New Japan on AXS TV Episode 3
January 30, 2015
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Josh Barnett
Recap by: Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com

Kazuchika Okada welcomes us to the show.

Okada: “April 7, 2013, Ryogoku Kokugikan Part 3, World Pro Wrestling returns.”

We go to comments from Okada talking about the build-up to his fourth match in the trilogy with Tanahashi from April 2013:

Okada: “Compared to the previous IWGP, I could feel that the fans were tired of the Tanahashi era and desperate for a change. (We see highlights of the last Tanahashi-Okada match from January 2013 at Wrestlekingdom 7 in the Tokyo Dome) So I thought, ‘Watch me do it.’ I lost in January and in February, so I knew it would take time to take on that challenge. (We see video of Okada’s losses to Tanahashi in January and Minoru Suzuki in February 2013) My opportunity came the next season, which was the New Japan Cup. If I won, nobody would complain and I could take on the challenge. (We see video of Okada beating Hirooki Goto in March 2013 to win the New Japan Cup to earn the right to face Tanahashi at Invasion Attack in April for the IWGP Title) I think winning the belt helped too. Tanahashi has a pattern, when he goes for the knees, I could tell from his eyes and from where he was looking, so that wasn’t a problem. Its not a counter-measure, but I had in my mind how to prevent from getting hit.”

From Invasion Attack on April 7, 2013 at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan for the IWGP Title: “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada w/Gedo vs. “The Ace of the Universe” Hiroshi Tanahashi (c)

Before the match, commentary brings up how Sumo Hall is New Japan’s version of Madison Square Garden and talks about the history of pro wrestling and MMA in the building. Dueling chants for both men as the bell sounds. Staredown between the two as the bell sounds. Both men jockey for position in a lock-up early. Okada backs Tanahashi into the ropes, feigns a shot, then taps him on the chest. Okada backs Tanahashi into the corner, feigns another shot, then again taps Tanahashi on the chest and does the Rainmaker Pose. Tanahashi with a gut kick and a side headlock. Okada counters out into a top wristlock, then goes into his own side headlock. Okada with a shoulder tackle, then Tanahashi goes for Okada’s own Rainmaker, but Okada avoids it and we have a stalemate. Tanahashi then mocks Okada’s Rainmaker Pose. Okada slaps Tanahashi and unloads with forearms, followed by a big boot. Okada puts his foot on Tanahashi’s chest for a pin, but the ref won’t count it. Chinlock applied by Okada. Tanahashi fights out with gut shots, followed by a series of elbows. Uppercut by Tanahashi in the corner, but Okada avoids a dropkick to the knees and stomps Tanahashi, then wags his finger, motioning that Tanahashi isn’t gonna go after his knees this time. Okada blocks a Dragon Screw by Tanahashi and hits a forearm, but Tanahashi catches a clothesline and locks in a Fujiwara Armbar, Okada quickly gets to the ropes, but Tanahashi holds on for a couple more seconds. Tanahashi with stomps to the now injured arm of Okada as commentary mentions that its the same arm Okada uses to hit the Rainmaker with. Tanahashi with a snapmare, then drives Okada’s injured arm into the mat repeatedly. More stomps by Tanahashi to the injured arm, wristlock applied, then switches to a short-arm scissors. Okada spins over to try and get out, but Tanahashi keeps the hold maintained. Okada finally gets to the ropes, but again Tanahashi holds on for a few more seconds, with the crowd beginning to boo Tanahashi. They go onto the apron with Tanahashi applying a hammerlock in the ropes. Strike exchange on the apron, with every shot by Okada hurting his own arm. Okada with a big boot, then SPIKES TANAHASHI WITH AN APRON DDT!! Tanahashi falls to the outside as the ref begins his 20 count. Tanahashi rolls back in by the count of 9 as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial as the ref checks on Tanahashi, who is clutching his neck. Straitjacket neckbreaker by Okada, then he has trouble locking in a standing version of Daniel Bryan’s Cattle Mutliation, but finally does so, with all of his body weight across the now injured neck of Tanahashi. Okada breaks the hold, then locks Tanahashi in the standing STO-style neck crank submission. Okada switches and hits another neckbreaker for 2. Tanahashi sent off the turnbuckles, Okada stomps away at him, then chokes him with his boot. Tanahashi fights back with gut shots, but Okada with an elbow to the back of Tanahashi’s head. Okada runs into a back elbow by Tanahashi, but avoids Tanahashi’s 2nd Rope Turnaround Crossbody. Deep In Debt applied by Okada, Tanahashi gets his feet on the ropes to force a break. Tanahashi with front kicks to the injured arm of Okada, but then Okada with a Dragon Screw out of Tanahashi’s playbook, followed by a running sliding basement dropkick, sending Tanahashi to the outside. Okada tries to get the blood back flowing in his injured arm, then goes out after Tanahashi. Okada places Tanahashi’s head in the barricade bars and pulls back on the injured neck, then kicks the barricade, doing more damage to the neck. Okada goes for the Tombstone on the outside, but Tanahashi fights out, then drives Okada back-first into the barricade. Tanahashi with a series of forearms and gut shots, then drives Okada’s injured arm repeatedly into the ringpost! Tanahashi gets back in as the ref begins his 20 count. Tanahashi then heads up top, HIGH FLY FLOW CROSSBODY TO OKADA ON THE OUTSIDE!! Crowd chants for Tanahashi as the ref re-starts his 20 count. Tanahashi gets Okada back in as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial as Tanahashi with a flying crossbody to Okada in the corner, followed by a flying forearm and Tanahashi fires up. Grounded Arm Dragon Screw to both of Okada’s arms, including the injured one, which commentary mentions that Tanahashi is doing so Okada has no chance to hit him with the Rainmaker. Okada comes back with forearms, but each time instantly doubles over in pain from his injured arm. Tanahashi then responds with uppercuts to the armpit of Okada, doing even more damage to the injured arm, followed by elbows to the injured arm. Tanahashi off the ropes, but Okada catches him with a one-man flapjack. Dueling chants again for both men. Okada with a running uppercut in the corner, followed by the Emerald Frosion across the knee. Okada with a slam, then before he heads up top, he switches his elbow pad from his good arm to his injured arm for the top rope elbow drop, so it does less damage to himself. Okada heads up top and hits the Top Rope Elbow Drop, but still clutches his arm because of all the damage done to the injured arm. Okada with the Rainmaker Pose, signaling for the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi quickly counters the attempt with a back elbow. Okada goes for the Tombstone, but Tanahashi fights out and hits a series of slaps. Tanahashi off the ropes again, TOO AWESOME DROPKICK BY OKADA!! Okada grabs Tanahashi and goes to lock him in Red Ink, but is having trouble doing so because of the injured arm. Okada with headbutts to the back of Tanahashi’s head, then locks it in, but Tanahashi instantly grabs the ropes to force a break. Okada lifts up Tanahashi and goes for Heavy Rain, but Tanahashi counters it with the Slingblade! Tanahashi with a running dropkick, Okada blocks the Dragon, but Tanahashi then with a Straitjacket German for a close 2. Tanahashi hits the Twelve Six, then heads up top and goes for High Fly Flow, but Okada pops up, TOO AWESOME DROPKICK sends Tanahashi off the turnbuckles and all the way to the outside! Okada sends Tanahashi into the barricade, then hits a running boot, sending Tanahashi into the front row. Okada drapes Tanahashi across the barricade, DRAPING DDT ON THE OUTSIDE!! Okada gets back in as the ref begins his 20 count. Tanahashi just barely gets back in before the 20 count. Okada lifts up Tanahashi and this time hits Heavy Rain for a close 2 as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial as Okada goes for the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi counters it with more shots to the injured arm. Tanahashi off the ropes, then avoids another Too Awesome Dropkick by Okada and hits a basement dropkick to the injured arm. Tanahashi off the ropes, but Okada avoids the Slingblade. Okada goes again for the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi blocks it. Okada blocks the Dragon, RAINMAKERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! However, Okada doubles down in pain on the other side of the ring and is unable to quickly make a cover on Tanahashi because of the damage done to his injured arm. Okada crawls over and makes the cover. 1-2……TANAHASHI KICKS OUT!!! More dueling chants by the crowd for both men. Okada tries to pick up Tanahashi, but Tanahashi is dead weight. Okada smiles, then lifts up Tanahashi for the Tombstone, but Tanahashi counters it with a Victory Roll for 2. Okada quickly grabs Tanahashi and goes for Red Ink again, but Tanahashi is fighting it. Okada is able to fully lock in Red Ink in the center of the ring, pulling back on the injured neck of Tanahashi. Okada is screaming at Tanahashi to tap as Tanahashi is screaming in pain. Okada yells at the ref that Tanahashi gave up, but Tanahashi crawls and is close to the ropes. Okada then turns the facelock into a neck crank, but somehow, Tanahashi is able to reach the ropes, forcing Okada to release Red Ink. Back elbows by Okada to the injured neck of Tanahashi in the corner. Tanahashi avoids a corner charge, but Okada catches Tanahashi off a corner charge and places him up top. Okada goes for another Too Awesome Dropkick, but Tanahashi kicks at the injured arm. Tanahashi then with a double sledge off the middle rope to the injured arm, then goes onto the apron and hits an Arm Dragon Screw in the ropes to Okada’s injured arm. Tanahashi heads up top, HIGH FLY FLOW CROSSBODY!!! Tanahashi off the ropes, SLINGBLADE!!! Tanahashi grabs Okada, DRAGON!! 1-2…….OKADA KICKS OUT!!! TANAHASHI CAN’T BELIEVE IT!! Tanahashi quickly heads up top, HIGH FLY FLOW TO OKADA’s BACK!!! Tanahashi again heads up top for another High Fly Flow, OKADA GETS HIS KNEES UP!!!!!

Commercial

Back from commercial as both are still down in the ring. Okada gets to his feet first, TOO AWESOME DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF TANAHASHI’s HEAD!! Okada goes again for the Tombstone, but Tanahashi blocks it. Both then grab each other by the waist and have a BATTEL of who will get the other in the Tombstone. Tanahashi releases and goes back to work on the injured arm with arm wringers. Tanahashi goes for the Tombstone, but Okada reverses it, TOMBSTONE TO TANAHASHI!!! OKADA FIRES UP!!!!

RAINMAKERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! 1-2-3!! NEW CHAMPION!!!! HOLY YOU KNOW WHAT!!!

Winner and NEW IWGP Champion: “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada by pinfall (The Rainmaker)

Afterwards, Okada & Gedo celebrates his title win as ice is put on Okada’s injured arm.

We go backstage as KUSHIDA and Captain New Japan are helping Tanahashi.

Tanahashi: “Damn! Please…give me a little time, please!”

We go back to Gedo in the ring with a mic.

Gedo: “Kazuchika, the rainmaker, has made a complete comeback! History has just been changed. The new IWGP Champion will take us to a place where no pro wrestler has ever been. We’ll take the challenge from previous champion, Tanahashi, anytime. We’ll show him a ‘different level’, any day. Before that, there is an opponent Kazuchika, the rainmaker, must pay back. Let’s hear from the boss of Suzuki Army.”

Commentary mentions how this is a bad idea on Okada’s part to call out Minoru Suzuki, who comes out and gets into the ring.

Gedo: “Since you’re good with words, I’m sure you have something to say.”

Suzuki snatches the mic from Gedo’s hand.

Suzuki: “I saw the match from there, just now. Indeed, the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling has changed. However, the wrestling industry has always been, and will be, about me. The money rain that you boast about, its fake money, isn’t it? (Suzuki rips up one of the dollar bills that fall down to the ring on Okada’s entrance.) The history of pro wrestling hasn’t changed at all, I’ll tell you why, because you’re weaker than me. How dare you call yourself an invader, huh? You’re not an invader, its I, Minoru Suzuki!”

Okada does the Rainmaker Pose as he & Suzuki stare each other down, then Suzuki DRILLS Okada with a big slap! Suzuki then slaps Gedo and locks him in the Sleeper! Okada goes to help, but Suzuki releases the hold and throws Gedo at Okada before leaving the ring, laughing and smiling. Suzuki goes up the ramp, then Okada has a mic.

Okada: “Suzuki, you’re about to be a tiny part of the history that I am about to create. It was nice working with you.”

Okada & Gedo continue to celebrate his title win as confetti falls from the ceiling.

We go backstage with comments by Suzuki.

Suzuki: “You have no right to talk about history when you’re weaker than me. What the hell is an invader? Huh? I’ll tear your head off, I’ll crush it with my hands. Hey, Okada, Okada! Don’t be full of yourself when you’re so weak. I’ll knock him out at New Japan Cup (show they meet is actually Wrestling Dontaku in May 2013, which the match will not be part of the 13-episode NJPW on AXS TV series) Who do you think you’re up against? Bring it on!”

We go to post-match press conference comments from Okada & Gedo.

Okada: “Being intimidated by the Suzuki Army, who acts so arrogantly, is never a good feeling. I have to show Suzuki that we are on a ‘different level’ and I have to teach him that the wrestling industry has changed.

Gedo: “Hey, you can shout out all you want, before it gets too late because by next month, you won’t even be able to moan.

Okada: Let’s go with ‘history has changed’.

Gedo: “Let’s go with that.”

Both: “HISTORY HAS CHANGED!”

We finally go to comments from Okada in the NJPW offices about the match with Tanahashi to close the show.

Okada: “More damage was done to my right elbow at the Tanahashi match than I had expected, I wasn’t ready for that moment. If I were able to prevent that damage, I would have won that match sooner. I was able to see how good Tanahashi is. I thought, ‘Well good job, Tanahashi.’ But towards the end, I couldn’t hear the crowd cheering, it was like fighting in a soundless stage. The moment I won, I felt my arm hurting, then Gedo came, I was relieved. Winning the IWGP title again was going to happen sooner or later. When I first won, the crowd didn’t seem to enjoy it. This time, the fans in Ryogoku gave me a warm reception, it finally felt like the fans started to understand. I’d wrestle Tanahashi however many times, but I think he already knows, that there’s no way he can beat me.”