New Japan’s last large scale show before Wrestle Kingdom! What kind of surprises do we get? Let’s find out!
The last few years have given us interesting wrinkles at Power Struggle.
Marty Scurll defeated Will Ospreay for the Junior Heavyweight Championship in 2017, to set up the 4 way match at Wrestle Kingdom. 2017 also brought us the birth of The Switchblade and Jericho’s return to New Japan.
Goto beat Taichi for the NEVER Openweight Championship in 2018, which helped Taichi rise in the Heavyweight Division and build his current persona.
Those are just two quick examples from recent memory. So if anything, the show tends to be eventful.
Let’s see what we get this year!
- Volador Jr, Titan, TJP & Clark Connors vs Yuya Uemura, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Jyushin Thunder Liger: TJP wins via Detonation Kick @5:45 – ** ¼
- Rocky Romero & Robbie Eagles vs ELP & Taiji Ishimori: ELP wins via CR2 @8:40 – ***
- Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr & Minoru Suzuki vs EVIL, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: SANADA wins via Rolling Double Leg Cradle @9:05 – ***
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada: Tanahashi wins via High Fly Flow @10:50 – ***
- Taichi w/Miho Abe vs Tetsuya Naito: Naito wins via Destino @12:55 – *** ¾
- Super Jr Tag League Finals: Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH) vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: SHO wins via 3k @14:15 – ****
- NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii: KENTA retains via Go 2 Sleep @20:10 – **** 1/4
- Junior Heavyweight Championship: BUSHI vs Will Ospreay (c): Ospreay retains via Stormbreaker @16:20 – *** ¾
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White (c) vs Hirooki Goto: White retains via Blade Runner @27:40 – *** 1/2
Volador Jr, Titan, TJP & Clark Connors vs Yuya Uemura, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Jyushin Thunder Liger – Two teams from the Super Jr Tag League on each side, and that’s about all the set up this has. A good mixture of Young Lions and Veterans creates a fun dynamic in the match. Aside from Connors going after Liger a bit, there was nothing to take from this match. Uemura was getting a bit of a spotlight during the tournament and this continued to showcase his heart, but still nothing surprising or better than average.
Rocky Romero & Robbie Eagles vs ELP & Taiji Ishimori – Bullet Club got screwed a little because of the points, and that’s the back story here. The Junior Tag champions are frustrated being an opener aside from being in the Finals. This was a fun match, but nothing within itself to further a story between the four men. Just a fun match for what it was.
Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr & Minoru Suzuki vs EVIL, SANADA & Shingo Takagi – LIJ and Suzuki-Gun has had a faction feud for the last 2 years. So the heat between the groups isn’t a surprise, and doesn’t always take a lot to get started. Archer and EVIL do big strong man things to kick the match off. Suzuki and Shingo have had a budding rivalry throughout the undercard Super Jr Tag league matches. Then we have SANADA and Sabre, they’ve had numerous great tournament matches, so we all know they are nearly equals. SANADA getting a pin over Sabre Jr, will probably set up a RevPro title shot for SANADA. Maybe at Wrestle Kingdom, maybe a little bit before that, but this could be a good spot for SANADA to get some singles gold while in New Japan.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada – At this point we should all know why Ibushi and Okada are on opposite sides of the match. Tanahashi is the person Ibushi respects the most, and YOSHI-HASHI is around to eat the pin. Too on the nose? YOSHI-HASHI is awful, so hush.
Anyway, the match was…sloppy. The threads with Ibushi and Okada kept the action moving and the interactions fun, but this was really one of the worst matches I’ve seen Okada in, undercard tag or not. However, after the match, we see how this was setting up for something bigger.
-Lights go out, Chris Jericho has a video message for BAKAhashi. January 5th, Jericho challenges Tanahashi. This will be interesting to see if Jericho walks out with the AEW Championship (if he still has it) and if this is a Jericho special, or the beginning of a working relationship.
Taichi w/Miho Abe vs Tetsuya Naito – We get a serious version of Naito, which doesn’t show up much. No grinning, no slow Traquilo, they go after each other as soon as they’re both in the ring. Taichi showed great aggression and precision on his offense, Naito showed an edge that hasn’t been there in a long time. Naito’s one moment of cockiness, when he spat on Taichi, backfired…allowing Taichi to counter a Frankensteiner into an Avalanche Powerbomb. Great back and forth from both men, but Naito tapped into something different. He slipped out of Black Mephisto from Taichi, and even decided to steal the move from Taichi. Following that up immediately with Destino, and Naito gets a little momentum and finally puts Taichi in his rear view mirror.
Super Jr Tag League Finals: Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH) vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru – Kanemaru and Desperado jump SHO and YOH during entrances, SHO was laid out on the ramp and YOH fought a handicap match for a good portion of this. The heel team pulled out chairshots and the Satori Mist, but the fan favorite Roppongi team, played great babyfaces in peril. SHO’s back was heavily taped up before the match, so that was an easy target. This was just a lot of resolve shown from SHO and YOH. SHO eventually got the hot tag, sold his ass off, and there were believable near falls on both sides. With the win, Roppongi 3k becomes the first team to win 3 years in a row. Really good, Rock ‘n’ Roll Express style match.
-After the match, Ishimori and ELP attack Roppongi 3k and leave with the Tag League trophies.
NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii – Both men have a pretty big dislike for one another. Ishii is still irritated at KENTA for his betrayal and the way he screwed him in the tag team championship match. KENTA however, is just reveling in being a smug prick for all of the fans to hate.
This match was probably KENTA’s best match since joining Bullet Club. Great hard hitting back and forth matchup, no Bullet Club interference, and no one can question his health or ability to take a hit. KENTA gave a few glimpses of old NOAH KENTA, with great striking, a cold demeanor and enjoying inflicting the pain. The fact that KENTA lowered the knee pad and hit a second Go 2 Sleep, just to make a point, says a lot without saying anything at all. Damn good match.
Junior Heavyweight Championship: BUSHI vs Will Ospreay (c) – BUSHI made his own destiny by costing the Birds of Prey the Tag League. Ospreay has had a stranglehold on the division, even moving up to challenge Heavyweights this year. We had a few interesting moments, like Ospreay sucking the mist out of BUSHI’s mouth, to mist BUSHI. BUSHI also pulled off a backslide, and then bridged his legs over, and it just looked awkward. Cool looking, but ineffective. The match was solid; just a few odd missteps here or there stopped it from being great. It should be noted that Ospreay managed to kick out of BUSHI’s finish, the MX, which I can’t remember the last time someone kicked out of the MX clean.
-Ospreay says he’s essentially lapped the Division and wants a challenger, then says “he’s not here”. Right when Ospreay is about to leave the ring, the tron starts playing a Ticking Time Bomb, and Hiromu Takahashi returns! Hiromu throws himself into the barricade, the corners; flat back bumps and finishes his promo in the wrestling neck press position to prove his health. Ospreay versus Hiromu, Wrestle Kingdom is set!
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White (c) vs Hirooki Goto – This was a little odd, since the match went back and forth between style dictating who was in charge. Early on Jay hit some suplexes and used the outside to run down Goto, but once the strike exchanges started to pick up, Goto was easily in the driver’s seat.
Aside from the back and forth start, this match really went the way we’ve grown to expect. Once Jay starts to show signs of weakness, Gedo gets involved. The most egregious interference being after Goto hits GTR, goes for the cover and Gedo pulls the referee out. Shibata jumps the guardrail to take out Gedo, but KENTA comes out, hits a Yakuza Kick and Go 2 Sleep on Goto, throws the referee in and gets some free shots on Shibata. Jay wants to put a little flourish on the victory and hits the Blade Runner to retain the title. As a match it was alright, but the heel tactics and general finish just made the whole thing fall flat.
-Afterwards, Naito, Ibushi and Okada come out. Ibushi, Naito and White all want to be double champion. Okada thinks they’re all stupid since the Heavyweight Title is the top title and he doesn’t care about the others. But he takes a great dig at Naito by saying New Japan should put it to a vote, double title match or just Heavyweight. These four are a great way to start the main event picture of 2020.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
The match quality was solid to great and the surprises really helped the show feel like a huge event and keep the energy up. Jericho versus Tanahashi January 5th, Hiromu versus Ospreay and the whole Double Champion/Heavyweight Championship melodrama will be great to get us through the end of the year. Also, it can’t be understated that Shibata taking a few bumps and being actively involved in the main event really does lend to the speculation of KENTA vs Shibata for the NEVER at Wrestle Kingdom.
This was just a lot of great stories, hinting towards high level matches even for lower level belts. It’s a good thing Wrestle Kingdom is two days, since the whole drama with Sabre Jr and SANADA, as well as, Shingo and Suzuki, have high caliber potential, but take a heavy back seat to the larger stories.
Anyone who thinks that New Japan was having an off year might have to eat their hats. This was a great show, and even though no titles changed hands, there were plenty of other large surprises that happened.
Mitchell’s NJPW Burning Spirit Results & Report! (9/25/22)
A red hot finale!
There’s even more gold on the line than before!
NJPW finishes Burning Spirit with THREE red hot championship showdowns! Will the Rebel, David Finlay, dethrone the United Empire’s Commonwealth Kingpin, Will Ospreay?
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; LIJ wins.
- Toru Yano VS Doc Gallows; Double Count-Out.
- Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb VS Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale; Khan & Cobb win.
- SANADA & Tetsuya Naito VS Dangerous Tekkers; Tekkers win.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS TMDK; TMDK wins.
- Tama Tonga & Jado VS Jay White & Taiji Ishimori; White & Ishimori win.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: TJP & Francesco Akira VS Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato; TJP & Akira win and retain the titles.
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Karl Anderson VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Anderson wins and retains the title.
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS David Finlay; Ospreay wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: TJP & Francesco Akira VS Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato!
The United Empire took these titles away from Team Six or Nine on the New Japan Road, but Taguchi & Wato have found their road back! Will the Funky Weapon & Way of the Grandmaster be able to return the favor? Or will they fall to the Public Enemy & Nova Fireball?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the rebellion begins!
Teams sort out and Taguchi starts against Akira. They circle and fans rally up. Akira talks some trash on Taguchi but Taguchi tells him to shut up and tag TJP. Akira is upset but he obliges, and TJP steps in. But then Taguchi backs down to tag Wato. Why start this off then? TJP rushes in and runs Wato over! Things speed up and TJP handsprings over Wato to then sidestep and hurdle. Wato leaps over, arm-drags TJP around but TJP headscissors. Wato kips free but TJP gets him for the twisting headscisosrs! Wato headscissors back and holds on tight. TJP headstands and fans applaud as he holds it. TJP then powers free and pats Wato on the knee.
TJP Penalty Kicks but Wato ducks under to roll TJP up. TWO, Wato sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! TJP goes for the sweep but Wato jumps over it, and then Wato pats TJP on the shoulders. Fans applaud and TJP is annoyed. TJP and Wato circle, but then Akira attacks from behind! TJP knocks Taguchi down, the Empire double whip Wato, TJP SOBATS, Akira front KICKS, TJP low KICKS, and Akira SHOTGUNS Wato down! Fans fire up for that speedy combo, and they clap, “A! KI-RA!” “T! J P!” “EM-PIRE!” The Empire double whip, double kick, but Wato ducks they double bulldog to DOUBLE DROPKICK them back!
Taguchi returns, he goes after Akira and Wato hits TJP. They go corner to corner to back elbow TJP and Akira, and then Taguchi sets up for WATO IN MOTION! Taguchi eggs Akira on and Akira rushes in, only for Taguchi to send that dropkick into TJP! Taguchi & Wato double whip Akira, double drop toehold and then double basement dropkick! Fans fire up and Wato stomps TJP down. Wato brings TJP up to scoop and SLAM, then he tags Taguchi. Taguchi gives a point-blank hip! And then another! TJP ends up in a corner and Taguchi gives him a STINK FACE! Taguchi lets off as the ref counts, but he gives more point-blank hips!
Fans rally, Taguchi runs side to side, but TJP gets up and helps Akira RAILGUN DROPKICK Taguchi down! Taguchi flops out of the ring and fans rally up with the Empire. They both run corner to corner to crisscross, TJP WRECKS Taguchi with a dropkick while Akira goes up for a MOONSAULT! Direct hit and Six or Nine are both down! Fans fire up with Akira & TJP and they high-five. The Empire drags Taguchi up, puts him in the ring, and TJP scrapes his sole off Taguchi’s face! The ref reprimands but TJP drags Taguchi up to EuroUpper. Tag to Akira, the Empire double whip Taguchi for a double atomic drop! Cover, TWO!
Akira talks trash on Taguchi and stomps him. Fans rally, Taguchi sits up and CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Akira DECKS Taguchi! Akira bumps Taguchi off buckles, TJP tags in and TJP puts Taguchi up top. TJP drags Taguchi into a Tree of Woe while Akira DECKS Wato. TJP gives Akira a boost up to the top and helps him walk the tightrope for a HALF COAST2COAST! TJP drags Taguchi out of the Tree and to the cover, TWO! Fans rally as Taguchi survives, but TJP puts him in a corner to dig his boot in. TJP fires up the fans as he scrapes Taguchi’s face again and again. TJP runs, but Wato’s back! TJP flips Wato off, but turns around into a HIP ATTACK!
Fans fire up and Taguchi tags in Wato! Wato rallies on TJP, dropkicks Akira down, then KICKS TJP in the chest! And again, and again! TJP ends up in a corner, Wato whips him corner to corner but TJP reverse. Wato comes back to dropkick the legs out! Wato hurries to the corner, and he springboards for a FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! TJP survives but Wato fires up! Wato drags TJP into the waistlock, but TJP fights the lift. TJP throws back elbows, runs, Akira tags in. TJP avoids the boot and waistlocks, but Wato moves and Akira’s SUPERKICK hits TJP! Wato then ZIGZAGS Akira down! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up and Wato calls Taguchi in. They wheelbarrow Akira, but TJP SUPERKICKS Taguchi! Wato gets around but this time TJP ducks and Akira SUPERKICKS Wato! Akira runs, TJP wheelbarrows him, but Wato uses that to hit the COMPLETE SHOT! TJP freaks out and hurries to get Wato up. TJP whips, Wato RANAS him out! Fans fire up with Wato and he drags Akira up. HIGH ANGLE GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Akira survives but Wato fires up. Fans rally with him and Wato bumps Akira off buckles. Wato hoists Akira up top, CLUBS him, then climbs up after him. Wato hooks Akira up but Akira fights!
Fans rally, TJP CLUBS Wato and moves Akira aside. TJP climbs and lifts Wato in the Electric Chair! Akira springboards up, SUPER DUPER FRANKENSTEINER!! Cover, but Taguchi breaks it in time! Fans fire up and TJP throws Taguchi out. Fans rally, the Empire drags Wato up and resets. Another Electric Chair, Akira goes up top, but Wato fights free! Wato DROPKICKS Akira down! Everyone is down but Taguchi, and Taguchi returns to his corner! Wato crawls over, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi hurries to get Akira, but TJP CLUBS Taguchi! TJP climbs up, but Taguchi shoves him down! But Akira shoves Taguchi!
Wato returns, springs up, and he SUPERPLEXES Akira! BUM-A-YE!! Cover, TWO!!! OH MY GAH ANKLE!! Wato TORNILLOS onto TJP! Akira endures the ankle lock, Taguchi really leans on that leg, and fans are thunderous! Akira crawls, reaches, but Taguchi reels him into chicken wings! DODON TO THE THRONE!! Cover, TJP breaks it up!! Fans rally, Taguchi drags TJP up and tosses him out. Wato returns and Six or Nine coordinate. They wheelbarrow Akira, but TJP returns to COMPLETE SHOT Wato first!! And then fireman’s carry on Taguchi! Taguchi slips off, dragon sleepers, but Akira helps TJP up and over!
Akira goes up, DOUBLE STOMP ELBOW DROP DDT!! Cover, TWO!?!? Taguchi survives and the Empire can’t believe it! But they set Taguchi up in the Electric Chair, LEANING TOWER!! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: TJP & Francesco Akira, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
Six or Nine are 0-2 against TJP & Akira! Will Taguchi & Wato have to make the long trek back to the top? Who will the Empire look to conquer next?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Karl Anderson w/ Doc Gallows VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
The Machinegun shot down the Good Bad Guy to take this title, but he’s been busy in Impact. Now he’s back to defend this title against the Ace of the Universe! Will Anderson take down another target? Or will the Once in a Century Talent make quite the impact himself?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who NEVER gives up!
Fans rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!” for Tanahashi as he circles with Anderson. Anderson calls Gallows over to talk things out and even hug. Anderson and Tanahashi circle and the fans rally again. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Tanahashi pushes Anderson to ropes. Anderson turns things around but then Tanahashi turns it back. Anderson puts Tanahashi in the corner and Red Shoes calls for the break. Anderson lets off clean and fans applaud. Tanahashi and Anderson circle again, tie up, and Tanahashi waistlocks. Anderson headlocks, Tanahashi slips out the back to get the headlock, but Anderson throws body shots.
Anderson hammerlocks Tanahashi’s arm and then wrenches it to a wristlock. Tanahashi endures, drops to get a leg and he drags Anderson down. Tanahashi floats to a headlock, Anderson slips out to headlock back, but then Tanahashi returns the favor. Anderson slips out again, but then so does Tanahashi. They end up outside the ring and fans applaud as they stare down. They put up their dukes, each daring the other to get in the ring. The ring count starts, Anderson and Tanahashi keep telling the other, “You go!” Anderson suggests they go at the same time, and so they do, at 13 of 20! Fans applaud as the two stand off in the ring now.
Anderson and Tanahashi pace as fans rally up. Anderson kicks but Tanahashi blocks! Tanahashi CLUBS the leg and Anderson goes to a corner. Tanahashi throws body shots. Tanahashi whips but Anderson reverses then runs in, only for Tanahashi to elbow him away. Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! Direct hit and fans fire up for the air guitar. Gallows protests but Tanahashi ignores him to bring Anderson up. Tanahashi throws body shots, whips Anderson to ropes but Anderson reverses, only for Tanahashi to use that to WRECK Gallows with a dropkick! Tanahashi ROCKS Anderson, BOOTS Gallows, but Anderson GUN STUN HOTSHOTS Tanahashi down!
Red Shoes starts a ring count, fans rally up, “Let’s Go, Ace!” and Tanahashi is still down at 10 of 20. Anderson wants to go out but Red Shoes keeps him back. This is all to distract Red Shoes as Gallows APRON CHOKE SLAMS Tanahashi! Tanahashi flops back down to the floor and Gallows acts innocent. Red Shoes can’t call what he didn’t see but he warns Gallows to stay back. Tanahashi stirs as fans rally up, and the ring count restarts. Tanahashi drags himself up at 7 and in at 8, but Anderson is on him! Anderson scoop SLAMS Tanahashi then soaks up the cheers. Anderson runs to SENTON! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally but Anderson is annoyed. Anderson stands on Tanahashi’s face, then lets off to drag Tanahashi into a chinlock. Fans rally, Tanahashi endures, and Anderson grinds the hold. Tanahashi fights up, throws body shots, but Anderson pulls hair! Tanahashi ROCKS Anderson, but Anderson ROCKS Tanahashi. Tanahashi ROCKS Anderson again but Anderson ROCKS Tanahashi again! Fans rally up as the forearms pick up speed! Anderson gets the edge but Tanahashi gives strikes back. Anderson UPPERCUTS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi blocks the kick! DRAGON SCREW! Anderson clutches his knee and fans fire up.
Gallows coaches Anderson up but fans rally for Tanahashi. Tanahashi throws forearms on Anderson, whips him to ropes, but Anderson reverses. Tanahashi hits FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up, Tanahashi storms up on Anderson and he throws body shots. Tanahashi scoops and SLAMS Anderson, then goes to the corner. Tanahashi hops up for a SUNSET SENTON! Direct hit and a cover, TWO! Fans rally but Gallows gets on the apron. Tanahashi grabs Gallows’ leg and hits a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Gallows shouts in pain as he flops down. Tanahashi runs but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!
Anderson hurries to fireman’s carry Tanahashi! T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up as Tanahashi survives! Anderson shouts at Gallows to get up but fans are rallying for Tanahashi. Anderson walks around, he pounds the mat and fans clap along. Tanahashi stirs, Anderson takes aim, GUN- NO, Tanahashi trips Anderson and gets a leg, GROUND DRAGON SCREW! And then an INVERTED GROUND DRAGON SCREW!! Anderson clutches his leg, but Tanahashi gets both legs for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF!! Anderson endures, Gallows pushes the rope closer, but Red Shoes kicks at Gallows! Anderson crawls forward and reaches out, but Tanahashi drags him away!
Anderson endures as Tanahashi sits deep, but Gallows gets on the apron to distract Red Shoes! Red Shoes misses the tap out!! Toru Yano runs in from Japanese commentary! He trips Gallows and they brawl! Nothing was settled earlier tonight, but Gallows DECKS Yano! Tanahashi lets Anderson go, the Texas Cloverleaf meaning nothing now. GUN- NO! Tanahashi denies Anderson again! Tanahashi then dodges the lariat to run and SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi fires up, goes to the corner and climbs up, and Anderson stands. HIGH FLY ATTACK! Tanahashi fires up more and returns to the top rope!
Gallows distracts again but Yano trips him up again! Tanahashi aims and leaps, HIGH FLY FLOW onto knees!! Cover, TWO!?!? Tanahashi survives the turn around and Anderson clutches his knees. Gallows RAMS Yano into railing! Fans are thunderous for “LET’S GO, ACE!” as Anderson gets to a corner. Tanahashi stands, runs at Anderson but misses! Anderson JUMP KICKS, but his legs are hurting him! Anderson waits on Tanahashi, but still no Gun Stun! Tanahashi tries to steal but Anderson pushes him away! Gallows trips Tanahashi up but Tanahashi kicks him away. GUN- NO!! Tanahashi blocks again, but Anderson slips out of Twist ‘n’ Shout! GUN STUN!!! Cover, Anderson wins!!
Winner: Karl Anderson, by pinfall (still NEVER Openweight Champion)
The Machinegun had Big LG helping him out, and Gallows beats up on Yano for good measure! But wait, here come Jay White & Gedo! The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and his Blacksmith are here to celebrate with the Good Brothers. White tells the Young Lions to get out of the ring so it can be Bullet Club standing over Tanahashi & Yano. Bullet Club Too Sweets, then they stomp away on The Ace & Producer! Young Lions try to stop this but they get beat up for it. Wait! Here comes TAMA TONGA! The Good Bad Guy CLOBBERS White! And Anderson! And SUPER FOREARMS Gallows! Fans fire up with Tama!
Tama sees White all alone now, and he said he’s told White already. Tama’s gonna kick White’s ass! But White is begging for mercy. Just look! It’s HIKULEO! Tama’s younger brother is storming into the ring! Tama and Hiku stare down, and White grins as he stands with the towering Tongan. “I’M his family now! It’s all about this! Bullet Club is his family!” NOT! Hiku choke grips White! And feeds him to a GUN STUN!!! Bullet Club isn’t family! Family is family! Tama and Hiku hug and the fans love it! The Guerrillas of Destiny have grown stronger now, and Tama has the belt! Tama gets the NEVER Openweight belt, too, and he holds it out to Hiku!
Fans fire up as Hiku holds up Anderson’s belt, and Tama holds up White’s belt! Will we see GoD dethrone the Bullet Club as they make their Declaration of Power?
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay w/ The United Empire VS David Finlay!
The Commonwealth Kingpin was among many of the shocking upset wins The Rebel pulled off in this year’s G1 Climax. They’ve gone back and forth, in the ring and on the mic, and now they’ll finally settle this! Will the United Empire sweep the night to still reign supreme? Or can the rebellion still come away with a victory?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and after a long, hard road, we see who burns brightest in this Burning Spirit finale!
The two rush each other at the bell and the forearms fly fast and furious! Fans fire up, Finlay gets the edge, then he whips. Ospreay reverses, Finlay ducks the boot but things speed up. Finlay hurdles, hurdles and DROPKICKS! Finlay clotheslines Ospreay out of the ring, then he PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Ospreay! Finlay says it was “that easy,” and then he whips Ospreay into railing! Ospreay bounces off the steel and Finlay fishhooks his face! Finlay dares Ospreay to talk trash now, then CLUBS him down. Red Shoes reprimands and Finlay apologizes, only to whip Ospreay hard into more railing!
Finlay has his shillelagh as he stalks Ospreay around the way. Red Shoes reprimands and tells Finlay to put the shillelagh down. Ospreay mule kicks Finlay first! Ospreay CLUBS Finlay, puts the shillelagh aside and ROCKS Finlay in the mouth! Ospreay whips, Finlay reverses but Ospreay leaps the railing! Finlay runs in, Ospreay ROCKS him then clears off the timekeeper’s table. To pick it up and CHUCK it at Finlay! Finlay and the table go down in a heap and fans fire up for that innovative savagery. Ospreay storms over to Finlay, Abe-san at least gets the mic, bell and hammer, and Ospreay stands the table up.
Ospreay drags Finlay but Finlay has hold of another table. Ospreay whips Finlay into railing now, and he sets up the other table Finlay brought. The tables are put side by side, but Finlay throws body shots! Ospreay ROCKS Finlay, and then reels him in! Ospreay aims for the tables but Finlay fights free! Finlay RAMS Ospreay so hard into the railing, Finlay tumbles into No Man’s Land. Finlay puts Ospreay in the ring, fans rally up, but Ospreay FLAPJACK HOTSHOTS! And BOOTS Finlay down! Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his back. Ospreay drags Finlay up, CLUBS him on the back, and has him in a corner for hard body shots!
Finlay sputters but Ospreay brings Finlay up for another hard shot! Ospreay stands on Finlay at the ropes, stomps him, but Red Shoes counts. Ospreay springboards for a knee drop! Cover, ONE! Finlay shows heart and fans cheer but Ospreay is annoyed. Ospreay bumps Finlay off buckles, stands Finlay up, and CHOPS him! Finlay staggers then drops to his knees while fans applaud the echo on that one. Ospreay stands Finlay up but Finlay throws CHOPS back! Ospreay CHOPS Finlay off his feet, covers, TWO! Ospreay drags Finlay around to omoplata the arm, and he throws elbows into the sides. Ospreay hooks Finlay’s arm for a RECLINER! It’s a cover, ONE!!
Finlay clutches his arm but Ospreay snarls as he stalks Finlay to ropes. Finlay throws body shots but Ospreay DECKS him with a right. Ospreay reels Finlay in for a cobra twist! Finlay endures but Ospreay throws in elbows. Ospreay puts more pressure on the hold but Finlay endures as fans rally. Finlay powers up to hip toss free! Finlay fires forearms on Ospreay but Ospreay SOBATS. Ospreay reels Finlay in but Finlay back drops him away! Fans fire up and Finlay goes to a corner. Finlay runs in and CLOBBERS Ospreay with forearm after forearm! Finlay whips, Ospreay reverses but Finlay CLOBBERS Ospreay again!
Ospreay goes to a corner, Finlay runs in and UPPERCUTS! Finlay shoves Ospreay out and goes up to FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Finlay is annoyed but he pushes Ospreay around. Fans rally, Finlay reels Ospreay in and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO! Finlay facelocks to grind Ospreay down but Ospreay fights up. Finlay clinches, Ospreay throws elbows but Finlay still lifts! Ospreay stops that with a facelock and they end up on the ropes. Red Shoes counts the break, Finlay KNEES Ospreay low again and again! Red Shoes reprimands, Finlay whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER! Fans fire up while both men are down!
Fans rally as Ospreay sits up. Finlay crawls to a corner and staggers up. Ospreay SOBATS and Finlay drops to a knee. Ospreay whips Finlay to the corner hard and then RAMS Finlay in the other corner! Finlay falls down but Ospreay drags Finlay up. Ospreay scoops for a RUNNING BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Finlay hangs tough. Ospreay paces around, drags Finlay up again and reels him in. Finlay fights the lift, Ospreay CLUBS him then gives him Kowata Kicks! But Finlay still fights the lift! Finlay back drops, Ospreay sunset flips but Finlay rolls through to BASEMENT EUROUPPER! Fans rally as Ospreay goes to a corner.
Finlay runs in but Ospreay BOOTS him away! Ospreay runs, into a BLUE THUNDER BOMB from Finlay! Cover, TWO! Finlay grits his teeth and fans rally up again. Finlay drags Ospreay up, fires off forearms, and Ospreay wobbles around. Finlay puts Ospreay up top, climbs up and throws headbutts. Finlay then brings Ospreay up, but Ospreay throws body shots! Ospreay HEADBUTTS Finlay down and fans rally up again. Ospreay stands but Finlay trips him up! Finlay climbs up after Ospreay but from the outside! Finlay clinches and aims at the tables! Ospreay fights back and now he aims for the tables!
Red Shoes tells them not to but the two brawl up top. They both hop down, Finlay ROCKS Ospreay, then ROCKS him again. Ospreay ROCKS Finlay, Finlay hits back, and fans rally as the forearms fly again. Ospreay gets the edge, and he HOTSHOTS Finlay off the crossbar! Ospreay leaps to sunset flip right over Finlay! Ospreay brings Finlay around for an APRON POWERBOMB! Ospreay then sets up on the other corner, for a SKY TWISTER!! Direct hit and down goes Finlay! Fans fire up while both men are down! Red Shoes checks on them and they’re both okay to continue. Ospreay gets up and brings Finlay around the way.
Ospreay smacks Finlay off the table, and again. Finlay grabs his shillelagh! Finlay blocks the table bump this time, to SMACK Ospreay’s fingers!! Ospreay scrambles away and Finlay kisses the shillelagh for helping out. Finlay then pursues Ospreay, keeps him from returning to the ring, and he wrenches the bad arm to SLAM the hand on the railing! And on the apron! Ospreay clutches his fingers but Finlay grabs the arm to put it through railing! Finlay BENDS the fingers against the railing! Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4, and Ospreay is clutching his hand in pain. Finlay just STOMPS the hand!
Red Shoes reprimands but Finlay puts Ospreay in the ring. Finlay stomps Ospreay’s bad hand again! And again! Ospreay shouts in pain but Finlay brings him up. Ospreay throws body shots but swings into a takedown! Finlay throws knee after knee into Ospreay’s side, then he gets the bad arm for a FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Finlay bends the fingers as part of it! Ospreay endures and the Empire coaches him up but Finlay pushes way back on the hold! Ospreay moves around, and gets a ROPEBREAK with a foot! Finlay lets off and Ospreay goes to the apron. Finlay stands on Ospreay’s head but lets off to bring Ospreay up.
Finlay bends the fingers on the bad hand! Ospreay throws forearms but Finlay just BITES the bad fingers! And SNAPS them! Finlay runs, into a Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! The legs still work! Finlay staggers back to a corner and Ospreay clutches his tortured hand again. Ospreay signals to the Empire to get something. Gideon Grey finds spare tape and Cobb POPS Ospreay’s fingers in place! Gideon and Cobb wrap up the bad fingers while Ospreay bites his other hand to endure the pain. Gideon finishes wrapping the fingers, but Finlay puts Ospreay on the apron! Ospreay ROCKS Finlay, springboards, but into the IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Ospreay survives and he’s again holding his bad hand. Fans fire up with Finlay as he cravats. But no Acid Drop, Ospreay puts Finlay on the apron to GAMANGIRI! Fans rally as Ospreay goes out to join Finlay. Ospreay brings Finlay up but he can’t lift Finlay because of the bad hand. Ospreay fires off Kowata Kicks again, calls his shot, but even clapping his hands hurts like hell! Finlay reels Ospreay in for an APRON HALF ‘N’ HALF! Fans fire up as Finlay sees the tables nearby. Finlay brings Ospreay up to line up a shot. Finlay goes up the corner, ACID DROP onto the tables!! But the tables don’t break and both men just bounce off!!
Fans are thunderous as Red Shoes checks both men. Somehow, Ospreay and Finlay are okay to continue. Finlay rises first and he staggers around. Finlay shakes out his head, he resets the tables and he drags Ospreay up. POWERBOMB through the tables!! Finlay gets in the ring to leave Ospreay in the wreckage. Finlay wants the count out and Red Shoes starts the ring count. Gideon checks on Ospreay, coaches him up, but we’re at 10 of 20. And then 15! Ospreay grits his teeth and growls as he crawls, but we’re at 18! Ospreay springs in at 19, into a SPEAR!! Finlay hurries to ACID DROP!! Cover, TWO!??!
Ospreay survives and Finlay is furious! But the fans are thunderous as this one continues! Finlay slashes his throat and drags Ospreay up. Finlay tries to suplex but Ospreay’s dead weight. Finlay gives him those Kowata Kicks in return! Finlay taunts Ospreay and fans rally up. Finlay drags Ospreay up but Ospreay feebly forearms him. Finlay DECKS Ospreay, and Ospreay mumbles and groans as he sits back up. Ospreay throws another weak forearm, but Finlay UPPERCUTS him. Ospreay grits his teeth and fires up to ROCK Finlay! Finlay EuroUppers over and over and over! And then he CLOBBERS Ospreay!
Ospreay sits up in a daze but Finlay suplexes! But Osprey cradles, TWO!! Finlay swings, into a backslide! TWO, and Finlay jumps, but no Prima Nocta! Ospreay spins Finlay around to GHOST PIN! TWO!! Finlay gets up, but Ospreay ROUNDHOUSES him! Ospreay springboards, but Finlay catches the cutter to an inverted suplex! OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Finlay fires up, runs, but into a STANDING SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Ospreay prepares the arm! HIDDEN- NO! BACKSLIDE! Ospreay rolls through but Finlay suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!!! Red Shoes apologizes for not seeing it in time but that was a legit ropebreak!
Finlay is beside himself but the fans are thunderous! Finlay drags Ospreay back up, suplexes, but Ospreay slips out! HIDDEN BLADE!!! But both men are down as we pass 25 minutes! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay crawls his way back over to Finlay. A standing count begins but both men are down at 5! They get forehead to forehead and give junkyard dog headbutts. They go back and forth like that, and even at the same time! Finlay throws a forearm, Ospreay gives it back and fans fire up! Ospreay and Finlay stand, and now it’s fast and furious haymakers! Ospreay ROCKS Finlay, DOUBLE LARIATS hit, Ospreay swats another to HOOK KICK!
Finlay wobbles, Ospreay runs in, but Finlay ducks the Hidden Blade! Ospreay comes back, he slips through Finlay’s clothesline to lift and- RANA from Finlay!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay escapes and fans are electric! Ospreay dodges Finlay, springboards, but into a PRIMA NOCTA!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ospreay survives but Finlay just roars! Fans rally with Finlay and he drags Ospreay up. ACID- NO, Ospreay throws him away, goes up and up, SUPER OSCUTTER!!! But Ospreay holds on and says he’s not done! Underhooks and- NO, Finlay fights it, so Ospreay PEDIGREES! AND POINT BLANK HIDDEN BLADES!!! Cover, TWO!??!?! WHAT??!!
Ospreay is furious! He underhooks again, lifts and STORMBREAKER!!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (still IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion)
That was a 28 minute, 22 second WAR, but the Commonwealth Kingpin managed to conquer The Rebel! Finlay came so close to taking this title, but he’s still not quite there yet. Will Finlay be able to fight his way back up and try again before the year is out?
As for Ospreay, the Empire sets up in the ring to celebrate with their leader. Ospreay has the belt around his waist as Great-O-Khan waves the Empire’s banner behind him. But wait! Tetsuya Naito makes his way out! Fans applaud and Ospreay has the rest of the Empire stand down. Naito assures them he’s not here to fight, and they let him into the ring. Ospreay even allows Naito to have the mic first. Khan holds the mic out but just drops it at Naito’s feet. Naito picks it up to tell Ospreay, in English, “Congratulations~!” Then in Japanese, Naito says, “You know why I’m out here.” And back in English, “One more time. Naito VS Ospreay.” What’s “Mr. Ospreay” say? Is it yes or no?
Naito then hands the mic to Ospreay, but then “OI OI OI OI!” Zack Sabre Jr. makes his way out! Naito is surprised, the fans are excited, but Ospreay & The Empire are pissed! ZSJ keeps shouting, “OI!” as he goes down the ramp and into the ring. ZSJ snatches the mic from Ospreay to say “OI OI OI OI!” some more. In Japanese, “Choto matte <Wait a moment.>” ZSJ addresses Naito first. “Does this head work?” Naito’s going to challenge Ospreay for the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship? “Naze? <Why?>” Naito didn’t win today! And he didn’t win against Ospreay in the G1! Ospreay agrees but he doesn’t like ZSJ defending him. He grabs for the mic but ZSJ stops him.
ZSJ admits, Naito beat him in the G1 Climax, but then “this dickhead” beat Naito. But then ZSJ beat “this dickhead” in the New Japan Cup. That means ZSJ should be the next challenger! Naito says no, Ospreay again wants the mic, but ZSJ says “OI OI OI OI.” ZSJ says he has an idea. NJPW will be in England next week for Royal Quest II! So it should be ZSJ VS Naito 1v1, to name the #1 contender to the US Championship! “Dou desu ka? <How about that?>” Naito considers it but then Ospreay grabs the mic! Only for Naito to snatch it away! Ospreay’s so mad while Naito stares ZSJ down. But then Naito turns to Ospreay with a smile. “Amigo… Hasta luego. <Friend… See you later.>”
Naito drops the mic and leaves, but he didn’t really answer anything! ZSJ pursues Naito to ask him about the challenge for Royal Quest! Ospreay then picks the mic up to ask WTF was that! Both Naito and ZSJ are challenging for Ospreay’s title? Khan says that seems to be the case. Ospreay looks to the crowd and shrugs as if to ask them now. “Hey, whichever one it is. If it’s Naito, or if it’s Zack Sabre Jr, it doesn’t matter. Ospreay is best champion.” Fans applaud that. Ospreay then puts on the United Empire merch shirt, and they all stand together again.
Khan gets the mic to say, “Do those fools think they can ruin our moment? They’ll do anything to bore the lot of you. We won’t stand for it. Those scumbags crawled all the way out here, to beg and grovel for a chance at Ospreay’s belt. Don’t get it twisted: It’s Ospreay, the champion, who has the right to pick a challenger! It’s us, the United Empire, who call the shots around here! And now, hail us, loyal subjects!” Fans applaud, and Khan says they have conquered Kobe. “Therefore, show us your allegiance! Show your imperial pride! CROWNS UP!” The Empire throws up their hand sign, but Khan demands more fans do the same!
More fans do as they’re told, and that’s satisfactory for Khan. Have they also done their duty and bought an Empire shirt? If not, it’s probably because they’re sold out. Just get your acts together. The Empire has the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and US Heavyweight titles, so the world title is inevitable! They’ll go to the homeland of Gideon Grey & Will Ospreay, where Aussie Open will “execute” FTR and take the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships! “Attention! We are Gideon Grey, Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, Francesco Akira, TJP, and Will Ospreay! This is the power of the UNITED EMPIRE!” There’s so much gold in their treasury, will the United Empire soon conquer ALL of NJPW?
A great event to close out Burning Spirit, even with titles maintaining a status quo. Great Junior Heavyweight Tag title match, but I had a feeling on Friday that that match was going to go the Empire’s way. TJP & Akira are now open to taking on any number of Face teams, especially with Super Junior Tag League joining World Tag League for the Winter. Anderson VS Tanahashi was great stuff, even with Gallows getting involved. Tanahashi losing was a bit of a surprise, but the bigger surprise was Hikuleo leaving Bullet Club to side with his brothers in GoD. Hikuleo can definitely challenge for the NEVER Openweight title but I’m not sure his chances of winning. White VS Tama will also be awesome but I can’t be sure if Tama wins, knowing that Okada is challenging at WrestleKingdom.
And we got an awesome main event with the US Championship. Ospreay and Finlay stepped it up from their G1 Climax match, and that stuff with the tables was rough. I did like that they took finger snapping to another level and had Ospreay have to pop his fingers back into place and wrap them up. Ospreay winning was a small surprise as I thought this was going to be Finlay’s moment. But we do get a big story going into Royal Quest and Declaration of Power. Ospreay may not want it but I bet we will get Naito VS ZSJ at Royal Quest, the winner challenging Ospreay down the line. And whether it’s Naito or ZSJ, the winner will give Ospreay an awesome title match.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Burning Spirit Results & Report! (9/23/22)
Burning with gold!
Nothing can stop Chaos VS House of Torture!
NJPW will not let tsunamis stop what’s coming! Chaos WILL defend the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles against the House of Torture, in the DOG CAGE SURVIVAL MATCH!
- Ryohei Oiwa VS Kosei Fujita; Fujita wins.
- Six Man Tag: Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan & Gideon Gray VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- BUSHI & Shingo Takagi VS KENTA & El Phantasmo; Kenta & ELP win.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; LIJ wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS TMDK; TMDK wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, Tama Tonga & Jado VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Tama & Jado win.
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Dog Cage Survival: Chaos VS House of Torture; The House of Torture wins and become the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.
- 8 Man Tag Elimination Match: David Finlay, Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato & The DKC VS The United Empire; Finlay, Taguchi, Wato & DKC win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Dog Cage Survival: Chaos VS House of Torture!
This has been a long time coming, and nothing is stopping this from happening! Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi & Yoh will settle things with Evil, Yujiro Takahashi & Sho once and for all! Who will be the top dogs, and who will be put in the pound?
But just how does this match work? First, this will be a tornado tag, meaning all six men are legal at once. And on the blue corner’s post, there is a key to the dog cages that are around ringside. You can of course put your opponents in a dog cage, but you win with pinfalls and submissions. And as the champions make their entrance, they bring a little dog house and food bowl! The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and it’s time to let loose the dogs of war!
The House of Torture don’t even wait on the bell, they attack Chaos and throw them out of the ring! The bell rings to put this on record as Evil, Sho and Yujiro stomp away on Yoh! Evil drags Yoh up, he and Sho double whip him to a corner, then Yujiro runs in. Yoh dodges, he CLOBBERS Sho but Evil kicks him low! Evil runs but Yoh dropkicks the legs out! Yujiro rakes Yoh’s eyes, runs, but into DOUBLE SHOULDERS from Goto & Hashi! Chaos gets a man each, for TRIPLE DRUMMING! Fans fire up but Dick slides in! Yoh and Hashi chase him out of the ring, then with Goto, they TRIPLE DRUM Dick together!
Fans fire up and Chaos brings Dick to the dog cage! Dick resists and then the House saves him! Sho and Yujiro shove Bishamon into the cage and lock it up! That’s two down already! Sho and Yujiro regroup with Evil as Evil has a chair around Yoh’s neck. Evil has the other chair, for the HOMERUN! Fans applaud the savagery and Evil stomps Yoh down. Fans rally for Chaos while the House toys with Yoh. They put Yoh in the ring and Sho covers, TWO! Fans applaud as Yoh is still in this but Sho drags him up. Sho bumps Yoh off buckles and stomps him down. Sho digs his boots in, the ref reprimands and counts, and Sho lets off at 4.
Sho drags Yoh up, wrenches to KICK, KICK and SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Sho is annoyed but fans rally up. Yoh flounders as the House taunts him. Fans continue to rally more but Sho drags Yoh up. Yoh fires off forearms on Sho! Sho wrenches the arm and bends the fingers! Sho wrenches and whips Yoh into bare buckles! The blue buckle pad is gone, it’s the Bullet Club Special! Sho drags Yoh back up, Evil ties Yoh up in the ropes and Yujiro runs in to BOOT Yoh down! Yujiro brings Yoh around to a FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Sho covers now, TWO! Evil covers now, TWO!! Yoh survives and the House is furious!
Fans rally up for Yoh again but the House stomps away on him! Evil drags Yoh up but Yoh starts firing off forearms and elbows on them all! Yoh kicks and UPPERCUTS Sho, but Evil and Yujiro kick low! They double whip but Yoh stops himself to kick Evil! Yoh blocks Yujiro’s kick to a DRAGON SCREW! Yoh blocks Evil’s kick to a DRAGON SCREW! But Sho rakes Yoh’s eyes! Sho runs but Yoh handsprings to dodge! Yoh mule kicks and NECKBREAKERS! Fans fire up with Yoh, and Sho bails out of the ring. Yoh aims, builds speed, and he FLIES out onto Sho! Fans fire up more and Yoh even DECKS Dick! Yoh gets the key!!
Yoh hurries to the dog cage but Sho and Dick grab at his feet! Yoh kicks them away, crawls for the cage, and he gets the key in the lock! Yoh frees Bishamon! Goto and Hashi stomp Sho and Dick, then go after Evil and Yujiro! They fire off forearm after forearm and fans fire up! Bishamon whip Evil and Yujiro into each other! Then they DECK Yujiro! Goto snapmares Evil, Hashi leap frog STOMPS! BUZZSAW! MULE KICK! Fans fire up for Chaos as Goto clotheslines Yujiro in the corner. Hashi CHOPS Yujiro, then feeds him to Goto’s kick! Goto sets Yujiro up and Hashi runs, but Sho SMACKS Hashi with a chair! Yujiro whips Goto into the bare buckles!
Yoh YANKS Sho down and whips him into railing! Then whips him into more railing! Sho goes down in a heap and fans rally again. Yoh grabs the dog house! Yoh puts it around Sho, then he blocks Dick’s chairshot! Yoh knocks Dick down, then gives Sho a HOMERUN in the dog house! Fans fire up again as Yoh drags Sho to the smaller dog cage! Yoh shoves Sho inside and locks him in! But Evil goes after Yoh! Evil CLUBS away on Yoh and Sho is free! Yujiro gives Yoh PIMP JUICE to the floor! Yujiro drags Yoh up and around while Evil CHOKES Goto. Yujiro puts Yoh in the small dog cage and locks him in!
Evil drags Goto up, he and Yujiro double whip Goto corner to corner, then Yujiro BOOTS! Evil clotheslines! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Basement BOOT! Cover, TWO! Evil goes after Hashi and CLAWS him on the back! Evil then holds Hashi back as Yujiro sits Goto up. Goto denies Pimp Juice, and he blocks the superkick! Yujiro fights the German Suplex and standing switches. Goto backs Yujiro into a corner while Hashi sends Evil into railing! Hashi gets in and he clotheslines Yujiro! Feed to the fireman’s carry but Yujiro slips off! Only to find the HIDDEN GAP! Fireman’s carry and SUPERKICK for FIERCE FLASH! Hashi DECKS Dick, too!
Fans fire up and Bishamon drags Yujiro up. They get Yujiro in position but he fights free! FISHERMAN- NO, Goto fights the buster to suplex and BRAINBUSTER Yujiro! But Evil drags Hashi out to RAM him into the timekeeper’s area! Abe-san goes down! Evil drags Hashi over and puts him in another of the small dog cages! That leaves Goto all alone! Wait, he sneaks the key to free Yoh! Evil sees that and hurries over but Goto sends him into railing! Yoh fires off on Yujiro, he and Goto double whip Yujiro into a corner. Goto runs in to clothesline! Then YOH IN MOTION! Yoh hurries to underhook, Goto gives him a boost, BOOSTED DIRECT DRIVE! Cover, Evil breaks it!
Goto goes after Evil, fireman’s carries, but Evil slips off! Goto switches, Yoh aims, but Evil ducks and the SUPERKICK hits Goto! Yoh can’t believe what happened, but he goes after Evil. Dick distracts, and Evil sends Yoh into the ref! The ref goes down, Evil LOW BLOWS Yoh! Dick strolls in and “smokes” a cig. Dick puts that out, gets the key, and he frees Sho. Sho hurries into the ring to stomp away on Goto. Sho and Dick then get a dog cage in the ring! Sho drags Goto up and aims for the cage but Goto resists! Goto fires off elbows and fans rally up! Sho hurries to get his wrench! But Goto dodges that to kick Sho low! And then clothesline Sho out of the ring!
Fans fire up with Goto and he drags Sho up. Goto drags Sho to the big cage and puts him in! Sho tries to drag Goto in with him! Yujiro tackles Goto into the cage! And Evil locks them ALL inside! The King of Darkness makes a sacrificial play to ensure victory! Evil drags Yoh up and puts him in the ring. Fans rally for Chaos but Evil drags Yoh up again. Evil fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Yoh survives and fans fire up again! Evil is furious as the fans rally. Hashi and Goto rally from inside the cages! Evil slashes his throat, drags Yoh up and spins him around, EVERY- NO, Yoh fights the STO!
Yoh goes to steal the STO but Evil fights free! Yoh JUMP KNEES Evil! But Evil SWATS the lariat! Evil runs, into a LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives and Yoh is furious! Fans rally behind Yoh and he glares at Evil. Yoh drags Evil over, clamps on a half nelson, then a full nelson. Evil breaks it, grabs at the ref, and Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER on Yoh! But Yoh fights it off!! Evil shoves the ref down and rushes at Yoh, but Yoh dodges! Evil stops from hitting Dick, and Yoh DROPKICKS Evil down! Dick runs in at Yoh but Yoh catches him for EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Fans fire up and Yoh grabs the key from Dick!
Yoh pockets the key, drags Dick over and puts him in the cage in the ring! The cage is locked up, and now it’s just Yoh and Evil! But Evil has a belt! Yoh dodges the belt shot to LOW BLOW Evil! The ref comes to as Yoh hits the O’Conner BRIDGE! TWO!! Yoh SUPERKICKS Evil down! Fans are thunderous and Yoh roars! Yoh drags Evil up, underhooks the arms, but Evil fights Direct Drive! Evil turns it around to EVERYTHING IS EVIL!!! Cover, the House of Torture wins!!
Winners: The House of Torture, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)
Even after eliminating all of Evil’s allies, Chaos could not stop the darkness from taking over! Evil gets the key and he frees the House of Torture. They beat up Goto as they exit the cage! They raise the belts high and throw up the Too Sweet. Will the House always find a way to win?
8 Man Tag Elimination Match: David Finlay, Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato & The DKC VS The United Empire!
The Rebel leads the Funky Weapon, the Way of the Grandmaster & Dylan Kyle Cox into battle against Will Ospreay, TJP, Francesco Akira & Aaron Henare, all determined to overthrow the Empire! Will Finlay’s forces have momentum as they go after the Empire’s treasures? Or will the IWGP US Champion, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and the Ultimate Weapon crush the rebellion before it begins?
The teams sort out and both Finlay and Ospreay are fired up so they start. Fans rally already as the bell rings, and the two approach. They feel out the grapple but then Ospreay pie faces Finlay and tags to TJP. The Public Enemy tells Finlay to go away and tag Taguchi. Finlay obliges and tags Taguchi. Taguchi and TJP circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Taguchi headlocks but TJP powers up and out, only for Taguchi to pull his nose! Red Shoes reprimands but Taguchi lets go to headlock again. TJP powers up and out again, but Taguchi again holds TJP’s nose! TJP reels Taguchi into the twisting headscissors! But Taguchi headscissors right back!
TJP moves around, headstands and fans applaud as he holds it. TJP then pushes Taguchi’s knees as he gets free. But Taguchi pulls TJP’s nose again! Red Shoes reprimands but Taguchi tucks TJP back into the headscissors. TJP pushes free again and wags a finger, but Taguchi just pulls TJP’s nose and tucks him back in! TJP pops free, but Taguchi ducks the Penalty Kick to roll TJP up! ONE, and Taguchi HIP ATTACKS! Fans fire up as Taguchi brings TJP over. Tag to Wato and Team Six or Nine double whip. They double drop toehold then double basement dropkick! Wato covers, ONE, but Wato bumps TJP off buckles.
Tag to DKC and the Young Lion fires off fast hands! DKC runs to CLOBBER TJP! Fans fire up with DKC and he drags TJP back up. DKC ROCKS TJP, whips him to ropes, but TJP goes Spider-Man. DKC runs in but TJP dumps him out! Henare goes after DKC while TJP & Akira rush over! They BLAST Finlay and Wato down, and Ospreay shrugs as he has no one to hit. Henare bends DKC back in a chinlock stretch, then Akira goes out to put DKC in the ring. Ospreay goes out to CLOBBER Finlay, and TOSS him over the railing into No Man’s Land! TJP snapmares DKC and covers, TWO! Fans rally but TJP tags Akira.
Akira runs, wheelbarrows with TJP for an assisted CODE BREAKER to a LARIAT! Cover, Wato breaks it! Akira kicks Wato out then stomps DKC. Akira ROCKS DKC but DKC fires forearms in return! Akira DECKS DKC! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Akira bumps DKC off buckles. Tag to Henare and he CLUBS DKC. And CLUBS him again. DKC fires forearms but Henare KICKS away on DKC’s leg. DCK goes to guard but Henare fakes him out to a SUPER PUNCH! Henare says that was open, not closed. Henare whips DKC hard into the corner and DKC bounces off buckles! Tag to Ospreay and Ospreay stomps DKC around.
Ospreay drags DKC up to ROCK him with a forearm, then CHOP him off his feet! Ospreay taunts DKC, bumps him off buckles, then BOOTS him down. Ospreay brings DKC up to EuroUpper! DKC hits back with body shots and forearms! Ospreay DECKS DKC! Tag to TJP, Ospreay tells fans to hush but they rally up. TJP bumps DKC off buckles and digs his boot in! TJP gets fans on his rhythm as he gives DKC scrape after scrape. TJP runs side to side to BOOT WASH! Fans rally again as TJP runs side to side, but DKC leaps for an AX HANDLE! DKC and TJP crawl, hot tag to Ospreay! Ospreay grabs a leg, DKC kicks him away, hot tag to Finlay!
Finlay jumps in but Ospreay BOOTS him! The forearms start flying back and forth, the fans fire up, and Finlay gets the edge! Finlay whips, Ospreay reverses, Finlay slides under and shoves to then hurdle and drop and DROPKICK! Ospreay goes to a corner, Finlay runs in but into a boot! Ospreay runs in, but into a DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Finlay tags Wato. They double whip Ospreay to ropes, but Ospreay ducks the double elbows to handspring and DOUBLE NEURALIZER! Ospreay tags Akira, then goes out after Finlay. Ospreay and Henare get Finlay up for an assisted DDT to the floor! Akira runs in at Wato but Wato BOOTS him!
Wato runs but into Akira’s elbow! Akira runs but into Wato’s CALF KICK! Wato whips Akira corner to corner but Akira reverses, only for Wato to dropkick his legs out! Wato goes to the apron and springboards, FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Wato fires up and he drags Akira into a waistlock. Akira fights the lift, elbows free, then runs, but avoids the boot! Akira feeds Wato to TJP’s chicken wings, but Wato dodges the superkick! TJP blocks that in time, but Wato KICKS Akira’s leg! TJP goes down, Wato reels Akira in, ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO! Akira is still in this but Wato calls Taguchi in. They wheelbarrow Akira, but Ospreay BOOTS Wato!
TJP SUPERKICKS Taguchi! Ospreay and Henare double whip Wato to double shoulder tackle! Wato is down, TJP lifts Akira up in the Electric Chair! ASSISTED SENTON! Henare PENALTY KICKS Wato back down! Ospreay STANDING SHOOTING STARS! Akira covers, but Taguchi slips in to break it! TJP throws Taguchi back out while fans fire up. Akira aims at Wato from a corner, but Wato ducks the Fireball! Akira ducks the Screw High Kick to SUPERKICK! Wato wobbles, Akira runs in, but Wato puts him on the apron! Wato ROCKS and DROPKICKS Akira, but Ospreay catches Akira with an Electric Chair!
TJP SUPERKICKS Wato, then Ospreay puts Akira on the apron. TJP suplexes Akira?! Into getting Wato with a RANA!! Wato takes a tumble up and out, the Empire ELIMINATES the Grandmaster! Taguchi runs in but into double kicks from the heavyweights. Henare & Ospreay double whip Taguchi to ropes but he DOUBLE HIP ATTACKS them down! Taguchi dodges TJP & Akira to then dragon sleeper TJP and kick Akira low. But Akira wrenches back and helps TJP up and over! TJP has the dragon sleeper on Taguchi to ELBOW DROP DDT! Akira covers, TWO! Taguchi is still in this and fans fire up!
The Empire regroups, TJP Electric Chair Lifts Taguchi while Akira climbs. But Taguchi slips off and shoves TJP into Akira! Akira falls off the top and onto Henare & Ospreay! Taguchi ELIMINATES Akira! We’re back to 3v3 and Taguchi rolls TJP! TWO, and TJP dragon sleepers! Taguchi fights free, spins TJP around to chicken wing but TJP drops to victory roll! TWO and TJP has the leg! OH MY GAH ANKLE! TJP flails, rolls and throws Taguchi away! TJP runs in but Taguchi throws him up and out! TJP holds on, skins the cat, but Taguchi HIP ATTACKS TJP against ropes! Taguchi then dumps TJP out and ELIMINATES him!
But Henare rushes in to dump Taguchi out! Taguchi holds on, ducks the haymaker and HOTSHOTS Henare! Taguchi slingshots, but Henare DECKS him and ELIMINATES him! But DKC rolls Henare up! TWO!! Henare hits a RAMP- NO, DKC sunset flips the spear, TWO!! DKC has the RINGS OF SATURN! Or as he calls it, the D K CRUCIFIX! Henare fights up, but DKC KARATE CHOPS away on Henare! DKC fires off forearms but Henare ROCKS him! Henare whips DKC to a corner, runs in, but into BOOTS! DKC goes up and FLYING RIDER KICKS! But Ospreay CHOPS DKC! Ospreay whips, DKC reverses and RIDER KICKS Ospreay!
Fans fire up with DKC and he drags Henare up! DKC traps an arm and KARATE CHOPS away on Henare! Fans rally and DKC CHOPS Henare down! FALLING CHOP!! Cover, TWO!! DKC fires up and he drags Henare up for forearms. DKC powers up the hand, but Henare catches the chop to a full nelson! DKC endures the Ultima, jumps up and drops to KICK Henare away! DKC runs but Henare scoops for the BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! DKC survives and fans fire up again! Henare snarls, he drags DKC up and throws a HARD body shot! Henare slashes his throat and kicks DKC around. Henare goes up a corner to SUPER SENTON! Cover, Henare ELIMINATES DKC!
Finlay is all alone now as he has Henare and Ospreay staring him down. Fans rally and Ospreay wants in. Henare tags Ospreay and Finlay says bring it! Ospreay and Henare run in but Finlay fires off hands on Ospreay! Then on Henare! Then he DECKS Ospreay! Henare CLUBS Finlay, Finlay hits back but he gets mugged 2v1. The Empire double whip but Finlay ducks the lariats to shove Henare into Ospreay! BIG back suplex for Henare! Finlay UPPERCUTS Ospreay in the corner! Finlay shoves Ospreay out and goes up, FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Finlay gets Ospreay up, but Ospreay fights the clinch!
Ospreay throws elbows, Finlay UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! Finlay whips, Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER! Finlay goes down and Ospreay goes to the apron. Fans fire up and Ospreay aims, springboard, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but he drags Finlay up. Ospreay CHOPS Finlay to the corner then tags in Henare. Henare drags Finlay up to throw knee after knee! Henare facelocks and suplexes, but Finlay fights it! Henare keeps Finlay up but Finlay throws a knee! Henare still holds Finlay up, and SLAMS him down! Cover, TWO! Henare hurries up the corner for the SUPER SENTON but he flops as Finlay moves!
Finlay crawls but there’s no one to tag. Henare tags Ospreay and he runs in, into an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay throws Ospreay over but Ospreay holds the ropes! Finlay thinks he’s gotten rid of Ospreay and stares Henare down, but Ospreay skins the cat and HOOK KICKS Finlay! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Finlay blocks the cutter! Finlay turns things around, but Ospreay slips out of the suplex! Henare gets in, Ospreay feeds Finlay to the ELBOW JAB! SUPERKICK! ROLLING ROUNDHOUSE!! Ospreay drags Finlay around and rolls him to the wheelbarrow. ASSISTED DDT!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans are thunderous but Ospreay is fuming! Ospreay calls his shot, Henare sets Finlay up for him, but Finlay shoves Henare at Ospreay! Ospreay goes tumbling over and out, Finlay ELIMINATES Ospreay!! Henare is shocked and furious, he rushes at Finlay but into PRIMA NOCTA! Finlay then cravats Henare for the ACID- NO, Henare powers out and HEEL KICKS Finlay down! Fans rally for Finlay as he stirs but Henare takes aim! Henare runs in, RAMPAGE!! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay survives again! Henare roars in frustration but he powers up with the Empire hand sign. Henare fisherman suplexes to the torture rack, but Finlay slips off to backslide!
Henare rolls through but Finlay suplexes for TRASH PANDA!! Cover, Finlay’s team wins!!
Winners: David Finlay, Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato & The DKC, by pinfall
Ospreay and the Empire are stunned! Tonight, the rebellion has won! The title matches are all this Sunday, 9/25, is this loss a sign that the Empire will fall? As for Finlay, he gets the mic and says in Japanese, “Thank you all very much.” In English, Finlay tells Ospreay before he leaves, “You can stack the odds against me, and I will overcome them every, single, time.” Ospreay says not likely. Finlay says Ospreay needs to hold onto the title real tight, because in just two days’ time, “you will suffer the exact same fate your boy, Aaron Henare, just suffered. And just like your weak ass kidneys, your title reign will die, as well! Because right here, this is MY time, and I am the NEXT United States Champion. So expect me!” Ospreay says he’s ready, but will even the Kingpin fall to the Rebel?
A very good penultimate event for the Burning Spirit series, and NJPW adjusted well to the recent tsunamis causing last weekend’s events to be canceled. The NEVER Openweight Six Man title match went about how I expected except for House of Torture winning. The way it was all going, I thought Yoh was going to have his moment being the hero of the match, but instead, Evil turns it around to snatch that win away. I don’t want to say this was the wrong choice, but it wasn’t a choice that made sense. Are there really other Face trios that can go for these titles? If Chaos retained, I feel like that could’ve opened the door to another combination of Bullet Club members to go for these titles.
The 8 Man Elimination Tag was great stuff, and I really like that NJPW adds the over-the-top elimination as a possibility. They get really creative with how they set up the eliminations, and DKC even got to look great in this since he wasn’t eliminated first. Finlay turning things around when he was in the 2v1 situation was good stuff, too. This win gives momentum to the challengers, but that would mean Finlay, Taguchi & Wato are going to lose in the title matches. Though, the last time I thought that, I think NJPW went the opposite and let those with momentum win. Between the two, I think Finlay is more likely to win the US title than Taguchi & Wato are to win the tag titles, but we’ll see on Sunday.
My Score: 8.5/10
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