Taiji Ishimori defeats YOH to win elimination bout
The main event on night three of Kizuna Road saw BULLET CLUB and CHAOS in ten man elimination action, El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo and EVIL of BULLET CLUB taking on NEVER 6-man and IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team Championship teams from CHAOS in SHO, YOH, Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI.
SHO and Phantasmo would tie up to start the match. As the two went hold for hold, ELP seemed to have the upper hand, before getting a literal upper hand full of SHO’s hair to keep a headlock. When YOH was able to tag in however, the result was effective double team work and CHAOS clearing the apron, leading to Phantasmo getting rocked by all five CHAOS members in the corner, the CHAOS drum chorus following to punish Phantasmo’s back.
BULLET CLUB would get revenge as only they do however, YOH being backed into the corner where eye and back rakes were the order of the day. YOH did the best he could to battle back against EVIL, but couldn’t get far as Togo delivered a fist drop and Yujiro kept up the pressure. A frustrated CHAOS side attempted to intervene, only to be stopped by EVIL and Yujiro, but a dropkick and back body drop to Phantasmo and Ishimori finally brought SHO inside.
The junior powerhouse landed a double spear to his tag challengers and Goto and YOSHI-HASHI kept the numbers game even for SHO, but a handspring into a corkscrew overhead scored for Ishimori. YOSHI-HASHI and Yujiro would await tags in each corner and the Headhunter was fired up on offense and scored a suplex, but Takahashi would bite his way out of trouble and then connected with a Fisherman’s Buster. When Yujiro charged in on YOSHI-HASHI, he was nearly subject to the first elimination of the match, but Togo would hook the CHAOS member’s heels before sliding in Yujiro’s cane; one shot later and YOSHI-HASHI was over the top rope.
Ishii could not forgive the Tokyo Pimp’s actions and was vicious in response, growling as he delivered tackles, but again getting distracted by Togo and dropped with a reverse DDT. Moments later at the 15 minute mark, Ishii was on the wrong end of a BULLET CLUB team effort to eliminate him, but hung on long enough for first Goto and then SHO to make the save, as Yujiro flew over the top to bring the match to 4 v 4.
Ishii was now legal with a man he’s wanted to fight all tour long in Togo. Daring EVIL’s pareja to hit him as hard as he could, Ishii baited Togo into a strike exchange he couldn’t hope to win, but the Spoiler was able to respond with a lariat before a Pedigree attempt was stopped with a headbutt and then a high and tight German suplex. EVIL would make the difference for BULLET CLUB, bringing Ishii to the apron and opening the door for the Spoiler’s Choke. Togo took the voluntary DQ to put Ishii out and fall easy prey to EVIL who hoisted the dead weight and made the match three on three.
Goto was legal and tried to take charge in ring, but was sent instead into an exposed steel turnbuckle before tasting Darkness Falls for two. The Darkness Scorpion was then locked in until YOH made the save; Goto followed up with a desperation Ushigoroshi as the crowd tried to rally behind the CHAOS side.
As EVIL ran the BULLET CLUB rulebreakers’ playbook EVIL stunned the referee and brought in a chair, but the returning YOSHI-HASHI intervened, and a double lariat took Goto and EVIL out. Now two on two, the match came down to IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team Champions and challengers. YOH was quick to show the champions’ will to win with elbows and a counter to Phantasmo’s CRII with a jackknife pin that got two and then a German Suplex that got two and a half before connecting with SHO for a double team that further closed the gap between CHAOS and victory.
The champions went for 3K but were countered with a swinging DDT from Phantasmo, who skinned the cat on an elimination attempt and used a head scissors to instead dump YOH on the apron. The two men exchanged strikes before ELP looked for CR II on the apron before a springboard foot stamp sent YOH out and brought the match to two on one.
Alone, SHO brought all he could, but was quickly overwhelmed by the handicap. The challengers were over confident however, and paid dearly, Phantasmo crashing into his own partner on a double team moonsault and getting eliminated quickly after. Now with Ishimori alone against SHO, the pace accelerated with SHO rolling two German suplexes into a cross arm breaker. Ishimori fought free, and with tensions rising as the match passed the 30 minute mark, connected with Cipher Utaki for a near two count. A strike flurry from the Bone Soldier followed however, and a Bloody Cross connected to give Ishimori the win at 31 minutes and 28 seconds.