Originally published at IMPACT x NJPW Multiverse United 2: Shelley vs. Tanahashi
IMPACT Wrestling x NJPW
Multiverse United 2: For Whom The Bell Tolls
August 20th, 2023
By: John Siino
2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA
Commentary: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt & Veda Scott
Master Wato, Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Joe Hendry, Yuya Uemura & Heath (Countdown to Multiverse United 2)
Rocky Romero & Heath start the match with Heath taking control as commentary mentions it could be because of the cheesteaks that Romero won and ate last night at the All Star Junior Festival. Ryusuke Taguchi tags in as Heath reverses and whips Romero into Taguchi’s butt but Taguchi thought it was Heath instead. Joe Hendry tags in, but Taguchi gives him a butt bump before tagging in Master Wato. Wato is able to fight off both Hendry & Wato before running the ropes with Yuya Uemura but Wato, Romero & Taguchi end up diving to their opponents on the outside. Heath & Wato fight on the outside for a bit until Hendry hits a stalling suplex inside for a two. Team IMPACT continues to work on Wato who eventually is able to tag out to Romero. Henry stops Romero’s clotheslines and picks him and Wato both up at the same time to slam them. Taguchi and Uemura go at it for a bit until Uemura hits a top rope crossbody for the pin and the win.
Winners: Heath, Joe Hendry & Yuya Uemura by pinfall at 10:19
IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Kenny King (c) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Countdown to Multiverse United 2)
They start the match by testing each other by running the ropes until Yoshinobu Kanemaru takes down Kenny King with a side headlock takeover. King is able to escape and clothesline Kanemaru and goes for a couple of two counts before putting on a Camel Clutch. Kanemaru escapes and dodges a leg drop before clubbing King and hitting a reverse DDT followed by a spinning DDT for a two. Kanemaru follows with a moonsault for a two, as King then hits a spine buster for a two of his own. As the referee is checking on King, Kanemura takes a swig of his drink but misses the spray into King. They got back and forth a bit until King hits the Royal Flush for the pin.
Winner: Kenny King by pinfall at 6:52, to retain
Junior Heavyweight / X Division Scramble Match: MAO vs. Kevin Knight vs. Rich Swann vs. YOH vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. BUSHI vs. Chris Sabin vs. El Desperado
All eight men surround the ring before they all lock up, yes at the same time. They all split off into the corners before diving to the outside as MAO and Rich Swann are the two men in the ring and go at it. YOH jumps in and takes Swann out of the ring before Kevin Knight enters and dropkicks YOH down and hits a splash for a two count. Chris Sabin now joins in and goes after Knight with a missile dropkick. Frankie Kazarian and BUSHI enter before El Desperado and MAO take out BUSHI and Knight. Desperado offers a handshake to MAO but he takes him out with a distraction punch. Everybody joins in on an eight-man submission before BUSHI uses the ropes and it all breaks up. They all start stomping on BUSHI before they start going after him with splashes in the corner that turned into splashes to Swann. We get a Tower of Doom spot followed by a frog splash from Knight on Swann for two. They all take turns on each other with offense until Sabin hits the Cradle Shock on YOH for the pin and the win.
Winner: Chris Sabin by pinfall at 8:06
BUSHI raises Sabin’s hand after just to spray the black mist in his face.
Moose & Eddie Edwards vs. TMDK (Zack Sabre Jr. & Shane Haste)
Eddie Edwards and Zack Sabre Jr. start the match with headlocks and takedowns as Shane Haste tries to distract Edwards before being tagged in. They continue to work on Edwards in their corner as Haste teases Moose by being a ‘moose’. Edwards comes back by hitting a belly-to-belly on Haste and tags in Moose as they double team on Haste hitting him with a backpack stunner as Moose gets a two count. Moose starts chopping Haste in the corners, but Haste turns it around on him. Now Moose & Edwards keep working on Haste in their corner by tagging in and out. Haste is able to hit a hurricanrana on Edwards and tags out to Sabre who comes in and starts trying to stretch out Edwards, but Sabre is able to take out Moose off the apron as well and puts on a cross-arm breaker on Edwards on the ropes. Edwards & Sabre start trading chops and kicks until Edwards hits a Blue Thunder Bomb. Moose & Haste tag in with Haste hitting a cannonball in the corner for two. They start trading forearms for a bit until Sabre gets involved with a triangle choke as Haste hits Moose with a knee strike. All four go at it for a bit until Edwards kicks Haste in the face followed by a spear from Moose for the pin on Haste as IMPACT is now up 4-0.
Winner: Moose & Eddie Edwards by pinfall at 13:22
NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Giulia (c) vs. Momo Kohgo vs. Gisele Shaw vs. Deonna Purrazzo
This is not only Giulia’s first match in the United States, but also Giulia’s first match outside of Japan. The match gets a ‘holy shit’ chant before it can start. They square off with headlocks before Giulia challenges Deonna Purrazzo to run the ropes. They all start going for pinfalls next as the crowd chants ‘women’s wrestling’. Gisele Shaw starts taking credit for women’s wrestling which causes the other three to attack her and take her out of the ring. Deonna clotheslines Giulia and Momo Kohgo down, but Giulia uses Momo as a battering ram to take down Deonna. Momo hits a 619 but Gisele breaks up the pin attempt. Gisele stacks up Giulia & Momo in the corner and stomps on them going for pin attempts. Deonna joins in and puts the Fujiwara armbar on Gisele followed by a Queen’s Gambit attempt that Gisele gets out of. Giulia & Deonna end up on the outside where Momo dives on them followed by a twisting dive by Gisele. Gisele goes after Giulia back inside, but as Deonna & Momo distract Gisele, Giulia joins her on the top rope and hits an avalanche butterfly suplex. All four go at it with punches until Gisele takes out Giulia with a spear. Deonna heads to the top rope, but Gisele joins her and hits a Spanish Fly, but the count is broken up. Deonna hits the Queen’s Gambit on Giulia but she kicks out, as Deonna then puts on the Fujiwara armbar. At the same time, Gisele puts an armbar on Momo but Deonna and Gisele start going at it because of this. Gisele takes Momo out with a spine buster before Giulia goes right after Gisele and hits her with the Northern Lights Bomb to get the pin and the win.
Winner: Giulia by pinfall at 12:22, to retain
As soon as Giulia wins, Momo Kohgo goes after her and they go at it until Giulia takes her out with the Glorious Driver.
South Philly Street Fight: Sami Callihan vs. DOUKI
Before the match started, Sami Callihan got on the mic and said he feels like they have been missing some violence tonight and asked DOUKI if they should make it a South Philly Street Fight, and he said yes and went right after Callihan, taking him to the outside and attacking him with a chair. Callihan started grabbing all the chairs and tossing them inside the ring and even grabbing an 8 x 10 photo of himself that he used to paper cut DOUKI which got the crowd to chant ‘you sick fuck’, which prompted Callihan to do it again but this time to DOUKI’S armpit. Ouch. Callihan started stacking the chairs on top of DOUKI before smashing it with another chair and setting up a chair against the corner. DOUKI is able to dodge Callihan, who goes crashing into the wedged chair. DOUKI grabs a Kendo stick, but Callihan takes it from him before tripping into a chair. DOUKI now stacks the chairs on top of Callihan and hits him with a top rope stomp for two. Callihan brings a ladder into the match and sets it against the corner, but DOUKI reverses Callihan sending him into the ladder, bending it. DOUKI stacks the ladder and chairs on Callihan but misses the DOUKI Bomb going right onto the ladder. Callihan hits a Cactus Driver, but DOUKI kicks out. Callihan sets up chairs and tries to hit another Cactus Driver on them. DOUKI tries to fight him off, but Callihan hits a low blow and does end up hitting the Cactus Driver through the chairs for the pin and the win.
Winner: Sami Callihan by pinfall at 12:46
TMDK (Kosei Fujita & Robbie Eagles) vs. Catch 22 (Francesco Akira & TJP)
The crowd did the Philadelphia Eagles chant for Robbie Eagles. Smart. Francesco Akira & Kojei Fujita start the match by trying to take each other and running the ropes until Fujita takes him down with a dropkick. TJP tags in as they start double-teaming on Fujita and going for pin attempts, tagging in and out. Robbie Eagles jumps in and helps Fujita out as they go after Akira including a submission from Fujita, but Akira crawls over to the ropes to break it up. TJP takes control and starts stomping Fujita in the corner, but Fujita comes right back with a chop block before tagging out to Eagles. TMDK continue to go after Akira including Eagles putting on the Ron Miller Special. Fujita and TJP tag in as Akira joins in as they hit the Alley Oop, followed by the Mamba Splash for a two-count. Eagle and Fujita go after TJP with kicks as Fujita hits a belly-to-belly for a two. Eagles takes out Fujita by accident with a super kick, as TJP and Akira double team Fujita with double knees as TJP gets the pin and the win.
Winners: Catch 22 (Francesco Akira & TJP) by pinfall at 11:32
Getting To Know Hiromu Better
We hear from Mike Bailey from earlier today where he talks about winning the All Star Junior Festival last night and sending a challenge to Hiromu Takahashi after. Bailey says tonight tho they will team together and that’ll be the perfect opportunity to get to know him better. They do have a lot in common though being two of the best wrestlers in the world and they do not miss.
The DKC, PCO, Josh Alexander, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & El Phantasmo vs. BULLET Club (Ace Austin, Chris Bey, KENTA, Clark Connors, Alex Coughlin & David Finlay)
Josh Alexander making his return to the ring for the first time since March of this year. After all twelve men face off for a while, David Finlay and Tama Tonga start the match with Tonga clotheslining Finlay to the outside where he dives onto him and everybody starts brawling. Eventually, when back inside PCO and Alex Coughlin tag in and start going at it with chops before Coughlin hits a gut wrench suplex in which PCO gets right back up on and clotheslines Coughlin and himself to the outside where they all brawl again. The DKC & Clark Connors go at it next in the ring, as the BULLET Club keep DKC in their corner while tagging in and out. Eventually, DKC is able to make the hot tag to Josh Alexander who goes after the BULLET Club with German suplexes. ABC start double-teaming on Alexander as Connons runs in and gets a two-count. KENTA tags in and goes after Alexander next with multiple pin attempts. Alexander comes back with a double suplex on ABC and makes the tag to El Phantasmo who goes after all of BULLET Club. The babyfaces surround Finlay and take turns going after him until the BULLET Club joins in. Alexander blocks a Go To Sleep and puts on an ankle lock as Ace Austin dives to everybody on the outside followed by a cannonball from PCO. PCO follows with a PCO Sault as DKC tries a splash on Finlay inside, but Finlay gets his knees up and hits a powerbomb on DKC for the pin and the win.
Winners: BULLET Club (David Finlay, KENTA, Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Clark Connors & Alex Coughlin) by pinfall at 14:09
Trey Miguel & Lio Rush vs. Mike Bailey & Hiromu Takahashi
Hiromu Takahashi and Trey Miguel start the match as the crowd chants for Hiromu. Miguel backs Hiromu in the corner with kicks and starts choking him out with his boot, but Hiromu comes right back with a clothesline and dropkick as Lio Rush tags himself in. Mike Bailey tags in and goes to shake Rush’s hand, just to get slapped instead. They quickly run the ropes, until Bailey hits a kick for a two. All four start going at it until Hiromu gets tagged back in as they hit a double dropkick on Rush. Rush & Miguel start double-teaming on Hiromu keeping him near their corner as Rush is teasing Bailey, before knocking him off the apron. Bailey comes in and hits a standing shooting star on Miguel for two, before Rush tags in and goes after Bailey hitting him with a Fisherman Driver for two. Hiromu stops a double team as Bailey hits a beautiful moonsault to the outside as Rush joins them with a dive. Bailey dodges the Final Hour, as Rush dodges the Ultima Weapon as both men are now laid out before they tag out to Hiromu and Miguel who trade off chops and kicks. Rush & Miguel look like a legit tag team and start kicking away at Hiromu. All four go at each other until Hiromu puts Miguel on his shoulders at Bailey hits the Ultima Weapon, but Rush breaks up the count. Rush hits the Rush Hour on Hiromu for a two count and goes to the top rope but Hiromu rolls to the outside. With Hiromu on his shoulders, Miguel runs off the apron, off of Rush’s back to hit a Meteora on Bailey. Rush tries the Final Hour, but Hiromu blocks it. As the referee is distracted by Miguel on the apron, Rush hits a low blow on Hiromu and rolls him up for the pin.
Winners: Lio Rush & Trey Miguel by pinfall at 14:28
Lio Rush gets on the mic after and tells Hiromu Takahashi that he wants more gold and puts out a challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Hiromu agrees as Mike Bailey looks a bit concerned as he is supposed to get a title shot as well.
IMPACT World Championship: Alex Shelley (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tom Hannifan mentions how Hiroshi Tanahashi is the first person ever to challenge for the IWGP, AEW & IMPACT World Championships in the same year. Matthew Rehwoldt even says that Tanahashi looks ‘pretty deadly’. They start trying to take each other down before Tanahashi tosses his guitar to the crowd. Alex Shelley is able to fight his way off of Tanahashi and starts working on his left arm. Tanahashi traps Shelley in the ring post before they take it outside and start fighting by the barricades. Shelley snaps Tanahashi off the ropes and then kicks him before hitting a flying knee off the apron as they are back on the outside now. Shelley starts using the barricades to bend Tanahashi’s arm back before they head back inside. They start trading blows before Shelley hits a sling blade and sliced bread for two. Shelley puts on the Border City Stretch, but Tanahashi is able to put his leg on the rope to break it up. Shelley continues to target Tanahashi’s arm on the ropes, but he comes right back with a Dragon Screw on Shelley and starts working on Shelley’s leg by putting on a Cloverleaf. They start trading forearms but Shelley goes right after Tanahashi’s arm before he hits three back-to-back Twist & Shouts and the Sling Blade for a two count. Tanahashi goes to the top rope but misses the High Fly Flow, as Shelley gets out of the way and hits a knee to the back of the head and a rip cord clothesline for a two. They go back and forth a bit before Tanahashi hits another Sling Blade and goes to the top again, but Shelley stops him and bends back his arm, followed by Air Raid Crash off the top for two. Shelley follows with a super kick and the Shell Shock for the pin and the win.
Winner: Alex Shelley by pinfall at 18:52, to retain