In honor of the 28th G1 Climax, AXS gives a double dose of NJPW with the finals from both the 26th & 27th G1 Climax tournaments, both starring Kenny Omega!
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- G1 Climax 26 Finals: Hirooki Goto VS Kenny Omega; Omega wins.
- G1 Climax 27 Finals: Tetsuya Naito VS Kenny Omega; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS review what led to this G1 Climax 26 finals!
First, in Block A, the Fierce Warrior of Chaos defeated the likes of Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tomohiro Ishii, but losing to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Sanada and Kazuchika Okada. It was by only one point that he advanced over The Rainmaker, who had a draw against The Ace, and thereby costing him in the end. Meanwhile, in Block B, it would be The Cleaner, Kenny Omega! Omega was tied with Tetsuya Naito at 12 points each, but because Omega beat Naito in their own encounter, that gave the Bullet Club leader the edge. Goto won the 2008 G1 Climax, and wants to achieve it again. Omega has yet to do the same, but he aims for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship held by Okada. Whose determination will be what carries them through to victory?
G1 Climax 26 Finals: Hirooki Goto VS Kenny Omega!
Who will win the right to hold the Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate for Wrestle Kingdom?
The official introductions are made, and referee Red Shoes checks that both men have nothing illegal on their person. Fans are already thunderous for both men wtih the bell. Omega embraces it, and even encourages them. He and Goto tie up, and he gets a waistlock. Goto pries his way out with a wristlock, but Omega pulls hair. Omega puts Goto on the ropes but backs off with mocking pats on the shoulder, and even one on the cheek. Goto keeps his cool and circles with Omega again. They tie up again, and Goto gets a waistlock. Omega pries his way out with a wristlock, but Goto rolls and gets the takedown. Goto goes for a foot but Omega turns that to an armbar. Goto rolls to a cover, TWO, but Goto keeps on Omega. Omega slips out of the facelock, and the two back off.
They circle again, then approach. Goto kicks then gets a hammerlock. He shifts to a headlock, but Omega grabs hair again. Omega powers out but Goto runs him over with a shoulder. Goto runs and tricks Omega into jumping up, but Omega still gets Goto with a huricanrana! Goto bails out and Omega starts up the Terminator drums. Omega builds speed but Goto returns to kick him in the bad leg! Fans boo the shrewd strategy but Goto ignores them to kick at the leg more. Omega gets to a corner but Goto sweeps his legs. Goto drags Omega over to then wrench Omega’s foot with a standing toehold. Omega endures as Goto turns it into a Figure Four! Fans rally for Omega as he reaches for ropes. Omega manages the ropebreak, and Goto lets him go. Goto keeps on Omega in the corner, kicking the leg against the ropes.
Fans boo more as Goto tortures Omega. Omega hits back with forearms, but Goto kicks Omega low. Omega goes after the eyes! Then he runs, but into Goto’s clothesline! Goto sends Omega out hard, then follows to stomp Omega out. Goto drives in elbows and follows Omega as he staggers around. He brings Omega up to whip him at the barriers. Omega stops himself, mule kicks Goto back, then uses the railings for the moonsault! Omega wipes Goto out but his legs pay the cost in the landing. The 20 count begins but reaches 10 as Omega scoop slams Goto into the barriers! Omega gets in at 13, but Goto is barely stirring. Omega decides to keep this going, as he powerbombs Goto on the apron! Goto crumples to the floor while Omega takes time to catch his breath and stretch his legs.
Omega goes in the ring at the count of 7, and leaves Goto to the count’s mercy. Goto sits up at 11, drags himself up, and manages to beat it at 18. Omega is right on him, and turns him over for a Rude Awakening neckbreaker, complete with hip swivels. Cover, TWO! Fans are still thunderous as Omega puts Goto in a half camel clutch. Omega pulls back and thrashes Goto around. Goto powers towards ropes but Omega holds on. Omega pulls back, then traps an arm for a half straitjacket addition. Goto still fights with the other arm to get the ropebreak. Omega lets go, to stomp away on Goto. He sits Goto up for a stiff chop, then covers. TWO, but Omega keeps on him with a neck wrench. Goto endures while fans duel. Goto drags himself around, and gets another ropebreak.
Omega lets him go, but goes right back at him for a buckle bump. He chops Goto again, and again. Omega whips Goto corner to corner, then runs in, but misses teh back elbow. Goto fires off forearms, then whips Omega. Goto runs into boots, then Omega adds the Kotaro Krusher leap-frog bulldog! Cover, TWO! Omega grows frustrated, but the fans are still with him. Omega stands and drags Goto up, but Goto fires back. Goto chops and chops, but Omega just eggs him on. Goto chops again, then Omega chops back. They trade chops, then Omega kicks and elbows Goto’s neck. Omega whips but Goto reverses. Omega slips around and runs again, but Goto follows to clobber him with a clothesline!
Both men are down but Goto stands up first. Omega follows, but Goto throws forearms. Goto whips Omega corner to corner for the heel kick! Then a big saido suplex! Omega flounders to his feet but Goto runs back in for a big corner clothesline. Goto throws Omega down and climbs up while fans boo. Goto takes aim, and hits the elbow drop. High stack cover, but Omega uses that for a ropebreak. Goto grabs Omega again, fireman’s carry, but Omega slips out and spits! Omega lifts Got, “You Can’t Escape!” rolling senton and moonsault! Cover, TWO! Omega won’t stop, he grinds his forearm into Goto’s face. Fans don’t really like that, but Omega backs off to bring Goto up. Omega clubs Goto in the back but Goto feeds off it.
Goto feeds off the kick and the forearm and eggs Omega on. Omega gives him more, but it makes Goto stronger. Omega goes after the eyes again, then blows a kiss. He runs but Goto follows, but Goto ends up into a Snap Dragon Suplex! Omega knows he’s the smarter wrestler, and as Goto gets out, the Terminator drums start again. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Both men crash and burn, but Omega gets up first to soak in the cheers. He makes sure his leg is still good while the 20 count begins again. Omega drags Goto up at 11, then puts him in the ring at 15.
Omega takes aim from the apron, then climbs up top, for a missile dropkick to the back! He won’t cover there, he brings Goto up in another full nelson. Goto breaks free but Omega rocks him with haymakers and forearms. Omega runs, but into a fireman’s carry, and Ushigoroshi! Both men are down from exhaustion and soreness, but the fans are fired up again. Omega drags himself to the apron, but Goto pursues with the clothesline! He clobbers Omega again, and onto the apron, but he’s not done yet. Goto drags Omega up to hoist him to the top rope. Goto climbs up to throw hands but Omega throws them back. They brawl, but Goto gets the edge with a headbutt. Goto fireman’s carry, SUPER USHIGOROSHI!! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Omega survives, and fans are fired up from shock alone.
Goto stands up and stalks Omega. He grabs Omega around the neck for the sleeper, and Omega fades. Goto doesn’t let it end there, but Omega fights out of the GTR, then shoves Goto away. Omega grabs Goto in a sleeper, but Goto turns it back around into his own. Omega reaches for ropes but can’t get away. Goto pushes Omega into a buckle, then German Suplexes on the rebound! But Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger! Then from there, cross-leg brainbuster, Aoi Shoudou! Omega fights through the pain in his knees to target Goto again. BANG, he runs, another V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, but Goto escapes the electric chair to put on the sleeper!
Omega powers Goto to a corner, but Goto holds on. Another bump and Goto lets go, but then hops back on for a backpack sleeper. Omega turns around and decides to climb the corner! From the top rope, Omega just FALLS BACK! The hold is broken, but that was a double-edged move for Omega. Both men slowly stir as a 10 count begins. Omega stands at 9, while Goto manages to follow. Omega turns back to Goto, and he throws big forearms. Goto gives them back and now it’s a brawl. Fans duel as these two go back and forth. Omega runs to boot, then tries again, but Goto dodges. Omega sees the elbow coming and counters with another V-Trigger. He lifts Goto for a powerbomb, LAST RIDE SIT-OUT! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives a move borrowed from Kota Ibushi, and Omega can’t believe it.
Fans are at a fever pitch as Omega positions Goto before climbing up. Phoenix Splash FLOPS as Goto rolls away! Omega fails to use Ibushi’s golden combination, and Goto rises. Goto prepares his own finish, and buzzsaw kicks Omega down. Cover, TWO!! Goto won’t stop, he suplexes Omega, but Omega slips out. The knee buckles and Goto headbutts Omega. Goto scoops and spins Omega for the Ura Shouten facebuster slam! Cover, TWO!! This match is still not over, despite all both men have done to each other! Both men slowly stand as the fans continue to be thunderous.
Goto grabs Omega, but Omega knees out. Omega tries but Goto blocks the V-Trigger. Goto swings but Omega boots that away to then hit the V-Trigger! Full nelson to Snap Dragon Suplex! Cover, TWO!! Omega looks desperate, but he does have something left to give. He aims, BANG, but Goto blocks the V-Trigger! Goto holds onto the leg but Omega fights out. Omega gives muay thai knees, but runs into a lariat! Goto fires up, drags Omega up, SHOUTEN KAI! Cover, TWO!? The move that won in 2008 fails to win in 2016!
Goto is not deterred, as he drags Omega up. Omega turns it around but Goto resists the suplex. Goto tries but Omega resists. Omega suplexes, Bloody Sunday! He borrows Prince Devitt’s move! Omega drags Goto up, and uses the Styles Clash!! Cover, TWO!? Goto survives yet another Bullet Club move, but now Omega uses HIS move, the One Winged Angel!! Cover, Omega wins!!
Winner: Kenny Omega
History is made! Omega is the first foreigner to win the G1 Climax, and did it in his first try! And Bullet Club appears to celebrate with him! The Guerrillas of Destiny, Fale, Tokyo Pimp, and Hangman Page are out to wave the Bullet Club banner and hold up their triumphant leader. They only let him down so he can official receive the G1 Climax 26 trophy. Omega is handed the G1 Climax banner to place in the stand, but he decides to drop that flag in place of the Bullet Club’s! Tama Tonga places that for him while he takes a moment to speak.
“Before the G1, oh heck, during the G1, a lot of people said the Bullet Club is over! The Bullet Club should disband!” But nope, the Bullet Club isn’t over, it’s 4 Life! People wonder if The Elite is over, since The Young Bucks aren’t present. They’re not over, because without The Elite, “wrestling is boring and it sucks.” But Omega must say this, “Days like this, they happen maybe once in a lifetime.” Don’t be afraid to dream and reach for the stars. But be warned, just as you’re about to reach your dreams, someone like Omega might swoop in and take them. Omega is the best, more talented, more determined, he is not like one of us. But he wrestles for us so count yourselves lucky.
This goes to all the other wrestlers in the world, especially those in Orlando. Today’s our lucky day, because this is a lot of study material to make your Omega Lite, but it won’t happen. Then to Okada, “you are the IWGP Heavyweight Champion” but has yet to meet Omega, so that is what we will get.
But Omega knows no one here understands, so he translates to Japanese. But just this once. “Are you surprised? I hate to say it, up until now I didn’t want to speak Japanese. I am the Heel after all.” As a Heel, he’s not supposed to speak Japanese, he’s supposed to hate your favorite wrestlers, because you’re not supposed to cheer a Heel. Do the fans hate him? Whether they do or not, Omega vows that Japan is his home, as is NJPW, so he’s not going “over there.” So good bye, MWAH, and good night, BANG! The streamers fall, and the true celebration begins!
NJPW and AXS review what led to this G1 Climax 27 finals!
In Block A, Tetsuya Naito has an amazing run as he earns 14 points with seven wins and only one loss to the bigger Bad Luck Fale and Tomohiro Ishii. He would beat out Hiroshi Tanahashi who had 12 points, as The Ace lost to Naito in their encounter, as well as to Zack Sabre Jr. The leader of Los Ingobernables won back in 2013 and looks to repeat. Speaking of repeating, Kenny Omega returns as he not only beats The Rainmaker in points but in their own G1 encounter! The Cleaner could not defeat Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom, but his quest for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship has not ended. Which man will be a repeat G1 Climax champion after the match?
G1 Climax 27 Finals: Tetsuya Naito VS Kenny Omega!
The Uncontrollable Charisma has held many titles in NJPW, but was IWGP Heavyweight Champion just a year before this. Meanwhile, The Cleaner is the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, but he wants another chance at the world title. Who will become a repeat G1 Climax winner and the man aimed at The Rainmaker’s reign?
The official introductions are made, the entrance gear is removed and Red Shoes does his check. The bell rings and we begin!
Fans are already thunderous but Omega and Naito are calm as they circle. Naito and Omega approach, but Naito side steps Omega. Omega is annoyed for falling for Naito’s classic games, but they approach again. Naito does it again, wanting everyone to take it easy. Omega and Naito circle again, but now Omega uses Naito’s trick against him. Omega and Naito approach, and they both use the feint. Naito turns around to kick Omega then whip. Omega reverses but Naito holds rope to spit at Omega! Fans boo Naito, but Omega chops him several times. Omega whips Naito, but Naito ducks and counters the back drop by throwing Omega out. Naito builds speed, to Tranquilo! Fans cheer Naito’s ego, but Omega does his best to keep his cool.
Omega returns but Naito is ready. Naito throws Omega out again, then attacks him at the railings. They go around the corner, and Naito whips Omega at the barrier. Omega stops himself, mule kicks Naito, then opens the gate. He thinks better of disturbing the fans, so he moonsaults off the railing! Omega takes out Naito and fans fire up. Omega brings Naito up to ram him into the railings, then do it again before putting him in the ring. He runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito as he rolls away to ropes. Omega puts him in a corner to club his back and chop his chest. Omega whips Naito corner to corner, but Naito puts him on the apron. Naito sweeps the legs then drags Omega up, for an apron neckbreaker! Omega clutches his head but Naito just adds a draping neckbreaker to the floor!
Red Shoes comes out to check on Omega, but Naito won’t leave The Cleaner alone. Naito rams Omega into railings now, then puts Omega in the ring. Fans rally while Naito stomps Omega in the neck and shoulders. Naito elbows away on Omega in a corner, but Omega comes back with forearms of his own. Naito fires off more, then runs. Omega scoops Naito but Naito slips out for the inverted backbreaker and basement dropkick. Omega rolls out of the ring, so Naito runs. Naito looks to Tranquilo, but then he still DIVES!
The tope suicida is double-edged as Naito’s legs don’t get cleanly through ropes. Omega is prone on the commentary table while Naito catches his breath. Naito joins Omega out there, makes room for himself and Omega, then brings Omega up for a piledriver! It goes off the edge and perhaps to the railing and floor! The Young Bucks are concerned for Omega, but he’s still moving. Naito gets up and leaves Omega behind while he goes back to the ring. The 20 count reaches 10 as Omega stands back up. Omega gets back in at 15, but Naito is ready for him. Naito German Suplexes and bridges! TWO, but Naito keeps his cool. Naito stalks Omega, and puts on a full nelson. Omega breaks out and elbows back, but Naito dropkicks the knee. Naito runs in for a jump kick, sweeps the leg, but Omega boots the swinging dropkick away!
Fans start the Terminator drums for Omega as he drags Naito up. Omega chops Naito, then chops him again. Naito staggers, but Omega keeps on him with a running backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito, but Omega gives him another chop. Cover, TWO! Omega puts Naito on his stomach to bring him into the half camel clutch. Omega pulls back on Naito, but Naito endures. Naito moves around and gets the ropebreak with his feet. Omega stomps him out for it, then drags Naito up for clubbing forearms. Omega whips Naito corner to corner hard, and Naito bounces off buckles to hit the mat. Naito writhes but Omega drags him back up. Omega whips him again, and harder still. Omega’s not done, he brings Naito up for a saido suplex. Cover, TWO!
Fans are thunderous again while Omega works on new ideas. Omega drags Naito up but Naito hits back with forearms. Naito clubs away on Omega, then whips him to ropes. Omega reverses, fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” rolling senton, but the impact messes with Omega’s own neck. Omega is slow to doing the moonsault, and Naito catches him on the top rope. Naito climbs up to join Omega, for a flying neckbreaker! Both men are down from exhaustion and pain, but fans rally up again. Omega slowly stands, then Naito follows. They both run in but Naito is the one rallying. Naito hip tosses to basement dropkick! Omega gets to a corner, and elbows back at Naito. Omega runs, but into an atomic drop. Naito repeats the jump kick, leg sweep and this time hits the swinging dropkick!
Fans applaud while Naito poses. Naito gets up and goes for a neckbreaker, but Omega elbows out. Naito kicks Omega back, but runs into Omega’s huricanrana! The Terminator drums begin again as Naito rolls out. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit, and the Young Bucks are there to coach Omega up. Fans duel between the two as Omega stands up. He brings Naito up and into the ring, then fires himself up. Omega climbs up top, for the missile dropkick to the back! Cover, TWO, but Omega says he’s going to end this. Omega stands and stalks Naito. He brings Naito up in the full nelson, but Naito breaks free and fights back. Naito runs but is reeled into a back chop. Omega tries again but Naito breaks free of the full nelson to then rock Omega with a right.
Naito kicks but misses the enziguri, and ends up in a deadlift German Suplex! Omega doesn’t cover, but Naito is still dazed. Omega drags Naito up, cross leg lift, for the Aoi Shoudo! Fans and the Young Bucks are all fired up while Omega loads up. Omega aims, BANG, but misses the V-Trigger. Naito German Suplexes but Omega lands on his feet. Omega runs into a tornado DDT! Both men are down but the Bucks coach Omega up. Fans duel while Naito and Omega slowly stand. Naito runs in and hoists Omega up. Naito climbs, but Omega makes it a SUPER Snake Eyes! Omega keeps going, Snap Dragon! Then from the corner, V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega can’t believe it, but Naito does survive.
Omega wants to steal the Jay Driller but Naito fights out. He gets clubbed on the back, and Omega tries again. Naito takes that powerbomb lift and turns it into a DDT! Both men are down, but Omega crawls to a corner. Fans continue to be thunderous for both men. Naito slowly sits up, but Omega takes aim again. Naito runs in, blocks the boots, and gives Omega the draping backbreaker! Then hammerlock and half nelson, but Omega fights out. Enziguri hits! Naito whips but Omega reverses, only to take a leaping forearm smash from Naito! Naito lifts Omega for the hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, even with all the damage to his neck! Naito drags Omega up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Destino is countered into the crunchy roll driver! Cover, TWO!!
Omega grows frustrated with Naito but the fans are loving this. Omega goes to a corner, but Naito is on him. They brawl while Naito climbs up. Naito prepares a superplex, but Omega DDTs Naito into the post! Omega keeps on Naito, adjusting their positions. Omega brings Naito up, SUPER STEINER counter!! Both men are down again, but the fans are still fired up. Naito puts Omega up on the top rope in another corner, then climbs up. Naito gives Omega a SUPER Reverse-Rana! Cover, TWO!! Omega continues to endure so much damage to the neck. Naito scoops and slams Omega, then climbs up top. Stardust Press FLOPS as Omega evades! They’re both down again, but Omega drags himself up first. Omega hobbles over to Naito, then drags him up.
Fans are dueling while Omega prepares the Driller. Omega lifts, and hits it! Cover, TWO!? Omega still can’t believe this. He gets up again, drags Naito up, and gives him a point-blank V-Trigger! Omega sits Naito up again, for another V-trigger! He won’t stop, he wants to break Naito. He brings Naito up again, but Naito falls before the V-Trigger can hit. Omega drags his dead weight up, runs, but Naito blocks the V-Trigger. Omega pries himself free to hit it again, then gut-wrench for the Dr. Wily Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Naito will not die! Fans are at a fever pitch now, but Omega takes aim again. BANG, for another V-Trigger! Omega lifts Naito up in the electric chair, but Naito revives to hit another Reverse-Rana! They’re both at the ropes so this won’t even be a cover.
Both men slowly get up. DESTINO OUTTA NOWHERE! TWO!?! But that doesn’t stop Naito, Destino countered into the electric chair, CROYT’S WRATH! TWO!! Omega keeps going, Rain-Trigger! The Cleaner shows no mercy as he once again takes aim. BANG, and another V-Trigger! Then, electric chair, but wait, DESTINO!! Fans are about to lose their voices they’re shouting that much. Both men are down, so a 10 count begins. The count reaches 7 before Omega and Naito sit up. Omega stalks Naito, but Naito hits first. Omega chops back, but Naito comes back with a forearm.
They both stagger but come back, and Omega chops again. Naito forearms Omega, but Omega slaps. Now it’s a slap fight! Naito gets the edge, then makes it forearms again. Omega hits a V-Trigger! Then runs for another! Omega runs again, but Naito denies the next one with his rolling kick! Naito uses the Snap Dragon! Cover, TWO, but barely as Omega only rolls off. Naito comes back, Destino denied, but not with the tilt-o-whirl! Cover, TWO!?!? But Naito feels it, he’s close. He brings Omega up, another Destino! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito
And there it is! Naito becomes a two-time G1 Climax winner with 2013 and now 2017! Omega, who fails to be the first foreigner to go back-to-back, leaves with the help of The Bucks. Meanwhile, LIJ joins their victorious leader in the ring. EVIL, Bushi, Sanada and Hiromu wait on the outside while Naito is presented the G1 Climax trophy. He goes to throw it!? Just kidding! He wants everyone to relax, he’s not that crass. Masahiro Chono presents Naito with the banner, and even fist bumps Naito before Red Shoes places the banner in the stand. Naito takes up the mic to speak.
“Buenas noches, Ryogoku! For everyone here and in the world, who support LIJ… did you enjoy the G1 and pro-wrestling more than previous years? The winner is Naito from LIJ. I want to say thank you to you guys who gave me the greatest stage. Gracias, amigos!” Fans applaud his gratitude, but he has more to say. Naito won the G1 Climax four years ago, “but at that time, I set myself up, so I couldn’t say what I really felt. But me now, I can say what I want to say with confidence. I’m the main player of New Japan!” A bold claim, but fans respect it. Now to finish, please shout as loud as you can, for the roll call! EVIL! Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! And Naito! We are Los Ingobernables~~~ de Japon! And the streamers are released!
Two great matches in two hours, and clearly it is all in honor of the 28th G1 Climax that’s currently underway. The previous two G1 Climax finals are also fitting because they help tell the story of current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega. Omega was amazing in both these matches, and logically he gets better from 26 to 27, and this also speaks to the greatness of both Goto and Naito. Omega winning G1 Climax 26 was proof of how popular he was around the world, but especially with the Japan home base. It was a great element in his promo to get meta about Heels being hated, and in Japan that means speaking anything other than Japanese. But Omega got over because he knows Japanese fluently, and that with his ring skill is why he made it to the top, with a natural feeling build.
My Score(s): G1 26: 8/10; G1 27: 8.5/10; Overall: 8.5/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10