Semifinal lineup complete for World TV title tournament after Makuhari

Narita vs SANADA, EVIL vs Zack Sabre Jr. the two semifinals November 5

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October 30 saw the last two quarterfinals of the NJPW World TV Championship tournament, with Makuhari Messe seeing the Osaka semifinals decided.

Ren Narita was first to the ring, and didn’t wait for Toru Yano to make his entrance before setting to work. The Son of Strong Style was in no mood to let Yano play his head games, but the master producer was able to take advantage of Narita’s eagerness, nearly rolling his foe up in ring before trapping him in tape on the outside and throwing him under the ring. 

Narita would make it back inside before the 20 count, and though Yano took advantage of the break to remove two cornerpads, Narita trapped his opponent in a Northern lights suplex for two before applying a hard triangle choke, the CHAOS member only barely making the ropes. Yano found a front suplex, and slingshotted Narita into the exposed steel before a chop block, but as he went for the three count, Narita found the triangle again, forcing Yano to powerbomb out. Narita fired off what he called a Guillotine Knee to end the match and book his place in the semifinal.

KENTA and SANADA would face off in the main event to complete the bracket. KENTA stated before the match that he wanted to run out the clock and take his chances with the coin toss, leading to no contact between the two men as the BULLET CLUB member stalled. SANADA would eventually be able to hide himself under the ring and use the advantage to sabotage his foe, finally getting KENTA inside for a Paradise Lock. 

KENTA again created distance with a boot to SANADA that knocked Cold Skull to the guardrails, before removing the corner pad to expose the turnbuckle beneath. The corner would be put to good use by KENTA, but the guardrails would not, SANADA avoiding a charging KENTA to land a drop toe hold into the steel before a Magic Screw followed. Recovering, KENTA landed Green Killer as SANADA came back inside, before intentionally sending his opponent into the referee.

Just as he did against Hirooki Goto, KENTA brought a chair into the ring, but would have it dropkicked into his face before the Moonsault from SANADA; a second though would only find a pair of knees. Those knees would be buried again into SANADA’s gut with a kitchen sink before a diving stomp for two, SANADA responded with an O’Connor Roll for two, but was met with overhand rights. Now with a sense of urgency, thoughts of the time limit draw went out the window as KENTA tried to roll up SANADA, but the fast thinking Cold SKull was able to send his foe into the exposed corner and use the O’Connor for the victory. 

Post match, SANADA was confronted by Saturday opponent Narita, who reiterated that there was a ‘changing of the guard’ underway, and that Cold Skull should not expect a regular semifinal. Narita and SANADA are joined by EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. with two semifinals taking place in Osaka November 5. The tournament finals will see a first champion crowned January 4 at Wrestle Kingdom 17.