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NJPW Battle in the Valley live results: NEVER title match


"Switchblade" Jay White defends the NEVER Openweight Championship against Tomohiro Ishii in the main event of NJPW Battle in the Valley in San Jose, California.

White has held the title since Wrestling Dontaku on May 3. Should Ishii lose, he is banned from challenging for the NEVER title ever again. 

Buddy Matthews will make his NJPW debut in the semi-main event, facing Kazuchika Okada. 

In a first-time matchup, Juice Robinson will face Impact Wrestling World Champion Moose in a non-title affair. 

United Empire's Will Ospreay will take on LA Dojo's Ren Narita in singles action. Ospreay's stablemates Jeff Cobb and TJP will tag against Karl Fredericks and Clark Connors. 

NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Tom Lawlor and top contender to his title Fred Rosser will be on opposite sides of a 10-man tag. Lawlor, JR Kratos, Danny Limelight, Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson will face Rosser, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, Alex Coughlin and Alex Zayne. 

Brody King and Chris Dickinson will take on Bateman and Misterioso while in the opener, Impact's Josh Alexander will face Yuya Uemura. 

Our live coverage begins at 11 PM Eastern time. 


Show Report --

Kevin Kelly and Alex Kozlov were on commentary.

Josh Alexander defeated Yuya Uemura (11:52)

Very solid opener. Uemura still has yet to expand his moveset much beyond his Young Lion days, but he went toe to toe with a recent Impact World Champion.

Alexander went for a quick ankle lock, forcing Uemura to scramble to the ropes. The early goings were all Alexander as he picked Uemura apart. A spear into the ropes followed by a Northern Lights suplex got two. About five minutes in, Uemura fired up with chops as they traded strikes in the corner. He caught Alexander with a corner dropkick.

Uemura hit a scoop slam and an elbow drop followed by a back suplex for two. He immediately transitioned into a cross armbreaker out of the pin attempt. Alexander fought out and hit repeated Germans for a near fall, then went for the ankle lock before transitioning into a scorpion deathlock.

After the rope break, Alexander stomped Uemura's ankle across the ropes. Uemura fought and fought, eventually getting back to his feet and reversing it into the armbar. Alexander stacked Uemura up, forcing a break. He starched Uemura with a right hand, but Uemura came back with dropkicks. Alexander countered the overhead underhook suplex, then locked the ankle lock on tight and forced the submission.


BATEMAN & Misterioso defeated Brody King & Chris Dickinson (10:48)

Dickinson was legitimately injured in this match, leading to the odd finish and upset victory.

King and BATEMAN are former tag partners. BATEMAN attacked before the bell, and we lost commentary almost immediately. They brawled outside for a while, with BATEMAN and Misterioso maintaining control. Commentary returned.

Dickinson got a tag and entered the match with a double missile dropkick. A lariat and a head-and-arm suplex got two on Misterioso. He tried to follow it up with an armbar, but BATEMAN broke it up. Misterioso regained control as double knees in the corner got a two-count. 

King eventually got the hot tag and crushed BATEMAN in the corner with a cannonball senton before sending Misterioso into him with a throw for two. Dickinson landed a top-rope splash as both he and BATEMAN sold knee injuries. Misterioso broke up the cover, but King immediately dispatched him to the floor. 

Misterioso hit a springboard moonsault on King on the outside, and then BATEMAN covered Dickinson for the win out of nowhere. Cameras completely missed it -- I think Dickinson may be legitimately injured.


Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, JR Kratos, Danny Limelight, Royce Isaacs, & Jorel Nelson) defeated Fred Rosser, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, Alex Coughlin, & Alex Zayne (15:20)

This had some nice intensity and cool spots, but it did get a little long in the tooth towards the end.

Lawlor and Rosser/Coughlin are the big rivals in this one. The two team leaders faced off to start things off, but it immediately broke down into a ten-way brawl. Things eventually settled in the ring, where Rosser hit a backbreaker on the apron, leading to the whole thing breaking down again. When the dust settled, Lawlor was in control, and we lost commentary again.

Isaacs and Finlay tagged in, with the latter hitting a blue thunder bomb. Romero entered the match and landed a rope-hang dropkick. The Forever clotheslines followed, but Romero was cut off with a lariat from Nelson. Kratos hit a big delayed vertical suplex and Team Filthy posed. Rosser tried to interrupt but was overwhelmed by the numbers advantage.

Romero rolled over to tag in Zayne, who dispatched the illegal members of Team Filthy and landed a sweet flipping top-rope hurricanrana on Limelight. Nelson tripped him up, but Zayne was able to reach Coughlin for the tag. Coughlin made a valiant effort to gutwrench Kratos, but ultimately fell victim to a leaping shoulder tackle. 

Kratos came back with gutwrench suplexes of his own. He thought about a dive, but Zayne cut him off and landed a springboard moonsault on everyone. Romero followed with a dive of his own. Kratos then hit a ridiculous tope con giro in a great spot.

Coughlin fired up with a stiff slap and unloaded on Kratos, who came back with a discus forearm. Coughlin chop-blocked Kratos and hit a lariat to the back of Kratos's head. The deadlift gutwrench suplex followed, an impressive show of strength. West Coast Wrecking Crew double-teamed Rosser for a near fall.

Lawlor and Isaacs looked to set up to submit Rosser, but Rosser dispatched Lawlor and hit the Gut Feeling for the win.


Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors defeated United Empire (Jeff Cobb & TJP) (10:01)

This was solid but rather unspectacular. A cool-down match after the all-out ten-man tag.

They brawled to kick things off. Fredericks sent Cobb to the floor and landed a tope con giro. He and Connors maintained control early on, beating down TJP with frequent tags and double teams. Cobb tagged in and a kick from TJP on the apron allowed United Empire to gain the advantage. Connors took an extended beatdown at the hands of Cobb and TJP.

Fredericks eventually got the hot tag and he and Cobb traded forearms in the center of the ring. He hit his signature spinebuster for two, but Cobb came back with the spin cycle suplex for the double down. They both reached their partners for the tag.

TJP cut off Connors with a low dropkick. Connors countered with a powerslam for two. TJP came back with a tornado DDT and Cobb landed a nice standing moonsault for a near fall. Connors pounced TJP into Cobb, then speared the latter for good measure. He and Fredericks worked together on a double team concluded by a diving back elbow from Connors for a near fall.

Fredericks wanted Manifest Destiny, but Cobb broke it up. Cobb distracted the official and TJP had Fredericks cradled, but Connors adjusted the cradle and Fredericks pinned TJP.


Will Ospreay defeated Ren Narita (15:54)

This was excellent, far and away the best match on the show so far. A worthy sequel to their brief but thrilling 2019 Best of the Super Juniors battle.

Ospreay insisted that the official raise his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, but Narita cut him off with a plancha. Ospreay crotched Narita over the top rope and booted him to the floor, where he dropped Narita spine-first over the barricade. Narita made it back inside before the 20 count.

Back in the ring, Ospreay dominated with strikes. He mocked Shibata by sitting cross-legged and folding his arms. Narita came back with suplexes for two. Ospreay countered the overhead belly-to-belly and hit the handspring enziguiri. Narita avoided a dive and hit the belly-to-belly out on the floor. Ospreay made it back in at 19 but was met with a heel hook from Narita. Ospreay countered into a German suplex.

They traded strikes from a kneeling position before rising to their feet. Ospreay hit his backflip enziguiri and went for the Stormbreaker, but Narita turned it into a rear naked choke. He transitioned into a cobra twist. Ospreay fought out, but Narita caught the hook kick and hit a German suplex for two. Ospreay countered a suplex into a cutter.

Ospreay called for the Oscutter, but Narita stopped it in its tracks. Ospreay instead hit a stack powerbomb for a near fall. Narita avoided a 450 splash and went for the Narita special. After a hard fight including palm strikes, Narita eventually got Ospreay turned over with the cloverleaf, but Ospreay eventually reached the ropes to force the break.

They had a stiff slap exchange until Ospreay caught Narita with the hook kick. They traded finisher attempts until Narita countered the Liger bomb attempt into a flying guillotine. Ospreay powered out and hit the Oscutter for a near fall. The Hidden Blade followed for the win.


Moose defeated Juice Robinson (15:00)

Moose has just looked better overall as a wrestler in NJPW than in Impact.

Moose is the current Impact World Champion. They wrestled around to start until Moose took Juice out with a shoulder tackle. Juice fired back by sending Moose to the floor, where he hesitated on a plancha before settling on a running cannonball senton. Moose tried to chop Juice, but Juice moved out of the way and Moose chopped the ring post. Moose then sent Juice hard into the barricade.

Back in the ring, Moose maintained control with a one-arm spinebuster. He landed a crazy impactful chop on Juice, who fired back and wouldn't go down. Juice landed his signature jabs and the Left Hand of God. He followed it up with a top-rope Frankensteiner and then a corner cannonball senton. A frog splash followed for two.

Juice looked for Pulp Friction, but Moose countered out of it and hit a dropkick followed by a powerbomb for a near fall. They traded hard strikes in the center of the ring. Juice countered a step-up with the Left Hand of God. Pulp Friction followed for a good near fall. Juice hit a big-time lariat for another near fall.

Moose popped up and hit the top-rope powerslam for a near fall. He kipped up, but Juice avoided the spear and rolled Moose up for two. Juice hit yet another Left Hand of God, but Moose came back with the spear for the win.

– After the match, Jonah Rock (formerly Bronson Reed in WWE) arrived and walked down to the ring. He stared down Moose, but then turned around and landed a senton on Juice Robinson. David Finlay ran out to make the save, but Rock easily dispatched him and crushed him with another senton. He then grabbed a mic and said "Jonah is here." I guess he's just "JONAH" (all caps) now.


Kazuchika Okada defeated Buddy Matthews (16:31)

This was the second-shortest non-Young Lion Okada match all year, and I think the match was better for it, as long, drawn-out contests were a common criticism of the previous big NJPW USA show.

They performed a choreographed sequence early on where both men went for their finishers. Okada perched Matthews on the top rope and dropkicked him to the floor, where Matthews dropped Okada on the apron with a back suplex. In the ring, Matthews landed repeated soccer kicks, targeting Okada's injured back. 

Okada came back with a forearm and a flapjack. Back elbows and a DDT followed for two. Okada went for the Money Clip, but Matthews pushed his way out and sent Okada to the floor, landing a tope con giro.

Back in the ring, Okada avoided a missile dropkick and hit the air raid crash neckbreaker for two. He landed a top-rope elbow drop and performed the Rainmaker pose. Matthews ducked a Rainmaker and landed a knee and a buckle bomb. He clubbed Okada with repeated elbows until the official forced him to break, and then hit a curb stomp for a near fall.

Matthews mocked Okada with the Rainmaker pose. He went for a Rainmaker, but Okada countered it with a spinning version. Matthews fought out of a tombstone piledriver and hit a running knee but ran into a signature dropkick from Okada, who followed it up with the spinning tombstone. Matthews stopped a Rainmaker, but Okada's grip wouldn't break until he was caught with a knee.

Okada fought out of Murphy's Law and hit Landslide followed by the Rainmaker for the win.

– After the match, Will Ospreay's music played and he came out. "Long time no see, big brother" were his first words. He said the only reason Okada won the G1 was because Ospreay wasn't in Japan. Since Okada won, however, Ospreay gave him permission to challenge the "real" world champion. Okada said he wouldn't challenge Ospreay: Ospreay would have to challenge him.

Ospreay argued about who was the real world champion. He planned on waiting for NJPW to recognize him. Whoever wins between Okada and Shingo Takagi on January 4th will face Ospreay on January 5th at Wrestle Kingdom. Okada said he would make it rain in the Tokyo Dome.


NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Jay White (c) to win the title (28:39)

This was long, classic NJPW main event epic style -- for better and for worse. The crowd loved the finish. The title change was expected and could have interesting implications for Switchblade's future if his contract rumors end up true.

They went back-and-forth at the bell until Ishii took White down with a shoulder block. White kept trying to slither away and escape Ishii's attack until he surprised Ishii with a fireman's carry throw across the ropes. White then repeatedly sent Ishii into the barricade. Back in the ring, White laid in multiple hard knife-edged chops.

White continued to dominate with dragon screws and more chops. Eventually, a shoulder tackle bought Ishii some breathing room, allowing him to come back with a powerslam. Ishii peppered White in the corner with chops and forearms. White returned fire with a spiking DDT.

Ishii fought out of a uranage attempt with a chop to the windpipe. White cheated by gouging at Ishii's eyes and suplexed him into the corner. The Blade Buster followed for two. White couldn't follow up with the Blade Runner, so he just chopped Ishii across the chest and flipped off the crowd. He mocked Ishii's corner combinations until he was forced to break.

Switchblade kept up the attack until Ishii got that stony look on his face. He started leaning into White's strikes until he just decked White with one forearm, sending him to the mat. They fought on the top rope, where Ishii desperately wanted a superplex, and he eventually hit it for a near fall.

Ishii tried to keep up the attack, but White countered the sliding lariat into his signature uranage. He then went for the Kiwi crusher, but Ishii fought out and they traded forearms in the center of the ring. White hit a strike combination and a back suplex, but Ishii popped up and came back with one of his own.

A Kiwi crusher from White got two as we lost commentary yet again. White wanted a sleeper suplex, but Ishii fought out and hit a German. White eventually did hit the sleeper suplex, but Ishii popped up and landed a hard lariat. White countered the sliding lariat with a clothesline of his own. He hit a brainbuster, but Ishii kicked out at one.

White was visibly frustrated at the 25-minute mark. Ishii countered a suplex with a headbutt and an enziguiri. White turned a lariat into a flatliner before hitting another sleeper suplex. Ishii countered the Blade Runner into a short-arm clothesline before landing the sliding lariat for a near fall. He called for the vertical drop brainbuster, but White fought out and they traded finisher attempts until Ishii hit a dragon suplex.

Ishii turned White inside out with a lariat for a near fall. The vertical drop brainbuster followed to earn Ishii the victory and the championship.