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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (3/17/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 339

All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Dawgs VS Team Coast 2 Coast; C2C wins.
  • WOH Championship Tournament Opening Round match: Mayu Iwatani VS HZK; Mayu wins and advances to face Deonna Purrazzo in the quarterfinals.
  • 10 Man Tag: The Bullet Club VS The Kingdom & SoCal Uncensored; The Bullet Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

ROH reviews the union struck between The Kingdom and SoCal Uncensored.

Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinnie Marseglia have cried conspiracy for months over not being given a rematch for the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships. Worse yet, the Bullet Club is falling apart, yet the company still puts all their eggs in that basket. Cody works to keep the Bullet Club together, defending that his issues with Kenny Omega have nothing to do with the Club as a whole, but it doesn’t seem anyone else believes him.

The Fallen Angel and Heavy Metal Rebel let The Kingdom know they agreed. The Addiction dealt with conspiracy from the company before, and still deal with it now, because their contracts are on a countdown. Both trios have had problems with the Bullet Club in regards to championships, so why not work together to get rid of them once and for all? Cody warned the Bullet Club about this, but the others lumped that in with his insistence that “Bullet Club is fine.” This could be a turning point not just in ROH but in all of the wrestling world. Will Bullet Club survive the coming war? Or will there be a change in “the pecking order”?

 

The Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas join commentary for the opening match.

The literally biggest duo in ROH’s Tag Team Division are here to watch two teams who might be in their way in the hunt of the World Tag Team Championships.

 

The Dawgs VS Team Coast 2 Coast!

Big Rhett and his Little Willie are back and ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Atlanta. And while Georgia fell short of the pot of gold–#RollTide–they’ll have some dawgs they can cheer for. However, Atlanta seems more supportive of Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni, the team that kept itself together to defeat even War Machine. Which team will rise up and roll towards the titles?

The teams uphold the Code of Honor, though tensely. LSG starts against Big Rhett and the bell rings. They circle and tie up, Rhett gets the waistlock slam and floats all over LSG before slapping his head. LSG tries to slip away but Rhett gets the facelock. Rhett arm wrenches, LSG handsprings and reverses, but Rhett spins around and rocks LSG with a right hand. Rhett whips LSG to a corner but LSG goes up and over to then waistlock. LSG holds on but Rhett bucks him off, then Rhett runs LSG over with a shoulder. The Big Dawg shows off the muscles but then things speed up, Rhett still catches LSG into a powerslam.

The Dawgs celebrate while fans boo and jeer, Ferrara surprises Rhett with a tag. Ferrara insists he’s gonna bring C2C down, but LSG springs up to dropkick Ferrara back. LSG wrenches and whips Ferrara into C2C’s corner and rams in a shoulder. Ali tags in, he gives a forearm smash then a kick, snapmare to a running low dropkick. Cover, TWO, and Ferrara kicks back. Rhett gets distracted with fans and walks away from his corner, leaving Ferrara without a tag! Ali grabs him and forearms him back ot C2C territory, tag to LSG. C2C double whip then hip toss, for Tu Lo Sabes!

Cover, TWO, but LSG keeps focused. He brings Ferrara up but Ferrara knees low. Ferrara runs but Rhett tags him on the head. LSG lifts Ferrara but Rhett comes in, Ferrara feeds LSG to Rhett’s dropkick. Ferrara blows snot on Ali, and Ali gives chase! Ferrara leads Ali around the corners of the ring, Rhett blindsides Ali with a big lariat! The Dawgs swagger while we go to break.

ROH returns to the Dawgs still in control, but squabbling as always. Rhett shoves Ferrara over, to use him in the catapult splash. Rhett adds his own splash, covers, TWO. Beer City Bruiser notes that the reason for The Dawgs’ dominance is those “12 ounce curls” drinking the night away, like BCB and Milonas do. Back in the ring, Ali rallies the fans while Rhett puts LSG in the armlock. LSG fights back but Rhett clubs him down. Rhett brings LSG to the Dawgs’ corner, tags Ferrara, then puts LSG in the adjacent corner. Ferrara joins in to criss-cross and double whip LSG backwards.

Ferrara wants to whip Rhett in but Rhett says “Nuh-uh!” and whips Ferrara in instead for the shoulder ram. Rhett sees the fiery Ferrara coming and turns him around for another shoulder into LSG. Ferrara grows annoyed and runs at Rhett again, so Rhett adds an extra time around for him, only to feed Ferrara to LSG’s boot! Rhett runs in but LSG dumps him to the outside. LSG shoves Ferrara away, and somersaults for the leaping lariat! Ferrara and LSG are down but fans are rallying. LSG crawls for his corner, but Rhett intercepts by tripping Ali off the apron. Rhett then boots Ali down some stairs, and Ali falls in a heap on top of arena staff.

Ferrara grabs LSG but LSG fights back with chops and haymakers. LSG goes for a double underhook but Ferrara spins out and barrels him back. Rhett comes in for one helluva boot, and feeds him to Ferrara’s hammerlock lariat, the BLR! Ferrara tags Rhett, Rhett climbs up, and hits the Doggy Splash!

Double cover from both Dawgs, TWO!? How did LSG survive?! Bruiser blames the referee. The fans rally for the Human Rocket, but he’s still at the mercy of the Dawgs. Rhett brings him up while Ferrara climbs, but LSG shoves Rhett backwards. The Dawgs avoid colliding, but LSG ducks to springboard clothesline Ferrara down to the ground! He dodges Rhett, kicks and runs the ropes, but Rhett stops the tornado DDT with power. Rhett puts LSG in the corner, then backs off to see Ali standing there. Rhett backs off again, but LSG rolls for the hot tag!

Ali rallies on Rhett with haymakers and chops, then the back elbow. He ducks Rhett’s clothesline to then rock the Big Dawg with a headbutt! Ferrara tags in but Ali catches him for the sidewalk slam. Ali kip-up and fans fire up. Rhett runs in but Ali back drops him onto Ferrara! Ali clotheslines Rhett out then tells LSG to go up. LSG does, and takes aim at Rhett, for the SUPER cannonball!

Ferrara runs at Ali but Ali scoops him, for a big swinging side slam! Ali fires up, he and LSG regroup to bring Ferrara up. LSG puts Ferrara in the double underhook while Ali climbs up. LSG hits the Saintsplosion slam, and Ali adds on the frog splash!

Cover, Coast 2 Coast wins! Ali & LSG are on a win streak, can they ride it all the way to the top?

But Bruiser & Brian have to “take care of some business.”

In other words, they go after Coast 2 Coast!

Bruiser throws LSG out and The Kingpin brings Ali up to feed him to Bruiser’s body check! Milonas adds on his back senton to flatten Ali, and Bruiser says, “That’s why we’re the biggest and the baddest!” Will C2C be able to climb this new mountain in order to reach the ROH Tag Team Championships?

 

Marty Scurll speaks.

The Villain congratulates the Peacock, Dalton Castle, on defeating Jay Lethal to retain the ROH World Championship. The Cinderall story lives on. But every good story needs a Villain. Scurll vows that at Supercard of Honor XII, ROH’s biggest show ever, the fans will chant “Marty! Marty!” And Castle will fall victim to Scurll as he gets what is rightfully his, becoming the new ROH World Champion! Will the Villain’s story have a happy ending in New Orleans?

 

Dalton Castle responds.

“Marty Scurll. This must be so exciting for you, right?” Scurll finally gets what he’s asked for: a shot at the ROH World Championship. And it’s at Supercard of Honor XII in New Orleans. Or is it Nawlens? Castle’s never been good at the Cajun accent. But Peacock’s “really damn good with big events.” This is THE biggest crowd in ROH history, and Scurll gets his shot at the title. But Scurll must have miscalculated how it belongs to Castle. Castle worked too long and too hard to get it, so there’s “no way in hell” Scurll walks away with Castle’s World Championship. Can Castle keep hold of his gold when ROH hits NOLA?

 

The Women of Honor Championship Tournament continues!

Two matches in the quarterfinals have been formed as the Gatekeeper is set to meet the Exotic Goddess, and Mrs. American Nightmare will meet the newest recruit who makes it #AllAboutHer. Now ROH throws it to their partner Stardom to determine who faces The Virtuosa.

 

WOH Championship Tournament Opening Round match: Mayu Iwatani VS HZK!

All the way from Osaka, two top talents of World Wonder Ring Stardom battle for the chance to move forward in the ROH Women of Honor Division towards history. Will the Artist of Stardom Champion, Hazuki (in the pink and black) or the Icon of Stardom (in the blue and white) be one step closer to becoming the WOH Champion?

HZK offers Mayu her lollipop, Mayu takes it only to throw it away. Mayu herself enjoys the shower of streamers from the fans. After clean-up, the bell rings and the two circle. HZK calls for a test of strength, and Mayu accepts. They’re even, so HZK kicks low and whips. Mayu reverses but runs into a boot. HZK hops up but only baits Mayu in to hop down and roll her, then HZK runs corner to corner and goes up and over. Mayu runs into an arm-drag but she arm-drags back. HZK gets the headlock takeover, Mayu headscissors and HZK pops out. The two stand off, and the fans applaud.

They circle again and Mayu kicks to snapmare. She kicks HZK stiff in the back, then stands on her for a cocky cover, ONE. Mayu drags HZK up, and slaps her across the face. Mayu runs, but into HZK’s double ax handle. HZK stomps Mayu in return, then drags her up for the arm wrench. HZK laces Mayu’s arm between the ropes and pulls, that boot going right into Mayu’s shoulder. The referee counts, and HZK lets go at 4. She kicks that arm, then stomps Mayu in the corner. Mayu fires up from the toying and taunting, but HZK keeps boot-washing her face. HZK runs, but Mayu evades! Mayu retaliates with a leg sweep, then a stiff kick to HZK’s face! Mayu gets running, and she dropkicks HZK in the heart!

HZK tumbles down and out but Mayu keeps the fans rallying. The front row and ringside observers move aside while Mayu climbs up. Mayu takes aim as HZK stands back up, then FLIES to splash down on her!

HZK goes down again while we go to break.

ROH returns to HZK and Mayu back in the ring. HZK swings but Mayu counters into a crucifix, but HZK swings her off and retaliates with a bicycle boot. HZK kicks Mayu again to drop her to her knees, then runs to flatten her with a back senton to the back. She rolls her over for the cover, TWO, but HZK keeps on by putting Mayu in a Crossface! Mayu endures and turns herself to reduce the stretch. She reaches for ropes, her teammates cheering her own, and she gets the ropebreak. HZK lets go but then shifts into a bodyscissors roll!

They roll and roll and roll to a cover, TWO, to roll and roll and roll the other way. HZK rolls Mayu for a full lap around the ring before stopping, TWO!! Whether it was Mayu running on instinct or HZK too tired to hold her own cover, the match continues. HZK slowly stands up and drags Mayu, but Mayu is dead weight. HZK puts on the full nelson, but Mayu revives and breaks free! Mayu lifts HZK for the Northern Lights, but HZK counters with a stiff DDT! HZK drags Mayu up, then runs, for a blasting dropkick. She isn’t done there, she drags Mayu up and scoops her for the Michinoku Driver. Fans rally while HZK climbs up top. HZK takes aim, and leaps for the frog splash seated senton!

Cover, TWO!! HZK knows she’s so close. She sits Mayu up again, and runs for the sliding knee. Cover, TWO, and HZK grows frustrated. Both women are down, having already done so much to each other. HZK gets up again and brings Mayu up for another scoop. Mayu slips out and to the waistlock for a high-angle German Suplex, with bridge! TWO, Mayu is frustrated but the fans are loving this. Mayu stands up and climbs up now. She takes aim, and jumps for double stomps! Cover, TWO, but barely! This won’t deter Mayu. The fans rally while she drags HZK up for the full nelsons. HZK breaks out, so Mayu swings her out for the roundhouse! Then the SUPERKICK, and the running Crucifix Bomb!

TWO!? Somehow HZK survives, but Mayu is far from done. She brings HZK up in a waistlock, picks her up then shifts to the full-nelson for the bridging Dragon Suplex!

Mayu wins!! The young Hazuki pushed her pretty far, but the Sky Blue Icon still succeeds. Will Deonna Purrazzo have her work cut out for her when she meets Mayu in the quarterfinals?

 

10 Man Tag: The Bullet Club VS The Kingdom & SoCal Uncensored!

The biggest forces in ROH collide in this powerful 5v5 main event match! The Addiction and Matt Taven’s trio both want to rid themselves of a common enemy. Meanwhile, the American Nightmare just wants his team to stick together, despite what’s going on between him and The Cleaner, Kenny Omega. Will Cody, Scurll, Hangman & The Young Bucks prove “The Bullet Club is Fine”? Or will this new alliance clear up the supposed conspiracies against them?

Though, one has to question why Cody felt the need to enter separately from the others… Oh, and he brings out his wife, Brandi, and the Bullet Club mascot, Bury the Bear!

Perhaps the American Nightmare’s ego may be part of the problem… But at least Hangman is happy to see Bury. Cody even passes out #BulletClubisFine shirts to the others. Things calm down and sort out while we go to break.

ROH returns to the Bullet Club wearing the shirts, but also being surrounded on all sides. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while the Bullet Club huddles up and plans a SUPERKICK PARTY!

The bell rings and the Bullet Club waits for someone to step up. Vinnie tries but gets a wrecking ball dropkick from Matt Jackson. Scurll sees Kaz approaching, so he hops out to the apron for a mule kick. Nick hits Daniels with a triangle dropkick, and Hangman tackles O’Ryan with the shooting star press! Cody and the Bucks are in the ring, so Cody hops up and leaps onto all of the Kingdom! The Bullet Club regroups, and Cody calls for the “One Sweet”. Hangman’s with him, but Scurll’s conflicted. Scurll decides to join in, but the Bucks aren’t so eager. Just as Matt & Nick are about to give in, the Addiction and Kingdom pounce!

The Addiction and Kingdom all clobber the Bullet Club, and the brawl(s) spill out of the ring. Hangman counters O’Ryan while Taven hammers Scurll in the bleachers. Scurll fights back as Hangman throws O’Ryan so hard, the ROH panel falls off the guard rails. Cody takes Daniels while Taven trades off to go after Nick. It’s chaos as Hangman scoop slams O’Ryan on that panel and Cody puts Daniels in the ring. Cody gives Daniels strikes and stomps before whipping. Daniels reverses but Cody ducks under for the reverse STO. In the lull, Matt goes up to Cody and asks why his tights read “Leader”!

Why does Cody have that on his tights when he’s not the Bullet Club leader?! The argument gives Daniels an opening but Cody kicks him down to save Matt. Matt honors Cody with the Rhodes dropping uppercut, and Cody returns the favor by using a SUPERKICK to knock Daniels down. Cody and Matt shake hands, but Daniels jawbreaker counters. He tags out to O’Ryan and O’Ryan climbs up, but flies into Cody’s body shot. Cody tags to The Villain, and Scurll flaps his wings while Cody holds O’Ryan. Scurll jumps for the ax handle then flaps his wings at the rest of the Addiction-Kingdom.

Scurll brings O’Ryan down with a wristlock, then back up for the double wristlock. He then stands on O’Ryan’s hands to pull on his hair, and the nose. Scurll flaps his wings then goes to stomp the hands, but O’Ryan gets them clear. O’Ryan taunts, “T K O!”, but Scurll dropkicks O’Ryan down. The fans applaud while Scurll tags to Hangman. Hangman kicks O’Ryan but O’Ryan uppercuts and tags out to Kazarian. Their personal rivalry reignites and they throw fiery right hands! The two slow down then collide with lariats. They go again, but neither falls over. Kaz swings again but Hangman ducks under to suplex. Kaz slips out and jumps up but Hangman catches him in the fireman’s carry. Daniels rushes in but Hangman sees him coming. He kicks Daniels, dumps Kaz, and uses Daniels for the Dropsault! Cover, TWO, but fans are fired up for Hangman.

Hangman shows off the “lasso”, then the Bucks lead a chant of “That was Awesome!” Cody tags in, kicks Kaz and puts him in the corner for stiff chops. He whips but Kaz reverses, so Cody hops up and over for the spinning powerslam! TWO, but Kaz calls for a time-out. There’s no time-outs in wrestling! Even so, Kaz stands up, and mocks Cody with the TOO Sweet, which the Bullet Club is prohibited from doing. Cody kicks Kaz for that, then gives him forearms and haymakers. He whips but Kaz reverses, and Daniels tries to trip Cody up. Cody stomps Daniels’ hand, then fights off The Kingdom. He sees Kaz coming and chops him, then whips again. Kaz still reverses and Daniels succeeds in tripping Cody up this time. Kaz springboards for the leg drop!

The Bullet Club protests, but this only gives Kaz the opening for a rain of right hands on Cody. Kaz tags to Taven, and Taven goes after his grudge with furious hands and stomps. He grinds Cody in the corner, but the referee has him back off. Taven drags Cody all the way over and tags in Vinnie, who rains his own rights down on Cody. The Horror King tags out to the Sassy Wild Horse, and now O’Ryan rains down rights. O’Ryan embraces the heat as he brings Cody up for a European Uppercut. Fans rally for Cody while Vinnie tags back in. Vinnie hits Cody but Cody hits back. Cody drops down but Vinnie blocks the kick to roll Cody back up. Vinnie puts on a headlock, Cody powers out but not until after O’Ryan tags in.

Cody focuses on Vinnie as they run, but O’Ryan slips in to hit Cody with a spinebuster! Vinnie hops up then jumps off for the diving headbutt, and O’Ryan jackknife covers. but Scurll breaks the cover. O’Ryan tags in Daniels, he and Kaz blast the Bullet Club off the apron. The Addiction double whip Cody corner to corner, then Kaz hits a back elbow before feeding Cody to Daniels’ atomic drop. Kaz cravats for the bulldog to Daniels’ knee, and Daniels tops it off with the STO! Cover, TWO, so Daniels rains angry rights on Cody. The Bullet Club is in trouble while we go to break.

ROH returns again to see Hangman protesting the cheap tactics of the Addiction & Kingdom. However, that only gives them an opening to all stomp Cody out while Kaz keeps him down with a chinlock. Scurll calms Hangman down and Taven “tags” in to drag Cody up. He whips Cody but Cody sunset flips, only for Taven to roll through and Penalty Kick Cody down. “Because I’m Matt Taven!” He covers with a cocky grin, TWO. Taven shrugs it off as he taunts Cody. The fans rally while Cody stands, but Taven brings him in for the dragon sleeper. Cody slips out to hit Taven with a cutter!

Both men are down, and the fans rally as they crawl. Cody and Taven hot tag Vinnie and Matt, but Nick and The Addiction join in. The Bucks double dropkick Vinnie, then each kick Daniels & Kaz before Nick runs for the alley-oop two-for-one! Matt helps Nick as he acrobatically dropkick-crossbodies The Addiction. Vinnie gets back up and goes after Matt, but Matt backs him down and holds him for Nick’s corner Shining Wizard. Matt then brings Vinnie out and Nick helps him for the Sliced Bread! Nick adds on another Shining Wizard and the fans fire up! Scurll even hops up into the crowd to get them all the more hyped. Vinnie staggers to his feet but Cody tags back in? He grabs Vinnie in the full nelson for the Snap Dragon Suplex! That’s Kenny’s move… Cody covers, TWO, and the Bucks question Cody’s motives.

Cody drags Vinnie up and whips to drop toehold, Scurll adds a low dropkick, then Hangman adds the standing shooting star. Matt moves Vinnie over for Nick as he climbs up. Matt and Scurll are on either side as the fans fire up, and together they hit Vinnie with a knee drop, standing moonsault and frog splash!

Cody covers, but Kaz breaks it. The Kingdom and Daniels follow but The Bullet Club is ready. They throw everyone else back out, but Kaz fights against the Club alone. He groups the five together and tells them all to “SUCK IT!”–another thing Bullet Club can’t do–but he runs right into a QUINTUPLE SUPERKICK!!

The fans are loving it, and everyone grabs the ropes to feel the electricity. Except for Cody. But Cody does lead them in the Terminator Kneel? Fans don’t really like that either, but the Bucks give in and go along. The drums start up, and the Terminators rise. Cody builds up speed and the Bucks follow, for a TRIPLE DIVE!

Daniels gets up, he hits the Arabian Press onto Cody and the Bucks. Hangman climbs up, SUPER MOONSAULT for everyone else! Taven sees the other nine men grouped, then builds speed, to FLY!

Taven topples everyone over, but wait. Bury the Bear wants to do something? He climbs up while Nick gets clear, and the BEAR FLIES!

Nick has to admit, he kinda likes Bury now. Bury is okay, and he hugs it out with Cody. Cody puts Vinnie in the ring, then runs in corner to corner. Vinnie knees him away, and Daniels distracts the referee while the missing piece of SoCal Uncensored appears. Yes, Scorpio Sky slinks in and climbs up top. He takes aim at Cody and jumps, but Cody moves, the missile dropkick hits Vinnie!

Cody throws Scorpio out, then finishes Vinnie with the Cross Rhodes!!

The Bullet Club wins!! Scurll celebrates with the fans while Bury points to his shirt to emphasize the message. Does winning really fix everything for Cody and the rest of the Club?

However, losing hurts alliances.

Taven blames Scorpio but Kaz defends him, and Daniels just tries to keep the peace. It doesn’t work out, things break down into a brawl! The two trios pair off and spill out of the ring, and end up fighting all the way downstairs to the back. The Bullet Club watches, rather confused by that development. Cody even wanted to have a few words, but we’re out of time. Does this leave Bullet Club in the clear from outside forces?

 

My Thoughts:

In a vacuum, this was a great episode of ROH. But when you factor in this is being aired after the major events of the 16th Anniversary Show, it’s actually a mishandled operation from top to bottom. The majority of this episode wasn’t really affected, it was just anything with The Bullet Club. Dawgs VS C2C was great, and great to see C2C is on a roll since winning their #DoOrDie match. Clearly it’ll boil down to Bruiser & Milonas VS C2C to determine #1 contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championships. Given that The Briscoes are the current champions and are currently Heels, I suspect the Face Ali & LSG will win out to challenge them. The WOH Stardom match was really good, compared to the matches we’ve seen so far. Mayu VS Deonna is gonna be another solid match for the quarterfinals.

Now we get to the inconsistencies. Marty Scurll and Dalton Castle have promos aimed at each other to set up their Supercard of Honor ROH WHC match. Therefore, this episode takes place after the 16th Anniversary show. However, Cody comes out with Bury the Bear, even after Kenny Omega revealed himself. Not only does this bring up the question “Who was Bury to begin with?”, it also exposes ROH as a company to be disorganized. Things like this will be the obstacle to ROH besting competition, and hopefully they can iron this out in future taping sessions. But again, in a vacuum, it was a great 10-man tag, and it was quite surprising to see how fragile the SCU-Kingdom alliance was. Those two teams will probably make for the rare Heels VS Heels contenders program to later challenge the “Hung Bucks” for the ROH World Six Man Tag titles.

My Score: 8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/27/21)

Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!

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NJPW Castle Attack

NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!

NJPW returns to Osaka for a Castle Attack! Will the Rainmaker still be atop the mountain? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
  • Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
  • KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens; Yano wins and retains the KOPW 2021 trophy.
  • Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo; White wins.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire!

The King of Cozy Style, Ikari no Mogyuu, and the Ace are all targets of Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan, and the Dominator is going after Tanahashi’s NEVER Openweight Championship on day two! But will the Once in a Century Talent and his iconic compatriots be able to stand up against the United Empire in this opening round?

As usual, the United Empire stands firm, even as their opponents make their entrance. Tanahashi shoves off the muscles and fans cheer. Tanahashi and Khan dare each other to step up, and so that’s who starts! Fans cheer and the bell rings, and fans rally up already as Khan and Tanahashi circle. Ospreay sneaks in with Cobb, but Kojima and Tenzan are ready to counter! The ref tells them all to back off, and Khan has the Empire stand down. But that’s a fake out! They attack Tanahashi’s team, and throw Tenzan and Kojima out! The Empire mugs Tanahashi, double whips him corner to corner, then send Ospreay in, only for Tanahashi to toss Ospreay out!

Cobb and Khan mug Tanahashi, whip him to ropes, but Tanahashi ducks the double clothesline to send Khan into Cobb! Tanahashi kicks Khan low then whips him to a corner, but Khan reverses. Khan runs in but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up to crossbody! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars before he tags in Kojima. Kojima DECKS Ospreay, and fires off the machine gun CHOPS on Khan! The ref is busy keeping Ospreay out so Kojima gets plenty of extra CHOPS in! Kojima whips Khan corner to corner, hits a forearm smash, and then throws Khan down. Kojima climbs, Cobb intercepts with forearms! Ospreay hits Tenzan and Tanahashi while Cobb TOSSES Kojima down!

Khan clamps on with the head-arm triangle! Cobb and Ospreay throw Tenzan and Tanahashi around ringside but Kojima gets a ropebreak! Khan lets go, drags Kojima over, tags in Ospreay, and the Empire mugs Kojima. Ospreay CHOPS Kojima then BOOTS him! Ospreay scoops and slams Kojima to then run and drop a leaping knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay bumps Kojima off buckles, tags in Cobb, and Cobb headbutts Kojima in the back. Cobb CLUBS Kojima, stays between him and his team, and then scoops Kojima. Ospreay talks trash while Cobb taunts Kojima’s team. Cobb throws knees into Kojima, then RAMS Kojima into the Emipre’s corner.

Khan tags in, stomps Kojima, but Kojima hits back! Khan ROCKS Kojima, and hits the Mongolian Chop! Khan taunts Tenzan with how Tenzan can’t use this move anymore, and then Mongolian Chops again! Kojimma stands up and he ROCKS Khan with forearms! And a ROLLING ELBOW! COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to rally on Khan, then he hits Cobb an Ospreay for good measure! Tanahashi blocks Khan’s boot to bring him out for a DRAGON SCREW! Ospreay runs in, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi catches Cobb in the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!

Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he goes after Khan’s legs. Tanahashi ties the legs up but Khan clamps his claw onto Tanahashi’s face! Khan gets up, Tanahashi breaks free, but Khan ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm! Tanahashi gives the forearm back and now it’s a brawl of forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as they pick up speed, Tanahashi fires off a strike fest but Khan Mongolian Chops! Tanahashi ROCKS Khan with a palm strike, then runs, but into Khan’s sleeper hold! Khan uses the claw, then shifts to INVERTED EXPLODER! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan tags in Cobb and Cobb drags Tanahashi up.

Cobb fires off forearms and headbutts, then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Cobb runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Tanahashi waistlocks, Cobb resists the lift, and pries free! But Tanahashi half nelson spins Cobb to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan rallies on Cobb, DECKS Ospreay, and fans fire up. Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but he remembers he can’t! So he kicks Cobb low and gives him a headbutt! Tenzan has Cobb in the corner, and throws more kicks and haymakers. Tenzan whips corner to corner then runs in to clothesline Cobb! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and he hits the suplex! Cover, TWO!

Tenzan calls in Kojima and Tanahashi, and the three go after Cobb together. They double whip Cobb corner to corner, then Kojima runs in to back elbow! Tanahashi hits a splash! They double whip into Tenzan’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Tenzan keeps on Cobb and gets the ANACONDA VICE! Tanahashi and Kojima go after the rest of the Empire but Ospreay BOOTS Kojima and CLUBS Tanahashi! Cobb powers up but Tenzan holds tight. Cobb elbows free but Tenzan headbutts! Cobb ROCKS Tenzan with an uppercut, then tags in Ospreay! Ospreay slingshots in for a ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay drags Tenzan up, reels him in, and underhooks, but Tenzan resists!

Ospreay gives Kowata kicks and a SUPERKICK! Ospreay runs but into a back drop! Fans fire up with Tenzan and Tenzan dares Ospreay to stand. Tenzan remembers again he can’t Mongolian Chop, but Ospreay dares him to! Ospreay SLAPS Tenzan, and then Khan CLOBBERS Tenzan! Khan and Ospreay SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Cover, but Tanahashi breaks it! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi, clamps on the claw, and hits the ELIMINATOR SLAM! Kojima fires off on Khan and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! The United Empire feed Tenzan to the OSCUTTER! Cover, the Empire wins!

Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall

United they stand victorious! Khan gets a mic and he wants everyone in Osaka to understand! They are THE United Empire!! Will this momentum bode well for Khan coming for the NEVER Openweight Championship? Or will the Ace be able to trump the Dominator’s iron hand?

 

YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!

Before going 2v2 with the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, the Head Hunter will take on the Silverback alone! Will Loa make sure Hashi can’t #GetBackUp for tomorrow’s tag title match?

The bell rings and Hashi circles with Loa. Fans rally up and they tie up. Hashi manages to push Loa back a bit, but Loa pushes Hashi to the ropes. The ref calls for a break, Hashi turns things around, and Hashi drags Loa down to an ARMBAR! Loa holds off the extension, moves around, but Hashi stays clamped on. Hashi clubs at the clasped hands but Loa holds tight. Loa pries at Hashi’s own grip, but Hashi adjusts to get the other hand isolated! Loa gets the ropebreak with a leg and Jado protests, so Hashi lets go fast. Hashi clubs Loa’s arm but Loa shoves him away. Hashi comes back with a kick, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs and stomps him.

Hashi wrenches Loa to a wristlock, but Loa throws a forearm, only for Hashi to make it a takedown! Hashi wants the double wristlock but Loa moves around. Hashi has a short arm scissor instead! Loa endures, moves around, but Hashi stomps the arm! Hashi stomps Loa more, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs him. Hashi wrenches the arm, clubs it, then wrenches again to club it again. Loa pulls Hashi’s hair but Hashi elbows Loa’s elbow. Hashi wrenches again but Loa LARIATS him down! Fans cheer the exchange but then Loa stomps Hashi over and over! Loa drags Hashi up, whips him to a corner then runs in to clothesline!

Loa whips Hashi out then back in to clothesline again! Jado cheers while Hashi falls to his knees. Loa gets the bad arm moving, drags Hashi back up, and fans rally. Hashi throws body shots, wrenches, but Loa throws a haymaker and back hand! Hashi clubs the arm, Loa throws a forearm, but Hashi wrenches to an elbow breaker! Hashi runs, but the ref is busy checking on Loa and Jado trips Hashi! Loa hurries to get Hashi up for a suplex! Uno amigo, and then a wrench to a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grows annoyed. Loa drags Hashi up as fans rally again. Loa throws a forearm but Hashi gives it back. Loa headbutts Hashi and Hashi is down in the corner!

Loa stomps away on Hashi, but the ref reprimands. Loa lets off, Jado taunts Hashi, and Loa whips Hashi corner to corner. Loa runs in but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans cheer as Hashi evens things back up! Hashi and Loa slowly rise, Hashi throws forearms, body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Loa reverses but Hashi dodges to hit the HEADHUNTER! Hashi fires up and fans rally for him. Hashi runs corner to corner, to CHOP Loa! Hashi whips, CHOPS, but Loa just grins! Loa wags his finger at Hashi, then throws a forearm! Hashi stays up and he forearms back! Loa doesn’t budge, and he ROCKS Hashi!

Hashi stays on his feet and Loa dares him to “give me your best shot! Don’t do this to me! You came to fight me, so fight me!” Loa wants Hashi to #GetBackUp and show him what he’s got! Hashi gets up and throws forearms and CHOPS! Mule kick, and a neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Hashi and he hurries to a corner! Hashi climbs up and fans rally harder now! Loa stands and hits Hashi with a forearm first! Loa climbs up, clubs away on Hashi’s back, but Hashi resists the superplex. Hashi throws bodys shots, clubs Loa, and sunset flips, to get the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Hashi has the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa powers up but Hashi throws knees into him!

Hashi grinds Loa down but Loa powers up again! Loa fireman’s carries Hashi, but Hashi slips off to CHOP! Loa laughs, kicks, knees and ENZIGURIS! Hashi falls over but Loa tells him, “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t you die on me yet!” Hashi gets up, Loa runs, but into an elbow! Hashi runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives and fans fire up again! Loa likes this! “There’s that fighting spirit! I love it!” Loa drags Hashi up and vows it’s over now. Loa scoops but Hashi slips out to waistlock. Loa rams Hashi into a corner and fires off elbows! Loa runs in but Hashi dodges! SUPERKICK, but Loa just wants more! SUPERKICK, SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK!

Loa shoves Hashi and Hashi fires off another SUPERKICK! Loa still isn’t done, he wants more!! Hashi SUPERKICKS, and Loa finally wobbles! BACKSTABBER! Hashi drags Loa to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans fire up, Hashi SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Loa still lives but Hashi keeps on him! Hashi gator rolls Loa into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa grits his teeth and powers up again! Hashi slips an arm around to get the double wristlock! KIMURA-FLY! Loa still endures, slips his head under, but Jado gets in! Hashi is ready, and he kicks then mule kicks Jado first! Hashi sends Loa into Jado! Roll up, TWO!!

Loa swings but into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi fires up and the fans are with him, for the BASEMENT METEORA! Hashi isn’t done there, he drags Loa back up! Hashi gets Loa up, full nelsons again, but then shifts to a pump handle! Wait, Tama Tonga shows up! The distraction saves Loa, and he scoops Hashi for APE SHIT!! Cover, Loa wins!!

Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall

Well it was strange that Tama wasn’t here to start, and now we see he was an ace in the hole! And now they’re all beating Hashi up, 3v1! The ref reprimands but they’re not stopping! GoD drags Hashi up, but here comes Goto! Goto CLOBBERS Loa then fires off on Tama! After all, their match was up next, anyway! Tama whips Goto away but Goto comes back to block the hip toss and hit a hip toss! Fans cheer as Goto lariats Loa out of the ring, and the ref rings the bell on the next match!

Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

The Good Bad Guy rolls the Fierce Warrior up right away! With tights! TWO!! Goto swings, Tama gets under and Tama dropkicks Goto out! Tama hurries out after Goto, and he whips Goto into railing! Tama checks on Loa and sees he’s okay. Tama drags Goto back up, POSTS him, then goes in the ring as the ref wants. Goto stirs, the ring count begins, but Tama goes back out. The ref is busy with Tama and Jado SMACKS Goto with the kendo stick! Tama goes out to fetch Goto now, puts him back in, and clamps on with a chinbar. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest, then paces about. Goto sits up, Tama drags him back up and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Tama is annoyed but fans rally up.

Tama sits Goto up to claw his face! The ref reprimands, Tama stops, and fans rally up for Goto. Tama paces as Goto eggs him on. Tama CLUBS Goto, and Goto eggs him on more! Tama throws haymakers, but Goto gets power from it! Goto eggs Tama on, Tama headbutts, but that does more damage to Tama! Tama whips Goto, runs in but the splash misses! Goto hits a BIG suplex! Goto fires off on Tama in the corner, whips him corner to corner, and runs in to MURAMASA! Then, BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Tama up, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights free. Tama swings but into a hook! Tama fights free of that, gets Goto in a dragon sleeper, but Goto turns that around!

Tama slips through to suplex, but Goto resists! Goto suplexes, but Tama slips into the dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Tama is furious but fans rally up! Tama watches Goto, hears the voices in his head like he’s The Viper, and Goto rises. Goto turns around, but he denies the Gun Stun! Goto swings, but into Tama’s spin and leap, SATELLITE DDT! Both men are down but Tama is growling. Tama gets up, goes to a corner and climbs up. FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Goto moves! BLINDSIDE SLIDING LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Goto crawls to ropes while Tama sits up. Goto staggers over and powers up!

But Loa returns to scoop Goto! Jado is distracting the ref! Goto slips out of the scoop, and HEADBUTTS Loa down! Goto DECKS Jado but turns around into GUN- NO! Goto blocks again, shoves Tama and follows. Tama stops to swing on Goto but Goto dodges, and comes back to swing. Tama ducks, redirects, dodges, hurdles, but Goto dodges the boot to swing! Tama ducks to GUN- NO!! Goto drags Tama back up, fireman’s carry, dragon sleeper, toss out, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall

What a wild exchange to end this one! But now, Chaos is even with the Guerrillas, and the tiebreaker will be THE IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Goto and Hashi end GoD’s reign and be double champions? Or will it be Tama & Loa who #TurnItAllAround?

 

KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens!

Mr. KOPW 2020 now defends his provisional 2021 KOPW trophy, and is going to put his twist on the Crown Jewel’s stipulation choice! But will that be enough for Yano to continue on through the year? Or will Bullet Club manage to add another accolade to the treasury?

The introductions are made, and Yano’s seems to get even longer with the more he does and has… But after all that, and some disinfectant spray, the trophy is to be presented, which comes as a surprise to Yano. The trophy is set aside, the strap is brought in, and Yano waits outside while Chase is strapped in first. Perhaps Yano doesn’t trust Chase. The strap is also taped down so there is no removal of it during the match. Chase tosses Yano the other end, and Yano is hesitant to strap in. Yano takes the cuff, puts it on, and the ref tapes it on. Then Chase tries to reel Yano in! Yano knew this would happen! The bell rings, and it’s a tug-o-war!

Yano gets enough slack that he can LASH Chase! And again! And again! Chase bails out but Yano reels him in! Chase tries to get away with what slack there is but Yano keeps reeling him in! Chase wants a time-out? And a handshake? Yano kicks him and SMACKS him instead! And another SMACK! Another SMACK! Yano uses the strap to choke Chase! That’s legal in a strap match but Chase grabs at ropes. Yano kicks Chase, whips him, but Chase grabs ropes to get out again! Yano decides to undo a buckle pad! Now we have a bare corner! Chase resists being reeled in, and he goes to undo a buckle pad!

Yano won’t let him, and Yano chases Chase around! Chase uses that to get the strap going through the corner, and he YANKS Yano into the post! Chase takes a moment to catch his breath before he stomps Yano. Chase goes into the ring to undo the corner trap, and he uses the slack to SMACK Yano now! And SMACKS him again! And again! Chase drags Yano up, puts him in, and stomps him down. Chase sits Yano up, rips Yano’s shirt off, and now has bare skin to go after! SMACK! There’s instantly a red mark on Yano’s back! Chase drops fists, chokes Yano with the strap, then lets off to go to a corner. Chase again copies Yano and undoes this buckle pad! The neutral corners are bare!

Chase tosses the buckle pad at Yano and Yano catches it. Chase dares Yano to use the pad, so Yano swings! Chase dodges and dropkicks Yano into the bare buckles! Chase stomps Yano at the ropes, throws the buckle pad down on him, then digs his foot into Yano’s face while mocking the YTR thumbs. Chase drags Yano up to throw him out, then he follows. Chase drags Yano up and whips him, but Yano reverses to send Chase into barriers! Yano gets something from under the ring! It’s extra tape! Chase CLUBS Yano first, then slips through the railing? He wants to reel Yano into the railing, but Yano resists! So Chase lets go and Yano falls over!

Chase is free to drag Yano up and YANK him into the railing! And then again! Yano falls back down, Chase slips back through and he gets Yano’s spare tape! Chase tapes Yano’s hand into a fist so he can’t open it! Then Chase drags Owens up and puts him in the ring. Chase stomps Owens, and gets the other hand! Chase tapes that one up, too! Yano can’t open either of his hands! Yano tries to resist but Chase claws Yano’s face. Chase finishes his handiwork, and gets some slack on the strap to again SMACK Yano on the back! Chase plays around as he stomps and kicks Yano down, then he mocks the Yano shrug! But Yano uses his fists to trip Chase! Yano still catapults Chase into bare buckles!

Yano runs as far as the strap allows, comes back, but Chase dodges! Yano gets bare buckles again! Fans fire up, and Chase undoes the blue corner buckle pad! That’s three, will Chase go for the fourth? Chase drags Yano up to reel him in for a haymaker! And then again! And again! Chase throws up the Two Sweets, but Yano slips under and uses the strap to flip Chase! Chase gets up to throw a strike fest, then he runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano dodges Chase’s swing, shoves him at the ref, and then LOW BLOWS! Chase couldn’t stop that with wrist tape! And Yano figures what the hell? Untile the last pad! But wait, the tape on his hands makes that tricky.

Yano tears at the tape and frees his fingers! Fans fire up as Yano goes for the last corner, but Chase reels him in! HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! Chase hits the Jewel Heist but he can’t cover from being too tired! Fans fire up, Chase gets up and says BANG, and he drags Yano back up. Chase reels Yano in, Yano shoves him away! So Chase goes out and uses the strap to reel Yano into the bare buckles! Chase drags Yano all the way out now, and whips him into the railing! Chase pulls up padding from the floor ringside!! He wants bare linoleum to come into play now! BANG, and the package, but Yano fights that off to back drop Chase onto the floor!

Yano is mad now, and he gets into the ring! The strap keeps Yano from the final corner pad, but fans rally up! Owens holds railing, Yano goes back out, but Chase gets the ring bell! Chase CLOBBERS Yano with the bell, then he gets in, and HE wants the final corner! But Yano’s dead weight is keeping him from getting close! Chase thought he had a fool proof plan but seems not. Chase goes back out to fetch Yano, and wraps the strap around Chase’s head. Chase drags Yano up and in, then drags him. Yano holds Chase back, reels him in, and Chase is annoyed. JEWEL TRIGGER!

Fans rally for Yano but Chase gets the buckle pad! Yano tries to pull Chase away but Chase’s one hand undoes all but one strap! Chase runs at Yano, but into a pop-up POWERBOMB! And YANO unties the buckle pad!! YANO WINS!!

Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)

And that’s how you win YTR style! Will Yano continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like this? Or will someone eventually beat Yano at his own games?

 

Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!

The other third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions is in action as he looks to settle things with the Switchblade! But will the Stone Pitbull be made to look like a little puppy tonight?

White insists the ref be more concerned about Ishii than him in the check. White throws off the jacket, flexes for the fans, and then has Gedo get in so they can Low Sweet. But Ishii grows impatient and he rushes over! White and Gedo bail out, “cool off,” and White mocks the clapping before giving the Low Sweet. White returns to the ring, bails right bck out, and asks about the bell. White gets in, the bell rings, and then White bails out again. White has a laugh as he goes in and out and in again, only to slide right back out. The ref reprimands, White dares Ishii to go after him, and Ishii goes! White gets far away from Ishii, goes back in the ring but Ishii is ready to follow.

White goes out, Ishii follows again. Gedo creeps up on Ishii, and White attacks! White stomps Ishii, drags him up for knees, then whips. Ishii swings, White dodges and doges and knees low. White whips, Ishii reverses but White bails out! White has a laugh, but Ishii rushes after him again! White gets in, and pretends he pulled a muscle so that Gedo can rake Ishii’s eyes! Gedo RAMS Ishii into railing then gets away before the ref notices. Ishii gets in the ring but White stomps him at the ropes. White stomps Ishii around, drags him up and throws him back out. White goes out but Ishii gets back in and runs, to run White over! Ishii pursues White on the outside, drags him up and whips him into railing!

Gedo protests but Ishii drags White up by his hair. White pushes Ishii but Ishii whips White back into railing! Fans cheer but the ref says to get this in the ring. Ishii glares at Gedo as he creeps over, and Gedo backs off. White goes to the ramp and Ishii wants to chase him down but the ref tells him to stay by the ring. The ref checks on White and tells him to get back to the ring, but White stays where he is on the ramp. Ishii argues with the ref, but he goes back into the ring. White dares Ishii to fight him on the outside but Ishii dares White to get back in. White goes in, Ishii kicks and clubs him! Ishii ROCKS White with a forearm, stomps him down, and then drags him up at the ropes.

White holds the ropes, the ref calls for the break, but White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Ishii to the apron! Gedo cheers while Ishii flops to the floor. White drags Ishii back up to SNAKE EYES him off the railing! The ref checks Ishii and White mockingly asks if Ishii is okay. The ref tells White to stay back, White goes into the ring, and fans rally up for Ishii. White goes back out to drag Ishii up and RAM him into the apron! And RAM him into railing! And RAM him back into the apron! And then back into the railing! Those ribs take serious damage as Ishii goes down in a heap! Gedo mockingly asks what’s wrong, and White drags Ishii up.

White says they have to get into the ring, so he’s putting Ishii in the ring. White asks if Ishii is done, but Ishii refuses to quit! The fans rally so White stomps Ishii over and over! White digs his fingers into Ishii’s face then stomps him again! White stomps Ishii in the ribs and Ishii goes to the ropes. White pushes Ishii around and then gets him into a corner. White RAMS into the bad ribs, the ref wants White to back off but White RAMS Ishii one more time. Gedo cheers but he’s the only one as White puts Ishii in a rear bearhug. Ishii endures the squeeze, so White JAMS a knee into Ishii’s back. White goes back to the rear bearhug, mockingly asking if Ishii has a hard time breathing.

White is squeezing tighter and Ishii shouts in pain! Ishii endures, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer the toughness but White stomps Ishii at the ropes! The ref checks on Ishii again but White drags Ishii back up. White whips Ishii hard into a corner and Gedo wants the ref to call this. White whips, Ishii reverses, and then Ishii runs in but White dodges! Ishii crashes into buckles, and White fireman’s carries him up! Ishii slips off, but White elbows Ishii away, only to run into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ishii growls as he gets up and he stalks White to a corner.

Fans rally as Ishii CHOPS White, and CHOPS again! And CHOPS, and then hooks White’s arms in the ropes so he can CHOP again! White falls over and Ishii hammers away! The ref reprimands, Ishii backs him down with a glare! Ishii comes back but White RAMS a shoulder into the ribs! White goes to suplex but it’s Ishii who brings White up and over! Ishii sits up, fans rally, and Ishii looms over White. Ishii brings White up but White fights off the back suplex. White swings but Ishii spins him around. White switches, Ishii wrenches, but White avoids the back suplex to turn Ishii. Ishii fights out of the neckbreaker but White kicks low to DDT!

Both men are down again and Ishii gets to the corner. White runs in to uppercut Ishii, and fireman’s carry, for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and White grows annoyed but fans fire up! White drags Ishii back up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage off and they end up in a corner. White knees Ishii, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Ishii eggs him on. White CHOPS Ishii again, then puts some stank on the next CHOP! Ishii just turns things around to CHOP White high! The ref reprimands but Ishii shoves him away! Ishii CHOPS White high again! Ishii drags White up, CHOPS high and hard again and again!

The ref comes back, Ishii shoves him, and CHOPS White more! The ref finally gets Ishii to stop those near throat chops, and Ishii drags White up to whip him corner to corner. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline, then whips corner to corner. White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but runs into the COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Ishii up into a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and fans rally up as both men are down. Gedo calls for the Kiwi, and White drags Ishii back up. White reels Ishii in, fisherman hooks but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii rams White into a corner, but White CORNER HALF HATCHES Ishii! Ishii clutches those bad ribs as he flops out of the ring!

The ref checks on Ishii but Ishii refuses to quit. White goes out to fetch Ishii, and he drags Ishii up to RAILING HALF HATCH!! White leaves Ishii for dead as Ishii writhes. Fans rally up but a ring count begins. The count is already 6 of 20 before Ishii sits up. Ishii still hasn’t gotten up and we’re past 10 of 20! It’s 15, Ishii finally starts going towards the ring, and he’s in at 18! White drags Ishii up and is pissed, but he hits BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious! White drags Ishii around, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White knees low but Ishii gets around to headbutt! Ishii runs, but into a BIG urenage!

White drags Ishii up, fisherman and KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and fans fire up! White asks Gedo for ideas, then drags Ishii around. White gets the sleeper hold but Ishii hooks the leg to block the suplex. Ishii throws elbows but White KNEES him low and hard! White drags Ishii back to center, has an arm and a leg, and stomps away on the ribs! Gedo wants the ref to stop this for Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t want this to end like that! White stands Ishii up and keylocks an arm so he can JAM Ishii in the ribs! White puts Ishii in a corner for more hard body shots! Gedo cheers but the ref reprimands. Ishii dares White to bring it, and White throws forearms!

Ishii tanks them because his head is still hard as stone! White throws more forearms but Ishii leans into them! Ishii backs White down like this, so White KNEES the ribs! Ishii ROCKS White back! Ishii drags White up and Gedo starts getting worried. Ishii puts White up top, Gedo swipes at him but the ref reprimands. White claws Ishii’s eyes! But Ishii RISING HEADBUTTS! White holds on to keep from falling! Ishii climbs up, drags White up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! The ribs make that double-edged, but Ishii hurries to high stack cover, TWO!! White survives but is sputtering. Ishii powers up and takes aim. Gedo gets on the apron, but hops off when Ishii glares at him.

White gets Ishii in the sleeper, but Ishii throws him over! Ishii puts the sleeper on now! White fades already but Gedo gets on the apron! Ishii goes after Gedo, pushing the ref aside! Gedo sucker punches Ishii down! White gets Ishii in the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Fans rally but White drags Ishii back up! Ishii tries to fight the sleeper hold but he’s fading! White leans on the hold, but Ishii gets a second wind! Ishii reaches for ropes, but White gets a leg for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious again! Fans rally for Ishii as White drags himself over.

White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights free of the suplex! White forearms, throws a strike fest, but Ishii gets around. They both swing and dodge but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Both men are down as Ishii clutches his ribs. Ishii fires up to fight through the pain and the fan srally behind him. Ishii runs, but White gets around! Ishii switches and he puts White in a sleeper! Ishii leans on White and now White fades! Ishii spins White but WHITE hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and White is beside himself! White slashes the throat, drags Ishii up, but no Blade Runner! GERMAN SUPLEX! Ishii and White are down again and both sputter as they sit up.

Gedo rallies for White but Ishii hits his head off the mat to power up! Ishii gets moving, fakes White out, but White still boots Ishii! Ishii ENZIGURIS! Ishii is roaring, Gedo is panicking, and Ishii drags White up to a POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO?!? White survives but Ishii sits him up. Gedo gets in with the brass knuckles! The ref reprimands, Ishii dares Gedo to use them, but he blocks White’s low blow! Ishii whips White into Gedo then LARIATS White! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?! White survives again but Ishii is just firing up more! Ishii drags White up, suplexes him, but White fights that off!

White tries to suplex but Ishii suplexes first. White slips out, dragon sleepre to an inverted suplex and he puts Ishii on his shoulder! White flips Ishii to the blade position but Ishii slipls out! Ishii swings but White turns him around, crosses the arms, but Ishii fights out again, only to run into a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White hurries to get Ishii up but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Ishii suplexes, White fights out but Ishii HEADBUTTS! White still wants a Triple S, but Ishii waistlocks! White switches, Ishii switches, but White blocks and dodges to BLADERUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!

Winner: Jay White, by pinfall

A masterful exchange and it’s the Switchblade that hits the mark! White even needs to check that he won, it was that sudden! He hugs Young Lions in almost mocking celebration! But when the Young Lion pushes him away, he BOOTS them down! But does this victory mean White is done with Ishii and back on his way towards the top?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!

The Rainmaker technically got his singles match with the King of Darkness not too long ago, but it was little more than an excuse to get Okada alone so Bullet Club could beat him up. We’ve seen Bullet Club in action all night, will any of Evil’s allies be able to back him up? Or will Okada prove Everything is NOT Evil?

The bell rings and Okada rushes Evil! Evil dodges, but then Okada dodges to fire off forearms. Evil kicks low, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada reverses and BOOTS Evil down! Evil bails out, fans cheer, and Okada dares Evil to come back. Dick and Evil regroup, Red Shoes keeps Okada back, and Okada waits. Evil slides back in, circles with Okada, and Okada points Dick out to Red Shoes. Dick stays back, Okada and Evil circle, but then Dick swipes at Okada! Evil attacks from behind, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada holds ropes and boots back. Okada scoops and slams Evil, then slingshot sentons!

Fans cheer as Okada takes a moment before he covers. ONE, but Okada drags Evil back up. Okada turns Evil to hit a neckbreaker! Okada drags Evil up and clamps on a chinlock. Evil endures, even as Okada digs his knee in. Evil reaches and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada holds until Red Shoes counts 3, and he brings Evil up to elbow him back down. Evil goes to a corner, Okada stomps him down! Dick protests but Okada tells him to shut up. Okada drags Evil up, snapmares him, then runs to basement dropkick! Evil bails out as fans rally up. Dick checks on Evil, Okada goes out and tells Dick to back off. Okada drags Evil up and ROCKS Evil with a forearm!

Okada glares at Dick then chases him off! Dick goes in the ring, Okada follows, Evil CLOBBERS Okada! Evil mockingly applauds and then he scrapes Okada out of the ring. Evil drags Okada up and whips him into railing! Evil scuffs Okada’s face, then drags him up, to RAM into the railing and the timekeeper! Poor Abe-san! Why don’t they ever move him away from ringside? Evil drags out chairs while everyone is busy helping Abe. Evil brings Okada over, CLUBS him down, then gets a chair ready! Evil puts that chair around Okada’s head, and then has the other chair! HOMERUN! Evil goes into the ring and leaves Okada on the floor. Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as a ring count begins.

Okada slowly stirs, and finally gets up at 10 of 20. Okada gets in at 13, but Evil is after him. Evil whips Okada into the bare corner! When did Dick take the buckle pad?! Evil drags Okada to a Half Crab! Okada endures as Evil pulls back, using Okada’s own knee pad for leverage. Okada gets the ropebreak, and Evil lets go at 4. Evil paces, drags Okada up, but Okada throws a forearm! Okada throws more forearms, but Evil rakes Okada’s eyes! Evil throws Okada out, and then gets in Red Shoes’ face so Dick can stomp away on Okada! Dick drags Okada up and puts him in for Evil, and Evil covers. Red Shoes knows something fishy is up so he refuses!

Evil is upset with Red Shoes but he drags Okada back up. Evil reels Okada in to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Evil is furious with Red Shoes but the count is the count. Evil mocks the fans clapping for “O-KA-DA!” and he drags Okada up. Okada throws a heavy body shot! Okada throws forearms, uppercuts, and then whips. Evil reverses, Okada dodges but Evil kicks him to throw him down! Okada avoids the back senton, and hits a basement EuroUpper! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada stands first. Evil follows but Okada rallies with elbows! Okada whips, Evil reverses but Okada elbows him down! Osaka fires up with Okada!

Okada whips Evil corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus and gets the fans going with clap-clap-clap-stomp. Evil gets up but he fights off the Alabama lift! So Okada RAMS Evil into a corner! Okada puts Evil up top, Evil boots but Okada blocks! Okada clubs the leg then EuroUppers, and he dropkicks Evil off the top! Evil falls to the floor and Dick checks on him. Okada catches his breath in the ring, the ring count starts, and Dick coaches Evil. Okada goes out to fetch Evil, and drags him up. Okada elbows Evil, but then Dick talks trash. Okada chases Dick up the ramp but Evil pursues! Okada kicks and clubs Dick!

Evil runs in but Okada gets him, too! DOUBLE DDT’s to the ramp! Okada and fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp! Okada leaves Evil and Dick behind as he goes back down the ramp. But then Okada goes back and figures he should bring Evil back. Okada clubs Evil to make sure he keeps going towards ringside. Okada puts Evil in and fans cheer as he covers, TWO! Evil is still in this but Okada isn’t frustrated. Okada drags Evil up but blocks thje kick! Okada spins, Evil blocks the kick and gives it to Red Shoes so he can mule kick Okada low! Fans rally again, Evil pretends he can’t hear them, and then he runs in to clothesline Okada in the corner! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!

Evil is frustrated again but he gets Okada’s legs! Okada resists as Evil tries to turn him over, and Okada gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4, but Dick is there to get cheap shots in! Dick runs way before Red Shoes sees, and Evil smirks as he scuffs Okada with his boot. Evil talks trash, Okada gets up and fans rally again. Evil slaps Okada around, so Okada gets mad. Okada runs but into a fireman’s carry! Okada fights free, Evil elbows him away and runs, but into a HUGE FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans rally up again. Okada stands, Evil goes to a corner, but Okada BOOTS him! Okada Alabama lifts but Evil fights off! Evil pulls hair but Okada ROCKS him!

Okada runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Okada ROCKS him again! Evil reverses the whip, but runs into the Alabama! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada goes to a corner, climbs up, but Evil stands, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Evil back up. Okada gut wrenches but Evil resists. Evil gets the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Okada clubs Evil first. Okada backs off, runs into the corner, but Evil boots him away! Evil boots Okada again, then dodges. Okada stops from hitting bare buckles, but Evil clotheslines Okada into them! Okada goes down in a heap while Evil smiles. Fans rally up but Evil drags Okada up.

Evil hoists Okada up top, climbs up to join him, and then goes to the very top! Evil drags Okada up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Evil doesn’t cover, he gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Okada endures as Evil sits back deep! The fans rally, Okada claws for ropes, but Evil adds more torque! Okada refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go at 4! Evil catches his breath in a corner while Okada is down. Evil drags Okada back up, reels him into the fireman’s carry, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans fire up! Evil is annoyed again but he vows to end this. Evil slashes the throat, stands Okada up and spins him, but Okada denies Evil.

Okada wants the clip but Evil knees low. Evil whips, Okada reverses and Evil gets bare buckles! MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, claws Okada’s eyes, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil lets go and then he grabs at Red Shoes! Dick CLUBS Okada with a pipe!! Dick gets in, Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil gets in Red Shoes’ face while Dick fires off haymakers! Dick whips Okada but Okada BOOTS him down! Evil kicks and whips Okada but Okada reverses to dropkick Evil down! Okada gets Evil’s arm for the MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, pries at Okada’s fingers, but Okada leans on the hold. Evil fights up, grabs at Red Shoes, but Red Shoes SWATS Evil’s hand!

Okada gut wrenches Evil to a TOMBSTONE! And back to MONEY CLIP! Evil reaches, turns a bit red, starts to fade but gets a second wind. Evil is up, grabs Red Shoes again, but Okada CLUBS Evil! Okada wrenches the other arm but Evil shoves Okada into Red Shoes! Evil runs but Okada gets around, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada shouts to Red Shoes but he’s still down. Okada puts on Money Clip, Dick has the CHOKER!! The Spoiler is trying to spoil this finish! But Okada powers up and RAMS Dick into the bare buckles! Okada is free, and he gut wrenches Dick to hit a TOMBSTONE!! Okada takes the choker now?! To throw it away! That’s our Rainmaker for ya! But Evil LOW BLOWS Okada!!

Evil gets the legs, but Okada LOW BLOWS Evil back!! Turnabout is fair play! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes, and fans rally up! Okada sits up first, and he drags Evil up. Okada gut wrenches again, for a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Fans fire up with Okada again as he sits Evil up for the MONEY CLIP!! Red Shoes returns, Evil endures, and Okada keeps Evil away from ropes with a back2backbreaker! MONEY CLIP AGAIN! Evil is in the middle of the ring as he starts to fade again! Red Shoes checks on Evil as he’s turning red again! Evil finds a third wind and he reaches, but Okada clamps on tighter! Evil tries one more time and gets a ropebreak!

Okada lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up for Okada again as he has Evil’s wrist. Okada drags Evil up, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada drags Evil up again, but Evil LARIATS! Okada swings but into Evil spins him to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Both men slowly rise, and Evil runs, to LARIAT Okada inside-out! Cover, TWO!?!? Okada survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally up again but Evil rises first. Evil staggers over, slashes his throat and stands Okada up. Evil spins him but Okada denies the STO again! Evil still tries but Okada spins. Evil avoids the discus, but Okada tries to steal Everything! Evil denies that, and tries to steal the Rainmaker lariat!

Okada denies that but he swings into Evil’s clinch! Okada denies the STO again! Okada gut wrenches Evil, for a SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada brings Evil up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall

The tried and true finisher finishes Evil! This won’t be the end of things, but has Evil learned a little of why Okada is still on a whole different level? After catching his breath, Okada gets the mic. He gets fans to clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap clap-clap clap-clap-clap. “OSAKA-JOOOOO~! If I can speak frankly, that felt damn good!” Okada apologizes to the fans for “having to put up with more of Bullet Club’s crap tonight.” But by taking care of business, Okada is sure we’re all satisfied. Okada says there’s something still bothering him, though. “Well, I should just put it out there, huh? It’s about time I get back to that IWGP Heavyweight title!”

Okada knows that as a responsible adult, he should follow proper protocol. So that starts with winning the 2021 New Japan Cup! After doing that, he’ll be back where he belongs. But he’s sure they’re all thinking that the double title thing is getting boring. If Okada were to poll Osaka, they’d say that the one who has to save the titles is him! So he’ll win the NJ Cup, take back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and make it rain again! Fans like the sound of that! Okada knows while the fans couldn’t chant and shout, he knows they were giving it their all to support the wrestlers, and thanks them for it! The wrestlers will do their best all over again tomorrow for night two! Until then, good night!

The Rainmaker has made it known where he wants to be, but will that only make the road back that much harder? Will Tetsuya Naito make it a bit easier by taking the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back on night two?


My Thoughts:

A very good event for NJPW to begin this weekend, but it also felt like a last-minute go-home for tomorrow’s event, as well as the New Japan Cup. The opening Six Man was good, and the United Empire wins so Khan has some momentum, but it was good math that neither he or Tanahashi were involved in the finish. That way, the NEVER Openweight Championship match could go either way. Tanahashi really only just got that belt, though, so I’m leaning towards him retaining. Ospreay & Cobb will still face Kojima & Tenzan, but that will probably go the Empire’s way like tonight did.

In similar fashion, it was good math for Goto-Hashi and GoD to split the difference. I like that Goto didn’t just win, he won in such a sudden turnaround. But with it being 50-50 here, I’m thinking GoD retain the tag titles and we wait to see if another team moves up to challenge them. Yano VS Chase was a good match, a lot of good antics from Yano, but Yano felt like a natural choice to win here. It might be awhile before someone wins and takes the KOPW 2021 trophy, but it definitely has to be in something really ridiculous.

White VS Ishii was a very good match, maybe a little long, but the slug fest nature of it and Ishii enduring bad ribs made it work. As did another fast exchange finish with White going over. White is definitely going into the NJCUP strong. Okada VS Evil was very similar, a long but storied match that turned out very well. As I said before, Okada trying to focus on the Money Clip works as a way of extending his career, but I also like this new element that when things get difficult, he can always bust out the Rainmaker lariat. Okada declares his NJCUP intentions, but that in itself could signal he doesn’t win it all, and puts someone else over. At this point, I feel like Sanada doesn’t even need to declare to be considered a favorite. Sanada’s already had great matches with Okada, Naito and Ibushi, maybe one more time is the charm for him to join the upper tier.

My Score: 9/10


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Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.27.21

Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show? 

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Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?

Kazuchika Okada finally gets his hands on EVIL, Jay White gets his “get right match” against Ishii after the last month of issues, and just generally a lot of feud building. The obvious thread is all of the CHAOS versus Bullet Club going on, but I don’t think any of us are excited for Tanga Loa and YOSHI-HASHI.

We also have The United Empire kicking things off to help give Great O-Khan more momentum going into his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Even if the card seems a little flat, maybe we get surprised?

Ratings:

  • The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Ospreay wins via Oscutter @10:22 – * ½
  • Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI: Loa wins via Ape Shit @12:58 – (-*)
  • Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @6:39 – ** ¼
  • KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens: Yano retains @12:50 – ** ½
  • Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii: White wins via Blade Runner @25:42 – ****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo: Okada wins via Rainmaker @28:11 – *** ¼

 

Results:

The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi

So we saw a lot of dynamics that we’ve grown to expect. Tenzan struggles to not use the Mongolian Chops, O-Khan continues to prove himself a credible enough threat to Tanahashi, but this was a sloppy match. Between an early awkward exchange that made it seem like O-Khan didn’t know how to sell Kojima’s flurry, Ospreay slipped on the rope when he was coming in toward the end; even though he kinda saved it, it was obviously screwed up.

Interactions were clumsy, the match never got exciting and really just did what these kind of matches usually do, but not even as well as most Young Lions.

Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI

Welp, this match was straight garbage. The sad thing about this match was that Loa did a pretty solid job at trying to vocally antagonize HASHI and keep things interesting, but HASHI was in slow motion. HASHI would visibly confirm things too much, his moves were bad, kept trying to rally the crowd but they didn’t respond; so there were a ton of times he waited a beat to see if the crowd would ever come alive, and they never really did.

Tanga Loa was his usual self with better verbal interactions. He kept trying to get HASHI to fight and prove what he had instead of cursing, but HASHI just fell into the waste of space mannerisms he was known for 99% of his career. He should go back to Loose Explosion on his tights, because he is the drizzling shits.

So Tama comes out to distract Hashi allowing for Loa to turn the situation and hit Ape Shit. Bullet Club beatdown ensues, Goto runs out, clears out Loa…and the referee decides to just start the match since Goto and Tama were supposed to wrestle anyway!

Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto

A quick start is stifled by the malaise that is known as Castle Attack so far. Tama dumps out Goto, Goto starts reviewing his life choices and why he’s here today, and then spends enough time on the outside to build a bird house before Jado eventually limps over and hits him with a kendo stick shot. Like…why? Goto saw it coming. Stevie Wonder saw it coming. The terrible decisions of YOSHI-HASHI have polluted Goto’s mind as well!

When things get back into the ring, at least Tama and Goto are good wrestlers. Tama hits the Tongan Twist and Veleno, but a missed Stinger Splash and countered Gun Stun gave Goto some space. Tama tried for Gun Stun again, but he got caught, Goto throws him on his shoulders Ushigoroshi style, but drops him into the GTR and lands it! So a surprising GTR gives Goto a victory from the jaws of defeat, and at least the in-ring action was serviceable enough to get the highest rating of the show so far.

I really hope the back half blows my socks off, because this is sad so far.

KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens

Now the gimmick here is instead of touch the 4 corner pads, you have to remove the 4 corner pads. So it seems like the person to remove the last pad, will be the winner.

We get a mostly expected Yano gimmick match. He made small references to his earlier gimmick of being a cheating, violent, always disqualified heel; when he started whipping Chase early and being more aggressive than we usually see. But Chase was clever using the outside to a great advantage. Yano was forced to go after Chase because Chase was going to take the pads off from outside, and then used Yano’s momentum against him by ramming him into posts and barricades.

The last pad was solid comedy where both took turns knocking the other out, too far from the last pad. So we had some goofy “drag the dead body” spots. Chase nearly had things won until Yano came to, pulled him close for Oni Koroshi! Yano makes it to the corner, takes it off and the God of all KOPW continues!

Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii

Ishii has had White’s number lately, and just added to the broken status of his mental health after the Wrestle Kingdom loss. Within the first minute or so, Jay looked to have tweaked his hamstring, and that added an interesting layer to his early attack. But much like the strategic genius that he is, he lays Ishii over the barricade, and Ishii starts selling a rib injury.

Everything in this match mattered, the leg and ribs came back to play into aspects of the finishing sequence. Ishii was slow transitioning between some of his power moves since he was hampered with the rib injury, and Jay got caught a bit more than usual because his quickness was taken away.

A huge Avalanche Brainbuster after a Jumping Headbutt nearly gave Ishii the win, but a slow cover as he wanted the high stack, kept Jay alive. They fight back and forth, then we get a great counter wrestling sequence to finish the match. Ishii slips suplexes and Blade Runners, Jay slips the Brainbuster and eats a strike. It was up, down, back and forth, just hard to call until Jay finally slips a hold and catches Ishii with Blade Runner for the win!

THANK GOD we got a match worth watching! Great pacing, solid story, this is something to watch.

Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo

Ugh, okay so we know what we get with EVIL any more right? Okada tried to eliminate Dick Togo early when he hit Double DDTs on the ramp, but then the trek back to the ring was awkward. Okada bringing EVIL back to the ring, was a microcosm of the match, where it was just very slowly paced, inactive and not a good idea.

Part of the point in this match was for Okada to finally get closure on EVIL beating him during last year’s New Japan Cup; but he wanted to drag out the old aggressive EVIL. EVIL fired up late, and the crowd responded excitedly expecting something good, but it was short lived. Plus, we have Okada being a complete moron. He was shoved into Red Shoes, fights off Dick and lays EVIL out and goes for the stupid Money Clip. He goes for a submission after he was driven into the referee. This is a gap in logic so embarrassing, just so Dick could interfere again with the garrote.

All the garrote did was possibly foreshadow when Okada Tombstoned Dick, and then had a moment where he considered using the weapon. This is either a throw away for Okada to continue to be the Golden Boy, or it’s a hint that darker things are on the horizon for Okada.

Either way, Fire/Thunder Driver lead to the Rainmaker again, and we’re finally at a point where Okada is beating people with the move that started it all! No more Money Clip! It looks bad and it’s just sad.

 

Overall Score: 4.25/10

At least we got one match really worth watching out of this show. Jay White versus Tomohiro Ishii is truly the only thing to watch from this whole show.

I don’t know how some people didn’t find the YOSHI-HASHI embarrassing, but it completely was. The opener was sloppy to the point of uselessness. Tama and Goto was just flat given how the story was being told. Then we’ve got the gimmicky goofball match being a highlight before the semi-main and main events. I’ve seen more salient card structure and match booking from Dragon Gate during the waning days of ANTIAS.

Tomorrow has to be better because if it’s worse, then I think 2015 TNA would be happy to know they aren’t the bottom of the barrel anymore. This show was so embarrassing I think I’m just gonna end the article with the hockey coach from Letterkenny:

via GIPHY


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