clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kingston wins, Nightingale loses New Japan gold at Independence Day

Night two of NJPW Strong Independence Day is in the books, and after July 5’s action at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall AEW still has one New Japan champion on its roster.

Willow Nightingale came into today’s show as the NJPW Strong Women’s champ, having made two successful defenses since she unexpectedly won at Resurgence in May. She was facing a formidable opponent in Stardom favorite Giulia. Nightingale controlled much of the action during her latest excellent showing...

... but the former World of Stardom champ took all of Willow’s big shots and kept fighting. After several nearfalls, Giulia eventually scored the pin with a Northern Lights Bomb to become the second-ever NJPW Strong Women’s champion.

Two matches later, Eddie Kingston challenged KENTA for the NJPW Strong Openweight title. This one featured some good psychology around Kingston’s hand after he chopped the ring post with it when KENTA avoided a strike, and some Bullet Club antics like ref bumps that brought foreign objects into play. Eddie refused to take advantage despite getting knocked in the head with a title belt at one point.

Kingston managed to evade the GTS all match, and eventually hit the same move Giulia did to win his first title in New Japan. It clearly meant a lot, as Eddie was visibly emotional celebrating with Rocky Romero post-match, and there were still tears in his eyes when he spoke to the media after the match.

Another big AEW star main event-ed Independence Day night two, and it was the same sick **** who main event-ed night one. Jon Moxley and El Desperado tried to up the ante on their previous hardcore matches with in “Final Death”. Hard to tell if this was more violent than their match yesterday or last year, but it was plenty violent.

The match started with two boards covered in barbed wire draped in the corners of the ring. Those didn’t immediately come into play as the action spilled outside, where a table Desperado set-up refused to break despite each man trying to put their opponent through it a couple times. Eventually Mox and Despy where both thrown into the barbed wire boards, and went through a table with one on top together...

... before heading back into the ring to stab each other with skewers while their hands were wrapped in barbed wire.

It took a curb stomp, a lariat, and Death Rider to keep Despy down. Then Moxley cut an event-closing promo, thanking the crowd, his opponents the past two days (Desperado and Jun Kasai), and paying tribute to his late friend Danny Havoc, who used Kasai’s deathmatch work as inspiration for his own hardcore matches in CZW, GCW & elsewhere.

Elsewhere on the card, both of the tag titles that were on the line stayed with the team defending them. Here are all the results from July 5 at Korakuen:

• Master Wato, Oleg Boltin & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Dragon Libre, Rekka & Takahiro Katori via pinfall (Wato on Rekka)

• Satoshi Kojima def. Oskar Leube via pinfall (Kojima was a late replacement for JR Kratos, who was injured on night one)

• Catch 22 (Francesco Akira & TJP) def. Homicide & Ryohei Oiwa via pinfall (on Oiwa)

• Bullet Club War Dogs (Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney) def. CHAOS (Rocky Romero & YOH) via pinfall to retain the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag titles

• Alex Zayne & Lance Archer def. TMDK (Bad Dude Tito & Kosei Fujita) via pinfall (Archer on Fujita); afterwards Zayn & Archer announced they’ll continue teaming as “Murder Sauce”

• Hiroshi Tanahashi, The DKC & Tomohiro Ishii def. Team Filthy (Jorel Nelson, Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor) via pinfall (Tanahashi on Isaacs)

• Wrestle Kingdom 18 was officially announced for its usual time and place (Jan. 4 in the Tokyo Dome). Seems to only be one-night at this point, and has a pretty cool logo...

• Giulia def. Willow Nightingale via pinfall to become the new NJPW Strong Women’s champion

• Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) def. BULLET CLUB War Dogs (Alex Coughlin & Gabe Kidd) via pinfall to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag titles

• Eddie Kingston def. KENTA via pinfall to become the new NJPW Strong Openweight champ

• Jon Moxley def. El Desperado via pinfall in a Final Death match

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats