New Japan Pro Wrestling heads back to America when they present Fighting Spirit Unleashed in the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California. The arena certainly isn’t full for this show, and the fact that the chairs are yellow makes the empty seats look worse on camera but the fans are loud and look like they were having fun and were interested in the matches and wrestlers.
This show is headlined by Ishii & Okada vs the Golden Lovers and co-headlined by Juice Robinson defending his title against Cody. The commentators on this show are Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly. To read more about why Kevin Kelly is joining JR, Click Here.
To read my preview of this show, Click Here.
This show is opened up with a video package, running down the entire card, then we go into our first match.
Jyushin Thunder Liger, Taguchi & ACH vs SHO, YOH & Rocky Romero
- This match started off with YOH and Liger facing off as the crowd chants for Jyushin Liger. All guys get some good spots, including spots for both teams but when ACH was tagged in by Liger, after both big team spots, he came in on fire and took it to Rocky with a dive then suplexing SHO. Taguchi was working great as a babyface in front of this crowd and that’s probably because he’s that good. Taguchi pinned Rocky Romero for the win, to the crowds happiness by the sound of it. Winners: Taguchi, ACH and Jyushin Thunder Liger.
The Addiction, Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels vs Hangman Page & Chase Owens
- This started off with Page and Kazarian as they have a long history of very hard hitting, often hardcore matches. They hit each other without either going down but eventually both are tagged out by their respective partners. Kazarian is wearing a patch on his head after receiving stitches on the Ring Of Honor show on the previous Friday. Hangman went for his Shooting Star off the apron to Kazarian but Kaz reversed it into a code breaker, moments later Daniels and Kazarian with a Best Meltzer Ever to Chase Owens. This was a very fun tag match and if you haven’t seen this then I would suggest this match. Winners: The Addiction.
Beretta, Chuckie T & Goto vs Flip Gordon, Chris Sabin & Jeff Cobb
- Chuckie T and Sabin kick this match off but like most tag matches in NJPW, this breaks down quickly. Sabin’s chest is very red after some chop exchanges with Beretta and Flip Gordon was tagged in. After Flip got some good spots in, they did a double down, leading to tags to Goto and Jeff Cobb. Goto vs Cobb is probably a match that will happen in NJPW in the future and if it’s not already a plan, it should be, they are very good together. Jeff Cobb pinned Chuckie T with the Tour Of The Islands. Winners: Flip, Sabin and Jeff Cobb.
Davey Boy Smith Jr, Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr vs SANADA, EVIL & Tetsuya Naito
- Suzuki-gun get the jump start on LIJ as Archer and DBS Jr take Naito and EVIL to the outside and Zack wears down SANADA in the ring. SANADA took a prolonged heat in the early portion of this match but eventually made a tag to Naito, who has spent the whole match selling at ringside. Big pop for Naito’s tag as Naito was probably the most popular person in this match. EVIL is tagged in as Zack Sabre Jr is tagged in too, these two will have a match coming up soon, probably King Of Pro Wrestling on October 8th but that’s not confirmed. EVIL gets the better of ZSJ and Los Ingobernables De Japon team up on him briefly before Zack is left to battle EVIL and Zack wins with his bridging cradle pin. Winners: Davey Boy Smith Jr, Lance Archer and Zack Sabre Jr.
Gedo & Switchblade Jay White vs KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi
- This is coming off the angle where Gedo turned on Okada to side with Switchblade, at the same time Jay White targets Tanahashi and his contract for the Tokyo Dome main event. Tanahashi took a lot of heat in the early stages of this match while Gedo took our KUSHIDA at ringside. KUSHIDA did finally get a tag in but was only in a few minutes before fighting Gedo on the outside again. As Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow on Jay WHite, Gedo hit him with Brass Knuckles and also knock out KUSHIDA with them. Jay hit his finisher, the Switchblade, on Tanahashi for the win. After Jay cut a promo saying he wants that briefcase and the main event of Wrestlekingdom. Winners: Switchblade Jay White and Gedo.
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-final – Will Ospreay vs Marty Scurll
- This match started off fats as Ospreay took it to The Villain and getting two nearfalls in the first thirty seconds, they didn’t stop there. This match built very well and the fans were completly aboard for the ride as they cheered, booed and counted along for every nearfall. This building looked no where near full but it sounded very loud for this match. This had so many high impact moves and great nearfalls, this is a top tier match that you should go out of your way to watch, if you haven’t already. Winner: Marty Scurll.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match – The Young Bucks vs Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa
- This started off with the Young Bucks full of fire as they get revenge on the Tongans but after a few minutes, Matt Jackson’s back gives out on him and Nick struggles against the Tongans as Matt is put through a table on the outside, further injuring his back. Nick continued to fight and eventually Matt got back up to the apron and continued himself. In the end, The Bucks went for a Meltzer Driver but Nick was Gun Stunned out of the air, Matt was given the Tanga Loa’s finish, the Ape Shit but kicked out. Matt was Gun Stunned by Tama Tonga in a 3-D style move and that was it. The Tongans are the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions. Winners: Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa.
IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Match – Juice Robinson (c) vs Cody
- Cody enters first, accompanied by Brandi Rhodes in an extravagant looking red attire. Juice shows that he feels like he has something to prove with the intensity. Cody is the obvious heel in the math, having Brandi get involved multiple times but Juice would continue to fight the odds. Juice would hit the Pulp Friction but Brandi rolled Cody out of the ring. this match would be sixteen minutes and forty eight seconds according to Jim Ross and it was a very good match. The final moments came when Juice hit a huge superplex from the top rope, both guys lay for a second then Cody rolled Juice up in a small package for the win and the championship. Winner: New Champion, Cody.
Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada vs The Golden Elite, Kota Ibushi & Kenny Omega
- Ibushi and Okada kick this off and I instantly want this as a singles match at some point. After only a few minutes, Kota tagged Omega and Okada tagged Ishii. Ishii and Omega beat on each other and Omega takes the first bump, Ishii then spits on Ibushi and JR says “That spit hit Ibushi right in the mouth” which is disgusting. Ibushi is tagged in after Ishii gets the better of Omega. Ishii is great because his gimmick is, things hurt him but he won’t sell it until he hurts his opponent first, just great. Ishii and Okada work over Ibushi while Omega sells an attack by Okada on the outside. The crowd is very heated for this match and Okada understands that The Golden Lovers are faces here so he does more heelish things, because he is great an understands his audience. Okada doesn’t go one-on-one with Omega in the ring for as long as he can but after Ishii is taken out and Okada takes Ibushi out with a shotgun dropkick, its left to Omega and Okada. Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada beat the hell out of each other for about five minutes and the crowd starts to chant “This is awesome” and JR says “yes it is folks”. Ishii and Ibushi trade strikes for so long, the crowd is stood up, clapping and cheering in amazement. Ibushi kicks out of a huge lastride powerbomb and fans go crazy. Moments later, The Golden Lovers have Ishii in the ring as Okada was just kicked off the apron, into the guardrail. Omega and Ibushi call for and deliver the Golden Trigger on Ishii, both men pinned Ishii for the win. Winners: The Golden Elite, Kota Ibushi and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega.
* After the match, Kenny cut a promo to Kota Ibushi saying, people want to see them have a singles match and Kenny wanted to have that at King Of Pro Wrestling in just over a week. Just before Kota could answer, Cody took the microphone and inserted himself in the match, Kenny accepted and made this a triple threat match for Tokyo on October 8th.
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