AXS TV speeds up their NJPW coverage by giving us two hours of Dominion! In Part 1, it will be both the NEVER Openweight and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight titles on the line! Then in Part 2, it’ll be the IWGP Tag Team and Intercontinental Championships. Will Los Ingobernables de Japon win or lose those precious titles?
This review of Dominion 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com
- Part 1 – NEVER Openweight Championship Triple Threat: Hirooki Goto VS Michael Elgin VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Elgin wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- Part 1 – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu wins and becomes the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.
- Part 2 – IWGP Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS The Young Bucks; The Young Bucks win and become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions.
- Part 2 – IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Chris Jericho; Jericho wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV review what has led to Part 1!
The Best of the Super Juniors 25 had a 5.5 Star finale with The Ticking Time Bomb defeating the new Bone Soldier, Taiji Ishimori. Hiromu has faced Will Ospreay in the past, but the Aerial Assassin has had an amazing 2018 as he’s defeated Marty Scurll, Kushida and Hiromu both all at once and individually. They go one more time, will Ospreay retain? Or will Hiromu explode and shock the world?
Meanwhile, Chaos’ Fierce Warrior, Hirooki Goto, has retained his NEVER Openweight title time and time again, but in 1v1 matches. Now he has two challengers in the Unbreakable Mike Elgin then the Sliest Wrestler in the World, Taichi. A rare triple threat for the title, will Goto overcome this new challenge? Or will he be dethroned to crown a new NEVER king?
NEVER Openweight Championship Triple Threat: Hirooki Goto VS Michael Elgin VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
The ego of Taichi sparked the anger of the Fierce Warrior, and so without hesitation, Goto decided he would face both men to prove his dominance. Has Goto gotten himself over his head? Or will he rise to the challenge he put on himself?
Taichi, ever the dramatic one, waits to take his cape and mask off until the other two men already removed their extra gear. The bell rings and we begin. Fans are already loud for the champion as he approaches his challengers. But then Goto and Elgin realize Taichi is the real problem maker here, so they go after him. Taichi gets to ropes for safety, so they back off. Elgin and Goto both dare Taichi to come back. Taichi does, and the three circle. But again, Taichi finds himself against them both so he leaves the ring. There are no count outs so he doesn’t have to worry about losing this way. Goto and Elgin tie up, and that’s when Taichi rushes back in! He rolls Goto, but Elgin breaks that cover.
Elgin whips Taichi, but Taichi slides out. Taichi relaxes while Goto and Elgin brawl with big forearms and elbows. Elgin and Goto go back and forth while Taichi paces about. Goto gets a headlock but Elgin powers out. They collide with shoulders, and neither man backs down. Elgin shouts for Goto to bring it, so Goto runs. They collide again with no change, so Taichi rushes in again. But he runs into kicks from both men, and then a double whip. He holds ropes to bail out again, having a laugh at the other two. Taichi brings Miho Abe over, and she serves as a perky distraction for a moment. Elgin shakes it off to waistlock Goto, but Goto standing switches. He elbows out while the referee has Miho climb down. Elgin runs, but Goto follows, only for Elgin to enziguri! Fans applaud for that athleticism.
Elgin suplexes but Goto slips out to a waistlock. Elgin standing switches but Taichi returns. Taichi runs in but Goto evades so the boot goes into Elgin. Elgin goes out while Goto kicks Taichi. Goto runs but into Elgin’s shoulder. Elgin slingshots over but Taichi kicks him. Goto grabs Elgin, but Elgin boots Taichi away to then standing switch and shove Goto at Taichi. Goto collides with Taichi and Taichi staggers to ropes. Elgin lifts Goto but Goto fights out to standing switch and shoves Elgin at Taichi. Taichi kicks Elgin, then Goto clubs Elgin. Then they both roundhouse Elgin down! Taichi smirks, wanting to make this the partnership now. Goto says no with a slap, a kick, and a snap suplex onto Elgin! Then another snap suplex, and Goto goes back to Elgin.
Goto tries but can’t suplex Elgin up and over, but Elgin lifts and gordbusters Goto onto Taichi! But Goto makes that a cover, so Elgin has to break it up. Elgin drags Goto up while Taichi rolls away. Elgin chops Goto, then gives a big forearm. He whips Goto corner to corner, but misses his corner attack. Goto goes after Taichi but Taichi dodges to hit Elgin with a corner clothesline. Goto runs back in, Taichi dodges again, so Goto hits Elgin. Taichi runs into a kick, but reverses the whip. Elgin puts Goto on the apron, then side steps Taichi to send Taichi into Goto! Goto goes down, Elgin German Suplexes Taichi! Elgin holds on while fans applaud and Miho grows concerned.
Elgin brings Taichi up, but Taichi grabs ropes. But Elgin ignores the ropebreak to bring Taichi backward into a double chicken wing. Taichi resists and stomps Elgin’s foot, then ducks Elgin’s lariat. Taichi enziguris Elgin! Elgin is dazed and down to his knees. Taichi brings Elgin back up, but Elgin drops down to resist the lift. Goto returns and drags Taichi out of the ring. Taichi rakes the eyes, but he and Goto still brawl. Elgin sees his opening, and FLIES!
Big Mike bowls both Goto and Taichi over, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Elgin walks over to Taichi. Miho begs he not, but Elgin doesn’t care. He puts Taichi in the ring and the fans rally. Elgin aims at Taichi and runs in corner to corner for a big clothesline. He goes again, but runs into a boot. Goto returns and hits a saido suplex on Elgin. Goto runs but misses Taichi. Taichi kicks in return, then runs for a big lariat. Cover, TWO! Off comes the pants! Taichi aims at Goto, but Goto catches the kick into a fireman’s carry and Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Goto keeps his focus. Goto drags Taichi up, and hoists him onto the top rope. Goto climbs up to join Taichi, but Elgin comes in and clubs Goto. Elgin yanks Goto down, then climbs up after Taichi. Goto clubs Elgin and SUPER back suplexes Elgin down!
Goto goes back to Taichi, clubs away then brings Taichi up. Taichi resists, but he rakes the face, too. Goto headbutts back, but Elgin returns! Elgin climbs up, sunset flips in, Tower of Doom!! Taichi hits with a lot of momentum off that superplex, and he writhes all the way to the opposite end. Elgin stands and fires up as he has his pick of the two. He goes for Taichi, brings him up, and throws him out of the ring. Elgin targets Goto, but Goto meets him for clotheslines. They collide but stay standing! They try again, but another solid collision. One more time, but Goto swats Elgin’s arm away. Goto runs, but Elgin swats his arm away. Elgin throws forearms from both sides, then spins, but Goto fireman’s carry.
Elgin dodges to try the full nelson, but Goto breaks free. In that case, Elgin shovels Goto onto his shoulders! Electric Chair with Bridge! TWO!! Elgin can’t believe it, but he won’t lose his focus. Elgin drags Goto back up, but Goto resists the driver or bomb Elgin wants. Goto back drops Elgin, then runs in at the corner. Goto blocks one boot but not the other. Elgin boots, then SUPERKICKS, then enziguri, but Goto ducks that one. Goto runs, but his clothesline only staggers Elgin. Elgin fires up but Goto headbutts him. Goto lifts Elgin, spin to another Ushigoroshi! He keeps going, GTR Forward! Cover, TWO!! Elgin survives, but Goto is not deterred.
Taichi’s back, and he’s back to using Miho as a tool. She’s in the ring, but the ref spots her. Goto grabs Elgin for the dragon sleeper, but Taichi has grabbed his mic stand! Taichi smashes Goto in the head, then Elgin! Miho exits and Taichi gets away with it. Taichi laughs at his own brilliance while fans rally for Goto and Elgin. Taichi fires up and aims at Goto. Goto staggers, into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! And Taichi is shocked! But he still grins as he targets Goto again. Goto sits up, for the buzzsaw! Then, the chicken wing cradle, but Elgin returns to deadlift Taichi up for a Buckle Bomb! Elgin keeps going on Taichi, and sees Goto in another corner. Elgin bombs Taichi onto Goto! Then gives Taichi a sit-out powerbomb!
Cover, Elgin WINS!!
Winner: Michael Elgin, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
Big Mike gets a big win on two big names! Elgin becomes the 18th champion ever, and the titles first Canadian! And fittingly, Taichi is the one to lose, as he goaded both Goto and Elgin into this match. Elgin and Goto stand face to face, knowing this isn’t truly settled until they face 1v1. Where and when will these two get their desired showdown to prove who is truly worthy of that title?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Hiromu Takahashi!
The Ticking Time Bomb won the 25th Best of the Super Juniors tournament to earn this newest chance at the Aerial Assassin’s title. But between the broken win on his trophy and his track record against the Aerial Assassin, does he have a chance at truly becoming the Best of the Junior Heavyweight Division? Or will Ospreay’s stellar roll through 2018 blow up in shocking fashion?
The belt is shown and the fans rally behind Hiromu. The bell rings and we begin. Ospreay runs and boots Hiromu, and they ignite into a forearm brawl back and forth! Ospreay backs Hiromu down, sweeps the legs, but runs into an overhead throw! He hits the buckle hard, then goes to the apron. Hiromu runs, but Ospreay holds on against the flying sunset powerbomb. Ospreay hops down to bring Hiromu over to the ramp. He suplexes, but Hiromu slips out to a waistlock. Hiromu tries to German Suplex Ospreay off, but Ospreay slips down and out. Ospreay trips Hiromu and Hiromu hits the ramp. Ospreay then gets up, gets a running start, and FLIES!!
The Aerial Assassin was like a missile as he hits Hiromu down! Hiromu is lucky it was just a graze or that could’ve been even worse. The referee checks on both men, but both men are okay to continue. Ospreay takes some time to pull up the floor mats! The 20 count reaches 10 as Ospreay brings Hiromu over for double underhooks. Hiromu resists, and Ospreay realizes the count is climbing, so he ditches this dangerous idea to put Hiromu back in the ring. Ospreay brings Hiromu up but Hiromu chops away. Ospreay kicks back then puts Hiromu in a corner for a running European Uppercut. He sweeps the legs again, and this time hits his corner to corner dropkick! Cover, TWO, but Ospreay keeps his cool.
Fans still chant for Hiromu but Ospreay points out he’s the champion here. Ospreay brings Hiromu up for a EuroUpper, then another. Hiromu falls, but Ospreay wraps his arm in a hammerlock while going for the other arm. Hiromu endures being bent back into the armlock recliner! It’s a cover, ONE, but Ospreay is still confidently calm. Hiromu gets out of the ring, clutching his shoulder now. The 20 count returns, but Ospreay pursues. Ospreay clubs the bad shoulder, then whips Hiromu into railing. Ospreay stalks Hiromu, and drags him back up. He pulls Hiromu into a post!
Ospreay puts Hiromu into the ring, then drags him back up. Ospreay goes after the arm with the shoulder breaker. Hiromu rests against ropes but Ospreay is on him again. Ospreay pulls the arm through the ropes to wrench it, then kicks Hiromu in the back. The champion is in control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Ospreay brings Hiromu back up for a snapmare. Ospreay puts Hiromu in a seated abdominal stretch and also pulls back on the arm. Fans rally for Hiromu, and Hiromu stands up to fight back. Ospreay gives Hiromu a forearm, then whips, but Hiromu dodges to headscissor Ospreay! Hiromu stands while Ospreay goes to a corner. Hiromu runs in, clothesline and roll to the basement dropkick. Ospreay rolls out, but Hiromu is on the apron for the flying John Woo dropkick! Hiromu hits Ospreay down, and Ospreay’s shoulder tape has come completely off. They go back into the ring, and Hiromu climbs up top. Hiromu hits the flying senton! Cover, TWO!
Fans still rally for Hiromu, and he looms over Ospreay. Hiromu brings Ospreay up for a fireman’s carry, but Ospreay slips out. Ospreay waistlocks but Hiromu hits back with back elbows. Hiromu whips but Ospreay reverses. They both run, but Ospreay runs into a pop-up sit-out powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO! Hiromu was so close, but he won’t lose focus yet. Hiromu stands and stalks Ospreay to a corner. He chops Ospreay, then chops again, but Ospreay fires up. Hiromu digs his fingers into Ospreay’s face! He breaks up at 4, then whips Ospreay corner to corner. Ospreay enziguris back, then hits with an elevated 619! Ospreay goes to a corner and springboards in for a flying clothesline!
Direct hit, but Ospreay doesn’t cover yet. He stands up, making sure his neck and shoulders are good. He aims at Hiromu, but Hiromu avoids the spin kick. Hiromu runs at Ospreay, but Ospreay catches him into a dragon sleeper! Ospreay lifts Hiromu but Hiromu slips out. Hiromu shoves Ospreay but Ospreay stops himself, only to run into a boot. Hiromu grabs Ospreay in the hanging triangle! The referee counts but Ospreay breaks out to kick Hiromu down. Ospreay runs, and FLIES with the Sasuke Special! Direct hit! Ospreay stands up and brings Hiromu over. They go back into the ring, and Ospreay brings Hiromu up. Dragon sleeper, inverted suplex to side slam! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally for Hiromu but Ospreay vows to finish this. Ospreay runs, springboards, but into a German Suplex! Fans rally for Hiromu again while both men are down. Ospreay sits up first, but Hiromu rolls towards ropes. Hiromu and Ospreay sit up on their knees, and Hiromu gives a forearm first. Ospreay hits back, but so does Hiromu. They glare at each other as they hit again and again. They stand up as they fight, but start to stagger. Hiromu shouts for Ospreay to get up, so Ospreay hits back. The forearm brawl continues, and Hiromu gives shots from both sides. Ospreay gives one big shot and Hiromu is rocked. But Hiromu SUPERKICKS, then runs, only for Ospreay to hit his flip kick.
Ospreay enziguris but Hiromu ducks under to then waistlock. Ospreay standing but Hiromu breaks free, then Hiromu ducks the hook kick to get the German Suplex! But Ospreay stands to flip kick again, and hit that enziguri, to Reverse-Rana! But then Hiromu stands and wants his own, only for Ospreay to slip out and give Hiromu another Reverse-Rana! Ospreay keeps going, bringing Hiromu up in the double underhook. He lifts, but Hiromu sunset flip powerbombs first!
The fans are all fired up, even though neither man stands. Both men stir, and Ospreay gets to ropes. Hiromu follows and joins him on the apron. They both stand up, and Hiromu grins as he gives Ospreay a forearm. Ospreay hits back, but so does Hiromu. Ospreay gives another shot, but Hiromu gives many more in return. Hiromu lifts Ospreay but Osprey slips back into the ring to hook kick Hiromu! Ospreay climbs up and brings Hiromu over, to deadlift SUPERPLEX! But he rolls through, to hang Hiromu up on the top rope. Ospreay climbs again, and aims at Hiromu, for a Burning Star Press! But he isn’t done there, he goes back up again. Ospreay aims, Red Arrow! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay is shocked he hasn’t won while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ospreay stands back up. Ospreay brings Hiromu up, double underhooks, but Hiromu fights out. Hiromu ends up on the top rope and kicks Ospreay away. Hiromu then turns and leaps for a Destroyer piledriver! Ospreay stands up but is out on his feet, so Hiromu drags Ospreay down into the triangle hold! Hiromu pulls on Ospreay, squeezes Ospreay, but Ospreay fights up and deadlifts Hiromu into a bomb! But Hiromu holds on! Fans are thunderous as the two fight, Hiromu squeezing and Ospreay fading. Ospreay gets another lift, and makes it a package driver!
Hiromu only sits up from being out cold. Ospreay sits up while the referee checks on Hiromu. The fans are thunderous, but the Robinson Special hits! Ospreay wants it, so he runs and springboards, but Hiromu shoves him to the apron. HIromu runs, and leaps over to sunset powerbomb Ospreay near the open patch of ground! Ospreay surely regrets moving some of those aside. Hiromu puts him in the ring, then brings him up, fireman’s carry to Time Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Ospreay survives?! Hiromu can’t believe it, but fans are still thunderous for him.
Hiromu stands and has Ospreay up again, but Ospreay pops out of the swing to roundhouse Hiromu! Then, hook kick! Hiromu fires up and swings, but Ospreay deflects and counters with a heel kick! Hiromu is out again, but Ospreay won’t leave it at this. Ospreay drags Hiromu up, double underhooks, but Hiromu arm-drags into a triangle! Ospreay endures as Hiromu squeezes. Another deadlift, but Hiromu reverses into the D Driver!!
Hiromu crawls away, but he’s not done. Fireman’s carry, Death Valley into the corner! Fans are at a fever pitch as Hiromu brings Ospreay up, for another Ticking Time Bomb!!
Cover, Hiromu WINS!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
He’s done it! Hiromu has prove himself THE Best of the Super Juniors by dethroning the Aerial Assassin! This is only his second reign with this title, but it means so much more to have won it after all the hard fought matches. Now he brings back both the BoSJ trophy and the Jr. Heavyweight Championship belt home to Los Ingobernables. How long will Hiromu be able to say he is the best of the best of the Jr. Heavyweight Division?
Will Ospreay pats himself on the back over putting up a good fight, but he isn’t done just yet. He’ll walk out with his head held high. Don’t count Ospreay out of NJPW just yet.
Hiromu Takahashi says it was a long battle, but he got the upper hand. He rests with his trophy and belt and says it’s no mistake. His is now the strongest Jr. heavyweight in the world. He’s the face of the division. No, of ALL of NJPW! Will Hiromu’s stock continue to rise? Or will Ospreay be back to blow him up in return?
NJPW and AXS TV review what has led to Part 2!
Los Ingobernables de Japon is under attack from all sides, and their championship belts are the primary targets. Chris Jericho made his return to NJPW in shockingly violent fashion when he suddenly attacked Tetsuya Naito from the crowd! Y2J would bash Naito open with the ring bell, and make the newly minted IWGP Intercontinental Champion bleed. Ever Tranquilo, Naito brushed it off and dared Jericho to face him in the ring for said title. Both men are charismatic but dangerous, who will come out the true alpha with a title in their hands?
Meanwhile, The Young Bucks have done all there is to do as a tag team, at least within the Junior Heavyweight Division. Motivated by their desire to match The Golden Lovers, Kota Ibushi & Kenny Omega, Matt & Nick Jackson put on weight to qualify as Heavyweights and now go for new gold! However, LIJ’s King of Darkness and Cold Skull have fought hard against bigger men and won. This is a first-time encounter for NJPW, will the Superkick Party add yet another set of tag titles to the collection? Or is the party over now that they’re in new waters?
IWGP Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS The Young Bucks!
The long-standing staples of the Bullet Club have had tag titles from ROH, PWG and NJPW’s Junior Heavyweight Division at one time or another, and sometimes even all at the same time. They are even two-thirds of the current NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Championship trio. But now they want to prove they can do it bigger and better than before! Will they check off the heavyweight tag titles for the first time? Or will LIJ’s menacing duo show the Matt & Nick what it truly means to be heavyweight wrestlers?
Tiger Hatori is the referee, and he raises the belts to signify this is officially for the titles. He checks each them, then has them go to their corners. Nick and Sanada start for their teams. Fans are behind Sanada as he circles with Nick, but there are plenty of fans chanting “The! Elite! The the Elite!” for the Bucks. Nick and Sanada tie up, and Sanada gets the headlock. Nick powers out but Sanada runs him over. Things speed up and Sanada jumps over and over Nick until Nick holds ropes to stop himself. Nick runs and throws Sanada with tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Sanada gets up but Nick chops him to then “lucha libre~” arm drag Sanada. Nick dropkicks Sanada, then fires up as Sanada backs off.
Tag to EVIL and Matt, but Nick stays in to drop toehold Evil for Matt’s slingshot leg drop. The Bucks see Sanada come in, and double hip toss him for double dropkicks. Fans applaud for the Bucks as Matt goes after Evil. Evil rakes Matt’s eyes, then coordinates with Sanada. They double suplex, but Nick saves his brother for them to double kick. Nick runs and Matt pops him up for the double missile dropkick. Both Sanada and Evil go down and out, but the Bucks take aim. Nick jumps up and FLIES onto them. Nick brings Evil back into the ring for Matt. Matt brings Evil up to whip, but Evil holds onto ropes. Matt tries again but Evil holds on so Matt clubs him. The whip goes through this time, but Evil holds the ropes on the other side.
Matt runs in, but into Evil’s boot. Evil runs out but misses, yet still gets Matt with the sidewalk slam! Nick runs in, but into a drop toehold. Sanada adds a baseball slide and sends Nick out. Sanada exits while Evil goes to Matt. He puts Matt on the outside, then whips Matt into the railings. Matt’s bad back is a target, and Evil keeps on it. Evil puts Matt back in the ring, stands on him for a cover, ONE. Tag to Sanada, and Sanada drags Matt up for a whip. Sanada runs Matt over with a back elbow, then standing moonsault. Cover, TWO. Tag to Evil, and Evil brings Matt back up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Evil keeps on Matt with a chinlock while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Evil has Matt in that chinlock. Matt feeds off rallies from the fans and fights his way out. Matt runs but into double chops. Evil leaps for the back senton but Matt gets clear. Matt reaches for Nick but Sanada clobbers him down and throws him out first. Sanada slingshots but misses, and Matt hurries to his corner as fast as he can. Evil intercepts by taking Nick out, but then he runs into a hip toss from Matt. Matt wants to tag but there’s no one there. Nick slowly recovers while Evil runs in at Matt. Matt boots but Evil blocks, only for him to miss the spinning clothesline and get Nick’s kick! Fans rally and Matt crawls back towards his corner.
Hot tag to Nick, who rallies on LIJ with those swift kicks! Nick gives Sanada the shining wizard in the corner, then hits the bulldog-clothesline combo! Fans fire up again, and Nick sees Sanada on the apron. Nick runs to triangle jump dropkick Sanada down, then gets a running start. He aims at Evil, but Evil ducks the Penalty Kick to send that into the post! Evil sweeps the legs out and Nick hits apron before tumbling to the floor. Nick clutches his foot, but Evil is on him and that leg. Evil laces the leg in the railing to kick and jam it. Nick hobbles to the ring but Evil is on him. Evil grabs the leg but Nick shoves him away.
Nick gets up, brings Evil around and in comes Matt. Matt SUPERKICKS, but Evil dodges to send that into Nick! Sanada returns and throws Matt out again. Sanada & Evil target Nick but Nick fights back with forearm sand elbows. Nick runs but into a mule kick, front kick and Evil runs. Nick SUPERKICKS Evil, but it’s with the bad foot! And Evil comes back with a clothesline! Cover, TWO, but Evil calls to end this. Evil brings Nick up with Sanada, but Matt returns. Nick headscissors out of Magic Killer to throw Sanada, and Matt dropkicks Evil down. Matt goes after Sanada and hoists him onto the top rope. The Bucks regroup and climb up to join Sanada. Nick is sluggish with that bad foot, and now Evil returns! Evil makes it a Tower of Doom!
The Bucks are bombed while Sanada is superplexed! All four men are down from soreness and exhaustion, but Evil is first to rise. Evil goes after Nick, but Nick hits back with forearms. Evil kicks Nick, then fisherman, but Nick slips out to retaliate with a tornado roundhouse! Again, the bad leg slows Nick down, but fans rally up. Nick and Evil crawl, hot tags to Matt and Sanada. Sanada and Matt brawl back and forth, but Matt hits a spinning back kick. Matt whips Sanada to a corner but Sanada elbows out, to then quebrada. He wants the inverted DDT or even Skull End, but Matt reverses to Sliced Bread. Not for the impact, but for the Tombstone lift! Nick lines it up, but Evil yanks him down!
Sanada reverses, dragon sleeper! Matt snapmares out then trips Sanada, but Evil returns. Matt trips Evil, and goes for the Sharpshooter! The Cease is on, but Sanada says Desist with his Skull End! But Nick comes in with a flying stomp! Everyone separates, going to different corners. Fans rally up while Matt and Sanada stir. Sanada tags Evil, and Evil runs in at Matt. Matt boots but it’s blocked into the discus clothesline. Evil lifts Matt in a fireman’s carry, sit out Widowmaker! Cover, TWO!! Evil is shocked, but he keeps his focus. He slashes the throat and brings Matt up. Matt reverses the STO into a Tombstone position. Nick tries, but that bad ankle gives out! Evil turns the Tombstone position around, and Sanada flies in to copy the Meltzer Driver! Perhaps call it the Ingobernables Driver?
Cover, but Nick breaks it! Sanada tosses Nick out, and Evil says it’s time to finish it their way. He lifts Matt up and Sanada helps for the Magic Killer! Cover, but Nick returns to break the cover again! Sanada again throws Nick out, then slingshots over to plancha Nick down! Both men crash and burn, and Evil drags Matt up. Matt slips out of the STO to backslide, TWO! Even Evil thought that was three. Evil walks into a jawbreaker, but Sanada tags in. Sanada runs and gets the dragon sleeper! He wrenches Matt back, then feeds him to Evil’s mule kick. Sanada adds the knee lift, then Evil runs but into Matt’s clothesline!
Sanada dropkicks Matt down then dropkicks Nick off the apron. He goes back to Matt as fans fire up. Sanada puts on the dragon sleeper, but Matt flails and reaches, so Sanada swings Matt around and around! He puts Matt down, climbs up top, MOONSAULT! Sanada lands on his feet when Matt evades, Matt SPEARS Sanada! Evil clobbers Matt, then blocks the superkick. Evil smacks the bad ankle, then stalks Nick. Matt saves Nick from the STO, and they both SUPERKICK Evil!
Sanada runs in, dodges superkicks, tumbles to the outside and springboards! The Bucks SUPERKICK him out of the sky! But that’s not all, Matt and Nick coordinate. Matt brings Sanada up in fireman’s carry, Nick climbs up, rolling senton, 450 splash and moonsault, More Bang for Your Buck! Cover, The Young Bucks win!!
Winners: The Young Bucks, Matt Jackson pinning; NEW IWGP Tag Team Champions
Success! The greatest tag team in the world gets even greater with this victory! Even with Matt’s bad back and now Nick’s bad ankle, they found a way to win. With heart enough for any heavyweight, will the Young Bucks dominate just like they did in the Jr. Heavyweight Division?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Chris Jericho!
After his defeat at the hands of Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12, Chris Jericho vowed to never return to NJPW. However, he did not keep this vow, for at New Year’s Dash, he would ambush Tetsuya Naito! Naito didn’t understand why. In fact, Naito claimed to not know a thing about Jericho aside from being in an old Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Of course, Jericho didn’t win that tournament. That disrespectful ignorance is why Jericho is so angry with Naito, and Jericho claims to know how Naito truly feels behind that facade. It’s Tranquilo VS Crazy, what will win the day and the title?
But Jericho isn’t going to wait for the bell, circles around and attacks Naito from behind! Jericho drags Naito up and takes the cape off. They start brawling, but Jericho gets the edge as he backs Naito down into railings and even the crowd! The ring announcer warns fans to get back as Jericho attacks Naito with the railing itself! Jericho smacks Naito but Naito hits back. Jericho pulls Naito’s suit jacket over his head to then wail away with uppercuts, like a scrum on the ice in hockey. Then Jericho snap suplexes Naito to the bare concrete! Jericho even uses a camera tripod as a weapon.
Red Shoes reprimands Jericho, but Jericho just shoves him down! Jericho confiscates the timekeeper’s table and brings it over. He sets it up against railing, then goes back to Naito. They brawl more, but Jericho gets the edge, to then powerbomb Naito through the table!!
Fans are shocked at the brutality, but Jericho is far from done with Naito. He eggs Naito to get up out of that wreckage. Jericho even takes over a camera to get a good shot of Naito while he flips him off. He gives the camera back and kicks Naito amid the wreckage, even using the wreckage against Naito. Jericho doesn’t let up, but Naito doesn’t give up. They brawl a bit more, but Jericho gets the edge again. Jericho brings Naito around behind commentary and over to the other timekeeper’s table, to DDT him right down on the wood! The table doesn’t give, so that impact is solid. Red Shoes wants Jericho to stop, but Jericho makes sure he autographs the program notes before continuing.
Jericho drags Naito back up and back to ringside. This match is apparently starting now that Jericho puts Naito in the ring. Jericho shouts at Red Shoes to make it official, so Red Shoes has no choice but to signal for the bell. Fans rally for Naito as Jericho covers, ONE. Jericho rains right hands down on Naito, then taunts the fans and Naito. Jericho helps Naito finish undressing while also giving him more right hands. Fans rally for Naito, but Jericho just flips them all off. Jericho toys with Naito, slapping him around. Naito hits back with haymakers, but Jericho knees back, tigerbomb backbreaker! Then, LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Jericho keeps his cool while fans rally for Naito. Jericho stands on Naito to grind his heel into the champion’s neck. Then Jericho chokes Naito against the ropes. Jericho stops at 4, but then grinds his boots into Naito more. He backs off at 4 to embrace the heat. Jericho drags Naito up, then chops him through the dress shirt and vest. He pushes Naito around, calling him a “piece of sh*t”. Naito hits back with haymakers, but Jericho rakes the eyes. Jericho whips Naito corner to corner hard, and Naito rolls with back pain. Jericho drags Naito up for another corner to corner whip and another hard impact. Naito writhes more while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Jericho looms over Naito. He drags Naito up by his hair, but Naito hits back with haymakers and elbows. Jericho trips Naito and turns him over, for the Walls of Jericho! Naito gets the ropes, but Jericho holds on until 3. Jericho walks around while fans rally for Naito. He stomps and grinds his boot into Naito, but then tells Red Shoes to “shut your mouth” about the rules. Naito spits on Jericho! He’s defiant as ever, but that only angers Jericho more. Jericho runs but into Naito’s tackle and fists! Naito tackles Jericho again for even more fists. Naito runs in a third time but Jericho back drops him, only for that to turn into a neckbreaker across Naito’s knee. He keeps going and dropkicks Jericho in the back!
Naito takes off the vest and runs to boot Jericho in the corner, sweep the legs, and swing in for another dropkick. They both go to the apron now, for an apron neckbreaker! Jericho clutches his neck, but Naito keeps going with a draping neckbreaker to the floor! Naito, bloody in one eye, takes off the shirt and the pants, he’s finally ready for this match. He even uses the pants to choke Jericho! Jericho got away with a lot, so Naito sees it as fair play. Naito brings Jericho up and whips him into railing. Naito drags Jericho back up to ram him into railings again. As he backs off for space, Naito looks at the table wreckage from before. And he gets a wicked idea.
Naito brings the table piece over and SMACKS Jericho with it! That piece breaks even more, but Naito decides to use the bigger piece to SMACK Jericho again! Naito brings Jericho up and they fight behind commentary again. Naito brings Jericho back to that timekeeper’s table, for a piledriver!
That table stays solid again, so things are even between Naito and Jericho. Naito drags Jericho up and back to ringside. They go back in, and Naito climbs up. Naito aims, and jumps for a missile dropkick to Jericho’s back. Naito’s spirit is restored as he poses in the ring. The fans rally for Naito as he runs in, but Jericho boots him away. Jericho climbs up but Naito fires off haymaker after haymaker. Naito climbs up to throw more punches, then SUPER Steiner, but Jericho blocks! Jericho hops down, driving Naito’s head into the mat, then goes into Walls of Jericho! Naito endures as Jericho sits down and bends him back. Jericho shouts at Naito, but Naito doesn’t quit.
Fans rally again, and Naito powers up to reach for ropes. Jericho drags Naito away from ropes, Naito curls and fights back with right hands. Jericho slaps Naito out, then catapults Naito into a corner. But Naito uses that to climb up! Naito kicks Jericho away, then turns around for a flying huricanrana! Naito uses the ropes to help in a tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally while Naito sits up. Naito staggers, that bleeding eye bothering him. He drags Jericho up, and hammerlocks one arm, but Jericho fights out with the other. Jericho swings but Naito waistlocks and lifts, only for Jericho to victory roll through it. Jericho goes from that to the legs, and he tries to turn Naito over for Walls! Naito ends up back in the signature Crab variation, but won’t give up.
Naito reaches, fades, but gets a second wind. Fans rally and Naito brings himself around. Naito slowly but surely gets closer to the ropes, and gets the ropebreak! Jericho insists Naito tapped out, but Red Shoes insists Naito didn’t. Jericho runs in but is flapjack’d for a hotshot. Naito then German Suplexes Jericho! No bridge, but Naito comes back in for the tilt-o-whirl. Jericho counters into a cover, TWO! Enziguri from Naito! Then Naito tries again, but has to club away to keep Jericho in place. Jericho chops, Naito SLAPS. Naito runs in, DESTINO! But Naito can’t make the cover, and Jericho crawls towards ropes. Cover, ROPEBREAK. Naito is too sore to be frustrated, he just sits up again.
Now Naito bleeds from the other cheek, but it’s nothing compared to what Jericho did to him. He and Jericho slap each other back and forth. Jericho hits Naito more, but Naito dares him to keep going. Jericho does, but then Naito just slaps him down. Naito chokes Jericho in the ropes, and spits on him again. He whips Jericho, but Jericho reverses. Naito leaps, but into a Code Breaker!
Jericho covers, TWO! Both men are so tired and sore already, but this match must continue. Fans rally up for Naito again, but it’s Jericho who sits up first. Jericho hits Naito, and Naito hits Jericho. They go back and forth with haymakers and forearms. They stand up but keep hitting. Naito hits three haymakers, then runs, but into a back elbow. Jericho runs, LIONSAULT, but onto knees! Enziguri, then hammerlock for GLORIA! But Naito’s not done there! He drags Jericho up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but Jericho slips out of Destino, and in one swift motion he pushes Red Shoes and low blows Naito with a mule kick! Jericho gives another Code Breaker! Cover, Jericho WINS!!
Winner: Chris Jericho, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Intercontinental Champion
The Best in the World at What He Does is an IWGP Intercontinental Champion for the first time in his career! Though, according to Jericho, he’s a 10-time Intercontinental Champion because he’s counting his nine WWE Intercontinental Championship reigns. But whether one, nine or ten, whether by hook or by crook, Y2J conquers the leader of LIJ! We go to break while things are sorted out.
NJPW on AXS returns…
Jericho has his hand raised, and the announcement is made. He stands up and drops elbows and fists on Naito! Jericho isn’t a very classy winner, because the second he gets the belt in his hands, he uses it to attack Naito! Red Shoes reprimands Jericho, but Jericho ignores him as he celebrates. Jericho then takes off his leather belt from his pants, and makes it into strap to whip Naito with over and over. This is insult to injury, but also some injury on top. Evil rushes out to fight Jericho off his LIJ leader! Jericho hits Evil with that leather fist but Evil clobbers Jericho down with a clothesline! Evil grabs the leather belt to whip at Jericho, but Jericho gets away with his championship belt.
Jericho confiscates a commentary headset to shout “You see that, Naito? And who the Hell are you?” Jericho is talking about Evil there, and promises that if Evil butts in again, he’ll see what happens, too. Y2J takes his belt away with Evil looking on. Jericho reigns now, but will Evil bring his “tenth” reign to an early end?
Evil helps Naito to the back, but sets him down a moment. Evil speaks for them. “Hey, Jericho. You messed up this time, you son of a bitch.” Is that Evil’s way of saying he wants to fight Jericho for the title next?
Jericho himself kicks his way into his press conference. He knocks the chair and the beer away so that the reporters can focus on the blood on Jericho’s hands. “This is the blood of Naito and the blood of Chris Jericho. Because two men just beat the sh*t out of each other” in one of Jericho’s toughest matches ever. Naito is an excellent wrestler, Jericho will admit that. But Jericho says that this win means he’s here to stay! Jericho is champion, and he takes that seriously. Naito didn’t like the title, so it works out since Jericho wants to keep it, “from now until the moment I lose it.” He vows to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, all with this title nearby. No one believed Jericho could do it, but he did. This is the Reign of Jericho, Drink It in, Man. And choke on it.
With the G-1 Special 2018 fast approaching, it makes sense for AXS to show two hours of Dominion coverage tonight to catch up a bit. Obviously this isn’t all of it, either, as there’s definitely Okada VS Omega left to show. That’ll be next week, for a two hour special what with that match lasting 70+ minutes. But the four they showed tonight were all astounding, with shocking title changes. I didn’t think Elgin would win against Goto and Taichi, but it happened and it was impressive. Hiromu Takahashi truly deserves to be Jr. Heavyweight Champion, he’s on such a roll both with the Japanese crowd and around the world. Same goes for the Young Bucks winning the Heavyweight Tag titles, because they’re the most popular and talented tag team around.
Jericho VS Naito was crazy good with the entire attack before the match. Jericho has always been great at transforming his personality and style into new, fresh ideas, and this more vicious Heel of his is great. He really had the fans hating him and rooting for Naito, but in the end, Jericho uses all the tricks in the book and wins. On the surface, it looks like LIJ is down in the dumps aside from Hiromu. Evil & Sanada lose their tag titles, and Naito loses his IC title, but Evil is the one to come out and defend Naito from Jericho. Perhaps these losses are for everyone in LIJ to move up. Naito can worry about the world title while Evil goes after Jericho, Hiromu can defend his Jr. Heavyweight title, and perhaps Bushi joins Sanada as a heavyweight. Either that, or they go for the NEVER Openweight titles.
My Score(s): Part 1 – 8.7/10; Part 2 – 8.8/10; Overall – 8.8/10