NJPW and AXS bring us the B Block finals! Will it be Tetsuya Naito of one of the Golden Lovers who qualifies for THE G1 Climax 28 Finals?!
This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
- Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this final night of B Block action!
It all comes down to this! The Best Bout Machine lost to Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in a row, though one was in part thanks to Tama Tonga. However, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion is still one win away from being in his third consecutive G1 Climax Finals. That win must come at the expense of Kenny Omega’s best friend, Kota Ibushi, in this Golden Lovers dream match. Ibsuhi could take the entire block with his own win, but there’s also last year’s G1 Climax champion. Tetsuya Naito can make his own repeat appearance if he defeats Zack Sabre Jr, who would love to play spoiler with his submission style. Who will meet Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax 28 Finals?!
Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The charismatic leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on Suzuki-Gun’s Submission Master, a familiar match up from this year’s New Japan Cup. Naito takes his time with his attire, as usual, but ZSJ is patient. The referee finishes his check of both men, rings the bell, and we begin.
ZSJ rushes Naito then throws him out. He pursues but Naito slips back out to then troll ZSJ with a game of cat ‘n’ mouse. ZSJ grows frustrated and starts kicking railing like his mentor, Minoru Suzuki. Taka Michinoku calms Zack down and gets him back to the ring. Naito tells ZSJ to return, saying time is of the essence. ZSJ returns but Naito speeds things up. They both run and dodge, then Naito Tranquilos! But ZSJ grabs the arm for the armbar! Naito gets the ropes for the ropebreak and ZSJ mocks Tranquilo before letting Naito go. Naito takes his time returning, to again troll ZSJ. Red Shoes counts but Naito waits to return at about 10. ZSJ rushes Naito again for a headlock. Naito powers out and arm-drags ZSJ around. ZSJ headbutts then European Uppercuts, but he runs into another arm-dag.
Naito has ZSJ down, but ZSJ reverses into a headscissor. ZSJ squeezes, then stands to twist! Naito writhes while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ goes after the legs and gets a Queen Angelito figure four. He goes after the arms, and he uses a surfboard style lift! ZSJ goes for a cover but can’t get the angle, so he shifts to a leg based double armbar. Naito manages another ropebreak, so ZSJ backs off. ZSJ toys with Naito then gives him a EuroUpper. Naito chops back, so ZSJ trips him up and twists his neck again. ZSJ lets Naito get up to then float over to a cravat. Naito works his way up to arm-drag out. ZSJ runs in but misses, Naito jump kicks but it’s ZSJ who sweeps! The New Japan Cup champ has the G1 Climax 27 champ down and out while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Naito gets back up at 13. He returns to the ring at 15 but ZSJ stands on him to then get the ankle lock. ZSJ shifts to a Half Crab that shifts to an STF that shifts to a crossface. Naito reverses with a roll, TWO! ZSJ has a grounded cravat that he bridges and then rolls back. He gets a headscissor as Naito sits up, then grabs an ankle. They both roll and Naito is still in the headscissor. ZSJ squeezes but then Naito gets his own headscissor. ZSJ pries his way up and out and back to a half crab. He just stands on Naito’s head and body now to humiliate more than hurt. Naito gets up and chops ZSJ. ZSJ headbutts, EuroUppers, then whips. Naito reverses and reels ZSJ in for the backbreaker and dropkick! Both men are down as fans rally.
Naito stands and fires of on ZSJ. He whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Naito to come out with the headscssiors. Jump kick, leg sweep, and swinging dropkick! Naito poses while ZSJ checks his mouth. Naito elbows ZSJ, then brings him back up. ZSJ reverses the neckbreaker to a facelock, but Naito reels him in for the atomic drop. Naito runs in at the corner but has to block ZSJ’s boots. ZSJ kicks Naito but Naito holds on. Naito spits, so ZSJ kicks more. Naito turns him sideways for a draping backbreaker! Then a standing neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Naito while he thinks of what to do next. Naito circles ZSJ and brings him up in a waistlock. ZSJ gets a standing switch to full nelson but Naito arm-drags out. They collide, elbow for elbow, and back again. Naito rolls for the kick but into an STF!
Naito drags himself around but ZSJ switches to part Rings of Saturn! He keeps Naito’s face back with a leg but Naito uses a leg to get the ropes. ZSJ again lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Taka coaches ZSJ up but the fans are on Naito’s side still. ZSJ stands first and kicks at Naito. Naito takes them in stride, a grin on his face. Naito fires a forearm and a back elbow and ZSJ falls. Fans fire up as Naito throws more elbows, but ZSJ comes back with a EuroUpper. Naito elbows, ZSJ falls again. Now Naito toys with ZSJ, but ZSJ SLAPS Naito. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but ends up in a backslide. He rolls through but runs into the tornado DDT! Naito drags ZSJ up. Hammerlock and lift, but ZSJ counters with a guillotine that becomes a triangle hold!
Naito endures the squeeze while ZSJ prevents a cover. Naito uses power to lift but ZSJ wrenches back. ZSJ brings Naito back down and Naito starts to fade. Fans keep rallying, Naito jackknifes! TWO, and ZSJ penalty kicks Naito down! ZSJ drags Naito back up, but Naito suplexes into the dragon sleeper, for a reverse DDT! Fans cheer Naito while Taka shouts for ZSJ to get up. Naito sits up but ZSJ follows. They stand, and Naito elbows ZSJ again. ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but that arm is hurting. Naito chops but ZSJ slaps. Naito SLAPS, then hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Naito fires himself up as he drags ZSJ up. ZSJ sees it coming, and Peles the arm. Naito rolling kicks then whips. ZSJ reverses, catches the flying forearm, into an Octopus hold!
Naito endures being bent and stretched, but ZSJ’s arm is also bothering him. Fans rally for Naito and he manages to step towards ropes. ZSJ does what he can to pull on Naito, such as pulling the right arm all the way back. Naito still steps forward, but ZSJ pulls again. Naito uses one last effort and gets another ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go, and both men fall from exhaustion. Fans and Taka rally their favorites up again, and ZSJ sits up first. Naito follows but ZSJ penalty kicks Naito right back down! And he does it again! But Naito still stands. ZSJ goes for a third but gets caught into a German Suplex. Naito whips but ZSJ reverses, to get the flying forearms! Naito drags ZSJ up, arm wrench, but ZSj counters into the EuroClutch! TWO!? Naito misses his enziguri, ZSJ EuroClutches again, TWO!?
ZSJ EuroUppers but gets an enziguri. Naito backs up, runs in, but ZSJ slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to Octopus. Naito slips out this time to DESTINO! But he’s not done, here comes another D– no, Michinoku Driver! Cover, ZSJ wins!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall; ZSJ earns 2 points, Naito earns 0
The Submission Master uses a shout out to his coach and he spoils Naito’s chances! There will not be a repeat for the previous G1 Climax champion, and this leaves the way open for one half of the Golden Lovers!
Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!
They may not always have been a team, but the Golden Lovers have always been friends and rivals. The Cleaner is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but the Golden Star won’t give up his own desire for that belt. A dream match becomes reality, but who will live the dream of competing in the tournament finals?
The bell rings, and fans fire up as the two friends take a moment to stare down. They circle, Omega lunges in and gets the leg. He floats to a facelock and holds on as they go around. He goes to a waistlock and counters Ibushi’s standing switch. Omega gets a half nelson then another facelock as they stand. Ibushi has Omega on the ropes, but honors the ropebreak. But Omega brings him back in with a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Omega runs him over, but Ibushi kips up. Things speed up, Omega holds rope but still runs into a dropkick! Omega bails out but comes right back in to chop Ibushi! Omega whips but Ibushi holds ropes, so Omega chops again. The whip goes through but Ibushi dodges to kick. Ibushi kicks but is blocked, Omega chops. Omega runs but into the kick!
Omega bails out but longer this time, so Ibushi slingshots out! He crashes and burns, Omega saw that one coming. Omega brings Ibushi up to put him into railing. Then he scoop slams him onto the apron! Omega drags Ibushi back up and into the ring. Fans fire up as Omega returns and runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool while fans cheer Ibushi on. Omega clubs Ibushi, then stomps him. He kicks Ibushi around, but Ibushi grows stronger with every hit. Omega runs, and dropkicks Ibushi down! Ibushi stands, kicks and snapmares Omega, to then kick him swiftly in the neck. Omega kicks and cravats but Ibushi counters to snapmare and kick, kick, kick! Omega gets up to shove and punch.
Now it’s a brawl back and forth, but Omega kicks low. Omega boots Ibushi into a corner, then runs in. Ibushi goes up and over to then powerslam and moonsault! But onto knees! Omega knows Ibushi so well, and he drags Ibushi up for fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape! Rolling senton, but the moonsault gets knees! Ibushi knows Omega so well, too! Ibushi runs, but into a huricanrana. But Ibushi then comes back with his own huricanrana! Omega ends up outside again, and Ibushi runs, but Omega intercepts the golden triangle for a full nelson! Ibushi holds ropes and elbows Omega back. Omega chops Ibushi’s back, then Electric Chair lifts! But Ibushi fights him off again, to then deadlift. Omega fights out with uppercuts, then has Ibushi on the shoulder, apron package tombstone!! Both Golden Lovers are down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Omega climbs up top. Ibushi slowly stands, but he gets the missile dropkick to the face! Then cross fisherman, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi lives and fans fire up for him. Omega grits his teeth, takes aim and… BANG! Omega runs, but he misses. Ibushi waistlocks but Omega standing switches. Omega shoves and chops Ibushi in the back! He whips and V-Triggers to the back! Omega drags Ibushi up, Electric Chair, but Ibushi resists. Pop-up, Croyt’s Wrath! With the bridge! TWO!! Ibushi narrowly escapes, but Omega stays focused. V-Trigger! Then the double underhook, but Ibushi resists again. They speed up, running DDT! Ibushi rolls out of the ring, but Omega hears the Terminator drums. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit on Ibushi!
Both men are down but Omega stands first. Omega drags Ibushi up and in, and fans rally up. Omega climbs up top again, but Ibushi PELE to stop him! Ibushi climbs up to join Omega, but Omega resists whatever lift Ibushi is after. The Young Bucks are concerned at ringside as Omega starts to shovel Ibushi up. Ibushi slips off to chop and SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up again and Omega bails out. Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle! Direct hit on Omega! The Golden Lovers are down again, but Ibushi is up first now. Ibushi puts Omega in, then climbs up top. Ibushi springboards but Omega catches him into the Electric Chair! But Ibushi fights out fast to strike fest and roundhouse Omega down. Knee-sault! Cover, TWO!!
Omega survives that innovative knee drop, but Ibushi isn’t out of ideas yet. Ibushi drags Omega up, with double wrists, but Omega dodges the knee. Ibushi dodges to Pele again! He grabs Omega, but Omega slips out of the bomb to V-Trigger. Ibushi blocks but gets the second V-Trigger. Omega full nelsons but Ibushi fights out. Omega heel kicks him into a corner! Then from corner to corner, V-Trigger! Omega drags Ibushi up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega sits Ibushi up, puts on the full nelson, but Ibushi fights out again. Ibushi elbows but Omega headbutts. Omega stands up now, another attempt at the full nelson, SUPER SNAP DRAGON! But Ibushi stands right up!
The Golden Lovers collide with double clotheslines, then do it again. Omega kicks the other one away to V-Trigger! Ibushi reverses to snap German! But Omega’s up, so he gets a Half ‘n Half, and CLOBBERING CLOTHESLINE! Ibushi has control while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and Ibushi drags Omega up. Ibushi wants the bomb, and gets the Golden Star sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!? Even Ibushi is shocked. But he drags Omega up again with the double wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi cannot understand how Omega survives. Ibushi uncovers his knee and brings Omega back up. Omega resists because he knows what’s coming. Ibushi stomps and clubs Omega. Omega fights back with forearms and elbows. Omega throws more of those, but then Ibushi fires back! They go back and forth, but neither man backs down. Omega hits, but Ibushi responds. They give shorter and faster forearms now but neither man lets go of the wristlock. Omega headbutts but Ibushi kicks! Ibushi kicks but gets a V-Trigger! He staggers, but chops!
Ibushi fires palm strikes and body shots. He runs, but into the V-Trigger! Omega runs again, but into a roundhouse! They’re both down, but fans fire up for Ibushi. Ibushi hears them and decides to climb up top. Phoenix Splash flops as Omega evades. Omega stands, to V-Trigger Ibushi in the back! Then suddenly, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Now Omega is shocked that Ibushi lives. Omega pulls his own knee pad down, to V-Trigger! Then Electric Chair, but Ibushi fights again. Reverse-Rana is blocked by sheer will, and Omega makes it like a driver! Cover, TWO!?! Omega aims again, BANG! Another V-Trigger! Then another Electric Chair, but Ibushi holds ropes. Omega climbs!? Ibushi senses this and fights for his life. Ibushi positions himself, SUPER double stomps!
Omega barely stays on the top rope, but Ibushi comes back up to join him. Ibushi drags Omega up, in a double underhook, SUPER TIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO??! But how?! Ibushi keeps going, dragging Omega up with both hands, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Omega earns 0
The Golden Lovers dream match ends with Ibushi scoring a victory over the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! With this, Ibushi wins the B Block and qualifies for THE G1 Climax 27 Finals! Ibushi meets Hiroshi Tanahashi for that chance at the title at Wrestle Kingdom. But because they’re great friends, Omega celebrates with Ibushi before letting him take the ring alone.
“Kenny, Matt, Nick,” and everyone in the Elite, “Thank you very much.” Ibushi thanks all the wrestlers in NJPW, too. Ibushi still lives in the G1 Climax, and vows to win the finals the very next day. He keeps things short and sweet so that he and the Elite can all leave together. Can the Star surpass The Ace to then give us a sequel to this amazing match? Or will The Once in a Century Talent score his third G1 Climax championship?
The Golden Elite are all together, as Omega notes that he somehow made it here on his own power. He admits he doesn’t like that he lost, especially as champion. But losing to his tag partner and best friend, Ibushi, and knowing he goes to the finals to face Tanahashi, makes Omega happy. Omega gives his full support, and will be in Ibushi’s corner. Ibushi accepts his friend’s support, and is himself very happy. He can’t believe he won. It doesn’t seem real yet. But Ibushi has made it to the finals, and again vows to win it all. He’s been focused on that single goal, he just has one match to go. Was tonight’s dream match a preview of Wrestle Kingdom? Or perhaps something sooner rather than later?
An amazing night, especially factoring in the context of the incredible action. Naito VS ZSJ in a New Japan Cup goes the same way as the match in the New Japan Cup, but naturally escalated up. Naito was well-prepared for the submissions and got the ropebreak quite a few times, but in the end ZSJ wins out. Given the points, it makes sense to keep Naito out of the running. It adds drama to Omega VS Ibushi, because then it becomes another “win and you’re in.” Actually, B Block parallels A Block in that respect, as Jay White was the third man who could complicate Okada VS Tanahashi, until he lost to Evil. But Naito is fine not going into the finals again, as fans still love him, and there’s plenty of unfinished business with other wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
Then Omega VS Ibushi is definitely worthy of a block finals. The story was already there with them being such close friends and tag team partners. The counters, the back and forth, it was so great. Ibushi benefits the most from winning here because he was perhaps the underdog against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and now earns the right to challenge Omega even without the G1 Climax contract for Wrestle Kingdom. Of course, Tomohiro Ishii has a similar claim he can make, so Ibushi can wait for one of the bigger NJPW events to give us the epic sequel.
My Score: 8.9/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10