NJPW knocks on the door of destiny!
Tetsuya Naito as IWGP Intercontinental Champion. Kazuchika Okada as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Only ONE can have them both!
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.
- Revolution Pro-Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS SANADA; ZSJ wins and retains the RPW British Heavyweight Championship.
- IWGP United States Championship: Jon Moxley VS Juice Robinson; Moxley wins and retains the IWGP United States Championship.
- NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA VS Hirooki Goto; Goto wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- Chris Jericho VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Jericho wins and denies Tanahashi his AEW World Championship opportunity.
- IWGP Double Gold Dash: Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins and becomes the first-ever dual IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Revolution Pro-Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS SANADA!
The Submission Master and the Cold Skull have battled many times before, from New Japan Cup 2018 to G1 Climaxes 28 and 29 to many tag team matches as part of Suzuki-Gun VS Los Ingobernables de Japon. But now they battle for ZSJ’s precious RPW gold on NJPW’s biggest stage! Who wins the newest chapter in this growing rivalry?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Sabreism VS Strong Style begins again!
ZSJ and Sanada circle and ZSJ rushes in. Sanada stays clear and the two test the tie up. ZSJ wristlocks and wrenches then wrenches again. ZSJ has Sanada down but Sanada kips up. Sanada handsprings all around and wrenches to a headlock, shifts to a hammerlock and headlock takeovers. ZSJ slips out and arm-drags Sanada down, but Sanada gets up to arm-drag ZSJ down! ZSJ headscissors, Sanada pops out and the two stand off. Fans cheer this technical exchange as the two reset. ZSJ and Sanada approach and ZSJ headbutts Sanada in the stomach. ZSJ whips but Sanada reverses. ZSJ goes up, under, baits Sanada in and slips around to drop down, but Sanada sits on his sunset flip, only for ZSJ to still get the sunset!
Sanada pops out to high stack but ZSJ shifts to sit, but Sanada sunsets back! ZSJ pops out to stack but Sanada sits only for ZSJ to sunset again, but Sanada slips away again. ZSJ crawls under but Sanada trips him, and has the legs! But ZSJ denies Paradise to standing toe hold. Sanada tries to escape, ZSJ ties up his legs for a Bow ‘n’ Arrow but Sanada pops out to a cover, ONE! The two stand off again and fans cheer! ZSJ is frustrated as he backs off and the two reset again. Sanada and ZSJ circle and Sanada calls for a test of strength. Both men flex at each other and then tie up with the knuckle locks. ZSJ brings Sanada down and wrenches one arm into a half straitjacket. ZSJ gets the full straitjacket but Sanada’s been here with ZSJ before.
Sanada turns things around and has ZSJ in the straitjacket. ZSJ turns it around but Sanada turns it back. ZSJ drops, bridges and spins to put the hold back on Sanada, and he sits Sanada down! ZSJ digs a knee into Sanada’s back, but Sanada uses that to pivot and roll to put the straitjacket back on! ZSJ grows frustrated as he again gets up and goes around. ZSJ uses power to wiggle the jacket down and slip it back on Sanada! But Sanada does the same, wiggling out to put ZSJ right back in the jacket! Fans cheer all this back and forth as ZSJ wiggles out again, but Sanada uses this to pump handle and flip ZSJ over! ZSJ boots back and trips Sanada, but no Figure Four for him as Sanada boots ZSJ out of the ring. Sanada builds speed but fakes ZSJ out to handspring back in. ZSJ throws a tantrum as fans fire up behind Sanada.
ZSJ cools off while Sanada waits in the ring. ZSJ takes his time returning and rushes at Sanada but Sanada redirects ZSJ. ZSJ rebounds to get Sanada in the standing cobra twist! They go around and around and Sanada puts ZSJ in the cobra twist! ZSJ reaches for ropes, Sanada makes it a rolling cobra cradle! Around and around and around the go, Sanada stops on a cover, TWO! ZSJ gets up but Sanada elbows him down! Sanada standing moonsaults, but into ZSJ’s armbar! ZSJ shifts to hammerlock that arm and pull back on the other! Sanada endures the “Clarky Cat” but ZSJ twists the right arm. Sanada reaches out with his foot to get a ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go reluctantly, but then clamps an arm between his legs and TWISTS! Sanada writhes while clutching his shoulder but ZSJ hammerlocks and STOMPS it!
The ref checks on Sanada but he’s okay to continue. ZSJ clamps on again and wrenches the arm. ZSJ tortures the arm more but Sanada forearms with his good arm! Sanada whips, ZSJ reverses but Sanada dodges the boot to dropkick a leg out! Both men are down but Sanada is up first. ZSJ headbutts low and snapmares but Sanada handsprings through. ZSJ dodges the dropkick but Sanada catches the Penalty Kick to DRAGON SCREW! ZSJ clutches the knee as he scrambles away but Sanada is ice cold as ever. ZSJ bails out but Sanada PESCADO! Direct hit and fans fire up for Sanada! Sanada encourages the cheers as he goes around the way. Sanada comes back to ZSJ and brings him up to put back in. Fans cheer the sportsmanship as Sanada looms over ZSJ.
Sanada grabs a leg but ZSJ grabs an ear! ZSJ shoves Sanada, Sanada runs back in but ZSJ scoops him! Sanada slips out to dragon sleeper, but ZSJ wrenches free to PELE the arm! ZSJ walks into a fireman’s carry but slips around to a HOVERBOARD! But Sanada pops out of that hold, cranks ZSJ aruond tot he dragon sleeper, and swings ZSJ around! He drops ZSJ to go up top and MOONSAULT, but he FLOPS! ZSJ PENALTY KICK! But that was double-edged from how much damage was done to the leg earlier! Both men are down but the fans rally. A standing count begins and both men rise to stand at 10 of 20. ZSJ European Uppercuts but Sanada gives them back! Sanada EuroUppers harder and harder, but ZSJ comes back, only for Sanada to uppercut ZSJ down!
Sanada runs corner to corner, ZSJ dodges but Sanada tumbles out and climbs up. Springboard but ZSJ gets clear! ZSJ comes back, crucifix to sunset flip, TWO and Sanada Prawn Holds! TWO as ZSJ sunset flips again, TWO! Prawn, ONE, Sunset, TWO! ZSJ pops Sanada for the sunset but Sanada pops out to Prawn! TWO!! That was almost it! ZSJ EuroUppers Sanada hard, but Sanada elbows back. Sanada moonsaults to get the dragon sleeper! Lift, but ZSJ slips out to trip and body scissor, EUROCLUTCH! Cover, TWO!! Sanada has the dragon sleeper! Skull End is almost complete but ZSJ scrambles and flails. ZSJ snapmares but Sanada powers back to bring the sleeper back around. ZSJ slips out and hops on for the cobra twist! But Sanada powers out again, pops ZSJ up, fling and dragon sleeper! Body scissors but ZSJ slips out to pull on the arms! Sanada denies EuroClutch to clutch back! But ZSJ slips and bridges back to a cover!! ZSJ WINS!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by pinfall; still RPW British Heavyweight Champion
The #VeganHyrda snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! Cold Skull is still in shock that ZSJ got that one, but the British Heavyweight Championship stays with the British wrestler! Will Sabreism continue to rise up and overtake the wrestling world?
IWGP United States Championship: Jon Moxley VS Juice Robinson!
The Death Rider went through a wild Texas Deathmatch with Lance Archer, but he’s an all in, all out kind of guy. He wants to settle this with the Flamboyant One once and for all, but will he only give rise to #JuicyTwoBelts?
The introductions are made, and Juice FLIES out onto Moxley as the champion makes his entrance! Juice rains down furious fists as the bell rings and this match officially begins!
Juice whips Moxley into railing! Moxley hits the floor but Juice drags Moxley up to scoop and snake eyes on the railing! Moxley gasps as his throat hits the steel, but then Juice scoop slams Moxley down! Juice drags Moxley into the ring but Moxley bails out. Juice pursues but Moxley shoves him into the post! Moxley throws off his jacket and goes looking under the ring. Moxley brings out chairs and sits one up. Moxley goes back to Juice and brings him up in a fireman’s carry. Juice escapes, dodges Moxley, and drop toeholds Moxley onto the chair! Juice has the other chair but the referee reprimands them both. Juice puts that chair down to sit Moxley up in the other. Juice then grabs the other chair and sets it aside, to CANNONBALL Moxley off the chair! Fans fire up as Juice throws caution to the wind!
Juice puts Moxley in the ring and runs into the corner, big corner clothesline! Juice whips Moxley corner to corner but Moxley reverses hard, sending Juice tumbling over and out of the ring! Moxley paces before going out to grab those chairs. Moxley goes after Juice and SMACKS him on the back! “He started it!” Juice writhes but Moxley drags him up into the ring. Moxley rains down angry right hands and headbutts, but the ref reprimands him. Moxley mockingly bows to the ref for the explanation, then he drags Juice up for a swinging backbreaker! Juice writhes away but Moxley covers, TWO! Moxley pushes Juice around and pulls on his hair to pull him back. Moxley brings Juice up into a camel clutch and adds clubbing crossface forearms!
Juice endures the hold and powers up as fans rally. Moxley clubs Juice and he goes staggering. Moxley corner clotheslines then snapmares to basement lariat! Cover, TWO! Moxley keeps his focus as he circles Juice like a shark. Moxley drags Juice up and CHOPS! Juice wobbles but Moxley puts him in a corner to CHOP again! Juice gets in Mox’s face and CHOPS back! So now it’s a CHOP fight! They go back and forth, until Moxley BITES Juices face! Just like their first match for this title! The ref reprimands Moxley, Moxley stops and runs, into a SPINE BUSTER! Juice checks his eyebrow, he isn’t bleeding this time, but he does fire up. LEG LARIAT! Juice drags Moxley up to a fireman’s carry, for a gutbuster drop! Juice keeps on Moxley with a lift, but he has to double clutch for the POWERBOMB! High stack cover, TWO!
Juice grows frustrated but he keeps his focus. Juice pumps up and fans chant along, “JUICE! JUICE!” with every jab! Juice powers up but Moxley trips him, into a Figure Four! Moxley cranks on the legs but Juice endures the leg lock. Juice drags himself and Moxley towards ropes with a back stroke, and gets the ropebreak! Moxley lets go reluctantly, but then is right back on Juice to pull him into a post! And throw a leg into it! And again! Moxley ties the legs up for a HANGING Figure Four! The referee reprimands Moxley and counts, but Moxley lets up at 4. Moxley walks around and goes back to the chairs. Moxley puts the chair around Juice’s head and then fetches the other chair! Moxley wants to be just like Evil, but Juice’s LEFT HAND OF GOD punches the chair into Moxley’s face!
Moxley is down and Juice takes off the chair necklace to go after Moxley. Juice puts Moxley in and hurries after him. Juice puts Moxley up top and CHOPS! Juice headbutts Moxley before climbing up to join him. SUPERPLEX! But he’s not done, Juice goes to another suplex, JACKHAMMER! Cover, TWO!! Moxley survives and Juice grows frustrated. Moxley slowly rises and calls for his move. Juice clamps onto Moxley with chicken wings and turns him, but Moxley pops out to GERMAN SUPLEX! Juice flounders up, ducks Moxley’s clothesline to GERMAN SUPLEX in return! Moxley flounders but so does Juice. Juice runs at Moxley and the two collide with clotheslines! Moxley comes back to LARIAT! Fans fire up with Moxley as he drags Juice back up. Moxley underhooks and lifts but Juice avoids Death Rider to roll Moxley up, with a bridge! TWO!! LARIAT!!
Both men are down but Tokyo rallies up. A standing count begins and both men slowly stir. Moxley and Juice sit up at 7 and that is enough for the ref. Moxley dares Juice to do something, and they stand. “Hit me! Hit me!” Juice throws a forearm so Moxley gives one back. Juice gives another but Moxley gives two! Juice headbutts, Moxley headbuts and forearms! Moxley fires off forearm after forearm from both sides, and slaps Juice! Juice SLAPS back! Moxley ROCKS Juice then runs, REGAL KNEE! “He’s done now!” Moxley drags Juice up but Juice slips out. Juice ROCKS Moxley with a right, then bobs ‘n’ weaves to LEFT HAND OF GOD! Juice fires up, pumps up, ANOTHER LEFT HAND! Juice drags Moxley up and chicken wings, turn around, but Moxley slips out to kick and DIRTY DEEDS! Float through, lift, DEATH RIDER!! Cover, Moxley wins!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall; still IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion
The Maniac wins big again! And while he splits time with AEW, will Moxley be able to make it back to Japan in time for his next defense?
But speaking of his next defense, a new challenger approaches! MINORU SUZUKI makes his entrance!! Moxley keeps his eyes on the King of Pancrase at the stage as he kicks off his sweatpants! And as he takes off his jacket! Does Suzuki want this match NOW?! Moxley doesn’t shy away from the idea, either! And a brawl is on!! They throw forearms over and over, but then Moxley runs. Suzuki gets around him for a SLEEPER! Moxley flails but Suzuki turns him around, GOTCH…! PILEDRIVER! The Man with the WORST Personality in the World just took out one of the most insane men in the world! And then grabs a mic to say, “Oi! You piece of crap. Who do you think you are?!” Suzuki wants Moxley to know that Suzuki is KING of Pro-Wrestling! If Moxley wants a fight, Suzuki’s gonna give him a fight! Forget returning, will Moxley even survive his next defense?
NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA VS Hirooki Goto!
Bullet Club has been refreshed ever since it “reloaded” and added #FangRevived to its ranks! The real Kenta looks to keep this title #TooSweet, but the Fierce Warrior wants revenge for what Kenta did to friend and rival, Katsuyori Shibata! Will revenge be a dish best served with gold? Or will Goto simply #Go2Sleep?
The introductions are made, Kenta puts the belt in Goto’s face, but Goto DECKS Kenta! Goto is in no mood for Kenta’s ego so the bell rings and this grudge match begins!
Goto stomps away on Kenta then drags him up to club him on the back. Goto whips but Kenta reverses, only for Goto to reverse the hip toss! Goto keeps moving and runs Kenta over! Kenta bails out but Goto pursues! Goto puts Kenta in quick and runs at him in the corner! BIG corner clothesline and a bigger bulldog! Kenta bails out again but Goto pursues! Goto puts Kenta back in and hurries, stomping away without mercy! Goto drags Kenta up to snapmare and KICK Kenta in the back! Cover, ONE, but Goto is on Kenta with a chinlock. Kenta endures as Goto drives an elbow into his face! Goto stomps Kenta and slaps him around. Goto eggs Kenta on as he clubs him on the back. Goto whips, Kenta BOOTS back! Kenta brings Goto up to throw him out, but Goto is in fast! Kenta knees low and throws Goto out again. Goto is back up again but gets another BOOT!
Kenta goes out to fetch Goto now, and whips him into railing! Kenta finally takes off the shirt and KICKS Goto in the chest! Kenta drags Goto up to whip into railing again! Kenta leaves Goto behind and a ring count begins. The count reaches 10 of 20 but Goto gets in. Kenta is on Goto fast with stomps, and then throws Goto back out. Kenta goes out the side to pursue Goto, kicking him while he’s down. They go up the ramp as Kenta clubs Goto, and then spikes Goto with a DDT! The ref reprimands and Kenta leaves Goto behind again. Goto is okay to continue so a new ring count begins. The count again reaches 10 of 20 but Goto crawls over. Goto is ringside by 15 and stands at 18, to get in at 19.5! But Kenta is on him again, just to throw him back out. Fans boo but Kenta soaks it all up. Kenta is both toying with Goto and avoiding him, but Goto is back again.
Kenta whips Goto and hits the kitchen sink knee! Then a Penalty Kick hard to the back! Cover, TWO! Goto toughs it out but Kenta drops knees. Then he jumps, to scuff Goto’s face. Kenta thinks that’s Too Sweet but fans boo. Kenta KICKS Goto hard again, then drags him into a chinlock. Goto endures and fights his way out with elbows. Goto runs but into another kitchen sink! Fans rally behind Godo but Kenta mocks them. Kenta toys with Goto as he scuffs his face. Kenta swiftly KICKS Goto again, but Goto gets back up. Kenta slaps and KICKS, then just shrugs. Goto sits up and blocks the next kick! Kenta counter punches but Goto elbows and LARIATS! Both men slowly rise and Goto throws big forearms! Kenta staggers but Goto keeps on him.
Kenta turns it around to fire off furious forearms! Goto gives them all back! Kenta gives more! Goto gives them all back again! The ref warns both men as Kenta throws another forearm, Goto DECKS Kenta! Is Kenta knocked out!? No, he comes to, but he’s dazed to say the least. Goto drags Kenta up and whips him corner to corner. Goto runs in for the wheel kick! Then the SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and Goto is frustrated, but Tokyo is loving this! Goto drags Kenta back up, fireman’s carry, but Kenta claws at Goto’s face! Kenta shoves and spinning powerslams! Kenta drags Goto up and throws big haymakers. Kenta puts Goto in the corner and whips, but Goto reverses. Goto runs in but gets a boot! Kenta hops up, tornado hotshots Goto down, then climbs up! Kenta leaps to flying clothesline! Cover, TWO!
Kenta gives more toying kicks to Goto but Goto gets to his feet. Kenta eggs Goto on, and then catches him into a DDT! Kenta shoves Goto into a corner and brings him up against ropes. Kenta runs and knees Goto into those ropes! Kenta looms over Goto as he flounders around. Kenta runs but Goto follows! Kenta dodges but runs into USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down but Tokyo is still fired up! Goto fires himself up and drags Kenta up, but gets caught into a LeBelle Lock! Kenta wants to make it GameOver! Goto endures the hold and reaches with a leg, ROPEBREAK! Kenta lets go but he argues with the ref. Kenta KICKS Goto hard while he’s down, then stomps him at the apron. Kenta drags Goto up and through the ropes, DRAPING DDT! Kenta grins and Jado would be proud.
Goto flounders to a corner but Kenta runs corner to corner, HESITATION DROPKICK! Kenta climbs up top and aims at Goto, DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives Kenta’s coup de grace, but Kenta isn’t done with him yet. Kenta aims from a corner again and Goto slowly rises. Goto denies the Psycho Knee with a sleeper hold! Kenta slips out to get his own sleeper, but Goto reaches for ropes again. Kenta pulls Goto away and Goto is fading! Kenta lets go just to PENALTY KICK! And PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!? Kenta slashes the throat, he vows to end this! Kenta drags Goto up to a fireman’s carry, GO- NO! Goto doesn’t go to sleep as he grabs the leg! Kenta fires forearms but Goto HEADBUTTS! Kenta falls but Goto staggers and stays up.
Kenta slowly rises and Goto fires himself up. Goto runs at Kenta, LARIAT! But Kenta stays standing?! BACK HAND! BACK HAND! LARIAT! But now Goto stays standing!? Kenta spins but Goto LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Goto drags himself up with ropes and focuses his power! But Kenta blocks the kick! Kenta SLAPS with big palm strike after strike! But Goto only powers up more?! Goto ROCKS Kenta again! And again! Kenta counter punches! And fires off so many! Goto catches Kenta but Kenta fights out of the GTR. Goto fireman’s carry for G T W! Cover, TWO!?! Kenta lives?! But Goto won’t stop now, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
The Fierce Warrior is back atop the NEVER Division! Goto has his vengeance on Kenta, but will we see these two fight again?
Chris Jericho VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
The Once in a Century Champion dared Le Champeon of All Elite Wrestling to put his title on the line. Jericho would not do that, but he did get Tony Khan’s permission to stipulate that if Tanahashi wins, Tanahashi will have a title opportunity in the future. Will the Ace force Y2J’s hand? Or will he suffer defeat at the hands of the Painmaker?
Jericho shows off his AEW World Championship before handing it over, and fans again marvel at The Ace’s physique. The bell rings and this special singles showdown begins!
The fans cheer for Tanahashi so Jericho flips them off. Jericho and Tanahashi circle and tie up. They break and Jericho taunts “Bakahashi” while flexing. Fans boo but Jericho soaks it all up. Fans return to cheering for Tanahashi as he circles with Jericho. They tie up, Tanahashi headlocks and grinds Jericho down. Jericho fights up and powers out but the two collide. Neither falls so both men flex at each other. Tanahashi and Jericho circle and tie up again. Jericho headlocks to a takeover but Tanahashi headscissors. Jericho pops out but roles reverse as Tanahashi headlocks but Jericho headscissors. Tanahashi pops out and the two stand off, Tanahashi air guitars! Jericho and Tanahashi circle and tie up again. Jericho wrenches to a wristlock and yanks on the arm.
Jericho elbows away on Tanahashi’s shoulder and eggs Tanahashi on. Tanahashi powers up to arm-drag Jericho down to an armlock of his own. Jericho endures and fights his way up, but Tanahashi wrenches and yanks back. Tanahashi whips but Jericho kicks him back. Jericho CHOPS then whips but Tanahashi kicks him abck! Tanahashi grins but they tie up. Tanahashi hammerlocks but Jericho slips around to hammerlock back. Tanahashi reverses back onto Jericho but Jericho elbows and hammerlocks again. They end up in a corner and Jericho pulls Tanahashi’s hair. Red Shoes counts, Tanahashi elbows and dropkicks Jericho! Tanahashi runs in but Jericho dodges and sends Tanahashi into buckles. Jericho runs in but Tanahashi elbows and springboards for a crossbody!
Tanahashi air guitars and hip tosses Jericho down! Tanahashi stands on Jericho and mocks his cocky flexing pose! “C’mon, BABY!” ONE, and Jericho slaps Tanahashi! So Tanahashi slaps back! It’s a slap fight! Tanahashi slaps more, then whips. Jericho holds ropes and baits Tanahashi in to send him out. Jericho sees Tanahashi get up, triangle dropkick sends Tanahashi down! Jericho grins while Tanahashi is down. Fans boo but Jericho soaks it all up. Jericho goes outside to fetch Tanahashi and brings him up to whip him into railing! Jericho puts Tanahashi in the gateway and SLAMS the door closed on Tanahashi’s face! Tanahashi falls and Jericho confiscates a camera! Jericho takes pictures of Tanahashi, and then of himself flipping off the fans.
Jericho slaps a Young Lion down before dragging Tanahashi up. Jericho whips Tanahashi hard into railing by commentary! And clears off the English announce desk to put Tanahashi on it! Jericho refreshes the ring count before climbing over the railing. Jericho clears more space for himself and Tanahashi before climbing up. Deja vu to his matches with Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega as Jericho gives “Bakahashi” a DDT to the desk!! Jericho confiscates a bottle of water to refresh himself and splash Tanahashi. Jericho throws Tanahashi back over the railing and returns to ringside. Red Shoes reprimands Jericho but Jericho gets in his face. Jericho puts Tanahashi in the ring and mocks the booing fans. Fans also rally up for Tanahashi, who has fire in his eyes.
Jericho knees Tanahashi hard and then springboard stomps him down. Jericho climbs up and leaps to drop a knee on Tanahashi’s head! Cover, TWO! Jericho slaps Tanahashi around and mocks the booing fans more. Tanahashi gets up but Jericho is on him with forearms. Tanahashi gives them back and we have a brawl! Tanahashi gets the edge and a strike fest. but Jericho counters to an underhook, Tiger Backbreaker! Tanahashi writhes but Jericho dropkicks him down! Jericho mocks the air guitar playing and he stomps some more. “You don’t like that?!” Jericho gets up top to do more air guitar, then leaps! Frog Splash FLOPS! Cameras catch Tanahashi’s grin. Tanahashi gets up as fans rally, and he throws big forearms on Jericho! Jericho knees low and whips Tanahashi out, but Tanahashi skins the cat! Tanahashi dodges Jericho to throw more forearms! Tanahashi whips, Jericho reverses, Tanahashi hits flying forearms!
Fans fire up with The Ace as he runs corner to corner. Jericho uses Red Shoes as a shield! Down goes Red Shoes and Jericho LOW BLOW KICKS! Fans boo hard as ever as Tanahashi writhes. Jericho takes off his weight belt to LASH Tanahashi! And again! And again! Jericho laughs as he puts his belt back on and mocks Tanahashi more. Tanahashi LOW BLOWS BACK! Turnabout is fair play! Fans rally as Tanahashi and Jericho rise. Tanahashi grits his teeth as he stalks up behind Jericho. Tanahashi throws forearms and body shots and European uppercuts! Jericho boots back and grabs Tanahashi’s hair. They head for a corner but Tanahashi sends Jericho’s bulldog into buckles! Tanahashi keeps moving to crossbody into Jericho’s back! Jericho falls and Tanahashi stomps him down before hopping up. Second rope senton! Cover, TWO!
Tanahashi keeps his focus and drags Jericho up to throw body shots. Tanahashi runs but Jericho back elbows! Jericho springboards but he’s shoved out! No Lionsault for Le Champeon! Tanahashi hurries up top and HIGH FLY CROSSBODIES! Direct hit and both men are down! Tokyo Dome cheers as Tanahashi slowly stands. Tanahashi returns to the ring and the count begins. Jericho stirs at about 7, and sits up at 10 of 20. Jericho stands at 12 but flops over! Jericho hurries to get up at 15, staggers over, and gets in at 19! Tanahashi is on Jericho at the ropes and has the leg, DRAGON SCREW! And a dropkick! And another Dragon Screw! Jericho flops into the ring and Tanahashi has the fans rallying again. Tanahashi dares Jericho to stand and then he runs, but Jericho dodges. Jericho leaps but NO Code Breaker, DRAGON SCREW! And then a GROUNDED Dragon Screw! Then another, going the other way!
Jericho writhes while clutching the knee but Tanahashi heads up top. Tanahashi HIGH FLY FLOW, onto knees! Jericho springboards, LIONSAULT! But his bad leg won’t let him cover right away, TWO!! Tanahashi survives and Jericho grows frustrated. Jericho rises and takes aim at Tanahashi. Tanahashi stands, but he blocks the Judas Effect! Waistlock, straitjacket, SUPLEX! Bridge cover, TWO!! Tanahashi waits for Jericho to rise before building speed, but Jericho trips him! WALLS OF JERICHO! Tanahashi endures but will this lion be tamed?! Tanahashi powers up but Jericho sits deeper! Tanahashi powers up again as Tokyo Dome is thunderous! Jericho drags Tanahashi away from the ropes! Tanahashi continues to endure, tries again, and finds a way to slip through!
Tanahashi throws hands on Jericho then body scissor throws him! SLINGBLADE! Tanahashi drags Jericho up in the dragon sleeper, elbow drop DDT! Jericho is in the drop zone and Tanahashi heads up top again! Tanahashi aims but Jericho rises. Tanahashi still leaps, INTO A CODE BREAKER!! Jericho drags Tanahashi to a cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives and Jericho can’t believe it! Jericho aims from a corner again and shouts, “I’M LE CHAMPEON!” Tanahashi rises, ducks the Judas to CODE BREAKER BACK! Cover, TWO!! Jericho survives his own move but Tanahashi still has his! Tanahashi runs, but no Slingblade! Back to the Walls!! But Tanahashi blocks and cradle counters, TWO!!
Tanahashi keeps hold of Jericho with a facelock, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans are thunderous as Jericho rises and Tanahashi runs. SLINGBLADE AGAIN! Cover, TWO!! Jericho is still in this but Tanahashi still has something. Tanahashi goes back up top and Jericho stands gain, HIGH FLY CROSSBODY, but Jericho rolls through! Jericho has the legs again! Tanahashi flails but Jericho keeps turning him over, WALLS OF JERICHO!! Tanahashi endures as Jericho sits as deep as he can! Fans rally hard as ever for Tanahashi, and Tanahashi powers up once more! Tanahashi drags himself towards ropes, but Jericho drags him away! And gets a FULL Lion Tamer angle! TANAHASHI TAPS!!
Winner: Chris Jericho, by submission
An incredible match of living legends! But in the end, the lion was tamed, and Jericho has his win! The “forbidden portal” stays closed, but is the last we’ve seen of Y2J in NJPW? Or are their other ways to crossover?
IWGP Double Gold Dash: Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!
The Rainmaker thwarted the Golden Star to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The Uncontrollable Charisma regained his IWGP Intercontinental Championship when he defeated The Switchblade. Now, destiny brings these two back to each other two years removed. Who will history smile upon in this #WinnerTakesAll title match?
Naito wears a white fur jacket emblazoned with “DESTINO,” the infinity symbol, and the words, “TODO O NADA,” Spanish for “All or Nothing.” Okada dollars fly as he returns in the glowing white and gold of last night. The introductions are made, the belts are raised and the illustrious entrance gear is taken off. Naito of course takes his time with it but Okada is patient. Once Naito is ready, the bell rings and history begins!
Tokyo Dome erupts with cheers for both men! Red Shoes tries to judge the way the scales are going, but it seems to be even. Or is it going Naito’s way? Yes, it seems Naito has more fans present. Okada shrugs that off and slowly circles with Naito. The two approach but Naito backs off, as is his usual strategy. They circle again, approach, but Naito fakes Okada out again. The dueling between fans keeps going as Okada waits on Naito. The two circle and finally tie up! They’re deadlocked, but Okada starts getting the edge thanks to height and leverage. Okada puts Naito in a corner but Naito turns it around onto the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the ropebreak but Okada slips in and turns it around again. Okada lets up and fakes his chop to pat Naito on the shoulder, as is his usual strategy.
But then Okada whips Naito to ropes, things speed up and Okada hurdles but Naito leaps! Things keep moving, Okada dodges and dodges to elbow Naito down! Okada fires up the Tokyo Dome before bringing Naito back up. Okada whips Naito corner to corner and hits the back elbow. He kicks and hits the DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Okada stands and paces. Naito sits up but Okada brings him up to scoop and dump down. Okada goes to the apron to slingshot senton! Naito writhes while Okada calmly paces again. Okada brings Naito back up and around to snapmare and chinlock Naito against his knee. Naito fights his way up so Okada elbows and snapmares him back down. Okada runs to basement dropkick Naito hard!
Naito rolls around from the pain but Okada calmly stalks behind him. Okada brings Naito up but Naito throws body shots and forearms! Okada knees low then whips again but Naito reverses to arm-drag! And elbow! And basement dropkick of his own! Fans fire up for Naito as he drags Okada up. Naito whips corner to corner and rocket kicks! Leg sweep and swing, Combinacion Cabron! Naito strikes the pose and fans cheer! Naito walks around now and drags Okada up. Naito turns Okada but Okada fights out. Naito blocks the kick to sweep the legs! Naito drags Okada to the apron, flexes, and draping neckbreaker! Okada clutches that neck and Naito takes his time bringing Okada back up. Naito stomps Okada back down then brings him up again, to elbow him back down.
Okada leans on railing but Naito puts Okada in the ring. Fans cheer as Naito brings Okada up for another neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and duel as Okada slowly stirs. Naito gives toying kicks to Okada but Okada swings on him. Naito catches Okada for the backbreaker! And then the leg full nelson, just like he used on Jay White! Naito cranks on Okada’s neck but Okada endures. Okada crawls and reaches with his legs and gets the ROPEBREAK! Naito lets go at Red Shoes’ count of 4, with some help. Naito stomps Okada while he’s down but Okada gets to a corner. Naito throws big back elbows into Okada over and over, then clubs him down. Naito cravats Okada as he brings him back up and cranks on the neck more. Okada endures but Naito clubs him again!
The cravat returns but Okada throws body shots. Naito clubs him even harder, and SPITS on him! Naito whips Okada but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into an elbow! Naito runs but into a BOOT! That one flips Naito through the air! Fans rally up for both men as they slowly stir on the mat. Okada kips right up! Okada throws forearms on Naito then whips, FLAPJACK! That was a high one, too. Okada takes aim from the corner as Naito slowly sits up and comes around. Okada waits until Naito stands, but Naito blocks this new boot! Okada still forearms Naito away and then EuroUppers! Okada Alabama lifts Naito but Naito sunset flips. Okada rolls through to jackknife and Alabama, AIR RAID NECKBREAKER!
Naito writhes while clutching his head but Okada drags him up. Fans are thunderous as Okada scoops Naito for a slam. Standard Okada formula, he heads up top for the MACHO ELBOW! Direct hit and that leads to the… Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Naito up into the wristlock ripcord, but Naito elbows hard! And again! And again! Naito keeps Okada’s wrist as he drags him up for even more elbows! Naito throws another but Okada dodges, only to run into the SPINE BUSTER! Naito has Okada in the corner and then hoists him onto the top rope. Naito climbs up to SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Naito has Okada on the defensive. Okada slowly stirs but Naito drags him up. Naito hammerlocks but Okada clubs free of Gloria.
Okada throws forearms and EuroUppers, but Naito reels a fist back! It’s a feint so that he can kick Okada low! Okada ends up in the corner but he comes back to SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Naito rolls to the apron but Okada is down, too. Fans rally and duel as Okada gets up. Okada watches Naito and runs in, but Naito boots back. Okada runs into more boots, then Naito hops up, only for Okada to dropkick him down! Naito crashes ‘n’ burns to the outside! Okada rests while Red Shoes checks on Naito. Naito is okay to continue so Okada goes out to fetch him. Okada drags Naito around to smash the knee on the floor! Everyone saw how much damage Jay White dealt to Naito’s knee so Okada is taking advantage of that! Red Shoes says to get this in the ring but Okada clears off the Japanese commentary desk! Okada is being more like Chris Jericho now, but Naito clubs back. Okada chop blocks the bad leg!
Okada drags Naito back up and has the leg, SHIN BREAKER TO THE TABLE!! Naito falls to the floor in a heap and Red Shoes checks on him. Somehow, Naito is okay to continue, or he’s just too stubborn. Okada rests in the ring again, leaving it to the ring count. The passion of the fans grows as the count climbs. The count is past 10 of 20, then 15! Naito is only at the railing again! He hobbles up at 17, runs at 18, 19.9!! Okada is up top fast, for a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and Okada grows frustrated. Tokyo reaches a fever pitch now for Naito but Okada just shrugs that off as he drags Naito up. Okada wristlocks but Naito fights free, so Okada just waistlocks to GERMAN SUPLEX! That was a strong one, but Okada holds on.
Wristlock and ripcord, but Naito counters with a tornado DDT! Fans are loving this, even as both men are down on the mat. Naito sits up first but Okada follows. Okada flops back down but Naito heads his way. Naito manages to stand and hobble before bringing Okada up. Hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Naito managed it and Okada is in a daze as he sits back up. Naito smirks a bit as he gets back to his feet. Okada is in the corner and Naito shakes out the bad leg before bringing Okada up. Naito puts Okada on the top and clubs his back before climbing up behind him. Naito stands Okada up, SUPER POISON-RANA!! Cover, TWO?!? Okada survives?! No one can believe it, least of all Naito!
Naito drags Okada up, wrenches but Okada fights as best he can. Naito just enziguris back! Naito whips, Okada reverses and dodges the flying forearms! Okada wristlocks and ripcords but Naito dodges to kick low. Naito puts a facelock on fast but Okada resists whatever Naito is up to. Okada breaks free to throw forearms again, but Naito eggs him on. Okada swings again, Naito dodges and hits his flying forearms! Naito wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Okada slips Naito off, so Naito rolling kicks! Naito whips, Okada reverses, Naito leaps but Okada dropkicks him down! But Naito is right back up, tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO! Cover, TWO?!? Is The Rainmaker secretly not human?! All that damage to his head and neck and he isn’t done?!
But Naito doesn’t care about any of that, he’ll just keep going! Naito drags Okada up, a grin on his face. Naito wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Okada slips him off again! Okada ripcords but Naito dodges, only to run into another dropkick! Both men are back down on the mat, but fans are back to that fever pitch! These two champion fan favorites are somehow still in this so Red Shoes skips a standing count. Okada sits up first, but Naito grabs at him. Naito and Okada each grab the other’s hair as they sit up. Okada throws a forearm but Naito gives one back. Okada comes back with another, and he grins! But so does Naito as he hits Okada again! These two may not like each other, but they’re enjoying this fight! Okada throws a forearm, Naito throws a forearm, repeat! The fans echo each shot, and Naito seems to rock Okada with that last one. But Okada comes back all the same!
Naito hits Okada again, and leans against him. Okada grits his teeth as he stands back up to throw yet another forearm! Naito SPITS again! And throws another forearm! Okada gives yet another, but so does Naito. The pace even picks up! Okada wristlocks and ripcords, but Naito SLAPS Okada first! Naito scoops, but Okada slips out to DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada fires up and so does Tokyo! Okada drags Naito up, ripcords but Naito tilt-o-whirls, into Okada’s JUMPING TOMBSTONE! Okada drags Naito up again, wristlocks and ripcords, RAINMAKER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Whatever Okada is, so is Naito!! Okada and Naito are down and Tokyo is electric. Okada gets up and calls for something even bigger now.
Okada drags Naito up, gut wrenches but Naito flails and fights free! Naito falls over but Okada looms over him at the ropes. Okada drags Naito up, but Naito SPITS again! Defiant to the end, it seems. Okada drags Naito around to SMASH the knee on the mat! Naito writhes and clutches the leg again but Okada shows no mercy, another knee smash! Okada doesn’t care that fans are booing him now, because he sit-out smashes the knee now! Okada then grabs the wrist to drag Naito up to his feet. Point-Blank RAINMAKER! But that’s not enough, Okada gives another Point-Blank RAINMAKER! Okada wants to end this, he drags Naito up, wristlock ripcord, but Naito DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!? Naito’s knee was a liability on that pin, but he won’t stop now.
Naito drags Okada up, scoops and slams him. Naito’s stepping into the past as he climbs up top, STARDUST PRESS! Cover, TWO!!! The corkscrew moonsault wasn’t enough, even after everything in this match! The fans reach that eletric level again as Naito has one more thing left. Naito wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Okada blocks! Okada has Naito on his shoulder but Naito slips out to scoop, VALENTIA!! And then… DESTINO!! Cover, NAITO WINS!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall; DOUBLE GOLD CHAMPION
History and destiny are one in the same for Naito! Naito now holds both the IWGP Heavyweight AND Intercontinental Champion! The first-ever and had to fight so hard to do it! This wasn’t just because of the efforts of tonight, or of this weekend, but all the hard work in Naito’s career! Okada is helped out of the ring, but surely The Rainmaker will fight his way back up as before.
Before being presented with both titles, Naito asks for the mic. “Okada. Okada! Winning the main event in the Tokyo Dome… actually feels pretty great.” And perhaps they can do this again some time. Okada raises a fist a la LIJ, confirming he feels very much the same even in losing. Naito then allows the belt presentation to begin. Red Shoes holds both belts as Naito gets back his LIJ hat and puts it on. Naito takes his Intercontinental Championship first and holds it as usual, and then takes the Heavyweight Championship in the other hand. Naito is pretty casual with both as he sets them down side by side, and strikes a pose!
Naito takes the mic back to say, “Buenos noches, TOKYO DOOOOOME~!” Naito wants them to know that everyone that is here watching in the audience or online around the world, you all get to finally see Naito change things! Naito eyes his two belts, and wonders what he’ll do with them. What does everyone think? They surely know the answer: TRANQUILO! Assenayo. But there is one other thing he wants to say. Naito will never, ever forget this Wrestle Kingdom weekend. And with both these belts, Naito vows to step forward into the future. So now, everyone, that brings us to Naito’s favorite closing. And for the first time in the Tokyo Dome, you can join in on the role call! To finish this amazing two-night event… “Evil! Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! Takagi! Y Naito! Nosotoros, Los Ingoberrrrnables! De!” KENTA!?
Kenta attacks Naito, and has a huge grin on his face! Tokyo erupts with boos and jeers as Kenta Penalty Kicks Naito down! Their hate is music to his ears! The former NEVER Openweight Champion isn’t going to let things end happily, he makes Naito GO 2 SLEEP!! And then he rains down rights on Naito’s head! Kenta sees both belts and picks them both up. Kenta sits down on Naito with crossed legs like Shibata would, and holds up both belts! Kenta laughs as fans shout “Go Home! Go Home!” Kenta drops the belts and walks away from Naito, and Bushi rushes out to support his leader. But the damage has been done and the declaration of war has been sent. Kenta mocks fans as he leaves, and Naito can barely walk, even with Bushi’s help. Bullet Club’s #FangRevived wants to sink his teeth into the historic double champion. How will NJPW management handle this new era?
Just as with Night 1, I focused on the matches that were more important and higher rated matches, such as by Andrew Balaz here on The Chairshot. The Rev-Pro British Heavyweight and IWGP United States Championship matches were both great for being on the shorter ends. I personally wanted to do the RPW match because ZSJ VS Sanada is always a great match-up with how technical ZSJ is and how surprisingly technical Sanada can be. In the end, it was just fine that ZSJ won, and in close fashion. These two will continue to battle back and forth like this, I can’t wait to see if they meet again during New Japan Cup 2020. Moxley VS Juice was a good choice on story, and I feel it was also natural for Moxley to retain since he literally wasn’t meant to lose the title, the weather cost him. Given that, I would think Moxley holds that belt for a long time now.
The NEVER Openweight Championship ended up a great choice, just on that one STIFF shot Goto gives Kenta. Plus, after everything played out, it turns out it helps continuity if Kenta’s motivation is explained. He lost the title and Goto has it back, again, but that freed Kenta up to do something big. Jericho VS Tanahashi was a great choice on paper because of the two men involved, but was of course a great choice in action because of the two men involved. I also laughed so hard at seeing Tanahashi mock the Painmaker persona, it was so good! After putting the stipulation of a possible AEW World Championship opportunity, you had to figure Jericho would win. But just because “the forbidden portal” wasn’t opened here doesn’t mean it won’t ever be. You never say “never” in wrestling, usually.
Apologies to Loser VS Loser, White VS Ibushi, for skipping it, but everyone knows for a fact that match was going to be great. But naturally, obviously, gotta cover the Double Gold Dash. Okada VS Naito was amazing, maybe a bit false finish heavy, but at the same time, going with false finishes and superhuman levels of resilience is to show just how epic this moment is, because it is an epic moment. Especially with it being NAITO WINNING. Tokyo Dome was so ready for this so it was just great that he got to have this moment. And in the end, it made Kenta’s attack that much more heinous and hated! Kenta becomes new Top Heel in one fell swoop, and immediately pushes the issue of how NJPW will choose to handle a dual champion. Though, with a few more events this year being multiple night events, maybe NJPW has already planned on Naito having to pull double headers? This is going to be an incredibly interesting time for NJPW now.
My Score: 9.4/10