At Wrestling Dontaku, YOH was set to get his first chance to become the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. He was going to face El Desperado, who is enjoying his first reign as champion after winning the vacant belt. A COVID-19 outbreak halted these plans, but tonight this match gets to happen as planned.
El Desperado Targets The Knee
YOH & Desperado would lock up to start this match, with Desperado getting the upper hand early with a side headlock. This hold would be countered, and YOH was able to get a wrist lock. YOH kept control until his eyes were raked, before he dodged a basement dropkick by jumping over the strike.
A dropkick saw Desperado sent outside, but YOH made the mistake of following him and getting rammed into the barricade. Desperado grabbed a bucket from under the ring, before using it as a distraction to use a steel chair on the knee of YOH. Back in the ring, the knee would be attacked with hip drops near the ropes, and a kneebreaker would soon follow.
YOH got a two count off a desperate sunset flip, before Desperado hit a leg drop to the knee and tied him up in the Deathlock in the middle of the ring. Forearm strikes would let YOH get some space to break free. A flying elbow strike took Desperado down to the mat, before YOH nailed a neckbreaker for a two count.
YOH looked for a suplex, but Desperado countered and looked for a front kick, and YOH countered into an inverted Dragon Screw. Some spinning leg breakers would weaken the legs of Desperado for Stargazer. YOH went for a deathlock of his own, and Desperado would barely get the ropes.
El Desperado Closes Out With A Bang
A short dropkick to the back of the leg would keep Desperado hurt, but he’d rally back with a spinebuster and nearly apply the Numero Dos. YOH scrambled to the ropes, and Desperado used all of the referee’s five count to deal some damage. Desperado launched off a big forearm shot, blocked a jumping knee and dropped YOH with a set of suplexes for a two count.
YOH slipped out of the next suplex but landed awkwardly on his knee and couldn’t follow up. Desperado sent YOH to the apron before yanking him down to the floor. YOH countered a toss into the barricade and hit a dropkick before getting back in the ring and setting up a dive over the top. He’d break the count out, and nail a Cross Legged Driver in the middle of the ring.
Desperado kicked out at two before going after the knee of YOH in the corner with a low dropkick and inverted dragon screw. He would be unable to follow up, and both men got vertical to exchange forearm strikes and kicks to the knee. YOH nailed a quick Flatliner before Desperado nailed the Guitarra de la Muerta.
Desperado set up Pinche Loco, before YOH fought free. YOH countered an attempt at Numero Dos and applied StarGazer. Desperado got to the ropes and broke the hold as YOH got it fully applied with both legs caught.
YOH went for the Dragon Suplex and got a two count, Direct Drive was countered and Desperado hit a headbutt, before YOH got a two count off a flash pin. Desperado hit a right hand to the jaw and Pinche Loco for the win.
YOH & Desperado had chemistry coming into this match from their countless tag team encounters, and it showed tonight. Desperado brought some fire from YOH tonight, who had his best singles match to date. Very smooth action from bell to bell, with Desperado kicking off his reign in a big way. Match Rating: 3.5/5 (*** 1/2)
Following the match, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo would hit the ring. SHO rushed out to protect YOH, but Phantasmo simply challenged them for a match over the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. Ishimori would also challenge El Desperado for a match over his belt. Will Ishimori soon be a double champion? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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