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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15- Night 2
January 5, 2021
Live from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, in front of living, breathing fans. Our English commentators are Kevin Kelly, Chris Charleton, and Rocky Romero.
King of Pro Wrestling:
Toru Yano © vs. BUSHI vs. Chase Owens vs. Bad Luck Fale
Yano stalls for so long that Owens and Fale get bored and try to end the match quickly with a Fingerpoke of Doom. BUSHI breaks it up and I guess we'll get a real match of this. Yano thrives in the chaos and goes right for the turnbuckle pad, but Owens uses it against him. Bushi clears Owens with a rana, but then gets pulled out by Fale. The Bullet Club guys play wishbone with Yano and put the boots to him. BUSHI clears Bullet Club and hits rapid fire dives. BUSHI hits a neckbreaker on Owens, but Yano breaks the pin. Yano slaps the back of Fale's bald head, and eats a crossbody reversal for 2. Owens misses a kick on BUSHI and hits Fale, allowing BUSHI to hit a backstabber. Owens and BUSHI trade counters, and Fale helps with a lariat/German combo, but then Bullet Club can't agree on who should pin him. They attack the ref, and Yano sneaks in for a double low blow and steals the pin on BUSHI at 7:29. This wasn't good, but it made me chuckle, so I can't get too mad about it, **.
Winner: Toru Yano
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship:
Suzuki-gun © (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi and Master Wato (with Hiroyoshi Tenzan)
Wato hits a shotgun dropkick on Desperado for an early advantage. Wato leg sweeps Desperado off the apron and nails a corkscrew senton. Taguchi tags in and plays mind games by running the ropes while Desperado stares. Kanemaru pulls Taguchi to ringside and wraps his leg in the rails for a running boot. He then throws Wato into Tenzan, who takes a hard landing against the barricade. Suzuki-gun continues the mean streak by giving Taguchi a single leg atomic drop onto a chair. Wato gets a hot tag and hits Kanemaru with a springboard elbow for 2. Kanemaru shields himself with the ref and hits a boot and eye rake. Kanemaru repeatedly thrusts the ref at Wato until it becomes a farce, but it's effective nonetheless. Wato then blocks Desperado's suplex and kicks the gut hard. A hobbled Taguchi runs into Desperado's atomic drop, but he pulls Desperado into his mighty glutes with a headscissor. Rolling vertical suplexes by Taguchi only gets 2. A frenzied exchange results in Taguchi hitting a brutal overhead suplex, but Suzuki-gun cut him off with targeted attacks to his bad knee. Taguchi counters with an ankle lock and Wato botches a 619. Desperado survives an onslaught and hits Taguchi with Pinche Loco for the win at 13:21. The story of Taguchi getting injured but still leading Wato was well executed, this didn't quite stick the landing with some botches and miscues down the stretch, **¾.
Winners and still IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Suzuki-gun
NEVER Openweight Championship:
Shingo Takagi © vs. Jeff Cobb
They shove it out and exchange hard forearms. They trade shoulder tackles, block hip tosses, and Shingo sidesteps to finally hit a hip toss and running tackle. Cobb answers with a slick dropkick. They head to ringside and Cobb hits a horrifying overhead suplex. Cobb follows with a tight bear hug, then a vertical suplex for 2. Shingo fights back with ineffective lariats, but has better luck bouncing off the ropes for a back suplex. Cobb loses his mind and looks for a Razor's Edge off the apron, but Shingo escapes for a running senton. Cobb desperately throws Shingo away and then delivers rolling gut-wrench suplexes. Shingo reverses into a rana, but Cobb answers with a Razor's Edge sitout powerbomb! Shingo responds with a swift DVD and then a superplex. Wheelbarrow suplex by Shingo, but his back hurts too much for a quick cover. Cobb blocks a sliding clothesline and they exchange suplexes. They slug it out until Cobb nails a German suplex, but Shingo pops up for a lariat, and they both go down. Shingo is nearly counted out and runs into Cobb's Gonzo Bomb for a terrific nearfall. Shingo desperately tackles the knee and follows with a dragon screw legsweep. Shingo hits Made in Japan but COBB KICKS OUT! Cobb hits another snap German suplex and Tour of the Island, but he lands on his bad knee and Shingo kicks out of a late cover. Shingo counters a top rope attempt with a powerbomb but collapses himself. Cobb hits rapid stiff shots and then a moonsault power slam! Shingo pops him in the nose, and they trade clotheslines and head butts. Shingo hits a uranage and decapitation lariat! Shingo finishes with Last of the Dragon at 21:13! This was fierce, mean, crisp, smart, and never let up the intensity from bell to bell. This was perfect, *****.
Winner and still NEVER Openweight Champion: Shingo Takagi
EVIL (with DIck Togo) vs. SANADA
This is a big time grudge match, so the cautious feeling out process feels off. They suddenly remember they are supposed to hate each other and block finishers. EVIL cheap shots, and SANADA makes him pay with the Paradise Lock. SANADA misses a moonsault off the apron and EVIL drives him spine-first into the rails. EVIL swings a chair off SANADA's neck. Togo helps set up a ringside table. EVIL picks apart SANADA's neck and back with exposed turnbuckles and the barricades. SANADA desperately dropkicks the knee, knocks Togo from the apron, and dropkicks EVIL to the floor for a slingshot senton! SANADA dives onto Togo too, for good measure. Togo gets his revenge with a trip and helps reset the table. SANADA avoids a table bump, but and urgently counters into a spinning neckbreaker. Tiger Suplex by SANADA gets 2! They trade urgent counters until EVIL thrusts SANADA into the exposed buckles. Superplex by EVIL, and then a Scorpion Deathlock! SANADA survives, so EVIL hits Darkness Falls for only 2! SANADA side steps to send EVIL into the exposed corner and nails a back suplex. TKO by SANADA gets 2, but he misses a moonsault that tweaks his knee. EVIL rakes the eyes and swings SANADA's boot into the ref. Togo drives a chair into SANADA's gut, and helps EVIL hit the Magic Killer. SANADA then kicks EVIL into the ropes to knock Togo off the buckles. Moonsault and Skull's End by SANADA! EVIL blocks a third moonsault, and Togo tries to interfere with a wire. SANADA dropkicks EVIL into Togo, who crashes through the table! SANADA's jacknife pin gets 2, and EVIL his a half n half suplex and big lariat for only 2! Crowd has really gotten into this. SANADA blocks a low blow and steals Everything is Evil. Pop-up TKO by SANADA and a moonsault sends it at 23:41! This took a little while to get going, but once it did, this turned into an epic battle. EVIL tried every trick in the book, but it wasn't enough, ****.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
Taiji Ishimori © vs. Hiromu Takahashi
Hiromu is seeking the title he lost back in July at Summer Struggle. They start with a frenzied exchange. Ishimori avoids a sunset bomb off the apron, instead Hiromu nails a powerbomb against the frame! Hiromu looks satisfied as he continues with a slam onto the ramp. Hiromu gets a long head of steam for a dropkick, but Ishimori counters with a messy side slam onto the rampway. Ishimori goes on offense, picking apart the back and shoulder. Hiromu comes back with a facebuster onto the floor, followed by a shotgun dropkick into the rails. Falcon Arrow by Hiromu gets 2. Ishimori answers with a running snap suplex out of the corner. Ishimori sees Hiromu's arm resting on the ropes and destroys it with a springboard 450! Ishimori counters into a rana but then runs into Hiromu's overhead suplex into the buckles! A battered Hiromu hits a DVD into the buckles and a normal DVD. Time Bomb is blocked, but he manages a sick German out of nowhere. Ishimori no sells and nails a Canadian Destroyer before collapsing himself. Match restarts with a slugfest, with Ishimori pulling ahead with angry blows to the head. Ishimori delivers a brutal shoulderbreaker, which Hiromu sells like death. Ishimori follows with the LeBell Lock. Hiromu survives, so Ishimori hits a double knee gutbuster. Hiromu counters with a desperation DDT for 2. Decapitation lariat by Hiromu, followed by a DVD into an exposed buckle. Time Bomb only gets 2! They trade desperate counters until Hiromu hits a second Timebomb for the win at 25:34! Another incredible match, Hiromu's selling makes this stand out on a night where it would have been easy to get lost in the shuffle, ****½.
Winner and new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion: Hiromu Takahashi
IWGP Heavyweight/Intercontinental Championships:
Kota Ibushi © vs. Jay White (with Gedo)
The pressure is on Kota, having finally won the Heavyweight title the previous night, a loss to White here would be humiliating. To make matters worse, White earned this opportunity by beating Ibushi back at Power Struggle. Bell rings, White stalls, but also calls off Gedo's interference. Gedo trips Ibushi anyway, and White jaws at his manager while still taking advantage of the assist. Ibushi regains his footing, elbows Gedo in the throat, but White surprises with a DDT in the ropes. White folds Ibushi in half with a back suplex onto the apron. White picks apart the gut and back of Ibushi. White jaws at the referee, which allows Ibushi to rally, hitting a standing moonsault for 2. They head to ringside, where White smashes Ibushi into the ring frame and barricade. Back to the ring, Ibushi hits a power slam, but White cuts off the moonsault and pummels the kidneys. White hits a brutal leg sweep in the ropes. Blade Buster by White gets 2. Kota now has a bad back, a bad ribcage, and a bad knee, so White has lots of injured parts to work on. Ibushi can't do much but still hits a half nelson suplex! A series of counters results in Ibushi hitting the Bastard Driver. Half n Half suplex by White and a Uranage for 2. Kiwi Crusher by White, but Ibushi reverses Blade Runner into a mean back suplex. Running knee by Ibushi gets 2. White nearly steals it with a rope assisted cover, but Red Shoes catches him in the act. Ibushi hits some buzzsaw kicks, but Gedo's distraction gives White a chance to tease a top rope Dragon suplex, but he has to settle for Dragon screw legsweeps. Ibushi survives the Tanahashi Tap Out. White mockingly kicks the face, which sends Ibushi into serial killer mode. Kelly: “He's literally kicking his ass right now.” White gets smashed to bits and looks like he's in danger for the first time (as they hit the 30 minute mark). Jay actually lays down to accept defeat, but Ibushi keeps smashing his face in. Ibushi throws Red Shoes down, and White hits a low blow to snap Kota out of Terminator mode. White relentlessly brutalizes Ibushi with ringside furniture and hauls him up the rampway. Back to the ring, Ibushi is easy prey for White's German suplexes. Ibushi desperately kicks the head and uses all his might to hit the dead lift German over the ropes! Sitout powerbomb by Ibushi but Jay kicks out! White answers with a suplex onto Ibushi's head. White knees the gut and hits another Sleeper suplex, and then a Regal-plex, but Kota keeps kicking out. Ibushi knees the face for a great nearfall! Phoenix Splash by Ibushi, but Gedo pulls the ref out! Gedo lunches with brass knucks but Ibushi knees him in the face! Ibushis revives Red Shoes, but White surprises with Blade Runner, but IBUSHI KICKS OUT! Ibushi stumbles into Jay's Tanahashi Tap Out. Crowd is going nuts and Ibushi gets the ropes. White blocks a knee strike and nails another Regal-plex for another great nearfall. Brainbuster by White, but Ibushi blocks Blade Runner for a KO knee lift. White kicks the face, but Ibushi answers with another knee lift and a lariat. Kota hits a reverse knee to the head and another to the face, and wins at 48:06! Ibushi just went from superstar to legend, *****.
Winner and still IWGP Heavyweight/Intercontinental Champion: Kota Ibushi
Final Thoughts: 2021 might be a great year after all!
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