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Mitchell’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 16 Results & Report! (1/5/22)

WrestleKingdom, Night Two!

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NJPW WrestleKingdom 16 Tokyo

NJPW and Stardom, on one night!

As if WrestleKingdom’s first night wasn’t big enough, night two raises the stakes! Will Will Ospreay return to being THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? Plus, a Stardom showcase tag match!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Preshow – Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Yuji Nagata, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma; Nagata, Makabe & Honma win.
  • Preshow – Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima VS Suzuki-Gun; Wato, Tenzan & Kojima win.
  • Preshow – Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; LIJ wins.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask VS Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi VS Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo; Eagles & Tiger Mask win and retain the titles.
  • Starlight Kid & Mayu Iwatani VS Saya Kamitani & Tam Nakano; Kamitani & Nakano win.
  • KOPW 2022 Fatal 4 Way: Toru Yano VS CIMA VS Minoru Suzuki VS Chase Owens; Suzuki wins and becomes the provisional Mr. KOPW 2022.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: House of Torture VS Chaos; House of Torture wins and retains the titles.
  • SANADA VS Great-O-Khan; Sanada wins.
  • Tetsuya Naito VS Jeff Cobb; Naito wins.
  • IWGP US Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match: KENTA VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins and becomes the new IWGP US Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay; Okada wins and is the undisputed IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask VS Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi VS Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo!

It was Christmas Eve when half of each team faced off in a singles Triple Threat, and it was the Headbanga who won big for the holidays. But now, all six men are involved in this match and the gold is on the line! Will the Sniper of the Skies and his legendary tag partner be able to hold onto the gold? Will the Mega Coaches become mega champions? Or will the Cutest Tag Team make it feel like Christmas all over again?

The introductions are made, but ELP hits Tiger Mask with a SUDDEN DEATH! Eagles tackles ELP, Taiji goes after Eagles, and the bell rings. The Mega Coaches go after ELP and Taiji and put them in opposite corners, with Eagles is in a third corner. Rocky corner clotheslines Taiji, Taguchi follows it up with a hip attack! Rocky hits Eagles with a clothesline, Taguchi also hits a hip attack! And of course, clothesline and hip attack for ELP! Then the Mega Coaches hip bump. But then Taiji and ELP rush them! The Mega Coaches send them at each other, but then Taiji and ELP hug it out! Only to turn around into DOUBLE HIP ATTACKS!

Eagles runs into Rocky’s kick, and Rocky CLUBS Eagles down. Taguchi goes up the corner, Rocky whips Eagles into the Funky Weapon! Then Rocky trips Eagles to CATAPULT him into the Funky Weapon! And then Rocky uses Taguchi to kick off of and hit a TORNADO DDT! Taguchi adds a SLIDING HIP! Cover, TWO! The Mega Coaches get Eagles up, double whip, but Eagles reverses to send Taguchi to ropes. Eagles then hurdles over Taguchi, and Taguchi runs Rocky over! Eagles runs to BLINDSIDE LARIAT DROPKICK COMBO! Fans fire up with Eagles but Taiji throws a haymaker. Taiji whips, Eagles reverses then runs in but is put on the apron.

Eagles GAMANGIRIS Taiji away, ELP runs over but Eagles goes up and over to CROSSBODY onto the Mega Coaches on the outside! Fans fire up as Eagles fires back up, and he gets back in the ring. Eagles ducks and dodges, but ELP fakes him out to mule kick! Eagles doubles over, that boot has to be loaded! Fans rally up, Taiji drags Eagles up and ELP goes up the corner. ELP builds power to leap and slowly CLAW Eagles’ back! ELP then drags Eagles up while Taiji goes to the top rope. Taiji builds power, to jump and quickly CLAW Eagles’ back! Taiji bumps Eagles off buckles, whips him corner to corner, then ELP whips Taiji in to DOUBLE KNEE!

Taiji and ELP combine in an Electric Chair lift, but Rocky springboards in to CLOBBER Taiji off ELP’s shoulders! Rocky fires off palm strikes, but ELP stomps Rocky’s foot! Taguchi gets in to fire off palm strikes, but ELP blocks one to wrangle Taguchi down. ELP then stomps Taguchi’s hand! ELP stands on Taguchi’s arm, gets the fans to clap along, and he stomps away on the hand! ELP knuckle locks, CHOPS and goes up and up to jump around and start walking the tightrope. ELP does a few dance moves, but Eagles springboards up to SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Eagles duck and dodges Taguchi to DIVE and take out Taiji!

Eagles drags Taiji up, but then Taguchi goes to the corner while Rocky builds speed! Rocky DIVES onto Taiji while Taguchi triangle jump CROSSBODIES Eagles! All four of them are down by the ramp and fans rally up as ELP climbs. But Tiger Mask returns! Tiger throws hands on ELP, climbs up top, throws headbutts, and then underhooks the arms?! SUPER BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! And then Tiger gets ELP back up, has the arms again, and hits the TIGER DRIVER 98!! Cover, Taiji breaks it! Taiji whips Tiger, Tiger reverses and hits a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Taguchi runs in, but into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER!

Tiger sees Rocky coming, he hits another tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Fans fire up with Tiger, he whips Rocky to the corner then runs in. ENZUGIRI BOOT COMBO! Tiger then sets Rocky up for Eagles to springboard in, missile dropkick to a leg! Eagles gets Rocky in the RON MILLER SPECIAL! Tiger blocks ELP but Taiji gets in to rake Eagles’ eyes! Taiji rains down rights on Eagles while ELP punches Tiger back. ELP whips Tiger, Tiger holds ropes and then dumps ELP out! Taiji knees Tiger down but Eagles throws Taiji out. Eagles and Tiger go after Rocky in the corner, but Rocky moves and Tiger’s kick hits Eagles!

Taguchi HIP ATTACKS Tiger off the apron! Taguchi runs at Eagles but Eagles hits an atomic drop! Eagles runs, but into DOUBLE HIP ATTACKS! Fans fire up as the Mega Coaches wheelbarrow Eagles for BLACK HOLE INVASION! Cover, ELP breaks it! Taiji goes after Taguchi, whips him to ropes, but Taguchi reverses. Taiji handsprings for the NEURALIZER! ELP and Taiji mug Rocky, double whip, but he gets under to DOUBLE RANA! Fans fire up with Rocky and he cravats Taiji. Rocky kicks ELP but Taiji blocks the Sliced Rocky! ASSISTED CIPHER UTAKI! Tiger runs in but ELP gets him for the straitjacket torture rack!

Taiji adds a FLYING KNEE to the SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Taiji ASAI MOONSAULTS Taguchi down! ELP is up top, he walks the tight rope for a THUNDER KISS 86!! Cover, TWO!! Tiger survives and ELP can’t believe it! ELP decides to end this, and fans rally up. Taiji drags Tiger up while ELP tunes up his boot. But Eagles blocks Sudden Death to send it into Taiji! Taguchi slips in, as does Rocky. These four look at ELP and ELP wants mercy. He tries to run away but they drag him back in! GIRI SANDWICH, to a BIG uppercut from Rocky! Taguchi adds a SLIDING HIP! But then there’s a standoff as they think about the cover.

But then they agree there’s something bigger than that! Rocky and Tiger hold ELP down, while Eagles and Taguchi go after the boots! They’re going to get to the bottom of this mystery!! Eagles undoes the laces, pulls the shoe off, and he sees inside! Eagles pulls out a METAL PLATE! ELP acts like he has no idea how that got in there! The ref confiscates the plate and reprimands ELP. The ref gets the plate far away from the ring, and says ELP is ELIMINATED from this match?! Is that even a thing in a Triple Threat? The Young Lions make it a thing as they drag ELP out of the ring and to the back!

But back in the ring, Tiger rolls Taguchi up while Rocky rolls Eagles! TWO, and Tiger runs at Rocky to crucifix takedown! TWO, Taguchi cradles Tiger! TWO! Eagles runs in to roll, schoolboy bridge! TWO! Taguchi ENZIGURIS Eagles! Tiger SOBATS Taguchi! Rocky spins Tiger but Tiger kangaroo kicks him away! Taguchi runs to HIP ATTACK! Tiger stays up against ropes, and he dumps Taguchi out! Tiger DIVES! Direct hit and Taguchi hits railing! Rocky JUMP KNEES Eagles! Eagles blocks one kick, ducks the enziguri and the heel kick, but Rocky rolls him into a cradle, TWO! Rocky wheelbarrows to victory roll, TWO!!!

Eagles ROCKS Rocky, then backslides, but Rocky rolls through. Rocky kicks but Eagles blocks again, and brings Rocky in for TURBO BACKPACK! Cover, TWO!! Eagles keeps the legs, for the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Taguchi gets in but Tiger stops him at the ropes! Rocky taps, #FlyingTigers win!

Winners: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask, by submission (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions)

A huge win for Eagles & Tiger! They hold onto the gold, and they expose ELP’s dirty little secret! Taguchi shows them respect, but will he and Rocky be back for a 2v2 shot later in the year?

 

Starlight Kid & Mayu Iwatani VS Saya Kamitani & Tam Nakano!

Stardom is part of WrestleKingdom 16 with a special tag match! But will the Genius Girl and the Icon of Stardom shine bright? Or will they be eclipsed by the Golden Phoenix and the Violent Kung-Fu Girl?

The teams sort out, and Saya starts against Starlight Kid. “Ki-chan” goes right at Saya but Saya whips her to ropes. Saya hurdles, then drops, but she avoids Ki-chan’s basement dropkick. Saya whips Ki-chan again, but Ki-chan tilt-o-whirl headscissors and basement dropkicks! Ki-chan hits Tam off the apron and tags in Mayu! They kick Saya to ropes, fans rally up, and they both run, DOUBLE 619! Ki-chan and Mayu set up, DOUBLE STANDING MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Mayu sits Saya up to KICK her in the back! Mayu then whips Saya to ropes, but Saya WHEEL KCIKS! Tag to Tam, and she drags Mayu up, only for Mayu to sobat!

Mayu runs, Tam goes Matrix to dodge, and she rolls Mayu up! Mayu rolls through but Tam dropkicks her down! Cover, TWO! Tam drags Mayu up, but Mayu blocks the suplex. Mayu throws back elbows to get free, but Tam ROCKS her with a forearm! Mayu ROCKS Tam back, so Tam comes back with a BIG forearm! Mayu forearms back, Tam forearms again, and fans rally up as Mayu gets the edge! Mayu rolls Tam to basement dropkick her down! Fans fire up with Mayu and she drags Tam up. Mayu full nelsons, but Tam blocks the suplex! Tam breaks free, but Mayu gets around to CRUCIFIX DRIVER! Cover, TWO!!

Tam survives but Mayu fires up more! Mayu full nelsons but Tam fights free again! Tam ducks the roundhouse to HEEL KICK! Then she runs, but into Mayu’s SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up while both women are down. Tam and Mayu crawl for their corners, hot tags to Saya and Starlight Kid! Ki-chan dodges the boot, then the clothesline to kick! Ki-chan runs, but Saya DROPKICKS her down! Ki-chan goes to a corner, Saya runs in but is put on the apron. Saya blocks to ROCK Ki-chan, then she springboards, but Ki-chan gets under! Mayu gets in to kick Saya, but Tam gets in to hammer away on Mayu!

Tam and Saya double whip Mayu, but she crisscrosses their arms and goes up, up, and DOUBLE ARM-DRAGS! Saya and Tam bail out, fans fire up and Ki-chan goes to the apron. ASAI MOONSAULT onto them and some Young Lionesses! Mayu drags Saya up and into the ring and fans fire up! Ki-chan goes up top, for a 180º FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Saya survives but Ki-chan fires up! Mayu goes up top as Saya stands, and then Ki-chan goes up onto Mayu’s shoulders. SUPER CROSSBODY! Cover, Tam barrels in to break it! Mayu throws Tam back out and fans fire up with Ki-chan. She gets Saya’s legs, ties them up, TEXAS CLOVERLEAF!

But Tam gets in again to attack Ki-chan! Mayu gets in but Tam throws her out now! Mayu runs to BLINDSIDE DOUBLE KNEE Ki-chan! Tam fires up, fans rally behind her, and she goes up top! Tam aims and leaps, SUPER CROSSBODY onto Mayu, Ki-chan and the Lionesses! Tam puts Ki-chan back in for Saya, and Saya aims from the apron. Saya springboards to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! But Saya is right on Ki-chan with a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, Mayu breaks it! Tam kicks Mayu out and Saya gets Ki-chan back up. Fisherman, but Ki-chan turns it into a cradle! TWO, Saya sunset flips but Ki-chan sits up!

ONE, Saya brings her down, and they rock back and forth between covers! Ki-chan shifts her weight but Saya rolls her up. They rock more, Ki-chan gets an Oklahoma Roll! TWO!! Saya wrenches, steps over, rolls Ki-chan up then deadlifts for a SINGLE LEG SUPLEX! With bridge! TWO!! Ki-chan survives and fans fire up! Saya fires herself up and she drags Ki-chan back up. Saya reels her in, fisherman’s, but Ki-chan escapes and Mayu SUPERKICKS Saya! Ki-chan runs, jumps up, MOMO LATCH! Cover, Tam breaks it up! Mayu kicks but Tam blocks. Tam kicks but Mayu ducks, to DRAGON SUPLEX! But Tam’s back up!? Tam chicken wings for a TIGER SUPLEX!

All four women are down but fans fire back up! Saya roars as she gets up and she brings Ki-chan around. Fisherman, STAR CRUSHER!! But she’s not done there! Saya goes up top, for a PHOENIX SPLASH!! Cover, Saya & Tam win!

Winners: Saya Kamitani & Tam Nakano, by pinfall

And that is the power of the Wonder of Stardom Champion! Saya and Tam celebrate their great victory, will they be celebrating even more in the New Year?

 

KOPW 2022 Fatal 4 Way: Toru Yano VS CIMA VS Minoru Suzuki VS Chase Owens!

The four men at the end of the New Japan Ranbo now battle for the KOPW trophy! The Producer has already dominated this prize the last two years, is he going to do it all again? Or does the New Year start with a new name on the plaque?

The introductions are made, but then Yano gets mugged like he did yesterday! The bell rings to put this on the record, the other three keep stomping Yano until he’s out of the ring. But then Chase backs up into Suzuki. Chase says a quick prayer before offering a handshake. Suzuki DECKS Chase, then Cima eggs Suzuki on! Fans fire up and these two start trading CHOPS! Cima kicks low, he whips Suzuki to a corner but Suzuki reverses. Cima goes up and over but Suzuki dodges, only for Cima to BOOT! Cima goes up to missile dropkick Suzuki down! Cima stands Suzuki up, throws more CHOPS, then runs, only for Suzuki to follow and shoot around to a SLEEPER!

Suzuki then spins Cima around to ROCK him with a forearm! Suzuki runs, but Chase and Yano drag Suzuki out! They mug Suzuki, Cima builds speed, Cima DIVES to take them all out! Fans fire up and Cima fires up, too! Cima brings Chase up to put him in the ring. Cima talks some trash to Suzuki before going into the ring. Chase headlocks but Cima throws body shots. Cima powers out, Chase runs him over. Things speed up, Cima leaps into a fireman’s carry but he makes it a sunset flip! Chase rolls through to SHINING WIZARD! But Yano SLAPS Chase on the back of the head! Yano hurries to a corner while Chase seethes, and Yano starts untying a buckle pad.

Chase turns around, expecting Yano, but Suzuki is there! Chase freaks out but Suzuki eggs him on. Chase works up the courage to forearm Suzuki, but then he apologizes. Suzuki DECKS Chase again! Yano SLAPS Suzuki and whips him into the bare buckles! Yano kicks and whips Cima but Cima reverses, Yano hits bare buckles! Cima drop toeholds Yano and ties up the legs, then he eggs Chase on. Chase falls for the bait, Cima kicks him low and reels him in. SUPLEX DEATHLOCK COMBO! Fans fire up, Yano endures, but Suzuki returns to CHOPS Cima down! That only adds more pressure to the deathlock!

Cima gets up again and Suzuki DECKS him, putting more pressure on Yano! Cima stands up a third time, eggs Suzuki on, and Suzuki runs to BOOT Cima down! Yano keeps enduring the leg lock, even as Suzuki puts Cima in the SLEEPER HOLD! But Chase gets Suzuki in a SLEEPER! It’s a submission chain, but if Yano taps before someone passes out, Cima still wins! Yano crawls, and he gets the ROPEBREAK! Everyone has to let go, and the ref counts! Everyone is free at 4, but Chase throws Suzuki and Cima out. Chase stomps Yano, then runs, but Yano pulls Chase’s hair! Chase fires back, runs, but Yano picks him up, atomic- No! Chase slips free to SHI TRIGGER!

Chase drags Yano up, tucks him in, but Cima ENZIGURIS Chase first! Cima Alabama lifts Chase for an AIR RAID CRASH! Cima hurries up top and fans fire up! METEORA!! Cover, but Suzuki drags Cima off with a SLEEPER HOLD! But Yano LOW BLOWS them all! Roll up, TWO!! Suzuki survives and Yano runs, into a DROPKICK from Suzuki! Suzuki drags Yano up, into a SLEEPER! Then the Gotch hold, PILEDRIVER!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!

Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall (Provisional Mr. KOPW 2022)

The Meanest Man in the World is Mr. KOPW 2022?! He snatches the trophy from the ref, and then stomps away on Yano! This is how Suzuki celebrates! Suzuki then wraps on the SLEEPER! Wait, Yano has handcuffs?! Yano cuffs Suzuki’s wrist, and puts it on the ropes! Yano gets away with his life, but will he be able to take the trophy from such a dangerous man as Minoru Suzuki?

 

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: House of Torture VS Chaos!

The King of Darkness is now the King of NEVER after Dick Togo, Yujiro Takahashi and Sho all helped him cheat the Stone Pitbull! But with Yoh beating Sho and Goto-Hashi becoming NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions on Night One, is Night Two the night where the House finally loses?

The introductions are made, but as soon as the House of Torture is ringside, Chaos attacks! Goto is after Evil, Yoh is after Sho, and Hashi is after Yujiro! And don’t worry, Tomohiro Ishii is ringside to make sure Dick minds his own business! Goto puts Evil in the ring, the bell sounds to put this on the record, and Goto is after Evil in the corner! The ref counts, Goto lets off at 4, and then he drags Evil up. Yoh RAMS Sho into the apron, Hashi does the same to Yujiro, and Goto whips Evil corner to corner to MURAMASA! And then BULLDOG! Fans fire up and Goto stomps away on Evil. Sho gets in to kick Goto and rake the eyes!

Sho runs but Yoh DROPKICKS him down! Yoh sees Sho bail out, and he PLANCHAS him down! Goto CLUBS Evil, Evil rakes the eyes! The ref reprimands, Evil whips Goto to the corner, and surprise! The buckles are bare! Goto hits the steel and the Bullet Club special strikes again! Evil knocks the rest of Chaos off the corner, then he kicks Goto around. Evil drags Goto up, throws him out, and he distracts the ref. But Ishii makes sure Dick can’t attack! The ref reprimands the Stone Pitbull but he’s just being a good guard dog. Sho puts Goto back in, Evil drags Goto up but Goto CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Evil rakes the eyes!

Evil puts Goto in the corner, Sho tags in, and Sho wrenches an arm. Sho brings Goto to a knee to kick, kick and bend the fingers! Yoh gets in to CLUB Sho, then he runs, into a kitchen sink knee! Sho glares at Yoh, taunts Hashi, then brings Goto up to wrench and whip into the bare buckles! Yujiro tags in, knees low, then has Goto against ropes for a BOOT! Yujiro drags Goto up, reels him in, FISHERMAN- NO! Goto fights the buster and fans rally up! Goto tries to suplex, Yujiro resists, but Goto still suplexes him up and over! Yujiro slips out to get a dragon sleeper but Goto spins around. Yujiro wrenches, Goto dodges, DISCUS LARIAT!

Fans fire up as Goto and Yujiro are down. Evil gets in to drag Goto up. Evil whips Goto at the corner but Goto stops himself from hitting the bare buckles. Sho grabs Goto’s hair, Evil runs in, but Goto dodges and Evil DECKS Sho! Goto gives Evil a SAIDO! Fans rally up, Goto crawls, hot tag to Hashi! The Head Hunter rallies on the House, and he puts Evil in a corner. Hashi dodges Yujiro to fire off strikes, then he throws Yujiro into Evil! Mule kick for Yujiro, NECKBREAKER for Evil! Hashi gets Yujiro back up, puts him on the ropes and runs, and he dropkicks Yujiro down! Cover, TWO! Hashi drags Yujiro back up while fans rally.

Hashi reels Yujiro in but Yujiro fights the bomb to BITE the hand! Hashi SLAPS Yujiro, but Yujiro blocks the kick to throw Hashi down! Basement BOOT! Fans rally, Yujiro reels Hashi in but Hashi fights the Incolle Slam with elbows. Yujiro forearms but Hashi CHOPS! Yujiro reels Hashi in for the INCOLLE SLAM! Hashi is right back up to LARIAT Yujiro down! Fans fire up and rally as the two crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Sho and Yoh! Yoh dodges to CLOBBER Sho, and again! Yoh whips, Sho reverses and rakes the eyes! Sho runs, Yoh drops to then bypass and drop toehold! Basement dropkick! Sho flounders but Yoh brings him up.

Sho throws forearms, Yoh gives back boxing elbows! Yoh runs, but Sho JUMP KNEES! Sho runs but Yoh JUMP KNEES! Yoh full nelsons, Sho breaks it but Yoh waistlocks! Sho resists the German Suplex and bends Yoh’s fingers! Sho CLUBS the arm, Yoh blocks the kick to EuroUpper! Yoh whips, Sho reverses and Evil trips Yoh! Sho BLASTS the Chaos corner, Evil and Yujiro get in. Evil whips Yoh to a corner, Sho runs in to clothesline! Yujiro runs in to BOOT, Evil run sin to clothesline! Feed to Sho’s kick, and Sho gets Yoh up for a POWERBOMB! High stack, Goto-Hashi break it! Evil and Yujiro go after them and throw them out while fans fire up!

Sho has the wrench! The ref stops Sho, but Dick gets in to use the SPOILER CHOKER on Yoh!! Ishii drags Dick out! Yoh is free, he dodges Sho and shoves him to the fireman’s carry! DOUBLE SUPERKICK to the USHIGOROSHI! An even fiercer flash, and Goto-Hashi fire Yoh up! Yoh roars, he drags Sho up and underhooks the arms. Sho resists Direct Drive and back drops Yoh away! Sho runs in, but into a SUPERKICK! Fans fire up and Yoh hurries to get Sho back up. Suplex, FALCON USHIGOROSHI! Yoh roars and fans are with him as he gets Sho back up. Yoh reels Sho in, underhooks the arms, but Yujiro gets in with the pimp cane!

The ref stops Yujiro, but this is so Evil can get in and LOW BLOW Yoh! Then the WRENCH SHOT from Sho!! Cover, House of Torture wins!

Winners: House of Torture, by pinfall (still NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)

And to add insult to injury, they all start stomping on Yoh! Hashi, Goto and Ishii get in to run them off, but the damage is done. Will Chaos try again with Ishii in the mix? Or are Evil and his cohorts on to a new challenge?

 

Pro-Wrestling NOAH makes a special appearance!

True, this Saturday, January 8th, WrestleKingdom 16’s third day becomes a special crossover between the stars of NJPW and NOAH, but this is quite the surprise! Keiji Mutoh stands at the center of the ring as the others file in. First on the mic is The Hope of NOAH, Kaito Kiyomiya. “Everyone, NJPW fans. On January 8th, Pro-Wrestling NOAH will take a fight with NJPW.” Then Kongoh leader, Kenoh, speaks. “Japan, just who is the top promotion? Pro-Wrestling NOAH is out to take that top spot from NJPW.” NJPW can’t even fill the Tokyo Dome, COVID restrictions not withstanding. NOAH is here to help them with that.

But then Shingo Takagi, Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi show up! Kenoh calls them out, and how Takagi lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Takagi gets the mic to say, “Oi, oi, oi. How dare you say something so offensive right off the bat. But it seems like you guys don’t have anything to do around here. There is nothing to gain for NJPW, no reward, or risk, but that’s the point. We’ll show the difference between us.” Takagi sees that it’s 3 against a couple dozen, so this will have to wait. Kenoh gets the mic to say that he’s here to pick a fight! What’re they gonna do about it? They can’t back away! Well, whatever. January 8th, NOAH will take care of you.

Kenoh promises that the fans and the best of NJPW will finally see who the best in pro-wrestling really are! Kenoh says NOAH will take over, and NJPW cannot compete with their quality! The pecking order will change in Japan this Saturday in Yokohama as NOAH becomes this country’s top promotion! Kenoh and Kiyomiya shake hands, putting aside their factions’ feud to carry the NOAH banner. Mutoh leads NOAH out of the building, but will we see a paradigm shift in the New Year? Watch the crossover event live on Abema.TV, or a week later on NJPW World’s On Demand list.

 

SANADA VS Great-O-Khan!

Los Ingobernables de Japon lost to the United Empire in trios action, but now we see how it goes 1v1! Will the Cold Skull bring the Dominator to a Skull End? Or will the United Empire continue their conquest?

Sanada’s entrance gear takes a new form! He wears an oni skull mask and a new black-and-white jacket. Khan again taunts Sanada by showing his back to him. The bell rings, Khan and Sanada circle and feel things out as fans rally. Khan shoots in but Sanada keeps away from his grip. Khan tries again and gets a waistlock, but Sanada switches. Khan switches, Sanada switches back but Khan gets away. Fans cheer the exchange as the two go again. Khan shoots in, gets an arm, wrenches, but Sanada wrenches back. Sanada has the wristlock but Khan wrenches to a hammerlock then a cording hold. Khan whips but Sanada hip tosses and dropkicks!

Khan bails out, fans fire up and Sanada builds speed, but Khan moves so Sanada tumbles to the apron. Khan avoids the apron moonsault, and then eggs Sanada on. Sanada runs in but Khan clotheslines him right back out! Fans rally, Khan goes out to fetch Sanada, and he drags Sanada up to put him in the ring. Khan drags Sanada up to a waistlock and he SLAMS Sanada down. Khan kicks Sanada around, cocky cover, TWO! Khan drags Sanada back up, brings him around to HALF NELSON FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Khan keeps his cool and drags Sanada back up. Khan suplexes, and he hits Sanada with a GOURD BUSTER! Cover, TWO!

Fans cheer but Khan taunts Sanada. Khan drags Sanada up and tries to make Sanada kiss his shoe. Sanada fights up, throws forearms, but Khan knees low. Khan Mongolian Chops! And again! And then Mongolian- No! Sanada blocks, but Khan blocks as Sanada tries to steal the Mongolian Chop! Khan Mongolian Chops but Sanada blocks, and then back the other way! And again, and again! They’re in a deadlock as Khan powers through the block! Khan runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Fans rally up while both men are down! Sanada kips up and fans fire up! Sanada runs in at Khan and rallies with forearms and arm-drags!

Sanada gets around to give Khan an atomic drop! Khan bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS! Direct hit and fans fire up! Sanada encourages them to get louder and they oblige, and then Sanada puts Khan back in the ring. Sanada drags Khan up, Khan kicks but Sanada blocks! Sanada trips Khan, gets the arms but Khan kicks Sanada away! Khan catches Sanada for a LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Both men are down again, Sanada rolls out of the ring. Khan wants Sanada to stand, but then the ref wants him to stay in the ring! Khan wants to do what Sanada did, and Sanada even eggs him on! Khan decides to PLANCHA! Direct hit and they both go down!

Khan gets up and fires up! Khan drags Sanada up as the ring count starts, and he puts Sanada in at 6 of 20. Khan drags Sanada up for an INVERTED EXPLODER! Throne Cradle, TWO! Basement BOOT! Khan tries the Throne Cradle again, with a bridge! TWO! Sanada is still in this and fans rally up, but Khan drags Sanada up into a gut wrench. Khan pops Sanada around, but Sanada slips out to a dragon sleeper! Khan fights free, Sanada dodges to QUEBRADA, to the dragon sleeper! But Khan fights free to HITSUJIGOROSHI! Sanada endures, and pulls Khan’s ponytail! Sanada then gets the dragon sleeper back!

But Khan clamps on the iron claw! HITSUJIGOROSHI! Sanada endures again, jumps and KNEES Khan away! Fireman’s carry, throw to the dragon sleeper! SKULL END, but Khan rolls through! Iron claw, ELIMIN- NO! Sanada arm-drags, dodges and O’Conner Rolls with- NO! No bridge! Khan has the iron claw again! ELIMINA- NO! Sanada gets a waistlock, but no O’Conner as Khan bucks free! Khan gets around, HITSUJIGOROSHI!! Khan has Sanada again, thrashes him around, but Sanada again endures! Sanada throws haymakers, so Khan scoops him! Sanada fights free of the powerslam to get the dragon sleeper!

Khan pushes free, but Sanada has the chicken wings! TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Khan survives but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees! Khan saves himself but both men are down! Fans rally up, Sanada and Khan slowly rise. They go forehead to forehead, then they throw forearm for forearm. They stand, Khan forearms but Sanada forearms back! Fans rally up as they pick up speed going back and forth! Khan ROCKS Sanada, but Sanada EuroUppers! Khan HELL STABS! Sanada UPPERCUSTS, spins, but into another HELL STAB! But Sanada SOBATS! STRAIGHT RIGHT from Khan!! Cover, TWO!!

Fans are fired up again while both men are down. Khan gets up, goes to a corner, and he bangs his head on the buckle pad to fire himself up! Khan slashes his throat and gives thumbs down, SECOND ROPE MOONSAULT! Then iron claw, but Sanada victory rolls, pops Khan down, body scissors to BRIDGING CLUTCH! SANADA WINS!!

Winner: Sanada, by pinfall

Khan can’t believe it! He, the professed great technician, gets caught by a technical hold! Khan is furious, but will he learn to tranquilo like the Cold Skull?

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Jeff Cobb!

We just saw Sanada redeem himself from the Six Man Tag defeat, but now we will see if LIJ’s charismatic leader can do the same. Will Naito make Cobb tranquilo? Or will the Hawaiian Hulk SMASH Naito in the New Year?

As always, Naito takes his time with everything, especially taking off the elaborate entrance attire. He keeps throwing pieces to Cobb, but Cobb says, “Tranquilo,” and he politely hands those to the Young Lions to put away. But then Cobb CLOBBERS Naito as soon as the pants are gone! The bell rings as Cobb fires off forearms in the corner! The ref counts, Cobb keeps hammering so the ref backs Cobb down! Fans rally, Naito gets back up, and Cobb throws a heavy body shot! Cobb whips corner to corner, runs in, but Naito boots him! Cobb comes back, but into another boot! Cobb is annoyed, but he turns around into a dropkick to the legs!

Naito kicks Cobb’s leg, stomps away on it, but the ref has him back off while they’re in the ropes. Naito just goes after Cobb again! Naito lets off to appease the ref, then he stomps Cobb more! The ref tries to stop Naito again and Naito shoves him down! Naito drags Cobb up, Cobb ROCKS Naito with a forearm! And then another one! Cobb has Naito and suplexes him, but Naito knees free! Naito kicks the legs out and Cobb falls to the floor. Naito builds speed, but then just rolls. Wait, not to tranquilo, but to redirect and dropkick Cobb! Cobb hits railing and fans fire up! Naito goes out to stomp Cobb, then bring him up to whip.

Cobb reverses, scoops, and pops Naito up to a suplex position! Cobb POSTS Naito, then POSTS him again, before the RUNNING SUPLEX! Fans cheer the show of strength, then rally as both men stir. Cobb gets up and gets in the ring while Naito sputters. The ring count starts, Naito flounders up, but the count passes 10 of 20. The count reaches 15, Naito drags himself up the railing, and hobbles at 18 to get in at 19! Cobb stomps Naito, Naito sputters more, and then Cobb sits him up to JAM a knee into his back! And even uppercut him in the back! Naito writhes, Cobb stomps him down again. Cobb drags Naito up to suplex, stall, and then trophy lift and TOSS!

Naito flops to the ropes after that “victory driver,” and Cobb walks over. Cobb stands on Naito’s back! Fans rally while Cobb mocks Naito’s pose. The ref counts, Cobb hops off, and he drags Naito up. Cobb picks Naito up to RAM him into a corner! And then goes corner to corner, and back again! Fans rally, Cobb CHOPS Naito! And CHOPS! Cobb backs up to run in and basement dropkick! Naito writhes while clutching his ribs, but Cobb hobbles to bring Naito back up. Naito throws a forearm but Cobb doesn’t flinch. Naito keeps trying but Cobb doesn’t budge. Naito kicks but Cobb blocks to then ram Naito down with a shoulder!

Cobb sits Naito up for a DEADLIFT suplex! Naito slips off, Cobb ROCKS him with a right, but Cobb runs into a SHOTGUN BOOT! Fans rally up while both men are down again! Naito gets up, Cobb follows. Naito throws forearms and kicks but Cobb still doesn’t budge. Naito kicks and whips, back elbows Cobb down, then basement dropkicks the leg! Naito gets Cobb back up, whips him to a corner, then runs in to JUMP KCIK! Leg sweep! COMBINACION feint to dropkick the bad leg! And then the basement dropkick to finish the combination! Naito poses and fans rally up. Naito drags Cobb to center and hooks up the leg in a TRAILER HITCH!

Cobb endures, crawls, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Naito holds until the ref undoes the hold for him. Fans rally up again, Naito stands Cobb up to kick the bad leg. Naito then gets the leg, but Cobb blocks the lift. Cobb CHOPS Naito, Naito comes back but Cobb avoids the basement dropkick! Cobb drags Naito up, OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Cobb has some blood in his mouth, but he gets up to hobble and run in at Naito. Back elbow, then a BIG back suplex! Cobb crawls to the cover, TWO! Cobb grows frustrated with Naito, but he hobbles after him. Fans rally, Cobb drags Naito back up, and whips him to ropes. Naito holds ropes, Cobb blocks the boot but Naito gets around to TORNADO DDT!

Fans fire up while both men are down again! Cobb drags himself up in the corner, Naito runs in to dropkick the leg again! Naito goes up the corner, reels Cobb in, ESPARANZA! Then CORRIENDO- NO! Cobb powers out but Naito dropkicks his leg out again! Naito gets Cobb up in the corner, puts him up top, and Naito elbows away on the bad leg! Naito climbs up to join Cobb, but Cobb turns that into a SUPER POWERBOMB!! Both men are down again and fans fire up more! Cobb crawls to another cover, TWO!! Naito is still in this but Cobb’s too tired to be frustrated. Cobb gets up, the blood actually coming from his nose.

Cobb drags Naito up, whips him to ropes, and scoops, but Naito gets the bad leg! KNEEBAR! CALF SLICER!! Cobb endures, Naito thrashes the leg, but Cobb reaches out! Cobb has blood in his nose but he powers up to push back and hammer away on Naito! Naito lets go, Cobb waistlocks and deadlifts for the GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb drags Naito up, runs, but Naito dodges the lariat to throw back elbows! Naito kicks the leg, Cobb headbutts, Naito ENZIGURIS! Cobb LARIATS! Fans fire up, Cobb roars and drags Naito back up! Cobb whips, scoops, but Naito escapes to suplex, VALENTIA! Naito drags Cobb up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, DESTINO!! Cover, Naito wins!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall

Los Ingobernables de Japon is avenged! Naito and Sanada take both matches, is LIJ going to rise up and rebel in the New Year?

 

IWGP US Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match: KENTA VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!

Fang Revived claims to be the more deserving of this belt because he’s more American than The Ace. But will knowing complex English words keep Tanahashi from using anything and everything to beat Kenta’s ass? Or will Tanahashi’s rage get the better of him like it did last night?

The introductions are made, Kenta already brings out a pair of kendo sticks from under the ring, and he throws one to Tanahashi. Red Shoes gets the belt, and the kendo duel is on! The bell rings, Tanahashi disarms Kenta then fires off on him! Kenta bails out, Tanahashi goes out to SMACK him more! They go around the way, Tanahashi SMACKS Kenta again, but Kenta grabs the belt from the timekeeper’s table! BELT SHOT! Kenta gest the kendo stick and he SMACKS Tanahashi now. Tanahashi sits up, Kenta SMACKS him back down! And SMACKS him again! And again! Kenta drags Tanahashi up, puts him in the ring, then brings the kendo stick.

Kenta SMACKS Tanahashi more, and more, then throws the stick down as it starts to break. Kenta goes out to look under the ring, and he brings out a chair, a few trash can lids, and then the busted up IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Right to Challenge case? That thing hasn’t been thrown away yet? Oh, wait, Kenta brings in the trash can, too. Kenta gets the chair and he SMACKS Tanahashi on the back! The padding comes off so Kenta already throws that away, to then SMACK Tanahashi with the trash can lid! Kenta picks up what appears to be a serving tray, and he SMACKS Tanahashi with that, too!

Kenta goes out to look under the ring again, and fans rally as he brings out a ladder! Kenta puts the ladder in, stomps Tanahashi down, and he sets the ladder up in the corner. Kenta brings Tanahashi up, whips him in and Tanahashi collides with ladder! Tanahashi writhes on the mat but Kenta fetches the good kendo stick. Kenta SMACKS Tanahashi down, then gets the trash can. Fans rally up, but Kenta runs at Tanahashi, but Tanahashi dropkicks the legs out! Kenta faceplants into the trash can! Fans rally up as Tanahashi gets the trash can’s lid! Tanahashi SMACKS Kenta right in the head!

Tanahashi buffs the dent out of the trash can, raises it up and SMACKS Kenta in the head with it! Tanahashi puts the can around Kenta, then gets the chair! TRASH CAN HOME RUN! Fans cheer this edgier side of The Ace as he goes out and looks under the ring. Tanahashi brings out… a guitar?! No more air guitar, this one is real! Tanahashi waits for Kenta to get free of the trash can, before he gives Kenta a SMASH HIT! Tanahashi doesn’t stop there, he goes back out and looks under the ring. Tanahashi brings out a table! Tanahashi sets it up at ringside, goes back to the apron, but Kenta elbows him! Tanahashi gets a leg, for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!

Kenta writhes and clutches his knee, but Tanahashi drags him around to tie up the legs in the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! But Kenta has the briefcase! Kenta SMACKS Tanahashi with it! Not the first time, either, but that was the hardest one yet! Kenta kisses his best friend, and then BRIEFCASE BUSAIKU KNEES Tanahashi down!! Kenta drags Tanahashi up, throws him out hard, and sees the table nearby. Kenta drags Tanahashi up, throws haymakers, then puts Tanahashi on the table. Kenta rains down rights, then goes to a corner. Fans rally up as Kenta climbs, but Tanahashi hurries up after him! Tanahashi throws hands, then climbs up!

Fans fire up as Tanahashi aims for the table! Kenta resists, throws body shots, and even elbows. Tanahashi steps down, Kenta rains down fists. Tanahashi SHOTEIS, and Kenta flops into the ring! Tanahashi hops down to look under the ring again. Tanahashi brings out another chair, and another chair, and another chair, and another, and another, and another! Half a dozen chairs are in a pile, and Tanahashi drags Kenta up. Kenta grabs for anything but Tanahashi keep shim away. Kenta resists the German suplex with elbows! Tanahashi SHOTEIS, runs, FULL METAL SLINGBLADE!! They land hard on all the chairs!!

Tanahashi sets Kenta on his chair pile, climbs up top, FULL METAL HIGH FLY FLOP!! Kenta dodges and Tanahashi crashes down! Fans fire up as Kenta goes to a corner. Kenta then puts Tanahashi in the corner to scrub his boot on Tanahashi’s face. Kenta piles the chairs onto Tanahashi now, then goes corner to corner to FULL METAL DROPKICK!! A bit double-edged but Kenta doesn’t care! Kenta drags Tanahashi out of the pile, brings him around to a fireman’s carry, GO TO- NO! TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi holds on, for a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT on the chairs! Fans rally up as Tanahashi goes back out and looks under the ring once more.

Tanahashi searches, but he can’t find anything good. So he just hauls the table he set up into the ring! Tanahashi stands it up near a corner, and he brings Kenta up. Tanahashi scoops Kenta to put him on the table. Tanahashi also shoves a chair down onto Kenta! Fans fire up as Tanahashi climbs up the corner! But Kenta gets up to SMACK Tanahashi with the chair! Kenta makes sure the table is back up, and he climbs up to go after Tanahashi. Tanahashi resists the superplex with body shots, but Kenta throws headbutts! Kenta goes to the very top, and he SUPER FALCON ARROWS Tanahashi through the table!! Fans fire up while both men are down!

Kenta doesn’t cover, he goes back outside. Kenta searches under the ring, and searches a bit more. What could he be looking for? Kenta finds a new table! Kenta gets the table in the ring, then rains down fists on Tanahashi. Kenta isn’t done here, he goes back under the ring, and he brings out a very tall ladder! Kenta gets that in the ring, leans it up in a corner, then stomps Tanahashi. Kenta stands the ladder up to set it up, and fans rally up as Kenta complains the ref should be helping him! Red Shoes sure isn’t doing that, so Kenta has to finish it up on his own. Kenta SMACKS Tanahashi with a trash can lid, and he still has to fasten the other side of the ladder!

Kenta finally has the ladder propped up, and then he sets up the table nearby. Kenta smacks Tanahashi on the table, then punches him down to keep him on the table. Kenta climbs the ladder and fans fire up as he reaches the top! Kenta aims, but Tanahashi gets up to shake the ladder! Kenta holds on, but the ladder tips! Kenta falls onto the trash can! Red Shoes checks but Kenta is okay to continue, so Tanahashi brings Kenta to the table. Kenta is busted open, Tanahashi shoves him down onto the table. Tanahashi fires up, climbs up, and fans fire up with him! Tanahashi reaches the top and takes aim, for an ORBITAL HIGH FLY FLOW!!

Tanahashi has to crawl out of the wreckage to cover, Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall (NEW IWGP US Heavyweight Champion)

Speaking of orbital, how is Kenta’s face after all that? There’s a lot more blood coming from his nose, will he be alright? As for Tanahashi, he gambled and came out the winner! Will he go to new extremes to prove he’s still the Ace?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay!

Once again, the Rainmaker is holding the top title in all of NJPW! But after such a powerful fight against the Rampaging Dragon, does Okada have enough to thwart the Commonwealth King? Or will Ospreay regain the title he never truly lost?

Ospreay’s entrance has a video photo album of those he defeated in 2021 to establish himself as the “REAL” IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Then he rises up from the stage, and the rest of the United Empire appears behind him. Ospreay has his copy of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, as well as the Warrior Wrestling Championship and both belts that represent the Undisputed Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Champion. The Empire makes sure Ospreay is introduced as the real world champion, but he still has to win here to make that official. Okada’s introduction is made, Okada’s belt is raised, but tonight, we see if it stays Okada’s past 24 hours!

Fans rally up already with the bell as these two stare down. They circle, approach, stare down some more, and Ospreay smirks as he and Okada circle again. Ospreay then shoots in to get a leg and he brings Okada down to a facelock. Ospreay powers Okada to a press, ONE, but Ospreay holds on as they goa round. Okada gets a leg pick, lateral press, ONE as Ospreay gets away. Fans cheer the early exchange, and the two reset. They feel out the knuckle lock, tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, and Ospreay wrenches to a wristlock. Okada rolls, trips Ospreay and has the toehold, but Ospreay pulls at hair. Ospreay uses a leg to hook Okada for an armbar, but Okada powers his way up.

Okada facelocks Ospreay then floats to a headlock. Ospreay fights up, Okada grinds the hold, but Ospreay powers up to pry at the hold. Okada clamps the headlock on tighter and grinds, but Ospreay pulls hair. Ospreay powers out, Okada runs him over, but Ospreay kips right up! Fans cheer and Ospreay smirks, then fires off forearms! Ospreay runs, into a BOOT! Okada drags Ospreay up, Ospreay stomps his foot! Ospreay bumps Okada, runs, but into a back drop! Ospreay gets some air and crashes down! Okada brings Ospreay back up to CLUB him on the back! Okada reels Ospreay in for another CLUB to the back.

Ospreay goes to a corner, kicks back but Okada blocks to CLUB the leg. Okada then turns Ospreay for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE!! Okada keeps on Ospreay with a chinlock. Fans rally while Ospreay endures. Ospreay fights up, throws body shots, but Okada ROCKS him with a forearm, Okada whips, Ospreay reverses, but Ospreay misses in the corner. Okada puts Ospreay up top, but Ospreay kicks him away! Ospreay puts Okada up top to CHOP him down! Okada is on the apron, Ospreay drags him through the ropes, DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO! Ospreay keeps his cool as he goes right to the apron. PIP PIP CHEERIO!

Okada bails out but Ospreay goes out after him. Ospreay looms over Okada, drags him up by his jaw, then CHOPS him! Okada staggers around the way, Ospreay follows after. Ospreay chokes Okada against the railing in front of the timekeeper’s area to make Okada look at all the belts! Ospreay then DECKS Okada, and says he is the real champion! Ospreay drags Okada up, puts him in the ring, and covers. Red Shoes refuses to count after the shenanigans, so Ospreay sits Okada up to KICK him in the back. And again. Okada eggs Ospreay on, Ospreay KICKS him more! Okada still eggs Ospreay on so Ospreay fires off forearms and ROCKS Okada!

Okada stands up, Ospreay wrenches and CHOPS him. And CHOPS! Ospreay reels Okada in but Okada fights the backbreaker with elbows. Okada runs, but into a SPIN-OUT BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans rally up as Okada survives all those rotations. Ospreay drags Okada up, KNEES him in the back, and again, then clamps on a cravat. Okada endures, fans rally up, and Okada powers up to throw elbows and body shots. Ospreay CLUBS Okada, whips him to the corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in, but Ospreay BOOTS him! Ospreay runs but into a FLAPJACK! Both men are down and fans fire up!

Ospreay gets up but Okada follows. Okada rallies with forearms and elbows, then whips. Ospreay reverses, Okada ducks and dodges, and CLOBBERS Ospreay with the elbow! Okada drags Ospreay up, whips him to the corner, runs in and back elbows. Okada kicks and DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Okada staggers up but eggs Ospreay on. Fans rally up and Ospreay stands, Okada tries the Alabama lift but Ospreay fights it. Ospreay whips, Okada reverses, but Ospreay handsprings! Okada gets under, Alabama lift to REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps cool as he drags Ospreay up. Ospreay blocks the gut wrench, but Okada powers through!

Ospreay kicks, gets to the apron, and throws body shots through the ropes! Ospreay aims for the ramp, but Okada fights the suplex! They’re both on the apron, Okada CLUBS and ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay hits back. They brawl on the edge, forearm for forearm! Ospreay gets the edge, then CHOPS, but Okada SHOTGUNS Ospreay into the post! Ospreay crashes down and fans are fired up again! The Empire coaches Ospreay up but Okada stands first. Okada gets Ospreay and he whips Ospreay into railing! Okada then BOOTS Ospreay over the railing! Okada wants more space so people move aside. Okada runs in and FLIES, into a SUPERKICK!!

Ospreay shoots Okada out of the air, and Okada clutches his leg after that crash landing! Okada drags Ospreay up, bumps him off girders, and then decides to climb up! Fans are thunderous as Ospreay goes up and up, and then up a little more! Ospreay ORBITAL ARIHARA MOONSAULTS!! Fans are electric as Ospreay hits the mark!! Khan fans Ospreay off as he walks around to make sure his leg is alright. A ring count starts, climbs to 5 of 20 before Ospreay gets Okada up. They return to the ring at 11 of 20, and fans cheer as Ospreay climbs up. Okada stands, Ospreay BLINDSIDE PIP PIP CHEERIOS! Ospreay gets Okada up, LIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!

Fans fire up as Okada is still in this! Ospreay keeps his cool, drags Okada up, and turns him, but Okada elbows free! Okada throws forearms and EuroUppers, then runs, into a TIGER WALL KICK and ENZIGURI! Fans fire up as Okada bails out, and Ospreay builds speed! SASUKE SPECIAL!! But Okada catches him?! TOMBSTONE to the floor!! Fans are thunderous as both men are down on the outside! The ring count starts again, and Okada stirs at 9 of 20. Okada stands at 12, hobbles over and drags Ospreay up at 15, and puts him in at 16. Fans cheer as Okada goes up the corner now. Ospreay stands, Okada SHOTGUN MISSILE DROPKICKS! Cover, TWO!

Okada drags Ospreay up, wrenches and has the MONEY CLIP! Ospreay endures, pries at the hold, but he RAMS Okada into a corner. Ospreay is free but Okada SHOTGUN dropkicks him again! Fans rally again as both men are down! Okada goes to Ospreay, drags him up, scoops and SLAMS, then goes back up the corner. MACHO ELBOW! Fans rally more as Okada strikes the Rainmaker Pose! Okada ripcords, Ospreay wheelbarrows, but Okada GERMAN SUPLEXES! Ospreay lands on his feet to ROUNDHOUSE! Ospreay whips, Okada reverses, but Ospreay avoids the dropkick, SHOOTING STAR onto knees!

Okada hurries to whip Ospreay, but Ospreay turns dropkick into LIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up again and Ospreay drags Okada back up. Ospreay suplexes to hang Okada out to dry. Ospreay HEEL KICKS Okada, then FRONT KICKS him! Okada is stuck, Ospreay goes to the corner and climbs up. SHOOTING STAR GUILLOTINE! Ospreay goes right back up the corner, SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives again! But Ospreay wont’ stop, he stands Okada up and springboards, OSCUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay is beside himself but fans are thunderous! Khan coaches Ospreay and he gets Okada back up.

Ospreay reels Okada in, turns him, DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! Ospreay then aims from the corner, Okada sits up, HIDDEN- NO! Okada ducks, gut wrenches, but Ospreay turns it around! TOMBSTONE! Ospreay grins as he mocks the Rainmaker Pose! Takagi learned the hard way to not do that, but Ospreay drags Okada up. Ripcord, but Okada gets around to backslide! Ospreay rolls through, into double underhooks!? Okada gets Ospreay up, and steals STORMBREAKER!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous again! Okada roars and he drags Ospreay back up. Ripcord, but Ospreay elbows free! So Okada BLINDSIDE DROPKICKS him to ropes!

Okada whips Ospreay, dropkicks him down again! Okada ripcords, RAIN- SPANISH FLY!?!? Ospreay snatches that one outta nowhere! Ospreay gets Okada’s arm, drags him up, and short arm LARIATS! Ospreay holds on, copying one of Okada’s signature tactics, and he gives him another short arm LARIAT! Ospreay goes to the corner, up, up and SUPER OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO!??! Okada survives yet again and Ospreay is enraged! He underhooks and lifts Okada, but Okada slips out to gut wrench! SPINNING TOMBSTONE!! Okada roars, drags Ospreay back up, ripcord and RAIN- NO! Ospreay slips through to underhooks!

STORM- NO! Okada slips out, rip cords, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada gets Ospreay right back up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!! Cover, TWO?!?! Now Ospreay shocks Okada! Fans are electric again as both men are down. Okada drags Ospreay up, for the MONEY CLIP! Ospreay tries to fight back but he’s already fading. Fans rally up, Okada cranks on the hold harder, but Ospreay grits his teeth. Ospreay fights up, but Okada keeps him from ropes with a BACK2BACK- NO! Ospreay slips free, but Okada ducks the buzzsaw! Ospreay ducks the lariat to steal the RAINMAKER!! Both men are down again and fans rally hard as ever!

Ospreay and Okada slowly rise. Ospreay SLAPS Okada, so Okada SLAPS back! They give more SLAPS, then Ospreay throws a forearm. Okada forearms back, so Ospreay throws another. Okada gives it back, but Ospreay hits him again. Fans rally up as they stand and keep throwing forearms. Okada hits Ospreay and Ospreay wobbles. Ospreay comes back to go forehead to forehead before throwing another forearm. Okada gives it back, they keep going, faster and faster, then at the same time! Okada gets the edge, and he ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay staggers around, Okada DECKS him! Okada checks his jaw before he drags Ospreay back up.

Okada backslides, rolls through, LARIAT! Okada holds on, stands Ospreay up, and LARIATS again! Okada drags Ospreay up, ripcords, but Ospreay pop-up FOREARMS Okada! Then HIDDEN BLADE!! Cover, TWO!??! Fans fire up as Ospreay fires up, and Ospreay drags Okada up to underhook. Okada fights so Ospreay fires off Kowata Kicks! Underhooks, but still no Stormbreaker! Okada back drops and sits on the cover, TWO! Okada EuroUppers, Ospreay HOOK KCIKS! Ospreay underhooks, but Okada slips out to LARIAT! Ospreay stays up, and V-TRIGGERS! He’s not Kenny! But he HEADBUTTS Okada down!

Ospreay roars, fans are electric, and off comes the elbow pad! HIDDEN- DROPKICK! Ospreay is right back up?! But he runs into the SIT-OUT PILEDRIVER! Ripcord, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (Undisputed IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)

The Rainmaker keeps his promises! He stops Ospreay, holds onto this belt, and makes it rain in the New Year! Red Shoes presents him with the belt, and it is now, without a doubt, Kazuchika Okada as NJPW’s top champion! Will Ospreay just have to settle for having three other belts around his waist?

Okada gets the mic to say, “Ospreay. The real champion is speaking, but I will say that your strength is real.” The fans cheer the respect Okada shows to Ospreay as the United Empire make their exit. Okada then says that he can now say he is, “without a doubt,” THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion! As with Takagi yesterday and Ospreay tonight, Okada vows to give us 50th anniversary worthy matches against worthy opponents. “So please, keep your eyes on Kazuchika Okada, the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion!” But wait, here comes Naito! He did win earlier tonight, and it seems pretty clear why he’s returned.

Naito goes right to the ring, picks up the mic, and notes again that Okada defeated Takagi yesterday, and Ospreay tonight. “Right now, the strongest man in NJPW is undoubtedly Okada. And that’s exactly the Okada I want a piece of. That’s why I want to challenge for the belt around his waist.” So how about Okada’s next challenger be Tetsuya  Naito? The fans applaud, and Okada gets the mic back to say the fans think it’s a good idea. Okada VS Naito, huh? How about it? Fans continue to applaud, and Okada says that sounds like a 50th anniversary worthy match. Naito raises his fist as a salute before he leaves. Will the Rainmaker tranquilo in his next title defense?

Okada again says, “Sounds good for the 50th. Now that I’m champion, I promise you more matches just like that.” Okada thanks the fans for their support these past two days in the Tokyo Dome, and knows that though they couldn’t shout out, they found other ways to cheer. Their support reached all of the wrestlers, and they gave back what they could in return. “This 50th anniversary celebration has just begun. So please, keep giving us your support.” And one more thing. “Inoki-san, I’m waiting for you to grace this NJPW ring again. With willpower, you can do anything, right? Inoki-san, please find energy and come back to this ring! I think you’re needed here for this anniversary.”

Okada continues to say that he hopes the people take care of themselves during these difficult times, because he wants to wrestle in front of a cheering crowd again. Fans applaud that, and Okada gets a bit emotional now. Okada hopes we never go back to empty arena shows again. “I want to fight for all of you!” Every wrestler in NJPW is giving their all, so please keep fighting alongside them! NJPW has made it these 50 years, and he vows to lead it these next 50, so please stay with him! “I’ll make it rain on NJPW!” The Rainmaker is as passionate as ever, will he keep things going as the New Year rolls on?


My Thoughts:

Another great event for NJPW and WrestleKingdom, but I did end up skipping the three opening Six Man Tags. I didn’t really have time to cover them, since it was another hour on top of the main show, but I did skim them. Pretty good stuff to warm up the crowd, and I think the most shocking thing was that Master Wato got the win, and by making El Desperado tap out! Perhaps they’re looking to make Wato next up for the title, though I feel like he already got his win here. The Triple Threat Tag for the Junior Heavyweight Tag titles was great, especially with them finally proving ELP uses something in his boot. The champions retaining makes sense, there’s a lot of fight left in Tiger Mask.

The Stardom tag match was great stuff. All four women got to look great and used a lot of their movesets here, but it was a natural choice for the top Stardom champion to get the win here. And I figured as much yesterday, with Yoh, Goto & Hashi all winning the other matches that the House of Torture would retain the Six Man titles. There’s a chance Evil & Yujiro try for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag titles, and no idea if there’s any other trio that could move up to take these NEVER titles off Bullet Club. Suzuki being the one winning the KOPW trophy here was quite the surprise, but I bet that means we’re getting a string of rather sadistic stipulations for when Yano tries to challenge him.

Good stuff in the NEVER Openweight Six Man title match, but as I figured yesterday, Chaos got their wins and so House of Torture retains. Evil is probably going to be NEVER Openweight Double Champion for some time, and I kinda hope it leads to something with him and Jay White since Ishii took that from White. NOAH’s wrestlers showing up was quite a surprise, but it makes sense given the crossover event. Kiyomiya and Kenoh gave good promos, but a bit of a bummer that the livestream of the event is on a different provider than NJPW World. I like that it was Takagi & LIJ that confronted NOAH, with Kenoh able to play off how Takagi lost the title. We’re going to get a lot of great stuff out of that event, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who wins the “series.”

The last two matches of the night were awesome stuff. The No Disqualification match was great stuff, and they really brought out everything in that match. I love that Kenta refuses to give up his Right to Challenge briefcase, even though it’s practically in shambles. But that finish, wow that was rough for Kenta. I think he got both a broken nose and a cut on his face somewhere from that trash can, and then he still has to get crushed through the table. Tanahashi winning here was big stuff, and it seems the US title is staying in Japan for a bit. Then of course, the world title match was another stellar instant classic from Okada and Ospreay. Those guys can do no wrong, and that super moonsault was wild.

But naturally, Okada wins here, he is pretty much Mr. NJPW at this point. Okada VS Naito is set up for the next major event, and Okada has another great promo to close out the show for the fans. Okada will definitely carry NJPW for the majority of this year, if not the whole year, so let’s hope his dream, and everyone’s dream, of no longer worrying about COVID becomes a reality.

My Score: 9.2/10


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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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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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