Good morning, and we are back!
1, Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin and Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata, Shota Umino and Ayato Yoshida. Honma has just come back from a spinal canal injury that left him a temporary quadriplegic. He looked fine, but nobody got much time in this match. Yoshida is a young wrestler from Kaientai Dojo, Taka Michinoku’s promotion. Makabe pins Yoshida with a flying knee.
2. Bad Luck Fale vs Toa Henare
Henare was doing well early on, until Fale hit him with a big punch, a choke slam and a razor’s edge for the win. No other Tongans came out. Very quick.
3. Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi vs Taichi and Takashi Iizuka (with Miho Abe)
Cheers for Taichi, a talented northerner who has fallen short in every attempt to win the title, and has a jokey gimmick of a lip syncing singer. Part of the reason for the cheers is probably due to him missing the Climax tour. As Goto and Y-H get to the ring, Iizuka runs out of nowhere with a muzzle and clobbers both CHAOS members. Eventually Taichi has to unbuckle the muzzle, so Crazy Bouzu can start biting opponents. For the finish, Yoshi-Hashi was trying to attack Taichi in the corner, but got kicked. Taichi then tore his pants off, which usually means he is going to try to kick sitting opponent in the head and miss, but this time the kick was spot-on and he power bombed Yoshi-Hashi for the win. After the match, he destroyed Yoshi-Hashi with his lyp syncing microphone. Goto ran in for the save but was destroyed with the mike as well. Looks like Taichi’s attempt to get serious and win the NEVER title from Goto continues. He got huge cheers for this too, so it looks like the fans are solidly behind him.
4. Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs Cody and Adam Page
Cody came out in new half-gold half-white tights and milked every second of face reaction he got. Juice set up Pulp Friction, but Cody reversed it into a back-to-back piledriver. Cody will probably be challenging Juice for US title on the next American trip.
Cody grabs the mic and taps it about ten times. This gets a huge positive reaction. He tells Juice that he is sick of hearing from the sad staff about how much he has improved, that he is nothing more than a sad version of Kairi Sane (LOL) and that he will be the next US champion.
5. Young Bucks & Marty Scrull vs Guerillas of Destiny & Taiji Ishimori
The Tongans introduce the newest member of the Firing Squad, Bone Soldier (Ishimori) to start things off. This makes sense as they were the ones who introduced him to Bullet Club originally. Tonga Loa does his vocal intros, says and now the soon to be former champs (NEVER Openweight 6-man) making their farewell tour, but then pretends he doesn’t know their name, and has to ask the announcer.
Villainous Bucks come down and the Firing Squad asks them to put the belts on the line (this is not supposed ot be a title match). Matt answers that since they are supposed to be the best in the world, they will ask Harold Meij, who just happens to be sitting at ringside. After a quick exchange, a title match is on. This might be typical in US, but is very unusual for Japanese promotions, fans get excited.
Lots of people wanting to look cool and unwanting to sell in this match. Ishimori is probably the only exception. The finish comes when Scrull Fuchi dropkicks Tonga Loa and tries to snap his fingers, but running into this is the legal man, Tama Tonga with the Gun Stun and a 3. We have new champs, who promptly piledrive the Young Bucks and throw the belts out of the ring to ringside. Meij is stunned, and nobody is sure what that means.
Tonga tells the camera “You can keep those titles, this was just to show you what’s up.” Cheers for Young Bucks, who retrieve with the belts. WTF?
Wrestle Kingdom 13 is announced for January 4th. No matches announced. The announcement is made in English.
6. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Sanada and Bushi vs Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado
Kanemaru comes out, having cut his hair and shaved. The finish comes when he misses the Tequila Spit and Sanada wraps him up in a Skull End.
7. Kenny Omega, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens (with Pieter) vs Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano.
A hilarious spot, where Bullet Club were wishboning all 3 Chaos members, and in the middle of it all Pieter got in the ring, and started twirl dancing her butt off in beat with the BC rowing the Chaos’ members legs. Eventually Kenny got angry and said she can’t stay, but then held the ropes for her to show there is no beef.
Ishii pinned Owens after a lariat and a vertical suplex. Hmm, I kinda thought they were going to build towards White vs Omega here. But nobody really went after Kenny in this match. However, after the match Ishii picked up the World belt, gave it to Kenny and pointed at himself. Makes sense for November/October, this is usually when one of the men who pinned the champ during Climax will get a title shot.
8. Kazuchika Okada and Roppongi 3K vs Rey Mysterio Jr, Kushida and Pro Wrestler Sengoku Enbu (who wears large hoop earrings, elaborate spiky red costumes and a mask covering not only bottom of his face, but his neck and shoulders, but starts the match with 2 hip attacks, so by now you should know who he is 🙂 )
In the end it was Rey Mysterio Jr and YOH and Mysterio did a 619 and a springboard splash. Nothing to write home about, no bad spots, but mostly just average stuff.
9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
There is an hour and a half time left, so we are in for a long one. Very unusual pairing of two perfectly nice faces. Tanahashi has won this twice before. Ibushi for whatever reason has become very popular this year. Shibata helps Tanahashi get into the ring. Omega stands with Ibushi. Their best friends are here to help them battle.
Some lock-ups, but mostly just walking around, to start things off. Tanahashi has control with hammerlock and headlocks, while Ibushi successfully applies head scissors. Tanahashi shoulder blocks Ibushi and starts airplaying guitar, but Ibushi no-sells it and downs Hiroshi with a big kick. Fuchi dropkick and scorpion death lock by Tanahashi, till Kota reaches the ropes. Much of Ibushi’s offensive is kicks, but they aren’t classic kicks, and I am not Tony Schiavone to just write “kick” over and over again, however, a sweeping kick flattens Tanahashi, then a power slam a moonsault by Ibushi nets a 2.
Ibushi dropkicks Tanahashi to the outside and jump stomps him. Next kick, however, results in a Dragon Screw. Chants of “Tanahashi!” He obliges with a dropkick, but ends up double stomped to the back as soon as he falls down. Each time one of the wrestlers seems like he is about to go on a long-term offensive, the other one seizes control. Tombstone by Ibushi, count of 2. 2 Dragon Screws by Tanahashi. He applies Texas Cloverleaf. Omega tries to cheer his friend on, but Hiroshi pulls him back away from the ropes. Finally, a rope break, but Tanahashi Dragon Screws again, and Ibushi falls, hurt, to the outside. Plancha by Hiroshi.
Dropkick finally turns the tide. Ibushi delivers a springboard moonsault plancha. Top rope hurricanrana by Ibushi. Bridged suplex, and a 2 count. Running knee. Chants of “Tanahashi” again. Ibushi starts shotei’ing Tanahashi in the corner. The ref pulls him back, Ace is in the ropes after all, but Hiroshi stands up and stares Ibushi in the face, “slap me more”. Slap, “slap me more”. Slap. “Slap me more”. Brilliant selling display by Hiroshi. He finally begins to shotei back, getting Ibushi to fall, only for him to jump back with a lariat.
Elbow fest, Tanahashi dishes out with uppercuts, Ibushi wins the battle with a shotei, but wait, it’s Sling Blade time. 1, 2, kick out at 2! Dragon suplex is blocked, so Tanahashi delivers a regular German. 1, 2, kick out. Tanahashi goes for High Fly Flow, but Ibushi has his knees up. Running knee by Ibushi, who sells his exhaustion really well. Standing moonsault double knee stomp out of nowhere.
Oh my god, Ibushi just nailed an Asai German Suplex. Power Bomb. 2 and 9/10. Tanahashi tries for a Sling Blade, but it’s reversed into a German. 2 count, another Sling Blade attempt, but Ibushi turns it into a Rain Trigger, which Tanahashi reverses into a Twist And Shout. Shibata is shouting something. Everybody feels exhausted, including me. Another Twist And Shout. Ibushi tries to slap, but Tanahashi moves through it for a Dragon Suplex and a 2 count. Whew! High Fly Flow time, again. He hits on Ibushi’s back. No cover, goes up and hits another one to Ibushi’s stomach. Still no cover! Still going back up! Crowd is on fire. High Fly Flow, hit perfectly, and there is no getting up from that. 1, 2, 3!
This is the third Climax win of Hiroshi’s career, and most likely means he is going to Wrestle Kingdom in January to challenge Omega. (both title and title shot will usually be on the line before then). Shibata is carrying Tanahashi on his shoulders.
Tanahashi tries to help Ibushi up. Chants for the Golden Star. But Ibushi doesn’t want to shake hands, he just rolls out of the ring and leaves with Omega.