Suzuki-Gun Kick Off Road to Power Struggle With Elimination Win

Zack Sabre Jr. eliminates three quarters of Los Ingobernables De Japon en route to Korakuen victory

The Road to Power Struggle got underway on October 24, with an elimination main event pitting Los Ingobernables De Japon, headed by IWGP World heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi, against a number one contender Zack Sabre Jr. fronted Suzuki-Gun side. 

Just under a fortnight before their main event at Power Struggle in Osaka, Shingo and Zack started the match, and an intense pace saw champion and challenger look for a flash knockout and submission respectively. A standoff brought BUSHI and DOUKI in, and with a little assist from Kanemaru, LIJ’s masked man was dragged to the Suzuki-Gun corner. 

When attempts to eliminate BUSHI over the top rope didn’t pay off though, Takagi would get a tag, and brought a flurry of action to the ring, dropping Sabre with a suplex and setting for Made In Japan on DOUKI before being cut off with a headkick and the Daybreak DDT. The Ryukon Lariat, Noshigami and then Pumping Bomber would all connect though, and DOUKI was eliminated by pinfall. 

Wanting to continue his battle with Sabre at all costs, Shingo stayed in the ring, paying the price of an arm twist that had the champion reeling. Still, he delivered a DVD and sent ZSJ over the top rope, only to find the Briton applying a Cobra Twist over the ropes. Both men found themselves on the apron, where Sabre applied a rear naked choke that saw the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion eliminated. 

Now back to three on three, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado set to work on Hiromu Takahashi. The Time Bomb fought for space, and created it by sending Kanemaru into an inadvertent headscissors on Desperado, before landing his own headscissor whip on the Heel Master. With a toss over the ropes and a thrust kick off the apron, Hiromu brought the sides back to LIJ’s favour. 

Fighting a two on three disadvantage, Desperado applied an Indian Deathlock on Takahashi, who crawled to the ropes and countered a Numero Dos attempt, but didn’t have the base to muscle the masked man up. Carried over the ropes, Hiromu had to dig deep to fight his way back to the ring, but on re-entry was hit with a low blow as he tumbled to the floor. 

SANADA and BUSHI were left against Desperado and Sabre as the match moved on. A spear put SANADA to the mat, and Desperado looked for Pinche Loco, but Cold Skull barely countered with an elbow and found an O’Connor Roll for three. Sabre was now the only Suzuki-Gun member left as the match passed twenty minutes, but managed to eliminate SANADA over the top rope, prying his fingers from the top strand. 

The match was down to BUSHI and ZSJ. The junior heavyweight pressured Sabre as best he could with his speed, getting two from a Bushi Roll and scoring a dropkick before an apron DDT through the second rope so as not to be eliminated. BUSHI looked to follow with the MX, but would be caught, all four limbs and his neck cranked until a verbal submission granted Suzuki-Gun victory. 

Post match, Sabre stated that Shingo had gotten ‘lucky’ when he was forced to submit during their G1 Climax match in Ota, promising ‘next time, I’m breaking your arm. You can join (Tetsuya) Naito in the hospital’. ZSJ challenges Shingo Takagi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship November 6 at Power Struggle.