RING OF HONOR WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 366
The Octopus may not have won the title, but he won the ROH World Champion’s respect and friendship. Can Gresham & Lethal shut down Bully Ray & Silas Young?
- The Boys VS Best Friends; Best Friends win.
- Kenny King VS “Hangman” Adam Page; King wins.
- 2018 Top Prospect Tournament Opening Round: Dante Caballero VS Brian Johnson; No Contest.
- Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham VS Bully Ray & Silas Young; Bully & Young win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Last time on ROH TV…
The Octopus stood up to the Hall of Fame bully, so the bully beat him down! Flip Gordon tried to save Jonathan Gresham, but Bully beat him down, too. Colt Cabana wasn’t anywhere present to fight Bully, either, so it was up to Jay Lethal to step forward for his new friend! The Franchise had Bully Ray on the ropes, but Silas Young would bail Bully out! The Last Real Man dislikes Lethal so he was doing it more for himself, but that only raised the ire of his old foe more. Lethal and Gresham are ready to do this the way you’re supposed to do this, will they make the bullies of ROH regret being bullies?
The Boys VS Best Friends!
The Peacock may not be back in action just yet, but his personal Wonder Twins are! But they’re returning against Trent and Chuckie T, who are an accomplished tag team on top of great pals. Will brothers of friends win in the City of Brotherly Love?
Being twins, both Boys want to offer their Code of Honor handshake at the same time. But they can’t decide if they want to shake hands with Trent first or Chuckie first. The Best Friends just give little handshakes so that the CoH is upheld. Chuckie starts against Boy 1, the one without dyed hair. Fans chant for Chuckie even as he kicks Boy 1 low. Chuckie whips Boy 1 but Boy 1 ducks and dodges to tilt-o-whirl headscissor and dropkick Chuckie out. Trent comes in but Boy 2 comes in to headscissor and dropkick him! Chuckie returns but Boy 1 intercepts. The Boys whip the Best Friend at each other but they do-si-do and head back at the Boys. The Boys dodge, then hop up for double headscissors! Both Chuckie and Trent end up outside, so both Boys coordinate. Best Friends hug, but Boy 2 FLIES!
Chuckie takes the hit for Trent, but Trent gets strikes from Boy 2. Boy 1 holds Chuckie up, Boy 2 ducks Trent. Chuckie hits Boy 2 away while Boy 2 enziguris Trent. Boy 2 runs but Trent trips him up and chops him on the ropes. Trent runs, sliding German! Chuckie tosses Boy 2 for the long dart cutter! Chuckie gives Boy 1 the spinning sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO! The Boys still live while we go to break.
ROH returns and Boy 1 tilt-o-whirl DDT’s Chuckie down! Both men crawl for their corners, but Boy 2 isn’t there. Trent tags in and gives Boy 1 a big back elbow. He brings Boy 1 over, Chuckie helps, Best Friend Choke Slam! Cover, Boy 2 breaks it up! Chuckie throws Boy 2 out, then returns to his corner while Trent goes after Boy 1. Trent drags Boy 1 up by his hair and vows to finish this just like the Bad Guy used to do. Trent lifts Boy 1 but he slips out! Boy 2 tags in then kicks Trent. Boy 1 rolls while Boy 2 flies for the crossbody! Chuckie gets a forearm for good measure, and Boy 2 fires up. He runs at Trent for the back stabber, and feeds him to his twin’s flying code breaker! Cover, TWO!! The Boys were so close but they’re not deterred.
Boy 2 throws body shots then whips corner to corner. Chuckie saves Trent and Trent clobbers Boy 2! Boy 1 blasts Trent but Chuckie knees him. Trent adds a knee, and then the Best Friends vow to finish both Boys! “It’s going down for real!” Double Gotch lift, but Boy 2 slips out to a jackknife cover! Boy 1 holds Chuckie back while the ref counts, TWO!! So close! Chuckie boots Boy 1, Trent lifts Boy 2 in position. Chuckie lifts Boy 1 back up for synchronized Awful Waffle and Dude Buster! Cover, Best Friends win!
Winners: Best Friends, Trent Baretta pinning
And they hug it out! Chuckie T & Trent will join Team Chaos at Death Before Dishonor, can their five beat the Bullet Club’s chosen five in a crossover of ROH and NJPW?
ROH takes a look at what led to the coming World Tag Team Championship match-up.
At Best in the World, #DemBoyz looked to finish off the Young Bucks even after the match, but SoCal Uncensored came out to interrupt. It looked like SCU was going to add on, but then they attacked the Briscoes! The Addiction know their days are numbered, so they’re looking to go out the three-time ROH World Tag Team Champions. However, the Briscoes would beat down Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels every chance they could get. This war of East Coast VS West Coast is heating up, who will survive come Death Before Dishonor?
Kenny King VS “Hangman” Adam Page!
The K I N G of Sin City had to get a bit sneaky to win against The Villain, Marty Scurll. But that doesn’t bother him none, and he’s ready to do it again if it means big money. Before he takes on the living legend, Jushin Thunder Liger, he must get through Bullet Club’s Problem Solver! Will Kenny be able to solve the problem that is Adam Page? Or will the Hangman be ready for any tricks up Kenny’s sleeve?
ROH returns as Kenny and Hangman uphold the Code of Honor, and we begin. Hangman and Kenny tie up and push each other around. Hangman gets the headlock but Kenny reverses to a keylock. Kenny bends Hangman back but Hangman bridges then spins to reverse. Hangman has the wrist but Kenny reverses it back on. Hangman rolls and reverses to a hammerlock then spins Kenny for a chinlock. Kenny stands up and pries his way out but Hangman gets the ropes. Kenny applauds Hangman and backs off. Both men adjust their gear while fans rally up. The two circle again, and Kenny gets a waistlock. Hangman shifts but Kenny gets the headlock. Hangman powers out but Kenny bumps shoulders with him. Neither man backs down so Kenny breaks it down with his dance moves.
Both men trash talk, daring each other to try the shoulder again. Hangman runs and they collide, but Kenny doesn’t fall. Hangman goes again, but Kenny drop toeholds and floats to the side headlock. Fans rally up as Hangman fights his way out. Hangman pushes but Kenny slides off his back. Things speed up and Kenny gets Hangman with the dropkick! Hangman bails out and Kenny soaks in the applause. Kenny slingshots but adjusts as Hangman dodges. Kenny leaps but Hangman dodges the clothesline to give Kenny haymakers. Fans applaud Hangman as he whips Kenny. Kenny slides off the apron to rock Hangman with a right. He puts Hangman in but Hangman crawls to the apron.
Kenny gets a selfie with a fan, but he turns around to see Hangman up. He swings but Hangman dodges, to come back with the shooting star shoulder! Now Hangman gets a selfie with that same fan! Hangman gives high-fives while fans chant for him. He gets Kenny up and into the ring, then grabs that golden donut pool ring, as well as the balloon bottle of Jack. Hangman wants to use the donut but the ref takes it away. Kenny uses the bottle balloon to shield himself from Hangman’s haymakers! Kenny bops Hangman with it, but the ref takes the balloon away. Hangman kicks Kenny back, then takes the bottle back. He puts the bottle on the mat, and fans fire up as he suplexes Kenny onto it! Somehow that hurt. Fans are fired up while we go to break.
ROH returns and Hangman throws Kenny for the pumphandle fall away slam! Bridge cover, TWO! Hangman keeps his cool while Kenny crawls away. Fans duel while Hangman stalks Kenny to a corner. Hangman whips Kenny corner to corner but Kenny reverses. Kenny runs into Hangman’s back elbow, but Hangman runs into the fireman’s carry, Chin Checker! Kenny counters Hangman’s clothesline into the backbreaker, then runs to give Hangman a clothesline of his own! He waits for Hangman to stand, but then Hangman dodges, only to get the spinning heel kick! Hangman staggers to a corner, Kenny runs but into the boot. Hangman runs but into the spinebuster! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Kenny stands but Hangman follows, so Kenny stomps him. Kenny throws hands then forearms. He runs but Hangman reels him into a waistlock. They trade standing switches but Kenny gives the German Suplex! But Hangman lands on his feet! Hangman takes aim, but Kenny blocks the superkick. Kenny spins Hangman around but Hangman hits a roaring elbow! Hangman waistlocks, German Suplex with bridge! TWO! Both men are down but stirring. Kenny gets all the way out but Hangman sits up. Hangman feels the energy building, builds speed but runs into a BIG knee from Kenny!
Kenny hurries up to the apron and fireman’s carry, but Hangman manages to fight back. The Eddy Gordo kick hits, then Kenny slingshots in. But Hangman slingshots, Kenny runs into the Buck Shot! Cover, TWO!? Kenny survives and fans are thunderous. Hangman drags Kenny up and throws an elbow. Kenny throws one back, and now it’s a brawl. They go back and forth, but Kenny switches to jabs. Kenny runs but into another roaring elbow! Hangman lifts Kenny but Kenny sunset flips, and has ropes! The referee catches it this time, the King won’t cheat like a Villain this time. Hangman gets up but walks into the fireman’s carry. Royal Flush countered into a small package! TWO as Kenny rolls it his way, TWO as Hangman rolls it back. TWO, TWO, with tights! Kenny wins!!
Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall
Another match with a Bullet Club member, another win Kenny gets with cheating! The K I N G will do whatever it takes, but what will it take to cheat a legend like Liger?
2018 Top Prospect Tournament Opening Round: Dante Caballero VS Brian Johnson!
This year’s tournament has been plagued by the powerful Jeff Cobb pulverizing the prospects unprovoked. Will Cobb return to plaster Puerto Rico Suave and the One who is Number One like he has everyone else?
The bell rings and Dante tries to catch Johnson off guard. Johnson is ready and waistlocks Dante. Dante standing switches and clubs Johnson down, but Johnson gets up. Dante whips Johnson but Johnson forearms and dropkicks Dante. But here comes Cobb!! Fans are loving this, but then Johnson tries to reason with Cobb. Beat up Dante, not him! Cobb takes Johnson up on that. Dante tries to fight back but Cobb catches those kicks and yanks Dante up and in to the cradling side slam!
This bracket is thoroughly busted but Cobb isn’t done. Johnson thinks Cobb is still on his side, that he’s the Ric Flair to Cobb’s “The Enforcer”, Arn Anderson. But then Cobb headbutts Johnson down! Cobb drags Johnson up to whip, and take on a Tour of the Islands!! And finally, Cobb speaks!
“The Top Prospect Tournament is over!” Cobb claims the title of THE Top Prospect! No one disagrees with him, at least not in the audience. Will Cobb simply be handed a shot at the ROH World Television Championship? Or will Cobb have to still earn his shot at the title first?
ROH looks at what led to the WOH World Championship match at Death Before Dishonor.
Firstly, Sumie Sakai has been undefeated as the inaugural Women of Honor Champion. She’s won in the States, in Japan and in the United Kingdom, so that earns the belt the status of world title! But the Ray of Sunshine doesn’t feel right calling herself that just yet, so she challenged Tenille Dashwood to a title match. Tenille would come out and accept the challenge. But Tenille made sure Sumie understood something first: Tenille respects Sumie immensely, but that doesn’t mean she won’t do everything she can to win. Sumie feels the same, and we have our title match set. Will the spotlight move from Sumie to Tenille and make the WOH Division #AllAboutTenille? Or will the Ray of Sunshine still shine championship gold?
Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham VS Bully Ray & Silas Young!
The last time the Last Real Man and the Hall of Famer were in a match together, the ECW legend left Milwaukee’s Meanest high and dry. But now, in taking down common enemies, it seems Silas is willing to work with Bully so that he can also get one over on the ROH World Champion. Will Bully & Silas bully their way to a win? Or will the Franchise & Octopus show them that bullies never prosper?
Of course, things are still tense between Silas and Bully, mostly because Bully gets in Silas’ face about how they’re doing things Bully’s way. Silas won’t let Bully tell him how to wrestle, but they’ll need to stay focused tonight if they want a chance against Flip Gordon & Colt Cabana at Death Before Dishonor. Gresham and Lethal make their entrances and we begin, after the break.
ROH returns but there is no Code of Honor. Bully trash talks Gresham but Lethal holds him back. Bully demands that Gresham start, and Gresham wants to, so Lethal allows it. Fans are obviously on Gresham’s side as the bell rings. Gresham and Bully circle, feeling out the grapple. Gresham rushes in but Bully manages to avoid the takedown. Bully then just tags right out to Silas. Bully even stays away from the corner just so Silas can’t tag right back out. Fans boo Bully while Silas enters. Silas circles with Gresham and tie up. Silas powers Gresham to ropes, then backs off. Gresham comes out and the two tie up again.
Gresham gets a waistlock, Silas gets the standing switch but Gresham gets the drop toehold. He floats over to the headlock but Silas slips out to a hammerlock. They both stand up and Gresham spins around to a hammerlock of his own. Silas backs down to a corner, and Gresham lets him go. Silas tells fans to shut up, but then Bully tells Silas to get it done. Even Gresham tells Bully to mind his own business, and he circles with Silas. Silas gets a headlock, but Gresham powers out. Things speed up but Silas holds rope to avoid the dropkick. Silas taunts Gresham but then Gresham handsprings to huricanrana! Gresham rolls to then dropkick Silas, and Silas rolls to a corner.
Gresham dares Bully to get in the ring! Bully doesn’t move, so Gresham SLAPS Bully! Silas tags Bully, telling him to do man up and work. Bully is surprisingly silent as he storms off and up the ramp! Is he ditching Silas again? But then Bully hears the fans chant “You Suck!” and all that, so Bully goes back. However, Bully throws the streamers in a tantrum first before entering the ring. Bully and Gresham circle then tie up. Gresham gets a waistlock and he ducks the back hand to speed things up. Gresham leaps but his crossbody is caught! Bully pops Gresham up but Gresham slips out and gets a headlock. Gresham shifts to a hammerlock, to slap Bully on the back of his head!
Lethal is fired up while Gresham runs, but Bully tosses Gresham with a back drop. Bully then pie faces Lethal, and dares him to tag in. Lethal asks Gresham for the tag, and Gresham gives it. Fans chant for Lethal as he stares down Bully. Bully has the referee come over to check Lethal? But Lethal is clean, the ref checked before the match started. Lethal gets Bully in a headlock and squeezes tight. Bully powers out then runs Lethal over. He drops but misses his elbow, yet still blocks the dropkick. Bully dropkicks but Lethal manages to avoid it! Fans are actually impressed, and we go to break.
ROH returns again and Bully CHOPS Lethal. Lethal throws haymakers but Bully gives another chop. Lethal wants another, Bully gives him another! This fires the fans and Lethal up. Lethal chops Bully, Bully slaps Lethal! They both trade slaps, then Bully fires off right hands. Lethal fires off haymakers and chops then runs, but into Bully’s big body! Bully glares while Silas tells Lethal that’s what he gets. Silas holds Lethal but Lethal dodges, sending Bully into Silas! Lethal enziguris Bully down then tags Gresham. Fans rally up and both Gresham and Lethal build speed to DOUBLE DIVE! They both take out Silas and Bully, then put in the legal Silas in.
Gresham climbs up while fans are thunderous, but Bully shakes the ropes up. Bully sits Gresham up to chop him, then dump him down. Silas tags in and holds Gresham down for Bully. Bully chops Gresham’s leg, then throws down a right. Gresham stands so Bully hits him again. Bully drags Gresham up for jabs. Gresham stays standing but on wobbly legs. Bully pumps it up but Gresham dropkicks the legs out! Gresham reaches for Lethal but Bully grabs him first. Bully ends up in the Octopus Hold! Gresham pulls as hard as he can but Silas distracts. Lethal trips Silas but Bully powers out with a side slam. Bully and Gresham stir while Lethal returns to his corner. Gresham reaches again but Bully is on him first. Bully puts Gresham in a corner for a chop!
Lethal coaches Gresham up and Gresham stands up to Bully. Fans are thunderous again as Gresham dares Bully to chop him. Bully does and Gresham falls, but then Gresham gets up again. Gresham wants more, so Bully floors him with another. Bully hops up now, leaps, but misses the back senton! Gresham crawls for his corner, Bully rolls for his, hot tags to Lethal and Silas! Lethal rallies on Silas, then he chops away in the corner. He whips but Silas reverses, Lethal takes out Bully. Lethal boots Silas then hops up for the missile dropkick! Lethal Combination! Fans fire up but Bully comes in, only to get the boot, the enziguri, and the suplex. Bully blocks it, but Lethal keeps trying. Lethal gets another, but then Gresham comes in to help! Double suplex lifts Bully up and over!
Bully wants to bail out but Lethal tags in. Lethal drags Bully into position while Gresham climbs up, and the champ asks, “Wazzup?!” Flying headbutt! Bully feels a taste of his own medicine, but in comes Silas. Silas misses and rebounds into a snap German Suplex! Gresham drags Silas around, Lethal climbs up, HAIL TO THE KING! Then for Gresham, SHOOTING STAR!! Cover, but Bully barrels through Lethal to break it! Everyone is done, including the referee. Bully dumps Lethal out, then low blows Gresham! Silas takes advantage, full nelson knee to fireman’s carry, Misery! Cover, Silas & Bully win!
Winners: Silas Young & Bully Ray, Silas pinning
The bullies win tonight with veteran cunning and treachery. However, they’ll face Flip & Cabana in Vegas, will they get what they deserve in Sin City?
The stars of ROH speak before Death Before Dishonor.
First up, The Addiction know that in the Silver State, they strike gold to become three-time world tag team champions. The only sure bet here is #MandatoryViolence. Second, Punishment Martinez admits that as a tag team wrestler, Chris Sabin is a legend. “But alone, you’re just my next victim.” However, Sabin has a response, putting all his money on him walking out the ROH World Television Champion. Third, Silas Young tells Colt and Flip that they’re facing “the two realest men this business has to offer.” DBD will show everyone what Silas is all about.
Fourth, the K I N G thanks Liger for passing the torch and for being too old to stop him, because not even God himself could stop Kenny. Liger better hand over the torch, or Kenny will put his lights out. Fifth, Lethal says the ROH World Championship “sums up Death Before Dishonor.” That title will make you, it will break it, and is what it’s all for. Lethal vows that even after facing Will Ospreay, the belt stays with the Franchise! Lastly, the Bullet Club talk over each other as they tear into Chaos and the collection of “bloody numpties” they’re bringing. Who will walk out of Sin City having hit the jackpot? Who will walk out having lost it all?
This was a pretty decent semi-go-home for ROH. I like that the Boys are back, even without Dalton Castle. They did pretty good, but it was clear that they were going to be the tune-ups for Best Friends going into Death Before Dishonor. The Bullet Club has definitely been rolling as far as ROH goes, aside from Hangman and Scurll being cheated by Kenny King, so I am guessing they find a way to win against Chaos, even with Trent and Chuckie coming in with momentum. Plus, that group promo that turns into frantic crosstalk was hilarious. The string of promos at the end was also good, and helps review the entire card for anyone who has missed an episode or two in the builds.
I like that Jeff Cobb not only wrecked the Top Prospect Tournament again, but he declares himself Mr. Top Prospect 2018 without even having competed yet. I still want to see Cobb take on anywhere from four to all the “prospects” and then dominate them all again to officially earn that title match. And then while Chris Sabin faces Punishment Martinez at DBD and Scorpio Sky feels like the next contender, I must have Martinez VS Cobb no less than twice. Then in the main event, Lethal & Gresham made a great team against Silas & Bully. Of course, Bully being such a powerful Heel and needing to looking strong so that Colt & Flip get a great win in Vegas, Bully & Silas win. Lethal VS Ospreay is going to be great, too, but Lethal is the sure bet here.
My Score: 8.2/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.44 ~ 21ST JULY 2019
The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!
The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH started the long trek to the finals (and the GHC Heavyweight Tag match championship) at Korakuen Hall on 15th July on Japan’s “Marine Day” National Holiday. By the 16th they had moved up to Japan’s North to the Shin Yuri Twenty-One Hall, with the dreaded “Demon Staircase from Hell”. 19th July in Morioka, 20th in Akita and the 21st in Aomori.
Kenoh debuted his new ring wear (its all red) and Kongoh got their first win over The Sugiura Army (who all came out wearing the “Company Dog T-shirts”)
Kenoh has vowed to enter the N-1, win it, win the GHC Heavyweight at Sumo Hall, and then return to the provinces with the belt.
Naomichi Marufuji also debuted new ring wear. He said he changed it from red as red was Kongoh’s colors, and he has gone with a black and metallic silver. Black and silver are LIDET’S colors, but Kenoh seems not to have picked up on that yet.
RATELS continued with their periodic squabble (which happens in leagues, and when one of them has a belt which another one challenges for) in a match that one fan termed “speed vs power” with Tadasuke taking on YO-HEY, and defeating him within ten minutes. Elsewhere for RATELS that evening, Daisuke Harada was bloodied by Yoshinari Ogawa, who in turn was bloodied by Harada when he threw him into a table. As YO-HEY said about the match (which he watched on the monitor), that Harada is known for bleeding, but for Ogawa, its very rare.
There was blood everywhere by the end of the match, all over the mat, the mats outside (in pools), and senior Referee Nishinaga’s shirt was smeared with it. Yoshinari Ogawa won with a sneak roll up (see “Rat Boy” in dictionary), and Harada threw one of his famous tantrums and had to be pulled off Ogawa. Ogawa said afterwards that if you think what he did to Harada was bad then he was going to do worse to YO-HEY (who is “not on Harada’s level”). YO-HEY gave a nonsensical confused and rambling promo (please DO NOT GET ME STARTED on it) about hitting Ogawa’s nose on the right side. However, in the event of things, neither bled and it was YO-HEY who took the victory.
The bloodshed resolved nothing between Harada & Ogawa as on the 16th when Harada came out to second RATELS, friction once again rose between them, with a fight breaking out at the end of the match as Harada got into the ring to attack Ogawa.
In the main event at Korakuen when AXIZ clashed with the challengers to their GHC Heavyweight tag titles, Kaito Kiyomiya aimed a missile dropkick to Go Shiozaki’s knee (despite promising that he wouldn’t as he felt that a champion should be “emphatic” at times). Also in the match sparks flew between Chris Ridgeway and Naomichi Marufuji, who had a kick\chop war. After the match they both made the “single match” signal to each other, which is something that fans very much want to see.
After the match (and Go Shiozaki tapping out to Taniguchi), NOAH announced that Shiozaki would be missing time due to a shoulder dislocation. During this time, which was a time of worry for fans and Nakajima, Nakajima came out holding both the tag belts and to AXIZ theme music. Taniguchi made him tap out on the 16th to his modified camel clutch.
Kaito Kiyomiya has now turned 23 (17th July) and fans have started detecting a change of vibe him in, he seemingly has gone from the nice young (slightly naive) boy of 22, to more steely and less sympathetic person. This was seen when talking about Shiozaki’s injury he said something to the effect of, “yeah, we all get injured, and while I sympathize, we are trying to have a title match here”, and in the title match he attacked Shiozaki’s damaged neck and shoulder. In Morioka, he was seen to have slight smirk on his lips (as opposed to his usual worried expression) when he held the belt up to Kenoh at the end of the main event, and Kenoh stalked off.
Go Shiozaki returned to action on the 20th July. He doesn’t seem to have had any further problems, and he says he is fine, but fans think that he is probably a lot worse than he is making it out to be.
The afternoon at Korakuen belonged to the juniors with HAYATA vs Kotaro Suzuki putting on a stellar match, with HAYATA wearing Kotaro Suzuki down by letting him wear himself out. HAYATA wouldn’t quit, he took everything that Suzuki threw at him, and likewise with Suzuki taking everything that HAYATA threw at him. The audience were firmly on the side of HAYATA (as opposed to NOAH’s first born son), and just as Suzuki hit the Tiger Driver, the time ran out.
Hajime Ohara, it must be said, was not in a good way during the closing stages of Global Junior League as the problem with his neck and shoulder flared up again (it had plagued him during Global Tag League 2018 too), so while fans wanted to see him win, it was probably better that he didn’t, especially as he is responsible pretty much for the planning of NOAH’s Kawasaki event. During the match on the 16th, the referee was concerned and asked him if he was fit to continue.
The semi final night of Global Junior League 2019 and the GHC Heavyweight title match came on the 21st July 2019 in the Mutsu Grand Hotel in Aomori. It is a small venue, a hotel, which NOAH created a “big match” atmosphere at.
Takashi Sugiura & NOSAWA Rongai teamed up to take on Minoru Tanaka & Kinya Okada. After the match, which Sugiura naturally won, he said that he wanted Kinya Okada to enter The Sugiura Army. Kinya Okada did (and how could he refuse after being commanded by Takashi Sugiura), and he will have his first match as one of them on the 27th July at Kawasaki when they fight Kongoh. His joining The Sugiura Army is a good move as not only does it mean that he has the chance to be mentored by Takashi Sugiura, it also brings him into conflict with Yoshiki Inamura, who is in Kongoh, and calls him “my rival”.
Global Junior League 2019 came down to HAYATA vs Tadasuke, following their wins over Hajime Ohara & Kotaro Suzuki (HAYATA, who was seconded by YO-HEY) and Tadasuke (who defeated Daisuke Harada earlier in the evening). When they met in the ring later, Tadasuke gave HAYATA the finger.
Daisuke Harada commented, “RATEL’S showdown in the final, I have nothing but jealousy.”
AXIZ defended the GHC Heavyweight tag titles successfully against Kaito Kiyomiya & Shuhei Taniguchi, with Go Shiozaki getting the win with the lariat on Shuhei Taniguchi. They were challenged for the titles by The Return of The Dark Agents (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue).
Title match will take place at NOAH’s anniversary show on the 4th August.
All Japan announced this week that the memorial for Atsushi Aoki will take place on the 11th August at Korakuen Hall. NOAH wrestlers have been announced to be participating in the event (although he was an All Japan wrestler, Aoki was NOAH born) with Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura, Shuhei Taniguchi and Hitoshi Kumano in attendance.
The main event will see Naomichi Marufuji team with Kento Miyahara and Yuma Aoyogi against Shuji Ishikawa, Shuhei Taniguchi and Suwama. Suwama has wanted a singles match with Marufuji since the Tokyo Sports Award in January, and says that he doesn’t care about the other opponents, he wants Marufuji.
In the semi, Jun Akiyama will tag with Takashi Sugiura against Naoya Nomura and Hitoshu Kumano.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ NOAH have released a Sugiura Army “Company Dog” towel, which features both of Takashi Sugiura’s dogs with his little toy poodle at one end and his beloved Shiba Inu at the other, both barking “Yip! Yip!”
~ HAYATA gave Kotaro Suzuki a slight black eye
~ Kenoh has said that HE will enter the N-1, and if LIDET don’t let him, he will go ahead and do it anyway.
~ Yoshiki Inamura turned on Junta Miyawaki when Miyawaki came in to try and help him after the match in Morioka
~ Minoru Tanaka stole Rocky Kawamura’s apples and ate one in the ring, and posted that the other one was for his lunch. When asked how they were by Rocky, he said they were tasty.
~ Kenoh’s latest bout of paranoia is to claim that LIDET turned the microphone down on him during a promo.
~ Naomichi Marufuji scooped up the white and black feathers left in the ring from Kaito Kiyomiya and AXIZ’S jackets, and putting them in the palm of his hand, blew them into the crowd.
~ Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge did the Disco Fever vs Revolutionary Pose stand off. This hasn’t happened for a while.
~ RATELS went on a wander while in Akita, and came across a fenced off area because Bears were in the forest. YO-HEY joked that it was Hitoshi Kumano (who’s surname means “Bear”, and also incorporates bears into his persona\merchandise), doing a private autograph session. In one picture, in the background, HAYATA had his back to the camera while he stood by some bushes…
~ Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji will be their first match since the Suzuki Gun invasion of NOAH in summer 2016, although the match at TAKAYAMANIA 2 when this takes place, will not be a singles match.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya turned 23 on the 17th July
~ “The Tadasuke Women” were seen again in force at the Shin-Yuri Twenty One Hall. These middle aged to elderly women I believe are family and friends of Mohammed Yone, but they were given the name “The Tadasuke Women” after he played up to them last year. Minoru Tanaka, who sprained his ankle during the match, said that he had been distracted by them, hence the reason for his injury. Tadasuke behaved himself this year.
~ Masao Inoue suffered the usual sneak videos from Naomichi Marufuji on NOAH’s long bus journey (they have a twelve hour trip on the 22nd back to Tokyo), and then Marufuji bought out his new toy, “FaceApp” and made him into a woman (who looked a little like Betty Boop) and an old man. Marufuji also made himself into an old man, and then into woman. A photograph of himself and Takashi Sugiura as old grey men (looking like they where hosts of a daytime or direct to video art series) made Sugiura remark that they should challenge for the tag titles.
~ Referee Ben, who was kneeling at ringside, was knocked over by a dueling Chris Ridgeway and Tadasuke
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 8.30PM JST
NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah.co.jp, Daisuke Harada, Naomichi Marufuji, Battle Sports
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 3!
The G1 rages on in the summer heat!
AXS TV brings us NJPW G1 Climax 29, Night 7!
A week into the annual summer blockbuster, and the standings are coming into focus. Who in A Block gets some much needed momentum? And who SPOILS it for the rest of them?
Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Bad Luck Fale VS Zack Sabre Jr; Zack Sabre Jr wins.
- Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins.
- EVIL VS KENTA; KENTA wins.
- Kota Ibushi VS SANADA; Ibushi wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this critical night of action!
The A Block enters its fourth round, and only newcomer Kenta and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion himself, Kazuchika Okada, have perfect scores! But the Aerial Assassin is still in the running. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion lost to the Killer Elite, Lance Archer, and the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi, but there is still time for a comeback! However, he’ll have to do it against the Rainmaker! Okada has had Ospreay’s number every time, but the clash of champions may prove who is truly the BEST in NJPW!
But then there are the highly anticipated match-ups of the fastest rising stars! Ibushi was a finalist of G1 Climax 28 while the Cold Skull was a New Japan Cup 2019 finalist! Each has come close to the title, but their standings are at a make-or-break point with tonight! Sanada got the best of Ibushi last time, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for the former IWGP Intercontinental Champion. With only so much time left, who survives and who is out of the running as the G1 reaches its climax?!
Bad Luck Fale w/ Jado & Chase Owens VS Zack Sabre Jr!
But even before all of that, the Bullet Club’s Rogue General enters #ZackSabreTime! Will bad luck fall on the Submission Master? Or will Fale #JustTapOut?
The bell rings and ZSJ jumps right at Fale! He has a guillotine and body scissors but his weight is not enough to drag Fale all the way down. Fale endures and powers out, but ZSJ slips around to a sleeper! ZSJ squeezes tight and uses his own shoulder as a way to keep the lock. But Fale just powers out and throws him down! Fale catches his breath but ZSJ dodges to wheelbarrow to a kneebar! But again, ZSJ is just not enough weight to make Fale fall. Fale pries at the leg scissors, and drags ZSJ over as he heads for ropes. ZSJ bends and twists the leg but the ropebreak makes him let go. After the ref counts to 4, that is.
ZSJ unties himself and avoids Fale’s angry stomp. He wrenches the arm and again, but Fale blocks the whip. Fale whips ZSJ to a corner hard, then runs in to squash him! ZSJ flops over and Fale drops an elbow. Into an armbar! ZSJ has Fale down but Fale has a tight grip. Fale shifts his weight, and deadlifts ZSJ up! ZSJ lets Fale go, but gets run over with a clothesline! Fale goes to the writhing ZSJ and brings him in for a Canadian rack. ZSJ fights out of Bad Luck Fall to get the sleeper, to the Iron Octopus! Fale endures as ZSJ twists the arm and pulls on fingers! ZSJ twists that arm all sorts of ways, but Fale backs into a ropebreak. And Jado SMACKS ZSJ with his kendo stick! Fale “falls” into the ref, so that he doesn’t see ZSJ get mugged by Chase Owens!
The Crown Jewel is becoming an ace in the hole as he gets away with beating down ZSJ. Sadly, Taka Michinoku can’t watch ZSJ’s back with his own injury keeping him out. Fale fetches ZSJ to then whip him into railing. Fale throws body shots as he brings ZSJ out into the crowd. Chase keeps the ref back as Fale dumps ZSJ onto chairs. Fans back out of the way as Fale throws things onto ZSJ. Fale brings ZSJ deeper into the crowd to throw him into more chairs. They go into the bleachers! Fale shoves the ref away and Chase helps back people off. Fale drags ZSJ up for the crucifix, but ZSJ escapes! ZSJ standing switches with Chase, Fale runs in, Fale only gets Chase! Fale grabs ZSJ for the Grenade! But ZSJ traps him in a hanging armbar!
The ring count finally begins as ZSJ manages to drag Fale down! Fale has to work with ZSJ’s dead weight, but the count is past 10! ZSJ lets go at 14 to scramble to the ring! He gets in at 17, Fale is still outside! The count hits 20!! ZSJ gets his first win of the tournament!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by count-out; earns 2 points
The Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion wins by the seat of his pants, but a win is a win for the G1! Will ZSJ be able to use this for a comeback? Or is even this count-out victory just not in time?
Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
#EverybodyDies, but The Ace won’t do so without a fight! Tanahashi wants to make this his strongest comeback yet, but he’s up against another strong and returning heavyweight. Will Tanahashi survive the Killer Elite? Or will it be #GoAce as A Block keeps rocking?
Just like on night one, and every night, Archer DECKS Young Lions on his way out to the ring! It seems nothing can put out the raging fire inside of him. But then Tanahashi makes his entrance, and this fight begins as he dropkicks Archer’s legs before the bell! The bell does ring as Tanahashi keeps going at those legs with dropkicks and chop blocks! Archer bails out while Tanahashi takes off his jacket. Tanahashi then slingshots and topples Archer over! Tanahashi kicks Archer but Archer shoves him back. Archer reverses a whip but then Tanahashi reverses it back to send Archer into railing! Tanahashi catches his breath before pursuing Archer around the corner. Archer choke slams Tanahashi onto the apron!
Tanahashi crumbles to the floor while Archer grits his teeth. Archer shouts at the fans cheering for Tanahashi to shut up, then he glares as he goes back to the ring. Tanahashi anchors Archer’s feet on the apron! Archer kicks him away with ease, then apron CANNONBALLS to bowl Tanahashi over! Fans have to cheer for that, but then he tells them to shut up anyway. Archer drags Tanahashi up to ram him into the railing, then into the apron. Archer CHOPS Tanahashi while the count climbs. He puts Tanahashi in at 15 to finish this in the ring. Fans rally while Archer grinds his knee into Tanahashi’s face. Archer lets up as the ref counts, and fans actually start to duel!
Tanahashi throws forearms but they do nothing. Archer CLUBS Tanahashi ones, but then Tanahashi is up again. So Archer CHOPS Tanahashi off his feet! But Tanahashi is back again! He kicks the leg then whips, but Archer reverses for a scrapbuster! Cover, TWO! Archer is furious with the ref and scares him out of the ring. The referee reprimands Archer for a bad attitude, but then Archer intimidates Young Lions. Fans duel as Archer drags Tanahashi up. He reels Tanahashi in for a BIG lariat! He stands on Tanahashi for a cover, TWO! Archer is on Tanahashi with an armlock and chinbar. Fans duel as Tanahashi endures.
Tanahashi fights his way up but Archer throws him down by his hair. Archer tells Tanahashi, “This is MY house now! I’m the Ace now!” He then grabs the legs to tie them up, and the Texan wants to give Tanahashi a Texas Cloverleaf! But Tanahashi resists and fights free! Tanahashi blocks the boot to spin Archer, but he can’t get Archer up for a German Suplex. Archer elbows free and then runs at Tanahashi, big back elbow and again. He gets a third, then goes again, but gets a Slingblade! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Tanahashi and Archer slowly stir, but Tanahashi gets up to get the legs, for a grounded dragon screw! And then he laces them up, for the Cloverleaf! Archer resists, grabs some of Tanahashi’s hair, but then Tanahashi stops him with another dragon screw!
Fans continue to duel as Tanahashi is up first. Tanahashi runs but into a choke grip! He breaks free to palm strike! Tanahashi runs again, but Archer goes sideways to POUNCE! Archer has a wild look in his eyes as he looms over Tanahashi. He drags Tanahashi up into a corner, then to the top rope. Tanahashi fights back and has an arm, only for Archer to yank him down with it. Archer won’t let Tanahashi steal something from him. Archer has Tanahashi’s arm now, and climbs up the corner. Fans cheer as Archer goes Old School! And then extends it to another corner, for the ax handle, into TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi fires up, runs and Slingblades again! Cover, TWO! But Tanahshi doesn’t slow down, he goes up top! High Fly Flow-body! But is deflected into a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Archer doesn’t care Tanahashi survived, he’ll just add on! Twisting Vader SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! But Archer still has that wild look in his eyes. He prepares the claw, drags Tanahashi up, but the #EBD is blocked! Tanahashi tries his hardest to hold off that claw, but he and Archer go back and forth! The claw clamps on!! Archer powers Tanahashi back to the ropes, but holds on until the ref pulls him off! Archer drags Tanahashi back up and up top again to CHOP! Fans reach a fever pitch as they duel. Archer has Tanahashi’s legs and drags him off top for an Electric Chair. VICTORY ROLL! Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Ace had something up his sleeve and he pulls this win out of nowhere! Archer is furious because he was just moments away! And he takes it out on the ref with a toss! Is Tanahashi going to make it back to the top? Is Archer’s next opponent going to pay for what Tanahashi did?
EVIL VS KENTA!
The King of Darkness wants to prove #EverythingIsEvil, but he has to end the winstreak of the man who wants to #Takeover NJPW! Will Evil spoil Kenta’s perfect debut run? Or does the “return to the original Kenta” only end with the G1 Climax 29 Finals?
The bell rings and the two stare down while fans cheer already. Evil and Kenta approach, and then Kenta runs into Evil’s kick. Evil headlocks and holds on as Kenta tries to power out. Kenta tries again but Evil holds on tight. Evil brings Kenta down to the mat but Kenta powers up and fights back. Kenta finally powers out but Evil runs him over with a shoulder! But Kenta is up quick to boot and whip Evil back. Kenta boots Evil again, but Evil’s right up! The two grind foreheads, but Evil pushes Kenta to the ropes. Kenta turns that around and lets up, but with a cold stare. Kenta rubs Evil’s eye shadow! He dare smudges the King of Darkness’ warpaint!? Evil grabs Kenta by the face, but Kenta kicks free and snapmares him down for a SWIFT kick!
Kenta circles Evil while he writhes. He positions Evil and jumps, only to scuff Evil’s face. Fans are divided by Kenta’s attitude as he smirks at Evil. Evil sits up but Kenta kicks him. Evil shakes his head, that doesn’t seem enough. So Kenta kicks him harder! Still not enough, and then Evil catches the kick, to give to Red Shoes, to mule kick Kenta down! Fans cheer as Evil throws Kenta out and follows after. Evil whips Kenta to railing, and then follows him around the way. Evil whips Kenta back into railing, then starts looking under the ring. He brings out chairs and jabs one into Kenta’s ribs. That chair’s not in good shape for what Evil wants, so he grabs another. Evil puts that chair around Kenta’s head! However, that broken chair still works for the HOMERUN!
Kenta falls from that chair shot, but fans fire up. Red Shoes reprimands Evil and tells him to get this back in the ring. Evil mostly ignores him to drag Kenta to the crowd! Anything Fale can do, Evil can do better, by throwing Kenta into the hallway! They brawl as they head backstage! Red Shoes follows to insist they go back to the ring. Evil brings Kenta around behind commentary and to the front row! The special VIP section clears out as Evil throws Kenta down! Evil clears some space by stacking chairs. Evil then drags Kenta over for a suplex, but Kenta resists! Kenta turns things around, but now Evil resists the suplex! Evil fights with body shots, and then suplexes Kenta again. Kenta fights back, too, and switches again, to suplex Evil onto the chair pile!
Evil writhes again while Kenta rises. Fans have a mixed reaction to the Pro-Wrestling NOAH and WWE alumni, but Kenta doesn’t care. He drags Evil back up and back to ringside as the ring count climbs to 10. Kenta gets Evil in at 13, then climbs up top. Kenta leaps to clothesline Evil down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Evil but Kenta is on him again with stiff kicks in the corner. Then he scrapes his boot on Evil’s face over and over. Kenta wants to hear the fans so they boo. He runs, but Evil follows to clothesline him in the corner. But then Kenta returns the favor with a hell of a kick! But then Evil gets the clothesline again! And then baits Kenta into another clothesline! Evil drags Kenta up, fisherman buster! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up for Evil again as he stalks Kenta to the ropes. Evil kicks and scrapes Kenta back for just a moment ago. But Kenta grabs the foot and stands, to put the foot down. But Evil intercepts the slap with a forearm! Evil runs, but into a powerslam! Kenta catches his breath then heads for a corner. Kenta springboards to missile dropkick Evil to a corner! Then runs in to flying BOOT! Evil sits down, and Kenta gives him the hesitation dropkick! Kenta fires up and fans have to give him credit where credit is due. Kenta climbs up top again, leaps, double stomps! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta slashes the throat. He drags Evil up but Evil resists the fireman’s carry. Evil spins Kenta but Kenta slips to a sleeper, then the fireman’s!
But Evil escapes, to German Suplex Kenta down! Both men are down but stirring as fans rally and duel. The two grind foreheads to start throwing forearms. Evil hits first then Kenta hits back, and repeat! They do not stop, they only speed up! Evil gets an edge but Kenta counter punches! Then clotheslines, but Evil stays up! Kenta pins but is blocked, Evil headbutts Kenta down! Evil grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. Evil fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Kenta just manages to survive, but Evil keeps his cool. Evil slashes his throat now, and drags Kenta up. He spins, but Kenta slips out to a backslide! TWO, and now a small package, TWO! Kenta runs but into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!
Evil falls back, exhausted and frustrated from Kenta’s resilience. But the fans do not give up, so neither does he. Evil stands, and pulls off the armbands. Evil watches Kenta stand, then runs, but Kenta dodges to PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Kenta keeps his cool. Kenta runs to hit a second Psycho Knee! Cover, TWO!? Evil survives twice, but Kenta won’t let there be another. Kenta gets himself up then watches Evil sit up. Kenta runs but the Penalty Kick is blocked! He tries fighting free of Evil’s grip, but Evil holds on through many, many forearms! But then Kenta kicks the headbutt away! PENALTY KICK! Kenta slashes his throat again, drags Evil up, and fireman’s carry, to GO TO SLEEP!! Cover, Kenta wins!!
Winner: Kenta, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The one true #GTS does it again! Kenta is undefeated, 4-0, in both a NJPW and G1 Climax debut! Kenta has 8 points, and for the moment, he leads A Block! Will he remain the one and only block leader? Or does The Rainmaker keep pace with the newcomer?
Kota Ibushi VS SANADA!
The Golden Star and the Cold Skull are not dead in the block yet! However, one man could end up in dire straits if they drop to 1-3. Which rising star rises above the other as we go deeper into the G1?
The bell rings and fans are already thunderous for these fan favorites. Sanada and Ibushi stare down then circle. They approach with caution, then tie up. Ibushi gets an arm but Sanada the waistlock. Ibushi wristlocks free, but Sanada spins through to wrench Ibushi back. They go around as Ibushi rolls and trips Sanada to a toehold. Sanada works to counter with a chinlock, but Ibushi keeps him off while wrenching the foot. Sanada uses a leg to bring Ibushi down, but Ibushi sits back up before an armbar can be applied. Ibushi works his way out to get Sanada’s legs and lace them, and then he shifts to a chinlock. Sanada stands up but Ibushi just shifts to a cravat. Sanada still endures, and handsprings through the snapmare!
Things speed up right away as they each hurdle the other. Sanada dodges to throw Ibushi but Ibushi sweeps the legs. Sanada kicks out to sweep Ibushi back, but Ibushi kicks out just as fast. The two go again, Sanada headlock takeovers but Ibushi headscissors back. Sanada pops out and ducks under a roundhouse! Ibushi ducks the rolling sabat and then just leaves Sanada hanging on the dropkick. Fans cheer as Ibushi smirks at Sanada. Sanada has to smirk at that, too, while Ibushi catches his breath in the corner. Fans cheer and duel as the two men reset.
Sanada points out the crowd is rather even between them. So each man goes to a corner to get the fans cheering. The fans are so thunderous, it really is hard to tell which way it’s going. The two climb back down, and they circle again. They tie up and are deadlocked for a moment. Ibushi powers Sanada back to the ropes but he lets up with a pat of the shoulders. Sanada rushes with a kick but is blocked, and Ibushi looks to steal Paradise!? Sanada powers out of that, and then baits Ibushi into going out of the ring. He fakes Ibushi out to then tumble back in with his insane agility! But Ibushi missile dropkicks Sanada down for that! Fans still duel as Ibushi watches Sanada. Ibushi also makes sure his legs are okay before bringing Sanada up in a mounted chinlock. He grabs the arm and make sit a half camel clutch.
Sanada endures and reaches for ropes, but Ibushi pulls him away. They roll away from the ropes and Ibushi body scissors Sanada. Sanada works against the hold while fans continue to cheer, and he gets a ropebreak. Ibushi lets go but doesn’t lose his cool. Ibushi wants to see Sanada fight, so he gives him stomps. He eggs Sanada on, and Sanada sits up. Sanada gives Ibushi what he wants, with a CHOP! Ibushi eggs him on more, so Sanada CHOPS more. Ibushi KICKS Sanada down, then moonsaults, but onto knees! The fans continue their own duel while Ibushi winces. Ibushi stands first to kick Sanada more. He whips but Sanada reverses, and we see those infamous hurdles and dropkick! Sanada slingshots to splash down on Ibushi!
Sanada leaves Ibushi behind to check on some Los Ingobernables de Japon fans. They have a Sanada bear, so he holds it up proudly! Then he goes back to Ibushi while encouraging fans to get loud. Sanada drags Ibushi up and into the ring, then slowly follows after. He drags Ibushi up and wants a saido, but Ibushi blocks with a headlock and elbows. Sanada knees Ibushi to a corner, then whips Ibushi corner to corner. Ibushi reverses but Sanada tumbles and springboards. Ibushi gets under and Sanada rolls through, and Sanada runs into Ibushi’s powerslam! Then a roll and moonsault! Cover, TWO! The fans are thunderous all over again while both men are down. Ibushi sits up with a smirk while Sanada slowly sits up.
Ibushi fires off a strike fest on Sanada, topping it off with that back kick. Sanada ducks the Penalty Kick but Ibushi counters the roll-up by sitting down! Cover, TWO and Sanada has Ibushi upside-down! TWO, Sanada blocks the kick to dropkick the other leg! Ibushi staggers while Sanada runs, but then Ibushi gets clear of the dropkick to double stomp Sanada down! Both men are writhing from stinging pain in their limbs but the fans rally again. Sanada sits up but Ibushi follows, and the two go forehead to forehead. Ibushi throws the first forearm but Sanada throws one back. Ibushi hits Sanada again, but Sanada still gives it back. Now they stand as they throw forearms back and forth! And they pick up speed! Ibushi wobbles! But he comes back with a kick!
Sanada catches his breath from that impact, to come back with a stiff European Uppercut. Ibushi shakes it off to kick again. So Sanada gives another EuroUpper. Another kick, another EuroUpper! Kick, upper, kick, upper, and then Sanada gives more forearms. He boots Ibushi’s away to rolling elbow, but Ibushi LARIATS on the return! Ibushi is up first as fans still duel. Powerbomb, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and both men are exhausted. Yet Ibushi sits up again, and wants those wrists. Ibushi drags Sanada up, but narrowly misses Kamigoye. He still has hold of Sanada to try again, but Sanada again dodges, back slide. Sanada rolls and pump handles Ibushi, to steal Kamigoye!! Cover, TWO!!
Ibushi survives his own move but Sanada keeps moving. Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULT but he FLOPS! BOMAYE! The King of Strong Style would be proud! But Ibushi clutches his knee and can’t make a cover! Fans are thunderous again as Ibushi slowly sits up. Ibushi forces himself to stand and then drags Sanada up again. He scoops but Sanada escapes, to dragon sleeper! But Ibushi slips around to suplex, only for Sanada to get him again! Ibushi steals the dragon sleeper, but Sanada blocks that stolen Skull End, only for Ibushi to escape the stolen long dart! Ibushi again lifts Sanada to LONG DART! Both men are down in the corner and Red Shoes checks on Sanada. Somehow both men are okay to continue, and fans still rally.
Sanada clutches his shoulder while Ibushi holds his knee. Ibushi still rises first and brings Sanada up in a waistlock. He wants the full nelson but Sanada resists. Sanada breaks free of the nelson, but Ibushi German Suplexes! Only for Sanada to land on his feet! Ibushi ducks the clothesline to PELE, but Sanad still hits a sabat! Sanada whips but Ibushi reverses, only to get caught into the dragon sleeper! Sanada takes Ibushi for a swing! Then he drops down, but Ibushi rolls out! Double wrist control, but Sanada dodges Kamigoye again, to spin and Sliced Bread for his dragon sleeper, only for Ibushi to slip out and ROUNDHOUSE him down! Sanada is down but Ibushi wants to end this like a rockstar! BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?!
Ibushi won’t stop just because Sanada lives. He brings a knee pad down and drags Sanada up in the wristlocks. Kamigoye!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; earns 2 points
After missing it time and again, the Golden Star finally hits his best move to end this match! Ibushi keeps himself alive in this tournament while Sanada stagnates. But Ibushi does go over to Sanada, to show that he still respects the Cold Skull. Sanada leaves without a word. Will either of these men make it to the end of A Block?
Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay!
Once again, it is Chaos VS Chaos, Champion VS Champion, Mentor VS Student! The number 4 is considered bad luck in Japan, but will it be the Aerial Assassin’s lucky number? Or will the Rainmaker’s run remain unstained towards a collision course with Kenta?
The bell rings and the fans are already thunderous, with a lot of fans going for Ospreay! Okada and Ospreay circle and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Ospreay standing switches. Ospreay floats to a facelock but Okada switches that around. Ospreay switches it back, but Okada powers his way up to a wristlock. Okada wrenches but Ospreay spins through, reverses and snapmares to get a chinlock. Okada endures and works his way out the back. He hammerlocks Ospreay and snaps back to tweak it. Ospreay endures and works his way back up, to then hook and reverse the hammerlock onto Okada. Okada drop toeholds back to then waistlock to headlock. Okada throws Ospreay with a takeover, but Ospreay headscissors, only for Okada to pop out. Fans cheer as Ospreay and Okada stand off.
Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight champions back away to corners while fans duel. They come back and tie up again. Okada and Ospreay have a test of strength and go shoulder to shoulder. Okada rolls back to put the pressure on Ospreay’s knuckles. He then spins Ospreay to a hammerlock then the headlock. Ospreay powers out but Okada runs him over with a shoulder. Fans cheer as Okada poses, but then things speed up, and Ospreay monkey flips Okada down! Okada bails out and Ospreay builds speed, but when Okada moves, Ospreay adjusts to handspring and superhero land! Fans are fired up behind the Aerial Assassin while he stares Okada down. Ospreay even offers Okada an easy entry. Okada politely refuses and Ospreay gives him space. Until Okada gets back in!
Ospreay is on Okada with big forearms in the corner, and a CHOP! Okada staggers to another corner, but Ospreay kicks him to CHOP him. Ospreay wrenches and whips corner to corner but Okada reverses. Okada runs into an elbow, but dropkicks Ospreay off the top! Ospreay is down on the outside and Okada is willing to wait. The ring count begins, but Okada offers that easy entry back. Ospreay also declines, so Okada gives him space to get in. Okada brings the sore Ospreay up for a big elbow to that bad shoulder! Ospreay winces as he goes to the ropes, but Okada keeps on him. Okada elbows the shoulder more, then scoop slams Ospreay fast, for an even faster slingshot senton!
Okada goes back to Ospreay and stands him back up. He bumps Ospreay off buckles hard, then throws a big back elbow. Ospreay winces but Okada just gives him another. Okada backs off for Red Shoes to check on Ospreay. Ospreay comes back with a CHOP! But Okada doesn’t flinch. Ospreay gives more CHOPS, but they still do nothing. Okada DECKS Ospreay with that forearm! Okada whips Ospreay corner to corner but Ospreay reverses, only to miss and get Okada’s elbow again. But then Ospreay scoops Okada for a sudden suplex! Okada looks both shocked and in pain while fans rally up. Ospreay grits his teeth as he gets to his feet. Okada walks into forearms, then a whip. But he dodges only to miss his elbow. He avoids the handspring once, but not on the return! Ospreay takes Okada down with the flipping enziguri!
Fans return to a thunderous rally as Ospreay fires himself up. Okada gets to a corner and Ospreay runs in, but Okada puts him on the apron. Ospreay forearms back, then Pip Pip Cheerio, flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Okada is dazed but he does survive. Ospreay drags Okada up and into the underhooks, but Okada resists the Stormbreaker. Ospreay throws forearms and another CHOP, and that one gets through to Okada. Fans rally up again as Ospreay stalks Okada in the corner. Ospreay brings Okada up and whips him corner to corner, only for Okada to reverse. Okada blocks the boot but not the enziguri! Tiger feint caught, into Alabama position, Air Raid Crash! Now things are even again as both men are down.
Fans cheer as Okada kips right up! Then shotgun dropkick! Ospreay hits buckles then hits the mat! Okada drags Ospreay back up and scoops for another slam. Then he heads up top, and fans cheer as Okada takes aim. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! Fans fire up as Okada gives us the Rainmaker Pose! Okada reels Ospreay in but Ospreay backs him to a corner. Okada boots Ospreay then runs, but into Ospreay’s dropkick-flip! But Okada ducks the enziguri that follows, to reel Ospreay into a German Suplex! But Ospreay lands on his feet! ROUNDHOUSE! Ospreay whips but Okada still reverses, only for his dropkick to be left hanging! Ospreay’s shooting star gets knees! Okada whips and the dropkick hits this time!
Fans are thunderous once more as Okada gut wrenches, Tombstone Piledriver! Okada gives another pose, then reels Ospreay in, but Ospreay wheelbarrows and victory rolls! TWO, ROBINSON SPECIAL! The falling spin kick hits, and now Ospreay calls for his own. Ospreay springboards but the dropkick clips him enough to send him out! Okada has time to catch his breath now. He goes to the apron and drags Ospreay up. Okada fireman’s carries but Ospreay resists. Ospreay fights back with elbows and forearms. Okada hits back, and the two teeter on the apron’s edge. They keep hitting each other with forearms and they pick up speed. Ospreay gets the edge and sits Okada down! Fans fire up as Ospreay stands Okada up, only for Okada to uppercut! Fireman’s carry but Ospreay slips out to ROUNDHOUSE!
Okada staggers to the floor and Ospreay climbs, but Okada yanks him down! Ospreay is in a Tree of Woe on the outside, and Okada hauls him off for a Tombstone position, only for Ospreay to shove out. HOOK KICK! OSCUTTER!! Ospreay uses railing for a springboard to drop Okada to the floor! Fans rally again while Red Shoes checks on both champions. They’re still okay so a ring count begins. Ospreay sits up at 8 and stands at 11 to get in at 12. But Okada is still outside as the count passes 15! Okada staggers at 18 and hops in at 19.5! Ospreay flies in with a Coast 2 Coast missile dropkick!! Cover, TWO!! Okada lives and Ospreay can’t believe it. Ospreay keeps moving, springboard to OSCUTTER! Cover, TWO!?
The fans are back at a thunderous level as Ospreay can’t believe Okada survives! Ospreay refocuses with a wild look in his eyes. He drags Okada over to a corner, and he uses said corner to leap, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Okada holds on and wristlocks, but Ospreay escapes only to run into another dropkick! Okada fires up, stands Ospreay up for the wristlock, Rain-SPANISH FLY!? Cover, TWO!! Ospreay scrambles to a corner and the top rope, SHOOTING STAR!! Cover, TWO!?! Okada survives by the skin of his teeth and the fans are at that fever pitch! Ospreay still has one thing left to try and he vows to do it! He drags Okada up, underhooks, and lifts… STORM- Gut wrench, but Ospreay turns that around! Ospreay throws in knees before stealing the TOMBSTONE!!
But Ospreay won’t end it with Okada’s move! He stands Okada up, spins him around, HOOK KICK! Underhooks, lift, but Okada slips out to point-blank RAINMAKER! But Okada holds onto the wrist, too! Ospreay and Okada both have looks in their eyes like they’re in another space, as Okada drags Ospreay up for another RAINMAKER! Okada isn’t done there, either! He drags Ospreay up, wristlocks, but Ospreay slips through! Underhooks, lift, but Okada still escapes Stormbreaker! Ospreay tries to steal Rainmaker at the last second, but Okada ducks and spins Ospreay for a DISCUS RAINMAKER!! And as Okada himself reaches a fever pitch, TRUE RAINMAKER!!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; earns 2 points
4-0 is a magic number! Okada is 4-0 against Ospreay all-time, and is 4-0 in G1 Climax 29! The Rainmaker will stay even with Kenta, and now it comes down to them! When these two top A Block contenders meet, there can only be one!
NJPW returns as Okada has the mic.
He counts his wins, and says he has “Number four~!” The G1 Climax isn’t even halfway over though, huh? But clearly, Okada still has life yet. Okada vows that the next time he’s in Tokyo, it will be for the Budokan three-day event. And he looks forward to closing out this tournament with another win here. Fans like the sound of that! Okada continues to say, “Let’s keep this thing rolling, folks!” When the G1 Climax returns to Tokyo, NJPW and Okada will #MakeItRain! A short but sweet statement by THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion!
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Okada admits “Ospreay was really strong.” And that’s all there is to that, “because it’s already in the past.” But now on to Nagoya, and Kenta. “As the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the top of the food chain in the pro-wrestling world,” he’ll make sure Kenta will get “a taste of my power.” Another short and sweet statement for the champion. With plenty of Climax left, who will be the very top of A Block after the next round? And who else will start the hard climb up to join them at this whole ‘nother level?
Another great, great night for AXS’s coverage of NJPW. There’s just so much of the G1 Climax going on, it is all AXS can do to cover Night 7 the same day as it happened in Japan. But it doesn’t matter what night, all the action is great! Nobody lets up just because they’re down, since they can also spoil things for their opponents. And that’s clear with ZSJ and Fale. A similar strategy used against Fale last year, ZSJ strands him outside and lets the ring count take care of him. Tanahashi winning with a victory roll on Archer was great, because it really frames how dangerous Archer has become. This will be great for Archer coming out of the tournament as he looks for targets for feuds. His first feud might even be Tanahashi so we get a decisive finish between them.
Both of A Block’s LIJ members did great tonight, even in defeat. Evil and Kenta was a great match, with Evil slowly but surely proving he can be a singles contender like Sanada. But obviously given Kenta and Okada are next, it just makes sense to have Kenta be undefeated to hype that match. Sanada VS Ibushi was a great match, and it felt like it could’ve gone either way. But it is a great choice to have Ibushi win because it will force Sanada to rethink things just a bit, while Ibushi grows stronger as a reward for his dedication to NJPW. Ospreay’s story was incredible for being twofold: he wants to get wins in the tournament, but he also wants to show he finally can beat Okada. And him losing is a double-down on his long journey of rising up. And again, Okada staying undefeated to go against undefeated Kenta, that just makes the next round even more critical to watch.
My Score: 9.1/10
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