IMPACT/NJPW Multiverse United 2
-IMPACT Wrestling/New Japan Pro Wrestling presents
Multiverse United 2: For Whom the Bell Tolls
August 20, 2023
2300 Arena – Philadelphia, Pennsalyviana (The former ECW Arena)
Commentary Team: Tom Hannifan, Mathew Rehwoldt & Veda Scott
***MULTIVERSE UNITED 2 COUNTDOWN SHOW | 4:30 PM ET***
– Six-Man Tag Team Match – Joe Hendry, Yuya Uemura, and Heath defeated Rocky Romero, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Master Wato when Uemura hit Taguchi with a crossbody from the top.
– IMPACT Digital Media Championship – Kenny King hit Yoshinobu Kanemaru with the Royal Flush to retain the title.
***MULTIVERSE UNITED 2 MAIN CARD***
Jr. Heavyweight/X-Division Scramble – Chris Sabin vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Rich Swann vs. El Desperado vs. MAO vs. BUSHI vs. Kevin Knight vs. YOH:
Eight-man lock up (looked like a huddle) opens things in a nice little tribute to classic ECW Three Way Dance Matches. YOH and Swann are the first two wrestlers to pair off. Kevin Knight comes in and hits YOH with an impressive standing frog splash—Sabin levels Knight with a missile dropkick. BUSHI and Kazarian pair off until El Desperado hits a cutter. Fast and furious action to kick things off as each wrestler gets a turn hitting one of their big moves.
Now, there is an eight-way submission which turned into the other seven wrestlers putting the boots to BUSHI for grabbing the ropes for added leverage which hurt everyone. Swann received multiple clotheslines in the corner and ended up on the receiving end of a superplex powerbomb combo. Knight gets a lot of hang time with a frog splash off the top for a near fall. Kazarian hits a slingshot cutter on Knight but walked into a spinebuster from El Desperado. After catching Knight coming off the top, Sabin hits YOH with cradle shock to score the pin.
After the match, BUSHI shakes Sabin’s hand and spits green mist in his face. Kazarian makes the save and helps Sabin to the locker room.
Winner: Chris Sabin
TMDK (Zack Sabre Jr. & Shane Haste) vs. Moose & Eddie Edwards:
It’s kind of crazy to see Moose and Edwards teaming up, considering their history. Sabre and Edwards begin things with a quick feeling-out series. Haste got some height with a standing dropkick on Edwards to the back of the head. TMDK made quick tags as they kept Edwards in their corner and worked over his left elbow. Edwards came back with an overhead belly-to-belly on Haste and tagged Moose. Moose hit Haste with the drop kick, and Edwards followed up with a backpack driver. Veda Scott commented that Haste and Sabre are two members of TMDK who don’t team up too often.
Now Haste is trapped in the wrong part of town as Moose and Edwards take turns delivering hard chops. Moose follows up with a stiff-looking body slam. Edwards got caught talking trash with a hurricanrana from Hate, which allowed him to tag Sabre. Moose runs in and gets sent out of the ring and kicked in the face by Sabre for his troubles. Sabre cleaned house for a moment until Edwards returned with a clothesline and vertical suplex. Edwards and Sabre trade kicks and chops until Edwards hit a desperation blue thunder bomb. With each blocking their power move attempts, Moose and Haste go at it, but Haste hits Moose with a jumping cannonball in the corner.
Moose returned from a uranage but walked right into a tornado DDT from Sabre. Sabre and Edwards are down outside the ring while Moose and Haste trade forearms in the center of the ring. Haste connects with a head kick, and Sabre applies a jumping Triangle Choke. Edwards broke it up and hit Sabre with a Boston knee party. Moose missed a spear in the corner and Haste with a roll-up and a near fall. Moose slipped out of a DVD attempt, pushed Haste into a knee from Edwards, and hit the spear for the win.
Winner: Moose & Eddie Edwards
So far, it has been a clean sweep for Impact Wrestling.
NJPW STRONG Women’s Championship – Giulia (c) vs. Gisele Shaw vs. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Momo Kohgo:
We got our first video package of the evening with a lot of emphasis on Purrazzo. There is a lot of hype around Giulia, as it is her first match in the United States. Giulia got pyro for her entrance and the biggest reaction from the crowd, with Purrazzo as a close second. Veda Scott is doing a great job providing background information.
Purrazzo and Giulia snatch up some headlocks until the two square off, with Giulia winning the first exchange. Each wrestler tried to surprise the other with a roll-up. “WOMEN’S WRESTLING” chant from the crowd. Shaw yelled, “I’AM WOMEN’S WRESTLING,” and got thrown out of the ring for her trouble. Purrazzo clotheslines Giulia and Momo, and Shaw returns to the ring and takes it to Giulia and Momo. Shaw staked them in the corner, stomped them out, and went for multiple pin attempts.
The action goes outside, and Momo hits a crossbody off the top onto Giulia and Purrazzo. Shaw followed up with a tope sucida to knock all three women down. Shaw and Giulia battle in the ring as Shaw delivers a twisting vertical suplex for a near fall. Shaw got caught on top, and Giulia hit a super butterfly suplex. Momo followed up with a missile dropkick on Giulia. Shaw hit a Spanish fly on Purrazzo off the top rope, and Momo and Giulia broke up the pin. Shaw took a tornado DDT from Momo, but Momo received a Saito suplex from Giulia.
Purrazzo rushed into the ring and delivered the Queen’s Gambit on Giulia, and Giulia kicked out. Purrazzo applied an armbar while Shaw locked one on Momo. Purrazzo and Shaw kicked each other while they has Giulia and Momo trapped in their respective armbars. In became a fight with the finish seeing a Shaw spinebuster on Momo, which allowed Giulia to deliver a Northern Lights Bomb on Shaw and the victory.
Winner: Giulia retains the NJPW STRONG Women’s Championship
DOUKI vs. Sami Callihan
Callihan asked to make the match a South Philadelphia Street Fight. DOUKI happily accepted the stipulation.
***Lost internet connection for a bit and returned 10 minutes in***
DOUKI missed a DOUKI bomb off the top and crashed into a ladder in a vicious-looking bump. Sami followed up with a cactus driver for a super close near fall. Sami sets up four chairs and attempts a cactus driver. DOUKI fights out of it until Sami hits the cactus driver 97 onto the chairs for the win. DOUKI showed a lot of heart in defeat and got a standing ovation as he was helped to the back.
Winner: Sami Callihan
(United Empire) TJP and Francesco Akira vs. (TMDK) Robbie Eagles and Kosei Fujita:
The only NJPW vs. NJPW match on the show.
Fujita is impressive early on and leveled Akira with a beautiful dropkick. TJP slowed down Fujita for a bit until Fujita tagged Eagles, who took out both UE members. Suplex/single leg drop kick combo on Akira, who fought to the ropes from a Fujita single leg crab. TJP ran in and assisted Akira with a hurricanrana on Fujita. Akira hit a dive off the top to the floor on Eagles and Fujita. Lots of tandem offense from Akira and Akira on Fujita. The beating continues until Fujita chop blocks TJP and tagged Eagles.
Eagles showed tremendous fluidity as he sent TJP out of the ring with a drop kick. Eagles hit a springboard dropkick to Akira’s left knee and followed up with a leg lock. TJP broke up the submission, and Fujita send TJP to the floor. Eagles looked to work over Akira’s injured knee but got a poisionrana for his trouble. Akira and TJP hit Fujita with the alley hoop, and TJP followed up with a Mamba splash for a near fall. TMDK gain control with an Eagles enziguri on TJP, which sent him into a belly-to-belly from Fujita for another near fall.
An erroneous superkick from Eagles to Fujita allowed TJP and Akira to drill Fujita with the Catch-22 (Knee Knee) for the 1-2-3.
Winners: TJP & Francesco Akira
Bullet Club vs. The World: KENTA, Clark Connors, David Finlay, Alex Coughlin, Ace Austin, and Chris Bey vs. ELP, The DKC, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Josh Alexander, and PCO:
12-man tag and the referee are having trouble getting the match started as all twelve men won’t leave the ring. David Finlay and Tama Tonga start things off. They trade punches right away, with Tama getting the upper hand. Tama goes outside to get Finlay but is met by a Bullet Club ambush. The World runs interference as both teams brawl outside.
PCO and Coughlin trade some stiff chops, with PCO winning the exchange. Coughlin leveled PCO in the back of the head with a clothesline and followed up with a delayed gut wrench suplex. Both men go to the floor, and all twelve men brawl again. The smoke clears, and DKC is trapped in the Bullet Club corner.
JOSH ALEXANDER TAGS IN
Alexander’s in-ring action in several months sees the “Walking Weapon” clean house with suplexes galore. Bullet Club finally subdues Alexander. Ace Austin rakes Alexander’s fingers with the playing card, and Bey and Conners hit a combo standing moonsault and leg drop. KENTA sees his first legal action of the match as he went for rapid pin attempts and got more and more frustrated with each one. Alexander is isolated in the BC corner until he fights a double suplex attempt and suplexes Bey and Austin at the same time. ELP tags in, Finlay goes right after him but gets caught up at every turn until Bey and Austin make the save.
Tanga Loa used his power advantage with ragdoll BC members until Finlay is trapped in the ring alone with The World. Everyone took turns hitting Finlay until DCK hit a big frog splash that was broken up by BC. Ace Austin took out the field with a tope sucida over the top. PCO returned the favor with one of his own and followed up with a PCOSault to the floor.
Finlay got his knees up to block a DKC frog splash back in the ring and delivered a powerbomb for the win. BC continued their assault, cleared the ring, and celebrated to establish their supremacy. Finlay is becoming a more compelling BC leader, and Coughlin is an absolute star in the making.
Winners: Bullet Club
“Speedball” Mike Bailey & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Lio Rush & Trey Miguel:
Interesting entrance order. Trey Miguel made his entrance first, followed by Mike Bailey, then Lio Rush, and finally Hiromu Takahashi. Lio and Takahashi and the X-Division and Jr. Heavyweight champions, respectively, but I thought I read the match wrong, and it was a four-way instead of a tag team match. There is a lot of talk on commentary about a potential future Bailey/Takahashi IWGP title match.
Takahashi and Miguel started the match. Takahashi wins the exchange with a dropkick that sent Miguel into the corner. Rush and Bailey tag in with loud “Speedball” chants from the audience. Rush out quicks Bailey several times until he gets rocked with a head kick. Bailey tags Takahashi, and they hit stereo dropkicks on Rush.
Rush came back with a scissors kick, and Miguel tagged in and hammered away on Takahashi. Miguel and Rush show great teamwork as they work over Takahashi and knock Bailey off the apron. Miguel missed a splash in the corner and received a dragon screw leg whip. Bailey tagged in, LEVELED Miguel with a kick, and hit a running shooting star. Rush tripped up Bailey to gain control.
Rush out moves Bailey again and hits a fisherman driver that lands high on the neck for a two count. Bailey hit a nice moonsault to the floor on Miguel, and Rush followed up with a running torpedo dive on Bailey. A nice back-and-forth exchange between Rush and Bailey ended with Bailey cracking Rush with a kick.
Takahashi and Miguel tagged in, and Takahashi delivered a powerbomb for Rush to break up the pin. Rush and Miguel with some tandem maneuvers on Takahashi, which gets them a nearfall. Bailey knocked Rush out of the ring. Bailey and Takahashi hit a combo ultimate weapon/time bomb on Miguel, but Rush barely broke up the pin.
Miguel hit a running tope into a tornado DDT to the floor on Bailey, and Takahashi got drilled with Rush Hour in a nearfall that fooled me and many in the crowd. Action is all over the place as Takahashi gets his knees up off a Rush frog splash. Rush counters a timebomb with a sunset pin attempt, can’t get him over, and hits Takahashi low to score the pin.
X-Division Champion pinned the Jr. Heavyweight Champion.
Winners: Lio Rush & Trey Miguel
Post Match – Lio Rush taunted the crowd on the microphone and told Takahashi things have changed since the last time they fought. Rush said he wants more gold and challenged Takahashi to an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title match. Takahashi accepted the match, but Bailey is not happy as he’s owed a title match after winning last night’s All-Star Junior Festival tournament.
– IMPACT World Championship – Alex Shelley (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
New Japan rules (20 count)
Arm wringers and headlock takeover exchanges open things up. Dueling chants from the crowd. Lots of respect between the two. Shelley found an opening and hit a flying knee off the second rope to Tanahashi’s arm. Shelley targeting the arm early in the match. Tanahashi slides out of the ring and rams Shelley’s knee in the ring post and the apron. Both wrestlers have a game plan of hurting a specific body part.
Shelley hung Tanahashi out to dry on the top with a stunner and goes up and over the top rope to stomp on Tanahashi’s arm on the apron. Shelley keeps resetting the count as he punishes Tanahashi’s arm. Shelley keeps shaking out his left leg as he maintains control. Tanahashi found an opening and kicked out Shelley’s right leg before dropkicking the left leg.
Shelley having trouble keeping his balance as he PK kicked Tanahashi’s arm. Shelley hit sliced bread and immediately transitioned into the border city stretch. Tanahashi quickly worked toward the ropes for the break. Shelley and Tanahashi trade shots to their injured body parts, with Tanahashi getting the better of the exchange with a dragon screw leg whip between the ropes.
Tanahashi applied the cloverleaf but can’t hold it due to his injured arm. Tanahashi attempts another dragon screw, but Shelley levels Tana with a well-placed enziguri. Both men battle up from their knees as they trade forearm shots. Tanahashi dropped Shelley with an uppercut. Tanahashi picked up Shelley, but Shelley attacked the arm. Shelley put Tanahashi on his shoulders but couldn’t hold him due to his knee.
Tanahashi delivered two twist and shouts, a sling blade but missed the high fly flow. Shelley went for a shell shock, but Tanahashi countered with a German suplex for a near fall. Tanahashi goes for another high fly flow, but Shelley met him up top to cut him off. Shelley headbutts Tanahashi repeatedly and delivers an air raid crash off the top for another near fall. Shelley has difficulty getting Tanahashi to his feet but gets him up and hits shell shock for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Alex Shelley retains the Impact World Championship
NJPW officials present Shelley with the Impact Title. Tanahashi is helped to the back as Shelley celebrates closing out Multiverse United 2.