Match Ratings For NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 From Sean Ross Sapp

New Japan Rumble

  • I feel like I saw someone wearing a Bruce Tharpe suit in the crowd slapping hands.
  • Delirious makes an appearance.
  • I forgot how big Leo Tonga was, and forgot Chase Owens was in Bullet Club.
  • Owens eliminates Delirious with a package piledriver but the ref screws up the count.
  • Nagata comes in and kicks Tonga right square in the ass cheek. It takes two wily vets to pin Leo. It takes three to get Nagata.
  • Taka Michinoku is in. I hope he doesn't land face first. Chase Owens is like 3 or 4 eliminations deep at this point. He finally gets eliminated when Suzuki-Gun take him out.
  • A giant pop for Jushin Thunder Liger. We end up with a couple of masks ripped off.
  • Henare comes in like a house of fire. To the contrary, YOSHI-HASHI doesn't look pleased to be in this match. He gets Granby rolled into a pin by David Finlay!
  • Any entrance is a Wrestle Kingdom entrance when you're Yujiro Takahashi.
  • Cheeseburger, Kojima, Tenzan join the fray. Masahito Kakihara is here!!!
  • Tenzan ruins the cool double elimination spot
  • Masahito Kakihara beats Cheeseburger with an STO!! The UWFI connection, the Takayama shirt, brings a tear to my eye. 
IMPACT World Tag Team Championship Match Set For 5/20 Episode Of IMPACT Wrestling

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championships
Young Bucks defeated Roppongi 3k (c) (w/ Rocky Romero) to become IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

  • Roppongi's entrance is great, he has a giant fire extinguisher pack or some shit.
  • It's always so weird when I'm watching the Dawgs on ROH and hear Riccaboni say they're the last team to beat Roppongi 3K.
  • Yoh and Matt Jackson have dueling Sharpshooters and slap each other.
  • Sho cracks his ankle on the rail during a tope con hilo, but Yoh is selling hard. A great way to tell the high risk story. He eats a German suplex on the apron.
  • Young Bucks superkick and powerbomb Romero on the apron. Ouch. 
  • The Bucks pull the ol' switcheroo like they're twins. Lol
  • Matt Jackson eats a back body drop on the ramp, and now he's selling the back too. This could be a cool dynamic.
  • Nick accidentally hits Matt on a dive, and tries to save Matt from Sho German Suplexes, but gets caught in it too. 
  • Superkick party. Nick counters the 3K into a spinning enziguri. Just an incredible series there. 
  • Yoh somehow kicks out of an elevated swanton bomb. 
  • Nick has to help Matt gets Yoh on his shoulders, but Sho almost gets a pin while Yoh holds on to Nick!
  • Young Bucks take the Revival spot where they don't let the other one tap. I was laughing my ass off at Sho and Nick Jackson one-upping kicking the injured backs of their opponents/teammates.
  • Bucks get the win after a Meltzer Driver and a Sharpshooter. Amazing match that told an awesome story.

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championships
Beretta, Toru Yano, & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Bullet Club (c), CHAOS, Suzuki Gun, War Machine & Michael Elgin

  • It's weird watching Elgin with War Machine knowing they don't care for each other. 
  • I'm done watching Iizuka. I was a long time ago. Those god damn fingers.
  • I'd like to see more of Sabre working with War Machine in the future. If Hanson and Rowe head to WWE, then tag team wrestling is in good shape. 
  • Sabre chokes out Rowe with a triangle. 
  • Yano and CHAOS are almost eliminated immediately. Instead Yano gets a pin over Taichi with a penis punch.
  • It's different not seeing Ishii in a high profile spot. 
  • Juice's screams are hilarious. He does a plancha to the outside and practically bounces off of Ishii.
  • Yano pins Taguchi, too! Callis is actually giving him credit. 
  • Bullet Club time. Defending champs. I would not wanting Tanga Loa doing a Death Valley Driver to me on the apron. 
  • Ishii tries to suplex Fale to a big reaction, but can't get it done. He finally does and the place goes crazy.
  • I fully expected Beretta to kick out of Guerrilla Warfare and a Gun Stun, but Yano actually breaks it up. Beretta sells his ass off in his matches but he also kicks out of everything.
  • Speaking of, he hits the Dudebuster to give his team the win.

Kota Ibushi defeated Cody (w/ Brandi Rhodes)

  • Commentators are making a lot of this match, maybe because they're told to, or maybe because it's the only match without a title.
  • This could be Cody Rhodes' best match ever. 
  • Kota Ibushi accidentally takes out Brandi Rhodes with a plancha, and he's worried. He picked up Brandi to take care of her and got punched in the face. It was a ruse. Brandi and Cody laugh it off. 
  • Rhodes really starts working the neck of Ibushi over. 
  • This ref is DUMB. He turns away from Brandi handing Cody a chair to admonish Brandi.
  • There are SO MANY PEOPLE ringside, and this match highlights it. Ibushi's Golden Triangle hits among a million people, but find its mark on Cody.
  • Cody Rhodes hits a by god Cross Rhodes off the apron for a 19 count on the outside!
  • Cody busts out a top rope huracanrana and the ref's count is wonky. 
  • Ibushi reverses a Cross Rhodes into a Lawn Dart!
  • Last Ride, and Kota Ibushi slugs Cody with some sick Kamigoye knees. Phoenix Splash gets the win.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Los Ingobernables de Japon defeated Killer Elite Squad (c) to become IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

  • KES attack and methodically beat down EVIL and Sanada. 
  • Hoyt chokeslams Evil onto a bunch of the young boys.
  • Davey Boy Jr. with his dad's circa 1999 WWF gear. 
  • It feels like this beating goes on forever. Even after a tag to EVIL, KES retain control.
  • Hoyt scores a very cool T-Bone Superplex.
  • If Davey Boy Jr is this agile in shoot jeans, I'm impressed. This is a real ass kicking from KES. 
  • LIJ fight back and hit a Magic Killer and a moonsault press for the win. 
  • Not bad, but the start was a little too redundant for my liking.
  • I really think they should integrate the two tag divisions. A team like Roppongi 3K or The Young Bucks can do cool things and tell a great story with KES or LIJ.

NEVER Openweight Championship
Hair vs. Hair Match
Hirooki Goto defeated Minoru Suzuki (c) to win the NEVER Openweight Championship

  • Suzuki hangs Goto with a sleeper from the top rope. The doctor checks it out. Calls correctly calls him out for it. 
  • Suzuki continues to beat down Goto with anything handy until Hirooki shows life. Then Suzuki laughs off his strikes.
  • A great counter out of Shouten ends up in a guillotine by Suzuki.
  • Suzkigun try to get involved, but are prevented. It creates enough of a distraction to allow Suzuki to dropkick Goto HARD.
  • I'm pretty sure Goto got the piss smacked out of him at some point.
  • Before the ref can stop the match, Suzuki goes for the Gotch Piledriver. He's like me in every video game I've played. I have to win with my finish, dammit. It doesn't happen.
  • Super Ushigoroshi off the top after Suzuki tries to choke Goto out up there. A GTR hits after a big strike exchange, and then Revolution gets the win.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship 
Fatal 4-Way
Will Ospreay defeated Marty Scurll (c), Kushida & Hiromu Takahashi to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship 

  • Scurll is really heeling it up. Diving in and out of the ring only to beak up pins.
  • Ospreay runs off the back of Kushida to huracanrana.
  • There are little things like Kushida trying to grab Scurll's leg and not getting there in time that make him one of my favorite workers in the world. He then hits a handspring kick that knocks Takahashi and Ospreay off the top rope. He follows up with a dive.
  • Ospreay moonsaults off a tower onto all three, and Takahashi got the worst of it. 
  • Kushida catches a flying elbow drop in mid air with an armbar.
  • Scurll's Chickenwing and Kushida's Hoverboard Lock are on Ospreay and Takahashi at the same time.
  • An insane series is started by Ospreay step kicking off of Scurll, and all four men end up down after clotheslines.
  • A strike trade devolves into all four men swinging at one another.
  • Hiromu has just gotten his ass kicked at every turn until a belly to belly suplex into the corner on Kushida. 
  • Marty Scurll hits a couple of OsCutters, and I think he had the pin. Takahashi seemed a little late getting there to break it up upon the first watch. 
  • Scurll tapes Takahashi to the guard rail and breaks his fingers. Kushida and Ospreay return the favor and Ospreay looks disgusted with himself. 
  • Kushida applies an armbar, then a triangle. Ospreay powerbombs out of it. 
  • Scurll is having hilarious interactions with Takahashi. He tapes his fingers up and throws powder in Kushida's face. Kushida still gets Back to the Future. 
  • Takahashi comes back and does sunset flip bombs off the apron to Scurll and Kushida (who later does the same to him), then gets a two off of a Time Bomb.
  • Ospreay and Scurll briefly work together, but it doesn't last long. Right when I thought the match should have been over minutes before, the crowd goes crazy. Ospreay lands a beautiful Imploding 450 on Takahashi for two.
  • Takahashi hits a Time Bomb, but the ref is pulled out by Scurll,. Scurll KILLS TAKAHASHI'S FACE with an umbrella! Damn!
  • Ospreay gets the win with the Oscutter. Outstanding.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) defeated Jay White to retain his title

  • We're going to see Tanahashi's knee get worked over. Everyone and their mother knows it's bothered him.
  • Tanahashi turns the tables and starts working over White's leg. This is a much slower pace, but after the last match they kind of have to in order to set the table for the last two matches. It's just still odd to see Tanahashi not in a main event slot.
  • High Fly Flow to the outside, you'd have no idea Tanahashi was hurt. 
  • Sixteen minutes in, this is solid, fundamental work. Nothing to indicate Jay White is the next NJPW megastar, but he's 25 years old. 
  • White hits Gary Goodridge elbows, but NJPW's production does a really bad job of picking them up. 
  • Tanahashi kicks out of a Kiwi Crusher. A GROSS High Fly Flow to the back of White sets up another one. Tanahashi retains!

 IWGP United States Championship
Kenny Omega (c) defeated Chris Jericho


  • Jericho attacks before the bell, and these two are fightin', by god. Young Bucks were sent to the back.
  • An Omega huracanrana attempt is countered into a Walls of Jericho. Jericho has to tell Red Shoes the match is No DQ.
  • Jericho takes a hilarious bump over the railing. Omega springboards and clears the rail through the announce table! An announcer got wiped out HARD. Walls of Jericho on Omega.
  • Jericho slaps Red Shoes and puts his son on the Walls of Jericho! "Look at your son!" Damn.
  • Jericho and Omega knock everyone's audio out! Omega throws a TV monitor at a chair placed on Jericho's balls. SWEET.
  • This is just a great brawl.
  • Coup de Grace onto a table that's on Jericho! Wow. "Double foot stomp on the god damn table!!"
  • Omega and Jericho perfectly execute a spot where Jericho triangle dropkicks Omega's knee on a springboard attempt. Omega takes an AJ Styles-ish bump.
  • Jericho threatens a powerbomb through the table, but settles for one on the floor. 
  • Tope con hilo, Kitaro Crusher, huracanrana, V Trigger all land for Omega. He's ROLLIN'!
  • Walls Of Jericho is in! Omega uses the cold spray on Jericho!
  • Jericho smashes Omega's head into a wedged chair, and does it hard. Jericho is heeling his ass off.
  • Omega is busted open, but hits a snapdragon suplex. Omega is so versatile. He can really do anything. Including getting a chair broken over his head. 
  • Some of these chair shots are ROUGH.
  • Jericho tries to go up top, but gets V-Triggered through the table. The announce team cover the hesitation of the fall by saying Jericho tried to hold on to the top rope, but couldn't
  • Double underhook piledriver isn't enough to put Jericho away.  
  • One Winged Angel into a Walls Of Jericho! The Tokyo Dome explodes!
  • Red Shoes is allllll in the face of Omega, messing with production. That's 100 percent on him.
  • The Walls of Jericho is switched into a Lion Tamer. This match is almost like Jericho's career flashing in front of OUR eyes. 
  • One Winged Angel hits, but Jericho is in the ropes! For those wondering, No DQ doesn't mean falls count anywhere. Rope breaks still count. That's out of the field of play. 
  • Omega drops Jericho face first across the top rope powerbomb style. Jericho with a Codebreaker, that Omega takes better than anyone ever. It gets a two!
  • One Winged Angel on a chair. He wins!
  • That was one of the best matches I've ever seen in my life. 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada (c) defeated Tetsuya Naito

  • I have a real problem with announcers talking about star ratings in matches. 
  • Why did Okada borrow Mickie James' pants for this show?
  • Naito has been able to take something like neckbreakers that have been so bastardized and make it his go-to. A lot of NJPW stars are able to do that.
  • Okada connects with a couple of stiff DDTs. Naito sells them well by holding his shoulder and traps. 
  • Okada plays the hits with his big elbow drop and Rainmaker pose, and goes to the Cobra Clutch. Naito struggles to get out, and does everything he can. 
  • This is exactly what I would expect out of Okada/Naito. 
  • I'm growing a little tired of the strike-and-wait trade from a lot of wrestling matches. It takes me out of the match a little.
  • Okada's German Suplexes are vicious. His Rainmaker even more so. Naito kicked out of the Rainmaker. Wow. 
  • Okada applies the Cobra Clutch, but Naito counters with Destino! Naito is too beat down to capitalize
  • Naito turns an Okada Alambamaslam into a headscissors driver!!!
  • Rainmaker! Destino! Kickout! Wow. Okada Tombstone, Naito Destino, then a Naito Destino countered into a Tombstone. That's it. Okada retains. He could end up solidifying his reign as the greatest in company history with a few more defenses. He's two away from tying Tanahashi's record. 
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