Full Throttle #4: Keep your friends close
It’s an unseasonably warm day and a heated atmosphere for the fans packed into Chiba Blue Field this afternoon for the second block of the Triple Torque trios championship. The show starts off with Toi Kojima leading out the freshly debuted rookies, Full Throttle’s ‘sparks’, Ryota Hashimoto and Yuki Tanizaki. Both dressed in Full Throttle t-shirts and bright red trunks, Yuki looks the more nervous of the two, as they flank the smiling Kojima.
Toi thanks the crowd for coming out to the show, reminding them that in a few short hours we’ll know the contenders for the Triple Torque championship match at Heartbreak Mosh. He gestures to the rookies either side of him, congratulating both on making their debuts on the previous show. Both will soon be sent on excursion to learn everything they need to be stars in this company. But before then, Toi wants fans to know more about the wrestlers that Full Throttle and Meiko Satomura in particular are investing in. Toi hands the mic first to the eager looking Ryota, who clears his throat before addressing the crowd.
“Full Throttle’s Ryota Hashimoto here! It has been my dream to conquer the world of professional wrestling as Full Throttle’s handsome prince! I hope the fans will cheer for me because you are always in my heart!”
Ryota flashes a smile at the crowd, whilst Toi (unsuccessfully) suppresses a smile, reaching out for the mic Ryota is holding like he’s about to start serenading the crowd. Toi hands the mic to the far more serious looking Yuki, who is glaring over at the brash posing of his fellow spark.
“Full Throttle’s Yuki Tanizaki here! It is my honour to represent the pride of Full Throttle and the faith of my seniors. I will fight to earn your support!”
Yuki bows to the crowd, followed quickly by Ryota doing the same, keen to not lose out to the older Tanizaki in his appeal to the fans. Toi clasps the hands of both rookies as they stand, the crowd welcoming them with applause. Both sparks make their way to the back. Watchful fans could spot Meiko Satomura cuffing Ryota around the head as he exits the ramp.
Toi returns his attention to the crowd, announcing that the first match on the card will be a special singles match, requested by Seiki Yoshioka.
Seiki vs Kodama
Seiki makes his way to the ring first, barely seeming to notice the assembled crowd who are curious as to who Seiki has requested as his opponent. There’s a murmur in the crowd as a grinning Yusuke Kodama emerges from behind the curtain, carrying his Twin Engines belt over one shoulder. Both men are coming off losses, though Seiki clearly sees beating Kodama as a logical next step to get himself back on track. Kodama, having not lost a singles match to Seiki since 2015, looks perfectly confident that this is his night. Neither man offers a handshake.
Things start off slowly, with it seeming initially like Seiki is willing to grapple with Kodama, until he ends up with his arm twisted behind his back and forced to reach for the ropes. A second attempt to lock up results in Seiki being squeezed between Kodama’s thighs until he can force his way out. Clearly frustrated and shaking his head, Seiki decides to keep his distance as they circle again. He lands some sharp kicks on Kodama’s calves and although Kodama grins in response, he looks to be putting a little less weight into his front leg as they move. Nonetheless, he manages to make use of his leg by kneeing Seiki in the gut, forcing him back to the ropes and then propelling him across the ring. It turns out to be a mistake as Seiki ducks under a lariat attempt on his return, dodging Kodama repeatedly as he builds up speed and takes Kodama’s legs from under him. He gets Kodama into the corner for a series of brutal kicks to his chest, forcing him to the floor. Kodama escapes only by managing to clutch onto Seiki’s leg and take him off balance, using the distance to scramble out from his seated position.
They get into an exchange of Seiki’s kicks with Kodama’s forearms. The kicks seem to have it and Seiki goes for the momentum of the ropes to deal further damage to a bent over Kodama but he’s caught by Kodama’s standing dropkick. As Seiki struggles to stand, Kodama grabs him by the waist, lifting him for an overhead slam and a pin attempt. Seiki gets a shoulder up but the rapid damage seems to have shaken him. Kodama lands a kick to the side of Seiki’s head as he stands and has him down again for another two count. Seiki manages to rally as he gets to his feet, hitting Kodama with a combination of slaps and kicks in the centre of the ring and following up with a scissor kick. He goes for a running PK but Kodama ducks under, knocking Seiki off his feet yet again. Seiki struggles to stand, stumbling towards the ropes where Kodama is waiting outside, using the ropes to lift himself for a swinging DDT on Seiki. He goes for another cover and Seiki kicks out at two once more. Two thrust kicks to Seiki’s head as he stands leave Seiki completely unable to respond and Kodama lays him out on the mat, goes for the corner and a mad splash to finish the job.
Kodami def. Seiki w/ mad splash (11:15).
Seiki pounds the mat in frustration. Kodama kneels next to him, gloating and patting the belt on his shoulder. Seiki looks deflated as he leaves the ring alone having lost the match he asked for so soon after also losing his right to challenge. Where can he go next?
Hiromu/Sho/Yo-Hey v T.O.P (ASUKA/MAO/Ueno)
After tagging with Yuki Ueno last week, Hiromu approached his opponent in that match and former lightspeed champion, Yo-Hey, with a suggestion that he might want to earn his revenge on T.O.P’s ASUKA and win them the trios belts in the process. They are joined by Sho, who has yet to earn a victory in Full Throttle but stands a good chance now matched with the champion and former champion.
They make an odd trio, the dark-trunked Sho flanked on either side by the flashier colours of Hiromu and Yo-Hey, but all three look confident facing off against the posing of T.O.P.
Sho insists on starting off against the waiting Ueno but as he’s gesturing his companions out of the ring, Hiromu blows a kiss over his shoulder at Ueno, a move which has Ueno shouting and pointing for Hiromu to join him in the ring. Ueno clearly hasn’t forgotten Hiromu’s lack of support after his loss last week, nor his backstage comments that Ueno was ‘a disappointment’. Hiromu ignores Ueno’s shouts but Sho gets annoyed enough to forcibly tag Hiromu in. For all his supposed disinterest, Hiromu flies at the off-guard Ueno, forcing him into the corner with a flurry of punches, followed up by whipping him across to the opposite corner and a running dropkick. Ueno recovers quickly, twisting out of the corner and landing some punches of his own. He follows up with a running kick to the face of Hiromu.
On the mat now, Hiromu scrabbles out of the ring under Ueno’s legs. The fans get close to the action with both men throwing punches at each other ringside, Hiromu slamming Ueno’s face into the apron. He walks away, only to have Ueno drag him backwards onto the mat. With Hiromu splayed out on the floor, Ueno clambers onto the apron to stomp onto his ribs before dragging Hiromu back into the ring. ASUKA gestures for a chance to follow up and gets it, Ueno tagging out and Hiromu too tired to avoid ASUKA’s crossbody from the corner. ASUKA goes for an early pin attempt. It barely gets more than a one count but it’s still a surprise start for the Openweight Champ.
ASUKA goes to climb the corner post again but Hiromu knocks her down, whipping her into the opposite corner, where a waiting Yo-Hey is waiting and ready to tag himself in and earn his revenge. He gets off to a flying start, springing into the ring and tossing ASUKA into the opposite corner. They meet in the centre of the ring, twisting arms and headlocks until ASUKA pushes Yo-Hey into the ropes and lands a kick on his back as he falls to his knees. A dropkick as he gets to his feet leads to a 1.5 count and an irritated Yo-Hey. He’s not caught out so easily after that and a jumping knee gives him a return pin attempt. Yo-Hey calls for support from the crowd, getting enthusiastic clapping as he climbs the corner post for a missile dropkick. ASUKA is unimpressed, dodging his next offence and retaliating with a thrust kick to Yo-Hey’s midriff. Having had enough of Yo-Hey, ASUKA tags out to the waiting MAO.
MAO faces off against the eager Sho, who is keen to prove himself after a string of losses. There’s some impressive mat work on both sides, though it’s mostly MAO finding himself having to rely on his speed and awareness to escape Sho’s holds. MAO’s speed doesn’t help him for long though as a spear from Sho knocks the wind right out of him. Sho manages to manoeuvre the winded MAO into the snake bite but he’s too close to the ropes and MAO hooks a foot over before Sho can do serious damage. MAO gets his revenge with a crucifix driver that catches Sho off-guard enough to give him a good pin attempt.
Although the other members of the trios are no slouches in this match, it’s really all about the fire between Hiromu and Ueno and when they end up back in the ring together, sparks fly. A chop exchange leaves visible red welts on the chests of both men as they seem unable to hold back and descends into a series of hefty slaps that Hiromu narrowly gets the better of. Ueno’s attempt to build up some steam from the ropes fails as Hiromu drops him in a pop up powerbomb and a pin attempt that Ueno kicks out of emphatically. Hiromu drags Ueno up by his hair, Ueno snarling at Hiromu. There’s an air of desperation to Ueno as he scrambles out of Hiromu’s attempt to lift him into another slam. He ducks under Hiromu’s arm, using the ropes to launch a flying crossbody and take Hiromu down. He clambers up to the ropes immediately but Hiromu is up and dragging him off and onto his shoulders for the timebomb. Ueno gets his shoulder up but looks exhausted as Hiromu drags him to his feet again. The two struggle for control until Ueno lets rip a sequence of heavy forearms, finished off with a rolling forearm off the ropes. He kicks at Hiromu as he tries to stand, screaming as he does so. Hiromu looks dazed by the additional fire from Ueno, even more so as Ueno hits him with a boot to the face. Hiromu is grinning as he stands though, now looking ready to take Ueno on. He doesn’t get a chance though as Ueno ducks under his next strike and wraps him up for a half-nelson suplex and a quick two count. Ueno drags Hiromu up by his hair, hitting him with knee strikes to the head. Hiromu is scrambling on the floor as Ueno goes for the top rope and a frog splash that gets him 2.5. A second climb to the ropes and the best moonsault ever and Ueno has beaten Hiromu.
Ueno def. Hiromu with the Best Moonsault Ever (19:11)
Hiromu stares dazed at the ceiling, Yo-Hey coming into the ring to help him up. As he stands Ueno, whose hand is being raised in the centre of the ring, pulls himself away to Hiromu, leaning against the ropes. The two press their foreheads together in a seeming display of aggression, words clearly being exchanged. Ueno is the first to break contact, walking off but turning to point back at Hiromu who reaches for his belt to hold it up. Ueno’s intent is clear. He wants Hiromu. And he wants his belt.
BRAVE-RE (Kotoge/Ishimori/Iizuka) vs S&M’s alliance (Mochizuki/Marufuji/Harashima)
Kotoge and Harashima are in the ring first, Kotoge coming off a big win last week against Ueno and Harashima keen to avenge his loss in their attempt to chase the Twin Engines belts. Harashima gets the upper hand early, first with his grappling forcing Kotoge to reach for the ropes to escape from under Harashima’s control, and then with heavy kicks to Kotoge’s chest that drop Kotoge on his back. There’s not enough for a pin attempt though and Kotoge gets a small victory escaping from Harashima and managing a sitout side slam, followed up with a diving elbow drop that has Harashima clutching his ribs and reaching for Marufuji. Marufuji makes a point of messing up Kotoge’s chest with some chops against the ropes but Kotoge makes the sensible decision to tag in Iizuka.
Iizuka is keen to test his kicks against Marufuji, who it seems is initially equally keen to prove he can take them, despite being pushed back into the ropes and clutching his chest. A second kick round provides Marufuji with a dragon screw and ankle lock that makes Iizuka a little unsteady on his feet but no less keen to prove a point. Marufuji tags in Mochizuki to take over and the two exchange kicks to the chest until Mochi knocks Iizuka down. Kotoge and Taiji have to break things up when Mochi lands a kick to the kneeling Iizuka and goes for a likely pin. Their assault helps gives Yu enough breathing room to then tag out to Taiji, who goes to circle Mochizuki warily.
Mochizuki seems to have the better of Taiji early, targeting his right leg with some vicious kicks, but Taiji hangs on, catching Mochi with a snap suplex and a running knee strike. Mochi continues to focus on keeping his distance and targeting the leg but he can’t match Taiji’s speed. A jumping high knee from Taiji has Mochizuki rocked enough for a 2 count. He kicks out but Taiji hits him with a standing moonsault. He kicks out yet again, fighting his way out of Taiji’s grip as they stand and kicking him with a back heel. Mochizuki rebounds off the ropes into yet another jumping knee from Taiji who wraps him up into a double underhook piledriver. Kotoge and Yu handle defence, keeping the rest of S&M’s alliance away just long enough for the three count.
Taiji def. Mochizuki with the Hermosillo (11:04)
Marufuji and Harashima roll Mochizuki out of the ring, though there appears to be some deliberation on the ramp about who is holding him up as the three stumble away. Not all seems well in the alliance.
Omori, Maya & Ryota v Kushida, Ikemen & Yuki
It’s time for the young sparks to get another chance in the ring, this time alongside the Black Snow and Jackets teams. ‘Handsome prince’ Ryota finds himself paired with the equally handsome Black Snow duo of Maya and Omori, looking comfortable standing alongside both. The more serious Yuki, by comparison, seems somewhat confused by the crowd pleasing antics of Ikemen and Kushida as they make their way to the ring.
It’s Maya who starts off for the Black Snow team, firing straight into the waiting Kushida with punches and getting him tied up in the ropes, cranking his head back against the top rope as she poses for the crowd. Beckoning for Omori and Ryota to hold Kushida’s arms, keeping him wrapped up in the ropes, Maya hits Kushida’s back with running knees, pulling him back onto the mat. It’s barely a pin and Maya finds herself in the unfortunate position of having left herself open to Kushida’s matwork. She has to drag herself out of an ankle lock to meet the outstretched hand of Omori.
Kushida tags in Jiro to replace him, Jiro grinning and posing opposite Omori until Omori gets bored and pushes at him. Omori knocks Ikemen to the ground with his shoulder, only for Ikemen to spring to his feet immediately. He does it again and yet again Jiro is on his feet immediately. Frustrated, he makes a third attempt, only to find himself flat on his back and Ikemen dropping an elbow on him. Their exchanges continue in a similar fashion, Ikemen frustrating Omori, until eventually Omori manages to hoist Ikemen into first one, then a second suplex that knocks the wind out of both of them. They simultaneously choose to sit out for a bit, tagging in the waiting sparks to get a little in-ring experience.
In contrast to their last encounter, the sparks are keen to demonstrate a little more flair in their offence this time. Ryota draws on his kickboxing training, making the stone-faced Yuki wince with some heavy kicks to his thighs. He gets overconfident though and Yuki is able to grab hold of a leg and twist it, tossing Ryota to the ground and hitting him with a running PK as he tries to get up. Ryota manages to get his revenge, even keeping Yuki’s shoulder down briefly with a flying crossbody but it’s fairly clear that the sparks are evenly matched. Although older, Yuki is the faster of the two and more aggressive and when he sends Ryota into his own corner with a dropkick, Ryota makes the wise choice to tag out.
Yuki meets Yukihi, finding that despite his height advantage, Maya has little difficulty in kicking him in the face once she’s tripped him up. He withstands some stomps and a triangle choke attempt from Maya on the ground, largely thanks to the involvement of Kushida and Jiro, who break it up and give him a chance to get some distance and tag out to Kushida.
With 15 minutes now passed, both teams start to look a little more desperate as Kushida and Maya face off. A triangle choke by Maya is broken up by Ikemen, who is then dragged from the ring by Omori. There’s a short brawl in the limited space outside the ring before Omori slams Ikemen first into the apron and then into the ring post. Jumping from the apron to land another hit on Ikemen’s back has him down on the mats, whilst Omori gets back into the action with a tag from Maya.
Kushida however is prepared and, as Omori runs at him, manages to grab and toss him into a cross armbreaker, which he pulls on hard. Maya and Ryota rush in to break up the submission, kicking at Kushida. With Ikemen still down on the outside, it’s up to Yuki to drag them away, brawling with Ryota. Looking between the scrambling Kushida and Omori to her left and the punching Ryota and Yuki to her right being gestured out by the referee, Maya sees an opportunity. She shoves Ryota hard in the back, tripping him into Yuki and both into the referee. All three tumble out on the floor, both Yuki and Ryota still focused on each other until they realise the referee sprawled underneath them.
Meanwhile Maya reaches under the ring, sliding a chair within reach of Omori and looking to join him in the ring. But she only makes it halfway before Ikemen drags her out onto the floor, clambering in himself to get involved in the action.The chaos distracts Omori, who has the chair lifted above his head, enough for Kushida to wrest it from his hands. Omori looks from Kushida to Ikemen, uncertain where the next attack will come from. At a nod from Jiro, Kushida tosses the chair at Omori, who catches it just in time for Ikemen to land a standing dropkick right on the seat and Omori’s face.
Ikemen slides the chair out of the ring, running interference on Maya who is now back on her feet. Finally the two sparks have untangled themselves from the ref and roll him back into the ring. Just in time for Kushida to send the still dazed Omori Back to the Future, holding him down for the three count.
Kushida def. Omori w/ Back to the Future (22:46)
The Jackets duo celebrate whilst Maya pounds the apron in frustration. At ringside Ryota is still pleading that the interference is not his fault to the crowd and to the disgusted looking Yuki, who shakes his head and walks off.
Ikemen gestures at his waist, a sign that the Jackets team are keen to challenge for the belts. Seiki and Ikemen had fought in the initial tag tournament, Seiki losing to Omori, but it seems Ikemen is keen to make another attempt with Kushida at his side. Kodama makes his way to the ring to join Omori, both squaring off with the Jackets duo, belts held up. Omori gestures for a mic.
“Hey! Ikemen! Kushida! Kodama and I, we both beat your boy Yoshioka, and you only won today because you cheated. You think you deserve to call yourselves champions with such a pathetic showing??! You want these belts, you’ll have to try harder than that. We’ll accept your challenge on one condition – no DQ. You face us with everything we have. Then we’ll see if you’re worthy”
He tosses the mic to the floor in front of their opponents.
Kushida and Ikemen look at each other to confer, shrug and nod, before formally accepting by kicking their opponents in the gut simultaneously.
B Block final: BRAVE-RE (Kotoge/Taiji/Yu) v T.O.P (ASUKA/MAO/Ueno)
Both teams look confident going into this match, despite having already wrestled tough matches today. Ueno seems to be developing a bruise under his right eye from Hiromu’s attentions but he’s still ready to start things off for T.O.P against BRAVE-RE’s earlier victor, Taiji. Things get going early with lots of movement but very little contact between Ueno and Taiji, until Taiji manages to slide between Ueno’s legs and bring him down onto the mat. Ueno scrambles out of the way of a follow-up baseball slide, managing to grab Taiji’s ankle and twist. He doesn’t keep hold for long but it’s enough to leave Taiji a little less light on his feet. A hurricanrana from Taiji puts Ueno in the corner and in the way of a trio of corner dropkicks from the BRAVE-RE team. Ueno is coming off a recent loss in the last show to Kotoge and the opportunity to show up his opponent seems to motivate him out of the corner and firing forearms at every member of the BRAVE-RE trio, knocking all down. Kotoge and Yu roll out of the ring, their role fulfilled, leaving Taiji to Ueno. Ueno gets Taiji in a chinlock, putting significant pressure on his lower back. Taiji stretches to the ropes but is still clutching his back when he gets first slammed by Ueno and then hit with an elbow drop. He tags out to Kotoge at the next opportunity.
Ueno seems less keen to face the man he recently lost to, leaving that up to MAO instead, who is more than happy to oblige. MAO dodges under Kotoge’s arms, building up speed until he can knock Kotoge off his feet and deliver a standing moonsault. He makes a quick pin but Yu and Taiji are there to break it up, getting a few strikes in on MAO’s back in the process. Kotoge makes good on his teammates’ aggression with a standing DDT on MAO and a pin attempt. A PK attempt from Kotoge fails entirely though, with MAO tripping him for a roll up and a 2.5 count. Kotoge tries to return the favour and they get into an exchange of quick pin attempts until both are worn down and Kotoge is close enough to tag in Iizuka.
Yu dives into the action, hitting MAO with some rapid elbows. MAO refuses to back down, hitting a combo of kicks and slaps and running for the ropes but he finds himself bouncing back into a dropkick from Iizuka and scrambling away from a pin into the safety of his corner and a tag from ASUKA.
ASUKA circles Yu warily, the two locking up and struggling for control. Yu forces ASUKA back to the ropes but a heavy slap from ASUKA has him stumbling back. She follows up with a boot to the face and a scissor kick to drop Yu to the floor. A one count with her boot on his back is more for show than anything but it seems to get Iizuka worked up. Back on his feet, the two exchange slaps. ASUKA knees Iizuka in the gut, winding him and getting in a couple of elbows to the back of his neck for good measure. She looks to hit him with another boot but Yu dodges, swiping out ASUKA’s leg. She kneels up, just in time for Iizuka to land a heavy kick to the side of her head. ASUKA falls forward and the ref runs in, quickly calling it as a TKO. Iizuka and BRAVE-RE win.
Iizuka def. ASUKA (TKO) (9:53)
Kotoge and Taiji rush to congratulate the stunned Iizuka, lifting both his hands above his head between them, Kotoge ruffling his hair.
ASUKA’s T.O.P teammates crowd around, offering help to exit the ring. ASUKA recovers quickly but as they all make their way up the ramp, ASUKA realises that her belt is still ringside and sends MAO to fetch it. MAO picks up the belt, slinging it over one shoulder. It has an instant effect on him and he stops, looking at the shiny new belt on his shoulder. He strokes it lovingly.
“MAO-kunnnnnn. My belt!!”
“I want it!”
“But I want it!!!”
“Fight me for it then”
MAO heads back up to the ramp, helping Ueno support ASUKA to the back, though ASUKA makes sure to grab her belt off his shoulder.
Kojima and Kojima make their way to the ring to congratulate the BRAVE-RE trio, where Yu still looks shocked by his victory. They invite The winners of A block to also join them in the ring- Meiko, Miya and Nakajima – having the two teams face off for the cameras. Miyu looks stony-faced standing opposite Kotoge but the BRAVE-RE team look a little anxious about facing their teammate in the final. Still, there don’t appear to be any hard feelings and the teams shake hands.
Toi Kojima makes the formal announcement of the matches set for Heartbreak Mosh:
MAO v ASUKA for the lightspeed title.
Black Snow v Jackets for the Twin Engines championships in a no DQ match
Miyu, Meiko and Nakajima v BRAVE-RE for the Triple Torque championships
Ueno v Hiromu for the Openweight title.
Satoshi Kojima is the last to wave the crowd off but there is a disruption from the back, with Ryota storming through the curtain into the ring, narrowly followed by Yuki trying to pull him back. Ryota pulls away and climbs into the ring. He gets onto his knees in front of the two most senior members of Full Throttle, looking at the mat as he makes his request.
“Please allow me to face Yuki Tanizaki in a singles match! I can’t leave to represent Full Throttle until I can beat him!”
Yuki, standing on the ramp, starts forward but thinks better of it, watching this play out. Toi and Kojima confer briefly, whilst Ryota continues to stare fixedly at the mat.
“Your request is accepted. At Heartbreak Mosh, Ryota Hashimoto will face Yuki Tanizaki in their final match as Full Throttle sparks.”