The Forbidden Door culture is a beautiful thing. Impact and NJPW are joining forces to put on a nifty card at Multiverse United: Only the STRONG Survive on Thursday, March 30 from Los Angeles, California. Injuries to Josh Alexander, Mickie James, and Will Ospreay diminished the importance at the top of the card, but worthy replacements were found for what should be a good show inside the ring.
Allow Hiroshi Tanahashi to sell you. Are you willing to pass up an air guitar performance from NJPW’s Master of the Century?
The legendary 8-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion @tanahashi1_100 will face @SpeedballBailey in a first time ever dream match THIS THURSDAY as IMPACT and @njpwglobal present #MultiverseUnited exclusively on @FiteTV!— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 27, 2023
Order HERE: https://t.co/5rOgLivxsM pic.twitter.com/jywmC8OhsZ
Multiverse United: Only the STRONG Survive streams through Fite TV starting at 11 pm ET. The pre-show kicks off at 10:45 pm ET.
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Yuya Uemura defeated Gabriel Kidd. Kidd was the aggressor with headlocks and body slams. Uemura made progress by working the arm. Kidd fired off a few suplexes then executed a hanging choke on the turnbuckles. Uemura collapsed to the mat. Kidd taunted arrogantly. Uemura rallied with an arm drag, overhead suplex, and flying crossbody to win.
X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel retained in six-way scramble. The challengers were Rich Swann, Frankie Kazarian, Rocky Romero, Kevin Knight, and Clark Connors. Trey got on everybody’s nerves, so they often teamed together to beat him up. Stick and move action for a frantic pace. Connors took over down the stretch with creative spears on his opponents. Connors was perched on the turnbuckles. When Knight leaped high for a move, Connors exploded for a flying spear mid-air. Trey tossed Connors from the ring and pinned Knight to steal the win.
PCO, Callihan, Fred Rosser, & Alex Coughlin defeated Eddie Edwards, Joe Hendry, Tom Lawlor, & JR Kratos. 8-man tag action in effect. The big spot to pop the crowd was PCO with a moonsault to the outside onto bodies below. The match broke down into signature moves all around. PCO and Kratos were left standing for a battle of behemoths. PCO gained the edge on a Scorpion Death Drop. The French-Canadian Frankenstein finished with a moonsault.
Jeff Cobb defeated Moose. Hoss fight! Lots of stalemate power collisions. In the end, Cobb countered a ripcord strike into a Tour of the Islands swinging slam to win.
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Masha Slamovich, Gisele Shaw, and Miyu Yamashita. Four-way fight. The winner advances to the Knockouts Championship match against Jordynne Grace and Mickie James, if healthy, at Rebellion on April 16. James was on commentary to scout the match. Top highlights were a corkscrew crossbody from Shaw to the outside and Slamovich jumping off the turnbuckles for a Canadian Destroyer. For the closing sequence, Slamovich picked up Purrazzo for a running Air Raid Crash into the corner. Yamashita clobbered Slamovich with a spinning head kick. Shaw connected on a running kick to Yamashita. Purrazzo and Shaw did the counter dance, then the Virtuosa exploded for a powerbomb. Purrazzo finished with a Gotch piledriver to pin Shaw.
Impact World Tag Team Championship: Bullet Club retained the titles. Ace Austin & Chris Bey represented Bullet Club, Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher represented Aussie Open, Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito represented TMDK, and Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin represented Motor City Machine Guns. Only two legal man at a time in the fatal four-way. Bey was victim to heavy teamwork maneuvers, but Ace was able to make saves on pinfalls. Bullet Club opened the window of opportunity with double roundhouse kicks to Haste. They found their groove to pin Tito on the Art of Finesse and the Fold combo.
Kushida defeated Lio Rush. Kushida wore different gear. No Marty McFly wardrobe. Kushida started by flopping on the mat wanting Rush to engage in his guard position. Rush wasn’t biting. The Bad Child used his speed to frustrate Kushida, then Rush flopped on the mat to mock the guard position. Kushida appeared to respect Rush’s elusiveness, so he offered a hand to help Rush to his feet. Once Rush was up, Kushida didn’t let go and pulled a cheap trick by transitioning to the Hoverboard Lock. Rush reached the ropes for the break. Commentary noticed Kushida’s attitude veering on the heel side for this match. Kushida worked the left arm, while Rush relied on quickness for offensive blitzes. Rush had momentum on a reverse rana and low cutter. Kushida grabbed the ropes to break the pin. Rush climbed the corner and took flight. Kushida caught him to counter for the Hoverboard Lock. Rush tapped out. Respect was shown by both men after the bout.
NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Kenta retained against Minoru Suzuki. Kenta played mind games rubbing Suzuki’s head and leaning through the ropes to stall. Suzuki responded by kicking Kenta in the butt and applying a submission in the ropes. The match progressed with both men throwing blows in the center of the ring. Suzuki uncorked a furious elbow shot causing Kenta to crumble to the mat. The next round was back and forth on big boots. Kenta had the edge in that exchange. That led to Kenta landing a flying double foot stomp. Suzuki kicked out on the cover. Suzuki escaped a GTH to counter for a sleeper. Kenta elbowed his way free, but Suzuki snatched his neck again for another sleeper. Kenta grabbed the referee as Suzuki transitioned for his piledriver finisher. The referee fell down, and Kenta scored a low blow. Kenta rolled up Suzuki with his feet on the ropes for illegal leverage to win.
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated “Speedball” Mike Bailey. The Ace focused on damaging Bailey’s knee with low dropkicks and dragon screws. Tanahashi added insult to injury by playing Bailey’s leg like an air guitar. On the apron, Bailey dodged a sliding dropkick to leap up for a springboard moonsault to the outside. Both men milked the drama to beat the 20-count at 19. Bailey showed savvy by blocking a dragon screw for a roll-up. Tanahashi kicked out, so Bailey added a standing moonsault double knee drop. Tanahashi kicked out again. On Bailey’s tornado kick, Tanahashi countered for a sling blade. Tanahashi pounded Bailey in the corner. Speedball showed heart to rise up for a super rana. Bailey continued with high kicks and connected on his signature tornado kick. Bailed aimed to finish with the Ultima Weapon, but he missed the mark. Tanahashi pounced for swinging neckbreakers, a sling blade, and the High Fly Flow frog splash to win. Respect from both men to close the show.