Will The Rainmaker become a double champion?
Kazuchika Okada already reigns atop NJPW, but he wants more! Will he and Hiroshi Tanahashi be a dream team IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champs?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS KENTA & El Phantasmo; Kenta & ELP win.
- Six Man Tag: Tama Tonga, Toru Yano & Satoshi Kojima VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; Team Strong Style wins.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi; Yoh & Lio win.
- New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: Shota Umino VS Yujiro Takahashi; Shota wins and advances to the next round.
- New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: David Finlay VS Tomohiro Ishii; Finlay wins and advances to the next round.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi; Bishamon wins and retains the titles.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: Shota Umino VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!
The Roughneck has been waiting for a chance to break out since he’s been back home in NJPW, but his first match in the cup is against Tokyo Pimp! Will #SHOOTER get his shot? Or will Yujiro be serving Pimp Juice in the cup?
The moment Shota’s in the ring, he SHOTGUNS Yujiro down! The bell rings and Shota drags Yujiro up to fire off forearms. Shota whips, ELBOWS Yujiro down, then basement dropkicks him! Fans fire up and Shota finally takes off his entrance attire. Shota teases using his belt on Yujiro, but throws it aside. Shota brings Yujiro up but Yujiro pie faces him away. Shota glares at Yujiro, and ROCKS him! Yujiro ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Yujiro, Yujiro ROCKS Shota, repeat! They go back and forth, Shota gets the edge, but Yujiro rakes the eyes! Shota shoves Yujiro, blocks his boot and ROCKS him again!
Shota whips but Yujiro holds ropes. Shota runs in, into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Yujiro gets Shota’s fancy entrance attire pants off, and LASHES him with them! The ref reprimands, Yujiro hands over the pants, then he stomps Shota. Shota goes to a corner, Yujiro storms up to throw back elbows. Yujiro brings Shota out to snapmare, then drops a leg! Cover, ONE!! Shota is tougher than that and fans rally up. Yujiro paces, drags Shota up by his hair, then throws Shota down with a FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Yujiro eggs Shota on. Yuijro drags Shota up, scoops him, and SLAMS him!
Yujiro watches Shota writhe, and Shota pounds the mat in frustration. Yujiro drags Shota up but Shota throws forearms! Yujiro knees low, CLUBS away on Shota, then follows him to a corner. Yujiro sets Shota against ropes, and BOOTS him! Fans do cheer that hit, and Yujiro brings Shota off the ropes. Yujiro fisherman’s a leg, but Shota fights the suplex! Fans rally but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro whips, Shota reverses and scoops to DROP Yujiro, then runs to UPPERCUT! Fans fire up again as Shota roars! Yujiro crawls to ropes and Shota whips him corner to corner. Shota runs in to back elbow, then brings Yujiro out, to FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!
Fans rally while Yujiro flounders. Shota stalks him to a corner, brings him up, and then hops up the corner. TORANDO DDT! A rough landing but Shota gets Yujiro right back up, another DDT! Shota wants Yujiro to stand up now! Fans rally, Yujiro stands, and Shota kicks low. Shota underhooks, but Yujiro wrenches out and BITES Shota’s hand! Fans boo, the ref reprimands, but Yujiro lets off. Shota runs in but into a BOOT! Yujiro hits the REVERSE DDT! Fans rally up while both men are down. Yujiro drags Shota up and fisherman’s, but Shota fights, to wrench and BITE the hand! Turnabout is fair play!
The ref still reprimands and Shota lets off. Yujiro swings, but into a TWISTING NECKBREAKER! Shota holds on, he brings Yujiro up for a SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO! Yujiro survives but Shota aims from a corner. Yujiro slowly rises, Shota runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota fires up but here comes the House of Torture! Fans boo as Sho bangs his favorite wrench on the post. The ref tells him to go, and Shota runs Sho off. But Yujiro sneaks up on Shota! LOW- NO! Shota blocks the uppercut! Shota tells Yujiro off, but Yujiro reels him into the INCOLLE SLAM! Fans rally up as Yujiro hurries to get Shota up, PIMP JUICE!! Cover, TWO!!!
Fans fire up and Yujiro is beside himself! Shota survives and fans rally up. Yujiro drags Shota up, reels him in, BIG- NO! Shota fights it, wrenches out, swats Yujiro and ROLLING ELBOWS! Then pop-up UPPERCUTS! Fans fire with Shota as he roars again! Shota drags Yujiro up and underhooks, but Sho gets back on the apron! LOW BLOW!! Yujiro gets away with it this time while the ref is busy with Sho! Yujiro gets his pimp cane! Sho keeps the ref distracted, but Shota dodges the cane! Shota kicks Yujiro, kicks off Sho to hit the TORNADO DDT! And then DEATH RIDER for Sho!!
Fans are thunderous and Shota is all fired up! Yujiro rises, Shota kicks him for DEATH RIDER!! Cover, Shota wins!
Winner: Shota Umino, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
Shooter took his shot and hit the mark! And now he’ll be facing Zack Sabre Jr. in the second round! Will Shota prove he’s the Ace of the Future by taking down last year’s cup winner?
New Japan Cup 2023 Opening Round: David Finlay w/ Gedo VS Tomohiro Ishii!
The Rebel ruined the Switchblade’s final NJPW moment in San Jose, and he is warning EVERYONE that he’s coming for the top spot. Will Finlay fight his way to the cup? Or will the Stone Pitbull take a bite out of Finlay’s new ego right from the start?
The bell rings, and Finlay fires off on Ishii! Fans boo but Finlay throws Ishii out of the ring. The bell rings, Finlay goes out but Ishii slides in. Ishii throws his shirt at Finlay, but Finlay gets back in and the forearms start flying! Fans rally, Finlay knees low and CLUBS Ishii. Finlay throws Ishii out again, goes out after him and kicks him around. Finlay whips Ishii into railing, but Ishii comes back to ROCK Finlay! Fans fire up and Ishii whips Finlay into railing! Finlay comes back to shove Ishii! Ishii shoves back, Finlay shoves again. Both men get in the ring and fans applaud. The forearms start flying again, back and forth, faster and faster!
Fans rally and Finlay gets the edge! Finlay flips Ishii off, runs, but Ishii ROCKS Finlay! Finlay eggs Ishii on, then dodges his forearm! Finlay ROCKS Ishii, runs, and runs Ishii over! Fans applaud as that was impressive, but they rally for Ishii. Finlay covers, TWO! Finlay rains down fists, the ref reprimands and fans boo, but Finlay stops at 4. Finlay gets in the ref’s face but the ref tells him to back off. Finlay stomps Ishii, but Ishii eggs Finlay on. Finlay kicks Ishii in the head but Ishii just eggs him on. Finlay kicks and kicks but Ishii keeps rising up! So Finlay throat chops him! Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Finlay grinds the armlock.
Finlay wrenches Ishii’s arm, bends the fingers, and JAMS them into the mat! Ishii clutches his hand, but Finlay stomps Ishii’s hand! Finlay digs his boot into the fingers, then he drops a SENTON! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Finlay shakes his head. Finlay brings Ishii up to UPPERCUT! And UPPERCUT! And UPPERCUT again! Ishii sits down in a corner, Finlay stomps away on him! The ref counts, Finlay lets off, but Ishii eggs Finlay on. Finlay gets the leg to DDT it! And then he SMASHES the knee into the mat! Ishii snarls but Finlay stomps him more. Fans rally and Ishii CHOPS! And CHOPS! Finlay eggs Ishii on, Ishii CHOPS again, but Finlay knees him low.
Finlay whips Ishii to a corner, Ishii comes back but Finlay ROCKS him with a forearm! Finlay runs, but into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Finlay crawls to the ropes but Ishii stalks after him. Ishii CHOPS Finlay, CHOPS him, and CHOPS again! Finlay CHOPS back, but Ishii CHOPS again! And CHOPS, ROCKS, CHOPS, ROCKS, repeat! Ishii rains down forearms, but the ref counts. Ishii pushes the ref away! Finlay flounders but Ishii storms up to him. Ishii and Finlay slap each other back and forth, then Finlay throws a forearm! Ishii doesn’t budge and Finlay mockingly says, “So strong!”
Finlay throws more forearms but Ishii doesn’t budge at all! Finlay keeps trying but Ishii just leans into it! Ishii corners Finlay as Finlay throws forearms and headbutts! Ishii HEADBUTTS! Finlay comes back, the forearms fly again! Fans rally, Finlay ROCKS Ishii, and reels him in. Ishii slips around, and suplexes Finlay high and hard! Both men are down and fans rally up. Ishii stands, he stands Finlay up and whips, but Finlay comes back to TACKLE Ishii out of the ring! They both hit the floor and fans rally up. Finlay stands, he brings Ishii up, and he fireman’s carries Ishii to HOTSHOT him on the railing! And then SPEARS him into the railing!
Fans are torn but Finlay says that this is HIS ring. Finlay wants after Ishii but the ref wants him to get in the ring. Finlay drags Ishii up with a chinlock and brings him over, APRON BACK SUPLEX! Finlay pushes Ishii in, drags him around, and brings Ishii up for a BLUE THUNDER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Ishii survives and shocks Finlay! Fans rally up but Finlay flips them off. The fans boo but Finlay soaks it up. Finlay drags Ishii up, reels him in, and gut wrenches to a Canadian Rack! But Ishii slips off, shoves Finlay away, only to run into a drop toehold into buckles! Finlay smirks while Ishii writhes!
Fans boo as Finlay fishhooks Ishii’s face. Finlay hoists Ishii up top, climbs up after him, and CLUBS him before standing him up. SUPERPLEX! But Ishii stands up!? And he CLOBBERS Finlay into the corner!! Fans are thunderous for Ishii while he and Finlay are down. Ishii stands again and fans fire back up. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline! Finlay wobbles, Ishii hoists him up top, and fans fire up as Ishii climbs. Gedo freaks out as Ishii brings Finlay up, for the STALLING SUPERPLEX! Both men writhe, but Finlay stands up!? Finlay staggers about, runs in, but Ishii SWATS the lariat! Finlay dodges Ishii’s lariat to SPEAR!
Gut wrench, Canadian Rack, CLIFFHANGER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ishii survives but Gedo coaches Finlay. Finlay paces around Ishii and slashes his throat. Finlay drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii suplexes! Finlay fights free, and catches Ishii to a BACKBREAKER! Finlay suplexes, Ishii knees free, but Finlay UPPERCUTS! Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Both men are down and fans are thunderous again! Gedo coaches Finlay up while fans cheer Ishii on. Ishii stands, drags Finlay up, but Finlay throws haymakers! But Ishii ROCKS Finlay! Finlay rebounds to LARIAT, but Ishii stays up to DECK Finlay!
Fans are thunderous yet again as Ishii drags Finlay up. Ishii reels Finlay in, brings him up, and POWERBOMBS! High stack, TWO!! Finlay survives but Ishii roars! Fans rally, Ishii runs, but Finlay SWATS the lariat, ROLLING ELBOWS, and inverted suplexes, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!!! Ishii survives and Finlay is beside himself! Fans continue to rally, but Finlay brings down his knee pad. Gedo wants Finlay to finish this, and Finlay brings Ishii up. Suplex, but Ishii fights free! Ishii fights off the stunner and ENZIGURIS! Both men are down and fans rally back up!
Ishii headbutts the buckles to fire up! Ishii waits on Finlay to rise, and he LARIATS him back down!! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay survives but Ishii roars again! Ishii stands Finlay up, suplexes, but Finlay slips free and rolls Ishii up! With tights! TWO!!! Ishii escapes, runs in, but Finlay spins him to a backslide! Ishii rolls through but Finlay suplexes, but Ishii fights free! Ishii KICKS the leg, and SHINING WIZARDS! And then SLIDING LARIATS! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay still survives but Ishii slashes his throat! Ishii drags Finlay up and suplexes again, but into STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRE! But Ishii keeps moving!? Finlay LARIATS him!!
Finlay drags Ishii back up, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Finlay HEADBUTTS! Ishii HEADBUTTS! Ishii spins Finlay, Finlay hits TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, FINLAY WINS!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
The Rebel took out The Switchblade and took his spot in Bullet Club, and he took out the Stone Pitbull to take his spot in the tournament. Gedo gets the mic to officially announce that “Your winner is… David ‘The Rebel’ Finlay!” Gedo then says “Finlay is going to flip this entire scene on its head! So what if the Switchblade isn’t here, huh!? It doesn’t matter if Switchblade is here. You cut off one head, another rises to take its place. The Rebel’s gonna leave everyone like pigs in the dirt! We’re gonna take over EVERYTHING!” Gedo needs the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the WORLD needs the Rebel. The Blacksmith’s newest weapon is sharp, will David Finlay cut down everyone that enters his ring?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi!
Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi have faced and defeated many challengers, but never have they faced a good friend! The Rainmaker leads Chaos, and thereby leads the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter. Will Okada still have their respect? Or will he and The Ace simply have their titles?
The introductions are made, the tag titles are raised, and we see if it will be a heavy reign!
Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans cheer. The teams sort out and fans fire up as Okada and Hashi get in each other’s face! Hashi pushes Okada back, the bell rings, and the two circle. Fans rally hard for “O-KA-DA!” as he and Hashi tie up. They’re in a deadlock, and Okada pushes Hashi back to ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, Okada lets off slowly, but Hashi throws a forearm first! Okada throws a forearm, they go back and forth, then Hashi CHOPS! Okada kicks low, turns Hashi and hits a NECKBREAKER! Okada is still stinging, but he tags Tanahashi. The Dream Team double whip, then double elbow Hashi down!
Tana drags Hashi up but Hashi throws body shots and forearms. Tana throws forearms back and forth with Hashi, and Tana gets the edge! Tanahashi whips, Goto tags in and Hashi reverses, Bishamon runs Tana over! Then HIP TOSS SENTON! Okada runs in, but Goto kicks him, then suplexes Okada onto Tana! Fans fire up while Goto stomps Tana. Goto drags Tana up, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Fans rally, Goto drags Tana up, and he bumps Tana off buckles. Tag to Hashi, but Tana fights back with forearms and elbows! Goto & Hashi kick low, then they DRUM away on Tana’s back!
Fans fire up as Hashi flexes. Hashi drags Tana up, gets a leg and trips Tana, to then drop an elbow on the leg! Tana endures as Hashi has a toehold and pulls back on it. Hashi stands to stomp the leg, then he tags Goto. Bishamon splits the wishbone! Goto pushes Tana and grabs a leg to turn Tana over. HALF CRAB! Tana endures, but Okada runs in to kick Goto! Goto kicks Okada, throws him out, but Okada gets back in! Okada and Goto brawl, but Goto knees Okada and throws him back out. Goto stomps Tana, CLUBS him, then kicks him to the corner. Goto CHOPS, then tags Hashi. Hashi brings Tana out but Tana fires forearms!
Hashi ROCKS and CHOPS! Fans fire up while Hashi brings Tana around. Hashi hangs Tana out to dry, Goto holds Tana in place and Hashi runs to dropkick Tana down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Hashi looms over Tana and brings him up. But Tana fires off forearms! Hashi CHOPS again! Tana SHOTEIS! Hashi SUPER- NO, Tana blocks the kick to DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tana crawls, hot tag to Okada! Okada fires off on Hashi, whips, but Hashi reverses. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Hashi! Okada DECKS Goto for good measure! Okada drags Hashi up and whips him corner to corner.
Okada runs in but Hashi dodges. Hashi runs in, Okada dodges! Okada puts Hashi up top to DROPKICK Hashi to the floor! Fans fire up while everyone is down! Okada goes out after Hashi, drags him up, but Goto runs in! Okada gets Goto, too, DOUBLE DDTS to the floor! Okada drags Hashi up while the ring count climbs, and Okada puts Hashi in at 5 of 20. Okada then scoops and SLAMS Hashi, then goes to the corner. Standard formula, but Hashi knows that! Hashi rushes over, Okada leaps over, but runs into a dropkick to the legs! Fans fire up again while both men are down. Hashi crawls, but Okada is on him. Hashi breaks free to SPIN BACK KICK!
Hashi continues to crawl, and he hot tags Goto! Goto fires off on Okada! Goto whips Okada corner to corner, runs in and MURAMASAS! Then BULLDOGS! Cover, TWO! Okada is still in this but Goto brings him up. Okada fights the fireman’s carry, he CLUBS Goto, then runs, but Goto follows! Okada UPPERCUTS, runs, but Goto follows again! Okada dodges, but Goto deflects the boot, only for Okada to catch the lariat into a wrench! MONEY CLIP! Goto endures and fans rally both ways! Goto RAMS Okada into a corner and gets free! Goto runs, but into the DROPKICK! And back to MONEY CLIP!
Tana BLASTS Hashi and Goto is isolated! Goto endures as Okada squeezes tighter! Fans rally, Goto fights up, but Tanahashi runs in! SLINGBLADE! Okada drags Goto back into the MONEY CLIP!! Tanahashi goes out to keep Hashi down, and RAMS Hashi into the railing! Goto reaches out, but he’s fading! Red Shoes checks on Goto as Okada leans all his weight on him! Fans rally, duel, and Hashi runs in to CLUB Okada! Goto is free but Tana throws Hashi back out. Okada crawls over to Goto, brings him up by a wristlock, and paces around. Short arm LARIAT! Fans fire up as Okada brings Goto up again, for another short arm LARIAT!
Okada roars, he drags Goto up and wristlocks. Goto RAMS Okada into a corner, then moves as Hashi runs in to clothesline! Hashi whips Okada to Goto’s fireman’s carry! Goto throws Okada into the dragon sleeper, Hashi goes for the legs, but Okada BOOTS Hashi away! Okada CLUBS Goto, runs, but Goto follows to LARIAT! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Goto crawls to ropes and stands up. Goto brings Okada to the fireman’s carry but Okada slips free. Goto elbows free, runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Both men are down again, and Okada crawls to hot tag Tanahashi! Fans fire up as The Ace takes aim!
Tanahashi runs, Goto stands, into FLYING FOREARMS! Tanahashi stays fired up and Goto rises again. Tanahashi runs, but into a fireman’s carry! USHIGOROSHI! Both men writhe and fans rally up. Goto crawls, and he hot tags Hashi! The Head Hunter powers up and runs, but Tana blocks the lariat! Hashi CHOPS! Tanahashi kicks low, but Hashi reels him in! Full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi roars, runs, but swings into Tanahashi’s full nelson! Hashi breaks free but Tanahashi shifts to a straitjacket! STRAITJACKET GERMAN!! Cover, TWO!!! Hashi survives, but Okada runs in to BLAST Goto!
Okada goes out to keep Goto down while Tanahashi runs. SLINGBLADE!! Cover, TWO!! Hashi is still in this, but Tanahashi goes up top! Goto RAMS Okada into railing, and then gets in to ROCK Tanahashi! Goto fireman’s carries, Hashi stands, but Tanahashi slips free! Tanahashi shoves Goto into Hashi, then gets Goto’s leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Hashi gets Tana’s leg to DRAGON SCREW! Fans are thunderous again and Hashi powers up. Hashi runs, but Okada is there to DROPKICK! The Dream Team fires up together! They get Hashi up, Okada scoop SLAMS, and then they each take a corner!
Okada MACHO ELBOWS! Tanahashi HIGH FLY FLOW!!! ONTO KNEES!!! Hashi cradles, TWO!?!? Tanahashi survives and fans are electric! Someone throws someone into railing, but was it Okada or Goto? Fans are thunderous for Tanahashi as he and Yoshi-Hashi stir. Both men sit up, and Tana throws a forearm. Hashi throws it back, so Tana throws another. They go back and forth, faster and faster, and fans rally up with every shot! Both men stand but the forearms keep flying! Hashi throws body shots, then a CHOP! Tanahashi fires off a strike fest! Tanahashi runs, but Hashi gets around to waistlock! Goto runs in, feed to the fireman’s carry! But Tanahashi slips free!
Tanahashi has the waistlock but Goto ducks, HIDDEN GAP! Tana wobbles, Goto fireman’s carries! FIERCE FLASH!! Hashi BLASTS Okada and then calls his shot! The fans are thunderous as they get Tanahashi up, SHOUTO!!! Cover, OKADA BREAKS IT!!! All four men are down and the fans are electric! Goto drags Okada up to throw forearms, then whips him to ropes. Okada holds ropes, BOOTS Hashi, dodges Goto, but runs into the HIDDEN GAP! Goto and Hashi get Okada up, for the G Y W!!! And Bishamon goes back to Tanahashi! Hashi full nelsons, Goto gets the legs, but Tanahashi BOOTS Goto away!
Okada anchors Goto at the ropes! Tanahashi victory rolls Hashi, TWO!?!?! Hashi escapes by nanoseconds! Fans are thunderous again as Hashi stalks up behind Tana. Goto kicks Okada away, Hashi whips Tana but Tana dropkicks Goto’s legs out! Hashi mule kicks Tana! Hashi whips, Tana reverses, but Hashi turns Slingblade into full nelson! Pump handle, but Tana slips free to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tana runs, but Hashi gets around the Slingblade! Hashi traps Tana against the ropes, and Goto BLINDSIDE LARIATS! Tanahashi staggers, Hashi SUPERKICKS! Goto HEADBUTTS! Fans are electric as Bishamon drags Tana back up!
Full nelson, leg lift, NARAKU!!! Cover, BISHAMON WINS!!
Winners: Bishamon, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
The Fierce Warrior & The Head Hunter defeated the Dream Team, because they are THE team in NJPW! Will the Rainmaker have to just settle for being IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? And what will come of The Ace’s 2023?
As for Bishamon, they raise the belts in victory before Hashi gets the mic. “We have successfully defended our titles for the second time. And finally, though it was in a tag team match, I was able to get a win on Hiroshi Tanahashi!” Fans cheer that accomplishment. “Tanahashi once told me backstage that I better take a bite out of him while there’s still meat on the bones. But after today, it’s clear that he’s got a lot more to give. And he’ll continue to shine for years to come.” Fans applaud that, too.
Hashi continues to say, “It’s the 51st year of NJPW. Nobody imagined it’d be me, not Tanahashi or Okada, who would be speaking now, am I right?” Fans applaud, then chant, “YOSHI-HASHI! YOSHI-HASHI!” Hashi knows he can never be Tanahashi or Okada, “but I do believe that if I keep improving on myself, I will evolve. And here I am standing today.” Fans applaud that, and Hashi says he has one last thing to say. “If you leave here with pep in your step and a smile on your face, that’d make my day.” Fans applaud that, they appreciate it. Hashi then says that with Bishamon winning, the fans all know what comes next, right?
“The last time we did this, people couldn’t shout out. But you can today. How about we do ‘that’ to celebrate?” Fans like the sound of that! And Hashi doesn’t just mean some regular Zanmai. He wants an EPIC one! He asks for help from Toru Yano and Milano Collection AT on commentary. And a real big “HAI!” at the cue. Okay, everyone, are you ready? The fans cheer, and Hashi says here goes! Hashi pounds the mat and fans clap along. Hashi runs, Goto helps him roll, clap and “HAIII~!” A great moment for NJPW, both the wrestlers and the fans! Will Bishamon lead the way as NJPW gives us more great moments like this?
A great event for NJPW’s 51st anniversary, especially with it having a slight deviation from previous anniversary shows. No Heavyweight VS Junior Heavyweight Champion showdown, but there were a lot of great match-ups. A little surprised we got Team Strong Style VS House of Torture so soon after their NEVER Openweight Six Man title match, and that this was a non-title bout anyway. The United Empire is rolling, there’s gonna be big things for them in NJPW and even AEW and ROH this year. And big win for Yoh & Lio, I believe Lio is going to be up next for Hiromu Takahashi and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title.
Shota VS Yujiro was a good match but Yujiro’s pace is almost purposefully slow and plotting so it makes it hard for the fans to get excited. Shota winning despite Sho helping Yujiro was a good move, as it would’ve just been a disappointing par-for-the-course move with the House of Torture. But I don’t think Shota beats Zack Sabre Jr. ZSJ is the previous New Japan Cup winner, he is still the NJPW World TV Champion, he is not going to lose for some time yet. Finlay VS Ishii was an awesome match, even if Finlay looks like bootleg Jay White. Finlay of course wins because of his new chapter being Bullet Club, who knows how far he’ll go.
And of course we got an awesome main event for the Heavyweight Tag Team titles. So many times it looked like Okada & Tanahashi were going to win, but as I felt yesterday, it just wouldn’t seem fair if Okada had two top level titles. Bishamon wins by pinning Tanahashi, a great thing for Hashi as he said himself, and there are all sorts of possibilities for their next challenge. Perhaps they’ll wait until the New Japan Cup is further along, and maybe Sakura Genesis in April will give us another tag title match.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (12/4/23)
Main Event Jey goes for gold!
While Drew McIntyre wants the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it’s Jey Uso who gets his shot at Seth Rollins tonight on Monday Night Raw!
- Drew McIntyre VS Sami Zayn; McIntyre wins.
- The Creed Brothers w/ Ivy Nile VS JD McDonagh & Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley; win.
- Shayna Baszler VS Nia Jax; wins.
- Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: #DIY VS Imperium; wins.
- Natalya & Tegan Nox VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance; win.
- Cody Rhodes VS Shinsuke Nakamura; wins.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins VS Jey Uso; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
Drew McIntyre is here!
The Scottish Warrior is ready to tear it all down, all because he didn’t get another title match with Seth Rollins when he wanted. But before he tears into Sami Zayn, McIntyres the mic to say, “It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, but welcome everybody to Monday Night Raw!” Fans cheer that! And McIntyre says Raw is the land where it feels like everyone’s lost their minds lately! “Liars, hypocrites, cowards, just plain idiots. Apparently, you can get fired, released, leave, do what you want for a bunch of time, come back, and you’re instantly forgiven these days!” Fans chant “CM PUNK!” but McIntyre says he could be talking about anyone.
Now, Rollins tried to pull a fast one on McIntyre. Rollins could’ve given the match to anyone, but McIntyre beat Jey Uso weeks ago. So Rollins sticks it to McIntyre, slaps him metaphorically, so he headbutts Rollins in his stupid face. And speaking of Jey, O M G, Jey can apologize! He ran to Randy Orton, tail between his legs, “Oh, I’m so sorry, Randy!” Well Jey, your time’s coming. And there’s someone McIntyre is forgetting. Oh, right! Sami Zayn! And wouldn’t you know? Here comes Sami! Fans cheer and sing Sami’s song as he makes his way to the ring, a mic of his in hand. The fans then chant for ‘SAMI! SAMI!” as he sits up top.
Sami tells McIntyre, he clearly has a lot to say about everybody, including Sami, so he may as well say it to Sami’s face. Oh, yes, McIntyre sure does. Last week, Sami wanted to say how alike they are, but they are not. McIntyre has something to say to Sami and it is the truth: Sami is the one person in the world who deserved to get screwed over by The Bloodline. The fans boo but McIntyre says he will explain. Sami was the Bloodline’s lapdog errand boy, he joined them because he was running away from McIntyre, and then what? Sami screwed Bloodline over! What did Sami think was gonna happen to him? Isn’t Sami supposed to be smart?
McIntyre says Sami deserved what he got, it’s the truth. Sami says McIntyre is right about one thing: Sami was wrong. Sami thought they were alike but the more Sami is seeing, the more “truth” he’s hearing, Sami realizes they are NOT anything alike! Sami is not a delusional person. He isn’t someone who points a finger at everyone else for his own shortcomings. And big difference here: When Sami lost in front of his family and let everyone down, he stayed hungry, driven and motivated and that carried him to victory in the main event of WrestleMania! Fans fire up for that! So Sami got his redemption. Sami got to make his family proud. Does McIntyre think he’s making his family proud?
McIntyre glares at Sami, and then says one of them is NOT walking out of here. Get a ref and ring the bell! Fans fire up as we get their match now! Will McIntyre absolutely explode after Sami set him off?
Drew McIntyre VS Sami Zayn!
The bell rings and fans are behind Sami in this one. Sami and McIntyre circle, then McIntyre RAMS Sami into a corner! And OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes! McIntyre asks if it was a good idea to talk bad now. McIntyre ROCKS and DECKS Sami, then stalks him. Fans rally with “Let’s Go, Sami!” as he bails out. McIntyre pursues, and SMACKS him off the apron! McIntyre scoops Sami, but Sami slips free to POST McIntyre! Sami aims at the apron, McIntyre body shots and SMACKS Sami off the apron! McIntyre puts Sami in but Sami builds speed to FLY! Direct hit and down goes McIntyre! Fans fire up with Sami as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and fans rally as McIntyre has Sami in a motorcycle stretch. But Sami flips then BOOTS McIntyre away! But McIntyre CHOPS Sami back! Sami bails out, McIntyre pursues, but Sami kicks and CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Sami throws hands, whips, but McIntyre reverses. Sami goes up the barriers to QUEBRADA! Down goes McIntyre again and fans fire back up! The ring count climbs, the fans fire up with Sami, and Sami brings McIntyre around to put him in at 7 of 10. Sami slides in, but McIntyre LARIATS Sami back down! McIntyre seethes while fans boo, and McIntyre throws fists down on Sami!
Fans rally even harder for Sami and Sami sits up. McIntyre drags Sami up, to CHOP! Sami flops right back down, McIntyre grins, and he drags Sami up. McIntyre CHOPS and Sami wobbles around! Sami shakes his head, grits his teeth, and CHOPS in return! And CHOPS! McIntyre CHOPS and Sami falls over! McIntyre stomps Sami, smother shim, then stomps his head again! McIntyre stomps Sami’s leg, then stomps the other leg! McIntyre paces around Sami, waits on Sami to get up, and Sami goes to a corner. McIntyre runs in but Sami ELBOWS him away! Sami goes up, McIntyre runs in but into a BOOT!
Sami leaps, AX HANDLE! Sami fires up with the fans, he kicks McIntyre and reels him in, but McIntyre is a little too big to suplex! McIntyre suplexes, Sami slips free, then he lures McIntyre into the corner to POST him! Sami kicks and reels McIntyre in, to SUPLEX! Fans fire up while both men are down! Sami clutches the ankle, but he stands up to fire off haymakers! Sami whips, McIntyre reverses but Sami ducks ‘n ‘ dodges to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives and Sami is stunned! Sami hurries to the apron while fans fire up! Sami climbs, leaps, but into an OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! And then another OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY!
McIntyre hits a NECKBREAKER, then kips up! Fans are torn as McIntyre shakes the ropes. But then Sami clotheslines him up and out! Sami aims, and PLANCHAS! McIntyre catches him! And SLINGS him over the desk! Fans lose their minds and McIntyre seethes as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and McIntyre ELBOWS Sami, then Reverse Alabama Lifts! For the REVERSE ALA- NO, Sami victory rolls! TWO!! Sami runs up, into a SPINEBUSTER! Jackknife bridge, TWO!! But McIntyre deadlift POWERBOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Sami survives and surprises even himself! The fans declare “This is Awesome!” but McIntyre snarls. McIntyre sits Sami up, fireman’s carries, and then goes up a corner! SUPER- NO, Sami flails and fights to a SUPER SUNSET FLIP BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives and Sami is beside himself! Sami hobbles up, fans rally behind him and he brings McIntyre around.
Sami reels McIntyre in but McIntyre fights the lift! Sami CLUBS away on McIntyre and fans fire up! Sami tries again, BLUE- NO, McIntyre fights free to GLASGOW KISS HEADBUTT! McIntyre then aims from the corner! Sami flounders up as the countdown begins! “THREE! TWO! ONE!” BOOT from Sami! BLUE THUNDER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives again and Sami can’t believe it! “This is Awesome!” as Sami and McIntyre rise again. Sami throws a haymaker, McIntyre gives it back. They stand, Sami CHOPS! McIntyre CHOPS in return! Both men wobble, McIntyre CHOPS again! Sami BOOTS! And BOOTS!
Sami whips, McIntyre reverses but Sami goes up and over. The leg jams! The ref keeps McIntyre back but he storms in, Sami ELBOWS McIntyre, then TOSSES him out! Sami thinks about it, he wants to build speed but the leg won’t let him do it! McIntyre sees a target, and he gets in to CHOP BLOCK! The ref reprimands and backs McIntyre off. McIntyre just aims, to CLAYMORE!!! Direct hit and McIntyre covers, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
No mercy from McIntyre, and that is how he wins! Will the Scottish Warrior force everyone’s hands by fighting his way to a title opportunity?
Zoey Stark finds Shayna Baszler backstage.
The Queen of Spades is getting ready, but then Byron Saxton walks over to ask a few questions. Shayna faces a former tag partner in Nia Jax- Look, she has one goal tonight. Shayna put Nia on the shelf by breaking her arm. So she’ll remind Nia of that, limb by limb. Shayna heads out, Zoey follows. Will the Irresistible Force run into that immovable object again tonight?
Mitchell’s NJPW World Tag League Results & Report! (12/4/23)
B Block, round 6!
Sure #EverybodyDies, but who will tranquilo?
The World Tag League round robin is almost over, and B Block is looking saucy! Will Lance Archer & Alex Zayne burn Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr?
- BUSHI & Shingo Takagi VS SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; win.
- Six Man Tag: Kaito Kiyomiya, Ryohei Oiwa & Oskar Leube VS The Gates of Agony & Boltin Oleg; win.
- Six Man Tag: Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma VS The United Empire; win(s).
- Six Man Tag: Shota Umino, Ren Narita & Ryusuke Taguchi VS The House of Torture; win(s).
- Six Man Tag: TMDK VS Bullet Club; wins.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Taichi & Yuya Uemura VS Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza; Fale & Bonza win.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr; ELP & Leo win.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Bishamon VS Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki; Bishamon wins.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Lance Archer & Alex Zayne VS Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr; Tsuji & Zando win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current B Block standings.
Alex Zayne & Lance Archer: 4-1, 8 points
Taichi & Yuya Uemura: 4-1, 8 points
ELP & Hikuleo: 3-2, 6 points
Bishamon: 2-2-1, 5 points
Atlantis Jr. y Soberano Jr: 2-2-1, 5 points
Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr: 2-3, 4 points
Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki: 1-4, 2 points
Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza: 1-4, 2 points
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Taichi & Yuya Uemura VS Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza!
The Holy Emperor & Heat Storm are just outside the top after their loss to Monster Sauce, but that’s way better than being at the bottom like the Rogue Army. But can Fale & Bonza ruin things for Taichi & Yuya? Or will B Block belong to Just5Guys?
The teams sort out and Yuya starts against Bonza. The fans rally up as the bell rings and the two stare down. They circle, tie up, and Bonza wrenches to hammerlock then waistlock. Yuya switches to then hammerlock, but Bonza switches the hammerlock back. Yuya reaches back, sits down, rolls and wrenches to a wristlock. Bonza spins, breaks free and pie faces Yuya! Yuya keeps cool, and he resets with Bonza. They tie up, but Bonza kicks low! Bonza runs, runs Yuya over, and says he’s pathetic! Bonza runs, Yuya stays low to then hurdle, and then he hip tosses Bonza down! Yuya scoops and SLAMS Bonza, then arm-drags him!
Fans fire up as Yuya has the armlock, but Fale runs in to throw body shots and scoop! Yuya slips free, but Fale’s too big for an arm-drag! Fale scoops again, and SLAMS Yuya! Then Fale DECKS Taichi for the hell of it! Bonza stomps Yuya around, brings him up, and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Fale and the Rogue Army mugs Yuya. Fale brings Yuya around to CLUB him down, then looms over him. Fans rally but Fale stands on Yuya! Fale goes surfing on the Heat Storm! Fale steps off, covers, TWO! Fans cheer but Fale tags Bonza. Bonza storms up on Yuya, drags him around, and then he goes surfing!
Bonza lets off to then drop an elbow! And then springboard stomp! Yuya sputters, Bonza drags him back up but Taichi rallies the fans. Yuya CHOPS Bonza, ROCKS Fale, repeat! Bonza ROCKS Yuya! Bonza bumps Yuya off buckles, whips him corner to corner, then runs in to elbow! Bonza keeps moving, but Yuya DROPKICKS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Yuya crawls, hot tag to Taichi! Taichi storms up to Kawada Kick! Bonza says F U and ROCKS Taichi, but Taichi SOBATS back! Taichi tells Bonza off and BOOTS him in the corner! Fale runs in, but into a BOOT! Fale comes back, Taichi steps aside to GAMANGIRI!
Bonza kicks Taichi, whips him to a corner, but Taichi comes back to AX BOMBER! Fans fire up with Taichi, and OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi then aims, but Bonza blocks the kick to ELBOW! Bonza whips, DISCUS LARIAT! Bonza fires up, he drags Taichi up, and he reels Taichi in to suplex! Taichi fights that off to suplex back! Bonza fights that off, they fight for suplex control, and fans rally up! In the end, Bonza gets Taichi up, but Taichi slips free! SAI- NO, Bonza fights with elbows! Bonza runs, into a RIDGE HAND! Taichi runs, but Bonza deflects the boot to hit a BIG back suplex! Tag to Fale and he storms up on Taichi.
Fale stomps Taichi, drags him up and CLUBS away on the back! Taichi falls over but Fale stalks him to the ropes. Fale drags Taichi up, but Taichi fights and wrenches to HOOK KICK! Fale runs up, into a clinch! Taichi is using sumo! Fale and Taichi hobble around, Fale tries to counter sumo with sumo! But Taichi still THROWS Fale!! Fans are thunderous and Taichi takes aim! BUZZSAW! Both men are down, fans rally up, hot tag to Yuya! Yuya roars, runs in and CHOPS Fale! Bonza runs in, but gets an arm-drag! And then a DROPKICK! Bonza bails out, Fale staggers up into a DROPKICK! He stays up, so Yuya DROPKICKS again!
Fale rebounds, into an ARM-DRAG!! The fans are thunderous and Yuya runs in at the corner. DOUBLE CHOP! Taichi adds a BOOT! Yuya runs in again, DROPKICK! Fale hobbles, Yuya pushes him out and goes up the corner! CROSSBODY! Down goes Fale! But Yuya isn’t done there! Yuya drags Fale up, wrenches and traps the arm, but Fale swings the other! Yuya catches it! But Fale’s too big for Kamuki! Fale TOSSES Yuya to a corner then SPLASHES! Fireman’s carry, but Yuya flails around! Sunset flip, but Fale stays up! So Taichi GAMANGIRIS him into it! High stack, TWO!! Fale escapes, but Yuya has an ARMBAR!!
Fans fire up as Fale endures! Fale fights around, but Yuya powers him down!! ARMBAR!! Fale flails and kicks around, reaches out, but Yuya shifts grip! Bonza sends Taichi into railing before he gets in, Fale has the ROPEBREAK! Bonza CLOBBERS Yuya for good measure! Fans fire up as Bonza BLASTS Taichi off the apron! Yuya CHOPS Bonza, CHOPS him again, and powers up, but Bonza dodges! Only for Yuya to catch the arms! But Bonza knees low! Yuya roars, but Bonza scoops him! BACKBREAKER to ELBOW DROP!! Cover, TAICHI BREAKS IT! Fans fire up but Bonza scoops Taichi! FIRE THUNDER DRIVER!!
Fale hoists Yuya up! Crucifix lift, for BAD LUCK FALL!!! Cover, Rogue Army wins!!
Winners: Bad Luke Fale & Jack Bonza, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Taichi & Yuya earn 0)
The Rogue General & Red Commander just brought down two of the five guys! Did they just blow up the chances of Taichi & Yuya going on to the semifinals? Or will luck be with J5G in the seventh?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo w/ Jado VS Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr!
The NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions take on the NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Champion and a former World Middleweight Champion, but both teams are on the bubble in this block. Who pops off and who drops off right before the end?
ELP tries to get the fans cheering Soberano but it takes a second to warm them up. The fans fire up and the sons of lucha appreciate it. “AT-LAN-TIS!” and “SOBER-RA-NO!” then return the favor helping in a “HI-KU-LEO~!” chant. They all shake hands and high-five, and then the teams sort out. ELP starts against Soberano and fans rally up. The two wind up, and shake hands! Fans cheer and the two circle. They tie up, ELP headlocks, but Soberano powers up and out to then reel ELP back and run. ELP sidesteps, he avoids Soberano’s handspring, and fans cheer. Soberano flexes and fans cheer a little more.
ELP gives a mocking golf clap and then circles with Soberano again. Soberano headlocks, ELP throws body shots and powers out. Soberano runs ELP over, then things speed up. ELP hurdles but Soberano front flips! Fans fire up and Soberano looks off into the distance. Soberano then runs in, ELP dodges, Soberano RANAS but ELP handsprings through, then does his drop steps! Fans cheer as ELP flexes and kisses the biceps. ELP gives Soberano a push, Soberano pushes back. They start pushing a little harder, then things speed up again! Soberano ducks ‘n’ dodges and rolls off ELP’s back to then run and RANA!
ELP flounders out of the ring and Soberano builds speed! FOSBURY FLOP! Direct hit and fans fire up again! Soberano gets the fans rallying behind him then has the ref tranquilo. Soberano puts ELP in, then gets fans to actually chant for “PHAN-TAS-MO!” Soberano slides in, brings ELP around, and tags Atlantis. The luchadores mug ELP, and the fans still chant for “PHAN-TAS-MO!” but the luchadores double whip to DOUBLE ELBOW! Then wheelbarrow and ENZUGIRI FACEBUSTER COMBO! Cover, TWO! Atlantis keeps cool as he stomps ELP around. Atlantis drags ELP up, keeps him from Leo, and CLUBS away!
Atlantis suplexes but ELP blocks! ELP tries to suplex but Atlantis blocks! ELP RAMS Atlantis into the corner, CHOPS him, then tags Leo. ELP CHOPS again, then hushes the fans. Leo swings, Atlantis dodges to CHOP them in return! CHOP after CHOP then Atlantis runs, ducks ELP’s hurdle but ends up right in Leo’s DDT! Cover, TWO! Leo drags Atlantis up but Atlantis throws forearms and CHOPS! Leo CHOPS right back! Leo then fireman’s carries, but Atlantis fights free! Atlantis dodges the chop, tries to whip but Leo blocks and reverses! Leo runs in, Atlantis dodges and Leo’s boot gets stuck on the ropes! Atlantis dropkicks that leg!
Leo hobbles and Atlantis keeps moving, Atlantis dropkicks the legs out! Fans fire up as Atlantis stomps Leo’s leg, then SPLASHES down on a knee! Atlantis stomps the leg some more, but Jado & ELP coach Leo. Leo CHOPS Atlantis, but Atlantis stomps him down. Atlantis has the leg and works to turn Leo over! HALF CRAB! Leo endures and fans rally up! Leo fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Atlantis lets go at 4, and Leo clutches his knee. Atlantis eggs Leo on, Soberano tags in, and they both taunt Leo to go taunt ELP. Leo crawls over, but then the luchadores bring Leo away. “Chotto matte ne!”
Fans applaud as the Mexican luchadores know some Japanese. Then they get LEo’s hands, bend the fingers, and then Soberano BOOTS Leo down! ELP protests, the ref reprimands, but Soberano BITES Leo’s foot! Soberano keeps Leo from ropes with a chinlock, then he and Atlantis get Leo up again. They double whip Leo to a corner, Atlantis runs in but is put on the apron. Leo DECKS Atlantis, and he catches Soberano’s splash! Soberano BELL CLAPS then BOOTS Leo! Soberano taunts ELP by blowing a kiss, then he goes back for Leo. Atlantis returns, they double whip but Leo breaks the line to DOUBLE LARIAT!
Fans fire up and Leo crawls, hot tag to ELP! ELP grins as he runs up to BOOT Soberano! Mule kick for Atlantis! Atomic drop for Soberano! ELP mocks Soberano’s pain, then he atomic drops Atlantis, into a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! ELP clotheslines Soberano up and out, but Atlantis kicks him low! Atlantis whips ELP to the corner but ELP goes up and over then springboards to CROSSBODY! Somersault, LIONSAULT! Another somersault, to PLANCHA Soberano! Fans fire up with ELP and he goes back to the corner. ELP waits on Atlantis to rise up, then he springboards in, FLYING TORNADO DDT!
Fans fire up and ELP drags Atlantis to a cover, TWO! Atlantis survives and the fans rally up again. ELP fires up and Soberano coaches Atlantis. ELP drags Atlantis up, reels him in, tucks the arms, but Atlantis fights! Atlantis ROCKS ELP, ELP ROCKS Atlantis, they go forearm for forearm! ELP whips, Atlantis reverses and Soberano jumps in! Double hip toss into TU LO SABE! Cover, TWO! ELP survives and that surprises Atlantis. The fans rally, Soberano stalks ELP to a corner and eggs him on. ELP slaps Soberano, Soberano SLAPS ELP! Atlantis BOOTS Leo, ELP throws hands on Soberano, but Atlantis kicks ELP low.
Atlantis puts ELP up top, Soberano GAMANGIRIS! Then the sons of lucha vow to end this! They both climb up after ELP, CLUB away on him, and bring him up. But Leo gets in, TOWER OF DOOM!! Fans fire up for the double powerbomb double superplex combo! Leo drags Soberano up to POWERBOMB onto Atlantis! Fans fire up again as Leo helps ELP up! Leo scoops, but Atlantis slips free to shove Leo into ELP! Then Atlantis dodges Leo to SUPERKICK ELP! And DROPKICK Leo! Leo runs back in but Atlantis dumps him out! ELP runs in but Atlantis goes up and over, rolls and SPIN POWERSLAMS!
Fans fire up as Atlantis goes up a corner! But ELP hurries to GAMANGIRI! Soberano sneaks a tag! ELP goes up to the very top, brings Atlantis up with him, SUPER STEINER! ELP goes up but Soberano is there! He springboards up to SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Fans are thunderous with everyone down, and Soberano crawls to a cover! Leo breaks it! Fans fire up again and Atlantis regroups with Soberano. Leo UPPERCUTS Atlantis, choke grips each of them, meeting of the minds! But then the luchadores double basement dropkick the legs out! Fans rally for Leo but Soberano & Atlantis have him! DOUBLE-
NO, Leo fights the suplexes to UPPERCUT Soberano! Atlantis dodges the haymaker but not the BOOT! Leo aims at Soberano now, choke grip! GOD- FLIP! Soberano ENZIGURIS! Leo roars! Soberano SUPERKICKS! ELP SUDDEN DEATH!! Fans fire up with ELP and he DIVES to take out Atlantis! Leo hits GODSEND!! ELP returns, he goes up, SUPER THUNDERKISS 86!!! Cover, ELP & Leo win!
Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Atlantis & Soberano earn 0)
The sons of lucha are eclipsed by the Guerrillas of Destiny! Will the “Big Blue Sexy Boys” still have a fighting chance of entering the semifinals?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Bishamon VS Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki!
Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vow to break the curse that keeps IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions from winning the league! Will they pull it off? Or will Blue Justice & The Meanest Man in the World not only stop Bishamon, but get golden tickets at the same time?
The teams sort out and Suzuki stares Hashi down. Fans rally up and the two start. They circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock. But then Suzuki kicks one, wrenches the other to a hammerlock, but Hashi switches the hold onto Suzuki. Suzuki reaches back to cording hold and chinbar Hashi to ropes. The ref counts and Suzuki lets off slowly, then with strong pats on the shoulder. Fans cheer and Hashi keeps cool as the two reset. They step up, and Hashi fires a forearm! Suzuki fires back! They go back and forth and the fans rally as they pick up speed! Suzuki ROCKS Hashi, ROCKS him again, but Hashi comes back to CHOP!
Suzuki eggs Hashi on so Hashi CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Hashi CHOPS more and more but Suzuki stays standing on sheer anger! Hashi drags Suzuki over, tags Goto, and Bishamon double whip to then double shoulder tackle! Hashi BLASTS Nagata for good measure, then Goto stomps Suzuki. Goto drags Suzuki up, CLUBS him, then whips. Suzuki reverses to then headlock, but Goto powers out. Suzuki pulls hair to HEADBUTT! Suzuki CLUBS Goto down and Goto bails out! Nagata runs in to BLAST Hashi as payback, and then the murder grandpas go out after them! Suzuki whips Goto into railing, then brings him around while Nagata sends Hashi hard into railing!
Suzuki RAMS Goto into railing in front of commentary, then has a railing crossface! The ref reprimands, Suzuki lets off of Goto, but Nagata POSTS Hashi! Suzuki stomps Goto around, the ring count starts, and Suzuki stomps Goto again before sliding in. The count reaches 7 of 20, then 10 as Goto crawls. Goto clutches his neck, the count is 15! Goto stands at 17, and slides in at 19! Fans cheer but Suzuki clamps onto Goto with a camel clutch! Goto endures, Suzuki shifts to bring him up for a facelock. Nagata tags in and he CLUBS Goto on the neck! And CLUBS him again! Nagata wraps on a chinlock to grind Goto down!
Hashi coaches Goto as he fights around, and Goto gets the ROPEBREAK! Nagata lets go, to KICK Goto in the back! Nata then drags Goto up with a facelock and tags Suzuki. Suzuki snapmares Goto to KICK him! And then Suzuki pulls at the tape around the neck and shoulders! The ref reprimands but there’s nothing he can really do! Suzuki reels Goto in but Goto resists the Gotch lift! Suzuki powers up but Goto still fights. Suzuki CLUBS Goto, tags Nagata, and Nagata BOOTS Hashi down! Nagata KICKS Goto in the chest, then KICKS him again! Goto grits his teeth, Nagata eggs him on, but Goto blocks the next kick!
Goto CLUBS the leg, but Nagata ROCKS Goto with a forearm! Nagata whips, Goto reverses, but Nagata BOOTS back! Nagata runs, Goto follows to LARIAT! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Goto and Nagata crawl, hot tag to Hashi! Hashi runs to run Nagata over! Hashi BLASTS Suzuki off the apron and fans fire up as Hashi ROCKS, body shots and CHOPS! Then he fires off forearms over and over in the corner! Nagata sits down and Hashi keeps going! The ref reprimands, the fans fire up, and Hashi lets off to bring Nagata back up. Nagata shoves Hashi so Hashi eggs him on. The forearms go back and forth now!
Hashi gets the edge with forearms, then CHOPS Nagata back to the corner. Hashi whips corner to corner, Nagata reverses, but Hashi comes back to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again and Hashi fires up. Hashi reels Nagata in, suplexes, but Nagata fights it to suplex, and MAGIC SCREW! Hashi flounders, Nagata stands, and Nagata stomps Hashi. Nagata ROCKS Hashi, whips him to ropes, but Hashi holds ropes. Goto tags in, Hashi sidesteps Nagata and Goto ROCKS him! Hashi CHOPS Nagata down, then he BLASTS Suzuki. Hashi hauls Nagata up, turns him, and Goto adds on, HEAD BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Nagata hangs in there.
Bishamon set up in opposite corners, and they aim at Nagata. But Suzuki pushes Nagata to save him from the DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH! Hashi CHOPS, Goto CLUBS and then GOTO GO TO HUNTER! Bishamon have Nagata in a corner, Goto clotheslines! Hashi clotheslines! Feed to the fireman’s carry, FIERCE FLASH! Cover, TWO! Nagata survives and fans rally up again! Goto hauls Nagata up, Hashi calls the shot! Dragon sleeper and leg lift, but Suzuki catches Hashi to a SLEEPER! Nagata drags Goto down into a CROSSFACE! Goto endures, Hashi is turning red! Fans rally up as Goto fights his way around!
Goto reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer, and Suzuki sends Goto to a corner! Suzuki BOOTS! Nagata BOOTS! Snapmare, DOUBLE PENALTY KICK SANDWICH! Then EXPLODER!! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives and fans fire up again! Nagata drags Goto up, but Goto fights the saido with elbows! Nagata knees low, and again, then CLUBS Goto’s neck! Goto falls and writhes, but Nagata drags him back up! Suzuki keeps Hashi out with an ANKLE LOCK, as Nagata SAI- NO, Goto fights free! Hashi also gets free, to SUPERKICK Nagata! Goto has a SLEEPER, then rolls it to GOTO NISHIKI!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!
Winners: Bishamon, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Nagata & Suzuki earn 0)
The murder grandpas almost had it, but Goto finds a way to survive! Does this mean the Fierce Warrior & Headhunter have a chance to #GetBackUp to the WTL finals after all?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Lance Archer & Alex Zayne VS Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr!
The Monster Sauce is leading the way but they have to finish strong! Will they stay hot going into the seventh and final round? Or will they be sunk by The Gene Blast & King of the World?
Wait, Tetsuya Naito is coming out here? What a great surprise! It sure takes Shingo Takagi by surprise as he’s been on commentary this entire time. Naito joins commentary, even! And he puts his feet up on top of Milano Collection AT’s notes. He makes Milano hold the Right to Challenge bag while he puts his headset on. Monster Sauce then makes their entrance, and Archer suckers a Young Lion in by offering a high-five to then DECK him! He pats another on the shoulder, assuring him it’s fine. Then he RAMS him into railing! Zayne apologizes to each Young Lion in turn, it’s nothing personal. Archer and Zayne then have Red Shoes and Abe-san put on the jackets to see how they look.
Zando and Tsuji make their entrances, the teams sort out, and Archer says that smile of Tsuji’s is gonna be missing some teeth soon. However, Zayne and Zando step up to start and the fans rally up with the bell. They circle, tie up, and Zando powers Zayne to ropes. Zando lets off, fakes the chop, and tells Zayne to take it easy. Zayne and Zando reset and fans rally again. They tie up, Zayne puts Zando on ropes now, and Zayne fakes the chop to twirl his hair. Fans cheer and Zando smirks. The two reset again, tie up again, and Zando headlocks. Zayne wrenches out, but Zando wrenches back to wristlock.
Zayne rolls, handsprings, wrenches and wristlocks, but Zando spins, CHOPS, and whips Zayne to a corner. Zayne reverses, runs in and back elbows! Zayne slips out to the apron and slingshot RANAS! Things keep moving, Zayne ducks ‘n’ dodges and IMPLODER KNEE DROPS down on Zando’s dropdown! Zayne then rolls to STANDING MARIPOSA! Fans fire up and Zayne smirks as he twirls his hair again. Zayne stands Zando up, Zando throws hands but Zayne bobs ‘n’ weaves to body blow! Zayne runs, but Tsuji kicks him! Zayne swings on Tsuji, but Zando reels him in, chicken wings and DODON DROP!
Archer runs in to kick Zando low! Archer reels Zando in to CLUB him, then he runs. Tsuji trips Archer, Zando basement dropkicks! Tsuji then drags Archer out to RAM him into railing! Fans fire up with Zando, and Tsuji sends Archer into more railing! Zando TOSSES Zayne out of the ring, Tsuji fires off on Archer, then CHOPS him! Tsuji holds Archer out along railing, Zando runs in, LEAP FROG ATTACK! Fans fire up while Archer falls over! Tsuji finds Zayne and stomps him, to then put him in the ring for Zando. Zando storms up, drags Zayne up and has him on ropes. Zando lifts Zayne up and Tsuji runs, to LEAP FROG ATTACK!
Zayne flops over, fans rally up, and Zando tags Tsuji. Zando & Tsuij drag Zayne up to double whip. Archer returns, Red Shoes keeps him back, Zayne ends up in the POP-UP KICK! Zando & Tsuji run, basement dropkick sandwich! Fans cheer but Red Shoes reprimands. Zando exits, Tsuji digs his knees into Zayne at the ropes before a knee drop! Tsuji drags Zayne up while Archer and Zando shout at each other. Tsuji whips Zayne but reverses direction to send him into the red corner! Tsuji stomps Zayne, Zando CLUBS him, and then Zando tags in. Zando snapmares Zayne to a seated abdominal stretch! Zayne endures and the fans rally up.
Zayne reaches out, but then reaches up to drag Zando into a cradle! TWO, and Zando stomps away! Zando hits Archer, then laughs as he gets away. Zando drags Zayne back, CLUBS him, then grabs a leg. Zando steps over, then clinches, modified cobra twist! Zayne endures, hops on his one free leg, and fans rally up! Zayne reaches out, hot tag- NO, Tsuji drags Archer down and RAMS him into railing right in front of commentary! Zando wrangles Zayne to a cover, TWO! Fans cheer and Zando drags Zayne up. Zando wrenches, wristlocks, then he tags Tsuji. Tsuji BOOTS Zayne’s arm, then brings him around to ROCK with a forearm!
Fans rally up, Zayne ROCKS Tsuji back! And CHOPS! And ROCKS him again! Tsuji knees low, then wags his finger. Tsuji swings, Zayne counter punches! And again! Tsuji runs in, Zayne gets around, roll up and EDDY GORDO KICK! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Tsuji and Zayne crawl, hot tag to Archer! Archer storms around, fires up, and BLASTS Zando! It was a fake out at first, but now he runs to ELBOW Tsuji! “Ichi!” Archer keeps moving, and ELBOWS! “Ni!” Zayne runs in, tilt-o-whirl RANA CANNONBALL! But Zando SUPERKICKS Zayne! Archer CHOPS Zando but Zando just fires up!
Zando CHOPS Archer, and Archer just smiles! Archer CHOPS back! Archer eggs Zando on so Zando CHOPS! Archer CHOPS, eggs Zando on, and fans fire up as Zando CHOPS again! They CHOP back and forth, faster and faster! Archer CHOPS Zando down! Fans fire up with the Murderhawk and he storms up. Zando swings, but into a full nelson that Archer makes into a dragon sleeper. Tsuji runs in, but gets caught! URENAGE REVERSE DDT COMBO! Archer then drags Tsuji up, shoves him to a corner, and DOUBLE CHOPS! Zayne then LEAP FROG MISSILE DROPKICKS! Archer suplexes Tsuji! Then CHOKE SLAM SAULT! Cover, TWO!!
Tsuji survives and fans fire up but Archer fires himself back up. Tag to Zayne, he goes up, but Zando GAMANGIRIS! Archer grabs Zando, but Tsuji DUMPS Archer! Tsuji then rushes the corner, but Zayne jumps and over! Zayne comes back but Tsuji BOOTS him! Tsuji goes up, but Zayne returns, NO HANDS STEINER! Fans fire up as Zando hurries in. Zayne dodges the chop but Zando blocks the chip to CHOP after all! Zando suplexes, Zayne slips free to shove, but Zando blocks the kick! Zando ducks the enziguri, wheelbarrow GERMAN SUPLEX! Archer BOOTS Zando, ripcords, and HELLICOASTERS! Fans fire up with Archer again!
Archer hauls Zando back up, reels him in, but Tsuji saves Zando from the suplex! Tsuji & Zando mug Archer, then go to double suplex! Archer fights it, he wants to double suplex, but they fight it! Zando & Tsuji try again, DOUBLE SUPLEX! All four men are down and the fans fire up again! Zando stirs, flounders out of the ring, and Tsuji rises. Tsuji tags Zando in, they get Zayne up. They double whip, hip toss and SLAM! Then SPLASH, to LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Zayne hangs in there and Zando pounds the mat in frustration. The fans clap along, Tsuji & Zando get Zayne up, ANCHOR!! Cover, TWO!! Zayne survives and fans fire up again!
Zando pounds the mat some more and the fans clap along again. Tag to Tsuji, and he climbs up onto Zando’s shoulders! But Archer caches Tsuji, to CHOKE SLAM him into Zando! Then Archer fireman’s carries, Zayne runs in, ROLLING NECKBREAKER SAMOAN DROP COMBO!! Cover, Zando breaks it! Fans fire up, Archer runs in, but he doesn’t fall for the dump trick. Archer CLOBBERS Zando against ropes, then clotheslines him up and out of the ring! Fans fire up with Archer again and Zayne pounds the mat. Archer hauls Tsuji up, sets him up for Zayne, ROLLING- NO, Tsuji avoids the ax kick! Then he dodges Archer, and now Zando dumps him out!
Zayne mule kicks Tsuji, runs, but into the GENE BLAST SPEAR!!! Cover, LIJ WINS!!
Winners: Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Archer & Zayne earn 0)
Monster Sauce drops, making the top of this block really interesting! If #EverybodyDies, are their chances at the finals in danger of dying off?
As for Tsuji & Zando, Tsuji gets the mic to say, “It looks like it’s someone’s birthday today.” It’s also someone in Los Ingobernables de Japon. “HIROMU-CHAN!” Oh wait, is he even here? Well, maybe Hiromu was too busy to be here, but Tsuji hopes tonight’s win is a good birthday gift. Fans applaud that, but then Tsuji says he also has some bad news. It would seem after tonight’s penultimate-penultimate results, there mathematically isn’t a chance for Tsuji & Zando to make it to the semifinals. He asks if that’s true or not. Even commentary has to check the math on that. So then, is there a chance?
Milano is sure it’s not zero percent. Really? Pretty sure. Then there IS a chance! The fans cheer and Tsuji says that even if it seems unlikely, should they win next round, Zandokan will be LIJ! Fans cheer for that, too! Tsuji then brings up that the other day, he talked with the others and hoped Takagi & Naito wouldn’t lose today. Takagi stands up from commentary to say that he does need to get better. Well, hey, tranquilo, right? Tsuji then lets Zando say a few words. “WATASHI WA…! ZANDOKAN JUNIOR!” AKA, he is Zandokan. Fans cheer the introduction, and then he says he’s a BIG DEAL! Fans also cheer that.
Zando then shouts in Spanish, Milano asks for a translation, but Tsuji asks if they’re ready for the tournament’s home stretch. Are you ready for him and Zando to do this? VAMOS, AMIGOS!! Fans cheer, but will Gene Blast & The King of The World really make it to the end?
Here are the NEW B Block standings!
Alex Zayne & Lance Archer: 4-2, 8 points
ELP & Hikuleo: 4-2, 8 points
Taichi & Yuya Uemura: 4-2, 8 points
Bishamon: 3-2-1, 7 points
Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr: 3-3, 6 points
Atlantis Jr. y Soberano Jr: 2-3-1, 5 points [ELIMINATED]
Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
A great round, and now with some really complex stuff at the top of the block. Monster Sauce lost to go down to 4-2 so that they’d be tied with ELP & Leo and with Taichi & Yuya. Monster Sauce VS ELP & Leo is next, and so one team will go to 5-2 with 10 points, the other will be 4-3 with 8. This scenario alone seems to be creating confusion because while commentary was not prepared to speak on who is still in this, NJPW’s official website has determined Tsuji & Zando are out despite that great main event win. Even if Tsuji & Zando beat Atlantis & Soberano next round, they’ll get to 8 points, BUT they lost to Taichi & Yuya.
And even if Taichi & Yuya lose, they’d be losing to Bishamon, who would then stand at 9 points, making THEM second place flat out. And if Taichi & Yuya win, they are in as second place, not Bishamon. So despite the moment of cheers and hope at the end of that main event, Tsuji & Zando are really just fighting for pride and apparently for Zando to become Sanada’s replacement so that LIJ maintains six members. That’d be cool stuff, but I wonder if Atlantis & Soberano being CMLL like Zando is CMLL comes into play…
My Score: 8.8/10
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