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Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/7/21)

New Japan Cup, day 3!

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NJPW New Japan Cup 2021

Will the United Empire start to rule over NJPW?

Will Ospreay wants to prove he is the best in NJPW, and that means becoming IWGP World Heavyweight Champion! But first, he must win the Cup! Will the Commonwealth Kingpin get through Tenzan to do just that?

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.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Zack Sabre Jr VS Gabriel Kidd; ZSJ wins and advances.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

In perhaps the biggest shock of the NJCup, the Dragon slayed the Rainmaker! But can Kazuchika Okada at least get some revenge with High Voltage, the Stone Pitbull and the Fierce Warrior by his side? Or will having Death Mask, Cold Skull and the Uncontrollable Charisma help Shingo Takagi roll into his match with Hirooki Goto?

The teams sort out and Ishii stares down with Sanada. The ref has Ishii give Sanada space, and after the LIJ fist bump, it will be Goto starting against Takagi! We’re getting a preview of NJCUP’s second round and fans rally up! Goto and Takagi circle, tie up, and Goto headlocks. Takagi powers out, rams Goto but both men stay up. Takagi runs, rams but Goto fires forearms! Takagi gives them back, they go fast and furious back and forth and fans rally up! Goto gets the edge, runs and rams Takagi, but Takagi rebounds to run him over! Goto avoids the back senton to hit a headlock takeover. Takagi headscissors, Goto kips free and they tie up again.

Goto puts Takagi in the Chaos corner and Sho tags in. Goto and Sho stomp Takagi, Ishii gets a shot in, and Sho wrenches Takagi to a wristlock and elbow breakers! Sho wrenches more, hits more elbow breakers, then whips Takagi to ropes. Sho elbows Takagi down, covers, TWO! Sho is right on Takagi with a double wristlock! Fans rally, Takagi gets up and gets the ropebreak. Sho lets off but tags in Okada, and Chaos hits the LIJ corner! Okada goes after Takagi, and Chaos gets in for quadruple hammering! Fans rally with “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Okada drags Takagi up to forearm. Okada whips, Takaig reverses, Bushi gets a cheap shot in, and then LIJ hits Chaos back!

Takagi clamps onto Okada with a chinlock while Ishii and Sanada brawl. Sanada rakes Ishii’s eyes while Takagi shifts to a motorcycle stretch on Okada. Bushi tags in and LIJ mugs Okada. Takagi CLUBS Okada, and Bushi uses his shirt to choke him! LIJ goes after Chaos and the ref is busy with all of them! Bushi stomps Okada, lets go and gets his shirt out of the way. Bushi chinlocks and claws at Okada’s face but the ref reprimands and counts. Naito tags in and both Naito and Bushi stomp Okada down. Naito gets the legs and turns Okada, but Okada resists and gets the ropebreak. The ref counts, Bushi tries to break Okada’s grip, but Naito lets go first. Naito drags Okada up to CLUB him!

Bushi and Naito double whip Okada, then double elbow him down! Basement dropkick sandwich! Cover, TWO! Naito drags Okada up as fans rally, and Sanada tags in. LIJ mugs Okada, Sanada CLUBS Okada, and fans continue to rally. Sanada throws forearms and has Okada in a corner. Sanada clubs Okada but Okada hits back! Sanada knees low, whips Okada corner to corner but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into Sanada’s boot! Sanada runs but into Okada’s BOOT! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada tags in Ishii! Ishii dodges a boot, Sanada dodges a clothesline, and Sanada shoves Ishii to a corner. Sanada runs in but Ishii dodges. Ishii runs in but Sanada dodges.

Sanada runs back in but Ishii boots him! Ishii runs but into Sanada’s boot! Sanada whips, Ishii reverses, but runs into Sanada’s boot! Sanada runs but into a forearm! Ishii whips, Sanada reverses, but Ishii rebounds and runs him over! Bushi runs in but Ishii sends him into Sho’s knee! Takagi runs in but Sho and Ishii both kick him. They double whip Takagi but Takagi DECKS Goto! Takagi runs back but into double shoulders! Naito runs into double hip tosses, and a KICK sandwich! Ishii has Sanada while Chaos keeps LIJ out. Ishii CHOPS Sanada, and CHOPS, and CHOPS! Ishii talks trash to Sanada but Sanada CHOPS Ishii! And CHOPS! And CHOPS!

Ishii eggs Sanada on then CHOPS him back down! Ishii whips corner to corner, Sanada elbows then QUEBRADA, but Ishii gets under! Ishii runs into a fireman’s carry, that Sanada throws into the dragon sleeper! But Ishii slips out to suplex, only for Sanada to slip out. Ishii elbows Sanada but runs into a basement dropkick! Both men are down and fans rally up! Sanada drags Ishii up, but Ishii blocks the back suplex! Ishii elbows free, gets around and waistlocks but Sanada elbows him. Ishii puts Sanada in a corner to clothesline! Ishii whips but Sanada goes up and out to springboard missile dropkick! Fans fire up as both men are down again!

Sanada and Ishii crawl for their corners, hot tags to Goto and Takagi! Fans fire up as Goto fires off on Takagi! Goto whips, Takagi reverses but Takagi blocks the boot, and clotheslines! Takagi suplexes Goto up and over, covers, TWO! Takagi keeps his cool and fans rally. Takagi sits Goto up for elbows to the shoulder, then runs, but Goto ducks the sliding lariat! Goto kicks, whips, and runs in to clothesline! Goto keeps going, but clotheslines collide! And again! Takagi fires up but Goto follows, only for Takagi to dodge, but Goto fireman’s carries! USHIGOROSHI! Fans fire up again as both men are down. Goto tags in Sho, and Sho DECKS Bushi!

Sho aims at Takagi in a corner, runs in and clotheslines! Sho whips, Takagi reverses, but Sho comes back to LARIAT! Takagi stays up, Sho dodges and runs to SPEAR! Cover, TWO! Sho keeps his focus and brings Takagi up. Takagi resists the lift out of the waistlock but Sho CLUBS him to the corner. Sho whips Takagi corner to corner, runs in but Takagi dodges! Naito hits the rocket kick! Leg sweep! COMBINACION CABRON! LIJ hits Chaos’ corner and then Bushi enziguris Sho! Takagi picks Sho up, he and Bushi combine for a BACKSTABBER SPINEBUSTER! Takagi sits Sho up, runs, and hits a SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives and fans fire up with Takagi!

Takagi drags Sho up, pump handles and fireman’s carries. But Goto kicks Takagi down! Bushi spins Goto to a DDT! Okada CLOBBERS Bushi, Naito runs in to dropkick Okada! Ishii gets Naito with a back suplex, but Sanada dropkicks Ishii! Sanada and Takagi double whip Sho but Sho SPEARS Sanada! Takagi fires boxing elbows, but Sho comes back with boxing elbows of his own! Sho runs but Takagi clotheslines him at the rope! Takagi runs but into a KNEE! Takagi elbows, JABS, but Sho gets around to waistlock! Sho feeds Takagi to Okada’s EuroUpper! Okada DECKS Naito then leaves it to Sho! DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!!

Sho takes aim with the bow, and reels Takagi in to double pump handle, but Takagi back drops free! Takagi winds up but Sho swats the clothesline! Sho runs, into the elbow, and LEFT LARIAT! Fans fire up with “OI! OI! OI!” and Takagi builds speed, PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives but Takagi brings him back up! Pump handle fireman’s carry, LAST OF THE DRAGON! Cover, LIJ wins!!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall

And the Dragon keeps on slaying! Will he do the same against Goto? As for Ishii and Sanada, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens when Stone Pitbull collides with Cold Skull!

 

2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Zack Sabre Jr VS Gabriel Kidd!

The Submission Master won the 2018 NJCUP but has yet to truly reach the top! Will he make this Young Lion #JustTapOut and look to repeat history?

The bell rings and ZSJ circles with Kidd. They feel out the grapple and tie up, and ZSJ wrangles Kidd down with a wristlock. Kidd gets up, wrenches, but ZSJ rolls free fast. They go again, tie up with knuckle locks, and Kidd has power to bend ZSJ back. ZSJ bridges and rolls and wrenches, but Kidd spins and wrenches through to wrangle ZSJ down! Kidd has the wristlock, ZSJ fights up, rolls and hooks a leg, but Kidd wrangles him down with strength! Kidd bends the fingers, the elbow, but ZSJ slips out to get a hammerlock. They end up on ropes, Red Shoes wants them to break but they both keep fighting for control. ZSJ backs off and fans cheer the exchange.

Kidd and ZSJ reset, feel out a new grapple, and ZSJ gets Kidd into a straitjacket stretch! Kidd endures, moves around, and powers the straitjacket onto ZSJ! Kidd digs his knee and then his forehead into ZSJ’s back, but ZSJ powers up, bridges and puts the straitjacket back on Kidd! ZSJ bends Kidd against his knees but Kidd flips up and over to put the straitjacket back on ZSJ! ZSJ fights up, wriggles free, wrenches and wrangles Kidd with a wristlock. Kidd reaches up to get a headscissor takedown! Kidd is after an ankle but he keeps on the headscissors. ZSJ moves around, pops free and has Kidd’s legs in a butterfly deathlock!

Kidd tries to fight back but ZSJ digs his elbows into Kidd’s knees! Kidd keeps his shoulders up, throws ZSJ off, and fans cheer as the two stand off. Kidd and ZSJ circle, fans rally again, and the two feel out another grapple. Kidd and ZSJ tie up, Kidd gets a wristlock but ZSJ counters with a chinbar. ZSJ shifts to get a facelock but Kidd gets a leg takedown. Kidd has a standing toehold and cranks the foot, but ZSJ endures and rolls to roll free! ZSJ and Kidd circle, they tie up again, and Kidd puts ZSJ against ropes. ZSJ pushes back with forearms, Kidd clinches, but Red Shoes calls for a break. Kidd and ZSJ keep fighting for control but Kidd backs off.

ZSJ and Kidd tie up again, are in a deadlock, but ZSJ gets a wristlock and drags Kidd down into headscissors! Kidd pops free, rolls, but ZSJ holds onto the wrist. Kidd rolls, slips through, wrenches and shovels ZSJ up and over! Kidd wrenches, clamps onto the arm and has a chinbar! ZSJ endures but Kidd wrenches to a wristlock, then a one-armed lift and SLAM! Kidd is right back on the arm and he bends the fingers. ZSJ reaches up for headscissors but Kidd twists the wrist to fight that off. ZSJ kips up, wrenches, reaches down to trip Kidd, but Kidd boots ZSJ away. Things speed up, ZSJ stops to roll Kidd to a full nelson! Kidd breaks free, ZSJ snapmares but Kidd gets a leg for a toehold!

ZSJ rolls but Kidd cartwheels through. ZSJ dodges Kidd’s dropkick and traps Kidd’s head for a NECK CRANK! Fans cheer that technical exchange while Kidd holds his neck. Fans rally up as ZSJ stalks Kidd. ZSJ brings Kidd up to ROCK him with a EuroUpper, and another, and another! ZSJ BOOTS Kidd down, then stands on him in the corner. ZSJ gets a leg and pulls it against ropes! Red Shoes counts, ZSJ lets go at 3, and he paces around. ZSJ kicks Kidd, kicks more, but Kidd eggs him on. Kidd gets up, ZSJ pie faces but Kidd throws big forearms! ZSJ gets the arm and wrenches Kidd down to a double wristlock in the ropes! Red Shoes reprimands and counts but ZSJ lets go at 3.

Kidd gets out of the ring, Red Shoes goes out to check on him, but ZSJ patiently waits inside. A ring count starts, Kidd is in at 5 of 20, but ZSJ is on him with a cravat. ZSJ grinds Kidd down, fans rally up, and Kidd endures. Kidd fights his way up, scoops ZSJ, but ZSJ fights that to snapmare Kidd back down! ZSJ cranks on the cravat, but Kidd fights up and throws body shots. Kidd tries to power out but ZSJ just hits another snapmare! ZSJ taunts Kidd while cranking on the cravat. Kidd fights up, throws body shots and scoops to SLAM ZSJ! Fans fire up as both men are down. Kidd gets fans to rally with “OI! OI! OI!” but ZSJ headbutts low.

ZSJ headlocks, Kidd powers out, dodges ZSJ and runs him over! Fans fire up with Kidd as he runs corner to corner at ZSJ for a big clothesline! Kidd snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Kidd grits his teeth as he EuroUppers ZSJ! ZSJ EuroUppers back, then steps over to go for a leg but Kidd sits on the cover! ONE as ZSJ sunset flips but Kidd rolls through! Kidd gets the legs and goes to turn ZSJ, but ZSJ drags Kidd down! Kidd gets back up, tries again, but ZSJ gets a leg free to kick and kick! Kidd eggs ZSJ on, then turns him to the HALF CRAB! ZSJ endures, scrambles and gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Kidd lets go at 4, but he drags ZSJ up.

Kidd reels ZSJ in, waistlocks, but ZSJ resists the lift. ZSJ double wristlocks but Kidd rolls him over! TWO, and Kidd ROCKS ZSJ with a forearm! ZSJ walks that off but Kidd ROCKS him again! ZSJ pushes Kidd with a shoulder so Kidd forearms ZSJ again. ZSJ eggs Kidd on, Kidd EuroUppers! Kidd throws more forearms but ZSJ EuroUppers back! Kidd forearms, eggs ZSJ on, but ZSJ EuroUppers again! Fans rally as Kidd ROCKS ZSJ again! ZSJ throws a forearm, Kidd returns it, and things get fast and furious! Fans fire up as the forearms fly and ZSJ ROCKS Kidd, only for Kidd to DECK ZSJ! Kidd fires up and he drags ZSJ up again. Kidd throws forearms over and over on ZSJ in the corner!

ZSJ falls down and fans fire up with “OI! OI! OI!” again. Kidd drags ZSJ up, but ZSJ SLAPS Kidd! Kidd grits his teeth but ZSJ SLAPS him again! ZSJ drags Kidd up but Kidd SLAPS ZSJ down! Kidd drags ZSJ up again to suplex but ZSJ slips out and drags Kidd to a FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Kidd endures, ZSJ hops on for a mounted armbar! Kidd moves around as ZSJ cranks the arm more, and Kidd still gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but PENALTY KICKS Kidd down! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ grows annoyed but he kicks Kidd in the back! ZSJ toys with Kidd, eggs him on but Kidd eggs ZSJ on! ZSJ PENALTY KICKS again! ZSJ runs, Kidd gets up to dropkick ZSJ down! Cover, TWO!

Kidd drags ZSJ to a waistlock but ZSJ counters to a guillotine! But Kidd powers through that to a BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up for Kidd as he and ZSJ slowly rise. Kidd has ZSJ in a waistlock, drags him up, but ZSJ elbows him, Kidd holds on, to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Kidd keeps firing up with “OI! OI! OI!” and he underhooks ZSJ. ZSJ drops to drag Kidd into a sunset but Kidd counters to a prawn hold! TWO!! ZSJ uppercuts into underhooks! Kidd gets ZSJ up but ZSJ slips out, to get the COBRA TWIST! Kidd reaches for ropes but ZSJ grabs at that arm. Kidd pops free to hip toss ZSJ down! But ZSJ gets Kidd for a TRIANGLE HOLD!

Kidd tries to dead lift but ZSJ drags him down! ZSJ double guns as he squeezes tighter with just legs! Kidd taps, ZSJ wins!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (advances to the next round)

ZSJ holds on to make Kidd suffer, and other Young Lions have to pry ZSJ off Kidd! The Submission Master gives mocking head pats to the Kidd, but will he be able to make the rest of the tournament #JustTapOut?

 

2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Will Ospreay!

Ikari no Mogyu has led “the resistance” against the United Empire, but now he faces their leader! Will Tenzan chop down the “Commonwealth Kingpin” and head for revenge on the rest? Or will Ospreay join Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan in glory?

Before the bell, the two get in each other’s face and start shoving. The bell rings and they fire off forearms! Fans rally already as the two go back and forth. Ospreay knees low, runs but gets run over! Tenzan unleashes Mongolian Chops! Ospreay flounders away, Tenzan runs and clotheslines Ospreay out of the ring! Ospreay flounders up but Tenzan is there to club Ospreay! Ospreay CHOPS and ROCKS Tenzan back, then brings him up to reel in. Tenzan avoids the piledriver by back dropping Ospreay! Tenzan sees Ospreay’s Rev-Pro British Heavyweight title and picks it up, but he decides not to use it. Tenzan stomps Ospreay around the outside and even rake Ospreay’s eyes!

Red Shoes reprimands, Tenzan puts Ospreay in but Ospreay catches him at the ropes with a kick! DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Tenzan writhes while Ospreay grits his teeth. Ospreay drops a knee, grinds it down for a cover, TWO! Master Wato rallies with the fans as Ospreay throws Tenzan out. Ospreay goes out to whip Tenzan into railing! Ospreay uses a cravat to bend Tenzan back against railing! Red Shoes reprimands, Ospreay lets off and he drags Tenzan up. Ospreay throws clubbing elbows, but Tenzan hits back. Ospreay clubs Tenzan and puts him on the apron! Ospreay goes up, for a GUILLOTINE KNEE DROP! Ospreay shoves Tenzan in, covers, TWO!

Fans rally up, Ospreay looms over Tenzan. Ospreay drags Tenzan up, bumps him off buckles, and throws forearms. Tenzan eggs Ospreay on so Ospreay throws forearms into the gut! Ospreay clubs Tenzan, digs his boot in, but lets off as Red Shoes counts. Fans rally and Tenzan kicks Ospreay low! Tenzan kicks Ospreay again, throws a haymaker, but Ospreay CHOPS! Ospreay turns Tenzan for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Ospreay clamps on with a chinlock but Tenzan endures. Fans rally up, Tenzan fights to his feet, and Tenzan elbows, only for Ospreay to clamp on with a cravat! Tenzan endures, grabs at Ospreay’s face, but Red Shoes reprimands.

Tenzan throws body shots, Ospreay CLUBS him, but Ospreay runs into the WHEEL KICK! Tenzan fires up, and unleashes more Mongolian Chops! Ospreay goes to a corner, Tenzan stomps him and throws a headbutt! Tenzan whips corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! And headbutts again! Tenzan goes out and climbs up! Fans fire up as Tenzan drags Ospreay up, and hits the FLYING BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Tenzan CLUBS Ospreay, and calls his shot, for the BIG suplex! Cover, TWO! Tenzan grows annoyed, and he stomps Ospreay around. Ospreay throws a forearm but Tenzan gives it back! They go back and forth, Tenzan kicks low then whips.

Ospreay reverses, runs in, but Tenzan puts him on the apron. Ospreay ROCKS Tenzan then PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay reels Tenzan in for a BIG suplex! Cover, TWO! Ospreay grows annoyed but fans fire up again. Tenzan rises, Ospreay brings him to a fireman’s carry but Tenzan fights it off. Ospreay fires forearms and ROCKS Tenzan with the last, to run and BOOT! Tenzan stays up, Ospreay runs, but into the MOUNTAIN BOMB! Tenzan runs, but into a SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up again as Ospreay grits his teeth. Ospreay goes to the corner, aims and springboards, but Tenzan HEADBUTTS Pip Pip Cheerio down! Then he FALLING HEADBUTTS! Cover, TWO!

Tenzan gets Ospreay for the ANACONDA VICE! Ospreay endures as Tenzan thrashes him about! Ospreay fights, reaches, but Tenzan turns him away from ropes! Ospreay keeps fighting and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Tenzan lets go fast and fans rally up. Tenzan brings Ospreay up, scoops, but Ospreay slips out to COBRA CLUTCH SUPLEX! Ospreay aims from a corner, Tenzan rises, ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is furious, he even put some extra spin on the discus! Ospreay reels Tenzan in, underhooks, but Tenzan resists the lift! Ospreay hits some Kowata Kicks and then runs, but Tenzan swings! Ospreay gets around to HOOK KICK!

Ospreay fires up, but runs into a BIG LARIAT from Tenzan! Fans fire up as Ospreay stumbles about, into Tenzan’s scoop! T T D!! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but Tenzan wants the Anaconda Vice again! Ospreay flails and reaches as Tenzan thrashes around again. Ospreay fights up, but Tenzan hits the ANACONDA BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives again but Tenzan heads up top! Ospreay anchors a leg but Tenzan clubs at him! Ospreay tucks Tenzan in! CHEEKY NANDOS! And then Ospreay gets Tenzan up for a LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!?! Tenzan survives and fans fire up, but Ospreay calls his shot!

Ospreay springboards, OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO?!?! Tenzan survives and no one can believe it! Ospreay gets up, reels Tenzan in, underhooks and gets Tenzan up, but Tenzan slides off to headbutt! MONGOLIAN CHOP! And again! Tenzan fires up, scoops but Ospreay resists! Ospreay elbows away on Tenzan, scoops him, and pops him up to a fireman’s carry, for a SIT OUT SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Tenzan survives but Ospreay takes off the armband! Ospreay brings Tenzan up, around, and hits a DREAM CRUSHER ELBOW! Ospreay keeps going, underhooks and lifts, for STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

And the United Empire has swept their first round opponents! Is there no stopping them taking over NJPW? Ospreay gets the mic and says, “Oi, Yamana-shy~!” He perhaps got Yamanashi wrong on purpose, but he mocks the fans for cheering and knowing where they come from. “Tenzan, guys like me, and I’ve said it before, think that your best days are behind you, my friend! But after tonight’s performance, I see you’ve still got some more fight in you, Tenzan-san.” Ospreay says that he is the Kingpin, the Billy Goat, the British Heavyweight Champion, and the best bet for winning the entire NJCUP!

So Ospreay will say this: “Tell me the best! Show me the best! But until they step in the ring with me, you all need to be reminded I am Will Ospreay, and I am on another level!!” The Commonwealth Kingpin and leader of the Empire has said his piece, but will win the whole damn thing?


My Thoughts:

A very good installment for the New Japan Cup, though yes I skipped the entire first half this time. But the 8 Man Tag was a lot of fun, and Takagi continuing his momentum from the biggest win yet makes sense. Takagi is rolling towards his match with Goto, and as I said the other day, I’m very certain Takagi wins. There is great character interaction between Ishii and Sanada, that match is going to be great stuff, too. ZSJ VS Kidd tripped me out, I thought my player accidentally got into 1.5 speed, but that’s just how fast those two were going. Kidd is showing promise with being able to keep up with ZSJ, but naturally ZSJ wins as Kidd is still a Young Lion.

Tenzan VS Ospreay was also really good, but I had a feeling Ospreay would win. Cobb VS Evil, Khan VS Yano and Ospreay VS ZSJ will all be really good one way or another, and honestly can all go any number of ways. However, because I don’t see Empire VS Empire happening, even though this is a tournament arc, if Evil wins, Khan wins. If Cobb wins, Yano finds a way to beat Khan. Ospreay could be the member that goes the farthest, because he really needs to be given the opportunities to prove he’s in the uppercard now. He lost to Okada at WrestleKingdom but now Okada has lost to Takagi, so maybe Ospreay can even rub all this in Okada’s face the next time they meet.

My Score: 9/10


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Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.11.2021

Day 3 of the Champion Carnival had video on demand issues, so it wasn’t uploaded until the 12th. Hopefully Day 3 continues the positive momentum the first two days have already created!

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Day 3 of the Champion Carnival had video on demand issues, so it wasn’t uploaded until the 12th. Hopefully Day 3 continues the positive momentum the first two days have already created!

Hard to say I wasn’t a little annoyed the VOD took so long to post, but better late than never; especially when the next event isn’t until the 17th.

Anyway though! Zeus looks to topple the current Triple Crown champion and continue his undefeated Carnival streak and Ashino has to do something to get off the bubble; but Kento is a big ask. We could be looking at a quick favorite to win as well as the walking dead.

Let’s hope nothing too drastic happens! Check it out!

Match Ratings:

  • Jake Lee vs Koji Doi: Jake wins via D4C @8:10 – **
  • Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi: Ishikawa wins via Single Leg Cradle @11:13 – ***
  • Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino: Ashino wins via Grapevine Ankle Lock @12:11 – *** ½
  • Zeus vs Suwama: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @19:52 – *** ¾

 

Results:

Jake Lee vs Koji Doi

Total Eclipse inner faction fighting! Since Jake is the leader, he starts off in typical heel leader fashion telling Koji to lie down and eat the pin. Koji lies down; Jake drapes himself in a cocky cover, so Koji goes for the crucifix at the 2 count. Jake snaps up and he looks shocked that Koji went against an order, but then we get to a match.

Koji does a solid job keeping Jake off balance with power attacks, Shoulder Tackles and an interesting Football Tackle with the lift and slam. Jake eats a decent amount of offense, including a few short arm Lariats, before he starts stabilizing with Knee Lifts and Yakuza Kicks.

Lucky for Jake, even though Koji countered the D4C once, after Giant Killing, Koji wasn’t countering anything. Jake hits D4C and gets his second win of the tournament! Not a flashy match honestly felt a little silly at points with how quiet and echoed the arena made the match feel. Hopefully the setting doesn’t continue to plague the atmosphere of the matches.

Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi

Now this was decent, though the hollow quiet atmosphere of venue is really detracting from the matches. Yuma was trying to find openings, but Shuji continued to run him over and abuse him with power early. And it was during these slower spots, the deafening silence of the venue made for weird watching.

Even though Shuji hit a Scoop Slam into the corner of the arpon, multiple Tsunamis and a flashing Scoop Fire/Thunder Driver, Yuma stayed resilient. Yuma nearly made the bigger man tap in End Game, but Shuji was able to find the ropes. Yuma hits an O’Connor Roll into the Japanese Leg Clutch, Shuji manages to get out of that, goes for a Tsunami, Yuma slides and tries to scoop Shuji for a Roll-Up, but at two Shuji manages to reverse the Roll-Up, grab a single leg and keep Yuma down for a three count!

Even though I have yet to be convinced by Yuma, the fact he got a finish that still made him look strong while putting up a good fight against a decorated opponent like Ishikawa; that says a lot about his potential rise on the card.

Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino

Ashino is in the unenviable position of last place after two days. With a 0-2 record, he really REALLY needs this…and he of course has Kento as his roadblock. They’ve traded wins in the past, and come off as rivals who don’t really like one another.

The match starts quick with Ashino shooting the half, grabbing a leg and searching for the Ankle Lock early. Kento fights out, but Kento is surprised and Ashino stays on him. Ashino pulls Kento to the ring post and wraps Kento’s left leg against the post a few times. Kento fires and Snake Eyes lands Ashino into the corner of the apron.  This gives Kento plenty of time to walk off the early ankle damage and play into his cocky arrogance, all while messing with the referee and his opponent.

Whenever Ashino managed to get back in the ring, he was greeted by Blackouts to the front and back of his head. It wasn’t really until Kento went for the Shutdown Suplex, that Ashino hit a second wind. Both men trade German Suplexes, Ashino continues with a Deadlift Overhead suplex and he starts building momentum back.

He teases a German from the apron to the floor, but Kento blocks, fights off and Piledrives Ashino instead. Kento fires off Blackouts as Ashino once again barely beats the count out, but after landing his ninth Blackout of the fight, Ashino grabs the left leg, rolls through and goes for the Ankle Lock. Kento tries to fight off, but Ashino refuses to let go, readjusting, rolling through, pulling Kento back into the center away from the ropes; eventually dropping down into the Grapevine. Kento has no other option but to submit!

Ashino finally gets on the board, and Kento joins him in the 1-2 portion of the standings! I wonder how much the ankle will play into the rest of Kento’s carnival.

Zeus vs Suwama

Last year during Zeus’ carnival winning run, he had a match with Suwama which resulted in Suwama sustaining an arm injury. Thanks to this knowledge, and the sting of a failed challenge when Suwama recovered, Zeus came out attacking the arm and trying to replicate some of his success from last year.

The beauty in Zeus’ arm attacks, is not only were the Key Lock and Arm Bars effective to play on the old injury, they also inhibited Suwama from executing the Last Ride Powerbomb. Zeus’ attack really did great, as well as giving him the power advantage against someone who can usually match him in that department. Zeus lifted out of Boston Crabs, met Suwama head on with Biceps Explosions and even broke out the Frog Splash a few times.

In a nice reference, Suwama was able to fight out of the Arm Trap Facelock this time, but Zeus had too much of an advantage. Zeus peppered in Chokeslams, Lariats, another Frog Splash and eventually ended the match with an impactful Jackhammer. This was a solid struggle throughout, injured only by the awkward venue setting.

Who will be the first person to hang a Carnival loss on Zeus since 2019?

Overall Score: 6.75/10

While there wasn’t really a lot to complain about in terms of action, I really hated the venue. With the Japanese crowd rules of not being able to scream and having to just clap or stomp, it was very noticeably irritating in this event.  Slower moments felt empty and stupid, almost back to the empty Quarantine times, which definitely impact smaller events and smaller companies.

Aside from that, we got a lot of really great finishes. Ashino finally getting on the scoreboard AND over Kento is great. Zeus continuing his streak from last year, Jake well…doing Jake things and Shuji looking strong as a current title holder should. Otani and Sato were missed a little today, but let’s check out the standings!

 Standings:

  1. Zeus: 3-0 – (6 Points)
  2. Shuji Ishikawa: 2-1 – (4 Points)
  3. Jake Lee: 2-1 – (4 Points)
  4. Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
  5. Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
  6. Shotaro Ashino: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  7. Kento Miyahara: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  8. Suwama: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  9. Koji Doi: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  10. Yuma Aoyagi: 1-2 – (2 Points)


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