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Mitchell’s NJPW Report: AXS TV New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 1!

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NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo Graphic

This review of NJPW: New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 1 will be as broadcasted by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • From January 27th, 2018- Six Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s Elite VS Chaos’ Jay White & Roppongi 3K; The Elite wins.
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Minoru Suzuki; Suzuki wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

AXS TV and NJPW take a look at what led to this intense match-up!

The Once in a Century Talent was victorious through four IWGP Intercontinental Championship defenses, but is badly battered. Meanwhile, the Man with the Worst Personality lost his NEVER Openweight Championship to Hirooki Goto, and even sacrificed his hair. However, it was at New Years Dash that Suzuki chose to strike the weakened Tanahashi, with Suzuki-Gun by his side.

The Meanest Man in the World clearly wants the IWGP IC Championship, and is willing to completely dismantle The Ace of NJPW to do it. Can Tanahashi hope to survive the wrath of THE Minoru Suzuki!?

 

From January 27th, 2018 – Six Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s Elite VS Chaos’ Jay White & Roppongi 3K!

We join this match in progress as Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks breaks free of Sho’s waistlock. Matt leaps and tags in The Cleaner, Kenny Omega! Omega runs in but Sho gets him with a German Suplex! Sho holds on, but Kenny gets the standing switch and snap dragon suplex! Then Yo comes in, he gets a snap dragon! White runs in, Omega blocks his punch with a kick then grabs him in a full-nelson. White elbows out, swings, but Omega still gets him with the snap dragon!

Omega fires up with the fans as the Bucks return. Sho is alone against them, and turns around into a TRIPLE SUPERKICK! Cover, but White breaks it up. Yo returns but Nick Jackson is upon him. He throws Yo out while Matt throws White out. Nick climbs up quick and somersault splashes to wipe them both out. The Elite regroups with Sho in position. Matt puffs, puts it out and lifts Sho, Omega and Nick are there for the buckle bomb kick combo! Tag to Nick, and Matt brings Sho back up. Matt drapes Sho on the ropes while Nick climbs up. Nick hits the draping swanton bomb! Cover, TWO! The fans applaud while The Elite are frustrated.

Nick waits for Sho to stand up, but Sho blocks the superkick. He spins Nick around, German Suplex but Nick lands on his feet. Nick gets the takedown, then the “Cease” Sharpshooter! Sho endures but drags himself towards ropes. Matt and Omega keep White and Yo back, respectively, while Nick drags Sho away from ropes. White pushes Matt away then kicks Nick to end the hold. Omega returns, lunges in but White avoids V-Trigger to respond with a stiff forearm smash. Matt returns to SPEAR White! Yo returns, but Matt rallies on him and Sho.

He runs but RPG3K take him down with double knees. Nick returns, but Sho catches him into a backstabber, that feeds him into Yo’s shotgun knees! The fans fire up for RPG3K, Sho pops Nick up for Yo, but Nick counters with a tornado DDT!

Omega returns to V-Trigger Sho! Nick officially tags Omega in, and Omega rallies the fans. He fires up and says, “BANG!” for Sho. Omega runs and hits an even bigger V-Trigger!

That’s not all, he brings Sho up and onto his shoulders. Omega wants One Winged Angel but White returns! Sho slips down and feeds Omega into Switchblade position, but the Bucks double SUPERKICK White from behind!

Yo returns, he turns Nick’s kick into Matt, then dragon screws Nick. Omega gets up and rocks Yo with a forearm. Yo yo-yos back in to SUPERKICK Omega! But then Yo takes double SUPERKICKS from the Bucks! Nick feeds Yo into Matt’s tombstone piledriver position, and Omega helps pop Nick up for the Indietaker!

Cover, The Elite wins!

Winners: The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks)

Omega and The Bucks all win together, but will be facing White and RPG3K separately later in the Sapporo event, all defending their IWGP championships. Will Omega defeat Chaos’ Switchblade 1v1? Will the Young Bucks throw a Superkick Party against the duo formerly known as the Tempura Boyz?

But wait! White attacks from behind!

He gets Omega with the Switchblade driver! White gets away clean, having once again gotten the drop on the IWGP United States Champion. Will he do it again to The Cleaner when the title is on the line?

 

Jay White regroups with Chaos backstage.

“Forgive me if I’m a little off at the moment.” Chaos has started a war with Bullet Club, but White promises to “bring all new kinds of chaos to New Japan.” He hopes they’ll be with him. He wants them to think about this: Yes, Okada leads Chaos now, but he’s holding Chaos back. Has Sho gotten a chance against Will Ospreay? Yes, the team of RPG3K wants tag team titles, but even Yo could challenge for Ospreay’s championship.

Rocky Romero points out Chaos doesn’t work like that, but White says it’s not about breaking Chaos apart, it’s about everyone doing their best to be the best. That way, NJPW can take over the world. Omega wants to change the world, but Bullet Club aren’t the ones to do it. Chaos will. White will. He will do Omega’s work for him, whether or not he has someone backing him. “I am the Switchblade, and everyone will breath with the Switchblade.” White’s newfound edge is making him a bit scary, but can that be exactly what he needs to change the wrestling world?

 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Minoru Suzuki!

Suziki makes his entrance.

The time has come! Accompanied by Suzuki-Gun, the Man with the Worst Personality in the World wants to make up for losing the NEVER Openweight Championship by taking away the Ace’s. How far will the ruthless Suzuki go to hold gold again?

The “Ace” of New Japan heads to the ring.

As is customary, the challenger is shown the belt he fights for before it is put aside.

With that, the formal introductions finish, and the match begins. The fans already chant as the two circle. Suzuki and Tanahashi feel each other out as they tie up. Tanahashi powers Suzuki back to the ropes, then gives him a clean break. He and Suzuki tie up again, and Tanahashi gets the wristlock. Suzuki reverses into his own wristlock, then the hammerlock. Tanahashi drop toeholds and floats to a headlock then facelock. Suzuki powers his way up and puts Tanahashi against the ropes. This break is tense, but clean. They circle again, and Suzuki lunges in for the waistlock. Tanahashi gets the standing switch, but Suzuki counters into the wristlock. Suzuki brings Tanahashi to a knee, but Tanahashi gets back up to his feet to roll and takedown Suzuki. Tanahashi holds onto that foot, then drops into a leglock, but Suzuki counters with a leglock!

Suzuki has the Achilles hold but Tanahashi drags himself to ropes. Tanahashi gets the ropebreak, but Suzuki doesn’t let go! He drags Tanahashi back to the center of the ring and drops down again. Tanahashi stands up and gets his toehold back on, then transitions into a seated knee wrench. Suzuki endures the bending while trying to grab Tanahashi. Tanahashi bends the leg more, but Suzuki starts to power his way out. With that, Tanahashi stands up and goes after the hamstring with stomps and knees. He drops an elbow and puts the toehold on again. Suzuki responds by grabbing Tanahashi’s hair and pulling back.


He seems to be talking trash in order to intimidate Tanahashi, but Tanahashi doesn’t give in. Instead, he continues to wrench and bend Suzuki’s leg. Suzuki gets frustrated, but Tanahashi keeps on his knee by grinding in his own, then stomping the joint. Tanahashi stomps and stomps, but Suzuki just laughs, egging him on. Tanahashi grabs both legs and knots them, but Suzuki resists. Even so, Tanahashi gets a standing Deathlock!

Suzuki endures as Tanahashi bends and pulls the legs. When it is clear this won’t make Suzuki quit, Tanahashi lets the hold go and stomps the thigh. Tanahashi walks around and brings Suzuki up, but Suzuki hits back with body shots. Tanahashi hits back, then puts on a headlock. Suzuki works to bring Tanahashi down to a knee, and then gets a headlock of his own. Tanahashi powers out but Suzuki grabs his hair! Suzuki uses the hair to bring Tanahashi into a headbutt. Suzuki whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi sees Suzuki hold onto the ropes, so he rushes in, only to be caught into Suzuki’s hanging triangle!


The referee, “Red Shoes”, counts Suzuki, and he lets go at 4. He grabs Tanahashi’s leg, but Tanahashi fights him off. Suzuki hits barriers, and the champion catches his breath, while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki stands up to drag Tanahashi out of the ring after all. He whips Tanahashi into the guard rails, rocking the barriers. Suzuki opens the gate to go around and confiscate a chair! He heads back to Tanahashi and jabs that chair into Tanahashi’s ribs. Suzuki raises that chair high over the crawling Tanahashi, to SMACK him across the back!

Tanahashi writhes while Red Shoes takes that chair away. Suzuki doesn’t care, he just brings Tanahashi up to bump him off the apron. Then he kicks Tanahashi against the barriers like he’s a heavy bag. Tanahashi collapses, and Suzuki returns to the ring to let the 20-count climb. It gets halfway before Tanahashi gets to his feet. Tanahashi beats the count at 12, and the fans applaud his heart. Suzuki, however, toys with The Ace, even kicking him while he’s down. The fans rally for Tanahashi as he takes more kicks, and Tanahashi responds with right hand palm strikes. Suzuki responds with his own overhand chop, then waits for Tanahashi to chop back. Suzuki swiftly chops three times, then catches Tanahashi’s counter into a Fujiwara armbar! He bends Tanahashi’s arm back but Tanahashi endures.

Tanahashi crawls around and gets a ropebreak with his foot. However, Suzuki continues to bend the arm! Suzuki lets go at the referee’s count, but comes back to kick and stomp Tanahashi. He wrenches that arm, then kicks it, letting Tanahashi feel that pain. He kicks Tanahashi again, and Tanahashi falls back against ropes. Suzuki kicks again, Tanahashi fires up and dares him to do it again. Suzuki obliges, kicking and kicking and kicking. Tanahashi fires off forearms in return, but then Suzuki kicks again.

Suzuki’s next kick is caught, and Tanahashi fires off more forearms, then body shots and a European Uppercut. He whips but Suzuki reverses, Tanahashi knocks Suzuki down with a flying forearm smash! The fans applaud while Suzuki checks his nose. The fans rally as Tanahashi scoop slams Suzuki. He then hops up, and hits a second-rope somersault senton!

Cover, TWO, but Tanahashi is not deterred. He gets back up and brings Suzuki to his feet. Suzuki fights back with body shots and knees, but so does Tanahashi. Tanahashi backs Suzuki down into the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Suzuki reverses and runs in for a boot in the corner! Suzuki snapmares Tanahashi and kicks away on that back. He then runs, Penalty Kick CAUGHT. Tanahashi stands up, but Suzuki punches him away. Tanahashi throws in a forearm, but Suzuki comes back with one of his own. They go back and forth with heavy rights, and Tanahashi starts to stagger. He still hits back, but Suzuki doesn’t back down.

They both laugh as they continue to brawl with forearms. Tanahashi starts to fade, but he fires back up to keep going. Suzuki keeps laughing as he and Tanahashi speed up with forearms! Tanahashi swings, misses, but blocks Suzuki’s kick to counter with a dragon screw! Both men are down while the fans applaud, and cheer for Tanahashi. Suzuki clutches his leg, so Tanahashi grabs it for a grounded dragon screw. Tanahashi keeps on that leg, even as Suzuki is on his stomach, and dragon screws the other way. Suzuki rolls away but Tanahashi keeps on him. Tanahashi knots the legs and rolls Suzuki into the Cloverleaf!


Suzuki endures the bend, and drags himself to the ropes for the break. Tanahashi lets go, then stomps on Suzuki. Suzuki eggs him on, so Tanahashi keeps stomping. Tanahashi drags Suzuki up from the outside and then grabs a leg. Suzuki senses what’s coming, and fights Tanahashi with right hands. When Tanahashi refuses to let go, Suzuki grabs handfuls of his hair and headbutts away. That still doesn’t back Tanahashi down, and he hits the dragon screw between the ropes! Suzuki tumbles into the ring, but both men are down. Tanahashi gets up first and gets running, but runs into a powerful dropkick from Suzuki!

The fans applaud as both men go down again. Suzuki stands up first, then drags Tanahashi up and into the sleeper hold! Tanahashi endures and backs Suzuki down, but Suzuki holds on. Tanahashi snapmares Suzuki off but Suzuki comes right back with a stiff knee to the stomach. Suzuki puts on a facelock for the front choke, but Tanahashi slips out and spins around to hit Suzuki with a swinging neckbreaker! He brings Suzuki up for a second swinging neckbreaker! Then a third!

The fans applaud the trifecta, but Tanahashi doesn’t cover here. He calls for something big, gets running, and hits the Slingblade!


The Ace isn’t done there, he climbs up top. He takes aim as Suzuki stands up, and hits the flying crossbody! Still no cover, as Tanahashi’s leg bothers him again. Red Shoes checks on the champ while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and the fans are rallying while Tanahashi clutches that bad leg. Red Shoes also checks on Suzuki, but both men are okay to continue. Suzuki stands up but falls back while Tanahashi gets himself back to a corner. Tanahashi climbs up, takes aim again, High Fly Flow splash!

But into Suzuki’s knees!


Then Suzuki gets that bad leg into the Kneebar! And then, the full Heel Hook!

Tanahashi endures the torturous combination of holds, but practically tears his hair out. The fans rally for Tanahashi but Suzuki just bends that foot back more. Suzuki goes so far, that foot looks to be facing the wrong way! Tanahashi refuses to give in, and uses Suzuki’s legs to help him roll to ropes.

However, Suzuki drags Tanahashi back the other way, and wrenches that foot ever further! Suzuki shouts for Tanahashi to quit, but instead, Tanahashi slips around and grabs those ropes for the break! Suzuki lets go, but then drags Tanahashi back out, for a Figure Four leglock!


Tanahashi endures this new hold, but won’t give up, even as Suzuki uses his arms for leverage. Suzuki twists the foot as part of the hold, but Tanahashi won’t give up. Tanahashi works to roll, and gets some of the pressure off. The fans rally again but Suzuki rolls it back into his favor. Suzuki wants Tanahashi to give, but Tanahashi refuses. One more extra bridge and wrench, but this still doesn’t make Tanahashi give up.

Tanahashi grits his teeth and pries at the hold itself. Suzuki and Tanahashi talk back and forth, but Suzuki rolls it back the other way. Tanahashi uses that to roll it back in his favor. Sweat drips off Suzuki’s face but he won’t let this beat him, either. They roll again, Tanahashi gets another ropebreak!

Red Shoes helps undo the leglock, and Suzuki dares Tanahashi to get up. The fans continue to cheer for Tanahashi as he slowly gets to his feet. He grits his teeth and brawls with Suzuki, but Suzuki fires off nearly endless strikes, both to body and head. Tanahashi is dazed, and Suzuki puts him back in the sleeper hold! Suzuki squeezes tight, and Tanahashi fades, but then springs back to life. He reaches, but fades again.

Tanahashi fades, and fades, but Suzuki won’t let it end with that. He spins Tanahashi around and puts him into position and puts on the Gotch grip, but Tanahashi resists! Tanahashi uses all his strength to keep that piledriver away, but Suzuki lifts him up! Tanahashi flails and gets back on his feet, then takedown to the Cloverleaf! Suzuki resists the turn, but Tanahashi still gets it back on!


Suzuki endures a submission now, but he drags himself little by little. Tanahashi walks forward to drag Suzuki away, but Suzuki grabs hold and pops out into a small package cradle! TWO, into SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi was so close and he knows it. The fans are thunderous as he brings Suzuki up. He puts on a full-nelson but Suzuki breaks it. Suzuki mule kicks that bad knee! But Tanahashi hits back with a left palm strike. Suzuki staggers back and Tanahashi catches his breath while the fans rally again. He runs at Suzuki and rocks him with a forearm smash at the ropes. He throws more forearms, then fires up to run again. That bad leg slows him down, and Suzuki dropkicks it out! Both men are down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS is back once again, and Suzuki has the Kneebar-HeelHook again! Tanahashi endures the torture all over again, and his foot is twisted all around again. Tanahashi rolls but that only eases some of the pressure. He reaches and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go again, but he waits for Tanahashi to stand. Red Shoes wants space to check but Suzuki pushes Red Shoes aside to kick away at the bad leg! Suzuki kicks and kicks all around the ring, and doesn’t stop, even after Tanahashi falls to the mat. Suzuki brings Tanahashi back up for palm strikes, then drags Tanahashi into position. He puts the Gotch grip on, and lifts Tanahashi, for the Piledriver!!


But no cover, Suzuki goes for the KNEEBAR HEEL HOOK! He wants it to work this third time! Tanahashi endures, grabbing Red Shoes in desperation. Suzuki wrenches as deep as ever, and the fans are so loud for The Ace. Tanahashi doesn’t want to, hates to, but Suzuki is doing everything he can to get Tanahashi to. Red Shoes asks, Tanahashi shakes his head “NO!” But he can’t even get away as Suzuki has his legs in a Deathlock knot on top of everything else.

The fans rally for Tanahashi once more, and he desperately reaches for ropes. He drags himself around, but Suzuki rolls him away! Suzuki gives it all he has, and Tanahashi holds on with everything he has. The hold is released, only so Suzuki can drag Tanahashi further away from ropes and reapply the Kneebar. Red Shoes pleads with Tanahashi, but when there’s no response, Red Shoes has to call it! Suzuki wins and is the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion!

Winner (new IWGP Intercontinental Champion): Minoru Suziki

He takes the belt that was once Tanahashi’s, and stands over him with it as if to add insult to injury.


Suzuki-Gun joins him in the ring again to celebrate his victory while medics tend to Tanahashi.

Minoru Suzuki speaks.

“Hey, Tanahashi, you asked me to make it exciting, right?” Suzuki takes offense that Tanahashi, “injured all over”, yet thinking he could beat Suzuki. “Even if you performed a miracle by reviving a New Japan on the verge of collapse,” Tanahashi won’t get a second miracle. Suzuki says “Power is the only thing that matters!” He’ll find any excuse to beat you down. Suzuki dares Tanahashi to come back and try again, he’ll “beat your ass once more. You can count on it!” Then Suzuki turns on Sapporo, asking “what the hell are you clapping about?!” Suzuki mocks the “dopes” sitting at ringside. They thought this was a good match, right? But now he has their “precious Intercontinental belt”! And he made sure that “your other treasure, Hiroshi Tanahashi, will never stand in the ring again.” Go ahead and tell everyone how bad it hurts. Suzuki says his knee and ankle joints “made the most delightful sounds a moment ago.” Snap crackle, pop! But that’s right, only those who have “battled in the ring” know that sound. “Idiots who will never set foot in the ring have no right to criticize!” Suzuki-Gun is NUMBER ONE! Cannons fire to rain streamers down on the victorious Suzuki.

Meanwhile, Tanahashi is taken away on a stretcher. After all the damage Tanahashi endured, what is the state of his legs? When will he be able to return to action?

 

Suzuki-Gun has a post-match press conference.

With both his IWGP Intercontinental Championship and Rev-Pro Wrestling Undisputed British Tag Team Championship on the table, Suzuki shakes up and cracks open a beer.

The NJPW belt, THE IWGP IC belt, is now his. And he’s coming after those who “stepped on my head”. “This won’t go the way you think. You’ll see. I’ll show all of you. And remember, Suzuki-Gun is NUMBER ONE! He leads his team in spraying even more beer on the reporters. Suzuki is now the Champion with the Worst Personality in the World. What more sadistic damage and destruction will he and his faction inflict on the rest of NJPW?

 

My Thoughts:

This is my first time covering and even watching a full NJPW program, but I have always been pretty aware of the major players. I was surprised to see even just part of the Six Man Tag from this same night, but even just part was great. The Elite wins to keep themselves established in the trios divisions, but then White drops Omega to keep things even going into their IWGP United States Championship match coming up. White’s press conference promo was great to help us understand his new mindset as “The Switchblade”, as well as his missing. Having covered ROH where he went on “expedition”, I know White is a great talent and could be champion easily. I also had the fortune of seeing Minoru Suzuki when he faced Cody in ROH. Just that one match gave me an idea of how cutthroat Suzuki was, and this match upped that even more. The story told in the ring was incredible on both sides, with Tanahashi fighting through the pain while Suzuki wants to sideline Tanahashi to get back at him and everyone in NJPW. I really do expect Suzuki to do more of the same to anyone and everyone put up against him next.

My Score: 8.8/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

OTHER NEWS

Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 28, part 11!

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

NJPW and AXS bring us the B Block finals! Will it be Tetsuya Naito of one of the Golden Lovers who qualifies for THE G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
  • Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for this final night of B Block action!

It all comes down to this! The Best Bout Machine lost to Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in a row, though one was in part thanks to Tama Tonga. However, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion is still one win away from being in his third consecutive G1 Climax Finals. That win must come at the expense of Kenny Omega’s best friend, Kota Ibushi, in this Golden Lovers dream match. Ibsuhi could take the entire block with his own win, but there’s also last year’s G1 Climax champion. Tetsuya Naito can make his own repeat appearance if he defeats Zack Sabre Jr, who would love to play spoiler with his submission style. Who will meet Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The charismatic leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on Suzuki-Gun’s Submission Master, a familiar match up from this year’s New Japan Cup. Naito takes his time with his attire, as usual, but ZSJ is patient. The referee finishes his check of both men, rings the bell, and we begin.

ZSJ rushes Naito then throws him out. He pursues but Naito slips back out to then troll ZSJ with a game of cat ‘n’ mouse. ZSJ grows frustrated and starts kicking railing like his mentor, Minoru Suzuki. Taka Michinoku calms Zack down and gets him back to the ring. Naito tells ZSJ to return, saying time is of the essence. ZSJ returns but Naito speeds things up. They both run and dodge, then Naito Tranquilos! But ZSJ grabs the arm for the armbar! Naito gets the ropes for the ropebreak and ZSJ mocks Tranquilo before letting Naito go. Naito takes his time returning, to again troll ZSJ. Red Shoes counts but Naito waits to return at about 10. ZSJ rushes Naito again for a headlock. Naito powers out and arm-drags ZSJ around. ZSJ headbutts then European Uppercuts, but he runs into another arm-dag.

Naito has ZSJ down, but ZSJ reverses into a headscissor. ZSJ squeezes, then stands to twist! Naito writhes while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ goes after the legs and gets a Queen Angelito figure four. He goes after the arms, and he uses a surfboard style lift! ZSJ goes for a cover but can’t get the angle, so he shifts to a leg based double armbar. Naito manages another ropebreak, so ZSJ backs off. ZSJ toys with Naito then gives him a EuroUpper. Naito chops back, so ZSJ trips him up and twists his neck again. ZSJ lets Naito get up to then float over to a cravat. Naito works his way up to arm-drag out. ZSJ runs in but misses, Naito jump kicks but it’s ZSJ who sweeps! The New Japan Cup champ has the G1 Climax 27 champ down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Naito gets back up at 13. He returns to the ring at 15 but ZSJ stands on him to then get the ankle lock. ZSJ shifts to a Half Crab that shifts to an STF that shifts to a crossface. Naito reverses with a roll, TWO! ZSJ has a grounded cravat that he bridges and then rolls back. He gets a headscissor as Naito sits up, then grabs an ankle. They both roll and Naito is still in the headscissor. ZSJ squeezes but then Naito gets his own headscissor. ZSJ pries his way up and out and back to a half crab. He just stands on Naito’s head and body now to humiliate more than hurt. Naito gets up and chops ZSJ. ZSJ headbutts, EuroUppers, then whips. Naito reverses and reels ZSJ in for the backbreaker and dropkick! Both men are down as fans rally.

Naito stands and fires of on ZSJ. He whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Naito to come out with the headscssiors. Jump kick, leg sweep, and swinging dropkick! Naito poses while ZSJ checks his mouth. Naito elbows ZSJ, then brings him back up. ZSJ reverses the neckbreaker to a facelock, but Naito reels him in for the atomic drop.  Naito runs in at the corner but has to block ZSJ’s boots. ZSJ kicks Naito but Naito holds on. Naito spits, so ZSJ kicks more. Naito turns him sideways for a draping backbreaker! Then a standing neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Naito while he thinks of what to do next. Naito circles ZSJ and brings him up in a waistlock. ZSJ gets a standing switch to full nelson but Naito arm-drags out. They collide, elbow for elbow, and back again. Naito rolls for the kick but into an STF!

Naito drags himself around but ZSJ switches to part Rings of Saturn! He keeps Naito’s face back with a leg but Naito uses a leg to get the ropes. ZSJ again lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Taka coaches ZSJ up but the fans are on Naito’s side still. ZSJ stands first and kicks at Naito. Naito takes them in stride, a grin on his face. Naito fires a forearm and a back elbow and ZSJ falls. Fans fire up as Naito throws more elbows, but ZSJ comes back with a EuroUpper. Naito elbows, ZSJ falls again. Now Naito toys with ZSJ, but ZSJ SLAPS Naito. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but ends up in a backslide. He rolls through but runs into the tornado DDT! Naito drags ZSJ up. Hammerlock and lift, but ZSJ counters with a guillotine that becomes a triangle hold!

Naito endures the squeeze while ZSJ prevents a cover. Naito uses power to lift but ZSJ wrenches back. ZSJ brings Naito back down and Naito starts to fade. Fans keep rallying, Naito jackknifes! TWO, and ZSJ penalty kicks Naito down! ZSJ drags Naito back up, but Naito suplexes into the dragon sleeper, for a reverse DDT! Fans cheer Naito while Taka shouts for ZSJ to get up. Naito sits up but ZSJ follows. They stand, and Naito elbows ZSJ again. ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but that arm is hurting. Naito chops but ZSJ slaps. Naito SLAPS, then hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Naito fires himself up as he drags ZSJ up. ZSJ sees it coming, and Peles the arm. Naito rolling kicks then whips. ZSJ reverses, catches the flying forearm, into an Octopus hold!

Naito endures being bent and stretched, but ZSJ’s arm is also bothering him. Fans rally for Naito and he manages to step towards ropes. ZSJ does what he can to pull on Naito, such as pulling the right arm all the way back. Naito still steps forward, but ZSJ pulls again. Naito uses one last effort and gets another ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go, and both men fall from exhaustion. Fans and Taka rally their favorites up again, and ZSJ sits up first. Naito follows but ZSJ penalty kicks Naito right back down! And he does it again! But Naito still stands. ZSJ goes for a third but gets caught into a German Suplex. Naito whips but ZSJ reverses, to get the flying forearms! Naito drags ZSJ up, arm wrench, but ZSj counters into the EuroClutch! TWO!? Naito misses his enziguri, ZSJ EuroClutches again, TWO!?

ZSJ EuroUppers but gets an enziguri. Naito backs up, runs in, but ZSJ slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to Octopus. Naito slips out this time to DESTINO! But he’s not done, here comes another D– no, Michinoku Driver! Cover, ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall; ZSJ earns 2 points, Naito earns 0

The Submission Master uses a shout out to his coach and he spoils Naito’s chances! There will not be a repeat for the previous G1 Climax champion, and this leaves the way open for one half of the Golden Lovers!

 

Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!

They may not always have been a team, but the Golden Lovers have always been friends and rivals. The Cleaner is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but the Golden Star won’t give up his own desire for that belt. A dream match becomes reality, but who will live the dream of competing in the tournament finals?

The bell rings, and fans fire up as the two friends take a moment to stare down. They circle, Omega lunges in and gets the leg. He floats to a facelock and holds on as they go around. He goes to a waistlock and counters Ibushi’s standing switch. Omega gets a half nelson then another facelock as they stand. Ibushi has Omega on the ropes, but honors the ropebreak. But Omega brings him back in with a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Omega runs him over, but Ibushi kips up. Things speed up, Omega holds rope but still runs into a dropkick! Omega bails out but comes right back in to chop Ibushi! Omega whips but Ibushi holds ropes, so Omega chops again. The whip goes through but Ibushi dodges to kick. Ibushi kicks but is blocked, Omega chops. Omega runs but into the kick!

Omega bails out but longer this time, so Ibushi slingshots out! He crashes and burns, Omega saw that one coming. Omega brings Ibushi up to put him into railing. Then he scoop slams him onto the apron! Omega drags Ibushi back up and into the ring. Fans fire up as Omega returns and runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool while fans cheer Ibushi on. Omega clubs Ibushi, then stomps him. He kicks Ibushi around, but Ibushi grows stronger with every hit. Omega runs, and dropkicks Ibushi down! Ibushi stands, kicks and snapmares Omega, to then kick him swiftly in the neck. Omega kicks and cravats but Ibushi counters to snapmare and kick, kick, kick! Omega gets up to shove and punch.

Now it’s a brawl back and forth, but Omega kicks low. Omega boots Ibushi into a corner, then runs in. Ibushi goes up and over to then powerslam and moonsault! But onto knees! Omega knows Ibushi so well, and he drags Ibushi up for fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape! Rolling senton, but the moonsault gets knees! Ibushi knows Omega so well, too! Ibushi runs, but into a huricanrana. But Ibushi then comes back with his own huricanrana! Omega ends up outside again, and Ibushi runs, but Omega intercepts the golden triangle for a full nelson! Ibushi holds ropes and elbows Omega back. Omega chops Ibushi’s back, then Electric Chair lifts! But Ibushi fights him off again, to then deadlift. Omega fights out with uppercuts, then has Ibushi on the shoulder, apron package tombstone!! Both Golden Lovers are down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega climbs up top. Ibushi slowly stands, but he gets the missile dropkick to the face! Then cross fisherman, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi lives and fans fire up for him. Omega grits his teeth, takes aim and… BANG! Omega runs, but he misses. Ibushi waistlocks but Omega standing switches. Omega shoves and chops Ibushi in the back! He whips and V-Triggers to the back! Omega drags Ibushi up, Electric Chair, but Ibushi resists. Pop-up, Croyt’s Wrath! With the bridge! TWO!! Ibushi narrowly escapes, but Omega stays focused. V-Trigger! Then the double underhook, but Ibushi resists again. They speed up, running DDT! Ibushi rolls out of the ring, but Omega hears the Terminator drums. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit on Ibushi!

Both men are down but Omega stands first. Omega drags Ibushi up and in, and fans rally up. Omega climbs up top again, but Ibushi PELE to stop him! Ibushi climbs up to join Omega, but Omega resists whatever lift Ibushi is after. The Young Bucks are concerned at ringside as Omega starts to shovel Ibushi up. Ibushi slips off to chop and SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up again and Omega bails out. Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle! Direct hit on Omega! The Golden Lovers are down again, but Ibushi is up first now. Ibushi puts Omega in, then climbs up top. Ibushi springboards but Omega catches him into the Electric Chair! But Ibushi fights out fast to strike fest and roundhouse Omega down. Knee-sault! Cover, TWO!!

Omega survives that innovative knee drop, but Ibushi isn’t out of ideas yet. Ibushi drags Omega up, with double wrists, but Omega dodges the knee. Ibushi dodges to Pele again! He grabs Omega, but Omega slips out of the bomb to V-Trigger. Ibushi blocks but gets the second V-Trigger. Omega full nelsons but Ibushi fights out. Omega heel kicks him into a corner! Then from corner to corner, V-Trigger! Omega drags Ibushi up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega sits Ibushi up, puts on the full nelson, but Ibushi fights out again. Ibushi elbows but Omega headbutts. Omega stands up now, another attempt at the full nelson, SUPER SNAP DRAGON! But Ibushi stands right up!

The Golden Lovers collide with double clotheslines, then do it again. Omega kicks the other one away to V-Trigger! Ibushi reverses to snap German! But Omega’s up, so he gets a Half ‘n Half, and CLOBBERING CLOTHESLINE! Ibushi has control while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns and Ibushi drags Omega up. Ibushi wants the bomb, and gets the Golden Star sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!? Even Ibushi is shocked. But he drags Omega up again with the double wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi cannot understand how Omega survives. Ibushi uncovers his knee and brings Omega back up. Omega resists because he knows what’s coming. Ibushi stomps and clubs Omega. Omega fights back with forearms and elbows. Omega throws more of those, but then Ibushi fires back! They go back and forth, but neither man backs down. Omega hits, but Ibushi responds. They give shorter and faster forearms now but neither man lets go of the wristlock. Omega headbutts but Ibushi kicks! Ibushi kicks but gets a V-Trigger! He staggers, but chops!

Ibushi fires palm strikes and body shots. He runs, but into the V-Trigger! Omega runs again, but into a roundhouse! They’re both down, but fans fire up for Ibushi. Ibushi hears them and decides to climb up top. Phoenix Splash flops as Omega evades. Omega stands, to V-Trigger Ibushi in the back! Then suddenly, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Now Omega is shocked that Ibushi lives. Omega pulls his own knee pad down, to V-Trigger! Then Electric Chair, but Ibushi fights again. Reverse-Rana is blocked by sheer will, and Omega makes it like a driver! Cover, TWO!?! Omega aims again, BANG! Another V-Trigger! Then another Electric Chair, but Ibushi holds ropes. Omega climbs!? Ibushi senses this and fights for his life. Ibushi positions himself, SUPER double stomps!

Omega barely stays on the top rope, but Ibushi comes back up to join him. Ibushi drags Omega up, in a double underhook, SUPER TIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO??! But how?! Ibushi keeps going, dragging Omega up with both hands, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Omega earns 0

The Golden Lovers dream match ends with Ibushi scoring a victory over the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! With this, Ibushi wins the B Block and qualifies for THE G1 Climax 27 Finals! Ibushi meets Hiroshi Tanahashi for that chance at the title at Wrestle Kingdom. But because they’re great friends, Omega celebrates with Ibushi before letting him take the ring alone.

Ibushi speaks.

“Kenny, Matt, Nick,” and everyone in the Elite, “Thank you very much.” Ibushi thanks all the wrestlers in NJPW, too. Ibushi still lives in the G1 Climax, and vows to win the finals the very next day. He keeps things short and sweet so that he and the Elite can all leave together. Can the Star surpass The Ace to then give us a sequel to this amazing match? Or will The Once in a Century Talent score his third G1 Climax championship?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Golden Elite are all together, as Omega notes that he somehow made it here on his own power. He admits he doesn’t like that he lost, especially as champion. But losing to his tag partner and best friend, Ibushi, and knowing he goes to the finals to face Tanahashi, makes Omega happy. Omega gives his full support, and will be in Ibushi’s corner. Ibushi accepts his friend’s support, and is himself very happy. He can’t believe he won. It doesn’t seem real yet. But Ibushi has made it to the finals, and again vows to win it all. He’s been focused on that single goal, he just has one match to go. Was tonight’s dream match a preview of Wrestle Kingdom? Or perhaps something sooner rather than later?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An amazing night, especially factoring in the context of the incredible action. Naito VS ZSJ in a New Japan Cup goes the same way as the match in the New Japan Cup, but naturally escalated up. Naito was well-prepared for the submissions and got the ropebreak quite a few times, but in the end ZSJ wins out. Given the points, it makes sense to keep Naito out of the running. It adds drama to Omega VS Ibushi, because then it becomes another “win and you’re in.” Actually, B Block parallels A Block in that respect, as Jay White was the third man who could complicate Okada VS Tanahashi, until he lost to Evil. But Naito is fine not going into the finals again, as fans still love him, and there’s plenty of unfinished business with other wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Then Omega VS Ibushi is definitely worthy of a block finals. The story was already there with them being such close friends and tag team partners. The counters, the back and forth, it was so great. Ibushi benefits the most from winning here because he was perhaps the underdog against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and now earns the right to challenge Omega even without the G1 Climax contract for Wrestle Kingdom. Of course, Tomohiro Ishii has a similar claim he can make, so Ibushi can wait for one of the bigger NJPW events to give us the epic sequel.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Lucha Libre

Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions

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Joe Lucha Libre Report
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CMLL

CMLL Anniversary

We saw at the anniversary show, in predictable fashion, Rush and Cavernario defeat Volador and Matt Taven in the hair vs hair match. Everyone knew what the result would be which helped kill intrigue in the match because as discussed before, if CMLL was willing to hair Rush lose his hair it would be against LA Park and if he were to lose it against anybody else it wouldn’t make sense. So Volador and Taven lost 2 falls to 1 and at the end of the match, as a way to weasel out of it Taven turned on Volador as if it was his plan all along but they weren’t going to stand for it. I wonder how much Taven had his head shaved, I suppose we shall see on the next Ring of Honor live event. The show was pretty close to a sell out containing 16,000 fans.

The Co-main event saw Pentagon, Fenix, and Diamante Azul defeating LA Park, his son, and Caristico 2 falls to 1 in what was a very good match. LA Park, for a man who is very large in his older age can still put on some very good matches and held his own in their with the much young Fenix and Pentagon and the always entertaining Caristico. The match before that which was the Kaos Klan vs Los Guerrero’s for the trios title. This wasn’t in technical terms a very good match, but it had heat on it. One of the issues was the finish was a complete let down and out of nowhere. Not in a good way either, sometimes out of nowhere finishes are good if they’re done during hot moments, but this one was just a standard pin with feet on the ropes.

CMLL Friday Show/Future

The top three matches for this show will feature a rematch with Kaos Klan and Los Guerrero’s. This is the third time this match is happening in a short span so I wonder if they will have Los Guerrero’s win here after potentially swerving the fans at the Anniversary show. It was a weak finish and wasn’t a good match so I have to imagine that they’re going to put forth a better performance this time. However, a lot of the men involved are much older and broken down so they need the pomp and circumstances more. We also have a lightning round match between Mistico and Negro Casas so that should be something. They must be going for a program with them.

In the main event we have, Atlantis, King Fenix, and Diamante Azul vs Rush, Cavernario, and El Terrible. I wonder if my theory about building a program with Rush and Atlantis for next year starts and if maybe they move towards Fenix and Cavernario. I can only imagine how good those singles matches would be. LA Park worked the Arena Puebla show with Rush in the match. This was a very good match, perhaps an anniversary show standard.

There was a lot of instances in the match where Park and Rush had a show down one on one in the ring. It was a very long match and very good. Rush won with a low blow and Park then cut a promo after the match challenging him hair vs mask again to which CMLL cut his mic. But it magically turned on when Rush got the mic. Park was upset and left. They are promoting LA Park and Hijo Del LA Park vs Rush and Cavernario next week for the Monday Puebla show. So it looks like they’re going back to this well for financial purposes, who knows if the hair vs mask match will ever happen.

AAA

AAA has announced their big October Show, the Antonio Pena tribute show, and it has a pretty big card, with the main event being Jeff Jarrett vs Dr. Wagner Jr in a hair vs hair match. I’m almost positive Jarrett is losing that match especially if they’re building towards Park vs Wagner at the next Triplemania. Wagner is gonna need to have more hair grown out to make it a viable match on paper. He doesn’t have much hair so why would the fans buy his hair vs the value of Park’s mask? I feel like there’d be so much more intrigue with Psycho Clown vs Park mask vs mask, but it all depends on when and who Park wants to lose to. Everyone seems to agree that it has to be to Rush whenever the time is.

Also on that card which we’ll preview more in the coming weeks, Park will team with Psycho Clown against Murder Clown and Kevin Kross. So something is going to have to happen in the coming weeks that pairs Kross with Murder Clown because they were just attacking each other during the last encounter with Wagner and Jeff Jarrett. A three way tag match for the tag titles will happen and Bandido and Flamita will actually get their chance. There was rumblings wondering if AAA would remember the stipulation on the Triplemania show. There’s also a four way match for the women’s title. More info in the coming weeks as the card gets built on the TV tapings.

AAA on Twitch 9/21

We will have a women’s match to start the show, which seems to be typical featuring, Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire vs Faby Apache, La Hiedra, and Lady Shani. We get a six man tag team match next which will be action packed featuring, Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz vs Aerostar, Argenis, and Nino Hamburguesa. The next match is a three way tag match between Texano Jr and Escorpion vs Maximo and Mamba vs El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr and Golden Magic.

The co-main event is another six man tag between, Laredo Kid, Tayrys, and Hijo Del LA Park vs La Parka, Pagano, and Joe Lider. Any match with Joe Lider and Pagano is bound to be crazy. The main event sees LA Park teaming with Electro Shock vs Psycho Clown and El Hijo Del Fantasma. The theme of this show is Lucha Libre Elite vs AAA. They’re playing up an invasion storyline. They have another show on September 30th but I will preview that one next week.

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