NJPW on AXS – Season 3 Episode #8
SANADA vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Jim Ross welcomes us as SANADA makes his way to the ring. Tenzan out next accompanied by tag team partner Satoshi Kojima. Both men lock up a few times with the crowd firmly behind the veteran Tenzan. SANADA has trouble trying to tackle Tenzan to the ground, and after taking a few chops to the shoulders decides to retreat to the outside.
SANADA with a little trickery to lure Tenzan out of the ring so that he can slide back in safely. SANADA with a vicious knee to Tenzan's gut before the action spills to the outside. Tenzan's in trouble, getting tossed into the barricade before we go to break.
Standing moonsault by SANADA on a fallen Tenzan only gets a near fall when we return from commercial. Tenzan fired up now but runs right into a fireman's carry into a cutter for another 2! SANADA fails to connect from the top rope, but regroups with a quick suplex to remain in control. Tenzan reverses the Dragon Sleeper and drives SANADA into the mat! He's slow to get up, but after a near fall makes his way to the top rope. Tenzan crash and burn on the moonsault attempt. Dropkick by SANADA and now both men are trading shots.
Headbutts from Tenzan followed by a lariat that sets SANADA up for a big clothesline. Very close 2-count and Tenzan locks on the Anaconda Vice! Anaconda Buster for another near fall. Tenzan picks SANADA up, but gets caught in a Dragon Sleeper out of nowhere.
Tenzan slowly makes his way to the ropes for the break, but has little time to recover as SANADA nails the moonsault from the top! Another Dragon Sleeper by SANADA in the middle of the ring. Tenzan taps out!
Winner (by submission): SANADA
Tomohiri Ishii vs. Togi Makabe
Gotta love JR building up the rivalry between Ishii and Makabe. Really helps give the match a big-time feel. We get a long lock up before it's right into the hard chops and elbows. Ishii with a chop to the throat of Makabe, who responds with an elbow to the head of Ishii! Back and forth forearms and Ishii barely comes out on top of the brutal exchange.
Ishii puts Makabe in the corner and assaults him with repeated chops to the throat. Firm control now for Ishii who is toying with his opponent. Makabe asks for more as he tries to power up. He's on his feet taking punishment from Ishii, but Ishii falls trying to shoulder tackle Makabe! Now Makabe is the one serving up the beating, until Ishii fights back with a clothesline of his own before we go to commercial.
When we return, Ishii sets Makabe up on the top rope and sets up for a superplex. Ishii hits a Brainbuster on Makabe from the top! Incredible Impact but only a two count.
Somehow Makabe finds his way back to his feet again, and hits a standing powerbomb on Ishii! Sloppy pin attempt only gets him 2, but Makabe is not letting up. Makabe is just pounding at Ishii's neck with running clotheslines, which leads to setting Ishii up on the top for a suplex off the turnbuckle! Ishii is out cold as Makabe goes for high risk off the top, but misses on the way down. He lands somewhat on his feet, but Ishii has enough time to get back to his own feet. Headbutt after headbutt by Ishii helps him drop his rival to the mat!
Jim Ross: "Ishii using his headbutt like a boxer would use a jab." I love it.
Sliding lariat for 2! Ishii follows up with a Vertical Brainbuster for the 3 count and the win!
Winner (pinfall): Tomohiro Ishii
Interview with Hirooki Goto about his matchup with Marufuji. Goto is asked his opinion about his opponent in this must-win A Block match. He recognizes that Marufuji is very quick and talented, but Goto's size advantage gives him the upper hand, and he will use his power moves for the win.
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Hirooki Goto
Both men are in a 4-way A-Block tie, which also includes Tanahashi and Okada. The stakes are high as the competitors make their way to the ring for the start of the match!
It is all Goto in the early going, who overpowers his smaller opponent with ease before dropping Marufuji to the outside. Marufuji reverses an Irish whip on Goto to send him into the security barrier, and follows up with a bulldog driving Goto's face into the rail!
Marufuji quickly brings things back into the ring and the Pro Wrestling NOAH star decides to trade chops with his much larger opponent. But Marufuji holds his own and chops Goto to the ground with unbelievable force! More high intensity chops prevent Goto from fighting back into the match, and JR points out that Goto's chest is as red as his tights.
Goto able to counter Marufuji's suplex attempt, giving him the opening to hit a huge kick to the chest of Marufuji. Rolling heel kick into Marufuji's head by Goto, who batters his opponent from corner to corner. Diving elbow drop for a 2 count.
Out of desperation, Marufuji conjures up the strength to hit a dropkick that sends Goto to the outside. The crowd knows what's next as Marufuji pumps up for the dive over the top rope onto Goto on the floor! We go to our last commercial.
Back from the break and as Goto enters the ring, Marufuji runs to the apron to hit a springboard dropkick to Goto's head! Marufuji picks Goto up, but the result is another exchange of chops between these two warriors. Both men refuse to give in, and Marufuji grabs Goto's hair to pull him in for a kick that sends both men to the mat. Marufuji with a bicycle knee to Goto in the corner for a huge advantage! Series of kicks to Goto, but Goto hits a headbutt that drops Marufuji out of mid air!
Goto sets up and hits the Ushigoroshi, and now he looks to put his opponent away. Superkicks by Marufuji and a flying knee for the near fall. Goto somehow blocks Sliced Bread and puts Marufuji in a sleeper hold. Marufuji can't seem to shake the hold and starts to turn red. Goto converts the sleeper into the GTR, and Hirooki Goto pins Marufuji for the win!
Winner (pinfall): Hirooki Goto
After the match, Marufuji in an interview expresses disappointment because he feels like he let NOAH down, but still values the experience. Goto, meanwhile, waits for the result of Okada vs. Tanahashi, which must end in a draw for Goto to advance in G1 Climax. He says he feels much more comfortable with CHAOS, and that something changed in him after the tournament.
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