It’s a New Beginning for NJPW!
With Shingo Takagi promising Kazuchika Okada that they’ll go Champion VS Champion in Osaka, can he stay Mr. KOPW after facing Great-O-Khan? Or will the Dominator slay the Rampaging Dragon?
- Toru Yano & Togi Makabe VS Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima; Yano & Makabe win.
- 8 Man Tag: Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma VS The House of Torture; Suzuki, Desperado, Narita & Honma win.
- 8 Man Tag: Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Ryohei Oiwa VS TMDK; TMDK wins.
- Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Master Wato & Jado VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Taichi, DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru w/ Taka Michinoku; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Shota Umino, Ryusuke Taguchi & YOH VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Okada, Umino, Taguchi & Yoh win.
- KOPW 2023 Provisional Championship MMA Rules Match: Shingo Takagi VS Great-O-Khan; Takagi wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Taichi, DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru w/ Taka Michinoku!
This was meant to be an 8 Man Tag so that the Empire could take on all four guys, but it would seem “Public Enemy” TJP is unable to compete tonight. But that won’t stop Will Ospreay, Francesco Akira & Aaron Henare from settling things with the Holy Emperor, Japones Del Mal & The Heel Master. Will the Commonwealth Kingpin, Nova Fireball and Ultimate Weapon win the first battle in this war for New Beginnings?
The teams sort out but Ospreay and Taichi want after each other! They fire off forearms, so the others start brawling, too! Fans fire up and the bell rings as the former Suzuki-Gun members throw out Ospreay and Henare! Kanemaru stays on Akira, whips him to ropes, but Akira reverses. Taichi fires off kicks on Ospreay, then CHOKES him against railing! The ref reprimands as now Kanemaru and Akira go to the outside. Kanemaru whips but Akira reverses again, only for Kanemaru to reverse back! Akira hits railing, then Kanemaru puts him in the ring. Kanemaru and Douki regroup, mug Akira, then double whip him to a corner.
Douki runs in to elbow, Kanemaru runs in to elbow! Snapmare and DOUBLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Things settle down now as Kanemaru brings Akira up. Kanemaru has the leg, for a SHINBREAKER! Kanemaru kicks the bad leg and Akira flounders. Kanemaru brings Akira up but Akira CHOPS! So Kanemaru rakes Akira’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Kanemaru lets off and whips Akira to ropes. Akira avoids the low dropkick, elbows Kanemaru, then dumps Kanemaru out of the ring! Akira then PLANCHAS! Direct hit and fans fire up! Then the Empire attacks on the outside! Henare throws Douki down while Ospreay sends Taichi into railing!
Ospreay fires haymakers on Taichi, Akira sends Kanemaru into railing, and Henare CHOKES Douki! Akira puts Kanemaru in the ring and stalks up behind him. Akira stands Kanemaru up to run and CALF KICK! Cover, TWO! Fans rally while Akira drags Kanemaru up. Akira bumps Kanemaru off buckles, tags in Ospreay, and fans fire up. Ospreay stomps Kanemaru, scoops him, and hits the SPIN-OUT BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ospreay shouts out Nagoya and fans rally as he paces. Ospreay drags Kanemaru up, KNEES him in the back, and then Ospreay talks trash to Taichi. Ospreay stands Kanemaru up but Kanemaru throws body shots!
Kanemaru uppercuts but Ospreay DECKS him! Tag to Henare, and he talks trash on Douki. Henare drags Kanemaru up, clinches, and throws big knees! Henare snapmares Kanemaru to KICK him in the back, and drop a SENTON! Kanemaru writhes but Henare drags him up. Henare HEADBUTTS Kanemaru to ropes, and Ospreay CHOKES him! The ref reprimands, Ospreay lets off, and both Ospreay and Akira run to BLAST Douki and Taichi! Henare bends Kanemaru against the ropes, then beats the war drum! The ref reprimands and counts, Henare lets off at 4, but Ospreay gets a cheap shot in during the distraction!
Kanemaru flops back while Ospreay talks some trash. Fans rally up for Kanemaru as Henare scuffs him. Kanemaru throws body shots and an uppercut! But Henare ELBOW JABS! Henare whips, Kanemaru reverses and DROPKICKS! Fans fire up while both men are down! Kanemaru crawls, hot tag to Taichi! Fans fire up as Taichi fires off Kawada Kicks! And a SOBAT! And then a whip to a corner, for a clotheslines! Taichi snapmares, KICKS, and wraps Henare up, but Akira attacks to stop the Seitei Jujiro! Akira CLUBS away but Taichi CHOKES him and THROWS him down! Ospreay runs in, dodges a boot and BOOTS back!
Taichi rebounds but Ospreay ducks the lariat to get around, only for Taichi to fight the lift! Taichi PELES! Ospreay scrambles away, his shoulder stinging! Henare runs in at Taichi, Taichi gets around but Henare fights off the Dangerous Saido! Henare CLUBS Taichi, whips, but Taichi reverses to wrench and DANGEROUS HOOK KICK! Fans fire up and Taichi feeds off the energy. Taichi brings Henare up and around, but Henare ducks the Buzzsaw! Henare shoves Taichi to a corner, Taichi dodges the Shining Wizard, but Henare elbows! And then FLYING CHUCKS! Henare tags in Ospreay and Ospreay springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO!
Ospreay adjusts the elbow pad while fans fire up. Ospreay drags Taichi up, turns him, but Taichi breaks free! Ospreay ROCKS Taichi with a forearm then eggs him on. Taichi KICKS Ospreay in the leg! Ospreay forearms, Taichi kicks, repeat! Fans rally as the strikes go faster! Ospreay fires off a flurry, runs, but into a BOOT! Taichi runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! Taichi staggers to a corner, Ospreay runs in but Taichi dodges! Ospreay hits buckles, then Taichi hits a GAMANGIRI! Both men are down and fans rally up! Taichi crawls, tag to Douki! Douki runs corner to corner to elbow Ospreay! Kanemaru adds his own elbow!
Kanemaru whips Ospreay but Ospreay BOOTS Douki down! Ospreay kicks Kanemaru, whips him, but Kanemaru ducks ‘n’ dodges to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Douki is up top, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO! Into ITALIAN STRETCH #32! But Akira stomps Douki! Kanemaru throws Akira back out, and Douki fires up! Fans fire up with Douki and he wheelbarrows Ospreay! But Henare stops the lift to KICK Douki down! Kanemaru dropkicks Henare’s leg out! Kanemaru keeps moving, but he runs into a BESERKER BOMB! But Taichi AX BOMBERS Henare down! But Ospreay HOOK KICKS Taichi down!
Douki is on the apron, Ospreay rushes over but into a shoulder! Douki slingshots, DAY- NO, Ospreay blocks to suplex! Douki slips out, waistlocks, but Ospreay standing switches. Douki breaks free, mule kicks, ENZIGURIS, and Ospreay flops to the corner. Akira climbs up but Douki dodges his leap! Akira keeps moving, he ducks ‘n’ dodges, and rolls to SATELLITE DDT! Ospreay adds HIDDEN BLADE! Cover, The Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
It was only three guys, but the United Empire still conquered them! Will Akira & TJP keep the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships from Kanemaru & Douki in Sapporo? Will Ospreay prove that he is the REAL Emperor of NJPW? Or will even the Empire fall to #Just4Guys?
8 Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Shota Umino, Ryusuke Taguchi & YOH VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Rainmaker prepares to defend his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, but he won’t be facing his challenger in this match. Instead, he, the Roughneck, the Funky Weapon and Direct Drive are taking on Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu y Naito. Will Okada lead his team to victory? Or will the New Beginning be tranquilo?
The teams sort out and Okada’s team mirrors LIJ just to taunt them. Naito takes his time with his entrance attire, but Shooter is calling him out. Fans rally for “NA-I-TO!” and Naito smirks, then he fist bumps with LIJ. Naito then attacks first with furious forearms! The bell rings, Naito whips, but Umino reverses and follows. Naito dodges, Umino dodges and shoves, but Naito holds the ropes so Umino’s dropkick misses. Naito rushes in but Umino ducks the basement dropkick to arm-drag! Umino has an armlock but Naito headscissors. Umino kips free, and Naito tranquilos! Fans cheer as Naito offers the fist bump.
Umino steps forward, but Naito stands up to tag in Hiromu. And Hiromu wants Yoh! Yoh wants in, too, so Umino obliges. Fans fire up as Yoh rallies on the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion! Yoh then whips, but Hiromu reverses, only for Yoh to duck ‘n’ dodge! Hiromu elbows Yoh, whips him to a corner, and corner clotheslines! Hiromu snapmares Yoh, runs, but Yoh gets up to dodge and RANA! Hiromu flops out of the ring, Yoh PLANCHAS, but Hiromu dodges! Hiromu whips but Yoh reverses to send Hiromu hard into railing! Yoh puts Hiromu in the ring, brings him up and FALCON- NO, Hiromu slips free!
Hiromu waistlocks, ducks Yoh’s elbow, and CHOPS! Hiromu runs but Yoh handsprings to dodge! Yoh mule kicks, turns Hiromu and hits a NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up and Yoh brings Hiromu up. Yoh CHOPS Hiromu to the corner, he tags in Taguchi, and Taguchi drags Hiromu up to whip him to a corner. CORNER HIP! Taguchi whips Hiromu the other way, another CORNER HIP! Taguchi whips again, but Hiromu reverses, only for Taguchi to reverse back! Another CORNER HIP! Taguchi keeps moving, he ducks ‘n’ dodges, but Hiromu steps aside. Taguchi crashes and burns, LIJ BLASTS Okada’s team!
Sanada is after Okada, Bushi has Yoh and Naito is after Umino. Bushi rakes Yoh’s eyes while Naito whips Umino into railing hard! Hiromu goes back to Taguchi, SPANKS him, SPANKS him again, and has him in the corner. Tag to Bushi and he brings Taguchi up. Bushi snapmares Taguchi, stomps him, then has the legs. Bushi stands on Taguchi’s groin! The ref reprimands, Bushi lets off at 4, and Taguchi twitches. Cover, TWO! Taguchi is still in this and fans rally up. Bushi tags Naito, then he brings Taguchi around. Bushi underhooks, and he sits down to have Taguchi in the infamous Shameful Stretch!
Sanada distracts the ref as Naito steps in, runs and dropkicks Taguchi’s butt! Cover, TWO! Taguchi survives and fans rally up but Naito SPANKS Taguchi! Tag to Sanada and he brings Taguchi into an atomic drop! Taguchi hobbles while clutching his butt. Fans rally up, Taguchi runs at Sanada, but into another atomic drop! Fans rally more and Taguchi tries again, but he fakes Sanada out! Taguchi wags his finger, Sanada runs in, but into a HIP ATTACK! Taguchi is on wobbly legs, but he hot tags Okada! Okada rallies on LIJ with big forearms! He BOOTS Sanada, runs in and ELBOWS him down! Fans fire up with the world champion!
Okada whips Sanada corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Then a kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada drags Sanad around, ties up the legs and has the arms, STRETCH PLUM! Sanada endures, crawls forward, and grabs the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets off quickly, then he drags Sanada up. Okada gut wrenches, but Sanada fights free! Sanada waistlocks, Okada elbows free and runs, but into a low dropkick! Okada hobbles, and Sanada dropkicks him down! Tag to Naito! Fans rally and Naito stalks Okada, to sucker punch Umino! Okada CLUBS Naito, Naito fires off forearms in return! Naito whips, hip tosses, then basement dropkicks!
Naito brings Okada back up, whips him to a corner, then runs in, into a BOOT from Okada! Okada steps up, into a kick from Naito. Naito runs, into a FLAPJACK! Both men are down and fans fire up, hot tag to Umino! Umino aims, runs in at Naito, and RANAS! Umino BLASTS the LIJ corner, then he fires off forearms on Naito! Fans rally, Umino whips but Naito reverses. Umino holds ropes, BOOTS Naito, then sidesteps to hip toss! Umino keeps going, basement dropkick! Snapmare and Umino runs, for a SUNSET SENTON! Umino mocks the eyes-wide-open pose and fans fire up! Umino stalks Naito, drags him up, and whips him to a corner.
Umino runs in to elbow Naito, then brings him out for a FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect but the fans still fire up! Umino drags Naito up as fans rally. Umino clinches but Naito CLUBS him down. Naito throws a forearm but Umino just stares Naito down. Umino throws a forearm and eggs Naito on, so Naito throws a forearm! Umino throws a forearm, Naito gives it back, and fans rally as they go back and forth, faster and faster! Umino gets the edge, whips, but Naito reverses to ELBOW! Umino staggers, into an atomic drop! Naito throws back elbows! And then turns Umino for a NECKBREAKER!
Naito tags Bushi and Bushi climbs a corner. Fans fire up as Umino stands, and Bushi MISSILE DROPKICKS! Bushirooni! Sanada and Hiromu BLAST Okada and Yoh! Bushi & Hiromu whip Umino to a corner, Hiromu clotheslines and Bushi elbows! Feed to Hiromu’s mule kick, Sanada adds his front kick, and Bushi hits a BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO! Bushi drags Umino up, fisherman’s the leg, but Okada runs in to BOOT Bushi down! Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs! Yoh DROPKICKS Sanada down! Hiromu SUPERKICKS Yoh down! Taguchi HIP ATTACKS Hiromu! And HIP ATTACKS Naito!
Taguchi HIP- NO, Bushi hits an atomic drop! Umino staggers up, Bushi swings on him, but Umino blocks and spins Bushi around, only for Bushi to slip free! Umino blocks one kick and ducks the enziguri, but not the HEEL KICK! Bushi runs, into a pop-up UPPERCUT! Umino dragon sleepers, for the SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO! Bushi is still in this but fans fire up with Umino as he roars! Umino stalks Bushi, waits on him to rise, then reels him in! DEATH RIDER!! Cover, Umino’s team wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, Shota Umino, Ryusuke Taguchi & Yoh, by pinfall
The Roughneck takes down the Black Mask to win this for his team! Does this mean Shooter will shoot down Naito? Will Yoh take the title from the Best of the Super Juniors? And will the Rainmaker still reign through the New Beginnings? Or will everything still be tranquilo in 2023?
KOPW 2023 Provisional Championship MMA Rules Match: Shingo Takagi VS Great-O-Khan w/ The United Empire!
This match is for more than just the new blue belt the Rampaging Dragon has. The Dominator wants to prove his technical fighting skills, become a two belt champion, and take away Takagi’s shot at Okada’s IWGP World Heavyweight Championship! With nothing to lose and everything to gain, will Khan conquer NJPW for the United Empire? Or will Takagi beat Khan at his own game and then go right for the Rainmaker?
Per the rules, both men wear traditional martial arts gi, though Takagi still has his wrestling tights on under his. The introductions are raised, the KOPW belt is raised, but so much more is on the line!
The bell rings and fans rally as the two stare down. They approach, feel things out, and Khan gives some testing kicks. Takagi stays up and comes back to try again. They feel things out, but back away, and fans applaud the savvy. Khan then presses the offense, but Takagi rests against the ropes. Khan backs off, fans rally for Takagi as he and Khan reset. They feel things out, clinch, then break. They go again, fight for control, go around, but Takagi avoids a leg sweep. They tie up again, and Khan hits a takedown! Takagi clasps hands to fight the armbar, and he goes to roll Khan, but Khan keeps his shoulders up.
Khan shifts to get a triangle hold, but Takagi powers his way through. Khan fights off the lateral press, rolls things over, and then he tries for the lateral press. Takagi fights that so Khan wants the arm again! Takagi stacks Khan, then slips away before getting caught in the Triangle again. Both men egg each other on, and Khan has his leg guard up. Takagi keeps his distance as he goes around, Khan, then he drops to the mat to show he can do the leg guard, too! Khan rushes in, Takagi pushes him down and they clinch on the mat. Khan keeps his shoulders up and slips through to get a leg! The Empire applauds but Takagi gets the ROPEBREAK!
Fans cheer and Red Shoes calls the break, so Khan lets off. Fans applaud as the two reset again. Takagi and Khan feel out the grapple, grab at sleeves while kicking at legs, but then they clinch. Takagi puts Khan on the ropes, gives some short shoulder thrusts, then he throws Khan down! Takagi runs Khan over, then drops a SENTON! Cover, but Red Shoes reprimands! This is MMA rules, not pro-wrestling rules. Takagi sighs while Khan gets away to the outside. The Empire regroups, fans Khan off, and Ospreay wants a timeout. Red Shoes says those aren’t part of these rules, Khan has to return. Takagi waits, Khan slides in, and they reset again.
Khan and Takagi circle, feel things out, grab sleeves, then go around. Khan fights off a throw, gets free of Takagi’s grip, and they approach again. They tie up, clinch, fight for control, and fans cheer as each tries for a sweep. They end up on the ropes but Khan has control. Fans applaud as LIJ appears to be Takagi’s cornermen just like the Empire is for Khan. Khan and Takagi break, and they reset. Takagi and Khan go again as fans rally up. They feel out the grapple, clinch again, but Khan uses a grip on the collar. Takagi keeps Khan from tripping him, but Khan hits a MONKEY FLIP! Takagi bails out but the Empire puts him back in!
Khan is right on Takagi with a rear mount and a double wrist hold! Khan smothers Takagi into the mat but Takagi endures. Khan turns Takagi over but they end up in the ropes. Red Shoes reprimands and counts, but Khan lets off cleanly. Takagi bails out again but Ospreay pushes him back in! Khan drags Takagi up, and hits a SAYANAGI! Khan now has a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Takagi endures, Khan moves around, but Takagi pushes him over. Takagi fights the leg guard but ends up in a TRIANGLE! Khan rolls but Takagi grabs the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts, Khan lets off and Takagi goes to a corner.
Fans rally as the two reset again. Takagi shakes out his arm and he circles with Khan. They tie up, Takagi tries a throw but Khan smothers that. Khan gets around to then tie up a leg, CALF KILLER! And Khan adds an arm to the mix! Takagi endures so Khan rolls to have NAPALM DEATH! A very Zack Sabre Jr. style hold, but Takagi scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts, Khan lets go, and he rushes after Takagi to rear mount again. Khan SLAPS Takagi around, has a body scissors squeeze, but again Takagi gets a ROPEBREAK! Khan lets off, but then he scrapes Takagi out of the ring with a kick!
LIJ regroups and helps Takagi up and into the ring. It’s practically a Lumberjack match at this point. Takagi and Khan go again, clinch, but Khan drops to get an arm and leg! Takagi grabs a leg, too! They have DUELING HEEL HOOKS! Khan shifts around, grabs at the collar, but Takagi holds him off. Khan uses his legs to pry at the arm and then he has the HEEL HOOK! Takagi pops his arm free to get the ROPEBREAK! Khan lets go, but then he digs his knee into Takagi’s chest. Red Shoes reprimands and Takagi protests, but Khan digs his knee in! Khan talks trash, then jams Takagi before he finally backs off.
Fans rally for Takagi while he goes to the corner. Khan clinches but Takagi pushes him down and has a toehold! Khan endures, so Takagi shifts around. Khan wants the triangle but Takagi gets free again. Takagi shakes out his sore limbs but Khan is fairly cool. But then Takagi fires off forearms and knees! Strikes are still part of judo but he’s got Khan against the ropes! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Takagi lets off, and Khan rushes in! Khan fires off knees of his own! Khan backs Takagi to a corner, throws in more knees, but Red Shoes reprimands. Khan lets off, brings Takagi out, and then throws more knees!
Takagi is down and Red Shoes starts a standing count! Fans rally up and Takagi sits up at 4 of 10. Takagi uses ropes to drag himself up at 8 and fans applaud. Takagi headbutts the buckle to fire back up! Khan eggs Takagi on, they tie up again, and Khan tries for the throw! Takagi holds it off, pushes Khan to ropes, and uses the rebound for his SAYANAGI! And then PUMPING BOMBER! Takagi takes off the gi! Fans fire up as Takagi is gonna fight this his way! Takagi drags Khan up, whips him to ropes, and knees low! Then a DDT! Takagi runs to SLIDINGN LARIAT! And then Takagi throws down fists, before clamping on the KATA GATAME!
Takagi leans all his weight on Khan while Khan endures! Fans rally, Khan clasps hands to relieve pressure, then he pulls Takagi’s hair! Takagi sits back to pull on the hold, but Khan moves around! Red Shoes checks, but Khan reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! Takagi lets go and Khan bails out for a breather. But then LIJ hurry to grab him! Khan grabs railing, and the Empire rushes over! Naito holds them off, Hiromu and Sanada put Khan in the ring. Fans fire up and Takagi brings Khan up. Takagi fires off forearm after forearm, but Khan clinches again. Takagi tries to trip Khan, but Khan URENAGES Takagi!
Fans fire up as Khan and Takagi go to opposite corners. Khan and Takagi get up, they tie up again, and Khan throws Takagi down! Fans rally up, Khan and Takagi stand back up, and Khan roars as he rushes in! They clinch, go for trips, then clinch. Khan hits an STO into a KATA GATAME! Takagi clasps hands, kicks around, and gets the ROPEBREAK! But Khan rolls Takagi away from the ropes! Hiromu protests but Takagi endures again. Red Shoes reprimands, and Khan lets go in frustration. Khan opens up his gi, to SMOTHER Takagi with it! Khan also traps an arm but LIJ protests. Khan lets Takagi go to stomp him down.
Khan paces around Takagi, and then uses his BLACK BELT to choke Takagi! Hiromu gets on the apron to protest, but Akira runs in to BLAST him off the apron! Red Shoes reprimands Akira, Khan has Akira cool off, and Akira exits the ring. Khan goes back to Takagi to CHOKE him again! Red Shoes reprimands, Khan sits Takagi up and dumps him out of the ring! Khan CHOKES Takagi with the belt, practically hanging Takagi from the ropes! The Empire keeps LIJ away and Red Shoes is busy reprimanding them all! Akira fires forearms on Hiromu but Hiromu throws Akira away! Red Shoes sees what Khan is doing and makes him stop!
Fans rally for Takagi while Sanada helps Takagi with the belt. But Ospreay whips Naito into railing, and Henare does the same to Sanada! Red Shoes is busy with Akira and Hiromu as they brawl more, so Henare stands Takagi up! Ospreay hits an OSCUTTER to the floor! Henare puts Takagi in the ring, Khan gets Red Shoes’ attention and drags Takagi up. Khan kicks Takagi down, then drags him up, URENAGE! Khan wants the standing count so the count begins. Fans rally for Takagi but he’s still down at 5 of 10! LIJ coaches Takagi up, this is for both KOPW and his shot at Okada! Takagi drags himself up at 8 and stands at 9!
Takagi has his dukes up, but Khan uses an arm for a SAYANAGI! And then another SAYANAGI! Khan drags Takagi up by his arms, reels him in, but Takagi turns that to a SLEEPER! Fans fire up, but Khan grabs at Takagi’s hair. Khan slips around to SLEEPER! Khan hops on with body scissors! Takagi is fading with Khan as his backpack, but then he hits a BACKPACK SENTON! Both men are down, and Takagi goes to the apron! Takagi goes up the corner, for a DIVING KNEE DROP! Fans fire up with Takagi and the “OI! OI! OI!” Takagi stands Khan up, fires off boxing elbows, then HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Takagi ROCKS Khan, but runs into a SLEEPER!
Khan squeezes tight and Takagi is fading! Fans rally and Red Shoes checks. Takagi gets a second wind! Torture rack, LAST OF THE DRAGONS! Both men are down and fans fire up again! It’s a double down count! Fans rally, as do the Empire and LIJ! Takagi goes to a corner, stands at 5, but Khan is still down at 7! And at 8! Khan rises at 9, but the SLIDING FOREARM knocks him back down!! Takagi sits Khan up for HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Then a HALF NELSON SLEEPER! Khan flails, fights, but Takagi rolls him to have the body scissors! Khan endures, reaches out, but he’s fading! Khan is OUT, Takagi wins!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by submission (still Provisional KOPW 2023 Champion)
Though they didn’t quite stick to MMA rules the entire time, this was still one hell of a fight! The Rampaging Dragon slays the Dominator, will Khan have to go back to the drawing board on how to dethrone Takagi?
As for Takagi, he has the belt and an icepack, then gets a drink of water before talking on the mic. “Somehow, I was able to win.” Fans cheer that. Takagi says that yesterday, it was NJPW VS NOAH, and he was able to get revenge on Nakajima. Today, Takagi defended the KOPW Championship in an MMA Match, and he won against Khan. It goes to show that Shingo Takagi has no reason to be afraid of anyone or anything. So next, on February 11th in Osaka, is the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada. “And there’s something I want to say to the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. So, shall we bring him out here?”
Fans fire up and chant for “O-KA-DA!” Takagi waits, looks around, and here comes the Rainmaker! Okada has the world title on his shoulder, and Takagi says, “Since I interrupted you on January 4th and 5th, it’s only right I invite you here tonight.” Okada joins Takagi in the ring, and Takagi again says he has something important he wants to say to Okada. “I got through yesterday, I got through today, so next is our title match. I pulled through last year with a cheap KOPW 2022 trophy. Now, I have a KOPW 2023 belt. And now, I bring this into the main event. So, how about this? If you’re putting up that world title in the main event of Osaka, how about I put up the KOPW title, too?”
Fans like the sound of that! But Takagi has more to say. Takagi says that perhaps, for the first time ever, they have it be Winner Takes All under KOPW rules! How about it, Okada? Takagi hands the mic over, and Okada says, “Everyone knows that when I was IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I had a sixty minute best 2 out of 3 falls match that was pretty famous. So, the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship really should be about man to man, straight up pro-wrestling as it should be. The KOPW Division is incredible, but I don’t want two belts at the same time. I can’t love two, I only have eyes for one, and I only love the IWGP World Heavyweight title.”
Fans applaud Okada’s loyalty, but Okada continues to say that it seems Takagi can’t beat Okada without some kind of gimmicky set of rules. If that’s the case, then Takagi doesn’t deserve his title shot. Let’s just wrestle the NJPW way in Osaka! Takagi takes the mic back to say, “Yeah, I figured you’d say that. So I get it. In that case, after our match, I’ll be the double champ! So it will not be a double title match, it’ll just be the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. But it’ll be an all-out battle, and we’re going to beat the hell out of each other!” Fans cheer them sticking to the old school. Okada raises his belt for the photo op, then takes his leave.
Takagi continues to say that was a bit awkward. But to get things back on track, Takagi invites LIJ into the ring with him. He thanks his “lumberjacks” for helping him out, and notes that LIJ won against KONGO 3-2 last night in Yokohama. Takagi is KOPW Champion, Hiromu is IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but there is still more for LIJ to do! “Oi, Nagoya. You guys have had great energy all night! NAGOYA!” “OI!” “NAGOYA!” “OI!” “Osu! Let’s close out the main event here in Nagoya. From now on, as a group, as a whole, as a unit, we will rampage like a dragon!” Takagi drops the mic, LIJ poses together, but will they rise together in 2023?
Really good stuff out of NJPW, though I did again skip things because of limited time. But of course the Young Lions lost to Yano & Makabe, and I figured Suzuki’s new team would get the win over the House of Torture. I’m glad to see my idea of Suzuki feuding with Evil came true, even if it isn’t Suzuki-Gun anymore. And naturally TMDK’s new formation wins out with ZSJ sporting his new look. He’s clearly building towards his first NJPW World Television Championship feud with Tomohiro Ishii, and that should be an awesome match, even with the 15 minute time limit the NJPW World TV Division comes with. Bullet Club also gets an obvious win, Jado taking the loss. It feels like we’re building back to more Tanahashi VS Kenta, which is great because those two don’t disappoint.
The United Empire VS #Just4Guys being downgraded to 3v3 was a shame, but it was still a really good match. The Empire was the right choice to win here, but I still think each individual showdown can go either way. It’d be amazing if Douki & Kanemaru won the Junior Heavyweight Tag titles off TJP & Akira, especially as Douki has yet to hold any gold. We got a good 8 Man from Okada and his team against LIJ. Umino getting the win there was great for him, but I don’t see him beating Naito 1v1. Hiromu VS Yoh could go either way, but I’m leaning towards Hiromu retaining.
The MMA Rules match was not quite what I expected, but that’s probably because as an American, I’m conditioned to picture UFC or Bellator when the phrase “Mixed Martial Arts” comes up. This was more how Japan sees MMA, in that it was more the martial arts foundation of MMA. But at the same time, the match itself didn’t really pick up until they started throwing in all the pro-wrestling elements, such as the factions getting involved and both Takagi and Khan resorting to strikes. I do appreciate that Takagi now has a submission in his moveset, that half nelson sleeper is a pretty good answer to Okada’s Money Clip.
And good closing promo from both Takagi and Okada, in which I appreciate that Takagi appreciates Okada keeping things to a traditional singles match. Okada doesn’t want NJPW returning to a Two Belt Top Champ era, the very thing that gave us the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in the first place, and so that is how things will go. As great as Takagi is, Okada only just got the world title back, so Okada isn’t giving it up. And Takagi can still continue on past New Beginning to defend the KOPW title against whoever in whatever stipulations that they can come up with. Though Takagi may have to try really hard to come up with new stuff, the MMA Rules match probably one won because we already saw the First to 30 Count.
My Score: 8.6/10
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; McIntyre wins.
- Shayna Baszler VS Nia Jax; Nia wins.
- Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: #DIY VS Imperium; DIY wins.
- Natalya & Tegan Nox VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance; Carter & Chance win.
- The Creed Brothers w/ Ivy Nile VS JD McDonagh & Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley; win.
- 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.
Raw returns again and McIntyre ELBOWS Sami, then Reverse Alabama Lifts! For the REVERSE ALA- NO, Sami victory rolls! TWO!! Sami runs up, into a SPINEBUSTER! Jackknife bridge, TWO!! But McIntyre deadlift POWERBOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Sami survives and surprises even himself! The fans declare “This is Awesome!” but McIntyre snarls. McIntyre sits Sami up, fireman’s carries, and then goes up a corner! SUPER- NO, Sami flails and fights to a SUPER SUNSET FLIP BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives and Sami is beside himself! Sami hobbles up, fans rally behind him and he brings McIntyre around.
Sami reels McIntyre in but McIntyre fights the lift! Sami CLUBS away on McIntyre and fans fire up! Sami tries again, BLUE- NO, McIntyre fights free to GLASGOW KISS HEADBUTT! McIntyre then aims from the corner! Sami flounders up as the countdown begins! “THREE! TWO! ONE!” BOOT from Sami! BLUE THUNDER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives again and Sami can’t believe it! “This is Awesome!” as Sami and McIntyre rise again. Sami throws a haymaker, McIntyre gives it back. They stand, Sami CHOPS! McIntyre CHOPS in return! Both men wobble, McIntyre CHOPS again! Sami BOOTS! And BOOTS!
Sami whips, McIntyre reverses but Sami goes up and over. The leg jams! The ref keeps McIntyre back but he storms in, Sami ELBOWS McIntyre, then TOSSES him out! Sami thinks about it, he wants to build speed but the leg won’t let him do it! McIntyre sees a target, and he gets in to CHOP BLOCK! The ref reprimands and backs McIntyre off. McIntyre just aims, to CLAYMORE!!! Direct hit and McIntyre covers, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
No mercy from McIntyre, and that is how he wins! Will the Scottish Warrior force everyone’s hands by fighting his way to a title opportunity?
Zoey Stark finds Shayna Baszler backstage.
The Queen of Spades is getting ready, but then Byron Saxton walks over to ask a few questions. Shayna faces a former tag partner in Nia Jax- Look, she has one goal tonight. Shayna put Nia on the shelf by breaking her arm. So she’ll remind Nia of that, limb by limb. Shayna heads out, Zoey follows. Will the Irresistible Force run into that immovable object again tonight?
Jey Uso speaks.
“Tonight, I have a chance to do something I thought I’d never be able to do again. A few months ago, I had a chance to dethrone the Tribal Chief and become the WWE Undisputed Universal Champion. That moment was ripped away from me by the one man in this world I love the most, my Day One. My own twin brother. Man, that hurt me more than you could ever know. I couldn’t be around this business anymore, I had to walk away. I really convinced myself I was done. Until I got a call from Cody Rhodes.” Cody told Jey he couldn’t quit, he could have a fresh start to be his own man. And the more Jey thought about it, the more he realized Cody was right.
Jey’s whole life, he’s fought for others. For Roman, for his brothers, for his father. From now on, Jey fights for HIS legacy. Before the Bloodline, before record-breaking reigns, before the Uso Penitentiary, before the Day One, before the dance, the face paint, FCW and long ass training nights, making money, being broke… There was just Jey, Uce! So Seth Rollins, we know you’re about game. Rollins has fought against Jey, fought with Jey, but now you’re fighting a starving individual ready to eat! It’s just Jey now. Jey proves to the whole world, to Rollins, to his family and himself why he IS Main Event Jey Uso! But will he become World Champion Jey Uso?
Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.
Jackie Redmond shows Sami being checked by medical staff, but then McIntyre attacks! McIntyre throws Sami into road cases, rains down fists, and says Sami can’t talk about McIntyre’s family! They’re nothing alike! NOTHING! Sami brought this upon himself! Then he STOMPS the bad ankle!! Producers rush in to get McIntyre to leave, but has McIntyre just sidelined Sami for the rest of 2023?
Raw returns as Sami is being reevaluated.
The medics check the leg, Jey hurries over to say it’ll be alright, Uce. Jey looks around for McIntyre, will Jey be able to focus on his main event after this just happened?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
Byron is with The Man and asks about last week, her statement that… Oh, Nia walks in now. She tells “Barney” she has this. And Becky, she talked about some fights on the horizon. Does one include anyone in particular? Yes, Nia, it does. Nia would be number one because Becky had forgotten about her, as everyone had, but then Nia showed up on Becky’s interview and they never got to this. Becky still owes Nia a receipt. A receipt, huh? Well, once Nia squashes Shayna, she is all Becky’s. Becky can’t wait. The music hits, will we see a big time grudge match in the near future?
Shayna Baszler VS Nia Jax!
The bell rings and Nia runs in, but Shayna dodges to KICK and KICK! Nia blocks one, SLAPS Shayna, then TOSSES her! Shayna gest up in a corner, but Nia SPLASHES in the corner! Shayna flounders, Nia pushes her around and slaps her some more. Nia talks trash then TOSSES Shayna across the way! Nia runs back in, but Shayna dodges! Nia hits buckles, Shayna KNEES Nia down! Shayna then knuckle locks and twists that wrist, then goes up the corner for a HANGING ARMBAR! Nia endures, powers up, and POWERBOMBS Shayna down! Shayna gets out of the ring, Nia pursues, and fans rally up as Nia drags Shayna up.
Nia SMACKS Shayna off the desk, then SMACKS her off the apron! Nia brings Shayna around, fireman’s carries, but Shayna fights free! And she POSTS Nia! Shayna slides into the ring, then goes to the apron to PENALTY KICK the arm! Shayna isolates that arm, lets her hair down, and says Nia’s done! But Nia SWEEPS the legs! Shayna hits the apron, and Nia gets up to APRON LEG DROP! Fans boo as Shayna writhes and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Nia has Shayna in a neck wrench. Shayna endures, even as NIa leans on the hold. Fans rally, Shayna fights up, and she JAWBREAKERS free! Nia staggers, Shayna fires body shots and KICKS! Shayna ROCKS Nia into a corner, then runs, but Nia URENAGES Shayna down! Nia then drags Shayna up to POST her! Nia goes to the apron, lines up the shot, runs in and HIP ATTACKS against the post! Cover, TWO!! Shayna survives but Nia drags her up. Nia puts Shayna in a corner, throws body shots and slaps Shayna around, but Shayna fires off forearms! Shayna runs, but Nia scoops her! SIDEWALK SLAM!
Nia dribbles Shayna while taunting her, then she covers, TWO! Nia is frustrated but she drags Shayna up into a cobra clutch. Shayna endures, fans rally up, and Shayna throws elbows! Then kicks! And KICKS! And KICKS! Shayna runs, KICKS, then runs again. Another KICK but Nia still stays up! Shayna runs, dodges Nia, but Nia scoops to SAMOAN DROP! Shayna crawls to a corner, Nia runs in, but Shayna ducks and the hip attack hits buckles! Then Shayna hits a roll up into buckles! Shayna goes to the far corner, Nia crawls after her, but Shayna runs in to KNEE Nia down! Cover, TWO!! Nia survives and Shayna is frustrated.
Nia rises, Shayna KICKS! And KICKS! And KICKS, KICKS, KICKS! Fans fire up with each shot but Nia blocks one! Shayna gets free to BUZZSAW! Shayna runs, but Nia CLOBBERS her at the ropes! Nia pushes Shayna down, runs and SENTONS! Cover, TWO?!? Shayna survives and fans fire up! Nia is in disbelief, but she drags Shayna to a drop zone. Nia stomps Shayna, climbs up, but Shayna grabs a leg! ANKLE LOCK! Nia kicks Shayna away, but then Shayna returns, SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!! Both women have a crash landing and fans fire up! Shayna drags herself up while Nia stirs, and the fans rally behind her!
Shayna stalks Nia, KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Nia endures but she has Shayna on her as a backpack! Fans fire up, but Nia stands up! Shayna drags her back down! Shayna rear mounts again, leans all her weight on the hold, but Nia fights back up! BACKPACK SENTON!! Both women are down again as Nia sputters and coughs. But then she gets mad, and she drags Shayna to the drop zone! Nia climbs, soaks up the heat, A-NIA-LATOR!! Cover, Nia wins!
Winner: Nia Jax, by pinfall
Shayna tried but she could not be the immovable object to the Irresistible Force. Nia crushes the Queen of Spades, but here comes Becky! Fans fire up but Nia backs down! This collision is coming, but will Becky be that big time roadblock to Nia?
DIY talks backstage.
Gargano & Ciampa know what they gotta do, but then in walk Candice & Indi. They’ll be cheering DIY on, ready for back to back wins, and then they all stand at attention because Imperium walks in. Oh, yes, good, show respect. Look at this lovely couple. Yes, a lovely couple of losers! Oh, ow, wow. But it’ll be embarrassing to get beat twice in one match. Hopefully Papa Gunther won’t be too mad after. The Way heads out, and Ludwig reminds Giovanni this is important. Don’t mess up out there. Oh, he’s got it. He hopes Ludwig does, too. The dysfunction between Impeccable German and the Pride of Italy is growing, will it be their downfall?
Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: #DIY VS Imperium!
Raw returns as Imperium makes their entrance. The teams sort out and Ciampa starts against Ludwig. The fans rally behind DIY as we start this first fall, and the two circle. Ciampa and Ludwig tie up, go around, and Ludwig puts Ciampa in a corner. The ref counts, Ludwig lets off slowly, but Ciampa avoids the cheap shot to ROCK and CHOP and repeat! Ciampa whips corner to corner, Ludwig reverses and runs in. He blocks a boot, “NEIN!” UPPERCUT! Ludwig stands over Ciampa, drags him up and bumps him off buckles. Ludwig ROCKS Ciampa, tags Vinci, and Vinci RAMS into Ciampa! Vinci then stays between Ciampa and Gargano to stomp Ciampa.
Vinci throws hands and UPPERCUTS, but Ciampa hits back! They brawl, Ciampa has the edge and whips, but Vinci ducks ‘n’ dodge to CROSSBODY! Fans boo but Vinci stomps Ciampa. Vinci KNEES Ciampa in the back, then he stomps Ciampa more. Vinci talks trash, stands Ciampa up and UPPERCUTS! Vinci CLUBS Ciampa in the back, tags Ludwig, and Imperium mugs Ciampa. Ludwig looms over Ciampa, then scrapes his soles off Ciampa’s face! Ludwig taunts Gargano, fans boo, but Ludwig smirks as he whips Ciampa. Ludwig ELBOWS Ciampa down, covers, TWO! Fans rally but Ludwig clamps onto Ciampa with a chinbar and armlock.
Ciampa fights up, fans rally harder as they go around and around, and Ciampa sends Ludwig into buckles! Fans fire up, Ciampa crawls, but Ludwig anchors the feet! Ciampa ENZIGURIS, but Ludwig still holds on! Ciampa fires forearms, Ludwig keeps him from Gargano to then dodge. But Ciampa dodges, hot tag to Gargano! Fans fire up as Gargano JUMP KICKS Ludwig, then schoolboy rolls and KICKS Vinci! Gargano rallies on Ludwig, whips him to ropes, but Ludwig reverses. Gargano ducks ‘n ‘dodges to tilt-o-whirl, LA MYSTICA! Fans fire up with Johnny Wrestling and he runs in at the corner, but Ludwig puts him on the apron!
Gargano GAMANGIRIS, then he avoids Vinci to SUPERKICK! SLINGSHOT SPEAR on Ludwig! Fans fire up again and Gargano tags Ciampa back in. DIY set up in corners, Ludwig sits up, but Vinci trips Gargano! Ludwig avoids the knee, rolls Ciampa with tights, Imperium scores!
DIY: 0; Imperium: 1
Fans boo as Imperium takes the crucial first fall! But while Vinci & Ludwig gloat, Gargano gets back up, CANNONBALL takes out Vinci! Ciampa PLANCHAS Ludwig down! DIY sits on the desk, and they pat themselves on the backs while applauding! Fans applaud and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Ludwig tags in but the fans rally for “D I Y! D I Y!” Ludwig stands Gargano up but Gargano fires forearms! Ludwig shoves, Gargano returns, tilt-o-whirl FACEBUSTER! Then Ludwig BLASTS Ciampa! Tag to Vinci, Imperium sets Gargano up in the ropes, DOUBLE DROPKICKS in the corner! Vinci drags Gargano up, CLUBS him, then covers, TWO! Fans taunt “BALDY! BALDY!” as he clamps onto Gargano with shoulder claws. Gargano fights up, fights free, and he throws forearms on Imperium! Vinci kicks low, reels Gargano in, then Ludwig goes up! Ciampa anchors Ludwig, Gargano victory rolls Vinci, DIY scores!
DIY: 1; Imperium: 1
And we’re all tied up! Imperium is shocked, but then they rush Gargano! Gargano dodges them both, hot tag to Ciampa! Ciampa rallies on Imperium, he fires off forearms and CHOPS! Fans fire up, Imperium mugs Ciampa and double whip. Ciampa ducks the lariats to DOUBLE LARIAT Imperium! Dragon sleeper for Vinci, clinch for Ludwig, COMPLETE SHOT DDT COMBO! Gargano is back, Ciampa tags him in. They meet at the corner, CLOTHESLINE ENZIGURI COMBO! Then BACK SUPLEX BOMB COMBO! Cover, Ludwig breaks it! Ciampa whips but Ludwig reverses to TOSS Ciampa! Gargano DUMPS Ludwig!
Vinci runs in, Gargano dodges then fakes out to mule kick! Gargano runs, but into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Gargano hangs in there, but Vinci tags Ludwig. Ludwig goes up again, Vinci lifts Gargano, but Gargano fights to RANA Vinci away! Ludwig still leaps, but Gargano ROCKS him! Gargano runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, but Ludwig hits the ROLLING DEATH VALLEY! PENALTY KICK! Tag to Vinci and Vinci double jump TOP ROPE MOONSAULTS! Cover, Ciampa breaks it! Fans fire up as all four men are down! Ludwig storms up on Ciampa to throw a forearm, but Ciampa gives it back!
Ciampa and Ludwig brawl, the ref reprimands as they’re not the legal men! Ludwig gets the edge, spins, but Gargano SUPERKICKS him! Vinci is up, he blocks Ciampa’s boot to CHOP! Gargano ENZIGURIS Vinci! Ludwig DISCUS LARIATS Ciampa! Gargano BUZZSAWS Ludwig! Vinci KICKS and reels Gargano in, but Gargano counters the bomb with a DDT! All four men are down again and the fans really fire up! Fans rally up, “This is Awesome!” Gargano and Vinci crawl, hot tags to Ciampa and Ludwig! Ciampa dodges Ludwig but then Ludwig elbows him! Ciampa BOOTS, puts Ludwig up top, and then climbs up after him!
Fans fire up as Ciampa fireman’s carries Ludwig, for the SUPER AIR RAID CRASH! Tag to Gargano and DIY set up in corners! Fans are thunderous for- NO, Vinci trips Ciampa and drag shim out! But Ciampa sends Vinci into steps! Gargano runs in, Ludwig rolls him up with tights again! TWO!! Ciampa sneaks a tag, Ludwig runs in but gets a haymaker! SUPERKICK! BOOT! And then, MEET IN THE MIDDLE!! Cover, DIY wins!!
Winners: DIY, by pinfall, 2-1
Fans fire up as DIY makes the comeback to take the match! Will this help Ciampa & Gargano head for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships? As for Imperium, Vinci tells Ludwig he’s gotta go explain to Gunther what went wrong. Is what’s wrong with Imperium simply their attitudes?
Tegan Nox & Natalya prepare backstage.
They’re getting ready for Kayden Carter & Katana Chance, but Chelsea Green & Piper Niven walk over. Look, it’s Kitty Cat Natty and Rainbow Head… Uh, um, what’s her name again? TEGAN! Oh, right, Tegan. Well, the champs were gonna head out but they heard Natty & Nox have a match tonight. It’s so “cute” that they’re trying to make this work. Get over it, Natty! This is not your meal ticket, move on, it’s over, nobody’s buying this. Nox goes after Chelsea but Natty holds her back. Natty says after they win tonight, they’ll take another shot at the titles, and they won’t miss. Chelsea says she and Piper will miss this. “Let’s go, P.”
Chelsea & Piper walk away, and Natty says someone needs to buy that mutt a muzzle. Will the Queen of Harts & Welsh Firecracker rebound? Or will KC Squared have the winning formula?
The New Day is with The Creed Brothers backstage.
Julius & Brutus have Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston on their shoulders respectively, and are doing squats! The New Day is all fired up! They then hop down and that’s why the Creeds are the #1 contenders! They feel great about it, too! What a match last week. And it’s all good, just watch out for Judgment Day. Julius says yeah, they were facing some GOATs so they’ll be ready. But then “SHOOOOOSH~!” Chad Gable walks in with the Academy. But just kidding. They’re happy for the Creeds, too. And take it from another pair of former champions, the road only gets tougher from here. If you wanna take the training up a notch, stop on by, Chad will give you a taste of the Gable Method.
The Creeds appreciate that, but for now, they stick with their secret weapon, Ivy Nile. Ivy will neutralize Rhea for them tonight. Ivy says Rhea may be one of the toughest women here, but Ivy is not backing down. Maxxine says she knows all about that. Ivy’s been hitting some impressive lifts. Wait, Maxxine, don’t sell yourself shorts. We know how strong she’s gotten since replacing Pilates with squats! Tozawa! Assume the position. Maxxine lifts Tozawa and does the squats! Everyone fires up, but will Julius & Brutus have the power they need to take down Dirty Dom & The Irish Ace?
Judgment Day talks backstage, too.
Damian Priest says no way this is happening again. But surprise! R-Truth is back! And he got them a TV! JD, didn’t you say you were gonna deal with Truth? Deal? Truth’s the one who got the best deal on this TV! LCD! Priest already said you have to leave! Truth says yeah “Jackie D,” nobody likes you, you gotta go. Truth, YOU aren’t Judgment Day! You never will be! Get out of the clubhouse, NOW! Right? Priest says yeah, but we can take it easy. Truth says okay, he’ll get out of “our” clubhouse, but they need to talk security. Truth leaves, Priest brings up McIntyre talking all this nonsense, like he’s Rhea or something, acting like they wanted him on the team!
McIntyre is acting like he can’t be dealt with as easy as everyone else! Dom says Mami said no one touches McIntyre. Mami this, Mami that! Priest says Rhea isn’t here, and neither is Finn, so he has to take lead. That means tonight, Dom & McDonagh handle The Creeds! They will learn why The Judgment Day runs things around here! Dom & JD nod, head out, and Priest does admit, they need to lock up around here. The TV doesn’t even work! But will things be alright without Rhea & Finn around?
Natalya & Tegan Nox VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance!
We saw Natty & Nox tell Chelsea & Piper off, but will they follow through on their word to make their way back up the ladder? Or will Carter & Chance get the party started in Albany?
Raw returns and Chelsea & Piper are on commentary. The Hot Mess says this is her- er, their show now. Piper says if teams want at the titles, line them up and she will knock ’em down. Oh, and Chelsea will be there, too. Nox makes her entrance, followed by Natty. The teams sort out, Nox starts against Kayden and they circle. They tie up, Kayden wrenches and wristlocks but Nox bridges, rolls and handsprings to wrench back. Tag to Natty, she waistlocks to trip Kayden, then rolls to facelock. Kayden wrenches out, facelocks, tag to Katana. Katana rolls Natty up, TWO! Natty runs Katana over, then drags her around.
Natty deadlifts Katana, fireman’s carries, and presses Katana, for the POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Natty drags Katana back, steps through, but Katana kicks her away. Natty runs up, Katana ELBOWS her away, tag to Kayden. They table top Natty, Kayden and Katana combine, WHEELBARROW SUPLEX SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Kayden whips Natty to the corner, runs in and SPLASHES! Kayden goes side to side, tags Katana, and Katana traps Natty as Kayden runs back in, DROPKICK! Katana snapmares Natty, runs up, but Natty gets under to back suplex! Kayden tags back in, Katana escapes then slides under Natty, and Kayden BULLDOGS!
Natty crawls, Kayden drags her back, but Natty boots her away! Tag to Nox before the BOOT! Nox then runs in to UPPERCUT! Nox BOOTS Katana, rallies on Kayden, then fires off haymakers! Nox suplexes, but Kayden slips free! Kayden dodges Nox to EDDY GORDO KICK! Nox flops, Kayden runs in, but Nox dodges! Natty gets fans rallying for Nox and she UPPERCUTS! But Katana sneaks a tag! Nox CANNONBALLS Kayden, goes up a corner, and MOLLY-GO-ROUND!! But Katana COMPLETE SHOTS Nox! Cover, Natty breaks it! Natty gets fans going for Nox again and Nox crawls. Hot tag to Natty!
Fans rally as Natty spins but Katana dodges to CODE BREAKER! Katana puts Natty in the corner, tags Kayden, and KC Squared gets Natty up top. But Natty SLAPS them both on the back! And she DOUBLE POWERBOMBS them down! Cover, TWO!! Kayden survives after that rough landing, Chelsea acts like she’s not nervous. Natty CLUBS Kayden, rebounds her off ropes but Kayden victory rolls through to then SUPERKICK! Piper likes that one, 10 outta 10. Kayden tags Katana and Katana goes up to handstand on Kayden’s shoulders. KEG STAND SPLASH! Cover, KC SQUARED WIN!
Winners: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance
Chelsea is furious, but what was she expecting? A draw? She yells at them, but then Kayden gives Katana a boost to DROPKICK Chelsea down! Will the tag team champions have to be ready for a party? The celebration of their reign ending?
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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