The content here is from Love in Yokohama (9/1), for those keeping track.
The opening three outings looked pretty skippable and were ended with flash pins.
Shuji is asked to replace Renee Dupree (flight issue) in the Keiji Mutoh showcase later in the show.
Alejandro and Masayuki issued a challenge to the tag champs for Korakuen.
The hardcore one on one with Kuma and Koji looked very good and Koji winning hopefully gets him close to a title shot.
Up next, the Cruiserweight Champion, Andy Wu, put the belt on the line against Hijo del Pantera. This looked awesome, and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. A styles clash earns Pantera his first singles title and only non-IWRG title in his career. I will make sure to check that one out as soon as I can. Hopefully he gets a long reign before dropping it to Yoshioka.
TARU, Zodiak, and Shuji teamed up to take on Mutoh, Kaz, and Pegaso Illuminar next. Like most Voodoo Murders matches, there were a lot of shenanigans. Mutoh, of course, got the winning pin. Skippable unless you love spectacles or are a diehard fan of Mutoh. I mean, I love the dude (and Shuji, too, really) but that just didn't look like my cup of tea so I'll skip the full length version when the show airs.
Tag gold was on the line next with Enfants Terribles defending against El Lindaman and Irie. This looked great and the right team won. After, Ashino said that they'd be entering the W1 Tag League while putting themselves over as the change the division needed.
I kind of agree.
El Lindaman and Irie said they aren't done teaming. Ashino wants a singles match with Irie.
Main event time.
Inaba has been winning me over but T-Hawk really should retain and the Strong Hearts have made it clear that as long as one of their members remains a champion, they'll keep appearing in W1. That's the best thing for everyone.
I've been careful to avoid spoilers all week and...holy shit!
I really hope the Strong Hearts do remain part of the promotion but it is worth noting that Inaba winning intrigues me and excites me. I am hopeful for what comes next and with all of the new champs lately this feels like the beginning of the next era of W1. It felt like an ending to the long W1 vs OWE/Strong Hearts story they've been running, especially with the closing promos. Maybe just a farewell for now? Seiki, who was an W1 addition to the group, is the only member I see listed in the upcoming shows.
In all, this was one of the best episodes of the year and I look forward to seeing a couple of these in full. Check this one out!