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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Wrestling Dontaku 2018 Part 3!

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The big Spring event for NJPW

Wrestling Dontaku 2018 has its AXS TV finale as two of the best in NJPW fight for THE title, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! The Rainmaker has tied The Ace in successful title defenses at 10. Now Kazuchika Okada goes for the record, but can he keep Hiroshi Tanahashi from taking the title?

 

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

Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV review what led to this major match.

The magic number is 11. That’s because both Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi reached 11 successful defenses in their respective IWGP Heavyweight Championship reigns. However, The Ace, who vowed to “bring new life to NJPW”, feels a champion “should be super strong, almost disgustingly so.” But Okada was the one to stop his reign. Something about Okada reminded Tanahashi of himself in that 12th defense. Okada won and went on to have his own winning streak of 11 defenses. Tanahash has to admit Okada “reached another level”, and “has found a new passage as champion.” This is the Okada Era.

But Okada ran out of contenders, so Gedo dared anyone to step up. And that was Tanahashi’s moment. They’re tied, so Tanahashi vows to end Okada’s reign no matter what. “The situation was perfect.” Only Tanahashi could challenge in this moment. But Okada would point out Tanahashi’s cycle of injuries and returns. Tanahashi admits to that. But he will deliver for the fans. Okada agrees this match just makes sense. And both men want to be the champion. Will the Ace triumph with #Love&Energy? Or will Okada make it rain once again?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!

The Once in a Century Talent set the record, but the Rainmaker tied it. Both men stand at 11, and history hinges on this match! Will Okada make or will Tanahashi break the streak?

The belt is presented while we take a short break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and the match officially begins. The fans are already thunderous, cheering for The Ace. Tanahashi and Okada stare down, then approach. They feel it out, but Okada backs off. Okada comes back and they circle. They tie up, and Okada powers Tanahashi back step by step. They reach the ropes, and Okada honors the break. Tanahashi turns things around, swings but misses, and Okada goes for the chop, but stops just before the hit. He instead gives Tanahashi a pat on the shoulder, then backs off. Tanahashi and Okada circle again, then tie up again. Tanahashi gets the waistlock, but Okada reverses to an arm wrench, only for Tanahashi to do the same. Okada rolls, wrenches, but Tanahashi reverses again. Okada falls to a knee, Tanahashi shifts to a hammerlock. They stand, and Okada works for a way out.

Okada gets the hammerlock but Tanahashi turns it right back around. Tanahashi shifts to a headlock and grinds Okada to his knees. Okada works his way up and bearhugs back, but he can’t power out of the headlock. Tanahashi grinds more, but Okada pushes Tanahashi’s face now. Okada tries again, but still can’t escape Tanahashi’s hold. Fans rally and Okada stands. Tanahashi gets the headlock takeover, and Okada can’t get the headscissors counter. Tanahashi traps an arm, but Okada works with his other. They stand up again, and Okada pries off the hold, but Tanahashi powers him back in. Okada uses body shots now, and goes after the hold again. Okada gets out and puts it onto Tanahashi!

Tanahashi fights out and powers Okada off, but Okada runs him over. Okada poses then gets moving again, but things speed up. Okada wants his Rainmaker lariat now, but Tanahashi ducks and gets around. Tanahashi goes for a full nelson, but Okada fights out of the lift, only to run into an arm-drag. Okada headscissors but Tanahashi pops out, and roles reverse as Okada arm-drags and Tanahashi headscissors. Okada pops out, the two stand off, and fans applaud. Both men catch their breath and stand up. They circle again, and fans are still thunderous for Tanahashi. They tie up, Tanahashi gest the arm but Okada forearms and elbows him off. Okada whips but Tanahashi reverses, then blocks Okada’s kick. Tanahashi elbows the knee, then chop blocks it!

Tanahashi runs, but into the tilt-o-whirl. He slips out and dropkicks the knee, and Okada staggers to a corner. Tanahashi runs in, but misses the splash, and Okada puts him up top. Okada returns the favor and dropkicks Tanahashi down! Tanahashi holds onto the ropes to keep himself from hitting the floor. He skins the cat, but Okada is there, and looks to turn that headscissors into the Tombstone. Tanahashi keeps grip of the ropes, so Okada turns him around for the draping DDT off the top rope! Tanahashi clutches his head while Okada sits up. Okada slides out of the ring, and walks around to bring Tanahashi out with him. Okada whips Tanahashi at the railings, then adds the boot! Tanahashi tumbles up and over, and Okada drags him back up. Okada drags Tanahashi up onto the railing and gives Tanahashi another draping DDT!

Tanahashi hits the floor mats, and Red Shoes checks on him. Tanahashi is okay to continue, so Okada rolls into the ring to wait for him. The 20 count begins, and reaches 7 before Tanahashi stirs. Tanahashi stands up at 14 to get in at 15. Fans applaud, but Okada is on him again. Okada drags Tanahashi up, snapmare and running dropkick! Okada stands on Tanahashi to pose, riding the line of confident and cocky. He lets up, and Tanahashi slowly stands. Tanahashi hits with forearms, but Okada eggs him on. Tanahashi throws more and more, but Okada drops him with a European Uppercut. Okada checks his teeth, then goes back to Tanahashi. He brings Tanahashi up and bumps him off buckle pads.

Okada gives forearms, then dares Tanahashi to hit back. Tanahashi does, and his forearms back Okada down now. Okada boots, Tanahashi punches, then Okada clubs Tanahashi down. Tanahashi sits in a corner, and Okada stomps a mudhole into him. Okada drags Tanahashi up, then snapmares him into a chinlock. He traps an arm, but Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi powers up as fans rally for him, and he fights his way up and out. Okada grinds in a knee and brings Tanahashi down for a chinbar. Tanahashi endures the wrenching and twisting of his neck, but Okada shifts back to the chinlock. Tanahashi stands up and fights out. Okada clubs Tanahashi again, then turns him around, but Tanahashi grabs Okada to bring him around, for Tanahashi’s neckbreaker! Fans cheer while both men stir and we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and both men stand up. Tanahashi throws forearms, then ducks Okada’s to throw more. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only for Tanahashi to knock him down with a leaping forearm! Tanahashi stands and dropkicks Okada in the corner. He whips Okada corner to corner but Okada reverses, but Tanahashi dropkicks his leg out! Tanahashi stands first, then runs, but Okada ducks and speeds up to run him over with a back elbow. Okada catches his breath and checks on his leg while Tanahashi stands. Okada whips Tanahashi corner to corner and back elbows, then kicks to DDT. Cover, TWO, but barely.

Okada keeps his cool, and brings Tanahashi back up. He scoop slams, then goes up top. He takes aim, but has to jump over Tanahashi. Tanahashi dodges in the corner then runs back, but into Okada’s Alabama lift. Tanahashi flails, but Okada still gives him the reverse neckbreaker! Okada bring Tanahashi back up, scoops him and slams him again, then goes back up top. He really wants this move, and leaps for the flying elbow! Okada hits, but he doesn’t cover. Okada poses for the Raimaker, but Tanahashi gets up in his face. Tanahashi kicks, Okada blocks, but then Okada kicks and Tanahashi blocks. Tanahashi dragon screws the leg! Okada slips out of the ring, hobbling even. Tanahashi runs, goes to the top rope, and LEAPS!

The High Fly Flow crossbody wipes Okada out and fans are fired up! Tanahashi gets up first, and brings Okada up for a forearm. He then has people clear out, and runs at Okada, but into a tilt-o-whirl and the TOMBSTONE! Both men are down, but Red Shoes checks on Tanahashi with concern for his head and neck. Fans are also concerned for the two men’s well-being. The 20 count begins, and reaches 15 before either man stirs! Okada gets in at 17, then Tanahashi springs to life to beat it at 19.5! The match continues, but both men are tired and sore.

Both men slowly stir as fans rally up. Okada and Tanahashi crawl towards each other, grinding forehead to forehead before throwing forearms. Each shot takes a lot to give, and a lot to take. Okada hits, Tanahashi hits, repeat. Tanahashi stands and hits Okada, but Okada stands to give one back. Tanahashi hits again, then Okada hits again, repeat. Okada staggers, and gives a European Uppercut. Tanahashi staggers, so Okada gives him another, and another. Tanahashi drops to the mat, and Okada wants him to get up again. Fans rally for Tanahashi as well while Red Shoes checks on him. Okada toys with Tanahashi as The Ace tries to stand. Tanahashi gets up, and throws furios forearms! Okada gives them back and they go back and forth, again and again.

Okada staggers, gets up, gives a shot but then Tanahashi staggers him again. Tanahashi fires off and tops it off with a EuroUpper of his own! Tanahashi kicks Okada around, toying with him now. He brings Okada up, whips but Okada reverses. Tanahashi holds the ropes to avoid the dropkick, then runs, Okada goes for the flapjack but Tanahashi clubs out to hit the swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi runs, and hits the Slingblade! Cover, TWO! But Tanahashi won’t slow down! Tanahashi climbs up top, takes aim, HIGH FLY– FLOP! Okada narrowly avoids the splash, and we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Okada gets up first this time. He stalks Okada, and dropkicks him in the back. He brings Tanahashi up, whips, and dropkicks him again. But Okada won’t stop there, he brings Tanahashi up. Okada swings him out, but Tanahashi counters the Rainmaker with a Slingblade!

Tanahashi can’t get to the cover, he’s too sore. Okada himself is dazed, but fans are thunderous. Red Shoes checks on both men, but they’re okay to continue. Tanahashi and Okada stir while Gedo drums the apron. Gedo coaches Okada up, but Okada can barely move. Okada and Tanahashi slowly move towards each other, and slowly get back up. Okada scoops, he wants the Tombstone again but Tanahashi resists. Tanahashi holds onto Okada’s leg to deny the lift. Tanahashi lifts Okada! But he can’t hold Okada up as Okada counters. Okada gets Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi fights out and puts Okada in a corner. Tanahashi turns around, but Okada blasts him down with a dropkick!

Okada grins as he crawls over to Tanahashi. He brings Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi gut wrenches! Tanahashi staggers, readjusts, and gives Okada the Tombstone! But no cover as Tanahashi turns Okada onto his belly, to then climb up top! Tanahashi aims, and High Fly Flow to the back! He turns Okada back over, climbs up again, and High Fly Flow but into knees! Both men are down again, but the fans haven’t slowed down at all. Okada crawls after Tanahashi, and they both stand up. Okada goes for but Tanahshi dodges. Tanahashi swings but Okada gets around, German Suplex with bridge! ONE?! And Tanahashi is all fired up! He swings on Okada, but Okada gets around. Okada swings Tanahashi out, but Tanahashi ducks, Snap Dragon Suplex!

Tanahashi keeps going, but runs into the dropkick, yet stands right back up to Slingblade Okada again! Both men are down again, exhausted, sore and maybe even dazed. Tanahashi sits up first, and gets himself to the corner. He climbs up again, but Okada stands. Tanahashi leaps, but Okada dropkicks the crossbody out of the sky! Tanahashi rolls around from the impact while Okada stands and roars. Okada drags Tanahashi up, swings him out, but Tanahashi ducks. Tanahashi swings Okada out and steals the Rainmaker! Cover, ONE! Okada won’t be beat by his own move. Okada drags himself to the ropes but the fans rally for Tanahashi. Tanahashi and Okada stand, and Tanahashi SLAPS Okada.

Okada comes back but gets another strong strike. Tanahashi gives Okada another, and another. Okada staggers, but he still comes back for more. Tanahashi clubs and slaps Okada, then drags Okada up. Okada grabs him, swings him out, but Tanahashi slaps the Rainmaker away. Okada keeps hold of the wrist, though, and tries again, but Tanahashi just slaps him again. The grip still stays, so Tanahashi slaps hima gain! That gets Okada to let go. Tanahashi gets himself going again, but Okada reels him in, swings him out, RAINMAKER!!

Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

IT HAS HAPPENED! Okada makes history with this twelfth successful defense! NJPW history was made in the most epic fashion it could be. Both men need ice, the common denominator of this match. Tanahashi is helped up while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more.

The champion stands, and is presented with the winner card to commemorate his achievement, as well as the belt he fought so hard to keep. Gedo helps Okada put it on while Tanahashi is helped to the back. Red Shoes raises Okada’s hand, and the fans applaud. Gedo takes the mic to speak. “As expected, Okada cruised to a new record.” However, this was just another box to check off for him. No one can stop Okada, “Not now, not ever!” Why is that? “Beeeecause he’s on a whole ‘nother level!” To close out Wrestling Dontaku 2018, Gedo shall pass the mic to the “utterly flawless IWGP Heavyweight Champion”, The Rainmaker, Okada himself.

Okada speaks, saying “I wanna say three things.” First: however you address Hiroshi Tanahashi, “he is tough.” Second: Okada did it. 12 in a row! Though he admits, he doesn’t really care about setting records, he just wants to be the best IWGP champion he can. Third: There isn’t a third. Well, that’s what he wishes he could say. But in regards to his next challenger, seems no one is stepping up. “I guess they’re all afraid.” From Marufuji to Kenny Omega to Minoru Suzuki to Shibata to Bad Luck Fale, a draw with Kenny, to Cody, to EVIL, to Naito, to Sanada, to ZSJ, to Tanahashi. Fans applaud for that impressive list. Okada remembers that draw, though. Yes, in Osaka-Jo Hall, it was a 60 minute draw. Fans sense where he’s going with this. “KENNY OMEGA!” And Kenny appears!

Kenny Omega heads to the ring to stand with Okada. Okada tells Omega that “I can’t settle for a draw in my title reign.” But they ran out of time last match. So let’s do it again, no draws, NO time limits! Fans like the sound of that. Omega picks up the mic and says, “I think we can do even better than that, Kazuchika. How about a best of three match?” Okada’s response: “No time limits, best of three. I like it, that sounds fun!” And they’ll use it to finish what they started in Osaka-Jo. The match is set, and Omega takes his leave, ready to prepare.

As for Okada, he is excited for victory number 13. Then 14, 15, and so on past 100. He will then return here as champion, and once again, MAKE IT RAIN!! Okada soaks in the spotlight as his confetti rains down. Will Okada add on to his historic reign? Or will 13 be bad luck when going against The Cleaner?

 

Backstage interviews.

Tanahashi admits he lost when it counted. But he won’t give up. He vows to become stronger, with tears in his eyes. “The best version of me is yet to come!”

Okada admits that while he said he doesn’t care, he wondered if he’d feel something about breaking the record. He won, but it just felt like any other defense. Though he must also again acknowledge that Tanahashi is tough. Okada is glad he won.

Omega thanks his fans for supporting him, but the journey is not over. The biggest, most difficult match is coming, but “we always make magic at Dominion.” Omega and Okada will bring the best out of each other. “See you there. Good-bye, and good-night, BANG.” The Cleaner, the Rainmaker, one more time. Will Omega finally take the title for his own?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Truly amazing action here with just one match. As noted by commentary, NJPW built itself back up by putting themselves on Tanahashi’s back, and obviously that succeeded. Then NJPW has built Okada up organically, and Okada himself puts his all into his matches to earn that push. And it all makes sense in both kayfabe and business to put the two historically best against each other to more or less pass that torch and come full circle. Okada being the record setter is great, and then upping the ante with the Okada-Omega rematch in Best of Three Falls is more than fitting. Nothing else would’ve been good enough for Dominion 2018, or for Omega to take that belt. [Highlight for Spoilers]

My Score: 9/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament Coverage! (2/28/21)

The finals are so close, we can almost taste it!

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AEW Women's Title Tournament

AEW is closing in on a Women’s Championship Contender!

AEW Revolution is only one week away and Hikaru Shida still awaits a challenger! Who takes that pivotal step closer to her championship?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Woman Tag: Hikaru Shida, Rin Kadokura & Mei Suruga VS Emi Sakura, Maki Itoh & Veny; Shida, Kadokura & Suruga win.
  • Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, Japanese Finals: Yuka Sakazaki VS Ryo Mizunami; Mizunami wins and advances.
  • Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, US Bracket Semifinal: Thunder Rosa VS Riho; Rosa wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Woman Tag: Hikaru Shida, Rin Kadokura & Mei Suruga VS Emi Sakura, Maki Itoh & Veny!

The Full Metal Warrior jumps into the action alongside #Marvelous and the Biggest Smile in the World to take on the Queen of Wrestling, the Fallen Idol and the Genderless Artist! But will Mei be able to fight properly when Emi-sensei is on the other side of the ring?

Shida and her team offer handshakes, but no one from the other side accepts. And then Maki, Emi and Veny ambush Shida’s team! They knock Mei and Rin out and then mug Shida 3v1! Emi underhooks and Veny helps out, ASSISTED FACEBUSTER! Maki fires up that iron head but Shida avoids the Kokeshi! Shida clubs Maki, bumps her off buckles, and whips her corner to corner. Maki reverses, runs in, and back body blocks! Maki fires up and then runs back in, to climb up. Maki asks, “Who is the cutest in the world? Itoh-chan, desu~!” Maki rains down fists and fires up, but Shida carries her off the corner! Maki fights free and fires off forearms, but Shida pie faces her!

Maki and Shida glare, and Maki fires off more forearms! Shida DECKS Maki with one! Maki gets mad now! She bumps her iron head off buckles, and HEADBUTTS Shida! Maki roars, tells Shida BLEH~, then runs, into a GAMANGIRI! Maki’s head is iron but her face is fragile! Maki tags in Emi, and Rin tags in to clobber her! Rin rallies, pushes Emi down, then hits a DOUBLE STOMP! Emi staggers up into Rin’s shotgun dropkick! Rin goes corner to corner CANNONBALL! Rin drags Emi up, wrenches and wristlocks to then crucifix, but Emi fights free to give Rin BACKBREAKER! And then the BUTTERFLY BACKBREAKER!

Tag to Veny, and Veny kicks Rin around. Veny toys with Rin, gives more kicks, and drags Rin up. Rin throws a forearm but Veny brushes that off. Rin forearms over an dover and over, but Veny just SLAPS Rin down! Veny runs, but Mei trips Veny up! Mei is learning much from Emi-sensei! Rin basement dropkicks Veny against ropes! Rin climbs, Veny stands, missile dropkick knocks Veny down! But Veny rolls through and comes back with a SHOTGUN BOOT! Veny hoists Rin up, blocks the rana counter, but Rin slips out to NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Veny narrowly escapes but Rin SUPERKICKS! Rin runs, SATELLITE DDT!

Rin and Veny crawl, Mei pushes Shida away to take the hot tag! Mei springboard STOMPS Veny down! Mei full nelsons to the CATTLE MUTILATION! Mei has a high bridge, but Veny gets the ropebreak with a foot! Mei lets Veny go to bring Veny up and whip. Veny reverses, runs in, but Mei boots Veny away! Mei goes up, leaps, but Veny catches Mei and pops her around, only for Mei to wheelbarrow! Veny blocks the victory roll, drags Mei back up, FACEBUSTER! Veny LIONSAULTS, covers, TWO! Mei survives but Veny tags Emi in. Sensei now stomps student around! Emi sucker punches Shida and Rin then brings Mei around for a TOSS!

Mei flounders to a corner, Emi elbows Shida down, and then Emi goes back to Mei. Emi gets the legs, sings and the team echoes it. Emi reels Mei back as Maki sings it loud and proud for her! ROLLING ROMERO as Maki holds out the note! Maki runs and KOKESHIS the surfboard apart! Did she forget Emi was underneath Mei? Emi gets mad at Maki for it, but Maki gets mad at Emi for getting mat at her! Veny tags in to stop all that and then BLASTS Shida’s corner! Veny stands on Mei’s head, digs the heel in, and then drags Mei back up. Mei throws forearms but Veny blocks the suplex! Mei stomps Veny’s foot! And then scoops, only for Veny to scoop back and SLAM Mei down!

Veny drags Mei up, scoops her again and SLAMS her again! Splash down for the cover, TWO! Veny tags Maki, Maki stomps away on Mei. Maki puts Mei through ropes and pulls her back in a rope camel clutch! The ref reprimands, Maki holds on until 4, and then mockingly keeps counting to 8. And then Maki goes after Mei for more stretching! Maki CLUBS Mei on the back, Emi gets a cheap shot in, Maki throws Mei down to cover, TWO! Maki is on the camel clutch again, Rin attacks Maki! Maki ROCKS Rin, stomps Mei, and tags out to Emi. Emi DECKS Rin, hits Shida, and goes back to Mei to throw her down! Emi pulls WAY back on the camel clutch!

Mei endures, Emi pushes Mei away, and then drags her up. Mei breaks free to fake the chops and leg scissor roll Emi! TWO, Mei runs and hops onto Emi’s shoulders for a spinning sunset flip! Emi punches but Mei goes Matrix! Mei runs, Emi spins her to underhook, but Mei fights off the driver to ROCK Emi with a right! Mei reels Emi in, scoop and SLAM! Mei shows her sensei that she has power! Shida pushes Rin aside to tag in from Mei! Shida runs to KNEE Emi in the corner! Maki runs in but Shida scoops her and wedges her above Emi! Veny runs in, Shida kicks Veny and snap suplexes Veny into both Emi and Maki!

Shida sets Emi up on the apron and gets some space. Shida runs back in to KNEE Emi back in! Shida’s fired up and she gets in the ring. Emi stands, Shida runs and reverse wheelbarrows to sunset flip! KNEE DROPS! Cover, TWO! Shida goes to suplex but Emi claws her back! Emi runs, but Shida tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS back! Shida runs but into Emi’s tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Emi and Shida are forehead to forehead as former teacher and student are evenly matched! But then Mei and Veny get in to boot their respective opponents! Mei and Veny run, and they BOTH get tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS!

Shida and Emi go after each other again with forearms and CHOPS! Shida ROCKS Emi, Emi CHOPS back! They keep going back and forth, Shida gets the edge, and she hammers away on Emi! Shida fires up, reels Emi in, but Emi fights to the dragon sleeper, TWISTING REVERSE DDT! Emi sings, “We Will~, We Will~ Rock You!” Maki sings along as Emi runs in and BODY CHECKS Shida! Emi CHOPS and runs, but into Shida’s KNEE! Maki runs in and gives Shida a TORNADO DDT! But Rin SUPERKICKS Maki! Veny SUPERKICKS Rin! Mei fakes Veny out, springboards and SUPER PUNCHES!

Mei shouts to Shida-senpai! They work together on Emi-sensei, SUPER FOREHEAD POKE! Full nelson and… SUPER FOREHEAD POKE! Shida gives Mei a boost, and Mei hits a SPLASH! Shida brings Emi up to whip but Emi holds the ropes! Mei kicks Emi’s arm from the rope, and whips Emi, only for Emi to crisscross them up! Emi uses Mei to sunset flip Shida, and then she traps them both in some kind of double Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch! Mei tries to get free, Shida gets the ropebreak! Emi lets go, runs, and BODY CHECKS both of them!

Veny tags in and climbs up top! Veny ARIHARA MOONSAULTS Shida down! And then kips up! Veny swaggers about, slaps Shida and drags her up. Veny puts Shida in, drags her up, but Shida breaks free! Shida dodges a heel kick, Veny deflects the knee, Shida ducks another kick but Veny ducks the enziguri! Veny ripcord lariats but Shida dodges, only to run into the WINDMILL! Emi sets Shida up in a drop zone, VADER ELBOW! Veny goes up, MOONSAULT! Cover, Mei breaks it! Emi kicks Mei and Rin back out and Veny drags Shida up. Veny reels Shida in, fisherman but Shida fights out to roll up. Veny rolls through but Shida ROCKS Veny with that right!!

Shida suplexes, Veny slips out and Veny GERMAN SUPLEXES! Maki HEADBUTTS Shida into Veny’s lift, for a SIT-OUT BOMB! Cover, TWO!?! Shida survives and shocks Veny! Veny climbs up again, Rin intercepts with haymakers! Rin climbs up now, and hits a SUPER STEINER on Veny! Shida gets in as Veny goes to the apron. Shida drags Veny up to bump her off buckles! Shida dead lift SUPERPLEXES! And rolls through, to dead lift suplex! Cover, TWO!! TAMASHI!! Cover, but Maki and Emi break it! Maki and Emi intercept Rin and Mei, but Rin and Mei turn that around! Shida, Rin and Mei throw Emi, Maki and Veny into each other! Mei and Rin crisscross to dropkick Veny and Emi!

Shida drags Veny back up, suplexes, and hits a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!?! Shida is shocked by Veny’s toughness! Shida sits Veny up again, runs and hits the TAMASHI!! Cover, Team Shida wins!

Winners: Hikaru Shida, Rin Kadokura & Mei Suruga, by pinfall

The AEW Women’s World Champion finishes it off! Mei is so happy for her senpai, and the three stand tall. But Emi-sensei attacks! Mei and Rin go after Emi, shove her out, but Maki goes after them! Shida grabs Maki by her pigtails and bumps her off buckles! Shida throws Maki out hard, Emi stomps Maki?! Emi is upset that Maki failed, it seems. But again, Shida stands tall with her team! Will she be standing tall against whoever it is that faces her at Revolution?

 

Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, Japanese Finals: Yuka Sakazaki VS Ryo Mizunami!

This is it for the Magical Girl and Aneki! It’s win or go home, so who is heading to the overall tournament finals?!

Ryo again gets impatient with the ref and smacks him on the back again. The two shake hands to show there is sportsmanship. But Ryo’s handshake is so strong, Yuka falls to a knee! Ryo lets go, Yuka shakes her hand out, the bell rings, and the two circle. They tie up, Ryo powers Yuka right to ropes, but lets off as the ref calls for a break. Yuka composes herself again and circles with Ryo. They tie up, Yuka waistlocks, but Ryo pries free and wrenches to a wristlock. Yuka rolls, handsprings, wrenches again and has another wristlock. Ryo pretends to be worried but she body shots then wrenches through to a wristlock.

Ryo clubs away on Yuka’s arm, wrenches it more, and Yuka drops to her knees again. Yuka gets up but Ryo wrenches the wrist again. Yuka endures, Ryo lifts her up by that arm to then drop her down! Ryo keeps on the hand, Yuka fights back up, and Yuka runs to flip and wrangle Ryo down with a keylock! Ryo fights up, Yuka shifts to a facelock then chinlock. Ryo powers up, powers out, but Yuka dropkicks! But Ryo just fires up! Yuka is a bit put off by that, and tries another dropkick! Ryo still stays up! Yuka gets frustrated now and she runs, but Ryo dodges the dropkick to stomp Yuka down! Ryo clubs Yuka, whips her to a corner, but Yuka goes up and over!

Yuka gets around to waistlock, but Ryo elbows. Yuka avoids the elbows and pokes Ryo in the eye! Yuka giggles but Ryo reels her in! Ryo waistlocks but Yuka slips under to roll Ryo up, TWO! Yuka cradles, TWO! Another roll up, TWO! Yuka is frustrated but so is Ryo, and Ryo bails out. Ryo catches her breath but Yuka builds speed to WRECK Ryo with a dropkick! Yuka fires up, Ryo cools off, and Ryo takes her time returning. Yuka waits as Ryo gets in, and Yuka dropkicks the legs out! Yuka clubs away on Ryo, brings Ryo around, but can’t scoop Ryo up! Ryo scoop slams Yuka down! Ryo drags Yuka up, whips her to ropes, and runs her over with a shoulder!

Ryo drags Yuka back up, ROCKS her with a forearm, then scoop slams her again! LEG DROP! Cover, TWO! Ryo keeps cool as she drags Yuka back up. Ryo whips Yuka to a corner, Yuka dodges, and then Yuka runs back in to back elbow! Ryo catches Yuka to RAM her into the corner! Yuka falls but Ryo drags her up into a DEEP camel clutch! Yuka gets one arm free, reaches and gets the ropebreak! Ryo lets go fast, stomps Yuka, then drags her up again. Ryo CHOPS Yuka to a corner, CHOPS again, and then CHOPS and CHOPS and unleashes the machine gun CHOPS! Satoshi Kojima would be proud! Ryo fires up, does a dance, but Yuka ducks and the chop hits buckles!

Yuka kicks from below, but Ryo boots back! Ryo scoops, Yuka slips out and RANAS Ryo to a corner! Yuka runs to SHINING WIZARD! Yuka hops up, leaps, flying elbow! Ryo is down and Yuka brings her back up! Ryo resists the suplex, Yuka clubs her and rolls her to a CALF KILLER!! Ryo endures, reaches around, Yuka twists the foot, but Ryo gets a ropebreak with a hand! Yuka lets go, runs and hits a SLIDING LARIAT at the ropes! Yuka goes to the corner, goes up top, but cartwheels to avoid Ryo! Yuka runs, but into a POWERSLAM! Both women are down because of the bad leg, but Ryo fires up!

Ryo picks Yuka up, but Yuka wheelbarrows, only for Ryo to block the victory roll! WHEELBARROW GERMAN SUPLEX! Ryo runs and CLOBBERS Yuka at ropes! Then hits a ROUGH RYDER! Cover, TWO, but into the katagatami!! Yuka endures the head-and-arm, but Ryo squeezes tight! Yuka fights up, rolls back, and slips free to get Ryo for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Ryo endures and fights up, but she starts to fade! Yuka pulls even tighter, the ref checks on Ryo, but Ryo gets a second wind! Ryo powers up, dead lifts and POWERBOMBS Yuka down! Yuka flounders to a corner while Ryo catches her breath and fires herself up with slaps to her face!

Ryo runs and CLOBBERS Yuka! Yuka ROCKS Ryo, dodges, and ENZIGURIS! Ryo LARIATS right back!! Ryo fires up, Yuka sits up in a daze, and Ryo brings Yuka in for forearms from all sides! Ryo powers up but Yuka ROCKS her back! Yuka fires forearms from all sides, and ROCKS Ryo again! Yuka cravat rolls Ryo to KICK her down! SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ryo survives but Yuka puts her in a drop zone. Yuka goes to the apron, climbs the ropes, MAGICAL GIRL SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Ryo survives but Yuka keeps her focus. Yuka goes to the apron again, goes up the ropes again, and hits the MAGICAL GIRL 450, but has to bail out! Ryo catches Yuka for an URENAGE!!

Both women are down, the ref checks on them, but they’re stirring. Ryo fires herself up, she grabs Yuka’s hair, but Yuka grabs Ryo’s ears! Ryo HEADBUTTS Yuka in the chest! Torture rack and- VICTORY ROLL FROM YUKA! TWO, and Yuka RANAS to a cover, TWO!! Yuka runs, into a LARIAT! Cover, but Yuka rolls it over, TWO!! Ryo gets to a corner, runs and SPEARS Yuka! Then drags Yuka up to SHORT ARM LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! How did Yuka survive!?! Ryo won’t stop to worry about it, she drags Yuka up to fisherman and DRIVER!! Cover, Ryo wins!!

Winner: Ryo Mizunami, by pinfall (advances to the tournament finals)

And Aneki is heading to Dynamite this Wednesday! But will she be able to go from the Crossroads and to Revolution?

 

Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, US Bracket Semifinal: Thunder Rosa VS Riho!

Nyla Rose awaits an opponent for the US Bracket Finals! Will the former NWA Women’s World Champion take one step closer to one of her goals? Or will the inaugural AEW Women’s World Champion end up facing an old foe in the finals?

The bell rings, these two shake hands and then circle. They tie up as fans fire up, and they go around the ring with the collar ‘n’ elbow. Riho wrenches, Rosa wrenches back and then headlocks tight. Riho pries free, headlocks back and hits a takeover. Rosa headscissors, Riho kips out and fans cheer this opening exchange. The two circle, tie up, and Rosa trips Riho to get a facelock. Riho slips out of the facelock but so does Rosa. Rosa drags Riho up to then use a leg to hook Riho and bring her down. Riho fights out of the headscissor, rolls Rosa and runs. Rosa dodges, drops and hurdles, to arm-drag Riho! Riho arm-drags back! Rosa sweeps, covers, Riho goes Matrix to run and basement dropkick!

Fans fire up as Riho drags Rosa back up. Rosa kicks low, reels Riho in and snap suplexes! Una amiga, another snap suplex! Dos amiga, and then she hangs Riho out to dry on ropes! Rosa goes side to side to BOOT Riho down! Cover, TWO! Rosa sits Riho up to throw clubbing elbows, then bumps Riho off buckles. Rosa digs her boot in, lets off as the ref counts, and then CHOPS Riho down! Rosa digs her knee into Riho now, then drags Riho out to a cover, TWO! Rosa keeps cool and brings Riho up for a hanging neckbreaker! And another! Rosa reels Riho into a rack as she hooks a leg! Riho endures but Rosa THROWS Riho over her shoulder! Cover, TWO!

Rosa drags Riho up, bumps her off buckles, then goes corner to corner, only for Riho to dodge! Riho KNEES Rosa, runs and tilt-o-whirls to headscissor Rosa to ropes! Fans fire up, Riho dial sit up, 619 hits! Cover, TWO! Riho runs again, but Rosa catches the crossbody, only for Riho to SATELLITE DDT! Cover, TWO! Riho keeps close, drags Rosa up but Rosa hits back! Rosa EuroUppers, and hits another neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Rosa grows annoyed but she drags Riho around and stomps her. Rosa kicks but Riho just gets mad! Riho gets up and throws heavy forearms! Fans fire up as Rosa throws a heavy body shot and then a boot! Cover, TWO!

Rosa drags Riho around, hooks up a leg, and then goes after arms! It’s a full nelson STF! Riho endures, but Rosa SLAMS her down! Cover, TWO! Riho also gets a foot on the ropes for good measure, but Rosa pulls that away to cover again. TWO, and Rosa grows frustrated. Rosa snapmares Riho, clamps on a dragon sleeper, but Riho fights up! Fans rally, Riho gets up and throws shots to spin around, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rosa escapes and goes to a corner, but Riho goes to the opposite. Rosa runs in but Riho boots her away! Riho leaps for a FLYING RANA! Riho keeps moving, wheelbarrow, STOMP 182! Fans rally and duel as both women are down!

Riho goes to a corner, climbs up top, and leaps for a BIG crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Riho can’t believe how close that was! Riho drags Rosa up, reels her in, but Rosa blocks the Northern Lights! Rosa clubs away, RAMS Riho into the corner, RAMS her more, then runs corner to corner for an A-LIST LARIAT! And SWINGING METEORA! Rosa isn’t done, she hobbles and then comes back in, to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!!! Riho survives and Rosa can’t believe it! Rosa vows to end this, and she drags Riho up again. Rosa scoops, Riho fights out and full nelsons! Rosa elbows free of that, fireman’s carries Riho and spins, but Riho fights that, too! SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX!!

Fans fire up as Riho gets back up. Riho staggers but makes her way to a corner. Riho climbs but Rosa SHORYUKENS! Rosa climbs up, clubs Riho, but Riho throws body shots and a headbutt! Rosa is in a Tree of Woe, Riho adjusts, WOE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Rosa is still in this but Riho drags her up by her hair. Rosa throws body shots but Riho returns fire! They brawl with slapping palm strikes and heavy forearms! Rosa CHOPS, runs, but Riho CLOBBERS her at ropes! Riho runs but Rosa LARIATS! Cover, TWO!!! Rosa is losing her cool but Riho gets her with a victory roll! TWO, and Riho wheelbarrows again, but Rosa throws her off! Leg hook roll, cradle, ROSA WINS!!

Winner: Thunder Rosa, by pinfall (advances to the US Bracket Finals)

In a blink of an eye, this battle of former champions is over! But Thunder Rosa doesn’t have much time to rest, she’s up against the Native Beast on Monday’s last-minute special! Who makes it through to face Ryo Mizunami on Dynamite?


My Thoughts:

A very good, very fast hour and change for what ended up not being a B/R Live special. B/R Live went down, this ended up on YouTube where it should’ve been anyway, and here we are. The 3v3 was a pretty fun match, a lot of energy and chaos. I’m a little surprised they didn’t play up Mei being Emi’s current protégé, but I did appreciate that they played to the history between Shida and Emi, and likewise Mei being Shida’s “kouhai,” or “junior.” Everyone got to shine, Maki is again a very great character, but naturally Shida wins for her team. Shida needs momentum going into Revolution or else it’ll all be with her challenger.

The Japanese Bracket Final was a great match, though I’m a touch surprised that Ryo won. I suppose it makes some sense, she is a very strong opponent both physically and overall. She’s got a great character, and is a strong contender, but something tells me it’ll be the American finalist that goes to Revolution. Rosa VS Riho was great stuff, fast paced and Riho was not as clunky as last week. But in the end, Rosa wins, a little surprising to me as I thought we’d get a rematch of Riho VS Nyla Rose from over a year ago. Rosa’s story of the goals she’s after is still in play, but Rosa VS Nyla could go either way. Rosa or Nyla facing Shida at Revolution seem the more likely to me, and Nyla VS Shida in a rematch from Double or Nothing 2020 seems even likelier.

My Score: 8.4/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/28/21)

There’s gold in the Castle Attack!

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NJPW Castle Attack

Will there no longer be a NJPW Double Champion?

NJPW is not done in Osaka just yet! And Tetsuya Naito will never be done with the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, IF he can take it from Kota Ibushi! Will Naito deny the Golden Star God’s will to unify the belts?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The United Empire VS Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan; Kojima & Tenzan win.
  • Six Man Tag: Chaos VS Bullet Club; Chaos wins.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI; Guerrillas of Destiny win and retain the titles.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Great-O-Khan; Tanahashi wins and retains the title.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: BUSHI VS El Phantasmo VS El Desperado; Desperado wins and is the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Tetsuya Naito; Ibushi wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

The United Empire VS Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan!

Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb already defeated the King of Cozy and Ikari no Mogyu yesterday in a Six Man Tag, but it seems the war continues! With the Dominator getting ready to face The Ace, will the Assassin and Hawaiian Hulk win again?

The bell rings and the Empire attacks! They throw Tenzan and Kojima out, Ospreay is after Kojima with forearms and elbows while Cobb chokes Tenzan on railing! The Empire whips Tenzan and Kojima at each other and the two collide! Ospreay goes into the ring, Cobb sets Tenzan and Kojima up, but as Ospreay slingshots, Tenzan and Kojima fight free! Ospreay PLANCHAS Cobb! Kojima attacks Ospreay, Tenzan adds on, and they put Ospreay in the ring. Kojima and Tenzan start throwing forearms, Ospreay pinballs between them, and Kojima uses the Mongolian Chops! Kojima scoops and slams Ospreay, Tenzan runs and Kojima slingshots, elbow drop falling headbutt combo! Cover, TWO!

Kojima clubs and puts Ospreay in a corner. Kojima unleashes the machine gun CHOPS! Cobb runs in but Kojima adds him to the machine gun CHOPS! Cobb turns things around on Kojima, but Kojima dodges and Cobb CHOPS Ospreay! Kojima then puts Cobb back in the corner for more machine gun CHOPS! Kojima pushes Cobb out of the way and machine gun CHOPS Ospreay! Kojima whips Ospreay corner to corner, forearms, and fires up! Kojima climbs the corner but Cobb drags him off with a military press! But Kojima slips out to hit a DDT! Fans fire up as Kojima goes after Ospreay with haymakers and CHOPS! Kojima whips, Ospreay dodges to BOOT Tenzan!

Ospreay elbows Kojima then leaps for PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Tag to Cobb and the Empire drags Kojima up to double whip. Cobb runs Kojima over, sits him up, Ospreay Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Ospreay DECKS Tenzan while Cobb drags Kojima up. Cobb headbutts Kojima to a corner, CHOPS him now, and CHOPS, and CHOPS, and fires off his own machine gun CHOPS! Cobb whips corner to corner, runs in and forearm smashes! Cobb throws Kojima down, covers, TWO! Cobb drags Kojima up and throws a big forearm! Tag to Ospreay, Ospreay climbs and Cobb has Kojima on the ropes, for draping double stomps!

Ospreay runs to dropkick Tenzan off the apron, then he runs to drop knees on Kojima! Cover, TWO! Ospreay keeps his focus as he looms over Kojima. Fans rally up, Kojima throws body shots but Ospreay hits Kojima down low! Ospreay powerbomb lifts but Kojima fights out to COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans rally up! Kojima hurries for his corner, hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan runs Ospreay over, DECKS Cobb, and then fires up! Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but can’t so he kicks Ospreay and headbutts him to the corner. Tenzan regular CHOPS, whips corner to corner, then runs in to corner splash! Tenzan calls his shot, and he gets Ospreay up and over with a suplex! Cover, TWO!

Tenzan stomps Ospreay, headbutts him more, but Ospreay throws forearms. Tenzan forearms back, and the two go back and forth! Tenzan kicks low, wants to Mongolian but he hesitates. Ospreay mule kicks in that opening! Ospreay whips corner to corner, runs in but Tenzan puts him up and out! Ospreay ROCKS Tenzan with a forearm, springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Tag to Cobb and he runs corner to corner at Tenzan, for a LEAPING back elbow! Cobb reels Tenzan in but Tenzan fights off the back suplex. Tenzan headbutts but Cobb JABS! Cobb runs but Tenzan WINDMILLS!

Tag to Kojima and he DECKS Ospreay before bringing Cobb up. Kojima suplexes for a BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up with Kojima but Ospreay attacks from behind! Ospreay fires off forearms but Kojima swats him away! Kojima runs, Ospreay dodges and Cobb elbows Kojima at ropes! The Empire combines, tornado ENZIGURI! Cobb lifts Kojima up, RAMS him to a corner, and Ospreay DECKS Tenzan to then run side to side and BOOT Kojima! Ospreay feeds Kojima to Cobb’s ATHLETIC PLEX! Cover, but Tenzan breaks it! Fans fire up as Ospreay stomps Tenzan. Ospreay drags Tenzan up and Cobb gives him Mongolian Chops!

Cobb turns Tenzan around, Ospreay uses the Mongolian Chops! Back to Cobb for more Mongolian Chops! Ospreay and Cobb keep going back and forth hitting Tenzan with his old signature and Tenzan falls! Fans rally up for Tenzan but Ospreay slaps him around. Tenzan USES MONGOLIAN CHOPS! Isn’t he banned from doing that!? The ref doesn’t call a disqualification, though, because it isn’t outright illegal! Let’s just say Tenzan is “stealing” it from Great-O-Khan! Tenzan gives Mongolian Chops to Cobb over and over, until Cobb falls! Kojima gets in, he and Tenzan coordinate to double whip Cobb, then hit the 3D! Cover, but Ospreay breaks it!

Ospreay runs into Tenzan’s SIDE EFFECT! Kojima powers up the arm and runs at Cobb, but Cobb SUPERKICKS! Cobb scoops Kojima, for a TOUR- NO! Kojima slips out, and COZY LARIATS Cobb! Cover, Kojima & Tenzan win!!

Winners: Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall

If Ospreay & Cobb are the Empire, just call Kojima & Tenzan the Resistance! Will they continue to defy the United Empire and deny them their desire to take over NJPW? Or will the Dominator have something to say about Tenzan using those Mongolian Chops?

 

Six Man Tag: Chaos VS Bullet Club!

The Rainmaker, and Mr. KOPW 2021 beat the King of Darkness and Crown Jewel 1v1, but the Stone Pitbull was made to Breathe with the Switchblade! Will Tomohiro Ishii redeem himself against Jay White? Or will Kazuchika Okada and Toru Yano finally see that Everything Is Evil?

White wants Ishii to stay back while he shows off the muscles. Bullet Club then Low Sweets, and Ishii steps up. White is surprised he wants him again after losing yesterday. But White decides to start, just to tag out to Chase. White mockingly claps to rally fans, and Chase circles with Ishii. They tie up, Chase headlocks, Ishii powers out but Chase throws forearms. Chase fires off more forearms but Ishii doesn’t budge. Ishii swings, Chase dodges, and Chase collides with Ishii! Ishii’s ribs bother him, and White strikes! The ref reprimands but Evil gets in and he hits the Chaos corner! Chase and White stomp Ishii but the ref reprimands and White backs off.

Chase tags White, they mug Ishii, and then Yano gets in only for Chase to knock him down. White digs his boots into Ishii in a corner while Chase grinds Yano down in the other. Evil is after Okada on the outside while White and Chase whip Yano and Ishii. Yano and Ishii reverses, White and Chase collide! Ishii and Yano run White and Chase over! Okada whips Evil into railing! Ishii drags White up by his hair, CHOPS him to a corner, and then CHOPS him again! Ishii fires off forearms, the ref counts and Ishii lets off at 3. White rams into Ishii but Ishii tries to suplex. White knees low, whips Ishii but Ishii stops at the corner. Ishii whips, White reverses and Ishii hits the corner hard!

Gedo cheers while White drags Ishii up. Evil and Chase mug and stomp the other Chaos members, and then White throws Ishii out. White distracts the ref so that Gedo and Dick Togo can mug Ishii! Dick holds Ishii open so Gedo can mule kick him in the ribs! The ref sees Dick stomp Ishii and reprimands him. Dick backs off, Chase drags Ishii up and in for White, and White covers. ONE, but White covers again! TWO, and White tries again, TWO!! Bullet Club argues the count but White stomps Ishii back down. Only Gedo cheers as White tags Evil in. Fans rally for Ishii but Evil sits Ishii up. Ishii hits back with forearms but Evil scoops and slams him! Cocky cover, ONE!

Evil argues with the ref but then he stomps Ishii. Tag to Chase and Chase stomps Ishii before standing him up. Chase reels Ishii into a cobra twist! White mocks the fans rallying, and then the Bullet Club creates the cobra twist chain! Chaos protests but Bullet Club lets go before the ref sees. Chase tags White and they stop Ishii from getting away. They mug Ishii, but Ishii just gets mad! White rakes Ishii’s eyes, then tags Evil. Evil DECKS Okada and Yano, White digs his boots into Ishii, and then they both drag Ishii up. They mug Ishii, going after his ribs with forearms. Ishii boots White and elbows Evil away! Ishii runs White over, and drop toeholds Evil onto him!

Chase runs in but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up but Ishii clutches his bad ribs. Ishii crawls, and hot tags Yano! And Yano goes to the corner pad! That’s one undone, but Evil runs in! Yano dodges Evil, Evil stops himself from hitting bare buckles, and Yano tosses the pad to Dick! The ref argues with Dick but Evil kicks at Yano! Evil whips, Yano holds ropes, but Gedo swipes at him! The ref reprimands Gedo but Yano shoves Evil into him! Yano SLAPS Evil, then powers up with YTR, and dodges Evil’s ambush! Yano SLAPS Evil again, then whips him to the bare corner! Dick puts the pad back to save Evil!

Yano runs in, Evil dodges and Dick takes the pad away! Yano runs into bare buckles! Evil tags Chase and Chase stomps Yano. Chase throws a strike fest, runs, but Yano grabs hair! Chase breaks free, kicks low, and runs, into an atomic drop! Fans rally and Yano tags in Okada! Okada throws forearms on Chase, Chase kicks low and runs, but into Okada’s BOOT! Fans fire up and Okada reels Chase in for a gut wrench. Chase fights that, then bell claps and neckbreakers Okada down! Cover, TWO! Chase keeps his cool as he takes aim. BANG, and Chase reels Okada in. yano grabs Chase and throws him down! Evil runs Yano over, Ishii runs Evil over!

White bobs ‘n’ weaves with Ishii, reels him in, but Ishii goes to suplex! White slips out of that, wrenches, but has to duck Ishii’s clothesline! White throws a knee to the bad ribs! But Ishii still suplexes White! Ishii SWATS and ROCKS Chase, but Chase LARIATS! Chase JEWEL TRIGGERS Okada, but Okada avoids the Jewel Heist to put on the MONEY CLIP!! Chase is fading fast as Okada squeezes tight! Chase taps, Chaos wins!!

Winners: Chaos, by submission

The Rainmaker shoots down the Bullet Club and stands tall with his friends! But things are far from through between White and Ishii, will they battle again come the New Japan Cup? Will Okada rise up again and head back for the mountaintop?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI!

These two teams faced off in separate 1v1 matches and went 1-1! Now the tiebreaker is for the gold, and could go either way! Will GoD still reign? Or will Chaos #TurnItAllAround?

The introductions are made, the heavyweight tag titles are raised, GoD Low Sweets, but Chaos attacks them first!

Goto throws Loa out while Hashi is after Tama! Hashi elbows Tama, the bell rings, Goto and Hashi double whip. Goto kicks Tama, wrenches him down, and Hashi leap frogs to stomp Tama! Goto Penalty Kicks, Hashi mule kicks! Loa gets in, he gets double kicks and a double whip, for a double shoulder tackle! Then the hip toss senton! Fans cheer as Hashi goes out after Jado! Goto flanks Jado and they put him in the ring! Chaos hammers away on Jado’s back! Jado bails out, but GoD attacks Chaos back! Tama headbutts Hashi, Loa ROCKS Goto, and GoD whips Chaos, only for Goto to reverse! Loa runs Hashi over, Tama dodges Goto, and GoD double dropkick Goto out!

Loa drags Hashi up and reels him in for a POWERBOMB! The ref checks on Hashi, that bomb really rocked him! Loa toys with Hashi, doing the hand check like the ref would. The ref has Loa back off but Loa tags Tama in. Tama rains down hands on Hashi, then paces around. Fans rally for Hashi and Tama gets annoyed. Loa shouts for Hashi to show the fighting spirit! Tama drops an elbow! Hashi finally stirs, Tama drags Hashi up and fans rally again. Hashi fires forearms off on Tama! Tama hits low, headbutts hard and Hashi goes down. Tag to Loa, Tama stomps Hashi around and Loa slingshot sentons! Tama slingshot sentons, too, and Loa covers, TWO!

Fans fire up for Hashi and Loa mockingly applauds. Loa brings Hashi up but Hashi fires off forearms! Loa claps, eggs Hashi on, and Hashi throws more forearms. Loa ROCKS Hashi with one, then ROCKS him again! Loa still eggs Hashi on and he whips corner to corner. Hashi comes back but Loa leaps over the basement dropkick! Loa says he learned this tricks from last time! But Hashi still gets the spinning mule kick! Hashi crawls to hot tag Goto! Goto rallies on Loa with big shoulders and elbows. Loa blocks the hip toss, body shots and runs, but Goto follows to clothesline Loa down! Tama runs in but Goto kicks him to snap suplex him onto Loa! Goto drops an elbow! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally and Goto drags Loa up to fireman’s carry. Loa fights free, kicks low and knees to then enziguri! Goto staggers and Loa grins. Loa runs, Goto and Loa collide with clotheslines! Neither man falls and Loa eggs Goto on. They collide again with clotheslines, and they both egg each other on! Goto and Loa run, COLLIDE, and both men fall to the mat! Fans rally, both men head for their corners, hot tags to Tama and Hashi! Hashi rallies with elbows and shoulders, Tama reverses the whip but Hashi dodges to HEADHUNTER! Fans fire up with Hashi and he runs corner to corner, but Tama dodges!

Tama fires off fists, whips Hashi corner to corner, but Hashi comes back to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Hashi keeps his cool and he drags Tama up. Hashi reels Tama in, but Tama slips out of the bomb! Tama gets around to dragon sleeper and TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Hashi survives but Loa gets in. GoD drags Hashi up and they throw body shots, uppercuts, and the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Tama is frustrated but he and Loa drag Hashi back up again. Tama reels Hashi in, Hashi fights back, and he throws hands on them both! Loa gets around, GoD hits the BACK SUPLEX NECKBREAKER! Cover, but Goto breaks it!

Loa goes after Goto, Tama adds on, they give Goto GUERRILLA WARFARE! Jado calls for Magic Killer and GoD drags Hashi up. Fans rally, but GoD still hits MAGIC KILLER! Cover, TWO!?! Hashi survives and Tama can’t believe it! Jado calls for Super Bomb so Loa drags Hashi up. Loa RAMS Hashi into a corner, Tama runs in to leap but Hashi dodges the splash! Loa kicks Hashi, gets him up, but Hashi RANAS Loa away! Tama fireman’s carries Hashi for a FLAPJACK! Tama shouts, “Why don’t you just die, Hashi?!” Tama stomps away on Hashi, fans rally up but Tama and Loa coordinate. Loa and Tama climb opposite corners, Loa leaps for the FALLING HEADBUTT, but FLOPS when Hashi moves! And Goto shoves Tama off the top! Fans rally up, Hashi crawls over, and hot tags Goto in!

Goto fires up, and he hits a corner clothesline on Loa! Then one on Tama! Then on Loa! Back to Tama! Jado gets on the apron but Goto DECKS him! GoD goes after Goto together, and double whip him to ropes. But Goto DOUBLE LARIATS GoD first! Goto hits MURAMASA on Tama, to the BULLDOG! Cover, Loa breaks it! Hashi goes after Loa, whips him to a corner, and then runs in to clothesline! Hashi reels Loa in, Goto helps out, GOTO BUSTER! Tama staggers into a fireman’s carry but fights out! Hashi still SUPERKICKS Tama! Chaos coordinates, G Y R!! Cover, TWO!?! Tama survives but Goto keeps focus. Goto and Hashi drag Tama back up again and Goto dragon sleepers.

Hashi gets legs but Loa CHOPS and GERMAN SUPLEXES Hashi! Goto DECKS Loa but Tama DECKS Goto! Tama drags Goto up and reels him in. Loa helps out but Hashi returns the GERMAN SUPLEX! Tama SUPER PUNCHES Hashi, but Goto fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHIS Tama! Loa scoops Goto for a POWERSLAM! All four men are down and fans fire up! Jado coaches GoD while they and Chaos stir. Hashi and Loa rise first, and Hashi fires off forearms! Loa eggs Hashi on, Hashi hits more and more, but Loa ROCKS him with one! And ROCKS him and ROCKS him, but Hashi staggers about!

Loa says “I bring out the fighting spirit because you suck!” Hashi dodges his haymaker to BACKSTABBER! Hashi fires up, fans rally for him and Goto as Goto and Tama stagger to their feet. Goto runs corner to corner but Tama does, too! Goto denies Gun Stun, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights out! Tama shoves, Goto dodges, Tmama dodges and redirects but has to run from Goto! Goto follows, Tama dodges and hurdles, Goto spins but into a leaping facelock! Goto powers through to a fireman’s carry! Hashi SUPERKICKS, Goto POWERSLAMS!! Cover, TWO?!?! Tama survives!?!

Goto drags Tama back up, dragon sleepers, but Loa has a title belt! Hashi dodges that attack, throws Loa out, but Tama snapmares Goto! Jaod KENDO SMACKS and Tama GUN STUNS!! Cover, GoD wins!!

Winners: Guerrillas of Destiny, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Chaos forgot Jado is the insurance policy! But there’s nothing they can do about it now! GoD holds onto the gold, but will they make it through the Spring if Chaos came this close?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Great-O-Khan!

The Once in a Century Talent took this title off the Dragon, Shingo Takagi, in an epic battle! But now the Dominator wants to conquer the NEVER division in the name of the United Empire! Will Khan be able to trump the Ace with his iron hand?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and after Tanahashi shows off the muscles, the battle for dominance begins!

Fans rally already with “Let’s Go, Ace!” Tanahashi rushes Khan, Khan dodges and clamps on the claw, but Tanahashi slips free! Tanahashi full nelsons, Khan elbows free but Tanahashi blocks the boot! Khan clamps the claw on anyway, but Tanahashi breaks free again. Tanahashi dodges the Mongolian Chop and dropkicks a leg out! Fans cheer as Tanahashi watches Khan. Khan bails out, fans rally “Let’s Go, Ace!” but Khan taunts Yota Tsuji, the Young Lion Tanahashi has been mentoring. Tanahashi goes out to reinforce Tsuji and has him step aside. Khan sucker punches Tanahashi then whips Tanahashi into railing! And then Khan gives Tanahashi SNAKE EYES off the apron!

Khan stands on Tanahashi and mockingly asks what’s wrong. Fans still rally for Tanahashi as Khan drags him up and puts him in a full nelson. Khan is telling Tsuji to hit Tanahashi!? Tsuji seems tempted to make a name for himself, but Tanahashi fights free, only for Khan to RAM Tanahashi into the railing! Khan puts Tanahashi in, has a cocky cover, ONE! Fans rally for Tanahashi again but Khan drags Tanahashi around to dead lift him in a gut wrench. Khan carries Tanahashi around before hitting the gut wrench suplex! Cover, TWO! Khan grabs a leg and stomps the knee, to then get a standing kneebar!

Tanahashi endures, fights around, but Khan drags him from ropes for a proper KNEEBAR! Tanahashi manages to roll and get the ropebreak! Khan lets go at 4, paces about, and he drags Tanahashi up. Khan waistlocks and lifts Tanahashi to RAM him into the corner! Khan makes sure Tsuji watches as he sits on Tanahashi in the corner! The ref reprimands, Khan stands up at 4, but then grabs Tanahashi’s arms to pull them back! The ref counts again and Khan lets off at 4. Khan brings Tanahashi around to cover, TWO! Khan grows annoyed and he mocks the fans that clap, “Let’s Go, Ace!” Khan brings Tanahashi up but Tanahashi fires off forearms!

Tanahashi blocks the kick but Khan HELL STAB uppercuts! Khan drags Tanahashi up to knee low and whip to ropes. Tanahashi comes back with flying forearms! Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he throws forearms and body shots on Khan! Khan staggers, Tanahashi throws EuroUppers, and then Tanahashi scoop slams Khan to a drop zone! Tanahashi hops up, and hits the second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool, fans rally up, and Tanahashi runs corner to corner. Khan boots but Tanahashi blocks to DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi holds on to GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Khan clutches his knee, Tanahashi grabs the legs and ties them up!

Khan fights and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi stomps Khan’s legs, then drags Khan up from the apron side. Khan hotshots Tanahashi down! Khan’s bad leg slows him down but he still gets back in the ring. But Tanahashi gets his leg in the ropes! DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! And a dropkick! Fans fire up as Tanahashi hits another DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi drags Khan around by the leg, ties the legs up, and has the CLOVERLEAF! Khan endures and powers up, but Tanahashi drags him from ropes! Tanahashi sits back but Khan powers up again, and Khan claws his way to the ropebreak! Tanahashi lets go fast and keeps his cool as he stomps Khan down.

Tanahashi drags Khan up and reels him in, but Khan blocks the Twist! Tanahashi keeps trying, Khan throws body shots and SMASHES Tanahashi off his knee! But it was the bad knee so that was double-edged! Khan still comes back and manages a GOURD BUSTER on Tanahashi! Khan falls over because of the bad leg and fans rally up as both men are down. Khan hobbles over, stalks Tanahashi to a corner, and whips him corner to corner, following to clothesline from behind! Khan hoists Tanahashi up backwards and Mongolian CHOPS Tanahashi on the back! Khan drags Tanahashi into a Tree of Woe and digs his boots in!

The ref counts, Khan stops at 4, and he gets the bad leg moving. Khan goes corner to corner and basement BOOTS Tanahashi down! Cover, TWO! Khan keeps after Tanahashi with a lift, ATOMIC FACEBUSTER! Khan gets Tanahashi up for a BACK SUPLEX FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi is still in this and Khan grows frustrated. Fans rally up but Khan stands first. Khan says he’ll end it now! Khan clamps onto Tanahashi with the iron claw! Tanahashi resists the lift, and clamps onto Khan’s face! It’s claw versus claw, but Khan pries Tanahashi’s hand off! Tanahashi swats Khan’s hand then ROCKS him with an uppercut! Khan falls over and Tanahashi catches his breath.

Fans rally up again, “Let’s Go, Ace!” and Tanahashi steadies himself. Tanahashi watches Khan rise, then runs, but Khan uses the ref as a shield! STRAIGHT RIGHT FIST!! Both men and the ref are down and fans rally up again! Khan crawls and shouts to Tsuji to get him something! Tsuji gets a chair?! Is Tsuji now an Empire Young Lion? Tsuji slides the chair… TO TANAHASHI! Khan is furious at Tsuji’s betrayal, but Tsuji is staying loyal to The Ace! Tanahshi takes a seat and smiles at Khan, but Khan runs in. Tanahashi drop toeholds Khan onto the chair! Khan writhes and flounders into a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi runs, but Khan BOOTS him down!

Khan clamps on the claw, drags Tanahashi up, ELIMI- SLINGBLADE!! Tanahashi hurries up top, Khan stands, HIGH FLY FLOW-BODY! Tanahashi hurries back up, HIGH FLY FLOP!! Khan avoids the splash and both men are down again! Tsuji and the fans still rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!” but Khan drags himself up in a corner. Tanahashi stands, Khan shotgun dropkicks him down! Khan is slow to rising but Tanahashi roars as he fires up! Both men stand, both men roar, and they both run at each other! Khan hits a big flying forearm! Cover, TWO! The fans are thunderous with “Let’s Go, Ace!” as Khan brings Tanahashi up.

Khan whips Tanahashi to a corner, then runs in to corner clothesline! Khan whips, Tanahashi reverses, SLINGBLADE! Khan is right up, but Tanahashi SLINGBLADES again! Khan rises again, Tanahashi runs, into a LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives and Khan can’t believe it! Khan clamps a claw onto Tanahashi’s face and drags him back up! It’s a claw torture rack! Khan stomps around to add torque, but Tanahashi endures! Khan spins and spins for a SWINGING SLAM! Khan fires up, tears away the tape and clamps the claw directly onto Tanahashi! ELIMI- CRUCIFIX!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall (still NEVER Openweight Champion)

The Ace had a trick up his sleeve and he snatches the victory away from Khan! Khan is furious and he grabs at the ref, but the ref says the count is the count! Tsuji stays close to Tanahashi as the belt is brought over to him. With both skill and savvy, will it take far more than strength and aggression to take this title from the Once in a Century Talent?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: BUSHI VS El Phantasmo VS El Desperado!

Another unfortunate injury takes the Ticking Timebomb out of action! He forfeited this title, but his amigo in Los Ingobernables de Japon will fight to keep it close! Will the Death Mask be able to shine with gold? Will ELP only need one good shot? Or will the Rogue Luchador start on his road to taking over the Junior Heavyweight Division?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, a new champion will be crowned in the Castle Attack!

Desperado rushes ELP but he dodges. ELP dodges Bushi but Bushi dodges and ELP falls out of the ring. Desperado CLUBS Bushi, whips him to ropes, but Bushi goes to rana! Desperado blocks, Bushi fights off the bomb, but Desperado knees low. Bushi goes to a corner, Desperado runs in to back elbow, but ELP runs in! Desperado sends ELP into Bushi, then hip tosses ELP down! Bushi runs but Desperado sends his basement dropkick into ELP! Desperado then snap suplexes Bushi onto ELP! Cover on ELP, ONE! Desperado ROCKS ELP with an uppercut, then runs corner to corner at Bushi. Bushi boots back, hops up and FLYING RANAS Desperado down!

Fans fire up but ELP clubs Bushi and whips him to a corner. ELP runs in, Bushi dodges and elbows ELP, to BULLDOG DRPOKICK both opponents! Cover on ELP, TWO! Bushi keeps cool, drags ELP up and throws forearms. Desperado ROCKS Bushi with an uppercut, ELP ROCKS Desperado! ELP whips, Desperado reverses and runs in, but ELP pops Desperado up and crotches him on the rope! Bushi runs in, ELP pops him up and out but Bushi lands on the apron. Bushi blocks ELP to drag him in, but no apron DDT! ELP shoves Bushi down, climbs up to ROCK Desperado, and then climbs up higher. ELP walks the tight rope to SENTON Desperado down! Cover, TWO!

ELP grows annoyed, but he drags Desperado up to pull on the fingers, and SNAP them! And SNAP them! ELP BITES Desperado’s hand, then knuckle locks it. ELP CHOPS Desperado, goes up and up and tightrope walks, to then go to the other corner, bop Desperado, and keep on going. ELP just shows off now, saying, “Too easy, baby!” But Desperado trips ELP up! ELP is crotched on ropes, but Bushi gives Desperado the DRAPING APRON DDT! Bushi climbs up to SUPER STEINER ELP off the top! Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool as he drags ELP up. ELP spins out of the fisherman but Bushi kicks low. Bushi whips, ELP reverses but Bushi dodges to DIVE out onto Desperado!

Bushi drags Desperado up but ELP runs to go up and SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY them both! Fans admit that was great stuff! ELP hears fans cheering, but leaves fans hanging on the Too Sweet. ELP POSTS Bushi, then fetches Desperado. ELP talks some trash and kicks at Desperado. ELP drags Desperado up to DECK him, then CHOPS him further up the ramp! ELP ROCKS Desperado with a haymaker, but Desperado throws body shots! ELP ROCKS Desperado again, but Desperado blocks the suplex. Desperado throws more body shots, switches positions, and he suplexes. ELP slips out to TEAR Desperado’s mask! ELP reels Desperado in, Gotch hold PILEDRIVER to the ramp!!

ELP even mocks Minoru Suzuki with that one! The ref checks on Desperado but ELP drags him up first. ELP takes Desperado’s mask away! ELP mocks the fans who are offended, and then he puts the mask on to mock Desperado more! Des-ELP puts Bushi in the ring and then takes Desperado’ smask off. ELP STOMPS the mask, then PUNTS it out of the ring! Medics check on Desperado while ELP covers Bushi. TWO, and ELP whips Bushi to a corner. Bushi slips out to swing kick ELP away! Bushi climbs, leaps, and missile dropkicks ELP! Fans fire up for the Bushirooni! ELP bails out but Bushi SLINGSHOT RANAS him down! Fans fire up with Bushi as he drags ELP up.

Bushi puts ELP in, takes aim from a corner, and runs in, only for the Code Breaker to be blocked! ELP knees low and whips Bushi into the corner hard! ELP tears Bushi’s shirt off, and then wraps it around his fist to punch Bushi with! ELP sits Bushi up to CHOKE him with the shirt! The ref counts, ELP lets go at 4, and fans rally up. ELP drags Bushi up and hoists him up top backwards. ELP puts Bushi in a Tree of Woe and throws knees into Bushi’s stomach! Desperado is still down as ELP mocks the rallying claps. ELP takes aim from the corner, says BANG, and then runs in to handspring around, just for the CROTCH DIG!

The ref reprimands, ELP hops off and Bushi falls out of the Tree. ELP covers but the ref refuses to count because of all those antics. Fans rally while Desperado is still down. ELP drags Bushi up and whips him corner to corner. Bushi reverses, ELP goes up and over and then dodges to springboard crossbody! Somersault to LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! ELP clamps onto Bushi with a chinlock and grinds him down. Bushi endures, ELP shifts to a sleeper, but fans rally. Bushi reaches, fights up, and fights free! Bushi runs, but ELP gets around to half straitjacket torture rack! ELP spins for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Bushi survives but ELP goes up top.

ELP steadies himself, takes aim, BANG and FROG SPLASH! Cover of “Thunder Kiss ’86,” TWO!! Bushi survives again and ELP is frustrated. ELP gets his boot ready, but Desperado returns! Desperado has a spare mask, even! ELP is surprised by this most of all, but he swings on Desperado! Desperado dodges to SPEAR! But that might’ve been double-edged given the bad neck. But Desperado fires off on ELP with fists! The ref pulls Desperado away but Desperado goes back for more. Desperado CHOPS ELP, whips him to the ropes, but ELP holds the ropes. ELP boots but Desperado blocks to clothesline ELP out!

Fans fire up for Desperado as he builds speed and DIVES! The somersault tope takes him and ELP out! Desperado drags ELP up and into the ring and fans fire up again. Desperado drags ELP up, reels him in and suplexes for a brainbuster! But that’s just uno amigo! Desperado hoists ELP up top with the second, and ROCKS him with an uppercut! Fans rally, Desperado climbs, and he drags ELP up. ELP resists the superplex, Desperado throws body shots, but Bushi adds on! Bushi climbs up to get around and sunset flips, POWERBOMB SUPERPLEX! Cover on Desperado, TWO! Cover on ELP, TWO! Bushi drags Desperado up for a BACKSTABBER! Cover, ELP breaks it!

Bushi goes after ELP with forearms, but ELP rakes Bushi’s eyes! The ref reprimands, ELP lets off and boots, but Bushi blocks to put the leg in the ropes! Bushi ENZIGURIS ELP down and ELP ends up stuck! Bushi gives Desperado a FISHERMAN SCREW! Cover, TWO!! Bushi aims from a corner as Desperado staggers up, CODE BREAKER! ELP gets free and throws Bushi out! ELP covers Desperado, TWO!! Desperado survives and ELP doesn’t get to steal Bushi’s work! ELP drags Desperado up, reels him in, underhooks the arms, and lifts, and surprise! STYLES CLASH!! Cover, but Bushi GHOST PINS ELP! TWO!!

Bushi throws forearms on ELP, runs, but ELP KNEES Bushi down! Was that a V-Trigger? ELP says BANG to Desperado, and V-TRIGGERS him! That was definitely a V-Trigger! And this is definitely an Electric Chair lift! But Desperado counters the One Winged Angel to EL ES CULERO!! TWO?!?! ELP narrowly escapes and Desperado can’t believe it! ELP runs but into a SPINEBUSTER! Desperado gets the STRETCH MUFFLER! ELP endures as Desperado thrashes about, and Desperado drags him from ropes! NUMERO DOS!! But ELP rolls to make it a cradle, TWO!! Desperado mule kicks then reels ELP in! Double underhooks, but no Pinche!

ELP spins out, straitjacket and torture rack, but Desperado slips out! Desperado wrenches and reels ELP in for GUITAR DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO!?! Desperado is furious! Desperado drags ELP up, reels him in again and double underhooks, but ELP stomps Desperado’s foot! LOADED MULE KICK! LOADED BUZZSAW! ELP drags Desperado, hooks the arms, CANADIAN REVOLUTION II!! Taker cover, but Bushi stops the ref!! The fans fire up as the ref reprimands Bushi but Bushi dodges ELP. ELP ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! Bushi runs to CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! ELP survives but Bushi just goes to a corner.

Fans fire up as Bushi climbs and takes aim, M- LOADED SUPERKICK!! But Bushi flops out of the ring!! ELP can’t finish it here, but he takes aim at Desperado again. ELP reloads, but Desperado does the splits! LOCO MONO!! The straight right rocks ELP but Desperado isn’t done here! Desperado underhooks ELP, but ELP back drops to bridge! TWO!? PINCHE LOCO!! And a rolling butterlfy to ANOTHER PINCHE LOCO!! Cover Taker style, DESPERADO WINS!!!

Winner: El Desperado, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)

INCREIBLE! Desperado is Mr. Junior Heavyweight Champion! He has the singles AND tag team titles! Though Hiromu is hurt, does this make Desperado THE best Junior Heavyweight today?

 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Tetsuya Naito!

The Double Championship may have run its course, but the course of history will follow the winner! Will the Golden Star God hold onto this belt to then fuse it with the Heavyweight Championship? Or will the Uncontrollable Charisma free his favorite-not-favorite belt from that fate?

The introductions are made, the white strap is raised, and Naito takes his time with his entrance gear. Fans clap already for “I-BU-SHI!” “NA-I-TO!” The bell rings and the differences between destinies begins!

Fans rally more as Naito and Ibushi circle. They approach, feel out the grapple, and tie up. Naito puts Ibushi on the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break but Ibushi puts Naito in a corner. Ibushi lets off with a sharp pat on the shoulders, but Naito comes right out to circle with him again. They approach, Naito goes for a leg but Ibushi gets around to full nelson. Naito throws Ibushi down but Ibushi headscissors. Ibushi squeezes tight, Naito fights up and around and pops out to get the leg. Naito has a toehold, Ibushi uses headscissors to bring Naito down, but Naito pries free to get the toehold back. Ibushi uses a chinlock to drag Naito off, and he grinds Naito into a headlock.

Naito powers up, but Ibushi holds tight so he can’t power out. Naito throws body shots, wrenches to a keylock, but Ibushi fights back to wrangle Naito down. Ibushi has the cording hold, Naito rolls back and gets up. Ibushi clamps onto the arm, Naito trips Ibushi up and gets through the leg guard to go after the arm. Ibushi slips around and facelocks. Naito reaches back and gets a ropebreak with a foot. Ibushi lets go and fans cheer the technical exchange. Naito paces around the ring, taking a full lap before getting back in. Ibushi is ready and the two circle again. They feel out a grapple, Naito reels Ibushi into a facelock, but Ibushi shoots around to waistlock.

Ibushi rolls Naito around, shifts again, but Naito holds off the headlock and gets a double wristlock! Naito pulls back on the arm, shifts to get the other arm, chicken wing cradle! TWO, but Naito keeps on the left arm with a hammerlock. Ibushi rolls around, gets up and wrenches Naito’s arm to a wristlock. Naito rolls, wrenches back, but Ibushi drops to drop toehold! Ibushi floats to a chinlock but Naito fights up. Naito stands, powers Ibushi to a corner, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Ibushi lets go, Naito takes his time backing off, and he pats Ibushi on the shoulder. And then he fires off with clubbing forearms! Red Shoes grabs at Naito but Naito pushes him down!

Red Shoes goes out to recover, Naito whips Ibushi corner to corner but Ibushi boots him away! Naito runs back in, Ibushi goes up and over and avoids the basement dropkick! Ibushi runs, Naito drops to pop Ibushi up and then dropkick the legs out! Fans cheer this newest exchange as Ibushi is down. Ibushi growls and Naito eggs him on. Ibushi tries to stand but that leg bothers him. Naito sits and waits while Ibushi grows frustrated with his own body. Ibushi shakes the bad leg out, Red Shoes checks it, and Naito dropkicks it again! Ibushi bails out, Naito pursues, and Naito stomps Ibushi around ringside!

Red Shoes reprimands, Naito drags Ibushi up, and Naito whips Ibushi, only for Ibushi to hobble and fall over. Fans rally up, “I-BU-SHI!” “NA-I-TO!” Naito watches from the apron as Ibushi stirs. The ring count climbs, and is already 10 of 20 before Ibushi stands. Naito goes out to catch Ibushi at the apron, and he elbows away on Ibushi’s leg! Red Shoes reprimands and Naito backs off. Naito goes in, drags Ibushi up, and he kicks away on Ibushi’s ribs! Naito has the bad leg and he CLUBS the knee! Naito hooks the legs up, modified figure four! Ibushi endures as Naito adds pressure to the knees! Ibushi sits up and eggs Naito on! Naito adds more pressure and fans rally as Ibushi endures!

Ibushi drags himself and Naito over towards the ropes and gets the ropebreak! Naito claims he needs help so Red Shoes undoes the hold for him. Naito drags Ibushi by his leg, and SMASHES the knee into the mat! Ibushi grimaces, but he glares at Naito. Naito SMASHES the knee, then kicks Ibushi down to SMASH the knee again! Cover, ropebreak! Naito keeps his cool as he looms over Ibushi. Fans rally more, Naito drags Ibushi up, but Ibushi throws forearms! Naito kicks the bad leg! Naito grabs the leg but Ibushi resists the lift. Naito kicks the leg again, runs, but Ibushi manages to dropkick Naito down! Both men are down and fans rally up!

Ibushi rises first, fires off forearms then whips Naito. Naito reverses but Ibushi manages a FLYING KICK! Ibushi rallies the fans and he hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi shakes his head and he fires up more. Naito grimaces as Ibushi stalks behind him. Ibushi waistlocks, Naito mule kicks the bad leg! Naito stands Ibushi up to kick the bad leg again! Ibushi eggs Naito on so Naito kicks the bad leg again! Naito elbows, Ibushi eggs him on so Naito SLAPS Ibushi down! Naito sits Ibushi up to basement dropkick in the back! Cover, TWO! Naito keeps cool again as he stands on Ibushi’s bad leg.

Naito stomps the leg, drags Ibushi up and puts him in a corner, to whip Ibushi corner to corner. Rocket kick and sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Naito takes a moment to pose before he drags Ibushi up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Naito drags Ibushi back up, then catches Ibushi’s forearm into a backbreaker! PLUMA BLANCA! Ibushi endures the leg hook full nelson, kicks his way around, and he gets the ropebreak with his feet! Naito holds on, Red Shoes reprimands and counts but again Naito “needs help.” Red Shoes undoes the hold, Naito drags Ibushi back up and hammerlocks, but Ibushi resists the lift! Ibushi fights free but Naito kicks the bad leg!

Naito gets the leg but Ibushi elbows free! Ibushi whips, Naito leaps, but into Ibushi’s SNAP GERMAN! Naito staggers up, Ibushi runs in but into the TORNADO DDT! Both men are down again and fans fire up! “I-BU-SHI!” “NA-I-TO!” Both slowly stir, Naito sits up first, and he drags Ibushi up to throw forearms. Ibushi throws the forearms back, and Naito grins. Naito forearms Ibushi, Ibushi forearms back! Naito DECKS Ibushi but Ibushi gets back up to throw another forearm. Naito returns it, they go faster and faster, and the fans fire up as this gets fast and furious! Ibushi gets the edge so Naito kicks the leg! Ibushi sobats, runs, but into a basement dropkick!

Ibushi hobbles, Naito trips him up, and gets the ANKLE LOCK! Naito drops down for a leg scissor! Ibushi endures and fans rally up as Naito puts more pressure on the leg! Ibushi crawls around, claws for ropes, but Naito pushes on the knee even harder! Ibushi still gets the ropebreak! Naito lets go faster this time, and takes a moment to catch his breath. Ibushi is in the corner, fans rally up, but Naito stomps Ibushi’s bad leg. Naito throws back elbows, stomps the leg, then throws more back elbows! Ibushi starts to flop over in the corner as Red Shoes counts. Naito lets off, just to stand Ibushi up for more back elbows! Naito pushes Ibushi through the ropes then climbs the corner.

Naito drags Ibushi up and hits a SUPER THROWBACK STUNNER! Naito then drags Ibushi up, for GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi barely escapes but Naito grins again. Naito drags Ibushi back to a corner, hoists him up top backwards, then climbs up behind him. Ibushi resists so Naito CLUBS away on his back! Naito sits Ibushi back up, but Ibushi slips out to trip Naito up! ROUNDHOUSE! Both men are down but fans fire up again! Ibushi kicks at Naito while they’re both on the mat, and he gets Naito to the apron. Ibushi gives more kicks before he drags Naito up. Ibushi goes up the ropes, waistlocks Naito, but Naito resists the lift!

Naito throws clubbing shots, Ibushi gives them back. Ibushi dead lifts for the SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!! Ibushi crawls to the cover, TWO?!!? Naito narrowly escapes but his eyes look vacant! Ibushi drags himself up, grits his teeth, and aims from a corner. Naito slowly sits up, Ibushi runs to BOMAYE! Ibushi reels Naito in, Naito fights the bomb, but Ibushi still hits THE LAST RIDE!! Cover, TWO!! Naito still lives and fans fire up again! Ibushi vows to end this! Ibushi gets the wrists, sits Naito up, but Naito avoids the Kamigoye to scoop and VALENTIA!! Both men are down after the modified brainbuster but fans fire up again!

Naito rises, drags Ibushi up, and wrenches the arm, but Ibushi blocks the tilt-o-whirl! Ibushi throws elbows but Naito throws his heavier elbows! Naito throws more elbows, Ibushi drops to his knees, but Naito just stands him back up. Naito throws even more elbows into Ibushi, but Ibushi dodges to LARIAT!! Both men are down again and fans rally up! Ibushi roars and fires up, then gets the wrists. Naito elbows first, then ENZIGURIS! Ibushi staggers, into DESTINO!! Cover, TWO?!?! Ibushi survives but Naito gets up. Naito drags Ibushi up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but into a gut wrench! Ibushi fireman’s carries but Naito fights it with flailing elbows!

Naito finally slips off, runs in, but into a ROUNDHOUSE! Naito roars and comes back, into a V-TRIGGER! KENNY~! Ibushi sits Naito up from behind, BLINDSIDE KAMIGOYE!! Ibushi isn’t done there, he sits Naito up from the front, but Naito gets around to hammerlock and cradle! TWO, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!??!? Naito survives all that but Ibushi just wants to end him! ANOTHER KAMIGOYE! Ibushi flops down onto the cover, and Ibushi wins!!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall (still IWGP Intercontinental Champion)

The Golden Star God is still a dual champion! Ibushi has denied Naito his wish of having the Intercontinental Championship back! Does this mean Ibushi will finish his plans and unify the top two titles in NJPW? But wait! The other dual champion, DESPERADO, returns! Desperado goes to the ring and applauds Ibushi’s win here. Ibushi stands and allows Desperado to join him in the ring. Desperado gets the mic first, and he says, “Congratulations on your defense, champion. It was pretty bold of me to come out here after you had that intense fight.” Desperado says that isn’t really important. He reminds us that he is the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.

Does Ibushi remember the first time Desperado challenged for this title? What year was it? Hard to recall. Anyone here in Osaka remember? After all, it happened in Osaka, against IBUSHI! “The champion completely beat me. How long ago was that?” It took Desperado a long time but he’s finally reached that title now! Ibushi nods respect. Desperado says the last few years, there’s been a tradition at the NJPW Anniversary Show that the Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Champions have a singles match. So it might have taken Desperado a long time, but he’s here to claim his prize for winning! But Desperado doesn’t just want a singles match! He wants BOTH belts that Ibushi has!! Fans really like that idea!

Desperado doesn’t remember how long it’s been but it has been a long time. And Desperado will show Ibushi he’s not the same man he was back then. Commentary lets us know it was February 11, 2014, so that makes it 7 years and 17 days. Ibushi says it was basically 8 years. And he’s been saying he’ll take on all challengers, anytime, any place, and anyone! The challenge is on! Desperado won his first singles title, and that’s great. And though it was a long time ago, Ibushi hasn’t forgotten that match! “I will never forget how much you SUCKED back then!” Desperado says he’s a different animal now, and Ibushi will find that out!

Then he’ll see at the Anniversary Show in just FOUR days! Because Ibushi is a fighting champion! And he will never betray the fans, he’ll never quit, run away or lose! He will absolutely keep his promise! Ibushi thanks the fans for coming out to see them in these difficult times, and hopes they keep watching and supporting NJPW! Ibushi sets the mic down and finally celebrates his win! But with only a handful of days to prepare, will the IWGP Double Heavyweight Champion be ready for a determined IWGP Double Junior Heavyweight Champion?


My Thoughts:

Another great event, a touch better than yesterday’s, but mostly because of the title matches being part of the show. The non-title tag matches were both good, from Kojima & Tenzan shocking the United Empire, and Chaos standing tall over Bullet Club. I like that Tenzan stopped caring about the agreement to never use the Mongolian Chops again. Why agree to a deal with bad guys when they just rub it in your face anyway? Okada is building momentum for the New Japan Cup, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to get a match for Okada at the Anniversary Show. Guerrillas retaining the titles make sense, we’d end up with too many dual champions right now if Goto-Hashi won.

I figured Tanahashi would retain the NEVER Openweight Championship, he only just got it. The match was great, but given the story element of Tsuji’s loyalty coming into play, this is not done between them. This story might even be Tsuji’s way from moving out of Young Lion status. Usually that happens by going on excursion, but that is made so much harder right now because of COVID concerns, so tradition might have to be put aside for these special circumstances.

The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Triple Threat was great stuff, and I missed Desperado & Kanemaru winning back the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles as part of the Road to Castle Attack series. But him winning the singles title is great, both for making him a dual champion, and for him to finally have that accomplishment. The Intercontinental Championship match was awesome stuff, on par with even a Heavyweight Championship match, mostly because it was Ibushi and Naito. Ibushi wins to keep the tease of title unification, but I love that Desperado wants to pounce on all of that.

I assume by unifying the Heavyweight & Intercontinental titles, that somehow removes the weight restriction. Otherwise, Desperado can’t have both Junior Heavyweight and proper Heavyweight titles. Granted, I don’t think Desperado wins more belts to make him a triple to quadruple champion, but that match is going to be great stuff to then launch us into the stacked New Japan Cup schedule for March.

My Score: 9.2/10


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