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RADICAN’S NJPW “POWER STRUGGLE 2018” PPV REPORT
NOV. 3, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Chuckie T
(1) SOBERANO JR. & VOLADOR JR. & TIGER MASK & JYUSHIN LIGER vs. TOA HENARA & ACH & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & CHRIS SABIN
Volador was in the ring for a long time, but managed to tag out finally. Soberano went at it with Taguchi and caught him with a nice tornado splash. Taguchi’s partners made the save and the action broke down. Taguchi ended up alone in the ring, but he fired back with a springboard hip attack that wiped out Tiger and Liger. Taguchi’s team took control and hit a quadruple hip attack on all of their opponents inside the ring. ACH and Taguchi then finished off Soberano with a tandem X-Factor for the win.
WINNERS: ACH & Toa Henare & Chris Sabin & Ryusuke Taguchi at 6:00. (*½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a fun and energetic start to the show, but they kept things rather basic.)
(2) BGOC (ROBBIE EAGLES & TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA (w/Taiji Ishimori & Jado) vs.KUSHIDA & TOMOAKI HONMA & TOGI MAKABE
Ishimori came to ringside on crutches. BGOC jumped their opponents before the bell rang. Honma went for a Kokeshi early on Eagles, but Jado nailed him with a kendo stick shot from the floor. The ref was distracted and didn’t see it. Honma took a sustained beating. KUSHIDA kept breaking up pin attempts on Honma. The fans tried to rally behind Honma, who fired back on Tonga. He went for a Kokeshi, but Tonga got out of the way. Makabe finally got the tag and went after Tonga and Loa. He set them up in opposite corners and ran back and forth hitting clotheslines until Eagles cut him off. Makabe took care of Eagles and then KUSHIDA, Makabe, and Honma hit punches from the mount in three separate corners. Honma finally connected with a Kokeshi off the ropes a short time later and the fans applauded. He hit another one on Eagles and then a flying Kokeshi off the ropes on Tonga. The fans fired up once again. KUSHIDA blocked a Gun Stun attempt from Tonga and got the Hoverboard Lock. Gedo got up on the apron and jawed with KUSHIDA. Tonga nearly ran into Jado on the apron when KUSHIDA got out of the way of his attack. Tonga then kicked out of KUSHIDA’s cover a short time later and sent KUSHIDA right into a kendo stick shot from Jado. KUSHIDA managed to kick out at the last second. Jado distracted the ref and Ishimori hit KUSHIDA over the back with his crutch. It turns out Ishimori isn’t really hurt. Tonga then hit a Gun Stun on KUSHIDA and it was good for the win.
After the match, Ishimori continued to attack KUSHIDA. He held up the Jr. Hvt. Title and it looks like we have KUSHIDA’s next challenger. Makabe finally ran in with his chain to run off BCOG.
WINNERS: Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Robbie Eagles in 8:00. (**)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was more of a setup for KUSHIDA’s next challenger than a match, although the action was quite good while it lasted.)
(3) CHAOS (KAZUCHIKA OKADA & BERETTA) vs. BCOG (JAY WHITE & BAD LUCK FALE w/Gedo)
Okada hit a dive to the floor right away and wiped out White on the floor and the match was on. Okada dragged White into the crowd as Beretta and Fale went at it off camera. The action settled down briefly, but White ran across the ring a short time later and sent Okada flying off the apron to the floor. White dragged Okada into the crowd and then back to ringside. Okada fired back and hit a draping DDT on the floor. Beretta got a running start and hit a suicide dive on Fale. Fale fired back on the floor and got a 2 count on Beretta after hitting a big splash. Okada tried to go after Gedo, but noticed that Fale had hit The Grenade on him. Gedo tried to prevent Okada from making the save, but Beretta managed to counter the Bad Luck Fall into a pinning combination for the three count.
Fale put the boots to Beretta after the match. White then attacked Okada from behind and they brawled into the crowd again. The Young Lions tried to separate them without much success. They were finally separated, but White went back after Okada. Gedo came and dragged White away. Okada beat up several Young Lions and went back after White. A big Okada chant rang out and White got on the mic. He challenged Okada to a match anytime and anywhere. White then walked to the back. Okada got on the mic and said he wanted to wrestle him right now. The fans fired up and White teased coming back to the ring, but he closed the gate on the guardrail and the fans booed. White then went after several Young Lions as Okada looked on.
WINNERS: Beretta & Kazuchika Okada at 5:00. (*½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This match was largely designed to further the ongoing storyline between Okada and White & Gedo. The brawl and promo exchange was well done.)
(4) 2018 G1 Climax Winner HIROSHI TANAHASHI & DAVID FINLAY vs. IWGP Hvt. Champion KENNY OMEGA & KOTA IBUSHI
Tanahashi and Omega jawed before the opening bell. Ibushi stood in the corner, which showed his conflict at having to choose between Tanahashi and Omega. Omega and Tanahashi started the match and went at it hot and heavy. Tanahashi ducked a V-Trigger and Omega ducked several clotheslines before they came to a stalemate. Ibushi and Finlay tagged in and went at it. Finlay took a sustained beating that included a flurry of offense from Omega and Ibushi capped by Omega’s Kitaru Crusher. Omega tossed Tanahashi to the floor a short time later when he got into the ring and whipped him into the guardrail. Omega worked over Finlay inside the ring and then ran right into a springboard plancha to wipe out Tanahashi. Finlay mounted a comeback and tagged in Tanahashi, who took Omega out. He then hit a dropkick on Ibushi to knock him off the apron. Tanahashi hit a dragon screw on Omega. Omega fired back and went for You Can’t Escape. Tanahashi got out of the way and Omega sold his leg. Tanahashi no-sold a V Trigger. Omega hit another one and then hit a snap dragon. Tanahashi slipped out of One-Winged Angel attempt and hit Twist and Shout and both men were down! That was a nice exchange.
Both men tagged out and went Ibushi and Finlay went at it. Ibushi took control and the fans fired up after he hit a gorgeous twisting moonsault press for a two count. Finlay fired back and they began exchanging blows. Finlay finally ended the exchange with a HUGE Uranagi for a two count. He measured Ibushi for a stunner, but Ibushi blocked it and hit a straight jacket German. He went for the Kamigoye, but Finlay got out of the way. Ibushi then ran right into a Sling Blade from Tanahashi. The action broke down and Omega hit a big V-Trigger on on Tanahashi. Omega and Ibushi set up for the Golden Trigger, but Tanahashi wiped them out with a double running splash. Ibushi and Omega fired back on Tanahashi and caught him with a V-Trigger and a high kick at the same time. They then finished off Finlay with the Golden Trigger.
After the match, Omega held up his title and Tanahashi’s G1 briefcase. He tossed the briefcase back to Tanahasi and pointed his finger gun at him as Ibushi stood in the background.
WINNERS: Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi in 10:00. (***)
(Radican’s Analysis: This match was used to build up Tanahashi and Omega for Wrestle Kingdom. It’s interesting that Ibushi is torn between both men in some respects. I’m interested to see what he does when Omega and Tanahashi wrestle at Wrestle Kingdom on Jan. 4.)
(5) ROPPONGI 3K (SHO & YOH w/Rocky Romero) vs. L.I.J. (SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI) vs. IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Champions SUZUZKI GUN (YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & EL DESPERADO) – Super Jr. Tag League Finals
Suzuki-Gun sent L.I.J. to the floor before the opening bell rang. Roppongi 3K ended up clearing the ring a short time later and the fans fired up as they began working over Desperado. SHO got isolate and took some heavy chops from Shingo. SHO eventually cut off BUSHI with a knee to the gut. YOH got the hot tag and ran wild on Shingo and BUSHI.Kanemaru tagged himself into the match and went to work on YOH. The rules are that you can tag any of your opponents to become legal in the match. Desperado got distracted by Shingo and YOH wiped out Desperado, but YOH was unable to tag out, as BUSHI ran into the ring. Takagi and BUSHI entered the ring, but Kanemaru sent them both to the floor. Desperado then wiped them both out with a SICK suicide dive. WOW! YOH then took a reverse DDT from Kanemaru for a two count. YOH finally cut Kanemaru off with a falcon arrow and both men were down. Shingo tagged himself in when YOH got whipped into his corner. He went after Suzuki-Gun. He went back and forth across the ring at rapid speed hitting clotheslines in opposite corners and the fans fired up. Shingo popped Kanemaru up and hit a DVD for a two count that drew appreciation from the fans. Shingo signaled for Rebellion, but Desperado broke it up. Shingo set up for a lariat on Kanemaru, but he dropkicked his knee. SHO tagged himself into the match and went at it with Shingo. SHO caught Shingo with a dropkick as the fans fired up. Shingo went for the Pumping Bomber, but he ate a double knee from Roppongi 3K. 3K stalked Shingo, but BUSHI wiped out YOH with a back cracker from behind.
Desperado and Shingo went at it a short time later. Shingo wiped out Desperado and SHO with a double clothesline. He then hit the Yoshigami on SHO! He set up for the Pumping Bomber and connected, but SHO KICKED OUT! WOW! Shingo went for Last of the Dragon on SHO, but YOH made the save! SHO and YOH then hit 3K on Shingo, but Kanemaru pulled the ref at the last second! WOW! Desperado wiped out SHO with the title belt and the fans booed. The ref was down on the outside. Desperado lifted SHO up and hit an Angle Slam variation, but SHO kicked out! Desperado set SHO up, but BUSHI blew mist in his face. YOH ducked a whisky mist from Kanemaru. He wiped out BUSHI and Kanemaru with a big dive to the floor. SHO lifted up Desperado and a Last Ride into a lung blower for a near fall. WOW! SHO then hit the Shock Arrow for the win!
Rocky Romero posed with SHO and YOH, who were given two big trophies. They are the first ever back to back winners of the Super Jr. Tag League Tournament.
Romero cut a promo after the match in Japanese. He handed the mic to SHO, who begged off. SHO then got on the mic. He said they had won the tag league, but they want to take the next step. They challenged Suzuki-Gun for the Jr. Tag Titles. The fans chanted for Roppongi 3K.
WINNERS: SHO & YOH to win the Super Jr. Tag League Tournament in 16:00 (****¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: A lot of strong performances here. Shingo really stood out with his speed and power. Kanemaru was really good in this match, as was Desperado. I’ve always liked SHO & YOH, but everyone rose to the occasion to in this match. It looks like we will see Roppongi 3K challenge Suzuki-Gun at Wrestle Kingdom for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Championship.)
(6) NEVER Openweight Champion TAICHI (w/Miho Abe) vs. HIROOKI GOTO
Taichi hit a belly to back suplex right off the bat and the opening bell rang. Goto sold it like he was knocked out. Taichi made a one-handed cover and then lifted Goto’s head to break up the pin. Taichi hit some light kicks on Goto and shoved the ref aside. He dragged Goto to the floor, who continued to act like he was out of it. Taichi dragged Goto into the crowd. He tried to toss Goto into the chairs, but Goto collapsed and fell into them. He measured Goto and hit him in the head with the side of a chair. The match continued at a slow pace and the crowd didn’t seem into Taichi’s slow-paced offense. Goto finally fired back and hit a Saito Suplex for a 2 count. Taichi went after Goto’s eyes a short time later to regain the upper hand. Goto blocked a kick and tried to strike with Taichi. Goto still looked a little worse for wear, but was firing up as Taichi kicked his leg and Goto fired back with forearms. Taichi hit a big kick to Goto’s chest and he went down to a knee. Taichi hit another kick to Goto’s chest and he went all the way down to the mat. They went back and forth off the ropes and Taichi connected with a jumping kick to Goto’s head. Taichi mocked Goto’s pose and nailed him with a buzzsaw kick for a 2 count. Taichi mocked Goto’s pose again and went for another kick, btu Goto blocked it and hit the Ushigoroshi. The fans barely reacted with both men down on the mat.
Taichi fired back and set up for a powerbomb, but Goto dropped down to a knee. Goto finally backdropped out of it. They went back and forth and Goto lifted Taichi up and hit a spinning facebuster for a 2 count. Taichi grabbed the ref when Goto grabbed him for the GTR and shoved him aside. He then raked Goto’s eyes. Taichi then hit a low blow and got the Gedo Clutch for a near fall. That’s the same combination he used to beat Goto on Sept. 17. Taichi lifted Goto and hit the Last Ride for a two count. They went back and forth and Goto hit a GTR and both men were down. This got no reaction from the crowd. Taichi got the NEVER title from Abe, who was up on the apron. Taichi shoved the ref away. Goto tried to grab the belt and then turned it into a headbutt. He hit another Ushigoroshi. Goto then measured Taichi and hit his signature kick to the chest for a two count. They went back and forth and Goto hit Shouten Kai. He then lifted up Taichi and hit the GTR for the win.
WINNER: Hirooki Goto to become the new NEVER Openweight Champion in 15:00. (*)
(Radican’s Analysis: These two have had some of the worst matches I can recall in NJPW in the span of a few months. This was dull and plodding. The crowd didn’t care and it made fifteen minutes seem like an eternity.)
(7) RPW British Hvt. Champion TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. MINORU SUZUKI
Ishii beat Suzuki for the title on Oct. 14 at Global Wars UK in RPW. Suzuki beat Ishii for the title on July 1. They started hot and heavy. Suzuki ran across the ring and nailed Ishii with a running kick. Ishii got right up and took him down with a shoulder tackle. They went back and forth exchanging blows in the corner. Suzuki finally missed a PK to end the sequence and the fans fired up. Both men began trading hard forearms in the middle of the ring. Suzuki finally staggered to the ropes. Suzuki tried to bait him into an arm bar around the ropes, but Ishii blocked it and sent him to the floor. Suzuki no-sold a bunch of chops from Ishii and nailed him with several kicks to the chest. Ishii went down and Suzuki kicked him to the floor. Suzuki sat in the middle of the ring and beckoned Ishii to resume battle. Suzuki got the upper hand again and hit some big knees to Ishii’s mid-section. Suzuki then began to target Ishii’s mid-section. Ishii tried to fire back from his knees, but Suzuki smiled and nailed him with a big punch to the ribs. Suzuki hit a series of light kicks and Ishii finally rose to his feet and hit a huge chop to Suzuki’s throat. Ishii sent Suzuki into the corner for a series of big throat chops. The sound they made was cringe worthy. Ishii then began hitting light kicks to Suzuki’s head. Suzuki stood up and looked at the crowd and then looked at Ishii like he must be crazy. Suzuki smiled and hit Ishii with a big forearm. Ishii fired back with a big forearm of his own and told Suzuki to bring it. Suzuki wound up and nailed Ishii with a big forearm to the head. Ishii gritted his teeth and didn’t go down. Ishii fired back with a big forearm of his own and Suzuki’s legs buckled. Suzuki hit another big forearm and Ishii used the ropes to keep himself from going down to the mat. Ishii hit a forearm and Suzuki used the ropes to stay up. Suzuki hit a HUGE forearm and Ishii slumped over and staggered around. Ishii fired back and Suzuki went into the corner. Both men appeared to be on wobbly legs at this point.
Suzuki measured Ishii and hit another forearm. Ishii staggered around and teased going down. Suzuki told him to get up. Ishii leaned into Suzuki and took another series of forearms. Ishii suddenly fired up and hit Suzuki with left and right forearms. Suzuki fired back with some forearms of his own and Ishii went into the ropes, but didn’t drop all the way down to the mat. Suzuki hit one more forearm and Ishii finally went down. WOW! That was an insane exchange. The fans fired up and chanted for Ishii. Ishii went back after Ishii’s ribs with some kicks. He set Ishii up in the seated position and nailed him with a running kick to the head for a 2 count. Suzuki got a running start and hit a running kick in the corner. He then hit a PK, but Ishii no-sold it. Suzuki hit a PK to Ishii’s back and Ishii glared and got up. Suzuki hit several forearms and Ishii took them all and fired back with one of his own. He then hit a HUGE clothesline in the corner and the fans applauded. Ishii tried to lift Suzuki out of the corner. He got him up and hit a powerbomb and the fans applauded. They went back and forth and Suzuki got the rear naked choke. Ishii fought out of it and hit a kick to the back of Suzuki’s head. Ishii began hitting Suzuki’s head with some light kicks. Both men began slapping each other in the face as hard as they could. Suzuki yelled and wiped out Ishii with a big kick to the head and both men were down. WOW! Suzuki could be seen smiling as he pulled himself up to his feet. Both men began slapping each other across the face as hard as they could once again. The fans fired up as the pace of the exchange increased. Suzuki began to wobble, but didn’t go down. Suzuki told him to bring it and they began slapping each other in the face again with left and right slaps. Ishii got staggered and took several open palm slaps to the face. Ishii hit a headbutt and they went back and forth. Ishii lifted Suzuki and hit a dropkick, but Suzuki got right back up and nailed him with a dropkick and both men were down again. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?
Suzuki got up and his mouth was bloodied a bit. He grabbed a rear naked choke. The fans fired up and chanted for Ishii. He went for the Gotch, but Ishii fought out of it. Suzuki dropped Ishii with one big forearm and the fans gasped. Suzuki went for the Gotch again, but Ishii turned it into a Cop Killa variation. He then hit a big running clothesline for a near fall! Ishii went for a sliding clothesline. Suzuki popped up and tried for a kick, but Ishii blocked it and sent him down to the mat. Ishii then hit a sliding lariat for a near fall. Ishii set up for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Suzuki slid out of it. They went back and forth trading slaps. Suzuki got a rear naked choke. He wrenched back on the hold and tried to spin him around for the Gotch, but Ishii spun around right into a kick to the head. Ishii then hit a big clothesline to take him down. Ishii hit another running lariat. He set up and hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the win. What match!
Ishii stormed out of the ring without his title. Suzuki staggered to his feet and walked out under his own power.
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii in 19:00 to retain the RPW British Hvt. Championship (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: You know what to expect when these two meet and this match lived up to expectations. They had some great hard-hitting exchanges and built up to some really great fighting spirit spots that fired up the crowd.)
A video package aired for the Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. match.
Sabre beat Naito in the NJPW Cup in march and knocked him out of G1 contention in August with another singles victory. Naito saved EVIL from Sabre’s attack after EVIL had been laid out by Chris Jericho last month at King of Pro Wrestling. Take Michinoku welcomed the fans to Zack Sabre Jr. time and did his standard Sabre introduction. Michinoku reminded Naito about his losses to Sabre in the NJPW Cup and at G1. He told Naito to “come over here!” Naito’s music played and the fans fired up and chanted his name.
Kevin Kelly said it was Naito who had asked for this match after the EVIL vs. ZSJ match at King of Pro Wrestling back in October. Naito said if Sabre wins, he will push for Sabre to face the winner of Tanahashi vs. Omega at Wrestle Kingdom.
(8) ZACK SABRE JR. (w/Taka Michinoku) vs. TETSUYA NAITO
Sabre got Naito on the mat during the early going and tried to work him over. Naito escaped and hit his signature pose and the fans applauded. Sabre grabbed a headlock and tried to control Naito on the mat once again. Each time Natio rolled, Sabre rolled with him. Naito hit a pair of arm drags and hit a dropkick to Sabre’s back. He hit his signature eye pose and Sabre got mad and got a running triangle. He transitioned into another submission working over multiple body parts, but Naito got to the ropes quickly. Naito went to the outside and favored his leg and arm. Sabre tied up Naito with a submission around the ropes and raised his fist like Naito before flipping off the crowd. He then went after Naito’s arm a short time later. Sabre tied up Naito’s leg on the entrance ramp a short time later. He then began cranking on Naito’s ankle while continuing to work over the other leg. Sabre finally snapped the hold down and Naito sold his knee. Sabre walked back to the ring as the ref counted. Naito was slow to get up and staggered as made his way back into the ring at nineteen. Sabre immediately grabbed another leg submission. He tied up Naito’s arms, but Naito finally managed to free an arm and get to the ropes. It’s all Sabre in this match right now.
Naito tried to hit some forearms, but Sabre hit a big kick to his leg to stop his momentum. Naito fired back and hit an atomic drop and a Frankensteiner and the fans applauded with both men down on the mat. Naito went on the attack and hit a low angle dropkick to the back of Sabre’s head. Naito went for his signature corner dropkick, but Sabre countered it. They went back and forth and Naito hit a reverse DDT for a two count. Sabre fired back and went right back after Naito on the mat. He began going after his arm. Naito tried to fire back and Sabre told him to bring it. Naito hit some big forearms in the corner and Sabre went down to the mat. Naito got a running start and hit a sliding dropkick to the side of Sabre’s neck. Naito continued to go after Sabre’s neck and he eventually hit a tornado DDT. The fans applauded and Naito hit Gloria for a two count at the fifteen minute mark. Sabre blocked Destino and they went back and forth. Sabre caught Naito going for a flying forearm and turned it into an octopus stretch. Sabre had both arms trapped and he began to manipulate the arm closest to the ropes. Sabre then transitioned to a calf cutter. He set up for Orienteering with Napalm Death, but he couldn’t get the hold because of the work Naito did on his neck. Sabre released the hold and Naito immediately got to the ropes. The fans chanted for Naito with both men down.
Sabre got up and hit some big forearms. Natio leaned into them and Sabre set up for a PK and NAILED it for a two count. Naito blocked the Zack Driver and went for an enzuguri, but Sabre blocked it. Natio countered Sabre’s ankle lock attempt and hit a German. He then followed up with Destino, but Sabre kicked out at the last second! Natio went for another Destino, but Sabre countered out of it and got an arm trap pinning combination for a near fall! WOW! Naito finally connected with an enzuguri on Sabre and went for Destino, but Sabre slipped out and went for a Zack Driver. Naito managed to slip out of it and he lifted Sabre and dumped him right on his head! WOW! Naito then set up and hit a big Destino for the win!
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito in 20:00 (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: Great match with Sabre dominating on the mat. Naito got back into the match going after Sabre’s neck, which prevented Sabre from fully locking in Orienteering with Napalm Death. They had some great counter exchanges late around Destino and the Zack Driver.)
A video package aired for the Chris Jericho vs. EVIL main event for the IWGP IC Championship.Highlights were shown of Naitio beating Jericho at Dominion and EVIL making the save for Naito after the match.
EVIL was out first he was carrying a demonic looking shield that lit up and displayed different graphics. Chris Jericho was out next wearing a black mask with silver streaks going out around his face. Kevin Kelly ran down his accomplishments and mentioned he had just sold out a cruise ship. Jericho took off the black mask and revealed a white mask with black paint. EVIL attacked Jericho before he could take off the second mask and the match was on.
(9) IWGP IC Champion CHRIS JERICHO vs. EVIL
EVIL dominated during the early going. Jericho had his black makeup on that he usually wears. Jericho went into the crowd and EVIL followed him. They went back and forth in the crowd trading punches before returning to ringside. Naito tossed Jericho into the ringpost and a short time later he hit a snap suplex on the floor. Kelly detailed the history between Jericho and L.I.J. EVIL set up a table on the floor. He set up for a powerbomb near the table, but Jericho blocked it and backdropped EVIL to the floor. Jericho grabbed a camera and filmed himself beating up EVIL, but they didn’t go to the camera. Jericho choked EVIL with his shirt and then whipped him by the neck over the guardrail with the shirt. Kelly said Jericho attacked EVIL for saving Naito when Jericho was attacking him after their match at Dominion. Jericho set EVIL up on top of one of the tables at ringside and hit a big DDT. Jericho tossed EVIL over the guardrail and then tossed a table at the ref. He blew his nose on one of the NJPW table covers with the NJPW logo and the fans booed. Jericho went up top and hit EVIL with a crossbody back inside the ring for a two count.
EVIL took exceptions to some slaps to the back of his head from Jericho and tried to mount a comeback, but Jericho caught him with a kick to the head and then hit a Lionsault for a two count. Jericho went up top. EVIL tried to cut him off, but Jericho pushed him away and hit an elbow off the top for a two count. Jericho jawed with the fans as they chanted for EVIL and drew some boos. EVIL caught a kick and gave Jericho’s foot to the ref before hitting a kick to the gut. EVIL then clotheslined Jericho over the top to the floor and the fans applauded. They went back to the floor and EVIL countered Jericho and whipped him into the guardrail right before the ten minute mark was announced. EVIL set a chair up around Jericho’s neck and then nailed him with another chair as Kelly yelled, “Home run!” EVIL continued to dominate the action inside the ring. Jericho blocked a dropkick in the corner and went for Walls of Jericho. He pulled EVIL to the middle of the ring, but EVIL used his legs to shake Jericho off. Jericho hit a springboard dropkick to the apron, but EVIL didn’t fall to the floor. Jericho got a running start and tried to send EVIL off the apron through the table, but EVIL nailed him with a shoulder tackle. EVIL teased a suplex into the apron, but Jericho blocked it. EVIL then hit a STO through table and the fans applauded. A small this is awesome chant also could be heard as both men were shown regrouping on the floor.
EVIL tossed Jericho back into the ring to break the ref’s count. He went up top and hit a big senton, but Jericho kicked out. Kelly said this would be the biggest victory of his career and even bigger than his win over Okada. EVIL tried to lift up Jericho. Jericho tried to fight out of it and eventually rolled through into the Walls of Jericho. Jericho yelled for EVIL to tap out. The fans fired up and tried to rally behind EVIL. EVIL tried to make his way to the ropes and eventually got there to break the hold and the fans applauded. Jericho yelled at the ref and said EVIL had tapped out. The ref said no and Jericho shoved him over. EVIL hit a big lariat and the ref recovered, but it was only a two count. Jericho went for another Lionsault a short time later, but EVIL got out of the way. He then deadlifted Jericho onto his shoulders and hit Darkness Falls for a near fall! WOW! EVIL blocked a code breaker a short time later and both men hit lariats at the same time and collapsed down to the mat. EVIL and Jericho got up and traded blows. EVIL went for a change of direction on Jericho off the ropes, but got caught with a Code Breaker for a near fall and the fans applauded. Jericho punched at EVIL’s head and yelled at him to stay down.
Jericho went up top and yelled everything is Jericho. HE came off the top, but EVIL caught him and went for Everything is EVIL. Jericho blocked it and they went back and forth and EVIL hit Everything is EVIL for a near fall at the 20 minute mark. WOW! EVIL set up for a big lariat and connected. He set up for Everything is EVIL, but Jericho shoved him into the ref. Jericho went for a low blow, but EVIL blocked it. He set up for Darkness Falls, but Jericho turned it into a Frankensteiner. Jericho rolled through into the Wall of Jericho in the middle of the ring. Jericho sat down on the hold and turned it into the Liontamer and EVIL tapped out.
WINNER: Chris Jericho to retain the IWGP IC Championship in 22:00 (****)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a big match for EVIL and he delivered. They had a match that was typical of the style Jericho has had in NJPW this year. They brawled around the ring and the match settled in with back and forth action in and outside of the ring. EVIL hit his finisher on Jericho for a nearfall, but could not put Jericho away and Jericho was able to beat him with a second Liontamer.)
Jericho applied the Liontamer on EVIL after the match and the bell rang as the ref admonished Jericho. Naito ran out and nailed Jericho with a dropkick. He sent Jericho off the ropes, but he grabbed them and ran to the floor with his belt. Jericho asked Naito and the fans if they wanted it. Naito held the ropes open for Jericho, but he walked away.
Naito got on the mic and got a promo. He said he’s going to sink the superstar that is Chris Jericho. Kelly said Naito would be next to face Jericho for the IWGP IC Championship and he wants to get even with Jericho after Dominion.
Jericho was shown cutting a promo backstage. He put over EVIL, but said Naito is a coward. He said he beat Naito in the s—hole that is Osaka. He said there would be no rematch at The Tokyo Dome, Korakuen Hall, or MSG.
Jericho was interviewed and said that’s EVIL’s first classic match and his 257. He said he’s the greatest of all time. Jericho said to find him someone that’s held more IC Championships than him. Jericho said he’s never lost in NJPW and he never will. Jericho said Naito would never get a rematch.
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