NJPW Power Struggle 2023 has arrived and that means the ending of Super Jr. Tag League 2023 and another massive main event.
It is Catch 2/2 heading to Wrestle Kingdom 18 after defeating House of Torture in the finals. SHO and Yoshinobu Kanemaru used all their tricks to try and steal a win over Francesco Akira and TJP. However, TJP used one of Kanemaru’s tricks on him after spitting Whiskey into his eyes. Akira would then dropkick SHO to the floor and TJP dropped Kanemaru with a tornado DDT.
Catch 2/2 now came together to hit Kanemaru with a 2×2 from the same corner for the first time! Akira and TJP are the Super Jr. Tag League 2023 winners and now head to the Tokyo Dome for a shot at the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships!
In the middle of their celebration, they were attacked from behind by the current champions, the Bullet Club War Dogs, Drilla Moloney and Clark Connors. They weren’t there to congratulate them on their win, they said their biggest accomplishment is that they get to face the best juniors in the world at WK18. The War Dogs believe their trophy doesn’t mean anything and they spit on the trophy before throwing it on the floor. They then tried to continue their beat down, but luckily the United Empire chased them off from the ring.
The main event of the show was Will Ospreay successfully defending his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against Shota Umino. The match really got going when both men began trading strikes, Umino was utilizing his elbows by drilling them into Ospreay’s back. Umino went for an early STF, but Ospreay immediately grabbed the ropes and he then flew to the outside onto Umino with a plancha.
Ospreay now launched Umino into the steel barricade and set up a table on the floor, he wanted a powerbomb through the table, but Umino reversed into a back-body drop. Umino refused to use the table and back in the ring, Ospreay caught him with a big boot. Ospreay began chopping the air out of Umino and followed that with a back-breaker over his knee. He then began manipulating Umino’s joints, specifically his shoulders, but Umino then began to battle back. He hit Ospreay with some stiff forearms, a European uppercut and a fisherman suplex.
Umino now took a page from his mentor, Jon Moxley’s book, he trapped Ospreay’s arm and was delivering elbows into his neck and collarbone area. However, Ospreay came right back as he landed a handspring spinning kick to Umino and followed that with a Phenomenal Forearm. Ospreay was now kicking Umino in the face and then hit two head-trapped superkicks in the corner before spitting in Umino’s face. He went for a third, but Umino reversed and with blood pouring from his nose Umino knocked Ospreay to the mat with a forearm.
Umino now kicked it into another gear, he was laying into Ospreay’s head with some vicious kicks. He then springboarded out of the ring while driving Ospreay head-first into the ring apron with a DDT. Umino lifted Ospreay’s lifeless body so he could throw him into the steel barricade twice before catching him with a shotgun dropkick that sent him over the barricade. He then threw Ospreay into the crowd and slammed him into all the chairs, Umino now slammed Ospreay’s head into the table where his titles were sitting. He then handed both titles to the timekeeper and launched that table into Ospreay’s head.
Umino then set up that table next to the table from earlier, he wanted to put Ospreay through the tables with a Death Rider, but Ospreay clotheslined Umino back into the ring. Ospreay now leaped from the top rope catching Umino in the back of the head with a forearm, Ospreay then wanted the Hidden Blade. However, Umino blocked and these men then delivered one of the fastest and most impressive exchanges I have ever seen. Ospreay ended the sequence by reversing a dropkick from Umino into a powerbomb and he then went for an Os Cutter, but Umino caught him in mid-air with a dropkick.
Umino then landed a spinning neck breaker and a slingshot cutter, he followed that with a pop-up knee strike and an exploder suplex. He then hit Ospreay with his own move as he landed an Os Cutter, but Ospreay responded with a standing Spanish fly. Ospreay now hit a big boot in the corner and then dove from the top rope hitting Umino with a Leap of Faith. Both men were now on the apron next to the tables on the outside, from the apron Ospreay put Umino and himself through the tables with a Tiger Driver. Back in the ring, Ospreay hit a springboard dropkick and an Os Cutter. He followed that by finally hitting Umino with a Hidden Blade, but somehow Umino was able to kick out at two!
Umino could barely make it to his feet, but he was trying to keep on fighting. Both men were now trading forearms, but Ospreay got Umino with a snap dragon suplex and a superkick to the face. Umino was practically out on his feet and Ospreay hit four more kicks to Umino’s head before trapping his arms and drilling into his head with forearms. Somehow Umino would not give up and he spit right in Ospreay’s face and then Jon Moxley emerged at ringside to cheer on Umino, his former mentee.
Seeing Moxley at ringside, gave Umino the power to throw Ospreay off him and he hit him with a lariat turning him inside-out. Umino now locked Ospreay into the STF, but Ospreay broke the hold by getting to the ropes. He hit Ospreay with an enzigiri, a Cross Rhodes and a brutal spike DDT into the mat. Umino followed that with two more DDTs and a spinning Death Rider, but Ospreay kicked out at two! He now hit a running knee and then brought Ospreay to the top rope where he hit an avalanche Death Rider! However, this time Ospreay got his foot on the ropes, so Umino trapped Ospreay’s arms and began drilling him with forearms to the head.
Umino then hit Ospreay with a Hidden Blade of his own and he followed that with a Death Rider, but Ospreay popped right up and hit Umino with a Hidden Blade to the face. Both men were now trading headbutts as they tried to get to their feet, once they finally got up they were now trading forearms as they held each other’s wrists. Ospreay thought he got the advantage and went for a Storm Breaker, but Umino reversed into a hurricanrana and followed that with a shotgun dropick. However, Ospreay came back from the dropkick with a Hidden Blade to Umino, but to the shock of all Umino kicked out at one!
Ospreay knew he had to turn it up, so he hit Umino with a Death Rider, a Storm Driver ’93, another Hidden Blade and finally a Storm Breaker to retain his title. This match was a five-star classic and cemented Umino as the future of NJPW. Umino showed his respect for Ospreay after the match and Ospreay returned the favor, Umino has earned the best’s respect.
Following the match, Ospreay threw the US title at Moxley and called him into the ring, however, as they were facing off they were both attacked by David Finlay! He hit both of them in the skull with the shillelagh, and he said both the US and UK belts mean nothing to him.
He then destroyed both of the titles with a hammer, smashing them to pieces. It seems to be there will be a three-way at WK18 between Ospreay, Moxley and Finlay for a brand-new championship!
NJPW Power Struggle—Super Jr. Tag League 2023 Results
Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima vs. United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Callum Newman)
Cobb hit Leube with a Tour of the Islands to get the win.
Winners: United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Callum Newman)
El Desperado & Master Wato vs. Bullet Club War Dogs (Drilla Moloney & Clark Connors) vs. YOH & MUSASHI vs. TMDK (Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita)
TMDK thought they had the victory in sight, Fujita had Desperado in a submission and Eagles had MUSASHI in one. However, Eagled did not notice Desperado break the hold and roll up Fujita to steal a win.
Winners: El Desperado & Master Wato
Intergalactic Jet Setters (Kevin Knight & KUSHIDA) & Tama Tonga vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Titán)
Tonga and BUSHI were the last two in the ring and Tonga hit a Gun Stun to win. Following the match, Tonga asked for another opportunity at Takagi’s Never Openweight Championship.
Winners: Intergalactic Jet Setters (Kevin Knight & KUSHIDA) & Tama Tonga
Just 5 Guys (SANADA & Yuya Uemura) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & Yota Tsuji)
Naito took SANADA out with a tornado DDT and Tsuji hit Uemura with his signature spear for the victory.
Winners: LIJ (Tetsuya Naito & Yota Tsuji)
David Finlay vs. Tanga Loa
Finlay threw Loa into the referee and hit Loa with the shillelagh in the skull before connecting with Into Oblivion to steal a win.
Winner: David Finlay
Great-O-Khan vs. Jon Moxley — Falls Count Anywhere Match
This match was originally a regular one-on-one contest, but after a double countout the match was restarted with falls count anywhere rules. With those rules, these men ended up in the middle of the crowd where Moxley kicked Khan below the belt and pushed him down the stairs. Moxley then dropped Khan with a Death Rider on the concrete and made him pass out after locking in the Bulldog Choke.
Winner: Jon Moxley
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Match: Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. TMDK (Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste & Zack Sabre Jr.)
TMDK thought they were closing in on the titles, Sabre had Tanahashi locked into an armbar, but Ishii broke the hold. After a small brawl, Sabre was back in control and attempted to hit Tanahashi with a Zack Driver, but Tanahashi reversed into a roll-up and got the pinfall! Tanahashi then seemed to challenge Sabre for a shot at his NJPW World Television Championship!
Winners: Still NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions, Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Hiroshi Tanahashi
Following the celebration, the lights went out with just Okada in the ring and there was a video message for Okada from “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson! He has challenged Okada to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 18 and Okada has accepted the challenge!
An eye for an eye, an arm for an arm on the mind of the American Dragon!@bryandanielson has challenged Kazuchika Okada for Wrestle Kingdom 18!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 4, 2023
Super Junior Tag League 2023 Final Match: Catch 2/2 (Francesco Akira & TJP) vs. House of Torture (SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Winners: Catch 2/2 (Francesco Akira & TJP)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori
Ishimori was looking to cheat his way to a title, he caught Takahashi with a pop-up low blow and a Gedo clutch roll-up, but it only got a two count. Ishimori then locked in a Bone Lock, but Takahashi crawled his way to the bottom rope. It seemed as though we were going to get a new champion, however, Takahashi sneakily got Ishimori into his unnamed Hiromu Roll and stole the win with this arm-trapped roll-up!
Winner: Still IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, Hiromu Takahashi
Following the match, Takahashi addressed the crowd and he said his next challenger would be somebody he needs to compete against. The person he wants is El Desperado! Takahashi challenged Desperado to a match at the Tokyo Dome, Wrestle Kingdom 18 for the Junior Heavyweight Championship and Desperado accepted the offer!