AXS gives us ANOTHER double dose of NJPW! It’s Days 14 and 15 as we get Naito VS Ibushi, Omega VS Ishii, Okada VS EVIL and Tanahashi VS Elgin!
This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- B Block: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
- B Block: Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.
- A Block: Jay White VS Togi Makabe; White wins.
- A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Michael Elgin; Tanahashi wins.
- A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for B Block!
The IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega, is on a win streak with his 12 points, keeping even his opponent, Tomohiro Ishii, out of the running. However, the Stone Pitbull won’t just roll over, because he could be a spoiler for Omega’s chances while also earning himself a title match down the line. Omega won their last battle at the 2017 G1 Special, where Omega was crowned the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. Will Ishii fare better in this round robin format? Or will the Best Bout Machine win his way into his third G1 Climax finals appearance in a row?
In the main event, it’s the G1 Climax 27 Champion, Tetsuya Naito, and the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi. They’re the other contenders for B Block’s spot in the finals, but Naito needs this win if he’s to overcome the loss to Omega early on. As for Ibushi, he’s been on a hot streak of his own since reuniting with the other Golden Lover. Will Ibushi spoil Naito’s chance to repeat while also seizing his own future? Or is it just Destino that Naito will Tranquilo in the finals again?
Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii!
No time to waste as this rematch of the IWGP US Championship Tournament begins. The bell rings and fans already cheer for Omega as he stares Ishii down. The two tie up, and Omega puts Ishii on the ropes. He plays around with Ishii’s bald head, but Ishii swats his hands away. Omega backs up as Ishii stares him down, then they tie up again. Ishii puts Omega against the ropes, but Omega ducks the chop to give more playful head pats. Omega gives some playful slaps, but Ishii isn’t amused. Omega chops and kicks but it doesn’t back Ishii down. He keeps trying, but nothing works. Ishii dares him to keep going, so Omega gives a forearm. Omega gets a headbutt and staggers to the ropes. Ishii runs but Omega sees him coming. Things speed up but there’s a slight miscalculation. The two back off and reset.
They tie up and Omega puts Ishii in a corner. Omega chops but Ishii barely flinches. Omega chops again then gives elbows, but Ishii only bends over. They whip corner to corner but Ishii blasts out with a shoulder. Omega narrowly avoids the silding lariat and just misses hitting V-Trigger. He pushes Ishii, then gives head slaps. Ishii swings on him but Omega gets under to then get a facelock, but it’s Ishii who suplexes Omega! Fans applaud while Omega gets to ropes. Ishii slaps Omega around now, messing up that hair. Then he chops Omega in a corner hard, and follows Omega to another. Ishii chops again, and again, dangerously close to the throat. He toys with Omega now, then bumps him off the buckle pad. Ishii gives another blunt chop, but Omega rakes his face.
Omega puts Ishii in the corner but Ishii roars out. So Omega gives him a DDT! Cover, TWO, but Omega has wrist control. Omega fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton and moonsault hit! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps on Ishii with a camel clutch. He grinds it side to side but Ishii endures. Ishii dares Omega to try harder, so Omega pulls back. Fans rally up for Ishii as he further endures. Ishii pries his way out of Omega’s grip, then dares Omega to go after him. Omega kicks Ishii in the back, but Ishii wants more. Omega stomps an dkicks, but Ishii just shakes his head. More kicks and stomps but it just amuses Ishii now. Ishii gets up and chops Omega! Omega chops back and it finally gets through. Omega whips but Ishii reverses, to a powerslam! It was more of a throw, but it did the job.
Ishii chops and forearms Omega in the corner again and again. He whips corner to corner but Omega reverses, only for Ishii to fire out and get a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Omega barely got out of that cover, but Ishii is on him again. Ishii powerbomb lifts, but they teeter back. Omega slips off but Ishii hits, only to run into a huricanrana! Ishii goes out while fans fire up with Omega. The Terminator drums echo and Omega rises. Omega runs and FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp! Omega gets up and puts Ishii in the ring. Fans fire up again as Omega runs and hits the Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! But Omega keeps going as he drags Ishii up. But Ishii powers Omega to a corner! Ishii chops and chops, so Omega gives a sharp chop back! Ishii roars, Omega spits!
Omega gives forearms but Ishii barely flinches. Omega keeps trying but his arm is the thing getting hurt. Ishii blasts Omega with one big forearm, then finally feels some of that pain. Ishii drags Omega up and whips him corner to corner, but Omega boots him away. Omega runs out but into a waistlock, and a German Suplex into the buckles! Both men drag themselves out of the corner, but Ishii is on Omega. Ishii hoists Omega up top, then climbs up to join him. SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Ishii takes aim and runs, but Omega dodges to run, running DDT hits! Omega stands and vows to end this. He grabs Ishii in a full nelson, but Ishii breaks free to backwards headbutt Omega! But Omega comes back with a V-Trigger!
Omega wants the Kotaro Krusher again but Ishii slips out to German Suplex! Ishii runs, but Omega boots, only to get a discus lariat! Omega sits down and Ishii runs for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Ishii was so close and the fans can feel it. The fans are thunderous as Ishii drags Omega back up. Ishii suplexes but Omega fights out. Omega forearms Ishii, but Ishii standing switches to copy the Electric Chair! He wants to steal the One Winged Angel! Omega slips down to heel kick Ishii in the back of the head, and Ishii stumbles to a corner. Omega takes aim and runs in, V-Trigger! He hits Ishii in the back, but drags him out for bomb position. Omega lifts, Dr. Wily Bomb! Cover, TWO!! The Pitbull shocks the champion while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Omega drags Ishii back up. Omega gives him a close-range V-Trigger! But Omega isn’t done there, he gives Ishii another V-Trigger! Ishii falls over and Red Shoes checks on him. Ishii isn’t giving in, so Omega sits him up again, for a third V-Trigger! But Ishii stands up! Omega is shocked, but he gives Ishii a fourth V-Trigger. Omega runs, but Ishii follows, to clothesline him at the ropes. Ishii runs, but Omega V-Triggers! Omega runs, ducks the clothesline and gives another V-Trigger, right into the Snap Dragon Suplex! But Ishii’s right up, only for Omega to clothesline him down! Cover, TWO!! Ishii does not die easy, but Omega won’t give up.
Omega lifts Ishii for the Electric Chair, but Ishii slips down to headbutt Omega in the back! Ishii throws Omega with his own Dragon Suplex, but Omega returns with a huricanrana, that Ishii just makes a powerbomb! Both men are down and fans are thunderous again. Red Shoes checks on them both, but doesn’t start a count as he sees them both stirring. Omega and Ishii slowly sit up, and stare each other down. Ishii headbutts but Omega forearms. Ishii headbutts again, and Omega forearms again. Omega drags Ishii up for a standing forearm, then another. Ishii staggers and wobbles, but stays on his feet. Omega chops Ishii, but Ishii suddenly fires off forearms from both sides! Omega throws haymakers then the Reverse-Rana! They’re both down again, but Omega is up first.
Omega loads up and takes aim, “BANG!” He runs, for a V-Trigger! Ishii ends up on the apron, but Omega keeps on him with slingshot double stomps! Omega rests against the railings while fans build to a rally. He drags Ishii up and in, then climbs up top. Omega aims, for more double stomps! He keeps going, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Omega is shocked and furious as he brings Ishii up in the Electric Chair. Ishii slips out again, to an inverted suplex. Omega slips out to backslide and V-Trig– No, Ishii blocks! Omega forearms, goes for the Trigger, but Ishii throws him with a German Suplex! But Omega lands on his feet, to V-Trigger again! Cover, TWO!! Butterfly Driver!! Cover, TWO!? Ishii refuses to let even this stop him!
Omega grits his teeth while fans rally up again. He brings his knee pad down, and backs off. Omega runs back in, for an even more dangerous V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega can’t stand it as he has to drag Ishii back up. Electric Chair again, but Ishii fights out to a crucifix takedown! Cover, TWO!? Ishii can’t believe that didn’t end this. Both men crawl as fans hit a fever pitch. Ishii gets to a corner and stands. He fires himself up, but Omega covers up as Ishii throws heavy hands. Omega blocks to V-Trigger one more time, but then runs into a pop-up headbutt! Ishii gives another headbutt, then a HUGE clothesline! Cover, TWO?! Omega also refuses to go down. Ishii drags Omega up in a facelock, but Omega suplexes Ishii! Cover, ONE!!
Ishii gets to ropes again, but Omega runs, into another clothesline! Omega stands by instinct, wrenches the arm but gets a headbutt. He still gives a V-Trigger but gets an enziguri for it. Omega swings, but Ishii turns him around into a brainbuster! Cover, ISHII WINS!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; Ishii earns 2 points, Omega earns 0
Both men bleed from the lips, but it’s Ishii who gets a win over THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion! Ishii may not be in the G1 Climax Finals, but he now has a legitimate claim to a title match. But if it took this much for Ishii to win here, how much will it take to take that title away from Omega? As for Omega, he’ll likely need stitches for that busted lip, but are his chances of getting into the finals busted now, too?
Backstage interview with Kenny Omega.
“There it is. You guys love your underdog stories, huh? There you go. Hope your happy.” Clearly Omega isn’t happy about this blemish on his record, but there’s still time. Can he turn it around? Will he be ready for another rough rematch with the Pitbull in the future?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
Los Ingobernables de Japon’s charismatic leader defeated the Golden Star in last year’s G1 Climax round robin on his way to the finals. He looks to repeat that here, but not if Ibushi has anything to say about it. Will both Golden Lovers lose on the same day? Or will Ibushi shine bright to move up the ranks?
The bell rings and fans duel between these two mega stars. Naito and Ibushi slowly circle. They tie up quickly, and Ibushi gets a waistlock. Naito reverses to an arm wrench and a wristlock. Ibushi rolls and works to wrench it back but Naito kicks low then rakes the eyes. Naito throws forearms then whips Ibushi corner to corner. Ibushi goes up and over then speeds up. Naito dodges the clothesline and the kick to Tranquilo already. Ibushi isn’t amused, but Naito wants him to fist bump. Ibushi doesn’t so Naito bails out. Naito walks around the ring while Ibushi keeps an eye on him. Naito teases returning, but then wants Ibushi to give him space. Ibushi does while Red Shoes starts a count. Naito waits until 8 and then fires off on Ibushi. He whips Ibushi but Ibushi reverses.
Things speed up again and Ibushi dropkicks Naito down! Naito rolls out again but Ibushi slingshots out. Naito gets on the apron but Ibushi adjusts to join him. Ibushi elbows Naito, then takes aim at the apron. Naito resists the German Suplex by holding ropes then fighting with elbows. Ibushi kicks but Naito blocks to put it in the ropes, then Naito dropkicks Ibushi’s other leg out! Ibushi tumbles to the floor while Naito rests on the apron. Naito fetches Ibushi and has camera men move aside. He puts Ibushi’s leg on the railing to kick it! Fans boo but Naito doesn’t care. He stomps Ibushi, then opens the gate. Naito brings Ibushi around to the announce tables and throws him into the English table! Naito practically bowls Ibushi over Kevin Kelly!
Red Shoes counts and Naito leaves Ibushi outside. Ibushi drags himself up and hobbles his way back to the ring. He gets in at 11 but Naito is on him with stomps. Naito takes that bad leg and stomps right on the knee while smashing it on the mat. Naito repeats the knee smash stomp and Ibushi writhes in pain. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi but Naito stomps Ibushi to ropes. Naito puts Ibushi in the corner for back elbows. Naito stomps a mudhole into that bad knee, then drags Ibushi back up for more elbows. He stomps the knee again, then backs off. He drags Ibushi back up and out, turns him around, for the backbreaker and dropkick! Cover, TWO and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito toys with Ibushi. Red Shoes reprimands him and fans boo him, but Naito only spits and taunts at them. Naito drags Ibushi up but Ibushi fires forearms. Naito fakes a punch to give a kick, then goes back to the leg. He spits on Ibushi before elbowing the knee. He runs and aims for the leg, but Ibushi manages to hop over his slide. Ibushi still gets a kick, but manages to double stomp Naito on the run! Both men are down as Naito writhes and Ibushi catches his breath. Fans rally up and Ibushi sits up slowly. Ibushi brings Naito up and they start brawling with forearms. Naito hits, Ibushi hits, Naito hits, Ibushi spin kicks. Ibushi whips but Naito reverses, only for Ibushi to running roundhouse Naito down! Ibushi standing moonsaults, covers, TWO!
But Ibushi keeps focus as he drags Naito back up in a waistlock. Naito resists the German Suplex and fights out, then runs at Ibushi in the corner. Ibushi puts up boots but Naito blocks them. Naito turns Ibushi around and gives him a draping neckbreaker! He keeps on Ibushi but Ibushi fights out to huricanrana! Naito rolls back out of the ring but fans rally for Ibushi. Ibushi fires up and takes aim, for the Golden Triangle Moonsault! He hits Naito down but he’s down from exhaustion. Fans cheer while Red Shoes starts a count. Ibushi gets up and hobbles after Naito. The count hits 13 as Ibushi brings Naito up, and he puts him in at 14. Ibushi climbs up, but Naito stops him! Naito positions Ibushi and elbows away at that knee. Naito climbs up to join Ibushi but Ibushi grabs Naito’s leg.
They fight each other, and Ibushi dumps Naito down. Naito stays on his feet, but Ibushi drags him back up and around. Ibushi has Naito but Naito fights out! Naito trips Ibushi and he hits the mat! Naito hops right up top, aims, and leaps for the missile dropkick! Then the jump kick, sweep and swinging dropkick! Naito drags Ibushi out for a modified Figure Four! Ibushi endures the unique kneebar, but then Naito slaps him. Ibushi slaps back and it’s a figure four slap fight. They slap back and forth but Ibushi fires off with both hands from both sides. Naito puts more torque into the hold then spits on Ibushi. Ibushi drags himself to the ropes, but Naito holds on until 3.
Naito smirks as he brings Ibushi back up. He grabs the leg but Ibushi denies the shinbreaker. Naito elbows Ibushi back, then goes for the rope-assisted tornado, but Ibushi powers out. Ibushi runs but into the atomic drop. Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, only for Naito to leap with forearms! Naito drags Ibushi back up, hammerlock and GLOR– No, Ibushi escapes Gloria to give Naito a BIG Half Nelson Suplex! The Golden Star evens things as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ibushi crawls over to Naito. He gives a forearm, and Naito gives one back. Ibushi goes again, but Naito elbows back. Ibushi gives yet another forearm, but so does Naito. They both stand now, and Ibushi gives another forearm. Naito hits Ibushi but Ibushi quickly kicks back. Naito forearms again, but Ibushi quickly kicks agian. Another forearm for another kick, then Ibushi fires off more kicks. Naito kicks Ibushi’s bad leg, then grabs it. Ibushi fires back with forearms but Naito spits right in his face! Fans boo and jeer but Naito just gives another forearm. Ibushi suddenly fires off a strike fest! Ibushi runs but into Naito’s wheelbarrow. But Ibushi blocks it! Naito still rolls it through and has Ibushi in the package, for the driver! But he doesn’t cover?
Naito smirks as he brings Ibushi back up for for the hammerlock and GLORIA! He still smirks as he still doesn’t cover. He drags Ibushi up again, and suplexes him to the ropes! For a draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!? Even Naito is surprised, but he won’t let that stop him. He drags Ibushi up but Red Shoes has him back off. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi, but somehow Ibushi is still good. Naito drags Ibushi up by his hair, wrenches the arm but Ibushi roundhouses! They both fall, and fans rally up. Ibushi drags himself to his feet as he grits his teet. Naito also stands in the opposite corner. Ibushi runs but into an alley-oop! Ibushi hits buckles and Naito enziguris him down! Naito drags Ibushi up, turns him around, but Ibushi fights off the inverted tornado to PELE!
Naito is dazed on the top rope while Ibushi fires himself up. Ibushi climbs up and positions Naito on the top rope. He tucks Naito in but Naito holds on for dear life! Ibushi gives Naito a forearm then tries again, but Naito just saves himself. They brawl now, returning to slapping strikes, then Naito goes after that bad leg. Naito stands and gets around Ibushi, for a SUPER Reverse-Rana, that Ibushi lands on his feet out of!! Ibushi clobbers Naito with a clothesline! Both men fall but fans fire up again. Ibushi crawls, blood in his mouth like Omega. He kicks Naito while he’s down in the corner. Ibushi then drags Naito up, in a waistlock, FOR A SUPER GERMAN!! Cover, TWO!!
Ibushi can’t believe it! But that just makes him more determined. He lifts Naito, for the Last Ride Sit-Out! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi is shocked again, but he stands back up. He drags Naito up as fans duel. Ibushi has the hands, but Naito dodges to DESTIN– No! Ibushi blocked the DDT and has hand control again. But Naito dodges Kamigoye a second time to tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito is shocked, but he just wants it more. He wrenches, tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s brainbuster! Fans fire up as Ibushi copies the King of Strong Style for a KINSHASA!! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi is all fired up, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, IBUSHI WINS!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Naito earns 0
The Golden Star overcomes and gets himself a total of 10 points! He’s up near the top, and just needs another win to earn his spot in the finals. Naito is taken away and Ibushi takes up a mic.
Fans chant “Ibushi! Ibushi!” as he catches his breath. “This is my first time on the mic in Osaka.” He makes a promise to everyone right now. He vows to win the G1 and return here as champion. Ibushi thanks the fans for his support as he has only two matches left in the round robin. However, one of those is going to be his best friend and fellow Golden Lover, Kenny Omega! That one match could determine the entire course of the Finals, who will seize their future with their own two hands?!
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for A Block!
The race is one to determine A Block’s G1 Climax 28 finalist! Kazuchika Okada finds himself in a complete 180 from last year, as the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion is now coming back from a shocking losing streak. The King of Darkness defeated Okada last year to deny him a spot in the finals, but will history repeat itself? Or is the Rainmaker’s Redemption going to continue?
But before that, The Ace and the Unbreakable battle in an all Taguchi Japan match. Will Big Mike spoil the chances of another finals for Tanahashi? Or will the Once in a Century Talent prove that name right and overcome?
And what of the other contender, The Switchblade, Jay White? Will he lose to leave it between Okada and Tanahashi? Or will the Unchained Togi Makabe spoil the upstart’s uprising within Chaos? We jump into that important match, right now!
Jay White VS Togi Makabe!
NJPW on AXS takes us to a point where Makabe has White down but not out. Makabe runs but White counters and ducks to chop and saido suplex! Both men are down now but White is up first. White drags Makabe up and suplexes into the twisting brainbuster. Cover, TWO, and fans applaud for Makabe’s toughness. White grows frustrated, but he keeps on Makabe with forearms. Makabe dares him to give more, so White rocks him with another. Makabe eggs White on, and now White chops Makabe. White fires off forearms, but Makabe keeps egging him on. White keeps going, then runs, but his clothesline barely makes Makabe budge. Another try but still nothing. White goes a third time, but Makabe gives a clothesline back. Makabe runs but White ducks to chop and chop and chop. White runs but Makabe knocks him over!
Fans fire up as Makabe runs, but into a complete shot! White keeps going, deadlift German Suplex! But Makabe stands with White to run him over! Both men are down again, but Makabe roars his way up. Makabe puts White in the corner and up onto the top rope. Makabe climbs up to join him, but White holds on! White fights Makabe off with elbows, and Makabe falls into the Tree of Woe. But Makabe sits up for the Spider Belly2Belly! Makabe turns around but White uses Red Shoes as a shield. White then gets Makabe with strikes and prepares the Blade Runner, but Makabe counters with a German Suplex! Makabe clotheslines White again, then covers, TWO!
Makabe drags White up and scoops to slam. He goes back to a corner, climbs up top, and leaps! His knee drop misses! White rolls all the way out, and starts searching under the ring. He brings out chairs, and puts them in the ring. Red Shoes reprimands him, but White doesn’t care. Makabe ducks the swing to give lariats, one through the chair! Makabe then threatens White with the chair, Red Shoes stops him. White shoves Makabe into Red Shoes! White scurries away while those two fall over, and gets himself that second chair. SMACK in the face! White gets the chairs out of the ring and then has Red Shoes get back in. Blade Runner! Red Shoes counts, White wins!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Makabe earns 0
The Switchblade uses another sneaky tactic to keep himself spotless in the round robin. He has one more match to go, can he make it to the goal?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Michael Elgin!
The Ace has won two G1 Climaxes before, and looks for his third. The Unbreakable “Big Mike” is out of the running but doesn’t mind being spoiler, even to a fellow main unit member. Will Elgin keep Tanahashi back? Or will Tanahashi keep his chances of a finals appearance going?
The bell rings and the fans chant for Tanahashi. He and Elgin circle then tie up. Elgin powers Tanahashi back, but lets his friend out respectfully. They go again, and Tanahashi calls for a test of strength. Elgin accepts and they tie up. They go shoulder to shoulder, but even with a bad shoulder, Elgin has power enough to put Tanahashi on his knees. Tanahashi comes back and puts both arms against Elgin’s bad one, but Elgin still has such strength! Elgin backs Tanahashi to the ropes, then they break. Tanahashi puts Elgin on the ropes, and they break. Elgin lunges for a headlock and takeover but Tanahashi rolls it to his own. They stand and Elgin lifts Tanahashi to the ropes.
Elgin powers out of the headlock then runs Tanahashi over, but Tanahashi’s right back up! Elgin runs him over again and Tanahashi still springs back up, but then staggers back. Tanahashi reverses Elgin’s whip and hip tosses Elgin down, then plays the air guitar. Both men stand and Tanahashi body shots Elgin to a corner. He whips corner to corner but Elgin reverses. Elgin runs into an elbow but catches Tanahashi as he goes up and over. Tanahashi fights his way out and goes to reverse-rana, but Elgin holds on with power! Elgin swings Tanahashi for an inverted Alabama Slam! Elgin walks around Tanahashi before bringing him back up. He lifts Tanahashi for a backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Elgin keeps on Tanahashi.
Elgin brings Tanahashi up for the scoop slam, then he goes outside to slingshot splash! Cover, TWO but barely. Elgin keeps his cool and drags Tanahashi up again. Tanahashi gives body shots but Elgin chops him back. Elgin runs but into boots. Tanahashi fires forearms but Elgin gives another chop. Elgin whips but Tanahashi hits back with flying forearms. Tanahashi drops an elbow then a sommersault senton, cover, TWO! Tanahashi chops, but Elgin is too big for the scoop. Elgin scoops, Tanahahsi slips out, and they both kick. They both catch the kicks, then argue who lets go first. They decide to do it together, and then start again. Tanahashi ducks and chops, then forearms Elgin to a corner. He whips but Elgin reverses, to then dodge the dropkick on the rebound.
Elgin deadlifts but Tanahashi counters with a dragon screw! Elgin’s leg is also taped up so it’s another target for Tanahashi. Both men slowly sit up, and Tanahashi goes after the leg again. Elgin shoves him away then catches the kick, to give Tanahashi a dragon screw! Tanahashi has his own leg problems, so that was a good move from Elgin. Elgin drags Tanahashi up but they start brawling. Elgin hits, Tanahashi hits, repeat. Tanahashi kicks then runs, but into an overhead belly2belly! Both men slowly stand but Elgin runs in for a big corner clothesline. Elgin suplexes to a Falcon Arrow, cover, TWO! The battle of tag team partners continues as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Elgin brings Tanahashi back up. Elgin chops Tanahashi then lifts him to the top rope. Elgin climbs up but Tanahashi slips under! Tanahashi wants a high-angle German Suplex but Elgin holds on. Elgin fights Tanahashi off, then turns around. Tanahashi runs in, catches the foot, SUPER Dragon Screw! Elgin clutches his leg but Tanahashi isn’t done there. Tanahashi grabs the legs to Cloverleaf! He gets Elgin on his belly and pulls back. Elgin endures and uses his arms to drag himself forward. Tanahashi wrenches back and sits down into it, but Elgin powers back up! Elgin pushes himself off the mat and then pops Tanahashi off the hold! Tanahashi goes to the apron but skins the cat into headscissors! He drags Elgin over and down!
Tanahashi skins the cat again to return into the ring. Fans fire up as Tanahashi gets to a corner and the top rope. Elgin hurries in to stop him from jumping. Tanahashi fights Elgin off, but Elgin swing kicks Tanahashi back. Elgin climbs up and brings Tanahashi with him, for the SUPERPLEX! Tanahashi writhes from the impact, Elgin covers, TWO! Elgin feels hwo close he is, and fires himself up. Fans rally with him as he drags Tanahashi back up. Elgin prepares a powerbomb but Tanahashi grabs a leg. Elgin pries Tanahashi’s arms back for a double underhook, but Tanahashi back drops! Big Mike rolls through to high stack then deadlift, for the powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Elgin is surprised, but he grits his teeth as he works on what to do next.
Elgin drags Tanahashi back up, powerbomb lifts again, for a buckle bomb! But Tanahashi fires out for a slingblade! Cover, TWO! Crucifix! TWO! Both men are down, but they’re not done yet. Tanahashi is up first and goes after Elgin’s legs. Elgin forearms, but Tanahashi holds on, until the enziguri! German Suplex! Elgin holds on but Tanahashi fights with elbows. Elgin grabs thsoe arms, so Tanahashi blocks with a leg. He can’t tiger suplex, so Elgin swings Tanahashi out for a forearm! Elgin then powerbomb lifts, only for Tanahashi to slip out and hit the swinging neckbreaker! Slingblade!
Tanahashi is all fired up as he climbs to the top. He aims, Elgin stands, High Fly Flow crossbody! But Elgin rolls through and scoops! Tanahashi slips out and wants a full nelson. Elgin breaks free so Tanahashi changes to trapping the arms. Elgin breaks out of that, too! Tanahashi hits him with a palm strike, but Elgin comes back with a back hand! Elgin clobbers Tanahashi with a clothesline! Elgin takes off his elbow pad and prepares that wrapped but powerful arm. He has Tanahashi stand, then runs, for another big clothesline! Then a powerbomb lift, crucifix sit-out!! Cover, TWO!! Elgin can’t believe it, but Tanahashi survives. Elgin fires up again and drags Tanahashi back up. He goes for and hits another buckle bomb! Then a spin, but Tanahsahi drops off and rolls him up! Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0
It was by the skin of his teeth and the seat of his pants, but Tanahashi gets the win! He keeps ahead of Jay White, but there’s still one last round in the round robin. Can The Ace get through to get back to the finals? Or will he leave room for the Switchblade to slide in?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL!
The Rainmaker has gone through a dry spell since losing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he still has hope. However, he faces the man who denied him passage to the finals last year, right at the home stretch. Will Okada continue to climb back from defeat? Or will he find out Everything is Evil?
The bell rings and fans are behind Okada already. Okada and Evil circle then approach, and Evil kicks low. Evil puts on a headlock, but Okada works against the hold. Evil drags him back in, but Okada fights with body shots. Okada powers out, but Evil runs him over with a shoulder. Evil runs and things speed up, but Evil still gets Okada with the lariat. Cover, TWO and already a close one. Evil brings Okada up just so he can clothesline him back down. He drags Okada up again, but Okada escapes the STO. Okada European Uppercuts and catches Evil into the Air Raid neckbreaker! Both men are down but fans are rallying. Evil and Okada roll out of the ring, but Evil is the one who whips Okada. Okada reverses only for Evil to reverse back, and Okada gets the railings!
Evil drags a chair out from under the ring, then puts it around Okada’s head. He throws Okada and chair into the post! Okada falls and Red Shoes reprimands Evil for that. Red Shoes checks Okada but Okada’s okay somehow. Evil waits in the ring while Okada slowly stirs. Red Shoes holds off on the count a moment, but starts it as he sees Okada is moving. The climb counts to 10 but Okada gets in at about 13. Evil drags Okada up and wrenches the arm a couple times. He wrenches a third time, then grabs the other arm for a half surfboard. Evil pushes and Okada’s face hits the mat. Cover, TWO! Evil grows frustrated with Red Shoes, but that was the count.
Evil drags Okada up and around for a chop. Okada staggers to a corner, and Evil chops him again. Evil chops a third time, and Okada falls to the floor. Cover, TWO! Evil brings Okada into a chinlock, bending him back with a knee. Evil pulls back as hard as he can but Okada endures. Okada stands up and fights out again, then runs, but into a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Okada while Evil keeps his cool. Evil drags Okada up and turns him around, but Okada fights out. Evil kicks low then whips but Okada reverses into a DDT! Both men are down again, but Okada suddenly kips up!
Okada runs at Evil for a forearm smash, then elbow. He rallies with a whip but Evil reverses, only for Okada to come back with another elbow. Okada brings Evil up but Evil fights back. Evil runs but into the flapjack! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool now, and goes to gut wrench. Evil blocks so Okada clubs and kicks him. Okada EuroUppers Evil to a corner, then gives Evil a back elbow. Okada lifts Evil but Evil kicks him first. Evil dodges a dropkick to drop the senton! LIJ’s King of Darkness is in control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Evil joins Okada on the apron. Evil drags Okada up, but Okada fights back with body shots. Evil rakes Okada’s eyes, then gives him a leaping facebuster to the railings! It was double-edged as Evil hit just as hard. Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re both okay somehow. Evil sits up first, and drags Okada up and around the corner. They go to the ramp now, and Evil fireman’s carry. Okada slips out to kick and DDT Evil on the ramp! Fans fire up as Okada rolls to his feet and gets a running start, for the John Woo dropkick! Evil is sent rolling all the way back to the ring! Okada catches his breath while Evil clutches his ribs.
Okada heads back and fetches Evil at the count of 13 to put him in the ring at 16. He aims at Evil from a corner, then runs out for another dropkick. Evil ends up in the other corner, but Okada keeps on him. Okada puts Evil in the middle to then climb up top. He aims, for a missile dropkick! But Okada isn’t done with Evil yet, he gets the fans fired up! Okada brings Evil up but Evil again blocks the gut wrench. Okada clubs Evi’s back and completes the lift, but Evil slips down. Evil shoves Okada then uses Red Shoes as a shield. He mule kicks Okada then suplex lifts him onto Red Shoe’s shoulder! Magic Killer! Everyone is down, including Red Shoes. Red Shoes rolls out to recover while Okada and Evil slowly stand.
Evil runs in at Okada, but into Okada’s boot. He tries again but gets more boots, yet still hits a corner clothesline! Evil lifts Okada for Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO!! It was close but not enough. Evil sits Okada up to slash the throat, and bring him up. Okada denies the STO but Evil kicks and roaring elbows. Okada reverses the whip but Evil holds ropes to evade the dropkick. Evil runs, but into Okada’s waistlock and wristlock ripcord! Evil ducks the Rainmaker to STEAL the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada’s own move doesn’t do it!! Fans fire up while Evil roars. Evil drags Okada up, half ‘n’ half suplex! Then with elbow pad off, Clothesline from Hell! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives again and it infuriates Evil.
Evil calls for the end, brings Okada up, and goes for STO again. Okada reverses and swings Evil out but Evil reverses to try another steal. Okada reverses, to STEAL the STO!! Cover, TWO!! Evil won’t lose to his own move, either! Both men are down again but Okada stands first. He dropkicks Evil in the back of the head, then gut wrenches to the Tombstone! But he’s not done, he swings Evil out again. Evil blocks but Okada stops the STO, only to get a left-hand lariat! Evil drags Okada up again, ST– Discus lariat from Okada! And, THE Rainmaker!! Cover, OKADA WINS!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Evil earns 0
The redemption continues! Okada redeems himself for last year’s loss, as well as for the losses earlier in the tournament. With just round left, can Okada pull off the comeback of the century? Or will Tanahashi stand in his way?
“I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable.” After a brutal match like that, the fans won’t go home. What’s up with that, Osaka? Does it look like he won that easily? Is he that strong? Is he just that amazing? Well then he’ll go ahead and say it. “Win number six!!” And he’s a bit dizzy now. But Okada’s sure this is going smoothly. He’s so smooth. The Okada they expected has returned. But he won’t be as strong or amazing as he was before. He’ll be even more than that! He will bring NJPW with him.
“One more G1 qualifier match.” Fans know it’s against Tanahashi, and are already dueling. Okada takes note of it. Rocky Romero says Okada, too, right? But he feels bad for Tanahashi now. But too bad for Tanahashi, because Okada vows to win it all! “Are you satisfied now? Because I’d really like to sit down.” Thank you very… much! Okada takes his leave and hopes to take the G1 Climax, but what will it take just to win the block?
Another great selection for two hours of NJPW on TV. They didn’t use time to review the other matches, but that’s because they couldn’t spare time given the matches advertised. At the same time, the only matches that matter at this point are those vying for the top spots in each block. B Block was another Golden Lovers night as Omega surprisingly loses to Ishii in a great gritty match, while Ibushi toughs it out to win against Naito. I liked that Ibushi got to speak, and he was aware he doesn’t get to do it often. So in character, he keeps his speech to the point. Ibushi has Tama Tonga then Omega, those are going to be great. Naito will soon face fellow LIJ member Sanada, that should also make for great story, no matter who wins.
I was a bit surprised they fit White VS Makabe for A Block, but that match was important to see to know that White was keeping pace. Tanahashi VS Elgin and Okada VS Evil were great, and very clean compared to White’s. It was great for story that Okada and Evil each stole the other’s finisher once but couldn’t win with them. Okada wins and gets to speak, confident that even with thought it’s Tanahashi he has left, he can win. The only way White gets in over either of them is if he and Okada win, given White’s early win over Okada is the tiebreaker. Anything else and Tanahashi’s in.
My Score: 8.8/10; 8.8/10; Overall = 8.8/10
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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