Does Okada fall to a trap match? Who is England’s Top Talent? Let’s find out!
So it’s this point in the tournament when you start seeing crazy upsets. If Okada wins his match, there’s a good chance that half of A Block gets eliminated.
If I were to venture a guess at upsets, I’d guess Lance Archer and SANADA. SANADA because KENTA has finally proven to be mortal, plus SANADA deserves a damn win. Archer because Okada sometimes struggles with bigger guys as well as, he needs to lose for the last few events of the year.
Time to see if the Okada run away train continues.
- Hirooki Goto, Yota Tsuji & YOSHI-HASHI vs Tomohiro Ishii, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma: YOSHI-HASHI wins via Butterfly Lock @9:25 – ***
- Jon Moxley & Shota Umino vs Toru Yano & Ren Narita: Yano wins via Roll-Up @4:10 – **
- Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujio Takahashi vs Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @7:40 – ** 1/2
- Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson, Jeff Cobb & Toa Henare: Takagi wins via Pumping Bomber @9:25 – ** 1/2
- A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs Kota Ibushi: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @9:25 – **
- A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay : Sabre wins via Modified Grounded Octopus Hold @20:00 – *** 1/2
- A Block: Lance Archer vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @14:15 – *** 3/4
- A Block: SANADA vs KENTA: SANADA wins via Moonsault @16:10 – *** 1/4
- A Block: EVIL vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via High Fly Flow @23:00 – *** 3/4
Hirooki Goto, Yota Tsuji & YOSHI-HASHI vs Tomohiro Ishii, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma – Ishii and Goto always bring the competitive fire before and after being stablemates. Yuya had a good showing in this match, but this was more to try and help YOSHI-HASHI change the perception of fans. He’s picked up a few wins during the tags, but he’s still YOSHI-HASHI…soo…I’ll pass.
Jon Moxley & Shota Umino vs Toru Yano & Ren Narita – Moxley wants to see Yano’s DVD, Yano tells him “5,000 yen!” So Shota goes out, borrows the money and while Yano is counting Moxley tries to roll him up and the cash goes flying. After that, we get a few shenanigans that ends with Yano low blowing and rolling up Shooter. Yano then runs away with the money and his DVD.
Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujio Takahashi vs Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi – We had a big 6 man brawl for the first few minutes that resulted in a funny moment. The referee eventually gets sick of the crap and starts counting, when he gets to 19, everyone stares at one another, says “Shit”, and you see all 6 slide in unaware of who was legal. This was fun, we saw shimmers of the serious Taichi when he squared off with Jay, so I’m looking forward to what the match could be.
Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson, Jeff Cobb & Toa Henare – This was an odd match. Naito and Juice spun off into a scrap on the floor for the end of the match and after, but the rest seemed tame to boring. Cobb and Shingo didn’t have a ton of heat. BUSHI and Henare were just added for some bumps and for one to eat a pin. It was fine, but really nothing special.
A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs Kota Ibushi – Even though he’s not trying to get eliminated this year, Fale’s matches still follow that obvious heel mugging motif. Ibushi had to fight from under a mugging, it was a little annoying because it feels like it’s every match, so my tolerance is lost. Thank God Ibushi didn’t fall to the numbers game. Skippable.
A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay – The beginning of this match definitely shows the familiarity between both men, as you get mini flashes of their signature style. It takes a bit of time to build to the crescendo. Ospreay could never really string together a ton of offense, and Sabre catches him in a few submissions. He locks in the Grounded Octopus and adds an arm a capture to it. I don’t think it was any of his long winded move names, but it didn’t look comfortable.
A Block: Lance Archer vs Kazuchika Okada – Archer beat the hell out of Okada early, he scared children in the audience, but it wasn’t quite enough. This tournament has been fantastic to make Archer into a legit badass. Okada also makes good on the match by going to the child that Archer made cry and shaking his hand. So the good guy beat the bad guy, and Okada is 6-0.
A Block: SANADA vs KENTA – Even though SANADA walked out freshly eliminated because of Okada’s win, the spoiler angle came into play quickly. The crowd was very much behind SANADA, and this was an alright match. A few hiccups and sloppy transitions/counters, but SANADA finally gets a decent win in the tournament.
A Block: EVIL vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – I’m not really sure how to feel about this match. An outside High Fly Flow very noticeably saw Tanahashi’s knee hit the thin outside mat. So from then on he was obviously hampered. Awkward submission attempts, a readjustment on a Slingblade was just weird and it was a little rough. However, unlike a few other matches where it seemed like crap that he won, this played out more like him overcoming the injuries. Not a bad match, rough at times and this is probably the apparition of a beckoning end for Tanahashi’s career, unless he takes extended time off.
Overall Score: 6/10
So this day was kinda lame. No match really jumped up and grabbed you, and the Tanahashi match was the best of the day, but hampered by hiccups and awkward spots. We see a continued dominance by Okada, which I hope there’s a good payoff since, fans got bored real quickly of the Superman Okada stuff during the second half of his 730 day reign.
Who will beat Okada? I mean really…who.
Block A Standings:
- Kazuchika Okada: 6-0 (12 Points)
- KENTA: 4-2 (8 Points)
- Kota Ibushi: 4-2 (8 Points)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 4-2 (8 Points)
- EVIL: 3-3 (6 Points)
- Will Ospreay: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Lance Archer: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
- SANADA: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Zack Sabre Jr: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Bad Luck Fale: 1-5 (2 Points) – ELIMINATED
Mitchell’s NJPW Wrestling Dontaku Results & Report! (5/4/21)
Ospreay VS Takagi, ROUND 4!!
Will the Dragon finally slay Ospreay?
Once more, Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi wage war, and it shall be for THE biggest prize in NJPW! Will the Fourth be with the Dragon tonight?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado VS YOH; postponed.
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Shingo Takagi; Ospreay wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW released a statement!
One wrestler who was scheduled to appear on today’s Wrestling Dontaku Day 2 card presented with a fever on the morning of the event. This individual is currently undergoing thorough examination and PCR and antibody testing. In addition, another wrestler who has been a part of events since May 1 in Beppu and has since also presented with a fever is also undergoing evaluation.
In an abundance of caution, neither participated in today’s event, and any wrestler who competed with them on recent cards were also removed from the event.
New Japan Pro-Wresting continues to take every step possible to protect wrestlers, staff and fans during the pandemic. All NJPW wrestlers are subject to regular testing, and masks are compulsory during training and backstage. Further, wrestlers keep outside interactions to the barest minimum, with packaged food provided at venues.
We deeply apologize for any inconvenience or concern caused.
Sadly, this means the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match had to be cancelled for Dontaku and rescheduled for another time. Hopefully El Desperado, Yoh, and their teammates will be alright.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay w/ The United Empire VS Shingo Takagi!
In the Best of the Super Juniors 26 Finals, the Assassin slayed the Dragon. In the G1 Climax 30, the Dragon got even. But in the 2021 New Japan Cup Finals, the future Commonwealth Kingpin defeated Takagi again to then move on and take this title from Kota Ibushi. Four is bad luck in Japan, but will it curse Ospreay’s reign? Or will it keep Takagi from winning the big one once again?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who is slain to end Wrestling Dontaku 2021!
Fans fire up with the bell and the two stare down. Fans rally with “TA-KA-GI! TA-KA-GI!” as he and Ospreay slowly start to circle. They approach, feel things out, Ospreay tries a kick but Takagi shrugs that off. Takagi keeps working to get a knuckle lock but Ospreay uses kicks to keep his distance. They circle, tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, and are in a deadlock. Takagi powers Ospreay back but Ospreay pulls hair to turn that around. They end up on ropes, go around and Ospreay pulls hair more. Takagi lets off, Ospreay avoids the chop but Takagi avoids the hook kick! Fans cheer as the two reset and circle again. They tie up, Takagi headlocks, Ospreay endures the grind and pries at the hold.
Takagi fights the wrench but Ospreay powers through to keylock then headlock. Ospreay grinds now, but Takagi powers out. They ram shoulders and Ospreay stays up. Fans cheer, and the forearms start flying! Takagi fires up and keeps giving forearms back and forth with Ospreay. Ospreay gets the edge, runs and rams, Takagi stays up! Takagi blocks Ospreay’s boot, and DOUBLE CHOPS! But Ospreay kips right up! Ospreay knees, runs, rams and boots but Takagi is up to run Ospreay over! Takagi drops a senton but Ospreay avoids it, only for Takagi to come back. Ospreay hits a headlock takeover, Takagi headscissors and Ospreay kips free!
Takagi gets up but staggers a bit, and fans cheer that fast and furious exchange! Fans rally for “TA-KA-GI! TA-KA-GI!” but maybe some of it is for “WILL OS-PREAY!” Ospreay and Takagi circle, feel out things, but back off a moment. They try again, knuckle lock and test of strength! Ospreay hooks a leg and gets Takagi to kneel! Takagi powers up but Ospreay headbutts! Ospreay wrenches, Takagi blocks the whip but Ospreay kicks and fires off haymakers. Ospreay whips, Takagi reverses and back drops! Fans cheer for the air Ospreay got! Takagi digs a knee into Ospreay’s back as part of a motorcycle stretch. Ospreay fights up, Takagi pulls on the arms, but Ospreay fights.
Takagi CLUBS Ospreay on the back, whips him to ropes and knees him against them! Takagi keeps going and runs Ospreay over! Ospreay doesn’t spring up from that one, and Takagi drops the back senton! Cover, TWO! Takagi keeps Ospreay down with a chinlock. Ospreay throws hands, fights his way up, but Takagi shifts to a facelock. Ospreay throws body shots so Takagi knees him against ropes. Takagi whips, Ospreay holds ropes and kicks back! But Takagi clotheslines Ospreay out of the ring! Fans cheer as Takagi goes out to fetch Ospreay. Takagi gets Ospreay up to ROCK him with a haymaker! Takagi bumps Ospreay off the apron, then whips, but Ospreay reverses!
Takagi hits railing, and Ospreay back suplexes! Takagi fights free, shoves Ospreay away, but Ospreay comes back! Takagi drop toeholds Ospreay into the railing! Takagi chokes Ospreay against the railing but Red Shoes reprimands. Takagi lets off, and POSTS Ospreay! Takagi brings Ospreay around the way and fireman’s carries, to APRON SNAKE EYES! Fans fire up with Takagi while Ospreay staggers around the way. Fans rally for Takagi as Red Shoes makes sure the Empire stays back. Takagi goes to the apron but Ospreay handspring heel kicks him down! Ospreay hurries out after Takagi to RAM him into railing, then APRON BACK SUPLEX!
Takagi flops to the floor and Ospreay catches his breath. Fans rally up still and Ospreay gets upset. Ospreay checks on the belt at the timekeeper’s area, and gives it a kiss. Then Ospreay snatches the table away from the timekeeper! But Takagi’s got a table of his own! Ospreay walks over, Takagi hits table with table and knocks Ospreay down! Fans cheer as Takagi sets the tables up together by a corner. Takagi seems to be planning a flashback to the New Japan Cup! Takagi goes for Ospreay, and Red Shoes warns him not to but Takagi wants to decimate the Kingpin! Fireman’s carry, but Ospreay slips off to ROCK Takagi with a right! Ospreay runs, into a CHOP from Takagi!
Takagi grins and suplexes, but Ospreay fights it off! Ospreay suplexes Takagi up and into the ring! Ospreay goes to the apron, springboards for PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, ONE!! Ospreay grows frustrated with Takagi, and he stomps Takagi at the ropes. Ospreay drags Takagi up, throws elbows and CHOPS, then some kicks! Ospreay wrenches, reels Takagi in and hits a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is right after an arm! Takagi clasps hands to block, but Ospreay goes after individual fingers! Ospreay SNAPS the arm back, and lets Takagi go! Takagi writhes and clutches his elbow as he bails out. Red Shoes checks on Takagi but Ospreay goes out to stomp away on Takagi.
Ospreay wraps the bad arm around railing, pulls it, then BOOTS the railing! Takagi staggers away, Ospreay pulls his arm through the corner to POST Takagi! Ospreay wraps Takagi’s arm around the post then SLAMS it into the steel! Takagi staggers away while shaking the arm out, but Ospreay puts Takagi on the apron. Ospreay WRINGS the arm into the apron edge! Fans rally for Takagi but Ospreay gets in the ring. Ospreay stands on the bad arm to then drop a knee on it! Ospreay gets Takagi up, wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Takagi drops to a knee, Ospreay BUZZSAWS the arm! Fans still rally as Takagi gets to ropes but Ospreay kicks him away.
Ospreay has the arm and a chinbar but Takagi is defiant. Ospreay CLUBS the arm, wrenches it again, and hits another elbow breaker! And another! And- No, Takagi turns it into a sleeper! Ospreay backs Takagi into buckles, then bumps him off buckles! Takagi just gets mad! Fans rally up but Ospreay fires off Kowata Kicks! Takagi hulks up! Ospreay kicks low, gives more Kowatas, but Takagi blocks! Ospreay gets free and CHOPS! Takagi staggers, but he still elbows, JABS and YUKON FEINT to the DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Ospreay slowly sits up while Takagi shakes out the bad arm. Takagi runs to run Ospreay over, then scoops him to SLAM!
Takagi whips, Ospreay reverses, Takagi reverses back and spins Ospreay around to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Takagi says he’s just getting started and fans rally up again. Takagi stands Ospreay up, hooks the arms, but Ospreay reverses that. Takagi whips him away, blocks the boot, and powers through to JAB and CHOP Ospreay over and over and over, faster and faster! Takagi JABS and JABS, Ospreay CHOPS back! Ospreay whips, Takagi reverses, but Ospreay stops to put Takagi right up into the Tree of Woe! Ospreay KICKS Takagi in the back! Ospreay grins as he sits in front of Takagi, mocking Takagi’s meditation pose.
Ospreay slaps Takagi around, Red Shoes tells him to let off, but Takagi slaps from below! Takagi reaches up to BITE Ospreay! Ospreay KICKS Takagi out of the Tree! Ospreay drags Takagi back up, dragon sleeper for the SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO! Takagi is still in this and Ospreay grows annoyed. The Empire coaches him and Ospreay gets Takagi back up. Ospreay underhooks but Takagi fights the lift. Takagi powers up to back drop Ospreay again! Fans fire up as both men slowly rise. Ospreay blocks a back hand to KICK. Ospreay kicks again but Takagi blocks, to a DRAGON SCREW! Fans still rally for “TA-KA-GI!” as he gets Ospreay up! Suplex, STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRE!
Ospreay runs around the world to dropkick Takagi’s bad arm! Then Ospreay tilt-o-whirls to get a takedown for a KIMURA! Takagi fights and endures the double wristlock as fans rally! Ospreay keeps cranking the arm and gets the Kimura in deep! Takagi fights, reaches, and has the ropebreak with a foot! Ospreay lets go in frustration, and fans still rally for Takagi. Ospreay drags Takagi up, wrenches the bad arm, but Takagi fires off with the good arm. Ospreay ROLLING ELBOWS Takagi, then calls his shot. Ospreay jumps but Takagi catches him to the torture rack! Ospreay lands on his feet out of Blood Fall! Takagi ducks the Penalty Kick, Ospreay STANDING MOONSAULTS, onto knees!
Takagi shoves Ospreay to a corner, Ospreay bounces off buckles and into the Gory Especial! NOSHIGAMI! Takagi can’t make the cover but fans fire up while both men are down! Takagi reels Ospreay in for a wheelbarrow GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but Takagi keeps his cool. Takagi hears the fans rallying and he kicks at Ospreay. Takagi gets Ospreay up but Ospreay throws a forearm. Takagi fires off boxing elbows! The bad arm bothers him, though, and Ospreay KICKS and KICKS! Takagi blocks and he FLIPS Ospreay so hard, Ospreay lands on his back! Fans fire up again while both men are down. Ospreay is in a daze as Takagi runs.
Ospreay avoids the sliding lariat, Takagi avoids the buzzsaw, Ospreay elbows and whips but Takagi reverses. Ospreay handsprings into a GERMAN, but lands on his feet! ENZIGURI but Takagi rebounds! Ospreay slips through the lariat to get Takagi up, only for Takagi to escape the bomb! Takagi whips, Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER! Takagi rebounds to SILDING LARIAT! Fans are thunderous after that newest and most insane exchange yet! Fans rally up as Takagi and Ospreay stir. Ospreay goes to a corner, Takagi shouts, “OI! OI! OI!” Fans follow that and Takagi runs in, but Ospreay boots! Takagi blocks to clothesline through!
Takagi runs but Ospreay follows to BOOT in the corner! Ospreay hoists Takagi up top and tucks him in for CHEEKY NANDOS! Takagi teeters on the ropes and Ospreay climbs. Ospreay grins as he underhooks the arms! Takagi resists the lift again, powers free and throws short headbutts. Ospreay bumps Takagi off buckles, sunset flips, but Takagi punches him down! Ospreay PELES! Ospreay goes back up, has Takagi, but Takagi headbutts him away! Ospreay hops down, but springs right back up! SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and fans are thunderous again! Ospreay gets Takagi up, suplexes to hang him out to dry, and then goes to the corner. GUILLOTINE SHOOTING STAR!!
Ospreay isn’t done there, he goes back up top and aims again! SHOOTING STAR PRESS!! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives again and the Empire is in disbelief! Fans rally up again as Ospreay and Takagi slowly sit up. Takagi holds onto ropes but Ospreay kicks him to the apron. Takagi is on the tables he set up! Ospreay makes sure Takagi is in the right position, throws hands to keep Takagi down, and then climbs again. Red Shoes warns Ospreay but Ospreay shoves him away. But Takagi gets up to anchor Ospreay! Ospreay throws hands but Takagi drags Ospreay off to a fireman’s carry! Ospreay fights free and wants the underhooks! Takagi turns it around to a Gory Especial!
Ospreay elbows free and HOOK KICKS! Ospreay wants to use the corner, but Takagi trips him up! Takagi brings Ospreay over, pump handle and MADE IN JAPAN THROUGH THE TABLES!!!! Fans are electric over the carnage! Red Shoes checks both men, and somehow they’re both okay! A ring count starts, Takagi shares the cobwebs out and slowly rises. Great-O-Khan coaches Ospreay but we’re already at 10 of 20! Takagi drags himself up at 12 while Khan fans Ospreay off. Ospreay sits up at 14, Takagi is in at 16, and Ospreay is still crawling! Ospreay gets one last burst to get in at 19.9! SLIDING LARIAT outta nowhere!!
Takagi gets Ospreay up, pump handle and MADE IN JAPAN!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? How is that even possible?!? Somehow Ospreay survives, and fans are going nuts! Takagi vows he’ll end this, gets Ospreay up, but then Ospreay falls over before Takagi can build up speed. Takagi stalks Ospreay as he flounders about, and kicks him to a corner. Takagi gets Ospreay up, whips him corner to corner, but Ospreay flops down at three-quarters of the way. Takagi kicks at Ospreay more, the Empire rallies for their leader, but Takagi runs corner to corner. BIG corner clothesline, and Ospreay falls over! Takagi says he’s going to end this, and he drags Ospreay back up.
Takagi fireman’s carries, then climbs the corner! Ospreay fights desperately, Takagi catches the arm, but Ospreay uses the other to fight! Ospreay gets free, balances on the rope, and the two brawl on the edge! Ospreay manages to adjust but Takagi gets his tights! Ospreay fights in a panic, slaps himself to get focus, and SUPER STEIN- NO! Takagi resists and Ospreay falls off alone! Ospreay steadies himself as Takagi adjusts, and Takagi LEAPS, into an OSCUTTER!! Ospreay gets whatever is left in his body to move, and he springboards for another OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO?!!!? Takagi survives his own miscalculation, but Ospreay stands back up!
Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay turns Takagi, but Takagi elbows free. Ospreay ROCKS Takagi, then CHELSEA GRIN! Ospreay drags Takagi back up, prepares the arm, HIDDEN- NO! Takagi ducked the blindside! Takagi blocks a boot but Ospreay ENZIGURIS! Ospreay goes up and up and SUPER- NO! Takagi blocks the cutter, puts Ospreay in ropes, TAKAGI G T R!! The draping elbow smash leaves both men down but fans are rallying up again! Ospreay stands, Takagi gets to a corner, Takagi runs but Ospreay blocks the lariat, only to get the YUKON LARIAT! Takagi fires up as Ospreay staggers to his feet. Takagi builds speed but Ospreay dodges, but then PUMPING BOMBER!
Ospreay lands on his feet?! Ospreay springboard, Takagi steals the OSCUTTER!?! TakagiCutter this time! Takagi keeps going, MAXIMUM PUMPING BOMBER!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!?! Is Ospreay superhuman?! Fans are electric again as Takagi roars! Takagi pump handles, fireman’s carries, but Ospreay throws elbows. Takagi powers through but Ospreay slips out. Takagi pops Ospreay up but Ospreay catches him for a crucifix takedown! TWO, Ospreay dodges to ROLLING ELBOW and HOOK KICK! Takagi falls over, Ospreay fires back up, and Ospreay aims, BUZZSAW and HOOK! Underhooks, lift, STORM-
NO! Takagi lands on his feet, pump handle and fireman’s, but Ospreay slips out to POISON-RANA!! Takagi gets up?! POISON RANA FROM TAKAGI?! But HIDDEN BLADE!!! Both men are down in the same corner and the fans are going beyond electric! Ospreay crawls to a cover, ROPEBREAK! Takagi survives by mere inches and Ospreay doesn’t want to believe it! Fans rally as hard as ever as Ospreay drags Takagi back to center. Ospreay underhooks, drags Takagi’s dead weight up, but his back won’t let him lift! Fans still rally for “TA-KA-GI!” but Ospreay stomps Takagi on the head and back. Takagi wakes up! Takagi slowly rises as Ospreay keeps giving him toying kicks.
Takagi glares up at Ospreay but Ospreay gives him kicks. Ospreay throws forearms but Takagi feeds off them! Takagi starts backing Ospreay down by leaning into the shots! Takagi fires off a flurry, then the boxing elbows! LARIAT, then PUMP- NO! Ospreay dodges, but into a pop-up DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Ospreay’s rage gets him back up! They grind foreheads, shove, POINT-BLANK PUMPING! Ospreay wobbles around, into another! Takagi winds up but Ospreay ROUNDHOUSES! Ospreay runs, Takagi clotheslines at the rope! Takagi runs, into STANDING SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay drags Takagi up fast, underhooks and lift, STORM-
NO! YUKON LARIAT! V-TRIGGER?!? Ospreay takes Takagi down with a different champion’s move and fans are thunderous again! Takagi and Ospreay get forehead to forehead, give each other junkyard dog headbutts, then start throwing SLAP after SLAP! They both pull hair, stand up, and the forearms fly! Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS, Ospreay throws forearm after forearm! Ospreay backs Takagi down but Takagi comes back with boxing elbows! Fans rally as the pace picks up and Takagi ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay comes back to ROCK Takagi! Takagi smiles through it?! Takagi ROCKS Ospreay, Ospreay wobbles but he smiles, too! Ospreay headbutts!
Takagi headbutts, JABS, HEADBUTTS! Ospreay leans back, Takagi fires up! Takagi pump handles, fireman’s carries, but Ospreay fights desperately, CHELSEA GRIN! Takagi grits his teeth and comes back, but Ospreay gets around, to steal RAINMAKER?!? Ospreay takes off the elbow pad and takes aim from a corner! Ospreay demands Takagi rise up, and fans are rallying hard as ever! HIDDEN BLADE but not so hidden!! It gets Takagi right in the faces!! Ospreay underhooks, lifts, STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)
The series is 3-1 in favor of Ospreay! Somehow, some way, Ospreay finds a way to slay the Dragon! The Empire help their leader recover, and he stands tall over Takagi once again! Is this it for Takagi and the world title? Or will he fight his way back and find what he needs to defeat perhaps his greatest rival?
The Empire stands with Ospreay as he gets the mic. “Takagi, arigato.” He thanks Takagi for being the stepping stone that is the first defense as THE IWGP World Heavyweigth Champion! Ospreay said it years ago, “this company leans on me way too much. ‘Card subject to change,’ but when Will Ospreay is in the main event, you guys got your tickets worth just seeing me!” All it took was 24 hours and this match being announced, “and this bitch sold out because of Will Ospreay and the United Empire! FACT. And now, it’s time for redemption. At WrestleKingdom, each and every one of you thought that that loss would’ve been my demise, would’ve been the failure of the United Empire.” They’re not failing now, are they?
Fans may not like it, and Okada for damn sure doesn’t like it, but there is a reason Ospreay is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion: DESTINY! Okada is surely disappointed in the man Ospreay has become, and the world is probably disappointed, too. But Ospreay doesn’t care, because the only thing that he cares about is the United Empire, and being IWGP World Heavyweight Champion! Ospreay will right the wrong from WK in Wrestle Grand Slam Tokyo, Ospreay VS Okada!
With that, Khan is given the mic to tell us, “Tonight is your chance for amnesty. Peasants, raise your hands towards us.” Ospreay killed a god and slayed a dragon. “What’s left to conquer? What the Empire always wants: spoils, luxuries, and riches!” In the Tokyo Dome, Ospreay will EXECUTE Okada and NJPW’s treasures shall fall to them! “The peasants’ coins will be ours. Tremble with fear. This is the power of Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan and the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Will Ospreay! This is the power of the UNITED EMPIRE!!” Will this be the course of history now and forever? Or will the Rainmaker prove there was nothing wrong at WrestleKingdom?
I was already going into this planning on just the title matches, but I didn’t expect one to be postponed. At the same time, kudos to NJPW for being careful and responsible with health issues. I probably could’ve covered the Six Man Tag matches they had planned, but we got plenty of Suzuki-Gun and Guerrillas yesterday, and Los Ingobernables de Japon and United Empire have had matches over and over lately. Andrew Balaz has the full event results here, and from his assessment, they weren’t that big of a deal in the end. I did catch the bit in Bullet Club VS Taguchi, Tanahashi & Yano with the hair-pulling gag, so it was a good blend of the serious and the comical there.
The world title main event was INCREDIBLE, a true instant classic if I’ve ever seen one. The story that has built between Takagi and Ospreay in just a couple years came to a climax here. Even knowing the winner faces Okada in a couple weeks, it was still incredible to see Ospreay win here. I’m torn between thinking Takagi is level capped here at strong world title contender, or if this is great pacing so that he can come back around in time for either the G1 Climax or WrestleKingdom’s sweet sixteen. Either way, no one can deny these two are stars. Ospreay VS Okada might be off the charts at this rate.
My Score: 9/10
Andrew’s NJPW Wrestling Dontaku Results & Match Ratings: 5.4.2021
This second day of Wrestling Dontaku is supposed to have 2 big title matches, but card subject to change! Let’s see what happen!
This second day of Wrestling Dontaku is supposed to have 2 big title matches, but card subject to change! Let’s see what happen!
Before the show, we’re told that someone from yesterday’s show had a fever this morning, and as a precaution, people that were around him would be changed off the card. No word on who it was, no word on if it was a positive case; purely just being safe.
So that means the Junior title match of YOH vs El Desperado is off the card, as well as anything that was supposed to involve Okada, SHO, Minoru Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. So at least we know it was one of those six.
Anyway! This becomes a one match card! Is it worth the build?
- Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, ZSJ, Taichi) vs Bullet Club (G.o.D. & Jado): ZSJ wins via Grounded Cobra Twist @10:00 – ** ¼
- Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori): Ishimori wins via Bloody Cross @10:24 – ** ½
- United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare & Jeff Cobb) vs LIJ (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & SANADA): Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @14:55 – ** ¾
- Toru Yano, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bullet Club (EVIL, Jay White & Dick Togo) w/Gedo: Yano wins via Victory Roll @12:14 – **
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs Shingo Takagi: Ospreay retains via Stormbreaker @44:53 – *****
Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, ZSJ, Taichi) vs Bullet Club (G.o.D. & Jado)
Given their singles wins yesterday, the logical outcome here is for Jado to eat the pinfall, and then Dangerous Tekkers to make their official title challenge. First we get to see a little bit of the DOUKI/Jado rivalry continue, DOUKI has a decent Plancha fake on to G.o.D. but turns it into an Asai Moonsault.
We see G.o.D. take group tactics to overpower DOUKI and get occasional advantages, but both Taichi and ZSJ seem to be invigorated and don’t succumb much to the assaults. Taichi taps into his Kawada side more and more the last few years, and I’m completely here for the Black Saint to ascend to Dark King status.
The usual ring clear spot, leads to ZSJ submitting Jado via a Grounded Cobra Twist, and then grabbing the microphone. Both he and Taichi speak their challenge in Japanese to the delight of fans.
Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori)
Interesting to see these four paired against each other. Wato is still a work in process, and Tenzan has been playing the elder statesman fairly well.
This match did well to remind everyone where people where at. Tenzan was still ahead of Yujiro, which makes sense due Yujiro being glorified enhancement talent. Wato had a few nice flourishes against Yujiro and even Taiji, before Taiji really staked his claim to a very tangible Junior championship challenge. Taiji is head and shoulders above everyone in this match talent wise, and the way he absorbed to get some of Wato’s offense over; but very succinctly taking control back, was elite level stuff.
United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare & Jeff Cobb) vs LIJ (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & SANADA)
Henare calls out SANADA after the loss yesterday and Naito takes it upon himself to prove how little he cares about United Empire by pretending his belt is stuck as he tries to remove his entrance attire.
As the match moves forward we see O-Khan and Naito still messing with each other, building off the New Japan Cup. Henare tries to match SANADA’s smoothness with his own power and aggression, while Cobb takes some interesting measures to send a message to Kota Ibushi and throw BUSHI around as we head to the finish.
Cobb hits a Kamigoye, a big smile and then a Tour of the Islands takes the win for United Empire!
Toru Yano, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bullet Club (EVIL, Jay White & Dick Togo) w/Gedo
Taguchi was amusing as he tried to challenge Jay for the Openweight title at the beginning, but this was more idle comedy than something that should’ve been at the top half of the show. Taguchi does hit a Dragon Screw on Jay to give Tanahashi a chance in, and Jay sells the knees being banged up from yesterday still.
We see a little more action, a schmoz, a blindfold on Togo, double nut shot to Togo and EVIL, Togo gets rolled up and Hontai wins!
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs Shingo Takagi
Given the earlier news that the Junior Title match was dropped, I feel like Takagi and Ospreay went into this match knowing they had to reassess the pace of things. The ebbs and flows in this match are timed beautifully. Early counter attacks, into a few momentum trades. Ospreay hangs Shingo in the Tree of Woe and rubs it in by doing Shingo’s signature pose and slapping Shingo around.
Shingo breaks the assault, they trade a little and he finally gets more space after he grabs Ospreay’s foot and just flips him twice in the air, which he did in a previous match of theirs. Takagi and Ospreay have an amusing Table fight, where Shingo’s Sabu style approach of throwing it, wins the tussle. Checkov’s Gun is established with both tables being set up but not used right away.
Shingo uses them about 8 minutes later as he drives Ospreay through both with Made in Japan/Last Falconry which almost results in a countout victory. As soon as Ospreay slides back in, Made in Japan again, and this time a near fall. The callbacks come back in spades in the match, notably, Shingo learned from the flipping through the Pumping Bomber spot. As Ospreay flips and goes for the Oscutter, Shingo waits and catches him in his own Cutter. Super Oscutter countered with TTR. Shingo even pulls out the Poison Rana again to stop Will from trying another Oscutter.
This becomes a real test of willpower when we get to the point where they just absorb the shot and fire back. Lariats, kicks, Headbutts, great stuff as Shingo slips Stormbreaker, hits the Yukon Lariat, but Ospreay responds with the flying Blackout style Knee Strike. More back and forth, but Chelsea Grin dazes Shingo enough, Ospreay hits a Rainmaker, to set up for the Hidden Blade and then Stormbreaker!
Ospreay retains and will get his rematch with the Rainmaker! This match was gorgeous, it built off of their previous encounters, told a great story within itself and was just a gem to watch. Shingo and Ospreay can do no wrong.
Overall Score: 7/10
Welp, Will Ospreay’s post-match promo is right, the main event is well worth the price of admission alone. So even though the rest of the matches were mediocre at best, that main event was special.
Aside from the Takagi/Ospreay storyline being finished for hopefully a while, the only other real tangible stories for Wrestle Grand Slam are G.o.D. versus Tekkers and maybe a Tanahashi rematch. I don’t really want to see another Tanahashi/Jay match since those are usually decent but I don’t feel like there’s much left.
So let’s just hope that Okada wasn’t sick, and we get a decent build for Ospreay’s rematch and what I would assume would be his crowning moment when he finally really overcomes Okada.
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