Out of Time: A Desperate Draw For Junior Heavyweights in Korakuen 【WK16】

El Desperado and Hiromu Takahashi battle to second draw in a month span

The junior heavyweights took center stage on night three of the Road to Tokyo Dome, BUSHI and DOUKI each teaming with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight number one contender and champion, Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado respectively. 

The January 4 Tokyo Dome opponents would start the bout, anticipation from the crowd palpable as both went to their mat fundamentals to start. It would be Hiromu with the first knockdown of the match, but Desperado quickly responded in kind, and it wasn’t long before both men were trading stinging open handed blows. It would be a forearm shiver from Desperado that instantly changed the match’s pace though, and Hiromu was brought to the Suzuki-Gun corner. 

With BUSHI’s assistance, DOUKI would be unable to keep up the momentum that Desperado had built, and LIJ took advantage. DOUKI would struggle in the face of Hiromu’s offense, but a BUSHI T-shirt choke brought out the aggressive side of the rudo, and Suzuki-Gun took hold on the floor. DOUKI would drive BUSHI’s knee into the ringside mats, and kept up the offense in ring; though a tijeras on Desperado led to a tag, and Hiromu landing typically dynamic takedowns to both opponents, the champion would go to Hiromu’s knees as well. 

A spinebuster to Takahashi and DOUKI would follow up on the champion’s offense, scoring with an enzuigiri but getting caught with a hurricanrana into the D. BUSHI dove to Desperado on the floor as DOUKI was fading fast in the hold; though DOUKI made the ropes, he didn’t have solace for long as BUSHI came in with a second rope dropkick. 

DOUKI would find a response, throwing BUSHI off balance and landing the Daybreak DDT, but being unable to score with Suplex De La Luna as BUSHI found an enzuigiri and backcracker. The slingshot apron DDT would follow for BUSHI, who followed up with a Fisherman’s Screw as the match passed the 20 minute mark. As both men went down though, DOUKI was able to make the tag that BUSHI could not. BUSHI would be caught in a Stretch Muffler and then Numero Dos as DOUKI applied the Italian Stretch, but would just barely make the ropes as the match passed 25 minutes. 

With a short range dropkick, BUSHI created space for a tag to Hiromu, who buried Desperado in the corner and looked for the Time Bomb, but would be countered and then popped with another forearm shiver. Time running out, champion and challenger traded elbows, and with two minutes left Desperado went on the run before getting caught with a pop up powerbomb. 

The clock passed 29 minutes deep as Hiromu landed a Hiromu Bomber and then Victory Royal for two, the fall broken up by DOUKI who would be gored by a BUSHI tope suicida in response. Hiromu’s follow up was countered with El Es Clero for two; a Pinche Loco was countered in return with a hurricanrana for another two as the time limit expired.