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Mitchell’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 17 Results & Report! (1/4/23)

New year, new champions?

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NJPW is back in the Tokyo Dome!

As a new year begins, NJPW settles scores from last year with WrestleKingdom 17! Will Switchblade Jay White still be IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? Or will Kazuchika Okada once again make it rain?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ryohei Oiwa VS Boltin Oleg; Time Limit Draw.
  • KOPW 2023 Right to Challenge New Japan Rambo: Shingo Takagi, Great-O-Khan, SHO & Toru Yano advance to the KOPW 2023 match at New Year’s Dash.
  • Antonio Inoki Memorial Six Man Tag: Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe VS Tiger Mask, Minoru Suzuki & Tatsumi Fujinami; Nagata, Kojima & Makabe win.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Catch 2/2 VS YOH & Lio Rush; Catch 2/2 wins and retains the titles.
  • IWGP Women’s Championship: KAIRI VS Tam Nakano; Kairi wins and retains the title.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Bishamon; Bishamon wins and become the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
  • NJPW World Television Championship Tournament Finals: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Ren Narita; ZSJ wins and is the inaugural NJPW World Television Champion.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Karl Anderson VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
  • Six Man Tag, Keiji Muto’s Last NJPW Match: Keiji Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shota Umino VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Muto, Tanahashi & Umino win.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4 Way: Taiji Ishimori VS El Desperado VS Hiromu Takahashi VS Master Wato; Hiromu wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Kenny Omega; Omega wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Kazuchika Okada; Okada wins and becomes the new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

KOPW 2023 Right to Challenge New Japan Rambo!

Another year in the books for KOPW, but now we start all over again! With the trophy being traded in for a title, who will be the four at the end of this going for gold at New Year’s Dash?

The first two are the Murder Machine, Sho, and The Lion of Hontai, Hikuleo! Sho wants Hiku to take it easy, but the bell rings and the two circle. They approach, Sho pulls the “what’s that?” trick, and then fires off forearms! Hiku doesn’t budge! Sho dodges Hiku’s haymaker and runs the ropes, but into a scoop! Hiku aims for ropes but Sho flails, slips free, and then slides out under the bottom rope! Fans boo, but Hiku goes up and over the top rope! Well, wait, he can’t eliminate himself, can he? Sho still laughs as he leads Hiku on a cat ‘n’ mouse chase, but then Hiku goes the other way and BOOTS Sho down!

Hiku drags Sho up and puts him back in the ring. The countdown is here, and next out is… The King of Darkness, Evil! Sho has reinforcements as Evil, and Dick Togo, rush to the ring! Hiku has Sho up in a choke grip, but Evil slides in to save Sho! The House of Torture works together against Hiku, they double whip him, but Hiku BOOTS Evil! And scoops Sho to give him SNAKE EYES, and a LARIAT! Fans fire up for Hiku as he runs at Evil. Evil pulls the ropes down but Hiku is smarter than that. Hiku stops himself and stomps Evil down! Hiku drags Evil up, choke grips, and CHOKE- NO, Evil slips out! EVERY- NO, Hiku slips free, FULL NELSON SLAM!

The countdown is back and fourth out is… the Stone Pitbull, Tomohiro Ishii! Evil crawls out of the ring under the bottom rope and Dick checks on him. Ishii storms down to the ring while Hiku grabs at Sho in the corner. Hiku drags Sho around but Sho pushes him away. Ishii throws his shirt at Hiku, and Hiku steps up to him. Hiku mocks Ishii’s height, but then he and Ishii both go after Sho! Ishii holds Sho for Hiku to CHOP! Then BOOT, forearm, and BRAIN- Wait, Ishii turns on Hiku by saving Sho! They DOUBLE SUPLEX Hiku! Ishii stomps Hiku, and the countdown is back. Fifth out is… The Dominator, Great-O-Khan!

Ishii stomps Sho now as Khan makes his way to the ring. Hiku ROCKS Ishii with forearms but Ishii HEADBUTTS back! Sho also bails out under the bottom rope, the House of Torture regroups. Hiku CHOPS Ishii, CHOPS him again, Khan slides in but then slides right out. The Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Champion is smarter than that. Hiku knocks Ishii down and rains down forearms while Khan shows off his title. Hiku CHOKES Ishii, then drags him up. The countdown is back, and sixth out is… Japones Del Mal, DOUKI! Khan gets in the ring to CLUB Hiku and Mongolian Chop Ishii! Douki tosses his pipe aside to slide in, but Khan is right on him!

Khan whips but Douki RANAS Khan away! Douki keeps moving, SPRINGBOARD BACK ELBOW! Khan bails out, Evil gets in to CLUB Ishii! Douki slides out after Khan. Ishii holds ropes to dump Evil to the apron! Ishii ROCKS Evil but Dick keeps Evil up! Evil rakes Ishii’s eyes! Evil suplexes but Ishii slips free! They’re both on the apron but Dick is pulling on Ishii’s leg! Ishii holds onto ropes, and onto Evil! Evil has to hold onto ropes to keep from being eliminated, too! The countdown is back, and seventh is… Azucar, Rocky Romero! The King Coach is back, and he grabs Evil’s leg! Evil shots to Sho, but Rocky DECKS Dick!

Rocky runs in to KNEE Sho! Rock whips, Sho reverses, but Rocky uses that to ROCK Evil! Sho runs in but Rocky dodges, Sho BLASTS and ELIMINATES Evil!! Sho freaks out but Rocky gets him for a snap suplex! Fans fire up with Rocky and he whips Sho to a corner! Rocky starts up the Forever Clotheslines! The countdown is back, and eighth is… Fang Revived, KENTA! Rocky finally stops the lariats, and he keeps Sho from running away! He power walks to the ring, Sho slips away, but Ishii and Rocky are on guard. Rocky snags Khan as he crawls in, and Ishii is after Kenta! Kenta rakes Ishii’s eyes, then fires off haymakers!

Ishii growls but Kenta keeps throwing hands! Ishii ROCKS Kenta, HEADBUTTS him, and pulls hair! Kenta claws Ishii’s face! The ref reprimands, Kenta puts Ishii through ropes! Ishii fights back but Kenta HOTSHOTS him! The countdown is back and ninth is… The Heel Master, Yoshinobu Kanemaru! Rocky fights off Khan, Hiku mugs Sho on the outside, and Rocky now has Khan’s leg in the ropes. The ref reprimands, Kanemaru slides in and attacks Kenta! Kanemaru CLUBS and ROCKS Kenta but Kenta ROCKS him back! Kanemaru CLUBS Kenta down, then he kicks Rocky. Kenta comes back with forearms but Kanemaru EuroUppers!

Ishii hits Kenta from below, Kanemaru kicks Kenta from behind. Kanemaru EuroUppers again, then CLUBS him on the neck. The countdown is back, and tenth is… The Ultimate Weapon, Aaron Henare! Khan has reinforcements now, and Henare goes right after Ishii! Henare whips Ishii but Ishii comes back to RAM shoulders! And again! And again! The forearms start flying and fans fire up! Kanemaru keeps Kenta down, Khan has Rocky, and Henare gets the edge on Ishii! But Ishii swings! Henare ducks to body shot, but Ishii blocks the kick! Ishii ROCKS Henare, but Henare scoops him for a BERSERKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!

Khan calls to Henare and they work together as the countdown is back. Eleventh is… The Funky Weapon, Ryusuke Taguchi! Henare and Ishii keep throwing forearms, Khan saves Henare from a cover. Kanemaru dropkicks Kenta’s legs while the Empire mugs Ishii. Henare puts Ishii on the apron! Ishii fights back against Henare and Khan! But #Khanare hits the SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Ishii falls, The United Empire ELIMINATES Ishii! Taguchi HIP ATTACKS Henare! And HIP ATTACKS Khan! Taguchi stomps Khan, Hiku is still after Sho on the outside. Ishii throws forearms on Henare even though he’s out of this!

Taguchi uses his shirt to CHOKE Khan! The ref reprimands, the countdown is back, and twelfth is… The Imperial Unit, Jeff Cobb! The United Empire is growing stronger in this match! Taguchi & Rocky double whip Khan to DOUBLE HIP ATTACK! Cover, but Rocky breaks it? Guess not even former teammates are friends in this match. Hiku goes after Kanemaru but Kanemaru dropkicks his legs out! Sho is helping Rocky from the outside by pulling Taguchi’s hair! Douki returns to help Kanemaru! Dropkick to Hiku’s leg and ENZIGURI! Douki & Kanemaru try but they can’t double suplex Hiku! Hiku DOUBLE SUPLEXES them! Khan covers Kanemaru, but Taguchi stops him!

Hiku TOSSES Douki and ELIMINATES him! Then Hiku TOSSES Kanemaru out and ELIMINATES him, too! Not a good start for the former Suzuki-Gun members. But Cobb CLUBS Hiku! They brawl, the countdown is back, and thirteenth is… Hysterical Shane Haste! Hiku CHOPS Cobb down, Taguchi traps Henare in a corner, and Haste gets in to throw uppercuts on Rocky! Then an INVERTED EXPLODER! Fans fire up, Shane drags Rocky up, and he reels Rocky in for a POWER- RANA from Rocky! Cobb hoists Hiku up, Khan tries to help, but Hiku CLUBS them both away! Rocky covers Haste, TWO!

Rocky kicks Shane while he’s down, the countdown is back, and Kenta is after Taguchi. The fourteenth is… Mikey Nicholls! TMDK is quickly united! Hiku saves Taguchi from Kenta and Henare, Shane keeps after Rocky. Mikey hurries up but Rocky DECKS him! Shane turns Rocky around but Rocky ROCKS him! Rocky knuckle locks, CHOPS, and goes up, but Mikey is there to trip him! Shane DROPKICKS and ELIMINATES Rocky! Taguchi ROCKS Shane, aims from the corner, BUM-A- NO!! THOUSAND YEARS OF DEATH!! Shane counters the Funky Weapon with its one weakness! Mikey scoops Taguchi, for TANK BUSTER! Cover, TMDK ELIMINATES Taguchi!

Khan rolls Mikey up but Shane breaks it! The countdown is back, and fifteenth is… Tokyo Pimp, Yujiro Takahashi! The House of Torture is at full force! The United Empire mugs Shane while Yujiro jogs his way to ringside. Kenta and Mikey brawl with forearms, Hiku goes after Sho, and Kenta claws Mikey’s eyes. Yujiro hits Hiku, brings him around, but Hiku BOOTS him before the cane shot! Cobb ROCKS Hiku, ROCKS him some more, but Hiku choke grips! Khan grabs Hiku with an IRON CLAW! But Hiku choke grips Khan! Cobb SUPERKICKS Hiku! Cobb whips Khan at Hiku, and Khan clotheslines Hiku up and out to ELIMINATE him!

The countdown is back, and sweet sixteen is… The Producer, Toru Yano! The man who helped put KOPW on the map is here! Shane goes after Cobb, he and Mikey hoist Cobb up but Cobb fights out of Thunder Valley! But TMDK still work together, and they DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE Cobb up and out! TMDK ELIMINATES Cobb!! Henare fires off on the Mighty but they mug him back! Mikey scoops Henare and Shane goes up, but Henare shoves Mikey into Shane! Shane tumbles out, Mikey ELIMINATES Shane!! Henare then DECKS Mikey! Khan drags Mikey up, HITSUJIGOROSHI! Henare grabs the legs, FUBUKI!

Khanare carries Mikey to the ropes, they dump him out with MARINE to ELIMINATE him!! The United Empire has two, and they wait on Bullet Club. The countdown is back as Kenta fires off on Khan and then Henare. The seventeenth out is… The Headbanga, El Phantasmo! Bullet Club just grows stronger in this match! But Khan pulls Kenta’s shirt over his head! But Sho goes after Khan by clawing his eyes! ELP takes his time strutting to ringside as Sho stomps Khan down. Kenta joins in on that, and Yujiro hits Yano on the outside. ELP CLAWS Khan’s back! Then he rolls and CLAWS Henare’s back!

Fans fire up as House of Torture and ELP Too Sweet. But Henare throws body shots and a KICK! ELP flounders to ropes, Henare rushes in, but ELP holds the ropes down! Henare tumbles to the apron but he stays up! ELP ROCKS Henare but Henare ROCKS ELP! They brawl with the ropes between them! The countdown is back again as ELP gives Henare PURPLE NURPLES! Henare falls, ELP ELIMINATES Henare! But eighteenth in is… The Holy Emperor, Taichi! He lip syncs his way to the ring while ELP does jumping jacks. ELP slips away as Taichi slides in. Taichi’s the only one in the ring!

Khan and Henare go after the House of Torture, ELP helps turn the tides. Yano slides into the ring but Taichi CLOBBERS him! Khan rushes in, he and Taichi go sumo on this! They clinch as the countdown returns! Taichi THROWS Khan! Fans fire up, but twentieth in is… SHINGO TAKAGI!? Didn’t he say he was done with KOPW?! Perhaps the allure of going back-to-back was too much for him to resist! Taichi is ready for the Rampaging Dragon so that they can continue their feud from 2022! Taichi kicks Khan out so he and Takagi can have the entire ring! They DOUBLE BOMBER! And then again! And again!

Taichi SOBATS, runs, but Takagi clotheslines him at the ropes! Takagi runs, but into a clinch! Takagi resists, but Taichi THROWS him! Fans fire up even more for Taichi! Taichi dares Bullet Club to try something now, so they all get in! ELP, Kenta, Sho & Yujiro surround Taichi, and they all rush him together! They hoist Taichi up, and Takagi joins in! They all dump and ELIMINATE Taichi! Perhaps Taichi was too ambitious. Sho keeps Yano out of the ring while Kenta and Yujiro mug Takagi. ELP and Sho mug Yano, Kenta & Yujiro double whip. Takagi ducks to shove Kenta into Yujiro! Then he clinches Kenta, reels in Yujiro, COMPLETE SHOT DDT COMBO!

Takagi then DOUBLE PUMPING BOMBERS! Takagi TOSSES and ELIMINATES Yujiro! And then TOSSES and ELIMINATES Kenta! Sho storms up but into ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! ELP CLAWS Daddy Takagi! ELP runs, but into an ELBOW! ELP SUPERKICKS! Takagi JABS! ELP FOREARMS! Takagi YU- NO, ELP begs for mercy from Daddy. ELP says, “Papa!” He wants a hug? Takagi doesn’t trust ELP but the fans want to see the hug. Takagi obliges, and they hug! But then Takagi blocks the dick punch! ELP knees low, whips, but Takagi reverses! ELP goes to the apron, Takagi runs in to BLAST ELP! But ELP lands on the railing!

Yujiro is there, too, he confirms ELP’s feet are on the railing, not the floor! ELP is safe! Takagi stomps Khan while Kenta and Yujiro carry ELP to the ring! ELP is on the apron, he and Takagi start throwing hands! Takagi HEADBUTTS but ELP ROUNDHOUSES! ELP hooks Takagi, Sho runs in, but Takagi BOOTS Sho! Takagi elbows ELP, baits Sho in, and then sends Sho into ELP! ELP wobbles, leg hooked in the ropes! Takagi runs in, ELP holds the ropes! Takagi tumbles to the apron! ELP fires off forearms on Takagi! ELP calls to Sho, Sho runs in again, but Takagi pulls ELP in the way, Sho BLASTS and ELIMINATES ELP!! And that’s it! We have our four!

Winners: Shingo Takagi, Great-O-Khan, Sho & Toru Yano (advance to New Year’s Dash)

The Rampaging Dragon, the Dominator, the Murder Machine, and perhaps by sheer luck, The Producer, all make it to the Fatal 4 Way! Will Takagi pull off the repeat? Will Khan or Sho change the status quo? Or will the Clown Prince return to his former glory?

 

Antonio Inoki Memorial Six Man Tag: Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe VS Tiger Mask, Minoru Suzuki & Tatsumi Fujinami!

To celebrate the legacy of the legend that founded this company, six legends in their own right come together for this match! Even THE Tiger Hattori is calling this special match! Who will best embody Inoki’s Fighting Spirit that Burns here tonight?

The teams sort out and Blue Justice steps up against The Dragon. The fans rally up as the two circle. They tie up, clinch, and Nagata puts Fujinami on the ropes. Fujinami turns it around, Hattori calls for the break, and Fujinami lets off clean. Fans applaud as the two reset. They tie up again, Nagata goes for a waistlock but Fujinami switches. Nagata wrenches free to have a wristlock, but Fujinami turns that around on Nagata. Fujinami hammerlocks but Nagata reaches back to facelock. They end up on ropes again, Hattori calls the break, and Nagata lets off. Fans applaud again as the two reset.

Nagata and Fujinami tie up again, and Nagata gets the headlock. Fujinami powers out, Nagata runs Fujinami over, but Fujinami gets back up. Nagata fires off kicks, but Fujinami blocks for a DRAGON SCREW! Fans cheer seeing the move from the man who invented it! Fujinami tags Suzuki and fans rally up as two rivals meet again. Suzuki grins, then SLAPS Nagata, but Nagata SLAPS back! Suzuki SLAPS, Nagata SLAPS, the SLAP fight is on! Fans fire up but Suzuki kicks low. Nagata falls over and Suzuki stomps away on Nagata’s leg! Suzuki then drags Nagata up and puts him in the corner. Suzuki CHOPS, then tags Tiger Mask.

Tiger Mask KICKS Nagata, KICKS and SOBATS! Nagata flounders but Tiger stomps him down. Tiger snapmares Nagata and has the motorcycle stretch. Tiger Mask then ELBOWS Nagata in the head and KICKS him in the back! Nagata gets up, throws body shots, but Tiger puts him in the corner. Suzuki holds Nagata so Tiger can fire off haymakers and KICKS! Tag to Fujinami and he stomps Nagata. Fujinami CLUBS Nagata but Nagata hits back with forearms! Fujinami CHOPS, Nagata throws another forearm, repeat! Fans fire up, Fujinami DRAGON PALMS! Tag to Suzuki and he stomps away on Nagata. Hattori counts, Suzuki stands Nagata up.

Suzuki ROCKS Nagata with forearm after forearm, but Nagata ROCKS Suzuki back! Fans cheer as Nagata eggs Suzuki on. Suzuki fires off more forearms, Nagata wobbles, but Nagata ROCKS Suzuki back! Suzuki swings, into the EXPLODER! Fans fire up as Nagata crawls, hot tag to Kojima! Kojima stomps Suzuki in the corner! And fires off Machine Gun CHOPS! Fans fire up but Suzuki eggs Kojima on! Kojima CHOPS, Suzuki talks trash, so Kojima reloads and Machine Gun CHOPS again! Kojima whips corner to corner, runs in and forearm smashes! Kojima shoves Suzuki aside, fans shout along with Kojima, but Suzuki BOOTS Kojima! Suzuki tells the fans to shut up!

Suzuki drags Kojima up but Kojima fires off forearms. Kojima spins but into a knee! Suzuki whips Kojima to a corner to BOOT! Suzuki snapmares Kojima, runs, but Kojima blocks the kick to CLUB the leg! Kojima then ROCKS Suzuki with a forearm! Suzuki eggs Kojima on and the forearms start flying! Fans rally as they go back and forth, faster and faster! Kojima gets the edge, but Suzuki laughs it off. Suzuki DECKS Kojima! Tag to Tiger Mask, he and Suzuki double whip. They dropkick the legs, then DOUBLE KICK! Suzuki then ROCKS Kojima, Tiger SOBATS and TIGER DRIVERS! Cover, TWO!! Kojima is still in this but Tiger looms over him.

Tiger sits Kojima up to CHOP! Then he CHOPS Kojima while he’s down! And again! Tiger stands Kojima up to ROCK him with a right. But Kojima hits back, to hit the COZY CUTTER! Fans fire up, hot tag to Makabe! The Gorilla BLASTS Suzuki and Fujinami! Then he whips Tiger to a corner for a clothesline! Makabe climbs up and rains down fists! Fans clap along as Makabe goes to ten! Makabe laughs, brings Tiger out, but Tiger fights the Northern Lights! Tiger knees low, whips Makabe to ropes, and Fujinami is there to kick low! Makabe kicks back but Fujinami blocks! DRAGON SCREW! Suzuki intercepts Nagata in the corner!

Suzuki whips Nagata and Fujinami gets a leg, DRAGON SCREW! Kojima kicks, but into a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up as Fujinami takes down all three opponents! Suzuki keeps Kojima down with a SLEEPER!, and Tiger catches Makabe in a IRON OCTOPUS! Nagata storms up but Fujinami gets him with a DRAGON SLEEPER! Makabe gets the ROPEBREAK, everyone lets go of the holds. Fans rally up as Suzuki and Fujinami drag Nagata and Kojima out of the ring. Makabe ROCKS Tiger, then runs, but into a crucifix takedown! TWO! Fans rally, Tiger SOBATS, then runs. But Makabe scoops for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!

Fans fire up and Makabe slashes his throat. He runs, and he LARIATS Tiger down! Makabe drags Tiger to a drop zone, goes up the corner, but Suzuki springs up after him! Suzuki HEADBUTTS Makabe! Then he THROWS Makabe down! Suzuki bails out, pushes Makabe, and Tiger hops up onto Makabe’s shoulders! Makabe throws Tiger off, drags him back up, but Tiger drops to victory roll! But Makabe sits on it! Makabe’s team wins!!

Winner: Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata, by pinfall

A rather shocking end to a fiery match! And in the end, the Gorilla, King of Bread Style and Blue Justice stand tall! But since this was to honor Inoki, no hard feelings here. Everyone shakes hands and bows respect. Suzuki then gives the mic to Fujinami so that he can speak. Fans applaud, and Fujinami wishes everyone a Happy New Year. He says this was a special memorial for Antonio Inoki and is thankful there are so many being a part of it. After this, NJPW will carry on that Fighting Spirit through this incredible card. And he is sure Inoki would appreciate this. “DAAAA~!” Everyone cheers as Inoki’s song plays one more time! Thank you, Antonio Inoki. You will be missed.

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Catch 2/2 VS YOH & Lio Rush!

TJP & Francesco Akira may not have won Super Jr. Tag League 2022, but they did beat Direct Drive & The Bad Child in the round robin. Can Yoh & Lio redeem themselves in the rematch? Or will the Public Enemy & Nova Fireball conquer Chaos to start the new year?

As the champs make their entrance, Yoh FLIES out onto them! Direct hit and down they go! Yoh throws TJP into the ring, Lio whips him to ropes, but TJP stops himself! Yoh runs in, TJP boots him away, then boots Lio! The bell rings, TJP rushes Yoh & Lio, but they both dodge him. They come back, TJP dodges Yoh and chases Lio but Lio dodges TJP. Yoh elbows TJP down while Lio runs, Yoh wheelbarrows Lio for the SPLASH! Fans fire up while TJP bails out to regroup with Akira. But Lio slingshots and MOONSAULTS onto them both! Fans fire up as Lio & Yoh drag Akira & TJP up. Lio ROCKS Akira and runs him up the ramp!

Yoh throws hands on TJP, Lio CLUBS Akira, but then TJP whips Yoh into railing! TJP saves Akira from a suplex! Lio kicks, TJP blocks and flips Lio, but Lio lands on his feet. Lio runs in, but into the ALLEY-OOP to the ramp! And that’s an LED ramp, too! Lio clutches his face while Catch 2/2 throws up the crowns. The ring count starts, Catch 2/2 return to ringside and fetch Yoh at 6 of 20. They put Yoh in the ring, but Yoh fires back with forearms and kicks! Yoh runs, but into a SOBAT, KICK, KICK and SHOTGUN! TJP covers, TWO! Things are finally 1v1 and TJP throws off his shirt. TJP drags Yoh up to bump him off buckles.

Tag to Akira and Akira brings Yoh out to DOUBLE CHOP! Yoh staggers to another corner, Akira whips corner to corner while fans clap “CATCH! NI NI!” Akira runs corner to corner to clothesline Yoh! Akira then turns Yoh around and puts him up top. Akira puts Yoh in a Tree of Woe, then he tags in TJP. TJP knuckle locks with Akira to help him go up and up, then walk the tightrope! SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK! Yoh gets knocked out of the Tree and TJP pushes him out of the ring. Yoh staggers, TJP and Akira go to the apron. Akira hops up onto TJP’s shoulders, “Take pictures! Take pictures!” SUPER ELECTRIC CHAIR SENTON!!

Fans fire up as Akira wipes Yoh out at the ramp! Akira drags Yoh up and puts him back in the ring. TJP drags Akira up, bumps him off buckles, and Akira keeps on Lio as he returns to ringside. Fans rally up and TJP scrapes his boot off Yoh. TJP runs side to side to BOOT WASH! Fans fire up and Akira puts Lio in the ring. TJP adds Lio to the corner for another round of face scrubbing! Then TJP runs, into a SPEAR from Lio! Lio crawls to the red corner and calls to Yoh. Yoh crawls his way over as fans rally up, but TJP stops Yoh with a whip! Yoh reverses and DROPKICKS TJP down! Fans fire up as both men crawl, hot tag to Lio!

The Bad Child, forehead busted up, rolls Akira for the SPIN KICK! TJP kicks low and reels Lio in but Lio slips out of the suplex! Lio goes Matrix, handsprings, and KIKCS to ENZIGURI! Fans fire up with Lio and he drags TJP up. Lio whips, TJP reverse but Lio slides to a stop. Catch 2/2 run in, Lio dodges to handspring, DOUBLE BACK ELBOW! Fans fire up again and Lio sees TJP bail out. Lio DIVES to knock TJP down at the ramp! Lio gets in again, and DIVES to send Akira into railing! Lio fires up and fans fire up with him as he puts Akira back in the ring. Akira crawls, Lio pounds the mat. Fans rally up and Lio chicken wings Akira.

Lio turns Akira, for the SPINNING KAMIKAZE! Cover, TWO!! Akira survives the swinging Unprettier, and Lio has to wipe the blood from his eyes. Tag to Yoh, and fans rally up as the Men of the Hour tune up the band! But TJP saves Akira from Yoh’s superkick! Akira SUPERKICKS Yoh! Lio mule kicks TJP to then SPIN HEEL KICK! Akira whips Lio but he uses that for the springboard, only to get stuck in the ropes! Akira drags Lio out into a HALF ‘N’ HALF! But Yoh SUPERKICKS Akira after all!! All four men are down and fans fire up again! Yoh stands first and he drags Akira up. Yoh hoists Akira to the top rope then CHOPS him!

Fans rally as Yoh climbs. Yoh stands Akira up, underhooks the arms, but TJP pulls Yoh away with an Electric Chair! But Lio shoves TJP forward, and Yoh grabs Akira again! ELECTRIC CHAIR SUPERPLEX! And then Yoh rolls through, to FALCON USHIGOROSHI!! And Lio is up top, for the FINAL HOUR!! Cover, TJP breaks it!! Fans are thunderous while Yoh is furious! Lio drags TJP up to throw him out. Yoh & Lio high-three, and fans rally up as they bring Akira up. They double whip, for 3K!! But TJP hits a MAMBA SPLASH on Yoh! And a SHOTGUN dropkick on Lio! TJP roars, fireman’s carries Yoh, DETONATION KICK! Cover, TWO!!

All four men are down again and fans are thunderous! TJP helps Akira up, and hoists him up top. Then TJP drags Yoh up and brings him over. TJP Electric Chair Lifts as Akira adjusts, but Yoh POISON-RANAS TJP! Lio rushes in, Akira jumps but Lio gets under! Lio comes back, SPANISH FLY! Yoh brings up TJP, 3K!!! Cover, Akira uses Lio to break it!! Lio is furious and he staggers over to Akira. Lio drags Akira up but Akira SLAPS him! Lio snarls, and he fires off fast hands and a SUPER FOREARM! Lio runs and springboards, to hit RUSH HOUR! Akira flops out of the ring and Yoh fires up! Fans are with him as he drags TJP up!

Yoh underhooks, for DIRECT- NO, TJP turns that into a cradle! CATCH 2/2 WIN!

Winners: Catch 2/2, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Yoh is shocked! TJP turns things around at the last second and keeps the belts with the Empire! They are still the best Junior Heavyweight tag team, but will they have to be careful it doesn’t get that close again?

 

IWGP Women’s Championship: KAIRI VS Tam Nakano!

The Pirate Princess became the inaugural women’s champion of NJPW at the Historic X-Over, but she is no stranger to the Shining Stardom Dream. However, this will be the first time they’ve faced each other 1v1, and young Nakano has a lot to prove! Will she shine brightest tonight in the Tokyo Dome? Or will Kairi prove it’s still far too early for Nakano to take the spotlight on the world stage?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who is truly the star of women’s wrestling!

The bell rings and fans rally up. The two circle, feel things out, and then tie up. They go around, Tam powers Kairi back, but Kairi turns it around to put Tam on ropes. The ref counts the break and Kairi lets off. Kairi fakes a chop, to pat Tam on the head. And then she hits Tam with a body blow! Kairi then eggs Tam on, and Tam storms up. Kairi gets around to a waistlock but Tam headlocks. Kairi throws body shots, powers out, but Tam handsprings over the drop down. Kairi runs, Tam dodges, but then Kairi dodges to whip and arm-drag! Tam staggers up, Kairi runs in but Tam goes Matrix to get a roll-up! Kairi rolls through, but Tam basement dropkicks her!

Fans fire up and Tam taunts Kairi with a smile. Kairi grabs Tam by her hair and stands her up. Kairi ROCKS Tam with a forearm, but Tam ROCKS Kairi back! Kairi throws another forearm, but so does Tam! Tam gets the edge, fans fire up, and Tam ROCKS Kairi! Tam runs, but Kairi goes the other way, to SPEAR! Fans fire up with Kairi and she watches Tam go to a corner. Kairi walks the plank, to run and SLIDING D! Fans fire up more as Kairi goes up top! Tam stands, into the KABUKI ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Kairi keeps her cool and she brings Tam up. Kairi Alabama Lifts but Tam fights free! Kairi CHOPS Tam!

Kairi runs, but Tam HEEL KICKS her down! Kairi flops out and now Tam fires up! Fans rally as Tam goes to the corner and climbs! Kairi stands, and Tam SUPER CROSSBODIES! Down goes Kairi and some Young Lionesses! Tam puts Kairi in the ring, drags her up, and reels her into a waistlock. Kairi flails but Tam hits the GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Kairi survives but Tam keeps cool. Tam drags Kairi up, reels her in, and suplexes! But Kairi fights free! DOUBLE HAYMAKERS rock both women! They both roar, Kairi runs in and ducks the roundhouse! But Tam blocks the Uraken! Kairi swings into Tam’s hook and suplex!

Tam holds Kairi up and fans fire up as she slowly turns, for the VIOLET SCREW DRIVER!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Tam can’t believe it but Kairi survives! Tam drags Kairi around, thrashes her and CLUBS her, hammers away on her back, and then aims, to AX KICK! Tam then stands Kairi up, runs, but into the URAKEN!! Cover, TWO?!!? Tam survives the vicious backhand, but Kairi fires up! Kairi drags Tam up but Tam roars! URAKEN AGAIN!! Tam falls over, Kairi climbs up! Fans fire up for the INSANE ELBOW!! Cover, Kairi wins!

Winner: Kairi, by pinfall (still IWGP Women’s Champion)

Tam fought her heart out, but she could not dethrone the Pirate Princess! Kairi’s reign continues to sail, but wait! The lights go out, and a video plays! Someone is stepping out of a luxury sports car. Money? Moné? It’s… THE BOSS! SASHA BANKS! Or rather, MERCEDES MONÉ! She has come here from the WWE to be in NJPW, and she’s going right to the ring! She stares Kairi down, and Kairi holds up the belt. Fans cheer, and Sasha/Mercedes nods. She offers a handshake, and Kairi accepts it. And then Sasha reels Kairi into a Gory Especial! SPIN-OUT DDT! And then she asks for a microphone.

“Kairi~. Aw… Congratulations on making history. I also know a thing or two about making history. I am here in NJPW and Stardom to make some more. Allow me introduce myself. I’m the Standard, the Conversation, the Blue Print and the CEO of this Women’s Division. So Kairi-san, enjoy your IWGP Women’s Championship while you can. Because at The Battle in the Valley in San Jose, I’m gonna leave you bankrupt, b*tch! And you can bank on Moné.” The Boss has struck first! But will she strike new gold in the new year?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Bishamon!

Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood were once three-belt champions, but they find themselves holding on to their last piece of gold. As for Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, they are coming off a repeat win in the World Tag League! Will the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter repeat history again by taking these titles in the Tokyo Dome? Or can FTR #SayYeah to staying on top?

The introductions are made, FTR give the belts a kiss and the belts are raised. Let’s see if FTR is kissing those belts good-bye!

The teams sort out and Hashi starts against Cash. They circle and fans rally up. Hashi avoids Cash as he shoots in, and then the tie up. Hashi powers Cash back and wrenches an arm to a wristlock. Cash reaches out, Hashi keeps him from Dax, so Cash rolls, handsprings and wrenches around to a headlock and takeover! Fans applaud the opening exchange while Hashi kicks around. Hashi fights up to his feet, pries the headlock open but Cash cranks it back on. Hashi keeps trying and prying, and he wraps the headlock onto Cash! Cash powers out and things speed up. Cash drops down, but Hashi comes back to run him over!

Fans rally while Cash stands back up. The two stare down, but Hashi tags out to Goto. Cash talks things over with Dax, then Cash grabs at Goto. Goto gets away, so Cash tags to Dax. Dax and Goto circle now, and Goto avoids Dax as he shoots in. They tie up, Dax powers Goto back but Goto puts Dax on the ropes. Dax turns it around, the ref calls for the break, and Dax lets off. Dax shoves Goto but Goto shoves Dax. They tie up again and Dax ROCKS Goto! Goto ROCKS Dax, Dax ROCKS Goto, repeat! Fans rally up as the forearms fly back and forth, faster and faster! Dax then CHOPS! Dax ROCKS Goto at the ropes, and again!

Dax runs, but Hashi gets in, Bishamon runs Dax over! Then HIP TOSS SENTON! Cash runs in but Goto sends him right out. Dax goes to a corner, Hashi runs in to clothesline! Hashi feeds Dax to Goto but Dax ROCKS Goto first! Dax ROCKS Hashi, too, but Goto dragon sleepers! Hashi gets the legs! But Dax kicks free! Cash trips and drags Hashi out while Dax suplexes Goto! Goto bails out and fans fire up. Cash builds speed!? Cash DIVES to wipe out Bishamon! Fans fire up and Cash puts Goto in the ring. Dax drags Goto up, hoists him up top, and then CHOPS Goto! Dax climbs up, Cash tags in and goes to an adjacent corner.

Dax has Goto for the SUPERPLEX! Cash FLYING SPLASHES! Cover off Power ‘n’ Glory, TWO!! Goto survives and fans fire up! Cash drags Goto over, tags Dax in, and FTR go to opposite corners now. Goto slowly sits up, FTR runs in to DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH! But Goto stays up! Goto ROCKS Dax, ROCKS Cash, but Dax CLUBS Goto and Cash ROCKS Goto! Dax reels Goto in, POWERBOMB, and a roll into Cash’s FULL NELSON SUPLEX! Cash bridges, and Dax jackknifes! But Hashi breaks it!! Fans fire up, but Cash KNEES Hashi out of the ring. Dax drags Goto up, whips him, but Goto KICKS Dax! Goto deflects Cash’s boot to DISCUS LARIAT!

Dax kicks Goto and reels him back in. Goto fights the lift, so Dax stands Goto up to ROCK him! Dax runs, into a fireman’s carry! USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Goto and Dax crawl for their corners, hot tags to Hashi and Cash! Hashi rallies on FTR with forearms and CHOPS! Cash kicks low, whips Hashi to a corner, and then runs in, only for Hashi to dodge! Hashi dropkicks Dax’s legs out and he CHOPS Cash! Hashi reels Cash in, suplexes, but Cash slips free! Tag to Dax, Hashi dodges Cash to SUPERKICK! Dax storms in, blocks the kick to JAB! Dax whips, but Hashi hits the HEADHUNTER!

Fans rally up and Hashi tags Goto. Bishamon calls their shout, they dragon sleeper Dax but Dax kicks free again! Dax ROCKS Goto but Hashi SUPERKICKS! They try the again, but Cash CLOBBERS Hashi! Dax hoists Goto up, BIG RIG!! Cover, Hashi breaks it in time!!! Bishamon survives FTR’s best shot! Cash UPPERCUTS Hashi, then CHOPS him and UPPERCUTS him against ropes! Cash then suplexes, but Hashi fights it! Hashi suplexes Cash, and they tumble out of the ring! Fans are stunned as Hashi clips railing! Dax slashes his throat and he drags Goto up! Dax reels Goto in but Goto fights the lift! Goto back drops Dax away!

But Dax is right up! Dax reels Goto in again, but Goto still resists! Another back drop! But Dax is up again! Goto HEADBUTTS him! Both men wobble, Goto reels Dax in to suplex high and hard! Both men are down, and Goto crawls for his corner. Fans rally, hot tag to Hashi! Hashi fires up, runs, but Dax swats the lariat! Hashi CHOPS, SUPERKICKS, and then full nelsons to the pump handle! Dax slips free but Hashi switches! Dax switches, Hashi switches, but Dax turns around to bring Hashi up, PILEDRIVER!!! Cover, TWO?!?! Hashi survives but Dax doesn’t hesitate! Fans fire up as Dax lifts Hashi again and Cash is up top! MIND BREAKER!!! Cover, GOTO BREAKS IT!!

Fans are thunderous as all four men are down! Cash staggers up and he snarls. Cash runs in but Goto blocks the lariat! Cash CLOBBERS Goto on the return! Cash mule kicks Goto then throws him out. Dax drags Hashi up, whip him, but Hashi fights off Big Rig with an ax handle! SUPERKICK for Cash! Goto returns to clothesline Cash up and out! Dax storms over to Hashi but Hashi holds him against ropes! Goto BLINDSIDE LARIATS, and then Hashi SUPERKICKS! Goto dragon sleepers, Hashi hooks the legs, SHOUTO!!!! Cover, BISHAMON WINS!!

Winners: Bishamon, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Incredible! Back-to-back World Tag League wins resulting in back-to-back tag title wins! Goto & Hashi are back on top of the NJPW Heavyweight Tag Division! Will they make 2023 as big a year as last year? As for FTR, they are now left with NO belts! They do show respect to Bishamon, but when and where will FTR return to NJPW?

 

NJPW World Television Championship Tournament Finals: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Ren Narita!

NJPW commemorates FIFTY YEARS with an innovative title division! One way or another, history is made tonight, but who will be the one getting their fifteen minutes of fame?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and in the end, there can only be one inaugural champion!

The bell rings and time is counting down already. The two rush in, ZSJ waistlocks but Narita switches. ZSJ switches, Narita switches, but ZSJ spins around for an ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Narita quickly sits up and pushes for a cover but ZSJ’s leg guard keeps him at bay. Narita slips around to go for an arm but ZSJ does the same thing. Narita kicks around, rolls through, but ZSJ avoids the Penalty Kick! ZSJ grabs a leg and trips Narita but Narita kicks him away. ZSJ comes back, but Narita ducks the Penalty Kick! Narita stands, he blocks the hip toss and throws ZSJ down, but ZSJ avoids the stomp! Fans applaud this fast and furious start!

The two cool off and circle. Fans rally and duel, “NA-RI-TA!” “Z S J!” The two feel things out, knuckle lock, but then ZSJ rolls to wrench and wrap Narita up in a straitjacket stretch! Narita powers up and puts the straitjacket on ZSJ! ZSJ moves around, bridges back, rolls and we return to a Test of Strength knuckle lock. ZSJ and Narita fight for control, but ZSJ KICKS! Narita eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ KICKS again! Narita KICKS, KICKS, fires off palm strikes then a forearm! Narita runs and BOOTS ZSJ down! Fans fire up this second exchange as Narita paces. Narita stands ZSJ up, reels him in, but ZSJ fights the suplex. ZSJ wrenches and WRINGS Narita’s arm!

ZSJ looms over Narita, stands on his face and grabs an arm. ZSJ steps over, twists the wrist and bends the elbow! Narita endures as ZSJ tortures his arm, but then ZSJ isolates the arm into a top wristlock to STOMP it down! Narita clutches his arm, but ZSJ kicks at him. ZSJ kicks and kicks but Narita just snarls. ZSJ grabs the arm, wrenches it, but Narita fires a forearm! ZSJ eggs Narita on so Narita gives more forearms. ZSJ wrenches the arm to an ELBOW BREAKER, then runs the ropes. Narita OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes! Fans fire up while both men are down! Narita shakes out the bad arm as he and ZSJ go to opposite corners.

Narita stands, runs in corner to corner, and he back elbows! Narita reels ZSJ into a HALF HATCH! Bridging cover, TWO! Fans rally, Narita shakes out the bad arm and brings ZSJ up. Narita ties ZSJ up in a cobra twist but ZSJ pulls on Narita’s bad arm! ZSJ then switches the cobra twist onto Narita! Narita endures, fights through to switch again, but again the bad arm is ZSJ’s target! ZSJ pulls the arm and hits a hip toss! Then a KICK to the back! Narita just scowls and stands up. Narita knees low, snapmares, and KICKS ZSJ in the back! ZSJ frowns, and Narita sits down, daring him to go again! Fans fire up and ZSJ obliges, he KICKS Narita in the back!

Narita grits his teeth and ZSJ eggs him on. ZSJ sits down, daring Narita to bring it! Narita runs to PENALTY KICK! ZSJ writhes and Narita dares him to get up. Fans rally, ZSJ stands and BOOTS! Narita runs to BOOT! ZSJ and Narita both BOOT! And again! And again! Both men fall but ZSJ is up first! PENALTY KCIK! Cover, ONE?!? PENALTY KICK from Narita! Cover, ONE!!! Narita and ZSJ stagger up and we’re only five minutes in! ZSJ EuroUppers! Narita ENZIGURIS! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Narita and ZSJ stir, Narita drags ZSJ up and throws forearm after forearm! Narita eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ stands up to EuroUpper!

ZSJ EuroUppers again, and again! Narita shakes his head so ZSJ ROCKS him with a forearm! ZSJ swings again, into a FISHERMAN EXPLODER! Bridging cover, TWO!! ZSJ escapes and fans fire up as Narita stands. Narita snarls, drags ZSJ up and holds the wrists as he BOOTS and BOOTS! ZSJ uses his chin to trap the foot! ZSJ drags Narita down into a KNEEBAR! Narita sits up, ZSJ TWISTS the leg, but Narita rolls with it to get the ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go quickly and fans applaud again. Narita shakes out the leg now but ZSJ is right on it with stomps. ZSJ kicks at the leg, and then at the arm, and then Narita’s chest!

Narita just takes the kicks and eggs ZSJ on. Fans rally and ZSJ gives Narita space. Narita still eggs ZSJ on so the kicks come back. ZSJ KICKS, but Narita just growls through it! ZSJ eggs Narita on so Narita KICKS ZSJ down! Narita sits ZSJ up to KICK again! Cover, TWO! Fans rally more and Narita roars! Narita drags ZSJ up, has the wrists, and reels ZSJ in for a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Narita still has the wrists, and he uses that to reel ZSJ in again, but ZSJ jumps on for a GUILLOTINE! Narita throws ZSJ down but ZSJ just drags Narita into a TRIANGLE HOLD! Narita fights, ZSJ still has his arm!

Narita pushes forward, kicks at ZSJ’s face, and ZSJ lets go of the arm. ZSJ checks his nose, but Narita swings a BIG forearm! Narita stands ZSJ up but ZSJ wrenches the arm to PELE! ZSJ KICKS the arm, kicks again but Narita blocks! Narita SLAPS ZSJ down! ZSJ sits up in a daze, and Narita drags him into a SLEEPER! ZSJ fights up, fans rally, and ZSJ reaches for ropes. Narita pulls ZSJ away, but ZSJ drops! Narita sits on it, TWO! ZSJ has the arms, EURO CLUTCH! TWO!?! Narita narrowly escapes , but ZSJ BOOTS him! GERMAN SUPLEX! But Narita roars as he rises up! GERMAN SUPLEX! ZSJ is up, but he and Narita both stagger around!

Narita runs, but ZSJ ducks the wheel kick! ZSJ runs in to PENALTY KICK! Narita sits up but ZSJ runs, into a clinch! ZSJ fights the throw and drags Narita down, double wristlock and sunset flip! TWO?!?!?! Narita escapes by a nanosecond!! Fans are thunderous as we now hit ten minutes! Narita staggers up, ZSJ clamps right on! But Narita switches around! ZSJ switches it back! They fight for cobra twist control, but then Narita has a SLEEPER! Into the cobra twist! ZSJ pries free but Narita rolls him to a HEEL HOOK! But ZSJ yanks the arm right into an ARMBAR! NARITA TAPS, ZSJ WINS!!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (Inaugural NJPW World Television Champion)

Narita couldn’t endure, he had to #JustTapOut! And in the New Year, ZSJ has a new look and finally has himself singles gold in NJPW! Will ZSJ create a truly historic reign, 15 minutes at a time?

Hold on, TMDK’s Shane & Mikey are back. They applaud ZSJ and join him in the ring. ZSJ says give him a minute, he has to catch his breath. But wait, TMDK aren’t here to challenge ZSJ, they’re here to offer him a spot in the group! After all, Suzuki-Gun is no more, and the Top Dog did leave for WWE. Will the Submission Master be one of the Mighty? ZSJ sets the belt down, takes the shirt, and he puts it on?!? ZACK IS MIGHTY! The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will they make all of NJPW #JustTapOut?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Karl Anderson VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

The Machine Gun may be part of the WWE, but he still shows up for the bright lights in NJPW! He’s shot down the Good Bad Guy once before, can he do it again? Or is this Tama’s time once and for all?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if this title stays in Japan or returns to the States!

But wait, Karl takes the belt back. He taunts Tama that the fans aren’t chanting “TAMA! TAMA!” And then Karl CLOBBERS Tama with the belt!! The fans boo but Karl tells the ref to ring the bell. The bell rings and Tama is on the apron, Karl runs to SHOTGUN Tama off the apron! Tama hits railing, Karl goes out after him to fisherman NECKBREAKER Tama on the railing! Karl then hurries back into the ring and wants the count to take care of this! Fans boo Karl but Karl kneels and apologizes. Karl soaks up the heat as the fans boo more, “That’s a beautiful sound, ain’t it?” The count starts, reaches 5 of 20 but Karl wants it to go faster.

Tama crawls back to the railing at 10 of 20 but Karl goes out after him! Karl brings Tama up the ramp to the LED section, and scoops for APE SHIT to the ramp!! Or rather, the Bernard Driver in honor of Giant Bernard. Either way, Karl mocks the fans by trying to start an “ANDERSON!” chant. Fans boo instead, but Tama starts stirring. Karl is annoyed, but then he pounds the ground. Karl wants Tama to stand, and Tama rises. Karl aims, GUN- NO, Tama SLAMS Karl down! Karl writhes down the ramp and fans fire back up! Tama and Karl both crawl towards ringside, and Karl rolls into the ring. Fans applaud as Tama gets in the ring, but Karl goes to the far side.

Karl stands on the apron, Tama hurries out after him. Tama fires body shots but Karl throws forearms! They brawl on the edge, Tama UPPERCUTS, then UPPERCUTS again! Tama calls his shot but Karl denies the Gun Stun to hit a ROCKET KICK! Tama is down but fans rally up. Karl soaks up the heat again while Tama rolls into the ring. Karl slaps Tama around, saying this is just like back in the day. Karl SLAPS Tama, but Tama throws body shots! Tama ROCKS Karl with forearms but Karl ROCKS Tama back! The forearms go back and forth, Tama UPPERCUTS, then ROCKS Karl again! Fans fire up with Tama, but Karl UPPERCUTS right back!

Tama ends up in a corner, Karl whips him corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Karl! Fans fire up, Tama runs in at the corner, STINGER SPLASH! Tama throws more fast hands and forearms! The ref counts, Tama lets off, and then comes back to DROPKICK! Karl leans against the corner but Tama is right on him. Tama whips corner to corner, then runs in to STINGER- NO, Karl dodges! ROCKET KICK! Karl fireman’s carries Tama, and runs for a TKO! Cover, TWO! Karl hurries up top, Jado warns Tama, and Tama stands. Karl leaps, FLYING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Tama survives and fans fire up!

Karl paces around in frustration but he watches Tama. Tama stirs, Karl pounds the mat, and fans rally up. Tama rises again, Karl runs in, GUN- NO, Tama blocks, fireman’s carries, and hits S R C! Karl clutches his gut while Tama goes to the corner now. Tama climbs and fans rally, but Karl UPPERCUTS first! Karl climbs up after Tama, digs his elbow in and JAMS Tama in the head! Then he throws forearms! Tama wobbles but Karl brings him up. Karl goes to the very top, and he calls his shot! But Tama resists the super brainbuster! Tama throws body shots, HEADBUTTS Karl and shoves him away! Tama then adjusts to SUPREME CROSSBODY!

Fans fire up again as Karl is down! Tama climbs back up and takes aim, for SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!?! Karl survives but Jado keeps Tama focused. Fans drum along as Jado pounds the apron. Tama takes aim, Karl stands up, GUN- NO! Karl blocks it at the last moment! Karl fireman’s carries now, but Tama slips off! Tama swings, Karl ducks, but then Karl swings and Tama ducks! Tama ducks again, redirects Karl, but Karl follows! GUN- NO! Tama blocks it on the run! Tama spins Karl around but Karl UPPERCUTS! Tama PELES! Karl staggers, swings, misses, and Tama goes up, FLYING GUN STUN!!

Fans are thunderous, and OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama is ready, he pounds the mat! Karl rises, Tama aims again, GUN STUN!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!

Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Champion)

Redemption and revenge, all for Tama! He gets even with Bullet Club for rejecting him, and he gets even with Karl for taking this belt from him! Will 2023 now be the Year of the Guerrilla?

 

Six Man Tag, Keiji Muto’s Last NJPW Match: Keiji Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shota Umino VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

Another legend says good-bye, as THE Great Muta, the Pro-Wrestling Master, wraps up his retirement tour. Will he, the Ace and the Roughneck send him off in style? Or will Bushi, Sanada and Tetsuya Naito be able to hang their hat on something at WrestleKingdom?

The teams sort out and fans already chant for “MU-TO! MU-TO!” Naito takes his time with his entrance attire, and Tanahashi shows off the muscles. Fans applaud, and even Muto approves. And so, Muto insists he start! Fans applaud, and then LIJ fist bumps. Muto waits, and it’s Sanada who insists he start! Naito and Bushi oblige, and fans fire up with the bell. Muto and Sanada circle, and Sanada throws up the Too Sweet in honor of nWo Japan! Muto gives the Too Sweet back, but then Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada dropkicks again, and again, and Muto falls! Sanada drags Muto up to whip but Muto reverses.

Sanada goes up and out, springboards in and MISSILE DROPKICKS! Sanada drags Muto up, scoops and hits a BACKBREAKER! Sanada hurries to the corner, for the ROUNDING BODY PRESS! Cover, TWO!! Muto is still in this but he seems rather surprised by Sanada. Sanada whips, Muto rolls under and comes back to dropkick the legs out! Muto then SHINING WIZARDS Sanada down! Fans fire up and Muto drags Sanada up for a POWERSLAM! Now Muto goes up, but Tanahashi hurries over to caution him! He’s no spring chicken, a moonsault might not be the best thing… Muto still wants to, but he listens to reason.

But then Sanada CLUBS Muto! Sanada whips, but Muto kicks him back! Muto snapmares and runs for the FLASH ELBOW! Fans fire up and Muto tags Tanahashi. Tanahashi drops an elbow of his own! Tanahashi then BLASTS Bushi & Naito! Sanada runs in, but Tanahashi elbows him away to go up and CROSSBODY! Fans fire up with the air guitar, and then Tanahashi drags Sanada up. Sanada ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm but Tanahashi fires off a strike fest! Tanahashi whips, Sanada reverses and Bushi gets a cheap shot in! Naito dropkicks Tanahashi’s legs out, and Sanada basement dropkicks Tanahashi down!

The ref reprimands but Bushi and Naito hit Muto and Umino! Umino goes own, Muto stays up, but Bushi kicks him off the apron. The ref reprimands LIJ more, but Naito whips Umino into railing! Sanada stomps Tanahashi, then he tags Bushi. Bushi stomps Tanahashi around, then drags him up to turn and NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Bushi stomps Tanahashi then tags Naito. Fans fire up as Naito ROCKS Tanahashi with forearms! Naito has Tanahashi in the corner, whips him corner to corner, then runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! SWINGING DROPKICK! Fans fire up for Combinacion Cabron! Muto seems curious about Naito’s pose, and Naito raises the LIJ fist.

Muto reaches up, but then decides not to fist bump. Naito stomps Tanahashi, drags him up, but Tanahashi fires off forearms! Naito staggers, fakes a punch and kicks low! Naito whips, Tanahashi reverses but Naito reverses back. Tanahashi ducks the enziguri and he reels Naito in for a REVERSE DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up and Tanahashi crawls over, hot tag to Umino! Umino goes up top to MISSILE DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Umino intercepts Sanada with a kick. Umino whips, Sanada reverses but Umino holds ropes. Umino BOOTS Sanada, then baits him in. Sanada runs in but into an arm-drag! Umino then runs to RANA Sanada!

Bushi kicks Umino, runs, but into a scoop and DROP, to a BASEMENT UPPERCUT! Umino kips up and fans fire up! Umino whips Naito corner to corner, runs in and UPPERCUTS! Then Umino reels Naito in, FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect, but Umino keeps focus. Umino shouts out the legends on commentary as he clamps on an STF! Naito endures, crawls, Bushi & Sanada rush in but Tanahashi & Muto intercept! DRAGON SCREWS IN STEREO! Muto then puts Sanada in a FIGURE FOUR while Tanahashi puts Bushi in the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! LIJ endures three different submissions!!

Fans rally, Naito crawls forward but Umino pulls back on the STF! Naito reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts and LIJ is let go. Umino drags Naito up and clinches, but Naito fights the lift! Umino kicks low, whips, but Naito reverses to ELBOW! Umino fires up, but runs into an atomic drop! Naito fires off those heavy back elbows, then turns Umino for a NECKBREAKER! Fans rally and Naito crawls, hot tag to Bushi! Fans rally, Bushi climbs, and Bushi MISSILE DROPKICKS! Bushirooni! Umino goes to a corner, Bushi stomps him down. Bushi brings Umino up, spins him around, but Umino wrenches out to spin Bushi! TEST DRIVE!

Umino drags Bushi back up, for an inverted suplex! But Bushi slips out and waistlocks, to feed to Sanada’s DROPKICK! Sanada DROPKICKS Muto off the apron! Tanahashi storms in, he gets around Sanada and turns him for a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Naito full nelsons but Tanahashi breaks free for TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Bushi dodges, Tanahashi blocks one kick and ducks the enziguri, but the HEEL KICK hits! Bushi runs, into a SLINGBLADE! Tanahashi sets Bushi up and Muto fires up, for the SHINING WIZARD!! Fans are thunderous and Umino tops this off with DEATH RIDER!! Cover, Team Muto wins!

Winners: Keiji Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shota Umino, by pinfall

The legend, the icon and the future of NJPW stand tall! Muto exits the ring quickly, not one for sentiment. But surely, everyone agrees in saying, #ThankYouMuto!

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4 Way: Taiji Ishimori VS El Desperado VS Hiromu Takahashi VS Master Wato!

The Bone Soldier has been able to hold onto this title for a long time, but now the odds are stacked against him! He has the Rogue Luchador, the Ticking Timebomb and the Way of the Grandmaster coming after him, will one of them take the title? Or will 2023 be REBORN?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if the champion can defy the odds!

The bell rings and Hiromu SHOTGUNS Desperado down while Taiji runs away from Wato! Taiji taunts Wato on the outside, but then Hiromu runs to clothesline Wato in the corner! Hiromu snapmares Wato down but Taiji runs in to dropkick Wato first! Hiromu swings on Taiji but Taiji gets around to a waistlock. Hiromu switches, Desperado slides back in, and Hiromu sends Taiji his way. Desperado lifts Taiji, Hiromu runs in, DROPKICK BACK SUPLEX COMBO! Fans fire up as rivals work together, but then Desperado rakes Hiromu’s eyes! Desperado runs, Hiromu elbows him at the ropes. Hiromu runs but Wato hurdles over!

Wato back elbows Hiromu, back hands, but then elbows and back hands Desperado! Wato runs, but into double kicks! Hiromu & Desperado double whip to double shoulder tackle Wato down! Fans cheer as the rivals end up working together again. Hiromu offers a handshake, but Desperado pokes him in the eyes for a cradle! Taiji breaks the cover, then throws hands on Desperado. Taiji and Hiromu work together now and they mug Desperado in the corner. They double whip Desperado corner to corner, and then Taiji whips Hiromu, only to reel him in for a cradle! Wato breaks that! Wato stomps Taiji, Desperado rolls him! TWO!

All four rivals argue, Desperado CHOPS Wato but Wato ROCKS Desperado! Taiji rolls Desperado while Hiromu rolls Wato! Double covers! TWO!! Fans fire up as all four men stand off! Taiji says forget this and he bails out. But there’s no Champion’s Advantage in a Fatal 4. Taiji continues up the ramp while Desperado and Hiromu go after Wato. They double whip, but while Hiromu sets up for a back drop, Desperado elbows Wato down! Desperado and Hiromu argue, they obviously weren’t on the same page. But they put Wato in a corner, and then double whip him corner to corner. But then both Desperado and Hiromu run in!

Hiromu stops Desperado and they argue again. They each pie face the other, but Hiromu runs at Wato. Wato dodges and Hiromu hits buckles. Wato dodges Desperado then shoves him into Hiromu! DOUBLE BULLDOG! Fans fire up with Wato while Taiji just lounges on the ramp. Wato drags Desperado up to ROCK him with a forearm! And another! Desperado wants Wato to hold on, they can work together with Hiromu, against Taiji! Taiji takes notice, and he says bring it on! Desperado leads the charge up the ramp! Desperado runs in first, but into a HIP TOSS! Hiromu runs in, into a tilt-o-whirl SHOULDER BREAKER!

Wato runs in, Taiji dodges, and the SHOTGUN hits Hiromu and Desperado! Taiji grins as he outsmarts all his challengers! Taiji strolls back to the ring and waits on them to return. With all three challengers outside, there’s a ring count! One of them has to get back to stop Taiji from winning by default! They all hurry, they’re back to ringside by 8 of 20, but Taiji is up top! ARIHARA MOONSAULT! Taiji wipes out all three! The count continues, Taiji slides in at 12. Desperado, Wato & Hiromu stir, but they flounder around past 15! They all stand at 18 and slide in at 19! Taiji covers Desperado, TWO! Taiji is frustrated but the match continues!

Taiji drags Desperado up, whips him to a corner, then runs in. Taiji blocks the boots, puts Desperado in ropes and ENZIGURIS! Then Taiji runs side to side for a SLIDING GERMAN! Fans fire up as Taiji goes up top again. Taiji aims at Desperado, 450, but he has to bail out as Desperado moves! Wato is up top, but Taiji avoids his flying clothesline! Taiji throws a body shot, then whips Wato at Desperado. Desperado steps aside, hits Taiji and whips him into Wato! Desperado rolls Taiji up, TWO! Hiromu leaps at Wato for TRIANGLE HOLD D! And Desperado has the STRETCH MUFFLER, into NUMERO DOS! Dueling submissions are in effect!

Fans rally as Taiji and Wato each endure! Wato is fading, but Taiji fights his way over to ropes! Wato gets a second wind, just as Desperado drags Taiji away! Wato deadlifts Hiromu to POWERBOMB him on Desperado!! Taiji is saved, and fans are thunderous as all four men are down! Taiji clutches a knee as he crawls out to the apron. Wato goes to a corner and stands up. Wato fires up as he has Hiromu alone! Hiromu CHOPS, but Wato CHOPS and CHOPS and KICKS and KICKS! Wato KICKS Hiromu up high, then whips him to ropes. Hiromu reverses, goes around, but Wato dodges to RANA!

Fans fire up as Hiromu bails out. Wato builds speed, but Taiji trips him and drags him out! Taiji hurries but Hiromu SUNSET FLIPS! Taiji flips through the bomb but is sent into the apron! Desperado builds speed, Hiromu gets away, Desperado DIVES to take out Taiji! Wato slides back into the ring to build speed and FLY! Direct hit on Desperado now! Wato drags Desperado and Taiji up but Hiromu is up top! SUPER SENTON!! Fans are thunderous as all four men are down again! The ring count starts now that all four men are on the outside! Hiromu crawls over at 7 of 20, stands at 9, and he drags Wato up. Hiromu puts Wato in at 11 and hurries to get Wato up.

Hiromu fireman’s carries, for a CORNER DEATH VALLEY! And then another fireman’s carry, but Taiji BOOTS him down! Desperado runs Taiji over but Wato BOOTS Desperado! Hiromu dropkicks Wato’s legs out, then dodges Taiji’s clothesline. Taiji comes back with a JUMP KNEE! Desperado storms up but into a body shot! Taiji whips, Desperado reverses to SPINEBUSTER! Wato storms up on Desperado, avoids his haymaker to hit the JUMP NECKBREAKER! Wato roars, he brings Hiromu up, but Hiromu slips out of the scoop! Wato elbows Hiromu, runs, but into POP-UP POWERBOMB! Taiji dragon sleepers Hiromu into BLOODY SUNDAY!

But Desperado drags Taiji away from Hiromu! Taiji fires off fast hands, but Desperado catches the haymaker and spins Taiji around, GUITARA DEL ANGEL!! But that’s not all! Desperado underhooks for PINCHE- NO, Taiji fights off the driver, and Wato SUPERKICKS Desperado down! Wato roars again, and BUZZSAWS Desperado down! Wato fires up more and he brings Desperado up. Wato wrenches, but Desperado slips out, LOCO MONO!! Both men fall, all four men are down, and fans fire up again! The ref checks all four men, they stir, and the fans rally up. A standing count starts, Wato and Taiji crawl to one side.

Desperado and Hiromu go to other corners, the count is 8! Wato staggers up at 9 but leans against ropes. All four men wobble, hobble towards center, and Taiji CLUBS Wato. Wato hits back, Hiromu and Desperado trade CHOPS! Wato and Taiji then hit Hiromu and Desperado! Desperado and Hiromu hit back, so Taiji and Wato hit them again. Desperado rakes Taiji’s eyes, Hiromu SUPERKICKS Desperado! Wato SOBATS Hiromu but he blocks Taiji’s kick. Taiji blocks Wato’s kick, then rakes Wato’s eyes! Taiji whips, Wato reverses, but Taiji handsprings, into a waistlock! Taiji elbows free, but Wato gets around, crucifix takedown, into the MOUSE TRAP DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!

Taiji escapes but Wato just roars! Wato climbs up top, fans rally, but Desperado anchors Wato. Taiji BOOTS Desperado off the apron, ROCKS Wato, then climbs up after Wato. But Hiromu adds on! TOWER OF DOOM!! High stack on Taiji, but Desperado breaks it!! Fans fire up after that close call! Desperado and Hiromu crawl to each other, and they start throwing forearms! Fans rally as the rivals go back and forth! Hiromu gets the edge but then Desperado DECKS Hiromu! Hiromu roars, but into LOCO ELBOW! Desperado stands Hiromu up again for another ELBOW! Desperado reels Hiromu in, TIGER DRIVER!!

Desperado holds onto the underhooks, and he rolls Hiromu back to his feet, for PINCHE LO- NO! Hiromu fights free and fireman’s carries! TIMEBOMB!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Desperado survives Hiromu’s best shot, but Hiromu fires up! Hiromu drags Desperado up, dragon sleepers, but has to throw Desperado away as Wato SPRINGBOARD FLYING UPPERCUTS!! Wato drags Desperado back up, hooks him up with chicken wings, TIGER SUPLEX into a MOUSE TRAP DRIVER!!! Cover, Taiji drags the ref out!! Taiji stops Wato from winning! And now he has a chair!! Taiji sneaks up on Wato to SMACK him!

Taiji then fetches the ref, gets him in the ring, and Taiji says BANG! Taiji drags Wato up, reels him in, BLOODY- NO, Wato slips free! And he chicken wings Taiji into the MOUSE TRAP DRIVER!!! Cover, but Hiromu dropkicks it apart!! Hiromu saves this match for himself at the last possible second! Hiromu drags Taiji up but Wato stands! Wato ROUNDHOUSES Hiromu, hooks him up, but Hiromu wheelbarrows! Only for Wato to block it! Wato has the waistlock, Hiromu resists, but Wato hits a HIGH ANGLE GERMAN!!! Bridging cover, TWO!??!! Hiromu shocks everyone by surviving that! Fans are thunderous and Wato roars!!

Wato drags Hiromu up, chicken wings, but Hiromu arm-drags free! Wato comes back, tilt-o-whirls, but Hiromu blocks it! Hiromu shifts, TIMEBOMB MK II!!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)

Taiji could not defy the odds, and as close as Wato came, he is still not there yet! Desperado staggers away backwards, will he struggle to find his footing after Suzuki-Gun’s disbandment? As for Hiromu has the trophy, he has the title, does this truly make him the Best of the Super Juniors?

 

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay w/ The United Empire VS Kenny Omega!

Parallel paths and a rivalry that has been building for some time finally comes to a head on NJPW’s biggest stage! Will the Commonwealth Kingpin keep his United Empire strong? Or will the Best Bout Machine continue to live up to that name?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who is truly elite!

The bell rings and the two rush in! Omega avoids the boot and lets things cool down. They circle, feel things out, and Omega shoots in. Ospreay counters with a facelock, they go around and now they collar ‘n’ elbow. They go around more, Omega wrenches out to a wristlock. Omega slaps Ospreay around, then wrenches the arm to avoid Ospreay’s hands. Ospreay rolls, handsprings, and wrenches to WRING Omega! Omega kangaroo kicks back, headlocks for the takeover, and he denies Ospreay the headscissors! Fans rally as Ospreay keeps trying but Omega keeps the headscissor away. Ospreay fights up and powers out of the headlock, only for Omega to run him over!

But Ospreay kips right back up! Fans fire up as the two stare down, and Ospreay talks a bit of trash. Omega shoves, but Ospreay shoves back. Omega slaps Ospreay but Ospreay SLAPS Omega back! Ospreay fires off on Omega in the corner, but lets off as Red Shoes reprimands. Ospreay whips corner to corner, but Omega BOOTS him away. Omega goes up and over, then comes back to RANA, but Ospreay handsprings through, to RANA back! Fans fire out while Omega bails out, and Ospreay goes to ropes to PLANCHA! Direct hit and then Ospreay rains down fists! Fans fire up while Ospreay stands over Omega.

Ospreay brings Omega up to whip him into railing! Omega writhes, Ospreay stands him up and puts him back in. Ospreay aims from the apron, springboards, but Omega catches him and trips him up! Omega then BLASTS Ospreay off the apron and Ospreay hits railing! Now Ospreay writhes as Omega goes out after him. Fans rally, Omega drags Ospreay up, puts him in the ring, and then CLUBS Ospreay on the back. Omega CLUBS Ospreay more, then stalks him to ropes. Omega ROCKS Ospreay in the back, fireman’s carries, and says, “YOU! CAN’T! ESCAPE!” ROLLING SENTON, and then Omega goes up the corner for the MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!

Omega is annoyed but fans rally up. Omega drags Ospreay up but Ospreay pushes him away. Omega CLUBS Ospreay, whips him to ropes, and then hits a BIG hip toss! Omega adds a KICK to Ospreay’s back! Omega stands on Ospreay for a cocky cover but Ospreay pushes him away before a count. Omega kicks Ospreay around, stands on Ospreay again, but Red Shoes doesn’t care for cocky covers. Omega paces around and drags Ospreay up. Omega pushes Ospreay to a corner and digs his boot in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Omega lets off at 4. Omega SLAPS Ospreay on the back, whips him corner to corner hard, and Ospreay bounces off buckles!

Omega says “There’s a difference” as he stares into the camera. Omega then goes to the blue corner and he unties the buckle pad! He may not be Bullet Club anymore but he is using their move! Omega struggles with the straps a bit, but Don Callis distracts Red Shoes so that Omega can finish untying it. Omega then drags Ospreay up. Ospreay deadweights it so Omega stomps him down. Omega aims at the bare corner and fans rally up. Omega stands Ospreay up, whips him in, but Ospreay avoids the buckles! Ospreay elbows Omega, ROCKS him, then ROCKS him again! Omega drops to his knees but Ospreay brings him up. But Omega BOOTS Ospreay into the buckles!

Omega hurries to stand Ospreay up, for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Omega is annoyed again but fans rally up. Ospreay clutches his back while resting on the apron, but Omega drags him back in. Omega springboard stomps Ospreay down, then drags him back up. Omega ROCKS Ospreay with a forearm, then knees low! And again! Callis talks up Omega on English commentary as Omega whips Ospreay to ropes. Ospreay catches Omega to a COBRA TWIST! Ospreay grinds Omega down, then stands him up to pull on the facelock! But Omega powers out with a HIP TOSS! Ospreay staggers up, Omega runs in, but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT!

Ospreay runs to BOOT Omega down! Fans fire up, and Ospreay drags Omega up to suplex! Omega knees free, suplexes, but Ospreay hits STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRE! Fans rally up again as Ospreay works to loosen his back. Ospreay and Omega rise, and Ospreay ROCKS Omega with forearm after forearm! Ospreay whips, Omega reverses but Ospreay handsprings for the NEURALIZER! Fans fire up as Ospreay goes to the apron. Ospreay springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Omega survives the flying forearm but Ospreay keeps his cool. Fans rally again as Ospreay stands and Omega checks his jaw.

Ospreay drags Omega up but Omega resists the bomb lift. Ospreay fires off a sharp Kawada Kick, then CHOPS! Ospreay brings Omega in again, but Omega slips out of the bomb to CHOP! Omega runs, but Ospreay TIGER WALL KICKS and ENZIGURIS! Both men are down and fans fire up! Omega crawls to the apron, Ospreay goes out after him. Ospreay drags Omega up, aiming for the floor! Fans rally up, Omega resists the lift, so Ospreay CHOPS him! Omega shakes his head and CHOPS back! Ospreay CHOPS again! Omega is stinging, but he CHOPS back! Ospreay CHOPS but Omega ROCKS him! Ospreay SUPERKICKS!

Omega holds onto ropes to stay standing, but Ospreay goes to the corner! APRON OSC- NO!! Omega holds the ropes to deny the cutter, and Ospreay crashes down! Omega steadies himself, then goes looking under the ring! Ospreay crawls, but Omega drags him back! Omega drags out a table! And he SLAMS it on Ospreay’s back! Omega puts the table on Ospreay’s back, and stomps it down! Fans fire up as Omega goes to the apron, and he DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS the table!! He stomps a hole right through it!! Ospreay writhes and fans are going nuts as Omega picks the wrecked table up. “HERE’S~ KENNY!!”

Omega grins and he stands back up. Ospreay grits his teeth as he sits up, and he keeps Omega from sliding into the ring! Ospreay throws Omega into railing, then he fires off hands from all sides!! Ospreay brings Omega over to suplex him onto the busted table!! Omega writhes and spasms while fans go nuts again! Ospreay goes to the corner, climbs to to the top, and SUPER SKY TWISTERS!!! Direct hit but Ospreay also hits railing! Fans are thunderous as both men are down. Red Shoes checks, Ospreay stands up and his back seems in good enough shape to continue. Ospreay puts Omega in the ring, and then he climbs up again! BLINDSIDE FLYING FOREARM! Cover, TWO!!!

Omega staggers, Ospreay springboards, OSCUT- NO!! Omega blocks, pushes Ospreay, and BLINDSIDE V-TRIGGERS! Then POISON-RANAS! Then fisherman’s for AOI SHOUDO!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay barely gets that shoulder up but it keeps him in this! Omega flounders his way to ropes, drags himself up, and fans rally as he calls his shot. Omega drags Ospreay up with a half nelson. Omega has the full nelson, but Ospreay breaks free! Ospreay throws elbows, but Omega CLUBS him on the back! Omega CHOPS Ospreay to a corner, then hoists him up top backwards. Omega CHOPS Ospreay on the back, then climbs up after him!

Ospreay resists but Omega throws down elbows! Omega full nelsons but Ospreay still resists! Omega CLUBS away on Ospreay, has the nelson, and fans fire up as Omega stands on the very top! SUPER DRAGON SUPLEX!!! But Ospreay lands on his feet!!! ROBINSON SPECIAL!! Fans are thunderous, Ospreay springboards, OSCUTTER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! Omega survives and no one can believe it! Fans rally as hard as they can as both men sit up. Omega crawls to ropes and drags himself up. Ospreay runs in, to HELLUVA KICK Omega against bare buckles! Ospreay then hoists Omega up top, tucks him in, and CHEEKY NANDOS!

And CHEEKY NANDOS again! Ospreay fires off boots but Red Shoes reprimands. Ospreay CHEEKY NANDOS for a third time! Omega flops off the top and to the apron! Fans rally, Ospreay climbs up the corner and brings Omega up to the top rope. Ospreay ROCKS Omega with a forearm, but Omega holds ropes to stay up! Ospreay ROCKS Omega again, but Omega throws a body shot. Ospreay ROCKS Omega again, but Omega throws another body shot. Ospreay hops down to CHOP! Omega flops but holds onto the rope to stay on the apron. Ospreay climbs up again, drags Omega back up, and clinches, only for Omega to throw body shots!

Omega facelocks Ospreay for a TOP ROPE DDT to the bare buckle!!! The United Empire can’t help it, they hurry over to check on Ospreay! Red Shoes reprimands as Akira, TJP, Henare, Cobb and Khan all check on Ospreay. Cobb complains that the DDT should’ve never happened! Fans rally up as Omega sits up. Ospreay also sits up and he is busted open! Red Shoes gets the Empire to return to their seats at ringside. Omega shouts for Red Shoes to count this already. Ospreay stirs but the ring count climbs. It reaches 10 of 20 but Ospreay is at the railing. Ospreay drags himself up at 12, flounders at 14, and the Empire shouts for him to get up!

The fans are thunderous, Ospreay drags himself up again, and he heads for the ring, only for Omega to WRECK him with a dropkick! Omega has the fans rally up and he starts the Terminator Drums! Ospreay manages to stand as Omega builds speed, Omega FLIES!! Direct hit and Omega almost lands on his feet! Omega has a wild look in his eyes while Ospreay reaches out feebly. Omega sets up what’s left of that table and he drags Ospreay up. Omega drags Ospreay over, and SMASHES his face into the table! Omega keeps going until there’s another hole in the wood! Red Shoes reprimands, Omega drags Ospreay back up and into the ring.

Omega drags Ospreay up and reels him in! Omega lifts for a STUFF PILEDRIVER!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ospreay manages to tip the cover over just enough to escape! Omega is furious, and he rains down fists on Ospreay’s bloody forehead! Red Shoes reprimands but Omega lets off with a scuffing kick. Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay drags himself up. Ospreay has a crimson mask but he refuses to let it end by stoppage! He shoves Red Shoes down, swings at Omega, but into a SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX! Omega is telling the Empire this is what Ospreay gets, and he drags Ospreay back up. Ospreay is a ragdoll as Omega hits another SNAP DRAGON!

Ospreay tries to stand but he just flops back over! Ospreay is on the ropes, Omega takes aim, BANG! But Ospreay grabs Omega’s leg to keep him from running! Omega stomps away on Ospreay! Ospreay holds on so Omega rains down palm strikes, then he fires off KNEE after KNEE!! Omega underhooks, lifts Ospreay, JAY DRILLER!!! Cover, ROPEBREAK?!?! Ospreay survives by inches and fans are thunderous again! Red Shoes checks Ospreay, but Ospreay refuses to give in. Omega says BANG, V-TRIGGER!!! Ospreay flops right out of the ring!!! Omega grins as he slides out after Ospreay. Omega drags Ospreay up and puts him in the ring.

Omega wants Ospreay to stand, and the fans rally for as much, too! Ospreay flounders, Omega climbs up the corner, and Omega gloats, only for Ospreay to hit the ropes! Omega falls right on his crotch! Ospreay staggers over, ROCKS Omega with a right hand, then goes up after Omega. Ospreay loses his balance moment but he fires off forearms on Omega! Ospreay slams himself to wake up, and he goes up on wobbly legs. Ospreay manages to reach the top, but Omega slips out and trips Ospreay up! Ospreay gets a face full of steel buckle!! Fans lose their minds as Omega crawls away to the far side!

The Empire shouts at Ospreay, but Omega runs in, to BLINDSIDE V-TRIGGER Ospreay into bare buckles!!! Omega shows no mercy as he hoists Ospreay up top! Omega climbs up, he reels Ospreay in for an Electric Chair Lift! But Ospreay fights back! Only for Omega to pop him for a SUPER CROYT’S WRATH!!! High stack cover, TWO!?!? But Omega pops Ospreay in place for a V-TRIGGER!! Cover, TWO!?!??! Ospreay is still in this, but how?!? Fans are thunderous all over again as Omega looms over Ospreay. Omega drags Ospreay up and V-TRIGGERS!! But Omega won’t let Ospreay fall over, either! V-TRIGGER!!!

Omega still keeps Ospreay up, for another- NO!! Ospreay blocks the V-Trigger! Omega fires off fists but Ospreay just fires up! Omega likes this, and fans are electric! Omega JABS, and JABS, and JABS! Ospreay fires off KAWADA KICKS, a CHOP, then more Kawada Kicks! CHOP, KAWADA KICKS, then CHOP, CHOP! Omega boots the elbow to V-TRIGGER! Omega winds up, but Ospreay slips through the lariat! LIGER BOMB!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?? Omega survives and fans are shocked! Ospreay roars, he drags Omega up and turns him, for the CHELSEA GRIN! Ospreay prepares the arm, for the HIDDEN BLADE! And then another HIDDEN BLADE!

Ospreay runs, goes up the corner, SUPER OSCUTTER!!!! Ospreay crawls to the cover, TWO!?!?!?! Just what are these two made of?!? Fans are electric, Khan waves the Empire’s banner, and Ospreay drags Omega up. Ospreay underhooks, lifts, but Omega slips free! And Electric Chairs, but Ospreay slips around to sunset flip! High stack, TWO, but Ospreay yanks Omega up! STYLES CLASH!!! But Ospreay doesn’t cover, he goes to the corner! Ospreay raises his arm, takes off the elbow pad, and fans are thunderous again! HIDDEN BLADE from the front!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? Ospreay is furious, but he fires back up!

The fans rally as hard as they can and Ospreay drags Omega in. Ospreay underhooks, lifts, and STORM- NO, Omega lands free to V-TRIGGER! But Ospreay HIDDEN BLADES!! Fans are electric as both men are down again! Omega holds onto Ospreay’s wrist, and the two rise again. Omega drags Ospreay up and throws a forearm. Ospreay throws it back! Omega throws another, so Ospreay gives it back! Omega forearms, Ospreay forearms, repeat, and the fans are fired up with every shot! Ospreay gets the edge! But Omega shoots around, STRAITJACKET GERMAN!! Cover, TWO!!! But Omega holds onto the wrists!

Omega turns Ospreay around with the wristlocks, and everyone knows what’s coming! Ospreay SPITS at Omega and dares him to do it! KAMI-GOYE!!!!! But then, Electric Chair, and ONE WINGED ANGEL!!!!! Cover, Omega wins!!!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall (NEW IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion)

Truly an elite battle of elite wrestlers! But the Cleaner comes out on top to claim this title once again! Will this massive title win be the start of an All Elite Era in NJPW?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Jay White w/ Gedo VS Kazuchika Okada!

Another grand rivalry of NJPW adds a new chapter to its history! The Switchblade has thwarted many a challenger, including the Rainmaker, but nothing lasts forever! Will this still be Jay White’s era? Or will Okada turn his G1 Climax win into a new reign?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we find out who is THE BEST in NJPW!

White mocks Tanahashi by taking off his jacket and showing off the abs. Then White and Gedo get the fans to join in on the Too Sweet. The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. White hears the fans chant for “O-KA-DA!” but tells them to hush. White gets the claps going for “O-KA-DA!” but he means it mockingly. Then he says they’re idiots, so they should just chant it. Fans do chant it, and White says Okada needs to thank White. They tie up, are in a deadlock, and Okada powers White back. White turns it around to put Okada on the ropes, but Red Shoes calls the break. White lets go, but he chest bumps Okada as he lets off.

Fans applaud as Okada keeps his cool. Okada and White reset and circle again. They tie up, are in another deadlock, but Okada pushes White back again. White again puts Okada on the ropes but Okada turns it right back around. Gedo protests, Okada lets off slowly, but White SLAPS Okada! White grins, kicks low, then CLUBS Okada! White bumps Okada off buckles, stomps a mudhole in, then throws haymakers! Red Shoes reprimands, White CHOPS and brings Okada out. White knees low, whips, but Okada reverses to BOOT White down! Fans rally, Okada drags White up and Okada CLUBS White down.

Okada drags White back up, to ROCK him with a forearm! Okada brings White up again, for a NECKBREAKER! Okada kicks White, brings him up, and snapmares him along the ropes. Okada runs but Gedo drags White out to safety. Fans boo but Gedo shrugs. Okada rushes out, White slides back in, but Okada is focused on Gedo! White slides back out but Okada kicks him low! Okada CLUBS White, puts him in the ring, then he storms up on Gedo. Gedo says okay, he’ll stay back! Okada goes into the ring, but White gets around to waistlock and SAIDO! Gedo applauds but he’s the only one as White stands back up.

White grabs Okada’s legs and stomps him in the stomach! And again! White flexes and fans are torn. White kicks Okada around, sits Okada up to fishhook his face, but Red Shoes reprimands. White lets off, “apologizes,” and he drags Okada up. White top wristlocks, then he throws a body shot! White then stands Okada up to ROCK him in the back! Fans rally for Okada but White mocks their clapping. White scoops and SLAMS Okada, covers, TWO! White clamps on a chinlock and he pokes Okada with the Too Sweet. Okada endures, fans rally up, and Okada stands up to throw body shots. White ROCKS Okada with a forearm!

Okada swings, White gets around and reels Okada in for a DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but White kicks Okada out of the ring. White then goes out after Okada, taunts Tanahashi, and he brings Okada up to RAM him into railing! And then into the apron! And then back into the railing! And then back into the apron! White reels Okada in to suplex and APRON GOURD BUSTER! Okada flops right to the floor and White relaxes. White drags Okada up, puts him in the ring, and White brings Okada up to suplex. White hangs Okada out to dry! Okada flops onto the mat, White plays around, and then he drags Okada up for a CORNER HALF HATCH! Cover, ROPEBREAK!

Fans rally while White complains about the slow count. Red Shoes defends his count, so White gets fans to do a call and response of “Too!” “Sweet!” Okada stands, White winds up, and CHOPS! White waits on Okada as he continues the “Too!” “Sweet!” And then the CHOP! White mocks Okada, brings him up, whips him corner to corner, and then swings, but Okada dodges! Okada kicks, but White wrenches out of the DDT! White reels Okada in but Okada back drops free! White stagger sup, swings, but misses! Okada kicks low to DDT! Fans rally up, Okada has White, and he fires off forearms! Okada whips, White reverses but Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to ELBOW White down!

Okada drags White up, whips again, and FLAPJACKS! Fans fire up while White writhes and clutches his ribs. White goes to a corner, Okada goes to the other. Okada runs in corner to corner but Gedo warns White! White dodges and Okada hits buckles! White RAMS into Okada, and again, and again! And again, and again, and again! Red Shoes reprimands but White shoves him away. Fans boo, but Okada hoists White right up to DROPKICK him down to the floor! Fans rally and Gedo coaches White up. Okada goes out after White and drags him up. Okada brings White around, and then to the ramp.

Gedo storms up after Okada and tells him no. But White spins Okada around! Okada avoids the haymaker and kicks low! Gedo storms up but Okada kicks him low! DOUBLE DDT to the ramp! Fans cheer as Okada gets even with the Blacksmith! Okada fires up and the fans fire up with him, and Okada fetches White. White calls to Gedo but Okada drags White into the ring. Okada climbs up the corner, White stands, MISSILE DROPKICK! Okada drags White back up, wrenches his arm, and clamps on the MONEY CLIP! White endures, throws body shots, and he RAMS Okada into a corner! White gets free, but Okada storms up, only to swing into a COMPLETE SHOT!

White drags Okada up with a deadlift GERMAN SUPLEX! White mocks Okada, “Rocking the baby,” but fans rally up. Okada stirs but White goes to the opposite corner. Okada stands, White runs in, and White UPPERCUTS! Then suplexes, for BLADE BUSTER! Cover, TWO! White grows frustrated but the fans continue to rally. White hears that and is annoyed. He drags Okada up, but also stands on Okada’s head. White then stands Okada up, but Okada resists the clinch with elbows! White knees low and Okada drops to his knees. White mocks the claps again, then drags Okada back up. Okada UPPERCUTS, then gut wrenches!

White fights with elbows and body shots! Okada lets go, White FISHERMAN BUSTERS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and White scowls. White drags Okada around, sits him up and clamps on a chinlock. White stands Okada up but Okada rams him into a corner! Okada is free, but White CHOP BLOCKS his leg! White gets the bad leg but Okada kicks with the other leg! White flops back, Okada drags himself up the ropes, and White CHOPS! But Okada doesn’t flinch! Okada stares White down, so White CHOPS again! Okada still doesn’t flinch. White pokes Okada with the Two Sweet, then CHOPS! Okada fires off forearm after forearm!

Okada whips and DROPKICKS White right down! Fans fire up as Okada roars! Okada drags White back up, gut wrenches, but White rakes the eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, White stops, but he has the sleeper! But Okada arm-drags free! Okada runs in, spins White, but White ducks the discus to clinch! But Okada fights off Bladerunner to get the MONEY CLIP! White endures, he pries at the hold, but he’s fading! White gets a second wind to fight back up, so Okada gut wrenches him! SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Okada drags White up again, DISCUS LARIAT! Okada roars again and fans fire back up! Okada sits White up, for the MONEY CLIP!!

White is turning red and Okada leans on the hold! Gedo shouts for White to do something, move anything, and White flails around! White reaches out but he’s starting to foam from the mouth! Red Shoes checks, White gets a third wind to get the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but the fans rally up. White flops out of the ring but Okada takes aim. Okada builds speed, but Gedo stands in the way! Gedo begs Okada not to do this, but fans boo. Gedo then tries a sucker punch, but Okada blocks and DECKS Gedo! Gedo flounders to where White is, and Okada climbs the corner!? SUPER CANNONBALL takes out White AND Gedo!!

Fans are thunderous as Okada stands back up! Okada drags White up to put him in the ring. Okada drags White up, brings him around and scoops to SLAM! White is in the drop zone, Okada climbs up the corner, and he MACHO ELBOWS! And fans fire up because here comes the Rainmaker Pose! Okada brings White up and in, ripcords, but White deadweights it! Fans boo but White smirks. Okada KICKS White down! White chuckles even though Okada kicks him more. Okada won’t let White play possum forever, and he drags White back up. White pushes Okada away, but that forearm is rather weak. Okada DECKS White with his!

Okada eggs White on, and White drags himself to ropes. White stands, steps up to Okada, and he throws another forearm. Still no good, and Okada DECKS White again! Gedo gets in the ring and distracts Red Shoes! But Okada sees White gearing up for the low blow, so he DECKS White first! Okada drags White around by his arm, stands him up, but White BOOTS! And BOOTS! And SPITS at Okada! Okada is furious, but he swings into an URENAGE!! Both men are down again and fans rally up. White crawls after Okada, clamps onto him with a chinlock, and drags him up. Okada throws elbows to fight the sleeper suplex!

Okada has White on the ropes, he throws more elbows, but White SAIDOS Okada up and out of the ring!! Red Shoes checks on Okada but White hurries to drag Okada back up and in! White flounders after Okada, drags him back up, and SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEXES!! Gedo cheers White on but fans rally for Okada. White drags Okada up and back into the sleeper, and hooks the leg! FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Gedo is frustrated. But White grabs Okada’s arms, tucks them in, BLACK DRAGON BRAINBUSTER!! White grins and slashes his throat! He drags Okada back up, clinches, BLADE- NO, Okada GERMAN SUPLEXES!

Okada keeps the waistlock, drags White up and now has the wristlock. Gedo panics and White reaches for ropes, but Okada hooks that arm! Backslide, White rolls through, but Okada short arm LARIATS! Okada drags White back up by an arm, for another short arm LARIAT! Okada roars, Gedo freaks out, and fans fire up! Okada ripcords, for the RAIN- NO, White ducks, but comes back into the DROPKICK! Okada ripcords, RAIN- NO! BLADE- NO!! Scoop and LANDSLIDE DRIVER!! Okada drags White back up, ripcords again, RAIN- BLADERUNNER!!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Okada survives and shocks everyone!

Fans are thunderous as Red Shoes checks both men. White crawls over as Gedo says he just needs one more good shot. White sits Okada up and clinches him. But Okada CLUBS White from below! White just stands Okada up, to short arm LARIAT! White is copying Okada now as he drags Okada back up, for another short arm LARIAT! Fans rally as Okada stirs, but White copies the Rainmaker Pose! White says it’s time, and he ripcords, for the BLADE- NO! Okada sips out, ripcords, RAINMAKER!!!! Cover, TWO!?!?? Gedo is going nuts as White somehow survives! White sputters, Gedo pounds the mat to wake him up.

White and Okada stir, and White crawls over to Okada. Okada sits up, he and White are forehead to forehead. Okada throws a forearm! White throws it back! Okada nods and throws another forearm! White flounders, but he comes back to throw another forearm! Gedo fires up, White calls Okada a coward, but Okada and White are forehead to forehead again. The forearms start flying, and White keeps talking trash! Okada grins, White fires up, but Okada ROCKS him! White CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! Gedo likes this as White CHOPS again! And CHOPS again! Okada falls over and fans fire up more!

White drags Okada up but Okada pushes him away. White CHOPS Okada back down! White keeps telling Okada he’s a coward, and that Okada isn’t going to take this from him! But Okada DECKS White with a forearm! Okada drags White up to ROCK him with forearm after forearm! White flops into the ropes and falls over! Okada eggs White on, White drags himself back up, and the two storm up to each other. White forearms, Okada forearms, repeat, and the fans rally harder with every shot! Okada UPPERCUTS! White wobbles, but Okada brings him around for another UPPERCUT! Okada UPPERCUTS again, but White clinches!

But Okada fights free! Ripcord ENZIGURI! Okada then drags White up, gut wrenches, but White slips free! BLADE- NO, Okada ripcords! NO, White ripcords, Okada STEALS BLADERUNNER?!?! Fans are going nuts and Okada drags White back up! Okada gut wrenches for a SPINNING POWERSLAM!! Fans are thunderous as Okada roars! Okada ripcords, for the RAINMAKER!!!! Cover, OKADA WINS!!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (NEW IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)

The New Year starts with the end of the Switchblade Era! And once again, The Rainmaker reigns! White grabs the title belt, refusing to give it up. Red Shoes grabs the belt and makes it clear White lost. White reluctantly lets go, and the belt is officially given to Okada. When and where will White come back for the top title in NJPW?

As for Okada, he applauds White, and goes to get the mic, but Shingo Takagi gets it first! Takagi tells Okada to hold on! Takagi wishes to interrupt. “Okada, congratulations on becoming the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.” But Takagi didn’t come all the way down here just to say that. One year ago to this day, Takagi lost that title to Okada, and Takagi hasn’t forgotten that. Takagi made up for it with my KOPW reign last year, and he had more than a fitting resumé in 2022. Okada, anyone who watched that match knows how great and strong you are. And the fans definitely got their money’s worth tonight.

Takagi says that this is something worth an even higher ticket price: him challenging Okada for that title! That’s pretty straightforward, so how about they do this on February 11th? AKA New Beginnings in Osaka! And Takagi promises to have the KOPW Championship on top of it! Takagi drops the mic and waits on Okada to respond. Okada picks the mic up, and tells Takagi that he should just get the hell out. Fans cheer for “O-KA-DA!” and Okada says, “TOKYO DOME~! Thank you for your hot, passionate support.” Okada says this was a truly amazing night, and he thanks the fans so much for that.

Okada says he and Jay White fought on another grand stage in NJPW, and White does lead their series 4-1, so Okada knows he’ll have to fight even harder to claw back that difference. But Okada thanks everyone for watching NJPW’s 50th anniversary year, and he gets a bit emotional seeing so many fans in the crowd. Okada asks Antonio Inoki what he thinks about tonight’s matches. Was he watching tonight? Okada hopes Inoki sees that his fighting spirit is here and will continue to burn, so please watch over NJPW as we enter year 51. There is plenty more for NJPW to do the next 50 years and beyond. Inoki, we hope the lights are bright enough for you to see in Heaven.

Okada says as long as the fans support and love NJPW, NJPW will keep fighting for them. And Okada will be the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and continue to make it rain~! Okada drops the mic and fans cheer, but will the Rainmaker be ready for the Rampaging Dragon in Osaka?


My Thoughts:

Just an incredible event for NJPW to cap their year while starting this new year. I suppose I didn’t need to skip the Young Lion showdown at the very beginning, that was a three minute time limit match, and it looked pretty competitive and fast paced from what I skimmed through. But the New Japan Ranbo was a lot of fun, and what a surprise that Takagi entered that. I’m also surprised Taichi didn’t make the final four, but I do like that they’re giving Khan and Sho a spot in that Fatal 4. I don’t see Sho winning that, it has to be anyone else in that match to win. And that was a really fun Six Man Tag to honor Inoki, though I feel like Makabe getting that pin was semi-botch.

Great match from Catch 2/2 VS Yoh & Lio, and a great finish with TJP snatching that win away. The United Empire is still holding onto those Junior Heavyweight titles, that’s the bit of gold they have and they might be holding onto those for quite some time. Great match from Kairi VS Tam, but I figured Kairi was going to win. And as I had heard the talk of Sasha Banks showing up here, I wasn’t surprised that she confronted Kairi. Sasha calling out Kairi is fitting, but that Gory Especial to DDT is not a good finisher. I didn’t even realize she did the DDT at first. And Sasha’s in NJPW, she can copy a finisher she saw in WWE so long as it isn’t a move someone in NJPW or Stardom already uses. And now I have a reason to put Battle in the Valley on my calendar.

FTR VS Bishamon was a great match for the heavyweight tag titles, but I had a feeling FTR was dropping the belts. This was the time for something that big, and with what’s building for them in AEW, it gives FTR a strong story of having to build back up from nothing after such a great 2022. FTR will beat up Austin & Colten Gunn to get going again, and Goto & Hashi will carry these belts into the various New Beginnings events to give some NJPW teams their chances. Aussie Open wasn’t spotted anywhere tonight, maybe they make a big splash by getting those belts this year.

Great match from ZSJ VS Narita, and while it’s a lot to keep up with when typing it, I really like the pace of the NJPW World TV Division. It truly is a “don’t blink or you’ll miss something,” “thank goodness for rewind technology” type of thing. ZSJ winning is the right choice, he has deserved a singles title for a long time and he is so good as a literal wrestler that he can make this pace work. But the real big development was him joining up with The Mighty in the wake of Suzuki-Gun disbanding and Jonah Rock returning to being Bronson Reed in WWE. ZSJ can help bring TMDK to another level and really establish them as a force in NJPW.

Tama VS Karl was a great match, but with Karl getting busier in WWE, it just makes sense Tama wins the NEVER Openweight title. Tama himself has been deserving of more in a singles run, he can get that going this year and finally come into his own as a singles guy. And it’s not like Guerrillas of Destiny is out of tag team wrestling, as Hikuleo has joined the fold and can team with Tanga Loa when Loa returns from injury. Hell, the three brothers can even go for the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles if they want and reign together. And we got another really fun tribute match with Muto’s team winning over LIJ. I know Naito had been teasing this was his last WrestleKingdom, but this didn’t feel like that. Naito can easily say he’s changed his mind and try everything all over again.

That Fatal 4 Way was great stuff, too, with everyone playing off the rivalries and odd team-ups really well. They really made it look like Wato was gonna get it there with how strong he was before the end, but Hiromu winning out makes sense. He set the record for Best of the Super Junior tournament wins, he has definitely put in the work to be worthy of the title. Ospreay VS Omega for the US title was NUTS! I did not think they were going to go that hard, but what a way for Omega to take that title off of Ospreay. Omega now has the potential to a be a dual champion with the AEW World Trios Championship ladder match next Wednesday, that would be pretty wild.

And of course, another great world title match between Okada and White. In terms of excitement and shock factor, Ospreay VS Omega did better. But the storytelling of Okada and White is a large part of their strength. They know each other so well, the countering back and forth was great, and in the end, of course Okada ends up on top. Okada is still NJPW’s number one guy, they will always circle back to him because of how good he is and how much the fans love him. Now, Takagi showing up to call Okada out was rather surprising, but Takagi being that confident is rather fitting. IWGP World Champion VS KOPW Champion for the first time ever would be really cool, that’ll be big for their Osaka show no matter who wins. At the same time, I think Okada retains, no way his newest reign is only a month and change.

My Score: 9.6/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW Windy City Riot Results & Report! (4/12/24)

Will the winds of change blow?

Published

on

NJPW starts a riot!

As NJPW lands in Chicago, the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Testuya Naito, defends the title against Jon Moxley! Is The Maniac going to become the face of NJPW?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Show – Strong Survivor: Matt Vandagriff VS Zane Jay; Vandagriff wins.
  • Kickoff Show – Mina Shirakawa & Viva Van VS Alex Windsor & Trish Adora; Windsor & Adora win.
  • Minoru Suzuki VS Ren Narita; Narita wins.
  • NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Stephanie Vaquer VS AZM; Vaquer wins and retains the title.
  • NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships Fatal 4 Way: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS TMDK VS West Coast Wrecking Crew VS #NoFilthyDaysOff; TMDK wins and become the new NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions.
  • Shota Umino VS Jack Perry; Shota wins.
  • Mustafa Ali VS Hiromu Takahashi; Ali wins.
  • Riot Rules 8 Man Tag: Team Eddie Kingston VS Team Gabe Kidd; Team Kidd wins.
  • NJPW World Television Championship: Matt Riddle VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins and becomes the new NJPW World Television Champion.
  • Nic Nemeth VS Tomohiro Ishii; Nemeth wins.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Jon Moxley; Moxley wins and becomes the new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

Minoru Suzuki VS Ren Narita!

Finally, months after the betrayal, The King of Pancrase gets his chance at teaching #SouledOut Narita a lesson! Will Meanest Man in the World show no mercy? Or will the House of Torture find a way to stack the deck even now?

The Windy City knows “KAZE NI NARE~!” and then Suzuki CLOBBERS Narita! The bell rings, Narita bails out and the fans fire up as Suzuki goes after him! Suzuki stomps Narita, whips him into railing, then storms up to stomp Narita down! The fans fire up for “SU-ZU-KI!” as he whips Narita hard into more railing! Suzuki stomps Narita more, then CHOKES Narita with camera cables! The fans fire up, the ref reprimands, but Suzuki lets go. The fans cheer the “MURDER GRAMPA!” as he gets a chair! Suzuki then stomps Narita, drags him up and puts his arm through railing! The ref reprimands as Suzuki pulls on the arm!

Suzuki lets off, the fans fire up more, and Suzuki drags Narita up. Suzuki brings Narita along, SMACKS him off the apron, and the ref finally starts a ring count. Suzuki kicks away on Narita then shoves him into the ring. The fans cheer and Suzuki drags Narita up. Suzuki whips but Narita flops and flounders out of the ring. The fans boo but Suzuki is amused. Suzuki taunts Narita, but Narita trips Suzuki and whips him into railing! The fans boo as Narita goes into the ring, builds speed, and as Suzuki gets on the apron, Narita BOOTS him back down! Narita stomps Suzuki against railing while the ring count starts.

Narita fires forearms, Suzuki eggs him on, so Narita claws the eyes! Suzuki gets in the ring, Narita storms in to stomp away at the ropes! The fans boo as Narita kicks Suzuki back out, then whips him hard into railing! Suzuki sputters, Narita brings Suzuki around to whip into more railing! Suzuki grabs a bottle of water to SPLASH Narita! The fans fire up but Narita kicks Suzuki, only to slip in the water! Narita puts Suzuki in the ring, stands on him for a cocky cover, TWO! The fans boo but Narita soaks up the heat. Suzuki rises, Narita fires a forearm then runs to BOOT! Suzuki staggers, Narita whips, but Suzuki reverses!

Suzuki runs in to BOOT Narita at the corner! The fans fire up as Suzuki fires forearm after forearm! The fans count and Suzuki goes past ten, and even tells the ref to back off! Narita sits down in the corner but Suzuki fires off more forearms! Suzuki tops it off at TWENTY! The fans fire up, Suzuki drags Narita to his feet, then snapmares Narita to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Suzuki keeps on Narita with a SLEEPER! Narita fights up, slips around, and has a SLEEPER! Suzuki switches to put the SLEEPER back on Narita! The fans fire up as Narita flails, but Suzuki drops back into body scissors! Narita is caught and the fans fire up!

Narita flails, reaches out, but Suzuki rolls him away from ropes! Narita is fading, the ref checks. The arm drops once! The arm drops twice! Narita comes back at the third and has the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts as Suzuki thrashes around! The ref pries at the hold, but Suzuki holds on! The ref counts again, Suzuki lets go at 4, and Suzuki gets in the ref’s face! Narita breathes again, rises up, and then runs up to KNEE STOMP! The fans boo as Narita goes to get a chair! The ref stops Narita, but Narita wedges the chair into the corner. But Suzuki kicks Narita first! Suzuki whips, follows, then shoots around to the SLEEPER!

Narita wrenches out! Narita whips, Suzuki stops himself, and then Suzuki BOOTS Narita down! The fans fire up as now Suzuki has the chair! The ref says no, the fans boo, and Narita has his push-up bar! Suzuki shoves the ref aside, PUSH-UP BAR SHOT!! Then the DOUBLE CROSSER! Cover, Narita wins!

Winner: Ren Narita, by pinfall

The fans boo because of course the Souled Out son of a gun had to cheat to win, but it’s surprising that he did it all on his own! Suzuki is pissed, he runs back up but the Young Lions keep him away! So the Young Lions are sent into railing for it! Will anyone ever humble Narita’s inflated ego?

 

NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Stephanie Vaquer VS AZM!

Having dethroned Giulia in the background of Stardom’s Cinderella Tournament, La Primera feels unstoppable! But will she be able to keep up with the Highspeed Superstar? Or will Stephanie show she’s a real speed demon herself?

The introductions are made, the NJPW belt is raised, and we see who is truly a Strong Star!

The bell rings and the fans rally up already as the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but then Vaquer uses her height for leverage. AZM digs her heels in to push back, and the fans rally up more. Vaquer gets around to waistlock, sit-down, roll and JAPANESE BRIDGE! TWO, and the fans cheer as the two reset. AZM runs up to kick low, whip, but Vaquer reverses. Vaquer hurdles but AZM comes right back to shove, follow and run up again. Vaquer pops AZM up but AZM slips free to then duck ‘n’ dodge and trip Vaquer up! Then PENALTY KICK! SLIDING KICK! Kip up! The fans fire up with AZM and she gets them even hotter!

AZM gets Vaquer up but Vaquer JAWBREAKERS! AZM blocks a kick, gives a kick, then runs to sunset flip! Vaquer stays up, scuffs AZM and then runs to drop the leg, brother! The fans fire up and Vaquer clamps on a chinlock. Vaquer squeezes tight but AZM endures. The fans rally, AZM fights around, reaches out, but Vaquer drags her by her hair! The fans boo but Vaquer wraps on a headscissors, and she turns AZM over to RAM her into the mat again and again and again! The fans cheer as Vaquer lets off to cover, TWO! AZM stays in this but Vaquer stays calm. Vaquer looms over AZM, then springboard KNEE DROPS!

Vaquer digs her heel into AZM’s head, but the ref counts. Vaquer lets off, drags AZM up and the fans rally up. Vaquer bumps AZM off buckles, sits her down, then goes up to stand on AZM’s face! The ref counts, Vaquer steps off, and she drags AZM up. AZM fires a forearm but then falls over. Vaquer stands AZM up to HEADBUTT her down! AZM drags herself up to fire another forearm! Vaquer HEADBUTTS again! AZM forearms again and again and again! The fans fire up, but Vaquer HEADBUTTS again and again and again! Vaquer runs, AZM gets around and spins her, snap suplex! The fans fire up while both women are down!

AZM stands, whips Vaquer to a corner, but Vaquer stops herself to CLUB AZM! Vaquer whips, runs up, but into a BOOT! AZM fires up, but Vaquer puts AZM’s leg in the ropes! Vaquer has the other leg, to DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! AZM writhes, flops out of the ring, but Vaquer goes to the apron. Vaquer watches like a hawk, but AZM avoids the kick! AZM trips Vaquer to ROUNDHOUSE Vaquer down! Vaquer slumps to the floor, AZM goes up and up and SUPER DIVING STOMPS!! The fans are thunderous as AZM stands tall! AZM drags Vaquer up, puts her in, and then goes back up the corner!

AZM aims and the fans fire up for the MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! But into the FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Vaquer reaches out, so AZM traps that arm and pulls the other arm! Vaquer endures as AZM has a mounted armlock! Then AZM YANKS the arm into an ARMBAR! Vaquer clasps hands to fight the hold, then kicks around, ROPEBREAK! AZM lets go and fans rally as she brings Vaquer around. AZM KICKS Vaquer in the side, then drags her into a drop zone! AZM steps on Vaquer before she climbs back up. The fans fire up for the DIVING- NO, Vaquer avoids the stomps to DROPKICK!

But AZM’s right back up! She ROUNDHOUSES Vaquer, then runs, but Vaquer reels her in, BIG back suplex! Both women are down again and the fans are thunderous! The two women slowly sit up and the fans rally again. AZM fires a forearm first, but Vaquer HEADBUTTS! AZM fires another forearm, so Vaquer HEADBUTTS! Forearm, HEADBUTT, then AZM fires a flurry! Vaquer SLAPS AZM! The fans fire up as Vaquer then blocks a slap into an ARMBAR! AZM stacks it, TWO! CROSSFACE!! Vaquer pulls way back on AZM, AZM is fading, reaches out, but Vaquer rolls her from ropes!

AZM kicks around still, ROPEBREAK behind Vaquer’s back! The fans fire up as Vaquer lets go in frustration. Vaquer drags AZM up, ducks the haymaker, then spins her to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! AZM is still in this and the fans fire up! Vaquer goes to a corner, climbs up, but AZM rises! AZM ROCKS Vaquer, but then Vaquer HEADBUTTS back! AZM ROUNDHOUSES back, goes up after Vaquer, and the fans fire up for the SUPERPLEX! AZM positions Vaquer just right, hurries back up top, and DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Vaquer survives and neither Chicago nor AZM can believe it!

AZM drags Vaquer up, “This is Awesome!” as she reels Vaquer in. Vaquer wrenches out, EAT DA FEET! Vaquer runs, AZM follows and tilt-o-whirls, LA MYSTICA! Then the step over, AZM SUSHI ROLL! TWO!! Vaquer escapes the cradle, and AZM hurries to a corner. AZM runs in, but is sent into buckles! HEADBUTT HEADBUTT HEADBUTT!! Vaquer sits AZM down, runs corner to corner, METEORA! Vaquer drags AZM up and tucks her in, but AZM pops free! AZM ducks ‘n’ dodges but into a SUPERKICK! Vaquer runs, but AZM follows again! Tilt-o-whirl but no Mystica! PACKAGE BACKBREAKER!! Cover, Vaquer wins!

Winner: Stephanie Vaquer, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Women’s Champion)

AZM’s speed was there, but so was Vaquer’s strength! Vaquer keeps her THREE belts, from NJPW Strong to CMLL, but will she be able to hold onto all of them through the Summer?

Well hold on, speaking of, here comes Alex Windsor! She gets a mic to say, “Now I understand that you maybe don’t know who I am, so allow me to formally introduce myself. I am at the top of the UK Women’s Scene. I have conquered Europe, I have overcome Japan. Every single country, every single company I have been to, I have made my presence known. And trust me when I say, it doesn’t stop here. So uh, if you’re up for it, May 11th, Resurgence, you put your NJPW Strong Women’s Championship on the line against Alex Windsor!” The fans are torn on this, but Alex bloody dares Vaquer!

Vaquer looks Alex up and down, takes the mic, and says, “You’re on.” Will Vaquer be able to break the Iron Willed Windsor? Or will Alex prove she’s just as NJPW Strong, if not stronger?

 

NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships Fatal 4 Way: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS TMDK VS West Coast Wrecking Crew VS #NoFilthyDaysOff!

The Guerrillas of Destiny have passed on the torch, but there’s a chance the fire could be blown out in the Windy City! Can The Headbanga & Young Guerilla make it through Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls, Royce Isaacs, Jorel Nelson, Tom Lawlor AND Fred Rosser all at once? Or are we guaranteed NEW Strong Tag Team Champions?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who defies the odds to win the gold!

Tensions are already running high given the beef between WCWC and their former leader, Lawlor. In this Fatal 4, only two teams are legal at a time, and ELP steps up to start against Hysterical Haste. The fans rally up with the bell as the two circle. They tie up, Shane headlocks, but ELP powers up and out. Shane runs ELP over, drags him back up, and runs, but ELP drops, hurdles, and drops again. ELP DROPKICKS Shane down then handsprings up! The fans cheer but Shane KICKS ELP, whips him to the corner, only for ELP to ROCK Mikey! Shane DROPKICKS ELP down! Tag to Mikey and TMDK double whip.

TMDK DOUBLE ELBOW ELP then SENTON FIST DROP COMBO! Cover, ONE, and Mikey whips ELP. Leo tags in, ELP gets around Mikey and sends him into the UPPERCUT! ELP BLASTS Shane, Leo sends Mikey to the corner to SPLASH! ELP back elbows, then feeds Mikey to Leo’s SIDEWALK SLAM! ELP is up, for the FALLING ELBOW! Then the high five! The fans fire up as Leo aims, but then Rosser tags in! Rosser eggs Mikey on, they RAM shoulders! And RAM again! Rosser runs but Mikey ELBOWS him! Mikey runs, Rosser dodges and ROLLING ELBOWS! Tag to Lawler, the fans fire up, and NFDO RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP TACKLE COMBO!

Rosser BLASTS WCWC, drops a leg on Mikey, then scoops Lawlor to SLAM him on Mikey! Rosser BLASTS Shane, too, but Royce sneaks a tag. The fans fire up as Lawlor and Royce stare down. The two circle, but then ELP tags in off Lawlor! No filthy showdown yet, but then Royce SHOVES ELP into Lawlor, then GERMAN SUPLEXES ELP! The fans boo as WCWC BLAST Leo! Royce RAMS ELP into the corner, stomps a mudhole in, then tags in Jorel. Jorel stands ELP up to CHOP, then CHOPS again! The fans rally up as Jorel winds up, but then he pokes ELP in the eyes! The fans boo but Jorel says he’s smarter than that.

Jorel RAMS ELP into the corner, tags Royce, and then WCWC wrench and DOUBLE ATOMIC DROP! ELP hobbles, Jorel sweeps the legs, and Royce deadlift suplexes! Royce holds ELP up, kicks Shane away, but then Lawlor reaches out to tag in! Royce SLAMS ELP down, but he has to exit now. Lawlor drags ELP up, and clamps on a GUILLOTINE! ELP endures, fights his way up, reaches out, but Lawlor redirects him. Rosser tags in and CLUBS ELP. NFDO double whip to ELBOW ELP down, then Lawlor hooks Rosser up, HALF NELSON FACEBUSTER SPLASH onto ELP! Cover, TWO! Rosser stares down WCWC then gets ELP up.

Rosser kicks and KNEES ELP, then HEADBUTTS! Rosser HIP ATTACKS ELP, runs, but Royce tags in! Royce then knees Rosser low and TOSSES him! Tag to Jorel, WCWC BLASTS everyone else! Then WCWC double wrench and double- NO, ELP slips free of the suplex! ELP go esup and over, slips under, but Royce gets a leg! ELP ENZIGIRIS but then Jorel gets a leg! ELP BOOTS Jorel into Royce! Hot tag to Leo! The fans fire up as Leo UPPERCUTS Jorel! Royce ducks ‘n’ dodges but Leo still BOOTS him! Leo scoops Jorel for SNAKE EYES, and the BOOT! Leo choke grips Royce, but Jorel gets up! So Leo gets him, too!

The fans fire up but WCWC break the guzels to throw hands! WCWC double whip, but Leo breaks the line to DOUBLE LARIAT back! The fans fire up but TMDK attack! They double whip but Leo breaks those lines, only for TMDK to get under! BACK SUPELX NECKBREAKER COMBO! NFDO fire off on TMDK! The fans fire up as NFDO double whip, but Shane JUMP KICKS Rosser and Mikey ELBOWS Lawlor! TMDK pinball Lawlor, get him up, but Lawlor slips free! Lawlor shoves Mikey into Shane, then he and Rosser clamp on, SLEEPER HOLD and CROSSFACE CHICKEN WING! The fans fire up as TMDK endure!

Mikey holds Shane’s hand, but then Leo DOUBLE LARIATS all four men!! The fans are thunderous as Leo gets NFDO, DOUBLE GODSENDS!! Leo SPLASHES Jorel, scoops him, and POWERSLAMS! The fans are thunderous as Leo tags ELP in! ELP and Leo coordinate, tune up, and Jorel stands. But Royce trips ELP! Leo still grabs Jorel, but Jorel STUNNERS! Royce LARIATS Leo up and out! Jorel KNEES ELP, Royce UPPERCUTS, feed to the POP UP POWERBOMB! And then CATAPULT into the fireman’s carry, DEATH VALLEY BACKBREAKER!! Cover, Lawlor breaks it! The fans are thunderous again and Royce is furious!

“This is Awesome!” as WCWC CLOBBER Lawlor! But Rosser gets in to stand Lawlor up. The four stare down, and the filthy brawl is on! The fans fire up as the forearms fly back and forth! NFDO DECK WCWC, then they DOUBLE ROLLING ELBOW on Jorel! NFDO aim at Royce, DOUBLE ROLLING ELBOW but Royce ducks! The elbows clash, Royce BOOTS Rosser! Lawlor sweeps the leg then KNEES Royce down! But Jorel SHOTGUNS Lawlor! But he turns around into SUDDEN DEATH! And then EKP DIVES onto the others before GODSEND!! ELP is back on the apron, he climbs up Leo, but Shane sneaks a tag!

SUPER THUNDERKISS, but Shane TOSSES ELP out! Mikey gets Leo, Shane LAST SUPPER on Jorel! TMDK WINS!!

Winners: TMDK, by pinfall (NEW NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions)

The Mighty Don’t Kneel, and they don’t let an opportunity get past them! Shane & Mikey have gold, will Zack Sabre Jr. join them later tonight?

Meanwhile, WCWC are pissed! They CLOBBER NFDO for it! Royce POSTS Rosser, then OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY SUPLEXES to the floor! Jorel beats down on Lawlor, then shouts in his face, “WHY!? WHY!? WHY!?” WCWC gets Lawlor up, reel him in, PILEDRIVER!! MACHO ELBOW!! Team Filthy is truly no more, and then Jorel brings out SCISSORS!! The fans boo as Royce sits Lawlor up! Jorel grabs a handful of hair, and CUTS it away! The fans boo as Jorel & Royce disrespect their mentor as they just cut random pieces away! Jorel shouts, “It didn’t have to be this way!”

The fans tell Royce he’s sick as he EATS Lawlor’s hair! Rosser manages to rise to his feet, but he’s in no shape to fight! WCWC knows that, and Jorel MAKES Rosser eat hair!! The fans are disgusted, but the WCWC leaves. Will they prove they’re truly the filthiest of them all?

 

Shota Umino VS Jack Perry!

The Roughneck and his mentor, Jon Moxley, got the win over the Scapegoat and Ren Narita just a few days ago at NJPW Sakura Genesis. But now this is a more personal showdown as Shota wants to finally shut Jack up once and for all. Will there be a Paradigm Shift here in Chicago? Or will Perry prove Shota doesn’t know Jack?

As Jack makes his entrance, he has guards in riot gear. The fans are chanting “C M PUNK!” at him, but he came prepared! He has the flag of Chicago draped on his shoulders, then holds it up as he struts around. Then Jack turns around and drops the flag to reveal “CRY ME A RIVER” painted on the back of his jacket! Jack is rubbing it in everyone’s faces as he goes down to the ring, but will Shota make Jack cry?

Jack gets on a corner to soak up the heat, and Chicago sure gives him all he can handle. Though, there are some fans actually cheering “SCAPEGOAT! SCAPEGOAT!” The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Jack puts Shota on ropes. Jack lets off clean and that surprises Shota, maybe even confuses him. The two reset, tie up again, and now Shota puts Jack on ropes. The ref counts, Shota lets off with pats on the shoulder, but then Jack SLAPS Shota! Jack bails out while fans boo, and a ring count starts. Jack grabs some water to take a sip, then he SPLASHES the fans! Shota rushes out, but the water trips him up!

Jack and Shota brawl, Shota RAMS Jack into railing, then CLUBS Jack around. Shota puts Jack in, but Jack KICKS Shota down! The fans boo as Jack stomps Shota to ropes. Jack CHOPS Shota, Shota staggers away, and Jack whips, Shota reverses, scoops, DROPS and basement dropkicks! The fans fire up with Shota while Jack flounders to a corner. Shota runs up to CLUB Jack down, then stomps him around. But Jack CLAWS Shota’s face! Jack CLUBS Shota, snapmares, and basement dropkicks to the back! Cover, ONE!! Shota is tougher than that, the fans chant “You Got Choked Out!” “No He Didn’t!” in reference to the All In video.

Jack stalks Shota, stands him up, and facelocks! The GUILLOTINE is a direct shot at #BrawlIn! The fans are torn, but then Jack snap suplexes! Cover, TWO! Jack says okay, he drags Shota up and he whips Shota to a corner. Jack runs up to clothesline, then he stomps Shota down. The ref counts, Jack goes up the corner to soak up the heat. Jack then hops down to drag Shota up. Shota ROCKS Jack first! Jack CLUBS Shota, whips, but Shota ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Jack! The fans fire up with Shota and he storms up on Jack again. Shota whips corner to corner, runs in and UPPERCUTS! Then FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!

Not quite perfect but Shota does the Jungle Life dance! The fans sing along, Shota drags Jack up, and then clinches. Jack fights the lift, throws elbows, and he CLAWS Shota’s back! The ref reprimands, but Jack runs up, into a drop toehold! Shota slingshots to APRON DDT! The fans fire up again while Jack flops to the floor! The ring count starts, Shota takes a full lap, then returns to Jack. Shota drags Jack up at 5 of 20, puts him in at 7, and Shota goes up the corner. Fans chant for “LUCHASAURUS!” while Shota MISSILE DROPKICKS! Shota then clinches to EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Jack is still in this but Shota keeps his cool.

Shota drags Jack back up, dragon sleepers, and hits the TRI- NO, Jack slips free! Jack waistlocks, Shota standing switches, but Jack grabs the ref and then LOW BLOWS Shota!! The fans boo as Jack gets away with that one! Jack then drags Shota out, has him on the apron, DRAPING DDT to the floor! Jack drags Shota up, puts him back in, then brings Shota around to underhook. TIGER DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and the fans fire up! Jack sighs, rises up and hears all the boos. Jack walks around to soak up more heat, then he scuffs Shota. Shota crawls, Jack scuffs him again, but Shota shakes his head.

Jack scuffs Shota more, pie faces him, then eggs Shota on. Shota rises up to fire a forearm! Jack puts his hair back and Shota roars! Jack ROCKS Shota, Shota fires another forearm! Jack ROCKS Shota, Shota staggers around, but Shota comes back to forearm! Jack sighs, then SPITS at Shota! The fans boo more and Shota scowls. Shota storms up on Jack, then ROCKS him! Jack ROCKS Shota, Shota ROCKS Jack, repeat! They go back and forth, the fans strongly on Shota’s side! Shota gets the edge, then UPPERCUTS! Shota eggs Jack on, pie faces him, so Jack SLAPS back! Jack CLUBS Shota, runs, but into a DROPKICK!

The fans are thunderous as both men are down! Shota pounds the mat and rises up, and the fans rally behind him. Shota drags Jack back up, dragon sleepers, and TRIDENT! Cover, TWO!! Jack survives but Shota just fires up again! Shota drags Jack into a half nelson, spin and POP UP KNEE! IGNITION! Cover, TWO!! Jack is still in this but Shota is still fired up! The fans are still with him as he aims from a corner! Jack slowly sits up, Shota kicks low and underhooks, but Jack wrenches out! Shota blocks the superkick to ROCK, ROLLING- SUPERKICK! Jack hops up, POISON-RANA! But Shota’s up to BLAZE- NO, Jack ducks!

Jack runs, into a pop-up! But Jack blocks the uppercut and spins Shota around, for an UNPRETTIER?! Shoutout to Christian Cage as Jack covers, TWO!!! Shota survives and Jack is furiously headbutting the mat! Jack drags Shota up, calls the end, and runs up, GLASSJAW!! Cover, TWO?!? Shota survives the knee shot and Jack is beside himself! The fans chant “G T S! G T S!” Jack lets his hair back down, will he listen to Chicago? Shota is in a corner, Jack aims and runs in, SHINING WIZARD! Another shot at Phil Brooks! The fans are rowdy as ever as Jack flips them off, and he shoves Shota down. Jack says night-night!

Jack takes his time going up to Shota, then brings Shota up to fireman’s carry! Jack flips everyone off before the GO TO- DDT COUNTER!! The fans are electric as Shota aims from the corner! Shota says night-night to Jack! BLAZE BLADE!! Underhooks, DEATH RIDER!! Cover, Shota wins!!

Winner: Shota Umino, by pinfall

The Scapegoat was less fighting the Roughneck and more the specter of the Second City Saint, and perhaps that cost him! Shota brings Jack down tonight, but will he still bring a Paradigm Shift to NJPW?

Wait, Jack gets to his feet and offers a handshake? He suddenly respects Shota now? Shota trusts it and shakes Jack’s hand. Jack raises Shota’s hand in victory, but still flips off Chicago. Is this itself a paradigm shift in Jack’s personality?

 

Mustafa Ali VS Hiromu Takahashi!

Chicago’s other hometown hero is here, bringing the TNA X-Division Championship AND the DREAMWAVE Alternative Champion with him. The Beacon is shining with gold but he wants to have the Junior Heavyweight Division spotlight on him. Will he do that by defusing the Ticking Timebomb? Or will Hiromu still be the Best of the Super Juniors?

Hiromu shows off a very jacked Daryl Jr. but Ali refuses to accept that thing as alive. Ali gets on a corner for fans to cheer, but then Hiromu gets on a corner and all the fans cheer! The bell rings and the fans rally as the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, and then they break. They circle again, the fans cheer on “TA-KA-HA-SHI!” and he bows to Chicago. Ali gets the fans fired up, but then Hiromu gets the fans really fired up! Ali and Hiromu feel things out, knuckle lock, but Ali brings Hiromu down to wrench. Hiromu slips through, puts the wristlock up and over, using Ali’s own head to break the hold.

Hiromu then wrenches Ali to a wristlock, but Ali rolls, handsprings and wrenches back. Hiromu wrenches, Ali wrenches, repeat! The fans fire up as Hiromu WRINGS Ali! Ali stands, uses ropes to flip through, then wrenches to hammerlock. Ali headlocks, Hiromu powers up and out, but Ali runs Hiromu over! Things speed up, Hiromu drops down, hurdles, but Ali drops on the monkey flip for a cover, TWO! Hiromu sweeps the legs to cover, ONE as Ali goes Matrix! Hiromu rolls Ali up, TWO! The two stand off and the fans cheer. Ali gets Chicago fired up again, then he shoves Hiromu. Hiromu sputters and claims Ali hit him so hard!

The ref has Ali stay back while Hiromu shouts, “Oh my gosh!” Hiromu goes to Daryl Jr. and has him sit in the center. Daryl flops over but Hiromu says Daryl can handle this. Hiromu gets fans chanting for Daryl, but Ali is annoyed by these antics. Ali says fine, he’s gonna mess Daryl Jr. up! Ali circles with Daryl, but then Hiromu slips in! Ali sees that and the fans boo. Hiromu apologizes, but then Ali takes a swing! Hiromu dodges, scoops up Daryl, they duck ‘n’ dodge and then Hiromu says MEOW~! Or no, Daryl says meow! Catch! Hiromu throws Daryl at Ali, Ali catches Daryl and then Hiromu dropkicks Ali’s legs out!

The fans cheer while Ali flounders, and Hiromu picks Daryl Jr. back up. Hiromu shows Daryl to the crowd, the fans cheer, but then Ali runs up! Hiromu dodges to CHOP! Hiromu CHOPS again, then follows Ali around. Hiromu CHOPS again, whips, but Ali holds ropes. Ali bails out but Hiromu pursues, and CHOPS! The fans fire up as Hiromu follows Ali, but then Ali takes a swing! Hiromu counter punches, says “Oh my gosh,” then chases Ali around the ring! Ali suckers Hiromu into a DRAPING DDT to the floor! The ring count climbs, Ali talks trash on Hiromu, then stomps him. Ali drags Hiromu up and in at 9 of 20.

Ali shouts, “What’s my name?” The fans chant for Ali and he goes in to KNEE Hiromu in the back, then clamps on the chinlock. Hiromu kicks around, the fans duel, and Hiromu has the ROPEBREAK! Ali CLUBS Hiromu as he lets off, then whips Hiromu to a corner. Hiromu reverses, runs up, but Ali slips out to ROUNDHOUSE! Ali slingshots for the NECKBREAKER! Cover with a bridge, TWO! Hiromu stays in this but Ali stays on Hiromu with another chinlock. Hiromu endures the squeeze and the fans rally up. Hiromu fights up to his feet, throws body shots, but Ali CLUBS him again. Ali whips Hiromu to a corner, then runs to NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!

Ali is growing frustrated but he has the fans cheering. Ali sits Daryl up in the corner so he can watch what’s about to happen. Ali of course knows this is a stuffed animal, it doesn’t matter, but he’s still gonna mess Hiromu up. Ali kicks Hiromu around, tells him he’s crazy, but then Hiromu CHOPS! And CHOPS! Ali knees low, runs, but Hiromu follows to RANA! The fans fire up while Ali flounders to ropes. Hiromu drags himself up, they end up in corners, and Ali runs in. Hiromu dodges to clothesline, snapmare and basement dropkick! Ali bails out but Hiromu goes to the apron. FLYING SHOTGUN! Ali is sent into railing!

The fans fire up with Hiromu as he stands back up. The ring count starts, Hiromu goes back to Ali but we reach 10 of 20 before Hiromu gets him up. Hiromu puts Ali into the ring, cover, TWO! Hiromu drags Ali up by his hair, then fireman’s carries. But Ali slips free, runs up, but into a BOOT! Hiromu runs, but Ali ducks, only to swing into a spin and suplex, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and duel again as Hiromu rises. Hiromu stalks Ali, drags him up and fireman’s carries, but Ali fights free again. Ali shoves, runs in, and DROPKICKS in the corner! Ali keeps moving, and he DROPKICKS again!

Ali goes again, but Hiromu LARIATS first! The fans fire up, Hiromu whips Ali to ropes, then scoops him, but Ali tilt-o-whirl DDTS! Cover, TWO! Hiromu survives but both men are down, and the fans rally up. Ali slowly rises, makes his way to ropes and goes up a corner. Ali reaches the top but Hiromu throws body shots and elbows first! Hiromu climbs from the outside, and fans are freaking out as Hiromu aims for the floor! Ali fires body shots to send Hiromu to the apron. But Hiromu UPPERCUTS Ali! Ali backflips, and lands on his feet!! The cameraman almost got an eyeful, though! Ali hurries up to SHOVE Hiromu down!

Hiromu hits railing, and then Ali DIVES into him! The railing is sent WAY back, commentary takes a hit, and the fans are thunderous! Ali is busted open, but he still drags Hiromu up and into the ring, then goes up the corner! The fans rally, Ali aims, 450- NO, he has to roll through as Hiromu moves! Ali comes back, but Hiromu sends him hard into buckles! The fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Ali and Hiromu are both somehow okay, as is Chris Charlton on commentary. Hiromu crawls his way over to Ali, brings him back up to the top rope, and then CHOPS! Hiromu climbs, brings Ali up, but Ali resists!

Ali throws body shots, then he HEADBUTTS Hiromu down! Hiromu staggers to his feet, Ali stands on the top rope, but Hiromu runs up! Ali jumps to SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB! Ali then skins the cat, takes aim, and 450 SPLASHES! Cover, Ali wins!!

Winner: Mustafa Ali, by pinfall

The X-Division/Alternative Champion is triumphant here in his hometown! And best of all, Ali shows Hiromu respect by shaking his hand. Hiromu wants Ali to shake Daryl Jr’s hand, too, and so do the fans! Ali sighs, goes over to pick Daryl Jr. up, and he shakes Daryl Jr’s hand! The Windy City cheers him on, will Ali become the champion not just Chicago needs, but that the world needs?

 

Riot Rules 8 Man Tag: Team Eddie Kingston VS Team Gabe Kidd!

The Mad King has lost the AEW Continental Championship and the ROH World Championship, but he is still NJPW Strong! However, this War Dog vows he will take everything from the company that, in his eyes, has all but thrown away its identity. There are no rules holding these teams back, but no one even knows who recruited who! Who drew the hotter hand to take the win here in Chicago?

Well of course Gabe got his fellow War Dog, Clark Connors, as well as The Fang Revived, Kenta, and the LEADER of Bullet Club, #GoatSlayer Rebel, David Finlay! As for Eddie, he’s already bringing a trash can of goodies as he’s got The United Empire’s Jeff Cobb and TJP! The enemies of his enemies are his allies tonight, and then we add HOMICIDE! Eddie’s old friend has come around to F Kidd’s S up! Team Eddie rushes down the ramp, Bullet Club runs up to meet them, the bell rings as the brawl is on! No need for tags or count outs in this match, anyway! Homicide fires off on Kidd while TJP has Connors, Cobb has Kenta and Eddie is after Finlay!

TJP sends Connors into railing, Eddie throws Kenta over railing! Homicide and Kidd brawl, Kidd gets the edge, and Finlay helps out. TJP stomps away on Connors while digging a chair into him, and Eddie grabs the ring bell! Kidd CLUBS Eddie first, then throws hands. Homicide fires off on Finlay, Cobb UPPERCUTS Kenta! TJP brings more chairs, and one is wrapped in barbed wire! Homicide UPPERCUTS Kidd, TJP digs the wires into Connors’ head! Eddie places the bell against Connors’ head and DING! TJP kicks Finlay away, Kidd gets in the ring, and so does Homicide. Eddie joins Homicide, but then the Dogs drag Eddie out!

Homicide runs up, he CLOBBERS Kidd, then goes out to CHOKE Kidd! Finlay wraps a chinlock on Homicide, Eddie CHOPS Connors in the ring! Connors goes to a corner, Eddie fires MACHINE GUN CHOPS! But Finlay CLOBBERS Eddie with a shillelagh! The fans boo but then TJP runs up on Finlay. TJP SOBATS, runs, but Finlay dodges the boot! And he ducks the blood mist! But TJP DROPKICKS Finlay out all the same! TJP runs to WRECK Finlay with a dropkick, then Cobb brings out a TABLE! The fans fire up seeing that, and the Empire gets the table in the ring. The table is put in the corner, then TJP grabs Finlay.

TJP bends Finlay back in a chinlock stretch, then feeds him to Cobb. Cobb picks Finlay up but the War Dogs save Finlay! The fans boo but TJP and Homicide turn things around on the Dogs. Everyone falls out of the ring again, TJP throws down hands on Connors but Finlay pulls TJP’s hair. Homicide has fans move aside so he can TOSS Kidd over railing! Finlay gets in the ring with a chair while Homicide SMACKS Kidd with a trash can lid! Finlay undoes the red corner’s buckle pad, Eddie CLOBBERS Connors with the trash can! Eddie even headbutts the trash can until it’s dented! But Connors CHOP BLOCKS Eddie!

Cobb SMACKS Kenta with the buckle pad, but Finlay CLAWS Cobb’s face! TJP SMACKS Finlay with a kendo stick! The fans fire up as TJP CHOKES Finlay with the stick! Kenta CLUBS TJP, grabs the stick and SMACKS TJP with it! And SMACKS him again! Cobb CLOBBERS Connors off of Eddie! Cobb rains down fists, Eddie SMACKS Connors with the trash can! Finlay has a loose skateboard deck and SMACKS Cobb with it! Eddie crotches Connors on the railing, then CLOBBERS him! Eddie then goes out to the crowd to CLAW Connors’ face, and send him into the railing! Eddie fires hands, Kenta SMACKS away on Cobb with the kendo stick!

Cobb blocks a shot and JAMS Kenta in return! Cobb SMACKS Kenta, Connors hits Eddie back! Connors then crotches Eddie on the railing! Eddie falls over, Connors talks trash on the fans, but TJP drags Finlay around. Homicide and Kidd are brawling in the crowd! Fans count as Homicide rains down TEN fists, then takes a BITE out of Kidd’s forehead! Cobb puts Kenta in the ring, TJP drags Kenta around to trap an arm, and Eddie SMACKS Connors with a stop sign! TJP puts the skateboard on Connors’ back to ride him! Finlay CLOBBERS Eddie to rain down fists! TJP HIP DROPS Connors, then Cobb brings him up.

Homicide and Kidd are still brawling somewhere in the crowd, Cobb keeps Connors down in a corner, and TJP drop toeholds Finlay down! TJP skateboards on Finlay’s back! Finlay powers up to throw TJP off, then IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Eddie grabs at Finlay but Finlay hits him back. Finlay goes out after Eddie, HEADBUTTS him, but the fans rally up. Finlay throws hands, Eddie hits back! Eddie CHOKES Finlay with camera cable! Eddie rains down fists and sits Finlay down. Cobb ROCKS Kenta, then CHUCKS the trash can! Kenta ducks, the can hits post! Eddie and Connors get in the ring, Eddie fires knees.

Eddie hits a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX and Connors writhes. Kidd TOSSES Homicide over railing! But Homicide hits Kidd with the railing! And again! And again! Finlay and Connors mug Eddie, CLAW his eyes, but TJP hurries over to CLOBBER Kidd! Kidd shoves TJP into railing, gets into the ring, but Homicide finds a ladder! The fans cheer as Homicide gets Kidd up, reels him into a corner, and CLAWS Kidd’s back! Then TORNADO- NO, Kidd powers out to LARIAT! “I’m a MAD MAN, y’know!!” The fans boo but Kidd grabs that ladder! Kidd RAMS Homicide low, then equips the ladder like Terry Funk!

Kidd CLOBBERS Cobb, CLOBBERS Eddie, and CLOBBERS TJP as he does the ladder-copter! But then Cobb returns, GERMAN SUPLEX!! The ladder dropped away just in time but Kidd still tumbles out. Connors runs up to SPEAR, but Cobb blocks it! Canadian Rack, but Connors slips free, ducks ‘n ‘dodges and SPEARS!! Down goes Cobb and the fans fire up! Connors grabs the barbed wire off his hat, wears it as a crown of thorns, and then he drags TJP up. The fans tell Connors he’s sick as he BARBED WIRE HEADBUTTS! And BARBED WIRE HEADBUTTS again! Connors fires up, drags TJP back up, but gets BLOOD MIST!!

The fans fire up as TJP then sits Connors in a corner, and digs that wire in! TJP scrubs Connors’ face through the wires! TJP goes side to side for the BARBED WIRE BOOT WASH! Homicide joins in, Connors is fed to an ELBOW! And then speaking of “fed,” Homicide has a FORK! Homicide DIGS the fork into Connors’ forehead!! Kenta runs in, but blocks the fork! URAKEN! Homicide sits back but TJP kicks Kenta. TJP whips, Kenta reverses and BOOTS! Kenta runs to HYDRAULIC DROPKICK Homicide! HYDRAULIC DROPKICK for TJP! Homicide puts TJP up top, climbs up after him, but Cobb CLUBS Kenta!

Cobb drags Kenta back but Kenta fires elbows. Kenta fireman’s carries, but Cobb’s too big! Cobb CLBUS Kenta, but Kenta CROSS COUNTERS! Kenta runs, into a LARIAT! TJP adjusts up top to MAMBA SPLASH, but he has to roll through as Kenta moves! Kenta fireman’s carries! GO TO SLEEP!! But Cobb CROSSBODIES! Finlay returns and SMACKS Cobb with a kendo stick! And again! Finlay whips Cobb into the barbed wire chair wedged in the corner!! Cobb falls out of the ring, but Eddie blocks the kendo stick smack! LOW BLOW! Eddie fires off shots on Finlay!! The fans are thunderous as Eddie even headbutts the stick to break it!

The straps come down, and finally, Eddie and Kidd meet! They LARIAT, CHOP, CHOP and repeat! The fans “WOO~” with every CHOP! Eddie CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Kidd BITES Eddie’s forehead! The Mad Man spits, flips everyone off, and Kidd whips Eddie! Eddie stops himself, then clinches! EXPLODER through the table!! The fans are thunderous as Eddie rises, barbed wire in hand! Eddie wraps his hand in the barbed wire, and he aims as Kidd rises! But then the Dogs CLOBBER Eddie! The fans boo as Finlay, Connors and Kenta all beat down Eddie! They get a steel chain to gag Eddie and sit him up!

Kidd storms around as the Dogs hold Eddie open! But Homicide returns and the fans fire up! Homicide fires off shots on Kidd! Kidd denies one cutter, shoves Homicide, but Homicide returns to CUTTER after all! Eddie meanwhile breaks free to fire off hands on Kenta and Connors! Connors hits low, CLUBS away, then he and Kenta mug Eddie. The chain wraps Eddie up, but Homicide gets Kidd up. Only for Finlay to SHILLELAGH Homicide! Feed to Kidd’s HANGING GUILLOTINE, then PILEDRIVER!! The Dogs keep Eddie down while Kidd covers, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Team Gabe Kidd, by pinfall

The War Dogs worked together to tear down Eddie’s team, and Finlay says they run this! But Eddie still puts up a fight! As do TJP and Cobb! It is chaos as Eddie CHOKES Kidd and Cobb throws hands down on Finlay! Young Lions and refs rush in to stop this, but Eddie and Kidd still throw windmilling haymakers! TJP still wants after Kenta, refs pull him back, and Kidd ROCKS Eddie! TJP and Cobb stand tall as the Dogs fall back. Kidd wants to tear Eddie apart, and Eddie gets a mic! “Hey! HEY! Gabe! Get in, you effing t*at! You effing b*tch! May 11th! May 11th! California! No ropes, Last Man Standing, you effing p*ssy!”

The fans are thunderous as the challenge has been made, and Kidd even gets some last shots in on Eddie! Eddie grabs the ladder but is told to stand down! Eddie gets back on the mic to say, “I’m gonna kill that mother effer!!” The fans are loving this as Resurgence will become violence, but will the Mad Man dethrone the Mad King once and for all?

 

NJPW World Television Championship: Matt Riddle VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The Original Bro has been taking this title on Ex-BRO-dition to Major League Wrestling, where he even fought some TMDK members in Bad Dude Tito and Kosei Fujita. But now, the original star of this title division has come back to prove The Mighty Don’t Kneel! Will ZSJ have the answer to this Riddle? Or will the Super King prove he’s mightier than The Mighty?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if “season three” gives way to a reboot!

The bell rings, 15 minutes on the clock, and the fans rally already as the two circle. They feel things out, Riddle goes for a leg but ZSJ flips him around to facelock. They go around, trade waistlocks, then break. The fans cheer as the two reset and go again. They feel things out, Riddle powers his way to a waistlock but ZSJ wrenches to an armlock. ZSJ steps over, headscissors Riddle onto his back, but Riddle moves around, and goes for the ARMBAR! ZSJ clasps hands, bridges up and rolls back, but they’re in the ropes. ZSJ still gets the KNEEBAR, but Riddle stands to pry ZSJ off! ZSJ goes for the leg again, Riddle gets away!

The fans cheer the technical exchange as the two reset. They circle, the fans sing for “OH~ Zack Sabre Jr~!” ZSJ pops Riddle up and drops him down into the ARMBAR! Riddle holds that off so ZSJ floats to a HEEL HOOK! Riddle endures, ZSJ eggs him on, and he pushes on the hold. Riddle rolls and rolls and rolls and also gets a HEEL HOOK! They duel with heel hooks, ZSJ kicks Riddle away, and the fans cheer the newest standoff. ZSJ and Riddle reset, feel things out, and ZSJ snapmares. Riddle avoids the Penalty Kick, trips ZSJ but ZSJ kicks him away. ZSJ avoids a Penalty Kick and the fans cheer again.

ZSJ and Riddle circle, feel things out again, and knuckle lock. Riddle shoots around, gut wrenches and SUPLEXES! Riddle rolls back, drags ZSJ up, GUT WRENCH PLEX! The fans are torn but Riddle smiles all the same. Riddle runs to BROTON but into an ARMBAR! Riddle scrambles, ROPEBREAK, but ZSJ has the DISARMER! The ref counts, ZSJ lets off and the fans fire up with him. ZSJ kicks Riddle, kicks again, but then Riddle blocks. Riddle stands up, ZSJ avoids the sweeps and SLAPS Riddle back! Riddle CHOPS ZSJ down! The fans are torn again while Riddle scowls now. ZSJ rises, and Riddle KICKS!

Riddle eggs ZSJ on, KICKS him again, and KICKS him again! Riddle kicks ZSJ around, then stands him up to KICK! ZSJ eggs Riddle on now, blocks that kick, and SNAPS a toe! Riddle falls over, ZSJ gets the foot and bends the toes back to SNAP! Then he twists the other foot all around, and STOMPS the leg down! Riddle bails out as we pass five minutes, and the fans are all fired up! Riddle hobbles up and into the ring, ZSJ is on him and snap suplexes! ZSJ gets the foot, hooks the leg, then twists the other foot! ZSJ turns Riddle over, ties the legs up, and has the BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Then ZSJ throws Riddle away!

Riddle storms up to CHOP! And forearm! ZSJ UPPERCUTS! Riddle goes to a corner, ZSJ runs in, but into a HANGING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Riddle lets go and ZSJ falls back. Riddle adjusts his shorts, goes up the corner, and leaps, FLYING KNEE into a HALF CRAB! ZSJ shifts to lean on that hold, STF, but Riddle has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer this technical exchange, ZSJ brings Riddle up, but Riddle gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! ZSJ is still in this but Riddle BROTONS! The fans are torn but Riddle is having fun again as he goes up top. Riddle aims for the FLOATING- NO, he has to bail out as ZSJ moves!

ZSJ runs up, TRIANGLE HOLD! And he fires off ELBOWS! ZSJ squeezes with the legs but Riddle powers up to deadlift, and POWERBOMB! ZSJ sits up, FLASH KNEE! Cover, TWO! ZSJ survives, but Riddle crosses his arms to mock the fans. Riddle KICKS ZSJ, KICKS him again, and again! Riddle runs side to side to forearm SMASH! Then again, but ZSJ dodges to go up, around and TORNADO DDT! Into a GUILLOTINE!! ZSJ has the body scissors, too! ZSJ flails, endures, fights up, and he lifts ZSJ to then power through into a suplex! ZSJ slips free to SLEEPER! Riddle flails, throws ZSJ off, and ARMBAR!

ZSJ clasps hands to fight the hold, but Riddle works on breaking it. ZSJ lets it go so he can shift and have the ARMBAR! Riddle clasps hands but ZSJ pulls fingers! ZSJ has the ARMBAR, but Riddle shifts into the leg guard to fire shots! The ground ‘n’ pound favors Riddle, but then ZSJ catches him to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Riddle deadlifts, but ZSJ slips free to ZACK DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! We pass ten minutes, time is on Riddle’s side! ZSJ goes to the corner, runs up, but Riddle catches Penalty Kick into the HALF CRAB! Riddle pulls on the leg but ZSJ flips Riddle off as he endures! ZSJ reaches out, even as Riddle pulls way back!

Riddle lets go to deadlift but ZSJ PELES the arm! Riddle still gets ZSJ for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Then Riddle goes up top, FLOATING BRO! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and the fans fire up! Riddle is stunned, that move almost never fails! Riddle has fans chanting “BRO! BRO! BRO!” for him as he aims, and KICKS! KICKS! And SLAPS, to then KICK! KICK! And CHOP! Three minute warning, Riddle just toys with ZSJ, but ZSJ kicks, KICKS, blocks, CHOPS, CHOPS and CHOPS! Riddle wobbles ZSJ grabs a leg, but Riddle JUMP KNEES! Riddle hurries to haul ZSJ up, ripcord and FINAL FLASH!

But Riddle’s not done with ZSJ, he gets the gut wrench and tuck, BRO- VICTORY ROLL! And EURO CLUTCH!! TWO?!? Riddle escapes, but ZSJ KICKS! Then he runs up, into a FLASH KNEE!! Two minute warning, Riddle runs, but ZSJ catches him in to a ghost pin! ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by pinfall (NEW NJPW World Television Champion)

ZSJ goes from the first-ever champion to the first-ever TWO-TIME NJPW World TV Champion! Riddle is mad with himself and storms off. Is Riddle going to find a way to some other title opportunity in NJPW? Or will he come back for another try?

As for ZSJ, he gets the mic to say, “Alright, Chicago, what’s up, mates? Are we having a lovely time or what? Are you having a lovely time?” Chicago sure is! ZSJ says his year hasn’t gone well. He wanted the world title, but he had to get his baby back! Did she miss him? Also, he needs industrial cleaner, he doesn’t trust the last champion. But it’s been a minute, so this is usually where ZSJ goes talking about challengers, but he won’t bother, he’s tired, it’s straight to the pub. But he will defend this title in the US very, very soon. Cheerio, everyone, buh-bye. Wait! Someone is not letting ZSJ get away that easily, because here comes Cobb!

The fans cheer as The Imperial Unit makes his way back out here, and he steps in to the ring with ZSJ. Cobb looks at the title he’s come close to taking on multiple occasions, and ZSJ sets it down at his feet. ZSJ says not today, though, he’s tired. Cobb and ZSJ shake hands to agree on it, so when and where will we get this sequel? Wait, ZSJ tries to scoop Cobb! Cobb says nope and he scoops ZSJ! ZSJ slips away, bails out, and gets the mic back. “Hawaiian Jeffery, please may I have my championship back? And I promise, I’ll give you a championship match, just not today, I’m tired.” ZSJ also compliment’s Cobb hair.

Cobb hands the belt over, ZSJ thanks him and heads out. ZSJ is back on top of the NJPW World TV Division, but will he end up the first man to lose this title twice?

 

Nic Nemeth VS Tomohiro Ishii!

The Showoff is basically showing off now, saying he isn’t going to defend his IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion until he faces Hiroshi Tanahashi. Is he really looking past the Stone Pitbull like that? Or will Ishii not give Nemeth a choice on who has next?

The bell rings and the fans rally as the two circle. They feel things out, tie up, and they’re in a deadlock. Nemeth uses his height for leverage but Ishii gets around to waistlock. Nemeth switches and hooks Ishii up in the COBRA TWIST, but Ishii slips right out to waistlock. Nemeth switches, tries for the Cobra Twist but Ishii slips around again. Ishii lifts, Nemeth hooks a leg to fight it, and he switches to wrangle Ishii to a cover. TWO, they end up in ropes, and the ref has them both separate. The fans cheer as the two reset. They tie up, are in another deadlock, but Nemeth uses his height as leverage to put Ishii on ropes.

The ref counts, Nemeth lets off, but Ishii CHOPS! Nemeth CHOPS back! Ishii CHOPS again! Nemeth CHOPS again! The CHOPS go back and forth as fans “WOO~,” but then Nemeth throws a forearm! Ishii fires a forearm in return, they go back and forth and Nemeth gets the edge. The fans fire up but then Ishii ROCKS Nemeth again and again. Ishii runs, RAMS Nemeth, but Nemeth stays up. The fans fire up as Nemeth ROCKS Ishii, runs and RAMS him! Ishii rebounds to CLOBBER Nemeth! The fans fire up more while Nemeth flounders. Nemeth slowly rises, Ishii brings him up and bumps him off buckles.

Ishii CHOPS Nemeth and Nemeth falls over. Ishii eggs Nemeth on, Nemeth stands, and the fans rally. Nemeth fires forearms, but Ishii CHOPS him down! The fans rally behind Ishii as he looms over Nemeth. Ishii drags Nemeth up to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Ishii kicks Nemeth around while egging him on. Ishii slaps Nemeth around, the fans rally, and Nemeth fires body shots! Nemeth kicks, DROPKICKS, and Ishii falls! The fans fire up while both men go to corners. Ishii stands, Nemeth runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then NECKBREAKER! Nemeth drops ELBOW after ELBOW, then winds up for the JUMPING ELBOW! Cover, TWO!

Nemeth is a little annoyed but Ishii is tougher than that. Nemeth reels Ishii in, but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii powers up and back drops Nemeth away! The fans fire up while Nemeth staggers to his feet. Nemeth fires hands but Ishii just scowls. Nemeth looks around as the fans say he messed up, but he still throws hands! Ishii doesn’t budge, then he just DECKS Nemeth with one shot! The fans fire up while Nemeth flounders to a corner. Ishii storms up, brings Nemeth up to the top rope, and climbs. Ishii brings Nemeth up to the very top, for the STALLING SUPERPLEX! The fans are all fired up while both men are down!

Ishii rises, looms over Nemeth, then drags him up. Ishii reels Nemeth in, but Nemeth fights the lift now! Nemeth wrenches, and jumps on, SLEEPER! Ishii has Nemeth as a backpack, but he shifts around to put the SLEEPER on Nemeth! Nemeth flails, gets around, OLYMPIC SLAM! The fans fire up while both men are down again! Nemeth rises while the fans rally. Nemeth runs up, but Ishii denies the satellite DDT with a throw! Ishii runs up but Nemeth UPPERCUTS! Ishii ROCKS Nemeth, but Nemeth SWATS the lariat to SATELLITE DDT! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and the fans fire up while Nemeth is a bit surprised.

The fans rally as Nemeth watches Ishii rise. Nemeth kicks low, runs, FAM- NO, Ishii turns the leg drop into a POWERBOMB! The fans fire up again and Ishii headbutts the buckles to fire himself up! Ishii runs but Nemeth ducks to HEADBUTT! And FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and the fans fire up again! Nemeth is beside himself, but rises as the fans rally again. Nemeth goes to a corner, Ishii staggers to his feet, and Ishii runs in! Nemeth BOOTS Ishii, runs up, and LARIATS! Ishii just roars! Ishii ROCKS Nemeth but now Nemeth roars! The fans fire up with Nemeth, but then Ishii LARIATS him down! Cover, TWO!!

Nemeth survives and Ishii growls in frustration. Ishii sits Nemeth up while fans chant “This is Awesome!” Ishii runs but Nemeth ducks the sliding lariat! Ishii blocks Nemeth’s superkick, then ENZIGIRIS! The fans fire up again while Ishii aims from a corner! SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Nemeth survives again and Ishii grows further frustrated. Ishii fires back up and the fans are with him as he drags Nemeth up. Ishii suplexes, but Nemeth fights it! Nemeth wrenches, HEADBUTTS, but Ishii still whips! Nemeth reverses, but Ishii bucks the Danger Zone! Only to turn around into a SUPERKICK 101! Cover, TWO!!!

Ishii just gets an arm up and Nemeth’s shock is clear on his face, even with his hair over his eyes! The fans fire up again as both men slowly rise. Ishii winds up but Nemeth ROCKS him first! Then GERMAN SUPLEXES! But Ishii rises right up! Ishii staggers, but he avoids Danger Zone to STEAL DANGER ZONE!! The fans are thunderous as Nemeth staggers up, into the LARIAT!! Cover, ONE?!?! Nemeth shocks everyone as he kicks it into another gear! Ishii rises, into the SUPERKICK 101!! Cover, ONE?!?!? Now Ishii shocks everyone! “This is Awesome!” as both men are down, catching their breaths.

Ishii and Nemeth go to corners, then they run in! DOUBLE LARIATS collide but neither man falls, and then Ishii HEADBUTTS! Nemeth rebounds to HEADBUTT, but then they DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Ishii BATTERING RAM HEADBUTTS!! Cover, TWO!?!? Nemeth survives that shot, but Ishii roars as he rises up! Ishii slaps himself to get back in this! Ishii drags Nemeth up, reels him in, suplexes, but Nemeth slips free, DANGER- NO, Ishii clinches! Nemeth slips free, ROCKS Ishii, SUPERKICK 101! Then he dodges Ishii to DANGER ZONE!!! Cover, Nemeth wins!!

Winner: Nic Nemeth, by pinfall

Nemeth is a Wanted Man, and this is why! He took Ishii to the Danger Zone, proving that hanging with NJPW isn’t Mission: Impossible! But will Nemeth prove he’s a Top Gun when he finally gets his dream match with President Tanahashi?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Jon Moxley!

The Uncontrollable Charisma has finally been back on top of NJPW since WrestleKingdom, and he even just defeated his Los Ingobernables de Japon teammate, Yota Tsuji, just a week ago at Sakura Genesis. At the same time, The Maniac put out the challenge that same night, and Naito said okay! Will Naito continue to keep NJPW tranquilo? Or is there truly about to be a Paradigm Shift in the world of pro-wrestling?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if the winds of change start to blow!

Moxley paces as Naito takes his time with his entrance attire, and Naito tells Moxley to tranquilo. Naito really takes his time with his pants, and is finally ready. The bell rings and the fans fire up already! Naito looks around but Moxley keeps his eyes right on Naito. The two slowly circle while the fans rally and duel. They approach but Naito dodges, and the fans cheer while Moxley keeps cool. They go again, and again Naito avoids Moxley’s grip. Naito again says tranquilo, and they circle. Moxley flips Naito off, the fans are torn, but Naito doesn’t even flinch. The two circle, tie up, and Moxley puts Naito on ropes.

The ref counts, Moxley lets off, but Naito SPITS at Moxley! Naito kicks low, TOSSES Moxley out, but gets Moxley with the fake out and tranquilo pose! The fans cheer while Moxley seethes. Moxley snarls, storms in, but Naito slips away to the outside. The fans cheer as Naito continues to troll Moxley, but then Moxley rushes out to fire off forearms! Moxley whips Naito into railing, then fires more forearms! Naito hits back, Moxley headlocks, and then he SMACKS Naito off the timekeeper’s table! The fans rally as Moxley goes up and over the railing to get Naito back up. The ref reprimands but Moxley ROCKS Naito!

Moxley SMACKS Naito off the table, SMACKS him off it again, then brings Naito around. The crowd moves aside as Moxley fires hockey scrum punches. Moxley then whips Naito, but Naito reverses and Moxley hits railing! The fans fire up, Naito checks his face, then he takes a seat to relax. The fans cheer, but then Moxley BOOTS Naito down! Moxley drags Naito up, brings him around, and back to ringside so he can POST Naito! Naito falls, the fans are torn, but Moxley paces around. Moxley storms back up on Naito, drags him up, and puts him in the ring. Moxley stalks Naito to the ropes, then stands on Naito’s face!

The ref counts, Moxley lets off to grab a hand, and Moxley SNAPS fingers! Moxley reels Naito in, PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO! Naito’s still in this but Moxley paces again. Moxley waits on Naito to get up, then KICKS him! And ROCKS him! And ROCKS him, and ROCKS him again! Then Moxley KICKS a leg! And KICKS the leg, and then KICKS the leg out! Cover, TWO! Naito is still in this but Moxley eggs him on. Moxley paces around, drags Naito up and then CHOPS! Moxley KICKS, CHPOS, but Naito SPITS! Moxley KICKS, ROCKS, but Naito SPITS! Moxley fires off ELBOW after ELBOW, then whips, but Naito sunset flips!

Moxley rolls through, steps through, FIGURE FOUR! Naito endures, the fans rally, but Moxley talks trash even as he puts on pressure! Naito powers the main leg up but Moxley powers it back down! Naito sits up, SPITS at Moxley, but Moxley puts on more pressure! Naito fights around, turns things over, but Moxley slips free to get the legs again. Moxley SPITS, then he turns Naito over into a TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Naito endures, the fans rally, and Naito fights his way around. Moxley drops down into a modified STF! Naito again endures, moves around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Moxley lets go at 4.

Moxley eggs Naito on, talks more trash, then PENALTY KICKS! Naito sits up and shakes his head. Moxley KICKS again, but Naito again sits up. Naito even smirks as he annoy Moxley. Moxley KICKS but Naito blocks! Naito CLAWS the eyes, but Moxley kicks low! Moxley suplexes for a BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Moxley CHOKES Naito, the ref counts, but Moxley lets off. Moxley storms around, the fans rally, and Naito stirs. Moxley goes to the apron, then climbs a corner. Naito rises, Moxley leaps, Naito BODY SHOTS! Naito ENZIGIRIS, Moxley drops to his knees, but Naito still has to catch his breath.

The fans rally as Naito smirks and rises up. Naito brings Moxley around to fire forearm after forearm! Naito whips, atomic drops, and then runs to ELBOW Moxley down and basement dropkick in the back! Naito whips corner to corner, runs up, JUMP KICK! He can’t get up and over so he ELBOWS then NECKBREAKERS! Cover, TWO! Naito clamps on a cravat for a neck wrench on the mat! Moxley endures, the fans rally, but Naito thrashes him around. Moxley fights up, he drags Naito up and he DUMPS Naito to the apron! Naito gets up but Moxley fires a forearm! Naito gives it back, they go back and forth!

The fans rally as the shots keep going, faster and faster! Naito ROCKS Moxley but Moxley BOOTS Naito! Naito wobbles, Moxley goes out to the apron, but Naito fights the half nelson suplex! Naito fires elbows, gets free, but Moxley ELBOWS back! And then APRON DDT! Naito flops down to the floor while the fans fire up! Moxley leaves Naito behind to mock the tranquilo! The fans are torn but Naito stirs. Naito slowly crawls, the fans rally up, and Naito stands. Naito shakes out the cobwebs, flounders into the ring, and Moxley drags Naito up. Moxley TOSSES Naito out, then builds speed to DIVE into a chair?!

The fans fire up as Naito sneaks that one! The ref checks Moxley but he’s somehow still in this! Naito goes up to the apron and brings Moxley up, for an APRON NECKBREAKER! Moxley flops down while Naito leaves him behind. The ring count starts, Moxley stirs at about 3 of 20. Moxley turns over, he’s busted open! Naito counts along as we pass 10 of 20, then reach 15! Moxley rises at 17, staggers about, and slides in at 19.9!! The fans fire up and Naito is actually annoyed. Naito drags Moxley up, reels him in, and TORNADO DDTS! Moxley sits up in a daze, the crimson mask already complete on his face!

Moxley staggers back to his feet, Naito runs in, but Moxley KING KING LARIATS! Both men are down and the fans fire back up! The ref checks both men, especially Moxley with that blood, but they’re both okay to continue. Moxley sits up as we pass 15 minutes, a quarter of the allotted hour time limit. Moxley says he’s not gonna be taken alive! Not tonight! The fans fire up with Moxley as he is ready to Die Hard! Moxley fires a haymaker, Naito gives it back! Moxley throws another, so Naito SPITS, then ROCKS him! Moxley ROCKS Naito, Naito ROCKS Moxley, so Moxley SPITS! Naito SPITS, and the forearms fly again!

The fans are thunderous as this gets fast and furious! Moxley fires a flurry, then winds up to run, but Naito gets around! Waistlock, but Moxley switches, to a SLEEPER! Naito RAMS Moxley into buckles, gets free, but the CURB STOMP OUTTA NOWHERE! Cover, TWO!! Moxley hurries to clamp on, REAR NAKED CHOKE!! Naito flails but the body scissors are on! Blood pours off of Moxley’s head, will he give out before Naito does? The fans rally as Naito endures and fights around! Moxley uses that to get the BULLY CHOKE!! Naito fights to his feet, Moxley keeps a SLEEPER! The fans continue to rally as Naito flails!

Naito pries at the hold, then drops, victory roll! TWO!! Moxley stands, Naito wrenches and fires the heavy elbows! Again and again, and then the wrench, tilt-o-whirl, but Moxley slips free! CUTTER!! But that’s not all! DEATH RIDER!! Cover, TWO?!? Naito survives Moxley’s best shot and the fans are thunderous! Moxley snarls, the fans rally and duel, and Moxley wipes the blood from his eyes. Moxley underhooks Naito again, but Naito slips around to DESTINO!!! TWO!!! Moxley survives Naito’s best shot now! But Naito is just as confident about trying again! DESTI- NO!! Moxley slips free to ROLLING ELBOW! ROLLING ELBOW! DEATH RIDER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?

The fans are electric as Naito survives another shot! But Moxley won’t let up, he KING KONG LARIATS again!! Cover, ONE?!?!? HOW?!?! Naito staggers about, but into a DEATH RIDER!!!! Cover, MOXLEY WINS!!!!

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

Chicago cannot believe it, but they are loving it! From WWE World Champion to AEW World Champion to now NJPW’s IWGP World Champion, this is history being made before our eyes!! The Maniac makes himself a modern legend, but what does this mean for Naito? Is Naito’s destino simply that he cannot last?

As for Moxley, he does push-ups just to show he has more in that tank! He sets the title down on the lion logo then gets the mic. Moxley says a quick prayer while the fans say, “You Deserve It!” Moxley gets the mic on to say, “Arigato gozaimasu, Chicago! Holy s*it… This was a treat for everybody here that might not ever get a chance to fly across the ocean and NJPW, an authentic NJPW wrestling show live and in person. And it was special to be a part of it here, and there’s nowhere better to have done it than right here in Chicago.” The fans cheer that!

Moxley says he’s wrestled in every building in Chicago, big, small and tiny, and the fans have been with him every step of the way. He thanks them for being here to make it special, as he now stands atop the effin’ NJPW mountain!! The fans fire up for Moxley again, “Thank You, Moxley!” Moxley says he’s just getting started, so he has a message for everyone in NJPW and around the world. First order of business as the King of NJPW is to pick who’s coming at him first! Mox calls the shots, and the long list of Japanese legends he’s defeated over the last five years is really something, but that’s the easy stuff.

Moxley won’t run or hide from the Young Lions, the young and hungry stars of NJPW! He won’t sit atop a mountain and be scared of the hungriest hunters in the game. So stepping up first, this will be the final exam for #SHOOTER!! The fans fire up, but then in runs REN NARITA! PUSH-UP BAR ATTACK!! The fans boo as Narita stomps away on Moxley! Narita gets the mic while he CHOKES Moxley to tell “Shooter, no no no. I’m next challenger, mother effer!” Narita stomps away, but then here comes The Roughneck! Narita turns tail and runs, the fans cheering “SHOOTER! SHOOTER!” Narita laughs as he retreats, but Shota helps Moxley sit up.

Moxley manages to glare at Narita through the crimson mask, and Shota gets the mic for him. Moxley says, “What the heck, man? Narita! You just graduated from being a Young Boy… to being a dead man!” Moxley just said he isn’t gonna run and hide, so if Narita wants a fight, he’ll get a fight! Will The Maniac tear apart that Souled Out SOB? Will Shota get to have his match with his mentor sometime after that?


My Thoughts:

A great event for NJPW, and I did not think they’d have so many changes to the title landscape. Well, Vaquer retained but that’s because she only just got that belt off Giulia. And good on Windsor to step up, though I’m not sure she’ll take that title, either. Anyway, great Fatal 4 Way that also referenced the story between Tom Lawlor and Team Filthy falling apart. Great win for TMDK here, and rather surprising because I didn’t think ELP & Leo would be losing those belts. I wonder if ELP & Leo go back to the heavyweight titles for the Summer.

And then quite the surprise that ZSJ won the NJPW World TV title back. TMDK is taking over, and maybe this move was because Riddle is more an MLW wrestler than a NJPW wrestler. ZSJ VS Cobb the third time around is going to be awesome, great trilogy, and maybe Cobb wins this time. United Empire needs some positives in their post Ospreay era. Cobb and TJP did really good in helping Eddie and Homicide against what ended up being less Team Gabe Kidd and just Bullet Club War Dogs or whatever. Good win for Bullet Club here, and setting up a NO ROPES Last Man Standing for the NJPW Strong Championship is going to be awesome stuff.

Great non-title matches, too. Narita cheating Suzuki to win, but Shota winning despite Jack trying to cheat is good stuff for the Reiwa Musketeer rivals. Great fun in the Hiromu VS Ali match with Daryl Jr, aka El Hijo De Daryl cuz he had a little lucha mask. Great win for Ali, too, but he isn’t scheduled for the Best of the Super Juniors so maybe this was so Chicago gets a win. And then great match of Nemeth and Ishii with Nemeth getting a great win to keep his momentum up while waiting on a match with Tanahashi.

And of course, an awesome main event from Naito and Moxley. I should’ve known Moxley was gonna bleed, but I was NOT expecting Moxley to win the title. Great for Moxley personally, but I’m surprised NJPW made this move. Is Moxley going to bring this title to Dynasty AND Double or Nothing? Well, I suppose Moxley could tell us as much on Dynamite, but this is all still really surprising. I’m not gonna say I agree with Gabe Kidd’s claims NJPW is letting AEW get their way, but it certainly seems like NJPW is hoping AEW helps them with the American audience.

That stuff aside, Narita and Shota being winners works for them stepping up to the world title. Narita probably won’t win, but maybe Shota proves the student has surpassed the master. Might be a bit of NJPW fast tracking their new neo new musketeers, but it’s not like other companies haven’t done that.

My Score: 8.9/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Battle of the Belts Results & Report! (4/13/24)

Rumble, bad man, rumble!

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The tenth edition goes the X-tra mile!

Battle of the Belts returns, and to settle the score from Dynamite’s Six Man Tag, Hook puts up his FTW Championship against Shane Taylor!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • FTW Championship: Hook VS Shane Taylor; Hook wins and retains the title.
  • AEW International Championship Eliminator: Roderick Strong w/ The Undisputed Kingdom VS Rocky Romero; Strong wins and denies Rocky a title match.
  • ROH Women’s World Championship: Athena w/ Billie Starkz VS Red Velvet; Athena wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

AEW Collision bleeds over a bit.

Bryan Danielson is still down on the ramp after Konosuke Takeshita’s Brainbuster and the medics check him. The battle with Will Ospreay at Dynasty is still in the books, but what condition will Bryan be in?

 

Backstage interview with Hook and Katsuyori Shibata.

Lexi Nari is with the FTW Champion and The Wrestler, and notes we saw Hook make the save for Shibata during Collision against Shane Taylor Promotions. At the same time, Hook is about to face Shane Taylor himself with the FTW title on the line. Knowing what Shane’s capable of, what is Hook’s strategy going into that match? Shibata uses his voice-to-text translator say, “Pardon the interruption… Hook, I’ll have your back tonight.” Hook appreciates that, but even knowing what Shane’s capable of, Hook’s got his own way of handling this. Shibata says bet, and Hook gives him the fist bump.

FTW Championship: Hook VS Shane Taylor w/ Anthony Ogogo!

The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil knows he’s up against a bad, bad man, but this is FTW Rules! Everyone who fights for this title is a bad, bad man, so will Hook prove he’s the baddest? Or will Shane #SendHook back to New York without his gold?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who’s really the biggest badass in AEW!

The bell rings, the two circle, and they feel things out. Shane swings, Hook dodges to fire off fast hands and forearms! The fans fire up behind Hook but Shane shoves him away. Hook ducks the haymaker, waistlocks, but Shane fights with elbows. Shane swings again, but Hook gets under! Shane CLUBS the Camino down, then whips. Hook holds ropes, then DUMPS Shane out! Shane tumbles to the floor, Hook pursues, and Hook SMACKS Shane off railing! Hook SMACKS Shane off steel steps, then has Shane sit in a corner. Hook rains down fists, then lets off to revel in the cheers. Hook throws knees again and again, then CLUBS Shane again.

Shane staggers along railing, but Hook puts him in the ring. The fans cheer again, Hook storms in, but Shane JABS! JABS! And BODY SHOTS! Hook falls, sputters, and the ref has Shane stay back to check. That could’ve been a liver shot but Shane hauls Hook up. Shane CHOPS Hook in the career, and Hook sputters as he goes along ropes. Shane taunts Hook, puts him in a corner, and CHOPS again! Hook staggers to another corner, Shane taunts him, “I thought you were the man!” Shane BODY BLOWS again and Hook coughs. Hook fires hands in return, backs Shane down, then reels Shane in! Shane’s too big for the suplex, though!

Shane shoves Hook, and BODY BLOWS! Hook falls to the mat, but Shane drags him back up. Shane HEADBUTTS Hook, Hook is dazed, and Shane says he thought Hook was a killer. Shane says to bow down to the killer that’s badder! Shane CHOPS Hook, suplexes him, and hangs him out to dry! Hook sputters and falls, Shane soaks up heat, and Battle of the Belts goes picture in picture.

Shane drags Hook up, TOSSES him out, then goes out to bring Hook up. Shane whips Hook hard into steel steps! Hook writhes, Shane storms around, then Shane drags Hook up. Shane makes Hook take a seat in a corner, then runs up to KNEE Hook against railing! Hook falls over, but he’s somehow still conscious! Shane drags Hook up and hangs him out to dry on the railing! Hook sputters and falls to the floor, and Shane talks more trash. Shane drags Hook up, puts him in the ring, and BOTB returns to single picture. Shane has Hook on the apron, for the APRON LEG DROP! Hook sputters more while Shane seethes.

Shane storms in, talks trash on the fans, then soaks up the heat. Shane drags Hook up, puts him in the corner, and BODY SHOTS! BODY SHOT! HAYMAKER! Hook slumps down in the corner but the fans rally up. Shane waits on Hook, Hook says he’s still in this! Shane stands Hook up to BODY SHOT, BODY SHOT and BODY SHOT! Then Shane ROCKS Hook again, again, and AGAIN! Hook flops back down while Shane storms around. The ref checks with Hook, Shane says to call it already! Hook says no, he’s still in this! Shane drags Hook up, tells Hook to quit or he gets send home in a body bag!

The fans boo as Shane whips corner to corner, hard! Hook sputters, Shane runs in, but Hook dodges! Shane hits buckles, Hook hurries to waistlock! Shane fights the grip, then ROCKS Hook! Hook ROCKS Shane back! And ROCKS him again and again! The fans fire up as Hook fires more shots! Hook runs to LARAIT! Shane stays up, Hook LARIATS again! Hook runs, ducks the haymaker, and GERMAN SUPLEXES!! Shane staggers up in a daze, and Hook clinches to EXPLODER!! Hook covers, TWO!! Shane is still tougher than that and Hook is beside himself! Hook runs up in the corner, but into an URENAGE!

Shane drags Hook into the drop zone, goes up the corner, and he SPLASHES down! Cover, TWO?!? Hook survives and shocks Shane! Shane storms around, the fans rally up, and Shane drags Hook up. Shane slaps Hook around, then winds up, but Hook dodges! And dodges! REDRUM!! Shane is caught, he flails around, but then he fights up! Shane RAMS Hook into buckles, but Hook still holds on! Shane RAMS Hook in again, but Hook still has his hooks in! BACKPACK SENTON!! Shane is free, but then Hook springs up, REDRUM!! He even traps the arms!! Shane flails, reaches out, but he’s fading! Shane’s OUT, Hook wins!!

Winner: Hook, by submission (still FTW Champion)

The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil does it again! He takes damage and finds a way to win! But now, will he have that face to face meeting with Chris Jericho this Wednesday Night Dynamite?

 

Backstage interview with Rocky Romero.

Lexi is with Azucar as he is just moments away from his Title Eliminator match for the International Championship. However, Lexi wants to know if he knows what’s going on with Best Friends. Rocky says Chuck, Trent and Orange Cassidy are like brothers to him, and yet he has no idea what’s going on there. But right now, he can’t really worry about that, he has to focus on the match with Roderick Strong. When Rocky wins, he’ll be one step closer to fulfilling his destiny of becoming International Champion. Kyle O’Reilly pops in, wishes Rocky luck, and then heads back out. Will Azucar be able to get one over on the Savior of the Backbreaker? Or will he just end up broken?

 

AEW International Championship Eliminator: Roderick Strong w/ The Undisputed Kingdom VS Rocky Romero!

While Azucar is confident, it was just last night on Rampage that Roddy took offense to him and Kyle O’Reilly even thinking there was a chance this match doesn’t go The Undisputed Kingdom’s way. Will Roddy prove them all wrong by crossing Rocky off the list? Or is this were The Kingdom starts to crumble?

The bell rings and the two circle. The fans are behind Rocky as he and Roddy tie up. Rocky waistlocks, Roddy wrenches to wristlock, but Rocky rolls, wrenches and wristlocks back. Roddy tries to pull hair but Rocky twists the wrist. Roddy pulls on Rocky’s ear to have the headlock and takeover. Rocky fights up, pops out the back, and then steps over. Rocky hooks an arm but Roddy fights off the takedown to hip toss and cover. ONE, but Roddy facelocks. Rocky fights up, pries at the hold, but Roddy holds on tight. Rocky still fights his way out of the hold, wristlocks and wrenches again, then YANKS the arm.

Roddy ROCKS Rocky then CHOPS him! Roddy whips, Rocky slides under then ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! The fans fire up as Rocky then wrenches Roddy and goes up a corner. Rocky FLYING KNEE DROPS right on the arm! The fans cheer the Latino Heat and Rocky goes back to the corner. Rocky CHOPS Roddy, Roddy CHOPS back! Rocky CHOPS, Roddy kicks low! Roddy CLUBS Rocky, ROCKS him, then reels Rocky in for a BACKBREAKER! Rocky writhes but Roddy covers, TWO! Roddy and The Kingdom talk trash, Roddy swings but Rocky dodges! Rocky CHOPS and then stomps away on Roddy!

Rocky digs his boot in, lets off as the ref counts, then stands Roddy up. Rocky snapmares and runs to basement dropkick! Roddy flounders, Rocky covers, ONE!! Rocky keeps one eye on The Kingdom, then he brings Roddy around. UPPERCUT and Roddy staggers. Roddy BOOTS, whips, but Rocky goes Spiderman! Rocky then dodges Roddy and sends him tumbling out! Rocky goes out to PENALTY KICK from the apron! Rocky leaps to DIVING STOMP! Roddy writhes, Rocky gives more Latino Heat, and BOTB goes picture in picture.

Rocky tells The Kingdom to back off, and so does the ref. Taven mocks Rocky’s Latino Heat, but Rocky puts Roddy in the ring. Rocky storms up on Roddy to KICK his leg! Roddy hobbles to a corner, Rocky CHOPS him and then follows him. Rocky ROCKS Roddy, ROCKS him again, but Roddy bails out. Rocky goes after Roddy on the apron, but Roddy lifts! Rocky fights that to then elbow Roddy! But Rocky has to watch out for The Kingdom lurking! Roddy BOOTS Rocky, then POSTS him! Rocky falls to the floor, Roddy hops down and he drags Rocky up. Roddy gives Rocky a RAILING BACKBREAKER! Rocky writhes, The Kingdom mocks him more, and Roddy drags Rocky up.

Roddy puts Rocky in the ring, stomps Rocky around, then drags him up to CHOP! Rocky staggers to a corner, Roddy storms up on him, and then DECKS him! Roddy soaks up the heat, then he digs his boots into Rocky! The ref counts, Roddy lets off at 4, but just switches feet! The ref counts more, Roddy steps away, and Rocky sputters along the ropes. Roddy gets Rocky up but Rocky ROCKS him first! And again! Roddy hits back, Rocky CHOPS, and CHOPS! Rocky runs, but Roddy blocks the Rana to make it a POWER BREAKER! Rocky writhes, Roddy covers, TWO! Roddy clamps onto Rocky with a motorcycle stretch!

Rocky endures as Roddy digs knee into Rocky’s back. Rocky fights up, moves around, but Roddy knees him low! Roddy scoops Rocky to RAM him into buckles! Then OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, TWO! Rocky is still in this but Roddy stays on Rocky with stomps. Roddy stomps and stomps as BOTB returns to single picture. Roddy goes back to the motorcycle stretch but the fans rally again. Rocky fights up, fights back, and he KICKS Roddy’s leg! And KICKS! Roddy CLUBS Rocky, eggs Rocky on, but Rocky roars! Rocky fires forearms, then UPPERCUTS! Roddy wobbles, Rocky KICKS and KICKS and SOBATS!

Rocky CHOPS, whips, but Roddy reverses. Rocky reverses back to kick, but Roddy ducks the enzigiri! Rocky REWIND HEEL KICKS! Roddy flops out of the ring and the fans fire up! Rocky builds speed, fakes Roddy out and DIVES onto Taven! Then Rocky DIVES onto Roddy! Rocky puts Roddy in, runs up, SLICED BREAD! Cover, TWO!! Roddy survives but Rocky keeps his cool. Rocky fires forearms in the corner, then winds up! The fans fire up as Rocky runs in, clothesline! Another clothesline! But Roddy follows to RAM Rocky, and CHOP him! And CHOP! And CHOP! Roddy whips, Rocky comes back into the SICK KICK! Cover, TWO!

Roddy is frustrated but he hauls Rocky up. Fireman’s carry, but Rocky fights free! Roddy shoves, lifts again, but Rocky pops up to RANA! The fans fire up as Rocky ducks ‘n’ dodges, tilt-o-whirls and DDTS! Cover, TWO! Roddy survives but Rocky stays focused. The fans rally for Rocky as he stalks Roddy. Roddy RAMS Rocky, gets him up top, and then climbs up after him. Rocky fights with fists and a HEADBUTT! Rocky then cravats, SUPER SLICED BREAD!! Cover, TWO!! Roddy survives again and Rocky is beside himself! The Kingdom is also worried, they rally up for Roddy. The fans rally for Rocky as he goes out to the apron.

Rocky climbs but The Kingdom is lurking again. The ref tells them to back off, but Roddy ROCKS Rocky first! Roddy has Rocky up top but Rocky DECKS Roddy! Rocky adjusts, Roddy stands, METE- STRONG KNEE!! Cover, Roddy wins!

Winner: Roderick Strong, by pinfall (denies Rocky Romero a title opportunity)

The Kingdom helps Roddy, whether Roddy will say it that way or not. Kyle is here to celebrate with his friend, but he also checks on his other friend in Rocky. Kyle helps Rocky up to his feet, and wants the fans to give it up for Rocky. But then Wardlow LARIATS Rocky, and The Kingdom stomps away! Kyle has them stop, this isn’t cool! But then Roddy STRONG KNEES Kyle down?!? The fans boo as Roddy tells Kyle that he could do it on his own, but there’s only ONE man that can be International Champion! Kyle made the wrong decision! Roddy’s arrogance just ended his friendship with Kyle, will Kyle make Roddy pay for that?

 

Backstage interview with Serena Deeb.

Lexi Nair is with the Professor of Professional Wrestling and notes how last week, Serena walked on stage after Yuka Sakazaki’s return victory. Why? Serena says she was sitting in the back, watching that impressive match, and thought to herself that she was watching a great pro-wrestler. Someone that Serena would love to tear it up with. Tonight, the Professor is here on BOTB, but has no championship opportunity. She’s not sweating it, though. Since her return, Serena is undefeated. She checked the rankings, and The Professor is sitting pretty at Number 3! So week by week, she’s climbing her way up to inevitably become champion.

Serena tells Yuka, that was an invitation. To where? Into the Deeb Dojo! Serena will show Yuka that Serena is better, and that she is what she says she is: The Professor of Pro-Wrestling! Serena wants to test herself against the Wrestling Magical Girl, but who will be the one taking a step closer to a title opportunity?

 

BREAKING NEWS for Dynasty!

After Roddy’s sudden rejection of Kyle O’Reilly, they are now going to battle over the International Championship! It’s the fight neither man wanted, but will Kyle give Roddy payback for what he did with interest?

 

ROH Women’s World Championship: Athena w/ Billie Starkz VS Red Velvet!

The Fallen Goddess is 49-0 after defeating Hikaru Shida on Supercard of Honor last week, and when she says she’s the Forever Champion, she means that. But will “forever” come to a crashing halt in Kentucky? Or will The Chef be the one getting served an L?

The introductions are made by Lexi Nair, so just a little biased in Athena’s favor. The belt is raised, and here in the main event, we see who is the face of the ROH Women’s Division!

The Code of Honor is upheld, the bell rings and the fans fire up for Athena already. The two circle, tie up, and they go around. They go into a corner, along ropes, then Athena throws Velvet down. Velvet holds on, they roll on the mat with the collar ‘n’ elbow, then they stand up. Athena puts Velvet in a corner, the ref counts, but Athena lets off with a cocky smile. Velvet keeps cool and resets with Athena. They tie up. Velvet wrenches an arm to wristlock, but Athena handsprings and wrenches back. Velvet rolls, kips up, and wrenches back. Velvet headlocks but Athena powers up and out. Velvet runs Athena over, but Athena kips up!

The fans fire up while both women brush themselves off. They reset again, tie up, and Athena headlocks. Velvet powers up and out, but Athena wrenches to whip. Velvet ducks ‘n’ dodges and tilt-o-whirls to RANA, but Athena handsprings through! The fans fire up and Athena cheers herself on. But Velvet DROPKICSK Athena down! Athena gets up, Velvet arm-drags, arm-drags again, and then Velvet cheers herself on. Athena runs up into another arm-drag! Velvet has the armlock but Athena fights up and throws Velvet down by her hair! The fans cheer but the ref reprimands, and things speed up.

Velvet drops, runs up and CALF KICKS Athena down! Athena bails out, Billie there to check on her. Velvet goes to the apron, Athena grabs a leg but Velvet kicks her away. Velvet then ASAI MOONSAULTS land takes Athena down! The fans fire up, Velvet drags Athena up and puts her in the ring, then has her on the apron. Velvet climbs up, brings Athena up, but Athena shoves her back. FLAPJACK off the top buckles! Velvet staggers, Athena reels her back in, APRON BACK SUPLEX! The fans fire up with Athena while BOTB goes picture in picture.

Velvet crawls into the ring but Athena follows her. Athena looms over Velvet, drags her up, then CLUBS her down. Athena stands Velvet up to whip her hard into a corner. Athena revels in the cheers before she runs in and back body blocks! Then Athena goes side to side to forearm SMASH! Athena smiles as Velvet leans against buckles. Athena shoves Velvet down, stomps her around, then drags her back up. Velvet fires body shots, but Athena bumps her off buckles. Velvet avoids the forearm to DOUBLE CHOP! Velvet fires body blows but Athena throws hands! Velvet CHOPS, Athena CHOPS, they CHOP, then Athena CHOPS Velvet off her feet!

The fans cheer while Athena snarls. Athena sits Velvet back up, KICKS her in the back, then KICKS her again! And again! Athena stands Velvet up, bumps her off buckles, then scoops to put Velvet in the Tree of Woe. Athena KICKS away on Velvet’s back, then lets her fall out of the Three. Billie applauds, tells Velvet she should’ve known better, but Velvet swipes at Billie. Billie gets away, cheers Athena on, but Velvet fires hands on Athena! Athena swings back but Velvet bobs ‘n’ weaves! Velvet ROCKS Athena, kicks her legs out, then runs up , into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Athena is annoyed but still in control as BOTB goes to break.

BOTB returns once again as Athena hits buckles! Velvet rallies on Athena with clothesline after clothesline! Velvet runs, tilt-o-whirls and RANAS Athena onto ropes! Velvet runs up to DOUBLE KNEE! Velvet shoves Athena down, runs, and tilt-o-whirls again, REVERSE DDT! Cover, TWO! Athena survives and Velvet is frustrated. Athena crawls away, wanting mercy! But Velvet storms up, only for Athena to YANK Velvet into buckles! Athena then fireman’s carries Velvet for the WASTELAND! Roll through and another fireman’s carry, for another WASTELAND! Another roll through, and then Athena mocks the stirrin’ it up motion!

But Velvet pops up to RANA! Cover, TWO!! Athena escapes, Velvet runs up to wheelbarrow, but Athena URENAGES her down! Cover, TWO!! Athena is furious as Velvet survives! Athena goes up a corner, the fans cheer, and Velvet rises. But Velvet ROUNDHOUSES first! Velvet ROCKS Athena, climbs up after her, then CHOPS! Velvet goes to the very top, to SUPER VICTORY THROW! Athena flounders but she ducks the buzzsaw! Roll up, Velvet rolls through! THE SLICE! And then the tilt-o-whirl DDT!! Cover, TWO!!! Athena survives and Velvet is fuming! Velvet pushes Athena around while the fans rally up.

Athena is in the drop zone, so Velvet goes up top. Velvet tells Billie to shut up, but Athena gets out to the apron. The fans boo but Velvet adjusts position, to leap and SUPER CROSSBODY! Athena catches her!? And then brings Velvet around to FALCON ARROW to the floor! The fans fire up as Athena roars, but so does Velvet as she rises! Only for the SUPERKICK to knock her down! Athena has a wild look on her face and Billie cheers on the Overlord. Athena gets Velvet up, THROWS her into the LED board, then THROWS her around again! Athena drags Velvet up and into the ring, storms in after her, and reels her in! Canadian Rack, but Velvet sunset flips it! TWO!!!

Athena escapes, Velvet runs up, ducks ‘n’ dodges then SUPERKICKS! But Athena DECKS Velvet with a forearm! Athena goes up top, Velvet rises in a daze, to get the O-FACE!! Cover, Athena wins!

Winner: Athena, by pinfall (still ROH Women’s World Champion)

And that’s FIFTY and zero! Fifty wins, no losses, and no slowing down as she title belt clinks with Billie. But as is customary on ROH, Athena sets her belt down, and Billie does, too. They drag Velvet up, mock “stir it up,” but Velvet SLAPS Athena! And SLAPS Billie! But then Athena and Billie mug Velvet! The fans boo as Billie picks up her belt, takes aim, but then QUEEN AMINATA is here! Aminata runs down into the ring, dodges Billie to DECK Athena, then HEADBUTT for Billie! That’s payback for cheating in the TV title match! But then Athena runs up, into an Alabama Lift! AIR RAID CRASH!!

Aminata saves Velvet while also making her own impact, will The Queen not be denied her crown? Or will the Fallen Goddess look to make her pay for this insolence?


My Thoughts:

A really good BOTB but uh, after ten of these, we already know nothing really happens on these. Great action and promos like on Collision, but no titles were ever changing hands. And after two hours of Collision, the crowd was of course tired out. Hook of course defeated Shane but it was a really good showing of Hook’s resilience to take all that damage and still win. Really good match from Roddy and Rocky that Roddy of course won, and turns out I was right in thinking they’d fast track Roddy VS Kyle here. That match will be great stuff, but it’d be a shame if Kyle’s first title shot ends up a loss, even with The Kingdom all there to interfere and distract.

Good promo from Serena to make it clear that she’s having a match with Yuka, just in case it wasn’t clear last week. And then a great main event for the ROH Women’s Championship. Red Velvet looked great even in defeat, and natural move for Aminata to show up and go after Athena & Billie. Aminata really has her pick of the two titles at this point, and while payback on Billie for Supercard is an obvious route, why wouldn’t she go right to the source and take down Athena? Athena’s made it to 50-0, and if not when Athena faced Billie, not when she faced Nyla Rose nor when she faced Shida, her first loss should be to pass the torch to Aminata.

Aminata went through the grind, paid her dues, and has got organically over with ROH viewers, so if she isn’t gonna be the historic first Women’s TV Champ, make her the woman that takes down the top woman in ROH.

My Score: 8.6/10


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