Other PPVs CALDWELL'S NJPW TOKYO DOME SHOW RESULTS 1/4: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Wrestle Kingdom PPV - Tanahashi vs. Okada, Bullet Club, Nakamura, Jim Ross, more
Jan 4, 2015 - 4:50:41 AM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
New Japan Pro Wrestling PPV Results
"Wrestle Kingdom 9"
January 4, 2015
Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Dome
Presented by Global Force Wrestling on U.S. PPV
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
The Flipps App did not load the PPV stream at the start, so I'm starting coverage from the Japanese version via New Japan World.
After a fantastic opening video package running down the card, the Young Bucks started the PPV coming to the ring in wild costumes for the opening Jr. Hvt. Tag Title match. Forever Hooligans were out next. Time Splitters were out third followed by ROH tag champs ReDragon wearing both the ROH belts and the Jr. Hvt. tag belts.
1 -- IWGP Jr. Hvt. tag champions REDRAGON (KYLE O'REILLY & BOBBY FISH) vs. TIME SPLITTERS (ALEX SHELLEY & KUSHIDA) vs. FOREVER HOOLIGANS (ROCKY ROMERO & ALEX KOSLOV) vs. YOUNG BUCKS (NICK & MATT JACKSON) -- four-team match for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Titles
Kozlov got in his signature spot early on putting on his Russian hat to deliver repeated kicks to Fish's head and face. O'Reilly came to his partner's aid with a hard kick to Kozlov before insulting him with his own Russian dance kick. Young Bucks then got their shine with a double-team, but Kozlov came back with a kick to Nick Jackson. Tag to Romero, who cleaned house on everyone in the ring. That's a lot of humanity. The crowd ate it up.
KUSHIDA cleared Romero to the floor after Rocky ran himself out of energy, then Time Splitters double-teamed Matt Jackson in the ring. On the floor, Shelley stacked up ReDragon, then Romero accidentally took out Shelley with a suicide dive. Kozlov responded with a cannonball splash onto a pile of bodies. Nick Jackson followed with a big dive. KUSHIDA then wiped out everyone with a flying splash.
Back in the ring, Shelley and KUSHIDA combined for a neckbreaker and moonsault on Nick, but the pin was broken up. Another double-team, this time to Matt. A rapid-fire sequence of moves followed, including superkicks from the Bucks. The ref had no control over this. Suddenly, the Bucks busted out a ridiculous number of superkicks. Bucks then combined for a combination Tombstone on Kozlov. It was good for a three count, but the ref slowed down for a pile of bodies to break up the pin.
Fish and O'Reilly re-asserted themselves after the match settled back down. Combination kick/brainbuster Chasing the Dragon to Kozlov, then O'Reilly covered, Fish held off the other teams, and it was good for the pin and the win. ReDragon retains the belts.
WINNERS: ReDragon at 13:03 to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Titles. Good opener. Not quite as clean as past four-team Jr. Hvt. featured tag matches, but all four teams are so good that everyone looked good coming out of the match. (**3/4)
In-ring: Bullet Club representatives were introduced first for the second match. Out first was Jeff Jarrett joined by Karen Jarrett and Scott D'Amore. Plus, Yujiro Takahashi and their enforcer, Bad Luck Fale. Representing New Japan was Honma along with Kojima and Tenzan.
2 -- BULLET CLUB (JEFF JARRETT w/Karen Jarrett and Scott D'Amore & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & BAD LUCK FALE) vs. TEAM NEW JAPAN (SATOSHI KOJIMA & TENZAN & HONMA) -- six-man tag match
Karen started things off in the ring targeting Honma. Chaos broke out as the bell sounded. Ringside, Jeff held Honma, who took a slap from Karen. Back in the ring, Ten-cozy lit up Takahashi to get the crowd fired up. But, Bullet Club cut off Kojima and started working him over. Hot tag to Honma, who worked over Takahashi while Karen screamed at ringside. Honma went for his trademark running headbutt, but Yujiro moved and Honma ate the mat. Moments later, Honma caught Yujiro bouncing off the ropes with his trademark headbutt.
Jarrett tried to guitar-shot Honma behind the ref's back, but Honma blocked. Yujiro then held Honma for the guitar shot, but Honma ducked and Yujiro took the guitar shot, popping the crowd. The babyface trio took over, then Honma popped the crowd climbing to the top rope to deliver his trademark top-rope headbutt to Yujiro for the pin and the win. Big reaction for Honma getting the win over the heels. Same reaction taking a victory lap on the way out.
WINNERS: Team Honma at 5:35. They kept this short and sweet to the get to the pay-off of New Japan getting a victory over Bullet Club. Meanwhile, Honma is big-time after going through the G1 Climax journey over the summer where he became a sentimental favorite just trying to get a win in the tournament.
In-ring: Suzuki-Gun's four-man team was introduced for the next match. Takashi Iizuka, who targets announcers, made his way down to ringside looking for someone to go after, but opted not to do anything pre-match. Toru Yano and his trio from NOAH were out next.
3 -- SUZUKI-GUN (SHELTON BENJAMIN & LANCE ARCHER & DAVEY BOY SMITH, JR. & TAKASHI IIZUKA) vs. TORU YANO & TEAM NOAH (NAOMICHI MARUFUJI & MIKEY NICHOLLS & SHANE HASTE) -- eight-man tag match
Plenty of chaos early on with Iizuka and Yano getting into it. Things settled down until Marufuji entered to a strong reaction wrestling in a New Japan ring. Marufuji cleaned house on Iizuka before Shelton tagged in and sent Marufuji flying across the ring. More chaos, then Iizuka tried to choke Marufuji, but he broke free and Team NOAH took out Iizuka with a combination of kicks for the win. Afterward, Yano entered the ring to gloat about his hired guns helping him get the win over Iizuka.
WINNERS: Team Yano & NOAH at 5:08. The focus was more on Marufuji, who is great, than Yano getting revenge, but it worked fine for another short-and-sweet tag match building to the bigger matches.
The Flipps App is now live-streaming the PPV, but the video quality is not at the level of New Japan World's video stream. I'll be going back and forth between New Japan's version and Global Force's version hosted by Jim Ross and Matt Striker.
4 -- SAKURABA vs. MINORU SUZUKI -- Only way to by TKO, KO, or Submission
Sakuraba went for a Sharpshooter early on, drawing oohs from the crowd going for a big submission one minute in. Suzuki, who has aged significantly facially, made his way to the ropes for a break, but they remained tangled in the ropes. A big slap-fest broke out, sending the ringside cameraman scurrying to get a good shot of the exchange. On the outside, the two fighters moved to the long entrance ramp, where they exchanged kicks until Sakuraba dragged Suzuki to the ground to apply a keylock submission. The ref reprimanded Sakuraba for not keeping the fight in the ring, then sent Sakuraba back to the ring as Suzuki recovered on the ramp.
Suzuki eventually limped down to the ring, where Sakuraba lit him up with kick strikes. Suzuki slumped over in the ring, so the ref applied a ten count as the crowd screamed for him to keep fighting. Suzuki reached his feet and tried to fight back with open-hand slaps using his one good arm. Sakuraba shook him off and slapped on a submission. Suzuki tried to reverse, but Sakuraba re-applied the submission. Suzuki reached the ropes for a break, though.
More punishment to Suzuki, who answered the ref's ten count by standing to his feet and no-selling Sakuraba's latest round of kicks. Suzuki tried to hold on before firing off two slaps and a running kick to the face. Suzuki then slapped on a rear-naked choke. Sakuraba initially refused to give up, but the ref stopped the match when Sakuraba faded out in the hold.
Afterward, both men recovered from the battle. Sakuraba then walked across the ring to shake Suzuki's hand. Suzuki, sporting an icebag over his shoulder, thought it over before giving Sakuraba a big handshake and embrace. Suzuki shared a few words with Sakuraba, who then bowed and left the ring. "They don't make them like that anymore," Ross declared on the GFW PPV broadcast.
WINNER: Suzuki via TKO at 9:23. Big win for Suzuki over Sakuraba, who was protected by dominating the match and nearly putting Suzuki away several times. Nice conclusion to the feud ending with a show of respect. (***)
In-ring: And now for another very physical match, Togi Makabe was introduced first as the challenger for the NEVER Openweight Title. Tomohiro Ishii, who is built like a football linebacker, was out next to defend his title.
5 -- NEVER champion TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. TOGI MAKABE -- NEVER Openweight Title match
The two big bulls charged and crashed into each other early on, then exchanged powerslams before coming to their feet for a standing battle. Ishii lit up Makabe with consecutive chops to the throat region, drawing concern from the referee. Makabe took a moment to recover, shook off more slaps, and rocked Ishii with his own strikes. Makabe drove Ishii to the corner, but Ishii no-sold, rocked Makabe across the ring, rocked him into the corner, and delivered a top-rope suplex.
Ishii followed with a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Makabe came back with his own sit-out powerbomb, again for a nearfall. Makabe followed with a German Suplex with a bridge pin for a two count. The battle moved to the top rope, where Makabe managed to get Ishii on his shoulders, then Makabe kind of fell down on top of Ishii for a crash-and-burn Samoan Drop. Another nearfall.
Standing exchange. Makabe delivered a knock-down lariat, but Ishii kicked out just before three. Another big exchange, then Ishii lunged toward Makabe for a headbutt of sorts. Big running lariat, but Makabe kicked out. Ishii tried a suplex, but Makabe escaped. Enziguiri kick, but Makabe kicked out. Another lariat. Ishii tried again, but Makabe ducked and hit a Northern Lights suplex with a bridge for a two count.
Reset at 11:00 as the crowd roared in anticipation of a winner. Another big mid-ring exchange. Ishii rocked Makabe with a headbutt, but Makabe answered with one of his own. Makabe then wound up and delivered two sledgehammers, but Ishii kicked out of the pin at a one count. A lariat followed. Another nearfall. Makabe to the top rope for a diving kick to the head. One, two, three.
WINNER: Makabe at 12:23 to capture the NEVER Openweight Title. Fantastic match taking the Tokyo Dome to the next level. The match just had that feeling of Makabe winning based on how it was laid out with Makabe coming across like the dominant wrestler despite being the challenger. (****)
Video Package: New Japan announced the line-up of big shows the rest of the year. Including is a U.S. return to Ring of Honor in May 2015. Plus, Best of the Super Jrs. in June, Dominion in July in Osaka, and G1 Climax 25 in August. [ Full Details HERE via PuroresuSpirit.com ]
In-ring: Kenny Omega, representing Bullet Club, was introduced as the challenger for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Title match up next. Ryusuke Taguchi was out next sporting a mustache and grown-out hair to match Omega's funky hairdo.
6 -- IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion RYSUKE TAGUCHI vs. KENNY OMEGA (w/Young Bucks) -- IWGP Jr. Hvt. Title match
Omega acted too-cool-for-school before the bell sounded, so Taguchi mocked his bad attitude and heel mannerisms once the match started. Taguchi went for an anklelock early on, but Omega escaped. Back-elbows to Omega, then Taguchi clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor. On the floor, Omega retrieved an aerosol can and sprayed Taguchi in the face when the Bucks distracted the ref. Omega went on the attack back in the ring as the Young Bucks shouted at the ref from ringside.
Omega turned into a crazyman warming up an imaginary woodchipper or an electric chainsaw, which he used to "saw" Taguchi's hair/forehead. The ref called off the imaginary yardwork, then Taguchi sent Omega crashing into the Bucks at ringside. Taguchi followed with a flip dive to all three men on the floor. Back in the ring, Taguchi delivered a springboard dropkick for a two count.
Taguchi went for the anklelock again, but broke the hold when the Bucks hit ringside again. Taguchi neutralized the Bucks, then dropped Omega for a two count. Taguchi posed, then went for a fireman's carry drop, but Omega elbowed out into a rolling German Suplex. Omega followed with a running kick strike to the head into the electric chair for a one-handed Michinoku Driver. The rapid-fire sequence was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Omega at 13:22 to capture the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Title. Omega's character is really out there now, but he's still really good in the ring, so this should be a good title run for Omega. (**3/4)
In-ring: The show moved along to the next title match of the show. Out first were the challengers for the IWGP Hvt. Tag Title match, World Tag League winners Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata. Cue up the Bullet Club theme to bring out Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, flanked by Tama Tonga waving Bullet Club's logo flag and Amber O'Neal.
7 -- IWGP Hvt. tag champions BULLET CLUB ("MACHINE GUN" KARL ANDERSON & DOC GALLOWS w/Tama Tonga and Amber O'Neal) vs. SHIBATA & GOTO -- IWGP World Tag Title match
Gallows dominated Goto early on, then Shibata entered to light up Doc with kicks and strikes. Doc cut him off out of the corner, but Shibata dropkicked him across the ring. Karl Anderson entered and a two-on-two battle broke out in the ring. Goto and Shibata initially got the best of the exchange, but Bullet Club took control after the chaos extended a few more minutes. Anderson tried the Gun Stun twice on Goto, but he blocked both times, combined for a double-team with Shibata, and Doc suddenly blindsided Shibata for a two count.
More two-on-two action. Goto eventually clotheslined Doc into Shibata's arms for a rear-naked choke. Shibata released the hold, they KO'ed Karl, and Goto chucked Doc into the air for Shibata to land a PK Kick. Shibata followed with a second PK Kick to Doc, and it was good for the pin and the win. Afterward, the high school buddies sat down in the middle of the ring to pose with the belts.
WINNERS: Shibata & Goto at 9:00 flat to capture the IWGP Tag Titles. This turned Texas Tornado-style early on, but it worked to build to the moment of long-time friends Goto & Shibata working together to win the Tag Titles for the first time. 2015 should be Shibata's year and this was a good start, even if it was tag versus a spotlight singles match. (**3/4)
In-ring: A.J. Styles was out first for the next match. And here's Jim Ross calling an A.J. Styles match. Ross noted controversy over Styles's recent use of the Styles Clash resulting in injuries to his opponents. Hoping to avoid a broken neck was his opponent, 2013 G1 Climax winner Tetsuya Naito.
8 -- A.J. STYLES vs. TETSUYA NAITO -- special singles match
Styles attacked Naito as the bell sounded, then teased the Styles Clash, but Naito easily blocked. Styles knocked Naito to the floor, then tried his trademark back-flip reverse DDT on the outside, but Naito avoided, bounced onto the ring apron, and kicked Styles across the floor. Back in the ring, Naito sold a left knee injury, which Styles took advantage of.
Naito spent the rest of the match trying to shake feeling into his knee, then shaking off a potential neck injury after taking a flip-over neckbreaker that was not executed cleanly. Naito set up for a top-rope moonsault, but Styles cut him off. Styles tried the Calf Killer on the mat, but Naito held on and flung himself toward the bottom rope for a break. Styles then teased the Clash, but Naito lifted Styles in the air, ran backward to the ropes, and dumped Styles clear down to the floor. Rough landing for Styles, who sold on the floor while Naito sold the knee injury back in the ring.
Styles made it back into the ring at 19 of 20, then took a slingshot kick in the corner. Naito wanted a top-rope huracanrana, but Styles caught his legs in the air, trapped him in the Styles Clash, and delivered a top-rope Super Clash. It was actually safer-looking than his standard Clash from a standing position. Styles rolled over Naito and it was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Styles at 14:30. Good singles match, giving Bullet Club another win to keep things even on the night. (***)
Video Package: Shinsuke Nakamura. The man, the myth, the legend. Then, Kota Ibushi entered the picture to go after Nakamura's IWGP IC Title.
In-ring: Kota Ibushi was shot out of the Tokyo Dome stage platform to make his entrance for the semi-main event title match. Pause for The King. Cue the theme and there's Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura emerged on-stage sporting a crown, long red robe, and kingly vest. The King of Strong Style made his way down to the ring to a big crowd reaction for the wardrobe and dramatic entrance.
9 -- IWGP IC champion SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. KOTA IBUSHI -- IWGP Intercontinental Title match
Cue the bell, then a dramatic zoom-in from the hard camera to signify this is a big-time title match. Champ and Challenger took their time approaching the middle of the ring to engage in a sparring match not looking to make a mistake. Nice feeling-out process without ever locking up. Suddenly, the tone changed when Ibushi slapped Nakamura across the back of the head on a clean break in the ropes.
After a pause, Nakamura made a big production out of extending his hand for a clean match, but yanked in Ibushi for a clothesline. Ibushi responded by driving Nakamura to the corner and doing Nakamura's trademark corner boot stomp. Nakamura stood up, mocked Ibushi, drove him to the corner, and correctly did his boot stomp. Nakamura then took control of the match.
Nakamura played around a bit too much with Ibushi, who eventually put together enough offense to knock Nakamura to the floor. Ibushi then flew off the top rope with a big moonsault onto Nakamura on the floor. Back in the ring, Ibushi followed up with kicks and strikes. Ibushi followed with a running moonsault for a two count. More offense from Ibushi, including a springboard top-rope Frankensteiner for a close two count. Ibushi delivered a twisting corkscrew splash from a standing position, but it was also only good for a two count.
Reset, then Ibushi delivered a big kick strike to the head/neck. He followed with an elevated sit-out powerbomb, but Nakamura kicked out. Ibushi wanted a top-rope splash, but Nakamura moved and kicked Ibushi in the head for a two count. Nakamura then smacked around Ibushi with his boot, becoming overly-aggressive with Ibushi. But, Ibushi smiled and fired back with strikes. Nakamura then shoved the ref into Ibushi and slapped on an armbar submission. But, Ibushi kicked Nakamura in the face to escape. Ibushi played with Nakamura by lightly kicking the back of his head, then nailed a suplex. Ibushi got cocky by doing Nakamura's signature pose and followed with the Boma Ye strike, but Nakamura kicked out of a pin at one. Now it's on.
Nakamura fired off a round of kicks and strikes, but ran into a double foot stomp to the chest. Both men sold on the mat as the crowd roared after the latest big-time exchange. Ibushi then executed a crazy move by grasping Nakamura over the top rope for a rear-grip suplex, hoisting him over the top rope, and suplexing him back in the ring. It was only good for a two count, though. Big-time feeling here. Nakamura staggered Ibushi and came off the top with a knee to the back of the head, but Ibushi stood up, smiled, and charged Nakamura, only to take a suplex. Nakamura followed with the Boma Ye knee strike for the pin and the win.
Post-match, Nakamura posed in the ring with his belt as Ibushi recovered in the corner. Nakamura then approached Ibushi as the crowd waited to see what kind of response he would have. Nakamura gave him respect, then posed with the IWGP IC Title belt in the ring. He then took the mic to address the crowd and bond with his fans.
WINNER: Nakamura at 20:15 to retain the IWGP IC Title. That's a big-time match on a big-time stage, and Ibushi looked the part of a big-time player, no longer just a Jr. Hvt. wrestler. Meanwhile, there's Nakamura, who is, well, Nakamura. (****1/2)
Video Package: Tanahashi and Okada - the battle for the top prize in pro wrestling. The video focused first on Tanahashi, going back to his early days as IWGP World champion and matches against Yuji Nagata and Giant Bernard (Tensai in WWE). And then there's Okada, whose presence matches Tanahashi's rock-star status.
In-ring: Continuing the theme of challengers being introduced first, Okada was out first with an elaborate "Rainmaker" entrance graphic on the giant videoboard. Once Okada hit the ring and soaked in the moment, Tanahashi's music played and another great video graphic filled the videoboard to introduce Tanahashi. A little air guitar on the stage, then more on the long entrance ramp down to the ring. Once Tanahashi entered the ring, he handed over the title belt and had a face-to-face with Okada, who met him in the middle of the ring. Both men retreated to their corners. Deep breaths. Cue the bell and zoom-in.
10 -- IWGP World Hvt. champion HIROSHI TANAHASHI vs. 2014 G1 Climax winner "RAINMAKER" KAZUCHIKA OKADA -- IWGP World Hvt. Title match
Nice feeling-out process early on. Okada controlled Tanahashi with a side headlock, working the headlock for a good two minutes. Tanahashi eventually broke out and went to his own side headlock. Okada broke free faster, then drove Tanahashi to the corner. Neither man got control, then Okada offered a clean break, friendly pat on the chest, and suddenly a forearm strike to the face. Tanahashi did not appreciate that and the fight was on.
After winning a standing exchange, Tanahashi climbed to the top rope, but Okada charged him and uppercut Tanahashi down to the floor. On the outside, Okada clotheslined Tanahashi over the guardrail to the secondary entrance area. Okada followed with a DDT off the guardrail into the padded floor. Okada then dragged Tanahashi to the entrance ramp and teased a Tombstone, but Tanahashi blocked. Tanahashi then air-guitared down the entrance ramp, ran back toward Okada, and ran right into a Death Valley Driver on the ramp. That was an ill-advised air guitar.
Both men returned to the ring with Okada firmly in control of the match. Okada tried a standing splash to a prone Tanahashi, but the champ moved out of the way. Tanahashi followed with a flying forearm, then a scoopslam to set up a flip splash to Okada's mid-section for a two count. Rainmaker Pose, zoom-out, and Okada wanted to end it. But, Tanahashi ducked the Rainmaker lariat for a roll-up. Tanahashi quickly transitioned to a Dragonscrew leg whip that took out Okada's left knee.
Okada sold pain and rolled to the floor, where Tanahashi followed up with kicks and stomps. Tanahashi ducked a charging Okada, who went flying over the guardrail into the Tokyo Dome playing field. Tanahashi then climbed to the top turnbuckle, contemplated a big-time high-flying attack, and went for it, delivering a leaping High Fly Flow over the guardrail onto Okada.
Tanahashi eventually got Okada in the ring, where he wanted another High Fly Flow, but Okada stood up, rolled through a cross body-block, and wanted a Tombstone, but Tanahashi countered with his own Tombstone. Tanahashi then hit the top rope and delivered one High Fly Flow. He wanted a second, and he connected. One, two, kick-out by Okada, stunning Tanahashi. Big buzz for a kick-out there.
Tanahashi tried to figure out his next move, which was a Texas Cloverleaf, but Okada blocked. Tanahashi then did the Rainmaker Pose and went for Okada's finisher, but Okada ducked the lariat and destroyed Tanahashi with the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi kicked out. Both men sold on the mat, then barely reached their knees before a ten count. Okada delivered a big uppercut, then tried a Tombstone, but Tanahashi rolled through for a two count.
Tanahashi stood up and kicked Okada's knee, then slapped him around. Okada staggered down to the mat at Tanahashi's knees, then looked up at The Champ, who went for a big blow, but Okada ducked. Okada tried the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi ducked and hit a German Suplex for a two count. Okada answered with his own German with a bridge, but Tanahashi kicked out. Another missed Rainmaker, then Tanahashi hit another suplex for a two count.
Tanahashi stood up with a burst of energy, but ran right into Okada's amazing textbook dropkick. Big energy from Okada, who missed another Rainmaker. Tanahashi then whipped Okada's knee, then whipped it again inside the ropes. 30 minutes here. Tanahashi followed with High Fly Flow to Okada as he was hung in the ropes. Tanahashi followed with a whip, then climbed to the top rope for another High Fly Flow. Tanahashi went for a second, and he connected again. One, two, three. It's over. Tanahashi is still champion and Okada has to settle for second place to New Japan's top star. The crowd had a mixed sense of wanting to see Okada win, but also appreciating and respecting Tanahashi's greatness.
WINNER: Tanahashi at 30:59 to retain the IWGP World Hvt. Title. There's nothing better in the industry than these two on a big stage in a big-time main event. Just the world's best. (*****)
Post-match: Tanahashi stood in the ring as Okada tried to recover with the help of Gado. Okada eventually slipped out of the ring and Gado helped him away from ringside. Okada held his face selling a mix of pain and sadness not getting the job done. The camera stayed on Okada, who got a sympathetic cheer from the crowd.
From back in the ring, Tanahashi called out to Okada, who did not turn to acknowledge Tanahashi. Tanahashi said Okada is not ready to be Ace of New Japan and Okada eventually turned around to see Tanahashi wearing the IWGP World Title belt in the ring. Okada continued to cry as Gado helped him to the back. Back in the ring, Tanahashi addressed the crowd.
Tanahashi started to leave the ring, building anticipation for a post-match air guitar celebration. Tanahashi received the air guitar from ringside, started warming it up, and the music flowed. Tanahashi fell to the mat to sell exhaustion, then picked himself up and started another round from the top rope. More air guitar action, then Tanahashi chucked the imaginary guitar into the crowd. Tanahashi then picked up the mic and thanked the crowd before his theme music played. On the U.S. broadcast, Ross said Tanahashi is indeed the Ace of New Japan. Tanahashi celebrated on the way out as Ross and Matt Striker signed off. Ross said this is a night that he will not forget.
Tanahashi hit the top of the stage and took another mic for a final message. Fireworks shot off and Tanahashi stood tall as the IWGP World Hvt. champion. His music played out as the PPV wrapped up. The PPV transitioned to the post-game show with the crew of Japanese language announcers breaking down the main event on-camera.
Overall, must-see show, either via the cable/satellite replay Sunday night in prime time or via the Flipps App or via New Japan World.
If you watch the PPV, either live or in the Sunday night timeslot, we're looking for your Reax, 0-10 Score, and Best/Worst Match sent to email@example.com.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**