Is the Cutthroat Era rising again?
With everyone chasing the same goal of becoming a dual champion, Jay White has a head start as THE IWGP Intercontinental Champion! But does Hirooki Goto end that tonight?
Coverage of Power Struggle 2019 will be as broadcast on AXS TV.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White VS Hirooki Goto; White wins and retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Power Struggle’s beginning!
The freshly minted IWGP Intercontinental Champion looks to hijack Tetsuya Naito’s destiny by becoming the first dual champion in NJPW first. However, for The Switchblade to usher in the new era, he must get through the Fierce Warrior of Chaos! The 2019 record between them is tied, so this tiebreaker is golden! Who leaves Osaka leading the race towards history?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White VS Hirooki Goto!
There’s no point in delaying the inevitable! Does White’s journey to history begin now? Or does Goto deny it outright?
Introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this tiebreaker on the road to destiny begins after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and fans rally up for Goto already. White and Goto circle, but then White slips out of the ring. The classic strategy is in effect already, and Goto demands White gets in. White takes his time returning, and circles with Goto to actually tie up. Goto puts White on the ropes but lets up, only for White to pie face and slip away again. White wants Goto to stay back and the ref keeps Goto in the ring. White gets up and in again, dodges a clothesline and headlocks. Goto powers out, but White grabs ropes and slips out a third time. White laughs until Goto gives chase. They go into the ring, White runs but Goto is ready and they bump shoulders. Neither budges so White tries again. Still nothing, so he tries a third time. White bumps Goto, Goto staggers back, but White gets out of the ring before Goto can return.
Goto gives chase again but White slips back in the ring. White stomps Goto as he slides back in then fires off clubbing forearms. White runs but Goto runs him over! Fans cheer this bit of karma on White. But White puts Goto in a corner to CHOP! Goto turns it around to fire off furious forearms! The ref backs Goto off but Goto throws White into buckles! Goto drags White up and snapmares him to a swift kick to the back! White scrambles but Goto drags him back for another kick! White writhes and Goto brings him up for ropes. Goto whips, White holds ropes again but he boots this time. Goto clotheslines White out anyway! Goto goes out but Gedo gets a cheap shot in! The ref reprimands Gedo but Goto glares at the traitor. White attacks from behind but the forearms barely do a thing. Goto DECKS White with a right!
Goto tells the ref to keep Gedo back, which he does. But this all distracts Goto from seeing White pick up a chair! White JAMS the chair into Goto’s back! White tucks the chair back under the ring and then plays innocent. The ref wants them to get this back in the ring, but White brings Goto up to RAM into railing! And again! The ref reprimands White but he just takes Goto around the way. White says hi to Katsuyori Shibata on Japanese commentary, before snap suplexing Goto into the railing! Shibata stands and the ref has to keep him at bay now. White hurries off into the ring to rest, and the ring count begins. The count climbs to 5, then 10 of 20. Goto stirs at 11 and crawls at 14. Goto rises at 17 and hops in at 18! But White is on that battered back with knee drop after knee drop!
White grabs a leg and turns Goto over for a Half Crab! Goto endures as White sits down deep. Fans rally up while Gedo taunts Goto. Goto powers up and crawls, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! But White holds on until the count of 4! Goto winces but White keeps the ref’s attention. Gedo yanks the blue corner’s buckle pad in the distraction! White whips Goto that way, and Goto hits bare buckles hard! Goto goes down, White covers, TWO! The Fierce Warrior won’t fall so easily, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS is back and White is back on Goto with a chinlock. White digs his knee into Goto’s back, but Goto endures. Goto works his way up to his feet and fights back with body shots. White clubs Goto’s back to then throw him down by his hair! White drags Goto up but Goto blocks the suplex. Goto hits back with body shots again, but now White blocks the suplex. White clubs Goto’s back over and over, and over and over! But Goto fires up! Only for White to rake his eyes, and throw him down by his hair again! White soaks up the heat but Osaka rallies for Goto. White drags Goto up, dodges Goto’s retaliation and rocks him with a right. Goto stays on his feet, and dares White to hit him harder! White throws a BIG right forearm, but Goto still wants more! White throws another, and starts growing annoyed with Goto’s fighting spirit.
White throws forearm after forearm after forearm after forearm after forearm, but none of them slow Goto down! So White just keeps throwing more, and then adds European Uppercuts! Goto comes back with ONE BIG forearm and floors White! Goto whips White but White reverses, but Goto blocks the hip toss to give a hip toss! Osaka comes alive for Goto ash e runs at White. But White catches and EXPLODER SUPLEXES Goto out of the ring! The ref checks on Goto after he crashes and burns, but White adds on by whipping Goto. Goto reverses to send White into railing! Goto clotheslines White over! White is down in the gap but Goto goes after him. Goto drags White back to ringside, to whip into railing on the far side! White writhes but Goto won’t stop, he whips White back the other way! White falls to his knees but Goto drags him up to put into the ring.
Fans rally up as Goto catches his breath. Goto runs in, windmill kick in the corner! SAIDO SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! White survives but Goto is not deterred. Goto drags White up again but White clamps onto a leg. Goto clubs White then drags him up into a fireman’s carry. But White rakes eyes! White gets to the apron and holds onto the ref as he “apologizes.” Goto staggers over, White shoves the ref at Goto! Goto pushes the ref out of the way but White hotshots Goto! White slides in, DDT drops Goto! White watches Goto crawl while also getting himself to a corner. White runs corner to corner, BIG EuroUpper! Fireman’s carry, Death Valley DDT! Cover, TWO! White is frustrated but Osaka rallies up again.
White gives toying kicks and slaps to Goto, and then brings Goto up. Goto blocks the suplex and suplexes back, but his back holds him back. Goto still resists White’s suplex, spins out, but White forearms away! White whips but Goto reverses to reel White in, but White dodges to CHOP! White runs but Goto follows, White dodges to run again but Goto still follows. White dodges again, but Goto keeps going, only for White to follow now. Goto dodges now, only to run into a Complete Shot! DEAD LIFT GERMAN! White grits his teeth, but Goto is up to German Suplex him back! Goto keeps moving, LARIAT! Both men are down as we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns as White drags Goto up. Goto elbows out of the sleeper, but White forearms him in the lower back. White grabs Goto again but Goto standing switches to throw White down by his hair, across Goto’s knee! Turnabout’s fair play! White and Goto crawl to opposite ends. Gedo is on White’s side but Osaka is on Goto’s. Goto runs in but misses in the corner, snap saido from White! White staggers and drags Goto over at the 20 minute mark. White hoists Goto up top and throws a forearm. White climbs to join Goto, but Goto resists the superplex with body shots. Goto headbutts White a few times, then drags White in. Goto stands up but White claws at his face! White clubs away on Goto, positions himself on the very top, SUPERPLEX! White rises fast and drags Goto up, but Goto gets him into the fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI!
Both men are down, but Osaka is rallying up again. Goto drags White up and into the dragon sleeper, but White drops to snapmare free. White clubs away on Goto, Goto fireman’s carries to the dragon sleeper! But White fights out with wild hands, only for Goto to suplex him up! White fights free, but swings into the dragon sleeper! White slips out, but Goto denies Blade Runner by pulling hair! Goto powers White down into position, headbutts away, but Gedo distracts the ref! LOW BLOW UPPERCUT! White sneaks it in and Osaka boos! Gedo backs off and White drags Goto up into the sleeper hold, SLEEPER SUPLEX! But White isn’t done there, he drags Goto up, only for Goto to HEADBUTT! And now, Goto drags White up, reels him in, fireman’s carry, but White elbows free. So Goto headbutts again! Goto has White up, for Reverse GTR!
But Goto is not done! He drags White up, suplexes, SHOTENKAI! Cover, TWO!? White survives and shocks Goto, but does not discourage him. Goto drags himself up as Osaka rallies again. Gedo distracts but gets DECKED! Goto has to catch his breath, but he fires up as he focuses his power. White ducks the kick, but walks into a fireman’s carry. White slips out again, has Goto in a dragon sleeper but flips him around, in position, but still no Blade Runner as Goto slips out! Goto has dragon sleeper, but White slips out, spins Goto around, SLEEPER SUPLEX! But Goto is up!? BUZZSAW! Fireman’s carry, G T W!! The fusion of Ushigoroshi and GTR! Cover, TWO!?! White survives?! But that only fires Goto up more! Dragon sleeper, TRUE GTR!! Cover, but Gedo YANKS the referee out!! Goto had this won and Gedo knew it!
Gedo laughs as he gets in the ring. He stalks Goto, but here comes SHIBATA! Shibata may not be an active competitor, but he can be an enforcer! Shibata gets rid of Gedo and tells Goto to finish this! Then he puts Gedo in a sleeper! Goto drags White up, but KENTA attacks!! The Bullet Club’s Fang Revived strikes while there’s no authority! He drags Goto up, fireman’s carry, GO TO SLEEP! Then he BOOTS Shibata on the way out! Fans boo but Bullet Club gets away with more shenanigans! The referee returns, and Kenta whips Shibata into railing! And then fires off vicious kicks! White drags Goto up despite being dead weight, for BLADE RUNNER! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; still IWGP Intercontinental Champion
Or rather, Bullet Club won this match. Shibata risked a lot getting involved and paid for it at the hands of Kenta. White benefits the most by keeping his half of history going. Will White fight his way from here to another chance at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? We will hear from The Switchblade after the break.
NJPW returns as Jay White speaks.
“Osaka~…!” The fans boo as White says he’ll keep this short. “I did what I said I was going to do, and Goto is done. Finished! Career over!” White promised this would happen. Goto lived up to be the embarrassment he always was. But White is the one who “single-handedly” sold out Madison Square Garden! White is the Last Rock ‘n’ Rolla, “and that’s rrrreeal!” White is still your IWGP Intercontinental Champion! “But wait, there’s more!” White again vows to be the first-ever dual Intercontinental AND Heavyweight Champion! And not the first night of Wrestle Kingdom, no, no. He vows to be on the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 to go right up against the winner of Kota Ibushi VS Kazuchika Okada! Which means Ibushi and Okada should “come on down!”
White waits, and wonders where the top two guys have gone. But wait, it isn’t Ibushi or Okada that comes out, it’s NAITO! Fans cheer as Tetsuya Naito walks to the ring. White thinks Naito is here to congratulate White on winning tonight and soon becoming the first-ever- Naito stops White right there by snatching the mic. Naito says, “Holding the IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight titles at the same time. The first man to accomplish this tremendous feat… Will be me.” So sorry about this, but Naito will need the Intercontinental Championship back. White understands what Naito’s up to and wants the mic back. But Naito isn’t giving it over. And now Ibushi heads out! The G1 Climax 29 winner, the Right to Challenge holder, and yet another man who declared himself the future historic dual champion, enters the ring!
Ibushi takes the mic to tell Naito and Jay that it’s been a while since he’s been in the ring with them. And Ibushi agrees about the double champion. Last January, Ibushi choose NJPW, “looking to change my life.” But there is someone out there who doesn’t agree with them. That is OKADA! Ibushi and Naito wait, but White “begs” Okada as an “old friend from Chaos” to appear. Well maybe Gedo should ask, he’s an older friend than White. Gedo doesn’t want to. But even so, Okada does appear! The Rainmaker makes his way to the ring, joining the three men who want his title as part of their mission. Okada gets on the mic to ask, “What did you say?” Ibushi wants to be a double champion, Naito wants to be a double champion and White wants to be a double champion. “What the hell are you thinking!?”
Okada holds up his belt, because he is proud to fight for THE IWGP title! THE title in NJPW! An IWGP Heavyweight Championship match, or a double title match? Okada repeats this question. Fans like the former, and aren’t so sure about the latter. So Okada asks again! IWGP Heayvweight Championship match? YAY~! Double Title Match? Boo~! Well, that’s still more than Okada expected. “So, on the subject of the Tokyo Dome… Naito, there was an election recently, wasn’t there?” Should they let the people vote for what they want to see? Naito considers it, and there’s a bit of a stand off. White takes up the mic and says, “That’s enough. All of you **** off, I want my confetti, this is my night!” Okada takes his leave, as does Ibushi. White refuses to accept Naito’s challenge. Naito reluctantly leaves and White says he wants to be announced as both the Intercontinental and soon to be FIRST-EVER DOUBLE CHAMPION! And then get the confetti!
But Naito stops on stage as Gedo explains to the ring announcer. The announcer does as White says, and White gets his confetti. Naito watches on, still aiming for his part of history. However, will that poll Okada mentioned go a way White doesn’t want? Is there going to be an even more historic match on the horizon?
A pretty good episode to start NJPW Power Struggle on AXS, though perhaps not the most exciting. Osaka wasn’t as loud as I would’ve expected, but as the usual order of AXS encores, the last part is usually first just to get the vies and ratings. Osaka might’ve been tired from action earlier in the night, but at the same time, the usual pace of a Goto and/or White match isn’t usually what excites. The story was all there, though. White is good at trolling and playing the long game, but things did liven up for the fans as the match reached the end. However, White beating Goto because of Bullet Club should’ve been obvious. It’s good ol’ fashioned Heel tactics, but perhaps too typical. Shibata getting involved was surprising, too. Is this them testing the waters to see if he’s getting better? It would be quite the amazing moment in wrestling if he came back from the head injury that took him out.
What was really intriguing was White being confronted by Naito but also getting the two men he wanted in Ibushi and Okada. Wrestle Kingdom 14 being two nights this year, there’s a chance we get both Naito VS White for the Intercontinental and Ibushi VS Okada for the Heavyweight title, and then each winner moves on to night two for THE historic match. Okada trying to get Osaka to respond to his question clearly took a couple times to get fans to respond, but I was really surprised NJPW fans weren’t as enthusiastic about a double championship match. I almost thought there’d be a Fatal 4 Way Winner Takes All, but NJPW doesn’t like matches that are more than 1v1 like that. The two separate title matches leading to the dual champion match is more likely, and would make for a good reason as to why WK14 is a two day event.
My Score: 8.3/10
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (9/26/21)
Round three, A Block!
The G1 Climax rolls on!
The G1 Climax rolls on deeper into the Fall! Zack Sabre Jr. has defeated two top names in NJPW in a row, will he make it a third?
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.
- Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter; Khan wins.
- Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado; Yano wins.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA: Kenta wins.
- Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current A Block standings! (Adjusted for Naito’s absence)
Great-O-Khan: 3-0, 6 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 2-0, 4 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [has special singles bye]
Kenta: 2-1, 4 points
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-1, 4 points
Toru Yano: 2-1, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-1, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-1, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-2, 2 points
BONUS CONTENT: Takagi speaks after his win over Yuji Nagata.
“I’m HERE! I’ve returned to Kobe. Unfortunately, the scheduled main event, Takagi VS Naito, couldn’t happen as planned. But I’ll do my part to make sure that we get to see Shingo Takagi VS Tetsuya Naito very soon!” In order to do that, Takagi promises to win the G1! And that’s all he has to say about that. So now, the Dragon’s mission to make history has even more fuel for the fire! Will Takagi take the block, take the G1 trophy and name Naito as his Wrestle Kingdom challenger?
Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!
The Dominator technically leads the block given the allotted Naito points, but he still has to earn the other victories! Will the Tokyo Pimp get back up in the G1 with another shocking win?
The bell rings and Khan stares Yujiro down. Then he drops to dare Yujiro to take on his leg guard. Pieter thinks this is a trick but Yujiro walks up to try it. Yujiro gives kicks but Khan keeps his guard up. Yujiro kicks again but gets caught to a KNEEBAR! Yujiro scrambles to the ropebreak and Khan lets go. Khan waits on Yujiro and they reset. They feel out the grapple, Khan gets a leg then a waistlock then drags Yujiro down. Khan shifts to an arm but Yujiro wrenches. The two separate, tie up again, and Khan waistlocks for another takedown. Khan rolls but Yujiro prevents the cover. Yujiro gets a facelock but Khan counters with a takedown. Cover, ONE, and fans cheer the exchange.
Khan and Yujiro reset again, feel out a new grapple, and Khan has a facelock. Khan throws Yujiro over to a lateral press, ONE, but Khan keeps on with the facelock. Yujiro fights up, and BITES Khan’s hand! The ref counts, Khan grabs Yujiro’s ear with the claw! Khan CLUBS Yujiro’s ear, then kicks. Yujiro blocks to throw Khan down and he basement boots Khan away! Yujiro kicks Khan out of the ring then goes out to bring him up for a low knee. Yujiro CLUBS Khan, has Pieter bring him his cane, and then Pieter distracts the ref while Yujiro brings Khan up the ramp. Yujiro gets space to CANE SHOT Khan back down the ramp! Khan tumbles all the way to ringside!
Yujiro struts his way back and tosses the cane aside. Yujiro goes into the ring to let the ring count take care of Khan. Khan clutches his back as the count climbs all the way to 10 of 20. Khan manages to stand at 14 but with help of railing. Khan crawls and gets in at 19.5! Fans cheer but Yujiro drags Khan up by his beard. Yujiro snapmares Khan and then throws haymakers. Pieter’s almost dancing as Yujiro runs and basement boots Khan back down! Cover, TWO! Yujiro smirks while Khan tries to get feeling in his lower back. Yujiro drops a leg, drops an elbow and drops a headbutt. Cover, TWO! Yujiro grows annoyed but he gives toying kicks and head slaps.
Khan throws body shots and forearms but Yujiro SLAPS him! Yujiro scoops and SLAMS Khan, then runs to drop a leg, brother! Cover, TWO! Yujiro is again annoyed but he stomps Khan down. Fans rally up for Khan but Yujiro stomps him at the ropes. Yujiro brings Khan up but Khan CHOPS him! And CHOPS! And then throws forearms! Yujiro knees low, whips Khan to a corner and runs in to BOOT him! Yujiro runs but Khan kicks. Yujiro blocks, throws Khan down again but Khan avoids the basement boot! Khan returns the favor with the kick block and throw! Dead lift gut wrench suplex! Both men are down and fans rally up!
Khan and Yujiro slowly rise, and Khan reels Yujiro in. Yujiro throws forearms in return, but Khan RAMS Yujiro into a corner! Khan fires himself up and whips Yujiro corner to corner to then clothesline from behind! Khan hoists Yujiro up top, puts some stank on his hands and MONGOLIAN CHOPS Yujiro in the back! Yujiro falls into the Tree of Woe and then Khan makes sure Pieter is watching as he toys with Tokyo Pimp. Khan goes to the far corner, hits a three point stance and runs in to SLIDING BOOT Yujiro out of the Tree! Cover, TWO! Khan keeps his cool, and he starts taunting Yujiro back with toying kicks.
Khan asks Pieter what’s up with Yujiro but Yujiro springs up to CHOP! Khan CHOPS back! Khan eggs Yujiro on, Yujiro CHOPS back! They CHOP and CHOP, then Yujiro mule kicks! MONGOLIAN CHOPS and an URENAGE from Khan! Cover, TWO! KATAGATAMI! The head ‘n’ arm triangle squeeze the air out of Yujiro as Khan pushes up! Yujiro reaches out and gets a ROPEBREAK with a foot! Khan holds until the ref counts 4, and fans rally up as Khan slashes his throat! Khan drags Yujiro up, dragon sleepers and suplexes but Yujiro slips out! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down on the mat! Yujiro stirs as fans build to another rally and Khan slowly rises.
Yujiro runs at Khan to BOOT, then he runs to dodge a boot! Yujiro reels Khan in, INCOLLE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Khan is still in this but Yujiro still has tricks to try. Khan flounders to ropes, Yujiro storms over and brings him up. Yujiro has Khan lean on the ropes for his BOOT! Yujiro then reels Khan in for a fireman’s carry, MIAMI SHINE! Cover, TWO!! Khan still lives and Yujiro grows frustrated! Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, but no Pimp Juice! IRON CLAW SLEEPER!! Khan then spins Yujiro around but Yujiro slips out of the Eliminator to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Khan again survives, but Yujiro roars! Fans fire up with Yujiro as he goes back to Khan!
Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, IMP- NO! No Impaler as Khan whips, but DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls so Yujiro roars again! But he runs into the KITSUJIGOROSHI!! And ELIMINATOR SLAM!! Cover, Khan wins!!
Winner: Great-O-Khan, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yujiro earns 0)
The Dominator IS dominating the block! With the Naito forfeit giving him bonus points, he’s already at 8! Will Khan continue to run away with the lead? As for Yujiro, will he be able to get another win as good as his first?
Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado!
The Clown Prince was dominated by Great-O-Khan while the Silverback got a Blue Justice bye. Who gets back into the swing of things with round three?
Yano’s long introduction finishes and Loa Low Sweets with Jado. But Yano again gets impatient as the ref checks him for things. What is that bag that is suspiciously labeled as if it weren’t suspicious? It’s Yano’s stash of extra wrist tape AND handcuffs! Yano claims those are harmless but the ref gathers them all up and confiscates them. The bell rings and Loa still wants to make sure Yano has nothing else. Yano says it’s fine, they’ll wrestle. They tie up, Loa powers Yano to ropes and Yano calls for the ropebreak. Loa frisks Yano for himself, then lets off as he’s satisfied there are no tricks up Yano’s tights. Loa then dares Yano to bring the fight. Yano throws a forearm, Loa gives one back!
Fans like the serious look on Yano’s face as he and Loa keep throwing forearms back and forth! They pick up speed, Yano gets the edge but Loa DECKS him! Loa gets Yano up to DECK him again but he’s not satisfied. Loa ROCKS Yano again, “This is the G1!” He wants to see that fight! Yano rakes Loa’s eyes! Yano runs but Loa runs him over! Yano bails out but Loa goes out after him. Loa CLUBS Yano on the back, follows him around the way then CLUBS him again. Loa whips Yano but Yano reverses to send Loa into railing! Yano paces, the ring count starts, Yano goes after Loa’s shirt! Loa stops Yano from making this a hockey scrum, only to do the same to Yano!
Yano can’t see and Loa leaves him floundering around as the count climbs! We’re past 15, Loa shoves a Young Lion into Yano for good measure! Loa gets in at 17, Yano keeps floundering, but he gets his shirt down at 19 to get in at 19.9! Loa applauds then stomps Yano at the ropes. Loa drags Yano up, RAMS him into a corner, and then RAMS into him more and more. The ref counts, Loa lets off and fans rally up. Loa takes a few bows then drags Yano back up. Snapmare and run for a basement boot! Cover, TWO! Loa argues the count but the ref says it is fair. Loa pulls on an arm but Yano is dead weight. So Loa CHOKES Yano! The ref counts, Loa stops at 4, and “apologizes.”
Loa drags Yano up, whips him corner to corner and clotheslines! Then whip and redirect into the corner for another clothesline! Loa then reels Yano in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Yano stays in this but Loa is annoyed. Loa CHOKES Yano again! the ref counts, Loa lets off and he sits Yano up for a chinlock. Yano endures as Loa leans on the hold. Yano throws elbows and gets free! But Loa headbutts Yano back! Loa whips, Yano holds ropes and taunts Loa, to then dodge and SLAP him! Loa runs at Yano but Yano dodges to clinch and BELLY2BELLY! Fans fire up and rally behind Yano as he gets up. Yano goes to a corner to untie the buckle pad!
Yano has the liberated pad but the ref grabs at him. Yano shoves the ref away to PAD SMACK Loa! Loa just grimaces so Yano SMACKS him again! Loa flexes, Yano SMACKS again but Loa roars. Yano freaks out, Loa kicks and whips, but Yano stops himself from running into bare buckles. Loa runs in, Yano sends him into the bare buckles! Fireman’s Carry Takeover! Fans fire up with Yano and he drags Loa up. Yano reels Loa in but Loa blocks the suplex. Loa wrenches, kicks and knees to ENZIGURI! Yano wobbles, Loa reels him in for a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Yano survives but Loa is right on him with a CROSSFACE!
Yano endures the #OGKiller even as Loa cranks way back! Yano moves around, reaches out, but Loa thrashes him around! Yano keeps moving and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Loa lets off but he asks Yano, “Why!? I want the two points!” Loa drags Yano up, reels him in, but Yano turns it into a gator roll! TWO, and Yano hurries up! Loa runs at him to SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Loa hurries to get Yano up, scoops him but Yano fights free! Yano hits an atomic drop then a trip to a CATAPULT into the bare buckles! Loa staggers, Yano goes to low blow but the ref stops him! The ref won’t let Yano cheat right in front of him!
But then Loa shoves Yano into the ref! And LARIATS Yano down! Jado gets in because the ref is down! He drags Yano up, holds him for Loa, and Loa has the kendo stick! Yano fights free, dodges the stick and shoves Jado into the buckles! KENDO SMACK on Loa, then Yano plays dead like Jado hit him! Loa acts like he had no idea what Jado was doing, but the ref is distracted and Yano LOW BLOWS Loa! Schoolboy, Yano wins!!
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Loa earns 0)
#YTRFTW! He keeps his chances alive while Loa flounders near the bottom! If not for those Naito points, Loa wouldn’t have anything! Can the Silverback rebound and finally earn his first two G1 points?
Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA!
The Stone Pitbull is the one NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champion with points, but only because Naito is out. As for Fang Revived, he defeated a fellow Bullet Club member without ruining the team dynamics. Will Ishii scratch the itch and earn himself a win? Or will Kenta take a bite out of him and keep his own chances alive?
Kenta taunts Ishii, waving his shirt like a bullfighter. The bell rings and Ishii stares Kenta down. Kenta mocks Ishii’s hunched posture and then bails out of the ring. Ishii stays patient as Kenta paces on the outside. Kenta takes his time returning, then again mocks the raging bull before he bails out again, “Ole~!” Kenta paces around again, slowly returns, then bails out as Ishii storms over. “Ole~” but then Ishii drags Kenta in from the apron! Ishii throws haymakers then whips, but Kenta holds ropes. Ishii runs in to clothesline, then keeps going to run Kenta over! Kenta bails out but Ishii is right out after him! Ishii drags Kenta up and whips him into railing!
Kenta flounders around and Ishii stalks him. Ishii drags Kenta up as fans rally, and Ishii whips Kenta into more railing! Kenta staggers closer to the timekeeper’s area and he grabs the ring bell! Ishii storms over to get a RING BELL SHOT! Kenta then POSTS Ishii, bad arm first! The ref reprimands and checks on Ishii, but what about the bell? Kenta drags Ishii up, wrenches the arm to an ELBOW BREAKER, then hammerlocks to RAM Ishii into railing! The ref wants this to get back in the ring but now he has to check on Ishii again. Kenta stomps Ishii, the ref tells him to back off, and Kenta smooths his hair. Kenta drags Ishii up and into the ring and fans cheer that this continues.
Kenta stomps Ishii around, but Ishii gets up as he snarls. Kenta KICKS the bad arm and Ishii falls over. Ishii kicks from below but Kenta stomps him down. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Ishii clutches his arm but Kenta grabs it for an armlock. Kenta pulls it into a Fujiwara but Ishii endures, even as Kenta talks trash. Kenta keeps on the arm but Ishii crawls his way over to get a ropebreak. The ref counts, Kenta lets go with one hand but still uses leverage to crank the arm. The ref counts again, Kenta lets off to stomp Ishii. Kenta kicks the bad arm again but Ishii keeps getting up. Ishii even eggs him on!
Kenta KICKS more but Ishii fires forearms! Kenta gets the arm again, ELBOW BREAKER! Kenta rains down forearms but the ref has him back off. The ref checks on Ishii but Kenta copies Yano by undoing a buckle pad. Kenta drags Ishii up, whips him over but Ishii reverses! Kenta hits bare buckles and falls in a heap! Fans rally again as Ishii stands. Ishii gives toying kicks to Kenta and Kenta end up in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and CHOPS, fighting through the pain in his bad arm to hit Kenta again and again. Ishii then CHOPS and forearms again and again and again! Kenta falls down, Ishii only stops because his arm finally hurts too much.
Ishii goes back to Kenta, drags him up and whips him corner to corner. Kenta reverses but Ishii bounces off the corner to CLOBBER Kenta! Ishii drags Kenta up and reels him in but Kenta fights the lift. Kenta standing switches but Ishii elbows him away. Kenta BOOTS from the corner, climbs up and TORNADO HOTSHOTS Ishii! Kenta climbs, for the FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta snarls but he kicks at Ishii. Ishii gets mad, swings on Kenta but Kenta catches the arm for a takedown! Kenta wants the Fujiwara again but Ishii gets a ropebreak! The ref counts, Kenta lets go, and Ishii gets to the apron.
Fans rally up but Kenta stomps Ishii down. Kenta then drags Ishii up through the ropes but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii suplexes but Kenta fights it! Kenta throws body shots then HOTSHOTS the arm! Kenta has Ishii through ropes, DRAPING DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Kenta is annoyed but he slithers away to the far corner. Ishii gets up, Kenta runs in to BOOT Ishii down! Then he goes corner to corner again, HESITATION DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Kenta climbs up top! Ishii avoids the double stomps, then avoids the boot to waistlock and CORNER GERMAN! Fans cheer as both men are down again. They rally up for “I-SHI-I!” as he and Kenta stir.
Ishii fires himself up as he stands, and he runs back in at Kenta to clothesline! Kenta growls and throws a forearm! Ishii growls and they brawl with forearm after forearm! They each egg the other on as they go, no guard and no slowing down! Ishii ROCKS Kenta, and again, but Kenta LARIATS! Ishii doesn’t flinch! Ishii gives boxing elbows, Kenta BACK HANDS, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Kenta DISCUS LARIATS! Both men are down again and fans rally up! Kenta drags himself over to ropes and then to the apron. Kenta climbs up the corner, leaps, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta drags Ishii back up.
Ishii gives low headbutts but Kenta KNEES him right back down. Kenta runs the ropes to KNEE Ishii against them! Kenta runs again but into a BIG shoulder tackle! Fans fire up as Ishii growls and roars! Ishii shakes out the bad arm, brings Kenta back up and reels him in. Ishii lifts, but Kenta fights out to KICK the bad arm! Kenta drags Ishii down into the omoplata and the crossface, GAME OVER! Ishii endures and fans rally up as Kenta pulls back harder! Ishii moves around, trying to find ropes while Kenta’s hands are in his eyes and blinding him! Kenta pulls back even harder and Ishii flails! Ishii kicks around and gets a ropebreak with a foot!
Fans cheer but Kenta shoves the ref away as he drives elbow after elbow into Ishii! Kenta sits Ishii up and runs to PENALTY KICK! But Ishii blocks it! Ishii gets up, Kenta fires off hands, but Ishii spins Kenta around for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again but fans still rally. Ishii gets up, slaps feeling into his bad arm, and then drags Kenta back up. Kenta throws forearm after forearm but Ishii DECKS him with one! It was the bad arm, though, so Ishii is again clutching it in pain. Ishii drags Kenta back up, puts him on the top rope and climbs up to join him. Ishii gets Kenta up for the STALLING SUPERPELX! Ishii crawls to the cover, TWO!!
Fans fire up and build to another rally as Kenta survives. Ishii goes to a corner and watches Kenta rise. Ishii runs corner to corner but Kenta gets around for a sleeper! Ishii back suplexes but Kenta slips free! Kenta runs but Ishii LARIATS him down! Ishii roars and shakes the bad arm out before he runs again. BUSAIKU KNEE!! Kenta fires up and aims from a corner, runs in and BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives two running knees but Kenta doesn’t get frustrated just yet. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta drags Ishii back up. Fireman’s carry but Ishii throws elbows to hold it off. Kenta cross counters and fires off slapping palm strikes! Ishii falls and Kenta takes down his knee pad!
Kenta fireman’s carries, GO TO- NO! Ishii lands on his feet to HEADBUTT! Both men fall over and fans are thunderous! Ishii crawls his way over to Kenta to sit him up. Ishii builds speed for the SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta lives and Ishii roars in frustration! Ishii powers up, drags Kenta up but Kenta fireman’s carries! GO TO- NO! Ishii facelocks but Kenta slips out of the suplex to SUPERKICK! Ishii swats the roundhouse to ENZIGURI! Kenta falls and Ishii fires up with the fans! Ishii runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and fans are thunderous again as Ishii gets him back up! Suplex to-
No, Kenta knees free then bumps Ishii off bare buckles! Roll up, Kenta wins!!
Winner: Kenta, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Ishii earns 0)
Did Fang Revive just pick up something from a Yano-esque tactic? Kenta also rubs in that he just seems to have Ishii’s number. Will Kenta keep things going until he’s number one with a bullet? As for Ishii, are his G1 chances already up in smoke?
Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The Golden Star is shining bright again after his win in round two, but he’s going against the Submission Master! ZSJ made Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi #JustTapOut, will he make it a hat trick to start his G1 run?
The bell rings and the two circle. They feel out the grapple, Ibushi shoots in to waistlock but ZSJ switches to then go for arms. Ibushi moves around, ZSJ stays on top of him with a facelock but they end up in ropes. ZSJ lets off cleanly and fans cheer the sportsmanship. Ibushi and ZSJ circle again, feel out this exchange, and Ibushi drops down. ZSJ is ready again and goes for arms. Ibushi flips over, ZSJ gets a lateral press but no cover as Ibushi keeps moving around. ZSJ goes for an arm, Ibushi headscissors and pushes up for leverage. ZSJ bridges back, moves around and pops free to then pat Ibushi and back off. Ibushi keeps cool as he and ZSJ reset again.
They approach, feel out a new grapple and Ibushi puts ZSJ on ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, ZSJ unhooks and Ibushi backs off with a pat of his own. But then ZSJ pie faces Ibushi, and ducks the roundhouse! ZSJ bails out and wants Ibushi to calm down. Ibushi waits and ZSJ slides back in to circle with him again. They knuckle lock, ZSJ steps over to trap the arm and then has a cravat. He shifts to a headlock, grinds Ibushi down, but Ibushi fights up to power out. Things speed up, ZSJ turns hip toss into a spin but Ibushi fights the backslide! Ibushi avoids the arm Pele and ZSJ avoids kick after kick! The fans cheer as even Red Shoes has to get out of the way when ZSJ goes to ropes for safety.
Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” as he waits on ZSJ. They reset and feel out another grapple. Ibushi then KICKS ZSJ in the leg, and ZSJ walks it off. ZSJ comes back, he and Ibushi again feel things out, but again Ibushi KICKS his leg. ZSJ shrugs it off as he and Ibushi go again. ZSJ gives a kick but Ibushi KICKS his leg out! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on but ZSJ circles around, guarding that left leg. ZSJ knuckle locks, rolls, wrangles Ibushi down but Ibushi kips up to KICK the leg! ZSJ eggs Ibushi on so Ibushi gives more kicks. ZSJ pays for egging Ibushi on but he gives back forearms. Ibushi KICKS the leg! ZSJ crumples but Ibushi runs in to BOOT him out of the ring!
Ibushi waits for ZSJ to stand and slingshots but ZSJ slides in. Ibushi forearms, but slingshots into a DRAPING GUILLOTINE! ZSJ then makes it a HANGING ARMBAR, but lets off as Red Shoes counts! ZSJ then wrenches and PELES the arm! Ibushi falls over as he clutches his arm, but ZSJ goes out after him, ZSJ twists the wrist and bends the fingers before he traps the arm and STOMPS it! Ibushi clutches his wrist while ZSJ goes into the ring. The ring count begins and Ibushi gets up at 5 of 20. ZSJ is after Ibushi as soon as he’ sin, but they’re in the ropes so Red Shoes calls for the break. ZSJ still tortures Ibushi’s arm to STOMP it again!
Fans rally up as ZSJ paces around. ZSJ kicks Ibushi’s bad arm but Ibushi dares him to keep going. ZSJ traps the arm for a TWIST! Now Ibushi’s the one for egging ZSJ on. Fans rally up as ZSJ says Ibushi’s arm is suffering for ZSJ’s leg. ZSJ gives little hip bumps and swift kicks, so Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! And again! And again! ZSJ gets the arm for an ELBOW BREAKER and a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! ZSJ drags Ibushi down into body scissors as he keeps on the Kimura but Ibushi gets a ropebreak. ZSJ lets go to drag Ibushi back towards center. ZSJ wrenches the arm, twists elbow, wrist and fingers as he pushes towards the top wristlock! And he STOMPS it!
Fans cheer the technical savagery as ZSJ drags Ibushi up again. ZSJ wrenches but Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! ZSJ holds on to wrench again, so Ibushi forearms again! Ibushi fires off more forearms then whips but ZSJ reverses to wrench and ARM SNAP! ZSJ runs but into Ibushi’s FLYING KICK! Ibushi rallies the fans and he gets up. Ibushi dares ZSJ to stand, and then he fires off a strike fest! KICK to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps the fans going as he drags ZSJ up in a half nelson. ZSJ uses a leg to break free then he KICKS Ibushi’s bad arm! ZSJ whips, Ibushi goes up and over and rolls to RANA!
ZSJ bails out, Ibushi fires fans up and he PLANCHAS! Both men are down on the outside but fans fire up! Ibushi gets ZSJ into the ring and then aims from the apron. ZSJ stands, Ibushi springboards and missile dropkicks ZSJ down! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his focus as he gets back up. Ibushi stands ZSJ up and reels him in but ZSJ blocks the bomb lift. ZSJ wrenches the bad arm to WRING it out into the mat! “There we go! Now we’ve got Ibushi going!” ZSJ drags Ibushi up as fans rally. ZSJ half nelsons then full nelsons but Ibushi powers out with an arm-drag. ZSJ EuroUppers, runs but fakes out the dropkick to then roll Ibushi to a headscissors ARMBAR! But Ibushi gets a ROPEBREAK!
ZSJ lets go but gives Ibushi toying kicks. Ibushi eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ gives him more. ZSJ stands up and dares Ibushi to follow. Ibushi sits up but ZSJ gives more swift kicks. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ off his feet! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on now and ZSJ gets up. ZSJ KICKS but Ibushi doesn’t seem bothered. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ and he staggers away to the corner! ZSJ comes back to KICK, but Ibushi shakes his head. Ibushi KICKS, ZSJ staggers but stays up this time. ZSJ KICKS, Ibushi KICKS! ZSJ still gets up and they go forehead to forehead. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but into a backslide! ZSJ slips through but into a short arm LARIAT!
Fans are thunderous as ZSJ gets to ropes. Ibushi runs but ZSJ hits a FLYING KICK! Almost like Ibushi’s earlier! ZSJ gets Ibushi up, SIT OUT BOMB! Also like Ibushi! Cover, TWO, but into a leg hook nelson and armlock! Ibushi endures partial Clarky Cat and moves around to get a ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go quickly and is too tired to be frustrated. ZSJ isolates Ibushi’s arm and STOMPS it again! Fans rally up hard as ever as ZSJ drags Ibushi up. ZSJ reels Ibushi in, scoops but Ibushi slips out to HALF ‘N’ HALF SUPLEX! ZSJ flounders away and Ibushi gets up as fans rally again. Ibushi roars and runs into the corner but ZSJ BOOTS him! ZSJ runs but into a POWERSLAM!
Ibushi rolls to the corner but ZSJ SHOTGUNS his legs out before the moonsault! Ibushi falls in a heap but ZSJ is also down, catching his breath. Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” “Z S J!” as ZSJ watches Ibushi sit up. PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO, into an ANKLE LOCK! ZSJ stands up but Ibushi turns to stand. Ibushi fires forearms but ZSJ CRANKS the ankle! ZSJ leans on the hold but Ibushi still endures. Ibushi fights up again to DECK ZSJ with a straight shot! ZSJ sputters away and Ibushi crawls over that way. Ibushi powers up, runs, but ZSJ BOOTS the lariat away to wrench and PELE the other arm! BOOT but Ibushi V-TRIGGERS!! KENNY~!
ZSJ sits up slowly as Ibushi fires himself up. Ibushi calls upon the powers of Nakamura to BOMAYE! Cover, TWO! But Ibushi gets the wrists, only for ZSJ to pop him into an armbar! Ibushi clasps hands, ZSJ fights for control, they roll and Ibushi has a wrist for a BUZZSAW! Ibushi sits ZSJ up with double wrists, but ZSJ tilt-o-whirls around to an IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ drags Ibushi down to the floor and gets the leg, a triangle modification of Napalm Death! Ibushi shifts around but he’s caught!! Ibushi VERBALLY quits, ZSJ wins!!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (gains 2 points; Ibushi earns 0)
INCREDIBLE! The Submission Master sidelines Naito, slays the Dragon, and even makes the back-to-back G1 winner #JustTapOut!! And since he earned his points off Naito, you could even say he’s the REAL leader of A Block! And he makes sure Ibushi knows it, too! Is there any chance the Golden Star can still make it back to a fourth G1 finals in a row? Or is this just not his year?
As for ZSJ, he of course gets on the mic. “Oi. Everyone, good evening. Thank you so much for today. In this G1, I will do my very best!” ZSJ takes a bow before saying he’s OF COURSE joking with them. Bunch o’ idiots! He’s takin’ a piss, obviously. “Do your best? I don’t need to do my best, I’m beating these pricks on autopilot!” A Block is the one that needs to do their best! No one has an answer for the Soy Boy Tekker! “14 stone, Vegan technical wizard, smashing everyone in this bloody tournament. My word.” The G1 Climax is Zack’s! Take the bracket and throw it in the bin with Naito’s knees.
Oh and speaking of Naito, too bad for him. He was supposed to be in tonight’s main event. ZSJ looks right in the camera to talk to Naito cuz he knows he’s watching. Como estas, amigo? How you doing? Bien? Yeah? Well ZSJ’s MUY BIEN! Y’wanna know why? Cuz ZSJ will win the G1 while Naito’s ass is stuck on the couch! And while on the subject of dickheads, three down and six to go, “as you were.” ZSJ had perhaps the toughest opening schedule in the block, is it smooth sailing from here on out? Or will running into the Dominator next round change ZSJ’s tune?
Here are the current A Block standings!
Great-O-Khan: 4-0, 8 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 3-0, 6 points
Kenta: 3-1, 6 points
Toru Yano: 3-1, 6 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [won special singles bye]
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-2, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-2, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-2, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-3, 2 points
Another great night for NJPW here. For one, Takagi adjusting his mission statement is pretty cool. Takagi VS Naito is definitely one we were all hoping to see but can’t with Naito’s knee injury. Looking ahead to Wrestle Kingdom in January is a positive sign since that gives a four month time table, but that’s all dependent on the plan being Takagi winning. Khan VS Yujiro was a good match but naturally Khan wins to keep his streak going. Yano VS Loa was a lot of fun and I like that Loa even brought up that he’s growing desperate for points. Yano stays strong so he perhaps could be a strong runner-up that makes things tricky for the block leaders.
Ishii VS Kenta was really good stuff, and I’m really surprised Kenta won with the dirty finish. Kenta is also in the same spot as Yano where his win-loss record could put pressure on one of the others in the final round. And the adjusted main event, Ibushi VS ZSJ, was awesome stuff, especially given the stories going into it. Ibushi’s record may say 2-2 but he’s been up and down in the G1, with tonight being a drop back down. This was the story I was expecting them to go with and it’s working out well, putting pressure on each match for him to get back up. ZSJ’s own story is that he is reminding everyone of his singles skills. ZSJ VS Khan in the next round is THE one to watch, that is going to say a lot about where A Block is going.
My Score: 9.1/10
Lucha Central Weekly: Garza & Carrillo Team Up On WWE RAW, Laredo Kid Wins, and MLW Alpha Fusion Debuts
Miranda, Dusty, and Brendan discuss Raw’s newest (lucha) pairing, Laredo Kid’s Impact Wrestling success, MLW’s lucha infused Alpha Fusion, and more!
Miranda, Dusty, and Brendan discuss Raw’s newest (lucha) pairing, Laredo Kid’s Impact Wrestling success, MLW’s lucha infused Alpha Fusion, and more!
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