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
Mitchell’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/27/21)
Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!
NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!
NJPW returns to Osaka for a Castle Attack! Will the Rainmaker still be atop the mountain? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?
- Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
- KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens; Yano wins and retains the KOPW 2021 trophy.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo; White wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire!
The King of Cozy Style, Ikari no Mogyuu, and the Ace are all targets of Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan, and the Dominator is going after Tanahashi’s NEVER Openweight Championship on day two! But will the Once in a Century Talent and his iconic compatriots be able to stand up against the United Empire in this opening round?
As usual, the United Empire stands firm, even as their opponents make their entrance. Tanahashi shoves off the muscles and fans cheer. Tanahashi and Khan dare each other to step up, and so that’s who starts! Fans cheer and the bell rings, and fans rally up already as Khan and Tanahashi circle. Ospreay sneaks in with Cobb, but Kojima and Tenzan are ready to counter! The ref tells them all to back off, and Khan has the Empire stand down. But that’s a fake out! They attack Tanahashi’s team, and throw Tenzan and Kojima out! The Empire mugs Tanahashi, double whips him corner to corner, then send Ospreay in, only for Tanahashi to toss Ospreay out!
Cobb and Khan mug Tanahashi, whip him to ropes, but Tanahashi ducks the double clothesline to send Khan into Cobb! Tanahashi kicks Khan low then whips him to a corner, but Khan reverses. Khan runs in but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up to crossbody! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars before he tags in Kojima. Kojima DECKS Ospreay, and fires off the machine gun CHOPS on Khan! The ref is busy keeping Ospreay out so Kojima gets plenty of extra CHOPS in! Kojima whips Khan corner to corner, hits a forearm smash, and then throws Khan down. Kojima climbs, Cobb intercepts with forearms! Ospreay hits Tenzan and Tanahashi while Cobb TOSSES Kojima down!
Khan clamps on with the head-arm triangle! Cobb and Ospreay throw Tenzan and Tanahashi around ringside but Kojima gets a ropebreak! Khan lets go, drags Kojima over, tags in Ospreay, and the Empire mugs Kojima. Ospreay CHOPS Kojima then BOOTS him! Ospreay scoops and slams Kojima to then run and drop a leaping knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay bumps Kojima off buckles, tags in Cobb, and Cobb headbutts Kojima in the back. Cobb CLUBS Kojima, stays between him and his team, and then scoops Kojima. Ospreay talks trash while Cobb taunts Kojima’s team. Cobb throws knees into Kojima, then RAMS Kojima into the Emipre’s corner.
Khan tags in, stomps Kojima, but Kojima hits back! Khan ROCKS Kojima, and hits the Mongolian Chop! Khan taunts Tenzan with how Tenzan can’t use this move anymore, and then Mongolian Chops again! Kojimma stands up and he ROCKS Khan with forearms! And a ROLLING ELBOW! COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to rally on Khan, then he hits Cobb an Ospreay for good measure! Tanahashi blocks Khan’s boot to bring him out for a DRAGON SCREW! Ospreay runs in, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi catches Cobb in the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he goes after Khan’s legs. Tanahashi ties the legs up but Khan clamps his claw onto Tanahashi’s face! Khan gets up, Tanahashi breaks free, but Khan ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm! Tanahashi gives the forearm back and now it’s a brawl of forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as they pick up speed, Tanahashi fires off a strike fest but Khan Mongolian Chops! Tanahashi ROCKS Khan with a palm strike, then runs, but into Khan’s sleeper hold! Khan uses the claw, then shifts to INVERTED EXPLODER! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan tags in Cobb and Cobb drags Tanahashi up.
Cobb fires off forearms and headbutts, then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Cobb runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Tanahashi waistlocks, Cobb resists the lift, and pries free! But Tanahashi half nelson spins Cobb to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan rallies on Cobb, DECKS Ospreay, and fans fire up. Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but he remembers he can’t! So he kicks Cobb low and gives him a headbutt! Tenzan has Cobb in the corner, and throws more kicks and haymakers. Tenzan whips corner to corner then runs in to clothesline Cobb! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and he hits the suplex! Cover, TWO!
Tenzan calls in Kojima and Tanahashi, and the three go after Cobb together. They double whip Cobb corner to corner, then Kojima runs in to back elbow! Tanahashi hits a splash! They double whip into Tenzan’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Tenzan keeps on Cobb and gets the ANACONDA VICE! Tanahashi and Kojima go after the rest of the Empire but Ospreay BOOTS Kojima and CLUBS Tanahashi! Cobb powers up but Tenzan holds tight. Cobb elbows free but Tenzan headbutts! Cobb ROCKS Tenzan with an uppercut, then tags in Ospreay! Ospreay slingshots in for a ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay drags Tenzan up, reels him in, and underhooks, but Tenzan resists!
Ospreay gives Kowata kicks and a SUPERKICK! Ospreay runs but into a back drop! Fans fire up with Tenzan and Tenzan dares Ospreay to stand. Tenzan remembers again he can’t Mongolian Chop, but Ospreay dares him to! Ospreay SLAPS Tenzan, and then Khan CLOBBERS Tenzan! Khan and Ospreay SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Cover, but Tanahashi breaks it! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi, clamps on the claw, and hits the ELIMINATOR SLAM! Kojima fires off on Khan and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! The United Empire feed Tenzan to the OSCUTTER! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
United they stand victorious! Khan gets a mic and he wants everyone in Osaka to understand! They are THE United Empire!! Will this momentum bode well for Khan coming for the NEVER Openweight Championship? Or will the Ace be able to trump the Dominator’s iron hand?
YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!
Before going 2v2 with the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, the Head Hunter will take on the Silverback alone! Will Loa make sure Hashi can’t #GetBackUp for tomorrow’s tag title match?
The bell rings and Hashi circles with Loa. Fans rally up and they tie up. Hashi manages to push Loa back a bit, but Loa pushes Hashi to the ropes. The ref calls for a break, Hashi turns things around, and Hashi drags Loa down to an ARMBAR! Loa holds off the extension, moves around, but Hashi stays clamped on. Hashi clubs at the clasped hands but Loa holds tight. Loa pries at Hashi’s own grip, but Hashi adjusts to get the other hand isolated! Loa gets the ropebreak with a leg and Jado protests, so Hashi lets go fast. Hashi clubs Loa’s arm but Loa shoves him away. Hashi comes back with a kick, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs and stomps him.
Hashi wrenches Loa to a wristlock, but Loa throws a forearm, only for Hashi to make it a takedown! Hashi wants the double wristlock but Loa moves around. Hashi has a short arm scissor instead! Loa endures, moves around, but Hashi stomps the arm! Hashi stomps Loa more, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs him. Hashi wrenches the arm, clubs it, then wrenches again to club it again. Loa pulls Hashi’s hair but Hashi elbows Loa’s elbow. Hashi wrenches again but Loa LARIATS him down! Fans cheer the exchange but then Loa stomps Hashi over and over! Loa drags Hashi up, whips him to a corner then runs in to clothesline!
Loa whips Hashi out then back in to clothesline again! Jado cheers while Hashi falls to his knees. Loa gets the bad arm moving, drags Hashi back up, and fans rally. Hashi throws body shots, wrenches, but Loa throws a haymaker and back hand! Hashi clubs the arm, Loa throws a forearm, but Hashi wrenches to an elbow breaker! Hashi runs, but the ref is busy checking on Loa and Jado trips Hashi! Loa hurries to get Hashi up for a suplex! Uno amigo, and then a wrench to a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grows annoyed. Loa drags Hashi up as fans rally again. Loa throws a forearm but Hashi gives it back. Loa headbutts Hashi and Hashi is down in the corner!
Loa stomps away on Hashi, but the ref reprimands. Loa lets off, Jado taunts Hashi, and Loa whips Hashi corner to corner. Loa runs in but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans cheer as Hashi evens things back up! Hashi and Loa slowly rise, Hashi throws forearms, body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Loa reverses but Hashi dodges to hit the HEADHUNTER! Hashi fires up and fans rally for him. Hashi runs corner to corner, to CHOP Loa! Hashi whips, CHOPS, but Loa just grins! Loa wags his finger at Hashi, then throws a forearm! Hashi stays up and he forearms back! Loa doesn’t budge, and he ROCKS Hashi!
Hashi stays on his feet and Loa dares him to “give me your best shot! Don’t do this to me! You came to fight me, so fight me!” Loa wants Hashi to #GetBackUp and show him what he’s got! Hashi gets up and throws forearms and CHOPS! Mule kick, and a neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Hashi and he hurries to a corner! Hashi climbs up and fans rally harder now! Loa stands and hits Hashi with a forearm first! Loa climbs up, clubs away on Hashi’s back, but Hashi resists the superplex. Hashi throws bodys shots, clubs Loa, and sunset flips, to get the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Hashi has the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa powers up but Hashi throws knees into him!
Hashi grinds Loa down but Loa powers up again! Loa fireman’s carries Hashi, but Hashi slips off to CHOP! Loa laughs, kicks, knees and ENZIGURIS! Hashi falls over but Loa tells him, “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t you die on me yet!” Hashi gets up, Loa runs, but into an elbow! Hashi runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives and fans fire up again! Loa likes this! “There’s that fighting spirit! I love it!” Loa drags Hashi up and vows it’s over now. Loa scoops but Hashi slips out to waistlock. Loa rams Hashi into a corner and fires off elbows! Loa runs in but Hashi dodges! SUPERKICK, but Loa just wants more! SUPERKICK, SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK!
Loa shoves Hashi and Hashi fires off another SUPERKICK! Loa still isn’t done, he wants more!! Hashi SUPERKICKS, and Loa finally wobbles! BACKSTABBER! Hashi drags Loa to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans fire up, Hashi SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Loa still lives but Hashi keeps on him! Hashi gator rolls Loa into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa grits his teeth and powers up again! Hashi slips an arm around to get the double wristlock! KIMURA-FLY! Loa still endures, slips his head under, but Jado gets in! Hashi is ready, and he kicks then mule kicks Jado first! Hashi sends Loa into Jado! Roll up, TWO!!
Loa swings but into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi fires up and the fans are with him, for the BASEMENT METEORA! Hashi isn’t done there, he drags Loa back up! Hashi gets Loa up, full nelsons again, but then shifts to a pump handle! Wait, Tama Tonga shows up! The distraction saves Loa, and he scoops Hashi for APE SHIT!! Cover, Loa wins!!
Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall
Well it was strange that Tama wasn’t here to start, and now we see he was an ace in the hole! And now they’re all beating Hashi up, 3v1! The ref reprimands but they’re not stopping! GoD drags Hashi up, but here comes Goto! Goto CLOBBERS Loa then fires off on Tama! After all, their match was up next, anyway! Tama whips Goto away but Goto comes back to block the hip toss and hit a hip toss! Fans cheer as Goto lariats Loa out of the ring, and the ref rings the bell on the next match!
Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Good Bad Guy rolls the Fierce Warrior up right away! With tights! TWO!! Goto swings, Tama gets under and Tama dropkicks Goto out! Tama hurries out after Goto, and he whips Goto into railing! Tama checks on Loa and sees he’s okay. Tama drags Goto back up, POSTS him, then goes in the ring as the ref wants. Goto stirs, the ring count begins, but Tama goes back out. The ref is busy with Tama and Jado SMACKS Goto with the kendo stick! Tama goes out to fetch Goto now, puts him back in, and clamps on with a chinbar. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest, then paces about. Goto sits up, Tama drags him back up and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Tama is annoyed but fans rally up.
Tama sits Goto up to claw his face! The ref reprimands, Tama stops, and fans rally up for Goto. Tama paces as Goto eggs him on. Tama CLUBS Goto, and Goto eggs him on more! Tama throws haymakers, but Goto gets power from it! Goto eggs Tama on, Tama headbutts, but that does more damage to Tama! Tama whips Goto, runs in but the splash misses! Goto hits a BIG suplex! Goto fires off on Tama in the corner, whips him corner to corner, and runs in to MURAMASA! Then, BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Tama up, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights free. Tama swings but into a hook! Tama fights free of that, gets Goto in a dragon sleeper, but Goto turns that around!
Tama slips through to suplex, but Goto resists! Goto suplexes, but Tama slips into the dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Tama is furious but fans rally up! Tama watches Goto, hears the voices in his head like he’s The Viper, and Goto rises. Goto turns around, but he denies the Gun Stun! Goto swings, but into Tama’s spin and leap, SATELLITE DDT! Both men are down but Tama is growling. Tama gets up, goes to a corner and climbs up. FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Goto moves! BLINDSIDE SLIDING LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Goto crawls to ropes while Tama sits up. Goto staggers over and powers up!
But Loa returns to scoop Goto! Jado is distracting the ref! Goto slips out of the scoop, and HEADBUTTS Loa down! Goto DECKS Jado but turns around into GUN- NO! Goto blocks again, shoves Tama and follows. Tama stops to swing on Goto but Goto dodges, and comes back to swing. Tama ducks, redirects, dodges, hurdles, but Goto dodges the boot to swing! Tama ducks to GUN- NO!! Goto drags Tama back up, fireman’s carry, dragon sleeper, toss out, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall
What a wild exchange to end this one! But now, Chaos is even with the Guerrillas, and the tiebreaker will be THE IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Goto and Hashi end GoD’s reign and be double champions? Or will it be Tama & Loa who #TurnItAllAround?
KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens!
Mr. KOPW 2020 now defends his provisional 2021 KOPW trophy, and is going to put his twist on the Crown Jewel’s stipulation choice! But will that be enough for Yano to continue on through the year? Or will Bullet Club manage to add another accolade to the treasury?
The introductions are made, and Yano’s seems to get even longer with the more he does and has… But after all that, and some disinfectant spray, the trophy is to be presented, which comes as a surprise to Yano. The trophy is set aside, the strap is brought in, and Yano waits outside while Chase is strapped in first. Perhaps Yano doesn’t trust Chase. The strap is also taped down so there is no removal of it during the match. Chase tosses Yano the other end, and Yano is hesitant to strap in. Yano takes the cuff, puts it on, and the ref tapes it on. Then Chase tries to reel Yano in! Yano knew this would happen! The bell rings, and it’s a tug-o-war!
Yano gets enough slack that he can LASH Chase! And again! And again! Chase bails out but Yano reels him in! Chase tries to get away with what slack there is but Yano keeps reeling him in! Chase wants a time-out? And a handshake? Yano kicks him and SMACKS him instead! And another SMACK! Another SMACK! Yano uses the strap to choke Chase! That’s legal in a strap match but Chase grabs at ropes. Yano kicks Chase, whips him, but Chase grabs ropes to get out again! Yano decides to undo a buckle pad! Now we have a bare corner! Chase resists being reeled in, and he goes to undo a buckle pad!
Yano won’t let him, and Yano chases Chase around! Chase uses that to get the strap going through the corner, and he YANKS Yano into the post! Chase takes a moment to catch his breath before he stomps Yano. Chase goes into the ring to undo the corner trap, and he uses the slack to SMACK Yano now! And SMACKS him again! And again! Chase drags Yano up, puts him in, and stomps him down. Chase sits Yano up, rips Yano’s shirt off, and now has bare skin to go after! SMACK! There’s instantly a red mark on Yano’s back! Chase drops fists, chokes Yano with the strap, then lets off to go to a corner. Chase again copies Yano and undoes this buckle pad! The neutral corners are bare!
Chase tosses the buckle pad at Yano and Yano catches it. Chase dares Yano to use the pad, so Yano swings! Chase dodges and dropkicks Yano into the bare buckles! Chase stomps Yano at the ropes, throws the buckle pad down on him, then digs his foot into Yano’s face while mocking the YTR thumbs. Chase drags Yano up to throw him out, then he follows. Chase drags Yano up and whips him, but Yano reverses to send Chase into barriers! Yano gets something from under the ring! It’s extra tape! Chase CLUBS Yano first, then slips through the railing? He wants to reel Yano into the railing, but Yano resists! So Chase lets go and Yano falls over!
Chase is free to drag Yano up and YANK him into the railing! And then again! Yano falls back down, Chase slips back through and he gets Yano’s spare tape! Chase tapes Yano’s hand into a fist so he can’t open it! Then Chase drags Owens up and puts him in the ring. Chase stomps Owens, and gets the other hand! Chase tapes that one up, too! Yano can’t open either of his hands! Yano tries to resist but Chase claws Yano’s face. Chase finishes his handiwork, and gets some slack on the strap to again SMACK Yano on the back! Chase plays around as he stomps and kicks Yano down, then he mocks the Yano shrug! But Yano uses his fists to trip Chase! Yano still catapults Chase into bare buckles!
Yano runs as far as the strap allows, comes back, but Chase dodges! Yano gets bare buckles again! Fans fire up, and Chase undoes the blue corner buckle pad! That’s three, will Chase go for the fourth? Chase drags Yano up to reel him in for a haymaker! And then again! And again! Chase throws up the Two Sweets, but Yano slips under and uses the strap to flip Chase! Chase gets up to throw a strike fest, then he runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano dodges Chase’s swing, shoves him at the ref, and then LOW BLOWS! Chase couldn’t stop that with wrist tape! And Yano figures what the hell? Untile the last pad! But wait, the tape on his hands makes that tricky.
Yano tears at the tape and frees his fingers! Fans fire up as Yano goes for the last corner, but Chase reels him in! HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! Chase hits the Jewel Heist but he can’t cover from being too tired! Fans fire up, Chase gets up and says BANG, and he drags Yano back up. Chase reels Yano in, Yano shoves him away! So Chase goes out and uses the strap to reel Yano into the bare buckles! Chase drags Yano all the way out now, and whips him into the railing! Chase pulls up padding from the floor ringside!! He wants bare linoleum to come into play now! BANG, and the package, but Yano fights that off to back drop Chase onto the floor!
Yano is mad now, and he gets into the ring! The strap keeps Yano from the final corner pad, but fans rally up! Owens holds railing, Yano goes back out, but Chase gets the ring bell! Chase CLOBBERS Yano with the bell, then he gets in, and HE wants the final corner! But Yano’s dead weight is keeping him from getting close! Chase thought he had a fool proof plan but seems not. Chase goes back out to fetch Yano, and wraps the strap around Chase’s head. Chase drags Yano up and in, then drags him. Yano holds Chase back, reels him in, and Chase is annoyed. JEWEL TRIGGER!
Fans rally for Yano but Chase gets the buckle pad! Yano tries to pull Chase away but Chase’s one hand undoes all but one strap! Chase runs at Yano, but into a pop-up POWERBOMB! And YANO unties the buckle pad!! YANO WINS!!
Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)
And that’s how you win YTR style! Will Yano continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like this? Or will someone eventually beat Yano at his own games?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
The other third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions is in action as he looks to settle things with the Switchblade! But will the Stone Pitbull be made to look like a little puppy tonight?
White insists the ref be more concerned about Ishii than him in the check. White throws off the jacket, flexes for the fans, and then has Gedo get in so they can Low Sweet. But Ishii grows impatient and he rushes over! White and Gedo bail out, “cool off,” and White mocks the clapping before giving the Low Sweet. White returns to the ring, bails right bck out, and asks about the bell. White gets in, the bell rings, and then White bails out again. White has a laugh as he goes in and out and in again, only to slide right back out. The ref reprimands, White dares Ishii to go after him, and Ishii goes! White gets far away from Ishii, goes back in the ring but Ishii is ready to follow.
White goes out, Ishii follows again. Gedo creeps up on Ishii, and White attacks! White stomps Ishii, drags him up for knees, then whips. Ishii swings, White dodges and doges and knees low. White whips, Ishii reverses but White bails out! White has a laugh, but Ishii rushes after him again! White gets in, and pretends he pulled a muscle so that Gedo can rake Ishii’s eyes! Gedo RAMS Ishii into railing then gets away before the ref notices. Ishii gets in the ring but White stomps him at the ropes. White stomps Ishii around, drags him up and throws him back out. White goes out but Ishii gets back in and runs, to run White over! Ishii pursues White on the outside, drags him up and whips him into railing!
Gedo protests but Ishii drags White up by his hair. White pushes Ishii but Ishii whips White back into railing! Fans cheer but the ref says to get this in the ring. Ishii glares at Gedo as he creeps over, and Gedo backs off. White goes to the ramp and Ishii wants to chase him down but the ref tells him to stay by the ring. The ref checks on White and tells him to get back to the ring, but White stays where he is on the ramp. Ishii argues with the ref, but he goes back into the ring. White dares Ishii to fight him on the outside but Ishii dares White to get back in. White goes in, Ishii kicks and clubs him! Ishii ROCKS White with a forearm, stomps him down, and then drags him up at the ropes.
White holds the ropes, the ref calls for the break, but White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Ishii to the apron! Gedo cheers while Ishii flops to the floor. White drags Ishii back up to SNAKE EYES him off the railing! The ref checks Ishii and White mockingly asks if Ishii is okay. The ref tells White to stay back, White goes into the ring, and fans rally up for Ishii. White goes back out to drag Ishii up and RAM him into the apron! And RAM him into railing! And RAM him back into the apron! And then back into the railing! Those ribs take serious damage as Ishii goes down in a heap! Gedo mockingly asks what’s wrong, and White drags Ishii up.
White says they have to get into the ring, so he’s putting Ishii in the ring. White asks if Ishii is done, but Ishii refuses to quit! The fans rally so White stomps Ishii over and over! White digs his fingers into Ishii’s face then stomps him again! White stomps Ishii in the ribs and Ishii goes to the ropes. White pushes Ishii around and then gets him into a corner. White RAMS into the bad ribs, the ref wants White to back off but White RAMS Ishii one more time. Gedo cheers but he’s the only one as White puts Ishii in a rear bearhug. Ishii endures the squeeze, so White JAMS a knee into Ishii’s back. White goes back to the rear bearhug, mockingly asking if Ishii has a hard time breathing.
White is squeezing tighter and Ishii shouts in pain! Ishii endures, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer the toughness but White stomps Ishii at the ropes! The ref checks on Ishii again but White drags Ishii back up. White whips Ishii hard into a corner and Gedo wants the ref to call this. White whips, Ishii reverses, and then Ishii runs in but White dodges! Ishii crashes into buckles, and White fireman’s carries him up! Ishii slips off, but White elbows Ishii away, only to run into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ishii growls as he gets up and he stalks White to a corner.
Fans rally as Ishii CHOPS White, and CHOPS again! And CHOPS, and then hooks White’s arms in the ropes so he can CHOP again! White falls over and Ishii hammers away! The ref reprimands, Ishii backs him down with a glare! Ishii comes back but White RAMS a shoulder into the ribs! White goes to suplex but it’s Ishii who brings White up and over! Ishii sits up, fans rally, and Ishii looms over White. Ishii brings White up but White fights off the back suplex. White swings but Ishii spins him around. White switches, Ishii wrenches, but White avoids the back suplex to turn Ishii. Ishii fights out of the neckbreaker but White kicks low to DDT!
Both men are down again and Ishii gets to the corner. White runs in to uppercut Ishii, and fireman’s carry, for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and White grows annoyed but fans fire up! White drags Ishii back up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage off and they end up in a corner. White knees Ishii, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Ishii eggs him on. White CHOPS Ishii again, then puts some stank on the next CHOP! Ishii just turns things around to CHOP White high! The ref reprimands but Ishii shoves him away! Ishii CHOPS White high again! Ishii drags White up, CHOPS high and hard again and again!
The ref comes back, Ishii shoves him, and CHOPS White more! The ref finally gets Ishii to stop those near throat chops, and Ishii drags White up to whip him corner to corner. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline, then whips corner to corner. White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but runs into the COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Ishii up into a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and fans rally up as both men are down. Gedo calls for the Kiwi, and White drags Ishii back up. White reels Ishii in, fisherman hooks but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii rams White into a corner, but White CORNER HALF HATCHES Ishii! Ishii clutches those bad ribs as he flops out of the ring!
The ref checks on Ishii but Ishii refuses to quit. White goes out to fetch Ishii, and he drags Ishii up to RAILING HALF HATCH!! White leaves Ishii for dead as Ishii writhes. Fans rally up but a ring count begins. The count is already 6 of 20 before Ishii sits up. Ishii still hasn’t gotten up and we’re past 10 of 20! It’s 15, Ishii finally starts going towards the ring, and he’s in at 18! White drags Ishii up and is pissed, but he hits BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious! White drags Ishii around, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White knees low but Ishii gets around to headbutt! Ishii runs, but into a BIG urenage!
White drags Ishii up, fisherman and KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and fans fire up! White asks Gedo for ideas, then drags Ishii around. White gets the sleeper hold but Ishii hooks the leg to block the suplex. Ishii throws elbows but White KNEES him low and hard! White drags Ishii back to center, has an arm and a leg, and stomps away on the ribs! Gedo wants the ref to stop this for Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t want this to end like that! White stands Ishii up and keylocks an arm so he can JAM Ishii in the ribs! White puts Ishii in a corner for more hard body shots! Gedo cheers but the ref reprimands. Ishii dares White to bring it, and White throws forearms!
Ishii tanks them because his head is still hard as stone! White throws more forearms but Ishii leans into them! Ishii backs White down like this, so White KNEES the ribs! Ishii ROCKS White back! Ishii drags White up and Gedo starts getting worried. Ishii puts White up top, Gedo swipes at him but the ref reprimands. White claws Ishii’s eyes! But Ishii RISING HEADBUTTS! White holds on to keep from falling! Ishii climbs up, drags White up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! The ribs make that double-edged, but Ishii hurries to high stack cover, TWO!! White survives but is sputtering. Ishii powers up and takes aim. Gedo gets on the apron, but hops off when Ishii glares at him.
White gets Ishii in the sleeper, but Ishii throws him over! Ishii puts the sleeper on now! White fades already but Gedo gets on the apron! Ishii goes after Gedo, pushing the ref aside! Gedo sucker punches Ishii down! White gets Ishii in the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Fans rally but White drags Ishii back up! Ishii tries to fight the sleeper hold but he’s fading! White leans on the hold, but Ishii gets a second wind! Ishii reaches for ropes, but White gets a leg for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious again! Fans rally for Ishii as White drags himself over.
White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights free of the suplex! White forearms, throws a strike fest, but Ishii gets around. They both swing and dodge but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Both men are down as Ishii clutches his ribs. Ishii fires up to fight through the pain and the fan srally behind him. Ishii runs, but White gets around! Ishii switches and he puts White in a sleeper! Ishii leans on White and now White fades! Ishii spins White but WHITE hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and White is beside himself! White slashes the throat, drags Ishii up, but no Blade Runner! GERMAN SUPLEX! Ishii and White are down again and both sputter as they sit up.
Gedo rallies for White but Ishii hits his head off the mat to power up! Ishii gets moving, fakes White out, but White still boots Ishii! Ishii ENZIGURIS! Ishii is roaring, Gedo is panicking, and Ishii drags White up to a POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO?!? White survives but Ishii sits him up. Gedo gets in with the brass knuckles! The ref reprimands, Ishii dares Gedo to use them, but he blocks White’s low blow! Ishii whips White into Gedo then LARIATS White! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?! White survives again but Ishii is just firing up more! Ishii drags White up, suplexes him, but White fights that off!
White tries to suplex but Ishii suplexes first. White slips out, dragon sleepre to an inverted suplex and he puts Ishii on his shoulder! White flips Ishii to the blade position but Ishii slipls out! Ishii swings but White turns him around, crosses the arms, but Ishii fights out again, only to run into a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White hurries to get Ishii up but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Ishii suplexes, White fights out but Ishii HEADBUTTS! White still wants a Triple S, but Ishii waistlocks! White switches, Ishii switches, but White blocks and dodges to BLADERUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall
A masterful exchange and it’s the Switchblade that hits the mark! White even needs to check that he won, it was that sudden! He hugs Young Lions in almost mocking celebration! But when the Young Lion pushes him away, he BOOTS them down! But does this victory mean White is done with Ishii and back on his way towards the top?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Rainmaker technically got his singles match with the King of Darkness not too long ago, but it was little more than an excuse to get Okada alone so Bullet Club could beat him up. We’ve seen Bullet Club in action all night, will any of Evil’s allies be able to back him up? Or will Okada prove Everything is NOT Evil?
The bell rings and Okada rushes Evil! Evil dodges, but then Okada dodges to fire off forearms. Evil kicks low, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada reverses and BOOTS Evil down! Evil bails out, fans cheer, and Okada dares Evil to come back. Dick and Evil regroup, Red Shoes keeps Okada back, and Okada waits. Evil slides back in, circles with Okada, and Okada points Dick out to Red Shoes. Dick stays back, Okada and Evil circle, but then Dick swipes at Okada! Evil attacks from behind, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada holds ropes and boots back. Okada scoops and slams Evil, then slingshot sentons!
Fans cheer as Okada takes a moment before he covers. ONE, but Okada drags Evil back up. Okada turns Evil to hit a neckbreaker! Okada drags Evil up and clamps on a chinlock. Evil endures, even as Okada digs his knee in. Evil reaches and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada holds until Red Shoes counts 3, and he brings Evil up to elbow him back down. Evil goes to a corner, Okada stomps him down! Dick protests but Okada tells him to shut up. Okada drags Evil up, snapmares him, then runs to basement dropkick! Evil bails out as fans rally up. Dick checks on Evil, Okada goes out and tells Dick to back off. Okada drags Evil up and ROCKS Evil with a forearm!
Okada glares at Dick then chases him off! Dick goes in the ring, Okada follows, Evil CLOBBERS Okada! Evil mockingly applauds and then he scrapes Okada out of the ring. Evil drags Okada up and whips him into railing! Evil scuffs Okada’s face, then drags him up, to RAM into the railing and the timekeeper! Poor Abe-san! Why don’t they ever move him away from ringside? Evil drags out chairs while everyone is busy helping Abe. Evil brings Okada over, CLUBS him down, then gets a chair ready! Evil puts that chair around Okada’s head, and then has the other chair! HOMERUN! Evil goes into the ring and leaves Okada on the floor. Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as a ring count begins.
Okada slowly stirs, and finally gets up at 10 of 20. Okada gets in at 13, but Evil is after him. Evil whips Okada into the bare corner! When did Dick take the buckle pad?! Evil drags Okada to a Half Crab! Okada endures as Evil pulls back, using Okada’s own knee pad for leverage. Okada gets the ropebreak, and Evil lets go at 4. Evil paces, drags Okada up, but Okada throws a forearm! Okada throws more forearms, but Evil rakes Okada’s eyes! Evil throws Okada out, and then gets in Red Shoes’ face so Dick can stomp away on Okada! Dick drags Okada up and puts him in for Evil, and Evil covers. Red Shoes knows something fishy is up so he refuses!
Evil is upset with Red Shoes but he drags Okada back up. Evil reels Okada in to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Evil is furious with Red Shoes but the count is the count. Evil mocks the fans clapping for “O-KA-DA!” and he drags Okada up. Okada throws a heavy body shot! Okada throws forearms, uppercuts, and then whips. Evil reverses, Okada dodges but Evil kicks him to throw him down! Okada avoids the back senton, and hits a basement EuroUpper! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada stands first. Evil follows but Okada rallies with elbows! Okada whips, Evil reverses but Okada elbows him down! Osaka fires up with Okada!
Okada whips Evil corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus and gets the fans going with clap-clap-clap-stomp. Evil gets up but he fights off the Alabama lift! So Okada RAMS Evil into a corner! Okada puts Evil up top, Evil boots but Okada blocks! Okada clubs the leg then EuroUppers, and he dropkicks Evil off the top! Evil falls to the floor and Dick checks on him. Okada catches his breath in the ring, the ring count starts, and Dick coaches Evil. Okada goes out to fetch Evil, and drags him up. Okada elbows Evil, but then Dick talks trash. Okada chases Dick up the ramp but Evil pursues! Okada kicks and clubs Dick!
Evil runs in but Okada gets him, too! DOUBLE DDT’s to the ramp! Okada and fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp! Okada leaves Evil and Dick behind as he goes back down the ramp. But then Okada goes back and figures he should bring Evil back. Okada clubs Evil to make sure he keeps going towards ringside. Okada puts Evil in and fans cheer as he covers, TWO! Evil is still in this but Okada isn’t frustrated. Okada drags Evil up but blocks thje kick! Okada spins, Evil blocks the kick and gives it to Red Shoes so he can mule kick Okada low! Fans rally again, Evil pretends he can’t hear them, and then he runs in to clothesline Okada in the corner! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!
Evil is frustrated again but he gets Okada’s legs! Okada resists as Evil tries to turn him over, and Okada gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4, but Dick is there to get cheap shots in! Dick runs way before Red Shoes sees, and Evil smirks as he scuffs Okada with his boot. Evil talks trash, Okada gets up and fans rally again. Evil slaps Okada around, so Okada gets mad. Okada runs but into a fireman’s carry! Okada fights free, Evil elbows him away and runs, but into a HUGE FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans rally up again. Okada stands, Evil goes to a corner, but Okada BOOTS him! Okada Alabama lifts but Evil fights off! Evil pulls hair but Okada ROCKS him!
Okada runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Okada ROCKS him again! Evil reverses the whip, but runs into the Alabama! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada goes to a corner, climbs up, but Evil stands, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Evil back up. Okada gut wrenches but Evil resists. Evil gets the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Okada clubs Evil first. Okada backs off, runs into the corner, but Evil boots him away! Evil boots Okada again, then dodges. Okada stops from hitting bare buckles, but Evil clotheslines Okada into them! Okada goes down in a heap while Evil smiles. Fans rally up but Evil drags Okada up.
Evil hoists Okada up top, climbs up to join him, and then goes to the very top! Evil drags Okada up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Evil doesn’t cover, he gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Okada endures as Evil sits back deep! The fans rally, Okada claws for ropes, but Evil adds more torque! Okada refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go at 4! Evil catches his breath in a corner while Okada is down. Evil drags Okada back up, reels him into the fireman’s carry, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans fire up! Evil is annoyed again but he vows to end this. Evil slashes the throat, stands Okada up and spins him, but Okada denies Evil.
Okada wants the clip but Evil knees low. Evil whips, Okada reverses and Evil gets bare buckles! MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, claws Okada’s eyes, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil lets go and then he grabs at Red Shoes! Dick CLUBS Okada with a pipe!! Dick gets in, Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil gets in Red Shoes’ face while Dick fires off haymakers! Dick whips Okada but Okada BOOTS him down! Evil kicks and whips Okada but Okada reverses to dropkick Evil down! Okada gets Evil’s arm for the MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, pries at Okada’s fingers, but Okada leans on the hold. Evil fights up, grabs at Red Shoes, but Red Shoes SWATS Evil’s hand!
Okada gut wrenches Evil to a TOMBSTONE! And back to MONEY CLIP! Evil reaches, turns a bit red, starts to fade but gets a second wind. Evil is up, grabs Red Shoes again, but Okada CLUBS Evil! Okada wrenches the other arm but Evil shoves Okada into Red Shoes! Evil runs but Okada gets around, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada shouts to Red Shoes but he’s still down. Okada puts on Money Clip, Dick has the CHOKER!! The Spoiler is trying to spoil this finish! But Okada powers up and RAMS Dick into the bare buckles! Okada is free, and he gut wrenches Dick to hit a TOMBSTONE!! Okada takes the choker now?! To throw it away! That’s our Rainmaker for ya! But Evil LOW BLOWS Okada!!
Evil gets the legs, but Okada LOW BLOWS Evil back!! Turnabout is fair play! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes, and fans rally up! Okada sits up first, and he drags Evil up. Okada gut wrenches again, for a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Fans fire up with Okada again as he sits Evil up for the MONEY CLIP!! Red Shoes returns, Evil endures, and Okada keeps Evil away from ropes with a back2backbreaker! MONEY CLIP AGAIN! Evil is in the middle of the ring as he starts to fade again! Red Shoes checks on Evil as he’s turning red again! Evil finds a third wind and he reaches, but Okada clamps on tighter! Evil tries one more time and gets a ropebreak!
Okada lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up for Okada again as he has Evil’s wrist. Okada drags Evil up, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada drags Evil up again, but Evil LARIATS! Okada swings but into Evil spins him to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Both men slowly rise, and Evil runs, to LARIAT Okada inside-out! Cover, TWO!?!? Okada survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally up again but Evil rises first. Evil staggers over, slashes his throat and stands Okada up. Evil spins him but Okada denies the STO again! Evil still tries but Okada spins. Evil avoids the discus, but Okada tries to steal Everything! Evil denies that, and tries to steal the Rainmaker lariat!
Okada denies that but he swings into Evil’s clinch! Okada denies the STO again! Okada gut wrenches Evil, for a SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada brings Evil up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall
The tried and true finisher finishes Evil! This won’t be the end of things, but has Evil learned a little of why Okada is still on a whole different level? After catching his breath, Okada gets the mic. He gets fans to clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap clap-clap clap-clap-clap. “OSAKA-JOOOOO~! If I can speak frankly, that felt damn good!” Okada apologizes to the fans for “having to put up with more of Bullet Club’s crap tonight.” But by taking care of business, Okada is sure we’re all satisfied. Okada says there’s something still bothering him, though. “Well, I should just put it out there, huh? It’s about time I get back to that IWGP Heavyweight title!”
Okada knows that as a responsible adult, he should follow proper protocol. So that starts with winning the 2021 New Japan Cup! After doing that, he’ll be back where he belongs. But he’s sure they’re all thinking that the double title thing is getting boring. If Okada were to poll Osaka, they’d say that the one who has to save the titles is him! So he’ll win the NJ Cup, take back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and make it rain again! Fans like the sound of that! Okada knows while the fans couldn’t chant and shout, he knows they were giving it their all to support the wrestlers, and thanks them for it! The wrestlers will do their best all over again tomorrow for night two! Until then, good night!
The Rainmaker has made it known where he wants to be, but will that only make the road back that much harder? Will Tetsuya Naito make it a bit easier by taking the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back on night two?
A very good event for NJPW to begin this weekend, but it also felt like a last-minute go-home for tomorrow’s event, as well as the New Japan Cup. The opening Six Man was good, and the United Empire wins so Khan has some momentum, but it was good math that neither he or Tanahashi were involved in the finish. That way, the NEVER Openweight Championship match could go either way. Tanahashi really only just got that belt, though, so I’m leaning towards him retaining. Ospreay & Cobb will still face Kojima & Tenzan, but that will probably go the Empire’s way like tonight did.
In similar fashion, it was good math for Goto-Hashi and GoD to split the difference. I like that Goto didn’t just win, he won in such a sudden turnaround. But with it being 50-50 here, I’m thinking GoD retain the tag titles and we wait to see if another team moves up to challenge them. Yano VS Chase was a good match, a lot of good antics from Yano, but Yano felt like a natural choice to win here. It might be awhile before someone wins and takes the KOPW 2021 trophy, but it definitely has to be in something really ridiculous.
White VS Ishii was a very good match, maybe a little long, but the slug fest nature of it and Ishii enduring bad ribs made it work. As did another fast exchange finish with White going over. White is definitely going into the NJCUP strong. Okada VS Evil was very similar, a long but storied match that turned out very well. As I said before, Okada trying to focus on the Money Clip works as a way of extending his career, but I also like this new element that when things get difficult, he can always bust out the Rainmaker lariat. Okada declares his NJCUP intentions, but that in itself could signal he doesn’t win it all, and puts someone else over. At this point, I feel like Sanada doesn’t even need to declare to be considered a favorite. Sanada’s already had great matches with Okada, Naito and Ibushi, maybe one more time is the charm for him to join the upper tier.
My Score: 9/10
Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.27.21
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Kazuchika Okada finally gets his hands on EVIL, Jay White gets his “get right match” against Ishii after the last month of issues, and just generally a lot of feud building. The obvious thread is all of the CHAOS versus Bullet Club going on, but I don’t think any of us are excited for Tanga Loa and YOSHI-HASHI.
We also have The United Empire kicking things off to help give Great O-Khan more momentum going into his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Even if the card seems a little flat, maybe we get surprised?
- The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Ospreay wins via Oscutter @10:22 – * ½
- Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI: Loa wins via Ape Shit @12:58 – (-*)
- Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @6:39 – ** ¼
- KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens: Yano retains @12:50 – ** ½
- Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii: White wins via Blade Runner @25:42 – ****
- Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo: Okada wins via Rainmaker @28:11 – *** ¼
The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So we saw a lot of dynamics that we’ve grown to expect. Tenzan struggles to not use the Mongolian Chops, O-Khan continues to prove himself a credible enough threat to Tanahashi, but this was a sloppy match. Between an early awkward exchange that made it seem like O-Khan didn’t know how to sell Kojima’s flurry, Ospreay slipped on the rope when he was coming in toward the end; even though he kinda saved it, it was obviously screwed up.
Interactions were clumsy, the match never got exciting and really just did what these kind of matches usually do, but not even as well as most Young Lions.
Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI
Welp, this match was straight garbage. The sad thing about this match was that Loa did a pretty solid job at trying to vocally antagonize HASHI and keep things interesting, but HASHI was in slow motion. HASHI would visibly confirm things too much, his moves were bad, kept trying to rally the crowd but they didn’t respond; so there were a ton of times he waited a beat to see if the crowd would ever come alive, and they never really did.
Tanga Loa was his usual self with better verbal interactions. He kept trying to get HASHI to fight and prove what he had instead of cursing, but HASHI just fell into the waste of space mannerisms he was known for 99% of his career. He should go back to Loose Explosion on his tights, because he is the drizzling shits.
So Tama comes out to distract Hashi allowing for Loa to turn the situation and hit Ape Shit. Bullet Club beatdown ensues, Goto runs out, clears out Loa…and the referee decides to just start the match since Goto and Tama were supposed to wrestle anyway!
Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto
A quick start is stifled by the malaise that is known as Castle Attack so far. Tama dumps out Goto, Goto starts reviewing his life choices and why he’s here today, and then spends enough time on the outside to build a bird house before Jado eventually limps over and hits him with a kendo stick shot. Like…why? Goto saw it coming. Stevie Wonder saw it coming. The terrible decisions of YOSHI-HASHI have polluted Goto’s mind as well!
When things get back into the ring, at least Tama and Goto are good wrestlers. Tama hits the Tongan Twist and Veleno, but a missed Stinger Splash and countered Gun Stun gave Goto some space. Tama tried for Gun Stun again, but he got caught, Goto throws him on his shoulders Ushigoroshi style, but drops him into the GTR and lands it! So a surprising GTR gives Goto a victory from the jaws of defeat, and at least the in-ring action was serviceable enough to get the highest rating of the show so far.
I really hope the back half blows my socks off, because this is sad so far.
KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens
Now the gimmick here is instead of touch the 4 corner pads, you have to remove the 4 corner pads. So it seems like the person to remove the last pad, will be the winner.
We get a mostly expected Yano gimmick match. He made small references to his earlier gimmick of being a cheating, violent, always disqualified heel; when he started whipping Chase early and being more aggressive than we usually see. But Chase was clever using the outside to a great advantage. Yano was forced to go after Chase because Chase was going to take the pads off from outside, and then used Yano’s momentum against him by ramming him into posts and barricades.
The last pad was solid comedy where both took turns knocking the other out, too far from the last pad. So we had some goofy “drag the dead body” spots. Chase nearly had things won until Yano came to, pulled him close for Oni Koroshi! Yano makes it to the corner, takes it off and the God of all KOPW continues!
Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii has had White’s number lately, and just added to the broken status of his mental health after the Wrestle Kingdom loss. Within the first minute or so, Jay looked to have tweaked his hamstring, and that added an interesting layer to his early attack. But much like the strategic genius that he is, he lays Ishii over the barricade, and Ishii starts selling a rib injury.
Everything in this match mattered, the leg and ribs came back to play into aspects of the finishing sequence. Ishii was slow transitioning between some of his power moves since he was hampered with the rib injury, and Jay got caught a bit more than usual because his quickness was taken away.
A huge Avalanche Brainbuster after a Jumping Headbutt nearly gave Ishii the win, but a slow cover as he wanted the high stack, kept Jay alive. They fight back and forth, then we get a great counter wrestling sequence to finish the match. Ishii slips suplexes and Blade Runners, Jay slips the Brainbuster and eats a strike. It was up, down, back and forth, just hard to call until Jay finally slips a hold and catches Ishii with Blade Runner for the win!
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) February 27, 2021
THANK GOD we got a match worth watching! Great pacing, solid story, this is something to watch.
Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo
Ugh, okay so we know what we get with EVIL any more right? Okada tried to eliminate Dick Togo early when he hit Double DDTs on the ramp, but then the trek back to the ring was awkward. Okada bringing EVIL back to the ring, was a microcosm of the match, where it was just very slowly paced, inactive and not a good idea.
Part of the point in this match was for Okada to finally get closure on EVIL beating him during last year’s New Japan Cup; but he wanted to drag out the old aggressive EVIL. EVIL fired up late, and the crowd responded excitedly expecting something good, but it was short lived. Plus, we have Okada being a complete moron. He was shoved into Red Shoes, fights off Dick and lays EVIL out and goes for the stupid Money Clip. He goes for a submission after he was driven into the referee. This is a gap in logic so embarrassing, just so Dick could interfere again with the garrote.
All the garrote did was possibly foreshadow when Okada Tombstoned Dick, and then had a moment where he considered using the weapon. This is either a throw away for Okada to continue to be the Golden Boy, or it’s a hint that darker things are on the horizon for Okada.
Either way, Fire/Thunder Driver lead to the Rainmaker again, and we’re finally at a point where Okada is beating people with the move that started it all! No more Money Clip! It looks bad and it’s just sad.
Overall Score: 4.25/10
At least we got one match really worth watching out of this show. Jay White versus Tomohiro Ishii is truly the only thing to watch from this whole show.
I don’t know how some people didn’t find the YOSHI-HASHI embarrassing, but it completely was. The opener was sloppy to the point of uselessness. Tama and Goto was just flat given how the story was being told. Then we’ve got the gimmicky goofball match being a highlight before the semi-main and main events. I’ve seen more salient card structure and match booking from Dragon Gate during the waning days of ANTIAS.
Tomorrow has to be better because if it’s worse, then I think 2015 TNA would be happy to know they aren’t the bottom of the barrel anymore. This show was so embarrassing I think I’m just gonna end the article with the hockey coach from Letterkenny:
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