Sunday, January 15, 2017

WWE UK Championship Tournament Night 2

Night 1 is recapped with HHH getting a lot of coverage and the matches' finishes getting shown - so at least a few moves were given a chance to shine. Dunne's beating got more time than the matches, along with Regal browbeating him. Cole talks over a very echo-filled mic about the tourney. Nigel and Cole stand next to the gorgeous title.
The finishers for Dunne and Gradwell's matches are recapped because their match is up first. Gradwell is able to get a bit of an edge early with a missile dropkick, but the back is too hurt, so he's down. Dunne hits a snap German, but eats a Michinoku driver for 2. Dunne rolls out to avoid a headbutt off the top, but eats a crossbody. Gradwell is put up top and shoved off the top to the floor. Gradwell comes in at 9.5. Inverted powerslam ends it. Dunne is announced as the winner and hits the Bitter End on him anyway.
Dunne chats to RoboCharly about being CONTROVERSIAL - he doesn't he think he was controversial, and HHH prided him on making a name for himself. Mandrews vs. Joseph Conners is up with Mandrews hitting a couple of armdrags quickly. Andrews hits a 619 to the gut, but misses a moonsault on the floor and eats a running forearm. Cole talks about how EY and Corey hyped up Andrews on Twitter. Conners goes for a running boot against the steps, but it misses. Andrews walks the barricade and hits a somersault senton. Not sure why he wouldn't do that OFF THE APRON, where he has more footing, but whatever. Corner shotgun knees lead to a northern lights and the moonsault - but he meets knees. Outside-in complete shot gets 2! DLD is countered into the stunner! SSP HITS AND WINS!
Trent Seven vs. Wolfgang is up. Not really much going on to start other than a moonsault. Trent teases a superplex to the floor, but Wolfgang turns it to a regular superplex. Wolfgang hits a series of uppercuts and forearms. The rainmaker is countered by a Wasteland, but the moonsault misses. SEVEN HITS A RELEASE DRAGON SUPLEX FOR 2! Rainmaker is used as a GTS counter, but it only gets 2. Treat teases a piledriver off the top and that's avoided while a swanton to the back wins it! Wolfgang wins!
Tyler Bate's match is showcased before his match with Devlin. Tyler's wacky, snazzy game show music is great. Devlin's snake-like face works for him. Fast start to things with Devlin eating a suicide dive on the ramp - sick thud there. Devlin lands crossfaces and kneeling forearms. Devlin avoids the airplane spin, but gets hoisted up and locked into it. Devlin snaps the rope into the eye and hits a hopping kick. Devlin gets 2 off a rana out of the Tyler Driver. TYLER DRIVER HITS FOR A BIG WIN! Huge pop, too.
Mandrews vs. Dunne is up and Robbie Brookeside gets a spotlight at ringside. Andrews comes out in purple, looking sharp. Dunne grinds away to start. Andrews gets a wacky flippy armdrag and kinda hits a flip dive. Dunne bends the fingers and tries to stomp on the hand, but Dunne misses and Andrews hits a rana off the floor and off the steps to Dunne. Andrews hits a kick and then a double stomp. Northern lights INTO A ONE AND A HALF ROTATION SENTON! Dunne grabs him off a moonsault and hits the crash landing suplex on the apron! X PLEX ON THE RAMP! X Plex leads to a stundog for 2. Dunne goes for a superplex, but eats forearms. An SSP hits knees and a cradle gets 2. Bitter End is avoided, but a sick bull hammer hits! X Plex is countered into a rana for 2.5! SSP is avoided, leads to a German in the buckle, X Plex, and the Bitter End to win! BEST MATCH OF THE TOURNEY by far.
This "is scheduled for one fall/ONE FALL!" bit amuses me. Tyler Bate is out and his run is recapped. Wolfgang comes out to a nice ovation and the crowd is rabid for both. They slug it out a bit and Wolfgang's nose is apparently broken. Springboard uppercut from Bate hits perfectly. Bate squats for the airplane spin, but he can't get him up. Bate kicks the nose and gets 2 off a sunset flip. Catch powerslam gets 2 for Wolfgang. Swanton misses, but a flying shoulderblock gets 2. Tyler driver hits and ends it. Dunne jumps him to further his chances of winning. Regal comes out and pulls him away.

Neville comes out and talks about being looked over once again. He was left out of the tournament because they wanted it to be competitive and with him it, it would have been a no contest. He says no one deserves to face him - leading to TOMMY END COMING OUT! Cole talks about End's PWG experience. End hits a round kick for 2. They go into a tumbling exchange before a high round kick hits Neville. Nigel hypes up End as getting "it" fairly late compared to some - while it took him five or six years to really find "it". Neville lands a series of kicks for 2. Neville jumps into a high kick and eats a moonsault on the floor. Tommy hits a blitz ending with a shining wizard for 2.5. End hits a spin kick and a German for 2. They stand up top and Neville hits a rana and in the Red Arrow position to win. Shocked End didn't win - but with Neville going into the Rumble match, I won't argue over a guy looking strong before a title match.

RoboCharly says that Bate is hurt - but he's been cleared. Balor comes out in a skinny tie to bring the '80s back. And also do commentary, and cut a small promo too. Bate and Dunne's rise in the tourney is recapped. Regal holds the UK Title mid-ring - and that is easily the company's best-looking belt. Cole talks about Bate needing the now-injured shoulder to get the Driver. Love the staredown to start.
A Bate win would be a nice feel-good story - but Dunne feels more ready-made for the "first-ever" moniker. A "fuck 'em up Tyler, fuck him up!" chant breaks out. Dunne slaps him off a tieup. Dunne has great facial expressions here. Dunne shoves him and works on the arm. He can't hold him down and eats a dropkick. They go to the floor where Dunne pumphandles the arm. Tyler plays keepaway with UFC-style kicks off his back. Springboard uppercut hits for Bate. Dunne avoids a driver and pumphandles the arm. Small package counter off the Bitter End. AIRPLANE SPIN! IN ONE DIRECTION. THEN ANOTHER, THEN THE OTHER AGAIN FOR 2!

Dunne locks on a triangle choke, but Bate BACKLUND LIFTS HIM INTO A POWERBOMB! FOSBURY FLOP TO THE FLOOR BY BATE! GIVE HIM THE TITLE! He's a damn star! Bate gets 2 off a 450 foot stomp! BITTER END HITS! IT ONLY GETS 2 AND DUNNE IS IN SHOCK! Dunne locks on a Kimura with a neckbar! Hopping Kimura with a bodylock! BATE TURNS IT INTO A BRAINBUSTER! BATE ONLY GETS 2! HOLY SHIT!

This is the best single star-making match there's been in ages - and it's making two stars. Bate is MADE from this - if they just did this stuff on USA, they'd have money-making draws right away. Dunne flips out of a German, leading to chops! A pair of  Koppou kicks hit and THE TYLER DRIVER HITS TO GIVE HIM THE TITLE! The entire tourney "just" being done to make these guys stars makes it all worthwhile. HHH, Finlay, Balor, and Regal present the title - well, HHH does and the UK guys get to clap. HHH hogs the spotlight more as every UK guy gets a secondary role here.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

WWE UK Championship Tournament Night 1

The show begins with a Summerslam '92 showcase and a shot of HBK winning the European title. HHH clips hyping up the UK tourney are shown and then HHH comes out with his giant beard and asks ARE YOU READY. Top heel on Raw...yeah... The UK Title looks gorgeous and the building looks incredible. Cole introduces Nigel as a UK legend and we get brackets!

Trent Seven and his giant beard are shown and we get some PROGRESS clips of him, and he says that working with WWE is a no-brainer. HC Dyer says that striking people feels good and the arena setup is nice. It's very Impact-like, but with far better lighting. Cole talks about Trent being the PROGRESS Wrestling Tag Team Champion. Dyer comes out and they engage.
A collar and elbow leads to a mustache mountain chant and a chop. They go to the floor with chops, and I like the gold ringposts. Cole gets off a VINTAGE TRENT SEVEN bit. Running corner overhand chop by Trent! Dyer hits a nice high-angle spinebuster for 2. Dyer hits a right hook for 2. A sidewinder blue thunder bomb hits for 2 for Dyer. Seven star lariat hits to give Seven the wins. Fun, short match. Jordan Devlin and Danny Burch are hyped up. Burch is stiff while Devlin was trained by Balor.

 Burch uses Johnny Saint-esque antics and counterwrestling to start. Burch catches him off a leapfrog and drops him to his face for 2. A long chinlock for Devlin leads to some excitement with a snap lariat for 2. Devlin lands some nice forearms and elbows from the mount - so he'll be easy to make in FPR. Burch fires up and is a surprisingly fired-up babyface in this. Burch hits a pair of lariats for 2. Burch hits a nasty headbutt and locks on a crossface! Devlin gets the ropes and hits a kick after a double stomp. This all gets fucked up a bit as the ref counts 3, but he kinda kicks out, but he's split open too. They shake hands and Devlin superkicks him. Excellent - pure dick move. He gets a ton of boos after the match and Charly asks him generic questions and he says he'll win.
Saxon Huxley will face Sam Gradwell. Saxon is a bearded hippie-type, while Gradwell says that his upbringing was tough and that the only thing he shares with the roster is that they share a ring. He says he's a dark horse and that's fine - everyone will know his name after it. A LET'S GO JESUS/JESUS SUCKS chant breaks out - well, that's new. Huxley's beard is something else though. Gradwell gets 1 off a dropkick. Huxley pounds away while the fans sing "Hey Won't You Be My Girl!" Gradwell wins with a diving headbutt. This was...a match.

Dave Taylor is shown and he's hyped up while Pete Dunne is talked up as someone very much like him. He has an amazing look, and Roy Johnson brags about his powerlifting background. Johnson has only been wrestling for two years and Nigel says that his powerlifting career ended due to his knees, so it could factor in here. Nigel says that if he was in the tourney, he would avoid him.

Nigel says that the color of Dunne's tights are an homage to Daniel Bryan, leading to Nigel bringing up their ROH work. Dunne works on the fingers a bit before Johnson "gets wavy" and dances a bit. Dunne slips under the ropes and pulls him out before stepping on his hand on the steps. Surfboard finger snapper is on and gets 2. Bull Hammer gets 2 for Dunne. Snap German leads to the X Plex for 2. Bitter End - the pumphandle flatliner hits. Good-ish match, but nothing amazing.
Wolfgang is a big, bearded dude with tats - looks badass. We get some ICW footage showing him doing some high-flying. Tyson T-Bone's name is horrible, but his style is stiff and thus great. He's THE KING OF THE GYPSIES and a damned awesome fighter. The PROGRESS owners are shown and RoboCharley interviews Tyson. Wolfgang has a Hogan tat and the only DVD he watched was HBK vs. Shamrock. T-Bone starts with a sick headbutt, but Wolfgang gets a floatover stinger splash. Tyson hits a knee to the jaw for 2. They go back and forth with punches before Wolfgang hits a Wasteland and a moonsault for 2. T-Bone goes for a countout win, but brings him in. Wolfgang avoids a superplex and hits a swanton to win.
We see Joseph Conners and his missing ear while James Drake cuts a relaxed promo. Nigel says that Drake's youthful start led to him being stretched before he had enough and makes sure his enemies have no mercy. Conners gets a series of forearms and a running knee for 2. Mushroom stomp by Conners gets 2. A sick elbow into a backbreaker leads to a hoisting flatliner called Don't Look Down for the win. Fine match, but nothing too amazing.

Mark Andrews says that he's here to win and Dan Moloney cuts an intimidating promo about all the thing he's seen. Mark talks to Charly about stage-diving and high-fiving his way to a win. Mark Andrews gets a huge pop and is over huge with kids. Mark hits some flips and a sloppy dropkick - he comes off like he'd benefit from some WWE finishing school ala RVD. Maloney eats a moonsault, but gets 2 off a cradle. Suplex into a stunner hits for Mandrews before the SSP wins it.

Tyler Bate comes out to face Tucker Knight. Tucker gets a series of nice trips before a stalemate. Tyler hits a slam and a Finlay roll for 2. Giant kick from Tucker gets 2. A long British wrestling chant breaks out before Tucker hits a big corner forearm. A slingshot complete shot gets 2. RANA OFF THE STEPS!  Tucker gets a springboard crossbody, but Tyler turns it into an airplane spin. HE SQUATS AND slams him. SUPER DUPER KICK TO TUCKER SENDS HIM TO THE FLOOR! He sends him in and gets 2. A swanton meets knees before a forearm exchange and a wheel kick hits for Bate. Tyler Driver 97 wins it! This was quite good. The quarter-final guys come out and Dune takes out Gradwell - nice, a personal angle to build things up for the future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WWE SmackDown 1-19-17

The show starts off with a recap of all the Miz/Dean/Renee stuff - it's been quite great so far. Dean comes out as Mauro hypes up Dean starting the year off with his second IC Title win. It's the first Asylum with him as IC Champ and he enters the Rumble. Miz comes down and threatens legal action if he doesn't get his title back. Dean gives him a participation award instead. Miz throws the frame at him and soft styles him to death. Miz is left laying and Dean gives Maryse the award while Mauro says Maryse was fined $5,000 for slapping a "non-competing Superstar!".

The Nattie-Nikki "drama" gets a far too dramatic video package and then Nikki is jumped by her backstage. They have a mid-ring brawl and Nattie gives her a wedgie and a big boot. They brawl and brawl and brawl. Dolph's heel turn is recapped and he doesn't give a statement. Dolph's graphic says he is a two-time WWE Heavyweight Champion - so I guess that's the retconned name for the World Heavyweight Title. They have a fairly bland match until Kalisto reverses a cocky cradle into a crucifix and wins. Dolph attacks him with a chair, leading to a kid losing his mind. Crews comes down and eats chairshots too - heel Dolph is great stuff.
American Alpha says they'll retain tonight and Cena says that tonight, he'll prove that he still belongs. He actually busts out a rap and says that he HAS-BEEN fired up and he'll make a statement by pointing out the toughest guy in the room and knocking his teeth out. American Alpha vs. the Wyatts isn't much of an actual match. Gable beats Orton, which should be a huge deal for Gable - especially if it leads to him getting a one on one win. Orton gets pissed at Luke, who goes to superkick Orton, but Orton ducks and Bray eats the shot.

Bryan and Becky have a chat about the win last week before Alexa comes in and Bryan just sighs. Bryan says that Alexa defends next week against Becky - but to prevent Las Luchadoras from getting involved, it will be in a cage. Carmella comes out to face CJ Lunde, dressed like a '70s throwback. God, she is so awful and awkward with everything. Carmella wins and Ellsworth is overjoyed. They celebrate and he wants a kiss - but good things come to those who wait according to her. Baron meets with a robo brunette and he says that Cena is true to his word, but he alters outcomes and he'll see him to his End of Days. AJ comes out to do commentary and Cena has a fairly...nothing match with Baron. This could have been a bit like Cena's US Title open challenge where it's used to make someone feel elevated - but it just didn't quite work. A single AA took him out and we get a nice staredown to close things out.
Screenshots -

Monday, January 9, 2017

WWF Raw 12-22-97

It's Wayback Playback time! We get a recap of the LOD being taken out by the NAO  and DX. FIVE MAN POWEBROMB to Animal through a table here. They have fake snow going on in the crowd - showing that WWE could actually let fans have fun at one point. DX is out with their bath robes and HHH's hair is amazing. HHH's forehead hasn't grown out quite yet - amazing how that doesn't usually happen to people. They moon the fans with the MERRY XMAS text on their asses, which is shown censored.

Sarge comes out and tells HBK that he can either defend the Euro title tonight or surrender it to Slaughter. Slaughter makes HBK vs. HHH for the title tonight. HHH says that you can't make me face him and lose. HBK takes offense to the idea that he could lose - so we have dissension. Rock also faces Taker in a non-title match. Ross, Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in front of a green screen and the Headbangers come out.

The Godwinns are out, with Henry in a confederate flag shirt. Wow. Thrasher vs. Henry Godwinn starts things off. Yikes. Thrasher hits a crossbody off the top and Phineus jumps in and we have a DQ. Well, they kept it short. They whip the Headbangers with straps and Pat and Jim talk about how Cornette's fingerprints are on this and the ether-soaked rag in the opening highlights. We get a recap of the NAO beating the fuck out of Mick's head with a chair - for nothing.

They show him being suplexed on the ramp and then being tossed off the stage and through a table that he overshoots. Mick's got hip replacement surgery planned for a reason. Mankind cuts a promo swearing revenge - Mick as Mankind is something else. We see Austin meet with Santa the prior week and Austin toss the Rock's IC Title into the river. Santa brings a fan into the ring and the kid figures out it's the Brooklyn Brawler. Steve Austin comes out and stands up for the kid  - it's amazing how Steve can do this and still be a badass.

Steve says that if he's the real Santa, he'll know what he wanted when he was 6 - and it wasn't tiddlywinks. AUSTIN STUNS SANTA! DX "argues" in their locker room. Rock comes out with the Nation, while Taker has a badass theme. Taker's rope walk is countered by a Bearer distraction and PG-13 getting involved. People's elbow gets 2 and the nerve hold is on. Rock punches him in the back of the head and gets another nerve hold. Rock ducks and gets a fameasser. Rock gets chokeslammed and tombstoned - but Kane's music hits!

Kane attacks Taker, who refuses to fight back. Kane is being booked as a total monster and they draw a comparison to Braun - who has had far more time to mature in that role. Kane was only around for 2 months here and already made.HHH vs. HBK is hyped up for the main event. We get a recap of Kane beating up Taker. It's the War Zone era - so we get the same intro again and then DX's intro to start again too. Chyna comes out and chews gum during the DX seizure bit. Owen jumps HHH, so by gum, the match can't happen now! The Christmas decorations on the set are reasonably nice. We get another angle of the Owen beating. We get another recap of Owen beating up HHH. The Outlaws search for Mick in the basement and beat up some guy.

Marc Mero comes out to face Scott Taylor. LOLing at the fan flipping him off in the front row. Sable comes out dressed as a reindeer. Marc is impressed by her RACK of antlers. Taylor gets some chops in and hits a flying lariat off the top for 2. Pat talks about how Scott went from a guy doing a lot to a guy who can just do one thing forever - good move in the long run. Marc is distracted by his wife and gets cradled for 2. A sloppy TKO ends it. Pat talks about how Sable beat Marc and Austin immediately nixed working with him. Ball shot by Marc leads to another TKO, but Tom Brandi makes the save. Sable strips down and shows off her body - so you know that all women are meant to be appreciated for their personalities.

Re-re-re-re-replay of the Owen attack on HHH. Cripes - the Zapruder film has been replayed less. 8-Ball is mid-ring with his SS tat. The Jackyl and Kurrgan come down and he puts costume jewelry on a blonde. This match has fans to get soda beforehand. 8-Ball hits some God-awful punches and worse kicks. 8-Ball goes after Callis and Kurrgan actually axehandles him off the apron! Kurrgan lumbers and lacks Khali's size and whatever kind of charisma he had. Kurrgan hits a basic sideslam and wins - that wasn't even a finisher in '90, let alone '97. 8-Ball jumps Callis and the Truth Commission attacks. The other Harris makes the save. The Commission leaves and the Outlaws search for Mankind still. Riveting.

The 1-800-COLLECT rewind focuses on the Kane vs. Taker attack from before. WE GET TWO REPLAYS OF THE HBK-HHH GRAPHIC and then an earlier tonight recap of HBK and Slaughter. D'Lo is out to face Shamrock. I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict a win for the Irish. Ken's robe is nice and JR hypes up Frank Shamrock's UFC win on Saturday to make it all seem live. Ken gets a kneebar after Cornette complains about Bob Hope being cancelled. Ken gets a la majistral and a few armdrags. D'Lo tries to outwrestle Ken on the mat - this ends poorly for him. Ken's Magnum TA-like belly to belly leads to an ankle lock win.

Rock cuts a promo on Ken about him having ShamROCK in his name - so that's enough for a feud. Rock's bitch tits are out of control here and his nipples are unbelievably white. Shamrock vs. Rock is official for the Rumble in an IC Title match. HBK is backstage and "talks trash" to HHH. BACK TO THE OUTLAWS, who get beaten up by Mankind. They brawl and Mick is put in the freezer. Luna and The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust are out, with the latter dressed like a Christmas tree.

We get a very lispy reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas. Santa comes down and boy is Dustin fat here. He has to be nearly 280 pounds. Santa beats up Goldust and VADER CLAUS IS HERE! Goldust hops off the apron and squishes Luna between him and the apron. HBK vs. HHH is next. Possibly. Hopefully. DX INTRO AGAIN. HBK and HHH take off their Chyna shirts and stretch. HHH POKES HIM AND HITS A BIG ULTIMATE WARRIOR SPLASH TO WIN. HBK breaks into fake tears. Slaughter is NOT AMUSED by any of this. Slaughter is going to make HHH face Owen for the title at the Rumble.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom II

Billy Gunn and Big Mike are out first for the Rumble. Bone Soldier and Cheeseburger are in, with Burger eliminating Soldier. Billy bullies Cheeseburger, SO HERE COMES LIGER! He saves his buddy, they get tossed down and Mike and Billy fight. Big Mike tells Billy to suck it and lariats him out. Kobayashi comes out and does a few things with Tiger Mask IV. Nakanishi came in and slowed the pace down. He clubbed everyone and speared Mike. Everyone ran into his lariat for a bit. YoshiTatsu does his HHH cosplay and double teams Mike with Taguchi. Nagata armbars Taguchi before Yoshi interferes. Tenzan comes down and Taguchi hits weak ass attacks. Hiro Saito comes down, as does Norton, who powerbombs Taguchi out of this thing. Mike takes Saito out with a lariat. Elgin and Cheeseburger close things out, with Mike winning with a spiral bomb.
The card is run down and Tiger the Dark comes down to face Tiger Mask W. ACH's mask is just as bad as Ibushi's - so this could be a tough one. Digging W's theme. W hits the triangle moonsault, and this role really is a nice way for Ibushi to work a greatest hits tour in his prime. That gets an 18 count on the floor and a 2 mid-ring. SNAP GERMAN HITS! Tiger suplex gets 2. Tiger Dark's tombstone gets 2, but a Tiger driver wins.
RPG Vice is out ti face the Bucks. Seeing MELTZER DRIVER in giant '60s Batman text amuses me. The Bucks show off all their titles - hey, now's the time. Trent takes a nasty bump on his tailbone for a double backdrop. Flair flip leads to a superkick. Rocky runs wild with corner lariats and sends them flipping with a one-man double lariat! Rocky gets cornered, lets out an "oh fuck" and double ranas them! Young buckle bomb and a high kick hit! SUPERKICK PARTY hits and gets 2.9 - amazing bump for it from Romero. More Bang for Your Buck is countered with a crucifix to win - well, that came out of nowhere.

NEVER 6 man tag gauntlet is up. Takahashi's hotties are extra hot tonight - including one in a thong. Liger is a HUGE FAN of hers. Ospreay shined nicely here - but the match as a whole wasn't anything special or memorable. Fale is sub-Braun in terms of skill, even by "big man worker" levels. SANADA gets a tap and allows LIJ to move on. Finlay, Kojima, and Ricochet came out. Finlay and Ricochet hit a nice pair of flip dives before a Kojima lariat gets 2. Ricochet looked amazing hitting his moves so crisply. Machine gun chops by Kojima! Bushi's super codebreaker gets messed up a bit off a toss, but SANADA's missile dropkick hits Finlay perfectly. 3D hits, but Kojima is dragon sleepered - only to countered that into a suplex. Mist hits before Kojima eats a modified DVD for 2 before his finish hits and wins it.
Juicy is out first, followed by Cody. Cody looks motivated, but he's begging for a knee injury with all the random jumping off the top he does during his intro. Superstars match here. Big lariat gets 2 for Juice, but his Unprettier is countered into the Cross Rhodes for the win. Kyle O'Reilly is out to face Adam Cole BAYBAY! Kyle's deal with ROH is apparently up too - so this could be an NXT qualifier. Kyle beats the fuck out of Cole, who attacks the arm and gets 2. Cole eats a snap German, but pops up and gets a kick for 2. Sliding kick hits hard, but an ankle lock takes him out for a bit. Cole hits a sick kneeling superkick after a variety of superkicks and wins it after landing a neckbreaker off a brainbuster setup.
Yano and Ishii are out to face the Guerrillas of Destiny and GBH for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles.Yano and Ishii are such a bizarre team - but fun. KOKESHI TO LOA gets 2. Yano double low blows Haku's sons so Ishiii can lariat them and he get a schoolboy win to win the titles! Yano has double gold! Hiromu Takahashi is out to face KUSHIDA for the Jr. title. Boy is this show not feeling like Wrestle Kingdom yet, but with KUSHIDA, the workrate should at least improve a ton.
Takahashi's coat and jacket of many colors rules. No Delorean for KUSHIDA here, sadly. KUSHIDA plays a mighty fine face in peril, especially with the taped up shoulder. They try a triangle rana that turns into something...not that. Triangle standing senton to the floor hits and looks far better. KUSHIDA locks a cross armbreaker on for a while on the floor. A nice corner lariat hits, but KUSHIDA responds with a standing Kimura up top. That gets countered for 2. Buckle DVD hits before he hits some kind of wacky DVD/Emerald Frosion combo for the win!
Goto and his amazing theme are out to face Shibata for the NEVER title. Shibata carries both that and another title to the ring. They exchange many stiff exchanges - including a great kneeling forearm and chop battle. Shibata gets an RNC, but Goto's sitout Hellevator gets 2.9! KICKS. HEADBUTTS! A billion headbutts lead to a variety of final cut variants for the win. GOTO FINALLY WINS A BIG ONE! Shibata gets pissed and throws his wrapping down.
Tana's new theme is okay, but nothing great. The peak is the beginning, when it's a remix of his existing theme.Naito's wacky eye gimmick being used for his tron is amusing. Tana goes for a tieup, but Naito avoids him until he is ready. Naito works over the leg in the ropes and hits an outside-in basement dropkick. Tana goes for a dropkick to the knee, but Naito avoids it and kicks his head. A rana off the top hits and a big German gets 2 for Naito. Tana avoids a mid-ring tornado DDT, but can't avoid a dropkick to the knee. A Naito kneebar gets the crowd into a frenzy. Tana counters that into a Liontamer-style cloverleaf.

The ref ALMOST stops it, but Naito shows life and makes it to the rope. High Fly Flow misses. DESTINO HITS! A second one leads to a counter into a snap neckbreaker! Tana has hope! Back and forth forearms! They trade knee kicks and Tana hits a dragon suplex. High Fly flow to the back hits. KNEES TO THE GUT! Naito hits a tornado reverse DDT for 2.5! A SECOND DESTINO WINS. What took Okada many tries only took Naito one - he beats Tana in their first Dome encounter, and can now lay a claim to being better than Okda just by doing that.
He gets a ton of cheers in victory, and even though this wasn't his best match ever, it was still a huge deal and made him come off like the modern-day Okada of two or so years ago. Tana's future is interesting, because this seems to be the end of him as The Ace on even a surface level with the IC Title. The Okada-Omega hype video shows Okada as "the man" defending his company. Omega says that he will take New Japan worldwide and do it all in New Japan - he can't fail.
Omega gets a terminator intro - complete with him being bare-assed and wanting clothes. He dons a Teminator mask complete with wacky prop gun. Okay. Okada gets a stunning starlight intro with a pretty damn epic song for it. I love Omega being a chickenshit during a rope break, cowering in fear of a slap only to get a slap on the shoulder. They go for finishers early, but get countered. Omega goes mini-HBK for an Okada big boot. They go back and forth on the floor, but Okada hits a draping DDT on the floor!

Mid-ring, they exchange strikes and a fameasser-style facebuster gets 2. Okada hits the over the knee Schwein, but the soaring elbow meets knees. They fight on the floor and Omega hits a flip dive over the top over the guardrail! Omega avoids a countout by DOUBLE STOMPING A TABLE ON OKADA! Omega gets 2.5 off a kneeling powerbomb!
Sitout bomb gets 2. OMEGA GETS HOISTED UP TOP AND DROPKICKED! Okada avoids a One Winged Angel off the apron through a table, but eats cops before being backdropped over the top through the table! Omega eats a giant springboard coast to coast-style dropkick for 2! Rainmaker pose! Omega avoids a rainmaker and goes for a super German suplex that drops Okada right on his head!

Omega hits the modified Death Valley Driver on the knee. Omega gets the pump knee, but eats a bit dropkick. Okada counters a bulldog into a tombstone! RAINMAKER HITS AND GETS 2! Omega turns a tombstone into a knee-grabbing variant for 2.5! Back and forth forearms lead to a SNAPDRAGON SUPLEX AND THE PUMP KNEE FOR 2.9! Okada avoids another One Winged Angel, but Omega boots his way out of a chain of Rainmakers! RAINMAKER! Rainmaker attempt by Omega. COUNTERED!. HITS! HE GETS KICKED! Angel turned into a tombstone! RAINMAKER HITS AND IT'S OVER! Okada retains! This was incredible!
The show as a whole was the worst of the past three Wrestle Kingdom shows - but the main matches delivered. Nothing was quite on par with the past two main or even semi-main events, but the final two matches came very close. Omega was made as a main eventer with this - and his eventual IWGP Title win will be huge.