In professional wrestling some give some and some give their all. Tonight at NJPW’s Satsuma no Kuni event Shingo Takagi and Taichi gave everything they had in one of the best matches of 2023. The two met for the Provisional KOPW 2023 Championship in a Takagi Style Triad Match. The stipulation was champion and challenger had their choice of five ways to win – pinfall, submission, stoppage, knockout and countout. The winner of the match must claim three of the five to win the match.
At the start of the match, Taichi sidesteps Takagi who lands hard on his head on the floor. He seems almost stunned by the fall. Takagi makes his way back into the ring as the crowd cheers him on. Takagi and Taichi exchanged chops and kicks in the middle of the ring forever testing each other’s will and endurance. The fight went to the floor with Taichi whipping Takagi into the barricade.
Taichi and Takagi battle up the entrance way. Taichi DDT’ed Takagi on the concrete floor. Takagi made it back into the ring at nineteen. Takagi score the first pin with a bridging roll-up. Takagi utterly destroyed Taichi with a Last of the Dragon on the ring apron. Taichi was left on the floor but made it back into the ring by nineteen. Taichi turned another Last of the Dragon into a Superman pin. The score was tied.
Taichi pulled ahead with a Black Mephisto which KO’ed Takagi. Another Last of the Dragon KO’ed Taichi minutes later tying up the match once again with each man successfully scoring a pinfall and a KO.
At this stage, Taichi and Takagi could barely stand. Taichi slaps on the Seitei Jujiro (Holy Emperor’s Tomb) submission for the longest, longest time. Hiromu Takahashi comes close to throwing in the towel for Takagi. He jumps on the apron and pleads with the official to call the match. With Takagi finally KOed, he did making Taichi the new KOPW 2023 Provisional Champion.
It has been some time, perhaps since Gunther fought Sheamus for the Intercontinental Championship at Clash at the Castle, since we have seen such a knock down, drag out bout. You have to be impressed with Just 5 Guys. Within a short period of time the new faction has claimed two NJPW titles with Taichi’s win tonight and Sanada defeating Kazuchika Okada to become the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion just 21 days ago. The faction was formed back in January.
In the other featured title match, Aussie Open from The United Empire defended the IWGP Tag Team Championship against TMDK. All I have to say is that these two teams are at the top of the tag team ladder in the world right now and I hope this feud goes on forever because it results in nothing but brilliant tag team matches.
Things were going well for Aussie Open until Kyle Fletcher is pulled out of the ring allowing TMDK to double team Fletcher inside of the ring. The Aussies quickly turn things around into their own double team on Haste. Mikey Nicholls stuns Fletcher with two DDTs in a row for a two count. Nicholls throws Fletcher to the floor so that Haste can whip him into the ring barricade. TMDK cut off Fletcher from Haste wearing him out. Finally, Fletcher makes the hot tag to Mark Davis. He clotheslines TMDK into oblivion. Fletcher leaps through the ropes taking out both members of TMDK.
All four men end up on their knees in the middle of the ring punching the crap out of each other. While on the ring apron, Nicholls hoists Fletcher up on his shoulders and as he slams Fletcher on his face Haste assists for double team slam. Fletcher escapes Thunder Valley by double DDTing TMDK. The Aussies pin Haste with Coriolis.
NJPW Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni Results
Chaos (Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI) versus Toru Yano and Boltin Oleg
Oleg is pinned with Shoto.
Winners: Chaos (Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI)
Shota Umino and Oskar Leube versus House of Torture (EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi)
Shota handed out wristbands to some kids in the audience before the match. Leube put Yujiro in a Boston crab. Evil attempts to bring a steel chair into the ring. The official cuts him off at the pass. Togo chokes Leube from behind with his garotte and Sho hits him with his wrench. Yujiro pins him with Pimp Juice.
Winners: House of Torture (EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi)
Tomoaki Honma, KUSHIDA and Kevin Knight versus The United Empire (Aaron Henare, TJP and Francesco Akira)
Henare makes Honma submit to Ultima.
Winners: The United Empire (Aaron Henare, TJP and Francesco Akira)
TMDK (Zack Sabre Jr. and Kosei Fujita) versus The United Empire (Jeff Cobb and The Great-O-Khan)
Khan makes Fujita tap to his iron claw, abdominal stretch deal.
Winners: The United Empire (Jeff Cobb and The Great-O-Khan)
Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Togi Makabe and Ryohei Oiwa versus Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Ren Narita and Yuto Nakashima
Narita makes Oiwa submit. El Desperado and Ishii brawl after the match. Ishii picks up a security railing and just heaves it at Desperado. Members from both sides of the equation end up jumping into the fray too. Narita punches Okada in the face. It takes some time to break things up. Desperado confronts Okada on the way to the back to the dressing room as he stands guard over a fallen Ishii. Ishii and Desperado start pummeling each other again. Okada drags Ishii away. Suzuki taunts Okada from inside the ring.
Winners: Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Ren Narita and Yuto Nakashima
Tama Tonga, Hikuleo, Master Wato and Jado versus Bullet Club (David Finlay, KENTA, Taiji Ishimori and Gedo)
Tonga pins Gedo with a Gun Stun. Finlay clobbers Tonga from behind with his shillelagh. Kenta viciously beats Hikuleo with a Kendo stick.
Winners: Tama Tonga, Hikuleo, Master Wato and Jado
NJPW ran this bizarre trailer again:
Los Ingobernables de Japón (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI) versus Just 5 Guys (SANADA, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and DOUKI)
Sanada makes Bushi submit to Skull End.
Winners: Just 5 Guys (SANADA, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and DOUKI)
Aussie Open (Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher) (c) versus TMDK (Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste) – IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
Winners: …and still IWGP Tag Team Champions, Aussie Open.
Shingo Takagi (c) versus Taichi – Takagi Style Triad, Provisional KOPW 2023 Championship Match
Winner: …and new Provisional KOPW 2023 Champion, Taichi.