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NAKAMURA VS. KARL ANDERSON, SUPER JUNIOR TAG FINALS, AJ STYLES RETURNS TO RING & MORE: 11/7 NJPW POWER STRUGGLE 2015 REPORT

By Matthew Macklin on 2015-11-07 15:09:09

Power Struggle 2015 Results from Osaka, November 7th.

Tiger Mask IV, Jushin Thunder Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi & Mascara Dorada defeated David Finlay, Jay White, Yohei Komatsu & Sho Tanaka.  Sho Tanaka insisted on starting the match against Liger.  The young lions almost got into a fight over who would start the match.  The veterans worked over the taped up thigh of White and the arm of Finlay.  White showed lots of charisma when he used Taguchi's hip attacks.  This was the usual fun match you'd expect from these guys with the young lions doing their best to take down the veterans.  Tiger pinned Finlay after a double arm suplex from the top rope.  After the match Liger seemed to challenge Tiger for the NWA Jr heavyweight championship.

Tama Tonga, Doc Gallows & Cody Hall defeated Captain New Japan, Togi Makabe & Juice Robinson.  Robinson had his elbow heavily taped.  He must have picked up an injury along the tour.  This was okay.  Robinson looked good when he got the chance.  He hit a really nice diving headbutt three quarters of the way across the ring.  Makabe & Gallows hit each other with bombs.  Hall pulled out a nice pumphandle suplex.   Tama Tonga pinned Captain after a superman punch and a double arm DDT.  It says a lot about Captian when he gets pinned in a match that also features two "young boys".  Robinson was limping badly as he left the ring.  He could have been selling, but it looked like he couldn't put weight on his leg.

Hirooki Goto defeated EVIL by DQ.  EVIL has a completely different look than he had in ROH.  He is known as the "King of Darkness" and entered in a black robe and hood, carrying the sort of thing you'd see the grim reaper holding.  He now wears a singlet too.  This was a good physical match. EVIL looked really good in the ring as he controlled the pace of the match.  He's a good opponent for Goto.  Goto came back with lots of stiff blows and lariats.  Goto locked EVIL in a submission and then Tetsuya Naito (who has been absent from this tour) hit the ring.  He attacked Goto and hit him with Destino causing a DQ.  Katsuyori Shibata made the save.  Naito attacked young lions and the cameraman as he left the ring.  I'm guessing this will lead to a match between these teams in the World Tag League.  It was a good first match for EVIL, but the name and gimmick are very cartoonish.

KUSHIDA, Alex Shelley, Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish defeated Chase Owens, Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks.  It's impossible to recap what happened in this, but it was a whole lot of fun and as entertaining as hell.  There were all sorts of double team and multi man combos with bodies flying everywhere.  Omega & The Bucks really hammed it up with their usual antics.  KUSHIDA got the win when he made Owens submit to the Hoverboard Lock.  KUSHIDA looks to be once again challenging Kenny Omega for the IWGP Jr Heavyweight championship.  If you enjoy crazy, fast paced wrestling, this is well worth checking out.

Super Jr Tag Tournament Final: Matt Sydal & Ricochet defeated Beretta & Rocky Romero.  This was awesome.  It wasn't a surprise to see Sydal & Ricochet win, but it was only right.  They started the match working over the leg of Beretta.  The match built slowly and eventually picked up the pace as the match went on.  Ricochet looked particularly great.  He springboarded, intercepting Romero in mid air as he went for the Strong Zero.  He then hit a spectacular shooting star press to the floor on Romero.  Beretta hit the Dudebuster on Sydal, but Ricochet broke up the pin for a great near fall.  Sydal hit Beretta with a reverse rana and Ricochet hit Romero with the Benydriller before they hit stereo shooting star presses to get the win and win the tournament.  This was yet another great Jr tag match.  Their have been some great ones over the last few months, but this was just as good as the rest.  For me RPG Vice were the standout team of the tournament.  They had three awesome matches that were all really different.

Sydal & Ricochet then said they wanted a title shot.  This brought out ReDRagon & The Young Bucks, along with RPG Vice, who all stated their claim for a title match.  So it looks like we will be getting the annual four way title match at Wrestle Kingdom, which sort of makes the Sydal/Ricochet win irrelevant as the winner usually gets their own title shot.

AJ Styles & Bad Luck Fale defeated YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano.  This was exactly what you'd expect.  Yano ran scared from Fale.  Styles & YOSHI work really well together.  They could probably have a great singles match.  It was a fun, basic tag match.  YOSHI put up his usual underdog fight against Styles, but in the end Styles won after a Bloody Sunday and a Styles Clash.  This was all about Styles getting back on track after his loss to Okada at King of Pro Wrestling.

NEVER Openweight Championship:  Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tomoaki Honma.  This was just like every other match these guys have had, and that is in no way an insult, because yet again it was awesome.  This was another war with the Osaka crowd right behind Honma in his quest to win gold. There were so many Kokeshi's and different variations of the move that I completely lost count.  That move is the most over move in wrestling.  Every time he hit it, no matter how or when, the crowd ate it up.  There was a sequence of headbutts here where they stood in the middle of the ring just headbutts get each other right in the forehead.  Honma refused to die no matter how many lariats, headbutts or suplexes Ishii hit him with.  Ishii countered one Kokeshi with a headbutt and swatted Honma away with a lariat on another.  Ishii got the win after a couple of lariats and a Brainbuster to win the match.  Go out of your way to see this.

Katsuyori Shibata & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kazushi Sakuraba & Kazuchika Okada.  This was great.  Okada & Tanahashi had some great exchanges and the body language between them is awesome to watch.  Shibata & Sakuraba took to the mat.  Shibata has been Sakuraba's best opponent in NJPW.  Okada & Shibata has some brief, but great exchanges.  That is a big time singles match that has to happen at some point in 2016. Tanahashi & Sakuraba did some nice stuff together.  Sakuraba tried for a single leg, but Tanahashi countered into a German Suplex.  Tanahashi & Shibata hit a double dropkick on Okada.  Shibata hit the corner dropkick on Sakuraba, followed up by a High Fly Flow from Tanahashi.  Shibata finished off Sakuraba with a GTS.

After the match Okada shoved Tanahashi which absolutely lit a fire under Tanahashi who just snapped and went after Okada.  Okada grinned as Tanahashi was held back and an all out brawl between the two erupted.  Okada nailed Tanahashi with the briefcase and tried to tombstone him on the floor.  When it was finally under control, Tanahashi sprinted up the aisle again to attack Okada.  This was the first time in their feud where it spilled over into a fight where you could feel their hatred for each other.  This was absolutely awesome.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Karl Anderson.  This was one hell of a main event.  Bullet Club attacked Nakamura, giving Anderson the advantage.  Anderson targeted the neck.  He derailed Nakamura's comeback when he hit a Gun Stun from the middle rope.  Nakamura rolled to the safety of the apron.  A swivel Gun Stun from the middle rope wasn't enough.  Nakamura beautifully countered another Gun Stun into an armbar.  There was one moment that I had to rewind several times to make sure it actually happened.  Anderson slingshotted himself into the ring, somersaulting onto his feet into a clothesline on Nakamura.  Anderson survived some Boma Ye's, but he was finally put down after a running Boma Ye.

After the match AJ Styles stepped up and made the challenge.  So it will be AJ Styles challenging Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Wrestle Kingdom, which is a mouth watering sentence.

This was a great show and well worth watching.  It is available now on demand at www.NJPWWorld.com.


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