Will the Rainmaker reach the top of NJPW again?
Kazuchika Okada promises to make it rain in NJPW once again, but he’s going up against EVIL! Will Darkness Fall in round two of the G1 Climax?
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.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Hirooki Goto; Tanahashi wins.
- Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS Chase Owens; Tama wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS Jeff Cobb; Cobb wins.
- SANADA VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current B Block standings!
Kazuchika Okada: 1-0, 2 points
EVIL: 1-0, 2 points
Jeff Cobb: 1-0, 2 points
SANADA: 1-0, 2 points
Taichi: 1-0, 2 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0-1, 0 points
Hirooki Goto: 0-1, 0 points
Tama Tonga: 0-1, 0 points
Chase Owens: 0-1, 0 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 0-1, 0 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Hirooki Goto!
The Ace could not trump the Rainmaker, but the Fierce Warrior could not overthrow the Holy Emperor! Who redeems themselves and triumphs in round two?
Fans cheer as Tanahashi shows off the muscles and rally with “Let’s Go, Ace! Let’s Go, Ace!” The bell rings and Tanahashi circles with Goto. They tie up, are in a deadlock for a moment but Goto powers Tanahashi to ropes. Goto lets off cleanly and fans cheer the sportsmanship. Goto and Tanahashi tie up again. Tanahashi waistlocks but Goto wrenches free to a wristlock. Tanahashi drop toeholds and ties up the legs. Goto pulls hair but the ref reprimands. Tanahashi floats to a headlock but Goto slips out to hammerlock an arm. Goto shifts to headlock but Tanahashi rolls and switches the headlock onto Goto. Goto headscissors but Tanahashi kips free and fans cheer the stand-off.
Tanahashi and Goto circle again as fans rally up. They feel out the grapple, tie up with knuckle locks, but Tanahashi kicks, wrenches and has a headlock. Goto fights up, pries at the hold, but Tanahashi wraps it on tighter! Goto powers up, but he can’t power out as Tanahashi still holds on tight! Goto throws body shots then powers free, the two ram shoulders and they stay up! Goto runs back in to run Tanahashi over! Goto hurries to get Tanahashi up for a whip to ropes, but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi’s hip toss is countered into Goto’s hip toss, and Goto KICKS Tanahashi in the back! Fans now rally with “GO-TO! GO-TO!” but he turns around into Tanahashi’s victory roll! TWO!
Tanahashi gets Goto’s legs and drags him around, stomps the leg then drops an elbow on the knee! Fans rally again for “Let’s Go, Ace!” as Tanahashi takes Goto’s leg and SMASHES the knee into the mat. Tanahashi stomps the leg, drags Goto up and then trips him to turn him over. Tanahashi ties up the legs in a knot and pulls back. Goto endures but Tanahashi stands to hook the deathlock up! Fans cheer as Tanahashi bridges back for a MUTA LOCK! Goto endures all over again as Tanahashi pulls back. Tanahashi lets off the bridge to focus on the legs but Goto grabs at hair. The ref reprimands, Goto crawls forward and gets the ROPEBREAK!
Tanahashi lets go and drags Goto up. Goto CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Tanahashi kicks the bad leg! Tanahashi kicks again but Goto deflects to DISCUS! Both men are down but fans rally up. Goto drags Tanahashi up, throws forearms then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Goto runs in to MURAMASA! Then BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!” as Goto stands Tanahashi up. Goto fireman’s carries, Tanahashi fights free but Goto elbows him away. Goto runs in at the corner but Tanahashi BOOTS him! Tanahashi runs to FLYING FOREARM! And then a leaping elbow drop! Fans fire up as Tanahashi stands up again.
Tanahashi drags Goto up, scoops and SLAMS him into a drop zone, then goes to the second rope! SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Fans still rally behind Tanahashi as he stands up again. Goto slowly rises, Tanahashi runs but Goto follows! Tanahashi dodges but Goto keeps following, only for Tanahashi to redirect. Goto also redirects, but Tanahashi drops down! Goto rolls and comes back, into a kick! Tanahashi runs, Goto follows again, BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Tanahashi stays up and Goto runs but into a dropkick to the legs! Goto stays up, Tanahashi runs but into a fireman’s carry! USHIGOROSHI! But the bad leg holds Goto down!
Fans fire up as Tanahashi rolls to a corner and Goto clutches his knee. Tanahashi drags himself up, Goto runs in and clotheslines from behind! Goto hoists Tanahashi up top, CLUBS away on his back, then drags Tanahashi back for a DRAPING NECKBREAKER!! Both men are down again but fans fire back up. Goto fires up and he climbs up top! Tanahashi is in the drop zone as Goto drops the ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi is still in this and fans rally up again. Goto stands Tanahashi up, hoists him to the top rope again, and CHOPS away! Goto climbs up to join Tanahashi and fires up again. But Tanahashi fights back with body shots and they brawl up top!
Goto gives headbutts back, and again, and again! Goto fireman’s carries but Tanahashi flails and fights to a sunset flip! Goto fights free of the bomb to suplex, but Tanahashi turns that into TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he watches Goto rise, SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi goes up a corner, aims as Goto stands, HIGH FLY CROSSBODY! Fans fire up again as Tanahashi goes back up! HIGH FLY FLOP!! Goto evades, and BLINDSIDE LARIATS! Fans rally as Goto uses ropes to stand back up. Tanahashi stirs, Goto powers up, BUZZSAW! Goto keeps going, standing Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi SHOTEIS! Goto HEADBUTTS!
Goto stands Tanahashi up again, REVERSE GTR! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives but Goto stays focused as he stands Tanahashi back up. Dragon sleeper for- NO! Tanahashi slips out, they spin around, Goto gets the dragon sleeper but Tanahashi makes it an inside cradle! Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Goto earns 0)
Goto thinks the match is still going and tries to cover Tanahashi, but the ref makes it clear! The Ace got one over on him, and in the blink of an eye, Tanahashi is on the board! Will the Once in a Century Talent stay strong and rise back up? As for Goto, he’s 0-2 already, is round three going to be where he changes his fortune?
Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS Chase Owens!
It’s Bullet Club VS Bullet Club! Wait, didn’t we just see this yesterday? Fang Revived defeated Tokyo Pimp, but still came out of it as allies within the faction. Will the same be said for the Good Bad Guy and the Crown Jewel?
Being that they’re all Bullet Club, Tama and Jado offer Chase the Too Sweet. Chase accepts as they Low Sweet and fans cheer the sportsmanship. The bell rings and Chase circles with Tama. They tie up, Tama puts Chase on ropes but lets off cleanly. They Too Sweet again then reset as the fans rally up. They tie up again, Chase puts Tama on the ropes now, but Chase lets off. Another Too Sweet and it seems Bullet Club is still cool. They go once again, knuckle lock but Chase rolls to get a top wristlock. Tama tries to power the hold onto Chase but he powers up. Tama wrenches through to a headlock but Chase pries free to put it on Tama, to then wrench and wristlock.
Tama spins, slips through and waistlocks, but Chase breaks it. Tama headlocks, wrenches, wristlocks, but Chase rolls and breaks to get a leg. Tama blocks with a facelock but Chase powers out to arm-drag. Tama arm-drags back and fans cheer the technical exchange. Chase fights up to his feet, Tama pulls hair but whips, then he runs Chase over! Cover, ONE, and Chase sweeps legs to cover! ONE, Chase headlocks but Tama powers out, only for Chase to run him over! Things keep moving, Tama hurdles and follows but Chase blocks Gun Stun! Chase reels Tama in but Tama gets away from the package driver! Fans cheer as the two stand off again.
Fans clap, “BUL-LET CLUB! BUL-LET CLUB!” as Tama takes off the vest! Tama and Chase circle again, feel things out, and knuckle lock. Chase shoots in for a waistlock but Tama elbows him away! Tama throws hands, body shots, forearms but lets off as the ref counts. Tama “apologizes” but then Chase turns things around to stomp and forearm in return! Tama shoves Chase, eggs him on and Chase stomps him harder. SOBAT! Chase shows he’s watching Jado but Jado promises to stay back. Chase runs but Tama hits a POWERSLAM! Tama drops a jumping elbow, then stomps Chase’s right arm. Chase shakes it out but Tama SLAMS it down! So much for being good sports.
Chase goes to a corner, he kicks Tama but Tama throws haymakers. Tama snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Fans rally as Tama throws down punches and elbows on Chase’s head. Tama opens Chase’s guard to CLUB away on his chest! Tama lets off to catch his breath, then he SLAMS Chase’s arm on the mat again. Tama “apologizes” again but he clamps on with a top wristlock. Chase endures as Tama leans on the hold and cranks on the shoulder. Chase reaches with a foot, but Tama sits him up to pull on the arm even more. Chase gets up, throws body shots, but Tama headbutts Chase in the back! But Chase hits a JAWBREAKER in return!
Chase runs and rallies with knuckle shots, then he slides under to enziguri! Tama flounders to a corner and fans rally up as Chase runs in. Tama puts Chase on the apron but Chase bumps Tama off buckles. Chase climbs, leaps up and over then comes back to QUICK DRAW! Then a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up behind Chase as he stands Tama back up. Fireman’s carry, but Tama fights free. Chase tries again but Tama slips off, only for Chase to arm-drag! Tama comes back but into a strike fest from Chase! Chase stands Tama up but Tama fireman’s carries for a ROLLING DEATH VALLEY! Tama crawls to the cover, TWO!!
Fans rally up as Tama stands. Tama watches Chase get up, and then reels him in. Tama underhooks but Chase fights that and wrenches to get a takedown! Chase wants the figure four but Tama makes it a cradle! TWO, Chase sidesteps to SNAP GERMAN! Tama flounders up into Chase’s HALF NELSON BACKBREAKER! Then Chase reels Tama back in for underhooks, TIGER DRIVER! High stack cover, TWO, into an STF!! Chase is showing incredible chain wrestling and now he has Tama caught! Tama endures, drags himself and Chase forward but Chase pulls even harder on the crossface! Tama keeps fighting his way over, and he gets the ROPEBREAK!
Chase lets go and fans cheer while Jado coaches Tama. Chase catches his breath as he goes to the far side, then runs back over to dropkick Tama’s leg out! Chase stands Tama back up, reel shim in, but Tama fights the package again! Tama back drops free, then comes back as Chase spins! Tama ducks the rolling elbow and gets Chase for a dragon sleeper! TONGAN TWIST! Both men are down again and fans rally back up. Tama slowly stands, aims from the corner as Chase rises, and then Tama runs in, but Chase turns Gun Stun into backslide! Tama rolls through, blocks the Jewel Trigger and BACK ELBOWS! Chase stays up to BOOT! GUN- NO! Chase shoves to JEWEL TRIGGER!!
Chase wrenches, hammerlocks, JEWEL HEIST!! Cover, TWO!?! Chase doesn’t care, he sits Tama up for a JEWEL TRIGGER! Chase is fired up and he gets Tama back up! Chase tucks Tama in, for the- GUN STUN!?! Tama hits the cutter out of the package, covers, Tama wins!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Chase earns 0)
What a battle between Bullet Club boys! The Good Bad Guy shows his respect by helping Chase stand back up, and they Low Sweet again. Tama even helps Chase on the way to the back. Bullet Club is just fine, but will Tama be able to climb back up when he’s heading for The Ace next?
YOSHI-HASHI VS Jeff Cobb!
The Head Hunter was so close to defeating The King of Darkness while the Hawaiian Hulk definitely conquered Chase Owens. Will Hashi be able to #GetBackUp and #TurnItAllAround? Or will he go on a Tour of the Islands, too?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. They tie up and Cobb shoves Hashi to a corner. Cobb smirks and wags his finger, Hashi won’t win a test of strength here. They tie up again and Hashi still tries, only for Cobb to shove him down. Cobb shakes his head but welcomes Hashi to come back for more. Hashi and Cobb tie up again and Hashi gets Cobb to step back, but Cobb powers Hashi to ropes. The ref calls for the ropebreak but Cobb lets off. Cobb swings but Hashi gets around to fire off forearms. Hashi whips but Cobb holds ropes to block. Cobb shakes his head again but Hashi CHOPS! Hashi whips, Cobb reverses and scoops but Hashi slips out!
Cobb elbows Hashi away from the waistlock, runs back in but is sent up and out! Hashi runs to baseball slide Cobb into railing! Hashi CLUBS Cobb on the back, RAMS him into railing, then CLUBS him on the back. Hashi CHOPS again and Cobb grits his teeth. Hashi puts Cobb back in the ring, stomps him again, then CHOPS! Hashi CLUBS and CHOPS Cobb in a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Cobb comes back to RAM Hashi down with a shoulder! Cobb stomps Hashi in a corner then digs his boots in! The ref counts, Cobb lets off then drags Hashi back up. Cobb ROCKS Hashi in the back with a forearm, then stands him back up for an elbow to the head!
Hashi falls over, Cobb steps on him, then covers. TWO, but Cobb stomps Hashi on the back. Cobb stands Hashi up, suplexes, holds Hashi up and claps on his back to get the fans rallying before the SLAM! Cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Cobb is annoyed but Hashi is still in this. The fans rally up for Hashi while Cobb says the count needs to be quicker. Hashi throws body shots but Cobb CLUBS, kicks and uppercuts, to then DROPKICK! Fans cheer that Cobb has agility on top of size and strength. Cobb then stands on Hashi at the ropes! The ref counts, Cobb lets off, but he comes back to stand Hashi up. Hashi fires forearms in return, but Cobb isn’t bothered.
Cobb HEADBUTTS Hashi and he staggers to ropes! Cobb stands Hashi back up, whips him again, but Hashi dropkicks a leg out! Hashi gets that leg to DRAGON SCREW! Cobb grits his teeth as he hobbles back up. Fans rally as Hashi aims from a corner. Hashi runs corner to corner and clotheslines! Hashi whips to CHOP, LARIAT, and mule kick to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally harder for Hashi as he stands again. Hashi brings Cobb up, reels him in, but Cobb is too big to lift! Cobb back drops but Hashi makes it a sunset flip! TWO, but Hashi dodges to spinning back kick! Hashi tries again but Cobb back drops him away this time!
Fans rally as Cobb and Hashi go to opposite corners. Cobb runs in to clotheslines, then CHOP LARIAT in succession! And again! And again! Hashi sits down, the ref has Cobb stay back so he can check on Hashi, but Cobb gets Hashi up to reel him in, OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Cobb gets Hashi right back up for an ATHLETIC PLEX! Cover, TWO! Hashi survives but Cobb GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Hashi still lives but Cobb watches him. Hashi goes to a corner, Cobb runs in for a LEAPING back elbow! Cobb whips Hashi to send him back into the corner, then pops him up for- No, Hashi slips off to DRAGON SUPLEX! Fans fire up for Hashi as he and Cobb rise!
Cobb staggers and Hashi runs to LARIAT! Cobb stays up, roars and swings on Hashi, but Hashi dodges to LARIAT!! Hashi takes Cobb off his feet but he’s just getting started! Hashi reels Cobb in, Cobb fights the bomb but Hashi dodges. Hashi mule kicks, SUPERKICKS, then reels Cobb in, for a DESTROYER!! Cover, TWO!! Hashi gets back up and fans are thunderous as he SUPERKICKS Cobb again! Hashi runs to METEORA! Cover, TWO!! Hashi keeps after Cobb and gets a SLEEPER! Cobb endures, fans rally up, and Cobb stands, only for Hashi to change to a half nelson. Cobb fights off Karma but Hashi SUPERKICKS! Hashi pump handles but Cobb elbows free!
Cobb elbows again, ROCKS Hashi with a forearm, then sidesteps to SNAP GERMAN! Fans are thunderous again as Cobb wobbles up and staggers over to Hashi. Cobb whips, Hashi holds ropes to BOOT back! Hashi runs into Cobb’s SUPERKICK! Cobb whips and scoops, TOUR- NO! Hashi gets the nelson, pump handle, but makes it a cradle on Cobb! TWO!! Cobb narrowly escapes but Hashi CHOPS him! Hashi runs but into a POUNCE! Cobb hauls Hashi up to whip and scoop, TOUR OF THE ISLAND!! Cover, Cobb wins!
Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Hashi earns 0)
Hashi couldn’t #GetBackUp and The Hawaiian Hulk is still at the top of the block! With Khan undefeated in A and Cobb undefeated in B, will we see the G1 be conquered by the United Empire?
SANADA VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
The Cold Skull and Holy Emperor meet again after the MetLife Dome showdown where the Dangerous Tekkers kept the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. Zack Sabre Jr. sidelined Tetsuya Naito and just made Shingo Takagi #JustTapOut, will Taichi keep pace with his tag partner? Or will Sanada find a way to win that not even the Sliest Wrestler in the World is ready for?
The entrance attire is put away and Taichi shows off his muscles. The bell rings and fans rally, “SA-NA-DA!” “TA-I-CHI!” as the two stare down. Taichi and Sanada slowly circle, approach, and tie up. Sanada puts Taichi on ropes but lets off quickly and cleanly. Taichi applauds that, too, as the two go again. Another tie up, but again Sanada puts Taichi on ropes. Though, Taichi isn’t really trying. Sanada again lets off and again Taichi applauds. Another reset, the two feel out the grapple then tie up. Sanada headlocks, keeps Taichi from ropes this time, and has hair just a little too short to grab. Sanada hits a takeover, Taichi headscissors but Sanada kips free.
Roles reverse as Taichi hits the takeover and Sanada headscissors. Taichi kips free, the two stand off and fans cheer the technical exchange. Fans rally again as Taichi fixes his hair. Sanada shows off his dancing pecs and fans rally harder. Taichi takes Sanada on as he shows off his dancing pecs. Taichi even flexes to the three clap rhythm. Sanada stands on the corner to do the same! And he even alternates between them! Sanada welcomes Taichi to do the same, but Taichi dismisses that. They circle, feel out the grapple, but also do some dancing pecs. They tie up with knuckle locks but Taichi kicks, snapmares and KICKS!
Taichi pulls on Sanada’s arms and digs a heel into Sanada’s back in this motorcycle stretch. Sanada fights up, Taichi keeps on the arms but Sanada works to turn it around. Taichi powers Sanada back into the motorcycle but fans rally up as Sanada tries again. Taichi pulls back on the arms harder to wrangle Sanada back down. Taichi keeps his knee on Sanada’s back then cranks the arms again. Sanada fights up, moves around, tries to turn it around again, and fans rally up more, only for Taichi to put the hold back onto Sanada. Sanada keeps working on his escape as he endures, and he gives turning it around another go. Taichi powers up yet again to put Sanada back in the stretch!
Sanada reaches with a foot but Taichi keeps him from the ropes. Taichi twists the wrists as he keeps the motorcycle stretch, but Sanada powers up for one last try! Sanada turns it around, only for Taichi to turn things right back onto Sanada. But Sanada storms over to ropes to get the ropebreak! Taichi lets go, to CHOP Sanada on the back! Taichi whips and hits Sanada with a kitchen sink knee! Taichi shakes out his arms before he stands Sanada up and wraps him up in a cobra twist. Sanada endures all over again, especially as Taichi pushes his head down again and again. Fans rally as Sanada reaches out, but Taichi CLUBS him in the side!
Sanada still fights, even as Taichi pushes his head, and he gets another ropebreak! Taichi lets go and fans cheer Sanada’s resolve. Taichi gives Sanada toying kicks at the ropes but Sanada CHOPS, and CHOPS, and CHOPS! Taichi comes back with a choke! The ref sees that, counts, and Taichi lets go to whip. Sanada holds ropes to throw Taichi off and then dropkicks the leg out! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Sanada kips right up! Taichi runs in but Sanada hits him with a forearm, then arm-drags him away. Taichi comes back but Sanada gets around to back suplex BACKBREAKER! Taichi bails out but Sanada slingshots to PLANCHA! Direct hit and fans fire up!
Sanada encourages the fans to get louder while Miho checks on Taichi. Sanada is satisfied with the volume and he puts Taichi in the ring. Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and he stands Taichi up. Taichi kicks, Sanada blocks and trips Taichi, but Taichi resists Paradise. Sanada kicks, whips but Taichi reverses for a DANGEROUS HOOK KICK! Both men are down again and fans rally back up. Sanada and Taichi go to opposite corners. Taichi runs in to clothesline, then he runs Sanada corner to corner to clothesline again! Sanada falls and Taichi paces around. Taichi snarls as he drags Sanada back up, and he fires off Kowata Kicks! But Sanada dropkicks the leg in return!
Sanada runs in at the corner, Taichi dodges to GAMANGIRI! But that was his bad leg! Taichi fights through to run, but he ends up in a fireman’s carry! Taichi fights free and reels Sanada in, but Sanada slips out of Dangerous Saido to get Taichi on the ropes! MAGIC SCREW! Cover, TWO! Miho is relieved but fans fire up again! Sanada drags Taichi up, fireman’s carries again, but Taichi holds onto Sanada’s tights to resist! Taichi wriggles but Sanada throws him into a dragon sleeper! Taichi slips out and wrenches to SEITEIJYUJIRYOU! Sanada endures and fans rally as he fights against the stretch plum! Sanada switches, Taichi resists the lift and PELES Sanada down!
Taichi gets up at the ropes and dares Sanada to stand. Sanada slowly rises, Taichi runs in but Sanada blocks the boot to fire off forearms! ROLLING ELBOW, but Taichi GAMANGIRIS! But as Taichi goes for the Alabama lift, Sanada turns it into a TIGER DRIVER! Taichi fires up and stands, to get around and get Sanada with a DANGEROUS SAIDO! But Sanada stands, dodges a boot to TIGER SUPLEX! Both men are dizzy and they stagger around, they both fall out of the ring!! Miho checks on Taichi but fans rally up for Sanada! A ring count begins and both men stir. The count is already 10 of 20, though, before either sits up. We reach 15 of 20 but only now is Taichi sitting up!
Miho helps Taichi but Sanada springs up, both men are in at 19.5!! Fans rally again as this match continues! Sanada and Taichi still sit up slowly. Taichi uses ropes to stand and he sees Sanada still crawling. Sanada stands, Taichi storms over and BOOTS! Sanada stays up to throw a forearm! Taichi rebounds to boot, but Sanada forearms again. Taichi uses ropes again to BOOT, Sanada rebounds to BOOT! Taichi KICKS Sanada’s leg, Sanada throws a forearm. KICK, forearm, repeat! They keep going as fans fire back up, and Taichi gets the edge with those KICKS! Taichi dares Sanada to bring the fight, and Sanada grits his teeth as he throws a European Uppercut!
Taichi kicks but Sanada blocks. Sanada forearms, uppercuts but Taichi sobats! Sanada spins, but Taichi DECKS him with a forearm! Both men fall to the mat and the fans fire up again! The ref checks on both men, Miho coaches Taichi up and Taichi sits up first. Taichi runs, AX BOMBER! OFF COME THE PANTS! Fans fire up as Sanada staggers, and he blocks the superkick to spin, SLICED BREAD into the DRAGON SLEEPER! SKULL- NO, Taichi rolls through to choke grip, but Sanada flips through the slam! Sanada runs with Taichi but Taichi holds off the O’Conner Bridge! GEDO CLUTCH, but Sanada rolls it to the O’Conner, but Taichi chokes Sanada!!
The ref sees, he reprimands but Taichi rolls Sanada over to another GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!! Sanada narrowly escapes and fans are thunderous! Fireman’s carry, T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Taichi narrowly survives but Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees!! Taichi saves himself and Miho is fired up, just like the fans! Both men are down again as fans continue to rally. Sanada and Taichi stir, then crawl their way to opposite corners. Taichi stands while Sanada leans against the corner. Taichi runs in but Sanada boots him! Then elbows! Sanada goes up but Taichi CLUBS him on the back. Taichi clubs up, CLUBS Sanada then reels him in, but Sanada holds on for dear life!
Sanada elbows Taichi and he hops down, Sanada QUEBRADA, to the dragon sleeper! Taichi spins through to Alabama lift! Sanada flips through, blocks the gamangiri then ROLLING ELBOWS! Taichi rebounds but Sanada dodges, only to get a JUMP KNEE and GAMANGIRI! Both men are down again as fans fire back up! Taichi drags Sanada back up, reels him in, DANGEROUS SAIDO! Bridging cover, TWO!! Taichi changes it up but Sanada still survives! Fans rally harder still as Taichi crawls to the corner. Taichi fires himself up and takes aim as Sanada rises. TENSHOU- DROPKICK! Sanada hurries to O’Conner Roll! TWO, but Sanada hurries up top! ROUNDING-
NO! Taichi evades but Sanada’s on his feet! Three point stance, HUGE FOREARM! Alabama lift and BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Sanada earns 0)
The Dangerous Tekkers stay strong in the G1! Will the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions continue to surge up the NJPW ranks and stand tall at the top?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
These two have clashed before, but it’ll be different this time because Okada promises The Rainmaker is truly back! Will Okada reach the top of NJPW though Everything is Evil? Or will Darkness Fall and end the rain already?
Okada puts his elaborately decorated jacket aside while Dick and Evil Low Sweet. The bell rings and fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as he and Evil stare down. The two slowly circle, but then Evil bails out to talk things over with Dick. Okada patiently waits as he’s seen this all before, but then Dick gets on the apron. Okada swipes at him but Evil gets in to kick Okada and CLUB him on the neck. Evil puts Okada in a corner and CHOPS! Evil whips, Okada holds ropes to boot back, then he scoops and SLAMS Evil! Okada goes right to the apron for a slingshot senton! Fans cheer and rally as Okada paces and Evil writhes. Okada drags Evil up, ROCKS him with a forearm, then bumps him off buckles.
Okada throws a back elbow, then another, and Evil wants Red Shoes to step in. Okada lets off before that, then kicks Evil along the ropes. Okada whips, BOOTS Evil down, then pushes him down for a cover. TWO, but Okada clamps on with a chinlock. Okada digs his knee into Evil’s back but Evil endures and reaches out. Evil gets the ropebreak and Okada lets off cleanly. Okada gives Evil plenty of space before he comes back to throw forearms. Okada CLUBS Evil on the neck in return for earlier, but Evil CHOPS back. Evil CHOPS again but Okada eggs him on. Evil CHOPS, Okada knees low and snapmares, then runs, only for Dick to stand in his way! Evil throws Okada out in the distraction!
Red Shoes reprimands but Evil goes out and whips Okada hard into railing! Okada stumbles away but Evil stalks him towards the timekeeper’s area… Evil stands Okada up, and RAMS him into the timekeeper’s table! Abe-san suffers again! And in the distraction, Dick has undone the blue corner’s buckle pad! Red Shoes checks on Okada and Abe-san while Evil Too Sweets Dick. Evil waits in the ring, Okada slowly rises but the ring count begins. The count is 5 of 20, then Okada gets in at 7. Evil stands on Okada’s face but Okada pushes him away. Fans rally up for Okada but Evil drags him up. Okada throws forearms, then runs, but Evil runs him over! Cover, TWO!
Evil argues the count but Red Shoes says it is fair. Evil drags Okada up to scoop and SLAM, then covers again! TWO, another cover, TWO! Another try, TWO! Evil is frustrated but Red Shoes defends his count. Fans continue to rally behind “O-KA-DA!” as Evil paces around. Evil gives toying kicks, then stands Okada up. Okada throws body shots and forearms, but Evil whips him into the bare buckles! Okada goes down and Red Shoes reprimands but there’s nothing to be done about it now. Evil drags Okada around to put on a HALF CRAB! Okada endures but Evil shifts to stand on his head! Red Shoes reprimands, Evil steps off but keeps the leg. Okada gets a ROPEBREAK, Evil lets go at 4.
Evil paces as fans continue to rally for Okada. Evil drags Okada back up, Okada throws more forearms! Evil comes back but Okada blocks the kick to ROCK him with a forearm! But Evil whips Okada again! Okada stops from hitting the bare buckles, then he dodges Evil as he runs in, Evil runs into bare buckles! Evil staggers into Okada’s kick and NECKBREAKER! Both men are down but fans fire up. Red Shoes checks on both men, they’re stirring and Okada sits up first. Okada grits his teeth as he watches Evil sit up. Okada brings Evil up for more forearms, then whips to ropes. Evil reverses, Okada ducks and dodges and CLOBBERS Evil with a back elbow!
Okada brings Evil around to whip to a padded corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks for the DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans still rally and Okada gets Evil back up. Okada whips him again, but Evil holds ropes to bail out. Okada hurries out after him but Evil kicks him and RAMS him into the timekeeper again! Abe-san gets a double dose! Red Shoes can’t believe it! Dick keeps pestering Red Shoes but he tells Dick to back off. But Evil uses this distraction to get a chair! Okada rises and Evil aims, and he JAMS Okada with the chair! Evil makes Okada take a seat, then CHOPS him! Evil rallies the fans as he gets space and runs back over, but Okada drop toeholds Evil onto the chair!
Fans fire up again as Okada and Evil are down on the outside. Red Shoes tells them to get to the ring, but Okada stands back up to fetch Evil. Okada brings Evil around, looks at the railing, but then shoves Evil into the ring. The Rainmaker is just having a bit of fun with Abe-san before he gets Evil up. Okada gut wrenches, Evil fights that and rakes Okada’s eyes! Red Shoes counts, Evil stops at 4, and Okada goes to a corner. Fans rally up again and Evil runs in, but Okada pops Evil up to the Alabama! Evil fights free, pulls Okada’s hair, then pokes him in the eye! Evil runs but Okada ducks and runs. Evil goes sideways but into a dropkick! Okada gets the arm, MONEY CLIP!!
Fans rally as Evil endures and Okada leans on the hold! Evil is turning red already but Okada keeps on him! Red Shoes checks on Evil but Evil gets a ropebreak! Okada lets Evil go but the fans are still with him. Okada gets Evil up, scoops and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs, MACHO ELBOW! But Okada isn’t done there, and the fans fire up to see the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Evil up, wristlocks but Evil pulls hair! Red Shoes reprimands, Okada ROCKS Evil with a right, then runs. But Evil distracts Red Shoes, Dick SMACKS Okada with a chair! Evil runs now to LARIAT Okada down! Cover, TWO!! Okada still lives and fans fire up again!
Evil slowly rises, Okada is in the corner. Evil hobbles over and puts Okada up on the top rope. Evil climbs up to join him and stands Okada up, for a SUPERPLEX! Evil crawls over to the cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Okada and Evil slowly sit up. Evil slashes the throat and drags Okada back up. Spin and EVERY- NO! Okada slips out, Alabama to a back drop but Evil sunset flips! Okada sits on that, TWO!! Evil runs in but Okada gets around to backslide! Evil rolls through, Okada reels him in for a short arm clothesline! Both men are down again but Okada still has the wrist. Okada gets Evil up, Evil kicks and boots him, but Okada tries again!
Evil ducks the clothesline, runs but Okada dropkicks him down! Okada hurries to get Evil up, gut wrench and JUMPING TOMBSTONE! Okada fires up and fans fire up with him! Wristlock, ripcord and- NO! Evil ducks, shoves Red Shoes at Okada and Okada ends up knocking Red Shoes down! LOW BLOW!! All three are down in the ring as fans rally back up! Evil gets up first and tells Red Shoes to get up. Evil then drags Okada up and reels him in, but Okada slips out of the STO to MONEY CLIP!! Evil grabs for Red Shoes as he endures the hold, but Okada arm-drags him away! Red Shoes still falls out of the ring and Dick attacks with punches and stomps!
Dick sits Okada up for more punches to the head, not holding back on his closed fists! Evil is up, Dick feeds Okada to him, they coordinate for- NO Magic Killer as Okada kicks Dick away! Okada RAMS Evil into the bare buckles! Dick attacks again but Okada is pissed off now. Okada SHOTGUNS Dick into the other corner! Fans fire up, Red Shoes returns, and Evil reels Okada in! Okada ducks, wristlocks, ripcords, but Evil reels Okada back in! Okada slips out of the STO again, spins but into a fireman’s carry! DARKNESS FALLS!! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans are thunderous! The fans rally up for “O-KA-DA!” again but Evil sits up first.
Evil slashes the throat and promises to end this! Evil stands Okada up, spins him in but Okada fights the STO with elbows. Evil LARIATS but Okada drops to his knees. Evil runs, Okada STEALS EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Okada stands, fires up and fans are electric as he gets Evil up, SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! But he’s still not done there! Wristlock ripcord and TRUE RAINMAKER!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Evil earns 0)
So far, Okada keeps his promise! The Rainmaker wins out to close out round two and is 2-0! He takes a moment to catch his breath before he gets the mic. “OTA~! A second win this G1, do you think Kazuchika Okada, the Rainmaker, is going to keep going? Do you think he’s going to give up?!” Obviously not, and fans cheer that! “And though this is only the second win, I don’t plan on having anyone stop me, and no one CAN stop me! No one can stop the Rainmaker!” He’ll continue through the G1 Climax, so he thanks fans for their support. This G1 is only gonna get hotter, and there’s plenty more to look forward to, as Okada makes it RAIN on the climax!
Will Okada keep this streak going until he’s truly reestablished his legacy? Or will there be a speed bump he doesn’t see coming just waiting to spoil things?
Here are the NEW B Block standings!
Kazuchika Okada: 2-0, 4 points
Jeff Cobb: 2-0, 4 points
Taichi: 2-0, 4 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1-1, 2 points
Tama Tonga: 1-1, 2 points
SANADA: 1-1, 2 points
EVIL: 1-1, 2 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 0-2, 0 points
Chase Owens: 0-2, 0 points
Hirooki Goto: 0-2, 0 points
A great follow-up for B Block after the first round. Tanahashi VS Goto was a surprising opener but a great one as Tanahashi keeps it at just the first loss to Okada. It seems like the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions are only here to take these losses, with Ishii also 0-2 like Hashi and Goto. Maybe one of them will be a key spoiler in the blocks with B Block having three at the top right now. Cobb continues to dominate, the United Empire is having quite the run, but so are the Dangerous Tekkers. With this parallel, I can’t wait to see Khan VS ZSJ and Cobb VS Taichi. I am definitely expecting Tekkers VS Empire as the next Heavyweight Tag title story.
Meanwhile, we’re getting good parallels within Bullet Club as Tama VS Chase was tense but they still come out respecting each other. I think Evil facing either of those guys will be very telling in the civil war build. There’s also parallels with the Guerrillas of Destiny, where Loa is also 1-1 because of the technicality from Naito’s injury. GoD could also get back in on the tag title scene but I’d try and keep it to Tekkers VS Empire since we just got a Triple Threat build for MetLife. Okada VS Evil was really good, but that’s expected out of those guys. Okada being 2-0 make sense, his story is going to carry the block, all of us waiting to see if anyone stops the Rainmaker’s return to form.
My Score: 9.1/10
Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.
There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!
- Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
- United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
- House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
- KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
- 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
- TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
- G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼
Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.
Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.
United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata
So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.
Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!
This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.
House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii
Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.
Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.
KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.
Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.
Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.
Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.
5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr
This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.
Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.
WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!
TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi
Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!
Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.
Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!
G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada
So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.
Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.
Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.
Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.
Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.
Overall Score: 7.25/10
There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.
Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.
Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!
We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.
Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
- Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
- Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
- Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
- Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾
The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.
Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice
Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.
Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.
This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.
There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.
Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:
This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.
The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James
Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.
Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.
Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel
The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.
So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.
Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.
Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.
Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.
Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.
Overall Score: 5/10
Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.
I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.
When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.
So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!
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