NJPW Power Struggle Results (11/5/17): 4 Titles On The Line

NJPW Power Struggle Results 11 5 17
Photo: NJPW

NJPW Power Struggle is in the books, and the road to WrestleKingdom 12 started to take shape tonight. Four of NJPW’s championships were on the line during tonight’s show, and in the main event, Hiroshi Tanahashi defended his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Kota Ibushi. Kenny Omega and Trent Barreta faced off for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, Will Ospreay squared off against Marty Scurll for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and Minoru Suzuki and Toru Yano clashed in a Bull Rope Death Match for the NEVER Openweight Title.

Also on tonight’s show was the finals for the Super Jr. Tag Tournament. Roppongi 3K took on Super 69 (Ryusuke Taguchi & ACH).

NJPW Power Struggle Results

David Finlay defeated Katsuya Kitamura.

The Young Bucks defeated Titan & Dragon Lee.

As Nick said, the Buckaroos are on the Brock Lesnar schedule with NJPW these days; they show up once a month or so. And, tonight, they showed up to open the show with some great flippy-dippy shit with Dragon Lee and Titan.

Fun match from these four. A bit sloppy at times but very entertaining. I am not quite sure what The Bucks call the move they won with, but poor Titan was tied up in a Sharpshooter from Nick and a crossface from Matt all at the same time.

Hirai Kawato, KUSHIDA, Tiger Mask, Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Juice Robinson defeated Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado, TAKA Michinoku, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru.

This was pretty much barely controlled chaos. And, just a note, but 3:30 in the damn morning is too early to have to deal with anything Taichi.

This one was done and over pretty fast. Everyone, even Kawato, got their big spots in, KUSHIDA locked TAKA in the Hoverboard Lock, and that was all she wrote. Kind of expected this one to go longer, but it was fun while it lasted.

TenCozy & Togi Makabe defeated Chase Owens, Cody Rhodes, & Yujiro Takahashi.

Cody is actually starting to grow on me these days. I blame Being The Elite. But, I think something is brewing there; I have a feeling he’s going to start some shit with Kenny sooner rather than later. But, tonight, he was kind of tied up with TenCozy.

Decent enough match, but a bit of a let down after the two preceding it. I am pretty sure Cozy broke up a pin by hollering at Yujiro, Cody wanted everyone to kiss his ring, and Pieter managed to dance around in her sky-high boots without damn near falling and breaking an ankle (that’s progress). Cozy got the pin on Chase for the win.

Super Jr. Tag Tournament 2017 Final
Roppongi 3K defeated Super 69.

I went into this not thinking that Taguchi and ACH had a chance in hell of winning. Sho & Yoh just came back from their excursion, they are the champs, and it wouldn’t be too smart to have them lose. As the match went on, I still stood firm in that belief. Gooch and ACH are out there having fun, but that just it: fun.

This was a good match; not nearly as much flippy shit as I was expecting. Pretty evenly matched…well, match. And, my original feeling was right. It was too soon for RPG 3K to lose, and they didn’t. The storytelling was perfect with ACH’s injury ending up costing Super 69 the tournament. And, after the match was over, The Young Bucks came out and challenged RPG 3K. Rocky accepts the challenge, and I am guessing we get this match at WrestleKingdom at The Dome.

NJPW Power Struggle Results 11 5 17
Photo: NJPW

Gedo, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, & Kazuchika Okada defeated EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito, SANDADA, & EVIL.

I don’t quite know why, but this match started off with lip gloss or chapstick or ever it was that Hiromu slicked on Naito’s lips during the LIJ entrance. Poor Naito; he has to suppress the laughter whenever he’s dealing with Hiromu. And, yes, Daryl is still MIA. I miss that little critter.

As always, these two factions put on a damn good match. Of course, the main focus was Naito and Okada…and Osaka’s love/hate relationship with Naito. I think it’s the only part of Japan that actually boos that man these days. Poor BUSHI ended up eating The Rainmaker and getting pinned by Okada. He deserves better.

NJPW announced that they will return to the US, for Strong Style Evolved on March 25th in Long Beach. 

NEVER Openweight Title Bull Rope Death Match
Minoru Suzuki defeated Toru Yano.

I truly feared for Yano’s life in this match. But, then he came out with the throwback bleached hair, and I was pretty sure the sublime master thief had a plan. Then, MiSu started dragging him around outside by the bull rope, and I hid behind a pillow. Yano has always been MiSu’s kryptonite, and I am not sure he has ever beaten him in a singles match. They normally end with Yano taping him to a guardrail or some other Yano shenanigans that guarantee him a win. I even cheered Goto (first and last time for that) when he came out to remove Despy and TAKA from the match, saving Yano a bit of a beating.

No, this was not a great match by any means, and it was less entertaining than I expected it to be (it went on a bit too long). We had all of SZKG come out and beat on poor Yano, and Yano managed a low blow on MiSu that nearly won him the match. But, MiSu came back with a sleeper and a Gotch Style Piledriver for the win. Hey, I am just happy Yano escaped with his life.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Marty Scurll defeated Will Ospreay.

These two never fail to put on a great match, so I just settled in and enjoyed. Plus, there was the spectre of Switchblade looming over this bout, so I was waiting for that, too.

These two put on a hell of a match, and slapped the piss out of each other in the process. The chops these two exchanged hurt me at times. Will’s goofy over-selling seemed to be less in this match, which was a pleasant change. This was well-paced and beautifully worked. Will worked the flippy side, and Marty was just vicious at times. I was a bit surprised that Marty won, but it was the right move. Marty has a helluva lot more worldwide appeal these days than Will.

After the match, KUSHIDA came out to challenge Marty, then Will told him to get to the back of the line. Hiromu, who has been trying to challenge for months now (but always gets knocked out before he can say anything), came out, donned a crash helmet and boxing gloves, and was finally able to make his challenge. Marty says he will face all three of them at the same time. So, I am guessing we got ourselves a Fatal Four Way for the title at WrestleKingdom (and no Switchblade yet, so I am guessing he’s not a Junior Heavyweight).

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
Kenny Omega defeated Trent Barreta.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from this match. Kenny is always on another level, but Trent… Well, this was easily Trent’s biggest singles match ever. He always kind of flew under the radar, especially with Rocky Romero as a crazy charismatic tag partner, but he’s never been seen as a top tier talent.

Trent’s apparent wish for death continued during this one, with him taking a nasty suplex on the underside of an evil, unforgiving Japanese table. Later on in the match, he missed a flip to the outside and landed on that table, cutting his back open and damn near getting counted out. The match was good, and he did manage to hit the Dudebuster on Kenny for a near fall, though. Kenny got the win with a V-Trigger and a One Winged Angel, retaining his title. Trent did look good in defeat, and this match elevated him nicely in the heavyweight division.

Son of a bitch. After the match, we were expecting Switchblade, but we got Chris Jericho. He showed up on the big screen and challenged Kenny for a match at WrestleKingdom. I guess that Twitter trolling was going somewhere. Hell, looks like Jericho was Switchblade all along, maybe??

IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi.

And, coming down from Jericho’s surprise appearance, we got down to the main event. At least Tana came out with his hair all one color for this one; that two-toned frizzy shit was horrible. I was expecting a tremendous match from these two, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

These two damn near killed each other. Tana worked Ibushi’s leg and almost snapped him in half with a nasty looking Texas Cloverleaf. Ibushi channeled his inner Nakamura with a corner knee and focused his attack on Tana’s neck and arm. It broke down into a slap fest, with Ibushi winning that battle beautifully. This was insane towards the end, with Ibushi getting vicious, Tana no-selling, powerbombs, dragon screws, and kicks to the head. Tana managed to hit two High Fly Flows to get the win and retain his title. What a damn match; it was brilliant.

After Tana was done playing air guitar, the Switchblade video started, and Jay White was revealed. Baby Lion returned from his excursion as a leather-clad badass and apparently, he’s Tana’s next challenger for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, probably at WrestleKingdom 12. He laid Tana out, leaving him with a little reminder (a switchblade necklace) for when he wakes up. This is gonna be good.