The final night of Kizuna Road was headlined by matches for two of UK promotion Revolution Pro-Wrestling’s Championships. Ironically, it was also the only night of the tour that didn’t have English commentary! Happily, over on Twitter, commentator Chris Charlton assured us that every NJPW show from now until at least September will be broadcast in English on NJPW World.
Rev Pro Cruiserweight Championship match – El Phantasmo (c) v Ryusuke Taguchi
The crowd was fully behind Taguchi for this match, ELP got himself some heat early by kicking the young lion who was taking his jacket away.
The match started on the mat, with Taguchi dominating ELP. They then teased going for a test of strength but it ended with Taguchi dancing. This was followed up with some pinning attempts but ELP got to the ropes.
They locked up and Taguchi got ELP into a side headlock but ELP got him into leg scissors and got cocky, doing some push-ups while Taguchi was tied in. Taguchi escaped and hooked ELP into a leglock, but ELP got to the ropes again for the break.
Taguchi got a hold of ELP and walked the top rope but ELP got free, leaving Taguchi to fall on the top rope.
ELP pulled down Taguchi’s tights as he pinned him, but Taguchi kicked out and sat on ELPs face for 2. ELP dropped Taguchi into the tree of woe and stood on his exposed ass. Back on the mat, ELP used a chinlock and hit an elbow to Taguchi’s head. Taguchi missed a dropkick, and ELP took advantage to hit a perfect moonsault off the middle rope. Referee Red Shoes pulled Taguchi’s tights back up to spare us all.
Taguchi came back with hip attacks and a dive onto ELP. ELP rolled him up for 2, they then dropped each other with clotheslines.
They traded elbows as they got back up from the mat, then ELP got Taguchi with a double purple nurple! He hit Taguchi with some kicks but Taguchi came back with a big clothesline.
ELP rolled Taguchi into a wheelbarrow for 2, then picked him up onto the corner. Taguchi went for a flying hip attack but got caught by ELP who hit a spinning neckbreaker for another 2-count.
They both trying to get each other up, Taguchi dropped ELP and hit a DDT, then hit a Bummer Ye for 2. Taguchi went up to the top but ELP dropped him on the corner and hit a frankensteiner. He followed up by going for a splash but Taguchi got his knees up and hit a lungblower for 2 and then went straight into the ankle lock, ELP reached the ropes for the break.
Taguchi locked in the ankle lock again, dropping to the mat but ELP crawled over the ref to get to the rope and escape. ELP hit a rolling knee to the neck for 2. Taguchi tried to get out of CR2 but ELP kicked him in the head and then hit it for the win.
This match was decent, but I would much rather have seen the more serious Taguchi we got in the Best of the Super Juniors. While his comedy and ELP’s cocky heel style worked well enough together, I’m not sure it was the best way to go for a Championship match that had been hyped up during the tour.
Winner by pinfall and still RevPro Cruiserweight Champion- El Phantasmo
RevPro British Heavyweight Championship match – Zack Sabre Jr (c) v YOSHI-HASHI
First off, things I didn’t think I’d say, I really miss TAKA hyping up ZSJ during his entrance, I didn’t realise how much he adds until now.
The match started with a double wristlock on YOSHI-HASHI, into a side headlock, YOSHI-HASHI made it to the ropes, ZSJ hit him with an uppercut. ZSJ escaped before YOSHI-HASHI could hook in the butterfly lock.
YOSHI-HASHI went at ZSJ with strikes and a scoop slam, then stomped him. ZSJ got back up but a big chop knocked him back down. YOSHI-HASHI lifted him onto the top rope but ZSJ moved out of the way of a dropkick attempt and tied YOSHI-HASHI up in the ropes, then got him on the outside, hitting his leg off the barrier then kicking it.
ZSJ wrenched at the legs of YOSHI-HASHI, he escaped, ZSJ was straight back on him with more strikes to the leg but YOSHI-HASHI managed to grab him and hit a vertical suplex.
YOSHI-HASHI went for a move from the top, but ZSJ dodged and locked in a submission, YOSHI-HASHI got a rope break again.
ZSJ struck YOSHI-HASHI with more kicks, then went for a big boot but got caught and hit with an enziguri. YOSHI-HASHI picked him up but he countered into a triangle submission. YOSHI-HASHI got out of it by lifting ZSJ and hitting a powerbomb. He went to the top but ZSJ was back up and wrapped his leg around the rope, he looked to be going for a superplex but YOSHI-HASHI blocked it. ZSJ tied him up with an arm lock, YOSHI-HASHI fought his way out then hit a diving DDT for 2, he quickly hooked in a butterfly lock but ZSJ countered with a submission, YOSHI-HASHI countered that with an octopus hold then picked up ZSJ and dropped him with a shoulder buster, hit him with a side kick and hooked in the butterfly lock fully. ZSJ struggled to get his foot on the rope but YOSHI-HASHI pulled him back to the centre, ZSJ finally managed to get his foot to the bottom rope to break the hold.
YOSHI-HASHI hit ZSJ with some stiff strikes, ZSJ came back with an uppercut but YOSHI-HASHI knocked him down with a big chop. ZSJ was back up with kicks to YOSHI-HASHI but YOSHI-HASHI caught him with a headbutt, he went for double knees but ZSJ countered into an STF, YOSHI-HASHI eventually got to the ropes for a break.
ZSJ went for a Zack driver but YOSHI-HASHI countered with a backcracker and double knees into a pin for 2.
There was a series of counters ending in a PK by ZSJ, then kicks to his injured shoulder. ZSJ grabbed him by the nose but he came back with chops. ZSJ caught him, took him down and stomped the shoulder. ZSJ taunted YOSHI-HASHI with strikes and slaps. YOSHI-HASHI rolled him up with a pin for 2 then hit a big lariat. He went for Karma but ZSJ countered into a submission wrenching the back and shoulder, as well as twisting his legs, YOSHI-HASHI had no choice but to just tap out.
This was a great match, I think the feud’s been really good for YOSHI-HASHI as there were a few spots here where it seemed like he had ZSJ’s number and could actually win, and that’s not something I would have thought a few weeks ago! ZSJ was looking good too, he still has one of the most interesting styles in pro-wrestling and goes from strength to strength, it would be believable for him to beat anyone on the roster.
Winner by submission and still RevPro British Heavyweight Champion – Zack Sabre Jr