NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championships
LIJ win to become new champions
- This one starts off fast, and Bullet Club are eliminated fast by an Ishii vertical drop brainbuster.
- Taichi can't win with an axe bomber, so he takes his pants off. Robbie Eagles ends up picking up the win. That's two wins in a row for CHAOS.
- LIJ is in next, and we see our most extended action yet. Darkness Falls wins for EVIL, and Ishii isn't happy. There's some confusion around the finish and Ishii and Evil Brawl.
- The champs are out now. Commentary trolls them for never defending, which is funny.
- Dodon can't beat Takagi, but Takagi wins with his finisher. New Champs.
- This was just there. I think this could be a fun New Japan Rumble replacement. Or be the night 2 version.
Hiromu Takahashi & Ryu Lee defeated Jushin Thunder Liger & Naoki Sano
- Lee opens the ropes for Takahashi.
- Romero Special hits for Liger. Chills.
- Liger gets worked over a while and Lee/Takahashi both attack him.
- Liger plays the hits, getting a powerbomb, brainbuster and Shotei.
- Hiromu Takahashi pins Jushin Thunder Liger after a Time Bomb.
- This wasn't great, but it's in the story and the moment. Takahashi stands over top Liger after the match and shows him respect.
- Takahashi says Liger made the division, and he's going to carry it on.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
Roppongi 3K (w/ Rocky Romero) defeated Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) (c) to win the titles
- I love Phantasmo. He rocks Yoh's head with his forearm on a Lionsault, then takes out Rocky Romero. Kevin Kelly sells it hilariously.
- Bullet Club does a hilarious double nutsack stomp.
- This is good work. The flying knee into a Giant Swing neckbreaker was amazing.
- El Phantasmo has always reminded me a lot of Art Barr, at least for positive reasons. Not all the negative shit.
- Phantasmo tries to go for a low blow, but Sho was wearing a cup. Rocky Romero also got involved, getting a last laugh.
- Double stomp Shock Arrow wins the match for Roppongi 3K.
- Obligatory message about how NJPW needs to combine the tag divisions.
RevPro British Heavyweight Championship
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) defeated Sanada
- The chain wrestling here is off the charts. There is nobody smoother than Zack Sabre Jr. These days, the only person I see on his level is Daniel Bryan.
- Sanada works over the knee of Sabre. A dragon screw leg whip is sold as a big, momentum shifting attack, which is great.
- The Octopus hold is applied by Sabe, then countered into Skull end.
- These guys pop the crowd with a series of PIN reversals, and it wins the match.
- I think they could have went into a finisher out of that spot, but the crowd was all about it, so what do I know? There's more left between this two. They work together amazingly.
- Juice Robinson looks a damn fool. He attacks Jon Moxley before the match. This serves to get him his ass kicked big time.
- Moxley mocks the ref by bowing to him.
- A shifty looking powerbomb from Juice Robinson ends up hitting. Moxley answers with a Figure Four around the ring post.
- Moxley kills Juice with a German suplex.
- Juice Robinson has the best punches in pro wrestling. They're amazing, and Jon Moxley sells them great.
- Paradigm Shift into a Death Rider. Moxley wins!
- Really anticlimactic when music hits and you hear announcers scream "WHAT!?" then the audio goes out. Either way, it's Minoru Suzuki.
- Suzuki takes Moxley out.
NEVER Openweight Championship
Hirooki Goto defeated KENTA (c) to become champion
- Goto attacks KENTA right out of the gate.
- KENTA ends up throwing Goto out of the ring and almost winning via countout. He's so much more natural as a heel, and in NJPW. WWE was just a miserable fit for both.
- Goto and KENTA strike and Goto drops him. Gino Gambino's call of that was amazing.
- KENTA no-sells a big clothesline, throws some chops, and does NOT no-sell the second one.
- Goto hits GTW and GTR and wins.
- Bullet Club have lost all six of their matches so far. Wow.
- Constant talking point, but I'd really love to see NJPW consolidate some of their titles. It has to feel like a participation medal to some watching for the first time.
Runner Up match
"Switchblade" Jay White defeated Kota Ibushi (w/ Gedo & Jado)
- Ibushi goes chest first into the guard rail. Already heavy into this match.
- You could tell as soon as Ibushi hit the top rope on the moonsault that he was going to crush White's head with his hip or leg.
- Ibushi keeps cracking Jay White. I love this aspect of Ibushi's offense. This is stuff you just don't see in American wrestling.
- Jay White sold those big strikes so well. The storytelling in everything Ibushi is great.
- White snaps him back with a suplex. White then does a big Saito Superplex.
- NJPW's refs are either almost all bad at counting pins, or have all decide on a cadence for the three count that is way, way different than the 1, 2.
- Ibushi gets sent into the ref, and Gedo attacks him with a chair. Ibushi no-sells. Ibushi heart punched Gedo.
- Last Ride on White, but no ref. Gedo pulls the ref out after a Komigoye.
- White slams a chair into Ibushi's face, then Jado cracks him with brass knuckles.
- Blade Runner defeats Kota Ibushi.
- White hits another filthy Blade Runner on Ibushi after the match, and gloats all the way out. This is some really excellent heel work. Ibushi looks out of it.
If Tanahashi Wins, He Gets AEW World Championship Shot
Chris Jericho defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Tanahashi is mocking Jericho in a video before the match.
- This is much slower paced to kick things off.
- Tanahashi mocks Jericho's old pose.
- They do slap strike trades, and weren't on the same page.
- Jericho does a NASTY DDT on the announcer's table. All of the audio is out for Jericho/Tanahashi after the DDT on the table. Stays that way for several minutes.
- Jericho misses a frog splash while playing air guitar. Tanahashi was playing possum.
- Big High Fly Flow taken nasty on the floor, but it looks great.
- Jericho does to work on Tanahashi's leg. He applies the Walls of Jericho, but Tanahashi is in the ropes.
- Jericho counters a dive with a big Codebreaker, but Tanahashi hits a bad looking one of his own.
- A Slingblade doesn't win it for Tanahshi, and Jericho rolls through a High Fly Flow to apply the Walls of Jericho.
- Tanahashi taps out!!!
DOUBLE GOLD DASH
IWGP Heavyweight Championship vs. IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Tetsuya Naito (IC) defeated Kazuchika Okada (C) to become double champion
- I love a good cravat, and Naito does just that. Unfortunately, Okada's neckbreaker hits him.
- Shotgun dropkick, then the inside out dropkick hits for Okada. He goes after Naito's knee.
- Naito gets sent knee-first into the table at ringside. The angle makes it look even crazier.
- Oh my fucking god. That poisonrana from the top. I thought Okada DIED. He kicks out, so he is in fact, alive.
- A dropkick from Okada gets no sold, and Naito hits a running Destino. Kevin Kelly calls this insanely. The crowd is unreal.
- Destino miss, Rainmaker miss, dropkick hits!
- The crowd is all there for this knee injury story.
- Rainmaker hits, and Naito kicks out. You could see it coming from a mile away based on the pace of the finish if you've ever watched NJPW in your life.
- Okada milks it, and hits another Rainmaker. Rocky Romero telegraphs a Naito comeback by saying Okada is ending Naito.
- Destino counter on a Rainmaker attempt, but Naito's knee is hurt.
- Another hits, and Tetsuya Naito wins the Double Gold.
- A very good match, though I thought the show peaked at night one. It seemed pretty clear Ibushi is poised for a top spot and is going to get over more than ever before after the last two nights as well. This was poetic for Naito, and Naito vs. Ibush wasn't done this weekend.
- Naito tells Okada they need to do this again, and Okada agrees.
- KENTA attacks Naito and hits a gross looking Go 2 Sleep after the match. KENTA just got pinned by Goto, sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!