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RADICAN’S NJPW WRESTLE GRAND SLAM IN METLIFE DOME: NIGHT 2
SEPT. 5, 2021
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
English commentary: Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton
(a) GODESS OF STARDOM CHAMPIONS GIULA & SYURI vs. MOMO WATANABE & SAYA KAMITANI – Non-Title match
Kamitana got isolated late. She took a spin cycle slam and then Syuri tapped her out with the Strech Muffler.
WINNERS: Giula & Syuri at 11:31. (**)
(1) CHAOS (KAZUCHIKA OKADA & TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. THE UNITED EMPIRE (JEFF COBB & GREAT-O-KHAN)
Kelly mentioned that O-Khan and Cobb are 22-2 in tag matches. This is just the second time Ishii and Okada have teamed together in 2021. The finish saw Ishii and O-Khan trading counters. O-Khan slipped behind Ishii and got the Iron Claw before hitting The Eliminator for the win.
WINNERS: Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb at 12:45. (**½)
(Radican’s Analysis: The action was fine. The announcers pushed that Cobb could possibly wrestle for the IWGP World Hvt. Champion by winning G1 and then the World Tag League with O-Khan.)
(2) BULLET CLUB’S CUTEST TAG TEAM (TAIJI ISHIMORI & ELP) vs. 2021 JR. TAG LEAGUE WINNERS SUZUKI-GUN (EL DESPERADO & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU) – IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Championship match
El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kamemaru won the Junior Tag League to earn this title shot. Ishimori and ELP are 12-2 this year. Their two losses have been to Desperado and Kanemaru. Kelly discussed ELP’s shoe and how something must be in it for his superkick to be so effective. Both teams traded blows to kick things off. Once things settled down, Kanemaru and Desperado took control and began working over ELP’s leg. ELP tagged in Ishimori and they began to methodically work over Desperado. Kanemaru tried to help, but they both got hung upside down while ELP and Ishimori stood on their crotches. Ishimori began going after Desperado’s arm.
They built up to a spot where Kanemaru got a figure 4 on ELP, but he managed to get to the ropes. A short time later, Desperado caught ELP in Numero Dos while Kanemaru got Ishimori in a camel clutch. ELP hit Pinche Loco on Desperado and did a Taker style cover for a nearfall. ELP took his boot off, but Desperado got it from him. Ishimori shoved him into the ref and tried to take the boot away, but Kanemaru hit him with the whisky bottle. Desperado put his hand in the boot and hit ELP with it. He screamed in pain like he had hurt his own hand hitting the move. Desperado then hit Pinche Loco for the win.
WINNERS: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru at 20:28 to become the new IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag team Champions. (**½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This match dragged with Ishimori and ELP grinding things to a halt and using heel tactics to keep the upper hand. The crowd wasn’t really into the match and everyone was just waiting for ELP’s loaded boot to come into play. In the end the loaded boot backfired on Bullet Club allowing Desperado and Kanemaru to become the new champions.)
(3) DANGEROUS TEKKERS (ZACK SABRE JR. & TAICHI W/MIHO ABE) vs. L.I.J. (TETSUYA NAITO & SANADA) vs. CHAOS (HIROOKI GOTO & YOSHI-HASHI) Three-way IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Championship match
Chaos and LIJ worked together to wipe out the Tekkers. Naito offered a fist bump as a sign of unity, but Goto turned it down and both teams began brawling. The pace settled down and Goto worked over Taichi inside the ring. Taichi took a sustained beating, but eventually he tagged in Sabre, who ran wild. Sabre was on fire until Goto eventually leveled him with a big clothesline and the fans fired up. That was one hell of a hot tag with Sabre knocking over men left and right. They built up to a big exchange and everyone ended up down inside and outside the ring after Sabre leveled Naito with a forearm to end the exchange.
They built up to some really good near falls and pins getting broken up. Hashi ended another exchange by leveling Sabre with a thrust kick to the head and everyone was down once again. The fans really fired up as the match continued to escalate. Hashi fended off a Skull End attempt and hit a big lariat on Sanada for a two count. Taichi made himself the legal man by running up to the apron and touching Sanada’s boot right before he connected with the Muta Moonsault on Hashi. They went to another big sequence and Naito went for a Destino on Taichi, but Sabre blocked it and locked him in a nasty submission. Taichi then hit Black Mephisto on Hashi for the win.
WINNERS: Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi at 26:43 to retain the IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Championship. (****¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: They built up the pacing of the match nicely with some traditional tag team work before the match became an all-out sprint with both teams desperately trying to gain an advantage. There were some incredible multi-man sequences that had the restricted crowd going about as crazy as they could with clapping. The finishing sequence was very well done here as well. This was a lot of fun to watch during the second half.)
A video aired announcing the participants in G1 Climax 31 for the A and B blocks.
(4) ROBBIE EAGLES vs. HIROMU TAKAHASHI – IWGP Jr. Hvt. Championship match
The match started at a very quick pace with the action moving fast and furious. Takahashi went for a drop down, but instead of jumping over him, he dropped a knee on Takahashi’s leg. He then hit a tope suicida through the ropes to wipe out Takahashi. Takahashi mounted a comeback and sent Eagles to the floor with a dropkick. He then hit a shotgun dropkick from the apron to the floor that sent Eagles flying into the barricade. Eagles fired back and hit a springboard dropkick to Takahashi’s knee. He then locked in the Ron Miller Special. Takahashi managed to escape. Takahashi blocked a Turbo Backpack attempt, but ate a combination of kicks. Takahashi countered Eagles and ran him into the corner with the Blu-ray.
Takahashi shook some feeling into his leg before hitting a sunset bomb over the top to the floor. OH MY GOD! Eagles dove back into the ring at 19. Eagles tried to fight out of it, but Takahashi hit a Dynamite Plunger for a nearfall. He went for Timebomb 2 a short time later, but Eagles sent both of them into the corner. The 20 minute mark came and went. Eagles blocked a wheelbarrow slam off the top. Eagles tried a move out of the corner, but Takahashi held onto the ropes to block it. Eagles finally fired back and connected with a dropkick to Takahashi’s leg. Eagles eventually hit a super Turbo Backpage for a nearfall. Eagles went up top for a 450, but Takahashi grabbed his leg. Eagles hit a superkick and went up top and hit a 450 to Takahashi’s leg. He then locked in the Ron Miller Special. Takahashi grabbed the ref’s hand to prevent himself from tapping. Takahashi went for the ropes and Eagles hit several leg kicks and applied the Ron Miller Special again in the middle of the ring. Takahashi eventually tapped out to give Eagles the win.
WINNER: Robbie Eagles at 24:07 to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Championship. (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a very good match, but it dragged at times and would have benefitted from going 5-10 minutes shorter. Takahashi looked good in his first big singles match since returning from injury. Eagles worked Takahashi’s leg early and they went away from that before going back to it for the closing stretch. The work and selling on Takahashi’s leg could have been a little more consistent in my opinion.)
El Desperado came out with an ice pack on his hand. He congratulated Eagles. He said people probably were wondering why he was there since he lost to Eagles already. Desperado said the G1 had been announced and they would be taking a backseat to the tournament for the time being. He said he wants a rematch. He said he would also give Eagles a shot at the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Championship. Eagles said he would accept his challenge. He then spoke in Japanese and he said he will put him away. Kelly said at some point in time perhaps we could see a winner take all match with the Junior Tag and Junior Hvt. titles on the line. Kelly said perhaps those matches would take on the concluding show of G1 Climax on Oct. 21.
(5) SHINGO TAKAGI vs. EVIL (W/YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & SHO & DICK TOGO) – IWGP World Hvt. Championship match
Sho got up on the apron with a chair and Evil jumped him from behind. Shingo fired back and followed Evil to the floor where he whipped him chest-first into the guardrail. Togo interfered and Takagi went after him. Evil tried to capitalize, but Shingo fended him off. The ref got distracted and Sho pulled Shingo to the floor and tossed him into the guardrail. Evil threw Takagi into the guardrail, which knocked over the timekeeper’s table. Evil hit his homerun swing chair spot and admired his imaginary homerun. Takahashi exposed one of the corners and Evil whipped him into it a short time later. Evil tossed Takagi to the floor and blocked the ref while his minions beat on Takagi on the floor. Red Shoes mocked Evil and turned his back when Evil attempted to make a cover.
Evil applied an abdominal stretch and Togo, Sho, and Yujiro formed a human chain to add extra leverage, but the ref kicked his arm to break up the submission. The ref mockingly checked on Evil’s arm after kicking it out of the submission chain. Takagi mounted a comeback and hit a senton and the fans fired up big time. Evil once again went to the floor with Takagi gaining some momentum. Sho and Takahashi went after Takagi, but the ref backed them off. Togo tried to go after Takagi, but got sent into the guardrail. The ref dealt with Sho and Evil. He sat them down on the timekeeper’s table. Sho and Takahashi tried to attack him again, but Evil shoved them into Evil and Togo and they fell to the ground with the table. That was a great spot.
The ref finally kicked out Sho, Takahashi, and Togo. Red Shoes threatened to DQ Evil if they didn’t leave, so they finally left. The 15 minute mark came and went with the fans excited and Takagi in control. Evil dragged the ref in Takagi’s way. He hit a low blow and then used Red Shoes to hit a Magic Killer and both men were down. Evil hit a superplex and applied the Darkness Scorpion, but Evil got to the ropes. Evil hit Darkness Falls, but only got a two count and the fans applauded. Evil went for Everything is Evil twice, but Takagi escaped. He sent Takagi into the exposed turnbuckles with a shove, but Shingo did not sell it and wiped him out with a big clothesline and both men were down. Togo came back down to ringside, but the ref didn’t see him.
Takagi hit Made In Japan after Togo had interfered. He was about to get the pin, but Togo pulled the ref. He tried to choke Takagi with a garret, but Takagi fought out of it. Takahashi then got into the ring and hit Takagi with his cane. He then hit Pimp Juice on Shingo. Evil eventually made the cover, but Takagi kicked out. The ref got bumped again. Togo got back into the ring, but Bushi ran down to even the odds. He ran wild until Sho cut him off. Sho then nailed Shingo in the head with a big chairshot. Sanada and Naito then ran down to save Shingo from Sho’s attack. Togo ran into the ring and Evil low blowed Naito from behind.
Evil and Takagi fought over the title. Takagi got it and Evil begged off. The ref saw what was going on and Takagi gave him the title. Takagi blocked a low blow and wiped out Evil with a big clothesline a short time later. Takagi hit another big lariat and the fans fired up. Evil then hit Last of the Dragon for the win.
WINNER: Shingo Takagi at 30:20 to retain the IWGP World Hvt. Championship. (***)
(Radican’s Analysis; I really disliked this match, but the rating is what it is because a portion of the small crowd stayed with the action and applauded Takagi overcoming all of the outside interference. Personally this was a half hour of torture for me to watch.Takagi looked good coming back from quarantine for COVID)
After the match, Takahashi came down to the ring to join the rest of LIJ.
Takagi said this isn’t just about him, it’s the last three weeks. He said the last three weeks have been tough in reference to him having to quarantine with COVID. He said it’s been three weeks since he wrestled and he would be lying if he said he wasn’t a little uncertain, but he fought to dispel that uncertainty and that’s what drove him tonight. He said he’s not overlooking this virus. He eventually welcomed Takahashi back given that this was his first show back in singles. He pointed at his leg and asked if he was hurt again. He said finally LIJ is all together. The fans applauded. Takagi encouraged them to applaud. He said as champion there’s still a lot to do and a lot to be done. He promised to keep running wild. He concluded by saying, “That’s it.”
Pyro shot off as Takagi raised his fist in the ring. LIJ posed for a group photo around Takagi. Kelly mentioned it was G1 time and Naito and Shingo are both in the A block. LIJ did their fist bump in the middle of the ring. Kelly said what was important was that Takagi had kept the title away from Evil tonight. Takagi walked towards Hiroshi Tanahashi at the commentary table and nodded in respect before going to the back.
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