Mitchell’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 15 Results & Report! (1/5/21)
WrestleKingdom 15, Night 2!
NJPW’s massive new year event is wrapping up!
Night One was big but Night Two will be even bigger! Will Sanada settle things with Evil? Will Jay White once again be on top of NJPW?
- KOPW 2021 Fatal 4 Way: Toru Yano VS Bad Luck Fale VS Chase Owens VS BUSHI; Yano wins and is the provisional Mr. KOPW 2021.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan; Desperado & Kanemaru win and retain the titles.
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Jeff Cobb; Takagi wins and retains the title.
- SANADA VS EVIL; Sanada wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
- IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Jay White w/ Gedo; Ibushi wins and retains the titles.
PLAY BY PLAY
KOPW 2021 Fatal 4 Way: Toru Yano VS Bad Luck Fale VS Chase Owens VS BUSHI!
Mr. KOPW 2020 is back in the hunt! But with two Bullet Club members in this match, are the odds against him? Or will the Producer find a way like he always has?
Yano is wary as Owens and Fale wait for him at the ropes. They hold the ropes open for him to enter but he wants them to back off. The ref tells Bullet Club to back away but they tell the ref to shut up. Bushi also stays out for the moment, much like he did during the New Japan Rambo. The bell rings so this match is starting as it is. Owens and Fale figure this is every man for himself, and they throw up the Too Sweet, but Fale makes it an eye poke! Cover, but Bushi and Yano both get in to break it! Not quite the finger poke of doom but it was close! Fale goes after Yano, Owens goes after Bushi! Fale throws Yano out then pursues while Owens keeps on Bushi.
Fale whips Yano hard into railing while Owens runs Bushi over. Bullet Club regroups and goes after Bushi in a corner. They double whip Bushi corner to corner, but Bushi boots Owens away, then boots Fale. Bushi hops up to leap and double missile dropkick! Owens falls, Fale staggers, Bushirooni, but Yano rolls Bushi up! TWO, and Bushi kicks to whip Yano. Yano reverses, to undo the buckle pad! Yano then dodges Bushi to send him into bare buckles! The ref reprimands but there’s no stopping Yano now! Except Owens grabs the pad and takes it away. Bushi kicks Yano low, whips him to Owens to SMACK! Home run for Owens!
Owens throws up the Too Sweet to say good job, but Bushi rakes his eyes! Bushi whips Owens, Owens reverses but Bushi huricanranas Owens out! Bushi runs but Fale trips him and drags him out hard! Owens clubs Yano, then puts him in and Fale is there. Yano is afraid and begs for mercy but Fale stomps him down! Owens and Fale split the wishbone on Yano! Who gets the wish? Fans rally up but Fale and Owens put Yano at the ropes for the “back massage,” aka standing on Yano with their combined weight! Fans still rally for Yano but Fale tells them to shut up. Fale and Owens mug Yano with kick after kick.
Fale covers but he holds the ropes. The ref won’t allow that, but Owens stands on Yano’s hand so he can’t reach. Fale and Owens double whip, body shot to knee lift to LARIAT! Owens covers, but Bushi breaks it! Fale stomps Bushi, then he and Owens drag Bushi up to whip corner to corner. Bushi hits bare buckles, but he dodges Owens to put him into those same buckles. Bushi boots Fale, then BULLDOG DROPKICK COMBOS! Fans fire up as Bushi baits Fale and dumps him out! Bushi builds speed but has to stop as Fale staggers. Bushi PLANCHAS instead! Direct hit, but then Bushi runs to DIVE onto Owens! Direct hit into railing!
Bushi fires up and puts Owens in and fans fire up with him! Bushi FISHERMAN SCREWS Owens, covers, but Yano breaks it! Yano drags Bushi up, and whips him into the bare buckles! But Fale runs Yano over! Fale whips Yano, Yano holds ropes then dodges Fale to SLAP him! Yano scoops but falls over with Fale’s weight! Cover, Bushi breaks it! Fale whips Bushi but Bushi dropkicks the leg out! Owens runs in but Bushi dodges and the BOOT hits Fale! Bushi runs but Owens spins him to a backslide. Bushi slips out, Owens tries to tuck him in but Bushi fights out. Owens ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! BACKSTABBER! Bushi goes up and fans fire up, MX- BLOCKED!
Owens bell claps Bushi, reels him in and tucks the arms, but Bushi fights out to back drop! Owens sunsets but Bushi sits down, TWO! Bushi knees low, runs but into the JEWEL TRIGGER! Owens calls to Fale and they combine, GRENADE GERMAN! Bridging cover, but Fale sweeps Owens’ legs! Fale takes the cover, but Owens breaks it! Bullet Club is arguing over who gets to win! “I win, we win!” “No, you win, you win. If I win, we win!” The ref tries to get them to stop arguing, but they both go after him! Yano sneaks in to DOUBLE LOW BLOW Bullet Club! Then he covers Bushi! Yano wins!!
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall (provisional Mr. KOPW 2021)
See? Yano found a way to win! But he only had to be Mr. KOPW 2020 for a few months. Will Yano be able to hold onto this new trophy for an entire year?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan!
Suzuki-Gun’s Rogue Luchador was so close to being Best of the Super Juniors, but he and the Heel Master still have a prize to defend! Will they thwart the Funky Weapon and Way of the Grandmaster to open the new year?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the teams sort out. Desperado starts against Wato, and Wato starts with a BIG shotgun dropkick! Desperado knocks into Kanemaru and then Wato stomps Desperado down! Wato throws forearms, knees, and more forearms! Desperado is on the ropes and he wants time, but Wato throws more forearms and stomps. Wato whips, Desperado reverses but Wato BOOTS Kanemaru! Wato dodges Desperado, but Desperado boots back! Desperado CHOPS, runs, but Wato puts him on the apron. Wato sweeps the legs, fans fire up with him as he builds speed, and Wato TORNILLOS! Direct hit and Desperado is sent into railing!
Fans fire up as Wato puts Desperado in the ring and stomps him down. Wato throws a big forearm and puts Desperado in the corner. Tag to Taguchi and Wato brings Desperado up. Taguchi is up top and he drops an ax handle on Desperado’s arm. Taguchi gives Desperado point blank hip attacks, then runs, but Desperado runs the other way. Taguchi runs, and dares Desperado to crisscross with him. Desperado just watches Taguchi go back and forth over and over, until Kanemaru trips Taguchi up! Desperado sucker punches Wato, Kanemaru whips Taguchi into railing! Kanemaru wraps Taguchi’s leg around railing and BOOTS it!
Desperado drags Wato up and whips him into Tenzan! Kanemaru clubs Taguchi down then stomps the leg. Kanemaru drags Taguchi up and puts him in, and Desperado goes after the leg with a knee drop! Tag to Kanemaru and Kanemaru stomps Taguchi’s leg. Kanemaru YANKS on the leg, then Desperado gets in with a chair! The ref tells Desperado to go to the corner but Desperado distracts the ref. Kanemaru drags Taguchi over to the chair to SMASH the knee down on it! Taguchi writhes and Desperado taunts Wato but the ref keeps Wato back. Kanemaru tags Desperado and Desperado covers, TWO!
Desperado stomps Taguchi’s leg, talks trash then drags him up, but Taguchi CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! And again! Desperado kicks the bad leg, then sucker punches Wato! Tag to Kanemaru and Kanemaru drags Taguchi up to whip to ropes, and dropkick the legs out! Cover, TWO! Taguchi rolls away but Kanemaru stomps his leg down. Kanemaru talks trash as he keeps stomping, then he runs, only for Taguchi to block the kick! Taguchi throws forearms but Kanemaru rakes eyes! Kanemaru whips, Taguchi reverses, but Kanemaru holds ropes to deny the hip attack! Fans rally as Kanemaru runs, Taguchi somersaults to HIP ATTACK! Hot tag to Wato!
Wato DECKS Kanemaru, DECKS Desperado, then gets around Kanemaru for a SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up as Wato goes to the apron. Wato springboards in, FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Wato keeps focus as he drags Kanemaru up. Wato wrenches, reels him in, but Kanemaru holds off the Mouse Trap! Wato knees low, runs, but the ref is used as a shield! Kanemaru BOOTS, whips and runs in at the corner, but Wato elbows him away. Wato runs, the ref is used as a shield again, and Kanemaru rakes eyes! Wato still back kicks, and he runs again, but again the ref is used as a shield!
Wato shoves the ref back at Kanemaru, Kanemaru shoves him away, and Kanemaru ducks the Dreamcast Kick! Kanemaru pushes the ref yet again, and he ENZIGURIS Wato down! Fans cheer that creative exchange and Kanemaru tags Desperado. Desperado talks trash as he stomps Wato, but Wato kicks! Desperado blocks it to elbow the leg, then he reels Wato in for a suplex. Wato slips out, spins Desperado and KICKS him down! Fans fire up as Wato goes to his corner, tag to Taguchi! Taguchi aims and runs, but into an atomic drop! Desperado pushes Taguchi to a corner but Taguchi goes up the corner and headscissors.
Desperado blocks the throw, so Taguchi reels him into the Funky Weapon! Taguchi rams Desperado into his own ass again and again and again! And again! Fans fire up and Taguchi runs, HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up even more and Taguchi drags Desperado back up. Taguchi suplexes, uno amigo! Dos amigos! THREE A- NO! Desperado blocks to suplex but Taguchi fights that off, THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO! Desperado survives but Taguchi keeps his cool. Taguchi drags Desperado back up, hooks the arms but Desperado fights out to Guitarra, but Taguchi slips out! Taguchi gets Desperado in the inverted Gory Especial, but Desperado fights out of the Vertebreaker to torture rack!
Taguchi fights that off, ducks the straight right, to INVERTED EXPLODER! And KIP UP! Fans fire up as Taguchi calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORAYO!” BUM- Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Wato is back but Kanemaru DECKS him! Desperado gives Taguchi a SHIN BREAKER, and Kanemaru dropkicks the leg! STRETCH MUFFLER! Kanemaru keeps Wato down with a headlock, but Taguchi moves around! Desperado gets NUMERO DOS! Fans rally, Taguchi rolls but Desperado holds on! Wato gets in to CLUB Desperado down! Taguchi is free but damage has been done. Kanemaru drags Wato out to ROCK with haymakers!
Desperado fires up, reels Taguchi in, but Taguchi fights off the lift! Desperado kicks the bad leg, tries again, but Taguchi trips him to OH MY GAH ANKLE! Desperado flails, reaches around, but Taguchi drags Desperado away. Wato is in, they put Desperado on ropes, Wato hits 619! Taguchi chicken wings Desperado, DODON BUSTER! Cover, but Kanemaru gets past Wato to break it! Wato throws Kanemaru out, then coaches Taguchi up. Taguchi drags Desperado up while Wato climbs but Kanemaru anchors Wato! Taguchi throws Desperado away to DECK Kanemaru! ENZIGURI for Desperado!
Taguchi drags Desperado back up, chicken wings again, DODON- VICTORY ROLL! TWO!! Wato was a split second behind breaking it, but he spins Desperado to the MOUSE TRAP DRIVER!! Then Taguchi hits BUMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?!? Kanemaru CLOBBERS Wato on the outside but Taguchi drags Desperado up. Desperado reaches for ropes, Kanemaru rushes in with his whiskey bottle, but Taguchi shoves Desperado into Kanemaru! Taguchi brings Desperado up but STRAIGHT RIGHT! PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, Suzuki-Gun wins!!
Winners: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
Taguchi was so close but still so far from having the tag titles! Will Desperado & Kanemaru hold onto these titles for a long, long time? But when Kanemaru goes to add insult to injury, Tenzan runs him and Desperado off! Will Kanemaru & Desperado have to be very careful who they bully?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Jeff Cobb!
The Last Dragon and the Hawaiian Hulk threw down in World Tag League 2020, and weren’t satisfied with how it all ended. Now they throw down on the biggest stage of NJPW’s calendar, who will be on top of NJPW’s most versatile division?
Fans cheer and rally as the two stare down from across the way. Takagi approaches, Cobb follows and they tie up. Cobb shoves Takagi away, they tie up again and Cobb shoves Takagi away again. They get forehead to forehead, shove back and forth, then the forearms fly! Fans fire up as they’re fast and furious already! Neither man is backing down but Takagi gets the edge. Takagi headlocks, Cobb powers out and the two collide. Neither falls so Takagi runs again. Takagi rams Cobb, Cobb rebounds but blocks the hip toss! Takagi keeps trying but Cobb throws a body shot. Cobb swings but Takagi ducks and they collide again.
Cobb rebounds, rams Takagi to a corner, but Takagi dodges as Cobb runs in. Takagi hits that hip toss! Fans fire up as Takagi keeps moving, and Takagi runs Cobb over! Cover, ONE!! And with power enough to send Takagi to ropes! Takagi is surprised but he keeps moving. Cobb drops, hurdles and dropkicks Takagi down! Fans cheer the insane athleticism from Cobb! Cobb whips Takagi out hard, and fans rally up as Cobb goes out after him. Cobb CLUBS Takagi hard in the back! And then headbutts him in the back, too! Cobb brings Takagi around, and whips him into railing! The ref wants this to return to the ring but Cobb CHOPS Takagi, then whips him again.
Takagi reverses but Cobb blocks to reverse again! Cobb sends Takagi into railings, but Takagi comes back, only to run into an OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Fans cheer the superhuman strength! The ref checks on Takagi but he’s somehow okay to continue. Cobb goes to the ring as fans rally, “TA-KA-GI!” A ring count begins and climbs but Cobb goes out to fetch Takagi. Cobb puts Takagi in to win this properly and fans cheer. Cobb stomps Takagi, knees him against ropes, then CLUBS him on the back. Cobb whips Takagi to ropes then elbows him down hard! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Takagi refuses to stay down and Cobb grows frustrated.
Cobb drags Takagi up, wraps him in a bearhug, but Takagi endures. Takagi bell claps over and over until Cobb lets go. But Cobb still suplexes Takagi up and over! Cover, TWO! Cobb slaps Takagi around and eggs him on. Takagi gets up, wraps arms around Cobb, but Cobb elbows free. Cobb runs but into Takagi’s elbow! JAB! LARIAT- Cobb stays up!? Cobb shoves Takagi to elbow, JAB, and- No, Takagi catches the clothesline into a waistlock! Cobb resists the lift, they go to ropes, and Takagi uses the rebound for the SAIDO! Fans fire up while Cobb tumbles to the ropes. Fans rally behind Takagi as he goes over to Cobb on the apron.
Takagi drags Cobb up and fireman’s carries, but Cobb blocks! Cobb shoves Takagi away, Takagi elbows back but Cobb CLUBS him! Cobb reels Takagi back in, hoists him up top, then gets him for a crucifix! Takagi slips free, runs and BLASTS Cobb off the apron! Takagi keeps moving to FLY!! The somersault tope takes Cobb down at the ramp! Fans fire up again as Takagi gets to his feet first. The ring count starts, Takagi takes a moment but puts Cobb in at 8 of 20. Cobb gets up, Takagi runs in at the corner, corner clothesline to DDT! Takagi goes up top?! FALLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Takagi keeps focus as fans continue to rally up.
Cobb rises, Takagi brings him up, but Cobb resists the Gory Especial! Cobb swings Takagi to a corner, runs in but into boots! Takagi runs but into an ATHLETIC PLEX! Both men are down and fans fire up! Cobb and Takagi go to opposite corners, Cobb runs in and leaps for the big uppercut! Takagi wobbles into the gut wrench suplex! Cobb rolls through to keep the gut wrench and suplex again! Cobb isn’t done there, but Takagi holds off the third. Cobb shifts to a powerbomb but Takagi RANAS?! Cobb staggers into the Gory Especial! That’s a lot to lift, though! Cobb turns things around to get the crucifix! SIT-OUT RAZOR’S EDGE!! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and fans are thunderous!
Cobb gets up first and drags Takagi up to whip. Takagi holds ropes and then BOOTS Cobb! Takagi runs but Cobb LARIATS! But Takagi fireman’s carries to a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Fans fire up again as both men slowly rise. Cobb goes to a corner, Takagi fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” and fans clap along! Takagi runs in at the corner, BIG clothesline! Takagi hoists Cobb up top, climbs up to join him, and goes way up, for a SUPERPLEX! Fans are thunderous again as Takagi says that’s still not enough! Takagi drags Cobb back by his legs, wheelbarrow GERMAN! But again, Takagi knows that’s not enough to stop Cobb, so he brings Cobb back up.
Takagi runs, SLIDING- Cobb stops Takagi cold! And hits an EXPLODER! Takagi gets up, and he gives Cobb an EXPLODER! Cobb is dazed but sits up and Takagi shouts at him. The two titans head for each other, they give junkyard dog headbutts, then start giving SLAP after SLAP! And forearm after forearm! Cobb gets the edge, but Takagi gives it back from all sides! Takagi eggs Cobb on, Cobb ROCKS him! Cobb talks trash, Takagi JABS back! Cobb SUPERKICKS, Takagi LARIATS! Cobb stays up to DEAD LIFT GERMAN! But Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS! Takagi hits Cobb so hard, TAKAGI falls out of the ring! Fans rally up as both men are down and a ring count starts.
Takagi stirs, drags himself up at 8 of 20, but flops back down. Takagi gets back up at 12, staggers at 14, still flounders at 17, but jumps in at 19.9! Into a PILEDRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Fans are thunderous again as Takagi survives! Cobb stalks Takagi to ropes, drags him up, whips him to ropes, but Takagi flops over! Cobb hauls Takagi back up, reels him in, but Takagi slips out to CHOP BLOCK the leg! Cobb hobbles, Takagi gets the leg, DRAGON SCREW! Takagi isn’t done there, he roars and pump handles Cobb, for MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO?!!? Cobb survives but Takagi is too sore to be frustrated. Fans rally back up, Takagi drags himself over to drag Cobb back up.
Takagi point-blank lariats, and again, but Cobb stays up. Takagi keeps trying, but Cobb headbutts! Cobb runs, Takagi clotheslines him at the ropes! Takagi runs, Cobb dodges, GERMAN! Cobb whips, scoops, TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! But Cobb can’t cover, his leg holds him back!! His leg couldn’t support the weight that long! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Cobb gets that leg for another cover, TWO!!! Takagi survives again and Cobb is shocked! Takagi sits up in a daze but Cobb hobbles over. Cobb brings Takagi to the corner, climbs up, and dead lifts! Takagi stops the superplex halfway but Cobb throws forearms and headbutts!
Takagi resists the scoop, headbutts back, then bumps Cobb off the buckles! Takagi goes around to bring Cobb off the corner for a POWERBOMB! Both men are down but the fans are still fired up! Takagi gets back to the corner and he shouts at Cobb. Cobb rises slowly as the fans rally up. Takagi powers up and runs, PUMPING- No, Cobb elbows, JABS and LARIATS! Whip and scoop, but Takagi pulls hair to resist the Tour! Cobb shoves Takagi and scoops him, for a FALL AWAY MOONSAULT?! Cobb drags Takagi up, whips again, PUMPING BOMBER! Cobb stays up and fans are thunderous, as Takagi runs in again! Double clotheslines collide, but neither falls!
Another collision, Takagi headbutts, JABS, then HEADBUTTS! Takagi has fans fire up as he scoops Cobb, to EXPLODER Cobb again! Fans clap with “OI! OI! OI!” for Takagi as he gets back up. Cobb flounders into PUMPING BOMBER!! But Takagi can’t cover, and Cobb is floundering around again! Takagi reels Cobb in, pump handle and rack, LAST OF THE DRAGONS!!! Cover, Takagi wins!!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (still NEVER Openweight Champion)
That was beyond superhuman from both men! But in the end, The Dragon slays the Hulk! But it seems Cobb did win Takagi’s respect. Is it only a matter of when, not if, we see these two battle for this title again?
SANADA VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Cold Skull and King of Darkness were an incredible tag team, having won back-to-back World Tag League tournaments, and winning the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships multiple times. But it would seem individual ambition motivated Evil into turning his back on his friends. Will Sanada make Evil regret leaving everything behind?
The elaborate ring attire is put aside, Evil and Dick give a Low Sweet, and the bell rings. Sanada and Evil stare down as fans rally up already. Fans clap “SA-NA-DA!” as he and Evil slowly circle. They approach, feel out the grapple, and Evil kicks low to throw Sanada out. Sanada gets in right as Evil goes out, and fans cheer. Evil wants Sanada to stay back while he goes around the way, then Evil slides in. Sanada rushes in, Evil catches him but Sanada narrowly avoids the STO! Sanada dragon sleepers, Evil spins it around to a dragon sleeper of his own, but Sanada wants the STO! Evil gets away and fans cheer as these two show just how familiar they are with each other.
Fans rally as the two circle again, and they both kick! They both block and then argue who lets go first. They both put the other’s foot down, but Evil holds on! Evil gives the foot to the ref but Sanada has the ref let go. Sanada gets Evil’s foot, trips him up, and ties him up! Sanada puts Evil in Paradise! Fans cheer and Sanada encourages them to get louder. Fans do get louder, and Sanada is satisfied but Dick protests. Sanada runs and dropkicks Evil out of Paradise! Evil bails out, Sanada builds speed, but Evil ducks so Sanada tumbles. Sanada moonsaults, Evil dodges but Evil blocks the kick! Evil RAMS Sanada into railing and the timekeeper’s area! Abe-san suffers at Evil’s hands again!
Evil leaves the wreckage behind to go looking under the ring. Evil finds chairs and puts them down for a moment to go fetch Sanada. Evil grabs a chair, wraps it around Sanada’s head, then gets the other! HOME RUN!! Sanada clutches his neck but Evil goes around and tells the ref to shut up as he goes looking for more. Evil brings out a table! Evil and Dick set the table up, the ref sees that but Evil tells him to shut up already. Evil goes back to Sanada, drags him up and around, puts him in the ring, and has a cocky cover. TWO, and Evil is upset with the ref. Evil stands on Sanada’s head as fans rally up. Evil brings Sanada up but Sanada CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! And again!
Evil whips Sanada into bare buckles!? Dick must’ve undone the blue corner, as is the Bullet Club style! Evil drags Sanada up, throws him back out, and then RAMS him into the timekeeper’s area again! Can’t they just move the table to somewhere else?! Evil drags Sanada back up and in, but then Dick gets in and CHAIR SHOTS Sanada! No one saw that, but Evil wants the ref to count. Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO!! Evil is furious with the ref but the count is the count. Evil drags Sanada up, reels him in, fisherman but no buster as Sanada fights it off! Sanada resists the next attempt, and then he suplexes.
Evil fights that off, suplexes again but Sanada slips out to waistlock. Evil switches and shoves to then go the other way, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Again, they know each other so well! Fans rally up as Sanada goes after Evil. Dick distracts so Sanada DECKS him! Evil whips, Sanada reverses to hurdle, hurdle and dropkick! Then PLANCHA! Sanada goes back in and PLANCHAS Dick, too! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get even louder. The fans get louder and louder until Sanada is satisfied, and he goes to fetch Evil. Sanada puts Evil in, covers, TWO! Sanada drags Evil up to fireman’s carry, but Evil rakes eyes to get free!
Evil whips Sanada but Sanada stops himself from hitting bare buckles. Sanada elbows Evil away, jumps up and over, ducks and dodges, but Evil distracts the ref as Dick trips Sanada up! Dick positions the table closer to the ring, Evil brings Sanada over, and the ref reprimands but Evil drags Sanada up. Fans rally up, Evil brings Sanada up, but Sanada fights off the urenage! Sanada fireman’s carries, Evil holds ropes and slips off! Evil swings but Sanada forearms! Sanada springboards but Evil dodges! The ref is used as a shield, Evil kicks low and uses the ref to prop Sanada up!
Sanada slips off to deny Magic Killer, and tries to suplex Evil to do the same, only for Evil to cradle counter! Sanada drags Evil back up, to hit MAGIC SCREW! Both men are down but fans fire up again! Sanada rises, drags Evil back up and chicken wings, TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Sanada gets Evil in the dragon sleeper but Evil fights back! Evil pulls on Sanada’s ear, but Sanada gives him a SKULL SWING! To SKULL- No, Evil rolls back and reels Sanada in, but Sanada slips out to another dragon sleeper! Evil spins around to RAM Sanada into the bare buckles! Both men are down again and fans rally back up. Evil drags himself over to ropes and then gets up.
Evil drags Sanada up and scoops him for a backbreaker! Sanada writhes and goes to ropes but Evil mocks the applause from fans. Evil drags Sanada up, hoists him to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Evil brings Sanada up for the SUPERPLEX! Evil gets the legs, steps through, SHARPSHOOTER! Sanada endures as Evil sits deep, fans rally up, and Sanada powers up! Sanada crawls for ropes but Evil sits deeper! And Dick even pulls the ropes back to keep them from Sanada! Sanada still endures, powers up again, and gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Evil lets go at 4! Evil is annoyed, but he mocks the fans clapping “SA-NA-DA!” before he drags Sanada up.
Evil fireman’s carries, for DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!?!? Sanada narrowly avoids losing and Evil is frustrated! Evil slashes the throat and drags Sanada back up. Evil spins Sanada around, but Sanada fights the STO off! Sanada staggers, but he baits Evil into the bare buckles! BIG BACK SUPLEX! Both men are down, fans fire up and Sanada rises first. Sanada drags Evil up to a fireman’s carry, TKO! Cover, TWO! Sanada brings Evil back up, scoops him for a backbreaker, then he goes to the top rope. MOONSAULT, but Sanada has to bail out as Evil moves! Sanada hobbles, Evil runs in but into a fireman’s carry! Sanada throws Evil into the dragon sleeper!
Evil spins out, blocks a kick and rakes eyes! Evil throws the foot into the ref! The ref goes down this time, and Dick gets in with a chair! Dick JAMS Sanada low, then rains down fists! Dick stomps Sanada, Evil gets up, and they double whip Sanada to the corner. Dick runs in to corner clothesline! Evil runs in to clothesline, then he and Dick hit MAGIC KILLER on Sanada! Evil drags Sanada over to the drop zone, Dick climbs up, but Sanada kicks Evil into the ropes! Dick lands on his namesake then falls out of the ring! The ref recovers while Evil shouts to Dick. Dick’s down and Sanada cradles Evil! TWO, and Evil runs into an elbow. Sanada Quebrada to the SKULL END!
Evil is caught, starts to fade, but he pulls at hair. Sanada squeezes tighter, Evil keeps going after hair and ears and whatever he can find, but Sanada isn’t letting go! Evil fades more, the ref checks on him, but Sanada lets go to put Evil in a drop zone. Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS! And then ANOTHER, onto KNEES!! Evil saves himself at the last second! Evil goes to a corner while Sanada writhes and clutches his legs. Sanada manages to stand, and he runs in at Evil, but into a boot! Sanada staggers, runs back in but into more boots. Evil runs in, Sanada spins him, SHIRANUI, to SKULL END! But Evil slips out, grabs the ref, and they all back up, and Dick uses the CHOKER!!
Evil keeps the ref from seeing, but Sanada powers out of the choker! Sanada dodges Evil, Evil stops from hitting Dick, but Sanada dropkicks Evil into Dick! Dick falls through the table!! Evil is in shock after what happened to Dick, and Sanada waistlocks to O’Conner Roll, BRIDGING! TWO!! Evil survives, Sanada swings but into a shove! Evil HALF ‘N’ HALF, then LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and fans are thunderous again! Evil slashes the throat and drags Sanada up. Sanada again avoids the STO to dragon sleeper, but Evil brings the ref in! Sanada blocks the low blow, Evil rakes eyes, but Evil swings into EVERYTHING IS EVIL!!
Sanada steals Evil’s move but he isn’t done! Fans are fired up as Sanada whips Evil to pop him up for the TKO! Sanada goes to the corner, ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! Cover, Sanada wins!!
Winner: SANADA, by pinfall
The grudge match is over, and the Cold Skull stands tall! Will Sanada move on from his past to have a bright future?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi!
The Bone Soldier Reborn already lost to the Timebomb in Best of the Super Juniors 27, so he’ll do everything in his power to keep it from happening again. But Hiromu already beat El Phantasmo, will he sweep at WrestleKingdom to prove who is truly THE best Junior Heavyweight today?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this rivalry continues with a new chapter!
The fans rally up as Ishimori and Hiromu slowly circle. They approach, tie up, and Ishimori puts Hiromu on the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, Ishimori fakes the chop to kick low. Ishimori whips, Hiromu reverses, Ishimori handsprings but Hiromu dodges. Ishimori dodges Hiromu’s swing and then holds ropes to bait Hiromu in and dump him out. Ishimori keeps moving, Hiromu gets back in and blows past, but Ishimori gets around to waistlock. Hiromu switches, Ishimori switches, repeat, but Ishimori wrenches the arm to throw Hiromu back out. Fans cheer as Ishimori goes to the corner and goes up, but Hiromu intercepts with a waistlock!
Ishimori fights him off but Hiromu SUPERKICKS back! Hiromu goes in, runs, and sunset flips! Ishimori holds on, back flips through, but runs into an APRON POWERBOMB! Hiromu already has ELP counter him yesterday, he wasn’t going to let it happen today! Fans cheer but Ishimori writhes and Hiromu takes his time stalking him to the ramp. Hiromu mocks Ishimori’s pain and asks if he’s okay. Hiromu drags Ishimori up and scoops him for a slam! Fans cheer as Hiromu goes up the ramp to get some space. Hiromu gets a LOT of space, and they clap along as he goes to the very top of the ramp. Hiromu builds speed all the way down, to JOHN WOO, INTO A SLAM!!
Ishimori was ready for Hiromu running down, perhaps Hiromu could’ve stopped a bit closer… Ishimori goes to the ring and unties the blue corner pad while the ring count climbs. Hiromu gets up and crawls at 13, makes it to the ring at 15, but Ishimori MOONSAULTS out onto him! Ishimori drags Hiromu up and puts him in. Ishimori looms over Hiromu, stomps him down, then drags him back up. Ishimori whips Hiromu into the bare corner! Red Shoes reprimands but the damage is done. Fans rally while Hiromu writhes but Ishimori drags him back up. Ishimori wrenches, hammerlocks, and RAMS Hiromu into the bar buckles! Hiromu falls over again and clutches the shoulder!
Ishimori grins as he hears the fans rallying again. Ishimori kicks at Hiromu, Hiromu gets up and CHOPS! But that was his bad arm! Ishimori goes after the fingers, Hiromu throws forearms! Ishimori elbows the bad arm, hammerlocks the good arm, then reaches across to YANK the bad arm! Hiromu writhes but Ishimori drags him up to gut wrench. Hiromu fights out and shoves Ishimori at the bare corner! Ishimori stops himself, elbows back and whips Hiromu away. Ishimori blocks boots, puts Hiromu in the ropes and enziguris! But Hiromu gets out of the ropes to intercept Ishimori with a RANA! Both men are down and fans fire up!
Hiromu gets up, still clutching the bad arm. Ishimori runs in, but into BOOTS! Hiromu hits a DRAPING HEADSCISSOR HOLD! Hiromu lets go at 4, drags Ishimori out in a wheelbarrow, for a FACEBUSTER to the floor! Hiromu grins as he goes to the apron and takes aim. Ishimori gets up, for Hiromu to SHOTGUN dropkick him into railing! Hiromu puts Ishimori in, drags him up and suplexes for the FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up while Hiromu catches his breath and gets the bad arm moving. Hiromu drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carries, but Ishimori slips out before the Death Valley.
Ishimori blocks boots, spins Hiromu and enziguris, to run and hit the SLIDING GERMAN! Ishimori gets to the corner, springboards up and 450’s THE ARM!! And then rolls Hiromu to the YES LOCK! Hiromu endures, fans fire up, but Ishimori cranks back on the crossface! Hiromu still reaches and gets a leg for the ropebreak! Ishimori lets go, but he drags Hiromu back up. Ishimori gut wrenches but Hiromu turns that around, only for Ishimori to turn it back. But Hiromu headscissors out and pops Ishimori up, only for Ishimori to RANA! Hiromu goes to a corner, Ishimori runs in, bu Hiromu throws him OVERHEAD into the buckles! Fans fire up as both men are down!
Hiromu rises, drags Ishimori up, but Ishimori blocks the fireman’s carry. Hiromu still gets him up, Ishimori fights out, ducks the strikes, but Hiromu wheelbarrows to the COMPLETE SHOT! Hiromu gets up, drags Ishimori up and fireman’s carries again, for a CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu keeps Ishimori in the fireman’s carry for the RUNNING DEATH VALLEY! Fans fire up with Hiromu as he drags Ishimori back up. Hiromu fireman’s carries again, spins, but Ishimori slips free! Ishimori blocks the kick, Hiromu blocks the knee, Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Hiromu runs into a BOOT! Ishimori whips but Hiromu reverses. Ishimori handsprings into a GERMAN!
Hiromu runs, but Ishimori dodges and runs to DESTROYER!! Hiromu sits up in a daze and slowly falls over! Fans are thunderous as both men are down again, but stirring. Ishimori crawls over to Hiromu and Hiromu crawls over to him. Ishimori sits Hiromu up to throw a forearm, but Hiromu forearms back. Ishimori forearms again, Hiromu laughs and he forearms Ishimori back. Ishimori grins, throws another forearm, and the two start to rise. Hiromu throws another forearm, Ishimori gives it back. Hiromu forearms, Ishimori forearms, repeat! Ishimori gets the edge, but Hiromu DECKS him with one!
Hiromu grins as he brings Ishimori back up. Ishimori fires off fast hands, ROCKS Hiromu, then ROCKS him again! And again! And again! Hiromu keeps trying but Ishimori keeps hitting! Hiromu wobbles into another forearm, and then another! Ishimori keeps hitting, and DECKS Hiromu! Hiromu still gets up!? Ishimori ROCKS him again and Hiromu leans against ropes! Fans rally for Hiromu and he pushes himself back up. Ishimori throws more forearms, but Hiromu isn’t backing down this time! Ishimori just keeps throwing forearms, Hiromu wobbles and sways and Ishimori DECKS him again! Hiromu springs up but Ishimori just keeps hitting him back down!
Ishimori brings Hiromu up so he can keep hitting him! Ishimori sits Hiromu up to DECK him! Fans continue to rally as Ishimori looks to a corner. Ishimori drags Hiromu up, and POSTS him! Ishimori drags Hiromu back, hammerlocks and scoops, for a SHOULDER BUSTER! Ishimori goes to the corner to watch Hiromu writhe and clutch his shoulder. Hiromu slowly gets back up, and Ishimori runs in, tilt-o-whirl takedown! YES LOCK!! Hiromu endures, crawls around, and fans rally up behind him! Hiromu reaches, Ishimori rolls him away, and has the Yes Lock back on! Ishimori cranks back on the hold, Hiromu moves around, and Hiromu reaches out!
Ishimori gets the other arm and pulls back, but Hiromu uses his foot for the ropebreak! Ishimori lets go in frustration but fans rally up for Hiromu. Ishimori drags Hiromu back up, gut wrenches, but Hiromu fights out. Ishimori throws elbows, slides back and pump handles Hiromu to the gut wrench! CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives and Ishimori is furious! Ishimori goes to ropes, aims and says BANG, before he brings Hiromu up. Hiromu arm-drags out of the half hatch but Ishimori JUMPING KNEES! Ishimori runs in, tilt-o-whirls, but Hiromu blocks! Hiromu suplexes for VICTORIA! Cover, TWO!! Ishimori survives but Hiromu is too tired to be upset.
Hiromu gets up and fans rally behind him as he shouts at Ishimori. Hiromu drags Ishimori up, runs, and LARIATS! Then a fireman’s carry, to CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Into the bare buckles!! Hiromu fires up more and he drags Ishimori up to a fireman’s carry, TIMEBOMB!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishimori survives but Hiromu won’t stop there! Hiromu drags Ishimori up, dragon sleepers and suplexes, then tucks him in, but Ishimori fights out to snapmare Hiromu into his own dragon sleeper! Ishimori lifts, Hiromu arm-drags free and then rolls to get the fireman’s carry back! Hiromu throws Ishimori into the dragon sleeper but Ishimori fights off the lift!
Hiromu still tries but Ishimori wrenches in mid-air, to the BONE LOCK!!! Hiromu endures as Ishimori cranks on the hold, and fans fire up as Hiromu moves around. Hiromu reaches but Ishimori drags him away again! Ishimori brings Hiromu, BLOODY- NO! Hiromu slips out, suplexes, VICTORIA!! Ishimori flounders around, Hiromu fires himself up again, and fans fire up with him! Hiromu drags Ishimori up into the dragon sleeper, then the suplex, TIMEBOMB MK. II!! Cover, HIROMU WINS!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
The Best of the Super Juniors winner, who beat the Super J-Cup winner, has now beaten the Junior Heavyweight Champion! He stands up, belt on his shoulder and trophy in hand! Is Hiromu truly the best Junior Heavyweight in the world?!
IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
The Golden Star has finally reached the top of the mountain! But the Switchblade promises to be there to knock him back down every single time. White already stole the G1 Climax’s Right to Challenge Contract, will he still Ibushi’s claim to being the wrestling god of NJPW? Or is destiny, true destiny, undeniable?
The introductions are made, Gedo hands Red Shoes the Right to Challenge contract on behalf of White, and Ibushi gives over both belts. All three are presented together, and this historic main event begins!
White and Gedo Low Sweet, fans rally up, and the bell rings. White and Ibushi stare down as the rallying continues, but then White bails out. White mocks the clapping but then goes back to the ring, only to slip right back out. Gedo applauds but Ibushi gets impatient. White has Ibushi stay back as he has the fans clap again. White slips in, approaches Ibushi and gets face to face with him. White says this happens on his schedule, and the two circle. But Gedo gets on the apron, only for White to tell him to stay down. Gedo backs away, White and Ibushi tie up, and are in a deadlock. Ibushi powers White back, White turns things around to put Ibushi on the ropes.
Red Shoes calls for the break, White backs off but Gedo grabs at Ibushi’s feet! White CLUBS Ibushi from behind! White stomps Ibushi down while defending Gedo’s innocence. White brings Ibushi up, headlocks and hits the takeover, but Ibushi keeps his shoulders up. White traps an arm, Ibushi hits White with his free arm, but White shifts position. They get up, White hits another takeover, and he grinds Ibushi down again. White again traps an arm, but Ibushi uses his legs to move around. They get up again, Ibushi tries to power out but White pulls on Ibushi’s ears! White reels Ibushi back into the headlock takeover!
White grinds Ibushi down, but Ibushi fights his way up again. Ibushi powers out of the headlock this time but White runs him over, only for Ibushi to kip up! White ducks the roundhouse and scrambles out of the ring! Ibushi pursues, Gedo keeps his distance, but White slips back into the ring. Ibushi keeps his cool, goes in but White stomps him down! White clubs, whips but Ibushi FLYING KICKS! Fans fire up with Ibushi as White bails out. Ibushi pursues but Gedo goes after him! Ibushi elbows Gedo away, ROCKS and CLUBS White and Red Shoes reprimands Gedo. Ibushi puts White in, White rolls all the way to the other side and bails out again.
Ibushi follows, brings White up and puts him back in. White gets Ibushi in the ropes with a DRAPING DDT! White drags Ibushi up and throws him back out, then goes out after him. White brings Ibushi up for a BIG APRON BACK SUPLEX! Ibushi is all folded up as he flops over! White double guns then goes back into the ring while Red Shoes checks on Ibushi. Ibushi is okay to continue, White goes back out after him, and White RAMS Ibushi into the apron! Then again! And again! White shows no mercy as he RAMS Ibushi a fourth time! White leaves Ibushi behind and lets the ring count start. Ibushi stirs at 3, gets up at 7, and in at 10 of 20.
White stomps Ibushi at the ropes, digs his boots into Ibushi’s neck, then lets off at Red Shoes’ count. Ibushi hits back but it’s not enough, and White rakes Ibushi’s eyes! White drags Ibushi up, puts him in a corner and rams his shoulder in! And again! And again! And again! White then gives Ibushi a GUT BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Ibushi also grabs the ropes for good measure, but White dags him away. White wraps Ibushi up in a rear bearhug, then he drives knees into Ibushi’s back. White wraps on the bearhug again but fans rally. Ibushi fights up but White spins him for a facelock! Ibushi throws body shots but White CLUBS him, then runs, and fakes out the dropkick!
White gets the legs and STOMPS Ibushi in the stomach! White mocks the applauds then gives stomps to Ibushi over and over at the ropes. White gets the legs and ROPE GUILLOTINES Ibushi! White mocks the Tranquilo since Naito isn’t here, and he covers. Red Shoes refuses because of the circumstances so White goes back to the bearhug. Gedo shouts at Ibushi to give up but Ibushi growls back at Gedo. Ibushi grits his teeth, fights up but White CLUBS him! White suplexes but Ibushi blocks! So White DDT’s instead! White mockingly cheers the fans on to clap for Ibushi. White slaps Ibushi around, drops knees, but Ibushi glares up at White.
White rakes Ibushi’s eyes and puts him in the corner! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, White lets off but he RAMS his shoulder in. Red Shoes reprimands more, White drags Ibushi up, and White RAMS in again! White digs his shoulder in, Red Shoes pulls White back and they argue about who touches who. White storms off, into Ibushi’s ROUNDHOUSE! Fans cheer as Ibushi turns things around, but White is up first. White brings Ibushi up, knees low but Ibushi sobats! Ibushi fires himself up and White staggers over into another ROUNDHOUSE! STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps focus as fans rally up.
Ibushi drags White, waistlocks, but White resists the lift, White trips Ibushi, Ibushi kicks White away and White ends up outside the ring! Ibushi hurries out and throws hands but White RAMS him into the apron again! And into the railing! Commentary braces themselves as White brings Ibushi up again. White puts Ibushi in the ring, and sees him go to a corner. White runs in corner to corner but Ibushi goes up and over and then hits the SPINNING POWERSLAM! Ibushi somersaults to a corner but White trips him up! Ibushi is stuck in the ropes as White CLUBS away on his back! Red Shoes counts, White lets off to go outside. White has a leg, for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Ibushi flops down, White gets in, and White goes to the opposite corner. Ibushi drags himself up, White runs in to UPPERCUT! Then BLADE BUSTER! Cover, TWO! White is annoyed, he drags Ibushi around and stomps the leg. White throws forearms but Ibushi sits up to egg White on. White ROCKS Ibushi, brings him up, but Ibushi powers out of the urenage to back White into buckles! Ibushi throws elbows, White kicks the legs, but White runs into the RANA! White flops out of the ring and fans rally up behind Ibushi. Ibushi runs to the corner, goes up, but White gets in the ring. Ibushi adjusts but White trips him up! Ibushi crashes down to the floor and Gedo cheers.
White catches his breath and rests while Red Shoes checks on Ibushi. Ibushi is okay so the ring count starts. Ibushi sits up at 3, drags himself over at 7, but White has Ibushi as he gets in. White suplexes Ibushi to hang him out to dry, and Ibushi flops down and hits the mat. White drags Ibushi back up, and Half Hatch suplexes Ibushi into buckles! Cover, TWO! Gedo protests the count but Red Shoes says he was being fair. White drags Ibushi up, reels him in, but Ibushi again fights off the urenage. White throws knees low, and Gedo says White needs to end Ibushi! White wants the Kiwi but Ibushi fights out with body shots! Ibushi gut wrenches but White resists!
Ibushi tries to fight through but White throws more body shots to then scoop. But Ibushi slips out, SNAP HALF ‘N’ HALF! Fans fire up while both men are down! Ibushi feeds off the energy and gets up first. White follows in a daze, and Ibushi ROCKS him with a forearm! White wobbles, Gedo shouts for him to get up, and White forearms back! Ibushi ROCKS White, but White forearms again! Fans rally up as the two pick up speed, but White knees low. Ibushi swings into White’s strike fest, only to give a strike fest! White doubles over from the sobat, but he ducks the Penalty Kick! Ibushi blocks the roll up to sit down! TWO, White gets the cover, TWO!
Ibushi has White for the BASTARD DRIVER!! But Ibushi can’t hold the cover! Fans are still thunderous as both men are down again. Ibushi and White stir but Ibushi is up first. White rolls slowly to the corner, but Ibushi calls upon the powers of Strong Style! White dodges Bomaye! Ibushi fights off the waistlock but White gets a SNAP SAIDO! White crawls over, drags Ibushi back up, reels him in, URENAGE! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives but Gedo shouts for White to keep going. White wants the Kiwi again, fisherman, KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!! White grows annoyed but he slashes the throat and drags Ibushi up! Ibushi rolls through the Bladerunner to dead lift BACK SUPLEX!
Fans fire up, Ibushi powers up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?! White survives and Ibushi can’t believe it! Fans rally up as Ibushi drags White back up. Ibushi reels White in, lifts, but White fights out and knees low. White goes to ropes, gets Ibushi to a backslide, but he uses the TOP rope for leverage! Red Shoes sees that and stops counting! Gedo and White are pissed but that’s what they get for cheating! Ibushi glares at White and BUZZSAWS! Ibushi drags White up and Gedo panics! Ibushi has the wrists but White covers his head to avoid the knee. Ibushi lets go, White looks up, BUZZSAW AGAIN!
Fans fire up as Ibushi goes to the corner, goes up top, but Gedo gets on the apron! Red Shoes reprimands, Ibushi glares at Gedo, but White gets a leg! White clubs Ibushi down, climbs up behind him and goes to bump Ibushi off the post. Ibushi blocks but White clubs away! White climbs up more, sleeper holds, and Gedo is fired up for this! Ibushi still resists, White still pulls back, but Ibushi elbows until White lets go! White stumbles down, but Gedo anchors Ibushi’s foot! Ibushi kicks Gedo away but White CLUBS Ibushi again! White drags Ibushi off the top, but Ibushi elbows out! White CHOP BLOCKS the leg! And GROUND DRAGON SCREWS! And again!
White steps through, for the TTO!! Or will it be ITO for Ibushi Taps Out? Ibushi endures, drags himself and White towards ropes, and he gets the ropebreak! White holds on until Red Shoes counts 4. Ibushi clutches his leg, but Gedo goes looking under the ring for things. White drags Ibushi up and brings him around to give toying kicks. Ibushi just stares at White. White keeps kicking but Ibushi gets up with that ice cold stare. White throws a forearm but Ibushi doesn’t budge. White keeps throwing forearms but Ibushi just stares. Ibushi STRAIGHT SHOTS! Then KICKS! And CLUBS! This is Killer Ibushi now! Gedo panics as Ibushi goes after White with kicks and stomps in the corner!
Ibushi lets off and dares White to do something! White gets up, and Ibushi dares him to man up! White walks over to throw a forearm but Ibushi immediately DECKS him! Ibushi again eggs White on, and White comes back with another forearm. Ibushi DECKS White again! White flounders, comes back, throws another forearm, but Ibushi DECKS White again! White flops out of the ring, sputters, and Ibushi dares White to get back in. Fans rally behind Ibushi, Gedo helps White stand, and White drags himself into the ring. Ibushi demands White bring the fight, and White returns, but he flops back down.
White dares Ibushi to cover him already but Ibushi isn’t falling for any of these tricks. Ibushi stands over White, and SLAPS away on him! White shields himself but Ibushi just rains down furious fists! Red Shoes goes to pull Ibushi away but Ibushi shoves him! White LOW BLOWS Ibushi!! Ibushi fell for a trick after all! White makes sure he still has his teeth, then he pushes Ibushi out of the ring. White drags Ibushi up, and RAMS him into railing! And then the apron! And back to railing! And the apron! Railing! Apron! Repeat! White drags Ibushi up and POSTS him! White drags Ibushi to the ramp and throws forearms on him!
Red Shoes tells White to get this in the ring but White rains down forearm after forearm on Ibushi! White goes back to the ring and Red Shoes checks on Ibushi. Ibushi is okay so fans rally up. White doesn’t want Red Shoes to count yet and now White dares Ibushi to bring the fight. Ibushi gets up, hobbles his way back to the ring, and gets inside. White dares Ibushi to hit him, but then gets Ibushi in a COMPLETE SHOT! And a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! And another DEAD LIFT GERMAN! White pushes Ibushi to the apron, then drags Ibushi up. Ibushi holds ropes but White still dead lifts him! Ibushi elbows free, then fireman’s carries, but White fights to get back in the ring.
Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES White down! Fans fire up as both men are down again! Ibushi fires himself up as he rises, and he goes after White again. White hurries to get back to the apron, so Ibushi drags White up at the ropes! Ibushi waistlocks and dead lifts now, but White fights, only to get the SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX! Ibushi grins and brings White up as fans are thunderous! Ibushi has White for the LAST RIDE!! Cover, TWO!!! White barely survives and Gedo is relieved. Fans continue to rally up as Ibushi gets the wrists. Gedo freaks out again but White avoids Kami-Goye to SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Both men are down again but fans rally back up.
White drags himself over to Ibushi and he drags Ibushi back into the sleeper. Ibushi resists but White knees him over and over to hit another SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Gedo is fired up as White brings Ibushi up, for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!! Ibushi survives but White drags him around! BLADE- NO! Ibushi backslides, White rolls through, KAMI-GOYE!! Cover, TWO!?!? White survives but Ibushi just fires up! Fans are thunderous again as Ibushi goes to the corner. Ibushi climbs up, PHOENIX SPLASH!! Cover, but Gedo drags Red Shoes out!! Red Shoes crashes hard and Ibushi realizes what happened.
Gedo slides in, Ibushi blocks his attack and wrenches his arm! Ibushi gives Gedo KAMI-GOYE!! Gedo is OUT COLD! Ibushi goes to Red Shoes and helps him into the ring. Ibushi goes back to White but White hits BLADERUNNER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! Ibushi barely survives now and White is in shock! Fans are electric but White drags Ibushi up. White has the wrists now, but Ibushi pushes him away. White drags Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out of the sleeper. Ibushi drags White back up in a waistlock, but White rolls to get the legs, ITO!! Ibushi endures, shouts, drags himself to ropes, White begs he tap as he puts more pressure on, but Ibushi keeps reaching!
White drags Ibushi away, Ibushi is fading, but the fans rally hard as ever! Ibushi gets a second wind, fights his way over, and gets the ROPEBREAK! White holds on until the count of 4, and Ibushi clutches his knee. White drags Ibushi back up, reels him back in, cross-arm but Ibushi fights back! Ibushi throws body shots, shoves White away, V-TRIG- NO! White blocks and fisherman BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!?!? White keeps on Ibushi, cross-arm suplex, BLOODY SUNDAY!! White drags Ibushi back up, BLADERUN- NO! V-TRIGGER!! KENNYYY~!! Both men are down, fans are thunderous all over again, and Ibushi roars as he gets back up!
Ibushi brings White up by his wrists, White resists and kicks at Ibushi’s legs, but Ibushi keeps trying. White throws boot after boot but Ibushi eggs himon. Then Ibushi BOOTS, V-TRIGGERS, and looms over White. Ibushi says he’ll end it, and he gets White’s wrists again. KAMI- BLADE- NO! LARIAT!! Ibushi has White down again, brings him back up but from behind?! BLINDSIDE KAMI-GOYE!!! Knee pad down, BRUTAL KAMI-GOYE!!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Champion)
The Golden Star’s ascension to divinity continues! Or is he already NJPW’s god of wrestling?! White desperately grabs at the title belts, but they’re not his to have. Red Shoes takes them from him and brings them to the true champion. White goes after Ibushi now but Ibushi dares him to try. Red Shoes has Young Lions bring White away, and then Red Shoes raises Ibushi’s hand in victory. Ibushi takes a moment to rest before he takes the Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship belts back. Red Shoes even helps Ibushi put them on one at a time. But wait, Sanada is here! Sanada is in his nice suit, having had his rest after his match.
Sanada has the mic to say, “Champion, as the great hope of pro-wrestling, Sanada, will you accept the gift of my challenging you, Kota Ibushi?” Fans cheer that and Ibushi nods. They shake hands, and then Ibushi says, “I still remember that G1 match very well. I’ll admit, I barely pulled out that win. However, what I’m holding right now, the IWGP Intercontinental and IWGP Heavyweight titles, the greatest belt and the strongest belt, I’m holding them both!” Ibushi is up for fighting Sanada again and again, so he gladly accepts. They shake hands again, and fans cheer the acceptance of this “gift.” Ibushi isn’t sure when or where, but he’s up for it anytime!
And Ibushi ends by saying what he’s been saying: He won’t run away, lose, quit or betray the fans. And he has now become, A WRESTLING GOD!! When and where will see the epic rematch of the G1 Climax 30 Finals!?
What a great second night and finale to WrestleKingdom! Yano being the first Mr. KOPW 2021 is a natural move, he is highly entertaining and will make every defense of the trophy hilarious. The Junior Tag title match was great, but it definitely felt like Taguchi was taking it upon himself to get the win at the end there, which backfired as Kanemaru and Desperado are a more united and experienced duo. I can’t be sure who challenges for those titles next, but there are still a few possibilities with ELP back in Japan. Takagi VS Cobb was incredible, definitely WK worthy, and for just a second I thought Cobb was going to win to bring a title to The Empire. But Takagi wins and as I was saying during Summer Struggle, Takagi is finally getting to make his reign feel strong, as it should have in 2020 if not for COVID.
Hiromu had an incredible match with Ishimori, too, and naturally Hiromu wins. Hiromu sweeps the weekend, quite truly proving he’s the best Junior Heavyweight in NJPW, and is adding to his personal legacy within NJPW. There’s any number of contenders for Hiromu, and I think it’d be epic if he and Desperado had another program where it comes down to who can have both belts. Bushi needs something to do so he can join Hiromu in a new pursuit of the tag titles. Sanada VS Evil was a great grudge match, Dick had a hilarious oversell of being knocked down into the table, and of course Sanada wins because Evil needed to face comeuppance at some point.
Ibushi VS White was an EPIC, and that was a great way to give White his own comeuppance. There was a lot of great stuff, such as Killer Ibushi returning to just brutalize White. Ibushi winning is the right move, as I was saying just yesterday, and then what a great move to have Sanada come out and bridge things from this ending to another great title match. I was hoping for a G1 Climax 30 finals rematch for WrestleKingdom, but now we’ll get it for whatever next event is coming (New Beginning? The new Castle Attack?) That is going to be an epic, as well, and that could go either way as I see it. Though, Ibushi will likely win because his reign has only just begun.
As for White, backstage interview clips say he’s considering quitting, but that is probably just story. I need to see White VS Evil in a Bullet Club Civil War first, which itself can be a great story and match.
My Score: 9.6/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)
The semifinals are here!
The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!
Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?
- Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?
The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!
Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!
Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.
Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.
Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.
Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!
Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.
Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!
Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!
Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.
Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!
Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!
New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!
Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!
Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!
Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!
Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?
Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!
Sanada spins, into JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?
The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?
Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.
Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?
A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.
Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)
It’s lights out, but for who?
Who rounds out the Final Four?
The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?
The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.
Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!
Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!
Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.
Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!
Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.
Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!
Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!
Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!
Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.
Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.
Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.
Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.
Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!
Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!
Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.
The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!
Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!
Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.
Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!
USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?
As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?
Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.
My Score: 8.7/10
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