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New Japan - Castle Attack Night 1
February 27, 2021
From Osaka-Jo Hall in Osaka, Japan. Our English hosts are Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton, and Gino Gambino.
The United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, and Will Ospreay) vs. NEVER Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Satoshi Kojima
The Empire's first sneak attack attempt is foiled, but the babyfaces then stupidly turn their backs for an ambush. The good guys restore order and Kojima lights O-Khan's chest with rapid chops. Cobb press slams Kojima off the buckles, allowing O-Khan to apply a chinlock. The Empire work Kojima over just like the tag formula requires. Kojima saves himself with a cutter on O-Khan, and Tanahashi storms in on a hot tag. Everyone in the Empire gets a dragon screw legsweep! O-Khan claws Tanahashi's face, and they slug it out. O-Khan hits a Mongolian Chop and overhead power slam. Cobb tags and misses a corner splash, and Tanahashi scores the Twist n' Shout. Another hot tag to Tenzan, who fights the urge to use a forbidden Mongolian Chop and suplexes Cobb for 2. Cobb gets triple teamed by the babyfaces. Tenzan puts Cobb into an Anaconda Vice, but Cobb elbows free. Ospreay tags and hits a roaring elbow on Tenzan. Stormbreaker is blocked, and Tenzan hits a slick back drop. Tenzan fights the urge to hit a Mongolian Chop and Ospreay slaps him. The match breaks down until the Empire holds Tenzan still for the Oscutter and pin at 10:18! Great opener, made me feel sorry for Tenzan not being allowed to use the Mongolian Chop, and portrayed the United Empire like a force to be reckoned with, ***¼.
Winners: The United Empire
Great-O-Khan stands tall with Tanahashi's NEVER title. I hadn't been impressed with O-Khan thus far, but he shined tonight.
YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tanga Loa (with Jado)
YOSHI quickly gains the upper hand with his technical wrestling edge. Loa gets into the fight with this bruising offense, but is selling an arm injury. Loa hits a back suplex for 2. YOSHI dropkicks the knee to buy some time. Loa laughs off YOSHI's string of offense and blasts his face with a forearm. Loa is furious at YOSHI's lack of fight, which prompts a desperation neckbreaker. Loa attempts a superplex, but YOSHI counters into a sitout powerbomb for 2. Loa breaks a chinlock and hits a leaping knee. Spinebuster by Loa also gets 2. YOSHI fires off a series of superkicks, Loa demands more, and YOSHI obliges with a backstabber. Swanton Bomb by YOSHI gets 2. YOSHI works a butterfly lock, but Jado interferes with a kendo stick. Tama Tonga runs in and accidentally blasts Jado. YOSHI hits a low Meteora on Loa, but Tonga's distraction lets Loa hit Apesh!t for the win at 12:55! Rock solid match between two well defined characters, ***.
Winner: Tanga Loa
Hirooki Goto runs in to save YOSHI-HASHI from a GoD beatdown, which leads to...
Hirooki Goto (with YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Tama Tonga (with Jado and Tanga Loa)
Goto's hot start ends when Tonga sends him crashing into the steel barricade. Jado interferes with a kendo stick shot. Snap suplex by Tonga gets 2. Goto gets fired up and mounts an early comeback. Running bulldog by Goto gets 2. Tonga counters into the Tongan Twist for 2. Goto blocks a cutter but eats a serious DDT. Tonga misses a frog splash and Goto elbows the back of his head. Loa runs in and take a head butt from Goto. The pace quickens until Goto hits GTR for the win at 6:27! Good short match, **½.
Winner: Hirooki Goto
King of Pro Wrestling (Texas Strap Match):
Toru Yano © vs. Chase Owens
Yano surprisingly starts by viciously whipping Owens with the strap. Owens pleads for a handshake but Yano serves more lashes. Yano chokes with the strap, prompting Owens to take a timeout. Yano uncovers a turnbuckle, but Owens then pulls him face-first into a ring post. Owens pays Yano back for the whips and removes his shirt. Owens removes some buckle padding and throws it at Yano before driving him into the bare steel. Owens absorbs a whip into the barricade, but then climbs through the bars to pull Yano into the steel by force. Owens tapes Yano's hands shut so he won't be able to untie any more corner pads. Yano catapults Owens into an exposed corner, but then misses a head of steam to hit another bare corner. Owens unties a third corner and pulls Yano into some punches. Atomic drop by Yano and a shameless low blow. Yano tries to undo the last padding, but can't due to his taped up hands. He frees his hands, but Owens pulls him into a Jewel Heist. Owens exposes some concrete, but Yano reverses into a back drop! Owens no-sells and hits Yano with the ring bell. Yano has enough life in him to stop Owens from exposing the last turnbuckle and nails a powerbomb. Yano frees the last buckle and wins at 12:54! They went for a violent brawl rather than comedic farce, and the match suffered as a result, **.
Winner: Toru Yano
Jay White (with Gedo) vs. Tomohiro Ishii
White stalls heavily early on, he'd like to lure Ishii into a ringside brawl, where they'd risk suspensions for breaking COVID regulations. Gedo's distraction gives White the upper hand. White runs away and fakes a knee injury while Gedo interferes. Ishii shakes White off with a hard shoulder block and smashes him into the barricades. White hangs Ishii on the ropes to regain control. White repeatedly smashes Ishii's ribs into the ring frame and guard rail. Ishii is struggling to breath but counters with a timely power slam. Hard vertical suplex by Ishii, but White answers with a DDT. White builds some steam but cannot hit a Kiwi Crusher, so he back suplexes Ishii into the buckles. White tries to win by countout by dropping Ishii against the rails, but Ishii crawls back in for a Brainbuster. White's relentless attack on the ribs starts to p!ss Ishii off and he returns fire. Ishii hangs White up by the leg and dead lifts him into a superplex for only 2! Gedo distracts and White desperately nails a Dragon suplex. White uses a chinlock to set up a Regal-plex but Ishii kicks out! Ishii goes into survival mode and locks on a tight sleeper, but White counters into a Brainbuster. Ishii reverses Blade Runner into a German suplex. Last Ride Powerbomb by Ishii gets 2. Gedo distracts yet again, White hits an ineffective low blow, and Ishii cleans house, hitting a sliding lariat for a great nearfall. They trade counters until White hits a sleeper suplex, but Ishii pops up for a lariat. White blocks a brainbuster so Ishii head butts him, but White uses his last gasp to hit Blade Runner and collapse into the pinfall at 25:45! This was a physical war, White kind of ruins it by appearing too spry in his celebration, ***¾.
Winner: Jay White
EVIL (with Dick Togo) vs. Kazuchika Okada
They start brawling and Okada boots EVIL for a timeout. Togo's interference ends Okada's hot start and EVIL goes to work on his back. EVIL wraps a chair around Okada's neck and swings another chair for a hoooome run. Okada withstands EVIL's methodical beatdown and rallies with a series of running attacks. DDT by Okada gets 2. Okada dropkicks EVIL off the top rope, and chases Togo up the aisle, resulting in a double DDT on the wooden ramp! Back to the ring, EVIL hands Okada's leg to the ref to regain control. Okada blocks Darkness Falls and hits a big flapjack. Okada's neckbreaker and missile dropkick get routine nearfalls. EVIL counters with exposed buckles and hits a superplex, then applies a Sharpshooter. Okada gets the ropes so EVIL hits Darkness Falls for a decent nearfall. Okada goes for the Money Clip, but EVIL gouges the eyes, and Togo runs in and lands some punches before Okada cleans house with dropkicks. Money Clip, Tombstone Piledriver, and back to the Money Clip. EVIL shoves off and knocks down referee Red Shoes. Okada hits the Rainmaker and Money Clip, but Togo chokes with a wire. Okada breaks free and puts Togo down with a Tombstone. EVIL gets the ropes, so Okada hits a spinning Tombstone, and reapplies the Money Clip, which feels more redundant than epic. Okada hits a Rainmaker but EVIL reverses into a German suplex. Big lariat by EVIL gets a very good nearfall. They frantically trade counters until Okada hits a driver and then one more Rainmaker to win at 28:09. This was good/solid, but reached a point where it felt like they were spinning their wheels to fill time, ***.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
Final Thoughts: Middle of the road show that you can skip and set your mind at ease. Not really much to say.
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