NJPW Power Struggle continues as Tetsuya Naito once again battles Zack Sabre Jr! Will Tranquilo #JustTapOut? Or will ZSJ lost to The Ungovernable Charisma?
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi; RPG3K wins the 2018 Super Junior Tag League.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
Los Ingobernables de Japon continues to war with Suzuki-Gun! The leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito, has lost to the Submission Master, Zack Sabre Jr, twice this year in both the New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax! ZSJ angered Naito when he picked the bones of Evil after a vicious attack from Chris Jericho. Naito looks to get back at ZSJ for both Evil and those defeats, but ZSJ talks of retiring Naito himself. Who will win in this third time around in 2018?
Meanwhile, the Super Junior Tag League Tournament bring together familiar foes as the factions of LIJ, Suzuki-Gun and Chaos battle again! The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are still Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and they look to show true dominance over the division. However, Roppongi 3K’s Sho & Yoh look to repeat as tournament winners while Bushi has LIJ’s newest member, Shingo Takagi, by his side. Who comes out of this finals match primed to rule over the Junior Heavyweight Tag Division?
Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi!
The round robin format of this tournament makes it so that the teams with the best records qualify for this tournament climax, and this year it ended up being three! All three teams have a 10-0 record going in, impressive to say the least. And naturally, the winners of this tournament, if they’re not the champions, get a shot to face the champions for the belts in the future. Will Sho & Yoh become back-to-back tournament champs? Will the tag champs come out as supreme rulers of Junior Heavyweight Tag wrestling? Or will this new combination of ungovernable stars be the key to victory?
Suzuki-Gun’s duo bring their belts, and a bottle of whiskey for Kanemaru. Kanemaru tags a swig then spits it to the sky, before attacking Bushi! Desperado goes after Shingo, but Sho & Yoh go after them! The match starts with the bell and Suzuki-Gun throws Yoh out of the ring. Kanemaru keeps on Sho with an eye rake, and Desperado adds a kick. Suzuki-Gun mug Sho then double whip, but he hits back! Desperado kicks Sho and chops him. Desperado runs, Sho ducks and Yoh comes back! They drop toehold and dropkick Desperado, then double dropkick Kanemaru. LIJ returns but they get dropkick’d out. Yoh goes back to Desperado while fans rally up. Sho keeps on Desperado with a big scoop slam. Sho drags Desperado up but Desperado rakes eyes.
This kind of Triple Threat Tag, anyone can tag anyone so long as it doesn’t create a match-up of the same team. Therefore, Bushi is allowed to tag in from Desperado. He goes after Sho, then drags him up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool as he tags in Shingo. Shingo hits Yoh for good measure before bringing Sho up. Sho chops, but Shingo chops back. Sho leans against ropes, but Shingo double chops him down! Shingo drags Sho up and whips, follows after and rams his knee into Sho. Then he suplexes Sho up and over, floats to cover, TWO! Tag to Bushi and LIJ double whip. They double hip toss and combine back senton and leg drop. Bushi covers, TWO! Bushi uses his shirt to choke Sho, but lets up at 4.
Fans cheer while Bushi clubs Sho. Bushi runs but Sho hits him with the kitchen sink knee! Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies on LIJ, ducks the enziguri and dragon screws Shingo. Yoh gives Bushi a backbreaker to necbreaker and kips up! Fans rally up as Yoh back elbows Bushi in a corner. Yoh suplexes but Bushi slips out. Bushi fires off forearms, then runs, but Desperado trips him up. Kanemaru tags in off Bushi and goes after Yoh. Desperado drags Bushi down to beat him up while Kanemaru hits Shingo. Bushi and Shingo go into barriers while Kanemaru whips Yoh. Kanemaru gives Yoh a kitchen sink, then tosses Yoh out. Desperado uses the backing of a chair to SMACK Yoh in the head. Then he whips Yoh into barriers! Desperado feeds Yoh to Kanemaru for a scoop slam.
Kanemaru grinds his foot on Yoh’s face, then tags Desperado. Desperado kicks Yoh down, and taunts Sho to return. Desperado chops Yoh back, but Yoh chops back. Yoh keeps firing strikes but Desperado shrugs it off. They go back and forth, but Desperado rakes eyes. Desperado runs but Shingo gets him to stop. Desperado hits Shingo, but turns around into Yoh’s calf kick! Hot tag to Kanemaru and he stops Sho from tagging in. Suzuki-Gun work together to start a corner train, and then Desperado cradles Yoh for Kanemaru to shotgun dropkick-start the slam! Cover, but LIJ breaks it. LIJ goes after everyone else, and double whip Kanemaru. Kanemaru holds ropes and dumps Shingo out. He puts Bushi on the apron and Desperado knocks him off. Kanemaru helps Desperado build speed to DIVE on LIJ! Desperado ends up safely on the announce desk!
Fans fire up, even if it’s for Suzuki-Gun. Desperado returns as Kanemaru brings Yoh up. Suplex to inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru grows frustrated, but he keeps on Yoh. Yoh hits back and they brawl with forearms and European Uppercuts. Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls for a DDT! He drags Yoh up again, but Yoh gets him back with a Falcon Arrow! Yoh is too sore to make the cover, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as fans rally up. Yoh and Kanemaru stir but Desperado attacks Sho! Desperado comes in but Bushi hits him first. Bushi grabs Yoh and throws him to the LIJ corner. Shingo tags in off Yoh, and then goes after Kanemaru’s inner thigh. Desperado saves Kanemaru by whipping Shingo but Shingo reverses. Shingo then starts up a clothesline train, first hitting Desperado then going corner to corner to hit Kanemaru. Desperado staggers into a shoulder from Shingo! Fans fire up as Shingo grabs Kanemaru. Sho comes in but gets caught, DDT and complete shot! Shingo goes back to Kanemaru for another suplex, but Kanemaru slips out. Kanemaru has a waistlock but Shingo fights out. Shingo whips and pop-up Death Valley Driver on Kanemaru! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru barely survives but Shingo is not bothered.
Muscle Dragon Shingo stalks Kanemaru, but misses in the corner. Kanemaru misses, too, and Bushi hits a knee! Bushi feeds Kanemaru to the spinebuster, adding a backstabber! Cover, but RPG3K break it! RPG3K is thrown out and LIJ coordinates. Shingo lifts Kanemaru in a wheelbarrow, but Desperado intercepts Bushi! Kanemaru victory rolls, TWO! Bushi fights Desperado off to slingshot headscissor Desperado! Shingo runs but to a basement dropkick! Kanemaru staggers into a tag from Sho! Sho then rocks Kanemaru with a right, and throws Kanemaru out. Sho runs at Shingo for a big corner clothesilne. He whips but Shingo reverses, and they collide with clotheslines. Neither man falls so they try again. Shingo runs but into a dropkick!
Sho fires up, as do the fans. He deadlifts Shingo but Shingo fights back. Sho runs, but Shingo rocks him with an elbow and an uppercut! Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, but Sho slips out. Shingo runs, but into RPG3K double knees! Yoh takes out Bushi while Sho brings Shinogo back up. Backstabber feeds into the shotgun dropkick! RPG3K fire up and stalk Shingo. Shingo stands but Bushi stops Yoh with a backstabber of his own. Sho gets Bushi in a deadlift German Suplex! Desperado spears Sho, but can’t spear Shingo! Shingo and Desperado brawl, but Desperado rakes the eyes. Shingo still waistlocks Desperado, Desperado kicks Sho but Shingo shoves Desperado into Sho. Sho and Desperado turn around into Shingo’s clotheslines!
Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, for the Gory Bomb! Shingo gets up and builds speed, to clothesline from hell! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives and Shingo can’t believe it! Shingo roars as he drags Sho back up. He lifts Sho with a wristclutch, but Yoh SUPERKICKS! RPG3K hit 3K!! Cover, but the ref is yanked out! Kanemaru gets in and kicks away on Yoh! He stomps away on Sho, then drags Sho up. Desperado is in with a belt, and he clobbers Sho! Desperado drags Shingo over to a corner and uses him to tag in. Then he goes back to Sho while Kanemaru takes out Bushi. Desperado lifts Sho in the torture rack, for the slam! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives again! Desperado is furious and vows to end this.
Desperado brings Sho up in the double underhook, but Bushi jumps over the ref to use the GREEN MIST! You SUPERKICKS Bushi! Kanemaru goes after Yoh, but Yoh ducks the Whiskey Mist to dropkick Kanemaru out! Yoh builds speed and FLIES onto Bushi and Kanemaru! Sho is up, and clobbers Desperado! Sho drags Desperado up again, powerbomb lift, double knees! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but fans are thunderous. Sho fires up and wants another, but he tucks the arms this time. Package driver, the Shock Arrow! Cover, RPG3K win!!
Winners: Roppongi 3K, Sho pinning
Sho & Yoh win their second Super Junior Tag League! And best of all, it was on the tag team champions! Can Sho & Yoh use this momentum to get the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles back?
Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Los Ingobernables de Japon and Suzuki-Gun are not through with each other, and these two are far from through with each other on top of it. Will Naito make ZSJ Tranquilo? Or will ZJS make Naito #JustTapOut?
As always, Taka Michinoku takes up the mic before the match. He welcomes everyone to “Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match between ZSJ and Naito. “Who is gonna win this one?!” ZSJ is the man who can finish you with any lock anytime, anywhere, who has the deadly Zack Driver, and when he locks on, you #JustTapOut! This wrestling master is Zack Sabreeeeee Junior~! So Naito, you will repeat the New Japan Cup and G1 Climax. You can’t beat Zack, so “come on over here!” Naito makes his entrance, and takes his time as always with undressing. ZSJ doesn’t let the mind games get to him, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell. Fans cheer for Naito as he circles with ZSJ. Naito and ZSJ tie up and ZSJ gets the headlock. ZSJ throws Naito but Naito shrugs it off. He and ZSJ circle again and feel it out. ZSJ gets a wristlock but Naito reverses quick, so ZSJ breaks and slips away. They circle again and tie up. ZSJ gets the arm again and wrenches for a hammerlock. Naito rolls and goes for a leg but ZSJ gets his legs into a deathlock. Naito manages to pop free and get a headlock, but ZSJ headscissors. ZSJ squeezes tight as Naito tries to escape. Naito moves around but ZSJ goes for an arm. Naito frees himself from the headscissors to go for an armbar. ZSJ moves around and gets a leg again, Bow ‘n’ Arrow! But Naito pops out to a cover, ONE, Tranquilo!
Naito rolls out to catch his breath but ZSJ stays in the ring. Naito takes his time returning, and circles with ZSJ again. They approach and tie up, and ZSJ brings Naito’s hands down to stand on one and wrench the other. ZSJ shifts to a headlock, then throws to the takeover. Naito endures and rolls ZSJ to a cover, ONE. Naito sits up and gets up, and powers out of the headlock. He arm-drags ZSJ around, then runs him over with an elbow to hit the basement dropkick! Naito poses but ZSJ runs in with a leaping triangle hold takedown! Naito gets a ropebreak but ZSJ lets go at 4. ZSJ takes a moment to catch his breath now while Naito bails out again. Naito comes back but ZSJ presses a knee down on him.
ZSJ loops Naito’s arm through the ropes and then a leg and uses them to pull in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ backs off at 4, so he can mock the LIJ posing. Naito sits up but ZSJ is on with the double wristlock, then top wristlock to stomp! Naito writhes but ZSJ circles him like a shark. ZSJ brings Naito up for a EuroUpper, but Naito chops back. ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, but Naito gives back a CHOP. That stuns ZSJ, but ZSJ still kicks and whips Naito. Naito reverses, then run sin. ZSJ puts him on the apron to sweep the legs! ZSJ goes after Naito on the ramp and uses a calf killer! Then he shifts to a modified half crab! ZSJ tortures the legs, then rams the knees on the ramp. ZSJ leaves Naito behind as the 20-count starts.
Naito slowly gets up but the count is at 16! He hurries and gets in at 19! ZSJ is on Naito again with another trapped leg toehold to a half crab! Then a heel hook, then a deep crab! ZSJ just keeps combining holds, such as a trapped arm and another deep crap. But Naito gets the ropes and is freed. Fans rally up as Naito gets to a corner. ZSJ stomps the legs, but Naito hits back. ZSJ kicks the legs but Naito hits back. They continue to go back and forth, a kick for a forearm and back again. Naito goes down after another kick to the leg, but he crawls to a corner. ZSJ runs in but into boots. Naito gives an atomic drop and running headscissors!
Both men are down as Naito tries to get feeling in his legs. Michinoku coaches ZSJ up but Naito stands first. Naito hits ZSJ with punches and kicks, then gets the dragon sleeper to backbreaker, and adds a basement dropkick! ZSJ gets to a corner, but Naito hits the jump kick and leg sweep. Naito slingshots but into the cravat! Naito arm-drags out, but ZSJ runs back in. ZSJ is put in a corner, but he boots Naito. Naito spits then spins ZSJ sideways for the draping neckbreaker! Naito then scoops ZSJ into the reverse DDT! Cover, TWO! Naito has things back in his favor as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Naito gives ZSJ elbows in the corner. Naito drives elbows into ZSJ even as ZSJ sits down. Then Naito hoists ZSJ up top and climbs up to join him. Naito drives in more elbows and then stands up for a SUPER STEINER! But ZSJ makes it a cradle into a leg lock, into an STF! ZSJ keeps shifting to modify the crossface, then keeps pushing with his weight. Naito pushes back and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Fans rally up, and ZSJ slowly stands. ZSJ grabs Naito’s leg for a spinning toehold. Naito clutches that bad leg, but ZSJ does the spinning tweak to his arm! ZSJ stalks Naito as he stands, and gives him a EuroUpper. Naito hits back with a forearm, but ZSJ gives another EuroUpper. Naito CHOPS ZSJ and sits him down.
ZSJ gets up to kick Naito in the leg again. Naito CHOPS, but ZSJ stays standing this time. ZSJ eggs Naito on so Naito fires off forearms until ZSJ sits down. Naito goes side to side for the basement dropkick! He brings ZSJ up but ZSJ gets a full nelson! Naito arm-drags ZSJ away but ZSJ comes back with another EuroUpper. ZSJ tries again but Naito back slides and back elbows to the tornado DDT! Naito keeps going, hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ lives but Naito keeps his cool. Naito brings ZSJ up again, wrenches the arm but ZSJ kicks it! Naito kicks back and then whips. ZSJ reveres and catches the lariat into an Octopus! Naito endures as he steps towards ropes. ZSJ shifts to go after the arm, then cradles to a Calf Killer!
Naito endures leg pain, but he rolls. ZSJ keeps him trapped for a calf slicer, but Naito fights with his free leg. But ZSJ grabs it to make it part stretch muffler! Naito gets free and gets another ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go but he grows frustrated. Fans rally for Naito again, but ZSJ gets up first. ZSJ EuroUppers Naito again and again and again, then even more in the corner. He throws Naito out to Penalty Kick him! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives, but barely. Michinoku keeps ZSJ focused as he gets up again. ZSJ lifts Naito but Naito slips out to waistlock. ZSJ elbows out and wants the Octopus, but Naito breaks free. Naito runs into an uppercut but enziguris, only for ZSJ to make it an ankle lock! ZSJ then reels Naito in but Naito standing switches, for a German Suplex!
Naito runs, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ barely survives, but Naito keeps on him. Naito wrenches the arm but ZSJ drops down, only for Naito to sit on it! TWO and ZSJ drags Naito into the European Clutch! TWO but barely! ZSJ and Naito go to opposite ends as they stand up. ZSJ kicks but Naito catches it to enziguri back. Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but into ZSJ’s scoop! But Naito slips out to scoop ZSJ, brainbuster! Fans are thunderous as Naito wrenches and whirls, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
The Ungovernable finally wins against the Submission Master! Naito did not tap out and he didn’t fall to the Zack Driver, but can Naito use this to launch himself back towards a title?
Taka Michinoku explains that Zack only just arrived yesterday. This loss was because of jet lag! He was battling jet lag and an opponent at the same time. But ZSJ dares Naito to come to England and see if this still happens. ZSJ will even fight him in a pub if he wants.
As for Naito, he finally got his revenge. To be precise, Naito won in last year’s G1, but yes he did lose in the 2018 New Japan Cup and G1. Therefore, Naito is 2-2 against ZSJ all-time. Naito appreciates ZSj, because this match had no upside for him and yet he took it. He has Naito’s thanks, “Gracias, amigo.” When and where will there be a tiebreaker for their overall series?
Another great hour version of this event. While there wasn’t a lot of Super Junior Tag League coverage on AXS, this triple threat finals was great to see. It was all an impressive match and I was really impressed to see that RPG3K got to repeat. I really hope this means Sho & Yoh get those titles off of Desperado & Kanemaru, that would be great for them. The evolution of these two from being the Tempura Boyz to the gold ‘n’ silver duo has been great to see, and while they’ve already had the titles, getting the titles again would just add to their great growth. Naito VS ZSJ 4 was also great, just as good as their previous matches. I’m glad to see Naito won this time, it works for his story of coming back around strong towards the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
My Score: 8.7/10
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