The second night of Fighting Spirit Unleashed saw New York’s famous Hammerstein Ballroom host its first NJPW event.
Match 8: Los Ingobernables De Japon (EVIL & SANADA) defeated Kota Ibushi & Kazuchika Okada when EVIL pinned Ibushi.
Ibushi started the match off with his October 14 Ryogoku opponent EVIL. A furious early pace led to a standoff, before Okada and SANADA entered for their own Ryogoku preview. At a similar high pace, IWGP champion and number one contender teased Rainmakers and Skull Ends, before EVIL showed former tag champion levels of teamwork, tripping Okada from the floor and allowing LIJ to take control.
An Okada flapjack to SANADA opened the door for an Ibushi tag however. The golden tag team would find control, and Okada would fire up the New York crowd. SANADA would lock in Skull End, broken up by Ibushi, while Okada evaded a Moonsault and connected with a dropkick, SANADA preventing the follow-up Rainmaker and tagging in EVIL.
The King of Darkness would charge the IWGP champion in the corner, but Okada would connect with a Reverse neckbreaker, before the ever dynamic Ibushi was tagged in to go to work. He may have wanted to call in sick, as LIJ team work again proved too slick for Ibushi. Darkness Falls from EVIL led to a two count, but the match broke down, EVIL shoved into an Okada Tombstone, a Boma Ye being landed on an entering SANADA and an EVIL German suplex putting everyone on the mat and the fans on their feet.
EVIL and Ibushi traded a series of bombs in the ring, ending with a thunderous EVIL lariat for two. The EVIL landed right afterward however, and Ibushi was directly pinned by his October 14 opponent.
Match 7: KENTA defeated YOSHI-HASHI via pinfall to retain the NEVER Openweight Championship.
KENTA took his time at the start of the match, bailing twice to the floor before an angry YOSHI-HASHI followed the champion out. Some spirited offense was cut short though, KENTA pulling his challenger to the floor and landing kicks around the ring, and sending YOSHI-HASHI int the ringpost. A DDT on the concrete floor would follow for KENTA, and the NEVER champion re-entered the ring to be showered with boos.
YOSHI-HASHI narrowly beat the 20 count, only to be tossed outside and DDT again. Back in, the challenger would land some chops but was quickly cut off by a chest kick as KENTA retained relentless control. Even as YOSHI-HASHI landed a vertical suplex and his rope hung dropkick, KENTA would shut his momentum down with blows, a powerslam and a Stungun before a top rope lariat.
At the 15 minute mark, YOSHI-HASHI was able to land a desperation lariat to stop KENTA from going for the G2S. The challenger would fire up with a slap and takedown on the challenger, but as he slung fists from a half mount, KENTA caught his challenger in Game Over.
YOSHI-HASHI made the ropes, and this time cut KENTA off as the champion looked for a Busaiku Knee. A powerbomb and double knee scored a pair of two counts but when YOSHI-HASHI tried for another running strike, KENTA pulled in the referee. A low blow would follow for KENTA, who called on GoD for assistance. Tiger Hattori would come to the ring to prevent a Super Powerbomb, and a Go2Sleep attempt from the champion was countered into a YOSHI-HASHI Butterfly Lock.
KENTA made the ropes however, and kicked out of a Kumagoroshi at a very near 2.9. The champion then landed a series of vicious open handed blows, before a Busaiku Knee and the Go2Sleep.
Match 6: Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Amazing Red defeated BULLET CLUB (Jay White, Chase Owens & Gedo) when Goto pinned Gedo.
After some stalling from the BULLET CLUB side, the match got underway proper with Owens and Ishii. Gedo would trip Ishii to no benefit, but White was more effective, pulling Ishii to the floor and allowing BULLET CLUB to take over.
Red would eventually get the tag, and flew in with spectacular kicks and a DDT to Owens. The door was then opened for Goto to get his hands on Jay, but White evaded an Ushigoroshi and connected with a murderer’s backdrop. With Gedo in, Owens would distract the referee with a chair, allowing Gedo to grab some knux, but Ishii prevented the assault.
The match broke down with Red diving to Owens on the floor. Goto connected with Ushigoroshi on Gedo, and shrugged off a right hand from Gedo, landing another Ushigoroshi and GTR for the win.
After the fifth match, a special ceremony honoured Tiger Hattori as he counts down to his retirement. His last match as a referee in the US was followed by his family getting into the ring and presenting him flowers, as fans chanted ‘thank you Tiger!’
Match 5: Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) when Tanahashi pinned BUSHI.
Takagi and Tanahashi charged into one another as the match got underway. Tanahashi would take control and bring in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, but LIJ would cut off a triple dropkick attempt; Gibson and Tanahashi attacked on the floor while Takagi worked over Morton in the ring.
Naito would spit at the legendary Morton, and BUSHI would use his shirt to assist in a choke as LIJ continued their assault. Morton would evade a senton however, finally making the classic Ricky to Robert tag, before Tanahashi entered the fray with Naito. The Ingobernables numbers game would catch up with Tanahashi, but a triple dropkick would connect for the ultimate rock & rollers, Morton following with a perfect tope suicida. Hattori would soon after count three as Tanahashi hit a High Fly Flow on BUSHI.
Match 4: BULLET CLUB (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Jado) defeated Roppongi 3K (SHO, YOH & Rocky Romero) when Tonga pinned Romero.
YOH took control on Jado early, forcing him to flop to the corner. Unfortunately for YOH, this brought in a furious Tama Tonga, and GoD took over on YOH. The Stargazer would take a lot of punishment from all three BULLET CLUB members, but a flying forearm finally brought in SHO, who charged in with powerful strikes, a Spear and a pair of massive German suplexes to Loa.
A snap powerslma gave the match back to BULLET CLUB, for an instant, but Roppongi spirit couldn’t be denied, a s abig side suplex brought in Rocky Romero for a tijeras on Tonga and some Forever Clotheslines. As the match broke down, SHO and YOH would hit double superkicks to Loa and Nomisugi Knees to Tonga. A 3K attempt was countered by a Tonga Gunstun to SHO, however, and Jado’s kendo stick would take out YOH. Romero was left in the ring with GoD, and Loa would muscle up Mr.Azucar in powerbomb position, before popping him into a Tonga Gunstun (the Kill Shot).
Match 3: Mikey Nicholls & Juice Robinson defeated Clark Connors & Alex Coughlin when Nicholls pinned Coughlin.
Nicholls started with Coughlin, who surprised the Australian with a big dropkick early. Connors would take Robinson off his feet too, as the LA Dojo surprisingly got early control on their more experienced opponents. Juice would turn things around with a sidekick to Connors and flapjack to Coughlin, bringing in Nicholls and leading to some effective double team offense.
Connors would make get the match back in the LA Dojo’s corner, with spears and powerslams to both men before Coughlin was tagged in for stereo Boston Crabs. After Nicholls and Robinson escaped, Mad Mikey was able to power Coughlin into a Pop-up DVD, and the Mikey Bomb would follow for the victory.
Match 2: Lance Archer defeated Karl Fredericks via pinfall.
Archer started the match at a furious pace, bowling over Fredericks as he made his entrance and continuing the assault on the floor. After an intense few minutes of punishment however, the Young Lion Cup winner fired up and landed a series of elbows, a corner splash, brainbuster and elbow drop to Archer.
Fredericks looked to follow-up, but as he built up steam, he was Derailed by Archer, who followed with a chokeslam. Fredericks rolled through on a second chokeslam for a nearfall, but a third connected. Archer prevented the referee’s hand from hittting the mat a third time, just to use the EBD Claw for the victory.
Match 1: TJP defeated Ren Narita via submission.
After a delay to the start of the event, the fans were extra loud at the start of the match as Narita and TJP exchanged headscissors. Narita was willing to get into a chop exchange, but TJP instead took his time before landing a dropkick to earn control of the match and the displeasure of the New York crowd.
TJP would dominate with suplexes to Narita, but missed a Swanton, leading to a Narita release front suplex. Unable to clinch Narita Special #4, he instead locked in the #3 Leglace Boston Crab as Hammerstein roared their approval but TJP made the ropes. The original LA Dojo member locked in the Pinoy Stretch, though Narita would dig down to escape. Narita continued to show intense fire as he escaped a TJP Clutch knee bar and kicked out of a Detonation Kick, but a second Pinoy Stretch did the job for TJP.