NJPW Castle Attack Day 1 Results
Personal rivalries settled and a preview of tomorrow
New Japan Pro-Wrestling returned to Osaka-Jo Hall earlier today and day one of Castle Attack featured the end of personal feuds. Check out the results below:
The United Empire def. TenCozy & Hiroshi Tanahashi
The long-running rivalry between The United Empire and TenCozy continued in the opening match, which also served as a preview of tomorrow's NEVER Openweight Title bout between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Great-O-Khan.
Both teams enjoyed time on top, but The United Empire cemented their dominance over TenCozy once again as Will Ospreay nailed Hiroyoshi Tenzan with an OsCutter after 10 minutes to pick up the win. Great-O-Khan also drilled Tanahashi with the Dominator in the closing stages and The United Empire stood tall after the match.
Tanga Loa def. YOSHI-HASHI
The next two matches on the card were very much a preview of tomorrow's IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match and served as a way for both teams to build a little bit of momentum.
This was only Tanga Loa's third singles match in New Japan but he managed to pick up the win after 10 minutes.
In the final moments, YOSHI-HASHI set up for Karma but Tama Tonga ran to the ring and distracted the Chaos member which allowed Tanga Loa to reverse into Apes**t for the win.
Hirooki Goto def. Tama Tonga
Guerrillas Of Destiny and Jado beat down YOSHI-HASHI following the second match and Hirooki Goto charged to the ring to make the save for his stablemate.
The next match then immediately got underway and Goto was able to ensure G.O.D didn't leave Osaka Jo-Hall with a clean sweep.
Bullet Club once again tried their usual interference tactics, but Goto was able to overcome the distraction from Jado and two Gun Stun attempts from Tama Tonga before he connected with the GTR for the 1-2-3.
Toru Yano def. Chase Owens – YTR Style Texas Strap Match for the KOPW 2021 Trophy
The KOPW 2021 Trophy was on the line in the next match. Chase Owens proposed a Texas Strap Match during the fan-voting stage, but voters ultimately preferred Toru Yano's YTR Style Texas Strap Match. The difference was that instead of touching all four corners to win, Owens and Yano had to remove the corner pads and whoever removed the final one won the match.
Yano was able to remove the first corner pad after a few minutes and Chase Owens removed the second and third. They then battled back and forth over the final pad and Owens managed to undo the top half, but Yano pulled him back into the centre of the ring and hit the Texas Heavyweight Champion with a Powerbomb.
The Sublime Master Thief then removed the last corner pad to retain the KOPW 2021 Trophy.
Jay White def. Tomohiro Ishii
The storyline between Jay White and Tomohiro Ishii had been bubbling away since Kota Ibushi defeated Switchblade at Wrestle Kingdom 15. White began to question himself after the tough loss and Ishii only exacerbated White's self-confidence problems as he pinned him at New Year Dash following a Vertical Drop Brainbuster.
White then teased retirement but he ultimately returned a few weeks later and the two men squared off numerous times in tag team matches before finally going one on one today.
Both men battered each other throughout the deeply personal battle and White repeatedly targeted Ishii's ribs while The Stone Pitbull was quite happy to punish White with any move he could.
White managed to connect with the Kiwi Crusher, a Uranage and even a Vertical Drop Brainbuster during the first 20 minutes but he was unable to put Ishii away. Ishii's resilience could only last so long, though, and White countered a Vertical Drop Brainbuster attempt at the 25-minute mark and both men exchanged numerous reversals before the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion connected with Bladerunner for the victory.
The emotion was evident on White's face after the match and Chris Charlton noted on commentary that Switchblade had finally exorcised his demons.
Kazuchika Okada def. EVIL
Kazuchika Okada had been demanding a singles match against EVIL since the New Beginning tour and they did face off at The New Beginning In Hiroshima, but the brief encounter was nothing more than an angle to set up an eventual longer confrontation. That confrontation finally took place at Castle Attack.
EVIL dominated much of the contest and Dick Togo provided helpings of interference to keep The King Of Darkness in control for the opening 20 minutes. Okada managed to survive Darkness Falls and a Scorpion Deathlock during this period and he eventually connected with a Tombstone Piledriver to even the playing field.
Red Shoes Uno was then knocked down after EVIL pushed Okada into the official. Okada followed up with a Spinning Rainmaker and locked in the Money Clip but Dick Togo entered the ring and choked the Chaos leader with his trademark garotte to break off the submission. Okada escaped, though, and Tombstoned The Spoiler to put him out of commission for the remainder of the match.
EVIL and Okada then exchanged Low Blows and the five-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion locked in the Money Clip once again but EVIL managed to make it to the bottom rope. Okada refused to let go of his opponent's hand, however, and he hit a Rainmaker and went for a second one but EVIL reversed into a Dragon Suplex. The Bullet Club member then called for Everything Is EVIL and both men exchanged reversals before Okada hit a Falcon Arrow that was originally meant to be a Tombstone and a third Rainmaker to pick up the win.
After the match, Okada told the audience in Osaka that it's time for him to go after the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He said the Double Title is not for him and believes it's his responsibility to rescue the IWGP Title scene. He then promised to win the New Japan Cup and reclaim the gold before heading backstage.