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By Mike Johnson on 2015-10-12 07:15:00

NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii

They locked up and began trying to muscle the other.   Ishii backed Makabe into the corner and slapped him.  He shoulderblocked Makabe down.   They battled to the floor, where Ishii was whipped hard into the barricade on the floor.  Ishii reversed a second attempt and sent Makabe into the guard rail.  Makabe fought back with a charge and they agreed to return to the ring. They had some miscues in the ring but the crowd didn't care as they were into all the brutality. They returned and like two big bulls, charged each other with clotheslines.  Makabe got the better of the exchange.  Makabe worked him over with forearms in the corner but Ishii was defiant and demanded he try harder, challenging the champion.  He drilled Makabe hard, sending him down.  Ishii beat Makabe with chops and nailed a suplex, then slapped him and challenged the champion to fight back.

Makabe returned to his knees, defiant as Ishii drilled him.  They began chopping the hell out of each other.  Ishii rebounded off the ropes but was caught with a stiff powerslam.  He went Ishii into the corne but Ishii charged back with clotheslines and a tackle.  Makabe drilled him down with a tackle of his own.

Makabe nailed a clothesline in the corner and rained down with punches to the head.  He nailed a Fisherman's suplex with a bridge for a two count.   More stiff back and forth punches and chops.  Ishii continued to work over Makabe and nailed a Saito suplex on the champion.   Makabe was placed on the top and Ishii nailed a big superplex for a two count.  Given their size, that was pretty impressive looking.

Ishii blocked a clothesline but was nailed with another.  Makabe nailed a Northern Lights suplex for a two count.  Makabe nailed several lariats but Ishii refused to go down.  Each time he absorbed and refused to go down, the crowd loved it.  He finally went down and was nailed with a stiff powerbomb for a two count.

Makabe continued working over Ishii with a series of lariats for a two count.  Great stuff here and totally different from everything else on the card thus far.  They are just beating the hell out of each other and I can respect the hell out of that.

Makabe put Ishii on the top and attempted a German suplex off the top.  Ishii held on for dear life to avoid it.  Ishii fought him off and turned around to face him, nailing a series of forearms.  Makabe battled back with right hands and forearms.  Ishii scored with a series of forearms, knocking him to the mat below.  Ishii came off with a flying kneedrop, Makabe's finisher (a takeoff of Bruiser Brody's finisher, as Makabe is somewhat patterned after him).

They battled back and forth.  Makabe was unable to nail a suplex.  Ishii killed him with a clothesline for a two count.  Makabe ducked another and hit one of his own.  Both men were down.  They returned to their feet and began beating the piss out of each other, Godzilla vs. King Kong.

Ishii went to the mat after a right hand but Makabe was too tired to score the pinfall.  They continued to slug it out.  Makabe nailed a nasty looking German suplex for a two count.    Makabe nailed a big lariat for a two count.   He placed Ishii on the top and this time, nailed the German suplex off the top, which was ridiculously nuts for guys of this size.  He went for the flying kneedrop but Ishii rolled out of the way.

Ishii scored with a big running lariat but again the champion kicked out.   He went for a suplex but Makabe nailed him with a knee  Ishii nailed a big back suplex and a low lariat for yet another two count.  Ishii nailed a brainbuster and scored the pin.

Your winner and new NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiri Ishii!

The announcers made a big deal of Ishii finally pinning Makabe.

This was exactly why Jim Ross used to call stiff brawls a Slobberknocker.  It wasn't pretty but it was damn effective as they worked their asses off and beat the hell out of each other.  Just a killer match.

After the bout, Honma came to the ring to issue a challenge to Ishii for the belt.  They went nose to nose to tease the title bout down the line.

Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship Opportunity: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito

Tanahashi has a championship match at the 1/4/16 WrestleKingdom event and is putting it on the line against Naito.

When Naito was announced, a masked man in a suit came out.  Then, another did.    They stood in the ring before Naito removed his mask.  Naito then began disrobing, as he was wearing a full suit.  He was stalling, George South style.  They never revealed the second masked man, who remained at ringside.  Maybe it's the WCW Halloween Phantom?  Probably not.

Naito continued stalling early, walking away when Tanahashi tried to lock up several times.  Naito finally went to lock up and kicked him in the gut, then began beating him across the back.  Tanahashi was sent to the floor and Naito teased a dive before grandstanding and mocking Tanahahi.  When Tanahashi returned to the ring, Naito was back stalling on the floor.  He was playing straight heel more than anyone else not part of the Bullet Club.

Tanahashi nailed a sliding kick through the ropes and went for a pescado but again, Naito walked off and Tanahashi hit the floor hard.  Naito stomped away at him on the floor and sent him into the barricades.  You could hear lots of women screaming for Tanahashi.  Naito nailed a hanging DDT off the apron on the floor.  He worked over Tanahashi, then sat in the ring with a chair, waiting for him as he called for the referee to count out Tananashi.

Tanahashi made it back into the ring but was trapped in a head scissors on the mat, wearing Tanahashi down.   Tanahashi fought back to his feet but was controlled by Naito and taken back down with a neckbreaker.  It's been all Naito so far to build the story of the eventual comeback.   Naito shoved down the referee and kicked a ringside cameraman.

Naito worked over Tanahashi and stomped the hell out of him, before spitting on him.  Tanahashi finally scored several right hands and a flying forearm.  Tanahashi used body blows and worked over Naito in the corner.  He sent Naito into the corner and he went up and over.  Tanahashi used a basement dropkick to the legs and cinched in the Texas Cloverleaf.

Tanahashi nailed a Dragon Screw Legwhip on Naito as he was on the apron.  Naito crashed to the floor, where Tanahashi nailed a flying bodypress off the top to the floor.  They made it a point to note the second masked man was still standing around, teasing something for later on.   Naito was tossed back into the ring.  Tanahashi ascended to the top and went for a move but was kicked in the chest in mid-air.

Naito used the ropes as momentum to swing into a dropkick in the corner.  He placed Tanahashi on the top and nailed a rana but was caught with a surprise reversal for a two count.  He nailed Tanahashi and began measuring and kicking him.    Tanahashi fought back and Naito spit on him.  That pissed off Tanahashi and they exchanged a flurry of elbows.  Naito seemed to get the better of the exchange, then ripped at Tanahashi's eyes.

Naito nailed a clothesline and went for a Dragon suplex.  Tanahashi reversed it but Naito blocked it.  Tanahashi turned it into a neckbreaker and snapped it down.   Tanahashi was nailed with his own finisher Sling Blade and then hit his new finisher for a close count.    Tanahashi peppered him with elbows but Naito shoved him into the referee, Red Shoes, who crumpled in the corner.

Tanahashi took out Naito with a hard strike when the masked man hit the ring and attacked Tanahashi.  He unmasked, revealing himself to be Takaaki Watanabe with blonde hair returning from the United States where he was gaining experience.   The announcers sold it as a shicking moment with the idea that Naito has influenced him.  They kicked the hell out Tanahashi and the young boys who tried to help  Katuyori Shibata and Hiroyoki Goto hit the ring and beat down Watanabe and Naito, running them from the ring with the idea they were trying to protect sanctity of the Tokyo Dome and Tanahashi, the "Ace" of the company.

Naito returned to the ring and Tanahashi made a comeback, nailing the Slingblade.  He hit the Frog Splash off the top and then nailed another, scoring the three count.

Your winner, Hiroshi Tanahashi!

Watanabe stalked Tanahashi but Hiroyoki Goto immediately attacked him.  Watanabe drilled him and nailed a STO.  Shibata ran him from the ring.

Interesting bout that seemed to be more about establishing Naito and Watanabe as a villainous duo more then putting together a kickass match.  I don't think anyone ever expected that Tanahashi's title shot at the Dome was going to really be in jeopardy but they did a nice job of giving Naito the majority of the bout and having him do really dastardly things to show what a disrespectful prick he was.  The Watanabe return was well done since in New Japan, we don't see angles like that every few minutes.  The run-ins added a frenetic, manic moment to the closing sequences.    This looks like it sets up Goto and Shibata vs. Watanabe and Naito, possibly at the Dome but I would assume much sooner.

Coverage Concluded on Page 4!

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