It’s once again National Sports Day in Japan!
And to celebrate, the IWGP United States Championship is on the line, and Juice Robinson is ready to take it back! Will he succeed or suffer?
Coverage of King of Pro-Wrestling 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS El Phantasmo; Ospreay wins and retains the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
- IWGP United States Championship No Disqualification Match: Jon Moxley VS Juice Robinson; Moxley is unable to compete, title vacated.
- Vacant IWGP United States Championship No Disqualification Match: Juice Robinson VS Lance Archer; Archer wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this Sports Day tradition!
Titles will be tested as NJPW celebrates the national holiday with furious rivalries! Jon Moxley made his debut in NJPW by viciously taking away the IWGP United States Championship from Juice Robinson. And despite a streak of seven wins, his first loss would come at the hands of Juice! They were set to face off once more, but a typhoon would see to making traveling impossible! Moxley misses out on tonight’s match, so he is no longer the champion!! Stepping up is the Killer Elite, Lance Archer! Will the American Psycho take advantage of this massive opportunity? Or will the Flamboyant One become a three-time title holder?
But before all that, the Aerial Assassin is on a run as the UK’s most successful IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions. But the Bullet Club’s El Phantasmo has had Ospreay’s number ever since coming to NJPW! Will ELP continue his streak from the Best of the Super Juniors, Super J Cup and even their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship encounter to become a multi-belt champion? Or will Ospreay soar even higher to keep what’s his?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS El Phantasmo!
The Aerial Assassin has been on a personal mission to prove what makes him the best Junior Heavyweight in the world, but ELP looks to make his reign RIP. Who looks to lead the Junior Heavyweights into a new era?
AXS skips quickly through introductions to get right to the action, and fans are fired up for Ospreay already. ELP offers a handshake, but Ospreay is skeptical. Ospreay declines, and he ties up with ELP. Ospreay powers ELP to ropes but lets up to fake a punch and give ELP a pat. ELP circles with Ospreay again and they tie up. ELP powers Ospreay to ropes now, and he also fakes the punch to pat Ospreay. ELP even mocks Ospreay’s superhero landing pose. Ospreay runs into an arm-drag but gets the headscissor. ELP pops out but Ospreay sweeps to a cover, ONE! ELP full nelsons, spins, cravats and snapmares Ospreay, but Ospreay handsprings through to kick and whip. Ospreay hurdles but ELP leaps over. ELP handsprings through the hip toss but Ospreay handsprings through the monkey flip! Things keep moving, Ospreay handsprings through a huricanrana but ELP handsprings up to meet him, only to narrowly avoid a roundhouse!
Ospreay looms over ELP to show him how close that was. ELP gets to ropes for safety, and Ospreay grins. ELP offers another handshake but Ospreay still declines. ELP offers the handshake to the ref and the ref obliges. ELP then calls for a test of strength, and fans rally up. Ospreay goes to accept but ELP keeps playing around with him. They finally tie up and go shoulder to shoulder in the knuckle lock. ELP makes Ospreay bridge, but Ospreay fights his way up to make ELP bridge all the way down! He sweeps legs to cover, ONE as ELP bridges back up. Ospreay hops on but ELP blocks with feet, comes up and monkey flips. Both men are down but ELP rolls back, only for Ospreay to return the monkey flip! They’re both down again, ONE, and they raise a hand up. They rest, ONE, the other hand goes up. Rest, TWO, double bridge!
Both men break, but ELP then slaps Ospreay while upside-down. Ospreay sits up quick and ELP follows. ELP still wants a handshake after all that, so Ospreay SLAPS him! ELP falls back into a corner, Ospreay dares ELP to get up. ELP stands and CHOPS! Ospreay CHOPS back and ELP falls over! Ospreay looms over ELP, and then they get in each other’s face. ELP forearms, Ospreay responds with a forearm. ELP goes to the ropes but comes back with another forearm. Ospreay hits back again, and the pace picks up. They start throwing forearms fast and furious! ELP makes sure to grind Ospreay’s eyes, but then realizes he may have played too dirty. ELP apologizes and reasons with the ref, and again offers a handshake. Ospreay actually takes it, and ELP helps him stand. To then go after the eyes on purpose! The ref counts and ELP lets up, to claw at Ospreay’s back! And throw him down by his hair!
ELP stands Ospreay up to CHOP, then throw big forearms. ELP whips, Ospreay holds ropes and boots back! Ospreay swings but into a knuckle lock. ELP CHOPS, goes to the ropes and shows off before using flying headscissors to send Ospreay out! ELP then builds speed to fake Ospreay out! And now he copies the Superhero Landing! With some Too Sweets, too. Ospreay springboards, Pip-Pip Cheerio flying forearm! ELP bails out, Ospreay runs, but Ospreay actually Sasuke Specials! The Aerial Assassin has control as NJPW goes to break!
NJPW on AXS returns with replays of that amazing Sasuke Special. Ospreay stands to throw ELP OVER the announce desks! ELP wipes out English commentary’s Gino Gambino, and ends up in the way! Ospreay tells him to move, but he refuses, and ELP comes back with a CHAIR! ELP plays innocent, but he drags Ospreay up and around the way. They fight into the crowds, ELP kicking Ospreay while he’s down. They end up by a back exit, and ELP is on the higher level. Fans cheer getting an even closer look, but Ospreay surprises ELP by leaping up to join him! Now Ospreay dares ELP to face him, and the two meet on the top of the large door frame. ELP throws the first forearm, but Ospreay responds! Both men wobble with every hit, but they keep on hitting!
Ospreay sits down but picks himself up to rock ELP back. Ospreay brings ELP in, but the referee shouts for him not to do this. ELP fights out and rakes Ospreay’s eyes! ELP shoves Ospreay over, but Ospreay saves himself by grabbing the railing! Fans shout for Ospreay’s safety as ELP kicks at Ospreay’s hands! Ospreay lets go but lands on his feet, only for ELP to LEAP! Phantasmo wipes Ospreay out but risks his own legs in the impact! The referee checks on them, but they’re somehow okay to continue. The ref tells the two to get back to the ring, and ELP drags Opsreay over with a headlock. Fans cheer as ELP and Ospreay return to ringside. ELP puts Ospreay in and fans rally up. Cover, TWO! ELP keeps his focus as he drags Ospreay up. ELP CHOPS, then wrenches to whip Ospreay corner to corner. Ospreay hist buckle pads face first, but ELP is on him with another back clawing!
ELP puts Ospreay up top and into a Tree of Woe to stomp away. The ref backs him off but ELP rallies up with fans. ELP runs in corner to corner, for a basement dropkick! He wants one more and fans rally. ELP runs corner to corner again, to go up and after the groin! Ospreay shouts in pain but the ref stops ELP. ELP brags, but Ospreay reaches up for a Spider German Suplex! Ospreay frees himself from the Tree, and now ELP is in the opposite corner. Ospreay throws big forearms and CHOPS! he whips ELP corner to corner, ELP goes up and over and springboards, into a dropkick! Fans cheer as Ospreay fires himself up. Ospreay drags ELP up and throws forearms. He whips, ELP reverses, but Ospreay handsprings for the flying enziguri! ELP flops down in a drop zone and Ospreay climbs. Moonsault!
ELP moves, Ospreay lands on his feet to moonsault again but still misses, so he standing shooting stars! Direct hit! And then a CORKSCREW senton! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives the aerial assault as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with Ospreay down on the apron. ELP goes out to get him. ELP drags Ospreay up, underhooks, but Ospreay fights out to forearm back! ELP throws a forearm of his own, and then slaps Ospreay. Ospreay slaps back, but ELP DECKS him with a forearm! ELP drags Ospreay up, underhooks and gut wrenches, but Ospreay fights out to kick the leg, then ROUNDHOUSE the head! Ospreay gets space, goes to railing, and springboards for an OSCUTTER to the floor! Both men are down, and the referee checks on them both. They’re both okay to continue, and Ospreay is in the ring first. ELP flounders up but then flops down! The ring count reaches 19 but he’s in! To get a springboard missile dropkick! Ospreay goes up top already, SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives and shocks the fans! But Ospreay is not deterred, ROBINSON SPECIAL! Springboard, OSCUTTER! Cover, but someone yanks the ref right out of the ring and into railing!!
It’s Taiji Ishimori!! Bone Soldier, El Phantasmo’s tag team partner, is saving him from defeat! Ishimori goes after Ospreay in the ring with stomps and punches, then he fetches the title belt. Ishimori holds it up, ready to hit Ospreay. But Robbie Eagles springboards in to dropkick Ishimori out! Ospreay’s fellow Bird of Prey DIVES and sentons onto Ishimori! Fans are fired up now that things are even again! Eagles takes Ishimori away, but he forgot to put the belt back! ELP has the belt now, and as Ospreay gets in the corner, ELP takes aim. ELP runs in, but Ospreay dodges to HOOK KICK! Then, with ELP floundering, HIDDEN- NO! ELP ducks, tosses the belt to Ospreay, then low blow jabs Ospreay! ELP takes the belt back to SMASH Ospreay for good measure! ELP tosses the belt aside, goes up top, and leaps for a HUGE Frog Splash! The ref returns, counts, TWO!?! Ospreay survives the screwjob!
Fans are thunderous as ELP goes after Ospreay in a corner. ELP hoists Ospreay up, tucks him in and says BANG, Cheeky Nandos Superkick! And then ELP climbs up to bring Ospreay in for the torture rack! SUPER TKO!! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives again, despite all the damage to his neck! ELP is growing furious, and he drags Ospreay up. Underhook and gut wrench, but Ospreay fights against it! Ospreay’s arms are free, so ELP just hooks them! STYLES CLASH!! Cover, TWO!?! Ospreay survives a phenomenal shout-out! Both men are on opposite ends of the ring, and ELP says BANG! Another shout-out, V-TRIGGER! And Electric Chair, folding, but Ospreay victory rolls! TWO, SUPERKICK! ELP runs, but into a SPANISH FLY! Ospreay can’t cover, he’s exhausted! Ospreay and ELP stir as the fans are thunderous again.
Ospreay sits up at the 25 minute mark, and staggers to his feet. ELP slowly rises, Ospreay throws a forearm. ELP throws one back, and now they brawl again. Ospreay wobbles, but comes back with another! ELP slaps away but Ospreay ROUNDHOUSE! Ospreay blocks the next shot to HOOK KICK! Another ROUNDHOUSE! Blockbuster DDT! Cover, TWO!! Now ELP survives! Ospreay drags ELP to a drop zone, climbs up top, but ELP kicks the ref into the ropes to trip Ospreay up! ELP climbs up top, drags Ospreay up and into the underhooks. But Ospreay fights free to throw haymakers! ELP headbutts back, and then climbs around beside Ospreay. The two stand, ELP says BANG, SUPER- POWERBOMB!! Ospreay wrecks the Steiner and then backs away to a corner. ELP flounders about, Ospreay aims, HIDDEN BLADE! But Ospreay isn’t done yet, he underhooks, lifts, STORMBREAKER! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall; still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Assassin defeats the Phantom! Bullet Club couldn’t pull off another title robbery, but will they be back for another try?
Vacant IWGP United States Championship No Disqualification Match: Juice Robinson VS Lance Archer!
The Death Rider could not ride in with a typhoon in his way, so the Killer Elite stepped up! Will he use Moxley’s misfortune to his own benefit? Or will the Flamboyant One succeed no matter the situation?
Introductions are made, but Archer snatches the mic from the announcer! “Aw hell no! This isn’t going to be a straightforward fight!” The Ryogoku Kokugikan is going to become Archer’s Murder Hawk Mansion! Fans wanted No Disqualifications for Juice VS Mox, they’re still getting it for Juice VS Archer! #EverybodyDies for the US Championship! Juice accepts, and this match begins!
Archer grabs Juice right away but Juice low blows! No DQ, after all! Juice cradles to a small package, TWO! Archer gets to the apron but Juice runs, to SPEAR Archer to the floor! Fans are fired up with Juice as he goes to fetch something from under the ring. Juice has a chair, and he JAMS it into Archer’s stomach. Then he SMACKS Archer on the back! Archer crawls but Juice SMACKS him again! Juice gives Archer another chair shot to the gut, then whips him around the way into railing! Juice brings Archer back up to whip into a post! Juice puts Archer up against railing and starts punching away! He punches once, twice, three times, and then closes the gate. Juice gets space, runs back in, and runs into a BOOT! Archer clears off commentary and tosses chairs aside. He drags Juice up, but Jucie breaks free, only to get caught again, CHOKE SLAM through the table!!
Archer shows no mercy, giving chair shots to the Young Lions, and then one to Juice! Archer holds up the belt as if he’s already won. He then goes to the ring and undoes a buckle pad, and then another buckle pad. Archer won’t stop there, he clears off a third corner, throwing the pad into the aisle. He clears off the fourth pad, and now all corners are bare buckles! Archer gives Juice another chair shot to keep him down. The announcer warns the fans to be careful as Archer gets another chair! Archer threatens Red Shoes before wedging that chair into one corner. Then he takes another chair, and wedges it into another corner. Juice flounders up but Archer gives him another chair shot! Archer still isn’t done, he gets a TABLE! Make that two tables! Archer BOOTS Juice as he rises, then CLOBBERS a Young Lion!
Archer puts the tables in the open corners, and has made the ring into that Murder Hawk Mansion he mentioned. Archer has Juice, and RAMS him into a chair! Juice clutches his hand, because a finger dislocated! Juice works to set that right but Archer just rams him into the other chair! Cover, TWO! Juice is hurting and bleeding as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Archer is far from through with Juice. Archer drags Juice up with a knuckle lock, then climbs the ropes. Archer goes Old School, all the way to the table in the corner. Archer keeps going for this extended version, but Juice trips him up! Archer gets hung up on the blue corner, and Juice grits his teeth as he drags Archer up. Juice headbutts Archer then climbs up to join him. Juice brings Archer up with one good hand, SUPERPLEX! Juice crawls to cover, TWO!! Archer foams at the mouth in anger and Juice is still working on that bad hand. Juice pumps up the left hand, and Archer stands up. Juice manages to JAB with his bad hand, and then prepares, but Archer blocks! Juice breaks free to hit a RIGHT hand of God! Now the LEFT! Archer still stands, so Juice runs in, CANNONBALL through a table! Archer pays for that decision, Juice covers, TWO!! Archer survives but is now in trouble!
Juice powers up and says it’s time to spin around. He underhooks and turns Archer but Archer shoves him away to then boot. Archer runs in and POUNCES Juice into the other table! The Murder Hawk Mansion turns out a success in the long run. But Archer isn’t done there, he goes back under the ring. Archer brings out a chair, and then another chair, but Juice heads out. Juice also brings in chairs! So many chairs! NJPW is going to the extreme thanks to these American boys! Juice and Archer are each armed with chairs. Archer swings but misses, but he still punches Juice’s chair into his face! That chair goes flying, and it just hits railing to keep the front row safe! Archer fires up and drags Juice up. He clamps on a claw, choke slam evaded! Juice blocks the claw and fireman’s carries, to a Juice Box gut buster! Cover, TWO!!
Juice is growing frustrated, but he has a plan. He stacks chairs in a pile in the middle of the ring. He waits for Archer to stand, and then underhooks! But Archer slips out, Full Nelson BOMB on the chairs!! Juice writhes and spasms, but Archer decides to stack those chairs back together. Archer drags Juice up, puts him in a corner and on the top rope…! Archer ROCKS Juice with a right, and shouts at the fans cheering for Juice. Archer has Juice in the inverted crucifix, “EVERYBODY DIES!” FULL METAL BLACKOUT!! Juice crashes onto the chairs, Archer covers, TWO!? Juice survives and Archer is enraged!! Archer hauls Juice up to dribble him off the chairs over and over and over! Then, the EBD CLAW! He smothers Juice into the cover, Archer WINS!!
Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall; NEW IWGP United States Champion
But Archer shows no mercy, he keeps crushing Juice! Young Lions hurry to pull him off but they get beat up for it! Archer throws a chair at one! And then the other! And then he clamps the claw back on Juice’s head! Archer sends a message to all of NJPW, but someone responds! It’s DAVID FINLAY! Juice’s best buddy is back form injury! But he’s only angered Archer! Archer clamps on for a choke slam, but Finlay reverses to a STUNNER! And then he hits SLICED BREAD! Finlay is all fired up and ready to fight! Will he get revenge for Juice while taking the US Championship for his own?
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Archer tells Finlay, “Everybody dies.” If you thought Archer did serious damage in the G1 Climax, if you thought he did damage to Juice tonight, “you have no idea what’s about to happen.” It’s not Archer’s fault someone else didn’t make it, but he will take full credit for beating the crap out of Juice. All the “punk crying b*tches” can keep crying and kiss his ass! Archer is champion, and no one can do anything about it. Finlay came back at the wrong time, and he shouldn’t have gotten in Archer’s way. Because now, Archer is going to end Finlay’s career. #EverybodyDies, but when and where will this next showdown go down?
What a great and fast hour for NJPW here. El Phantasmo VS Ospreay was incredible, definitely a great match from great Junior Heavyweights. Bullet Club stays consistent with trying to help each other out, Ishimori really threw the ref out hard. But in the end, Ospreay is perhaps the strongest he’s ever been, perhaps the strongest any Junior Heavyweight has been, even without beating the IWGP Heavyweight Champion or comparable stars. I can’t be sure Ospreay loses the Junior Heavyweight Championship unless it is in a Triple Threat or bigger. Going 1v1 and with screw jobs still doesn’t seem enough, so something has to escalate if anyone is to ever take the title from Ospreay.
Then with the United States Championship, I didn’t personally realize that even circumstances out of a champion’s control could strip them of a title. However, given NJPW’s schedule being mostly month-to-month, it is understandable that if you miss even that one, you can’t have the title anymore. Other promotions, such as the WWE, always talk that if a champion can’t defend their title within a 30-day span, aka a month, they shouldn’t have the title. There are times when they don’t follow that, though they are getting better at that. It is good to see NJPW follow their own rule, and this at least frees Moxley of NJPW obligations for a time. Moxley personally might not be that upset, he has a lot going for him in AEW right now, so he can focus on that. And NJPW did great to adjust, we got an insane No Disqualification match out of Juice and Archer. That looked like a legit finger dislocation, so kudos to Juice continuing despite that.
Archer winning is great for him, and I’m sure Finlay was meant to attack even if it was Molxey. Finlay and Archer will make for a great match, but I’m thinking Archer wins to keep himself strong. Who knows if Moxley will ever get another shot at the belt or have any other involvement in NJPW given his AEW stories brewing, only time will tell.
My Score: 8.8/10