It’s night two of AXS TV’s coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018! The Aerial Assassin, Will Ospreay, defends his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against The Time Splitter, Kushida, to revive their epic rivalry! Plus, Suzuki-Gun and Los Ingobernables de Japon take their feud to a new level with a TEN MAN TAG!
This review of Wrestling Dontaku 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- 10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; LIJ wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Kushida; Ospreay wins and retains the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS review what led to tonight’s matches.
Will Ospreay took the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back in a rare Fatal 4 Way at Wrestle Kingdom. The Aerial Assassin has defended and retained the title time and again against his WK opponents Hiromu Takahashi and Marty Scurll in separate 1v1 matches. But now he wants to prove he didn’t win by luck. Ospreay called out Kushida, and Kushida accepted. The overall series is still in Kushida’s favor, but can Ospreay has proven he can win. Can he prove it again?
10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun!
This feud has been growing from the IWGP Junior Tag to the Heavyweight Tag to the very prestigious Intercontinental Championship. Can the entirety of LIJ overcome El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemura, Killer Elite Squad AND Suzuki himself all at once?
We join this war of Tranquilo and aggression as the Ticking Time Bomb crawls towards his corner. Hot tag and Naito is in. Naito runs and hits Kanemaru with the kick, then sweeps to swing in the dropkick. Fans fire up for Naito as he brings Kanemaru back up. Suzuki runs in and prevents Destino, but then Sanada grabs Suzuki for Skull End. But then KES run in and grab Sanada. Sanada fights them off and EVIL clotheslines Davey Boy Smith Jr. out. EVIL also dumps Lance Archer out, and then Bushi returns to intercept Desperado. Sanada and Bushi coordinate to double slingshot out onto KES and Desperado!
Suzuki goes after Naito in a corner with forearms, then whips, but Naito comes back with a flying forearm! Kanemaru runs in but is fed to EVIL’s mule kick. Naito enziguris Kanemura, than EVIL hits a clobbering clothesline. Naito drags Kanemaru up, and hits Destino!
Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: LIJ, Naito pinning
Suzuki-Gun goes down in 5v5 warfare, and Suzuki himself is furious. Suzuki threatens Young Lions with physical violence, especially with a chair. He comes close to using that chair on LIJ.
Young Lions manage to pull Suzuki away, so they suffer his wrath instead. Suzuki leads his team away while Naito’s team celebrates in the ring. But as LIJ makes their own way out, someone from the crowd jumps Naito!
This masked man beats down Naito, and puts him into railings! They make their way back to the ring, and the masked man even uses the railings as weapons on Naito! Naito is hit over and over with right hands, and his attacker reveals himself. It’s CHRIS JERICHO!!
Y2J returns to NJPW, and hits Naito with a Code Breaker! Jericho was #AlphaClub when going against Kenny Omega, and now he’s #ListaIngobernablesdeJericho! Jericho rains down rights on Naito, then stomps and kicks him. Referees and Young Lions rush the ring but Jericho lashes out at the young wrestlers. Jericho leaves Naito and the Young Lions down in the ring, but then grabs the ring bell! Jericho takes aim but the referees try to stop him. They don’t, as Jericho SMASHES Naito’s face with the bell!
Jericho holds the bell up triumphantly while Naito bleeds on the mat. Referees repriman Jericho, and LIJ finally return. Young Lions barricade Jericho from Naito while Naito’s team checks on him. Jericho slaps the Young Lions out of the way, but because Naito is still stirring, Jericho goes after him more! LIJ rushes the ring and they run Jericho off. Jericho throws a chair at the ring! Then he throws Young Lions around into railing and railing around into Young Lions. However, Jericho has done more than enough to his new target. Will Naito be in good enough shape to defend his Intercontinental Championship? Let alone go after Jericho for revenge?
Naito, with crimson mask of blood, manages to stand, and then CHUCKS the stretcher away. Despite the damage done by Jericho, the Uncontrollable Charisma still has fire in his heart. He even pulls a page out of Suzuki’s book and beats up a Young Lion by whipping him into railings! Can Naito stay Tranquilo when he goes after Jericho for revenge?
Chris Jericho shouts “You see what happens, Naito!?” This is what happens when a “piece of sh*t” angers Jericho. “You hear me, Naito?!” Jericho storms his way through the halls, throwing whatever he can grab. He even busts his way through a dividing wall just to keep going forward. “You see what happens, New Japan?!” Jericho storms his way out of the arena and threatens the camera men before getting into his taxi. He promises Naito that he’s coming for him, before the taxi drives off.
As for Naito, he has to sit down. “Man, that was intense.” Naito can tell Jericho’s challenge is “crystal clear.” Naito doesn’t really know much about Jericho, but he’s famous, right? For someone that famous to get that worked up, Naito must’ve really gotten to him, huh? Jericho’s actions prove how valuable Naito is. “It’s all good.” Jericho scores a perfect 100 with Naito. But NJPW is Naito’s home, and Japan is Naito’s turf. If Jericho thinks he can do what he wants and leave without a scratch, he’s wrong. Jericho “summoned the courage to make the first move.” But that doesn’t mean thing will turn out well for him. Naito will teach him that personally. As bad as Naito looks right now, will he make Jericho look even worse after their actual match?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Kushida!
The Time Splitter leads the series against the Aerial Assassin, but he still lost the title. Ospreay wants to prove to the world that Junior Heavyweights belong, and that he belongs at the top of the Junior Heavyweight Division. Who will win this newest rematch in this epic feud?
The belt is shown and the bell rings, but the two rivals hear the fans already dueling with chants. Kushida and Ospreay circle and tie up, and Ospreay powers Kushida to the ropes. Kushida turns it around but Ospreay turns it back. Ospreay honors the ropebreak, but is on his guard. The fans applaud as the two circle again. They tie up, Kushida rolls after the legs but Ospreay keeps him off. They tie up, and Kushida gets a wristlock. Ospreay reverses but Kushida reverses back and brings Ospreay down to the mat. Kushida wrenches the arm and wrist but Ospreay stands up. Ospreay spins and breaks to snapmare but Kushida goes right back to the wrist. Kushida wrenches but Ospreay rolls and kip-up, only for Kushida to again get the wrist.
Ospreay’s shoulders and neck are still badly hurt from his match with Marty Scurll, and it shows as he screams in pain. He still stands up and snapmares, and anticipates Kushida’s reversal to snapmare again. Kushida reverses again, so Ospreay snapmares again, but Kushida still gets back to the wristlock. Ospreay endures but Kushida backslides then rolls Ospreay to a chinlock. Ospreay endures as Kushida pulls back. They stand up, and Ospreay powers out. Kushida runs Ospreay over, then runs again, but Ospreay gets up and things speed up. Kushida hip tosses but Ospreay kips up and dropkicks. The dropkick misses but Ospreay avoids the kick to the arm. Ospreay rolls and handsprings, but Kushida hands off the headscissors to Red Shoes! Kushida then lines it up, and kicks Ospreay’s ribs!
Ospreay rolls out of the ring but Kushida pursues. Ospreay leads Kushida around the corners, then lurks behind a camera man. Kushida moves the camera man, and narrowly avoids Ospreay’s rolling kick, only to turn around into Ospreay’s boot! Ospreay takes tme to check his arms, then whips Kushida. Kushida reverses but Ospreay jumps the railing. Kushida runs over, but Ospreay forearms him away. Ospreay uses the railings to springboard, but he flies into Kushida’s armbar!
Ospreay endures, but it won’t matter if he taps because they’re outside the ring. Kushida holds on until Red Shoes counts him. He lets go at 4, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Kushida puts Ospreay back in the ring. Ospreay crawls to the other side but Kushida runs in and dropkicks him in the arm! Ospreay screams in pain, but Kushida keeps on him with a hammerlock against the mat. Kushida stands on then stomps the hammerlock, covers, TWO, into a short-arm scissors. Kushida pulls on the arm, but Ospreay resists. Ospreay moves it to a cover, TWO and Kushida keeps the scissors. But Ospreay uses his legs for the ropebreak, so Kushida lets him go. Fans applaud while Kushida backs off. Kushida brings Ospreay up but Ospreay hits back with body shots. Ospreay backs Kushida up but Kushida gives Ospreay a buckle shot! Ospreay gets out to the apron, and Red Shoes checks on him in regards to his neck and shoulders. Kushida walks over but Ospreay kicks at him from the mat.
Ospreay kicks, crawls, then kicks, but then Kushida is all over him with a facelock. Ospreay screams as Kushida shifts to a half camel clutch, and Ospreay comes within seconds of tapping, but Red Shoes has Kushida let go over concerns of a choke hold. Kushida stalks Ospreay to a corner, then snapmares him into a chinlock. Kushida wrenches Ospreay back, squeezing the neck. Ospreay gets up to his feet, then pries his way out enough to fight with back elbows. Ospreay runs, but into a chinlock. He snapmares Kushida off for his own chinlock, but Kushida reverses back into his chinlock. Ospreay endures again while fans rally. Kushida does a headstand to put more weight, then falls to put more torque. Kushida does it again, but Ospreay doesn’t quit.
They stand up again, and Ospreay fights out, but Kushida roundhouses the bad arm! Kushida whips but Ospreay manages a reversal. Kushida handsprings, but Ospreay evades and somehow manages his own handspring. Ospreay hits the handspring enziguri! Both men are down, but Kushida rolls out of the ring. Fans rally while Ospreay stands. Ospreay gets himself going, and manages the Sasuke Special!
The two collide and go down, but fans applaud. Red Shoes checks on them, and they both are okay to continue. Ospreay stands up first and brings Kushida into the ring. Fans applaud while Ospreay springboards and hits the flying clothesline. Cover, TWO! Ospreay’s shoulders still bother him, but he gets himself up again. He goes over to Kushida, dragon sleeper but Kushida turns it around into a cravat. Ospreay breaks free and roundhouse kicks Kushida in the chest. Kushida staggers to a corner, and Ospreay hits a running back elbow. Ospreay sweeps the legs then runs corner to corner for a BIG hesitation dropkick! Kushida rolls away, but Ospreay fires up, and hits a standing shooting star. TWO, and Ospreay grits his teeth as he works on his neck and shoulders.
Ospreay stands up and jams his shoulders, then calls for his standing finisher. He drags Kushida up and butterfly underhooks, but his shoulders just won’t let him. He clubs Kushida to keep him down, then tries again. Ospreay gets Kushida up but Kushida breaks free. Kushida swings, Ospreay catches him into a full nelson but Kushida breaks free again. Ospreay swings the hook kick but Kushida ducks, to PELE Ospreay in return! Kushida runs, but into the dropkick flip. Ospreay enziguris but Kushida ducks, so Ospreay slides under. Kushida copies that, then rolls Ospreay for the Hoverboard! Ospreay quickly waistlocks out of it, and German Suplexes Kushida down! Ospreay can’t keep the bridge with those bad shoulders, but both men are down as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ospreay gets to a corner. Red Shoes checks on him, but he won’t end this match here. Kushida also gets up, and fans rally for them both. Ospreay stands up, and he circles Kushida. He kicks Kushida in the chest, but Kushida dares him to do more. Ospreay kicks, then kicks again, but Kushida catches the leg, so Ospreay clubs away on Kushida’s back. He even peels of Kushida’s tap to kick and stomp and hammer away on it more. Ospreay runs but Kushida follows for the handspring rolling kick! Ospreay hangs halfway out of the ring, then slumps to the apron. Kushida joins Ospreay out there, and they stand up.
Both men teeter on the edge, and Kushida throws a forearm. Ospreay throws a forearm, but Kushida comes back with another. Ospreay forearms again but Kushida fires off several. Kushida backs up and runs over, but barely grabs the ropes in time to deny Ospreay the apron complete shot! They stand back up and Kushida elbows Ospreay. Ospreay elbows Kushida, then boots him off the apron. Kushida staggers, but then somersaults back to DDT Ospreay off the apron!!
Ospreay goes down but Kushida himself is down from exhaustion. Red Shoes checks on Ospreay, but somehow Ospreay is good to continue. Red Shoes starts the 20 count and it reaches 10 before Kushida sits up. It climbs past 15 when Kushida gets in, but Ospreay only just comes to. Ospreay hurries to his feet and into the ring at 19! Kushida springboards and huricanranas Ospreay down! Cover, TWO!! And Kushida can’t believe it. Kushida gets up and fires up, as do the fans. He drags Ospreay up and around to a cravat for stiff knees. Kushida kicks out the arm, then runs in again, but Ospreay throws the tilt-o-whirl and Kushida hits the mat!
Both Ospreay and Kushida are slow to get up, but Kushida is up first. Ospreay runs in for a helluva kick! Then he hoists Kushida up onto the top rope, and tucked in for Cheeky Nandos SUPERKICK. Ospreay gives another SUPERKICK, then a flurry of endless SUPERKICKS! Kushida slumps down to the mat, but Ospreay positions him before climbing up. Ospreay takes a moment to steady himself, then jumps for the Air Assassin imploding 450!
But he can’t make the cover right away, he’s too sore. Kushida saves himself with a ropebreak. Ospreay fires up and stands up, and waits for Kushida. Ospreay takes aim, and hits the Robinson Special! But Ospreay isn’t done there, as he gets up and springboards, but Kushida catches him into the Hoverboard! Kushida wrenches on that arm with the double wristlock, then again. Ospreay endures, reaches, but Kushida sits on him. Ospreay manages to slip out and gets a hand on the ropes, but Kushida rolls him away! The Hoverboard is on all over again, but Ospreay keeps fighting. Kushida stomps Ospreay’s head as he wrenches the arm. Ospreay refuses to give up, and works a new angle out of the hold. He reaches for ropes, but Kushida shifts and rolls, and goes for Back to the Future. Ospreay denies, dodges and runs for a blockbuster DDT!
Both men are down again, but fans rally for them. Ospreay and Kushida stir, and brawl with forearms on their knees. The KT tape comes off, and the forearms fly fast and furious! Both men slump down, but then Kushida springs up and eggs Ospreay on. They go again, on their feet, then Ospreay roundhouses. Ospreay kicks and kicks and kicks, but Kushida kicks and kicks and kicks back. They get forehead to forehead with angry trash talk, and start up the forearm fight all over again. Ospreay unleashes a strike fest then dodges the fastball, to go for the full nelson. Kushida breaks free, but the hook kick connects! Ospreay runs, but into the fastball! Kushida falls back from exhaustion, but then gets himself back up. Kushida works on his neck while Ospreay stirs on the mat.
Fans cheer as Kushida thinks of what else to do. Kushida drags Ospreay up just to stomp him out. Yet Ospreay grins?! And he flips Kushida off. So Kushida turns Ospreay over for more stomps! Kushida gives one big stomp, then runs in for a dropkick to the back! But Kushida keeps going, as he drags Ospreay up to the top rope with him. Kushida fisherman hooks, but Ospreay escapes, to springboard for a SUPER CUTTER!
But Ospreay isn’t done, he butterfly underhooks and lifts, into the Stormbreaker!!
Cover, Ospreay wins!
Winner: Ospreay, by pinfall; still IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion
Even with a bad neck and shoulders, the Aerial Assassin overcomes one of his greatest rivals. We go to break while both men are tended to.
NJPW on AXS returns once more.
Kushida is helped away while Ospreay stands back up. Chaos’ Aerial Assassin raises his belt, successful in his third defense.
But the lights dim, and “He is Back.” Bullet Club? Bone Soldier?! But wait, it’s Tama Tonga who comes out instead.
Tama Tonga heads to the ring, cutting Ospreay’s celebration short. Tama Tonga takes the mic, and says “Amazing…” He wants Ospreay to get up, but he’s really just distracting Ospreay from what’s creeping up behind! Bone Soldier IS here, and when Ospreay turns around to see him, he strikes! Bone Soldier, if this is THE Bone Soldier, beats Ospreay down then brings Ospreay up, for a suplex gutbuster!
Ospreay goes down and the crowd is silent as Tama Tonga tells him, “You been having a bit of luck” with the lightweights. Ospreay stepped over Kushida, and even The Bullet Club’s Villain, Marty Scurll. But that luck runs out. “There was an idea to bring somebody into this Club and turn that gold into diamonds.” Ladies and gentlemen, Bullet Club’s diamond: the NEW Bone Soldier, Taiji Ishimori!!
Ishimori drops the persona and reveals quite the “amazing” specimen! This is only the beginning of a new day for Bullet Club. Will the three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion take away the title from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion? Or can Ospreay recover and end the Bullet Club’s revival before it starts?
A great and practically infamous pair of moments were featured in this episode. LIJ wins, but it was all for the shock appearance of Chris Jericho. Jericho ups the personal heat with that attack, and I was really surprised by the amount of blood on Naito’s face. This Intercontinental Championship match will happen at Dominion 2018, literally tonight at Midnight PST for America, at least for those with NJPW World. If this were any other promotion, they might have made this match No Disqualifications, but NJPW can do a lot with just the standard rules. I’d say there’s no way Jericho would take that title given his relationship with other promotions, but who knows, NJPW could shock the world with a title change.
The Junior Heavyweight Championship of Ospreay VS Kushida, their sixth time facing off 1v1, is an instant classic given all the story between both each other and Ospreay’s neck issues. Ospreay guts it out just ahead of the Super Juniors, and what a time for the character of Bone Soldier to return, only to be unmasked as Taiji Ishimori of Pro-Wrestling Noah and Impact Wrestling fame. Ishimori has been champion in both those promotions as well as AAA Lucha Libre, but in present time we already know Ishimori loses to Hiromu Takahashi in the finals of the Super Juniors. Either way, Ishimori can still make his own run at the Junior Heavyweight Champion after Dominion, regardless of who holds the belt.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s Women of Wrestling Results & Report! (1/18/19)
Prepare to be wowed by WOW, the Women of Wrestling! Who will be the first to step up to the Super Woman, Santana Garrett, on the very first night?
- The Beast VS Stephy Slays; The Beast wins.
- Abilene Maverick VS Fire; Maverick wins.
- Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz; Eye Candy wins.
- WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl; Jungle Grrrl wins by count out, Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Welcome to WOW!
The Women of Wrestling return to television with this season premiere! And what better way to kick it off than with THE WOW World Champion, Santana Garrett! The real-life Wonder Woman hits the ring with a newly designed title belt, and Santana is so happy to be here in front of the fans. And she’s especially proud to have her father, “TNT” Keny G watching live and in person. Both daughter and father are emotional over this moment. They’ve been through a lot, and they’re both so thankful that he’s here to cheer on his baby girl. The fans are happy for them, but here comes someone to crash the party! It’s Tessa Blanchard!
The second generation “Born Legend” stares down Santana, and takes the mic. Santana has her dad here, huh? Isn’t that sweet? Tessa says Grandpa Blanchard ran over his territory back in the day, while stepdad Magnum TA is one of the most respected men in this industry. And let’s not forget Tessa’s own father, THE Tully Blanchard, is a WWE Hall of Famer and an original Four Horseman! Keny probably laced up Tully’s boots. Actually, no, Keny probably carried Tully’s bags. WOW booker David McLane tries to keep the peace, but Tessa says Santana should be the one carrying her bags! David says Tessa coming in here bragging about her family tree doesn’t give her the right to just interrupt proceedings. Tessa says she’s not out here just to brag, she’s out here to go after the WOW World Championship.
David says that to get a shot at the title, you have to earn your way up. You don’t get something just because of dad, stepdad and granddad were special. Tessa says that because of who her dad is, she might as well be handed that belt. David asks Tessa to please leave. Tessa has to work for a shot. That’s fine by Tessa, she doesn’t want any trouble. But she will let Santana know that both she and the belt are Tessa’s. Santana says that she doesn’t see any of Tessa’s dads here. So get to the back of the line, girlfriend! Tessa smiles and nods, she knows she’ll get her match. But with the title on the line in the very first episode, will it be Santana Garrett or former champion, Jungle Grrrl, that Tessa will be targeting in the coming weeks?
The Beast has issued an open challenge!
She knows she’s the biggest and the baddest Woman of Wrestling, and looks to prove her superiority. She dares any woman in the locker room to step up and prove her wrong. While watching backstage, The Governor’s Daughter, Abilene Maverick, took advantage. Maverick tricked Stephy Slays about match times, and Slays was just a lamb to the slaughter! Slays realized she was fooled, but didn’t want to be a coward. She jumped into the ring, only to get demolished! Tonight, Slays wishes to prove she’s not so easily crushed. She takes on The Beast again, will she get payback on both Beast and Maverick? Or will it be more of the same?
The Beast VS Stephy Slays!
The bell rings and they tie up! Beast throws Slays into a corner hard! Slays gets right up, though, and goes again. Beast waistlock tosses Slays around, then SPEARS Slays to a corner! She rams shoulder after shoulder into Slays, then forearms! The ref counts and Beast backs off at 4. Beast runs in again but Slays dodges! Slays goes up and leaps, but into a belly2belly! Beast thrashes Slays then drags her up by her hair. Beast puts Slays in a corner then whips corner to corner for a big corner clothesline! Fans duel as Beast lifts Slays easily. Beast walks around and throws Slays with a Fall Away Slam! Slays rolls to ropes but Beast is on her again with another toss. Beast stands on Slays for a cocky cover, TWO!! Slays survives and shocks The Beast!
The Beast boots Slays back down and grins. She runs in but Slays rolls her up, ONE! Slays dropkicks and staggers Beast! Slays runs in again, victory roll countered to the Air Raid Siren! Cover, TWO!! Beast was cocky again but now she’s frustrated. Beast stomps Slays around, then drags her up for forearms. She kicks Slays while she’s down, then grins again. The sadistic specimen whips Slays corner to corner for another clothesline, then throws Slays with a gut wrench suplex! Beast grins as Slays slowly stands. Beast grabs Slays for a suplex, and slam! Cover, but Beast lets Slays up this time! Beast wants to make Slays pay for lasting this long, and she drags Slays up for a Beast Bomb!! Cover, Beast wins!
Winners: The Beast, by pinfall
Dominant for the second time against Slays, The Beast looks to be rolling on towards the title! Will she be the one to challenge the winner of tonight’s main event?
The Beast takes to the mic.
“I’m the biggest. I’m the baddest.” And she is THE BEAST! She roars in victory, will anyone ever come close to making a dent in her?
“My mom grew up in Georgia, my dad grew up in Mississippi, so I’m Southern Blood.” Fire was brought up in a strict upbringing, and she was a gifted student so there was a lot of pressure put on her to succeed. When she entered middle school, she went “off track”, and no one around her understood why. Fire was bullied for being smart, to the point of death threats. Wrestling was her way to feel stronger. Through wrestling, she realized anything was possible, like she could escape this reality. Fire steps up for who she really is, and for what she who to be. “If you want it enough, if you fight for it enough, there is no stopping you.” There is no stopping Fire now, will she blaze a trail to the title?
Abilene Maverick VS Fire!
The Governor’s Daughter shows off her new glittering robe as she makes her entrance, but we have a WOW debut for Fire tonight! Will Maverick be the first wrestler burned by Fire’s passion?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans fire up for Fire and she feeds off the energy. Maverick plugs her ears to ignore it all, and she pushes Fire down with a wristlock! Fire kips up and wrings Maverick out! Fire has an armlock but Maverick endures. Maverick rolls and scoop slams Fire fast! Fire gets up fast, and the two circle again. They tie up and Fire pushes Maverick back. Fire whips but Maverick reverses, only for Fire to slide under and hit a big dropkick! Maverick is reeling as Fire runs corner to corner for a splash! Fire keeps moving but misses this time. Maverick misses and Fire gets a waistlock. Maverick pries free to reel Fire in for a shoulder! She throws Fire down by her hair, then drags Fire up for a big back suplex! Cover, ONE!
Maverick keeps her cool while Fire crawls. Fans rally but Maverick grabs Fire to throw her back down. Fans boo but Maverick soaks up their heat. Maverick kicks Fire while she’s down, then drags her up by her hair again. Fire hits back with forearms, and then kicks. Fire runs, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fire keeps on Maverick at the ropes with a whip, but Maverick reverses to a drop toehold. Maverick grins as she picks Fire up again. Maverick rams Fire’s face back into the mat! Fire crawls while the referee reprimands Maverick. Maverick hotshots Fire on the ropes, then drags her over for springboard knee drops! Maverick soaks in the heat again, then runs corner to corner for a big knee! She kicks and rolls Fire, to mule kick her down! Cover, TWO!
Maverick keeps her composure as Fire continues to survive. Fans rally up for Fire again as Maverick drags her up. Scoop, but Fire slips out to shove! Fire dodges and elbows Maverick down! Fire rallies with more elbows, then brings Maverick to a snapmare and mule kick of her own! Maverick crawls and Fire runs corner to corner, big clothesline! She keeps going, hip attack! Then side to side for the shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Maverick survives and Fire can’t believe it! But fans fire up for Fire again as she drags Maverick back up. Fire fishermans, and swings for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!? Maverick survives and Fire is in shock! Fire keeps going, powered by the fans. She drags Maverick up again, but Maverick knees low, for the draping DDT!! Cover, Maverick wins!
Winner: Abilene Maverick, by pinfall
The Governor’s Daughter may not be the fan’s favorite, but she’s still the winner. Will Abilene make her move towards the WOW World Championship?
Abilene Maverick spots Stephy Slays in the medical area.
Wow, poor Slays didn’t learn her lesson the first time. But then Maverick gets a taste of her own medicine as The All Natural pushes her out of the way. It seems there’s someone with a bigger attitude than even Maverick. Will Khloe Hurtz bring the pain tonight?
Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz!
Sugary sweet but ready to fight, Eye Candy will look to ruin #KhloeTime tonight. Will Candy leave the fans with a sugar high? Or will the All Natural leave Candy crushed?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Candy rolls Hurtz, TWO! Candy is all smiles as she and Hurtz go again. Hurtz kicks low then wrenches to reel Candy in. Candy ducks and hooks, backslide! TWO and the two turn sideways. Candy and Hurtz fight for control, Candy drop toeholds into a camel clutch! She tucks Hurtz in for a cover, TWO! Hurtz runs in but Candy blocks to a suplex! Fans fire up with Candy as she hits a back senton! Cover, TWO! Candy keeps her cool as she drags Hurtz up into a fireman’s carry. Candy hits a rolling senton, then climbs up top. Hurtz trips her up, and hits a draping backstabber! Hurtz whips Candy corner to corner but Candy cartwheels and comes back with forearms! Candy even headbutts before adding the hip attack!
Fans fire up with Candy as she climbs up again! Candy shimmies and shakes then hits a big missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hurtz survives and Candy can’t believe it! Hurtz’s Ring Rats grow concerned as Candy drags her back up. Fireman’s carry, but Hurts fights out again. Hurts fireman’s Candy, does some squats, then hits a Samoan Drop! Hurtz drops the leg! Cover, TWO! Candy survives and Hurtz can’t believe it! Hurtz drags Candy up and suplexes, but Candy resists. Candy hits back and wrenches to the fireman’s carry. Death Valley Driver! Candy drags Hurtz over, climbs up top, MOONSAULT! Cover, Candy wins!
Winner: Eye Candy, by pinfall
What a shocker! The sweet Eye Candy gets a big win on the series premiere! Will this shocker send Eye Candy all the way to WOW Championship contention?
The Voodoo Doll asks the WOW roster, “Would you like to know what The Siren has in store for you?” Let the cards tell your fate. The Devil: Siren is the change that is coming to Women of Wrestling’s landscape. The Five of Wands: currently, there is a power struggle in the locker room. But that top spot will soon belong to her. And finally, Death: Siren is the final transformation, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Siren has been to Hell and back, and has regained her power. She will sacrifice WOW to the darkness! Who will be the first?
WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl!
The Wonder Woman of Wrestling is just one of eight children in her family, but she and her father grew closer through wrestling. Keny G brought her into the fold, and now they’re both living a dream together! But she again faces the Alpha Female, the one and only woman to have yet to be pinned in a match! Jungle Grrrl became WOW World Champion, but ended up getting in over her head in a Triple Threat. Santana pinned The Beverly Hills Babe to win the title, shocking everyone. But now Santana must prove she can defeat Jungle Grrrl 1v1, can Santana prove she deserves to be champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fans are already fired up as the two circle and tie up. Santana waistlocks but JG standing switches. Santana headlocks then wrenches the wrist. JG rolls and reverses to her own wristlock, but Santana rolls and handsprings to reverse back. JG uses the ropes to flip through and wrench Santana back. Santana counters with another headlock, then a roll to a cover, TWO and JG gets Santana with a ghost pin! TWO, and Santana Oklahoma rolls! ONE and JG sweeps to a cover, ONE! The two stare down as fans fire up again. Santana and JG nod with respect as they circle again. They tie up and go for a test of strength. JG bends Santana back but Santana bridges. Santana comes back and rolls back to reverse the knuckle lock!
Santana throws an elbow while maintaining the grip. She whips but JG reverses to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! JG stalks Santana and scoops her up, for a Jungle Driver! Cover, TWO! Santana survives but JG keeps her cool. JG stomps Santana and heads for a corner. She climbs up to the top rope, familiar territory, and leaps for the Jungle Splash! But she flops! Santana hurries up but Tessa Blanchard appears! Tessa goes after Keny G’s oxygen! Santana rushes out at Tessa and a fight is on! Santana throws Tessa around and into the ring, but she wasn’t aware of a ring count! It hits 10, and Santana loses!!
Winner: Junger Grrrl, by ring out; Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship
Champion’s Advantage is the only thing that saves Santana’s reign, but she still got suckered by the Born Legend! And now Tessa brings the fight to Santana, with a Hammerlock DDT! But Jungle Grrrl gets back at Tessa with a Jungle Driver! Tessa screwed Jungle Grrrl over just as much as she did Santana, and now she has problems. But wait, The Beast goes after Jungle Grrrl! These top predators are face to face but referees hurry to keep them apart. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but TV time is running out just as things are getting wild! Will Tessa pay for her interference? Will The Beast replace Jungle Grrrl as the Alpha Woman of Wrestling?
Apparently, this isn’t the beginning of the Women of Wrestling’s history. They’ve been around for a long time, trying in 2000 but fading away, until being revived in mid-2012. But even if this wasn’t the true beginning, this was a good beginning for their AXS TV run. There’s a lot of backstory to get caught up on, but it would seem they made sure to give us those needed recap packages so new viewers aren’t too lost. Many of these alter egos and their elaborate packages make me feel like WOW is an all women’s version of Lucha Underground, which is known for having many wrestlers come up with alternate characters to fit their universe. And there are even shared talents between WOW and LU, such as Shaul Guerrero and Kobra Moon.
As such, the story behind The Beast VS Stephy Slays rematch was made rather clear. It was a good match and Slays got to show plenty of heart, but obviously heart alone isn’t enough. The Beast wins to establish herself as the monster Heel to new viewers. And with Abilene Maverick (Callee Wilkerson) picking on her, that seems like a story going forward. Maverick VS Fire (Taylor Lewis) was also a solid match, and Maverick won to help towards that story with Slays. Eye Candy (Willow Nightingale) VS Khloe Hurtz (Katie Forbes) was decent, and Candy wins mostly so that it isn’t all Heels winning. There are WOW World Tag Team Championships, but they’ve been vacated for years, so I’m wondering if any teams will form out of these midcard stories to give us more action with that.
The main event was pretty good, just not as a match. First, I wouldn’t announce time limits when we know the show is only an hour, it just seems like a waste. Second, Santana VS Jungle Grrrl really only got going when Tessa came out to Heel it up. Third, that 10 count was probably the fastest 10 count I’ve ever seen. But the brawl between Tessa and Santana, and then the impending brawl between The Beast and Jungle Grrrl just managed to salvage things. We have our stories going forward, and at the very least, I wasn’t bored to sleep. There are some things that need work, and this was a rather tough time to move into the television wrestling sphere, but this isn’t a bad program to give a fair shake.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Wrestle Kingdom 13 Results, Part 3!
NJPW and AXS wrap up Wrestle Kingdom 13 with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship! Will Kushida be able to deny The Bone Soldier, Taiji Ishimori?
This coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 13 will be as AXS TV broadcasts it.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet: Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Toru Yano win and will challenge Taiji Ishimori & The Guerrillas of Destiny for the titles at New Year’s Dash.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori; Ishimori wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this year’s spectacular event!
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship had a rocky 2018. The Ticking Time-Bomb, Hiromu Takahashi, had only just won the belt off of Will Ospreay, and moved on to defend it against fierce CMLL rival, Dragon Lee, at the G1 Special in San Francisco. Hiromu won but was badly injured from that fight, and so a tournament between the four previous title holders was held! Kushida defeated Bushi while Marty Scurll again got the better of Will Ospreay. And in the tournament finals, Kushida would defeat The Villain to become a six-time champion. Meanwhile, The Bone Soldier would be resurrected as Taiji Ishimori joined Bullet Club! Ishimori was a Super Junior finalist, but missed out on his chance at the title. Now he gets his chance to have the title for his own, can he throw down the Time Splitter?
However, Ishimori’s focus might be split, as he is also one third of the current NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions. Tonight, five top teams in the Six Man Tag Division will compete, and the last team standing moves on to New Year’s Dash to challenge Ishimori and the Guerrillas of Destiny! Who comes out on top aimed at the Bullet Club’s fiercest trio? That match, is now!
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet!
First out for this gauntlet are the Bullet Club Elite’s trio of Marty Scurll, Hangman Adam Page and Yujiro Takahashi! The Villain has his umbrella, Hangman has his rope and Tokyo Pimp has both cane and vivacious valet. Chase Owens also hangs around, for moral support. Their opponents are David Finlay, Jeff Cobb and Yuji Nagata! Will either of these teams be able to complete the gauntlet and make a run at New Year’s Dash?
The Bullet Club VS David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata!
The teams sort out and it’ll be Blue Justice starting against The Villain. Marty and Yuji circle and tie up, and Marty gets a waistlock. Yuji reverses but Marty rolls and spins to reverse back. Yuji gets a headlock takeover but Marty headscissors so Yuji pops out. The two stand off and fans applaud. They circle again, and Marty kicks low. Marty throws forearms but Yuji throws them back. Yuji runs but Marty dodges for the 52 Fake Out! Marty flaps his wings and runs, but Yuji dodges. Yuji fakes Marty out to dropkick! Yuji drags Marty up but Marty gets the fingers! Marty calls for silence, but Yuji breaks fre. Yuji sweeps the legs then ties them up for a deathlock! Marty crawls and gets the ropebreak! Yuji lets Marty go but grabs the legs again to tag to Cobb.
Cobb grabs Scurll but Scurll rakes the eyes! Scurll tags to Hangman, and both Hangman and Yujiro go after Yuji and Finlay! The Elite surround Cobb but Cobb fires off haymakers and chops on all of them! Cobb runs, but Yujiro drop toeholds. Scurll adds a basement dropkick and Hang,an hits the standing shooting star! Cobb rolls away while fans cheer The Elite on. Marty and Hangman run crisscross for a SUPERKICK to another shooting star! They take down Hawaiian Hulk and put him in the ring. Fans rally up as Yujiro keeps Cobb’s attention. Hangman slingshots for the Buckshot lariat! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps his cool as he goes to lift Cobb. He gets Cobb up but Cobb fights out, so Hangman forearms. Hangman kicks but is blocked into a Fall Away Slam!
Both men crawl for their corners, and fans rally as hot tags are made to Finlay and Yujiro! Finlay rallies on Tokyo Pimp with forearms. They start brawling with forearm after forearm back and forth, then Finlay European Uppercuts. Finlay kicks but Yujiro blocks that to throw him down, then adds a basement dropkick! Yujiro hits a Fisherman Buster, covers, but Yuji and Cobb break it! Scurll and Hangman throw them abck out and brawl on the outside. Yujiro lifts Finlay but Finlay slips out for a urenage backbreaker! Finlay fires up but Yujiro denies the cutter. Yujiro pushes Finlay to ropes and Chase swipes at Finlay’s feet! Finlay grabs Chase’s hair, but gets caught. Hangman runs in but gets Chase instead!
Yujiro gets mad at Hangman and shoves him, but Hangman shoves Yujiro back! Finlay rolls Yujiro up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES The Elite! Chase and Hangman start shoving and Scurll has to keep the peace. It seems the Bullet Club is still not fine, but the action rolls on! The third team is Chaos’ Hirooki Goto and the Best Friends, Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Hirooki Goto & Best Friends!
NJPW on AXS returns as Goto, Trent and Chuckie T enter the ring. And before the bell rings again, Goto and Best Friends attack! Cobb and Finlay are thrown out while the Fierce Warrior stays on Blue Justice! The bell does ring and Goto stomps away in the corner. Yuji hits back with forearm and now it’s a brawl! Yuji hits and runs but Goto follows to run him over! Goto drags Yuji back up for a lift but Yuji reverses to the Fujiwara Armbar! Best Friends save Goto but Finlay and Cobb return. Chuckie T dropkicks Cobb out but Finlay dropkicks him back. Trent runs in but to a kick. Finlay whips but Trent comes back with a shotgun knee!
Fans applaud as Trent slingshots at Cobb, but Cob turns it into a powerbomb lift! Trent gets to the apron and mule kicks Cobb, and then Chuckie FLIES onto Cobb and Finlay! The Kentucky Gentleman wipes them both out at the ramp, but then holds them back up, for Trent’s BIG Asai Moonsault! Back in the ring, Goto fights with Yuji. Yuji fires off kicks then whips. Goto reverses and redirects, to scoop Yuji into Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Goto keeps his cool as he stomps Yuji out. He bumps Yuji in the corner then tags in Chuckie. Chuckie stomps a mudhole into Yuji then walks it off. He comes back to snapmare Yuji for a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO! Chuckie tags to Trent and Best Friends work together with double whips, elbows, and a hug! And then double elbows!
Trent stomps Yuji before bringing him up for a CHOP! He trash talks and pie faces Yuji before another CHOP. Trent whips but Yuji reverses into the Fujiwara! Chuckie attacks to save Trent, but then Finlay goes after Chuckie. Chuckie throws Finlay out and puts Yuji in the corner. Trent hits a running chop, Chuckie hits a clothesline, then he feeds Yuji to Trent for a tornado DDT. But Yuji powers out and gets Chuckie with an exploder! Trent kicks and whips but Yuji reverses to an overhead suplex! Fans rally as Yuji crawls for his corner. Hot tags to Cobb and Goto! Cobb fires off chops and haymakers on Goto, then whips corner to corner. He runs in for a BIG back elbow, then runs back in. Goto boots, runs, but into the Athletic Plex! Cobb standing moonsaults! Cover, but Chuckie breaks it!
Yuji throws Chuckie out as Cobb focuses on Goto. Cobb lifts Goto but Goto fights out of the Olympic Slam to get a sleeper! Goto rolls Cobb to a pin but Yuji breaks it. Goto and Cobb collide with clotheslines, but neither falls. They try again, but still neither falls. Cobb combs back but Goto deflects and spins to clobber him with a clothesline! Both men are down but fans rally up. Tag to Chuckie and he goes at Cobb in a corner. Chuckie goes corner to corner for a back elbow, then whips. Cobb holds the ropes, breaks free but gets a mule kick. Trent runs in to hit a back elbow, then Best Friends fire up with a double whip. Cobb reverses to pull them into each other, then he gives both Best Friends a single leg suplex! Fans fire up for Cobb’s superhuman strength.
Cobb tags Finlay, and Finlay hits Best Friends with back elbows! He goes corner to corner again and again, then hops up to hit Chuckie with a flying uppercut! He runs in but into Chuckie’s knee! Chuckie hits the snap piledriver! Cover, but Yuji breaks it! Goto and Trent throw Cobb and Yuji out and brawl on the outside. Fans fire up as Chuckie climbs. Chuckie moonsaults but FLOPS! Finlay rolls him up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES Goto & Best Friends! An incredible roll already, but can Finlay, Cobb and Yuji keep it up? The fourth team is Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad and Minoru Suzuki himself!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad!
NJPW on AXS returns as The Meanest Man in the World leads Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer to the ring. And much like Chaos did, Suzuki-Gun strikes the moment they hit the ring! Things spill out of the ring and Suzuki keeps on Finlay at the bell. Yuji whips DBS to the barriers and quickly tags in! An old feud reignites as Blue Justice goes after Suzuki with kicks. He whips corner to corner but Suzuki boots him back. Suzuki and Yuji throw forearms, then Suzuki slaps! Yuji slaps, and now it’s a slap fight! Neither man slows down, but Yuji does stagger Suzuki. Suzuki escapes the exploder and goes for a guillotine! Then Suzuki shifts to an Octopus Stretch! Yuji slips out to hip toss and exploder! Cover, TWO!
Yuji keeps on Suzuki with a suplex, but Suzuki slips out to a sleeper hold. DBS tags in and throws forearms. He whips Yuji but Yuji dodges and fakes him out to dropkick the legs! Yuji tags to Cob and Cobb fires off on DBS! Cobb tries to lift but DBS fights out. DBS kicks away but Cobb grabs the leg. Cobb gets DBS in the Olympic Slam! Cobb moonsaults but misses! DBS hits Cobb with a BIG Back Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Suzuki and Yuji don’t stop brawling on the outside, and Yuji makes sure Suzuki doesn’t get away. Suzuki whips but Yuji reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Meanwhile, hot tags to Finlay and Archer! Finlay gets Archer with a Michinoku! Cover, TWO! DBS boots Finlay down, then KES hit Finlay with the Killer Bomb! Cover, Suzuki-Gun ELIMINATES Finlay, Cobb & Yuji!
The streak ends, and now we’re on to the fifth and final team! NJPW on AXS returns from break to reveal that it’ll be Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe! But they don’t even make it to the ring before Suzuki-Gun strikes!
Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad VS Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe!
Suzuki-Gun throw hands and then throw their opponents into barriers! The ref has no choice but to ring the bell, and things slowly make their way to ringside. Suzuki whips Taguchi at the camera and sound crews, then he gets in the faces of commentary just because they’re there! Suzuki goes back to Taguchi to take off the rugby helmet and throw it at Taguchi. He puts Taguchi in the ring while Archer keeps on Makabe and Yano. Suzuki grinds his foot into Taguchi, then intimidates the ref. Suzuki drags Taguchi up for forearms, and Taguchi staggers about. Tag to DBS and he whips Taguchi for a boot. DBS pumps up and runs, for a leg drop, brother! Cover, TWO! DBS drags Taguchi up and tags Archer.
KES mug Taguchi, then scoop him for a double slam! Archer kicks Taguchi around, then drags him up for clubbing forearms. Archer climbs and goes Old School on the Funky Weapon, tagging Suzuki in as he does. Suzuki looms over the sputtering Taguchi, but he taunts Makabe and Yano. Taguchi hits back but Suzuki eggs him on. Taguchi keeps hitting but Suzuki rocks him with a right. Suzuki whips then dodges the Funky Weapon itself. He whips but Taguchi reverses to finally hit that Funky Weapon! Tag to Makabe! The Unchained Gorilla runs at Suzuki for corner to corner clotheslines! Then he roars as he gives corner punches! He hits all ten then laughs as he lifts Suzuki. Suzuki knees back then whips, and hits a boot in the corner. Suzuki snapmares then Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up while Suzuki toys with Makabe. Makabe forearms but Suzuki gives it back. They keep going, forearm for forearm, back and forth. Makabe eggs Suzuki on, so Suzuki sneers as he winds up. Suzuki hits a HEAVY forearm and grins as Makabe staggers. Makabe stands and hits Suzuki back. Suzuki gives another heavy shot and Makabe again staggers. But Makabe starts grinning, and hits Suzuki again. Suzuki hits, Makabe hits, and the brawl is on. Makabe runs but into a kick. Suzuki runs, ducks, but gets the clothesline! Both men are down and fans fire up! Hot tags to DBS and Yano! YTR rallies on DBS with eye rakes. Yano looks to Taguchi for the call and Taguchi uses baseball signals! DBS headbutts Yano before the order completes!
DBS whips Yano corner to corner but misses. Yano runs corner to corner, to get the buckle pad! Taguchi gives another signals, and Yano understands. But Yano misses with the swing and DBS boots him down! Archer hits Taguchi, and then KES work together. Killer Hart Attack! Cover, TWO?! Archer argues with the referee but they just go again, high low! Cover, TWO!? Archer again argues with the referee, but KES try one more move. DBS lifts while Archer climbs, they hit Yano with a frog splash sidewalk slam! Cover, but Taguchi saves Yano! Archer swings on Taguchi but Taguchi dodges and runs! Funky Weapon is caught, but Makabe saves him. Suzuki and Makabe brawl again, but Suzuki follows to get Makabe in a sleeper! Then, Gotch Piledriver set up, but Funky Weapon saves Makabe!
Only for Suzuki to get the sleeper hold again! But Taguchi gives an extra bump to break free, then he runs to hit teh Funky Weapon again! Everyone’s down, but KES go after Yano again. They drag him up, Killer Bomb denied! Double low blow, denied! But double FUNKY WEAPON hits! DBS boots Taguchi but Makabe runs in. DBS stops him and KES double whip. Makabe breaks through for double clotheslines! Neither man falls so Yano makes sure to bump the ref. Taguchi intercepts Suzuki, double low blows! Archer thrown out, Yano rolls DBD, Yano and team win!!
Winners: Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Ryusuke Taguchi, Yano pinning; #1 contenders to the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships
The unlikeliest of trios wins it all! Suzuki is furious but all he can do is take it out on Young Lions. He grabs a chair and SMACKS away on them, then storms off to the back. Suzuki’s rage aside, will Taguchi, Makabe and Yano be able to pull off an upset against the Firing Squad? Is the New Year going to see new champions?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori!
The Time Splitter is a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but the new Bone Soldier is a three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Who will prove themselves to be THE top Junior Heavyweight tonight?
Introductions are made, and a little Kushida comes out? Doc Brown Taguchi comes out and powers up the flux capacitor. And… BAM! Kushida’s all grown up! Science fiction aside, the belt is raised and we begin! Kushida and Ishimori circle and feel it out. They tie up and Kushida gets the wristlock. Ishimori rolls and handsprings to reverses. Ishimori whips but Kushida reverses, only for Ishimori to handspring over him. Thigns speed up and Kushida kicks otu the arm! Kushida already has his target but Ishimori rakes the eyes! Ishimori runs but things speed up again, Kushida hip tosses and cartwheel dropkicks! Ishimori rolls to a corner but Kushida follows up with a dropkick to that arm! Kushida runs more, tilt-o-whirl but Ishimori pops out. Kushida tries again and goes for the Hoverboard! Ishimori blocks to get Kushida’s arm in a Labell Lock!
Kushida endures as Ishimori bends him back. He rolls but Ishimori rolls through to keep the lock on. Kushida endures more but Ishimori wrenches harder. Kushida crawls for ropes and reaches, ropebreak with a foot! Ishimori lets Kushida go and Kushida rolls out of the ring. Ishimori stomps Kushida at the corner, then goes after him in a corner. Kushida chops back, but Ishimori gives his own chop! Ishimori wrenches and whips corner to corner, but Kushida reverses! Ishimori Spider-Mans through the ropes, and slides under Kushida. He goes back out to shoulder and springboard to drop Kushida with a flying lariat! Ishimori takes a moment to flex while Kushida clutches his shoulder.
Ishimori stalks Kushida to the ropes, then drags him up. Kushida hits back with forearms to the abs but Ishimori hits back. Kushida kicks Ishimori hard in the leg! Ishimori runs in and deflects boots to kick Kushida in the back! Kushida is stuck on the ropes as Ishimori runs side to side, and hits the sliding German Suplex! Fans rally as Ishimori springboards, 450 splash! But Kushida evades enough to get the arm! Ishimori resists as Kushida pulls, but Kushida gets the armbar! Ishimori endures, flails and reaches. Things shift, and now Kushida uses the Labell Lock! Ishimori endures and pries his way out, but gets caught in a triangle! Kushida throws elbows in, but Ishimori deadlifts! Fireman’s carry, but Kushida goes for his Hoverboard again. Ishimori slips out, runs, tilt-o-whirl takedown back to the Labell!
Kushida rolls through, and kicks at the arm. Ishimori avoids the kick, then kicks back. Ishimori clubs Kushida, then whips him. Kushida handsprings, but onto an Electric Chair. Kushida spins but is blocked! Ishimori brings Kushida back up, shifts to Tombstone position, for a gutbuster drop! But Kushida catches the feet! He passes Ishimori to the ref, to kick out the arm! Fans fire up with Kushida while Ishimori clutches his bad arm. Kushida grits his teeth, runs side to side, big enziguri! He keeps going, rolling Ishimori through to the package, but Ishimori counters back to his gutbuster! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and Ishimori is too sore to be frustrated.
Both men stir but Ishimori stands first. Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhook, gutbuster! But Kushida makes it the Hoverboard! Kushida pulls on the double wristlock, but Ishimori moves around. Kushida rolls him and wrenches hard! Ishimori endures the twist in his arm, slips out the back, and rolls to fireman’s carry! Death Valley Driver!! But he’s too exhausted to cover! Both men stir and crawl again as fans rally. They get to opposite corners, and Ishimori runs in for a meteora! Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhoo, but Kushida rolls to hit Back to the Future! But he’s not done there, he wants the sequel! But Ishimori resists, pushes Kushida away, and knee triggers! FAST BALL! Kushida runs, but into double stomps!
Ishimori roars as he drags Kushida back up. He underhooks, BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Ishimori wins!!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Bone Soldier grabs his first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and now reigns over the division!
Taiji Ishimori’s backstage interview
“I managed to catch that slippery otter.” And now Belt-san is with him. This must be tearing Kushida up inside. But from now on, as the champion, Ishimori will raise the bar for the NJPW Junior Division. “It’s reborn!” How long will this rebirth of the Junior Heavyweight Championship last?
A pretty good last part to AXS TV’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom coverage. Of course, they kinda did things backwards. The first part was the big matches, the big finale with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, so readers technically should go backwards with part 3 first, then part 2, then finish with part 1. Either way, the entirety of Wrestle Kingdom 13 was great, even these two opening matches. The trios gauntlet was pretty good for having a couple teams that seemed slapped together. I was really surprised to see it was one of those slapped together teams winning. Toru Yano, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi are definitely a fun and funny trio, but I have no idea if they’ll be a match for Ishimori and Guerrillas of Destiny. Granted, Tama Tonga is trying to be a good guy, but on just pure ring skill, he, Loa and Ishimori should win.
And speaking of Ishimori, his match with Kushida was great. This match was so evenly booked that Ishimori came out as a slightly surprising winner. Just as I’d imagine this new Cutthroat Bullet Club keeping the trios titles, Ishimori will likely have the Junior Heavyweight Championship for some time. If Hiromu Takahashi makes a recovery and comeback, he’d be the only one right off the bat who could take the title in a rematch from their amazing Super Juniors match. And it could work for a Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon scenario, since LIJ has a lot of the other belts.
My Score: 8.4/10