NJPW PPV Coverage
Andrew’s NJPW Dominion Results & Match Ratings 7.12.20
EVIL wins the New Japan Cup and betrays LIJ! Can Naito overcome the betrayal or fall victim to the World of Darkness?
EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS EVIIIL. BULLET CLUB IS EVIIL – what, too much?
Okay so if you’re reading this, you know that EVIL won the New Japan Cup thanks to joining the Bullet Club and betraying Los Ingobernables de Japon. But that’s not the only big match tonight.
Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi have been holding the tag team titles as the Golden Aces, but Dangerous Tekkers made their challenge right before we went on hiatus. Taichi has since solidified the claim by beating not only Tanahashi, but also Ibushi in the New Japan Cup. Do the Golden Aces rise above the cheating ways of Suzuki-Gun, or will ZSJ and the Holy Emperor dethrone the super team?
Openweight championships don’t always live up to their moniker. Many of them tend to just be for tough guys doing tough guy things. Finally we have a champion in Shingo, which brings believability to all challengers. SHO earned his shot by beating Shingo in the New Japan Cup, avenging the losses he absorbed last year from Shingo in the Junior Division. Does the Shock Arrow slay The Dragon?
Time to find out!
- Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Tomoaki Honma, Gabriel Kidd & Togi Makabe: Nagata wins via Nagata Lock II @9:25 – ** 1/4
- BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA vs Yota Tsuji, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii: Hiromu wins via Boston Crab @10:15 – **
- Yuya Uemura, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato vs DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado: Desperado wins via Pinche Loco @9:45 – ** 1/2
- Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi vs Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto: Yujiro wins via Pimp Juice @9:40 – *** 1/4
- NEVER Openweight Championship: SHO vs Shingo Takagi (c): Takagi retains via Last of the Dragon @20:10 – **** 3/4
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Golden Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi) (c) vs Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr): Tekkers win via Tensho Zack Driver @28:45 – *** 1/2 – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championships: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs EVIL: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @40:05 – *** 3/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!!!!
Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Tomoaki Honma, Gabriel Kidd & Togi Makabe
Ahh the tradition continues of the multi-man match with the Young Lion to take the fall. This was a solid enough starting match, where most of the veterans got their stuff in, and Gabe had a few moments to shine; but we all know what this is. Makabe did his laughing punches, Honma managed to hit a Kokeshi, even after Taguchi teased him a bit with his own variation; but the team with the Young Lion loses. It was what we’ve grown to expect from a New Japan opener, and that’s not really a bad thing. It’s nice for the veterans to have a moment to shine, since many fans still love them.
BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA vs Yota Tsuji, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii
To say this is somehow less captivating is a little mean to the overarching point. Hiromu has “Why?” written on his wrist tape, multiple times and LIJ is obviously recovering from the betrayal. So it’s actually a great match to have them go against one serious threat, Yano and a Young Lion. LIJ didn’t miss too many beats, there was a small miscommunication with Hiromu and SANADA, but they still pulled off a few of their renown well timed triple teams.
Yuya Uemura, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato vs DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
Well this match built from yesterday’s Cup Finals show. After defeating DOUKI, Wato was attacked by Kanemaru, and Tenzan made the save. So we see the Suzuki-Gun Juniors against a rag tag trio. Since we’ve seen how the previous two matches have gone, we know that Yuya will lose this match, but it does take a while.
Surprisingly, Wato continues to impress in terms of his ring skill. His look is still a meme and I enjoy screaming his name like Wario…but he’s really quite talented. Wato was attacked from multiple angles by DOUKI and Kanemaru mainly, where Tenzan tried to enforce some power, but the heel tactics were too much. After getting space, Wato tags in Yuya against Desperado, and that was the beginning of the end. There was a brief moment where I thought that Wato and Tenzan would win, because they wouldn’t tag in the Young Lion. But the formula persists.
Thankfully this is the last Young Lion involved telegraph match.
Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi vs Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto
On paper, this is a crazy mismatch. But let’s unravel a few threads, before we assume the finish is known. Ishimori and Okada, as well as, Yujiro and Goto had New Japan Cup matches. Plus, we also have Yujiro’s involvement in the Finals match, hitting Miami Shine on Okada to allude to the EVIL alliance change. Given all the cheating and subterfuge, we can only assume Gedo has a plan for this match since he sees the mismatch as well.
Okada comes out with tape on the neck and upper shoulders (the same area that was taped during his feud with Kenny). Okada wants Yujiro, but gets Taiji and from that point forward we do get solid action. Taiji uses his speed and agility to take advantage of a banged up Rainmaker, while Yujiro mostly picks his spots. It looks like the smaller Bullet Club team is done towards the end, but Gedo comes out and starts beating and choking Okada with a wrench while the referee is paying attention to the ring.
So Goto hits the Ushigoroshi on Yujiro, looks for a finish, but Taiji slides in. Backstabber and Bloody Cross stop Goto enough to fall victim to Pimp Juice. Gedo throws in Okada, and Yujiro hits him with Pimp Juice for good measure. So Bullet Club will be Okada’s hurdle for the foreseeable future.
NEVER Openweight Championship: SHO vs Shingo Takagi (c)
SHO brought everything and then some in this match. It starts off fast with strikes and power moves and never really feels like it slows down. SHO has a very smart game plan, by focusing on Shingo’s right arm the entire time. This took a lot of sting out of Pumping Bombers, strikes and made it harder for Shingo to pull off his two big moves Made in Japan and The Last of the Dragon.
Both men showed a lot of heart and resolve during the bout, and it reached a point where anyone could’ve won. SHO locked in a cross armbar, which transitioned into a Triangle Choke when Shingo tried to fight out of it. But Shingo either barely made it to ropes, or found just enough strength left in his arm to lift up SHO and slam him. Death Valley Drivers, Powerbombs, sometimes countered, but always impressive that Shingo just refused to look weak.
There was great selling, tremendous action and two guys just beating the hell out of each other. Shingo did manage to retain, but he looked beat to hell. Which allowed El Desperado to attack him after the match and most likely issue a challenge for the belt.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Golden Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi) (c) vs Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr)
So Golden Ace got a quick jump, dumped out ZSJ and double teamed Taichi early on. But despite the fast start, it became slow, painfully slow at times. Taichi and Ibushi trading kicks, ZSJ flying around trying on different submissions, but nothing really caught attention. It wasn’t until there was a dual submission spot where Taichi had Ibushi in the Stretch Plum and ZSJ flew across the ring to put Tanahashi in a Guillotine Choke, that the match started to pick up.
From here we see a lot of illegal everyone in the ring shenanigans, but at least it was starting to get interesting. Apparently the tandem Side Effect that I called it yesterday is called the Golden Blade. But aside from that, Tanahashi nearly wins the whole thing himself with a High Fly Flow, but ZSJ gets his knees up. At this point, ZSJ distracts Red Shoes and Taichi pulls out the Iron Fingers from Hell. Taichi wipes out Ibushi, Tanahashi dodges the initial swing, but just when you think there’s a comeback in the midst, they dissect the Ace. Taichi holds Tanahashi and ZSJ does what feels like a dozen Dragon Screws and Inverted Dragon Screws to both of Tanahashi’s legs.
After crippling the Ace, they punctuate the match with the Tensho Zack Driver (Superkick/Michinoku Driver combination). And…wait…we have new champions! This was the match that felt like it had the most chance for a title changes, but WOW, curious where Ibushi and Tanahashi go from here.
IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championships: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs EVIL
EVIL with new ring gear, music and a cape with shoulder pauldrons instead of a cloak and scythe. Naito on the other hand comes out in a black suit instead of his usual white. Black being the color of mourning, seems very fitting.
After powdering for the first minute or so, Naito hits him with the Baseball Slide and goes after him on the outside. Naito throws EVIL into the barricades rather unmercifully and you can see the hurt and betrayal in his eyes. However, like all offensive bursts, EVIL turns this around eventually. EVIL maintains a cocky air about him the entire time. He even goes as far as to grab Milano’s light up scythe and break it. This enrages Milano to the point of coming over the barricade from the announce table, but EVIL hits him in the gut and tosses him into the guardrail.
EVIL continues with the heel tactics, removing the turnbuckle pad, hair pulling and of course weapons. The biggest spot being when EVIL drove Naito through a table, knee first (we all know Naito’s knees are awful). This was amplified when Red Shoes grabbed a piece of table as a shield to stop EVIL from destroying Naito’s knee further with a chair. Even with his back cut open, Naito beat the 20 count. From this point forward it was a dog fight.
EVIL’s arrogance slowed the pacing down, which allowed for Naito to get some offense back in. But with every incredulous stomp, or swipe across the head, you could nearly see Naito’s expression just being that of disappointment. The type of emotion where you can’t believe the person betrayed you like this. We do finally learn the name to Naito’s new move, Esperanza.
However, this is the day of newer moves getting official names, yet the champion still loses. Ishimori and Jado first interfere, but Hiromu runs them off. Then someone comes out in what seems like a BUSHI mask and LIJ gear. Naito lowers his guard think it is BUSHI, only to get choked out. EVIL hits Everything is Evil…and we have a new double champion!
Dick Togo is revealed as the masked man, EVIL’s pareja, and Hiromu runs back down to the ring. Hiromu demands answers and then issues a challenge for at the very least, one of the titles. EVIL smirks, doesn’t respond and walks off. Hiromu is left in the middle of the ring, screaming and carrying on. His world, his family, his match dreams with Naito…all destroyed in two days, by EVIL.
Overall Score: 7.25/10
You could feel in every match, except SHO and Shingo, that this entire return month has been a little throw together. They did the best with what they have, and that can’t be understated; but much of this seems a little random if you try to marry it up with how things were going before quarantine. So while it was a decent show, some of the outcomes are definitely wait and see, to see if they suck or not.
Shingo and SHO had a match that could be considered a MOTY by some. Taichi finally getting a real taste of Heavyweight gold in New Japan is nice. That does however, leave us all wondering what to do with Tanahashi and Ibushi. Maybe NJPW just needed to free them up for singles angles against the new 100% heel champion EVIL?
Speaking of EVIL, I don’t think many people really predicted this. With the popularity of LIJ, Naito’s reign being truncated by a pandemic and a betrayal. Many, including myself, thought this would be Naito persevering since it’s finally his time. Apparently, Gedo felt differently and now we have to wonder if Naito will ever get a respectable run, or if he’s just cursed to be in this popular but not champion role. I was however saying that this tournament was a chance for EVIL to breakout, I just didn’t anticipate THIS much.
Now New Japan is part of the Darkness World. IWGP Heavyweight Championship, IWGP Intercontinental Championship, NEVER Six Man Tag Team Championship…the triple crowned King of Darkness…EVERYTHING IS EVIL!
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Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/28/23)
It’s a battle of dark horses!
Who is THE Best of the Super Juniors?
NJPW’s 30th Best of the Super Juniors tournament comes to a close, and who would’ve bet on Master Wato VS Titán? So then, who do you think wins it all?
- Togi Makabe & Boltin Oleg VS Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima; Makabe & Oleg win.
- Clark Connors VS Ryohei Oiwa; Connors wins.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita; Yoh & Lio win.
- 10 Man Tag: The Intergalactic Jet Setters & Third Gen VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS The House of Torture; No Contest.
- 8 Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Ryusuke Taguchi VS El Desperado, Ren Narita, Shota Umino & Mike Bailey; Desperado, Narita, Shota & Bailey win.
- 8 Man Tag: Just5Guys VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 30 Finals: Titan VS Master Wato; Wato wins and will challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
8 Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Ryusuke Taguchi VS Shota Umino, El Desperado, Ren Narita & Mike Bailey!
The Dream Trio NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions defeated #SHOOTER when he had a couple big Young Lions with him, but now the ante is upped! Will the Rainmaker, The Ace of the Universe, the Stone Pitbull and the Funky Weapon win as an iconic quartet? Or will the Rogue Luchador, the Son of Strong Style, and Speedball help the Roughneck redeem himself?
Fans cheer for Tanahashi’s abs, and then the teams sort out. Shota calls Okada out but Okada walks right to the corner. Therefore, Taguchi starts, but Shota pushes him aside to stare at Okada. Taguchi is rather disheartened in the neutral corner, but the fans rally for “TA-GU-CHI!” so that reencourages him. Shota still pushes him aside, and Taguchi is sad again. But the fans rally up again and Taguchi fires back up! Shota lets it go and instead, Mike Bailey starts. The bell rings and we get an A Block rematch as the two tie up. Mike wrenches an arm, Taguchi rolls and trips Mike and has a toehold.
Mike rolls over, stands up, facelocks back and then wrenches to a hammerlock and headlock takeover. Taguchi headscissors, Mike kips free, and fans cheer the standoff. The two go again, tie up, and Taguchi arm-drags! Mike trips Taguchi, things speed up, Mike handsprings up and over. Things keep moving, Mike hurdles then drops but Taguchi holds ropes to stop himself, and he avoids the roundhouse. Taguchi runs in, Mike dodges the hip attack, but then Taguchi dodges the clothesline. Mike dodges a clothesline, Taguchi runs but Mike KICKS the hip attack! Fans fire up and Mike DROPKICKS Taguchi down!
Mike brings Taguchi up, headlocks, and he tags in Desperado! They mug Taguchi, then bring Taguchi up to double whip. They DOUBLE CHOP, roll Taguchi to his feet, and Desperado lifts Taguchi for an ATOMIC DROP! Mike lines up the shot, he KICKS Taguchi in the butt! Taguchi goes flying, into Ishii! Ishii doesn’t budge, Taguchi slumps down, but Ishii tags in. Ishii rushes in but into double kicks! Desperado & Mike double whip, but Ishii runs them both over! Narita gets in, Ishii intercepts and sends him into an UPPERCUT from Okada! Okada then sends Narita into a FLYING FOREARM from Tanahashi!
Shota runs in at Okada but Okada sends him into a low dropkick from Tanahashi! Ishii dropkicks a leg, too, then Okada BOOTS Shota down! Fans fire up as the Dream Trio flexes and roars together, and Taguchi returns to join in on that. Okada’s a bit confused by that but Tanahashi gives Taguchi a fist bump. Okada gives him a fist bump, too, but Ishii leaves Taguchi hanging. Ishii eggs Desperado on, brings him up, and fans rally up. Desperado swings, Ishii dodges, but then Ishii swings and Desperado dodges. Desperado swings again but Ishii spins him around, only for Desperado to wrench out.
Desperado swings again, Ishii spins him again, but Desperado slips out and shoves Ishii to ropes, for a scoop and BIG back suplex! Fans fire up and Desperado drags him up, but Ishii suplexes first! Fans rally, Ishii drags Desperado up again, and Ishii bumps Desperado off buckles. Ishii CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Desperado roars! Desperado throws forearms but Ishii doesn’t budge! Ishii CHOPS Desperado down! Tag to Okada and fans rally up. Okada brings Desperado up to ROCK him with a forearm. Okada scoops Desperado to SLAM him by the ropes. Okada then goes out to SLINGSHOT SENTON back in!
Fans rally and Okada paces around. Okada stares down with Shota while he brings Desperado up, and he CLUBS Desperado. Tag to Tanahashi, he and Okada double whip. They double shoulder Desperado down and fans rally back up. Tanahashi drags Desperado up but Desperado CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Tanahashi throws a hard body shot! Tanahashi waistlocks, Desperado elbows free and switches, but Tanahashi fights free with elbows. Tanahashi swings, but into a BIG back suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado and Tanahashi crawl, but Ishii runs in to CLUB Desperado!
Ishii whips, Desperado reverses, but Ishii bounces off buckles, only to run into a SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up again while now three men are down! Desperado crawls, staggers up, Shota tags in! Shota CLOBBERS Tanahashi, intercepts Taguchi with a scoop and DROP! Then he BASEMENT UPPERCUTS Taguchi down! Shota rushes Okada but Okada ROCKS him first! Okada BOOTS Shota, whips him, but Shota reverses to DROPKICK Okada! Fans fire up with Shota and he has Tanahashi. Shota whips Tanahashi corner to corner, runs and UPPERCUTS, then FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!
Shota wasn’t quite perfect but he still gets the legs. STF! But Okada gets in and he kicks Shota! Shota fires off on Okada and throws him out! Shota then goes after Tanahashi but Tanahashi blocks the kick to DRAGON SCREW! And he tags in Okada! Fans fire up as Okada TOSSES Shota out, and goes out after him! DDT to the floor! Fans fire up and Okada drags Shota up. Okada puts Shota in, he kicks him around, just toying with him, and even dares Shota to hit back. Shota gets up, and he winds up, but Okada catches him into the MONEY CLIP! The rest of the team BLASTS Shota’s team, though Taguchi lags behind.
Taguchi plays defense while Shota endures. Shota fights up, and he RAMS Okada into a corner! Shota runs in but Okada BOOTS him! Okada runs in, but into an EXPLODER! Fans fire up while both men rise. Shota fires up and he runs, to UPPERCUT Okada at the ropes! Shota then slingshots, DDT!! Fans fire up more, Shota wants to finish this, but Narita tags in!? The other young star wants his pound of flesh from Okada! Narita fires off forearms on Okada, UPPERCUTS, then whips to LEAPING LARIAT! Narita brings Okada up again, whips him to a corner, and runs in, but Okada dodges! Okada runs in, but into a BOOT!
Narita runs in, but into the FLAPJACK! Shota returns, but Okada DROPKICKS him! Fans fire up while they’re all down, and Taguchi reaches out! Okada crawls over, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi HIP ATTACKS Narita in the corner, whips him corner to corner and HIP ATTACKS again! Taguchi keeps moving, but Narita catches him! Taguchi fights the Cobra Twist to trip Narita, but Narita kicks free. Narita runs in, body scissor takedown! And then step through, but Taguchi cradles! TWO!! Taguchi and Narita hurry up, Taguchi clips Narita’s leg and rolls him up deep! TWO, but OH MY GAH ANKLE!
Taguchi holds on tight but Mike runs in to fire off the lightning kicks! He goes an extra couple kicks before the ENZIGURI! Fans are thunderous but Tanahashi CLOBBERS Mike! Mike kicks, Tanahashi blocks and flips Mike, but Mike lands on his feet! SOBAT! AX KICK! BUZZ- NO, Tanahashi blocks to ROCK and whip, but Mike reverses! Mike ROCKS Tanahashi, snapmares and goes up, to MISSILE DROPKICK! Fans fire up while Tanahashi bails out. Mike goes to the corner, TRIANGLE QUEBRADA! Direct hit on The Ace! Desperado and Ishii return, Ishii RAMS Desperado and whips but Desperado reverses.
Desperado ROCKS Ishii, runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges and SPEARS! Fans fire up as Desperado and Narita double whip Taguchi. Narita runs in, but into a HIP ATTACK! Desperado avoids the hip attack, but then runs into a HIP ATTACK after all! Taguchi fires up, he runs, but Narita catches him, EXPLODER BRIDGE! But Okada breaks the cover! Shota attacks Okada and throws him out! Shota is after Okada on the outside, and POSTS him! And then Shota takes the timekeeper’s table, to SMACK Okada with it!! Fans fire up and so does Narita! Narita brings Taguchi up, reels him in, but Taguchi fights the suplex!
Narita shoves Taguchi, Taguchi blocks the kick, Taguchi spins Narita but Narita ducks the enziguri! Narita ENZIGURIS, then NORTHERN LIGHTS! Roll through and wristlocks, for the spin and COBRA TWIST! Taguchi taps, Narita’s team wins!
Winners: El Desperado, Ren Narita, Shota Umino & Mike Bailey, by submission
The Son of Strong Style breaks the Funky Weapon! And perhaps bigger than that, The Roughneck floored The Rainmaker! Is this new wave going to wash away the old guard?
The winning team shakes hands, but things get tense between Desperado and Speedball, who could’ve been tonight’s BSOJ Finals showdown. Maybe that’s what they’re arguing about. And then they start throwing CHOPS! Mike KICKS! Desperado CHOPS! Mike KICKS! Desperado likes that, and they make up? They fist bump, and fans cheer the strange sense of brotherhood. As for Shota, he gets the mic and says, “Okada…! Mr. Okada, please wait. Okada, Tanahashi, Ishii, you have the Six Man Tag titles… If you’d be so kind, I’d like to challenge for them.” Ishii gets back in the ring and asks who with?
Shota says he naturally has tag partners! One is Jon Moxley, and the other… is CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI! The ROH World Champion!? Shota tells Okada, “I guarantee I will be the one to beat you and take those titles.” Shota tosses the mic down and Okada steps in to pick up the belt. Okada says “Moxley and Claudio? Those are pretty damn awesome partners. But! Make sure you don’t let your two daddies down.” Okada leaves, but will he and his Dream Trio be able to survive this Paradigm Shift?
8 Man Tag: Just5Guys VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
Yes, we just saw this same showdown on Friday as part of the semifinals event. However, this isn’t guaranteed to go the same way as last time. Will Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi turn the tides? Or will Sanada, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Douki be on top again?
Fans chant “Let’s Go, Taichi!” while the teams sort out. J5G give the thumbs up, LIJ give the fist bump, and the LIJ attack, just like Friday! And just like Friday, Hiromu keeps Douki in while the others throw everyone else out! Douki claws Hiromu’s eyes, the ref reprimands, and Bushi gets in to CLUB Douki! Bushi & Hiromu double whip Douki but Douki ducks the elbows to springboard DOUBLE BACK ELBOW! Douki stomps Hiromu, bumps him off buckles, and then stomps a mudhole in. Douki digs his boot in, the ref counts, and Douki lets off. Douki tags Taichi and Taichi digs his boot in! So does Douki! And Kanemaru CHOKES Hiromu!
The ref reprimands, Taichi lets off, but the others hold on! The ref reprimands and counts, Kanemaru and Douki let off at 4. Fans rally for “HI-RO-MU!” now as Taichi drags him up. Taichi has the motorcycle stretch and he stands on Hiromu’s back. Hiromu fights up, works to turn things, but Taichi holds him back. Fans rally, Taichi cranks the hold, but Hiromu fights up again! Hiromu tries to turn things, but Taichi brings him down to a knee. Fans rally as Hiromu keeps fighting! Hiromu turns things around, but Taichi turns them right back around! Tag to Kanemaru and Kanemaru stomps Hiromu.
Kanemaru whips, and CHOP BLOCKS the leg! Then he gets the leg for a SHIN BREAKER! Hiromu hobbles away but Kanemaru stomps the leg. Kanemaru whips Hiromu to the corner, runs in, but Hiromu BOOTS him! Hiromu runs in, but into an ELBOW! Kanemaru runs, tilt-o-whirl, but Hiromu denies the DDT! Kanemaru kicks the bad leg, CLUBS Hiromu, then runs, into a kick! Bushi runs in to dropkick the other leg out! Hiromu basement dropkicks Kanemaru! Takagi gets in, he and Bushi BLAST the rest of J5G! Bushi goes out after Taichi, Takagi stomps Kanemaru and Hiromu hobbles to tag Naito.
Naito drags Kanemaru up, he and Hiromu double whip to DOUBLE CHOP! And then DOUBLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for “NA-I-TO!” now as he drags Kanemaru up. Naito throws those heavy back elbows! Kanemaru falls over, Naito tags Bushi. Bushi stomps Kanemaru to a corner, CHOPS him, and CHOPS him, and CHOPS him again! Bushi pushes Kanemaru down, covers, TWO! Bushi drags Kanemaru into a chinlock and digs his knee into Kanemaru’s back! Kanemaru endures, kicks around, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Bushi lets go, but then he CLUBS Kanemaru down!
Tag to Takagi, and Bushi bumps Kanemaru off buckles. Takagi CLUBS Kanemaru, brings him up and reels him in. Kanemaru fights the suplex, so Takagi shifts around for a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Takagi eggs Kanemaru on. Takagi brings Kanemaru up but Kanemaru throws hands! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! But Takagi HEADBUTTS Kanemaru! Kanemaru goes to a corner, Takagi CHOPS him! Takagi whips Kanemaru corner to corner, runs in, but blocks a boot to clothesline! Fans fire up with Takagi and he brings Kanemaru out. Takagi suplexes, Kanemaru slips out, but Takagi elbows him!
Takagi runs, but Kanemaru dodges to run, tilt-o-whirl, and DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Takagi and Kanemaru crawl, hot tag to Sanada! Fans fire up as Cold Skull DROPKICKS Takagi! And DROPKICKS Naito! Bushi & Hiromu mug Sanada, double whip him to a corner, and then Bushi runs in. Sanada dodges Bushi to dropkick Hiromu’s leg out! Bushi returns, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada shows off the dancing pecs. Sanada waits on Takagi but Takagi gets under the Plancha! Sanada shoulders back in, springboards, but Takagi gets under!
Takagi ELBOWS, runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Both men are down but Sanada rolls to tag in Taichi. Taichi kicks Takagi around, then gives him Kawada Kicks. Takagi shakes his head so Taichi kicks, snapmares and KICKS! Takagi gets mad, stands up, but Taichi SOBATS him down! Taichi teases stealing Takagi’s catchphrase, but then BUZZ- NO, Takagi blocks the kick, CLUBS the leg, ROCKS and whips, but Taichi reverses to HOOK KICK! J5G BLASTS LIJ in return! Taichi drags Takagi up, but Takagi fights the Saido! Takagi fireman’s carries, Taichi slips free but Takagi ELBOWS him!
Taichi BOOTS Takagi, runs, but into a clothesline! Takagi runs, DOUBLE BOMBERS collide! They go again, Takagi dodges to run Taichi over! Taichi roars, but the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON- NO, Taichi BOOTS the lariat away! But Takagi just DISCUS BOMBERS! Fans fire up while both men are down! Both men crawl, hot tags to Naito and Douki! Douki blocks a kick, fires off forearms, whips, but Naito reverses to arm-drag! Naito elbows Douki down, but Douki dodges the basement dropkick to DOUBLE STOMP! Naito is right up but Douki DROPKICKS him out! Douki builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit and Young Lions take the hit for the fans!
Fans fire up as Douki puts Naito in. Douki aims, slingshots, DAYBREAK!! Naito gets spiked! Cover, Hiromu breaks it in time! Kanemaru throws Hiromu out for Douki and Douki wheelbarrows Naito! SUPLEX- NO, Naito fights the nelson. Douki HELL STABS, runs in, but Naito dodges. Hiromu clotheslines! Takagi clotheslines! Feed to the atomic drop, and the CODE BRAEKER! ROLLING JACKKNIFE! TWO!?!? Douki survives the LIJ blitz and fans fire up! Naito wrenches, but Douki backslides! TWO!! Douki has the arm, LA MAGISTROL! TWO!! Naito escapes again, but Douki runs in, into a SPINEBUSTER!
Naito drags Douki up again, wrench and- NO, Kanemaru dropkicks Naito’s leg! Bushi ENZIGURIS Kanemaru! Sanada fireman’s carries Bushi, throws him into the dragon sleeper, but Takagi runs in. Sanada kicks but Takagi blocks it, DRAGON SCREW! Taichi AX BOMBERS Takagi! Hiromu SHOTGUNS Taichi! Douki runs in but Hiromu sends him into Naito’s back elbow! ENZIGURI, and then SUPERKICK, and then ASSISTED TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous and Naito brings Douki back up. Tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
LIJ gets their win back from Friday, the series is 1-1! Takagi gives a look at the KOPW Championship and IWGP World Heavyweight Championship before they’re handed back to J5G. Will Takagi look to take at least one of those belts back for the summer? Is Sanada even defending his title at Dominion? Or will Yota Tsuji not make it back in time?
Best of the Super Juniors 30 Finals: Titan VS Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan w/ Los Ingobernables de Japon!
Both men entered the semifinals as the second seeds of their blocks, but they’re the ones standing here in the end! Will El Inmortal make history for Mexican luchadors in NJPW? Or will the Way of the Grandmaster lead him to the trophy?
The fans rally and duel already, “TI-TA-NN! TI-TA-NN!” “WA~TO! WA~TO!” LIJ fist bump once again, and the bell rings. The fans are thunderous already as the two stare down! The two circle, feel things out, approach but then back off. They tie up, break, tie up again, and Wato waistlocks. Titan switches to a facelock, but Wato switches to a nelson. Wato spins Titan to a cravat and snapmare and then wraps on a chinlock. Titan pushes to a toehold, Wato tries to keep the chinlock but Titan pulls the leg. Wato shifts to get an arm, but Titan stacks Wato! ONE and Wato goes for the armbar again. Titan powers up to stack again, ONE!
Wato still wants the arm but Titan pushes him around to headlock takeover. Wato headscissors, Titan turns him over and rolls back to have a deathlock! Wato rolls to get free, and the fans cheer the exchange. The two reset as the fans duel, and they feel things out. Wato knuckle locks, wrenches, wristlocks, and CLUBS the arm. Wato wrenches again, wristlocks again, but Titan rolls, handsprings, and arm-drags! Titan keeps the arm but Wato fights up to arm-drag back! Titan trips, covers, ONE! Wato trips, covers, ONE! Dropkicks cancel out and both men handspring up! Fans are thunderous as the two stare down again.
Titan and Wato circle, feel things out, knuckle lock, but then Titan SOBATS! Titan wrenches and whips Wato to a corner, but Wato reverses. Titan goes up and over and handsprings away, but Wato rushes in. Titan blocks the chop to knuckle lock and CHOP! Titan goes up the corner, tightrope walks, and jumps for the FLYING ARM-DRAG, but Wato handsprings through! Things speed up, Titan hurdles, Wato leaps, and Titan runs in, but Wato dodges to RANA! Fans fire up while Titan bails out! Wato builds speed, but Titan ducks. Wato stops himself, Titan looks up, and Wato PLANCHAS!
Fans fire up with Wato and he brings Titan up. Wato CLUBS Titan, puts him in the ring, and he pushes Titan around to a facelock. Titan fights around, Wato chinlocks but Titan gets the ROPEBREAK! Wato lets go quick and he stomps Titan. Wato stomps Titan some more, then brings him up. Wato CLUBS Titan, covers, ONE! Titan also grabs the ropes, and Wato lets off. LIJ coaches Titan, fans rally up, but Wato stomps him. Titan sits up, into a KICK! And another KICK! And another KICK! Wato runs, but Titan dropkicks the leg out! Fans fire up, Titan hurries to get the legs! LA CRUCETA!
Wato flails and crawls over, ROPEBREAK! Titan lets Wato go and fans rally up. Titan drags Wato and fans rally behind him as he stomps Wato’s stomach and thigh. Titan hooks the leg, ties things up, TRAILER HITCH! Wato endures and crawls around again. Wato reaches out as Tenzan coaches him, and he gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans rally as Titan lets Wato go. Wato clutches the knee but Titan stomps the leg. Titan stomps the leg some more, brings Wato up, but Wato throws body shots. Titan kicks the bad leg again, wrenches and whips, but Wato holds ropes to block! Titan SOBATS and then whips.
Wato reverses, Titan holds ropes to avoid the dropkick, and Wato’s leg jams! Titan then dropkicks the leg out! Fans fire up while Wato writhes. LIJ coaches Titan and the fans are with him as Wato goes to a corner. Titan powers up, runs in, but Wato BOOTS him! BULL- NO, Titan handsprings through the bulldog to basement dropkick! Wato bails out and fans fire up! Titan builds speed, but Wato GAMANGIRIS him first! Titan flops out, fans continue to rally, and Wato FLIES! Direct hit and down goes Titan! Wato still clutches the bad leg but Tenzan coaches him up. LIJ checks Titan, Red Shoes starts the ring count.
Wato stands at 4 of 20 first and fires up! The fans are with him, he fetches Titan at 9 of 20 to put him in at 12. Fans applaud and Wato aims from the apron. Titan rises, Wato springboards, FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Wato gets his bad leg working, then body scissors Titan into VENDAVAL! Titan scrambles and gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer and Wato lets off quickly. Wato brings Titan up, wrenches, and hooks Titan up, but Titan fights Recientemente to get the ROPEBREAK! Wato lets off, but KNEES Titan to the apron! Wato then brings Titan up but Titan GAMANGIRIS now!
Wato staggers away, comes back, but Titan slingshots to body scissor Wato up and out! Fans fire up, Titan powers up and he TOP ROPE QUEBRADA!! Direct hit and they wipe out into the commentary area! Fans are thunderous for “TI-TAN! TI-TAN!” while LIJ checks him. Wato and Titan stir as commentary fixes itself. The ring count starts, Titan sits up at 5 of 20. Titan stands at 7, fans cheer, and he hobbles his way back to the ring. Titan slides in at 10, Wato is just now sitting up. Wato stands at 15, but Titan FLIES out onto him! Fans fire up again as Wato goes back down! Fans are again thunderous for Titan!
Wato and Titan stir again and Red Shoes restarts the ring count. Titan rises at 5 of 20 again as LIJ coaches him. But Titan flops over at 8! Wato rolls at 12, both men get to the apron, and Titan drags Wato up at 17 to put him in! Fans cheer the sportsmanship, and Titan crawls to a cover. TWO!! Wato survives and Titan is a bit frustrated. LIJ and Tenzan each coach up their guys, and Titan sits up again. Titan stands and roars! Fans fire up, Titan drags Wato but Wato pushes him away. Titan tries again but Wato pushes him again. Titan powers up, drags Wato up into the fireman’s carry, but Wato fights free!
Wato ROUNDHOUSES! Titan wobbles, but he fires off his strike fest! SOBAT and- NO, Wato spins Titan to SOBAT! But then Titan goes Matrix to CALF KICK! Wato wobbles, but he dodges the lariat to ZIGZAG! But Titan kips up!? To PELE!! Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Titan and Wato stir, Titan crawls for ropes but Wato crawls for Titan. Wato grabs the tights but Titan brushes him off. Wato throws a forearm! Titan throws it back! Wato throws another forearm, but Titan throws it back! Wato throws another forearm, Titan throws it again, and they stand! Fans rally as the shots go back and forth!
Titan eggs Wato on, Wato ROCKS him! Titan fires off another strike fest! BACKHAND, and then Titan powers up! Titan runs, into an ELBOW! Wato whips, Titan reverses to TORNADO- NO, Wato fights the DDT to tilt-o-whirl, crucifix, RECIENTEMENTE!! Cover, TWO!! Titan survives and fans are thunderous again! Wato body scissors Titan, rolls him, and has VENDAVAL!! Titan kicks around, fans rally up, but Wato thrashes him! LIJ coaches Titan, Titan pushes and kicks around again, but he’s fading! Red Shoes checks, Titan gets a second wind and he gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer as Wato lets go in frustration.
Wato roars, he drags Titan up, and he waistlocks for TSU- NO, Titan fights the high angle German! Titan throws elbows, switches, shoves and TORNADO DDTS! Both men are down again and the fans are thunderous! LIJ pounds the mat to the rhythm of “TI-TA-NN! TI-TA-NN!” Titan rises, Wato goes to a corner. Titan powers up and runs corner to corner, LOCO LARIAT!! Wato flounders, Titan is slow to rising back up, but Titan still makes it to the apron. Titan roars and fans are behind him! Springboard, ANGEL INMORTAL!!! Cover off the double stomps to the back, TWO!??! But Titan still has the leg! TRAILER HITCH!!!
Wato endures as we pass 20 minutes, the longest match he’s had in the BOSJ yet! Wato shakes his head, flails around, Tenzan seems unsure if he should call it. Wato says no, so Tenzan tells him to get to the ropes! But Titan stands up, shifts and JAVE INMORTAL!!! Wato fights the crossface, crawls, flails, ROPEBREAK!!! The fans are electric as Titan lets go in exhaustion. Titan gets some space from Wato and he pounds the mat. Fans rally with him, as does LIJ. Off come the elbow pads, Titan brings Wato up, and he reels Wato in. Canadian Rack, spin and- NO, Wato slips free to waistlock!
Wato gets an O’Conner Roll, into TSUTENKAKU!!! Bridging cover, TWO!??! Titan survives but Wato shakes his head. Wato drags Titan up again, hooks him up, but Titan spins out to tilt-o-whirl, LA MYSTICA!! INTO A SEATBELT! TWO!?!?! Wato escapes and the fans are electric again! Wato staggers around, runs in, into a BOO! SOBAT! Front kick and CALF KICK!! Fans are thunderous, LIJ tells Titan to finish this! Titan goes to a corner, skins the cat to the top, and DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? No one can believe Wato survives but Red Shoes assures us, he did!
LIJ shouts at Titan to keep going! Takagi holds up the Mexican flag, encouraging Titan to do this for his people! Titan drags Wato around, hooks a leg, but Wato drags him down into a cradle! TWO!! Wato and Titan get up, Titan SUPERKICKS! Wato SCREW HIGH KICKS!! Wato roars, drags Titan back up, TSUTENKAKU!!!! But he can’t bridge, so he just brings Titan up again! Chicken wings, for RECIENTEMENTE 2.0!!! Cover, WATO WINS!!
Winner: Master Wato, by pinfall (Best of the Super Juniors 30 Winner)
El Inmortal finally finals, and The Way of the Grandmaster has finally reached the mountaintop! With as hard as he fought to get to the finals, how hard will Titan have to fight to get back?
As for Wato, the trophy is presented by President Obari, they pose for the photo ops, then Wato has Tenzan hold onto the trophy for him as the NJPW banner is brought in by Ash Da Hero, the band who provided Shake Da Soul, the BOSJ’s theme song this year. Wato takes the banner from them and bows, then they pose together for the photo ops. And of course, Wato then gets the mic to say, “Hiromu-san. Please, come back to the ring.” Hiromu obliges, as he is the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Hiromu joins Wato in the ring, and Wato tells him, “Finally, I’ve been able to reach this point.”
As winner of Best of the Super Juniors 30, Wato knows he can, and wishes to, challenge Hiromu for his title. Hiromu takes the mic to tell Wato, “That was amazing. Congratulations. You’ve opened new doors for Junior Heavyweight wrestling. BUT! Whatever door you choose to open, I’ll be standing behind it. I’ll be delighted to accept your challenge.” Fans like the sound of that, and the two go forehead to forehead. Hiromu backs up to applaud, and Wato takes the mic back. Wato says that he wants it for his hometown of OSAKA! That means in DOMINION! Hiromu says okay, see you there!
Wato then finishes up by saying he has one last thing to say. “I have one more match to go to reach the top of the mountain.” Wato raises the trophy and the streamers flies! Wato poses with trophy and banner, will he soon be able to pose with the title? Or will the Ticking Timebomb knock Wato off the mountain to stay on top?
A great event for NJPW here to wrap up the BOSJ, but yeah, I did skip things again. Today is busy wrestling wise, y’know. NXT Battleground AND AEW Double or Nothing, only one of which I can do live later. But I did skim things to make sure I didn’t miss anything too big.
Speaking of which, the “No Contest” result in Chaos VS House of Torture is really what in WWE or AEW might’ve been called a Disqualification as Evil, in a desperate attempt to not lose to Bishamon before Dominion, dragged Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare off commentary to put them in the ring. This continues to build to what is now a Triple Threat now for the titles, Khan & Henare representing the Empire on behalf of Aussie Open. Now that it is a Triple Threat, we can make Steiner Math jokes, but also it could really go any which way. I personally just want anyone other than House of Torture, which I think the vast majority of fans would agree with.
Great stuff out of the Team Okada VS Team Shota 8 Man Tag, and I like that Shota wasn’t the only one who wanted after Okada given Narita lost the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles to Okada. But of course this leads Shota challenging the Dream Trio. I really wanted it to be Bryan Danielson as the third man but Claudio is still a great choice. Also he was the only other choice because they had Yuta join in for Resurgence just last week, and that didn’t seem like the combo they were using anyway. I don’t see The BCC winning at Dominion, though, as I don’t see Moxley and Claudio constantly going back and forth between Japan and the US.
Great 8 Man rematch from Just5Guys VS LIJ. I had a feeling things were going to be different from Friday, LIJ winning helps bring Takagi back into the conversation of challenging Taichi for the KOPW. I don’t think anyone is tired of seeing them face off, they always bring great stipulations and great matches through those stipulations. And of course, an awesome main event from the BOSJ Finals. The fans loved both these guys, but something about their support of Titan felt so strong, I really wish it was his win. But as I’ve also said, Wato has been doing solid work, from both great matches to knowing who his character is, so him getting the nod makes sense. Hiromu VS Wato now being for Dominion is huge, making an already big show even bigger.
My Score: 8.9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/26/23)
A Block VS B Block!
The semifinals are upon us!
NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors 30 reaches the semifinals, and Titán is in the biggest match of his career! But can he make it past El Desperado?
- Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita VS Clark Connors & Gedo; Eagles & Fujita win.
- Toru Yano & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- Six Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & The Intergalactic Jet Setters VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS The House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii VS Shota Umino, Oskar Leube & Boltin Oleg; Okada, Tanahashi & Ishii win.
- 8 Man Tag: Just5Guys VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; J5G wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 30 Semifinals: Master Wato VS Mike Bailey; Wato wins and advances to the finals.
- Best of the Super Juniors 30 Semifinals: El Desperado VS Titán; Titán wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
8 Man Tag: Just5Guys VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
While Douki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru won’t be adding the Best of the Super Juniors trophy to the group’s collection, Sanada is still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and Taichi is still Mr. KOPW. Will NJPW still be run by Just5Guys? Or will Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi make everything tranquilo?
J5G give the thumbs up while LIJ fist bump. And then LIJ attacks J5G! Hiromu’s after Douki, Bushi’s after Kanemaru, Takagi’s after Taichi and Naito’s after Sanada! Fans fire up as the bell rings and this is on record. Everyone else spills out while Hiromu keeps Douki in the ring. But then Douki rakes Hiromu’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Douki lets off and fans rally. Takagi headlocks Sanada, brings him around the way, then POSTS him! Douki CHOPS Hiromu, whips him, but Hiromu reverses. Douki ducks ‘n’ dodges and RANAS! Fans fire up as Douki dropkicks Hiromu out of the ring!
Fans rally as Douki builds speed, but Takagi trips him up! Hiromu gets back in to basement dropkick Douki! Fans fire up with LIJ but Sanada goes after Takagi. Takagi SMACKS him off the apron and then sends him back into the post! Hiromu CHOPS Douki, has him in a corner, and CHOPS him again! Hiromu says, “Motto!” and fans echo it, so Hiromu CHOPS again! “Motto!” “Motto!” CHOP! “Motto!” “Motto!” CHOP! Hiromu whips corner to corner, runs in, clotheslines, snapmares and basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Hiromu brings Douki up. Takagi tags in and fans rally as LIJ mugs Douki.
Douki throws forearms but Takagi HEADBUTTS back! Douki staggers, Takagi whips him and KNEES him, then runs to run Douki over! Takagi drags Douki up, to suplex high and hard! Cover but Takagi lets off as Taichi storms in. The two stare down, the ref reprimands, and Taichi backs off. Takagi drags Douki up with a facelock, Naito tags in, and LIJ mugs Douki. Douki throws forearms on Naito but Naito fires off forearms back! Naito cravats, Douki throws body shots, but Naito cranks the cravat. Douki throws body shots but Naito puts Douki in the corner. The ref counts, Naito whips corner to corner, then he SPITS at Taichi!
Naito runs at Douki, JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! COMBI- NO, Douki moves! Douki comes back but into a BOOT! Naito runs in, waistlocks, Douki switches, but Naito elbows free and arm-drags! Naito runs but Douki JUMPING HEADBUTTS! Fans fire up while both men are down! Naito and Douki crawl, hot tag to Taichi! The Holy Emperor gives Naito some Kawada Kicks! Naito goes to a corner, Taichi clotheslines, wrenches and- NO, Naito fights the saido! Naito whips, Taichi reverses to wrench and HOOK KICK! But LIJ attacks Taichi! Fans fire up, Hiromu & Bushi double whip Taichi corner to corner!
Bushi runs in, but into an AX BOMBER! AX BOMBER for Hiromu! DOUBLE BOMBER from Taichi and Takagi! Both men wobble, but Takagi ELBOWS! JABS! AX BOMBER from Taichi! Both men are down and fans fire up! Taichi hurries over, tag to Kanemaru! The Heel Master brings Naito up to whip, but Naito reverses. Kanemaru dropkicks the leg! And grabs that leg for a SHIN BREAKER! Step through, FIGURE FOUR! Hiromu stomps Kanemaru but Douki kicks Hiromu. Douki throws Hiromu out, Kanemaru lets off of Naito to stomp the legs. Fans rally as Kanemaru stomps Naito more.
Kanemaru drags Naito up, but Naito fights the shin breaker with elbows. Kanemaru kicks but Naito blocks to CLUB the leg! Now Naito goes after the leg, but Kanemaru fights him off! Kanemaru kicks the leg again, runs, but Naito dodges the dropkick! Naito dropkicks Kanemaru’s leg now! Fans fire up while both men are down, and Naito crawls to tag in Bushi! Fans fire up as Bushi climbs and aims, MISSILE DROPKCK! Bushirooni! Fans fire up and Bushi runs in corner to corner to back elbow Kanemaru! Kanemaru swings on Bushi but Bushi dodges to dropkick the leg out! Bushi ties up those legs, CROSS HEEL CLOVERLEAF!
Kanemaru scrambles and gets the ROPEBREAK! Bushi lets off, hauls Kanemaru up but Kanemaru fights the Fisherman. Bushi kicks low, runs, but into a dropkick to the legs! Both men crawl, hot tag to Sanada! J5G BLAST LIJ first! They drag Bushi up, double whip him corner to corner, then Douki back elbows! Feed to Taichi’s mule kick! Sanada adds a knee lift, and Douki adds an ENZIGURI! Sanada then gets Bushi in a dragon sleeper, for the SKULL SWING! But LIJ returns to save Bushi! They throw Douki and Taichi out but Sanada throws Naito out. Sanada drags Bushi back up for another dragon sleeper!
Bushi flails, spins, cradles, TWO!! Sanada gets free, he dodges Bushi to O’Conner Roll, into the dragon sleeper! Douki DROPKICKS Hiromu off the apron, then DIVES to take Hiromu out! Sanada drags Bushi into the SKULL END! The body scissors are on, Bushi taps! J5G wins!
Winners: Just5Guys, by pinfall
The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion puts away his old friend in the Black Mask, and is rolling strong into Dominion! Will he have to worry about Yota Tsuji bringing doomsday to his title reign?
Best of the Super Juniors 30 Semifinals: Master Wato VS Mike Bailey!
The Way of the Grandmaster enters the semifinals as B Block’s two seed, and he faces off against A Block’s top seed. Will Wato stop Speedball’s momentum? Or will Mike Bailey kick things up a notch and reach the finals?
The bell rings and fans rally up. Wato and Mike encourage them to get louder, and the two circle. Mike offers a handshake, and Wato accepts. Fans cheer the sportsmanship, and the two circle more. They feel things out, testing the water with kicks. Mike is a bit more aggressive and almost gets Wato with a spin kick. Wato tries some of his own, and the two knuckle lock. Mike KICKS Wato in the leg, but Wato KICKS Mike in the leg! They go KICK for KICK back and forth, then Wato SOBATS! Wato whips, Mike reverses, things speed up and Mike hurdles while Wato leaps over. Mike arm-drags, but Wato arm-drags back!
Wato ducks a roundhouse, waistlocks, but Mike wrenches out. Wato blocks the arm-drag, whips and DROPKICKS! Fans fire up while Mike bails out. Wato PLANCHAS and takes Mike down! Fans fire up, Wato stomps Mike, and Wato fires up a bit. Fans cheer him on as he puts Mike in. Wato then body scissors, rolls, and VENDAVAL! Mike scrambles and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Wato lets go, and fans rally up. Wato drags Mike up, CLUBS him down, then CLUBS him again. Wato cravats, snapmares and KICKS Mike in the back! Wato eggs Mike on and Mike sits up, into a KICK!
Wato KICKS but Mike eggs him on, to then SOBAT! And fire off lightning kicks! And then ENZIGURI! Wato bails out of the ring and Mike builds speed! Wato gets on the apron but Mike BOOTS him down! Fans fire up as Mike goes to the corner, TRIANGLE JUMP MOONSAULT! Fans fire up and Mike struts around through the crowd. Mike encourages the fans to get louder so they oblige. Mike makes his way around to the other segments, gets them fired up, and then the ring count climbs. Mike waits on Wato to get up, then runs in, to JUMP KICK! Fans fire up and Mike wrenches the arm to then drop a knee on it!
The ref goes out, reprimands Mike, but Mike steps off. Wato writhes, Mike drags him up by that bad arm, and then Mike puts Wato in the ring. Fans cheer, Mike fires up with a “WOO~!” and the fans echo it. Mike stomps Wato, KICKS him in the back, then covers. TWO! Another cover, TWO! DOUBLE KNEE DROP! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives, fans fire up, and Mike paces. Wato sits up and fans rally again as Mike brings him up. Mike RAMS Wato into the corner, and RAMS again, and RAMS again! Mike whips Wato corner to corner, and runs in to BOOT him! That was one hell of a kick!
Fans fire up, Mike scoops and SLAMS Wato into the drop zone, then he goes up, VADER KNEE DROPS! Cover, TWO! Wato survives but Mike keeps his cool. Mike drags Wato up, wrenches, and CHOPS Wato down! Mike drags Wato up again, wrenches and CHOPS him down again! Mike brings Wato up a third time, for another wrench and CHOP! But Wato ROCKS Mike back! Mike eggs Wato on so Wato ROCKS him again! And again! And again! Mike SOBATS! And AX KICKS! And ROUNDHOUSES! Fans fire up, Mike aims and runs in for the SHOOTING- NO, Wato moves and Mike belly flops!
Wato goes to a corner, Mike runs in but into BOOTS! And then Wato BULLDOGS! Fans fire up as Wato roars, and Wato brings Mike up. Mike kicks but Wato ducks it. Wato waistlocks but Mike breaks it. Wato jumps to ZIGZAG! Fans rally up again while both men are down. Wato goes to ropes and stands up. Wato waits on Mike, runs in and rallies with elbows and a BOOT! Wato whips to CALF KICK Mike down! Fans fire up again while Mike bails out. Wato shakes the bad arm, builds speed, and he FLIES! Direct hit and down goes Mike! Fans fire up again and Wato roars! Wato grits his teeth and he brings Mike up.
The ring count is 9 of 20 but Wato puts Mike back in. Fans cheer and Wato aims from the apron. Wato’s arm bothers him, but he still springboards, but into an ARMBAR!! Mike has Wato caught but Wato scrambles around to the ROPEBREAK! Mike lets off quickly while fans cheer. Mike refocuses, he stalks Wato, and he KICKS Wato in the bad arm! And KICKS him again! And CHOPS him in the corner! Fans rally, Mike whips but Wato blocks by holding ropes! Mike tries again but Wato still blocks! Mike wraps the bad arm around ropes to YANK it! Fans cheer as Mike gets space. Mike then runs back in, but only gets buckles!
Wato comes back but into an ELBOW! And then into BOOTS! Wato is down, Mike goes up, ULTIMA- NO, Wato moves, but Mike rolls through! Wato rushes in, Mike ducks the Screw High Kick, ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Wato clasps hands, rolls to a cover, TWO!! Mike escapes, Wato sunset flips but Mike sits on it! TWO and Wato sunset flips! TWO, into VENDAVAL!! Fans fire up, Mike rocks it to a cover, TWO! Wato still has the hold but Mike powers around to an ARMBAR! Wato powers his way to a waistlock, but Mike fights the suplex! Mike pops Wato up, into the ARMBAR!! Wato stacks again, TWO!
Mike CLUBS Wato, MOONSAULTS but the knees hit the mat! Wato avoids disaster to then roll Mike into VENDAVAL!!! Mike endures, fans rally, and Wato’s own arm makes it hard to hold the hold! Mike fights his way around, reaches out, teetertotters things all the way to the ROPEBREAK! Wato lets go in frustration and both men are down. Fans rally up again while Wato crawls away. Wato waits on Mike to rise, and he powers up, only for Mike to kick his kick away! And then ROUNDHOUSE! And THRUST KICK! Wato staggers to a corner, Mike powers up and fans are thunderous! TATSUMAKI- NO! Wato blocks!
But Mike hits back, wrenches and whips, but Wato reverses and wrenches to reel Mike in! RECIENTEMENTE!! Cover, TWO!!! Mike escapes at the last possible moment and fans are thunderous again! Wato roars, he drags Mike back up and reels him in, but Mike fights the waistlock! Mike steps through the ropes to the apron, Wato follows, but Mike ELBOW BREAKERS! Wato clutches that arm and Mike takes a fighting stance. Mike KICKS Wato in the chest! Wato KICKS Mike in the chest! Fans rally, Mike and Wato both stand again. Mike KICKS Wato, and Wato KICKS Mike! Mike KICKS Wato again!
Wato staggers, but he comes back to go forehead to forehead. ROUNDHOUSE! Wato reels Mike in, but Mike again fights the suplex! Mike trips Wato, to MOONSAULT KNEE DROP!! Wato sputters into the ring and Mike climbs up! ULTIMA WEAPON!!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Wato survives and shocks everyone!! Mike roars and shakes the ropes and the fans are electric! Mike drags Wato up, puts him on the top rope, and then tucks him in. Wato fights free and gut wrenches! T T D!!! Cover, TWO!!! Mike survives now and Wato shakes his head. Wato roars, fans fire up again, and Wato drags Mike back up.
Wato waistlocks, but the bad arm stops the suplex! Mike KICKS the arm! And ROUNDHOUSES! And then ROUNDHOUSES again! And then THRUST KICKS! Wato is dazed in a corner, Mike runs to TATSU- SCREW HIGH KICK!!! Wato finds new life, to TSUTENKAKU!!! Bridging cover, WATO WINS!
Winner: Master Wato, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
The Way of the Grandmaster continues on! Wato is on the rise, is this year going to be his time?
Best of the Super Juniors 30 Semifinals: El Desperado VS Titán w/ Los Ingobernables de Japon!
Now B Block’s top seed takes on A Block’s number two! Neither man has won this tournament before, will the Rogue Luchador take the next step towards becoming the Best of the Super Juniors? Or will El Inmortal stay alive until the end?
LIJ fist bumps with Titan and fans cheer. The bell rings and fans rally up for “TI-TA-NN!” Desperado says okay, that’s fine. He and Titan circle, feel things out, and tie up. Desperado waistlocks, Titan spins around to a facelock, but Desperado spins that around onto Titan. Titan spins it back onto Desperado but Desperado slips around to half nelson and snapmare Titan into a chinlock. Titan fights up, trips Desperado, rolls him and facelocks, but Desperado slips out to wrench. Titan rolls, handsprings and gets free. The fans cheer as the two stand off. Desperado and Titan reset and circle again.
Titan and Desperado feel things out, Desperado wrenches and spins Titan to a snapmare and back to the chinlock. Titan fights around, gets a leg for a toehold, but Desperado chinbars. Titan shrugs that off but Desperado rolls him with body scissors to have a rear mount. Desperado puts his hands over Titan’s eyes, then toys with the mask strings and slaps Titan around. Desperado then hooks an arm, turns Titan back around and brings him up to arm-drag. Titan kips up to arm-drag back! Fans fire up while Desperado bails out and Titan kips up. Desperado goes to the front row and mockingly applauds.
Titan waits on Desperado and Desperado returns. They circle again, knuckle lock, and then Titan SOBATS! Titan wrenches and whips Desperado to a corner but Desperado reverses. Titan goes up and over and handsprings, then blocks the chop to CHOP back! Titan has the knuckle lock, he goes up and up and tightrope walks to FLYING RANA! Desperado bails back out and fans fire up! Titan builds speed, but Desperado moves so Titan just rolls and flips! Desperado rushes in, Titan dodges to RAN- NO, Desperado dumps Titan to SMASH the knee on the floor! Fans fire up while Titan writhes.
Desperado stomps the bad leg, then YANKS it! Titan growls, hobbles up, and Red Shoes wants this back in the ring. Desperado borrows English commentary’s onion! “Onion-san” has been part of this tour the whole time, and he’s finally in on the action as Desperado throws him at Titan! Titan throws Onion-san back at Desperado! Red Shoes reprimands and gets Onion-san back to commentary. Desperado drags Titan up to POST him! Titan flops over and fans rally up. Desperado has fans move aside and everyone knows what this means. Desperado drags Titan up to BOWL Titan through chairs!
Desperado is personally disappointed, that was probably a few pins short of a strike. Red Shoes wants this back in the ring, Desperado fetches Titan, and splashes him with someone’s iced tea! Titan CHOPS Desperado, but Desperado eggs him on. Titan chops but Desperado CHOPS him down! Desperado drags Titan up and puts him back in the ring. Desperado stomps Titan around, drags him up, but Titan ROCKS Desperado! Desperado kicks the leg out, then brings him up to suplex. Titan slips out to waistlock but Desperado elbows free. Desperado whips, Titan reverses then goes Matrix to CALF KICK!
Desperado staggers to ropes, Titan runs in, but Desperado puts him on the apron. Titan GAMANGIRIS back! Desperado staggers, Titan springboards to FLYING RANA! Desperado bails out, Titan builds speed and Titan DIVES! Direct hit at the ramp and fans are thunderous! Titan rises and stomps Desperado around. Fans rally for “TI-TA-NN!” as he brings Desperado up. Titan wants the fans to move aside now! Titan KICKS Desperado, then BOWLS him into chairs! Now that’s a strike! Titan drags Desperado up and brings him further to the back! Titan knees low, SOBATS, then RAMS Desperado into the side of the stands!
Fans fire up, and now Titan goes up the bleachers! The upper deck gets a closer look at the action as Titan SUPER CROSSBODIES Desperado down!! Fans are thunderous and Hiromu loves it! Red Shoes checks both men and they’re somehow both okay to continue! Hiromu cheers his amigo on and Titan rises! Titan makes his way back to ringside and LIJ tells him he’s got this. The ring count climbs, Desperado is still down at 10 of 20! Titan gets up and in at 15, but Desperado is still so far away! Desperado crawls, runs, and slides in at 19.5! But Titan dropkicks the legs out! Titan gets the leg, for the TRAILER HITCH!
Desperado endures the push on the legs, he reaches out for ropes, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Titan lets go and fans cheer. LIJ and the fans rally for “TI-TA-NN!” as he brings Desperado up. Desperado throws body shots but Titan fires off a strike fest! But then Desperado UPPERCUTS! Desperado kicks, but Titan blocks to DRAGON SCREW! And then step through for LA CRUCETA! The Mexican lucha libre take on the Figure Four, but Desperado still endures. Desperado reaches out for ropes, but Titan rolls him away! Desperado then turns the hold over, but Titan turns it back over! Desperado drags Titan along with him, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK!
Fans cheer and Titan lets Desperado go in frustration. Desperado crawls to the apron and clutches a leg. Titan rests, as well, and the fans rally up. Titan waits on Desperado to return, and he SUPERKICKS! Desperado ends up in a corner, Titan fires up and the fans are with him! Titan roars, runs, but Desperado SPEARS him first! Both men are down while the fans rally up. Desperado rises first, he stalks Titan, drags him up, and hits a BIG back suplex! Desperado hobbles over, brings Titan up and suplexes high and hard! Stack cover, TWO, into STRETCH MUFFLER! Titan scrambles and gets the ROPEBREAK!
Desperado lets go quickly and fans rally up again. Desperado hobbles over, brings Titan up, but Titan throws a forearm! Desperado eggs him on, so Titan throws another forearm! Desperado CHOPS and Titan drops to a knee. Desperado eggs Titan on more, and Titan stands to throw a strike fest! Titan runs, but into an ELBOW! Desperado runs, but Titan follows to hit the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again as Desperado bails out. Titan builds speed and DIVES into LOCO MONO!! Desperado shakes out his fist while Titan flops back in a daze. Desperado goes up the apron, Titan runs in but Desperado ducks the haymaker.
Desperado throws Titan down by his mask, but Titan kips up to PELE! Desperado falls down and Titan builds speed, to FLY! Another direct hit at the ramp! Fans are thunderous and Titan stomps Desperado around. Titan wants people to move aside, and he goes up the corner! Fans fire up as Titan reaches the top. SUPER DIVING- NO, Desperado moves!!! Did Titan just bust an ankle or a knee? Desperado puts Titan in, and gets the STRETCH MUFFLER!! Titan endures, flails, but Desperado gets an arm! NUMERO DOS!! Titan flails, Hiromu coaches him to keep fighting, and Titan crawls with one arm to get the ROPEBREAK!
Desperado drags Titan up fast, gut wrench, GUITARRA DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO!! Titan survives and Desperado grows frustrated. Desperado roars, the fans are with him, and he drags Titan back up. Desperado reels Titan in, underhooks, PINCHE- NO, Titan fights it, wrenches out, and SOBATS! Titan whips, Desperado reverses to reel Titan in. Titan SOBATS again, whips, but Desperado reverses. They RAM shoulders, but Titan falls over while Desperado falls out of the ring! Fans rally up, LIJ coaches Titan and Desperado clutches an ankle. Red Shoes checks him but he seems okay to continue.
Titan shakes his bad leg out while the ring count starts. Desperado rises at 8 of 20, stands at 12 and hobbles over into the ring at 15. Titan stomps Desperado, CLUBS him, then stands him up. Titan whips, Desperado reverses to SPINEBUSTER! High stack, TWO!! STRETCH MUFFLER!!! Titan endures all over again but LIJ shouts to him! But Desperado gets NUMERO DOS!! Titan fights, reaches out, but Desperado drags him away! Titan sits up!? And shifts around, DESTROYER!! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous! Desperado drags himself up with the ropes while LIJ and the fans rally for “TI-TA-NN!”
Titan feels it, he runs in at Desperado, but into a drop toehold into the ropes! Titan sputters, Desperado roars, and Desperado whips Titan. Titan reverses, to TORNADO DDT again!! Both men are down, but Titan crawls himself to the corner. Titan skins the cat to the top! Titan stands and leaps, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!!! But double-edged for Titan! Titan still crawls, still covers, TWO!!! Desperado still lives! Fans rally and Titan roars again! Titan hobbles, he drags Desperado around and hooks the leg, but Desperado kicks at Titan. Titan stomps Desperado’s stomach! Leg hook, turn over, JAVE INMORTAL!!!
LIJ is fired up, the fans are thunderous, but Desperado fights the crossface portion of the hold! Titan still powers it onto Desperado and he pulls Desperado back! WAY BACK!! DESPERADO TAPS, TITAN WINS!!!!
Winner: Titán, by submission (advances to the finals)
Desperado could not endure and now his dream is denied for another year! But that aside, is Desperado going to be okay to continue wrestling the rest of this year? LIJ joins Titan in the ring to help him with the icepacks as well as to celebrate. But as Desperado takes his exit and Titan gets the mic, Wato makes his return to ringside. Titan gets the mic to say in Spanish, “Thank God for this.” And then in Japanese, he asks, “Feelin’ good, Kawato-san?” Wato joins Titan in the ring as Titan says, “Glad to see you here.” Going back to Spanish, Titan then says, “Next time, it’s just you and me, one on one.”
Titan says he has LIJ behind him, so you’ll get the best of him, “because I’m one of the few Mexicans to go the distance. To go to the Best of the Super Juniors Finals!” Fans cheer and Wato applauds. Titan then drops the mic, Wato raises his finger to say they’re the ones, and then pats his chest as a sign of respect. Wato leaves so Titan can celebrate his moment, but who will be celebrating biggest of all this Sunday?
A great card for the semifinals, and I did skim through the other matches I didn’t cover. Great win for Eagles & Fujita with Fujita getting the finish on Gedo. Great showing from The United Empire, and apparently they either want in on the Double Tag Team Championship Triple Threat in Aussie Open’s place, or to just face the winner between Bishamon & House of Torture so they can be the ones to face Aussie Open on their return. But they announced such intentions by attacking after the 8 Man Tag, which was then turned around on them by The House of Torture. Either way, this adds great heat into that title match, which I feel like Bishamon is going to win.
Really good stuff out of the Dream Trio against Shota and the Young Lions. The Young Lions got to really show their stuff even though they lost, and we did get some great interactions between Okada and Shota. And of course we got awesome stuff out of the BOSJ semifinals, and some rather surprising results. English commentary itself said that this is definitely the dark horse match-up between the two Number 2 Seeds. I definitely thought Mike Bailey and Desperado were winning. Or at least Mike Bailey was winning, Desperado VS Titan felt like it could’ve gone either way going into the match.
But I suppose NJPW has been pretty high on Wato and Wato has been doing solid work for a long time, so good of them to give Wato the win here. The final match is anyone’s game, but I feel like it’s 51-49 in favor of Wato so as to avoid Hiromu VS Titan for the title.
My Score: 8.8/10
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