NJPW Battle In The Valley Results – After a 43-minute delay due to technical issues, the show begins. Ian Riccoboni and Matt Rehwoldt are on the call, with Scott D’Amore joining them for the opener.
Kushida, Kevin Knight, The DKC & Volador Jr. defeated Mascara Dorada, Josh Alexander, Adrian Quest & Rocky Romero
This was a fun opener that got me back into the mood for wrestling after the delay. Knight continues to be an impressive prospect for New Japan, with his athleticism jumping off the page.
The DKC has personalized gear, signifying possible graduation from the dojo. Rocky Romero came out with the CMLL World Welterweight Championship that he and Volador have been feuding over. Alexander came out with the Impact World Title that Kushida will be challenging for over Wrestlemania Weekend at the Multiverse United show. D’Amore announced that the Multiverse United show has sold out, so a little breaking news there.
Kushida and Alexander started for their teams, trading submission hold attempts before they locked each other in ankle locks simultaneously. Knight and Quest tagged in for their teams, with Quest taking control with a springboard crossbody and a headscissors for a nearfall. Quest tagged in his mentor Romero, but Knight tagged Volador in. That sent Romero scurrying to the corner to tag Dorada, who engaged in a hot lucha encounter. Dorada walked the ropes to dropkick Volador. Romero blind-tagged his way in to lay the boots to Volador, but Volador took control and sent both men out of the ring. Kushida and Alexander tagged back in, with Alexander scoring a nearfall with a Northern Lights Suplex.
Kushida got caught in the wrong corner, getting worked on by team Alexander. Kushida hit a double handspring to Romero and Quest before tagging out to DKC. DKC laid in the chops to Quest and Dorada before taking them both out with a dive to the floor. DKC hit a flying kick to Quest for a nearfall. The match broke down into an eight-way before Kushida and Knight hit a doomsday dropkick – with Knight jumping from the mat – for a nearfall.
A string of dives left Kushida and Alexander in the ring. Kushida caught Alexander in the Hoverboard Lock, which allowed Knight to hit a pendulum DDT to DKC for the win. Volador and Romero got into a short brawl after the match, with Volador sending Romero to the floor. Volador challenged Romero to a future hair match.
STRONG Openweight Championship: Kenta defeated Fred Rosser to win the title
A hard-hitting battle with a finish that took a bit away from it. I get that they did it to give Rosser a new feud after a long title reign, but in a good match like this, I prefer to have a clean win.
Kenta paint-brushed Rosser while breaking an opening waistlock. Kenta gave Rosser some nonchalant kicks in the corner, so Rosser got out of the ring and challenged Kenta to a fight in the crowd. Kenta obliged, kicking Rosser hard before booting him over the barricade. Kenta laid in more kicks and laid Rosser out with a DDT on the apron.
Kenta and Rosser traded strikes in the corner before Kenta kicked Rosser square in the back for a two count. Kenta kept baiting Rosser in to take big shots, landing a DDT for another nearfall. Rosser fired up, carrying Kenta to the corner and dropping him with chops and hip attacks. Rosser landed a squisher for a nearfall. Kenta clawed at Rosser’s eyes before dropping him with another DDT. A lariat off the top rope scored another nearfall for Kenta. Kenta sent Rosser to the apron and landed a big boot, but Rosser grabbed Kenta and dropped him with a backbreaker on the apron. Rosser followed it with a seated senton to the floor. The clothesline in the ring from Rosser got another nearfall.
Kenta reversed an STF attempt into Game Over. Rosser got to the ropes, where Kenta promptly dropped him with the Green Killer hanging DDT. Kenta dropped Rosser with a running boot and a shotgun dropkick, before landing the double stomp for a nearfall. With CM Punk in the crowd, Kenta went for the Go To Sleep, but Rosser slipped out and locked on the Crossface Chickenwing. Kenta grabbed the ref and pulled him into the pile to force Rosser to break the hold. Rosser won a strike exchange with a rolling elbow for a nearfall.
Kenta sent Rosser into the referee. Rosser forced Kenta to submit with the STF, but the referee was still down. Juice Robinson made his way to ringside and knocked Rosser out with a roll of quarters. Kenta then grabbed Rosser and hit Go To Sleep to win the match and the title.
STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championship: Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) © defeated West Coast Wrecking Crew (Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson) to retain
This was a solid match for its spot on the card. It’s always a welcome sight to see the Machine Guns, and the Wrecking Crew accounted for themselves well in this spot.
The Wrecking Crew jumped the Guns to start, but the Guns sent them out of the ring. The Guns followed them, but Isaacs carried Sabin a full lap around the ring in a delayed vertical suplex before dropping him on the apron. Nelson had suplexed Shelley in the ring, and they both worked on Shelley’s knee while Sabin was down. Nelson made his way to the top rope, but Sabin shoved him to the mat. Shelley fought them both off before tagging out to Sabin.
Sabin was a house of fire, taking out both men before hitting a top-rope crossbody on Nelson for a nearfall. After Shelley helped send both Isaacs and Nelson to the floor, Shelley held open the ropes for a Sabin dive to the floor. A missile dropkick sent Nelson into a Sabin facebuster for a nearfall. Sabin booted Shelley by accident, allowing Nelson to hit a top rope elbow to Shelley. A Spicolli Driver into Nelson’s knees got Isaacs a nearfall. Isaacs dropped Sabin with a German suplex, with Nelson following with a cutter for a nearfall. Sabin escapes a double team, which allowed the Guns to hit the Dream Sequence on Isaacs. The Guns hit their double team Made In Japan for the win.
Loser Leaves New Japan: Eddie Kingston defeated Jay White
A stellar contest that got the emotion and fire you would want in a Loser Leaves Town match. Jay White’s New Japan career had incredibly high highs, and disappointing lows, but this was one hell of a match to end it with.
After Juice Robinson’s interference in the Strong Openweight Title match, Bullet Club has been banned from ringside or else White will be automatically disqualified.
White stalled early on, baiting Kingston in to drop his neck on the ropes, but Kingston countered with a heavy chop that sent White to the floor. White came back in and dropped Kingston with a chop of his own before driving him into the corner. Kingston took another heavy chop but fired back with a big STO. Kingston clubbered on White, repeatedly dropping him with heavy chops. White got back in control with a DDT and a suplex into the corner. White hit the Blade Buster for a nearfall.
White started toying with Kingston, but Kingston fired back quickly before White clawed at Kingston’s eyes. Kingston fought out of a uranage and hit an exploder suplex and a short-arm clothesline for a two count. Kingston laid more chops into White, sending him out of the ring with one as the crowd chanted Kingston’s name. White kept walking into chops with a smile on his face before landing in the corner and taking more chops. White leaned into more chops, but baited Kingston into a Backfist attempt that he ducked. White dropped Kingston with a facebuster and a disgusting high-angle German suplex, before scoring a nearfall with a lariat.
White hit a nasty uranage for a nearfall. White set up for the half-and-half suplex, but Kingston fought out with chops. They battled with chops in the center of the ring before Kingston sent White into the corner and hammered him with the machine gun chops in the corner. White took Kingston into the corner and hit his own machine gun chops, but Kingston just kept chopping White. White had enough and clawed at Kingston’s eyes before dropping him with the half-and-half suplex. White went for the Blade Runner, but Kingston clawed at White’s eyes. Kingston shoved the ref away, allowing White to hit a low blow. White hit the Blade Runner, but the momentum sent Kingston rolling to the floor to a massive pop.
White dragged Kingston back into the ring, but only got a nearfall. After arguing with the referee, White walked into a backfist from Kingston for a close nearfall. Kingston offered White a fist bump, but White spat on him instead. Kingston hit a second and a third backfist, a half-and-half suplex, a fourth backfist, and a Northern Lights Driver for…White to kick out at two to a huge reaction. Kingston brought White up, gave him a hug, and hit another Northern Lights Driver to win and end Jay White’s New Japan Pro Wrestling career.
After the match, as White was getting “Thank You Jay” chants, White’s longtime rival David Finlay slid into the ring and drilled White with the shillelagh. Finlay cursed White for wasting the opportunity that he had and lamented that he was an outsider no matter where he went in the world. He warned the rest of New Japan that he belonged in the ring as a fourth-generation wrestler and that he was coming to take over the wrestling world.
Filthy Rules: Tom Lawlor defeated Homicide
This was long and was full of a lot of plunder. The right guy won.
Filthy Rules is a no-disqualification match with the ropes taken down.
Lawlor spent a comical amount of time getting ready, taking off a full gi and putting on fight gloves before Homicide hit a lariat for a quick nearfall. Lawlor sent Homicide to the floor and hit a kick from the ring before hitting Homicide with a trash can lid. Lawlor went for a big run down the ramp, but Homicide caught him with a chair to the face. In the ring, Homicide hit an exploder suplex for a nearfall before sending Lawlor into the ring post.
Homicide hit Lawlor with baking trays and a DDT before grabbing plunder from under the ring. He pulled out a ladder, a kendo stick, and several forks. Lawlor recovered and locked Homicide in a cloverleaf, but Homicide stabbed Lawlor in the feet with the fork to get out. Homicide hit a cutter for a nearfall. Lawlor reversed a throw and sent Homicide into the ring post before diving onto Homicide on the floor. Lawlor grabbed a set of silver knuckles and hit several body shots before putting Homicide back in the ring.
Lawlor fish-hooked Homicide with one of the turnbuckles, before missing a Superman Punch into the ring post. Homicide dropped Lawlor with a neckbreaker for a nearfall, but Lawlor dumped Homicide onto a trash can for a nearfall of his own. Lawlor teased a move into a door at ringside, but Homicide hit a pair of vertical suplexes. They traded suplexes for a while before Lawlor hit an enzuigiri and a set of knees. Lawlor locked on a choke, but Homicide picked him up and drove him through the door with a Death Valley Driver.
Homicide hit a piledriver onto the door for a nearfall. Homicide went for the Cop Killa, but Lawlor rolled out and eventually backdropped Homicide into a ladder. A chair to the face followed by a Penalty Kick got a nearfall for Lawlor. Lawlor hit Homicide with assorted plunder before hitting a diving headbutt off of a ladder onto a chair on Homicide’s head. That only got a two-count, so Lawlor hit the NKOTB and locked on a rear-naked choke for the win.
NJPW World TV Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. © defeated Clark Connors to retain
This didn’t have the energy I was hoping for from these TV Title matches. There was a lack of urgency, and the crowd wasn’t into this one until the closing minutes. The last few minutes were very good, and the challenge made afterward leads to a match that I am looking forward to.
A 15-minute time limit for this match, the case for all TV Title matches.
After Connors gave a clean break, the two traded uppercuts. Connors took Sabre down with a shoulder block. Sabre opened himself up for chops from Connors, who obliged with a heavy shot. After more strikes, Sabre countered a hip toss into a Cobra Twist. He transitioned into a neck crank, then took his time transitioning into a sideways surfboard before Connors got to the ropes. Connors fought back with more chops before Sabre dropped him with a boot at the five-minute call.
Sabre laid on more arm work, but Connors was able to gain some momentum and hit a pounce. Connors hit a spear in the corner, but Sabre came back with a flying front facelock. Connors hit a Northern Lights throw to get out of it before booting Sabre in the face for a nearfall. Sabre took a wristlock and quickly dropped Connors to the mat by his arm. Sabre cut off a strike exchange with a kick to the arm, but Connors came back with a brainbuster for a nearfall. Connors lined Sabre up for a spear, but Sabre hooked Connors’ arm for a Fujiwara armbar. Sabre continued to transition, but Connors got to the ropes at the ten-minute call.
Connors caught a Penalty Kick, taking several slaps from Sabre before hitting a headbutt. Sabre countered a strike with a big suplex for a nearfall. Sabre hit heavy kicks, but Connors caught him with a spear and a powerslam for a nearfall. Three minutes left, as Connors countered a running European uppercut with a backslide for two. A powerbomb from Connors got another nearfall.
Two minutes left as Sabre went for the European Clutch, but Connors caught Sabre in a choke. Both men transitioned submissions, with Connors locking on an Ankle Lock with one minute remaining. But as soon as the call came, Sabre pulled Connors into a disgusting armbar for the immediate tapout.
After the match, Kevin Knight confronted Sabre and seemed to make a challenge for the title.
IWGP Women’s Championship: Mercedes Mone defeated Kairi © to win the title
A match that earned its position on the card. These two were treated like legitimate superstars, with the crowd alive for this one from the pre-match video package. This was hard-hitting and vicious from the jump, and they never lost the crowd in this twenty-five-minute battle. An excellent match, and an excellent start to Mercedes Mone’s post-WWE career. Highly recommend this one.
Mone came out in Hana Kimura-inspired gear to the biggest reaction of the night. Dueling chants as the bell rang for this one, as the energy returned to the building in full. Mone quickly springboarded into the Bank Statement, but Kairi escaped. After a Greco-Roman knuckle lock, Kairi caught Mone with a headscissors that sent her to the outside. Kairi followed with a running forearm before sending Mone back into the ring and hammering her with a chop. Mone countered with a flurry of chops and a lucha armdrag. Mone hit a Meteora in the corner for a nearfall.
Mone went for another armdrag, but Kairi cut her off on the top rope and set her down in the Tree of Woe. Kairi went to the top rope, but Mone cut her off and did a handstand out of the Tree of Woe. Mone sent Kairi into the post before dropping her chin-first on the buckle. Another post shot from Mone got a nearfall once they got back into the ring. Mone talked trash before slapping Kairi in the face. Mone dropped Kairi with a DDT for a nearfall, holding onto the arm on the kickout. Kairi got a rollup for two, but Mone cut her off with a clothesline. Mone stood on Kairi as she was hung over the ropes before dropping the arm over her knees for a nearfall.
Mone sat Kairi in the Tree of Woe and repeatedly kicked her in the chest. Mone went to send Kairi into the post again, but Kairi pulled Mone into the post instead. Kairi dumped Mone into the post again but got greedy and got sent into the post herself. We got a countout tease, before Mone dropped Kairi down by the arm again. Mone sent Kairi to the top rope, but Kairi cut her off and hit a double stomp to Mone’s chest.
Kairi hit a running neckbreaker and the Interceptor spear before hitting the basement forearm. Kairi hit the forearm off the top rope for a nearfall. Kairi locked on a submission that forced Mone to the ropes. At the fifteen-minute call, Mone booted Kairi off the apron and hit a Meteora to the floor. Mone hit another Meteora in the ring, but only got a two count to her shock. A Bank Statement attempt got countered into a pair of pinfall attempts before Kairi caught Mone in The Anchor submission hold. Mone rolled Kairi through into the Bank Statement, but Kairi got to the ropes. Mone hit the ropes and ran right into a Cutlass from Kairi for a nearfall.
Kairi hit the Alabama Slam to set up the Insane Elbow, but Mone grabbed Kairi’s leg and rolled out to the apron. Kairi hit the ropes, but Mone rolled through and hit a belly-to-Bayley for a nearfall to Bayley chants. Mone hit two of the Three Amigos, but Kairi countered the third into a DDT. A strike exchange ended in the referee getting hit with a Cutlass. They brawled onto the stage, with Mone rolling off of the stage. Kairi went for a running forearm, but Mone caught her and dropped her onto a speaker near the stage. Mone pulled out a table from under the stage and set Kairi up for a suplex off of the speaker, but Kairi slipped under and powerbombed Mone through the table to a huge pop.
At the twenty-five minute call, Kairi went to the top rope for the Insane Elbow, but flew into the boots of Mone. Mone went to the top herself for a frog splash but caught the knees of Kairi. Kairi locked on a crossface, which forced Mone to bite her way out. Mone got Kairi in position for the Mone Maker, and hit the DDT clean for the win and the title.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada © defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to retain
Okada/Tanahashi is like a fine wine. It always ages well. This wasn’t the most spectacular of their encounters, but an average Okada/Tanahashi match is still a fantastic main event.
After the opening exchange, Tanahashi caught Okada with the dragon screw out of the corner. Okada came back by getting Tanahashi to the top rope and hitting the big dropkick. Okada sent Tanahashi into the barricade and into the apron with charges. Tanahashi caught Okada with strikes, but Okada dropped Tanahashi with a DDT on the ramp. Another DDT from Okada in the ring got a nearfall. Go Ace chants rained down as Okada dropped Tanahashi with a neckbreaker. Okada posed over Tanahashi to boos.
Tanahashi came back with a running forearm and strikes before hitting the senton off the second rope. Tanahashi countered an Okada boot with a Dragon Screw that sent Okada to the floor. Tanahashi hit the Aces High from the top rope to the floor, taking both men out. Tanahashi brought Okada back into the ring, but got caught with a flapjack from Okada. Okada charged Tanahashi in the corner, but Tanahashi dropkicked the leg out from under him. Okada caught Tanahashi with the neckbreaker over the knee, and after shaking out the knee, he hit the elbow off the top rope. Rainmaker pose, but Tanahashi fought out of the hold. Okada locked Tanahashi in the Money Clip – which the announcers didn’t seem to realize was a big move – before Tanahashi got to the ropes.
Tanahashi ducked a clothesline and hit a straight jacket German for a nearfall. Tanahashi hit the Slingblade for another nearfall. He hit the High Fly Flow to the back, but a second one to the front caught knees from Okada. A strike exchange saw both men rise to their feet before Tanahashi caught Okada with a shot that staggered him. Okada fought back with a shotgun dropkick, but Tanahashi came back with a slap. Tanahashi hit the ropes, but got caught with a picture perfect dropkick that brought the fans to their feet.
Okada hit the Landslide, but Tanahashi fought the Rainmaker off before countering it with a Slingblade. Tanahashi went to the top rope for a High Fly Flow, but Okada dropkicked him out of the air. Okada went for the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi caught him with a small package for a close nearfall. Okada hit the enzuigiri and the Cobra Flowsion before finally landing the Rainmaker to retain.
Results by FWOnline