Will The Ace meet a Skull End?
NJPW’s New Years Golden Series is almost over! And on this second-to-last night, the IWGP Junior Tag, Heavyweight Tag and US titles are all on the line!
- Togi Makabe & Kosei Fujita VS TAKA Michinoku & DOUKI; Taka & Douki win.
- Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Minoru Suzuki & Taichi; Suzuki & Taichi win.
- YOH & Tomohiro Ishii VS SHO & Dick Togo; Yoh & Ishii win.
- Great-O-Khan VS Tomoaki Honma; Khan wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Fatal 4 Way: Tiger Mask & Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo VS Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato VS El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Taguchi & Wato win and become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Goto & Hashi win and retain the titles.
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS SANADA; Sanada wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Fatal 4 Way: Tiger Mask & Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo VS Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato VS El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru!
Yes, that is a lot to take in. But it is a lot for the champions to take on! Can the #FlyingTigers survive the Cutest Tag Team, Team Six or Nine and Suzuki-Gun’s Rogue Luchador & Heel Master? Or is this one target too many for them to shoot down?
The Headbanga is already mocking Tiger Mask by wearing one of the masks he stole. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and then the champs go after ELP & Taiji! Suzuki-Gun decides to drag Taguchi & Wato out of the ring, the bell rings to get this on the record, and Eagles throws ELP out while Tiger Mask keeps on Taiji. But then Suzuki-Gun gets in to attack Tiger Mask! They double whip Tiger Mask to a corner, back elbow and feed to lift, DROPKICK BACK SUPLEX COMBO! Cover, ELP breaks it! ELP claws Desperado’s back, Taiji claws Kanemaru’s back! Taiji kicks Kanemaru out while ELP keeps on Desperado.
ELP CLAWS Desperado’s back, Taiji brings Tiger Mask up and puts him on the top rope. Taiji pulls Tiger into a Tree of Woe, then ELP runs in to baseball slide dropkick! Taiji runs in to add his own baseball slide dropkick! Fans clap, “E! L P!” And then the Cutest Tag Team run in, to jump on onto Tiger Mask’s groin! Eagles saves Tiger Mask but ELP throws Eagles back out. ELP PLANCHAS but flops as Eagles moves! Taiji gets Tiger out of the Tree, and then he goes to add Tiger’s mask to the collection! Taguchi attacks Taiji, then whips him into Wato’s back elbow, uppercut and SOBAT! Fans cheer as Wato sees Tiger’s blue mask.
Taguchi kicks Taiji out and Wato hands the blue mask back to Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask thanks Wato, and Taguchi rolls Tiger Mask up! Eagles breaks it and then confronts Six or Nine for the sneaky move. Eagles stomps Taguchi, Wato hits Eagles. Wato reels Eagles in, but Eagles breaks free. Eagles blocks a kick to hook Wato up, but Wato resists the backpack to waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX! But Eagles lands on his feet! Eagles kicks, cravats, SHIRANUI! Cover, Kanemaru breaks it! Kanemaru stomps Eagles down, elbows him on the back, and whips him to ropes. Eagles reverses, Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls and kicks!
Kanemaru rakes Eagles’ eyes! But he runs into Eagles’ wheel kick! Eagles kips up and fires up, and fans rally behind him. Eagles builds speed but Taiji trips him! Taiji drags Eagles out and fireman’s carries for SNAKE EYES on the railing! Taiji gets in the ring, he builds speed, but Desperado trips him and drags him out to RAM into railing! Desperado DECKS Taiji, gets in the ring, but ELP is there! ELP tells Desperado that since he’s THE IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, ELP wants next! Desperado says okay, and then ELP ROCKS him! Desperado CHOPS ELP and ELP screams as he staggers away.
Desperado mocks ELP, the challenger shouldn’t scream. ELP CHOPS back! Desperado growls and now it’s a CHOP fight! Fans rally up as the CHOPS keep flying. ELP slaps, they both run, but they both get tripped! Taguchi and Tiger Mask throw them out and meet in the ring. Taguchi throws forearms but Tiger Mask CHOPS! Taguchi fires another forearm, Tiger fires off KICKS! Taguchi blocks a kick, elbows the leg, and then runs in, but Tiger hurdles over! Taguchi tumbles out of the ring! But Suzuki-Gun mug Tiger Mask! They double whip, Tiger DIVES onto Taguchi! ELP & Taiji get in and CLAW Desperado & Kanemaru!
ELP fish hooks Kanemaru’s face and puts him in a corner. Taiji rakes Desperado’s eyes, then he and ELP double whip. Desperado crisscrosses them into each other, then DECKS ELP! Desperado then brings ELP up to whip to ropes. Taiji holds ropes, Desperado runs in but Taiji dumps him out. Kanemaru kicks Taiji down! Kanemaru whips, Taiji goes up to TRIANGLE JUMP MOONSAULT Desperado! Wato fires off on Kanemaru, whips but Kanemaru reverses. Wato RANAS Kanemaru out, then builds speed to FLY! Direct hit at the ramp! Fans rally up, ELP strips a crossbar so he can stand on top. Wato ROCKS ELP first!
Wato CLUBS ELP but ELP throws body shots back. ELP headbutts Wato down! ELP stands up, Eagles hurries over! Eagles springboards to SUPER STEINER ELP onto everyone else!! Fans are fired up as all six men are down! Eagles is up first and he roars! Tiger and Eagles meet at the corner to DOUBLE GIRI Taguchi! They put Taguchi up top, Tiger underhooks the arms, SUPER BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Eagles hits a 450 SPLASH! Tiger covers, TWO!! Taguchi survives, but ends up in DOUBLE REVERSE ARMBAR! Eagles intercepts Desperado to wheelbarrow him into the RON MILLER SPECIAL!
Fans rally as Desperado and Taguchi each endure! But Bullet Club breaks it! Taiji stomps Tiger Mask and ELP clubs down Eagles! Eagles hits ELP back but Taiji kicks and whips Eagles. Eagles reverses, Taiji handsprings to NEURALIZER! ELP LIONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Eagles survives but ELP straitjacket torture racks, FLYING KNEE SWINGING NECKBREAKER COMBO! Cover, Tiger breaks it! Taiji CLUBS Tiger, rakes his eyes, and sets him up for ELP! ELP still has a confidence problem since he doesn’t have his cheat. ELP whips Tiger to the corner then whips Taiji in, DOUBL EKNEES!
Taiji and ELP combine, ALLEY-OOP CODE BREAKER! ELP goes up, MOONSAULT, but Eagles drags Tiger out! ELP lands on Taiji’s knees! Kanemaru gets in, ENZIGURI for Taiji! Eagles gets in, Kanemaru BOOTS him in the corner! Kanemaru scoops and SLAMS Eagles, then goes up top to MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Eagles survives and Kanemaru is furious! Kanemaru hurries to get Eagles up and suplex. Eagles slips out, feeds to Wato’s dropkick! Wato kicks but Eagles ducks. Eagles kicks but Wato ducks. Wato spins, SCREW HIGH KICK! Tiger gets in to KICK and toss Wato out! Tiger turns around into a HIP ATTACK!
Taguchi runs, SLIDING HIP! Cover, TWO, to OH MY GARFUNKLE! But Suzuki-Gun mugs Taguchi! They double whip but Taguchi DOUBLE HIP ATTACKS! Taiji gets in, runs into a HIP ATTACK! ELP springboards, into a HIP ATTACK! Taguchi chicken wings Tiger Mask but Tiger Mask victory rolls! TWO, Eagles jackknifes! TWO!! Wato GAMANGIRIS Eagles, springboards, FLYING UPPERCUT for Eagles! Tiger sobats Wato, underhooks Taguchi, but Taguchi resists. Tiger Mask knees low, chicken wings, but Taguchi switches to feed Tiger to Wato’s ROUNDHOUSE! Taguchi chicken wings, DODON TO THE THRONE! Cover, everyone breaks it!
Wato stomps and kicks everyone else away, and throws ELP out. He kicks and throws Taiji out while Taguchi gets Suzuki-Gun clear. Six or Nine combine, NUMBER NINE!! Cover, Six or Nine wins!!!
Winners: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
The dream has come true! Taguchi and Wato are the 69TH IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Will they make this reign truly special?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi!
Back and forth, over and over, in just about any combination you can think of, Chaos and the House of Torture have done battle. But now, the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter defend these titles against the King of Darkness and Tokyo Pimp! Will Goto-Hashi #StayGold? Or will Darkness Fall and make the King of NEVER into a TRIPLE CHAMPION?
Wait! Sho & Dick Togo attack Goto-Hashi on their way out! The House of Torture swarms, but Yoh and Ishii hurry to stop them! Dick and Sho knock them down, Yujiro and Evil stomp the champions. Evil drags Hashi to ringside while leaving Goto behind. Evil puts Hashi in for Yujiro and he drags Hashi up. The bell rings to put this on record, Yujiro and Evil mug Hashi. Goto crawls his way to ringside, Ishii and Yoh watching his back. Evil and Yujiro drag Hashi up, double whip him to a corner, then Yujiro runs in but misses! Hashi runs Evil over! Yujiro kicks Hashi, runs, but Hashi and Goto run him over!
Hashi runs, hip toss senton! Goto & Hashi hammer Evil down! They stomp away on Evil, and fans fire up with them. Goto goes to the corner, Hashi brings Yujiro up. Hashi throws a forearm, and another, then a CHOP! Yujiro is stinging as he leans against the ropes. Hashi whips, Yujiro reverses, Dick and Sho trip Hashi up! Yujiro distracts while Dick and Sho RAM Hashi into railing, then FLAPJACK him on the apron! Dick and Sho bring out chairs, and they use those to choke Hashi! Ishii goes after them but he gets mugged. Yoh hurries over but he also gets hit with a chair. Evil drags Hashi up and puts him in the ring.
Yujiro drags Hashi to a cover, TWO! Fans rally up, Yujiro DECKS Hashi. Yujiro rains down rights, then drags Hashi up to snapmare. Yujiro runs to basement boot! Cover, TWO! Yujiro tags Evil, Evil puts Hashi against ropes and CHOPS. And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Evil CLUBS Hashi down, stomps a leg, then tags Yujiro back in. Yujiro drags Hashi up while fans rally. Hashi throws body shots and forearms but Yujiro throws forearms back. Yujiro snapmares Hashi to drop a leg, an elbow, and a headbutt! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again but Yujiro tags Evil. Sho attacks Ishii, Evil kicks Goto! The ref is busy with Goto, so House of Torture link up in the cobra twist!
Evil lets off before the ref sees and he covers, TWO! Evil grows frustrated but fans cheer. Evil kicks Hashi around, and fans rally up. Evil drags Hashi up but Hashi fires off forearms! Evil rakes the eyes! The ref reprimands, but Hashi blocks Evil’s kick. Hashi gives the foot to the ref then mule kicks Evil! That’s usually Evil’s move! Hashi then SPIN BACK KICKS! Both men are down and fans fire up! Hashi crawls, hot tag to Goto! Yujiro runs in but Goto runs him over! Goto DECKS Dick and Sho off the apron, too! Goto runs in at Evil to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto stomps Evil, then drags him up.
Goto fireman’s carries but Evil slips off. Evil waistlocks, Goto elbows free and then runs, but Dick is there with a chair! Evil waistlocks, Goto elbows free again. Goto runs a different direction but Sho is there with a chair! The ref is busy reprimanding Sho, Evil whips Goto to the corner, and surprise! The blue buckle pad is gone! Goto suffers the Bullet Club Special! Goto falls in a heap, Hashi gets in, but Evil whips him into the bare buckles, too! Evil distracts the ref so that the House of Torture can send Goto into railing! Evil goes out to fetch Goto, and RAMS him into the timekeeper’s table! Abe-san goes down again!
Evil drags Goto up, puts him in the ring, and wants the ref to count. Cover, TWO! Evil is annoyed but he tags in Yujiro. Yujiro drags Goto up, scoops him and SLAMS him! Yujiro then BITES Goto’s forehead! The ref reprimands, Yujiro stops, and Yujiro runs to drop a leg, brother! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Yujiro tags Evil. Evil tells the ref to watch Chaos but that’s so he can CHOKE Goto with a shirt! Chaos protests, Evil hides the evidence, cover! TWO, so Evil tries again, TWO! Evil hooks the leg deep, TWO!! Goto still escapes and Evil is furious! Fans rally up but Evil tags Yujiro, and Yujiro stomps Goto down.
Yujiro drags Goto up to ROCK him with a forearm! And then again! Goto gets mad and he CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS Yujiro! Goto kicks, Yujiro blocks to trip him! But Goto avoids the basement dropkick! Yujiro rakes eyes and runs, but Goto follows to LARIAT! Both men are down and fans rally up. Goto crawls, hot tag to Hashi! Hashi CLOBBERS Evil, and then fires off a strike fest on Yujiro! Hashi whips corner to corner then runs in to CHOP! Hashi whips, CHOPS, and then mule kicks to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Hashi brings Yujiro back up, fans rally up, and Hashi reels Yujiro in.
Yujiro resists the lift, and BITES Hashi’s hand! The ref reprimands but Yujiro whips Hashi to ropes. Hashi reverses, Yujiro holds ropes, and Yujiro dodges Hashi. Evil hooks Hashi’s foot, Yujiro BOOTS Hashi! Evil goes after Goto on the outside while Yujiro gets Hashi in the INCOLLE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Hashi survives but Yujiro fires himself up! Yujiro drags Hashi up, reels him in, but no Pimp Juice! Goto LARIATS Yujiro, but Evili whips Goto into bare buckles! Goto still comes back to LARIAT Evil! All four legal men are down, and fans rally up. Evil and Goto bail out, Yujiro and Hashi slowly rise.
Hashi and Yujiro RAM shoulders! And again! Hashi CHOPS, blocks a boot, then SUPERKICKS Yujiro down! Fans fire up with Hashi as he gets Yujiro up. Full nelson to pump handle, but Dick distracts! Yujiro slips out of the pump handle to LOW BLOW! Yujiro then whips Hashi into the ref! The House of Torture attacks Yoh and Ishii, then get in the ring. Hashi is in the corner, Evil clotheslines him! Dick back elbows, Sho forearm smashes and Yujiro BOOTS! Hashi flops down, Dick drags him back up. Dick and Sho hold Hashi up as Yujiro gets his pimp cane. But Goto throws Evil into a post!
Goto gets in with his staff to SMACK Yujiro! And he JABS Sho, and SMACKS Dick! Evil gets in, Goto SMACKS him! Yoh and Ishii knock Sho and Dick outta the ring! Yoh builds speed to FLY onto Sho and Dick at the ramp! Fans are fired up as Goto gets the ref up and in the ring. Fans rally as Hashi gets up and runs at Yujiro, LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Hashi keeps focus and brings Yujiro back up. Full nelson, pump handle, but Yujiro fights Karma! Yujiro throws elbows, but Hashi feeds him to Goto! They combine, G Y R!! Cover, Evil breaks it! Goto kicks Evil, throws forearms and whips him to a corner.
Goto runs in to clothesline! Hashi adds a CHOP! Feed to the Russian Leg Sweep, GOTO HUNTING! Fans fire up as Goto-Hashi coordinate and gets Yujiro up. Dragon sleeper and leg lift, but Yujiro fights out! FISHERMAN BUSTER for Goto! Yujiro blocks Hashi’s lariat but Hashi spins through to CHOP! Hashi runs, but Yujiro has the ref! CHAIR SHOT from Evil!! Yujiro reels Hashi in, PIMP JUICE!! Cover, TWO!!! Hashi survives and the fans are thunderous! Evil hurries in to drag Hashi up. Evil slashes the throat, stands Hashi up and spins, EVERY- NO! Hashi slips out to waistlock, but Evil LARIATS Goto first!
Evil whips Goto but Goto reverses, and Evil hits the bare buckles! Fireman’s carry, G T W!! Yujiro BOOTS Goto, fires up and runs, into a fireman’s carry! But Yujiro slips off, only to run into the HIDDEN GAP! Another fireman’s carry and Hashi aims again, FIERCE FLASH!! But they’re not done here! They get Yujiro up, SHOUTO!! Cover, Chaos wins!!
Winners: Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
And that’s lights out on the House of Torture! The Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter in fact #StayGold, is it going to be a golden spring for Chaos? And what of tomorrow’s NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship match? Is the House of Torture going to fall apart?
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS SANADA!
The Ace may be champion, but he and everyone he’s teamed with on the New Year Golden Series have fallen to Los Ingobernables de Japon! Will Tanahashi finally have a chance now that it’s 1v1? Or will the Cold Skull become a gold skull with his first singles title in NJPW?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and while fans love Tanahashi’s muscles, we see if Sanada keeps LIJ spotless this series!
Fans rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!” “SA-NA-DA!” as the two circle. They tie up, Tanahashi powers Sanada to a corner, but Tanahashi lets off cleanly. Fans cheer the sportsmanship, and the two circle again. Sanada and Tanahashi tie up again, Tanahashi powers Sanada back to ropes, but Sanada turns things around. Sanada lets off slowly but pats Tanahashi on the shoulders. Fans cheer this sportsmanship, too, and the two circle again. Tanahashi fires himself up, ties up with Sanada and gets a waistlock. Sanada switches, Tanahashi switches back, but Sanada pries free to switch again.
Tanahashi drop toeholds free to then float to an armlock. Sanada endures and moves around but Tanahashi shifts his position. Sanada fights up, Tanahashi grinds the arm, wrenches through, and has the wristlock. Sanada powers up but Tanahashi arm-drags him down. Tanahashi has the armlock and fans cheer the technical exchange. Sanada fights up as fans rally, but Tanahashi wrenches. Sanada rolls, handsprings, wrenches back, but Tanahashi flips to kick Sanada away. The two stand off and fans cheer the exchange. “Let’s Go, Ace!” “SA-NA-DA!” continues as the two reset and circle again.
Tanahashi and Sanada tie up, Tanahashi wrenches to get the headlock. Sanada throws body shots, powers out, then goes the other way to catch Tanahashi. They go around and around, Sanada almost has the cobra twist, but Tanahashi powers through to try now. Sanada powers through, they go around and around again, and then they separate. Fans cheer the technical exchange and rally up again as the two reset. Tanahashi and Sanada circle, feel out the grapple and go with knuckle locks. They go shoulder to shoulder in a test of strength, and they’re in a deadlock! Fans rally as they keep pushing, and Sanada gets leverage.
Tanahashi fights up, breaks one hold and wrenches to hammerlock. Sanada gets to the corner and Red Shoes calls the ropebreak. Tanahashi lets off, but then throws a body shot! Tanahashi whips, Sanada reverses but runs into an elbow. Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! Fans cheer the air guitar, and then Tanahashi goes to get Sanada’s legs! Sanada fights off Tanahashi’s attempt at Paradise but then Tanahashi arm-drags him down! Tanahashi keeps hold, but Sanada uses that to throw Tanahashi. But then Tanahashi throws Sanada again, but Sanada throws Tanahashi. Tanahashi gets the ropebreak, but neither lets go!
Tanahashi drags Sanada out, wrenches the arm, but Sanada wrenches through to wristlock back. Tanahashi wrenches around, fans cheer that they’re still wrestling outside the ring. Sanada wrenches and wrenches and wrenches but the ring count is starting! Tanahashi wrenches and wrenches and wrenches, then wraps Sanada’s arm around the post! Red Shoes reprimands but the ring count continues, and it’s 15 of 20 as Tanahashi pulls on Sanada’s arms. Sanada YANKS back and Tanahashi hits post! Sanada gets in at 17 of 20, Tanahashi hurries up and in at 19.9! Basement dropkick!
Fans rally and Sanada brings Tanahashi around. Sanada encourages them to get louder and they do. Sanada ties Tanahashi up in Paradise! Fans cheer but Sanada wants more, so they give more. Sanada then runs in to dropkick Tanahashi out of Paradise! Sanada catches his breath before bringing Tanahashi up. Sanada CLUBS Tanahashi, then CLUBS him again. Fans rally, Sanada cravats and cranks the neck. Tanahashi endures, throws body shots, but Sanada cranks harder! Sanada snapmares, clamps on a chinlock and digs his knee into Tanahashi’s back. Tanahashi endures again and fans continue to rally.
Tanahashi fights up, throws body shots, and gets free to fire forearms! Sanada EuroUppers back and Tanahashi drops to his knees! Sanada brings Tanahashi back up, Tanahashi fires off fast hands! But Sanada grits his teeth to EuroUpper Tanahashi down again! Sanada whips, but Tanahashi comes back with FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up with The Ace, but he still needs to catch his breath. Tanahashi drags Sanada up, scoop SLAMS him into the drop zone, and he goes up to the second rope. SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps cool and fans rally up again. Sanada rises, Tanahashi fakes the run to dropkick the legs!
Tanahashi gets the leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi gets the legs, and now he steals- NO! Sanada still keeps Tanahashi from taking Paradise! Sanada kicks, whips, but Tanahashi reverses. Sanada sunset flips, but Tanahashi rolls through! Tanahashi tries again, and he STEALS PARADISE!! Fans fire up for this accomplishment! Tanahashi runs in now to dropkick Sanada out of Paradise! Sanada flops out of the ring and fans rally up. Tanahashi goes up to the top, ACES HIGH FLY ATTACK! Direct hit and fans fire up while both men are down! Red Shoes checks and both men are okay to continue.
Fans continue to rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!” “SA-NA-DA!” and the ring count begins. Tanahashi stirs, drags himself up at 5 of 20, and hobbles into the ring at 10. Sanada is still down, but he gets up at 18! And in at 19! Tanahashi has Sanada on the apron, gets a leg through the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! And then a dropkick! And then another DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Sanada clutches the leg but Tanahashi ties him up in the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Sanada endures as Tanahashi pulls back! Sanada pushes up to get the ROPEBREAK! Tanahashi lets go quick, but he then hits a GROUND DRAGON SCREW!
Tanahashi waits on Sanada to stand, then runs, but Sanada jumps, only for Tanahashi to stop the rana! And Tanahashi gets the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF again! Sanada endures all over again, even as Tanahashi bends him at an angle! Fans rally as hard as ever, but Tanahashi sits deep on the hold! But Sanada refuses to quit, and he powers his way over to another ROPEBREAK! Tanahashi lets go more in exhaustion, and fans cheer! Tanahashi waits on Sanada to stand again, then runs, but Sanada gets around the Slingblade to O’Conner, DRAGON SLEEPER! But Tanahshi pops free, so Sanada kicks and whips.
Tanahashi reverses to SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up as Tanahashi goes up top! HIGH FLY FLOW onto knees!! Sanada saves himself but has to clutch his leg from that impact. Fans are thunderous as both men are down. Sanada and Tanahashi stir, slowly crawling to opposite corners. Tanahashi stands, runs in, but Sanada elbows! SANADA QUEBRADA! SKULL END!! Tanahashi flails, fights, but Sanada squeezes tight! Tanahashi pries the body scissors open, rolls back, and now he has the dragon sleeper! But Sanada spins it back around, SKULL END!! Tanahashi is caught again, Red Shoes checks on him.
Sanada holds tight, Tanahashi reaches out, but he’s fading! Red Shoes is checking. Tanahashi’s hand drops, and Sanada lets him free to go to the corner! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees!! Tables have turned as Tanahashi now clutches his legs after saving himself. Tanahashi crawls to ropes and drags himself up. Fans rally up more and more as Sanada sits up. Tanahashi aims from the corner as Sanada stands. Sanada runs corner to corner, but into boots! Tanahashi runs, into a fireman’s’ carry! Throw into the DRAGON SLEEPER! But Tanahashi powers through to DRAGON SLEEPER Sanada!
Sanada powers through to get the DRAGON SLEEPER back, but then so does Tanahashi! Sanada fights through again, but Tanahashi turns enough for TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi gets Sanada up for another TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! But Sanada suplexes, only for Tanahashi to kick off the ropes, and TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up again as Tanahashi waits on Sanada to stand. Sanada rises, Tanahashi fires up and runs, SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi goes right to a corner! He goes up top, HIGH FLY ATTACK! But Sanada rolls through! He pops Tanahashi into a fireman’s carry, T K O!!
Sanada hurries up top, ROUNDING BODY PRESS to Tanahashi’s back! Sanada goes up again, ROUNDING BODY PRESS FLOPS as Tanahashi moves! Both men are down again and fans still rally. Sanada rises, he drags Tanahashi back up, but Tanahashi trips him for a GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Both men are down again but the fans don’t stop. Sanada and Tanahashi slowly rise, and Tanahashi ROCKS Sanada with a forearm. Sanada ROCKS Tanahashi back. Tanahashi ROCKS Sanada, Sanada ROCKS Tanahashi! Tanahashi, Sanada, back and forth, faster and faster, and fans rally behind them!
Tanahashi gets the edge but Sanada gives it all back! SHOTEI from Tanahashi! Sanada drops to his knees, Tanahashi staggers and fans keep going, “Let’s Go, Ace!” “SA-NA-DA!” Tanahashi brings Sanada up, Sanada SHOTEIS Tanahashi! And ROLLING ELBOW! Sanada runs, ROLLING ELBOW! Then fireman’s carry, but Tanahashi fights free! Full nelson, but Sanada breaks! So Tanahashi STRAITJACKET GERMANS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Sanada escapes but Tanahashi fires up again! Tanahashi runs, Sanada pops him up, but Tanahshi still SLINGBADES! Tanahashi goes up top, HIGH FLY FLOP!!
Sanada body scissors and rolls, O’Conner BRIDGE! SANADA WINS!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (NEW IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion)
FINALLY! For the first time in NJPW, the Cold Skull has a title all his own!! What an incredible moment! Red Shoes brings the title over to Sanada, and raises his hand in victory! Then, after catching his breath while sitting with the belt, Sanada gets the mic. “I’ve been fighting in this ring for seven years, and now I’ve finally won a singles title. Since this is a first for me, how about I give you my first gift of the year?” The fans get their phone lights ready, and as the stadium lights go down, they become the stars. “First of all, I have nothing but respect for Tana-san. I’ll gladly fight Tana-san again, anytime, anywhere.” Fans cheer that.
And for those who still can’t make it to the venues, at least you can watch it on NJPW World. But for Sanada, this is the only place he gets to see all the fans. So he thanks all the fans here for making the trip out. Sanada admits he’s not good when put on the spot, but from everywhere in Japan, he likes Sapporo the best. Fans cheer for the championship confession! “OI, SAPPORO! See you tomorrow!” The Cold Skull is finally the Gold Skull, is this new chapter going to be his best?
Yes, I skipped matches, but this was still a great event! We got fairly expected outcomes in the non-title matches, and the title matches were all great stuff. The Fatal 4 Way being tornado was the right choice, and what great interplay between all of these teams. I like that ELP took advantage of the moment to challenge Desperado for the singles title, and I’m sure that’ll be a really good program. And the match was made all the better for Taguchi fulfilling his dream of becoming a 69th champion. He and Wato will surely have a good long run, and I’m sure Taguchi will get 69 jokes in wherever he can.
The IWGP Heavyweight Tag title match was basically what you can expect from Chaos VS House of Torture. It was overbooked but not quite a mess, and the Faces come out the winners because as I said last time, Evil was not become a Triple Champion. And I’m sure Evil will stay Mr. NEVER since Chaos won here. And in an awesome main event, Sanada gets a great win to become the new champion. I am so glad to see this moment, Sanada has been going strong for some time, and now he has his vindication. He may not have been top title material but he is definitely going to have a good midcard run here. Jay White was just calling out Tanahashi in reference to this belt, maybe he’ll start mocking Sanada now.
My Score: 8.9/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (12/4/23)
Main Event Jey goes for gold!
While Drew McIntyre wants the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it’s Jey Uso who gets his shot at Seth Rollins tonight on Monday Night Raw!
- Drew McIntyre VS Sami Zayn; wins.
- The Creed Brothers w/ Ivy Nile VS JD McDonagh & Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley; win.
- Shayna Baszler VS Nia Jax; wins.
- Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: #DIY VS Imperium; wins.
- Natalya & Tegan Nox VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance; win.
- Cody Rhodes VS Shinsuke Nakamura; wins.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins VS Jey Uso; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
Drew McIntyre is here!
The Scottish Warrior is ready to tear it all down, all because he didn’t get another title match with Seth Rollins when he wanted. But before he tears into Sami Zayn, McIntyres the mic to say, “It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, but welcome everybody to Monday Night Raw!” Fans cheer that! And McIntyre says Raw is the land where it feels like everyone’s lost their minds lately! “Liars, hypocrites, cowards, just plain idiots. Apparently, you can get fired, released, leave, do what you want for a bunch of time, come back, and you’re instantly forgiven these days!” Fans chant “CM PUNK!” but McIntyre says he could be talking about anyone.
Now, Rollins tried to pull a fast one on McIntyre. Rollins could’ve given the match to anyone, but McIntyre beat Jey Uso weeks ago. So Rollins sticks it to McIntyre, slaps him metaphorically, so he headbutts Rollins in his stupid face. And speaking of Jey, O M G, Jey can apologize! He ran to Randy Orton, tail between his legs, “Oh, I’m so sorry, Randy!” Well Jey, your time’s coming. And there’s someone McIntyre is forgetting. Oh, right! Sami Zayn! And wouldn’t you know? Here comes Sami! Fans cheer and sing Sami’s song as he makes his way to the ring, a mic of his in hand. The fans then chant for ‘SAMI! SAMI!” as he sits up top.
Sami tells McIntyre, he clearly has a lot to say about everybody, including Sami, so he may as well say it to Sami’s face. Oh, yes, McIntyre sure does. Last week, Sami wanted to say how alike they are, but they are not. McIntyre has something to say to Sami and it is the truth: Sami is the one person in the world who deserved to get screwed over by The Bloodline. The fans boo but McIntyre says he will explain. Sami was the Bloodline’s lapdog errand boy, he joined them because he was running away from McIntyre, and then what? Sami screwed Bloodline over! What did Sami think was gonna happen to him? Isn’t Sami supposed to be smart?
McIntyre says Sami deserved what he got, it’s the truth. Sami says McIntyre is right about one thing: Sami was wrong. Sami thought they were alike but the more Sami is seeing, the more “truth” he’s hearing, Sami realizes they are NOT anything alike! Sami is not a delusional person. He isn’t someone who points a finger at everyone else for his own shortcomings. And big difference here: When Sami lost in front of his family and let everyone down, he stayed hungry, driven and motivated and that carried him to victory in the main event of WrestleMania! Fans fire up for that! So Sami got his redemption. Sami got to make his family proud. Does McIntyre think he’s making his family proud?
McIntyre glares at Sami, and then says one of them is NOT walking out of here. Get a ref and ring the bell! Fans fire up as we get their match now! Will McIntyre absolutely explode after Sami set him off?
Drew McIntyre VS Sami Zayn!
The bell rings and fans are behind Sami in this one. Sami and McIntyre circle, then McIntyre RAMS Sami into a corner! And OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes! McIntyre asks if it was a good idea to talk bad now. McIntyre ROCKS and DECKS Sami, then stalks him. Fans rally with “Let’s Go, Sami!” as he bails out. McIntyre pursues, and SMACKS him off the apron! McIntyre scoops Sami, but Sami slips free to POST McIntyre! Sami aims at the apron, McIntyre body shots and SMACKS Sami off the apron! McIntyre puts Sami in but Sami builds speed to FLY! Direct hit and down goes McIntyre! Fans fire up with Sami as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and fans rally as McIntyre has Sami in a motorcycle stretch. But Sami flips then BOOTS McIntyre away! But McIntyre CHOPS Sami back! Sami bails out, McIntyre pursues, but Sami kicks and CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Sami throws hands, whips, but McIntyre reverses. Sami goes up the barriers to QUEBRADA! Down goes McIntyre again and fans fire back up! The ring count climbs, the fans fire up with Sami, and Sami brings McIntyre around to put him in at 7 of 10. Sami slides in, but McIntyre LARIATS Sami back down! McIntyre seethes while fans boo, and McIntyre throws fists down on Sami!
Fans rally even harder for Sami and Sami sits up. McIntyre drags Sami up, to CHOP! Sami flops right back down, McIntyre grins, and he drags Sami up. McIntyre CHOPS and Sami wobbles around! Sami shakes his head, grits his teeth, and CHOPS in return! And CHOPS! McIntyre CHOPS and Sami falls over! McIntyre stomps Sami, smother shim, then stomps his head again! McIntyre stomps Sami’s leg, then stomps the other leg! McIntyre paces around Sami, waits on Sami to get up, and Sami goes to a corner. McIntyre runs in but Sami ELBOWS him away! Sami goes up, McIntyre runs in but into a BOOT!
Sami leaps, AX HANDLE! Sami fires up with the fans, he kicks McIntyre and reels him in, but McIntyre is a little too big to suplex! McIntyre suplexes, Sami slips free, then he lures McIntyre into the corner to POST him! Sami kicks and reels McIntyre in, to SUPLEX! Fans fire up while both men are down! Sami clutches the ankle, but he stands up to fire off haymakers! Sami whips, McIntyre reverses but Sami ducks ‘n ‘ dodges to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives and Sami is stunned! Sami hurries to the apron while fans fire up! Sami climbs, leaps, but into an OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! And then another OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY!
McIntyre hits a NECKBREAKER, then kips up! Fans are torn as McIntyre shakes the ropes. But then Sami clotheslines him up and out! Sami aims, and PLANCHAS! McIntyre catches him! And SLINGS him over the desk! Fans lose their minds and McIntyre seethes as Raw goes to break.
Mitchell’s NJPW World Tag League Results & Report! (12/4/23)
B Block, round 6!
Sure #EverybodyDies, but who will tranquilo?
The World Tag League round robin is almost over, and B Block is looking saucy! Will Lance Archer & Alex Zayne burn Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr?
- BUSHI & Shingo Takagi VS SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; win.
- Six Man Tag: Kaito Kiyomiya, Ryohei Oiwa & Oskar Leube VS The Gates of Agony & Boltin Oleg; win.
- Six Man Tag: Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma VS The United Empire; win(s).
- Six Man Tag: Shota Umino, Ren Narita & Ryusuke Taguchi VS The House of Torture; win(s).
- Six Man Tag: TMDK VS Bullet Club; wins.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Taichi & Yuya Uemura VS Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza; Fale & Bonza win.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr; ELP & Leo win.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Bishamon VS Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki; Bishamon wins.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Lance Archer & Alex Zayne VS Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr; Tsuji & Zando win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current B Block standings.
Alex Zayne & Lance Archer: 4-1, 8 points
Taichi & Yuya Uemura: 4-1, 8 points
ELP & Hikuleo: 3-2, 6 points
Bishamon: 2-2-1, 5 points
Atlantis Jr. y Soberano Jr: 2-2-1, 5 points
Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr: 2-3, 4 points
Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki: 1-4, 2 points
Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza: 1-4, 2 points
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Taichi & Yuya Uemura VS Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza!
The Holy Emperor & Heat Storm are just outside the top after their loss to Monster Sauce, but that’s way better than being at the bottom like the Rogue Army. But can Fale & Bonza ruin things for Taichi & Yuya? Or will B Block belong to Just5Guys?
The teams sort out and Yuya starts against Bonza. The fans rally up as the bell rings and the two stare down. They circle, tie up, and Bonza wrenches to hammerlock then waistlock. Yuya switches to then hammerlock, but Bonza switches the hammerlock back. Yuya reaches back, sits down, rolls and wrenches to a wristlock. Bonza spins, breaks free and pie faces Yuya! Yuya keeps cool, and he resets with Bonza. They tie up, but Bonza kicks low! Bonza runs, runs Yuya over, and says he’s pathetic! Bonza runs, Yuya stays low to then hurdle, and then he hip tosses Bonza down! Yuya scoops and SLAMS Bonza, then arm-drags him!
Fans fire up as Yuya has the armlock, but Fale runs in to throw body shots and scoop! Yuya slips free, but Fale’s too big for an arm-drag! Fale scoops again, and SLAMS Yuya! Then Fale DECKS Taichi for the hell of it! Bonza stomps Yuya around, brings him up, and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Fale and the Rogue Army mugs Yuya. Fale brings Yuya around to CLUB him down, then looms over him. Fans rally but Fale stands on Yuya! Fale goes surfing on the Heat Storm! Fale steps off, covers, TWO! Fans cheer but Fale tags Bonza. Bonza storms up on Yuya, drags him around, and then he goes surfing!
Bonza lets off to then drop an elbow! And then springboard stomp! Yuya sputters, Bonza drags him back up but Taichi rallies the fans. Yuya CHOPS Bonza, ROCKS Fale, repeat! Bonza ROCKS Yuya! Bonza bumps Yuya off buckles, whips him corner to corner, then runs in to elbow! Bonza keeps moving, but Yuya DROPKICKS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Yuya crawls, hot tag to Taichi! Taichi storms up to Kawada Kick! Bonza says F U and ROCKS Taichi, but Taichi SOBATS back! Taichi tells Bonza off and BOOTS him in the corner! Fale runs in, but into a BOOT! Fale comes back, Taichi steps aside to GAMANGIRI!
Bonza kicks Taichi, whips him to a corner, but Taichi comes back to AX BOMBER! Fans fire up with Taichi, and OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi then aims, but Bonza blocks the kick to ELBOW! Bonza whips, DISCUS LARIAT! Bonza fires up, he drags Taichi up, and he reels Taichi in to suplex! Taichi fights that off to suplex back! Bonza fights that off, they fight for suplex control, and fans rally up! In the end, Bonza gets Taichi up, but Taichi slips free! SAI- NO, Bonza fights with elbows! Bonza runs, into a RIDGE HAND! Taichi runs, but Bonza deflects the boot to hit a BIG back suplex! Tag to Fale and he storms up on Taichi.
Fale stomps Taichi, drags him up and CLUBS away on the back! Taichi falls over but Fale stalks him to the ropes. Fale drags Taichi up, but Taichi fights and wrenches to HOOK KICK! Fale runs up, into a clinch! Taichi is using sumo! Fale and Taichi hobble around, Fale tries to counter sumo with sumo! But Taichi still THROWS Fale!! Fans are thunderous and Taichi takes aim! BUZZSAW! Both men are down, fans rally up, hot tag to Yuya! Yuya roars, runs in and CHOPS Fale! Bonza runs in, but gets an arm-drag! And then a DROPKICK! Bonza bails out, Fale staggers up into a DROPKICK! He stays up, so Yuya DROPKICKS again!
Fale rebounds, into an ARM-DRAG!! The fans are thunderous and Yuya runs in at the corner. DOUBLE CHOP! Taichi adds a BOOT! Yuya runs in again, DROPKICK! Fale hobbles, Yuya pushes him out and goes up the corner! CROSSBODY! Down goes Fale! But Yuya isn’t done there! Yuya drags Fale up, wrenches and traps the arm, but Fale swings the other! Yuya catches it! But Fale’s too big for Kamuki! Fale TOSSES Yuya to a corner then SPLASHES! Fireman’s carry, but Yuya flails around! Sunset flip, but Fale stays up! So Taichi GAMANGIRIS him into it! High stack, TWO!! Fale escapes, but Yuya has an ARMBAR!!
Fans fire up as Fale endures! Fale fights around, but Yuya powers him down!! ARMBAR!! Fale flails and kicks around, reaches out, but Yuya shifts grip! Bonza sends Taichi into railing before he gets in, Fale has the ROPEBREAK! Bonza CLOBBERS Yuya for good measure! Fans fire up as Bonza BLASTS Taichi off the apron! Yuya CHOPS Bonza, CHOPS him again, and powers up, but Bonza dodges! Only for Yuya to catch the arms! But Bonza knees low! Yuya roars, but Bonza scoops him! BACKBREAKER to ELBOW DROP!! Cover, TAICHI BREAKS IT! Fans fire up but Bonza scoops Taichi! FIRE THUNDER DRIVER!!
Fale hoists Yuya up! Crucifix lift, for BAD LUCK FALL!!! Cover, Rogue Army wins!!
Winners: Bad Luke Fale & Jack Bonza, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Taichi & Yuya earn 0)
The Rogue General & Red Commander just brought down two of the five guys! Did they just blow up the chances of Taichi & Yuya going on to the semifinals? Or will luck be with J5G in the seventh?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo w/ Jado VS Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr!
The NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions take on the NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Champion and a former World Middleweight Champion, but both teams are on the bubble in this block. Who pops off and who drops off right before the end?
ELP tries to get the fans cheering Soberano but it takes a second to warm them up. The fans fire up and the sons of lucha appreciate it. “AT-LAN-TIS!” and “SOBER-RA-NO!” then return the favor helping in a “HI-KU-LEO~!” chant. They all shake hands and high-five, and then the teams sort out. ELP starts against Soberano and fans rally up. The two wind up, and shake hands! Fans cheer and the two circle. They tie up, ELP headlocks, but Soberano powers up and out to then reel ELP back and run. ELP sidesteps, he avoids Soberano’s handspring, and fans cheer. Soberano flexes and fans cheer a little more.
ELP gives a mocking golf clap and then circles with Soberano again. Soberano headlocks, ELP throws body shots and powers out. Soberano runs ELP over, then things speed up. ELP hurdles but Soberano front flips! Fans fire up and Soberano looks off into the distance. Soberano then runs in, ELP dodges, Soberano RANAS but ELP handsprings through, then does his drop steps! Fans cheer as ELP flexes and kisses the biceps. ELP gives Soberano a push, Soberano pushes back. They start pushing a little harder, then things speed up again! Soberano ducks ‘n’ dodges and rolls off ELP’s back to then run and RANA!
ELP flounders out of the ring and Soberano builds speed! FOSBURY FLOP! Direct hit and fans fire up again! Soberano gets the fans rallying behind him then has the ref tranquilo. Soberano puts ELP in, then gets fans to actually chant for “PHAN-TAS-MO!” Soberano slides in, brings ELP around, and tags Atlantis. The luchadores mug ELP, and the fans still chant for “PHAN-TAS-MO!” but the luchadores double whip to DOUBLE ELBOW! Then wheelbarrow and ENZUGIRI FACEBUSTER COMBO! Cover, TWO! Atlantis keeps cool as he stomps ELP around. Atlantis drags ELP up, keeps him from Leo, and CLUBS away!
Atlantis suplexes but ELP blocks! ELP tries to suplex but Atlantis blocks! ELP RAMS Atlantis into the corner, CHOPS him, then tags Leo. ELP CHOPS again, then hushes the fans. Leo swings, Atlantis dodges to CHOP them in return! CHOP after CHOP then Atlantis runs, ducks ELP’s hurdle but ends up right in Leo’s DDT! Cover, TWO! Leo drags Atlantis up but Atlantis throws forearms and CHOPS! Leo CHOPS right back! Leo then fireman’s carries, but Atlantis fights free! Atlantis dodges the chop, tries to whip but Leo blocks and reverses! Leo runs in, Atlantis dodges and Leo’s boot gets stuck on the ropes! Atlantis dropkicks that leg!
Leo hobbles and Atlantis keeps moving, Atlantis dropkicks the legs out! Fans fire up as Atlantis stomps Leo’s leg, then SPLASHES down on a knee! Atlantis stomps the leg some more, but Jado & ELP coach Leo. Leo CHOPS Atlantis, but Atlantis stomps him down. Atlantis has the leg and works to turn Leo over! HALF CRAB! Leo endures and fans rally up! Leo fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Atlantis lets go at 4, and Leo clutches his knee. Atlantis eggs Leo on, Soberano tags in, and they both taunt Leo to go taunt ELP. Leo crawls over, but then the luchadores bring Leo away. “Chotto matte ne!”
Fans applaud as the Mexican luchadores know some Japanese. Then they get LEo’s hands, bend the fingers, and then Soberano BOOTS Leo down! ELP protests, the ref reprimands, but Soberano BITES Leo’s foot! Soberano keeps Leo from ropes with a chinlock, then he and Atlantis get Leo up again. They double whip Leo to a corner, Atlantis runs in but is put on the apron. Leo DECKS Atlantis, and he catches Soberano’s splash! Soberano BELL CLAPS then BOOTS Leo! Soberano taunts ELP by blowing a kiss, then he goes back for Leo. Atlantis returns, they double whip but Leo breaks the line to DOUBLE LARIAT!
Fans fire up and Leo crawls, hot tag to ELP! ELP grins as he runs up to BOOT Soberano! Mule kick for Atlantis! Atomic drop for Soberano! ELP mocks Soberano’s pain, then he atomic drops Atlantis, into a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! ELP clotheslines Soberano up and out, but Atlantis kicks him low! Atlantis whips ELP to the corner but ELP goes up and over then springboards to CROSSBODY! Somersault, LIONSAULT! Another somersault, to PLANCHA Soberano! Fans fire up with ELP and he goes back to the corner. ELP waits on Atlantis to rise up, then he springboards in, FLYING TORNADO DDT!
Fans fire up and ELP drags Atlantis to a cover, TWO! Atlantis survives and the fans rally up again. ELP fires up and Soberano coaches Atlantis. ELP drags Atlantis up, reels him in, tucks the arms, but Atlantis fights! Atlantis ROCKS ELP, ELP ROCKS Atlantis, they go forearm for forearm! ELP whips, Atlantis reverses and Soberano jumps in! Double hip toss into TU LO SABE! Cover, TWO! ELP survives and that surprises Atlantis. The fans rally, Soberano stalks ELP to a corner and eggs him on. ELP slaps Soberano, Soberano SLAPS ELP! Atlantis BOOTS Leo, ELP throws hands on Soberano, but Atlantis kicks ELP low.
Atlantis puts ELP up top, Soberano GAMANGIRIS! Then the sons of lucha vow to end this! They both climb up after ELP, CLUB away on him, and bring him up. But Leo gets in, TOWER OF DOOM!! Fans fire up for the double powerbomb double superplex combo! Leo drags Soberano up to POWERBOMB onto Atlantis! Fans fire up again as Leo helps ELP up! Leo scoops, but Atlantis slips free to shove Leo into ELP! Then Atlantis dodges Leo to SUPERKICK ELP! And DROPKICK Leo! Leo runs back in but Atlantis dumps him out! ELP runs in but Atlantis goes up and over, rolls and SPIN POWERSLAMS!
Fans fire up as Atlantis goes up a corner! But ELP hurries to GAMANGIRI! Soberano sneaks a tag! ELP goes up to the very top, brings Atlantis up with him, SUPER STEINER! ELP goes up but Soberano is there! He springboards up to SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Fans are thunderous with everyone down, and Soberano crawls to a cover! Leo breaks it! Fans fire up again and Atlantis regroups with Soberano. Leo UPPERCUTS Atlantis, choke grips each of them, meeting of the minds! But then the luchadores double basement dropkick the legs out! Fans rally for Leo but Soberano & Atlantis have him! DOUBLE-
NO, Leo fights the suplexes to UPPERCUT Soberano! Atlantis dodges the haymaker but not the BOOT! Leo aims at Soberano now, choke grip! GOD- FLIP! Soberano ENZIGURIS! Leo roars! Soberano SUPERKICKS! ELP SUDDEN DEATH!! Fans fire up with ELP and he DIVES to take out Atlantis! Leo hits GODSEND!! ELP returns, he goes up, SUPER THUNDERKISS 86!!! Cover, ELP & Leo win!
Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Atlantis & Soberano earn 0)
The sons of lucha are eclipsed by the Guerrillas of Destiny! Will the “Big Blue Sexy Boys” still have a fighting chance of entering the semifinals?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Bishamon VS Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki!
Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vow to break the curse that keeps IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions from winning the league! Will they pull it off? Or will Blue Justice & The Meanest Man in the World not only stop Bishamon, but get golden tickets at the same time?
The teams sort out and Suzuki stares Hashi down. Fans rally up and the two start. They circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock. But then Suzuki kicks one, wrenches the other to a hammerlock, but Hashi switches the hold onto Suzuki. Suzuki reaches back to cording hold and chinbar Hashi to ropes. The ref counts and Suzuki lets off slowly, then with strong pats on the shoulder. Fans cheer and Hashi keeps cool as the two reset. They step up, and Hashi fires a forearm! Suzuki fires back! They go back and forth and the fans rally as they pick up speed! Suzuki ROCKS Hashi, ROCKS him again, but Hashi comes back to CHOP!
Suzuki eggs Hashi on so Hashi CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Hashi CHOPS more and more but Suzuki stays standing on sheer anger! Hashi drags Suzuki over, tags Goto, and Bishamon double whip to then double shoulder tackle! Hashi BLASTS Nagata for good measure, then Goto stomps Suzuki. Goto drags Suzuki up, CLUBS him, then whips. Suzuki reverses to then headlock, but Goto powers out. Suzuki pulls hair to HEADBUTT! Suzuki CLUBS Goto down and Goto bails out! Nagata runs in to BLAST Hashi as payback, and then the murder grandpas go out after them! Suzuki whips Goto into railing, then brings him around while Nagata sends Hashi hard into railing!
Suzuki RAMS Goto into railing in front of commentary, then has a railing crossface! The ref reprimands, Suzuki lets off of Goto, but Nagata POSTS Hashi! Suzuki stomps Goto around, the ring count starts, and Suzuki stomps Goto again before sliding in. The count reaches 7 of 20, then 10 as Goto crawls. Goto clutches his neck, the count is 15! Goto stands at 17, and slides in at 19! Fans cheer but Suzuki clamps onto Goto with a camel clutch! Goto endures, Suzuki shifts to bring him up for a facelock. Nagata tags in and he CLUBS Goto on the neck! And CLUBS him again! Nagata wraps on a chinlock to grind Goto down!
Hashi coaches Goto as he fights around, and Goto gets the ROPEBREAK! Nagata lets go, to KICK Goto in the back! Nata then drags Goto up with a facelock and tags Suzuki. Suzuki snapmares Goto to KICK him! And then Suzuki pulls at the tape around the neck and shoulders! The ref reprimands but there’s nothing he can really do! Suzuki reels Goto in but Goto resists the Gotch lift! Suzuki powers up but Goto still fights. Suzuki CLUBS Goto, tags Nagata, and Nagata BOOTS Hashi down! Nagata KICKS Goto in the chest, then KICKS him again! Goto grits his teeth, Nagata eggs him on, but Goto blocks the next kick!
Goto CLUBS the leg, but Nagata ROCKS Goto with a forearm! Nagata whips, Goto reverses, but Nagata BOOTS back! Nagata runs, Goto follows to LARIAT! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Goto and Nagata crawl, hot tag to Hashi! Hashi runs to run Nagata over! Hashi BLASTS Suzuki off the apron and fans fire up as Hashi ROCKS, body shots and CHOPS! Then he fires off forearms over and over in the corner! Nagata sits down and Hashi keeps going! The ref reprimands, the fans fire up, and Hashi lets off to bring Nagata back up. Nagata shoves Hashi so Hashi eggs him on. The forearms go back and forth now!
Hashi gets the edge with forearms, then CHOPS Nagata back to the corner. Hashi whips corner to corner, Nagata reverses, but Hashi comes back to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again and Hashi fires up. Hashi reels Nagata in, suplexes, but Nagata fights it to suplex, and MAGIC SCREW! Hashi flounders, Nagata stands, and Nagata stomps Hashi. Nagata ROCKS Hashi, whips him to ropes, but Hashi holds ropes. Goto tags in, Hashi sidesteps Nagata and Goto ROCKS him! Hashi CHOPS Nagata down, then he BLASTS Suzuki. Hashi hauls Nagata up, turns him, and Goto adds on, HEAD BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Nagata hangs in there.
Bishamon set up in opposite corners, and they aim at Nagata. But Suzuki pushes Nagata to save him from the DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH! Hashi CHOPS, Goto CLUBS and then GOTO GO TO HUNTER! Bishamon have Nagata in a corner, Goto clotheslines! Hashi clotheslines! Feed to the fireman’s carry, FIERCE FLASH! Cover, TWO! Nagata survives and fans rally up again! Goto hauls Nagata up, Hashi calls the shot! Dragon sleeper and leg lift, but Suzuki catches Hashi to a SLEEPER! Nagata drags Goto down into a CROSSFACE! Goto endures, Hashi is turning red! Fans rally up as Goto fights his way around!
Goto reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer, and Suzuki sends Goto to a corner! Suzuki BOOTS! Nagata BOOTS! Snapmare, DOUBLE PENALTY KICK SANDWICH! Then EXPLODER!! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives and fans fire up again! Nagata drags Goto up, but Goto fights the saido with elbows! Nagata knees low, and again, then CLUBS Goto’s neck! Goto falls and writhes, but Nagata drags him back up! Suzuki keeps Hashi out with an ANKLE LOCK, as Nagata SAI- NO, Goto fights free! Hashi also gets free, to SUPERKICK Nagata! Goto has a SLEEPER, then rolls it to GOTO NISHIKI!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!
Winners: Bishamon, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Nagata & Suzuki earn 0)
The murder grandpas almost had it, but Goto finds a way to survive! Does this mean the Fierce Warrior & Headhunter have a chance to #GetBackUp to the WTL finals after all?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Lance Archer & Alex Zayne VS Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr!
The Monster Sauce is leading the way but they have to finish strong! Will they stay hot going into the seventh and final round? Or will they be sunk by The Gene Blast & King of the World?
Wait, Tetsuya Naito is coming out here? What a great surprise! It sure takes Shingo Takagi by surprise as he’s been on commentary this entire time. Naito joins commentary, even! And he puts his feet up on top of Milano Collection AT’s notes. He makes Milano hold the Right to Challenge bag while he puts his headset on. Monster Sauce then makes their entrance, and Archer suckers a Young Lion in by offering a high-five to then DECK him! He pats another on the shoulder, assuring him it’s fine. Then he RAMS him into railing! Zayne apologizes to each Young Lion in turn, it’s nothing personal. Archer and Zayne then have Red Shoes and Abe-san put on the jackets to see how they look.
Zando and Tsuji make their entrances, the teams sort out, and Archer says that smile of Tsuji’s is gonna be missing some teeth soon. However, Zayne and Zando step up to start and the fans rally up with the bell. They circle, tie up, and Zando powers Zayne to ropes. Zando lets off, fakes the chop, and tells Zayne to take it easy. Zayne and Zando reset and fans rally again. They tie up, Zayne puts Zando on ropes now, and Zayne fakes the chop to twirl his hair. Fans cheer and Zando smirks. The two reset again, tie up again, and Zando headlocks. Zayne wrenches out, but Zando wrenches back to wristlock.
Zayne rolls, handsprings, wrenches and wristlocks, but Zando spins, CHOPS, and whips Zayne to a corner. Zayne reverses, runs in and back elbows! Zayne slips out to the apron and slingshot RANAS! Things keep moving, Zayne ducks ‘n’ dodges and IMPLODER KNEE DROPS down on Zando’s dropdown! Zayne then rolls to STANDING MARIPOSA! Fans fire up and Zayne smirks as he twirls his hair again. Zayne stands Zando up, Zando throws hands but Zayne bobs ‘n’ weaves to body blow! Zayne runs, but Tsuji kicks him! Zayne swings on Tsuji, but Zando reels him in, chicken wings and DODON DROP!
Archer runs in to kick Zando low! Archer reels Zando in to CLUB him, then he runs. Tsuji trips Archer, Zando basement dropkicks! Tsuji then drags Archer out to RAM him into railing! Fans fire up with Zando, and Tsuji sends Archer into more railing! Zando TOSSES Zayne out of the ring, Tsuji fires off on Archer, then CHOPS him! Tsuji holds Archer out along railing, Zando runs in, LEAP FROG ATTACK! Fans fire up while Archer falls over! Tsuji finds Zayne and stomps him, to then put him in the ring for Zando. Zando storms up, drags Zayne up and has him on ropes. Zando lifts Zayne up and Tsuji runs, to LEAP FROG ATTACK!
Zayne flops over, fans rally up, and Zando tags Tsuji. Zando & Tsuij drag Zayne up to double whip. Archer returns, Red Shoes keeps him back, Zayne ends up in the POP-UP KICK! Zando & Tsuji run, basement dropkick sandwich! Fans cheer but Red Shoes reprimands. Zando exits, Tsuji digs his knees into Zayne at the ropes before a knee drop! Tsuji drags Zayne up while Archer and Zando shout at each other. Tsuji whips Zayne but reverses direction to send him into the red corner! Tsuji stomps Zayne, Zando CLUBS him, and then Zando tags in. Zando snapmares Zayne to a seated abdominal stretch! Zayne endures and the fans rally up.
Zayne reaches out, but then reaches up to drag Zando into a cradle! TWO, and Zando stomps away! Zando hits Archer, then laughs as he gets away. Zando drags Zayne back, CLUBS him, then grabs a leg. Zando steps over, then clinches, modified cobra twist! Zayne endures, hops on his one free leg, and fans rally up! Zayne reaches out, hot tag- NO, Tsuji drags Archer down and RAMS him into railing right in front of commentary! Zando wrangles Zayne to a cover, TWO! Fans cheer and Zando drags Zayne up. Zando wrenches, wristlocks, then he tags Tsuji. Tsuji BOOTS Zayne’s arm, then brings him around to ROCK with a forearm!
Fans rally up, Zayne ROCKS Tsuji back! And CHOPS! And ROCKS him again! Tsuji knees low, then wags his finger. Tsuji swings, Zayne counter punches! And again! Tsuji runs in, Zayne gets around, roll up and EDDY GORDO KICK! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Tsuji and Zayne crawl, hot tag to Archer! Archer storms around, fires up, and BLASTS Zando! It was a fake out at first, but now he runs to ELBOW Tsuji! “Ichi!” Archer keeps moving, and ELBOWS! “Ni!” Zayne runs in, tilt-o-whirl RANA CANNONBALL! But Zando SUPERKICKS Zayne! Archer CHOPS Zando but Zando just fires up!
Zando CHOPS Archer, and Archer just smiles! Archer CHOPS back! Archer eggs Zando on so Zando CHOPS! Archer CHOPS, eggs Zando on, and fans fire up as Zando CHOPS again! They CHOP back and forth, faster and faster! Archer CHOPS Zando down! Fans fire up with the Murderhawk and he storms up. Zando swings, but into a full nelson that Archer makes into a dragon sleeper. Tsuji runs in, but gets caught! URENAGE REVERSE DDT COMBO! Archer then drags Tsuji up, shoves him to a corner, and DOUBLE CHOPS! Zayne then LEAP FROG MISSILE DROPKICKS! Archer suplexes Tsuji! Then CHOKE SLAM SAULT! Cover, TWO!!
Tsuji survives and fans fire up but Archer fires himself back up. Tag to Zayne, he goes up, but Zando GAMANGIRIS! Archer grabs Zando, but Tsuji DUMPS Archer! Tsuji then rushes the corner, but Zayne jumps and over! Zayne comes back but Tsuji BOOTS him! Tsuji goes up, but Zayne returns, NO HANDS STEINER! Fans fire up as Zando hurries in. Zayne dodges the chop but Zando blocks the chip to CHOP after all! Zando suplexes, Zayne slips free to shove, but Zando blocks the kick! Zando ducks the enziguri, wheelbarrow GERMAN SUPLEX! Archer BOOTS Zando, ripcords, and HELLICOASTERS! Fans fire up with Archer again!
Archer hauls Zando back up, reels him in, but Tsuji saves Zando from the suplex! Tsuji & Zando mug Archer, then go to double suplex! Archer fights it, he wants to double suplex, but they fight it! Zando & Tsuji try again, DOUBLE SUPLEX! All four men are down and the fans fire up again! Zando stirs, flounders out of the ring, and Tsuji rises. Tsuji tags Zando in, they get Zayne up. They double whip, hip toss and SLAM! Then SPLASH, to LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Zayne hangs in there and Zando pounds the mat in frustration. The fans clap along, Tsuji & Zando get Zayne up, ANCHOR!! Cover, TWO!! Zayne survives and fans fire up again!
Zando pounds the mat some more and the fans clap along again. Tag to Tsuji, and he climbs up onto Zando’s shoulders! But Archer caches Tsuji, to CHOKE SLAM him into Zando! Then Archer fireman’s carries, Zayne runs in, ROLLING NECKBREAKER SAMOAN DROP COMBO!! Cover, Zando breaks it! Fans fire up, Archer runs in, but he doesn’t fall for the dump trick. Archer CLOBBERS Zando against ropes, then clotheslines him up and out of the ring! Fans fire up with Archer again and Zayne pounds the mat. Archer hauls Tsuji up, sets him up for Zayne, ROLLING- NO, Tsuji avoids the ax kick! Then he dodges Archer, and now Zando dumps him out!
Zayne mule kicks Tsuji, runs, but into the GENE BLAST SPEAR!!! Cover, LIJ WINS!!
Winners: Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Archer & Zayne earn 0)
Monster Sauce drops, making the top of this block really interesting! If #EverybodyDies, are their chances at the finals in danger of dying off?
As for Tsuji & Zando, Tsuji gets the mic to say, “It looks like it’s someone’s birthday today.” It’s also someone in Los Ingobernables de Japon. “HIROMU-CHAN!” Oh wait, is he even here? Well, maybe Hiromu was too busy to be here, but Tsuji hopes tonight’s win is a good birthday gift. Fans applaud that, but then Tsuji says he also has some bad news. It would seem after tonight’s penultimate-penultimate results, there mathematically isn’t a chance for Tsuji & Zando to make it to the semifinals. He asks if that’s true or not. Even commentary has to check the math on that. So then, is there a chance?
Milano is sure it’s not zero percent. Really? Pretty sure. Then there IS a chance! The fans cheer and Tsuji says that even if it seems unlikely, should they win next round, Zandokan will be LIJ! Fans cheer for that, too! Tsuji then brings up that the other day, he talked with the others and hoped Takagi & Naito wouldn’t lose today. Takagi stands up from commentary to say that he does need to get better. Well, hey, tranquilo, right? Tsuji then lets Zando say a few words. “WATASHI WA…! ZANDOKAN JUNIOR!” AKA, he is Zandokan. Fans cheer the introduction, and then he says he’s a BIG DEAL! Fans also cheer that.
Zando then shouts in Spanish, Milano asks for a translation, but Tsuji asks if they’re ready for the tournament’s home stretch. Are you ready for him and Zando to do this? VAMOS, AMIGOS!! Fans cheer, but will Gene Blast & The King of The World really make it to the end?
Here are the NEW B Block standings!
Alex Zayne & Lance Archer: 4-2, 8 points
ELP & Hikuleo: 4-2, 8 points
Taichi & Yuya Uemura: 4-2, 8 points
Bishamon: 3-2-1, 7 points
Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr: 3-3, 6 points
Atlantis Jr. y Soberano Jr: 2-3-1, 5 points [ELIMINATED]
Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
A great round, and now with some really complex stuff at the top of the block. Monster Sauce lost to go down to 4-2 so that they’d be tied with ELP & Leo and with Taichi & Yuya. Monster Sauce VS ELP & Leo is next, and so one team will go to 5-2 with 10 points, the other will be 4-3 with 8. This scenario alone seems to be creating confusion because while commentary was not prepared to speak on who is still in this, NJPW’s official website has determined Tsuji & Zando are out despite that great main event win. Even if Tsuji & Zando beat Atlantis & Soberano next round, they’ll get to 8 points, BUT they lost to Taichi & Yuya.
And even if Taichi & Yuya lose, they’d be losing to Bishamon, who would then stand at 9 points, making THEM second place flat out. And if Taichi & Yuya win, they are in as second place, not Bishamon. So despite the moment of cheers and hope at the end of that main event, Tsuji & Zando are really just fighting for pride and apparently for Zando to become Sanada’s replacement so that LIJ maintains six members. That’d be cool stuff, but I wonder if Atlantis & Soberano being CMLL like Zando is CMLL comes into play…
My Score: 8.8/10
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