Jet Setters soar to junior tag glory

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KUSHIDA and Kevin Kngiht seize junior tag gold

The semi main event on April 27 in Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall would see the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag team Championships defended, the Catch 2/2 combination of TJP and Francesco Akira facing the challenge of Kevin Knight and KUSHIDA.

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KUSHIDA and TJP would start with a tense exchange of holds; Akira and Knight would escalate the pace, but Knight would make a pair of errors, getting caught on a leapfrog by Akira, and then shut down by the champions on the apron. His athleticism came through on the floor though, and a clean jump over the barricade allowed the challengers to bring TJP to their corner.

As the public Enemy made the tag, it would be the ever inventive double team work of Catch 2/2 that saw KUSHIDA in trouble, with Knight wiped out thanks to a spectacular tope from Akira to boot. The boot of KUSHIDA would do some damage to the pursuing Akira, but the Italian would use a Tarantula on his fellow TAJIRI trainee, and the Crowns Up senton landed to keep the champions in full and firm control.

Akira would make sure that KUSHIDA couldn’t make a tag after getting a moment’s respite, but a Shellshock would finally bring the Jet inside. As the challengers built momentum, the rocket boot dropkick put Akira to the canvas, and Knight wanted to follow with a suplex off the top to the Italian, but Akira countered well and the Alley Oop followed, Catch 2/2 getting a near two thereafter broken up by the Timeplitter.

Knight continued to string together instinctive counters, surviving off the back foot by escaping Akira’s Speedfire, and ducking under the 2×2 knees. KUSHIDA was waiting for the tag, and started to pursue the Hoverboard Lock on TJP, but was denied with a heel hook counter; as Akira took Knight to the floor with a Frankensteiner, the Time Splitter was in big trouble center ring, but a bridging pin would force TJP to release the hold.

As the match broke down, Knight wanted a Frankensteiner from the mat to the top rope on TJP, but Akira was there for a split second counter. The Mamba Splash and the 2×2 followed, broken up by KUSHIDA; the Timesplitter stopped an attempt at Leaning Tower as well, and delivered a spike DDT to Akira before the Kulture Klash landed for three.


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