AXS gives us a double dose of NJPW as we get days 6 and 13 of the G1 Climax! It’s Omega VS Tama Tonga, Ishii VS Goto, Tanahashi VS EVIL and Okada VS Suzuki!
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- B Block: Sanada VS Zack Sabre Jr; Sanada wins.
- B Block: Kenny Omega VS Tama Tonga; Omega wins, by disqualification.
- B Block: Tomohiro Ishii VS Hirooki Goto; Ishii wins.
- A Block: Yoshi-Hashi VS Jay White; White wins.
- A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS EVIL; Tanahashi wins.
- A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS Minoru Suzuki; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for B Block!
The Bullet Club Civil War looked to have ended at G1 Special in San Francisco, as Kenny Omega defeated Cody to successfully defend his newly won IWGP Heavyweight Championship. However, the Civil War took a new turn with the rise of the Firing Squad! The Bullet Club OG, Tama Tonga, led his brother and father in a heinous raid of the celebrating new generation. But after tensions have mounted to a boiling point throughout the rest of the round robin, it is finally time for Tama and Omega to face off. Will this only escalate the Civil War to a whole new level?
Meanwhile, Chaos members are made to face off as the Fierce Warrior and Stone Pitbull will see who is the sturdier Strong Style savant. Only one can move up the ladder tonight, who will break down first?
NJPW and AXS quickly review the rest of B Block’s Day 6!
Kota Ibushi took on Toru Yano, and in a shocking upset, Yano won! Of course, Yano made sure to tie Ibushi’s hands together, get his signature low blow and then the roll up, but a win is a win. Tetsuya Naito and IWGP US Heavyweight Champion, Juice Robinson, used all of their charisma against each other, and in the end it was the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon that got the win. Juice continues to be without a single point, so it seems his chances of making this year’s G1 Finals are also zero. Then there is LIJ’s Sanada and Suzuki-Gun’s Zack Sabre Jr, which we jump into right now!
Sanada VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The Cold Skull and Submission Master met in the New Japan Cup, and the one hold Sanada has wasn’t enough against ZSJ’s unlimited arsenal. Can Sanada make up for that loss in this rematch here? Or will he again #JustTapOut?
ZSJ and Sanada circle and feel things out. They tie up, ZSJ gets a full nelson and quickly shifts to a snapmare, but Sanada lands on his feet! ZSJ is a bit surprised by that, but the fans love the agility. The two circle again, and ZSJ gets around to another full nelson. Sanada breaks then gets his own full nelson. ZSJ breaks to get his, but Sanada breaks and gets another. ZSJ breaks out but just as he goes for his, Sanada is already behind him for the full nelson! Fans applaud as it repeats, ZSJ breaks free only for Sanada to get back around. ZSJ grows frustrated already, but he ducks down, only for Sanada to bring him back up in the full nelson.
They try again, Sanada wheelbarrows ZSJ into the full nelson. ZSJ gets out but just ends up back in it again. He stubbornly keeps trying but Sanada keeps pace. ZSJ arm-drags but Sanada drags ZSJ into headscissors. ZSJ pops out and has a foot, and he twists! He bends the shin and twists the ankle, then stands up. Sanada rolls over but ZSJ turns that into his deathlock Bow ‘n’ Arrow, but Sanada pops out to a cover. ONE, and fans applaud this stand-off. Both men back away to adjust and circle again. They tie up, and ZSJ puts Sanada in a corner. The break is tense, but then ZSJ European Uppercuts! He whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada reverses.
ZSJ stops himself, slides under Sanada, then counters Sanada’s kick into a rolling takedown, then sunset cradle. Sanada rolls out to jackknife then sunset, but ZSJ gives it back. Sanada rolls out to high stack, ONE as ZSJ headscissors, but Sanada pops out. The two stand again and fans are loving this. Taka Michinoku coaches ZSJ while the fans rally behind Sanada. ZSJ and Sanada circle again, approach, and tie up. ZSJ gets the wristlock and bends the arms back. He keylocks, then half straitjackets. Sanada ends up in the full straitjacket, but he powers to his feet. ZSJ pulls back, but Sanada turns the jacket onto him. Sanada pulls back but ZSJ rolls through to reverse it back. Deja vu as Sanada reverses it back again.
ZSJ goes to get up but Sanada puts his weight on him. They still stand, and ZSJ even bridges back to reverse the jacket onto Sanada, but Sanada still reverses it back! Fans applaud but ZSJ is annoyed. Sanada keeps on him, but ZSJ gets back up. ZSJ works to put it on Sanada but Sanada puts it right back on ZSJ. ZSJ wiggles the hold down and puts it on Sanada again, but Sanada copies to put it right back on! Sanada’s ability to keep up with ZSJ is baffling the Submission Master. ZSJ tries the wiggle again, breaks free, gives a EuroUpper, but Sanada gives a EuroUpper in return! They both back off again, and Taka Michinoku coaches ZSJ up.
Sanada and ZSJ circle again, tie up, and ZSJ gives another EuroUpper. They circle again then tie up. They go to their knees in the collar and elbow, ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but Sanada gives it back. ZSJ gives another, but so does Sanada. Sanada’s hit harder, but then ZSJ fires off many. Sanada goes to backslide but ZSJ turns it around. They pull against each other and Sanada turns it back around, but ZSJ uses that to roll off his back into a double wristlock! ZSJ hops on for the floating wristlock!
Sanada endures, even as ZSJ turns it to a straight arm. Sanada uses that to pop out for Skull End! But ZSJ pops out to the Octopus Hold! Then he shifts for a sunset flip, but Sanada sits on it! ONE and ZSJ completes the sunset, TWO as Sanada comes back up! TWO as ZSJ almost gets caught there, but he Penalty Kicks Sanada down. Fans fire up while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ walks around Sanada, then brings him up for a facelock. He scoops but Sanada slips out, for Skull End! ZSJ goes up and over, trips Sanada up, body scissors into the European Clutch! TWO!! That was close, but no cigar. Sanada rolls up ZSJ, to Skull End! ZSJ again rolls out to go for EuroClutch, but Sanada pops out to copy it!! SANADA WINS!!
Winner: Sanada by pinfall; Sanada earns 2 points, ZSJ earns 0
The Cold Skull shocks the Submission Master using his own move against him! Whether or not this is an upset, Sanada winning this way upsets Taka as he gets in the ref’s face about the count. ZSJ himself is furious that he let Sanada outsmart him, even for just a second. He takes a page from the book of his mentor, Minoru Suzuki, and takes it all out on the Young Lions at ringside. Does ZSJ still have time to make up the points? Or has Sanada just played spoiler for the Submission Master?
Kenny Omega VS Tama Tonga!
The Bullet Club has been through many a revolution since its creation under Prince Devitt. After the Prince came the Phenomenal One, but then even AJ Styles would be overthrown by The Cleaner. In all that time, Tama seemed satisfied with staying close yet never sitting on the throne. But now, sensing weakness, Tama has decided to strike down the Best Bout Machine and his allies down! Will the Firing Squad’s coup d’état have its coup de grace? Or can Kenny keep control of the Club?
Naturally, the Tongan trio doesn’t roll alone, as Tonga Loa & Bad Luck Fale join Tama ringside. Omega goes it alone, so he’ll have to keep his head on a swivel with the numbers in Tama’s advantage. However, as introductions are being made, Tonga Loa pounces on Omega from behind! The Firing Squad stomps away on Omega as fans boo and jeer. Tama takes the belt and holds it up like it’s already his. Red Shoes tries to restore order but Tama throws the belt down to then kick it out of the ring. Tama whips Omega corner to corner for a corner clothesline, then Loa follows up with a splash and Fale with a clothesline.
Fans continue to boo but Omega is still all alone. Tama feeds Omega to Fale, but then Hangman Page and Chase Owens appear! They and the Guerrillas of Destiny brawl on the outside, and Omega escapes Bad Luck Fall. Omega hits back with a running V-Trigger, then Chase & Hangman clothesline Fale out! Fans fire up as this match still happens!
Omega kneels as the Terminator Drums begin. Hangman and Chase brawl with Fale and Loa, but Omega builds speed to FLY! He leaps onto the heap and almost doesn’t make it. Omega holds his ribs while he gives Loa one more clubbing forearm. But then Tama SPEARS Omega in the ring! Tama fireman’s carry to a flapjack! He circles Omega, “Did you think I was gonna make things easy?” He drives elbows into Omega, then says Omega isn’t special at all. Tama whips Omega and runs him over with a back elbow. Chase and Hangman head to the backstage area, but what of Loa and Fale?
Tama shouts at Omega that the Bullet Club could’ve been something more if they were all together. But Omega is the reason for the rift, so this is all on him. Tama drags Omega up and suplexes him. Cover, ONE, and Omega hits back. Tama hits Omega with elbows and haymakers, then stalks him around the ring. Tama fires body shots in the corner, but Omega hits back. They go back and forth, but Tama headbutts Omega to a corner. “Is this your hero?!” Tama will remind everyone who he is. But then Omega comes back with forearms. Tama hits back, then whips, but Omega holds ropes. Omega boots Tama, then runs for a body shot, then comes back around for a low dropkick.
Omega runs again, but Tama dodges the bulldog to run around and dropkick Omega down! Tama watches Omega flounder to a corner, then runs in for a big splash. Omega dodges, and comes back with chops. Tama swings but misses, Omega kicks and whips. Tama reverses but Omega dodges to hit a running DDT! Cover, TWO! Omega has control of the match while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Omega drags Tama up. Omega fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton and the moonsault both hit! But Tama is up quick, and goes for Gun Stun! Omega denies the cutter to give his V-Trigger! Omega drags Tama up in the underhook, but Tama denies the driver. Tama lifts and quickly Alabama Slams! Cover, TWO! Tama and Omega slowly stand, but Omega again denies a Gun Stun, and goes for a back slide. Tama rolls out and blocks Omega’s V-Trigger! He fireman’s carry but Omega slips out to a waistlock. Tama breaks free and runs but into a V-Trigger! Omega grits his teeth while Tama rests on the apron.
Fans rally up as Omega joins Tama, and wants a full nelson. Tama uses the ropes then breaks out. Tama runs but back into the full nelson. He grabs Red Shoes to both save himself, and give Loa the opening! Loa hits Omega in the leg with a chair! Fans boo but Loa keeps going as he brings Omega off the apron in powerbomb position. But Omega huricanranas Loa away! Omega goes after Tama, gets powerbomb position, for an apron bomb! Tama slumps down to the ground, but Omega drags him back up. They go back in, and Omega prepares the cross-leg fisherman. Aoi Shoudou! Fans fire up with Omega while Tama writhes. Omega takes aim and BANG! He runs, but Loa trips him up! Loa holds Omega in place, but then Omega escapes to send Tama into Loa!
Omega rolls Tama up, TWO, and Omega is pushed into Loa’s chair toss! Tama rolls Omega, TWO!! Omega survives the screw job, but Tama wants that chair for himself. Loa sets it there, then goes somewhere else to distract Red Shoes. Tama positions the chair and goes for Gun Stun, but Omega slams him onto the chair! Omega drags Tama up onto Electric Chair, but Tama slips out. Tama tries again but is still denied Gun Stun with a shove. Omega goes to huricanrana, but Tama counters that by preparing a Styles Clash! He wants to do it on the chair, but Red Shoes kicks the chair away! Tama lets Omega go to get in Red Shoes’ face. Fans boo, but then are surprised to see Red Shoes push back! GUN STUN for Red Shoes!! Fans boo even louder now, but GoD go after Omega together, GUN STUN!
Winner: Kenny Omega, by disqualification; Omega earns 2 points, Tama earns 0
Fale returns, too, and he stomps away on Omega. The Firing Squad keep Young Lions out while putting a chair around Omega’s head. Tama prepares to drive Omega down, but in comes Kota Ibushi, as well as Hangman and Chase! They run the Tongans off, but Tama vows “I’ll end all of you!” Clearly this Bullet Club Civil War has only grown more intense, where and how will it end?
Backstage interview with Omega.
“Nothing much has changed since last year, has it?” Tama said the G1 doesn’t mean anything, and he hasn’t changed his opinion since. Tama doesn’t care about the finals, he only cares about making a statement. Omega is upset that Tama used his friends and a DQ win to mess up his match star rating average. “That, my friend, is unforgivable.” When and where will Omega get his revenge on Tama?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Hirooki Goto!
Both men are of Chaos, but that doesn’t mean they won’t compete against each other. Will the “Righteous Rascal” or the perennial NEVER Openweight Champion come out on top with two points?
The bell rings and fans duel for these battle-tested wrestlers. They tie up and Goto gets a headlock. Ishii pries his way out but Goto puts it back on. Ishii powers out and they collide. Neither man falls, and Goto dares Ishii to go again. Ishii does, and they collide again. They go again and collide, and collide, and collide! Ishii hits Goto, Goto hits Ishii, again and again and again! Fans applaud these two human tanks testing each other, just as Ishii starts firing off forearms! Goto gives some back, and they go back and forth. Ishii wants Goto to really hit him, and the brawl just intensifies with every shot. Forearm after forearm after forearm and neither man backs off.
Fans applaud just as Ishii gains an edge. Ishii runs and hits Goto. Goto comes back to hit Ishii on the rebound. Ishii does the same but it’s Goto who runs Ishii over! Fans applaud again as Goto catches his breath. Goto stomps Ishii, then drags him back up for elbows. Goto drags Ishii up and puts him in a corner for stomps. He whips Ishii corner to corner but Ishii reverses. Ishii catches Goto on the return for a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii is up first .Goto slowly follows but Ishii in on him. Ishii chops Goto, then chops him again. Goto reels back but Ishii keeps on him, chopping him down. Ishii kicks Goto while he’s down, then backs off just a moment to adjust.
Ishii brings Goto up and gives him a headbutt. Goto chops but Ishii doesn’t flinch. Goto chops and chops but Ishii just eggs him on. Ishii gives back one and Goto falls. Ishii toys with Goto a little, and stands on his chest. He keeps toying with Goto, then taunts him, “What’s wrong, Champ?!” Goto fires off palm strikes but Ishii just chops him. They run, dodge, but Goto fireman’s carry. Ishii slips out and shoves, but misses in the corner. Goto hits a solid corner clothesline, then whips Ishii corner to corner. Muramasa the rolling heel kick, to saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Goto has control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Goto drags Ishii up. Goto wants to lift but Ishii resists. They struggle against each other, but Isshi gets free. Goto kicks Ishii hard in the chest and Ishii falls. The referee checks on Ishii but he’s okay. Goto gives another kick and Ishii falls again. Goto taunts Ishii back, then kicks him again. Ishii smacks his head on the mat to fire himself up. Goto gives another kick, but now Ishii feeds off it. Another kick and another kick, but Ishii grows stronger, and rocks Goto with a right! Goto and Ishii both gasp for air, but Ishii drags Goto to a corner. Ishii chops and forearms, chops and forearms, repeat. He whips corner to corner but Goto reverses, only for Ishii to run out and run Goto over! Ishii drags Goto back up, but Goto resists the back suplex.
Goto elbows his way free, then runs, but Ishii follows. Things speed up, and they collide! Goto staggers over into Ishii’s German Suplex! But Goto’s right back up to kick Ishii right back down! Goto fires up and drags Ishii into the sleeper hold. Ishii reaches but starts to fade. He still has life as fans rally up again. Ishii throws Goto off! Goto clotheslines Ishii but Ishii stays standing. Goto runs, but the clothesline only knocks Ishii backwards. Ishii rebounds and collides with Goto! Goto runs, but again his clothesline only staggers Ishii. Ishii teeters in a corner, but comes back with a clothesline. Goto still stands, and comes back for yet another.
Ishii wobbles, but still hits back! Goto runs to hit again, but Ishii returns it. Goto drops to a knee, Ishii runs, but into a clothesline! Ishii’s right back up and clotheslines Goto down! Goto gets back up and they both clothesline! Neither man falls, so they go again! The collision is still so solid, and they go again! Both men fall to the mat and fans fire up for the intensity! The referee checks on each of them, and somehow Ishii and Goto are still okay to continue. Goto sits up but Ishii follows. They each force themselves to stand. Goto is on Ishii first, with the sleeper hold! Ishii hits back with overhead backhands, faster and faster! He’s free, but Goto SLAPS him! Now Ishii’s mad.
Ishii fires forearms from both ends! He even counters a headbutt to give a headbutt, then a corner clothesline! Fans are thunderous as Goto slumps down. Ishii drags Goto up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Ishii wants a superplex, and hits it! Cover, TWO!! That wasn’t enough, but Ishii has more. He sits Goto up, runs, but into the sleeper! Ishii goes to counter but Goto counters, only for Ishii to reverse, only to end up in the fireman’s carry and Ushigoroshi! Goto doesn’t cover, he drags Ishii up. They brawl again, and Goto clobbers Ishii off his feet! Goto drags Ishii up again, Reverse GTR! Goto stands Ishii again, but Ishii slips out of the suplex! Into a dragon sleeper! Goto reverses it but Ishii reverses back but Goto pops out. Ishii kicks but Goto spins, into a saido suplex!
Both men are down again and fans fire back up. Fans duel while the referee checks on both men. Both men stir, neither man giving up just yet. They go to opposite ends before standing. They run at each other, for another clothesline collision! Goto counters a clothesline but Ishii counters back, then Goto blocks the enziguri! Goto runs, but into another clothesline! High stack cover, TWO!! How is either man still going!? Ishii fires himself up and he drags Goto up. He suplexes, but Goto fights out. Goto and Ishii fight for control, and Goto gets Ishii up for Shouten Kai! Cover, TWO!! Ishii and Goto are exhausted, but this match must continue.
Fans are thunderous as Goto drags himself away. Goto stands but staggers while Ishii stirs. Goto prepares to finish this, and hits the buzzsaw! He’s not done yet, as he drags Ishii up in the dragon sleeper. Ishii pops out but Goto headbutts, only for Ishii to give one. They headbutt again, then Ishii enziguris Goto down! Ishii comes back around, runs, and hits the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!? Goto is dazed but he still lives! Ishii drags Goto up again, for the brainbuster! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; Ishii earns 2 points, Goto earns 0
Ishii wins in a match that was the epitome of Strong Style! He gains some ground, and perhaps even a shot at the NEVER Openweight Championship. Will Ishii be able to get himself to the Finals? If he doesn’t, will he want another match with Goto for that title?
NJPW and AXS set the scene for A Block!
There are do-or-die stakes on the line for three men at this point in the tournament! The Ace has the lead with 10 points, but the King of Darkness lurks just behind with 8. Hiroshi Tanahashi lost to EVIL way back in the 2017 New Japan Cup’s opening round. Will Darkness Fall to keep Evil’s hopes alive? Or will the Once in a Century Talent blaze a trail to the finals through him?
Meanwhile, The Rainmaker and the Man with the Worst Personality both have 8 points. They both lost back-to-back, but have rallied back since. These two renew their own rivalry from their two different time-limit draws. Two points never felt so important! Will Okada reclaim his former glory? Or will Suzuki use this to bring him his first ever G1 Climax championship?
NJPW and AXS quickly review the rest of A Block’s Day 13!
Bad Luck Fale and Michael Elgin went heavy hit after heavy hit, but the Firing Squad is always near. Even so, the Unbreakable took care of Tonga Loa and slammed Fale! Tama added the last shot, and though Elgin gets the win, there’s no telling if he’ll be able to continue competing. Meanwhile, Hangman Page and Togi Makabe battled just as hard as the young Problem Solver took it to the veteran Uncaged Gorilla. Hangman hit his Rite of Passage to gain himself points as well as some major respect. Lastly are Yoshi Hashi and Jay White for another Chaos VS Chaos showdown, which we jump into!
Yoshi-Hashi VS Jay White!
The Head-Hunter runs at the Switchblade in the corner for a chop. Hashi suplexes White and hangs him up on the ropes, for a dropkick! He hurries up top and aims at White, for a flying blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Hashi grows frustrated, but he keeps going. He drags White up and prepares a bomb but White slips out. Hashi forearms and chops, then whips. White reverses only to get more forearms, but then he catches Hashi into a Complete Shot and deadlift German Suplex! Hashi is down but White drags him back up. White suplexes and twists for the brainbuster! Cover, TWO! But White isn’t bothered, he prepares his blade. He drags Hashi up, but Hashi rolls him! TWO!!
Hashi kicks but is blocked. White gives a set of strikes, then runs, but into the lariat! Hashi lifts, powerbomb to jackknife! TWO!! Hashi hurries back up, but White grabs the referee. Then he trips Hashi up! Fans boo but White doesn’t care. White drags Hashi out, for Blade Runner! But Hashi counters to a pumphandle! White fights his way out, then baits Hashi into Red Shoes! Low blow! Fans boo louder, but White gets away with an underhanded move again. White brings Red Shoes over, drags Hashi up, but Hashi still counters with a kick, then SUPERKICK!
Hashi fires up and brings White in. White fights out, but misses his clothesline to get a backstabber! Hashi wants to end it now, as he fisherman lifts, to the Bunker Buster! Cover, TWO!! White survives, which shocks Hashi. But Hashi fires up with the fans as he grabs White for the pumphandle. Lift but White fights out, Blade Runner!! Cover, White wins!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Hashi earns 0
The Switchblade gets another win that’s tainted by his tactics. But he just knows he won and continues on to stay near the top of the block. Will White keep going all the way to the finals? Or will he be passed up by the other top stars in his bracket?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS EVIL!
The Ace of Air-Guitars and the King of Darkness go around one more time, and again for big stakes. Evil’s fate is in his own hands, can he win and join the conversation for the G1 Climax Finals? Or will Tanahashi push past to keep his hopes of another G1 Climax Finals appearance alive?
The bell rings and we begin with fans already chanting strongly for Tanahashi. Evil doesn’t mind, he and Tanahashi circle. Evil kicks low then puts on a headlock. Tanahashi fights back and powers out. Evil runs Tanahashi over, then speeds things up. Tanahashi hip drops Evil down, then plays the air guitar. Tanahashi gets a headlock takeover, but Evil works against it. Evil sits up but Tanahashi grinds the headlock. Evil pulls hair to get out, then whips Tanahashi. Tanahashi holds ropes then dumps Evil onto the apron. Tanahashi swings on Evil but gets caught into a hotshot! Evil grabs that repaired arm and slams it on the mat. He looms over Tanahashi and does it again.
Evil drags Tanahashi up to wrench the arm, then puts it in a hammerlock. He shoves Tanahashi into buckles, then goes back after the arm with another wrench. Tanahashi breaks free, but gets run over and squashed under the back senton. Cover, TWO! Evil pulls back on the arm, then goes for the other. Tanahashi resists so Evil hooks his nose. Evil lets up at 4 to get both arms. He digs a knee into Tanahashi’s shoulders, then pulls back harder on the arms. Tanahashi endures and powers his way up. Tanahashi feeds off the fan rally and works to reverse the hold, but Evil just pulls back harder. The fans keep rallying and Tanahashi tries again, but Evil brings him back down. Tanahashi tries one more time, and turns Evil around, only for Evil to turn it back around. Tanahashi dropkicks Evil away and he’s free!
Both men catch their breath then slowly stand up. Evil kicks first, then whips. Tanahashi hits back with a flying forearm! He drops a big elbow then a flipping senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi drags Evil up and throws forearms. He backs Evil into a corner, then scoops him for the slam. Tanahashi hops up top, but Evil rolls away. Evil blocks the boot to club Tanahashi all the way out! The Ace is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Evil fetches Tanahashi. Evil whips Tanahashi into the railings, btu Tanahashi fires up, only to run into a clothesline. Fans rally up while Evil leaves Tanahashi to the count. The 20 count reaches 10 before Tanahashi stirs. Tanahashi rises up at 13, but falls back down! He hurries up again and into the ring at 17. Evil is ready, and he runs in at Tanahashi for a Bronco Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil drags Tanahashi back up, fireman’s carry, but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi goes to kick but Evil catches it to hand it to Red Shoes. Evil goes to kick but Tanahashi blocks that, and Tanahashi tells Red Shoes to let go. Red Shoes does, and then Tanahashi lets go of Evil, to give Evil a slapping palm strike!
Tanahashi runs but Evil pursues for a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he staggers back up. He drags Tanahashi up, fisherman suplex! Cover, TWO! Evil sits Tanahashi up to slash the throat. But Tanahashi snapmares to a small package, TWO! Tanahashi swings but misses. Evil mule kicks, but Tanahashi denies the STO to hit the spinning neckbreaker! Fans fire up as Tanahashi stands. Tanahashi runs and hits a Slingblade! Cover, TWO, but Tanahashi keeps going. He gets to a corner, but Evil shoves Red Shoes his way. Tanahashi saves Red Shoes from the collision, then he sees Evil coming. He hits back, then dragon screws the leg inside the ropes! Evil staggers away as Tanahashi climbs up. Crossbody!
But Tanahashi won’t end it there, he goes back up, for the High Fly Flow! But he flops as Evil escapes! Evil stands and drags Tanahashi around, rolling up into the fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi shocks Evil, but Evil still has more. He takes off his elbow pad, runs, and clobbers with a clothesline! Cover, TWO!! That was even closer! Evil calls for the end and drags Tanahashi back up. STO denied, but Evil breaks free of the full nelson. Evil whips and reels Tanahashi in, but Tanahashi steals the STO! Tanahashi gets to the top rope as fans are thunderous. High Fly Flow!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Evil earns 0
The Ace continues to rise up from his early loss! Evil is out of the running now, but it’s still on Tanahashi to keep himself going. Can Tanahashi go all the way while there is still much more to come?
Kazuchika Okada VS Minoru Suzuki!
The Rainmaker seeks redemption after his rocky start to the round robin, as does the Meanest Man in the World. They both sit at 8 points, but things can change with a single win. Who will move up into true second place now that Evil is out of the way?
But as Okada has his fun letting the balloons fly, Suzuki pounces! Suzuki throws Okada out of the ring as the bell rings, but the beating continues on the outside. Suzuki whips Okada into railings, then follows up the ramp. He takes a chair, and hits Okada with it! Suzuki rips the railings apart to then throw it down on Okada. He takes another chair and SMACKS the railings into Okada. Another chair, another SMACK! Suzuki brings the railings off Okada to thrust the chair into Okada’s throat. Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki, but Suzuki gets in his face now. Red Shoes has to defend himself, so he gets a chair for a shield. Suzuki isn’t in any mood for fun and games, he and Desperado flank Red Shoes. But Okada comes back with a kick and forearms!
Suzuki hits back, and bounces Okada off the wood bleachers. Young Lions help fans get clear as Suzuki keeps on Okada. Suzuki clears out other fans, and goes bowling for chairs with Okada’s body! Suzuki doesn’t let up, as he takes another chair and jams it into Okada’s stomach, and SMACKS him across the back! Red Shoes tries to restore order while fans rally up for Okada. Suzuki leaves Okada for dead as he storms his way back to the ring. Suzuki searches around under the ring, and brings out some more chairs. Okada drags himself up and a count begins. The count reaches 7 while Suzuki waits with a chair. Okada arrives at about 13, only to get that chair! Suzuki SMACKS Okada again and returns to the ring at 17. Okada hears the count and gets in at 19.5!!
Suzuki is furious but he takes it out on Okada with forearms on the apron. He gives Okada a draping armbar! Red Shoes counts and Suzuki lets go at 4, to then boot Okada down! Okada hits railing and slumps back down, but Suzuki dares him to get back in. Suzuki grins, but fans rally up as a new count begins. The count passes 10 but Okada only now gets up. Suzuki grins as Okada gets in at 19, because he just gets to hurt Okada more. He grinds his shoe on Okada’s head, then his face. Suzuki stomps Okada and that wakes Okada up. Suzuki takes Okada’s shirt and uses it to choke him! Red Shoes can’t get a good look, so Suzuki gets away with it. Suzuki kicks Okada, but Okada stands up. Suzuki gives Okada forearms, but Okada grits his teeth.
Okada gives a forearm, Suzuki gives a forearm, and back again. Suzuki knees low then whips Okada to the corner. Okada boots him away, then blocks a kick into his own kick, neckbreaker! Okada stands and fires more forearms. Suzuki reverses the whip but gets Okada’s back elbow. Okada runs for a back elbow in the corner, then kicks for a DDT! Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps his cool. Suzuki stands but Okada lifts him up. Suzuki resists with a wristlock takedown, to armbar! Okada flails as Suzuki pulls on the arm. They get around, but Suzuki gets a leg. Okada uses the other leg for the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Okada go and backs off to a corner while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Okada gets himself to a corner. Suzuki runs in for a big boot! He snapmares and Penalty Kicks Okada down, then sits him up for the Fujiwara armbar! Suzuki pulls back and then gets Rings of Saturn! Okada endures the double armbar as Suzuki puts as much weight as he can on the hold. Fans rally but Suzuki lets go of one arm to do just the Fujiwara again. Okada gets another ropebreak, so Suzuki lets go. Suzuki talks trash while toying with Okada. Okada gets up and fires a forearm. That bad arm hurts as he does it, but he keeps trying. Suzuki gives Okada a shot and Okada staggers back. Suzuki keeps on Okada in the corner, elbow after elbow. Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki again, but Okada comes out with a shotgun dropkick!
Okada eggs Suzuki on now, wanting Suzuki to hit him! Suzuki grins, but lets Okada go first. Okada hits with the bad arm, but Suzuki’s arm is just fine as he hits Okada again. Okada goes again, and so does Suzuki. Suzuki hits, Okada hits. Okada hits, Suzuki dares him to hit harder. Okada tries, but it doesn’t really work. Suzuki hits Okada and then mocks the Rainmaker pose! Okada fires off more forearms, then pushes Suzuki around. Suzuki grins as he gives Okada one big forearm! Okada staggers about, but clears his head to hit back. Suzuki hits again, and they go back and forth again. Okada staggers but still comes back. Suzuki rocks Okada again but Okada always comes back. Now Suzuki starts to laugh! He’s enjoying this brutal back and forth with the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
They don’t slow down, and Suzuki SLAPS Okada! Fans fire up as Okada starts to fade. Suzuki brings Okada back up, but his piledriver is countered to a back drop and sit-down cover! TWO, and Suzuki kicks. Suzuki runs, but into the dropkick! Okada grits his teeth as he brings Suzuki up. Suzuki elbows out, then fires off fast shots! Okada can’t cover up, so he just gives EuroUppers! Suzuki slaps him again, so Okada slaps back! Okada runs, but into Suzuki’s dropkick! Both men are down but the fans are fired up. Suzuki sits up first, then brings Okada up. He fires off more shots but Okada goes to gut wrench. Suzuki headbutts out, then rocks Okada with a knee. Okada still tries but Suzuki fights him off with another knee. Suzuki has a facelock, squeezing the air out of Okada’s head.
Fans duel, Okada lifts Suzuki but Suzuki slips out to a sleeper hold! Okada sits down but he reaches for ropes. Suzuki drags him away, and Okada begins to fade. Suzuki shifts but Okada wants Rainmaker, only for Suzuki to SLAP him! Okada stays standing, so Suzuki slaps him again. Suzuki puts Okada in an Octopus Hold! Okada endures as Suzuki also digs his elbow into Okada’s hips. Okada pops out of the hold, gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! But Okada is too tired to cover!
Both men are down but stirring. They stand, and Okada goes for the wristlock. Suzuki fights out, but then Okada puts a sleeper on him! Okada shifts to steal the Gotch! Suzuki resists, and gut wrenches Okada! Suzuki wants to steal that driver, but then Okada turns and lifts Suzuki in the gut wrench, to make it a Gotch TOMBSTONE! Cover, TWO!! Okada is shocked but the fans are fired up. Suzuki resists the wristlock but gets a discus lariat. Then Okada swings Suzuki out, Rainmaker!! Okada covers, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Suzuki earns 0
It was brutal to say the least, but in the end, the Rainmaker wins with the Rainmaker! Suzuki stumbles away in defeat without a word while Okada takes up the mic.
Okada pumps himself up, ready to speak, but the mic isn’t on! Well that’s embarrassing. He tries again, letting the fans chant as he pumps himself back up. “Win number five!” Okada is sweating, and not just from the Hakata heat. It’s also the warm welcome from the fans. Okada wonders, why are the fans fired up? Is it because he won? Is it because he’s so strong? Or is it that he’s good-looking, strong and won? Which is it? Fans seem to agree it’s C. He can see it on their smiling faces. The theme of summer is to smile. Even Suzuki was grinning during their match.
There are just two more G1 Climax matches left. If Okada doesn’t win, no one will have a reason to smile. He has to win so they can celebrate. That’s fine, just two more and the finals! Okada delcares it right now, he will definitely win it all! That’s all for now, so thank you… VERY MUCH! Okada is tired but he’s on a roll. Will he roll all the way to the finals like he promised?
“Even for title matches, I don’t usually sit down for these,” Okada says. But he’s so tired from this grueling G1 Climax. He’s still winning, because he’s just that good. “It’s tough, but I’m having fun.” With Jaw White nipping at his heels and Tanahashi just up ahead, will Okada be able to take the A Block? Or will he at least be a spoiler for someone else?
Two great hours of NJPW in a row from AXS is always great for viewers. We skipped a lot going from Day 6 in B Block to then Day 13 in A Block, but AXS did well in getting the essentials. It was nice of them to also sneak in Sanada VS ZSJ because that was exciting and surprising. Sanada is probably one of the more improved wrestlers, and is a very balanced wrestler, too. He kept pace with ZSJ the entire time, then beats ZSJ with his own signature pinfall. I know from other sources that with the round robin format, there was some tension mounting between Sanada and Naito, but I’m sure they won’t go for a Civil War story like Bullet Club and even Chaos have done.
Speaking of, I thought Tama Tonga having his Firing Squad going after Omega to then bring out Hangman and Chase was going to negate their G1 Climax match for a tag match, but then I remembered that’s more a WWE Teddy Long thing. But anyway, Omega did great overcoming things for a time, but obviously Tama and crew just turn things into more anarchy. I’m looking forward to this part of the Bullet Club Civil War getting a great blow-off match. Ishii VS Goto was stiff as stiff could be, and that made it great. Ishii getting a NEVER Openweight title match would be amazing, and he might be the one guy who could keep that belt away from Goto for a considerable amount of time.
AXS also sneaks White VS Hashi in, that was just to fill for time really. White wins to keep pace with Tanahashi and Okada, and with his wins over them acting as tiebreakers should they all get 12 points, this will at least tease that the upstart young star having a chance of going over the veterans. Tanahashi gets the win over Evil because Evil is not yet at a G1 Climax Finals level. Plus, I was expecting Evil to go after Chris Jericho for the IWGP Intercontienntal Championship. Okada keeps his redemption story going with this great win over Suzuki, but with him facing Tanahashi soon, that’s definitely changing. Okada’s story wouldn’t be as compelling if it was all turned around with this one tournament. He needs to keep exploring who he is after losing the title again.
My Scores: Part 5 = 8.5/10; Part 6 = 8/10; Overall = 8.5/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10