— The following results are from Ethan Renner at f4wonline.com:
PRE-SHOW NEVER OPENWEIGHT SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP GAUNTLET MATCH: EVIL, SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI DEFEATED RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, TOGI MAKABE & TORU YANO, BAD LUCK FALE, CHASE OWENS & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI, EL DESPERADO, TAICHI & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU, TOMOHIRO ISHII, YOSHI-HASHI & ROBBIE EAGLES TO WIN THE TITLES (23:23)
First fall: Ishii, YH & Eagles defeated Fale, Owens & Takahashi (3:40)
Fale hit a tackle and a Grenade on Eagles for a quick near fall in the opening seconds. Ishii dropped Owens with a forearm. Yujiro took down Ishii with an inverted DDT. Bullet Club went 3-on-1 on Ishii. Owens hit a running knee for a two count.
Owens tried a package piledriver on Ishii, but Eagles saved and hit a standing sliced bread, then a plancha on Fale. Owens and Ishii exchanged lariats. Owens hit a knee strike. YH cut him off with a thrust kick. Ishii hit Owens with the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the first elimination.
Second fall: Ishii, YH & Eagles defeated Desperado, Taichi & Kanemaru (3:54)
Taichi hit an axe bomber on Ishii for a near fall. Desperado hit Ishii with a spear. YH hit a thrust kick on Desperado. Taichi took his trousers off. Ishii and Taichi traded strikes. Taichi landed a high kick. Ishii hit a lariat.
Eagles and Desperado tagged in. Eagles hit a springboard dropkick to the knee. Desperado and Kanemaru doubled up on Eagles. Kanemaru used an inverted DDT for a two count.
Kanemaru missed with Deep Impact. Eagles and Kanemaru did a series of standing switches. Eagles used a cradle for the pin on Kanemaru.
Third fall: EVIL, Shingo & BUSHI defeated Ishii, YH & Eagles (5:54)
BUSHI hit Eagles with a missile dropkick. EVIL tagged in and tried to rally the crowd. EVIL hit his bronco buster for a near fall on Eagles. Shingo tagged in and traded chops with Eagles. Shingo tried a pop-up DVD, but Eagles blocked and hit Turbo Backpack into a double down.
YH tagged in and hit a headhunter on Shingo, then a running chop, followed by a draping dropkick to the back for a two count. YH and Shingo traded hard lariats.
EVIL and Ishii got tags. They traded forearms and tackles. Just all action here as LIJ tripled up on Ishii. EVIL hit a spear for a near fall. YH made the save. BUSHI hit a suicide dive to Eagles. EVIL tried Darkness Falls, but Ishii blocked.
The finish was botched. EVIL hit Darkness Falls. Ishii kicked out late at 3. The ref called it as a shoot and called for the bell. EVIL hit an STO on Ishii after the bell.
Fourth Fall: EVIL, Shingo & BUSHI defeated Yano, Taguchi & Makabe (6:08)
Yano used a quick schoolboy for a two count before the bell. Yano exposed a buckle and sent Shingo in and used another schoolboy for another two count.
BUSHI tagged in and choked Yano with his shirt. Makabe got a tag. He tried ten punches in the corner on BUSHI but EVIL blocked. Makabe sent EVIL into the buckle and hit the ten punches on BUSHI. Makabe hit a northern lights suplex for a two count.
BUSHI hit Makabe with an enziguri and a DDT. Shingo got a tag and traded forearms with Makabe. Makabe ducked a Pumping Bomber and hit a lariat.
Taguchi tagged in and tried a hip attack, but Shingo blocked. Taguchi hit three amigos. He called for a Bomaye. Shingo blocked with a dropkick. Everyone jumped in. Makabe hit a double lariat.
Shingo and Taguchi were still legal. Taguchi hit a Bomaye and a Dodon for a near fall. Taguchi grabbed an ankle lock. Shingo flipped out. BUSHI spit black mist at Taguchi from the apron. Shingo hit Made in Japan for the pin.
This was frenetic and all action.
RYU LEE & HIROMU TAKAHASHI DEFEATED JUSHIN LIGER & NAOKI SANO (W/YOSHIAKI FUJIWARA) (12:17)
Liger and Hiromu locked up. Hiromu broke cleanly against the ropes. They tied up again, this time Liger with the clean break. Liger stretched Hiromu with a surfboard, then locked on the Romero Special, before giving up the hold.
Hiromu feigned tagging out. Liger turned his back, and Lee and Hiromu kicked Sano off the apron and double-teamed Liger. Lee tagged in and hit a one-legged dropkick for a two count. Hiromu tagged in and used a double sledge and a Fujiwara armbar on Liger’s right arm.
Liger fired up with shotei palm strikes, then hit tilt-a-whirl backbreakers on both Hiromu and Lee. Sano got a tag and hit a missile dropkick, then hit a double dropkick on both Lee and Hiromu.
Lee and Sano traded strikes. Lee hit a pump knee strike. Sano hit a lariat. Hiromu and Liger tagged back in and exchanged forearm shots. Hiromu scored a knockdown and taunted Liger. Hiromu hit strikes in the corner from the second rope, but Liger powerbombed him off.
Liger teased a Liger bomb, but Lee saved. Hiromu, Liger and Sano rolled to the floor. Lee tried a tope con giro, but hit Hiromu by mistake. Back inside, Liger hit a powerbomb for a two count.
Hiromu hit a German, but Liger no-sold it, then hit a shotei and a brainbuster. He covered, but Lee broke up the pin. Sano jumped in. Lee kicked him to the floor, then took him out with a suicide dive. In the ring, Hiromu hit a falcon arrow for a two count.
Lee and Hiromu double-teamed Liger with kicks and knee strikes. Hiromu covered for a two count. Hiromu hit a DVD into the turnbuckle pad. He teased Time Bomb, but Liger rolled him up for a near fall.
Liger tried a shotei. Hiromu ducked it, hit a lariat, then hit Time Bomb for the pin.
My video feed froze as Hiromu was standing over a fallen Liger after the bell.
I missed what was surely the best and most emotional part of the entire presentation. As a match, this was good but nothing special. With the post-match, I’m sure it was much more than that. Go back and watch the replay on NJPW World later to confirm.
IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: SHO & YOH DEFEATED EL PHANTASMO & TAIJI ISHIMORI TO WIN THE TITLES (14:09)
SHO and YOH hit stereo topes at the opening bell. While Ishimori recovered on the floor, SHO and YOH hit ELP with strikes. ELP then bailed to the floor to regroup with Ishimori.
Back inside, ELP used a distraction from Ishimori to hit a dropkick to SHO. All four men brawled on the floor. Ishimori and ELP took over from there. Ishimori hit a siding German and used a neck crank.
ELP and Ishimori used their comedy back rake offense. ELP hit a quebrada back rake. ELP then hit a springboard moonsault-quebrada-suicide dive-frog splash combination for a two count on SHO.
Ishimori and ELP used their tandem crotch stand on SHO. YOH jumped in and hit some strikes, but soon found himself tied to the tree of woe as well for a double crotch stand. SHO ducked a springboard attack and hit a spear.
YOH got a hot tag and hit dropkicks to both ELP and Ishimori, then a flying forearm to Ishimori. ELP cut him off with a thrust kick. YOH came back immediately, sending Ishimori up and over, then hitting a pescado to both.
In the ring, Ishimori hit a handspring kick. ELP and SHO tagged in. SHO hit two rolling Germans on ELP, then a double German to both opponents. ELP used an inside cradle for a surprise near fall. Ishimori hit a jumping knee into an airplane spin neckbreaker from ELP for a two count.
Ishimori hit a codebreaker to SHO, and ELP hit a best moonsault ever for a two count. Ishimori and ELP went for a 3K. SHO turned it into a destroyer on ELP. Ishimori and YOH got clotheslined to the floor. SHO hit ELP with a superkick.
SHO went for Shock Arrow. ELP reversed, rolled through, then hit a Styles Clash for a near fall.
Ishimori took the referee. ELP grabbed a title belt. Rocky Romero saved for SHO. ELP tried a low blow to SHO, but SHO was wearing a cup. SHO and YOH hit a 3K on Ishimori. SHO hit Shock Arrow on ELP into a dragon suplex from YOH.
YOH hit a double stomp to ELP while SHO held him in Shock Arrow position. SHO then hit Shock Arrow for the pin and the title change. ELP and Ishimori are so fantastic that their reliance on haha is a little off-putting for me. That aside, this was very good.
RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: ZACK SABRE JR. DEFEATED SANADA TO RETAIN THE TITLE (12:33)
This was a great change of pace and different from anything else we’re likely to see this weekend. Well done.
They started with some mat work, obviously. They traded a series of cradles. They traded a cross-arm choke and a variety of escapes and counters reversing the hold. Sabre kicked SANADA off, then rolled to the floor to reset.
They traded cobra twists. SANADA used a rolling cradle for a two count. He went for a standing moonsault, but Sabre moved ever so slightly, then trapped SANADA on the landing. Sabre trapped the left arm. He used an armbar, but SANADA forced a rope break.
SANADA hit a dropkick to the right leg. Sabre tried a PK. SANADA caught it, then wrenched again on the right leg. SANADA hit a plancha as Sabre rolled out to the floor.
SANADA tried a dragon screw, but Sabre blocked and went for a Zack Driver. SANADA blocked, but Sabre kicked at his arm and set up an octopus. SANADA escaped and used Skull End to set up a moonsault attempt. SANADA missed the moonsault. Sabre hit a huge running PK.
They traded uppercuts. SANADA missed a springboard attack. They traded a series of cradles for near falls. SANADA hit a moonsault into Skull End. Sabre slid out into a European clutch for a near fall.
SANADA grabbed Skull End out of the near fall. Sabre reversed into a cobra twist. SANADA pulled away and tried for Skull End again. They traded clutch attempts, with Sabre ending up on top in a European clutch for the pin.
IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: JON MOXLEY DEFEATED JUICE ROBINSON TO RETAIN THE TITLE (12:49)
This was not at the level of their previous matches. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, but it was similar to matches we’ve already seen them have without the same intensity. The post-match, though, was unbelievable.
Juice hit a plancha as Mox was making his entrance. Juice then dropped Moxley on the barricade, then hit a slam on the floor. Moxley posted Juice, then went under the ring for some plunder.
Moxley set up a chair. He teased an x-plex on the chair, but Juice escaped and hit a drop toehold on the chair. Moxley sat in the chair and Juice hit a cannonball on the floor. They climbed inside the ring. Moxley whipped Juice up and over the top rope, then used a chair on the floor.
In the ring, Moxley used a series of short punches to the head, perhaps designed to open Juice up the hard way. Moxley hit a backbreaker, then used a sliding lariat to pick up a near fall. They traded chops. Moxley bit Juice on the right eyebrow. Juice hit a spinebuster and a leg lariat.
Juice hit Juice Box, then stacked Moxley up on a powerbomb for a two count. Juice hit jabs. Moxley ducked the Left Hand of God and used a figure four. Juice reached the bottom rope for a break. Moxley posted Juice’s left leg, then used a figure four around the post.
Moxley placed a chair around Juice’s neck and teased a baseball swing with another chair. Juice blocked and hit a Left Hand of God into the chair. Back inside, Juice hit a superplex, maintained hold of the neck on landing, then hit a jackhammer for a two count.
Juice tried Pulp Friction, but Moxley blocked and hit a German. Juice hit a German. Moxley hit a pair of lariats. Moxley went for Death Rider. Juice blocked, then used a roll-up for a near fall. Juice hit a lariat into a double down.
They traded strikes while standing. They exchanged headbutts. Moxley hit a Regal knee. Juice answered with two Left Hand of Gods. Juice went for Pulp Friction. Moxley reversed into a Death Rider. Moxley then hit a second Death Rider for the pin.
As Moxley had his hand raised, Kaze Ni Nare hit.
Minoru Suzuki appeared on the stage wearing a track suit. On the way to the ring, Suzuki took the track suit off. He climbed inside and squared up to Moxley. They traded blows. Suzuki grabbed a rear naked choke, then hit the Gotch-style Piledriver.
Suzuki cut a promo. He asked Moxley who he thinks he’s picking a fight with. He said he’s the king of pro wrestling and if Moxley wants a fight, Suzuki will end up as the king of the United States.
Suzuki left. Moxley came to, then attacked Yota Tsuji as he checked on Moxley, thinking he was still in with Suzuki.
I give this angle one thousand stars.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: HIROOKI GOTO DEFEATED KENTA TO WIN THE TITLE (16:12)
Goto went after KENTA before the opening bell. He used strikes and had great intensity, but probably blew himself up, as he went to a chinlock in the middle of this brawl. KENTA responded with a running boot, aand the action spilled to the outside. KENTA hit a stiff kick, then a DDT on the ramp. Goto beat the count back inside at 19.
KENTA used a knee lift. He did some crowd work, then hit a couple of kicks. After some more crowd work, KENTA used a chinlock, then another knee lift. Goto ame back with some hard elbows, one of which dropped KENTA. KENTA sold it like a flash knockout. Goto used a side suplex for a two count.
KENTA dropped Goto’s throat across the top rope, then used a clothesline off the top for a two count. Goto used a misdirection spot and hit an ushigoroshi. KENTA used Game Over. Goto forced a break.
KENTA hit a Shibata dropkick in the corner, then used a double stomp off the top rope for a near fall. Goto blocked a knee. KENTA hit a busaiku knee for a near fall.
KENTA went for Go 2 Sleep. Goto blocked and hit a headbutt. Each no-sold some big strikes. Goto hit a spinning lariat for a two count.
KENTA caught a mid kick and hit hard palm strikes to the face. Goto responded with slaps to the face. Goto went for an ushigoroshi, but hit a GTW instead. Goto then hit a GTR for the pin.
This didn’t do anything for me. Goto has his good days and bad days. KENTA gets a lot of heat at times, but he usually has to beg the crowd for it. I think a fun sprint would have been better than the long epic they were going for.
JAY WHITE DEFEATED KOTA IBUSHI (24:59)
Ibushi avoided a Gedo distraction and hit White with some strikes. White came back and knocked Ibushi off the apron. Ibushi crashed into the barricade and slid down between the ring platform and the floor. That could have been really bad. I’m sure the platform serves a purpose but every year someone almost dies or breaks their neck on it.
White sent Ibushi into the barricade, and Ibushi just threw himself chest-first into the railing with abandon. In the ring, White used a chinlock. Ibushi responded with a snap rana and a plancha.
Ibushi hit a springboard dropkick, a powerslam, then a second rope moonsault for a two count. White may have been selling, or he may have broken a rib on Ibushi’s landing.
White hit a DDT, then used a DVD for a two count. White hit a series of uppercut forearms. Ibushi responded with a bastard driver. They traded a series of hard strikes. Ibushi went into his no-sell mode and dropped White with a huge lariat.
White hit a complete shot, followed by a deadlift German. White hit a Blade Buster, then used the Kiwi Krusher for a near fall. They fought on the top rope. White teased a superplex, but dropped Ibushi chest-first on the top rope. White hit a top rope uranage for a two count.
White hit a sleeper suplex. Ibushi responded with a V-Trigger. Ibushi teased a Bomaye, but faked it, grabbed a waistlock, then hit a bridging German for a two count. Ibushi then hit the Bomaye for a near fall.
Ibushi teased Kamigoye. White teased a Blade Runner. Ibushi hit a lariat. White threw Ibushi into the referee, who took a bump and flew to the floor.
Gedo jumped in with a chair. He used the chair on Ibushi, but Ibushi no-sold it. Gedo hit some kicks, but Ibushi no-sold those as well, then sent Gedo outside with a palm strike.
Ibushi hit a huge Kamigoye to White, then used a sit-out Last Ride. With no ref, there was no pin.
The ref was revived. Ibushi hit another Kamigoye. Gedo pulled the ref out of the ring and jumped in with brass knuckles. White threw a chair into Ibushi’s face. Gedo then hit Ibushi with the knuckles.
Gedo revived the referee. White used a straightjacket Bloody Sunday DDT, then hit Blade Runner for the pin.
White hit Ibushi with a second Blade Runner after the bell.
I liked this match. I thought it was better than White vs. Naito last night, but I didn’t seem to like that one as much as a lot of people did.