AXS moves the NJPW coverage to Power Struggle! But it will be Revolution Pro-Wrestling’s British Heavyweight Championship that’s defended tonight!
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Taichi w/ Miho Abe VS Hirooki Goto; Goto wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- Revolution Pro-Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS Minoru Suzuki; Ishii wins and retains the Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship.
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NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
Another of NJPW’s partnerships is on display as the RPW British Heavyweight Championship is on the line! Tomohiro Ishii began his second title reign after defeating The Man with the Worst Personality, Minoru Suzuki, in their rematch from when Suzuki ended the Stone Pitbull’s reign. Now these two go another round to settle their score!
But there’s also another battle over the NEVER Openweight Championship! Will Ospreay could not challenge Taichi for the title after suffering an injury, so in steps Chaos’s Fierce Warrior, Hirooki Goto! Goto holds a strong grudge against Taichi considering Goto first lost the title in a Triple Threat with him and Mike Elgin involved. And then, Suzuk-Gun used every trick they had to make sure Taichi retained once it was him and Goto 1v1. Will Goto take that title back once and for all? Or will the Sliest Wrestler in the World have even more tricks up his sleeve?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Taichi w/ Miho Abe VS Hirooki Goto!
The Fierce Warrior has held this title so often that he feels lost without it. Of course, the dramatic maestro jokes that the belt is really Miho’s and he just defends it for her. Whether it’s his or it’s hers, will Taichi and Miho have to say good-bye to the belt? Or will the “Holy Emperor” manage to actually retain the title himself this time?
However, before the bell, Taichi attacks Goto from behind with a saido suplex! The bell rings and Miho steps away for Taichi to loom over Goto. Taichi takes time to make sure his hair is in good shape while Goto is down. He drags Goto up but Goto looks out cold. Taichi covers, but then picks Goto up at TWO! It seems Taichi wants to toy with Goto now. He kicks Goto while he’s down, but Goto doesn’t get up. Taichi keeps kicking GOto but the ref reprimands him. Taichi shoves the ref away as Goto slides out of the ring. He drags Goto over and opens the gate. Taichi clears fans out of the way, to bowl Goto into the chairs! Goto is down and the referee reprimands Taichi more, but Taichi shoves him away. Taichi grabs a chair and jams it into Goto’s face! Even Miho shows concern.
The referee has no choice but to start counting. NJPW uses a 20 count but it still reaches 10 before Goto crawls his way to the ring. The count passes 15 but Goto gets in at 19! Fans cheer but Taichi kicks Goto while he’s down again. He covers, TWO! Goto still has something left but Taichi keeps his cool. Taichi kicks Goto around, then drags him up for a choke grip! The ref counts and Taichi lets go at 4. Taichi taunts Goto, but Goto hits back. The strikes do nothing but amuse Taichi. Taichi eggs Goto on, Goto hits Taichi, but Taichi kicks Goto to a corner. Taichi runs in but misses! Goto wants a suplex but Taichi fights out with elbows. Goto bumps him off the buckle pad and gives him a big kick! Both men are down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Goto drags Taichi up. Goto whips Taichi corner to corner and hits the spinning heel kick. Goto gives Taichi a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Goto lifts Taichi. Taichi slips out and rakes the eyes! Goto still runs in but misses, Taichi swing kicks Goto down! Taichi aims but the buzzsaw is caught. Goto hits back with a forearm, but Taichi kicks his leg. Another forearm and another kick, these two start brawling faster and faster. Goto gets an edge, then eggs Taichi on. Taichi gives a kick from the other side, then again. He boots Goto down then stomps away. Taichi circles Goto as he gives toying kicks.
Taichi slaps Goto around, then runs, but Goto pursues. Goto misses the lariat and Taichi gets him with another roundhouse! Taichi takes aim, ready to end this. Buzzsaw hits! Cover, TWO! Taichi grows frustrated but fans fire up. Off come the pants, and Taichi aims again. Taichi thrusts but Goto blocks! Goto fireman’s carry to Ushigoroshi! Both men are down but fans rally for Goto. Miho coaches Taichi up but Goto is up first. They collide with clotheslines, and then again, but neither falls. Goto runs in but Taichi gets him in a full nelson. But Taichi also rakes the eyes! And then hits a running clothesline! Taichi drags Goto back up for a powerbomb, but Goto resists. Taichi shifts to short kicks, then goes for the bomb again. But Goto back drops out!
Fans fire up as Goto blocks Taichi’s kick, then ducks the clothesline. Goto gets a waistlock but Taichi fights with elbows, so Goto lifts him in a cradle, for a swinging facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Taichi lives but Goto just grits his teeth. Miho grows concerned as Goto drags Taichi up again. Goto goes after the dragon sleeper but Taichi grabs the ref! Tachi throws the ref down and then rakes Goto’s eyes! Taichi blocks a kick to hit a low blow! Then chicken wing cradle, TWO!! Goto survives Taichi’s tricks, but he’s in bad shape now. Fans rally up for him as Goto slowly stands. Taichi runs at him for a rabbit clothesline, then hits a big enziguri! Taichi fires up and brings Goto around for the powerbomb. And he hits the Last Ride! Cover, TWO!! Goto shocks Taichi by surviving!
Taichi keeps his cool and vows to end it now. He stands Goto up again, Alabama Slam position, but Goto gets out for Reverse GTR! Both men are down again, but fans cheer Goto on. Taichi crawls to a corner and Miho slides him the title belt! She becomes a distraction but the referee still sees the belt. Taichi shoves the ref again but Goto grabs the belt! Goto reels Taichi in for a headbutt! Goto gives the belt to the ref, then gets Taichi in another Ushigoroshi! But Goto isn’t done there. He roars and focuses, to hit Taichi with the buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Taichi lives but Goto won’t let up. Goto drags Taichi up again, and gets the dragon sleeper. But Taichi slips out to try a suplex! Goto resists, and suplexes Taichi up! SHOUTEN KAI!
But Goto still won’t end it there! He drags Taichi up once more, dragon sleeper, GTR!! Cover, Goto wins!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
The Fierce Warrior triumphs! He once again claims his favorite title to start yet another reign. Will Goto ever stop being connected to this title? Or will he define its legacy as much as it defines his?
Taichi says that was “a load of bullsh*t.” Goto that “son of a bitch” and NJPW are playing with Taichi. Taichi didn’t want a match with Will Ospreay but NJPW forced him to have it. Then they go and cancel it and switch opponents on Taichi without his consent. it’s the only reason he lost. He’s an “emotional wreck” now! Taichi wants his rematch. Goto loves those, right? NJPW listens to Goto so he has to be the one to say it. “Make it happen, immediately.” Taichi will banish Goto to “rematch hell”!
As for Goto himself, he asks if we all saw that. He and the NEVER title are meant for each other. And he knows Will Ospreay still wants a shot, so Goto will give him that shot. At least, he would if Ospreay was healthy. Goto wants Ospreay to get back to 100% so they can have their match. Until then, Goto calls out Kota Ibushi. The NEVER title needs some “new excitement”, and the Golden Star makes a lot of sense. Goto waits for good news. Will Ibushi accept Goto’s challenge to challenge him? What of Taichi’s insistence on a rematch?
Revolution Pro-Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS Minoru Suzuki!
The Stone Pitbull and the Meanest Man in the World have gone back and forth plenty of times, for both titles and pride. They battle for the third time over a non-NJPW title, who will win this tough-as-nails tiebreaker?
The bell rings and Suzuki boots Ishii right off his feet! Ishii’s back up to give a shoulder and then forearms! He backs Suzuki into a corner with more forearms, and then forearms Suzuki almost endlessly! Suzuki just gets up and gives them all back! Ishii gets up just as quick, but Suzuki whips him corner to corner. Suzuki runs in but dodges Ishii’s clothesline. Suzuki spins Ishii around and ducks an enziguri. Ishii ducks the Penalty Kick and fans applaud this even match-up of familiar foes. Suzuki stands and circles with Ishii. They stare down and approach. Suzuki gives a forearm so Ishii responds. Suzuki gives another forearm, so Ishii hits again. They go back and forth and pick up speed. Neither man backs down but they do start hitting harder.
Ishii staggers but then he hits Suzuki and Suzuki staggers. Suzuki almost falls out of the ring but Ishii goes after him. Suzuki wants the hanging armbar but Ishii frees his arm, to then punch Suzuki off the apron! Ishii fetches Suzuki back into the ring quickly, and brings him up. Ishii rams in knees and puts him in a corner. He stomps a mudhole into Suzuki but Suzuki grits his teeth. Ishii chops but Suzuki just feeds off it. Ishii chops him more but Suzuki grows even stronger. Suzuki even sticks out his chest to take the chop harder! Ishii keeps chopping but Suzuki doesn’t back down. Suzuki kicks low, then roundhouses Ishii in the chest. Ishii falls after the third, so Suzuki kicks him out of the ring. Suzuki waits in the ring, daring Ishii to return. He grins an evil grin while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ishii returns into the ring. Suzuki is right on him with kicks and knees. Ishii falls to his knees but Suzuki brings him up for more knee strikes. Suzuki knees Ishii into a corner, then wrenches his arm. He kicks Ishii in the ribs, then drives a knee into the side. Suzuki gets space to get a running start for yet another knee to Ishii’s side. Suzuki kicks Ishii while he’s down but fans rally up. Ishii hits back with body shots and headbutts, but Suzuki just takes it all. Suzuki eggs Ishii on as he punches away. Suzuki stands Ishii up for a big shot to the sternum! Ishii falls again but Suzuki sits him back up. Suzuki rocks Ishii with a forearm, then dares him to get up again. Ishii sits up but Suzuki stomps him out.
Suzuki toys with Ishii now, hitting Ishii in the face with prodding kicks. Ishii springs up to CHOP Suzuki! And Ishii CHOPS Suzuki again! Suzuki staggers as he gasps and coughs, but Ishii gives him another chop! And another, and another, each stiffer than the last. Suzuki falls and now Ishii returns those prodding kicks. Suzuki stands up with a stone serious look on his face. He grins before giving Ishii another forearm. Ishii gives the forearm back! Ishii eggs Suzuki on, so Suzuki grins and gives another shot. It staggers Ishii but Ishii stays standing. Suzuki dares Ishii to hit him, so Ishii hits Suzuki even harder! Suzuki comes back and gives an even harder shot. Ishii staggers more while Suzuki grins. Ishii keeps himself standing, to give Suzuki another shot. Suzuki staggers again, but he still gives back the shot!
Ishii doubles over and almost falls, but Suzuki wants him to get back up. Ishii stands, and gives Suzuki another forearm. Suzuki doubles over, but he manages to stand. Suzuki grins as he winds up for yet another stiff shot. Ishii is on noodle legs but he leans against Suzuki. Suzuki stands him up for another shot, and another shot, and another. But Ishii fires elbows from both sides, and again, and again! Suzuki still comes back with big forearms. Ishii falls against ropes but flounders on his feet. Suzuki stands him up for yet another shot, and that one puts Ishii on the mat. Red Shoes checks on Ishii but he’s okay to continue. Suzuki drags Ishii up and whips him corner to corner, but Ishii falls on his face. So Suzuki kicks him while he’s down!
Suzuki sits Ishii up, and runs, to boot Ishii right down! Cover, TWO!! Ishii still has life in him, but Suzuki isn’t frustrated. Fans rally as Ishii gets to his feet. Suzuki runs in for a boot! Then snapmare, and a Penalty Kick! But Ishii takes it! Ishii grits his teeth as Suzuki kicks him in the back. Ishii still tanks the kick and stands up. Suzuki fires forearms but they do nothing to Ishii now. Ishii blasts Suzuki with one big forearm, then a corner clothesline. Ishii puts Suzuki on the top rope and climbs up to join him. Suzuki throws a forearm but Ishii gets him in a powerbomb position! Last Ride! Ishii roars as he waits for Suzuki to stand. Suzuki is up, Ishii runs but Suzuki boots him away. Suzuki goes for the sleeper hold but Ishii snapmares him off to stomp him down!
Ishii looms over Suzuki, but brings him back up. Suzuki slaps so Ishii slaps, it’s a slap fight! Suzuki gets some stiff shots in, then he boots Ishii down! Both men are down but fans are rallying up while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as both Ishii and Suzuki slowly stand. Suzuki still grins as he staggers over to Ishii. Ishii slaps first and the slap fight continues where it left off. They go fast and furious, back and forth, neither man backing down. Fans are thunderous as the slapping hits a climax, but then Suzuki staggers. Suzuki eggs Ishii to bring it, so Ishii does, and the slapping battle of palm strikes begins a third time. Suzuki stuns Ishii and then fires off more strikes. Ishii suddenly headbutts! Suzuki staggers, but manages to follow Ishii, and ducks the clothesline. He wants the sleeper but Ishii denies with a back suplex lift. Suzuki slips out of that to get a facelock. Ishii blocks Suzuki’s suplex to hit his own! Ishii runs but into a dropkick! Both men are down again as fans fire up.
Suzuki sits up first and uses ropes to stand up. He goes over to Ishii down on the mat. He sits Ishii up to wrap on a sleeper! Ishii endures as he stands up. Suzuki squeezes tighter as fans rally, but Ishii doesn’t quit. Suzuki spins Ishii around and wants his piledriver, but Ishii fights out. Ishii clubs Suzuki but Suzuki stays up, to then knock Ishii down with a forearm! Suzuki drags Ishii back up and gives another forearm shot. He gives another, and another, and another, then pulls on a facelock. Suzuki then spins Ishii around for the piledriver, but Ishii picks Suzuki up to make it a back2belly driver!! Ishii roars up and waits for Suzuki to stand. Ishii runs, and runs Suzuki over! Cover, TWO!! Suzuki survives but Ishii isn’t done.
Ishii runs, blocks the boot and headbutts! He drags Suzuki up and runs, for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Ishii keeps his focus as he stands Suzuki up. Ishii suplexes Suzuki up but Suzuki slips out! Suzuki wants the sleeper but Ishii slips out, and we’re back to palm strikes! Suzuki gets the sleeper! Ishii endures but looks to be fading. Suzuki goes for the driver but gets an enziguri! Ishii clobbers Suzuki with another clothesline! Suzuki gets up as Ishii runs, and Ishii runs Suzuki over again. Ishii brings Suzuki up for the suplex, and hits the brainbuster! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; still RPW British Heavyweight Champion
This slug fest finally ends, and it is the Stone Pitbull who survives the King of Pancreas. But Ishii doesn’t stick around to celebrate, he’s done his job. Who will be next from either NJPW or Rev-Pro to challenge his reign? Suzuki meanwhile staggers out of the ring, pushing and shoving anyone who gets in his way. Will Suzuki be back for more? Or will he move on to a different target?
Suzuki says Ishii has something of his. “Ishii… give me that belt. One more time!” Suzuki wants what’s his, and scares the camera crew on his way out. Will Ishii accept another hellacious battle like this one? Or will Suzuki have to accept defeat?
What a solid episode right here, emphasis on solid. This hour is big just on having two title matches in it, featuring some of the stiffest competition in NJPW. Goto VS Taichi was pretty good, but I find it interesting they made that one surprise saido suplex from Taichi so strong. Goto gets points for toughness, and it’s both surprising and not so surprising that he’s once again NEVER Openweight Champion. At this point, they should rename it the Fierce Warrior Openweight Championship after him because he’s had it so many times. Goto calling out Ibushi is a really great idea, though, that match is going to be amazing. Meanwhile, Ishii VS Suzuki was another spectacularly stiff match. There were so many of those forearm shots that echoed out, it’s insane. These two could truly #FightForever and I doubt it’d ever get boring.
My Score: 8.7/10