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RADICAN’S SUMMER STRUGGLE IN SAPPORO: NIGHT 1 REPORT
JULY 10, 2021
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
English commentary: Kevin Kelly & Chris Charlton
Hiromu Takahshi began the show cutting a promo backstage and then made his way into the ring to open the show. Takahashi ran down the card for the fans.
Note: Kota Ibushi was held off the card due to complications from getting his COVID vaccination, so his tag match was changed to a singles match between Yuya Uemura and Master Water. The ring announcers told the fans Kota Ibushi was off the show.
Kelly said Gino Gambino was supposed to join them, but he couldn’t make it.
(1) YUYA UEMURA vs. MASTER WATO
Uemura once again looked good here. He hit a German suplex with a bridge at one point for a two count. Wato ended up getting the win with RPP.
WINNER: Master Wato at 9:09
(2) EVIL & DICK TOGO vs. TOMOHIRO ISHII & YOH
This was a typical Bullet Club tag match and not a particularly great version of it. The finish saw Evil tap out Yoh with a Scorpion Deathlock. After the match, Evil and Togo put the boots to Ishii. They seem to be teasing a singles match between Ishii and Evil right now.
WINNERS: Evil & Dick Togo at 11:37.
(3) KENTA & YUJIRI TAKAHASHI & ELP vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI & ROCKY ROMERO & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI
Tanahashi won with the High Fly Flow on Takahashi with Taguchi and Romero wiping out ELP and Kenta on the floor with dives. Kenta ran into the ring after the match and attacked Tanahashi, so that appears to be another potential singles match for The Tokyo Dome show in a couple of weeks.
WINNERS: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi at 15:16.
(4) JEFF COBB & GREAT-O-KHAN vs. KAZUCHIKA & SHO
There were some really good exchanges between Sho and Cobb during the match. Cobb ended up catching Sho late in the match with Tour of the Islands for the win. Cobb and Okada had a staredown after the match, so there’s another potential upcoming singles match to watch out for.
WINNERS: Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan at 11:41.
(5) BUSHI & SHINGO TAKAGI & SANADA & TETSUYA NAITO vs. DOUKI & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & ZACK SABRE JR. & TAICHI
Shingo pinned Douki with a Pumping Bomber to win the match. This match was used to build up Sabre & Taichi defending their tag titles against Sanada & Naito tomorrow and they gave a pretty good preview of what to expect.
(6) EL DESPERADO vs. TAIJI ISHIMORI – IWGP Jr. Hvt. Title match
The match started with Ishimori working over Desperado’s shoulder on the floor and in the ring. Desperado finally fired back and hit a dragon screw on Ishimori to begin to set up Numero Dos. Desperado shoved the red away on the floor and nailed Desperado’s leg with a chair shot. Ishimori mounted a comeback and hit his signature sliding German. A short time later he hit a version of the Bloody Cross over the barricade.
Desperado struggled to get back into the ring. As soon as he did, Ishimori hit a 450. Desperado sold his ribs before Ishimori grabbed a cross face. He then went for the Bone Lock, but Desperado got to the ropes. Desperado hit an Angle Slam and sold his shoulder. Ishimori shoved Desperado into the ref. The ref went into the exposed corner.
Ishimori hit a low blow with the ref down. Desperado then returned the favor and both men were down after the 20 minute mark came and went. Both men got up and traded blows. Desperado hit a spine buster and got Numero Dos, but Ishimori countered it into a pinning combination for a near fall. They went back and forth and Desperado countered Ishimori and hit Guitar de Angel. He went for Pinche Loco, but Ishimori shoved him into the exposed corner.
They traded submissions on the mat. Desperado got an arm trap version of Numero Dos. ELP pulled the ref and hit a superkick to desperado’s midsection. Yoshinobu Kanemaru then came out and cleared the ring of ELP. Both men were left alone in the ring just after the 25 minute mark. Ishimori countered Pinche Loco into a hurricanrana. He then hit a nasty lung blower on Desperado for a two count. Ishimori countered another Pinche Loco into the Bone Lock. Desperado ended up countering Bloody Cross and he shoved Ishimori into the exposed corner. He then hit Pinche Loco. He held on and hit a second Pinche Loco for the win!
WINNER: El Desperado to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Championship at 28:54. (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: Brilliant psychology here. Ishimori went after Desperado’s shoulder and mid-section to soften him up for his signature maneuvers. Desperado went after Ishimori’s leg when he had the upper hand. It really felt like this was Ishimori’s night. He was one step ahead of Desperado’s and pulled off some really slick counters when they went to the mat. Ishimori kept getting out o Pinche Loco down the stretch and at one point it looked like he was going to tap Desperado out with the Bone Lock, but he escaped. The finishing stretch with Desperado overcoming ELP’s interference and the counters down the stretch was very well done.)
A video played after the match and Robbie Eagles appeared on the screen. He said he would be the next challenger for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Championship. He said now that all the vultures were gone, he was left with the bird of prey. Desperado was shown sitting in the ring and he nodded.
The fans applauded before he could speak. Desperado spoke and said, “A cute foreign boy just showed up.” He said when you wrestle a guy like Ishimori, win or lose there’s not much left in him to cut a promo. He acknowledged Takahashi at ringside and told him to come back as soon as possible. Desperado said he won, but can only talk as if he lost. He said he just beat Taiji Ishimori. He said he was going to puff out his chest and say he is the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Championship.
During his press conference, Deperado said he would like to face Eagles at The Tokyo Dome.
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