NJPW brings a new event to life with Sengoku Lord! The IWGP Intercontinental AND United States Championships are on the line in Nagoya!
Coverage of this event will be as broadcasted on AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP United States Championship: Juice Robinson VS Bad Luck Fale; Robinson wins and retains the IWGP United States Championship.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr; Ibushi wins and retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this inaugural event in Nagoya!
The Golden Star follows in the footsteps of The Ace and the King of Strong Style as he finally becomes Intercontinental Champion at G1 Supercard. But just as he begins his ascent, another wants to drag him back down. The Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion has gone back and forth with Kota Ibushi between the New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax. Will Ibushi break the tie and retain his new title? Or will Zack Sabre Jr. become a champion between two promotions?
But first, the Flamboyant Juice Robinson has been proudly building up his second reign, and was almost screwed by some Bullet Club foul play. The Rogue General took out Juice and vows to make that title his own. Will Bad Luck Fale be too big and too bad for Juice? Or will the United States Champion find a way to survive?
IWGP United States Championship: Juice Robinson VS Bad Luck Fale!
AXS jumps right into the action as Fale has Juice down on the mat. Fale stalks Juice to a corner and drags him up to his feet. Fale pushes and forearms Juice hard in the back! Juice falls to his knee but Fale doesn’t let up. Fale shoves and forearms Juice again, then drags him up again. He shoves Juice a third time for a third forearm to the back. Fans cheer Juice on but Fale toys with him. Fale brings Juice up for a fourth shove, but Juice throws a big left! Juice fires up to throw more forearms, but Fale stays on his feet. Fale swings but Juice ducks and chicken wings Fale around. Fale spins through and breaks free, but Juice waistlocks, so Fale backs Juice to a corner. Fale’s free again but misses in the corner!
Juice grits his teeth as he gets up and runs back in for a clothesline! Juice gives point-blank lariats over and over, then fires up with Nagoya. He hobbles to the other end, and runs back in for one more clothesline! Juice sweeps the legs out to sit Fale down. Juice holds his bad back but powers through the pain for the cannonball! Fale is down but Juice’s back keeps him from covering. Juice goes to the apron and then up top. Fale stands and staggers, but he catches Juice out if the air! Juice fights out of the grip and manages a scoop, but Fale’s too big. Fale scoops but Juice slips out to chop block! Nagoya fires up again as Juice pumps up. Juice aims at Fale but Fale denies the Left Hand of God!
Fale lifts but Juice denies the Grenade, to get the scoop! But Fale’s weight topples Juice over to a cover! TWO, but barely! Fale and Juice slowly sit up. Juice rolls and crawls to a corner while Fale stands. Fale runs in corner to corner, for a big corner splash! He throws Juice down for a falling splash! Cover, TWO!! Juice escapes and fans cheer but Fale grows frustrated. Fale drags Juice up but he’s dead weight. Fale gets Juice up but Juice breaks free to jab! And jab, and jab, then bob ‘n’ weave to jab some more! Juice ducks again to dropkick Fale! Fale stays on his feet but Juice fires up again. Fans rally behind him as he runs, but into a SPEAR! Fale drags Juice up and loads up, GRENADE! Cover, TWO!? Juice lives and Fale can’t believe it!
Fale drags Juice up again but he’s dead weight like before. Fale prepares a bomb but Juice falls to the mat. Red Shoes checks on Juice but Fale drags Juice up. Fale has Juice up in the crucifix, but Juice escapes and boots. Fale blocks and pulls Juice in for the fireman’s carry. Juice fights out, LEFT HAND OF GOD! Fale flounders to the ropes and Juice climbs up top. Fans rally as Juice LEAPS for the crossbody! But Juice isn’t done there, he pumps up and throws another Left Hand of God! Juice scoop slams Fale!! Juice keeps going and hooks Fale for PULP FRICTION! Cover, Juice wins!
Winner: Juice Robinson, by pinfall; still IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion
And the Flamboyant reign continues! Juice shows incredible strength and endurance as he fells Fale! Is this the end of Bullet Club coming after Juice? Or will another one be gunning for Juice’s gold?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr!
It is once again #ZackSabreTime in NJPW. As always, Taka Michinoku wants to know who fans think will win. Ibushi is an amazing wrestler, but he is up against “the man who will become champion with a win today, the British Heavyweight Champion,” the Submission Master, Zack Sabrrrre, JUNIORRR~! Will one of ZSJ’s infinite holds make Ibushi #JustTapOut? Or will Ibushi keep ZSJ from going up to three belts at one time?
Ibushi makes his entrance, the belt is presented, and we begin this fifth-time-around tiebreaker, after the break!
NJPW on AXS returns with the ring of the bell. Fans are strongly behind Ibushi but ZSJ shrugs it off. Ibushi and ZSJ circle and Ibushi keeps his distance. ZSJ keeps pressing and gets Ibushi on the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break and SJ gives Ibushi a pie face. Ibushi kicks ZSJ right in the leg! ZSJ backs off quick but Ibushi waits for him to return. They circle again and ZSJ reels Ibushi in for a shoulder hold. Ibushi slips out and around but ZSJ slips back onto him. ZSJ flips Ibushi to the mat but Ibushi slips through. They go around and ZSJ keeps on top of Ibushi. ZSJ ghost pins, ONE, but ZSJ keeps on Ibushi to get a toehold.
ZSJ reaches for an STF but Ibushi resists so ZSJ goes full after the legs. He comes up over the top but Ibushi backs out. ZSJ wants the arms now and gets them to bring Ibushi into a stretch. Ibushi stands and works to turn ZSJ around. He gets the stretch on ZSJ but ZSJ pries free to throw a European Uppercut! Ibushi responds with another swift and sharp kick! ZSJ hurries away and out of the ring. Taka checks on ZSJ while Ibushi dares him to come back. ZSJ takes his time to stretch and walk it off before returning. Ibushi and ZSJ circle again, then tie up. ZSJ gets around but Ibushi works against him. ZSJ has the wristlock and flips Ibushi down to a headscissor. Ibushi blocks with a leg but ZSJ floats on top while keeping the wristlock.
ZSJ hooks Ibushi’s head as he holds onto the Kimura, but Ibushi reaches back with his legs for a ropebreak. Fans applaud while ZSJ lets go. Ibushi checks his arms as he gets back up. He and ZSJ go again, and ZSJ reels Ibushi in for a wristlock to vicious wrenching. Ibushi gets up to spin, flip and kick ZSJ again! Ibushi kicks but gets caught into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow, but he pops out to huricanrana ZSJ down! ZSJ bails out and fans fire up with Ibushi. Ibushi slingshots but ZSJ gets clear to knee him low. ZSJ whips but Ibushi reverses to send him into railing. Ibushi runs in but ZSJ tosses him over, and Ibushi hits the second row of barriers. Fans are almost bowled over, but ZSJ boots Ibushi back. ZSJ has Ibushi in a hanging triangle on the railing!
Ibushi ends up tumbling back to ringside with ZSJ’s weight, and ZSJ holds on tight. Red Shoes tells him to get this back in the ring, so ZSJ lets Ibushi go. ZSJ puts Ibushi’s head through railing to pull him back against the top bar! He also hooks Ibushi’s face and makes it part abdominal stretch! Red Shoes reprimands then counts and ZSJ lets Ibushi go at 4. ZSJ puts Ibushi in the ring only to neck crank him on the apron! ZSJ holds onto Ibushi’s neck to use his feet for a cravat, that drags Ibushi off the apron! Ibushi is down while ZSJ is in the ring. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi but Ibushi is okay to continue. Red Shoes begins his 20 count and it climbs to 10 before Ibushi stands. Ibushi slowly gets in at 14 but ZSJ is on him again.
ZSJ grinds his knee in, then traps Ibushi’s arm while cranking the head and neck. ZSJ stomps Ibushi’s head into the mat! Ibushi still sits up and punches back, sitting ZSJ down! ZSJ grits his teeth and quickly half hatch suplexes Ibushi down! ZSJ grabs an arm and drags Ibushi up for EuroUppers and kicks against the ropes. Ibushi just gets mad and throws more body shots. ZSJ kicks Ibushi but that stomach shot still hurts. ZSJ drags Ibushi around for an Indian Deathlock, then sits up for the butterfly stretch. Ibushi endures, but ZSJ grabs the arms to make it a double stretch and cover! TWO, and ZSJ can’t believe Ibushi escapes. He toys with Ibushi but Ibushi only gets mad again. ZSJ throws more EuroUppers, but Ibushi fires forearms. ZSJ headbutts and snapmares Ibushi to a cravat.
Ibushi fights and endures as ZSJ cranks the neck. ZSJ even traps an arm in the cravat, but fans rally up for Ibushi. Ibushi scoops and slams ZSJ! Then kicks him right in the back! ZSJ scrambles to a corner but Ibushi runs in, only to get caught into an abdominal stretch! Ibushi falls to a knee and then the mat as ZSJ wraps him up. But they’re in the ropes so ZSJ lets go. Ibushi crawls while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ digs his elbow and knuckles into Ibushi’s neck and spine. ZSJ grabs a leg and twists the foot before pulling all the way back! Ibushi endures the modified Half Crab as ZSJ also traps one arm. ZSJ has Ibushi in the Crab deep but fans give Ibushi strength. Ibushi crawls and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go in frustration while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and ZSJ stalks Ibushi. ZSJ drags Ibushi up but Ibushi fires off hands. Ibushi forearms away but ZSJ wrenches and PELES the arm! ZSJ roundhouses and runs, but into Ibushi’s dropkick! Fans fire up while both men are down. ZSJ bails out but Ibushi slingshots to wipe ZSJ out! Ibushi grits his teeth and drags ZSJ up into the ring. Ibushi aims from the apron and springboards to missile dropkick ZSJ down! Fans fire up while Ibushi whips ZSJ corner to corner. ZSJ reverses but Ibushi goes up and over to get ZSJ with the powerslam! Then he moonsaults, but onto knees! ZSJ reels Ibushi into the triangle! Ibushi powers up and deadlifts ZSJ, but ZSJ grabs a foot! ZSJ sits up and reels Ibushi in deeper with a double armbar!
Ibushi endures as fans fire up. Ibushi reaches with a foot for another ropebreak! ZSJ lets Ibushi go again but stalks behind him. ZSJ drags Ibushi up in a full nelson, but Ibushi breaks free to arm-drag ZSJ. Ibushi deflects the boot to fire off a strike fest! Ibushi waits for ZSJ to sit up before he swings another kick. ZSJ ducks it to try a school boy, but Ibushi spins to sit on it! TWO and ZSJ has the European Clutch! TWO and Ibushi bridges back for a Japanese Clutch, TWO, into a straitjacket! But Ibushi rolls back to reverse it onto ZSJ! ZSJ wiggles it down but Ibushi uses that for a straitjacket German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! But Ibushi still has the wrists! ZSJ uses that to reel Ibushi in for a sunset! TWO, into a butterfly neck crank!
Ibushi endures all over again as ZSJ slips a foot under the throat. But Ibushi again uses his own feet for a ropebreak! ZSJ holds on until Red Shoes starts counting. Red Shoes reprimands ZSJ while Ibushi makes it to the corner. ZSJ runs in for a big EuroUpper, then snapmares Ibushi down. ZSJ aims at a groggy Ibushi, Penalty Kick misses! Ibushi boots ZSJ then swings another kick, but ZSJ catches it into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ uses that to waistlock Ibushi into the Half ‘n ‘Half! Bridging, TWO!! Ibushi escapes again and ZSJ is furious. ZSJ Penalty Kicks Ibushi down! Cover, TWO! ZSJ can’t believe Ibushi stays alive but fans are behind the Golden Star!
Ibushi crawls towards ZSJ but ZSJ slaps him away. ZSJ toys with Ibushi again, then kicks him in the chest. Ibushi eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ kicks him back down. Ibushi sits up with a smile on his face so ZSJ kicks him down again. But Ibushi sits up again, with grit teeth. ZSJ kicks but Ibushi sits right up! ZSJ bops and boops Ibushi with his foot but then boots, only for Ibushi to catch it. Ibushi stands and ZSJ just slaps him over and over. Ibushi puts the foot down, and ZSJ gets cocky. CHOP and ZSJ falls off his feet! ZSJ flounders and now Ibushi toys with him. Ibushi sits ZSJ up for forearm after forearm into his face. Ibushi starts kicking ZSJ right in the face but Red Shoes pulls him away. Red Shoes reprimands Ibushi but Ibushi is kicking ZSJ all the while!
Red Shoes gets Ibushi to stop, but then ZSJ gets up to SLAP Ibushi. Ibushi SLAPS ZSJ back and ZSJ wobbles. ZSJ slaps but Ibushi SLAPS. Ibushi fires off slap after slap, and ZSJ does his best to keep up. ZSJ catches Ibushi and then gets mores shots in, only to run into a CLUBBING clothesline! Ibushi fires up and drags ZSJ into the bomb. ZSJ slips out to guillotine then drops down a triangle hold! Ibushi stays on his feet and deadlifts ZSJ into the Last Ride! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ lives and Ibushi grows frustrated. But he still goes for another, but ZSJ escapes to scoop into the Zack Driver! But ZSJ can’t cover, he’s too exhausted! Fans are thunderous as Red Shoes checks on both men.
Ibushi and ZSJ slowly stir and head for each other. ZSJ grabs Ibushi and cranks the neck! But Ibushi roars and sits up. ZSJ throws EuroUppers but Ibushi throws forearms! They trade shots while on their knees. Ibushi guards his bad arm while throwing with his good arm. ZSJ matches him and they go faster and faster. Ibushi gets the edge and dares ZSJ to sit up again. ZSJ throws EuroUppers again but Ibushi evades to Snap Half ‘n’ Half! ZSJ ends up under the bottom rope but Ibushi crawls over. Ibushi drags ZSJ up on the apron, waistlock and deadlift, but ZSJ slips out to bring Ibushi around in the facelock! ZSJ climbs but Ibushi drops, so ZSJ has a hanging guillotine! Red Shoes counts and ZSJ lets go at 4, only to get a PELE!
Ibushi crawls away while Taka coaches up ZSJ. Ibushi shouts out the King of Strong Style, but ZSJ dodges! ZSJ rolls up and bridges, TWO!! But he quickly hooks and rolls, but Ibushi blocks the EuroClutch! ROUNDHOUSE! Fans are thunderous again as Ibushi drags ZSJ up, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ is gasping for air but Ibushi brings down the knee pads as he gets back up. Ibushi drags ZSJ up by his wrists, but ZSJ dodges Kamigoye to crucifix into the Octopus! Ibushi reaches but ZSJ shifts, only for Ibushi to power out to a tilt-o-whirl, GTS! He sits ZSJ up, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; still IWGP Intercontinental Champion
The first defense is successful for the Golden Star! Will Ibushi continue to rise to the level of his wrestling idols, Tanahashi and Nakamura?
NJPW on AXS returns once more as Red Shoes helps Ibushi put on the belt. Ibushi celebrates, but here comes Tetsuya Naito! The former champion and one of Ibushi’s greatest rivals returns and joins Ibushi in the ring. “The next challenger for the IWGP Intercontinental title… I’m here to throw my hat in the ring.” Fans like the sound of that. Naito notes that if he doesn’t say what he’s thinking, then no one will know. “If there is any other wrestler out there that wants that belt, he should climb into the ring right now.” Naito waits to see if anyone else steps up. No one? Well that’s too bad. But then it’s decided: Naito is next! To all the people gathered in Aichi, what is Ibushi’s answer?
Ibushi takes up the mic, and as fans cheer him on, he says “TRANQUILO~!” Just stop talking. But Ibushi’s real answer: “Si! Let’s do it!” Naito eyes the belt then stands face to face with Ibushi. Naito then takes his leave while Ibushi addresses the fans. “Sorry about that.” Ibushi follows the two men he refers to as wrestling gods, and vows to surpass them! He has an announcement to make. Ibushi has officially signed full-time with NJPW! Nagoya is excited to hear that! He hopes they continue to support him in his quest. Ibushi assures his fans he’s here to stay, and the streamers fly for the true celebration! But with a rematch with Naito coming, will Ibushi’s reign last much longer?
A pretty great premiere for this new NJPW event, and NJPW knew to do it up big with two big title matches. We didn’t get to see as much of the IWGP United States Championship, but what we got was still good story telling of Fale the bigger man being a challenge for Juice. Great to see Juice pull off the victory, that grows both his power level but also the title’s. I wonder if there’s even anyone else in Bullet Club to challenge Juice. Perhaps their newest member, El Phantasmo, will make his debut soon and step up to Juice. Then the Intercontinental Championship match, in full, was incredible! But what else would we get from Ibushi VS ZSJ? Between Ibushi being fully signed to NJPW and it being too much for even ZSJ to have the Intercontinental and two different British titles at once, of course Ibushi wins.
Ibushi VS Naito again so soon sounds great, because again, they’re not going to have a bad match. It was a good touch for Naito to expect someone else to get in their way, and it made for a comical moment when no one did. I would think Ibushi wins again because he’s too big to lose in his second defense, and Naito’s already had the Intercontinental title enough lately. Maybe Naito should go for his dream of having both belts by starting from the top and go after Jay White and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Then he can circle back around to the Intercontinental Championship and bring us a big Winner Takes All title for title match, since that’s all the rage these days.
My Score: 8.5/10