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Mitchell’s NJPW Report: AXS TV New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 2!

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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- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: The Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale & Guerillas of Destiny VS Taguchi Japan’s Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe; Bullet Club wins and retains the NEVER Openweight 6MTTC.
  • From January 28th, 2018- 10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingoblernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS Roppongi 3K; RPG3K wins and become the new IWGP Jr. HTTC.

PLAY BY PLAY

AXS TV & NJPW take a look at what led to tonight’s main event.

Formerly known as “The Tempura Boyz”, Sho & Yo reinvented themselves and captured the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. They would defend them at Wrestle Kingdom 12 against Matt & Nick Jackson, but the newly minted Roppongi 3K were no match for the Young Bucks. The Bucks became record-setting 7-time Jr HTTCs, but that was not the end of the rivalry.

Rocky Romero, after being attacked by the Bucks himself, coached up his new team to be ready for this rematch. Can Sho & Yo gain back what Matt & Nick took from them?

 

From January 27th, 2018-

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: The Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale & Guerillas of Destiny VS Taguchi Japan’s Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe!

We join this match just as Tama Tonga hits a corner to corner stinger splash, then covers, TWO. He drags Henare over and tags in the Underboss. Fale brings Henare to a corner and bumps him off buckles. Fale sucker punches Makabe, then Taguchi. He returns to Henare and unloads body shots. He whips Henare corner to corner, then runs in, but Henare dodges! Henare crawls, hot tag to Makabe! The fans fire up as Makabe rallies on Bullet Club. The Gorilla corner clotheslines then whips Fale for another clothesline. Makabe climbs up and rains corner punches on Fale, then tries the northern lights. Fale is too big and strong for that, he clubs Makabe and grabs his throat with both hands. Makabe breaks free of that, but Fale rocks him with a body shot.

Fale runs, but Taguchi runs in to hit a hip attack. Makabe runs Fale over, but Tonga Loa breaks the pin. Taguchi goes after Loa, throws him out, then keeps on Loa while the fans rally. Makabe tries to bring Fale down but Fale only stumbles. Makabe runs again, but into Fale’s Samoan Drop! Both Fale and Makabe are down, but the fans rally for them. They roll, hot tags to Tonga and Henare. They speed up, Henare fakes Tonga out then runs for a BIG shoulder tackle! Henare is all fired up as he gives forearms to Tonga. He whips but Tonga reverses, Tonga reverses but Henare dodges. Henare runs in but Tonga puts him on the apron. Tonga gets away but Henare climbs up to the top, for a flying shoulder tackle! Cover, TWO!

It was close, and he fires up again. Taguchi returns to kick Fale out, and Makabe does the same to Loa. Taguchi’s trio targets Tonga, putting him in a corner. Taguchi & Makabe double whip Tonga corner to corner, then they begin the corner train: Taguchi whips Makabe in for the corner clothesline, then Henare in, then Makabe again, and Henare again. Taguchi does a Running Man Dab while he directs his men in the clotheslines.

Henare, then Makabe, then Tonga is fed to Taguchi’s hip attack. Henare hits a spear, covers, but Loa and Fale break the cover just in time. Taguchi throws Fale back out and Makabe brawls with Loa. Henare returns to Tonga, headbutt after headbutt, then fireman’s carry. Tonga slips out and shoves Henare to ropes, fireman’s carry on the rebound for a Samoan Flapjack! Cover, TWO!! That was so close, the Bullet Club is shocked. Tonga keeps on Henare, single-leg crossface, the Cobra Twist!

Henare taps out, The Bullet Club wins!

Winners: The Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale & Guerrillas of Destiny

It is rare that the champions successfully retain, even in the short track record of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships. Is this Too Sweet combination just right for reigning supreme over the entire division?

 

From January 28th, 2018-

10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingoblernables de Japon!

There has been a grudge growing between these two NJPW stables. It reached a new level when Chaos leader Kazuchika Okada wanted Sanada to speak for himself in relation to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. However, Cold Skull wouldn’t do what Okada wanted, so the Rainmaker decided to show the “punk” now to disrespect him, in the form of a Tombstone piledriver and a mouth full of cash. Thus, we now have this star-studded, title-loaded 5v5 match for stable supremacy!

The teams stand in the ring together, but before a bell rings, a brawl erupts! They all pair off and spill out of the ring, leaving Yoshi-Hashi in with Tetsuya Naito. Hashi clubs Naito in a corner while things continue on the outside. He rips Naito’s shirt off then stomps on it, disrespecting #Tranquilo. Hashi stands Naito up for chops and forearms, not letting up until Naito is on the ground! He then grinds a foot into Naito, but stops with the ref’s count. Hashi drags Naito up, whips him corner to corner and hits a running chop. He then hangs Naito up, Goto holding him in place, for Hashi’s running dropkick!

Hashi keeps stomping Naito, showing no mercy. He chops Naito, then chops again, before running, but into Hiromu’s cheap shot. Hiromu gets a forearm for that, then Hashi blocks and counters the kick from Naito with an elbow to the knee. Hashi keeps on Naito with forearms, then runs, but into a kick. Bushi sunset flips outta nowhere, and sits Hashi up for Naito’s low dropkick. Evil and Sanada come in to go after the other members of Chaos, with Hiromu tripping up his rival, Will Ospreay. LIJ and Chaos brawl past ringside and into the crowd!

Meanwhile, Naito chokes Hashi with what’s left of his shirt! The referee sees this and reprimands him while Evil bumps Goto off chairs. Okada and Sanada are interrupted by Bushi. Naito puts Hashi in a Tree of Woe, and he stomps away. He even shoves the referee so he can keep going. Naito backs off, baseball slide dropkick to Hashi’s face. He tags Bushi in, then drag Hashi up and out. Okada protests but Bushi still missile dropkicks Hashi. While Bushi gives us the Bushi-roonie, Naito hits Hashi with his own dropkick in the corner. Naito sweeps Hashi’s legs, then gives him a wrecking ball dropkick!

Bushi brings Hashi up, snapmares and stretches him back before stomping him. Bushi puts on the STF and the rest of LIJ stands guard. Hashi endures, then crawls for ropes, but he’s still so far away. Bushi changes his mind and gives Hashi a neckbreaker. Cover, but Okada breaks it. Evil goes right after Okada and throws him out, Bushi tags in Hiromu. Hiromu stomps Hashi, then brings him up. Hashi fights back on Hiromu and Naito but dividing his attention allows Hiromu to attack from behind. Hiromu drags Hashi up and chops him to a corner. He whips Hashi corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline. Hiromu rolls Hashi out but Hashi evades the running dropkick. Hashi flip kicks Hiromu down, and they both head for their corners.

The fans rally, Hashi tags in Ospreay! The Aerial Assassin goes after the Ticking Timebomb with a blasting dropkick, then fires up for a corner to corner flying elbow! He goes around the world but Hiromu dodges. Hiromu gets the waistlock, German Suplex but Ospreay lands on his feet. Ospreay hits another running elbow, then tries again, big basement dropkick! Standing shooting star, TWO! Ospreay stays focused as he drags Hiromu up. Dragon sleeper and lift but Hiromu knees out. Hiromu runs but Ospreay pursues, Ospreay slips out of the pop-up to whip Hiromu but Hiromu reverses. Ospreay handsprings, but Hiromu catches him in a German Suplex!

Fans applaud while both men are down, we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns with hot tags to Goto and Evil! They go right at each other, colliding with clothesline after clothesline. Evil fires up and runs but Goto follows. Goto swings but Evil deflects, then tries again, only for Goto to deflect his lariat. Goto kicks but Evil passes that off to the ref, to then mule kick out the other leg. Evil calls for the finish, fisherman lift but Goto resists. Goto wrenches the arm but Evil forearms back, but Evil’s spinning strike is countered with a pull of the hair into a neckbreaker across the knee! Both men are down, and the NEVER Openweight Champion tags in the Rainmaker!

Okada goes after Evil with forearms, then whips but Evil reverses. Okada runs Evil over with a back elbow, then stalks him. He Alabama lifts but Evil resists, Evil goes for neckbreaker but Okada elbows out. Okada runs, but into the sidewalk slam! Now Evil tags in Sanada! Sanada runs in, but into a flapjack! Okada stalks Sanada to a corner while the fans chant. He whips Sanada corner to corner, then hits a back elbow. He kicks and DDT’s, covers, TWO! Okada keeps his cool while he toys with Cold Skull. This only angers Sanada, and he gets up to stare the IWGP WHC down. Sanada throws a forearm, so Okada responds with a forearm, and back to Sanada. They go back and forth, picking up speed, and the fans get into it.

Every forearm Okada gives, Sanada immediately responds. Okada gives a forearm with extra mustard, so Sanada gives him a European Uppercut. Okada gives more forearms, then runs, but Sanada jumps up and over to then dropkick Okada down! The fans applaud while Sanada drags Okada up, big back suplex. Cover, TWO. Naito and Bushi intercept Hashi and Gedo, then Ospreay and Goto. Sanada scoops Okada for a side backbreaker, then hurries to the top rope. Moonsault but he has to land on his feet when Okada isn’t there. Sanada’s legs slow him down, Okada catches him into a scoop. Sanada slips out to avoid the Tombstone, kicks low and whips. Okada reverses the whip, and dropkicks Sanada down! They’re both down from exhaustion but the fans rally. Okada and Sanada head for their corners, tag to Gedo!

Gedo takes out Bushi to leave Sanada with no one, then mule kicks Sanada. Gedo Clutch cover, but Naito breaks that. Hashi comes in, dodges Naito’s enziguri, then retaliates with a mule kick. He gets Naito out while Gedo grabs Sanada. Sanada counters, dragon sleeper but first a feed to Bushi’s Code Breaker! Then Sanada lifts Gedo up for the TKO!

Cover, but Ospreay and Goto break it! It’s more chaos as Bushi, Evil and Hiromu work to clear out Chaos, leaving Sanada to bring Gedo up. Naito whips Hashi into barriers while Sanada drags Gedo up in the dragon sleeper. When that isn’t enough, Sanada drops down into the body scissors, Skull End!

Gedo taps, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingoblernables de Japon

Cold Skull may not have defeated the Rainmaker, but he just submitted his right hand man. Will Sanada and Okada meet again for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?

Yoshi-Hashi goes after Naito!

Chaos has to pull him off of Naito, not wanting their teammate to be a sore loser. Naito doesn’t sweat it, he is truly Tranquilo. When will he start to worry about this growing list of opponents who want to tear him limb from limb?

However, Sanada is not done with Okada.

Like Okada did before, Sanada calls Okada out. “You really want to hear my voice?” Sanada vows that “In Osaka, I’m gonna end you.” Strong words from the strong silent Sanada, but will the Rainmaker make him eat those words?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS Roppongi 3K!

A new look, a new name, and a new attitude for Sho & Yo, but will it mean they become the new IWGP Jr. HTTCs? Or will they end up in another SUPERKICK PARTY hosted by Matt & Nick Jackson?

Matt Jackson starts against Yo the silver, and the bell rings. Rocky Romero rallies the fans with a chant of “R P G!” Matt and Yo get in each other’s face then start brawling with haymakers. Yo slowly backs Matt down but Matt gets the headlock. Yo powers out but Matt runs him over, only for Yo to kip-up. Matt runs but catches Yo into the sharpshooter, Yo keeps it rolling to push Matt away. Yo rolls Matt into a half-crab, but Matt scrambles to the ropes for the break. The fans applaud while Yo waits, but Matt stays close to the perimeter. He tags in Nick, so Yo tags in Sho. Nick mocks the “young boy” and shoves him, then says “I’m a superstar.” Sho trash talks back, but Nick kicks low then speeds things up.

Nick cartwheels over Sho, then rolls off his back before dropping Sho with a dropkick. Sho gets to a corner while Nick embraces the cheers. He tags in Matt, they double whip Sho and catch him into the gutbuster. Matt says “You’re dead, young boy!” before giving him the swinging neckbreaker backbreaker! Sho writhes before Matt covers, TWO. Matt drags Sho up to rock him with a right hand. He whips but Yo tags in, RPG3K catch Matt with the drop toehold to basement dropkick. Nick comes in, but RPG3K is ready for him. They double whip to a corner, then forearm smash and back elbow in the corner before the bulldog gutbuster combo.

Nick staggers back but they double clothesline him out. Matt returns, he gets double dropkicks. Matt slips back out and regroups with Nick while the fans rally for RPG3K. RPG3K build speed, but the Bucks come in to stereo SUPERKICK them!

The Bucks fire up while Sho & Yo roll out of the ring. Matt runs to hit them both with a wrecking ball dropkick, then he holds the ropes for Nick to FLY!

Nick wipes RPG3K out, then high-fives Matt. They see Rocky now, and Rocky wants them to “take it easy.” The Bucks chase Rocky up the ramp, then behind the curtain. They bring Rocky back out by force, then decide to powerbomb Rocky again. However, as they get him up and walk him back, Rocky is saved by his team! Sho & Yo go after Matt & Nick, even dumping Nick off the ramp onto barriers. Sho ends up down there with Nick, and Matt throws Yo onto Sho. Matt gets space for a running start, and now he FLIES!

He takes Sho & Yo out within that narrow margin, and follows Nick as he brings Yo over. Nick has “an idea”, and feeds Yo to Matt. They lift Yo, and hit him with an apron powerbomb! Yo writhes, but the Bucks aren’t done with him. Matt brings Yo up and into the ring, then covers, TWO! Matt brings Yo up and puts one out on him. He lifts Yo but that battered back gives out. Matt crawls and covers, TWO. The fans cheer, Nick comes in to stop Yo from tagging Sho. Nick tags in, then stomps out Yo. He lifts Yo to club him down, then stomp him some more. He whips Yo corner to corner hard, and Yo goes down from his own back pains.

Sho shows concern but Nick keeps on Yo, tagging Matt back in. The Bucks double whip, then double hip toss, but only Nick can back flip into the double dropkick. Matt covers, TWO, but Matt puts Yo in a chinlock. He keeps Yo grounded, but Yo flails and works against the hold.

Fans cheer and rally, and Yo gets to his feet. Matt elbows Yo in the back, then tags Nick. Nick brings Yo up, then whips him into the corner. Nick runs in but Yo boots him away. Matt runs in but ends up thrown out and bumps off the apron! Nick goes after Yo, but Yo enziguris him down. Yo leaps for the tag but Matt trips Sho down just before! Nick and Yo stand up, Nick runs corner to corner and tackles Yo into the corner. Nick keeps going, rolling Yo out for the running Penalty Kick! Cover, ONE, and Nick is pissed while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Nick clubs Yo to keep him grounded. Nick focuses his attack on Yo’s hurting back, and Matt returns. The Bucks wait for Yo to stand up. Nick throws in a kick but Yo deflects it, Matt ducks it, so Nick tries again. Yo blocks it again and this time catches Matt with it! Then Yo dragon screws Nick, and reaches for his corner. Tag to Sho, and golden Sho rallies on Nick. Nick reverses the whip but Sho knocks him down. Matt kicks and whips Sho, but Sho holds ropes to then put Matt on the apron. Sho sweeps the legs, runs, and baseball slides Matt down off the apron! Nick returns but misses the clothesline, Sho headscissors Nick to a corner. The fans fire up while Sho runs in, big corner clothesline!

Sho whips, Nick reverses but Sho reverses back, kicking front and back to then mule kick Nick down. Cover, TWO! Sho keeps his cool as he grabs Nick in the waistlock. Nick elbows his way out, then tags in Matt. Matt slowly walks over to Sho, but Sho standing switch to German Suplex once, twice, then both Bucks for the hat trick!

Sho stands Matt up and hits a backstabber, to feed Matt into Yo’s shotgun dropkick! The fans rally while Yo suplexes Matt up for Sho, then Yo runs for the dominator cutter combo!

Cover, TWO! Sho & Yo keep their cool while Matt clutches his back. They wait for Matt to stand but Nick comes in to rally on them. Nick throws Yo out, then baits Sho to dump him out. He cartwheels to moonsault but Sho & Yo get clear. Nick turns around to run at them again, but ends up taking a flapjack onto the apron! Sho & Yo fire up and target the wounded Matt. Sho drags Matt up but Matt fires off forearms. Matt turns around but Sho reels him into a forearm to the back. Sho stomps that bad back while Yo gets in position. Tag to Yo, and Yo climbs up. Sho brings Matt up in the torture rack, Yo flies in for flying knee into reverse Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO!

RPG3K can’t believe it, but the fans applaud. Yo drags Matt for the Crab, and gets it in! Matt’s back endures the bend, but he drags himself to ropes. Yo drags him back while Sho stands guard. Matt holds on to crawl again, and gets that ropebreak! Yo fires himself up and Sho comes over, they bring Matt up and to the top rope. RPG3K climb up together, but Matt resists. He fights them off, then fires himself up, but they trip him up. RPG3K climbs up again, they have him now, DOUBLE SUPERPLEX!

Cover, TWO! Matt somehow survives, but RPG3K rallies the fans for the finish. Sho kicks Matt, Yo stomps him, and back again. Sho then Yo, and Matt fires up! Yo kicks Matt back down, then holds him for Sho’s stiff kick to that back. Sho drags Matt up, Yo takes aim, but Matt fights out, letting that SUPERKICK hit Sho! Matt then SPEARS Yo, and heads for his corner. The fans rally, and Matt tags Nick! Nick climbs up, and hits Sho & Yo with a double missile dropkick. Nick fires up, and he rallies on Sho & Yo with right hands. He roundhouses Yo then back elbows Sho before rocking Yo with a tornado kick. Nick keeps going, joining Sho on the apron for a roundhouse, and a German suplex! Yo comes in but Nick knocks him away, then slingshot facebuster, and right into a tornado DDT for Sho!

Nick fires up and so do the fans. He brings Yo in before climbing up top. Nick takes aim, frog splash but into knees! Yo rolls him up, TWO! Yo’s frustration boils over, but Rocky coaches him back into it. Nick and Yo stand up, and trade forearms back and forth. Yo fires off several at once, then runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Yo yo-yo’s but into another SUPERKICK! Sho returns, but Nick catches him with an elevated Shining Wizard. Matt returns, and as tender as his back is, he drags Sho in position on the apron. Nick coordinates, going up top, for a SUPER draping swanton!!

Sho goes down, Matt helps Nick into the ring. Matt tags in, and the fans chant for “Young Bucks! Young Bucks!” Matt hobbles over to Yo, and drapes him now. Nick climbs up again, for a draping 450 splash! Matt covers, TWO!! The Young Bucks are shocked, but Yo still lives. Matt drags Yo up while Nick gets on the apron. That bad back won’t let Matt powerbomb lift Yo, so Nick comes in to help him out. Matt holds Yo up, and the buckle bomb kick! That’s not the end, as Matt goes for the “Cease” Sharpshooter! He gets it, but his back is still bugging him.

Nick keeps Sho down on the outside with another SUPERKICK! But Yo still powers up to crawl for ropes! Matt drags him away again, and sinks it in deeper! Yo powers up again and heads for ropes, and gets the ropebreak! But Matt doesn’t let go, Nick comes in for another swanton! Nick flattens Yo, then keeps Sho down while Matt drags Yo away again. It’s back pain versus back pain, but it’s Matt’s back that loses. He lets go of the hold, just as he was about to get Yo to quit. Nick coaches his brother while Rocky coaches his team. The fans rally for them both as they crawl for space. Matt stands up first, and hobbles back to Yo. He tries again, but small package counter! RPG3K WIN!!

Winners: Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yo)

What a shocking turn of events! Sho & Yo take advantage of Matt’s bad back, and now RPG3K is back on top of the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Division. As for The Young Bucks, will Matt’s back recover so that he and Nick can come back for a tag title comeback?

 

Rocky Romero & RPG3K have a press conference backstage.

“That match was insane!” It was a crazy, crazy, crazy match. Tonight, Rocky and the boys are gonna party. One night only in Sapporo, RPG3K is gonna celebrate being champions again. They’re gonna party now, but this rivalry is only 1-1. Will Sho & Yo be able to party again after their inevitable rematch with The Young Bucks?

 

My Thoughts:

Great surprises were all over this edition of NJPW on AXS. For starters, I didn’t expect them to fit as much into this as they did. The partial coverage of the NEVER Six Man Tag Team Championships was fun, gives the American audiences some exposure to the almost NJPW exclusive members of the Bullet Club, Bad Luck Fale & the GoD. For being original members, Fale and Tama Tonga hardly do anything outside of NJPW, so this will help some fans learn a bit about them. Then we got to see the entirety of a great 10 Man Tag match, LIJ is rapidly growing in popularity and therefore strength as a stable. It was fitting that they defeat Chaos, but not through pinning a champion member like Goto, Ospreay or Okada. The champions stay strong even though the stable of LIJ goes over.

There are also a lot of stories stemming from that match, like Naito VS Yoshi-Hashi as a grudge match, Hiromu VS Ospreay for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, and Sanada VS Okada over the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. All those matches promise to be competitive and entertaining, in both styles and stories. And of course, the tag team main event was also competitive and entertaining from styles to story. Matt’s back is a concern, as it has been in ROH, and it really added to how it made things tough for the Bucks in terms of pulling off their arsenal of signature combo attacks. And in the end, it all was too much, and the Bucks lost, a rare occurrence regardless of what’s on the line. The story really benefits Sho & Yo in power rankings, and can lead to a lot down the line for them and The Bucks.

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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Coverage

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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