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NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING KING OF PRO WRESTLING REPORT

By Matthew Macklin on 2016-10-10 18:19:00

Pre Show Match: Tiger Mask W defeated Red Death Mask

This was a match featuring characters from a new anime cartoon in Japan. It was quite obvious that Tiger Mask was indeed Kota Ibushi. Death Mask may have been Cody Hall. This was a basic match. Ibushi... ahem, Tiger Mask won with a powerbomb. What a life Kota Ibushi has. Flat out refusing a WWE deal and still being brought in to appear on their shows, while randomly popping up in New Japan under a mask.  Who knows if this will be a regular thing, but it's hard to imagine that it will be. As for Ibushi, your guess is as good as mine as to what's going on with him.

Tomohiro Ishii, Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale & Adam Cole

This was a very good opener. Cole looked extremely confident as the cocky heel when he led Bullet Club in working over YOSHI. Ospreay came in off the tag and looked superb against Cole. He countered The Last Shot into a stunner.  Ishii tore into Yujiro when he got into the ring. There was a whole lot of action that ended with Ospreay hitting a triple jump cross body to the floor. This left Ishii to finish off Yujiro with a Brainbuster and score the win for the CHAOS team.

Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, Bobby Fish & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Rocky Romero, Beretta, Toru Yano & Jado

This was a basic tag match with a bunch of bodies thrown in to fill out a match. Jado really needs to retire. Everything he does looks awkward. There was some good stuff between Fish & RPG Vice.  Honma pinned Romero after a diving Kokeshi. This is yet another loss for Romero. Beretta didn't look happy with him after the match. Makabe ran off Yano after the match too, which may be leading to Honma & Makabe going after the GHC tag titles in NOAH.

Go Shiozaki, Masa Kitamiya, Maybach Taniguchi & Katsuhiko Nakajima defeated Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

The crowd heat and intensity of this one was incredible. They picked up where they left off on G1 Final day. This started with a wild brawl around ringside and from there it was hard hitting and full on for the duration. The crowd were all over the NOAH guys any time they were in control.  Kojima was awesome here as he fired up and fought back into the match. Nakajima laid into Nagata with kicks and forearms. This was just great stuff.  Shiozaki hit an impressive looking Orange Crush on Nakanishi, but the rest of his team made the save. He then finished him off with a lariat, again picking up the win for the NOAH side. The fight continued after the match. Nagata & Nakajima slapped the hell out of each other as the others were separated. NOAH celebrated to the sound of boos from Sumo Hall. This was excellent.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks defeated David Finlay & Ricochet

This was great. Finlay had an excellent showing here as he continues his graduation from young boy. The Bucks taunted him by calling him a young boy as they worked him over. Finlay ate so many superkicks. Ricochet was able to come in and take over some some incredible sequences of offence, but Finlay would again be singled out until he had enough and fired up. He and Ricochet had some good double team combos. Finlay hit a Death Valley Driver across Ricochet's knees. They went for the Finlay Roll/Shooting Star combo, but Jackson got the knees up, which looked great. Finlay ate more superkicks and Ricochet was taken out with a Tornado DDT on the floor before The Bucks finished Finlay with More Bang For Your Buck to retain the titles. This was exactly what it should have been. Jushin Thunder Liger, who was on commentary applauded Finlay after the match.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa defeated The Briscoes

This was a mixed bag. As with most Briscoes & Guerrillas of Destiny IWGP tag title matches, the crowd were just not invested. Sure they showed respect and popped for big moves, but that was it. The Briscoes worked really hard, especially Jay when he came in off a hot tag full of fire and intensity. At certain points in this Tanga Loa looked a step off and at other times he was a machine, using his power to full effect. The move of the match saw Loa catch Tonga in mid air when he was hit with a Doomsday Device. A board came loose in the middle of the ring towards the end of the match, which may have thrown things off slightly. Tonga back dropped Mark and Loa caught him in mid air for a powerbomb. Loa tossed Jay into a Gun Stun and Mark was finished with Guerrilla Warfare. GOD are now two time IWGP tag team champions. After the match, The Young Bucks assisted GOD in a Briscoes beat down. Ishii tried to make the save, but he was also dropped with Guerrilla Warfare. This will likely lead to a GOD vs Ishii & Goto feud.

Michael Elgin, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jay Lethal & KUSHIDA defeated Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, BUSHI & SANADA

This turned into carnage, with both KUSHIDA & Elgin getting injured.  Naito got a hero's welcome when he made his entrance. KUSHIDA seemed to seriously injure his wrist when BUSHI caught him with a back stabber. This forced Elgin into making an impromptu hot tag. Not long into that, Naito caught Elgin right in the face with a boot, which seemed to cause Elgin vision problems. Elgin assisted Lethal in hitting a Lethal Injection and Elgin followed up with an Elgin Bomb to pin the IWGP Intercontinental champion, Naito.  Elgin raised the title over a fallen Naito, so it looks like he will be getting his rematch for the gold soon. Maybe Lethal will get his shot at Final Battle.

LIJ attacked the injured KUSHIDA on the floor, with EVIL nailing him with a chair. In the ring BUSHI hit a chair assisted Codebreaker before sarcastically challenging KUSHIDA to an IWGP Jr title match. KUSHIDA was stretchered off after the match, which was likely planned, but the wrist injury looked pretty bad.

Elgin later noted on Twitter that he had a fracture and was waiting to learn if he would need surgery.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Kyle O'Reilly

When people talk about pro wrestling being an art form, this is the sort of match they are talking about. This was absolutely superb. From O'Reilly coming to the ring with his game face on, to the little pieces of storytelling, this match was as realistic and believable as pro wrestling gets. O'Reilly stepped up big time in the biggest match of his life and proved that he can hang with one of the top guys in the world. Bobby Fish was also great here as Kyle's corner man as he shouted out instructions like a fight coach.

The taped arm and shoulder, stemming from the neck injury was the target for O'Reilly. O'Reilly was on point with his strikes. He put together one particular combo that earned him a huge applause from the Sumo Hall crowd. Shibata fought back into this with strikes of his own. O'Reilly hit a Brainbuster and transitioned into an armbar on the injured arm, but Shibata scrambled to desperately block the move, knowing that it would spell the end. Kyle then caught him in a triangle choke, which the crowd bought as the finish. They traded German suplexes and booted each other in the face until they both collapsed. Kyle hit a stiff forearm and lariat for an excellent near fall. The finish saw Kyle unload with strikes only to be stopped with a slap and sickening back fist. Shibata went for a sleeper, but Kyle tried blocking the injured arm. Shibata got the hold and nailed the PK. He then went back to the sleeper, which Kyle still tried to block. Shibata locked his grip until the referee stopped the match. Go out of your way to see this, especially if you enjoy a hybrid style of pro wrestling.

Shibata showed the ultimate respect by shaking O'Reilly's hand as O'Reilly bowed for the champion. This was a huge moment for O'Reilly and could be the start of big things for him.

After the match Go Shiozaki stepped up to challenge Shibata. As he walked off, EVIL attacked and laid out Shibata with an STO. So we have two incredible looking challengers for the NEVER title. Both matches should be absurd.  It's possible that the Shiozaki match will take place in NOAH.

Wrestle Kingdom 11 Championship Opportunity: Kenny Omega defeated Hirooki Goto

This was an absolute spectacle. Yet another killer, next level performance from Kenny Omega.  This started with Goto attacking Omega & The Young Bucks with the briefcase before the match began. Not long into the match The Bucks double superkicked Goto and Omega stomped a table onto him.  Later in the match the table came into play again. The Bucks fought with YOSHI-HASHI to the back, taking away all outside interference, then Kenny Omega took a terrifying backwards fall from the top rope through the table at ringside, hitting his head on the guardrail in the process.

This was followed up with an onslaught of Goto offence. Omega kicked out of the Ushigoroshi and the Shoten Kai. In a call back to their G1 Final, Omega attempted to climb to the top rope as Goto had him in a sleeper, but he didn't fall for it twice. Omega unloaded with a series of V-Trigger knees after a snap dragon suplex had gotten him back into the match. Goto fought to the end to try and escape the One Winged Angel, but Omega trapped the hands of Goto and delivered the move to successfully defend the briefcase for the final time, making his spot in the Wrestle Kingdom 11 main event official.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada defeated Naomichi Marufuji

This was a classic. There's no other way to describe it really. Even with Marufuji having no realistic chance of winning, they still took you on an absolutely incredible ride. The storytelling and the call backs to their previous match were superb. The commentary getting over the importance of this match not only for Marufuji, but for Pro Wrestling NOAH was excellent. This match built into a stunning series of counters and reversals, which is right up there with the best finishes to a match you'll ever see.

Marufuji laid into Okada with blistering chops, making Okada bleed from the chest only minutes into the match. The theme here was similar to that of their last match. Marufuji had Okada's number, and every time you thought Okada was getting something going, Marufuji had an answer. He destroyed him with kicks and knees. Marufuji hit Okada with a devastating looking piledriver on the apron.  Okada sold every single thing like he was done. Okada would hit his drop kick and tombstone, but Marufuji cut off multiple Rainmaker attempts with knee strikes and got an awesome near fall with a Shiranui. He signalled for the Emerald Flowsion move that he beat Okada with in the G1, but Okada cut it off. Okada hit a desperation Rainmaker which both guys went down from, but Okada held onto the arm, and as they got back to their feet it was a sure thing that Marufuji would eat one final match ending Rainmaker, but yet again, Marufuji avoided it and caught Okada in a small package, which was the near fall of the match. The back and forth reversals after this really have to be seen. It all ended with a Rainmaker that turned Marufuji inside out, for Okada to retain the title and move onto his next defence at Wrestle Kingdom 11.

Out came Kenny Omega, who cut a super promo, saying that Okada had all of this handed to him, by NJPW and by Gedo. Omega reiterated that he fought for and earned his way into his position and said that he will take the title at Wrestle Kingdom. As they faced off, Sumo Hall broke out into chants of Okada & Omega, completely split down the middle. It was quite the scene. Just imagine what Okada vs Omega will be like in front of 40,000 people on January 4th 2017 inside the Tokyo Dome.

This was one hell of a show. The final three matches of this show are something that every pro wrestling fan needs to see. This show is available now at NJPWWorld.com with English commentary from Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino, who were excellent all show long.

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