The NEVER Openweight Six Man title tournament continues!
We already have members of Chaos and members of Los Ingobernables de Japon into the semifinals, but now we will see who joins them! How do the semifinals shape up after The Golden Aces and Master Wato take on Suzuki-Gun?
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.
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Chaos VS Taguchi Japan; Chaos wins and advances to the semifinals.
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Suzuki-Gun VS Master Wato & The Golden Aces; Wato & The Golden Aces win and advance to the semifinals.
PLAY BY PLAY
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Chaos VS Taguchi Japan!
One portion of Chaos has already moved into the semifinals with Sho, Toru Yano and Kazuchika Okada defeating Gedo, Jado and Yujiro Takahashi. But now Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI look to join them! Will they be denied by Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi?
The trios sort out and Honma insists he starts, because he wants the Stone Pitbull! Ishii accepts the challenge, and they tie up at the bell! Honma headlocks, Ishii powers out but the two collide with shoulders. Honma tries again but Ishii stays up. Ishii forearms, runs but Honma stays up. Honma forearms and runs, they collide, and Ishii roars! Ishii chops but Honma just takes it. Ishii chops more, Honma CHOPS back! Honma DOUBLE CHOPS then CHOPS again. He backs Ishii into the corner and tags in Makabe. Ishii fights them both off with forearms and chops but that’s 2v1! Honma and Makabe club away on Ishii, double whip and double shoulder him down! Hashi runs in but gets double kicks and a whip.
Hashi stops himself at the ropes, Goto runs in but Makabe and Honma dodge. Goto and Hashi run at Makabe and Honma but get pushed into each other! Taguchi runs him, DOUBLE HIP ATTACK! Goto and Hashi fall out of the ring, Makabe scoops Ishii for a slam! Honma and Taguchi both run, wobble, and falling headbutt! Taguchi gives his team the baseball signals, and it all boils down to the corner train. Makabe whips Ishii, but Ishii reverses while Goto and Hashi drag Taguchi and Honma out! Ishii corner clotheslines Makabe, Hashi and Goto hit the train on Makabe! Makabe is fed to double shoulders, then double Penalty Kicks! Ishii dodges Taguchi, Goto whips him, then double shoulder him down! Hashi basement dropkicks Taguchi!
Fans cheer as Chaos stomps Makabe. Ishii puts Makabe in a corner, tags in Hashi, and Hashi throws forearms on Makabe. Hashi CHOPS Makabe down, and Ishii gives him a kick. Makabe hits back but gets mugged, and Hashi CHOPS him down! Hashi tags Goto, Ishii comes in and they bring Makabe up. Chaos fires off fast clubbing forearms, and then Ishii talks trash as Goto stomps Makabe down. Fans rally up but Goto brings Makabe up. Makabe hits back, it’s a CHOPS fight! Makabe staggers and Goto clubs him down! Goto drags Makabe back up but Makabe resists so Goto stomps him. Goto brings Makabe up to whip corner to corner. Goto runs in to corner clothesline! Makabe resists the saido suplex but Goto ROCKS him with a forearm! Goto runs, ducks the clothesline but not the LEFT clothesline!
Hot tag to Taguchi! Hip attack for Goto! Hip attack for Hashi! Taguchi fires up but Ishii runs in! Taguchi dodges Ishii to hip attack Goto at the ropes! Taguchi dodges again to hip attack Hashi on the opposite side! And then he hip attacks Ishii down! Ishii bails out, Taguchi TRIANGLE PLANCHAS Goto! Fans cheer as Taguchi fires up the Funky Weapon. Taguchi puts Goto in, takes aim and springboards, but Goto gets under. Goto fireman’s carries but Taguchi slips off. Taguchi waistlocks, Goto elbows free and runs but Taguchi follows. Goto catches the hip attack but now Taguchi elbows out of the waistlock. Roles reverse as Taguchi runs, Goto follows but Taguchi catches Goto into a waistlock. Goto elbows free, fakes Taguchi out and then LARIATS him on the return!
Fans cheer as Goto tags in Hashi! The Head Hunter runs corner to corner but into Taguchi’s boot! Taguchi runs, but the Funky Weapon gets the Atomic Drop! Hashi runs, but into the hip attack! Fans rally again as Taguchi tags Honma! Honma runs Hashi over with a shoulder, scoop slams him, and then throws big forearms. Hashi ends up in a corner, Honma keeps throwing forearms. Honma whips corner to corner, hits a back elbow and a bulldog! Ishii returns and fires off on Honma. Ishii runs, Honma elbows him at the ropes and then throws more forearms. Hashi clubs Honma, he and Ishii double whip. Honma ducks the clotheslines to shove Ishii into Hashi. Honma spins Ishii around for a facelock, catches Hashi’s clothesline, and hits a DDT Complete Shot combo!
Fans fire up for Honma as he drags Hashi back up. Honma suplexes but Hashi resists. Honma keeps trying, fans rally as Hashi keeps resisting. Honma throws forearms then suplexes, but it’s Hashi who gets Honma up and over! Makabe runs into a mule kick, Goto runs Makabe over! Goto whips Hashi corner to corner at Honma for a CHOP! Hashi feeds Honma to Goto’s kick, and Chaos combines for a Blockbuster Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, Taguchi breaks it! Ishii hits Taguchi and throws him out. Goto and Ishii keep Makabe and Taguchi on the outside while Hashi powers up. Hashi runs, LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Honma survives but Hashi keeps focus. Hashi drags Honma up, brings him in, but Makabe gets back in to LARIAT Hashi down!
Ishii hits Makabe and whips, Makabe reverses, SPINNING POWERSLAM! Goto fires off on Makabe and gets Hashi to help. They double whip, Makabe breaks the line, but still gets in a waistlock switch with Goto. They go around, Makabe sends Goto into Hashi, then DOUBLE LARIATS them both! Makabe shouts to Honma and Honma rises. The fans rally as Makabe and Honma aim at Hashi. LARIAT SANDWICH! Taguchi adds the flying hip attack! GERMAN SUPLEX! Honma runs, FALLING HEADBUTT! Cover, Ishii barely breaks it in time! Makabe pushes Ishii out and goes after him while Honma has Hashi. Honma brings Hashi up but Hashi fires off strikes.
Honma HEADBUTTS, then whips! LEAPING HEADBUTT! Honma sits Hashi up, BATTERING RAM HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO!?! Hashi survives all those headbutts and shocks Honma! Honma drags Hashi back up, scoop slams him, and heads up top! Fans rally as he climbs, but Goto intercepts with haymakers! Goto fireman’s carries, but Honma fights free. Goto waistlocks Honma, Ishii runs in but Honma fires off forearms and elbows for them both! Goto and Ishii DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Hashi SUPERKICKS! Goto brings Honma in and with Hashi, they hit a DRAPING G T R!! BUTTERFLY LOCK!! Honma endures, but he taps! Chaos wins!!
Winners: Chaos, by submission (advances to the semifinals)
One faction has two trios into the semifinals! Has Chaos doubled their chances of taking the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships?
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Suzuki-Gun VS Master Wato & The Golden Aces!
The IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi, are more than glad to add to their collection, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru is along for the ride! Will ZSJ and the Sliest Wrestler in the World become #TwoTitleTekkers? Or will Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi and the Grand Master deny them that future?
The trios sort out and the Dangerous Tekkers can’t help but taunt Ibushi and Tanahashi. In the end, it is Tanahashi insisting he start and Ibushi reluctantly accepting that, and Taichi steps up for Suzuki-Gun. Fans rally already as Tanahashi waits on Taichi. Taichi slowly circles with him, they approach and tie up. Tanahashi puts Taichi on the ropes and Red Shoes calls for the break. Tanahashi lets up, but rushes at Taichi, only for Taichi to get away. Taichi taunts Ibushi but Ibushi tunes him out. Tanahashi and Taichi tie up again, Tanahashi headlocks, Taichi lifts but Tanahashi thrashes and clubs back. Tanahashi fires off fast hands then runs, but into Kanemaru’s cheap shot! GAMANGIRI!
Kanemaru drags Ibushi down and POSTS Wato! Kanemaru stomps Wato while ZSJ comes over to stomp Ibushi. Kanemaru even hits Tenzan because he’s there! Taichi drags Tanahashi up and throws him out to join the others. ZSJ is on Tanahashi with a guillotine facelock, then he and Kanemaru mug Tanahashi! Taichi still taunts Ibushi while he waits in the ring. Kanemaru puts Tanahashi back in, Taichi stands on Tanahashi’s head and neck, but lets up as Red Shoes reprimands. Fans rally up for Tanahashi but ZSJ tags in. The Tekkers stomp Tanahashi then ZSJ stands on Tanahashi’s leg! Ibushi gets back to the corner but ZSJ keeps Tanahashi away with a leg wrench. ZSJ drops down on the bad leg, and bends it in a vicious toehold!
Tanahashi gets the ropebreak but ZSJ holds on until the count. Kanemaru tags in, he brings Tanahashi up to whip and dropkick the legs out! Kanemaru turns Tanahashi over with a Half Crab! Taichi gets in Ibushi’s face and even gets his cheap shots in. Red Shoes reprimands but Taichi talks trash as he exits. Kanemaru lets Tanahashi go to SMASH the knee into the mat! Only Suzuki-Gun cheers as Taichi tags back in. Fans rally for Tanahashi as Taichi toys with him. Taichi stomps the bad leg, toys with Tanahashi more, but Tanahashi fires forearms back! Taichi KICKS the bad leg! Tag to ZSJ and he stands on the bad leg. ZSJ puts all his weight on the knee, then also stands on Tanahashi’s head.
ZSJ drags Tanahashi up to cravat, but Tanahashi fights back with body shots! ZSJ lets go to get the leg for a snap toehold! Taichi taunts Tanahashi while ZSJ taunts Ibushi. Fans rally but Kanemaru tags in to BOOT Wato down! Kanemaru stomps Tanahashi’s bad leg over and over! Tanahashi fights up to fight back, but Kanemaru rakes the eyes! Kanemaru kicks the bad leg, whips Tanahashi, but Tanahashi comes back with flying forearms! Fans rally as Tanahashi crawls for Ibushi, but ZSJ tags back in. ZSJ and Taichi loom over Tanahashi, then bring him up for the DANGEROUS SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ stays on Tanahashi with an armlock and Taichi joins in.
The Tekkers taunt Ibushi to do something about this, and Ibushi slowly gets in. Is Ibushi going to give Tanahashi the Kami-Goye?! He shoves Taichi and ZSJ away, but they dare him to do it! Ibushi grabs Tanahashi’s wrists, but throws forearms on Taichi and ZSJ! Ibushi is still Tanahsahi’s friend! HOT TAG! Ibushi springboards and missile dropkicks ZSJ! Ibushi fires off on Taichi, whips, but Taichi reverses, only to get the flying kick! Ibushi whips ZSJ, he reverses but Ibushi goes up and over. Ibushi SNAP RANAS and ROUNDHOUSES ZSJ! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up with Ibushi as he gets up. Ibushi drags ZSJ into a waistlock then the half nelson. ZSJ kicks free, wheelbarrows, and gets Ibushi down into the body scissors and sleeper hold!
Ibushi resists and moves around. Ibushi has ZSJ as a backpack as he stands up, but ZSJ shifts to get the arm! ZSJ has a cobra twist but Ibushi pops out to hip toss ZSJ away! ZSJ EuroUppers IBushi, but Ibushi forearms back. ZSJ EuroUppers again, talks trash, but Ibushi forearms back! ZSJ EuroUppers, and again, but Ibushi eggs him on. Ibushi forearms but ZSJ arm Peles and boots! Ibushi fires off a strike fest! Fans fire up again as Ibushi powerbomb lifts, but ZSJ slips out to a guillotine! Kanemaru BOOTS Wato and Taichi hits Tanahashi! ZSJ drags Ibushi to the mat, Ibushi endures, and the fans rally up. Ibushi pops out but ZSJ shifts to a triangle hold! Ibushi keeps going, as he dead lifts and POWERBOMBS ZSJ! Both men are down but the fans rally up!
Ibushi and ZSJ crawl, hot tags to Kanemaru and Wato! Kanemaru hits Wato first, whips but Wato reverses to dropkick him down! Wato fires off kicks then whips. Kanemaru puts Wato on the apron but Wato shoulders back. Wato climbs up, springboard flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru survives but Wato isn’t done with him! Wato drags Kanemaru up, fires off more kicks, but Kanemaru ducks one to rake eyes! Wato still kicks again, then runs, into a dropkick! Kanemaru fires himself up as he drags Wato to a scoop and dragon sleeper. Wato spins out, kicks and sobats! Both men are down and Tanahashi returns! Taichi returns for his corner, hot tag to The Ace! Tanahashi has Kanemaru and throws forearms.
Tanahashi whips corner to corner, runs in, but blocks the boot! DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi crossbodies the Tekkers off the corner! Ibushi joins in, the Golden Aces drag Kanemaru up to double whip. Kick, SLING BLADE! Taichi runs in to get double elbows! The Golden Aces drag Kanemaru back up, GOLDEN BLADE! ZSJ runs in but gets double elbows! Wato joins in, he builds speed to TORNILLO ZSJ down! Tanahashi is up top, HIGH FLY FLOW, but onto knees!! Kanemaru saves himself but still has to crawl to his corner. Fans rally up, tag to Taichi! Taichi clobbers Ibushi and AX BOMBERS Tanahashi! Cover, TWO!! Taichi slashes his throat to finish this! He lifts Tanahashi and STEALS Last Ride! Taichi high stacks the cover, but Ibushi and Wato both break it!
ZSJ decks Wato, Ibushi ROCKS ZSJ! Ibushi fires off on both Tekkers, but is sent into the corner. EuroUpper and low sobat! The Tekkers go after Tanahashi, chicken wings and the DRAGON SCREW! And then ANOTHER DRAGON SCREW! Not again! This is how they won the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles in the first place! Off come Taichi’s pants! Taichi aims, ZSJ keeps Tanahashi in place, SUPERKICK! Taichi drags Tanahashi up and ZSJ helps get the Alabama lift. But Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES ZSJ, then ROUNDHOUSES Taichi! Tanahashi matchbooks Taichi, Tanahashi’s team wins!!
Winners: Master Wato & The Golden Aces, by pinfall (advance to the semifinals)
But Suzuki-Gun will not settle for that! They attack back, CALF KILLER on Tanahashi! The Young Lions rush in but get hit for their trouble! ZSJ pushes Tanahashi out of the ring and into Tenzan! Suzuki-Gun are sore losers, but still point out that they have the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles. Taichi tells Ibushi, “This is your last chance. Ditch him, join us. Make your decision.” It’s obvious Ibushi doesn’t need Tanahashi. Does Ibushi still think Tanahashi is championship worthy? Does Ibushi still think Tanahashi can help him win the tag titles? Wouldn’t Ibushi have more fun in Suzuki-Gun? What’s Ibushi’s decision?
Ibushi says he’s made his choice, and the answer is obvious. He stays with Tanahashi! Ibushi and Wato help Tanahashi to the back and the fans cheer his loyalty! Taichi is clearly upset by Ibushi’s choice, and throws the Six Man belts around out of frustration. He and ZSJ collect their belts and leave. Will the Golden Aces and Wato make it to the finals and have gold together?
A pretty good second half of the quarterfinals, but if it weren’t for the way the bracket was made, I wouldn’t have chosen either of today’s winners as finalists. We’re getting LIJ VS Chaos’ Okada, Yano and Sho, which actually sounds like it should’ve been the title match. The other part of Chaos in Goto, Ishii and Hashi had a really good match with Taguchi Japan, but that was the one “scrub” match of the tournament. We got a great match out of Suzuki-Gun VS Golden Aces and Wato. There was a lot of story because of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team title feud, and it seems there was tension brewing between Ibushi and Tanahashi after a lot of 8 Man Tags they lost during these other Summer Struggle events. Guess those aren’t always fillers. But in the end, it seems like they’ll circle back to the tag titles for Jingu, that will be a great blow-off for these teams.
My Score: 8.2/10
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