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Mitchell’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 16 Results & Report! (1/4/22)

WrestleKingdom 16, Night One!

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NJPW WrestleKingdom 16 Tokyo

NJPW goes even bigger in 2022!

NJPW goes even bigger in 2022 as WrestleKingdom 16 will be THREE nights total! But will Kazuchika Okada make it REIGN once again?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 2022 New Japan Ranbo: Chase Owens, CIMA, Minoru Suzuki & Toru Yano advance to the KOPW 2022 Fatal 4 Way tomorrow.
  • YOH VS SHO; Yoh wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi VS KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo; Kenta, Ishimori & ELP win, by disqualification.
  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; wins.
  • Catch Wrestling Rules Pro-Wrestling Rules: Katsuyori Shibata VS Ren Narita; Shibata wins.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Evil wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Dangerous Tekkers VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI; Goto & Hashi win and become the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado VS Hiromu Takahashi; Desperado wins and retains the title.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Kazuchika Okada; Okada wins and will defend the title against Will Ospreay tomorrow.

PLAY BY PLAY

2022 New Japan Ranbo!

Another year, another chance at the KOPW trophy! Toru Yano has already retained this prize two years running, will he be one of the final four going into tomorrow night? Or will the New Year wipe the slate clean?

First out is Bullet Club’s Crown Jewel and NWA Texas Heavyweight Champion, Chase Owens! Out second is the United Empire’s Ultimate Weapon, Aaron Henare! The bell rings and these two go right after each other with forearms! Henare then fires off KICKS, runs but dodges the Shi Trigger to fire off knees! Henare whips but Chase reverses, then BOOTS Henare, only for Henare to run him over with a shoulder! Fans cheer and Henare runs in, but into a BUCKLE SHOT! Chase hurries to stomp Henare at the ropes and even digs his knee in. The ref counts the ropebreak, Chase lets off, and here comes the countdown!

Chase stomps Henare in a corner as we see number three is… Young Lion, Kosei Fujita! Could this be his chance to hit the big time? Kosei runs down the ramp and slides in, dodges Chase and fires off forearms! Chase knees low, runs, but Kosei dropkicks Chase down! Fans fire up for the Young Lion as he fires forearms on Chase. Kosei runs, Chase reels him in for a BACKBREAKER! Kosei writhes to a corner and flops out under the bottom rope, he’s safe. But Henare goes after Chase and tries to throw him over and out! Chase holds onto the ropes, throws body shots through the ropes and gets back in. Henare stomps Chase as the countdown returns!

Henare springboards and stomps Chase down, and number four is… Yuto Nakashima! Another Young Lion enters the match at high speed! Yuto CLUBS Henare and fires off forearms! Yuto fires up, runs, ducks and dodges to CLOBBER Henare! Yuta gets Henare up for forearm after forearm, but Henare hits a heavy body blow! Henare keeps on with the body shots and fast hands! The ref counts as he has Yuto in the corner, and Henare stops at 4. Chase sees Kosei sliding back in and is right on him with fists! Henare snapmares Yuto then KICKS him in the back! The countdown is back already and number five is… Ryohei Oiwa! A third Young Lion!

Ryohei runs into the ring, blocks Chase’s kick and throws him down, to then deadlift gut wrench suplex! Fans fire up as Ryohei dropkicks Henare down! Ryohei gets a leg, drags Henare around, but Henare kicks free, and Chase BOOTS Ryohei down! Chase stomps the Young Lions, as does Henare. Fans rally and here comes the countdown! Number six is… Master Wato! The Way of the Grandmaster makes his way down the ramp while the Young Lions start fighting back on Henare and Chase. Henare wraps Ryohei’s arm around ropes while Chase grinds Yuto down. Wato gets in to hit Chase, then kick Henare!

Wato CLUBS Henare, Chase CLUBS Wato. Chase CHOPS, whips, but Wato reverses to hurdle, back elbow, uppercut and SOBAT! Fans fire up and Wato blocks Henare’s kick to give kicks, sobat and SUPERKICK! Chase blocks Wato’s kick for a SHIN BREAKER! And a leg YANK! The countdown is back, and number seven is… Hiroyoshi Tenzan! Chase chokes Wato but the Young Lions go after Henare! Tenzan makes his way down as Henare BOOTS down Ryohei and Chase dropkicks Yuto! Henare fires off kicks in the corner, but lets off as the ref counts. Chase JABS Wato, Tenzan finally arrives and he CLUBS Chase!

Tenzan headbutts Chase down, then fires off Mongolian Chops! Wato goes after Henare and throws elbows in the corner. Chase runs Tenzan over but the countdown is here! Number eight is… Minoru Suzuki! Chase stomps Tenzan while Henare and Wato have dueling HEEL HOOKS! They’re both in the ropes but Henare moves around. Tenzan stomps Chase at the ropes, a Young Lion helps Wato with Henare. Tenzan headbutts Yuto and brawls with Kosei. Wato snapmares Henare for an elbow drop! One of the Young Lions covers Henare, TWO! Suzuki approaches and Chase eggs him on! “KAZE NI NARE!” and Chase runs away, only to get caught by Tenzan!

A Young Lion gets in Suzuki’s way and gets driven down for a HEEL HOOK! Ryohei taps, Suzuki ELIMINATES a Young Lion! Then Suzuki catches Kosei into a KIMURA! Kosei taps, Suzuki ELIMINATES another Young Lion! The countdown returns while Wato grinds Henare down and Yuto goes after Suzuki with forearms! Number nine is… Satoshi Kojima! Suzuki DECKS Yuto then drags him up for a SLEEPER! The Young Lion is OUT, Suzuki ELIMINATES Fujita! Tenzan brawls with Suzuki now, Henare hits Wato back, Kojima gets in to help Tenzan! TenCozy goes after Suzuki but he goes after them!

Suzuki gets pinballed between forearms and Mongolian Chops! Kojima Mongolian Chops, then TenCozy double whip to double shoulder tackle Suzuki! Kojima stomps Suzuki around, the countdown is back, and number ten is… Taka Michinoku! The Blue Playmaker is here, but Suzuki is getting mugged by TenCozy! They dig their boots in, but Taka goes after them with kicks! But then Kojima throws a forearm, so Taka pokes him in the eye! Tenzan Mongolian Chops Taka, but Taka CALF KICKS! Taka runs, into the TENCOZY CUTTER! Suzuki stomps Tenzan, clamps on a chinlock, but Kojima gets Suzuki for a headlock!

The countdown is back and number eleven is… CIMA! What a huge moment for Strong Hearts that the #GleatCima is here! Cima decides to go up top right away, and he METEORAS Taka! Cover, Cima ELIMINATES Taka! Wato goes after Cima, Suzuki whips Kojima and runs in to BOOT him! Tenzan digs his boots into Chase while Suzuki PENALTY KICKS Kojima! Suzuki covers, TWO! Wato has Cima in the corner but Cima turns it around to CHOP Wato! Suzuki tortures Kojima’s arm, all the way to the fingers! The countdown is back and number twelve is… Tomoaki Honma! Everyone’s Kokeshi is ready!

Kojima gets a ropebreak but Suzuki just stomps him down. Tenzan CHOPS Henare in the corner again and again, Chase hobbles to a corner, Cima goes after Wato with a forearm but Wato whips. Cima reverses, hurdles, Wato leaps over, Wato dodges and RANAS Cima to ropes! Wato kicks and whips, Cima reverses again to kick and run. Wato back elbows, runs, but Cima dropkicks Wato at the ropes! Cima runs but then fakes Wato out and dumps him over the top rope! Wato crashes down, Cima ELIMINATES Wato! Honma and Cima brawl, Wato CHOPS away at the ropes! Cima whips, Honma reverses and CLOBBERS CIma with an elbow!

Honma runs, KOKESHI! Cover, ROPEBREAK! The countdown is back and lucky thirteen is… Douki! Japones del Mal is here to reinforce Suzuki! Honma stomps Cima in the corner, Kojima stomps Henare in another corner. Honma CLUBS Suzuki, he and Cima go after Suzuki together. Chase hobbles out under the bottom rope while Henare holds on to ropes as Kojima dumps him over! Douki gets in the ring to KICK Honma! Suzuki-Gun mugs Honma, Tenzan Mongolian Chops Cima down! Honma ROCKS Douki, but Douki dodges to HELL STAB! Suzuki catches Chase getting back in and wraps his arm around ropes!

Kojima bumps Henare off buckles as the countdown returns. Number fourteen is… Yuji Nagata! Blue Justice is here, and now #ThirdGen is at full force! Honma dumps Cima over the top but Cima is safe on the apron! Suzuki waits on his eternal rival, and Nagata gets in to fire off forearms! They go back and forth, Suzuki throws a body shot then a haymaker! Nagata hits back, bumps Suzuki off buckles, Chase tries to scrape Douki off the apron, then he uses a cravat to choke Cima. Suzuki turns things around on Nagata as the countdown returns. Number fifteen is… Yoshinobu Kanemaru! The Heel Master came close, will he get back to the KOPW in 2022?

Henare holds on using a foot on the bottom rope! Cima tries to dump Honma out but Honma lands safe on the apron. Suzuki and Nagata continue to brawl, Kanemaru goes fright after Tenzan! Tenzan headbutts and Mongolian Chops in return, but runs into WHISKEY MIST! Roll up, with help from Douki! Douki & Kanemaru ELIMINATE Tenzan! Nagata and Kojima go after them for that, double suplex for Kanemaru! The countdown is back, and sweet sixteen is… Togi Makabe! The Rampaging King Kong is coming to reinforce Great Bash Heels! Kojima fires off MACHINE GUN CHOPS on Kanemaru, then adds Chase to it!

Kojima throws Chase down, and reloads to MACHINE GUN CHOP Kanemaru! Suzuki has Cima down and tortures his fingers, but Cima grabs at Suzuki’s face! Kojima finishes up chopping Kanemaru to whip him into the corner. Kojima hits a forearm smash and throws Kanemaru down while Honma goes after Suzuki. Nagata turns on Kojima with a SAIDO! Bridging cover, and Suzuki-Gun helps out! They all ELIMINATE Kojima! Technically every man for himself, or rather that tag teams and factions don’t matter. Makabe gets in and he chokes Henare! The ref counts and Makabe lets off while Honma goes after Suzuki.

Honma gets Suzuki up on the top rope and Cima helps out! The countdown is back and number seventeen is… Bad Luck Fale! Chase Owens has survived this long and now he has an ally! Suzuki fights off Cima and Honma, and he pulls on Honma’s arm! Kanemaru digs his boots into Chase while Douki and Nagata brawl. Makabe sees Fale coming and eggs him on. Fale gets in, Suzuki-Gun goes after him first! Fale blocks the double whip, and he SMACKS Douki and Kanemaru together! Fale TOSSES Douki and ELIMINATES him! Fale TOSSES Kanemaru and ELIMINATES him! Fale TOSSES Honma and ELIMINATES him! THREE eliminations in a row!!

Nagata goes after Fale but Fale fireman’s carries him, only for Nagata to get a SLEEPER! But Fale fights free and CLOBBERS Nagata to ELIMINATE him!! A fourth elimination already! The countdown returns and number eighteen is… Tatsumi Fujinami! The legendary Dragon, inventor of the dragon sleeper, dragon screw and dragon suplex, is here! Fale throws Suzuki over the ropes but Suzuki holds on! Fale goes after Makabe, Cima is after Henare, and Chase is after Suzuki, but now the IMMORTAL Dragon gets in the ring! Fale is ready, but his kick is blocked! DRAGON SCREW! Makabe runs to clothesline Fale out and ELIMINATE him!

Chase CLUBS Makabe down, Fujinami blocks Henare’s kick, for a DRAGON SCREW! Cima goes after Makabe with Chase and they double whip, but Makabe breaks the clothesline to DOUBLE LARIAT them back! But then Suzuki CLOBBERS Makabe! The countdown is back and number nineteen is… Toru Yano! The man to beat is finally here! Suzuki kicks at Fujinami, but he also gets a DRAGON SCREW! Makabe stands off with the legend, and they shake hands, but Makabe’s kick is still caught! DRAGON SCREW! Fujinami gave everyone a Dragon Screw, and he puts Makabe in a FIGURE FOUR! Makabe endures, but Fujinami keeps him caught!

Henare sees Yano get in the ring, and rushes right over! But Yano holds the ropes down and dumps Henare out to ELIMINATE him! Henare can’t believe it! Meanwhile, Yano helps Chase and Cima cover Fujinami and Makabe while they’re still in the leg lock! They ELIMINATE Makabe and Fujinami at the same time!! The Dragon can’t believe it, but he’s out! And then Yano does a head count, we’re at the final four!!

Winners: Chase Owens, CIMA, Minoru Suzuki & Toru Yano (qualify for the KOPW 2022 match)

Yano celebrates but Chase ROCKS Yano, Cima ENZIGURIS, and Suzuki wraps on the SLEEPER! Then they give Yano stomps! They all get their piece of Yano, but this is far from over! Will Yano survive such a fierce field to again be Mr. KOPW? Or is the new year bringing change with it already?

 

YOH VS SHO!

Direct Drive broke the Murder Machine in the Best of the Super Juniors, but then Sho went after Yoh during the finals! And even then, the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships are on the line tomorrow night! Who takes the next win in this RPG3K fallout?

Sho tries to go after Yoh before the bell, but Yoh is ready and he knocks Sho down first! Now the bell rings, Sho bails out and Yoh builds speed to FLY! Direct hit at the ramp and fans fire up with Yoh! Fans rally as Yoh drags Sho up by his hair and brings him to the ramp. Sho shouts for mercy but Yoh throws knees, then reels him in to underhook the arms! Sho fights free and runs away down the ramp. Sho kicks a Young Lion and shoves him at Yoh! Sho then drags Yoh up, scoops and SLAMS him on the ramp! Sho mocks Yoh’s pain, then stomps him before going back to the Young Lion. Sho beats him up, then brings him around to scoop and SLAM onto Yoh!

Sho talks trash, goes back to the ring, and lets the ring count handle this. Fans rally up for Yoh but Sho tells them to stop while he plugs his ears. Yoh writhes, crawls for the ring, and gets in at 15 of 20! Sho stomps away on Yoh and kicks him back out! Sho gets the fans to rally up and he builds speed, to then just hop out and whip Yoh into railing! Yoh flops off the railing and Sho puts him back in the ring to cover. TWO, and Sho is annoyed but fans are cheering. Sho tries to tune them out again and he stomps Yoh to a corner. Sho digs his boots in, the ref counts and Sho stops at 4. Fans still rally for Yoh as Sho stands on Yoh’s head.

Sho taunts Yoh, Yoh fights his way up, but Sho rakes Yoh’s eyes! The ref counts, Sho stops at 4, but Yoh blocks the kick to DRAGON SCREW! Fans cheer while both men are down! Sho drags himself to a corner, Yoh gets up and runs in to back elbow! Yoh snapmares Sho to rain down forearms from all sides! Fans rally as Yoh keeps going, and then Yoh gets the arms for DANIELSON STOMPS! Sho sputters as Yoh lets off, and Yoh drags Sho up. Sho pulls a finger! The ref reprimands, Sho CLUBS the arm, but Yoh handsprings to dodge! Sho blocks the superkick to forearm! Sho whips, Yoh reverses and dropkicks Sho down!

Fans rally back up as Yoh waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO! Yoh fires up and fans are with him as he waits on Sho. Sho crawls, Yoh drags him up and reels him in. Yoh underhooks, Sho fights out to wrench, kick, kick and SUPER- NO! Yoh blocks the superkick, but Sho rakes eyes again! The ref counts, Sho stops, but Yoh gets around to ROCK Sho with an uppercut! Yoh runs, Sho uses the ref as a shield! Then Sho SPEARS Yoh down! Fans rally up while both men are down, and Yoh gets himself to a corner. Sho goes to the other corner, runs in corner to corner, and he clotheslines!

Sho then snapmares Yoh to return those forearms from earlier! Sho even returns the DANIELSON STOMPS! Sho gives Yoh an extra helping, then holds onto a wrist. Fans rally but Sho drags Yoh up and reels him in! But no Snakebite as Yoh jackknifes! TWO, Sho CLOBBERS Yoh! Sho is fuming now as he drags Yoh back up. Sho reels Yoh in, POWERBOMB! Sho rolls and reels Yoh back in, CROSS ARM PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Yoh survives but Sho keeps his cool. Fans rally up and Sho says this will end it! He aims his bow, drags Yoh back up and reels him back in. Double pump handle, but Yoh slips out to trip and jackknife, to the STAR GAZER CALF KILLER!!

Sho endures as Yoh pulls way back on the leg! Sho reaches out, moves around, but Yoh pulls back even more! Sho keeps crawling, Yoh throws elbows then rolls Sho away! Dick Togo appears! The Spoiler distracts the ref and he misses Sho tapping out! Yoh would’ve won if not for Dick! Yoh lets Sho go to run Dick off, but then Sho gets up to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again but fans rally back up for Yoh. Sho crawls his way over, drags Yoh back up, and Sho runs, to LARIAT Yoh down! Sho drags Yoh back up, reels him in, SNAKEBITE!! Yoh reaches, flails, kicks around, and fans rally as he endures!

Yoh gets a second wind but he can’t drag himself and Sho to the ropes! The ref checks on Yoh as he fades, but Yoh gets a third wind! Yoh fights up, moves around, ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Sho lets Yoh go! Dick gets on the apron again to distract the ref, and Sho sneaks his wrench out! Sho aims at Yoh, but he tells fans to hush! Yoh flounders up, but he dodges the wrench! Sho gets sent into Dick, then Yoh rolls Sho with the FIVE STAR CLUTCH! YOH WINS!

Winner: Yoh, by pinfall

Direct Drive gets the better of the Murder Machine again! Sho is furious and he stomps away on Yoh! Young Lions hurry in but Sho knocks them down! Sho gets his wrench again and decides to try again! But Sho runs into a SUPERKICK! Dick gets Sho out of there, will this momentum help Yoh and Chaos take the NEVER Six Man titles away from the House of Torture?

 

Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi VS KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo!

It’s a two-in-one in terms of building momentum! The Ace joins the Mega Coaches ahead of both the IWGP US Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship matches! Will they trump Fang Revived & The Cutest Tag Team of NJPW? Or will Bullet Club be feeling Too Sweet going into Night Two?

Fans cheer as Tanahashi takes off the jacket and shows off the muscles. Tanahashi is definitely ready to start, but Bullet Club has him wait. The Bullet Club Low Sweets, then Kenta backs down. ELP starts against Azucar and fans rally up. They circle, tie up, and ELP headlocks. Rocky powers out, ELP runs him over and flexes. ELP runs, Rocky stays low to then hurdle. ELP leaps over, Rocky runs in and slides under to shove and follow and RANA! ELP handsprings through, but Rocky ducks the kick to roll-up! ONE, Rocky gets ELP for a backslide, TWO! ELP stomps but Rocky avoids the boot to ROCK ELP with an uppercut!

Rocky runs into the corner, ELP stops the monkey flip to put Rocky up top. Rocky boots back and hits a FLYING RANA! Fans fire up with Rocky and he tags in Taguchi. The Mega Coaches combine for a “Sliced Rocky!” Taguchi covers, TWO! Taguchi drags ELP up, gives him a point blank hip attack, then whips him to ropes. ELP holds ropes to avoid another hip attack, Taiji tags in and kicks low. Taiji whips, Taguchi reverses but Taiji goes out, slides in, goes back out and shoulders in! Taiji springboards, Taguchi gets under and gets around to waistlock. Taiji switches, Taguchi elbows out then runs, but Taiji follows. Taguchi jumps, but hip attack becomes an atomic drop!

Taiji runs, but Taguchi still hits the hip attack! Rocky gets in to intercept ELP with his own hip attack! Taguchi DECKS Kenta, fans rally up while Taiji and ELP end up in opposite corners. The Mega Coaches coordinate, Taguchi and Rocky run corner to corner, hip attack for ELP and clothesline for Taiji! Then the other way to trade! And again! Then they send Taiji and ELP at each other, only for them to reverse! The Mega Coaches dosido, stereo hip attacks for the Cutest Tag Team! Fans fire up as Taguchi goes up top and prepares his Funky Weapon! Rocky has Taiji & ELP, but Kenta gets in to CLOBBER Rocky!

Kenta aims 1000 Years of Death at Taguchi! But Tanahashi CLOBBERS Kenta from behind, and Kenta runs into the Funky Weapon! Taguchi still gets a few years of death to the groin while Kenta DECKS Tanahashi! Kenta throws Tanahashi out while Taguchi falls down! ELP stomps Rocky, Taiji goes after Taguchi, and Kenta rains down fists on Tanahashi on the outside. Kenta POSTS Tanahashi, Taiji tags ELP in and they put Taguchi up top. They put Taguchi in a Tree of Woe while Kenta uses a chair on Tanahashi! The Cutest Tag Team run corner to corner, to then go up and stand on Taguchi’s groin! The ref reprimands and counts, they hop off at 4.

Taguchi flops down again, fans rally up, but ELP drags Taguchi up to knuckle lock. ELP CHOPS, goes up and up and jumps around to show off, to then leap and CLAW Taguchi’s back! Tag to Taiji, he goes up and rallies the fans, to then do his dance moves, jump and CLAW Taguchi’s back! Taiji DECKS Rocky, Kenta gets in to CLUB Taguchi, then Kenta puts Taguchi back in the Bullet Club corner. Taiji rakes eyes, tags Kenta in, and Kenta stomps Taguchi down. Kenta KICKS Taguchi in the side, then drops an elbow on Taguchi’s back! Cover, TWO! Kenta drags Taguchi up but Taguchi throws body shots.

Kenta knees low, runs, but Taguchi follows! Only for Kenta to avoid the hip attack! Taguchi crashes down hard! Kenta DECKS Tanahashi, then he whips Taguchi into a corner. Kenta runs but into the HIP ATTACK! Both men are down and fans rally up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Kenta, Kenta reverses the whip but Tanahashi hits FLYING FOREARMS! Tanahashi dropkicks ELP down, then gets Taiji’s leg for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Kenta kicks but into a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with Tanahashi, he runs but Kenta avoids the slingblade! Kenta shoves Tanahashi at the ref, Tanahashi stops from colliding with him!

Kenta rolls Tanahashi up, TWO, and Kenta collides with the ref! Kenta spins Tanahashi around for a DDT! The ref is down so Kenta gets his kendo stick! Kenta aims and SMACKS Tanahashi on the back! And again! Tanahashi crawls, gets up, but Kenta SMACKS him down! Kenta has ELP & Taiji get in, they drag Tanahashi up. They set him up for Kenta, but Tanahashi boots Kenta away! Tanahashi fights free, the Mega Coaches throw the Cutest Tag team out, DOUBLE PLANCHAS! Fans fire up and Tanahashi CLOBBERS Kenta with the kendo stick! And SMACKS and SMACKS and SMACKS away!

The ref returns, he stops Tanahashi from using the stick more but Tanahashi doesn’t care! He shoves the ref away and SMACKS Kenta down again! The ref calls for the bell, that’s a disqualification!

Winners: Kenta, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo, by disqualification

The Ace goes after Kenta, even as Young Lions try to stop him! Even the Mega Coaches have to hold Tanahashi back! ELP & Taiji get Kenta outta there, will Tanahashi unleash all his rage in the No Disqualification match? Or can Fang Revived stay golden in the new year?

 

Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire!

While Night Two will see Tetsuya Naito face Jeff Cobb and Sanada face Great-O-Khan, they and Bushi join forces to take on the full power of the United Empire! Will the Uncontrollable Charisma, Cold Skull & Black Mask make Night One tranquilo? Or will the Hawaiian Hulk, the Dominator and the returning Will Ospreay be rolling into a big Night Two?

Ospreay wants LIJ to hurry up as they all have elaborate entrance attire. Naito still does things on his time, so the Empire attacks! Cobb CLOBBERS Bushi and then fires forearms on Naito while Khan throws Sanada out. Ospreay just stays back as the bell rings to put this on record, and Cobb whips Naito, but Naito reverses. Cobb blocks the arm-drag but Naito gets an atomic drop! Naito shoves Cobb to a corner, runs in to JUMP KICK, then leg sweep and COMBIN- NO! Cobb RAMS Naito to a corner, then runs to CLOBBER Naito with a shoulder! Naito bails out but Cobb goes out after him to ROCK him with a forearm!

Cobb hoists Naito up onto his shoulder to then run and RAM him into railing! Ospreay applauds and Cobb puts Naito in the ring. Cobb covers while mocking the LIJ fist, TWO! Tag to Khan, Khan stands on Naito’s head, but fans rally up. Khan drags Naito up, but Naito pulls the ponytail! Khan knees low to Mongolian Chop! And Mongolian Chop! And Mongolian STRIKE! Cover, TWO! Naito pulls at Khan’s hair so Khan pulls Naito’s hair. The ref reprimands, Ospreay tags in! Fans fire up to see him back in action, and he brings Naito around to RAM into the corner! Tag to Cobb and Ospreay laughs as he says, “I don’t need this, I’m in the main event tomorrow.”

Cobb stomps Naito, Khan clubs Naito in the leg, and Cobb RAMS his shoulder into Naito’s back. Naito fights back with haymakers, but Cobb doesn’t budge! Cobb HEADBUTTS Naito, Ospreay applauds, and Cobb whips corner to corner. Cobb runs in, Naito avoids the back elbow to dropkick the legs out! Naito ENZIGURIS, then whips, but Cobb reverses, only for Naito to FLYING FOREARM him down! Fans rally up, Naito and Cobb crawl, but Cobb stops Naito from reaching the LIJ corner. Cobb suplexes but Naito fights out to shove. Cobb ducks but Naito kicks! Bushi sunset flips but Cobb stays up! Sanada dropkicks Cobb down, Bushi sits Cobb back up, Naito basement dropkicks!

Fans fire up but Khan gets in. The ref has him stay back, Cobb crawls over to the corner, hot tags to Khan and Sanada! Sanada rallies on Khan, arm-drags and atomic drops! Sanada trips Khan, has the legs and ties him up in Paradise! Khan is furious but the fans rally up. Sanada gets them to get louder, then he runs to dropkick Khan out of Paradise! Khan flops out of the ring, Sanada aims, PLANCHA! But Khan dodges, gets in the ring, and he hesitates. Sanada dares Khan to plancha at him! Khan decides not to, so Sanada gets in and fires off forearms. Sanada whips, Khan reverses and pulls on an ear! Then a KNEE SMASH!

Khan gets the legs, and has the throne cradle! TWO, Khan runs to BOOT Sanada down! Khan tries again, and bridges! TWO!! Khan clamps onto Sanada with a katagatami! Sanada fights up, throws elbows, but Khan knees low. Khan whips Sanada to a corner but Sanada goes up and out to springboard in and missile dropkick! Fans fire up as both men are down! Khan and Sanada crawl, hot tag to Bushi! Bushi stomps Khan, drags him up and spins Khan around for a DDT! Cover, TWO! Bushi drags Khan up, reels him in, but no Fisherman Screw as Khan wrenches for a drop sayanagi! Khan rolls, tags Ospreay in, and Ospreay waits on Bushi to rise.

Ospreay springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Fans fire up and Ospreay asks if they want to see it! Ospreay drags Bushi up, underhooks, but Naito CLUBS Ospreay! Cobb runs in but Naito dropkicks the legs out! CORRIENDO- OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Cobb turns around into Sanada’s dropkick! Sanada dodges Khan’s boot, knees and whips but Khan reverses. Sanada knees back from the corner, goes up and QUEBRADAS, but Khan gets under! Khan runs into Sanada’s fireman’s carry, then throw into a dragon sleeper! Khan drops to victory roll but Sanada rolls through to forearm and ROLLING- HITSUJIGOROSHI, MARINE!

Bushi gets in, Khan BOOTS him down! Ospreay gets back up, “Let’s do this!” Underhooks and lift, STORM- NO! Bushi slips off to ROCK Ospreay! Bushi runs, into a POP-UP POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Ospreay fires up, takes aim and HIDDEN BLADE! Cover, the Empire wins!

Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall

The Commonwealth King finishes it off, and the United Empire has all the momentum! Khan taunts Sanada by standing with his back to him, and Cobb lets Naito have the ice packs. Naito taunts Cobb back by putting the pack on Cobb’s knee. Will Khan and Cobb conquer the Ungovernables? Will Ospreay be back on top as the true IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? Or will he just have to settle for having three other belts in his collection?

 

Catch Wrestling Rules: Katsuyori Shibata VS ???

The Wrestler is back again! But still taking baby steps, as this is only allowing submissions and grapples, no strikes. Pin, submission, disqualification, count outs, all fair game, but is Shibata ready to take on this challenge? And just who is Shibata facing? It’s the LADOJO prospect, Ren Narita! Is this Ren’s chance to prove he’s ready for the next level?

Before things being, Shibata gets a mic. “I want a rule change. I want pro-wrestling rules!!” WHAT?! Shibata asks Narita if he’s up for that, and of course he is! Then it’s official! This is a full-on pro-wrestling match now?! Is Shibata taking too big a step? Or does he know what he’s doing?

The bell rings, the two circle, and Narita give testing kicks, but so does Shibata. They approach, tie up, and fans are fired up already as Shibata waistlocks and gets Narita down for a top mount. Narita bucks but Shibata stays close with a waistlock. Narita moves around but Shibata doesn’t let him get away. This is still pretty technical stuff as Shibata powers his way back to the top mount. Shibata shoots the half then floats to a short arm scissor. Narita clasps hands then fights up. Shibata has his leg guard, he rolls Narita away and mounts again, then stomps Narita! Fans cheer as Shibata throws the first strike.

Fans rally as the two circle and tie up with collar ‘n’ elbow. They end up on ropes, the ref calls for the ropebreak, and Shibata lets off. Narita turns it around, then CHOPS Shibata! Fans cheer as Shibata takes his first strike! They go again, Narita headlocks and holds on as Shibata tries to power out. Shibata powers out the second time to then get the headlock on Narita. Narita powers out, Shibata holds ropes and drops down to get the headlock. Fans cheer, Narita fights up, but Shibata hits a headlock takeover. Narita headscissors, but Shibata moves around to pop free and kick! Narita gets under and fans cheer how close that came!

Narita and Shibata reset as fans rally up. Shibata gets a leg, trips Narita and steps through, but Narita keeps the Figure Four from completing. Shibata applies more torque and he clamps it on! Narita endures, fans rally, and Shibata keeps on the pressure. Narita moves around, crawls his way over, but Shibata drags him away from ropes! Shibata puts more pressure on, Narita reaches back and gets the ropebreak! Shibata lets Narita go but stomps the legs. Shibata puts Narita in the corner to fire off forearm after forearm, then he knees low. Shibata runs corner to corner but Narita follows to back elbow!

Narita stomps away, the ref counts, but Narita shoves the ref away! Narita keeps on Shibata as he digs both boots in! The ref comes back, counts, Narita lets off at 4. Narita drags Shibata up, has the half hatch but then blocks Shibata’s strike to fire off KICKS! Narita runs, but Shibata catches him for a headlock STO! Shibata drags Narita up, whips him to a corner and BOOTS him! Shibata whips Narita corner to corner and BOOTS him! Shibata fires off forearm after forearm, but Narita eggs him on! Shibata EuroUppers, then stomps away! The ref counts, Shibata lets off at 4, but he gets his scuffing heel kicks in behind the ref’s back.

Shibata goes corner to corner, fans fire up and Shibata runs in, HESITATION DROPKICK!! Shibata hits his signature! And then SNAP HALF HATCH! Cover, TWO!! Narita survives, but Shibata has the ARMBAR! Narita rolls it to get a DOUBLE HEEL HOOK! He rolls it to a SHARPSHOOTER! Shibata endures, fans fire up and Shibata powers up! Shibata crawls forward, Narita sits deep on the hold, but Shibata gets the ROPEBREAK! Narita drags Shibata from ropes for a KNEEBAR! Shibata scrambles and gets the ROPEBREAK again! Narita lets go but shows no mercy as he stomps away on the leg!

Narita hauls Shibata up, CLUBS the leg, but runs into a KITCHEN SINK! Fans are fired up as both men are down. Shibata gets his leg moving, aims at Narita, and SOBATS! Narita staggers, Shibata KICKS him out of the ring! Narita falls to the floor, Shibata lets the ring count start. But then Shibata decides to go out after Narita, puts him in, and ducks the punch to kick! Shibata ducks another punch to get a SLEEPER HOLD at the ropes! The ref counts, Shibata kicks Narita down and runs, into a clinch! Shibata fights the suplex, pulls Narita’s hair, but Narita is giving Shibata headbutts! Narita slips around to a cobra twist! Shibata breaks it to put Narita in the cobra twist!

Narita endures, reaches for the ropes, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Shibata lets go to KNEE and SAIDO! Shibata holds on, drags Narita back up, ripcord SLAP! Shibata drags Narita back up, to KICK and KICK and KICK! Narita flops, Shibata sits him up to KICK again! Narita flounders to a corner but he fires himself back up. Shibata fires up and BOOTS Narita down! Cover, ONE?!? LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Narita isn’t done, he gets a leg and clubs away on it! Narita KICKS away on that leg, KICKS up high, Shibata keeps his guard up as Narita fires off. Shibata gives kicks in the openings, then KICKS Narita’s leg out!

Narita fires up but Shibata ROCKS him! SLEEPER, then PENALTY KICK!! Cover, Shibata wins!!

Winner: Katsuyori Shibata, by pinfall

The Wrestler is back!! He and Narita went all out in this match, and Shibata stands tall! And though Narita lost, he embraces Shibata, proud to have been the one facing him in this moment. Is this just the beginning of a storybook comeback?

 

NJPW returns to AXS TV!

Thursday, March 3rd, New Japan returns to American primetime television!

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!

The Stone Pitbull took this title off Jay White in the United States, and now brings it back to Japan to defend it! But with the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles in the House of Torture, is the King of Darkness about to become the King of NEVER? Or will Ishii never let that happen?

The introductions are made, but Evil attacks Ishii as he enters! Evil CLUBS Ishii, rakes his eyes, and then POSTS Ishii! The bell rings to get this on record, and Evil gets those chairs out from under the ring! Ishii sits up, Evil JAMS him with a chair, then puts it around his head! Evil gets the other chair but Ishii kicks him first! Ishii arms himself with the chair, and they duel! Evil is disarmed, but Dick kicks Ishii enough to throw him off balance! Evil RAMS Ishii into the railing, and down goes the timekeeper! Young Lions hurry to help Abe-san while Evil drags Ishii and the chairs away. Evil knees Ishii low, puts the chair back around his head, and gets the other chair to HOME RUN!

Evil smirks, then he mocks Abe-san as he picks himself up. The ref checks on Ishii while fans rally up, and Evil goes into the ring. Evil wants the ring count to start already, but Ishii staggers up and in first. Evil drags Ishii up while fans cheer, and Evil whips Ishii into a corner. Wait, that one’s buckle pad is gone! Changing up the Bullet Club special, it seems! Evil drags Ishii up, and whips him back into that bare corner! Evil stands on Ishii’s head, then brings him up to throw him out. Dick DECKS Ishii while Evil distracts the ref! Dick puts Ishii in, Evil covers, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another one, TWO!! Evil is furious but fans rally up.

Evil kicks Ishii around and taunts him. Ishii gets up but Evil CHOPS him. Ishii doesn’t flinch, he ROCKS Evil then whips him into his bare corner! Evil staggers, Ishii runs him over! Fans fire up and Ishii finally gets his shirt off. Ishii drags Evil up, reels him in, but Evil blocks the suplex. Evil throws elbows, runs, but Ishii dodges. Evil goes to the corner, Ishii gets around, SAIDO! Both men are down but fans fire back up! Ishii gets up and fans rally behind him. Ishii waits on Evil to stand, then he runs, but Evil avoids the lariat. Evil waistlocks, Ishii switches, Evil shoves the ref! Evil backs Ishii down into Dick’s CHAIRSHOT! Then FISHERMAN BUSTER!

Both men are down again but the fans rally. Evil gets up, runs, but Ishii avoids the lariat to spin. Evil JABS Ishii, whips him into the bare buckles, but Ishii comes back to LARIAT! Fans fire up while Ishii grits his teeth to fight through the pain in his back. Ishii hoists Evil up top, climbs up after him, and then brings Evil up for a STALLING- No, wait, Evil fights the superplex. Ishii tries again, and he gets Evil up for the STALLING SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Ishii snarls but he keeps his focus as he sits Evil up. Ishii runs, but Dick is there to swipe at him! Ishii is angry, but then the ref is used as a shield!

Ishii swats Evil’s clothesline and gets a waistlock, but Evil grabs the ref! That throws things off so no back suplex. Ishii runs, the ref is thrown into the LARIAT! Dick gets in and stomps Ishii down! And then he uses the SPOILER CHOKER! But not only that, here comes Yujiro Takahashi! Feed to a LARIAT from Tokyo Pimp! The House of Torture get Ishii up, BIG- NO! No big DDT! Ishii shoves Yujiro into Dick! Ishii then sends Yujiro into the bare buckles! Ishii goes back for Evil as fans fire up! Ishii stands him up to CHOP and forearm on repeat! But here comes Sho! GERMAN SUPLEX!

The Murder Machine is still upset after his loss earlier, so he drags Ishii up and tucks the arms. But here comes YOH! Yoh gets in and he CLOBBERS Sho! And SUPERKICKS Evil! Direct Drive then PLANCHAS onto Sho and Yujiro! Now things are even! A new ref hurries out and he checks on both men. Ishii gets up and he headbutts the corner to fire up! Evil sits up in a daze, Ishii runs and- No, Evil swats his lariat! GERMAN SUPLEX! But Ishii is back up! Ishii tanks Evil’s lariat and HEADBUTTS! Ishii runs but into EVERY- NO! Ishii waistlocks, Evil grabs the ref, but Ishii avoids the low blow kick! Ishii ENZIGURIS Evil down!

Dick tries to get in with the title belt! Yoh stops him, Ishii LARIATS Evil!! Cover, TWO?!! Evil survives but Ishii fires up again. Dick elbows Yoh but Yoh keeps him down! Ishii drags Evil back up, but Sho grabs at the ref! Ishii suplexes, Yujiro LOW BLOWS! The ref misses it all! Yoh attacks Sho, but then Evil gets the title belt! Dick distracts now, Evil takes aim, BELT SHOT!! Evil gets the belt out of the ring and he drags Ishii back up. EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, Evil wins!!

Winner: Evil, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Champion)

Another night, another dastardly way to win! And at least for tonight, Evil is the Double NEVER Champion! But will Chaos avenge this travesty in tomorrow’s Six Man title match? Or does the house always win?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Dangerous Tekkers VS Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI!

Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. have been quite impressive as champions, having even won a Triple Threat involving Los Ingobernables de Japon and the very team they’re facing here. But the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter fought their way through World Tag League 2021 and are now standing on the precipice of their dream! Will Goto-Hashi make it #LightsOut? Or will they #JustTapOut to the Holy Emperor & Submission Master?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see if this is the moment Goto & Hashi have been waiting for!

Hashi and ZSJ start and fans rally at the bell. They circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock. ZSJ breaks one, wrenches the other, then wrenches more for a wristlock. Hashi breaks free but ZSJ avoids the chop to EuroUpper! ZSJ headbutts low, headlocks, but Hashi powers out and Goto tags in! They double shoulder ZSJ down, then hip toss senton! Then they hammer ZSJ down! Taichi runs in, Goto-Hashi double kick him, but Taichi avoids getting hammered! Taichi chokes Goto to a corner while ZSJ snapmares and NECK TWISTS Hashi! The ref reprimands the Tekkers, Taichi lets off on Goto and exits.

ZSJ drags Hashi out to cravat while Taichi whips Goto into railing. ZSJ slams Hashi down on the ramp for another NECK TWIST! ZSJ goes back to the ring while Taichi chokes Goto with the camera cable! A ring count starts, Hashi gets up at 7 of 20 and in at 8. ZSJ drags Hashi up to go after an arm. ZSJ throws Hashi over to then get a neck lock! ZSJ pushes up to get leverage, but Hashi moves around! ZSJ gets the legs to keep them from touching ropes! ZSJ has them in a figure four knot, but Hashi powers his way with his arms, ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go, tags in Taichi, and Taichi stomps Hashi down.

Taichi drags Hashi up, snapmares and KICKS him in the back! Taichi chokes Hashi, the ref sees that and reprimands. Taichi stops, but chokes again. The ref reprimands again, so Taichi uses both hands to choke! The ref counts, Taichi lets off at 4, then drags Hashi back up. Taichi chokes Hashi but sorta hides it as he puts him in the corner. ZSJ tags in to headbutt low and clamp on a cravat. ZSJ snapmares and holds on for a neck wrench. Hashi endures, even as ZSJ thrashes him. Goto rallies the fans and they rally for Hashi as he endures. Hashi fights up, ZSJ cranks on the hold more! Hashi throws body shots, then he CHOPS, but ZSJ blocks!

ZSJ wrenches, KICKS the arm, then runs, but Hashi dodges! Hashi runs to BLOCKBUSTER! Fans fire up as Hashi shakes out his bad arm. Hashi and ZSJ crawl, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on ZSJ, DECKS Taichi, then fires up! Goto runs at ZSJ in the corner, MURAMASA! Headlock and BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carries but ZSJ fights that with a double wristlock! ZSJ wrenches, wrangles Goto down then wrenches again. Goto ROCKS ZSJ with a forearm, runs, but ZSJ shoots around to an IRON OCTOPUS! Goto endures, stays up and powers out, but ZSJ slips off the fireman’s carry to EuroUpper!

ZSJ runs, Goto follows and Goto LARIATS! Taichi AX BOMBERS! Hashi LARIATS! ZSJ boots and EuroUppers! ZSJ dropkicks Goto’s leg out and PENALTY KICKS! Goto is right back up to LARIAT ZSJ down! Fans fire up as all four men are down! Fans rally as Goto crawls after ZSJ. Goto drags ZSJ up, throws forearms, and ZSJ staggers to ropes. ZSJ comes back with a EuroUpper! And another, but then Goto ROCKS him! Goto runs, ZSJ gets around and has another IRON OCTOPUS! Taichi gets Hashi for the SEITEIJYUJIRYOU! ZSJ drags Goto down for the grounded octopus, then a mounted armbar! ZSJ keeps after the arm but Goto still endures!

Goto moves around, kicks his way over, ROPEBREAK! Taichi lets Hashi go and ZSJ sets Goto free while fans cheer. The Tekkers coordinate and bring Goto up. Goto blocks the scoop, CLUBS away on ZSJ, then runs, but into a choke grip! CHOKE SLAM BACK SUPLEX! ZSJ covers, TWO! Taichi TAKES OFF THE PANTS! ZSJ drags Goto up again, Taichi takes aim, but Hashi anchors Taichi! Goto gets ZSJ in a sleeper, then a La Magistrol! TWO!! ZSJ swings, into a dragon sleeper! BUt he victory rolls for a EURO CLUTCH! TWO!! Goto escapes by mere nanoseconds! Goto blocks the Penalty Kick to CLUB the leg! But ZSJ PELES Goto’s arm! Goto fireman’s carries, USHIGOROSHI!

Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto and ZSJ crawl for their corners, hot tags to Hashi and Taichi! Taichi BOOTS, Hashi forearms! Taichi rebounds to BOOT, Hashi rebounds to forearm! Taichi and Hashi stare down, Taichi KICKS but Hashi forearms! They keep going, back and forht, kick for forearm, but Taichi gets the edge. Taichi ROUNDHOUSES but Hashi BACK HANDS! They stare down again, Hashi throws another forearm and Taichi throws another kick! They keep going, Hashi gets the edge and CHOPS! Taichi drops to a knee, Hashi powers up! Hashi runs, but into a boot! He BACK HANDS again! Taichi wrenches to DANGEROUS HOOK KICK!

But Hashi’s back up?! Only to run into a DANGEROUS SAIDO!! Cover, TWO!! Taichi grows frustrated but fans rally up. Taichi aims from the corner, powers up, but Hashi SUPERKICKS first! Hashi fires up and copies Taichi’s stance, but Taichi SUPERKICKS back! Taichi fires up, ZSJ gets in, and ZSJ BOOTS Goto down! Taichi gets Hashi up, Alabama lift, but Hashi slips off to shove Tekkers at each other! HIDDEN GAP SUPERKICK for ZSJ! DRAGON SUPLEX for Taichi! Taichi’s right back up!? But Hashi LARIATS him back down! High stack, TWO!! Fans are thunderous as Hashi drags Taichi back up! Hashi half nelsons and pump handles, but no Karma!

Taichi fights but Hashi holds on, Goto returns! Hashi feeds Taichi to Goto’s fireman’s carry, but Taichi slips off!  HIDDEN GAP SUPERKICK! Another fireman’s carry, SUPERKICK to USHIGOROSHI! Fierce Flash hits, but that’s not it! Dragon sleeper and leg lift, SHOTO!! Cover, but ZSJ barrels in and breaks it!! Fans are thunderous again as Goto clubs ZSJ. ZSJ EuroUppers, but then Goto gets him in a facelock! Hashi helps out, G Y R!! Goto-Hashi fire up and they get Taichi back up! Full nelson and lift, but Taichi kicks free! ZSJ drags Goto to an ANKLE LOCK! Taichi has the GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!?!?

Hashi kicks at ZSJ but ZSJ has the ANKLE LOCK! Hashi throws ZSJ off to Goto’s fireman’s carry, but ZSJ slips around to a GUILLOTINE! But Goto powers out! FIERCE FLASH to SHOTO!! Fans are electric as Goto runs in, but Taichi dodges to GAMANGIRI! Then GAMANGIRI for Hashi! Taichi erupts and he drags Hashi up! Alabama lift, but Hashi fights it off to a DESTROYER?! Goto gets Taichi, URA GTR!! Hashi gets the Full Nelson, Goto gets the legs, NARAKU!!! Cover, Goto-Hashi win!!!

Winners: Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

The same way Goto-Hashi won the WTL trophies is the same way they win the tag titles! And this might only be the start! Will this momentum help Goto, Hashi and Yoh take the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships off the House of Torture?

Hashi shows Taichi and ZSJ respect by offering a handshake. Taichi sits up, and he slaps the hand away, to pat him on the shoulder and even hug Hashi! The Tekkers are down right now, but will we see them find their way back in the New Year?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado VS Hiromu Takahashi!

We just saw Suzuki-Gun’s Dangerous Tekkers lose their titles against the WTL 2021 winners. Now, the Rogue Luchador and the Ticking Timebomb battle again, wanting to settle that time limit draw during the Best of the Super Juniors 28! Will Desperado prove who is really the best? Or will Hiromu make history as being a three-time BOSJ winner that became champion?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the world witnesses the next chapter in this storied rivalry!

The two go right after each other at the bell! They collide with shoulders, then start throwing forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as the two build up speed! Desperado shakes his head, CHOPS Hiromu, and Hiromu CHOPS back! They go CHOP for CHOP, and this is feeling a lot like their BOSJ 28 match. They overhand CHOP, back hand CHOP, and Hiromu eggs Desperado on. Desperado CHOPS, so Hiromu CHOPS again! Desperado is stinging but he still CHOPS back! Hiromu CHOPS, Desperado ROCKS Hiromu with a right hand! Desperado waistlock but Hiromu elbows free. Hiromu runs, but Desperado elbows him at the ropes.

Desperado runs, but now Hiromu follows and elbows him at the ropes. Hiromu fakes Desperado out but Desperado whips to elbow. Desperado then dodges, elbows, runs, but Hiromu dodges and CLOBBERS him! Desperado is up to CLOBBER Hiromu! Hiromu is up to CLOBBER Desperado! Desperado is up to CLOBBER Hiromu! They both get up, DOUBLE FOREARMS, and then they RAM shoulders! Hiromu clotheslines in the corner, snapmares, but Desperado is up to run, into D! Hiromu has Desperado caught in the triangle hold, but Desperado powers up! Hiromu lets go, but Desperado gets around to back suplex! Cover, ONE!! Hiromu GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, ONE!!

Fans fire up as both men stagger. Desperado waistlocks, Hiromu elbows free but Desperado pulls him back. Desperado runs into a pop-up but makes it a RANA! Hiromu falls out of the ring, Desperado runs to DIVE! Direct hit at the ramp! Desperado puts Hiromu in, but Hiromu runs to SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB! Fans fire up as Hiromu and Desperado are both down. The ring count starts, Hiromu crawls but so does Desperado. The count is 15 of 20 before either stands up! Hiromu and Desperado get to the apron, they slide in at 19! Fans rally as both men sit up slowly. Desperado throws a forearm from his knees, but Hiromu gives it back.

Desperado stands to throw a haymaker, but Hiromu throws it back! Desperado punches back, Hiromu staggers, but he comes back with another! They go back and forth again, Hiromu fires up to get the edge! Hiromu ROCKS Desperado to a corner, then brings him out to fireman’s carry. Desperado slips off, but Hiromu mule kicks, front kicks and fireman’s carries. Desperado slips off again, but runs into a BOOT! Hiromu runs but into a SPINEBUSTER! Desperado floats and GUITARRA DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO! Desperado drags Hiromu to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans rally, Desperado leaps, FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!

Fans cheer and Desperado gets back up. He drags Hiromu up, reels him in and underhooks, but Hiromu fights Pinche! Hiromu wrenches, HEADBUTTS, but Desperado ROCKS Hiromu with a forearm! Desperado runs, but into a POP-UP POWERBOMB! But Hiromu can’t hold the cover as he and Desperado are both down! Fans rally, Hiromu drags himself up the ropes in a corner. Desperado runs in but into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly into the corner! Both men are down again and fans rally up even more. Hiromu roars as he stands back up, and he runs corner to corner, to SHOTGUN Desperado back down!

Hiromu drags Desperado up, fireman’s carries, DYNAMITE PLUNGER! Cover, TWO! Hiromu grits his teeth as he hobbles back to Desperado and fireman’s carries again. CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Fans fire up with Hiromu and he drags Desperado back to center. Another fireman’s carry, but Desperado makes it a crucifix takedown! TWO, Desperado spins Hiromu to a backslide, but just to get he arms PINCHE- NO! Hiromu fights it, fireman’s carries, throws him to a dragon sleeper, but Desperado slips out, and then fights the Falcon Arrow! Hiromu spins Desperado around, suplexes, but Desperado keeps fighting it!

Hiromu gets Desperado back to the fireman’s carry, spins, but Desperado sunset flips to the STRETCH MUFFLER! Hiromu endures, rolls Desperado to a cover, TWO! STRETCH MUFFLER! Hiromu endures as Desperado makes it NUMERO DOS PLUS! Cover, TWO! Hiromu sits up and sunsets for a DESTROYER!! Desperado flounders and staggers, HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER! Fans rally up as Hiromu gets back up. Hiromu drags Desperado into the suplex, VICTORY ROYALE! Cover, TWO! Hiromu roars again, he’s far from done! Hiromu drags Desperado up into the dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, but no Timebomb! EL ES CULERO! TWO!!!

Hiromu gets up to SUPERKICK! He dodges Desperado’s punch to SUPERKICK again! Hiromu drags Desperado back up, reels him in, and he underhooks the arms, but Desperado powers to the Alabama lift! He tucks Hiromu in, CRUNCHY!! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives and Desperado can’t believe it! Desperado roars, drags Hiromu up and underhooks the arms, PINCHE- RANA! Hiromu sits on the cover, TWO!! Desperado escapes, Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Hiromu runs, but Desperado LOCO MONOS! Hiromu goes down and Red Shoes reprimands cuz that was a closed fist. But Desperado doesn’t care, he drags Hiromu back up! Underhooks, PINCHE LOCO!

Desperado holds on as he rolls Hiromu to the underhooks, TIGER- NO! Hiromu slips off, tucks Desperado in, TWO!?! Desperado escapes the clutch, but Hiromu steals LOCO MONO! Hiromu powers up and fans rally behind him as he drags Desperado back up. But Desperado LOCO MONOS right back! Fans fire up with Desperado now as he gets Hiromu up! Underhooks, PINCHE LOCO!! And then the roll-through, to another PINCHE LOCO!! Cover a la the Deadman, Desperado wins!!

Winner: El Desprado, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)

It didn’t matter that Hiromu won the trophy, the Rogue Luchador holds onto the belt! Will Desperado prove that HE is the Best of the Super Juniors through the rest of 2022?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Kazuchika Okada!

The Rampaging Dragon is only the third man to hold this belt, born of unifying IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships. But now, there are those that claim they hold the TRUE belt. The Rainmaker himself resurrected the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt to act as his G1 Climax 31 briefcase to make such a point. Will Okada reestablish the old order? Or will Takagi burn hot as the sun towards a bright future?

The introductions are made, the winged world title is raised, and forces of nature collide in the main event!

Fans rally up already as the two stare down. Takagi and Okada circle, feel things out, and Okada slips away before Takagi can clinch him. They go again, Takagi gets a waistlock but Okada switches. Takagi switches and brings Okada down, but Okada switches on the mat. They stand, Takagi wrenches to a wristlock, then wrenches again. Takagi pushes through to a hammerlock, but Okada drop toeholds. Okada floats to a facelock but Takagi slips out to get the facelock for himself. They stand, Okada wrenches out, headlocks, and he grinds Takagi down to a knee. Takagi fights up, pries the hold, but Okada powers it on tighter.

Okada hits a headlock takeover but Takagi gets the headscissor. Takagi pushes up to put on pressure, then he gets Okada’s arm. Okada moves around, gets a leg guard, but Takagi pushes through to a lateral press. ONE, and fans cheer as the two stand off. Okada and Takagi go again with a collar ‘n’ elbow. They’re in a deadlock, but Okada finds a point of leverage and he puts Takagi on ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, Okada lets off slowly, and he fakes the chop to pat Takagi on the shoulders. Takagi and Okada egg each other on, so Okada kicks low! Okada headlocks, Takagi throws body shots and powers out. Okada and Takagi ram shoulders but neither falls!

Okada runs, Takagi withstands the shoulder tackle! Okada runs again, rams Takagi but Takagi rebounds, into a drop toehold! Okada drops an elbow on Takagi’s back! Takagi gets to ropes, Okada brings him up, and Okada throws a forearm. Okada turns Takagi to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE! Okada keeps cool and brings Takagi into a chinlock. Takagi endures, moves forward, and gets a ropebreak. Okada lets off but brings Takagi back up to snapmare, run and basement dropkick! An Okada classic, and he paces while catching his breath. Okada drags Takagi back up, scoops and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron for a slingshot, only for Takagi to avoid the senton!

Okada turns around into Takagi’s ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Okada gets up, Takagi clotheslines him out of the ring! Fans fire up and Takagi encourages them to get louder. Takagi then goes out to fetch Okada, and bumps him off the apron! Then Takagi fireman’s carries to SNAKE EYES Okada off the apron! Fans cheer more, and Takagi hauls Okada up. Okada fights the pump handle, elbows free, boots and DDT’s Takagi to the floor! But Takagi deadlifts Okada for a suplex!? What power from the Dragon! Red Shoes checks on Okada, he’s okay to continue, and fans rally up as Takagi gets back up.

A ring count starts, but Takagi takes his time stretching out his back. Takagi refreshes the count, hauls Okada up, and RAMS him into the apron! Takagi puts Okada back in, then slingshots to STOMP Okada in the stomach! Fans cheer as Takagi stands on Okada and marches in place. Red Shoes counts, Takagi lets go of the ropes, then DOUBLE STOMPS Okada again! Takagi kicks Okada around, Takagi puts him against ropes, and then throws knees! Takagi whips and KNEES Okada against ropes, then runs to run Okada over! Takagi gets Okada right back up for a FAST back suplex! Cover, TWO! Takagi keeps on Okada with a body scissors squeeze!

Okada endures, fans rally up, and Okada moves around. Takagi thrashes Okada, adds on a chinlock, but Okada gets a ropebreak with a foot. Takagi lets go to loom over Okada, and he drops an elbow! And another! And then a SENTON! Fans cheer, Takagi says that’s why he’s champion. Takagi taunts Okada, brings him up, but Okada throws body shots. Takagi HEADBUTTS Okada down, but Okada comes back with more forearms! Takagi ROCKS Okada with just one, but Okada comes back with a string of forearms. Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS back! Takagi then whips, Okada ducks and dodges to CLOBBER Takagi with the back elbow!

Fans rally up again, “TA-KA-GI!” “O-KA-DA!” as both men go to corners. Okada runs in to rally with forearms and elbows! Takagi dodges the boot but not the FLAPJACK! Takagi goes to a corner, Okada whips corner to corner, and runs in to back elbow! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps cool as fans continue to rally. Okada waits on Takagi to get up, but Takagi fights the Alabama lift. Takagi runs in, misses in the corner, Okada puts him up to to dropkick him down! Takagi tumbles to the apron and then the floor! Fans rally up while Okada catches his breath and a ring count starts.

Okada goes out after Takagi at 5 of 20, brings him up and whips him into railing! Okada runs and BOOTS Takagi over the railing! Okada has media clear out and then he gets space, to run and FLY over the railing! CROSSBODY sends Takagi crashing down! Fans fire up while Red Shoes checks on Takagi. Takagi’s okay to continue so a ring count starts again. Okada gets up and brings Takagi back to the ring at 10 of 20. Okada climbs up the corner, Takagi stands, and Okada missile dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Okada drags Takagi up, wrenches the arm and puts on the MONEY CLIP! Fans rally as Takagi endures and fights to his feet!

Okada cranks on the hold more, but Takagi steps forward to the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go, Takagi gasps and sputters, but Okada comes back. Takagi fights the gut wrench so Okada CLUBS him! Okada runs, into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON feint for the DDT! Both men are down but fans rally back up. Takagi gets up and he drags Okada up. Okada fires forearms and an uppercut, but into the Gory Especial! Okada fights it, and has the MONEY CLIP back! Takagi arm-drags free! Takagi runs in but is popped up to the Alabama! Takagi fights out, Gory Especial, NOSHIGAMI! Both men are down again and the fans rally back up!

Takagi drags Okada into a wheelbarrow GERMAN! Takagi crawls over, sits Okada up, and he drives elbow after elbow into Okada’s shoulder. Takagi runs, but Okada catches the sliding lariat to the MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures again, fights back up, but Okada gut wrenches for the SPINNING TOMBSTONE! And then MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures, throws punches with his free arm, but Okada cranks the arm! Takagi fights up, reaches out, but Okada keeps him from ropes with a BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then MONEY CLIP!! Takagi endures all over again and the fans rally up! Okada cranks harder, Takagi throws more punches.

Takagi keeps reaching, Okada drags him down but Takagi reaches back with a foot for the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets Takagi go and fans rally up again. Okada drags Takagi up, scoops and SLAMS him, and then heads for the corner. Another classic formula, Okada drops the MACHO ELBOW! And then, Rainmaker Pose! Takagi stands, Okada ripcords, but PUMPING BOMBER hits first! Both men are down and the fans rally back up! Takagi says he’s not done yet, and he gets up. Fans fire up more as he copies the Rainmaker Pose, and then flexes! Okada BOOTS Takagi for that, then fires off hammering fists! No one mocks Okada!

Red Shoes has to back Okada off, but Okada pushes him away! Okada ROCKS Takagi, and again! Okada runs, Takagi LARIATS! Takagi runs, Okada BOOTS! Okada boots again, but Takagi blocks and LARIATS! But Okada’s right back up to SHOTGUN dropkick! But Takagi gets right back up, PUMPING BOMBER!! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Okada rolls his way out of the ring and flops to the floor. Takagi is annoyed but he goes out after Okada. Takagi drags Okada up, but Okada RAMS him into the apron! Okada POSTS Takagi, then brings him tot he ramp to throw forearms! Okada headbutts to keep Takagi going up the ramp.

Okada goes to gut wrench but Takagi blocks! Okada powers through, but Takagi still fights it! Okada tries a third time but no dice so he EuroUppers Takagi down! Takagi flounders back towards the ring but Okada is there to gut wrench! But Takagi turns it around on Okada, to fireman’s carry and DEATH VALLEY BOMB Okada on the ramp! Now that’s an attitude adjustment! Fans rally back up, the ring count starts, and Takagi sits up at 5 of 20. Takagi crawls for the ring, leaving Okada behind. Takagi stands at 10, gets in at 12, and lets the count handle the rest. Okada stirs at 14, staggers over to the ring at 17, goes around the railing and gets in at 19!

Takagi wants Okada to stand up in the corner, and fans rally as Okada gets up. Takagi runs in to clothesline! Takagi hauls Okada up to the top rope, climbs up to join him right away, and with little hesitation, hits a SUPERPLEX! Okada writhes and Takagi crawls his way over. Takagi sits Okada up and runs, to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Takagi fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” Fans clap along, Takagi drags Okada up and pump handles, but Okada fights the half nelson! Takagi throws knees, Okada switches but Takagi elbows, only to run into a DROPKICK! Okada gets Takagi for the ripcord, but Takagi ducks to ripcord! Okada ducks, backslides and stands Takagi up, LARIAT!

Okada keeps wrist control, stands Takagi up again, LARIAT! Okada roars, ripcords and RAIN- NO! Pump handle, MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO!! Takagi doesn’t wait, he just gets Okada up again,  MADE IN JAPAN AGAIN!! Cover, TWO!!! Okada survives but is dazed, and the fans are thunderous again! Takagi runs, PUMPING BOMBER!! Cover, TWO?!?! Okada is still in this but Takagi just fires up! Takagi drags Okada up, pump handle and torture rack, but Okada slips out! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!! But Okada can’t make the cover! Fans are electric as both men are down! Okada checks his eye while Takagi flounders.

Takagi crawls over to Okada, but Okada pushes himself up. Okada throws a forearm from the mat, but Takagi gives it back. Okada throws another, Takagi gives it back! Okada throws a forearm, Takagi throws it back! Takagi stands Okada up but Okada throws a forearm! Takagi forearms, Okada forearms, and fans rally up as Takagi roars! Takagi forearms, and again, but Okada just stares him down. Takagi SLAPS and SLAPS and forearms, but Okada EuroUppers! Takagi wobbles, Okada EuroUppers again! And again! Takagi leans against ropes and fans fire up again! Okada eggs Takagi on so Takagi comes back with boxing elbows!

Takagi tops things off and he DECKS Okada! Takagi drags Okada back up, pump handles, torture racks, but Okada slips off, MONEY CLIP! But Takagi arm-drags free, and BLINDSIDE ELBOWS! Takagi goes to the corner, fireman’s carries Okada and climbs up! Okada fights free and then moves around. Takagi throws body shots back, fans fire up, but Okada again resists! Okada and Takagi are brawling up top, Takagi fights up but Okada hits a SUPER DDT!! Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Okada roars as he stands back up! Ripcord but Takagi elbows free! So Okada GERMAN SUPLEXES! Okada holds on, ripcords, but Takagi dodges!

Okada catches Takagi, spins, but into the JAB! And a HEADBUTT! Both men wobble, POINT-BLANK PUMPING!! Takagi fires up, he drags Okada up and pump handles for the torture rack! Okada fights again, dragon sleeper to a gut wrench! Takagi fights free of that, DRAGON SUPLEX! Takagi runs, into a DROPKCIK! Takagi flounders up to his feet, but runs into a MICHINOKU DRIVER! Okada gets Takagi back up, ripcord and RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuhicka Okada, by pinfall (NEW IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)

The more things change, the more they stay the same! The Dragon has been slain, and now the Rainmaker is back on top! And as such, Okada wants his belt first. He sets that belt down and thanks it for being there for him. Then he puts that aside, to have Red Shoes put the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship around his waist! But of course, Ospreay returns to get the mic! “This is how you do it! Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, aaaaand NEEEW interim IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika… Okada…!” Ospreay grins as he says Okada has had a rough 2021. That ring gear looks so cheap! And people are agreeing with him!

Ospreay gets in the ring with Okada, and “congratulates” Okada for his hard fought victory. Okada looks exhausted. Ospreay, on the other hand, didn’t break a sweat earlier. So Ospreay can’t wait. Because not only will Ospreay get sweet revenge tomorrow, he will walk out with the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and Okada can just go away from NJPW to be an actor. NJPW will be safe in Ospreay’s hands. “See you tomorrow.” Ospreay drops the mic and has a smarmy smile as he exits the ring. Okada takes his turn with the mic to say in English, “Yo, Ospreay. I’m sorry, fake champion. See you tomorrow.”

That gets Ospreay to come back in a huff! Fake champion?! Okada just called Ospreay a fake champion!? “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You are fake champion. See you tomorrow. Have a good night.” Ospreay talks trash as he exits for real, and Okada continues in Japanese for the crowd. “Everyone, Happy New Year! For wrestling fans, the new year doesn’t begin until today. I’ve got three things to say. First: Takagi-san, you were a real champion. And that was a real battle. Thank you very much.” Fans appreciate Okada showing that respect.

“Second: I selfishly resurrected the fourth gen IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt.” Okada knows he confused some people with that. But Okada truly believes that belt fueled NJPW these past 50 years. Okada was mostly upset that when they created the new belt, they didn’t properly say good by to the old one. But with all the fans clapping along, Okada was able to give it a proper sendoff. He thanks everyone for that, and asks for one last round of applause for the IWGP Heavyweight belt. Fans oblige, and Okada continues by saying, “Third: There is no third thing.” Another classic Okada move.

Well, he’d like to call it here, but there is the title match tomorrow. Plus, the 50th anniversary year is just kicking off. Fans applaud that, too! NJPW is really the greatest, and they will continue to give fans hot matches with their support. Okada thanks everyone for coming out to see the show, and knows there is still the “opponent” of COVID. Wrestlers always get back up, so the people have to do the same. That way, next year’s WrestleKingdom, though Okada has said this before, he still promises, “Let’s fill the Tokyo Dome to capacity! That’s the goal for this 50th anniversary!” Fans definitely cheer that!

Okada hopes they continue to support NJPW as it celebrates 50 years and marches forward! Fans also cheer that sentiment. Okada finishes by saying he hopes to see everyone back tomorrow, and promises to make it rain for the 50th! Fans cheer and night one comes to a close! Will Okada make sure to keep this promise and reign through 2022? Or will Ospreay rain on Okada’s parade and already become a two-time IWGP World Heavyweight Champion?


My Thoughts:

What a great night for NJPW to start WrestleKingdom week! Fujinami was a great surprise in the New Japan Ranbo, as was Cima. Cima being a finalist was also great, he will make the Fatal 4 tomorrow really interesting, as will Suzuki, but I’m thinking it’s between Yano and Chase. Yano is still a comedic genius, but it’d be great if this year, Yano has to chase the trophy while Chase is the one with all the wild match stipulations. Yoh VS Sho was a great grudge match, and I’m a little surprised Yoh not only won, but stood tall no matter what Sho tried to do after. But I also like that this all turned around in the NEVER Openweight title match, Yoh not being enough to thwart the entirety of the House of Torture, so Evil wins the belt.

Skipping ahead, Goto-Hashi VS Tekkers was an awesome match, and what a great moment for Goto-Hashi to finally get the heavyweight tag titles. Now, the math is literally 2 to 1, Chaos standing tall with Yoh, Goto & Hashi winning, so I have a feeling that House of Torture retain their Six Man titles. The Six Man of Tanahashi & Mega Coaches ending in a DQ was a bit of a surprise, but it is a great way to plug the NO DQ match tomorrow. Tanahashi loses the match but stands tall as he whoops Kenta, I’m thinking Kenta retains the title. Meanwhile, United Empire wins their Six Man, so I think Naito and Sanada each win their singles matches.

Holy crap, Shibata surprising with the rule change and giving us not just a pro-wrestling match but a great match with Narita, that was probably the best moment of the whole night. Everyone is rooting for Shibata to get back in the swing of things, this was a great sign that he is right there at the doorstep. Desperado VS Hiromu was great, definitely the way to follow up their BOSJ match, and what a shock that Hiromu doesn’t use the momentum from BOSJ to win. Depending on how the Junior Heavyweight Tag title match goes, any of the four losers could step up to face Desperado for the title next.

And of course, the main event! Great pacing, great build upon what we saw from them in the G1 and the vacated title match before that. I personally really liked Takagi being that newer, fresher face carrying this belt, but I completely understand Okada getting back to the top at this time. Okada’s still running strong, he was the last man to have the fourth gen belt, this was the moment to properly close the book on that chapter in NJPW so that this new one can finally come into its own, just as Okada said himself. Now, Okada VS Ospreay could go either way, but for all those same reasons I just said, Okada could definitely win out and carry NJPW through 2022 and then maybe be the one there when fans in Japan can finally shout out loud in the stands.

My Score: 9.1/10


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More From Japan

NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.187 ~ 29TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Keiji Mutoh continues his Retirement tour and bringing out faces from the past! NOAH has a new champion! Interesting inter-promotional battles on the horizon as well!

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NEWS

Kaito Kiyomiya is the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, nominates Kazuyuki Fujita as challenger

Following provocation by Kenoh not only saying that he was going to be the one to inherit Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard and the memory of Keiji Mutoh himself (and the outright claim that Kiyomiya would simply forget about Mutoh once Mutoh had retired, which Kiyomiya didn’t even bother responding to), Kenoh went one step further at their last pre match on the 19th September by pulling Keiji Mutoh’s pose, kissing his hand, putting it to Kiyomiya’s lips and then exploding it. Kiyomiya erupted in fury at this, it was far more than any verbal provocation of Kenoh’s, which I guess he has learned to ignore over the years. They fought for the GHC Heavyweight in Nagoya on September 25th, with Kiyomiya emerging victorious following a modified Shining Wizard. As Kenoh left it was like a spell was broken. Kenoh went backstage and muttered about Kiyomiya being the company favorite and in his interview the day after winning the title, Kiyomiya said nothing about Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh as we know had been a focus of both Kiyomiya and Kenoh leading up to the title match.

Back in the ring, Kiyomiya called out his next opponent. Kazuyuki Fujita. Fujita came to the ring, carrying a can of beer which he swigged from. Getting in the ring he circled Kiyomiya and took off his t-shirt. Kiyomiya said that he was expecting a fight, but Fujita did something that no other NOAH wrestler had (or perhaps would) do, and that was to throw himself at Kiyomiya and then make nuzzling motions against his head, while he licked the belt. Kiyomiya pushed him off, and Fujita retaliated by pouring beer over his head.

Kiyomiya screaming that he hated beer was met with Fujita toasting him from the ramp and yelling “Kampaiii” (“cheers”) after a fight had broken out, and Kiyomiya threw him from the ring.

 

Backstage, Kiyomiya said his reason for nominating Kazuyuki Fujita as his challenger was that he had never been defeated for the GHC Heavyweight. Fujita had to give up the belt due to Coronavirus. It has been a recurring theme of most of the GHC Heavyweight champions since Go Shiozaki, that Fujita has been the man to beat in order to cement yourself as champion. Kiyomiya was picking up that torch.

As for Fujita, he played it as if he was a Casanova and had been asked out on a date by warning Kiyomiya that when you experience Fujita, you can never go back because you were never going to be the same. He was going to “make it a night to remember”. He sipped his beer, and licked his lips afterwards.

Title match has been set for NOAH’s return to Ariake on the 30th October.

STINGER lose, NOAH Junior Regulars win, enter Tadasuke (with a chair)

Following a period of brutal attacks on Seiki Yoshioka (by the end of the match he could hardly use one side of his body) and a title challenge where Atsushi Kotoge was bloodied up, The NOAH Junior Regulars emerged victorious and bought the tag titles home to their unit. They had very little time to celebrate their win and put ice on their wounds, when Tadasuke burst in and attacked Atsushi Kotoge with a chair while Hi69 beat up on the already incapacitated Seiki Yoshioka. Tadasuke (wild grin on his face) got on the microphone and made a challenge for the tag titles. Then Tadasuke wiped the blood from Kotoge that had got on his hands on his hair, leaving red streaks in the peroxide. Tadasuke was even waving the bloodied seat of the chair, which had detached during the attack, around backstage.

Title match will be on the 30th October when NOAH return to the Ariake complex.

Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima, NOAH’s most dysfunctional tag team, win the GHC Heavyweight tag titles

It must be said that with the combined efforts of Satoshi Kojima and Hideki Suzuki, we almost have our Sugi back.

At the press conference/title match signing, Sugi and Kojima appeared dressed in suits and wearing dark glasses. They looked something between The Men In Black and “Dangerous Detectives” (as Tokyo Sports called them  which stems from a Japanese TV show). Hideki Suzuki was on form, not only mistranslating Timothy Thatcher and stating at one point that Thatcher said he came to Japan to “beat you up” and being rude to a journalist for being overfamiliar with his “punk mouth”, the highlight of the press conference was his long close up stare at Sugi, who was trying not to laugh.

The dysfunctional team won the titles in Nagoya on the 25th September, and despite their falling out during the match, Sugi actually gave Kojima a proper handshake. Then they went back to squabbling backstage over Kojima talking on the mic when it was Sugi who got the win. No challengers have come forward as of yet.

HAYATA retains the GHC Junior, Ninja Mack makes his long awaited challenge

It had been an emotional match for YO-HEY, and for fans. Cutting out the aerial techniques that had characterized their earlier matches, both he and HAYATA demonstrated how much they had both evolved by concentrating on a more NOAH based ground attack with submissions. YO-HEY might have failed in the challenge, but he had at least gotten one win over HAYATA in the pre-match. He knew the title match would be different and he would need to level up, and afterwards he reflected and said he would start from rock bottom in order to make his next challenge. What fans had noticed that while things had changed between them, some things were the same, such as YO-HEY coloring his hair, his tongue (and even his boxer shorts) purple, which is HAYATA’s color, and HAYATA not speaking as much as he has done in previous title challenges, as he is content to let YO-HEY talk. After the match, Ninja Mack came to challenge. HAYATA accepted by saying, that he was “finally interested in the belt” and acknowledging him as challenger. Title match will of course be on the 30th October. But HAYATA is not immediately going into a fallout match with Ninja Mack at NOAH’s next event on the 30th, but is having a tag match against YO-HEY.

Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Road

Keiji Mutoh has been very busy.

– 23rd September: Great Muta appears in AEW

The Great Muta made a surprise appearance in AEW to rescue Sting, who had been tied to a chair by Darby Allen. Muta came to the ring, advanced on Sting and then turned and spat green mist into the face of Allen and then reunited with Sting. Keiji Mutoh announced that Sting would attend Muta’s retirement on the 22nd in Yokohama, but has not said in what capacity, although it is assumed that they will tag. Regarding any further appearances in America, Mutoh said he didn’t think it was likely, but did warn that The Great Muta may pop up somewhere as you never knew where he would turn up next.

– 25th September: Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road: Love Forever 2

Keiji Mutoh teamed with his junior Kazuyuki Fujita to take on Mutoh’s classmate, Masakatsu Funaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima, who Mutoh has known since he was a boy, and still calls affectionately “Katsuhiko”. Nakajima said he was going to break up this class reunion, and while Mutoh did get kicked (Nakajima smirked and said it was fun when Mutoh later complained his leg still hurt) but it was Fujita who got the worst of it. During the match, Nakajima pulled out Mutoh’s Space Rolling Elbow. Mutoh was initially not pleased, but then he became very happy to see it and said that he thought that “Katsuhiko” did it because he had some small measure of feeling for him. I think had Nakajima been a more acrobatic wrestler, Mutoh might have handed it to him. Mutoh won the match with The Shining Wizard, pinning Nakajima. This was Mutoh’s farewell to Nagoya, his classmate, his junior and Nakajima.

– 26th September: Hiroshi Tanahashi comes to the press conference and a tag match is announced

Hiroshi Tanahashi presented 38 roses to Mutoh when he came to the press conference. Each rose symbolizes a year of Mutoh’s career. Mutoh joked that he should have laid them at his feet, as had happened in boxing recently. Tanahashi said he wasn’t good at ad-libbing, and then introduced himself as “one of the greatest New Japan talents in the past one hundred years”. During the press conference, a tag match was announced. New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Honma Tomoaki will team together against the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh and Keiji Mutoh. This will take place on the 30th October. Mutoh has not given up hope of appearing one final time in the New Japan ring.

– 16th October: A new match is announced

NOAH announced that due to fan demand, Keiji Mutoh will be appearing in Fukuoka. He will tag with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima against Naomichi Marufuji, HAYATA and Jack Morris. Satoshi Kojima is of course connected to Mutoh through All Japan and New Japan, Naomichi Marufuji has wanted a match against Mutoh (he will be tagging with him as we know on the 30th October) and HAYATA has been a big fan of Mutoh for a while, as he has influenced a lot of his style and persona. HAYATA thinks of himself and The Great Muta as “The Phantom Team”. Muta doesn’t like to speak and HAYATA said, neither does he.

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima head overseas

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima will appear for Evolution Pro Wrestling in New York for their anniversary show on November 12th. Marufuji’s match is yet to be announced, but Nakajima will take on Josh Alexander. Alexander has said he wonders how Nakajima is going to kick after he snaps his ankle. They will also appear at King of Indies in San Francisco on November 19th.

NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (and Kenoh)

After being beaten up by Katsuhiko Nakajima who gave him some pretty stiff soccerball kicks outside the ring at Korakuen Hall recently, (although he would tell you that Nakajima tried to beat him up), NOSAWA Rongai has been on a quest to face Nakajima in a match. Then he threw in Kenoh, so it could be himself and Eita versus Kongoh. Hideki Suzuki told him that he was probably going to die, but NOSAWA has taken no notice and kept on with his demand. His demand has not been met because rather than facing Nakajima and Kenoh, NOAH have booked him against rookies Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. NOSAWA thinks he is having to go through some kind of trial.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Hideki Suzuki has hinted that perhaps Takashi Sugiura might like to get back online.

– Yoshiki Inamura and YO-HEY continued their guild, despite the fact that YO-HEY said someone attacked and burned their castle down. A picture was taken of YO-HEY and Inamura playing the game, with YO-HEY seated cross legged on Inamura, who was doing a bridge in the ring. We have seen Inamura used as a weight, but is he now used as furniture?

– NOAH’s Director, Narihiro Takeda, wrote on a NOAH Note that he would like for Darby Allin to come to NOAH one day.

– Tadasuke got a match thrown out by ripping off Alejandro’s mask. Tadasuke did not care, and did not even respond when Alejandro asked if he wanted a mask for himself?

– Daiki Inaba had his long awaited singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima, but failed to revenge himself for Nakajima’s behavior in W-1. Nakajima even went for the cocky pin by grinning and leaning on Inaba.

– There was usual chaos at the NOAH Junior Space sessions as Daisuke Harada is not there to take control. Atsushi Kotoge seems to be the main culprit, forgetting to invite Seiki Yoshioka in and at one time even failing to press record.

– It’s probably best that Daiki Inaba, who apparently likes to be in the nip backstage, was not present when NOAH was at Differ. It was bad enough that Sugi used to wander around naked…

– Mitsuharu Misawa wrote in a diary entry for 2006 about filming an advert for THE LEAVE, and having to sing first thing in the morning while they were filming. Probably due to the fact that he had a problem with his throat anyway, was a heavy smoker and had taken “so many chops and kicks” to it in his career, he said he sounded very hoarse.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

SUNNY VOYAGE – September 19th 

Event recap

Post match promos

N-INNOVATION – September 21st 

Event recap

Post match promos

GRAND SHIP 2022 IN NAGOYA/KEIJI MUTOH RETIREMENT ROAD – September 25th

Event recap

Post match promos

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Ninja Mack, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hi69), [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

(This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(October 2022 schedule)

– Friday, October 7th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse/ABEMA (live)

– Saturday, October 8th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)

Note about broadcasts

Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES

Wednesday, 5th October: Keiji Mutoh debut anniversary (38)

Wednesday, 5th October: Seiki Yoshioka debut anniversary (14)

LINKS

“I want to protect this belt for the rest of my life”, new GHC champion Kiyomiya holds morning press conference to establish a new NOAH landscape

Mutoh’s Retirement Road, tag match against Tanahashi in round three: “I want to grab the secret of secrets”, Tanahashi presents 38 roses

Great Muta teaming up with Sting for last match? “Agent” Mutoh’s opinion 

“I wonder if I can transmit more” YO-HEY aims to revitalize the junior ark with his first championship

AEW Shock! Great Muta appears in America! Rescues Sting and shake of hands

“Follow Me You Bastards” – Kenoh’s Weekly Pro Column

GHC Junior Match Signing: YO-HEY “Last Chance, I don’t think as my ex partner now”, HAYATA “I don’t feel anything”

“Taka & Satoshi” reveal a “dangerous detective” look, mischievous Suzuki is a reckless interpreter, the GHC tag signing ceremony is thrown into chaos by bizarre question and answer between the two teams

 A “Comrade” and an “Older Brother”, Masakatsu Funaki talks about his thoughts on Mutoh’s retirement, “I want to kick him mercilessly”

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube

Picture credit: YO-HEY & NOAH.co.jp


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Coverage

Andrew’s IMPACT Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 9.29.2022

Bound for Glory is 8 days away, but Victory Road just happened. What kind of show do we get with some fallout and penultimate hype?

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Victory Road just happened, but Bound for Glory is like 8 nights away? You know I forgot that it was such a quick turn around. That makes tonight weird, since there’s some fallout, but then there’s gonna be a lot of table setting for Bound for Glory.

This episode could be awful. The last week or so haven’t exactly set the world afire, so I’m curious if the highlight really is just gonna be the Monster’s Ball with Masha and Allie Katch.

*insert joke about possibly gagging and balls and Swinger’s Dungeon*

Ratings:

  • Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid: Bullet Club win via Finesse & Fold – **
  • IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve: Myers retains via Roster Cut – ** 1/2
  • Delirious vs Black Taurus: Black Taurus wins via Destination Hellhole – ** 1/4
  • PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath: Rich wins via Phoenix Splash – ** 1/4
  • Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch: Masha wins via Russian Death Device – *** 1/2

Results:

Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid

I don’t think I could care less about this match if I tried. Trey and Laredo are worthless. Laredo has eaten so many terrible losses and Trey is just bad. If the BC Juniors don’t win…I will really question the booking.

My biggest takeaway early is the commentary tries to put over Trey “turning heads”. No he doesn’t, he is legitimately hard to watch and everything that Will Ospreay did wrong in his early career; is basically Trey, but with less personality. Oh did you expect play by play? They isolate Laredo, decent tandem attacks, when Trey comes in it’s bad offense typical Cruiser garbage with laughable facials and body language.

Just typical crap with Trey. Were there some cool high spots? Sure. Do I care? NOPE.

IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve

Steve starts with some of his quirky mat wrestling, Arm Wringers into Drop Toe Holds and face biting. It shocked Myers early, but he takes a small shortcut and starts trying to slow down the psycho from Decay. Steve bounces off the ropes and Myers does his sliding trip move before commercial.

Back from commercial, Snapmare from Steve and the neck twister into some corner offense of Hip Attacks and Sentons for 2. Myers dodges King Kill 33, lands a few pot shots, Implant DDT for 2. Into the corner, face bite, Upside Down, after the rope break Myers grabs the referee to block Steve. Eye Poke, Roster Cut, AND STILL…

Simple, but entertaining. Plus it continues Myers’ arrogant, full of himself for absolutely no reason persona. Oh and he offers up an Open Challenge for Bound for Glory. Maybe Bobby Fish? Someone new? Could be interesting. 

Delirious vs Black Taurus

Delirious is between gibberish and Stone Cold early on while they’re just trading shots. Delirious twists the Nose Ring…in the mask…and Taurus sells it momentarily before stomping the foot and decking him. This is just a weird match. I mean we all know Delirious is weird, but he’s not all comedy; and Taurus is supposed to be legit-ish.

Admittedly, with the exception of Victory Road, it has been years since I’ve watched a Delirious match. So the level of ridiculousness has hit Toru Yano levels, especially after the 10 count Leg Drops. Taurus powders, comes back in, Shoulder Tackle, Blackhole Backbreaker into a Samoan Drop. As soon as Taurus looks in charge, Delirious throws together a combo, eats a Headbutt and then Destination Hellhole.

Sheesh okay after 2 interview segments we get to Honor No More’s victory celebration segment. Just a lot of talking and inaction, so this just goes to feed that weird feeling I had coming into the show because of the timing. Eddie does the usual thing where hates on PCO and accuses him of being the weak link, which is a smart story angle since the fans tend to like PCO’s gimmick and this makes him more sympathetic to casual observers. 

Oh good Taven is talking nowWait did I just say that? DAMN YOU IMPACT! Made me like Matt Taven. Maria stirs the pot a little saying that Eddie is a better wrestler than Josh and Moose…by the implications. 

Thank God, Josh Alexander finally breaks up the segment with…more talking. Okay never mind. Jesus since the end of the Delirious match it was like 15 minutes before Josh finally charged the ring and threw down a bit with Honor No More. Rich Swann and Heath make a bit of the babyface save for Josh, but the numbers are still on Honor No More’s side. Oh MCMG come down in a tracksuit and dress clothes! Someone wasn’t ready to be doing a run in.

PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath

Well isn’t that convenient that four of the men in the donnybrook were supposed to be in a match anyway.

Rich uses his quickness to try and stay ahead of PCO, but PCO cuts him off in the corner into the Corner Hung Codebreaker, then the leaned against the ropes Leg Drop thing. Vincent throws together a T-Bone Suplex into a Flatliner and keeps the vibes flowing on Rich Swann.

PCO clears out Heath, but PCO’s hand gets stuck in the ropes. Vincent eats a flip kick and the Phoenix Splash while PCO and Heath are brawling on the outside after the rope issue with PCO.

Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch

Haymakers and Headbutts start things off as they both hit the ropes and lay out one another with dual clotheslines. Trash can lid duel, Masha gets first contact, but Allie blocks and returns 3 shots. German Suplex from Masha into whipping her with a chain, some choking and then general pulling with the chain in Katch’s mouth or around her eyes. Katch claws at Masha’s eyes to try and get some space.

Headbutts and Biting from Masha as Allie tries to power out of a Bow and Arrow. More chain choking…I’m not sure if this is a wrestling match or BDSM prep at the moment. Ahh Masha needs more Cowbell but Allie cuts her off with a trash can lid. Allie tries a Piledriver through a door, but Masha turns it into an Air Raid Crash into the opposite corner.

Commercial break, and Allie is getting choked again. Spots get a little redundant, slams, chokes, and blood. OHHH – it’s a “Use the Door” chant. I thought it was – nah – I won’t say what I thought it was. Chairshot from Masha misses, but a Snap Suplex from Masha onto the chair gets some usefulness. Straight Right to the gut and an Axe Kick allows Masha to hit the Death Valley Driver onto the propped up chair. Masha goes back to biting after it was only 2. Allie cuts off Masha going to the top, Superplex onto the trash can lid, into a Death Valley Driver through the door – but Masha kicks out.

Allie tries a Piledriver on the apron a few times, but Masha blocks. Masha tries for the Release German to the floor but Allie holds on. Dazed strikes, bites and then a Russian Leg Sweep through the table lays both out for a short time. Masha grabs a black bag, it’s gotta be tacks for Monster’s Ball. Masha eats a few tacks for good show, picks up Allie but Allie fights. Piledriver into the tacks from Allie, only 2. Allie opens a trash can, and empties a bunch of cut up soda cans. Hits Masha with the can, Masha fires, Spinning Heel Kick and then Russian Death Device into the pile of tacks and cans.

Overall Score: 6.25/10

The main event was pretty good, maybe even a little better than I gave it credit for; I’m just sick of seeing some crazy hardcore match so often from Impact. It feels like its weekly, and that’s too damn much. Trey is terrible, and that’s a hill I’m willing to die on. He sells poorly, he doesn’t tell a story with his wrestling and he looks like an idiot pretending to be something he isn’t; and that’s talented.

Myers is fine with his classic delusional heel style, Delirious gave a bit of a rub to Taurus so I’m guessing he’s probably next up in the X Division. But a straight 15 minutes of interviews and talking is just too damn much especially when the surrounding wrestling isn’t very good or hearty enough to help people tolerate talking time.

I do however love Joe Hendry. So…yeah. There’s always some quirky gimmicks that just resonate well with me, and this is gorgeous.

All in all, decent enough; though next week could be a real banger of a Go Home.


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