Live from Osaka Jo Hall
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly & Don Callis.
IWGP Junior heavyweight title: Will Ospreay v. Hiromu Takahashi
Both guys charge in and slug it out to start, but Takahashi tosses him into the turnbuckle and they fight to the ramp. Ospreay goes running up the ramp and dives onto Takahashi in an incredible spot and Callis is like “So much for him slowing things down.” Back in, Ospreay with a running dropkick into the corner and he wraps up Hiromu with a bridging hammerlock before they fight to the floor again. Ospreay runs him into the post, and back in for more abuse of the arm. Takahashi snaps off a rana to escape and Ospreay bails to the floor, where HIromu hits a running dropkick off the apron. Back in, missile dropkick gets two. Powerbomb gets two. Takahashi throws some HARD chops in the corner and Ospreay has some very naughty words in response and comes back with a springboard clothesline. Takahashi catches him with a hanging choke on the ropes, but he falls to the floor and Ospreay hits him with the SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP. Back in, Ospreay tries the Oscutter, which is reversed to a german suplex by Takahashi and both guys are down. They slug it out with forearms and Takahashi superkicks him and hits a german suplex, but Ospreay gets the reverse rana, times two, but Takahashi reverses the Storm Breaker into a Code Red in an incredible sequence. They head to the apron and slug it out, but Takahashi gets excited about it until Ospreay DEADLIFTS him into a superplex. Amazing. Ospreay goes up with a shooting star press onto Takahashi and follows with a Sky Twister Press for two. Storm Breaker is countered by Takahashi with a Canadian Destroyer, and he locks in the triangle choke off that, but Will powerbombs out on the second try and actually drops him on his head with a piledriver in the process. HOW IS HE ALIVE?! Will hits the spinning head kick and tries the cutter, but Takahashi puts him on the apron for the sunset bomb instead. Ouch. Back in, Dynamite Plunger gets two. Ospreay escapes the Time Bomb and they trade kicks, which puts Takahashi down with a dramatic sell. Ospreay tries a third Storm Breaker, but Takahashi reverses right into the triangle this time, then blocks the powerbomb escape this time and piledrives him. Takahashi runs him into the corner, and the Time Bomb finishes at 20:25 to win the title. What a finish! These guys are nuts and you have to love it, even though I’m terrified for Ospreay’s life every time he wrestles now. ****1/4
IWGP Intercontinental title: Tetsuya Naito v. Chris Jericho
Jericho’s latest look is “A Clockwork Jericho”, and he storms Naito and attacks before the suit can even come off. They brawl into the crowd and Jericho suplexes him on the floor and drops a tripod on him as poor Red Shoes already gets abused, before the bell even rings. Jericho puts a table on the railing and powerbombs Naito through it, then beats on Naito and hauls him over to the announce table for a DDT that sends Naito flying. And he stops to sign an autograph, which is very considerate of him in the midst of a brutal beating. Finally they make it into the ring to start the match, and Jericho gets two. Backbreaker and Lionsault gets two. Jericho chokes him out in the corner and they exchange some shots, but Jericho takes him down with the Walls and Naito makes the ropes. Finally Naito explodes out with a spear and hammers away on the mat, and he drops Jericho with a neckbreaker on the apron. Thankfully no one needs to tell us that it’s the hardest part of the ring. And then he adds another neckbreaker from the apron to the floor, which is even harder than the apron, and finally gets the gear off and chokes Jericho out with it. He smashes a piece of the broken table on Jericho’s head and they head over to the announce table again, and this time Naito gets a piledriver onto it. Back to the ring and Naito hits a springboard dropkick to the back of the head and they head up for a top rope rana, but Jericho counters into the Walls and then catapults him into the corner. Naito counters with a rana out of the corner and follows with a tornado DDT for two, but Jericho counters a rollup attempt and goes back to the Walls again. Jericho sinks it in as Naito fights up and makes it to the ropes in dramatic fashion. Naito comes back with a hotshot into a german suplex, but Jericho blocks the Destino into a rollup for two. Naito with an enzuigiri and they slug it out, and Naito hits the Destino this time but can’t pin him in time and only gets two. They slug it out and Naito spits on him, but walks into a codebreaker. That’s what happens whenever he strays from tranquilo! They slug it out from their knees and Jericho elbows him down, but misses the Lionsault and Naito hits the enzuigiri, but Jericho goes low to block the Destino and hits the Codebreaker to win the IC title at 17:20. And the crowd is in SHOCK. Jericho beats him down with his belt and EVIL comes in to make the save, which isn’t a great direction if Chris is sticking around. Still, this was a fantastic brawl as the “something for everyone” style of these big NJ shows continues. Jericho is turning into 1989 middle aged and crazy Terry Funk and it’s AMAZING to watch. The man can do anything he puts his mind to. It wasn’t QUITE as batshit crazy awesome as the Omega match at WK12, but really, what could be? ****1/2
Tomorrow: There’s just one match left! And it’s the big one!