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We are welcomed in by Mauro Ranallo with Josh Barnett. The first match takes place March 23, 2013 at the Korakuen Hall. Minoru Suzuki and Taka Michinoku are already on their way to the ring with Lance Archer. Their opponents are Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, and Jado. Barnett and Ranallo talk about the history behind the venue were in.
Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, & Jado vs. Minoru Suzuki, Taka Michinoku and Lance Archer.
The action begins quickly as it spills to the outside. Nakamura throws Suzuki into the guardrail outside the ring. In the Jado tries to give archer a sunset flip but can’t pull him over, Archer goes to punch Jado in the face but Jado moves out of the way. Archer rushes into the corner but Jado moves and tags Nakamura. Nakamura rushes in and takes out Michinoku and Suzuki on the ring apron and drop kicks Archer. He drives his knees into the midsection of Archer. Nakamura hits a jumping knee and goes for a pin and gets two count. Archer tags in Suzuki and Nakamura tags Ishii. They exchange blows in the middle of the ring. Suzuki hits a head butt, and then Ishii hits a hug head butt, and hits a backdrop driver and gets a two count. Suzuki puts Ishii into a sleeper hold. Suzuki goes for a Gotch driver but Nakamura comes in for the save and hits a back cracker. Ishii hits a lariat and gets a two count on Suzuki. Suzuki tags Michinoku. Michinoku rushes into the corner and hits an elbow on Ishii, and then Suzuki rushes in with a kick to the face. Archer then hits a big boot on Ishii. Archer hits a Lou Thesz backdrop and Michinoku makes the cover for a two count. Nakamura picks Michinoku up into a firemen’s carry and Ishii turns it into a brain buster. Ishii covers and it gets broken up by Archer. Archer goes to work on Nakamura but Ishii comes from behind and hits a German Suplex. Michinoku rolls Ishii up and gets a three count. Ishii hits a huge lariat on Michinoku then puts him in a vertical press and hits the brain buster. Ishii gets the cover for the win.
Winners: Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, & Jado
After the match Ishii grabs the microphone. He challenges Lance Archer and Davey Both Smith Jr. for the IWGP Tag Team Championships. Smith comes running out to the ring. Smith says there request is granted. Smith then Challenges Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship. Nakamura asks the crowd if he should take the challenge, he yells yes. Nakamura talks to the cameras in the back as we go to a break.
Back from the break a video airs with Okada talking about his history in the New Japan Cup.
Kazuchika “Rainmaker” Okada vs. Hirooki Goto
The bell rings and both men lock up in the center of the ring. Goto puts Okada in a waste lock and Okada gets to the ropes. They tie up again but Okada gets a wrist lock and Goto reverses sit. Okada uses an ankle pick to take Goto down but Goto reverses it into a cross arm breaker. Goto gets a toe hold on Okada. Okada and Goto both get back to their feet as the crowd shows their appreciation. Goto takes Okada down with a shoulder block. Okada then goes for a hip toss but Goto reverses and hip tosses Okada, and then hits a vicious kick to the head of Okada. Goto goes for the pin and gets a two count. Goto hits an elbow and gets another two count. Goto puts Okada in a reverse chin lock, and has to break it when Okada gets to the rope. Okada hits a series of uppercuts and then hits a basement drop kick as we go to a break….
Back from the break Okada rolls to the outside where Goto is. Okada uses the guardrails to assault Goto. Both men get back into the ring to break the count. Okada puts Goto in a ¾ nelson submission. Goto gets to the ropes and Okada breaks the hold. They exchange some slaps and kicks, Goto drops Okada with a back elbow. Goto goes to kick Okada but Okada catches it. Okada hits a neck breaker and gets a two count. Okada uses a submission hold to wear Goto down and breaks the hold when Goto gets to the ropes. Okada hits an elbow in the corner, then hits some chops on Goto. Okada rushes into the corner and Goto moves but Okada hits Goto with a big boot. Goto then takes Okada down with a clothesline. Goto hits a number of kicks to the mid section, and then he hits a spinning wheel kick and a backdrop suplex on Okada. Goto clotheslines Okada to the outside. Goto throws Okada into the guardrail and then hits a clothesline driving Okada into the crowd as we go to a break.
Back from the break Goto and Okada are still on the outside of the ring. Both men get back into the ring as Goto stomps Okada. Goto hits a German suplex with a bridge and gets a two count. Goto hits a kick and gets another two count. Okada hits the flapjack onto Goto. Okada places Goto onto the top turn buckle and drop kicks him to the outside. Okada goes to the outside and throws Goto into the guardrail, followed by a kick. Okada hits the draping DDT onto the floor. Okada rolls back into the ring as the referee starts the 20 count. Okada goes to the outside and throws him back in. Okada slams Goto down and hits a diving elbow drop. Okada hits “Heavy Rain” and gets a two count. After some reversals and a standing switch Okada throws Goto of the ropes and goes for a kick but misses. Goto hits a lariat and drives Okada to the mat. Both men lay on the mat as we go to a break.
Back from the break both men are getting back to their feet. They exchange blows in the center of the ring. Goto bounces of the ropes and Okada hits a huge drop kick. Okada tries to get the submission move he calls “Red Ink”, but Goto gets to the rope. Goto puts Okada in a modified seated arm bar submission. Goto puts a stretch onto Okada and keeps applying pressure. Okada gets to the ropes and Goto has to break the hold. Goto hits an Olympic slam and gets a two count. Goto hits a neck breaker then puts Okada on the op turn buckle. Goto hits a huge move from the top and Okada kicks out. Goto hits an overhead gut wrench, Okada kicks out again and the crowd cheers in appreciation. Goto goes for another move but Okada rolls him up and gets a two count. Okada hits a reverse neck breaker and gets a two count as we go to a break.
Back from the break both men are to their feet. Okada misses a drop kick and Goto puts him in a leg submission hold but Okada reverses and Goto breaks the hold. Okada goes for the “Rainmaker” but Goto blocks it and hits a vicious head butt. Goto picks up Okada but Okada land son his feet and hits a drop kick from behind. Okada picks up Goto and hits the tombstone pile driver. Okada hits the “Rainmaker” and gets the pin.
Winner: Kazuchika “Rainmaker” Okada
After the match Ranallo points out the winner of the New Japan Cup gets an opportunity at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. We see Okada in the ring for the New Japan Cup presentation. His shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Champions ship will be at Invasion attack 2013. Tanahashi comes to the ring. Okada says he admits on January 4th at the Tokyo Dome he last to him. But Tanahashi should know by now that was a miracle. Tanahashi grabs the microphone and says Okada does understand he has never been tired since the day he was born. Both men pose in the ring as we head into the second hour.
We start with Kazuchika Okada talking about his history and matches with Hiroshi Tanahashi. We are welcomed to hour two by Mark Ranallo and Josh Barnett. This match takes place April 7th, 2013 at Sumo Hall.
Out first is the challenger Kazuchika Okada, Ranallo mentions this will be the fourth meeting between the two. Ranallo points out in the first NJPW episode on AXS TV we saw these two from Wrestle Kingdom 7. Ranallo compares this feud to Flair/Steamboat and Austin/Rock as we g o to a break.
Kazuchika “Rainmaker” Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi IWGP Heavyweight Championship
They begin by feeling each other out in the center of the ring. They lock up and Okada pushes Tanahashi into the ropes and we get a clean break. Both men then lock up again and roll on the ropes. Okada gets Tanahashi in the corner and slaps him. Tanahashi kicks him and gets him into a headlock. They battle with twin wrist locks; Okada slips it into a head lock. Okada takes Tanahashi down with a shoulder block. Okada goes for the “Rainmaker” but Tanahashi goes for the lariat both men miss. Okada hits a big boot to Tanahashi and then steps on him. Okada puts Tanahashi into a rear chin lock. Tanahashi fights back to his feet and gets Okada into the corner and hits an upper cut. Tanahashi misses with a drop kick and Okada kicks him. Tanahashi takes Okada down with an arm bar. Okada gets to the ropes and forces a break, as Tanahashi kicks him on the mat. Tanahashi works on the arm of Okada. Tanahashi continues the assault on the arm with a short arm scissors submission. Okada gets to the ropes and forces the break. They are both on the ring apron and exchange elbow strikes. Okada hits the DDT on the ring apron as we go to a break.
Back from the break both men are back in the ring. Okada hits a straight jacket neck breaker. Okada gets a bridge on the neck of Tanahashi. Okada puts a submission hold on Tanahashi then turns it into a neck breaker and gets a two count. Okada puts his foot to the face of Tanahashi in the ring corner. Okada rushes into the corner but catches an elbow from Tanahashi; Tanahashi then goes for a cross body but misses. Okada gets another submission on Tanahashi and continues to wear him down. Tanahashi gets to the ropes and Okada is forced to break the hold. Okada hits a dragon screw leg sweep, and then a basement kick on the sitting Tanahashi and Tanahashi falls to the outside. On the outside Okada uses the barricade to assault Tanahashi. Tanahashi drives the back of Okada into the guardrail. Tanahashi rams Okadas arm into the steel ring post. Tanahashi goes to the top rope and dives onto Okada outside the ring as we go to a break.
Back from the break both men are in the ring. Tanahashi hits a splash onto Okada then a flying forearm. Tanahashi goes to work on the arm again. Both men are back to their feet but Okada hurts his own elbow. Tanahashi works on the arm again with vicious blows. Okada hits the flapjack and buys some time. Okada runs in for a running elbow, Okada then hits a reverse neck breaker. Okada slams Tanahashi where he wants him and hits the diving elbow from the top turnbuckle. Okada goes for the tombstone but Tanahashi reverses, and then he slaps Okada. Tanahashi bounces of the ropes but Okada hits a huge drop kick. Okada tries to get the “Red Ink: submission but cant get it on tight before Tanahashi gets to the ropes. Okada hits a slam on Tanahashi. Tanahashi hits a drop kick then a bridging German suplex and gets a two count. Tanahashi hits a slam and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Okada hits a standing drop kick and knocks Tanahashi to the outside. Okada goes to the outside and throws Tanahashi into the barrier and then kicks him into the crowd. Okada hits the draping DDT on Tanahashi on the floor outside the ring. Tanahashi get back in the ring at 19, Okada hits “heavy Rain” but Tanahashi kicks out at two as we go to a break....
Back from the break Tanahashi works on the arm of Okada again. Tanahashi hits a basement drop kick. Tanahashi blocks the “Rain Maker”, Okada goes for it again and hits it. Okada crawls over and covers Tanahashi and gets a two count. Okada goes for the tombstone pile driver but Tanahashi rolls thru and gets a two count. Okada escapes and locks in the “Red Ink” submission. Tanahashi fights to the ring ropes after a lot of time in the submission hold. Okada puts Tanahashi in the corner and charges in but Tanahashi moves. Tanahashi jumps from the turnbuckle and hits a double axe handle on Okada. Tanahashi climbs to the top turnbuckle and hits a cross body, then the slingblade lariat, he then hits the dragon suplex and Okada kicks out at two. Tanahashi hits the high fly flow, then rushes back to the top and tries to hit it again but Okada picks his knees up to block it as we go to a break.
Back from the break both men are on the mat trying to get to their feet. Okada hits a drop kick to the back of the head of Tanahashi. Okada goes for the tombstone pile driver but Tanahashi blocks it. Okada goes for it again but can’t get Tanahashi up. Okada goes for the “Rain Maker” but Tanahashi blocks it and goes for a pile driver, Okada reverses it and hits the tombstone pile driver on Tanahashi. Okada hits Tanahashi with the “Rain Maker” and pins Tanahashi for the win.
Winner: Kazuchika “Rainmaker” Okada and New IWGP Heavyweight Champion (2013)
After the match we see Tanahashi going to the back asking for a little time. In the ring Okada celebrates his victory. He calls out Suzuki, Suzuki comes out and says he just saw the match and the history has changed but the industry will always be about him. He says Okada is weaker than him. Okada does the “Rain Maker” pose and Suzuki slaps him and exits the ring.
My View: There is not much to say this show was awesome. These matches may have been older but they are new to American fans, and they have been great matches to break the fans in. In the past two weeks we have seen 3 hours of wrestling, a total of four matches. In three of those four matches we have seen Kazuchika “Rainmaker” Okada. It seems they may be hooking the success in America to Okada which is not a bad decision.