It’s night two of AXS TV’s coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018! The Aerial Assassin, Will Ospreay, defends his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against The Time Splitter, Kushida, to revive their epic rivalry! Plus, Suzuki-Gun and Los Ingobernables de Japon take their feud to a new level with a TEN MAN TAG!
This review of Wrestling Dontaku 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- 10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; LIJ wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Kushida; Ospreay wins and retains the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship.
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NJPW and AXS review what led to tonight’s matches.
Will Ospreay took the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back in a rare Fatal 4 Way at Wrestle Kingdom. The Aerial Assassin has defended and retained the title time and again against his WK opponents Hiromu Takahashi and Marty Scurll in separate 1v1 matches. But now he wants to prove he didn’t win by luck. Ospreay called out Kushida, and Kushida accepted. The overall series is still in Kushida’s favor, but can Ospreay has proven he can win. Can he prove it again?
10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun!
This feud has been growing from the IWGP Junior Tag to the Heavyweight Tag to the very prestigious Intercontinental Championship. Can the entirety of LIJ overcome El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemura, Killer Elite Squad AND Suzuki himself all at once?
We join this war of Tranquilo and aggression as the Ticking Time Bomb crawls towards his corner. Hot tag and Naito is in. Naito runs and hits Kanemaru with the kick, then sweeps to swing in the dropkick. Fans fire up for Naito as he brings Kanemaru back up. Suzuki runs in and prevents Destino, but then Sanada grabs Suzuki for Skull End. But then KES run in and grab Sanada. Sanada fights them off and EVIL clotheslines Davey Boy Smith Jr. out. EVIL also dumps Lance Archer out, and then Bushi returns to intercept Desperado. Sanada and Bushi coordinate to double slingshot out onto KES and Desperado!
Suzuki goes after Naito in a corner with forearms, then whips, but Naito comes back with a flying forearm! Kanemaru runs in but is fed to EVIL’s mule kick. Naito enziguris Kanemura, than EVIL hits a clobbering clothesline. Naito drags Kanemaru up, and hits Destino!
Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: LIJ, Naito pinning
Suzuki-Gun goes down in 5v5 warfare, and Suzuki himself is furious. Suzuki threatens Young Lions with physical violence, especially with a chair. He comes close to using that chair on LIJ.
Young Lions manage to pull Suzuki away, so they suffer his wrath instead. Suzuki leads his team away while Naito’s team celebrates in the ring. But as LIJ makes their own way out, someone from the crowd jumps Naito!
This masked man beats down Naito, and puts him into railings! They make their way back to the ring, and the masked man even uses the railings as weapons on Naito! Naito is hit over and over with right hands, and his attacker reveals himself. It’s CHRIS JERICHO!!
Y2J returns to NJPW, and hits Naito with a Code Breaker! Jericho was #AlphaClub when going against Kenny Omega, and now he’s #ListaIngobernablesdeJericho! Jericho rains down rights on Naito, then stomps and kicks him. Referees and Young Lions rush the ring but Jericho lashes out at the young wrestlers. Jericho leaves Naito and the Young Lions down in the ring, but then grabs the ring bell! Jericho takes aim but the referees try to stop him. They don’t, as Jericho SMASHES Naito’s face with the bell!
Jericho holds the bell up triumphantly while Naito bleeds on the mat. Referees repriman Jericho, and LIJ finally return. Young Lions barricade Jericho from Naito while Naito’s team checks on him. Jericho slaps the Young Lions out of the way, but because Naito is still stirring, Jericho goes after him more! LIJ rushes the ring and they run Jericho off. Jericho throws a chair at the ring! Then he throws Young Lions around into railing and railing around into Young Lions. However, Jericho has done more than enough to his new target. Will Naito be in good enough shape to defend his Intercontinental Championship? Let alone go after Jericho for revenge?
Naito, with crimson mask of blood, manages to stand, and then CHUCKS the stretcher away. Despite the damage done by Jericho, the Uncontrollable Charisma still has fire in his heart. He even pulls a page out of Suzuki’s book and beats up a Young Lion by whipping him into railings! Can Naito stay Tranquilo when he goes after Jericho for revenge?
Chris Jericho shouts “You see what happens, Naito!?” This is what happens when a “piece of sh*t” angers Jericho. “You hear me, Naito?!” Jericho storms his way through the halls, throwing whatever he can grab. He even busts his way through a dividing wall just to keep going forward. “You see what happens, New Japan?!” Jericho storms his way out of the arena and threatens the camera men before getting into his taxi. He promises Naito that he’s coming for him, before the taxi drives off.
As for Naito, he has to sit down. “Man, that was intense.” Naito can tell Jericho’s challenge is “crystal clear.” Naito doesn’t really know much about Jericho, but he’s famous, right? For someone that famous to get that worked up, Naito must’ve really gotten to him, huh? Jericho’s actions prove how valuable Naito is. “It’s all good.” Jericho scores a perfect 100 with Naito. But NJPW is Naito’s home, and Japan is Naito’s turf. If Jericho thinks he can do what he wants and leave without a scratch, he’s wrong. Jericho “summoned the courage to make the first move.” But that doesn’t mean thing will turn out well for him. Naito will teach him that personally. As bad as Naito looks right now, will he make Jericho look even worse after their actual match?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Kushida!
The Time Splitter leads the series against the Aerial Assassin, but he still lost the title. Ospreay wants to prove to the world that Junior Heavyweights belong, and that he belongs at the top of the Junior Heavyweight Division. Who will win this newest rematch in this epic feud?
The belt is shown and the bell rings, but the two rivals hear the fans already dueling with chants. Kushida and Ospreay circle and tie up, and Ospreay powers Kushida to the ropes. Kushida turns it around but Ospreay turns it back. Ospreay honors the ropebreak, but is on his guard. The fans applaud as the two circle again. They tie up, Kushida rolls after the legs but Ospreay keeps him off. They tie up, and Kushida gets a wristlock. Ospreay reverses but Kushida reverses back and brings Ospreay down to the mat. Kushida wrenches the arm and wrist but Ospreay stands up. Ospreay spins and breaks to snapmare but Kushida goes right back to the wrist. Kushida wrenches but Ospreay rolls and kip-up, only for Kushida to again get the wrist.
Ospreay’s shoulders and neck are still badly hurt from his match with Marty Scurll, and it shows as he screams in pain. He still stands up and snapmares, and anticipates Kushida’s reversal to snapmare again. Kushida reverses again, so Ospreay snapmares again, but Kushida still gets back to the wristlock. Ospreay endures but Kushida backslides then rolls Ospreay to a chinlock. Ospreay endures as Kushida pulls back. They stand up, and Ospreay powers out. Kushida runs Ospreay over, then runs again, but Ospreay gets up and things speed up. Kushida hip tosses but Ospreay kips up and dropkicks. The dropkick misses but Ospreay avoids the kick to the arm. Ospreay rolls and handsprings, but Kushida hands off the headscissors to Red Shoes! Kushida then lines it up, and kicks Ospreay’s ribs!
Ospreay rolls out of the ring but Kushida pursues. Ospreay leads Kushida around the corners, then lurks behind a camera man. Kushida moves the camera man, and narrowly avoids Ospreay’s rolling kick, only to turn around into Ospreay’s boot! Ospreay takes tme to check his arms, then whips Kushida. Kushida reverses but Ospreay jumps the railing. Kushida runs over, but Ospreay forearms him away. Ospreay uses the railings to springboard, but he flies into Kushida’s armbar!
Ospreay endures, but it won’t matter if he taps because they’re outside the ring. Kushida holds on until Red Shoes counts him. He lets go at 4, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Kushida puts Ospreay back in the ring. Ospreay crawls to the other side but Kushida runs in and dropkicks him in the arm! Ospreay screams in pain, but Kushida keeps on him with a hammerlock against the mat. Kushida stands on then stomps the hammerlock, covers, TWO, into a short-arm scissors. Kushida pulls on the arm, but Ospreay resists. Ospreay moves it to a cover, TWO and Kushida keeps the scissors. But Ospreay uses his legs for the ropebreak, so Kushida lets him go. Fans applaud while Kushida backs off. Kushida brings Ospreay up but Ospreay hits back with body shots. Ospreay backs Kushida up but Kushida gives Ospreay a buckle shot! Ospreay gets out to the apron, and Red Shoes checks on him in regards to his neck and shoulders. Kushida walks over but Ospreay kicks at him from the mat.
Ospreay kicks, crawls, then kicks, but then Kushida is all over him with a facelock. Ospreay screams as Kushida shifts to a half camel clutch, and Ospreay comes within seconds of tapping, but Red Shoes has Kushida let go over concerns of a choke hold. Kushida stalks Ospreay to a corner, then snapmares him into a chinlock. Kushida wrenches Ospreay back, squeezing the neck. Ospreay gets up to his feet, then pries his way out enough to fight with back elbows. Ospreay runs, but into a chinlock. He snapmares Kushida off for his own chinlock, but Kushida reverses back into his chinlock. Ospreay endures again while fans rally. Kushida does a headstand to put more weight, then falls to put more torque. Kushida does it again, but Ospreay doesn’t quit.
They stand up again, and Ospreay fights out, but Kushida roundhouses the bad arm! Kushida whips but Ospreay manages a reversal. Kushida handsprings, but Ospreay evades and somehow manages his own handspring. Ospreay hits the handspring enziguri! Both men are down, but Kushida rolls out of the ring. Fans rally while Ospreay stands. Ospreay gets himself going, and manages the Sasuke Special!
The two collide and go down, but fans applaud. Red Shoes checks on them, and they both are okay to continue. Ospreay stands up first and brings Kushida into the ring. Fans applaud while Ospreay springboards and hits the flying clothesline. Cover, TWO! Ospreay’s shoulders still bother him, but he gets himself up again. He goes over to Kushida, dragon sleeper but Kushida turns it around into a cravat. Ospreay breaks free and roundhouse kicks Kushida in the chest. Kushida staggers to a corner, and Ospreay hits a running back elbow. Ospreay sweeps the legs then runs corner to corner for a BIG hesitation dropkick! Kushida rolls away, but Ospreay fires up, and hits a standing shooting star. TWO, and Ospreay grits his teeth as he works on his neck and shoulders.
Ospreay stands up and jams his shoulders, then calls for his standing finisher. He drags Kushida up and butterfly underhooks, but his shoulders just won’t let him. He clubs Kushida to keep him down, then tries again. Ospreay gets Kushida up but Kushida breaks free. Kushida swings, Ospreay catches him into a full nelson but Kushida breaks free again. Ospreay swings the hook kick but Kushida ducks, to PELE Ospreay in return! Kushida runs, but into the dropkick flip. Ospreay enziguris but Kushida ducks, so Ospreay slides under. Kushida copies that, then rolls Ospreay for the Hoverboard! Ospreay quickly waistlocks out of it, and German Suplexes Kushida down! Ospreay can’t keep the bridge with those bad shoulders, but both men are down as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ospreay gets to a corner. Red Shoes checks on him, but he won’t end this match here. Kushida also gets up, and fans rally for them both. Ospreay stands up, and he circles Kushida. He kicks Kushida in the chest, but Kushida dares him to do more. Ospreay kicks, then kicks again, but Kushida catches the leg, so Ospreay clubs away on Kushida’s back. He even peels of Kushida’s tap to kick and stomp and hammer away on it more. Ospreay runs but Kushida follows for the handspring rolling kick! Ospreay hangs halfway out of the ring, then slumps to the apron. Kushida joins Ospreay out there, and they stand up.
Both men teeter on the edge, and Kushida throws a forearm. Ospreay throws a forearm, but Kushida comes back with another. Ospreay forearms again but Kushida fires off several. Kushida backs up and runs over, but barely grabs the ropes in time to deny Ospreay the apron complete shot! They stand back up and Kushida elbows Ospreay. Ospreay elbows Kushida, then boots him off the apron. Kushida staggers, but then somersaults back to DDT Ospreay off the apron!!
Ospreay goes down but Kushida himself is down from exhaustion. Red Shoes checks on Ospreay, but somehow Ospreay is good to continue. Red Shoes starts the 20 count and it reaches 10 before Kushida sits up. It climbs past 15 when Kushida gets in, but Ospreay only just comes to. Ospreay hurries to his feet and into the ring at 19! Kushida springboards and huricanranas Ospreay down! Cover, TWO!! And Kushida can’t believe it. Kushida gets up and fires up, as do the fans. He drags Ospreay up and around to a cravat for stiff knees. Kushida kicks out the arm, then runs in again, but Ospreay throws the tilt-o-whirl and Kushida hits the mat!
Both Ospreay and Kushida are slow to get up, but Kushida is up first. Ospreay runs in for a helluva kick! Then he hoists Kushida up onto the top rope, and tucked in for Cheeky Nandos SUPERKICK. Ospreay gives another SUPERKICK, then a flurry of endless SUPERKICKS! Kushida slumps down to the mat, but Ospreay positions him before climbing up. Ospreay takes a moment to steady himself, then jumps for the Air Assassin imploding 450!
But he can’t make the cover right away, he’s too sore. Kushida saves himself with a ropebreak. Ospreay fires up and stands up, and waits for Kushida. Ospreay takes aim, and hits the Robinson Special! But Ospreay isn’t done there, as he gets up and springboards, but Kushida catches him into the Hoverboard! Kushida wrenches on that arm with the double wristlock, then again. Ospreay endures, reaches, but Kushida sits on him. Ospreay manages to slip out and gets a hand on the ropes, but Kushida rolls him away! The Hoverboard is on all over again, but Ospreay keeps fighting. Kushida stomps Ospreay’s head as he wrenches the arm. Ospreay refuses to give up, and works a new angle out of the hold. He reaches for ropes, but Kushida shifts and rolls, and goes for Back to the Future. Ospreay denies, dodges and runs for a blockbuster DDT!
Both men are down again, but fans rally for them. Ospreay and Kushida stir, and brawl with forearms on their knees. The KT tape comes off, and the forearms fly fast and furious! Both men slump down, but then Kushida springs up and eggs Ospreay on. They go again, on their feet, then Ospreay roundhouses. Ospreay kicks and kicks and kicks, but Kushida kicks and kicks and kicks back. They get forehead to forehead with angry trash talk, and start up the forearm fight all over again. Ospreay unleashes a strike fest then dodges the fastball, to go for the full nelson. Kushida breaks free, but the hook kick connects! Ospreay runs, but into the fastball! Kushida falls back from exhaustion, but then gets himself back up. Kushida works on his neck while Ospreay stirs on the mat.
Fans cheer as Kushida thinks of what else to do. Kushida drags Ospreay up just to stomp him out. Yet Ospreay grins?! And he flips Kushida off. So Kushida turns Ospreay over for more stomps! Kushida gives one big stomp, then runs in for a dropkick to the back! But Kushida keeps going, as he drags Ospreay up to the top rope with him. Kushida fisherman hooks, but Ospreay escapes, to springboard for a SUPER CUTTER!
But Ospreay isn’t done, he butterfly underhooks and lifts, into the Stormbreaker!!
Cover, Ospreay wins!
Winner: Ospreay, by pinfall; still IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion
Even with a bad neck and shoulders, the Aerial Assassin overcomes one of his greatest rivals. We go to break while both men are tended to.
NJPW on AXS returns once more.
Kushida is helped away while Ospreay stands back up. Chaos’ Aerial Assassin raises his belt, successful in his third defense.
But the lights dim, and “He is Back.” Bullet Club? Bone Soldier?! But wait, it’s Tama Tonga who comes out instead.
Tama Tonga heads to the ring, cutting Ospreay’s celebration short. Tama Tonga takes the mic, and says “Amazing…” He wants Ospreay to get up, but he’s really just distracting Ospreay from what’s creeping up behind! Bone Soldier IS here, and when Ospreay turns around to see him, he strikes! Bone Soldier, if this is THE Bone Soldier, beats Ospreay down then brings Ospreay up, for a suplex gutbuster!
Ospreay goes down and the crowd is silent as Tama Tonga tells him, “You been having a bit of luck” with the lightweights. Ospreay stepped over Kushida, and even The Bullet Club’s Villain, Marty Scurll. But that luck runs out. “There was an idea to bring somebody into this Club and turn that gold into diamonds.” Ladies and gentlemen, Bullet Club’s diamond: the NEW Bone Soldier, Taiji Ishimori!!
Ishimori drops the persona and reveals quite the “amazing” specimen! This is only the beginning of a new day for Bullet Club. Will the three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion take away the title from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion? Or can Ospreay recover and end the Bullet Club’s revival before it starts?
A great and practically infamous pair of moments were featured in this episode. LIJ wins, but it was all for the shock appearance of Chris Jericho. Jericho ups the personal heat with that attack, and I was really surprised by the amount of blood on Naito’s face. This Intercontinental Championship match will happen at Dominion 2018, literally tonight at Midnight PST for America, at least for those with NJPW World. If this were any other promotion, they might have made this match No Disqualifications, but NJPW can do a lot with just the standard rules. I’d say there’s no way Jericho would take that title given his relationship with other promotions, but who knows, NJPW could shock the world with a title change.
The Junior Heavyweight Championship of Ospreay VS Kushida, their sixth time facing off 1v1, is an instant classic given all the story between both each other and Ospreay’s neck issues. Ospreay guts it out just ahead of the Super Juniors, and what a time for the character of Bone Soldier to return, only to be unmasked as Taiji Ishimori of Pro-Wrestling Noah and Impact Wrestling fame. Ishimori has been champion in both those promotions as well as AAA Lucha Libre, but in present time we already know Ishimori loses to Hiromu Takahashi in the finals of the Super Juniors. Either way, Ishimori can still make his own run at the Junior Heavyweight Champion after Dominion, regardless of who holds the belt.
My Score: 8.5/10