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ZACK SABRE JR. VS. HIROSHI TANAHASHI & MORE: NEW JAPAN DESTRUCTION IN HIROSHIMA COVERAGE

By Mike Johnson on 2017-09-16 05:06:00

IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion KUSHIDA vs. Desperado.

The story was that KUSHIDA has, for the last three years, lost the Junior championship in the month of September.  Some nice back and forth wrestling early on.  Desperado hit a great looking flip dive to the outside, even landing on his feet after sailing over the guard rail.  Desperado worked over the champ on the floor, sending him into the guard rail and then into the crowd.  He locked on the Stretch Muffler on the floor.

They teased KUSHIDA would be counted out but he was able to pull himself to the ring, limping.  Desperado began focusing on the leg and cinched him in an Indian Death Lock.   TAKA Michinoku slid Desperado's guitar case into the ring and he attempted to hit KUSHIDA with a guitar (so it's Double J under the mask????)  but the referee took it away.  That allowed Desperado to use the choker that is used to leash Iizuka and whipped KUSHIDA with it.  KUSHIDA went to the floor writhing in pain but Desperado continued to whip him.

Desperado brought KUSHIDA back into the ring, where he grabbed as his knee.  Desperado worked him over and cinched in a rear chinlock.  KUSHIDA fought him off and went to the top but was stopped.  KUSHIDA upended Desperado and began aggressively working over the challenger, wrapping him in submissions.  Desperado was able to switch out the Hoverboard Lock and reverse it into a Stretch Muffler.  He tied up KUSHIDA's arms as well and they teased a submission.  The crowd rallied and chanted for the champion, who finally wriggled out and made it to the ropes to force a break.

One of the company's trainers came out and checked out KUSHIDA's leg.  As that was going on, Desperado set up and wedged a chair in the corner.   KUSHIDA refused to stop the match.  KUSHIDA reversed a whip, sending Desperado into the chair.  They went back and forth with attempted moves.  Desperado tossed his mask at KUSHIDA, with the idea that he was trying to get a win by DQ.  The referee returned the mask.  He nailed KUSHIDA with a low blow and used a crucifix for a two count, then drilled him again for another.

Desperado went for a double underhook powerbomb but KUSHIDA used a lucha armdrag in mid-air to escape and nailed a Pele Kick.  He went for a suplex but was kneed in the face.  Desperado nailed a drop toehold as KUSHIDA charged, sending him into the chair that was wedged in the corner face-first.  Desperado pulled him to the ropes but KUSHIDA fought off and used the ropes to take down Desperado into a Hoverboard lock.  Desperado tried to escape but was rolled into the center.  KUSHIDA nailed Back to the Future and scored the pin.

Your winner and still IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: KUSHIDA!
Another good back and forth match

The cameras focused on Will Ospreay after the match, teasing he would be the next challenger.  He congratulated him on his victory and said that the last time they were in the ring together was Best of the Super Juniors.  KUSHIDA beat him and then beat him in the UK.  He said he's been defined as the man who can't beat KUSHIDA but wants to be defined as the man who keeps getting back up.  He said that KUSHIDA may have beaten him, but he'll never be the man who will defeat him.  He said that he wants to be the man to change New Japan and issued a challenger for the belt on 10/9.

Hiromu Takahashi hit the ring to interject himself but was laid out before he could say anything.  KUSHIDA and Ospreay faced off.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr

Main event time!

This is Sabre's first time main eventing in New Japan.

They went through a feeling out process early, trying to be very cautious of the other.   Tanahashi went in for a takedown but was thwarted by Sabre and cinched in a head scissors.  Tanahashi fought out but was swept down and maneuvered into an armbar.  Sabre worked over Tanahashi's arm and rode him down to the mat, controlling it as he manipulated the fingers.

Tanahashi reversed and was able to lock in an armbar.  It was a good game of human chess early.   Sabre was able to regain control and cinched in on the armbar again.  He began using the extremities to tie up Tanahashi, turning him into a straitjacket.  Tanahashi had to fight for it but was able to reverse it.  They continued to go back and forth with reversals until a frustrated Sabre slipped out of the ring to reset himself.

Sabre returned but was maneuvered into a leg submission.    Tanahashi peppered him with forearms but Sabre is able to slip through, trap Tananashi's bad arm and snapped it.  He stepped on Tanahashi's arm, grinding away at the bicep.  He began working over the bad arm and began contorting Tanahashi's wrist.  He began unloading with kicks to the chest and fired up with uppercuts.

Sabre was sent to the floor.  Tanahashi went for a pescado but Sabre caught him with a Fujiwara style armbar as he came down and cinched it on the floor.  Sabre released it and stomped hard on Tanahashi's elbow.   The announcers did a good job of explaining that Tananashi has turned down surgery, so his torn bicep will never heal and as long as Sabre is tearing at it the way he is, even the scar tissue won't harden.   Sabre continued to work over Tanahashi as they hit the 15 minute mark

Tanahashi attempted to go for a move but his arm couldn't hold it and Sabre crashed down on his neck and shoulder in a weird, unplanned way.  Tanahashi hit several moves including a Slingblade.  He began working over Sabre's leg, focusing on that body part.   Tanahashi stomped on Sabre in the corner.  Sabre fought to his feet.  They went into a series of near falls that ended with neither man scoring the victory.

Sabre nailed a headbutt but was caught in a backslide for another series of back and forth pinfall attempts.  The war of attrition continued.  Sabre continued beating on the bad arm while Tanahashi had to fight from underneath to escape.  Sabre locked on a triangle choke.  Tanahashi was somehow able to turn this over and cinch in a Texas Cloverleaf, which was amazing,  Sabre countered that into another submission.  Tanahashi had to get to the ropes to escape.

Sabre began zeroing in on the arm, kicking it over and over.  Tanahashi finally snatched his leg during a kick and snapped it.  Tanahashi wernt for the Sling Blade but was turned into an Octopus.  Tanahashi fought and fought and finally made it to the ropes.   Sabre's leg was pulled through the ropes and nailed with a Dragon Screw legwhip.    Tanahashi hit a bodypress from the top to the floor that looked awesome.

Tanahashi then hit a flying bodypress off the top.  He went for another but TAKA grabbed the referee.  Minoru Suzuki hit the rin and attacked Tanahashi.  Suzuki sent Tanahashi into the ref, who went down.  Suzuki choked Tanahashi out.  Sabre nailed a big punt kick but Tanahashi kicked up at the last second.  Suzuki grabbed a chair and was going to return to the ring but Michael Elgin ran out and brawled to the back with Suzuki.

Tanahashi and Sabre battled back and forth with forearms and strikes.  Sabre was drilled with the Slingblade for a two count.  TAKA Michinoku tried to get involved but was nailed.  Tanashahi went to the top for a splash but Sabre pulled his knees up.  He began scoring lots of near falls with his unique pinfall attempts, then locked in a guillotine choke.  Tanahashi turned it into a trio of neck screws.

Tanahashi nailed the Sling Blade and returned to the top.  He nailed the flying bodypress and scored the pin.

Your winner and  still IWGP Intercontinental champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi!

GREAT main event.  Just an awesome roller coaster ride.

After the match, Tanahashi called out Kota Ibushi.  Ibushi came to the ring.  The idea here was Tanahashi had redeemed his loss in the G1 Climax against Sabre and was now looking to do it to Ibushi.  Ibushi respectfully accepted.

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