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
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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Your one-podcast stop for all of the week’s top stories from around the world of lucha libre and lucha libre around the world. Join hosts Miranda Morales, Brendan Barr, and Dusty Murphy along with special guests as they cover Lucha Libre AAA, CMLL, top Mexico indies as well as lucha related matches in WWE, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Ring of Honor and beyond. Whether you are trying to dive deeper into the world of masked mayhem or you’ve been following for decades, you are going to find things here you won’t find on any other airwaves!
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