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CALDWELL'S NJPW IPPV RESULTS 5/25: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live show featuring Styles vs. Okada for IWGP World Title, MOTY Contender, NWA Tag Titles, more

May 25, 2014 - 5:10:57 AM
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New Japan iPPV Results
"Back to the Yokohama Arena"
May 25, 2014
Yokohama, Japan
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


Top News: A.J. Styles retained the IWGP World Title over Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura retained the IWGP IC Title over Daniel Gracie, Tomohiro Ishii beat Kota Ibushi in a Match of the Year candidate to retain the NEVER Openweight Title, and Tenzan & Kojima beat Rob Conway & Wes Brisco and Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith in a three-team match to retain the NWA Tag Titles. The event was broadcast on Internet PPV through Ustream.TV HERE.

(1) Bushi & Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & El Desperado & Mascara Dorada at 8:30 in a big eight-man tag match setting up the Best of the Super Jrs. tournament. Bushi scored the pin on Desperado for the win. Desperado sold an injury after the match and missed the post-match curtain call.

(2) Bullet Club (IWGP tag champions Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi beat Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan at 9:05 in an eight-man tag match. Doc took full advantage of being in a different country by cussing like a sailor in English. Also, big heat on Takahashi fresh off joining the heel gaijin group. The match built to the face team getting in their moves on Takahashi before a big brawl broke out. Anderson & Doc dropped Honma with the Magic Killer, then Anderson dropped Captain with an Ace Crusher. Big heat on Takahashi re-entering the ring to finish Captain with a cocky pinfall.

Post-match, the crowd sat stunned, while Gedo and Jado sat disapproving on ringside commentary. Bullet Club confronted Gedo and Jado ringside, then Takahashi did a Too Sweet in front of his former stablemates in CHAOS. On the way out, Bullet Club ran down CHAOS. Big feud brewing here.

Ahead of the next match, NWA president Bruce Tharpe did his "Bruce Tharpe Desk" routine getting the crowd to boo and laugh. Tharpe, in a pretentious and flashy purple jacket, then introduced former NWA World champion Rob Conway and Wes Brisco as the first challengers for the NWA Tag Title match. Killer Elite Squad were introduced next, along with TAKA Michinoku. NWA tag champions Satoshi Kojima and Tenzan were introduced last.

(3) NWA tag champions NWA World Hvt. champion Satoshi Kojima & Tenzan beat Killer Elite Squad (Lance Hoyt/Archer & Davey Boy Smith, Jr. w/TAKA) and Rob Conway & Wes Brisco at 11:40 in a three-way match to retain the NWA Tag Titles. Good action throughout and the crowd was hot for the tag champs. Big heat on Conway for mockingly doing Tenzan's wind-up chop on Tenzan, who responded with a big attack. Bruce Tharpe then got on the ring apron to boos, which set up Wes scoring a close nearfall on Tenzan that the crowd bought as the finish. More chaos, then Kojima and Tenzan combined for a big lariat and moonsault on Wes for the pin and the win.

Post-match, K.E.S. made it known they want the NWA Tag Titles back while Tharpe regrouped with Conway and Brisco. Next up for Kojima is a two-show tour in the U.S. next weekend defending the NWA World Title.

(4) Shelton Benjamin & Minoru Suzuki beat Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka at 0:08. Iizuka has been tormenting announcer Shinpei Nogami for months and months, creating chaos at ringside. Before the bell sounded, Iizuka turned on Yano, pulled out a claw, dropped him, and allowed him to be pinned in less than ten seconds. Iizuka was then presented with a t-shirt for Suzuki's Suzukigun faction. He accepted and joined the heel stable, posing with Suzuki, Benjamin, Hoyt/Archer, Smith, TAKA, and Taichi while Yano was stretchered out of the ring.

(5) Bad Luck Fale beat Tetsuya Naito at 12:10. Very good first singles match of the show utilizing the big man vs. underdog babyface formula. After a long build-up, Fale hit a big chokeslam that looked like the end, but Naito kicked out to a big reaction. Moments later, Fale finished off Naito with an Outsider's Edge for the win. The big spotlight on Fale continues.

[Intermission]

(6) Kazushi Sakuraba submitted Rolles Gracie in a Pro Wrestling vs. MMA match. They didn't over-stay their welcome with the mixed format match.

(7) NEVER champion Tomohiro Ishii beat IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion Kota Ibushi to retain the NEVER Openweight Title. Ishii pounded Kota early on, but Kota responded with trademark high-flying offense for a very close nearfall. Kota then nailed a big wind-up lariat, but did not make a cover. Instead, he delivered a huge sit-out powerbomb that Ishii kicked out of. Kota tried a top-rope Phoenix Splash, but Ishii moved and lariated Kota for a close nearfall of his own. Applause from the crowd. Ishii, now bleeding, confronted Kota for a standing exchange. Major bombs and palm strikes. Kota then destroyed Ishii with a kick to the face, but Ishii kicked out at one. He then destroyed Kota with a lariat, which Kota kicked out of at one. So, Ishii delivered another lariat. Both men down on the mat. Goodness, what an exchange. Both men back to their feet trading bombs. Another amazing exchange resulted in a close nearfall for Kota. Ishii then delivered a big brainbuster for the pin and the win.

Everyone hit the ring post-match to check on the participants after an amazing performance that told a great story centered on Kota proving he's a tough wrestler who can dish and take, not just a "little Jr. Hvt. wrestler." Just great storytelling. Ishii showed his respect to Kota as he recovered, then was officially announced as the winner. (****1/2)

Post-match: Bullet Club's Yujiro Takahashi hit the ring to sneak-attack Ishii. Takahashi made it known he wants the NEVER Title.

(8) Tanahashi & Makabe beat Goto & Shibata at 17:33 to become #1 contenders to the IWGP Tag Titles. A difficult time following the previous match, but this was a very strong tag match. Great combinations and exchanges centered on Shibata taking pleasure in taking it to Tanahashi, who fought back over and over. For the finish, Shibta accidentally big-booted Goto in the face when Makabe ducked, then Tanahashi and Makabe combined for High Fly Flow and a top-rope knee to the head, respectively, for the pin and the win.

Post-match, Shibata stomped away from the ring upset with the loss. Meanwhile, New Japan replayed Shibata and Goto's stereo kicks to Makabe's face drawing blood. Goto was then helped away from ringside - will there be a follow-up problem for Shibata and Goto now?

(9) IWGP IC champion Shinsuke Nakamura beat Daniel Gracie at 10:25 to retain the IWGP Intercontinental Title. Fine storytelling of Nakamura overcoming Gracie, who bullied Nakamura a decade ago. Gracie tried to rough up Nakamura with strikes and blows early on, but Nakamura overcame with the Boma Ye knee for the win. Gracie bowed and shook Nakamura's hand after the match. No real threat to the title, and an okay exhibition-style match.

Post-match, Bad Luck Fale showed up and met Nakamura in the ring for a face-to-face confrontation. Fale pointed to the IWGP IC Title to indicate he wants the next title shot. After Fale left the ring, Nakamura cut a promo about beating Gracie. Nakamura finished his promo with a flurry and fell down to the mat to sell exhaustion from, well, everything.

Before the main event of A.J. Styles vs. Kazuchika Okada, New Japan ran footage from last Saturday's ROH show when Styles retained the IWGP World Title against Michael Elgin and Okada in the main event. The video package included soundbytes from Styles in a sit-down interview and Okada's response in a separate interview.

(10) IWGP World Hvt. champion A.J. Styles (w/Bullet Club) vs. Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) for the IWGP World Title. Styles went for heel stall tactics early on. Okada eventually controlled and teased an early Rainmaker clothesline, but Styles ducked. Meanwhile, the announcers brought up Styles's TNA background and discussed TNA for a little while. Okada continued to dominate, doing his Rainmaker pose over Styles to show his dominance. Karl Anderson then grabbed Okada's boot from the outside, giving Styles control. The crowd booed, then the referee gave Bullet Club the heave-ho to a pop. Back in the ring, Okada and Styles resumed their battle.

Later, Okada had Styles in a submission, which drew Bullet Club down to ringside for a distraction. BC's Yujiro Takahashi then showed up and threw Okada hard out of the ring. Suddenly, NEVER champion Tomohiro Ishii appeared and drove off Takahashi to a pop. B.C. was escorted away from ringside again, then the match resumed in the ring. Okada hit a top-rope elbow, then called for the Rainmaker. Styles blocked, then champ and challenger traded bombs. It led to Styles flowing into his signature moonsault reverse DDT. Okada came back with a textbook dropkick. Tombstone Piledriver at 25:00, then Okada wanted the Rainmaker, but Styles ducked. Styles used the ref to distract Okada, then Styles hit Prince Devitt's Bloody Sunday move. Styles flowed into the Clash, Okada put up a fight to block it, and Styles got Okada over for the Styles Clash to get the pin and the win. A lot of bells and whistles and building to a big moment when someone dethrones Styles.

Post-match, Bullet Club hit the ring to celebrate with Styles and mock Okada. Okada was helped to the back while Styles posed with his championship trophy. Karl Anderson then took the mic and mocked the crowd. Anderson said Bullet Club has arrived. He introduced A.J. Styles as still IWGP Hvt. champion. Styles said Yokohoma is Bullet Club, Bullet Club is too sweet and for life, and Bullet Club is real. Confetti fell to the ring and Bullet Club posed again. The camera stayed on Styles celebrating on the way out of the ring as Yuji Nagata expressed his displeasure on commentary. Styles met B.C. on the giant production stage and posed one more time for the crowd to conclude the event.


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