Knock knock ! It’s tournament season at the door !
Here we are ladies and gentlemen, the first few tournaments of the year are starting to take place, and today we are focusing on the biggest upcoming one, All Japan’s Champion Carnival !
With “new” faces entering the field, and a slightly different format yet again, what does this year’s edition has in store for us ?
Let’s discuss that, and more !
As mentioned in the intro, the format of this year’s Carnival, once again, has changed a little bit. Thankfully we do get the tournament during the usual time period, this time from April 9th until May 3rd.
While the number of participants remains the same at ten, this time, there is no block to win, and all the competition to go through. One block, the two men with the most points make it to the finals. A rather simple formula, for a rather complex tournament to fully predict.
This year’s field once again feels quite stacked, with at least 6 potential finalists !
With all of that said, let’s look at all the participants !
Jake Lee (Total Eclipse) ; 4th entry
Let’s start with the man with all the momentum going his way as the Carnival approaches : Jake Lee. The leader of Total Eclipse, All Japan’s newest faction, recently turned on Koji Iwamoto, leaving his long-time partner in Sweeper and JIN to formed this new group, with all of the now former Enfants Terribles members, at the exception of Shotaro Ashino, as well as Tajiri sliding in.
With this new shift, Lee enters the tournament with one purpose. Finally winning the tournament, and claim the Triple Crown championship for the first time. Is this the year for Jake Lee to eclipse all the competition once and for all ?
Key match-ups : Suwama, Kento Miyahara, Shotaro Ashino, Zeus.
Shuji Ishikawa ; 5th entry, GAORA TV champion
The second man we’ll be talking about is Suwama’s former tag team partner, and new GAORA TV champion Shuji Ishikawa. While he didn’t take too much of step back in last year’s CC, Ishikawa might have to this year given the stacked nature of the field. We ultimately can’t take Ishikawa fully out of the equation, yet this year could be the first one where he doesn’t end up within the higher half of the participants points wise.
Key match-ups : Suwama, Kohei Sato, Koji Doi.
Suwama (Evolution) ; 16th entry, Triple Crown champion
While we’re onto the former Runaway Giants, let’s talk about the man with a target on his back in Suwama. The Triple Crown champion has now been carrying the belt for more than a year. He’ll look to cap that reign off with another big time Carnival performance, aiming for the ultimate victory. As it is often the case with champions, he most likely will fall short, but count on All Japan’s veteran champion to find his way near the top of this one block.
Key match-ups : Shotaro Ashino, Jake Lee, Zeus, Shinjiro Otani.
Kento Miyahara (NEXTREAM) ; 8th entry, World Tag Team champion, 2020 finalist
As we spoke of the champion aiming for victory, here is the only man in the field to win the Carnival while being Triple Crown champion : Kento Miyahara. Now holding the World Tag Team titles alongside best mate Yuma Aoyagi, it is rather safe to say Kento won’t win the Carnival this year. Reaching his fourth finals in a row isn’t however, and ruling out the possibility of the current All Japan Ace making history that way wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do.
Key match-ups : Jake Lee, Shotaro Ashino, Suwama, Zeus, Shinjiro Otani.
Yuma Aoyagi (NEXTREAM) ; 3rd entry, World Tag Team champion
Moving on to the other half of the World Tag Team champion and NEXTREAM lieutenant Yuma Aoyagi. Yuma has been on the rise ever since his first Triple Crown title match against Miyahara, and he now comes across as someone we can rather easily consider as a potential finalist this year. While it may still be early for Yuma to break through to such a degree, this Carnival looks like the perfect field for him to further the statement he made not only against Kento, but against Suwama as well : He definitely belongs as one of All Japan’s top stars.
Key match-ups : Suwama, Shotaro Ashino, Shinjiro Otani, Koji Doi.
Shotaro Ashino ; 2nd entry
Let’s now talk about the other man currently caught in the eye of the storm, the former leader of Enfants Terribles Shotaro Ashino. Not only motivated by the wish to do much better than last year, Ashino enters with the prospect of beating the man who took his faction away from him in Jake Lee, and finally get a win over Suwama.
Needless to say Ashino enters this tournament as one of the favourites to reach the finals, given his implication within All Japan’s main arc going on.
Key match-ups : Suwama, Jake Lee, Kento Miyahara, Koji Doi.
Kohei Sato ; 1st entry
Surprisingly or not, this is indeed Kohei Sato’s first ever Carnival appearance ! The veteran, one half of Twin Towers alongside other participant Shuji Ishikawa, is no easy foe to take on for anyone taking part in this tournament. While it wouldn’t be shocking to see Sato rack up double digit points, chances are we might actually see him take a step back, as the younger generation comes knocking hard in All Japan, and there may not be enough place around the top of this block for Sato.
One thing is assured, the tower once belonging to ZERO1 will leave broken skulls behind its path.
Key match-ups : Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa, Shinjiro Otani, Yuma Aoyagi, Jake Lee.
Zeus (Purple Haze) ; 8th entry, All Asia Tag Team champion, 2020 winner
Now let’s finally look at the defending Carnival winner, and current holder of the All Asia Tag titles. Since losing to Suwama for the Triple Crown, Zeus has sort of fallen back among the hierarchy, if he ever truly climbed a few spots since his sole Triple Crown title run. If there is someone among the current All Japan stars who might fall back this year a little bit, it might very well be Zeus.
Key match-ups : Suwama, Kento Miyahara, Jake Lee, Shotaro Ashino, Yuma Aoyagi.
Shinjiro Otani ; 1st entry
And now, let’s take a look at this year’s wild card : The legendary Shinjiro Otani. In the field of veterans still able to work more than decently well as they get closer to 50, Otani ranks more in the upper echelon. Is there much to expect in terms of results ? Hard to say. How much will Otani impact this year’s field should be one of the most interesting things to follow during this Carnival, coming across as the n°1 wild card here.
Key match-ups : Suwama, Kento Miyahara, Kohei Sato, Shotaro Ashino, Yuma Aoyagi.
- Koji Doi (Total Eclipse) ; 1st entry
Finally, let’s talk about the man who will, most likely, eat a lot of pinfall losses. In such a field, there will be someone taking much more losses than the others and, it’s hard to not look at Doi here. Whether he does fit in such a role, like Kuma Arashi last year or does better than expected record wise, let’s hope he can at least show how talented he is on what likely is All Japan’s biggest stage.
Key match-ups : Shotaro Ashino, Zeus, Shuji Ishikawa, Yuma Aoyagi.
Matches to look out for :
In case this is your first Champion Carnival and / or simply don’t really know which matches to look forward to, here is a list. Most of these matches should impact the standings and help shape up how the tournament will go, with a select few likely being decisive matches. And if they’re not, you will almost be guaranteed a good watch !
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani – April 9th
- Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino – April 9th
- Suwama vs Jake Lee – April 10th
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino – April 10th
- Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino – April 11th
- Jake Lee vs Shinjiro Otani – April 17th
- Jake Lee vs Yuma Aoyagi – April 18th
- Suwama vs Yuma Aoyagi – April 24th
- Kento Miyahara vs Kohei Sato – April 24th
- Shotaro Ashino vs Shinjiro Otani – April 25th
- Suwama vs Kento Miyahara – April 25th
- Jake Lee vs Zeus – April 25th
- Suwama vs Shinjiro Otani – April 28th
- Zeus vs Shotaro Ashino – April 28th
- Suwama vs Shotaro Ashino – April 29th
- Kento Miyahara vs Yuma Aoyagi – April 29th
- Kento Miyahara vs Jake Lee – May 3rd
- Shotaro Ashino vs Koji Doi – May 3rd
Val’s predictions and thoughts :
As I often brought up while going over each of the participants, this year’s field is rather stacked and thus, more so difficult to predict in general. As you’d expect from the Champion Carnival, in a sense. However, there still is one big guideline allowing us to start somewhere.
Last month, all of Enfants Terribles turned on Shotaro Ashino, leaving him all alone while Jake Lee sided with the now leaderless Enfants, taking over leadership and ditching JIN and his longtime partner Koji Iwamoto in the process. The Lee-Ashino match-up already looked like the main story to build towards last year when the Carnival was finally held, but a different route was taken. Approximately 6 months later, this match-up got pushed towards second gear, and we enter this year’s Carnival with a pretty clear “main arc” to develop.
The question being : Will the tournament revolve around this arc ?
I don’t think I need to preface this : I think that yes, and I would dare say it is rather obvious, that this year’s Carnival is set around Jake Lee and Shotaro Ashino. Thus, I lean towards the same finals match-up I predicted last year, which already was these two facing each other.
With that said, what about the winner of this final ?
Last year, I picked Jake Lee to win the Carnival over Ashino. That also isn’t changing, for two main reasons. The first one being Jake Lee’s ascent, which is obviously linked to Ashino’s “downfall” here. Both men were at a bit of a critical place prior to the landscape shifting moment happening. Lee especially was struggling to find success after his losses to Miyahara, failing to beat Zeus in the Carnival last year, in the A block’s deciding match. He also failed to win Real World Tag League alongside Iwamoto, as JIN came up short against NEXTREAM in the finals, failing at this stage for the second year in a row.
While Ashino comes off two losses against Suwama for the Triple Crown, the situation is different. One can afford to lose in order to keep chasing the one that cannot. The one that cannot drastically changed his ways, in what may be read as a desperate attempt at finally finding success again. Success Lee hasn’t touched since September 2019 when winning the Royal Road tournament.
Therefore, according to my possibly nonsensical and illogical ramblings, Jake Lee will be the Champion Carnival winner this year. And mostly likely end up being the one to dethrone Suwama.
One other aspect I wanted to discuss rapidly in this section is : How is Yuma Aoyagi’s Carnival going to look like ?
Ever since trying to prove his worth against Kento Miyahara last year, Aoyagi has only kept growing and legitimizing his status as one of the upcoming top players in All Japan. Winning RWTL alongside Kento, defeating Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa for the World Tag Team titles, and following a day later with a star-making performance against the same Suwama for the Triple Crown.
Following this match, there is little to no doubt, at least in my mind, that the Carnival should serve as a way for Aoyagi to cement what the Suwama match showcased. By putting very good to great matches of course, but that won’t be enough. Yuma needs to win, and if possible against big names. He needs to end up ranking rather high in this 10 men block. Is making it into the top 5 with double digit points a fair bar to reach for the oldest of Aoyagi brothers ?
With that said, this 2021 Champion Carnival preview reaches its end. What are some of your thoughts, predictions and expectations ? Hopefully, you are looking forward to this year’s edition as much as I do, as this Carnival definitely looks promising.
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 12.1.2022
After the holiday, we get on track for Hard to Kill. Deonna vs Mickie James is the main event…do we see Mickie’s career end tonight?
With the holiday last week, I wasn’t home to cover IMPACT so it’s going to be a fun night of how much I remember and how well they frame the stories.
We’re on the road to Hard to Kill, so we need to remind people about Over Drive and then move forward. I’m also curious if we get any resolution on the VBD stare down after EY lost. I really don’t want EY to get kicked since that will be a sad group of mid card sacks of shit. But I guess we’ll see.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 2, 2022
- Rich Swann vs Bully Ray: Swann wins via DQ – * 1/2
- Moose vs Bhupinder Gujjar: Moose wins via Lights Out – * 3/4
- Steve Maclin vs Frankie Kazarian: Kaz wins via DQ – **
- Last Rodeo: Deonna Purrazzo vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Victory Roll – *** 1/2
We get the Over Drive highlights, so I’m guessing they did their usual Thanksgiving fun episode. Bully Ray walks out to start the show. Bully recaps things, explains how he kept his word while running down the crowd, intimidating children and doing solid heel work.
It goes a little long, but thankfully Rich Swann eventually gets sick of the diatribe and rushes the ring. Swann gets in a few pot shots, but Bully bails out, tries to walk away and gets a plancha. The referee comes out and the match will kick off the show!
Rich Swann vs Bully Ray
Bully jaws a little, lays in some punches and power moves but Rich eventually turns the tide. The quick step over back kick and a Frog Splash for 1. But then Bully catches Rich on the top rope, Tree of Woe and starts wailing on him.
Bully keeps control of Swann until Swann drops down with the Jawbreaker and then we see him start using the speed and athleticism with kicks and top rope moves. Bully stifles Rich, goes for the Avalanche Senton as he flirts with the referee and misses. Rich hits a 450 Splash for 2, and then we see a little back and forth, before Bully grabs his chain and hits Rich in front of the referee. So the DQ happens but Bully doesn’t care. Bully gets a chair and other weapons from under the ring and starts beating on Rich.
Bully really likes these zip ties, Tommy Dreamer comes out to stop Bully though. They argue, Bully shoves Dreamer and then D’Amore hits the ring to try and quell this. Bully is defiant, even D’Amore is getting fired up and looks like he wants to fight Bully. Dreamer trying to keep D’Amore away from Bully is funny and pretty great.
Moose vs Bhupinder Gujjar
Definitely not a match I expected.
Moose gets in the early shots, but Gujjar starts to fire back and he gets some solid shots sending Moose to the outside. Gujjar takes to long to pander after the Dropkick and Moose has him eat a Big Boot into an Apron Powerbomb.
Gujjar shows more fire but Moose cuts him down. Moose goes for the Lights Out, but Gujjar dodges sending Moose into the corner. A few shots, Ripcord Knee, Slingblade and now…tuning up the Gargoyle Spear but Moose side steps it like Samoa Joe. Gujjar leapfrogs the Lights Out again, but Moose puts the brakes on and fires back connecting with the Lights Out and the win.
Moose starts to rant and says that he doesn’t want any of the idiots to to talk about Bully Ray or “Say his name”, and then JOE HENDRY’s music hits! There is already a “This is Awesome” chant just with Joe Hendry and Moose standing in the ring. Hendry fights Moose off mostly and Gujjar hits the awful Spear out of nowhere to get Moose to powder out.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 2, 2022
Steve Maclin vs Frankie Kazarian
Maclin starts off with some big strikes but Kaz ducks the line and hits the Springboard Reverse Elbow, and begins his offensive. Kaz beats on him in one corner then Maclin tosses him out and we see some back and forth. Neither are really landing big strikes, Maclin keeps some control with smaller strikes and knees against the ropes, but nothing really definitive.
A few of Maclin’s shots piss off Kaz and they Hockey Fight a little but Maclin keeps all of the control. Kaz does finally start a comeback and we get some of the classic Kaz Flying Forearm, Guillotine Legdrop and Slingshot Cutter. Maclin powder…and grabs a chair. So…another DQ finish?
Last Rodeo: Deonna Purrazzo vs Mickie James
They do a good job pacing things back and forth early on. Deonna fights back and starts to rock Mickie, the Slingshot into the bottom rope gives Deonna full control. Headlock Takeover and tries to wear Mickie down, Mickie fires back but Deonna refuses to give her the advantage. Mickie finally manages to slow her down with a Headscissors and now we get Mickie dropping Deonna down, Mickie goes to the top for the Thesz Press, but Deonna pushes her off.
Commercial break kicks in, and Deonna hits a Brainbuster for a few sequential pinfall attempts, but Mickie refuses to stay down. Camel Clutch from Deonna is wearing down Mickie but she manages to fight out. A few back elbows, then Mickie goes to the ropes to try offense but Deonna stifles. They struggle and Mickie finally gets Deonna on the outside, Dropkick and Thesz Press to the outside.
Mickie throws Deonna in, Missile Dropkick, Neckbreaker and looking for the Mick D-T, but Deonna stops it. Tornado DDT attempt from Mickie, but a Pump Kick from Deonna drops Mickie for a 2 count. Queen’s Gambit attempt, Superkick counter from Mickie for another 2. Mick D-T again, but Deonna blocks and swings around driving Mickie down into the Fujiwara. Venus Di Milo gets locked in too close to the ropes.
Locomotion Victory Rolls, Deonna tries to grab the tights, but Mickie counters through and picks up the win with a little tights pull of her own.
Jordynne’s music hits. She basically says they both put things behind them, and challenges Mickie at Hard to Kill. Career versus Title.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 2, 2022
Overall Score: 6/10
Honestly, Bully went on a little long, Moose’s promo was a little too similar to Bully just being a piece of shit. Plus the match quality aside from the main event was lame, two DQs is redundant…so yeah, not sure what to make of this.
Career versus Title for Knockouts is nice but then after that we had the vignette killing off Eric Young so VBD is a mid card faction. Which I guess is a little sad since this is the best Deaner we’ve ever seen, but he’s still not a credible on the card.
So it was a weird show, but Joe Hendry always makes things a little better.
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (11/30/22)
World Tag League, Round 4!
Will the United Empire continue to conquer?
World Tag League finally goes again, and round four might be bad luck for the top of the block! Will Aussie Open continue to lead as an undefeated duo?
- Tomoaki Honma & Ryohei Oiwa VS Yuto Nakashima & Oska Leube; Nakashima & Leube win.
- Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Clark Connors & Kosei Fujita VS Suzuki-Gun; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; LIJ wins.
- World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens; Fale & Chase win.
- World Tag League 2022: Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare VS Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer; Suzuki & Archer win.
- World Tag League 2022: Aussie Open VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Aussie Open wins.
- World Tag League 2022: Tetsuya Naito & SANADA VS Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls; Shane & Mikey win.
- World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI; Yano & Tanahashi win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current World Tag League standings!
Aussie Open: 3-0, 6 points
Goto & Hashi: 2-1, 4 points
Naito & Sanada: 2-1, 4 points
Suzuki & Archer: 2-1, 4 points
Khan & Henare: 2-1, 4 points
The Mighty: 2-1, 4 points
Yano & Tanahashi: 1-2, 2 points
Chase & Fale: 1-2, 2 points
Evil & Yujiro: 0-3, 0 points
Coughlin & Kidd: 0-3, 0 points
World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens!
The #MechanicalBulls are barely holding on, but so are the General’s Jewels! Who gets a grip and claws their way back up before it’s too late?
The teams sort out and Kidd starts against Chase. Fans rally as the two circle, and they’re able to cheer “KIDDU! KIDDU!” The two tie up with knuckle locks, break, then go again. Chase waistlocks, but Kidd pries free to wrench. Chase spins and wrenches back to top wristlock. Kidd slips around, spins Chase and snapmares, then sits him up to a chinlock. Chase fights up to get in the ropes. The ref counts the break and Kidd counts along to let go at 4. Chase is annoyed but Kidd says it’s okay. Kidd and Chase approach, Chase kicks the knuckle lock away to tie up collar ‘n’ elbow. Chase puts Kidd in a corner, the ref counts, and Chase lets off.
Chase CHOPS Kidd, but Kidd DECKS Chase! Kidd fires up and fans applaud. Chase stands up and resets with Kidd, they tie up, and Chase claws Kidd’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Chase headlocks but Kidd powers out. Chase runs Kidd over and tells him, “SUCK IT!” Things speed up, Kidd hurdles but Chase stomps the monkey flip with a stomp! Chase headlocks but Coughlin tags in as Kidd powers out. Kidd drops down and Coughlin scoops Chase to SLAM! Kidd drops a SENTON, then the Mechanical Bulls flex. Coughlin deadlift gut wrenches for the SUPLEX! Fans fire up and Chase goes to a corner. Coughlin runs in, but Chase dodges!
Chase CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Coughlin just frowns at him. Coughlin puts Chase in the corner, but Chase blocks the chop with knees! Coughlin shapes out the arm and Chase storms up on him, but Coughlin picks Chase up to RAM him in the corner! Coughlin UPPERCUTS, CHOPS, and roars! Fans fire up with The Android as he drags Chase up. Coughlin tags Kidd, whips Chase, then kicks Chase low. Kidd knee lifts, Coughlin CHOPS, and Chase falls for Kidd to drop an elbow! Fale gets in but Coughlin kicks him first. The Mechanical Bulls mug Fale then double whip, but Fale runs them both over! Fans fire up as the Rogue General stomps Kidd.
Fale drags Kidd up, whips him corner to corner, and Chase stomps a mudhole in. Chase drags Kidd up to scrape his face on the ropes! Tag to Fale, and Chase pushes Kidd down for him and Fale to stand on his back! The ref counts but Chase & Fale salute. Bullet Club steps away at 4, and Fale drags Kidd to a cover. TWO, and Fale is upset with the ref. Fans rally for Kidd but Fale stomps him down. Fale drags Kidd up but Kidd CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Fale throat chops back! Kidd sputters and Fale tags Chase. Chase drags Kidd up, he and Fale double whip, and they body shot, knee lift and LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Fans fire up for Kidd but Chase taunts Coughlin. The ref stops Coughlin from getting in as Chase brings Kidd up. Kidd swings but Chase dodges to BELL CLAP! Chase throws Kidd down for the NECK TWEAK! Kidd writhes and Chase tags Fale. Bullet Club whip Kidd to a corner, then Fale runs in, only for Kidd to dodge! Chase runs in but Kidd dumps him out! Fans rally up but Fale stomps Kidd down. Fale drags Kidd up, scoops him, but Kidd slips off! SUPERKICK! Fale staggers away and fans fire up! Kidd crawls for his corner, hot tag to- NO, Chase trips Coughlin! Chase wags his finger, and Fale SPLASHES Kidd in the corner! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up and Kidd sputters, but Fale tags Chase. Chase drags Kidd up and calls his shot! Chase suplexes, but Kidd blocks! Kidd throws body shots, but Chase blocks his suplex. They fight for control and fans rally up. Chase gets Kidd up, but Kidd fights back down to TENZAN BRAINBUSTER! Kidd fires up as fans fire up, and both men crawl to their corners. Hot tags to Coughlin and Fale! The Android dodges the General to RAM shoulders! Coughlin fires off forearms then scoops! But Fale’s too big! Or is he?! Fale CLUBS Coughlin before he’s off the ground too far! Fale scoops Coughlin to a fireman’s carry, but Coughlin fights free!
Coughlin fires off more forearms, he ROCKS Fale, then tries the scoop! Fans rally but Fale resists! Coughlin knees low, CHOPS, and fires up! “LET’S GO!!” Coughlin runs but Fale CLOBBERS him! Fale then runs to drop a BIG elbow! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Coughlin is still in this. Tag to Chase, Bullet Club double whip to FLAPJACK and SLIDING BOOT! Cover, but Kidd breaks it! Fans fire up as Kidd fires off forearms on Bullet Club! Kidd forearms, CHOPS, repeat! Kidd roars, runs, but Chase gets around to waistlock and lift! Fale runs in, GRENADE LAUNCHER! Fale whips Coughlin corner to corner, Chase runs in and forearm smashes!
Fale runs in to SPLASH! Fale then scoops Coughlin and Chase goes up, but Coughlin slips free! Coughlin shoves Fale into Chase, and Chase falls onto his crown jewels! Fale staggers, into a SCOOP SLAM!! The Android roars and fans fire up! Coughlin clinches Chase, for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Fans fire up more and Coughlin drags Chase up. But Chase BOOTS, C-TRIGGERS, and tucks Coughlin in! PACKAGE DRIVER!! Cover, Chase & Fale win!
Winners: Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Coughlin & Kidd earn 0)
Chase turns things around in the blink of an eye, and he and Fale survive the Mechanical Bulls! Can they survive until the end of the league to be a finalist? As for Coughlin & Kidd, is their run already over at 0-4?
World Tag League 2022: Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare VS Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer!
The All United Empire Finals is still possible, but only if the Dominator & Ultimate Weapon continue to dominate! Will they keep their hopes alive? Or will even the Empire see that #EverybodyDies?
As always, The Orchestrator, Gideon Grey, is here to give the Empire’s introductions. As for the Murderhawk Monster, he storms over the railing to get right up to commentary! Milano Collection AT and Master Wato ask for mercy, they don’t wanna get hit. Then Suzuki makes his entrance and Archer chases Gideon! Gideon runs all the way to the back row, and Archer pushes Young Lion Oskar Leube out of his way. Fans all join in on “KAZE NI NARE!” and then Suzuki-Gun attacks the Empire! Archer kicks Henare and throws him out while Suzuki himself is after Khan! Suzuki throws Khan out, stomps him at ringside, and the bell rings!
Suzuki stands Khan up to knee him low, then kick him down! Archer chases a cameraman off, but then Henare dodges his boot into the post! Henare comes back to ROCK Archer! Khan and Suzuki trade forearms, then Suzuki kicks low. Suzuki whips, Khan reverses and Suzuki hits railing! Suzuki slumps down and Khan is after him. Khan shakes the railing while choking Suzuki with his foot! Khan lets off to CLUB Suzuki but Suzuki throws body shots. Khan CLUBS Suzuki again, puts him in the ring, and then drags him around to CHOKE! The ref counts, Khan lets off and brings up all the stuff Suzuki was doing.
Suzuki kicks at Khan from below, but Khan stomps away on Suzuki! Khan CHOKES Suzuki again, but lets off as the ref reprimands. Fans rally up as Khan drags Suzuki up. Khan puts Suzuki in the corner, CLUBS him, then hops up onto his throne! Fans applaud but Suzuki snarls as Khan pulls back the arms! Henare talks trash right to Suzuki’s face while the ref manages to keep Archer back. Suzuki SPITS at Henare! Khan hops off, Henare CLUBS Suzuki, then Khan tags Henare in. The Empire mugs Suzuki but he fights back with CHOPS and palm strikes! But the Empire still mugs Suzuki with clubbing arms.
Henare ROCKS Suzuki with forearm after forearm in the corner, then digs his boots in! The ref counts and Henare lets off, but Suzuki stands right up! Henare KICKS, KICKS and ROCKS Suzuki! Fans fire up, and Suzuki hits back! Suzuki wrenches an arm, brings Henare to ropes, then HOTSHOTS the arm! Henare swings on Suzuki but into a HANGING ARMBAR! Archer runs to BLAST Khan off the apron! The ref reprimands, Suzuki lets off and drags Henare out to whip him hard into the railing! Suzuki ELBOWS Henare in the head and Henare drops to the floor. Archer stomps Khan around outside to keep him down.
Archer apparently takes offense to Khan’s ponytail being a braid, it’s too much like Archer’s murderhawk braid. Anyway, Suzuki stands Henare up, slaps him around, and he bumps Henare off the apron. The ring count climbs but Suzuki puts Henare in at 5 of 20. Tag to Archer, and Suzuki-Gun stands on Henare’s head! The ref reprimands, Suzuki-Gun steps away, and Archer drags Henare back up. Archer puts Henare in a corner, stomps a mudhole in, laughs and stomps some more. Archer digs his knee in but the ref counts. Archer lets off at 4, then Suzuki gets a shot in. Suzuki returns the trash talk from earlier as he slaps Henare around.
Archer stands Henare up and Henare throws a body shot. Archer fires up and throws his shirt off, egging Henare on. Henare throws forearms, then a CHOP! Archer laughs and dares him to do that again. Henare CHOPS, so Archer DECKS him! Fans fire up while Archer looms over Henare. Archer drags Henare up and to the corner to tag in Suzuki. Suzuki-Gun mugs Henare with body shot after body shot! Suzuki hits Henare one more time and he falls over! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Suzuki drags Henare up. Henare throws a forearm, but Suzuki gives it back! Suzuki eggs Henare on so Henare throws another forearm!
Suzuki ROCKS Henare with a shot, fans rally up, and Henare fires off a flurry! Suzuki kicks low! Suzuki runs, but Henare blocks the kick to step-over WHEEL KICK! Both men are down and fans fire up! Henare stirs, hurries over, hot tag to Khan! Khan throws hands on Suzuki then the Mongolian Chop! Khan whips Suzuki to a corner and clotheslines from behind! Khan dribbles Suzuki’s head off the buckles! The ref reprimands but Khan SLAM DUNKS Suzuki! Suzuki staggers around, Khan runs, and he runs Suzuki over! Cover, ONE!! Suzuki is still a tough old bastard and Khan drags him up.
Fans rally up as Khan whips Suzuki corner to corner. Suzuki reverses and BOOTS Khan! Then Suzuki dribbles Khan off the buckles! Fans rally, Suzuki snapmares and PENALTY KICKS! Suzuki seems to prefer soccer to basketball. Cover, TWO! Suzuki stomps Khan, slaps him around, but Khan stands as fans rally. Khan ROCKS Suzuki, but Suzuki ROCKS Khan! The forearms go back and forth, harder and harder, faster and faster, and fans rally with each shot! Khan ROCKS Suzuki, ROCKS him again, but Suzuki just laughs! Suzuki ROCKS Khan right back! Khan wobbles and drops to a knee! Suzuki eggs Khan on, so Khan Mongolian Chops!
Khan Mongolian Chops again! Khan roars, runs, but Suzuki kitchen sink knees him down! Tag to Archer! Archer stalks Khan, and clamps on an IRON CLAW! But Khan clamps on HIS IRON CLAW! The fans rally for the battle of iron claws! Khan and Archer go back and forth, but Archer breaks free to full nelson! Khan breaks free of that to drag Archer down to a KNEEBAR! Archer flails and crawls and reaches out as Khan grapevines the leg! Khan has a HEEL HOOK, then shifts the angle! Archer keeps moving and gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer as Khan lets off to tag Henare. Khan still anchors the leg, then he and Henare stomp Archer down.
Henare drags Archer up to throw body shots in the corner. Henare & Khan double whip Archer corner to corner, then Khan runs in to clothesline! Henare runs in to add a clothesline! Henare feeds Archer to the HITSUJIGOROSHI, then grabs at the legs. But Suzuki runs in to CLUB Henare and stop the Fubuki! Suzuki CHOPS Henare, CHOPS Khan, repeat! HEADBUTT for Henare, HEADBUTT for Khan! Henare swings but Suzuki gets around to shove Henare into Khan! Suzuki runs but into SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Fans fire up and Khan runs at Archer in the corner, but into a BOOT! Henare runs in, but Archer dodges!
Archer puts Khan in a corner, and he sees he has two targets! Fans fire up as Archer runs to back elbow Henare! And runs corner to corner to back elbow Khan! Back to Henare, but then Khan dodges! Archer kicks Khan, runs, but into a chicken wing and PONYTAIL CHOKE! The ref reprimands but Khan feeds Archer to Henare’s HEEL KICK! Khan puts on HITSUJIGOROSHI, Henare gets the legs for FUBUKI, then MARINE!! Cover, TWO!! Archer survives and fans fire up again! Henare calls the shot, and he fireman’s carries Archer. Khan runs, but Suzuki slips in to catch Khan with a SLEEPER HOLD!
Archer slips free to choke grip Henare! But Henare throws a HARD body shot! Henare roars and runs in, to SHINING WIZARD in the corner! Henare shoves Archer out, goes up, but Archer blocks the “brain chop!” Archer STEP-UP KNEES Henare, and has the inverted crucifix! BLACKOUT BOMB!! Cover, Suzuki-Gun wins!
Winners: Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Khan & Henare earn 0)
The Suzuki Army just conquered the United Empire! Did they just kill the hopes of an All United Empire Finals? Or can Khan & Henare find new live in the next round?
World Tag League 2022: Aussie Open VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi!
Speaking of the Empire, Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher are leading the pack, hoping to carve their names in history! Will “Dunk-Zilla” and the “Aussie Arrow” still be riding high? Or will the King of Darkness & Tokyo Pimp bring them down by any means necessary?
Gideon Grey returns, safe from Archer, to give Aussie Open their introductions. Then the House of Torture makes their entrance, with Dick Togo already accompanying them outright. Who knows where Sho is lurking, but surely he’s here, too. Aussie Open don’t sweat Evil or Yujiro as they taunt them during the introductions. Fletcher tells Dick to shoo, “See you later, bucko.” But then the House of Torture attack 3v2! Evil claws Fletcher’s eyes while Dick and Yujiro mug Davis. Dick even DECKS Gideon! Yujiro throws Davis out while Evil throws Fletcher out. The bell rings to put this on record as the brawling continues outside.
Evil and Yujiro whip Aussie Open but Aussie Open reverse to send Evil and Yujiro into railing! Then Aussie Open pick them up, run around the way, and SANDWICH them at ramp side! Fans fire up and Fletcher helps Gideon back up. Fletcher CLUBS Evil, Davis puts Yujiro in, and Fletcher goes in after Yujiro. Fans rally up as Aussie Open double whip the Pimp to double sledge, PENALTY KICK and SENTON! Fans fire up as Davis covers, TWO! Davis glares at Dick then drags Yujiro up to ROCK him with a forearm. Tag to Kyle, Aussie Open mugs Yujiro, and Yujiro staggers around. Fletcher reels Yujiro in, but Yujiro wrenches and BITES Fletcher’s hand!
The ref reprimands, Yujiro stops and he kicks Fletcher low. Yujiro whips, Fletcher reverses but Yujiro holds ropes. Fletcher runs in but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Evil BLASTS Davis and goes out after him! Dick ROCKS Fletcher while Evil brings Davis around. Evil RAMS Davis into the timekeeper! Davis and Abe-san both flop down on the other side of the railing! The ref reprimands and Young Lions hurry to help Abe-san. Evil kicks Fletcher around, pulls his hair, then puts him in the ring for Yujiro. Yujiro drags Fletcher to a cover and the ref returns to count, ONE! Fans rally but Evil is already annoyed with the count.
Yujiro bumps Fletcher off buckles, tags Evil, and Evil has the ref check Davis But this is so Evil can CHOKE Fletcher with his shirt! Fans boo but Evil gets away with that and covers, TWO! Evil is upset again but the ref defends his count. Tag to Yujiro and he drags Kyle up. Yujiro snapmares and runs to basement BOOT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up with Fletcher as Evil argues the count. Yujiro drags Fletcher up, fans rally and cheer for Aussie Open. Yujiro ROCKS Fletcher, brings him around, and ROCKS him again. Evil holds Fletcher in place so Yujiro can CHOKE him with a boot! The ref has to keep Davis back so the House of Torture gets away with that.
Evil taunts Davis, then he drags Fletcher up into a cobra twist. Yujiro and Dick link up with Evil to link to the railing for leverage! Fans boo and Gideon storms over, but Dick kicks him first! Dick then makes Gideon part of the chain! Fletcher endures even more before the ref notices! The ref counts, the House lets off and Fletcher crawls away. Evil keeps him from Davis but taunts Davis to reach out. Evil brings Fletcher around but Fletcher fires off forearms! But Evil knees low! Evil suplexes but Fletcher blocks! Fans rally as Fletcher keeps fighting, and he wrenches out to get around and SNAP HALF ‘N’ HALF!
Fans fire up with Fletcher and he crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Davis! Dunk-Zilla blasts through Yujiro to corner clothesline Evil! Then Davis CHOPS Yujiro, and corner clotheslines Evil again! Another CHOP for Yujiro, another corner clothesline for Evil! Davis goes for another but Yujiro dodges the chop to kick low. Evil & Yujiro double whip Davis, but Davis handsprings and comes back to DOUBLE LARIAT! Fans fire up with Davis as he storms up to Evil in a corner. Davis CHOP-LARIATS! And CHOP-LARIATS! And CHOP-LARIATS again! Davis drags Evil up to fireman’s carry, but Evil slips around to a waistlock.
Davis elbows free but Dick swipes at him! Dick plays innocent, and Davis turns around into an EYE RAKE! Evil whips Davis into bare buckles! The fans boo the Bullet Club Special but Yujiro tags in. Yujiro & Evil stomp Davis, then Yujiro drags Davis up. Yujiro stands Davis against ropes to BOOT him! Yujiro then brings Davis out to FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Aussie Open but Yujiro brings Davis up. Davis fights the Incolle Slam, but Yujiro kick slow! Yujiro whips, Davis reverses and runs in, but Yujiro dodges! Yujiro runs in but Davis catches him to BUCKLE SHOT!
Davis runs side to side to SLIDING FOREARM! Fans fire up and Davis runs to BLAST Evil! But Dick grabs Davis! Fletcher runs in to SHOTGUN Dick down! Aussie Open brings Yujiro up, POP-UP KICK! And then the scoop, to the LAWN DART CUTTER! Cover, but Evil breaks it! Fletcher CLUBS Evil and throws him out! Fletcher hurries back to the corner, Davis tags him in! Fans rally as Aussie Open calls for the finish, but here’s SHO! Sho distracts everyone by brandishing his wrench! The ref tells Sho to get down so he does, but this allows Evil to shove Aussie Open into each other, and the ref!
Fans boo as Dick gets in to JAM Davis with a chair! And again! The House of Torture mugs Aussie Open 4v2! Fans boo harder, then they rally up for Aussie Open. Gideon gets in to block Sho from using the wrench! But Evil CLUBS Gideon! But here comes GREAT-O-KHAN! He BOOTS Sho down and DECKS Dick! He Mongolian Chops Evil, dodges Yujiro and hits the RUNNING NECKBREAKER! Fans roar and the Empire fires back up! Aussie Open aim at Evil, SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Evil goes down, Yujiro staggers, and he has his pimp cane! The ref stops Yujiro from using it, and then Gideon gets in to LOW BLOW Yujiro!
Fans fire up and Aussie Open give Yujiro COREALIS!! Cover, Aussie Open wins!
Winners: Aussie Open, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Evil & Yujiro earn 0)
The House of Torture can’t seem to figure it out! Will they ever get on the board at this rate? As for Fletcher & Davis, is it only a matter of time before they conquer the World Tag League?
World Tag League 2022: Tetsuya Naito & SANADA VS Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls!
It was Lights Out for the Uncontrollable Charisma & Cold Skull last round, but The Mighty did not kneel! Will Shane & Mikey stay standing? Or will Los Ingobernables de Japon make them tranquilo?
Naito takes his time with his entrance attire as always, which mildly annoys The Mighty. Shane mocks Sanada’s dancing pecks with butt flexing. The teams sort out and Mikey wants Naito to step up. LIJ fist bumps, fans cheer, and Naito obliges. Fans rally for “NA-I-TO!” at the bell. Naito and Mikey circle slowly, feel things out, then Naito toys around with the step forward and the step back. Mikey gets annoyed but they tie up. Mikey waistlocks but Naito wrenches out to a wristlock. Mikey rolls, wrenches, wristlocks, but Naito rolls, wrenches and hammerlocks. Mikey reaches back to headlock, but Naito powers out, only for Mikey to run him over!
Naito gets up, Mikey runs him over again! Mikey wrenches and whips Naito to ropes, but Naito whips the back drop away. Mikey comes back to turn Naito’s back drop into a suplex! Mikey holds Naito up and fans rally! Mikey keeps Naito for over TEN before the SLAM! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Mikey drags Naito up. Mikey puts Naito in the corner, tags Shane, and the Mighty stomp away. Shane snapmares to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Shane keeps on Naito’s arm with a knuckle lock. Shane KICKS Naito in the back, wrenches the arm and YANKS it. Shane wrenches and YANKS again, then tags Mikey.
The Mighty mugs Naito, double whips him, but Naito ducks the double clothesline to shove Mikey into Shane! Shane falls out of the ring and Naito whips Mikey to ropes. Sanada trips Mikey and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans rally up as Mikey flops out of the ring. Naito goes out after Mikey and whips him hard into railing! Sanada bumps Shane off the apron, then Naito whips Mikey into more railing! The ring count starts, Mikey drags himself up and in at 9 of 20. Naito headlocks Mikey and claws his eyes! The ref reprimands, Naito lets off, but then he just claws Mikey’s eyes! The ref counts, Naito lets off and tags Sanada in.
LIJ mugs Mikey, Sanada wrenches and CLUBS the arm. Sanada YANKS, wrenches, but Mikey throws big forearms! Sanada waistlocks, hammerlocks, then twists the arm. Mikey throws elbows to back Sanada up into a corner. Mikey whips but Sanada reverses. Sanada runs in, he blocks the boot, and he CLUBS the leg! Mikey falls, Sanada tags Naito, and Naito whips Mikey to another corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! COMBINACION CABRON! Fans fire up as Naito poses, and he taunts Shane. Naito drags Mikey up but Mikey throws a haymaker. Naito returns it so Mikey throws another. They go back and forth, faster and faster, and fans fire up!
Mikey ROCKS Naito, ROCKS him again, then ROLLING ELBOWS! But Naito just rakes Mikey’s eyes! The ref counts, Naito lets off and whips corner to corner. Naito runs in but Mikey UPPERCUTS! Mikey runs but into a kick! Naito whips, runs in, but Mikey LARIATS Naito down! Fans fire up as both men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Shane! Shane CLOBBERS Naito, BLASTS Sanada then ELBOWS Naito! Shane whips Naito corner to corner to UPPERCUT him down! Sanada gets in, kicks Shane low and whips him to ropes. Shane reverses to wrench and SAIDO! Fans fire up, Shane KICKS, BOOTS and INVERTED EXPLODERS Naito! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up and Shane stalks Naito. Shane drags Naito up, hoists him up top and ROCKS Naito with a right. Shane climbs up after Naito but Naito CLAWS Shane’s eyes! Shane staggers away but Mikey rushes in to ROCK Naito! Mikey climbs up but Naito fires off forearms! Mikey drops back but he gives Shane a boost! Shane gets Naito, SUPERPLEX POWERBOMB COMBO! Mikey drags Shane onto the cover but Sanada breaks it! Mikey CLUBS Sanada and throws him out. Shane and Naito stir, Mikey whips Sanada but Sanada reverses! Mikey hits railing hard! Shane drags Naito up, reels him in, but Naito blocks the lift!
Naito wrenches out to throw ELBOW after ELBOW! Shane avoids an elbow to UPPERCUT, then he whips only for Naito to reverse it, TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Naito crawls as fans rally, hot tag to Sanada! Sanada runs in at Shane and blocks a boot! Shane kicks free, but Sanada dropkicks the legs, then dropkicks Shane out of the ring! Sanada hurries and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and fans fire up! Sanada drags Shane back up, puts him back in, and fans rally again. Sanada springboards but Shane gets under! Shane comes back, but into a fireman’s carry! Shane slips off, Sanada elbows him away, but Mikey sneaks a tag.
Shane wrenches Sanada but Sanada fights the back suplex. Sanada swings at Mikey but into the BACK SUPLEX NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up as Mikey runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Mikey snarls. Fans rally, Mikey drags Sanada up and fireman’s carries, only for Sanada to slip off! Sanada ducks the back elbow but right into a DDT! Fans rally back up while both men are down, and Mikey roars! Mikey drags Sanada up to scoop, but Sanada slips off to shove Mikey into Naito’s atomic drop! ENZIGURI! Fireman’s carry and T K O! Cover, Shane breaks it! Naito throws Mikey out and fans fire up as Sanada climbs the corner!
ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to land out as Mikey moves! Shane gets in to BROKEN ARROW! Naito dropkicks Shane’s legs out! Mikey storms up into Naito’s ELBOW! Mikey roars, Naito dodges his lariat and comes back to dropkick the legs! Naito runs, CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Mikey blocks Destino and Shane runs in, LAWN DART DDT! Fans fire up and Mikey drags Sanada up. Shane hops up, Mikey scoops, but Sanada slips off to shove Mikey at Shane! Sanada O’Conner BRI- NO, Mikey stops the bridge and shoves Sanada into Shane’s ROUNDHOUSE! Mikey scoops Sanada again, TANK BUSTER!! Cover, The Mighty win!!
Winners: Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Naito & Sanada earn 0)
The Mighty Don’t Kneel, and they find a way to win! Will Shane & Mikey find an outside way into the finals? Is the pressure to make it to WrestleKingdom going to break Naito before the league is out?
World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI!
The Joker & The Ace finally got on the board, but the winstreak of one win might already end against the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter. Can the trickster bring himself to pull any tricks on his friends in Chaos? Or will Bishamon turn out the lights on Yano & Tanahashi?
The teams sort out and Yano grows impatient. He doesn’t even take note of Tanahashi taking off his jacket to show off the muscles. Goto steps up and Yano fires up. The bell rings and fans rally and duel. Yano squats and talks some smack, but Goto squats with him! Goto gives back the trash talk, Hashi steps in to back Goto up, and even smooshes Goto’s face up to make it more menacing! Yano says enough jokes, but Goto blocks Yano’s kick! Hashi runs to dropkick the leg! Goto BLASTS Tanahashi, then Bishamon brings Yano up to drum away! Tanahashi rushes in, but Bishamon kicks him to drum him, too! Fans fire up as Bishamon stands tall.
Goto stomps Yano to a corner, fires forearms, then whips him corner to corner. Yano reverses, then hurries to untie a buckle pad! Yano fires up but turns around into a kick! But the pad shielded Yano! Fans boo and Goto can’t believe it! Yano throws the pad to Goto and SLAPS him! Yano whips and Goto hits the buckles! Hashi runs in, Yano kicks him and whips him into bare buckles, too! Tag to Tanahashi and Yano throws Hashi out. Tanahashi drags Goto up, throws him out, and the bad boys bring Bishamon around to whip into railing! Fans rally and cheer as Tanahashi drags Goto back up to put him in the ring.
Tanahashi stomps Goto’s leg then YANKS it! Fans cheer as Tanahashi air guitars. Tanahashi drags Goto up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Yano, and he bumps Goto off the bare buckles! And again! Fans fire up while Red Shoes keeps Hashi back. Yano whips Goto into the bare buckles now! Goto hobbles and fans fire up. Yano kneels on Goto for a cover, but Red Shoes says it’s a choke! Yano says no, it’s just up high! Yano stomps Goto, drags him up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Tanahashi, and the bad boys whip Goto to ropes. They run him over, then they squat! Tanahashi drags Goto up, but Goto CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS!
Tanahashi throws body shots, runs, but Goto follows to LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto and Tanahashi crawl, hot tag to Hashi! Hashi ELBOWS Tanahashi down, BLASTS Yano, then storms up on Tanahashi. Tanahashi kicks low, whips Hashi to the padded corner, but Hashi comes back to CHOP! Hashi mule kicks and turns Tanahashi for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Hashi runs in again, to CHOP Tanahashi against ropes! Hashi hangs Tanahashi out to dry, runs side to side, and he DROPKICKS Tanahashi down! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally and Hashi stalks Tanahashi.
Fans rally, “GO ACE! GO ACE!” but Hashi brings Tanahashi up. Hashi reels Tanahashi in but Tanahashi fights the lift. Hashi keeps trying, but Tanahashi wrenches out. Hashi ROCKS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi ROCKS Hashi! They go back and forth, forearm for forearm, and fans rally up! Tanahashi gets the edge, but Hashi CHOPS back! Hashi aims but Tanahashi blocks the superkick to DRAGON SCREW! Fans rally while both men are down! Hashi and Tanahashi crawl, hot tags to Goto and Yano! Yano dodges Goto, claws his eyes and whips him, but Goto reverses! Yano hits the bare buckles, then Goto hits MURAMASA, and the BULLDOG! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally, Goto fireman’s carries but Yano fights with elbows! Yano runs, Goto follows but Yano ducks! Goto deflects the boot to DISCUS LARIAT! Fans fire up with Goto and he drags Yano up, but Yano ROCKS him! Goto ROCKS Yano back, the forearms start flying back and forth, faster and faster! Fans rally as Goto gets the edge, but Yano rakes the eyes! But Goto SLAPS Yano! Goto whips, Yano reverses and throws Goto by his hair! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs in to forearm smash, then he feeds Goto to an atomic drop! Trip and CATAPULT into the bare buckles! Tanahashi runs but Goto denies the Slingblade!
Goto shoves Tanahashi into Yano, then DOUBLE LARIATS! Fans fire up as all three men are down! Goto crawls, fans rally up, and Goto hot tags Hashi! Hashi runs the ropes but Tanahashi blocks the lariat! Hashi spins to CHOP! Tanahashi fires off a strike fest! But both men roar! Hashi fires off his own strike fest and CHOPS! SUPERKICK! Tanahashi stays up, Hashi runs to LARIAT him down! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up with Hashi and he brings Tanahashi back up. Hashi fisherman’s but Tanahashi fights the suplex to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi runs, to SLINGBLADE! Cover, but Goto breaks it!
Yano throws Goto back out! Tanahashi fires up and he goes up the corner! HIGH FLY FLOW onto Hashi’s knees!! Hashi cradles, TWO!!! Tanahashi survives the sudden turnaround and fans are thunderous! Fans rally with “GO ACE! GO ACE!” as Tanahashi and Hashi stir. They both sit up, head for each other, and Tanahashi throws a forearm. Hashi throws it back! Tanahashi throws another forearm, but Hashi throws it back! They stand, egg each other on, and the forearms fly faster and faster! Fans rally, SHOTEI rocks Hashi! Tanahashi runs, but into Goto’s fireman’s carry! Tanahashi slips off but Goto powers him into the corner!
Hashi runs in and Goto moves, Hashi CHOPS Tanahashi! Hashi feeds Tanahashi to the fireman’s carry but he slips off again! Tanahashi full nelsons but Goto breaks that and ducks, HIDDEN GAP! Fireman’s carry again, FIERCE FLASH! Fans fire up more as Bishamon says it’s time! They drag Tanahashi up, hook him up, but Tanahashi kicks Hashi away! Yano drags Hashi out while Tanahashi hits TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Yano puts Hashi back in, drags Goto out, and Tanahashi runs, into a CHOP! Hashi runs, dodges Tanahashi once, but the SLINGBLADE comes back around!! Fans fire up as Tanahashi climbs the corner!
Goto anchors Tanahashi’s legs! Tanahashi CLUBS Goto but Hashi ROCKS Tanahashi! Hashi climbs up, but Yano LOW BLOWS Goto! Yano slips in and grabs Hashi for the ONIGOROSHI BOMB!! Tanahashi adjusts, HIGH FLY FLOW!!! Direct hit!! Cover, Ace & Joker win!!
Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Goto & Hashi earn 0)
The World Tag League 2021 winners have fallen to 2-2! Are their chances of back-to-back wins in jeopardy?
As for Yano & Tanahashi, Tanahashi gets the mic to thank the fans for coming tonight. “Hey, Toru, it’s great to hear the cheers, huh?” Fans cheer because it’s great TO cheer! Tanahashi says he wants to have this every day, “so make sure you stay safe and healthy so that happens! Thank you for today!” Fans cheer for that, and they want the air guitar! Tanahashi borrows one from a fan on the east side, that he passes to Yano! Yano’s happy to be part of a rare air guitar duet! Master Wato even has his on commentary, so now it’s a trio! “SHIZUOKA~!” “OSU~!” “SHIZUOKA~!” “OSU~!” “LET’S ROCK!” The jam session is on!
Fans clap along as Yano is a natural! Fans cheer but they want the “EN-CO-RU! EN-CO-RU!” Tanahashi is never one to disappoint the fans, and Yano gets his chair guitar! They jam out again, and Yano can truly do it all! But he’s not gonna throw the chair to the fans, that’s dangerous. But the fans want another encore! Tanahashi says, “LAST ONE! Yano takes a seat in his chair for air DRUMS! Now it’s a real jam session! Big finish and…! Fans cheer the great performance, and Tanahashi gets the mic back. “Toru and Hiroshi are going for the trophies, so keep supporting us! And keep supporting NJPW! Finally, people of Shizuoka… ASHITEMASU~!”
Will love, energy and comedy propel the Joker & the Ace to the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Here are the NEW World Tag League standings!
Aussie Open: 4-0, 8 points
The Mighty: 3-1, 6 points
Suzuki & Archer: 3-1, 6 points
Yano & Tanahashi: 2-2, 4 points
Goto & Hashi: 2-2, 4 points
Naito & Sanada: 2-2, 4 points
Khan & Henare: 2-2, 4 points
Chase & Fale: 2-2, 4 points
Evil & Yujiro: 0-4, 0 points
Coughlin & Kidd: 0-4, 0 points
Another really good event and a really good round for World Tag League. I’m a little surprised Coughlin & Kidd haven’t gotten a win yet, but they always look solid in their matches. Great stuff back to back for the United Empire, even though Khan & Henare did lose. Khan helping Aussie Open was good stuff, though, and of course the House of Torture keep losing big time. Also, Naito & Sanada losing again puts the pressure on them, they could have an even stronger showing in the second half of this tournament. Tanahashi & Yano winning to close was a bit of a surprise, but they’re a great team and huge fan favorites, I would love to see them be a team for more than just World Tag League.
My Score: 8.7/10
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