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NJPW Summer Struggle in Nagoya results: Tanahashi vs. KENTA

The NJPW Summer Struggle tour continued today on the third of four consecutive days with major NJPW shows. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi took on KENTA in the main event, while Tomohiro Ishii battled EVIL in the semi-main.

With Kota Ibushi's status as the main event challenger for Shingo Takagi's IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in question, the winner of today's main event would seem to be the logical fill-in should Ibushi not yet be recovered from his bout with pneumonia.  

Below are results and a report on today's show. 

Recommended matches --

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL

Report --

Robbie Eagles, SHO & YOH defeated El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI (9:19)

Eagles pinned the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion a day before their title match. That was the only thing of note in this opener, as they didn't get much time. 

Suzuki-gun used a jumpstart attack to begin the match and cut YOH off. YOH managed a tag to SHO. DOUKI hit a cool suplex on SHO for a two count. SHO answered with a spear. 

Desperado and Eagles got tags. Desperado used Numero Dos, but Eagles forced a break. Eagles used the Ron Miller Special, but Kanemaru saved for Desperado. Kanemaru entered to double up Eagles. Desperado hit Guitarra de Angel for a two count. 

Desperado went for Pinche Loco. Eagles blocked, then rolled Desperado up for the flash pinfall. 

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After the match, Desperado hit Eagles with a right hand and used a chair on the left leg of the challenger. 

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Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Ryusuke Taguchi & Rocky Romero defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo & Jado (9:34)

There was a lot of butt stuff with Taguchi in the early part of the match. Bullet Club rebounded and isolated YH in their corner. Ishimori and ELP used their comedy tandem offense on YH. YH came back with a headhunter to Ishimori. 

Romero got a hot tag and hit forever clotheslines on ELP and Ishimori, then a double rana. Ishimori blocked sliced bread. Romero hit a rewind kick. Taguchi tagged in for hip attacks. Jado caused a distraction with a kendo stick, then tagged in. 

Bullet Club went 4-on-1 against Taguchi. Jado used the OJK, but Romero saved. The match broke down as everyone climbed in. 

Taguchi ducked a kendo stick shot from Jado and trapped him in an ankle lock for the submission.

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There was a short angle after the match. ELP and Ishimori tried to attack Taguchi and Romero after the bell. Taguchi caught ELP in an ankle lock and tried to reveal the contents of ELP's loaded boot, but Ishimori saved. 

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Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano defeated Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan by countout (10:52)

Okada and Cobb were very good together and should tear the house down tomorrow. The rest of this was a Yano match. 

Okada threw his entrance gear at Cobb and brawled to the floor with him before the bell. O-Khan and Yano began the match as the legal men. Yano exposed a buckle, but that gave O-Khan an opening to go on the offensive. O-Khan and Cobb beat Yano down. 

Cobb and Okada tagged in for an extended preview of their bout tomorrow. Cobb hit a throw. Okada blocked a spin cycle and tried the Money Clip, but Cobb blocked that. Okada hit a flapjack into a double down. 

O-Khan and Yano tagged back in. O-Khan used a cobra twist with the claw applied, but Yano forced a break. Yano sent O-Khan into the exposed turnbuckle. O-Khan used a head and arm choke. Cobb and Okada jumped back in and broke the hold up. 

All four brawled to the floor. Yano produced handcuffs and cuffed O-Khan to something under the ring. He was actually a second late beating the count back inside, but the ref called it for Yano anyway as O-Khan was counted out. 

**********

Okada hit Cobb with a dropkick after the match. Cobb tossed a chair into the ring. Okada stood on the chair and taunted Cobb ahead of their match tomorrow. 

Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura came to the ring to free O-Khan. He responded by beating them up. 

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Shingo Takagi & BUSHI defeated Tomoaki Honma & Master Wato (11:44)

Honma was good yesterday. Honma had a rough time today in the third of three straight days with this same matchup.

Honma was quickly cut off and LIJ worked on him in their half of the ring. Wato finally got a tag and hit BUSHI with a springboard forearm. Wato hit a tope con giro to both BUSHI and Shingo. Wato and BUSHI traded spots. They may have been having some communication issues. 

Shingo got a tag and hit a series of chops and strikes to Wato. Wato hit a great pop-up hurricanrana. Honma climbed in for a double team. Wato got a two count on Shingo. 

Shingo hit Wato with a pop-up DVD and a sliding lariat. Honma entered for a kokeshi. He teased a Kamigoye, but BUSHI saved and pulled Honma to the floor. 

Shingo hit Wato with a Pumping Bomber for a two count. Wato used a crucifix bomb and a cradle for a pair of near falls. 

Shingo blocked a kick and used Wato's momentum to lift him for Made in Japan and the pin. 

EVIL (w/Dick Togo) defeated Tomohiro Ishii (28:07)

Ishii always delivers in big matches and this was no exception.

Ishii attacked before the opening bell and beat both EVIL and Togo all around ringside. He sent EVIL into the guardrail in the aisle and broke a piece of it. 

Ishii teased a brainbuster on the ramp on EVIL, but Togo made the save. Ishii chased Togo into the ring. Togo distracted Ishii just long enough for EVIL to slide in with a lariat and take control of the match. 

EVIL used his baseball swing chair shot on Ishii. Ishii made it back in after a countout tease. EVIL bumped Ishii into the barricade and the ring announcer took a bump. Back inside, EVIL sent Ishii into an exposed turnbuckle. EVIL used a half-crab. 

Ishii fired up after a series of EVIL chops and hit a chop to the throat. Both were down selling the chops. EVIL again sent Ishii into the buckle, but Ishii charged out and hit a lariat. Ishii hit a long series of chops and forearm strikes in the corner.  

EVIL stopped Ishii's momentum with an eye poke. Togo pulled Ishii outside and whipped him into the barricade. EVIL sent Ishii back outside again. This time Ishii reversed a Togo whip into the barricade. Ishii then pulled EVIL to the ring announcer's seat and bumped Togo into the barricade as a measure of justice. 

Back in, Ishii hit a vertical suplex for a two count at the 15 minute mark. EVIL whipped Ishii into the buckle and hit a fisherman buster out of it. EVIL hit a superplex for a two count. Ishii blocked an attempt at the scorpion deathlock. 

EVIL sent Ishii into the ref. The ref was bumped just long enough for Togo to get in for a Magic Killer and a near fall. Ishii blocked Darkness Falls. EVIL took a front turnbuckle into the exposed steel. Ishii hit a backdrop suplex into a double down. 

Ishii hit a clothesline and a Vertical Drop Brainbuster off the middle rope for a two count. Ishii sent EVIL into Togo on the apron. Togo took a great bump to the floor. Ishii hit a sliding lariat for another near fall. 

Ishii blocked Everything is EVIL and hit a headbutt. Ishii slid to the apron. EVIL kicked the middle rope into his groin for a low blow. EVIL then hit Darkness Falls for a two count. EVIL hit a lariat after a series of reversals for another two count. Ishii again blocked Everything is EVIL with a headbutt at 25 minutes. 

EVIL took the ref. Togo jumped in with his ligature. Ishii fought him off and hit him with a headbutt. Ishii blocked an EVIL low blow and hit an enzuigiri. Ishii hit a massive lariat for another two count. EVIL bumped Ishii into the ref. 

Yujiro ran in with his cane. Ishii blocked the cane shot. EVIL hit Ishii with a low blow. Yujiro hit Ishii with Pimp Juice. EVIL then finally hit Everything is EVIL for the pin. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated KENTA (24:51)

Tanahashi's incredible year continues. Another great main event performance from him here. 

Katsuyori Shibata was on commentary for this match. This would prove important. 

KENTA did some of his customary stalling at the opening bell. Tana got off a flurry of offense, including a crossbody and a senton. KENTA came back by whipping Tana to the outside. He hit a double stomp off the apron, then sent Tana into the barricade. 

KENTA took some time to jaw with Shibata. 

Back in the ring, KENTA hit a neckbreaker for a two count. KENTA used a chinlock. KENTA took his knee pad down and teased a knee drop, but hit a short kick instead. KENTA played some air bass guitar. 

Tana fired up after a series of punches and kicks from KENTA. Tana hit a flying forearm and a dragon screw out of the corner. He connected with two more dragon screws in the center of the ring. Tana used his Texas Clover Hold, but KENTA forced a break. 

Tana blocked a swing DDT attempt, but KENTA connected on a powerslam. KENTA hit some kicks and a fisherman's suplex for a two count. KENTA hit a clothesline off the top rope for another two count. 

Tana blocked a draping DDT attempt. KENTA hit a hotshot over the top rope, then hit a draping DDT off the apron to the floor. Tana made it back in after a countout tease. 

KENTA hit a Shibata dropkick in the corner. Tana blocked a Go 2 Sleep and hit another dragon screw. They traded heavy forearm shots. Tana got the best of the long exchange, dropping KENTA. 

KENTA repeatedly tried to send Tana into the referee, even chasing Red Shoes around the ring, but Tana avoided the bump and hit a dropkick to the knee. Tana tried a dropkick in the corner, but this time KENTA pulled Red Shoes in the way for a ref bump. 

With the referee down, KENTA hit a low blow. KENTA produced his old IWGP US title shot briefcase and used that as a weapon as well. 

Shibata got in the ring and hit KENTA with a pump kick. He then revived Red Shoes and Tanahashi. 

KENTA reversed slingblade into a G2S attempt. Tana reversed that into twist and shout. Tana then hit two slingblades. KENTA blocked a third slingblade with a Busaiku knee. He hit a second running knee strike for a near fall. Tana blocked another G2S attempt and hit a dragon suplex. 

Tana then hit the Shibata dropkick to a massive reaction. 

Tana then hit two High Fly Flows and got the pin. 

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Tanahashi shook hands with Shibata after the match. 

Tana then cut this amazing babyface promo. He was practically in tears. The NJPW Global Twitter account translated the promo: 

"Right now, I'm going to be honest and humble with you. Thank you. Thank you for being here...

 If we can draw enough power from one another we can overcome anything and live through everything. That's what pro-wrestling is about. 

And although I'm sweaty, I'm not tired. This tireless body will pull NJPW into the future. 

Thank you for your support. Keep taking care of yourselves, stay healthy and enjoy pro-wrestling. FINALLY- one more thing. Tomorrow. The Tokyo Dome. The main event... is still uncertain. So can I make a little appeal? 

If I'm needed (to fill in for Ibushi tomorrow) - I am ready! AIshitemasu!"

Tana played air guitar to close the show 

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Here is the lineup for tomorrow:

NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam in Tokyo Dome, Sunday, July 25, 3 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --

  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Kota Ibushi
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Tetsuya Naito & SANADA (c) vs. Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) vs. Robbie Eagles
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo (c) vs. Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi
  • Pre-show New Japan Ranbo for the provisional KOPW 2021