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Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 11 A Block

Does Okada fall to a trap match? Who is England’s Top Talent? Let’s find out!

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Does Okada fall to a trap match? Who is England’s Top Talent? Let’s find out!

So it’s this point in the tournament when you start seeing crazy upsets. If Okada wins his match, there’s a good chance that half of A Block gets eliminated.

If I were to venture a guess at upsets, I’d guess Lance Archer and SANADA. SANADA because KENTA has finally proven to be mortal, plus SANADA deserves a damn win. Archer because Okada sometimes struggles with bigger guys as well as, he needs to lose for the last few events of the year.

Time to see if the Okada run away train continues.

Ratings:

  • Hirooki Goto, Yota Tsuji & YOSHI-HASHI vs Tomohiro Ishii, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma: YOSHI-HASHI wins via Butterfly Lock @9:25 – ***
  • Jon Moxley & Shota Umino vs Toru Yano & Ren Narita: Yano wins via Roll-Up @4:10 – **
  • Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujio Takahashi vs Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @7:40 – ** 1/2
  • Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson, Jeff Cobb & Toa Henare: Takagi wins via Pumping Bomber @9:25 – ** 1/2
  • A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs Kota Ibushi: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @9:25 – ** 
  • A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay : Sabre wins via Modified Grounded Octopus Hold @20:00 – *** 1/2
  • A Block: Lance Archer vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @14:15 – *** 3/4
  • A Block: SANADA vs KENTA: SANADA wins via Moonsault @16:10 – *** 1/4
  • A Block: EVIL vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via High Fly Flow @23:00 – *** 3/4

 

Analysis:

Hirooki Goto, Yota Tsuji & YOSHI-HASHI vs Tomohiro Ishii, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma – Ishii and Goto always bring the competitive fire before and after being stablemates. Yuya had a good showing in this match, but this was more to try and help YOSHI-HASHI change the perception of fans. He’s picked up a few wins during the tags, but he’s still YOSHI-HASHI…soo…I’ll pass.

Jon Moxley & Shota Umino vs Toru Yano & Ren Narita – Moxley wants to see Yano’s DVD, Yano tells him “5,000 yen!” So Shota goes out, borrows the money and while Yano is counting Moxley tries to roll him up and the cash goes flying.  After that, we get a few shenanigans that ends with Yano low blowing and rolling up Shooter. Yano then runs away with the money and his DVD.

Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujio Takahashi vs Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi  –  We had a big 6 man brawl for the first few minutes that resulted in a funny moment. The referee eventually gets sick of the crap and starts counting, when he gets to 19, everyone stares at one another, says “Shit”, and you see all 6 slide in unaware of who was legal. This was fun, we saw shimmers of the serious Taichi when he squared off with Jay, so I’m looking forward to what the match could be.

Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson, Jeff Cobb & Toa Henare  –  This was an odd match. Naito and Juice spun off into a scrap on the floor for the end of the match and after, but the rest seemed tame to boring. Cobb and Shingo didn’t have a ton of heat. BUSHI and Henare were just added for some bumps and for one to eat a pin. It was fine, but really nothing special.

A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs Kota Ibushi  –  Even though he’s not trying to get eliminated this year, Fale’s matches still follow that obvious heel mugging motif. Ibushi had to fight from under a mugging, it was a little annoying because it feels like it’s every match, so my tolerance is lost. Thank God Ibushi didn’t fall to the numbers game. Skippable.

A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay – The beginning of this match definitely shows the familiarity between both men, as you get mini flashes of their signature style. It takes a bit of time to build to the crescendo. Ospreay could never really string together a ton of offense, and Sabre catches him in a few submissions. He locks in the Grounded Octopus and adds an arm a capture to it. I don’t think it was any of his long winded move names, but it didn’t look comfortable.

A Block: Lance Archer vs Kazuchika Okada – Archer beat the hell out of Okada early, he scared children in the audience, but it wasn’t quite enough. This tournament has been fantastic to make Archer into a legit badass. Okada also makes good on the match by going to the child that Archer made cry and shaking his hand. So the good guy beat the bad guy, and Okada is 6-0.

A Block: SANADA vs KENTA – Even though SANADA walked out freshly eliminated because of Okada’s win, the spoiler angle came into play quickly. The crowd was very much behind SANADA, and this was an alright match. A few hiccups and sloppy transitions/counters, but SANADA finally gets a decent win in the tournament.

A Block: EVIL vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – I’m not really sure how to feel about this match. An outside High Fly Flow very noticeably saw Tanahashi’s knee hit the thin outside mat. So from then on he was obviously hampered. Awkward submission attempts, a readjustment on a Slingblade was just weird and it was a little rough. However, unlike a few other matches where it seemed like crap that he won, this played out more like him overcoming the injuries. Not a bad match, rough at times and this is probably the apparition of a beckoning end for Tanahashi’s career, unless he takes extended time off.

 

Overall Score: 6/10

So this day was kinda lame. No match really jumped up and grabbed you, and the Tanahashi match was the best of the day, but hampered by hiccups and awkward spots. We see a continued dominance by Okada, which I hope there’s a good payoff since, fans got bored real quickly of the Superman Okada stuff during the second half of his 730 day reign.

Who will beat Okada? I mean really…who.

Block A Standings:

  • Kazuchika Okada: 6-0 (12 Points)
  • KENTA: 4-2 (8 Points)
  • Kota Ibushi: 4-2 (8 Points)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 4-2 (8 Points)
  • EVIL: 3-3 (6 Points)
  • Will Ospreay: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Lance Archer: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • SANADA: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Zack Sabre Jr: 2-4 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Bad Luck Fale: 1-5 (2 Points) – ELIMINATED


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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Soul Results & Report! (6/16/24)

Sapporo’s covered in gold!

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Will the Rogue Luchador have his revenge on the Murder Machine?

After winning Best of the Super Juniors, El Desperado got Sho to accept an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship STEEL CAGE MATCH, so will Sho have no choice but to do this without the House of Torture?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff – Masatora Yasuda VS Daiki Nagai; Time Limit Draw.
  • 10 Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Tomohiro Ishii, Satoshi Kojima, Katsuya Murashima & Shoma Kato VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • DOUKI & Taichi VS Ren Narita & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Douki & Taichi win.
  • Bishamon VS EVIL & Dick Togo; Bishamon wins.
  • Tetsuya Naito & Titan VS Taka Michinoku & Yuya Uemura; Naito & Titan win.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg; Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg win and become the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Clark Connors & “Drilla” Dan Moloney VS Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita; Connors & Drilla win and retain the titles.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS HENARE; Henare wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
  • IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship: David Finlay VS SANADA; Finlay wins and retains the title.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: SHO VS El Desperado; Desperado wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg!

It’s a Dominion rematch as Yota Tsuji, Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi once again face The Ace, The Joker & The Rook! It was already rather incredible that LIJ won in the first place, will they prove it wasn’t just luck at Osaka-Jo Hall? Or will Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg prove you can’t keep bad boys down?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and let’s see who really runs the schoolyard!

The teams sort out and while Yota and Oleg stare down, Yano insists he start. Hiromu obliges, and they both squat at the middle of the ring. They talk some smack, then the bell rings. And Hiromu copies Yano by going right to a corner to untie a buckle pad! Yano SMACKS Hiromu on the back of the head, then finishes the job himself! Hiromu SMACKS Yano on the head! Hiromu whips, Yano reveres, but Hiromu holds the ropes and copies Yano’s taunt! Yano runs up but Hiromu drop toeholds him onto ropes! Then he KICKS the rope, runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano tags Oleg and Tanahashi jump in, too.

Oleg & Tanahashi double whip to DOUBLE SHOULDER TACKLE Hiromu! Oleg then scoops Hiromu to SLAM him! Tanahashi drops an elbow, Oleg SPLASHES down! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Yano tags back in. Yano whips but Hiromu reverses, only for Yano to avoid the bare buckles. Hiromu runs in, but only gets bare buckles! Yano runs, but into a kick! Bushi gets in to dropkick legs out, then Yota runs in to basement dropkick! Bushi & Yota then knock Tanahashi & Oleg off the apron! Bushi & Yota then go out after them, stomp them down, and Hiromu stomps Yano. Hiromu drags Yano up, bumps him off the red corner, and tags Bushi in.

Bushi stomps Yano, digs his knee in, and the ref counts. Bushi lets go of the ropes, but that’s not the problem! The ref reprimands and Bushi steps away. Bushi drags Yano up, wrenches and wristlocks to then YANK the arm and CLUB it. Tag to Yota, he BOOTS the arm! Yano clutches the elbow, but Yota wrenches the arm to YANK it. Tag to Hiromu and he climbs up, and the fans rally for the AX HANDLE! Yota drops to his knees and Hiromu mocks his pain while bringing him back up. Hiromu whips Yano tot he corner, clotheslines, snapmares and runs to basement dropkick! Hiromu calls to Yota, and he has Yota scoop him, for the assisted SPLASH! Cover, TWO!

Hiromu has the ref watch Tanahashi & Oleg, then calls Bushi in! LIJ double whip Yano but Yano holds ropes! Yano sends Hiromu into Bushi, then throws them both down by their heads! The fans fire up, Yano and Hiromu crawl, and hot tag to Tanahashi! Yota tags in but Tanahashi dropkicks the legs out! Tanahashi fires hands, whips, but Yota reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! The fans fire up as Tanahashi fires fast hands, then Tanahashi scoops to SLAM Yota into the drop zone! Tanahashi goes up, SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi stays cool and the fans rally up. Yota rises, Tanahashi runs, but Yota TOSSES Tanahashi out!

The fans fire up as Tanahashi skins the cat! But then Yota ROCKS him with a right! Tanahashi falls back into a corner, Yota runs in, and he STINGER SPLASHES! Yota keeps going, he runs Tanahashi over, then SPLASHES down! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up and Yota drags Tanahashi up. Yota reels Tanahashi in, suplexes, but Tanahashi fights it, to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT The fans rally up while both men are down. Tanahashi and Yota crawl, hot tag to Oleg! Oleg runs Yota over, gets him back up and fires forearms and CHOPS on repeat! Oleg whips, but Yota RAN- NO! Oleg stops the rana to get Yota up, for Shake, Rattle and THROW!

Oleg even kips up! The fans fire up, Oleg BLASTS Bushi & Hiromu off the corner, then he stalks Yota. Oleg waistlocks to deadlift Yota, for a GERMAN- NO, Yota fights free! Yota clinches, BACKBREAKER to FLATLINER to DOUBLE STOMP! Both men are down and the fans rally back up. Yota crawls over, hot tag to Bushi! Bushi goes up the corner, Oleg rises, and Bushi MISSILE DROPKICKS! And Bushirooni! Bushi runs corner to corner to ELBOW Oleg, then he brings Oleg in to FISHERMAN SCREW! Hiromu BLASTS Tanahashi & Yano! LIJ gets Oleg up, whips him to the corner, then Hiromu runs in to clothesline!

Bushi adds a back elbow, feeds to the SUPERKICK, then BACKSTABBERS! Cover, Tanahashi breaks it! Hiromu tosses Tanahashi out, Bushi and Oleg rise. Bushi runs up, CODE- NO, Oleg tosses Bushi away! Yano throws Bushi down! Hiromu SUPERKICKS Yano! Tanahashi blocks a superkick, but Yota gets in! Tanahashi blocks that superkick, too!? Tanahashi DOUBLE DRAGON SCREWS! The fans fire up but Bushi kicks low. Bushi runs, but into a SLINGBLADE! The fans fire up and Tanahashi drags Bushi up. Feed to Oleg for the KAMIKA- NO, Bushi slips free, and ENZIGIRIS! Oleg wobbles, Bushi goes to the corner!

Bushi runs up again, CODE- NO!! Oleg still blocks, and he fireman’s carries! Oleg coordinates with Tanahashi as he climbs, but Yota gets in Tanahashi’s way! Bushi rolls Oleg up! Tanahashi shoves Yota down onto the cover!! Tanahashi then aims to TRIPLE HIGH FLY ATTACK LIJ!! The fans are all fired up and Oleg drags Bushi back up! Fireman’s carry, and KAMIKAZE!! Cover, Oleg and team win!!

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg, by pinfall

The Rook comes through for the team, and they get the belts back! Has Oleg proved he’s far from just a Young Lion now? Or will we need quite the tiebreaker between these trios to put this to rest?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Clark Connors & “Drilla” Dan Moloney VS Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita w/ Zack Sabre Jr!

The Bullet Club War Dogs claimed their losses to the TMDK Junior Heavyweights were flukes, but they still have to put up the gold. Will 100 Proof & 44 Caliber shoot down the Sniper of the Sky & Ichiban Young Punk? Or will we see that The Mighty Don’t Kneel?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who’s really number one with a bullet!

The teams sort out and Fujita starts against Connors. The bell rings, the two stare down and the fans rally up. The two circle, feel things out, then Connors swings on Eagles! Eagles ROCKS Connors first! Fujita ROCKS Connors, then he DECKS Drilla! Eagles jumps in, TMDK double whip to hip toss, then PENALTY KICK! Drilla storms in but into DOUBLE BLOWS! Then TMDK rolls Drilla back to DOUBLE KNEE SMASH! Eagles rallies the fans, Fujita builds speed, but Connors gets in, JEEP FLIPPER! Drilla drags Eagles out, too, and sends him into railing! Connors stomps Fujita while Drilla tosses Eagles over railing!

Drilla steps over and has fans move aside. Connors keeps on Fujita on the other end of the arena while Drilla BOWLS Eagles into chairs! STRIKE! Connors fires hands on Fujita, and he tells a segment of fans to move! Then he BOWLS Fujita into the chairs! Another STRIKE! The fans cheer while Connors throws up the Too Sweet. Drilla drags Eagles around, scoops him, and then SLAMS him onto some seats! The ring count starts, but Connors is bringing Fujita back. Connors POSTS Fujita at 5 of 20, then takes his time to scuff Fujita before he steps in at 12. Connors taunts ZSJ at ringside, but Fujita rolls in at 17! The fans cheer but Connors mockingly applauds.

Connors kneels on Fujita’s neck, the ref reprimands and counts, and Connors steps away. Connors drags Fujita up, Drilla dusts off his boot, and Connors bumps Fujita off the boot! Tag to Drilla, and he CHOPS! And then he digs his boots in! The ref counts, Drilla steps off at 4. Connors CHOKES Fujita against ropes while the ref is busy with Drilla. The fans boo but Connors lets off before the ref catches him. Drilla looms over Fujita as he sputters, and the fans rally up. Fujita rises to throw body shots and forearms! Drilla CHOPS Fujita down! Drilla drags Fujita around, steps through, and ties up the legs into a DEATHLOCK!

Drilla tags Connors in, and Connors stomps away on Fujita! Then he JUMP ELBOW DROPS! Drilla lets Fujita go so Connors can cover, TWO! Connors smirks as he grabs the leg, and he mockingly calls “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” Drilla bark, bark, barks! Connors steps through to steal the RON MILLER SPECIAL! Eagles storms in but Drilla intercepts to TOSS him back out! Connors thrashes Fujita around but Fujita endures! Fujita crawls forward, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and the ref reprimands. Connors lets off with a smug grin, then drags Fujita up. But Fujita fires a forearm, and a CHOP!

Connors eggs Fujita on so Fujita CHOPS! Connors UPPERCUTS! Connors whips, but Fujita GAMANGIRIS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Connors crawls and tags in Drilla. Drilla grabs Fujita’s leg but Fujita BOOTS him away! Fujita scrambles, hot tag to Eagles! Eagles goes up and over Drilla, BOOTS Connors, then RANAS Drilla! The fans fire up with Eagles and he KICKS Drilla! And KICKS! And KICKS! Eagles runs, Connors sneaks in to CLOBBER him! Connors & Drilla double whip, Eagles reverses to send Connors away! Then he sends Drilla into Connors! Eagles kicks a leg out, then runs to BLINDSIDE LARIAT BASEMENT DROPKICK COMBO!

The fans fire up with Eagles and he goes corner to corner at Drilla! DOUBLE KNEES! Drilla sits down, Eagles runs in to METEORA! Eagles drags Drilla to a cover, TWO! Eagles keeps cool and goes to the apron. Eaglee climbs, the fans rally up, and Eagles 450- NO, Drilla moves! Eagles rolls through, btu Drilla blocks his kick! Drilla pops Eagles up into the Canadian Rack! But Eagles sunset flips through! ONE, but Eagles has the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Drilla flails, Fujita keeps Connors out! Connors powers out, gets in, and he CLUBS Eagles! Eagles holds on, but Connors stomps away until he lets Drilla go!

The ref reprimands but Connors shoves him away! Connors stomps Eagles, and Drilla hobbles up. Connors stands Eagles up, but Eagles fires CHOPS and ELBOWS! SOBAT for Drilla, then a cravat! Eagles uses Connors to kick off, but Drilla denies him Sliced Bread! Drilla ELBOWS Eagles away, but Fujita tags in! Fujita slingshots but Connors catches him! Connors hands Fujita off to Drilla! But Fujita flails to go to the apron and HOTSHOT! Fujita and Eagles both springboard, DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICKS! The War Dogs are down and they bail out while the fans fire up! Fujita aims to springboard, DOUBLE CANNONBALL!

Direct hit and the Dogs go down! The fans fire up, Fujita puts Drilla in, and Eagles stands Drilla up. TMDK double wrench the arms, for MAXXY BOMB!! High stack, TWO!! Drilla survives but the fans fire up with TMDK! Fujita hoists Drilla up, Eagles ROUNDHOUSES and Fujita GERMAN SUPLEXES! Then SUPERKICK PENALTY KICK COMBO!! Cover, Connors breaks it! The fans rally, Eagles whips but Connors reverses to TOSS Eagles out! Connors runs at Fujita but Fujita TOSSES him out! Fujita goes after Drilla with a CHOP! But Drilla wrenches to ripcord, but Fujita dodges! Sunset flip, but Drilla DOUBLE STOMPS and SENTONS!

The fans rally up and both men crawl. Drilla reaches out, hot tag to Connors! Connors takes aim, runs in, but Fujtia pops him up! Connors fights the German Suplex but Fujita holds the waistlock! Connors throws elbow after elbow but Fujita’s grip is tight! Connors throws even more elbows, and Fujita finally lets go. Fujita runs up, but into a SNAP POWERSLAM! Drilla roars as he storms in, and the Dogs take aim from the corners! But Eagles anchors Drilla! Fujita O’Conner Rolls Connors, then trips him into the QUEEN ANGELITO STRETCH! Drilla gets loose but Eagles MISSILE DROPKICKS him down! And puts him in the RON MILLER SPECIAL!!

Fujita sees Eagles has Drilla, and Fujita pulls Connors into the NELL VOSS SPECIAL!! Connors endures, flails, and Drilla reaches out, but Eagles drags him away! Connors grabs at the ref, Drilla grabs at Fujita! Drilla CLAWS Fujita’s face, and he lets Connors go! Eagles lets Drilla go, and the four are all down. The fans rally as Eagles regroups with Fujita. The Dogs regroup on the outside, and Eagles DIVES onto them! But is caught! DRILLA KILLA to the floor!! Drilla & Connors are laughing that they just shot down the Sniper! Connors & Drilla then slide into the ring, flanking Fujita. They bring Fujita up, but he still fires forearms and elbows!

The fans rally as Fujita fights and fights, switches with Drilla, but Drilla elbows free! Connors runs in, Drilla hurdles, SPEAR! Fujita staggers back up, into the SPEAR GORE COMBO!! Cover, TWO?!? Fujita survives and shocks The Dogs! The fans fire up as Connors goes up a corner and Drilla drags Fujita up. Drilla suplexes, but Fujita slips free! GERMAN SUPLEX! Connors still leaps but Fujita gets under! Fujita O’Conner Rolls, but Connors fights Chaos Theory! Fujita HEEL KICKS! Fujita whips Connors, pops Connors up, and GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Connors survives, but Fujita still holds on!

Fujita drags Connors up and the fans are thunderous! Fujita suplexes, ABANDON- SUPERKICK from Drilla! Connors suplexes Fujita into the DRILLA KILLA!!! Drilla then feeds Fujita to the NO CHASER!! But they’re still not done!?! Connors climbs, Drilla suplexes, FULL CLIP!!! Cover, War Dogs win!

Winners: Clark Connors & “Drilla” Moloney, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but they can’t withstand artillery of this magnitude! Bullet Club keeps these titles right where they are, and Connors himself asks, “Who’s next?”

 

NJPW announces the G1 Climax 34 Block line-ups!

In A Block, it will be: Tetsuya Naito; Shota Umino; Shingo Takagi; SANADA; Great-O-Khan; Zack Sabre Jr; Gabe Kidd; EVIL; and Pro-Wrestling Noah’s Jake Lee!
In B Block, it will be: Hirooki Goto; El Phantasmo; Yota Tsuji; Jeff Cobb; HENARE; David Finlay; Ren Narita; Yuya Uemura; and AEW & DDT Pro’s Konosuke Takeshita!

And this year, there will be a special G1 Climax preliminary round! 12 men, six for each block, must battle to earn the coveted tenth seed spots! In A Block’s prelim: Tomohiro Ishii; Yoshi-Hashi; Callum Newman; KENTA; Chase Owens; and Yujiro Takahashi! In B Block’s prelim: Hiroshi Tanahashi; Toru Yano; Boltin Oleg; Satoshi Kojima; Taichi; and TJP! Whoever comes out of those matches will join this already star-studded field! Who will help burn up this already red hot summer?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS HENARE!

It’s another Dominion rematch, as we ended up with a Double TKO Draw in Osaka-Jo Hall! Will Takagi stay standing this time? Or will the Face of Fury finally slay The Rampaging Dragon?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who pushes past their limits to be victorious!

The two are forehead to forehead, then they go forearm for forearm! The bell rings, and Takagi ROCKS Henare! Henare fires back, but Takagi shoves him. They both run, they RAM shoulders, then Henare kicks to snapmare. Henare KICKS Takagi in the back, but Takagi gets up to DOUBLE CHOP! Takagi eggs Henare on, so Henare HEADBUTTS! Henare eggs Takagi on so Takagi HEADBUTTS! Henare nods, and HEADBUTTS again! Takagi staggers, but he comes back to HEADBUTT! Henare HEADBUTTS, Takagi HEADBUTTS, they HEADBUTT again and again and again! Henare gets the edge, then JUMP HEADBUTTS!

Henare runs, RAMS Takagi but Takagi comes back to RAM Henare! ELBOW! JAB! But Henare KICKS! Takagi runs Henare over! Then Takagi KICKS Henare in the back! Henare goes to a corner, the fans rally for Takagi, and he runs up, and blocks a boot! Takagi clotheslines through, then fires the fans up more. Takagi JABS and CHOPS on repeat! Then he JABS, JABS, JABS, but Henare leans into the punches! Takagi fires more shots, then ROCKS Henare! Takagi whips corner to corner, runs up and clotheslines! Then SAIDOS! Henare flounders and the fans rally up. Takagi stands Henare up to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO!

Henare bails out but Takagi keeps cool. Takagi goes out after Henare, brings him around, and whips him hard into railing! Henare staggers away, Takagi follows, and he JABS Henare again. Takagi brings Henare up to SMACK him off the apron, but that just angers Henare! Henare SMACKS Takagi off the apron! Takagi RIDGE HAND CHOPS, then fireman’s carries! SNAKE EYES off the apron! Henare falls back and the ref wants this back in the ring. Takagi takes a moment to shake out his hand, then he walks over to Henare. Takagi drops a knee right on Henare’s face! Takagi then puts Henare in the ring, and the fans cheer.

Takagi kicks Henare around, taunts him, scuffs him, and Henare snarls. Henare fires body shots and a forearm! Takagi ELBOWS! And YUKON LARIATS! The fans cheer and Takagi says he’s still gonna be champ. Takagi brings Henare up, puts him on ropes, and then KNEES him low! And KNEES him again! And again! The ref reprimands, Takagi lets off, and he whips Henare to ropes. Takagi KNEES low, runs, but into a POP-UP SAMOAN DROP! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Takagi goes to a corner, Henare runs in to clothesline! Takagi shouts at Henare, so Henare shouts back! Henare fires off fast hands from all sides!

The ref reprimands, Henare HEADBUTTS Takagi before he fireman’s carries. WASTELAND SLAM, then a SENTON! The fans rally up as Takagi sputters and goes back to the corner. Henare storms over, stomps Takagi, then HEADBUTTS him! Henare whips but Takagi blocks by holding ropes! The ref calls the ropebreak as Henare still tries to whip. Takagi still holds on, so Henare ELBOWS him in the head! The ref reprimands, but Henare whips corner to corner. Takagi reverses, runs up, but into an ELBOW! Henare goes up, FLYING CHUCK! But Takagi just runs! Into a BERSERKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and Henare fires back up!

The fans rally, Henare stands and he aims from a corner. Takagi rises as Henare stomps the mat. Henare runs in, RAMP- NO! Takagi stuffs the spear to fire off knees! Henare shoves back but Takagi ELBOWS! JABS! And YUKON feints to DDT! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Henare flounders to a corner and the fans rally up. Takagi runs, but into a RAMP- DDT!! Takagi turns things around again and Henare is in a daze! Takagi kicks Henare, drags him up, and puts him on the top rope! The fans rally as Takagi climbs up, and he fires RIDGE HAND CHOPS! Takagi then goes to the very top, brings Henare up with him, SUPER DUPER PLEX!!

The fans are thunderous while Henare writhes from that hard landing! Takagi sits up and shouts, “OI! OI! OI!” The fans join in and Takagi nods. Takagi stands, the fans fire up more, and Takagi says “My time is coming! TOKI GA KITA!” The fans fire up, Takagi runs, PUMPING BOMBER! But Henare withstands the impact and stays standing! Takagi runs again, PUMPING BOMBER! Henare drops to his knees! Takagi gives scuffing kicks, slaps Henare around, then fires a few forearms. Henare growls, headbutts the mat, but Takagi ROCKS him! Takagi fires forearm after forearm, but Henare eggs him on!

Takagi fires more forearms, but Henare leans into those shots! Henare swings, Takagi bobs ‘n’ weaves and UPPERCUTS! Takagi runs, but into a RAMPAGE!! Both men are down again and the fans rally up! Henare slowly rises, sits Takagi up, and PENALTY KICKS! But Takagi’s right up to RUN Henare over! The fans rally while both men are down, and Takagi sits up first. Takagi crawls over to Henare and they give each other junkyard dog headbutts. They start throwing palm strikes, then forearms! Takagi CHOPS and Henare staggers! Henare snarls, comes back, and KICKS! Takagi staggers, Henare eggs him on, and the fans rally up!

Takagi winds up to CHOP! Henare drops to a knee and Takagi shakes out his hand. Henare rises, and Takagi braces for the KICK! Takagi CHOPS! Henare KICKS! CHOP! KICK! Repeat! The fans fire up and so does Henare! Henare KICKS, and KICKS, and ROLLING KICKS! Takagi wobbles, Henare runs, but Takagi blocks the kick! Henare fires off strikes, but Takagi still pump handles! MADE IN JAPAN!! But Takagi can’t make the cover! The ref checks both men, this could end up like Dominion! Takagi slowly rises, the fans rally up again, and Takagi sits Henare up. Takagi clamps on to rain down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS!

Takagi runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Henare rolls through to SLIDING KNEE!! Both men are down again and the fans fire up! Henare sits up first, and he snarls as he slashes his throat. Henare vows to end this but he’s a bit wobbly as he walks over. Henare drags Takagi up but Takagi HEADBUTTS! Henare HEADBUTTS! They DOUBLE HEADBUTT! And DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Both men wobble, but Takagi JABS! Henare HEADBUTTS! Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS! Henare JUMP HEADBUTTS! Takagi SLIDING FOREARMS!! Both men are down again and the fans are all fired up!

The ref checks, and both men are somehow still in this, but the standing count is here! Takagi hears it and he stirs. Takagi goes to ropes, and he drags himself up at 5 of 10! Takagi is up but what of Henare? He’s still down at 8, pushes up at 9, and stands at 9.9!! The fans fire up and Takagi runs in! DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Both men lean on the other, and Takagi fires boxing elbows! Takagi throws in about nine, but then Henare bobs ‘n’ weaves the tenth to BODY BLOW! And HEEL KICK! PUMPING BOMBER!! Cover, ONE?!?! The fans are thunderous as Henare snarls, but Takagi gets moving! PUMPING BOMBER!!! Cover, TWO!!!

The fans are thunderous again as Henare survives being flipped upside-down! Takagi roars, he drags Henare up, and he pump handles to the torture rack! Henare slips out, spins Takagi around, STREETS OF RAGE!! But he has to crawl to the cover! TWO!!! Takagi survives and Henare is stunned! Henare growls, fires himself up, and he drags Takagi back up. But Takagi fights the cross-arm hold! Takagi HEADBUTTS, HEADBUTTS, and HEADBUTTS! Henare HEADBUTTS!! Cover, ONE!?!?! But Henare runs to RUGBY KICK!! Cover, TWO!!!! Takagi still survives but Henare is furious! Henare reels Takagi in for STREETS OF- NO, Takagi fights the lift!

Takagi and Henare fight for suplex control! Takagi throws body shots, avoids the headbutt and UPPERCUTS! Then HEADBUTTS back! Then YUKON- NO, Henare blocks that, then blocks the other lariat! KAMI-HEADBUTT!!! Cover, HENARE WINS!!!

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

Henare unleashes the headbutt to surpass God, and he slays the Rampaging Dragon! Finally, the Face of Fury wears gold in NJPW! Will this be a sign of even bigger things to come? Or will Takagi have his revenge in the G1 Climax?

 

IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship: David Finlay w/ Gedo VS SANADA w/ Just5Guys!

When The Rebel heard the Cold Skull was back on the mend, he demanded this be the return match. Finlay still owes Sanada payback for the 2023 New Japan Cup finals loss, and that moment has finally come. Will Finlay ruin Sanada’s return right from the start? Or will he regret it when Sanada takes this title from him?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if the War Dogs stay golden!

The bell rings and the fans rally behind “SA-NA-DA! SA-NA-DA!” Finlay gets on the corner to shout “WAR~ DOGS~!” and some fans do cheer, but the fans are still more on Sanada’s side. The two circle, feel things out, and tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Finlay pulls hair to put Sanada on ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, Finlay pie faces Sanada as he lets off, then SPITS on Sanada! Sanada just brushes that off and the two reset. They tie up, are in another deadlock, but Sanada uses height for leverage. Sanada puts Finlay on the ropes, Red Shoes calls the break, and Sanada lets off with pats on the shoulder.

The fans applaud but Finlay is annoyed. Finlay runs up, Sanada kicks low then headlocks. Finlay powers up and out but Sanada runs him over. Things speed up, Finlay hurdles but then Sanada hurdles, hurdles and DROPKICKS! The fans fire up but Gedo is upset as Finlay bails out. Sanada aims, PLANCHA, but he lands on the apron as Finlay slides in. Finlay DECKS Sanada off the apron, goes out to CLUB Sanada, then SMACKS him off the apron! Finlay rains down fists, soaks up the heat, and says it’s too easy. Finlay fist bumps with Gedo then goes back to stand on Sanada’s face. Red Shoes reprimands but Finlay drags Sanada up and into the ring.

Finlay slides in to cover but Red Shoes says no, because of the shenanigans on the outside. Finlay is upset with Red Shoes, but then he drags Sanada up. Finlay hammerlocks an arm and leans on the hold. Sanada endures, even as Finlay grabs the other arm in a cording hold. Finlay digs knuckles into Sanada’s ribs, then a forearm in Sanada’s face! Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off and gets mad at Red Shoes, but rules are rules. Finlay drags Sanada up, snap suplexes, then covers, TWO! The fans applaud but Finlay argues with Red Shoes more. Finlay drags Sanada up, but Sanada throws body shots! Finlay sputters, but then Sanada ROCKS him with a forearm!

Finlay knees low, whips, but Sanada reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! STANDING MOONSAULT FLOPS as Finlay moves! Finlay covers, TWO! Finlay keeps cool as he drags Sanada up. Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Sanada falls! Sanada writhes but Finlay barks it up. Finlay aims from a corner, runs in, and UPPERCUTS! Then he suplexes for a TOSS! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this and Gedo protests while Finlay argues the count. Sanada goes to the apron, Finlay storms over and drags him up. Finlay brings Sanada through the ropes to UPPERCUT! And UPPERCUT again! And UPPERCUT again!

Finlay UPPERCUTS and UPPERCUTS and UPPERCUTS, then UPPERCUTS some more! Finlay dares the fans to cheer Sanada now. The fans do cheer, and Sanada back drops Finlay outta the ring! Sanada catches his breath while Finlay is on the floor. Finlay drags himself up with the apron skirt, but Sanada PLANCHAS him right back down! The fans cheer and Sanada rises. Sanada stalks Finlay, brings him around, and puts him in the ring. The fans applaud, but then Finlay bails out the side. Sanada just PLANCHAS again! Down goes Finlay and the fans fire up! Sanada then brings Finlay up, ROCKS him, then slides into the ring.

Sanada builds speed and he fakes Finlay out! Sanada flips back in, then PLANCHAS again! A hattrick for Sanada and the fans fire up! Sanada encourages them to get louder, then he goes back for Finlay. Sanada puts Finlay in the ring, stalks him, then brings him up to RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Cover, TWO! The fans rally while Sanada brings Finlay back up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Finlay slips free to waistlock, but Sanada switches. Finlay denies the O’Conner to roll Sanada up, TWO! Sanada runs in, but into a SPIN-OUT BOMB! Finlay grins as he leans against ropes, then he watches Sanada rise. Finlay runs in, and he clotheslines Sanada up and out!

Finlay goes out after Sanada, talks some trash, “This your boy?” Finlay flexes, drags Sanada up, and RAMS him into the railing! And RAMS him in again! Finlay’s trying to squish English commentary as he RAMS Sanada in again! Finlay lets Sanada falls over, then asks Gedo, “You wanna see a dead body?” Finlay fireman’s carries Sanada, to run up, but Sanada slips free! Finlay kicks low, reels Sanada in, but Sanada fights the piledriver! Sanada back drops Finlay onto the floor! The fans cheer while Sanada hobbles away. But then Finlay runs up! Sanada moves and Finlay crashes into railing! Sanada then brings Finlay out through the gate!

The Young Lions hurry to brace railing, but Sanada reels Finlay in for a PILEDRIVER on the floor!! And there’s far less padding out by the crowd then by ringside! Red Shoes wants this back in the ring, but Sanada has to catch his breath first. Sanada drags Finlay up, cravats for a neck wrench, and he brings Finlay back to ringside like that. Sanada puts Finlay in the ring and the fans applaud. Sanada then stalks Finlay, stands him up, and CLUBS him on the neck! Finlay staggers up, and he fires a forearm back! Sanada eggs Finlay on, so Finlay fires another forearm! And then SPITS at Sanada! And flips him off!

Sanada fires off furious fists on Finlay! The fans fire up but they’re on the ropes now! Red Shoes reprimands, but Sanada shoves him down! Sanada’s losing his cool, and Finlay YANKS Sanada into ropes! Both men are down and the fans rally up for Sanada. Finlay drags Sanada up, reels him in, Canadian Rack, but Sanada slips free, to get the dragon sleeper! Finlay arm-drags free, runs up, but into a BOOT! Sanada goes up to QUEBRADA, and he has the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Finlay rolls through to inverted suplex! And LAWN DART off the corner! Then a Canadian Rack, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up as Sanada survives! Gedo is upset and we pass 15 minutes. The fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as he and Finlay slowly rise. Finlay uses ropes to help stretch out one of his arms, then he goes back for Sanada. Finlay clamps on to sit Sanada up, for a crossface forearm! And then another! And another! Finlay drags Sanada up again, runs, and BLINDSIDE LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this and Finlay is frustrated. The fans rally up for Sanada again, but Finlay drags Sanada up and reels him in. Sanada is dead weight so Finlay has Red Shoes check. Sanada refuses to give in and the fans rally up more.

Finlay talks more trash on the fans, then drags Sanada back up and in. POWER- RANA! Cover, TWO!! Finlay escapes, runs up, but Sanada spins him around, MAGIC- NO, Finlay slips free to suplex! But Sanada slips free to O’Conner Roll, but Finlay turns that around! O’Conner- NO, Sanada keeps Finlay up, then brings him into SKULL END!! Finlay flails and endures but he’s stuck in the body scissors! Sanada puts on the squeeze and Finlay is starting to fade! Red Shoes checks, Finlay flips everyone off! But he’s fading all the same! Sanada almost loses grip, and Finlay grabs at Red Shoes! Finlay endures as Sanada thrashes him around!

Red Shoes checks again, but Sanada lets Finlay go to go up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees! Finlay saves himself at the last moment and both men are down! The fans rally for Sanada as he and Finlay stir. We hit 20 minutes and Sanada grabs at Finlay. They both rise up and Finlay fires a haymaker. Sanada fires it back! Finlay fires another haymaker, so Sanada gives it back! Red Shoes reprimands about closed fists, so Finlay fires a forearm! Sanada fires one right back! Finlay staggers away to ropes, but then Sanada eggs him on. Finlay fires a flurry, but Sanada UPPERCUTS! Finlay wobbles, staggers, but comes back.

Finlay UPPERCUTS, but Sanada shakes his head. The fans rally up as Sanada goes back to UPPERCUT Finlay! Finlay wobbles, Sanada eggs him on, and Finlay UPPERCUTS! Sanada grits his teeth, Finlay eggs him on, and Sanada UPPERCUTS! Finlay leans on Sanada, but he still fires a flurry of forearms, then an UPPERCUT! Finlay runs, but Sanada dodges! Sanada tilt-o-whirls, and has the dragon sleeper! But Finlay slips through to suplex! But Sanada turns that around, MAGIC SCREW! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Sanada hurries up a corner, to ROUNDING BODY PRESS! Direct hit and Sanada covers, TWO!!

The fans fire up more as Sanada drags Finlay back up. Sanada clinches, but Gedo storms up to the apron! Sanada drops Finlay so he can KICK the ropes! The fans cheer as Gedo gets jammed up down low! But then Finlay cradles Sanada! TWO!! Sanada escapes, runs up, BLINDSIDE WIZARD! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up! Sanada kips up and the fans cheer! Sanada shouts at Finlay to get up, then runs in, but Finlay ducks the Shining Wizard! Finlay wrenches, suplexes, INTO OBLIVION!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay almost had this one but he won’t stop there! Finlay suplexes again, OVER- BLOCKED!!

Sanada waistlocks, O’Conner Rolls and BRIDGES! TWO!!! Finlay escapes, but SHINING WIZARD hits!! The fans are thunderous and Sanada drags Finlay back up! Clinch and- NO, Finlay slips out to bring Sanada up! But Sanada slips free to ENZIGIRI! The fans fire up as we hit 25 minutes! Time is running out, but Sanada aims from the corner! SHINING- NO, Finlay smothers the wizard to high stack and deadlift into a POWERBOMB! Then the flip over and suplex! OVERKILL!!! Cover, Finlay wins!

Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (still IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion)

The Cold Skull got hot, but maybe too little too late. Finlay holds onto the belt he created, for now. Will he prove that NJPW and the world needs The Rebel?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: SHO VS El Desperado!

The Murder Machine missed out on the Best of the Super Juniors finals, and it was the Rogue Luchador who finally added that trophy to his list of accomplishments. And as Sho tried to rain on the parade, Desperado goaded Sho into not just putting up the title, but putting up the steel fence around the ring! Truly a historic first for this title, will Desperado continue to make history by winning again? Or will Sho somehow, someway win without The House of Torture’s help?

But of course, the NJPW ref corps knows Sho has tricks of his own, so they make sure to pat him down before he enters the cage. AHA! Scissors! Sho says those aren’t his! But the check continues, and wait! Evil is storming his way onto commentary! The King of Darkness is going to find a way to be here for Sho one way or another. But wait, the search finds handcuffs, as well as a metal plate in the kick pad! Sho is upset that all his tricks have been found out, but Desperado’s having a great time watching his humiliation. Sho is already trying to find things under the ring but the refs were thorough even before the cage was set up.

Sho, Desperado and Red Shoes are locked inside, and all of Sho’s things have been secured, because a Young Lion is taking them to the back! It’s sinking in for Sho that there’s nothing he can do to cheat this one. Sho finally steps into the ring, the introductions are made and the belt is raised. And now, with the odds finally even, we see who is truly the Best of the Super Juniors!

The bell rings and the fans rally for “DE-SU-PE! DE-SU-PE!” The two feel things out, clinch, go around, and Sho waistlocks. Despe spins through to facelock, but Sho wrenches out. Despe rolls, wrenches back, and wristlocks. Sho pushes Despe to then wrench, wrench and wristlock. Despe drop toeholds, floats to a facelock, then he ties up the legs. Despe pulls Sho with a chinbar, but then shifts to have a cording hold. Sho endures, reaches out to the ropes, and Despe lets go. The fans cheer, and Despe talks some smack as Sho goes to a corner. The two reset, feel things out, knuckle lock, and Despe rolls to top wristlock.

Despe shifts to a cording hold, but Sho rolls back to stand up. Despe wrenches to wristlock, then he arm-drags Sho down into the cording hold. Sho endures, even as Despe adds a chinbar. Sho fights up, Despe hammerlocks the arm and goes for the crossface. Sho fights that, so Despe headlocks. Despe hits the takeover, Sho headscissors and squeezes tight. Despe bridges back, headstands, then pushes down on Sho’s legs. Despe floats onto the headlock but Sho slips out the back. Sho has the arm, and he drags Despe in, SNAKEBITE! Despe fights up to get the KNEEBAR! Sho flails, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The fans applaud as Despe lets off.

Sho crawls to the corner and Despe waits on him. The fans rally, the two circle, and they feel things out again. Sho bends Despe’s fingers, then hammerlocks. Despe elbows Sho, switches the hammerlock onto him then spins him around to whip. Despe arm-drags Sho then runs him over! The fans fire up but Sho bails out of the ring. But he can’t go far with the cage all around! Despe storms up but Sho kicks him! Sho whips Despe into the cage! Despe staggers, Sho grins and whips the other way, only for Despe to reverse! Sho hits cage, staggers forward, and Despe back drops him on the floor! Sho writhes and the fans cheer!

Despe stalks Sho as he scurries, but then Sho slips around. Sho reaches out and Evil slips him the “Torture Tool” wrench through the bars! But Red Shoes is right on Sho to take that away! Despe whips Sho at the cage! Sho stops himself, then HIP TOSSES Despe into steel! Evil acts like he did nothing wrong but Yano is also on commentary and telling him off. Sho drags Despe up to whip him into the cage! Despe slumps down, but Sho stands him up, to whip him in again! Despe staggers and falls, and part of the cage swings open! Seems there was a second door! Sho keeps Despe from getting out, and sends him back into steel!

Sho grins as he stalks Despe, and he RIPS at Despe’s mask! Red Shoes reprimands, Sho lets off and stalks Despe around the way. Sho drags Despe up to GRIND his face against the cage! Evil applauds as Sho goes along the whole side! Sho throws Despe down, and a good part of Despe’s mask has been ripped away! Sho talks trash on Despe, then brings him up to ROCK him with a right! Sho DIGS Despe’s face into the cage again, then SCRAPES him along! Evil applauds but he’s the only one. Sho makes Despe suffer, then shoves him back down. Sho soaks up the heat before bringing Despe back into the ring.

Sho CHOKES Despe against ropes! Red Shoes reprimands, then counts, but Sho steps away at 4. Sho drags Despe back up, CLAWS at Despe’s exposed face, then lets off as Red Shoes counts. Sho not so subtly unties the blue buckle pad, and uses the strap to CHOKE Despe! Red Shoes counts, Sho lets go, and Evil says that’s genius! The fans rally for “DE-SU-PE!” but Sho talks more trash. Despe sits up, and Sho scuffs him. Sho taunts Despe, scuffs him again, but Despe grabs Sho’s foot. Despe CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Sho DECKS him with a right hand! Sho storms up to digs his boot into Despe’s face! Red Shoes reprimands and Sho steps off.

Sho eggs Despe on, so Despe stands to CHOP and CHOP! Sho fires another haymaker, but Despe HEADBUTTS! Despe runs, but into a kitchen sink knee! Despe falls, but Sho brings him up to whip to ropes, for another kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Despe stays in this, and goes to a corner, but Sho runs in to RAM him! Sho then hoists Despe up to stick him across the top rope. Sho runs in, TOP SHELF KNEE! Cover, TWO! Sho pulls on an arm and a leg! Despe endures, the fans rally, but Sho pulls harder! Despe still reaches out with his free arm, fights over with his free leg, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer but Sho holds until Red Shoes counts 4.

Despe crawls to the apron but Sho grins as he runs up, to LARIAT Despe down! Despe falls on the apron then flops down to the floor. Sho wants a ring count, but this is a cage match, there’s no such thing. Sho says fine, and he goes out to fetch Despe. Sho whips Despe into the cage! Despe leans against the steel, and Sho grins as he brings Despe around to throw into more cage! Sho then SMACKS Despe off the steel, and runs him along the way, only for Despe to turn it around and send Sho into steel! The fans fire up and Despe RAMS Sho into steel! Then Despe throws Sho into the cage wall! Despe goes into the ring, builds speed, and DIVES! Both men hit the steel!!

The fans are thunderous and Despe roars as he rises up! Sho sputters while he’s slumped against the cage, but Despe drags him up. Despe whips Sho into the cage again! Sho falls, clutching an arm, but Despe gets him up and runs him hard into more steel! The fans fire up as Despe snarls and drags Sho up again. Despe still throws Sho into the cage! Despe then puts Sho in the ring, drags him up, and hits a BIG back suplex! Despe drags Sho right back up, for a BIG regular suplex! Despe then climbs up the corner, for a FROG SPLASH! But Despe’s own ribs make it hard to keep the cover. Despe drags Sho up, reels him in, GUITARRA DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO!

Sho survives but Despe just shakes his head. Despe staggers around, he drags Sho up, and he reels Sho in to tuck the arms. But Sho wrenches out to KNEE low and throw Despe down by his hair! Sho sputters, he goes back to the blue corner, and he finishes untying the pad. The Bullet Club Special is still possible in this cage, and as Despe runs in, TADA! Bare buckles! Sho whips Despe back into those bare buckles! Sho runs to SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!! Despe survives and Sho is stunned! The fans rally for Despe but Sho calls his shot. Sho drags Despe up, but Despe fights the gut wrench! Despe CLUBS Sho’s legs, but Sho still tries to lift!

Sho KNEES Despe low, then whips him back to the bare buckles! Sho grins, but Despe comes back! Despe swings, but Sho gets around to POP UP and ARMBAR! Despe fights around, but ends up in SNAKEBITE!! Despe flails, reaches out, but he’s fading! Sho pulls harder on the hold, and Despe falls over! But then Despe gets a second wind! The fans rally as hard as they can, and Despe drags Sho over, but Sho just pulls harder on the hold! Despe tips over, but into the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes tells Sho to let go but he refuses! So Red Shoes pulls Sho’s hair to make him stop! Respect his authority, Sho!

Sho lets go and Red Shoes checks on Despe. Red Shoes keeps Sho back, and Despe raises a hand. Despe wags a finger, he isn’t done yet. Sho kicks Despe mockingly, toying with him. Sho stands on Despe’s head, then gives him another mocking kick. Despe slowly sits up and the fans rally up again. Despe looks up at Sho defiantly, and Sho gives him a kick. Despe stays up so Sho fires a forearm! Despe snarls as he stands, so Sho fires another forearm! Despe forearms back but Sho LARIATS! Sho is mad now! Sho gets Despe up to gut wrench, Canadian Rack, FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Despe survives and the fans fire up!

Sho is freaking out, slapping himself around. Sho pulls at his own hair in frustration, but he drags Despe back up. Sho reels Despe in, tucks the arms, but Despe slips out to wrench and OLYMPIC SLAM! The fans fire up while both men are down! Despe and Sho stir, and Sho crawls his way to ropes. Despe snarls as he rises at center, but Sho storms back over. Despe fires body shots, then a forearm! Sho fires off boxing elbows fast and furious! Sho ROCKS Despe, runs, but Despe DECKS him! Despe roars and the fans fire up with him! Despe underhooks, FACEBUSTER! And then the roll through, for PINCHE- NO, Sho fights it!

Sho shoves Despe into Red Shoes! Sho runs up, to SHOTGUN Red Shoes into the bare buckles! Despe slumps out of the ring, Sho storms over and “accidentally” drops an elbow on Red Shoes! Evil claims Sho is innocent, but here comes The House of Torture! The fans boo, so much for Sho doing this on his own! Sho drags Despe up as the fans tell all the others to go home, or at least go away. But Sho puts Despe against the cage, and Narita SMACKS Despe with a chair! But here comes Oleg! But Kanemaru CLOBBERS Oleg! Evil even hits Yano on commentary! Tanahashi and even Satoshi Kojima run out here, but The House goes after them, too!

The fans boo but The House starts throwing chairs into the ring for Sho to use! Evil pretends he sees nothing wrong with this. Sho grins stands Despe back up, talks trash on everyone, then brings Despe into the ring. Sho soaks up the heat, then talks more trash. But Despe has a chair! Despe HEADSHOTS Sho!! Sho flops into the ring and the fans are thunderous! Despe turns things around on The House as he puts Sho’s head on one chair, and grabs another! Evil can only freak out as Despe hits a HOMERUN!! Evil tries to climb into the cage?! Despe CHUCKS a chair at him and he falls right off! The others try, but Despe chucks more chairs!

The fans fire up as now Yano, Oleg and Tanahashi fight back, too! They all stomp the House, Kojima CLUBS Kanemaru, and Despe CHUCKS chairs as Narita tries to climb! Despe goes back to Sho while Tanahashi and team drag The House outta here! The fans cheer as justice is again served! Despe calls to Red Shoes and he slowly returns. Despe gets Sho up but Sho LOW BLOWS! The ref missed that by sheer luck! Sho pretends he got hit, too, and so now everyone’s down again! Sho can’t help but laugh, though, and he tells Red shoes to get up. Sho hobbles over to Despe, drags him up, and reels him in to pump handle!

But Despe Alabama Lifts! And then he tucks Sho in, BASTARD DRIVER!! The fans are thunderous as Despe gets Sho up, underhooks, and JAY DRILLER!! And then the PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, DESPE WINS!!

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

The Murder Machine couldn’t win it on his own, and that is why he lost it all tonight! Will it ever sink in that crime doesn’t pay?

As for Desperado, he now has trophy and championship belt to hold! Despe makes sure “the trash” is taken out of the ring first, then he gets the mic. The fans cheer “DESPE! DESPE!” as he gets the spotlight on him. Despe takes a moment, and then says, “Ah… that hurt. Thank you.” The fans cheer, and Despe continues by saying that there are all different types of wrestlers, and that’s what makes pro-wrestling so interesting. But even knowing that, it’s exhausting having to go this far. Why the heck are they opening the cage up? It took a lot to put it together in the first place, not that Despe really knows about that.

Despe won’t say this was fun, it’s not really his style, and his whole body hurts. He probably won’t do this kinda thing ever again. But he does want to get to his next challenger. The fans are shocked he’s doing this so soon! And then Despe calls out DOUKI! Despe tells Douki to come on out here, they don’t need to make a mess with the cage coming down just yet. The fans cheer for “DOUKI! DOUKI!” Despe waits, but he starts to wonder if Douki left already. Despe figured he’d give the guy he fought in the BOSJ semifinals, a guy who’s like a brother to him, a shot. But then, while he was home, he was kind alike, “Nah, maybe I’ll go with another guy.”

But wait! Here comes Douki! The fans cheer as Japones Del Mal heads into the ring. And Despe already knows what Douki must be thinking. Why’s he giving the shot to a guy he already beat? Is it because it’ll be an easy defense? Despe says the BOSJ was the BOSJ, and this cage match was this cage match. Whether the energy is flowing or not, a true IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match is different. Despe is sure Douki has what it takes. Despe knows Douki got cheated by Sho, so this will be different, too. So what does Douki say? Is he up for the challenge? The fans like the sound of that!

Despe keeps explaining that people might be thinking this is because of their past friendship, and maybe it is. After all, even though Despe is older, Douki helped him out a lot while they were in Mexico. This is Despe returning the favor. A chance like this doesn’t come along all the time, but don’t think of this as a handout. Despe just wants Douki to see for himself that he can do this. But if he doesn’t think he can, then Douki can walk away. The fans tell Douki to go for it! Douki steps inside! The fans fire up as Douki is face to face with Despe! Despe says he doesn’t know when or where this’ll happen, but when it does, it’ll be Despe VS Douki.

The fans cheer, Douki nods, and the fans even cheer Douki on. Despe lets Douki have the mic, and he says there was no way he was saying no with Despe asking him like that! Douki then says Despe better do everything he can to keep that belt. Despe tells Douki not to be so cocky. The Rogue Luchador grins as his old amigo heads back out. And then he grumbles that Douki shouldn’t have given him the mic back, now he has to wrap this up! And then he says, “That’s just how it is!” Despe drops the mic and the streamers fly! We have our next title match on the books, when and where will these former Suzuki-Gun soldiers do battle as rivals?


My Thoughts:

A great New Japan Soul, full of so much meaningful stuff for being the start to a short tour. A little surprised Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg won the NEVER titles back already, but I do appreciate NJPW isn’t afraid to hot potato their titles around. And I really do think there should be a tiebreaker coming, maybe with a heightened stipulation like Elimination or Best 2 Outta 3 Falls. Great Junior Heavyweight Tag title match, and TMDK came so close, but I should’ve figured The War Dogs would win out. And very good field for the G1 this year. I’m a little surprised so many people are in the qualifiers, but that should make it really wild stuff. I’d love if TJP got in for B Block.

Takagi VS Henare was an awesome rematch, and Henare winning was quite the surprise. Takagi’s not just in the G1, but he’s gonna be in AEW’s Owen Hart Cup, so I thought he’d bring that along. But maybe since Takagi isn’t likely to win the Owen Hart Cup, NJPW doesn’t want anyone getting a win over one of their midcard champions. Great return match for Sanada, but I suppose Finlay was going to retain either way. Finlay already felt the shame of losing this title once this year, he wasn’t gonna do it again.

And great stuff in the main event. I just knew The House of Torture would show up despite the cage, but then great of Tanahashi and friends to stop them. Desperado winning was the right choice and certainly great for him. Desperado naming Douki as his next challenger is really cool stuff, and Douki is definitely going to have a great showing. I still think Despe retains, but Douki is slowly rising up the ranks. If all things go well, Douki can definitely find himself as champion within the next year.

My Score: 9/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW Dominion Results & Report! (6/9/24)

Who makes NJPW their Dominion?

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Time to see who is truly the best of the best!

While Jon Moxley defends his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, El Desperado and Taiji Ishimori battle to prove who is the Best of the Super Juniors!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Tetsuya Naito VS Callum Newman; Naito wins.
  • Six Man Tag: TMDK VS LJ Cleary & Bullet Club War Dogs; TMDK wins.
  • KOPW Championship Storm Catch Rules Match: Yuya Uemura VS Great-O-Khan; Khan wins and becomes the new KOPW Champion.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.
  • NJPW World Television Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Tomohiro Ishii; Cobb wins and retains the title.
  • NJPW Strong Openweight & IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Tornado Elimination Fatal 4, Winners Take All: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS KENTA & Chase Owens VS Bishamon VS TMDK; TMDK wins and are the Undisputed NJPW Tag Team Champions.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS HENARE; Double TKO Draw, Takagi retains the title.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Lumberjack Match: Jon Moxley VS EVIL; Moxley wins and retains the title.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 Finals: El Desperado VS Taiji Ishimori; Desperado wins and will challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

KOPW 2024 Storm Catch Rules Match: Yuya Uemura VS Great-O-Khan!

Both men wanted to do this with wrestling tradition in mind, and it was the Heat Storm’s ruleset that was chosen by the fans! NO strikes allowed, grapples and throws only; both men only get TWO ropebreaks/ring exits, strike three and you’re out; and perhaps most important of all, a 15 MINUTE time limit! Who will be swift as lightning and weather the Storm Catch Rules?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who masters the cerulean blue!

The bell rings and the two rush in! Yuya gets the body scissors and takedown into the double wristlock! Khan fights around, Yuya focuses on the arm, then drags Khan up to a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! ARMBAR! The fans fire up as Khan endures and kicks around! Khan reaches out to clasp hands, but Yuya breaks that grip! Khan fights around still, but Yuya keeps him grounded! Khan scrambles, reaches out with a foot, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, that is Khan’s first, and Yuya fires himself up. The fans rally, Yuya wrenches Khan to a wristlock, then wrenches again. Yuya clamps onto an arm, but Khan BITES!

The ref reprimands but Khan does find a loophole around no striking. Khan lets off, Yuya goes to ropes, and Khan storms up to bring him away. Khan wants the head ‘n’ arm triangle but Yuya fights it! Yuya hits a takedown, but Khan holds on tight! Yuya flails, reaches out, even as Khan leans all his weight on the hold! Yuya still finds the ROPEBREAK! Khan lets go and now both men are even. Khan drags Yuya from ropes, and wants the IRON CLAW SLEEPER! Yuya fights it, fights to his feet, and reaches back to jump and flying-mare! The fans cheer as Yuya gets free! Both men slowly rise and Khan storms up on Yuya.

Khan drags Yuya up to whip, but Yuya reverses to SAYANAGI! Yuya steps through to SNAP LOCK the arm! The fans rally while both men are down, Khan clutching that arm. Yuya hurries to grab the arm, to GROUND SCREW it! Yuya then gets Khan up, hammerlocks that arm, and slips through to scoop! Yuya SLAMS Khan onto his bad arm! Cover, TWO! Khan stays in this and the fans rally up again. Yuya keeps cool as he brings Khan back up. Khan fights the clinch, then he BITES Yuya’s forehead! The ref reprimands but Khan throws Yuya down by his hair! Khan storms back over to Yuya, drags him up, and clamps onto an arm.

Yuya endures and fights the hip toss. Yuya BITES Khan’s ear! Yuya uses Khan’s loophole against him! The fans fire up as Khan and Yuya stare down. They RAM shoulders again and again, then clinch. They fight for control, Yuya facelocks but Khan goes for a leg. Yuya flips free, clinches with Khan again, and then Khan slips through to hit a JUDO HIP TOSS! The fans fire up with Khan and he covers, but Yuya makes it a ghost pin! TWO!! Khan escapes, the fans fire up, and Khan runs into Yuya for another clinch. They fight for control, Yuya THROWS Khan up and out! Khan tumbles to the floor, and this ends up counting as his second escape!

The fans rally as Yuya has outmaneuvered Khan on that one. The ring count starts, Khan is down at 6 of 20. Khan slowly sits up at 12, the fans rally, and Yuya eggs Khan on! Khan rises at 16, hobbles his way over, and slides in at 18! Yuya storms over to him, brings him up, and wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! And then another wrench, but Khan powers Yuya to an arm-drag! Yuya comes back, they clinch again, and Khan wants the head ‘n’ arm! But then he clinches for an URENAGE! Cover, TWO! Yuya is still in this but Khan clamps onto him again! Another head ‘n’ arm but at a different angle! Yuya is fading!

The fans rally as the ref checks! Yuya’s arm drops once! The arm drops twice! But Yuya gets his second wind! Yuya fights up, but into the IRON CLAW SLEEPER! Ripcord and ELIM- NO! ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Yuya has Khan down but Khan fights and flails! But if he uses the ropebreak, he forfeits!! Khan realizes that, and he’s stuck! Khan kicks and flails, powers up, but Yuya pulls on the arm! The fans rally as hard as they can, Khan bridges and kicks around, to a stack! TWO!! Yuya lets go in time, then arm-drags into the cording hold! Yuya drags Khan up but Khan fights the second cording hold!

Yuya still brings Khan up, but Khan THROWS Yuya away! Khan roars and we pass 10 minutes! The Monster Rage boils up, Khan drags Yuya up and he has the fans with him! But Yuya clamps onto the arm! Khan slips around, IRON CLAW SUPLEX! Khan then clamps back on with both hands! EVOLVED ELIMINATOR!! Cover, KHAN WINS!!

Winner: Great-O-Khan, by pinfall (NEW KOPW Champion)

The Heat Storm could not win his own game, and now The Dominator is back on top! Will Khan continue his mission to “unify the fiefdoms” of NJPW?

 

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

The Ace, The Joker & The Rook have been rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ since Wrestling World in Taiwan, but they’re about to run into some serious rabblerousers! Will Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi & Yota Tsuji make the NEVER Six Man Division tranquilo? Or will Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg still be the top dogs?

And speaking of rabblerousers, Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg bring out the Yankee style gear! The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who are truly the baddest of the bad boys!

The trios sort out, Yota starts for LIJ, and he calls out President Ace! Tanahashi accepts and the fans fire up with the bell. The fans rally behind Tanahashi as he circles with Yota. Then the “YO~TA! YO~TA!” comes out strong. The two tie up, break, then circle again. They tie back up, break again, then get face to face. Yota grins, backs away, and tags in Bushi. Tanahashi backs away and he tags in Yano. The fans cheer as Yano goes right for a buckle pad! Bushi lets him do it, but then Hiromu steps in! He and Bushi both tell Yano to put the buckle pad down! Yano says fine and he throws the pad away, only for Bushi & Hiromu to both kick low!

Bushi & Hiromu double whip, but Yano holds ropes and taunts them both. Hiromu runs up, but Yano sends him into Bushi! Then Yano SMACKS them both! Yano runs, but into a kijck, dropkick and basement dropkick! Bushi & Hiromy BLAST Tanahashi & Oleg, then Bushi stomps Yano. Bushi stomps Yano to the LIJ corner, stands him up, then wrenches and YANKS an arm. Bushi grinds that arm, CLUBS it, then YANKS it again! Bushi tags Yota and Yota takes the handoff to wrench and wrench and wrench again. Tag to Hiromu and he goes up. The fans rally, and Hiromu jumps to AX HANDLE the arm!

Hiromu mockingly apologizes, then he gets Yano up. Hiromu whips Yano to a corner, clotheslines, snapmares, and basement dropkicks! The fans rally, Yota coordinates with Hiromu, scoop and SPLASH! Cover, TWO! The fans rally as Yano stays in this but Hiromu drags him up. Yano breaks free and pulls hair! Hiromu kicks low, whips, but Yano reverses! Hiromu stops from hitting buckles, and uses Yano’s taunt against him! Yano runs up, but Hiromu sends him into the bare buckles! Hiromu says he’s too smart, but then he runs into an atomic drop! Maybe not then… The fans rally up as both men crawl, hot tags to Oleg and Yota!

Oleg CLOBBERS Yota! And he CLOBBERS Bushi! Oleg runs to SPLASH on Yota! Cover, TWO! The fans rally for big bad Bolten as he gut wrenches for Shake, Rattle and THROW! The fans fire up but Bushi & Hiromu attack! They reel Oleg in, but Oleg DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! The fans fire up more, but Yota kicks Oleg and reels him in. But Oleg suplexes first! Oleg storms around while Yota goes to a corner. Oleg runs in, but he blocks a boot! Yota tries to reel Oleg in but Oleg blocks that! Oleg CHOPS, fireman’s carries, and KAMI- NO, Yota slips free to clinch! BACKBREAKER! COMPLETE SHOT! STOMP!

The fans fire up again as Yota gets Oleg up. Yota suplexes for the ORANGE CRUSH! Cover, TWO! Oleg survives and the fans fire up. Yota drags Oleg back up, fireman’s carries, but Oleg fights free! Yota ROCKS Oleg, but Oleg ROCKS Yota! They go back and forth with big forearms and Oleg gets the edge! Yota ROCKS Oleg! Oleg DROPKICKS! The fans fire up and Oleg crawls, hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace hurries in, runs and CLOBBERS Yota! Tanahashi BLASTS Hiromu & Bushi off the corner! The fans fire up more and Tanahashi fires fast hands on Yota! Tanahashi scoops Yota to SLAM him down!

The fans cheer as Tanahashi goes up, for the SUNSET SENTON! Cover, Hiromu breaks it! Yano kicks Hiromu and TOSSES him out! Tanahashi stays focused on Yota, runs and SLING- JUMP KNEE! SUPERKICK! HEAD- SHOTEI! Yota still HEADBUTTS!! The fans are thunderous as Yota looms over Tanahashi! Yota powers up and he aims from the corner! But Yano anchors Yota’s legs! Yota kicks Yano away, but Tanahashi runs up to SLINGBLADE! Bushi & Hiromu run in, but Bolten CLOBBERS them both! Tanahashi goes up, for the HIGH FLY FLOP as Yota moves! GENE BLASTER!! Cover, LIJ WINS!!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)

Hiromu is the most excited about this victory! Yota just took down President Ace! Oleg shows respect to the winners, but promises that they’ll do this again soon. Will LIJ make things tranquilo then as they did here tonight?

 

NJPW World Television Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Tomohiro Ishii!

The Imperial Unit proved that the third time is the charm when he finally took this title from Zack Sabre Jr. However, he had little time to celebrate as The Stone Pitbull came barking at his door. Will Ishii prove that he has speed to go with all that strength? Or will he be taking a Tour of the Islands in 15 minutes or less?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see how fast these tanks can move!

The bell rings, these two run in and RAM! And RAM! And RAM again! Ishii runs, RAMS Cobb, but then Cobb runs to RAM Ishii! Ishii fires a forearm, runs, but Cobb runs him over! The fans fire up while Ishii stands back up. Ishii fires forearms, runs, but Cobb drops down, hurdles, then CROSSBODIES! The fans fire up again, and Cobb storms back up on Ishii. Cobb stomps Ishii, stands on him, and uses him to surf! Crowns up! Cobb then steps off, eggs Ishii on, and stands him up. Cobb whips Ishii to a corner, Ishii comes back to RAM him! Cobb ROCKS Ishii, whips, but Ishii runs Cobb over! The fans fire up while Ishii steadies himself.

Ishii storms up on Cobb, brings him up and reels him in, but Cobb fights the suplex! The fans rally and Ishii still tries, but Cobb suplexes first! Ishii slips out, shoves Cobb, but Cobb runs him over! The fans rally more as Cobb paces around. Cobb says “You Can’t See Me!” then drags Ishii up. Ishii CHOPS, and CHOPS, and CHOPS but Cobb isn’t bothered! So Ishii CHOPS, forearms, and repeat! Cobb blocks one, spins Ishii, but Ishii waistlocks. Cobb elbows free but Ishii half nelsons. Cobb switches, shoves Ishii to a corner, and runs in to UPPERCUT Ishii down! The fans rally up again as Cobb rises.

The ref checks Ishii, did that shot knock him out? Ishii stirs, the fans rally up behind him, but Cobb looms over Ishii. Cobb scuffs Ishii, eggs him on, and Ishii stands up. Cobb pie faces Ishii, Ishii backs Cobb down, but Cobb fires a forearm! And another! And another! Ishii just ROCKS Cobb in return! Then Ishii suplexes Cobb up and holds him, before a SLAM! The fans are all fired up now! Ishii runs, Cobb stands, but Cobb swats the lariat! Cobb ROCKS Ishii, whips, but Ishii avoids the dropkick! Cobb avoids the sliding lariat! Ishii blocks the superkick, ducks an elbow, but Cobb switches to GERMAN SUPLEX!

Ishii tries to rise right up but has to sit back down! The ref checks him, maybe Ishii got a stinger there. Cobb storms over, brings Ishii up, and puts him on the top rope. Cobb fires forearms, climbs up, and he brings Ishii to the top! Stalling SUPERPLEX!! The fans fire up again as Ishii writhes. But then Ishii pounds the mat, and roars to his feet! Ishii SWATS Cobb’s lariat, then GERMAN SUPLEXES Cobb! Both behemoths are down and the fans fire up again! Cobb rises, Ishii goes to a corner. Ishii headbutts the corner to fire up! Ishii runs in, gets around Cobb, and SAIDOS! Then Ishii rises again and the fans fire up more!

Ishii runs, Cobb stands, but Cobb clinches! OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Ishii still rises!? LARIAT, but Cobb stays up, to LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and the fans are thunderous! Cobb shakes his head, drags Ishii up, but Ishii fires boxing elbows! Cobb wobbles, but he HEADBUTTS Ishii right down! Cobb GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives again and again the fans are thunderous! Cobb storms back up, he drags Ishii to his feet, then whips him to ropes. Ishii LARIATS first! Cobb wobbles, Ishii ENZIGIRIS! Cobb still staggers, but he comes back, into a LARIAT! Cover, ONE?!?!

The fans are electric as Cobb shocks Ishii! Ishii runs back in, but into an URENAGE! FALLING HAMMER! Cover, ONE!?!? Now Ishii shocks Cobb! Ishii rises to his feet, blocks a superkick, and he DECKS Cobb! Ishii falls back while the ref checks, and somehow Cobb is still in this! The fans rally as hard as they can as Ishii rises. Ishii roars, storms up on Cobb, and sits Cobb up. Ishii runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Cobb stays in this but Ishii roars again! Ishii drags Cobb up, reels him in, but Cobb suplexes first! Ishii fights that, wrenches and short arm lariats, but into a fireman’s carry! F- NO, Ishii slips free to suplex!

Cobb fights free, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! And RISING HEADBUTTS! But Cobb DROPKICKS him down!! We pass 10 minutes, time is on Cobb’s side! Cobb still drags Ishii up, brings him around to fireman’s carry, and F 5 THOUSAND!! Cover, TWO!!! Ishii survives, but Cobb hurries to haul him up! Ripcord and- LARIAT from Ishii! JAB from Cobb! HEADBUTT from Ishii! SUPERKICK from Cobb! Ishii runs in, into an ATHLETIC PLEX! Cobb hurries to get Ishii up, TOUR OF- NO, Ishii slips free to HEADBUTT! Ishii runs up, but into a POP-UP- RANA?! Is this really Ishii!? LARIAT!!! Cover, TWO!!! Cobb survives and shocks everyone!

The fans are electric again and Ishii roars! Ishii drags Cobb up, reels him in, suplexes, but Cobb fights free! POP-UP TOUR OF THE ISLANDS!! Cover, COBB WINS!

Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (still NJPW World Television Champion)

At just under 12 minutes, Cobb conquers the Stone Pitbull! Already this “fifth season” is the biggest just on that, will the Imperial Unit only make it bigger and better from here?

 

NJPW announces the G1 Climax 34 format!

This year, it will be twenty men total, 10 per block, for a leaner, meaner round robin. New Japan Soul, coming up in just a couple weeks, will begin some of the preliminaries, and then things will really heat up from July 20th through August 14th! And then from August 15th on, there will be a special semifinal playoff of sorts! The TOP seeds of both blocks get a bye, while the second seeds face the third seeds! In other words, A1 and B1 get to rest up and watch A2 VS A3 and B2 VS B3. Then August 17th sees the top seeds take on the wild card winners, and August 18th will be THE G1 Climax finals, the very best of A Block taking on the very best of B Block!

And of course, as always, the winner of the G1 Climax will have the Right to Challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleKingdom, which will this year be ONE NIGHT on January 4th, 2025! Who survives the Summer heat to ring in the New Year the best way possible?

 

NJPW Strong Openweight & IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Tornado Elimination Fatal 4, Winners Take All: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS KENTA & Chase Owens VS Bishamon VS TMDK!

This is a truly massive match, both in terms of quantity, and what it means historically! Once again, we will see these two titles come together, but the bar has been raised significantly! The Headbanga & Young Guerilla just took their belts back from Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls while Bullet Club has gone back and forth with Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi. This will be big, this will be brutal, this will be chaotic, and in the end, there can only be one! Which team will reign supreme over all of NJPW?

A lot of introductions are made, both sets of belts are raised, and it’s time to see who is truly the best team today!

The bell rings and all eight men are wary of each other. But then everyone else looks at Kenta & Chase! Chase & Kenta bail out, Bishamon pursues and they brawl! TMDK goes after ELP & Leo, Goto sends Chase into railing, Hashi does the same to Kenta. Leo gets TMDK by the neck, but Shane & Mikey both break free. ELP BOOTS Shane, BOOTS Mikey, then runs, but into a double trophy lift! But ELP fights to double facelock! TMDK double suplexes but Leo makes the save! Mikey fiers off on both men, runs, but ELP hurdles and Leo DDTS! Shane kicks and whips ELP but ELP reverses. Leo SPLASHES, ELP clotheslines, then feed to teh SIDEWALK SLAM!

ELP goes up, FALLING AX HANDLE! TMDK bails out, ELP high-fives Leo. But then Bishamon attacks! Goto CLUBS ELP down, Hashi DUMPS Leo to the apron. Hashi dropkicks Leo down,. Goto fires off on ELP. Bishamon double whips ELP to run him over! Then ZANMAI! But then TMDK attacks Bishamon! Shane stomps Hashi, Goto fires forearms on Mikey! Mikey gets around, feeds Goto to Shane’s UPPERCUT, and they BACK SUPLEX NECKBREAKER! Hashi storms up but TMDK strikes first. Mikey CHOPS, whips, and TMDK DOUBLE ELBOWS Hashi down! Then FIST DROP MOONSAULT COMBO!

But then Kenta & Chase TOSS TMDK out! Bullet club stomps Hashi, Chase covers, TWO! Kenta knocks Leo down, Chase does the same to ELP and Kenta covers Hashi, TWO! Chase drags Hashi up, whips and forearm smashes. Chase short arm LARIATS, BOOTS Shane down, then covers Hashi, TWO! Kenta intercepts ELP, he and Chase mug The Headbanga, then whip him to a corner. Forearm smash, BOOT, and then snapmare into the SHINING WIZARD! Kenta is on defense as Chase covers, TWO! Kenta CLAWS ELP’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Kenta lets off, and he stomps ELP down.

Chase drags ELP up to headlock punch! Kenta and Chase mug ELP but ELP fires back with forearms and CHOPS! Chase & Kenta mug ELP, double whip to double scoop, POWERBOMB NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Kenta kicks Mikey off the apron, Chase BLASTS Leo! Kenta DECKS ELP, Chase kicks him around, and they drag ELP up again. They double whip ELP, ELP ducks under and Leo DOUBLE LARIATS! The fans rally as Leo UPPERCUTS Hashi. Goto dodges Leo’s lariat but not the BOOT! Mikey kicks and fires forearms, but Leo blocks! Leo whips Mikey to a corner, Mikey BOOTS back! Leo ELBOWS Mikey down!

Leo runs to BIG ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up, but Shane LARIATS Leo! Leo stay sup so Shane fires up! Leo CHOPS Shane down! ELP calls to Leo and Leo gets Shane up. Leo scoops Shane, ELP climbs the ropes. POWERSLAM and SWANTON BOMB! ELP keeps going, LIONSAULT! High five with Leo, and Leo helps ELP go up and up and TOP ROPE MOONSAULT onto everyone else! The fans fire up and ELP hobbles back to the ring. ELP & Leo aim at Shane and the fans clap along. SUDDEN DEATH into the choke grip! GOD- NO, Mikey drags ELP out and Shane DDTS Leo down! The fans rally as Shane calls to Mikey.

ELP returns but Shane BOOTS him first. Shane UPPERCUTS ELP, swings, but ELP dodges and Leo UPPERCUTS! ELP aims, but Shane ducks! SUDDEN DEATH hits Leo! Mikey LARIATS ELP! Mikey drags Leo up, scoops him, and Shane runs up, TANK BUSTER!! Cover, TMDK ELIMINATES ELP & Leo!! ELP & Leo will NOT be keeping their NJPW Strong titles! TMDK talks trash as ELP & Leo make their way out, and Bullet Club sneaks up! They both roll up Shane & Mikey, TWO!! Chase stomps Mikey, Kenta stomps Shane! They CHOKE both men in the corners, but the ref reprimands. Bullet Club lets off but for only a moment.

The ref gets insistent, and Bullet Club finally stops choking TMDK and shift to chinlocks. Chase throat chops Mikey, and Shane fights back against Kenta. We also see Leo is very upset. ELP apologizes but Leo storms off without him. Is this the end of Guerillas of Destiny in NJPW? Bullet Club beats TMDK down again, and Kenta KICKS Shane! Shane eggs Kenta on, so Kenta KICKS again! Shane fires up more, so Kenta CLAWS his eyes! The ref reprimands, Kenta lets off, and Bullet Club gets Shane up. Shane CHOPS and ROCKS them, then runs, but into a mule kick and DDT! Then they whip Mikey corner to corner.

Chase runs up to forearm smash! Chase sits Mikey down, BOOTS Shane, and Kenta DROPKICKS Mikey! Kenta climbs, aims, and DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS! Chase intercepts Hashi, DEATH VALLEY to PENALTY KICK! Goto returns but he gets mugged! Bullet Club mocks Bishamon’s “SE~ NO!” And they HAMMER Goto down! The fans boo but Bullet Club soaks up the heat. Chase drags Goto up, whips him to a corner, then runs in. Goto dodges Chase to CLOBBER Kenta! Goto runs up on Chase but gets a BUCKLE SHOT! Chase throws Goto down to SENTON! Chase slashes his throat, drags Goto up, but Goto fights the package driver!

Goto back drops Chase away, runs back up, and DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls so they DOUBLE LARIAT again! Chase roars, runs, but Goto follows! Only for Chase to ENZIGIRI! Chase runs up to C- NO! Gotro blocks the knee, Hashi SUPERKICKS! Hashi reels Chase in, Goto helps out, HEAD BUSTER! Then they get Kenta for the FIERCE FLASH onto Chase! Then Bishamon gets Chase up and in position, for SHOTO!! Cover, Bishamon ELIMINATES Bullet Club!! Kenta & Chase have now lost their titles! One way or another, the undisputed champions will be new champions!

The fans rally up as Bishamon stares down with TMDK. They all talk some smack, go foreheads to foreheads, then go forearms for forearms! Mikey TOSSES Hashi, Goto ROCKS Shane, but Shane ROCKS Goto! Hashi whips Mikey into railing! Goto and Shane go back and forth, Shane wobbles, but he comes back with UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT! Shane whips, runs in, but Goto dodges! Goto runs in to hit MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! The fans fire up as Goto rises, and he brings Shane around. Goto fireman’s carries, but Shane fights free! Shane waistlocks but Goto backs him into a corner. Hashi runs in to clothesline Shane!

Hashi snapmares Shane and Goto goes up! The fans rally, Hashi brings Shane up, but Mikey attacks! Mikey sends Hashi into Goto, then gives Shane a boost! SUPERPLEX POWERBOMB COMBO!! Cover, Hashi breaks it! The fans fire up, and Mikey goes forehead to forehead with Hashi. They go forearm for forearm, but then Mikey CHOPS! Hashi CHOPS, Mikey SLAPS! Hashi fires forearm after forearm, but Mikey sends those back! Mikey fireman’s carries but Hashi fights free to ROCK, CHOP and DOUBLE CHOP! Shane UPPERCUTS Hashi! Mikey fireman’s carries, Hashi slips fere! SUPERKICK for Shane!

Hashi gets around Mikey, Goto runs up but Mikey ROCKS him first! Hashi gest around again and Goto BLINDSIDE LARIATS! Roll up, into the dragon sleeper! Hashi gets the legs, but Shane BOOTS Hashi down! Goto ROCKS Shane, Shane fires back! The fans rally as forearms go back and forth! Shane then fires UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT! ROLLING- HEADBUTT! Goto roars, the fans fire up, and Goto runs, but into a DROPKICK! The fans fire up, Shane calls to Mikey, and TMDK regroups. TMDK drags Goto up, scoops, but Goto slips free! Goto sends Mikey into Shane, then runs up, but into a clinch! URENAGE BOMB COMBO!! Cover, Hashi breaks it!

Mikey SLIDING LARIATS Hashi! The fans fire up as Shane drags Hashi up! URENAGE- NO, Hashi BOOTS Mikey, then fires elbows and CHOPS! But Mikey scoops! TANK BUSTER!!! Cover, TWO?!? Hashi survives and the fans are thunderous! Mikey drags Hashi up to scoop and Shane climbs! SUPER TANK BUSTER!!! Cover, TMDK WINS!!!

Winners: TMDK, by pinfall (UNDISPUTED NJPW Strong & IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

ZSJ, Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita are here to celebrate with their guys, because all the gold now belongs to the orange ‘n’ black! Will all of NJPW have to acknowledge that The Mighty Don’t Kneel?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS HENARE!

Naito won to open the night, and Los Ingobernables de Japon took the NEVER Six Man titles earlier. However, the Rampaging Dragon is running right into the Face of Fury! Will Takagi help LIJ sweep the night? Or will Henare be anything but tranquilo?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who NEVER backs down!

The bell rings and the fans rally up as the two stare down. They approach, feel things out, and the fans duel between “TA-KA-GI!” and “HE-NA-RE!” The two tie up in a clinch, go around, and end up in a corner. The ref calls the break, Takagi lets go slowly, as does Henare. Takagi promises a clean break, but then CHOPS! Henare just frowns, so Takagi fires forearms. Henare leans into the shots, then gives a forearm! Takagi hits back, they go back and forth, faster and faster! The fans rally, Henare gets the edge, but Takagi fires back up! Henare fires another forearm, and another, but Takagi hits him back!

Takagi runs, RAMS Henare, but neither man falls! Henare ELBOW JABS, then runs! They RAM shoulders, Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS! Henare goes to a corner, Takagi runs up, blocks a boot, and clotheslines through! The fans fire up and Takagi JABS, CHOPS and repeat! Takagi JABS, JABS, JABS until his hand starts to hurt! Henare then puts Takagi in the corner to KICK, KICK and KICK! The ref counts, Henare runs, but Takagi RAMS him! They RAM shoulders again, and again, and Takagi staggers! Henare eggs him on so Takagi HEADBUTTS! Henare HEADBUTTS back! Henare eggs Takagi on so Takagi HEADBUTTS again!

Henare HEADBUTTS Takagi and Takagi staggers. Takagi comes back to HEADBUTT, but that’s proving double-edged! Henare HEADBUTTS Takagi, snapmares him, then KICKS him in the back! But Takagi eggs Henare on! Henare winds up to KICK Takagi in the back! Takagi writhes, Henare drags him up and runs, to PENALTY KICK! But Takagi’s right up to run Henare over! The fans fire up as both men are down. Takagi and Henare crawl towards each other, give junkyard dog headbutts, then stand to give HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Henare gets the edge, then JUMPING HEADBUTTS! Takagi staggers back to a corner!

The fans fire up, Henare runs up to SHINING- NO!, Takagi counters with a POWERBOMB! The fans fire up and Takagi runs up, SLIDING LARIAT! But Henare rolls to his feet for a SLIDING KNEE! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up. Henare snarls as he rises up, and he watches Takagi. Takagi stands, but he blocks the Rampage! Takagi fires knees, ELBOWS, JABS, feints the lariat to DDT! Henare staggers, Takagi runs up, but Henare RAMPAGES outta nowhere!! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up! Henare storms over to Takagi at the ropes, drags him up, and whips him to ropes.

Takagi stops himself, BOOTS Henare, then bobs ‘n’ weaves to ROCK him! Henare KICKS Takagi in the chest! Takagi staggers, but he comes back to CHOP! Henare growls and he comes back to KICK! Takagi seethes, then CHOPS! Henare KICKS, Takagi CHOPS, repeat! Henare drops to a knee and Takagi brings him up to LARIAT! Henare stays up, KICKS, but Takagi LARIATS! Henare KICKS again and Takagi drops to a knee! Takagi comes back to LARIAT! And LARIAT! And LARIAT! Henare just growls and KICKS, KICKS, and KICKS! The fans fire up with Henare but Takagi gets around to BLINDSIDE LARIAT!

Henare goes to a corner, Takagi runs up but into an ELBOW! FLYING CHUCK! Takagi rebounds to PUMPING BOMBER!! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Henare is in a daze while Takagi grits his teeth. Takagi rises and Henare goes to a corner. Takagi runs up to clothesline! Takagi runs, Henare ducks but runs into an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT!! The fans fire up with Takagi’s “OI! OI! OI!” Takagi drags Henare up, pump handles, but Henare CLUBS Takagi. Takagi LARIATS back! Takagi CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, then ELBOWS! Henare wobbles, Takagi pump handles!

Takagi lifts but Henare slips out of the torture rack! Takagi fights the full nelson so Henare torture racks! STREETS OF RAGE!! The fans are thunderous while both men are down again! Henare rises, drags Takagi up, but Takagi fights the suplex! Henare still tries but Takagi wrenches out. Takagi ROCKS Henare, Henare BACK ELBOWS Takagi! Henare brings his kneepad down, runs to the corner, SHINING WIZARD! Henare roars, the fans fire up, and Henare snapmares Takagi to run and PENALTY- NO! Takagi blocks! Henare fires off palm strike after palm strike, but Takagi hits LAST OF THE DRAGON outta nowhere!!

Both men are down again and the fans fire up! The fans rally and duel as both men stir. A standing count starts, reaches 5 of 10, but Takagi rises. Takagi grabs Henare’s hand and drags him up. Takagi winds up to LARIAT, but Henare stays up! Both men are a bit wobbly, but Takagi runs to LARIAT! Henare is still standing, so Takagi LARIATS again! Henare just fires up! Takagi fires boxing elbows over and over and over! Henare then bobs ‘n’ weaves to BODY SHOT! And HEEL KICK! Takagi PELES! Henare PENALTY KCIKS! Takagi is up, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Both men are still up, so they start throwing SLAPS!

The fans fire up as the SLAPS go back and forth, faster and faster! Henare fires a flurry from all sides, then SLAPS! Takagi wobbles, but he DECKS Henare!! Takagi roars, hauls Henare up, but Henare HEADBUTTS! Takagi HEADBUTTS! DOUBLE HEADBUTTS collide!! Takagi JABS! Henare HEADBUTTS! PUMPING BOMBER?!? JUMP HEADBUTT!!! Both men are down again and the fans are thunderous! The standing count starts and the fans rally. Both men are down at 5 of 10, then 7! 8! 9! TEN!! DOUBLE COUNT OUT!!

Double TKO Draw, Takagi retains the NEVER Openweight Championship

Both men pushed each other so far that neither could rise above! Henare is a bit stunned, he was just starting to wake up at 10. But the rules are the rules, and Takagi survives Henare’s wrath. Will the Face of Fury be given another chance to slay the Rampaging Dragon?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Lumberjack Match: Jon Moxley VS EVIL!

The Maniac said himself that a Lumberjack match against The King of Darkness is no different than any other House of Torture match. But luckily, Moxley and Shota Umino were able to call upon the legends of NJPW Generation 3 for back-up! So now that the odds are even, will Moxley see justice served? Or will Darkness Fall on all of NJPW?

Hey, wait, what’s The House doing going over to NJPW & Bushiroad Director, Takaaki Kidani? Dick Togo & Sho stand him up, for Evil to spray paint! The fans boo while Yujiro and Kanemaru keep Young Lions from getting close, and Evil spray paints shirt, tie, blazer, even face and glasses! What disrespect for the boss of bosses! Evil tells Kidani that he better not ever talk about Evil again! Evil then mockingly tells Kidani to go home! There are some rogues in Osaka that seem to agree, but here comes Team Moxley! The Maniac leads the way for #SHOOTER, Tiger Mask, Yuji Nagata, Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan as they come in through the crowd!

Ren Narita runs up on Moxley but Moxley DECKS him! Yujiro tries but Moxley BOOTS him! Team Moxley storms up, Evil is there, and the brawl is on! The lumberjacks get at it, too! The ref wants the two main guys to get in the ring first, though! Moxley BITES Evil, CLUBS him, then stomps him. Moxley then whips Evil hard into railing! The fans fire up with Moxley but the ref insists we get in the ring already. Team Mox sends members of The House into railing, and Moxley puts Evil in the ring. The bell rings and it’s time to fight for the fate of NJPW!

Moxley fires forearms and CHOPS on Evil on repeat. Evil knees low, runs, but Moxley runs him over! The fans fire up and Evil bails out, but Moxley’s team throws him back in! Moxley turns Evil to NECKBREAKER! Moxley ELBOWS, KICKS and repeat! Moxley then runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO, but Moxley goes for the ARMBAR! Evil endures, clasps hands, but Moxley pries the hold open! Evil scrambles around, ROPEBREAK! Moxley lets go and the fans applaud. Moxley drags Evil up to ROCK and CHOP on repeat, then wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Moxley double wristlocks but Evil has the ROPEBREAK!

The ref counts, Evil CLAWS Moxley’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Evil says shut it, then he TOSSES Moxley out! Moxley fights off the House and the fans cheer! Evil goes out but Moxley sends him into railing, right at English commentary! The fans fire up as Moxley brings Evil to No Man’s Land, then he takes a chair from commentary! Apologizes to Walker, but Moxley makes Evil take a seat, CLAWS Evil’s face, then throws down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! The ref counts, Moxley lets off to run and BOOT Evil down! The fans fire up and Moxley brings Evil back to the ring. Evil runs up, but Moxley blocks to trip him!

Moxley steps through to the FIGURE FOUR! Evil endures, even as Moxley thrashes the hold. Evil crawls, reaches out, but Moxley pulls on the leg! Evil still fights, and grabs the ROPEBREAK! Moxley lets go, and drags Evil up to RAM him into a corner. Moxley climbs up to dig his knee into Evil’s face! The ref counts, Moxley lets off at 4, then he whips corner to corner. Moxley runs up, but Evil puts him on the apron! Moxley ROCKS Evil, ROCKS him again, but Evil CLAWS Moxley’s face! Evil BLASTS Moxley off the apron and he hits railing! Moxley tumbles onto a table, The House fetches him back into the ring.

Evil drags Moxley up to TOSS him back out, and then The House attacks! Team Moxley runs up to fight them off, and Moxley gets back in the ring. Evil trips up a Tiger Mask merch shirt, to then CHOKE Moxley with it! The lumberjacks protest but that distracts the ref. Evil CLAWS Moxley’s back, then CLAWS him again. Evil CHOPS Moxley but Moxley shouts at him! Evil smirks to CHOP again! Moxley eggs Evil on so Evil puts some stank on the eye claws! The fans boo, Evil TOSSES Moxley out, and The House beats Moxley down with all leather belts! They put Moxley in the ring, Evil stomps Moxley’s leg then drops an elbow.

Evil steps through, ties up the legs, and he mocks Nagata by putting on the INVERTED FIGURE FOUR! Moxley endures as Evil pulls on the leg! Moxley crawls, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and the ref counts, Evil lets go at 4. Moxley hobbles away, Evil storms up on him in the corner. Evil CHOPS, then he hoists Moxley up top. Evil climbs up, brings Moxley up, but Moxley resists the lift! The fans rally as Moxley fights and turns things around on Evil. Moxley fires haymakers, then CLAWS Evil’s back! The ref reprimands, but Moxley ROCKS Evil. Moxley HEADBUTTS away on Evil, then HEADBUTTS Evil down!

Evil rises, runs up, but Moxley leaps over! Moxley ROCKS Evil, Evil ROCKS Moxley! The fans rally, Moxley fires another forearm! Evil comes back to fire a forearm! They go back and forth, faster and faster, then Evil CHOPS! Moxley CHOPS! Evil CHOPS! Moxley CHOPS! The CHOPS continue back and forth, then both men take a moment to catch their beath. Evil CHOPS, Moxley CHOPS and Evil drops to his knees! Moxley snarls as he looms over Evil, then scuffs him. Moxley pie faces Evil around, eggs him on, and Evil stands to CHOP! Moxley fires a forearm but Evil gives it back! They go back and forth, then Evil CHOPS again!

Moxley fires a flurry of forearms, then a CHOP, forearm, and repeat! Moxley whips, Evil reverses, but Evil blocks Moxley’s boot to DISCUS LARIAT! Moxley sits in the corner, the fans rally up and Evil runs in, but Moxley gets up to KING KONG LARIAT! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Moxley rises, fires himself up and goes corner to corner to clothesline! Moxley climbs up to rain down fists! Moxley goes to TEN, then brings Evil in for a stalling PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO! Evil survives and bails out. The House is there to protect him, but Moxley DIVES onto them all! The fans are thunderous as Moxley topples The House!

Moxley gets up with a wild look in his eyes, and then he grabs one of the leather belts. Moxley LASHES Evil over and over and over and the fans fire up! Moxley then goes looking under the ring, and he brings out a table! The fans fire up as Moxley sets the table up at ringside. Moxley goes back for Evil, drags him up and brings him over, then reels him in! But Sho trips up the ref while Dick uses POCKET SAND on Moxley!! The fans boo but then The House goes after the legends! Evil puts a chair around Moxley’s neck, and has another to hit the HOME RUN!! Moxley flops over, and Evil flips him off!

Evil then shows off the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship replica Evil’s been bringing around with him. Moxley flounders into the ring, Evil runs into the corner to clothesline! Then he hoists Moxley up top! Evil climbs, the fans rally, SUPERPLEX!! Evil crawls to the cover, TWO!! But Evil clamps onto Moxley with an ANACONDA VICE! Now Evil is mocking Tenzan! Moxley endures, fights around, flips Evil off, and fights to his feet! Moxley slips around to the SLEEPER! Evil flails, shifts around, throws elbows, but Moxley waistlocks! Evil grabs the ref to stop the German Suplex! The ref breaks free, but Evil ducks so the ref SLAPS Moxley!!

Moxley gets in the ref’s face, the ref apologizes, but Evil gets Moxley for DARKNESS FALLS!! Cover, TWO!! Moxley survives and the fans fire up! The fans rally as hard as they can behind Moxley but Evil shakes his head. Evil slashes his throat, stalks Moxley, and EVERYTHING- NO, Moxley fights free with elbows! Evil LARIATS, but Moxley just growls! Evil LARIATS, but Moxley still stands! The fans fire up, Evil flips him off, but Moxley gest around Evil to SNAP GERMAN! Evil rises, runs back up, but into a takedown! CROSSFACE!! Moxley is using Blue Justice’s move to make Evil suffer! And speaking of, Nagata blocks The House!

Narita slips through, but Shota SPEARS him down! The ref is busy with them, and that lets Kanemaru stomp Moxley! But Nagata gets in to KICK, KICK, but the ref is used as a shield! Ref down and Kanemaru ENZIGIRIS Nagata! Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER on Moxley!! Togi CLOBBERS Dick! Sho ROCKS Togi, he and Dick double whip, but Togi DOUBLE LARIATS! Yujiro BOOTS Togi! Shota gets Yujiro down, into the STF! Tenzan grabs Sho, Nagata gets Kanemaru, Tiger DROPKICKS Dick! Tiger DIVES onto Dick while we have TRIPLE SUBMISSIONS in the ring! And PARADIGM SHIFT for Evil!!

But Narita uses his PUSHUP BAR!! He CLOBBERS Moxley, Shota, Nagata, Tenzan, Tiger and Togi in order! Moxley gets up but Evil LOW BLOWS!! The fans boo as The House has turned the tables! And speaking of tables, they bring Moxley back to that table he set up! And in insult to injury, The House gives Moxley a TRIPLE POWERBOMB through the table!! The fans boo as Evil says believe that! Evil drags Moxley into the ring, calls to the ref, and then he reels Moxley in, to steal DEATH RIDER!!! Cover, TWO!!!! Moxley survives his own move and Evil is furious! Evil argues with the ref, shoves him down, and then drags Moxley back up.

Evil slashes his throat, clinches, but Moxley fights the STO to steal EVERYTHING IS EVIL!!! Moxley flips Evil off and then grabs that Spoiler Choke! Moxley throws that aside, that’s not good enough. Moxley grabs the pimp cane, the Torture Tool, still not good enough. The fans fire up as Moxley seems to get an idea, and he goes outside. Moxley clears the table wreckage away to look under the ring. Moxley brings out a BARBED WIRE BAT!! That’s an extra thicc Barbie right there, and Moxley’s bringing this bad girl into the ring! Sho gets in but Moxley SLUGS him! And he SLUGS, Kanemaru, SLUGS Yujiro, SWATS the pushup bar and then CLUBS Narita!

Evil JAMS Moxley with a pen to the head!! And now Evil has Barbie! But Moxley dodges the homer to CUTTER!! Moxley has Barbie back and the fans fire up! Moxley SLUGS, CLUBS, SLUGS and then CURB STOMPS Evil! Moxley then lines up the shot, DEATH RIDER onto barbed wire!! Shota helps the ref, Moxley covers, Moxley wins!!

Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall (still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)

The fourth defense was bad luck, but not for Moxley! Evil’s best laid plans fell apart like a house of cards! Moxley may be All Elite but he proves he is also Strong Style! And because this counts as a co-main-event, Moxley gets the mic. “Thank you, Osaka. I’ve got something to say. A lot of people say anybody, anytime, any place, but when Jon Moxley says any effin’ body, any effin’ time, any effin’ place, I mean it!” The fans cheer, and Moxley dares anyone that wants the world title, this is their shot! Come on out and face down the devil right now! Moxley sets the belt down and waits, but who makes their way out here?

IT’S TETSUYA NAITO! Moxley took this title off Naito in Chicago, so it seems Naito wants his rematch. Naito still takes his time strolling down the ramp and to the ring, but he does step to Moxley. Naito picks up the mic to say that if no one else is gonna come out, how about him? Naito says it was his fault this belt was lost, so it’s on him to take it back. At Forbidden Door in New York, Naito VS Moxley for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship! Is that okay? Moxley nods, Naito smirks, and tells Moxley he’ll see you later, cabron! Naito leaves, and the score between NJPW and AEW will be settled soon enough! Will Naito make Long Island tranquilo? Or will Moxley put Naito down for good?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 Finals: El Desperado VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Rogue Luchador has been chasing this moment for a long time, but so has The Bone Soldier. One way or another, someone new will put their name on the BOSJ trophy and head for the title! Will it be Desperado gunning for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship? Or will we all see #ItsReborn?

The bell rings and the fans fire up already as the two stare down. Taiji and Desperado circle, feel things out, and Taiji waistlocks. Despe spins, Taiji wrenches, but Despe rolls, wrenches and wristlocks. Taiji rolls, spins, wrenches and hammerlocks. Despe drop toeholds, floats to a headlock, but Taiji rolls to a cover. ONE, but Taiji headlocks. Despe fights up but Taiji hits a takeover. Despe fights up, Taiji grinds the hold, but Despe pries free to wrench and hammerlock. Taiji switches that onto Despe but Despe switches back. They switch and switch, Despe spins Taiji for a SHIN BREAKER! But Taiji pokes Despe in the eyes!

Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji whips. Despe reverses but Taiji slips out to the apron, slides under, then slips out the side. Taiji RAMS into Despe, springboards and FLYING RANAS! Taiji then goes to the corner, GOLDEN TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Direct hit and Taiji lands on his feet! The fans fire up with Taiji and he goes back for Despe. Taiji drags Despe up, scoops him, and LAWN DARTS him! Despe writhes while clutching a shoulder but Taiji tells Red Shoes to check him. Taiji uses that distraction to go untie the blue buckle pad. The Bullet Club Special is in place, and a ring count begins. Despe stirs at 3 of 20 while fans rally.

Despe rises up at 9 of 20, storms in at 10, and the fans rally up. Taiji CLUBS Despe, wrenches and whips, and Despe hits bare buckles! Despe falls and writhes and the fans are torn. Taiji grins as he paces around Despe. Taiji drags Despe around then grinds the bad arm. Despe endures, even as Taiji twists the wrist and elbow. Despe flails and kicks around, but Taiji pulls on the arm! Despe fights up, but Taiji pushes him back down! The fans rally as Despe fights back up. Taiji pushes Despe right back down! Despe tries again, slips out and floats, but Taiji rolls through to trap the arm! Taiji KNEES the shoulder!

The fans applaud as Taiji paces, and Taiji brings Desep around. Taiji clamps on a cobra clutch but Despe throws elbows. Despe stands up, Taiji ripcords and RAMS Despe, to then get the chicken wing and chinlock! Despe fights up to the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Taiji lets go, and Despe UPPERCUTS! The fans fire up, and Despe whips corner to corner. Taiji reverses to send Despe back into bare buckles! Taiji WRINGS the bad arm out! Despe writhes but Taiji drags him back up. Despe throws body shots, then forearms! Taiji fires back, so Despe HEADBUTTS! Despe runs but into an ELBOW!

Taiji runs but Despe ELBOWS! Despe whips, Taiji handsprings, but into a BIG back suplex! The fans fire up while both men are down! Taiji bails out, Despe builds speed! Despe DIVES for a somersault tope! Down goes Taiji and the fans fire up again! Despe drags Taiji up, puts her in, and the fans rally. Despe shakes out the bad arm, then runs in corner to corner to clothesline! Despe reels Taiji in for a BIG suplex! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Despe drags Taiji up to gut wrench. Taiji fights that to scoop Despe, CIPHER- RANA! Despe sends Taiji to a corner, runs up, but Taiji dodges. Taiji comes back, blocks boots, and he puts Despe in ropes!

Taiji ENZIGIRIS, runs side to side, and SLIDING GERMANS! The fans fire up, Taiji goes up the corner, and he 450- NO, he has to roll through as Despe moves! Despe runs in, but into a tilt-o-whirl, and CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, TWO! Despe is still in this and the fans fire up. Taiji drags Despe back up, underhooks, but Despe fights the lift! Despe back drops Taiji away! The fans rally as Despe goes to a corner and Taiji takes aim. Taiji runs in, Despe dodges the double knees to then hit a BIG back suplex! And then a GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Taiji clutches his leg, the fans rally, and Despe grabs at the leg again.

Taiji kicks Despe away, Despe runs back in, but Taiji sends him into the POST! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji brings Despe out of the corner to hammerlock, scoop, and SHOULDER BUSTER! Despe writhes and clutches that arm, but Taiji makes sure his legs are working. Despe staggers, Taiji runs in, LA MYSTIC- NO, Despe rolls that into a STRETCH MUFFLER! But then Taiji rolls that to a cradle! TWO, Taiji BOOTS Despe! POISON-RANA!! Despe staggers up, Taiji runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! The fans rally up and Despe rises. Despe storms over to Taiji and brings him up.

GUITARRA- NO, Taiji slips free! Taiji waistlocks, ducks Despe’s elbow and then CLAWS Despe’s eyes! Taiji whips, Despe reverses but Taiji handsprings to NEURALIZER KICK! Both men are down but then Taiji roars as he rises. The fans rally, Taiji brings Despe up, but Despe fights the Half Hatch! Despe lifts Taiji, traps the legs, DOUBLE KNEE BUSTER! STRETCH MUFFLER!! Taiji rolls through to a cradle! TWO!! Taiji steps over the arm, to TWIST it! Then he YANKS the other arm! Despe writhes, the fans rally, but Taiji drags Despe back up. Taiji ripcords, then LA MYSTICAS, into BONE LOCK!! Despe scrambles and reaches out, but Taiji rolls him away!

BONE LOCK at the center of the ring!! The fans fire up as Despe endures! Despe reaches out, even as Taiji pulls way back! Despe claws at the mat, crawls forward, turns against the grip, but Taiji roll shim away! Despe pops out to get the leg! STRETCH MUFFLER!! Taiji flails, but Despe grabs the arm, NUMERO DOS!! Despe thrashes Taiji around but Taiji still endures! Taiji reaches out with his one free arm, but Despe lifts him! Taiji sits up with that core strength, and fights things to a DESTROYER!! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Taiji goes to ropes, drags himself up, and he hobbles back for Despe.

Taiji drags Despe up, but Despe is dead weight! Taiji has Red Shoes check, and somehow Despe is still in this. Taiji drags Despe up, reels him in, but Despe slips around, EL ES CULERO!! TWO!! Despe swings, into Taiji’s grip! Taiji almost hits Red Shoes with Despe, then whips Despe to POP-UP LOW BLOW! GEDO CLUTCH!! TWO!!! The fans fire up as Despe survives but Taiji is furious! Taiji drags Despe up and reels him in, but Despe wrenches out to LOCO MONO! Both men are down again and the fans fire up! Despe grits his teeth and drags himself up with the ropes. The fans rally as hard as they can for Despe and he goes back for Taiji.

Despe and Taiji go forehead to forehead, then Despe fires a string of forearms! Taiji ROCKS Despe with just one! Despe fires another flurry, but Taiji ROCKS Despe again! Both men rise back up, and the forearms go back and forth! The fans rally up with every shot, and Taiji ROCKS Despe! Despe wobbles, hits back, but Taiji ROCKS him again! Taiji eggs Despe on, so Despe rises up to fire off another flurry! Taiji ROCKS Despe, Despe KICKS the leg out! Taiji fires a strike fest, but Despe DECKS him! The fans fire up, and Despe runs, but into a JUMP KNEE! The fans are thunderous while both men are down!

Taiji flounders to ropes and he drags himself up. He takes aim, says BANG, then gets Despe up. But Despe wrenches to OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, ONE?!?! Taiji roars, but Despe SPEARS him down! Despe roars, gets Taiji back up, underhooks and PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, TWO!!! Taiji survives and the fans are thunderous again! Despe roars again, drags Taiji up, and underhooks, for the- NO, Taiji fights that to a fireman’s carry! T K O CODE BREAKER!! Despe is down from that swing into the facebuster, and then Taiji dragon sleepers! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!!! Despe survives and Taiji cannot believe it!

The fans fire up again and Taiji drags Despe up. BLOODY- NO, Despe fights off the Bloody Cross to RAM Taiji into bare buckles! Taiji suffers from his own trick! But then he roars back to his feet!? Taiji runs up, but Despe spins him to a backslide! Taiji rolls through but into the underhooks! JAY DRILLER!! Despe then drags Taiji back up, for PINCHE LOCO!!! Cover, DESPE WINS!!!

Winner: El Desperado, by pinfall (Best of the Super Juniors 31 Champion)

Taiji thought he had this by God’s grace, but some things are just not meant to be. Taiji misses out on BOSJ 31, but will he have the glory in BOSJ 32?

As for Desperado, many fans are themselves emotional for this moment, finally seeing him stand tall in the end. Despe shows respect to Taiji with a fist bump, this is certainly not the last time these two will battle like that. Meanwhile, the banner is brought in, as is the trophy. Desperado is handed the trophy by Director Hitoshi Matsumoto, and then the same for the banner. Desperado bows in respect to Director Matsumoto, shakes his hand, and then poses with both trophy and banner for the photo op. The fans cheer as Desperado holds the trophy high, making sure all sides of the crowd get to see it.

Despe then grabs the mic, and the fans cheer for “DE-SU-PE! DE-SU-PE!” Despe says, “As expected, that was 80% him. We all know it. He’s damn strong.” The fans do cheer Despe giving credit to Taiji. Despe says not only is Taiji strong, he’s really good. It’s almost unfair. Taiji hit him below the belt, but Despe got him in the face, so they’ll call it even. But it’s as Taiji said before, it isn’t about looks or popularity. The strongest wins. The fans cheer that! But before Despe can continue on, Sho storms out here! And he says if that’s the case, he’s way stronger than Desperado! The fans boo as Sho laughs from the stage.

Sho says in order to hold that trophy, Despe should beat him first! Why not have another “final” between the two of them, huh? The fans boo, and Despe tells Sho that there are no second chances in BOSJ. The fans applaud that! Despe then brings up Sho was in this tournament, right? When Despe was champ, everyone gunned for him and Despe missed the finals, so Despe knows how Sho feels. Sho wants the trophy? Too bad! The fans cheer that, but Sho insists that trophy belongs to him! Despe asks how Sho can say that, and Sho says cuz he beat Despe before. Despe says yeah, yeah, Despe lost to Sho and The House of Torture.

Sho insists he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship all on his own, but Despe says don’t muddy things up with people shutting off lights and disappearing. Sho insists he defends his title all on his own, so Despe dare him to actually do that. Sho’s alone now! No, he’s totally gonna call for The House. Sho says “As if!” Despe says fine, trophy for title. Not that it means Sho won BOSJ. Sho says whoever holds the trophy IS the winner! Fine, come get the trophy. Though, Despe knows he’ll call The House. Sho says no he won’t! Despe says he doesn’t believe Sho. Sho will just call Narita! Sho keeps saying nuh-uh but Despe says yeah, he knows Sho too well.

Sho continues to insist he won’t but Despe keeps saying yeah he will. Sho throws a tantrum and shouts he WILL face Despe alone! Oh, is that so? YEAH! Sho will do it 1v1! Okay, Despe will agree to the match. And just to make sure no one interferes, Despe wants a CAGE MATCH! The fans love that idea! As for Sho, he’s starting to realize he just stepped in it! Despe says Sho agreed to it, right? No backing out, right? Okay, good. That’s all, Sho can leave now. The fans chant along, and Sho says he heard them the first time! Sho storms off and the fans cheer Despe getting the better of him.

Despe then says, rather disappointed, “I wanted to have a moment with Ishimori…” But that’s just how things go, and at least he has the title match with Sho. Lucky~. Despe then says he’ll keep borrowing this from Taiji: in the end, the strongest wins! Despe stands with trophy, banner, and the streamers fly! The stakes have been raised for the title match, but will The Rogue Luchador prove that he IS The Best of the Super Juniors?


My Thoughts:

An awesome Dominion, and only those first couple of matches were inconsequential. Great surprises, too, with Khan winning back the KOPW Championship, and with TMDK winning the tag title match. I thought Yuya was gonna win at his own rules, and that Bishamon was gonna win out again, but I’m glad to see NJPW is willing to shake things up. Also, Shane & Mikey have been great for a long time, TMDK really does deserve something big like this. At the same time, there’s half a chance Hikuleo is on his way out of NJPW, wanting to join Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa in WWE for the newest phase of The Bloodline story.

Los Ingobernables de Japon taking the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles was also a bit of a surprise, but Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg had a decent reign since winning the tournament in Taiwan. Great NJPW World TV title match from Cobb and Ishii, and great win for Cobb. Takagi VS Henare going to a double TKO was awesome stuff, that really protects both guys while Takagi still retains. I’m sure Henare will want a rematch, and maybe this will motivate a Last Man Standing match.

Great “double main event” with the lumberjack match being just about how I expected. Great win for Moxley, and Naito stepping up for his rematch is good stuff. They’ll have a great match at Forbidden Door, and I would think that’s where Moxley loses the title so Naito can bring the IWGP World title back to NJPW. And then an awesome actual main event from Desperado and Taiji. Great win for Desperado as he finally fulfills that dream. And then a really fun promo between Desperado and Sho, a steel cage match for the title will be a lot of fun. Sho and the House are very sneaky, they can probably still find ways to cheat during the cage match, but here’s hoping Despe wins it all.

My Score: 9/10


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