The struggle for power and glory continues!
As the Super Junior Tag League wraps up, Will Ospreay defends his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship! Will Black Mask Bushi strike gold?
Coverage of Power Struggle 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV
- Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI VS Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi; Ibushi & Tanahashi win.
- Super Junior Tag League Finals: Roppongi 3K VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado; Roppongi 3K wins the 2019 Super Jr. Tag League.
- NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA VS Tomohiro Ishii; KENTA wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS BUSHI; Ospreay wins and retains the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Power Struggle’s second act!
Titles and tournaments are all on the line! After ruining the run in the tournament for the Birds of Prey, the Jet Black Death Mask wants his shot at Will Ospreay’s title! The Aerial Assassin will let Bushi be his third defense, but hopes to fly high to close out 2019! At the same time, the Openweight Division brings the Stone Pitbull back within reach of the Fang Revived. Tomohiro Ishii wants to take a bite out of Kenta for both payback in that Bullet Club betrayal and in taking back the NEVER Openweight title for a sixth time! But first, the Super Jr. Tag League finals see an epic rematch of Suzuki-Gun’s Kanemaru and Desperado and Chaos’ Roppongi 3K! Who will prove themselves the best in their division as we continue on the homestretch to Wrestle Kingdom?
Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI VS Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi!
Hold on! The Rainmaker and Golden Star aren’t going to just sit back and wait for Wrestle Kingdom 14’s epic IWGP Heavyweight Championship match! They each find a strong ally to join them in a tag team tune-up match! Will Okada and the Headhunter be trumped by Ibushi and The Ace?
NJPW on AXS jumps right in as Tanahashi has Hashi in the Cloverleaf! Tanahashi sits deep but Okada runs in to fight him off. Ibushi chases but runs into a gut wrench! Ibushi turns it around but Okada fights out. Tanahashi grabs Okada and helps Ibushi lift, but Okada slips out to double dropkick the down! Okada tells Yoshi-Hashi to finish this off! Hashi runs to AX BOMBER Tanahashi! Then he brings him up, fisherman scoop, KUMAGOROSHI! Cover, Okada anchors Ibushi, TWO!?! The Ace survives the Bear Cutter?! Hashi won’t stop now, he brings Tanahashi up, pump handle and half nelson, but gets TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! The spinning neckbreaker takes Hashi down and Tana fires up, to run into a CHOP! Hashi SUPERKICKS, whips, but Tanahashi reverses to a SLINGBLADE!
Okada and Ibushi are still fighting outside as Tanahashi goes up top. Tanahashi aims, HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, Tanahashi and Ibushi win!
Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi, Tanahashi pinning
The champion and challenger were too busy with each other in the background, but the Once in a Century Talent gets it done! But with neither Ibushi or Okada in on the ending, who really has momentum going into their monumental main event?
But wait, the lights go down. And on the titantron, it’s someone beating up Tanahashi cosplayers. Who is this mysterious mugger? It’s CHRIS JERICHO!! The Painmaker gives Tanahashi a warning. “Wait and see what I do to you, January 5th in the Tokyo Dome!” Jericho VS Tanahashi, “It’s going to be a classic match.” And Tanahashi’s last! “Sayonara.” Y2J VS The Ace?! What an amazing match! Tanahashi grabs a mic to respond. “JERICHO! Good news! Next year, January 5th in the Tokyo Dome… I’m available.” And it’s official! Tanahashi is ready for that match, but will he be feeling the Judas Effect in the New Year?
Super Junior Tag League Finals: Roppongi 3K VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado!
Former Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions meet once again, and are once again ready to prove which duo is better. But even before getting in the ring, the Suzuki-Gun goons go right after Sho and Yoh from behind! Kanemaru and Desperado beat RPG3K down, and while Desperado beats Sho down, Kanemaru brings Yoh to ringside. Desperado gives Sho a back suplex on the ramp! Yoh is whipped into barriers, and both men writhe in pain. Kanemaru stomps Yoh down but the referee reprimands him and Desperado. Team Suzuki-Gun put Yoh in the ring while leaving Sho for dead. The bell rings and this match finally begins.
Kanemaru stomps Yoh then drags him into an open corner. He whips Yoh corner to corner but Yoh dodges! Yoh dropkicks Desperado but Kanemaru kicks low. Kanemaru whips but Yoh dodges and hits back with flying forearms! Fans fire up behind Yoh, and he blocks a kick from each man! Double dragon screws send Team Suzuki-Gun down! Desperado bails out so Yoh goes after Kanemaru. Sho is in view, crawling his way down the ramp, but Yoh throws hands on Kanemaru. Kanemaru boots back but Yoh dumps him out! Yoh PESCADO! Fans fire up with Yoh again as he stomps Kanemaru down more. Sho is getting closer as Yoh puts Kanemaru in the ring. Yoh drags Kanemaru up to throw forearms. Sho wills himself towards the ring as Yoh stomps away on Kanemaru. Yoh wrenches and whips corner to corner, then runs in, but Kanemaru puts Yoh on the apron.
Yoh forearms back but Desperado anchors a foot! Kanemaru boots Yoh down! Desperado brings Yoh up to whip into railing! Kanemaru keeps on Yoh while Desperado sees Sho. Kanemaru whips Yoh into railing, and with Yoh hanging over the edge, Kanemaru hops up to drop a guillotine leg drop! Yoh flops over and Desperado whips Sho hard into railing on the other end! Sho is writhing and screaming as the referee starts a ring count. Desperado mocks the RPG3K fans while hearing the ring count. Yoh hurries, he’s at ringside at 18, but in at 19.5! Kanemaru stomps and grinds Yoh down with his boot, but lets up at 3. He drags Yoh up to feed to Desperado’s boots. Desperado tags in now and “wonders” where Sho is right now. He drags Yoh up for a big scoop slam, but Sho finally makes it to the RPG3K corner. Desperado taunts Sho while grinding Yoh down.
Desperado sucker punches Sho! But Yoh fires back with haymakers! Desperado knees low and whips him into the Suzuki-Gun corner. Kanemaru tags in, scoop slams Yoh fast, then drags him up for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Yoh is barely hanging in as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Desperado tags back in. He drags Yoh up, but Yoh suplexes Desperado! Both men are down and fans are rallying up. Kanemaru runs in to boot Sho down! And then whip him into railings again! Yoh can’t do anything to save his friend, and then Kanemaru drags him down. Desperado stands on Yoh as Kanemaru dropkicks him! Desperado covers, TWO!! Fans cheer as RPG3K lives. Desperado drags Yoh up and tags Kanemaru. Team Suzuki-Gun mug Yoh then double whip. Yoh ducks, sends Desperado at Kanemaru, catches Kanemaru and kicks Desperado, DDT Complete Shot combo! Fans fire up and Sho is back on the apron! Sho and fans rally, Yoh crawls over, hot tag to Sho!
Sho fires off forearms on Kanemaru then whips. Kanemaru reverses but Sho reverses back to kick, kick and SUPERKICK! Sho hits Desperado down for good measure before going back to Kanemaru. Sho dead lifts Kanemaru in a waistlock! But Kanemaru elbows free! Kanemaru kicks and runs, but Sho runs him over! Sho grits his teeth to get through the back pain. He brings Kanemaru up to throw big forearms then whips, but Kanemaru reverses. Kanemaru grabs the ref to distract as Desperado gets a CHAIR SHOT in! Sho goes down hard and Kanemaru laughs as he tags Desperado back in. SPEAR takes Sho down! Desperado drags Sho up, Kanemaru dropkick-starts the side slam! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives but Desperado is right on the leg, STRETCH MUFFLER! Kanemaru whips Yoh into railing again as Sho suffers! Desperado keeps him from the ropes and just goes after that leg with ferocity!
But something is happening in the background! Someone goes crashing into more equipment, and as Sho goes for ropes, Kanemaru SPITS WHISKEY! The ref missed it! Yoh gets back in, but Kanemaru intercepts! Sho endures as Desperado also has an arm! Yoh powers up to barrel Kanemaru into them! Sho is freed but the damage is done. Desperado vows to end it as Yoh gets sent into more barriers. Desperado underhooks but Sho breaks out to use that super strength to back drop Desperado! Desperado comes back with stomps and a CHOP. He runs, but Yoh is back, RPG3K KNEES! Yoh drags Desperado up, suplex to Sho for the Canadian rack. Kanemaru trips Yoh and Desperado knocks Sho down! Desperado suplexes, Sho slips out and waistlocks! Desperado flails desperately, but Sho is just too strong!! German Suplex hits!!
Sho fires up and the fans do, too! Sho drags Desperado up again, powerbomb lift, pop-up BACKBREAKER! Sho crawls to the cover, but Kanemaru breaks it! Kanemaru stomps away on Sho then clubs him down. Kanemaru whips and corner clotheslines to then throw Sho down. Kanemaru hops up, Sho stands, but he gets clear! Yoh returns, Kanemaru turns around into 3K!! Fans are thunderous as Yoh fires back up. Desperado is alone as Yoh stomps it out. Fans rally and Desperado flounders over. But Desperado denies a 3K for him, kicking and throwing hands! He throws Sho into Yoh! But Sho blocks the clothesline, only for his clothesline to feed into an inverted half-nelson gutwrench! Spin-out Powerbomb!! Cover, TWO!?! Sho survives!? Desperado is furious! He drags Sho up again, underhooks, but Sho resists! Sho fights against Pinche Loco so Desperado knees low.
Sho fires back with forearm from all sides! But Desperado rakes eyes and ROCKS Sho with that right! Desperado runs, into Sho’s LARIAT! Sho powers up and Yoh returns. Sho drags Desperado up, tucks the arms under for double pump handles, but Desperado lands on his feet to headbutt back! But Yoh is back, 3K OUTTA NOWHERE! Cover, ROPPONGI 3K WINS!!
Winners: Roppongi 3K, Sho pinning; 2019 Super Jr Tag League Champions
That’s a THREE-PEAT! And they’re clearly emotional over this amazing and historic victory. They take the trophies, and with a win over the current Junior Heavyweight Tag Champions, they surely have a chance at the titles again! Will the New Year be golden for RPG3K? But speaking of the champions, El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori strike! Bullet Club won’t let Chaos celebrate! Fans boo as Bone Soldier drags Yoh up for ELP to SMASH with the belt! And then they do the same to Sho, with a punch to the balls! Ishimori Electric Chairs Sho and ELP says BANG, a FULL METAL DOOMSDAY! Wrestle Kingdom has their Junior Heavyweight Tag title match, but will Bullet Club put a stamp on their title reign?
NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA VS Tomohiro Ishii!
This all started when it was revealed in treacherous fashion that Mr. Takeover was the newest part of Bullet Club’s arsenal. Bullet Club also helped Kenta take that title off the Stone Pitbull, which only soured the taste in the Pitbull’s mouth. Will Ishii bare his fangs against #FangRevived and get payback for it all?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and tensions already run high on this golden grudge match. Said match will begin after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell and fans are on Ishii’s side as he and Kenta tie up. They are in a deadlock but Ishii manages to get Kenta to ropes. Kenta turns it around, and SLAPS out of the break! But Ishii slaps back! And they start slapping back and forth! It’s a slap fight! Kenta steps it up to forearms but Ishii responds in kind. They talk trash and throw more forearms. Kenta turns, boots but Ishii rebounds to forearm. Kenta rebounds and boots, Ishii rebounds to forearm again. Ishii runs but Kenta follows to boot. Kenta runs but Ishii runs him over! Fans cheer as Kenta is sent rolling. Ishii toys with Kenta and drags him up to CHOP. And CHOP! Ishii whips but Kenta grabs ropes to bail out, but Ishii is right on him! Ishii puts Kenta in and rains down rights, which the fans like to see!
Kenta slips out to a corner and uses the ropes as a defense. Red Shoes tells Ishii to stay back, but Kenta pokes the eyes! Kenta kicks low and DDT’s Ishii down! Kenta rains down rights of his own then walks it off. Fans rally for Ishii but Kenta stomps him down. Kenta swiftly kicks Ishii in the chest and then the leg and back tot he chest. He boots Ishii to a corner and starts slapping. Ishii just eggs him on! Kenta slaps but Ishii wants more! So Kenta gives more. Ishii slaps back and the slap fight is on again. Kenta SLAPS Ishii down! And then more! Kenta goes corner to corner while Ishii flounders and falls. Kenta drags Ishii up and turns him for a neckbreaker, cover, TWO! Kenta drops knees over and over, then pulls down the knee pad, to hop over and scuff Ishii’s face. Fans boo the Low Sweet as Kenta stomps Ishii more.
Kenta toys with Ishii now, but Ishii just gets annoyed. Kenta kicks him around, but Ishii powers up to throw hands. Kenta knees low then runs, but Ishii stays up after the boot! Ishii dodges another boot and ducks the clothesline, but Kenta fights off the waistlock. Ishii forearms then ducks the clothesline to get Kenta into a suplex! Both men are down and Kenta goes to a corner. Ishii is up and after Kenta with CHOPS! He won’t let Kenta sit down, he stands him up for more CHOPS! And again he makes Kenta stand to take the CHOPS and forearms! Forearm, CHOPS, repeat! Then a whip corner to corner, and Kenta bounces off buckles into a spinning powerslam! Cover, TWO! Ishii keeps his cool as he keeps on Kenta. Ishii waistlocks but Kenta gets to ropes. Red Shoes calls for a ropebreak but Kenta has to elbow Ishii off.
Kenta gives Ishii forearms then eggs him on. Ishii forearms back and we have another back and forth. Ishii says he doesn’t feel Kenta’s shots! Ishii rocks Kenta then runs but into the kitchen sink knee! Kenta made him feel that one. Kenta kicks Ishii while he’s down then stomps him on the apron. Red Shoes reprimands Kenta so he lets up. Kenta brings Ishii up and through the ropes, for kicks to the chest. Then he has him draped, for the DDT! Ishii writhes but Kenta covers, TWO! Kenta is ice cold as he brings Ishii up. Ishii fires forearms again, but Kenta kicks away on the legs! Kenta back kicks then runs corner to corner, a soaring boot! And then corner to corner again, flying basement dropkick! Classic Kenta as he continues up top, DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives the coup de grace and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Kenta gives Ishii more swift kicks to the chest. But Ishii powers up again! Ishii just takes the kicks to feed off them! Kenta keeps trying but Ishii bluntly CHOPS Kenta down! Red Shoes reprimands, Ishii needs to watch how high he aims. Ishii goes after Kenta with CHOPS again but those are still up high! Ishii wants these to hurt! Red Shoes has to back Ishii off, but Ishii doesn’t care. Ishii drags Kenta up to hoist him to the top rope. Ishii climbs to join Kenta, and lifts him way up! He even holds him there before the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives but he’s spitting up a little bit of blood. Ishii keeps going, powerbomb lift but Kenta slips out. Ishii ducks Kenta’s back hand and gets a German Suplex! Kenta is up but gets another German! Ishii runs, Sliding D into an armbar! Kenta turns it over for Game Over!
Ishii endures the modified LeBelle Lock as Kenta cranks back! Fans rally but Kenta loses grip. Kenta goes after him again but Ishii refuses to quit. Ishii wriggles around, rolls Kenta over but now he’s in a triangle hold. Kenta then cranks back to get the Game Over again! Ishii endures, unable to see with Kenta’s hands over his eyes. But Ishii feels around with his legs and gets the ropebreak! Kenta lets go in frustration. Kenta backs off as Ishii crawls his way up the ropes. Kenta comes back to knee him into ropes! Then runs again, building up speed, but he sees Ishii’s counter attack coming and boots it away. Kenta also ducks the southpaw lariat to GERMAN SUPLEX! Kenta runs to Penalty Kick, but Ishii catches it! Only for Kenta to BOOT him with the free leg!
Both men are down again and fans build to a rally. Kenta aims from a corner, runs at Ishii, PSYCHO KNEE! But Ishii rises!? Kenta ROUNDHOUSES him down! But Ishii sits up again! Fans are firing up as Kenta runs and builds speed, another Psycho Knee! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii still lives and Kenta can’t believe it! Kenta drags Ishii up into the fireman’s carry, but Ishii pops out to a dragon sleeper! Kenta slips around and suplexes but Ishii fights that off. Kenta dodges the clothesline and fires forearms but Ishii spins to LARIAT! The southpaw hits but Ishii rests in the red corner. Kenta gets up to kick and forearm Ishii, then slap away on his head! Ishii stands right up to stare him down. Kenta forearms but Ishii just steps into them! Ishii backs Kenta down with every strike to then DECK Kenta!! That was as loud as it was hard!
Ishii wants Kenta to stand and Kenta slowly rises. Ishii runs in, corner clothesline to a whip to another clothesline. Kenta manages to reverse the whip but still gets a clothesline! Ishii drags Kenta up, lift and powerbomb! High stack, TWO! Ishii sits Kenta up, SLIDING D! Cover, TWO!! Kenta still lives but Ishii is firing up! Ishii drags Kenta back up, suplexes, but Kenta slips out to a sleeper! Ishii powers out, Kenta clotheslines back but Ishii doesn’t budge! Ishii clotheslines back but Kenta stays up. Both men run, Ishii’s clothesline takes out Kenta! Then the suplex, but it’s Kenta’s Falcon Arrow! Kenta is down and too tired to make a cover, but fans are rallying up again. Kenta rises first but Ishii follows. Ishii fires off elbows from all sides, but Kenta LARIATS back! Kenta drags Ishii up, Penalty Kick!
Kenta slashes the throat and fireman’s carries Ishii, for GO- NO! Ishii lands on his feet, suplexes, but Kenta slips out. Both men fight for suplex control, Kenta cradle counters, TWO! They both stand fast and Kenta back hands, but Ishii PELES! Kenta rebounds, Psycho Knee! Both men are down again but fans are still rallying. Both men stand and Kenta boots but Ishii blocks. Kenta gives the right hook then palm strike after palm strike. Ishii gives one back! Ishii runs into the fireman’s carry! GO TO SLEEP!! But Kenta doesn’t want to end it here?! He pulls the knee pads off and drags Ishii back up. Another fireman’s carry, GO TO SLEEP AGAIN!! Cover, Kenta wins!!
Winner: KENTA, by pinfall; still NEVER Openweight Champion
It wasn’t even about needing another, it was about wanting to do damage. The Bullet Club kept their hands clean of this match, and Kenta sends the Stone Pitbull to the back of the line by himself. Will #FangRevived continue to sink his fangs into NJPW?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS BUSHI!
The Aerial Assassin and fellow Bird of Prey, Robbie Eagles, were on a great run in the Super Jr Tag League, but the masked wrestler of Los Ingobernables de Japon didn’t care about any of that. He spat the green mist that screwed Ospreay over and then staked his claim to this match. Will Bushi pay for the mist spray? Or will Ospreay define his reign with another win over another rival?
The introductions are made, but the belt isn’t raised before Ospreay shotgun dropkick blasts Bushi down! Red Shoes hurries to ring the bell as Bushi bails out, and the match officially begins with Ospreay’s PESCADO! Down goes Bushi and Ospreay fires up! Ospreay drags Bushi up, whips him into railing, and Bushi hits hard. Ospreay gets the fans fired up as he drags Bushi up again for big haymakers. Ospreay puts Bushi back in the ring and he drags Bushi up for forearms and CHOPS! Ospreay whips, Bushi holds ropes and boots back, then huricanranas Ospreay out. Bushi slingshots to huricanrana again! Bushi evens things up and catches his breath as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ospreay has made his way to the gap. Red Shoes checks on him but he’s okay to continue. Bushi goes and fetches Ospreay to then whip into railing hard! Ospreay writhes but Bushi is ice cold as he stomps Ospreay down. Bushi puts Ospreay in the ring and finally takes off his shirt, to use it to choke Ospreay! Red Shoes reprimands but Bushi lets up with just one hand at 3. Ospreay gets to ropes so now Red Shoes counts the ropebreak, Bushi lets go at 3. Bushi drags Ospreay up to knock him down! Bushi hooks a leg for the STF! Ospreay endures as Bushi cranks back on the crossface portion of the match. Ospreay powers up but Bushi hooks his face! Ospreay still gets the ropebreak and Bushi lets go reluctantly.
Bushi stomps Ospreay then drags him up, but Ospreay fires forearms back. They brawl with forearms now, and Bushi clubs Ospreay down. Bushi runs into a BIG Pop-Up Flapjack! Ospreay can breathe and recover as Bushi crashes down. Fans rally and duel as Ospreay drags himself up by ropes. Ospreay drags Bushi up for forearms then whips but Bushi reverses. Ospreay dodges, handspring, flying enziguri! Cover, TWO! Ospreay doesn’t stop, he wants the fans to get loud. The fans respond and Ospreay heads to a corner. Ospreay springboards, Pip Pip Cheerio flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Ospreay keeps his cool as he drags Bushi up again. Ospreay reels Bushi in, underhooks and lifts but Bushi resists. So Ospreay kicks away, only for Bushi to catch a leg. Bushi rakes eyes, runs, but into the dropkick-flip and enziguri!
Bushi bails out and fans fire up as Ospreay builds speed! But Bushi gets in to block the Sasuke Special. Bushi drags Ospreay out through the ropes and jumps, BOOSTED draping DDT to the apron! Ospreay hits so hard but both men are down on the outside. Bushi gets up and leaves Ospreay behind in the 20 count. The count passes 10 as Bushi stomps Ospreay, but Bushi does put Ospreay back in at 13. Fans applaud Bushi doing this the right way, and Bushi stomps Ospreay before putting him in a corner. Bushi whips corner to corner then runs in for double knees! He pushes Ospreay down and hops up, missile dropkick sends Ospready down! Bushirooni! Bushi keeps going, fisherman swinging neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay lives and this match continues after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Bushi heads up top. Ospreay rises and Bushi leaps, but Ospreay gets under. Ospreay dodges Bushi in the corner but is hung up on the ropes! Bushi CHOPS then hops up again, to SUPER STEINER! But Ospreay lands on his feet?! Bushi swings into the Half ‘n’ Half! Ospreay fires himself up and the fans follow. Bushi is outside, Ospreay SASUKE SPECIALS! He just manages to hit his target! Ospreay grits his teeth to ignore the pain in his neck as he goes back to Bushi. He puts Bushi in and takes aim from the red corner. Bushi sits up, ROBINSON SPECIAL! The spin kick hits but Ospreay moves through his formula. Ospreay springboards, but Bushi blocks the cutter to shove Ospreay into Red Shoes! Ospreay checks on the ref but he has to continue the match.
Ospreay drags Bushi up, but Bushi wants to spit! Ospreay covers Bushi’s mouth! Then he kisses Bushi!? Because he steals the mist to spray at Bushi!! Bushi flails and Ospreay grins and winks. ROUNDHOUSE rocks Bushi! Red Shoes is reviving and Ospreay shouts for him to hurry. Ospreay springboards, but Bushi uses Red Shoes as a shield to take the OSCUTTER! Ospreay just assassinated the referee! And no one knows what to say! Ospreay looks around but where did Bushi go? He finds him by commentary, and drags him up. Bushi goes to low blow but Ospreay blocks and whips. Bushi reverses it but Ospreay stops himself. Ospreay and Bushi go to the ring, Ospreay gets Bushi with a springboard dropkick! Ospreay heads up top, aims at Bushi, SHOOTING STAR onto knees! And the BLACK MIST RETURNS! Bushi still had some left to use on Ospreay!
Fans rally as Red Shoes is still down. Another ref hurries in to take Red Shoes’ place, just as Bushi hits a DESTROYER! Cover, TWO!?! Ospreay lives and Bushi can’t believe it! But Bushi just heads up top again. He waits for Ospreay to stand, and leaps into a roundhouse! Both men are down again but a Young Lion gets Ospreay water. Ospreay splashes his eyes clean and then aims from a corner. HOOK KICK! Then the armband comes off, HIDDEN- NO! Bushi ducks the back hand, runs at Ospreay but his monkey flip is blocked! So Bushi springs up to SPIKE-RANA! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes and blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but not the rewind mule kick! Bushi runs, into a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Now Bushi survives but Ospreay is not done yet! Ospreay slashes the throat, drags Bushi up and underhooks, but Bushi slips out to backslide! And bridge! TWO!!
The fans are thunderous as Ospreay pops Bushi up, but gets a CODE BREAKER! Bushi vows to end it and he goes up top again. Ospreay rises, Bushi leaps, MX!! Cover, TWO?!? Ospreay survives Bushi’s modified Code Breaker!? We pass 15 minutes as Bushi heads back to the corner. He’s up again, but leaps into a CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Bushi survives but Ospreay takes aim from the corner. HIDDEN BLADE! Ospreay isn’t done with Bushi yet, he hops up the buckles, SUPER OSCUTTER! But he holds on?! And rolls Bushi around, underhooks, STORM BREAKER! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall; still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
A third defense on this run but Ospreay has run the table in 2019! Best of the Super Juniors, Super J Cup, Super Jr Tag League, what more is there for Ospreay to do? Perhaps we’ll hear from Ospreay after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ospreay has the mic.
He wants to know, “Are you having fun?” Ospreay wonders if there’s anyone else who wants a shot at Ospreay. He beat Shingo Takagi, El Phantasmo, Ryusuke Taguchi, Rocky Romero, Sho and Yoh, Amazing Red, Bushi, and even his pal, Robbie Eagles. “God damn, I’ve beaten everyone.” Who is left in NJPW to challenge him!? Anyone from anywhere! This is your chance!! Ospreay hears fans wanting Hiromu but “he ain’t here.” So then, until someone steps up, “get a look, Osaka. Forever, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Thank you very much.” The Aerial Assassin heads out but the lights go down! “TIME BOMB will blow up soon.” The Time Bomb is coming back?! The countdown says 62 days, but then the screen changes. That’s not Daryl but a very similar cat on screen. And he lights the fuse. A new countdown begins!
3, 2, 1! BOOM! Hiromu Takahashi IS BACK!! He and his cats head to the ring! But before he gets in, he makes sure the cats are under careful watch at commentary. Hiromu then has a ball running himself into the railing! And then up the ramp to take a tumble! “This is it!” This is what Hiromu has been missing. This is what Hiromu has been wanting! Ospreay puts the belt on the mat to welcome Hiromu back! Fans cannot believe what they’re seeing as Ospreay dares Hiromu to get in the ring. Hiromu hops up onto the apron, and walks into the ring, to get up on the ropes and soak up the adulation! But then he does turn his attention to Ospreay as he gets himself the mic. “I am Hiromu Takahashi!” And he thanks them all so much for waiting. “Now that I’m back, we’re gonna have even more, more, MORE fun in NJPW! You can rest assured of that.”
But surely they’re a bit worried, right? “Can he really do it?” “He just came back, isn’t he being a little cocky?” “He’s just gonna change his style anyway.” Heh. Hiromu grins as he says “Who besides me would challenge a beast like him!?” Fans agree, “Nobody, that’s who!” So just watch and see. Hiromu jumps and hits the mat with his back! Then runs into buckles and throws himself around, showing that he can still be as reckless as ever! He may be physically alright, but he still might not be mentally all there… But fans still support him as he bridges up. “Mic please.” Ospreay gets Hiromu the mic. “Congratulations, Will Ospreay. Now, you are the most strongest Junior Heavyweight wrestler.”
But then Hiromu sits up to say, “But Hiromu is back!” And he challenges Ospreay, for Wrestle Kingdom! If you didn’t do the math on that countdown, that’s where it was all headed. And then he licks the title…? Ospreay grins, one of his favorite rivals has returned. And even gives him a hug. And as Hiromu makes his way out, he has one more thing to say to Ospreay: “Thank you meow.” Will Ospreay remain the most dominant Junior Heavyweight when he finally gets a rematch against the most chaotic?
I did not realize this was going to be TWO HOURS when I started putting this together. But what a great two hours it was! We got the bonus tag match of Okada & Yoshi-Hashi VS Ibushi & Tanahashi. Looking at that match, it was obvious Hashi was taking the pin. And it was very smart to give the pinfall to Tanahashi. This way, Okada and Ibushi stay even because neither is gaining momentum off a finish. Then Jericho calling Tanahashi out, that is an instant classic right there. With two months to go, I really wonder if Jericho is still AEW World Champion by then. Much like how ROH didn’t let Jeff Cobb be world champion during the G1 to lose and make them look bad, I’m not sure AEW wants their top champion to look bad losing a non-title match. Even with Tanahashi being a great staple of NJWP, pretty sure Y2J won’t be Le Champeon by then.
The Super Jr Tag League finals were great! RPG3K and the Kanemaru-Desperado combo make for great rivals, and what a great achievement for RPG3K to be triple tag league winners. That is an amazing thing for those two. I still remember their excursion to ROH as the Tempura Boys, and those boys have grown so much since then. I would be really surprised and perhaps disappointed if they didn’t beat Bullet Club for those tag titles at Wrestle Kingdom. That would be big, and I think the Junior Tag Division could use something like that. The NEVER Openweight Championship was another great and stiff match for Ishii and Kenta, and that’s great. It was also telling that Kenta didn’t need to cheat. He is being allowed to be as strong as he deserves to be, so that’s a plus.
And then we get a double dose of greatness out of the main event. The match itself was incredible, so much story went into Ospreay VS Bushi. I love that black mist spot, I have never seen someone steal the mist like that! Ospreay winning makes a lot of sense, he has just been on a tear. Plus, it was the perfect set up for him to count his wins in 2019 and that cues the shocking and totally amazing return of Hiromu Freakin’ Takahashi! It is so great to see him again, to know he’s back in wrestling shape, and to get one more Ospreay VS Hiromu match at Wrestle Kingdom. As it stands, there is no predicting who wins. Ospreay has amazing momentum, but Hiromu never truly lost the title since he went out with injury. Either way, their match will be “even more, more, MORE fun,” as Hiromu put it, than everything up to this point.
My Score: 9.1/10