The Crownless Kingdom is almost assured victory in the Saikyō Cup. Three out of the four semi-finalists belong to the faction, between the two leaders Claire Merci and Coral Avalon, and the unexpected rise of the Lunch Lawyer, Lord Gavin Yum, Esq. But it’s the fourth of the number that worries the entire Kingdom. The Godslayer, Akira Hanazawa, has always been an existential threat to the Kingdom. Their initial sundering came at his hands just three years ago.
If the Kingdom wants to take the Cup, they have to bring down the monster.
But can they?
APRIL 10th, 2023: SEKAI SAIKYOU CUP, SEMI-FINALS, OSAKA, NIGHT 1
- BULLETPROOF Kitaro & “Hot-Buttered” Leroy Scrumptious def. The Fabulous Hentai Brothers (Michael & Matthew) @ 3:09 after the Moonsault-N-Pepa (high arc springboard moonsault) from Scrumptious followed by the Direct Hit (Vader bomb) from Kitaro to Michael
- Ignacio el Jaguar def. Junpei Tsukioka @ 8:42 by pinfall after the Sacramento Necktie (headlock driver)
- Marmalade def. Cowabunga Kenji @ 14:08 by pinfall after the Twist the Cap (reverse spin Final Cut)
- Bang! With Your Friends Championship: The Kazuyagumi (“Ace of Hearts” Kazuya Fukumaru, Victor “the Constrictor” Jiminez, & “Queen of Maniacs” Fujiko Natori) © def. The Aces of Bang! (“Ace of Clubs” Haruki Kazano, “Ace of Spades” Izou Yoshida, and “Diamond” Daisuke Hashiwara) @ 21:08 by pinfall after the Kanabo (discus elbow) from Fukumaru to Yoshida
- Saikyō Cup, Semi-Finals: “The Godslayer” Akira Hanazawa def. “Lunch Lawyer” Lord Gavin Yum, Esq. @ 25:19 by pinfall after the Ragnarok Driver (Argentine backbreaker rack into piledriver)
- Saikyō Cup, Semi-Finals: Claire Merci def. “The Crownless King” Coral Avalon @ 29:51 by pinfall after the Royal Butterfly Suplex (dragon suplex)
The unlikely big man pairing of BULLETPROOF Kitaro and “Hot-Buttered” Leroy Scrumptious easily took care of business against the Fabulous Hentai Brothers, whose antics did nothing to perturb Scrumptious. After ejecting Matthew from the ring, Scrumptious ruined Michael with the Moonsault-N-Pepa and then tagged into Kitaro for the Direct Hit to put him away. If anyone has the giant novelty spatula, there might still be a chance to get that Hentai out of the ring! Oh, that’s good, Matthew brought one. What a good Hentai not-brother he is!
Ignacio el Jaguar of the Crownless Kingdom was in singles action to take on Junpei Tsukioka, formerly of the Kazuyagumi. While Junpei got some good hits in, the Prince of Roppongi was unable to hit that second gear. So when Ignacio did and torched him with a springboard cutter, Tsukioka had no answer and fell victim to the Sacramento Necktie in short order.
After the match, Tsukioka dismissed reporters who noted that the once hot prospect out of Roppongi hadn’t reached his full potential, but before he could leave, he had a short run-in with Taka Sakaragi. After some words were exchanged, Tsukioka and Sakaragi left together. With Tsukioka kicked out of the Kazuyagumi and floundering, could this be the start of a new alliance?
Speaking of former Kazuyagumi members, the Dangerous Salaryman went one-on-one with the debuting Dr. Marmalade! The man who’s Board Certified in Sexual Healing made an impression, gyrating to the ring to the dulcet tunes of Marvin Gaye’s song of the same name. But there was no healing in store for Cowabunga Kenji, only pain! Much like his former stablemate in the Kazuyagumi, Kenji never really hit his second gear in this one, and was knocked around quite a bit by the showy Doctor (citation needed on his medical license) before he had his Cap Twisted, so to speak, and took the pinfall loss.
While Kenji has never been one to care much about his wins or losses, this loss left him speechless. However, the individual who met with Kenji after his match wasn’t Taka Sakaragi. It was a mysterious birdman, who suddenly abducted Kenji by way of a mysterious bird driver, and took him away! Oh no!
Speaking of the Kazuyagumi themselves, they defended the Bang! With Your Friends trios championships against Kazuya Fukumaru’s fellow “Aces”, the Aces of Bang! team of Haruki Kazano, Izou Yoshida, and “Diamond” Daisuke!
The hard-hitting Ace trio brought their A-game, no pun intended! Haruki and Daisuke continue to forge their paths in Bang! Pro Wrestling, despite age catching up to both of them, and they made the lives of Natori and Jimenez hell every time they shared the ring. Even Yoshida, who’d been struggling in recent months, was able to string together offense.
Unfortunately for the Aces, the Kazuyagumi play for keeps. After isolating Kazano, the trio of the Kazuyagumi began dissecting the Ace of Clubs between the savagery of the Queen of Maniacs and the laser-precise submission expertise of the Constrictor, while the Ace of Hearts kept the other two out of the mix. After an inordinate amount of pummeling, Kazano made the tag to Hashiwara and a comeback ensued. The Aces nearly took the titles when Hashiwara connected with the Diamond Dust on Jimenez, but it was broken up by Fukumaru and Natori. It was Hashiwara’s turn afterwards to take a beating, but after catching Fukumaru with the Diamond Cutter, he made the tag to Yoshida.
The former and previously longest reigning Openweight champion came in with everything he had, and while much had been said about his struggles, he put up a valiant effort against the Kazuyagumi. He even nearly took the match when he landed the Director’s Cut flying leg drop on Fukumaru, but the match was saved by Natori and Jimenez. A donnybrook broke out, and in the confusion, Fukumaru landed a low blow and then the Kanabo on Yoshida to pick up the win and retain the titles!
Yoshida was so distraught after the match, and after his humiliating early exit in the Saikyo Cup, that he proclaimed that he was “going home.” Whatever that means?
As for the Kazuyagumi, their celebration was short-lived because as they were celebrating their win, both Powerslam Anubis and Ignacio el Jaguar came out to accompany Lord Gavin Yum, Esq. to the ring ahead of his semi-final match. Ignacio noted that at least one member of the Crownless Kingdom will be free after tonight’s Kingdom-centric semi-finals. Thus, the Crownless Kingdom the formally challenged the Kazuyagumi for the titles on finals day. Kazuya accepted the challenge, as he’s always despised the Kingdom.
Lord Gavin Yum, Esq. has largely been a huge dark horse in the Sekai Saikyō Cup, as no one expected the seemingly silly and over-the-top “Lunch Lawyer” to be such a threat that he’d make it to the semi-finals of the tournament! But would he, like so many others, fall before the might of the Godslayer?
Hanazawa was still severely damaged through his path in the tournament, first from the beating he’s taken in his disqualification victory over Powerslam Anubis and then from his match with Anna Daniels in the quarter-finals. As such, he lacked some of the explosive power that made him such a threat. Furthermore, Lord Yum was a crafty veteran who happened to employ some devious tactics to throw off Hanazawa’s momentum!
Early on, Lord Yum employed some of those tactics, evading Hanazawa’s attempts to grapple and raking his eyes, pulling his hair, and stomping on his feet. Somewhere in the middle of all of that shenanigannery were some genuine attempts by Yum to catch a submission. Hanazawa still threw Yum around like a ragdoll, given the size disparity between the two, and it looked like everything would be buttoned up early when Hanazawa got Yum up for the Raganarok Driver. Instead, Yum actually grabbed hold of Hanazawa’s hand and snapped his fingers while in the Argentine rack, which forced him to drop Yum!
Yum took full control after sending Hanazawa to the outside and then landing a dive, before sneakily hitting Hanazawa with a steel chair after distracting the referee. Inside the ring, Yum worked over Hanazawa’s left arm in preparation for his dreaded Fujiwara armbar. Indeed, Yum eventually went for the Lord’s Lunchtime, only for Hanazawa to power out of it and land a Death Valley Driver.
The match continued with Yum trying to cheat his way out of Hanazawa’s momentum, and Hanazawa continuing unabated. Eventually, Hanazawa struck down Yum with the God’s Shattering Star lariat to the back of the head, but hurt his arm doing so! When he tried to follow up, Yum countered into the Lord’s Lunchtime armbar and refused to let go even deep into a four count when Hanazawa made it to the ropes! Recognizing that he can’t lift Hanazawa for the Galatine Driver normally, Yum attempts to elevate Hanazawa to the second rope to lock in the maneuver. But Hanazawa drops down and crushes him underneath his weight, and then the Ragnarok Driver afterwards gave Hanazawa his ticket to the finals!
After the match, Hanazawa was jumped by Powerslam Anubis, who went out of his way to smash Hanazawa’s weakened left arm with a steel chair several times! Anubis was stopped by officials before any more damage could be done, but it doesn’t bode well for the battered Godslayer’s chances tomorrow night!
The main event of the evening and the match to determine Hanazawa’s opponent was Coral Avalon against Claire Merci. It was teacher versus student and leader against leader as the Queen of the Crownless Kingdom of the East met the King of the Crownless Kingdom of the West in another grueling battle that nearly ran the distance!
The match started out with little preamble, as Merci immediately fired off kicks and forearms to the already-battered Avalon, only two days removed from the Culture Shock Battle Royale. Avalon fought back with European uppercuts of his own, and the two traded blows for a time before Merci’s potent kicks took their toll on Avalon. Avalon took a different approach after he was literally kicked out of the ring, moving towards his potent mat wrestling game. Here is where Claire struggled, as Avalon was able to use his weight and experience to keep her grounded and avoid taking her strikes.
Claire eventually fought back, even bloodying Avalon’s face with one crescent kick that left him dazed and confused in the ring. The Merciless Queen battered him repeatedly, even landing several suplexes, before she stopped to taunt her opponent.
This was a mistake.
Avalon rocked her with the Rhongomyniad after flipping out of the next suplex, but Merci fell to the outside and Avalon couldn’t follow up with a second Armament. Back inside, Avalon pressed his advantage with various submission holds, which Merci had difficulty countering until she could reach the ropes.
Merci would eventually lock in the Royal Hanging Garden Stretch, but Avalon was able to counter it into a double knee gutbuster out of the tombstone position and prepared to execute Excalibur. However, Claire broke out of it and targeted Avalon’s left arm – which had previously been injured two months ago at the wheels of the Homicycle – with more kicks. This hindered the Crownless King, whose biggest forms of offense were stymied, and allowed Merci to dish out more punishment.
After the match reached the twenty minute mark, with ten minutes left to go before a draw, Merci and Avalon began exchanging their strongest moves. Avalon landed the Rhongomyniad, only for Merci to counter out of the next Armament. Merci would land the Royal Butterfly Suplex, but too close to the ropes. All the while, Avalon’s arm continued to plague him. Eventually, an attempt at the Camelot’s Turntable was aborted due to the arm energy, and Merci turned it into the Royal Hanging Garden Stretch – really wrenching on Avalon’s arm! With seconds to go, though, Merci recognizes that Avalon wouldn’t submit before the time expired, and so she turned the hold into the Royal Butterfly Suplex one more time to pick up the win with only seconds to spare!
With the victory, this puts the Crownless Kingdom’s new leader on a collision course with the man who once destroyed it – the Godslayer, Akira Hanazawa. Merci has never defeated the Godslayer before… can she overcome the odds to vanquish this most hated foe?
We’ll find out tomorrow!