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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Report! (7/25/18)

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Lucha Underground Season 4, “The Gift That Keeps on Giving”

It is time to crown a new Gift of the Gods Champion! With only six contenders this time, who wins this belt to then aim for THE Lucha Underground Champion?

 

Gifs can be found courtesy of frentique.tumblr.com

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sammy Guevara VS Jake Strong; Strong wins.
  • Sacrifice to the Gods: Matanza Cueto VS Vinnie Massaro; Matanza wins, Vinnie and the pizza guy are sacrificed.
  • Six-Way Gift of the Gods Championship: Ivelisse VS Son of Havoc VS The Mack VS El Dragon Azteca Jr. VS King Cuerno VS Desmond X; scrapped for…
  • Trios Match: Ivelisse, Son of Havoc & The Mack VS King Cuerno, El Dragon Azteca Jr. & Desmond X; Cuerno, Azteca & Desmond win and will compete in a Triple Threat Gift of the Gods Championship match.
  • Triple Threat Gift of the Gods Championship: King Cuerno VS El Dragon Azteca Jr. VS Desmond X; Azteca wins and becomes the new Gift of the Gods Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

Sammy Guevara VS Jake Strong!

Just as Big Bad Steve tried to get revenge on The Savage Strong for turning on Infamous Inc, the smiling upstart wants his chance. However, BBS failed to make Strong pay, and got a broken ankle for it. Will Sammy suffer the same fate tonight?

The bell rings and fans sing “Strong is gonna kill~ you!” Strong gets a waistlock and throws Sammy to the mat. He brings Sammy back up, for a German Suplex! Sammy lands on his face he was thrown that hard. Believers rally up behind Strong as Strong toys with Sammy. Strong lines up the shot, runs in and Vader Bombs Sammy! Strong isn’t done with Sammy, as he stalks the smaller man. He builds speed, but Sammy ducks to then crossbody himself and Strong out of the ring! Strong bumps apron on the way down, and Sammy keeps on him with knees. But then Strong bounces Sammy off the timekeeper’s table, and then bowls for chairs! Strike!

Believers are loving this as Sammy crawls from the wreckage. Strong brings him up to throw haymakers. Strong rallies the fans, but Sammy climbs the nearby ladder. But Strong gets his ankle for the ankle lock! Sammy fights Strong off, shoving him into that timekeeper’s area! Sammy climbs up higher, but Strong is in pursuit. Strong has him by a leg but Sammy fights back with the other. Strong goes down while Sammy keeps going up. Fans chant “Please Don’t Die!” SUPER MOONSAULT!! Sammy wipes the Savage out!

Fans lose their minds, but Sammy stands tall! Sammy runs at Strong to kick out the leg, then mule kick his face! He keeps going, a second mule kick to the ear! Sammy puts Strong in the ring, and fans already feel “This is Awesome!” Sammy aims at Strong, springboards, but into an ankle lock! The Strong Lock makes Sammy tap, Strong wins!

Winner: Jake Strong, by submission

But Strong doesn’t let go, he BREAKS Sammy’s ankle! Strong takes another trophy as he puts another man on the sidelines. Will the Savage continue to roll on towards success?

 

Sacrifice to the Gods: Matanza Cueto VS Vinnie Massaro!

The Monster of the Temple has been clearing out the riffraff ever since his father, Antonio, removed what was left of his only remaining son’s humanity. Antonio says that when he took over Lucha Underground, he carefully evaluated the roster. When he saw Vinnie, he thought “Fire that poor excuse of a man.” Vinnie is dead weight, but Antonio thought better. If Dario kept Vinnie around, maybe it’s because he saw potential under that filthy track suit. But after that performance in Aztec Warfare, Antonio has no choice but to… order Vinnie a pizza?

Yes, the pizza man returns! And he presents Vinnie with the pizza pie! But wait, there’s PINEAPPLE on it! Well, this serves as Vinnie’s disappointing last meal, because it’s time for a SACRIFICE!! The Monster rushes the ring, but Vinnie feeds the pizza guy to him first! Matanza stomps out the poor man, but Vinnie mans up! Vinnie steps to Matanza, and tells him off in Italian. Then he SLAPS Matanza! That was a bad move. The bell rings and Vinnie manages to stick and move on Matanza. Vinnie spins for a roaring elbow, but Matanza only staggers. Vinnie builds speed, but then tires himself out… He manages to keep going, but slows to a stop, for a headbutt! Matanza drags Vinnie up, WRATH OF THE GODS, ON THE PIZZA! Cover, Matanza wins!

Winner: Matanza Cueto, by pinfall

The pizza boy looks for a tip, so he picks Vinnie’s pocket, again. But Matanza creeps up behind. The pizza guy tries to buy Matanza off, but he gets a CHOKE SLAM instead! Matanza stacks him on top of Vinnie, and they’re both sacrificed! A two-for-one special, who else will suffer the Wrath of the Gods?

 

Six-Way Gift of the Gods Championship: Ivelisse VS Son of Havoc VS The Mack VS El Dragon Azteca Jr. VS King Cuerno VS Desmond X!

Normally this match has seven participants, but after a sudden decision by Antonio Cueto, a battle royal ensued. The winner of that battle royal would then be allowed to eliminate one of the others to improve everyone’s chances. Son of Havoc let The Mack win, and The Mack decided Mil Muertes would be the odd one out. There won’t be room for friendship anymore, will Havoc, Mack or someone else in this set of six take the belt for their own?

But wait, Antonio wishes to say something first. “I feel like doing things a little different tonight.” This won’t be a Six-Way match after all. It’ll be a TRIPLE THREAT! But which three? That depends on this impromptu Trios Match! The winning team then competes later on for THE Gift of the Gods title. Antonio teams up Ivelisse & Son of Havoc, former Trios Champions together, and lets them choose their own third man. Believers hope it’s The Mack, because it just makes sense. And yes, it is! The Trios Champions and the Baddest Bitch take on the other three, after the break!

 

Trios Match: Ivelisse, Son of Havoc & The Mack VS King Cuerno, El Dragon Azteca Jr. & Desmond X!

The teams sort out and we begin with The Mack and King Cuerno. Mack runs in but misses his splash, Cuerno rolls him up! TWO but Mack sits up into a swing kick from Desmond! Azteca tags in to springboard crossbody, then kick away at Mack’s leg. Killshot has appeared at the top of the stairs to watch his “friend” Mack team with yet another person that isn’t him or the MIA Dante Fox. His jealousy aside, Azteca runs and Mack follows, Mack arm-drags Azteca. Azteca runs in but into a chop! Desmond runs in but Mack dodges. The two of them run and Mack hits leaping enziguri! Mack has two men in two corners, so he runs for endless corner clotheslines! He gives each man two, then runs them both over with double clotheslines!

The Believers are fired up as Cuerno runs in and into a Samoan Drop. Mack kip-up and moonsaults! TWO, but Mack keeps his cool. Mack drags Cuerno over to tag in Havoc. Havoc takes Cuerno but Cuerno kicks low. Cuerno whips Havoc corner to corner but Havoc reverses. Havoc runs in for teh handspring elbow then springboards for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! That was close, but now Ivelisse tags in. Cuerno gets away but she still gets him with the headscissors. Desmond comes in but she arm-drags him out of the waistlock. Azteca comes in but runs into a scorpion kick. Ivelisse springboard arm-drags him, then runs to tilt-o-whirl into an octopus stretch! But Cuerno returns to kick her off! Azteca side slams and covers, TWO.

Believers rally up while Azteca tags Desmond in. Desmond hits Ivelisse’s arm, then threads it between the legs to tweak it! Ivelisse writhes while Desmond keeps her isolated. He throws her into Azteca’s boot, then sets her up for body shots. Cuerno teases Ivelisse before Desmond gives her an European Uppercut. Desmond works to drag Ivelisse to the center, but she holds onto ropes. He yanks her up and she lands on her feet, but Desmond grabs hold of a leg to elbow the calf. Desmond lifts but she slips out to enziguri! Both of them are down, hot tag to Mack! Azteca tags in but runs into Mack’s clothesline! Desmond runs into the heel kick! Cuerno runs into the Thesz Press! Mack throws fast hands and the fans are fired up. Mack tags Havoc while Ivelisse leaps onto Cuerno. Azteca springboards but into a SUPERKICK!

The Mack looks at the enemy grouped together, and FLIES! He wipes out Cuerno and Azteca! Desmond is in the ring, but Havov bicycle boots him out. Desmond groups with the others, Havoc handsprings to FLY! Havoc has the Believers losing their minds all over again. He puts Cuerno in the ring, then climbs up top. Havoc takes aim, but has to bail out as Cuerno rolls. Cuerno fireman’s carry, Thrill of the Hunt! Cover, Cuerno’s team wins!!

Winners: King Cuerno, El Dragon Azteca Jr. & Desmond X; move on to the Gift of the Gods Triple Threat

Killshot seems disappointed, yet oddly justified. Perhaps he felt all along that such a mishmash team wouldn’t work. But speaking of, that team is attacked by Mil Muertes! The Man of 1000 Deaths has been kept out of the picture more than he likes, so he makes the men responsible pay for it! Muertes throws Havoc down, then apron powerbombs Mack! Killshot watches as Havoc kicks back, but then comes down to add on? He bicycle kicks Havoc before Muertes could choke slam him, so Muertes goes after him now! Muertes’ rage is boiling over, but he has no choice but to let things happen. The triple threat is up next!

 

Triple Threat Gift of the Gods Championship: King Cuerno VS El Dragon Azteca Jr. VS Desmond X!

While these three just competed as allies, that goes out the window as it’s every man for himself. Will the King of Hunters or the Heir to the Eagles make their tribe proud? Or will it be the newcomer who sets the record for fastest rise in the Temple?

The bell rings, and while Desmond runs at Azteca, Azteca runs at Cuerno! Cuerno dodges Azteca to hit Desmond, then turns around to tilt-o-whirl backbreaker Azteca. He enziguris Desmond, then gives Azteca another backbreaker. Cover, TWO. Cuerno keeps his cool while he kicks Azteca. Desmond hits Cuerno then throws him at a corner. Cuerno reverse to then hit double knees. Cuerno quiets the crowd so they can hear that SHARP chop! He keeps on Desmond as he hoists him up then roundhouses kick! Cuerno climbs up to SUPER STEINER Desmond, who lands on Azteca, to make it a cover! Cuerno kicks that apart, not letting anyone outsmart him. The fans rally up for Cuerno, and he whips Azteca. Things speed up but Cuerno dropkicks Azteca down. Cover, TWO!

Desmond hits Cuerno with a right hand, then brings him up for body shots. He whips but Cuerno reverses. Desmond goes up and over to then go at Azteca. He SUPERKICKS Cuerno to then fire off shots on Azteca. He stacks them in the corner, for an Around the World back elbow! Azteca staggers away while Desmond runs in at Cuerno. Cuerno’s boot is blocked and Desmond gives off more martial arts strikes. He snapmares Cuerno for a dropkick to the back! Cover, TWO! Desmond goes back to Azteca for a quick boot wash, then a corner to corner whip. Azteca goes up and over, but then trades places with Desmond. He pushes Desmond away, to springboard arm-drag and dropkick Desmond down! Cover, TWO!

Azteca keeps his cool while fans rally up. Desmond turns things around to a full nelson, but Azteca escapes and Cuerno’s boot goes into Desmond. Azteca lurks behind Cuerno, then runs to LEAP FROG over and land on Desmond! Azteca returns but gets a kick from Cuerno. Cuerno draws his bow, takes aim and… HELL’S ARROW! Direct hit on Azteca but it takes a bit out of Cuerno, too. Cuerno puts Azteca back in for a quick splash. TWO, but Cuerno keeps his cool. Cuerno drags Azteca up in bomb position, but Azteca slips out and hops up. Azteca spins but Cuerno blocks to bring him back up. Azteca sunset flips through, but Desmond barrels in to break the cover! All three men are down, but Believers are liking it.

Desmond is up first and goes after Azteca. He fires off those slapping body shots, then a big spinning haymaker. He runs corner to corner, but is put on the apron. Desmond swing kicks Azteca down, then handsprings in for the PELE! Cover, TWO!

Desmond drags Azteca up while Cuerno returns. Cuerno kicks them both down, then goes after Azteca with the Indian Deathlock. Cuerno sees Desmond coming in, so he catches him into a wheelbarrow full nelson! He has simultaneous holds! Both men endure the holds, but Desmond pries his way out. Desmond fights with elbows and rolls Cuerno off. Azteca is freed, runs at Desmond, and turns the pop-up into a dropkick on Cuerno! Desmond adds a running EuroUpper, and Azteca runs in again, but into Cuerno’s boot! Cuerno kicks Desmond, then hops up. Desmond SUPER STEINERS Cuerno off!

Cuerno goes on the apron, Azteca triangle dropkicks him down. Desmond builds speed but runs into another kick. Azteca builds speed to slide out, Cuerno gives him a knee trigger! Desmond slides on the apron for a kick to Cuerno! Azteca leaps from the stairs to huricanrana Cuerno! Desmond corner 619’s as well, but Azteca gives Desmond a stiff forearm shot. Azteca throws Desmond at the apron but Desmond back flips off it! Desmond and Azteca collide with clotheslines, then collide again. Cuerno runs in to run them both over! All three men are down on the outside but the Believers are fired up. Cuerno drags Azteca up and throws him at the announce desk. He then drags Desmond around the corner. Cuerno asks fans to move aside for him, so they do. Cuerno brings Desmond up, fireman’s’ carry, snake eyes on the railing!

The Hunter stalks Azteca now, and bowls for chairs! Cuerno keeps on Azteca with a fireman’s carry, then prepares a char. Azteca fights out, but Desmond suddenly flies in from above!! Desmond takes the both out with that SUPER Swanton! Fans lose their minds all over again after that one. Desmond staggers up and Azteca crawls away. They leave Cuerno behind as they go into the ring. Desmond climbs up top, but his corkscrew senton misses! Azteca climbs up now, but Desmond returns with a SHORYUKEN! Desmond climbs up and lifts Azteca in a fireman’s carry of his own. Azteca fights back, adjusts, but Desmond gives palm strikes. Azteca flips back, runs up, and SUPER Victory Roll! Cover, EL DRAGON AZTECA WINS!!

Winner: El Dragon Azteca Jr, by pinfall; NEW Gift of the Gods Champion

The young luchador finally does it! He makes all that training under Rey Mysterio and all the damage down by Matanza Cueto from the last three seasons worth it. The Heir to the Eagle Tribe has gold, when will he get to use it to go for Lucha Underground Championship gold?

 

Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location…

Mariposa drags her brother, Marty, back into the Martinez family home. She wakes her sleeping brother with a splash of water. Marty is upset, he was having a great dream. It had Melissa Santos, and Marty was giving her a necklace made of Pentagon’s teeth. Does Marty know why Mari did what she did at Ultima Lucha Tres? Because they always hurt each other. No. It’s because Marty needs focus. Marty dreams of the wrong things, like Melissa and taking people’s teeth. Marty vows he’ll make Pentagon pay by taking his teeth.

No, Marty, you make Pentagon pay by taking his title. Mariposa may wear the mask, but Marty is the true heir to the Moth Tribe. “So stop laying around feeling sorry for yourself, and focus on what truly matters.” The mad Moth siblings aim for the top of the Temple, but what will they do on the way there?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really fun Lucha Underground, even with the “impulsive changes” made by Antonio Cueto. We get a quick and dominate match for Strong VS Guevara. Guevara looked like he was about to get the upset, but no, Strong stays strong as he breaks another ankle. Matanza “sacrifices” another jobber, so bye-bye Vinnie Massaro. Both these stories are surely headed somewhere, such as an opponent too strong to easily squash and throw aside. Maybe Famous B will return to also bring the return of Dr. Wagner Jr. or Texano. Texano VS Strong can definitely make for a great slug fest of a match. Matanza will likely run out of jobbers to sacrifice before moving up the card, which makes for a lot of great possibilities.

Antonio practically stands in for “Mr. McMahon” with how fickle he is about his own main event match. He downsizes it from a Six-Way to a Trios (Six Man Tag) and then only lets three compete for the belt. It all still worked out great, with Muertes now joining the story of dysfunction between Mack, Havoc and Killshot. That could turn out a couple of ways, such as Muertes being teamed with two others to challenge for the Lucha Underground Trios Championships, and then it’s up to Killshot to either accept or reject Havoc as a teammate. The triple threat was great, and really establishes Desmond in Lucha Underground while giving Azteca a reward for all his great work. Obviously Marty is coming for Pentagon first, but Azteca being GotG can complicate things for some added fun.

My Score: 8.3/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.44 ~ 21ST JULY 2019

The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!

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The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH started the long trek to the finals (and the GHC Heavyweight Tag match championship) at Korakuen Hall on 15th July on Japan’s “Marine Day” National Holiday. By the 16th they had moved up to Japan’s North to the Shin Yuri Twenty-One Hall, with the dreaded “Demon Staircase from Hell”. 19th July in Morioka, 20th in Akita and the 21st in Aomori.

Kenoh debuted his new ring wear (its all red) and Kongoh got their first win over The Sugiura Army (who all came out wearing the “Company Dog T-shirts”)
Kenoh has vowed to enter the N-1, win it, win the GHC Heavyweight at Sumo Hall, and then return to the provinces with the belt.

Naomichi Marufuji also debuted new ring wear. He said he changed it from red as red was Kongoh’s colors, and he has gone with a black and metallic silver. Black and silver are LIDET’S colors, but Kenoh seems not to have picked up on that yet.

RATELS continued with their periodic squabble (which happens in leagues, and when one of them has a belt which another one challenges for) in a match that one fan termed “speed vs power” with Tadasuke taking on YO-HEY, and defeating him within ten minutes. Elsewhere for RATELS that evening, Daisuke Harada was bloodied by Yoshinari Ogawa, who in turn was bloodied by Harada when he threw him into a table. As YO-HEY said about the match (which he watched on the monitor), that Harada is known for bleeding, but for Ogawa, its very rare.

There was blood everywhere by the end of the match, all over the mat, the mats outside (in pools), and senior Referee Nishinaga’s shirt was smeared with it. Yoshinari Ogawa won with a sneak roll up (see “Rat Boy” in dictionary), and Harada threw one of his famous tantrums and had to be pulled off Ogawa. Ogawa said afterwards that if you think what he did to Harada was bad then he was going to do worse to YO-HEY (who is “not on Harada’s level”). YO-HEY gave a nonsensical confused and rambling promo (please DO NOT GET ME STARTED on it) about hitting Ogawa’s nose on the right side. However, in the event of things, neither bled and it was YO-HEY who took the victory.

The bloodshed resolved nothing between Harada & Ogawa as on the 16th when Harada came out to second RATELS, friction once again rose between them, with a fight breaking out at the end of the match as Harada got into the ring to attack Ogawa.

In the main event at Korakuen when AXIZ clashed with the challengers to their GHC Heavyweight tag titles, Kaito Kiyomiya aimed a missile dropkick to Go Shiozaki’s knee (despite promising that he wouldn’t as he felt that a champion should be “emphatic” at times). Also in the match sparks flew between Chris Ridgeway and Naomichi Marufuji, who had a kick\chop war. After the match they both made the “single match” signal to each other, which is something that fans very much want to see.

After the match (and Go Shiozaki tapping out to Taniguchi), NOAH announced that Shiozaki would be missing time due to a shoulder dislocation. During this time, which was a time of worry for fans and Nakajima, Nakajima came out holding both the tag belts and to AXIZ theme music. Taniguchi made him tap out on the 16th to his modified camel clutch.

Kaito Kiyomiya has now turned 23 (17th July) and fans have started detecting a change of vibe him in, he seemingly has gone from the nice young (slightly naive) boy of 22, to more steely and less sympathetic person. This was seen when talking about Shiozaki’s injury he said something to the effect of, “yeah, we all get injured, and while I sympathize, we are trying to have a title match here”, and in the title match he attacked Shiozaki’s damaged neck and shoulder. In Morioka, he was seen to have slight smirk on his lips (as opposed to his usual worried expression) when he held the belt up to Kenoh at the end of the main event, and Kenoh stalked off.

Go Shiozaki returned to action on the 20th July. He doesn’t seem to have had any further problems, and he says he is fine, but fans think that he is probably a lot worse than he is making it out to be.

The afternoon at Korakuen belonged to the juniors with HAYATA vs Kotaro Suzuki putting on a stellar match, with HAYATA wearing Kotaro Suzuki down by letting him wear himself out. HAYATA wouldn’t quit, he took everything that Suzuki threw at him, and likewise with Suzuki taking everything that HAYATA threw at him. The audience were firmly on the side of HAYATA (as opposed to NOAH’s first born son), and just as Suzuki hit the Tiger Driver, the time ran out.

Hajime Ohara, it must be said, was not in a good way during the closing stages of Global Junior League as the problem with his neck and shoulder flared up again (it had plagued him during Global Tag League 2018 too), so while fans wanted to see him win, it was probably better that he didn’t, especially as he is responsible pretty much for the planning of NOAH’s Kawasaki event. During the match on the 16th, the referee was concerned and asked him if he was fit to continue.

The semi final night of Global Junior League 2019 and the GHC Heavyweight title match came on the 21st July 2019 in the Mutsu Grand Hotel in Aomori. It is a small venue, a hotel, which NOAH created a “big match” atmosphere at.

Takashi Sugiura & NOSAWA Rongai teamed up to take on Minoru Tanaka & Kinya Okada. After the match, which Sugiura naturally won, he said that he wanted Kinya Okada to enter The Sugiura Army. Kinya Okada did (and how could he refuse after being commanded by Takashi Sugiura), and he will have his first match as one of them on the 27th July at Kawasaki when they fight Kongoh. His joining The Sugiura Army is a good move as not only does it mean that he has the chance to be mentored by Takashi Sugiura, it also brings him into conflict with Yoshiki Inamura, who is in Kongoh, and calls him “my rival”.

Global Junior League 2019 came down to HAYATA vs Tadasuke, following their wins over Hajime Ohara & Kotaro Suzuki (HAYATA, who was seconded by YO-HEY) and Tadasuke (who defeated Daisuke Harada earlier in the evening). When they met in the ring later, Tadasuke gave HAYATA the finger.

Daisuke Harada commented, “RATEL’S showdown in the final, I have nothing but jealousy.”

AXIZ defended the GHC Heavyweight tag titles successfully against Kaito Kiyomiya & Shuhei Taniguchi, with Go Shiozaki getting the win with the lariat on Shuhei Taniguchi. They were challenged for the titles by The Return of The Dark Agents (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue).

Title match will take place at NOAH’s anniversary show on the 4th August.

EVENT RECAPS
Korakuen Hall, 15th July 2019 
Post match interviews

Shin Yuri Twenty-One Hall, 16th July 2019
Post match interviews

Morioka Gymnasium, 19th July 2019
Post match interviews

Serion Plaza, 20th July 2019
Post match interviews (AXIZ only)

Mutsu Grand Hotel, Aomori, 21st July 2019

NEWS

Atsushi Aoki memorial

All Japan announced this week that the memorial for Atsushi Aoki will take place on the 11th August at Korakuen Hall. NOAH wrestlers have been announced to be participating in the event (although he was an All Japan wrestler, Aoki was NOAH  born) with Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura, Shuhei Taniguchi and Hitoshi Kumano in attendance.

The main event will see Naomichi Marufuji team with Kento Miyahara and Yuma Aoyogi against Shuji Ishikawa, Shuhei Taniguchi and Suwama. Suwama has wanted a singles match with Marufuji since the Tokyo Sports Award in January, and says that he doesn’t care about the other opponents, he wants Marufuji.

In the semi, Jun Akiyama will tag with Takashi Sugiura against Naoya Nomura and Hitoshu Kumano.

 

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

 

TOUR TIDBITS
~ NOAH have released a Sugiura Army “Company Dog” towel, which features both of Takashi Sugiura’s dogs with his little toy poodle at one end and his beloved Shiba Inu at the other, both barking “Yip! Yip!”
~ HAYATA gave Kotaro Suzuki a slight black eye
~ Kenoh has said that HE will enter the N-1, and if LIDET don’t let him, he will go ahead and do it anyway.
~ Yoshiki Inamura turned on Junta Miyawaki when Miyawaki came in to try and help him after the match in Morioka
~ Minoru Tanaka stole Rocky Kawamura’s apples and ate one in the ring, and posted that the other one was for his lunch. When asked how they were by Rocky, he said they were tasty.
~ Kenoh’s latest bout of paranoia is to claim that LIDET turned the microphone down on him during a promo.
~ Naomichi Marufuji scooped up the white and black feathers left in the ring from Kaito Kiyomiya and AXIZ’S jackets, and putting them in the palm of his hand, blew them into the crowd.
~ Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge did the Disco Fever vs Revolutionary Pose stand off. This hasn’t happened for a while.
~ RATELS went on a wander while in Akita, and came across a fenced off area because Bears were in the forest. YO-HEY joked that it was Hitoshi Kumano (who’s surname means “Bear”, and also incorporates bears into his persona\merchandise), doing a private autograph session. In one picture, in the background, HAYATA had his back to the camera while he stood by some bushes…
~ Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji will be their first match since the Suzuki Gun invasion of NOAH in summer 2016, although the match at TAKAYAMANIA 2 when this takes place, will not be a singles match.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya turned 23 on the 17th July
~ “The Tadasuke Women” were seen again in force at the Shin-Yuri Twenty One Hall. These middle aged to elderly women I believe are family and friends of Mohammed Yone, but they were given the name “The Tadasuke Women” after he played up to them last year. Minoru Tanaka, who sprained his ankle during the match, said that he had been distracted by them, hence the reason for his injury. Tadasuke behaved himself this year.
~ Masao Inoue suffered the usual sneak videos from Naomichi Marufuji on NOAH’s long bus journey (they have a twelve hour trip on the 22nd back to Tokyo), and then Marufuji bought out his new toy, “FaceApp” and made him into a woman (who looked a little like Betty Boop) and an old man. Marufuji also made himself into an old man, and then into woman. A photograph of himself and Takashi Sugiura as old grey men (looking like they where hosts of a daytime or direct to video art series) made Sugiura remark that they should challenge for the tag titles.
~ Referee Ben, who was kneeling at ringside, was knocked over by a dueling Chris Ridgeway and Tadasuke

BROADCASTS
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 8.30PM JST

NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+

LINKS
“Devil Form” Taniguchi – Onslaught on Shiozaki’s Weak Point

PICTURE CREDITS: Noah.co.jp, Daisuke Harada, Naomichi Marufuji, Battle Sports


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 3!

The G1 rages on in the summer heat!

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NJPW G1 Climax 29

AXS TV brings us NJPW G1 Climax 29, Night 7!

A week into the annual summer blockbuster, and the standings are coming into focus. Who in A Block gets some much needed momentum? And who SPOILS it for the rest of them?

 

Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bad Luck Fale VS Zack Sabre Jr; Zack Sabre Jr wins.
  • Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins.
  • EVIL VS KENTA; KENTA wins.
  • Kota Ibushi VS SANADA; Ibushi wins.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay; Okada wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for this critical night of action!

The A Block enters its fourth round, and only newcomer Kenta and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion himself, Kazuchika Okada, have perfect scores! But the Aerial Assassin is still in the running. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion lost to the Killer Elite, Lance Archer, and the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi, but there is still time for a comeback! However, he’ll have to do it against the Rainmaker! Okada has had Ospreay’s number every time, but the clash of champions may prove who is truly the BEST in NJPW!

But then there are the highly anticipated match-ups of the fastest rising stars! Ibushi was a finalist of G1 Climax 28 while the Cold Skull was a New Japan Cup 2019 finalist! Each has come close to the title, but their standings are at a make-or-break point with tonight! Sanada got the best of Ibushi last time, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for the former IWGP Intercontinental Champion. With only so much time left, who survives and who is out of the running as the G1 reaches its climax?!

 

Bad Luck Fale w/ Jado & Chase Owens VS Zack Sabre Jr!

But even before all of that, the Bullet Club’s Rogue General enters #ZackSabreTime! Will bad luck fall on the Submission Master? Or will Fale #JustTapOut?

The bell rings and ZSJ jumps right at Fale! He has a guillotine and body scissors but his weight is not enough to drag Fale all the way down. Fale endures and powers out, but ZSJ slips around to a sleeper! ZSJ squeezes tight and uses his own shoulder as a way to keep the lock. But Fale just powers out and throws him down! Fale catches his breath but ZSJ dodges to wheelbarrow to a kneebar! But again, ZSJ is just not enough weight to make Fale fall. Fale pries at the leg scissors, and drags ZSJ over as he heads for ropes. ZSJ bends and twists the leg but the ropebreak makes him let go. After the ref counts to 4, that is.

ZSJ unties himself and avoids Fale’s angry stomp. He wrenches the arm and again, but Fale blocks the whip. Fale whips ZSJ to a corner hard, then runs in to squash him! ZSJ flops over and Fale drops an elbow. Into an armbar! ZSJ has Fale down but Fale has a tight grip. Fale shifts his weight, and deadlifts ZSJ up! ZSJ lets Fale go, but gets run over with a clothesline! Fale goes to the writhing ZSJ and brings him in for a Canadian rack. ZSJ fights out of Bad Luck Fall to get the sleeper, to the Iron Octopus! Fale endures as ZSJ twists the arm and pulls on fingers! ZSJ twists that arm all sorts of ways, but Fale backs into a ropebreak. And Jado SMACKS ZSJ with his kendo stick! Fale “falls” into the ref, so that he doesn’t see ZSJ get mugged by Chase Owens!

The Crown Jewel is becoming an ace in the hole as he gets away with beating down ZSJ. Sadly, Taka Michinoku can’t watch ZSJ’s back with his own injury keeping him out. Fale fetches ZSJ to then whip him into railing. Fale throws body shots as he brings ZSJ out into the crowd. Chase keeps the ref back as Fale dumps ZSJ onto chairs. Fans back out of the way as Fale throws things onto ZSJ. Fale brings ZSJ deeper into the crowd to throw him into more chairs. They go into the bleachers! Fale shoves the ref away and Chase helps back people off. Fale drags ZSJ up for the crucifix, but ZSJ escapes! ZSJ standing switches with Chase, Fale runs in, Fale only gets Chase! Fale grabs ZSJ for the Grenade! But ZSJ traps him in a hanging armbar!

The ring count finally begins as ZSJ manages to drag Fale down! Fale has to work with ZSJ’s dead weight, but the count is past 10! ZSJ lets go at 14 to scramble to the ring! He gets in at 17, Fale is still outside! The count hits 20!! ZSJ gets his first win of the tournament!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by count-out; earns 2 points

The Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion wins by the seat of his pants, but a win is a win for the G1! Will ZSJ be able to use this for a comeback? Or is even this count-out victory just not in time?

 

Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!

#EverybodyDies, but The Ace won’t do so without a fight! Tanahashi wants to make this his strongest comeback yet, but he’s up against another strong and returning heavyweight. Will Tanahashi survive the Killer Elite? Or will it be #GoAce as A Block keeps rocking?

Just like on night one, and every night, Archer DECKS Young Lions on his way out to the ring! It seems nothing can put out the raging fire inside of him. But then Tanahashi makes his entrance, and this fight begins as he dropkicks Archer’s legs before the bell! The bell does ring as Tanahashi keeps going at those legs with dropkicks and chop blocks! Archer bails out while Tanahashi takes off his jacket. Tanahashi then slingshots and topples Archer over! Tanahashi kicks Archer but Archer shoves him back. Archer reverses a whip but then Tanahashi reverses it back to send Archer into railing! Tanahashi catches his breath before pursuing Archer around the corner. Archer choke slams Tanahashi onto the apron!

Tanahashi crumbles to the floor while Archer grits his teeth. Archer shouts at the fans cheering for Tanahashi to shut up, then he glares as he goes back to the ring. Tanahashi anchors Archer’s feet on the apron! Archer kicks him away with ease, then apron CANNONBALLS to bowl Tanahashi over! Fans have to cheer for that, but then he tells them to shut up anyway. Archer drags Tanahashi up to ram him into the railing, then into the apron. Archer CHOPS Tanahashi while the count climbs. He puts Tanahashi in at 15 to finish this in the ring. Fans rally while Archer grinds his knee into Tanahashi’s face. Archer lets up as the ref counts, and fans actually start to duel!

Tanahashi throws forearms but they do nothing. Archer CLUBS Tanahashi ones, but then Tanahashi is up again. So Archer CHOPS Tanahashi off his feet! But Tanahashi is back again! He kicks the leg then whips, but Archer reverses for a scrapbuster! Cover, TWO! Archer is furious with the ref and scares him out of the ring. The referee reprimands Archer for a bad attitude, but then Archer intimidates Young Lions. Fans duel as Archer drags Tanahashi up. He reels Tanahashi in for a BIG lariat! He stands on Tanahashi for a cover, TWO! Archer is on Tanahashi with an armlock and chinbar. Fans duel as Tanahashi endures.

Tanahashi fights his way up but Archer throws him down by his hair. Archer tells Tanahashi, “This is MY house now! I’m the Ace now!” He then grabs the legs to tie them up, and the Texan wants to give Tanahashi a Texas Cloverleaf! But Tanahashi resists and fights free! Tanahashi blocks the boot to spin Archer, but he can’t get Archer up for a German Suplex. Archer elbows free and then runs at Tanahashi, big back elbow and again. He gets a third, then goes again, but gets a Slingblade! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Tanahashi and Archer slowly stir, but Tanahashi gets up to get the legs, for a grounded dragon screw! And then he laces them up, for the Cloverleaf! Archer resists, grabs some of Tanahashi’s hair, but then Tanahashi stops him with another dragon screw!

Fans continue to duel as Tanahashi is up first. Tanahashi runs but into a choke grip! He breaks free to palm strike! Tanahashi runs again, but Archer goes sideways to POUNCE! Archer has a wild look in his eyes as he looms over Tanahashi. He drags Tanahashi up into a corner, then to the top rope. Tanahashi fights back and has an arm, only for Archer to yank him down with it. Archer won’t let Tanahashi steal something from him. Archer has Tanahashi’s arm now, and climbs up the corner. Fans cheer as Archer goes Old School! And then extends it to another corner, for the ax handle, into TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi fires up, runs and Slingblades again! Cover, TWO! But Tanahshi doesn’t slow down, he goes up top! High Fly Flow-body! But is deflected into a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!

Archer doesn’t care Tanahashi survived, he’ll just add on! Twisting Vader SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! But Archer still has that wild look in his eyes. He prepares the claw, drags Tanahashi up, but the #EBD is blocked! Tanahashi tries his hardest to hold off that claw, but he and Archer go back and forth! The claw clamps on!! Archer powers Tanahashi back to the ropes, but holds on until the ref pulls him off! Archer drags Tanahashi back up and up top again to CHOP! Fans reach a fever pitch as they duel. Archer has Tanahashi’s legs and drags him off top for an Electric Chair. VICTORY ROLL! Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; earns 2 points

The Ace had something up his sleeve and he pulls this win out of nowhere! Archer is furious because he was just moments away! And he takes it out on the ref with a toss! Is Tanahashi going to make it back to the top? Is Archer’s next opponent going to pay for what Tanahashi did?

 

EVIL VS KENTA!

The King of Darkness wants to prove #EverythingIsEvil, but he has to end the winstreak of the man who wants to #Takeover NJPW! Will Evil spoil Kenta’s perfect debut run? Or does the “return to the original Kenta” only end with the G1 Climax 29 Finals?

The bell rings and the two stare down while fans cheer already. Evil and Kenta approach, and then Kenta runs into Evil’s kick. Evil headlocks and holds on as Kenta tries to power out. Kenta tries again but Evil holds on tight. Evil brings Kenta down to the mat but Kenta powers up and fights back. Kenta finally powers out but Evil runs him over with a shoulder! But Kenta is up quick to boot and whip Evil back. Kenta boots Evil again, but Evil’s right up! The two grind foreheads, but Evil pushes Kenta to the ropes. Kenta turns that around and lets up, but with a cold stare. Kenta rubs Evil’s eye shadow! He dare smudges the King of Darkness’ warpaint!? Evil grabs Kenta by the face, but Kenta kicks free and snapmares him down for a SWIFT kick!

Kenta circles Evil while he writhes. He positions Evil and jumps, only to scuff Evil’s face. Fans are divided by Kenta’s attitude as he smirks at Evil. Evil sits up but Kenta kicks him. Evil shakes his head, that doesn’t seem enough. So Kenta kicks him harder! Still not enough, and then Evil catches the kick, to give to Red Shoes, to mule kick Kenta down! Fans cheer as Evil throws Kenta out and follows after. Evil whips Kenta to railing, and then follows him around the way. Evil whips Kenta back into railing, then starts looking under the ring. He brings out chairs and jabs one into Kenta’s ribs. That chair’s not in good shape for what Evil wants, so he grabs another. Evil puts that chair around Kenta’s head! However, that broken chair still works for the HOMERUN!

Kenta falls from that chair shot, but fans fire up. Red Shoes reprimands Evil and tells him to get this back in the ring. Evil mostly ignores him to drag Kenta to the crowd! Anything Fale can do, Evil can do better, by throwing Kenta into the hallway! They brawl as they head backstage! Red Shoes follows to insist they go back to the ring. Evil brings Kenta around behind commentary and to the front row! The special VIP section clears out as Evil throws Kenta down! Evil clears some space by stacking chairs. Evil then drags Kenta over for a suplex, but Kenta resists! Kenta turns things around, but now Evil resists the suplex! Evil fights with body shots, and then suplexes Kenta again. Kenta fights back, too, and switches again, to suplex Evil onto the chair pile!

Evil writhes again while Kenta rises. Fans have a mixed reaction to the Pro-Wrestling NOAH and WWE alumni, but Kenta doesn’t care. He drags Evil back up and back to ringside as the ring count climbs to 10. Kenta gets Evil in at 13, then climbs up top. Kenta leaps to clothesline Evil down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Evil but Kenta is on him again with stiff kicks in the corner. Then he scrapes his boot on Evil’s face over and over. Kenta wants to hear the fans so they boo. He runs, but Evil follows to clothesline him in the corner. But then Kenta returns the favor with a hell of a kick! But then Evil gets the clothesline again! And then baits Kenta into another clothesline! Evil drags Kenta up, fisherman buster! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally up for Evil again as he stalks Kenta to the ropes. Evil kicks and scrapes Kenta back for just a moment ago. But Kenta grabs the foot and stands, to put the foot down. But Evil intercepts the slap with a forearm! Evil runs, but into a powerslam! Kenta catches his breath then heads for a corner. Kenta springboards to missile dropkick Evil to a corner! Then runs in to flying BOOT! Evil sits down, and Kenta gives him the hesitation dropkick! Kenta fires up and fans have to give him credit where credit is due. Kenta climbs up top again, leaps, double stomps! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta slashes the throat. He drags Evil up but Evil resists the fireman’s carry. Evil spins Kenta but Kenta slips to a sleeper, then the fireman’s!

But Evil escapes, to German Suplex Kenta down! Both men are down but stirring as fans rally and duel. The two grind foreheads to start throwing forearms. Evil hits first then Kenta hits back, and repeat! They do not stop, they only speed up! Evil gets an edge but Kenta counter punches! Then clotheslines, but Evil stays up! Kenta pins but is blocked, Evil headbutts Kenta down! Evil grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. Evil fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Kenta just manages to survive, but Evil keeps his cool. Evil slashes his throat now, and drags Kenta up. He spins, but Kenta slips out to a backslide! TWO, and now a small package, TWO! Kenta runs but into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!

Evil falls back, exhausted and frustrated from Kenta’s resilience. But the fans do not give up, so neither does he. Evil stands, and pulls off the armbands. Evil watches Kenta stand, then runs, but Kenta dodges to PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Kenta keeps his cool. Kenta runs to hit a second Psycho Knee! Cover, TWO!? Evil survives twice, but Kenta won’t let there be another. Kenta gets himself up then watches Evil sit up. Kenta runs but the Penalty Kick is blocked! He tries fighting free of Evil’s grip, but Evil holds on through many, many forearms! But then Kenta kicks the headbutt away! PENALTY KICK! Kenta slashes his throat again, drags Evil up, and fireman’s carry, to GO TO SLEEP!! Cover, Kenta wins!!

Winner: Kenta, by pinfall; earns 2 points

The one true #GTS does it again! Kenta is undefeated, 4-0, in both a NJPW and G1 Climax debut! Kenta has 8 points, and for the moment, he leads A Block! Will he remain the one and only block leader? Or does The Rainmaker keep pace with the newcomer?

 

Kota Ibushi VS SANADA!

The Golden Star and the Cold Skull are not dead in the block yet! However, one man could end up in dire straits if they drop to 1-3. Which rising star rises above the other as we go deeper into the G1?

The bell rings and fans are already thunderous for these fan favorites. Sanada and Ibushi stare down then circle. They approach with caution, then tie up. Ibushi gets an arm but Sanada the waistlock. Ibushi wristlocks free, but Sanada spins through to wrench Ibushi back. They go around as Ibushi rolls and trips Sanada to a toehold. Sanada works to counter with a chinlock, but Ibushi keeps him off while wrenching the foot. Sanada uses a leg to bring Ibushi down, but Ibushi sits back up before an armbar can be applied. Ibushi works his way out to get Sanada’s legs and lace them, and then he shifts to a chinlock. Sanada stands up but Ibushi just shifts to a cravat. Sanada still endures, and handsprings through the snapmare!

Things speed up right away as they each hurdle the other. Sanada dodges to throw Ibushi but Ibushi sweeps the legs. Sanada kicks out to sweep Ibushi back, but Ibushi kicks out just as fast. The two go again, Sanada headlock takeovers but Ibushi headscissors back. Sanada pops out and ducks under a roundhouse! Ibushi ducks the rolling sabat and then just leaves Sanada hanging on the dropkick. Fans cheer as Ibushi smirks at Sanada. Sanada has to smirk at that, too, while Ibushi catches his breath in the corner. Fans cheer and duel as the two men reset.

Sanada points out the crowd is rather even between them. So each man goes to a corner to get the fans cheering. The fans are so thunderous, it really is hard to tell which way it’s going. The two climb back down, and they circle again. They tie up and are deadlocked for a moment. Ibushi powers Sanada back to the ropes but he lets up with a pat of the shoulders. Sanada rushes with a kick but is blocked, and Ibushi looks to steal Paradise!? Sanada powers out of that, and then baits Ibushi into going out of the ring. He fakes Ibushi out to then tumble back in with his insane agility! But Ibushi missile dropkicks Sanada down for that! Fans still duel as Ibushi watches Sanada. Ibushi also makes sure his legs are okay before bringing Sanada up in a mounted chinlock. He grabs the arm and make sit a half camel clutch.

Sanada endures and reaches for ropes, but Ibushi pulls him away. They roll away from the ropes and Ibushi body scissors Sanada. Sanada works against the hold while fans continue to cheer, and he gets a ropebreak. Ibushi lets go but doesn’t lose his cool. Ibushi wants to see Sanada fight, so he gives him stomps. He eggs Sanada on, and Sanada sits up. Sanada gives Ibushi what he wants, with a CHOP! Ibushi eggs him on more, so Sanada CHOPS more. Ibushi KICKS Sanada down, then moonsaults, but onto knees! The fans continue their own duel while Ibushi winces. Ibushi stands first to kick Sanada more. He whips but Sanada reverses, and we see those infamous hurdles and dropkick! Sanada slingshots to splash down on Ibushi!

Sanada leaves Ibushi behind to check on some Los Ingobernables de Japon fans. They have a Sanada bear, so he holds it up proudly! Then he goes back to Ibushi while encouraging fans to get loud. Sanada drags Ibushi up and into the ring, then slowly follows after. He drags Ibushi up and wants a saido, but Ibushi blocks with a headlock and elbows. Sanada knees Ibushi to a corner, then whips Ibushi corner to corner. Ibushi reverses but Sanada tumbles and springboards. Ibushi gets under and Sanada rolls through, and Sanada runs into Ibushi’s powerslam! Then a roll and moonsault! Cover, TWO! The fans are thunderous all over again while both men are down. Ibushi sits up with a smirk while Sanada slowly sits up.

Ibushi fires off a strike fest on Sanada, topping it off with that back kick. Sanada ducks the Penalty Kick but Ibushi counters the roll-up by sitting down! Cover, TWO and Sanada has Ibushi upside-down! TWO, Sanada blocks the kick to dropkick the other leg! Ibushi staggers while Sanada runs, but then Ibushi gets clear of the dropkick to double stomp Sanada down! Both men are writhing from stinging pain in their limbs but the fans rally again. Sanada sits up but Ibushi follows, and the two go forehead to forehead. Ibushi throws the first forearm but Sanada throws one back. Ibushi hits Sanada again, but Sanada still gives it back. Now they stand as they throw forearms back and forth! And they pick up speed! Ibushi wobbles! But he comes back with a kick!

Sanada catches his breath from that impact, to come back with a stiff European Uppercut. Ibushi shakes it off to kick again. So Sanada gives another EuroUpper. Another kick, another EuroUpper! Kick, upper, kick, upper, and then Sanada gives more forearms. He boots Ibushi’s away to rolling elbow, but Ibushi LARIATS on the return! Ibushi is up first as fans still duel. Powerbomb, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and both men are exhausted. Yet Ibushi sits up again, and wants those wrists. Ibushi drags Sanada up, but narrowly misses Kamigoye. He still has hold of Sanada to try again, but Sanada again dodges, back slide. Sanada rolls and pump handles Ibushi, to steal Kamigoye!! Cover, TWO!!

Ibushi survives his own move but Sanada keeps moving. Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULT but he FLOPS! BOMAYE! The King of Strong Style would be proud! But Ibushi clutches his knee and can’t make a cover! Fans are thunderous again as Ibushi slowly sits up. Ibushi forces himself to stand and then drags Sanada up again. He scoops but Sanada escapes, to dragon sleeper! But Ibushi slips around to suplex, only for Sanada to get him again! Ibushi steals the dragon sleeper, but Sanada blocks that stolen Skull End, only for Ibushi to escape the stolen long dart! Ibushi again lifts Sanada to LONG DART! Both men are down in the corner and Red Shoes checks on Sanada. Somehow both men are okay to continue, and fans still rally.

Sanada clutches his shoulder while Ibushi holds his knee. Ibushi still rises first and brings Sanada up in a waistlock. He wants the full nelson but Sanada resists. Sanada breaks free of the nelson, but Ibushi German Suplexes! Only for Sanada to land on his feet! Ibushi ducks the clothesline to PELE, but Sanad still hits a sabat! Sanada whips but Ibushi reverses, only to get caught into the dragon sleeper! Sanada takes Ibushi for a swing! Then he drops down, but Ibushi rolls out! Double wrist control, but Sanada dodges Kamigoye again, to spin and Sliced Bread for his dragon sleeper, only for Ibushi to slip out and ROUNDHOUSE him down! Sanada is down but Ibushi wants to end this like a rockstar! BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?!

Ibushi won’t stop just because Sanada lives. He brings a knee pad down and drags Sanada up in the wristlocks. Kamigoye!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; earns 2 points

After missing it time and again, the Golden Star finally hits his best move to end this match! Ibushi keeps himself alive in this tournament while Sanada stagnates. But Ibushi does go over to Sanada, to show that he still respects the Cold Skull. Sanada leaves without a word. Will either of these men make it to the end of A Block?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay!

Once again, it is Chaos VS Chaos, Champion VS Champion, Mentor VS Student! The number 4 is considered bad luck in Japan, but will it be the Aerial Assassin’s lucky number? Or will the Rainmaker’s run remain unstained towards a collision course with Kenta?

The bell rings and the fans are already thunderous, with a lot of fans going for Ospreay! Okada and Ospreay circle and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Ospreay standing switches. Ospreay floats to a facelock but Okada switches that around. Ospreay switches it back, but Okada powers his way up to a wristlock. Okada wrenches but Ospreay spins through, reverses and snapmares to get a chinlock. Okada endures and works his way out the back. He hammerlocks Ospreay and snaps back to tweak it. Ospreay endures and works his way back up, to then hook and reverse the hammerlock onto Okada. Okada drop toeholds back to then waistlock to headlock. Okada throws Ospreay with a takeover, but Ospreay headscissors, only for Okada to pop out. Fans cheer as Ospreay and Okada stand off.

Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight champions back away to corners while fans duel. They come back and tie up again. Okada and Ospreay have a test of strength and go shoulder to shoulder. Okada rolls back to put the pressure on Ospreay’s knuckles. He then spins Ospreay to a hammerlock then the headlock. Ospreay powers out but Okada runs him over with a shoulder. Fans cheer as Okada poses, but then things speed up, and Ospreay monkey flips Okada down! Okada bails out and Ospreay builds speed, but when Okada moves, Ospreay adjusts to handspring and superhero land! Fans are fired up behind the Aerial Assassin while he stares Okada down. Ospreay even offers Okada an easy entry. Okada politely refuses and Ospreay gives him space. Until Okada gets back in!

Ospreay is on Okada with big forearms in the corner, and a CHOP! Okada staggers to another corner, but Ospreay kicks him to CHOP him. Ospreay wrenches and whips corner to corner but Okada reverses. Okada runs into an elbow, but dropkicks Ospreay off the top! Ospreay is down on the outside and Okada is willing to wait. The ring count begins, but Okada offers that easy entry back. Ospreay also declines, so Okada gives him space to get in. Okada brings the sore Ospreay up for a big elbow to that bad shoulder! Ospreay winces as he goes to the ropes, but Okada keeps on him. Okada elbows the shoulder more, then scoop slams Ospreay fast, for an even faster slingshot senton!

Okada goes back to Ospreay and stands him back up. He bumps Ospreay off buckles hard, then throws a big back elbow. Ospreay winces but Okada just gives him another. Okada backs off for Red Shoes to check on Ospreay. Ospreay comes back with a CHOP! But Okada doesn’t flinch. Ospreay gives more CHOPS, but they still do nothing. Okada DECKS Ospreay with that forearm! Okada whips Ospreay corner to corner but Ospreay reverses, only to miss and get Okada’s elbow again. But then Ospreay scoops Okada for a sudden suplex! Okada looks both shocked and in pain while fans rally up. Ospreay grits his teeth as he gets to his feet. Okada walks into forearms, then a whip. But he dodges only to miss his elbow. He avoids the handspring once, but not on the return! Ospreay takes Okada down with the flipping enziguri!

Fans return to a thunderous rally as Ospreay fires himself up. Okada gets to a corner and Ospreay runs in, but Okada puts him on the apron. Ospreay forearms back, then Pip Pip Cheerio, flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Okada is dazed but he does survive. Ospreay drags Okada up and into the underhooks, but Okada resists the Stormbreaker. Ospreay throws forearms and another CHOP, and that one gets through to Okada. Fans rally up again as Ospreay stalks Okada in the corner. Ospreay brings Okada up and whips him corner to corner, only for Okada to reverse. Okada blocks the boot but not the enziguri! Tiger feint caught, into Alabama position, Air Raid Crash! Now things are even again as both men are down.

Fans cheer as Okada kips right up! Then shotgun dropkick! Ospreay hits buckles then hits the mat! Okada drags Ospreay back up and scoops for another slam. Then he heads up top, and fans cheer as Okada takes aim. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! Fans fire up as Okada gives us the Rainmaker Pose! Okada reels Ospreay in but Ospreay backs him to a corner. Okada boots Ospreay then runs, but into Ospreay’s dropkick-flip! But Okada ducks the enziguri that follows, to reel Ospreay into a German Suplex! But Ospreay lands on his feet! ROUNDHOUSE! Ospreay whips but Okada still reverses, only for his dropkick to be left hanging! Ospreay’s shooting star gets knees! Okada whips and the dropkick hits this time!

Fans are thunderous once more as Okada gut wrenches, Tombstone Piledriver! Okada gives another pose, then reels Ospreay in, but Ospreay wheelbarrows and victory rolls! TWO, ROBINSON SPECIAL! The falling spin kick hits, and now Ospreay calls for his own. Ospreay springboards but the dropkick clips him enough to send him out! Okada has time to catch his breath now. He goes to the apron and drags Ospreay up. Okada fireman’s carries but Ospreay resists. Ospreay fights back with elbows and forearms. Okada hits back, and the two teeter on the apron’s edge. They keep hitting each other with forearms and they pick up speed. Ospreay gets the edge and sits Okada down! Fans fire up as Ospreay stands Okada up, only for Okada to uppercut! Fireman’s carry but Ospreay slips out to ROUNDHOUSE!

Okada staggers to the floor and Ospreay climbs, but Okada yanks him down! Ospreay is in a Tree of Woe on the outside, and Okada hauls him off for a Tombstone position, only for Ospreay to shove out. HOOK KICK! OSCUTTER!! Ospreay uses railing for a springboard to drop Okada to the floor! Fans rally again while Red Shoes checks on both champions. They’re still okay so a ring count begins. Ospreay sits up at 8 and stands at 11 to get in at 12. But Okada is still outside as the count passes 15! Okada staggers at 18 and hops in at 19.5! Ospreay flies in with a Coast 2 Coast missile dropkick!! Cover, TWO!! Okada lives and Ospreay can’t believe it. Ospreay keeps moving, springboard to OSCUTTER! Cover, TWO!?

The fans are back at a thunderous level as Ospreay can’t believe Okada survives! Ospreay refocuses with a wild look in his eyes. He drags Okada over to a corner, and he uses said corner to leap, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Okada holds on and wristlocks, but Ospreay escapes only to run into another dropkick! Okada fires up, stands Ospreay up for the wristlock, Rain-SPANISH FLY!? Cover, TWO!! Ospreay scrambles to a corner and the top rope, SHOOTING STAR!! Cover, TWO!?! Okada survives by the skin of his teeth and the fans are at that fever pitch! Ospreay still has one thing left to try and he vows to do it! He drags Okada up, underhooks, and lifts… STORM- Gut wrench, but Ospreay turns that around! Ospreay throws in knees before stealing the TOMBSTONE!!

But Ospreay won’t end it with Okada’s move! He stands Okada up, spins him around, HOOK KICK! Underhooks, lift, but Okada slips out to point-blank RAINMAKER! But Okada holds onto the wrist, too! Ospreay and Okada both have looks in their eyes like they’re in another space, as Okada drags Ospreay up for another RAINMAKER! Okada isn’t done there, either! He drags Ospreay up, wristlocks, but Ospreay slips through! Underhooks, lift, but Okada still escapes Stormbreaker! Ospreay tries to steal Rainmaker at the last second, but Okada ducks and spins Ospreay for a DISCUS RAINMAKER!! And as Okada himself reaches a fever pitch, TRUE RAINMAKER!!!! Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; earns 2 points

4-0 is a magic number! Okada is 4-0 against Ospreay all-time, and is 4-0 in G1 Climax 29! The Rainmaker will stay even with Kenta, and now it comes down to them! When these two top A Block contenders meet, there can only be one!

 

NJPW returns as Okada has the mic.

He counts his wins, and says he has “Number four~!” The G1 Climax isn’t even halfway over though, huh? But clearly, Okada still has life yet. Okada vows that the next time he’s in Tokyo, it will be for the Budokan three-day event. And he looks forward to closing out this tournament with another win here. Fans like the sound of that! Okada continues to say, “Let’s keep this thing rolling, folks!” When the G1 Climax returns to Tokyo, NJPW and Okada will #MakeItRain! A short but sweet statement by THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion!

 

NJPW Media Backstage Interviews

Okada admits “Ospreay was really strong.” And that’s all there is to that, “because it’s already in the past.” But now on to Nagoya, and Kenta. “As the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the top of the food chain in the pro-wrestling world,” he’ll make sure Kenta will get “a taste of my power.” Another short and sweet statement for the champion. With plenty of Climax left, who will be the very top of A Block after the next round? And who else will start the hard climb up to join them at this whole ‘nother level?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Another great, great night for AXS’s coverage of NJPW. There’s just so much of the G1 Climax going on, it is all AXS can do to cover Night 7 the same day as it happened in Japan. But it doesn’t matter what night, all the action is great! Nobody lets up just because they’re down, since they can also spoil things for their opponents. And that’s clear with ZSJ and Fale. A similar strategy used against Fale last year, ZSJ strands him outside and lets the ring count take care of him. Tanahashi winning with a victory roll on Archer was great, because it really frames how dangerous Archer has become. This will be great for Archer coming out of the tournament as he looks for targets for feuds. His first feud might even be Tanahashi so we get a decisive finish between them.

Both of A Block’s LIJ members did great tonight, even in defeat. Evil and Kenta was a great match, with Evil slowly but surely proving he can be a singles contender like Sanada. But obviously given Kenta and Okada are next, it just makes sense to have Kenta be undefeated to hype that match. Sanada VS Ibushi was a great match, and it felt like it could’ve gone either way. But it is a great choice to have Ibushi win because it will force Sanada to rethink things just a bit, while Ibushi grows stronger as a reward for his dedication to NJPW. Ospreay’s story was incredible for being twofold: he wants to get wins in the tournament, but he also wants to show he finally can beat Okada. And him losing is a double-down on his long journey of rising up. And again, Okada staying undefeated to go against undefeated Kenta, that just makes the next round even more critical to watch.

My Score: 9.1/10


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