The Quarter-Finals conclude tonight, which will leave only four men of 32. We’ll also see if CHAOS continues their dominance heading into the Semi-Finals.
Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyisho Tenzan, & Yuya Uemera b. Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, & Yota Tsuji when Kojima pinned Tsuji with a lariat – The Young Lions swapped partners from yesterday, and started against each other. Tsuji got the better of it, and his team started working over Uemera. Eventually Uemera fired up and decked Nagata with a dropkick. Tenzan got the tag for Uemera’s team and ran wild for a bit. Nakanishi got hit with Kojima’s Machine Gun Chops. Tsuji put Kojima in the Boston Crab, which got broken up by Uemera. Kojima responded with a Koji Cutter and a lariat to get the win.
Taichi & Taka Michinoku of Suzuki-Gun b. NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay & Shota Umino when Taichi submitted Umino with a Stretch Plumb – Umino got taken to the mat by Taka while Taichi brawled with Ospreay on the floor. The heels beat down Umino until Ospreay got the hot tag. Taka blocked a Stormbreaker with an enziguri and tagged Taichi. Ospreay fended Taichi off and tagged Umino back in. Ospreay took care of Taka while Umino stayed with Taichi in the ring. Umino got decked by a superkick, and got put in the Stretch Plumb. Taka kept Ospreay in his own submission to prevent the save. With no save in sight, Umino submitted.
In a backstage promo after the match, Ospreay challenged ROH TV Champion Jeff Cobb to a Title-vs.-Title Match at Madison Square Garden. This would make the second Champion vs. Champion match on the MSG show.
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Hikuleo, & Chase Owens w/Jado) b. IWGP US Champion Juice Robinson, Mikey Nicholls, & Ren Narita when Owens pinned Narita with a Package Piledriver – Owens motioned that he wanted to start off against Juice, but then immediately tagged out when Juice obliged. The heels ran wild on the floor while Fale waited in the ring. Juice got the brunt of the beatdown, both in and out of the ring. Nicholls got the tag, and rallied against the heels. Narita tagged in and got a near fall on Owens. Owens kicked out, which propelled Narita into Jado’s shinai. A Package Piledriver later, and it was all over.
After the match, Hikuleo and Fale held Juice while Owens taunted him with the belt, and hit another Package Piledriver on Narita for good measure.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., & Lance Archer) b. Rysuke Taguchi, Michael Elgin, & Toa Henare when Archer pinned Henare with a Blackout – The heels once again attacked before the bell and took the match to the floor. Suzuki stayed in the ring with Taguchi. The babyfaces managed to rally and disposed of KES on the floor. Back in the ring, Taguchi lead his teammates against Suzuki. That didn’t last long, and Taguchi again found himself at Suzuki’s mercy. The heels got the heat on Taguchi, then Elgin got the hot tag. KES cut off Henare, and hit a Hart Attack, but Henare kicked out. Archer and Henare continued in the ring as evrybody else brawled on the floor. Henare kicked out of several moves, but could not turn things around and fell to a Blackout.
Los Ingobernables De Japon (IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, BUSHI, & Shingo Takagi) b. Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, & Tomoaki Honma when EVIL submitted Honma with a Sasori-Gatame – Makabe and Takagi traded shoulderblocks, which was interesting given that Takagi is a Junior Heavyweight. Yano found himself on the receiving end of Takagi’s offense while everybody else brawled on the outside. Ibushi rallied briefly, and tagged in Honma. Makabe ran in and decked Naito and EVIL with clotheslines. Ibushi cleared the ring, leaving Evil alone with Honma. In an unexpected finish, Evil locked in a Sasori-Gatame (Scorpion Deathlock/Sharpshooter) for a submission victory.
Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto of CHAOS b. Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI of CHAOS when Goto pinned Hashi with a GTR – Of course, all four men are with CHAOS, and Okada will face Ishii in the Semi-Finals. Okada did his usual clean break at the ropes, but this time Ishii smacked him. Ishii chopped Okada into the corner, and Goto tagged in, though Okada still elbowed Ishii for good measure. Goto and Ishii managed to cut Hashi off and work him over. Okada got the tag and went at it with Ishii. After an exciting exchange, Ishii hit a back suplex for a double down. Goto tagged in, but got caught in a neckbreaker. Yoshi tagged in and ran wild a bit. Goto fired up and retaliated. He blocked a Karma attempt with an inverted GTR, then went for a regular GTR. Okada made the save, but got decked by Ishii. Goto hit the Ushigoroshi, followed by a sliding lariat by Ishii. Goto then sealed the win with a GTR.
SANADA s. Colt Cabana with a Skull End – This is a mismatch to say the least. That said, Mark my words. Sanada will be IWGP Heavyweight Champion at some point. A lot of mat based wrestling holds and takedowns in the first few minutes. Cabana escaped a Paradise Lock, and then failed miserably at applying one himself. When Sanada finally got tired of Cabana trying to bait him, he applied the Paradise Lock and dropkicked Cabana to the floor. The two exchanged offense, with Sanada using headscissors and dropkicks, and Cabana using his comedic takedowns. Cabana applied the Billy Goat’s Curse, then tried a top rope hurricanrana. Sanada rolled through and tried for the Skull End. Cabana escaped, and blocked a moonsault with his knees. Cabana went for his Superman pinning combination, only for Sanada to escape it and applying the Skull End.
Hiroshi Tanahashi p. Zack Sabre Jr. w/Taka Michinoku with a Bridging Pin – Taka did his usual introduction, saying Tanahashi was old and tired. Again, the match was mat-based in the opening minutes. Sabre started focusing on Tanahashi’s joints. After grounding him with armbars, Sabre started taunting Tanahashi. That fired Tanahashi up, and got him to fight back with strikes. At the 10 minute mark, the two exchanged abdominal stretches, which Tanahashi turned into a pumphandle slam. Sabre locked Tanahashi up in the ropes with an Octopus Hold. When Red Shoes forced Zack to break the hold, Tanahashi responded with dragon screw leg whips, also using the ropes. This turned things in Tanahashi’s favor, and he was able to lock in a Cloverleaf. A few Twist And Shout Neckbreakers, and a Slingblade got a near fall. Sabre locked in another Octopus like Hold that I couldn’t pronounce. When Tanahashi tried to escape, Zack reversed into a bridging pin, which Tanahashi barely kicked out out. Tanahashi got his own near fall with an O’Connor Roll. Then the match turned into a “top this” battle of leg whips and pinning combinations. This time, it was Tanahashi that came out on top with a bridging pin, Fujinami style.
As expected, Sabre threw a fit, but eventually left. Tanahashi did his usual Air Guitar routine, even admitting that it had been a while since he’d done one. He then closed the night by saying two more wins, and he’d be champion.
Backstage, Sabre was furious saying “It wasn’t three”. Taka told the press that Tanahashi got lucky. A perfectly fine heel ending to the show.