Yet another thrilling NEVER defence headlines Korakuen Hall
The main event of June 22’s Korakuen Hall Kizuna Road card saw the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships defended, as the CHAOS side of YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii looked for their sixth defence against BULLET CLUB’s Yujiro Takahashi, EVIL and Dick Togo.
BULLET CLUB had special moral asistance in their challenge, as Pieter returned to accompany the challengers. In fact her presence granted the BULLET CLUB team the confidence to take the title belts before introductions were even complete, though it became clear this was simply to attack the champions with and press the advantage on the floor.
As the match settled down, it was Togo in the ring with Ishii, who was in the wrong part of the ring, and then the wrong part of Korakuen Hall, forced into the guardrail and worked over by EVIL. The Stone Pitbull ran the full gamut of the BULLET CLUB playbook as he was sent into the timekeeper’s table, the exposed turnbuckle and nailed with a home run chair swing.
Dominated by the BULLET CLUB side, Ishii crumpled under a Yujiro boot in the corner, but finally exploded out the opposite side, landing a German suplex that brought Goto in. Connecting with YOSHI-HASHI, Goto scored a run of tandem offense, but Yujiro bit his way out of an Ushigoroshi attempt, leading to a Fisherman’s Buster instead. Yet clashing lariats and wills was never going to work out entirely in Yujiro7s favour against Goto, double swings knocking both down as YOSHI-HASHI and EVIL entered in their place.
YOSHI-HASHI brought fire and pace, a Headhunter neckbreaker and stinging chop ringing out on EVIL. yet outside the ring was still BULLET CLUB’s domain, and the King of Darkness re-assumed the upper hand with a violent hurl into the guardrail. Back inside, EVIL followed a backreaker with the Darkness Scorpion, but Ishii would invite himself inside to break the hold and deliver a huge vertical suplex.
Yujiro stopped Ishii getting the upper hand for YOSHI-HASHI, sending him into the exposed buckle, but the Tokyo Pimp tasted the steel in response, and then the Headhunter connected with Goto for the Violent Flash, a double knee and then YOSHI-HASHI’s Butterfly Lock at the 15 minute mark.
Unable to get the submission, nor a double wrist lock from the Butterfly, YOSHI-HASHI transitioned to a sleeper, only for EVIL to stand, granting an open back for Togo to land a brutal chair shot. Ishii intercepted the steel Spoiler’s Choker, but there was no stopping an EVIL lariat and Darkness Falls that got a very near two from the referee.
Kicking out, YOSHI-HASHI refused to fall to EVIL’s constant attempts at the finishing blow, instead landing a backcracker to open the door for an Ishii tag. A trip from Yujiro quickly killed the Stone Pitbull’s momentum though, and Togo followed with a picture perfect senton that got two for the challengers. Showing expert skill and veteran’s sense, Togo navigated wrist control on a cover from a lariat and transitioned from Ishii’s kick out to a Crossface, before looking for a Pedigree after Ishii made the ropes, but the champion back body dropped out, and with Goto cutting interference off at the pass, Ishii landed a thunderous superplex that nearly ended the match.
A backdrop suplex followed for Ishii, but a surge of adrenaline kept Togo in the match, and indeed with the upper hand as he navigated back into the Crossface. Wrenching hard on the neck and rolling the Pitbull center ring, Ishii was near submission before YOSHI-HASHI intervened; it was here though that the match broke down entirely.
Goto and YOSHI-HASHI’s double team was stopped when the referee was thrown down, and the champions took shots from Yujiro’s cane. As the referee was still downed, EVIL landed chair shot after chair shot to the spine of Ishii before a Pedigree on the steel, but as the referee came to, Ishii somehow rolled a shoulder before the three. A Magic Killer followed from Togo and EVIL, and ishii still kicked out; Togo landed another Pedigree and went for the Senton off the top, but Goto hit the ring and delivered a GTR to Yujiro as YOSHI-HASHI withstood the pain of an exposed buckle shot to rock EVIL with a lariat.
Still legal, Togo and Ishii found their feet and collided with thunderous blows while still spaghetti legged. Adrenaline surged for the Pitbull however, as a lariat floored Togo. A powerbomb was the result, but Yujiro made the save before three; Goto disposed of the Tokyo Pimp however and he and YOSHI-HASHI connected with GYR. A sliding lariat to Togo scored for Ishii, but still didn’t end the match; as the bout broke down again, Togo almost rolled Ishii up after a YOSHI-HASHI superkick caught his partner, but no decision was rendered.
With bodies down all around the ring, Togo resorted to his steel wire choker, but Ishii powered free and lariated all three of his opponents. An emphatic lariat scored, and a thunderous Vertical Drop Brainbuster sealed the deal on CHAOS’ sixth defence.
Before the CHAOS side could celebrate, the Third Generation of Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata and Hiroyoshi Tenzan made it clear that they want to be next in line. The challenge was quickly and violently accepted by Ishii; when and where will the match happen? Wherever it does, it’ll be sure to be another classic!