NJPW Summer Struggle starts on the road to Jingu!
Darkness World continues to reign, but retribution is still chasing after Evil! Will NJPW’s Summer Struggle be the beginning of the end?
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.
- Kazuchika Okada & SHO VS Gedo & Yujiro Takahashi; Okada & Sho win.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Kazuchika Okada & SHO VS Gedo & Yujiro Takahashi!
It seems Sengoku Lord settled nothing for The Rainmaker and the Tokyo Pimp! With the shock master, Sho, by his side, can Okada get Gedo and Yujiro to leave him alone? Or will Okada be the one left #DeepInDebt?
The teams sort out and Yujiro dares Okada to start. Okada accepts and fans rally as we get the rematch from Sengoku Lord! Yujiro and Okada circle, but Okada is wary of ol’ Gedo. Okada and Yujiro tie up, are deadlocked but Okada powers Yujiro to ropes. Red Shoes calls for a break, Okada fakes Yujiro out to pat him on the shoulder. Yujiro tries to hit back but Okada kicks low. Okada headlocks, but Yujiro BITES! You think Okada would have learned to be more careful since yesterday. Yujiro kicks, forearms and CHOPS Okada to the corner, then pats Okada on the face. Yujiro whips Okada corner to corner and BOOTS him! Yujiro runs but into Okada’s boot! Okada snapmares, runs and basement dropkicks Yujiro down! Fans cheer as Okada tags Sho.
Sho drags Yujiro up, wrenches the arm to a wristlock and kicks, kicks and SUPERKICKS! Yujiro is down, Sho covers, TWO! Sho keeps his focus as he drags Yujiro back up. Sho suplexes but Yujiro resists. Yujiro suplexes, Sho slips out but Yujiro standing switches to get the dragon sleeper. Sho spins around to suplex Yujiro! Fans cheer while Sho dares Yujiro to get up. Sho runs but Gedo cheap shots him. So Sho DECKS Gedo! Sho runs at Yujiro, but gets caught to the reverse DDT! Yujiro BOOTS Okada off the apron and then goes out to bring him up. Gedo goes after Sho while Yujiro POSTS Okada! Red Shoes reprimands but Yujiro rains down right hands on Okada! Gedo uses the ring bell hammer to BOP Sho! Okada fights back, whips Yujiro, but Yujiro reverses to send Okada into barriers!
Yujiro returns to the ring while Gedo clubs Sho with the hammer more. Geod puts Sho in for Yujiro to bring up. Yujiro scoop slams Sho down then fires himself up. Yujiro rains down rights on Sho now, then kicks him around mockingly. Fans rally for Sho as Yujiro snapmares him. Yujiro runs to drop the leg, brother! Cover, TWO! Yujiro tags Gedo and Bullet Club brings Sho up. Gedo pulls Sho’s hair to then bump him off a bare buckle! Red Shoes notices the pad was moved out of the way! Red Shoes works to fix it but the damage is done. Gedo kicks Sho around and Yujiro pushes the pad over again. Sho gets up and throws forearms on Gedo! Gedo backs Sho into the buckles! Yujiro pulls Sho’s hair then tags in. Yujiro stomps Sho, CHOPS him, then brings him around to the ropes.
Fans rally but Yujiro runs to BOOT Sho down! Cover, TWO! The fans cheer as Sho crawls for his corner. Yujiro brings him around to bump off the bare buckle! Tag to Gedo, Gedo snapmares Sho to stand on his face! Red Shoes reprimands but Gedo scrapes his sole on Sho’s nose! Gedo stomps Sho and drops a fist! Cover, TWO! Sho toughts it out and Gedo grows frustrated. Gedo drags Sho up to bump off bare buckle again! Tag to Yujiro, and he sucker punches Okada! Okada gets up but Red Shoes keeps him out. Bullet Club double whip Sho to the open corner, Gedo runs in but Sho catches him in a waistlock! Yujiro clubs Sho to save Gedo and Bullet Club mugs Sho. Bullet Club double whips, Sho DOUBLE SPEARS! Fans fire up as Sho crawls to his corner! Hot tag to Okada!
Okada rallies on Yujiro with big forearms and a whip. Yujiro reverses, Okada dodges and back elbows! Okada fires up with the fans as he brings Yujiro back up. Okada whips Yujiro to a corner, back elbows, kicks and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada drags Yujiro up, gut wrenches but Yujiro slips out to waistlock. Okada elbows free, runs, but into a flapjack hotshot! Yujiro runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Okada barely escapes that one but Yujiro stomps him down. Yujiro has Okada in the corner, whips him corner to corner, but Okada boots back! Okada pops Yujiro up to the Alabama, but Yujiro fights out. Okada blocks a boot but so does Yujiro. Yujiro trips and basement dropkicks Okada down!
Tag to Gedo and he pokes Sho’s eyes! Sho falls off the apron and Bullet Club double whips Okada. Mule kick to jawbreaker, then Fisherman BUSTER! SUPERKICK from Gedo! Cover, TWO!! Gedo is furious and Yujiro gets in Red Shoes’ face about the count. But this is so Gedo can go to his literal bag of tricks and bring out the brass knuckles! Gedo aims at Okada but Sho runs in and BACKSTABBERS! Sho gives Yujiro a jumping KNEE! Okada gets Gedo with a whip and dropkick! DEEP IN DEBT! Gedo taps, Chaos wins!
Winners: Kazuchika Okada & Sho, by submission
The Rainmaker leaves Gedo be so he can stare down with Yujiro. The debt has not been settled, who will pay the price when they next meet 1v1?
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club!
We’ve had this same set-up before, but the tension is even stronger this time! Tetsuya Naito is ready for his rematch, Hiromu Takahashi has the Bone Soldier after his IWGP Junior Heavyweight title, and Bushi still wants revenge on Dick Togo’s identity theft! Will LIJ win this first round of Summer Struggle? Or will it be just #TooSweet?
The trios sort out and after the Low Sweet and LIJ fist bump, Naito steps up. Evil stands down and it’s Taiji who starts. The fans rally as Taiji and Naito pace. Naito approaches Taiji but then bypasses him to clobber Evil! Hiromu hits Taiji and Bushi hits Dick! Hiromu stomps Taiji, Naito stomps Evil and Bushi clubs Dick. Naito whips Evil into barriers and Hiromu digs his heel into Taiji in the corner. Red Shoes tries to restore order as Bushi bumps Dick off the apron. Hiromu keeps stomping Taiji until Naito returns. Naito drags Taiji up and pulls hair as he tags in Bushi. LIJ mugs Taiji in the corner and Bushi takes off his shirt. Bushi uses it to choke Taiji! Red Shoes counts, Bushi stops at 3, but he paces around Taiji like a shark. Bushi puts Taiji in a chinlock and digs his fingers into Taiji’s face!
Tag to Hiromu and the Timebomb CHOPS Taiji! Hiromu stomps and CHOPS Taiji to ropes while fans cheer. Hiromu whips, forearms, and puts Taiji on the ropes to kick them into Taiji! Hiromu runs, Taiji dodges the dropkick, and Evil rushes the LIJ corner! Down goes Naito and Bushi as Taiji circles Hiromu. Evil wrenches and whips Naito into railing while Dick stomps Bushi. Taiji goes after Hiromu’s bad shoulder while Red Shoes tries to get Bullet Club to stand down. Taiji leans on Hiromu, maybe even chokes him. Taiji lets up to stomp Hiromu down. Hiromu stands but Taiji elbows him back down. Hiromu tries to chop back but they don’t bother Taiji. Taiji CHOPS and Hiromu falls over! Taiji whips Hiromu into buckles, tags in Evil, but Dick pulls Hiromu’s hair!
Evil CHOPS Hiromu while Red Shoes reprimands. Evil wrenches the bad arm, then wrenches more, and even more! Hiromu endures as Evil CLUBS the bad shoulder! Fans rally but Evil drags Hiromu back up. Evil wrenches again, whips Hiromu into BARE BUCKLES! Bullet Club uses the same tricks as Evil stomps Hiromu down. Tag to Dick and he grins as he stomps Hiromu’s bad arm. Fans rally but Dick drags Hiromu back up to wrench and hammerlock. Dick rams Hiromu into the bare buckles! Hiromu falls but Dick brings him up to snapmare and drop a fist! Cover, TWO! Dick tries again, TWO! Dick wraps Hiromu up in a chinlock and grinds him down. Fans rally as Hiromu endures.
Hiromu fights his way up, fights his way out, and runs to duck and dodge and huricanrana! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Hiromu crawls but Dick drops an elbow on him! Dick taunts LIJ as he drags Hiromu up and around. Dick suplexes, Hiromu slips out to SUPERKICK! Hot tag to Naito! Naito hurries in after Dick, brings him up and pushes him to the corner. Naito dares Evil to step up! Evil tags in and we get a preview of the Dominion rematch! Naito throws a forearm, Evil gives it back, and repeat! Fans fire up as the brawl picks up speed! Naito and Evil keep throwing forearms, not slowing down or backing off! It’s fast and furious, but Naito gets the edge. Evil knees low, runs, but into a back elbow.
Naito whips, Evil reverses, Naito gets around for the backbreaker to basement dropkick! Naito DECKS Taiji off the apron then turns Evil for a neckbreaker! Naito stomps and stomps and stomps, then goes after the arm. Naitao uses his legs to hammerlock and then goes after the other arm. Dick runs in to club Naito but Naito gets in his face. Naito fires off strikes and throws Dick out before going back to Evil. Naito hammerlocks and underhooks, but Evil fights off Gloria. Evil blocks a kick, gives it to Red Shoes and mule kicks Naito’s leg! Evil throws Naito down by his hair and catches his breath. Fans rally for Naito as Evil mockingly kicks at him. Evil brings Naito back up, fireman’s carries, but Naito fights out to waistlock. Evil switches, Naito elbows free and runs, but Dick trips him!
Evil gets the legs for the Sharpshooter! Bullet Club plays defense, Dick throwing Bushi out while Taiji counters the huricanrana to a POWERBOMB! Taiji rolls Hiromu to a LeBelle Lock! Dick keeps Bushi down by holding his mask! Hiromu and Naito endure as fans rally up, but Bushi breaks free of Dick! Bushi clubs Evil but Taiji throws Bushi out. Evil crawls over and tags in Taiji! Taiji stomps Naito to the ropes, drags him back up and whips. Naito reverses, Taiji handsprings, but into Naito’s GERMAN SUPLEX! Taiji lands on his feet but gets an atomic drop to basement dropkick! Taiji clutches his legs but Naito is also down. Fans rally up, Naito rolls to his corner, tag to Bushi!
Bushi climbs up and aims at Taiji, missile dropkick! Bushirooni, but Dick and Evil go after him! Double whip, Bushi dodges the clotheslines to shove Dick into Evil! Then a DOUBLE-RANA! Fans fire up but Taiji goes after Bushi. Taiji whips, Bushi dodges and DIVES onto Dick! Naito sneaks up on Taiji to kick and whip. Naito kicks, Bushi sunset flips and feeds Taiji to Naito’s basement dropkick! Fans fire up again as Bushi gives Taiji the fisherman neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Naito keeps on Dick and Evil on the outside while Bushi goes up top again. Taiji slowly rises, Bushi aims, but Evil knocks Bushi down! Taiji drags Bushi up, gut wrenches, CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, but Naito breaks it!
Evil rushes Naito, Naito waistlocks but Taiji grabs at Red Shoes so he doesn’t see the LOW BLOW! Evil fireman’s carries Naito for DARKNESS FALLS! Taiji BOOTS Hiromu off the apron and takes aim at Bushi. BANG, and Taiji drags Bushi up again. BLOODY CROSS! DIck keeps Hiromu down, Bullet Club wins!
Winners: Bullet Club, by pinfall
Taiji then goes after Hiromu! BLOODY CROSS!! LIJ is down for the count! Taiji grabs the mic to tell Hiromu, “Seems like you’ve gotten weaker. Are you burned out?” Looks like he’s done! What does Hiromu think he’s going to say next? Hiromu can’t say much at all in the state Taiji left him. The answer: “Let me challenge for that belt, bastard!” The Bone Soldier is officially after the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship! Will Taiji have the final say on Hiromu’s reign? Can LIJ recover with the Summer Struggle still coming on strong?
Well this was alright for what I believe is the first ever Summer Struggle. Follow Chairshot and Andrew Balaz for the full results on this event. There are a LOT of dates marked for this series, perhaps to make up for the time lost, but just looking at today’s card compared to Monday’s card, it’s going to be a lot of filler for sake of repetition. Okada & Sho VS Gedo & Yujiro was alright, but will have another go tomorrow so perhaps they were holding back. I’m a bit surprised Okada and Yujiro are continuing, but maybe they’re building to something rather wild for Jingu that then leads someone to a title story. The LIJ VS Bullet Club Six Man rematch was really good, had the same basic result as New Japan Road, but now Taiji has steak in things so he gets the finish and the ending promo.
There will be a partial rematch Monday with Sanada subbing in for Bushi, and I would be pleasantly surprised if Sanada took the win, perhaps submitting Dick. I really want Sanada to get more involved in the story of Evil’s betrayal as they were the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions in LIJ.
My Score: 8.2/10