Mixed Success for KUSHIDA while Rocky challenges for X gold on IMPACT 【NJoA】

NJPW representation continues on IMPACT Wrestling

Rocky Romero made a return to IMPACT Wrestling this past week, as he faced X Division Champion Mike Bailey in title action. Both champion and challenger were evenly matched in athletic opening exchanges, but Bailey would be faster on the draw with leg kicks before cartwheeling out of Romero’s tijeras counter. As the match spilled to the outside though, Rocky was able to bait Speedball into kicking the ringpost, and with the champion’s base weakened, Romero went for Bailey’s arm.

Powering through the pain, Bailey landed a running single leg dropkick, but Romero was able to kick out the left arm on a handspring and follow up with a swinging DDT; pressured, the champion was still able to rock Romero with a massive thrust kick. 

The match was growing increasingly hard to read as Romero fired off a tope suicida; moments later, Bailey got a quebrada in return. A roundhouse and moonsault double knees landed for a very near two for Bailey, but Romero got Sliced Rocky for another near two. As adrenaline flowed, Bailey got a spinning kick into the corner and then Shooting Star double knees for the three.    

That same night on IMPACT, KUSHIDA would see singles action against Cody Deaner of Violent By Design. Serving as a singles preview of a tag team bout the next night, Deaner was eager to make a mark early, and denied an arm drag attempt early by KUSHIDA, but the Timesplitter replied with a pair of stunning shotei palm strikes. KUSHIDA was in full control until VBD’s monster Joe Doering stepped in between the men on the floor; Deaner took advantage and went on the assault. 

KUSHIDA would battle back with kicks, including an overhead that put Deaner to the mat. As KUSHIDA targeted the arm, Deaner was able to fire back, and Doering again came to Deaner’s aid as both combatants headed to the top rope; KUSHIDA’s top rope takedown was denied, but Sabin would fly in to intercept. Another shot to the arm and the hammerlock suplex followed for victory. 

That set the scene for Emergence, where KUSHIDA and Sabin faced Deaner and VBD leader Eric Young. KUSHIDA started with the veteran Young, who threw the Timesplitter off his game as he waited to engage, before doing so aggressively. Deaner had less success however, and KUSHIDA and Sabin were able to take over and land some effective double teams; Deaner only able to tag out when Young got involved from the apron. 

With bites and a rope hung sleeper on top of more conventional assaults, VBD took over and severely damaged the neck of KUSHIDA, who was eventually able to step off the backs of both his opponents to tag in Sabin. VBD used the numbers game to stop Sabin landing Cradle Shock, but the Timesplitter got back in the mix to assist for a Sabin tope suicida.

Sabin got Cradle Shock on Deaner on the second time of asking, but Young broke up the pin, and VBD started to wear down Sabin, getting a long two before KUSHIDA just made the save. The match breaking down, Sabin and KUSHIDA wanted I-95 on Young, but Doering shoved KUSHIDA off the top rope, and Young landed a piledriver to Sabin to secure victory.