It’s the last NXT UK before TakeOver: Blackpool! Who wins the semifinals to face Mustache Mountain for the tag titles? Plus, Gallus VS British Strong Style!
- Episode 21 – Jamie Ahmed & Dan Moloney VS Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan; Williams & Jordan win.
- Episode 21 – Isla Dawn VS Xia Brookside; Dawn wins.
- Episode 21 – Jordan Devlin VS Damien Weir; Devlin wins.
- Episode 21 – NXT UK Tag Team Championship Tournament Semifinals: Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win and will face Mustache Mountain for the titles at TakeOver: Blackpool.
- Episode 22 – El Ligero VS Joseph Conners; Ligero wins.
- Episode 22 – Travis Banks VS Tyson T-Bone w/ Saxon Huxley; Banks wins.
- Episode 22 – Six Man Tag: Gallus VS British Strong Style; Gallus wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jamie Ahmed & Dan Moloney VS Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan!
“Screwface” joins forces with the Birmingham brawler to see if they can make big waves in the wake of NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool. However, so are the Luckyan and the Bhangra Badboy! Will Williams & Jordan finally cut loose and gain some ground? Or will the pair of powerhouses make their tag debut a success?
The bell rings and Jordan starts against Ahmed. They tie up and Ahmed gets the wristlock. Jordan rolls and spins to reverse and wrench the arm. Jordan tags Williams and Williams gets running for a leap frog attack! Williams brings Ahmed to the mat to drop a leg on the arm. Cover, TWO, but Williams stays on that arm. Williams tags Jordan, Jordan somersaults for a splash! Cover, TWO! Jordan keeps on the arm and fans chant for him, but Ahmed punches his way out. Ahmed whips but Jordan dodges and crossbodies! Jordan runs in at Ahmed for a forearm smash and body shots. Ahmed turns things around but runs into an elbow. Jordan hops up but Moloney distracts him, and Ahmed yanks Jordan off the ropes! Ahmed runs to run Jordan over, cover, TWO!
Ahmed drags Jordan over and tags in Moloney. Moloney throws hands and uppercuts, then throws Jordan with a half hatch. He holds on to throw Jordan again, and then double underhooks for a butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! Moloney keeps on Jordan’s arm with a hammerlock, but fans rally for Jordan. Jordan sits up as Moloney wrenches. Jordan fights out with body shots, but Moloney clubs him down. Moloney shoves but Jordan backslides, TWO! Jordan back drops Moloney! Tags to Ahmed and Williams! Williams rallies but Ahmed whips. Williams hurdles and springboard back elbows! Fans fire up as Williams runs in at Ahmed. Ahmed puts him on the apron but Williams kicks him back. Moloney runs over but gets a kick, and then Williams springboards to hit Ahmed with a flying elbow!
Williams dropkicks Moloney away and skins the cat, then dodges Ahmed. Jordan tags in, Williams hits Ahmed with a wheelbarrow facebuster! Williams DIVES onto Moloney while Jordan Swantons onto Ahmed! Cover, Jordan & Williams win!
Winners: Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan, Jordan pinning
They finally did it! They finally won as a team! And not even Williams & Jordan can believe it! Is this the start of something great for this high-flying and fun-loving duo?
Gallus heads to the ring!
The Scottish trio has done what they want to who they want in the pursuit of making the NXT UK Division into their kingdom. Mark Coffey keeps Wolfgang calm over their loss in the NXT UK Tag Team Championship tournament, but Joe Coffey brings up a mic. “You hear that, Mark? You hear that Wolfie? No one likes us, but we do not care!” Fans chant “No One Likes You!” But Joe tells brother Mark and ol’ Wolfie that the only thing on the agenda for Gallus is next episode: finally, Gallus VS British Strong Style! British Strong Style has been ducking them, and Gallus as a unit will work to beat them. But Joe is specifically after the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne. Fans chant for the Bruiserweight and Mark keeps Wolfgang calm.
Gallus vows to give British Strong Style what’s coming to them, and Dunne will be lucky to walk out of the ring to even go to Blackpool. “Because this is your kingdom, Mark. Wolfie, this is your kingdom. And that WWE UK Championship is mine! Joe Coffey, the Iron King!” Joe drops the mic, his message has been sent. Will Dunne & Mustache Mountain respond with the fight they bring in the coming Six Man Tag?
NXT UK held a special Women’s Championship press conference.
Sid Scala and Johnny Saint presided as press asked questions. Toni Storm won the Mae Young Classic, but what would it mean to win the title at TakeOver: Blackpool? The MYC was a height Toni never thought she’d reach, but the title is on a different level. Toni has lived in the UK for years while Rhea Ripley just comes and goes. Toni wants to properly represent the Division and the region as champion. Rhea is the inaugural champion, but what will she do to keep that title? The Mosh Pit Kid repeats the question back at the reporter. Really? That’s the question you go with? Toni’s right there, so Rhea’s not gonna give any of her secrets up. Toni says it wouldn’t matter. But Rhea says Toni lost to her the first time, she’ll lose again.
To that point, Toni did fail to win the title the first time, so what’s changed? When bad things happen to people, people change to become tougher. Toni went numb from her back injury, but things change. She won that Mae Young Classic, she defeated some of the best and shined on Evolution’s stage. What chance does Rhea have now that Toni’s done all that? What does this “joker” have now? Her previous victory. Toni vows to win the title, but Rhea just laughs it off.
Another question for Rhea: some say that win over Toni was “a fluke”, and Rhea is just a Toni Storm knock-off. Rhea asks if they’re implying she’s some kind of joke. A copy of Toni? No! Rhea is 110% herself, Toni is the joke! It’s not #ToniTime, it’s #RheaTime because she already beat Toni once. Rhea rubs it into Toni’s face, and says this title is hers. Toni’s time is over, so what’s she gonna do? “You’re pathetic!” Toni and Rhea stare down but Saint keeps the peace. Rhea says Toni has no chance of ever taking that belt from Rhea. Rhea takes her belt and leaves, but will it be her belt after TakeOver?
El Ligero speaks.
“Joseph Conners wants to dismiss me as nothing more than a shiny new toy?” Ligero and Conners have been back and forth as friends and foes. Conners knows what it took to get here. So if he wants to try and dismiss Ligero, Conners better back up his words. The Light VS The Righteous, who wins just days before TakeOver: Blackpool?
Isla Dawn VS Xia Brookside!
The White Witch of Scotland and the young second generation superstar both look to make major moves in the UK Women’s Division! Whether it’s Toni or Rhea that comes out of Blackpool the champion, will one of these two women be waiting for them?
The bell rings and fans rally for both women. Xia offers a handshake, and Isla accepts it. Fans applaud for the respect between the two women as they tie up. Isla gets the wrist but Xia laces through to reverse. Isla rolls and reverses back. Xia uses the ropes to flip through and reverse again. Isla rolls and wrings Xia out but Xia rolls through. Xia says not so fast, and fans applaud. Xia and Isla shake hands again and circle. They tie up and Xia gets a headlock. Isla reverses to a keylock then arm-drags Xia to the mat. Isla keeps on the lock but Xia kips up to tilt-o-whirl to a headscissor takeover!
Xia squeezes and Isla endures to move around and pop out. Isla traps Xia’s legs in the butterfly deathlock. Xia grabs at Isla but Isla shoves her down to keep on the legs. Fans rally up and Xia crawls to the side. Xia tucks in and throws Isla to a cover, TWO! The two stand off and fans applaud. Isla and Xia tie up again, then Isla wraps Xia up in a straitjacket hold. Xia powers her way out of the hold as fans rally, but Isla spins it around to put it back on. Xia wiggles the jacket down and then turns it on Isla! Isla endures the hold now, and powers it back onto Xia. Xia bridges backwards, avoids a cover, and rolls back to mount Isla! Isla is back in the straitjacket, but she slips out to flip Xia over!
Isla rams her knee in as she pulls the jacket tighter. Fans duel as Isla pulls Xia back! It’s also a cover but Isla gets shoulders up. Xia flips over to make it a cover, ONE, but the jacket is back on! Isla powers Xia to a corner then throws her off. Xia dodges to roll Isla, ONE, Isla sits on Xia! TWO to a sunset flip, TWO and Isla jackknifes. Xia slips through, TWO, Isla sunset flips Xia, TWO, Xia jackknifes, TWO! Isla bridges up and spins around to a backslide, ONE! Xia tilt-o-whirls to a crucifix, TWO, but she hops up again for a victory roll! Isla sits on it, Isla wins!
Winner: Isla Dawn, by pinfall
A terrific technical exchange, but Isla just has a little more experience than Xia, and that gives her the win. The White Witch shows respect to the younger star with a handshake, and Xia even bows to show greater respect. Will Isla be waiting on the other side of Blackpool to challenge the champion?
NXT UK looks at the coming No Disqualification grudge match.
Eddie Dennis says his issues with Dave Mastiff are not about jealousy. Mastiff won their first encounter, but Dennis won’t let everyone think The Bomber is the monster. Dennis is the monster. Dennis has looked in Mastiff’s eyes. “They’re not the same as these eyes.” Mastiff may have 60 pounds on Dennis, but he lacks the killer instinct. “The willingness to do whatever it takes to put a man down.” Dennis vows to put Mastiff down in Blackpool, and prove himself the one true monster of the UK. Will the Headmaster prove he’s the head monster against The Bomber?
Jinny attacks Isla Dawn backstage!
When the live feed cut away, the Spoiled Princess attacked her prey, and from behind! Jinny tells Isla “This is the difference between a witch and a queen.” Security backed Jinny off, but has she riled up the wrath of Isla Dawn?
Jordan Devlin VS Damien Weir!
The Ace Trumps All, but he’s also out to fold all the wannabes and pretenders of the division! Devlin’s set his eyes on the Kiwi Buzzsaw, but he’ll first look to show Travis Banks what’s in store for him when they meet in the ring. Will Devlin have a hot hand going into his match with Banks? Or will Weir surprise us all when he trumps the Irish Ace?
The bell rings and fans cheer Weir on only because they don’t like Devlin. Devlin knees Weir low then goes after the arm. Devlin tosses Weir overhead, then wrenches the arm from wrist to elbow. Weir endures but Devlin drags him up for a heavy European Uppercut. Devlin grinds elbows and forearms into Weir’s face in the corner. Devlin backs up at 4 but stomps away. He wraps Weir’s arm around the rope and pulls, but backs off again at 4. Devlin says Weir isn’t even a challenge, that Devlin’s toying with him. But Weir fires off forearms! Weir swings, but Devlin hits the urenage and standing moonsault! Devlin chooses not to cover, he toys with Weir more. Devlin hits a backbreaker and makes it a rack to bend Weir back.
Weir endures as Devlin drives in elbows to the ribs. Fans rally up for Weir as Devlin digs his knuckles in. Weir fights out, but gets an atomic backbreaker. Devlin drags Weir up to stomp him out. Fans still cheer for Weir but Devlin brings Weir around for a half surfboard. Devlin digs his knee into Weir’s back as he pulls on the arms. Weir still endures, but Devlin tells him to quit or get dislocated shoulders. Weir doesn’t give in, and he stands up, only to get a knee and clubbing forearms. Devlin says he’s going to end it, and he lifts Weir in a fireman’s carry. Devlin pops Weir up but Weir victory rolls! TWO, and now Devlin is furious. But Weir enziguris Devlin out of the ring!
Weir builds speed, but runs into a swing kick. Devlin grimaces as he slingshots in for a cutter! Devlin drags Weir up and reels him in for the ripcord back suplex! And finally, fireman’s carry to Ireland’s Call! Cover, Devlin wins!
Winner: Jordan Devlin, by pinfall
Devlin again tells Weir he doesn’t belong, then demands the ref raise his arm. The ref does as told, and the Iron Irishman soaks up all the heat from the UK fans. Devlin demands a mic, and tells everyone “Don’t worry abuot it. I’ll do me own interview.” But before Devlin can ask himself questions, Travis Banks runs into the ring! The Kiwi Buzzsaw scares off The Irish Ace, and then picks up the mic for himself. Banks has the fans chanting for him as he tells Devlin, “You wanna challenge the Kiwi Buzzsaw? Why wait? Let’s do it, right now!” Banks wants this fight now, but Devlin says this fight happens on his time. When will Devlin give Banks the fight Devlin started?
Backstage interview with Mustache Mountain.
Trent Seven & Tyler Bate are here to watch the other semifinal match main event. There’s no team they’re avoiding, because they’re the most experienced team here. Gibson & Drake, Webster & Andrews, whichever pair it is, they’ll get a run for their money. Blackpool is where this all began, and it will end with Mustache Mountain holding those tag team titles. “Let’s do this, mate.”
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Tournament Semifinals: Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
This semifinal comes about from Johnny Saint granting the Welshman Air Force a rematch with Zack Gibson & James Drake, after the interference of the Italian Tank, Fabian Aichner, cost them the win. As such, Aichner and new ally, Marcel Barthel, are banned from ringside to keep this match fair and square. Mustache Mountain awaits the winners in the finals at Blackpool, who wins a chance at history?
The bell rings and Andrews starts against Drake. Gibson distracts the rockstar so that Mr. Mayhem can attack from behind! Then Drake hits the Modfather as he gets in. Drake comes back to tag Gibson and they stomp away on Andrews in the corner. Gibson shoves Webster off the apron then tags in Drake. The GYV work together for a Doomsday Device on Andrews! Cover, TWO!! Drake and Gibson are shocked, but they toss Andrews out. Tag to Gibson and Gibson picks up Andrews. Drake slingshots for the stomping backbreaker! Gibson puts Andrews in and covers, TWO! Andrews survives and the GYV are frustrated. Gibson drags Andrews up but Andrews hits back. Andrews hits Drake, but runs into a throat chop! Cover, TWO, but Gibson keeps on Andrews with a cobra clutch. Andrews endures as fans rally up.
Drake tags in and Gibson feeds Andrews to Drake’s forearm! Cover, TWO! Drake drags Andrews up for a cravat neck wrench, but fans rally for Andrews again. Gibson tags in and they mug Andrews. Gibson drags Andrews up and reels him in for a lariat. Cover, TWO! Gibson gets on Andrews right away with a half nelson chinbar. Fans rally up yet again as Andrews endures. Andrews powers up but Gibson wrangles him back down. Andrews keeps trying, but Drake tags in. Gibson scoops but Andrews slips out. Drake intercepts and the GYV double whip. Andrews ducks the lariat but can’t reach Webster. Andrews shoves Drake into Gibson, tag to Webster! The Modfather rallies with a springboard quebrada! Gibson rolls out and Webster dropkicks Drake again and again! Webster redirects Drake for a tackle and fast hands!
Fans fire up with Flash as he runs corner to corner. Drake puts him on the corner but Webster hits him back, to then fly onto Gibson with the Rude Boy Block! Webster hurries back in and tilt-o-whirls into double underhook, Baba O’Riley facebuster on Drake! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and sing for Flash as he and Drake sit up. Webster drags Drake up but Drake forearms back. Gibson tags in but Webster fights them both. But Gibson traps Webster and Drake adds the enziguri! Gibson goes to throw Webster but Webster slips out. Webster runs at Gibson but gets put on the top rope. Gibson goes after the bad shoulder, then shoves Webster over. But Webster body scissors Gibson out! Andrews tags in and FLIES onto Gibson for a huricanrana!
Andrews puts Gibson in but Drake returns. Webster knee triggers Drake out! Webster helps Andrews hit a standing 450! Cover, TWO!! Gibson survives and Andrews is shocked, but fans are loving this. Andrews gets up and drags Gibson over. But Drake yanks Webster off the apron! Gibson rolls for Shankly Gates but Andrews slips out. Andrews ducks but turns around for a Ticket to Ride! Cover, TWO!! Fans are loving this as Gibson and Andrews both slowly stand. Tag to Drake and Gibson lifts Andrews. Andrews fights both Grizzled Young Veterans, and kicks Gibson away. Andrews SUPER STEINERS Drake into Gibson! Webster hits them both with a Swanton! Andrews tags in and they target Drake. Knee trigger to reverse-rana! Andrews intercepts Gibson but Gibson barrels through to break the cover!
Fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” All four men crawl to ropes. Gibson rolls out, Andrews builds speed and DIVES, but into Helter Skelter on the ramp! Drake rolls Webster, TWO!! Flash hits the headbutt! Webster wobbles but drags Drake up. Webster wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Drake blocks it! Tag to Gibson, throat chop, Ticket to MAYHEM!! Cover, Grizzled Young Veterans win!!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, Zack Gibson pinning
Liverpool’s Number One wins in Liverpool alongside his best friend and partner in crime! Gibson and Drake move on to Blackpool, but can they make history as the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions?
El Ligero VS Joseph Conners!
The Light knows the Righteous Killer’s mission, but will not let himself be dismissed as just some “shiny toy”. These two have history from long before NXT UK, but will history repeat itself between them?
The bell rings, and Conners immediately picks Ligero up and powers him to a corner! Conners swings but Ligero dodges. Things speed up and Ligero huricanranas Conners. Conners puts Liger on the apron but Ligero comes back. LIgero baits Conners into a roll up, TWO! Ligero calf kicks Conners down and fans fire up. Conners staggers to a corner and Ligero runs in again. Conners slips out but LIgero follows. Ligero fires off strikes but Conners shoves him into the post! Ligero goes down hard and fans boo as Conners looms over the Leeds Luchador. Conners drags Ligero up and onto the apron to club away on the back. Conners backs off at 4 and gets in at the ref’s ring count of 7. Fans rally up for Ligero but Conners drags Ligero up for a BIG lariat! Cover, ONE, but Conners keeps on Ligero with a low boot.
Conners toys with Ligero, then stomps him on the back. He drags Ligero up for a suplex, then rebounds on the ropes for more momentum! Cover, ONE! Conners keeps his cool as he drives elbows into Ligero’s head. Conners puts Ligero in a half nelson chinbar, but Ligero endures being thrashed around. “You haven’t got it!” Conners shouts as he thrashes Ligero around. Fans rally up again and Ligero powers his way up. Conners clubs him on the back and Ligero crawls to a corner. Ligero elbows Conners back, then chops him. Conners shoves Ligero but misses in the corner, and Ligero tosses him with a back drop! Ligero runs in at Conners but Conners dodges, only for Ligero to turn around and rally with lariats. Ligero ilfts Conners for a fireman’s carry slam and buzzsaw kick! Cover, TWO! Fans applaud this closely contested match-up as the two men stand.
Ligero goes at Conners but Conners shoves him back. Conners scoops but Ligero slips out to mule kick. Ligero goes for sliced bread but Conners denies. Conners drives Ligero down with boots! Fans boo as Conners’ anger boils up. Conners drags Ligero up by his mask and grinds him into buckles. The ref counts and Conners backs off at 4, but he slowly stalks Ligero. Conners drags Ligero up by his mask again, but Ligero arm-drags! Thigns speed up, Ligero springboards for a tornado DDT! Cover, Ligero wins!!
Winner: El Ligero, by pinfall
The Light triumphs over the dark heart of Conners! Ligero is more than just a toy, but will Conners be back for another try at breaking him?
Backstage interview with Grizzled Young Veterans.
James Drake & Zack Gibson are on their way to Blackpool, and possibly on their way to becoming the NXT UK Tag Team Champions. How are they feeling? Do you know who you’re speaking to? The GYV are undefeated, and they deserve those titles! Gibson calms Drake down, and says that ahead of Blackpool, they’re still the undefeated tag team. They’re so confident, they’ve already cleared spots on the mantel for the title belts. They’re so confident that they’ll go to Facebook Live for an early celebration to talk with their legions of fans to speak on the defeat of Mustache Mountain, and the rise to glory of “the best tag team on this brand, the best tag team anywhere in the world, SOON to be recognized as the very first NXT UK Tag Team Champions.” Confident and intense, will these Grizzled Young Veterans have those belts for their own?
NXT UK looks at the coming No Disqualification grudge match.
The Bomber, Dave Mastiff, says Dennis’ jealousy did start this. “Eddie had something to prove”, but Mastiff put him in his place. The only undefeated monster is The Bomber. Maybe Dennis just couldn’t handle the fact he’s not good enough, and decided to make it personal. Dennis knows he can’t get it down the traditional way so he’ll throw the rule book out. Mastiff is fine with that. Dennis needs to realize what he’s doing. Dennis claims Mastiff lacks a killer instinct, but Mastiff says Dennis lacks a lot more than that. “Nobody has every pushed me this far before, Eddie. And if you want to know what killer instinct is all about”, Blackpool will be where he learns it. Will Mastiff teach Dennis the ultimate lesson when they collide at TakeOver?
Travis Banks VS Tyson T-Bone w/ Saxon Huxley!
The Kiwi Buzzsaw wants nothing more than to tear into the Irish Ace after all the trash that’s been talked. However, he’ll have to bide his time and sharpen his teeth on the Gypsy King. Will Banks be ready to trump the Ace? Or will T-Bone take advantage of Banks’ split focus?
The bell rings and Banks circles with T-Bone. Saxon lurks on the apron and T-Bone takes advantage! T-Bone tosses Banks then clubs him down. He kicks Banks in the ribs, but fans sing for the Buzzsaw. T-Bone drags Banks up but Banks ducks to fire off body shots and forearms! Banks uses knees to stagger T-Bone, but T-Bone shoves him back. Banks blasts T-Bone with a dropkick, then runs in for leaping double stomps! Fans fire up with Banks as he glares at T-Bone. Banks kicks T-Bone now, but here comes Devlin!
Devlin mocks Banks wearing the same New Zealand cape he does. T-Bone gets up and throws a boot, but Banks blocks and throws T-Bone down. Banks fires off kicks on T-Bone, then a SUPERKICK! Banks makes sure Devlin sees the Shining Wizard! Saxon gets up but gets rocked, and then T-Bone gets a Slice of Heaven! Cover, Banks wins!
Winner: Travis Banks, by pinfall
Devlin rushes the ring to attack Banks! Seems Devlin found his fighting spirit this time! But Banks makes him pay for it as he grounds ‘n’ pounds! Devlin ducks one kick but gets another! Banks runs, but Devlin dodges Slice of Heaven to run away. The Kiwi Buzzsaw dares Devlin to fight fair and square, but that’s still not tonight for Devlin. When and where will we see this grudge match finally happen?
Johnny Saint makes it official!
To finally settle this grudge between Kiwi Buzzsaw and Irish Ace, Banks and Devlin face off at TakeOver: Blackpool! Who will make history as having one of the first victories on NXT UK’s first major event?
NXT UK looks back at the short but furious history of the UK Women’s Championship.
The crowning match in the finals of the tournament literally hurt Toni Storm, as her back started to give out under the torture from Rhea Ripley. The Mosh Pit Kid shocked herself and the world when she won that title. Rhea would rip through her opponents, from Dakota Kai to Isla Dawn, but the Lightning from Down Under returns to take another shot. Toni is now the Mae Young Classic 2018 winner, so she wants to escalate history by winning the title at NXT UK’s first ever major event. But Rhea says it’s not #ToniTime, and she proved it by winning the first time around. Toni’s road back has been hard work and determination, but Rhea doesn’t care. Aussie VS Aussie, attitude vs attitude, will the Storm be taken under by the Riptide again? Or will Lightning strike to change history?
Six Man Tag: Gallus VS British Strong Style!
The war has come to a head, and now Wolfgang and the Coffey Brothers finally get their match with Pete Dunne & Mustache Mountain! Will Trent Seven & Tyler Bate gain final momentum towards their NXT UK Tag Team Championship match? Will it be the Bruiserweight or the Iron King who has the upper hand going into their own WWE United Kingdom Championship match?
The teams stare down and things get a bit tense. Liverpool is strongly on British Strong Style’s side, and teams sort out as the fans chant. Bate starts against Coffey and fans chant “Big Strong Boys!” The two tie up and fans sing for Bate as they break. Bate and Coffey go around and tie up again. Coffey pushes Bate back, but Bate puts his dukes up. They tie up again and have a test of strength. They push shoulders against shoulders, and Bate bridges as Coffey shoves him back. Joe sweeps the legs but Bate bridges again. JOe does it again, but Bate bridges again. Bate continues to avoid pinfalls, and even manages to support Joe’s weight! Bate powers up from the mat and shows he’s a Big Strong Boy by pushing Joe back. But Joe knees low and wrenches the arm.
Joe grinds the shoulder but Bate endures. Joe wrenches again, but Bate rolls back and handsprings to dropkick Joe away! Bate kips up and now the corners empty for a full six man stare down. The ref keeps the peace, and both teams back off. Joe tags to Wolfgang, so Bate tags Seven. Seven and Wolfgang tie up and Wolfgang gets a headlock. Fans sing for Seven as he powers out, but Wolfgang runs him over. Things speed up and Wolfgang throws Seven to ropes, but Seven comes back with a crossbody! The corners again empty and shoving starts between both sides. The ref shouts for them to back down again, and the teams listen to the official. There’s trash talk as Wolfgang tags in Mark Coffey, and Seven tags in Dunne!
Dunne and Mark circle and tie up. They go around and Mark gets a headlock. Dunne squeezes back and powers out. Things speed up and Dunne runs Mark over with a lariat! Wolfgang runs in, and the brawl is on! Gallus and British Strong Style fight all over the ring and the ref can’t get them to listen this time. Bate clotheslines Wolfgang out and Dunne throws Mark. Joe runs at Seven but Seven tosses him out! British Strong Style controls the ring and fans fire up. Gallus regroups and talks strategy. Mark runs in but into a drop toehold! Dunne hammerlocks and grabs Mark’s other arm. Dunne goes after the fingers one at a time, then the elbow. He shifts to the legs for a surfboard! Mark resists, so Dunne decides to stomp the knees! Dunne kicks Mark while he’s down, then tags to Seven.
Seven takes the hand-off and wrenches the arm to scoop slam Mark. Cover, TWO, but Seven keeps on Mark with a fireman’s carry. Tag to Bate, and Seven throws Mark down with a Wasteland slam. Bate hops up, and knee-boards for the senton! Cover, TWO! Bate keeps on Mark with a headlock and punches. HE wrenches and whips Mark but Mark reverses. Wolfgang is there but Bate knocks him away. Mark spins Bate with a full nelson to a suplex! Mark tags brother Joe and the Coffey boys mug Bate. Joe whips Bate into the corner, then tags in Wolfgang. Wolfgang clubs away with ax handles. Wolfgang drags Bate around to stomp him. He clutches his arm, but Wolfgang whips Bate to the corner. Tag to Joe, and Joe headbutts and haymakers Bate.
Joe whips Bate back in, then again. Joe double underhooks for a standing butterfly hold. Fans rally and Bate powers up, but Joe lifts Bate. Bate resists the suplex, so Joe keeps on the butterfly hold. Joe pushes Bate to the mat, then shifts to an armlock. Joe mounts and knocks Bate down, to then drag him up with nerve holds. Fans rally for Bate as he powers up and out. Bate elbows Joe but Joe body shots Bate. Joe whips Bate to Gallus’ corner and tags in Wolfgang. Wolfgang knees low then brings Bate around for another whip. Bate goes up and under, but gets caught in a waistlock. Bate standing switches and leap frogs, hot tag to Seven! Seven redirects and CHOPS away on Wolfgang! Seven whips Wolfgang for a back drop! He makes sure to hit Joe Coffey before DIVING onto Wolfgang!
Seven fires up and runs at Wolfgang in the corner for another chop! Seven dodges Mark to send him into Wolfgang, then throws Mark with a snap dragon suplex! Wolfgang denies Seven a second one, then moonsaults up, only to get Mark! Seven brings Wolfgang up for a scoop side slam! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Seven drags Wolfgang around. Seven spins it around but Wolfgang shoves Seven right out to the barriers! Mark barrels into the rnig, but it’s a distraction so that Joe can throw Seven into steel steps! Joe puts Seven into the ring for Wolfgang, who SPEARS Seven down! Cover, TWO!! Seven survives and frustrates Gallus. Mark tags in to stomp away on Seven. Fans rally as Mark clubs away on Seven. Mark puts Seven in the corner and tags to brother Joe.
Joe wrenches and reels Seven in for a facelock. Seven endures as fans sing for him. Joe wrenches and punches away on Seven, then tags brother Mark. Mark puts on the facelock, and Seven starts to fade. Mark puts Seven in the corner and Joe tags in. The Coffey boys mug Seven but Seven fights back! Wolfgang holds Seven’s tights to keep him trapped as Joe throws body shots! Joe puts the facelock back on and grinds Seven back down. Seven endures, and Joe throws haymakers. Joe coordinates with Wolfgang, and tags in as Wolfgang climbs. Wolfgang drops ax handles on Seven’s back, then tags Joe back in. Joe climbs now but Seven fights out! Seven CHOPS Joe but Joe grabs hair! Joe drags Seven in but Seven throws more hands. Seven climbs up, for a SUPERPLEX! Fans fire up as both men crash down!
Seven crawls for his corner but so does Joe. Hot tags to Wolfgang and Dunne! The Bruiserweight Rallies, even as Mark runs in. Dunne’s enziguri hits Wolfgang and Dunne whips Mark for a rebound German Suplex! Dunne kicks Mark’s arms out, then gives him an X-Plex! Wolfgang blocks a kick but Dunne rolls him into a kneebar! Wolfgang crawls and claws around. He drags himself to Gallus’ corner and tags in Mark! Mark drops an elbow, but into a triangle hold! Mark rolls around back towards Gallus’ corner and tags back to Wolfgang. Wolfgang climbs up, for the Howling! But even he gets caught into an armbar! Wolfgang shifts through but into the Kimura! Dunne is savvy, but Wolfgang is strong enough to suplex out! Fans are thunderous as both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Joe and Bate!
Bate rallies with EuroUppers on the Iron King! Joe reverses the whip but runs into the knee. Bate hops up for a flying EuroUpper! Bate runs corner to corner, for another EuroUpper! He whips Joe but Joe reverses again. Joe runs, misses, but elbows Bate away. Joe double jumps but misses the crossbody! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO, and fans reach a fever pitch. Joe whips Bate but Bate wheelbarrows. Joe swings Bate around like that, Bate still victory rolls! TWO!! Bate scoops Joe for the airplane spin! They go around and around, and around and around! Fans give a standing ovation for this ultimate spin cycle! Bate finally stops to drop Joe, then falls on his butt. The Big Strong Boy has Liverpool on their feet as he goes for the Tyler Driver. Joe slips out, and sees Bang coming! Joe headbutts, but BOP comes around the other side!
Both men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Mark and Seven! Mark enziguris the punch away, but Seven swings Mark out for the Seven Star Lariat! But it was Seven’s bad arm, so that alone hurts. Tag to Bate, tag to Dunne. Mustache Mountain lifts Mark, and Dunne adds a backstabber to their back suplex bomb! Cover, but Wolfgang breaks it! Seven goes after him but Wolfgang throws Seven out. BANG hits Wolfgang, and Bate DIVES onto Wolfgang! Dunne kicks Mark down, then glares at Joe. Joe has Dunne’s title belt, and Mark rolls Dunne up! TWO, enziguri from Mark rocks Dunne! Tag to Joe, and Joe drags Dunne up. Joe hits the powerbomb! Cover, but Seven breaks it just in time!
Wolfgang returns but Seven throws him out by his ponytail. Seven’s backhand finishes it, but Mark rocks Seven. Bate’s rebound lariat takes out Mark, but Joe’s pop-up EuroUpper takes out Bate! Joe and Dunne are left alone in the ring, and the two fire off with fast hands! Neither man backs down but they do slow down. Dunne rocks Joe with the forearm, then brings his hands down, to stomp them! Buzzsaw kick on top, but Dunne runs into the headbutt! Joe runs corner to corner, but into a kick! Both men are down and fans again reach that fever pitch. Dunne and Joe slowly stir as their allies regroup. Joe goes to tag Wolfgang but Dunne intercepts! Dunne has the fingers, Wolfgang tags from the back side.
SNAP go the fingers, and Bitter End! But Wolfgang sentons onto Dunne! Tag to Bate, and Bate dodges Wolfgang to huricanrana Wolfgang back out. Bate aims at the cluster as he climbs up top. Bate LEAPS for a corkscrew senton onto everyone!! Fans fire up as Bate quickly gets Wolfgang back in the ring. Bate staggers over on noodle legs as Wolfgang slowly stands. Bate lifts Wolfgang but Wolfgang slips out. Joe tags in as Bate hits the rolling kick on Wolfgang! Bate sees Joe and has the underhook, but Joe back drops out. Bate lands on his feet, blocks All the Best, but his rebound gets the second shot! Cover, Gallus wins!!
Winners: Gallus, Joe Coffey pinning
The Scotsmen are victorious in this six man showdown! The Iron King stares down the Bruiserweight, and tells him their fight is coming. Will Joe Coffey be the man to finally dethrone Pete Dunne?
An incredible pair of episodes for NXT UK’s first go-home sequence! A lot of tag based action, such as Williams & Jordan finally making it a victory for their duo. I was almost afraid they were going to have a tag team break-up story, but both guys are too good as Faces to turn them now. Maybe in the post-TakeOver days for NXT UK, Williams & Jordan can move up on the card to be slightly less than jobbers to the stars. Andrews & Webster VS Grizzle Young Veterans was a great semifinal match, and naturally it is the Heels who move on to face the Faces in Mustache Mountain. I was surprised Aichner & Barthel didn’t attack after, but they have plenty of chances to settle the tag team feud with Andrews & Webster post-TakeOver. Mustache Mountain VS GYV is going to be incredible, and I can’t really say which way it’ll go.
Isla Dawn and Xia have a solid Face VS Face match, and Jinny’s attack backstage works to escalate her story with Isla. That will likely be another post-TakeOver match, and that should decide the next challenger to the Women’s Championship. I really liked the “press conference” segment, though I think they forgot that the canon timeline is Mae Young Classic before the NXT UK Women’s Championship tournament. Toni’s line about going through incredible talents like Meiko Satoumura and Io Shirai is now a little out of place, but that’s a small concern. Rhea also did great as her Heel persona, and their rematch in Blackpool will be just as amazing and hard to call as the NXT UK Tag Title match.
Ligero and Conners had a great match, but this is too soon to be a blow-off. Conners will likely attack post-TakeOver and things will escalate. Devlin and Banks did great in building their story while having matches with others. Dennis and Mastiff have great promos to hype their match, and that No Disqualification will be rough. Devlin VS Banks and Dennis VS Mastiff again could go either way, but I feel that if Mastiff comes out the winner, and him being undefeated, he has to get a title shot. The Six Man Tag was insane, practically a TakeOver level match itself. I was really surprised Gallus won, but since they did, it fit for Joe to get the pin. Joe standing tall now, the math would mean Dunne wins, but who knows. NXT UK might subvert that expectation, and Joe wins to change the hierarchy of the division.
My Scores: Episode 21 – 8.5/10; Episode 22 – 8.7/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Dominion 2019 Part 1!
It’s Rainmaker VS Painmaker in the main event!
Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho! Will Y2J stop the reign of the Rainmaker? Or will Okada continue to raise NJPW to the next level?
Coverage of Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jon Moxley VS Shota Umino; Moxley wins.
- Shingo Takagi VS Satoshi Kojima; Takagi wins.
- Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan; Taguchi Japan wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Dragon Lee VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Chris Jericho; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for this Summer blockbuster!
The Rainmaker reigns once again after his long road to redemption. Madison Square Garden was the beginning of Kazuchika Okada’s fifth reign, and Okada would be successful in his first defense back in Japan. But a darker Chris Jericho has come back to NJPW to be the Painmaker that ruins the Rainmaker’s Summer. Can Okada keep going? Or will he regret playing with Y2J?
But before that, the Aerial Assassin, fresh off his Best of the Super Juniors victory, wants the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back! Will Ospreay slayed the Muscle Dragon, Shingo Takagi, in the finals, but can he slay CMLL’s Dragon Lee? Or will Lee continue the reign that also started in Madison Square Garden?
Jon Moxley VS Shota Umino!
The Lunatic is free, and he has come to NJPW! He won the IWGP United States Championship in his debut, but will the Death Rider keep going strong as this Young Lion gets to show his stuff?
Umino is definitely eager to show what he can do, as he FLIES out onto Moxley before the bell! Osaka fires up with Umino as he gets Moxley in the ring. The bell does ring and Umino climbs up to missile dropkick Moxley back down! Umino runs in corner to corner, but gets a big lariat from Moxley! Moxley goes back to Umino to rain down rights, but the ref reprimands him for closed fists. So Moxley switches to elbows! Moxley walks off his annoyance before putting Umino in the corner for a CHOP! And another! Moxley grinds his forearm into Umino’s face but lets up at the ref’s count, for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Umino survives, and Moxley mocks them before dropping an elbow. Cover, TWO!
Moxley drags Umino around for a Queen Angelito Stretch. Umino endures the deathlock and crossface, but Moxley fish hooks the mouth. Fans rally and Umino crawls, but Moxley pulls back harder. Umino powers his way forward for the ropebreak! Moxley lets go just to hammer Umino down. Moxley walks off with some swagger, then returns to loom over a dazed Umino. Umino hits back but Moxley eggs him on. Umino throws more forearms but it’s not enough for Moxley. That third one still wasn’t, and Moxley headbutts Umino, only to run into a dropkick and a German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Umino stays fired up as he fishermen’s, but Moxley spins out to forearm Umino back. Then Moxley gives Umino the X-Plex! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer Umino’s heart and Moxley even laughs. Moxley drags Umino up, Death Rider DDT! Cover, Moxley wins!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall
That wasn’t as easy as Moxley thought, but he still puts the Young Lion away. When and where will the Death Rider strike again? How long will he be IWGP US Champion?
Moxley isn’t done, he grabs a mic. “I bring a message from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jon Moxley, international purveyor of violence, gentleman and all around sick son of a b*tch wants in on the G1!” A huge move for the newest star in NJPW! Will Moxley rise to the challenge of the G1 Climax to take it all?! Either way, he takes his belt, and Umino, with him to the back! Has the Young Lion won the veteran’s respect?
NJPW Media backstage interview
Moxley has a floundering Umino hold onto the IWGP US Championship belt for him as he compliments the Young Lion. “I like this kid. He could be my new Young Lion. I’m gonna need some help, I’m gonna need a partner.” A training partner, a guy to spot him on the bench, to drive him home from Roppongi. Does Umino drive? Well Moxley and his Young Boy will be fine. And Moxley made his intentions clear. “See you at the G1. Come, my friend.” Moxley helps Umino up and the two head out. Is this partnership really going to work out? And how is the Death Rider going to fare in his first G1 Climax tournament?
Shingo Takagi VS Satoshi Kojima!
The Muscle Dragon suffered his first loss in NJPW when he fell to the Aerial Assassin, but he looks to spring back already. Will his Pumping Bomber beat the legendary Cozy Lariat in this special first-ever encounter?
The bell rings and the fans are already fired up. They tie up, and Shingo keeps even with Kojima. Shingo puts Kojima on the ropes, then lets up to pat his shoulders. And then CHOP him anyway! Kojima doesn’t flinch, and kicks back. He headlocks Shingo but Shingo powers out. Kojima bumps Shingo but Shingo comes back to run him over! Fans marvel at the muscles as Shingo drags Kojima up. Kojima forearms Shingo but Shingo hits back. They brawl with fast and furious forearms, then Shingo headbutts. Shingo whips but Kojima runs him over! Fans cheer as Kojima shows he’s as strong as ever. Kojima flex the pecs then slingshots to topple Shingo down! Fans cheer as Kojima gets up. Shingo follows and they brawl on the outside.
The count climbs as the punches fly, but Shingo CHOPS! Kojima keeps hitting Shingo and Shingo keep shitting Kojima. But the count hits 15! Then 17! They hear 19 and jump in! Shingo goes at Kojima with a facelock but Kojima gets up. Shingo shifts to a cravat, but Kojima endures the grind, only to get an elbow. Kojima ends up in a corner, Shingo whips him to another. Shingo runs in but blocks the boot then jab and chop! Jab, chop, and repeat! Shingo lets up at the ref’s count and checks his hand. He whips Kojima corner to corner, but Kojima dodges and CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS over and over and over! Fans fire up as he tops it off with one more big CHOP! Shingo is stinging as Kojima whips him corner to corner. Kojima forearm smashes then goes up top! But Shingo knocks him down!
Shingo joins Kojima on the apron and says HE is going for something. Kojima denies the Death Valley, but Shingo holds on to deny the cutter. Shingo fireman’s carries, and hits the apron Death Valley Driver! Both men slump to the floor but Shingo sits up first. Kojima slowly follows, and sweeps Shingo’s legs on the apron! Shingo crashes and Kojima climbs up to join him. Kojima hits an apron DDT! Kojima puts Shingo in and brings him up for a cutter! Cover, TWO! Shingo survives and surprises Kojima a bit, but Kojima keeps his cool. He clubs away on Shingo and then puts him up top. Kojima climbs up to join Shingo, and hits a SUPER CUTTER! Cover, TWO! Shingo survives again!
Kojima drags Shingo up and Shingo denies the suplex. Kojima manages to get Shingo up but Shingo slips out. Shingo waistlocks but Kojima elbows free. Kojima runs, but into a back elbow of Shingo’s, then a JAB and LARIAT! But Shingo can’t make the cover, his arms are still stinging. Shingo whips Kojima and knees him against ropes. He suplexes Kojima for a big vertical suplex! Shingo drags Kojima back up but Kojima flops over. Shingo tries again, underhooks but Kojima resists. So Shingo knees and CHOPS him with both hands! Shingo runs, but Kojima blocks the bomber! Kojima runs, but Shingo blocks on one side, only to get Cozy Lariat from the other side! Kojima brings Shingo back up, BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!
Kojima keeps his cool as fans rally up both ways. He prepares the arm, whips Shingo, but Shingo flops over now. The ref checks on Shingo while Kojima eggs him on. Shingo stands, blocks the lariat, and underhooks, but Kojima fights free, only to get a DDT! Kojima gets to a corner and fans rally up with Shingo. Shingo runs corner to corner for a big clothesline! Then he runs to Pump- Kojima tanks the bomber?! Shingo tries again but Kojima stays up. Shingo runs but clotheslines collide! And it’s Kojima who stays up! Fans fire up as Kojima glares. Off comes the arm band! Kojima runs, but into a PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, ONE!? Kojima shows great heart, and throws forearms with Shingo back and forth again.
Shingo gives elbows from all sides, but Kojima comes back with his own! Kojima swings into a pump handle! Shingo lifts Kojima, for Made in Japan! Cover, TWO!! Kojima escapes the driver! But Shingo keeps going, PUMPING BOMBER!! Shingo won’t cover?! He gets up and brings Kojima into the pump handle fireman’s carry, Last of the Dragon!! Cover, Shingo wins!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall
The biggest Junior Heavyweight in NJPW defeats a legendary heavyweight! Takagi picks up the mic to say, “You saw it happen. I got the job done.” But he needs something more. A bigger thrill! Something heavier. You get what he means, right? Osaka has an idea, but Takagi gets to the point. He also wants in on the G1!! It doesn’t matter the size, the talent, the toughness, Takagi will take them all down, “just the way I am.” That is all. The Muscle Dragon drops the mic and also wants in the big Summer tournament! Will Takagi prove that he can be the best of both weight classes?
Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan!
Two factions of NJPW clash as Jay White leads Taiji Ishimori and Chase Owens into battle against Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and of course Ryusuke Taguchi. Will the Flamboyant One, The Ace and the Funky Weapon #BreathwiththeSwitchblade? Or will they take the Switchblade, Bone Soldier and Crown Jewel down on Dominion?
NJPW on AXS returns as the teams sort out. Chase starts against Juice with the bell. The two circle and tie up. Chase waistlocks then wrenches Juice, but Juice spins through to wrench back. Chase spins and headlocks, but Juice pries free to get a keylock to waistlock. Juice throws Chase down and keeps on him with a waistlock. Chase stands and backs Juice into ropes, and the break is clean, until Chase elbows Juice in that bad eyebrow! Chase goes after it with a headlock punch! The ref reprimands Chase but Juice just punches Chase back! Juice jabs and CHOPS in the corner over and over. The ref counts so Juice whips Chase corner to corner, to then run in for a big clothesline! Juice keeps moving, but Chase bails out.
The Bullet Club regroups while fans rally up for Juice. Juice dares Chase to get in, and Chase does, to tag out to Taiji. Taiji stares down with Juice, but Taguchi wants in. Osaka wants him in, too! Tag to Taguchi, and we revisit their resent Junior Heavyweight Championship match. Taguchi does his Sailor Boys dance, but that only gets him kicked. Taiji headlocks but Taguchi powers out and things speed up. Taguchi goes for a hip attack but gets an atomic drop! Taiji whips but Taguchi reverses to hit a corner hip attack! Then he whips Taiji corner to corner for another! Taguchi keeps moving, but misses that one! The Bullet Club blasts Taguchi’s teammates, and Taiji throws Taguchi out to join them.
White throws Tanahashi at the NJPW commentary while Chase punches Juice up the ramp. Taiji keeps on Taguchi on the other side while White CHOPS Tanahashi. Taiji whips Taguchi into barriers! White stomps Tanahashi down while Chase helps Taiji against Taguchi. Juice is down at the ramp while Taiji puts Taguchi in to cover. TWO, but Taiji tags Chase. Chase stomps Taguchi to keep him away from his corner. Chase bumps Taguchi off buckles then feeds him to White’s boot. Tag to White and Chase throws Taguchi out for White to ram into railing, apron and railing, repeat! White puts Taguchi back in while fans boo and jeer. He covers, TWO! Taguchi survives but White wraps him up with a chinlock.
Fans rally up and Taguchi feeds off the energy. Taguchi fights back and whips, but White reverses, and dodges the hip attack. The Funky Weapon has done more damage to himself than anything. He runs into another atomic drop! But he escapes White’s back suplex! Taguchi dodges and hits White with the hip attack! Both men are down and fans rally up. Taguchi and White crawl, hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace has his hated nemesis and starts throwing forearms. He whips but White reverses, only to get a flying forearm! Tanahashi blasts the Bullet Club, then dodges White. He blocks the boot for a Dragon Screw! Fans fire up as Tanahashi hops up, for the senton onto White! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer “GO ACE!” as Tanahashi aims at White. White dodges Slingblade but Tanahashi elbows White away. Tanahashi runs but into a CHOP! But he keeps going! White blocks Slingblade to saido suplex! The Bullet Club take Taguchi and Juice out, then help White with Tanahashi. Taiji whips Tanahashi corner to corner, then Chase whips Taiji in to double knee Tanahashi. Chase adds a forearm smash, then White adds a running uppercut! White suplexes Tanahashi for a twisting suplex! Cover, but Juice and Taguchi both break it! Fans cheer but Bullet Club throws them back out. White drags Tanahashi up and slashes the throat. He has Tanahashi in position, but Tanahashi spins and palm strikes!
Tanahashi runs, but Slingblade is denied again! White wants but is denied Blade Runner into a Slingblade! Fans rally up while both men are down. Bullet Club hits Taguchi down and drags White to the corner, and Chase tags in! Chase grins as he aims at Tanahashi. He runs in corner to corner for a forearm, then snapmares for a Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi survives but Chase drags him up for a piledriver. Juice runs in but gets a SUPERKICK! Taguchi returns to kick Chase, then runs only to miss again! Taiji whips Taguchi into railing again while Chase drags Tanahashi up. Tanahashi goes to counter punch but Chase hits the bad arm. Chase hammerlocks and lariats, the Jewel Heist! But Chase isn’t done there, he double guns and drags Tanahashi up. Package-
No, Tanahashi escapes and trips Chase up! He laces the legs but Chase shoves him away into White’s cheap shot. But Juice yanks White down for the Left Hand of God! Chase drags Tanahashi up and whips, but Tanahashi reverses into a familiar position. But Tanahashi doesn’t steal Blade Runner, he hits a Slingblade DDT! Cover, Tanahashi and team win!
Winners: Taguchi Japan, Tanahashi pinning
The Ace gets the win for his team! But will this trios victory help Tanahashi in his newest NJPW comeback? Or is it a long road back for even the Once in a Century Talent?
Katsuyori Shibata returns to NJPW!
The man simply known as “The Wrestler” is back in Osaka-Jo Hall! But he is in a suit, so he’s not here to fight. Instead, his business is to introduce NJPW to a new star… KENTA!! Yes, the Innovator of the GTS is here! And as the shirt says, he’s ready to take over! Shibata helps Kenta into the ring and Osaka goes wild! And of course, Shibata picks up the mic to speak.
“Today, I brought a really close friend with me.” This is THE Kenta! And then the mic is given over to Kenta so that he may speak. “Hello NJPW fans, I’m Kenta.” He thanks Shibata for making this possible. And he is here because he followed his instincts. Kenta wants to show you his style of pro-wrestling. “I will see you at the G1 Climax.” Incredible! A third man declares for the tournament in one night! Will Kenta #TAKEOVER and make the rest of the field #GoToSleep?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Dragon Lee VS Will Ospreay!
The Best of the Super Juniors practically just ended, but the Aerial Assassin doesn’t take anything easy. The two-time tournament winner wants to go from two-time champion to three! Will he slay another dragon in just the span of a week? Or will CMLL’s dragon continue to reign over the NJPW Junior Heavyweight Division?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised then put carefully alongside Ospreay’s BOSJ 26 trophy, and the two rivals shake hands. The bell rings and we begin this battle of young and international icons!
Osaka is already thunderous for these two top Junior Heavyweights. The two circle and tie up. Ospreay wrenches but Lee handsprings through. Lee and Ospreay tie up again and Lee snapmares, but Ospreay handsprings through. They go again, and Lee headlocks, but Ospreay powers out. Things speed up and Lee shoves to follow then huricanrana, but Ospreay handsprings through that! Ospreay huricanranas but Lee also handsprings! Lee kicks but Ospreay dodges to handspring, but Lee just denies the Oscutter! Lee lifts for Desnucadora but Ospreay slips out. Ospreay swings a kick, but Lee ducks, and then they both dropkick! Those cancel out and both men kip up, but Lee dropkicks Ospreay back down! Fans cheer how fast and furious these two move!
Lee goes after Ospreay with a hook to the face, then wraps an arm around the ropes. Lee CHOPS Ospreay then follow shim in a corner. He knees and forearms Ospreay, then whips corner to corner. Ospreay boots and enziguris Lee back, then hits a top-rope 619! Lee bails out but Ospreay slingshots for a big crossbody! Fans fire up as Ospreay stands tall! Ospreay takes a moment to walk off the landing then drags Lee up to CHOP him back down! Ospreay drags Lee up and into the ring, and covers, ONE! Fans cheer while Ospreay drags Lee back up for a big forearm. Ospreay whips and elbows Lee down, cover, ONE!
Ospreay keeps his cool as he drags Lee around. He hammerlocks one arm, then pulls on the other, for a recliner! Cover, TWO! Ospreay stalks Lee to a corner and CHOPS him back. He CHOPS Lee more, but Lee hits back with forearms. Ospreay back kicks then whips, but Lee puts Ospreay on the apron. Ospreay hits back then springboards, but his Pip Pip Cheerio gets caught into an STO! Both men are down but stirring as fans cheer. Lee gets up and goes to Ospreay in the corner to throw forearm after forearm. Lee runs but Ospreay follows to uppercut! Ospreay sweeps the legs and runs corner to corner, but Lee dodges. Lee throws more forearms to sit Ospreay down, then runs corner to corner for the basement dropkick! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!
Lee keeps his cool while fans cheer. Lee kicks Ospreay then whips, but Ospreay handsprings to PELE! Ospreay gets to the apron then springboards back in, flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Lee lives but Ospreay sees him bail out. Fans rally as Ospreay builds speed, Sasuke Special! Lee dodges but Ospreay still lands on his feet! Only to get Lee’s knee trigger! Lee drags Ospreay up onto the railing and throws forearm. NJPW commentary gets a good look as Lee builds speed and DIVES! They both go into the next section!! Even commentary is wiped out with that insane tope suicida! Red Shoes checks on both men, and somehow they’re okay to continue. Fans rally up behind commentary who got wiped out. Everyone is up and Lee pushes Ospreay over the railing back to ringside.
Lee puts Ospreay in the ring and deadlifts him. Ospreay fights the waistlock but Lee shifts to a full nelson. Ospreay breaks that, but gets caught into the Straitjacket German! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ospreay still escapes after all of that! Lee grits his teeth and checks his mask as he goes after Ospreay again. He puts Ospreay up on the back rope and Ospreay falls into the Tree of Woe. Lee climbs up but Ospreay sits up to start brawling! They hit each other with forearms back and forth, and with little where else to go. Lee headbutts Ospreay back into the Tree, then stands up, but Ospreay kicks Lee down! Ospreay is free of the Tree while Lee falls to the floor. Ospreay climbs up, CORKSCREW MOONSAULT! He takes Lee down with him!
Osaka fires up while Ospreay clutches his ribs. But Ospreay fires up to drag Lee into the ring! Ospreay drags Lee up into the dragon sleeper, for a Bloody Sunday! Cover, TWO! Lee lives again but Ospreay keeps his focus. Both men stand and Ospreay aims, Hook Kick! But Ospreay won’t stop there, he roars as he underhooks. Lee blocks so Ospreay kicks away on his face. Underhooks to Canadian rack, but Lee pops out of Stormbreaker for a gut wrench! But Ospreay slips through to gut wrench Lee, only for Lee to tilt-o-whirl DDT! And then springs up to a suplex, only to get the Osaka Street Cutter! Both men are down after an Osaka Street Cutter in Osaka! Fans rally up and the two slowly stir. The two crawl towards each other, and start throwing forearms again.
Fans cheer as Ospreay hits Lee and Lee hits Ospreay. Both men fire up and get to their feet. Ospreay hits Lee again, but Lee hits Ospreay again. They go back and forth, then Ospreay fires several! Lee hits one and decks Ospreay! Lee runs but into a HOOK KICK! Ospreay runs, but into a German Suplex! But he lands on his feet to dropkick-flip, into Lee’s knee trigger! Lee POISON RANAS! Lee runs, but into SPANISH FLY! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous! Ospreay crawls to a cover, TWO!! Lee just barely survives that one!
Fans rally up as Ospreay puts Lee in the drop zone. Ospreay climbs up again, but has to fight Lee. Lee SUPERKICKS Ospreay down to the apron! Lee runs side to side, for a FLYING HURICANRANA! But Ospreay lands on his feet?! Lee is stunned as Ospreay stares him down. Ospreay eggs Lee on, and gets him with an apron pop-up bomb! Ospreay puts Lee in, climbs up top, and leaps for the Shooting Star! Cover, TWO!! Lee still lives, but Ospreay vows to end it! Ospreay aims, Robinson Special! But that’s not all, Ospreay springboards, but into a knee trigger! Fans are thunderous all over again as both men slowly stir.
Ospreay goes back to the apron, but Lee pursues. Lee drags Ospreay up and throws forearms. Ospreay swing kicks Lee back! Ospreay hops up fast, but Lee trips him up! Into a Tree of Woe to the outside! WOE STOMPS!! Lee may have done as much damage to himself just on the landing! Red Shoes checks but again they’re somehow both okay. A ring count begins and climbs past 10, but Lee is up and in! Ospreay is still down as fans cheer. Ospreay stands at 14 but flops over at 15! The count reaches 18, Ospreay springs up at 19 and gets in at 19.5! Only to get another knee trigger! Lee drags Ospreay up, lifts, but Ospreay resists again! Ospreay elbows out and roundhouses Lee down! But Lee catches Ospreay for another STO! That Ospreay slips through! Powerbomb lift, but Lee hits a DESTROYER!!
Lee won’t end it, he runs to Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO!? How?! But Lee doesn’t take long to worry about that. He takes the knee pad down and runs again, but Ospreay blocks the Wizard! Only to get a knee trigger! Fans are thunderous again as Lee lifts Ospreay, tucks, but Ospreay lands out of Desnucadora to back heel kick Lee in the head! Then reels him out for a Hook Kick! Ospreay aims, Hidden Blade!! But not even this is enough for Ospreay! He hops way up, SUPER OSCUTTER! He holds on, to underhook, STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Aerial Assassin wins his third Junior Heavyweight Championship as he slays his second dragon! Ospreay holds up both title and trophy, as THE Super Junior of NJPW today! How long will this newest reign last?
NJPW Media backstage interview
Ospreay says “The Junior Heavyweight wants in on the G1. I dare NJPW: put me in the G1 Climax this year! I’ll show that this trophy is just as good as the heavyweight trophy.” A fourth man makes his intentions known! Will Ospreay conquer both divisions in 2019?!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Chris Jericho!
Y2J has already held championship gold in NJPW, but he isn’t going to stop until he holds the top prize. He dares the Rainmaker to come out and play, so Okada will play his game. But just what is a “Painmaker,” anyway? Jericho promises to show the world right here in this match. Will the Judas Effect kick in to end Okada’s fifth reign? Or is Okada still on a whole different level?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of true greats!
Okada throws his jacket at Jericho much like Jericho might do to someone else. Jericho doesn’t appreciate that but Okada laughs and grins as Jericho throws Okada’s jacket out. These two hear the fans already thunderous for Okada, and Jericho grows annoyed already. Jericho tells the “stupid idiots” to shut up, but they just boo him instead. Okada encourages the fans to cheer so they cheer loud and proud. He and Jericho finally circle and tie up. Jericho pushes Okada away and the two circle again. They tie up again, and Jericho pulls hair. Okada turns things around and the two go around the ring, with Okada on Jericho against the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, and Okada fakes Jericho out like all the rest. But Jericho pokes Okada’s eyes!
Fans boo but Jericho clubs Okada and CHOPS him. Jericho whips then runs him over with forearms! The fans boo but Jericho just mocks them. Jericho slaps Okada around but Okada throws forearms back. Okada whips but Jericho bails out to deny the dropkick. Jericho walks it off, but Okada gives chase! They go around the ring, into the ring, and then Jericho dodges Okada only to get a BOOT! Okada heads for a corner already, and leaps for a missile dropkick! But Jericho blocks it to the Walls of Jericho! Okada endures as Jericho sits down deep. Okada crawls while Jericho mocks the fans cheering him on. Ropebreak! Jericho lets go and Okada slumps out of the ring, but Jericho runs to wreck him with a dropkick! Okada tumbles over into commentary! Those guys are having a busy night…
Jericho climbs over to join Okada, mock the fans, and throw chairs! Jericho bounces Okada off the desk, then climbs up to stand Okada up. Flashbacks to Jericho’s matches with Naito, DDT to the table! Okada is stuck in the wood and Jericho rings the bell himself, as if he’s already won. Jericho goes back to Okada, tosses more furniture aside, and drags Okada up over the railing. He stomps Okada into the railing then drives in elbows. Jericho walks around the ring to go looking for something. He brings out a spare table! Jericho sets the table up, then shoves Red Shoes aside to fetch Okada. He brings Okada to the table, but Okada resists the lift. Jericho clubs Okada, but Okada powers Jericho into railing! Jericho BOOTS right back! And once again, Jericho confiscates a camera to get a close-up on Okada, while flipping the bird.
Jericho gives the camera back while he mocks the fans cheering for Okada. He puts Okada in the ring then climbs up top. Jericho dares Okada to stand, and then leaps to crossbody Okada down! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Jericho grows annoyed. Jericho slaps Okada around then drags Okada up for a BIG back suplex! Jericho stands on Okada but Red Shoes doesn’t count that as a cover. They argue and Jericho shoves Red Shoes again. Fans rally up for Okada but Jericho rains down rights. Jericho sits Okada up to drive in more elbows, then pushes the “piece of s*it back down.” He slaps Okada but Okada comes back for more. Jericho keeps slapping Okada so Okada throws forearms! Okada runs but into Jericho’s dropkick! Jericho grins as he mocks the Hulkster, too.
Jericho drags Okada up and chokes him on the ropes. He lets up at the ref’s count of 4 and even mocks the count, before kicking Okada down. Jericho chokes Okada against ropes again, then backs off to bring him up. Jericho suplexes and holds Okada up about 7 counts, then drops Okada down. He covers, TWO! Okada stays in this as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Jericho drags Okada up to CHOP him. Jericho CHOPS Okada against ropes, then again. He throws forearms, too, then whips. Okada kicks Jericho back then throws forearms of his own. Jericho throws even more forearms, but runs into a flapjack! Both men are down, but then Okada kips up. Okada rallies on Jericho with elbows and forearms! He whips, but Jericho reverses, only for Okada to dodge and elbow Jericho down! Okada fires up and Osaka with him! Okada runs in for a corner elbow, then kicks to DDT Jericho down. Jericho slumps out of the ring, but Okada pursues. Okada whips Jericho across the way into railing! Then runs in to boot him over! Okada gets the fans rallying as he gets space. Okada runs back in, to FLY, into a Code Breaker!
Both Jericho and Okada are down but it’s Okada gasping for air. Jericho leaves Okada behind to get in the ring. Jericho wants the ring count to end Okada’s reign. The count climbs to 10 but Okada is up and hobbling over. Okada gets to the ring at 11 but falls at 12. Okada hops in at 16, but Jericho is on him with a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO! Jericho clubs Okada with crossface forearms, but fans cheer Okada on. Jericho gives them dirty birds as he goes back to Okada. He CHOPS Okada and follows him to a corner for another CHOP. Jericho whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! He gut wrenches but Okada slips out! Okada gut wrenches Jericho, but Jericho tumbles back to get the lift back!
But Jericho slips through to grab the legs! Okada resists but Jericho gets the Walls all over again! Okada endures as fans cheer and Jericho talks trash. The champion crawls with all his might but Jericho just keeps up the pressure. Okada gives on more push, to a ropebreak! Jericho holds on until 4, then argues with Red Shoes. He chokes Red Shoes as he says Okada tapped out. But Jericho turns around into Okada’s dropkick! Jericho goes to a corner but Okada runs in, only to miss. Jericho runs in but misses, and Okada puts him up top. But Jericho kicks Okada before Okada could dropkick. Jericho leaps, into Okada’s dropkick! Okada drags Jericho up and gut wrenches, TOMBSTONE! And the Rainmaker Pose!
Okada drags Jericho back up, reels him in to wring him out, but Jericho spins through to underhook, Tiger Bomb! High stack, TWO!! Okada survives but barely! Jericho waits for Okada to stand again, runs in, but the Code Breaker is denied to the Air Raid neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he goes up top. But his back slows him down given all that time in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho runs in but Okada shoulders and punches him away. Jericho punches back but Okada punches again. Okada goes to bump Jericho on buckles, but Jericho blocks to bump Okada. Okada staggers, Jericho triangle dropkicks him down! Fans have to cheer that classic move from Jericho.
Jericho drags Okada back up to bump him off buckles. He drags Okada up to the top rope, but Okada resists. Jericho clubs Okada, but Okada hits back. Okada throws Jericho off! MACHO ELBOW! Fans fire up as Okada hits a proper Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Jericho up, wrings him out, but Jericho ducks to enziguri! Both men are down again, but fans continue to cheer. Jericho and Okada crawl to each other, and start throwing forearms on the mat. They go back and forth, and slowly stand as they do. Jericho CHOPS Okada, but Okada walks it off to forearm Jericho back. Okada throws more forearms and even European Uppercuts. Okada whips but Jericho holds the ropes to again deny the dropkick. LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!!
Jericho keeps his cool as he stalks Okada to a corner. Jericho kicks Okada while he’s down and even in the corner. He argues with Red Shoes, but gets Okada’s shotgun dropkick! Okada gives back those corner kicks, and grinds his boot into Jericho as he gives back all the trash talk! Red Shoes counts and Okada lets up. Okada gets mad at Red Shoes and stomps Jericho more. Okada goes corner to corner, but into a Code Breaker! Jericho crawls to a cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives that one. Jericho grows frustrated, and tells Okada to “Stay down!” Jericho unties a buckle pad and tosses it at commentary. “You see what happens?! Huh!? You stupid son of a b*tch?!” Jericho drags Okada up, gut wrenches, but Okada slips out to German Suplex!
Okada holds onto Jericho with that waistlock and drags Jericho up. He wrings Jericho out but Jericho ducks the waistlock. Jericho wrings Okada out and tries to steal Rainmaker! But Okada ducks it, to steal Code Breaker! Cover, TWO!! Jericho survives his own move, but Okada has more to give. Okada gut wrenches for a JUMPING TOMBSTONE! And then wristlock, but Jericho ducks to roll Okada into the Walls! And Jericho sits in deep! But Okada powers up to head for ropes! Fans rally up as Jericho demands they ring the bell! Okada reaches but Jericho drags him away! And then turns for a Lion Tamer! Jericho goes old school for this one! But Okada rolls around to pop through and spin Jericho off!
Jericho and Okada crawl then stand. Okada runs in but is sent into the bare buckles! Jericho clotheslines Okada, then demands Okada stand! He wants to use that elbow, but Okada ducks Judas Effect! Okada wrings Jericho out but Jericho again dodges Rainmaker. Jericho jumps but Code Breaker is denied again, and Okada pops Jericho up. Jericho sunset flips but Okada sits on it! Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
But Jericho won’t take that sitting down! He hammers away on Okada! Jericho is a sore loser, and shoves Red Shoes away to keep punching Okada in the head. Jericho throws Red Shoes right out of the ring, to then fetch something else from under the ring. A steel chair! Jericho brings that into the ring, and as Okada stands up, Jericho SMACKS him in the face!! Fans boo and jeer as Jericho holds his weapon up high. Jericho waits for Okada to stand again, Judas Effect! Fans continue to boo as Jericho takes a seat in his chair.
Jericho drags Okada outside the ring and then wraps the chair around Okada’s head! And rams him into the post!! Fans boo even louder but Jericho just soaks it up. Jericho goes back to Okada and brings him around to that table. Jericho finally lifts Okada, but Tanahashi hops in to save Okada! Tanahashi goes after Jericho but Young Lions hurry to keep them apart. Jericho throws things as he retreats, not wanting to face The Ace right now. Jericho grabs a mic to tell “Tana Bakahashi” that if he wants to start stuff, just look at what happened to Okada. “The Painmaker never loses! The Painmaker always wins! Chris Jericho is the Greatest of All Time, even here in this bulls*it country of Japan.” Osaka boos even more while Jericho says he’ll see them both later. “Happy Championship, B*tch!”
Tanahashi is still seething as Jericho heads up the ring. Jericho grabs Okada dollars and wipes the sweat from his pits. The Young Lions turn their attention to helping Okada while Jericho grabs more Okada dollars. He sticks one to his forehead, then rubs the other down his pants to throw at the camera. Jericho’s crude displays aside, when and where will he man up to face The Ace? Will Jericho also get another shot at Okada and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? What even is the state of Okada after Jericho’s sore loser attack? Tanahashi helps Okada stand and head to the back, these two rivals again on the same side.
NJPW Media backstage interviews
Chris Jericho (with that Okada dollar still stuck to his head) says if Okada wants to know what a Painmaker is, ask if he understands now. He probably can’t even talk. No event closing speech from him tonight, that’s for sure. But Jericho will speak for him. “Hello, my name is Okada. Chris Jericho just kicked my ass.”
Jericho wants to know if Okada will be in the G1 this year. And Tanahashi, for that matter. If so, then maybe Jericho will be in it, too. Jericho will beat up Moxley, too, since he still owes Jericho $15,000 from ripping up that LED jacket three years ago in the WWE. Even that “little bastard, Kenta,” he’ll beat him, too. All the G1 field, for that matter. He’ll become Chris G1-icho, how about that? A major move for the Best in the World at What He Does, but will he’s the best in NJPW against the best in NJPW?
These two-hour nights for NJPW on AXS are so great! We are getting so much more of these events now, but I suppose Best of the Super Juniors Finals and Dominion are big enough to warrant it. Moxley makes his squash match with Umino even better by deciding Umino is his “Young Boy.” I wonder if this will really continue as the kayfabe for Moxley in NJPW. If this were an American promotion, we’d be getting goofy gags with them, which would actually be fun to see on social media. Takagi VS Kojima was a great match between these heavy hitters, and Kojima of course gives Takagi the rub by putting him over. Then the Six Man Tag was mostly filler, but it was a good match to keep Tanahashi going in his newest comeback.
Hooray to finally see Hideo Itami/Kenta somewhere! Granted, he got hurt a lot while in NXT and WWE, but when he was finally ready to go, they didn’t let him go full speed. Now in NJPW, and hopefully by extension ROH, Kenta really can show us what he’s capable of. Lee VS Ospreay, another amazing match for the Aerial Assassin. Just when it seemed like there wasn’t another way to recreate the spot where Ospreay lands on his feet out of a steiner, they do this one. Ospreay winning makes a lot of sense, as he is the BOSJ 26 winner, is moving to Japan to truly be full-time for NJPW, and is making a push to be an even bigger big name for the company. We got so many declarations for the G1 Climax this year, this field is looking amazing.
And of course, Okada VS Jericho was amazing, too! Two greats, who knew the other pretty well but especially Jericho knowing Okada. Okada wins but with a surprise cover, so that keeps Jericho strong for a rematch. Of course, Jericho going after Okada after totally fits his “Evil Jericho” persona. It also gives Tanahashi his heroic moment in saving Okada. Jericho was great in his promo, too, as he just straight face talks with that Okada dollar stuck to his head. And great continuity to even reference his WWE feud with Moxley/Ambrose. Jericho VS Tanahashi better happen in the G1, but I would also hope at the right moment. It either needs to open Block competition, or close a Block to lead to the G1 Climax Finals. And either way, Jericho VS Tanahashi will be amazing.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mathew’s Top 10 Joshi Wrestlers (Excluding Stardom)
Did your favorite non-Stardom wrestler make the cut? Check out Mathew’s Top 10 and find out!
Did your favorite non-Stardom wrestler make the cut? Check out Mathew’s Top 10 and find out!
I’ve wanted to do this one for a while and I’m gonna use this time to get to it.
You normally see me cover Stardom along with a few shows in the Joshi scene from time to time, but this countdown list is going to focus on the wrestlers that aren’t apart of the Stardom roster. Let’s be honest, if I did add Stardom on this list then that would be almost half and that’s not fair since there are so many talented Japanese women from various promotions and they deserve recognition.
I’m also going by active members instead of all-time to keep up with the current scene, so let’s get right to it as I talk about my Top 10 Joshi wrestlers.
10. ASUKA (Freelancer)
– No, not that Asuka, this is a different ASUKA. ASUKA was able to make history in the short amount of time she’s been around professional wrestling in her three-year career and it’s still going. Asuka was originally from Pro Wrestling WAVE until the end of 2018. She was the first transgender wrestler to main event their biggest show and also the first transgender wrestler to win their biggest title, the Regina Di WAVE Championship. She’s only twenty-years-old and has so much to offer as she represents her community while having the agility of a young Jushin Liger. I only knew her around 2017 but that was when she was also coming out of her shell in the wrestling world and what a big impact she has left so far. She definitely is someone worth keeping an eye on.
9. Takumi Iroha (Marvelous)
– Twenty-six years old and only six years in the wrestling business, Takumi really is something else. She comes from the Marvelous promotion and is considered their top star in the promotion and for good reasons too since she’s just dynamite. Amazing how she started in Stardom and years later, she would make a better name for herself wrestling in various promotions and winning different titles as well. She recently won SEAdLINNNG’s top title, the Beyond the Sea Championship when she defeated the first champion and owner of the promotion, Nanae Takashi. A very talented woman with some fantastic strikes to top it off as she’s someone you would wanna book for your promotion for a couple of shows.
8. Tsukasa Fujimoto (Ice Ribbon)
– The ace of Ice Ribbon and the only one to hold their top title, the ICExInfinity Championship for a total of six times and has had some incredible reigns as the champion. Thirty-five years old and wrestling for only ten years as she was trained by some of the best people like Nanae Takahashi, Manami Toyota, and Emi Sakura. Hardly sloppy in the ring, can work with most styles, these are great qualities to look for in a wrestler in general and Tsukasa is no exception to that.
7. Hikaru Shida (OZ Academy/AEW)
– While she is now considered AEW, she still left an impact in the Japanese scene and is also considered OZ Academy for the time being, so she counts to being on here. This ten-year veteran made sure the world knew who she was when she just performed globally, not bad from someone who started in Ice Ribbon back in 2008. She won major titles from Ice Ribbon, WAVE, OZ Academy, RCW, and Sendai Girls. She was also the one that got knocked out by Naomichi Marufuji on one of her produced shows in 2017 in under two minutes but she wanted a rematch a year later and while she lost, she took her punishment like a champion and still give the fans a great show on her 10th anniversary. Now that she has joined AEW, the fans overseas are sure to get something special with her around as she could be the top star of that division.
6. Hiroyo Matsumoto (Freelancer)
– Otherwise known as the Lady Destroyer and she might be the best Freelancer in the Joshi scene. She’s wrestled in almost every promotion for Joshi wrestling, became more noticed when she recently joined WWE’s Mae Young Classic in 2018 where she lasted until the second round. Hiroyo is strong, fast, technically sound in the ring, and has had many great matches in all of the promotions she’s worked for and you knew you were going to get your money worth since she was that talented. She may not look like much but believe me when I say that she’s an absolute monster and can just wreck you if she wanted to. Surprised nobody has snatched her up for an exclusive contract because she would be the top star in an instant, but I think she enjoys going to various promotions and performing on a high level that she definitely does make do with what she has, so nothing wrong with that.
5. Miyu Yamashita (Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling)
– The star of TJP and for good reasons. She only has about five years of experience with only a background in karate, but she was able to hold the TOKYO Princess of Princess Championship two times for a grand total of 746 days and during those times that she was a champion, she’s had great title defenses on top of it to make her a worthy champion of that company. She was also the SHINE Champion when she went to a title or title match during WrestleMania weekend. She’s like the Shotaro Ashino of TJP. just great in the ring and while not many follow the promotion, people would mostly keep an eye on her from how talented she is. I really hope she gets future opportunities to fight other people from various promotions soon because she would have a lot of dream matches built up that you’d be crazy not to do any of them. Great talent and somebody please get her some special bookings on the double, she’s worth your time!
4. Chihiro Hashimoto (Sendai Girls)
– Meiko Satomura’s prized pupil in Sendai Girls and that woman is Chihiro Hashimoto. If you look at her at first glance, you would think she would be a powerhouse but she’s also very technical in the ring. Chihiro has been wrestling for three years also and Meiko went full speed for Chihiro to make her the top star of her promotion and even be known as one of the best of the next generation of Joshi wrestlers. A four-time Sendai Girls World Champion with a combination of 777 days and each title defense would always leave you satisfied and wanting more of her at the end of things. With very little years under her belt, there’s plenty of room for her to grow in the upcoming years of her career and she might be another one that’ll be considered an all-time great when she does decide to hang it up. Powerful and wrestling-sound, Chihiro has the tools and can back it up at the same time and she’s just getting started.
3. Sareee (World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana)
– I’m gonna level with you on this one, I’m fairly new to her despite being in the wrestling business for eight years, meaning she wrestled since she was fifteen-years-old, but I was able to become a fan of her the moment I saw her. She’s currently wrestling for World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana and was known as an underdog of sorta. For about a year now, she was able to have big moments in her career when she defeated Aja Kong to become the promotion’s World Champion for the second time, defeating Meiko Satomura clean during a Sendai Girls show in an amazing match, and was able to defeat Chihiro in a title for title match to win the Sendai Girls World Championship, making her a double crown champion with two of the biggest belts in the Joshi scene. A lot of the veterans like Meiko and Nanae are high on Sareee and have faith in her being another won to be the future of professional wrestling as a whole. She has a lot more to prove and plenty of time to do it as this is now her time to shine from here on out.
2. Arisa Nakajima (SEAdLINNNG)
– Aside from Nanae Takashi, I believe Arisa Nakajima is one of the best that SEAdLINNNG has to offer. Arisa is both intense and physical in the ring and while not many have seen a lot of her matches, she always left a big impression on people that have watched her matches and gave them something memorable. While most will be known for their stiff kicks in the ring, she’s more known for her elbows and they’re just as deadly as any stiff kick that you see in most matches these days. Made her career in JWP and is now looking to stand out in her new home and hopefully a future Beyond the Sea Champion when the time is right. Killer instinct and a veteran in the business with thirteen years of experience, she’s someone that will amaze you in that ring.
Before I get to my final one, here’s a small list of honorable mentions down below.
– Nanae Takahashi (SEAdLINNNG)
– Emi Sakura (Gatoh Move)
– Mika Iwata (Sendai Girls)
– DASH Chisako (Sendai Girls)
– Aja Kong (OZ Academy)
– Yuka Sakazaki (Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling)
– Riho (Gatoh Move)
– Yuu (Freelancer)
– Mayumi Ozaki (OZ Academy)
– Saori Anou (Actwres girl’Z)
– Miyako Matsumoto (Ice Ribbon)
1. Meiko Satomura (Sendai Girls)
– I think it’s obvious that she would be at the top of the list for everything she has done throughout her career and still performs at such a high level. The creator of Sendai Girls, Meiko Satomura would go down in the history books as one of the greatest females and wrestlers in general of all time with her incredible wrestling ability and her contributions to the business as a whole. She was also the first female to win DDT’s top title, the KO-D Openweight Championship but that reign didn’t last long, unfortunately. She’s held big titles in her own promotion, Stardom, AAAW, and in Fight Club Pro. Meiko has been wrestling for almost twenty-five years and she still wrestles as if she’s half her age while also being lethal at the same time. She made a big impact in Japan, the United States, and just globally as a whole that she’s earned every accomplishment that she has received. My favorite Joshi wrestler and one of my all-time favorites. If you haven’t seen her before, then something is wrong with you.
Thank you all for taking the time out of your day for reading my list. I’m sure there’s quite a few that I’m missing on here but there are just so many talented women in the Japanese wrestling scene that it’s so hard to put them all in as they all deserve praise. If you have time in your day for more, definitely look up all of these women since they’re worth your time.