wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s NJPW on AXS TV Review 6.16.17 (Ep. 1)

June 17, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW on AXS TV Review 6.16.17 (Ep. 1)  

Csonka’s NJPW on AXS TV Review 6.16.17 (Ep. 1)

NJ Cup Semifinal Match: Bad Luck Fale defeated EVIL @ 12:12 via pin [**½] {Clips}: They brawled on the floor right away, EVIL used the chair and worked over Fale, but Fale fought back (countering the chair around the head spot to the post) and slammed him to the post. They then brawled up the entrance way and into the crowd. Fale slammed EVIL to the wall, and choked him out with a belt and then slammed part of the barricade on him for the Gedo Special count out tease. EVIL beat the count, only for Fale to lay the boots to him. Fale slowly beat on EVIL in the corner, stomping on him and working the back. Slow clubbing strikes by Fale followed and then the camel clutch. Fale then covered for 2. Fale hit a slam but missed the splash. EVIL then clotheslined him to the floor. Floor brawl again. EVIL gets the chair and wraps it around Fale’s head and uses another chair to hit it off of him. EVIL then rolled Fale back in, went up top and hit the clothesline for the near fall. EVIL then grounded the big man, but Fale fought up to his feet. He then hit a big spear as EVIL hit the ropes for the double down. Fale then hit the corner splash and then a running splash for the near fall. Fale called for the grenade, EVIL countered out and BUSHI misted Fale, allowing EVIL to hit clotheslines, but Tonga pulled out the ref and BUSHI took him out. They brawled to the back, EVIL escaped the bad luck fall, but Fale countered the STO. Superkick by EVIL, but Fale decapitates him with the lariat. Fale hits the grenade and then the bad luck fall for the win. I felt that this started out rough, and while I would not call it good, they worked themselves into a solid and mildly fun match. Fale pick up the dominant victory heading into the finals.

NJ Cup Semifinal Match: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Tomohiro Ishii @ 22:34 via referee stoppage [****¾]: Both guys were tentative to begin, they’ve battled before and know each other well. Shibata grounded Ishii with a top wristlock and attacked the arm early. Ishii struggled and made the ropes, and then fired away with chops by Shibata took him to the corner and beat him down. Ishii fire up and cut him off with the shoulder block and then went back to the chops. This finally took Shibata down, so he continued lighting Shibata up in the ropes. Shibata then fired back with chops, and they beat the hell out of each other center ring. Ishii delivered corner forearms, beating Shibata down to the mat. Shibata then cut him off with the running corner kick and forearm strikes. The running dropkick followed, and then a suplex for the near fall. Shibata then locked in an abdominal stretch, but Ishii powered to the ropes. Great struggle spot from Ishii, but all of that fight earned him a kick to the chest and more beating from Shibata. Ishii finally had enough of this shit and traded strikes with Shibata. They started to throw bombs center ring, beating the hell out of one another. Ishii was throwing so hard his elbow wrap started to come undone. Shibata staggered Ishii, and then kept throwing until Ishii fired up and dropped him. Ishii hit repeated corner clotheslines, and followed with a vertical suplex for 2. Shibata looked to fire up and fight back, but Ishii kept throwing strikes and slowing him down. Ishii hit the powerslam but Shibata popped back up and dropped him with a kick and the crowd is into this battle. It’s simply a matter of who can throw the hardest and most strikes as they are essentially daring the other to keep fighting. Shibata works a head crank, but Ishii makes the ropes. Ishii escapes the sleeper and then the kick, planting Shibata on the mat. Shibata then laid in kicks to Ishii, stomped on his head but that pissed Ishii off. Ishii then kicked Shibata in the head, delivered chops to the throat in the corner. German by Ishii as Shibata grabs at his throat, trying to catch his breath; Ishii connects with the powerbomb for 2. he followed with lariats, but Shibata is still standing. Ishii leveled him but Shibata pops back up because he’s a grown ass man! The sliding lariat by Ishii gets a near fall. My word they just keep throwing big time strikes, Ishii finally drops him again and both men struggle to their feet. Head butts by Ishii, but Shibata takes a seat and brushes it off. Ishii drops to the mat and they trade strikes from the sitting position. HIT ME FUCKER! Back to the feet, they trade suplexes and this crowd is INTO this big time. Ishii blocks the PK and locks in an arm bar. Shibata barely makes the ropes. Ishii now lays in kicks, but Shibata catches one and then drops Ishii with a jumping enziguri. They again struggle to their feet, sleeper by Shibata but Ishii works to fight out. Shibata keeps the hold, SLEEPER SUPLEX by Shibata, Ishii no sells the PK but runs into a dropkick and kicks out at one, hits the lariat and Shibata kicks out at 1! Sweet Jesus this match! Head butt by Ishii, but Shibata hits strikes and the sleeper. Ishii fades, BIG PK and then Shibata drops back for the sleeper with the body lock. Ishii fades, and the ref calls for the bell. I loved this, this was a battle of two badass dudes fighting with all they had to make this final. Ishii has been the MVP of this tournament, and is again killing it and he remains one of the most consistent high-level performers in all of wrestling. His fight spots to escape the chokes were so great, the back and forth strikes and those fight segments made this feel so raw and different than most matches. I love the wrestling. This kicked ass because it felt like a fight, like making the finals was THE most important thing and that they were willing to give their all to make it feel like they were fighting for something important. This is a MOTY contender for sure.

NJ Cup Final Match: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Bad Luck Fale @ 18:53 via pin [***¾]: Shibata smartly attacked at the bell with running kicks and then kicked Fale to the floor. Fale blocked the PK of the apron and then posted Shibata. They brawled into the crowd with Fale tossing Shibata into the chairs and slowly beat him down. Fale slammed a piece of guardrail onto Shibata, leading to the Gedo special countout tease. Shibata beat the count, and Fale was waiting on him to continue the attack, this time in the ring. Fale works the neck pinch to ground Shibata, and then rips off the shoulder tape, before continuing the attack. Back to the floor and Fale posts Shibata again, continuing the focus on the arm. Six-minutes in and it’s been all Fale, he’s playing the monster role very well here and Shibata is also doing a great job of selling his offense. Shibata manages to hit a charging kick, but Fale cuts him off with the shoulder block. Shibata then hit the dropkick, and laid in strikes in the corner to Fale and followed with the hesitation dropkick. Shibata countered a slam and transitioned to a version of the octopus hold. Kicks followed, but Fale goozles him and then sends him to the floor. On the floor, Shibata sends Fale to the barricade and chokes out Fale with his own shirt. Back in the ring and Shibata has a chair. He tosses it to Fale and dropkicks it into his face. Sleeper by Shibata, but Fale escapes and hits the corner splash. Shibata escapes the grenade with a dropkick, but Fale answers back with the spear for a near fall. Fale then hits the Samoan drop for 2. Fale looks for the bad luck fall but Shibata counters into an arm bar. Fale powers out, so Shibata transitions into a triangle. Fale powers to his feet, but Shibata pulls him down with another arm bar. Shibata then starts to lay in kicks, but Fale catches him with the lariat. The running splash follows for a good near fall. The grenade connects and Shibata kicks out! The crowd is going wild, trying to will Shibata to victory. Shibata counters the bad luck fall into the sleeper, Fale falls to a knee but Shibata hops on his back and keeps the hold, only for Fale to hit a side slam. Shibata no sells and pops up and eats a lariat, pops up again and lays in kicks and the sleeper again. Fale fades and is going out. PK by Shibata and that is all. Fale’s heat was a bit bland at times, but I felt that they nailed the dynamic properly with Fale being the nearly unstoppable monster. The homestretch was great, and the crowd was into the Shibata comeback and victory big time.

With the shows being expedited to play catch up and now being produced in house by AXS TV, it appears that the sit down interviews have been dropped, since that was produced by the Japanese TV that previously produced the shows.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
As I mentioned last week, Ross & Barnett have really become a great announce team, playing off of each other well. In this collection of matches, I feel that they really elevated Ishii vs. Shibata a lot with their work. Barnett’s ability to discuss the physicality and work as a wrestler/MMA fighter and Ross’ ability to weave in the dramatic aspects just click very well. This is a good show overall, with Ishii vs. Shibata being must see viewing.