New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS: Season 3 Episode 12

Welcome to this week's episode of NJPW on AXS! BUSHI welcomes us with matches from September 2016 out of Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. 'Good 'ol JR' Jim Ross is on commentary with Josh Barnett.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs. Bobby Fish

Out first is Bobby Fish, who at the time held the ROH Television Championship, accompanied by Kyle O'Reilly. Shibata out next holding the NEVER Openweight Title, and JR sells his arm and shoulder injuries. Both men spar with one another to find their range in the early going. Eventually Shibata gets a single leg takedown but Fish fights off the mount. Rope break and Shibata lets Fish back to his feet. Bobby dodges a big kick to the chest after Shibata takes him down.

Shibata manages to gain control with a figure-four leg lock submission. At one point Fish reverses the pressure until Shibata readjusts into an Achilles lock. Fish responds with a heel hook and both men are tangled in one another's submissions. Rope break and Fish goes to the outside, kicking Shibata to the mat with a round kick. Bobby works the legs and gains control back in the ring. Exploder suplex by Fish and Shibata rolls to the outside. At one point Fish forces the injured shoulder of Shibata into the guard rail. It's all Bobby Fish tossing the champion into the rail as we go to commercial break.

When we return, Bobby is still working the neck on the outside before rolling his opponent back in the ring. JR reminds us that this was the same building that NJPW held its first event in back in 1972, featuring Karl Gotch and Antonio Inoki. Bobby Fish with a senton over the ropes but Shibata gets his foot on the rope at 2. Knee strikes followed by a back suplex only gets another 2 count. Shibata gets caught with elbows to the head and can't seem to gain an advantage.

Bobby Fish lands an enormous kick to the chest that causes Shibata to collapse. The referee checks on the champion. Shibata is on his knees taking kicks to the chests and he asks for more! Fish gets countered with a forearm to the face. Shibata lands the corner dropkick followed by a suplex and a near fall. Crowd chants for Shibata, who locks on a front choke with leg scissors. Fish fights back and counters with a big slam. Achilles lock by Bobby Fish and Shibata finally finds his way to the rope. Exploder suplex by Fish, but Shibata hits a German suplex out of nowhere. Monster kick to Bobby's sternum and both men are down.

Shibata sets up for another kick but Bobby connects with the Fish Hook submission! Again, Shibata crawls to the ropes for a break. Bobby Fish with suplexes and another near fall, and now he calls for the Brainbuster finisher. Shibata counters out and lands a headbutt that busts his own forehead wide open! Rear naked choke causes Bobby to fade, and Shibata hits the PK for the win!

Winner: Shibata (c)

After the match, Kyle O'Reilly challenges Shibata to a match, saying "I'm next!" in Japanese. Both men come head to head to end the segment.

We get an interview with BUSHI about how he and KUSHIDA ended up in the main event at Ota Ward, which happens to be KUSHIDA's home arena. BUSHI didn't care where the match was held. All that he cared about was defeating KUSHIDA in the Jr. Heavyweight Championship match.

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: KUSHIDA (c) vs. BUSHI

BUSHI heads out first representing Los Ingobernables de Japon with EVIL. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA makes his way out next. We get formal introductions and a pop from the crowd before another commercial break.

The match begins when we return, and the crowd is hot for the main event. Both men posture for control, but the holds don't last long before Bushi taunts the champ. KUSHIDA is drawn in towards BUSHI after running the ropes, and he runs over the top rope as BUSHI teases the big dive only to taunt some more. Back in the ring and KUSHIDA tries to take control with an atomic drop. Enziguri by BUSHI sends KUSHIDA to the outside again.

BUSHI whips KUSHIDA into the security rail, and sets up a chair with KUSHIDA's face on top. Low drop kick into the chair connects to the face of KUSHIDA! The referee removes the chair and BUSHI brings the action back in the ring. A sleeper hold and a drop kick to the back of the head help BUSHI stay in control. BUSHI with a reverse triangle choke that forces KUSHIDA to fight for the rope break, but BUSHI is slow to release the hold.

KUSHIDA gets caught in an STF as BUSHI rakes the eyes and nose before another slow rope break. BUSHI off the second turnbuckle with a dropkick, and he uses his shirt to choke KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA counters with a back body drop counter. Big slaps by the champ, and KUSHIDA gets tripped from the outside by EVIL. KUSHIDA with a kick to the charging BUSHI with a clothesline over the top rope to stay on top of the challenger. Springboard back elbow by KUSHIDA and EVIL tries to get involved again. As KUSHIDA gets held to the ropes, BUSHI goes for the running forearm but takes out his stablemate. KUSHIDA finally connects with the flip over the top rope to take out BUSHI and EVIL before we go to commercial.

We return with both members of Los Ingobernables still on the floor, and KUSHIDA rolls BUSHI back into the ring. KUSHIDA charges the corner but BUSHI counters with a kick. BUSHI fights back but KUSHIDA hits a beautiful high hip toss into a cross arm-breaker. BUSHI gets the break and KUSHIDA lets him get back to his feet to set up and land a running dropkick. The champion goes for a springboard dropkick but takes out the referee! BUSHI sprays the mist into the eyes of KUSHIDA before Naito makes his way to the ring!

The referee is still out and BUSHI hits a suicide dive set up by Naito right into the guard rail. Naito helps bring KUSHIDA in the ring and sets the champion up for a dropkick by BUSHI. As both Ingobernables members set up for another dropkick, Mike Elgin comes to the ring to even the odds. Elgin picks both men up and connects with a double Samoan Drop! Mike Elgin beats Naito down on the outside and up the ramp as the referees remove EVIL from ringside.

Face first takedown into the turnbuckle, followed by a back suplex and a dropkick by KUSHIDA helps the champion work his way back into the match. Still covered in the mist, KUSHIDA goes up top and successfully lands a moonsault for the near fall. KUSHIDA misses the kick to the head and BUSHI manages to put the champion in a bridging pin combo. BUSHI goes up top but gets caught with a codebreaker on the way down!

Both wrestlers trade forearms in the center of the ring, which turn into slaps as BUSHI gets the advantage. KUSHIDA snaps BUSHI's arm over his shoulder twice before countering BUSHI into the Hoverboard Lock! BUSHI can't make it to the ropes, but he rolls KUSHIDA up for a near fall of his own. KUSHIDA lands a fist that gets some heat from the crowd, and follows up with a kick to the arm. BUSHI counters another Hoverboard Lock attempt with the flipping piledriver!

Double knee jawbreaker to KUSHIDA and BUSHI hits the MX from the top rope, but the champion kicks out! BUSHI hits another MX and this time it's enough for the 3 count and the win to become IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.

Winner (and new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion): BUSHI

BUSHI reminds that he is the champion now, and mentions how unfortunate it must have been to all of those who supported KUSHIDA. From now on, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship belt will become uncontrollable like BUSHI. He tells us he's serious, "en serio," before the confetti cannon explodes and the new champion celebrates.

We go to a backstage promo with KUSHIDA, who says he trusted BUSHI not to bring outside interference to their title match. He tells us he didn't think any of this would happen.

Now we cut to a sit-down interview with BUSHI, who talks about how he usually wears black attire but chose white for the title match to mark the special occasion. BUSHI says the moment he admits he's not as good as KUSHIDA is the moment he is finished with wrestling. He believes he is just as talented as the former champion, and he was happy to win the title belt and prove KUSHIDA's supporters wrong.

Until next week, that's all for this week's episode of NJPW on AXS as JR signs us off!

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