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NJPW Sakura Genesis live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Zack Sabre Jr. defeated four men to win the New Japan Cup. Now only Kazuchika Okada stands in the way between him and the IWGP Heavyweight title.

Sumo Hall will be home tonight to Okada’s 11th title defense. If he is successful, he’ll tie with Hiroshi Tanahashi for the most consecutive successful defenses in the title’s history. Sabre has been outright dominant over the last month, with no one being able to solve the riddle of how to escape from his submissions. Sabre worked on Okada’s arms one day ago at the Road to Sakura Genesis show, so that may play a part in tonight’s match.

Other title matches include Will Ospreay defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title against Marty Scurll. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru will defend the Junior Tag Team titles against Roppongi 3K and BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi in a three way. And Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa will defend their NEVER Six-Man titles against Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi.

The latest in Bullet Club drama will also transpire as The Young Bucks will open the show against Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi. Meanwhile, Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi will take on Cody & Hangman Page in the semi-main event.

Join us for live coverage at 3 a.m. ET. There will be English commentary by Kevin Kelly and Don Callis.

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THE YOUNG BUCKS DEFEATED CHASE OWENS & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI

Owens and Takahashi jumped the Bucks after they turned their backs after the teams traded handshakes. The Bucks fired back with dropkicks and stereo planchas. Matt was wearing his weight belt and selling his back. 

Owens and Takahashi worked over Nick with strikes. Owens picked up two nearfalls before Nick was able to make a tag to Matt, who ran wild with kicks. Matt applied the sharpshooter to OWens, but Takahashi broke it up. Matt hit a standing moonsault on Owens, while Nick hit a slingshot legdrop on Yujiro. 

The Bucks went for the Indytaker, but Yujiro pulled Nick off the apron, and Owens and Takahashi worked over Matt. Owens went for a package piledriver on Matt, but Nick broke it up. The Bucks hit Owens with superkicks, and Nick did a tornado DDT off the apron to the floor on Yujiro. Matt applied the sharpshooter on Owens and got the tapout. 

After the match, both teams shook hands. This was a fine opener, but was more about furthering the Bucks storyline than going for a blow away match. 

 

TOMOHIRO ISHII & TORU YANO DEFEATED TAKASHI IIZUKA & TAICHI

Taichi attacked Ishii with his staff before the bell, while Iizuka took Yano outside. Iizuka used a chair on Ishii and Yano while the referee's back was turned. They brawled on the floor and into the crowd, and Taichi used a mallet to hit Ishii in the head. 

Suzuki-gun continued to break rules, as Iizuka used a rope form his trunks to choke Ishii. Ishii sold a lot more for Taichi than you might expect. Ishii and Iizuka bit each other, and Ishii ran Iizuka and Taichi into each other. He made the tag to Yano, who untied the turnbuckle pad. Taichi whipped Yano into the exposed buckle, and Iizuka worked him over with the rope. 

Yano used a backslide for a nearfall. Taichi shoved the ref down, and Yano ducked Iizuka's iron glove, hit a low blow, and rolled him up for the pin with an assist from Ishii. This was not a particularly good brawl. 

 

BAD LUCK FALE, TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA DEFEATED TOGI MAKABE, MICHAEL ELGIN & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI TO RETAIN THE NEVER OPENWEIGHT SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Elgin and Loa started off, trading chops. Elgin applied a headlock. Loa hit a belly-to-back, but Elgin did not release the hold. Elgin hit a powerslam and a missile dropkick from the middle rope. Fale cut Elgin off from the apron and pulled him to the floor. Fale choked Elgin with a microphone cord, before tossing him back into the ring. 

The Guerillas of Destiny remained in control until Fale missed a charge into the corner, allowing Elgin to tag in Makabe. Makabe dropped Fale with a lariat, and scored a nearfall on the big man. Fale hit Makabe with a shoulder block, leading to a double down. 

Taguchi and Tonga got tags, and Taguchi ran wild with hip attacks on Tonga and Loa. Taguchi's team did their clothesline train spot, but the Guerillas pulled Elgin and Makabe out of the ring and worked over Taguchi. Taguchi's team recovered, allowing him to hit Tonga with a 619. 

While Fale, Elgin, Loa and Makabe brawled on the floor, Tonga was able to recover, and hit Taguchi with a gun stun, leading to the pinfall victory. This started in slow motion, but the last couple of minutes were fun. 

 

HIROSHI TANAHASHI, DAVID FINLAY & JUICE ROBINSON DEFEATED HIROOKI GOTO, JAY WHITE & YOSHI-HASHI

Finlay and White started off. They traded strikes, then the action spilled outside. Finlay whipped White into the barricade, and took him back inside. White lawn-darted Finlay into the turnbuckle, and all six men brawled on the floor. 

Back inside, YOSHI-HASHI and Goto worked over Finlay. Finlay escaped a chinlock and hit a dropkick, allowing him to tag in Juice. Juice hit his jabs on Goto, and hit a full nelson bomb. Juice hit a high cross off the top on Goto for a nearfall. Juice got the best of a lariat exchange with Goto, but Goto recovered and hit an ushigoroshi, and both men went down. 

Tana and YOSHI-HASHI tagged in, and Tana hit a dragon screw. He went for a slingblade, but YOSHI-HASHI ducked, and the CHAOS team worked over The Ace. Finlay nailed White with a cutter, Juice hit Goto with Pulp Friction, and those four spilled outside, leaving Tana and YOSHI-HASHI the legal men. 

Tana hit slingblade, and a High Fly Flow, and pinned YOSHI-HASHI. After the match, Finlay stared down White, reminding him that their U.S. title match is just weeks away. This was good, solid, by-the-numbers stuff. Finlay, in particular, showed great intensity. 

 

MINORU SUZUKI & KILLER ELITE SQUAD DEFEATED TETSUYA NAITO, EVIL & SANADA 

Suzuki and Naito paired off while Killer Elite Squad and SANADA and EVIL went to the floor. Suzuki slapped Naito, who responded by spitting in Suzuki's face. Suzuki looked to attack, but Naito and SANADA hit him with dropkicks, and the LIJ team went to work on Suzuki. 

Naito worked Suzuki over in the corner, before Suzuki slipped out of the way of an attack and applied a rope-assisted armbar. Both teams brawled to the floor, and Suzuki and Naito went into the crowd. Suzuki used a chair on Naito, while Archer terrorized a child at ringside. Back inside, Suzuki applied a kneebar on Naito, who was barely able to make the ropes. 

Smith tagged in and hit a powerslam for a nearfall. Smith missed a top rope legdrop, and Naito hit a tornado DDT on Smith, and an enziguri on an interfering Suzuki. SANADA got a tag and hit a plancha, before Smith cut him off. Smith hit a bridging suplex for a nearfall. SANADA came back with a springboard dropkick after taking the Ric Flair corner bump. 

EVIL and Archer tagged in, and traded some hard-hitting offense. Archer used a Boss Man slam, but SANADA jumped in to assist his partner. EVIL and SANADA went for the Magic Killer, but Smith cut them off, and Smith and Archer hit SANADA with the Killer Bomb. 

While Suzuki grounded Naito with a kneebar on the floor, Smith and Archer nailed EVIL with a Killer Bomb to pick up the win. So Killer Elite Squad vs. EVIL and SANADA looks to be the direction for the IWGP tag titles. 

Naito and Suzuki cut promos after the match, teasing a future Intercontinental title match between the two. 

This was excellent. Suzuki looked good, and Naito felt like a transcendent star for the first time since Wrestle Kingdom. 

 

YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & DESPERADO DEFEATED SHO & YOH, & HIROMU TAKAHASHI & BUSHI TO RETAIN THE IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

SHO and YOH dominated thr early going, inlcuding hitting stereo topes on Desperado and Kanemaru before the bell. BUSHI and Takahashi took control, working over YOH. Kanemaru and Desperado broke up an STF by BUSHI on YOH, and continued to work him over. 

YOH was finally able to tag SHO, who hit a dropkick on Kanemaru and a spinebuster on Desperado. Takahashi blind tagged himself in, and ate a spear from SHO. YOH got a tag and hit a flying forearm on Takahashi. SHO and YOH got a nearfall, and SHO hit deadlift suplexes on Takahashi and BUSHI. 

Rocky Romero jumped into the ring and Takahashi put the boots to him. Takahashi and BUSHI double-teamed SHO and YOH, leading to a nearfall. Takahashi hit Time Bomb on SHO, but Kanemaru pulled the referee out of the ring as he attempted to count the pinfall. 

With the referee out, Desperado jumped in and hit BUSHI, Takahashi and SHO with belt shots. Although he was not the legal man, the referee recovered and counted the pinfall as Desperado covered SHO. 

SHO and YOH were impressive as always, but this was missing something, it didn't have a lot of heat, and the screwy finish didn't help. 

 

WILL OSPREAY DEFEATED MARTY SCURLL TO RETAIN THE IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Scurll applied an arm-wringer. Ospreay flipped out of it, but Scurll re-applied it immediately. They did a great sequence with Ospreay flipping and Scurll serving as a base. Scurll teased the chicken wing, and Ospreay teased the Oscutter, leading to a stalemate. Ospreay ducked two lariat attempts, Scurll went outside, and Ospreay hit a space flying tiger drop to the floor. 

Scurll recovered and hit a superkick on Ospreay from the apron. Scurll wrenched on Ospreay's neck and sent him into the barricade. Back inside, Scurll continued working over the neck with a draping DDT and a torture rack. Ospreay slipped out of a Gory special at the ten minute mark, but Scurll continued his assault on the neck. 

Ospreay slipped out of a chinlock and hit a rebound enziguri. Ospreay really started selling intense neck pain, and was just barely able to hit another enziguri and a standing shooting star. Ospreay hit Cheeky Nandos and a german. Scurll went for a suplex, but Ospreay turned it into a stunner. Scurll developed a bruise under his right eye. 

Ospreay covered, but Scurll bridged out and hit a pumphandle neckbreaker, getting a nearfall off of it. Scurll hit a discus forearm and a lariat for another nearfall. Scurll went for a neckbreaker, but Ospreay escaped. 

They flipped to the apron, then to the floor, and Scurll hit a jumping tombstone on the floor. Scurll tossed Ospreay back inside and got another nearfall. Scurll hit a neckbreaker for yet another nearfall at the twenty minute mark.

A strike exchange ended with Ospreay hitting an enziguri and a powerbomb. Ospreay hit a Robinson Special, and teased the Oscutter, but Scurll pushed him to the floor, and he hit his neck on the apron on his way down. 

Ospreay recovered and teased a suplex on the apron, but Scurll hit an enziguri. Ospreay hit a Spanish Fly to the floor, but smashed his head on the apron on the way down, busting him open, and crushing his neck at a grisly angle. 

Scurll beat the count back inside, and Ospreay hit a Phoenix Splash for a nearfall. Ospreay went for a shooting star, but Scurll avoided it, and hit a kick to the back of the head for a nearfall. Scurll went for the chicken wing, but Ospreay flipped over for a cover and a nearfall. Ospreay hit the Oscutter, but could not make a cover. 

Scurll was up first, and hit a spike piledriver for a nearfall. Scurll did the finger break spot on both of Ospreay's hands, and stomped on his head, before applying the chicken wing. Ospreay was just able to make the ropes, breaking the hold at the thirty minute mark. 

Ospreay turned another tombstone attempt into a stunner, and hit the Oscutter for the win.

 

This was insane. The storytelling was incredible. Ospreay finally got a big time win over Scurll, but at what cost? 

Ospreay cut a promo after the match, challenging KUSHIDA, who was at ringside doing commentary. KUSHIDA accepted the challenge. 

 

CODY & HANGMAN PAGE DEFEATED THE GOLDEN LOVERS 

 

Kenny and Cody started off, but Cody tried to cheap shot Ibushi, then begged off and tagged in Page. Cody tried to cheap shot Omega from the apron. Omega hit a plancha to the floor on Cody and Page. Omega and Ibushi doubled up on Cody with strikes, but Page jumped in and cut them off. Ibushi and Omega teased the Cross Slash stereo moonsaults, but had to settle for stereo ranas on the floor. 

Cody cut Omega off and nailed him with a chair on the floor, then went to work on Ibushi in the ring. Page and Cody cut the ring in half and worked over Ibushi, concentrating their attacks on Ibushi's arms. Ibushi hit a dropkick, and made a tag to Kenny, who ran into a double team buzzsaw. Page hit a neckbreaker from the middle rope for a nearfall. 

Page hit a pumphandle fallaway slam for a nearfall, and Cody continued the attack with a butterfly lock. Cody tossed Omega to the floor, and pulled a table from under the ring. They teased a suplex on the table, but Kenny suplexed Cody on the floor. Page made the save and slammed both Golden Lovers on the table. 

Page set Kenny up on the table, and Cody teased comig off the top through the table, but he was interrupted by the Bucks, who came out to express their displeasure with all of this. Omega recovered as the Bucks left, and the action returned to the ring. Omega hit a wheel kick on Cody, busting him open over his left eye. 

Ibushi got a hot tag and ran wild on Cody. The Lovers both hit moonsaults and made a cover, but Cody kicked out. The Lovers hit Cross Slash, and Omega power bombed Cody into a german from Ibushi. Cody escaped a Golden Shower, and hit a suplex on Ibushi. Cody tagged Page, who hit a dropkick on Kenny into a standing shooting star on Ibushi for a nearfall. 

The match broke down into a four-way, with Omega hitting a V-Trigger and a snap dragon suplex. Cody went to the top, but Ibushi hit a backflip kick. They teased a One-Winged Angel through the table, but Page made the save. Page and Cody hit Ibushi with a springboard Doomsday Device, and Page sent Omega through the table. 

Ibushi countered with a double backflip kick, and hit a Last Ride on Cody for a nearfall. Ibushi went for Kamigoye, but Page grabbed his leg from the floor, and Cody rolled Ibushi up, stealing the win. 

Cody and Page tried to attack Ibushi with a chair after the match, but Omega made the save and ran them off.

This served its purpose in furthering the Elite's stroyline, and was different enough from the previous bout that they didn't have trouble following a match of the year candidate. 

 

KAZUCHIKA OKADA DEFEATED ZACK SABRE JR. TO RETAIN THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

 The first five minutes of the bout were spent on the mat, with Sabre using his catch style and wide arsenal of holds. The story they were telling was that while Sabre is the master of that style, that Okada was also comfortable on the ground, and willing to try to beat Sabre at his own game. Okada got a pair of one counts that Sabre quickly bridged out of. 

Okada tried for a cloverleaf, but Sabre turned it into a heel hook, then a kneebar, but Okada slipped to a waistlock, and again briefly got Sabre down for a one count. Okada slipped out of a heel hook and a surfboard and got a two count, and hit a European uppercut on the break, the first strike of the match. 

Sabre applied an abdominal stretch, and transitioned to a cobra twist, but Okada reached the ropes. Sabre grapevined Okada's right leg, and used his legs to torque and twist Okada's left leg. Okada fought back with strikes and went for the dropkick, but Sabre turned it into a submission attempt, forcing Okada to fight to the ropes. 

Okada taunted Sabre, and dared him to strike him. Sabre was happy to oblige, and hit European uppercuts, but in doing so, played right into Okada's hands. Okada hit a flapjack, a big boot, a back elbow in the corner, and a DDT. Sabre rolled to the apron and applied an octopus hold on the ropes. Okada fought back and kicked Sabre to the floor. 

Okada sent Sabre over the barricade and hit a running crossbody over the fence, into the crowd. Red Shoes started the twenty count, so Okada brought the action back inside. Sabre applied a headscissors and applied a stretch muffler, but Okada reached the ropes, forcing a break. 

Sabre went to work on Okada's right arm, teasing that Okada wouldn't be able to hit the Rainmaker with a bad arm. Sabre missed a charge into the corner, but avoided the dropkick and applied a guillotine. Okada tried to turn it into a slam, but Sabre turned it into a rear naked choke. Okada slithered out and hit a neckbreaker. 

Okada hit a scoop slam and went for the flying elbow, but Sabre caught him off the top and turned it into a cross armbreaker. Okada rolled through and reached the ropes, but more damage was done to the right arm. They traded forearm strikes, before Okada was able to land the shotgun dropkick, leading to a double down. 

Okada turned a backslide into a Rainmaker attempt, but Sabre caught him and went to work on the arm. Okada slipped out, hit a short dropkick, then his trademark dropkick and a tombstone. Sabre grabbed the right arm from the mat, and used wrist control to enter pinning combinations and score two close nearfalls.
Sabre got the best of a strike exchange, but Okada was able to hit another dropkick.

Seemingly unphased, Sabre applied a cross armbreaker, then transitioned to a triangle choke. Okada powered up and hit a Rainmaker, and maintianed wrist control after impact, allowing him to hit a second Rainmaker. 

Okada went for a third, but Sabre applied an octopus. Okada slipped out, hit a tombstone, and a third Rainmaker, then covered Sabre for the win. 

With the victory, Okada tied Tanahashi for the most consecutive IWGP Heavyweight title defenses. And so, as Gedo cut a promo after the match, Tanahashi entered the ring, the crowd chanting his name. The Ace challenged Okada for his IWGP title.