Cobb, Sabre go to TV draw at Dontaku

Sabre reluctantly retains as rematch seems inevitable

Zack Sabre Jr. left Dontaku still the NJPW World TV Champion, but could not say that he beat Jeff Cobb, their Dontaku title bout ending in a draw.

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A tactical approach from both champion and challenger marked the start of this match, neither man able to lock in a firm hold. After an impressive bridge out of a Jeff Cobb pinning attempt, Zack Sabre Jr. began to fall victim to Cobb’s unmatchable strength as all his usual tekkers were simply shrugged off. Having asserted his dominance, Cobb began to go on the offensive, hurling Sabre into the corner pad and taking aim at Sabre’s ribs.

Finally Sabre locked in his first submission of the match, smoothly catching Cobb’s standing moonsault and transitioning into a leg-lock. With a target now set, Sabre began to work on Cobb’s knee and leg, an expert leg scissors into a Ron Miller Special-esque submission, but Cobb found the ropes forcing the break. With both men back on their feet Cobb found the advantage again, a huge crossbody and fiery forearms squashing Sabre. Putting Sabre on the top rope, Cobb stunned the crowd with a sensational gut-wrench suplex off the top but it only earned a two count for the challenger.

With five minutes left in the fifteen minute time-limit both men began to throw bombs, a series of European uppercuts from Sabre met by a torpedo-like headbutt from Cobb leaving both men beaten on the mat. At the three minute call Cobb’s spin cycle was tactfully countered into a sleeper hold, but the inhuman strength of Cobb allowed him to escape with a huge suplex. Time of the essence, a Tour of the Islands attempt left Cobb caught in a roll-up, but he managed to kick out before the count of three. Sabre punctured Cobb with a vicious Penalty Kick but Cobb fought back by finally hitting the spin cycle. With less than a minute left in the match a standing moonsault only earned Cobb a two count. Both men scrambling to pick up the win in the dying seconds, Sabre’s submissions were countered by a Cobb suplex but neither man was able to gain the win. At the 15 minute mark the bell was rung, the match a time-limit draw seeing Zack Sabre Jr. retain the NJPW World TV Championship.

ZSJ was clearly as unhappy with the result as Cobb was, and both verbally agreed on a rematch- all they need is a time and place.