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 Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/27/21)
Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!
NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!
NJPW returns to Osaka for a Castle Attack! Will the Rainmaker still be atop the mountain? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?
- Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
- KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens; Yano wins and retains the KOPW 2021 trophy.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo; White wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire!
The King of Cozy Style, Ikari no Mogyuu, and the Ace are all targets of Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan, and the Dominator is going after Tanahashi’s NEVER Openweight Championship on day two! But will the Once in a Century Talent and his iconic compatriots be able to stand up against the United Empire in this opening round?
As usual, the United Empire stands firm, even as their opponents make their entrance. Tanahashi shoves off the muscles and fans cheer. Tanahashi and Khan dare each other to step up, and so that’s who starts! Fans cheer and the bell rings, and fans rally up already as Khan and Tanahashi circle. Ospreay sneaks in with Cobb, but Kojima and Tenzan are ready to counter! The ref tells them all to back off, and Khan has the Empire stand down. But that’s a fake out! They attack Tanahashi’s team, and throw Tenzan and Kojima out! The Empire mugs Tanahashi, double whips him corner to corner, then send Ospreay in, only for Tanahashi to toss Ospreay out!
Cobb and Khan mug Tanahashi, whip him to ropes, but Tanahashi ducks the double clothesline to send Khan into Cobb! Tanahashi kicks Khan low then whips him to a corner, but Khan reverses. Khan runs in but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up to crossbody! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars before he tags in Kojima. Kojima DECKS Ospreay, and fires off the machine gun CHOPS on Khan! The ref is busy keeping Ospreay out so Kojima gets plenty of extra CHOPS in! Kojima whips Khan corner to corner, hits a forearm smash, and then throws Khan down. Kojima climbs, Cobb intercepts with forearms! Ospreay hits Tenzan and Tanahashi while Cobb TOSSES Kojima down!
Khan clamps on with the head-arm triangle! Cobb and Ospreay throw Tenzan and Tanahashi around ringside but Kojima gets a ropebreak! Khan lets go, drags Kojima over, tags in Ospreay, and the Empire mugs Kojima. Ospreay CHOPS Kojima then BOOTS him! Ospreay scoops and slams Kojima to then run and drop a leaping knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay bumps Kojima off buckles, tags in Cobb, and Cobb headbutts Kojima in the back. Cobb CLUBS Kojima, stays between him and his team, and then scoops Kojima. Ospreay talks trash while Cobb taunts Kojima’s team. Cobb throws knees into Kojima, then RAMS Kojima into the Emipre’s corner.
Khan tags in, stomps Kojima, but Kojima hits back! Khan ROCKS Kojima, and hits the Mongolian Chop! Khan taunts Tenzan with how Tenzan can’t use this move anymore, and then Mongolian Chops again! Kojimma stands up and he ROCKS Khan with forearms! And a ROLLING ELBOW! COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to rally on Khan, then he hits Cobb an Ospreay for good measure! Tanahashi blocks Khan’s boot to bring him out for a DRAGON SCREW! Ospreay runs in, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi catches Cobb in the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he goes after Khan’s legs. Tanahashi ties the legs up but Khan clamps his claw onto Tanahashi’s face! Khan gets up, Tanahashi breaks free, but Khan ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm! Tanahashi gives the forearm back and now it’s a brawl of forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as they pick up speed, Tanahashi fires off a strike fest but Khan Mongolian Chops! Tanahashi ROCKS Khan with a palm strike, then runs, but into Khan’s sleeper hold! Khan uses the claw, then shifts to INVERTED EXPLODER! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan tags in Cobb and Cobb drags Tanahashi up.
Cobb fires off forearms and headbutts, then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Cobb runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Tanahashi waistlocks, Cobb resists the lift, and pries free! But Tanahashi half nelson spins Cobb to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan rallies on Cobb, DECKS Ospreay, and fans fire up. Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but he remembers he can’t! So he kicks Cobb low and gives him a headbutt! Tenzan has Cobb in the corner, and throws more kicks and haymakers. Tenzan whips corner to corner then runs in to clothesline Cobb! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and he hits the suplex! Cover, TWO!
Tenzan calls in Kojima and Tanahashi, and the three go after Cobb together. They double whip Cobb corner to corner, then Kojima runs in to back elbow! Tanahashi hits a splash! They double whip into Tenzan’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Tenzan keeps on Cobb and gets the ANACONDA VICE! Tanahashi and Kojima go after the rest of the Empire but Ospreay BOOTS Kojima and CLUBS Tanahashi! Cobb powers up but Tenzan holds tight. Cobb elbows free but Tenzan headbutts! Cobb ROCKS Tenzan with an uppercut, then tags in Ospreay! Ospreay slingshots in for a ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay drags Tenzan up, reels him in, and underhooks, but Tenzan resists!
Ospreay gives Kowata kicks and a SUPERKICK! Ospreay runs but into a back drop! Fans fire up with Tenzan and Tenzan dares Ospreay to stand. Tenzan remembers again he can’t Mongolian Chop, but Ospreay dares him to! Ospreay SLAPS Tenzan, and then Khan CLOBBERS Tenzan! Khan and Ospreay SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Cover, but Tanahashi breaks it! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi, clamps on the claw, and hits the ELIMINATOR SLAM! Kojima fires off on Khan and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! The United Empire feed Tenzan to the OSCUTTER! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
United they stand victorious! Khan gets a mic and he wants everyone in Osaka to understand! They are THE United Empire!! Will this momentum bode well for Khan coming for the NEVER Openweight Championship? Or will the Ace be able to trump the Dominator’s iron hand?
YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!
Before going 2v2 with the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, the Head Hunter will take on the Silverback alone! Will Loa make sure Hashi can’t #GetBackUp for tomorrow’s tag title match?
The bell rings and Hashi circles with Loa. Fans rally up and they tie up. Hashi manages to push Loa back a bit, but Loa pushes Hashi to the ropes. The ref calls for a break, Hashi turns things around, and Hashi drags Loa down to an ARMBAR! Loa holds off the extension, moves around, but Hashi stays clamped on. Hashi clubs at the clasped hands but Loa holds tight. Loa pries at Hashi’s own grip, but Hashi adjusts to get the other hand isolated! Loa gets the ropebreak with a leg and Jado protests, so Hashi lets go fast. Hashi clubs Loa’s arm but Loa shoves him away. Hashi comes back with a kick, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs and stomps him.
Hashi wrenches Loa to a wristlock, but Loa throws a forearm, only for Hashi to make it a takedown! Hashi wants the double wristlock but Loa moves around. Hashi has a short arm scissor instead! Loa endures, moves around, but Hashi stomps the arm! Hashi stomps Loa more, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs him. Hashi wrenches the arm, clubs it, then wrenches again to club it again. Loa pulls Hashi’s hair but Hashi elbows Loa’s elbow. Hashi wrenches again but Loa LARIATS him down! Fans cheer the exchange but then Loa stomps Hashi over and over! Loa drags Hashi up, whips him to a corner then runs in to clothesline!
Loa whips Hashi out then back in to clothesline again! Jado cheers while Hashi falls to his knees. Loa gets the bad arm moving, drags Hashi back up, and fans rally. Hashi throws body shots, wrenches, but Loa throws a haymaker and back hand! Hashi clubs the arm, Loa throws a forearm, but Hashi wrenches to an elbow breaker! Hashi runs, but the ref is busy checking on Loa and Jado trips Hashi! Loa hurries to get Hashi up for a suplex! Uno amigo, and then a wrench to a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grows annoyed. Loa drags Hashi up as fans rally again. Loa throws a forearm but Hashi gives it back. Loa headbutts Hashi and Hashi is down in the corner!
Loa stomps away on Hashi, but the ref reprimands. Loa lets off, Jado taunts Hashi, and Loa whips Hashi corner to corner. Loa runs in but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans cheer as Hashi evens things back up! Hashi and Loa slowly rise, Hashi throws forearms, body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Loa reverses but Hashi dodges to hit the HEADHUNTER! Hashi fires up and fans rally for him. Hashi runs corner to corner, to CHOP Loa! Hashi whips, CHOPS, but Loa just grins! Loa wags his finger at Hashi, then throws a forearm! Hashi stays up and he forearms back! Loa doesn’t budge, and he ROCKS Hashi!
Hashi stays on his feet and Loa dares him to “give me your best shot! Don’t do this to me! You came to fight me, so fight me!” Loa wants Hashi to #GetBackUp and show him what he’s got! Hashi gets up and throws forearms and CHOPS! Mule kick, and a neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Hashi and he hurries to a corner! Hashi climbs up and fans rally harder now! Loa stands and hits Hashi with a forearm first! Loa climbs up, clubs away on Hashi’s back, but Hashi resists the superplex. Hashi throws bodys shots, clubs Loa, and sunset flips, to get the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Hashi has the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa powers up but Hashi throws knees into him!
Hashi grinds Loa down but Loa powers up again! Loa fireman’s carries Hashi, but Hashi slips off to CHOP! Loa laughs, kicks, knees and ENZIGURIS! Hashi falls over but Loa tells him, “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t you die on me yet!” Hashi gets up, Loa runs, but into an elbow! Hashi runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives and fans fire up again! Loa likes this! “There’s that fighting spirit! I love it!” Loa drags Hashi up and vows it’s over now. Loa scoops but Hashi slips out to waistlock. Loa rams Hashi into a corner and fires off elbows! Loa runs in but Hashi dodges! SUPERKICK, but Loa just wants more! SUPERKICK, SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK!
Loa shoves Hashi and Hashi fires off another SUPERKICK! Loa still isn’t done, he wants more!! Hashi SUPERKICKS, and Loa finally wobbles! BACKSTABBER! Hashi drags Loa to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans fire up, Hashi SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Loa still lives but Hashi keeps on him! Hashi gator rolls Loa into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa grits his teeth and powers up again! Hashi slips an arm around to get the double wristlock! KIMURA-FLY! Loa still endures, slips his head under, but Jado gets in! Hashi is ready, and he kicks then mule kicks Jado first! Hashi sends Loa into Jado! Roll up, TWO!!
Loa swings but into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi fires up and the fans are with him, for the BASEMENT METEORA! Hashi isn’t done there, he drags Loa back up! Hashi gets Loa up, full nelsons again, but then shifts to a pump handle! Wait, Tama Tonga shows up! The distraction saves Loa, and he scoops Hashi for APE SHIT!! Cover, Loa wins!!
Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall
Well it was strange that Tama wasn’t here to start, and now we see he was an ace in the hole! And now they’re all beating Hashi up, 3v1! The ref reprimands but they’re not stopping! GoD drags Hashi up, but here comes Goto! Goto CLOBBERS Loa then fires off on Tama! After all, their match was up next, anyway! Tama whips Goto away but Goto comes back to block the hip toss and hit a hip toss! Fans cheer as Goto lariats Loa out of the ring, and the ref rings the bell on the next match!
Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Good Bad Guy rolls the Fierce Warrior up right away! With tights! TWO!! Goto swings, Tama gets under and Tama dropkicks Goto out! Tama hurries out after Goto, and he whips Goto into railing! Tama checks on Loa and sees he’s okay. Tama drags Goto back up, POSTS him, then goes in the ring as the ref wants. Goto stirs, the ring count begins, but Tama goes back out. The ref is busy with Tama and Jado SMACKS Goto with the kendo stick! Tama goes out to fetch Goto now, puts him back in, and clamps on with a chinbar. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest, then paces about. Goto sits up, Tama drags him back up and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Tama is annoyed but fans rally up.
Tama sits Goto up to claw his face! The ref reprimands, Tama stops, and fans rally up for Goto. Tama paces as Goto eggs him on. Tama CLUBS Goto, and Goto eggs him on more! Tama throws haymakers, but Goto gets power from it! Goto eggs Tama on, Tama headbutts, but that does more damage to Tama! Tama whips Goto, runs in but the splash misses! Goto hits a BIG suplex! Goto fires off on Tama in the corner, whips him corner to corner, and runs in to MURAMASA! Then, BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Tama up, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights free. Tama swings but into a hook! Tama fights free of that, gets Goto in a dragon sleeper, but Goto turns that around!
Tama slips through to suplex, but Goto resists! Goto suplexes, but Tama slips into the dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Tama is furious but fans rally up! Tama watches Goto, hears the voices in his head like he’s The Viper, and Goto rises. Goto turns around, but he denies the Gun Stun! Goto swings, but into Tama’s spin and leap, SATELLITE DDT! Both men are down but Tama is growling. Tama gets up, goes to a corner and climbs up. FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Goto moves! BLINDSIDE SLIDING LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Goto crawls to ropes while Tama sits up. Goto staggers over and powers up!
But Loa returns to scoop Goto! Jado is distracting the ref! Goto slips out of the scoop, and HEADBUTTS Loa down! Goto DECKS Jado but turns around into GUN- NO! Goto blocks again, shoves Tama and follows. Tama stops to swing on Goto but Goto dodges, and comes back to swing. Tama ducks, redirects, dodges, hurdles, but Goto dodges the boot to swing! Tama ducks to GUN- NO!! Goto drags Tama back up, fireman’s carry, dragon sleeper, toss out, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall
What a wild exchange to end this one! But now, Chaos is even with the Guerrillas, and the tiebreaker will be THE IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Goto and Hashi end GoD’s reign and be double champions? Or will it be Tama & Loa who #TurnItAllAround?
KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens!
Mr. KOPW 2020 now defends his provisional 2021 KOPW trophy, and is going to put his twist on the Crown Jewel’s stipulation choice! But will that be enough for Yano to continue on through the year? Or will Bullet Club manage to add another accolade to the treasury?
The introductions are made, and Yano’s seems to get even longer with the more he does and has… But after all that, and some disinfectant spray, the trophy is to be presented, which comes as a surprise to Yano. The trophy is set aside, the strap is brought in, and Yano waits outside while Chase is strapped in first. Perhaps Yano doesn’t trust Chase. The strap is also taped down so there is no removal of it during the match. Chase tosses Yano the other end, and Yano is hesitant to strap in. Yano takes the cuff, puts it on, and the ref tapes it on. Then Chase tries to reel Yano in! Yano knew this would happen! The bell rings, and it’s a tug-o-war!
Yano gets enough slack that he can LASH Chase! And again! And again! Chase bails out but Yano reels him in! Chase tries to get away with what slack there is but Yano keeps reeling him in! Chase wants a time-out? And a handshake? Yano kicks him and SMACKS him instead! And another SMACK! Another SMACK! Yano uses the strap to choke Chase! That’s legal in a strap match but Chase grabs at ropes. Yano kicks Chase, whips him, but Chase grabs ropes to get out again! Yano decides to undo a buckle pad! Now we have a bare corner! Chase resists being reeled in, and he goes to undo a buckle pad!
Yano won’t let him, and Yano chases Chase around! Chase uses that to get the strap going through the corner, and he YANKS Yano into the post! Chase takes a moment to catch his breath before he stomps Yano. Chase goes into the ring to undo the corner trap, and he uses the slack to SMACK Yano now! And SMACKS him again! And again! Chase drags Yano up, puts him in, and stomps him down. Chase sits Yano up, rips Yano’s shirt off, and now has bare skin to go after! SMACK! There’s instantly a red mark on Yano’s back! Chase drops fists, chokes Yano with the strap, then lets off to go to a corner. Chase again copies Yano and undoes this buckle pad! The neutral corners are bare!
Chase tosses the buckle pad at Yano and Yano catches it. Chase dares Yano to use the pad, so Yano swings! Chase dodges and dropkicks Yano into the bare buckles! Chase stomps Yano at the ropes, throws the buckle pad down on him, then digs his foot into Yano’s face while mocking the YTR thumbs. Chase drags Yano up to throw him out, then he follows. Chase drags Yano up and whips him, but Yano reverses to send Chase into barriers! Yano gets something from under the ring! It’s extra tape! Chase CLUBS Yano first, then slips through the railing? He wants to reel Yano into the railing, but Yano resists! So Chase lets go and Yano falls over!
Chase is free to drag Yano up and YANK him into the railing! And then again! Yano falls back down, Chase slips back through and he gets Yano’s spare tape! Chase tapes Yano’s hand into a fist so he can’t open it! Then Chase drags Owens up and puts him in the ring. Chase stomps Owens, and gets the other hand! Chase tapes that one up, too! Yano can’t open either of his hands! Yano tries to resist but Chase claws Yano’s face. Chase finishes his handiwork, and gets some slack on the strap to again SMACK Yano on the back! Chase plays around as he stomps and kicks Yano down, then he mocks the Yano shrug! But Yano uses his fists to trip Chase! Yano still catapults Chase into bare buckles!
Yano runs as far as the strap allows, comes back, but Chase dodges! Yano gets bare buckles again! Fans fire up, and Chase undoes the blue corner buckle pad! That’s three, will Chase go for the fourth? Chase drags Yano up to reel him in for a haymaker! And then again! And again! Chase throws up the Two Sweets, but Yano slips under and uses the strap to flip Chase! Chase gets up to throw a strike fest, then he runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano dodges Chase’s swing, shoves him at the ref, and then LOW BLOWS! Chase couldn’t stop that with wrist tape! And Yano figures what the hell? Untile the last pad! But wait, the tape on his hands makes that tricky.
Yano tears at the tape and frees his fingers! Fans fire up as Yano goes for the last corner, but Chase reels him in! HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! Chase hits the Jewel Heist but he can’t cover from being too tired! Fans fire up, Chase gets up and says BANG, and he drags Yano back up. Chase reels Yano in, Yano shoves him away! So Chase goes out and uses the strap to reel Yano into the bare buckles! Chase drags Yano all the way out now, and whips him into the railing! Chase pulls up padding from the floor ringside!! He wants bare linoleum to come into play now! BANG, and the package, but Yano fights that off to back drop Chase onto the floor!
Yano is mad now, and he gets into the ring! The strap keeps Yano from the final corner pad, but fans rally up! Owens holds railing, Yano goes back out, but Chase gets the ring bell! Chase CLOBBERS Yano with the bell, then he gets in, and HE wants the final corner! But Yano’s dead weight is keeping him from getting close! Chase thought he had a fool proof plan but seems not. Chase goes back out to fetch Yano, and wraps the strap around Chase’s head. Chase drags Yano up and in, then drags him. Yano holds Chase back, reels him in, and Chase is annoyed. JEWEL TRIGGER!
Fans rally for Yano but Chase gets the buckle pad! Yano tries to pull Chase away but Chase’s one hand undoes all but one strap! Chase runs at Yano, but into a pop-up POWERBOMB! And YANO unties the buckle pad!! YANO WINS!!
Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)
And that’s how you win YTR style! Will Yano continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like this? Or will someone eventually beat Yano at his own games?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
The other third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions is in action as he looks to settle things with the Switchblade! But will the Stone Pitbull be made to look like a little puppy tonight?
White insists the ref be more concerned about Ishii than him in the check. White throws off the jacket, flexes for the fans, and then has Gedo get in so they can Low Sweet. But Ishii grows impatient and he rushes over! White and Gedo bail out, “cool off,” and White mocks the clapping before giving the Low Sweet. White returns to the ring, bails right bck out, and asks about the bell. White gets in, the bell rings, and then White bails out again. White has a laugh as he goes in and out and in again, only to slide right back out. The ref reprimands, White dares Ishii to go after him, and Ishii goes! White gets far away from Ishii, goes back in the ring but Ishii is ready to follow.
White goes out, Ishii follows again. Gedo creeps up on Ishii, and White attacks! White stomps Ishii, drags him up for knees, then whips. Ishii swings, White dodges and doges and knees low. White whips, Ishii reverses but White bails out! White has a laugh, but Ishii rushes after him again! White gets in, and pretends he pulled a muscle so that Gedo can rake Ishii’s eyes! Gedo RAMS Ishii into railing then gets away before the ref notices. Ishii gets in the ring but White stomps him at the ropes. White stomps Ishii around, drags him up and throws him back out. White goes out but Ishii gets back in and runs, to run White over! Ishii pursues White on the outside, drags him up and whips him into railing!
Gedo protests but Ishii drags White up by his hair. White pushes Ishii but Ishii whips White back into railing! Fans cheer but the ref says to get this in the ring. Ishii glares at Gedo as he creeps over, and Gedo backs off. White goes to the ramp and Ishii wants to chase him down but the ref tells him to stay by the ring. The ref checks on White and tells him to get back to the ring, but White stays where he is on the ramp. Ishii argues with the ref, but he goes back into the ring. White dares Ishii to fight him on the outside but Ishii dares White to get back in. White goes in, Ishii kicks and clubs him! Ishii ROCKS White with a forearm, stomps him down, and then drags him up at the ropes.
White holds the ropes, the ref calls for the break, but White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Ishii to the apron! Gedo cheers while Ishii flops to the floor. White drags Ishii back up to SNAKE EYES him off the railing! The ref checks Ishii and White mockingly asks if Ishii is okay. The ref tells White to stay back, White goes into the ring, and fans rally up for Ishii. White goes back out to drag Ishii up and RAM him into the apron! And RAM him into railing! And RAM him back into the apron! And then back into the railing! Those ribs take serious damage as Ishii goes down in a heap! Gedo mockingly asks what’s wrong, and White drags Ishii up.
White says they have to get into the ring, so he’s putting Ishii in the ring. White asks if Ishii is done, but Ishii refuses to quit! The fans rally so White stomps Ishii over and over! White digs his fingers into Ishii’s face then stomps him again! White stomps Ishii in the ribs and Ishii goes to the ropes. White pushes Ishii around and then gets him into a corner. White RAMS into the bad ribs, the ref wants White to back off but White RAMS Ishii one more time. Gedo cheers but he’s the only one as White puts Ishii in a rear bearhug. Ishii endures the squeeze, so White JAMS a knee into Ishii’s back. White goes back to the rear bearhug, mockingly asking if Ishii has a hard time breathing.
White is squeezing tighter and Ishii shouts in pain! Ishii endures, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer the toughness but White stomps Ishii at the ropes! The ref checks on Ishii again but White drags Ishii back up. White whips Ishii hard into a corner and Gedo wants the ref to call this. White whips, Ishii reverses, and then Ishii runs in but White dodges! Ishii crashes into buckles, and White fireman’s carries him up! Ishii slips off, but White elbows Ishii away, only to run into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ishii growls as he gets up and he stalks White to a corner.
Fans rally as Ishii CHOPS White, and CHOPS again! And CHOPS, and then hooks White’s arms in the ropes so he can CHOP again! White falls over and Ishii hammers away! The ref reprimands, Ishii backs him down with a glare! Ishii comes back but White RAMS a shoulder into the ribs! White goes to suplex but it’s Ishii who brings White up and over! Ishii sits up, fans rally, and Ishii looms over White. Ishii brings White up but White fights off the back suplex. White swings but Ishii spins him around. White switches, Ishii wrenches, but White avoids the back suplex to turn Ishii. Ishii fights out of the neckbreaker but White kicks low to DDT!
Both men are down again and Ishii gets to the corner. White runs in to uppercut Ishii, and fireman’s carry, for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and White grows annoyed but fans fire up! White drags Ishii back up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage off and they end up in a corner. White knees Ishii, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Ishii eggs him on. White CHOPS Ishii again, then puts some stank on the next CHOP! Ishii just turns things around to CHOP White high! The ref reprimands but Ishii shoves him away! Ishii CHOPS White high again! Ishii drags White up, CHOPS high and hard again and again!
The ref comes back, Ishii shoves him, and CHOPS White more! The ref finally gets Ishii to stop those near throat chops, and Ishii drags White up to whip him corner to corner. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline, then whips corner to corner. White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but runs into the COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Ishii up into a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and fans rally up as both men are down. Gedo calls for the Kiwi, and White drags Ishii back up. White reels Ishii in, fisherman hooks but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii rams White into a corner, but White CORNER HALF HATCHES Ishii! Ishii clutches those bad ribs as he flops out of the ring!
The ref checks on Ishii but Ishii refuses to quit. White goes out to fetch Ishii, and he drags Ishii up to RAILING HALF HATCH!! White leaves Ishii for dead as Ishii writhes. Fans rally up but a ring count begins. The count is already 6 of 20 before Ishii sits up. Ishii still hasn’t gotten up and we’re past 10 of 20! It’s 15, Ishii finally starts going towards the ring, and he’s in at 18! White drags Ishii up and is pissed, but he hits BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious! White drags Ishii around, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White knees low but Ishii gets around to headbutt! Ishii runs, but into a BIG urenage!
White drags Ishii up, fisherman and KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and fans fire up! White asks Gedo for ideas, then drags Ishii around. White gets the sleeper hold but Ishii hooks the leg to block the suplex. Ishii throws elbows but White KNEES him low and hard! White drags Ishii back to center, has an arm and a leg, and stomps away on the ribs! Gedo wants the ref to stop this for Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t want this to end like that! White stands Ishii up and keylocks an arm so he can JAM Ishii in the ribs! White puts Ishii in a corner for more hard body shots! Gedo cheers but the ref reprimands. Ishii dares White to bring it, and White throws forearms!
Ishii tanks them because his head is still hard as stone! White throws more forearms but Ishii leans into them! Ishii backs White down like this, so White KNEES the ribs! Ishii ROCKS White back! Ishii drags White up and Gedo starts getting worried. Ishii puts White up top, Gedo swipes at him but the ref reprimands. White claws Ishii’s eyes! But Ishii RISING HEADBUTTS! White holds on to keep from falling! Ishii climbs up, drags White up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! The ribs make that double-edged, but Ishii hurries to high stack cover, TWO!! White survives but is sputtering. Ishii powers up and takes aim. Gedo gets on the apron, but hops off when Ishii glares at him.
White gets Ishii in the sleeper, but Ishii throws him over! Ishii puts the sleeper on now! White fades already but Gedo gets on the apron! Ishii goes after Gedo, pushing the ref aside! Gedo sucker punches Ishii down! White gets Ishii in the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Fans rally but White drags Ishii back up! Ishii tries to fight the sleeper hold but he’s fading! White leans on the hold, but Ishii gets a second wind! Ishii reaches for ropes, but White gets a leg for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious again! Fans rally for Ishii as White drags himself over.
White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights free of the suplex! White forearms, throws a strike fest, but Ishii gets around. They both swing and dodge but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Both men are down as Ishii clutches his ribs. Ishii fires up to fight through the pain and the fan srally behind him. Ishii runs, but White gets around! Ishii switches and he puts White in a sleeper! Ishii leans on White and now White fades! Ishii spins White but WHITE hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and White is beside himself! White slashes the throat, drags Ishii up, but no Blade Runner! GERMAN SUPLEX! Ishii and White are down again and both sputter as they sit up.
Gedo rallies for White but Ishii hits his head off the mat to power up! Ishii gets moving, fakes White out, but White still boots Ishii! Ishii ENZIGURIS! Ishii is roaring, Gedo is panicking, and Ishii drags White up to a POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO?!? White survives but Ishii sits him up. Gedo gets in with the brass knuckles! The ref reprimands, Ishii dares Gedo to use them, but he blocks White’s low blow! Ishii whips White into Gedo then LARIATS White! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?! White survives again but Ishii is just firing up more! Ishii drags White up, suplexes him, but White fights that off!
White tries to suplex but Ishii suplexes first. White slips out, dragon sleepre to an inverted suplex and he puts Ishii on his shoulder! White flips Ishii to the blade position but Ishii slipls out! Ishii swings but White turns him around, crosses the arms, but Ishii fights out again, only to run into a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White hurries to get Ishii up but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Ishii suplexes, White fights out but Ishii HEADBUTTS! White still wants a Triple S, but Ishii waistlocks! White switches, Ishii switches, but White blocks and dodges to BLADERUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall
A masterful exchange and it’s the Switchblade that hits the mark! White even needs to check that he won, it was that sudden! He hugs Young Lions in almost mocking celebration! But when the Young Lion pushes him away, he BOOTS them down! But does this victory mean White is done with Ishii and back on his way towards the top?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Rainmaker technically got his singles match with the King of Darkness not too long ago, but it was little more than an excuse to get Okada alone so Bullet Club could beat him up. We’ve seen Bullet Club in action all night, will any of Evil’s allies be able to back him up? Or will Okada prove Everything is NOT Evil?
The bell rings and Okada rushes Evil! Evil dodges, but then Okada dodges to fire off forearms. Evil kicks low, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada reverses and BOOTS Evil down! Evil bails out, fans cheer, and Okada dares Evil to come back. Dick and Evil regroup, Red Shoes keeps Okada back, and Okada waits. Evil slides back in, circles with Okada, and Okada points Dick out to Red Shoes. Dick stays back, Okada and Evil circle, but then Dick swipes at Okada! Evil attacks from behind, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada holds ropes and boots back. Okada scoops and slams Evil, then slingshot sentons!
Fans cheer as Okada takes a moment before he covers. ONE, but Okada drags Evil back up. Okada turns Evil to hit a neckbreaker! Okada drags Evil up and clamps on a chinlock. Evil endures, even as Okada digs his knee in. Evil reaches and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada holds until Red Shoes counts 3, and he brings Evil up to elbow him back down. Evil goes to a corner, Okada stomps him down! Dick protests but Okada tells him to shut up. Okada drags Evil up, snapmares him, then runs to basement dropkick! Evil bails out as fans rally up. Dick checks on Evil, Okada goes out and tells Dick to back off. Okada drags Evil up and ROCKS Evil with a forearm!
Okada glares at Dick then chases him off! Dick goes in the ring, Okada follows, Evil CLOBBERS Okada! Evil mockingly applauds and then he scrapes Okada out of the ring. Evil drags Okada up and whips him into railing! Evil scuffs Okada’s face, then drags him up, to RAM into the railing and the timekeeper! Poor Abe-san! Why don’t they ever move him away from ringside? Evil drags out chairs while everyone is busy helping Abe. Evil brings Okada over, CLUBS him down, then gets a chair ready! Evil puts that chair around Okada’s head, and then has the other chair! HOMERUN! Evil goes into the ring and leaves Okada on the floor. Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as a ring count begins.
Okada slowly stirs, and finally gets up at 10 of 20. Okada gets in at 13, but Evil is after him. Evil whips Okada into the bare corner! When did Dick take the buckle pad?! Evil drags Okada to a Half Crab! Okada endures as Evil pulls back, using Okada’s own knee pad for leverage. Okada gets the ropebreak, and Evil lets go at 4. Evil paces, drags Okada up, but Okada throws a forearm! Okada throws more forearms, but Evil rakes Okada’s eyes! Evil throws Okada out, and then gets in Red Shoes’ face so Dick can stomp away on Okada! Dick drags Okada up and puts him in for Evil, and Evil covers. Red Shoes knows something fishy is up so he refuses!
Evil is upset with Red Shoes but he drags Okada back up. Evil reels Okada in to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Evil is furious with Red Shoes but the count is the count. Evil mocks the fans clapping for “O-KA-DA!” and he drags Okada up. Okada throws a heavy body shot! Okada throws forearms, uppercuts, and then whips. Evil reverses, Okada dodges but Evil kicks him to throw him down! Okada avoids the back senton, and hits a basement EuroUpper! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada stands first. Evil follows but Okada rallies with elbows! Okada whips, Evil reverses but Okada elbows him down! Osaka fires up with Okada!
Okada whips Evil corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus and gets the fans going with clap-clap-clap-stomp. Evil gets up but he fights off the Alabama lift! So Okada RAMS Evil into a corner! Okada puts Evil up top, Evil boots but Okada blocks! Okada clubs the leg then EuroUppers, and he dropkicks Evil off the top! Evil falls to the floor and Dick checks on him. Okada catches his breath in the ring, the ring count starts, and Dick coaches Evil. Okada goes out to fetch Evil, and drags him up. Okada elbows Evil, but then Dick talks trash. Okada chases Dick up the ramp but Evil pursues! Okada kicks and clubs Dick!
Evil runs in but Okada gets him, too! DOUBLE DDT’s to the ramp! Okada and fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp! Okada leaves Evil and Dick behind as he goes back down the ramp. But then Okada goes back and figures he should bring Evil back. Okada clubs Evil to make sure he keeps going towards ringside. Okada puts Evil in and fans cheer as he covers, TWO! Evil is still in this but Okada isn’t frustrated. Okada drags Evil up but blocks thje kick! Okada spins, Evil blocks the kick and gives it to Red Shoes so he can mule kick Okada low! Fans rally again, Evil pretends he can’t hear them, and then he runs in to clothesline Okada in the corner! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!
Evil is frustrated again but he gets Okada’s legs! Okada resists as Evil tries to turn him over, and Okada gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4, but Dick is there to get cheap shots in! Dick runs way before Red Shoes sees, and Evil smirks as he scuffs Okada with his boot. Evil talks trash, Okada gets up and fans rally again. Evil slaps Okada around, so Okada gets mad. Okada runs but into a fireman’s carry! Okada fights free, Evil elbows him away and runs, but into a HUGE FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans rally up again. Okada stands, Evil goes to a corner, but Okada BOOTS him! Okada Alabama lifts but Evil fights off! Evil pulls hair but Okada ROCKS him!
Okada runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Okada ROCKS him again! Evil reverses the whip, but runs into the Alabama! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada goes to a corner, climbs up, but Evil stands, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Evil back up. Okada gut wrenches but Evil resists. Evil gets the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Okada clubs Evil first. Okada backs off, runs into the corner, but Evil boots him away! Evil boots Okada again, then dodges. Okada stops from hitting bare buckles, but Evil clotheslines Okada into them! Okada goes down in a heap while Evil smiles. Fans rally up but Evil drags Okada up.
Evil hoists Okada up top, climbs up to join him, and then goes to the very top! Evil drags Okada up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Evil doesn’t cover, he gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Okada endures as Evil sits back deep! The fans rally, Okada claws for ropes, but Evil adds more torque! Okada refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go at 4! Evil catches his breath in a corner while Okada is down. Evil drags Okada back up, reels him into the fireman’s carry, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans fire up! Evil is annoyed again but he vows to end this. Evil slashes the throat, stands Okada up and spins him, but Okada denies Evil.
Okada wants the clip but Evil knees low. Evil whips, Okada reverses and Evil gets bare buckles! MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, claws Okada’s eyes, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil lets go and then he grabs at Red Shoes! Dick CLUBS Okada with a pipe!! Dick gets in, Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil gets in Red Shoes’ face while Dick fires off haymakers! Dick whips Okada but Okada BOOTS him down! Evil kicks and whips Okada but Okada reverses to dropkick Evil down! Okada gets Evil’s arm for the MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, pries at Okada’s fingers, but Okada leans on the hold. Evil fights up, grabs at Red Shoes, but Red Shoes SWATS Evil’s hand!
Okada gut wrenches Evil to a TOMBSTONE! And back to MONEY CLIP! Evil reaches, turns a bit red, starts to fade but gets a second wind. Evil is up, grabs Red Shoes again, but Okada CLUBS Evil! Okada wrenches the other arm but Evil shoves Okada into Red Shoes! Evil runs but Okada gets around, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada shouts to Red Shoes but he’s still down. Okada puts on Money Clip, Dick has the CHOKER!! The Spoiler is trying to spoil this finish! But Okada powers up and RAMS Dick into the bare buckles! Okada is free, and he gut wrenches Dick to hit a TOMBSTONE!! Okada takes the choker now?! To throw it away! That’s our Rainmaker for ya! But Evil LOW BLOWS Okada!!
Evil gets the legs, but Okada LOW BLOWS Evil back!! Turnabout is fair play! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes, and fans rally up! Okada sits up first, and he drags Evil up. Okada gut wrenches again, for a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Fans fire up with Okada again as he sits Evil up for the MONEY CLIP!! Red Shoes returns, Evil endures, and Okada keeps Evil away from ropes with a back2backbreaker! MONEY CLIP AGAIN! Evil is in the middle of the ring as he starts to fade again! Red Shoes checks on Evil as he’s turning red again! Evil finds a third wind and he reaches, but Okada clamps on tighter! Evil tries one more time and gets a ropebreak!
Okada lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up for Okada again as he has Evil’s wrist. Okada drags Evil up, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada drags Evil up again, but Evil LARIATS! Okada swings but into Evil spins him to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Both men slowly rise, and Evil runs, to LARIAT Okada inside-out! Cover, TWO!?!? Okada survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally up again but Evil rises first. Evil staggers over, slashes his throat and stands Okada up. Evil spins him but Okada denies the STO again! Evil still tries but Okada spins. Evil avoids the discus, but Okada tries to steal Everything! Evil denies that, and tries to steal the Rainmaker lariat!
Okada denies that but he swings into Evil’s clinch! Okada denies the STO again! Okada gut wrenches Evil, for a SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada brings Evil up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall
The tried and true finisher finishes Evil! This won’t be the end of things, but has Evil learned a little of why Okada is still on a whole different level? After catching his breath, Okada gets the mic. He gets fans to clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap clap-clap clap-clap-clap. “OSAKA-JOOOOO~! If I can speak frankly, that felt damn good!” Okada apologizes to the fans for “having to put up with more of Bullet Club’s crap tonight.” But by taking care of business, Okada is sure we’re all satisfied. Okada says there’s something still bothering him, though. “Well, I should just put it out there, huh? It’s about time I get back to that IWGP Heavyweight title!”
Okada knows that as a responsible adult, he should follow proper protocol. So that starts with winning the 2021 New Japan Cup! After doing that, he’ll be back where he belongs. But he’s sure they’re all thinking that the double title thing is getting boring. If Okada were to poll Osaka, they’d say that the one who has to save the titles is him! So he’ll win the NJ Cup, take back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and make it rain again! Fans like the sound of that! Okada knows while the fans couldn’t chant and shout, he knows they were giving it their all to support the wrestlers, and thanks them for it! The wrestlers will do their best all over again tomorrow for night two! Until then, good night!
The Rainmaker has made it known where he wants to be, but will that only make the road back that much harder? Will Tetsuya Naito make it a bit easier by taking the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back on night two?
A very good event for NJPW to begin this weekend, but it also felt like a last-minute go-home for tomorrow’s event, as well as the New Japan Cup. The opening Six Man was good, and the United Empire wins so Khan has some momentum, but it was good math that neither he or Tanahashi were involved in the finish. That way, the NEVER Openweight Championship match could go either way. Tanahashi really only just got that belt, though, so I’m leaning towards him retaining. Ospreay & Cobb will still face Kojima & Tenzan, but that will probably go the Empire’s way like tonight did.
In similar fashion, it was good math for Goto-Hashi and GoD to split the difference. I like that Goto didn’t just win, he won in such a sudden turnaround. But with it being 50-50 here, I’m thinking GoD retain the tag titles and we wait to see if another team moves up to challenge them. Yano VS Chase was a good match, a lot of good antics from Yano, but Yano felt like a natural choice to win here. It might be awhile before someone wins and takes the KOPW 2021 trophy, but it definitely has to be in something really ridiculous.
White VS Ishii was a very good match, maybe a little long, but the slug fest nature of it and Ishii enduring bad ribs made it work. As did another fast exchange finish with White going over. White is definitely going into the NJCUP strong. Okada VS Evil was very similar, a long but storied match that turned out very well. As I said before, Okada trying to focus on the Money Clip works as a way of extending his career, but I also like this new element that when things get difficult, he can always bust out the Rainmaker lariat. Okada declares his NJCUP intentions, but that in itself could signal he doesn’t win it all, and puts someone else over. At this point, I feel like Sanada doesn’t even need to declare to be considered a favorite. Sanada’s already had great matches with Okada, Naito and Ibushi, maybe one more time is the charm for him to join the upper tier.
My Score: 9/10
Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.27.21
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Kazuchika Okada finally gets his hands on EVIL, Jay White gets his “get right match” against Ishii after the last month of issues, and just generally a lot of feud building. The obvious thread is all of the CHAOS versus Bullet Club going on, but I don’t think any of us are excited for Tanga Loa and YOSHI-HASHI.
We also have The United Empire kicking things off to help give Great O-Khan more momentum going into his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Even if the card seems a little flat, maybe we get surprised?
- The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Ospreay wins via Oscutter @10:22 – * ½
- Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI: Loa wins via Ape Shit @12:58 – (-*)
- Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @6:39 – ** ¼
- KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens: Yano retains @12:50 – ** ½
- Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii: White wins via Blade Runner @25:42 – ****
- Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo: Okada wins via Rainmaker @28:11 – *** ¼
The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So we saw a lot of dynamics that we’ve grown to expect. Tenzan struggles to not use the Mongolian Chops, O-Khan continues to prove himself a credible enough threat to Tanahashi, but this was a sloppy match. Between an early awkward exchange that made it seem like O-Khan didn’t know how to sell Kojima’s flurry, Ospreay slipped on the rope when he was coming in toward the end; even though he kinda saved it, it was obviously screwed up.
Interactions were clumsy, the match never got exciting and really just did what these kind of matches usually do, but not even as well as most Young Lions.
Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI
Welp, this match was straight garbage. The sad thing about this match was that Loa did a pretty solid job at trying to vocally antagonize HASHI and keep things interesting, but HASHI was in slow motion. HASHI would visibly confirm things too much, his moves were bad, kept trying to rally the crowd but they didn’t respond; so there were a ton of times he waited a beat to see if the crowd would ever come alive, and they never really did.
Tanga Loa was his usual self with better verbal interactions. He kept trying to get HASHI to fight and prove what he had instead of cursing, but HASHI just fell into the waste of space mannerisms he was known for 99% of his career. He should go back to Loose Explosion on his tights, because he is the drizzling shits.
So Tama comes out to distract Hashi allowing for Loa to turn the situation and hit Ape Shit. Bullet Club beatdown ensues, Goto runs out, clears out Loa…and the referee decides to just start the match since Goto and Tama were supposed to wrestle anyway!
Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto
A quick start is stifled by the malaise that is known as Castle Attack so far. Tama dumps out Goto, Goto starts reviewing his life choices and why he’s here today, and then spends enough time on the outside to build a bird house before Jado eventually limps over and hits him with a kendo stick shot. Like…why? Goto saw it coming. Stevie Wonder saw it coming. The terrible decisions of YOSHI-HASHI have polluted Goto’s mind as well!
When things get back into the ring, at least Tama and Goto are good wrestlers. Tama hits the Tongan Twist and Veleno, but a missed Stinger Splash and countered Gun Stun gave Goto some space. Tama tried for Gun Stun again, but he got caught, Goto throws him on his shoulders Ushigoroshi style, but drops him into the GTR and lands it! So a surprising GTR gives Goto a victory from the jaws of defeat, and at least the in-ring action was serviceable enough to get the highest rating of the show so far.
I really hope the back half blows my socks off, because this is sad so far.
KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens
Now the gimmick here is instead of touch the 4 corner pads, you have to remove the 4 corner pads. So it seems like the person to remove the last pad, will be the winner.
We get a mostly expected Yano gimmick match. He made small references to his earlier gimmick of being a cheating, violent, always disqualified heel; when he started whipping Chase early and being more aggressive than we usually see. But Chase was clever using the outside to a great advantage. Yano was forced to go after Chase because Chase was going to take the pads off from outside, and then used Yano’s momentum against him by ramming him into posts and barricades.
The last pad was solid comedy where both took turns knocking the other out, too far from the last pad. So we had some goofy “drag the dead body” spots. Chase nearly had things won until Yano came to, pulled him close for Oni Koroshi! Yano makes it to the corner, takes it off and the God of all KOPW continues!
Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii has had White’s number lately, and just added to the broken status of his mental health after the Wrestle Kingdom loss. Within the first minute or so, Jay looked to have tweaked his hamstring, and that added an interesting layer to his early attack. But much like the strategic genius that he is, he lays Ishii over the barricade, and Ishii starts selling a rib injury.
Everything in this match mattered, the leg and ribs came back to play into aspects of the finishing sequence. Ishii was slow transitioning between some of his power moves since he was hampered with the rib injury, and Jay got caught a bit more than usual because his quickness was taken away.
A huge Avalanche Brainbuster after a Jumping Headbutt nearly gave Ishii the win, but a slow cover as he wanted the high stack, kept Jay alive. They fight back and forth, then we get a great counter wrestling sequence to finish the match. Ishii slips suplexes and Blade Runners, Jay slips the Brainbuster and eats a strike. It was up, down, back and forth, just hard to call until Jay finally slips a hold and catches Ishii with Blade Runner for the win!
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) February 27, 2021
THANK GOD we got a match worth watching! Great pacing, solid story, this is something to watch.
Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo
Ugh, okay so we know what we get with EVIL any more right? Okada tried to eliminate Dick Togo early when he hit Double DDTs on the ramp, but then the trek back to the ring was awkward. Okada bringing EVIL back to the ring, was a microcosm of the match, where it was just very slowly paced, inactive and not a good idea.
Part of the point in this match was for Okada to finally get closure on EVIL beating him during last year’s New Japan Cup; but he wanted to drag out the old aggressive EVIL. EVIL fired up late, and the crowd responded excitedly expecting something good, but it was short lived. Plus, we have Okada being a complete moron. He was shoved into Red Shoes, fights off Dick and lays EVIL out and goes for the stupid Money Clip. He goes for a submission after he was driven into the referee. This is a gap in logic so embarrassing, just so Dick could interfere again with the garrote.
All the garrote did was possibly foreshadow when Okada Tombstoned Dick, and then had a moment where he considered using the weapon. This is either a throw away for Okada to continue to be the Golden Boy, or it’s a hint that darker things are on the horizon for Okada.
Either way, Fire/Thunder Driver lead to the Rainmaker again, and we’re finally at a point where Okada is beating people with the move that started it all! No more Money Clip! It looks bad and it’s just sad.
Overall Score: 4.25/10
At least we got one match really worth watching out of this show. Jay White versus Tomohiro Ishii is truly the only thing to watch from this whole show.
I don’t know how some people didn’t find the YOSHI-HASHI embarrassing, but it completely was. The opener was sloppy to the point of uselessness. Tama and Goto was just flat given how the story was being told. Then we’ve got the gimmicky goofball match being a highlight before the semi-main and main events. I’ve seen more salient card structure and match booking from Dragon Gate during the waning days of ANTIAS.
Tomorrow has to be better because if it’s worse, then I think 2015 TNA would be happy to know they aren’t the bottom of the barrel anymore. This show was so embarrassing I think I’m just gonna end the article with the hockey coach from Letterkenny:
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