NJPW closed out its Castle Attack event for 2021 with two candidates for Match of the Year on night two.
With Hiromu Takahashi being forced to give up the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship due to injury it was El Phantasmo, El Desperado and Bushi battling for the title in a three-way match.
In one motion, El Phantasmo jumps onto the top rope and leaps onto both El Desperado and Bushi on the floor. The fans who aren’t allowed to cheer due to COVID restrictions gasp in unison. Bushi gets slung into the ring post. Phantasmo tears at Desperado’s mask ripping it off and to pieces. Phantasmo absolutely destroys Desperado with a cradle piledriver right on the rampway. He celebrates by strutting around with what’s left of Desperado’s shredded mask. The fans gasp again as that would have resulted in a disqualification in a normal match, removing someone’s mask not parading around with it.
Back in the ring, ELP chokes Bushi out with his own shirt. Meanwhile, medical officials are tending to an injured Desperado trying to see if he can even continue the match. Bushi stays alive by kicking out of ELP’s splash from the top rope.
Holding his neck in agony Desperado makes it back to the ring wearing a new mask. He immediately spears ELP. Desperado hits a combination shot sending both ELP and Bushi into the steel barricade with a splash. Bushi though powerslams both Desperado and ELP from the top rope. He gets two counts on the both of them.
ELP clocks Desperado with Sudden Death and is on his way to winning the title. Bushi dives into the ring grabbing the official’s arm before he can slap the three count. A rewind kick and a lawn blower though cannot put ELP away. ELP stops Bushi’s MX with a Sudden Death kick to the face. Bushi falls to the floor. He is out. Desperado ducks ELP’s Sudden Death kick laying him out with a haymaker and two Pinche Locos to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship in a classic match.
In the main event it was Tetsuya Naito challenging double champion Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship not the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Ibushi still maintains that he wants to eventually combine both titles into one.
Naito’s drop kick has Ibushi unable to stand. He collapses into the ropes as Red Shoes checks on him. Naito implores Ibushi to get to his feet. As soon as Ibushi does Naito drop kicks the knee again. Naito whips Ibushi into the steel barricade but Ibushi just falls to the arena floor. He cannot even run. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi once again to make sure he can even continue. Red Shoes heads back into the ring to begin his count.
Naito drapes Ibushi’s leg over the apron smashing it with elbow drop after elbow drop. A figure four in the middle of the ring has Ibushi reaching for the ropes. Ibushi makes it to the ropes although the torture doesn’t end. Naito slams his knee into the mat over and over again.
Ibushi battles back into the match by standing on the second rope inside the ring and suplexing Naito from the apron, over the ropes and back into the ring.
The final moments have Naito taking a header onto the mat after a kick to the head. He still manages to kick out of a Kamigoye to the back of his head and to the face. A third one has Ibushi just falling over Naito for the pinfall.
Ibushi’s celebration is interrupted by newly-crowned IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion who comes down to the ring carrying all of his gold.
“It takes a lot of balls to come down here after you have battled like that but the truth is I have take my first singles championship here tonight as well,” said Desperado to Ibushi challenging him to a future match for both the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
“Any time, any place, I will accept your challenge,” said Ibushi in response.
Castle Attack Night Two Results
Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan versus The United Empire (Will Ospreay and Jeff Cobb)
Cobb holds Kojima and Tenzan on the floor. Ospreay leaps over the ropes landing on Cobb by mistake. Kojima unloads some Mongolian Chops on Ospreay. The crowd cheers and Tenzan claps for his partner. Later, The Empire mocks Tenzan by taking turns and hitting him with Mongolian Chops. Tenzan throws caution to the wind, defies NJPW and clobbers both Ospreay and Cobb with Mongolian Chops. The fans go wild. Tenzan takes out Ospreay with an Anaconda Buster. Kojima breaks out of a Tour of the Islands to pin Cobb with a Lariat. “That win doesn’t count, Kevin,” says Gino Gambino. Chris Charlton claims the chops may have been Korean Chops or Indonesian Chops. No matter what happens as far as fines or discipline action is concerned, here is hoping Tenzan and Kojima will get another big push in NJPW.
Winners: Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Chaos (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada) versus Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Jay White and Evil)
Much talk about Okada being back in the “title picture”. Run-of-the-mill match with Okada making Owens submit to the Money Clip.
Winners: Chaos (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada)
Bullet Club (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga) (champions) versus Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi) (challengers) – IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Yoshi-Hashi is almost pinned by a Magic Killer but is saved by Goto. Yoshi-Hashi won’t be pinned and that annoys the champs to no end. “Why won’t you just stay down, Yoshi-Hashi!” yells Tonga as he stomps Hashi into the mat. The champs go for double flying head butt. Hashi rolls out of the way so that Loa hits the mat hard. Goto shoves Tonga off the top rope. Tonga kicks out of Hashi and Goto’s double team finisher. Jado hits Goto with his kendo stick so that Tonga can pin him with the Gun Stun.
Winners: … and still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Bullet Club (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga).
Hiroshi Tanahashi (champion) versus Great-O-Khan (challenger) – Never Openweight Championship Match
Khan picks up Tanahashi dropping him face-first on the edge of the ring. At one point, Khan holds Tanahashi open encouraging Young Lion Yota Tsuji to give Tanahashi a shot. Tsuji balls up his fist but doesn’t know what to do. Khan loses patience so he throws Tanahashi into the steel barricade.
Khan snaps Tanahashi’s neck on the top rope. Things go wrong for him though as he falls off the apron to the floor hurting his knee on the landing. Tanahashi takes advantage of the situation by giving him two dragon screw leg whips in the ropes punishing that knee, leg even more. A Boston Crab has Khan scrambling to the ropes for relief. Khan slams Tanahashi onto the canvass hurting the Ace’s knee. Tanahashi starts limping now too. A powerful left hand from Tanahashi stuns Khan who slowly falls to the canvass, his lights dimmed. Khan shoves the official into Tanahashi’s Sling Blade. The referee crumples to the canvass. Khan calls for Tsuji to lend him a helping hand again. Tsuji pulls a steel chair out from under the ring staring at it and Khan who is reaching for it.
Tsuji slides it to Tanahashi instead. An irate Khan screams at Tsuji while Tanahashi unfolds the chair in the middle of the ring, takes a seat folding his arms across his chest. Khan charges at Tanahashi who trips him up. Khan crashes head-first into the steel chair. Tanahashi turns Khan’s Eliminator into a sling blade. Tanahashi’s Aces High hits, however, he eats canvass with his High Fly Flow hurting his knee badly on the landing. Khan’s nose is busted open. Blood is pouring down his face and into his mouth. Tanahashi counters another Eliminator with a crucifix pinning Khan and retaining the title.
Winner: … and still Never Openweight Champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Bushi versus El Desperado versus El Phantasmo – IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match
Winner: … and new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, El Desperado.
Kota Ibushi versus Tetsuya Naito (challenger) – IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match
Winner: … and still IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Kota Ibushi.