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    NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 15 – Night 2 | 5th January 2021 | Tokyo Dome

    Here’s our review of Day Two of Wrestle Kingdome 15, we have star ratings, in-depth analysis and some of the highlights. Make sure to join us tomorrow for New Years Dash, the start of the New Year for New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

    Match: Stardom Exhibition Match | Starts at 4pm | AZM, Saya Kamitani & Utami Hayashishita vs Natsupoi, Himeka & Maika

    AZM, Saya Kamitani & Utami Hayashishita (Queen’s Quest) beat Natsupoi, Himeka and Maika (Donna Del Mondo) with a Phoenix Splash in 9m48s.

    Match: Stardom Exhibition Match | Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano vs Giulia & Syuri

    Giulia and Syuri (Donna Del Mondo) beat Mayu Iwatani (Stars) and Tam Nakano (Stars/Cosmic Angels) with a Glorious Driver in 12m49s.

    Match: KOPW 2021 | 4 Way Match | Chase Owens vs Bad Luck Fale vs BUSHI vs Toru Yano

    As with anything that involves Toru Yano there is comedy, fantastic wrestling and a little bit of cheating on the side for good measure.  With the likes of Owens & Fale in the match representing Bullet Club, there is a natural alliance, but what will happen if it comes down to the two of them.  BUSHI flies around the ring and dives out onto his opponents focusing on the Bullet Club members in the ring, Chase attempted a pin on BUSHI, then Fale who both begin to argue, only for Toru Yano to sneak in with the low blow on both and pins BUSHI for the KOPW 2021 trophy.

    Star Rating: ****

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    IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match | El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato

    El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru know how to make there competitors look good and that’s what they are doing here with Master Wato who is still very green and not the best with his in-ring skill, character work or charisma levels.  Despy and Kanemaru target Ryusuke Taguchi’s knee throughout the match, setting up for their submission finishers but also reducing the speed of Taguchi.  El Desperado hits Taguchi with a Pinche Loco to retain, along with his partner Yoshinobu Kanemaru, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championships

    Star Rating: ****.5

    NEVER Openweight Championship Match | Shingo Takagi vs Jeff Cobb

    Jeff Cobb and Shingo Takagi start off by exchanging forearms and shoulder blocks but the two of them hit hard.  These two juggernauts are very athletic and neither one wants to show any weakness.  They hold nothing back and taking more risks as the match unfolds, with Shingo even hitting an over the top rope Senton to Jeff Cobb on the outside, while Cobb hit a beautifully devastating Belly to Back Suplex on the outside earlier on in the match. Jeff Cobb hits a Moonsault Powerslam/Fallaway Slam in the later stages as the two men continue to beat the hell out of each other in possibly one of the wildest and hard-hitting matches in Wrestle Kingdom history.  Shingo Takagi hits the Last of the Dragon to retain his NEVER Openweight Championship.

    Star Rating: *****

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    Special Single Match | SANADA vs EVIL w/ Dick Togo

    SANADA has had an amazing year and after his loss at the Tokyo Dome last year a win this year will solidify his position in the heavyweight division as well as his G1 Climax 30 final loss to Kota Ibushi. SANADA and EVIL have gone from tag team partners to formidable foes and a win over EVIL will establish SANADA as a top dog and a close ally to his Los Ingobernables de Japon teammates.

    The two of them know each other so well that they are avoiding each other’s moves but no one can escape the Paradise Lock, this seems to aggravate EVIL who takes SANADA to the outside, throwing him into the barricade, and then using a chair on SANADA’s neck. Dick Togo is a huge factor in this match, attacking SANADA when the referee’s backs are turned, but SANADA isn’t fazed and takes on both of them.  After some back and forth EVIL uses SANADA to knock down the ref allowing Dick Togo to help EVIL, but it all blows up in their faces.  SANADA hits a Moonsault into a Skull End and locks it in, once EVIL is limp SANADA goes for the Moonsult twice but EVIL gets his knees up for the second one.  SANADA hits an Everything is Evil, using EVIL’s own finisher against him and also executing it even better, and follows it up with a TKO and a Rounding Body Press for the win.

    Star Rating: ****.75

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    IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match | Hiromu Takahashi vs Taiji Ishimori

    This is the highest on the card that the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship has been defended in the Tokyo Dome and that says a lot about the star power of the Bullet Club, Taiji Ishimori, and Hiromu Takahashi.

    Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori put on an absolute clinic here, the two of them have faced each other on many occasions and this match is just as good if not even better than their match from the BOSJ final in 2018.  Hiromu Takahashi hits the Time Bomb II and pins Taiji Ishimori to become the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.

    Star Rating: *****

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    IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship Match | Kota Ibushi vs Jay White

    Jay White has beaten Kota Ibushi in their last three meetings but is tonight the night that Ibushi is victorious over the switchblade.  The last time Ibushi beat White was in the finals of 2019 G1 climax.  Jay White is vicious in his attacks, focusing on Ibushi’s ribs and back but if he’s not careful Ibushi may flip his murder switch, just like the bride in Kill Bill, and that’s when we have to worry.  After White targets the legs of Ibushi, Ibushi starts fighting back, and a vicious back and forth continues escalating to Ibushi hitting a basket Piledriver, White tries to pin Ibushi and almost succeeds but Red Shoes spots his feet on the ropes and stops the count.  Ibushi is now on another level and the more White hits Ibushi the angrier he becomes.  After Jay hits a few dragon screw leg whips he locks in the TTO but Ibushi manages to get to the ropes.  Murder Ibushi has arrived now, just hitting White with everything he has, making his opponent crumple to the mat.  Kota Ibushi hits the Kamigoya on Jay White to retain the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships.

    Star Rating: *****

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    Highlights:

    KOPW 2021

    • Toru Yano is a complete wind up during the KOPW 2021 matches, taking off turnbuckle pads and refusing to enter the ring.
    • Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale doing the finger poke of doom.
    • BUSHI and Chase Owens teaming up only for BUSHI to attack him when presented with the too sweet hand gesture.
    • Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale arguing over who should win.

    After the Main Event

    • SANADA coming down after the main event and asking if he can challenge Kota Ibushi for his titles. 
    • Kota Ibushi kindly accepts and wants to wrestle SANADA a lot more.
    • Milano crying.
    You can watch New Years Dash at NJPW World.

    New Years Dash: 5th Jan 2020
    6:30pm JST | 9:30am GMT | 4:30am EST | 3:30am CST | 1:30am PST |

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