Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

NJPW Battle Autumn Review – 11.05.22

2 years ago

NJPW Battle Autumn Review – 11.05.22

By: Sonal Lad

The final months of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) calendar signal that the Road to Wrestle Kingdom is truly on. Ahead of the annual Tokyo Dome show, NJPW held its Autumn Battle show, not only setting up matches for January 4th but setting a precedent for the joint Stardom show along with World Tag League and Super Jr. Tag League.

TJP & Francesco Akira (c) vs BUSHI & Titan – IWGP Jr Tag Championships

For many months, the Jr tag title has seemed like an afterthought, but this match between champions The Empire (T.J.P. & Francesco Akira) and Los Ingonberables de Japon (BUSHI & Titan) proved the potential the division has. As expected, from the beginning, the match was fast, furious, and the perfect way to start such a huge event.

Despite both teams being fairly new, they had impeccable chemistry. They all worked seamlessly together and had each other’s back, being able to communicate non-verbally. In particular, their warm-up matches helped them anticipate each other’s moves. Akira shined by finding a counter to BUSHI’s code breaker, and T.J.P. supported the young wrestler. Even the L.I.J. duo seems to be working together and coming up with a lot of tag team offense.

In the end, although L.I.J. had momentum in the warm-up matches, The Empire got the win. It was the right decision to keep the belts on the United Empire. The duo is continuing momentum ahead of Super Jr Tag League. THE LIJ duo can also continue to improve.

Unlike the previous match, there was much more variety with a predominantly heavyweight lineup of Hontai/CHAOS versus The Empire. With eight very different wrestlers, it was a true NJPW opening tag match with all those unable to get big title matches.

Both teams had very different approaches to the match but shined with their own wrestling skills. Yet, the addition of Aussie Open showed off a beautiful tag team offense that NJPW has lacked since G.O.D. hasn’t been wrestling. Along with Henare, Aussie Open shined. The Hontai/ CHAOS team also worked amazingly by complimenting each other’s styles.

Yano’s loss after being pinned by Fletcher showcases The Empire’s dominance. Also, ahead of World Tag League, it’s a perfect lead-up. Yet, the match was a great showcase of the best of new Japan but also the future.

After Karl Anderson couldn’t make his title match, Hiku Leo didn’t want him to lose the belt and instead accepted Yujiro’s offer for a special singles match. As expected, the House of Torture started with their shenanigans before the bell rang.

Yet, the match was over before it could even start, with Hiku Leo pinning Yujiro in record time. It was short and sweet, doing exactly what it had to. It built up Hiku Leo as someone capable of avoiding Bullet Club shenanigans leading to his NEVER title match.

SANADA vs Ren Narita – NJPWWORLD TV Championship Semi-Final

SANADA and Ren Narita are two wrestlers, similar in stature and style, and it was the perfect match to fight for the new NJPWWORLD TV Championship. The match started slowly with a feeling-out process between the two wrestlers on the mat. Although it seemed to stay on the mat, there were occasions where a flurry of offense was seen, especially from SANADA.

He also had some fun with the enthusiastic former young lion. After locking Narita in a paradise lock on the ropes, SANADA seemingly mocked the young wrestler in an attempt to show dominance. Narita countered the speed with his won offense combining speed, submissions, and hard kicks, all reminiscent of Shibata.

After a Skull End, it seemed to be the end, but hesitation allowed Narita to counter the Muta moonsault to give the young wrestler a chance to counter. With less than a minute to go, Narita shocked fans by getting the win with his Narita Special Number 4.

EVIL vs Zack Sabre Jr – NJPWWORLD TV Championship Semi-Final

The second match for the TV Championship was very different. EVIL started by bringing out Young lion Fujita dressed as opponent Zack Sabre Jr, and then Oiwa came out pretending to be ZSJ. In the end, it was all a distraction as Zack surprised EVIL in the ring. It just seemed to anger EVIL, who quickly found momentum, using the Young lions as weapons.

Throughout the match, EVIL and Dick Togo tried every trick in the book to get the win. Yet, it worked against the wrestler, especially after Togo mistook EVIL for Zack and grabbed his leg, almost resulting in a count-out.

The match finished much quicker, with Zack Sabre Jr getting the win, with the help of the young lions. It has meant fans are set for an amazing Wrestle kingdom match between Narita and ZSJ, two wrestlers with more of a common style.

New Japan thrives on the faction system, but the special tag match between the four Jrs from four different factions fighting for the title at Wrestle Kingdom was historic. With Master Wato and El Desperado fighting Hiromu and champion Taiji Ishimori, it was always going to be chaotic.

The match started with Hiromu and Wato throwing chops and quickly picking up speed. Yet, Ishimori refused to tag when Hiromu asked, showcasing the animosity from the start. Wato and Desperado then started fighting on the outside, and it wasn’t surprising considering the contrasting personalities.

Aside from the rivalries, the offense inside was definitely exciting to watch, especially with the added tension outside. As expected, the match spread across the arena and then among teammates. Hiromu even forgot his opponent and tried to pin Ishimori. It quickly broke down again, with it seeming more like a fatal four-way.

In the end, it was a tandem offense between Hiromu and Ishimori that allowed Wato to pin Hiromu. Most of the men hated who they were teaming with, and it was definitely a unique and chaotic match, but in the best way.

Another special tag match saw a preview of the Wrestle Kingdom main event with Tama Tonga and Okada facing KENTA and champion Jay White. The contrasting styles worked perfectly together, with speed, strength, and mat-based offense.

Despite not teaming often, Okada and Tama Tonga worked perfectly as a team allowing each other to gain the advantage. Jay and KENTA also shined and had a match that was very clean for a Bullet Club team. In the end, Tama hit KENTA with a Gun Stun for the win.

With Wrestle Kingdom coming up, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw a singles match between Tama and KENTA alongside the main event between Jay and Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. It was a good match that broke up the title bouts between four of the best wrestlers in NJPW.

Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood (c) vs Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb – IWGP Heavyweight Tag Championships

After an amazing defense against Aussie Open at Royal Quest, tag champions FTR surprised fans by announcing a defense at Autumn Battle against The Empire’s Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb. Months after losing the title, O-Khan and Cobb wasted no time with their offense and equaled FTR with their momentum.

Both teams showcased how vital the belts were, raising the prestige of a division that hasn’t always been consistent. Despite FTR having the advantage of experience, The Empire didn’t let that stop them. Instead, they used their size advantage and diverse expertise to counter the veterans. With four very different athletes, the match showcased the best of professional wrestling, with strength, high flying, and more methodical offense.

The match couldn’t be further from their defense against Aussie Open. With the same level of wrestling, it was more of a classic match with the same quality of wrestling. Yet, experience always prevails, with FTR getting the win over the less experienced O-Khan.

Will Ospreay (c) vs Tetsuya Naito – WGP United States Championship

After losing out in the G1, Tetsuya Naito’s next target was Will Ospreay and the IWGP United States Championship. Even though Ospreay wasn’t in the warm-up matches, the press conference showcased how motivated both wrestlers were.

Although Naito and Ospreay are fast, the speed and dynamic start to the match was unprecedented and culminated in both striking Naito’s iconic pose. It set a precedent for the rest of the match, which was high risk and high speed.

Yet, as expected, both Naito and Ospreay changed up the offense, combining the fast with the strong. It meant there were layers to the match, light and dark, that kept it dynamic. Naito would seamlessly transition from a high-risk move to a submission, slowing the pace and wearing down Ospreay.

At the 15-minute mark, both men were lying on the outside of the ring after a fast and brutal match that had no intention of ending. It was a pace that seemed to suit Naito, yet an Oscutter from Ospreay off a barricade got him back on track. If anything, as time went on, the match became more vicious. The final moments were just as exciting.

With both men ready to hit their finishers, there were reversals and counters at every corner. Even after hitting several forms of the Destino, Ospreay managed to hit the Hidden Blade and then Stormbreaker for the win. It was truly a phenomenal match between two of the best wrestlers in the world in a MOTY candidate.

The future of New Japan is getting hotter.

After the main event, Shota Umino made a grand entrance marking the end of his excursion and challenging Ospreay at the Historic X-over with Stardom in November. Along with matches set for Wrestle Kingdom, World Tag League and Super Jr Tag League are getting closer, and with a shot at a match at the Tokyo Dome on the line, things will only get hotter.

Match Recommendations:

TJP & Francesco Akira vs BUSHI & Titan – IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Championships

SANADA vs Ren Narita – NJPWWORLD TV Championship

Master Wato & El Desperado v Hiromu Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori

Will Ospreay vs Tetsuya Naito – IWGP United States Championship