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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2019!

NJPW heats things up in Kumamoto!



NJPW Hi no Kuni

NJPW Wrestling Hi no Kuni returns for another year! But will The Switchblade be able to defeat The Fierce Warrior now that he’s no longer champion?


Coverage of Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.



  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny VS Toru Yano & Togi Makage; Guerrillas of Destiny win.
  • Jay White VS Hirooki Goto; White wins.


NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for this fiery event!

The Road to Wrestling Dontaku takes a stop in Kumamoto for the tradition of Hi no Kuni! And after failing his first defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Jay White looks for redemption! But a fierce and familiar face stands in his way! Hirooki Goto lost to White in tag team action, but he vows not to lose 1v1. The Fierce Warrior wants redemption as badly as the Switchblade, but who is the one to grit out a main event comeback?

But first, the Guerrillas of Destiny became even greater tag team champions when they retained the IWGP Heavyweight Championships AND took the ROH World Tag Team Championships for their own at G1 Supercard! However, the Clown Prince of Chaos pulled quite the prank on Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa when he literally stole the belts away! GoD calls BS on YTR, but will they get revenge on two-thirds of the team that took their NEVER Openweight Six Man titles? Or will Yano & the Unchained Gorilla make those heavyweight tag titles theirs officially?


IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny VS Toru Yano & Togi Makage!

Jado leads the way for the dual tag team champions, who were already surly over the chaos and controversy of that G1 Supercard Fatal 4 Way Tag. But this match could ease some of that tension. Will it be easy for GoD to bring those belts back where they belong? Or will the Clown Prince have some tricks up his sleeves?

The introductions are made, the belts are presented, and GoD jumps Yano & Makabe! Tama and Loa beat them down, then throw Makabe out. They focus on Yano with a double whip. Yano holds ropes then ducks their clotheslines to run for a buckle pad! Makabe returns to double clothesline GoD while Yano unties the pad! Yano kicks that aside to bring Loa up and whips Loa into those exposed buckles! Loa writhes while he falls. Makabe brings Tama around for Yano, assisted piledriver to the floor! Yano brings Loa to the crowd! The Clown is not playing around as he bowls Loa into chairs! Makabe keeps Tama down while Yano throws things onto Loa.

Makabe whips but Tama reverses to send Makabe into railing. Yano brings Loa back to ringside to throw him into the post. Yano gets back in the ring and a ring count finally begins. The NJPW 20 count reaches 10 by the time Loa gets back in. Yano stomps Loa down then even kicks him to ropes. Yano brings Loa up to whip but Loa reverses to send Yano into the exposed buckles! Then Loa rams Yano into them! And then into another open corner. Tama runs in for a big corner splash! Tama throws Yano out and throws hands before whipping Yano into railing. Jado tells Tama to keep on Yano so he does. Makabe and Loa brawl while Tama puts Yano in the ring. Cover from Loa, TWO!

Fans cheer for Yano but Loa mocks them. Loa stomps Yano then scoops him for a slam. Loa drops a leg and covers, TWO! Tag to Tama and GoD double suplex Yano down. Cover, TWO! Yano gets to ropes but Jado trash talks him. Tama stomps Yano at the ropes while Loa and Jado applaud. Red Shoes counts and Tama backs off. Tama drags Yano up to club him down then sits Yano up to drive in elbows. Tama stands Yano up to whip him into the exposed buckles! Yano writhes again, paying for his own idea. Tama hits Makabe just because before tagging in Loa. Tama scoop slams then Loa slingshot sentons. Cover, ROPEBREAK! Loa stomps Yano’s legs for it! Loa grinds his foot into Yano’s face but backs off at Red Shoes’ reprimand.

Makabe protests but Loa taunts him. Loa hauls Yano up and tackles him into the GoD corner. He rams his shoulders into Yano but fans rally for Yano. Tag to Tama and GoD double headbutt Yano down. The champions are in control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Tama taunts Makabe. Tama chokes Yano but Yano has a ropeabreak again. Red Shoes counts but Tama lets up, to whip Yano into the exposed buckles again! Yano writhes again and Tama drops an elbow on him. Cover, TWO!! Yano still lives but Tama drags him up to tag Loa. GoD whip and back elbow Yano down, then Loa mocks Makabe more. Loa drags Yano up to the open corner and stomps away. Fans rally but Loa pretends not to hear them. Loa whips Yano corner to corner but Yano reverses only for Loa to reverse! Yano gets the exposed buckles again, and Loa mocks the cheering fans, only for Yano to yank his hair! Yano brings Loa down but he also falls with him. Makabe reaches, and gets the hot tag!

The Gorilla ends up fighting both Guerrillas! Tama whips Makabe but Makabe reverses to send Tama into exposed buckles! Makabe runs to clothesline Loa, then Tama, then back to Loa. He roars and climbs to punch away on Loa’s head! He laughs as he gets all 10, then he lifts Loa. Loa resists the Northern Lights and roars back. He also flips the middle finger before he runs. Loa and Makabe both clothesline, but neither man falls! They go again, but still they stay standing. Loa kneels and Makabe runs, but into a German Suplex! Tag to Tama and the Guerrillas double whip. They double dropkick the Gorrilla, then cover, TWO! Fans cheer Makabe on but Tama throws hands. Makabe grows stronger from the fan rally and eggs Tama on. Tama headbutts, then runs, dodges one clothesline but not the other!

Fans fire up as Makabe crawls for Yano, hot tag to the Clown Prince! Yano brings Tama up but Tama whips him. Yano reverses and Tama gets the exposed buckles again! Tama staggers into the fireman’s carry takedown! And then into a belly2belly! Yano fires up with the fans, “Y T R” shrug. He runs, but Loa trips him! The ref reprimands Loa but Tama says “F U B*tch!” Tama runs but Makabe trips him! Yano tags to Makabe and they whip Tama to a corner. They start a train of back elbow and clothesline, feed to the atomic drop. Catapult into the exposed buckles, then a big overhand chop! Makabe runs but Tama grabs Red Shoes so that he doesn’t see Jado SMACK Makabe on the back! Loa runs in and blasts Yano!

GoD regroup on Makabe with a whip and uppercuts. Loa passes Makabe to Tama, elevated inverted DDT, aka Guerrilla Warfare! Cover, TWO!? Makabe survives and GoD is shocked! But they keep going, each getting to a corner. They climb and Loa drops a headbutt, then Tama hits the splash! Cover, TWO!! Makabe still lives! But GoD won’t stop here. Loa lifts Makabe and tackles him to the corner. Tama hits a corner splash then holds onto Makabe a Loa comes in. Yano comes in to save Makabe, but then gets a flying clothesline from Loa! Tama intimidates Red Shoes and keeps him from seeing Loa using Makabe’s own chain! But Red Shoes also misses Yano giving Loa a LOW BLOW!

Tama runs at Yano, but the Gun Stun is denied! Yano chop blocks Tama’s legs out, then gives Makabe the chain! Makabe gears up while Red Shoes is down, CHAINED ax bomber! Cover, TWO!? Tama survives but Makabe scoops and slams. Makabe climbs up, King Kong Knee! Cover, but Loa breaks it in time! Makabe goes after Loa and clotheslines him out. But Jado has the stick! Makabe blocks the kendo shot to punch Jado out! Tama rolls Makabe!! And has tights!! The Guerrillas win!

Winners: Guerrillas of Destiny, Tama pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

Not only does Tama borrow a trick from Yano, but he and Loa get their belts back! They didn’t lose them, but will they ever really lose them while also being ROH World Tag Team Champions?

Backstage Interviews

Tama Tonga says, “You don’t have to be strong in this game, you just have to be f***ing smart.” And everyone missed that when he told them GoD are geniuses. Their mamas didn’t raise no dummies. GoD is double champs, dos campeones, and Jado has never let them down. Will the Guerrillas ever come down from this tag team high?


Jay White VS Hirooki Goto!

The Switchblade was so confident he’d be IWGP Heavyweight Champion for a long time, especially because he had defeated The Rainmaker time and again before. But in Madison Square Garden, it all fell apart. Now he has a long climb back to the top of the mountain, will he be kicked down even further by the Fierce Warrior?

The bell rings and these two stare down while fans rally. Fans are strongly on Goto’s side but White trolls them all as he slips out of the ring. White takes his time returning and circles with Goto. They tie up and Goto pushes White back. White turns it around to have Goto on the ropes. White lets up but Goto hits first! Goto fires forearms and whips White, but White bails out again. White takes a breather but Goto doesn’t let him have a long one. Goto slides out but White slides in. Goto slides in but White slides out. White grins at Goto, and Goto moves for the ropes. White slides back in, but Goto tricked him! Goto kicks White and whips again. White reverses but Goto counters the hip toss into a hip toss! Goto runs and runs White over with a shoulder!

Fans cheer as Goto paces. White slips out but Goto pursues again. Goto elbows White then stalks him as he crawls. Goto whips White to barriers! White writhes but Goto stomps him. Goto drags White up for elbows but Gedo gives him a push! Goto glares at Gedo but White blindsides Goto! Saido suplex to the floor! The Switchblade takes control thanks to his manager, as usual, and we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as White leaves Goto to the mercy of the ring count. Red Shoes starts the count and Goto stirs at 3. Goto gets in at 7 but White stomps him and throws him back out. White rams Goto into railing right in front of commentary, then into the apron. Then back into the railing! Then back into the apron! White drags Goto into the ring and covers, but Red Shoes won’t count? Red Shoes doesn’t approve of what White just did, so White gives Goto a neckbreaker. Cover and now Red Shoes will count, TWO! White and Gedo argue with Red Shoes, but White keeps on Goto with a Half Crab. Goto endures but White makes it a Full Crab. White mocks Goto is like a Young Lion, but Goto is certainly not that. Goto drags himself over and gets the ropebreak!

White holds on until Red Shoes counts, and lets go at 4. White drags Goto around to catapult guillotine him with the rope! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer Goto on but White stands Goto up. White CHOPS Goto to a corner then CHOPS him some more. White brings Goto out to whip and elbow him down. Cover, TWO! White keeps on Goto with a chinlock, but Goto endures. Fans rally up again and Goto powers up. White shifts to put a knee in Goto’s back, but Goto keeps fighting. Goto elbows free but White clubs him down. White toys with Goto but Goto just glares. Goto fires palm strikes over and over, but White blocks the whip to punch him back down. White drags Goto up but it’s Goto who snap suplexes White! Both men are down but White crawls to a corner. Goto runs in but misses! Saido Suplex!

White toys with Goto now, but fans rally. White brings Goto up to chop again, then whip. Goto reverses but White reverses, only to get a roundhouse! Goto clears out the cobwebs while White crawls to a corner. White stands and Goto fires off forearms. Goto whips corner to corner and hits a big clothesline. Goto wants a saido of his own but White blocks, so Goto shoves him back in the corner. White staggers into another roundhouse! Goto gets his own saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Goto keeps his focus as he looms over White. He drags White up to a fireman’s carry but White fights. Goto still gets White up but White escapes. White boots from a corner, but runs into the fireman’s carry! He escapes again but Goto elbows him. Goto goes to run but White reels him in. Goto elbows again, then buzzsaws White down!

Fans fire up with Goto as he runs. White staggers and falls to the ropes, so Goto goes after him with stomps. Red Shoes backs Goto off but Goto brings White up for elbows. Goto tries again but White runs to a corner. Goto stomps and kicks White then drags him back up. He gives White another elbow then tries a third time. White just drops to his knees. White grins, but gets a buzzsaw for it! Goto runs but now Gedo swipes at him! White gets Goto for a BIG Urenage! Both men are down but they crawl to opposite corners. White runs in for a European Uppercut! And then fireman’s carry to Goto for a the DVDDT, the Death Valley DDT! Cover, TWO! Goto survives and White grows frustrated but the fans cheer.

White drags Goto up by a facelock and fishes a leg. Goto fights so White CHOPS him. White runs but Goto follows, only for White to still catch him into a complete shot! White deadlift Germans Goto to a bridge! TWO, and Gedo is frustrated for White. White seethes as he sits up. He drags Goto to his feet, fisherman, but Goto knees out of the lift. Goto lifts White but White slips out. White CHOPS Goto again, but Goto spins and clotheslines back! Both men are down again and go back to opposite corner. Goto runs in now, and blocks the boot to give the clothesline! He fires off on White but White blocks the kick to saido suplex Goto up and out of the ring! Goto crashes and burns while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns as White fetches Goto. White puts Goto in then stands him up. White fisherman to the Kiwi Krusher! Cover, TWO!! Goto still lives! Gedo is furious, but White slashes the throat. White brings Goto up but Goto spins through to suplex. White knees out then knees Goto in the head! Goto starts to fall as White just keeps ramming knees into him. Fans rally up for Goto but White stands him up. Goto breaks free to CLOBBER White! Both men are down but not crawling to corners this time. Fans continue to rally as Goto and White head for each other. Goto and White brawl with forearms on their knees. They brawl with forearms to their feet! They pick up speed! Goto rocks White off his feet!

Goto brings White up for another shot and White falls over again. Fans fire up with Goto as he brings White back up. White hits first! Then CHOPS! And CHOPS! White CHOPS Goto to ropes then whips, but Goto reverses. Goto then follows, White dodges but Goto follows again. Another dodge but now White follows, only to get Goto’s clothesline! White goes back to a corner but so does Goto. Goto runs in for a spinning heel kick! He puts White up top and brings him out, draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! White lives but Goto won’t let up. Goto climbs up top but White stops him. White rakes Goto’s eyes! White climbs to join Goto, but Goto fights back. Goto manages to fireman’s carry White, but White fights back.

White forearms Goto but Goto hits back. They brawl up top, Goto headbutts White! Goto stands, SUPER DESTROYER!! Cover, TWO!?! White survives and Goto can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous as Goto stands! Goto focuses but Gedo runs into the ring? Gedo gets out as Red Shoes reprimands him, but it’s so White can get a chair! White runs at Goto but gets caught! Goto hits White with a backbreaker, then throws Gedo into the ring! Gedo begs for mercy but Goto gives him USHIGOROSHI! White’s up and CHOPS Goto. White whips but Goto reverses to another USHIGOROSHI! Goto is feeling it as fans reach a fever pitch! He aims at White, THE buzzsaw kick! And then the dragon sleeper, but White fights back. Goto merely gets annoyed and headbutts White! Inverted GTR! Cover, TWO!?

Goto can’t believe White still lives, but he vows to put White away now. White still fights off the dragon sleeper, and snapmares out. White gets Goto but Goto spins out. Goto fireman’s carry, Ushigoroshi just for the dragon sleeper! But White slips out again, but Goto denies Blade Runner again, but then White denies GTR for the snap Half ‘n’ Half suplex! But Goto gets to his feet?! Goto runs into another Half ‘n’ Half! White won’t end it there, he drags Goto up for BLADE RUNNER! Cover, White wins!

Winner: Jay White, by pinfall

The Switchblade pulls it out in Kumamoto! Gedo again helped out, but it was still White’s win. And as such, White takes to the mic. “Hey! Are you not happy?” Is Kumamoto not happy with that? Apparently not. Is it because Goto let them down again? White is seeing double right now, but what he sees clearly is that Goto is still an embarrassment to Chaos. Goto’s going to go home to his disappointed family again. White may not have the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but this is still the Cutthroat Era! And whether it’s Okada or Sanada, NJPW will still breath with the Switchblade! White calls his shot for the top prize, who will have it after Dontaku?

Backstage Interviews

White sits down to say, “In a few more days, Okada and Sanada will fight over my belt, to see which one of them” gets to be his target. But it doesn’t matter to White, because they’re just going to lose to him. Will White reclaim the title to continue where he left off?



My Thoughts:

A great selection for this hour of NJPW on AXS! AXS helps keep the stories from G1 Supercard going by spotlighting the Guerrillas and the tag team titles. Yano & Makabe gave GoD a great match, and I really liked how Yano had some serious moments in this. But because of GoD’s story with ROH, the Briscoes, and maybe even nZo and CazXL at this rate, GoD wins to retain and stay strong, though I was surprised by a cheat spot. Getting Makabe off guard with a Gun Stun would’ve made them even stronger in that win, but maybe GoD is helping Yano, Makabe and by extension Taguchi look stronger by having to steal a win.

White VS Goto was a great match, especially for something non-title. But at the same time, this was tantamount to a contender’s match so it still makes sense for them to go this far. They did pretty good in making it seem like Goto could pull it off. But White wins in his usual fashion, but that’s juts fine by now. White wants after the title, naturally, and White VS Okada again or a fresh match-up of White VS Sanada would be great no matter what. It would be amazing to see Sanada get that top title, but something tells me it’s still not the right time. I suppose we’ll see next week when AXS has Wrestling Dontaku.

My Score: 8.5/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW New Years Golden Series Results & Report! (1/20/22)

So much more than a dash!



NJPW New Years Golden Series

NJPW starts on a new journey!

NJPW starts a month long journey that will culminate in an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match of Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!


  • Great-O-Khan VS Yuto Nakashima; Khan wins.
  • Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryohei Oiwa; Hiromu wins.
  • Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji Ishimori & Jado; Makabe & Tiger Mask win.
  • Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun; Honma, Kojima & Yano win.
  • Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun; Wato, Taguchi & Tenzan wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.


Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun!

It’s a Great Bash Heels reunion as Everyone’s Kokeshi, Bread Style and The Producer are taking on Taka Michinoku, Taichi and the Meanest Man in the World himself! Yano wants to get the KOPW 2022 trophy, but will he even survive Suzuki at the start of this series?

Yano gets impatient during Suzuki-Gun’s entrance, seems he doesn’t hold the same reverence for the theme song as fans do. Suzuki and his team wait for the introductions to finish, and then the attack! Taka is after Kojima, Taichi chokes Honma in a corner, and Suzuki stomps Yano! The bell rings to get this on record, and while Taka throws Kojima out and Suzuki sends Yano out, Taichi keeps on Honma in the corner. Suzuki throws body shots on Yano, then uses his own spray bottle against him! The ref reprimands Taichi and Taichi stops choking Honma to argue with the ref. Honma kicks back but Taichi kicks, and Taichi gets the edge.

Taichi snapmares to KICK Honma in the back. Honma gets up to forearm but Taichi kicks his leg. Forearm, kick, forearm, kick, repeat! Taichi gets the edge again, eggs Honma up, then chokes him! The ref reprimands, Honma breaks free! Taichi tells him to shut it and sobats! Taichi runs, but Honma dodges the boot to run Taichi over! Fans fire up with Honma as he runs, but he waits for Taichi to roll out of the way before he drops the KOKESHI! Kokeshi gets the better of Taichi, and then tags in Yano! Yano fires up and he goes to the corner to untie the pad! Taichi tags out to Suzuki and Yano turns around to face a nightmare!

Suzuki kicks, whips, but Yano holds ropes and dodges the boot to SLAP Suzuki! Yano whips, Suzuki reverses and Yano hits bare buckles! Suzuki boots Yano, snapmares and PENALTY KICKS! Taichi and Taka go after Honma and Kojima while Suzuki drags Yano out. Suzuki sends Yano into railing, then smacks him off the apron! Taichi and Taka do the same to the others, then Suzuki goes looking under the ring. Suzuki drags Yano up, wraps his arm around railing, and cranks on the arm! Suzuki even claws Yano’s forehead and fish hooks the nose! The ring count starts, Suzuki leaves Yano behind and fans rally up.

The count is 10 of 20 and Taichi taunts Yano while he’s on the floor. Taichi stomps Yano, Yano still gets up at 17 and in at 18. Suzuki powers Yano to a cover, TWO! Fans rally, Suzuki tags Taka. Taka stomps Yano, sits him up and digs his knuckles into the forehead! The ref reprimands and counts, Taka lets off with the other hand! The ref reprimands more, counts again, and Taka lets off to scrape his soles on Yano’s face! Taka puts Yano in the corner, throws an uppercut, then tags Taichi. Taichi chokes Yano! The ref reprimands and counts, Taichi stops at 4. Taichi drags Yano up to snapmare and CHOKE! The ref notices and reprimands Taichi again!

Taichi lets off, but then he chokes Yano again! The ref reprimands, so Taichi says that’s not a choke. THIS is a choke! The ref warns Taichi, he lets off, and fans rally up as Taichi drags Yano up by his hair. Taichi feeds Yano to Suzuki’s boot! Suzuki tags in, he stomps away on Yano, then has the leg! Yano has the ropebreak but Taka stands on Yano’s neck! Taichi gets in to intercept Honma and throw him back out! The ref restores order, fans rally up, but Suzuki drags Yano up. Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips Suzuki, Suzuki narrowly avoids hitting bare buckles! Yano runs in but Suzuki dodges and Yano hits buckles!

Suzuki runs, but Yano gets him for an atomic drop! Yano hurries over, fans rally up, hot tag to Kojima! Kojima hits the Suzuki-Gun corner before he stomps Suzuki to a corner. Kojima fires off the MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Suzuki just snarls and turns things around for machine gun forearms! But Kojima turns it back for another round of MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kojima whips Suzuki into the bare buckles, then hits a forearm smash! Kojima throws Suzuki down, but Suzuki gets right up to kick low! Suzuki brings Kojima out but Kojima fires forearms! But Suzuki knees low! Suzuki wrenches, Kojima kicks, but Suzuki blocks the cutter to a SLEEPER!

Kojima fights up, fights free, but Suzuki talks trash. Kojima CHOPS, so Suzuki CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS, Suzuki CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Kojima gets the edge with forearms, then hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Kojima runs, but Suzuki shoots around to DECK Kojima! Tag to Taka, he DECKS Honma then stomps Kojima. Taka whips Kojima in to the bare buckles! SHINING WIZARD! Taichi adds a corner clothesline, then he runs Kojima to the corner! Snapmare, to a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Yano and Honma break it! Suzuki and Taichi throw them back out, and Taka drags Kojima up. Taka scoops, but Kojima fights free! COZY CUTTER!

Kojima throws off the armband and runs, but Taka goes the other way to BOOT! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Kojima survives Taka’s Super K, but Taka runs. Taka ducks the lariat, Kojima throws a low kick but Taka hits a CALF KICK! Kojima still hits COZY LARIAT!! Cover, Great Bash Heels win!

Winners: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano, by pinfall

Suzuki-Gun’s Blue Playmaker fumbles again! And somehow, Yano has cuffed Suzuki to the ropes! Yano dares Suzuki to do something about it, but obviously he can’t without the key. Taichi gets in with his mic stand so the Great Bash Heels take their leave. Will Suzuki be unable to do anything as Yano goes after the KOPW 2022 trophy?


Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun!

The Way of the Grandmaster joins forces with his mentors as he takes on Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado! Wato is rolling towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but will the Rogue Luchador turn the tides?

The teams sort out and Wato steps up to start against Desperado. Fans rally for this IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship teaser, but Desperado trips Wato. Desperado runs, Wato stays low, but Desperado steps on him! Desperado stands Wato up to CHOP, then whips him to ropes. Wato holds ropes, Desperado runs in but is tossed out! Wato runs to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo! Fans fire up as Wato puts Desperado in, covers, TWO! Desperado sits up, Wato KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Wato tags Taguchi. They drag Desperado up, whips, double drop toeholds and double basement dropkicks! Taguchi covers, TWO!

Fans rally, Taguchi throws point blank hip attacks! Desperado gets up but Taguchi bops him again and again and again! Taguchi winds up to BOP Desperado into the corner! Tag to Tenzan, he talks trash on Suzuki-Gun while Taguchi digs his boots in. Tenzan tops it off with a stomp, then a headbutt. Tenzan fires off Mongolian Chops on Desperado in the corner, and fans rally as Tenzan headbutts Desperado down. Tenzan whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and hits a TENZAN BRAINBSUTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tenzan ROCKS Desperado and kicks him at the ropes.

Tenzan whips, Desperado reverses, and Douki trips Tenzan! Douki drags Tenzan out and rams him into railing while Desperado blasts the corner! Kanemaru goes around the way to go after Taguchi! Desperado goes out to bring Wato up and ROCK him with an elbow! Douki chokes Tenzan with his metal pipe! The ref tries to restore order but Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi! Douki keeps choking Tenzan, Kanemaru returns to the corner and Desperado tags him in. Douki sends Tenzan in, Kanemaru sits Tenzan up to throw an elbow into his head. Kanemaru then runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Kanemaru stomps Tenzan, drags him up and elbows him on the neck! Tenzan fires up! Kanemaru throws hands, then rakes eyes! Tag to Douki, Douki snapmares Tenzan and runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Douki reels Tenzan into a grounded cobra twist! Tenzan endures, grabs at Douki’s head and powers out. Douki stomps Tenzan, feeds him to Kanemaru’s boot, then tags Kanemaru in. Tenzan kicks Douki but gets mugged! Kanemaru rakes eyes, he and Douki whip Tenzan to the open corner! Douki runs in but Tenzan runs him over! Kanemaru kicks low, runs, but into a MOUNTAIN BOMB! Fans fire up while everyone is down!

Tenzan crawls, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi runs at the ropes to give Kanemaru a hip attack! Then he runs to give Douki a hip attack! Then back to Kanemaru, then back to Douki! Taguchi slides to apron GAMANGIRI Kanemaru back in! Fans rally, Taguchi springboards, MISSILE HIP! Cover, TWO! Taguchi kips up and fans rally as he calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!” But Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru gets a leg to SMASH the knee into the mat! Then steps through, but Taguchi KICKS Kanemaru away! Taguchi runs, but Kanemaru counters the hip attack with an atomic drop!

Kanemaru hits an ENZIGURI, but Taguchi ENZIGURIS back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Kanemaru and Taguchi crawl, hot tags to Wato and Desperado! Wato BOOTS, Desperado CHOPS! Wato KICKS, and KICKS, and KCIKS, but Desperado blocks to spin Wato, but Wato fights the back suplex! Wato then runs, but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR! Desperado gets Wato up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Desperado stomps away on Wato, then drags Wato by a leg. Wato kicks Desperado away with the free leg, then gets up to kick, kick and sobat into a front kick, then SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!

Wato grits his teeth and fans rally as he drags Desperado up. Desperado resists the Mouse Trap, spins around and rakes the eyes! But Wato kicks and whips, only for Desperado to reverse and SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado tags Douki in and he hits Wato with a corner clothesline. Douki runs, Wato gets around but Douki fights the waistlock. Douki goes to run but Wato reels him in. Douki breaks free with his leg, mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Wato wobbles, Douki reels him in, DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Wato up and torture racks, for a swing, but Wato slips out!

Douki knees low, runs, but into Wato’s SCREW HIGH KICK! Fans rally up, Taguchi runs in to knock Desperado and Kanemaru down while Tenzan stomps Douki! Wato whips Douki to the corner, then runs in to back elbow. Tenzan adds a clothesline, Taguchi hits a hip attack! Double whip feed to Wato’s scoop, T T D! Cover, Desperado and Kanemaru break it! Taguchi and Tenzan go after them, throw them out, and Wato fires up! Wato goes to the corner, climbs up top, R P P FLOP! Douki Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! La Magistrol, TWO! Wato gets up but Douki HELL STABS! But Wato fires up!

Douki still dodges the roundhouse, Gory Especials, but Wato sunset flips! TWO!! Wato has Douki caught in a BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Douki endures, but he taps! Wato and team win!

Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall

The Way of the Grandmaster is victorious, holds on a little longer, but then lets off as Desperado storms back in. Desperado swipes at Wato but Taguchi and Tenzan back him up. Desperado still pie faces Wato, Wato gives it back, and then things turn to hair pulling and mask pulling. The ref tries to keep the peace but it takes Taguchi and Tenzan to break this up. They assure their young ward that waiting for the title match will be worth it. Wato and Desperado are on a collision course, will the Rogue Luchador survive the rising tide?


8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture!

Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoh are far from through with Evil, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & Sho! Will Chaos strike back for WrestleKingdom 16? Or will Darkness Fall again?

The House of Torture Low Sweet, but Chaos attacks first! Yoh is after Sho, Hashi has Yujiro, Goto has Dick and Ishii has Evil! Yoh keeps Sho in while Goto, Hashi and Ishii throw the others out, and the bell rings to get this on record. Ishii CHOPS Evil, Hashi CLUBS Yujiro, Yoh stomps away on Sho, and Goto POSTS Dick! Yoh drags Sho up, but Sho bends Yoh’s fingers! Sho CLUBS the arm, headlocks, but Yoh powers out, only for Sho to pull hair! Sho headlocks, Yoh throws body shots and powers out. Things speed up, Yoh keeps things moving to drop toehold and basement dropkick! Fans fire up and Yoh tags Hashi.

Hashi and Goto get in, they and Yoh hammer Sho down! Yujiro gets in but he gets hammered, too! Evil thinks about it but he stays away. Dick does, too, but Ishii throws Dick in! All four Chaos members surround Dick, but then Dick plays dead! That doesn’t stop them from dragging Dick up and hammering him! Fans fire up as Chaos controls the ring and Evil is furious. Hashi drags Sho out from the corner, CLUBS him and CHOPS him! Hashi brings Sho around, bumps him off buckles, then digs his boot in. Ishii and Goto add on, the ref reprimands and counts, and they all let off at 4. Hashi drags Sho back up but Sho bends the fingers!

Sho whips Hashi to the House of Torture corner, and tada! Evil removes the blue buckle pad! Hashi hits bare steel, Sho hits Yoh off the apron! Sho also knows Goto and Ishii down, Dick chokes Hashi at the ropes, Evil SMACKS Ishii with the blue buckle pad! The ref is busy with everyone else, Dick digs his boots into Hashi. Sho then digs his boots into Hashi while Evil stands on Ishii. Dick tags in, he drags Hashi up to throw hands. Dick drags Hashi up to CLUB him down, then brings him around to snapmare. Dick runs to drop the fist! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while the House protests. Evil tags in, he drags Hashi up to wrench and wrench and wrench.

Evil whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Hashi staggers and falls, Ishii runs in but he’s send into bare buckles! Evil grins, Sho keeps the ref busy with Ishii and Evil claws Hashi’s eyes! Yujiro tags in, he talks some trash but Hashi throws body shots. Yujiro CLUBS Hashi, snapmares him then runs to basement BOOT! Cover, Yoh breaks it! Yujiro hits Yoh back and sends him out. Sho PENALTY KICKS Yoh from the apron! Yujiro drags Hashi up, but Hashi fires off forearms! Yujiro knees low, puts Hashi on the ropes, and runs but blocks Hashi’s boot! Yujiro throws Hashi down to run and basement boot!

Yujiro drags Hashi back up, fisherman, but Hashi fights free to suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi and Yujiro crawl, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on the House, but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro runs, but gets run over! Goto fires off forearms, whips Yujiro to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Yujiro back up but Yujiro breaks free, only to swing into a suplex! Yujiro fights that off by BITING Goto’s hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro whips but Goto reveres and fireman’s carries! Yujiro slips off, Goto elbows him but Yujiro throws a forearm. Goto forearms back then whips.

Yujiro holds ropes, dodges Goto, and Evil hooks a foot! Yujiro BOOTS Goto down! Tag to Evil, and he has the ref watch Ishii. Evil and Yujiro double whip, but Goto DECKS Evil! DISCUS for Yujiro! Evil kicks and runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Ishii! The Stone Pitbull runs in to clothesline the King of Darkness! Evil reverses the whip, kicks and runs but gets run over! Ishii snarls, runs in and clotheslines Evil at the ropes! Ishii whips, Evil reverses, and Sho trips Ishii! Evil runs, but Yoh trips him! Yoh and Sho get in, Yoh dropkicks Sho down!

Evil runs, Yoh feeds him to Ishii’s forearm! Yoh dropkicks, Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Yoh PLANCHAS to take Sho out! Fans fire up, Ishii runs, but Yujiro is there with his pimp cane! Evil waistlocks, Ishii fights the lift, but he runs into Dick’s cheap shot! Evil trips Ishii and gets the legs, SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Fans rally and Yujiro keeps Hashi out but Ishii endures. Ishii fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Dick tries to make Ishii let go, but Ishii has an iron grip! Dick tags in and stomps away on Ishii! The ref reprimands and counts Evil, Evil lets off at 4. Fans rally for Ishii but Dick keeps stomping. Dick talks trash and kicks Ishii around but fans rally harder.

Dick drags Ishii up, eggs him on, and Ishii reels back, but Dick pokes him in the eye! Dick whips, gets a sleeper, but Ishii powers up. Dick blocks the back suplex with punches, Sho blasts the Chaos corner! The House whips Ishii to a corner, Dick runs in to back elbow! Sho runs in to clothesline, Yujiro runs in to boot! Evil hits a clothesline and FISHERMAN BUSTER! Dick covers, TWO! Fans fire up, but Yujiro distracts the ref and Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Sho has his wrench, but Hashi SUPERKICKS him down! Dick runs at Hashi but Hashi DECKS him! Yujiro kicks Hashi and runs, but into a LARIAT!

Evil returns, kicks Hashi and rakes the eyes! Goto runs in, Evil waistlocks, but Goto ducks for the HIDDEN FLASH SUPERKICK! Fans fire up, Goto and Hashi glare at Dick but he wants them to take it easy. But Yoh is there, too! Yoh EuroUppers, Goto fireman’s carries, Yoh and Hashi DOUBLE SUPERKICK into the USHIGOROSHI! Ishii adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Then Ishii gets Dick up for the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Chaos, by pinfall

Direct Drive, Fierce Warrior, Head Hunter and Stone Pitbull combine to break the Spoiler! And they add insult to injury by stomping Dick and throwing him out! Is the House of Torture going to be demolished and lose the NEVER Openweight titles? Or can they find a way to survive Chaos?


Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

The Rainmaker is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and The Ace is IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. But they have Tetsuya Naito and Sanada coming for their gold! Will the dream team and Blue Justice stand tall? Or will Uncontrollable Charisma, Cold Skull and Rampaging Dragon make this golden series tranquilo?

Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans applaud. The teams sort out, LIJ fist bumps, and Sanada starts against Tanahashi. Fans rally for this US title preview as the two circle. “LET’S GO, ACE!” “SA-NA-DA!” They tie up, Sanada waistlocks but Tanahashi switches. Sanada wrenches but Tanahashi drops to get a leg pick. Tanahashi floats to a facelock but Sanada wrenches out. Tanahashi arm-drags but Sanada drags Tanahashi back down. Sanada keeps on the arm, Tanahashi fights up, but Sanada wrenches. Tanahashi wrenches back and headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes the headlock, Sanada powers up and pries at the hold, but Tanahashi clamps it on tighter.

Sanada endures the grind and throws body shots. Sanada powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Sanada powers out the back, headlocks Tanahashi in return, and holds on tight as Tanahashi tries to power out. Fans rally up, Tanahashi powers up but Sanada hits a headlock takeover. Tanahashi headscissors, Sanada kips free but roles reverse as Tanahashi hits a headlock takeover and Sanada headscissors. Tanahashi kips free, but then roles switch back the other way as Sanada hits a headlock takeover and Tanahashi headscissors. Sanada kips free, roles reverse again, but Sanada holds tight as Tanahashi tries to kip up.

Fans cheer for the technical exchange, but Tanahashi moves around. Tanahashi headstands and pops free to then get a headlock. Sanada headscissors, Tanahashi kips free, and the two clinch. Tanahashi gets the headlock and the takeover, but Sanada headscissors again. Sanada holds tight again, but Tanahashi turns Sanada over and pops out to have the legs in a figure four. Tanahashi then floats to a headlock, but Sanada fights up to his feet. Tanahashi grinds the headlock, but Sanada wrenches out. They fight for control, and fans fire up as the hold starts to tip one way or another! Sanada gets the headlock takeover, but Tanahashi headscissors, and now Tanahashi holds on tight!

Sanada kicks around, but Tanahashi puts on more pressure. Sanada keeps kicking, turns and headstands but Tanahashi works to keep him down. Sanada hops and hops and handsprings free! Fans cheer the technical exchange as the two stand off. Tanahashi even air guitars. Tanahashi throws it to Sanada, and fans cheer for Sanada to try. Sanada strums it a couple times, then gives it to Red Shoes. Red Shoes carefully sets it aside, and Okada tags in. Sanada backs off and Naito tags in. Fans rally up again, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” and the two tie up. They go around, Naito puts Okada on ropes, but Okada turns things around.

Naito turns it back around, lets off slowly, and then pats Okada on the shoulder. But then Naito arm-drags Okada, only for Okada to get up before Naito can rush over. Fans cheer as the two reset and circle again. they tie up, Naito gets a leg, and then turns it into a cradle! ONE, they move around, ONE, and Okada gets a lateral press. Naito keeps his shoulders up, so Okada lets off slowly, and then scrambles for a waistlock. Naito rolls to get a headlock and he grinds Okada down. Okada fights up, powers Naito to ropes, and Red Shoes calls the ropebreak. Okada lets off slowly, and he doesn’t even fake the chop! Fans cheer as Okada takes Naito seriously.

Okada backs away to tag in Nagata, and fans rally for Blue Justice. Naito tags Takagi and now fans cheer as Blue Justice circles with the Rampaging Dragon. They both fire up, tie up, Nagata headlocks but Takagi powers out and the two ram shoulders! Neither falls, Nagata eggs Takagi on and Takagi runs, to RAM Nagata. Nagata stays up, they each egg the other on to run, so Takagi kicks and whips. Nagata reverses, BOOTS, then snapmares and KICKS! Takagi gets up and eggs Nagata on! Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Takagi to the corner! Nagata gets Takagi up, whips him corner to corner, but Takagi reverses.

Sanada runs in and back elbows Nagata! He sets Nagata up for Takagi’s corner clothesline! Takagi throws Nagata down, Naito and Sanada double basement dropkick him! Takagi knocks Tanahashi and Okada off the apron and fans rally as LIJ controls the ring! Takagi drags Nagata up, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Takagi drags Nagata up, Nagata blocks the back suplex with elbows, then he fires elbows. Takagi fires back, and it’s a brawl! Fans rally, Takagi throws more forearms but Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Takagi blocks a kick to CLUB the leg! But he runs into an EXPLODER!

Fans rally while both men are down. Nagata tags in Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Takagi, whips, but Takagi reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! Tanahashi decks Naito and Sanada, dodges Takagi and dropkicks a leg out! Then he gives Takagi a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with the Ace as he runs at Takagi. Takagi ducks the slingblade but Tanahashi denies the suplex. But Takagi ELBOWs, JABS, and YUKON feints to DDT! Hot tag to Sanada! Sanada rallies on Tanahashi, arm-drag and back suplex BACKBREAKER! Tanahashi bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder.

Sanada puts Tanahashi in the ring, covers, TWO! Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” “LET’S GO, ACE!” Sanada fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free. Sanada ducks the shotei to steal the SHOTEI! Sanada fires off forearms, but Tanahashi ducks the rolling elbow to a SLEEPER! Then a DRAGON SLEEPER! But Sanada fights it to a dragon sleeper of his own! Tanahashi fights through to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi holds on to drag Sanada up, but Sanada suplexes and puts Tanahashi on the ropes. Tanahashi kicks away to hit TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hot tag to Okada!

Okada drags Sanada up, fires off forearms, then whips. Sanada reverses, but Okada CLOBBERS him with an elbow! Okada glares at Naito but he stays on the outside. Okada whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grabs at Sanada but Sanada still tags Naito in! Naito fires off on Okada, whips him to ropes, then hip tosses for the basement dropkick! Naito whips Okada to a corner, ROCKET KICK! Leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Takagi DECKS Nagata, Naito puts Okada up top. Naito climbs, SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Okada flounders. Naito runs in, CORRIENDO SHIKI- MONEY CLIP!

Okada squeezes tight but Naito endures! Naito powers Okada into buckles and is free! Naito runs in, but into the Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up, Okada drags Naito up. Okada gut wrenches but Naito blocks! Naito CLUBS Okada, Okada uppercuts! Okada whips, Naito jumps, but into a waistlock! Okada ripcords, Naito dodges, but Okada DROPKICKS! Ripcord, but Naito ducks to ENZIGURI! Okada staggers, Naito whips, but Okada reverses. Naito reverses back and uses the ropes, TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Hot tag to Nagata! Nagata storms up to Naito and KICKS and KICKS and KICKS!

Nagata has Naito in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Nagata runs in to BOOT! Naito fights the exploder off, but Nagata ROCKS him with a forearm! BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, “NA-GA-TA!” “NA-I-TO!” Nagata drags Naito up, suplexes, but Naito fights free. Naito wrenches to throw back elbow after back elbow! But Nagata hits a kitchen sink knee! Nagata drags Naito back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Another suplex, dos amigos! Nagata gets Naito up again, THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO!! But Nagata clamps on the NAGATA LOCK II! Tanahashi DECKS Takagi while Naito endures!

Takagi gets past Tanahashi to CLUB Nagata, but then Okada CLUBS Takagi! But Takagi spins Okada around, suplex SLAM! Tanahashi returns, Takagi dodges the basement dropkick to SLIDING LARIAT! Nagata is up, Takagi hits an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as LIJ regroups! Sanada and Takagi whip him to a corner, Sanada uppercuts, Takagi clotheslines and Naito atomic drops! PUMPING BOMBER! Rolling jackknife! TWO!?! Nagata escapes, but Sanada and Takagi keep Okada and Tanahashi down on the outside. Naito wrenches but Nagata fights with back hands. Nagata BOOTS then ENZIGURIS!

Fans fire up as Nagata whips, but Naito hits FLYING FOREARMS! Naito gets Nagata up, wrenches through, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall

Blue Justice falls as the ungovernables stand tall! Takagi gets Naito water while Sanada stares down with Tanahashi. Will the Cold Skull have a leg up on The Ace going into their US Heavyweight Championship? Or can Tanahashi turn it around in the rest of this Golden Series? Tanahashi, Okada and Nagata leave, so Naito gets the mic. “Beunas noches, Korakuen Hall! It might be awhile, but please listen to what I have to say. Last February, I was opposed to the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. I worked to try to stop it. But I lost my challenge to Ibushi and now we have the IWGP World title.”

Naito will be honest, he has no attachment to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. So why is he challenging for this title? He has three reasons: first, he wants to take on the top guy in NJPW, and that is Okada; second, he wants to beat the top guy in NJPW; third, he wants to be in the Tokyo Dome main event next year, January 4th, 2023. Fans cheer all those reasons. Naito says that, “For nobody’s benefit other than my own, I will go for the win in Sapporo.” Now, today obviously begins a new series, and there will be several warm-ups between Naito and Okada.

“Who will have the title after February 20th? Everyone, speculate, enjoy, and of course, until the title match in Sapporo on February 20… TRANQUILO! Assen na yo!” Now, they’ll see everyone here back tomorrow, but they’ll end the kickoff the only proper way they can. “Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi, y Naito. Nosotros Los! Ingoberrrrrrnables! DE! JA! PON!” The New Years Golden Series has only just begun, but will it end with Naito taking the world title from the Rainmaker?

My Thoughts:

A great event here, even though I did skip the first few matches. The very first two were against Young Lions so of course Khan and Hiromu were winning. But I did skim through, it was pretty neat for Hiromu to wrestle in his old Kamaitachi mask just to make a point about the Young Lion not being ready. I also skipped Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji & Jado cuz Jado is basically one step up from Young Lion and he ended up taking the loss. But there were a lot of great tag matches here to get momentum going from after WrestleKingdom 16. Suzuki-Gun losing both Six Man Tags was surprising, but it gives Yano some momentum going towards a KOPW match with Suzuki, and I liked seeing some edge in Wato as he gets ready to face Desperado.

Chaos VS House of Torture was on par with the usual NJPW 8 Man. Chaos winning is also a good way to give them momentum as we’re going to get WrestleKingdom rematches for the NEVER Openweight singles and Six Man titles. I don’t know if Evil is only going to be Mr. NEVER for only a couple months, but at this point, he might as well keep that going until Jay White returns and we can finally get Bullet Club Civil War take two going. Then the Six Man main event was really good, we got to see everybody face everybody, and LIJ gets momentum for their coming title matches.

Naito has a good promo to frame his role in the IWGP World title story, but he himself said there will be a lot of these Six Man tune-ups. I probably won’t worry about covering these next few dates, they’re going to be VOD only anyway and those always seem to take forever to show up. I’ve already skimmed through the coming Golden Series dates, and it’s rather fitting that February 7th is the next one NJPW is advertising for livestream. That’s the one I’m thinking of waiting for, and then it’s all the February events, even just in part like I did here.

My Score: 8.5/10

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Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 1.20.2022

We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!



We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!

Another week with Tom Hannifan as the play by play, and he just sounds right. We’ve got Charlie Haas’ first match in IMPACT, Tasha Steelz versus Chelsea Green and Steve Maclin is aiming for the ROH Heavyweight Title.

There should be other things, but those take most of the initial attention. Let’s see what else goes on!


  • Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green: Tasha wins via Crucifix Bomb – **
  • The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary): Influence wins via Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – *
  • The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy: Cassidy wins via BQE – SQUASH
  • ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c): Gresham retains via Rope Assisted Figure Four – *** ½
  • Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino: Gallows & Doering win via Double Chokeslam – **
  • Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander: Alexander wins via Ankle Lock w/Grapevine – *** ¼


Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green

Tasha is jawing with the crowd as the bell rings, Chelsea goes right at her and hits the Shotgun Dropkick as Tasha is turning to face her opponent. Chelsea stays on the offensive, baits Tasha to the apron, drops her on her face, Curb Stomp, attempt at an Unprettier…but no counter into a Codebreaker from Tasa and we see Chelsea’s momentum slow down a little.

After some back and forth with Tasha having a lot of advantage, Chelsea makes her comeback. Chelsea hits a middle rope Crossbody but Tasha continues to rotate and rolls it into a pin attempt. Chelsea kicks out and pulls off a Package Flatliner, but only for a near fall. Chelsea goes to grab Tasha, Tasha kicks her to stun her, looks to get caught in a Crucifix, but turns it into a Crucifix Bomb. Tasha picks up the win with the Crucifix Bomb again.

After the win, Tasha cuts a promo that doesn’t seem to really fit. Trying to portray herself as a savage, from the wrong side of town, but she’s a smack talking 5 foot nothing brat. So the second half of the promo works a lot better than the first. She also took some shots at WWE’s women’s division being Barbie Dolls, NWA, Nick Aldis and then brought the son into the mix, so of course that got Mickie fired up. Things look bad for Mickie, but Chelsea Green manages to recover and make the save for Mickie.

Video Package courtesy of Ring of Honor showcasing some of Charlie Haas’ work with Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk involved in certain clips.

The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary)

The Influence attack while Havok and Rosemary are distracted by Kaleb. Rosemary clutches her shoulder after the mugging, the doctors throw up the X and tell her she can’t go. Rosemary asks if Havok can go, the doctor says yes, so Rosemary tells Havok to go destroy the Influence.

Havok put up a valiant fight but the heels prevail! Cross Rayne into a Spotlight Kick into…whatever their tandem finish is called. I’m going to call it Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

The IInspiration have a reactionary video promo which is pretty solid. I do enjoy their work. Hopefully their match ends up being pretty solid because I’d like to see The IInspiration start getting over their abilities in the ring as much as their abilities on the mic.

The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy

The highlight of this match is Hannifan and Myers on commentary. There was a like 4 second spot where the Learning Tree landed a move, but then Cassidy kills them. So we’re in and out, double Pinfall murder happened.

Post-Match the Massive one goes on his search for Moose, D’Amore stops him in the back and says he’s got a title shot coming. Then we see the OGK ROH invaders have tickets this time around, and I’m going to be sick saying this…but Matt Taven is pretty great in this segment. Jesus Christ, I popped for Taven. Shoot me now.

ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c)

Early on it looked like Gresham was toying with Maclin as he forced early rope breaks, but Maclin returned the forced rope breaks in kind. Maclin eventually started coming into his own when he utilized the one closed fist warning rule. Maclin really worked over Gresham’s back after a Butterfly Backbreaker, Boston Crab, Camel Clutch, and a lot of back work.

Gresham was really on the back foot until he managed to force Maclin to use his final rope break. Then we saw Gresham hyper extend Maclin’s knee, and keeps working on the knee. It all made sense as we saw Gresham utilize the Figure Four for the victory. It was entwined in the ropes, Gresham used it for leverage and Maclin’s will power gave out as he couldn’t get his shoulders up fast enough and succumbed to the three count.

IMPACTPlus Flashback Moment: No Surrender 2009: Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs The Beautiful People – Innaugural TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match

Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino

So Good Brothers and VBD looked really sloppy. Gallows got rocked by Rhino, Doering was caught off guard often by Heath and there was just a ton of odd moments where it looked like they tried to regroup and until we saw the extra members get involved, Heath and Rhino dominated the legitimate tag team aspects.

I’m wondering exactly how much of a shift the Guerrillas of Destiny will have in the tag scene and if we’ll need to see the Good Brother and VBD implode first before we get the Bullet Club foundation match.

Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander

They start with a classic grounded start with headlocks, hammerlocks, leg picks and positioning advantages. Alexander managed to take some early momentum before the commercial break, but when we come back we see Haas pop over out of the corner, striking Alexander’s knee and starts focusing a body part. A very methodical attack on knee comes off far more aggressive and cruel than Haas usually goes for. Haas locks in the Indian Deathlock, and they begin slugging at each other. The hold breaks, Alexander goes for the Finlay Roll but Haas counters into a Crucifix Cradle for 2.

Alexander locks in the German Suplex, hits 2, obviously going for 3 to make a point, but Haas blocks the third. Haas pulls off 2, before Alexander blocks and hits one more German before Haas grabs the ropes, feeds in for a lariat but gets caught in another German Suplex this time with the bridge but only for 2.

Haas manages to charge Alexander in the corner, stumbled a bit but lands in the legs that he’s been aiming for, and then goes back to the other corner and hits the mid-section. Haas looks for a leg pick, Alexander counters into his own Ankle Lock. Charlie tries to counter it a few different ways but Alexander holds on and locks in the Ankle Lock with the Grapevine so Haas taps out.

Things moved a little too quickly, so it was alright but could’ve been better. After the match they shake hands and the ROH invaders hit the ring. Haas, Alexander, Chris Sabin comes in, then Rich Swann and Willie Mack, Heath and Rhino…finally Eddie Edwards hits the ring with a kendo stick and drives the ROH guys out.


Overall Score: 6.25/10

I think Maria named the invading stable as Honor No More, so I suppose for like a Pop Punk or Emo band that sounds cool…but it’s a bit dumb for a faction name. Can’t really chant it, the abbreviation is dumb, H.N.M. sounds like a clothing company, but I guess this is them distancing themselves from ROH.

Either way, this was kind of a janky episode. The matches weren’t great, a lot of stories were touched upon but left wide open, and the next major event being No Surrender on Feb. 19th, feels like a lot of time to fill. So maybe it was just a little too redundant, maybe it was also that the general match quality was down to further storyline angles…not sure. This still wasn’t bad, just definitely felt extremely lacking.

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