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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Astorga

NJPW Battle In The Valley Results

Mercedes Mone is set to make her in-ring NJPW debut at Battle in the Valley as part of the show's double main event.

Mone challenges KAIRI for the IWGP Women's Championship in one of the two top matches. KAIRI was crowned the inaugural title holder in November, then was confronted by Mone after making her first title defense at Wrestle Kingdom 17.

Two of the greatest of all time square off in the other half of the double main event, as Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Okada holds a 7-5 career edge over Tana, and the two have also had three draws in their 15 career singles meetings.

The rest of the card includes a Loser Leaves NJPW match between Jay White and Eddie Kingston, as well as three additional title matches:

NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Clark Connors

Filthy Rules match: "Filthy" Tom Lawlor vs. Homicide

Loser Leaves NJPW: Jay White vs. Eddie Kingston

NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championship: Motor City Machine Guns (c) vs. West Coast Wrecking Crew

NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Fred Rosser (c) vs. KENTA

Josh Alexander, Mascara Dorada, Adrian Quest & Rocky Romero vs. KUSHIDA, Volador Jr., Kevin Knight & The DKC

The kickoff show lineup:

David Finlay vs. Bobby Fish

JR Kratos vs. Alex Coughlin

Our live coverage begins with the kickoff show at 9:20 p.m. Eastern time.

**Kickoff Show**

Alex Coughlin defeated JR Kratos

The match was well-structured, and once I could hear them, the crowd was well into this one. The problem is that on my Fite feed, there was no audio. I had to put the YouTube feed on to hear the crowd. The fact that New Japan and Fite continue to have issues with audio this far into their relationship is embarrassing. If I were New Japan, I would send my own crew to do the show. This is minor-league nonsense that can easily be remedied.

There’s no audio to start on my Fite feed. Kratos charged Coughlin with a shoulder block at what I assume was the bell. Kratos went for a big corner splash, but Coughlin caught him and drove shoulders into him in the corner. Coughlin brought Kratos to the top rope before sweeping his feet out and dropping him neck first on the top rope. Kratos cut Coughlin off by flinging him into the ropes before launching him with a suplex.

Kratos laid in the shots to Coughlin in the center of the ring, but Coughlin fought back with strikes of his own. A bodyslam attempt didn’t work, and Kratos soon cut Coughlin off with a lariat. A deadlift vertical suplex scored for Kratos for a nearfall. Coughlin cut off a charge to the corner before leapfrogging Kratos and trying for a German suplex. No luck there, but Coughlin did muscle Kratos up for a bridging fallaway slam for a nearfall.

Coughlin deadlifted Kratos for a gutwrench suplex to a large pop – a pop I heard on the YouTube feed for the pre-show. Coughlin laid in heavy palm strikes before dropping Kratos with a lariat. Kratos cut off another German attempt with a Pele kick. Both men recovered and had a strike exchange that Kratos won with a jumping knee and a lariat for a nearfall. Kratos hit a superman elbow in the corner before bringing Coughlin to the top rope. Coughlin escaped a superplex attempt before finally getting Kratos up and over for the German suplex for the win in just over ten minutes.

David Finlay defeated Bobby Fish

After a lockup exchange, Finlay got the first bit of offense with a dropkick for a quick cover. Fish took control of Finlay’s arm on the mat before transitioning into a headlock of his own. Fish laid in the knees, but Finlay slid out of the way of the inside-out senton. Finlay went to the floor after Fish, but Fish caught him with a dragon screw leg whip into the barricade.

Back in the ring, Fish got a nearfall off of a sliding lariat. A bodyslam and another dragon screw out of the corner for Fish. Fish did more work on the leg as the five-minute call was announced. A running elbow got a nearfall as Fish kept control. Fish locked in a single-leg crab in the center of the ring, but Finlay powered out and countered a single-leg takedown into a La Magistral cradle for two. Finlay caught Fish with a backbreaker but hurt his own knee in the process.

Finlay ducked a big roundhouse kick and dropped Fish with a lariat. Neckbreaker from Finlay scored a two count. Fish grabbed the hair to get out of a side suplex before hammering Finlay with shots, but Finlay took him down with an uppercut. Finlay hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall and tried to follow it with the Trash Panda, but his knee gave out. Fish hit a belly-to-belly suplex into the turnbuckle pad for a nearfall. Fish applied a sleeper hold, but Finlay rolled Fish in a pin to get out of it. Finlay transitioned a backslide into the Trash Panda for the win.

**Main Card**

After a 43-minute delay due to technical issues, the show begins. Ian Riccoboni and Matt Rehwoldt are on the call, with Scott D'Amore joining them for the opener.

Kushida, Kevin Knight, The DKC & Volador Jr. defeated Mascara Dorada, Josh Alexander, Adrian Quest & Rocky Romero

This was a fun opener that got me back into the mood for wrestling after the delay. Knight continues to be an impressive prospect for New Japan, with his athleticism jumping off the page.

The DKC has personalized gear, signifying possible graduation from the dojo. Rocky Romero came out with the CMLL World Welterweight Championship that he and Volador have been feuding over. Alexander came out with the Impact World Title that Kushida will be challenging for over Wrestlemania Weekend at the Multiverse United show. D’Amore announced that the Multiverse United show has sold out, so a little breaking news there.

Kushida and Alexander started for their teams, trading submission hold attempts before they locked each other in ankle locks simultaneously. Knight and Quest tagged in for their teams, with Quest taking control with a springboard crossbody and a headscissors for a nearfall. Quest tagged in his mentor Romero, but Knight tagged Volador in. That sent Romero scurrying to the corner to tag Dorada, who engaged in a hot lucha encounter. Dorada walked the ropes to dropkick Volador. Romero blind-tagged his way in to lay the boots to Volador, but Volador took control and sent both men out of the ring. Kushida and Alexander tagged back in, with Alexander scoring a nearfall with a Northern Lights Suplex.

Kushida got caught in the wrong corner, getting worked on by team Alexander. Kushida hit a double handspring to Romero and Quest before tagging out to DKC. DKC laid in the chops to Quest and Dorada before taking them both out with a dive to the floor. DKC hit a flying kick to Quest for a nearfall. The match broke down into an eight-way before Kushida and Knight hit a doomsday dropkick – with Knight jumping from the mat – for a nearfall.

A string of dives left Kushida and Alexander in the ring. Kushida caught Alexander in the Hoverboard Lock, which allowed Knight to hit a pendulum DDT to DKC for the win. Volador and Romero got into a short brawl after the match, with Volador sending Romero to the floor. Volador challenged Romero to a future hair match.

STRONG Openweight Championship: Kenta defeated Fred Rosser to win the title

A hard-hitting battle with a finish that took a bit away from it. I get that they did it to give Rosser a new feud after a long title reign, but in a good match like this, I prefer to have a clean win.

Kenta paint-brushed Rosser while breaking an opening waistlock. Kenta gave Rosser some nonchalant kicks in the corner, so Rosser got out of the ring and challenged Kenta to a fight in the crowd. Kenta obliged, kicking Rosser hard before booting him over the barricade. Kenta laid in more kicks and laid Rosser out with a DDT on the apron.

Kenta and Rosser traded strikes in the corner before Kenta kicked Rosser square in the back for a two count. Kenta kept baiting Rosser in to take big shots, landing a DDT for another nearfall. Rosser fired up, carrying Kenta to the corner and dropping him with chops and hip attacks. Rosser landed a squisher for a nearfall. Kenta clawed at Rosser’s eyes before dropping him with another DDT. A lariat off the top rope scored another nearfall for Kenta. Kenta sent Rosser to the apron and landed a big boot, but Rosser grabbed Kenta and dropped him with a backbreaker on the apron. Rosser followed it with a seated senton to the floor. The clothesline in the ring from Rosser got another nearfall.

Kenta reversed an STF attempt into Game Over. Rosser got to the ropes, where Kenta promptly dropped him with the Green Killer hanging DDT. Kenta dropped Rosser with a running boot and a shotgun dropkick, before landing the double stomp for a nearfall. With CM Punk in the crowd, Kenta went for the Go To Sleep, but Rosser slipped out and locked on the Crossface Chickenwing. Kenta grabbed the ref and pulled him into the pile to force Rosser to break the hold. Rosser won a strike exchange with a rolling elbow for a nearfall.

Kenta sent Rosser into the referee. Rosser forced Kenta to submit with the STF, but the referee was still down. Juice Robinson made his way to ringside and knocked Rosser out with a roll of quarters. Kenta then grabbed Rosser and hit Go To Sleep to win the match and the title.

STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championship: Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) © defeated West Coast Wrecking Crew (Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson) to retain

This was a solid match for its spot on the card. It’s always a welcome sight to see the Machine Guns, and the Wrecking Crew accounted for themselves well in this spot.

The Wrecking Crew jumped the Guns to start, but the Guns sent them out of the ring. The Guns followed them, but Isaacs carried Sabin a full lap around the ring in a delayed vertical suplex before dropping him on the apron. Nelson had suplexed Shelley in the ring, and they both worked on Shelley’s knee while Sabin was down. Nelson made his way to the top rope, but Sabin shoved him to the mat. Shelley fought them both off before tagging out to Sabin.

Sabin was a house of fire, taking out both men before hitting a top-rope crossbody on Nelson for a nearfall. After Shelley helped send both Isaacs and Nelson to the floor, Shelley held open the ropes for a Sabin dive to the floor. A missile dropkick sent Nelson into a Sabin facebuster for a nearfall. Sabin booted Shelley by accident, allowing Nelson to hit a top rope elbow to Shelley. A Spicolli Driver into Nelson’s knees got Isaacs a nearfall. Isaacs dropped Sabin with a German suplex, with Nelson following with a cutter for a nearfall. Sabin escapes a double team, which allowed the Guns to hit the Dream Sequence on Isaacs. The Guns hit their double team Made In Japan for the win.

Loser Leaves New Japan: Eddie Kingston defeated Jay White

A stellar contest that got the emotion and fire you would want in a Loser Leaves Town match. Jay White’s New Japan career had incredibly high highs, and disappointing lows, but this was one hell of a match to end it with.

After Juice Robinson’s interference in the Strong Openweight Title match, Bullet Club has been banned from ringside or else White will be automatically disqualified.

White stalled early on, baiting Kingston in to drop his neck on the ropes, but Kingston countered with a heavy chop that sent White to the floor. White came back in and dropped Kingston with a chop of his own before driving him into the corner. Kingston took another heavy chop but fired back with a big STO. Kingston clubbered on White, repeatedly dropping him with heavy chops. White got back in control with a DDT and a suplex into the corner. White hit the Blade Buster for a nearfall.

White started toying with Kingston, but Kingston fired back quickly before White clawed at Kingston’s eyes. Kingston fought out of a uranage and hit an exploder suplex and a short-arm clothesline for a two count. Kingston laid more chops into White, sending him out of the ring with one as the crowd chanted Kingston’s name. White kept walking into chops with a smile on his face before landing in the corner and taking more chops. White leaned into more chops, but baited Kingston into a Backfist attempt that he ducked. White dropped Kingston with a facebuster and a disgusting high-angle German suplex, before scoring a nearfall with a lariat.

White hit a nasty uranage for a nearfall. White set up for the half-and-half suplex, but Kingston fought out with chops. They battled with chops in the center of the ring before Kingston sent White into the corner and hammered him with the machine gun chops in the corner. White took Kingston into the corner and hit his own machine gun chops, but Kingston just kept chopping White. White had enough and clawed at Kingston’s eyes before dropping him with the half-and-half suplex. White went for the Blade Runner, but Kingston clawed at White’s eyes. Kingston shoved the ref away, allowing White to hit a low blow. White hit the Blade Runner, but the momentum sent Kingston rolling to the floor to a massive pop.

White dragged Kingston back into the ring, but only got a nearfall. After arguing with the referee, White walked into a backfist from Kingston for a close nearfall. Kingston offered White a fist bump, but White spat on him instead. Kingston hit a second and a third backfist, a half-and-half suplex, a fourth backfist, and a Northern Lights Driver for…White to kick out at two to a huge reaction. Kingston brought White up, gave him a hug, and hit another Northern Lights Driver to win and end Jay White’s New Japan Pro Wrestling career.

After the match, as White was getting “Thank You Jay” chants, White’s longtime rival David Finlay slid into the ring and drilled White with the shillelagh. Finlay cursed White for wasting the opportunity that he had and lamented that he was an outsider no matter where he went in the world. He warned the rest of New Japan that he belonged in the ring as a fourth-generation wrestler and that he was coming to take over the wrestling world.

Filthy Rules: Tom Lawlor defeated Homicide

This was long and was full of a lot of plunder. The right guy won.

Filthy Rules is a no-disqualification match with the ropes taken down.

Lawlor spent a comical amount of time getting ready, taking off a full gi and putting on fight gloves before Homicide hit a lariat for a quick nearfall. Lawlor sent Homicide to the floor and hit a kick from the ring before hitting Homicide with a trash can lid. Lawlor went for a big run down the ramp, but Homicide caught him with a chair to the face. In the ring, Homicide hit an exploder suplex for a nearfall before sending Lawlor into the ring post

Homicide hit Lawlor with baking trays and a DDT before grabbing plunder from under the ring. He pulled out a ladder, a kendo stick, and several forks. Lawlor recovered and locked Homicide in a cloverleaf, but Homicide stabbed Lawlor in the feet with the fork to get out. Homicide hit a cutter for a nearfall. Lawlor reversed a throw and sent Homicide into the ring post before diving onto Homicide on the floor. Lawlor grabbed a set of silver knuckles and hit several body shots before putting Homicide back in the ring.

Lawlor fish-hooked Homicide with one of the turnbuckles, before missing a Superman Punch into the ring post. Homicide dropped Lawlor with a neckbreaker for a nearfall, but Lawlor dumped Homicide onto a trash can for a nearfall of his own. Lawlor teased a move into a door at ringside, but Homicide hit a pair of vertical suplexes. They traded suplexes for a while before Lawlor hit an enzuigiri and a set of knees. Lawlor locked on a choke, but Homicide picked him up and drove him through the door with a Death Valley Driver.

Homicide hit a piledriver onto the door for a nearfall. Homicide went for the Cop Killa, but Lawlor rolled out and eventually backdropped Homicide into a ladder. A chair to the face followed by a Penalty Kick got a nearfall for Lawlor. Lawlor hit Homicide with assorted plunder before hitting a diving headbutt off of a ladder onto a chair on Homicide’s head. That only got a two-count, so Lawlor hit the NKOTB and locked on a rear-naked choke for the win.

NJPW World TV Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. © vs. Clark Connors


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