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New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 2
January 5th 2020
From the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly, Gino Gambino, and Chris Charlton.
Hey, if anyone has advice on how I can make it so I do NOT have to log in to New Japan World every time I use the Fire Stick app, please let me know as politely as possible @samoarowe.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi and ROH TV Champion Ryu Lee vs. Jushin Liger (with Yoshiaki Fujiwara) and Naoki Sano
This is billed as Liger's retirement match. Liger locks up with Takahashi and exchange clean breaks against the ropes. Liger catches Takahashi in a pendulum/chinlock combo and then stretches him over his knees. Crowd applauds Liger's surfboard stretch. Takahashi tags Lee, and then sprints to knock Sano off the apron, forcing Liger to continue. They work Liger over with tandem offense and quick tags. Takahashi gleefully applies a Fujiwara armbar to hurt Liger and mock the actual Fujiwara at ringside. Liger saves himself with tilt-a-whirl backbreakers and tags Sano, who enters with a double missile dropkick. Sano shakes off a double team with a running dropkick. Sano and Lee exchange forearms. Sano flips Lee over in a lariat and rolls into Liger's hot tag. Liger and Takahashi slug it out. Takahashi shoves the ref away so he can continue punching in the corner, but Liger counters with a powerbomb! Lee cleans the ring, but misses a dive and takes out Takahashi! Liger's stacking powerbomb gets 2 on Takahashi. Liger bounces up after taking a German suplex and plants Takahashi with a brainbuster, but Lee breaks the pinfall. Lee drops Sano with a suicide dive. That leaves Takahashi to hit Liger with a Falcon Arrow for a good nearfall. Liger gets double teamed with strikes but still kicks out. Liger blocks Time Bomb and nearly wins with a quick rollup, but Takahashi rebounds and hits Time Bomb for the win at 12:20. The air has been sucked out of the building, but that was the absolutely correct result. Liger can be proud that he put on a good show in his final match, ***½.
Winners: Hiromu Takahashi and Ryu Lee
Liger take a microphone and reflects on Liger being born in the Tokyo Dome in 1989, and on this day in 2020, Liger is no more. He thanks the fans and embraces Sano. And that's a wrap.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship:
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori) © vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO and YOH, with Rocky Romero)
Ishimori enters wearing a kick-ass Shredder mask. A ring crew guy helps remove the gear, but Phantasmo kicks him out just because. Hot start for R3K, as they immediately hit dives, followed by quick tandem offense, that may or may not end up killing the industry. The champions turn it around with ringside attacks and isolate SHO. Phantasmo does a tightrope moonsault BACK RAKE! Now THAT is obnoxious. Phantasmo continues his magnificent bastard ways with an unnecessary dive on Romero. Bullet Club fakes a tandem dropkick and stand on the groin of YOH in a tree of woe instead. YOH tries to save, but he gets piled on his partner for more groin stomping. SHO flips around to score a desperate spear on Ishimori, and YOH sprints in with a hot tag. YOH throws Bullet Club onto one another at ringside and hits a crossbody dive. Ishimori catches YOH with a back heel kick. Phantasmo returns but suffers rolling Germans, tries to break the sequence by grabbing his partner, only to inadvertently suplex him as well. Bullet Club regroup (no-sell, if I'm honest) and Phantasmo hits an airplane spin neckbreaker for 2. Bullet Club's tandem Codebreaker/Moonsault combo only gets 2. R3K come back with a DESTROYER. SHO dissects Phantasmo with stiff kicks and teases a piledriver, but Phantasmo reverses into a Styles Clash, but SHO KICKS OUT! Phantasmo has his title taken away by Romero, so he tries a low blow instead, but SHO was wearing a cup! R3K hit a Shock Arrow and Dragon Suplex, and finish Phantasmo with a double stomp Shock Arrow combo at 14:06. This was tons of fun and I'm smitten with the awesomely despicable El Phantasmo, ****.
Winners and new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Roppongi 3K.
Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship:
Zack Sabre Jr. © vs. Sanada
Bell rings and they aggressively engage in an athletic chain wrestling sequence until reaching a stalemate. Match restarts with more aggressive counters and flips, in which Sanada teases the Paradise Lock, but they reach another stalemate. They flex their muscles and lock up again, this time ZSJ manages a stranglehold using Sanada's own arms, leading to a series of reversals, but with a different clever counter each time. Sanada finally breaks the pattern and teases a dive while ZSJ sulks. Match resumes with them exchanging cobra twists. Sanada rolls ZSJ around before going for a pinfall, but ZSJ pops up and pulls the challenger into a deep armbar. They resume exchanging counters at a blistering pace until Sanada scores a dragon screw legsweep. Sanada nails a dive and ZSJ is selling a knee injury. ZSJ rakes the eyes and hits a Pele kick into the wrist. Sanada counters with a swinging sleeper but misses he moonsault. ZSJ nails a soccer kick. They exchange forearm uppercuts. They exchange many pin attempts until Sanada applies a Dragon Sleeper. ZSJ rolls through and applies a cobra twist. They roll through a crazy pinfall reversal series until ZSJ gains the pinfall at 12:36. Tremendous action in this one, I would have welcomed another 15 minutes of this, ****.
Winner and still British Heavyweight Champion: Zack Sabre Jr.
IWGP United States Championship:
Jon Moxley © vs. Juice Robinson (with David Finlay)
Robinson dives onto Moxley before the bell and drives him into the barricade. Moxley sells a throat injury as Robinson hits a power slam on the floor. Moxley gets a chair, but Juice sends him onto it via drop toe hold. Juice hits a running cannonball onto the chair! They finally enter the ring, where Moxley hits a hard Irish whip back to ringside. Moxley hits a chair shot and tells the ref “He started it!” Moxley slows things down to pick Juice apart in the ring. Juice fights back and barely hits a powerbomb for 2. Moxley answers with a Figure Four. Juice gets a rope break, so Moxley reapplies the Figure Four around the post! Moxley wraps a chair around the throat, but Juice retaliates with a closed fist to smash another chair into the face! Superplex by Juice, who pops him up for Jackhammer! Moxley blocks Pulp Friction with a German Suplex, but Juice returns the favor. Moxley can't hit Death Rider and gets rolled up for a close 2. Juice's lariat buys him some breathing room. They stumble up for a slugfest. They light each other up, but Moxley hits the Death Rider and floats into a second Death Rider. Juice is finished at 12:47. Good work here, with Juice's back injury and experience disadvantage working against him, but still putting in a good showing against a ruthless Moxley, ***¼.
Winner and still IWGP United States Champion: Jon Moxley
Moxley's celebration is cut short by the arrival of Minoru Suzuki
, who looks like he's ready for an impromptu match. Moxley doesn't back down, and the crowd is going nuts for this. There is no official match as they brawl it out until Suzuki hits a Gotch Piledriver. Looks like Moxley's title reign could be short-lived. Suzuki brands himself the king of professional wrestling and stands on Moxley while posing with the U.S. title.
NEVER Openweight Championship:
KENTA © vs. Hirooki Goto
Goto begins pummeling KENTA before the bell. Goto's hot start ends when KENTA boots him off the apron and then whips him into the rail. DDT on the ramp by KENTA nearly ends it via countout. KENTA favors kicks and knee strikes to dissect Goto in the ring. Goto gets back into the fight with a lariat, and they exchange forearms. Goto hits an apparent knockout blow and follows with a backdrop suplex for 2. KENTA strings some offense, hitting a flying clothesline for 2. Goto tries a modified neckbreaker, but KENTA resumes control, hitting a crisp dropkick into the corner and flying double stomp for 2. They trade sleeper holds and KENTA drills the chest with a kick. KENTA's psycho knees gets a great nearfall. Goto blocks G2S and nails a headbutt. They trade defiant stiff shots until Goto nails a lariat for 2. KENTA fires away palm strikes but Goto answers. Goto hits GTW and then GTR for the win and title at 16:14! This was a perfectly solid match until they started ripping into each other down the stretch, when it became part awesome, part nauseating, ***½.
Winner and new NEVER Openweight Champion: Hirooki Goto
Jay White (with Gedo) vs. Kota Ibushi
These guys both lost last night and are jockeying to get back into title contention. Gedo distracts but Ibushi doesn't fall for White's ambush and hits a high kick. Standing moonsault by Ibushi. White drives Ibushi off the apron for a rough landing face first onto the rail. White sends Ibushi chest-first into the rail and then throat-first into the apron. Ibushi absorbs some punishment and lands on his head while hitting a standing rana. Ibushi hits a dive to ringside and a springboard missile dropkick, but he's moving gingerly between moves. Power slam by Ibushi and a second rope moonsault gets 2. White comes back with a DDT and Death Valley Driver. Ibushi counters with a dangerous looking Tombstone piledriver. Ibushi goes into his serial killer zone and emotionlessly strikes White off his feet. They resume exchanging strikes until they both hit the canvas. White shoves the ref to avoid a lawn dart and nails a hard German. Blade Buster by White and Kiwi Crusher, but Ibushi kicks out! Snap Saito suplex by White. They duke it out on the top rope, White trips up Ibushi's springboard attempt, and White NAILS A TOP ROPE URANAGE! IBUSHI KICKS OUT! Sleeper suplex by White, but Ibushi desperately pops up for a V-Trigger! Ibushi maneuvers into a sick German suplex and nails a running knee for 2. White pulls Ibushi into the ref for a hard bump to ringside. Gedo brings in a chair and hits Ibushi's back, which only sends him back into his killer trance. Ibushi punches Gedo and he drops like a sack of potatoes. Ibushi hits a sitout powerbomb White, but there's no ref. Ibushi revives the ref, and holds White's arm while kicking the face. Gedo pulls the ref out to prevent the 3 count and the fans are PISSED. Gedo's brass knuckles shot is blocked, but White throws a chair into Ibushi's face. Gedo punches Ibushi with the brass knucks! Brainbuster by White and Blade Runner finishes at 24:57! They were having an increasingly exciting slowburn fight until White had to use every heel trick in the book to pull off the win. Nothing you haven't seen before, but this got over with the live crowd, ***½.
Winner: Jay White
The hype video for Jericho vs. Tanahashi is awesomely bonkers. A fake Painmaker Fozzy spoof group plays a demented metal song until Tanahashi punches out the lead singer and takes his place for a promo. I love wrestling when it's this weird.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. AEW World Champion Chris Jericho
In case you were wondering, yes, Jericho is wearing the AEW title to the ring. If Tanahashi wins, he will receive a future AEW title shot. The crowd HATES Jericho as he flips them off and calls his opponent "F*ckahashi." They feel each other out and show off their guns. Tanahashi builds some steam and mimics Jericho's infamous “cocky pin” mannerism. Jericho responds with a springboard dropkick off the apron. Jericho swings a metal rail gate into Tanahashi's hand and steals a camera to document his carnage. Jericho dumps Tanahashi on the rather flimsy announce table and puts him through it via DDT! Jericho controls the action in the ring, hitting a double underhook backbreaker. Jericho misses a splash, which allows Tanahashi to rally. Jericho cuts him off with a low blow and whips with his weight belt. The ref takes a bump and Tanahashi saves himself via low blow. Tanahashi blocks the Lionsault and hits a high crossbody to ringside! Jericho is nearly counted out and Tanahashi welcomes him back with a dragon screw legsweep! Codebreaker is blocked and Tanahashi hits another dragon screw! Jericho blocks Tanahashi's flying elbow with his knees and hits the Lionsault! Judas Effect is blocked and Tanahashi nails a straight jacket German suplex for only 2! Jericho responds with the Lion Tamer! Jericho really wrenches it in but Tanahashi turns himself over hits a headscissors takedown. Sling blade by Tanahashi, and a GTR variation. Tanahashi perches on the top rope and flies into a Codebreaker! TANAHASHI KICKS OUT! Judas Effect misses and Tanahashi steals a Codebreaker, but Jericho kicks out! Jericho blocks Sling Blade but Tanahashi blocks the Lion Tamer for a nearfall. Twist and Shout by Tanahashi and another Sling Blade for 2. Tanahashi goes high risk again but Jericho rolls through a crossbody and reapplies the Lion Tamer! Jericho wrenches it as far as he can, and Tanahashi taps at 22:24! We've truly reached wrestling nirvana when a four star match feels normal, but here we are, ****.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Kevin Kelly announces attendance for just over 30,000, meaning they lost about 10,000 fans from Night 1. I wonder how big a deal that is. Maybe tickets were expensive? That should give WWE pause if they decide to experiment with a 2 night Wrestlemania in the future.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship/IWGP Intercontinental Championship:
Kazuchika Okada © vs. Tetsuya Naito ©
I'm disappointed by the lack of special effects for Okada's entrance. Both guys are banged up from long matches on Night 1 and are cautious early on. Okada gains control first, hitting a DDT and slingshot senton. Naito responds with a string of offense, cornering Okada for a slingshot dropkick. Neckbreaker off the apron by Naito! Okada breaks a head scissors with the ropes but Naito is slow to break. Naito continues attacking the neck and spits at the champion. Okada counters with a big boot to the face. Flapjack by Okada and a sequence of counters resulting in a neckbreaker onto the knee. Naito blocks Rainmaker and viciously elbows the head. Spinebuster by Naito, followed by a SUPER RANA! Okada responds with a shotgun dropkick. Okada dropkicks Naito off the top rope to the floor, and then smashes Naito's bad knee into the concrete floor! Okada clears an announce table, chop blocks the knee, and drives Naito onto the table with a single leg atomic drop! NOOOO! Naito almost gets counted out and Okada catches him with a missile dropkick for 2. Okada hits a German suplex, but Naito quickly answers with a tornado DDT. Naito drops Okada on his head with Gloria. SUPER REVERSE RANA by Naito, but OKADA KICKS OUT! No one is selling anything as they sprint through a sequence of counters until Naito hits Destino for a RED HOT nearfall. Desperation dropkick by Okada buys them some time on the mat. They slug it out back to their feet and Naito spits in the face again. Okada is a good sport but still hits a spinning RAINMAKER! Okada then counters with a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER, and a SECOND RAINMAKER. NAITO KICKS OUT! The crowd is eating this up. Naito spits in the face yet again before collapsing. Okada responds by smashing the bad knee into the canvas, he's clearly fed up with the disrespect. Crowd BOOS Okada for this! Okada controls the wrist and looks to finish Naito the same way he finished Ibushi on Night 1. Naito blocks the Rainmaker and nails Destino, is a tad slow to cover due to his bad knee, and OKADA KICKS OUT! STARDUST PRESS by Naito but OKADA KICKS OUT! Naito hits another DESTINO for the win at 35:37! This was a complete barn burner down the home stretch, with well-earned false finishes and great drama surrounding the outcome. Yeah, the selling was a bit spotty at times, but Naito's bad knee was a factor when it needed to be, ****½.
Winner and new IWGP Heavyweight Champion and still IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Tetsuya Naito
Naito celebrates on the microphone and puts over Okada, saying "Let's do this again." Okada smiles and raises his fist before limping out. Naito puts on his cap and is presented with his two championship belts. Naito paces around on his magically healed knee and says he will never forget this weekend and leads the fans in his catchphrase. Naito is then blindsided by a clothesline to the head by KENTA! Crowd is FURIOUS! KENTA hits a Go 2 Sleep and seems pleased with himself. KENTA sits himself on Naito's chest and poses with the two belts. Bushi arrives on the scene too late to do anything and KENTA slips away.
Final Thoughts: Night 2 did feel a little more like the Raw after Wrestlemania than a full second night of Wrestlemania, albeit a Raw filled with ‘Mania worthy matches and tremendous workrate, crowd heat, and high stakes. Night 2 gets an easy recommendation for big title changes, the final Jushin Liger match, and good to great matches up and down the card. Go check this out on New Japan World.
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