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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Wrestling Dontaku 2018 part 1!

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The big Spring event for NJPW

NJPW and AXS reach the end of the road and arrive at Wrestling Dontaku! The Bullet Club civil war continues as The Cleaner, Kenny Omega, takes on the Problem Solver, Hangman Adam Page. And the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi, looks for payback against The American Nightmare, Cody, in their own grudge match!

 

This review of Wrestling Dontaku 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Cody VS Kota Ibushi; Cody wins.
  • Kenny Omega VS Hangman Page; Omega wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS review what led to tonight’s matches.

The American Nightmare fired the first shot when he went after the Golden Star so aggressively. The Cleaner stood up for his old friend, but that only made Cody go after him. Kenny and Kota reunited as the Golden Lovers, and won against the team of Cody and Marty Scurll, and even the Young Bucks. However, Cody would regroup with Adam Page, and together, they gave the Golden Lovers their first loss since returning. Then over in NJPW’s partner promotion, Ring of Honor, Cody and Kenny went 1v1, and Cody won! Of course, it was partially thanks to a mistake by the Young Bucks, but Cody accepted it either way. However, Kota Ibushi beat Hangman Page in their own 1v1, so things are still even.

Tonight, opponents trade off to see which leader can best the other’s partner. Will Cody make Dontaku a nightmare for Kota? Will Hangman take his moment back from Omega? Or will the Golden Lovers be the ones to sweep the night?

 

Cody VS Kota Ibushi!

The American Nightmare kisses his literal ring of honor for good luck, but he’ll need more than luck to win this rematch from Wrestle Kingdom 12. Can Cody even his 1v1 series with the Golden Star?

The bell rings, and the fans cheer for “Ibushi! Ibushi!” Cody and Ibushi circle, but then Cody flexes atop a corner. He returns to circling with Ibushi, and the two tie up. Ibushi puts Cody against ropes but Cody turns it around. Cody pushes Ibushi harder, but rolls away to honor the break. Ibushi and Cody circle again, and Ibushi avoids a leg takedown. They circle again, and now Cody avoids a takedown. Ibushi and Cody tie up, Cody gets the leg! He shifts to a headlock, then an arm wrench, then pulls Ibushi down by his hair. Ibushi kips up, so Cody lets him go. Cody kicks the barrier in frustration, then chucks a chair into the ring! Red Shoes and Ibushi avoid getting hit, but Cody keeps pacing.

Ibushi puts the chair out of the ring, but Red Shoes spots Cody before he can sneak attack. Red Shoes reprimands Cody about the chair, then allows action to continue. Cody and Ibushi circle, feeling it out. Ibushi kicks and gets Cody in the thigh. They keep circling, and Cody catches the next kick. Cody puts on a waistlock and they go to ropes. Cody lets Ibushi go with a push, but Ibushi keeps his cool. They circle again, tie up, and Cody gets the headlock. Ibushi powers out, but Cody slides under to arm-drag. Ibushi arm-drags in return, and now they shove each other back and forth. They tie up again, Ibushi gets the headlock now. Cody fights out, but Ibushi runs him over. Fans cheer for Ibushi as he runs.

Things speed up as Cody follows, but Cody runs into the roundhouse! Cody is stinging while Ibushi catches his breath. Ibushi goes over to Cody, and snap suplexes to the cover, ONE. Ibushi keeps focus as he brings Cody up again. Cody reverses to a suplex and toss! Ibushi writhes while Cody catches his breath. Cody goes over to Ibushi and drags him up for body shots. Cody whips Ibushi corner to corner but Ibushi reverses. Ibushi runs in but Cody goes up and over. Cody’s head bothers him so he rolls out of the ring. Cody signals he needs a minute, but then he rushes in and kicks Ibushi! He was faking to get Ibushi off guard. But Ibushi blocks Cody’s next kick, to spin him around for a roll up, ONE. Ibushi comse back for a backslide, ONE.

Cody gets a waistlock but Ibushi backs him down, and Cody clutches his neck after hitting buckles. Is Cody faking again? Cody goes out, then he whispers something to Red Shoes. Red Shoes has Cody come up to the apron, and Ibushi walks over, but Cody hotshots Ibushi! Yes, it was another fake out, and Cody takes advantage with an apron gordbuster!

Ibushi bounces up and slumps to the floor while Cody goes back into the ring. Cody waits for Ibushi to stand, rallying the crowd with a stomp. Cody runs, climbs and JUMPS down onto Ibushi! Ibushi does down again, but Cody drags him back up to throw him into barriers. Cody clubs and rakes Ibushi’s back, then drags him up to bring him around. Cody gives Ibushi a headlock punch, then brings him around for a haymaker in front of the commentary team. He takes a big sip of water, to then spit it in Ibushi’s face! Fans boo and jeer but Cody embraces the heat. Cody puts Ibushi back in the ring, covers, TWO. Cody stomps away on Ibushi, then does some push-ups to show off. The American Nightmare has control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Ibushi fights back from the floor. Cody kicks him back, then shoves him to robes for forearms to the back. Cody hangs Ibushi up on the top rope for the draping low kick! Cover, TWO, but Cody keeps his cool. Ibushi gets to ropes but Cody brings him up. Cody throws a forearm, but Ibushi starts to fire up. Cody gives him another, but Ibushi gives one back, so Cody rocks him with a roundhouse! Ibushi slumps down, and Cody goes out to bring Ibushi across the apron. Cody clubs away, then climbs back in the ring. Cody taunts with flexing, shrugging off the boos. He goes over to Ibushi, to bite Ibushi’s fingers! Red Shoes reprimands Cody but Cody just stalks Ibushi to ropes. Ibushi fires back with forearms, then runs in at the corner, but into Cody’s boots.

Cody shoves Ibushi down, then puts on the Figure Four leglock! Ibushi endures, and tries to pry his way out, but Cody has it on tight. Cody puts more pressure, and keeps Ibushi from rolling it over. Ibushi works against the hold again, and gets the ropebreak. Cody lets Ibushi go, but Cody keeps on Ibushi in a corner with a shoulder breaker. Cody whips Ibushi corner to corner, then fires himself up. Fans rally, and Cody whips Ibushi corner to corner again. Cody runs in, hits the forearm smash, but then runs into a dropkick! Fans rally again and Ibushi feeds off the energy. Ibushi and Cody stand up, and Ibushi unleashes his strike fest on Cody, knocking Cody down with a roundhouse. Ibushi kicks Cody again, then whips him corner to corner. Cody reverses, but now Ibushi goes up and over, to huricanrana Cody down and out!

Fans fire up and Ibushi soaks it in. Ibushi builds speed, climbs up, and leaps for the Golden Triangle moonsault!

Down goes Cody, but Ibushi springs right back up. Ibushi catches his breath before putting Cody back in the ring. Ibushi takes aim again, springboards but Cody gets under. Cody springboards for the Beautiful Disaster Kick! Cover, TWO! Both men are down, but Cody sits up first. Cody and Ibushi crawl over to each other, and Cody throws a forearm. Ibushi feeds off it, and eggs Cody on. Cody hits Ibushi again, but Ibushi still feeds off it as they both stand. Cody throws another, but Ibushi hits back. They go back and forth with forearms, then kicks, then palm strikes. They slap and slap fast and furious, but Cody kicks to then hit the dropping uppercut. Ibushi comes right back with a clobbering clothesline!

Fans fire up while both men are down from exhaustion. Cody and Ibushi stir, then slowly stand. Ibushi whips Cody but Cody reverses, and Ibushi has to stop himself before colliding with Red Shoes! Cody runs in, and as Ibushi evades, Cody corner splashes Red Shoes! Red Shoes goes down, but now Cody goes after Ibushi. There’s no authority to tell Cody no, so Cody drags out a table! Cody puts the table in the ring, then sets it up in a corner. Cody drags Ibushi up and over in a fireman’s carry. He puts Ibushi on the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Cody prepares the superplex, but Ibushi resists. Ibushi hits back, then adjusts, but now Cody resists. Cody fights back, but Ibushi rocks Cody with a punch. Cody falls back onto the table, Ibushi adds double stomps!

The table doesn’t give way, so Ibushi decides to go one more time. Ibushi climbs up as fans fire up for him. He jumps again, and THAT breaks the table! Cody is stuck in the wood and pries himself out. Ibushi gets rid of the wrecked table and brings up the scratched and bloody Cody for a Golden Star sit-out powerbomb!

Red Shoes returns and counts, TWO! Ibushi doesn’t stop, as he brings Cody back up with the double wristlock. Cody avoids Kamigoye, but Ibushi reels him back into a waistlock. Cody slips down and under, to pop Ibushi to a cover, TWO! Ibushi roundhouses Cody! Cody drops to his knees, while Ibushi exposes his own. Ibushi stands, grabs Cody’s hands again, but Cody again avoids the Kamigoye! Cody crawls away, and out of the ring. He climbs over the railing, trying to retreat. But Ibushi springboards out at him!

They make contact, but Cody manages to deflect Ibushi enough to send him into the second railings. The 20 count begins and passes 5 as Ibushi gets up and pushes Cody back to ringside. They reenter at 9, but Cody grabs Ibushi on reentry for the CROSS RHODES!

Cover, TWO?! Fans are thunderous but Cody can’t believe it. Cody is furious while fans rally for Ibushi. Cody drags Ibushi up, and lifts Ibushi up, for Dinn’s Fire!

Cover, Cody wins!

Winner: Cody, by pinfall

The American Nightmare ties the series! Cody toughs it out, and finds the openings he needed. The supposed new leader of Bullet Club conquers one Golden Lover, but what about the other?

 

Kenny Omega VS Hangman Page!

The Problem Solver chose Cody’s side when he felt The Cleaner wouldn’t give him his moment in the spotlight. With Cody and Hangman having beat The Golden Lovers in a tag team match, and now Cody having beat Ibushi 1v1, can Hangman help complete the sweep? Or can Omega remind everyone why he is the REAL leader of the Bullet Club?

But before the match begins, Cody jumps Kenny!

Cody and Hangman stomp away on Omega, keeping the match from beginning. Hangman brings Omega up while Cody fetches a new table. Omega fights Hangman off, then dropkicks the table into Cody’s face! Omega then aims to slingshot, but Hangman waistlocks and pulls him away. The bell rings and this match is actually underway.

Omega standing switches, but Hangman elbows out. Hangman runs, but into Omega’s huricanrana. Omega finally takes off the robe, to then slingshot onto Hangman!

Omega gets back in the ring, and kneels for the Terminator pose. The drums start up, and Omega rises. He runs, builds speed, and FLIES onto Cody and some young lions!

The Cleaner wipes them all out, but fires up with the fans again. Omega gets back in the ring but Hangman gets him with a German Suplex. Hangman climbs up while Omega rolls out, and jumps for a SUPER Moonsault!

Hangman takes out Omega, then springs back up. He puts Omega into barriers, then into more barrierss. Cody and Hangman toss in chairs and tables, and Hangman picks Omega up. Hangman stands over the unfolded table, to drop Omega with a Rite of Passage!

The table cracks from the impact, but Hangman keeps on Omega by putting him in the ring. Hangman grabs the chair now, and aims at a bleeding Omega. Red Shoes stops Hangman frmo swinging, so Hangman shoves Red Shoes down! Omega kicks low, then sees the blood dripping down. That only serves to fire Omega up, and he grabs Hangman for a DDT. Hangman reverses out, kicks low, and he gives Omega the chair DDT! Omega bleeds more, but Hangman stalks him to ropes. Hangman pushes Omega all the way out, then follows him out to chop and punch Omega against the barriers. Omega staggers around but Hangman follows. Hangman throws more hands into the bleeding wound. Red Shoes comes over to check on Omega, but Hangman grabs Omega for a suplex. Omega resists, then snap suplexes Hangman!

Hangman and Omega are both slow to stand up, but Omega has Hangman first, for a back suplex to the apron! Hangman is sore now, and Red Shoes still wants to check Omega’s wound. Omega keeps going, bringing Hangman up in a fireman’s carry. Omega hits “You Cannot Escape!” Rolling Senton! The roll seems to make Omega dizzy, but he gives a thumbs up that he’s okay. Omega goes to the railing, and uses those to springboard back! Hangman rolls and Omega lands on his feet, though he still staggers and rolls back. Omega gets up and runs back over, and blocks Hangman’s boot to clothesline Hangman over the railing! Omega walks around but Hangman comes back with a Buck Shot lariat!

Hangman hurries to put Omega in the ring. He brings Omega up, Powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO! Omega is bleeding and Hangman is in control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns again, and Hangman puts Omega in a corner. Hangman stomps a mudhole into Omega, then goes after that open wound! Red Shoes counts and Hangman backs off at 4. Omega drags himself up, and throws a forearm. Hangman hits back, and they go back and forth. Hangman drops Omega with an elbow, then swings him for a rope guillotine! Cover, TWO, but barely. Fans applaud Omega’s toughness, but Hangman grows annoyed. Hangman adjusts his knee pad and makes sure his leg is okay. Omega stands again and throws hands on Hangman. Hangman hits back, making sure to hit the head wound. Hangman brings Omega around but Omega resists the suplex. Omega tries to suplex Hangman but Hangman resists. Hangman suplexes Omega but Omega slips out, and he throws another haymaker. Hangman hits back again, but Omega comes back to give a punch back.

They go back and forth, Hangman again making sure to hit the head wound. Omega chops Hangman, and fans applaud. Hangman swings but Omega ducks, Omega enziguris but Hangman ducks. Hangman pumphandle deadlifts Omega, for the Fall Away bridge! TWO, and Hangman is surprised. Omega gets himself up and to a corner, but slumps back down against the second rope. Hangman checks his knees, then walks over. He goes after the wound again, but Red Shoes counts. Hangman stops with the wound, but gives Omega a swift chop. Omega walks to another corner, and chops Hangman back. Hangman kicks and whips Omega hard corner to corner. Omega bounces off buckles and falls to the mat. Hangman walks over, and stands Omega up.

Hangman denounces Omega as leader before whipping him even harder. Omega dodges and Hangman hits buckles, and fans rally. Omega stands up, fires up, and runs in at Hangman. He rallies on Hangman, but Hangman boots the discus away to whip Omega to ropes. Omega dodges, and runs for the DDT! Cover, TWO, but Omega doesn’t give up yet. Fans rally again as he brings Hangman up. Fireman’s carry, “You Cannot Escape”, and he hits the rolling senton again. Omega keeps moving and moonsaults! He hits, cover, TWO! Omega drags Hangman up, cross-leg fisherman into the Ushigoroshi! Fans fire up with Omega again, and Omega takes aim. BANG, and run, but Hangman dodges the Trigger! Omega drop toeholds Hangman though, and with Hangman on the ropes, he hits a point-blank V-Trigger!

Omega runs again, but Hangman retaliates with a roaring elbow! Hangman scoops Omega, for a cradling Tombstone piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, but Hangman is too tired to be shocked. Hangman sits up first, then drags Omega up. Hangman chops Omega into a corner, then hoists him up to the top rope. He climbs up but Omega fights back. They brawl on the top rope, but Hangman gets the edge. Hangman adjusts, for a SUPER swinging neckbreaker

Cover, ROPEBREAK! Hangman is in disbelief while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns one more time as Omega clutches his neck. Hangman stands up, then drags Omega up in position. Omega flails and grabs the ropes again, so Hangman lets him go. Hangman clubs away on Omega, with another elbow to the wound. Hangman throws Omega with a German Suplex, but Omega lands on his feet! Omega V-Trigger outta nowhere! Omega grabs Hangman for the full nelson, but Hangman breaks out to PELE Omega! Hangman runs, but Omega follows for another V-Trigger! Omega fires up, brings Hangman up, but Hangman spins out of the One Winged Angel to lift Omega for the Rite. Omega flails, and powerbomb lifts but Hangman slips out. Hangman swings but Omega gets under and around, for the Snap Dragon Suplex!

Hangman goes to the apron, but Omega walks over. Omega brings Hangman through the ropes, BANG, but Hangman slingshots, only for Omega to still hit the V-Trigger! Cover, TWO?! Somehow Hangman survives, but Omega doesn’t fret. Omega drags Hangman up and into double underhook. He lifts, but Hangman resists, so Omega backslides to another V-Trigger. Omega underhooks, for the butterfly driver! Cover, TWO! Omega is surprised but he won’t slow down. He and the fans fire up, he takes aim again, for yet another V-Trigger!

Then the lift, the tuck, and the One Winged Angel!

Cover, Omega wins!

Winner: Omega, by pinfall

The Cleaner finally finishes the Problem Solver, but it took a lot out of Omega, too. Omega keeps the Golden Lovers even with the Bullet Club, though it is still unclear if Omega is in or out. What will it take to settle things so that Bullet Club truly is fine?

Omega speaks in the ring.

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” Omega wanted to speak in just Japanese, but he’s a little too tired for that. So if the fans don’t mind, he’ll go into English for a bit. Next time, if there is a next time, he will definitely speak in 100% Japanese, so look forward to that. But today, wow, Omega’s first time in a main event in front of this crowd. He thanks them for coming. Omega will be back in Night 2, just not the main event, so look forward to that, too. Thanks again for coming, and now, as always, his catchphrase. “Good bye, mwah, and good night. BANG!” Even after such a hard fought main event, the Cleaner is still himself. Will he be successful again in Night 2? Will he use these wins to climb his way back towards a title?

 


 

My Thoughts:

NJPW does great again with only two matches, because those two matches were great. The entire night was about Bullet Club and the “Bullet Club is (Not) Fine” story, and it’s still great. Cody VS Ibushi had lots of story, especially with Cody faking/exaggerating a bad neck to trick Ibushi. Cody wins with a surprise finisher and then another finisher, so it’s not like Ibushi looks weak at the end. This way, Cody stays pace with Omega, who also wins tonight. Omega VS Hangman truly is Hangman’s best match, both for Omega being his opponent and Hangman having improved so much on his own. Hangman is worthy of being a mid-card champion, and will one day be worthy of a world title. Omega is of course still worthy of a world title, but with Okada as the champion, it’s still not clear he’ll get it at Dominion.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Coverage

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

Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!

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NJPW Castle Attack

NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall

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

 

YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall

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

Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

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

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

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

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

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)

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

 

Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Jay White, by pinfall

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

 

Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

My Score: 9/10


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

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

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

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

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

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

Ratings:

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

 

Results:

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

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

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

Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI

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

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

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

Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii

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

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

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

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

Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo

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

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

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

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

 

Overall Score: 4.25/10

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

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

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

via GIPHY


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