Night Two of WrestleKingdom is here. Night One already had potential Match Of The Year Candidates, and Night Two may have even more. The US Title, Semi-Main, and Main Events were all decided last night. Either Kazuchika Okada or Tetsuya Naito will be a double champion, and Juice Robinson may become one as well. Plus the highly anticipated match between Chris Jericho and Hiroshi Tanahashi.
LIJ (EVIL, BUSHI, & Shingo Takagi) b. NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, & Toru Yano, CHAOS (Robbie Eagles, YOSHI-HASHI, & Tomohiro Ishii), Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, & Taichi), and Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, & Chase Owens) when Takagi pinned Taguchi with Made In Japan to win the titles – Bullet Club and CHAOS started out with Ishii getting worked over early. However, it didn’t last long and Ishii dispensed of Owens with a Brainbuster.
Next up was Suzuki-Gun, who wasted no time taking it to Ishii. Eagles tagged in and briefly rallied before getting cut off. He traded a few go-behinds with Kanemaru and got a flash pin with a roll-up,
LIJ came out next, with Bushi mixing it up with Eagles. Hashi had a rapid-fire exchange with Takagi before Ishii and Evil got the double tag. Ishii got triple-teamed and leveled with an Evil lariat. A Darkness Falls later and Ishii was eliminated. It looked like Ishii may have kicked out though.
The champions came out last with Yano getting a few near-falls on Evil. Makabe and Takagi traded strikes in an exchange that really made me want to see a singles match between the two. Taguchi tagged in and hit the Three Amigos suplexes on Takagi. A multi-man brawl broke out, with Takagi getting hit by the “Bum-a-ye” and a Dodon. Takagi kicked out, but immediately got put in the Ankle-Lock. Bushi managed to spit mist into Taguchi’s face, which allowed Takagi to hit Made In Japan for the pinfall.
Jyushin Thunder Liger & Naoki Sano w/Fujiwara vs. Ryu Lee & Hiromu Takahashi – Well, here it is, Liger’s final match. Lee is the former Dragon Lee. Fujiwara came out to Flight Of The Valkyries, which made me think for a second that Daniel Bryan had made a secret defection. Liger and Takahashi started the match, with Liger matching Takahashi move for move. Takahashi looked to tag out, and when Liger did likewise, Takahashi and Lee attacked him from behind. This firmly established the younger team as the heels. They worked over Liger until Sano got the hot tag and immediately dropkicked both men from the top rope. Lee tried for a suicide dive onto Liger from the outside, but Liger dodged and Lee collided with Takahashi. Back in the ring, Takahashi rallied and hit a Falcon Arrow. Liger reversed a Timebomb into a roll-up for a two-count. Alas, the momentum did not last, and Takahashi hit another Timebomb to get the pin and end Liger’s career.
Liger took the mic and said in 1989 the wrestler Jyushin Liger was born. Now, 31 years later, the wrestler Jyushin Liger is ending. He thanked the fans and slapped hands as he made his way to the back.
Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh w/ Rocky Romero) b. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori when Sho pinned Phantasmo after a spike Shock Arrow to win the titles – Ishimori came to the ring with a helmet reminiscent of The Shredder from TMNT. The match started off in high gear with both Sho and Yoh hitting Topes to the outside. Back in the ring, Ishimori gained control by twisting Sho’s neck. The heels worked over Sho with over the top ways to perform back-rakes and low blows. Yoh got the hot tag and ran wild. Sho managed to German Suplex both opponents at once. Bullet Club double-teamed Show, which lead to a four-way brawl. ELP tried to use the title belt as a weapon, but Romero intervened and took the belt away. In the fray, Phantasmo tried a low blow. Sho no-sold it and revealed he was wearing a cup. R3K rallied and hit a 3K followed by a spike Shock Arrow for the pin.
Revolution Pro Champion Zack Sabre Jr. p. SANADA with a bridging pin to retain the title – As ex[pected. The two were evenly matched in the opening minutes. So much so that Sabre started showing frustration. Sanada used the spinning Skulle End and went for the kill with a Moonsault. Sabre dodged and Sanada crashed to the mat. The two exchanged several near falls with roll-ups and reversals. Then they exchanged submissions and again went to the mat for reversals. This time, Sabre came out on top with a bridging pin.
IWGP US Champion Jon Moxley p. Juice Robinson with a Death Rider to retain the title – Juice kickstarted the match by jumping Moxley before the bell. The two exchanged chops in the middle of the ring. Juice got a two-count with a powerbomb. Moxley rallied and used a Figure-Four around the ringpost. When that got broken up he tried to use a chair. Juice hit his Left Hand Of God to punch through the chair. Juice went for the kill with Pulp Friction, but Moxley escaped and the two German Suplexed each other to a double-down. Again Juice went for a Pulp Friction. This time Moxley countered with a Double-Arm DDT and immediately followed up with a Death Rider to finally get the pin.
After the match, Moxley taunted in the ring that he owns the division. Minoru Suzuki’s music hit and Suzuki made his way to the ring and got in Moxley’s face. The two traded blows, with Suzuki coming out on top with the Sleeper and the Gotch Piledriver. Suzuki cut a promo saying he is the King Of Pro Wrestling, and now will be King Of The United States.
Suzuki left, and Moxley gathered his senses after attacking Tsuji at ringside. Moxley then made his way to the back as well.
Hirooki Goto p. NEVER Openweight Champion KENTA with a GTR to win the championship – Goto controlled the match early until Kenta DDT’d him on the ramp to break his momentum. After exchanging several strikes, Goto landed a forearm that sent Kenta to the mat. Kenta countered Flying clothesline and a DDT. Goto hit an Ushigoroshi but got caught in a Yeslock. Kenta got a two count after hitting a flying knee. Goto caught a GTS attempt and made his comeback. A GTR later and it was over.
Jay White p. Kota Ibushi with a Blade Runner – Of course, White started the match by slithering to the outside to distract Ibushi and the referee so Gedo could attack from behind. Ibushi caught on to this and blocked White’s attempts at cheating. White managed to drop Ibushi’s throat on the top rope, which sent Ibushi crashing to the floor between the stage and the railing. White dominated the match for several minutes until Ibushi hit an inverted piledriver to stop the momentum. Ibushi went into his emotionless state and started no-selling any offense. He then decked White with one strike. White only managed to thwart Ibushi’s attacks by tossing the referee in the way and dropping Ibushi with a takedown. Ibushi kicked out of a Top Rope Uranage and blocked a Blade Runner with a V-Trigger. That put Ibushi on the offense where he got some near falls of his own. At the 20-Minute mark, White pulled the referee in the way of Ibushi’s Kamigoye. With the referee down, Gedo got in the ring with a chair. Gedo struck Ibushi in the back with the chair, but Ibushi no-sold it. Ibushi sent Gedo to the floor with a strike and leveled White with a knee strike. This got Ibushi a visible pinfall with no referee to count. When the referee got revived, Ibushi hit a Kamigoye. This time, Gedo pulled the referee out of the ring. When Ibushi went after Gedo, White smashed a chair in his face. Gedo followed up with a brass knucks shot. White hit a Blade Runner as the referee was again revived and got the pinfall.
Chris Jericho s. Hiroshi Tanahashi with a Liontamer – For some reason, Jericho’s music was dubbed over. He came to the ring with the AEW Title though. The match started out slow with the feeling out process. Tanahashi got some momentum until the match went to the floor. Jericho DDT’d Tanahashi on a table, which knocked out the English commentary for a while. Jericho dominated the next several minutes of the match. At the 10-minute mark, Tanahashi tried a comeback, only for Jericho to toss referee Red Shoes in the way. With Red Shoes down, Jericho whipped Tanahashi with his belt. Tanahashi countered a lionsault and sent Jericho to the floor. He followed up with a High Fly Flow from the top. Jericho made it to the ring at the 18 count and walked right into some Tanahashi Dragon Screws. However, Jericho got the knees up to block a High Fly Flow and countered with a Lionsault. Jericho locked in the Walls Of Jericho. After several minutes, Tanahashi broke free and made his comeback. Tanahashi went for another High Fly Flow, which Jericho countered into a Codebreaker. Tanahashi blocked a Judas Effect and hit his own Codebreaker. Tanahashi went for another High Fly Flow, but this time Jericho rolled through and put Tanahashi back in the Walls Of Jericho. Tanahashi struggled for a bit, but had to tap out.
IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito p. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada with a Destino to become the first-ever Double Champion – The crowd was definitely vocal for both competitors. The match started slow, with Okada gaining the upper hand early. Naito gained control and hit a neckbreaker to the floor. Naito dominated for the next several minutes by working over Okada’s neck. Okada made his comeback with a big boot and a flapjack. At the 15-minute mark, Naito hit a Top-Rope Hurricanrana and went for Gloria. The two went back and forth hitting several big moves, including Okada dropkicking Naito to the floor. This time, Okada followed Naito to the floor and went to work on his knee. He slammed the knee on the floor and an announce table. Naito barely made it in at the count of 19. Naito ducked a Rainmaker and hit a Tornado DDT. In a very scary moment, Naito hit a Top-Rop Reverse Hurricanrana for a two count. Okada hit a mid-air dropkick, which Naito no-sold and immediately hit a Destino for a very close two-count. Okada countered another Destino and hit another dropkick. The two traded strikes as they rose to their feet. Then they traded big moves and reversals. Okada was able to reverse a Destino into a Rainmaker at the 30-minute mark. Naito battled out of a Tombstone attempt and spat in Okada’s face. That caused Okada to go back to attacking the knees. In a similar way as he beat Ibushi last night, Okada hit two straight Rainmakers and went for a third. Naito ducked and hit a second Destino for another two-count. Naito slammed Okada and hit a Stardust Press for another near-fall. At last, Naito hit a third Destino to get the pin and win both titles.
Both men laid on the mat for several minutes. As Okada got helped out, Naito took the mic and said he and Okada should do this again soon. Okada smiled and raised a fist in agreement. Naito cut his promo after getting presented both titles. KENTA ran out and attacked him. After hitting a GTS, Kenta posed over the fallen Naito and held both belts. So it looks like we have our first title contender. Usually something like this is saved for New Year Dash, so it will be interesting to see what the major angle is in store for tomorrow.