This review of NJPW: 46th Anniversary Show will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: Roppongi 3K VS El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi; Desperado & Kanemaru win and become new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Togi Makabe; Suzuki wins and retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW review what led to tonight’s two major matches.
The Meanest Man in the World, Minoru Suzuki, brutalized the Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Championship. But when Suzuki-Gun started doing the same to members of Chaos, The Unchained Gorilla stood in their way. Togi Makabe looks to get payback against Suzuki by taking that title away from him so soon after he got it, but will he be able to defeat such a violent veteran of the ring?
Meanwhile, Sho & Yoh, better known as Roppongi 3K, had just got their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships back from the Bullet Club’s Young Bucks when El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru targeted them for Suzuki-Gun’s brand of beatings. On top of that, Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi racked up wins as a team in their own right, so it won’t be 2v2 but a Triple Threat for the titles! Can Chaos’ shining duo survive such an onslaught? Or will new tag team champions rise when the dust settles?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: Roppongi 3K VS El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi!
Three top tag teams of the Jr. Tag Division, representing three major factions of NJPW! But only one team can be the champions, so who comes out holding the gold?
Things are already tense even before the bell as Desperado gets in Sho’s face. The teams back off to cool off while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and we finally begin. The rules allow only two active men, so it’s Yoh and Hiromu to start. Yoh swaggers about and steps to Hiromu, who responds with an overhand chop. Yoh chops back and we immediately have a chop fight! They go back and forth, not slowing down or backing off. Hiromu gets the edge, but Yoh comes back for more, but Hiromu still gets the better of Yoh. Yoh’s chest is red as Hiromu’s hair but he still goes after the Ticking Time Bomb. They chop and chop all over again, Hiromu switches to a kick. Hiromu gets a headlock but Yoh powers out, Hiromu runs Yoh over but Yoh kip-up, into another chop from Hiromu. Yoh falls down and Hiromu catches his breath.
Hiromu brings Yoh up to whip but Yoh reverses, to chop Hiromu. Yoh whips but Hiromu reverses. Yoh rolls under, rolls back and sets flight with headscissors to throw Hiromu. He tags in Sho, and together RPG3K stomp Hiromu down. They bring Hiromu up, double whip, and then drop toehold to basement dropkick. Hiromu rolls out but Bushi slides in, into double dropkicks. Bushi rolls out, RPG3K rally the fans and build speed, but Desperado & Kanemaru trip them up to drag them out. Suzuki-Gun puts RPG3K into barriers, but Hiromu & Bushi return to double baseball slide dropkick Suzuki-Gun. Everyone is outside the ring now as Hiromu throws Kanemaru into barriers on the far side!
Bushi makes sure the other three stay down by clubbing and stomping them. Hiromu puts Sho in the ring, and he stomps and grinds Sho into the mat. He tags in Bushi, and Bushi uses his shirt to choke Sho. The referee sees this and counts, Bushi lets go at 4. Hiromu comes in and LIJ double whip Sho, double hip toss him and hit Tu Lo Sabes! Bushi covers, Hiromu guards, TWO! Fans rally while Bushi stomps Sho. Bushi runs but Kanemaru tags in, completely legal. Kanemaru and Bushi argue but a tag is a tag.
Kanemaru comes in and boots Yoh down. He whips Sho but Sho reverses while Desperado and Bushi scrap on the outside. Sho goes to dropkick but Kanemaru holds ropes to avoid it. Kanemaru drags Sho up to whip him, then throws him with a back body drop. He grinds a heel into Sho’s chin, then kicks at Rocky Romero. Kanemaru tags in Desperado, and Desperado toys with Sho. Desperado also grinds a boot into Sho’s chin before scooping him up for the slam. He turns Sho over and gives a splash to Sho’s back. Cover, TWO, but Desperado keeps Sho down by standing on his head. Fans rally and Sho chops back, then runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, but Bushi drags Desperado off it.
Desperado scraps with Bushi but Hiromu comes in, and Hiromu rakes Desperado’s eyes! Hiromu throws Desperado at Kanemaru, then stalks Sho. He stomps Sho, then knocks Yoh off the apron, and chops Sho. He whips Sho corner to corner and hits him with a corner clothesline, but keeps moving to blast Sho with a basement dropkick! Cover, but Desperado pulls him off it, in return for earlier. Desperado puts Hiromu in a corner and Kanemaru tags in. Kanemaru goes after Bushi while Desperado scraps with Hiromu again. Desperado gets Hiromu out while Kanemaru goes after Sho. Kanemaru brings Sho up and whips him to Suzuki-Gun’s corner, and hits a running kick. Desperado takes Yoh out while Kanemaru hoists Sho up to the top rope. Kanemaru climbs up to join Sho, and hits a SUPERPLEX!
Cover, TWO, but Kanemaru puts Sho right into a Boston Crab. Desperado intercepts Hiromu then blocks Yoh, throwing Yoh out while Kanemaru completes the hold. Sho endures while Desperado intercepts and redirects Bushi. Desperado kicks Hiromu back out, and Kanemaru wrenches back into an almost Walls of Jericho hold. Sho powers up and drags himself towards ropes. Desperado continues to intercept but Sho gets the ropebreak. Kanemaru lets him free while we go to break.
NJPW returns, and Rocky rallies the fans for Sho. Desperado puts Bushi into barriers while Kanemaru stomps on Sho. Kanemaru toys with Sho, then brings him up, but Sho blocks the suplex. Kanemaru gets him up and over but Sho slips out and to a waistlock, but his back gives out. Sho falls and Kanemaru stomps on him again. Kanemaru brings Sho up but Sho suplexes Kanemaru! Sho crawls to his corner, and tags in Yoh! Yoh rallies on Suzuki-Gun with dropkicks back and forth, then fires up to run in at Kanemaru. Kanemaru boots him back and grabs him, but Yoh fights off Suzuki-Gun with more kicks. Yoh blocks and dragon screws Desperado, then whips Kanemaru. Kanemaru reverses but Yoh knocks him down with a forearm.
Yoh fires up again and drags Kanemaru up, but Kanemaru blocks the suplex. They trade forearms, Kanemaru kicks Yoh before he can run, so Yoh kicks back. Kanemaru grabs hair, Yoh breaks free to run, but into the low dropkick to the knee. Kanemaru stalks Yoh, elbowing him in the neck. He runs, but LIJ is upon him so that Bushi can tag in. Kanemaru still goes after Bushi, then runs, but Hiromu enters so that both LIJ jump over Kanemaru. Bushi stops Kanemaru with a kick and Hiromu blasts Bushi out with a dropkick! Hiromu goes after Kanemaru while Bushi hits Desperado. Bushi goes after Yoh, but Yoh enziguris him away. Yoh tags Sho, and Sho hits Hiromu before rallying on Bushi.
Sho whips, Bushi reverses but Sho forearms Bushi! Hiromu hits Sho and whips him, Sho holds ropes then dumps Hiromu to the apron, sweeps the legs to blast Hiromu with a baseball slide dropkick of his own! Bushi returns but Sho’s ready with a spear! Sho fires up, but Desperado kicks him in the head. Suzuki-Gun double whip Sho, but Sho spears them both! Sho fires up again as he stalks Bushi. He hits a corner clothesline, then whips Bushi to reel him into a knee and mule kick. Cover, TWO, but the fans are rallying. Sho drags Bushi up, German S1uplex! He brings Bushi back up, but Hiromu adds on. Sho lets go of Bushi and standing switches with Hiromu, but Hiromu elbows out. Hiromu spots Desperado and leaps for the sunset flip powerbomb!
Sho returns to Bushi and whips him to ropes, but Bushi evades to DIVE on Kanemaru! RPG3K regroup and build speed, but Bushi intercepts Sho while Yoh FLIES!
Yoh wipes Hiromu out, but Bushi and Sho brawl with forearms. They go back and forth, Bushi gets the edge and runs, but into RPG3K double knees! Yoh suplexes Bushi onto Sho’s shoulder, for the dominator cutter! Cover, TWO! But Sho and Yoh keep going, giving Bushi a European Uppercut into Sho’s backstabber, followed by Yoh’s dropkick. RPG3K fire up, the fans rally for them, and they call for their finish, but Hiromu comes in to German Suplex Yoh while Bushi fights off the flapjack! Hiromu holds onto the ref so that he doesn’t see Bushi hit Sho with the green mist!
Bushi goes for a backslide, but Kanemaru spits his alcohol into Bushi’s face! Desperado tags in, Suzuki-Gun goes after everyone else. Desperado drags Sho into a modified crucifix pin, Suzuki-Gun wins!
Winners: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Desperado pinning; NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The Rogue Luchador and the Heel Master snatch their new title belts and head out, having proudly outsmarted four other competitors. This makes for Desperado’s first but Kanemaru’s third reign, cutting Sho’s & Yo’s second reign at only 37 days.
Backstage interviews after the match.
Rocky Romero is “so sick and tired” of Suzuki-Gun. As far as he’s concerned, Suzuki-Gun, “you’re shit!” Desperado wasn’t the legal man, but he gets the pin? “What kind of bullshit is that?” If Suzuki-Gun wants to play games, they’re up against “The King of Sneaky Style”! Rocky says “revenge is a bitch.”
Meanwhile, Hiromu Takahashi is actually excited. He wants another go at Suzuki-Gun and those titles! He’s so excited, he can barely control himself as he goes walking off, laughing all the way. But Bushi tells Suzuki-Gun, “You’ve really done it now.” They may have the belts, but he and Hiromu will come to snatch them back. “Remember that!”
As for the champions, Desperado & Kanemaru, themselves, “We do the same as everyone else.” They fought fair and square, following the rules the whole time. “Such honorable champions like us are rare”, unlike those “useless idiots.” Those four were nothing special, so how did they make it this far? They’re just not cut out for this. And to LIJ specifically, “You guys aren’t championship material. But we are, and that’s why we got the belts.” They do indeed have the belts, but with the tables turned, how long will they have them?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Togi Makabe!
The Man with the Worst Personality in the World has shown as much with how he’s treated everyone from young lions to various opponents, but the Unchained Gorilla will no longer stand idly by. Can Chaos’ King Kong teach Suzuki-Gun’s ruthless leader a lesson while also taking his belt? Or will Suzuki just make Makabe another one of his victims?
Referee “Red Shoes” presents the belt to the challenger, and we begin.
The two men stare down from across the ring as the fans cheer and chant. Suzuki and Makabe slowly step towards each other, ice cold looks on their faces. But then Suzuki ignites things with a boot to Makabe’s face! Makabe fires off forearms, then Suzuki fires off forearms, and Makabe fires back. They go back and forth with forearms, no slowing down or backing off. Makabe throws more forearms, but Suzuki throws a harder one. Suzuki dares Makabe to hit him again, and Makabe does, but Suzuki hits him back harder again. Makabe falls to a knee, Suzuki whips him, but Makabe dodges the boot to shoulder Suzuki down. Suzuki gets to ropes but Makabe is on him with forearms. Makabe stands over Suzuki but Suzuki just eggs him on. Makabe gives forearms, Suzuki boots Makabe, so Makabe throws in more forearms.
Suzuki gets up and gives Makabe those forearms back, then a harder one. He even slaps Makabe. Makabe fires off more forearms, Suzuki just slaps him again. Makabe forearms Suzuki into a corner, Suzuki boots back again, so Makabe rocks him with more forearms. Suzuki keeps egging Makabe on, so Makabe rocks Suzuki with more forearms, sitting him down! Makabe goes outside and whips Suzuki into barriers! And yet Suzuki just glares back at Makabe. Makabe grabs Suzuki and throws him into more barriers. Suzuki slumps to the floor but Makabe drags him up and into the ring. Makabe hits Suzuki with another forearm, but Suzuki hits back with body shots. Suzuki gives more forearms, Makabe gives them back. Makabe whips Suzuki but Suzuki reverses, only to run into Makabe’s shoulder.
Fans cheer for Makabe as he stalks Suzuki to an apron. Makabe drags Suzuki up, but Suzuki catches him into a draping triangle hold!
Makabe holds Suzuki up, and pries his arm out, to then hammer away on Suzuki with it! Suzuki falls to the apron, Makabe grabs at him, but Suzuki gets him back in the draping triangle! He ends up falling off to the floor, but he just gets up and drags Makabe out to join him. Suzuki clears out the crew ringside, to throw Makabe into the railings now. He puts Makabe back in the ring, but then brings him over to a post to sling the leg against it! Suzuki then confiscates a chair, but Red Shoes stops him from using it!
Suzuki shoves Red Shoes down, and gets a different chair to SMACK Makabe’s leg! Makabe writhes as he clutches his knee, but Suzuki’s far from through with him. Red Shoes reprimands him as he grabs the second chair, but Suzuki gets pissed. Suzuki comes close to smacking Red Shoes with the chair, if it weren’t for the fact a disqualification would lose him the title. He lets go of the chair, and Red Shoes holds onto it so Suzuki can’t have it back. Suzuki goes into the ring and stomps Makabe’s damaged knee. Red Shoes checks on Makabe while the fans rally for him, but Suzuki won’t let up on that leg. He drags Makabe up but Makabe fights back. Suzuki gives body shots in return and puts Makabe in a headlock, but Makabe powers out, only for Suzuki to give him a headbutt.
Suzuki drags Makabe back up, rolls him into the Kneebar! Makabe endures and works to pry his way out, but Suzuki has him trapped. Suzuki gets the heel hook in, but Makabe reaches for ropes. Fans rally as Makabe crawls, dragging Suzuki with him, and he gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go but knows he’s in control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Suzuki stalks and stomps Makabe. He toys with his challenger, but Makabe stands up to kick, only for the bad leg to bother him again. Suzuki laughs as he runs, but into a powerslam! Makabe works to get that leg going while Suzuki rolls away. Makabe runs and hits Suzuki with a corner clothesline, then whips him corner to corner, for another clothesline! The Unchained Gorilla climbs up to give Suzuki corner punches, getting all 10 before bringing Suzuki out for the Northern Lights suplex and bridge!
TWO, but Makabe keeps his cool. The fans continue to cheer and chant as Makabe brings Suzuki up for a forearm. Makabe grabs Suzuki in a waistlock but Suzuki elbows his way out. Suzuki drags Makabe up and slaps him around again, then whips him corner to corner for the big boot. He keeps going with a snapmare and running kick, but Makabe blocks it! Makabe clubs the leg, then forearms Suzuki’s head, both men take a moment to stare down. Suzuki throws a forearm, Makabe staggers, but Makabe gives one back. Suzuki answers, then back to Makabe, and so on. Both men stagger, but both men come back to egg the other on. Makabe hits first this time, and Suzuki grins. Suzuki pats Makabe on the shoulder before holding him still for the stiffest forearm yet.
Makabe falls to a knee, then to his forehead on the mat, but Makabe shakes his head, refusing to give in. He stands back up and gives Suzuki a strong forearm of his own. Suzuki grins again, and gives an even stiffer shot. He dares Makabe to stand up, Makabe fires himself up and gives one back. Suzuki doesn’t hesitate to give yet another shot back, and now it’s a brawl. Suzuki gets the edge again, and gives Makabe a third, incredibly stiff forearm. Makabe falls to the mat again, and Suzuki practically claims victory already as he stands over Makabe.
But the match isn’t over yet as he eggs Makabe to get back up. Suzuki gives Makabe a fourth forearm, then runs, but into Makabe’s fireman’s carry and Death Valley Driver! Makabe can’t make the cover from exhaustion, but fans are rallying for him again. Suzuki and Makabe slowly stand up, Makabe runs in for a clothesline to the back of Suzuki’s head. Makabe hoists Suzuki up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Suzuki resists the waistlock, so Makabe clubs him in the back and bumps his head off the top of the steel post! Then Makabe pulls Suzuki back into the Spider German Suplex!
Makabe sits back up, adjusts, and JUMPS, but the King Kong knee drop misses as Suzuki rolls away. Both men are down, but fans are rallying. Suzuki is upon Makabe, with the kneebar! Makabe endures the wrenching and bending, and crawls for ropes, but Suzuki gets up to drag Makabe away! Suzuki spins and puts the kneebar back on, hooking Makabe’s free leg at the same time! Makabe drags himself with just arms, but Suzuki drags him away again. Yet Makabe still gets the ropebreak! Suzuki can’t believe it, but he still has to let go.
The fans continue to rally while Suzuki stands up. He toys with Makabe, Makabe hits back, and it becomes a stiff slap fight! They go back and forth on their knees, Suzuki switches to a punch. Suzuki drags Makabe up for a knee, then a roll, but Makabe blocks the takedown and deadlifts Suzuki back for a German Suplex! Bridge cover, TWO, so Makabe stands Suzuki up for the full nelson. Suzuki mule kicks the knee, ducks one clothesline but not the other! Cover, TWO! Both men stand up again, Makabe runs, but into Suzuki’s dropkick! They’re both down again, but Suzuki stirs first. Suzuki drags himself up and turns back to Makabe. He brings Makabe up into a sleeper hold, but that’s not his planned finish as he turns Makabe around.
Suzuki gets the Gotch hold, but Makabe resists the lift. Suzuki keeps trying, and gets Makabe’s feet off the mat, but that’s not enough. Makabe gets back to his feet and lifts Suzuki up into the fireman’s carry. Suzuki slips out, but runs into Makabe’s overhand chop! Makabe hacks away at Suzuki’s neck and shoulder, but Suzuki ducks the last one to slap Makabe from both sides. Suzuki slaps and slaps, Makabe back hands, so Suzuki kicks out the bad leg. Makabe stands back up and roars at Suzuki, but Suzuki lands the body shot. Makabe tries again, but Suzuki slips around to the sleeper! Suzuki waits until Makabe fades, then spins him around again, lift and Gotch Piledriver!
Cover, Suzuki wins!
Winner: Suzuki, by pinfall; retains IWGP Intercontinental Championship
The baddest man on the planet is still the champion after this hard fought fight with Chaos’ Unchained Gorilla. As he picks up his belt, he also picks up a mic while the rest of Suzuki-Gun joins him in the ring.
“So the dregs of humanity have gathered in Ota tonight.” Yet they’re still complaining? It doesn’t matter to Suzuki what they think. Because “they’re still out there, stepping on my head.” But Suzuki vows he’s coming for them, so “they better be ready to die.” Who is he talking about, you ask? “Don’t you know anything about pro-wrestling?” The fans laugh and applaud for that, but he tells them to shut up. They think this is a joke?! “Shut up. Shut up. I don’t give a damn whether your cheer for me or not.” He dares them to all attack and once! He’ll destroy them all. But no takers. “Here’s your lesson for today: Suzuki-Gun is number one.” With the belts they hold, it’s hard to argue with that. Will Suzuki get revenge on those “stepping on his head”?
However, not everyone gets the message. Suzuki goes after Red Shoes, but a young lion comes to the referee’s defense. So Suzuki just goes after the young lion, decking him with a forearm! Suzuki is rather merciful this time, leaving it at that.
Backstage interviews after the match.
Suzuki says that “someday, without fail, it will all be within my grasp. Everything.” And when he says everything, he means everything. All the treasures, the wealth, the fame, the power! Everything. He already has one championship in his possession, will the Man with the Worst Personality fight his way towards another?
A really good hour of programming here with two full matches. It definitely all builds towards the story of Suzuki-Gun’s world domination. The triple threat tag was very high energy, lots of great teamwork in all three teams, and Suzuki-Gun comes away with the surprise win. Rocky Romero and LIJ do great post-match promos, as doe the new champions. We know in the present that these three teams have a great rematch at Sakura Genesis, and with The Young Bucks going to the Heavyweight Tag Division, these three teams will be holding down the Junior Tag Division down for a long time coming. Then, Suzuki is Suzuki, and he put on a great match with Makabe. Suzuki retains to continue this story of him defying whoever it is he sees keeping him down, and this has to be leading to him and Okada, IC vs WHC, winner takes all.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s Women of Wrestling Results & Report! (1/18/19)
Prepare to be wowed by WOW, the Women of Wrestling! Who will be the first to step up to the Super Woman, Santana Garrett, on the very first night?
- The Beast VS Stephy Slays; The Beast wins.
- Abilene Maverick VS Fire; Maverick wins.
- Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz; Eye Candy wins.
- WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl; Jungle Grrrl wins by count out, Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Welcome to WOW!
The Women of Wrestling return to television with this season premiere! And what better way to kick it off than with THE WOW World Champion, Santana Garrett! The real-life Wonder Woman hits the ring with a newly designed title belt, and Santana is so happy to be here in front of the fans. And she’s especially proud to have her father, “TNT” Keny G watching live and in person. Both daughter and father are emotional over this moment. They’ve been through a lot, and they’re both so thankful that he’s here to cheer on his baby girl. The fans are happy for them, but here comes someone to crash the party! It’s Tessa Blanchard!
The second generation “Born Legend” stares down Santana, and takes the mic. Santana has her dad here, huh? Isn’t that sweet? Tessa says Grandpa Blanchard ran over his territory back in the day, while stepdad Magnum TA is one of the most respected men in this industry. And let’s not forget Tessa’s own father, THE Tully Blanchard, is a WWE Hall of Famer and an original Four Horseman! Keny probably laced up Tully’s boots. Actually, no, Keny probably carried Tully’s bags. WOW booker David McLane tries to keep the peace, but Tessa says Santana should be the one carrying her bags! David says Tessa coming in here bragging about her family tree doesn’t give her the right to just interrupt proceedings. Tessa says she’s not out here just to brag, she’s out here to go after the WOW World Championship.
David says that to get a shot at the title, you have to earn your way up. You don’t get something just because of dad, stepdad and granddad were special. Tessa says that because of who her dad is, she might as well be handed that belt. David asks Tessa to please leave. Tessa has to work for a shot. That’s fine by Tessa, she doesn’t want any trouble. But she will let Santana know that both she and the belt are Tessa’s. Santana says that she doesn’t see any of Tessa’s dads here. So get to the back of the line, girlfriend! Tessa smiles and nods, she knows she’ll get her match. But with the title on the line in the very first episode, will it be Santana Garrett or former champion, Jungle Grrrl, that Tessa will be targeting in the coming weeks?
The Beast has issued an open challenge!
She knows she’s the biggest and the baddest Woman of Wrestling, and looks to prove her superiority. She dares any woman in the locker room to step up and prove her wrong. While watching backstage, The Governor’s Daughter, Abilene Maverick, took advantage. Maverick tricked Stephy Slays about match times, and Slays was just a lamb to the slaughter! Slays realized she was fooled, but didn’t want to be a coward. She jumped into the ring, only to get demolished! Tonight, Slays wishes to prove she’s not so easily crushed. She takes on The Beast again, will she get payback on both Beast and Maverick? Or will it be more of the same?
The Beast VS Stephy Slays!
The bell rings and they tie up! Beast throws Slays into a corner hard! Slays gets right up, though, and goes again. Beast waistlock tosses Slays around, then SPEARS Slays to a corner! She rams shoulder after shoulder into Slays, then forearms! The ref counts and Beast backs off at 4. Beast runs in again but Slays dodges! Slays goes up and leaps, but into a belly2belly! Beast thrashes Slays then drags her up by her hair. Beast puts Slays in a corner then whips corner to corner for a big corner clothesline! Fans duel as Beast lifts Slays easily. Beast walks around and throws Slays with a Fall Away Slam! Slays rolls to ropes but Beast is on her again with another toss. Beast stands on Slays for a cocky cover, TWO!! Slays survives and shocks The Beast!
The Beast boots Slays back down and grins. She runs in but Slays rolls her up, ONE! Slays dropkicks and staggers Beast! Slays runs in again, victory roll countered to the Air Raid Siren! Cover, TWO!! Beast was cocky again but now she’s frustrated. Beast stomps Slays around, then drags her up for forearms. She kicks Slays while she’s down, then grins again. The sadistic specimen whips Slays corner to corner for another clothesline, then throws Slays with a gut wrench suplex! Beast grins as Slays slowly stands. Beast grabs Slays for a suplex, and slam! Cover, but Beast lets Slays up this time! Beast wants to make Slays pay for lasting this long, and she drags Slays up for a Beast Bomb!! Cover, Beast wins!
Winners: The Beast, by pinfall
Dominant for the second time against Slays, The Beast looks to be rolling on towards the title! Will she be the one to challenge the winner of tonight’s main event?
The Beast takes to the mic.
“I’m the biggest. I’m the baddest.” And she is THE BEAST! She roars in victory, will anyone ever come close to making a dent in her?
“My mom grew up in Georgia, my dad grew up in Mississippi, so I’m Southern Blood.” Fire was brought up in a strict upbringing, and she was a gifted student so there was a lot of pressure put on her to succeed. When she entered middle school, she went “off track”, and no one around her understood why. Fire was bullied for being smart, to the point of death threats. Wrestling was her way to feel stronger. Through wrestling, she realized anything was possible, like she could escape this reality. Fire steps up for who she really is, and for what she who to be. “If you want it enough, if you fight for it enough, there is no stopping you.” There is no stopping Fire now, will she blaze a trail to the title?
Abilene Maverick VS Fire!
The Governor’s Daughter shows off her new glittering robe as she makes her entrance, but we have a WOW debut for Fire tonight! Will Maverick be the first wrestler burned by Fire’s passion?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans fire up for Fire and she feeds off the energy. Maverick plugs her ears to ignore it all, and she pushes Fire down with a wristlock! Fire kips up and wrings Maverick out! Fire has an armlock but Maverick endures. Maverick rolls and scoop slams Fire fast! Fire gets up fast, and the two circle again. They tie up and Fire pushes Maverick back. Fire whips but Maverick reverses, only for Fire to slide under and hit a big dropkick! Maverick is reeling as Fire runs corner to corner for a splash! Fire keeps moving but misses this time. Maverick misses and Fire gets a waistlock. Maverick pries free to reel Fire in for a shoulder! She throws Fire down by her hair, then drags Fire up for a big back suplex! Cover, ONE!
Maverick keeps her cool while Fire crawls. Fans rally but Maverick grabs Fire to throw her back down. Fans boo but Maverick soaks up their heat. Maverick kicks Fire while she’s down, then drags her up by her hair again. Fire hits back with forearms, and then kicks. Fire runs, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fire keeps on Maverick at the ropes with a whip, but Maverick reverses to a drop toehold. Maverick grins as she picks Fire up again. Maverick rams Fire’s face back into the mat! Fire crawls while the referee reprimands Maverick. Maverick hotshots Fire on the ropes, then drags her over for springboard knee drops! Maverick soaks in the heat again, then runs corner to corner for a big knee! She kicks and rolls Fire, to mule kick her down! Cover, TWO!
Maverick keeps her composure as Fire continues to survive. Fans rally up for Fire again as Maverick drags her up. Scoop, but Fire slips out to shove! Fire dodges and elbows Maverick down! Fire rallies with more elbows, then brings Maverick to a snapmare and mule kick of her own! Maverick crawls and Fire runs corner to corner, big clothesline! She keeps going, hip attack! Then side to side for the shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Maverick survives and Fire can’t believe it! But fans fire up for Fire again as she drags Maverick back up. Fire fishermans, and swings for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!? Maverick survives and Fire is in shock! Fire keeps going, powered by the fans. She drags Maverick up again, but Maverick knees low, for the draping DDT!! Cover, Maverick wins!
Winner: Abilene Maverick, by pinfall
The Governor’s Daughter may not be the fan’s favorite, but she’s still the winner. Will Abilene make her move towards the WOW World Championship?
Abilene Maverick spots Stephy Slays in the medical area.
Wow, poor Slays didn’t learn her lesson the first time. But then Maverick gets a taste of her own medicine as The All Natural pushes her out of the way. It seems there’s someone with a bigger attitude than even Maverick. Will Khloe Hurtz bring the pain tonight?
Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz!
Sugary sweet but ready to fight, Eye Candy will look to ruin #KhloeTime tonight. Will Candy leave the fans with a sugar high? Or will the All Natural leave Candy crushed?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Candy rolls Hurtz, TWO! Candy is all smiles as she and Hurtz go again. Hurtz kicks low then wrenches to reel Candy in. Candy ducks and hooks, backslide! TWO and the two turn sideways. Candy and Hurtz fight for control, Candy drop toeholds into a camel clutch! She tucks Hurtz in for a cover, TWO! Hurtz runs in but Candy blocks to a suplex! Fans fire up with Candy as she hits a back senton! Cover, TWO! Candy keeps her cool as she drags Hurtz up into a fireman’s carry. Candy hits a rolling senton, then climbs up top. Hurtz trips her up, and hits a draping backstabber! Hurtz whips Candy corner to corner but Candy cartwheels and comes back with forearms! Candy even headbutts before adding the hip attack!
Fans fire up with Candy as she climbs up again! Candy shimmies and shakes then hits a big missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hurtz survives and Candy can’t believe it! Hurtz’s Ring Rats grow concerned as Candy drags her back up. Fireman’s carry, but Hurts fights out again. Hurts fireman’s Candy, does some squats, then hits a Samoan Drop! Hurtz drops the leg! Cover, TWO! Candy survives and Hurtz can’t believe it! Hurtz drags Candy up and suplexes, but Candy resists. Candy hits back and wrenches to the fireman’s carry. Death Valley Driver! Candy drags Hurtz over, climbs up top, MOONSAULT! Cover, Candy wins!
Winner: Eye Candy, by pinfall
What a shocker! The sweet Eye Candy gets a big win on the series premiere! Will this shocker send Eye Candy all the way to WOW Championship contention?
The Voodoo Doll asks the WOW roster, “Would you like to know what The Siren has in store for you?” Let the cards tell your fate. The Devil: Siren is the change that is coming to Women of Wrestling’s landscape. The Five of Wands: currently, there is a power struggle in the locker room. But that top spot will soon belong to her. And finally, Death: Siren is the final transformation, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Siren has been to Hell and back, and has regained her power. She will sacrifice WOW to the darkness! Who will be the first?
WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl!
The Wonder Woman of Wrestling is just one of eight children in her family, but she and her father grew closer through wrestling. Keny G brought her into the fold, and now they’re both living a dream together! But she again faces the Alpha Female, the one and only woman to have yet to be pinned in a match! Jungle Grrrl became WOW World Champion, but ended up getting in over her head in a Triple Threat. Santana pinned The Beverly Hills Babe to win the title, shocking everyone. But now Santana must prove she can defeat Jungle Grrrl 1v1, can Santana prove she deserves to be champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fans are already fired up as the two circle and tie up. Santana waistlocks but JG standing switches. Santana headlocks then wrenches the wrist. JG rolls and reverses to her own wristlock, but Santana rolls and handsprings to reverse back. JG uses the ropes to flip through and wrench Santana back. Santana counters with another headlock, then a roll to a cover, TWO and JG gets Santana with a ghost pin! TWO, and Santana Oklahoma rolls! ONE and JG sweeps to a cover, ONE! The two stare down as fans fire up again. Santana and JG nod with respect as they circle again. They tie up and go for a test of strength. JG bends Santana back but Santana bridges. Santana comes back and rolls back to reverse the knuckle lock!
Santana throws an elbow while maintaining the grip. She whips but JG reverses to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! JG stalks Santana and scoops her up, for a Jungle Driver! Cover, TWO! Santana survives but JG keeps her cool. JG stomps Santana and heads for a corner. She climbs up to the top rope, familiar territory, and leaps for the Jungle Splash! But she flops! Santana hurries up but Tessa Blanchard appears! Tessa goes after Keny G’s oxygen! Santana rushes out at Tessa and a fight is on! Santana throws Tessa around and into the ring, but she wasn’t aware of a ring count! It hits 10, and Santana loses!!
Winner: Junger Grrrl, by ring out; Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship
Champion’s Advantage is the only thing that saves Santana’s reign, but she still got suckered by the Born Legend! And now Tessa brings the fight to Santana, with a Hammerlock DDT! But Jungle Grrrl gets back at Tessa with a Jungle Driver! Tessa screwed Jungle Grrrl over just as much as she did Santana, and now she has problems. But wait, The Beast goes after Jungle Grrrl! These top predators are face to face but referees hurry to keep them apart. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but TV time is running out just as things are getting wild! Will Tessa pay for her interference? Will The Beast replace Jungle Grrrl as the Alpha Woman of Wrestling?
Apparently, this isn’t the beginning of the Women of Wrestling’s history. They’ve been around for a long time, trying in 2000 but fading away, until being revived in mid-2012. But even if this wasn’t the true beginning, this was a good beginning for their AXS TV run. There’s a lot of backstory to get caught up on, but it would seem they made sure to give us those needed recap packages so new viewers aren’t too lost. Many of these alter egos and their elaborate packages make me feel like WOW is an all women’s version of Lucha Underground, which is known for having many wrestlers come up with alternate characters to fit their universe. And there are even shared talents between WOW and LU, such as Shaul Guerrero and Kobra Moon.
As such, the story behind The Beast VS Stephy Slays rematch was made rather clear. It was a good match and Slays got to show plenty of heart, but obviously heart alone isn’t enough. The Beast wins to establish herself as the monster Heel to new viewers. And with Abilene Maverick (Callee Wilkerson) picking on her, that seems like a story going forward. Maverick VS Fire (Taylor Lewis) was also a solid match, and Maverick won to help towards that story with Slays. Eye Candy (Willow Nightingale) VS Khloe Hurtz (Katie Forbes) was decent, and Candy wins mostly so that it isn’t all Heels winning. There are WOW World Tag Team Championships, but they’ve been vacated for years, so I’m wondering if any teams will form out of these midcard stories to give us more action with that.
The main event was pretty good, just not as a match. First, I wouldn’t announce time limits when we know the show is only an hour, it just seems like a waste. Second, Santana VS Jungle Grrrl really only got going when Tessa came out to Heel it up. Third, that 10 count was probably the fastest 10 count I’ve ever seen. But the brawl between Tessa and Santana, and then the impending brawl between The Beast and Jungle Grrrl just managed to salvage things. We have our stories going forward, and at the very least, I wasn’t bored to sleep. There are some things that need work, and this was a rather tough time to move into the television wrestling sphere, but this isn’t a bad program to give a fair shake.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Wrestle Kingdom 13 Results, Part 3!
NJPW and AXS wrap up Wrestle Kingdom 13 with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship! Will Kushida be able to deny The Bone Soldier, Taiji Ishimori?
This coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 13 will be as AXS TV broadcasts it.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet: Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Toru Yano win and will challenge Taiji Ishimori & The Guerrillas of Destiny for the titles at New Year’s Dash.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori; Ishimori wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this year’s spectacular event!
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship had a rocky 2018. The Ticking Time-Bomb, Hiromu Takahashi, had only just won the belt off of Will Ospreay, and moved on to defend it against fierce CMLL rival, Dragon Lee, at the G1 Special in San Francisco. Hiromu won but was badly injured from that fight, and so a tournament between the four previous title holders was held! Kushida defeated Bushi while Marty Scurll again got the better of Will Ospreay. And in the tournament finals, Kushida would defeat The Villain to become a six-time champion. Meanwhile, The Bone Soldier would be resurrected as Taiji Ishimori joined Bullet Club! Ishimori was a Super Junior finalist, but missed out on his chance at the title. Now he gets his chance to have the title for his own, can he throw down the Time Splitter?
However, Ishimori’s focus might be split, as he is also one third of the current NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions. Tonight, five top teams in the Six Man Tag Division will compete, and the last team standing moves on to New Year’s Dash to challenge Ishimori and the Guerrillas of Destiny! Who comes out on top aimed at the Bullet Club’s fiercest trio? That match, is now!
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet!
First out for this gauntlet are the Bullet Club Elite’s trio of Marty Scurll, Hangman Adam Page and Yujiro Takahashi! The Villain has his umbrella, Hangman has his rope and Tokyo Pimp has both cane and vivacious valet. Chase Owens also hangs around, for moral support. Their opponents are David Finlay, Jeff Cobb and Yuji Nagata! Will either of these teams be able to complete the gauntlet and make a run at New Year’s Dash?
The Bullet Club VS David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata!
The teams sort out and it’ll be Blue Justice starting against The Villain. Marty and Yuji circle and tie up, and Marty gets a waistlock. Yuji reverses but Marty rolls and spins to reverse back. Yuji gets a headlock takeover but Marty headscissors so Yuji pops out. The two stand off and fans applaud. They circle again, and Marty kicks low. Marty throws forearms but Yuji throws them back. Yuji runs but Marty dodges for the 52 Fake Out! Marty flaps his wings and runs, but Yuji dodges. Yuji fakes Marty out to dropkick! Yuji drags Marty up but Marty gets the fingers! Marty calls for silence, but Yuji breaks fre. Yuji sweeps the legs then ties them up for a deathlock! Marty crawls and gets the ropebreak! Yuji lets Marty go but grabs the legs again to tag to Cobb.
Cobb grabs Scurll but Scurll rakes the eyes! Scurll tags to Hangman, and both Hangman and Yujiro go after Yuji and Finlay! The Elite surround Cobb but Cobb fires off haymakers and chops on all of them! Cobb runs, but Yujiro drop toeholds. Scurll adds a basement dropkick and Hang,an hits the standing shooting star! Cobb rolls away while fans cheer The Elite on. Marty and Hangman run crisscross for a SUPERKICK to another shooting star! They take down Hawaiian Hulk and put him in the ring. Fans rally up as Yujiro keeps Cobb’s attention. Hangman slingshots for the Buckshot lariat! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps his cool as he goes to lift Cobb. He gets Cobb up but Cobb fights out, so Hangman forearms. Hangman kicks but is blocked into a Fall Away Slam!
Both men crawl for their corners, and fans rally as hot tags are made to Finlay and Yujiro! Finlay rallies on Tokyo Pimp with forearms. They start brawling with forearm after forearm back and forth, then Finlay European Uppercuts. Finlay kicks but Yujiro blocks that to throw him down, then adds a basement dropkick! Yujiro hits a Fisherman Buster, covers, but Yuji and Cobb break it! Scurll and Hangman throw them abck out and brawl on the outside. Yujiro lifts Finlay but Finlay slips out for a urenage backbreaker! Finlay fires up but Yujiro denies the cutter. Yujiro pushes Finlay to ropes and Chase swipes at Finlay’s feet! Finlay grabs Chase’s hair, but gets caught. Hangman runs in but gets Chase instead!
Yujiro gets mad at Hangman and shoves him, but Hangman shoves Yujiro back! Finlay rolls Yujiro up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES The Elite! Chase and Hangman start shoving and Scurll has to keep the peace. It seems the Bullet Club is still not fine, but the action rolls on! The third team is Chaos’ Hirooki Goto and the Best Friends, Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Hirooki Goto & Best Friends!
NJPW on AXS returns as Goto, Trent and Chuckie T enter the ring. And before the bell rings again, Goto and Best Friends attack! Cobb and Finlay are thrown out while the Fierce Warrior stays on Blue Justice! The bell does ring and Goto stomps away in the corner. Yuji hits back with forearm and now it’s a brawl! Yuji hits and runs but Goto follows to run him over! Goto drags Yuji back up for a lift but Yuji reverses to the Fujiwara Armbar! Best Friends save Goto but Finlay and Cobb return. Chuckie T dropkicks Cobb out but Finlay dropkicks him back. Trent runs in but to a kick. Finlay whips but Trent comes back with a shotgun knee!
Fans applaud as Trent slingshots at Cobb, but Cob turns it into a powerbomb lift! Trent gets to the apron and mule kicks Cobb, and then Chuckie FLIES onto Cobb and Finlay! The Kentucky Gentleman wipes them both out at the ramp, but then holds them back up, for Trent’s BIG Asai Moonsault! Back in the ring, Goto fights with Yuji. Yuji fires off kicks then whips. Goto reverses and redirects, to scoop Yuji into Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Goto keeps his cool as he stomps Yuji out. He bumps Yuji in the corner then tags in Chuckie. Chuckie stomps a mudhole into Yuji then walks it off. He comes back to snapmare Yuji for a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO! Chuckie tags to Trent and Best Friends work together with double whips, elbows, and a hug! And then double elbows!
Trent stomps Yuji before bringing him up for a CHOP! He trash talks and pie faces Yuji before another CHOP. Trent whips but Yuji reverses into the Fujiwara! Chuckie attacks to save Trent, but then Finlay goes after Chuckie. Chuckie throws Finlay out and puts Yuji in the corner. Trent hits a running chop, Chuckie hits a clothesline, then he feeds Yuji to Trent for a tornado DDT. But Yuji powers out and gets Chuckie with an exploder! Trent kicks and whips but Yuji reverses to an overhead suplex! Fans rally as Yuji crawls for his corner. Hot tags to Cobb and Goto! Cobb fires off chops and haymakers on Goto, then whips corner to corner. He runs in for a BIG back elbow, then runs back in. Goto boots, runs, but into the Athletic Plex! Cobb standing moonsaults! Cover, but Chuckie breaks it!
Yuji throws Chuckie out as Cobb focuses on Goto. Cobb lifts Goto but Goto fights out of the Olympic Slam to get a sleeper! Goto rolls Cobb to a pin but Yuji breaks it. Goto and Cobb collide with clotheslines, but neither falls. They try again, but still neither falls. Cobb combs back but Goto deflects and spins to clobber him with a clothesline! Both men are down but fans rally up. Tag to Chuckie and he goes at Cobb in a corner. Chuckie goes corner to corner for a back elbow, then whips. Cobb holds the ropes, breaks free but gets a mule kick. Trent runs in to hit a back elbow, then Best Friends fire up with a double whip. Cobb reverses to pull them into each other, then he gives both Best Friends a single leg suplex! Fans fire up for Cobb’s superhuman strength.
Cobb tags Finlay, and Finlay hits Best Friends with back elbows! He goes corner to corner again and again, then hops up to hit Chuckie with a flying uppercut! He runs in but into Chuckie’s knee! Chuckie hits the snap piledriver! Cover, but Yuji breaks it! Goto and Trent throw Cobb and Yuji out and brawl on the outside. Fans fire up as Chuckie climbs. Chuckie moonsaults but FLOPS! Finlay rolls him up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES Goto & Best Friends! An incredible roll already, but can Finlay, Cobb and Yuji keep it up? The fourth team is Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad and Minoru Suzuki himself!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad!
NJPW on AXS returns as The Meanest Man in the World leads Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer to the ring. And much like Chaos did, Suzuki-Gun strikes the moment they hit the ring! Things spill out of the ring and Suzuki keeps on Finlay at the bell. Yuji whips DBS to the barriers and quickly tags in! An old feud reignites as Blue Justice goes after Suzuki with kicks. He whips corner to corner but Suzuki boots him back. Suzuki and Yuji throw forearms, then Suzuki slaps! Yuji slaps, and now it’s a slap fight! Neither man slows down, but Yuji does stagger Suzuki. Suzuki escapes the exploder and goes for a guillotine! Then Suzuki shifts to an Octopus Stretch! Yuji slips out to hip toss and exploder! Cover, TWO!
Yuji keeps on Suzuki with a suplex, but Suzuki slips out to a sleeper hold. DBS tags in and throws forearms. He whips Yuji but Yuji dodges and fakes him out to dropkick the legs! Yuji tags to Cob and Cobb fires off on DBS! Cobb tries to lift but DBS fights out. DBS kicks away but Cobb grabs the leg. Cobb gets DBS in the Olympic Slam! Cobb moonsaults but misses! DBS hits Cobb with a BIG Back Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Suzuki and Yuji don’t stop brawling on the outside, and Yuji makes sure Suzuki doesn’t get away. Suzuki whips but Yuji reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Meanwhile, hot tags to Finlay and Archer! Finlay gets Archer with a Michinoku! Cover, TWO! DBS boots Finlay down, then KES hit Finlay with the Killer Bomb! Cover, Suzuki-Gun ELIMINATES Finlay, Cobb & Yuji!
The streak ends, and now we’re on to the fifth and final team! NJPW on AXS returns from break to reveal that it’ll be Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe! But they don’t even make it to the ring before Suzuki-Gun strikes!
Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad VS Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe!
Suzuki-Gun throw hands and then throw their opponents into barriers! The ref has no choice but to ring the bell, and things slowly make their way to ringside. Suzuki whips Taguchi at the camera and sound crews, then he gets in the faces of commentary just because they’re there! Suzuki goes back to Taguchi to take off the rugby helmet and throw it at Taguchi. He puts Taguchi in the ring while Archer keeps on Makabe and Yano. Suzuki grinds his foot into Taguchi, then intimidates the ref. Suzuki drags Taguchi up for forearms, and Taguchi staggers about. Tag to DBS and he whips Taguchi for a boot. DBS pumps up and runs, for a leg drop, brother! Cover, TWO! DBS drags Taguchi up and tags Archer.
KES mug Taguchi, then scoop him for a double slam! Archer kicks Taguchi around, then drags him up for clubbing forearms. Archer climbs and goes Old School on the Funky Weapon, tagging Suzuki in as he does. Suzuki looms over the sputtering Taguchi, but he taunts Makabe and Yano. Taguchi hits back but Suzuki eggs him on. Taguchi keeps hitting but Suzuki rocks him with a right. Suzuki whips then dodges the Funky Weapon itself. He whips but Taguchi reverses to finally hit that Funky Weapon! Tag to Makabe! The Unchained Gorilla runs at Suzuki for corner to corner clotheslines! Then he roars as he gives corner punches! He hits all ten then laughs as he lifts Suzuki. Suzuki knees back then whips, and hits a boot in the corner. Suzuki snapmares then Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up while Suzuki toys with Makabe. Makabe forearms but Suzuki gives it back. They keep going, forearm for forearm, back and forth. Makabe eggs Suzuki on, so Suzuki sneers as he winds up. Suzuki hits a HEAVY forearm and grins as Makabe staggers. Makabe stands and hits Suzuki back. Suzuki gives another heavy shot and Makabe again staggers. But Makabe starts grinning, and hits Suzuki again. Suzuki hits, Makabe hits, and the brawl is on. Makabe runs but into a kick. Suzuki runs, ducks, but gets the clothesline! Both men are down and fans fire up! Hot tags to DBS and Yano! YTR rallies on DBS with eye rakes. Yano looks to Taguchi for the call and Taguchi uses baseball signals! DBS headbutts Yano before the order completes!
DBS whips Yano corner to corner but misses. Yano runs corner to corner, to get the buckle pad! Taguchi gives another signals, and Yano understands. But Yano misses with the swing and DBS boots him down! Archer hits Taguchi, and then KES work together. Killer Hart Attack! Cover, TWO?! Archer argues with the referee but they just go again, high low! Cover, TWO!? Archer again argues with the referee, but KES try one more move. DBS lifts while Archer climbs, they hit Yano with a frog splash sidewalk slam! Cover, but Taguchi saves Yano! Archer swings on Taguchi but Taguchi dodges and runs! Funky Weapon is caught, but Makabe saves him. Suzuki and Makabe brawl again, but Suzuki follows to get Makabe in a sleeper! Then, Gotch Piledriver set up, but Funky Weapon saves Makabe!
Only for Suzuki to get the sleeper hold again! But Taguchi gives an extra bump to break free, then he runs to hit teh Funky Weapon again! Everyone’s down, but KES go after Yano again. They drag him up, Killer Bomb denied! Double low blow, denied! But double FUNKY WEAPON hits! DBS boots Taguchi but Makabe runs in. DBS stops him and KES double whip. Makabe breaks through for double clotheslines! Neither man falls so Yano makes sure to bump the ref. Taguchi intercepts Suzuki, double low blows! Archer thrown out, Yano rolls DBD, Yano and team win!!
Winners: Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Ryusuke Taguchi, Yano pinning; #1 contenders to the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships
The unlikeliest of trios wins it all! Suzuki is furious but all he can do is take it out on Young Lions. He grabs a chair and SMACKS away on them, then storms off to the back. Suzuki’s rage aside, will Taguchi, Makabe and Yano be able to pull off an upset against the Firing Squad? Is the New Year going to see new champions?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori!
The Time Splitter is a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but the new Bone Soldier is a three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Who will prove themselves to be THE top Junior Heavyweight tonight?
Introductions are made, and a little Kushida comes out? Doc Brown Taguchi comes out and powers up the flux capacitor. And… BAM! Kushida’s all grown up! Science fiction aside, the belt is raised and we begin! Kushida and Ishimori circle and feel it out. They tie up and Kushida gets the wristlock. Ishimori rolls and handsprings to reverses. Ishimori whips but Kushida reverses, only for Ishimori to handspring over him. Thigns speed up and Kushida kicks otu the arm! Kushida already has his target but Ishimori rakes the eyes! Ishimori runs but things speed up again, Kushida hip tosses and cartwheel dropkicks! Ishimori rolls to a corner but Kushida follows up with a dropkick to that arm! Kushida runs more, tilt-o-whirl but Ishimori pops out. Kushida tries again and goes for the Hoverboard! Ishimori blocks to get Kushida’s arm in a Labell Lock!
Kushida endures as Ishimori bends him back. He rolls but Ishimori rolls through to keep the lock on. Kushida endures more but Ishimori wrenches harder. Kushida crawls for ropes and reaches, ropebreak with a foot! Ishimori lets Kushida go and Kushida rolls out of the ring. Ishimori stomps Kushida at the corner, then goes after him in a corner. Kushida chops back, but Ishimori gives his own chop! Ishimori wrenches and whips corner to corner, but Kushida reverses! Ishimori Spider-Mans through the ropes, and slides under Kushida. He goes back out to shoulder and springboard to drop Kushida with a flying lariat! Ishimori takes a moment to flex while Kushida clutches his shoulder.
Ishimori stalks Kushida to the ropes, then drags him up. Kushida hits back with forearms to the abs but Ishimori hits back. Kushida kicks Ishimori hard in the leg! Ishimori runs in and deflects boots to kick Kushida in the back! Kushida is stuck on the ropes as Ishimori runs side to side, and hits the sliding German Suplex! Fans rally as Ishimori springboards, 450 splash! But Kushida evades enough to get the arm! Ishimori resists as Kushida pulls, but Kushida gets the armbar! Ishimori endures, flails and reaches. Things shift, and now Kushida uses the Labell Lock! Ishimori endures and pries his way out, but gets caught in a triangle! Kushida throws elbows in, but Ishimori deadlifts! Fireman’s carry, but Kushida goes for his Hoverboard again. Ishimori slips out, runs, tilt-o-whirl takedown back to the Labell!
Kushida rolls through, and kicks at the arm. Ishimori avoids the kick, then kicks back. Ishimori clubs Kushida, then whips him. Kushida handsprings, but onto an Electric Chair. Kushida spins but is blocked! Ishimori brings Kushida back up, shifts to Tombstone position, for a gutbuster drop! But Kushida catches the feet! He passes Ishimori to the ref, to kick out the arm! Fans fire up with Kushida while Ishimori clutches his bad arm. Kushida grits his teeth, runs side to side, big enziguri! He keeps going, rolling Ishimori through to the package, but Ishimori counters back to his gutbuster! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and Ishimori is too sore to be frustrated.
Both men stir but Ishimori stands first. Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhook, gutbuster! But Kushida makes it the Hoverboard! Kushida pulls on the double wristlock, but Ishimori moves around. Kushida rolls him and wrenches hard! Ishimori endures the twist in his arm, slips out the back, and rolls to fireman’s carry! Death Valley Driver!! But he’s too exhausted to cover! Both men stir and crawl again as fans rally. They get to opposite corners, and Ishimori runs in for a meteora! Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhoo, but Kushida rolls to hit Back to the Future! But he’s not done there, he wants the sequel! But Ishimori resists, pushes Kushida away, and knee triggers! FAST BALL! Kushida runs, but into double stomps!
Ishimori roars as he drags Kushida back up. He underhooks, BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Ishimori wins!!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Bone Soldier grabs his first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and now reigns over the division!
Taiji Ishimori’s backstage interview
“I managed to catch that slippery otter.” And now Belt-san is with him. This must be tearing Kushida up inside. But from now on, as the champion, Ishimori will raise the bar for the NJPW Junior Division. “It’s reborn!” How long will this rebirth of the Junior Heavyweight Championship last?
A pretty good last part to AXS TV’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom coverage. Of course, they kinda did things backwards. The first part was the big matches, the big finale with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, so readers technically should go backwards with part 3 first, then part 2, then finish with part 1. Either way, the entirety of Wrestle Kingdom 13 was great, even these two opening matches. The trios gauntlet was pretty good for having a couple teams that seemed slapped together. I was really surprised to see it was one of those slapped together teams winning. Toru Yano, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi are definitely a fun and funny trio, but I have no idea if they’ll be a match for Ishimori and Guerrillas of Destiny. Granted, Tama Tonga is trying to be a good guy, but on just pure ring skill, he, Loa and Ishimori should win.
And speaking of Ishimori, his match with Kushida was great. This match was so evenly booked that Ishimori came out as a slightly surprising winner. Just as I’d imagine this new Cutthroat Bullet Club keeping the trios titles, Ishimori will likely have the Junior Heavyweight Championship for some time. If Hiromu Takahashi makes a recovery and comeback, he’d be the only one right off the bat who could take the title in a rematch from their amazing Super Juniors match. And it could work for a Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon scenario, since LIJ has a lot of the other belts.
My Score: 8.4/10
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