NJPW and AXS give us another two hours from Wrestle Kingdom 13! Kazuchika Okada and Jay White battle to finally settle their score from the Chaos Civil War!
This coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 13 will be as AXS TV broadcasts it.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Championship.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi; Bushi & Takagi win and become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
- Revolution Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS Zack Sabre Jr. w/ Taka Michinoku; Sabre Jr. wins and becomes the new Revolution Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Guerrillas of Destiny VS EVIL & SANADA VS The Young Bucks; EVIL & SANADA win and become the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Jay White; White wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this year’s spectacular event!
The Rainmaker took his place among the pro-wrestling legends in 2018 when he broke the consecutive title defense streak and reigned as IWGP Heavyweight Champion for 720 days. But nothing was the same after Kenny Omega finally took that title from Kazuchika Okada. Okada went on a losing streak, which included The Switchblade, Jay White. As such, White questioned Okada’s leadership of Chaos, and Gedo betrayed Okada! Then White and Gedo upped the ante by joining Tama Tonga’s Bullet Club. Okada found new life through vengeance and that brings us to tonight’s grudge match! Will The Rainmaker reestablish himself? Or will he simply breathe with the Switchblade?
But first, the saga of the NEVER Openweight Championship in 2018 continues into the New Year! Hirooki Goto lost the title to Taichi, but with help from Suzuki-Gun all over the match. The Aerial Assassin, Will Ospreay, wanted to challenge the Sliest Wrestler in the World next, but injury would keep him sidelined. As such, The Fierce Warrior stepped back in and took the title back. But then the Golden Star came out of nowhere, and now Kota Ibushi has his first reign as NEVER Champion! Ospreay makes his return from injury, still aimed squarely at that openweight belt. Can the Aerial Assassin end Ibushi’s short reign in this dream match? Or will the Golden Star shine brightest in the Tokyo Dome?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Will Ospreay!
The Golden Star has his first taste of being NEVER OPC, but the Aerial Assassin wants his! Will Ospreay’s first time happen at the expense of Ibushi’s?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fans cheer for Ospreay and Ibushi as the two stare down from their corners. Then they run at each other for double boots! Both men kick but the other dodges, and things speed up! Ibushi jumps over but Ospreay jumps over to then monkey flip Ibushi out! Ospreay keeps moving to handspring fake Ibushi out, superhero landing! But Ibushi runs in to grab the hands! Ospreay dodges Kamigoye and springboards, but Ibushi manages to hold off the OsCutter! Fans fire up over both men stopping the other’s best shots. Ibushi and Ospreay stare down as they slowly circle. They go again and Ibushi boots low. Ibushi whips but Ospreay reverses, only for Ibushi to fake him out. Ospreay flops on the mat from the missed dropkick, but manages to dodge the standing moonsault.
Ospreay kicks Ibushi then runs, but Ibushi dropkicks him. Ibushi fires the fans up as Ospreay rolls out. Ibushi runs corner to corner, Golden Triangle into a roundhouse! Ospreay aims at Ibushi now, and builds speed to Sasuke Special! Direct hit topples Ibushi over! Ospreay drags Ibushi up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Ospreay keeps his cool as he brings Ibushi up. He throws a heavy European Uppercut but Ibushi stays standing. Ospreay hits him again, but now Ibushi gets mad. Ospreay CHOPS Ibushi, then again. Ibushi grits his teeth but Ospreay brings him out for a stiff backbreaker. Cover, TWO! Fans cheer while Ospreay toys with Ibushi. Ospreay toys with Ibushi but Ibushi eggs him on. Ospreay slaps Ibushi but Ibushi dares him to do it again. This time Ospreay forearms, but Ibushi gets in his face.
Ibushi hits back with forearms, but Ospreay kicks back. Ospreay runs, but into a huricanrana! Ospreay rolls out again while Ibushi fires himself up. Ibushi goes out to top rope corkscrew moonsault! Direct hit takes Ospreay out! The ring count begins as Ibushi brings Ospreay over. Ibushi puts Ospreay in, then springboards to missile dropkick Ospreay down! Ospreay gets to a corner and Ibushi runs in but misses. Ospreay runs in but Ibushi dodges to roll and GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool and brings Ospreay up. Ospreay victory rolls, TWO! Ibushi roundhouses Ospreay in the chest. Ibushi whips, but Ospreay handsprings to enziguri! Ospreay catches his breath while Ibushi crawls to a corner.
Ospreay runs in, but Ibushi goes up and over to powereslam! Ibushi hops up quick, but Ospreay tucks him in, Cheeky Nandos! Ospreay keeps going with a roll up, TWO! Ospreay clutches his back while Ibushi checks his nose. Fans rally as Ospreay stands first. Ospreay brings Ibushi up for haymakers, but Ibushi stands up. Ospreay forearms, Ibushi forearms, and Ospreay forearms again. Ibushi staggers but hits back, so Ospreay hits back, too. Ibushi grits his teeth as he throws another forearm. Ospreay and Ibushi egg each other on and they continue to go back and forth. Ibushi gets the edge and rocks Ospreay. Ospreay kicks but Ibushi blocks to CHOP Ospreay off his feet! The champion grins as he staggers back, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ibushi staggers over to Ospreay. Ibushi brings Ospreay up for the powerbomb, but Ospreay pops out of the Last Ride. Ibushi mule kicks him and runs, but into the dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ospreay catches Ibushi’s counter punch and swings through to a powerbomb lift of his own. Ibushi slips out to lift Ospreay, but Ospreay slips out, only to get a roundhouse! Ibushi runs, but into the SPANISH FLY! Both men are down but fans fire up! Ospreay and Ibushi stir as fans duel. They crawl to opposite ends, but Ospreay stands and takes aim. Ospreay hook kicks Ibushi! Then brings him out for the double underhook. Ospreay lifts, but Ibushi escapes with a huricanrana pin! TWO!! But Ibushi doesn’t waste time arguing as he catches Ospreay’s tilt-o-whirl. Ospreay slips out of the long dart, for a snap German!
But Ibushi shakes it off! And he hits a running knee! Ibushi hits somewhere between Shinsuke Nakamura and his best friend, Kenny Omega. The referee checks on a dazed Ospreay but he’s somehow okay to continue. Ibushi roars as he drags Ospreay back up. Ibushi lifts, Golden Star Last Ride! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi is shocked by Ospreay’s survival. But Ibushi won’t stop, as he goes to a corner. He climbs up top, but Ospreay trips him up! Ibushi falls back into the Tree of Woe, so Ospreay SLAPS him! And slaps him, and slaps him. Ibushi slaps back! It’s a slap fight, even while Ibushi is upside-down! Ibushi hits palm strike after palm strike, so Ospreay decides to stomp a mudhole! Ospreay backs off at 4, then staggers about to clear his head.
Ospreay goes back and drags Ibushi up out of the Tree. Ibushi flops against the post, and Ospreay brings him around, wanting a double underhook. Ibushi fights back with elbows, then turns around to club away on Ospreay. Ospreay teeters as Ibushi gives SUPER DOUBLE STOMPS! Ospreay flops out onto the apron, and Ibushi grins through the blood from his mouth and nose. Ibushi walks over and drags Ospreay up, and with a waistlock. Ibushi deadlift SUPER German Suplexes Ospreay! But Ospreay lands on his feet! Ibushi senses it with stunned silence on his face. He turns around, into Ospreay’s Robinson Special! Ospreay fires up, takes aim, and springboards, OSC- No, Ibushi blocks again! And he puts on the straitjacket, for the suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Ospreay survives the straitjacket, but Ibushi uses that to turn him over. Ibushi thrusts in, but Ospreay dodges again! Ospreay roundhouses Ibushi, but Ibushi throws a heavy clothesline! Both men stagger, and Ibushi fires off a strike fest. Another clothesline but from Ospreay! Ospreay drags Ibushi to his feet, then double underhooks. He lifts, Canadian rack but Ibushi slips out to a dragon sleeper! Ospreay reverses that onto Ibushi, and lifts, only for Ibushi to land on his feet! Ibushi lifts Ospreay, tucks him in, PACKAGE TOMBSTONE! Cover, TWO!?! Ospreay is superhuman, but Ibushi doesn’t care. Kamigoye misses, hook kick hits! Ospreay takes off the pads, killer backhand! The referee checks on Ibushi but Ospreay doesn’t give him time. Ospreay underhooks Ibushi as he drags him up. Canadian rack, STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
The Aerial Assassin brings down the Golden Star! Ospreay has his first NEVER OPC reign, will this belt help him reach new heights? As for Ibushi, he needs medical assistance and a back board to get him out of the ring. Did that Stormbreaker do more damage than anticipated? Will the Golden Star rise again to come back for that belt?
Will Ospreay says that was his dream match right there. Kota Ibushi is one of the wrestlers Ospreay aspires to be like. But now, Ospreay makes the shift from seeing everyone around him as heroes, and seeing them all as rivals. Ospreay vows to prove he belongs with the heavyweights, and not just another Junior. Will Ospreay use the NEVER Openweight Division to prove superiority over two weight classes at once?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi!
Suzuki-Gun’s ace Junior Tag Team have dominated this division for 304 days, and look to become the longest champions in history should they retain here. However, they face familiar foes in Sho & Yoh, and a revamped Los Ingobernables de Japon duo now that the Black Mask teams with the Muscle Dragon. Will history be on the horizon for the champions? Or will they be denied by one of their rivals?
The introductions are made, but Desperado and Kanemaru don’t wait for the belts to be raised! They attack LIJ right away! They throw LIJ out but RPG3K go after them now. The bell rings by default and RPG3K double whip Kanemaru. Things speed up, drop toehold and basement dropkick! RPG3K double dropkick Desperado out, then they dropkick LIJ back out! Sho & Yoh high five and build speed, to DOUBLE FLY! They take out Bushi and Shingo, but then head back into the ring. They aim at Suzuki-Gun but get double kitchen sink knees! Desperado chops and Kanemaru EuroUppers Yoh, then bring him around to whip corner to corner. Kanemaru back elbows then feeds YOh to Desperado, shotgun boot back suplex! Cover, TWO!
Suzuki-Gun keeps their cool as they stomp out Yoh. Kanemaru tags Desperado, and he toys with Yoh. Yoh chops back but Desperado isn’t phased. Yoh chops again so Desperado knees low. Desperado snapmares Yoh for a chinlock. Yoh scrambles to a ropebreak, and Desperado lets up to stomp him out. Tag to Kanemaru and Kanemaru boots Bushi out. Kanemaru drags Yoh up to an open corner and mugs him. He whips corner to corner and runs in, but Yoh dodges! Yoh dragon screws Desperado but Kanemaru kicks him to ropes. Yoh rebounds to SUPERKICK! Both men are down and fans fire up. Hot tag to Sho! Sho hits Shingo then Kanemaru. Sho whips but Kanemaru reverses, only for Sho to come out with a clothesline! Desperado kicks and runs but things speed up, Sho dropkicks Desperado! But Bushi enziguris Sho, and Kanemaru boots Bushi!
Kanemaru stands Sho up but Sho throws forearms. Kanemaru rakes eyes and runs, but Shingo blocks his path. Sho gets Kanemaru with haymakers, and Shingo tag sin off of Kanemaru. Shingo throws Kanemaru out and fans fire up for the giant Junior. Sho throws chop after chop but Shingo isn’t bothered at all. Shingo puts some stank on his CHOP and Sho goes down! Shingo whips, knees, then clotheslines Sho. They stagger, Sho runs but into an elbow, jab and clothesline! Fans fire up for Shingo, and he drags Sho up. Pumphandle and fireman’s carry but Sho slips out. Sho tries to German but Shingo resists. Kanemaru runs in but into Shingo’s boot. Shingo elbows Sho away, then waistlocks Kanemaru. Kanemaru resists, Sho waistlocks Shingo, and Sho gives them a DOUBLE German Suplex!
Sho roars but Desperado SPEARS him! Yoh enziguris Desperado and Bushi runs in. Yoh blocks Bushi’s first kick and ducks the enziguri but Bushi comes back with the heel! Sho goes after Bushi with a clothesline! Sho hits Desperado but runs into a spinebuster! Desperado mule kicks and haymakers Yoh, but he runs into RPG3K knees! Sho and Yoh rally on Shingo, poetry in motion! Yoh feeds Shingo tot he backbreaker, and adds the flying knee drop! Cover, TWO! RPG3K keep going, backstabber to shotgun kick! Fans rally up with Sho and Yoh as they stalk Shingo. But everyone else knows what’s coming! Kanemaru and Bushi go after Sho and Yoh, but the SUPERKICKS make them spit their mist into the sky! And then Desperado runs into a double flapjack! But Shingo hits DOUBLE Pumping Ax Bombers!
Shingo drags up Sho, double underhook, Noshigami facebuster, a la a Gory Bomb! But he doesn’t cover, because he wants to end it. He builds up speed, BIG Pumping Ax Bomber! Shingo wants another, and hits a third Pumping Ax bomber! Cover, TWO?! Sho survives but Bushi clears out Yoh to DIVE on him at the railing! Shingo roars and drags Sho up again, pumphandle and lift, to Last of the Dragon driver!! Cover, Los Ingobernables de Japon win!!
Winners: Bushi and Shingo Takagi, Takagi pinning; NEW IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
LIJ FTW! Tetsuya Naito took the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back from Chris Jericho, and now Bushi and Shingo take these titles from Suzuki-Gun! With the heavyweight tag team titles also on the line, will we have a completely golden faction by the end of Wrestle Kingdom 13?
Revolution Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS Zack Sabre Jr. w/ Taka Michinoku!
NJPW makes history as a clearly British championship is defended on one of their events! The Stone Pitbull has gone back and forth with the members of Suzuki-Gun over this title, and now it is the actual Brit who challenges him in Japan! And as always, Taka takes up the mic to welcome us to “Zack Sabre Time.” This is the British Heavyweight Championship match, Ishii VS Sabre Jr. Who does Tokyo Dome think wins? Who does Tokyo Dome want to win? Well Taka tells us who will win. “The man that can finish with a join lock at any time from any where.” When he locks on, no matter who it is, they #JustTapOut! He is the Submission Master, he is ZSJ, he is… Zack! Sabrrrre! Junior~!
So Ishii, “C’mon ova here!” The Pitbull arrives, but will he be mad submissive by the submission wizard? Or is Taka’s bark worse than ZSJ’s bite?
Ishii enters the ring and ZSJ gives him a shove. The referee keeps the peace, so that the introductions can be made and the title can be raised. The bell rings, and both men rush each other! Ishii dodges and waistlocks but ZSJ standing switches. Ishii switches back but so does ZSJ. They go around and ZSJ gets the abdominal stretch. Ishii hip tosses out, then drags ZSJ up. ZSJ ducks the enziguri but Ishii narrowly avoids the Penalty Kick. ZSJ hits a EuroUpper, Ishii swings but ZSJ ducks and boots back. Ishii back suplexes ZSJ down! Ishii runs but into ZSJ’s takedown into the armbar! ZSJ wrenches around, wanting a one minute submission, but Ishii moves around. ZSJ wrenches back hard but Ishii uses his legs for the ropebreak! The ref counts and ZSJ lets go at 4, but now he’s missed his one minute match.
ZSJ hammerlock stomps the arm! He may not have gotten one minute but he’ll try for under two. ZSJ drags Ishii around to go after the arm from wrist to shoulder, keylock stomp! ZSJ kicks Ishii but Ishii spits back. More kicks from ZSJ only anger Ishii. Ishii throws forearms with the bad arm. ZSJ goes after it so Ishii uses the good one. ZSJ still gets a deep Fujiwara, into a triangle! Ishii reaches but ZSJ traps both arms! Ishii gets another ropebreak with the legs, and ZSJ lets go. ZSJ keeps his cool as he drags Ishii up for kicks to the back. But Ishii just grits his teeth. ZSJ toys with Ishii now, but that only makes Ishii stronger. ZSJ throws EuroUPpers but Ishii is the one backing him down. Ishii throws the bad arm but ZSJ grabs it again! Northern Lights, float over to the armbar!
Ishii rolls around but now ZSJ gets the leg for a standing ankle lock! Ishii rolls through to put on the ankle lock on ZSJ! ZSJ endures a hold now, but stands up to enziguri! Ishii runs and runs ZSJ over! ZSJ ends up in a corner, and Ishii is on him with a CHOP! The bad arm still has some power in it, so Ishii CHOPS again. And again, and again! Ishii suffers double-edged damage now, but he brings ZSJ up for a whip. ZSJ reverses and boots! But Ishii follows to clothesline ZSJ in the corner! Ishii whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSJ runs back out for a guillotine! Only for Ishii to throw him overhead! Both men are down but fans build to a rally. Ishii checks that arm, and then drags ZSJ up onto the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join him, stalling SUPERPLEX!
But ZSJ survives to grab the arm and tweak it! Ishii writhes and clutches his arm while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ crawls back over and grabs the bad arm. He gives it another hammerlock stomp! ZSJ grabs the wrist, then wrenches the elbow. He pulls the arm around for a shoulder breaker! ZSJ kicks but Ishii dodges. Ishii kicks but ZSJ dodges. ZSJ waistlocks but Ishii bucks him off. ZSJ ducks under then hops up but Ishii slips him off. Ishii waistlocks but ZSJ ducks and slides under, then full nelsons Ishii. Ishii breaks free to full nelson ZSJ. ZSJ standing switches to an abdominal stretch! Maybe even an Octopus! Ishii endures and manages to walk towards ropes. Ishii keeps going step by step, so ZSJ shifts to a sunset flip powerbomb! Cover, TWO!? ZSJ can’t believe Ishii escapes!
Fans duel while Taka coaches ZSJ up. Ishii sits up, and ZSJ hits the Penalty Kick! ZSJ catches his breath before dragging Ishii up. He scoops but Ishii elbows out. ZSJ roundhouses Ishii in the chest, then again. But Ishii eggs him on, so ZSJ kicks away. The kicks do nothing! Ishii even takes them willingly. Ishii CHOPS ZSJ off his feet! He drags ZSJ up, powerbomb! High stack, TWO!! ZSJ barely escapes, but Ishii just builds speed. ZSJ roundhouses the clothesline away, then kicks again. Ishii blocks, but walks into a EuroUpper. Ishii still clubs ZSJ’s next kick away, and then headbutts ZSJ down! The Pitbull roars and runs, for the BIG lariat! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives again, and Taka panics. Ishii gets back up and has more to give.
Ishii drags ZSJ up but ZSJ Peles the bad arm! ZSJ wants a suplex but it’s Ishii who lifts. ZSJ slips out to slip on a sleeper hold! Ishii stays standing but ZSJ brings him down with body scissors. Ishii rolls through and out, to run and slide. ZSJ dodges, ducks, rolls and hooks, European Clutch! TWO!! Ishii misses the enziguri and ZSJ tries again, but gets the Sliding D! Ishii lifts, but ZSJ knees out. ZSJ hops on for a guillotine, shifts to a kimura, but Ishii powers out. ZSJ reels Ishii back into the Octopus! Ishii endures, but ZSJ makes it a double, for Hurrah Another Year! Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last! Ishii endures this March Towards Progress, but he verbally has to quit!! ZSJ wins!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; NEW Rev-Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion
The submission hold with the insanely long name finally breaks the Stone Pitbull! Taka celebrates with the submission prodigy, and personally hands ZSJ the belt. Just as the move’s name suggests, is this New Year going to be better than the stellar 2018 Zack had?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Guerrillas of Destiny VS EVIL & SANADA VS The Young Bucks!
The Bullet Club Civil War has all but faded out, but when it comes to tag team titles, the war never ends! Will Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa prove to be the superior brother tag team? Will the Superkick Party bring these titles over to All Elite Wrestling? Or will Los Ingobernables de Japon be completely golden after this epic match they themselves petitioned for?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we begin with Nick Jackson and Tama Tonga. Fans duel all sorts of ways as things speed up. Tama keeps up with Nick, but then confuses him with an offer to shake hands. Nick doesn’t trust that Tama’s turned over a new leaf, and that hurts Tama’s feelings. Nick tags to Matt, so Tama offers LIJ a handshake. LIJ take it, but it’s also a tag! Tama didn’t realize until Evil throws him out! Evil goes around to hit Loa while Sanada goes after the Bucks. Evil brings Matt to the stage to scoop slam him on that notoriously bad back. Matt clutches his back while Evil gets all the distance he can. Evil runs all the way down, to run Matt over! Evil drags Matt back to ringside and puts him in.
Matt flounders to GoD’s corner and Loa tags in. Loa runs into Evil’s boot but Evil runs into a scoop slam! Cover, TWO! Loa drags Evil up and tags in Tama. GoD mug and neckbreaker Evil down. Loa hits The Bucks, then Sanada. Tama scoop slams Evil and Loa climbs up top. Tama climbs the other end, but the Bucks trip him up! Only Loa leaps for the flying headbutt onto Evil. Matt tags in off of Tama, and the Bucks double team Loa with the alley-oop dropkick. The Bucks headscissor dropkick Sanada, then go after Evil. They double whip corner to corner but Evil puts Matt on the apron. Nick blocks the boots to hit Evil with a draping neckbreaker, and Matt adds the senton atomico!
Sanada returns but Matt sends him down to wreck him with a dropkick. Matt skins the cat while Nick gives Evil a gutbuster, Matt runs in for the swinging neckbreaker backbreaker! The Bucks fire up and fans fire up with them! Matt covers, TWO! He keeps his cool and brings Evil up for haymakers. Matt whips Evil but Evil reverses, only for Matt to sunset flip over. But Matt doesn’t cover, he gets the Sharpshooter! Nick intercepts Sanada and throws him out, to then triangle corkscrew senton onto him! Evil endures but the GoD rush in. “Good Guy” Tama tells Loa to wait in the corner, despite Matt being very vulnerable right now.
Loa gives Matt fair warning, but then they help Evil by pushing the ropes closer to him! Evil gets the ropebreak, the “good guys” still get away with something. The Bucks see through it all, and double DIVE onto GoD! Matt goes back to Evil and tunes up the band. Evil blocks the superkick but walks into the roaring elbow. Matt runs but Evil follows to clothesline Matt down! Both men are down but head for their corners, hot tag to Sanada! Cold Skull hits GoD but The Bucks go after him with a double whip. Nick runs but misses, Sanada dropkicks Matt’s leg out. Sanada gets Nick in the Paradise Lock! Sanada sees Matt coming and drop toeholds him into his brother’s butt! Tama returns but Sanada whips him around and hurdles again and again to dropkick him down!
Sanada slingshots out onto Loa! Then again onto Tama! Matt slingshots but Sanada dodges, to slingshot onto Matt! He gets a hat trick, then dodges Matt’s moonsault! Sanada slingshots for a fourth time! Fans fire up for the Cold Skull’s impressive athleticism! Sanada puts Matt in the ring, then whips him corner to corner. Matt reverses but runs into an elbow. Sanada jumps but Matt slips through the moonsault DDT for Sliced Bread into a dragon sleeper! Sanada reverses that and wants Skull End! Nick springboards to hit Sanada with a Blockbuster! But that also causes Matt to take an inverted DDT! Nick aims at Tama but the kick is blocked, Tongan Twist hits! Evil SUPERKICKS Loa, then swings on Tama. Tama counters but Evil counters back, and uses Loa for help in Magic Killer!
Loa grabs Evil, BIG German Suplex! Loa dodges Matt, German but Matt slips through, Matt SPEARS Loa! Matt climbs but Sanada stops him. LIJ go after Matt together, but GoD go after them. Nick tags in moments before Matt goes for a ride in the Tower of Doom! Nick climbs, to 450 Splash onto Sanada! But Nick hits so hard he rolls all the way out of the ring. The referee was not safe from that Tower of Doom, either, so he is down. Jado in his skeleton paint jumps in with the kendo stick, but “Good Luck” Fale tells him to stop. Nick springboards at Fale, but gets caught with one hand! Fale wants to pull the pin, but Matt saves Nick and they SUPERKICK Jado! Fale runs the Bucks over, but then Evil clotheslines Fale out!
Loa returns and brawls with Evil. Evil kicks back, Sanada returns, but Tama saves Loa as he SPEARS Sanada! Loa lifts Evil for a big suplex, and everyone’s down! GoD go after Matt in the corner, suplex but Matt fights out. Nick uses Tama as a step stool to SUPER STEINER Loa! And then the Bucks see Sanada fly in, Double SUPERKICKS! Fans fire up with The Bucks again as they drag Sanada up. Matt gut wrenches, Nick springboards, but into a Gun Stun! Sanada counters the tombstone to Skull End, and Evil catches Tama for Everything Is Evil! Matt endures the hold but Sanada feeds Matt to Evil, true Magic Killer!! Sanada hurries up top for a moonsault! Cover, LIJ win!!
Winners: Evil and Sanada, Sanada pinning; NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
Back-to-back World Tag League winners are also back-to-back Wrestle Kingdom 13 winners! Los Ingobernables de Japon are truly golden! Is 2019 truly the year of Tranquilo in NJPW?
Kazuchika Okada VS Jay White!
This grudge match has been a long time coming. The Switchblade could’ve been Bullet Club Elite when Kenny Omega recruited him, but White turned on The Cleaner instead. The Switchblade could’ve been Chaos forever, but he didn’t want to be under The Rainmaker. White warned Okada that a day would come when they’d fight for power, but Okada simply laughed it off. “That’s when he sealed his fate.” White beat Okada in the G1 and then beat him down after Okada failed to take the IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenging rights from Tanahashi. And what made it even worse is that Gedo betrayed his long time friend. The mastermind and the Switchblade vow to bring the Cutthroat Era to life, but will The Rainmaker show everyone he’s far from finished?
Fans are fired up for Okada now that he’s back in his classic look. The bell rings and Okada makes sure White hears the fans are on his side. Gedo says Tokyo is stupid, and White bails out to taunt Okada. Okada chases him down but White stomps him out. The ref backs White off and fans boo. Okada comes back with forearms and elbows. Okada runs but things speed up. White hurdles Okada but runs into his boot. Okada snapmares and calf kicks White down! Okada drags White up and clubs him more. Gedo coaches White but Okada drops White with an elbow. Okada whips White but White reverses. White kicks Okada and throws him into buckles! White stalks Okada and saido suplexes him out of the ring! Okada crashes down and White climbs up to pose.
White goes out to fetch Okada and whip him into railing! Okada falls to his knees, and White refreshes the ring count. White brings Okada up again to ram him into more barriers, then the apron, then back to the rails! White trash talks Makabe on commentary before ramming Okada into the apron again. The ref tells White to bring this back to the ring, but White back talks him. White drags Okada up and into the ring, then takes aim from across the way. Okada crawls to a corner, White runs in for a EuroUpper. White throws Okada with another saido suplex then covers, TWO! Gedo complains that count was slow, but White drags Okada up for a seated cravat. White makes it a cover, TWO!
White clubs Okada then puts on another cravat. Okada endures as fans rally up. Okada feeds off the energy and elbows his way out. White clubs Okada but Okada forearms back. Fans fire up as Okada gets an edge, but White slaps him! Okada runs in but White dodges to slap him again! White snapmares Okada but Okada SLAPS White! Okada glares down at White as he gives him another slap. Okada kicks White at the ropes then whips. White reverses but Okada dodges and speeds up for a big back elbow! Fans fire up with Okada while White flounders. Okada whips White corner to corner, then runs in for another back elbow. Okada kicks and DDTs White down, cover, TWO! White crawls away while Okada keeps his cool. Okada brings White up for heavy forearms, and White begs for mercy. The ref backs Okada off, but White sucker punches!
White grabs Okada for a half hatch but Okada rams him into the corner. Okada puts White up top then dropkicks him down! Fans fire up for classic Okada as he goes out to fetch White. Okada returns the favor and whips White to barriers, then runs to boot him over! Gedo attacks Okada, but it does nothing! Gedo tries to reason with Okada, but Okada throws him over to join White! Okada gets space and fans rally up. Okada runs all the way back to FLY onto both Gedo and White! Tokyo Dome is thunderous for The Rainmaker! Okada drags White up as the ring count begins. White flops to the floor but Okada drags him back up. Okada puts White in, then stalks him to the far side.
Okada drags White up and scoop slams him down. He points for the corner and climbs up top. Okada aims, Macho Elbow! But he’s not done there. Rainmaker Pose! The pose returns, and Okada drags White up for the wristlock. White fights out, and gets Okada with a complete shot to deadlift German Suplex! White gets to ropes while Okada stirs. Fans rally for Okada but White drags Okada up for a big urenage! Cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives and White can’t believe it. White drags Okada right up, but Okada fights out of Bladerunner. White drags Okada up by his hair for a point blank lariat! But then White fakes something being in his eye, so that Gedo can put chairs in the ring!
Gedo distracts the ref now and White fetches the chair. Okada stands, and White swings, but Okada ducks! He sends White into Gedo! Okada dropkicks White, then whips him for the dropkick! He swings White out, but White dodges the Rainmaker for the half nelson suplex! Both men are down but White is up first. White fisherman lifts for the Kiwi Crusher! Cover, TWO!? White’s old finisher didn’t do it, so how about his new one? He lifts Okada, but Okada slips out of the Bladerunner. Okada scoops White for the Tombstone! But Okada can’t cover from exhaustion! Fans reach a fever pitch for their favorite star! Both men stir, and crawl over to each other. Okada boots White, but White CHOPS back. Okada grits his teeth, but turns around into White’s strike fest! White whips but Okada reverses, only for White to fake him out!
White drags Okada up again, but Okada backslides the Bladerunner! ONE and things speed up, Okada hits another dropkick! Okada poses again, drags White up, and swings him out. White dodges again but Okada grabs ropes to deny the suplex. Okada elbows White away but walks into White’s grip. Okada again escapes Bladerunner, to scoop. But White reverses the gut wrench to his own, but then shifts. Okada escapes, swings White out, but White escapes again. White lifts but Okada slips out, reels White in for a spinning Rainmaker! Okada poses a third time, is third time the charm? He drags White up, swings him out, BLADERUNNER?! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall
Impossible! The Switchblade wins against THE Kazuchika Okada?! White caps off his first year in NJPW with truly the biggest win of his career! Is this truly the Cutthroat Era’s beginnings? Will everyone Breathe with The Switchblade in 2019?
Jay White knows there’s a language barrier, but everyone should know what a round of applause is, right?! So give it up for the winner! “Look at how easy I just disposed of Okada, the leader of Chaos!” But he did it before so it’s nothing new. The fans have watched the evolution of Jay White. White played by the rules yet he gets no respect. But that’s fine, because next year, White is going to have something around his waist. White could go on vacation and come back to take the top title, “because it’s that easy for me.” White does what he says he’s going to, so everyone needs to open their eyes. The Cutthroat Era begins, and all anyone can do is breathe with the Switchblade. White vows this is his year, his era, will NJPW just have to accept that?
Another great two hours, and this one was jam packed with four amazing title matches and an incredible grudge match main event. I did not expect Ospreay to win the title, but there is talk that Ibushi’s working through injuries so this may be to give him time off. Ospreay’s story of wanting to compete with all weight classes is great, too, as that is what the Openweight Championship should be for. I am really glad to see all the members of LIJ have belts now, both Triple Threat tags were awesome. Obviously Hiromu Takahashi has his serious injury that puts his career at risk, so it’s very sad that we might never get a six-man LIJ moment.
ZSJ VS Ishii was incredible, and ZSJ winning the British Heavyweight Championship just makes sense. I would love if there was a rematch between these two, ZSJ’s technical skills and Ishii’s plain old fashion toughness are always great against each other. And perhaps the biggest surprise of this entire Wrestle Kingdom is that Jay White won the blow-off between him and Okada! Okada truly returning as the Rainmaker was incredible in itself, but to think White would defeat even that form of Okada. White has truly had an amazing couple of years since graduating from NJPW Dojo and being a Young Lion. His time in ROH as the Kiwi of Search and Destroy to his return to NJPW with this Switchblade persona, White has evolved into this great Heel, and him challenging for any title in 2019 will be a great story.
My Score: 9.6/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!
The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!
NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?
Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV
Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!
Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!
The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!
Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!
Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!
The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.
Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.
ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!
ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!
Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!
Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!
Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; advances to the second round
The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?
Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.
Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.
Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.
Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.
Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.
Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!
Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round
It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?
Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?
Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.
Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)
Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391
It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?
- Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
- The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
- Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!
Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?
The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!
Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.
ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!
Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!
The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!
Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?
Rhett Titus speaks.
“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?
The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!
The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?
The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.
Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!
Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?
Madison Rayne speaks.
“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?
Willie Mack speaks.
The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!
Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!
As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?
Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!
Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.
ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.
The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!
Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall
The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?
Team Coast2Coast speaks.
“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?
Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!
The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?
ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.
ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.
Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!
Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!
Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission
The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?
Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.
In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.
Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.
My Score: 8/10