NJPW Power Struggle concludes with Chris Jericho defending his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against the King of Darkness, Los Ingobernables’ EVIL!
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jay White & Bad Luck Fale w/ Gedo VS Kazuchika Okada & Trent Barreta; Okada & Barreta win.
- The Golden Lovers VS Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay; The Golden Lovers win.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho VS Evil; Jericho wins and retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
Y2J took the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito after a brutal attack, and then continued that brutality after the match! The King of Darkness rescued the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon, and now looks to take the title from Chris Jericho. Jericho didn’t appreciate Evil interfering in his business, and attacked Evil at the King of Pro-Wrestling event. Jericho vows to finish this, with the title on the line! Will the Walls of Jericho crumble when Darkness Falls? Or is the Greatest of All Time at What He Does going to prove just that to conclude Power Struggle 2018?
Jay White & Bad Luck Fale w/ Gedo VS Kazuchika Okada & Trent Barreta!
The Switchblade attempted a mutiny of Chaos but failed to overthrow the Rainmaker, so he joined up with the Bullet Club Firing Squad instead. Now Okada and Chaos want payback, and look for it in this tag team match. Will Okada make White and Gedo pay for their betrayal? Or will he and Trent #BreathewiththeSwitchblade?
Before the bell rings, Okada rushes White! White bails out but Okada pursues with a slingshot plancha! Trent goes after Fale while Okada whips White into railing. The bell rings just so this match can happen. Fans move aside as Okada brings White past the railing. Okada bowls White into chairs then rocks him with European Uppercuts. Okada brings White back to ringside and throws White into the apron’s edge. Trent keeps the Underboss on the ropes in the ring with chops and haymakers. White hits Okada at the corner! White throws Okada into railing now! Fale throws Trent out while White returns the favor, bowling Okada through chairs! Fans are again around the action as White clubs Okada.
White brings Okada back around and whips, but Okada reverses to send White back into railing! Okada boots White up and White ends up across both blue and white railing. Okada drags him out, draping DDT to the floor! Trent keeps on Fale with a wrecking ball dropkick and Fale staggers. Fans fire up and Trent builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit takes Fale down! Trent comes back but Fale brings him up in a bearhug. Fale rams Trent into a post, then runs him over with a clothesline! Okada grinds a boot into White and a 20 count finally begins. The count reaches 7 but Fale puts Trent in the ring. Fale throws big hands and close-range clotheslines. He whips Trent corner to corner hard and Trent tumbles up and then back down. Fale squashes him in the corner! And the splash! Cover, TWO!!
Trent survives and fans fire up. Okada glares at Gedo, who begs for some mercy. Fale choke slams Trent and Okada goes to save Trent but Gedo anchors his feet! Fale brings Trent up but Trent slips through to a sunset flip! Trent & Okada win!!
Winners: Kazuchika Okada & Trent Barreta, Trent pinning
But Fale won’t let Trent enjoy it, as he stomps him out! White clobbers Okada and throws him into barriers. White keeps going but Okada hits back. They brawl but the Young Lions try to separate them. The Young Lions get knocked around and the brawl continues. White keeps on Okada but Okada hits him back! They both go into chairs, but Gedo gets involved. Gedo gets knocked away but White clobbers Okada again. Gedo wants White to retreat, but White goes right at Okada again! Okada almost gets White with a gut wrench but Gedo gets White away. Okada blasts his way through the Young Lions to again brawl with White! Gedo separates White once more and things finally settle down.
White gets a mic and dares Okada to a 1v1 match any time, anywhere, no one else around. Okada replies, “Let’s do this right now!” But White doesn’t accept that, and takes his anger out on Young Lions. When will White man up to face Okada like he says?
The Golden Lovers VS Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay!
The Best Bout Machine and The Once in a Century Talent compete for THE IWGP Heavyweight Championship, as Hiroshi Tanahashi has the challenging rights contract he won in the G1 Climax. But before their Wrestle Kingdom 13 showdown, we get a sampler as they join forces with friends for a tag team battle! Will Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi hit two birds with one stone by proving they are a top level tag team while Omega proves he’s better than Tanahashi? Or will The Ace and the #BlockChampion gain major momentum going into the biggest NJPW event?
The teams meet and Tanahashi mocks the Cleaner’s finger gun. Tanahashi and Omega start arguing, then they start fighting! The bell rings and the brawl continues. Tanahashi hist, Omega hits, and back again. Tanahashi gets an edge and whips but Omega holds the ropes. Omega boots Tanahashi but misses the V-Trigger. Tanahashi swings but Omega dodges, and back again. The two stare down but the fans fire up. Omega and Tanahashi cool off, and Omega tags to Ibushi. Tanahashi tags to Finlay, and fans rally for both of them. Ibushi and Finlay circle and tie up. Finlay gets a waistlock but Ibushi gets the standing switch. Finlay reverses to a wristlock bu Ibushi reverses back. Ibushi wrenches but Finlay reverses, shifts to a headlock, but Ibushi reverses to a hammerlock and headlock. Finlay powers out and things speed up, Finlay dropkicks Ibushi down!
Ibushi checks his teeth while Finlay brings him up. Omega manages a tag as Finlay whips Ibushi. Things speed up as both Lovers hurdle Finlay. Ibushi roundhouses Finlay, and Omega hits the Kotaro Krusher bulldog! Omega covers, TWO! Omega brings Finlay up and bumps him off the buckles, then tags to Ibushi. Ibushi stomps Finlay, then throws forearms. Ibushi eggs Finlay on so Finlay gives forearms back, but Ibushi’s one forearm knocks Finlay over. Tag to Omega, and Omega mugs Finlay. Omega whips Finlay and runs him over with a back elbow. He stands Finlay up in an open corner for haymakers and CHOPS! Omega whips Finlay corner to corner hard and Finlay hits the mat. cover, but Tanahahsi breaks it. So Omega throws Tanahashi out and follows after! Omega whips Tanahashi into railing!
Omega returns to Finlay but Finlay hits back. They brawl, forearms for EuroUppers. Finlay runs but into the kitchen sink knee. Omega spots Tanahashi returning and slingshots out to take him down! Omega gets up and assures Ibushi he’s got this. But he enters and collides with Finlay! Tanahashi returns to his corner, Finlay gives him the tag! Tanahashi rallies on the Lovers, blocks Omega’s boot, and hits a dragon screw! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he stalks Omega, Tanahashi runs but Omega dodges to fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton but a little slow to the corner. Omeag’s moonsault misses and Tanahashi dropkicks the leg out. Tanahsahi runs into a CHOP, but he palm strikes back! V-Trigger outta nowhere! Omega then ducks to snap dragon suplex!
Omega fires up and drags Tananashi into the Electric Chair. Tanahashi spins through to the Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fans rally up while both men are down. Ibushi and Finlay return to their corners, and reach out as Omega and Tanahashi crawl. Hot tags bring them both in, but both men dodges each other. Ibushi fires off a strike fest, then a Penalty Kick to standing corkscrew! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Ibushi as he drags Finlay up. Finlay resists and fights out with elbows. Finlay forearms but Ibushi hits back. They brawl, fighting Irish spirit against Japanese bushido. Finlay staggers but EuroUppers. Ibushi forearms and they go back and forth. Ibushi kicks, then runs, but into a BIG urenage! Cover, TWO!! Finlay keeps his focus as he vows to finish this. He aims from a corner, but his cutter is blocked int a straitjacket German! Bridge, TWO!
Ibushi has both hands, but misses Kamigoye! Tanahashi Slingblades Ibushi, but gets Omega’s V-Trigger! Omega scoops Finlay up, and Ibushi comes in, Golden Indietaker! But they’re not done with Finlay, they sit him up for the Golden Trigger, only for Tanahashi to crossbody them both! Tanahashi runs again, but into V-trigger and roundhouse combo! Ibushi drags Finlay back in, Golden Trigger hits!! Cover, Golden Lovers win!
Winners: The Golden Lovers, Kota Ibushi pinning
Victory for the Cleaner and Golden Star! Omega taunts Tanahashi with both his belt and Tanahashi’s briefcase. Tick tock, Wrestle Kingdom is coming. Will Omega prove he can trump The Ace? Or will The Once in a Century Talent take the title for his own once more?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho VS Evil!
The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla has done what he wants when he wants since coming to NJPW, and that doubly goes for the two members of Los Ingobernables de Japon he’s gone after. Y2J left Tetsuya Naito bloody, and ambushed Evil as one of his acolytes. Will The King of Darkness make him pay for such disrespect? Or will Jericho simply add Evil to the List of wrestlers he’s defeated?
Jericho seems to mock LIJ as he takes his time with his wardrobe. He pulls off one mask to reveal he has another. Evil doesn’t wait for him to take that mask off, he attacks! The bell rings to get this match going, and Evil throws forearm after forearm into Jericho. Evil rakes Jericho’s eyes then whips him corner to corner. Jericho’s boot is blocked and Evil clotheslines back. Evil whips Jericho again, but Jericho bails out fast. Jericho wants to walk away already but Evil pursues him. Evil attacks Jericho and bowls him into chairs! Fans get clear as Evil clubs away. Jericho hits back and they brawl in the front row. Evil chops Jericho then follows him back to ringside. Evil bumps Jericho into a post, then suplexes him to the floor!
Jericho writhes but Evil looms over him. Evil has media clear out while he searches under the ring. Evil brings out a table! He sets it up nearby while Jericho leans on railing. Evil goes back to Jericho but the brawl continues. Evil throws Jericho into the apron, then brings him over to the table. Red Shoes tells Evil not to do it, but Evil still wants to use the table. Evil lifts but Jericho resists. Jericho back drops Evil to the ground! Jericho comes back to stomp Evil, then whips Evil into railing! Fans rally while Jericho confiscates a camera. Jericho films himself stomping Evil, then gives the camera back. Jericho uses his shirt to choke Evil, then dumps Evil over railing!
Red Shoes reprimands Jericho but Jericho goes to the commentary area. Jericho clears things out and slams Evil on the desk. Then he drags Evil onto that desk, and gives Evil a DDT to the desk! “Everything is Jericho!” while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Jericho gloats over Evil. Jericho swats Young Lions and gets in Red Shoes’ face before going back to Evil. Jericho tosses Evil back over the railing then tosses the desk at more Young Lions! He takes the NJPW banner and blows his nose in it! Fans boo and jeer as Jericho tosses the banner away. Jericho talks trash to commentary before dropping double ax handles on Evil. He puts Evil in the ring and climbs up top. Evil stands and Jericho brings him down with a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jericho stomps Evil out, then mocks the fans chanting for Evil. Jericho toys with Evil as he brings him up for chops. Evil staggers to a corner and Jericho gives him more chops, and forearms. Evil chops back but Jericho dropkicks him! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally for Evil but Jericho toys with him more. Jericho slaps Evil around but that angers Evil. Evil kicks and chops and haymakers back! Evil rakes eyes but runs into a SUPERKICK! Jericho hits the Lionsault! Cover, TWO! Evil survives again, but Jericho keeps his cool. Jericho drags Evil back up, scoops and slams him, then flexes his muscles. He stomps Evil in the face and kicks him in the back. Jericho goes to a corner and climbs while fans rally. Evil stops Jericho up top and gives him a chop. Evil climbs to join Jericho, but Jericho resists. They fight up there, and Jericho headbutts Evil down. Jericho adjusts as Evil stands, for a flying back elbow! Cover, TWO! Jericho stays calm while fans rally. Jericho flips the fans off then goes back to Evil. He still toys with Evil, so Evil hits back with chops!
Jericho kicks and scoops Evil, but Evil slips out. Evil blocks Jericho’s kick and hands it to Red Shoes, and kicks Jericho in the thigh! Evil throws punches and clotheslines Jericho out! Fans rally as Evil fetches Jericho. Evil brings Jericho up to club him, then whips him. Jericho reverses but Evil reverses back, Jericho collides with railing! Evil fires up and searches under the ring. Evil finds chairs! And he uses one on Jericho’s ribs! Evil puts it around Jericho’s head, and throws him at the post!! Jericho staggers, chair still around his head, and Evil SMACKS it off with another chair! Fans fire up for the ferocity, but Evil isn’t done with Jericho. Evil stalks Jericho and puts him back in the ring. Evil runs corner to corner for the corner clothesline! Then hits a fisherman suplex! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally and Evil brings Jericho up. Evil throws Jericho into buckles then stomps in a mudhole. Red Shoes counts and Evil backs off at 4. Evil runs back at Jericho, but the dropkick is blocked! Jericho wants the Walls but Evil resists. Evil throws Jericho off but Jericho dumps him out! Jericho hits the triangle jump dropkick! Evil hands on, so Jericho builds speed, only to run into a shoulder. Evil’s table is nearby, so Evil lines up a shot. He drags Jericho up, but Jericho resists the suplex. Evil keeps trying, but only manages to bring Jericho to the apron. Jericho breaks free of the facelock but gets a headbutt for it. Evil tries a new way, and leaps for an urenage through the table!! Both men crash and burn through the wood, and we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns to find both men are still down. Red Shoes brings a 20 count, but neither man stirs until about 10. Evil sits up first at 13, followed by Jericho. They head for the ring and enter at 16. Evil climbs up top, aims and leaps, and the SUPER Back Senton manages to graze Jericho! Cover, TWO!! Jericho survives and Evil grows frustrated, but fans rally up. Evil drags Jericho up and wants a fireman’s carry but Jericho fights. Jericho rolls Evil up and gets the Walls of Jericho! Evil endures this iconic stretch and crawls for ropes, but Jericho pulls back while talking trash. Fans rally and Evil feeds off it to crawl further. Evil gives one last gasp, and gets the ropebreak!
Jericho lets go, thinking he won, but he didn’t. Jericho argues with Red Shoes, then shove shim down. Evil clobbers Jericho with a clothesline! Cover, TWO!! Evil lines up another shot, but Jericho elbows to counter. Jericho springboards but the Lionsault misses! Evil rolls through to fireman’s carry Jericho, Darkness Falls!! Cover, TWO!? Jericho barely survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally again, and Evil prepares his shot. Evil slashes Jericho’s throat, drags him up, but Jericho victory rolls through! TWO, Jericho dodges but the Code Breaker is blocked. Double clotheslines bring both men down! Fans rally yet again and both men slowly stir.
Jericho CHOPS Evil, but Evil responds with a CHOP of his own. Jericho throws forearms but Evil responds. Now Jericho rakes the eyes then runs, but Evil follows, only to get a Code Breaker! Cover, TWO!! Evil barely survives and Jericho can’t believe it. Jericho slaps Evil as he tells him to stay down. Jericho rains down rights and bounces Evil’s face off the mat. “Everything is Jericho!” as he climbs up top. Evil stands again, and catches the ax handles. Jericho gets out of the STO but Evil blocks the clothesline. Evil hits his STO! Cover, TWO!! Jericho still lives and Evil is stunned! Evil prepares again, runs, and clotheslines Jericho again! Evil wants another but Jericho pushes him at Red Shoes! Jericho’s kick is blocked, Evil fireman’s carry, DARKNESS– Huricanrana! Roll through, to Walls of Jericho!!
Evil is stuck in the middle of the ring, but he crawls for ropes. Jericho sits deep, but Evil keeps trying. Evil gets close, but Jericho brings him away! Jericho gets an angle on the hold, Evil taps! Jericho wins!!
Winner: Chris Jericho, by submission; still IWGP Intercontinental Champion
The first defense is successful, and Jericho smiles an evil smile. But as always, he attacks afterward! He puts Evil back in the Walls of Jericho, even as the bell rings and Red Shoes shouts. But here comes Naito! Naito makes another save and he tees off on Jericho! Jericho bails out fast, taking the title with him. Naito invites Jericho to return but Jericho doesn’t. Jericho holds his hands and belt up high, but Naito gets a mic. “Chris Jericho, your next opponent… Is me.” Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Testuya Naito, “against self-proclaimed worldwide superstar, Chris Jericho. I’m gonna bury you, cabron.” The Ungovernable Charisma wants to make Jericho pay, will we see that happen at Wrestle Kingdom?
Chris Jericho says his match with Evil was an instant classic. That’s the first classic that Evil has ever had, but #257 for Jericho. Jericho has classic after classic after classic. He’s the GOAT for a reason. For those who don’t get that, perhaps the Japanese audience, it stands for Greatest of All Time. And it’s not a tagline, it’s not a catchphrase, it’st he truth. Find someone in the history of this world who has more Intercontinental Championship reigns that Y2J, he dares you! But you can’t! And not just because they pretend to not speak English. They won’t because “the foreigner won”. Jericho is undefeated in NJPW against Japanese, and he’ll stay that way.
Evil’s great, that was a great match, best in a long time for Jericho, but Jericho won like he said he would, and now Evil is famous thanks to him. Naito is famous thanks to Jericho, too. If Naito wants to be famous again, he should find someone else. Jericho says no more rematches for Naito ever. However, Jericho isn’t the match maker. Will NJPW management deem Naito worthy of another shot? Will Naito make the best of that opportunity and take the title back? Or will NJPW never, ever, EVER, be the same again?
What a great conclusion for the Power Struggle event. I’m surprised we got three matches, but two of them were surprisingly quick. The chaos in the minor Chaos VS Firing Squad match was great, it was like two separate singles matches rather than a tag team match. Chaos gets the rather meaningless win, and clearly White’s halfhearted “anywhere, any time” challenge implies Wrestle Kingdom will see Okada VS White as a blow-off. Now what would really make this match mean more is if there is a stipulation relating to who controls Chaos. If White wins, he and Gedo run Chaos as an extension of the Firing Squad so that their numbers grow. Of course, many of the Chaos members probably won’t go for it, and they would help Okada win in that scenario. But I’m sure Okada wins, stipulation or not.
The Golden Lovers VS Tanahashi & Finlay was great for being under 10 minutes. They barely slowed down once things got going, and while Omega and Tanahashi aren’t involved in the finish, it establishes Omega has an edge going into Wrestle Kingdom’s title match. There is a lot going on for The Elite as we go into 2019, with any number of things being reason for why Omega himself might be staying or going. I’d imagine the results of this IWGP Heavyweight Championship match is a major indicator of what is happening for Omega and by extension, The Elite. Then the IWGP Intercontinental Championship main event was really great. Jericho’s NJPW attitude has really kept him fresh, and he definitely meant it when Evil gave him a great match. Jericho VS Naito rematch is coming, and that could go either way by my estimation.
My Score: 8.6/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10