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Andrew’s Quarterfinals & Semifinals New Japan Cup 2019 Ratings & Analysis

Andrew’s combines the New Japan Cup Quarters and Semis out of necessity. Who made the finals? How were the matches leading up?



Andrew’s combines the New Japan Cup Quarters and Semis out of necessity. Who made the finals? How were the matches leading up?

Due to personal plans, I figured it would be best to group these two and cover the Finals show in full on Sunday. So this way no article looks awkwardly short.

Now after an interesting first 2 rounds, we saw some upsets and some favorites pushed harder than expected.

Many of the usual suspects made the Quarters, so let’s see who gets out alive!

Quarterfinals Ratings:

  • Tomohiro Ishii vs YOSHI-HASHI: Ishii wins via Vertical Drop Brainbuster @20:25 – ****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay: Okada wins via Rainmaker @20:10 – *** 3/4
  • Colt Cabana vs SANADA: SANADA wins via Skull End @14:55 – ** 1/4
  • Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via Leg Clutch @21:10 – *** 1/2


Quarterfinals Analysis:

YOSHI had something to prove, and being that he and Ishii are stablemates, it felt almost personal. YOSHI came out with more fire and resiliency than we’re accustomed to expect from him and had a few nice near falls. Never really being able to hit Karma, and trying to go toe to toe with Ishii on strikes was his undoing. You don’t trying to go blow for blow with the Stone Pitbull.

Okada and Ospreay are great together. As much as I was previously against Ospreay, after his neck injury he seems to actually be doing more than just a plethora of pointless flips. Ospreay has started to become more calculated and Okada keeps getting pushed harder and harder each time these two get together. Though I feel their 46th Anniversary was better, this was still a damn good match. New Ospreay is best Ospreay.

Colt and SANADA. What can I really say. Colt tried to outsmart SANADA on multiple occasions but seemingly gassed himself out being quirky. He overshot the Superman Pin once allowing SANADA to roll out of it and then he just missed, leaving himself wide open for the Skull End. Hopefully we see SANADA get over the hump in the semis, but he’s in some pretty elite company.

Sabre and Tanahashi was a deliberately paced match with Tanahashi trying to keep Zack away from his legs. I’m surprised that Zack didn’t immediately go after the legs when we all know Tanahshi has two bad wheels. So something about Zack seemed to not be nearly as sharp and calculated as usual, so Tanahashi was able to land an Inverted Slingblade and squeak out the pinfall with a Leg Clutch, much to Zack’s chagrin.


Quarterfinals Overall Score: 6.75/10

After a first day of two great matches, the second was bound to not live up to the bar that was set because of well, Colt Cabana. No knock on Colt because he is a well rounded wrestler, but because he was basically Gaijin Yano in this tour, he wasn’t going to put on  a classic. Honestly, even Tanahashi and Sabre was a little underwhelming. When YOSHI-HASHI is a participant in the best match of this section, some soul searching might be in order.


Semifinals Ratings:

  • Kazuchika Okada vs Tomohiro Ishii: Okada wins via Rainmaker @21:10 – **** 1/4
  • SANADA vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: SANADA wins via Skull End @24:10 – ****


Semifinals Analysis:

Okada and Ishii was a hell of a slobber knocker. Ishii does have a G1 victory over Okada, so it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Okada was going to win, and there were plenty of callbacks to the match where Ishii won. Okada saved the match for himself a few times with desperation Dropkicks, as Ishii just kept coming at him and avoiding the Rainmaker attempts for the most part. A multitude of headbutts and attempted Tombstones is where the match swayed to Okada. Ishii kept trying to hit the Tombstone to weaken the neck for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Okada was wise to it and hit a Jumping Tombstone of his own, to set up the Rainmaker finish. Solid match, with the type of aggression you’d expect from two men who really wanted the chance to beat the hell out of Jay White.

Tanahashi and SANADA is interesting. They have similar teachers and harken back to both for their distinctive style. Tanahashi has been referencing Fujinami a lot to avoid knee damage and SANADA loves himself some Mutoh. We saw this match be a little more of a mat based chess game, with both finding ways to work over the other. Tanahashi went through the litany of the moves he used in the tournament thus far, only to have SANADA either break out, or outright counter. Tanahashi tried to use the Leg Clutch he used against Zack Sabre, but SANADA blocked it and sunk in the Skull End. Which marked the end for Tanahashi.


Semifinals Overall Score: 7.5/10

These matches were great and lead to a rematch between Okada and SANADA. In what was one of Okada’s better title defenses last year, SANADA is a year older and hopefully with a new trick. The excessive attempts at the Moonsault, are what spelled SANADA’s doom last year.

See you tomorrow for the New Japan Cup Finals! Does SANADA or Okada face Jay White in MSG?

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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Soul Results & Report! (7/5/24)

A fiery finale!



We’re so close to the G1, we can almost taste it!

While El Desperado and Douki battle over the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, the G1 Climax Qualifiers have reached the finals! Who moves on? And who will watch from the sidelines?


  • Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS KENTA & Gedo; ZSJ & Fujita win.
  • Six Man Tag: Just5Guys VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier Final: Callum Newman VS YOSHI-HASHI; Callum wins and advances to the G1.
  • G1 Climax 34 B Block Qualifier Final: Boltin Oleg VS Taichi; Oleg wins and advances to the G1.
  • Six Man Tag: Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi VS Hiromu Takahashi, Titan & Yota Tsuji; Time Limit Draw.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado VS DOUKI; Douki wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.


G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier Final: Callum Newman VS YOSHI-HASHI!

The Prince of Pace has been pulling off upset after upset, taking down Yujiro Takahashi and Kenta. Meanwhile, The Head Hunter has been breaking through each round, beating the Crown Jewel and the Stone Pitbull. But who is the one that keeps it up and makes it to the Climax?

The bell rings and the fans rally as the two circle. Callum offers a handshake, and Hashi takes it. The fans cheer the sportsmanship, and the two circle more. They feel things out, knuckle lock, and go shoulder to shoulder in a test of strength. Callum wrenches and wrangles Hashi, then digs his knee into the arm. Callum then drags Hashi back up, wrenches, but Hashi spins and wrenches back. Hashi headlocks, but Callum powers up and out. Hashi runs Callum over! The fans fire up while Callum shakes out his arms. Hashi storms back over, brings Callum up, and CLUBS him on the neck. Callum goes to ropes but Hashi brings him around.

Hashi whips, Callum ducks ‘n’ dodges and really speeds up, to BOOT Hashi down! The fans cheer while Hashi gets back up. Callum ROCKS Hashi, brings him around, and UPPERCUTS! Callum then wrenches Hashi, whips him, but Hashi holds ropes! Callum runs up but into a BOOT! Hashi runs up, but into a BOOT! Callum runs, Hashi follows and trips Callum up! Hashi brings Callum outside, whips, but Callum reverses. Hashi hits railing, but then he comes right back to CLOBBER Callum! The fans fire up again while Hashi leans against railing to rest. The ref checks Callum, he’s okay to continue, and Hashi makes his way over.

Hashi brings Callum up, puts him in, and fans applaud. Hashi stalks Callum, brings him up, and ROCKS him with a forearm. Callum goes to a corner, Hashi storms over to CHOP! Hashi grabs at Callum but Callum pushes him back. Callum eggs Hashi on and SPITS at him! Hashi wipes that off, and he CHOPS again! Callum falls to his knees but Hashi brings him right up. Hashi reels Callum in to hang him out to dry. The fans rally as Hashi runs, and Hashi DRPOKICKS Callum off the ropes! Hashi pushes Callum to a cover, TWO! The fans applaud while Callum clutches his back, but Hashi kicks him around.

Hashi brings Callum up but Callum pushes him. Callum eggs Hashi on again so Hashi CHOPS! Callum grits his teeth, rises up, and dusts himself off. Callum eggs Hashi on again, so Hashi CHOPS! The fans applaud and Callum grits his teeth. Hashi eggs Callum on, Callum talks trash, so Hashi CHOPS! Callum fires off a flurry of forearms! The fans fire up, and then Hashi spins to CHOP! Callum staggers back, Hashi ROCKS and CHOPS him against ropes on repeat! The fans fire up, the ref counts, but Hashi lets off. Hashi whips Callum to ropes, Callum trips Hashi up! And then DOUBLE STOMPS! The fans cheer while both men are down!

Callum grits his teeth, his body already marked up. But he aims from a corner as Hashi goes to the other. Callum runs in to DROPKICK! Callum then runs to PENALTY KICK, and STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Great-O-Khan is ringside to coach Callum. Callum rallies the fans and they clap along. Callum brings Hashi up, calls his shot and springboards, but Hashi gets under! Callum lands out, Hashi runs to duck ‘n’ dodge and HEADHUNTER! Callum writhes from that running blockbuster and the fans continue to rally. Hashi and Callum go to opposite corners, and Callum stands up.

Hashi runs in to LARIAT in the corner! Hashi pushes Callum away to then go up! FLYING BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Callum survives and the fans rally up but Hashi keeps cool. Hashi brings Callum up, reels him in, and suplexes, but Callum knees free! Callum blocks a kick, spins, but Hashi ROCKS him first! Hashi runs, but into a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO! Hashi survives as Callum brings out another Ospreay special! The fans fire up as Callum rises. Callum hobbles but he shakes out the cobwebs. Callum chicken wings Hashi but Hashi resists the lift. Hashi elbows free, then runs up, but into a BOOT!

Hashi fires up, Callum ducks and springboards, OSC- NO, Hashi catches Callum! Hashi then full nelsons for a DRAGON SUPLEX! Callum is right up!? Callum fires a forearm, Hashi fires back! Callum CHOPS, Hashi CHOPS Callum down! Callum kips up to ENZIGIRI! Callum runs, into a SUPERKICK! Callum stays up, but Hashi SUPERKICKS again! The fans are thunderous as Hashi reels Callum in! Fisherman and KUMAGOROSHI! Cover, TWO?!? Callum survives and the fans are thunderous! Hashi drags Callum back up and back in, full nelson to pump handle, but Callum fights the lift!

Callum CLUBS at Hashi’s arm, rolls free but Hashi ducks the roundhouse! BODY SHOT, pump handle, BACKBREAKER! SUPERKICK! METEORA!! Cover, TWO!!! Callum survives again and the fans are thunderous! The fans rally as Hashi waits on Callum to rise. Callum flounders around, the fans duel, and Hashi runs. LARIAT!! Hashi drags Callum to a cover, TWO?!? Callum survives again and the fans are thunderous! Hashi drags Callum back up, full nelson and pump handle, KAR- STUN DOG MILLIONAIRE!! Inside cradle, CALLUM WINS?!?

Winner: Callum Newman, by pinfall (advances to the G1 Climax)

The United Empire is there to celebrate with their guy! Hashi himself is stunned, how did he get caught like that? But even Callum shows the proper respect to his senpai. Hashi cools off, and he shakes Callum’s hand. Will The Prince of Pace keep up the pace and conquer the Climax for the United Empire?


G1 Climax 34 B Block Qualifier Final: Boltin Oleg VS Taichi!

The Rook’s incredible strength helped him overcome his NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship partners, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi. But now, he runs into the Holy Emperor! Taichi stopped TJP’s Cinderella Story, will he do it all again? Or is there no stopping this Kazakhstan Juggernaut now?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. The chants sound about even between “TA-I-CHI!” and “BO-RU-TIN!” The two circle, then stare down before they tie up. Oleg powers Taichi back but Taichi digs in his heels. Oleg still puts Taichi on ropes, and he lets off slowly. But then Oleg pushes Taichi and eggs him on. The fans cheer Oleg’s guts and Taichi gets in Oleg’s face. Oleg fires a forearm, so Taichi KICKS a leg! Oleg fires a forearm, Taichi KICKS a leg, and repeat! They go back and forth, and the fans rally as they pick up speed! Oleg ROCKS Taichi, ROCKS him again, and again! The fans fire up for Oleg, but then Taichi KICKS the leg!

Taichi runs to BOOT Oleg but he rebounds to ROCK Taichi! Oleg runs again but into a BOOT! But Oleg’s right up! And he CLOBBERS Taichi! The fans fire up for Oleg again, and he gut wrenches Taichi! Taichi fights the shake, but Oleg CLUBS him, and CLUBS him, and CLUBS him again! Taichi just gets mad! Taichi pushes Oleg, Oleg CHOPS! Taichi doesn’t flinch, and GAMANGIRIS instead! The fans fire up while both men are down! Taichi snarls as he rises up and shakes out the leg. Taichi drags Oleg up, TOSSES him out, and Oleg flounders to railing. Taichi storms out after Oleg, and whips him hard into railing!

Oleg falls and writhes, but Taichi opens the gate to No Man’s Land. Then he kicks down railing so he can bring Oleg into the crowd! The fans hurry to move, and Taichi BOWLS Oleg into chairs! STRIKE! Taichi then grabs a chair and folds it up but the ref stops him. Taichi gives up the chair so he can drag Oleg up. Taichi KICKS Oleg down! The fans cheer while Taichi then drags Oleg back up. Taichi brings Oleg into the ring and the fans applaud. Oleg crawls, Taichi kicks him around. Taichi eggs Oleg on as he scuffs him again. Oleg rises, so Taichi KICKS him in the chest! Oleg writhes again and the fans rally up.

Oleg rises again, so Taichi KICKS him again! And again Oleg writhes around on the mat! Taichi looms over Oleg, then sits him back up. And he KICKS Oleg back down! The fans rally as Oleg writhes but doesn’t give in. Taichi stomps Oleg around, taunts him, then gives him toying kicks. Oleg rises up, Taichi slaps him around, but that only upsets Oleg. Oleg fires forearms on Taichi but Taichi just eggs him on! So Oleg ROCKS Taichi and clinches! Taichi fights back and wrenches free to HOOK KICK! Oleg falls, Taichi covers, TWO! Taichi is annoyed but he drags Oleg back up, for a KNEE! Taichi then brings Oleg up and whips.

Oleg reverses to lift and FLAPJACK! The fans fire up while both men are down again! Oleg rises and fans rally behind him as he heads for Taichi. Oleg fires forearms on Taichi, puts him in a corner, then whips corner to corner. Oleg runs in, and SPLASHES! Taichi staggers, Oleg runs, and he runs Taichi over! The fans fire up and Oleg keeps moving, to SPLASH DOWN! Cover, TWO! Taichi survives and the fans rally up. The fans rally up for Taichi now but Oleg gut wrenches! But again Taichi fights the shake! Oleg pries Taichi off his leg to Shake, Rattle and THROW! And then the kip up! The fans fire up as Oleg roars!

Oleg runs in at the corner but Taichi ROUNDHOUSES him down! The fans fire up more as Taichi seethes. “Let’s Go, Taichi!” echoes out as Taichi waits on Oleg. Oleg is dazed from that shot but Taichi tries to lift him. Oleg doesn’t budge so Taichi wants the ref to call this. The ref checks, Oleg is still awake, so Taichi clamps on with SEITEI JUJIHOU! Oleg endures being in the Holy Emperor’s Tomb, but Taichi really cranks the hold! Oleg is fading! The ref checks, the arm drops once! The arm drops twice! Taichi lets go before the ref can confirm one way or another! That mercy lets Oleg stay in this somehow!

Oleg blinks and catches his breath. But then Taichi BUZZSAWS him down! The fans fire up, because OFF COME THE PAINTS! Taichi tells Oleg to get up, and then he takes aim. Taichi gathers his power, but Oleg SHOTGUNS! Taichi rises, tries again, but Oleg blocks! Fireman’s carry, KAMIKAZE SENTON!! Cover, TWO?!? Taichi survives but Oleg has new life! Both men writhe on the mat, both men trying to catch their breath! Taichi grabs at the ref to tell him not to call this. Taichi and Oleg go to opposite corners, and then Oleg runs in! SPLASH! And then another fireman’s carry! KAMI- NO, Taichi slips free, and it’s back to SEITEI JUJIHOU!!

Oleg endures, reaches out, and he powers up! Oleg fireman’s carries free, for a SAMOAN DROP! Both men are down as Oleg goes the other direction! Oleg then hurries to haul Taichi up, and he fireman’s carries again! KAMI- NO, Taichi slips free, trips Oleg, into the GEDO CLUTCH!! TWO?!?! Oleg escapes by the skin of his teeth! Taichi BOOTS! Oleg stays up! But Taichi gets around to DANGEROUS SAIDO!! Cover, TWO!?!? Oleg survives again and the fans are thunderous! Taichi sputters, his sides still bothering him, but he grits his teeth. The fans are dueling as hard as they can and Taichi rises first!

Taichi runs, AX BOMBER!! Taichi roars and the fans are thunderous again! Taichi drags Oleg up, Alabama Lifts, but Oleg flails, to gut wrench! And GUT BUSTER! Oleg again damages Taichi’s core, and now Oleg runs up, to KNEE! Cover, TWO?!?! Taichi survives that hardcore kitchen sink knee, but Oleg hauls him right up! Fireman’s carry, KAMI- NO, Taichi again fights the roll! Taichi RIDGE HANDS Oleg again and again, but Oleg stays up! TO F5!! Oleg roars like a Beast and the fans are thunderous! Oleg hauls Taichi up, fireman’s carries, and KAMIKAZE!! Cover, OLEG WINS!!

Winner: Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (advances to the G1 Climax)

Three matches, three upset victories! The Rook is now going on to his first G1! But he is also a humble winner, and shows respect to Taichi by helping him to his feet and raising his hand. Taichi returns the favor by raising Oleg’s arm, and the two hug it out. Then will Oleg do Taichi, Tanahashi and Yano all proud by being a massive standout in this year’s round robin?


Six Man Tag: Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi VS Hiromu Takahashi, Titan & Yota Tsuji!

It’s the homecoming for both the Uncontrollable Charisma & Black Mask of Los Ingobernables de Japon, so they’re doing something really special for this. LIA, Los Ingobernables de Adachi, are teaming with the Rampaging Dragon to take on the Ticking Timebomb, El Inmortal & Gene Blast! But will it be a tranquilo homecoming? Or will Hiromu be unable to help himself and make a mess of it?

Adachi is already fired up for their hometown heroes, but the trios still sort out, and Naito still takes his time with putting his elaborate entrance attire aside. Eventually, both halves of LIJ fist bump, and as the fans chant for “NA-I-TO! NA-I-TO!” we get the other hometown hero in Bushi. Titan steps up to face his sometimes tag partner, and the fans rally for “BUSHI! BUSHI!” The masked men circle, feel things out, and tie up. They go around, Bushi puts Titan on ropes but Titan turns that around. Bushi turns it around, Titan turns it back. Titan lets off with pats on the shoulder, and he rolls back to copy Bushi’s little taunt.

Bushi is annoyed, and he runs up, but Titan dodges! Titan mule kicks, wrenches and whips, but Bushi reverses. Titan goes up and over, handsprings away, and the fans fire up. Titan comes back, Bushi BOOTS him down, then Bushi goes up to FLYING RANA! Titan bails out but Bushi builds speed, only to fake Titan out and return the taunt! Titan rushes in but Bushi avoids his basement dropkick! Bushi comes back, Titan trips him to cover, ONE! Titan avoids Bushi’s sweep, but Bushi avoids the heel kick! The fans cheer as the two stand off. They nod respect, then back up to their corners. Titan tags Yota, and Bushi offers to Naito, but it’s Takagi instead!

The fans rally as the bigger men of the group now meet up. The fans rally for “TA-KA-GI!” since he’s on Team Adachi right now. Takagi and Yota circle, feel things out, and then tie up collar ‘n’ elbow. They’re in a deadlock at center, but Takagi finds a point of leverage to put Yota on ropes. The ref counts, and Takagi keeps it clean. The fans applaud, Yota and Takagi reset to tie up again. It’s another deadlock, but now Yota finds the leverage to put Takagi on ropes. Yota lets off slowly, but then takes a swing! Takagi dodges and says hey, clean break! Yota grins and apologizes, then offers a handshake. Takagi thinks about it, and the fans rally up.

Takagi goes for the handshake but Yota leaves him hanging! Yota then kicks low and headlocks, but Takagi powers up and out. They RAM shoulders but neither man falls. Takagi runs, they RAM shoulders again, then the forearms start flying! The fans fire up as they go back and forth, then Yota gets the edge! Yota ROCKS Takagi, runs, and he RAMS Takagi! Takagi rebounds and RAMS Yota! Yota rebounds to run Takagi over! Takagi’s right up to run Yota over! The fans fire up as the two reset. They circle again, feel things out, but then Yota tags Hiromu. Hiromu dares Naito to join him, and the fans do cheer for “NA-I-TO!”

Naito reaches out, Takagi tags him in, and the fans fire up! “NA-I-TO!” and “HI-RO-MU!” circle as the fans rally up, and then Naito fakes Hiromu out. Naito plays his usual games, as he then dodges Hiromu! But Hiromu runs to SHOTGUN Naito! Naito bails out, Hiromu is after him! Hiromu whips Naito into railing, then whips again, only for Naito to reverse! Hiromu hits railing, Naito whips him again! Hiromu hits more railing, but Naito keeps after him! Hiromu gets in the ring but Naito follows. Naito smirks and whips Hiromu, but Hiromu avoids the arm-drag! Naito dodges a lariat, but Hiromu avoids an elbow!

Naito ducks a superkick, and then he tranquilo poses! The fans cheer but Hiromu is annoyed, and Hiromu basement dropkicks Naito! The fans are torn as Naito bails out, and Hiromu builds speed! Naito ducks, but Hiromu rolls back, then drops into sitting cross-legged! Hiromu then even tranquilos! He dares Naito to return, so Naito does. Naito storms up but Hiromu drop toeholds him onto ropes! Hiromu KICKS the ropes to jam Naito up, then he runs, only for Takagi to get a cheap shot in! The ref reprimands but Naito kicks Hiromu low. Naito then brings Hiromu around for Bushi to sunset flip and rewind into Naito’s basement dropkick!

The fans fire up and Takagi runs up to BLAST Yota & Titan! Naito hauls Hiromu up, reels him in, and he tags Takagi. They mug Hiromu, then Takagi brings Hiromu up. Takagi KNEES Hiromu low, and again, then whips. Takagi KNEES low, snapmares Hiromu, then runs to ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up as Takagi drags Hiromu back over, and he tags Bushi. They split the wishbone, and then Bushi stomps Hiromu around. Bushi bumps Hiromu off buckles, CHOPS and CHOPS, then snapmares. Bushi clamps onto Hiromu with a chinlock, but Hiromu endures. The fans rally as Hiromu reaches out, and he has the ROPEBREAK!

Bushi lets go, stomps Hiromu, then tags Naito. The fans rally as Naito & Bushi mug Hiromu, but Hiromu CHOPS back! And CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Naito CLAWS Hiromu’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Naito stops and apologizes. Hiromu falls to the apron then goes to the floor. Bushi pursues to kick Hiromu and put him back in the ring. Naito bumps Hiromu off buckles, then he and Bushi double whip. Hiromu reverses to send Naito away, then he dropkicks Bushi’s leg! Yota SPLASHES Naito! Snapmare, Titan joins in, TRIPLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Yota BLASTS Takagi and goes out after him!

Hiromu’s team sends Takagi and Bushi into railing, then Hiromu drags Naito up. Hiromu whips to ELBOW Naito, then he clamps on a headscissor squeeze! Naito endures, the fans rally, and Naito kicks around. Hiromu keeps on the pressure, even as Naito pries at the hold. Naito kicks and kicks and reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Hiromu lets go. Hiromu drags Naito up, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS Naito. Tag to Yota and Yota RAMS into Naito again and again! Yota cravats Naito, has the neck wrench, then snapmares so he can tie Naito up in a pretzel! Yota sits on Naito while taunting the team!

Naito endures, even as Yota makes it a STUMP PULLER CRADLE! TWO!! Naito manages to escape that knot, but Yota whips him back to the corner. Yota BLASTS Takagi for good measure, then he tags Titan. Titan climbs, Yota brings Naito around, MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Naito stays in this and the fans rally up, but Titan stomps him around. Titan drops a leg on the leg, and then runs to drop a leg, brother! Cover, TWO! The fans rally but Titan stomps away on Naito more. Titan drags Naito over, tags Hiromu, and Hiromu stomps the leg! Hiromu stomps Naito’s leg again and again and again!

Hiromu drops an elbow on the leg and then pulls on the toehold! Naito pulls at Hiromu’s hair but the ref reprimands. The fans rally for “NA-I-TO!” harder and harder but he still suffers the toehold. Naito reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Hiromu lets go to stomp the leg one more time. Tag to Yota and he drags Naito around. Yota SMASHES the knee off the mat! Yota then drops an elbow on the leg! Naito writhes but Yota holds on to stomp away on the leg! Yota turns Naito over into a HALF CRAB! The fans rally, Naito endures, and Hiromu stares Takagi and Bushi down. Hiromu then runs over to BLAST them!

Hiromu and Titan keep Bushi and Takagi out while Yota sits deep on the Half Crab! Naito endures and the fans rally harder and harder! Naito crawls over, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Yota lets go and he brings Naito back up. Hiromu & Titan join in so they can CHOP and CHOP, then double whip. Yota BOOTS Naito, Hiromu KICKS Naito and Titan SOBATS! Naito ends up in a corner, Yota & Hiromu double whip Titan in for the LOCO LARIAT! Hiromu scoops and SLAMS Naito so that Yota can SPLASH DOWN! Cover, Takagi breaks it! Takagi also bails out fast to avoid Hiromu. Yota grins as he scuffs Naito, kicks him around, and eggs him on.

The fans rally up as Naito rises to fire body shots! Naito then throws forearms on Yota, but Yota knees low! Yota runs, but Naito ELBOWS him! Yota rebounds, but into an atomic drop! Naito ENZIGIRIS Yota down! The fans fire up while both men crawl for corners! Hot tag to Takagi! The Rampaging Dragon runs Yota over, scoop SLAMS Hiromu, but Titan kicks! Titan whips, Takagi reverses, FLAPJACK! Takagi LARIATS Hiromu out of the ring! Takagi runs at Yota, blocks a boot and LARIATS through! The fans fire up with Takagi but Yota swings. Takagi catches him, spins him, and hits a BIG suplex! Cover, TWO!

Takagi looks around as the fans rally, and he says, “TOKI GA KITA! <THE TIME HAS COME!>” The fans join in for “OI! OI! OI!” and Takagi sits Yota up. Yota ducks the sliding lariat, kicks and runs, but into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON- NO, Yota blocks and clinches! BACKBREAKER! COMPLETE SHOT! Takagi avoids the stomp! Takagi blocks a kick, but Yota slips free of the Dragon Screw to KNEE Takagi down! The fans fire up again while Yota catches his breath. Yota brings Takagi up to ROCK him with a forearm! And then another! Takagi snarls as Yota fires more and more forearms! Takagi then fires boxing elbows!

Yota ROCKS Takagi first! Yota runs, but Takagi follows to LARIAT! Takagi runs, into a BLUE THUNDER BOMB, and a KNEE!! Both men fall and the fans are thunderous! Yota and Takagi crawl for their corners, hot tag to Titan! The fans fire up as Titan springboards and SPLASHES! Cover, TWO! The fans fire up again as Titan gets Takagi up. Takagi swings, misses, and Titan fires off a strike fest! Titan runs, but into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON feint and DDT- NO! Titan handsprings through!! Titan kicks, Takagi blocks and whips but Titan reverses. Titan goes Matrix, but Takagi catches his sobat for a POWERSLAM!

The fans fire up as we pass 20 minutes! Takagi crawls his way over, hot tag to Bushi! Bushi stomps Titan, bumps him off buckles, then whips corner to corner. Bushi runs in to ELBOW! Bushi drags Titan up and in, FISHERMAN- NO, Titan slips free! Bushi kicks and runs but Titan DROPKICKS! Bushi bails out, Titan fires up and builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Bushi! The fans fire up again and Titan roars! Titan hurries to get Bushi up and in, and the fans rally again. Titan aims from the apron, springboards, but Bushi gets clear! Titan rolls through, but Bushi dropkicks the legs! Bushi grabs a leg, to SMASH the knee!

Bushi then ties Titan’s legs up, in FABLE! Bushi & Takagi intercept Hiromu and Yota for PLUMA BLANCA and DRAGON SLEEPER! The fans fire up as TRIPLE SUBMISSIONS are on! Titan crawls, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! Bushi, Naito & Takagi let go, and all six men are down around ringside. The fans rally as Bushi brings Titan back around. Bushi reels Titan in, but Titan fights free. Bushi kicks low, whips, but Titan BOOTS and SOBATS, fires off more kicks, then WHEEL KICKS! Down goes Bushi and the fans fire up! Titan skins the cat to the top rope, and LA LANZA!! But Titan clutches his leg, he can’t make the cover!

Titan and Bushi stir, and Titan throws off his elbow pads. The fans fire up as Titan roars, and he storms up on Bushi. Titan drags Bushi up, reels him in, Canadian Rack, and he spins for the- NO, Bushi slips free to BACKSTABBER! Both men are down again and the fans are thunderous! Bushi and Titan crawl, hot tags to Hiromu and Naito! Hiromu ELBOWS Naito, takes a swing, but Naito gets around! Hiromu still spins Naito, but Naito fights the suplex! Naito wrenches, Hiromu ROCKS Naito, then throws him onto ropes to KICK ropes and jam Naito up! Hiromu runs, and SHOTGUNS Naito down!

The fans fire up as Hiromu brings Naito up to suplex, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! The fans fire up but Hiromu drags Naito to his feet. Hiromu fireman’s carries, but Naito slips free and shoves Hiromu. Naito blocks boots, puts Hiromu in ropes, DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Naito then puts Hiromu up top, bring shim out, SUPER DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Takagi BLASTS Titan & Yota, Naito goes up the corner and he drags Hiromu up with him. ESPERANZA! Hiromu flounders, the fans fire up, and Naito aims. Naito runs up, CORRIENDO- NO, Hiromu fights off Destino to VICTORY ROYALE! Cover, TWO!!

Naito survives and the fans fire up again, but Hiromu grits his teeth. Hiromu runs, but Naito blocks the lariat! Naito kicks and uses ropes, but Hiromu denies the tornado! Hiromu SUPERKICKS, then BLINDSIDE LARIATS! And now HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives but Hiromu keeps on him! Fireman’s carry as we hit 30 MINUTES! Naito slips free to throw those heavy elbows! Naito throws elbow after elbow, Hiromu roars and runs in, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Naito gets Hiromu up, wrench- KNEE from Yota! PUMPING BOMBER from Takagi! MISSILE DROPKICK from Titan! CODE BREAKER from Bushi!

Hiromu SUPERKICKS Bushi, Naito runs in! CORRIENDO DESTINO!! All six men are down and the fans are electric! The fans rally as hard as they can for “NA-I-TO! NA-I-TO!” as we hit 35 minutes! Naito rises, drags Hiromu up, and wrenches. Hiromu fights Destino off, but Naito ELBOWS him again and again! Hiromu eggs Naito on! So Naito ELBOWS him more and more! They end up on ropes and Hiromu is up in Naito’s face! Naito ELBOWS again and again! We’re running out of time, but Naito hits VALENTIA!! And then wrench and tilt-o-whirl, DESTIN- NO!! TIMEBOMB!!! Both men are down as we’re at the THIRTY SECOND WARNING!

The fans are thunderous as Naito and Hiromu rise up! TEN SECONDS! Hiromu grabs at Naito but Naito flips him to a cradle! Cover, TIME’S UP!!!

Time Limit Draw

LIJ VS LIJ was so epic, that even after FORTY MINUTES, it could not have a conclusion! But perhaps that is proof that LIJ is also the strongest faction in NJPW today! And even after fighting so hard, all six men stand together, and they fist bump! Iron sharpens iron, so will LIJ only get stronger from here?


IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado VS DOUKI!

The Rogue Luchador finally won the Best of the Super Juniors, and then won this title off of Sho in Osaka-Jo Hall. Japones Del Mal was part of that journey back to the top, but even Desperado knows Douki is not just some stepping stone. And now, for everything the two have been through over the years, Desperado is giving Douki this golden opportunity. Will Desperado still be the Best of the Super Juniors? Or will Douki finally have his moment to shine?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see whose New Japan Soul burns brightest!

The bell rings and the fans rally up for “DOUKI! DOUKI!” Desperado smiles and nods, he doesn’t mind that Douki’s finally gotten a following. The two tie up, Desperado waistlocks but Douki switches. Despe spins to get a facelock but Douki wrenches free. Despe moves around, cording holds then headlocks for a takeover. Douki headscissors, Despe bridges back and rolls around to then tie up Douki’s legs. The fans cheer this exchange, and Despe traps the legs while he reclines on Douki. Despe then floats to facelock but Douki wrenches and hammerlocks. Despe throws elbows, switches the hammerlock onto Douki.

Douki reaches back and jumps up, to flying-mare! Despe bails out and the fans cheer. Douki waits and Despe makes his way back to the ring. Despe slides, in, circles with Douki and they knuckle lock. Douki wrenches to hammerlock then full nelson. Despe claws at the hold but Douki shifts to a cravat. Despe throws body shots, rolls, but Douki holds on tight! Despe fights up, throws more shots then rolls again, but still Douki holds on! They stand, Despe swim moves but Douki gets the cravat back. Despe swim moves again but Douki gets the cravat again. Despe throws body shots, then swim moves and wrenches. But Douki breaks free to cravat again!

The fans cheer the technical exchange but Despe throws harder body shots. Douki lets go, runs in, but Despe picks him up! Douki rolls through, sunset flips, then reels Despe in, but Despe fights the Italian Stretch! Despe shoves Douki, Douki comes back, but Despe dropkicks the legs out! The fans cheer while both men are down. Despe storms over to Douki, CLUBS him on the neck, then whips. Douki ducks ‘n’ dodges then RANAS! Despe gets up, Douki runs in and springboards to FLYING ARM-DRAG! Despe bails out, Douki builds speed, but Despe slips back in! Douki lands on the apron, ROCKS Despe, but then Despe KICKS the leg!

Douki falls to the apron then the floor. Red Shoes checks him but he’s okay to continue. Despe goes out, grabs the bad leg and YANKS it! Despe then brings Douki around and CHOPS him! Despe RAMS Douki into railing while the fans rally up. Douki sputters as he slumps down, but Despe drags him back up. Despe whips, Douki reverses and Despe hits apron! Douki runs up, Despe pops him up, but Douki uses that to TORNADO DDT to the floor! The fans fire up while both men are down again! Douki storms over, drags Despe up and in, and the fans applaud as Douki aims from the apron. Despe rises, Douki slingshots, but Despe catches Douki!

Despe ties up the legs, for a DOUBLE KNEE BUSTER! Douki writhes and the fans rally again. Despe puts Douki’s leg on ropes to HIP DROP it! Douki writhes more but Despe drags him back up. Despe whips but Douki can’t even make it to the other side! So Despe SMASHES the knee on the mat! Despe paces while Douki writhes, and then Despe grabs the bad leg, to DDT the foot! Again Despe paces while Douki writhes, then Despe grabs the leg for a STANDING KNEEBAR! Douki kicks with his free leg, but Despe SPLASHES down on the bad leg. Cover, TWO! Douki toughs it out and the fans rally up.

Despe drags Douki up, but Douki CHOPS! And CHOPS! Fans “WOO~” but then Despe ROCKS Douki! Despe stands on Douki’s knee and eggs him on. Douki fires body shots but Despe just digs both feet into the knee! Red Shoes calls the ropebreak, Despe steps off and he drags Douki to a corner. Despe SLAMS the bad leg into the post! Despe then ties the legs up and pulls! Douki endures, Red Shoes counts, and Despe lets go, to SLAM the leg on the apron! Despe then takes his time stepping back inside while Red Shoes checks Douki. Douki’s okay to continue so Despe grabs the bad leg. Despe drops an elbow on the knee!

Despe pulls on the leg for a toehold, then digs his knee in! Despe pushes on the bad leg, twists it, and sits down on the knee! The fans rally for Douki but Despe has the INDIAN DEATHLOCK! Douki sits up to CHOP, and CHOP, but Despe DECKS Douki! Despe puts the pressure on, then he stands to use leverage. Despe drops back down to keep on the pressure, but Douki gets the ROPEBREAK! Despe lets go and the fans rally up again. Despe drags Douki up, grabs the leg, but Douki fights with elbows! Despe KICKS the bad leg and Douki drops to his knees. Despe brings Douki up but Douki KNEES Despe away!

Douki turns Despe, but Despe mule kicks the bad leg! Despe whips, Douki reverses and JUMPING FOREARMS! Both men are down and the fans rally up again! Despe aims from a corner, runs in, but Douki spins around him to arm-drag! Douki runs up, ELBOWS Despe, and runs to springboard BACK ELBOW! Down goes Despe and Douki covers, TWO! The fans rally, Douki drags Despe up and scoops, but Despe slips free! SLEEPER! Douki RAMS Despe into corners, and then he bumps Despe off buckles. Douki goes up but Despe YANKS him right down! Despe drags Douki up for a BIG back suplex!

Despe hurries to bring Douki back up, suplex and BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Douki stays in this and the fans rally up again. Despe is annoyed and he lets his hair down. Despe gut wrenches Douki but Douki slips fere! But the bad leg jams! Despe runs, and he fakes out the dropkick! Douki crashes down, and Despe SMASHES the knee! STRETCH MUFFLER!! Douki endures, reaches out, fights around, but Despe thrashes the leg! Douki scrambles forward to the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Despe lets go. Despe stands on Douki’s bad leg, then drags Douki back up. Despe reels Douki in, underhooks, PINCHE-

NO, Douki fights that off and he RAMS Despe into buckles! Douki hobbles away, runs back in, but Despe dodges! Despe comes back, Douki BOOTS him and reels him in for a TORNADO DDT! The fans fire up again and Despe bails out. Douki shakes out the bad leg, builds speed, and he DIVES! To TORNADO DDT to the floor!! The fans fire up again and Douki hurries to bring Despe up and into the ring. The fans fire up more, Douki aims and DAYBREAK! Cover, TWO!! Into ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Despe endures, flails around, but Douki pulls on the hold! Despe fights his way over, but he’s fading!

Douki pulls on the arms but Despe moves around. Douki rolls him away from ropes and ITALIAN STRETCH! Despe still fights, still reaches out, and he drags Douki along, but then he starts to fade again! The fans rally as Douki continues to pull on the arms! Despe gets a second wind and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, Douki lets go, and Douki fires himself back up. Douki storms over, drags Despe from the ropes, but Despe claws at the mat! Douki still wheelbarrows, but Despe fights the lift! Douki waistlocks Despe to keep him from ropes, and he wheelbarrows again! Desep victory rolls through!

Despe brings Douki up to back suplex, but Douki lands out! Douki rolls Despe, shifts and has the ITALIAN STRETCH! But Despe pops free of that to tie up Douki’s legs, into a TEXAS CLOVERLEAF!! The fans fire up as now Douki endures! Douki claws at the mat, powers his way forward, and the fans rally as hard as they can! Despe drags Douki from ropes, flips him over, and has the STRETCH MUFFLER! And then NUMERO DOS! Douki fights with his one free arm, even as Despe thrashes him! Douki still reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! Despe lets go and the fans fire up again. Despe snarls and storms back over to Douki.

Despe grabs at Douki but Douki BOOTS Despe away! Douki goes to a corner, Despe runs in, and Despe blocks the boot! Despe KICKS Douki’s leg, then grabs the leg, but Douki ENZIGIRIS free! Douki runs up, Despe ELBOWS him, but then Douki comes back to DECK Despe! The fans fire up again and Douki fires forearms! Douki ROCKS Despe, ROCKS him again, but Despe eggs him on! Douki DECKS Despe again and roars! The fans are with Douki but Despe CLUBS the leg, ROCKS Douki, and SNAP GERMANS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Douki is still in this but Despe just fires back up. Despe drags Douki up and in, underhooks, but Douki wrenches out to LARIAT!!

The fans fire up with Douki as he roars again! Douki brings Despe around to wheelbarrow, full nelson, but Despe HEADBUTTS free! Douki fires a forearm, but Despe ROCKS Douki back! And ROCKS him again! And swings, but Douki gets around! DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Despe escapes but Douki roars! Douki drags Despe around again, and wheelbarrows! Full nelson, SUPLEX DE LA LUNA!! Cover, DOUKI WINS!?!

Winner: Douki, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)

The entire stadium erupts! The impossible dream has been realized! Desperado may have won the BOSJ tournament, but maybe he isn’t really The Best of the Super Juniors! How much harder will Desperado have to fight to get back up from this?

And as for Douki, Red Shoes raises his hand in victory and the fans cheer! Douki is overcome with emotion as he can finally hold the title as his own! Even some of the fans here in Adachi share that wave of emotion, seeing Douki finally have his moment. Douki gets the mic, and he tells Desperado, “Can you hear me? I don’t know. But while I won today, I don’t think this is over between us, and I don’t think of myself as better than you. But… with this championship, the best belt in pro-wrestling, shows that just for today, I am.”

Douki tells Desperado, he wants to say thank you very much for everything, but he also wants to say… Come at me once again. The fans applaud, and Douki says that when the time is right, he wants to do this again against Desperado. The fans cheer Douki on as he finally gets to admire the belt for a moment. Douki stands and says that this is the first time he is getting to talk as a champion. And if anyone feels bad or upset or wants to complain, you know what to do. Try and take this from him! Douki is determined to protect it with his life! Douki drops the mic, holds up the belt, and the streamers fly!

Japones Del Mal is finally golden, is this going to be the start of a new era in the NJPW Junior Heavyweight Division?

My Thoughts:

An awesome night for NJPW to finish their New Japan Soul series, especially with all the great choices in their results and finishes. For one, LIJ VS LIJ going to a time limit draw was the smart move, because even with Bushi and Titan being the pin-takers in most cases, they didn’t want there to be some sort of ranking system within the group. Hiromu being one of the best Junior Heavyweights they’ve had in NJPW, it was a great move for him and THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion to be fairly equal, though Naito might’ve had him if not for the time limit. This also bodes well for LIJ’s showing in the G1, Naito, Takagi and Yota are surely all going to be top seeds in the blocks.

Speaking of the G1, the qualifiers were so good, and I’m surprised both younger guys were put over. Hashi felt like he might’ve had the hot hand coming in from just the other day, but Callum snatching that win away was wild. Oleg beating Taichi was less shocking, if only because Oleg is a truly big guy. He used that power game to beat Taichi, and Oleg will surely be a tough opponent throughout the G1. Not someone who takes the block, but definitely someone in the middle of the block that makes it hard even for the top guys.

And then awesome main event from Desperado VS Douki, and what a shock that Douki won this. But similarly to Hashi, Douki’s been solid, he’s suck it out year after year without complaining or leaving, and this is NJPW seeing that Douki does have what it takes. Douki won’t be defending this title during G1 season, he and Despe can rest up, and just about anybody in the Junior Heavyweight Division can come around to go after the champ. For me, TJP should try his hand. It’d be a great detail in TJP’s own story of struggling to feel confident as United Empire team captain after losing out in the BOSJ and this G1 qualifier, while giving Douki one heck of a first defense.

My Score: 9.1/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Soul Results & Report! (7/3/24)

The Climax is around the corner!



The New Japan Soul is burning bright!

Tonight, it’s the G1 Climax qualifier semifinal round! Things are really heating up, but can Boltin Oleg pull off a huge upset against President Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi?


  • 8 Man Tag: Just5Guys VS Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata & El Desperado; Just5Guys win.
  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture; LIJ wins, by disqualification.
  • Six 12 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture; LIJ wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 B Block Qualifier Semifinal: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Boltin Oleg; Oleg wins and advances.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier Semifinal: Callum Newman VS KENTA; Callum wins and advances.
  • G1 Climax 34 B Block Qualifier Semifinal: Taichi VS TJP; Taichi wins and advances.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier Semifinal: Tomohiro Ishii VS YOSHI-HASHI; Hashi wins and advances.


G1 Climax 34 B Block Qualifier Semifinal: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Boltin Oleg!

The Ace, The Joker & The Rook are once again NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions, but they all understand there’s an even bigger prize to be won! Will Tanahashi make up for losing at Forbidden Door on Sunday? Or will Oleg get another shocker and be that much closer to the Climax?

The bell rings, and the fans rally for Oleg! Oleg and Tanahashi tie up, are in a deadlock, but Oleg uses his size to tip the scales. They end up on ropes, the ref counts, and Oleg lets off slowly. Tanahashi kicks low! Tanahashi headlocks, but Oleg powers up and out. Oleg then runs Tanahashi over! The fans fire up and Oleg brings Tanahashi up. Oleg fires forearms, whips Tanahashi to a corner, but Tanahashi comes back to dropkick a leg! Tanahashi grabs that leg to DRAGON SCREW! The fans rally up and Tanahashi stomps Oleg. Tanahashi drags Oleg up, bumps him off buckles, and kicks a leg. Tanahashi puts the leg in ropes, to kick again and again!

The ref reprimands, but Tanahashi lets off with a dropkick! Oleg falls over, crawls, but Tanahashi follows. Tanahashi grabs Oleg’s leg and stomps it. Tanahashi then steps through and sits down for a toehold, then adds the other leg. Tanahashi has the INDIAN DEATHLOCK! The fans rally, Tanahashi eggs Oleg on, so Oleg CHOPS! Tanahashi holds on, Oleg CHOPS again! Oleg back strokes his way to the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Tanahashi lets Oleg go. The fans rally as Tanahashi brings Oleg up. Oleg fires a forearm! And another! Tanahashi eggs Oleg on so Oleg keeps going! Tanahashi fires a strike fest in return!

Tanahashi runs, but Oleg DROPKICKS! The fans fire up while both men are down. Oleg shakes out the bad leg, storms his way over to drag Tanahashi up, scoop him and SLAM! Oleg runs to SPLASH down! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi is still in this but Oleg storms back up on him. Oleg drags Tanahashi up with a gut wrench! Shake, Rattle and THROW! Then a kip up! The fans fire up as Oleg storms after Tanahashi again. Oleg puts Tanahashi in a corner, fires forearms then whips corner to corner. Oleg runs in to SPLASH! Tanahashi staggers, Oleg scoops him and SLAMS him again! Then Oleg goes up and up and VADER FLOPS!

Tanahashi avoids Oleg’s impact and the fans fire up! Tanahashi rises, rallies the fans and waits on Oleg. Oleg rises, Tanahashi runs and- NO, Oleg fireman’s carries! Tanahashi slips free, and SHOTEIS! Oleg swings, but into TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi powers up again, runs, and SLINGBLADE! Down goes Oleg! Tanahashi covers, TWO! The fans fire up and Tanahashi hurries up top! Oleg stands, Tanahashi HIGH FLY ATTACKS, but Oleg catches him!! Oleg pops Tanahashi to a fireman’s carry, for a LANDSLIDE! Cover, TWO?!? Tanahashi survives and Oleg fires up! Only for Tanahashi to catch him in a victory roll! TWO!!

The fans fire up as Oleg escapes, but Tanahashi dropkicks the leg! Tanahashi runs again, but into another fireman’s carry! KAMIKAZE SENTON!! And then Oleg scoops, fireman’s carries, and KAMIKAZE SENTONS again!! Cover, OLEG WINS?!?

Winner: Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

Incredible! Unbelievable! Yet, it is true! Oleg shows President Ace great respect, and even hugs the ref. Oleg is heading on, will he soon be B Block’s tenth man?


G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier Semifinal: Callum Newman VS KENTA!

The Prince of Pace certainly surprised a few when he took down Tokyo Pimp, Yujiro Takahashi, last round. But now, he might have to pick up the pace if he wants to get past Fang Revived. Will Callum conquer this qualifier for the United Empire? Or will Kenta make him #GoToSleep?

Kenta attacks Callum in the corner before the bell! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Kenta fires knees and KICKS! The bell rings and this is on record as Kenta KICKS Callum again! Kenta KICKS, KICKS and KICKS in the corner, then dumps Callum out. Kenta goes out to bring Callum around and whip him hard into railing! Callum even tumbles up and over into the front row! Kenta drags Callum up, brings him back to ringside, just to whip him into more railing! Callum falls in a heap and writhes. Kenta KICKS Callum again, and again, then stalks him along the way. Callum stands, Kenta CLUBS him on the back!

Kenta brings Callum back around again, and POSTS him! The fans rally for Callum and the ref wants this in the ring, but Kenta KICKS Callum more and more. Kenta then puts Callum in the ring, soaks up the cheers and jeers, then follows, only for Callum to DROPKICK him back out! The fans fire up for Callum and he PLANCHAS! Direct hit, though maybe a little high, but the fans fire up with Callum again. Callum shakes out his arms, pops a finger back in place, then stands Kenta up to fire forearms. Kenta goes around the way but Callum follows, to whip him hard into railing! Now Kenta falls in a heap.

Callum kicks at Kenta now, egging him on. Callum drags Kenta up, ROCKS him with a forearm, then follows him to the corner. Kenta kicks back but Callum fires haymakers! Callum whips again, but Kenta stops himself, only for Callum to SHOTGUN Kenta down! The fans fire up as Kenta ends up in No Man’s Land! Callum storms after Kenta as the fans rally and duel. Callum asks for some room, and fans move aside, but Kenta resists the suplex! Kenta stomps Callum’s feet, and he suplexes Callum to the bare floor! Callum writhes on the tiles while Kenta stands. Kenta then KICKS Callum while he’s down.

Kenta KICKS Callum to get him to ringside, then he KICKS him against railing! The ref finally starts a ring count, and Callum eggs Kenta on! Kenta KICKS him again, then drags Callum up. Kenta puts Callum in, which the fans applaud, and Kenta gets in the ring. Callum flounders but Kenta stalks him. Kenta KICKS Callum, stomps him, then kicks him some more. Kenta scuffs Callum then stands over him. Callum guards and kicks back, but Kenta eggs him on. Callum kicks but Kenta KICKS! And KICKS! Callum bails out but Kenta waits on him. Callum sputters and slumps over, but Kenta goes out to KICK him!

Callum still eggs Kenta on? The fans rally up and Kenta KICKS! Callum flops over but he sits back up and eggs Kenta on. Kenta CLAWS Callum’s eyes! The ref reprimands but Kenta lets off, to POST Callum again! Kenta drags Callum up as the ring count starts again. Kenta KNEES Callum, SLAPS him, then brings him around into the ring. The fans applaud, and Kenta drops a knee on Callum’s face! Kenta then drags Callum up to snapmare and knee drop again! And again! And then again! Kenta pushes Callum to a cover, TWO! The fans cheer but Kenta clamps on with a chinlock. Callum endures and the fans rally up.

Callum is turning red already as Kenta puts on the pressure! Callum still reaches out, fights his way over, and has the ROPEBREAK! Kenta lets go and Callum sputters. Kenta kicks Callum around but Callum trips Kenta! Kenta gets up but Callum fires forearms! But then Callum flops over, his legs noodles under him. Kenta KICKS! And KICKS! Kenta eggs Callum on, so Callum fires a forearm! And then another! Callum wobbles but he comes back to fire more forearms. Kenta knees low, whips, but Callum ducks ‘n’ dodges to BOOT Kenta down! The fans fire up as Callum has that second wind! Kenta goes to a corner but Callum rolls and springs up!

Callum runs up to DROPKICK Kenta in the corner! Snapmare and PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Kenta is still in this but Callum keeps calm. Callum drags Kenta up, but Kenta ROCKS him with a forearm! Callum swings, Kenta shoves him into the ref! Callum ELBOWS back, but Kenta spins Callum around to reel him in. Callum fights free of the suplex, blocks a kick, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Kenta wobbles, Callum runs up, but Kenta ducks! The BOOT takes out the ref!! The fans freak out, Kenta kicks Callum low to DDT! Kenta sees he has an opening, and he goes out to fetch a kendo stick from under the ring!

The fans boo but Kenta brings the stick in. Kenta winds up and SMACKS Callum on the back! And again! And then in the front! Kenta SMACKS Callum on the back again and again, then at the side! But Callum catches the kendo stick! Kenta stomps Callum into letting go, and then he just tees off with the stick!! The fans boo as Callum’s body is marked over and over! Kenta throws the stick away as it starts to break, and then he goes to grab his Defy Wrestling Championship! Kenta gives the belt a kiss, then aims at Callum. Callum rises, but he dodges the belt shot to OSCUTTER!! Cover, but the ref still isn’t back!

Callum is stunned, he would’ve won this! Callum hurries out to fetch the ref and the fans cheer. The ref is still having a hard time shaking out the cobwebs, and Kenta LOW BLOWS Callum!! The fans boo as Kenta covers, and now the ref counts! TWO!!! Callum survives and Kenta is frustrated! Kenta aims from a corner, runs up, BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, TWO?!?! Callum survives again and Kenta is furious! Kenta fireman’s carries, GO TO- NO! Callum blocks the knee strike! So Kenta hits a RIGHT CROSS! And another! And another! Callum staggers, Kenta runs up, but into a JUMP KNEE! Callum runs in to HELLUVA KICK!!

Callum goes up and up and he DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS Kenta on the back!! The fans are thunderous as Callum again OSCUTTERS!! Cover, CALLUM WINS!!

Winner: Callum Newman, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

Another incredible upset, with a shoutout to the Aerial Assassin! Callum not only pins the Defy Champion, he advances to the qualifier finals! But can Callum keep up this pace and reach the Climax?


G1 Climax 34 B Block Qualifier Semifinal: TJP VS Taichi!

The Public Enemy made it through Satoshi Kojima to make it here, but now he has the Holy Emperor in his way. Will TJP continue to punch above his weight class to get one step closer to the Climax? Or will Taichi end TJP’s Cinderella Story here and now?

The bell rings and the fans rally up and duel, “T J P! T J P!” “TA-I-CHI! TA-I-CHI!” TJP paces while Taichi stretches, and the two circle. They feel things out, tie up, and Taichi being the heavyweight, he puts TJP on ropes. The ref counts the break, Taichi lets off slowly, and the fans cheer the sportsmanship. The two reset and circle again, then tie up. TJP gets around to waistlock but Taichi switches. TJP swim moves to get an arm and wrenches it. Taichi wrenches back, but TJP rolls, spins, cartwheels and drops back to TWIST SCISSORS! The fans cheer as TJP has Taichi down on the mat and keeps on the headscissors.

Taichi fights up, pushes TJP to a cover, TWO as TJP bridges! TJP then twists again and brings Taichi back down! Taichi fights around to headscissor TJP now! TJP bridges, moves around, and he headstands. The fans cheer as TJP stays upright, but Taichi is confused. TJP then pops free, but Taichi avoids the kick! Taichi rolls TJP, ONE! TJP DROPKICKS Taichi to a corner! The fans cheer as TJP runs in to ELBOW Taichi down! TJP gets the fans fired up and then he scrubs Taichi’s face! The fans cheer as TJP goes side to side, but Taichi bails out. The fans boo as Taichi denies the wash, but TJP just waits on him.

Taichi paces around the outside, but then TJP goes for the corner! Triangle jump and- NO, Taichi avoids the dropkick! And he AX BOMBERS TJP off the apron! The fans cheer while Taichi paces. Taichi goes back to TJP, drags him up, and brings him around to whip hard into railing! TJP drops to his knees, Taichi drags him up and through the gate to SMACK him off bleachers! The fans sitting there are excited to be closer to the action, and then Taichi brings TJP around to KICK! TJP falls over and the fans cheer, but the ref reprimands Taichi. Taichi leaves TJP behind and the ring count starts.

TJP crawls his way back, passes through the gate at 8 of 20, reaches the apron at 14, and the fans rally as he pushes himself up and in at 16. But then Taichi TOSSES him back out! TJP returns but Taichi TOSSES him out again! TJP slides in, dodges Taichi, but Taichi dodges TJP! GAMANGIRI in the corner! TJP sits down, the fans rally and Taichi has the ref check TJP. The ref does check but TJP seems fine. Taichi gives TJP scrubs of his boot to the face! The fans boo but that kick pad really gets TJP! Taichi then digs his boot into TJP’s head! The ref counts, Taichi lets off, and Taichi kicks TJP around. TJP fires body shots in return!

The fans rally up as TJP ROCKS and UPPERCUTS Taichi! TJP whips, Taichi reverses and wrenches to HOOK KICK! TJP falls, Taichi covers, TWO! The fans rally up but then Taichi clamps onto TJP with a chinlock. Taichi steps over an arm to have more leverage, but TJP endures. The fans rally up. TJP fights around and reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Taichi lets off and the fans applaud. Taichi paces some more, then storms back over. Taichi gives TJP more face scrubbing! Taichi runs side to side, but TJP jumps up to DROPKICK! TJP then goes up and up to FLYING RANA! The fans fire up while both men are down!

TJP and Taichi go to opposite ends, then stand up. TJP runs in, dodges Taichi and goes Spider-Man to then slide under and sunset flip! TJP then stacks Taichi, only to step over and trap an arm! TJP grabs the other, for the DARK SACRIFICE! Taichi writhes and the fans fire up with TJP! Taichi bails out of the ring and the fans rally behind TJP. Taichi rises, TJP runs corner to corner to triangle jump and DROPKICK! Direct hit this time and the fans cheer! TJP gets Taichi up, puts him in the ring, then goes up a corner. The fans rally again as TJP aims, for a FLYING FOREARM! TJP hurries to whip Taichi to a corner.

TJP runs in to BACK ELBOW, then he sits Taichi down! The fans cheer as now TJP gives some face scrubbing! TJP runs side to side, for the BOOT WASH! The fans fire up more and TJP goes back in for another round! TJP gives more scrubbing, then he runs side to side, for a BOOT WASH DROPKICK! The fans fire up while Taichi flounders, and TJP goes back up the corner. TJP aims but Taichi trips him up first! Taichi RIDGE HANDS, then climbs. Taichi fires another RIDGE HAND CHOP, but TJP wrenches an arm to a double wristlock! The ref counts, TJP slips under Taichi and SUPERKICKS the legs out!

Taichi ends up in a Tree of Woe, so TJP reels him in for a DRAPING FINAL CUT! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Taichi’s long legs give him that save, but TJP pushes him to center. TJP aims from a corner and the fans clap along, “T! J P! T! J P!” TJP aims as Taichi sits up, and he runs in to ONE BY- NO! Taichi dodges the knee! TJP BOOTS Taichi but Taichi GAMANGIRIS back! Both men fall and the fans fire up! Taichi rises, the fans are behind him now, and OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi gathers his energy, aims at TJP, but TJP ducks the kick! TJP drop toeholds but Taichi reels TJP into a cradle! TWO, and TJP BOOTS the Ax Bomber!

Taichi swings around but TJP gets under. TJP waistlocks, Taichi fights free, but TJP ducks the Pele! TJP gets a leg, steps over, PINOY STRETCH!! Taichi endures and the fans fire up as he fights forward! Taichi claws at the mat and reaches out, and he drags TJP along to the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer while TJP lets go in frustration. The fans continue to duel as TJP drags Taichi back up. TJP wrenches for an ELBOW BREAKER, then holds on to the arm. Taichi fires a forearm, but TJP wrenches for another ELBOW BREAKER! Taichi fires a RIDGE HAND, but TJP wrenches to another ELBOW BREAKER!

Taichi RIDGE HANDS, and RIDGE HANDS, and RIDGE HANDS again! But TJP’s grip does not break! Taichi RIDGE HANDS again, and then swings, but TJP gets around! IRON OCTOPUS!! Taichi powers out to DECK TJP! The ref checks TJP, but Taichi gets him up for a DANGEROUS SAIDO BRIDGE! TWO!! TJP survives and the fans fire up again! Taichi clutches his arm while he slowly sits up. The fans rally harder as Taichi paces around. TJP stirs and Taichi eggs him on. TJP sits up, into a BUZZSAW! Taichi then hauls TJP up to Alabama Lift, but TJP slips free to waistlock! Taichi gets free but TJP AX BOMBERS?!

Taichi URAKENS!! Taichi aims, but TJP SUPERKICKS first!! And then JUMP SOBATS!! Taichi roars and AX- NO, TJP catches him to a MOUSE TRAP! TWO!!! The fans are thunderous as TJP hurries to bring Taichi back up. Taichi breaks free to ENZIGIRI! TJP falls back over and Taichi hurries over. Taichi drags TJP up, runs, AX BOMBER!! Cover, ONE?!?!? WHAT?!? No one can believe it, but Taichi just gears up! TENSHO JUJIHOU!!! And then Alabama Lift, for BLACK MEPHISTO!!! Cover, Taichi wins!

Winner: Taichi, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

As talented and tenacious as TJP is, he just isn’t on that higher level yet! However, Taichi shows him respect, so is there a chance TJP will get there in the near future? And as for Taichi himself, he must now take on that Kazakhstan juggernaut, Boltin Oleg! Will Taichi have a real heavyweight fight on his hands in the qualifier finals?


G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier Semifinal: Tomohiro Ishii VS YOSHI-HASHI!

The Stone Pitbull and Head Hunter are allies under Chaos, have been NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions together, but just as we saw with Oleg and Tanahashi, the Climax means that much more. Who will put their all into this fight to head to the final round?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as the two stare down. Hashi and Ishii slowly approach, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Hashi is taller but Ishii is stouter, and they each work to use those to their advantage. Ishii manages to push Hashi back a step, and then another step, and then onto the ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, but Hashi ROCKS and CHOPS Ishii! Hashi CLUBS Ishii, CLUBS him again, then headlocks. Hashi grinds Ishii down but Ishii fights up. Ishii tries but can’t power out as Hashi holds tight. Ishii wrenches the headlock but Hashi just clamps it on tighter! The fans cheer as Ishii endures.

Ishii fires body shots, powers up but still can’t power out as Hashi holds tight! Ishii eggs Hashi on even now, so Hashi grinds and grinds and grinds! Ishii fights up, throws body shots, then powers out. They RAM shoulders and neither falls! The fans cheer as the teammates dare the other to bring it. Hashi runs, RAMS Ishii, but Ishii rebounds to RAM Hashi! Hashi rebounds to RAM Ishii, then he CHOSP! Hashi runs but Ishii runs him over! The fans cheer and Ishii catches his breath. Ishii kicks at Hashi and eggs him on. Hashi sits up, Ishii KICKS! And KICKS! Hashi gets on his feet but Ishii ROCKS him with a forearm!

Ishii eggs Hashi on again, then fires more forearms! Hashi leans into those like Ishii would! The fans fire up and Hashi ROCKS Ishii! Hashi whips Ishii but Ishii comes back, only for Hashi to run Ishii over! The fans fire up again while Hashi checks his neck. Hashi goes back for Ishii and kicks him around now. Hashi brings Ishii up, CHOPS, but Ishii doesn’t flinch! Ishii eggs Hashi on so Hashi CHOPS! And CHOPS! Hashi ROCKS Ishii, snapmares and KICKS! Ishii grits his teeth and the fans rally up. Hashi SLAPS Ishii! Ishii gets mad and CHOPS Hashi high! Hashi falls and Red Shoes reprimands, that was too close to the throat!

Ishii drags Hashi back up, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS again! And again! Ishii keeps those dangerously high, then he taunts Hashi while he’s down. The fans rally while Red Shoes warns Ishii. Ishii dares Hashi to get up, then slaps him around a little. Hashi stands up, and he fires a forearm! Ishii doesn’t budge, so Hashi fires more shots. Now Ishii backs Hashi down! Hashi fires forearm after forearm, but then Ishii CHOPS Hashi down! The fans fire up and Ishii finally feels those shots. Ishii goes back to Hashi, drags him up, and CHOPS again! And again! And again! Hashi fires a forearm! Ishii CHOPS again!

Ishii keeps those CHOPS going, Hashi flops over but Ishii just stands him up for more CHOPS! Hashi sits down, but Ishii makes him stand! CHOP! CHOP! CHOP! Hashi drops to his knees a third time and Ishii eggs him on. Ishii drags Hashi up, reels him in, but Hashi headlocks to fight the suplex! Hashi CLUBS, ROCKS, BODY SHOTS and CHOPS Ishii! Ishii CHOPS right back! Hashi staggers around, Ishii storms up to CHOP, ROCK and repeat! Hashi is against ropes, Ishii whips him, but Hashi dropkicks the leg! Hashi gets that leg, to DRAGON SCREW! Both men are down and the fans fire up again!

Ishii rolls to a corner while the fans rally up, and Hashi goes to the other end. Ishii drags himself up with ropes, as does Hashi. Hashi runs corner to corner to LARIAT! Now Hashi ROCKS and CHOPS on repeat! The fans fire up as the CHOPS ring out! Ishii sits down now and Hashi catches his breath. Hashi drags Ishii up, whips him corner to corner, but Ishii comes back! Hashi CHOPS, mule kicks, and turns Ishii for the NECKBREAKER! The fans fire up and Hashi goes to a corner. Hashi climbs while the fans rally, and Ishii stands, into the BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Ishii is still in this but Hashi stays calm.

Hashi drags Ishii up, reels him in, fisherman and- NO, Ishii fights free to wrench and SAIDO! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up! Ishii rises, the fans rally, and Ishii watches Hashi go to a corner. Ishii runs up to LARIAT! Hashi shoves Ishii back! The fans fire up, and Hashi CHOPS! Ishii CHOPS! Hashi CHOPS! Ishii CHOPS! They go back and forth, CHOP for CHOP, and they only speed up from there! Ishii CHOPS high, finally feels the sting from Hashi’s chops, and the fans fire up again. Ishii mockingly asks what’s up, so Hashi CHOPS again! Ishii CHOPS again, and they start speeding back up!

It’s just CHOP after CHOP and the fans rally up! Ishii eggs Hashi on while Hashi grits his teeth, and Hashi CHOPS again! The CHOPS keep going, Hashi grits his teeth again, and then they CHOP some more! Hashi is starting to back Ishii down with his CHOPS! Ishii wobbles and the fans fire up! Hashi winds up to CHOP! And DOUBLE CHOP! Hashi roars, runs, and LARIATS! But Ishii stays standing! Hashi huffs ‘n’ puffs and runs again, to LARIAT! Ishii just CHOPS, then runs, but into a LARIAT! Ishii falls, springs up, and he LARIATS! Hashi springs up, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Both men lean on each other as they fall to their knees!

The fans are thunderous while both men slump down onto the mat. Both men stir, and Ishii growls as he pushes himself up. Hashi also rises, and they each take a swing! They each duck, then Ishii fires boxing elbows! Hashi CHOPS! Ishii HEADBUTTS! Hashi runs up to SHOTGUN! Ishii gets up to SHOULDER TACKLE! The fans are thunderous again as both men stand! Hashi swings, Ishii blocks and then ducks Hashi’s backhand! Ishii runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Hashi roars and the fans are with him as he goes back for Ishii. Hashi drags Ishii up, reels him in, fisherman and KUMAGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!!

Ishii survives and the fans fire up again! The fans rally and duel as Hashi rises. Ishii follows and Hashi runs, to LARIAT Ishii down! But Ishii rises up again! Hashi runs in to LARIAT again! Ishii again falls, but Ishii again rises! The fans fire up and Hashi runs again. Ishii swings, Hashi ducks ‘n’ dodges to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ishii is still in this and the fans fire up! Hashi rises, brings Ishii up to his feet, and then full nelsons. Hashi spins Ishii to the pump handle, but Ishii fights Karma! Ishii throws elbows, but Hashi LARIATS! Hashi resets, KAR- NO, Ishii slips free! But Hashi avoids the enzigiri! Hashi DOUBLE STOMPS Ishii on the back!

Hashi drags Ishii up again, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Hashi goes to a corner, comes back, but Ishii gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! The fans are thunderous while both men are down! The fans rally while Ishii rolls away to a corner. Ishii eggs Hashi on, then runs in, to LARIAT! But Hashi rises!? Hashi blocks a lariat, ROLLING ELBOWS, and Ishii falls! Hashi drags Ishii back up, gets his knee ready and runs, but Ishii LARIATS again!! The fans are thunderous and Ishii goes back for Hashi. Ishii drags Hashi up, reels him in, lifts him up, and RUNNING POWERBOMBS! High stack, TWO?!?!

The fans are thunderous as Hashi survives all that damage! Ishii sits Hashi up to run and SLIDING- NO, Hashi dodges! CODE BREAKER! Ishii rebounds, to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!! Hashi survives again! The fans are electric and Ishii roars! Ishii drags Hashi up, reels him back in and suplexes, but Hashi knees free! Hashi wrenches, gets around, pump handle! KAR- NO, Ishii slips free to suplex! But Hashi DDT COUNTERS!! The fans are thunderous again while both men are down! The fans rally as hard as they can while Ishii and Hashi go to opposite corners. Ishii and Hashi rise up, and Hashi roars!

Hashi runs in to LARIAT Ishii from behind! Hashi reels Ishii in now, but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii powers up to back drop Hashi away! The fans fire up but Hashi is right up! Hashi roars, and he SUPER- NO, Ishii blocks the kick to HEADBUTT!! Ishii drags himself to a corner, roars as he rises up, and the fans are thunderous again! Ishii runs but Hashi LARIATS first!! Hashi roars and he drags Ishii to his feet! Hashi reels Ishii in, hoists him up, but Ishii back drops, only for Hashi to make it a DESTROYER!!! Cover, TWO?!?! Ishii survives and the fans are electric! Hashi stays cool and watches Ishii slowly sit up.

Hashi powers up his arm, runs, and he LARIATS Ishii down!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Ishii survives again but Hashi just feeds off the energy of Korakuen Hall! Hashi drags Ishii to his feet, full nelsons, then spins Ishii tot he pump handle! KAR- NO, Ishii slips free to full nelson! DRAGON SUPLEX!! Both men rise again, and Hashi runs up! Ishii ROCKS Hashi! Hashi CHOPS Ishii! Ishii PELES Hashi!! Korakuen erupts as Ishii roars! Ishii runs and LARIATS Hashi down!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Now Hashi survives, but Ishii vows to end this! Ishii suplexes, but Hashi slips free! DRAGON SUPLEX! Ishii rises, into the SUPERKICK!

Ishii just runs!? Hashi SUPERKICKS! And ROUNDHOUSES! And hops on, for EASY PICKINGS!! But Hashi knows that’s not enough, he has to top it off! Pump handle and KARMA!!! Cover, HASHI WINS!!

Winner: Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

A powerful showdown between teammates, and in the end, the Head Hunter was able to break through the Stone Pitbull! Ishii will miss out on the G1, but will there be something for him down the line?

As for Hashi, he gets the mic to say, “Ishii-san. Thank you very much. Sometimes, words find a way into people’s hearts. And a few words have that power. Ishii doesn’t say much backstage, but when he has talked to me, it has been something inspiring and profound. It is because of Tomohiro Ishii that Yoshi-Hashi is here today.” The fans cheer, and Hashi says that he has seen Ishii walk through the darkness and still carry a light. So that has inspired Hashi to move on to the G1 Climax. He hopes to face Ishii again some time, but for now, Hashi steps forward to the future. Some might not like it, but he will keep marching forward.

Hashi wants us to know that there was a point where he, Ishii and a few others, who he will not name, had to make a decision. But that next step is in the Tokyo Budokan on Friday! Hashi promises victory to earn his way into this year’s G1! So he hopes everyone will watch him then, and see what he can truly do! The Head Hunter is determined, will he always #GetBackUp until he has reached the top?

My Thoughts:

A great return to the New Japan Soul series, and while I didn’t cover the matches, I did appreciate they pulled a little something special with the LIJ VS House of Torture matches tonight. It was meant to be back-to-back Six Man Tag matches, but of course the House couldn’t let LIJ win cleanly so Evil’s trio stormed out there and beat up on Titan, Hiromu & Yota. That brought out Naito, Takagi & Bushi, Takagi was the one to make the challenge for the much bigger Twelve Man Tag, and that was fairly chaotic, but of course LIJ won again. And it seems that on July 5th, the New Japan Soul finale, we’re getting LIJ VS LIJ, Team Hiromu VS Team Naito to perhaps help tease some things in terms of the world title and the G1 Climax.

Speaking of the G1, great qualifiers tonight. Great surprise results in Oleg overcoming Tanahashi and Callum overcoming Kenta, this is definitely Tanahashi as President Ace saying the younger generation is ready to move up. Though at the same time, they do the right move in storytelling by having TJP not get the surprise victory. TJP’s story is struggling to win in much of anything while trying to be new team captain for The United Empire. TJP did great tonight, of course, but it shows that he’s still falling short of the example set by Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher, and even the singles champions within the group, Henare, Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb.

Ishii VS Hashi was an awesome main event, and being that they’re good friends and teammates, they know each other so well and were referencing that from start to finish. Ishii is great, but Hashi is essentially the face of perseverance in NJPW, and he has for awhile now been on that push a veteran gets after sticking it out for so long. Both Oleg VS Taichi and Hashi VS Callum will be great finals, great generational match-ups, and I’m rather torn on who gets in. I feel like it’d be more exciting for NJPW fans if Oleg gets a third upset in a row while Hashi gets a win over the younger, faster guy.

My Score: 8.9/10

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