The final installation of the AJPW Real World Tag League! How do our friends in The End fair, when they go against All Japan’s Ace…and…Yoshitatsu? Mathew let’s us know how this tournament shapes up!
Before I talk about the article, I do wanna address something from one of the other shows that I’ve covered. I covered SEAdLINNNG a couple of months ago to talk about the first round of their tournament and I regret to say that I’ll be unable to finish the tournament due to not having time with work and the holiday season, plus focusing on this tournament. But I will address the winner of the tournament at least and say congratulations to Nanae Takahashi for being the first SEAdLINNNG Beyond The Sea Champion and I wish her luck in her reign.
Now, let’s get to the final chapter of All Japan’s Real World Tag League with the final two shows of the tournament.
We got half the teams that could possibly win it all and we’re gonna see everyone have their final set of matches aside from one team. Who will win the Real World Tag League 2018?
I still got Violent Giants and we’ll find out as we…dive right in.
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Naoya Nomura & Yumi Aoyagi vs. TAJIRI & Gianni Valletta
Review: Our first match for this show is NEXTREAM taking on TAJIRI and Gianni Valletta. This is their final matches for the show and right now NEXTREAM is in last place but they could at least win this match to make TAJIRI and Gianni be in last place with them. Can NEXTREAM win their last match or will TAJIRI and Gianni get it?
TAJIRI and Gianni working on Nomura at the beginning of the match as they started the match up and of course playing the heels. I thought the match was decent and definitely not their best outings in this tournament which was a shame to close it out for the both of them. It looked like Yuma was tagged in but the referee didn’t see it so he was unable to come in while the heel team drags Nomura to their corner to beat him up some more. Yuma makes the hot tag in as he started to clean house until his momentum stopped when Gianni hits him with an Underhook Powerbomb for a two count. Yuma would almost hit his partner until he stopped himself and TAJIRI would spray mist into Nomura’s eyes to get him out of the ring. Gianni would attempt to hit Yuma with his chain as Yuma reversed it to catch him with the European Clutch for the pinfall victory as they get the final win!
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Zeus & The Bodyguard vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering
Review: Our main event for the final show is The Big Guns taking on The Bomber. The Bomber is the only team to have two matches left in the tournament and if they can win this one, they’ll still be in the race and would knock The End off of their chances to win since both Bomber and Violent Giants defeated The End and would lose even if they did defeat Yoshiken. Can The Bomber be one step closer or will The Big Guns spoil it for their final match?
This tag match was more of a match of power as all four of these guys are powerhouses and heavy hitters they whoever was in the ring, you know it was going to be a bit of a stiff fest. Zeus and Dylan started the match off and they were just testing their strength for the most part and Zeus did have the advantage for the time being until The Bomber ruined his momentum and they just started working on him. Dylan and Zeus would have a chop battle on the turnbuckle going back and forth with the chops, which Dylan still does really well with but Zeus is the stronger one here and ended it with a Flying Clothesline before he tagged in Bodyguard.
The Bodyguard started wailing on Dylan for a brief moment until Joe got into the ring and Bodyguard would just hit him with a Spear to knock the big man down. The Big Guns would attempt a Double Chokeslam as Joe broke out of it to hit both men with a Diving Body Press to knock them down. Zeus and Dylan would exchange chops once again as Zeus attempts a Chokeslam but Dylan fights it off until Bodyguard came in to help as they hit the move on Dylan finally to get him out of the way while Zeus fights Joe in the ring. Joe hits Zeus with a Diving Body Press and gets only a two count as Joe picked him up for a Suplex but Zeus countered it into a Brainbuster to get momentum until Dylan hits him with a Lariat for Joe to cover him for a two count. The Bomber would pick Zeus up to hit their Double Piledriver and they get the win to stay in the race. The End is technically out but the only way they could possibly win is if they beat Yoshiken and both The Bomber and Violent Giants end in a no contest, but that’ll be hard for them.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
KAI & Kengo Mashimo vs. Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai
Review: Our first match of the final show is KAI and Kengo Mashimo taking on The Sweeper. The Sweeper is technically out of the tournament but KAI and Kengo could have a chance to win if they can win this match here tonight, but they shouldn’t count The Sweeper out since they do have some big wins under their belt despite only being able to win three of them so far. Can KAI and Kengo lock themselves up for a win or will they be swept?
Solid and basic match between the two teams here with Sweeper playing it technical for the most along with strikes in the match while KAI and Kengo would try to match it for the most part. Ryouji and Jake would play it smart by going after Kengo’s injured shoulder which is still taped up and makes it an easy target for both of them to utilize to their advantage. Do my eyes deceive me, did KAI and Kengo finally shake hands here!? It looks like they did and the crowd started going crazy for the both of them, but they need to not lose their focus or they could lose. KAI and Kengo almost had the win when they kicked Jake to knock him out but Ryouji would make the save. KAI and Kengo would both hit each other by accident on two different occasions which made Ryouji get KAI out of the ring as Jake hits the Ko-Oh on Kengo to the victory and now KAI and Kengo are now eliminated.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu vs. Odinson & Parrow
Review: Our next match-up is Yoshiken taking on The End. The End is in quite a difficult spot that they might not have a chance to win even if they somehow beat Yoshiken due to the fact that both The Bomber and Violent Giants defeated them that they wouldn’t win while being tied to them unless it’s a time limit draw and they would win by one, but they need to beat Yoshiken first before worrying about that. Can The End do it or does Yoshiken spoil it?
The End started the attack on Yoshiken soon as the bell rang and they would take it to the outside, they would even go on the crowd up on top of the bleacher to attempt a Double Powerbomb but Kento and Yoshi got off in time to make sure that didn’t happen as the teams go into the ring for the match to get started. I think this is definitely The End’s best match in the tournament for sure since both Odinson and Parrow were on fire during the whole match with staying on their opponents while being crisp with their moves, I need more of this version of The End. Kento’s selling was also on point during the match since he made them look really powerful whenever he took a move from them, gotta love Kento.
Kento had a small little comeback on The End that didn’t last too long even when Yoshi was trying to help out his partner as Parrow gave him a Fallaway Slam before tagging in Odinson. The End started attacking them with elbows on the turnbuckles and they would pick them up for the Double Powerbomb as they connect and get the momentum to try and finish them off. Parrow gets Kento up on his shoulders to try and go for the Doomsday Device and Kento ducks before Odinson can connect as Yoshi hits Parrow with a Springboard Dropkick to get him out of the ring. Yoshi now hits Odinson with the Codebreaker of Jericho and Kento catches him for the German Suplex Hold as Yoshiken gets the win and eliminates The End. We also have word that Kento’s first Triple Crown Championship defense will indeed be against KAI on January 2nd, two days before New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom and it’s sure to be a great bout that you don’t wanna miss.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Daisuke Sekimoto & Jun Akiyama vs. Manabu Soya & Takao Omori
Review: Our next match is Daisuke Sekimoto and Jun Akiyama taking on Get Wild. Now that we had two teams being eliminated, Daisuke and Jun have a chance to advance if they win this one and The Bomber loses in the main event but they would have to defeat Get Wild before anything. Will we have a third team get eliminated or will they actually advance?
This match had a very old school type of feeling when the two teams were fighting each other and I’m perfectly fine with that since they didn’t need to do anything big or flashy to make the match standout as they just gave us great wrestling with a story to go with it. Takao really impressed me in this match and loved how he stepped up in this whole tournament when he paired with Manabu and showed why they won the tournament in 2016. Jun and Daisuke also made a great team during the tournament to give us old school wrestling and just stiff action against their opponents with their impact.
The better encounters were between Jun and Takao when they gave us back and forth action with knees and Lariats to try and get a win on each other but were unable to do so. Manabu charges in towards Daisuke into the turnbuckle before topping it off with a Bulldog for a two count. Jun has Takao in the Guillotine while Daisuke has Manabu in the Torture Rack to wear down their opponents but Jun attempts a pin and Takao kicks out. Jun would then go for the Exploder Suplex on Manabu as Daisuke does the German Suplex combo to give him the boost as Jun is unable to get up as Takao hits Daisuke with a Lariat to keep him down. Takao attempts another Lariat to Jun as he gets caught into an Exploder Suplex, but Takao gets up right away to hit him with two Lariats and he pins Jun to get the victory as Jun and Daisuke are now also eliminated!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering
Review: We’re now down to our main event and final match for the tournament as our reigning Tag Team Champions, Violent Giants are set to take on The Bomber. Anyone who has had twelve points has lost their last matches and were unable to possibly win, leaving only these two teams left to take the whole thing. I’m one step closer to getting my prediction right and they’re up against my dark horse of all people. Will Violent Giants win the tournament back to back or will The Bomber win it?
This type of match is like how The Bomber and The Big Guns were but better developed. The match had a little bit of a slow start but this was in a good way since there was a story being built into this match, so they did enough, in the beginning, to keep you invested to see what they’re gonna do near the end which is when you know where they’ll pull off the better stuff in the match to give us something special. This is why Tokyo Sports Awards named Violent Giants the best tag team of the year two years in a row since they really are the best tag team in Japan currently since they’re just magic in the ring together and give us some of the best wrestling in any tag tea division. The Bomber also came a long way when they teamed up a couple months ago and this is great for Dylan James who has had a rather off year until he fought Kento five months ago where he started to learn his groove, so I hope him with Joe will help him greatly to do better.
When I said there was a slow build-up, in the beginning, they definitely had a great payoff for the second half of the match. Dylan and Shuji are alone in the ring now as the two trade off stiff hits with chops, Lariats, and knees until Joe helped Dylan get the jump on Shuji as Dylan hits a Lariat for a two count and they now go for the Double Piledriver where Suwama breaks it up and hits a Brainbuster off the second rope on Dylan to give his partner a chance to regroup. Shuji hits the knees for a two count and he would have him up for the Fire Thunder Driver but Joe would break the count before three. The Bomber would once again try to go for the Double Piledriver onto Shuji but Suwama breaks the hold again until he gets knocked out by Joe with the Revolution Bomb to keep him out of the ring. Shuji would knee him in the gut and hits the Dragon Suplex and once he got up, Dylan would hit another Lariat onto Shuji as he did it twice for Shuji to kick out of it. Dylan called for the Chokeslam as Shuji broke out of it and runs into Joe who does his Diving Body Press which gives Dylan time for one more Lariat but Shuji kicked out once again until Dylan quickly got him up to hit the Chokeslam and The Bomber wins the tournament!
The Bomber has won the Real World Tag League and I shouldn’t be surprised, but part of me is. Dylan James and Joe Doering have randomly paired off a few months ago and they were able to hit it off very well while having solid work together once they teamed up and is now paid off as they won the tournament. I’m sure they’ll have the match on January 2nd to give us a stacked show for that week and wonder if they’ll beat the Violent Giants twice in a row or will get revenge. Either way, looking forward to it and congratulations to The Bomber on the victory.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought the last two shows were great to give us all a proper ending to the tournament. The right team won the whole thing as I’m now excited to see how The Bomber will do going forward. I wanna thank you all for following me during this whole tournament even with the random delays in getting them out at an organized time as this will be my last coverage of 2018 so I can focus on my Top 25 Matches of 2018 which will be out starting December 26 with the honorable mentions. Will I cover Real World Tag League next year? Well, it all depends on how things go and if I don’t take in too much beforehand.
Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering
Least Favorite Match: Naoya Nomura & Yumi Aoyagi vs. TAJIRI & Gianni Valletta
The Bomber: (7-3) (14 Points) (Winner)
KAI/Kengo: (6-4) (12 Points)
Jun/Daisuke: (6-4) (12 Points)
The End: (6-4) (12 Points)
Violent Giants: (6-4) (12 Points)
Get Wild: (5-5) (10 Points)
Yoshiken: (5-5) (10 Points)
The Big Guns: (4-6) (8 Points)
Sweeper: (4-6) (8 Points)
Gianni/TAJIRI: (3-7) (6 Points)
NEXTREAM: (3-7) (6 Points)
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