AXS and NJPW move on to King of Pro Wrestling 2018! With the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship vacant, who will be the NEW Champion, Kushida or Scurll?
This coverage of King of Pro Wrestling will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos; LIJ wins.
- Vacant IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Marty Scurll; Kushida wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
The Ticking Time Bomb was doing great as IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but an injury put an end to his reign. The title was vacated, and a tournament began! Hiromu Takahashi’s friend in Los Ingobernables de Japon, Bushi, lost to the Time Splitter, while The Villain again defeated the Aerial Assassin. Now Kushida and Marty Scurll meet in the tournament finals, where there will be a new champion crowned! Which of these Super Juniors will again hold the gold?
Meanwhile, with Hiromu’s absence being long and serious, the leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito, has decided to add a new member to the team! Who will be this mysterious sixth member joining Naito’s crew in time to take on Okada’s Team Chaos? We find that out, now!
Los Ingobernables de Japon gathers.
Naito walks over to Bushi, Evil, Sanada, and even Daryl Jr. as they wait at a table in a high class establishment. Naito takes a drink at the bar while the boys play cards. Their charismatic leader speaks to the camera, saying that on “April 29th in Kumamoto, after the match,” does anyone remember what he said in that ring? Flashback: “It is important to return to normal, to not give up. But the desire and the will to change, and the courage to take the first step, are equally important.” And then, “on July 7th in San Francisco, Hiromu Takahashi got injured, and was forced to vacate his IWGP Junior Heavyweight title.” Hiromu couldn’t meet the required six month defense period, and is now out for some time. LIJ wants to stay tranquilo, and will wait for his return.
But they won’t just sit around, and decided to take a step forward. There won’t be just the four of them waiting, it will be five. In other words, they wait for Hiromu as a brand new LIJ. And that starts on October 8th, at Ryogoku Sumo Hall! That is when and where they’ll introduce their new “pareja”, so stay tuned. Adios. Who will be added to the role call? Place your bets! All in on 6.
8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos!
Bushi, Sanada, and Naito enter first, but now it’s time to introduce Mr. X! Naito takes the mic and says “Buenas noches, Ryogoku!” He welcomes all their fans to the show, both in the arena and around the world. This is the moment they’ve all been waiting for! Who knows, Mr. X could be ringside already. This man decided to make a comeback, Milano Collection A.T. Spotlights point him out on commentary, but he confirms it’s not him. Naito admits it, he was just joking. But now to the real new member. He is… The Dragon! Well, that doesn’t really say much as to who this is, and that smiling silver mask hides his true face. He joins his team in the ring, removes the hood and then the mask… to reveal SHINGO TAKAGI!
Yes, the body builder turned pro-wrestler, the “Pumping Hawk”, and former champion in both Pro-Wrestling Noah and Dragon Gate promotions, has now joined LIJ! This brings the alumni of Animal Hamaguchi’s training to three alongside Naito and Evil, will this familiarity help him mesh with the team?
That said, The Rainmaker leads the way for his team of Toru Yano and Roppongi 3K’s Sho & Yoh to the ring. Okada makes sure to give Rocky Romero a piece of his mind, and balloons, at the commentary desk. The teams sort out while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Shingo joins in his first LIJ first bump. And as the new guy, Shingo starts for the team. The bell rings and Yoh is there to meet him. Fans fire up for Shingo but Yoh is not intimidated. They tie up but Shingo powers Yoh off. Yoh chops, and chops, and chops, but it does nothing. Shingo chops Yoh once and he goes staggering away. Yoh kicks and puts on a headlock, but Shingo powers out. Yoh bumps shoulders and Shingo goes back, to run Yoh over on the rebound! Believe it or not, Shingo is a Junior Heavyweight just like Sho & Yoh, but does lean close to that border into true Heavyweight territory. Either way, Shingo runs and things speed up. He catches Yoh but Yoh fights out. Yoh runs, but into a big back elbow.
Shingo runs, but Sho comes in and helps Yoh, drop toehold to dropkick! They see Bushi come in and stop him. They double whip Bushi corner to corner, then whip Sho in. Bushi puts him on the apron and forearms him away. Yoh runs in but gets a boot. Naito and Sanada come in and give Yoh basement dropkicks in turn, and then Shingo and Bushi clear the Chaos corner. LIJ controls the ring while Sanada ties Yano up in a Paradise Lock around the bottom rope! Shingo keeps on Yoh while Naito and Bushi keep on Sho and Okada. Shingo elbows Yoh to a corner, then grinds in his boot. The ref counts and Shingo backs off. Yano needs help untying himself but there’s no time for that. Shingo gives Yoh a fast suplex, then covers, TWO!
Shingo points out Yano’s predicament, but tags in Sanada. LIJ mug Yoh, and the Cold Skull stalks Yoh towards the Chaos corner. Sanada brings Yoh up but Yoh hits back. They brawl while the ref tries to figure out what to do with Yano. Sanada whips Yoh and lifts, but Yoh slips out. Yoh kicks but Sanada blocks, and gets him down for another Paradise Lock! That’s two members of Chaos stuck in Paradise, so Sanada builds speed to dropkick Yoh out of it and into Yano! Yano is free but he tumbles to the floor. Sanada covers on Yoh, TWO. Fans rally as Sanada tags in Bushi. Bushi drags Yoh up for a snapmare into a chinlock across the knee. He rakes Yoh’s face, but stops at the ref’s count of 3.
Bushi tags Naito, and Naito brings Yoh around for Bushi’s missile dropkick. Bushi-rooni! The ref reprimands Bushi but he stays in while Naito whips Yoh. Yoh blocks Naito’s kick to give him a dragon screw! Bushi goes after Yoh, goes for fisherman swinging neckbreaker but Yoh spins out of it to get Bushi with a dragon screw! Fans rally as Yoh crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Okada! The Rainmaker rallies on Sanada as he comes in, then hits Shingo down, then dodges Naito. Naito boots Okada and whips but Okada reverses to a DDT! And kip up! Okada brings Naito up but Naito fires off strikes. Naito runs but into the flapjack! Cover, TWO! Okada circles around Naito as fans rally.
Naito stands, Okada lifts, but Naito resists the Alabama lift. Naito wants a piledriver, but Okada resists that, so Naito clubs him on the back. Okada staggers back, but runs over, into an atomic drop! Naito shoves Okada to a corner, jump kick to leg sweep, swinging dropkick! Bushi & Shingo rush the Chaos corner and Sanada helps on the outside. Naito elbows Okada then whips. Bushi comes in and helps, kick to sunset flip to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Naito argues the speed of the count, but his team is keeping Okada’s team down. Naito brings Okada up, pumphandle but Okada resists. Okada arm-drags but Naito comes back with an enziguri. Naito runs, but into Okada’s dropkick!
Okada brings Naito up, wrings him out, but Naito ducks. Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but Okada blocks Destino! Okada rocks Naito with a European Uppercut, then whips. Naito comes back with flying forearms! Both leaders are down, but their teams are back at their corners. Okada goes after Naito to keep him away, then goes to his corner. Hot tags to Sho and Bushi! Sho gets Bushi in a waistlock but Bushi fights out. Bushi runs, but Sho dodges and SPEARS! Sho fires up, hits Sanada, and now Yoh joins him. RPG3K combine for backstabber to dropkick. Sanada whips Yano to a barrier but RPG3K fire up. They aim at Bushi as he stands, but Bushi denies 3K. Sanada dropkicks Sho, Bushi DDT’s Yoh! Bushi tags in Shingo!
Shingo clotheslines Sho in a corner, but runs into a knee. He still gets Sho in a Gory Special lift, but uses it for a sit-out facebuster, the Blood Fall! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives but Shingo is not frustrated one bit. He brings Sho back up, pump handles, but Yano attacks! Sanada dropkicks him out, then whips Okada. Okada reverses but Sanada knows the dropkick is coming as he holds ropes. Naito and Sanada double dropkick Okada while he’s down! Sho comes in, Naito feeds him to Bushi’s enziguri. Shingo builds speed for a BIG lariat! Bushi runs to DIVE on Yoh! Shingo fires up, gets fans chanting, and he drags Sho up. Pumphandle fireman’s carry, driver! Aka, Made in Japan! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winner: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Shingo Takagi pinning
Not only was the Pumping Hawk impressive, but this new LIJ formation was a well-oiled machine! Will this supersized Junior Heavyweight be the key to the most ungovernable faction in NJPW taking over everything?
Vacant IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Marty Scurll!
The Time Splitter won his match in Kobe, while The Villain won his match in San Francisco. Only one can win in Ryogoku, who will be the NEW Junior Heavyweight Champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Scurll and Kushida stare down, being familiar with each other. They circle and change levels. They tie up but Scurll breaks early to circle again. Now they grapple, and Kushida gets a wristlock. He wrenches the wrist, but Scurll rolls, spins and reverses. Scurll rolls Kushida and keeps the hold. Kushida handsprings and rolls, and rolls, and rolls even after getting free. Scurll chases him around but Kushida stands, and dares Scurll to bring it. The fans still chant “Woop Woop!” as Scurll and Kushida tie up. Scurll breaks one hold to get in close and get a headlock. Kushida pries his way out, cartwheels to a facelock, and holds on as he rolls and floats all over Scurll. Scurll gets up, but Kushida grinds in his knuckles.
Scurll goes after Kushida’s wrist and gets to a hammerlock, then headlock. Kushida powers out and they collide, but neither falls. Kushida runs again, they collide again, but still neither falls. Scurll tries, but Kushida hops over him. Things speed up, hip toss into amrbar! Scurll makes it a cover, TWO! Kushida gets to a corner, Scurll walks over. Scurll blocks the boot but Kushida breaks free, to then sunset flip. Scurll rolls through, high stacks but Kushida rolls to sit on it, Scurll sunset flips. Now Kushida rolls through, high stacks, but Scurll sits for Kushida to sunset. Scurll reepeats the process, but Kushida does, too, and gets the cover, TWO!
Kushida brings Scurll up to chop, then run. Scurll uppercuts then runs to uppercut again! Kushida tumbles out but Scurll keeps moving, to hop onto the apron and SUPERKICK! Kushida is down with spit flying, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Scurll fetches Kushida. He brings Kushida up for a chop, then another. Kushida staggers but gets into the ring. Scurll follows, blocks the kick and ducks the enziguri because he’s too smart. Scurll has the legs, and goes for the surfboard. He pulls back on the arms, and gets lift-off! Kushida endures, reaches but can’t get to ropes. Scurll can’t maintain Kushida’s balance so he lets him go. Fans continue to “Woop Woop!” as Scurll brings Kushida up. Scurll chops Kushida again, and again. He drags Kushida up for a EuroUpper, then another. Kushida backslide hooks, then spins Scurll out for a DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Kushida and Scurll sit up, and Kushida heads for a corner. He runs at Scurll and rallies with forearms. He whips Scurll, hip toss, cartwheel dropkick! Kushida grits his teeth as he brings Scurll up for a shoulder breaker. He runs, tilt-o-whirl but Scurll works to block. Kushida gets the arm, but Scurll puts him on the apron. Kushida swing kicks Scurll back, and Scurll falls. Fans rally as Kushida goes to a corner. Kushida climbs, but Scurll stops him with an uppercut! Scurll climbs up, SUPERPLEX! But Kushida small packages! TWO, SUPERKICK! Both men are down again, but the “Woop Woop!” continues.
Scurll gets himself up with the help of ropes, and he goes over to Kushida. He chops, then grins as Kushida staggers. Kushida chops, then runs, but into a forearm. Scurll hits a roaring elbow, then shoves Kushida. Kushida comes back and rolls Scurll up, but Scurll sits on it, but Kushida sunset flips. TWO, high stack from Scurll, TWO as Kushida pops Scurll into place, TWO, Scurll sits on a deep stack, TWO!! So close yet so far for The Villain! Both men go to opposite ends, Kushida comes back with a roundhouse. Then another, and another. Kushida goes after the arm and whips, but Scurll reverses. Kushida handsprings but Scurll catches him into a backslide, TWO, SUPERKICK! Both men are down again but Kushida is dazed.
Fans continue to “Woop Woop!” for Scurll as he catches his breath. Scurll watches Kushida stir, and stands on his head. Kushida pushes his way up, so Scurll cravats and drives in knees. Kushida gets free and returns the cravat and knees! Scurll gets free to give more knees, but then Kushida does it back. Kushida gives a big knee lift, but both men throw heavy forearms. They both do it again, but then Kushida Pele kicks! Scurll staggers but comes back with a clothesline! Kushida stays standing, so Scurll takes off the elbow pads. Scurll runs, but they both clothesline! They both drop to their knees and both throw big haymakers! Double knockdown as we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and both men are still down. Fans “Woop Woop!” as they start to stir. A standing count begins, and passes 5 before either gets up. They stand at 7, and Scurll hits Kushida with a stiff EuroUpper! Scurll runs, but Kushida handspring kicks! Scurll bails out but Kushida climbs up top. Kushida wants the camera crews to give him space, but Scurll stops him from jumping. Scurll climbs up now, and brings Kushida up. Kushida fights back, and gets the double wristlock! Scurll fights back, they both stand up, SUPER ARMBAR TAKEDOWN!! Scurll is caught, but he manages to clasp his hands. He stands and they end up by ropes, Scurll guillotine catapults Kushida into the bottom rope!
Both men are down again but the fans rally up. Kushida gasps for air but Scurll stalks him to a corner. Kushida pushes him away, and then complete shots Scurll into the buckles! Scurll crawls away but Kushida is on him. Rolling facelock, but it’s Scurll who suplexes Kushida into the Chicken Wing! He wants the crossface, and gets it! Now Kushida is stuck as he endures the squeezes. He fades, but comes back, and rolls things over. Kushida rolls back, pops out, and goes to steal the Chicken Wing Crossface! Scurll pops out, and steals the Hoverboard! Kushida endures his own hold, clasping hands behind his back. Scurll pulls but Kushida stands up. Kushida spins through to arm-drag Scurll away! Then somersault, but misses the leap, and ends up in the Chicken Wing! Kushida reaches for ropes, so Scurll makes it a Chicken Wing suplex!
Both men are down, Kushida clutching his neck. Scurll catches his breath, and brings Kushida up. He double underhooks, but Kushida resists. Scurll still lifts, but Kushida slips out. Kushida fireman’s carry, into Air Raid! Kushida doesn’t cover but then he fires up and says he’ll finish this. He drags Scurll up, fisherman but Scurll gets the arm and stomps the hand! Scurll runs, but into a boot, and a floating wristlock takedown! Kushida can’t get his Hoverboard because his hands hurt. The referee checks the hands, but Kushida just kicks Scurll’s arm. Then, fisherman, but Back to the Future becomes Scurll’s cradle! TWO!! Scurll spins and lifts Kushida to a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, double underhook and package lift, package piledriver! Cover, TWO!!
Scurll keeps going, bringing Kushida up. He runs, big lariat! Then with a limp Kushida, he double underhooks. Kushida revives and slips out, but Scurll brings him down for a crossface. They roll together, Scurll gets the Chicken Wing, but Kushida fireman’s carry, to a Death Valley Driver! Roll through, Back to the Future!! Cover, Kushida wins!!
Winner: Kushida, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Time Splitter gets it down, bad fingers and all, to be a six-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion! His hands hurt too much to hold it up for long, but how long will he hold onto the belt?
Scurll says that “For those who don’t know, I actually live in Orlando now”, and the other day, he got on a plane for about 6 hours to San Francisco, then from there to Tokyo. It’s jet lag! He went to be at midnight, woke up at 3 AM! He’s been up since then, he’s tired! Kushida lives 20 minutes away! And rode his bicycle here! How is this fair? Why wasn’t this match in the US? Fans would’ve loved that, right? Scurll calls BS.
As for Kushida, he did it! He made his mark on 2018. This belt needed him and he needed the belt. “Holding it for the first time in a year”, he forgot how heavy it felt. Kushida knows that not just the previous champion, Hiromu, but all the previous champions “have had rebellious spirits.” Kushida carries those spirits with him now, to Ireland! To England! To Tag League, and to Wrestle Kingdom! The Time Splitter is determined to make the sixth time the best, who will come for the belt in the near future?
A pretty solid night for NJPW to start King of Pro Wrestling coverage. I really enjoyed seeing the LIJ debut of Shingo Takagi. He seems like a great addition to the team, and I can’t wait to see when Hiromu returns for a full six man LIJ. And now, with three Heavyweights and three Junior Heavyweights, LIJ could dominate both divisions. Hiromu might want the Junior Heavyweight Championship back, so Bushi and Shingo can go after the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, and might get them. Then Sanada, Evil and Naito can do what they want in the Heavyweight Division, such as Evil & Sanada going after the tag titles again while Naito goes for the top prize.
But speaking of Junior Heavyweights and that title, Scurll VS Kushida was a great match, fitting of a tournament finals. The story was clear, these two knew each other so well and the spot of stealing submissions was perfect. Kushida winning makes a lot of sense, given Scurll does a lot more work in ROH, and has even teased moving up to true Heavyweight status. Scurll making excuses was pretty good, too, it keeps with his somewhat bratty Tweener personality. Kushida wants to carry the belt all the way to the New Year and WK13, that’ll be quite the story for him in the rest of the year.
My Score: 8.5/10
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