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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco! (7/7/18)

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NJPW G1 Special cover image

NJPW returns to the United States for another G1 Special! So many stars and so many titles will be featured in this massive event, from the Ticking Time Bomb defending his Jr. Heavyweight Championship, to a Dominion rematch for the Tag Team Championships, to the Bullet Club leaders facing off for THE Heavyweight Title!

 

Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens; Bullet Club wins.
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr; Ishii & Yano win.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; Hangman & Scurll win.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb; Goto wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA; The Young Bucks win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
  • Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi; Okada & Ospreay win.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee; Hiromu wins and retains the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson; Juice wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW is LIVE in the Cow Palace!

The “Madison Square Garden of the West” is host to another amazing G1 Special. Five titles are on the line, from the Junior Heavyweight to THE Heavyweight Championship. Rivalries are renewed and new ones are being born. Will the Superkick Party survive a rematch with SANADA & EVIL? Can Hiromu Takahashi get one over on Dragon Lee? Will The Cleaner’s first ever reign end at the hands of the American Nightmare? Is Bullet Club truly (not) fine?!

 

10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, King Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens!

It’s a MASSIVE showdown between two equally massive factions! Will Chaos conquer the Bullet Club in this opening bout? Or will dysfunction be put aside so that Bullet Club can stand tall?

The teams sort out and while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!”, Yoshi-Hashi starts against King Haku. The bell rings and the two circle. Haku swipes at Gedo while fans chant for the Father of the Guerrillas. He and Hashi tie up, and Haku gets the waistlock. Hashi elbows out and then gets a headlock, but Haku powers out. They collide but neither man falls. Haku runs but that clothesline barely does a thing. Hashi runs again and that dropkick drops Haku. Hashi throws hands and backs Haku down, then whips corner to corner. Haku reverses to then clothesline Hashi in the corner! Haku tags Tonga Loa, but Tama Tonga comes in, at the same time. They triple headbutt Hashi together!

Fans chant “G O D!” for Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. Rocky tags in, but he’s clearly the underdog here. He runs but barely moves Loa. Loa dares him to go again, but the result is the same. Rocky tries a third time, but still nothing. Things speed up on the fourth, and Rocky gets the headscissors! Rocky revs up to start on those endless clotheslines in the corner. He hits five, before Loa picks him up! Loa carries Rocky corner to corner while Tama Tonga comes in, BIG splash in the corner! The rest of Chaos is taken out by the other members of Bullet Club and it’s a brawl on the outside. Haku hits Rocky with a piledriver! Cover, TWO!

Tonga grabs the ref, not standing for the disrespect towards his legendary father. The referee is spared while Loa covers. TWO, but Rocky is alone in the Bullet Club corner. Loa puts Rocky into Chase’s boot, then tags Chase in. Chase hits a body shot, then throws haymakers. Rocky chops back, but Chase knees low. The Crown Jewel lifts Rocky for the pendulum backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Chase keeps on Rocky as he tags in Tokyo Pimp. Yujiro mule kicks then snapmares Rocky, then hits a leg drop. Cover, TWO. Yujiro keeps Rocky in a chinlock, but fans rally up for Rocky. Rocky gets up and fights out, backing Yujiro down. He runs, but Yujiro picks him up while Chase takes out RPG3K.

Yujiro whips and kicks Rocky, Chase adds a kick, then Yujiro back suplexes Rocky. Rocky slips out, so Chae tries. Rocky slips out again, then ducks to double headscissor! Fans rally up while Rocky crawls. Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies with dropkicks, then a dragon screw to Yujiro, then one to Chase. Yoh suplexes Yujiro but Yujiro slips out. Yujiro waistlocks but Yoh backs him down, and Sho tags in. Sho runs, takes out GoD, then hits Yujiro with a clothesline. Yoh hits one, theN Sho, then Poetry in Motion! RPG3K combine, but Yujiro slips out to push them into each other. Inverted DDT to Sho, then hot tag to Tama Tonga! Tonga stomps away on Sho, then scoop slams for the elbow! Fans fire up with him as he whips Sho. Sho SPEARS Tonga, then crawls for his corner. Tag to Gedo, and Gedo stalks Tonga.

Gedo jabs and jabs, but Loa stops his haymaker. Gedo throws hands on Loa, then jawbreaker to Tonga. He aims, but Tonga blocks the kick. Chase bicycle boots, but Hashi blasts him. Yujiro gets Hashi with the basement dropkick, but RPG3K combine for backstabber to shotgun kick! Loa hits both Sho & Yoh down, but Rocky springboards to hit both GoD! Rocky runs, and DIVES on Loa! Gedo SUPERKICKS Tonga, but Haku throat thrusts Gedo! The Samoan King has the throat, and feeds it to the Gun Stun cutter! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Tama Tonga pinning

While there is unrest in the rest of the Bullet Club, it would seem this unit of five is just fine with each other. Will this be the foundation of the faction after things settle down up top?

 

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr!

The Stone Pitbull and the Producer have had their run-ins with the Meanest Man in the World and his Submission Master protege. Needless to say, it didn’t go well for the Chaos duo. But in this rematch in the States, will things even out? Or will Ishii & Yano again #JustTapOut?

The Pitbull dares the King of Pancreas to bring it, so at the bell, he does! Suzuki goes right at Ishii with boots, then whips. Suzuki boots in the corner, then whips again. Ishii comes back with a forearm, but now it’s a brawl. Back and forth, fast and furious, neither man backs down but the fans love it! There’s no end to it, but Suzuki gets the edge. He whips Ishii but Ishii runs him over. Ishii eggs Suzuki on, but ZSJ tags in. And now Yano wants in! Ishii tags, but Ishii goes after Suzuki without hesitation. As for Yano, he circles with ZSJ, but he’s very scary. Yano uses the ropes for safety, but then asks for a handshake. ZSJ takes it, only to get the wristlock. Yano grabs the ropes, but ZSJ holds onto the wrist. He lets go at 4, then waits for Yano.

Yano wants another handshake, ZSJ gets another wristlock, but Yano rakes the eyes. Yano gets to the ropes and taunt ZSJ. ZSJ grabs a leg, reels Yano in for several European Uppercuts, but Yano pulls him down by his hair. Yano celebrates, but ZSJ goes after the arms! ZSJ gets double wristlocks but Yano manages to get to the ropes. However, it’s on Suzuki’s side of the ring. Suzuki lets ZSJ Pele Yano’s arm before going after Ishii again! Suzuki puts Ishii into railing while ZSJ stands on Yano’s head. ZSJ wraps Yano up in an Indian deathlock while Suzuki chops away on Ishii. ZSJ bridges to put on leverage, then shifts to adding an armlock. Yano endures being tied up like that, and starts back pedaling for ropes. ZSJ grabs the other arm, but Yano uses a leg.

Fans rally while ZSJ lets go of Yano. ZSJ tags to Suzuki, and together they torture Yano with a Fujiwara armbar and Achilles Lock. Then they switch! Ishii protests, but that only gives the devious duo more time to damage Yano’s limbs. They flip Yano over for both an armbar and a heel hook. The referee finally sees and gets ZSJ to leave. Suzuki tags in ZSJ, and it’s just more of the same anyway. Tag back to Suzuki, and Suzuki throws hands on Yano. Suzuki mocks Yano, toys with him, but fans boo and jeer. Suzuki runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano tags Ishii, and he runs in, but into a boot. It does nothing! Ishii and Suzuki brawl again. Ishii runs, then forearms Suzuki, then corner clotheslines him! He trash talks Suzuki, then toys with him.

Suzuki only grows angry from those toying kicks to the head. Suzuki throws another forearm, but Ishii dares him to give more. Ishii hits Suzuki, then slaps him in the head. Suzuki gives Ishii a stiff forearm, then another. Ishii staggers, but stays standing. So Suzuki just gives him another shot, and another. Suzuki keeps going, and Ishii hits the mat. Ishii is okay to continue, so Suzuki toys with him now. Ishii stands and starts throwing forearms on Suzuki. He slaps Suzuki while trash talking, but Suzuki just sticks out his tongue like a wild man. Suzuki throws so many palm strikes, then gets Ishii in a sleeper hold! Ishii throws Suzuki off, then runs, but Suzuki gets around for another hold. Ishii throws Suzuki with a back suplex!

Fans rally up while both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Yano and ZSJ! Yano rakes the eyes, then goes for buckle pads! ZSJ stops him just in time, but Yano throws ZSJ off. Yano sings, but misses, and ends up in an octopus stretch. Suzuki picks up the pad to smack Yano with it. Suzuki throws Ishii out and they brawl on the outside again. ZSJ catches Yano’s low blow, then the haymaker, into the bridging pin, TWO! EuroUpper! ZSJ runs but into bare buckles! Yano shoves him at the ref, but ZSJ stops himself short. Low blow blocked by leg strength! But then Ishii runs ZSJ over! Yano covers, Chaos wins!!

Winners: Chaos, Yano pinning

What a shocking exchange! Yano’s trickery and Ishii’s toughness win out, but that just pisses Suzuki off. Suzuki grabs himself a chair, then rushes the ring. Security and Young Lions work to stop Suzuki, and manage to get him away from the ring. But ZSJ makes one of them pay for it by throwing him to the ground. Then Suzuki SMACKS the other with that chair. This feud is far from over, will Suzuki show any mercy next time?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!

The Ace and the Time Splitter have had their issues with the Problem Solver and Villain in their own paths before, but now all four men converge tonight. Can the main unit boys overcome Bullet Club’s proverbial lieutenants tonight?

Fans duel while both teams egg each other on, but things sort out to start with Scurll and Kushida. The junior heavyweights circle and tie up. Kushida gets the waistlock but Scurll reverses, only for Kushida to reverse back. Scurll spins and rolls to reverse back, but Kushida gets a takedown. Kushida grabs the facelock, and holds on as Scurll rolls. Kushida floats all over, then gets a waistlock. Scurll pries his way out but it ends up a full nelson. Scurll breaks it with a bump, then gets a full nelson of his own. Kushida tries to copy but ends up in an octopus! Kushida pries his way out to bring Scurll down but Scurll headscissors. Scurll takedown but Kushida headscissors, so Scurll flaps his wings. Tag to Hangman and Tanahashi!

Now the heavyweights circle, and fans are strongly behind Tanahashi. He and Hangman tie up, and Hangman reverses to a wristlock and headlock. Tanahashi powers out to his own headlock, but Hangman pulls on hair! Kushida protests, but that allows Tanahashi to pull Hangman’s hair. They go into a corner and Tanahashi throws body shots. He whips Hangman but Hangman reverses. Hangman runs in, but into a back elbow, and Tanahashi leaps for a crossbody! Tanahashi air guitars and fans fire up. Tanahashi mocks the wings and Scurll gets upset. Tag to Kushida, and Kushida drops ax handles on the arm. Kushida wrenches Hangman’s arm, then whips, but Hangman holds ropes. Hangman dumps Kushida out while Scurll takes out Tanahashi. They run together, SUPERKICK to SHOOTING STAR from the apron!

Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Hangman & Scurll target Taguchi himself. Taguchi doesn’t want any trouble, but that doesn’t stop them. They club Taguchi down and bring him into the ring. They double whip, he goes to hip attack, but they get clear. Taguchi crashes and burns out of the ring, having hurt his behind. Scurll grabs Kushida, and the Bullet Club double whip, drop toehold, dropkick, then shooting star and fist drop! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps on Kushida and bumps him off Scurll’s bot. Tag to Scurll, and they work together again. Double whip Kushdia corner to corner, and Scurll hits the clothesline. He becomes a step stool but Kushida gives Hangman the Poetry in Motion! Kushida then handsprings to back elbow Scurll down! Fans rally while Kushida crawls. Hot tag to Tanahashi!

Tanahashi rallies on Scurll, whips corner to corner, but Scurll reverses. Tanahashi still comes out with a back elbow, then he wipes Hangman out for good measure. He gives Scurll a Dragon Screw, then fires up. Fans fire up with him as he scoop slams Scurll down. Tanahashi climbs up, somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again as Tanahashi runs, but into Scurll’s crossface chicken wing! Scurll almost has it, but Tanahashi pries his way out. Fans rally for Tanahashi as he keeps those hands apart. Tanahashi breaks free but runs into a palm strike. He knocks Scurll down with one of his own, then tags Kushida. Kushida fires off on Scurll, but Scurll hits the leg. Kushida hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick!

Scurll dodges the Penalty Kick, and Hangman comes in to rock Kushida with a right. Tanahashi returns, but Hangman gets him first. Tanahashi reverses the whip to Slingblade Hangman down! Scurll comes back and fakes Tanahashi out for the mule kick. Scurll stomps Kushida’s hand, then grabs the fingers. Shh! Kushida breaks free but runs into a EuroUpper. Scurll runs into a spinning forearm, then ends up in a takedown, Hoverboard Lock! Tanahashi intercepts Hangman for the Cloverleaf! Double submissions, but Hangman crawls out of the ring. Scurll stands up while Tanahashi misses his slingshot. BUCK SHOT from Hangman! Tag to Hangman, and he jackknifes into Rite, but sunset flip! TWO! Discus forearm meets Pele! Kushida kicks out the arm, then runs, but Hangman blocks the Hoverboard, into RITE OF PASSAGE! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Hangman pinning

A mostly clean win from the devious Villain & Problem Solver, but a win is a win. Will Hangman do the same to Tanahashi in the G1 Climax tournament? Or will the Ace fine a way to win out in the end?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb!

The All-Pro Universal Champion is quite the monster with his strength and speed, but he goes up against the Fierce Warrior for another belt. Will Chaos’ constant be able to conquer Mr. Athletic in this first-ever meeting?

The belt is presented and the bell rings as we begin! Fans are strongly behind Cobb as he circles with Goto. They tie up, and Cobb backs Goto to the ropes. Cobb honors the break, and they circle again. They tie up again, and Cobb again powers Goto to ropes. Goto turns it around, but Goto honors the break, for a moment. Goto kicks and clubs away on Cobb, then stomps. Fans boo and jeer, but Goto tunes them out as he whips Cobb. Cobb reverses, and the two collide. Cobb doesn’t back down, but he does let his hair down while Goto eggs him on. Goto tries to hip toss but ducks the clothesline, but not the flying shoulder!

Cobb drags Goto up and throws forearms and EuroUppers. He whips Goto corner to corner, then grabs Goto for a BIG overhead suplex! Fans rally up but Cobb runs into a boot. Goto goes up, but Cobb yanks him off and to the mat. Cobb drags Goto up, and gives him a stiff chop. Goto chops back, but Cobb chops again. Cobb whips but Goto dodges to bait Cobb over and out! Goto then slingshots, and wipes Cobb out! Goto gets up to club away on Cobb, then puts him into a post! Fans boo and jeer as Goto goes after Cobb more. The 20 count begins, but Goto puts Cobb back in at 8. Goto stalks Cobb with stomps, then brings him up for elbows. He snapmares Cobb, to drop the elbow. Fans boo and jeer more, but Goto just drops another. Cover, TWO!

Goto drags Cobb up for a neck wrench. Fans rally as Cobb endures, but Goto switches to a headscissors hold. Goto squeezes Cobb and props himself up. Cobb endures, then rolls his way to a ropebreak. Goto lets Cobb go, but then drags him up for another snapmare and chinlock. Cobb endures while fans rally again. Goto goes to drive in an elbow but Cobb blocks it! Cobb powers out, then dropkicks Goto down! Both men are down but fans rally up. Cobb staggers to ropes, then waits for Goto. He throws a forearm, then a chop, repeat. Cobb whips Goto corner to corner, and hits a leaping uppercut! Cobb lifts and swings Goto with the Sidewinder! Cover, TWO! Cobb is a bit surprised, but he’s not done yet.

Cobb drags Goto up, then lifts for a torture rack. Running slam! Fans fire up, because Cobb still has more. Standing moonsault, but it misses as Goto rolls away! Both men are down again, but fans rally again. Each man gets to a corner, then Goto runs in for the spinning heel kick! Goto suplexes Cobb, cover, TWO! Goto drags Cobb up, but fans are on Cobb’s side. Cobb resists the fireman’s carry with back elbows, then blocks the boot to give a stiff forearm. Cobb drags Goto up, scoop onto the shoulder to bump off buckles and hit the Oklahoma slam! Cover, TWO! So close but so far from finishing this match. Cobb stands up again, then runs, but the two collide with clotheslines. Neither falls, so they go again. They still stay up, so they go again, and it’s Goto that gets flipped! Standing moonsault hits! TWO!!

Cobb is shocked, but not done yet. He throws Goto, then scoops, but Goto slips out to a sleeper hold! Cobb gasps, reaching for ropes. Fans rally up and Cobb gets a second wind to throw Goto off. Goto and Cobb both stand, but Cobb sees Goto coming. Goto dodges the boot to give the spinning clothesline. Cobb dares him to do more, so Goto headbutts. Goto lifts Cobb, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives and that shocks Goto now. Goto brings Cobb up, but Cobb denies GTR with a suplex. Goto knees out, and tries to turn Cobb again. Cobb resists, so Goto clubs him. Reverse GTR! Cover, Goto wins!

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; still NEVER Openweight Champion

The Fierce Warrior manages to hold off the powerful behemoth that is Jeff Cobb. Goto starts over with this first successful defense, will he be able to hold onto it for a long time?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA!

It’s a rematch from Dominion 2018, where “the best tag team in professional wrestling” took those titles from Los Ingobernables de Japon’s heavy hitting duo. Matt & Nick Jackson won in Osaka, but can they throw a victorious Superkick Party in their home state of California?

Fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” for the champions as always. Cold Skull Sanada starts against Nick with the bell. They circle, but Sanada hits Matt. So Nick hits Evil! Nick whips but Sanada reverses, and things speed up. Nick stops himself but Sanada blocks the kick to spin Nick around for the dragon sleeper! Sanada lands on his feet through the snapmare, but Nick dodges the dropkick. Nick drops an elbow but Sanada dodges. Sanada drops an elbow but Nick dodges. Matt drops an elbow, Sanada dodges, then Evil drops a back senton but Matt dodges. Nick grabs Evil in headscissors but Sanada does the same to Nick. Matt comes back and grabs Evil’s legs. Fans sense what’s coming, as does Sanada, Sharpshooter that flips everyone over! A strange chain of submissions there.

But with only two men legal, there’s something illegal about this, so the referee has them all break. Matt regroups with Nick while Evil goes out. They double whip Sanada, hip toss and back-flip dropkicks! Headscissor dropkick for Evil, and fans fire up for The Bucks! The Bucks double whip Sanada again, double kick, then the alley-oop, but into a dropkick from Sanada! Evil blocks Matt’s kick, and feeds it to the ref, to then mule kick Matt in the ass. Matt rolls out from being butt hurt while Sanada grabs Nick. Sanada drags Nick over to a neutral corner, then whips him corner to corner. Sanada hits the corner clothesline, but Nick boots back. The boot is caught, and Sanada drags Nick out into the paradise lock! Nick is a pretzel, so Sanada dropkicks him out of paradise!

Tag to Evil, and LIJ drag Nick up for double whip. Back elbow to back senton, then cover, TWO! Evil grabs Nick into a half surfboard with those arms. Fans rally up and Nick feeds off it. Nick works against the hold but Evil keeps him grounded. Nick powers up again, but still can’t get free. Evil digs in a knee but fans keep rallying for Nick. Nick tries one more time, and manages to turn it around, only for Evil to turn it back around. So Nick dropkicks out! Fans rally again, and Nick crawls, but Sanada trips Matt right off the apron! Fans boo and jeer, but Sanada doesn’t care. Evil attacks Nick, then rakes the eyes. He whips Nick corner to corner but Nick slides out to trip up Sanada. Nick runs into Evil, but slips out of the back suplex to tag Matt!

Matt rallies on LIJ, but they get him with kicks. LIJ double whips, but he dodges to leaping lariat them both! Matt grabs Evil to throw haymakers and chops. Matt whips Evil but Evil holds ropes. Evil throws Matt to the apron, but Matt shoulders back in, then takes out Sanada with a cutter! Matt sunset flips in, legs to the Sharpshooter! The Cease is in, but that back bothers Matt again. Evil gets a ropebreak,  so Matt tags to Nick. Nick kicks Sanada for good measure, then coordinates for the slingshot X-Factor. Nick goes to asai onto Sanada, but Sanada dodges to asai into dragon sleeper! Matt sees his brother in danger, and wrecks Sanada with a dropkick. But then Evil knocks Matt out, to build speed. SUPERKICKS! Sanada springboards, double missile dropkick! All four men are down but the fans are loving it.

Fans duel while all four men stir. Nick tags in Matt, but Evil tags in Sanada. Sanada and Matt trade haymakers back and forth. Matt kicks, then whips Sanada, but Sanada back elbows. Sanada quebradas, dragon sleeper, but Matt slices bread to get it on Sanada. Sanada turns it around again, for the swinging dragon sleeper! He climbs up top, moonsaults, but Matt evades. Sanada tumbles back out to the apron, but Matt gets him with a triangle jump DDT to the apron! Nick climbs up and aims at Sanada, 450 splash! Cover from Matt, TWO! The Bucks can’t believe it, but this isn’t over yet. Matt puts Sanada in the Sharpshooter, but Sanada drags himself towards ropes. Nick hits the swanton! Then he intercepts Evil, to FLY!

Sanada is alone, enduring the Sharpshooter. Sanada drags himself towards ropes, drawing so close to either the break or the tap. He powers up and gets the break! Matt lets Sanada go, thinking of what else to do. He tags in Nick, and Nick climbs up. Matt brings Sanada up for the fireman’s carry. More Bang for- No, knees disrupt that, and Sanada avoids the moonsault! Sanada crawls for his corner, and Evil is back to tag in! Evil German Suplexes Nick, then the same for Matt! Nick fights of another, but Evil still reels him in for another German! Evil fires up and runs in at Nick for a BIG clothesline. Then the fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Evil isn’t deterred, he brings Nick up. Nick slips free to back elbow. Nick suplexes but Evil counters. Sanada comes in, MAGIC KILLER! Cover, Matt breaks it!

Sanada throws Matt out but Matt brings him out, too. Evil drags Nick up, but Nick denies the STO. Matt puts Sanada into barriers, then he saves Nick from the slam. Deja vu to Dominion, but Evil dodges the SUPERKICKS, and they go into the ref! Evil double clotheslines both Bucks down! But with no ref to count, there’s no point in covering. Instead, Sanada pulls out some items from under the ring. He gives Evil a chair, but Evil misses. Evil and Nick play hot potato, but then Matt gets up, SUPERKICKS into the chair! SUPERKICKS for Sanada, then Matt prepares the chair on the mat. He brings Evil up as fast as he can with that bad back while Nick waits on the apron. Tombstone position, but Sanada trips up Nick! Evil reverses to the Tombstone, Ungovernable Driver on the chair!

Sanada wakes the ref, Evil covers, but Nick barely breaks it in time! Fans are all fired up, but Sanada throws Nick back out. Evil rises and calls for the finish. “This is Awesome!” as they prepare and hit Magic Killer! Cover, TWO!? How?! Sanada slingshots to take Nick out for good measure, and Evil waits for Matt. Matt reverses to back slide and SUPERKICK! Evil still goes after him, so Matt uses the STO! Sanada flies into SUPERKICKS! The Bucks hurry to get Evil up, then MELTZER DRIVER! Cover, The Bucks win!

Winners: The Young Bucks, Matt pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

Another thrilling close-call, but the Superkick Party rolls on! Their first heavyweight tag title reign continues, how far can Matt & Nick Jackson go in the Heavyweight Tag Division?

 

NJPW and AXS look at the Bullet Club Civil War.

Kenny Omega saw trouble coming from the very beginning when The American Nightmare used the faction to elevate himself. Cody manipulated the Young Bucks, Marty Scurll & Hangman Page, but Omega has already shown what he does to selfish members of the Club before. On the flip side, Cody saw Omega as too obsessed with his own goals and it was ruining the faction. The other members have been unsure which side to choose, but The Bucks found a way to decide. They chose Kenny. It cost Omega his match against Cody in ROH, but Cody took it as validation. Everyone else has reconciled aside from Cody, who is the “rotten apple” messing up the bunch. Is it hatred? Is it a matter of pride? More importantly, is it going to end with their match tonight?

 

Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi!

The Rainmaker is no longer IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the Aerial Assassin is no longer Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and LIJ’s Tranquilo leader is no longer Intercontinental Champion. Who will come out of this match with renewed vigor towards chasing the titles they lost at Dominion?

Fans are evenly split between Chaos and LIJ, especially Okada and Naito. Okada starts but wonders who is starting against him. Naito hears fans wanting him, so he obliges. Okada and Naito hear the fans fire up for them just being in the ring together. They circle, lunge, but Naito evades to keep things tranquilo. Naito and Okada circle but again Naito dodges. Fans enjoy the mind games, and Okada manages to shrug it off. They tie up finally, and Okada backs Naito to the ropes. Okada backs off, to fake the chop. Naito actually kicks then throws Okada out. Naito builds speed, to Tranquilo!

Fans love it, but Okada cools off before returning. Okada and Naito circle again, and fans rally up. Then Naito tags out to Bushi. Some fans boo and jeer but others still love the mind games. Okada tags in Ospreay, and now the junior heavyweights circle. Bushi kicks then slides off the back to headscissor, but Ospreay handsprings through to dropkick Bushi down. Bushi rolls out so Ospreay builds speed, to fake him out for the superhero landing. Naito rushes in but gets a kick for it! Bushi returns but Ospreay is ready with a chop. Ospreay whips Bushi to a corner, hits the back elbow, then sweeps the legs. Bushi gets up as Ospreay runs corner to corner, but Ospreay boots him away.

Ospreay runs again, but into a drop toehold, and Naito dropkicks in. Okada comes in, but Naito feeds him to Bushi’s sunset flip, which just feeds Okada back to Naito’s basement dropkick! Okada rolls out while Bushi returns to Ospreay. Bushi chokes and stretches Ospreay at the ropes, but backs off at 4. Meanwhile, Naito keeps on Okada on the outside. Bushi has Ospreay in the corner while fans sing for the Aerial Assassin. Bushi grinds his boot into Ospreay but stops at 4. Naito tags in, then stalks Ospreay to the ropes. He brings Ospreay around to whip to a corner, then jump kicks and sweeps the leg, swinging shotgun kick! Naito spits at Okada, then tags Bushi. Bushi wraps his shirt around Ospreay’s neck to choke him! He drops Ospreay with a neckbreaker, covers, but the ref sees the shirt. No count, and the shirt is tossed away.

Tag to Naito, and he toys with Ospreay. Ospreay fires up and pushes back, then gives forearms. Naito fakes the retaliation, only to kick Ospreay low. Naito whips Ospreay thne turns the boots away. Ospreay hits back from the apron but Naito gets under the springboard. Naito kicks, then runs, but into the flip dropkick and enziguri! Both men are down, but Ospreay is headed for his corner. Fans rally up, hot tag to Okada! Okada rallies on LIJ, then hits Naito. He builds speed and runs Naito over with an elbow! Bushi attacks but runs into a flapjack that splashes onto Naito! Okada kips up, then scoops Naito for the slam. Okada gets to the corner, aims at Naito, and hits the flying crossbody! Cover, TWO, but Okada keeps his cool while fans fire up.

Okada brings Naito up, but Naito blocks the gutwrench. Okada clubs Naito down then wrenches again, but Naito slips out into the dragon sleeper neckbreaker, and adds the dropkick to the back. Naito catches his breath, then brings Okada up. Okada resists Gloria, but Naito hits an enziguri. Hammerlock lift but Okada slips out to dropkick Naito in the back. Okada whips but Naito holds ropes to dodge the dropkick. Naito whips but Okada reverses, but Naito hits the flying forearm. Naito brings Okada up, tilt-o-whirl, but into the Tombstone, yet Naito slips out. He uses the ropes, but Okada blocks the tornado DDT with power! Okada lifts Naito, Air Raid! Both men are down but the fans applaud. They rally up for Okada as both men crawl. Hot tags to Ospreay and Bushi!

Ospreay and Bushi brawl with forearms back and forth. Bushi swings but Ospreay full nelsons. Bushi breaks free but gets the hook kick. Ospreay dragon sleeper suplex, but Bushi slips out. Bushi hits the swinging boots, then the missile dropkick! It’s a Bushi-rooni into double knees, then the swinging neckbreaker! Cover, but Okada breaks it. Naito throws Okada out, Bushi runs for a code breaker! Cover, TWO! Bushi isn’t done, though, as he climbs back up. He aims at Ospreay as Ospreay slowly stands. But he flies into a roundhouse! Naito baseball slides Ospreay, then dodges the Rainmaker lariat, but not that dropkick! Okada fires up as he pursues Naito. Bushi kicks Ospreay, but runs into a Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Ospreay fires up, Robinson Special kick! He drags Bushi up, double underhook to Stormbreaker!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Okada & Ospreay, Ospreay pinning

The former Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Champions combine for a victory tonight, not letting their past defeats drag them down. Can the Rainmaker & Assassin climb back up to take back what they’ve lost?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee!

This rivalry spans both NJPW and CMLL promotions, and sometimes even ROH. Lee is the current CMLL World Lightweight Championship while the Ticking Time Bomb won his belt back at Dominion after also winning Best of the Super Juniors 25. While Hiromu is NJPW’s best Junior, will Lee prove he’s the best in two companies?

But Dragon Lee doesn’t wait for the bell, he just waits for Hiromu to be done putting away his toys, to leap out with a crazy huricanrana! If there was any doubt, this proves there’s no love lost between these two. The bell rings, and we begin outside the ring as Lee whips Hiromu into railings then rams into him. Lee returns to the ring, builds speed, and DIVES! That was a dangerous tope suicida, but Lee still did it. He gets up and puts Hiromu into the ring. Hiromu gets to a corner, but Lee runs in for a dropkick and sweep to swinging dropkick, NAITO’s moves. Lee even mocks Tranquilo! Fans boo and jeer but Lee throws elbow after elbow into Hiromu. The referee backs Lee off, but only long enough for that corner to corner dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Lee keeps his focus as he drags Hiromu up for an ankle lock. Hiromu rolls through but gets stomped out. Lee puts on a chinlock, then rakes the face. Lee lets go, but then kicks Hiromu across the back. He keeps on Hiormu with a whip into a corner. Hiromu comes out with a headscissor, but Lee just handsprings through. They speed up, and Lee gets caught that time. Hiromu hits Lee with a clothesline and baseball slide dropkick! Lee gets out of the ring, but Hiromu doesn’t stop, John Woo from the apron! Hiromu climbs up top now, and aims at Lee, for a SUPER SENTON!! They crash and burn on the ground! Fans lose their minds after that one.

The 20 count begins, but Hiromu gets on the apron at 10. Lee grabs Hiromu, not wanting to end the count. Hiromu fights him off, but they both end up on the apron. They brawl, and the count stops as they go back and forth. Hiromu rocks Lee but Lee rocks Hiromu. Hiromu kicks Lee, then brings him up to the top rope. He climbs up with Lee, and fans fear for the wrestlers’ lives. Lee stops Hiromu’s crazy idea, and fans rally up as they brawl more. Each man fires up, and that headbutt rocks Hiromu into a Tree of Woe. Lee stands up, SUPER WOE STOMPS! Hiromu hits apron and then ground, and fans lose their minds all over again. Both men are down as a new 20 count begins. They stir at 6, but doesn’t stand until 9.

Lee gets on the apron, but Hiromu grabs him for the powerbomb! The count climbs, but Hiromu flounders around. They both get in at 19.5! Hiromu and Lee are already so sore, but somehow both stand up. Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline, then whips. Lee reverses to clothesline, but Hiromu reels him into a wheelbarrow German Suplex! Hiromu keeps going, but runs into a rebound German! Yet he springs up to German Lee back! But so does Lee! Hiromu Germans Lee again, but Lee gets up to give it back! Fans chant “Suplex City!” as Hiromu gives Lee another! Lee flounders, but he still goes towards Hiromu. Lee grabs Hiromu for yet another German suplex! Hiromu clotheslines, but Lee knee strikes into another German Suplex! SUPERKICK from Hiromu, then German! Lee Reverse-ranas, but runs into a massive clothesline!

Both men are down but the fans are loving it all! They chant “New Japan!” to show appreciation to the promotion bringing this to us. Fans rally up as both men stir, but a 10 count begins. Lee gets up with ropes while Hiromu gets up on his own. They go back towards each other, and trade sharp chops. Back and forth they go, sharper and sharper. Hiromu staggers but still comes back with a chop. Then he dares Lee to do the same, so Lee does! Both men drop to a knee from the stinging pain, but they don’t back off for long. They chop more, more, more, faster, harder, sharper! Fans are loving the endless chop fight going on in the ring. They shift to slaps now, then as hove. Hiromu and Lee trade blocks, but Lee gets the knee. Lee runs but into the overhead throw!

Hiromu grins before he lifts Lee, for a fireman’s slam! Cover, TWO! Hiromu drags Lee up again, but Lee slips out. Lee lifts Hiromu for a suplex but Hiromu slips out to SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs, but into Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion now, but fans rally up. Lee grabs Hiromu, but Hiromu headscissors out of the suplex, into the triangle hold! Lee resists, deadlifts, and powerbombs! But Hiromu holds on! Lee endures as he tries another deadlift, then shifts it to a Dragon Driver!

Fans lose their minds over the impact to Hiromu’s head, but Lee shows no mercy. Lee brings Hiromu up again, for a suplex to sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives while Lee grows frustrated. Fans rally up while Lee brings Hiromu up. Lee knee lifts, then bomb lifts, but Hiromu pops out for a Destroyer! Cover, TWO!! But the Time Bomb still has more to give as he brings Lee up, fro THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion

This explosive feud was intense even before the bell. But in the end, the eccentric champion retains against one of his fiercest rivals in the world. Will Hiromu’s second reign last a long time with heart like that?

 

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson!

The Switchblade snatched the belt from the inaugural champion, Kenny Omega, while the Flamboyant One has tried but failed to grab a title for himself again and again. The Switchblade upped the animosity between him and Juice, vowing Juice will walk away with nothing! Or will the actual American in this match be the first American to finally hold this title?

But there’s a special rule: Juice cannot use his cast as a weapon, on grounds of a disqualification. In other words, Juice might as well be fighting with one less hand. But Juice doesn’t care, he’s confident he’ll win even with just one hand. The belt is presented, both men are checked, and we begin!

White mocks the bad hand, so Juice tackles him and uses the good hand! White turns it around to throw hands of his own, but Juice turns it back again. They separate, and Juice crossbodies White out with him! Fans chant for Juice as he aims from the apron for the flying clothesline! Juice dusts himself off and puts White into railings. White clutches his arm but Juice is back on him. Juice throws White into railings and it crashes into the timekeeper’s area! Juice holds that belt, and says the timekeepers are just holding onto it for him. He then puts White back in the ring, and prepares his good hand. White stands, and Juice jabs away. “Juice! Juice!” echoes out, but he can’t use the left, so he just chops White.

White gets to a corner, and Juice hits a corner clothesline. But then White suplexes Juice out to the floor! Juice clutches his neck while White regroups. White goes out to fetch Juice, and put him into railings in return! The railing almost flies away with that impact. White mocks Juice’s fist pump while fans boo and jeer. White digs Juice out of the wreckage to then chop him across the chest. He then throw Juice into the timekeeper’s area, and practically bowls the table and chairs over! White eggs the fans on as they boo and jeer. The referee, Red Shoes, reprimands White and wants him to put this in the ring. Fans chant “You Suck!” at White as he puts Juice in. White suplexes Juice into buckles, then covers. TWO, but White is only annoyed.

White goes back to Juice with clubbing forearms across that back. He then tortures the bad hand with the wristlock and finger stretching. He even stands on and, while flipping everyone off, stomps said bad hand! Juice crawls, but White is on him. White hammerlocks for the scoop slam to beat up that bad hand. Fans jeer White but White responds with another middle finger. White brings Juice back up for another hammerlock. He tortures the arm while fans rally up for Juice. Juice gets to a corner but White keeps on the arm. Juice reverses and jabs with the good hand. He headbutts, but misses the kick. He elbows out of the waistlock, though, only to end up in a saido suplex! Fans boo White more, but he doesn’t care as he brings Juice over for a Muda Lock. He even uses the bad hand to choke Juice!

Fans rally for Juice as he endures the hold. Juice crawls as best as he can, and reaches for the ropes. White wrenches but Juice gets the ropebreak! White lets go at 3, but goes after Juice on the apron. He has Juice between ropes to throw EuroUpper after EuroUpper, then chops. He chops Juice again, then again, then again. White does not let up on Juice, but Juice tells him to “Eat sh*t!” White chops again, then runs, to EuroUpper Juice right out of the ropes. Fans boo and jeer White more, but White keeps mocking Juice. White waits for Juice to stand, and then copies the jabs. He jabs and jabs, then winds up the right, but Juice chops back! White chops, so Juice chops again. They go again, and White falls to a knee, only to wring out the arm.

White drags Juice back up, but runs into a spinebuster! Fans rally while both men get to corners. Juice runs in for the big clothesline. Juice gives a discus clothesline, then runs, but into a complete shot! White drags Juice up with a German Suplex! Bridge, TWO, but White goes after the bad arm with the Fujiwara! Juice endures the bend from elbow to fingers, but White makes it a modified Rings of Saturn on top. White tortures both arms, but Juice uses his legs for the ropebreak. Juice slips out of the ring but White pursues. White rams Juice into a post, then snap suplexes him into railing! The impact is so hard, it knocks JR out of his seat at commentary! Not that White cares, he just mocks JR and Josh. Josh is about to get in there himself!

White keeps his distance, and JR just wants to find his hat. Red Shoes tries to calm Josh down, but fans let White know he’s an “As*hole!” Josh returns to commentary, but White keeps on Juice. He yanks Juice into a post, then brings out chairs. White prepares a chair like a vice on Juice’s hand! White swings the other chair, but Juice gets his hand out in time! Juice swings at White, but only SMACKS the post. White goes after Juice with another saido suplex! White returns into the ring to refresh the count, then brings Juice up again. Juice grabs White with a headlock and elbows away on White. White clubs Juice back, then reels Juice in for another suplex. Juice slips out, to SPIENBUSTER White onto the apron! Fans are loving the intensity, and rally up for Juice again.

Red Shoes checks on both men, but somehow both men are okay to continue. Juice gets up and into the ring, but White grabs the bad hand. Fans chant “Juice S A!” while White and Juice end up on the apron. White brings Juice up, but Juice swings, only to end up in a complete shot on the apron. White gets up and deadlifts Juice, but Juice grabs ropes. Juice fights for his life, but White clubs away. White pulls but Juice holds on with all he has. The two keep fighting, but Juice elbows White away. Juice then switches, to a SUPER Russian Leg Sweep!! They crash and burn on the ground, and a 20 count begins. Neither man stirs until about 10, and don’t stand until 17! Juice gets in, but White barely makes it at 19.9.

Both men are crawling while fans rally up. They stand in opposite corners, Juice CANNONBALLS! Juice hoists White onto the top rope, then headbutts before climbing up. Fans fire up while Juice prepares something. SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! But Juice is not deterred, he has something left. He brings White up, turns him around, but the Unprettier is countered into an armlock! Juice crawls to the ropes and gets the break. White won’t let go, he just throws elbow after elbow! Red Shoes finally gets him to stop, but that doesn’t stop White’s egotistical posing. White brings Juice up, but Juice slips out of the Blade Runner. Juice goes to punch, but Red Shoes reminds him of using the cast! This distraction allows White to EuroUpper, but backslide counter! TWO, Blade– No, Pulp- No, White shoves Juice at Red Shoes! LOW BLOW!

Juice collapses and Red Shoes saw nothing. White runs in, but Juice dodges. Cast hand punch!! Red Shoes still didn’t see it, so Juice gets away with it. Juice drags White back up, turns him, PULP FRICTION!! Cover, TWO?!!? How!? Juice can’t understand why he’s still so far away from the title. But fans rally up for him, they believe in him. Juice stands and fires up! He brings White up, wants it again, but White hits the bad hand. White grabs Juice in the Half-Nelson Suplex! Then, he dodges the left hand for ANOTHER! White calls for his end, and brings Juice up again. Roll up! JUICE WINS!!

Winner: Juice Robinsin, by pinfall; NEW IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion

The first American for the American championship!! White’s ego got the better of him, and now Juice is the third-ever IWGP USHC! Juice is so happy, he hugs Red Shoes. White refuses to accept this, but the referee’s decision is final. Red Shoes officially gives Juice the belt, and the celebration truly begins! Will this title’s first American bring it to new heights?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear!

The Bullet Club has been through many transitions since forming as a faction. From the founding Prince Devitt to the Phenomenal AJ Styles to the current iteration, it has been one of the strongest factions in NJPW. But with The Cleaner having finally climbed the mountain, he is ready to settle things with the would-be leader, The American Nightmare. Omega is the face of pro-wrestling today, but will the Son of the Son of a Plumber ruin the dream already?

The belt is presented while fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” Fans are definitely more on Omega’s side than Cody’s. For that matter, The Bucks are on Omega’s side more than Cody’s. The bell rings, and we begin.

Omega and Cody stare down, but Cody is again bothered by so many more people being on Omega’s side than on his. They circle, testing each other. Cody shoots a look at The Bucks, but the Bucks just shrug. What did he expect them to do? Cody and Omega circle again and finally tie up. They go around with waistlocks and standing switches, but Cody goes after the hand. Omega reverses, but Cody thumbs the eyes. Fans boo while Cody gruffly acknowledges the ropebreak. They back off, and fans boo and jeer Cody while Omega checks his eyes. The fans aren’t very nice to Cody, either. But Cody just takes it out on Omega as they tie up again.

They go back to a corner, and Omega honors the break. Cody doesn’t with that shove, but Omega keeps from retaliating. The two circle again, tie up, and Omega gets the headlock. Cody powers out, but Omega knocks him back with a shoulder. Cody pie-faces Omega so Omega kicks back. Now Cody gets the headlock but Omega powers out. Cody runs Omega over with the shoulder, and motions that the belt will be his. Things speed up and Omega hip tosses. Cody kicks back then headlock takeover but Omega headscissors. Omega headlocks but Cody reverses. Omega powers out to then chop Cody sharp. Cody slips out of the back suplex, kick to dropping uppercut. Omega ends up outside the ring, but Cody pursues.

Cody punches Omega around the way, then bumps Omega off the apron. Fans still curse out Cody, and that distracts him. Omega hits Cody, but Cody rams Omega into the apron. Cody puts Omega in the ring, then stalks him. Cody chops Omega in a corner, then chops again. Omega turns it around to chop back even sharper. Omega goes to chop a third time but Cody turns it around. Cody whips corner to corner but Omega reverses. Omega runs in but Cody goes up and over to hit the spinning powerslam. Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while he gets back up.

Cody brings Omega up for a headlock and punches. Omega’s eye is bugging him, but he still reels Cody into a waistlock. Cody elbows out then runs, to duck the boot. Omega elbows back to dropkick the legs out. Omega runs, Kotaro Crusher bulldog! Cody rolls out of the ring, but the Terminator rises. Brandi coaches Cody up, but Omega builds sped. Cody uses Brandi as a shield! But he still get a dropkick. Omega slingshots but misses, and Brandi taunts him. Cody builds speed, to FLY! His springboard splash takes Omega out.

Cody hears the fans boo and jeer again, but he ends up arguing with The Bucks over putting things back in the ring. Cody instead throws Omega into barriers. He then takes off the weight belt, but simply tosses it to Matt. Cody whips Omega to the barriers near the timekeeper’s area instead. Omega boots back, then throws Cody over into the timekeeper’s area. Cody is on the table, but Omega uses the railings to springboard stomp him through it! Fans lose their minds at that one!

Omega regroups with the Bucks, to bring out another table! The Bucks don’t seem to want this either, but the fans sure do! Cody digs himself out of the wreckage, but Omega has the table set up. Omega puts Cody on it with forearms and chops, then climbs up into the ring. Omega takes aim, springboards, but Cody gets away. Luckily Omega saw it in time and he stops himself. But when he comes over to fetch Cody, Cody shoves the table into the ribs! Those ribs were banged up at Dominion, so Omega is a bit slow to returning to the ring. Cody kicks him on reentry, then clotheslines to complete shot! Cover, TWO!

Cody is frustrated, and he tries again, TWO. Omega gets to ropes but Cody is on him. Cody stretches Omega back against the ropes, then brings Omega over for clubbing forearms. He drives an elbow into Omega’s head, and then big body shots into those ribs. Fans duel while Cody throws Omega with an X-Plex. Cover, TWO, but Cody keeps Omega grounded. Cody shows off with push-ups, which fans boo and jeer. Omega chops Cody, but Cody puts Omega’s leg on the rope to kick the thigh. Cody drags Omega up while shouting at the Bucks. Cody snapmares then cravats Omega on the mat.

Omega endures while fans rally up. Omega pries his way out of the hold, then kicks Cody in the head. He clubs Cody int he back, then throws forearms. Cody knees low and whips, but Omega reverses into fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape”, but Cody does. Even so, Omega gets Cody with headscissors! Cody rolls out and tips over the table for good measure. Omega builds speed, to FLY! He wipes Cody out with the tope conjilo. Omega gets back up and puts Cody in the ring. Fans fire up as Omega climbs. Cody stands, and gets the missile dropkick to the back! Omega drags Cody up, cross-leg fisherman neckbreaker!

But Omega isn’t done there, as he loads up and BANG! Omega runs, but Cody dodges the Vi-Trigger. Waistlock but standing switch, V-Trigger at point blank. Omega tries the wristlock but Cody standing switches. Cody German Suplexes but Omega lands on his feet, another point-blank V-Trigger! Omega brings Cody up, Snap Dragon Suplex! Cody is dazed, but Omega is far from done with him. Cody elbows out of the full nelson, but they standing switch around, Cody copies the Snap Dragon! Both men crawl towards each other, and start throwing forearms. Cody kicks low, then throws forearms. Omega hits back, but Cody still comes back. Omega fires off three, then a boot. He runs, sunset flip, but Cody rolls through to Figure Four!

Omega endures the legendary hold, and fans rally up. Omega works to roll it over, but Cody holds it in place. Cody throws a haymaker, but so does Omega. They go back and forth, brawling while the leg hold is on. Cody wrenches the Figure Four but Omega starts slapping him. Cody slaps back, but Omega slaps harder. Omega then turns it over! Now Cody endures the pain! Cody gets the ropebreak, and the two separate. Fans rally up again while Cody bails out of the ring. Brandi checks on him, but Omega has since pulled out a ladder! The Bucks are definitely not for this. But Cody has himself a chair! This isn’t a TLC match, but it’s becoming one.

Omega puts the ladder in the ring while Cody has his chair. Red Shoes stops Cody from using the chair, so Cody just scoop slams Omega on that ladder! Cody positions the ladder to his liking, sticking it out from the apron. He goes over to Omega, but Omega resists with body shots. Omega suplexes but Cody fights out. Cody lifts, gordbuster ON the ladder! Matt & Nick check on Omega, but he’s somehow okay to continue. Cody puts the ladder all the way in the ring, then embraces the heat. Red Shoes reprimands him as he brings Omega up and puts him into the timekeeper’s railing. The railing also hits the ring announcer, so it’s not just Omega in pain.

Cody grabs the table and brings it back. The Bucks keep trying to talk sense into these tow, but neither man is listening. Cody stands the ladder up. Omega sees it as he rests against the table. Cody bumps Omega off the table, then sets him on the wood. He shoves the Bucks out of the way, but they take offense to that. Red Shoes keeps Matt from disqualifying this match, though you have to question the TLC element. Cody climbs, but Omega follows! The Bucks shout for them to climb down, but they instead brawl atop the steel. Fans chant “Please Don’t Die!” as both men teeter. Cody slaps, Omega SLAPS. Omega tells the Bucks to get back, because he grabs Cody for a… SUPER SUPERPLEX! But from CODY!

They crash land in the ring rather than through table, but it’s still just as crazy. Cody and Omega crawl for each other, “This is Awesome!” Cody covers, TWO!! But barely, as Omega only gets the one shoulder. Fans rally up for them again, but it’s Cody who rolls out. He asks Brandi for help walking over. She obliges, but he’s not retreating. Cody snatches the belt, and holds it up like it’s already his. The Bucks still try to reason with him, but it’s futile.

Cody brings the belt in, and aims at Omega. Red Shoes stops Cody, and Omega pounces with the Reverse-Rana! Omega stands up, reloads, but then Cody resists the electric chair. Cody shoves Omega into Red Shoes, but Omega shoves Red Shoes out of the way for safety. Beautiful Disaster kick! But no ref means no count, so no point in covering. However, it also means no rules, so Cody picks up the belt. Cody aims at Omega, but the Bucks plead with him not to. Fans boo and jeer, so Cody skips the bet. He wants Cross Rhodes but Omega slips out. Omega swings, full nelson into CROSS RHODES! Red Shoes returns, Cody covers, TWO!!

Everyone is down, and that includes Red Shoes. The Bucks take this time to get that ladder out of the ring, they don’t want this to go overboard any further. Cody stands up and grabs Omega. Omega slips out and whips Cody into a V-Trigger! He loads, BANG, V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, electric chair, but Cody reverses into Di– No, heel kick from Omega to Cody! Then, corner to corner V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, powerbomb lift, Doctor Bomb! TWO, so V-Trigger! Omega shows no mercy as he gives another V-Trigger! And with a running start, Cody blocks that Trigger, but only for a moment. Omega double underhooks but Cody resists. Omega backslides but Cody rolls through, V-Trigger again! Cover, TWO!

Both men are down from exhaustion, but fans are loving this. The Terminator drums begin, and Omega stands first. He brings Cody up, but Cody still resists the electric chair. Omega clubs away on the back, then electric chair lifts. He spins Cody around, but Cody resists. Even so, POWERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE!! The table didn’t break, but maybe Cody did. The Bucks and Red Shoes check on Cody while Omega catches his breath in the ring. Brandi also checks on Cody, but Omega continues to show no mercy. The 20 count begins, and Omega brings Cody up and over at 8. Fans cheer, because they appreciate Omega wants to win this in the ring.

Omega reloads, BANG, but Brandi becomes Cody’s shield again. It’s her husband, after all, and she doesn’t want him to take any more damage. But even Cody says she needs to exit the ring, this is still a match. Omega BANG, then runs, but into a BIG lariat from Cody! Cody is too far away and too sore for a cover, though, and Omega gets up first. Cody follows, but Omega hits first. They trade forearms back and forth, then shift to chops. Omega brings it back to forearms, but Cody shoves. Cody runs into a V-Trigger, then Omega gives another. Omega double underhooks, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!? Cody shows heart, but Omega shows his mean-streak, with another V-Trigger. Omega lifts Cody in the electric chair, One-Winged Angel! Cover, Omega wins!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

The Best Match Machine succeeds in his first ever defense of the top title. He fought so hard to get it, and he fought hard to keep it. Cody himself fought hard in trying to take it, but was just not strong enough. Omega takes Cody’s hand and helps him up to his feet, and the fans applaud the sportsmanship. The two look each other in the eyes, but not a word is said. Brandi helps Cody exit while Omega raises the belt in victory. Does this match mark the end of the Civil War?

Omega speaks.

“This is my first title defense as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. I’m proud that I could do it in a legendary building such as the Cow Palace.” But most importantly, he’s proud he could do it in front of these fans. Omega didn’t understand before how a line forms to knock the champion down. But they’re all human, they’re all deserving of second chances. Even Cody deserves one, and this effort tonight was “nothing short of valiant.”

Whether it be a pro-wrestler, an idol, or someone working at the popcorn stand, we all need to be given the very best life possible. Omega promises to give us the very best matches against anyone and everyone on the roster. There was speculation that this show wouldn’t go well, but from what he can tell, this place is full and the fans were lively as Hell. So thank you for everything, but he must now bid you adieu. “Good-bye, mwah, and good-night BANG.” This new chapter for Omega’s NJPW is just beginning. The rest of Bullet Club meets The Elite on the ramp to celebrate and throw up Too Sweets! But then Tama Tonga attacks?!

It’s a coup! The chief of the Tongan sub-faction and his brother and father beat down Omega in the ring!! Gun-Stun Bomb!! The Civil War is far from over, as Haku & GoD beat down the Bucks. But here comes Hangman! Hangman fights off the Tongans, but only for so long. Loa runs him over, then scoops him for a slam. So here comes Scurll! He has his umbrella and he tees off, until Tonga gets him with Gun-Stun. The Bucks are back up, but Haku knocks them back down. Tonga says “You did this!” to Omega, as if it’s his fault.

The other members, Yujiro & Chase Owens, come out to try and sort this out. But it seems not even they are safe! Loa saido suplexes Yujiro, then Chase gets hit with the spinning neckbreaker! The Tongans don’t stop here, as they bring in the chairs from the main event to SMACK anyone that moves. Haku then gives Omega the throat thrust for good measure.

What was meant to be a moment of celebration for all is ruined by this revolting revolution. Fans boo and jeer, but perhaps this is Tama Tonga the OG member bringing The Club back to its roots. Wait, Cody returns! Is he even able to fight in his condition? He hobbles his way to the ring either way, but he’s on Tama Tonga’s side?! NOPE! He attacks the Tongans! Only to get a Stun Gun! Then Omega is fed to Haku, father and sons hit a piledriver on the chair. The Tongan #FiringSquad has just downed the rest of the club without mercy. “This is family! There ain’t no leader!” The silver lining: Cody and Omega are back on the same side. Is this the beginning of a new and even more brutal Civil War?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Simply incredible. NJPW goes for over 4 hours, but all of it was spectacular. As a bonus, their match card went in the order it was advertised where a WWE card feels like it’s on shuffle. The opening 10 Man was a nice opener, and I did not get a hint of foreshadowing towards the end, which makes it even better. Isshi-Yano surprised me, I thought Suzuki-Sabre were going to win again. But I suppose this extends their story, because Ishii VS Suzuki is something I’d watch all the time. Then Hangman & Scurll win, so another point for Bullet Club. It almost resembles Dominion, where that was basically dominated by The Club. I was hoping Cobb would beat Goto, but perhaps it’s too soon for him to win a title in NJPW when he’s just debuted and is unaffiliated.

The Young Bucks score again for Bullet Club, and I loved the parallels and upgrades to the Dominion match. Okada looks odd in gear that isn’t what he was wearing as champion. Good to see him and Ospreay basically bounce back from their losses, but it also makes you wonder where Naito is going from his. At least LIJ still has Hiromu, he and Dragon Lee surprised everyone with all that was going on. Hiromu is definitely best junior right now. That US title match was great, White and Juice brought each other up to new levels. I really thought Josh was gonna beat the crap out of White, but obviously between the kayfabe of commentator and wrestler not being able to get violent, and the result of Juice FINALLY being champion, what we got was the superior choice.

Cody VS Omega was also insane, and the story of the Bucks and even Brandi trying to keep things from going too far was a great touch. In the end, Omega wins because it’d be a shame to end his reign so soon. And of course, that swerve from the Tongans was not expected at all. At least, not here tonight. Tama Tonga hinted at wanting to go against Omega in the past, but to think he’d do it in such riotous fashion with his brother and his father by his side. As I said, great to see Cody is back on the same side with Omega, but I have a feeling that (aside from Bad Luck Fale and possibly Taiji Ishimori) Tama Tonga will bring in more people to his side in order to match who Omega has on his side (The Bucks, Hangman, Scurll, Cody, Chase & Yujiro).

My Score: 9.7/10


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.187 ~ 29TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Keiji Mutoh continues his Retirement tour and bringing out faces from the past! NOAH has a new champion! Interesting inter-promotional battles on the horizon as well!

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NEWS

Kaito Kiyomiya is the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, nominates Kazuyuki Fujita as challenger

Following provocation by Kenoh not only saying that he was going to be the one to inherit Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard and the memory of Keiji Mutoh himself (and the outright claim that Kiyomiya would simply forget about Mutoh once Mutoh had retired, which Kiyomiya didn’t even bother responding to), Kenoh went one step further at their last pre match on the 19th September by pulling Keiji Mutoh’s pose, kissing his hand, putting it to Kiyomiya’s lips and then exploding it. Kiyomiya erupted in fury at this, it was far more than any verbal provocation of Kenoh’s, which I guess he has learned to ignore over the years. They fought for the GHC Heavyweight in Nagoya on September 25th, with Kiyomiya emerging victorious following a modified Shining Wizard. As Kenoh left it was like a spell was broken. Kenoh went backstage and muttered about Kiyomiya being the company favorite and in his interview the day after winning the title, Kiyomiya said nothing about Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh as we know had been a focus of both Kiyomiya and Kenoh leading up to the title match.

Back in the ring, Kiyomiya called out his next opponent. Kazuyuki Fujita. Fujita came to the ring, carrying a can of beer which he swigged from. Getting in the ring he circled Kiyomiya and took off his t-shirt. Kiyomiya said that he was expecting a fight, but Fujita did something that no other NOAH wrestler had (or perhaps would) do, and that was to throw himself at Kiyomiya and then make nuzzling motions against his head, while he licked the belt. Kiyomiya pushed him off, and Fujita retaliated by pouring beer over his head.

Kiyomiya screaming that he hated beer was met with Fujita toasting him from the ramp and yelling “Kampaiii” (“cheers”) after a fight had broken out, and Kiyomiya threw him from the ring.

 

Backstage, Kiyomiya said his reason for nominating Kazuyuki Fujita as his challenger was that he had never been defeated for the GHC Heavyweight. Fujita had to give up the belt due to Coronavirus. It has been a recurring theme of most of the GHC Heavyweight champions since Go Shiozaki, that Fujita has been the man to beat in order to cement yourself as champion. Kiyomiya was picking up that torch.

As for Fujita, he played it as if he was a Casanova and had been asked out on a date by warning Kiyomiya that when you experience Fujita, you can never go back because you were never going to be the same. He was going to “make it a night to remember”. He sipped his beer, and licked his lips afterwards.

Title match has been set for NOAH’s return to Ariake on the 30th October.

STINGER lose, NOAH Junior Regulars win, enter Tadasuke (with a chair)

Following a period of brutal attacks on Seiki Yoshioka (by the end of the match he could hardly use one side of his body) and a title challenge where Atsushi Kotoge was bloodied up, The NOAH Junior Regulars emerged victorious and bought the tag titles home to their unit. They had very little time to celebrate their win and put ice on their wounds, when Tadasuke burst in and attacked Atsushi Kotoge with a chair while Hi69 beat up on the already incapacitated Seiki Yoshioka. Tadasuke (wild grin on his face) got on the microphone and made a challenge for the tag titles. Then Tadasuke wiped the blood from Kotoge that had got on his hands on his hair, leaving red streaks in the peroxide. Tadasuke was even waving the bloodied seat of the chair, which had detached during the attack, around backstage.

Title match will be on the 30th October when NOAH return to the Ariake complex.

Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima, NOAH’s most dysfunctional tag team, win the GHC Heavyweight tag titles

It must be said that with the combined efforts of Satoshi Kojima and Hideki Suzuki, we almost have our Sugi back.

At the press conference/title match signing, Sugi and Kojima appeared dressed in suits and wearing dark glasses. They looked something between The Men In Black and “Dangerous Detectives” (as Tokyo Sports called them  which stems from a Japanese TV show). Hideki Suzuki was on form, not only mistranslating Timothy Thatcher and stating at one point that Thatcher said he came to Japan to “beat you up” and being rude to a journalist for being overfamiliar with his “punk mouth”, the highlight of the press conference was his long close up stare at Sugi, who was trying not to laugh.

The dysfunctional team won the titles in Nagoya on the 25th September, and despite their falling out during the match, Sugi actually gave Kojima a proper handshake. Then they went back to squabbling backstage over Kojima talking on the mic when it was Sugi who got the win. No challengers have come forward as of yet.

HAYATA retains the GHC Junior, Ninja Mack makes his long awaited challenge

It had been an emotional match for YO-HEY, and for fans. Cutting out the aerial techniques that had characterized their earlier matches, both he and HAYATA demonstrated how much they had both evolved by concentrating on a more NOAH based ground attack with submissions. YO-HEY might have failed in the challenge, but he had at least gotten one win over HAYATA in the pre-match. He knew the title match would be different and he would need to level up, and afterwards he reflected and said he would start from rock bottom in order to make his next challenge. What fans had noticed that while things had changed between them, some things were the same, such as YO-HEY coloring his hair, his tongue (and even his boxer shorts) purple, which is HAYATA’s color, and HAYATA not speaking as much as he has done in previous title challenges, as he is content to let YO-HEY talk. After the match, Ninja Mack came to challenge. HAYATA accepted by saying, that he was “finally interested in the belt” and acknowledging him as challenger. Title match will of course be on the 30th October. But HAYATA is not immediately going into a fallout match with Ninja Mack at NOAH’s next event on the 30th, but is having a tag match against YO-HEY.

Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Road

Keiji Mutoh has been very busy.

– 23rd September: Great Muta appears in AEW

The Great Muta made a surprise appearance in AEW to rescue Sting, who had been tied to a chair by Darby Allen. Muta came to the ring, advanced on Sting and then turned and spat green mist into the face of Allen and then reunited with Sting. Keiji Mutoh announced that Sting would attend Muta’s retirement on the 22nd in Yokohama, but has not said in what capacity, although it is assumed that they will tag. Regarding any further appearances in America, Mutoh said he didn’t think it was likely, but did warn that The Great Muta may pop up somewhere as you never knew where he would turn up next.

– 25th September: Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road: Love Forever 2

Keiji Mutoh teamed with his junior Kazuyuki Fujita to take on Mutoh’s classmate, Masakatsu Funaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima, who Mutoh has known since he was a boy, and still calls affectionately “Katsuhiko”. Nakajima said he was going to break up this class reunion, and while Mutoh did get kicked (Nakajima smirked and said it was fun when Mutoh later complained his leg still hurt) but it was Fujita who got the worst of it. During the match, Nakajima pulled out Mutoh’s Space Rolling Elbow. Mutoh was initially not pleased, but then he became very happy to see it and said that he thought that “Katsuhiko” did it because he had some small measure of feeling for him. I think had Nakajima been a more acrobatic wrestler, Mutoh might have handed it to him. Mutoh won the match with The Shining Wizard, pinning Nakajima. This was Mutoh’s farewell to Nagoya, his classmate, his junior and Nakajima.

– 26th September: Hiroshi Tanahashi comes to the press conference and a tag match is announced

Hiroshi Tanahashi presented 38 roses to Mutoh when he came to the press conference. Each rose symbolizes a year of Mutoh’s career. Mutoh joked that he should have laid them at his feet, as had happened in boxing recently. Tanahashi said he wasn’t good at ad-libbing, and then introduced himself as “one of the greatest New Japan talents in the past one hundred years”. During the press conference, a tag match was announced. New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Honma Tomoaki will team together against the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh and Keiji Mutoh. This will take place on the 30th October. Mutoh has not given up hope of appearing one final time in the New Japan ring.

– 16th October: A new match is announced

NOAH announced that due to fan demand, Keiji Mutoh will be appearing in Fukuoka. He will tag with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima against Naomichi Marufuji, HAYATA and Jack Morris. Satoshi Kojima is of course connected to Mutoh through All Japan and New Japan, Naomichi Marufuji has wanted a match against Mutoh (he will be tagging with him as we know on the 30th October) and HAYATA has been a big fan of Mutoh for a while, as he has influenced a lot of his style and persona. HAYATA thinks of himself and The Great Muta as “The Phantom Team”. Muta doesn’t like to speak and HAYATA said, neither does he.

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima head overseas

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima will appear for Evolution Pro Wrestling in New York for their anniversary show on November 12th. Marufuji’s match is yet to be announced, but Nakajima will take on Josh Alexander. Alexander has said he wonders how Nakajima is going to kick after he snaps his ankle. They will also appear at King of Indies in San Francisco on November 19th.

NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (and Kenoh)

After being beaten up by Katsuhiko Nakajima who gave him some pretty stiff soccerball kicks outside the ring at Korakuen Hall recently, (although he would tell you that Nakajima tried to beat him up), NOSAWA Rongai has been on a quest to face Nakajima in a match. Then he threw in Kenoh, so it could be himself and Eita versus Kongoh. Hideki Suzuki told him that he was probably going to die, but NOSAWA has taken no notice and kept on with his demand. His demand has not been met because rather than facing Nakajima and Kenoh, NOAH have booked him against rookies Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. NOSAWA thinks he is having to go through some kind of trial.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Hideki Suzuki has hinted that perhaps Takashi Sugiura might like to get back online.

– Yoshiki Inamura and YO-HEY continued their guild, despite the fact that YO-HEY said someone attacked and burned their castle down. A picture was taken of YO-HEY and Inamura playing the game, with YO-HEY seated cross legged on Inamura, who was doing a bridge in the ring. We have seen Inamura used as a weight, but is he now used as furniture?

– NOAH’s Director, Narihiro Takeda, wrote on a NOAH Note that he would like for Darby Allin to come to NOAH one day.

– Tadasuke got a match thrown out by ripping off Alejandro’s mask. Tadasuke did not care, and did not even respond when Alejandro asked if he wanted a mask for himself?

– Daiki Inaba had his long awaited singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima, but failed to revenge himself for Nakajima’s behavior in W-1. Nakajima even went for the cocky pin by grinning and leaning on Inaba.

– There was usual chaos at the NOAH Junior Space sessions as Daisuke Harada is not there to take control. Atsushi Kotoge seems to be the main culprit, forgetting to invite Seiki Yoshioka in and at one time even failing to press record.

– It’s probably best that Daiki Inaba, who apparently likes to be in the nip backstage, was not present when NOAH was at Differ. It was bad enough that Sugi used to wander around naked…

– Mitsuharu Misawa wrote in a diary entry for 2006 about filming an advert for THE LEAVE, and having to sing first thing in the morning while they were filming. Probably due to the fact that he had a problem with his throat anyway, was a heavy smoker and had taken “so many chops and kicks” to it in his career, he said he sounded very hoarse.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

SUNNY VOYAGE – September 19th 

Event recap

Post match promos

N-INNOVATION – September 21st 

Event recap

Post match promos

GRAND SHIP 2022 IN NAGOYA/KEIJI MUTOH RETIREMENT ROAD – September 25th

Event recap

Post match promos

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Ninja Mack, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hi69), [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

(This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(October 2022 schedule)

– Friday, October 7th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse/ABEMA (live)

– Saturday, October 8th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)

Note about broadcasts

Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES

Wednesday, 5th October: Keiji Mutoh debut anniversary (38)

Wednesday, 5th October: Seiki Yoshioka debut anniversary (14)

LINKS

“I want to protect this belt for the rest of my life”, new GHC champion Kiyomiya holds morning press conference to establish a new NOAH landscape

Mutoh’s Retirement Road, tag match against Tanahashi in round three: “I want to grab the secret of secrets”, Tanahashi presents 38 roses

Great Muta teaming up with Sting for last match? “Agent” Mutoh’s opinion 

“I wonder if I can transmit more” YO-HEY aims to revitalize the junior ark with his first championship

AEW Shock! Great Muta appears in America! Rescues Sting and shake of hands

“Follow Me You Bastards” – Kenoh’s Weekly Pro Column

GHC Junior Match Signing: YO-HEY “Last Chance, I don’t think as my ex partner now”, HAYATA “I don’t feel anything”

“Taka & Satoshi” reveal a “dangerous detective” look, mischievous Suzuki is a reckless interpreter, the GHC tag signing ceremony is thrown into chaos by bizarre question and answer between the two teams

 A “Comrade” and an “Older Brother”, Masakatsu Funaki talks about his thoughts on Mutoh’s retirement, “I want to kick him mercilessly”

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube

Picture credit: YO-HEY & NOAH.co.jp


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Andrew’s IMPACT Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 9.29.2022

Bound for Glory is 8 days away, but Victory Road just happened. What kind of show do we get with some fallout and penultimate hype?

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Victory Road just happened, but Bound for Glory is like 8 nights away? You know I forgot that it was such a quick turn around. That makes tonight weird, since there’s some fallout, but then there’s gonna be a lot of table setting for Bound for Glory.

This episode could be awful. The last week or so haven’t exactly set the world afire, so I’m curious if the highlight really is just gonna be the Monster’s Ball with Masha and Allie Katch.

*insert joke about possibly gagging and balls and Swinger’s Dungeon*

Ratings:

  • Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid: Bullet Club win via Finesse & Fold – **
  • IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve: Myers retains via Roster Cut – ** 1/2
  • Delirious vs Black Taurus: Black Taurus wins via Destination Hellhole – ** 1/4
  • PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath: Rich wins via Phoenix Splash – ** 1/4
  • Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch: Masha wins via Russian Death Device – *** 1/2

Results:

Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid

I don’t think I could care less about this match if I tried. Trey and Laredo are worthless. Laredo has eaten so many terrible losses and Trey is just bad. If the BC Juniors don’t win…I will really question the booking.

My biggest takeaway early is the commentary tries to put over Trey “turning heads”. No he doesn’t, he is legitimately hard to watch and everything that Will Ospreay did wrong in his early career; is basically Trey, but with less personality. Oh did you expect play by play? They isolate Laredo, decent tandem attacks, when Trey comes in it’s bad offense typical Cruiser garbage with laughable facials and body language.

Just typical crap with Trey. Were there some cool high spots? Sure. Do I care? NOPE.

IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve

Steve starts with some of his quirky mat wrestling, Arm Wringers into Drop Toe Holds and face biting. It shocked Myers early, but he takes a small shortcut and starts trying to slow down the psycho from Decay. Steve bounces off the ropes and Myers does his sliding trip move before commercial.

Back from commercial, Snapmare from Steve and the neck twister into some corner offense of Hip Attacks and Sentons for 2. Myers dodges King Kill 33, lands a few pot shots, Implant DDT for 2. Into the corner, face bite, Upside Down, after the rope break Myers grabs the referee to block Steve. Eye Poke, Roster Cut, AND STILL…

Simple, but entertaining. Plus it continues Myers’ arrogant, full of himself for absolutely no reason persona. Oh and he offers up an Open Challenge for Bound for Glory. Maybe Bobby Fish? Someone new? Could be interesting. 

Delirious vs Black Taurus

Delirious is between gibberish and Stone Cold early on while they’re just trading shots. Delirious twists the Nose Ring…in the mask…and Taurus sells it momentarily before stomping the foot and decking him. This is just a weird match. I mean we all know Delirious is weird, but he’s not all comedy; and Taurus is supposed to be legit-ish.

Admittedly, with the exception of Victory Road, it has been years since I’ve watched a Delirious match. So the level of ridiculousness has hit Toru Yano levels, especially after the 10 count Leg Drops. Taurus powders, comes back in, Shoulder Tackle, Blackhole Backbreaker into a Samoan Drop. As soon as Taurus looks in charge, Delirious throws together a combo, eats a Headbutt and then Destination Hellhole.

Sheesh okay after 2 interview segments we get to Honor No More’s victory celebration segment. Just a lot of talking and inaction, so this just goes to feed that weird feeling I had coming into the show because of the timing. Eddie does the usual thing where hates on PCO and accuses him of being the weak link, which is a smart story angle since the fans tend to like PCO’s gimmick and this makes him more sympathetic to casual observers. 

Oh good Taven is talking nowWait did I just say that? DAMN YOU IMPACT! Made me like Matt Taven. Maria stirs the pot a little saying that Eddie is a better wrestler than Josh and Moose…by the implications. 

Thank God, Josh Alexander finally breaks up the segment with…more talking. Okay never mind. Jesus since the end of the Delirious match it was like 15 minutes before Josh finally charged the ring and threw down a bit with Honor No More. Rich Swann and Heath make a bit of the babyface save for Josh, but the numbers are still on Honor No More’s side. Oh MCMG come down in a tracksuit and dress clothes! Someone wasn’t ready to be doing a run in.

PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath

Well isn’t that convenient that four of the men in the donnybrook were supposed to be in a match anyway.

Rich uses his quickness to try and stay ahead of PCO, but PCO cuts him off in the corner into the Corner Hung Codebreaker, then the leaned against the ropes Leg Drop thing. Vincent throws together a T-Bone Suplex into a Flatliner and keeps the vibes flowing on Rich Swann.

PCO clears out Heath, but PCO’s hand gets stuck in the ropes. Vincent eats a flip kick and the Phoenix Splash while PCO and Heath are brawling on the outside after the rope issue with PCO.

Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch

Haymakers and Headbutts start things off as they both hit the ropes and lay out one another with dual clotheslines. Trash can lid duel, Masha gets first contact, but Allie blocks and returns 3 shots. German Suplex from Masha into whipping her with a chain, some choking and then general pulling with the chain in Katch’s mouth or around her eyes. Katch claws at Masha’s eyes to try and get some space.

Headbutts and Biting from Masha as Allie tries to power out of a Bow and Arrow. More chain choking…I’m not sure if this is a wrestling match or BDSM prep at the moment. Ahh Masha needs more Cowbell but Allie cuts her off with a trash can lid. Allie tries a Piledriver through a door, but Masha turns it into an Air Raid Crash into the opposite corner.

Commercial break, and Allie is getting choked again. Spots get a little redundant, slams, chokes, and blood. OHHH – it’s a “Use the Door” chant. I thought it was – nah – I won’t say what I thought it was. Chairshot from Masha misses, but a Snap Suplex from Masha onto the chair gets some usefulness. Straight Right to the gut and an Axe Kick allows Masha to hit the Death Valley Driver onto the propped up chair. Masha goes back to biting after it was only 2. Allie cuts off Masha going to the top, Superplex onto the trash can lid, into a Death Valley Driver through the door – but Masha kicks out.

Allie tries a Piledriver on the apron a few times, but Masha blocks. Masha tries for the Release German to the floor but Allie holds on. Dazed strikes, bites and then a Russian Leg Sweep through the table lays both out for a short time. Masha grabs a black bag, it’s gotta be tacks for Monster’s Ball. Masha eats a few tacks for good show, picks up Allie but Allie fights. Piledriver into the tacks from Allie, only 2. Allie opens a trash can, and empties a bunch of cut up soda cans. Hits Masha with the can, Masha fires, Spinning Heel Kick and then Russian Death Device into the pile of tacks and cans.

Overall Score: 6.25/10

The main event was pretty good, maybe even a little better than I gave it credit for; I’m just sick of seeing some crazy hardcore match so often from Impact. It feels like its weekly, and that’s too damn much. Trey is terrible, and that’s a hill I’m willing to die on. He sells poorly, he doesn’t tell a story with his wrestling and he looks like an idiot pretending to be something he isn’t; and that’s talented.

Myers is fine with his classic delusional heel style, Delirious gave a bit of a rub to Taurus so I’m guessing he’s probably next up in the X Division. But a straight 15 minutes of interviews and talking is just too damn much especially when the surrounding wrestling isn’t very good or hearty enough to help people tolerate talking time.

I do however love Joe Hendry. So…yeah. There’s always some quirky gimmicks that just resonate well with me, and this is gorgeous.

All in all, decent enough; though next week could be a real banger of a Go Home.


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