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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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