The SmarK Rant for NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 – Part One
I was working all day today so I don’t really have time for the full 5.5 hour show, sorry. However, I did want to get in the main matches at least that I was wanting to see, in this case Mox v. Archer, Hiromu v. Ospreay, and the main events. So it’s back to New Japan World after a few months off. Thanks to the kind people who support my Patreon and fund my various streaming services every month.
Live from Tokyo, Japan
IWGP US title, TEXAS DEATH MATCH: Lance Archer v. Jon Moxley
Archer appears to be dressed as a World War I era German leather fetishist, so you know he means business. Moxley attacks to start, but Archer hits him with a cross body, so Mox tosses him and follows with a tope. They fight into the crowd already and Mox runs him into the railing a few times and retrieves a kendo stick from under the ring. What is this, TLC? Jon goes up and Archer hucks a chair at his face and proceeds to pummel the shit out of him with it. I’m seriously questioning Moxley’s career choices at this point, because clearly this is exactly what he wants to be doing. Archer beats him with the kendo stick and chokes him out, but Moxley fires back with weapons and then suplexes Archer onto a pair of chairs and follows with a sliding knee to the head. Archer bails to the floor in a daze before the ref can even count, but he catches Mox and chokeslams him on the apron, and then grabs a young boy and chokeslams that poor kid onto Moxley as well. Moxley gets helped by another group of lions, and Archer dives onto them to put Moxley down for an 8 count. Back in the ring, Archer puts together more chairs and Mox tries to fly with a german suplex, but Archer is too big for it. Moxley goes up, but Archer catches him with a crucifix slam onto the chairs and Mox has to fight up at 9. So then Archer just puts a claw on him and slams his head into the chair a few times, but Moxley reverses to an armbar, because apparently submissions count despite pinfalls not counting. Archer powers out and drops Moxley on his damn head again with an overhead suplex, but Moxley counters a chokeslam into the Dirty Deeds. That draws a 9 count, but he gets up in time. Moxley tries the Paradigm Shift, but again Archer is too big for him, and he comes back with a chokeslam onto a chair. Moxley does a dramatic 9 count tease, but then pops up and flips us off. So Archer naturally pulls a plastic bag out of his pocket and tries to smother Moxley. See, this is EXACTLY why you should use reusable bags. It’s much harder to murder people with them. Also, something with the environment. Archer hits the floor and sets up a couple of tables, then uses his spiked helmet to torture Moxley before trying for a Blackout off the apron. Moxley fights out of that, so Archer switches to a chokeslam attempt, but Moxley hits the Paradigm Shift off the apron and through the two tables. Both guys are down, but Moxley answers the bell and regains the title at 14:30. A lot of this felt like violence for the sake of violence, but it was definitely entertaining. ***1/2
IWGP Junior heavyweight title: Will Ospreay v. Hiromu Takahashi
As the announcers note, Takahashi might have the advantage due to literally dying and then coming back to life for this rematch. Because it’s hard to kill someone who was already dead! I…dunno about the science behind that theory. Ospreay wearing a cat skin jacket to mess with Takahashi is pretty hilarious. Ospreay rides him on the mat and offers some showboating to start. They do the stalemate sequence and Hiromu fires off a rana to put Will onto the apron, but he tries for a powerbomb to the floor and Ospreay blocks him. So Takahashi gives him an apron bomb instead and then dropkicks him off the apron and into the railing. Back in the ring, HIromu gets the chops and hooks Ospreay with a Tarantula, but Will escapes and double-stomps the back to set up a draping DDT for two. Takahashi bails to the floor to recover, what with his neck recently breaking and all, so Will bends it around the railing and follows with a neckbreaker on the floor to be a dick. Back in, that gets two. Ospreay wraps him up in a neck crank submission on the mat, but Takahashi makes the ropes. Ospreay tries for a wheelbarrow suplex, but Takahashi reverses to a flatliner and comes back with a low dropkick and falcon arrow for two. Takahashi with some more chops, but Ospreay handsprings into a flip kick to put Takahashi on the floor again. Ospreay with the SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP, but Hiromu dodges him and throws him back into the ring, at which point Ospreay springs right back up and hits the move on a second try. You can say it’s just gymnastics, but they’re some pretty amazing gymnastics. Back in for Pip Pip Cheerio for two, but Takahashi dropkicks him into the corner, so Ospreay fights out with a 619 to put Takahashi on the apron and then follows with a double stomp right onto the neck. Back in, he follows with the missile dropkick to the back of the head, which gets two. Hiromu collapses to the mat again after that and the ref tries to call Ospreay off, but Will puts Hiromu on the top rope for an electric chair attempt. Takahashi fights out of that and tries a rana, but he collapses again and Will easily blocks it and tries the wheelbarrow off the top. Hiromu manages to reverse that into a rollup for two and then follows with the Dynamite Plunger for two. Ospreay hits him with an enzuigiri and Robinson Special kick to continue punishing the neck, but the Os-Cutter is blocked. So he hits the Made in Japan powerbomb instead and gets two, and then follows with a shooting star press…for two. Thought that was the finish.
Finally he hits the Os-Cutter, but Takahashi manages to kick out of THAT, too. The crowd is going nuts for Takahashi, of course. Ospreay gives him another head kick, but he walks into a pop up powerbomb and Takahashi gets some recovery time. They slug it out from their knees and Hiromu gets all fired up and makes the comeback to win a forearm battle. Ospreay tries another handspring and Takahashi catches him with a german suplex, and then reverses a powerbomb into a Canadian Destroyer for two. He runs Ospreay into the corner with a death valley driver, but Will escapes the Time Bomb, so Hiromu hits him with superkicks and tries again. Ospreay escapes again and tries the Storm Breaker, but Takahashi escapes from that and so Will spins him into a slam for two. And then Ospreay just BLASTS him with the chop to the back of the head to put him out and follows with the Storm Breaker, but Takahashi reverses for two. Takahashi makes one last comeback and puts him down with a lariat, then follows with the Time Bomb…for two. So he fires off another lariat and hits a package piledriver this time, and this time it finishes and gives him the title back at 24:39. Oh, this was magnificent, a tremendously terrifying exhibition where everything they did was safe but Takahashi was so great at pretending to be near death that you were worried for his life. Ospreay is just on another level as a pro wrestler as well. *****
IWGP Intercontinental title: Jay White v. Tetsuya Naito
OH COME ON with the beard on Jay White here. As if he couldn’t get any more douchey. YOU SUCK, Jay White. Jay immediately stalls to annoy the crowd, so Naito goes after Gedo instead and suckers White back into the ring. Naito with a dropkick to put Jay on the floor and it’s time for some tranquilo as White begs off. Naito kindly holds the ropes open for White and then dives in with a legsweep to take him down, before dropping him with a neckbreaker off the apron. Back in, Naito calmly beats on his stupid ugly face until Gedo interferes and allows White to take over. White backdrops him on the apron and Gedo again gets involved, allowing White to crotch Naito on the post. And then Gedo uses a chair on Naito’s knee as White whips him into the railing and wraps Naito’s knee around it. Back in, White gets a Saito suplex and Naito bails to the floor to take a breather. So White does the Tranquilo pose and the crowd HATES that. It takes a lot to make these crowds have that reaction. JAY WHITE IS JUST THAT AWFUL. White with the Muta-lock and you know that the Dome hates that too, but Naito makes the ropes. They slug it out with chops and Naito gets a rana, but he hurts his knee on the way down. He still gets a seated dropkick and a neckbreaker for two, then gives White a well deserved spit in the face and dropkicks him into the corner. Naito wraps him up in a wacky submission on the mat, but Jay makes the ropes to escape. Naito tries a german suplex but White clings to the ropes like a coward and then hits a DDT after the ref forces a break. White with a death valley driver for two. They fight over a uranage, so White just yanks him down by the hair and keeps trying for the uranage. Naito elbows out of each attempt, but White gets a back elbow and puts him down with a deadlift german suplex.
To the top and they fight over a superplex, but Naito brings him down with a neckbreaker and tries a top rope rana. White slips out and drops Naito on the top rope, however, and goes to work on the knee. White with a dragon screw on the apron and Naito can’t run the ropes, so White keeps pounding the knee with Gedo demanding the bell to be rung. Since when does Gedo control the finishes of matches? As if. White finally gets his uranage for two, and then hits another Saito suplex, putting Naito over the top rope and bouncing him off the apron. Back in, he tries the Kiwi Krusher, but Naito goes dead weight on him, so White has to power through it and hits the move for two. White keeps smashing the knee and hooks the inverted figure-four, which is apparently now the NTO (Naito Tap Out). Naito thankfully fights to the ropes, but White continues beating on the knee, so Naito spits in his face again to get him to back off. I’d do the same, not gonna lie. Naito comes back with a spinebuster, but Jay elbows out of Gloria and then offers some trash talk. Naito fights back, so Gedo takes the ref, but Naito keeps coming with the tornado DDT. They fight to the top and Naito offers another well deserved spit to the face and gets a top rope rana, and Gloria for two. Jay escapes the Destino and throws Naito into Red Shoes to bump him, and now Gedo brings a chair into the ring and White goes low. Naito finally goes to get rid of Gedo, and White just smashes a chair off his head and follows with a sleeper suplex. White spits in his face like an animal. Who does that? Gross. Naito fights back, however, hitting the Destino, but he doesn’t have enough left to cover, probably already developing pink eye from whatever germs White has in his saliva. Naito with the inverted rana and Destino…but it gets two. Another one, but White catches it and tries the Blade Runner. So Naito reverses that again, hits another Destino and thankfully puts the fucker away for good at 33:50 to win the title back and spare us Jay White main eventing night two. I grudgingly accept that White is reasonably good at this pro wrestling thing, but the world needs Naito to win both titles. ****1/2
And with that I’m going to bed for tonight, but I’ll go back hit the undercard matches and Okada-Ibushi in PART TWO as we’ll just continue on with this epic three night spectacle over the next week, as I get my 999 yen worth out of New Japan World, RIGHT HERE, on the Blog of Doom!