NJPW finally reaches the end of the Summer Struggle!
The special return event from NJPW wraps up in the biggest way possible! KOPW 2020, the Double Championships and more, all in Jingu Stadium!
- Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Kanemaru wins.
- KOPW 2020 Fatal 4 Way Finals: El Desperado VS Toru Yano VS SANADA VS Kazuchika Okada; Yano wins and is the current KOPW 2020 Trophy Holder.
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Minoru Suzuki; Suzuki wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Taiji Ishimori; Ishimori wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Dangerous Tekkers VS The Golden Aces; The Dangerous Tekkers win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
- IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championships: EVIL w/ Dick Togo VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins and becomes the new IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru!
The Way of the GrandMaster has been a hard road, mostly because of having to deal with the many henchmen in Suzuki-Gun. Can Wato overcome and prove he belongs?
The bell rings and fans are fired up already. Kanemaru kicks low, headlocks tight, but Wato powers out and things speed up. Wato hurdles and back elbows to back and sobat! Wato keeps on Kanemaru with kicks and a whip corner to corner, but Kanemaru puts Wato on the apron. Wato hits back, springboards in, but into Kanemaru’s dropkick! Fans have to cheer that impressive aim but then rally up for Wato. Kanemaru drags Wato up to throw out, then he whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru hops the railing to guillotine leg drop! Wato is down, Kanemaru catches his breath and returns to the ring. A ring count begins and climbs to 10 of 20 before Wato stands. Wato is in at 12 but Kanemaru scoops him into the Tree of Woe!
Kanemaru toys with Wato, then runs in to basement dropkick! Wato is still stuck and the ref works to free him but Kanemaru laughs at Wato. Kanemaru drags Wato up to club him hard on the back! Kanemaru drags Wato into a Camel Clutch! Fans rally, Wato pries at the hold and scoots back to get a ropebreak! Kanemaru lets go of Wato to stomp him down! Kanemaru eggs Wato on and Wato hits forearms! Kanemaru rakes the eyes! The ref reprimands but Kanemaru drags Wato up. Kanemaru throws a strong European Uppercut, then whips corner to corner. Kanemaru runs in to BOOT! Kanemaru brings Wato out, Wato hits back but Kanemaru rakes the eyes! Kanemaru runs, but into Wato’s leaping kick!
Fans fire up as Wato grits his teeth. Wato fires up, aims from a corner, and runs to DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Kanemaru tumbles out of the ring, Wato runs and FLIES with the tornillo PLANCHA! Direct hit and the fans are fired up again. Wato drags Kanemaru up, puts him in, and the fans rally as Wato hits a SPRINGBOARD UPPERCUT! Wato keeps going, he runs to the corner to monkey flip Kanemaru! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Wato keeps going, brings Kanemaru up to wrench and trap the arms. Kanemaru fights out of the Mouse Trap, and dropkicks Wato down hard! Fans cheer as both men are down, and rally up as the two stir. Kanemaru sits up, scowls as he brings Wato up for a scoop and slam!
Kanemaru goes to the top rope, but has to land out of his moonsault as Wato moves! Wato elbows and KICKS back! Wato runs, but the ref is a shield! Wato pushes the ref aside, Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls but Wato blocks the victory roll. Kanemaru kicks Wato back, drags Wato up and scoops to the dragon sleeper, INVERTED DDT! Kanemaru paces as the fans rally up again. Kanemaru has his whiskey, but Wato ducks to BOOT! Wato dodges to SPINNING ROUNDHOUSE! Fans fire up as Wato drags Kanemaru back up, MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru escapes the trap but Wato fires up more!
Wato waits for Kanemaru to rise to fire off the strike fest! QUESTION MARK KICK! INVERTED BOMB! Kanemaru is down but Wato drags him to the drop zone. Kanemaru revives and rolls Wato up! Kanemaru wins!!
Winner: Yoshinobu Kanemaru, by pinfall
Was Kanemaru playing dead? Wato is furious, but despite being called the GrandMaster, he is still very much a young wrestler. Will Wato learn a lot from this loss?
KOPW 2020 Fatal 4 Way Finals: El Desperado VS Toru Yano VS SANADA VS Kazuchika Okada!
One of the most unique concepts, certainly in NJPW’s history, has been a big success already, and it takes its next big step! Desperado can use his finishers again, Yano doesn’t have to kick out at one, and Sanada can win by more than just submission, but it could still feel like 3v1 for the Rainmaker. Will Okada win his own concept to become the tentative Mr. KOPW 2020?
But as Okada finishes up his entrance, Sanada and Desperado jump Yano! The bell rings to get this on record as Okada tries to help. Sanada and Desperado club and double whip Okada to a corner. Desperado elbows, Sanada adds his own. Yano wants them to wait a minute! Yano gets it. And he apologizes to Okada as he runs in to add his own elbow! But then Yano rolls Okada up! Sanada and Desperado stomp the cover apart and Okada gets away. Sanada and Desperado start shoving each other, their momentary alliance over already. Yano pulls Desperado’s mask to throw him down! Sanada whips Yano, Yano holds the ropes and taunts. Sanada runs at Yano but Yano dumps Sanada out!
Okada clubs Sanada, and he wants Yano to fly in a combo move! Yano fires up, builds speed, but Desperado drags him out! Okada clubs Sanada, throws him in and Desperado clubs Yano down. Okada elbows Sanada on the back, Okada kicks Desperado as he comes in, and now Sanada and Okada work together. They double whip and double elbow Desperado down, then set him up for a basement dropkick sandwich! The fans like what they’re seeing as Okada offers an LIJ fist bump! But it’s to fake Sanada out and Okada kicks low! Okada snapmares, cranks on a chinlock, and now Yano returns. Yano again apologizes for what he did earlier, and he’s exposed a corner.
Yano whips Sanada corner to corner to the safe corner and adds a back elbow. Okada adds his, feeds Sanada to Yano’s atomic drop, then they trip Sanada to catapult him into the bare buckles! Okada lifts Sanada, REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, but Yano pulls Okada off. Yano covers while apologizing, Okada stomps him! The fans cheer as Yano asks what the heck. Okada says it doesn’t matter that they’re both Chaos! And now these two brawl! Okada hits, Yano responds, and fans rally up. Okada rocks Yano, but Yano cradle counters, TWO! Yano apologizes again but Desperado clobbers Okada! Desperado rakes Yano’s eyes, whips him but Yano stops himself before hitting bare buckles. Desperado runs in but Yano drop toeholds him into those buckles!
Yano rolls Desperado, Sanada breaks it! Yano kicks Sanada, Yano whips but Sanada reverses and Yano gets the bare buckles! Sanada trips Yano up, and puts him in Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada goes corner to corner, but Okada is there to defend Yano. Okada wants them to go 1v1 so Sanada obliges. They brawl, Okada throws a EuroUpper but so does Sanada. Yano asks they not forget about him as Sanada whips Okada. Okada dodges to elbow Sanada down! The fans fire up with Okada, Okada brings Sanada up to whip him to a safe corner. Sanada goes up, out and springboards in! Okada dodges, scoops but Sanada reverses to dragon sleeper! Okada flails, moves around, scoops again, but Sanada fights out. DRAPING MAGIC KILLER! Cover, TWO!
Okada survives but Sanada keeps his cool. Also Yano is still stuck. Sanada brings Okada up for a backbreaker, then he goes to the corner. Sanada moonsaults but lands on his feet as Okada evades! Okada shotguns Sanada and Sanada falls on Yano, freeing him from the Paradise Lock! Yano flops out of the ring, Sanada and Okada are alone. Sanada elbows Okada away, Quebrada to the dragon sleeper! Okada hammers away but Sanada cranks on the hold! SKULL END! Desperado climbs up and leaps, FROG SPLASH onto them both! Desperado kicks Sanada out and drags Okada up. Guitarra del ANGEL! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Desperado isn’t done there! Desperado drags Okada up, underhooks, but Okada resists Pinche Loco to back drop! Desperado gets up first and rakes Okada’s eyes!
Desperado runs, Okada dropkicks him down! Okada gets the arm, DEEP IN DEBT! Desperado endures, grabs at the ref, but Okada yanks him away! The ref is down, Deep in Debt is still on! But Yano attacks from behind, rolls Okada up, YANO WINS!?!
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall (tentative Mr. KOPW 2020)
It was a LOW BLOW! Yano used a low blow on Okada! Yano apologizes to Okada while he accepts the trophy! Will the Producer, of all people, be the first-ever Mr. KOPW by the end of the year?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Minoru Suzuki!
The Dragon welcomes all comers, and now he has to deal with the Meanest Man in the World! Who wins this match that will surely redefine the term, “slug fest?”
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this battle finally happens!
The two want to fight but the ref has them wait for the bell. When the bell rings, these two fire off! Suzuki boots, forearms but Shingo is right there with him. Suzuki fires off several forearms but Shingo hits back with a Polish hammer! Shingo whips, Suzuki reverses and wrenches on a facelock. Shingo counters with a suplex! Fans cheer but Suzuki bails out. Shingo pursues and whips him into the barriers! Shingo drags Suzuki up, jabs and CHOPS against the post over and over and over! Suzuki stumbles away, Shingo puts him in the ring but Suzuki throws haymakers! Suzuki drags Shingo into a draping triangle hold! The ref counts, Suzuki lets go at 3 to run and BOOT Shingo off the apron! Shingo hits railing but Suzuki is right on him again.
Suzuki whips Shingo into railing! And then brings him around to whip into more railing! The ref reprimands but Suzuki takes his time punching away on Shingo. Suzuki boots Shingo, pushes the ref away and SLAPS Shingo! Suzuki laughs as he hits Shingo harder! Suzuki knees low, brings Shingo around to ram him into more railing! The ring count begins, Suzuki gets in at 4 of 20. Suzuki watches Shingo stagger about and goes back out to throw him into more railing! Suzuki puts Shingo in the ring, fans cheer as this match continues properly. Suzuki stomps Shingo but Shingo grits his teeth. Suzuki stands Shingo up and chops him, talking trash at the same time!
Suzuki chops and ROCKS Shingo, then snapmares to KICK Shingo in the back. But Shingo scowls as he eggs Suzuki on. Suzuki keeps kicking, Shingo wants more! Suzuki kicks, Shingo fires up to CHOP! Suzuki CHOPS, Shingo CHOPS, repeat! Shingo gets the edge, Suzuki catches a chop to knee low! Suzuki runs, but into an elbow! JAB and LARIAT! Both men are down but Suzuki is smiling! Suzuki heads to ropes while fans rally up. Shingo runs into the corner, blocks Suzuki’s boot and corner clotheslines! Shingo whips corner to corner to hit another clohtesline! SNAP SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Shingo stays fired up as the fans continue to rally. Shingo toys with Suzuki now, but Suzuki laughs as he throws forearms!
Suzuki whips and BOOTS Shingo in the corner, then snapmares to Penalty Kick! Cocky cover, ONE! Shingo grimaces but Suzuki grins as fans rally. Suzuki toys with Shingo now, giving him toying kicks. Shingo gets up to ROCK him with a right! Shingo has to chuckle now as Suzuki throws a forearm. Shingo gives it back and Suzuki nods. Suzuki throws another forearm, Shingo fires them back and the fans fire up as this gets fast and furious! Suzuki gets an edge, but Shingo gives forearms from all sides! Shingo ROCKS Suzuki and eggs him on, but Suzuki ROCKS Shingo back! Shingo wobbles, stands back up, so Suzuki ROCKS him again! Suzuki runs, into another back elbow.
Shingo runs, into a boot! Suzuki runs, Shingo clohteslines on the ropes. Shingo runs, dodges the boot, but Suzuki dodges the lariat to get the sleeper hold! Suzuki spins Shingo around but Shingo back drops out of the piledriver! Suzuki ducks the sliding lariat, Suzuki boots but Shingo comes back, only to be spun back into the sleeper! Suzuki wraps on tight but Shingo endures. The fans rally up, Suzuki cranks tighter and Shingo starts to fade! Shingo gets his second wind, but Suzuki squeezes it out of him! Suzuki spins Shingo, Gotch hold, but Shingo kicks against the driver! Shingo fireman’s carries, Death Valley Driver! Both men are down but Jingu is fired up!
Shingo and Suzuki stir, Shingo rises first but Suzuki follows. Shingo fires himself up, runs, PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Suzuki survives but Shingo keeps his cool. Shingo shouts and drags Suzuki up but Suzuki’s like dead weight. Shingo winds up but Suzuki boots, and boots, and boots! Suzuki tries for another but Shingo slips up under it, pump handle and lift, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO!?! Suzuki survives and Shingo can’t believe it! The fans fire up again as Suzuki and Shingo rise. Shingo pump handles to torture rack, but Suzuki escapes Last of the Dragons to HEADBUTT Shingo from behind! And then from the front! Shingo eggs Suzuki on and Suzuki HEADBUTTS him down!
Suzuki dares Shingo to rise, SLAPS Shingo from all sides over and over with fast palm strikes, then keeps Shingo standing to keep going! But Shingo JABS and HEADBUTTS outta nowhere! Shingo runs, Suzuki follows and gets around, only for Shingo to still torture rack! Suzuki fights out, gets a sleeper hold on, then spins Shingo. Shingo spins through to LARIAT! Suzuki stays up, Shingo LARIATS again! Suzuki powers up to stay up but Shingo LARIATS him again! Shingo runs, into a dropkick! Both men are down and the fans are fired up again! Suzuki rises as fans rally, but Shingo gets head to head with him. They headbutt on the mat, throw forearms back and forth, then Shingo keeps Suzuki up to ROCK him again!
Suzuki ROCKS Shingo back, eggs Shingo on, and Shingo ROCKS him back! Suzuki smiles again as he ROCKS Shingo with another forearm. Suzuki eggs Shingo on, Shingo ROCKS him back! Both men are on wobbly legs but Suzuki ROCKS Shingo again. Shingo ROCKS Suzuki back. Suzuki bluntly headbutts Shingo! Shingo drops to a knee, Suzuki scowls but Shingo headbutts back! They go back to forearms back and forth, fans rally up, and Suzuki just keeps hitting Shingo! Shingo hits back but Suzuki ROCKS him again. And again! Suzuki just CLOBBERS Shingo with that forearm! Sleeper hold!! Shingo flails, fades, fans rally up but Suzuki spins Shingo around! Shingo gives a nod to his late mentors as he Gotch lifts for the PILEDRIVER!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!
Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Champion)
The Dragon has lost his treasure! Suzuki triumphs and takes the title for his own! With what it took out of Shingo, what will it take for anyone to take the title from Suzuki?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Taiji Ishimori!
The Ticking Timebomb couldn’t get revenge on the King of Darkness, but he sure isn’t about to let the Bone Soldier pile on. Will Hiromu have “fun” sending Bullet Club a message?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this rematch a long time coming begins!
Taiji boots the bad arm right away! He dodges Hiromu’s back hands, boots again then throws forearms! Hiromu forearms back and we have a brawl already! Taiji throws more forearms, runs but sees Hiromu drop down. Taiji stops to bring Hiromu up and whip but Hiromu reverses to follow. Taiji stops, dodges, and tilt-o-whirls, but Hiromu stops it part way! Hiromu powers up, Taiji slips off to waistlock, Hiromu standing switches and German Suplexes, but Taiji lands on his feet! Taiji dodges Hiromu, comes back, tilt-o-whirl takedown on the arm! Hiromu gets out, clutching his bad arm, but Taiji goes up and MOONSAULTS! Direct hit on the outside as fans fire up. Taiji gets in commentary’s face before putting Hiromu in.
Taiji climbs up and aims at that bad arm! 450 SPLASH ON THE ARM! Hiromu writhes, Taiji grabs the arm, rolls Hiromu and gets the YES LOCK! But Hiromu gets the ropebreak! Taiji lets go and smiles, knowing he has Hiromu right where he wants him. Hiromu walks around the way but Taiji follows. Taiji CLUBS Hiromu on the bad arm, wrenches the arm to a hammerlock and clubs it again. Taiji puts Hiromu in, drags him up to a corner and climbs up to wrap the arm around the ropes! Hiromu clubs Taiji while the ref counts, and Taiji stops at 3. Taiji CHOPS Hiromu, then CHOPS him again! Taiji whips Hiromu corner to corner, Hiromu slides out and it’s a cat ‘n’ mouse game! Hiromu comes back to SUNSET FLIP, but Taiji lands on his feet out of the bomb!
Taiji forearms then hammerlocks the bad arm to POST it! Hiromu falls, clutches the arm and the ref checks on him. The ref tells Taiji to stay back but Taiji refuses, and he puts Hiromu back in. Cover, ONE!! Taiji is upset with the count but he sneers as he looms over Hiromu. The fans rally up, Taiji kicks Hiromu but Hiromu chops back. And chops again, but it doesn’t bother Taiji. Taiji kicks, runs but into Hiromu’s huricanrana! Hiromu stands, runs corner to corner at Taiji, and corner clotheslines! Hiromu snapmares Taiji to basement dropkick him out of the ring! Fans fire up as Hiromu takes off the shoulder tape! Hiromu goes to the apron for a FLYING JOHN WOO! The dropkick sends Taiji into railing!
A ring count begins as both men are down on the outside. Hiromu is up, drags Taiji around and puts him in. Hiromu drags Taiji up, suplexes for the Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Hiromu grows frustrated but he focuses on getting his arm moving. Taiji is in the corner, Hiromu runs corner to corner and clotheslines! Hiromu runs corner to corner again but Taiji follows to dropkick Hiromu down! Taiji keeps moving, but he runs into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! But Taiji lands on the ropes?! Hiromu hurries to get Taiji into the fireman’s carry, but Taiji pops up, POISON RANA!! Hiromu flounders, Taiji runs, but into another OVERHEAD! And this time he crashes into buckles! Both men are down, fans fire up again as both stir.
Hiromu is up first, drags Taiji up to a fireman’s carry, DYNAMITE PLUNGER! Cover, TWO!! Taiji survives but Hiromu keeps his focus as fans cheer. Hiromu fireman’s carries again, Taiji slips off but Hiromu blocks the knee. Taiji deflects the clothesline, boots, then runs, but Hiromu clotheslines at the ropes! Hiromu runs, Taiji reels him in, GERMAN SUPLEX! Hiromu is up!? Hiromu GERMANS Taiji! Both men rise, Taiji and Hiromu fire up to collide with clotheslines! Neither falls, Taiji runs but into a LARIAT! Hiromu can’t cover, he’s too exhausted! Fans build back to a rally as Hiromu rises. Hiromu fires himself up, fans clap along, and he drags Taiji to a suplex. Hiromu lifts, BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
Taiji survives again but Hiromu keeps his focus. Hiromu drags Taiji back up and fans rally. Hiromu dragon sleepers, lifts, but Taiji slips out to go after the bad arm! Hiromu resists, swings punches but Taiji ducks them. Hiromu wheelbarrows to a COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up again, Hiromu drags Taiji back up to the dragon sleeper and suplex, but Taiji slips out! Taiji gut wrenches, to the CIPHER UTAKI! But Taiji can’t cover, because now HE is too exhausted! Fans rally as Taiji goes to a corner. Hiromu stirs but Taiji rises. Taiji aims from the corner as Hiromu sits up. Hiromu stands, Taiji hits the tilt-o-whirl takedown to the YES LOCK!! Hiromu endures as Taiji cranks back on his neck and shoulder! Hiromu moves around, reaches, and gets the ROPEBREAK!
Taiji lets go in frustration but Hiromu isn’t done yet. Taiji takes aim, drags Hiromu up, but no Bloody Cross as Hiromu arm-drags out! Hiromu swings Taiji around, Taiji blocks the huricanrana to BUCKLE BOMB! But Hiromu rises up!! Taiji KNEES him, Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Hiromu runs, into Taiji’s LARIAT!! Both men are down again and the fans are thunderous! Taiji drags Hiromu up, the fans rally but Taiji goes for Bloody- NO! Fireman’s carry, CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu fires up again, drags Taiji back up to a fireman’s carry, and swings for TIMEBOMB!! Cover, TWO!?! Taiji survives and Hiromu is raging!
Hiromu uses that rage to power up and drag Taiji up again. Dragon sleeper, lift, and TIMEBOMB- No! Taiji fights through to INVERTED BLOODY CROSS!! Then Taiji drags Hiromu into the YES LOCK!! Hiromu flails, kicks, but Taiji just rolls him away from the ropes! The Yes Lock is on even tighter! Hiromu TAPS, Taiji wins!!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
The Timebomb has been defused! Bullet Club has even more gold now! Taiji mocks Hiromu with the belt that was just his before leaving. Will Bullet Club conquer the night with Evil and Naito still in the main event?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Dangerous Tekkers VS The Golden Aces!
It was only back in July that Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr. won these titles off Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi, but they made it feel like much longer with all the taunting they’ve done. But now, Dominion is revisited, and the Golden Aces have another chance! Will Ibushi and Tanahashi truly put the “golden” back in their team name?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and Taichi mocks Tanahashi’s muscular reveal while he takes off the cloak. The teams sort out, and we start with the Maestro, and despite Tanahashi really wanting to, Ibushi!
Fans rally right from the bell, Ibushi waits, and Taichi slowly circles with him. They approach, but Tanahashi points out ZSJ getting in! Ibushi kicks ZSJ down and then Tanahashi jumps in! The Aces go after Taichi together with clubbing forearms, then they double elbow ZSJ down. The Aces whip Taichi, double elbow him, Tanahashi drops an elbow, Ibushi corkscrew splashes! The Aces shake hands and drop elbows together! The fans fire up for the air guitar! Ibushi tags Tanahashi in and Tanahashi dares Taichi to stand. Taichi does, Tanahashi does and hits leaping forearms! Tanahashi DECKS ZSJ, but Taichi DANGEROUS SAIDOS! ZSJ DECKS Ibushi while Taichi covers, TWO!!
ZSJ digs his heels into Ibushi but Taichi toys with Tanahashi. Tanahashi rolls to the apron but Taichi pushes him off. ZSJ throws EuroUppers on Ibushi, Taichi drags Tanahashi up and scoops him, snake eyes on the railing! Tanahashi is down right in front of commentary, Taichi drags him back up, ZSJ keeps beating Ibushi up as Taichi chokes Tanahashi on the rails! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi keeps going but Ibushi turns things around on ZSJ! The ring count begins as ZSJ whips Ibushi into railing. The count reaches 10 of 20 as Taichi whips Tanahashi into railing. The count is 15, Taichi puts Tanahashi in at 16, just to bring him back out and whip into more railing!
Taichi takes his time fetching Tanahashi, and chokes him with camera cables! Taichi mocks Tanhashi, Ibushi rushes over but ZSJ drags Ibushi away in a sleeper! The ring count begins again, reaches 10 of 20 again as the Tekkers do whatever they want to the Aces. The count is 15, Taichi puts Tanahashi in at 16, but keeps him in this time for a cocky cover. Red Shoes refuses, he saw everything that happened. Taichi drags Tanahashi up to bump him off buckles. Tag to ZSJ, ZSJ drags Tanahashi into a full nelson, then spins him for a cravat. ZSJ cranks on the neck, then uses his legs to CRANK the neck! Cover, TWO!
ZSJ keeps close to Tanahashi and tags in Taichi. Tanahashi endures the chinlock with the boot digging in! Taichi kneels on Tanahashi’s chest, but he stops to tell Ibushi to stay back. ZSJ and Taichi now have reverse roles in cranking Tanahashi’s neck while digging in boots. Red Shoes reprimands, ZSJ stops but Taichi cranks a little longer. Fans rally for Tanahashi but Taichi tags ZSJ. ZSJ drags Tanahashi around by his ears, hooks the face, then wraps on a straitjacket stretch. The fans rally, Tanahashi fights up, pries free of the hold, and turns it around on ZSJ. ZSJ turns it back, drags Tanahashi down, and CRANKS his neck again!
Taichi tags in, he kicks Ibushi off the apron, then toys with Tanahashi. Fans rally up and Tanahashi gets angry with every toying kick. Taichi talks trash, Tanahashi throws forearms! Taichi chokes Tanahashi to the corner! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi stops, and whips Tanahashi corner to corner but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi blocks the gamangiri, hops up and leaps, crossbody! Both men are down and the fans fire up. Tanahashi and Taichi rise, crawl, hot tag to Ibushi! Ibushi blasts ZSJ off the apron, boots Taichi and whips, SPINNING POWERSLAM! PLANCHA onto ZSJ! The fans fire up as Ibushi keeps moving, standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he soaks up the cheers from the fans.
Ibushi drags Taichi up, full nelsons, but Taichi breaks free and elbows back. Taichi waistlocks, but Ibushi blocks the saido and elbows free. Taichi back KICKS, talks trash and then front KICKS! Ibushi just brushes that off to KICK back! Has Ibushi flipped the mean streak switch? Taichi stays standing, fans cheer as Taichi kicks back. Ibushi KICKS! Taichi shakes it off, kicks again, but Ibushi grits his teeth to KICK! GAMANGIRI outta nowhere! ZSJ DECKS Tanahashi and now Taichi has Ibushi to himself. Off come the pants! Taichi aims from the corner, but Ibushi blocks the superkick to back KICK! Taichi BOOTS, Ibushi keeps going, Taichi ROUNDHOUSES! But Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES back! Both are down and fans fire up!
The two stir as fans rally, Ibushi and Taichi crawl, hot tags to Tanahashi and ZSJ! Tanahashi blocks a boot to DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi stomps ZSJ to the apron, puts the leg through the ropes, for a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up as ZSJ writhes and Tanahashi grabs the legs. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but ZSJ gets to the ropes. Tanahashi lets go fast, waits for ZSJ to rise, and runs, but ZSJ counters Sling Blade to a backslide! Tanahashi resists, the two struggle but that bad leg hurts ZSJ’s chances. Taichi DECKS Ibushi then BOOTS Tanahashi! The Tekkers drag Tanahashi up to finish him! Red Shoes reprimands as Taichi chicken wings, but Ibushi missile dropkicks ZSJ down! Ibushi has Taichi, Tanahashi gives him the DRAGON SCREW!
Ibushi and Tanahashi now target ZSJ as they did a couple days ago, and he gets the DRAGON SCREW! Fans are thunderous as Ibushi takes care of Taichi. Tanahashi aims at ZSJ, but ZSJ counters Sling Blade to the arm scissors! ZSJ gets the other arm for Yes, I’m Far Away From Home!! Tanahashi endures as ZSJ keeps shifting, twisting and pulling!! Ibushi and Taichi are busy on the outside, ZSJ adds a leg! Tanahashi endures so much pain, Ibushi stares down at ZSJ. Ibushi pries Tanahashi free, wants to blast ZSJ but Taichi runs in with the metal fingers! Ibushi KICKS the hand away! V-TRIGGER for ZSJ! BOOT for Taichi! The Aces give Taichi the GOLDEN BLADE!!
Fans are thunderous as the Aces drag ZSJ up, GOLDEN BLADE!! Tanahashi is feeling the electricity, Ibushi keeps Taichi down with a PLANCHA! Tanahashi is up top, for the ACES HIGH crossbody! Then he goes back up, HIGH FLY FLOW!! But ZSJ moves!! It flops, and the Tekkers bring Tanahashi up, for ZACK MEPHISTO! Cover, the Dangerous Tekkers win!!
Winners: The Dangerous Tekkers, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
ZSJ and Taichi SURVIVE against the Aces! Ibushi is in shock that things turned around so suddenly. Will the Golden Aces find a way back to the titles? Or have the Tekkers shut them out for good?
IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championships: EVIL w/ Dick Togo VS Tetsuya Naito!
Speaking of Dominion revisited, the King of Darkness won the New Japan Cup, betrayed his friends in Los Ingobernables de Japon and joined up with The Spoiler and Bullet Club! His reign has defined the Summer Struggle, but will the Uncontrollable Charisma change it all back?
The introductions are made, but as Evil drops the Intercontinental belt at Red Shoes’ feet, Dick gets in Naito’s face. Naito kicks and throws him out! Fans cheer that, but Evil BELT SHOTS Naito with the heavyweight title! Evil was one step ahead and now he stomps Naito on the outside! The bell rings so this is on record, and Evil chokes Naito on the railing. Evil CLUBS Naito, then stomps him around. Fans are silently upset as the Bullet Club Low Sweet. Evil grins at the cameras but fans start to rally up for Naito. Evil drags Naito up and whips him into railing! Dick taunts Naito as Evil looks around for things. Evil has a pair of chairs! Evil puts one chair around Naito’s head and has the other one. Everyone knows Naito loves baseball, so Evil gives Naito a HOME RUN!
Naito writhes and Evil paces, and Evil poses as he stands on Naito. Evil eggs Naito on, gets back in the ring, and Red Shoes reprimands. Dick gets away with standing on Naito! Fans rally for Naito but Evil unties the blue corner’s buckle pads. Bullet Club loves that corner. Red Shoes starts a ring count, Naito stirs at 7. Dick taunts Naito but Naito stands at 11 of 20. Naito stands at 13, hobbles over at 15, takes a second and is in at 18! Evil stomps Naito down right away, then whips him into the bare buckles! Naito falls down, screaming in pain, but Evil just stands on him with a cocky pin. Red Shoes refuses to count but Evil is fine soaking up the heat. Fans rally, the app users cheer for Naito and boo Evil, but Evil brings Naito up.
Naito throws body shots but Evil whips him back into the bad corner! Naito writhes again but Evil mocks his pain. Fans rally, Evil drags Naito into a chinlock. Naito endures, even as Evil digs his knee in. Naito fights up, fans rally, Naito throws body shots. Naito runs, Evil dodges and Dick trips Naito up! Evil cools off but fans build to another rally. Naito stirs, Evil just soaks it all up. Evil drags Naito up, spins him for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Evil grows upset with Red Shoes, and the fans continue to rally for Naito. Evil paces, pretends like he can’t hear them, then drag Naito back up. Evil suplexes but Naito blocks! Fans rally more, Naito keeps blocking suplexes, and now Naito tries a suplex! Evil blocks, gets Naito up and over but Naito slips out to waistlock.
Evil elbows him away, whips Naito but Naito reverses, tornado but no DDT! Evil kicks the legs out, runs, but into Naito’s shotgun dropkick! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Naito and Evil stir as the rally continues. Naito sits up, Evil follows, and Naito throws haymakers and kicks. Naito clubs, whips, but Evil reverses. Evil swings on Naito but Naito ducks to baseball slide Dick! Fans cheer that, then Naito boots Evil to huricanrana! Evil gets to a corner, Naito runs and hits the rocket kick! COMBINACION CABRON! Naito poses as fans fire up again. Naito drags Evil up, turns him and hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans keep rallying as Dick coaches Evil.
Naito rises, brings Evil up with him, then swings him to a backbreaker and wraps on Pluma Blanca! Evil endures but Dick has a chair! Red Shoes reprimands, checks on Evil at the same time, but Naito lets go so he can swing on Dick. Dick gets away, Naito goes back to Evil but Evil kicks low. Naito blocks, Evil gets around and pulls hair! Naito breaks free, kicks but Evil blocks and hands it off to Red Shoes, and Evil mule kicks low! Evil grins and nods as he catches his breath. Naito rises as the fans rally again, and Naito gets to a corner. Evil runs corner to corner, Naito boots but is blocked! Evil turns Naito sideways, has him on the ropes, DRAPING STOMP! Evil soaks up the heat while Naito clutches his head.
Evil goes out to the apron and drags Naito up. Evil fireman’s carries but Naito blocks by holding ropes! Naito elbows and clubs Evil, Red Shoes tells Dick to back off, but Evil rakes Naito’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, Evil stops but fireman’s carries again. Naito fights out and sweeps the legs! Naito drags Evil around, DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Both men are down on the ground and fans cheer! Dick checks on Evil as the fans rally back up. Naito rises and a ring count begins again. Dick gets Evil some water, but Naito rises at 10 of 20. Naito drags Evil up, puts him in at 14, and fans cheer that this is continuing.
Naito gets up, drags Evil up to the top rope, and Naito climbs up to join him. Naito fires off forearms then steadies himself, SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO! Evil lives but Naito keeps his cool. Naito drags Evil up, hammerlocks and hooks, but Evil resists! Evil fights out, Naito CLUBS him on the back then stomps him. Naito gives toying kicks to Evil as he eggs him on. Evil grins as he stays down, it seems he’s learned from Jay White. Naito keeps kicking Evil, drags him up and whips, but Evil reverses and redirects into the bad corner! Naito hits the buckles and falls again, but the fans slowly build to another rally.
Evil and Naito slowly rise, Evil aims at Naito in the white corner, and hits a BIG corner clothesline! Evil hoists Naito up top, climbs up to join him, and fans are silently worried as Evil stands up. Evil stands Naito up, for a SUPERPLEX! Naito sits up but flops right over! Cover, TWO!! Evil is furious and so is Dick, but Naito still lives! Evil drags Naito back up, fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!?!? Naito survives and shocks Evil! Fans rally for Naito but Evil drags Naito back up. Evil slashes the throat, spins Naito around, but Naito denies the STO! Naito waistlocks, Evil rams Naito back into the bad corner! Evil whips, Naito reverses, TORNADO DDT! Both men are down but the fans fire back up.
Naito rises slowly, but Evil follows. Naito and Evil are in opposite corners but Naito runs for the rolling heel kick! Naito hammerlocks, hooks and lifts, GLORIA! But Naito doesn’t bother covering out of that, he stalks Evil and drags him up in the corner. Naito climbs, brings Evil in, TORNADO INVERTED DDT! Cover, TWO!! Evil lives but Naito isn’t deterred! Fans cheer as Naito drags Evil back up. Naito wrenches, but Evil rakes eyes! No Destino as Evil shoves Naito and gets in Red Shoes’ face. Dick SMACKS Naito with a chair!! EVERYTHING- NO! Naito denies Evil his favorite and ELBOWS him back! Fans cheer as both men lean on each other to stand. Naito fires off more elbows, both men fall to their knees again, but Naito gets up to fire off even more elbows.
Naito swings one more elbow, Evil waistlocks and shouts to Dick! Naito switches and shoves Evil into Dick! Naito kicks, whips but Evil reverses, and uses Red Shoes as a shield! Naito stops himself and that causes his leg to buckle! Both men are down again but the fans rally again. Evil pushes Red Shoes into the bad corner?! The bare buckles hurt Red Shoes and he asks what the hell! But this is so Dick can get in unrestrained! Dick stomps Naito, the app fans boo and jeer but Dick soaks up the heat. Dick drops an elbow on Naito and then has Naito set up for Evil. Evil drags Naito up, he and Dick give Naito MAGIC KILLER! Evil drags Naito around, but here comes BUSHI! Bushi won’t let this go and he dropkicks Evil down!
Bushi DECKS Dick and tells Naito to stay in this. But Gedo is here! Gedo goes after Bushi’s eyes! He insults Bushi and knocks him out of the ring! Gedo RAMS Bushi into barriers while Evil grabs more chairs. Evil aims at Naito as the fans rally. Naito kicks Evil first! Dick uses the SPOILER GARROTE! Dick chokes Naito, Evil JAMS Naito with the chair! But here comes SANADA! Sanada dropkicks the chair into Evil! And he dropkicks Dick, then fireman’s carries for the TKO! Gedo gets in to get a BOOT! CODE BREAKER! Gedo flounders out, Bushi and Sanada DOUBLE PLANCHA onto Gedo and Dick! LIJ keeps the Bullet Club stooges away so now it’s just Evil and Naito all alone! Fans are thunderous as Naito and Evil stir.
Evil and Naito slowly rise, and Naito dodges Evil to enziguri! Naito whips, Evil reverses but Naito hits leaping forearms! Naito aims from a corner, runs, tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Naito still isn’t done. Naito drags Evil up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirl but no Destino as Evil grabs Red Shoes! Evil mule kick LOW BLOWS Naito!! Evil runs, and LARIATS Naito!! Cover, TWO!!! Naito survives and Evil is furious! Evil seethes while the fans rally up again. Evil hobbles and wobbles but he slashes the throat. Evil drags Naito up, spins him around, but Naito elbows out of Everything. Evil still tries, Naito spins him, reels him in, escapes and flips over, but Evil falls so whatever Naito wanted, it was more like a sloppy DDT!
Both men slowly rise, Naito basement enziguris! Naito fires himself up, drags Evil back to his feet, but blocks the low blow! Red Shoes reprimands, Naito elbows and SLAPS! Scoop, VALENTIA! Naito drags Evil back up, tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Champion)
The Double Championship returns to Naito! Jingu is thunderous with this victory for LIJ over Bullet Club! Naito stands tall as he makes history by becoming a two-time double champion, as he was the one to start NJPW on this path. Naito is given a mic to speak to the fans both at Jingu and at home.
“Buenos noches, JINGU STADIUM~!” 21 years since NJPW has been here, and Naito is honored to have been part of this midsummer night main event. How did they like it? The fans cheer because they loved it! To win in Jingu Stadium, with everyone watching around the world, and those here enduring the heat, he thanks you for being part of it! But of course, with times being what they are with the pandemic and shut downs, we have endured, to see a bright light at the end of the tunnel! Let’s all overcome together!
Naito says that this is the end of the Summer Struggle, and though fans live aren’t allowed to shout even with masks on, he still wants to do the LIJ tradition from the heart. This is the best way to end the finale of Summer Struggle, especially in Jingu. “BUSHI! SANADA! HIROMU! TAKAGI! Y Naito! NOSOTROS, Los Ingoberrrrrrnableeees~! DE! JA! PON!!” The fans cheer and the fireworks begin! A perfect end to a powerful summer! Naito poses under the lights and the fireworks, this image alone might inspire young fans into becoming wrestlers the same way seeing wrestling in this stadium inspired him. Will Naito continue to blaze his trail in NJPW history now that he has both belts back?
What an incredible ending to Summer Struggle, and just an incredible event all its own! Wato and Kanemaru even put on a good match so there was no skipping anything! Kanemaru playing possum was both brilliant veteran work but also some confusing story telling, because I honestly thought he just landed safely out of Wato’s move for a second there. But it works to show Wato still has a ways to go, so there’s clearly going to be more with him going against Suzuki-Gun. Suzuki-Gun came out on top tonight overall, with Suzuki having a great match with Shingo and winning the Openweight title, and then to my surprise, Dangerous Tekkers retaining the tag titles. They pulled the rug right out from everyone at the end there with ZSJ and Taichi getting Tanahashi that quickly with the combo move. I’m starting to wonder if Ibushi still turns on Tanahashi, just as the Tekkers tried to do all this time.
The KOPW Fatal 4 Way was a lot of fun, I didn’t expect Yano to be stuck in the Paradise Lock that long but it did great to keep some lightheartedness in that match. And while I expected Okada to lose his own invention, I could not have foreseen it being Yano who came back around to win! This is the one thing Suzuki-Gun didn’t win tonight, and I was hoping Sanada would get it, but I’m not disappointed that it’s Yano. KOPW is going to have every match be a special stipulation as put forward and voted on, I’m just as curious as commentary about what Yano will come up with. And that was another thing not even really part of the show but great on NJPW as a company, they got English commentary going live with Japanese commentary!
I pretty much got the Junior Heavyweight and Double Championship matches backwards in my predictions Thursday. I thought NJPW would give us more feel good moments, but Hiromu losing and Golden Aces losing set us up for the happy ending of Naito winning! Hiromu and Taiji have a great match and of course the arm comes into play. Naito and Evil was incredible stuff, and it was great to finally have LIJ guys even things with Bullet Club. Sanada and Bushi take care of Dick and Gedo, but I almost thought that would lead to Naito losing so Evil can take on the rest of LIJ in his reign. We could still get stories like that, where Evil and Sanada face off as former tag partners and tag champions.
As for Naito, he wins because he vows to do double duty by defending each title individually. That is very daring, and it might even become a major thread in New Japan Road tour before we get to G1 Climax 30 in the Fall. The dates for G1 Climax were posted and wow, 19 events within 30 days from 9/19 to 10/18. That really jams a lot into a little time, but the G1 is mostly about the Heavyweight Championship. Maybe whoever isn’t in the G1 can take Naito on for the Intercontinental Championship just so Naito stays active.
My Score: 9.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (4/9/21)
205 Live nostalgia, anyone?
The Cruiserweight Division looks back before moving forward!
Now that there is ONE TRUE Cruiserweight Champion, the division moves forward. But with that, we also take a look back at some classic title matches!
- WrestleMania 34, WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- WrestleMania 35, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese; Nese wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- TakeOver 31, NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Nigel McGuiness opens the show!
“On the heels of the instant classic ladder match between Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin, welcome to 205 Live!” Tonight, we revisit some of the very best Cruiserweight title matches of all time! And not many come better than the WrestleMania 34 showdown!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!
Months before April 8th, 2018, this title had been vacated and a tournament had been put in place! Before they were #PRIMED and the (former) leader of Retribution, they were the Heart and Soul of 205 Live! The then 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, stands with the title belt to watch as theses two finalists battle it out for that very prize!
The bell rings and we begin. The fans are thunderous for them as they high-five and circle. Ali gets the waistlock but Alexander the standing switch and slam. The fans cheer for “Both These Guys!” while Ali gets up and puts on a headlock. Alexander lifts but Ali holds on. Alexander powers out, they collide, Alexander shoulders Ali down on the rebound. He wants Ali to show that heart, and they speed up. Ali headscissors Alexander and then dares Alexander to show the soul. They tie up and go against the ropes and into a corner. Neither man backs down until the referee separates them, then Ali shoves Alexander.
Alexander shoves back and dares Ali to hit him. Ali does with a chop, so Alexander responds with a kick. Alexander whips but Ali kicks him back, so Alexander rolls under and headscissors and dropkicks Ali down. Cover, TWO! Alexander puts Ali right in an armlock, but Ali works his way up and out. Ali whips but Alexander reverses, flapjack dropkick! Alexander staggers, Ali runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron to block a kick and hit a kick. Ali goes down, Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Down they both go, but Alexander is up first. He puts Ali in the ring, covers, TWO! Alexander keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Fans rally while Ali endures the squeeze.
Ali gets up and fights out of the hold, rocking Alexander with a forearm. Alexander responds with a running European Uppercut! He whips Ali corner to corner then throws him with a big back body drop. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool as he puts Ali back in the bearhug. Ali endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Ali gets up and fights back but Alexander knees low. Alexander chops Ali, then brings him up for a suplex, but Ali slips out. Alexander knees low again, then runs, but into Ali’s lariat. Ali starts to rally and chop, but Alexander reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop, and intercepts Alexander with a ROUNDHOUSE!
Alexander staggers, Ali rolls in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO! Ali brings Alexander up, but Alexander blocks and counters with a EuroUpper. Ali yanks his waistband and counters a kick with a kick! He runs, but into Alexander’s Spanish Fly! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Alexander gets up while Ali gets to a corner. Alexander runs in, but into Ali’s boot. Ali hops up, tornado DDT blocked! Alexander hangs Ali up on the ropes, then catches his breath before climbing up to join him. Fans anticipate something, and Ali resists. They brawl on the top rope, but Alexander gets the better of Ali, only for Ali to almost send Alexander tumbling down with his counter.
Ali and Alexander brawl more while trying to stand up, Ali hits Alexander with a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Even John Cena watching from the audience is stunned seeing that! Cover, TWO, and Ali can’t believe it! He shakes his head as he watches Alexander flounder about. Ali brings Alexander over to a corner but Alexander knows what that means and resists. Ali kicks Alexander, then climbs, but Alexander gets up to throw him off! Maverick and the referee check on Ali after his crash landing, but Ali is still good to go. Alexander waits as the count begins, but Ali dares Alexander to finish him. Alexander takes the bait, he puts Ali in the ring and covers, TWO!
Alexander gets frustrated, but tells Ali it’s already over. Ali shakes his head, it’s not over. Alexander kicks Ali and then stomps away in a rage! He yanks Ali up, back suplex lift but Ali slips out! Ali hits the Reverse-Rana! Alexander is dazed, and Ali gets going. Ali hops up, flying tornado DDT! Alexander lands in a drop zone! Ali goes up, and hits the 0-5-4! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Alexander survives with a foot on the ropes! Ali shouts for Alexander to stay down before he stomps him back. Ali climbs up again, 0-5-4 FLOPS as Alexander moves! Alexander scrambles to his feet while Ali drags himself back up. They run at each other, Alexander’s big back elbow rocks Ali, but he still gives another.
Alexander tells Ali “This is enough!” But clearly, it isn’t, and the third back elbow flips Ali over! Alexander lifts Ali up, for the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The Carolina Kid didn’t want to go that far, but he had no choice but to break the Heart of 205 Live. More importantly, Alexander finally proves he can win the big one! Drake Maverick personally presents the belt to Alexander, and the true celebration begins! The Age of Alexander would go on for quite a run, before running into an Aussie Juggernaut, who is featured in our next match!
Nigel McGuiness introduces the next match.
We fast forward an entire year to WM35, and Nigel was again there to see Tony Nese in his home state taking on the Australian Sensation, Buddy Murphy, in another incredible Cruiserweight kickoff to the Showcase of the Immortals!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!
The Aussie Juggernaut proved himself against some of the best in the Cruiserweight Division, from Cedric Alexander to Mustafa Ali to three opponents at the same time. And on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he went toe-to-toe with the Premier Athlete, a man who is a parallel to him in physique, a man who used to be his friend, and a man he betrayed over the greed for this title! But Nese had homefield advantage, and it came in handy!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of Body Guys!
Murphy runs right at Nese but Nese dodges the knee trigger! Nese fires off furious hands then counter punches. Murphy boots then goes up and over, but Nese keeps up to trip him up! New York fires up with their hometown kid, but Murphy dodges the triangle moonsault. Nese lands on his feet to slingshot and somersault to rock Murphy with a left! Nese puts Murphy in but has to push Murphy away on the top rope. Murphy comes right back but Nese resists the fireman’s carry. Nese fights back but still gets a gut buster drop on the buckles! Murphy checks his teeth while we go picture in picture.
Murphy stomps a mudhole into Nese but backs off at 4. Nese staggers up but Murphy is on him with a snapmare. Murphy swiftly kicks then covers, TWO! Murphy wraps Nese up in a chinlock but Nese endures. New York rallies behind Nese as Murphy shifts to a stretch. Murphy drives his elbow in again and again then wraps the chinlock back on. Nese fights his way up, we return to single picture as Murphy wrangles him back down. Murphy cranks Nese’s neck and leans his weight on him. Murphy’s eye is bloody but he ignores it while holding Nese down. Nese powers up and bumps Murphy off buckles. Murphy holds on but Nese bumps him again.
Murphy is still caught so Nese tries again, but Murphy uses that to throw Nese into buckles. Nese staggers into Murphy’s grip, tornado DDT denied with a snap suplex into the buckles! Murphy is down and Nese crawls to the opposite corner. Both men stand slowly, but Murphy walks into Nese’s elbow. Murphy comes back again but gets a haymaker! Nese rocks Murphy again, then again! Nese counter punches and snapmares to a facebuster. He runs, hits a knee lift and a heel kick! Murphy flounders to a corner while Nese nips up and fires up! New York fires up with him as he runs in for a big back elbow. Nese keeps moving but Murphy throws him to the apron.
Murphy turns around to counter and rock Nese, then climbs up for a suplex chance. Nese sweeps the legs and rocks him with a roundhouse, DRAPING triangle moonsault! Cover, TWO! Murphy survives, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese drags Murphy up for a whip but Murphy holds the ropes. Nese tries again but Murphy holds on. So Nese mule kicks Murphy into a whip. Murphy reverses but Nese slips under, pump handle but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Nese away! He hops up but Nese SHORYUKEN! Nese climbs up to join a dazed Murphy, but Murphy resists a superplex. Murphy bumps Nese on a buckle, then sunset flips over. Nese denies the powerbomb but gets the SUPERKICK!
Murphy brings Nese out, AK-DDT! Cover, TWO! Nese survives but Murphy keeps his focus. Murphy drags Nese up by his hair and prepares the pumphandle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to the TKO knee to knee trigger! Murphy suplexes but Nese slips out and shoves. Nese hits a REVERSE-RANA! Both men are down and New York cheers for this kickoff to the kickoff! Nese and Murphy get to opposite corners. Both men slowly stand as fans rally up. Nese and Murphy bob ‘n’ weave but Murphy gets his strike fest. Nese dodges the knee and goes Matrix to mule kick! Knee lift and roundhouse but Murphy jumps the sweep for buzzsaw, mule kick, but runs into Nese’s left forearm!
Nese runs but fakes Murphy out for an elbow. Murphy rebounds to LARIAT Nese off his feet! Murphy keeps going, but Nese back drops, to a VERTABREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nese cannot believe Murphy survives! Murphy crawls to a corner but Nese pursues. Nese runs side to side but Murphy bails out, so Nese FLIES! The flop takes Murphy out and New York fires up as Nese puts Murphy in. Nese climbs up high, 450 splash! Cover, TWO!! Murphy survives again and Nese is beside himself. Murphy gets back to a corner and Nese brings down the knee pad. But Murphy grabs Nese’s leg, so Nese stomps a mudhole into him. Nese runs but into a KNEE TRIGGER!
Murphy pump handles, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Nese still lives! Murphy is shocked but then he gets an idea. Nese is in the corner, and Murphy brings down his knee pad. Murphy runs side to side, but Nese SUPERKICKS him! German Suplex into buckles! PREMIER KNEE!! Cover, NESE WINS!!
Winner: Tony Nese, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The unstoppable HAS been stopped! The Premier Athlete was the Juggernaut’s kryptonite, and now he is the new champion! We know the Premier Era ended with a Triple Threat involving Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak, and the title itself would be integrated into the NXT system, eventually leading it to where it is today! As such, we relive a highlight of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship era!
Nigel McGuiness returns again for another match introduction.
The Cruiserweight title didn’t just make it to WrestleManias, it finally made it to NXT TakeOver thanks to Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
The year 2020 was certainly a mess, and the Irish Ace being isolated in the UK further complicated how this division worked. El Hijo del Fantasma won the “interim” title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, with some controversy to it, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! Swerve wanted revenge, but that is always hard to come by!
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!
Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!
Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all!
Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues. Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takedown into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists.
Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm! Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him!
Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified. Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner!
The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!!
Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes! Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!!
From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric! Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos!
Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar is worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up. Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up.
Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! And he would continue to rule over the division in this way, even to the point of having Wilde & Mendoza help at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! Will the tyrannical Emperor of Lucha always have this crown?
Nigel McGuiness returns once more to wrap up the show.
It has been a great experience on 205 Live to see some of the greatest title matches of all time. But speaking of great title matches, that makes you think of great champions. Just last night at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar proved he is a great champion by winning the Cruiserweight Championship Unification Ladder match! Relive that and both nights of TakeOver on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else! But what will see now in the future was we continue in the Era del Fantasma?
Recap episodes are always fun for looking back, but also because it’s super easy for me to cover them since it’s just copying, pasting and editing. I like the three they selected, basically giving us a look back at the last three years of the Cruiserweight Division, but it also makes us see how far 205 Live has dropped off in the WWE because Alexander, Ali and Murphy were so awesome in 205 Live. Nese is still here but more for lack of WWE/NXT not giving him more to do. Admittedly, Murphy has dropped off on RawDown, too, but at least WWE has tried with him. I almost feel like worst case scenario for Murphy is to come back and be the Aussie Juggernaut again. Escobar’s a beefy Cruiserweight, so is Murphy, let’s get something like that going again.
I am also disappointed, because it was advertised that we’d get a special look at Escobar VS Devlin, but that wasn’t there. I couldn’t have gone through the content too fast, a segment like that wouldn’t be just a few seconds long. Maybe there was another “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” moment and that information was put out without knowing what the final episode would look like. I wouldn’t mind if they gave us that segment for the aftermath NXT on Tuesday, and encored it on next week’s 205 Live, but WWE/NXT needs to get 205 Live going like how it was when Ali, Murphy and Alexander were here.
My Score: 8.1/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.9.2021
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
Now I haven’t kept close eyes on the product last few months, because personally, they weren’t grabbing my interest post Quarantine Comeback. But since my Puro Patronus Mathew Sarpraicone is having some computer issues, I guess I’m covering the first couple of these!
Let’s see how the tournament starts!
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi: Ishikawa wins via Thesz Press @9:09 – ** ½
- Suwama vs Kohei Sato: Sato wins via German Suplex Hold @10:49 – ***
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani: Otani wins via Overhand Chop @9:51 – *** ¼
- Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino: Jake wins via D4C @3:44 – **
- Zeus vs Kento Miyahara: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @18:16 – **** ¼
Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi
Doi is the least recognized name in the tournament this year, and last I was aware of his was during the closure of Wrestle-1. Most of his success has come in the tag team division, but he’s no real slouch. Interestingly, Ishikawa is the newest Gaora TV Champion, but also was tied heavily to Suwama and their Violence Giant tag team.
We see Doi come out fast trying to throw Ishikawa into the corners and take him off his base. Ishikawa towers over Doi, so Doi was underneath, literally and figuratively the entire match. As Ishikawa hit most of his signature spots, including the Mushroom Stomp from the middle rope, Doi had a moment where he locked in the Rings of Saturn; but Ishikawa is just too big.
As Doi tried to keep the pressure up, rope runs, big strikes, Murder Lariat attempts from Doi but Ishikawa stifles the surge with a Fire/Thunder Driver. They both stumble up, run the ropes a bit trading lariats and charges, Ishikawa jumps, hits a Thesz Press and manages to keep Doi down for the 3 count!
Suwama vs Kohei Sato
An early card match gives us the Triple Crown champion against one of his more recent challengers! Falling short for the Triple Crown a few months ago, Sato has a little bit to prove.
The match opens as a slugfest, Suwama gets the best of things and rides the power advantage over Sato for a long time. Sato is taller than Suwama but Suwama is more powerful and controlled the pacing. Things went to the outside and the former Violence Giant kept up to the name.
When the match came back in to the ring Suwama looks to try and finish things, goes for the Rolling Lariat, but it gets blocked. Sato starts fighting back, hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall, and then Suwama starts looking like he’s in trouble. Suwama hits the Double Chop comeback, and tries a Powerbomb, but Sato blocks it, Sato goes for a Powerbomb, but Suwama blocks it. The power struggle is tangible, but Suwama seems to be losing some of the back and forth. Sato rocks Suwama, locks in the German Suplex, and hits the German Suplex Hold.
Kohei gets on the board and avenges his loss! Depending on how the tournament shakes out, Kohei might get another shot at the title in the future.
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
The veteran Otani is putting Yuma through the paces early. He’s side stepping Dropkicks and just kicking Yuma to prove a point. Yuma tries to fire back, and then Otani continues to push off certain moves and be funny.
Yuma does manage to take advantage of his youth, but when he goes for the disrespect by attempting the Bootwash, Otani fires, lays out the younger wrestler and hits the Wash. Yuma goes to the outside, and when he turns back to the ring, Otani charges and hits a running Bootwash straight to Yuma’s face.
As Otani takes the role of the cagey veteran punishing the Young Boy, Yuma tries to find ways to come back, but things Otani stays a little ahead of the younger wrestler. Yuma gets a close moment where he locks in End Game, but Otani fights to the ropes. Otani then backs the younger wrestler down, hits Dragon Suplex, then goes for another, but Yuma blocks. Otani counters the block with a lariat, then another Dragon Suplex but Yuma kicks out at 1! Refusing to stay down, Otani goes into his bag of tricks and hits Yuma twice with Hashimoto style Overhand Chops, to finally keep the younger man down.
Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino
So there is some fun history between these two when Ashino brought Enfantes Terrible over to AJPW and took JIN down a peg. But then recently, Jake stole the Enfantes members from Ashino and betrayed JIN. Ashino is looking to avenge the turnabout, but Jake is trying to craft his Carnival masterpiece.
Jake definitely has the swagger of an anime villain. He widens his arms like he’s conducting a symphony and moves slowly yet deliberately. Ashino starts quick, hitting a Drop Toe Hold and going to the ground game, but Jake stabilizes. Ashino again brings Jake down after successive German Suplexes and goes for the Ankle Lock! Jake has trouble navigating it for a while, but eventually finds the ropes.
Retreating to the corner, Jake sees the referee, Ashino charges, Jake uses the referee shield and starts taking advantage. A few direct blows to the head, Giant Killing to the back of the head, followed by D4C. Jake drags the referee back, picks up the win and leaves cackling. He’s limping heavily, selling the viciousness of the Ankle Lock even in a short match, but yeah, not what I expected.
The match was used to help build Jake’s new persona and possibly give Ashino a steeper mountain to climb. But the length and abrupt end was definitely not expected. Interesting, but also a little off putting.
Zeus vs Kento Miyahara
Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.
The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.
Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!
Overall Score: 7.25/10
Now this wasn’t a bad start to things! Sure the Ashino/Jake Lee match did not go the way I expected, it definitely told enough of a story to prove it’s going somewhere. Shinjiro Otani gets a solid start to things, Shuji Ishikawa won a match he was supposed to and Zeus/Kento ended up being a solid day 1 main event.
Kento has started on the back foot before. I guess we get to see if he wins out until the Final Day, or if he has a larger struggle. Let’s check out the Day 1 Standings!
- Zeus: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Suwama: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Koji Doi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
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