Will Darkness Fall and give the King of Darkness his throne?
The Summer Struggle is finally over, but now we’re in the final innings! Will Shingo Takagi still reign atop NJPW? Or will EVIL strike him out?
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.
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan; Cobb & Khan win.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori VS El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Desperado & Kanemaru win and become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat Tag: The Dangerous Tekkers VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA; Dangerous Tekkers win and retain the titles.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles VS Hiromu Takahashi; Eagles wins and retains the title.
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Takagi wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan!
The Rainmaker finally fell to the Hawaiian Hulk, but that was just the first trilogy! Will the Stone Pitbull help Okada get back up and turn things around? Or will the United Empire win as a united duo against Chaos?
Cobb is of course very smug while the teams sort out. Okada dares him to step up, but The Dominator starts instead. In that case, Ishii starts for Chaos, and fans rally with the bell! Khan and Ishii circle, feel out the grapple, and tie up shoulder to shoulder. Khan shoots in but Ishii blocks, only to be put against the ropes. The ref calls for the break, Khan lets off with a pat on the shoulder and a smack to the head. Ishii storms after Khan but Khan kicks low then MONGOLIAN- No, Ishii dodges the chops and blocks the iron claw! Ishii wrenches, Khan rolls, drop toeholds and has a leglock! Ishii stays up with his hands to get Khan in a leglock of his own!
Khan rolls, Ishii holds on, but Khan kicks his way free. Fans cheer that technical exchange as the two reset. They tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, Ishii powers Khan to the Chaos corner, and Okada tags in. Okada runs and DECKS Cobb while Ishii fires off on Khan! Chaos brings this outside, Okada whips Cobb hard into railing! Fans cheer while Ishii does the same to Khan, and then Okada whips again. Cobb reverses to OVERHEAD Belly2Belly Suplex Okada down! Fans fire up as Cobb hobbles over and stomps Okada. Khan deals with Ishii on his head, and the United Empire regroups as fans rally up for Okada. Cobb stands Okada up to RAM him into the apron!
Cobb puts Okada in the ring for Khan and Khan uses a knee to cover. TWO, but Khan keeps cool. Okada sits up but Khan is right on him. Okada throws forearm after forearm but Khan knees low! MONGOLIAN CHOP! And another! Okada falls, Khan takes aim, Mongolian THRUST! Cover, TWO! Okada stays in this but Khan is just softening him up. Tag to Cobb, the United Empire mugs Okada with a headbutt to the ribs! Cobb CLUBS Okada but Okada just gets mad. Okada throws a forearm, Cobb eggs him on. Okada keeps throwing forearms, Cobb keeps egging Okada on, then Cobb headbutts Okada again! Okada goes to a corner, Cobb gets him up to whip and scoop!
Okada slips out of the Tour to get the arm! Cobb resists the Money Clip, Ishii sees Khan running around the way and gets him first! Cobb RAMS Okada into a corner and is free of the armlock. Cobb runs in but Okada pops him up! Alabama lift to the REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up as both men are down in the ring, then rally up as Okada rises. Okada tags in Ishii, he runs and RAMS shoulders Cobb! Cobb rams back, they go again, then Ishii whips Cobb to a corner. Ishii runs in to clothesline, but Khan CLUBS Ishii from behind! Ishii whips Khan into Cobb! Ishii runs in, Khan gets away so only Cobb takes the clothesline! Khan runs the ropes but Ishii CLOBBERS him!
Cobb whips Ishii to the corner, but Ishii rebounds off buckles to run Cobb over! Fans fire up as Ishii growls and watches Cobb. Cobb stands, Ishii brings him around and suplexes, but Cobb is too big for that! Cobb tries to suplex Ishii but he fights that, too. Ishii and Cobb fight over suplex control, but Cobb wrenches to clinch. Ishii fights out of the belly2belly but then catches Cobb’s clothesline to spin him around! Ishii manages a suplex! Fans fire up as Cobb stands right back up! Ishii dodges the superkick but runs into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! But then Ishii stands right back up! Ishii dodges the superkick again to ROCK Cobb with a forearm! Ishii runs but into a dropkick!
Fans fire up while both men are down. Cobb crawls for the Empire corner and tags in Khan! Khan stomps around and drags Ishii up. Khan whips Ishii to a corner and then clotheslines him in the back! Khan hoists Ishii up top backwards, and MONGOLIAN CHOPS Ishii into the Tree of Woe! Okada protests as Khan digs his boots into Ishii’s chin, but then Khan runs corner to corner from the three point stance for a SLIDING BOOT! Fans cheer that athleticism and Khan lets the ref figure out the Tree of Woe. Ishii is freed but Khan is right on him with a cover. TWO, but Khan simply drags Ishii up to gut wrench dead lift! GUT WRENCH SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!
Khan DECKS Okada just because, then Cobb gets in. The United Empire drags Ishii up, double whip him to a corner, then Khan whips Cobb in for a LEAPING- Ishii dodges so Cobb hits buckles! Ishii runs at Khan, Okada runs in at Cobb, simultaneous corner clothesline and back elbow from Chaos! Okada kicks Cobb but Cobb wrenches to avoid the DDT! Okada throws forearms on Cobb but Cobb ROCKS Okada with one! Cobb runs, but into Okada’s FLAPJACK! Khan runs in, but is sent into Ishii’s forearm! Okada boots Khan into Ishii’s BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Ishii keeps cool as he drags Khan up by his ponytail and Okada goes after Cobb on the outside.
Khan forearms Ishii back, then forearms again. Ishii hits back, they brawl while Cobb RAMS Okada into railing. The brawling speeds up and the fans rally with every hit! Ishii gets the edge, and he ROCKS Khan into a corner. Ishii whips, Khan reverses and Cobb returns! Ishii hits buckles then Cobb hits the back elbow! Khan runs in to clothesline, then he brings Ishii around, SUPERKICK BOOT SANDWICH! Cobb reels Ishii in to suplex, Khan adds a BOOT to the SLAM! Cover, Okada breaks it! Cobb CLUBS Okada, Okada ROCKS Cobb back! Okada CLUBS Cobb, Khan CLUBS Okada. Khan whips Okada, Okada reverses but Cobb catches Okada out of the air during his dropkick!
Okada fights free of Cobb’s grip but then Khan CLUBS Okada on the back. Khan runs, but into a proper Okada dropkick! Fans fire up but Cobb fires off forearms and CHOPS on Okada! Cobb runs, but into a dropkick from Okada! Okada and Ishii fire up with the fans, and Okada clears Cobb out while Ishii aims at Khan. Ishii runs but Khan blocks lariat to the STANDING CROSSFACE! And then the IRON CLAW! Khan lifts Ishii but he slips out of the Eliminator to reel Khan in. Khan suplexes first but Ishii fights that off and wrenches an arm! Ishii blocks Khan’s boot but Khan ROCKS Ishii with a forearm! Ishii HEADBUTTS to intercept the Mongolian Chop!
Khan roars and BOOTS Ishii after all! Ishii roars and swings, but into a SLEEPER IRON CLAW! ELIMINATOR!! Khan covers, Cobb keeps Okada out, The United Empire wins!!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
The Dominator takes down the Stone Pitbull while Cobb keeps the Rainmaker from being a difference maker! Is the United Empire going to rise as Chaos falls?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori VS El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru!
Bullet Club’s Cutest Tag Team (their name for themselves, at least) aren’t happy they lost the Super Junior Tag League, but they’ll gladly take down Suzuki-Gun’s duo on the big stage! Will the Headbanger, the Bone Soldier Reborn, and whatever is or isn’t in ELP’s boot, stop the Rogue Luchador and Heel Master from getting these titles again?
The introductions are made, the titles are raised, and after Bullet Club puts away all their cool entrance gear away, we see if the 2021 SJTL winners can become champions!
Suzuki-Gun doesn’t wait for Bullet Club to Low Sweet and sort out, they attack right away! ELP & Taiji hit back and the bell rings as the four brawl! Bullet Club gets the edge, ELP DECKS Kanemaru while Taiji throws Desperado out. ELP CHOPS Kanemaru, throws him out now, and Taiji sets Suzuki-Gun up. ELP climbs as fans fire up, then walks the tightrope, but doesn’t moonsault! ELP thinks he’s being so clever, but Suzuki-Gun mugs Taiji! Kanemaru gets in and sneaks up behind ELP to kick him low! Kanemaru CLUBS and whips ELP, ELP goes up and over and baits Kanemaru in to springboard crossbody! Cover, TWO! ELP rolls and LIONSAULTS! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer but ELP gets annoyed as he drags Kanemaru up. Half straitjacket and torture rack, but Kanemaru lands on his feet out of the toss! Kanemaru rakes ELP’s eyes and has him in a corner. Kanemaru whips ELP corner to corner, runs in but into a back elbow. ELP runs but into Kanemaru’s low dropkick! ELP manages to handstand out of his leg getting hit! But then he has to stand on his feet again and his knee bothers him. Kanemaru runs to dropkick the leg out again, and this time ELP falls on his face! Desperado DECKS Taiji on the outside, Kanemaru gets ELP’s bad leg and SMASHES it into the mat. Tag to Desperado, he stomps the bad leg, but ELP CHOPS back!
Desperado digs his boot into ELP’s leg even harder now! Kanemaru returns to add on and the ref counts. Suzuki-Gun lets off, and ELP clutches both leg and face. Desperado drops a knee into ELP’s leg, then ties up the legs in a BUTTERFLY STRETCH! ELP tries to grab at Desperado’s mask but Desperado knuckle locks the hand and adds to the pressure of the leglock! ELP flails and reaches and gets the ropebreak! The ref wants Desperado to undo the hold and he lets off on the pressure, but ELP CHOPS him again! But then Desperado just adds pressure again! ELP grabs the ropes and the ref calls for the break again! Desperado lets the hold go to “oops!” and drop a knee on the leg.
Tag to Kanemaru, he kicks Taiji off the corner before ELP can tag out. Kanemaru then stomps the bad leg, drags ELP away to the far side, and puts the leg on the rope. Desperado holds it in place for Kanemaru to DROP down on it! ELP hobbles up but Kanemaru kicks him down at the corner. Kanemaru whips ELP hard into the Suzuki-Gun corner, then Desperado drags him down. Kanemaru argues with the ref so that Desperado can SLAM ELP’s leg into the post! ELP flops out, Desperado kicks him around, and ELP goes into the ring. Kanemaru gets ELP for a HALF BOSTON CRAB! ELP endures, reaches out and gets another ropebreak! Kanemaru lets go at the count of 4!
Desperado tags in, Kanemaru stomps ELP more, and Desperado adds on. The ref reprimands but Suzuki-Gun splits the wishbone! Cover, ROPEBREAK! ELP saves himself again but Desperado keeps on him. Desperado goes to suplex but ELP RAMS him into the Bullet Club corner! Taiji is back and he tags in as ELP RAMS his shoulder into Desperado more! Bullet Club mugs Desperado in the corner, and ELP adds on more forearms. Taiji brings Desperado up and whips him to ropes, but Desperado reverses, only for Taiji to arm-drag and arm WRINGER! Taiji elbows Kanemaru down then goes back to Desperado to stomp him.
Fans rally as Taiji hammerlocks Desperado’s bad arm and brings him up. Taiji RAMS Desperado into buckles, shoulder first! Taiji drags Desperado back up, ELP tags in, and ELP climbs up as Taiji holds onto Desperado. Fans fire up and ELP plays it up with a drum roll, before the jump and CLAW! Taiji keeps Kanemaru down while ELP JAMS his elbow into Desperado’s face. ELP brings Desperado up, tags Taiji back in, and yes, Taiji climbs up top. Taiji plays it up before he leaps to CLAW Desperado! ELP has Desperado on the ropes as he CLAWS Desperado in the chest now! The ref reprimands but Taiji brings Desperado around to put in a Tree of Woe.
Taiji knows down Kanemaru again before he runs corner to corner to SLIDING BOOT! Desperado is stuck in the Tree, ELP tags in and Bullet Club goes to the opposite corner. Taiji runs in again for another SLIDING BOOT! ELP fires up, he and Taiji take aim, and they both run corner to corner, to jump up and dig their boots into Desperado’s groin! The ref reprimands but Kanemaru makes the save! Only to get mugged, and for ELP to CLAW his back! Bullet Club hoists Kanemaru up for a DOUBLE Tree of Woe! And a DOUBLE standing on the groins! The ref reprimands but fans cheer the creativity. ELP drags Kanemaru out of the Tree to throw him out of the ring.
Tag to Taiji and Bullet Club gets Desperado up. Desperado fights back but still gets mugged. Bullet Club double whips, but Desperado holds ropes. Taiji runs in, is put on the apron, and then Desperado sends ELP into Taiji! Taiji falls, ELP staggers, Desperado gives ELP a SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down, and Kanemaru calls to Desperado from the corner! Desperado gets up, but Taiji denies the tag by tripping Kanemaru up! ELP drags Desperado away to the Bullet Club corner and Taiji tags in. ELP slowly CLAWS Desperado’s back, and Taiji lines up his shot. Taiji runs in, blocks Desperado’s boots and puts him in the ropes!
Taiji runs side to side, SLIDING GERMAN! Cover, TWO! Taiji drags Desperado up and around to hammerlock and then elbow away on the shoulder! Taiji stands Desperado up, gets Desperado up for a SHOULDER BREAKER, then covers! TWO, and Desperado survives, but is still writhing and shouting. Taiji gets Desperado up but Desperado blocks the gut wrench. Taiji CLUBS away on Desperado, whips him to ropes, but Desperado reverses. Taiji handsprings, Desperado catches him but Taiji fights free. Desperado reels Taiji back in for a BIG back suplex! Both men are down again and Kanemaru is back on the corner! Desperado rolls and tags Kanemaru in!
Kanemaru DECKS ELP, drags Taiji up to whip, but Taiji reverses and ELP gets a cheap shot in! The Bullet Club double whips Kanemaru to a corner but Kanemaru BOOTS Taiji and dodges ELP! Kanemaru CLAWS ELP and throws him out! Kanemaru whips Taiji to the corner, Taiji Tiger Feints, goes in and out and around to shoulder Kanemaru! Taiji springboards, Kanemaru gets under to mule kick, then Kanemaru runs. Kanemaru ducks, dodges and tilt-o-whirls for a DDT! Both men are down but fans fire back up. Kanemaru crawls to a cover, TWO! Taiji is still in this but Kanemaru drags him up to reel him in.
Kanemaru scoops, gets the dragon sleeper, but Taiji spins around! Kanemaru blocks the suplex to try his own, but now we have a battle for suplex control. Taiji throws body shots, Kanemaru still blocks, but Taiji gut wrenches instead! CIPHER- NO! Kanemaru sits on Utaki to make it a cover, TWO!! Taiji narrowly escapes and Kanemaru argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Kanemaru runs at Taiji in the corner, but into a boot! He tries again but Taiji ax kicks him now! Kanemaru tries a third time but he runs into a BUCKLE SHOT! ELP calls to Taiji, Taiji rolls that way and tags ELP in!
ELP hobbles to Kanemaru, whips him to a corner, then sends Taiji in for DOUBLE KNEES! Taiji climbs up, ELP gives him a boost with the Electric Chair, for the TOSS CODE BREAKER! Taiji holds Kanemaru in place as ELP climbs up, ELP SUPER BACK SENTONS Kanemaru down! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru survives and Bullet Club grows frustrated but the fans fire back up. ELP reels Kanemaru in, hooks up the arms, but Kanemaru back drops free! Taiji goes after Desperado as ELP sunset flips! Kanemaru rolls through and gets the legs for a FIGURE FOUR! Desperado RAMS Taiji into railing while ELP endures the leglock! Kanemaru even adds an ankle lock to it!
ELP reaches for ropes, Kanemaru flails to add leverage, and then he goes after the boot itself! Kanemaru wants to expose the secret just like anyone else! ELP gets the ropebreak but Kanemaru takes his time letting off on the hold. Tag to Desperado, they drag ELP up and Kanemaru gives him a SHINBREAKER! Desperado adds a CHOP BLOCK! Cover, TWO!! But Desperado puts the leg in a STRETCH MUFFLER! Taiji runs in, gets caught by Kanemaru, CAMEL CLUTCH! Dual submissions are torturing the Bullet Club! ELP gets around to get the ROPEBREAK! Taiji is let free but Desperado adds more damage to the leg. Desperado stands ELP up but ELP fights off the combo move!
ELP switches with Desperado and shoves him at Kanemaru! Then ELP rolls Desperado up, with tights! TWO, and ELP hurries to fire forearms! Desperado hits back, they brawl now with forearms back and forth and the fans rally up. Desperado kicks the leg, throws more forearms but ELP stomps Desperado’s foot! Is the boot weighted after all?! ELP boots Mono Loco too to then mule kick! ELP hooks up the arms to steal PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, TWO!! Fans cheer but Taiji shoves Kanemaru into railing! Bullet Club regroups and drags Desperado back up. Taiji gut wrenches for CIPHER UTAKI! ELP is up top, THUNDER KISS 86!! Cover, Kanemaru BOOTS ELP down!
Kanemaru CLUBS Taiji, stomps ELP, repeat! Taiji BOOTS Kanemaru in return! Taiji takes aim as Kanemaru bails out, TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Taiji tells ELP to finish this and ELP aims from the corner! ELP undoes the laces on his shoe? ELP wants to use the totally weighted shoe but his leg is bothering him too much, so he takes a swing! Taiji distracts the ref but Desperado dodges the shoe shot! MONO LOCO!! Down goes ELP, and Desperado picks up the shoe! Taiji shoves the ref into Desperado! They’re working to cover up the secret! Taiji grabs the shoe, but Desperado hasn’t let it go! Fans rally up as they have a tug-o-war over ELP’s shoe!
Kanemaru runs in and has his whiskey bottle! Low kick and BOTTLE SHOT! Desperado has ELP’s shoe and puts it on like a glove! ELP WEIGHTED BOOT MONO LOCO!!! ELP is down again, but that might’ve been double-edged for Desperado’s fist! Kanemaru stays fired up and gets the ref up. Desperado reels ELP in, hooks up the arms, PINCHE LOCO!! Cover a la the Deadman, SUZUKI-GUN WINS!!
Winners: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
What a powerful victory in the MetLife Dome! Desperado still clutches his fingers, just what IS in ELP’s boot? But at least they have the gold! Will this newest reign be worth all the pain?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat Tag: The Dangerous Tekkers VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA!
NJPW is putting Strong Style convention aside a moment to see which duo is truly the best! The odds are not in favor of Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr., but can they still overcome them to keep Chaos and Los Ingobernables de Japon without these belts? Or is two teams one too many even for them to #JustTapOut?
Three sets of introductions are made, the Tekkers show off their merchandise and the tag titles are raised. Taichi and Sanada already have a quick showdown of dancing pecs as the teams sort out. In this kind of Triple Threat, only two teams are active at a time, so the challengers are already arguing about who starts against the champions. Fans rally up as things get tense, and of course the Tekkers welcome the challengers to start with each other. Goto-Hashi gets pissed and they literally kick LIJ out! Then they go after the Tekkers to show they’re getting the first turn! The bell rings and now we start this three way dance!
Hashi throws hands on ZSJ while Goto puts Taichi in a corner. ZSJ hits back with EuroUppers while Goto whips Taichi corner to corner. Goto runs in but Taichi dodges. ZSJ runs in but Goto dodges. Hashi runs in but ZSJ dodges! Goto dodges Taichi, ZSJ dodges Hashi, and back again! The teams stand off, and then LIJ returns to attack them all! Sanada and Naito throw out Goto and Hashi and then Sanada eggs ZSJ on. ZSJ runs in but Sanada dumps him out, then LIJ goes after Taichi. They double whip Taichi to ropes, then double HIP TOSS! Then camel clutch and basement dropkick! ZSJ returns, he gets a drop toehold to basement dropkick!
Goto-Hashi return and Goto throws Naito out while Hashi is after Sanada! Goto-Hashi whip Sanada to ropes, double shoulder him down, then coordinate for the hip toss senton! Naito returns but he gets hit first. Goto-Hashi drum away on Naito’s back! Sanada rushes in but he gets drumming, too! Fans fire up with Goto-Hashi but Taichi runs in. Goto kicks and whips him to a corner but ZSJ returns! Taichi dodges and ZSJ uppercuts Goto while Taichi BOOTS Hashi! ZSJ sets up both Goto-Hashi for Taichi’s DOUBLE AX BOMBER! Fans fire up as Tekkers regroup and Taichi stays the legal man. Taichi drags Goto up and snapmares him to KICK him in the back!
Goto seethes, but Taichi CHOKES him! The ref sees that and counts. Taichi lets off and argues that’s not a choke. THIS is a choke! The ref counts again, Taichi stops again and then TWO HAND CHOKES! The ref counts, Taichi lets off and Taichi gets in the ref’s face. Taichi goes back to Goto and kicks him around. Taichi smirks as he toys with Goto, and Naito calls to Goto to tag him. Goto CHOPS away on Taichi, but Taichi choke grips! Goto choke grips back, they’re both choking each other! Hashi jumps in and he helps Goto choke Taichi! The ref reprimands them all, so Naito joins in! THREE people are choking Taichi! Sanada hops in, finds a spot, and is now the FOURTH!
The ref reprimands all of them for all this chocking, but ZSJ runs in! Taichi is tossed aside and ZSJ gets mugged by all the challengers! They get ZSJ down and stomp away on him! ZSJ bails out, and so that leaves Goto-Hashi and LIJ staring down. LIJ offers the fist bump, and fans cheer as Chaos considers it. Nope! Goto-Hashi just attack and throw LIJ out again! Goto goes back to Taichi and drags him up from the ropes. Goto CLUBS Taichi to the Chaos corner, digs his boots in, then lets off as the ref counts. Goto stomps Taichi more, drags him back up and bumps him off buckles to then stomp and club him from behind! The ref counts and Goto lets off to tag Hashi.
Hashi stomps Taichi now, drags him back up and CLUBS him on the back. Fans rally as Hashi hangs Taichi out to dry. Goto keeps Taichi stuck on the top rope as Hashi runs, and Hashi dropkicks Taichi down! Cover, TWO! Hashi drags Taichi back up, snapmares him down and clamps on a chinlock. Taichi endures the knee in his back and the stretch in his neck. Sanada goes after Hashi and throws him to the LIJ corner so Naito can tag in! Naito stalks Taichi to ropes and keeps him from ZSJ. Naito whips Taichi to ropes and elbows him down, then runs to basement dropkick! Naito grabs at Taichi but Taichi kicks from below! Naito drops an elbow and then clamps on a headlock!
Taichi pulls Naito’s hair but the ref reprimands. Taichi tries digging at Naito’s eyes so Naito digs at Taichi’s nose! The ref reprimands, Naito shifts to get the Pluma Blanca! Taichi endures the leg hook full nelson and fans rally up. Taichi moves around, Naito sees Goto coming but can’t let go before Goto stomps him down! Goto stomps Taichi, too, then bails out. Naito keeps Taichi from Goto and then tags in Sanada. LIJ mugs Taichi while staring Goto-Hashi down. Sanada brings Taichi up, blocks a kick and trips Taichi to put him in the Paradise Lock! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. ZSJ is helpless as Sanada dropkicks Taichi out of Paradise! Cover, TWO!
Fans fire up as Sanada brings Taichi up again. Sanada facelocks but Taichi powers him to a corner! It’s the Chaos corner and Goto tags in! Goto fires off on Taichi and Sanada with stomps! Goto brings Taichi around, snapmares and digs his knee in with the chinlock. Taichi grabs at Goto’s hair now, the ref reprimands, so Taichi throws hands from below. Goto jams his elbow into Taichi’s forehead, then goes to DECK ZSJ! Taichi gets up and throws Goto down by his hair! Taichi looks for ZSJ but he isn’t in the corner anymore! Naito offers a tag but Taichi refuses, and Goto BOOTS Naito down anyway! Goto brings Taichi around and whips him into a corner. MURAMASA!
Taichi staggers, Goto whips again but Taichi reverses to HOOK KICK! Both men are down and fans fire up as ZSJ is back on the corner! Taichi heads over, hot tag to ZSJ! ZSJ goes after Goto with EuroUppers! ZSJ runs, Goto follows but ZSJ spins him to snapmare and NECK TWIST! Hashi gets in, ZSJ blocks the chop to hammerlock and ARM TWIST! ZSJ runs at LIJ’s corner but they drop down to avoid the boot. ZSJ goes after Goto and boots, but Goto blocks it! Goto spins ZSJ, waistlocks but ZSJ switches. Goto switches back, ZSJ victory rolls to trip him up to the EURO CLUTCH! Cover, Naito and Sanada break it!
Naito stomps Goto, Sanada stomps ZSJ and fans fire up. LIJ whips ZSJ corner to corner, ZSJ stops himself, and then dodges Sanada to sweep the legs on Naito for a NECK TWIST! Sanada runs in, ZSJ spins him around and WRINGS out the arm! ZSJ runs and EuroUppers Goto! Goto roars, deflects ZSJ’s boot and DISCUS LARIATS! Everyone is down and fans fire up again! ZSJ crawls away while Goto catches his breath. Goto runs in to MURA- NO! ZSJ blocks the wheel kick to an STF! Taichi plays defense, he gets Hashi for SEITEIJYUJIRYOU! Tekkers have dual submissions on Goto-Hashi and fans are thunderous!
ZSJ steps through with a leg to have a Fujiwara and headscissor combo! Naito gets in to stomp away on ZSJ! Sanada joins in, then LIJ CLUBS Taichi down! Taichi chokes Sanada, ZSJ headbutts Naito low! LIJ is thrown back out and the Tekkers focus on Goto. ZSJ EuroUppers Goto for Taichi to BUZZSAW! Taichi wants more, so OFF COME THE PANTS! ZSJ gets Goto up as Taichi powers up, but Hashi runs in to clothesline Taichi down! Goto slips out of the suplex and waistlocks but ZSJ resists the lift! ZSJ elbows at Goto but Goto holds on tight! Goto powers up to SLAM ZSJ down! Goto gets ZSJ back up, Hashi joins in, FIERCE HEADHUNTER!! Cover, TWO!!
ZSJ survives the blockbuster leg sweep combo, but Goto drags ZSJ up but ZSJ kicks Hashi away to deny the next combo move! ZSJ RAMS Goto into a corner, but Naito tags in! Naito throws hands on Goto then Naito throws Goto out. Naito whips ZSJ corner to corner to rocket kick and leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Fans fire up as Naito hammerlocks and hooks ZSJ. ZSJ resists, switches, but Naito arm-drags him away! Naito still ends up in a corner and ZSJ runs in. Naito dodges, Sanada returns and back elbows! Feed to more elbows then a dropkick! Atomic drop to back suplex! Jackknife cover, Goto breaks it in time!
Sanada throws Goto out, Naito gets ZSJ up and puts him on the top rope. Naito climbs up the corner to SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up and Naito aims from the corner. ZSJ slowly flounders up, Naito runs in, but Taichi BOOTS him first! Hashi runs in to tackle Taichi! Hashi drags Naito but Sanada dropkicks Hashi down! Goto LARIATS Sanada! Taichi AX BOMBERS Goto! Naito spins Taichi around for a NECKBREAKER! ZSJ CLOBBERS Naito with a EuroUpper! Fans fire up again as all six men are down! Hashi, Goto and Sanada flop to the outside, but Hashi gets back on the apron. Hashi sneaks over to the Chaos corner while Naito returns to the LIJ corner.
Naito stands, Hashi tags in off ZSJ! Hashi runs and CHOPS Naito! Then whips to CHOP and mule kick, into a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Naito survives but Hashi keeps his cool. Hashi drags Naito up, reels him in, and gets Naito up for- A RANA! Naito counters the bomb but Hashi comes back with a spin back kick! Hashi reels Naito back in, for a RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Goto DECKS Sanada, but the Tekkers attack Goto! They double whip but he DOUBLE LARIATS them down! Fans are fired up again as Goto-Hashi sets Naito up, but Naito kicks free! Goto suplexes, Naito slips out, but Hashi SUPERKICKS! They get Naito up, G Y W!! Cover, ZSJ breaks it in time!!
Goto stomps ZSJ, puts him in a corner and then whips him corner to corner. Goto runs in, ZSJ dodges to EuroUpper Hashi! Goto comes back to DECK ZSJ! Taichi runs in, Goto fireman’s carries for USHIGOROSHI! ZSJ PENALTY KICKS Goto down, but Hashi SUPERKICKS ZSJ! Again, everyone is down and the fans are thunderous! Sanada reaches out for Naito and Naito crawls that way, tag to Cold Skull! He O’Conner Rolls and sits deep on it! TWO, Hashi runs into a back elbow! Sanada Quebrada but Hashi gets under, only for Sanada to RANA! Hashi bails out, Sanada takes aim, PLANCHA! Direct hit and fans fire up behind Sanada!
Sanada drags Hashi up and puts him in the ring. Sanada drags Hashi up, fireman’s carries, but Hashi fights free. Hashi waistlocks, Sanada throws elbows and then rams him into a corner. Sanada whips corner to corner but Hashi reverses. Sanada goes up, out and springboards in, but Hashi gets under and Goto gets Sanada for a fireman’s carry! SUPERKICK to USHIGOROSHI! Goto DECKS Taichi, he shouts to Hashi to finish this as he PLANCHAS out to hit both Tekkers! Hashi wants Sanada to stand and Sanada rises. Hashi runs but into a boot! Hashi still CHOPS, then SUPERKICKS! BASEMENT METEORA! Cover, TWO!!
Fans stay fired up as Hashi gets Sanada up for a full nelson, then spin. Sanada slips out of the slam to dragon sleeper! Hashi arm-drags free, and LARIATS Sanada down! Cover, TWO! Hashi fires up and stands Sanada back up, half nelson and spin but again Sanada counters. Shove to Naito’s ENZIGURI, then Sanada fireman’s carries for a TKO!! Cover, Goto breaks it! Goto fires off on Sanada, Naito kicks him and throws him out! Fans rally as Naito and Sanada regroup. LIJ drags Hashi up, but they have to watch for the Tekkers and Goto. Naito lets Sanada go solo as Sanada hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Hashi survives but Sanada keeps cool.
ZSJ returns and he attacks Naito! EuroUppers in the corner but Naito fights back! Naito throws ZSJ out, Sanada ROCKS Taichi! Naito rushes over but Taichi catches him! ZSJ runs in but Naito gets around to reel him in. Naito kicks Taichi as he hits a TORNADO DDT on ZSJ! ZSJ bails out but Sanada goes for Hashi. Sanada spins Hashi to the dragon sleeper! Fans are thunderous as Hashi counters to an inside cradle! TWO and Sanada O’Conner Rolls, to the dragon sleeper! Hashi drops to victory roll! TWO!!! Sanada gets up and runs, into a scoop! But he slips right out, to get the dragon sleeper! SKULL END!!
Hashi is caught in the body scissors, Naito makes sure Goto and the Tekkers are still down and fans are thunderous again! Hashi pops free of the sleeper but Sanada keeps the scissors! Sanada gets the sleeper again with the other arm, and drops back for SKULL END!! Hashi endures, refuses to give up, and fans are rallying up hard as ever! Sanada pulls back, Hashi is fading! The ref checks on Hashi, but he gets a second wind! Sanada keeps Hashi trapped, and Hashi is fading again! Hashi’s turning purple, so Sanada lets him go to go to the corner! But Taichi tags in before the ROUNDING BODY PRESS!!! ZSJ drags Sanada into a sleeper, feed to Taichi’s CHOKE-
No! Sanada holds off the slam! So Taichi has ZSJ help, and they CHOKE BACK SUPLEX SLAM!! Goto HEADBUTTS Taichi and DECKS ZSJ! But Taichi hits the three point stance, RUNNING FOREARM SMASH! But Naito runs in, Corriendo- ZSJ stops Destino for Taichi, and then drags Naito down into a grounded cobra twist cradle, to the JIM BREAKS SPECIAL! Taichi SUPERKICKS Hashi down!! Taichi fires up, drags Hashi to his feet, Alabama lift for BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Tekkers win!!
Winners: The Dangerous Tekkers, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
Not even two teams at once could stop the Sliest Wrestler and the Submission Master! Naito is pissed and he stomps Hashi, only for Goto to CLUB him down. The Tekkers laugh at these literal lowers and celebrate their triumph. Will there be no stopping the Tekkers now that they’ve hit this one out of the park?
The G1 Climax 31 blocks are announced!
For A Block: Kota Ibushi; Tetsuya Naito; Shingo Takagi; ZSJ; Toru Yano; Tomohiro Ishii; Yujiro Takahashi; Kenta; Tanga Loa; and Great-O-Khan!
For B Block: Sanada; Taichi; Yoshi-Hashi; Hirooki Goto; Jeff Cobb; EVIL; Tama Tonga; Chase Owens; Kazuchika Okada; and Hiroshi Tanahashi!
The Autumn is about to heat up again as the yearly tradition returns once more! Plus, JAMProject is providing this year’s tournament theme song, “Max the Max!” It will definitely be showtime, but who will burn the brightest and reach the goal?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles VS Hiromu Takahashi!
The Sniper of the Skies shocked many when he dethroned El Desperado to have this belt for his own. But now, the Ticking Timebomb is back and he’s ready to have some fun again! Will Eagles be able to fly away with this title? Or will Hiromu-chan be the one shooting Eagles down instead?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, the shootout for the gold begins!
Eagles rushes Hiromu and BOOTS! Hiromu CHOPS and Eagles CHOPS back! They CHOP and CHOP and CHOP then get forehead to forehead. Hiromu shoves Eagles then headlocks him. Eagles powers out, Hiromu runs him over but things speed up. Hiromu runs Eagles over again, eggs him on, but Eagles trips Hiromu to get the headlock. Hiromu powers out, dodges Eagles then runs him over! Things keep moving and Eagles hurdles while Hiromu leaps. Hiromu blocks a kick, flips Eagles and sweeps the legs. Hiromu covers, ONE! Eagles sweeps the legs and covers, ONE! Eagles handsprings up and fans cheer.
Eagles and Hiromu stand off as fans rally up. Hiromu and Eagles slowly circle, then go forehead to forehead again. Hiromu shoves Eagles and eggs him on again. Eagles swings but Hiromu dodges to CHOP him off his feet! Hiromu whips but Eagles blocks by holding ropes. Hiromu CHOPS Eagles again, whips him after all, but Eagles goes up and around and arm-drags! Eagles keeps moving, ducks and dodges to RANA Hiromu down! Eagles eggs Hiromu on now but Hiromu dodges the wheel kick. Hiromu and Eagles duck and dodge strikes, Eagles blocks a clothesline to then block a kick, but Hiromu denies the backpack to a backslide.
Eagles rolls through but Hiromu reels him in for a suplex. Eagles fights that and waistlocks but Hiromu switches. Eagles counters that with a Shiranui! Hiromu spins through that to dragon sleeper but Eagles snapmares the inverted suplex away. Eagles runs in at Hiromu in the corner but Hiromu puts him outside. Eagles ROCKS Hiromu, springboards but Hiromu ducks under. Hiromu scoops Eagles to a fireman’s carry but Eagles slips off to victory roll! Hiromu kicks him away but Eagles rebounds, only for Hiromu to duck the Penalty Kick! Eagles keeps going, anticipates Hiromu’s drop down and drops a knee on the bad leg!
Eagles basement dropkicks Hiromu out of the ring then takes aim. Eagles builds speed to DIVE! The tope sends both men into the railing! Hiromu gets stuck in a gap while Eagles crawls away. Eagles has Saitama fire up as he goes back for Hiromu. Eagles drags Hiromu back up, CHOPS him, then refreshes the ring count so he can CHOP Hiromu again. Hiromu goes around the way, Eagles pursues, but Hiromu CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! Eagles kicks low, KICKS Hiromu against railing, then CHOPS him off his feet! Eagles puts Hiromu in the ring and fans cheer his sportsmanship. Eagles stomps Hiromu around and focuses on the bad leg.
Hiromu clutches his leg but Eagles CLUBS him on the back. Cover, ONE, but Eagles tries again. ONE, and Eagles is annoyed. Eagles locks up Hiromu’s legs and encourages the fans to get louder. The fans do get louder as Eagles deathlock STOMPS the legs! Hiromu clutches his knee again and Eagles covers, TWO! Hiromu CHOPS from below and that annoys Eagles even more. Eagles eggs Hiromu on and Hiromu CHOPS again! Eagles KICKS the bad leg but Hiromu CHOPS back! Eagles KICKS, Hiromu CHOPS, repeat! Hiromu fires up but Eagles switch-kicks his leg! Eagles runs, Hiromu dodges and returns to RANA! Fans fire up as both men are down again!
Hiromu gets his bad leg moving while Eagles slowly sits up. Fans rally, Hiromu grins as he rises. Eagles kicks the bad leg, brings Hiromu around and whips but Hiromu reverses to corner clothesline! Snapmare and basement dropkick! Eagles bails out of the ring but Hiromu aims from the apron. Hiromu leaps for the FLYING SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Eagles hits railing and tumbles through the gateway! Fans rally up as Hiromu hobbles over. Hiromu fetches Eagles into the ring and then hurries to suplex for a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Hiromu focuses on getting his leg moving rather than his frustrations, and he hobbles back to Eagles.
Hiromu stands Eagles up, fireman’s carries but Eagles slips out to shove him towards a corner. Eagles DOUBLE KNEES, then rolls back to run in. Hiromu dodges and knees hit buckles! But Eagles blocks the superkick to turn Hiromu around! Hiromu shoves out of the Turbo Backpack and Eagles ends up in a corner. Eagles comes back but into a SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Hiromu goes to the far corner, Eagles runs in but into an OVERHEAD suplex into the buckles! Fans are fired up again as both men are down. Hiromu and Eagles stir, Hiromu gets his bad leg moving again and slowly sits up. Eagles follows but Hiromu brings him up first.
Hiromu fireman’s carries, Eagles fights and gets free. Eagles ducks forearms and elbows but Hiromu ROCKS Eagles with his fifth! Hiromu whips, Eagles reverses but Hiromu holds ropes to BOOT back! Eagles Tiger Feints the legs! Springboard and missile dropkick to the legs! Eagles gets the legs, rolls Hiromu around and gets the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Hiromu endures and fans fire up as Eagles pulls on the legs! Hiromu drags himself over, reaches out, but Eagles adds more pressure to the leglock! Hiromu refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Eagles holds on until Red Shoes counts, and Eagles hurries to get Hiromu up! STANDING SLICED BREAD! Cover, TWO!
Eagles keeps focus as fans fire up. Eagles fires himself up and rolls Hiromu to the backpack. Hiromu fights free, GERMAN SUPLEX! Eagles lands on his feet to ROUNDHOUSE, SUPERKICK and PELE! Hiromu staggers from the kick combo, and Eagles reels him in for a CORNER- NO! No more slices of bread! Hiromu fireman’s carries to the CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Both men are down again after that impact and fans fire up again! Hiromu slowly drags himself away, still clutching his knee. Hiromu forces himself to stand while Eagles finally sits up. Eagles is in a daze and stays in the corner but Hiromu brings him up. Fireman’s carry for a TOSS HOTSHOT!
Hiromu runs and SUNSET POWERBOMBS Eagles to the floor!! Red Shoes goes out to check both men but they’re somehow both okay to continue. Fans rally up and a ring count begins. The count reaches 10 of 20 before Hiromu stands, and he gets in at 13. The count passes 15 as Eagles slowly rises, and he’s in at 19! Hiromu runs in to SHOTGUN DROPKICK again! And GERMAN SUPLEX! Eagles roars to his feet, but Hiromu LARIATS him down! DEEP stack cover, TWO!! Eagles survives and so far, so does his reign! Fans rally as Hiromu rises again. Hiromu drags Eagles up, fireman’s carries again, spins but Eagles sunsets! TWO and Hiromu SUPERKICKS!
Eagles roars but Hiromu dodges him to SUPERKICK again! Hiromu roars, drags Eagles up and suplexes for VICTORY ROYALE! Cover, TWO! Eagles still stays in this but Hiromu just shakes his head. Hiromu stands, hobbles over to Eagles and fans are thunderous again. Hiromu dragon sleepers but Eagles victory rolls! TWO, Eagles schoolboys with a bridge! TWO and Hiromu scoops for a dragon sleeper, to inverted suplex! Eagles slips out, Hiromu gets him for a regular suplex, but Eagles fights back with knee after knee! Hiromu turns things to a fireman’s carry, spins, TIMEBOMB!! Cover, TWO!?!? Eagles survives again and shocks Hiromu!
Hiromu fires up once more and he gets Eagles back up. Hiromu runs to LARIAT Eagles down! But he’s not done there! Hiromu gets his bad leg moving again as he dragon sleepers. Eagles again fights the inverted suplex but Hiromu just hits a DEEP reverse DDT! Hiromu reaches his boiling point and he gets Eagles up in the inverted suplex! TIMEBOMB MK- NO! Eagles flails and they end up in the corner. Eagles gets to the top rope but Hiromu CHOPS him! Hiromu catches his breath and gets his leg moving again while fans rally up. Hiromu climbs to join Eagles now, stands on the very top rope, and flips, only for Eagles to block the wheelbarrow!
Eagles CLUBS away on Hiromu, leaps over and rolls but has to take a moment. Hiromu adjusts in that time and he BOOTS Eagles away! Eagles tries again, another BOOT! Eagles PELES and then SHOTGUN DROPKICKS Hiromu’s bad leg! Red Shoes checks on Hiromu but Hiromu won’t let this stop him. Eagles climbs up and brings Hiromu into position, SUPER TURBO BACKPACK!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Hiromu survives and fans are thunderous again! Eagles watches Hiromu flounder as he aims from a corner. Eagles runs in, BASEMENT SUPERKICK! Eagles hurries to a corner but Hiromu hurries after him! Hiromu anchors Eagles’ leg to prevent him from climbing!
Eagles pulls Hiromu up by his hair and quickly apologizes before he SUPERKICKS him again! Eagles goes up, 450 SPLASH to the legs! Then the RON MILLER SPECIAL!!! Hiromu flails, claws, reaches out for ropes but Eagles does his best to anchor Hiromu! Hiromu still makes his way forward but Eagles drags him back! Hiromu reaches out to Red Shoes just to keep himself from giving up! Eagles adds as much pressure as he can to the hold but Hiromu keeps fighting! Hiromu claws his way forward again, but Eagles lets off so he can kick and club away on the bad leg! Eagles even drops a knee on the knee! And then the RON MILLER SPECIAL returns!!!
Hiromu endures all over again as fans reach electric levels! Eagles pushes up to add as much pressure as he can, and Hiromu curses as he taps out!! Eagles wins!!!
Winner: Robbie Eagles, by submission (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
The champion no longer feels like an underdog! Dome to dome, Eagles has defeated two of the best in the Junior Heavyweight Division today! Is there no one in NJPW who can doubt the Sniper of the Skies now?
Wait, Desperado makes his way back out to the ring? Even with that bad hand, the newly crowned tag champion clearly wants to talk singles title. “How’re you feeling, amigo? Congratulations.” Now, surely some stupid people are wondering what the hell Desperado’s doing out here since he already lost to Eagles once. He admits that he lost to the same submission hold, but after the G1 got announced, Junior Heavyweights will be taking a bit of a backseat for a bit. But he won’t let Eagles forget him. This isn’t “out of sight, out of mind.” Desperado says in English, “I want a rematch. But I hate just a rematch.”
Now this is just Desperado’s idea but… If Eagles accepts, then Desperado’s IWGP Junior Tag title-which he struggles to take off his neck with the bad hand-will also be on the line. Whoa~! Eagles just needs to have a partner, and Eagles says he does in Tiger Mask. Fans cheer that and Eagles is given the mic. “Listen, Desperado. I said after our match, any time you could’ve asked for a rematch.” Instead, Desperado waits until Eagles is beaten, broken and very tired. But fair enough, he did do something like that to Desperado. Though, if Desperado’s willing to give Eagles a shot at the tag titles, then challenge accepted!
“But I’m gonna tell you what I told Hiromu, and what you learned last time.” In Japanese, Eagles tells Desperado that he is the one who will come out the winner! The IWGP Junior Heavyweight belts are going to be on the line in the background of the G1, but when and where will these showdowns go down?
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS EVIL w/ House of Torture!
FINALLY! This has been brewing since Wrestle Grand Slam Tokyo, and now after the Summer Struggle, the Dragon and the King of Darkness will have it out in another dome. Will Takagi demolish this “House of Torture” before it builds up too big? Or will Evil reign at the very top once again?
Speaking of that HOT garbage, Yujiro Takahashi and the newly recruited Sho are with Dick Togo and the King of Darkness as they go to the ring. Takagi makes his entrance but is not intimidated by Evil’s pawns. Red Shoes surprisingly allows all three of Evil’s cronies to stay, and the Bullet Club boys Low Sweet. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who gets the walk-off here in MetLife!
Fans rally up as Takagi and Evil stare down. Takagi and Evil approach but then Evil bails out to slow things down. Evil tells Takagi to stay back while he talks things out with his boys. Sho gives some quick tips, Evil slides back in, and then Sho gets a chair! It’s the same chair he broke on Yoh, as you can see in the loose seat that just falls out of it. Takagi steps to Sho and he steps away, but Evil gets Takagi in a headlock! Takagi powers up and pries the hold but Evil holds on tighter. Takagi wrenches out, headlocks back, and fans rally up. Evil pulls hair, powers out but Takagi rams shoulders! Evil rebounds and he runs Takagi over!
Evil gives toying kicks to Takagi but fans rally up. Takagi gets up, Evil CHOPS him, then CHOPS again! Takagi eggs Evil on and Evil CHOPS again. Takagi goes to chop but Evil pokes him in the eye! Evil runs and rams Takagi, Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS back! Takagi shows off the dancing pecs and fans fire up. Takagi gets Evil up, whips and KNEES him against ropes, then runs to run Evil over with a shoulder! Takagi flexes, brings Evil back up, then reels him in for a snap suplex! Evil writhes, Takagi covers, TWO! Evil bails out, Takagi pursues, and Takagi throws hands on Evil! Evil shouts in pain, Takagi whips him into railings, then watches Evil fall over.
Takagi dares Sho to do something, then he gets fans to rally up. Takagi makes sure Abe-san is okay, then he gets Evil up. Takagi bumps Evil off the apron, then says he’ll do one more. He stands Evil up again to indeed bump him off the apron again. Fans cheer and Takagi brings Evil around to fireman’s carry. But Dick makes the save while Sho and Yujiro distract the ref! Takagi chases Dick around the way, into the ring, and Evil runs in! Takagi sees that coming and blocks the clothesline to ROCK Evil! Takagi runs but Sho trips him up! Sho whips Takagi into railing! Yujiro finally leaves Red Shoes alone while Takagi crawls.
Evil goes out to fetch Takagi, and oh no! He RAMS Takagi into Abe-san!! Red Shoes reprimands, but Abe kept the world title safe! Takagi thanks Abe for his sacrifice, and then drags himself up to his feet. Takagi snarls at Evil and gets in the ring, only for Evil to knock him back out! Takagi keeps himself from running into the timekeeper’s area, but then Evil goes out and RAMS him back into it! Abe again keeps the belt safe but how much can Abe take? Evil laughs and he fetches his favorite chairs from under the ring. Evil goes back to Takagi, brings him around the way and throws some knees. Evil puts one chair around Takagi’s head then has the other, CHAIRSHOT HOME RUN!
Evil smirks and goes back into the ring while Red Shoes checks on Takagi. Takagi says he’s okay to continue so the fans rally up. Evil paces and pretends this cheering is for him while his boys watch Takagi. Red Shoes returns to the ring to start a ring count. Takagi drags himself up, grabs at the chairs Evil used, but they’re falling apart as they are. Takagi throws them under the ring and gets in after Evil. Evil kicks and whips Takagi to the bare corner! The Bullet Club just love exposing the blue corner, no matter what match it is. Evil gets Takagi up but Takagi throws forearms back! Takagi fights through the pain but Evil knees low and throws him out.
Evil distracts Red Shoes and the HOT boys torture Takagi! They throw Takagi in, Evil covers, but Red Shoes knows the shenanigans were being had so he refuses to count! Fans cheer Red Shoes asserting his authority, so Evil puts Takagi in a cobra twist! Dick reaches out and that starts the chain! Takagi endures, Red Shoes realizes something is up, but Dick lets go. Evil keeps on the hold, HOT claims innocence, but then they form a chain of Evil to Dick to Sho to Yujiro to the railing! Red Shoes sees that and kicks Dick’s hand! Evil also gets hit from that and he lets Takagi go! Red Shoes put HOT on notice as Evil gets Takagi up. FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!
Evil grows annoyed but the fans cheer and Red Shoes stands his ground. Evil kicks Takagi to a corner, taunts him, then slaps him around. Evil wrenches an arm, whips but Takagi blocks by holding ropes! Evil tries again but Takagi still holds ropes. Evil CHOPS, whips but Takagi reverses. Evil stops from hitting the bare buckles, Takagi runs in, and Evil sends him into the buckles! Takagi staggers and Evil runs, into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON feint and DDT! Fans fire up as both men are down! Takagi gets the fans to rally up again as he rises in a corner. Evil slowly rises, Takagi runs in and rallies with big shoulders! Scoop SLAM and a BACK SENTON! Cover, TWO!
Takagi fires up and fans rally behind him again. Takagi drags Evil up but Dick gets on the apron. Red Shoes tells him to hop down but Evil’s gotten away to ropes. Takagi CHOPS Evil, whips him to ropes but Evil holds ropes to bail out. Takagi is annoyed but he goes out after Evil and clamps right onto him. But now the HOT boys just attack right in front of Red Shoes! Red Shoes reprimands Sho and Yujiro but Dick barges in to whip. Takagi reverses and sends Dick into railing! Takagi then fireman’s carries and SNAKE EYES Evil off the apron! Fans fire up as Takagi tells Abe to move aside! Abe does, taking the belt with him, and Takagi TOSSES Evil into the timekeeper’s area!
Takagi drags Evil up and smacks him off the timekeeper’s table! Takagi makes sure Evil takes a seat, then makes sure Dick is right next to him. Takagi bounces both their heads off the table then climbs up over them to go back to ringside. Sho and Yujiro attack again! They mug Takagi but he RAMS them into Evil and Dick!! Karma from all those times Evil’s done that to Abe! Fans rally up and Red Shoes finally EJECTS the House of Torture! The Young Lions usher out Sho and Yujiro, and even Dick now that he’s back up! They protest but Red Shoes says he’ll disqualify this if he has to! House of Torture leaves and now things are truly 1v1 between Takagi and Evil!
Takagi fetches Evil while Abe gets a new timekeeper’s area. Takagi knees Evil low, brings him around the way and into the ring. Fans cheer as this match continues properly! Takagi gets fans rallying up again and he stomps Evil around. Takagi stands Evil up, Evil swings on Takagi but into backslide hooks! Evil fights the Gory Especial and tries to back Takagi into the bare corner! Takagi blocks that, elbows Evil away, but Evil kicks and whips. Takagi reverses, Evil breaks free but Takagi CLUBS Evil’s clothesline away! Takagi gets the Gory Especial now, for NOSHIGAMI! Fans fire up while Takagi catches his breath. Takagi then reels Evil into a WHEELBARROW GERMAN!
Takagi grits his teeth as fans rally back up. Takagi sits Evil up, runs and SLIDING LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Takagi gets the “OI! OI! OI!” claps going and powers up. Takagi drags Evil up, pump handles but Evil throws elbows. Takagi knees low, runs, but Evil shoves Red Shoes in the way! Takagi stops, but Evil kicks low! Evil suplexes Takagi up and puts him on Red Shoes’ shoulder! MAGIC KILLER! Everyone is down, Red Shoes included, but fans rally back up. Takagi goes to a corner, Evil slowly rises, and Red Shoes also slowly stands. Evil runs in to clothesline Takagi! Evil hoists Takagi up to the top rope, climbs up to join him, and SUPERPLEXES!
Both men are down again and writhing from that landing as fans fire up! Evil gets the legs, steps through, SHARPSHOOTER! Takagi endures as Evil sits deep! Fans rally as Takagi refuses to quit! Takagi powers up and manages to get the ropebreak! Red Shoes calls for the break, but Evil holds on until the count of 4 for maximum damage. Evil sits in a corner and watches Takagi writhe while fans still rally. Evil drags Takagi up, fireman’s carries, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and Evil is beside himself! Evil argues with Red Shoes but Red Shoes says that was a fair count.
Evil stands up, slashes the throat and says he’ll finish this! Spin and EVER- NO! Takagi fights the STO to fireman’s carry, but Evil slips out to shove! Takagi stops himself from hitting those bare buckles, he runs at Evil but Evil still wants his STO! Takagi fights that again so Evil shoves him into the buckles! But Takagi comes right back to LARIAT!! Fans are thunderous as both men are down this time! Takagi catches his breath, crawls over to Evil and stands him back up. Dick sneaks back to ringside and Evil rakes Takagi’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, Evil lets off and he stands on Takagi’s head as he talks trash.
Takagi fights up and snarls but Evil gives toying kicks again. Takagi eggs Evil on, blocks a kick and fires off boxing elbows! Takagi DECKS Evil as he tops it off! Takagi roars and fans fire up with him as he drags Evil up. Fans get louder as Takagi pump handles but Dick makes his presence known! Takagi DECKS Dick, blocks Everything to pump handle, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, Dick drags Red Shoes out and throws him down!! Dick gets something and then jumps into the ring! Dick stomps away on Takagi and uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Takagi fights it off as he has before, and then fireman’s carries Dick for a- Wait, Yujiro is back!? PIMP CANE SHOT!!
Yujiro sits Takagi up, PIMP JUICE!! Takagi is down and fans are stunned! But with House of Torture getting Red Shoes up, fans rally back up. Evil crawls over to Takagi and covers, but Red Shoes is reluctant. Red Shoes does count, TWO!! Takagi kicks out so hard, Evil knocks into Red Shoes! Dick gets in to use the SPOILER CHOKER again!! Takagi snarls but he’s caught this time! Takagi is fading, Evil has a chair, but here comes BUSHI! Bushi slides in to dropkick the chair into Evil! Bushi ENZIGURIS Dick, then swings Yujiro into a BACKSTABBER! Bushi makes sure Takagi is okay, but here comes Sho! Sho drags Bushi up into a GERMAN SUPLEX!
Sho grabs the chair Evil brought in and smirks as he goes after Takagi. Sho sits Takagi up, takes aim, HEAD SHOT!! Another seat busted out of the frame! Sho then reels Takagi in, tucks the arms, but here comes Naito and Sanada! Fans cheer as the rest of LIJ is here but Sho gets them with chair jabs to the ribs! Sho runs but into Naito’s kick! Sanada dropkicks the legs out, Naito basement dropkicks Sho out! PLANCHA from Sanada for Sho! Dick grabs the title belt and brings it in! Naito kicks Dick first and kicks him out! Evil LOW BLOWS his former leader down! Naito flops out of the ring but fans rally up behind Takagi as Evil eyes the belt.
Evil picks up the belt, takes aim at Takagi and dares him to get up. Takagi does stand, but he ducks the belt shot and then blocks the second! Fans fire up as the two push each other! Takagi kicks low, thinks about the belt shot, but Evil and Red Shoes both tell him no! Takagi says he’s better than that, and hands the belt to Red Shoes. AND he blocks the low blow! Evil still tries Everything but Takagi shoves him away to ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans are electric and Takagi feeds off it! Takagi runs, to PUMPING BOMBER!! But Takagi isn’t done and he roars as he goes back for more! LIJ keeps HOT down, Takagi pump handles and torture racks, LAST OF THE DRAGONS!! Cover, Takagi wins!!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (still IWGP World Heavyweight Championship)
Los Ingobernables de Japon thwarts the underhanded efforts of the one who betrayed them all! Hiromu also makes his way out to the ring now, still battered from his battle with Eagles. HOT gets out of there fast, will they try to get even with LIJ in the future? As for Takagi, he finally gets to celebrate his defense! LIJ joins him in this great moment, the one victory the team can hang their hats on tonight. Takagi gets fans to clap for “L I J! L I J!” as each member takes a corner and Takagi takes the mic.
“This isn’t just about me. This is about the last three weeks. These last three weeks have been tough. So that’s why I, Shingo Takagi, have something very important to say to everyone watching NJPW right now, both here and around the world. I can’t believe I caught COVID…” It has been three weeks since Takagi last wrestled, and he’d be lying if he wasn’t a bit unsure about things. But he had to fight to get rid of all that anxiety, and that is what drove him in this victory here tonight.
Takagi isn’t overlooking the virus in the least. But as pro-wrestlers, getting in the ring is a source of strength for all of them. And as such, Takagi had to show the pride of all of pro-wrestling and represent both this industry and this company with strength. Given the result, Takagi proved that to be true! This was big today. And from one man who made a comeback to another, Takagi formally welcomes Hiromu back to the ring! Hiromu, did you already get banged up again? Hiromu plays it off and Takagi knows Hiromu isn’t taking time off again so soon. LIJ shares a bit of a laugh there, and Takagi says that finally and once again, LIJ is all together again! Fans definitely cheer that.
Takagi encourages the fans to applaud more, and then says that he is far from done as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. There is a lot to do, a lot to be done, and he will keep going for many more miles. He grows a bit hoarse, so he tops it off with, “I have one last thing to say: that’s it.” Mic drop and pyro goes off to celebrate The Dragon staying at the top of NJPW’s mountain! LIJ regroups again for their photo op with the world champion! But with the G1 Climax just a couple weeks away, will the LIJ heavyweights be ready to run the gauntlet and chase The Dragon?
A great second day for NJPW’s weekend, and wow, all these matches went the distance. Again, sorry I skipped the Stardom dark match but this show was about 3 and a half hours even without it. The United Empire continues to build momentum, and I am really hoping either Aaron Henare can make a return, or they recruit new members to bolster their numbers again. Will Ospreay’s group is still young and small, but seeing how some sub-factions are starting to form, the United Empire feels like they’re getting lost in the mix. The Junior Tag titles changing hands was quite the surprise, but it was a great match, and of course Despy has a way to double down.
Skipping to the Junior Heavyweight singles title, Eagles defeating Hiromu was itself the status quo change. Eagles is moving up in the ranks and is showing he can be on the same level as the other big names. If they’re going to be doing these title matches at any time, it’ll be in October when the G1 has their final few events. For one, we’ve got good kayfabe reasons as to why Desperado and Eagles both need to heal up, since Desperado had that brilliant weighted boot boxing glove spot. As was pointed out on commentary, they could use the last two days, 10/20 and 10/21, to do these two Junior Heavyweight title matches, the tag titles first then singles title second.
Speaking of the G1, we got a great field here, and great to know Guerrillas of Destiny are on their way back to Japan with this. First-time entries like Chase Owens, Tanga Loa and Great-O-Khan are going to freshen some things up. We’ve seen a lot of times these last few years, guys like Bad Luck Fale being in it to take losses to the bigger names, great to see the torch being passed to the Crown Jewel here. But as I said for Kota Ibushi yesterday, I can’t see him being in his fourth straight finals, let alone winning three years in a row. Ibushi is great, but he technically should just have a match owed to him from Takagi so they can do that on the side as the finals give us a new winner.
The Triple Threat Tag was great just on how chaotic and constant the action was. Speaking of chaos, I figured Chaos’s Goto-Hashi weren’t winning since they and Ishii are still NEVER Openweight Six Man Champions. Therefore, Tekkers were either retaining or LIJ was adding to their collection. I still feel bad for Sanada that he hasn’t gotten much more than tag titles, so perhaps Tekkers retaining here is a sign Sanada can find his way towards gold of his own. Tanahashi being in the G1, I feel that is to set up US Championship stories rather than him getting to the finals, so I wouldn’t mind at least seeing something happen between Cold Skull and Ace in B Block to set up a title match.
And of course, Takagi VS Evil was wild in its own way. While NJPW doesn’t usually do stuff like this, thereby having some leeway, I do find it a bit much that Red Shoes didn’t throw House of Torture out sooner than he did. At the same time, I really appreciate them playing a long game on the many timekeeper table spots with Evil and Abe-san. Takagi gets payback for Abe, LIJ joins in to take the overbooking to its natural peak, and of course Takagi still wins. Takagi’s promo to end was very good, and I expect him to have a strong showing in the G1 for one of the few times where the champion looks poised to take it all and determine his own fate.
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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