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Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 18 B Block Finals

We’ve got 4 men still alive to win the G1 Climax B block! Who wants it more?

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We’ve got 4 men still alive to win the G1 Climax B block! Who wants it more?

So going over what matters here:

Juice wants to get payback on Moxley, so even though Moxley really needs the win…Juice will be hungry to prove himself.

Goto would love to sneak into the Finals like he did a few years ago, but Shingo needs to help out Naito by taking out a threat to his Finals. So for the good of LIJ, can Shingo take out Goto?

Naito and White will most likely play out as a winner take all, since building tension is the whole point of these long tournaments. Does Naito overcome his disappointing start, or does White make history while being the most truthful man in New Japan?

Let’s get to the answers!

Ratings:

  • Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji: Narita wins via Boston Crab @7:35 – ***
  • Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs SANADA, BUSHI & EVIL:  Takahashi wins via Pimp Juice @7:55 – ** ½
  • KENTA, Karl Fredricks & Clark Connors vs Kota Ibushi, Tomoaki Honma vs Toa Henare: Henare wins via Toa Bomb @8:20 – ** ½
  • Will Ospreay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada vs Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki: Tanahashi wins via Cross Legged Cradle @10:35 – *** ¼
  • B Block: Toru Yano vs Jeff Cobb: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @5:20 – **
  • B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi: Taichi wins via Black Mephisto @11:55 – **** ¼
  • B Block: Juice Robinson vs Jon Moxley: Juice wins via Pulp Friction @16:25 – ** ¾
  • B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto: Takagi wins via Last of the Dragon @15:10 – ****
  • B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Jay White: White wins via Blade Runner @18:50 – ****

 

Analysis:

Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji –  The Young Lions came out with a little more intensity than the past couple times. Shota and Tsuji paired off and went at each other hard and fast. Even when they tagged in the smaller of the tag teams, Shota and Tsuji kept fighting on the outside. Uemura was in the Boston Crab for a few minutes, he kept struggling to get to the ropes, but Narita pulled him back to center three times. Uemura showed a lot of hard, but eventually tapped. Great opener.

Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs SANADA, BUSHI & EVIL – We got to see a few story wrinkles continue in this match. Chase Owens keeps trying the Paradise Lock, to no avail and Fale is getting his ring work in. The Rogue General Fale, looks to be slowly transforming into the Ring General Fale. If Stardom is Wonder Ring Stardom, does that make Fale the Rogue Ring General?

KENTA, Karl Fredricks & Clark Connors vs Kota Ibushi, Tomoaki Honma vs Toa Henare – Another solid tag match with predictable outcomes. Seeing KENTA and Ibushi together adds more credence to Ibushi winning the whole tournament. Another tease with KENTA would imply that KENTA gets a shot at the briefcase if Ibushi wins the tournament. Solid enough match.

Will Ospreay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada vs Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki – This was a pretty damn good tag match. Everyone paired off logically, and YOSHI-HASHI took the brunt of the beatings. Tanahashi pulling off the reversal cradle for the win, could just be a way to set up a big match at Royal Quest in England. Okada and Ospreay did minimal work, but I feel the major point here was to add to the Tanahashi and Sabre tension.

B Block: Toru Yano vs Jeff Cobb – This was a very Yano match. He had about 5 rolls of tape in his trunks, the referee checked him, and shenanigans ensued. The best gimmick was when Yano tucked Cobb’s arms into his singlet and tried to pin his arms in by bringing the straps down. Yano lost since his shtick only works so many times during G1.

B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi –   I could watch Ishii and Taichi wrestle every week. Ishii brings out the Dangerous T in Taichi, pushes him to wrestle like a man without the garbage. When our Holy Emperor fights hard and shows off the skills Kawada taught him, he is a very impressive wrestler. Black Mephisto puts down the Pitbull, but damn this was great.

B Block: Juice Robinson vs Jon Moxley – Juice needed to get his win back and proved that he had a familiarity with Moxley. Juice “biting the earing out of Moxley’s ear” was dumb and felt like too much of a reference to Triple H and Batista. It doesn’t help that during the bite the ear it looked more like two teenagers trying to figure out how to give each other hickeys. Also stupid was Moxley’s letting up on the STS submission because he assumed Juice was out. Then proceeded to have a tantrum and throw different weapons into the ring, before getting caught by Juice.  The match itself was alright, but all of the extra crap to get to Juice winning felt really stupid, took too long, and was a little lame for a match that had winning implications.

B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto – Shingo does God’s work and takes Goto out of the running for winning the block. This was a great match, hard hitting and Naito must thank his Dragon buddy. With the match quality Shingo has been putting on, this doesn’t hurt Goto very much aside from ruining his G1 hopes and dreams. Last match is now a winner takes all match.

B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Jay White – The first few minutes were who could powder better than the other. Then we saw a lot of personality from both along with a pretty damn good match.  Jay White is the classic heel that speaks mostly truth. He’s the first person to start 0-3 and make it to the Grand Finals. Breathing with the Switchblade has never been better. All in all though, it was a solid match. Didn’t feel nearly as epic as Ibushi and Okada, but it was still a damn good match.

 

Overall Score: 7.25/10

We got 3 very good matches this night as well. Plus having the biggest heel in the company go over the most popular one after starting off 0-3 and still talking shit, it’s just great stuff. Jay White baited out Ibushi to try and say no Gedo tomorrow and just a 1 on 1 match. But Gedo and Jay attacked Ibushi and the injured before the show finished.

Jay White is becoming a tremendous heel, using old tactics and psychology that have been a little lost on most Western wrestling. Ibushi will have an uphill battle, so if he wins the G1 Finals, it will just feel bigger and better to all of the fans. Of course, if White wins, it will do a great job at evoking hatred.

I’m looking forward to the finals quite a bit.

B Block Standings:

  • Jay White – 6-3 (12 Points) – WINNER!
  • Hirooki Goto – 5-4 (10 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Jon Moxley – 5-4 (10 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Tetsuya Naito – 5-4 (10 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Tomohiro Ishii – 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Toru Yano – 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Juice Robinson – 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Jeff Cobb – 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Taichi – 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
  • Shingo Takagi – 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED

 

 

 


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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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Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (6/3/24)

One step away from the end!

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The goal is within reach!

Neither El Desperado, Douki, TJP nor Taiji Ishimori have won a Best of the Super Juniors tournament, so who will survive to keep that dream alive?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Shoma Kato, Kevin Knight & KUSHIDA VS Blake Christian, Ninja Mack & HAYATA; Blake, Mack & Hayata win.
  • Six Man Tag: TMDK VS Bullet Club War Dogs; TMDK wins.
  • Yuya Uemura & Taka Michinoku VS Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb; Khan & Cobb win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Dragon Dia, Boltin Oleg, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi; LIJ wins.
  • Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito VS HENARE & Callum Newman; Shingo & Naito win.
  • 10 Man Tag: The House of Torture VS Shota Umino & ???; Shota Umino, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan win.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 Semifinal: TJP VS Taiji Ishimori; Taiji wins and advances to the finals.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 Semifinal: El Desperado VS DOUKI; Desperado wins and advances to the finals.

PLAY BY PLAY

10 Man Tag: The House of Torture VS Shota Umino & ???

The King of Darkness has declared his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match at Dominion will be a Lumberjack match, but also believes it will be a “Handicap” Lumberjack match, as Jon Moxley has no friends willing to support him. But surely, the Roughneck has friends who will. Who joins #SHOOTER in tearing down The House?

Evil gets the mic to point out all the “X” on the card for the mystery partners. He is convinced Shota has no one! The fans boo but Evil tells Shota that Osaka-Jo Hall will be even easier. But wait, the lights go down and we get a message from Jon Moxley on the tron! “June the 9th in Osaka-Jo Hall, Evil wants a Lumberjack match. He wants all his cronies in House of Torture out there to surround the ring. How is that different than any other night with you guys? But this is gonna be very different. Very different indeed. See, I’ve worked very, very hard, I have nearly killed myself, I have worked myself to the bone.

“I have given every inch of all my effort, and all my sweat and blood, and every ounce of my soul to earn the respect of the wrestlers in NJPW, the fans of NJPW, to everybody who came before me who made this belt what it is today, who build NJPW into the place it is today. And I have worked too hard to earn that respect to share that respect, to see a guy like you just piss all over it! Take a little spray paint can, do a little number on this belt right here, put a little scar on the IWGP Championship belt. You did that. You disrespected everybody that came before you. And I will do something about it.

“You’re gonna have House of Torture? Well I’m gonna have my own set of enforcers to keep law and order. And there will be a need for law and order, because this won’t be just any Lumberjack match. This is gonna be a Jon Moxley Lumberjack match, where there are no limits! Anything can happen! There are no limits to how out of control it can get! I look to the Third Generation of NJPW to lay down the law, to beat some respect into The House of Torture. At the end of the night on June 9th in Osaka-Jo Hall, respect or not, I will still be the King of NJPW, and I will still be IWGP World Champion.”

The message ends there, the lights come back up, and walking in from the crowd with Shota is… BLUE JUSTICE, YUJI NAGATA! And he’s brought Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan! The fans are all fired up to see these living legends make their way down with the Reiwa Musketeer, will they finally put The House in their place?

Wait a minute, now Evil isn’t even gonna be in this match? He’s making Dick Togo be the fifth man for his team? Well, the card does say “House of Torture,” so that still counts. The two sides are staring down as the tension rises, and then the brawl is on! The fans fire up as Narita is of course after Shota and throws him out. The bell rings as some of the legends are cleared out, but Narita keeps after Shota on the outside. Nagata helps out but Narita knocks him down. Tenzan is stuck in the ring, getting mugged by Sho, Dick and Kanemaru. But he fights back with headbutts and Mongolian Chops!

Tenzan kicks and chops Dick but Kanemaru kicks low. Kanemaru runs but into a slap! Then a kick and Mongolian Chops! The fans fire up and Tenzan runs, but Kanemaru avoids the falling headbutt! Dick storms back in to DROPKICK Togi off the apron! The chaos on the outside continues, even spills into the crowd a bit! Kanemaru POSTS Tenzan, and the ref tries to sort this out. Kanemaru puts Tenzan back in, drags him up, and Dick helps him mug Tenzan. Then they double suplex! Kanemaru covers, TWO! The fans fire up but Kanemaru tags Sho. They split the wishbone! Sho then sneaks a CHOKE on Tenzan!

The fans boo and the ref notices, so he counts. Sho lets off to tag in Yujiro. The fans rally for Tenzan but Tokyo Pimp drags him up. Yujiro knees low, and steals the Mongolian Chops! The fans boo as Yujiro keeps doing that. Dick & Sho keep Tenzan trapped so Yujiro can mug Tenzan in the corner. Then Yujiro hits a FALLING HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO! Tenzan is still in this and the fans fire up. Dick tags in and he stands on Tenzan’s hand! The fans boo, but Tenzan throws body shots. Dick CLUBS Tenzan down, snapmares, and then runs up to FIST DROP! Cover, TWO! Dick stomps Tenzan, tags Narita, and Narita brings Tenzan up.

Narita grinds Tenzan’s face off the ropes! The ref reprimands, Narita runs and he BOOTS Tenzan down! Cover, TWO! Narita BOOTS Shota just because! Tenzan throws body shots and haymakers! Narita CLAWS Tenzan’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Narita runs, but into a MOUNTAIN BOMB BACK DROP! The fans fire up as Tenzan crawls, hot tag to Nagata! Blue Justice BOOTS Narita, theN BOOTS Dick! Yujiro kicks and whips but Nagata reverses to kitchen sink knee! The fans fire up with Nagata and he aims at Narita! KICK! KICK! KICK! Nagata whips corner to corner, runs in and BOOTS! Then the EXPLODER!

The fans fire up, Nagata covers, TWO! But into the DISARMER!! Narita flails but the House saves him! The fans boo but Tiger Mask KICKS Kanemaru then fires off shots on Sho! But Kanemaru grabs the mask! Sho ROCKS Tiger Mask! But Tiger Mask BOOTS Sho and DROPKICKS Kanemaru! Tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER for Sho! Hot tag to Shota! Shota fires off on Narita, then runs corner to corner, only for Narita to dodge! Narita gets around to a SLEEPER! And he pulls hair to keep Shota from ropes. Narita shoves, distracts the ref, and Evil trips Shota! Now the King gets involved! The House then BLASTS the legends off the apron!

Dick & Kanemaru double whip Shota to a corner, then Dick elbows! Yujiro BOOTS! Sho forearms! Kanemaru UPPERCUTS! Snapmare and they set Shota up! The ref is distracted by Yujiro while Dick goes up, to DICK CHOP! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and the fans fire up! But Narita slips Dick the choker! Kanemaru distracts the ref and the SPOILER CHJOKER is used on Dick! Togi gets in to CLUB Dick! But Kanemaru & Sho go after Togi! They double whip but the Rapmagping Gorilla blasts through their line to DOUBLE LARIAT! Togi BLASTS the rest of the house, too! Nagata & Shota whip Dick to a corner!

Nagata runs in to BOOT! Togi runs in to clothesline! Feed to Tiger’s SOBAT, then Tenzan’s Mongolian Chop! Shota hits the EXPLODER! Cover, Yujiro makes the save! Tiger fires off on Yujiro and whips but Yujiro reverses. Yujiro runs up, Tiger dumps him out! Tiger Mask DIVES and down goes Yujiro! Shota gets Dick up and hooks him, but Narita uses the PUSHUP BAR to choke Shota! Shota flings Narita away, kicks low, DEATH RIDER!! The fans are thunderous but Dick ROCKS Shota! Shota roars! Kick and DEATH RIDER!! Cover, Team Roughneck wins!

Winners: Shota Umino, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall

Evil is furious that his team lost, but he insists this changes nothing! But Shota gets the mic now to respond. Right here are the heart and soul of NJPW, his senpais. And even through the toughest times in NJPW history, they all loved this company and battled for THE IWGP Championship. And there is NO way any of them can forgive what The House of Torture has done. They all stand by this lion symbol, so Shota asks them to lend him and Moxley their strength. He asks with the respect of a kouhai (underclassman) who respects his senpai and everything they’ve done, they are the kind of men he wants to fight alongside.

Shota shakes hands with each of the legends, and they are all ready to stand against Evil. Will they help Moxley serve true justice at Dominion? Or will Darkness Fall on Osaka-Jo Hall?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 Semifinal: TJP VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Public Enemy made it through by bringing out The Aswang, while The Bone Soldier believes it was God’s grace that helped him overcome Hiromu. Will Taiji prove beyond a doubt #ItsReborn? Or will TJP continue to conquer this tournament for the United Empire?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for “T J P! T J P!” as he stares down with Taiji. TJP and Taiji circle, feel things out, and Taiji shoots to a waistlock. TJP switches, Taiji switches, but TJP headlocks then facelocks. Taiji wrenches out to wristlock, but TJP rolls, spins, and wrangles Taiji to have the leg. TJP then floats to an arm for the top wristlock. Taiji rolls to stand but TJP shifts to a hammerlock, then headlock, and hits a takeover. Taiji rolls to a cover, ONE! TJP holds on, shrugs off the headscissors, then handsprings over to get the chinlock. Taiji endures, fights up, and they end up on ropes.

The ref calls the break, TJP lets go and Taiji pats him on the shoulders. The fans applaud as the two reset and circle. They tie up with knuckle locks, go shoulder to shoulder for a Test of Strength, and Taiji bridges TJP back. TJP fights up, breaks a lock to cartwheel and trip Taiji. TJP has the top wristlock, but Taiji moves around. Taiji headlocks, then shifts to wrench an arm to a hammerlock. TJP slips around the back, spins Taiji to waistlock, full nelson, spin and trip! TJP has the toehold but Taiji turns and reels TJP into a headlock. The fans cheer this technical exchange, and TJP endures the grind. TJP then pops out the back to IRON OCTOPUS!

The fans cheer while Taiji endures and marches forward to the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets off, then pats Taiji on the shoulders. The fans cheer and the two reset. They tie up, Taiji wrenches to a hammerlock then a wristlock. TJP rolls, spins, cartwheels, drops down, TWISTING SCISSORS! TJP has Taiji down, but then Taiji headscissors TJP! TJP moves around, headstands, but Taiji SPIKES him for it! The fans applaud and Taiji keeps on the squeeze. TJP headstands again, but Taiji SPIKES him again! Taiji keeps hold but TJP hops and turns Taiji over! TJP pops free to have the legs, BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Taiji pops free to a cover, TWO!

Taiji wants the arm, TJP fights up. Taiji grinds the shoulder but TJP slips out and goes around, into the stepover! Taiji scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, TJP lets go, and Taiji bails out. The fans rally while Taiji dares TJP to come after him. TJP slides out but Taiji slides in. TJP slides in but Taiji catches him for the NECK TWIST! The fans applaud while TJP writhes and slumps out. Taiji goes out to POST TJP! Taiji then unties the blue buckle pad while the ref checks TJP. The Bullet Club Special is in play while TJP gets back up and in. The fans rally, but Taiji storms up to grab an arm and twist the wrist.

TJP tries to get up but Taiji wrangles him down. Taiji digs a knee into TJP’s head while pulling on the arm. Then Taiji cravats and drags TJP up for the neck wrench. Taiji rams his shoulder in again and again, then snapmares for the NECK TWIST! The fans rally while Taiji paces. Taiji drags TJP up, snapmares again, and clamps on a chinlock. TJP endures, the fans rally again, and TJP rises up. TJP fires body shots, gets free and runs, but Taiji catches him to the headlock! Taiji grinds TJP down but TJP grabs the ROPEBREAK! The fans applaud while Taiji lets go. The fans rally for TJP more but Taiji CLUBS him.

Taiji whips, TJP goes Spider-Man! Taiji HANDSPRING KICKS TJP down! Taiji grins, grabs TJP’s arm and brings him back up, but TJP steps over! DARK SACRIFICE on the apron! The fans fire up while Taiji flounders. TJP goes to the far corner, comes back, and triangle jump DROPKICKS Taiji from the apron! The fans fire up and TJP hurries to bring Taiji back into the ring. TJP climbs, Taiji rises, FLYING FOREARM! The fans fire up as Taiji goes to a corner. TJP runs up to ELBOW Taiji down, and then the scrubbing begins! The fans cheer, TJP runs side to side, BOOT WASH! The fans fire up as they want it again!

TJP obliges and scrubs Taiji some more. TJP runs side to side again, for a BOOT WASH DROPKICK! The fans fire up as TJP goes the extra mile! TJP then storms in to drag Taiji up and reel him in, “ICHI!” HALF HATCH! Then “NI!” HALF HATCH! And then “SAN!” HALF HATCH! The fans fire up and TJP climbs. MAMBA- NO, TJP has to land out as Taiji moves! Taiji waistlocks, TJP switches but Taiji fights free. Taiji runs, but TJP goes to a corner! TJP goes up and out and springboards in, FLYING DDT!! Cover, TWO!! The fans are thunderous and TJP pounds the mat. The fans clap along, “T! J P! T! J P!”

TJP goes to a corner, Taiji sit sup, ONE BY- NO, Taiji ducks the knee! Taiji wrenches and hammerlocks TJP, to then POST him! The ref reprimands but then Taiji hammerlocks and half nelsons, for the scoop and SHOULDER BUSTER! Both men are down and the fans fire back up! TJP and Taiji slowly rise, and Taiji aims from a corner. Taiji runs up, into a SUPERKICK! TJP goes to a corner, Taiji runs in, and TJP goes up and- NO, Taiji keeps him from going over! Taiji has TJP in the gut wrench, for CIPHER UTAKI! Taiji crawls to the cover, TWO! TJP is still in this and the fans fire back up!

Taiji is a bit frustrated but he focuses and goes to a corner. Taiji climbs a corner, but TJP ROCKS him first! TJP shakes out the bad arm, positions Taiji and throws hands. TJP climbs, but Taiji throws body shots! Taiji reels TJP in, but TJP fights the lift! The fans freak out a bit but TJP fights free with body shots. TJP sits on the top rope and CHOSP! But Taiji CHOPS back! TJP CHOPS, but then Taiji CHOPS TJP off the rope! TJP takes a tumble to the apron and then the floor! TJP slowly drags himself back up to the apron, but then Taiji grabs at his hair. TJP shrugs free, and SPRINGBOARD SUPER STEINERS!!

The fans are thunderous while Taiji takes a rough tumble! NOVA FIREBALL!! Cover, TWO!! The fans are thunderous as Taiji survives the shoutout to Akira! But TJP reloads, runs in, but into a JUMP KNEE from Taiji! Taiji aims now, runs up, LA MYSTICA!! BONE LOCK!!! TJP flails, reaches out, but Taiji rolls him from ropes! But TJP pops out the back! Stepover and- NO, Taiji drags TJP into a cradle! TWO!!! TJP escapes, Taiji BOOTS him! Taiji runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, sunset BOMB! But TJP’s up to LARIAT!! Both men are down and the fans are electric! TJP stirs, he finds Taiji, and he grabs a wrist,

Taiji grabs the wrist back, so TJP throws forearms! Taiji won’t let go so TJP fires forearm after forearm! Taiji finally does let go, swings, but into the dragon sleeper! Taiji drops down but TJP drops on that to cover! TWO! ROLLING SOBAT! Taiji KNEES TJP, runs, but TJP hits a THESZ PRESS! And makes it a prawn hold! TWO!! Taiji escapes and the fans are electric again! TJP goes to a corner, Taiji runs in, but TJP goes up and over! TORNADO DDT! TJP sets Taiji in the drop zone and hurries up top! MAMBA SPLASH!! Cover, TWO?!?! But into the stepover! PINOY STRETCH!!! Taiji endures, reaches out, crawls forward, but TJP shifts sides, to steal BONE LOCK!!!

Taiji endures his own hold, but TJP rolls him from ropes! Taiji slips free to get the BONE LOCK!!! TJP endures now as the fans go nuts! TJP pries at the grip, crawls his way around, but Taiji roll shim! But TJP fights up, only to end up in BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO?!?!? TJP survives and the fans are volcanic! Taiji gets TJP up, BLOODY CROSS!!! Cover, TAIJI WINS!!

Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

The Public Enemy tried, and got so close, but it is The Bone Soldier who hits the target! Will God’s grace continue to see Taiji through until he’s holding the trophy?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 Semifinal: El Desperado VS DOUKI!

It is time to complete the Dominion main event! The Rogue Luchador and Japones Del Mal are no strangers to each other, so it comes down to who knows the other better than they know themselves! Who wins out to move on to Osaka-Jo Hall?

The bell rings and the fans are split rather even between the former Suzuki-Gun members. The “DOUKI! DOUKI!” starts to stand out, and he circles with Despe. They stare down a moment then feel things out. They knuckle lock, go around, and Douki waistlocks. Despe pries the hold and spins around to a facelock. Douki wrenches free to wristlock, but Despe traps both Douki’s arms. Despe headlocks, wrenches, wristlocks, but Douki rolls, wrenches and hammerlocks. Despe flips over to wrench and wristlock, hammerlock, snapmare and chinlock. Douki slips out the back to hammerlock and the fans cheer the exchange.

Despe moves around, Douki brings him up to also have the cording hold. Now Despe’s arms are trapped, and Douki pushes him down. Douki shifts his grip to have an upside-down motorcycle, and it’s a cover! TWO as Despe turns back over, but Douki keeps a wristlock. Douki wrenches then CLUBS that arm. Douki wrenches again, but Despe powers him down to the mat. They knuckle lock, Despe shifts to hook a leg and keep a top mount. The fans duel as Douki now scissors Despe’s leg. Despe uses that to get a deathlock, and he stands with it! Douki bridges to relieve pressure, but Despe pushes him back down to a lateral press, ONE!

Despe keep Douki down with a headlock but Douki headscissors. Despe bridges, rolls back, but Douki puts on a squeeze. Despe headstands to then pop and roll to a headlock! Douki headscissors back, and Despe gets the ROPEBREAK! The fans applaud, Red Shoes counts, and Douki lets off. Despe bails out and Douki waits on him. Despe steps back in, they reset and tie up. Despe waistlocks, Douki wrenches it open to hammerlock, but Despe steps through the ropes! Despe steps back in to wrap Douki’s arm around ropes! Red Shoes reprimands, so Despe KICKS the rope as he lets off! Despe runs up but Douki does the splits!

The fans fire up as Despe tumbles out, and Douki builds speed! Despe ducks so Douki stops short. Douki then resets to PLANCHA, but has to land on the apron as Despe moves. Despe SWEEPS the legs, but Douki handsprings through! Douki then FLYING RANAS! The fans fire up with Douki while Despe tumbles! Douki goes back for Despe, and he puts Despe in the ring. The fans rally up and Douki stomps Despe. Douki whips Despe, ELBOWS him down, then covers, TWO! Douki hurries to get Despe’s legs tied up, turn him over, and have the SEATED SURFBOARD! The fans fire up as Douki pulls Despe again and again, and then stands!

Douki walks with Despe in the pendulum, then drops him to focus on the arms! Douki steps over for more leverage, but Despe still endures. Douki sits to then roll Despe into the REVERSE ITALIAN STRETCH! Despe endures this modified leg nelson, fights around, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Red Shoes counts, Douki lets go at 4. Douki stomps Despe around, but Despe fires body shots and forearms! Douki kicks low, runs, but Despe ELBOWS him! Despe runs, but Douki JUMPING HEADBUTTS! Cover, TWO! Despe is still in this and the fans rally up. Despe goes to a corner, Douki storms up, and Douki wrenches an arm.

Douki whips corner to corner, runs up and elbows Despe, to then turn him. But Despe fights the neckbreaker! Despe grabs a leg, Douki fights the shin breaker! Douki runs, Despe gets around and ties up the legs, KNEE CRUSHER! Douki writhes while clutching both legs! The fans rally up but Despe grabs a leg to YANK it! And SPLASH on it! Douki writhes and the fans rally as he crawls to a corner. Despe waits on Douki to stand, then he runs up, but blocks a boot! Despe dropkicks the bad leg! Then he gets that leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Douki flounders around but Despe grabs the bad leg again.

Despe digs his knee into the knee, then pulls on the toehold. Douki kicks with the free leg but Despe sits down for more leverage. Despe ties Douki’s legs up in the INDIAN DEATHLOCK! Despe sits up to egg Douki on, and Douki CHOPS again and again! Despe “falls” over to put on more pressure! The fans rally, Douki endures, and he crawls around. Douki reaches out to the ROPEBREAKS, and Despe says he needs help undoing the hold. Red Shoes pries the legs apart, Despe kneels on the bad leg! Red Shoes reprimands, but then “Oops!” Despe falls on the knee! Despe drags Douki up and around to CHOP him to a corner.

Despe eggs Douki on, CHOPS him again, but Douki shoves back. Douki fires a forearm, and another, and another! Then he CHOPS! Despe just eggs Douki on more so Douki CHOPS again! Despe kicks low and whips Douki to a corner, only for Douki to fall two-thirds of the way there. Despe stands on the bad leg, taunts Douki, then drags him back up. Despe waistlocks but Douki fights the lift. Douki goes to run, Despe reels him in but Douki kicks. Despe blocks and FLIPS Douki, but Douki lands on his feet! But that just jams up the bad leg! Despe grins, kicks the leg, then runs, but Douki handsprings and BACK ELBOWS!

The fans fire up as both men are down again! Despe goes to ropes while Douki shakes out the bad leg. Douki runs up in the corner to clothesline, then he whips corner to corner. Despe comes back but Douki arm-drags him! Douki then spins around Despe to arm-drag again! Douki rams Despe then runs to springboard and BACK ELBOW! Cover, TWO! The fans rally for Douki as he drags Despe up, swings him, but Despe slips out to waistlock. Douki switches, spins and drops, ITALIAN STRETCH 32! But Despe powers out! The fans fire up, Douki kicks low! Douki suplexes but Despe fights that, spins it around, RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP!

Despe then gets a leg, for a LEG DDT! Then STRETCH MUFFLER! Douki flails, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer while Despe lets go in frustration. Douki and Despe each shake out bad arms and legs before they sit up. Despe runs up on Douki, but Douki BOOTS and goes to the apron! But the leg jams! Despe KICKS the leg, builds speed, and DIVES into a GAMANGIRI! And then ROPE ITALIAN STRETCH!! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Douki lets go at 4, and the fans rally again. Douki aims as Despe rises, into DAY- NO! Despe stops Daybreak to suplex, but Douki slips free!

Douki goes up to MYSTERIO RANA! Despe tumbles out, Douki builds speed and DIVES to TORNADO DDT to the floor!! The fans are thunderous while Despe writhes. Douki sits up, gets his bad leg working and roars as he stands. The fans cheer, the ring count climbs, but Douki gets Despe up at 8 of 20. They go in at 10 and the fans cheer. Douki aims from the apron again, and Despe rises into DAYBREAK! Cover, TWO, but into ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Despe endures as Douki has him! Despe kicks and flails around, reaches out, but he falls over! Douki pulls on the hold as hard as he can! Red Shoes checks as Despe fades!

The fans are thunderous as Despe gets a second wind! Despe rises but falls to the other side! Douki pulls but Despe finds the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Douki lets go. Both men catch their breath while the fans continue to rally. Douki slaps his bad leg to get it going again, and Despe goes to a corner. Douki runs in to clothesline! Douki roars, runs, and DOUKI-SAN BOMBERS! Both men are down but Douki rises again! The fans fire up with Douki as he goes to the legs. Douki wheelbarrows, but Despe somersaults! Despe waistlocks to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Douki escapes and the fans fire up again!

Despe grits his teeth and clutches his neck, and the fans rally up again. Both Despe and Douki sit up, and Douki grabs Despe’s hair. Douki ELBOWS Despe on the neck! Despe growls and fires off CHOP after CHOP! Douki ROCKS Despe back! Both rise, Despe fires forearms, but Douki ROCKS him with just one! The fans fire up with Despe and he stands back up. Despe fires a forearm, Douki fires back, repeat! They go back and forth, and Douki looks to be in better shape. Despe fires a flurry of forearms! Douki ROCKS Despe, Despe KICKS the leg, Douki ENZIGIRIS! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up!

Douki rises and roars and he goes back for legs. Douki drags Despe to center, wheelbarrows, and full nelsons! SUPLEX- NO, Despe breaks free, and DECKS Douki! The fans fire up, Despe roars and drags Douki up! Underhooks and PINCHE- NO, Douki sunset flips over, TWO!! Despe wants after Douki but ends up in ITALIAN STRETCH 32!! Douki pulls on the arms and Despe is already fading! Despe sputters, reaches out, kicks around, but Douki pulls! Despe is fading, Red Shoes is checking! Despe fights back to life! Despe drags Douki back with him, but Douki rolls Despe away! ITALIAN- JACKKNIFE BRIDGE! TWO!!!

Douki lets go in time, ELBOWS and ROLLING ELBOWS! But Despe wings up! Douki ROCKS him first!! Douki roars, runs, but Despe wrenches! Backslide, roll through, JAY DRILLER!! The fans are thunderous as Despe rolls Douki back to his feet, for PINCHE LOCO!!! Cover, DESPE WINS!!

Winner: El Desperado, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

An incredible battle between friends, but perhaps it was just too soon for Douki to reach that next level. How much harder will he have to fight to one day be The Best of the Super Juniors?

As for Desperado, he stands, raises a fist in victory and the fans cheer. But before Despe can get the mic to speak, Taiji Ishimori returns to the ring! The BOSJ 31 finalists stare down in the ring and this year’s Dominion theme music plays. Taiji and Despe each tell each other to be ready, and then Despe offers a handshake. Taiji doesn’t take it, and takes his leave instead. The fans cheer, and now Despe gets the mic. Despe says he doesn’t really need to say anything more. He’s going to win this!! And with that, The Rogue Luchador drops the mic and heads out. One way or another, someone will hold their first BOSJ trophy! Who makes NJPW their Dominion?


My Thoughts:

A great final bit for the BOSJ series before Dominion, including all the go-home matches. TMDK getting the win over the War Dogs here makes me think Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita fall short of taking the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships from Clark Connors & “Drilla” Moloney, as great as that would be to go along with Shane Haste & Mikey Nichols being NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions. Similarly, Khan & Cobb win to have momentum going into their respective title matches. But where I feel Khan fails to take back the KOPW Championship from Yuya Uemura, Cobb finds a way to retain the NJPW World Television Championship against Tomohiro Ishii. No offense to Ishii, but I don’t see him as a “15 minutes or less” match kind of guy.

LIJ takes the night in their tag matches, and I’m thinking we see Hiromu, Tsuji & Bushi take on Tanahashi, Yano & Boltin for the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles. They probably won’t win those titles, but it’d be a great match. Likewise, Takagi & Naito stood tall here, but there’s a good chance Henare finds a way to win that NEVER Openweight Championship from Takagi at Dominion. Really good promo from Moxley that then revealed the old school NJPW guys joining his side in this. Very good 8 Man Tag, and while The Faces won here, that should not affect the math. I can’t see Evil being the one dethroning Moxley, even with Lumberjacks and cheating. Mostly because, who challenges and dethrones Evil? Not sure anyone’s really been built to be that next Face champ.

Awesome BOSJ Semifinal matches, with TJP VS Taiji perhaps being the more exciting match overall. It certainly had a bit more unpredictability in who would win, but Taiji winning out does make sense. TJP’s story has been his crisis of confidence, how he needed The Aswang to win his spot here only to lose when he went back to his normal self. Desperado VS Douki was still a lot of fun given these two have known each other a long time. Desperado winning works for his story, because he’s been saying again and again that he needs to finally win this trophy. Taiji VS Desperado is going to be awesome stuff for the Dominion main event, and really anyone’s game.

My Score: 8.9/10


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