NJPW: Fighting Spirit Unleashed (9.30.18)

 

FIGHTING SPIRIT UNLEASHED

SEPTEMBER 30, 2018

WALTER PYRAMID – LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

– Your hosts are Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly

1.  Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero vs. Jushin Liger , Ryusuke Taguchi, & ACH

– JR begins the show with the revelation that he owns a pair of Funky Weapon tights, except in the Oklahoma Crimson.  Liger and YOH begin.  YOH finds himself in a surf board.  ACH and Liger cut the other two off with ankle locks.  YOH finds himself in the corner and Coach Taguchi waves around Liger and ACH for charging elbows to the corner.  After 2 rounds of it, Taguchi hops up for Liger to throw YOH into the Funky Weapon.  Instead Liger is on the receiving end.  YOH turns around and “checks the oil” of Taguchi.  Usual high spot dives from all men, and ACH and SHO are the legal men.  Taguchi and Rocky get the legal tags.   Rocky returns the favor of the corner charging but runs into a hip attack.  Taguchi hits the Dodon for the win @ 8:55.  (Comedy spot filled opener.  I should deduct even further for Taguchi doing the Nakamura channeling.  D.)

2.  Hangman Page & Chase Owens vs.  The Addiction

– Missed the first couple of minutes of the match….but who’s keeping score anyways.  We pick up ith all four in the ring.  Hangman goes for a dive on Kazarian on the outside but Kazarian catches him with some knees for his troubles.  Back in, Owens is lifted into the Tombstone, Kazarian springboards for the BEST…MELTZER…EVER for the win @ 8:14.  (Building started to fill up and the crowd was hot for this match.  D+.)

3.  Hirooki Goto & The Best Friends vs. Chris Sabin, Flip Gordon, and Jeff Cobb

– Cobb is the brand new ROH Television Champion.  So much for a spoiler alert.  Sabin and Chuckie T to begin with some fast chain wrestling.  Action breaks down and light forearms are exchanged.  Cobb teases a suicide dive, but Goto cuts him off with a lariat.  Flip does one too many flips and gets sent to the outside and we get stereo dives from the Best Friends.  JR can’t make up his mind if Goto reminds him of Jeff Cobb or Juice Robinson.  Sabin has spent the whole match in as the legal man.  Finally he gets the hot tag to Flip Gordon.  Gordon crashes and burns quickly and we get the hot tags to Cobb and Goto.  Just two big bastards clubbering.  Chuckie comes in and says hes gonna suplex Cobb.  With the help of Trent, they get him up for the delayed vertical!  Chuckie snaps off a piledriver for 2.  Cobb finally hits the Rolling Islands on Chuckie for the win @ 12:04.  (Match was lot high spots.  But Cobb and Goto made up for that.  D+.)

4.  Killer Elite Squad & Zack Sabre Jr. vs.  SANADA, EVIL, & Testuya Naito

– Long Beach going INSANE for LIJ.  KES and ZSJ attack before the bell.  Archer and Davey tke turns just beating the fuck out of SANADA.  SANADA finally breaks free and gets the hot tag to Naito.  Naito runs wild on all three men and the corwd is eating it up.  KES finally are able to ground Naito.  Naito breaks free and hits the tornado DDT on Archer.  ZSJ tags in and also EVIL.  EVIL a house of fire and goes for Everything is EVIL.  ZSJ counters into the Octopus Hold.  EVIL counters into Darkness Falls.  Cover gets 2.  EVIL grabs him but ZSJ cradles him with a bridge for the win @ 9:27.  (Not a great match for what you would consider it to be on paper.  ZSJ really lays up being a dick better than I remembered.  D.)

5.  Jay White & Gedo vs.  Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA

– Interesting matchup here, because it hurts any man to take a pin here.  Yes, even Gedo.  Tanahashi and White are showcased here.  White controlling most of this match on the outside of the ring.  Abotu 5 minutes in, Gedo and KUSHIDA get the hot tags.  Gedo moving quicker than usual.  Hoverboard Lock is hooked in and White breaks it up.  White and Tanahashi back in.  Twist and Shout connects on White.  Tanahashi rolling.  Sling blade and now Tanahashi heads up top.  Gedo with brass knuckles to the head and Tanahashi falls forward back in the ring.  Blade Runner connects for the win @ 8:27.  (White is the top heel and even more when he’s in Long Beach.  Match was ok, and used to set up Tanahashi and White further.  D+.)

– Post match, White grabs the G1 briefcase while the crowd chants “fuck you Switchblade”.  White soaks it in and tells Tanahashi he has rights to the case now that he has beaten him.  He promises to win it.  He then ends it with “because this company cannot stand the fact of two foreigners headlining the Tokyo Dome”.

IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL MATCH

6.  Marty Scurll vs.  Will Ospreay

– Bell rings and Ospreay nails a SPANISH FLY for 2.5!  Scurll rolls out and Ospreay with a Asai to the floor!  Back in and SHOOTING STAR PRESS for 2.5!  OSCUTTER attempt, and Scrull is getting the fuck outta Long Beach.  Only a minute in, and Scurll is begging for mercy!  Scurll sees an opening and drops Ospreay.  He throws Ospreay out and slingshots to the apron and hits the basement dropkick from the apron.  Scurll plays to the crowd and throws Ospreay into the ropes, Ospreay handsprings into the enziguiri.  Crowd with dueling chants.  Scurll stops Ospreay only for a moment and hits the top rope 619.  Ospreay doesn’t capitalize and Scurll throws him to the floor.  The work to the apron and exchange kicks to the chest for chops.  Ospreay slingshots back in and hit the sunset bomb to the floor!  Now the crowd is chanting OLE.  Sure, why not.  Ospreay and Scurll battle to the top and both lose their balance and crotch themselves.  They go for it again and Scurll hits the top rope huricarana.  Scurll has had to have chopped Ospreay about 25 times and all of them to the throat.  Ospreay with some flash kicks and Scurll catches him in mid air with the CROSS FACE CHICKEN WING!  Ospreay wiggles out hits a kick to the back of the head.  Ospreay attempts the Storm Breaker, Scurll carrys him to the top rope.  Ospreay sunset flips and tucks his head into the corner and kicks him RIGHT IN THE FUCKING FACE!  They battle up to the top rope and Scurll hits A DOUBLE CHICKEN WING SUPLEX FROM THE TOP ROPE!  Scurll pops up and THE GRADUATION connects for the win @ 16:08!  (Fucking British Strong Style right there, ladies and gentlemen!  What a fantastic match!  A.)

IWGP WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES

7.  Guerrillas of Destiny (with Haku) vs. Young Bucks (C) [2nd Title Defense]

– Decent video package but they seemed to just want to show off their footage of AJ and Devitt from the old days by the end of it.  Tama grab the belts ad throw them to the floor before the bell.  Tama and Nick to begin.  Doesn’t take long for this to break down into all four men brawling.  Nick with a leapfrog dropkick on both men finally settles things down for a bit.  And wouldn’t you know it, Matt Jackson’s old back injury starts acting up again.  Tongans are like sharks that smell blood and attack Matt off the apron.  Loa with a running powerslam that about goes through the camera man.  Loa now sets up a table on the outside of the ring.  New Japan should just have every multi man match be tornado rules.  Matt mounting a comeback and heads up top.  Loa shoves him off and MATT THROUGH THE TABLE ON THE FLOOR!  Inside, Tongans just beating the hell out of Nick.  Diving headbutt by Loa, and beautiful frog splash by Tama.  Cover gets 2.75!  Nick contiinues to take punishment until he superkicks the Tongans down.  He goes to tag Matt, who is crawling to the corner, but Tama hits the inverted DDT for 2.  Nick fights out and superkick takes out Tama.  Finally the hot tag to Matt and he comes in a-chopping and a-punching.  Loa just laughs evrytime he is punched in the head.  Nice touch.  He low bridges Loa to the floor.  Tama drops Matt on his back and cover gets 2.  15 minutes elapsed.  Nick back in and its SPOTTAPALOOZA!  SUPERKICK Party has begun.  Loa eats about 3 of them and kicks out at 2.  Matt tries to lift Loa but it ain’t happening without Nick helping.  More Bang for Your….but Matt struggles to the top….BUCK!  Cover gets 2.  Matt needs help to lift fot the Meltzer Driver.  Nick in mid air gets hit with GUN STUN!  APE SHIIIIT!!!  Matt kicks out at 2.99999999!  Matt with a set of superkicks, hits the ropes, and SUPER GUN STUN!!!!!!!!!  Cover gets 3 @ 19:21 and we have NEW IWGP WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!  (Usual template of every Bucks tag match for the last couple of years it seems.  But these two teams work very well together.  Back story added even more to the rivalry.  A-.)

IWGP UNITED STATES TITLE

8.  Cody (with Brandi Rhodes) vs. Juice Robinson (C) [1st Defense]

– Red Shoes, your referee.  #FUCKERY.  Cody controls for the early part and attempts Crossroads.  Juice couters and attempts Pulp Friction.  Backslide by Cody gets 2.  Juice up and hits the cannonball in the corner.  Brandi rakes the eyes.  Cody with a figure four locked in.  Juice revereses it and Cody breaks to the outside.  He grabs some water and takes his belt off and Red Shoes takes it away.  Cody spits the water in the face of Juice and hits a Disaster Kick for 2.5.  Juice up and Cody attempts Crossroads, coutered and Pulp Friction connects.  Brandi pulls Cody outside.  They battle on the floor and Crossroads connects on the floor.  Both men finally back in at 19.  They have deuling chants and punches  Juice wins the skirmish and Cody thumbs the eye.  Superkick connects at the 15 minute mark.  Cody picks him up and connects with the Vertebreaker for 2.99999999999.  Juice fights back ad they head up top.  Top rope superplex, BUT WAIT, CODY HOOKS THE LEG and we have a new IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION @ 16:47.  (Let’s not be so quick to count Juice out here.  He’s increasingly become better each night and one of my personal favorites.  Unfortunately, this match was ok, but not great.  Usually this title is the ceterpiece of the show stealer in the states.  Just not tonight.  B-.)

YOUR MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING

9.  Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada vs. The Golden Lovers

– Okada and Ibushi to begin things.  They chain wrestle to a stalemate with Okada almost nailing the Rainmaker early.  Ishii and Omega tag in.  Ishii rolls him over with a shoulderblock.  Ibushi comes in and double leapfrog into ajumping faceplant by Omega.  Ibushi kicks the shit out of Ishii and he just gets to his feet.  They trade kicks and chops.  Okada tags himself in and plays to Omega on the apron.  He drops Ibushi and Ishii back in.  He kicks and slaps Ibushi in the face until Omega can’t take anymore and attacks Ishii.  Ishii beats the shit out of Omega on the floor and comes back in.  Okada back in and Omega tags in.  They tease the fight for a minute and Ibushi runs back in.  Now all four men in and this breaks down to the floor.  Stereo Asai Moonsaults to the floor.  FINALLY we get Omega and Okada.  V Trigger misses, One Winged Angel attempted,  Okada fights out, Snap Dragon suplex.  V Trigger and Ishii runs in.  Ishii tossed and 6 Star Dropkick by Okada.  V Trigger by Omega into a Belly to Back Suplex by Ibushi.  Ibushi dives on Ishii on the floor.  One Winged Angel, Okada fights out, Tombstone attempt, and Omega reverses the Tombstone.  Ishii in and basement clothesline!  Ibushi takes him out.  Okada lifts for the Rainmaker, blocked, Urinagi!  Omega and Okada roll out.  Ishii and Ibushi trade strikes.  Ishii down, Ibushi with the standing moonsault that drives the knees into Ishii’s chest!  Cover gets 2.  Double team German suplex on Ishii gets 2.  Okada back in to stop the double team,  Plants Ibushi on his head with a DDT.  Omega grabs Ishii, V Trigger blocked, sick headbutt by Ishii.  Ibushi hits the Pele and all for men are down!  SLAPFEST by Ibushi ad Ishii!!!!!  Lariat by Ibushi get 2.5.  20 minutes have elapsed.  Kamagoye misses, kick to the chest by Ibushi, Ishii just stands and nails the lariat for 2.5.  Okada back in, elbows Ibsuhi in the corner.  HIGH ANGLE POWERBOMB GETS 2.99999999!  Golden Trigger by the Lovers will finish off Ishii @ 23:06.  (What a fanatastic showcase and main event!  A fun match to watch and probably intense to see live.  Hats off to all 4 men!  A.)

– Post match, Omega tells Ibushi they will have their rematch for the IWGP Title in one week.  Cody runs in and interrupts.  Cody books himself into the match to make it a three way.  Omega agrees and it’s official.

FINAL THOUGHTS….

– Not everyday to you a double title change on US soil but a very fun show tonight.  I was suprised to see Cody walk away with the title, but you’re booked into a corner with Cody being NWA Champion.  I was glad we didn’t have a giant beat down to end a US show.  But thats a huge announcement to run against Super Show Down in a week.  See you all then.