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
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Part 2!
AXS wraps Wrestling Dontaku with TWO HOURS!
It’s the AXS finale of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019!
AXS and NJPW give us TWO hours and two championship matches! Jeff Cobb defends the NEVER Openweight Championship while Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
Coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic Wrestling Dontaku 2019 finale!
“Legacies will be defined” as The Rainmaker pushes past redemption and moves on to reestablish himself. It was through the 2019 New Japan Cup that Kazuchika Okada earned another chance at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Jay White, and it was at G1 Supercard that he took that title back! The now five-time champion keeps his promise of giving Cold Skull Sanada the first shot! The story of Okada and Sanada goes back to Sanada’s debut in 2016, in which he attacked Okada on Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito’s behalf. Sanada has climbed the ranks in the singles division, but is this the night he finally proves he is worthy? Or will Okada continue to prove he’s on another level?
Meanwhile, the Stone Pitbull and the King of Darkness have recently renewed a rivalry. They teamed with Okada and Sanada in a tag team match on the first night, and it went Evil’s way when put Tomohiro Ishii in the Scorpion Deathlock, a move copied from Ishii’s mentor! However, it was the referee who called the match for the sake of Ishii’s well-being, Ishii did not submit. Will Evil finally make Ishii give in? Or will Ishii get revenge for Evil adding insult to injury?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi!
The Hawaiian Hulk has a title belt in both ROH and NJPW! But that only means more work for the Olympic wrestler, and that includes facing the Sliest Wrestler in the World, backed by Suzuki-Gun! Will all the tricks in Taichi’s book amount to nothing against the colossal cross-promotion champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is presented, and the dramatic Taichi takes his time removing his entrance gear. Miho Abe takes care of his coat but Cobb makes sure Taichi puts his knapsack down, too. Taichi does, the bell rings, and we begin!
Cobb and Taichi slowly circle. Taichi goes back to his corner to have Miho fix his hair. Cobb grows annoyed but Taichi is in the corner so he can’t be touched. They circle but then Taichi bails out to regroup with Miho, Taka Michinoku and Kanemaru. Taichi takes his time returning, all to troll Cobb. Miho gets on the apron to be a distraction, and Taichi gets in from behind! He clubs Cobb, but it only annoys Cobb more! Cobb kicks Taichi then CHOPS him! Cobb CHOPS Taichi more, but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi whips but Cobb reverses and things speed up. Cobb hurdles and dropkicks Taichi! Fans applaud Cobb’s agility while Taichi bails out. Cobb builds speed, but Taichi uses Miho as a shield!
Fans boo but Cobb bails out. Cobb tells Taichi to man up but Taichi still “cowers” behind Miho. Red Shoes reprimands Taichi, but he doesn’t see Kanemaru attack Cobb from behind! Kanemaru’s forearms do more to Cobb than Taichi’s. But Cobb whips Kanemaru into railing! And he throws forearms on him! Taichi uses his mic stand on Cobb! Taichi chokes Cobb while Red Shoes is down. Red Shoes gets up with help from a Young Lion, and stops Taichi. Taichi whips Cobb into railing then brings him to NJPW commentary. He bounces Cobb off the announce desks then chokes him with cables! Taichi leaves Cobb behind long enough to take the NEVER Openweight belt. Taichi holds it up as if it’s already his. Fans boo and Red Shoes shakes his head.
Cobb drags himself up and gets in the ring before a count begins, but Taichi stomps away on him. Taichi stands on Cobb’s back and head, but lets up at Red Shoes’ count. Taichi smirks as he stands Cobb up to choke him into a corner! Red Shoes counts again but Taichi lets up, only to grind Cobb’s face on ropes. Taichi smirks more as he rakes Cobb’s face! He stops at Red Shoes’ count but then brings Cobb up for a snapmare and swift kick. Cobb only gets mad and stands back up. Cobb throws big forearms on Taichi! Taichi mule kicks Cobb away, then runs in for a big corner clothesline. Taichi keeps moving, but Cobb dodges. Cobb wants a belly2belly but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi runs, but into a scoop to suplex! Cobb puts Taichi on the top rope, to CHOP him.
Cobb adjusts and climbs to join Taichi. Taichi holds on but Cobb gets up for a stalling SUPERPLEX! Taichi bounces up from momentum alone then flounders to a corner. Cobb slowly stands and gets himself to a corner while Taichi slowly sits up. Cobb runs in but Taichi dodges. Taichi misses his kick but Cobb chops and clotheslines with no wasted motion! Cobb whips corner to corner then runs in for a BIG elbow! Cobb fireman’s carries Taichi for a Samoan Drop! “Gochimuchi” Moonsault but Taichi dodges! Taichi kicks but misses and Cobb waistlocks. Taichi elbows free but Cobb shoves. Cobb runs but misses in the corner, Taichi hits his enziguri! Taichi brings Cobb in, but he can’t lift Cobb! He kicks away on Cobb’s face, then tries again, but that doesn’t change anything! Cobb back drops Taichi instead!
Taichi wrenches and hook kicks Cobb! Taichi hits the buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is tougher than that, so Taichi focuses his power. Off come the pants! Taichi aims and kicks, but Cobb deflects to hit back with a big right. Taichi kicks but it barely bothers Cobb. Neither does the next kick or the next kick. If anything, Cobb starts liking it. Cobb forearms Taichi and dares him to come back. He throws more forearms, and Taichi falls to his knees. Cobb dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi fires himself up. Taichi kicks away on Cobb’s chest, but Cobb blocks and brings Taichi in for a Fall Away Slam! Cobb runs as fans rally, but Taichi dodges to mule kick! But Cobb forearms back, so Taichi enziguris! Both men are down but fans are fired up!
Miho, Taka and Kanemaru coach up Taichi but the fans rally behind Cobb. Taichi grabs Cobb for a dragon sleeper, but Cobb powers out. Cobb arm-drags Taichi off, then scoops him for- No, Taichi gets out of the Tour for a BIG saido suplex! Taichi drags Cobb up again, dragon sleeper and armlock, but Cobb endures the “stretch bar.” Cobb reaches but Taichi cranks back. Fans rally again but Taichi shifts to a cover, TWO!! Cobb still has life and Taichi grows frustrated. Taichi stands Cobb up and brings him up in an Alabama lift. But Cobb is just too much! Cobb clubs Taichi and gut wrench suplexes! He holds on and rolls to bring him up for another! Cobb still holds on, for a PILEDRIVER! Cobb can’t cover, he’s too tired!
Fans rally as both men are down! Cobb stirs but goes the wrong way. Miho panics and almost cries for Taichi but it’s Cobb who slowly stands up. Fans duel as Cobb drags Taichi back up. Taichi is dead weight but Cobb gets him up and whips him, but Taichi boots! Taichi is alive and whips, but Cobb reverses to the Athletic Plex! Cobb drags Taichi up, throws him, but Taichi holds ropes. Taichi boots and roundhouses! And rabbit ax bombers to another enziguri! Both men are down again, and it’s Taichi who can’t make a cover! Taichi revives and fires up! He takes aim at Cobb, who staggers over. Superkick blocked, for a Tour- No, Taichi escapes, but gets a LARIAT! GACHIMUCHI! And then, a Tour of the- No, roll up! TWO!!
Taichi pushes Red Shoes to LOW BLOW Cobb! Chicken wing cradle, TWO!! Not even a kick to the balls can stop Cobb! But Taichi aims, SUPERKICK!! Then Alabama lift, BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
For the second time ever, the Sliest Wrestler holds this belt! And most surprisingly, he barely had to cheat! Cobb is no longer champion in both ROH and NJPW, but will Cobb be back for a rematch?
EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii!
Again, the Stone Pitbull did not submit to the Scorpion Deathlock as put on by the King of Darkness. However, he was still trapped in it with no way out. Will Ishii fall for that trap again? Or will he have an escape plan this time?
NJPW returns after the entrances and we get right to the bell!
Evil and Ishii collide, then collide, then collide. Ishii runs and bumps Evil, who comes back on the rebound, but so does Ishii! They just keep ramming into each other! Evil and Ishii each fire up as the fans fire up. Evil throws a forearm but Ishii gives it back, and repeat. They go back and forth like this, fast and furious, and the fans rally up with them! The brawl keeps going, forearm for forearm, elbow for elbow! Evil gets rocked and Ishii keeps on him. Ishii runs but into Evil’s elbow! Evil runs but they go shoulder to shoulder again! They both run, and they both collide! Evil finally knocks Ishii down!
Fans cheer while Evil catches his breath and Ishii writhes. Evil drags Ishii up to toss him out. Evil follows to club away, then whip into barriers! Ishii hits the floor but Evil doesn’t let up. Evil brings Ishii up to throw into the post! You could hear that *BING* of head hitting metal! Evil stomps Ishii then drags him back up to throw back into railing. He puts Ishii’s leg through the rails to kick! Ishii hobbles as the ring count passes 15! Evil puts Ishii in at 17 and fans cheer. Evil stomps the leg now, but Ishii eggs him on! So Evil slams the leg and puts on a toehold. Ishii endures while pulling Evil’s hair. Evil pulls back on the leg and ankle, but Ishii drags himself to a ropebreak. Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go.
Evil looms over Ishii but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii chops but it doesn’t hurt. Evil CHOPS Ishii and he staggers back! Ishii chops but Evil CHOPS! They keep going back and forth, Ishii’s chop meeting Evil’s CHOP! Ishii fires off many chops but Evil just needs one double hand CHOP to floor Ishii! Evil keeps on that leg, clearly preparing for the Scorpion Deathlock. He puts it on, but Ishii resists being turned over! Ishii slaps Evil so Evil chokes and CHOPS Ishii. Ishii just takes the chops and stands up. He wobbles over to Evil to fire off forearms, but Evil kicks the bad leg out. Evil whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back with a clothesline! However, Ishii hobbles, showing that Evil’s plan is working.
Evil stands but Ishii CHOPS him in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and forearms and repeats. He whips corner to corner but Evil reverses to forearm, only to run into a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii’s up first. Ishii drags Evil up but Evil resists the back suplex with elbows. Evil brings Ishii towards a corner but Ishii rams his shoulder in! And again and again! Ishii runs back in but into a boot, only to clothesline Evil anyway! Fans rally both ways as Ishii gets his back and legs moving. Ishii drags Evil up and hoists him onto the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join Evil, but Evil resists. Evil holds onto the crossbars so Ishii headbutts him! Ishii lifts Evil for the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Ishii stands. Ishii wants Evil to stand, then he runs, but Evil boots the lariat and blocks the other. He passes Ishii’s kick to Red Shoes to mule kick Ishii’s leg! Evil suplexes Ishii into buckles! The Pitbull bails out of the ring but Evil pursues. Evil goes under the ring and tosses chairs around. Ishii hits back and brings Evil over. Evil blocks the suplex, but Ishii still tries. Evil suplexes to put Ishii on the rails, Anarchy Suplex! Almost a Magic Killer! Evil gets back up and grabs one of those chairs. He puts one around Ishii’s head and has the other! Red Shoes runs out to reprimand Evil but Evil shoves him away! Evil then swings and SMACKS the chair off around Ishii’s head! The Pitbull goes down while we go to break.
NJPW returns again as Evil drags Ishii up. Fans cheer as Evil wants to end this in the ring. Evil rallies the fans and takes aim at Ishii. He runs corner to corner and hits a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars while Ishii flops to the mat. Evil drags Ishii up for a suplex and he puts Ishii on the top rope. Now Evil joins Ishii up there but Red Shoes is worried. Evil stands Ishii up, for a SUPERPLEX of his own! He crawls to a cover, TWO!! Ishii’s far tougher than that, so Evil goes after the legs! Scorpion Deathlock! Ishii endures this hold all over again, but he also powers up! He crawls himself towards the ropes but Evil sits down deeper! Fans rally as Ishii powers up again. Ishii crawls again, but Evil sits back down.
Ishii grabs at Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping, and then he gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go and wipes the sweat from his brow. Evil looms over Ishii and drags him back up. He lifts Ishii but Ishii slips out. Ishii waistlocks but Evil elbows out. Ishii swings but Evil dodges to waistlock, only for Ishii to swing again, which Evil again dodges. Evil swings but Ishii blocks, and Ishii waistlocks only for Evil to elbow out. Evil swings again, but into Ishii’s back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Evil goes after the legs again with elbows to the knee. But Ishii eggs him on! Evil mule kicks the knee but Ishii fires off forearms. Evil ROCKS Ishii with that right!
Fans rally as Ishii falls to his knees, but Evil runs. Ishii blocks a clothesline with a clothesline, then runs. Evil runs from the corner, but Ishii sees it coming and clotheslines him down! Ishii grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. He puts Evil in the Scorpion Deathlock! Evil endures the move now as Ishii sits down deep! Evil powers his way over, but Ishii cranks back harder! But Evil still gets the ropebreak! Ishii lets go and is frustrated, but he doesn’t let up. He goes after Evil again, dragging him up by his singlet. Ishii goes after a leg with a knee jammer! Evil fights off the shin breaker, then spins, but into Ishii’s elbows from all sides! Evil spins again but into another big forearm! Ishii sits Evil up for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous all over again as Ishii stands Evil up. Ishii suplexes, but Evil knees out. Evil shoves and German Suplexes! But Ishii’s up to clobber Evil! Evil headbutts and LARIATS back! Ishii flounders but Evil is up again. Evil wants another and runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Ishii still lives! The fans are at a fever pitch as Evil catches his breath. Evil slashes the throat to say it’s over. He drags Ishii up, spins, but Ishii slips out! Evil spins Ishii again, but Ishii gets a waistlock and German Suplex! But now Evil’s up in an instant! Only to run into Ishii’s LARIAT! ONE?! Evil hits another lariat! Then lariats collide! Both men fall over! Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.
Fans rally up and gives both men new life. Ishii and Evil stand, and head for each other. They collide with clotheslines again, and stagger on weak legs. Evil and Ishii run and collide yet again! Evil roars and runs, but Ishii tanks the clotheslines! Ishii headbutts then forearms then headbutts Evil again! Evil falls to a knee but Ishii stands him back up, only for Evil to hook the arm! Ishii spins Evil around but Evil spins out of the full nelson to suplex Ishii! Ishii knees free and spins Evil, only for Evil to get him with a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Evil drags himself to a corner while Ishii slowly stands. Evil runs but gets caught! Ishii wants to steal the STO!
But Evil spins Ishii around, full nelson to fireman’s carry, but Ishii slips out, clothesline blocked! Rolling elbow hits! Enzugiri! Evil is out cold but Ishii isn’t done with him! Ishii runs and LARIATS! Cover, TWO?! Evil still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! But he won’t stop, he suplexes to the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall
Finally, after a human demolition derby, the Stone Pitbull is victorious! Two of the toughest in NJPW went head to head and Ishii proves the tougher, but when and where will we see this match again?
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Ishii says “That’s what you get, facing me in a singles match.” Did Evil learn his lesson? If not, Ishii will happily teach him it again.
But then Taichi walks in to smirk at Ishii. “Oi. Congrats on earning the right to challenge me.” What? You heard Taichi right, Ishii now has the right to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship. So Taichi wants after Ishii, huh? Well there’s no one else, so Ishii might as well be the new #1 Contender. Be happy to be chosen. Well if Taichi wants this, Ishii’s game. No it’s about Taichi throwing the Pitbull a bone. Then ask him nicely? As if. The Pitbull should be begging. Accept it and be grateful. Yeah, Taichi seems so grateful, the way he’s treated that belt already. It was broken when Taichi got it from Cobb. Whatever. Ishii accepts the challenge. No, no, Ishii is challenging Taichi, got it? Whatever you say. Weirdo.
But it’s been awhile since Ishii’s seen that belt. Taichi just wants revenge from the New Japan Cup. Reminds Ishii of another wrestler in NJPW. But Ishii’s up for this match anytime, because the results will be the same. When and where will NJPW give us this new NEVER Openweight Championship showdown?
Hiroshi Tanahashi returns to NJPW!
The Ace has been gone since suffering an elbow injury and going through the subsequent surgery to repair it. He surprises the fans here at Wrestling Dontaku, because he has something he wishes to say.
“Tanahashi desu. I had surgery on my left elbow. The cast came off the other day, and I got my stitches out. But I wish I could have competed here.” It was a year ago that here, in Fukuoka, that the crowd was behind him. He rode that wave of energy to win the 28th G1 Climax that August. And then he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the Tokyo Dome. But then in February, he lost, and his losses piled up. And he feels as low as the floor right now. Fans cheer, wanting him to rise back up.
Tanahashi knows he’s starting from the bottom. But as he stands back up, he vows that on June 5th, at Ryogoku, he’ll make another comeback! He continues to say that after that, he’ll again go after the IWGP Heavyweight title! Will the Once in a Century Talent make yet another heroic return?
But wait, here comes Jay White and Gedo! Fans boo as the Switchblade takes the mic from Tanahashi. Gedo tells White some things, and then White grins at Tanahashi. Fans boo as White begins to speak. “You want the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? You think you deserve the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?” The line starts behind White, and Tanahashi is at the back, even behind Hirooki Goto! White is the REAL champion, and it doesn’t matter who wins between Okada and Sanada, White’s turn is next. “Do you understand me?” Gedo makes a move on Tanahashi, but it’s just so White can get his cheap shot in! White stomps Tanahashi as fans boo and the bell rings. White rains down rights then stomps him more.
Gedo ups the ante by bringing out chairs! White grabs one and puts it around Tanahashi’s newly recovered arm! He grabs the other chair, but Young Lions save Tanahashi! White fights them off but Tanahashi is safe from further harm. White picks up the mic again to tell Tanahashi, “I am next!” Fans boo White and cheer Tanahashi. Will the Switchblade and The Ace settle things in the ring to decide who really is next to face the top champion in NJPW? For that matter, we still have the main event to go. Who will be the top champion in NJPW after the dust settles?
NJPW and AXS advertise G1 Climax 29!
Mark your calendars, because on July 6th, 2019, AXS will begin coverage of the Summer’s major heavyweight tournament! The biggest and best of NJPW will once again compete in a round robin tournament to crown a #1 Contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
The Rainmaker’s redemption was completed in Madison Square Garden during the history G1 Supercard event! Now Okada returns to give Cold Skull first crack at this fifth title reign. With the Switchblade already calling his shot, who will have the Bullet Club’s cutthroat leader targeting them through the Summer?
The introductions are made, both men take off their elaborately decorated jackets, and the belt is presented. The bell rings and fans are already thunderous as we begin!
Okada and Sanada hear the fans duel before circling. They approach and watch the other closely. Okada backs off so Sanada does the same. They circle again and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Sanada wristlocks and standing switches. Okada switches back but Sanada drops to an armlock. Sanada waistlocks but Okada wrenches free. Okada wrenches more but Sanada reverses it back. Okada rolls and trips up Sanada, and gets the toehold. Sanada endures as Okada cranks back. Sanada tries to chinlock but Okada cranks again. But Sanada manages to sit up and gets Okada’s arm, but Okada blocks the armbar. Okada rolls but Sanada denies a cover. Okada has the leg for a standing toehold, but Sanada works on an escape. Sanada rolls and rolls and breaks free, and fans applaud.
Okada backs off and takes his time circling with Sanada. Sanada and Okada go again, and Okada rolls to get the wristlock. He brings Sanada to the mat then back up for a wrench. Okada gets both arms for a standing stretch, but Sanada endures. Sanada goes to power up but Okada brings him back around. Okada digs his head into Sanada’s back, but Sanada works on turning it around. Sanada and Okada struggle but Okada gets it back. Sanada tries again, and though he gets it, Okada quickly turns it back around. Okada throws Sanada down but Sanada throws Okada from the mat. Okada rolls Sanada, ONE! Sanada rolls Okada, ONE! Okada sweeps Sanada but Sanada gets off to sweep. Okada gets out and both men knip up!
Fans cheer as these two are evenly matched to this point. Okada and Sanada have to nod in respect to the other, too. They circle again and tie up. They stare down as they shift from knuckle locks to collar and elbow. Okada puts Sanada on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Classic Okada fakes the chop to pat Sanada’s shoulder. But Sanada comes back with fiery kicks and forearms! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, and boots Sanada to a snapmare. Okada runs and basement dropkicks Sanada down! Okada catches his breath while Sanada checks his head. The champ stands Sanada up and laces the arm through for a modified stretch. Sanada endures but Okada lets go.
Okada brings Sanada around to scoop slam him, then slingshot senton! Sanada clutches his ribs while Okada takes his time returning. Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps on Sanada with a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his neck while Okada pulls back. Sanada works on an escape but Okada just brings him back. Fans duel as Sanada works his way back up. Sanada elbows free but Okada clubs him on the back. Okada whips and runs in, but Sanada boots him away. Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grits his teeth and clutches his knee. Sanada brings Okada up, blocks Okada’s kick, and trips Okada up! Okada pushes him away but runs into a huricanrana! Sanada rolls through to get the arms and legs!
Okada powers out of Paradise and speeds things up, but Sanada dropkicks the leg again! Dragon screw, to Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada hears them out. Fans duel and rally as Sanada takes aim from a corner, to kick Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO, but Sanada keeps cool. Sanada chinlocks but Okada endures. Okada works on an escape but Sanada elbow drops him down. Sanada puts the chinlock on again, but Okada reaches for ropes. Sanada wrangles Okada away and cranks back on the chinlock. Okada scrambles and uses his long legs to get the ropebreak! Sanada lets go but comes back to bring Okada up. He puts Okada in a corner to whip corner to corner. He hits a back elbow then snap suplexes Okada down! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool while bringing Okada up again. Okada hits low with a shoulder, then throws forearms. Okada runs but into Sanada’s elbow! Sanada moonsaults but Okada dodges to hit a running uppercut! Both men are down but fans continue to cheer. Okada sits up first, and he runs at Sanada to rally with forearms and elbows! He whips but Sanada reverses. Okada dodges but so does Sanada, but then back to Okada and he runs Sanada over with an elbow! Fans fire up with Okada and whips Sanada corner to corner. Okada hits a back elbow to DDT! Cover, TWO! The champion is still in control while we go to break.
NJPW returns and Okada aims at Sanada on the outside. Okada slingshots but Sanada trips him up. Sanada whips Okada but Okada reverses to send Sanada into barriers! Then he boots him over! Okada fires the fans up as he gets space. He runs back to FLY and crossbody Sanada into more barriers! Both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them both. Okada clutches his leg again, that leap was double-edged. A 20-count begins and passes 10 before Okada stands. Okada drags Sanada up but brings him to ringside at 17! He gets Sanada in at 18 and fans cheer that he wants to end this in the ring. Okada still clutches that leg but manages to stand.
Okada drags Sanada up again to scoop slam him down. He goes to a corner and climbs up, but has to leap over Sanada. He uppercuts Sanada then runs, but Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Okada out of the ring! Now Sanada slingshots and wipes Okada out! Fans fire up as Sanada walks off the pascado. Sanada takes a lap around the ring while Okada is still down. Sanada returns as the 20-count begins again. He lets it reach 10 before bringing Okada up. He puts Okada in at 14 and covers, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool and brings Okada back up. Okada blocks the back suplex and elbows Sanada off. Okada runs but Sanada reels him in. Sanada suplexes but Okada lands on his feet. Okada swings but into the dragon sleeper! But he arm-drags out to flapjack Sanada down!
Both men are down, catching their breath and clutching their legs. Fans rally up and Okada forces himself to stand. Sanada follows but Okada boots him. It doesn’t have as much power, so Sanada boots. Okada blocks it and throws uppercuts to then go for a lift. Sanada fights out, but Okada blocks the boot. Sanada blocks Okada’s boot to give him a forearm. Okada staggers into a boot, then a rolling sabat! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, only for Sanada to fake out the dropkick! Sanada fireman’s carry but Okada slips out. They trade standing switches and Okada German Suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada whips but Okada reverses again, but Sanada tumbles and springboards to missile dropkick Okada down! Fans fire up again as the tide looks to be turning.
Okada gets to a corner and fans duel again. Sanada runs in but is popped up to the Air Raid Crash neckbreaker! Okada catches his breath but he crawls over to Sanada. He positions Sanada before climbing up top again. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! But he’s not done there, Okada hits the Rainmaker pose! Okada drags Sanada up and wristlocks, but Sanada drops down to roll Okada! TWO, and Okada has a cover! TWO and Sanada has it back, TWO! Okada sunset flips, TWO! Sanada sits on Okada, TWO! Okada again, ONE, Sanada jackknifes! TWO, Sanada drop toeholds Okada to a leg nelson, Japanese Clutch, TWO!! Okada has Sanada in a cobra clutch! Sanada endures and flails while fans rally again.
Sanada sits up and Okada drags him up, to wring him out! But Sanada dropkicks the clothesline away! Sanada drags Okada up to whip but Okada reverses to hit his dropkick now! Okada drags Sanada back up, gut wrench but Sanada wriggles to the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Okada rolls through to gut wrench! Tombstone piledriver! But Okada isn’t done, because he still needs his namesake. He wrings Sanada out but Sanada spins to Salida, into the dragon sleeper! Okada endures and maybe even fades under the first part of Skull End! But Okada fights back up and scoops, only for Sanada to counter lift to Anarchy Suplex! Just like Evil earlier, Sanada gets a Magic Killer style move!
Fans duel again as Okada and Sanada sit up. They might even be turning towards Sanada more. Sanada drags Okada up, double chicken wing to the Tiger Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Okada escapes but barely! Sanada keeps on him, scoop and backbreaker. He goes to a corner and climbs up, Moonsault! But he lands on his feet as Okada evades! Sanada staggers back, one of his knees buckling. He still runs at Okada, only to get a boot. Sanada tries again, but into another boot. Okada runs out but Sanada dodges the shotgun. Sanada spins but int a spinning Rainmaker! Okada roars as he drags Sanada back up, wristlock but Sanada full nelsons to another Salida! Okada blocks this one, so Sanada uses the buckles for the climb! He has the Skull End dragon sleeper again!
Okada endures but Sanada takes him for a swing! Then drops down for the body scissors! Skull End in full, but Okada refuses to quit! Red Shoes checks as Okada fades, but Okada revives. Okada flails with his arms then pops out! Sanada keeps the body scissors to get the sleeper with the other arm! He cranks back hard as fans duel and rally. Okada endures and flails again, not fading out. Red Shoes watches Okada like a hawk, but Okada pops out again. Sanada fights to get the head again but Okada crawls for ropes. Okada reaches, but Sanada wrangles him away with a wristlock! Skull End returns a third time, but Okada still flails. Red Shoes checks, his arm drops once. It drops again. Sanada gives up the hold to drag him over?! MOONSAULT to the back! And then again, to knees!!
Both Sanada and Okada are down again! Fans are thunderous again as they duel and rally. Sanada and Okada are exhausted but still push themselves back up. They head for each other, and grind forehead to forehead. Okada throws an elbow, but Sanada returns it. Okada gives Sanada another, but again Sanada gives it back. Another forearm from Okada, and another forearm from Sanada as they stand. Okada, Sanada, repeat. They pick up speed, but Okada dazes Sanada. Okada keeps hitting him, but Sanada refuses to fall. Okada hits Sanada a third time, but Sanada gives him an uppercut! Sanada shakes the sweat from his hair as fan return to a fever pitch. He drags Okada up for another heavy uppercut! Okada falls to his knees, but Sanada brings him back up.
Sanada throws another but Okada backslides! Sanada rolls of and dodges the rainmaker! He waistlocks but Okada bucks him off. Okada runs to shotgun dropkick Sanada down! Okada watches Sanada in the corner, then runs in, only to get elbows! Sanada springboard moonsaults to a dragon sleeper! But Okada uses the buckles to turn it around! Okada has the dragon sleeper, then gut wrenches! But Sanada wiggles to battle over the gut wrench! He gets Okada up, but Okada wiggles and flails! Okada manages to get the gut wrench back! But Sanada slips up and around to a waistlock. Okada tries but can’t buck Sanada off, and Sanada gets the dragon sleeper!
Okada endures again but flips over as Sanada drops back. He drags Sanada up but Sanada dodges! Sanada wrings Okada out but Okada still tries! Sanada ducks that clothesline, to wring Okada out and steal the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives his own move! Sanada finally shows frustration, but then he vows to end it. He drags Okada back up, cravat to Salida, but Okada slips out. Okada spins but Sanada blocks to then spin for a roaring elbow! Cravat, Sliced Bread, but into a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! And the TRUE Rainmaker!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
The first defense of this fifth reign and The Rainmaker is STILL the top champion in NJPW! Okada goes 6-0 against Sanada all-time, but it gets tougher and tougher each time! Will we get to see lucky number 7 in the future? Will Sanada finally break through? Or is Okada just on too high a level?
Okada offers a hand to Sanada to help him up. Sanada declines, helping himself up. However, Sanada does take the hand in a small handshake, to then give a fist bump. It sounds like there will be a seventh round one day, we can only wait and see.
NJPW skips to after Okada is again wearing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, to when Okada takes up the mic. “Sanada-san! At the signing ceremony, you honored me by calling me your rival.” That made Okada very happy. So in front of Hakata, he wants to say something to Sanada: he is Okada’s rival, too! Their story has just begun! “But I’m not gonna lose.”
Okada addresses the fans again as he notes “We have changed over from the Heisei Era to Reiwa.” What do the NJPW fans think? Hard to tell. But Okada wonders who will entertain the pro-wrestling world in this Reiwa Era. Okada promises he’ll bring the excitement. He vows to be the star of the new era for the true fans! He’ll bring the heat! “As the 69th IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I will keep the new era exciting.” As long as he’s NJPW’s top champion, he’ll- Wait, the lights go out! A video plays. Is that… CHRIS JERICHO!? The dark clown that Y2J has become says “I’m the Painmaker! And on June 9th at Dominion in Osaka, I will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! And I’m gonna win.” Jericho shouts he’ll win, but then hushes himself. Y2J is returning to NJPW and aiming for the top!!
Okada just tells Jericho, “Bring it on, you bastard!” Because Okada vows HE will win! Okada will win and return as champion, to again make it rain! Will Okada continue to be the best in NJPW by beating the Best in the World at What He Does? Or will Jericho completely turn NJPW upside-down at Dominion?
One hour of NJPW on AXS alone is great, so two hours is amazing! Especially when they know how to properly book surprises. I didn’t think Taichi would win the NEVER Openweight Championship off of Jeff Cobb in a mostly clean way. Sure he had Miho be his distraction and his shield, but the Suzuki-Gun antics weren’t even deciding factors this time. Well, an argument can be made that they amounted to something, especially the low blow. But for the most part, Taichi managed to just keep on Cobb until Cobb couldn’t get up. At the same time, Cobb being a dual ROH and NJPW champion wasn’t going to last forever, so it was a good move to make it someone mostly unexpected. Now Taichi VS Ishii will be a good first defense for Taichi, I’m just not sure Taichi survives.
For that matter, Ishii VS Evil was insane. It really was just a demolition derby slug fest type fight, and that’s exactly what it should’ve been. Ishii wins not just because he’ll challenge Taichi but because that was the story of him and Evil. Evil got him last time with the Sharpshooter, and that was a great part of the match’s story, but for that reason, Ishii survives the hold and puts Evil away with a standing finisher. And with another G1 Climax on the horizon, Evil can snap back in the NJPW Heavyweight ranks with an impressive showing. I’m honestly surprised Tanahashi is making another comeback, but NJPW without him would also seem odd. White obviously wants to finish Tanahashi for good, that’s another good story going into G1 Climax 29.
NJPW is also building stars properly. Sanada’s history with Okada has been building over the last three years, and it clearly works in getting fans behind Sanada as we heard from the Fukuoka fans. Okada VS Sanada VI, the longest and best match so far of their series, and I really do look forward to a seventh. If anything, the day Sanada beats Okada is the day Sanada reaches that heavyweight/world championship level. He will be the face of NJPW one day, but not until Okada stops. Okada has been such a strong force in NJPW and with that heavyweight championship, he’s almost the NJPW John Cena or Randy Orton. If it weren’t for his matches always being great, I’d say he should move on. If anything, he should still think about going after a different title once this fifth reign ends.
Jericho returning to NJPW is also great, Okada VS Y2J at Dominion will be great, but I don’t think Jericho is the one to end this fifth reign, and certainly not at this point. Beating Jericho will help build Okada’s fifth reign up, and perhaps solidify Okada’s legacy.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (5/11/19)
It’s Speed VS Strength in the main event!
ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 399
Battle lines have been drawn in ROH! LifeBlood’s Bandido takes on the Notorious Hitman, who takes a big win on War of the Worlds Weekend?
- Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers; The Bouncers win.
- Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods; Woods wins.
- Bandido VS Shane Taylor; Bandido wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers!
Ryan Nova & Cheeseburger have Eli Isom in their corner, but they’re up against the salty Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni and the massive Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas! Triple S got a Six Man Tag victory over C2C and Colin Delaney on the Road to G1 Supercard, but can they pull off another shocker against even bigger and badder competition? As for C2C and The Bouncers, they lost together at this year’s Masters of the Craft, but Ali & LSG refused to share a #ToastofHonor in commiseration. Will that chip on C2C’s shoulder go away or only grow bigger tonight?
The Bouncers keep the Code of Honor with the Shinobi but C2C refuse to shake hands with anyone. Fans cheer “Beer! Beer!” for BCB and Milonas while they let Nova start with LSG. LSG and Nova tie up, and LSG gets the wristlock. Nova rolls and reverses, but LSG handsprings and reverses back. LSG waistlocks and slams Nova hard, then headlocks. Nova powers out and things speed up, LSG waistlocks Nova again but Nova bucks him off. Things keep moving and Nova counters a backslide with an arm-drag. LSG runs back in and waistlocks, but Nova slips out of the back suplex. Nova boots LSG away from the corner, then somersaults to neckbreaker! Nova knips up and fans fire up as he tags in Burger. Whip to atomic drop to sweep, then they split the wish bone to double kick LSG down!
Fans fire up with Triple S but Ali runs in. Ali misses Burger and Nova to hit the Bouncers! Ail runs into a double hip toss! Nova and Burger high-ten, but then the Bouncers come in to sandwich them! Bruiser whips Nova while “Brawler” whips Burger, and then they trade partners to squash them in the corners. And then they go corner to corner to squash the other! The Bouncers see Ali and LSG and squash them! And then the other way! Milonas feeds Ali to BCB to bite! LSG runs in but he gets bit, too! And Burger! And Nova! But remember, he ain’t got no teeth! The Bounces high-five and say bottom’s up, but C2C boot them both! And again!
The Bouncers tumble out and C2C give the shinobis CHOPS! C2C whip Nova and Burger at each other, but Burger and Nova do-si-do to dropkick C2C! The shinobi slingshot but are caught! The Bouncers sandwich them again, but then C2C wreck them all with dropkicks! They keep moving, Ali FLIES! Ali bowls everyone over, then drags Burger in while we go to break.
ROH returns as Ali slingshot sentons onto Burger. Cover, TWO! Ali is just annoyed as he tags in LSG. Fans rally up for Burger but Ali holds him in place for LSG’s shoulder tackle. Ali adds an enziguri, then feeds Burger to LSG’s butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! LSG drags Burger back up for an armlock and chinbar. Fans rally behind Burger and Burger fights back. Ali tags in and C2C mugs Burger. Ali gives Burger a big European uppercut, then covers, TWO! Burger fights back with big CHOPS! Fans fire up but Ali brings Burger away to then hit Nova! Burger dodges and dodges, and tags in Milonas! Ali waistlocks but Milonas breaks free with a big butt bump! Milonas rallies and drops the seated senton! Cover, but LSG breaks it!
Bruiser goes after LSG then whips, Samoan Drop! Back senton from Milonas! BCB whips Ali into Milonas’ scrapbuster slam! Cover, but Nova breaks it! BCB shoves Nova all the way out, but LSG shoulders in. LSG slingshots to hit Milonas then springboards to hit BCB! C2C regroups to go after Milonas. LSG climbs while Ali scoops Milonas. Milonas is too heavy, he falls onto Ali! BCB uppercuts LSG then tosses him onto Ali! The Bouncers grab LSG and toss him out. Ali rolls and Nova tags in! Nova leaps at Bruiser for the flying Complete Shot! Nova fires forearms on Milonas! Milonas grabs him and scoops him, but Burger saves him. Double SUPERKICKS! They focus their chakra, buzzsaw mule kick combo!
BCB runs over Nova but Burger dodges to FLY onto C2C! Fans fire up but Burger runs into an uppercut from BCB! Nova knees Bruiser but runs into Brawler’s boot! CLOSING TIME! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad doesn’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here. But they also argue with Coast 2 Coast, who are sore losers all over again. As for Bruiser and Milonas, they celebrate with the #ToastofHonor! Will they soon be toasting with a shot at the ROH tag titles?
ROH has a huge night set for Episode 400!
Matt Taven is finally the ROH World Champion, because he earned it. He won a Triple Threat Ladder match at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, also becoming a Grand Slam Champion. But when it comes to having a shot at his title, Taven tells the entire locker room that they’ll have to earn it. Cue Flip Gordon! The Captain of Flip Army reminded Matt Taven that he earned his shot in the Sea of Honor tournament. And with his knee at 100%, Flip finally gets his shot as the new #1 contender! Who ends the milestone episode of ROH having earned the world championship?
But not only that, the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships will be on the line! Villain Enterprises will defend their titles against a star-studded though makeshift team of Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb and Rush! Will Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO keep hold of the gold against the Franchise, the Hawaiian Hulk and El Toro Blanco?
ROH looks back at the G1 Supercard Honor Rumble!
Kenny King CHOSE to be number one in this massive match, that featured huge stars across ROH and NJPW, such as Minoru Suzuki, Jushin Thunder Liger and even THE GREAT MUTA! It looked to be down to just the two masked legends, Muta and Liger, but Kenny wasn’t actually eliminated! He threw both legends out in one fell sweep and won his shot at the ROH World Championship, but he would get some karma in the way of Muta’s mist!
Kenny King is here!
The Honor Rumble winner is apparently still blinded? He has a walking stick and assistance walking out from ROH timekeeper, Amy Rose. Fans chant “Thank You, Muta!” as King struggles to get a mic. “I should be…” Wait, face camera. “I should be the happiest dude alive right now.” But he’s not and why is that? You see, King is the only man in professional wrestling who does exactly what he says he will. He told everyone that he’d start at number one and “molly whop all them other chops” to become the first man to win the Honor Rumble from number one. King is now #1 Contender, but he shall now be known as Kenny Shawn Michaels King.
And that’s not even the best part! We were all treated to something special at G1 Supecard! Two men stood, Jushin Thunder Liger and the Great Muta, and tension was palpable. No one knew what was going to happen, until King slid in the ring to throw their “700 year old Japanese wrinkly asses” out to win the Honor Rumble! They say never meet your heroes. King did, he wanted to shake hands with Muta, and Muta spit the red mist in his face! Fans think it’s funny? It’s awful! It smelled like laundry detergent and Popeye’s Chicken, and it burned Kenny’s face and eyes! Now King needs emergency eye surgery, so that’s why he won’t be wrestling tonight. But that brings him to Matt Taven. King wants to tell us something we might not know about Taven. “Matt Taven is my homie.”
The two kings are friendly with each other. Kenny was proud of Taven at G1. One day they’ll have to discuss the terms of Taven’s surrender, but until then, he wants Taven to fight. Taven is not King’s target. He is not the man who upsets King. Who here thinks Jay Lethal is great? Kenny doesn’t. Lethal’s not tough, and the only time he’s savage is when he’s cosplaying Randy. So to Jay Lethal, when King gets through his surgery to see again, both eyes will be on Lethal. Because then Kenny will prove he’s the K I N G, and he’ll make Lethal #BendTheKnee. Amy helps King get his walking stick and exit the ring carefully. Will King see clearly and get his hands on Lethal? Or will Lethal make him see all of that trash talk wasn’t worth a thing?
Flip Gordon speaks on his leg injury.
It was at ROH Honor Reigns Supreme, in a match with Hot Sauce Tracy Williams. All seemed same as always, but as Flip dropkick’d Tracy in the corner, his knee gave out. Flip feared the worst, and wanted to finish the match, but his springboard spear only made it worse. He could only take another step, so he had to call it there. Flip feared the worst, but the MRI gave him a time frame. What did he have to do to beat this? Physical therapy. Flip stuck to the schedule, and trusted his doctors. Now his knee is ready, and he is ready! The other ROH World Championship contenders fell to Lethal, but then Taven rose up to win. Now Flip’s turn comes as episode 400 arrives! Will Flip’s return be one of the greatest in ROH history?
Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods!
An ROH dojo graduate makes his television premiere as he flexes his… fairly good physique. But he’s up against The Goods, Mr. Top Prospect 2017, who returns after returning to his roots. Now Woods is #DownToFight, will he end Flex’s television career before it begins?
The Code of Honor is upheld, and the bell rings. Woods SPEARS Flex! Flex staggers up into a waistlock slam! Woods grimaces as he drags Flex up for an exploder suplex! Flex can only flounder around into a fireman’s carry, Seismic Toss slam! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
Woods returns more focused and more aggressive, and doesn’t care to shake hands with Flex again. He wants his money and the next fight, who will be #DownToFight The Goods?
ROH interviewer Quinn McKay interviews Josh Woods.
The 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner, the NCWA National Champion, and multi-time All American wrestler is also captain of the US MMA team, and is back in ROH with an impressive showing. But he’s been gone for some time. What’s he been up to? It isn’t about what he was up to, but about what he just did and has done his entire career. Woods has always been #DownToFight. Will he finally fight his way to an ROH championship?
Bandido VS Shane Taylor!
Though they have beef with Bully Ray over the attack on Tenille Dashwood, LifeBlood’s luchador will take on the Notorious Hitman who has been known to pall around with the Hall of Famer. Will Bandido’s speed or Taylor’s strength win out in this first-time-ever face-off?
Bandido wants to uphold the Code of Honor, but Taylor spits on Bandido’s hand! The bell rings and Bandido fires off with kicks. Bandido runs and slides but Taylor catches him. Taylor whips but Bandido counters to throw forearms. But Taylor stays up! Taylor grabs Bandido but Bandido slips out of the choke slam. Taylor elbows Bandido away, but Bandido elbows back. SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Bandido whips, but Taylor blocks. Taylor whips but Bandido dodges and kicks, but Taylor blocks again. Taylor flips Bandido but Bandido lands on his feet to sunset flip! Bandido can’t get Taylor down, but he gets out of the way as Taylor sits down!
Bandido keeps moving to basement dropkick Taylor out! Fans fire up as Bandido builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taylor into the barriers! Bandido keeps moving, and FLIES! He wipes Taylor out again, and celebrates with fans while we go to break.
ROH returns once again, and Bandido gets Taylor back in. Bandido stands Taylor up to chop, but Taylor shrugs it off. Bandido tries again, but then Taylor CHOPS Bandido to a corner! Taylor trash talks Bandido but Bandido CHOPS back! Bandido eggs Taylor on so Taylor CHOPS Bandido off his feet. Taylor drags Bandido up but Bandido fires forearms back! Bandido tries to fireman’s carry but Taylor fights him off. Taylor swings but Bandido ducks, only to get caught in a choke slam! Taylor mocks the fans as they cheer for Bandido. Bandido gets to a corner again but Taylor is on him with big knees. Taylor throws a big right and Bandido goes down! Taylor taunts Bandido more as he drags him back up. He tosses Bandido across the ring! Bandido stirs but Taylor trash talks the fans.
Taylor stalks Bandido as fans rally up. Taylor stands Bandido up again, to throw him by his hair! Bandido hits hard and flounders to ropes. Taylor drags Bandido up again and whips him corner to corner. He runs in and clotheslines Bandido down! Fans boo Taylor but he just stands on Bandido’s head! Taylor lets up at 4, but comes back to drag Bandido back up. Taylor talks trash the entire time but Bandido revives to throw forearms! Bandido dodges one clothesline but gets the other! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again as Taylor sits Bandido up to elbow away! Taylor covers, TWO! Taylor drags Bandido back up and slaps him around. He whips Bandido corner to corner but runs into a boot!
Bandido boots and enziguris, then hops up top. He leaps, into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, TWO!? Bandido survives Taylor’s right hand! Fans rally up and Bandido has new life, but Taylor is right on him again. Bandido fires forearms then fireman’s carries again. Taylor is still too much but Bandido elbows him back. Bandido boots but gets blocked, Taylor rolls Bandido for a big knee to the face! Cover, TWO!! Bandido still lives while we go to one last break!
ROH returns once more, and Taylor still slaps and toys with Bandido. Bandido blocks the slaps to fire off slaps of his own! Taylor SLAPS Bandido, but Bandido still comes back with more! Taylor CHOPS, but Bandido fires off kicks and knees! Bandido runs, but into a clothesline! But he’s right back up!? Taylor is shocked, but Bandido fires off slaps and kicks. Bandido knees and SUPERKICKS! Taylor staggers, but still gets Bandido with another choke slam! Both men are down but fans fire up! A standing count begins as fans rally. The count passes 5 before Taylor sits up. Bandido stirs but Taylor stands. Taylor brings Bandido up for big haymakers, but Bandido returns with forearms. They go back and forth, with fans on Bandido’s side.
Bandido gets an edge then spins, into a headbutt! Hammerlock rip cord, End of Days! Cover, TWO!! Taylor is frustrated he couldn’t finish Bandido off! Bandido stands and boots Taylor away. Then he swing kicks from the apron, only to slingshot into the One Hitter! Taylor slingshots Bandido in, London Tower! Cover, TWO!?! Bandido is superhuman! Fans keep cheering Bandido on and he revives again. Taylor shakes his head as he CHOPS Bandido in a corner. And CHOPS again, and again! Bandido flops over and Taylor vows to end this. Taylor drags Bandido up, whips him corner to corner, but Bandido boots him away. Bandido uppercuts then springboard tornillo crossbody! Bandido takes aim, and fireman’s carry! GTS, BANG to 21 Plex!! Cover, Bandido wins!!
Winner: Bandido, by pinfall
The luchador triumphs over the titanic Hitman! But wait, here comes Bully Ray! Bandido sees him coming, and has LifeBlood’s Tracy and Mark Haskins with him! Bully wants a time-out, he wasn’t expecting to be the one outnumbered. But wait, who are these attacking LifeBlood?! The Soldiers of Savagery, Moses Maddox and Jasper Kaun, are the newest recruits to ROH and they’re already making an impact! They stomp out Bandido, Tracy and Haskins, then slam Haskins down for a Vader Bomb! They lift Bandido for a gutbuster drop! And they go after Hot Sauce with a feed to a SPEAR! Then an elevated DDT! Even Bully seems confused. SOS did this without any help from Taylor or Bully, or without an invitation. But will they be Bully’s new back-up against LifeBlood?
A really great episode to act as a go-home to episode 400. We get a pretty great Triple Threat Tag to open the night. It’s an interesting development for C2C to take a slow transition into Heel with this salty new attitude of theirs, but that might be the spark they need to take that next step up in the ROH tag division. The Bouncers continue their own rise up, perhaps they’ll finally get their own shot now that we’ll be past War of the Worlds. Bruiser & Milonas against Guerrillas of Destiny would be a pretty fun match, though obviously another match GoD would retain the titles in.
Kenny King playing up being blinded was pretty hilarious here tonight. And even without that, he gave us a great promo overall, though obviously while he’s waiting his turn at the world title, he’s going after Lethal. Lethal VS King all over again should make for a good match or two, and I’m pretty sure King wins to go right at the world champion, whoever that is. We got a good video package and promo from Flip, but I’m not sure if he wins that title off Taven, even on a milestone episode. Regardless of it being his return, Woods was obviously going to win against Flex Simmons tonight. In fact, anyone going against Flex Simmons tonight was going to win because Flex was obviously the generic jobber.
Woods being back, I wonder if he’ll get a better push than he did before. I don’t think he can take the ROH World Television Championship off Jeff Cobb, but I hope we can get a great match out of them. And I’m sure we’ll get a great Six Man out of Lethal, Cobb and Rush VS Villain Enterprises. But such a random team is not beating an established trio like Villain Enterprises. I don’t think Scurll and his team lose the titles until a rematch with The Kingdom. Bandido VS Taylor was amazing, worthy of leading to title contention. It was great story for Bandido to win, both in the match and overall.
It was a great bait and switch for Bully to be the one surrounded, but then to swerve back and debut a new duo. I suppose Bully would need new allies with The Briscoes likely reserved for a rematch with GoD. I’d expect at least a Six Man Tag, Bully & SoS VS LifeBlood, but you could throw in Taylor on Bully’s side and get Juice Robinson involved for an Eight Man Tag. Either way, this looks to be building to the LifeBlood VS Bully and crew story I was hoping for.
My Score: 8.3/10
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