AXS TV begins coverage of the 28th NJPW G1 Climax! Tonight will be all about Block A’s opening round, to see who gains the first points in this round robin!
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Minoru Suzuki VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Jay White; White wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
Every Summer, 20 of the best wrestlers in the world compete in the most prestigious tournament. The winner becomes a part of history while earning a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
We begin with Block A. In this group, Chaos’ Jay White and Kazuchika Okada go against each other for the first time ever. The Switchblade has always wanted to challenge the Rainmaker for the reins of the stable, can the young New Zealander take advantage of his now title-less leader? Then, The Ace and the Meanest Man in the World have a rematch from their IWGP Intercontinental Championship feud. Can Hiroshi Tanahashi get revenge? Or will Minoru Suzuki show no mercy and finish this once and for all?
AXS TV quickly recaps other matches from Block A.
Togi Makabe defeats Yoshi-Hashi while the Unbreakable Mike Elgin brings down EVIL, but the real fun was in an early Bullet Club Civil War match. The Problem Solver, Hangman Page, battled the Underboss, Bad Luck Fale, but things would not be settled as Tama Tonga interfered. The leader of the #FiringSquad would assault Hangman, then assault Red Shoes as brother Tonga Loa would join in. The Tongan trio would continue to beat down Hangman, but that only gave him the win via disqualification. The beating wouldn’t stop, so it was up to Kenny Omega to lead Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens in to run the Tongans off. The civil war won’t stop just because it’s the G1, how much more will it derail the tournament’s intentions?
Minoru Suzuki VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
The cruel King of Pancrase and the Once in a Century Talent waged a brutal war over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. In the end, Suzuki won the title while putting Tanahashi out of action. Now these two collide again in the Climax! Who will win the match and earn themselves two points in the round robin bracket?
The bell rings and fans are strongly behind Tanahashi. He and Suzuki circle then approach. They feel it out, but then Suzuki just fires off fast and furious strikes. Tanahashi turns it around to give one big haymaker. He whips but Suzuki boots, only for Tanahashi to catch it. Tanahashi elbows the leg, then runs, but Suzuki avoids the low dropkick. Suzuki runs while Tanahashi hits the mat, but Tanahashi dodges the Penalty Kick. Tanahashi runs but Suzuki side steps to get the sleeper. Suzuki wrangles Tanahashi down, but Tanahashi stands back up. Tanahashi snapmares Suzuki off, then throws a palm strike. Tanahashi runs, but Suzuki dropkicks the legs out. Suzuki slithers over for the heel hook! Tanahashi rolls around but Suzuki holds on.
Suzuki rolls it back the other way, but Tanahashi drags himself towards ropes. Suzuki drags him away from ropes then reapplies the hook. Tanahashi fights with his free foot, but can’t get free. He drags himself to ropes, but Suzuki rolls him away. Suzuki laces his legs on Tanahashi’s other foot, then wrenches back hard. Tanahashi endures but Suzuki just laughs at him. Tanahashi drags himself around more, but Suzuki keeps wrenching. Suzuki drags him away, and reapplies the heel hook with an extra twist! Tanahashi writhes in pain while fans rally up for him. Tanahashi sits up and powers his way towards ropes, but Suzuki still wrenches harder. Suzuki drags Tanahashi backwards into a kneebar and toehold! He drags Tanahashi up for an ankle lock!
Tanahashi rolls but Suzuki sits down on the toehold again. Tanahashi tries to fight with his hands but Suzuki grabs an arm for a double wristlock! Suzuki makes Tanahashi into a pretzel! Tanahashi manages to roll through but Suzuki returns to just the kneebar and heel hook. Fans keep rallying so Tanahashi continues to endure. Suzuki makes it an STF! But Tanahashi refuses to quit, so Suzuki changes to a Half Crab, that he literally lets fall backward into an Achilles lock! Suzuki even keeps Tanahashi’s free leg preoccupied with a toehold. Tanahashi rolls, and finally gets a ropebreak! We go to break while Suzuki lets Tanahashi go.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki drags Tanahashi up by his hair. Suzuki forearms Tanahashi in the face, then does it again. Tanahashi staggers on one leg but Suzuki keeps hitting him. Suzuki toys with Tanahashi, but Tanahashi fires back. Tanahashi’s forearms only feed Suzuki, and Suzuki hits back with kicks to the bad leg. Suzuki kicks away from all sides, but then gets caught in a dragon screw! Tanahashi evens things with that one. Fans rally up for Tanahashi as he works on his own leg. Suzuki stands but Tanahashi follows. Tanahashi runs and manages a dropkick! He whips Suzuki, but Suzuki reverses. Tanahashi manages to stay up on that leg, and comes back with flying forearms! The Ace fires up, as do the fans. He drags Suzuki up and over to a corner. Tanahashi scoop slams Suzuki, then hops up top. Suzuki rolls so the senton flops!
Suzuki runs and gets the Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO, Suzuki goes after the leg! Suzuki puts the Achilles lock on, then goes to a Figure Four Leglock! Tanahashi’s legs again endure powerful pressure, but he refuses to quit. Suzuki wrenches as he can, but Tanahashi has the fans behind him. Tanahashi works to roll this over, and succeeds! The pressure goes on Suzuki, but he manages to roll it bakc. Tanahashi uses this to get a ropebreak. Suzuki lets Tanahashi go, but comes back to stomp and kick Tanahashi. Suzuki drags Tanahashi up and gives him a forearm. Tanahashi gives it back, so Suzuki gives another. Tanahashi hits Suzuki again, so Suzuki fires off with palm strikes! Suzuki doesn’t stop, even when Tanahashi hits him back. Suzuki keeps slapping and striking, then puts on a sleeper!
Tanahashi is already turning purple, but he isn’t going down. Suzuki lets him go, turns him around, and prepares a driver. He goes for the Gotch hold, but Tanahashi blocks. They struggle against each other, and Suzuki gets Tanahashi up. Tanahashi gets back down, so Suzuki knees him in the stomach. Suzuki goes after the leg, but Tanahashi manages a small package counter! TWO, and Suzuki throws a boot! Tanahashi manages to catch it, then spin Suzuki around for a roll-up cradle, TWO! They stand up, and Tanahashi smacks Suzuki with a palm strike! Suzuki staggers, Tanahashi runs, but Suzuki follows to grab Tanahashi in a sleeper! Tanahashi slips out, grabs Suzuki’s leg, for a STIFF dragon screw!
Suzuki screams in pain as he clutches his thigh. Tanahashi stands while Suzuki gets to ropes. Tanahashi is fired up and runs, to Slingblade Suzuki down! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps going, as he gets to a corner and the top rope. Suzuki stands, Tanahashi leaps with the crossbody! Tanahashi goes back up, HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Suzuki earns 0
The Ace is victorious in this revenge match! He joins Makabe, Elgin and Hangman Page as the first men with points on the board. Can Tanahashi continue on to reach the top of A Block?
Kazuchika Okada VS Jay White!
It’s Chaos VS Chaos as both the former IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion go head to head for the first time ever. The Switchblade wants to prove he’s more worthy of leading the stable, but is he too inexperienced to defeat even a rather relaxed Rainmaker?
The bell rings, and fans chant for Okada. White doesn’t let that bother him as he circles with “Red Okada”. White offers a handshake, but no one is sure if he can be trusted. Okada considers the option, and takes it. But of course White uses it as a trap! He reels Okada in, but Okada slips around to get the wristlock. Okada swings White out, but White gets away from the lariat. Okada and White grin at each other, knowing they were both close to hitting their finisher. White and Okada circle again, then tie up. They push each other around, but White grabs hair. Okada turns things around at the ropes, then fakes a chop at the ropebreak, to instead pat White on the head. White chops Okada! Then chops again. White chops Okada more, and Okada falls to his knees.
White wraps on a headlock, but Okada fights and powers out. Okada dodges White to then headlock takeover. White pulls hair again but Red Shoes reprimands him. White powers up to his feet then fights the hold. He powers out, but Okada puts him on the apron. White hits back then climbs up, but Okada rocks him. Okada drags him out in a headlock, for a draping drop at Red Shoes’ count of 4. Okada runs, to basement dropkick White out of the ring. The Rainmaker fetches Switchblade, and whips him at the barriers! Then he runs in to boot White over! Fans rally up with Okada as he gets space. Okada runs back over, but White gets away. The flight is canceled, but the chase is on.
They go around behind commentary, and Okada boots White down. Okada clubs White, then drags him back to ringside. He bounces White off a post, then toys with him. Okada pushes White around, then brings him up again. White counters with a saido suplex! Both men are down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and White brings Okada up to put him into barriers. He then throws Okada into the apron, and back into barriers, then all over again. White puts Okada into the apron again, but Red Shoes reprimands him now. Fans rally for Okada while White drags him up for a chop. Okada staggers but White keeps on him, running Okada all the way over to ram him into railing! White leaves Okada to the mercy of the 20 count while catching his breath. But then he goes back out to fetch Okada, to put him back in the ring. Fans applaud that he at least wants to win more directly. White toys with Okada now as he brings him up. Okada hits White with forearms, but White chops back. White runs in for a European Uppercut, then he suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!
White drags Okada to the ropes to choke him with a knee. White scrapes his shoe into Okada, too, then brings him to the apron. He rams Okada’s face right on the edge! White clubs Okada, then peels the apron skirt to use it as a gag! Red Shoes counts and White lets go. White puts the skirt back, showing he’s not all bad. He then sits Okada up for another chop. They both return in the ring, White covers, TWO. White drags Okada up for a modified stretch. Okada endures the bending and stretching while Gedo rallies the fans. White shifts to a chinlock, but Okada stands up. Okada fights back with elbows, then whips White. White reverses to mule kick and throw Okada down. White drags Okada up, for a pumphandle backbreaker. Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but White keeps his cool.
White goes after the legs, figure four becomes a Deathlock, that he then makes into a Muda Lock! Okada endures as White bends him back. He drags himself to ropes, but White hooks his nose! Okada still gets the ropebreak! White lets go, but he stalks Okada with a smirk. White stands on Okada as fans start to turn towards his side. He drags Okada up and taunts Gedo. Okada swats White away but White comes back. White snapmares and kicks Okada, but Okada doesn’t seem bothered at all. Okada stansd up to take White by the throat. He throws forearm after forearm, then whips corner to corner. White dodges but Okada slips out of the back suplex, and he drops White with a DDT! Both men are down from exhaustion, but stirring as Gedo and the fans rally up again.
Okada kips up! He aims at White and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips but White reverses, only for Okada to run White over with a back elbow. Okada whips White corner to corner agani, but runs into a back elbow. White runs out, but into a flapjack! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool, he has more ideas to use. Okada climbs up, but White stands, BIG crossbody! Cover, TWO, but Okada wants White to get back up. White stands, and Okada lifts, but White fights his way out. White gets around to a waistlock, Okada tries to fight out, but White gives him a saido suplex! Both men are down but White is stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as White and Okada stand. White grabs Okada first for the half hatch. He rolls over and does it again, that’s two amigos. White goes again, but Okada fights out of the third. Okada swings but White blocks, and then suplexes Okada up for the twisting slam! Cover, TWO! That was really close, but still not enough. White calls for the finish with a slash of his throat. He has it set up, but Okada turns the Blade Runner into a cobra clutch! White reaches for ropes but Okada keeps him back. White starts to fade and Okada puts more wrench on it. Red Shoes checks on White as he falls to the mat. Okada puts his weight on White, but White slips out! White puts on a grounded cobra clutch! Okada endures the same hold while he drags himself towards ropes.
Red Shoes checks on Okada, but Gedo and fans rally up. Okada is slowly fading, but he gets a second wind for the ropebreak! White holds on until 4, and is growing frustrated. He gets back up while fans rally. Okada slowly stirs, but White drags him up. Okada fights out of the cobra clutch with elbows, then lifts White into Air Raid! Both men are down again, but fans rally up for Okada once more. He and White both stand, and Okada blasts White into a corner! Okada drags White back up, scoop slams him, then goes to the top rope. Okada leaps for the Macho Elbow! But he’s not done there, he wants his namesake! Okada drags White up, wristlocks, but White counters to a complete shot, then deadlift German! Bridging cover, TWO! Another close call but Okada still lives.
White grows further frustrated as he stands with Okada. White chops, then chops again. Okada manages to stay standing, so White chops him again. Okada grinds forehead to forehead before giving EuroUpper after EuroUpper. White grabs the hair, for a big lariat! Cover, TWO! Okada barely got out of that one. White drags Okada up again, but Okada pushes him away. White comes back but Okada still feebly fights him off. Okada swings but gets body shots and a forearm fore it. White saido suplexes Okada up and out!!
Okada’s down after hitting the apron then the floor, but White is merciless as he comes out to fetch him. White drags Okada up, and has others move out of the way. He brings Okada over, to snap suplex Okada into railing! White brags while Okada is dazed on the ground. White drags Okada up and into the ring, then fetches something from underneath. He has a chair! White threatens Gedo to get back, then takes that chair into the ring. Red Shoes double checks the rules, chairs are NOT legal. But White just shoves Red Shoes down!
White aims at Okada, but his swing misses! Okada dropkicks the chair into White’s head! Okada drags White up, whips him, and dropkicks White again. But Okada keeps going, as he lifts White up for the Tombstone! Okada doesn’t cover, but instead drags White up for the wristlock. He swings White out, but Red Shoes gets hit by White before the RAINMAKER! Cover, but Red Shoes can’t count! Gedo is furious but Okada keeps his cool. Okada drags White back up, but White slips out of the Tombstone to LOW BLOW Okada! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes. Okada and White stir, and White has the chair again! White chucks it into Okada’s face! White wants to finish this, so he brings Okada up, BLADE RUNNER! Red Shoes revives in time for the cover, White WINS!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Okada earns 0
It was dirty as could be, but the Switchblade still defeats the Rainmaker! He’s so disrespectful to the leader of Chaos, he doesn’t even let Okada have an ice pack. More importantly, Okada’s on a losing streak. Can The Rainmaker bounce back during the Climax? Or will he continue to fall from grace now that he’s not the top champion in NJPW?
While Okada makes his exit, White picks up a mic.
“Boo all you want, I couldn’t give two sh*ts about any of you.” The Switchblade doesn’t care about the Japanese audience nor the foreign audience, or how they feel. Fans boo more as White addresses Okada. “You have been dying and embarrassing” since his fall at Dominion. “I had to pull the plug.” The fans can boo, but White vowed to make this his year. Okada is now White’s Rainmaker, because the stable is now White’s Chaos! This is White’s G1, and all the fans have no choice but to “breathe with the Switchblade.” White speaks boldly, but will Chaos fall in line behind him? And will White truly conquer the Climax? Or will it all come back to bite him in the end?
Jay White reviews how back on January 6th, he signed up with Chaos, sat down with Okada, and even told him to his face that he wouldn’t just sit in the background, that he would go after the captain’s chair “when the time was right.” What did Okada say back? That when they faced off, White would realize Okada was on another level. White just showed Okada up. Okada has been falling, “what a poor start to the G1 for the face of NJPW. Well, the former face of NJPW”, because White is the new face. White vows this is his company, his kingdom, and his Chaos. “It’s all the Switchblade’s.”
AXS TV reviews the Block A standings.
The Ace, the Runaway King Kong, Unbreakable Mike, the Problem Solver and now the Switchblade all take the lead with their wins while the Head Hunter, Underboss, King of Darkness, Man with the Worst Personality and THE Rainmaker are all behind. The round robin will continue, who will keep their momentum going? Who will get on the board? And who will end up still shut out?
AXS TV getting to the newest G1 Climax is good, but obviously they can’t take the time to show everything, nor would they be allowed to. NJPW itself needs to make money getting fans to watch the tournament when it happens, so AXS showing all the matches “for free” would be unfair. However, AXS showing the highlight matches is just fine, it helps out those fans who missed out or just can’t watch things when they happen *cough* like me *cough*. It was good of AXS to give a quick summary for the three opening round matches they couldn’t show, so that way the fans who want to really get into it don’t feel lost.
These two matches tonight were great choices. Suzuki, Tanahashi and Okada are the big names that will get attention from even beginner NJPW fans, and Suzuki VS Tanahashi is definitely great gritty action with storytelling from their past matches. I loved that it came down to both men beating up the other’s legs, and then for Tanahashi to win as payback for the Intercontinental Championship loss. The shock of Okada losing to White alone makes that a must-see match for this opening round. White is rocketing up in the Heel ranks as well as the ranks overall. I don’t know how well White declaring himself the new leader will go, that’ll play itself out in the rest of the matches and interactions with Chaos members.
My Score: 8.3/10
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