dar in to BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Bridge then roll through, BUTTERFLY STRETCH!

Dar endures, Dempsey shifts to FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Dar endures, Dempsey shifts around, and he throws down elbows! We hit the final minute mark, but Dar rolls Dempsey to a cover! ONE and Dar is free! Dar bobs ‘n’ weaves to HAYMAKER! Pop-up into ARMBAR! Dempsey fights around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Dar lets go and we’re at 30 seconds left. Dar storms up again to fire body shots. Dar ROCKS Dempsey, reels him in, but Dempsey wrenches out! Dar drops to grapevine! Final ten seconds, Dempsey hauls Dar up! GERMAN SUPLEX!! Dar staggers up, BACK ELBOW! But both men are down and that’s the round!

Dar: 0; Dempsey: 1

Dempsey may have been saved by the bell, if a knockout had occurred, he would’ve lost! Gulak gets Dempsey to the NQCC corner, still good to go for round four. Dar is waiting, the bell rings, and Dar runs up, FLYING ELBOW! EXPLODER! Dempsey staggers up into a BACK ELBOW! Dar ROUNDHOUSES, runs corner to corner, NOVA ROLLA!! Cover, Dar scores!!

Dar: 1; Dempsey: 1

The fourth round was the shortest, and we’re all tied up! Kemp helps Dempsey to the corner, and here comes the fifth! Dar runs up, Dempsey dodges! Dar still ROCKS Dempsey first, goes up and leaps, FLYING FOREARM! Cover, TWO!! Dempsey survives and the fans rally up. Dar drags Dempsey up to throw knees. Dempsey drops to his knees, but Myles distracts the ref! Oro YANKS Myles down, but Myles POSTS Oro! Dar ELBOWS Dempsey down, puts pinkies out, he wants to finish this! But now Kemp distracts! Dar DECKS Kemp, the ref reprimands, but Gulak helps Dempsey get up. Dar runs in, Gulak takes the DROPKICK!

Dempsey full nelsons Dar! DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, DEMPSEY WINS!!!

Winner: Charlie Dempsey, by pinfall (NEW NXT Heritage Cup Champion)

Just a minute into the fifth, with a lot of assists from his crew, Dempsey takes the Cup from Dar!! Was all this just karma for Dar’s past? Or did the Meta Four just get beat at their own game?

 

NXT Media catches up with Shawn Spears.

They ask him why he struck Ridge down with a chair to the back, and The Chair Man says, “I like Ridge Holland. But he’s been lying to himself for far too long. That jolt of pain that’s currently coursing through his body is only the truth. That’s why I struck Ridge. The truth can bring you to your knees. And that’s why Shawn Spears is now in NXT. See you next week at Roadblock.” Then Roxie storms out, and doesn’t even wanna talk to anyone. The Chair Man promises to bring out the truth through pain, will Ridge have some “truth” planned for Spears in return? And will Roxie ever be in a good mood in NXT again?

 

Ilja Dragunov is back in the ring!

The NXT Champion is ready, as is Ava Raine, a table, and a contract. Carmelo once again makes his entrance, with his private security, and fans boo. Melo waits for his security to step up to the apron before he joins Dragunov and Ava in the ring. Each man has their seat at opposite ends, and Melo says this is more like it. They’ve got the contract, the boss, and now they’re speaking the same language. But hey, don’t get too intimidated by the security guards. Melo had to bring them out here for his protection. But he thanks Ava for coming, let’s get this show on the road. Melo has been without his NXT Championship for far too long. Next week at Roadblock, it will be a sweet reunion.

Dragunov tells Melo that they’ve been around each other close to eight months now, and Dragunov used to be shocked by Melo’s blatant transparency. But now he realized, it’s just who Melo is! Melo’s willingness to discard anyone or anything juts for the NXT Championship. Melo says absolutely. And it’s crazy hearing this coming from Dragunov, the same man who said he’d take Melo’s soul. Hey, man, the only difference between them is Melo is just colder about how he does things. It’s true! And Melo is going to- be interrupted by The Don? The fans cheer as Tony D’Angelo leads Stacks & Rizzo on stage, then has them stay back.

Tony goes down the ramp and joins everyone else in the ring. Tony says, “Excuse me, gentlemen and lady, but if you’re talking about big business, I gotta be included in the conversation. So let’s talk about it.” Melo says no, this has nothing to do with Tony, okay? If Tony says one more word, Melo’s security will take him outta here, don’t try him. Tony tells Melo to listen. “You don’t have to be HIM or the NXT Champion to make things move around here. There’s only one Don.” Tony snaps his fingers and security drops away! Melo is shocked, and Ava lets Tony have her seat. Melo seethes and Dragunov is amused.

Tony says, “So where was I? Oh that’s right. I can’t be the only one that sees the NXT title picture has been dominated by this Melo-Ilja-Trick saga for the past eight months. But in my opinion, there’s only one man that can flip this on its head, and it’s The Don of NXT. Now I got respect, I even like Trick.” Melo says don’t do all this, Tony. Tony tells Melo to NOT speak while he is talkin. The fans fire up for that one! Ava tells Melo to let Tony finish. Tony says Melo has had a full year to talk about the NXT Championship, and tony has heard it all. Melo is this, Melo is that, whatever, who cares?

Now, Tony isn’t done. Mr. Dragunov dresses like a champion, is intense, maybe a little too dramatic for Tony. But he’ll talk to Dragunov harshly because he can handle it. This might make some people a little uncomfortable, so Melo should put his earmuffs on. Tony will show the world and talk to Dragunov face to face and say that Tony is the man who wants to take the title from Dragunov, NOT Melo. Tony has earned everything he ever got, and anyone who ever crossed him earned everything they deserved. Melo mockingly applauds that. Tony wants them both to listen. Melo is here demanding a title match, but Tony is here telling us that he will EARN the match for Stand & Deliver.

The fans cheer that and Dragunov tells Mr. D’Angelo, he piques Dragunov’s interest. This is a man willing to work for his position, that Dragunov can respect. Tony says Ava agrees if Dragunov agrees. Next week, Roadblock, Melo VS Tony and the winner gets an NXT Championship match at Stand & Deliver. The fans like that, and Ava says they did have a conversation, and she did have a contract drafted for this scenario, should Dragunov agree to it. However, if Dragunov still wants the match with Melo, they just need Melo to sign his part. Dragunov says that actually, he wants nothing more in life than to see Melo earn something for the first time in his life!

The fans cheer as Dragunov says Tony, you’ve got a deal! But please, Whoop Dat Melo! The fans cheer as Tony and Dragunov shake hands. Melo can’t believe Ava is standing by this! This coward of a champion! Fans boo but Melo says fine. Tony can’t beat Melo anyway! This is the NXT Championship! If they need someone to take out the trash or book keep for a washed up school, Tony’s the guy for that. But when it comes to that title, Melo is The Don! Tony stands up to get in Melo’s face, Melo shoves Tony and Tony knocks Dragunov over! And then Melo sucker punches Tony! BACK SUPLEX through the table!!

Fans boo as Melo demands the contract. Ava hands it over, Melo laughs and signs his part. Melo puts the contract down on Tony then picks up Dragunov’s title to drop it on him. Will nothing stop HIM from getting back to the top? Or will he fail to get through the Roadblock?


My Thoughts:

An awesome NXT here with it being half go-home to Roadblock next week and half building towards Stand & Deliver on WrestleMania Saturday. Great stuff from the NXT Championship story, with the promos bookending the night as Melo wants a title shot. But I did like the plot twist that Tony D’Angelo jumps into the story. Melo VS Tony in a #1 contender’s match will be great stuff, but with Melo standing tall after the brawl, I bet Tony wins because Trick Williams makes a return to screw Melo over. Then we can get Melo VS Trick in a non-title grudge match while Tony takes on Dragunov.

Great stuff going on in the tag division with Good Brothers getting a good win but then having several teams coming after them. But of course they’re after Bron & Corbin. I feel like Bron & Corbin are gonna make it through Chase U, but then they might lose to Good Brothers at Stand & Deliver, bringing the Wolf Dogs to an end so Bron can go full-time SmackDown. And then if Good Brothers have the belts, they can take on Chase U, LWO, Frazer & Axiom and other teams for the Spring.

Dijak VS Luca was awesome stuff, especially with Luca really bringing it to Dijak. Gacy showing up was good stuff, too, and the Asylum Match is going to be wild stuff. Good promo from Oba wanting a challenger, good on Jensen for stepping up, but you can bet Jensen gets thrown around and loses. I wonder if seeing Jensen get beat up by Oba makes Briggs step up and that’s the North American Championship match for Stand & Deliver. Stone helping Von win over King was good, but King standing tall makes me think we get an even bigger match for King VS Von in a rematch. Maybe a tables match because that’s Von’s thing?

Great stuff in the NXT Women’s Division that went back and forth between the different stories. Really good match from Kelani VS Kiana with Kiana winning thanks to Izzi, and good match from Roxie and Jakara with Roxie getting the win with the submission. Jacy, Jazmyn, Kiana & Izzi could end up making an all women’s faction since Jacy & Jazmyn are all leaning Heel, and then Thea and Fallon are the Faces coming out of this story. And Jaida beating Gigi was to feed this new thing with Arianna wanting world peace in pro-wrestling, fitting of Arianna being so hilariously annoying. And great teaser from Sol Ruca, hopefully her return gets her back on track.

Then Lyra and Tatum getting a tag title shot is a fun little thing, but I would think Asuka & Kairi retain. This has to still steer things towards Lyra VS Tatum, the break-up is coming, I can feel it. And speaking of returns to NXT, holy crap Shawn Spears is back! That was probably the top moment of the night, especially for that live audience. I did not think those cryptic messages were from him, and Ridge being his first target is an interesting one. Granted, Ridge interrupting Lyra & Tatum was interesting, too. Is this to play to Shawn Spears’ point that Ridge isn’t really a good guy at all? I mean, the fans are gonna cheer Spears over Ridge so might as well go with it.

And great Heritage Cup match out of Dar VS Dempsey. I did not think they were going to have this match happen so soon, like NQCC was gonna test the waters with Myles, but then very clever stuff having NQCC out Heel the Heels in Meta Four. Though maybe NXT wants to pivot Meta Four to Faces and NQCC is the team to do it, but I honestly really like that Dempsey won all the same. Dempsey was probably gonna be Heritage Cup Champion before this had NXT UK continued, and he is certainly worthy of the Cup, can’t wait to see how this story goes moving towards Stand & Deliver.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Andrew’s TNA Xplosion Results & Match Ratings: 2.22.2024

We get Dirty Dango and Mike Bailey in action, as well as the Around the Ring interview with Speedball Mike Bailey!

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Let’s remember this took place right before the No Surrender pre-show, so there’s still No Surrender hype in the announcer points.

Therefore, we already know most of how the Top 5 turns out and if the allusions for momentum pay off…but Xplosion has established itself as more than just a wrestling show. We get to see a few of the undercard players get some ring time, we get wholesome interviews with Gia in full Southern Fried charming glory, and we always get some nice nostalgia moment with the throwback match. Its a quick and dirty 45 minutes, so its hard to be mad.

Speaking of dirty, he’s in the main event!

 

Ratings:

  • Mike Bailey vs Jai Vidal: Speedball wins via Ultima Weapon – ** 3/4
  • Laredo Kid vs Dirt Dango w/Oleg Prudius & Alpha Bravo: Dango wins via Down & Dirty – ** 1/2

 

Results:

Mike Bailey vs Jai Vidal

Vidal tries a cheap shot, Bailey blocks, puts his hands behind his back and says “try again”, he ducks the slap. Gives Vidal one more chance and just front kicks him when he winds up. Vidal is on the receiving end of early strikes and the Bailey Kick Flurry. Running Boot sends Vidal crashing to the floor, Triangle Moonsault connects and its all Speedball so far. Bailey throws Vidal back in, but Jai slips out and Bailey loses track of him when he goes under the ring. So Jai gets behind him, picks the leg and throws Bailey into the stairs.

Back in the ring, Jai is hitting a few Open Hand Smacks and a Tornado DDT. Jai goes for the SLAYmore Kick, but Bailey catches it and starts lighting up Jai with kicks into the Running Shooting Star Press. Vidal ducks a few Buzzsaw Kicks but Bailey holds one to catch him when he thinks he’s safe. Tornado Kick to the corner misses, Jai uses the ropes to keep distance, trips Bailey and then lands the Double Stomp into the SLAYmore Kick…but Bailey kicks out!

Jai lands a few Slaps that just piss off Speedball, he stands up, they trade shots, Jai misses the Yakuza kick, Tornado Kick lands into Ultima Weapon for the Bailey’s win!

Don West, You’ve Got to be Kidding Me! Trending Topics of the week:

5. Chris Sabin’s Longest X Division Title Reign

4. ABC vs GYV going to Match 3

3. Tickets on Sale for Rebellion in Vegas on 4/20

2. Josh Alexander vs Simon Gotch

1. Joe Hendry’s new AJ Francis song

Around the Ring with Gia Miller has Mike Bailey on it today. They start off with Bailey revealing he went to Cooking School and both he and Gia enjoying cooking. Ahh I relate to Bailey on the can’t bake aspect because its too specific and basically science. Bailey’s thing he created that he hasn’t been able to remake is a Pulled Pork Brie Grilled Cheese. I’m only mentioning that since it sounds delicious. 

TNA+ Flashback Moment: Jeff Hardy vs Bully Ray, No Surrender 2012

This is right towards the end of the TNA height, still solid matches and memories, but its kind of like watching events from WCW 1999. 

Laredo Kid vs Dirt Dango w/Oleg Prudius & Alpha Bravo

Ahh he mixed it up saying he hates Lucha Libre this time. 

Dango keeps up with Laredo a little until a Headscissors sends Dango flying, Bravo and Prudius try to block Dango which causes Laredo to pivot. Wrecking Ball Dropkick for Bravo into a big Moonsault into bodies and Laredo is rolling.

They get back in the ring, Forearm Smash into a Michinoku Driver and Uno Mas Moonsaults, but Bravo distracts him on two and a Release Side Suplex gives Dango the edge. Dango just fires Laredo into the corners a few times and goes for a quick cover, but barely gets a 2. Chin Lock into a Sleeper gives Dango the heelish “rest hold” advantage. Laredo tries to fire but Dango stops it with a Knee. Near fall again and Dango goes into a Crossface to keep the Luchador grounded.

Laredo slips a Fireman’s Carry, Dango tries to chase, misses, and Laredo throws some offense together. Missile Dropkick into a Flying Neckbreaker for 2. Laredo goes for a Brainbuster, Dango slips it, hits the ropes and simultaneous Lariats to lay both out. Laredo is the first one up, Forearms into a big slap, goes for a Rope Run, but Dango turns him INSIDE OUT with a Western Lariat. Dango heads to the top for Down & Dirty, Laredo kips up, tries to counter the attempt but Bravo distracts the referee and Oleg trips up Laredo. Down & Dirty hits, Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap for the win!

Overall Score: 5.5/10

This gave Bailey a little momentum going into No Surrender, gave Jai his best showing to date, and reminded everyone that Dango is lurking in that upper middle card area thanks to his enforcers. Dango is an enjoyable gimmick, and I think they’ve done really well at using him often enough to care, but not shoving the “punk rock, don’t care” attitude in our face too much. Like most of us TNA fans remember Shannon Moore’s Book of DILIGAF, right? Punk attitude is fun, but applied correctly…and this is pretty well executed.

Also once again, Around the Ring interviews are charming, and I think do a really good job at ingratiating the talent beyond what the storyline or workrate dictates. Gia is a great interviewer.


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