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Csonka’s NJPW on AXS TV Review 6.16.17 (Ep. 2)

June 17, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW on AXS TV Review 6.16.17 (Ep. 2)  

Csonka’s NJPW on AXS TV Review 6.16.17 (Ep. 2)

Tanahashi & Friends (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito) @ 11:41 via pin [****]: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi beat LIJ on April 4th to win the trios titles EVIL and Tanahashi begin things, they work some basic standing switches, and then both rake the eyes. They tagged out and we got Taguchi & BUSHI. Taguchi fucked around as usual, but that allowed him to take control as Tanahashi and friends worked over BUSHI in the corner with rapid-fire attacks. They then slammed BUSHI into Taguchi’s ass, SANADA in and kicked Taguchi in the ass as Naito pulls Juice to the floor and kicks the shit out of him as SANADA tied up Taguchi in the ropes. LIJ took the heat with Naito tagging in and dropkicking Taguchi, but Juice ran in to make the save. Naito and EVIL double teamed Taguchi, SANADA back in and cut off the ass attack with atomic drops. Taguchi finally hit an ass attack after a fake, tagging in Ricochet who immediately ran wild and picked up the pace. He started to work over LIJ with kicks, and brought some much needed energy to the match, hitting a series of dives and then a high cross on SANADA. Tanahashi tags in, he tries to tie up SANADA, but BUSHI makes the save. It didn’t last long as Tanahashi attacked the knees, but EVIL cuts him off and they trade strikes. Good back and forth here, with some nice flash backs to the New Joan Cup in the exchanges, and then into the double down. Naito and Juice get the hot tags, Juice runs wild, taking out BUSHI and follows with the Russian leg sweep and senton on Naito. SANADA in to save Naito, LIJ works over Juice in the corner and Naito hits the reverse DDT for 2. Tanahashi hits sling blade to save Juice from Destino. It breaks down, Juice blocks the low blow and decapitates Naito with a lariat! PULP FRICTION HITS AND JUICE PINS NAITO! After all of Naito’s bullshit, cheating and beat downs, Juice finally gets one over on Naito and picks up the huge win and earns a title shot. The match was great, keeping a good pace throughout and peaking at the right time; the closing stretch was straight fire, and while I joke about how many times the teams have faced, they’ve also delivered some great matches, like tonight.

IWGP Tag Team Championship Match: War Machine defeated Champions Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima @ 14:10 via pin [****]: Tenzan and Rowe to begin, and they have a dick measuring contest straight off, charging into each other to see who will give first. Tenzan laid in the chops, and Hanson tags in as does Kojima. They charge into each other as well, Kojima fires up but Hanson hits a cartwheel and then a lariat. Rowe tags in, working knee strikes to Kojima and War Machine work quick tags, keeping the heat on Kojima and simply beating him down. Double teams follow, and Rowe covers for a near fall. Rowe then slams Hanson onto Kojima, but Tenzan breaks up the pin. Good control by War Machine here, isolating Kojima and working simple and smart tag strategy. Hanson then rubs his beard in Kojima’s face, a potato chip may have fallen out of that bad boy. Kojima hits a desperation DDT, and tags in Tenzan. Tenzan and Rowe battle, with Tenzan working chops and head butts. The suplex followed for 2. They trade again, Rowe with a knee strike but runs into a backdrop for 2. Anaconda vice by Tenzan, but Hanson makes the save, but then runs into a spin kick an Kojima tags in and sends Hanson to the floor, rapid fire chops to Rowe follow. Kojima is fired up, heads up top and hits the elbow drop for 2. Forearms to Rowe, but he unloads with kicks and forearms an Tenzan cuts off fallout, TenKoji cutter on Rowe, Hanson of the top and accidentally splashes Rowe and Kojima covers for 2. TenKoji runs wild; Tenzan up top, but Hanson stops that. Hanson tags in, hits corner clotheslines to both Tenzan and Kojima. Kojima sidesteps, but Hanson hits a seated senton out of the corner. Hanson heads up top and MISSES the moonsault! KOJI CUTTER hits, but it only gets 2. Kojima looks to fight them both off, Rowe tags in and sends Tenzan to the floor and Kojima eats the pop up powerslam and Hanson wipes out Tenzan with a suicide dive! Rowe hits the knee strike but NEW JAPAN DAD POWER lives and Kojima decapitates Rowe with a lariat. Hanson sends Tenzan to the barricade and they brawl. Kojima walks into a German, the knee strike and fall out follows and War Machine wins! This was another great match, with the veterans giving their all, a hot closing stretch, and then the champions falling to the younger and stronger challengers. War Machine came off like stars here, they have been killing it in NJPW, and in a few months have been utilized better than in years in ROH. Barnett put over TenKoji huge, playing up their importance as a team while Ross sold War Machine as the new generation of hosses there to take the crown. Ross’ excitement in selling the title change was awesome, adding a lot to the moment.

NEVER Openweight Championship Match: Champion Hirooki Goto defeated Zack Sabre Jr. @ 16:20 via pin [***¾]: They grappled early to a stalemate. Goto looks to work the arm, but Sabre escapes and he targets the arm and ground Goto. Goto transitions to a knee bar and they roll to the ropes. They work into a test of strength, but Sabre slips out and counters before laying in uppercuts. Goto lays in the strikes and kicks, and then lays in chops in the corner. Sabre then drops down for a heel hook, Goto makes the ropes, allowing Sabre to attack the arm with kicks. Sabre then targets the arm, simply tying up Goto and then also working the leg. Sabre is showing great confidence here, stalking Goto and again bending the arm in ways it should not bend. Uppercuts follow, and Sabre again goes back to the arm, stating focused. He follows with a PK, and followed with running uppercuts, but Goto hits a desperation spin kick and Saito suplex for the near fall. Sabre counters the ushigoroshi into a hanging kimura. But Goto powers out into a suplex to break that up. Goto hits the corner lariat, heads up top, but the elbow drop is caught by Sabre and he works for the ode to breaks. Goto keeps fighting, but Sabre keeps pulling at the arm, and Goto makes the ropes. They trade strikes center ring, Sabre again attacks the arm and hits a running uppercut and transitions into the octopus hold. Goto keeps fighting, and hits ushigoroshi to escape. Desperado is out to distract the ref, Suzuki is in and slams Goto into the ref, but the gotch piledriver is fought off. Ushigoroshi to Suzuki! Sabre fights back, and hits the prawn hold for a near fall. Sabre then lock sin the triangle choke, but Goto powerbombs out to escape. The head butt, reverse GTR and regular GTR allow Goto to pick up the win and put Sabre away. This was a very good match, that was heading towards great until the interference. I get why they did it, and it made sense where they were going with the booking. But this was an example of a finish, which while making sense to move onto the next feud, hurt the match, which was heading into great territory. Unfortunately setting up Suzuki and Goto was more important here. I get it and they had previously teased it and I want to see it, but it didn’t help this match at all and took away from my enjoyment of it. The match represented a nice stylistic change, which is appreciated, and will be a huge asset in terms of Sabre’s ability to bring something fresh to NJPW. Barnett was particularly great on the call, as Sabre’s grappling game in right in his wheelhouse. Ross’ hate of the Suzuki-gun run in also added to the final few minutes, as he was disgusted that such a great match was ruined.

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 Very Good
The 411
This is a very good show, with two great matches and a very good closer; Ross and Barnett continue to bring new life to these matches and it is greatly appreciated.