El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru reclaim junior tag gold
The first of four championship matches on day two of Wrestle Grand Slam in the MetLife Dome saw El Desperado and Yoshonobu Kanemaru take home the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships after a hard, and dirtily, fought 20 minute bout.
Champions El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori started the match with typical grandstanding form, Phantasmo teasing a dive to the floor before instead smoothly transitioning from one attack to the next on Kanemaru in ring. Yet a basement dropkick would propel the knee right out from underneath ELP, setting the scene for the match to come.
Phantasmo was worked over by the challengers but when he was able to drive Desperado into the champions’ corner, Ishimori set to vicious and efficient work on the shoulder. Picking up from where he left off in the singles championship match in Sapporo this July, Ishimori was punished the arm after back takes punished the pride of the masked man.
Desperado o would get space with a spinebuster to ELP, only for Ishimori to yank Kanemaru off the apron. A side Suplex would finally grant the gap to Kanemaru though, the heel master dealing ELP a back rake of his own before Planting Ishimori with a satellite DDT.
Ishimori resisted a British Fall, and drove Kanemaru into the corner, creating the opportunity for an elevated Codebreaker, and with hurt knee preventing a moonsault, a crunching senton from Phantasmo. Yet Kanemaru would roll through a CR2 attempt, and use a figure four to further torque at the hurt joint of Phantasmo.
After Numero Dos nearly forced a tapout again, Phantasmo battled back on Desperado and used his loaded boot to double up the masked challenger. Cypher Utaki from Ishimori and Thunder Kiss ‘86 followed, and as Kanemaru made the save for his partner, he was downed with a triangle quebrada.
It was open season for Phantasmo to use Sudden Death, but with a hurt left knee eliminating his base for the kick, Ohantasmo opted instead to remove his boot and use it as a weapon. Ishimori drew the referee over as ELP swung, but Desperado avoided contact, and instead loaded up his own fist with the loaded boot to score and then hit Pinche Loco for the three.
The smoking gun of Phantasmo’s boot made its way back to BULLET CLUB’s possession, but the junior tag gold did not, Desperado hurting his hand with the punch to Phantasmo, but a championship win doubtless easing the pain.