NJPW returns to Osaka in a big way!
NJPW begins again in Osaka, and with three huge matches for FOUR major titles! Will Tetsuya Naito still be Double Champion after facing KENTA?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryu Lee; Takahashi wins and retains the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jon Moxley VS Minoru Suzuki; Moxley wins and retains the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
- IWGP Heavyweight AND Intercontinental Double Championship Match: Tetsuya Naito VS KENTA; Naito wins and retains both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships.
PLAY BY PLAY
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryu Lee!
The Ticking Time Bomb has been on a great run since his shocking return! He defeated the Aerial Assassin to take the title, and was the one to get the very last pin on the living legend, Jushin Thunder Liger. But now, he faces another old friend in CMLL’s lucha dragon. Will Lee have what it takes to defuse and dethrone Hiromu?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this highly anticipated rematch begins!
Hiromu rushes right at Lee but Lee rushes right at Hiromu! SNAP German from Lee to Hiromu but Hiromu is right up to give one back! They collide with clotheslines without falling, Hiromu blocks a knee but Lee dodges a clothesline to give another German! But Hiromu’s back up again to LARIAT Lee down! Both men are down but Osaka fires up after that fast and furious thirty seconds! Fans rally and cheer as both Lee and Hiromu get to their feet.
Lee dares Hiromu to bring it, and even gives a free shot. Hiromu CHOPS, then dares Lee to give it back. Lee puts some stank on his CHOP! Hiromu grins though it stings, and CHOPS back. Lee CHOPS, Hiromu CHOPS, we have a CHOP fight! Fans fire up as the two men pick up speed! CHOP for CHOP, neither man is backing down, and the fans are rallying! Hiromu, Lee, repeat, but then both me have to take a breath, before Hiromu comes back with more! They go back and forth again a few more times, but they’re not done. Lee chops, Hiromu chops, repeat! How many times have they chopped in this match!?
Neither man wants to stop before the other, despite the stinging and redness of their chests! Hiromu gets Lee on his knees and just keeps going! Hiromu runs but Lee follows to CHOP one more time! Lee dares Hiromu to keep going, so Hiromu gives another chop. Fans fire up as Lee just nods and CHOPS again! Hiromu shakes it off to CHOP. Lee staggers but comes back to CHOP! And we begin the cycle all over again! Hiromu staggers and Lee just adds on. Lee whips corner to corner then boots Hiromu. Hiromu whips Lee back the other way to clothesline. Hiromu rolls Lee and runs, into a CHOP!
Fans cheer as Hiromu leans on the ropes. Lee takes this moment to catch his breath, but Hiromu is grinning. Hiromu CHOPS, Lee CHOPS, and the only thing that’s changed is the color of their chests. The red is only gettnig deeper as more CHOPS fly! Lee knees low then runs but Hiromu follows to huricanrana! Lee handsprings through, but Hiromu CHOPS him again! Fans are loving this as Lee fires himself up. Lee eggs Hiromu on as he takes off the wrapping on his hand. Lee puts some more stank on the hand to CHOP! Hiromu grits his teeth as Lee waits, and Hiromu CHOPS! Lee comes back and we’re on the CHOP train again!
Hiromu, Lee, repeat, then both men stagger a bit. Hiromu fires off another CHOP, Lee wobbles but CHOPS back! There is no quit as each men shots and CHOPS! They even CHOP at the same time! Lee fires off three, Hiromu gives on, but Lee CHOPS Hiromu his feet! Both men are down, their chests stinging and red. Fans rally up as each man goes to a corner. Lee stands and runs in, basement dropkick in the corner! Then underhooks, butterfly backbreaker! Basement dropkick sends Hiromu out! Fans rally again as Lee catches his breath.
Hiromu is on the apron, Lee takes a page of his book with the FLYING HURICANRANA! Lee sends Hiromu flying to the floor! Lee borrows a drink from Hiroshi Tanahashi to refresh himself before fetching Hiromu. He puts Hiromu on the railing and commentary gets worried. Lee CHOPS, then goes into the ring? Lee builds speed as fans reach a fever pitch, to DIVE!! They crash ‘n’ burn on the desk then the floor!! Lee and Hiromu are wrecked at the railing!
The referee hurries to check on them both as the fans are stunned by what they just witnessed. Somehow, Hiromu and Lee are okay to continue, so a ring count begins. Lee sits up first, gets another drink of water, and drags Hiromu up. The count is already 10 of 20 as Lee dumps Hiromu back to ringside. Lee hurries over himself and gets Hiromu in at 15. Fans cheer that this will end in the ring, and we’ve passed 10 minutes. Wait, it’s only been 10 minutes?! Lee aims at Hiromu and springboards, into a SUPERKICK! Hiromu laugs as he runs and FLIES, for the SUNSET POWERBOMB! Lee is folded up on the floor and Osaka is in love all over again!
The referee checks on the two again, and again they’re miraculously able to continue. Hiromu grins as he gets up and flounders around. The count reaches 10 of 20 as Hiromu puts Lee back in. Hiromu drags Lee up, fireman’s carries and hits DYNAMITE PLUNGER! Cover, TWO!! Lee lives but Hiromu keeps his cool. Fans rally as Hiromu drags Lee up, Death Valley Driver into the corner! Hiromu drags Lee back up for another fireman’s carry, switches him around, but Lee slips down to powerbomb lift! Lee tucks Hiromu in, and everyone panics, remembering that this is what led to Hiromu’s neck injury over a year ago!
Hiromu pops out to huricanrana, into Triangle Hold D! Lee resists, but Hiromu drags Lee in deep. Lee moves around and gets a ropebreak with his legs! Hiromu lets Lee go and walks off to a corner. Lee gasps for air while Hiromu takes aim. Hiromu runs corner to corner but has to block a boot first, to then give a clothesline! Hiromu hoists Lee up top and then CHOPS and CHOPS again. But as Hiromu climbs, Lee trips him up! Hiromu ends up in a Tree of Woe! Lee stands, but Hiromu avoids the stomps! Hiromu sits up but Lee comes back from the outside.
Lee hits Hiromu then climbs up to join him. Another flashback to that match a year ago as the two are brawling up top. Lee gets the edge but Hiromu gives it back. Lee throws more forearms, Hiromu is back in the Tree, but Lee pulls Hiromu back up. Hiromu shouts, “MOTTO! MOTTO!” He wants more?! They throw more forearms back and forth, and now Hiromu gets Lee in the Tree! Lee sits up to headbutt! Hiromu is in the tree, WOE STOMPS TO THE APRON!! Both men crash to the floor and another ring count begins. Hiromu stirs at 7 of 20 but Lee is up on his feet. Lee puts Hiromu in at 11, and then brings him to the apron.
Lee drags Hiromu up but Hiromu SUPERKICKS! But Lee KNEE TRIGGERS back! Lee runs but Hiromu THROWS him with an overhead suplex! Lee crashes on the floor, having almost collided with cameramen! The ring count begins again but Hiromu tells the ref to stop that. Hiromu climbs up top!? Hiromu LEAPS, HIROMU BOMB SENTON! Direct hit and Osaka is fired up again! Both men are down and the count starts all over. Hiromu sits up at 7 but stands at 13. He wobbles and goes to the ring at 15. Lee stands at 16, flounders at 17, crawls at 18, and leaps in at 19.5! Both men are down as fans cheer this match continuing.
Hiromu stands and runs but Lee follows! Hiromu dodges, Lee wheelbarrows, but Hiromu blocks the takedown for a wheelbarrow SUPLEX! Lee flounders up, Hiromu runs in, but Lee dodges to rebound GERMAN! But Hiromu is up again to GERMAN Lee! Lee pops up to waistlock and GERMAN! Both men stand and run at each other to collide with clotheslines. Lee KNEE to SNAP GERMAN! Hiromu SUPERKICKS to GERMAN! Both men wobble up as fans fire up, and Lee waistlocks again, for another big German Suplex! Hiromu flounders up, Lee GERMANS again!
Lee fires up and Osaka fires up with him! Lee drags Hiromu up again, lifts and suplexes, but Hiromu flips through to huricanrana! Into Triangle Hold D! But Lee dead lifts and BUCKLE BOMBS Hiromu! Lee runs in but Hiromu throws him overhead into the buckles! Both men are down as fans rally and cheer. Hiromu stands first and fires up! He drags Lee up, fireman’s carry, but no Death Valley! Lee dragon sleepers to suplex but Hiromu lands on his feet to return the favor! Lee slips out, gets Hiromu up and tucks him in, ROKUDENASHI! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives Lee’s take on the Bastard Driver, and we’re at 20 minutes now!
Lee drags Hiromu back up, suplexes and hangs him out to dry on the top rope. Lee kicks away at Hiromu then goes to the corner. He climbs up top and leaps to DOUBLE STOMP Hiromu down! But he’s not done, Lee KNEE TRIGGERS Hiromu at the ropes! Cover, ROPEBREAK!? Hiromu saves himself and Osaka rallies up behind him. Lee stands and drags Hiromu up again. Lee lifts and tucks Hiromu in again! Hiromu slips out again, but Lee holds on to lift again! Lee pops Hiromu up a little higher, but Hiromu makes it a DESTROYER!! Cover, TWO!?! Lee lives but Hiromu shouts and fires himself back up. Hiromu fireman’s carries, Death Valley Driver in the corner again!
Hiromu keeps that high energy as he fireman’s carries again. Lee pops out for a Sunset Bomb! Cover, TWO!! Lee pulls the knee pads down and runs, KNEE TRIGGER! Cover, TWO!?!? How?! But Lee doesn’t question it, he just drags Hiromu back up. Waistlock, ripcord, KNEE TRIGGER! Lee whips, pops Hiromu up, but Hiromu hits another DESTROYER!! Hiromu flails as he gets up again. Hiromu fireman’s carries Lee, spins him around, TIME BOMB DRIVER! Cover, TWO!?!? Lee survives again but Hiromu just keeps going. Hiromu drags Lee up, and DECKS him! Then another fireman’s carry, another spin, another TIME BOMB! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
This explosive match finally ends, and Hiromu keeps his belt! Lee does not add a belt to his ROH World Television Championship, but will he back for yet another rematch? Or is Hiromu’s reign going to be even more, more, MORE exciting from here on?