New Japan Pro-Wrestling headed to San Jose, California for their biggest show in the United States for some time with Battle in the Valley on Saturday, February 18.
The show was main evented by the first title match between historic rivals Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi in five years as Tanahashi looked to become IWGP World Heavyweight Champion for the first time. Unfortunately for the 46-year-old, it was Okada who came out on top, surviving a late roll-up from Tanahashi before he connected with a Cobra Flowsion and the Rainmaker for the victory.
Okada and Tanahashi seemingly aren't finished with each other, though, as Okada offered to form a tag team with The Ace and go after the IWGP Tag Team Championships that are currently held by Okada's Chaos faction-mates YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto. Mercedes Moné also offered Okada the chance to team with her at a future show, an offer Okada seemed open to.
Speaking of Moné, she became the second-ever IWGP Women's Champion after defeating fellow former WWE talent KAIRI in the semi-main event of Battle in the Valley. Moné hit a Bayley-To-Belly and was put through a table in her NJPW in-ring debut before she picked up the win with her Moné Maker finisher. Moné and KAIRI then hugged after the match as Bayley watched on from the crowd.
While one New Japan career begins, one came to an end as Jay White lost his Loser Leaves NJPW Match to Eddie Kingston following four Urakens and two Northern Lights suplexes. White was set to cut a post-match promo but he was suddenly attacked from behind by David Finlay, who cut a long promo about being a foreigner everywhere he wrestles.
At the end of Battle in the Valley, White was still the leader of Bullet Club but that will have to change in the coming days. There is said to be interest in White from WWE and AEW but it is unknown where he will sign.
Another new champion was also crowned at Battle in the Valley as KENTA defeated Fred Rosser to capture the STRONG Openweight Title. KENTA picked up the win with the Go To Sleep as CM Punk watched on from the stands after Juice Robinson returned to NJPW and decked Fred Rosser with a fistful of coins.
Several other matches also took place at Battle in the Valley but the show ended up running late after horrific technical difficulties delayed the start of the pay-per-view by 45 minutes.
Check out the full results from NJPW Battle in the Valley below:
Alex Coughlin def. JR Kratos - Pre-Show
David Finlay def. Bobby Fish - Pre-Show
Kevin Knight, KUSHIDA, The DKC, & Volador Jr. def. Adrian Quest, Rocky Romero, Josh Alexander, & Mascara Dorada
KENTA def. Fred Rosser (c) - STRONG Openweight Championship
Motor City Machine Guns (c) def. West Coast Wrecking Crew - STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championships
Eddie Kingston def. Jay White - Loser Leaves NJPW Match
Tom Lawlor def. Homicide - Filthy Rules Fight
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Clark Connors - NJPW World TV Championship
Mercedes Moné def. KAIRI (c) - IWGP Women's Championship
Kazuchika Okada (c) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
What are your thoughts about #NJPW Battle In The Valley? #NJBITV— JJA Sport Studio (@jjasportstudio) February 19, 2023