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RADICAN’S NEW JAPAN SUMMER STRUGGLE IN SAPPORO: NIGHT 2 REPORT
JULY 11, 2021
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
Commentary: Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton on remote location
(1) YOSHINOBU KANEMURA & EL DESPERADO vs. YUYA UEMURA & SHO
Kanemaru got the win after hitting Deep Impact on Uemura.
WINNERS: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado at 12:03.
(2) ROCKY ROMERO & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. ELP & TAIJI ISHIMORI & EVIL
This was a good match. Romero pinned ELP with a hurricanrana after countering CR2. Romero called out ELP for a tag title shot after the match, but ELP laughed him off.
WINNERS: Rocky Romero & Ryusuki Taguchi & Tomohiro Ishii at 13:10.
(3) YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & KENTA vs. YOTA TSUJI & HIROSHI TANAHASHI
It is clear they are building to a program between Tanahashi and Kenta given how the action in this match played out. Takahash ended up getting the win over Tsuji after hitting Pimp Juice.
WINNERS: Kenta & Yujiro Takahashi at 10:40.
(4) YOH & KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. JEFF COBB & GREAT-O-KHAN
This match was used to build up Okada vs. Cobb. This was better than the other tag matches on the card. Jeff Cobb pinned Yoh with Tour of the Islands.
WINNERS: Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan at 12:40.
(5) SHINGO TAKAGI vs. MASTER WATO – non-title match
Wato got in more offense and lasted way longer than he should have against Takagi. The match was fine, but there was no reason for it to last as long as it did. Wato kicked out of a Pumping Bomber, but a short time later, Takagi hit Last of the Dragon for the win.
WINNER: Shingo Takagi at 14:50.
(6) DANGEROUS TEKKERS (ZACK SABRE JR. & TAICHI W/MIHO ABE) vs. L.I.J. (TETSUYA NAITO & SANADA) – IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Championship match.
Both teams felt each other out during the first five minutes. Sabre and Sanada traded holds on the floor until Naito and Taichi tagged in. Naito cleared Sabre on the apron and sent Taichi to the floor before hitting his signature pose. Taichi tried to calm Sabre down on the outside after Naito did his signature fake dive. L.I.J. ran wild inside the ring with a combination of moves to wipe out Taichi and Sabre. Kelly acted like he didn’t see Naito tripping Sabre from the outside to begin the sequence. It seemed like they were pacing the match to go long, as Naito and Taichi took turns working over Sabre’s neck inside the ring. Sabre fired back and Taichi came in and attacked Naito, which allowed Sabre to easily tag out.
Taichi and Naito went to the floor and Taichi whipped Naito stomach-first into the guardrail. Sabre and Taichi took turns choking Naito behind the ref’s back as they worked him over. The 15 minute mark came and went with Taichi and Sabre working on Naito’s shoulder in the corner. Naito managed to tag in Sanada. He sent Taichi packing. Sabre went for a kick through the ropes a short time later, but Sanada blocked it and hit a dragon screw around the middle rope. Sabre and Sanada traded pinning combinations a short time later. Sabre finally got a deep cover on a pinning combination for a nearfall.
Sanada went for a standing moonsault, but Sabre turned it into a triangle. Taichi got the tag and continued to work over Sanada as the 20 minute mark came and went. They went to a big strike exchange and Taichi tried to mix in some leg kicks. They traded some kicks to the face off the ropes. Sanada blocked a kick from Taichi. They traded big moves until Taichi caught Sanada with a kick to the head and both men were down. Sabre was shown on the outside working over Naito on the floor. Taichi blocked a TKO. Sanada charged at Taichi, but walked right into a head kick. Sanada countered Taichi a short time later and hit a hurricanrana. He then hit a TKO and both men were down.
Taichi tagged in and went to work on Taichi. He placed him up top, but Taichi tried to get him up for a super Black Mephisto. Naito countered and hit a hurricanrana. The action broke down and both teams went back and forth. They continued at a rapid pace and Taichi finally ended the sequence with a head kick on Naito in the corner and all four men were down! WOW! The fans clapped to rally behind all four men. Naito and Taichi got up and traded moves. Taichi no-sold a tornado DDT off the ropes from Naito then wiped him out with a backdrop drive. Both men were down as thee fans fired up.
Taichi tagged in Sabre, who smiled and hit Naito’s head with some light kicks. The announcers talked about how Naito’s head and neck had been worked over. Naito went after Sabre’s knee, but Sabre countered and hit a neck crank on Naito. Sabre and Naito hit a big combination of moves and Naito got his signature flipping rollup, but Taichi broke it up. Sanada wiped out Taichi with a dive. Naito then hit his version of Diamond Dust for a nearfall. Naito went for Destino, but Sabre countered it into a Cobra Twist. Taichi grabbed Sanada in a guillotine inside the ring. The fans tried to rally behind Naito. Sabre eventually changed the hold into a combination submission on the mat working on Naito’s neck and shoulder. Naito finally kicked his feet out and got the ropes to finally break up the submission. The fans fired up as everyone regrouped.
Sabre hit Naito with some light kicks to the head. Naito finally blocked a kick Naito eventually caught Sabre with a back elbow. He held Sabre’s arm and ran him into several back elbows. Sabre finally ended a big back and forth sequence with a dragon suplex with a bridge, but Sanada came out of nowhere to break up the pin! Taichi sent Sanada packing. He set up for Zack Mephisto, but Naito fought out of it. The 35 minute mark came and went and Naito ate a Last Ride powerbomb. Sabre then nailed him with a PK for a nearfall. They set up for the Holy Zack Driver, but Sanada broke it up. He choked out Taichi and then hit a moonsault off the top on Sabre. He then got Skull End on Taichi. Naito then hit Destino on Sabre for the win.
WINNERS: Tetsuya Naito & Sanada at 36:57 to become the new IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions. (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was an amazing match. It was paced perfectly to start slow and then it built and built with both teams trading turns on the advantage. It looked like Naito was done for late, as Sabre and Taichi did a ton of damage to his shoulder and neck. They had a number of great nearfalls too that added to the drama. The saves late in the match at the last second to stop the Holy Zack Driver and Zack Mephisto were fantastic. This was a tremendous tag team main event.)
After the match, Bushi and Shingo Takagi came down to celebrate the win. Abe was shown consoling a very upset Taichi.
Naito cut a promo after the match. He thanked the fans for showing up on both nights. He said it’s his first IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Championship since 2010. He said it is time to thank the man who suggested he get back in the hunt in tag team wrestling. He said there is no doubt that in this unit, Shingo Takagi shines brighter than anyone. He said it is incumbent upon the rest of them to take that personally and fight to be the face of the faction. He said they were going to do the roll call and fans could shout out at home. The fans then clapped.
Hiromu Takahashi got into the ring to join L.I.J., as they posed with their respective titles for the cameras. Everyone then joined in for the signature L.I.J. fist bump. Naito and Sanada were then left alone in the ring and they bumped fists over the tag team titles.
Sabre and Taichi confronted Naito and Sanada backstage. He said he wanted a rematch. Naito wouldn’t looked at either of them and he smiled and ignored them. Sabre and Taichi drank their post-match beverages. Naito finally asked Taichi if they were going to do it, where would the match be and when would take place. Taichi said he had a plan to defend the titles at The Tokyo Dome, so now they should challenge at The Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Grand Slam. Naito thought about it and Taichi began talking to Sanada. Sabre also began talking to Sanada. Naito just kept smiling and laughing at them. Sanada agreed to the match at Wrestle Grand Slam on July 25.
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