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AXSTV hit us up with another broadcast from The Land of the Rising Sun on Friday, with a new episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling. The episode features two matches from November 7th, 2015 out of Namba, Osaka, Japan from the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.
Our first match of the night features Bullet Club member Karl Anderson challenging Shinsuke Nakamura for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Anderson comes to the ring with six other members of the Bullet Club. Crowd goes wild for the beloved Nakamura as he enters solo. Grappling against the ropes to start. Then a forearm by Nakamura and a knee by Anderson. The two work into a frenzy just coming straight for each other. They finally separate and crowd applauds. Nakamura drops Anderson to the mat with an ankle submission. Knees to Anderson from the ground. Anderson kicks Nakamura in the head and he rolls onto the apron. Anderson tries to pull him up but Nakamura kicks him. Interference as the ref is distracted and Doc Gallows tosses Nakamura off the apron onto the steel guardrail. Ref starts a twenty count. Nakamura gets on the apron and Anderson hits him with a Gun Stunner, then dropkicks him back out onto the floor. Ref starts another twenty count. Anderson leaves the ring and powerbombs Nakamura onto the apron. Commercial break. Great match so far.
When we return, Anderson is punching Nakamura in the center of the ring, then he hits a reverse neckbreaker. Running powerbomb into a cover. Nakamura kicks out. Nakamura fights back and puts a headlock sleeper on Anderson as they lay on the mat, wrapping his legs around him. They stand and before Anderson can separate Nakamura hits him with a reverse powerslam. Huge spinebuster out of no where by Anderson and Nakamura is down again. Forearm by Nakamura. Forearm by Anderson. Another by Nakamura. Chop by Anderson, kick by Nakamura. Then they trade blows until Nakamura drops Anderson with an elbow. Scissors kick and then a running knee. He covers, but Anderson narrowly kicks out. Nakamura leaps onto the top rope, but as he leaps off, Anderson catches him with a Gun Stunner. Nakamura rolls out onto the apron. Anderson pulls him up by his hair and lifts him to the top rope. Firemen carry into a slam. Cover, but Nakamura kicks out. Anderson goes for a Gun Stunner, Nakamura reverses it into a landslide. Good action as we head into another commercial break.
Clothesline by Anderson into a cover when we come back. Kick out. Bernard Driver by Anderson. Another false finish. Nakamura refuses to quit. Cross arm breaker counter by Nakamura. Anderson rolls him over into a cover and Nakamura has to let go. Bomaye by Nakamura, covers and that’s it. Nakamura retains. Great stuff. I enjoyed that match immensely. Just enough Bullet Club interference to make it interesting and not annoying. And both guys really put the moves on. After the match, AJ Styles comes in and he and Nakamura stand forehead to forehead. Styles points a finger gun at Nakamura. Crowd oh’s and ah’s. Styles takes the IWGP IC belt from Red Shoes and hands it to Nakamura. He points to it and says, “I’m taking it.” Crowd cheers. This is a match any wrestling fan wants to see. Nakamura gets on the mic and says he’s been waiting for Styles and he’ll see him at the Tokyo Dome. YEAOH!
The second match of the night is Tomohiro Ishii defending his NEVER Openweight Championship against Tomoaki Honma. Middle of the ring grapple to start as the two lock up. Headlock by Honma, but Ishii tosses him against the rope. He tries a shoulder tackle but Honma doesn’t go down. Then the two trade several forearms as the crowd cheers. Ishii off the ropes and Honma plants him with a shoulder tackle. Running headbutt but Honma misses and Ishii elbows him in the back of the head. Big chop and Honma is down. Another chop. And another sending Honma in the corner where he takes multiple chops and forearms. Running slam from Ishii. Headbutt by Ishii. Chop by Honma, headbutt by Ishii. Nobody is pulling punches here. This is strong style all the way. Half crab submission hold by Ishii. Honma makes it to the ropes to break. A bunch of strikes near the throat by Honma, drops Ishii and tries the headbutt again but misses. Honma picks up the much bigger Ishii and slams him with a vertical suplex. Crowd is mesmerized, as am I. That was an impressive feat of strength. Honma finally lands a diving headbutt. He then hits a blockbuster off the second rope and covers. Ishii kicks out at two. Bunch of shots and a headbutt by Ishii drops Honma. He whips Honma into the corner who then explodes out and punches Ishii in the back of the head over and over. Massive elbow by Ishii puts Honma down again. Ishii lifts Honma up to the top rope and vertical suplexs him all the way to the mat. Honma somehow manages to kick out at two. Honma plants the champ with a DDT. Both men down.
Honma kicks Ishii onto the apron. Jumping headbutt knocks Ishii onto the floor. Honma climbs to the top rope. Honma just falls off the top rope all the way to the floor and hits Ishii on the shoulder with a headbutt. Red Shoes starts a double countout. Honma throws Ishii back into the ring. Honam slaps Ishii and then clotheslines him into a pin. Ishii kicks out, dazed. Back suplex by Ishii, but Honma pops right up and hits two diving headbutts on Ishii. Cover, and again a kick out at two. Brain buster by Honma, but Ishii headbutts him and both men collapse to the mat. The pair trade headbutts. It’s brutal to watch. Powerbomb by Ishii and a cover, but Honma holds on. Sliding clothesline and another kick out at two. Headbutt by Honma. Headbutt off the second rope. The champ manages to kick out at two. Bunch more headbutts by Honma. They are getting a little old now, if I’m being honest. A diving headbutt off the top rope into the back of Ishii. Spinning heel kick by Ishii, running clothesline and a cover. Honma kicks out. Honma tries one too many headbutts and Ishii catches him mid-air with a punch. Clothesline and a cover, but Honma again kicks out. Crowd in a frenzy. Brain buster by Ishii and finally Honma stays down. Ishii retains in a brutal hoss match.
Two amazing title matches from NJPW. Could have used four to five more minutes of Nakamura and Anderson. Ishii and Honma was exciting to watch but the headbutts got old after awhile. Still, another action packed 60 minutes from NJPW. Thanks to AXSTV for putting this on the air. My DVR doesn’t have a new episode scheduled for next Friday, so as usual we’ll cover them whenever they come back. Have a good week everyone!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker