IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship Match
Jon Moxley (c) vs. Juice Robinson
Moxley came through the crowd, still covered in nasty bruises and marks from the Texas Death Match the night before. They worked a slower pace and both guys really sold the effects of a double-header well. Juice went on the attack before the bell rang, and sent Moxley into a chair with a drop toehold. Mox came back with blatant closed fists and gouging of the eyes, bowing to the ref and mocking him. This continued for quite awhile, as the champ basically rained down with impunity.
Juice came back at one point with a big spinebuster, but Mox took him right back to the mat and locked in a Figure Four. Eventually he got bored with the ground game and wraped a chair around Juice’s neck, picked up a second chair… but Juice smashed it into his face with the Left Hand of God! The tides turned here, with Robinson hitting a superplex, rolling his hips into a Jackhammer. He threw desperate bombs, one after another, but Mox gave them right back. Left Hand of God connects again! And again! Juice tried for Pulp Friction, but Moxley countered and hit the Dirty Deeds. The Paradigm Shift followed, and that’s all she wrote.
Winner & Still Champion: Jon Moxley
David Finlay helps Juice out of the ring and to the back after the match, as Moxley celebrates his victory and screams, “I own the Tokyo Dome!” Wait a minute – Minoru Suzuki is here! The King has arrived in the Dome, and he has come to collect on Jon Moxley! Suzuki drops him with heavy rights and lefts, then drops him with the Gotch piledriver. He gets on the mic and asks who the hell Mox things he is, picking a fight with the King. He’s Minoru Suzuki, and he may just be the next champion of America. Wow!
NEVER Openweight Championship Match
KENTA (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
I missed the first few minutes of this one to make a fresh pot of coffee. I’m sorry, it’s 2AM and I’ve now done 9 hours of New Japan live coverage in 24 hours. Cut me some slack.
KENTA controlled almost the entire first half of the match, utilizing about a thousand stiff kicks to the chest and body. He definitely wasn’t afraid to take a few blatant cheap shots, using the ropes, raking the eyes, etc. Goto eventually got some momentum rolling and caught one of KENTA’s kicks, hammering away with heavy forearm strikes and a spinning back fist. He delivered an absolutely killer right hook, dropping the champ like a sack of potatoes. The crowd gasped and then came alive for that spot, as it legit looked like he got knocked out cold.
Goto scooped him up out of nowhere and hit a Ushigoroshi, but couldn’t follow up. This allowed KENTA to put him in a crossface, wrenching back on the neck until they rolled into the ropes, breaking it up. At that point KENTA was done messing around, and just started raining down kicks to the back of his opponent’s head. He hung him in the ropes and hit a Hangman’s DDT, then followed with a beautiful shotgun dropkick. The diving double foot stomp followed through the chest of Goto, but he somehow still kicked out.
The last few minutes were intense. A sleeper hold put him to sleep, and KENTA delivered with a Shibata-esque Penalty Kick, followed by the Psycho Blade. He went for the GTS but Goto got free and hit a headbutt to give himself some space. KENTA gave him some ridiculous lariats, but it was like hitting a tree trunk – the challenger refused to budge, and turned him inside out with the GTR! 1…2…NO! They started slapping the absolute hell out of each other. Goto nearly decapitated him with a lariat and hit another GTR to put him away.
Winner & New Champion: Hirooki Goto
THE ACTION CONTINUES ON THE NEXT PAGE >>>