NJPW moves on to the next stop in their Destruction tour! Tetsuya Naito and Minoru Suzuki have fierce history, and now it comes to Beppu!
This coverage of Destruction in Beppu will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene in Beppu!
Suzuki-Gun is out for the heads of Los Ingobernobles de Japon. Back in April, the team leaders faced off for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Tetusya Naito took that belt from Minoru Suzuki, only to be blindsided, bloodied and beaten by Chris Jericho! The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla now has that championship, but Suzuki is still seeking vengeance on the casually charismatic Naito. Suzuki almost destroyed Naito at Road to Destruction: Beppu, now he looks to finish the job! Can Naito survive the savage Suzuki? Or will this be the last we see of Tranquilo for some time?
But first, the Sliest Wrestler in the World wants his first singles gold in NJPW! However, Taichi is going for the Fierce Warrior of Chaos and his NEVER Openweight Championship. The last time these two met, it was in a Triple Threat with Mike Elgin included. Elgin won it, only to lose it back 1v1 against Goto. Can Goto keep his belt in this new 1v1 match? Or will he lose it again to the cunning “Holy Emperor”?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
Although Taichi moved up from lightweight to heavyweight to prove he could hang with the biggest and baddest, this title is technically open to all weights. Either way, can Taichi use his many tactics to take that title from Goto? Or will the perennial NEVER OC keep a tight grip on his favorite belt?
NJPW on AXS jumps into this match as Taichi has Goto down. Fans fire up as Taichi aims at Goto. Goto sits up, Taichi buzzsaws! Cover, TWO! Taichi keeps his cool, and tears off his pants! He’s serious now as he focuses. Goto stops the Superkick to get the headlock, but Taichi counters with a back suplex! Goto stands up to get an enziguri! Cover, TWO!! Taichi grows ever closer to winning, but he hasn’t got it yet. He drags Goto up and calls for a bomb, but Goto blocks. Taichi gives quick kicks to Goto’s face, then goes for the bomb again. He gets Goto up but Goto back drops him down! Goto and Taichi catch their breath as they stand. Taichi swings but Goto grabs him. Taichi denies the saido suplex, but not the Hell Wheel slam!
Both men are down but stirring as fans cheer. Goto stands first, gritting his teeth. He dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi rises. Goto grabs Taichi for a sleeper hold! Taichi reaches for ropes but Goto keeps him away. Taichi fades even as Miho rallies for her man. Fans duel as Goto squeezes tight. Red Shoes checks on Taichi with a lift of his hand. Taichi’s hand stays up, but Goto shifts to a dragon sleeper! Taichi grabs Red Shoes, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru sneaks in and attacks! He knocks everyone down, including Red Shoes, which keeps the referee from seeing Kanemaru kick and stomp Goto! Kanemaru slaps Goto, but runs into a BIG clothesline! Goto drags Kanemaru up and tosses him out, then goes after Taichi. He lifts Taichi up but now Desperado attacks! Suzuki-Gun helps it’s own, but Goto whips Desperado and clotheslines him out!
Goto doesn’t see Taichi grab his mic stand, especially with Roppongi 3K taking care of Desperado & Kanemaru. He finally turns around, but manages to duck the stand to fireman’s carry! Ushigoroshi! Miho shouts as Goto drags Taichi up for a dragon sleeper. Taichi slips out but still ends up in the Shotenkai, suplex to STO! But there’s no ref to count! Goto has covered for at least 5, but there’s no referee to be found. Fans rally up as Goto checks on Red Shoes. Goto goes back to Taichi for stomps, and then drags him up for clubbing forearms. He eggs Taichi on, Miho helps Red Shoes in. Taichi sits up, to get Goto’s buzzsaw kick! Goto drags Taichi up, but Taichi breaks free, only to get a headbutt! Goto drags Taichi up again, Inverted GTR! Cover, TWO!? Taichi shocks Goto by surviving!
Goto drags Taichi up but who is that storming down the ramp?! It’s Takashi Iizuka! Red Shoes stops the wild Iizuka and his metal hand at the ropes, but Goto takes care of him personally with a forearm smash! Iizuka is down, but Taichi gets away with a low blow! Then he uses the body scissor clutch to cover, TWO!? Goto escapes that wild screw job, but now everyone is down. Fans rally up as Iizuka rises. Goto and Taichi each crawl to a corner while Red Shoes also stirs. Taichi SUPERKICKS Goto! But he’s not done there, he drags Goto up, for a Last Ride! High stack cover all the way, TWO!? How did Goto survive?! Taichi keeps going, Black Mephisto reverse neckbreaker!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
Miho leaps into the ring to celebrate with her Star of Hokkai, as he now holds his first singles championship in NJPW! Of course, she and practically everyone else with connection to Suzuki-Gun helped him do it. Will Taichi rise to new greatness? Or will Goto return to bring this star crashing down soon enough?
Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki!
To say there is no love lost between these two would be an understatement. The Uncontrollable Charisma gets on the nerves of the Meanest Man in the World, but The King of Pancreas isn’t exactly El Ingobernable’s favorite person, either. Will these two men make the title “Destruction in Beppu” literal in the course of this grudge match?
As always, Naito takes his time taking off his elaborate entrance attire. If anything, it’s part of his nonchalant mind games. But Suzuki won’t let him finish, he attacks Naito as he’s taking off the tearaway pants! The bell rings and Suzuki tosses Naito out of the ring. Suzuki kicks and knees and clubs Naito against the railing, then brings him to the other side to throw him into more railing. He stomps and punches Naito, but Naito comes back with a forearm. They trade shots back and forth, Suzuki standing low. Naito staggers around a corner but Suzuki puts him in the ring. Suzuki stomps and kicks Naito around, then throws more knees. He whips Naito but Naito reverses to knock Suzuki over and hit a basement dropkick! Naito puts Suzuki in a corner with the heel of his boot.
Suzuki slips out but Naito pursues. Naito whips Suzuki at railings and Suzuki almost tumbles over them. Naito brings Suzuki up to whip him into more railing. Suzuki simply snarls as Naito grinds and stomps him. Suzuki even eggs Naito on. Naito puts more effort into the heel of his boot, but Red Shoes wants them to bring this back to the ring. Naito brings Suzuki up to ram him into railing again. Suzuki staggers but Naito pursues. Naito elbows and clubs Suzuki against the railing, then puts him back in the ring. Fans applaud, but Suzuki catches Naito into a draping armbar! Red Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4, to run and boot Naito to the railing! Naito is down, but Suzuki doesn’t leave him there. Suzuki brings Naito outside and around to bounce him off an announce desk.
Suzuki brings Naito toward the entrance ways, and fights among the fans! He bowls Naito through chairs! Then he wraps a chair around Naito’s head to choke him with the legs! Red Shoes counts and Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki watches Naito slowly stand, to jab a chair into Naito’s ribs! Naito clutches his side as he slumps to the floor. Suzuki leaves him for dead, but brings blue railing with him just because. Naito stirs and Suzuki watches for him. Naito makes his way back to ringside and Suzuki eggs him on again. He throws chops but Suzuki just knees Naito back. The ring count has reached 13 by the time Suzuki shoves Naito back in the ring. Suzuki has Naito on the apron, for another draping armbar off that apron edge! Red Shoes counts, and again Suzuki lets go at 4.
Suzuki returns into the ring, to toss Naito back on. They again go around as Suzuki knees and forearms Naito. Suzuki backs off to blast Naito with his own John Woo dropkick! Naito is in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to see Suzuki picking on a Young Lion now! He dumps the younger wrestler over the railing, then he takes some swipes at various commentary teams. Suzuki makes a full lap around the ring, and boots that same Young Lion! Red Shoes counts and it reaches 10 before Suzuki goes back to Naito. Suzuki puts Naito back in at 14, but hears the fans rallying up for Naito. He paces as Naito slowly stands up. Suzuki kicks Naito stiff in the chest, then brings him up for a snapmare into another stiff kick. Naito writhes while Suzuki simply looms over him menacingly. Suzuki kicks Naito again and again, then covers, TWO! Suzuki has Naito with the mounted double wristlock!
Naito endures the torture of his arm as Suzuki makes it a hammerlock. Naito kicks and flails his legs while fans rally up. He feeds off that energy, but Suzuki shifts to a Fujiwara! Naito endures new arm pan as Suzuki even uses Naito’s own wristband against him! Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki so Suzuki ditches the wristband. Naito reaches and gets to ropes for the ropebreak! Suzuki lets him go, but stomps that bad arm. Suzuki eggs Naito and the fans on. He bumps Naito with his knee, then kicks Naito in the chest again. He knees Naito to a corner but Naito comes back with sharp chops! Suzuki just smiles and laughs it off. He kicks Naito more, then throws stiff forearms. Naito is in the corner and fans rally again, but Suzuki simply spits at the cameraman.
Suzuki brings Naito out but Naito reverses the whip. Suzuki runs out into an atomic drop and the neckbreaker! Both men are down, but making their way back up. Naito stands first and throws a forearm. Suzuki replies and now they go back and forth. Suzuki hits Naito stiff but Naito comes back, Naito blocks a kick to fire off. He whips Suzuki, running dropkick, sweeps the legs and shouts “O-sama!” at The King as he hits the swinging dropkick! Fans fire up as Naito poses. Suzuki sits up with another snarl but Naito stands on his head as he poses. Naito grinds in his heel but Suzuki still grits his teeth. Naito keeps toying with Suzuki, but Suzuki grins. Suzuki fights his way out of a waistlock to then throw stiff forearms. Naito pie faces, so Suzuki hits him harder. Naito hits back, Suzuki hits harder again.
Suzuki whips Naito corner to corner and hits a big boot! He snapmares Naito down and runs for a Penalty Kick! Then another! And another! Then another! Suzuki stomps Naito over and over, then drags him up to toss him back out of the ring. Naito flounders away but Suzuki pursues. Suzuki opens the gate and rips up railing to confiscate someone’s folding chair. Red Shoes won’t allow Suzuki to use this one, and they tug o’ war over it while Naito staggers over. Suzuki kicks Naito away, then brings him around to throw him into more railing. Fans rally for Naito but Suzuki decides to confiscate the timekeeper’s table! Suzuki folds the legs and brings it around, to SMACK Naito with it! Naito’s face left a dent in the wood, but Suzuki isn’t done with either one! Suzuki sets the table up, but Naito clubs Suzuki!
Naito and Suzuki brawl but Suzuki gets a facelock choke. Suzuki squeezes Naito, then puts him on the already damaged table. Suzuki then fetches another chair, but Red Shoes again stops Suzuki. Red Shoes wraps himself around the legs of the chair so Suzuki gives up on that. Naito gets away from the table but Suzuki meets him on the apron. Suzuki puts on another sleeper to squeeze the life from Naito. He even makes it a hangman’s sleeper! Suzuki lets go of Naito and Naito flops to the floor. Fans boo Suzuki and cheer Naito, so Suzuki tells them off. Suzuki drags Naito up as fans grow thunderous.
Suzuki adjusts the table’s position, and wants a Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on for dear life, and breaks free to elbow Suzuki back. He then brings Suzuki over, for a neckbreaker through the table!! Both men are down in the wreckage while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito brings a dazed Suzuki up from the splintered wood. Naito wants to put Suzuki in the ring but Suzuki collapses. Naito leaves him out there and a ring count begins. It passes 10 before Suzuki stirs. Suzuki gets up at 14 but flops back down. The count nears the end, but Suzuki gets in at 19! And Naito meets him with a dropkick! Naito brings Suzuki up, hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Suzuki is tougher than that, but Naito has more moves to use. He brings Suzuki up, wrenches the arm, but Suzuki elbows him away. Suzuki whips Naito but Naito comes back with leaping forearms! Naito hurries to wrench but Suzuki mule kicks Naito’s knee. Naito hobbles and Suzuki runs in, but into an elbow.
Now Naito puts Suzuki up top, climbs up to join him, but Suzuki grabs at the legs. They brawl up there, and Suzuki brings Naito down into an Achilles Lock! Naito flails and writhes as Suzuki pulls on the ankle and knee! Naito drags himself over as fans rally up, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go but he won’t leave him be. He stalks Naito as he crawls. Suzuki kicks the bad leg, then brings Naito up for stiffer kicks. He stomps the other leg, then grabs the bad one. He elbows the knee and stalks Naito as he limps around. Suzuki brings Naito up but Naito throws forearms and kicks. Suzuki just kicks the bad leg then whips. Naito can barely run, so Suzuki runs, but into a low dropkick! Naito then hits the tornado DDT!
Fans rally as Naito aims. He runs but Suzuki denies the tilt-o-whirl and sweeps the legs, to roll Naito into a kneebar! Suzuki grapevines the leg and even pulls on the ankle, and drags Naito away from ropes. Suzuki steps through to wrench the leg into another kneebar! Naito endures the torture while fans rally again. Naito drags himself around as Suzuki twists as hard as he can. Red Shoes checks if this is it, but then Suzuki traps the free leg using his legs! Naito keeps trying, but Suzuki drags him away again. Suzuki drops down into a toehold, and Naito is again writhing. Naito flails but he doesn’t tap. Naito reaches but Suzuki shifts to a standing Half Crab! Suzuki pulls as far back as he can as he sits down on Naito! Naito still endures, so Suzuki moves around for another Achilles Lock!
Naito shouts and grits his teeth. The fans have not cheering him on, but Suzuki just takes all that as a challenge to hurt Naito more. Naito grabs Red Shoes so Suzuki shifts around to get back to the kneebar and cradle. He even traps one of Naito’s arms in there! Naito gets the arms free but that leg is still Suzuki’s chew toy! Naito grabs at Red Shoes again so Suzuki pulls hard all over again. Suzuki has both legs trapped with his grapevine, but Naito refuses to give up. Fans refuse to stop cheering him on, and this gives Naito the will to keep reaching. Suzuki doesn’t give up pulling on that bad leg, and rolls Naito over for yet another variation of trapping one leg while twisting the other! Red Shoes asks if Naito wants to stop, but Naito refuses.
Suzuki gets bored with that hold, so he gets up, and puts Naito in a Figure Four! Suzuki has used just about every hold imaginable, and hopes the Nature Boy’s favorite finishes this. Naito continues to endure but Suzuki puts more leverage into the hold. He twists Naito around, but Naito uses that moment to finally get a ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go, but drags Naito up. Suzuki fires off fast palm strikes from both sides, then wraps on the sleeper hold! Somehow Naito isn’t out cold yet, but he is turning purple. Fans continue to rally, but Suzuki shifts to his Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on with whatever he has left, so Suzuki knees and slaps him. Suzuki brings Naito around, but Naito tilt-o-whirls into Destino!!
Both men are down, and Red Shoes checks on them. Suzuki rolls while clutching his sore head. Naito stirs and Suzuki actually likes seeing that. Suzuki hits Naito with a forearm, and Naito hits back. Suzuki hits again, but so does Naito. The forearms continue to fly as they both slowly rise to their feet. Suzuki hits Naito, but Naito hits back. Suzuki grins, and gives another swift shot to Naito. Naito hits back, but Suzuki hits harder. Naito staggers around, Suzuki hits him again, Naito immediately hits back! Suzuki felt that one, but he still grins. He slaps Naito, Naito slaps Suzuki. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps, repeat faster and faster! Naito takes slap from all sides, but gets a slap in the gap! And another! And another! Enziguri! Naito spits at Suzuki, then drags him up, to steal the piledriver!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are still thunderous as Naito brings Suzuki back up. Tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
It took so much out of him, but THE Ungovernable wins in the end. Both men are helped up while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns…
And Naito finally stands to have his hand raised in victory. Suzuki is down on the floor while Los Ingobernables de Japon has joined their fearless leader in the ring. Suzuki finally gets up and staggers off, but he surely won’t let this loss slow him down. As for Naito, he takes the mic to speak to the crowd.
“Buenos Noches, Beppu~!” He thanks them for coming tonight, for this return after a year and five months, as well as his first big match since then. What did they think? Did they like it? Beppu says yes! He notes the match earlier of LIJ’s Evil, Bushi & Sanada, and of course himself in the main event. And the fans surely know they’re still short that one member. Naito promises that next time, they’ll be back with that member, and LIJ will be at 100% strength!
By the way, the last time they were in Beppu and all the times before that, Naito has always ended up holding the mic. Did they notice? Well then the fans know what comes next, right? To everyone who supports LIJ in Beppu, this NJPW Beppu grand finale will be their roll call! “EVIL! BUSHI! SANADA! HIROMU! Y NAITO! Nosotros Los Ingoberrrrrnableeees~! DE JAPON!!” LIJ stands tall, tired as they are. Will LIJ only grow stronger as time goes by? Will they become the top faction in all of NJPW?
Naito thinks back to April and Kumamoto, that and this makes two wins in a row against “The King.” The result was as he expected, and winning against Suzuki doesn’t do anything for him now. Naito knows in Kumamoto, he said it’s important “to return to normal, to not give up”. But that desire and will to change, the courage to take that first step, those are also important. Naito likes how that sounds, “the courage to take the first step.” As for what that means, Naito leaves that up to our imaginations. The answer of course is Tranquilo. Naito takes things easy, but will it be so easy to make it back to a title?
A really great episode right here. The bit of Goto VS Taichi we got was good, and it was pretty clear Taichi is the kind of weasel Heel who needs a lot of outside distracts to beat the big name. There is a big chance Goto will come back for that belt, that’s just his constant story in NJPW, but perhaps Taichi can use all his allies and assists to retain in sneaky ways so that Goto has to think of something else to fight for. We saw at Fighting Spirit Unleashed that he’s up for fighting Jeff Cobb just to test both men’s power levels. With Jeff Cobb being ROH World Television Champion, should Goto get that NEVER Openweight title back, I wouldn’t mind them at least having a Championship VS Championship match to see if someone becomes both.
And of course, the main event, the meat of the episode, was incredible. Much of this Suzuki VS Naito match was like their previous meeting but with new twists using that to their advantage. Just as I was wondering where Suzuki’s submission skills were, he goes after those bandaged legs. Naito shows some real grit, but bordered dangerously on too much. They stayed in one hold for quite a long time, but it still seemed to work for the match. It was great for Naito to go over, and while he says it doesn’t really help him, it also doesn’t hurt Suzuki. Both men are still strong no matter what, but I’m thinking at the very least, this could lead Naito back to Jericho and that IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
My Score: 8.6/10
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