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Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 15 A Block

Two matches to go for the A Block! Can Ibushi stay close enough to spoil Okada’s tournament?

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Two matches to go for the A Block! Can Ibushi stay close enough to spoil Okada’s tournament?

Well there’s not really a lot to unpack here. If Ibushi loses, then it’s pretty much a lock that Okada wins the block. Yes there may be some weird tie breaker math, but this ain’t the Winona Ryder meme, keep your math in your head.

So does Okada lock up the block? Does Ibushi stay within shouting distance to make for a high stakes final day?

Anyone who has seen these in the past, know it’s most likely the latter. But there’s always room for firsts in wrestling.

So let’s find out!

Ratings:

  • Toru Yano, Yota Tsuki & Yuya Uemura vs Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:55 – ** 1/2
  • YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto vs Jon Moxley & Shota Umino: HASHI wins via Butterfly Lock @5:40 – **
  • Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi vs Tomoaki Honma, Toa Henare & Juice Robinson: Owens wins via Package Piledriver @9:30 – ** 3/4
  • Jeff Cobb, Tomohiro Ishii & Ren Narita vs Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI: BUSHI wins via MX @8:50 – ***
  • A Block: SANADA vs Lance Archer: SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch @10:30 – *** 3/4
  • A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bad Luck Fale: Fale wins via Backslide @10:00 – * 1/2
  • A Block: KENTA vs Will Ospreay: Ospreay wins via Stormbreaker @16:30 – *** 1/4
  • A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr:: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @15:45 – **** 
  • A Block: EVIL vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @27:00 – *** 3/4

 

Analysis:

Toru Yano, Yota Tsuki & Yuya Uemura vs Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi –  Yano getting the two Young Lions didn’t really bode well for our Sublime Master Thief. Taichi tortured poor Yano, strangling him with microphone chords and even wrapping him up like a burrito in the ring skirt. Basically the same kind of match with Suzuki-Gun destroying people, but it was definitely an alright opener.

YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto vs Jon Moxley & Shota Umino – A bit of striking and just general stepping up to one another, between Goto and Moxley. But honestly, nothing special. Moxley has kind of done the same thing in the tags, so it’s hard to really differentiate any real story telling. YOSHI wins via Butterfly Lock again, so they’re setting YOSHI up for something down the line.

Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi vs Tomoaki Honma, Toa Henare & Juice Robinson –  Jay and Juice have pretty good chemistry together in regard to, just getting across the mutual disdain. Jay treats Juice like a little brother and Juice is trying to prove himself to everyone. The story telling is good stuff, the match itself is fine, but Jay is very good at being a slimy heel. After the match, Jay cheap shots Rocky on commentary, so I’m curious if that’s a little breadcrumb for the future.

Jeff Cobb, Tomohiro Ishii & Ren Narita vs Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI –  Naito sits down at commentary and starts conversing with Kevin Kelly in Spanish. Only thing of merit we get, aside from pleasantries, is Naito saying he’s a little tired. It was amusing, I can’t deny that. Shingo and Ishii kick off the match and play the two bulls trying to gore one another. Naito and Cobb have quite a few interactions as well, but it’s mostly Naito trying to pick apart Cobb and insinuate he’s fat like a sumo. Solid match, a lot of developments for tomorrow’s matches, good fun.

A Block: SANADA vs Lance Archer  –  Archer continues to look immensely impressive. SANADA fought from underneath this entire match, while Archer pulled off some interesting offense. Even though he falls in this match, Archer will most likely win his last match since people really seem to be loving him. Crowd support and supportive applause after all his matches, because they appreciate how hard he’s fighting.

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bad Luck Fale  –  Tanahashi tried to chop down the big man, but sadly the size and outside interference was just too much. Part of the story here is that Fale won by a wrestling maneuver for the second match in a row. So, I don’t really know what that’s supposed to mean. Is Fale gonna incorporate more wrestling moves? Do any of us really care? My guess is no on both accounts.

A Block: KENTA vs Will Ospreay – Given who was involved, my expectations may have been a little too high. The match started off well enough with KENTA lighting up Ospreay with strikes and Ospreay’s resiliency shines through. However, they never really had great chemistry. KENTA slipped on a springboard move, KENTA stumbled during Ospreay’s spinning transition and just a few other hiccups hurt what could’ve been an epic dream match. KENTA has no shot at winning any longer, so I’m not really sure where he goes from here.

A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr – This match starts off very similarly to past bouts. Ibushi loves wrestling Sabre’s game for the early portion of the match before trying to go more into his high flying offense. Sabre tried to submit Ibushi with Orienteering with Napalm Death, similarly to how the 2018 New Japan Cup went, but Ibushi fought through it. Ibushi hits a Bom-ba-ye followed up by Kamigoye for the victory. Ibushi now holds his fate in his own hands.

A Block: EVIL vs Kazuchika Okada  –  So there was a lot riding on this match. An EVIL win would’ve most likely had him as the first challenger during the second half of the season, but a win from Okada sets up a Winner Takes All match with him an Ibushi. The match started slowly with a few fun bursts. EVIL chucking a chair at Okada before his Flying Crossbody on the outside, but it was really a slow, borderline boring match for 75% of it. The match finally kicked into second gear after EVIL hit Darkness Falls. A bunch of nice counter moves and avoiding finishers definitely helped this match feel better when all was said and done. Okada picking up the win does also bode interestingly, because the last few years haven’t been kind to champions that finally pick up a loss after strong starts.

 

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Because of how the last two matches finished up, it made this night pivotal. Okada did have the strangle hold, but thanks to Ibushi maintaining only 2 losses, he’s stayed close enough for their match on the last day of A Block to be Winner Takes All.

KENTA’s slide brings up a lot of questions about his future and just general marketability within New Japan. It also can’t be overlooked that this is the first time, in a damn long time, that Tanahashi has nothing to gain on the last day of the G1.

This does slowly start building some tension for the post-G1 storylines. But now we just sit and wait to see if Ibushi pulls out a pretty grand upset.

Block A Standings:

  • Kazuchika Okada: 7-1 (14 Points)
  • Kota Ibushi: 6-2 (12 Points)
  • KENTA: 4-4 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 4-4 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • EVIL: 4-4 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • SANADA: 4-4 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Zack Sabre Jr: 3-5 (6 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Will Ospreay: 3-5 (6 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Bad Luck Fale: 3-5 (6 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Lance Archer: 2-6 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED


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Mitchell’s NJPW New Year Dash Results & Report! (1/6/21)

Happy New Year Dash!!

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NJPW New Year Dash 2020

NJPW keeps things rolling even after WrestleKingdom 15!

Nothing slows down in NJPW! WrestleKingdom 15’s fallout is felt here on New Year Dash 2021!! Will Sanada build momentum against Kota Ibushi 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.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: The Empire VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji; The Empire wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Bullet Club; Chaos wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Master Wato, Sho, Rocky Romero & Golden Aces; LIJ wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: The Empire VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji!

Rather shockingly, Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb all LOST at WrestleKingdom 15! But can they all rebound and redeem themselves together?

The Empire doesn’t give Tenzan’s team time to sort out, they attack the moment all six are in the ring! Khan clubs Tenzan, Ospreay throws Kojima out and Cobb is after young lion Yota Tsuji! The bell rings to put this on record and Ospreay continues after Kojima while Cobb throws Tsuji out. Khan clubs Tenzan more while Cobb headbutts Tsuji and Ospreay throws Kojima into the apron. Khan CHOPS Tenzan, pushes him against ropes and CHOPS him again! Khan clubs Tenzan, taunts him, but Tenzan headbutts low and kicks. Khan stops Tenzan from using the Mongolian Chops, and he puts some stank on his hands. Tenzan kicks Khan before Khan can Mongolian Chop!

Tenzan headbutts Khan to a corner, kicks and CHOPS him, then CHOPS again. Fans fire up as Tenzan headbutts more! Tenzan clubs Khan, whips him corner to corner and runs in to clothesline! Tenzan fires up and suplexes Khan up and over! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Tenzan pulls Khan’s hair. The ref reprimands, Tenzan stomps Khan and throws more headbutts. Khan blocks the Mongolian to give the Mongolian CHOPS! And more Mongolian CHOPS! But Tenzan headbutts and Mongolian CHOPS! Fans fire up as Tenzan chokes Khan! The ref counts, Tenzan stops, but Tenzan tells the ref to back off as he stomps Khan.

Tenzan brings Khan up, Khan slips out of the slam to get the arm! Ospreay BLASTS the corner, and clubs Kojima down! Tenzan crawls and gets the ropebreak! Khan cranks the Fujiwara armbar harder until the ref counts 4. Khan stomps Tenzan, drags him up and wrenches the arm to wrap on the ropes! The ref counts, Tenzan lets off to Mongolian CHOP that arm! Khan drags Tenzan up, bumps him off buckles and clubs him! Khan sits on Tenzan in the corner! Fans rally as Khan taunts Tenzan’s team! The ref counts and Khan hops off at 3. Khan clubs Tenzan, tags Cobb, then sucker punches Tsuji and Kojima!

Cobb headbutts and clubs Tenzan, stalks him as he crawls, then knocks Kojima off the apron. Tenzan throws body shots but Cobb CLUBS him down! Cobb drags Tenzan up, hauls him up, and rams him into the Empire’s corner! Ospreay tags in, Khan claws Tenzan’s face and Ospreay throws hands! Ospreay CHOPS Tenzan, throws forearms, then boots Tenzan down! Ospreay stands on Tenzan’s throat but the ref counts. Ospreay stops at 4 and fans rally up. Ospreay clamps onto Tenzan’s arm but Tenzan fights free. Ospreay runs but Tenzan WINDMILL KICKS! Fans fire up and Tenzan crawls to his corner, hot tag to Kojima!

Kojima hits Khan and Cobb and fans fire up with him as he MACHINE GUN CHOPS Ospreay! Kojima whips and runs in to forearm Ospreay, then pushes him down! Ospreay is right up to ROCK Kojima! Ospreay rolls Kojima, goes to the apron and springboards in but Kojima dodges Pip Pip Cheerio! Kojima kicks low and hits a DDT! Fans fire up as Kojima brings Ospreay up. Kojima fires off forearms, spins, but Ospreay blocks to forearm back! Ospreay body shots with an elbow, then reels Kojima in. Kojima fights the waistlock, cravats but Ospreay powers out to ROLLING ELBOW! And a suplex! Ospreay grits his teeth, tags Cobb in, and Cobb drags Kojima up.

Kojima throws forearms, whips but Cobb reverses to get the ATHLETIC PLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up but Cobb drags Kojima up to scoop. Kojima slips off and swats Cobb’s punch away to COZY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Kojima hot tags Tsuji! The young lion BLASTS the Empire corner, fires off on Cobb, then whips! Cobb reverses, they collide but neither falls! They ram each other again and again and Cobb actually staggers! Tsuji runs in for a leaping forearm! Tsuji runs Cobb over! LEAPING SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Tsuji has the veterans hit the Empire down, and then Tsuji suplexes! Cobb blocks, fans rally, and Tsuji fires off forearms! But it’s Cobb who suplexes Tsuji!

Tsuji slips out, waistlocks, but Cobb switches to shove! Tsuji leaps, into Cobb’s arms! Cobb RAMS Tsuji into buckles, then hits an OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, but Kojima breaks it! Tenzan and Kojima stomp Cobb, have him on ropes, and then double whip. Cobb fights off the combo move, Ospreay DECKS Kojima! Khan BOOTS Tenzan! The Empire coordinates, drags Tsuji up, and Ospreay goes to the corner while Khan and Cobb lift Tsuji up! IMPERIAL OSCUTTER!! Cover, The Empire wins!

Winners: The Empire, by pinfall

They have redeemed themselves, but they’re not done! Ospreay rains down furious fists on Tsuji and Khan adds his kicks. Tenzan gets in to go after the Empire, but Khan Mongolian CHOPS over and over! Khan drags Tenzan back up, scoops and TENZAN TOMBSTONE DRIVERS!! The Empire stomps away on Tenzan but Kojima shields him, so he gets beat up, too! Ospreay even shoves the ref out of the ring! Cobb sits Kojima up for Ospreay’s HIDDEN BLADE!

Ospreay gets the mic and he says, “Do you think we’re weak?” Ospreay is weak? Cobb is weak? Khan is weak? They don’t look weak now, do they? They look pretty strong! “You think I was angry before WrestleKingdom, now I’m pissed off!” They will not be defined by what happened at WK15! The Empire will be united, and 2021 will be the year they take over! Khan says it in Japanese that Ospreay, Priestly, Cobb and himself are the UNITED Empire!!

After Ospreay leads his team away, medics check on Tenzan. That brutal TTD did some serious damage, and a backboard is needed. Kojima stays by his friend’s side as a neck brace is put on, as well. Fans clap for Tenzan, will he be able to return to the ring? Or will another have to avenge him against The United Empire?

 

8 Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club!

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru are still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, but the Dangerous Tekkers lost the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships to the Guerrillas of Destiny! Will Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa help Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasma get a leg up on the Rogue Luchador and Heel Master so that Bullet Club can have even more gold?

Douki and Jado are threatening each other with their respective sticks as the teams sort out. Things are tense, and then just explode into a brawl! Taichi chokes Tama, Loa throws ZSJ out, Kanemaru is after ELP and Desperado stomps Ishimori! The ref has the bell ring just to get it on record as Loa saves Tama from Taichi, only for Taichi to choke Loa! Ishimori attacks Taichi and then calls ELP in. They double whip Taichi but Taichi holds ropes to then choke them both! Fans fire up but Jado gets on the apron. Taichi chokes Jado! Tama runs in but is sent into Jado!

Taichi chokes Tama to a corner, ZSJ adds on, and the ref counts at the Tekkers! The Tekkers finally stop at 4 and Taichi tells the ref to shut up. Suzuki-Gun all dig their boots into Tama but stop as the ref counts. ZSJ tags in, Taichi stomps Tama on the way out and ZSJ snapmares Tama for a NECK CRANK! ZSJ drags Tama up by his ears, puts him back in the corner and Kanemaru tags in. Kanemaru grabs the leg to trip Tama, and he KNEES Tama down! Kanemaru stomps and clubs Tama, tags in Desperado, and they stomp Tama down. Desperado taunts Bullet Club then stomps Tama more. Taichi gets his shots in but Desperado brings Tama up, only for Tama to suplex!

Desperado fights free to stomp Tama’s foot! Desperado runs but Tama plays up the foot pain to distract him, and Jado kendo stick SMACKS Desperado! Bullet Club rushes out, Tama clobbers Desperado while the others hit Suzuki-Gun! ELP and Loa mug ZSJ, Jado SMACKS Douki and then Bullet Club focuses on Desperado. Loa hits Taichi as he gets in while ELP drags Desperado to the corner. Tama chokes Desperado but the ref counts. Tama lets go, ELP and Ishimori choke Desperado now! Tama comes back to tag Loa and they bring Desperado up. Loa headbutts Desperado down, Jado gets in Desperado’s face and Loa chokes Desperado on the ropes.

The ref counts, Loa lets off but Jado uses the kendo stick to choke Desperado! Suzuki-Gun protests but Loa drags Desperado up. Taichi storms in anyway but Loa ROCKS him! Loa throws Taichi out at his team, Ishimori and Jado go after Desperado with chokes! Loa stands on Desperado at the ropes, Douki goes after Jado but gets another SMACK! ELP talks smack on Douki and then tags in. ELP climbs up, Loa holds Desperado, jumping CLAWS to the back! ELP drags Desperado up, tags Ishimori in, and Ishimori also jumping CLAWS Desperado! Fans rally as Ishimori wraps Desperado up. Desperado throws elbows to get free but Ishimori elbows him down.

Ishimori taunts Suzuki-Gun, drags Desperado up but Desperado throws hands. Ishimori snapmare and neck CRANKS! ZSJ gets in but the ref backs him down. Ishimori pushes Desperado to the corner and tags in Loa. The ref is busy with Suzuki-Gun and Loa stands on Desperado’s neck! Desperado flails and ELP gives Desperado PURPLE NURPLES! The ref finally gets Suzuki-Gun to calm down and Loa stalks Desperado. Fans rally, Loa back suplexes but Desperado rakes eyes to get free! Desperado crawls, Loa brings him up, and Loa blocks the straight right! But Desperado pokes him in the eyes! And ROCKS Loa!

Tag to ZSJ and ZSJ runs to EuroUpper Loa into a corner! And again! And again! Loa fires up, ZSJ throws more EuroUppers, but Loa DECKS ZSJ with a forearm! ZSJ fires up and fires off more EuroUppers! Loa ROCKS ZSJ, runs, but ZSJ dodges and leaps to GUILLOTINE FACELOCK! Fans cheer but Loa stays standing, to RAM ZSJ into a corner! But ZSJ holds on tight! Loa powers up again to RAM ZSJ into another corner! ZSJ still holds on tight! Fans fire up but Loa throws body shots. Loa powers out to suplex but ZSJ just drags Loa down to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Tama and Taichi get in, DRAGON SLEEPER!

Kanemaru DECKS ELP then gets Ishimori in a HALF CRAB! Suzuki-Gun has triple submissions! Taichi and Kanemaru let Tama and Ishimori go as ZSJ drags Loa around into a deeper triangle! Loa endures, fights up, dead lifts, but ZSJ wrenches to PELE the arm! ZSJ boots the clothesline then BOOTS Loa! ZSJ runs into Loa’s SPEAR! Fans rally up as both men are down! ZSJ crawls but so does Loa, hot tags to Kanemaru and ELP! ELP dodges Kanemaru, knees low but Kanemaru reverses the whip. ELP elbows Kanemaru away but Kanemaru uses the ref as shield!

Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out, Desperado DECKS Ishimori, then the Junior Heavyweight Tag champs coordinate, dropkick back suplex! Kanemaru scoops ELP to a dragon sleeper, BRITISH FALL! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Kanemaru climbs up the corner. ELP rises, Kanemaru leaps but ELP ducks under! Ishimori seated sentons Kanemaru, but runs into Desperado’s SPINEBUSTER! Tama gives Desperado a TONGAN TWIST! Taichi AX BOMBERS Tama! Loa ENZIGURIS Taichi! ZSJ PENALTY KICKS Loa! ELP Superkicks but into an ANKLE LOCK! ELP rolls and throws ZSJ out, Kanemaru returns but the whiskey shot misses!

ELP rolls Kanemaru, TWO! Kanemaru rolls ELP, TWO! ELP rakes eyes! ELP runs, Kanemaru uses the ref as a shield but ELP gives him back! Kanemaru dodges the superkick to ENZIGURI! Kanemaru brings ELP in, suplexes, but ELP slips out to shove. Ishimori gets a cheap shot in but Kanemaru DECKS him! ELP SUPERKICKS! Cover, Bullet Club wins!!

Winners: Bullet Club, by pinfall

It seems GoD did help ELP and Ishimori get a pin on the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! ELP grabs the Junior Tag titles as if they’re his and Ishimori’s already but Desperado gets in! But Ishimori sneaks up on him, tilt-o-whirls and drives Desperado down! Douki and the Tekkers run Bullet Club off, but will 2021 be just… too… SWEEEEET~?

 

10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Bullet Club!

Toru Yano is the provisional Mr. KOPW 2021, the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships still belong to Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, and The Rainmaker is still The Rainmaker! But will Jay White redeem himself alongside his faction?

The factions sort out, after Yano plugs all his stuff, and Owens gets impatient. The Crown Jewel wants to take on Mr. KOPW 2021, so Bullet Club lets him start. Bullet Club gives a Low Sweet, and Owens calls Yano out. Yano accepts the challenge, and fans rally behind Yano already. Yano and Owens circle, Yano stays back to ropes but then sees Gedo is up to something. Red Shoes looks at Gedo but Owens knees Yano low! Owens whips but Yano holds ropes. Owens kicks low, whips again but Yano reverses. Owens holds ropes, bails out and goes after the KOPW trophy! Yano keeps Owens from tossing the trophy, kicks Owens, but Fale attacks Yano!

Fale puts Yano in, Owens pursues but Yano gets away to tag in Goto! Owens backs away to tag Tokyo Pimp. Goto and Yujiro circle, Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro headlocks, Goto powers out and the two collide. Neither falls, Yujiro runs again and they collide again, but still no one falls. Yujiro runs but Goto runs him over! Goto drags Yujiro up, headlocks, grinds, but Yujiro BITES the hand! No one ever learns! Hashi gets in to kick Yujiro but Yujiro forearms. Hashi CHOPS, whips, Yujiro reverses but Hashi dropkicks Yujiro’s legs out! Fans fire up with the Headhunter as he brings Yujiro up. Yujiro bites Hashi’s hand, too! Yujiro throws Hashi out, runs at Goto and BOOTS him in the corner!

Yujiro rolls Goto to run but Goto dodges and Hashi basement dropkicks! Owens gets in, Hashi kicks, he and Goto double whip. Hip toss senton! Fale runs in but they dodge and Ishii rocks him! Double shoulder tackle! Evil runs in but the Six Man Tag Champs all hammer away! Dick Togo gets up but they drag Dick in! Okada and Yano join in, and all five hammer away! Fans fire up for Chaos as Dick crawls away. Tag to Okada, Okada clubs Yujiro then drags him up for a forearm. Okada whips, Yujiro reverses but Okada dodges, only for Evil to trip him! Evil tags in and works with Yujiro to double whip. Okada kicks Yujiro, pushes Evil into him, then kicks Evil for the DDT! Cover, TWO!

Okada clap-clap-clap-stomps and fans follow. But Dick takes a swipe! Okada glares at Dick but Evil clotheslines him out! Bullet Club blasts Chaos off the corner! Evil goes out to stomp Okada down, then he finds chairs from under the ring! Evil whips Okada into railing, Evil puts a chair around Okada’s head, and then hits the HOME RUN! Bullet Club regroups as Evil stands on Okada’s head. White talks trash, Evil drags Okada up as the ring count passes 10 of 20 to put him in at 14. Cover, but Red Shoes refuses because of all the shenanigans. White protests but Red Shoes doesn’t care. Evil stands on Okada’s head, then stomps Okada down.

Tag to White, he drags Okada up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! White tags Owens and they mug Okada. Owens brings Okada up, whips him to a corner and hits a forearm smash to clothesline! Cover, TWO! Owens drags Okada over, tags Fale in, and they stand on Okada! Yujiro adds onto the “massage!” Red Shoes is busy with Chaos as they protest, and Bullet Club gets away with it all. Fale covers, TWO! Fans cheer and rally up for Okada but White tags back in. White puts Okada in the corner, rams his shoulder in over and over, then pushes Okada down. White slaps Okada around, then mockingly pats him on his head. Okada stares White down so White rakes his eyes!

White EuroUppers Okada but Okada hits back. Yujiro and Evil rake Okada’s eyes and White digs his boots in! Ishii attacks and fights Bullet Club off! Evil hotshots Ishii down and Owens anchors Okada’s feet! Owens and White drag Okada out to throw him into barriers! Evil mule kicks Okada then claws at Okada’s face! Evil puts Okada back in for White to cover, TWO! Fans rally up but White tags Evil. Fale and the others hit Chaos while White and Evil double whip Okada. Bullet Club starts a string of attacks! Owens forearms, Yujiro boots, Evil clotheslines, Fale splashes, and then Evil mule kicks to FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!

Okada survives but Bullet Club attacks Chaos on the outside! Fans rally up, Evil and White mock their clapping, and Evil drags Okada up. Evil fireman’s carries, Okada fights free and gets the MONEY CLIP! Evil powers Okada to buckles and breaks free, but runs into boots! Okada pops Evil up to the Alabama, REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Okada and Evil are down but fans rally up! Evil and Okada crawl, hot tags to White and Ishii! The Stone Pitbull swings on White but White dodges. Ishii dodges back, they switch waistlocks, Ishii spins White but White fights off the suplex! White wrenches but Ishii fights the urenage, only for White to suplex.

White forearms, Ishii roars and forearms back! Ishii whips, White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles but White ROCKS him! White runs but Ishii hits the POWERSLAM! Chaos hits Bullet Club back! Goto and Hashi whip White and then Goto whips Hashi, Hashi CHOPS White! Goto clotheslines White, they feed White to Yano’s atomic drop, and Ishii’s GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Ishii keeps his focus as Chaos and Bullet Club brawl outside. Ishii drags White up, reels him in, but Gedo distracts! Ishii storms over to Gedo but White boots, only for Ishii to block! Ishii ROCKS White, runs in but White dodges to kick and DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up.

White hobbles, Ishii goes to a corner but White runs in to EuroUpper! White suplexes for BLADE BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! White grits his teeth as fans rally up. White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White gets a leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Yano gets in and throws White down by his hair! Owens knees Yano, whips but Yano throws him down by his hair! Fale runs in but Yano dumps him out! Yujiro reverse DDT’s Yano, Hashi SUPERKICKS Yujiro! White knees Hashi, but runs into Goto’s fireman’s carry! SUPERKICK USHIGOROSHI! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, Evil breaks it!

Okada throws Evil out and tells Ishii to finish it! Ishii fires up, fans fire up with him, and Gedo panics! Ishii watches White rise, runs, but White blocks the clothesline! Ishii fights out of the sleeper, then out of Blade Runner, only to run into SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White drags Ishii up, but Ishii spins through to BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, Ishii and Chaos win!!

Winners: Chaos, by pinfall

If the Switchblade didn’t want to quit before, he might now! Chaos stands tall together, will they stand atop NJPW even now?

 

10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Master Wato, Sho, Rocky Romero & Golden Aces!

Tetsuya Naito is no longer IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Champion, but Sanada is looking to bring those belts back to LIJ! Kota Ibushi rejoins Hiroshi Tanahashi and some other friends to take on the ungovernables, but will he be rolling into his rematch with the Cold Skull?

The teams sort out, and after a photo op for Ibushi’s team, High Voltage steps up. LIJ has the group fist bump, and the Timebomb starts. Fans cheer as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion goes forehead to forehead with Sho. Sho shoves and forearms, Hiromu forearms back, and we’re already fast and furious! Fans rally as the two keep going back and forth, and Hiromu likes it! He and Sho keep throwing forearms, Sho staggers first but he comes back for more! Sho rocks Hiromu now and eggs him on! Hiromu grins as he throws more forearms, and Sho gives them back! Hiromu eggs Sho on and Sho throws more, but Hiromu gives them back!

Sho ROCKS Hiromu, runs, but they ram shoulders and neither falls. Things speed up as Sho dodges and ducks to run Hiromu over! Sho throws more forearms and puts Hiromu in the corner. Hiromu fires up but Sho knocks him down and digs his boots in! Red Shoes counts, Rocky tags in and he has Sho cool off. Fans rally, Rocky goes to Hiromu but Hiromu throws a forearm! Rocky forearms back over and over, then ROCKS Hiromu with a right! Hiromu ends up in a corner, fans fire up with Rocky and he starts up the Forever Lariats! Hiromu boots back, then elbows Rocky away. Wato gets in but Hiromu puts him on the apron.

Hiromu ROCKS Wato, but Rocky grabs Hiromu for Wato’s springboard dropkick! Cover, TWO! Rocky looms over Hiromu and brings him up to CHOP! Fans fire up as Rocky eggs Hiromu on, and Hiromu CHOPS back! Rocky CHOPS, eggs Hiromu on more, but Hiromu CHOPS again! Hiromu eggs Rocky on and Rocky kicks low. Rocky whips, Naito trips Rocky and Hiromu dropkicks Rocky out while LIJ goes after the team! Hiromu goes out after Rocky to whip him into railing! Sanada, Takagi and Bushi club Wato and the Golden Aces as well as Sho. Bushi headlocks Wato while Naito joins in to go after Sho. Hiromu digs his boots into Rocky, then tags in Bushi.

LIJ mugs Rocky, Bushi CHOPS and clubs Rocky down. Bushi snapmares and chinlocks Rocky, then claws his face! Red Shoes counts, Bushi stops at 3, then tags in Takagi. Takagi facelocks and elbows Rocky down then hits the corner! Takagi lets Tanahashi get off easy and he goes back to Rocky. Takagi cravats Rocky, snapmares and runs to then hit Tanahashi after all! Fans cheer as Takagi steps on Rocky then drops a big elbow! And another! And then the back senton! Rocky flounders, Takagi storms over and sits him up to elbow over and over and over! Cover, TWO! Rocky is still in this and fans cheer, but Takagi tags to Naito.

Naito brings Rocky up as fans rally and Naito ROCKS Rocky with forearms! Naito throws more forearms, whips Rocky corner to corner then runs in, rocket kick! COMBINACION CABRON! Fans cheer as Naito poses. Naito scuffs Rocky while fans rally up. Rocky gets up as Naito gives more toying kicks. Rocky throws forearms but Naito eggs him on! Naito fakes Rocky out to then rake the eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, but Naito turns Rocky, only for Rocky to fight out of the neckbreaker! Rocky kicks but Naito blocks and Naito toys with Rocky as he stays out of reach. Bushi clubs Rocky on the back! Red Shoes reprimands but Naito stomps Rocky to ropes.

Naito and Bushi double whip, Rocky ducks under and DOUBLE RANAS! Fans fire up as Rocky crawls to his corner. Naito also crawls, hot tag to Sanada, and he DECKS Ibushi before the tag! Sanada whips Rocky but Rocky RANAS Sanada! Now Rocky and Sanada are both down, Rocky hot tags Ibushi! Ibushi hits LIJ’s corner then goes after his challenger! Ibushi forearms and whips but Sanada reverses, only for Ibushi to FLYING KICK! Fans rally with “I-BU-SHI!” as Ibushi drags Sanada up. Sanada throws forearms but Ibushi ducks to KICK him down! Sanada ducks the Penalty Kick but the standing moonsault hits! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool and he drags Sanada up.

Ibushi waistlocks, Sanada backs him down to a corner! Sanada runs in but blocks a boot to reel Ibushi in. Ibushi kicks Sanada away before Paradise, then sunset flips! Sanada rolls through to get Ibushi into Paradise! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder! Sanada is satisfied with the volume and he dropkicks Ibushi out of Paradise! Cover, TWO! Fans rally with “SA-NA-DA!” now as he fireman’s carries Ibushi. Ibushi fights out, shoves and runs in at the corner but Sanada elbows! Sanada Quebrada but Ibushi gets under, only to run into the fireman’s carry! Ibushi slips off to dragon sleeper, but Sanada spins that around for his own!

Ibushi fights free, Sanada ducks a kick to give a kick. Sanada whips, Ibushi reverses but Sanada tumbles out to springboard back in! Both men are down and fans fire up! Sanada and Ibushi crawl, hot tags to Takagi and Tanahashi! The Ace dodges the Dragon but they brawl with forearms all the same! Fans rally as Takagi ROCKS Tanahashi, whips, but Tanahashi forearms back! Tanahashi hits LIJ’s corner then runs at Takagi, but he blocks a boot! Tanahashi DRAGON SCREWS the Dragon! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he runs, but Takagi follows to clothesline! Takagi runs, Tanahashi gets around, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Takagi steals Twist ‘n’ Shout?!

Fans fire up with “OI! OI! OI!” and Tanahashi goes to a corner. Takagi runs in to clothesline! Tanahashi fires off a strike fest then runs, but into the elbow! JAB! But Tanahashi SHOTEIS, only for Takagi to DISCUS! Fans fire up as both men are down! Takagi tags Bushi and Bushi climbs up the corner. Bushi aims at Tanahashi, missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Bushi drags Tanahashi up, fisherman but no screw, just TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Both men are down, Tanahashi crawls and tags in Wato! Wato fires off kicks and KICKS Bushi down! Wato drags Bushi up, whips to ropes and hurdles to back elbow, back hand and SOBAT!

Bushi staggers to a corner, Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Wato kicks Bushi away, springboards in, FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up, Wato drags Bushi up and KICKS away from both sides! Bushi writhes and Wato aims again, but Bushi ducks the buzzsaw to shove! Naito kicks, Bushi sunset flips to send Wato into Naito’s basement dropkick! LIJ hits the corner, Bushi drags Wato up and FISHERMAN SCREWS! Bushi goes to the corner and climbs up. Wato rises, Bushi leaps, M- No, Wato gets under! Rocky gets in to JUMPING KNEE Bushi! Naito dropkicks Rocky’s legs out! Sho LARIATS Naito, Hiromu and Sho collide but Hiromu ranas!

Sho blocks to lift, but Hiromu slips out of the bomb to SUPERKICK! Wato LEG LARIATS Hiromu! Wato dodges Bushi, DREAMCAST KICK! Fans fire up as Wato drags Bushi up. Wato wrenches, reels Bushi in, but no Mouse Trap! Bushi slips out, Wato BACK HANDS him down! Wato whips Bushi corner to corner, runs in but Bushi dodges! Takagi corner clotheslines Wato, feeds to Sanada’s kick, calm ‘n’ fury combo! Bushi BACKSTABBERS! Cover, the Golden Aces break it! Sanada throws Ibushi out, Takagi throws Tanahashi out, and Bushi wrenches Wato to hook him up, INVERTED PAGE TURNER?! Cover, TWO!?! Wato survives but Bushi doesn’t lose focus. Bushi goes up, takes aim at Wato, M X!! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall

The Death Mask downs the Grandmaster and wins for the team! But even so, Tanahashi stares down Takagi and Sho stares down Hiromu. Do they have the NEVER Openweight and IWGP Junior Heavyweight titles in their sights? Of course, the same goes for Sanada wanting both of Ibushi’s belts. As Ibushi’s team takes its leave, Bushi gets the mic. “Too bad for you, Kawato, but I beat you tonight. Coming out of WrestleKingdom, it’s me and Naito with our hands in our pockets.” Naito seems a bit surprised to hear that.

Takagi has the NEVER title, Hiromu has the Junior title, and Sanada has lined up a title match. What about the rest of them? Bushi wants after Kawato! Try as he might, Wato will never beat Bushi, because Bushi won’t allow it. “In 2021, this ring will belong to us. EN SERIO! MA-JI-DE!” Hiromu sets his BOSJ 27 trophy and title belt up front as he and LIJ pose together. Will 2021 truly be El Ano del Ingobernables?


My Thoughts:

This was a pretty fun New Year Dash. Yes I skipped some things, but Yuji Nagata was of course going to beat a Young Lion, and Tiger Mask was teamed with a Young Lion so his team was losing. The Empire didn’t get to have any of their moments at WK15 but they seem to be using that to justify having their moment today, and then making the rest of 2021 their year. If they are not the United Empire, perhaps they will go after the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships. If they can’t beat Okada, they can at least take their frustrations out on the rest of Chaos.

Chaos stands tall over the part of Bullet Club they fought, so it’d be a good story for 2021 that the apparent top faction has to fight the newest one. The other part of Bullet Club wins the 8 Man Tag to set up a Junior Heavyweight tag title match, which I’m sure is going to be really good stuff. LIJ VS Ibushi and friends was a lot of fun, but with everything being set up between the respective wrestlers, LIJ wins to go strong into the rest of the year. It is clear we’re getting Takagi VS Tanahashi, Hiromu VS Sho and Ibushi VS Sanada, and I suppose Bushi VS Wato will make for a good story. Perhaps bring Naito and Taguchi into it since Taguchi teams with Wato, and because Naito needs something to do.

My Score: 8.2/10


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Andrew’s NJPW New Year Dash Results & Match Ratings 1.6.21

Not the flashiest NJPW event, but it sets the ground work for 2021 stories! Check out NJPW New Year Dash!!

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Some of the fun here is the fact that the cards are announced day of, and they’re supposed to kick off the new stories.

We will of course get some solid action, but it will be tied up in multi-man tags and story driven finishes. So many people may not care, and I can’t fault anyone for that. But for anyone interested, here’s the direction that New Japan is going in 2021.

Ratings:

  • Yuji Nagata vs Gabriel Kidd: Nagata wins via Nagata Lock 2 @7:59 – ** ¼
  • Minoru Suzuki & DOUKI vs Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @10:45 – *** ¼
  • The United Empire (Will Ospreay w/Bea Priestley, Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Yota Tsuji: Empire wins via Assisted Oscutter @9:44 – ***
  • Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, ZSJ & El Deperado vs Guerrillas of Destiny, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo: ELP wins via Super Kick @11:35 – ** ½
  • Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Jay White w/Gedo, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL w/Dick Togo vs Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI: Ishii wins via Vertical Drop Brainbuster @13:47 – ** ¾
  • BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Shingo Takagi vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, SHO, Master Wato & Rocky Romero: BUSHI wins via MX @17:23 – *** ¼

Results:

Yuji Nagata vs Gabriel Kidd

So we’re back to the tried and true formula of Young Lion cutting his teeth against the old guard. Gabe mostly stood up with Yuji, caught him with a few Dropkicks and had moments of advantage when he locked on a Half Crab; but generally we knew the outcome before it happened.

It was decent enough, but this wasn’t one of the impressive Young Lion matches, just a mostly basic one.

Minoru Suzuki & DOUKI vs Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura

Tiger Mask made his NJPW return from diverticulitis at the Ranbo, but this is his first normal match since his surgery. The feel good aspect is overshadowed by Uemura’s death wish, going after Suzuki and wanting to prove himself.

Suzuki dismissed the Young Lion early by giving him DOUKI, but the Young Lion took a few potshots, and Suzuki doesn’t appreciate that. So this really turned into Suzuki beating the hell out of Uemura, but Uemura fighting back. English commentary recounted the story of a young Minoru Suzuki being disciplined for disrespecting Antonio Inoki. So there’s an interesting thread there.

Tiger Mask had a short time in the ring and showed that he wasn’t all the way back when he flubbed the Tiger Driver. Uemura came back in, kept on Suzuki and they slugged it out. Suzuki eventually had to hit the GSP to win the match, which proves something since the last time they met Suzuki said Uemura didn’t deserve the Gotch. So Uemura might be moving up on Suzuki’s respect list and it was a fiery and fun match.

The United Empire (Will Ospreay w/Bea Priestley, Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Yota Tsuji

So before this match begins we all know The Empire get a win back since the veterans have a Young Lion.

Early on we get a Mongolian Chop dual between Tenzan and O-Khan. Then this turns into a Tenzan beatdown. Cobb, Ospreay and Khan take turns beating the hell out of Tenzan. Tenzan manages some space to get Kojima in the ring, and he starts off a little quick against Ospreay, but it starts to turn against the veteran squad.

So when Yota comes in, you know the match it really over. Yota does some decent work, actually beats Cobb in a few power spots, but it’s all done, except for the crying. TenCozy Cutter gets countered, Yota gets hoisted up for an Oscutter and then the real damage happens.

Khan hits the TTD (Tenzan Tombstone Driver) on Tenzan and they just beat him motionless. Kojima tries to shield his veteran partner, but the beatings continue. Ospreay then announces they are the United Empire while Tenzan is stretchered out, so he’s written out for a while.

Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, ZSJ & El Deperado vs Guerrillas of Destiny, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo

Well it looks like we have direction for the two tag team divisions. Taichi is still incensed at the usage and now location of the stolen Iron Fingers. Taichi continued usage of the throat chokes but that was out of frustration more so then a weird heel tactic trade off.

Tama took a few early bumps, but then Despy became the punching bag. This worked to set things up for the Dangerous Tekkers obviously wanting a rematch, and the ELP and Taiji feeling a little screwed out of their rightful match. Since ELP and Taiji lost the belts to Roppongi 3k at Wrestle Kingdom 14, they were never really allowed to get a rematch because of quarantine.

Also with the finish being what appears to be a Super Kick from a loaded boot, now we’ve got a big conversation revolving around ELP’s boots and his tactics.

Solid enough match to make sense of the set pieces, but nothing necessary to watch.

Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Jay White w/Gedo, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL w/Dick Togo vs Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI

So Chase and Fale kept trying to take the KOPW trophy, that was early antics, but quickly we got to see a lot of Jay’s perspective. Chaos pulls off tandem moves, and its fine, Bullet Club tries gang tactics and Red Shoes refuses to count the pinfall.

When Jay finally got in the match, there was a light applause from the crowd, almost like they wanted to show him appreciation in case it was his last match for whatever reason. Jay never clicked into the match though. He still seemed to be in broken Jamie mode, and the Switchblade was nowhere to be seen. At the point that Chaos hit him with the locomotion tandem spots, it felt to be rubbing things in a bit.

Coming off the promo yesterday and his attitude today, it was very easy to feel for the heel. Jay really has mastered his art, and the fact that he ate the pin to Ishii, the last person to beat him before the Ibushi match, it’s almost poetic. I doubt Jay is gone, this is just well worded and acted work, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was interested/concerned for the Switchblade.

BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Shingo Takagi vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, SHO, Master Wato & Rocky Romero

These multi-man tags are always weird to surmise, since the moves don’t completely matter. The importance of most of these matches, this one especially, is figuring out future plans. Shingo made it his job to go after Tanahashi, and as much as Tanahashi’s matches have this weird vibe of similarity lately, Shingo is such a different animal, I’m excited for that pairing. This could also be big for Shingo if he wins the title.

Rocky made a small bid against Hiromu that he shouldn’t be taken lightly, but this was not his story. Hiromu wants to avenge his BOSJ loss against SHO, so he issued the challenge and tried to beat it home today that he wants a match. SANADA and Ibushi had a few sparks of interaction to whet the appetite but nothing crazy. Naito didn’t really have anything going on, so his involvement was equal to his stories at the moment, just there.

BUSHI got a decent enough mini angle with being the new road block/gatekeeper against Master Wato. Wato really needs to work out the big match jitters, because the Baseball Stadium and Tokyo Dome weren’t good showings from him. He’s athletic with some solid potential, but he needs to just show it off during matches that matter.

BUSHI winning was just a formality since the stories were solidified during the match. Fun Dash main event, but not necessary viewing for wrestling reasons.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

So for what this show always is, it did a decent enough job at setting things in motion, and the fact that Shingo is hunting for Tanahashi, that’s well worth some buzz. Also writing off Tenzan for the foreseeable future was unexpected and different.

Jamie remaining shattered also added to the weird atmosphere of the show. English commentary really overdid the Jay White angle, which I feel hurt things a little, trying to equate him to Michael Jordan, Barry Sanders, etc…people who retire while in their peak.The crowd wanted to thank him, you could tell from the pensive applause and murmuring, but this could be the Devil’s greatest trick.

Also Suzuki-Gun generally being babyface over the Bullet Club is interesting. Taichi is upset that the Tongans took the metal glove from Takashi Iizuka, ZSJ tries to help his buddy and Despy is the bump guy. I’ve always been a fan of the Holy Emperor, if not a little facetiously, but he’s finally been doing great work and now people seem to care a bit about his situation.

So 2021 has potential, let’s look at some of the things set in motion:

  • G.o.D. vs Dangerous Tekkers 2
  • Taiji Ishimori & ELP vs Despy & Kanemaru
  • BUSHI vs Master Wato
  • SHO vs Hiromu Takahashi
  • Chase & Bad Luck Fale vs Toru Yano
  • Tanahashi vs Shingo
  • SANADA vs Ibushi
  • The United Empire vs Everyone
  • Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii? (or retirement)
  • Tetsuya Naito vs The Typical Naito Vibe

 


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