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Andrew’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe Ratings & Analysis: 9/22/2019

Who wins the Young Lion Cup? Does Liger unleash the demon on Suzuki? Does the Intercontinental Championship change hands? Find out on Destruction in Kobe!



Who wins the Young Lion Cup? Does Liger unleash the demon on Suzuki? Does the Intercontinental Championship change hands? Find out on Destruction in Kobe!

The last stop on the Destruction tour gives us a few matches to look forward to!

Does Suzuki get his wish and give us the fourth appearance of Kishin Liger? Is Goto purely a heavyweight gatekeeper?

We also have to figure out who the best Young Lion is and if Jay White can continue to speak truth.

Let’s see how this all plays out!


  • Manabu Nakanishi, Alex Coughlin & Michael Richards vs Yota Tsuji, Yuya Uemura & Yuji Nagata: Tsuji wins via Boston Crab @10:05 – **
  • Young Lion Cup: Ren Narita vs Clark Connors: Connors wins via Boston Crab @7:25 – ** 1/2
  • Young Lion Cup: Karl Fredericks vs Shota Umino: Fredericks wins via Modified Liontamer @7:15 – *** 1/4
  • Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe: Owens wins via Package Piledriver @8:20 – ** 1/2
  • DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr & Minoru Suzuki vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask, Rocky Romero & Jyushin Thunder Liger: Suzuki-Gun wins via DQ @3:10 – ***
  • Will Ospreay, YOH, SHO, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii vs KENTA, Guerrillas of Destiny, Taiji Ishimori & ELP: YOH wins via Inside Cradle @9:40 – ***
  • SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI vs Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada & Robbie Eagles: SANADA wins via Skull End @13:50 – *** 1/2
  • Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @20:25 – **** 1/4
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito (c): White wins via Blade Runner @29:50 – **** 1/2 – TITLE CHANGE!!!



Manabu Nakanishi, Alex Coughlin & Michael Richards vs Yota Tsuji, Yuya Uemura & Yuji Nagata – I say this a lot with the undercards involving Young Lions, but this was really just a decent starting match. We got to see some nice fire from the Young Lions, and this was more Tsuji’s match to shine in and we learned that Coughlin’s name is pronounced COG-LIN, ya know, since he’s British so it has to be different.

Young Lion Cup: Ren Narita vs Clark Connors – Connors and Narita didn’t have as much intensity as most Young Lion matches. Narita still had a chance to win the whole thing, but he came out a little flat. There was an early chop exchange, but Narita’s heart never really seemed into it. Connors getting the win eliminates Narita, and he was already eliminated going into this match. So the winner of the next match, wins the Young Lion Cup.

Young Lion Cup: Karl Fredericks vs Shota Umino –  Now we expected this one to be solid. LA Dojo and New Japan Dojo’s top guys vie for the title of Young Lion Cup winner! This match had great intensity, really good selling and both men brought it well. Shota’s nose got bloodied but he fought through and nearly pulled off the Fisherman Buster. But Fredericks countered and sold his arm well even for his finish. Pulling off a Half Crab instead of a Full Crab because of his arm, but he modifies it into a Liontamer style and gets Umino to tap out.

Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe – No real interesting storylines here. They all have a little history and could be involved in the upcoming Tag League. It was a decent enough match but nothing special. Not a lot to unpack here. Chase pinned Henare. Yay?

DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr & Minoru Suzuki vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask, Rocky Romero & Jyushin Thunder Liger – Liger runs down the ramp to attack Suzuki during his entrance, and the donnybrook begins. Liger’s aggression backfires a little when Suzuki gets the upper hand. Suzuki throws a chair into the ring and sets up a table in the corner, and the whole set up was very reminiscent of the 1996 Kishin Liger debut. Suzuki put Liger in a Sleeperhold to set up for the Gotch, but Liger threw back his leg, and kicked Suzuki between the legs. That’s not a very Jyushin move. Liger then proceeds to remove his own mask to reveal the white and black paint, tears at his costume and much like many of us guessed, Kishin Liger is back! Liger hits Suzuki and the referee with the Green Mist, goes out to get a camping spike, and we get another reference to the Muta match. Liger tries to literally murder Suzuki, Suzuki moves and the spike goes through the table. The referee disqualifies Liger’s team, Liger throws the table at Suzuki and the chase begins. Liger even wipes out a couple Young Lions and Tanahashi on his chase of Suzuki.

Will Ospreay, YOH, SHO, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii vs KENTA, Guerrillas of Destiny, Taiji Ishimori & ELP – Everyone in this match has some kind of heat with one another. However, the whole point of this was for G.o.D. trying to prove that YOH’s pinfall in Kagoshima was a fluke. Bullet Club had some nice cohesion in taunting with heel tactics when everyone took turns hitting a Back Rake, until Kenta decided it was time to do his Stomp Feint just for the rub ins on YOSHI-HASHI. The Guerrillas were basically clearing the ring themselves, they hit Guerrilla Warfare, set up Magic Killer but Roppongi 3k fought back. Loa got knocked backwards at some point and YOH hooked in the cradle for the flash win! So with consecutive pinfalls over the champions, RPG3k will most likely get a Heavyweight Tag Title shot at King of Pro Wrestling.

SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI vs Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada & Robbie Eagles – SANADA and EVIL have their respective matches against Okada and Ibushi coming up, so we know why this match was made. Robbie actually did a lot of the work in the match, but we did start off with Okada and SANADA working the crowd to see who was more popular. Surprisingly Okada almost pulled off Red Ink, which I haven’t seen in forever. But the fun part of this match came towards the end. SANADA had Eagles in the Dragon Sleeper, and spun him around, Okada comes into the ring and tries a Dropkick to break it up…but he misses. So Okada goes back to it to break it up and then everyone gets in, SANADA and Eagles are still in the ring, SANADA makes Eagles tap with the Skull End. The clever aspect of things came after the bell and we get a stare down with SANADA and Okada. I’m curious if the Dropkick was supposed to miss, because there’s some subtle talking, and then Okada tries to sneak attack SANADA three times with Dropkicks, but SANADA side steps all of them. So now we get a fun wrinkle of Okada not being able to hit his signature Dropkick, either on purpose or by dumb luck. Fun stuff.

Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto – Takagi got one of his largest Heavyweight victories over Goto in the G1, so Goto needs to try to get his win back. This was every bit the hard hitting power match we expected. They started off countering one another’s moves and then just hitting huge lariats and just being two angry bulls trying to kill each other. Goto pulled out everything, Ushigoroshi, Reverse GTR, Shouten Kai, Modified GTR…it was just an insane match. Shingo pulled off most of his moves as well, but never hit Last of the Dragon, so that move was protected nicely. I personally have a Shingo bias, but this was a great match and might finally help Goto become more than just a gatekeeper.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito (c) – This match lived up to the build. They played mind games, taunted and were just generally douchey to one another, but it was fantastic. Tons of mocking and talking, both men kept telling the other to ‘Smile’, the odd enjoyment and disdain of each other made for a fun dynamic. Naito pulled out a few unique applications of Combinacion Cabron, and did his Tornado DDT by kicking off of Gedo at one point. We saw the culmination of a story where if the situation was a little different, these two could be best friends. Gedo didn’t really get involved much, so that was nice, this was just a great match if you were following the feud a little. Also I did appreciate Jay White gingerly walking down the ramp, and taking a big step over the metal connector, as a reference to when YOSHI-HASHI face planted last year.


Overall Score: 8.5/10

This show was pretty great from top to bottom. We saw Karl Fredericks win the Young Lion Cup, and in doing so, put the LA Dojo in higher regard. Kishin Liger showed up for blood, and one of the few times Suzuki ever seemed scared, the mist on his face could’ve been blow back from his trunks, if you catch my meaning.

Okada’s new wrinkle with the Dropkick is a fun addition to a match we’ve already seen three times, so it’s nice that something was added to try and make this one feel different. Of course the last two matches were fantastic, and they played into one another since in the middle of Jay’s victory speech, Goto storms down the ramp and smacks Jay around a little bit.

Jay White seems adamant that Goto doesn’t deserve a shot, but that’s not really for him to decide. Should be really interesting to see who holds the Intercontinental Championship come Wrestle Kingdom.

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Mitchell’s NJPW Destruction Results & Report! (9/24/23)

Is Kobe ready for Destruction?



Will the Aerial Assassin survive the Gene Blast?

On a night of United Empire VS Los Ingobernables de Japon, Will Ospreay defends the now IWGP United Kingdom Championship against Yota Tsuji!


  • Tiger Mask & Kevin Knight VS Clark Connors & “Drilla” Dan Moloney; Connors & Moloney win.
  • Six Man Tag: Just5Guys VS The House of Torture; J5G wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: El Phantasmo & The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Bullet Club War Dogs; ELP & GOD win.
  • YOH & Lio Rush VS Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI; Yoh & Lio win.
  • Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Bad Dude Tito; ZSJ & Tito win.
  • KOPW Championship Handcuffed Cornermen Match: Taichi VS SHO; Sho wins and becomes the new KOPW Champion.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS TMDK; Bishamon wins and retains the titles.
  • Shingo Takagi VS Great-O-Khan; Khan wins.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Right to Challenge Contract match: Tetsuya Naito VS Jeff Cobb; Naito wins and retains the Right to Challenge.
  • IWGP United Kingdom Championship: Will Ospreay VS Yota Tsuji; Ospreay wins and retains the title.


KOPW Championship Handcuffed Cornermen Match: Taichi VS SHO!

The Holy Emperor, and pretty much everyone, knows when you face one member of the House of Torture, you face them all! That’s why he prepared something very special for this match. Just5Guys and the HOT boys will be allowed ringside, but must all be handcuffed together! Sanada, Douki & Taka Michinoku just beat Evil, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo, will they and Taichi completely topple the House? Or is this gamble going to backfire on Just5Guys?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the refs begin to secure the faction members together with the handcuffs. Sanada is cuffed to Evil, Douki is cuffed to Yujiro and Taka is cuffed to Dick. Fans applaud seeing this, but Evil is reluctant being literally stuck with his old tag partner. The feeling is mutual but these are the rules. Evil keeps stalling, Red Shoes tells him to sit down already, and Sho is getting anxious. All the cuffs are secure, the bell rings, and the technically 1v1 battle begins!

Fans rally up and Taichi eggs Sho on. Sho stays by ropes, begs the ref to do something, but the ref tells him he can’t. Sho bails out and he runs to where Dick and Taka are seated! Sho tries to uncuff Dick but he can’t, so he goes looking under the ring. Sho goes to Douki and Yujiro, then to Evil and Sanada, but no, he can’t free any of them. Sho then goes to Abe-san for help. Abe ain’t gonna do anything after all HOT has put him through! Then Taichi attacks Sho! Taichi whips Sho hard into railing! Fans fire up as Taichi looms over Sho. Taichi puts Sho in the ring, Sho wants mercy, but too late for that.

Taichi kicks Sho around, fans rally up behind him, and Taichi kicks Sho more. Sho goes to a corner and Taichi digs his knee in! The ref, Kenta Sato, counts but Taichi drags Sho out to then KICK him in the back! Sho writhes but Taichi stalks him to ropes. Taichi drags Sho up but Sho bends fingers! The ref reprimands, Taichi kicks low, but then Sho uses the ref as a shield! Sho CLAWS Taichi’s eyes, then throws him out so Evil can attack! This is almost a Lumberjack match as Sanada has to drag Evil away and Douki has to keep Yujiro back! Fans boo but J5G get the HOT boys away from Taichi.

Taichi complains about that but the ref missed it all. Taichi gets back in and Sho is scared again. Taichi tells Sho he’s gonna get what he deserves, then runs in, only to get bare buckles! Sho switched up the Bullet Club Special by making it a neutral corner! Taichi sputters as he staggers back and Sho SPEARS him down! Sho grins and he drags Taichi around. Sho kicks Taichi out, pursues, and then wrenches the arm to whip Taichi in to railing. Sho opens the gate and he brings Taichi to the back rows, to BOWL Taichi into open chairs! Fans rally for Taichi, but Sho CHOKES Taichi with a chair! J5G and HOT keep each other back while the ref reprimands.

Sho goes back and “apologizes,” then he diverts the ref’s attention to the ring for a count. Taichi sits up as the ring count begins, and Taichi stands at 5 of 20. Taichi makes his way back to ringside at 10, slides in at 15, but Sho distracts the ref and Yujiro attacks! Douki tries to drag the Tokyo Pimp back and the ref sees this! The count continues, though!? Taichi fights Yujiro, Evil works to keep Sanada back, but Douki pries Yujiro off Taichi! Taichi slides in at 19!! Fans fire up while Sho is furious the plan failed! Sho shouts at the ref but stomps Taichi down. Sho CHOKES Taichi, the ref reprimands, and Sho lets off at 4.

Sho then CLAWS Taichi’s eyes! The ref reprimands again and Sho lets off at 4. Cover, but the ref says no! Sho asks why! Isn’t it obvious? Sho shrugs that off and talks some trash as he circles around Taichi. Sho gives Taichi some mocking kicks, but Taichi stands to CHOP! And HAYMAKER! And CHOP! But Sho claws the eyes! The ref reprimands, Sho stops and whips, but Taichi stops from hitting buckles! Sho runs in to SPEAR, but Taichi blocks it! But then Sho bends Taichi’s fingers! Sho wrenches, whips, and Taichi hits bare buckles! But Taichi comes back to AX BOMBER! Both men are down and fans fire up!

Taichi stands first, and he gives Sho some Kawada Kicks. Sho goes to a corner, and Taichi runs in to BOOT him down! Taichi brings Sho out to DANG- NO, Sho fights the saido! Sho throws elbows but Taichi wrenches to HOOK KICK! Evil argues with the ref but Taichi storms out. Evil kicks at Taichi, but Taichi and Sanada both RAM Evil into the timekeeper’s area! Sorry, Abe! Seems he suffers no matter what when Evil is around. Taichi goes back for Sho in, Sho runs in but into a DANGEROUS SAIDO! Fans fire up even more, and OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi aims, but Sho dodges the Tensho to run. But into a SOBAT!

Fans fire up and Taichi drags Sho up. Taichi reels Sho in but Sho fights the lift. Sho bends fingers again, then wrenches to bring Taichi to his knee. Kick, KICK and SUPER- NO, Taichi blocks that kick! But Sho claws the eyes again! The ref reprimands but Sho whips, only for Taichi to reverse! Sho suffers the bare buckles! Then GAMANGIRI! Cover, but Evil distracts the ref! Sanada yanks Evil away and wrenches the arm while Taichi goes back for Sho. Taichi lets the others know to be ready with their own HOT boys, as Taichi BUZZSAWS Sho back down! Taichi roars and slashes his throat as the fans fire up again!

Taichi drags Sho up, reels him in, but then Yujiro sends his pimp cane in! The ref reprimands, Taichi is mad, but Sho shoves Taichi into the ref and the ref hits bare buckles!! Down goes Sato, and Dick uses POCKET SAND on Taichi!! Sho LOW BLOWS, then he RAMS Taichi into bare buckles! Fans boo as the House still pulls out their tricks! Sho scurries to his corner to get his “Murder Tool!” Dick CHOKES Taka while Sho takes aim at Taichi. Fans boo more but wait! The FIFTH GUY is here! Heel Master Yoshinobu Kanemaru slides in and snatches that wrench away! Fans are thunderous and Sho wants mercy!

Yoshinobu tosses the wrench, and gets his whiskey! Yoshinobu takes a big swig, and WHISKEY MISTS TAICHI?!? WHAT?!? Then he BOTTLE SMASHES Taichi!!! Yoshinobu RIPS the J5G shirt to reveal a House of Torture shirt!!! The Heel Master is living up to his name by joining the other side!!! Then he hauls up Taichi, to give him a BRAINBUSTER!! Fans boo and the rest of- Well, Just FOUR Guys, is shocked! Yoshinobu puts the ref back in, Sho drags Taichi up and in, to tuck and lift, SHOCK ARROW!!! Cover, SHO WINS!!!

Winner: Sho, by pinfall (NEW KOPW Champion)

Why, Yoshinobu, why?!? Now the azure belt belongs to the Murder Machine! And then to “celebrate,” Yoshinobu BOTTLE SMASHES Taka!! And then he CRACKS Douki with it!! He just betrayed his oldest friends in NJPW, and for what?!? Wait, he also has the key! Yoshinobu frees Dick, Yujiro and Evil while Sho holds the belt over Taichi’s prone body. Evil stomps Sanada and puts him in next to Taichi. Yujiro and Dick do the same with Taka and Douki, and they’re all cuffed to ropes now! They can only watch as Taichi gets stomped by Yoshinobu and the HOT boys! Sho talks trash on Sanada, Douki & Taka to help their friend.

Sho then gets the mic, and he mockingly asks what’s wrong. It looks like these guys will be crying tonight! You can all go back to your hotel room and figure this out together. This belt is now Sho’s, he is this year’s good luck charm! Evil then takes the mic to ask “Just Five Guys-” Well first, shut up, fans! But then Evil laughs that Just Five is now Just Four! The Heel Master is now House of Torture! And Sanada, you wanted a Lumberjack match for the world title? Well then, The House of Torture now has the numbers advantage, so let’s do it! The House of Torture has five guys and Sanada’s group will have to rebrand again. But will the Cold Skull be able to deny the King of Darkness his prize?


IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS TMDK!

Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi went back and forth with Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls during this year’s G1 Climax, and those Mighty victories earned the “Young Punks” this match. Will Hilarious Haste & Mad Mikey bring more gold to the group? Or will the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter prove they are the ones who don’t kneel?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who is the mightiest team in NJPW!

The teams sort out and Hashi starts against Mikey. The fans rally up as the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Mikey powers Hashi back step by step. Mikey puts Hashi on ropes but Hashi turns things around. The ref counts, Hashi lets off cleanly, and even Mikey applauds. But then Hashi blocks the cheap shot to CLUB the leg and clamp on a headlock. Mikey powers up but can’t power out as Hashi holds on tight. Mikey fights up, claws at an eye, then throws body shots. Mikey powers out and RAMS shoulders with Hashi! Neither falls so Mikey eggs Hashi on. Hashi runs and they RAM shoulders again!

Neither man falls so the forearms start flying back and forth! Fans fire up, Mikey gets the edge and he ROCKS Hashi! Hashi CHOPS back! Hashi runs, but Mikey ELBOWS back! Mikey runs but Hashi UPPERCUTS! Hashi runs but Mikey runs him over! Fans fire up more and Mikey tags Shane. Shane drags Hashi up, TMDK double whip, and then DOUBLE ELBOW! FIST DROP SENTON but Hashi moves! Hashi tosses Mikey, grabs Shane but Shane powers Hashi back. Goto tags in, Hashi whips Shane away and Bishamon DOUBLE SHOULDERS Shane down! Then ZANMAI, the hip toss senton! Mikey runs in but Goto kicks him, to snap suplex him onto Shane!

Fans rally up as Bishamon drags Shane up. Se-no, WAR DRUM FISTS! Shane falls and fans fire up more. Goto stomps Shane, Shane hits back, but Goto fires forearms and knees! Goto whips, Shane reverses and Mikey trips Goto so Shane can sliding boot! Then Shane BLASTS Hashi while Mikey SLAMS Goto! Mikey whips Goto hard into railing! Shane waits as Mikey drags Goto up to put him in the ring. Shane stands on Goto, tags in Mikey, and Mikey stomps Goto! Goto CHOPS back, but Mikey CHOPS! Shane tags in, TMDK double whip to DOUBLE ELBOW, and then FIST DROP SENTON COMBO! Cover, TWO!

Shane keeps on Goto with a wristlock. Shane KICKS the arm! Goto writhes and Shane shakes his leg. Shane bumps Goto off buckles, UPPERCUTS and ELBOWS and repeat! Shane brings Goto in for a HALF HATCH! Cover, TWO! Shane drags Goto over, tags in Mikey, and they wrench to put Goto on the ropes. Mikey BLASTS Hashi, Shane throws Goto down, and then Mikey drops a knee on Goto’s head! Mikey stands Goto up to CHOP again! Fans fire up while Goto is stinging, and Mikey tags Shane. TMDK coordinates, but Goto boots free! Goto throws elbows and forearms on everyone, but TMDK kick low!

TMDK runs, Goto follows to DOUBLE LARIAT! Fans fire up while all three men are down! TMDK go to opposite corner and Goto fires up! Goto clotheslines Mikey, Shane runs in but Gotos ends him into Mikey! Goto then runs to MURAMASA them both! Fans fire up as Goto then DOUBLE BULLDOGS! All three men are down again and fans rally up. Hashi is back and he reaches out! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Hashi! The Head Hunter runs Shane over! Then kicks low, to whip to a corner! Shane reverses but Hashi comes back to CHOP! Hashi mule kicks, turns Shane, but Mikey CLUBS Hashi first!

TMDK double whip Hashi, but he holds ropes! Hashi BOOTS Mikey, DUMPS Shane, then TOSSES Mikey onto Shane! Fans fire up as TMDK regroups in a daze. Hashi builds speed and FLIES out onto them both! Fans are thunderous as Hashi roars! Hashi drags Shane up and puts him in the ring. Hashi climbs up, aims and BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Shane hangs tough but Hashi calls to Goto. Goto slides in, Bishamon double whip Shane corner to corner. Goto runs in to clothesline! Hashi runs in to CHOP! Hashi feeds Shane to Goto’s fireman’s carry but Shane slips free and shoves Goto into Hashi!

Hashi falls over, Goto staggers back, and Shane hits Goto with a BIG back suplex! Goto flops out of the ring, Hashi runs in but Shane spins him, X PLEX! Shane crawls for his corner while fans rally up. Mikey is still down so Shane goes after Hashi in the open corner. Shane hoists Hashi up top, CHOPS him, then climbs up after him. Hashi fights back with forearms and Shane staggers away. Mikey is back and he’s after Hashi up top! Hashi fires more forearms and now Mikey falls back. But then Mikey gives Shane a boost, POWERBOMB SUPERPLEX COMBO!! Mikey drags Shane onto Hashi for a cover, but Goto barrels in to break it!

Fans fire up while all four men are down! Mikey gets Goto out of the ring, then he regroups with Shane. Mikey tags in, TMDK drags Hashi up. Hashi fires off forearms on them, but Shane UPPERCUTS, Mikey lifts, ATOMIC UPPERCUT! TMDK double whip, but Hashi dropkicks their legs out! Fans fire up and Goto rises! Hashi crawls over to the corner, but Mikey DECKS Goto first! TMDK HIGH LOW LARIAT on Hashi! TMDK then coordinates, and Mikey fireman’s carries Hashi. Hashi slips out, shoves Mikey at Shane but TMDK stops from colliding! Shane blocks Hashi’s kick, spins him around, BACK SUPELX NECKBREAKER! Cover, Goto breaks it again!

Fans fire up but TMDK stomp Goto. They get Goto up but Goto fires forearms now! Hashi BOOTS Goto, TMDK both run but Goto follows! TMDK dodge, fake Goto out, and Mikey hits a MIKEY BOMB!! Scoop and TANK BUSTER! Goto flops out of the ring and TMDK focuses on Hashi. They drag Hashi up, Shane climbs and Mikey scoops. But Hashi slips off to shove Mikey into Shane! Schoolboy bridge, TWO!! Hashi hurries to his feet, runs in, but Mikey BLCOKS the lariat! So Hashi spins to CHOP! And SUPERKICK! Shane returns to DROPKICK! Shane calls the shot, then Mikey fireman’s carries. HIGHWAY TO HELL!! Cover, TWO?!?

Fans are thunderous as Hashi survives! Shane and Mikey fire up and go for the classic! Mikey scoops, Shane hops up the corner, but Goto anchors Shane! Hashi fights free to hit ITADAKIKARI!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!

Winner: Bishamon, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

The Head Hunter made “Easy Pickings” out of Mikey, proving to be the MVP of this match-up! Bishamon holds onto the gold, will they always #GetBackUp as we enter the Fall?


Shingo Takagi VS Great-O-Khan w/ Callum Newman!

The unofficial best of three series between Los Ingobernables de Japon and The United Empire begins as the Rampaging Dragon once again collides with The Dominator! Takagi won last time with the KOPW title on the line, will he do it again? Or will Khan conquer Takagi for the glory of the Empire?

Khan holds out his United Empire shirt as if to offer Takagi a spot on the team. But then Khan throws the shirt onto Takagi’s head, tackles him, and rains down forearms! The ref reprimands, the match hasn’t started yet! Khan throws fists now then shoves the ref down! Khan CHOKES Takagi with the shirt! The ref reprimands, Khan tells him to shut up and he shoves the ref away. Takagi gets up and the bell rings, then Takagi runs in! But Khan picks Takagi up to DUMP him out! Khan goes out after Takagi but Takagi fires off shots! Takagi CHOPS, whips, but Khan reverses. Takagi hits railing but just gets angry!

Fans fire up as Takagi runs and RAMS shoulders with Khan! And again! And again! Khan runs Takagi over! Fans rally, but Khan grabs a chair! The ref reprimands but Khan shoves him away again! Khan then JAMS Takagi! And SMACKS him on the back! Takagi falls over while fans rally up again. Khan drags Takagi up and into the ring, calls for the ref while he kneels on Takagi’s neck, but Takagi pushes him away. Kahn drags Takagi up to SAYANAGI! Cover, TWO, but Khan clamps on the ARM ‘N’ HEAD TRIANGLE! Takagi endures as Khan leans his weight on the hold. Takagi fights around, and has the ROPEBREAK!

The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Khan lets off. Khan scuffs Takagi against ropes, eggs him on, but Takagi fires a forearm! Khan just puts his arms behind his back. Takagi CHOPS, but Khan shakes his head. Takagi CHOPS and CHOPS but Khan CHOPS! Takagi ends up in a corner, Khan ROCKS him then CLUBS him! Khan then goes up the corner to sit on his- NO, Takagi slips free! “BAKA! <IDIOT!>” DOUBLE CHOP! Takagi fireman’s carries to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Takagi rises first while Khan goes to a corner. Fans chant for “TA-KA-GI!” as he runs in. Takagi blocks Khan’s boot to clothesline!

Takagi runs, Khan dodges, but runs into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as Takagi drags Khan up, suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Khan hangs in there but Takagi wants them to hold on. “OI! OI! OI!” Fans clap along, and then Takagi says IT IS TIME! Takagi has the fans all fired up, and he kicks Khan around. Takagi then hauls Khan up, pump handles, but Khan fights the lift! Takagi knees low, snapmares and runs, but Khan catches the sliding lariat into an armlock! Takagi fights free, JABS, JABS, and JABS! Khan Mongolian Chops! And Mongolian Chops! And then powers up, but Takagi blocks to steal the Mongolian Chops!

Takagi Mongolian CHOPS again, but Khan HELL STABS! Khan runs, but into the SAIDO! But Khan rises!? Khan BOOTS Takagi down! But Takagi rises! DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Double monster rage! Takagi SWATS Khan’s haymaker to wrench and ELBOW BREAKER! Takagi JABS and ENZIGURIS! Khan staggers, runs back in but Takagi blocks the boot to then reel Khan in for MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO!! Khan survives but Takagi stays focused. Takagi fires up again and the fans are with him. Takagi drags Khan up, pump handles, but Khan fights the lift! Takagi LARIATS point blank, but Khan stays up!

Takagi LARIATS point blank again, and Khan drops to his knees! Fans fire up as Takagi pump handles and torture racks, but Khan slips free! IRON SLEEPER, into Grapple Feint O-Khan PLEX! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan snarls as he crawls after Takagi. Takagi goes to the corner, Khan runs in, and he BLINDSIDE CLOTHESLINES! Then he torture racks to bring Takagi around, ARGENTINE BACKBREAKER into HERCULES NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Takagi hangs in there but Khan stays on him. Khan drags Takagi up, reels him in, and scoops, but Takagi slips free!

Takagi waistlocks, Khan throws elbows, but Takagi BLINDSIDE LARIATS! Khan staggers, but he LARIATS Takagi down!! Fans fire up again as Khan looms over Takagi. Khan watches Takagi drag himself up with ropes, then clamps on the IRON CLAW! Takagi CLUBS the arm, then fires ridge hand chops, but he can’t break free! ELIMI- NO, Takagi slips free to ELBOW! JAB! YUKON- NO, Khan catches Takagi with the left hand, for an ELIMINATOR!! High stack, TWO!?! Takagi survives and fans are thunderous! Khan is rather stunned, but he drags Takagi back up. IRON SLEEPER! Fans rally as Takagi endures!

Khan drags Takagi up, squeezes tighter, and Takagi is fading! Then Khan shifts to right hand ELIMI- DDT!! Takagi turns things around and both men are down again! Fans fire up as we pass ten minutes, and Takagi crawls over to Khan. They junkyard dog headbutt, then start throwing forearms! Takagi fires up and fans are with him. Khan eggs Takagi on and the forearms continue! Takagi CHOPS! Khan CHOPS! Takagi forearms! Khan forearms! Khan fires forearm after forearm, but Takagi just roars! Takagi fires boxing elbows! Takagi winds up but the IRON CLAW returns! Takagi CLAWS back!

Khan grabs the waistband but Takagi breaks free! JAB! HEADBUTT! But Khan IRON STRAIGHTS!! Takagi falls and the monster rage boils up! Khan IRON CLAWS, then he drags Takagi up! ELIMI- NO, Takagi slips out to DRAGON SUPLEX! SLIDING FOREARM!! Cover, TWO?!?! Khan rises but staggers around! Fans are thunderous again as these two run. Takagi dodges to PUMPING BOMBER!! Fans are electric as Takagi hauls Khan back up. “OI! OI! OI!” echoes out and Takagi pump handles, LAST OF THE DRAGON!! Cover, TAKAGI WINS!

Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall

Another epic battle, and another epic victory for the Rampaging Dragon! Will Takagi use this momentum to fly back up and fight for a title? What does Khan need to finally get up and over that hump?


IWGP World Heavyweight Right to Challenge Contract match: Tetsuya Naito VS Jeff Cobb w/ Callum Newman!

Speaking of colliding once again, this is the second time this year the Uncontrollable Charisma battles the Imperial Unit! Cobb won their G1 Climax match but Naito won the whole tournament, will Naito lose that Right to Challenge during a Tour of the Islands? Or will WrestleKingdom still look tranquilo?

Wait, what’s that canvas tote bag Naito is carrying? Wait, THAT is the “briefcase” Naito is carrying the contract in? And he’s written “Kenrisyou” on it, both in Japanese katakana and ABCs. Well, then, who will be left holding the bag, but in a good way?

Cobb is patient as Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire. After all, he’s seen this a few times already. The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. Naito has the strong majority of the crowd but Cobb shrugs that off as he and Naito circle. They approach but then Naito backs off. They circle more, tie up, and Cobb holds firm as Naito pushes. Cobb puts Naito on the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, and Cobb steps just to get Naito to flinch. Cobb raises his fist to mock LIJ, but Naito SPITS at Cobb! Cobb runs in but Naito dumps hm out! Naito knocks Cobb off the apron then baseball slides him into railing!

Fans rally for Naito as he CLUBS Cobb around the way. And CLUBS him again! Naito cravats to then CHOKE Cobb on the railing, right in front of Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano on commentary. Naito puts Cobb in, Cobb rushes up but Naito catches him for a TORNADO- NO, Cobb blocks that to then suplex! Naito slips free, waistlocks, but Cobb switches and clinches, to OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Fans fire up while Naito flounders away. Cobb storms up on Naito, drags him up, and ROCKS him with a right! Naito goes to a corner, Cobb throws body shots, then throat chops! Naito kicks back but Cobb eggs him on.

Naito kicks more but Cobb blocks, to CHOP! Cobb CLUBS Naito down, then paces around him. Naito sputters but Cobb pulls hair. Red Shoes reprimands and Cobb lets off. Cobb taunts Naito, brings him up, and whips him to a corner. Cobb runs in, clotheslines, then clotheslines again and again and again! Red Shoes counts, Cobb lets off and runs to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cobb-ron! Fans are torn as Cobb mocks Naito’s posing, then Cobb covers. TWO, but Cobb covers again. TWO, but Cobb keeps his cool. Cobb looms over Naito, drags him up, and hoists him up into a BEARHUG!

Naito endures the squeeze, he CLUBS Cobb but Cobb just thrashes Naito around! Naito throws more elbows, gets free, but then Cobb HEADBUTTS! And short arm LARIATS! Then GACHIMUCHI FLOPS as Naito moves! Naito dropkicks the legs out! Fans rally while both men are down! Naito stands, throws forearms and kicks, then whips. Cobb reverses but Naito FLYING FOREARMS! Cobb staggers into an atomic drop! Naito ELBOWS Cobb down, then basement dropkicks him in the back! Fans rally as Naito has Cobb in a corner. Naito whips corner to corner, runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! SWINGING feint and then the dropkick!

Fans fire up as Naito poses for his Combinacion, then he goes back to cover. ONE!! Naito almost goes flying out of the ring there! Naito drags Cobb up, has a cravat for the neck wrench, but Cobb throws body shots. But Naito throws those heavy back elbows! Then he turns Cobb, for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Naito stays focused and he stomps Cobb around. Naito drags Cobb up, hammerlocks then half nelsons, but Cobb clubs free! Cobb then hits an atomic drop, and a DROPKICK! Fans fire up while both men are down! Cobb rises while Naito goes to ropes. Cobb storms over and he drags Naito up.

Cobb waistlocks and deadlifts, but Naito fights with elbows! Cobb hops down to HEADBUTT Naito, then has him at the corner. Cobb climbs up to then deadlift SUPERPLEX!! Fans are thunderous while both men are down! Cobb crawls to the cover, TWO!! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives consecutive crashes and Cobb is beside himself! Fans rally as hard as they can for “NA-I-TO!” but Cobb stands first. Cobb whips Naito to ropes, but Naito holds ropes. Naito BOOTS back, runs in but Cobb gets around to shove Naito to a corner. BACK ELBOW! Cobb then hoists Naito up!

Cobb goes up the corner, but Naito slips under! Cobb holds the corner and he punches Naito away! Naito comes back to ROCK Cobb! Naito fires more forearms, then climbs up, to the very top! Naito CLUBS Cobb, but Cobb gets Naito up! Naito still SUPER STEINERS! Fans fire up as Naito BOOTS again, goes back up and reels Cobb in, ESPERANZA! Fans rally and Naito aims from the corner. Cobb stands, Naito tilt-o-whirls, but Cobb turns Destino into ATHLETIC PLEX! Naito staggers around, into a fireman’s carry! ONE ARMED F5 THOUSAND!! Fans rally up and Cobb covers, TWO?!? Naito is somehow still in this after all that spinning!

Fans rally, Cobb rises again, and he drags Naito up. Cobb reels Naito in, but Naito fights free! Naito throws those heavy elbows! Cobb wobbles, Naito comes back, but into another fireman’s carry! But Naito pops up to POISON-RANA!! Cobb gets spiked, yet he starts pushing himself up! Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but Cobb stops Destino into a TOUR- NO, Naito victory rolls through! TWO!! Naito eggs Cobb on, catches him, and TORNADO CRADLE! TWO!! Cobb escapes and runs in, into an ELBOW! And ENZIGURI! But Cobb GERMAN SUPLEXES! Naito roars and rises up!? But Cobb LARIATS him back down!!

Cobb hauls Naito up, whips and scoops, TOUR OF THE- DESTINO!! Naito tastes blood in his mouth but he just fires up! Wrench and tilt-o-whirl, DESTINOOO~!!! Cover, NAITO WINS!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (retains the Right to Challenge)

Cobb may have conquered him in the G1 Climax, and may have been parodying him ever since, but the real deal Tetsuya Naito takes back that loss and holds onto his contract! Then is it all but a given that the Uncontrollable Charisma will main event WrestleKingdom 18? As for Cobb, where does he go from here, having fallen short?


IWGP United Kingdom Championship: Will Ospreay w/ Callum Newman VS Yota Tsuji!

Los Ingobernables is 2-0 on the night with Takagi conquering Khan and Naito denying Cobb. And now, the Gene Blast goes after the rebranded championship around the Aerial Assassin’s waist. Will LIJ be 3-0 and golden here tonight? Or will Ospreay bring about the Destruction of this Reiwa era Musketeer?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who feels like smiling after it’s all said and done!

The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. There seem just as many “OSPREAY! OSPREAY!” fans as there are “YOTA! YOTA!” fans.  The two circle, feel things out, then back away. Fans applaud them both being wary, then the two tie up. They’re in a deadlock but Ospreay wrenches and wristlocks. Tsuji rolls, powers through to wrench Ospreay, but Ospreay spins, slips through, waistlocks, then spins Tsuji to a cravat. Fans applaud the technical exchange, but Tsuji rolls and wrenches to wrangle Ospreay down! Tsuji has a cording hold but Ospreay fights up, waistlocks, but then Tsuji switches.

Ospreay pries the hold open, switches back but Tsuji facelocks. Ospreay wrenches out, hammerlocks, but Tsuji reaches back to headlock. Tsuji grinds Ospreay, but Ospreay endures. Ospreay powers up and powers out, but Tsuji runs him over! But Ospreay kips right up! Fans cheer and Tsuji grins. Ospreay smirks, talks a little trash, then eggs Tsuji on. Tsuji runs, Ospreay drops to hurdle, but then Tsuji leaps over! Ospreay arm-drags, Tsuji headscissors, Ospreay kips free and avoids the arm-drag! Ospreay stands on Tsuji and flexes, perhaps a shot at Chris Jericho. Ospreay then brings Tsujhi up but Tsuji arm-drags him away!

Ospreay goes to a corner, Tsuji runs in and jumps up to MONKEY FLIP, but Ospreay lands on his feet! Tsuji runs in but he flips through the hip toss! Tsuji arm-drags, then ducks ‘n’ dodges to tilt-o-whirl arm-drag Ospreay out of the ring! Fans fire up and Tsuji builds speed! Tsuji DIVES and Ospreay hits railing! Fans fire up with Tsuji, and he brings Ospreay up. Tsuji puts Ospreay in the ring then runs, to run Ospreay over! Cover, ONE! Tsuji was a bit lax there but he just smiles. Tsuji drags Ospreay up, cravats, but Ospreay pulls Tsuji’s hair. Red Shoes reprimands but then Tsuji snapmares Ospreay into body scissors!

Ospreay endures, reaches out, but Tsuji hooks an arm to keep him down. Tsuji squeezes tight and Ospreay endures, to then reach out for the ROPEBREAK! Tsuji lets go quickly enough, but Ospreay fires a forearm! And another! And another! Tsuji just CHOPS back! Ospreay sputters and fans applaud as Tsuji brings him up. Tsuji ROCKS Ospreay to a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Tsuji runs in but Ospreay dodges the splash! Ospreay runs back in but into a BOOT! Tsuji goes up but Ospreay CHOPS him down! Tsuji tumbles to apron then floor, and Ospreay aims to PLANCHA! Direct hit and down goes Tsuji!

Fans fire up as Ospreay rises and shouts “IKU ZO! <LET’S GO!>” Ospreay stalks Tsuji, drags him up, and brings him around to ROCK with a forearm. And then ROCK him again! Tsuji staggers around the way but Ospreay pursues. Ospreay wrenches and whips, but Tsuji reverses! Ospreay leaps over the railing! Ospreay then ROCKS Tsuji, jumps up and FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up and Ospreay apologizes to the front row. Ospreay drags Tsuji up, puts him in the ring, and drops a knee on Tsuji’s chin! And again! Ospreay paces around Tsuji, drags him up, and CHOPS! Ospreay paces around Tsuji again, then bumps him off buckles.

Ospreay CHOPS again and Tsuji sits down, chest stinging. Ospreay digs his boot in, scrubs and scrapes Tsuji’s face, and Red Shoes reprimands. Ospreay “apologizes” before he brings Tsuji up and scoops, for a BACKBREAKER! Ospreay pushes Tsuji down to cover, TWO! Tsuji hangs tough and fans rally up but Ospreay keeps his cool. Ospreay stalks Tsuji, drags him up, and shoves him to ropes to then CLUB him on the back! Tsuji grits his teeth, then grins through the pain! So Ospreay CLUBS him on the back again! And again! Tsuji turns around to smile right in Ospreay’s face! Fans fire up as Ospreay fires off forearms!

Tsuji grins as he fires forearms in return! Ospreay CHOPS again! Ospreay whips, Tsuji reverses but Ospreay holds ropes. Ospreay BOOTS back, runs, but Tsuji scoops to BACKBREAKER! Fans fire up while both men are down! We pass ten minutes as fans rally and the two men stir. Tsuji rises first, then fires off forearms! Tsuji whips, Ospreay reverses, but Tsuji blasts through to FLYING RANA! Ospreay bails out and Tsuji grins. Tsuji builds speed to FOSBURY FLOP! Fans are all fired up seeing a man that big do a move that agile! Tsuji is also fired up and he does a full lap around the ring.

Fans fire up as Tsuji puts Ospreay in the ring, and he brings Ospreay up. Ospreay swings, Tsuji blocks and spins him, inverted Gory Especial for the INVERTED GORY BOMB! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but he isn’t champion for no reason. Tsuji keeps on smiling, and the fans rally up again. Tsuji brings Ospreay up but Ospreay fights the suplex. Ospreay wrenches, Tsuji forearms, and Tsuji whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER KICK! Fans rally as Ospreay goes to the corner and he gets an “OI! OI! OI!” going. Not quite Takagi’s “Oi” but still. Ospreay springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO!

Ospreay stays focused and stretches out his sore back. He drags Tsuji up, reels him in, but Tsuji fights the lift. Ospreay fires Kawada Kicks! But Tsuji blocks the chop! And catches the lariat to BACKBREAKER, COMPLETE SHOT and STOMP! An even more lethal combination, and Tsuji suplexes. Ospreay slips out but Tsuji elbows him! Tsuji whips, Ospreay reverses but Tsuji BOOTS him away! Tsuji tries again, Ospreay blocks but Tsuji brings him down to DOUBLE STOMP! Tsuji suplexes, but Ospreay STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRES! Both men are down again and fans fire back up!

Ospreay sits up and shakes out the stars. Tsuji crawls to a corner and Ospreay wants him to rise. Ospreay then runs in corner to corner to BOOT! That was a hell of a kick, but Ospreay just goes up. We pass 15 minutes as Ospreay BLINDSIDE FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up as Ospreay roars “OI! OI! OI!” and prepares that elbow. Tsuji sits up, HIDDEN- NO, Tsuji ducks it! Tsuji kicks, runs, but Ospreay flips through the lariat! But Tsuji slips out of the bomb! FALCON BOMB!! Cover, TWO?!? Ospreay survives and now Tsuji gets the “OI! OI! OI!” going. Fans rally up, Tsuji aims, and Ospreay slowly rises.

Tsuji runs in to GENE- KNEE!! CHOP! But Tsuji ROLLING ELBOWS! Tsuji runs but Ospreay Tiger Wall Kicks! Tsuji ducks the enziguri, Ospreay dodges the stomp to ROCK and ROLLING- JUMP KNEE! Tsuji runs, into a SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous! Ospreay sits up while Tsuji flounders. Ospreay dares Tsuji to sit up, so he does. They stare down, and then Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji with a forearm! Tsuji shakes his head while fans fire up again. Tsuji ROCKS Ospreay, but he shakes his head. Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji and he almost falls over!

Tsuji sits back up, and he throws another forearm. Not enough to Ospreay! Ospreay stands Tsuji up to ROCK him! Tsuji wobbles but he grins and fires another forearm. Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji again, Tsuji hits back, and they’re picking up speed! Ospreay eggs Tsuji on while giving him shot after shot! Tsuji leans on ropes, but he just smiles again! Tsuji comes back as Ospreay eggs him on again. Tsuji and Ospreay trade shots fast and furious! Fans are all fired up as Ospreay wobbles! Tsuji ROCKS Ospreay keeps on him, and DECKS him!! Fans are thunderous as Tsuji finally clutches his jaw. But then Ospreay rises up!

Ospreay snarls and winds up, to ROCK Tsuji! And CHOP! And CHOP on the back! And HOOK KICK! Tsuji bails out to the apron, and Ospreay goes out to join him, Ospreay goes up and up and- NO, Tsuji stops the cutter! Tsuji POSTS Ospreay, SUPERKICKS him, but Ospreay fires up! Only for Tsuji to HEADBUTT! Flashbacks to that Elimination Tag! Both men wobble, Tsuji runs in, but Ospreay moves! Tsuji’s curb stomp falls to the floor, and Ospreay goes up to SUPER OSCUTTER to the floor!! We pass 20 minutes as Red Shoes checks both men. They’re both somehow okay to continue, and fans rally back up.

A ring count starts and Ospreay slowly sits up. Ospreay grits his teeth as he stands, and he slides in at 12 of 20. Tsuji stands at 14, hobbles over but flops down at 16! Tsuji still pushes himself up, and he slides in at 19! Ospreay COAST2COAST DROPKICKS!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up with Ospreay and he calls his shot. Springboard, but no Oscutter! Tsuji shoves and scoops to BLUE THUNDER BOMB, then KNEE THRUST! CURB STOMP to the FACE!! Both men are down again and fans are fired up behind Yota more than Ospreay! Ospreay is dazed but he makes his way to the neutral corner.

Tsuji pounds the mat and the fans rally behind him. Tsuji storms up to Ospreay, stomps him, then stomps him again! Tsuji drags Ospreay up to CHOP! Ospreay shouts in pain but Tsuji puts him up top. Tsuji shouts and fans rally again. Tsuji climbs but Ospreay fires forearms! Tsuji throws shots back, then goes up to the very top! Tsuji brings Ospreay up to join him but Ospreay starts throwing headbutts! Ospreay switches positions to SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO?!? But Ospreay just brings Tsuji up, SIT OUT BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Fans are electric, Ospreay is furious, he BUZZSAWS and HEEL KICKS! OSCUTTER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!

Fans are electric because they are shocked, and Ospreay is just fuming! Ospreay vows to end this, and he hauls Tsuji up. Underhooks, Canadian Rack, STORM- STUNNER?!?! Tsuji brings that outta nowhere! TO GENE BLAST!!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!!! Ospreay survives by a literal foot!! We pass 25 minutes, time is not on Tsuji’s side, and yet Tsuji smiles all the same! Fans are on Tsuji’s side, though, and he rises up again. Tsuji calls his shot, and goes up, up and FLYING STOMPS!!! Tsuji reels Ospreay in to underhook, Canadian Rack and STEALS STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! Now even Tsuji’s shocked! Ospreay flips Tsuji off but Tsuji just grins.

Tsuji roars and powers up! Fans are thunderous as Tsuji aims, to GENE- HIDDEN BLADE?!?! that back elbow came outta nowhere!! Ospreay is seething, almost foaming at the mouth! “OI! OI! OI!” Ospreay aims, runs back in, and steals GENE BLAST!!! Cover, ONE?!?!? WHAT?!? Ospreay tries again, calls his shot, STORM DRIVER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! HOW?!?! Is Tsuji even human?!? Ospreay doesn’t care if human, robot, alien or more, but Tsuji’s roar does make him hesitate! Tsuji stands, grins, even laughs. He backs Ospreay down with that stare! Ospreay just HIDDEN BLADES anyway!! Ospreay hooks arms, to STORMBREAKER!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (still IWGP United Kingdom Champion)

Tsuji pushed Ospreay to over 27 minutes, showing us he has resilience beyond expectations, but Ospreay still comes out the victor! Ospreay applauds Tsuji’s efforts, and even fist bumps him. Did tonight prove Tsuji proves to be a Reiwa Musketeer?

As for Ospreay, fans clap and chant along with his song, and he picks up both his belt and the mic. “Kobeee~!” Fans cheer the shoutout, and Ospreay says in Japanese, “Good evening. Did you have fun?” The fans cheer but he wants to ask again, did they have fun? The fans cheer even more! Ospreay continues by telling Tsuji, “You are amazing.” Tsuji grins and fans cheer, and Ospreay says the future of NJPW is in good hands with Tsuji, thank you very much. Ospreay then says that this is a beautiful place, he loves coming to Kobe. As a kid, he’d… Oh hey! It’s Zack Sabre Jr! These two are very familiar with each other.

The NJPW World TV Champion joins the IWGP UK Champion in the ring, gets a mic of his own, and then says, “Ospreay-chan, otsukaresama. <Lil’ Ospreay, thank you for your hard work.>” Fans cheer that, and Ospreay thanks ZSJ for the same. These two Englishmen continue with Japanese as ZSJ says that was a really great match and that Ospreay is really amazing. Ospreay asks if ZSJ really means that, and ZSJ says yes, he does. ZSJ says one thing, though. What is that belt? What is it called? The IWGP UK Heavyweight Champion. Oh okay. Then that belt… He wants it. ZSJ then asks if Ospreay knows enough Japanese to keep this going.

Ospreay says to give him a second while he thinks. ZSJ says good luck, you can do it. Ospreay takes a moment, the fans cheer him on, and Ospreay comes back with, “Eto… <Um…>” Challenge? Yes, maybe. “Okay desu.” Fans love that! ZSJ then tells Ospreay-chan that he has his next opponent. When is good for Ospreay? Ospreay apologizes that he’s running thin on his Japanese. ZSJ says that’s okay, but then let’s go to English. ZSJ says Ospreay still did good, though. But next month is Royal Quest III, October 14th. And ZSJ knows Ospreay knows that they are the two best British wrestlers in the world. Time to find who is THE best, with the UK title on the line.

Ospreay asks the fans if they like the idea of a match at Royal Quest. The fans cheer that! Ospreay considers it… And then he says okay, ZSJ is on! ZSJ thanks Ospreay and Ospreay thanks ZSJ. But do they bow or shake hands? They slowly reach out, and shake hands. Fans applaud as these two rivals have one more on the books. But neither wants to let go of the shake first. They agree, same time. Three, two, one, done. Then Ospreay yoinks ZSJ’s belt off him! Ospreay plays dumb but ZSJ lets that one slide. Until Ospreay rushes in! Then ZSJ dodges to scoop! Ospreay slips free and fans cheer the standoff!

Ospreay says a Zack Driver after all this? C’mon! He’s just trying to give you the belt back. Sure, sure, mate. ZSJ bails out and takes his leave, having to get ready for AEW WrestleDream and Bryan Danielson before Royal Quest. Ospreay chuckles and tells ZSJ he’ll see him at the Copper Box Arena. Ospreay tells Kobe that before they go, he needs to know the answer to one question: Who is the best pro-wrestler in the world? “OSPREAY!” Hmm… Who is the best pro-wrestler int he world?! “OSPREAY!!” That’s right! He is THE best pro-wrestler in the world, because he is Will Ospreay, and he is on ANOTHER LEVEL! ARIGATOGOZAIMASHITA!!

Ospreay waves the Empire’s banner while the streamers fly! The IWGP UK Champion is also going to Seattle for WrestleDream in a stacked Six Man Tag Match, but will he survive one more Don Callis Family feud to make it home to London?

My Thoughts:

An awesome night for NJPW on this large Destruction tour, even though I still skipped things. Well, I did skim, pretty good stuff but the first half was filler/build matches as this tour continues into October. Great stuff out of the KOPW Championship match with a unique take on the lumberjack match. But the last time (I watched) these two factions interact, something made me think the Heel Master was going to turn on his guys, and here we are! Yoshinobu now gives the House of Torture even more of a numbers advantage, really putting the pressure on Sanada and Just Four Guys when it comes to the rivalry. But as such, I would think Sanada retains in Ryogoku.

Great tag title match, but I figured Bishamon would retain. Goto & Hashi are a great team, NJPW knows they can depend on those two. Though nothing against TMDK, it probably just isn’t their time yet. NJPW probably wants to give Aussie Open time doing stuff in AEW/ROH before they resolve things between Aussie Open and Bishamon since Aussie Open never truly lost the titles. Then we got great stuff out of all the LIJ VS United Empire singles matches. Going in, I definitely figured it was all going to go this way. I lost it laughing at Naito’s canvas tote bag being his contract briefcase. And while Tsuji looked absolutely incredible tonight, I had no doubt Ospreay was going to retain.

WrestleDream is also a big part of his and ZSJ’s schedule, so Ospreay wasn’t going to lose momentum going into that Six Man Tag, and ZSJ wasn’t going to lose going into his true dream match with Bryan Danielson. And now, Ospreay VS ZSJ one more time around for the now IWGP UK Championship, that is going to be amazing stuff. Though with ZSJ still the inaugural NJPW World TV Champion, I don’t see the need for him to win Ospreay’s title. Perhaps they give these guys like 30+ minutes to put on a Match of the Year candidate so that no one can complain about ZSJ losing.

My Score: 9/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW Road to Destruction Results & Report! (9/9/23)

Another step down the road!



Will the Dream Trio keep the dream alive?

Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii put their NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships on the line on the Road to Destruction! Will they still make it rain together?


  • YOH & Ryusuke Taguchi VS DOUKI & Taka Michinoku; Yoh & Taguchi win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Yuji Nagata, Master Wato, Shota Umino & Tomoaki Honma VS Team Strong Style & Yuto Nakashima; Nagata, Wato, Shota & Honma win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos & Boltin Oleg VS TMDK; Chaos wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Just5Guys VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii VS Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan; Okada, Tanahashi & Ishii win.
  • 10 Man Elimination Match: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.


NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii VS Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan!

The Rainmaker, The Ace of the Universe and the Stone Pitbull, the Dream Trio, may have run into a trio that has equal star power! Will Okada, Tanahashi & Ishii hold onto the gold? Or will the legendary Super Junior, the Unchained Gorilla and the Fierce Bull prove the old guard still has some fight left in ’em?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who is really THE dream team of NJPW!

The trios sort out and fans rally up already as Tenzan starts. He calls out Ishii, Ishii obliges, and the bell rings. The tow tie up, are in a deadlock, and they go around. Ishii puts Tenzan on ropes, the ref counts, and Ishii lets off slowly, to then CHOP! And CHOP! Tenzan growls, then Mongolian Chops! And Mongolian Chops! Ishii CHOPS, but Tenzan Mongolian CHOPS! They go back and forth, Tenzan gets the edge, then he HEADBUTTS! Tenzan whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back to run Tenzan over! Ishii drags Tenzan up while fans rally, and Ishii bumps Tenzan off buckles. Tag to Okada but the whole team gets in to stomp Tenzan!

Fans boo and Ishii talks some trash to Makabe while Okada kicks Tenzan around. Okada toys with Tenzan, but Tenzan HEADBUTTS! And Mongolian CHOPS! And again! And again! Okada falls over, Tenzan tags in Tiger Mask. Tiger SOBATS, then whips, but Okada reverses. Tiger goes up and CROSSBODIES, then sweeps the legs! Tiger kicks, Okada blocks but Tiger SPIN BACK KICKS! Okada ducks the buzzsaw, waistlocks, but Tiger elbows free. Okada grabs Tiger’s arms but Tiger SOMERSAULT KICKS Okada away! Fans rally and Tiger runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Ishii & Tanahashi BLAST Tenzan & Makabe!

The Dream Trio watches Tiger get up, they double dropkick the legs out, then Okada BOOTS him down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tiger hangs in there, but Okada brings him around. Tag to Tanahashi and they mug Tiger. Tanahashi bumps Tiger off buckles, then scoops and SLAMS him into the drop zone! Tanahashi goes up and fans rally for the SOMERSAULT SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi drags Tiger over by a leg, he tags Ishii, and they SPLIT THE WISHBONE! Tiger clutches his legs and fans rally up. Ishii stands Tiger up to CHOP! And CHOP! And then he talks some trash, so Tiger hits back!

Tiger fires forearms but Ishii just eggs him on. Tiger throws another but Ishii ROCKS Tiger in return! Tiger comes back with more forearms, but Ishii DECKS Tiger this time! Ishii talks some trash to Tenzan, he drags Tiger up and bumps him off buckles, then tags in Okada. Okada stomps Tiger, drags him up and scoops, to SLAM him down! Okada then BLASTS Makabe! Okada goes out after him, and whips Makabe into railing! Ishii stomps Tiger, as does Tanahashi, while Okada takes his time returning. Okada then tags Tanahashi in and Tanahashi drags Tiger up. Tiger throws body shots! Tanahashi fires fast hands!

Tiger goes to a corner, Tanahashi runs in and blocks a boot. But Tiger UPPERCUTS free! Tanahashi kicks, but Tiger blocks to DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up as both men are down, but Ishii runs in to hit Tenzan! Tenzan hits back, Ishii DECKS him! Ishii goes out to CLUB Tenzan, but Tenzan RAMS Ishii into railing! Okada tags in, CLUBS Tiger, but Tiger fires body shots and a CHOP! Okada knees low, turns Tiger and hits a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tiger stays in this. Fans duel between “TIGER!” “O-KA-DA!” Okada scoops to SLAM Tiger again, then he paces around. Okada goes up the corner, but Tiger ROCKS him first!

Tiger fires off hands, climbs up after Okada, and reels Okada in! Tiger underhooks, the fans fire up, but Okada fights the lift! Okada fires forearms in return, but Tiger HEADBUTTS Okada! Tiger then stands up, for a SUPER ARM-DRAG! Fans fire up as Okada goes floundering away! Tiger and Okada crawl, hot tags to Makabe and Tanahashi! Fans fire up as the Gorilla rallies on The Ace! Makabe sends Tanahashi to a corner, clotheslines, then climbs up to rain down fists! Fans cheer along as Makabe goes to TEN, then laughs. Makabe reels Tanahashi in but Tanahashi fights free! Tanahasih runs, into a LARAIT! Cover, TWO!

Makabe brings Tanahashi up but Tanahashi fires forearms! TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans rally up, Tanahashi tags in Ishii. Ishii BLASTS Tenzan, then he goes back for Makabe. Ishii has Makabe in a corner, and CHOPS! And forearms! And CHOPS! And forearms! Ishii repeats, then tops it off with a CHOP! Ishii whips Makabe corner to corner but Makabe reverses and clotheslines! Ishii is right in his face! And gets around to suplex Makabe up and over! But Makabe rises! Fans fire up while Ishii runs, into a POWERSLAM! We pass 10 minutes and Makabe tags in Tenzan! Fans fire up as Tenzan hits a WHEEL KICK!

Tenzan fires up and fires off Mongolian CHOPS! Then a HEADBUTT! Tenzan whips Ishii corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Tenzan calls his shot, reels Ishii in, TENZAN BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Tenzan kicks Ishii around, drags him up, and HEADBUTTS! And then clinches, but Ishii fights! Ishii throws elbows to get free, but Tiger runs in to SOBAT! Ishii staggers back, Tiger ROUNDHOUSES! Tiger reels Ishii in but Okada returns, to Tiger kicks him low. Tiger whips Okada to ropes, but Okada ELBOWS back! Okada runs in to ELBOW Tenzan, then kick and DDT! Okada BLASTS Makabe for good measure!

Okada, Tanahashi & Ishii surround Tenzan now! Okada BOOTS, Tenzan SHOTEIS and Ishii LARIATS! Then they get Tenzan up, ASSISTED DDT!! Cover, Makabe breaks it! Fans fire up while Okada tosses Makabe out! Okada and Tanahashi keep Tiger and Makabe down while Ishii runs, but into a HEADBUTT! Tenzan fires HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then runs, into a LARIAT! Fans fire up as Tenzan rises!! But Ishii LARIATS Tenzan down again! But Tenzan rises!! Ishii just winds up and runs in again, LARIAT! But Tenzan stays up! So Ishii ENZIGURIS! Tenzan stays up!! Ishii runs yet again, to LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!!

Fans are thunderous for Tenzan but Ishii roars! Ishii drags Tenzan up, Makabe fights Okada, and Ishii suplexes! Tenzan fights it off! Makabe slips in, he LARIATS Ishii! Okada kicks Makabe, Tanahashi returns, they double whip Makabe but he breaks through the clotheslines! So they DOUBLE ELBOW instead! But Tiger attacks! Tanahashi chicken wings Tiger but Tiger BOOTS Okada! Makabe runs in to LARIAT Tanahashi! Tiger scoops Okada for a BACKBREAKER! Fans are thunderous for the old guard as they get Ishii up! Ishii fights back but Tenzan HEADBUTTS! Tiger ROUNDHOUSES!

Ishii drops to his knees, Tiger calls to Makabe and he storms over as we reach 15 minutes. Makabe ROCKS Ishii, Tiger ROUNDHOUSES, but Ishii roars! Tiger kicks low and underhooks, TIGER DRIVER!! Makabe is up top, KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Tenzan FALLING HEADBUTTS!! Tiger DIVES out onto Okada! Tenzan gets Ishii up, IMPALER!! Cover, TANAHASHI BREAKS IT!! The Ace saves the match for his team! But Makabe drags Tanahashi out, and Tenzan stands Ishii up. Ishii HEADBUTTS! And swings, into an URENAGE! Cover, TWO!?!? Ishii escapes and Tenzan can’t believe it!

Tenzan calls for his shot! Fans are thunderous as Tenzan climbs the corner! But Okada anchors Tenzan! Fans boo as Okada drags Tenzan down to GERMAN SUPLEX him! Tiger fires hands on Okada! Tiger runs, into a SLINGBLADE from Tanahashi! Okada and Tanahashi haul Tenzan up but he fights back! Mongolian CHOPS for everyone! Okada UPPERCUTS! Tanahashi SHOTEIS! Okada scoops for a LANDSLIDE! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?!? Fans are thunderous again as Tenzan survives! Ishii suplexes, and hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, The Dream Trio wins!

Winners: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall (still NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)

Tenzan and his team put up a great fight, but it just wasn’t enough against the current generation’s greatest! Will Okada, Tanahashi & Ishii continue to make it rain together?


10 Man Elimination Match: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire!

Before Shingo Takagi settles things with Great-O-Khan, Tetsuya Naito settles things with Jeff Cobb and Yota Tsuji challenges Will Ospreay for the new IWGP United Kingdom Championship, they join Hiromu Takahashi and Bushi in battling Khan, Cobb, Ospreay, Henare and Callum Newman until there is only one side standing! Who builds momentum down the Road to Destruction in Kobe?

The teams sort out, and Ospreay calls Tsuji out. Tsuji smiles and LIJ fist bumps, and then United Empire puts the crowns up. Fans rally as Tsuji and Ospreay start to give us a preview of their title match. Fans rally and duel, “YO~TA!” “OS~PREAY!” The two circle, tie up, and Ospreay wrenches to wristlock. Tsuji spins, wrenches, and he has the wristlock. Ospreay uses the ropes to flip through, then he wrenches and hammerlocks, but Tsuji switches that onto Ospreay. Ospreay switches back, they go around, and Tsuji wrenches, spins, and facelocks, only for Ospreay to put him on ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, and Ospreay lets off slowly.

Tsuji CHOPS Ospreay! Fans cheer while Ospreya is stinging. Tsuji whips, Ospreay RANAS, but Tsuji handsprings through! And RANAS back, but Ospreay h andsprings through! Ospreay kicks and whips but Tsuji ducks ‘n’ dodges to tilt-o-whirl ARM-DRAG! And then he rusn Ospreay over! Fans fire up while Tsuji stands over Ospreay with a big grin. Tsuji brings Ospreay over, tags Takagi, and they mug Ospreay. Takagi knees Ospreay low, and again. Takagi is no stranger to Ospreay as he whips and KNEES Ospreay, to then suplex high and hard! Takagi runs Khan off, then he snapmares Ospreay to wrench the arm.

Takagi YANKS the arm, YANKS it again, wrenches and wristlocks, and Naito steps in to CLUB the arm! Red Shoes reprimands, there was no tag. Bushi goes up to AX HANDLE Ospreay’s arm! Hiromu actually tags in and he goes up to AX HANDLE Ospreay’s arm! Fans cheer as The Timebomb meets his old rival again. Hiromu CLUBS Ospreay, calls Tsuji in, and they double whip to DOUBLE BOOT! Tsuji then gives Hiromu a boost, scoop and SPLASH! Cover, ONE!! Ospreay is hanging tough but Hiromu keeps on him. Hiromu CHOPS Ospreay, CHOPS again, and then whips corner to corner. Hiromu runs in to clotheslines, snapmare and-

NO, Ospreay fireman’s carries! SNAKE EYES to a BOOT! The Empire rushes in to BLAST LIJ! The Empire goes out, and they send LIJ into railing! They stomp and brawl and Cobb TOSSES Naito over railing! Ospreay keeps on Hiromu with a big forearm. Hiromu goes to ropes, Ospreay wrenches and wraps him up in a modified octopus hold! Hiromu endures but Ospreay YANKS his arm! The Empire keeps beating up on LIJ but Ospreay tags in Henare. Ospreay sets Hiromu up for a PENALTY KICK! The Face of Fury scowls and he KICKS Hiromu down again! Cover, TWO! Henare drags Hiromu up to HEADBUTT!

Tag to Cobb, they DOUBLE HEADBUTT Hiromu down! Cocky cover, TWO! Cobb keeps close, and he deadlift suplexes Hiromu! And holds him up with one arm! Cobb then runs around to do laps, before RAMMING into a corner! Cobb then just drops Hiromu, and pretends like he had no idea. Cobb stands on Hiromu’s arm then tags in Callum. The new man stomps Hiromu, then CHOPS him! Ospreay gives Callum a hug, that was a good one! Callum then snapmares Hiromu to KICK him in the back! Callum pushes Hiromu to a cover, TWO! Callum clamps on with a chinlock, and he puts all his weight on the hold.

Hiromu endures but Callum KNEES him in the back! Tag to Khan and Khan Mongolian Chops Hiromu on the back! Khan Mongolian Chops again, then he sits up on his throne! Fans cheer while the Empire plays defense against LIJ. Henare DECKS Naito! Red Shoes reprimands everyone but Ospreay rallies the fans. Ospreay whips Callum in to SHOTGUN Hiromu’s butt! Then Ospreay & Henare double whip Cobb in so he can HEADBUTT Hiromu’s butt! Ospreay CHOPS Hiromu’s butt! Henare winds up and runs in, to UPPERCUT Hiromu’s butt!! So much butt damage! Khan then hops off to hit a BIG back suplex! Cover, but LIJ breaks it!

The Empire TOSSES LIJ back out, and they all surround Hiromu. Hiromu sits up and sees them all. Hiromu sighs, then fires off CHOP after CHOP after CHOP! None of the Empire flinches! Ospreay mockingly applauds the fire, though. Then the Empire mugs Hiromu! Red Shoes reprimands but the Empire get Hiromu up! They head for ropes but LIJ hurries to save Hiromu! Khan DECKS Takagi, they all TOSS the others out, and then Khan stomps Hiromu. Khan has a double underhook stretch, and he tags in Henare. They mug Hiromu, then Henare snapmares and KICKS! And SENTONS!

Fans rally but Henare stands Hiromu up. Hiromu CHOPS and CHOPS but Henare ROCKS him with a forearm! Henare whips to POP-UP, but Hiromu SATELLITE DDTS! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hiromu crawls, Henare crawls, they hot tag Naito and Cobb! Naito blocks a kick to shove Cobb, then drops down to atomic drop! Naito runs to dropkick the legs out! Cobb scrambles to a corner but Naito runs in, JUMP KICK! LEG SWEEP! But Cobb catches Naito on the swing! Cobb brings Naito out but Naito sunset flips! Cobb breaks free, but Naito avoids the leg drop! NECKBREAKER! Naito covers, TWO!

Naito brings Cobb around to hammerlock, half nelson, but Cobb fights free to short arm LARIAT! Cobb then GACHIMUCHI- FLOP! Basement dropkick! Tag to Takagi and fans fire up! The Rampaging Dragon runs to BLAST the Empire, then he fires the fans up. Takagi runs, blocks a boot and clotheslines! Takagi fires off forearm after forearm, then he whips corner to corner. Cobb reverses, Takagi reverses but Cobb blocks! Cobb reels Takagi in for a BIG OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Callum tags in, lines up a shot, springboards but Takagi gets under! ELBOW and whip, but Callum ducks ‘n’ dodges and RANAS!

Fans fire up for Callum’s incredible speed, and he runs in at the corner, but Takagi puts him on the apron! Callum counter punches, springboards and FLYING LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Ospreay coaches Callum, Callum whips Khan to BLAST the LIJ corner! Khan & Callum drag Takagi up, mug him, then double whip. Takagi breaks through, shoves Khan into Callum then spins Khan to a DDT! Callum BOOTS! Takagi returns, but Callum spins him around, SCREW HIGH KICK! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally, Callum runs and tiger feints but Takagi ducks the heel kick! Takagi GERMAN SUPLEXES, but Callum lands on his feet!

Takagi blocks a kick, CLUBS Callum, but Callum rewinds to HEEL KICK! But Takagi rebounds to PUMPING BOMBER!! Cover, Takagi ELIMINATES Callum! Callum is the first to fall, but Khan CLOBBERS Takagi! Waistlock and bridging cover, TWO! Khan trips Takagi to a jackknife! TWO, but Khan clamps on with an ARM ‘N’ HEAD TRIANGLE!! Khan squeezes tight, leans all his weight on Takagi, but Takagi endures. Takagi CLUBS at Khan, but Khan kneels on Takagi. Takagi reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! Khan holds on but lets off at 4. Khan backs Naito and Tsuji off, then brings Takagi up.

Khan scoops but Takagi holds the ropes! Takagi fights Khan off and chokes him with his own ponytail! Khan CLUBS Takagi down! Khan sputters, then he pushes Takagi’s face down! Takagi refuses to kiss Khan’s boot! Takagi breaks free and shoves Khan. Takagi throws a forearm but Khan eggs him on. Takagi throws more shots, but Khan stays up! Takagi throws another forearm, but Khan retaliates with Mongolian Chops! But Takagi blocks to steal Mongolian Chops! Then ELBOW! JAB! But Khan UPPERCUTS! Khan runs, but into a clothesline! SAIDO! Khan is up to BOOT! Takagi is up, DOUBLE LARIATS collide!

Khan swings, Takagi SWATS it, JAB! STRAIGHT RIGHT from Khan!! Fans fire up and Khan roars with monster rage! Khan clamps on with the IRON CLAW! But Takagi fights the lift! Khan RAMS Takagi into a corner, puts him up top, but Takagi fights free! Khan UPPERCUTS Takagi! Takagi falls to the apron but he holds onto ropes! Khan clamps onto Takagi, but Takagi HOTSHOTS the arm! Khan runs back in but Takagi dumps him out! Henare stops Khan from falling, and Callum returns to grab at Takagi! Takagi KICKS Callum away, but now Khan clinches! Takagi throws elbow after elbow to hammer Khan down!

Takagi fires up, runs in, but Khan clamps onto his face! APRON ELIMINATOR!! Khan falls first, he ELIMINATES himself!! But wait, Takagi slumps down to the floor, Khan ELIMINATES Takagi, too! Two for the price of one, but the Empire is still at a disadvantage! Henare rushes in but Bushi dropkicks the legs out! Bushi hooks a leg but Henare powers out to TOSS Bushi up and over! Bushi holds on, Henare storms up to ROCK him! Bushi holds on, RAMS into Henare, then steps in. Bushi dodges to kick but Henare ducks, only for Bushi’s REWIND HEEL to hit! Bushi runs, but Henare fireman’s carries!

Henare heads for ropes but Bushi slips free! Busih throws a forearm, but Henare hits a BODY BLOW! Henare runs in at the corner, but Bushi dodges! Bushi DUMPS Henare out and ELIMINATES him!! Henare is raging as the Empire is down to two, but Ospreay springboards in! PIP PIP CHEERIO for Bushi! BOOT for Naito! ELBOW for Tsuji! Ospreay drags Bushi up, reels him in, underhooks and- NO, Bushi slips free to backslide! Ospreay rolls through to HIDDEN BLADE!! Cover, Ospreay ELIMINATES Bushi! LIJ is down to three but Tsuji grins as he slingshots back into the ring.

Tsuji and Ospreay go forehead to forehead, then they go forearm for forearm! Fans rally up as Ospreay and Tsuji keep going, and Ospreay feeds off the energy! Ospreay fires forearms, Tsuji eggs him on, so Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji! Tsuji just grins back! Fans fire up as Tsuji steps up, and Ospreay even puts his hands behind his back. Tsuji ROCKS him right away! Ospreay comes back, so Tsuji ROCKS him again! Tsuji fires off forearm after forearm, but Ospreay CHOPS! And then fires Kawada Kicks! But Tsuji blocks Ospreay’s superkick to then BACKBREAKER, COMPLETE SHOT and STOMP!

Fans fire up with Tsuji as he paces around. Tsuji drags Ospreay up to suplex but Ospreay slips free. Tsuji runs in, the splash misses, and Ospreay CHOPS! Ospreay whips corner to corner, runs in but Tsuji puts him outside! Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji, goes up, but Tsuji hits ropes to trip him up! Tsuji SUPERKICKS Ospreay! Ospreay wobbles, Tsuji goes up after him and to the very top! But Ospreay fights with HEADBUTTS! Tsuji steps down, Ospreay slips under and tucks Tsuji in, CHEEKY NANDOS! Then SIT-OUT POWERBOMB!! Cover, Naito & Hiromu break it! Cobb TOSSES Naito and TOSSES Hiromu!

Ospreay fires up, he springboards, but Tsuji SHOVES up and over! Ospreay holds onto the ropes and keeps his feet off the ground!! Tsuji runs up to go after Ospreay, but Ospreay skins the cat to headscissor Tsuji up and over! Tsuji also holds onto the ropes, with feet just above the ground! Tsuji then CHOPS Ospreay while still holding on! Ospreay returns the favor! They both stand on the apron but Ospreay underhooks Tsuji. Tsuji resists so Ospreay fires more Kawada Kicks! Underhooks and- NO, Tsuji TOSSES Ospreay up and over! But Ospreay POSTS Tsuji, HOOK KICKS, and then uses the corner to APRON OS-

NO, Tsuji blocks the cutter! Tsuji shoves and KNEES Ospreay but Ospreay SUPERKICKS! Tsuji HEADBUTTS! Both men wobble, but Tsuji comes back to CURB STOMP Ospreay to the floor!! Tsuji ELIMINATES Ospreay and himself!! This leaves just Cobb against Naito and Hiromu! Cobb hurries in and fans fire up. Cobb storms after Naito but Hiromu rolls Cobb up! TWO, but Naito basement dropkicks! Naito & Hiromu double whip, then Hiromu clotheslines! Naito ELBOWS! Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Atomic drop and a SHOTGUN! Naito brings Cobb around, Hiromu gives him a boost, but Cobb still blocks the Tornado DDT to TOSS Naito!

Hiromu RANAS but Cobb blocks! Cobb brings Hiromu up but Hiromu sunset flips through! Cobb stays up and he YANKS Hiromu to his feet! Hiromu dodges, runs, and RANAS, but is still blocked!! Cobb brings Hiromu up again to POWERBOMB outside onto everyone else!! Cobb ELIMINATES Hiromu, and has Naito all to himself! Fans are thunderous as Cobb and Naito meet ahead of their Kobe grudge match. Cobb runs in, into BOOTS! Naito then dodges to ENZIGURI! Naito hurries up the corner, he reels Cobb in, but Cobb blocks Esperanza! Naito slips off to try again, TORNADO SMALL PACKAGE! TWO!!

Cobb escapes, runs in, but into an ELBOW! Cobb throat chops! Naito ELBOWS! Tilt-o-whirl, but Cobb stops the momentum! Naito slips off, he SHOVES Cobb, and Cobb is stuck on the top rope! Naito fights to push Cobb over but Cobb fights to stay in! Cobb gets around Naito, Naito throws elbows, but Cobb runs in! Naito dumps him out! Cobb lands on the apron, Naito runs up to ROCK Cobb! Naito fires off shots but Cobb stays up! Naito ROLLING KICKS but Cobb stays up! LIJ and Empire keep each other honest here as Naito fires shots on Cobb! Cobb ROCKS Naito back! Cobb drags Naito back in!? Cobb suplexes!!

Naito fights and lands safe on the apron, to throw ELBOW after ELBOW! Naito and Cobb both wobble, but Cobb SUPERKICKS! Naito goes all the way to the corner! Cobb runs in to JUMP KICK and leg sweep, a la Naito! Naito sits on the apron but holds on with one hand! Naito stands, Cobb DROPKICKS him down, The Empire wins!!

Winners: The United Empire, by ring-out

The Imperial Unit is the lone survivor! The Empire has conquered LIJ this night, but this is just one battle in the war! Will Naito get even with Cobb in Kobe? Will Takagi be the one to dominate the Dominator? Will Tsuji take the IWGP US/UK Championship from the Aerial Assassin? Or will NJPW no longer be tranquilo?

As for the Empire, Cobb gets the mic to say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey! NJPW, where’s the camera? Hey, cameraman, NJPW, pay attention! Two days in a row in Korakuen Hall! Yesterday, what happened? A lot of people showed up dressed as orange chairs. But tonight, you put the United Empire in the main event, this mofo is sold out!” Fans cheer that. Cobb says no longer can NJPW silence the Empire! Now hold on here. Cobb holds up the paper Naito has been using to represent his Right to Challenge contract, the one he earned by winning the G1 Climax! Cobb RIPS IT UP!!

Cobb says Naito’s G1 Climax briefcase, contract, whatever it is, it won’t matter! In just a few weeks, Cobb RUNS THROUGH Naito to punch his own ticket to WrestleKingdom and the Tokyo Dome! Naito, you can’t open your eyes wide enough to see what is in front of you, and that is Jeff Cobb, the United Empire and CHANGE! Cobb says he will end this the way it should. That is to say, he’s copying Naito’s roll call! Ospreay! Khan! Henare! TJP! Aussie Open! Akira! Gideon! Newman! Y Cobb! NOSOTROS! EL UNITED EM! PI! ER!!

Ospreay tosses the pieces of the “contract” like confetti, and Cobb even copies Naito’s tranquilo. But will the Empire be celebrating all the way to the New Year? Or can Naito and LIJ tear them down brick by brick?

My Thoughts:

Another fun event for NJPW, but yeah again I skipped some of the more filler build matches. No surprise that House of Torture won again, though, because as I just said yesterday, this is them building up just so it’ll be bigger when they lose the title matches. Great NEVER Openweight Six Man title match, good animosity between the teams and the fans ended up more on the old legends’ side because of the somewhat disrespectful nature Okada and Ishii were taking. But of course Okada’s team won, because they’re able to wrestle more regularly than the older guys.

And the main event was a lot of fun because NJPW makes elimination matches a lot of fun with the rule of eliminations being by pinfall, submission or battle royal style over-the-top-rope. And on top of that, these two teams did great work being creative about the eliminations happened. I loved that there were two instances of double eliminations, those helped keep the math even between match-ups like Takagi VS Khan and Tsuji VS Ospreay. Cobb looked the strongest coming out of this, of course, with him eliminating Hiromu and Naito all on his own. However, Cobb standing tall, I feel like Naito finds a way to win to keep his Right to Challenge contract. I also think Ospreay retains his title, it feels too soon for Tsuji to get what is essentially the best of the midcard titles.

My Score: 8.7/10

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