The NEVER Openweight Six Man tournament is in round two!
NJPW pits Chaos against Los Ingobernables de Japon and Chaos against The Golden Aces and Master Wato! How do the finals take form?
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 Semifinals: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada, Sho & Toru Yano; Chaos wins and advances to the finals.
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Semifinals: The Golden Aces & Master Wato VS Chaos’ Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI; Chaos wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Semifinals: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos!
This Chaos trio is the Producer, the young shock master, and none other than the Rainmaker! Will they keep Bushi, Shingo Takagi and Sanada from getting the titles the Cold Skull says are his favorites?
The trios sort out and Yano talks some smack, but it is Sho who starts against Sanada. The fans rally already as the two circle. Sanada and Sho tie up, go around with waistlocks but Sanada gets a facelock. Sho slips out, Sanada keeps on him but Sho slips out again. They circle again, Sho gets the facelock, floats to a waistlock but Sanada rolls. Sho stays on him, half nelsons and rolls to the armbar but Sanada clasps hands. Sanada counters with a toehold but Sho uses his elbow to get a dragon sleeper. Sanada shrugs that off to crank on the foot, but Sho half nelsons again. Sho turns Sanada to get the mount and waistlock, then gator rolls him. Sho shifts to a cravat and cranks on the neck. Sanada fights up, Sho cranks harder, then snapmares, but Sanada handsprings through!
Sanada runs, sunset flips, but Sho armbars! Sanada rolls right back to Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Sho pops out to a cover, TWO! The fans cheer as the two stand off. Sho and Sanada watch each other, but back away to their corners. Yano tags in, and Bushi tags to meet him. Yano talks big as he dares Bushi to run, but then Yano rolls him up! TWO, Yano asks his team what happened. Bushi rolls Yano up, TWO! Yano kicks low then throws forearms. Yano runs but Shingo is in his way! Bushi rolls Yano up, TWO!! Yano asks what is going on here and then tags out to Okada. The fans rally and Yano claps along. Okada jumps in, but Bushi tags to Shingo. The Rainmaker and the Dragon circle and tie up. They’re in a deadlock but Shingo manages to power Okada back.
Okada turns things around and has Shingo on the ropes. Okada lets up, fakes the chop, but pats Shingo on the shoulders. Shingo gets riled up, but Okada kicks and headlocks him first. Shingo powers out, they collide shoulders, and Shingo rebounds to run Okada over! Fans fire up as Shingo drags Okada back up. Okada forearms but Shingo gives them back. They go back and forth with forearm after forearm, Shingo gets the edge! Shingo headbutts, runs but Yano cheap shots! Red Shoes reprimands, Okada whips, Shingo dodges to hit Yano back! Okada clubs Shingo then runs but Bushi cheap shots! Shingo drop toeholds Okada and Sanada hits a basement dropkick! Sanada hits Sho, too, and Bushi stomps away on Yano. Shingo drags Okada up to a chinbar and cranks on the neck.
Okada endures while Sho is sent into barriers and Yano is bumped off the apron. Shingo elbows away on Okada’s shoulder then brings him back up. Tag to Bushi and LIJ mugs Okada in the corner. Bushi turns Okada for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Bushi drags Okada back up, snapmares and chinlocks against the knee. Okada endures but Bushi also hooks his face! Red Shoes reprimands, Bushi lets go, but brings Okada up to bump off buckles. Tag to Shingo, Shingo rams his shoulder in over and over, then brings Okada out to suplex high and hard! Cover, ONE! Shingo keeps on Okada with an armlock, but the fans rally again. Okada fights up, Shingo wrenches but Okada throws forearms. Shingo still wrenches to the shoulder breaker!
Tag to Sanada, Sanada climbs and LIJ clubs Okada’s arm together! Sanada has Okada in a corner, wrenches and whips corner to corner, but Okada boots back. Sanada blocks that, trips Okada up, and fans cheer as he starts tying Okada up. Okada fights out of Paradise, Sanada kicks low and runs, but Okada FLAPJACKS! The fans rally as both men stir on the mat. Hot tag to Sho! Sho blasts LIJ’s corner then runs at Sanada. Corner clothesline, then a whip but Sanada reverses. Sho reverses back and kicks away to SUPERKICK Sanada down! The High Voltage combination has Sanada dazed, but Sanada still fights the German Suplex off. Sho clubs and runs, but Sanada elbows him down! Sanada standing moonsaults, but Sho dodges!
Sho waistlocks and dead lifts again, but Sanada resists. Sho still German Suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada elbows back then QUEBRADAS, but Sho gets clear to waistlock and slam Sanada down into the ARMBAR! Sanada scrambles, crawls, and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Sho lets go, but drags Sanada up to wrench to a shoulder breaker! And another! And another! Sanada drops to his knees but Sho aims at the arm. Sanada avoids the kick, whips Sho to a corner, but Sho dodges. Sanada tumbles out and springboards in but Sho gets clear. Sho runs into a scoop, dragon sleeper! But Sho powers out of Skull End, but Sanada slips down to get it again! Sho breaks free, dodges and spears, into a facelock!
Sanada goes to suplex but Sho lifts Sanada first! Sanada flails and suplexes back, to put Sho on the ropes for MAGIC KILLER! Both men are down, the fans fire up, and Yano returns to the corner! Sho crawls, hot tag to Yano! Bushi tags in and dodges Yano to enziguri! Bushi throws Yano out, builds speed, but Yano ducks down. Bushi stops himself and rolls back to taunt Yano. Yano runs in but Bushi kicks and whips him. Yano reverses, and goes to untie a buckle pad! Bushi rolls him up as the pad comes loose, TWO! Bushi kicks but Yano throws him down by his mask! Cover, TWO! Yano dodges Bushi, shoves him at Red Shoes, then rolls him up! Bushi rolls through to sit on the cover, TWO!! Bushi kicks low, whips but Yano reverses. Bushi boots back, hops up and leaps to missile dropkick! Bushirooni!
Shingo clobbers Okada and LIJ regroups. LIJ whips Yano corner to corner, then Bushi forearms! Sanada elbows, Shingo clotheslines! And DDT, to the basement dropkick sandwich! Cover, Okada and Sho break it! Shingo and Sanada throw them out and Bushi has Yano to himself. Bushi whips, Yano holds ropes and taunts, but Bushi dropkicks him out! Bushi builds speed, and DIVES, but Yano uses a Young Lion as a shield! Yano whips Bushi into railing! Yano then goes looking for something under the ring, and brings out spare tape! Not this again! Shingo stops Yano, takes the tape and tosses it, then ROCKS Yano.
Yano dodges Bushi and sends him into Shingo! The ring count hits 15 of 20 as Yano ties Bushi’s mask to rails! Yano hurries back in at 18, and the count hits 20!! CHAOS WINS!!
Winners: Chaos, by count out (advances to the finals)
Yano gets away with one! LIJ doesn’t get to go back to the titles, and Bushi’s mask strings have to be cut to free him! Will Yano, Okada and Sho be able to become champions with tactics like these?
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Semifinals: The Golden Aces & Master Wato VS Chaos!
This Chaos trio is the Fierce Warrior, Stone Pitbull and Head Hunter! But can they conquer Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi and the Way of the Grand Master to become tournament finalists? Are we going to get Chaos VS Chaos?!
The trios sort out and Tanahashi again insists he start. Goto steps up for Chaos, and the fans already rally for The Ace and the Warrior as they circle. They tie up, Tanahashi headlocks and grinds, and holds on as Goto tries to power out. Goto pries at the hold but Tanahashi cranks harder. Goto powers out this time, to get his own headlock! Tanahashi fights out but Goto counters the hip toss to a hip toss! Tanahashi is right up but Goto fires off forearms. Goto whips corner to corner, Tanahashi elbows back then springboard crossbodies! Ishii runs in but Tanahashi dodges, and sends him into Ibushi’s dropkick! Hashi runs in but is sent at Wato, only to forearm Wato first.
Ibushi kicks Hashi and the Golden Aces double whip. Hashi holds ropes, Goto runs in but the Golden Aces dodge and double dropkick him down! Hashi runs but into a double hip toss! Wato runs in, builds speed and basement dropkicks! Ishii runs back in, but gets body shots, forearms and a ROUNDHOUSE! The fans fire up for the air guitars! Tanahashi coordinates the team and they bring Goto back up. Tag to Wato and he KICKS Goto in the chest! Goto staggers, Wato whips and back elbows, back hands, but gets run over! Goto tags Hashi but both Hashi and Ishii clobber the other corner! Goto whips Wato corner to corner then sends Hashi in to back elbow. Ishii runs in to clothesline, then Goto adds his own clothesline!
Goto feeds Wato to the double shoulder tackle! Ishii and Goto Penalty Kick sandwich! Hashi SUPERKICKS! Ishii and Goto intercept Tanahashi, whip and double CHOP him down, then Hashi basement dropkicks! Ibushi runs in but also gets double kicks. Chaos clubs away on Ibushi’s back! The fans rally up as Hashi has Wato to himself. Hashi runs corner to corner to CHOP Wato! Then he reels Wato in for another CHOP! Hashi whips Wato but Wato reverses to dropkick Hashi down! Fans cheer as both men are down. Wato stands and fires up to fire off kicks. Hashi ducks the back hand to CHOP! But Hashi runs into the sobat! Wato runs to basement dropkick and cover, TWO! Wato drags Hashi back up, and fires off KICKS!
Hashi eggs him on so Wato kicks from all sides. Hashi CHOPS so Wato KICKS, repeat! Hashi blocks the next kick to elbow the knee! But Wato comes back with a step-up knee! Wato runs but Hashi SUPERKICKS! Both men are down again as the fans rally up. Hot tags to Ishii and Ibushi! Ibushi and Ishii collide, Ibushi ducks the clothesline but Ishii ducks the roundhouse. Ishii waistlocks, Ibushi elbows but Ishii ducks. Ibushi blocks a clothesline, Ishii blocks a kick, but Ibushi ducks to waistlock. Ibushi ducks an elbow, Ishii catches a kick, Ishii spins Ibushi but Ibushi fakes him out to elbow from the other side! Ibushi whips, Ishii reverses but Ibushi dodges. Ishii dodges but runs into a drop toehold! Ishii ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the moonsault, and the two stare down.
Ishii grabs Ibushi by the neck but Ibushi grabs Ishii by the neck back. They start throwing forearms back and forth! Ishii eggs Ibushi on but Ibushi gives it back. The fans rally as the forearms fly faster and faster! Ishii gets the edge as Ibushi wobbles, but Ibushi back kicks and chest kicks! Standing moonsault hits! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as the fans rally up. Ishii stands and Ibushi kicks him again. And again! Ishii eggs Ibushi on so Ibushi kicks again. Ishii catches it to throw a forearm but Ibushi forearms back. Ibushi throws more forearms but Ishii spins him for a suplex. Ibushi slips out, gets around Ishii and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Ishii rises and runs Ibushi over! But Ibushi staggers up, into Ishii’s spinning powerslam! Both men are down and the fans rally again!
Ishii tags to Goto, and he drags Ibushi up. Chaos double whips Ibushi but he dodges the clotheslines to DOUBLE PELE! All three are down now, and Ibushi heads for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace fires up as he catches Goto’s kick to DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi gives Ishii a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi gets Goto’s legs for a Cloverleaf! Hashi ROCKS Tanahashi but Wato springboard forearms Hashi down! Tanahashi drags Goto up and double whips with Wato. Wato whips Tanahashi in but Goto dodges! Goto LARIATS Wato, then runs to windmill kick Tanahashi! BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Goto keeps his focus as he and Hashi double whip Tanahashi. Hashi runs in to CHOP!
Hashi whips Tanahashi to Goto’s kick, and Chaos combines for the BLOCKBUSTER RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Cover, TWO!! Hashi and Ishii keep Wato and Ibushi out as Goto fireman’s carries Tanahahsi. Tanahashi fights out, kicks and runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES Goto! Ibushi boots Ishii, ducks the clohtesline and SNAP RANAS! Goto and Ibushi collide with clotheslines but Goto comes back to CLOBBER Ibushi! Goto aims at Tanahashi, to Buzzsaw, but Tanahshi catches it! Goto HEADBUTT! Reverse G T R! But then, dragon sleeper, TRUE G- NO! TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi keeps on Goto for a SECOND Twist ‘n’ Shout! Goto fights off the third, the fans rally up as the two fight for control. Goto suplexes, Tanahashi slips out to palm strike!
Tanahashi runs into the firemans carry! But Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES Goto down! Ibushi intercepts Ishii while Tanahashi crucifix pins Goto! Ishii barrels through to break it up!! Fans are fired up as the Golden Aces coordinate. Ibushi and Tanahashi bring Goto up, GOLDEN BLADE!! Tanahashi heads up top, Ibushi and Wato keep Hashi and Ishii out, but Goto avoids High Fly Flow!! Goto and Tanahashi are both down, Hashi is back on the corner! But so is Wato! Hot tags to the Head Hunter and Grand Master! Wato BOOTS Hashi, throws forearms over and over, then whips. Hashi reverses, Wato huricanranas! Wato runs at Hashi in the corner but Hashi dodges. Hashi comes back, spinning back kick! Hsahi hurries to suplex, to HEAD BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
Wato lives but Hashi keeps his focus. Hashi drags Wato back up, reels him in, but Ibushi returns. Hashi pushes Wato aside to mule kick Ibushi, and Ishii German Suplexes Ibushi out! Chaos double whips Wato, mule kick and blindside lariat to CODE BREAKER and GERMAN SUPLEX! Hashi fires up as he drags Wato up. Hashi reels Wato in, lifts, RUNNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!?! Wato survives but Hashi still has something to try. Hashi runs as Wato stands, HEAD HUNTER LARIAT! Cover, TWO?!? Hashi drags Wato up again, not done yet. Fisherman but Wato slips out and shoves Hashi into Ibushi’s boot! Goto runs Ibushi over but Tanahashi SHOTEIS! Tanahashi has Ishii, Ibushi missile dropkicks!
Hashi swings on Tanahashi but gets caught into chicken wings! ROUNDHOUSE SANDWICH! Wato heads up top with Hashi in the drop zone! But his corkscrew senton FLOPS as Hashi moves!! How did Hashi have the power to do that?! Wato slowly rises and fires himself up. Hashi also stands, Wato runs in but into a boot! Wato dodges Hashi to back kick and spinning roundhouse!! Hashi staggers around as Wato wrenches, tucks, GHOST PIN BOMB!?! Cover, TWO!?! Hashi survives whatever that just was and no one can believe it! Wato hits his boiling point and he brings Hashi up. Wato fires off strikes, and ROUNDHOUSES!
Goto returns, fireman’s carries Wato, SUPERKICK USHIGOROSHI! SLIDING LARIAT! Hashi tops it off with METEORA! Cover, but the Golden Aces break it!! Chaos throws them out as Hashi drags Wato back up. Hashi full nelsons, then pump handles, KARMA DRIVER!! Cover, CHAOS WINS!!
Winners: Chaos, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
We are! We ARE getting Chaos VS Chaos for the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships!! It’s a win-win as far as the faction goes, but which trio will be the golden one?
Despite the win, things are still very tense between Ibushi and Ishii. Tanahashi tries to keep the peace, Ibushi shakes hands and hugs it out with Goto and Hashi, but Ishii won’t let it go. Ishii CHOPS Ibushi! And again! Tanahashi tries to step in but Ishii CHOPS him, too! The Golden Aces step to Ishii but Hashi and Goto step in now. Red Shoes also tries to keep Ishii and Ibushi from continuing, but it also takes some Young Lions to help out. Will we see the Golden Star and the Stone Pitbull settle this regardless of where the gold goes?
After Ibushi and Tanahashi finally exit, Hashi gets the mic to speak. Hashi knows there’s just one more match in this tournament. “I know all about how difficult it is to face adversity.” These are uncertain times, and he’s been uncertain his entire career. He’s uncertain even now! But he vows to show us a dream come true! Remember these words after you see the finals: “Your life can change in an instant!” What happens when Chaos collides with Chaos in the Summer Struggle?
Wow! I did not expect any of this, and perhaps that is why NJPW did it! Chaos VS Chaos?! I really thought LIJ was getting in because those were their titles before being vacated, but I guess NJPW wants to start fresh in a lot of ways. Yes, Shingo has Suzuki coming for his singles title, as well as his limbs, but I would’ve thought they’d want him to be Mr. NEVER again. I also would’ve thought Golden Aces & Wato would win, and that match was definitely an incredible one, but Goto, Ishii and Hashi come out on top as three very strong veteran wrestlers. There are a lot of other things inside these great matches, such as Yano and Bushi now having issue, as well as Sho aiming at Sanada. Ishii and Ibushi even more clearly want to settle things 1v1, so that might be something we get during the G1 Climax that we’re still getting in September and October!
I feel like Okada’s team is the favorite, but that could be why Hashi’s team will end up winning, as it’s another surprise. Plus, Okada has his KOPW 2020 match with Yujiro Takahashi, so it’s not like he has nothing to do on the way to Jingu. NJPW is trying some different tactics in a time when the entire world has been different, so I commend them for that.
My Score: 8.7/10
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