New Japan World Pro Wrestling on AXS (02.20.15)

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New Japan World Pro Wrestling on AXS
February 20, 2015

G-1 CLIMAX, SON. Tonight, we’ll get three matches from the Wrestling Observer show of the year in 2013. Arguably, five of the ten matches on that night are **** or better. We only get one of those matches here in Nakamura/Ibushi.

Your hosts are Mauro Ranallo and former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett.

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  • Karl Anderson vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan – (G-1 Climax 8.4.13)

Ranallo gives us a ton of background on Tenzan since he’s making his first appearance on AXS. When Anderson can’t win a shoulderblock battle, he mocks Tenzan with Mongolian chops for the lulz. Tenzan makes him pay by running him down with a shoulderblock. JIP ahead to Anderson delivering the SWIVEL GUN STUN, but Tenzan kicks out at two. Tenzan blocks the GUN STUN and applies the ANACONDA VICE. Anderson tries to power out, but Tenzan slams him back down into the hold. He manages to make the ropes writhing in pain. Tenzan misses a Moonsault, but headbutts away the GUN STUN. He looks to slam Anderson down again for the ANACONDA VICE, but Anderson counters and finally hits the GUN STUN OUTTA NOWHERE for the three-count. (4:55 shown) So we get half the match here. Pretty fun back and forth finishing sequence as the crowd was super into Tenzan. **

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  • Satoshi Kojima vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. (w/TAKA Michinoku) – (G-1 Climax 8.4.13)

Barnett says that he and Billy Robinson have been working with Davey Boy Smith Jr. to improve his catch-as-catch-can wrestling. Headlocks and wristlocks to start lead to a shoulderblock battle, which Davey Boy wins. Kojima makes him pay with a clothesline out to the floor and after some tosses into the guardrails, he drops Davey Boy with a DDT on the apron. Back inside, TAKA holds Kojima’s foot when he goes up top allowing Davey Boy to slam him down. Davey Boy shows off his power by doing a few squats with Kojima before slamming him. Kojima stops a backdrop driver with a DDT and does his best Kobashi chop session in the corner. He whips Davey Boy across and follows up with a forearm smash and then delivers a flying elbow for 1-2-NO! They trade chops, but Kojima decides to start throwing elbows instead. Rolling elbow connects! Davey Boy shoves the COZY CUTTER away for a powerslam. Sharpshooter is applied, but Kojima reaches the ropes. Kojima punches away the BULLDOG BOMB and gets the COZY CUTTER after all. Brainbuster gets 1-2-NO! He tosses away the elbow pad and calls for the COZY LARIAT, but again TAKA provides the distraction. Tiger Suplex by Davey Boy gets 1-2-NO! Kojima blocks Davey Boy’s try at a lariat and drills him from behind with his own. Smith sees the COZY LARIAT coming once, but gets nailed the second time. Cover, 1-2-NO! He catches Davey Boy AGAIN. Kojima wants a third, but Smith boots him and delivers a running knee him to the gut. BULLDOG BOMB is enough to put Kojima away. (9:31 shown) Not sure where the edit came, but there’s about two minutes missing here. Fun power match as these two appear to have some chemistry together. ***

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  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi – (G-1 Climax 8.4.13)

This is the main event of the evening. Really tentative start to this as Nakamura tries to get Ibushi to make a mistake here with kicks, which seems odd knowing Ibushi’s karate background. When Nakamura realizes how fast Ibushi is, he tries grounding him with sleepers and headlocks. Ibushi absorbs some knee strikes and ducks a running boot to dropkick Nakamura to the floor. Ibushi looks for the signature Asai Moonsault, but Nakamura slides back in and kicks him in the face to send him collapsing on the floor. Nakamura buries some more knees into Ibushi and then knees him over the guardrail. Back inside, he drapes Ibushi on the apron and delivers a jumping knee strike to the back of his head. In the ring, Ibushi absorbs more of Nakamura’s signature knee strikes and catches him with a Pele Kick. Springboard Missile Dropkick gets two. Ibushi kicks him down for a standing SSP followed by a moonsault off the second turnbuckle for another nearfall. To the floor again, Ibushi lands a springboard corkscrew moonsault to wipe out Nakamura! Back in, Nakamura stops Ibushi up top with a head kick and then hits him with double running knees in the corner for two. NASTY knee strikes to the head and face of Ibushi. Forearm smashes are exchanged. Nakamura stops a mule kick and hits Ibushi with a backcracker to turn the tide. Nakamura can’t keep Ibushi down in a Sleeperhold, so he takes him over with an inverted powerslam. Ibushi sees the Boma Ye coming, but Nakamura settles for an inside cradle for two. Snap dragon suplex by Ibushi sets up the Standing Corkscrew Moonsault for 1-2-NO! Over to the corner, Ibushi brings Nakamura down from the top with a Springboard Frankensteiner! Cover, 1-2-NO! Ibushi delivers a head kick to Nakamura and follows up with the SITOUT LAST RIDE POWERBOMB! That only gets two. GOLDEN STAR PRESS hits knees! BOMA YE to the back of Ibushi’s head! Oh, but Nakamura can’t make the cover. Instead, he abuses Ibushi over in the corner with kicks and stomps to the head regardless of the ref’s warning. IBUSHI SHOWS HIS BUSHIDO – totally no-selling the stomps and hitting Nakamura with palm strikes and one really good punch to the side of the head. Ibushi knees him in the gut and then turns Nakamura inside out with a KOBASHI-STYLE LARIAT. Buzzsaw Kick to Nakamura! Cover, 1-2-NO! He stomps Nakamura a little bit for revenge, but Nakamura fights back and hits a pair of flying knee strikes! BOMA YE, but Ibushi kicks out at one! WHAT! Not knowing where he’s at and doubled over, Nakamura is able to land one final BOMA YE for the three-count. (19:18) Does anyone build possible upsets better than New Japan? This was just a war with Nakamura’s dark side coming out of him here as Ibushi clearly had a ton to prove to New Japan fans. Lots of incredible moments with Nakamura spending the majority of the match on defense against Ibushi’s amazing offense. ****½

NEXT WEEK: The G-1 Climax Finals from 2013! Hiroshi Tanahashi versus Tetsuya Naito!

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Posted on February 21, 2015, in NJPW and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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