Welcome to Wrestling Inc's live coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling's King Of Pro Wrestling. Tonight's show is a major one, with four championship matches, headlined by AJ Styles vs. Okada. You can check out the full card at this link. Also, be sure to join in and comment on the event on the board below!
The show kicks off with Kevin Kelly and Matt Striker live, not in studio, welcoming everyone to the event.
Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA & Mascara Dorada vs. Juice Robinson, Yohei Komatsu, Sho Tanaka, David Finlay & Jay White
The young lions jump the veterans early on, and isolate Jushin Thunder Liger, beating the hell out of him on their half of the ring. Liger lands a clothesline, and tags in KUSHIDA, who gets jabbed repeatedly by Juice Robinson. Kushida doesn't care, and takes out Juice's arm before eating a big leg lariat. Juice lands a big diving headbutt, but can't get three.
David Finlay tags in and applies a deathlock. He busts out, and makes the hot tag to Taguchi, which ends up not being so hot, as he's stopped dead in his tracks by the Lions. Tiger Mask meets much more success, almost scoring a crucifix pin on Juice Robinson. A Tiger Bomb on Juice allows Dorada and Finlay to get tags, and Finlay immediately drops Dorada. Dorada almost lands a pin off of a Frankensteiner, but it gets broken up.
All hell breaks loose, and all the vets have the lions in submisssions. Dorada pins Finlay after a seated fireman's carry slam.
Winners: Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA & Mascara Dorada via pinfall
I've experienced some streaming issues, but nothing major.
Tomoaki Honma vs. YOSHI-HASHI
HASHI knocks Honma to the mat with an early shoulder block, but Honma follows with an elbow and a rolling Blockbuster, before missing a headbutt. Honma is sent outside, where he's tossed into the guardrail by HASHI, before being hit with a pole. Back in the ring, Honma is draped over the top rope and dropkicked. HASHI then follows up with a single leg crab, but Honma gets to the ropes.
Honma misses headbutt #2, but manages to connect on one. He gets a two count on a Blockbuster. He misses yet another, but still kicks out of a jackknife powerbomb from HASHI. Honma moves out of the way of a Swanton, and drills HASHI with a couple of headbutts for two. He manages to hit Kokeshi for the win.
Winner: Tomoaki Honma via pinfall (Kokeshi)
Honma is walking CTE, at least in storyline. Fun match. Honma may be getting a NEVER Openweight Championship match soon.
Kota Ibushi, Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata & Captain New Japan vs. Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Ibushi starts off by trading strikes with Nakanishi, which doesn't look very fun at all. Ibushi gets a quick nearfall, but Nakanishi scores with a clawhold STO, and both men tag out. Kojima DDTs Goto, before double teaming him with Tenzan. Goto hits Tenzan with a fireman's carry neckbreaker, but it gets broken up almost immediately.
Shibata comes in and lands several kicks to Tenzan before tagging in Ibushi, who gets a two on a spinning splash. Tenzan hits a nice suplex, and tags Nagata, who boots the hell out of Goto. Hirooki Goto comes back with kicks, but ends up trading strikes with the former WCW wrestler Nagata. Goto is put in an armbar, face down, but Captain New Japan breaks it up.
Kojima turns Shibata's chest red with chops, but gets beaten down with kicks from every one of his opponents. All hell breaks loose at ringside, as Nagata boots Shibata over the rails. Captain New Japan gets killed with a 3D in the ring, but Goto breaks the pin up. Instead, Kojima kills Captain with a lariat for the win.
Winners: Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan via pinfall (lariat)
Matt Striker puts over Josh Barnett and Mauro Ranallo, but it's buried under the loud audio mixing from where they have to dub music over.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
reDRagon vs. Roppongi Vice
Bobby Fish scores an early dropkick on Romero, and both men tag out. Kyle O'Reilly smacks Baretta, but gets jumped by both RPG Vice members. He briefly threatens with an armbar, but Romero gets to the ropes quickly. Baretta lands a cheap shot, allowing he and Romero to attack and isolate Kyle in their corner.
O'Reilly boots Romero down as he tries to hang from the ropes, and then Bobby Fish drops Baretta with a big back suplex. O'Reilly with a rope-hung armbar on Romero as Fish does his signature inside-out senton to Baretta. O'Reilly locks Romero up in another armbar, but Baretta suplexes Fish onto both of them to split it up.
Rocky Romero goes all Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain and lands a top rope flying armbar, but is caught in a 50/50 guard with Bobby Fish, but they both get stomped out by their partners and opponents. RPG Vice lands the Two Man Smash Machine, but O'Reilly kicks out. They follow up with a surfboard double stomp, but Fish breaks it up.
Kyle is left in the ring alone with RPG Vice, but takes them both out with a double clothesline. All four men are in the ring striking it out, but Fish and O'Reilly hit Double Dragon for the three.
Winners: reDRagon via pinfall (Double Dragon) to retain the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
Something didn't go right there. Either that wasn't supposed to be broken up, or the ref screwed up the count. Awkward finish to a good match.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Kenny Omega (c) (w/ Cody Hall) vs. Matt Sydal
The two have an extended grappling exchange that ends in Omega hitting a jawbreaker. Sydal doesn't have any of it, and dropkicks Omega in the corner. Sydal applies a Muta Lock after inexplicably screaming "namaste." Omega has his leg worked over, but still flattens Sydal with a kick.
Omega drinks some water before taking a page out of Street Fighter IV's book by tossing his tape at Sydal and hitting a backbreaker. Sydal comes back with a double knee drop, and he's fired up about it. A Sydal standing moonsault gets two, and Omega catches him going to the top rope. Sydal still sends Omega outside and lands on both he and Hall with a dive.
Back inside, Omega scores a gutwrench powerbomb for two while catching Sydal in mid-air off of a meteora. Omega goes to suplex Sydal, but gets hit with a frankensteiner in a really cool spot. Sydal with a reverse rana, but eats knees on a shooting star press. One Winged Angel gets the win for Omega.
Winner: Kenny Omega via pinfall (One Winged Angel) to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Well, that was fantastic. NJPW is still having minor streaming issues, which are to be expected during a first broadcast. Matt Striker has been exceptional on commentary, by typical standards, which is good.
CHAOS (Shinsuke Nakamura, Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano) vs. Bullet Club (Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows & Bad Luck Fale)
Nakamura delivers a knee to Anderson, but Machine Gun comes back with an arm drag, and the two reach a stalemate. Sakuraba and Gallows are battling out in the ring, and everyone else brawls outside, as Anderson drops F-bombs. Sakuraba catches Anderson in an armbar, but it's quickly broken up. Anderson still misses a senton, and Nakamura gets a hot tag.
Nakamura takes out the whole Bullet Club before getting his boot caught by Anderson while going for Good Vibrations. Nakamura also gets caught with a boot going for Boma Ye, but hits one on Anderson anyway after nailing Gallows with a spinning heel kick. He tags in Toru Yano, who faces off Fale. Tama Tonga comes in and gets run into Gallows as Yano hits them in the balls for the pin.
Winners: CHAOS via pinfall (low blow)
Nakamura gets a little momentum heading into his big IC Title match with Anderson next month. He's face to face with Anderson in the ring.
NEVER Openweight Championship
Togi Makabe (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii and Makabe send each other into the guard rails rather early, but just decide to get back in the ring. Ishii drops Makabe, but the two are trading big strikes just moments later, but Makabe gets a nearfall off of a Northern Lights Suplex. A chop/punch battle breaks out, which Ishii gets the better of before landing a Saito Suplex.
Ishii gets a really nice superplex, but Makabe answers with another Northern Lights. Ishii is begging Makabe to clothesline him and pays the price, collapsing to the canvas. A Makabe powerbomb gets two, but it was really close. The two end up going back and forth with forearms up on the turnbuckles, and Makabe ends up crashing to the mat. Ishii steals the King Kong Knee Drop, but gets caught by a lariat, which leaves both men down.
Another big strike battle breaks out, and Makabe ends up German suplexing Ishii for a two count after eating a couple of headbutts. Makabe misses a King Kong knee drop after a Spider German superplexed, and gets headbutted in the face. Ishii gets a Dragon suplex and a lariat, but Makabe kicks out. Ishii Driver finishes the job.
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall (Ishii Driver) to win the NEVER Openweight Championship
That was pure violence. Really great stuff. Honma hits the ring after the match and gets in Ishii's face an challenges him.
- Several people in masks come out during Naito's entrance. One takes the mask off to reveal himself as Naito.
Tanahashi's Number One Contendership Is On The Line
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito
Tanahashi gets a baseball slide dropkick, but Naito moves out of the way of a diving Tanahashi and then lands a reverse DDT to the floor. Naito sets Hiroshi up in a chair and dropkicks him into the guard rail. The referee takes the chair away from Naito, who instead settles for stomping Tanahashi and placing him in the tree of woe.
Naito kicks a cameraman and then offers Tanahashi the same treatment. Tanahashi finally gets some offense with a forearm, elbow drop and senton, followed by a nice basement dropkick to set up a Texas Cloverleaf. Naito is sent outside and Tanahashi hits High Fly Flow to the outside. Tanahashi goes for another inside the ring, but gets kicked right in the chest. Naito scores a Slingblade, then Gloria, but Tanahashi kicks out. Red Shoes then gets taken out as Naito pushes Tanahashi into him.
The masked man comes in, attacks Tanahashi, and reveals himself as Watanabe, who has joined Los Ingobernables. The locker room empties out, as several guys attack Watanabe. Tanahashi gets a Slingblade and a standing High Fly Flow, followed by another for the win.
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi via pinfall (High Fly Flow)
Goto goes after Watanabe, but Watanabe escapes after hitting him with an STO. Tanahashi will get a title shot at Wrestle Kingdom 10.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Okada (c) (w/ Gedo) vs. AJ Styles (w/ Bullet Club)
Okada is in control early on, and utilizes the Eddie Guerrero senton. Anderson distracts the ref while Bullet Club attacks Okada repeatedly. Anderson uses an apron powerbomb, in which Styles tries to pin Okada after with one foot. Red Shoes won't even count it for some reason, and Styles lands a dropkick and a snap suplex instead.
Okada is tossed outside, but drives Styles into the guard rail. Styles turns the tides and does the same to Okada, before rolling back into the ring. Okada makes it back in and dropkicks Styles off the top rope, which sends AJ tumbling to the outside of the ring. Okada follows up with a big draping DDT to the floor, which Styles sells like he's dead. Back inside the ring, Okada takes Styles down with a reverse neckbreaker.
AJ Styles fights back with an inverted powerbomb, but Okada kicks out at two. Okada drops Styles and lands one of the biggest top rope dropkicks you'll ever see. It looks like Styles would be finished with that, but when he was knocked down, his foot landed on the ropes, which saved him from being pinned.
The two trade big punches, knocking each other down several times until they start trading snapmares and kicks. Styles hits a Pele, then Okada with a dropkick that leads to a German Suplex. Rainmaker has Styles beat, but Anderson pulls Okada out. Okada takes out Bullet Club, with a huge flip over the top rope. Back inside, AJ lands Bloody Sunday from the top rope, but Okada somehow kicks out.
Styles applies the Calf Killer, which Okada is locked in for at almost two minutes before finally reaching the ropes. He manages to catch Styles with a Tombstone, but his leg it hurt badly. Okada misses a Rainmaker, but huracanranas Styles, then walks into a big Pele kick. The two end up on the top rope, but Okada slings Styles of and drills him with three Rainmakers for the win.
Winner: Okada via pinfall (Rainmaker) to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
That was fantastic. It looks like it'll be Okada vs. Tanahashi at the Tokyo Dome. Okada has never defeated Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom.
Tanahashi gets int he ring and goes face-to-face with Okada.