The Clash has concluded. Winners have taken their share of the pot, while the losers stew with their mistakes. Now, it’s the first show after the Clash of Aces. A new hand will be drawn tonight. Who will make a bet? Who will bluff? Who will call that bluff? And who will fold?
JANUARY 5th, 2023: ACES HIGH IN TOKYO
- Powerslam Anubis & Claire Merci def. Jin Watabe & Zenjiro Ikari @ 9:08 by pinfall with the Scales of Dominion (fireman’s carry powerslam) from Anubis on Watabe
- Infinite Paternity Gauntlet!: Lord Kurosame-sama def. Garry “Ray-Ray” Bolamba @ 5:21 by pinfall with the Shark Cage (Gedo clutch)
- Pom Shinjoku & “Ace of Hearts” Kazuya Fukumaru def. The Aces of Bang! (“Ace of Clubs” Haruki Kazano & “Diamond” Daisuke Hashiwara) 12:19 by pinfall with the Great Wave off Kanagawa (rolling front Russian legsweep) from Shinjoku on Hashiwara
- The Kazuyagumi (Junpei Tsukioka, Saburou Tanaka & Cowabunga Kenji) def. Ignacio el Jaguar, Sam Smart & Wally Wallace @ 15:45 with the Roppongi Goodnight (fallaway sleeper neckbreaker) by Tsukioka on Smart
- Coral Avalon def. Victor “the Constrictor” Jimenez @ 17:01 by submission with the Excalibur (sitout double underhook piledriver) followed by Vortigern’s Pillory (omaplata armbar)
- Special Attraction Match, Non-Title: Anna Daniels & The Beasts of Tokyo (Seiko Serizawa & HAMAYUMI) def. The Jacks of All Trades (“Jumpin’” Jack Sweetwater, “Picture Perfect” Jack Pizazz & “Jammin’” Jack Graves) @ 19:08 with the Tiger’s Bite (Northern lights bomb) from Serizawa on Pizazz
- The Ironhearts (“Big Iron” Gorou Ichikawa, Kensuke BLACK, “Hawkeye” Taka Sakaragi & “The Iron Idol” Riko Tsukino) and “The Godslayer” Akira Hanazawa, Amy Campbell, Jared Sykes & Justine Calvin go to a no-contest @ 22:09 due to a double countout
THE TITLE PICTURE
After the double countout that ensued in the main event, the remaining participants still at ringside – Ichikawa, Tsukino, Sykes, and Calvin – were attacked by a tandem consisting of Claire Merci, Powerslam Anubis, and Ignacio el Jaguar. Isolating Ichikawa in particular, the trio decimated the ringside area, culminating in Anubis drilling Ichikawa in the center of the ring with his Scales of Dominion. Merci sat upon Ichikawa’s chest afterwards and uttered the old creed of the Crownless Kingdom. There is now a new Crownless Kingdom – herself, Ignacio, and Anubis.
Ichikawa’s last singles loss in Bang! Pro Wrestling came at the hands of the Hardweight champion, Claire Merci, who defeated him to clinch the C Block of last year’s TC-X. However, Merci was remarkably tight-lipped about her motivations and only said the Kingdom’s catchphrase when using Ichikawa as her platform.
The Ironhearts have already vowed revenge, because of course they have.
One night after defeating the Winds of Change through hilarious amounts of cheating, the Jacks ran into the freight train made of buzzsaws that was guest star Anna Daniels forming a one-night partnership with the Bang! With Your Partner champions, the Beasts of Tokyo. Daniels looked dominant in the match during the times when she took over, and the Beasts looked as vicious as ever. Despite their antics, the Jacks couldn’t overcome the viciousness of their opponents and fell to the Beasts’ combination attacks. Perhaps it’s fortunate for the Jacks that Daniels has bigger fish to fry elsewhere, or that the Beasts of Tokyo are loath to keep a third member of their group for longer than one match.
The second name announced for the Conception Tournament is none other than Lord Kurosame-sama! The eldritch shark has long been a spoiler for wrestlers aspiring to make it far in tournaments, as Kazuya Fukumaru can attest to. This year, the Lord King Black Shark intends to take a bite out of Conception!
The big eight-person tag team match between the Ironhearts and the cobbled together team of Hanazawa, Sykes, Calvin, and surprise tag team partner Amy Campbell turned into a giant donnybrook by the end of things. Ichikawa had huge face-offs with Hanazawa, Sykes, and Campbell, but nothing was decided between any of them. On the Ironhearts side, tensions have been rising between the Iron Idol and the Hawkeye for some time, and they surfaced here in this match as both of them refused to tag each other in or cooperate. Likewise, Akira Hanazawa wanted almost nothing to do with any of his tag team partners and only ever tagged out when he caught blind tags. Except for one time when he tagged Jared Sykes in by slapping him in the back and yeeting him across the ring in the process.
Campbell, a former SCCW World Champion, looked great in the contest and the moments when she challenged Ichikawa were among the most compelling moments of the match. Sykes was still relatively limited coming off his injuries at Colossus, but he also matched up well against both Ichikawa and Tsukino. At one point, Campbell and Sykes went on a tear together as though they’d been longtime tag team partners, culminating in Campbell nearly getting the pin on Sakaragi with the Bitch Killer before he was bailed out by the other Ironhearts.
But naturally, the fireworks still remained between the worn-down main eventers of the Clash of Aces. At one point, Hanazawa bulldozed several of the Ironhearts AND his own tag team partners just to get to Ichikawa to resume their fight from the previous night.
In the end, Hanazawa, BLACK, Campbell, and Sakaragi ended up brawling out of the ring and got their sides double counted out… allowing the return of the Crownless Kingdom to unfold.
This night also featured the return of the one-eyed Katana of Kanagawa, Pom Shinjoku, to a wrestling ring. Shinjoku, who lost an eye in a deathmatch years ago, shook off the rust in a simple, but hard-hitting tag contest teaming with the like-minded Kazuyagumi kingpin Kazuya Fukumaru to defeat Haruki Kazano and “Diamond” Daisuke Hashiwara. Shinjoku looked like she hadn’t missed a step in the contest, though her obvious blindspot made it easier for the veteran Aces to pick their shots against her.
Worth noting, it appeared that Hashiwara was limping after the match. Ringside doctors had to escort him out of the ringside area. Combined with his injuries from the previous night’s “Heavy Metal” match, it would seem that Hashiwara might miss the rest of the tour.
Perhaps the single most unusual event of the night happened early in the show, when Bang! showrunner Inoue Doi explained to the crowd that she’d learned that Garry “Ray-Ray” Bolamba (nee Nelson), slap fighting champion of Nelson County, Kentucky, had won the right to be Timo Bolamba’s son in a wrestling match at the Belmont Classic.
She decided that he must defend this right in what she called the “Infinite Paternity Gauntlet!” In a short sprint, Lord Kurosame-sama upset “Ray-Ray” in the contest by catching him in his Shark Cage pinning combination. We’re not sure how to break the news to PRIME’s senior referee, Timo Bolamba, that he now has an eldritch shark for a son. The once-again Nelson was said to be beside himself in grief, because now he doesn’t have daddy’s money to travel back to America.
The Kazuyagumi picked up an easy win on the Gates of Avalon students, Ignacio el Jaguar, Sam Smart, and Wally Wallace. It was made even easier when Ignacio made the curious-for-the-time decision to walk out on his partners. Even if Ignacio had been there, the veteran roughnecks would’ve been tough for Smart and Wallace to handle on their own. Naturally, we found out very quick where Ignacio’s allegiances truly lay.