NEW YEAR DASH! The official start to the 2020 New Japan storylines and Liger’s retirement ceremony!
I don’t always cover New Year Dash since even though it’s fun to see how the first feuds of the year get started, it’s not always the most entertaining. But between the last minute reveals of the card and Liger’s retirement ceremony, I figured covering it was a good idea this year.
So just like his matches for Wrestle Kingdom, Liger will kick off the show, as to not take too much attention away from the younger guys. A sweet gesture, now I guess we all get a good cry out of our system before the wrestling starts.
- Alex Coughlin, Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks vs Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura: Sexy Karl wins via Half Liontamer @10:40 – ***
- Taiji Ishimori & ELP vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi vs Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH): Desperado wins via Crucifix Pin @13:30 – *** 1/4
- Guerrillas of Destiny, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @11:40 – ***
- Shingo Takagi & EVIL vs Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto: Shingo wins via Last of the Dragon @16:30 – ****
- Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi) vs CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Robbie Eagles): CHAOS wins via DQ @15:25 – *** 1/4
- Tetsuya Naito & SANADA vs KENTA & Jay White: SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch @14:00 – *** 1/2
Jyushin Thunder Liger Retirement Ceremony
We get a video package to start with highlighting aspects of his career, from his first IWGP Junior Championship match to his last against Taiji Ishimori. Ikari no Jyushin hits, so Liger is in the ring, shortly surrounded by the Seigi-Gun portion the New Japan roster, led out by Hiroshi Tanahashi. Next is Chaos, led by Okada for gift giving and paying respects. Okada popped the crowd and commentary by pulling out his phone and doing a group selfie with Liger. Naoki Sugabayashi, the Vice President presents Liger with flowers after Chaos exits. Harold Meij is next. Liger’s wife and son are next, and the camera zooms in on Tanahashi, yes, Tanahashi is crying. Antonio Inoki has a special video message for Liger, and you hear the crowd murmuring, most likely in shock.
Liger gives a speech, his music hits and he looks to exit, but Okada won’t let him. Everyone gets back in the ring, and the whole group lift up and toss Liger in the air for celebration, just like sports coaches or a winning pitcher. Then Tanahashi urges the music to play again and the crowd to stand and sing. It’s a great moment, especially seeing Tanahashi singing with Liger with a giant grin on his face. IKARI NO JYUSHIN LIGER!!!
Alex Coughlin, Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks vs Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura – The Young Lions had to bring the energy since everyone was still recovering from the emotional retirement ceremony, and this was great. LA Dojo had a lot of good tandem spots, Henare had some big power moments, but these are always fun for the dojo rivalry. Karl messed up his kip-up, but saved it going into his Super Mario Elbow and then tapping out Yuya with the Half Liontamer. Great start to the actual wrestling.
Taiji Ishimori & ELP vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi vs Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH) – ELP mocks Liger, he really likes being a prick. This was an erratic match, fast paced and just generally fun. Multiple near falls, fun signature spots for everyone, and it comes down to BUSHI accidentally misting SHO, when he intended to hit Desperado, so it gave Despy the opening he needed to pick up the win. Getting the pin over the new champions is a statement.
Guerrillas of Destiny, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson – Chase offered the Too Sweet to Ibushi, but Ibushi rejected the offer, so Kota caught the ire of Chase Owens. Tanahashi got tagged in and put together some of his classic offense, before we had Bullet Club start spilling out the match to the crowd and causing general disarray. Tons of BizCliz confusion, outside tactics and entertaining spots. But it does seem like Chase is taking Ibushi’s rejection very personally. Ibushi picking up the win over Chase will either add some fuel to this fire or squash it.
-Seems like after their victory, Tanahashi and Ibushi challenge FinJuice for the Heavyweight Tag titles.
Shingo Takagi & EVIL vs Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto – Four tough strong style guys beating the hell out of one another, this was fantastic. EVIL and Ishii seemed to pair off often, throwing haymakers and lariats. Shingo and Goto still have a rubber match necessary, so you had to assume Shingo was going to try and get a shot at the NEVER Openweight title. All four wiped each other out with Lariats, Goto hit a GTR, but EVIL broke up the pin. More huge bombs, Shingo his a Draping version of the GTR, and then Last of the Dragon. Great big strong boi match.
-Shingo makes the challenge for the NEVER Openweight title, and Ishii and EVIL have a few words. Shingo for NEVER champion!
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi) vs CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Robbie Eagles) – “If it looks like money, smells like money, it must be Okada”, Rocky Romero 2020 everyone. Taichi starts off targeting Okada during the typical Suzuki-Gun turmoil. The Holy Emperor and The Rainmaker…sign me up for that. Poor Robbie Eagles bats for the cycle and every member of Suzuki-Gun takes turns torturing him. When Eagles finally gets a tag, it’s to…YOSH-HASHI…oh boy. Sabre and Ospreay have a few moments, Archer and YOSHI do a lot of work together, but Taichi shows Okada his Dangerous side. Taichi hits Okada with the Iron Fingers, and Asami calls for the disqualification.
-During the aftermath, Taichi looks to send another message to Okada, but Moxley’s music hits. Taichi bails, Suzuki and Moxley have a quick back and forth, and builds for their eventual match. Moxley punctuates things with a Death Rider and says “If he fucks with me, he’s fucking dead”.
Tetsuya Naito & SANADA vs KENTA & Jay White – Naito comes out in a new ash grey outfit, like the Phoenix that has risen from the ashes (or that’s how I symbolize it). Naito attacks KENTA pretty quickly, and we get a mostly split match. KENTA and Naito, SANADA and Jay. The crowd hates KENTA. So anyone that thought KENTA’s attack didn’t go over well, was obviously wrong. KENTA go home chants, and KENTA just egging it on wonderfully. Great character work, and SANDA getting a victory over Jay White is great for him. It gives SANADA some momentum and a story for the first part of 2020, and Bullet Club loses, while not looking bad.
-KENTA and Jay beat down SANADA and Naito, take the microphone and berate the crowd. KENTA seems to love the hatred, and as he gives his promo, he literally steps on and walks over Naito.
Overall Score: 8/10
This was a mystery card coming in, but damn was it great. Starting off with the emotional moment of Liger’s Retirement ceremony, and all of the new feuds that got started through the tag matches.
Ibushi and Tanahashi going for the tag titles, Shingo head hunting for the NEVER, Moxley giving a little back to Suzuki, and Naito’s new angle with KENTA was beautiful. This new version of KENTA has the cocky swagger he started finding in 205 Live, mixed with the callousness and devastating strikes of his NOAH era.
The fact that most fans probably went from emotional but in a happy way, to irate at the Bullet Club, all over the course of one wrestling show; that’s pretty special. New Year’s Dash did exactly what it was supposed to do. It set up stories for the first few months at least and gave us some fun wrinkles.
Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Road Results & Report! (7/4/22)
We’re in the homestretch!
NJPW is turning the corner towards the finish line!
While America celebrates its independence, NJPW has fireworks of their own! Will two Aces trump Bullet Club’s Bone Soldier Reborn & Fang Revived?
- Minoru Suzuki VS Kosei Fujita; Suzuki wins.
- TAKA Michinoku VS Satoshi Kojima; Kojima wins.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ryohei Oiwa; Honma & Makabe win.
- Six Man Tag: Yuji Nagata, Clark Connors & The DKC VS Suzuki-Gun; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- 10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA; Taiji & Kenta win.
PLAY BY PLAY
10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Sauce was part of yesterday’s winning combination in the main event, and now the table is set for a bigger meal! Will he, Six or Nine, the Stone Pitbull and the Rainmaker have their fill? Or will Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi y Naito be the ones having a fiesta before the G1?
LIJ first bumps and the teams sort out, we have Sanada and Ishii to start. Fans rally at the bell, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up, Sanada wrenches to a wristlock but Ishii throws a body shot. Ishii wrenches to a hammerlock but Sanada switches it onto Ishii. Ishii switches it back, but Sanada switches again to then get a headlock. Ishii powers up and out, then avoids the boot. Sanada avoids the lariat but Ishii avoids another boot. Sanada gets around to waistlock and shove Ishii to a corner, then runs in. Ishii dodges but then Sanada dodges, and Sanada kicks. Ishii blocks that, spins Sanada to a waistlock, but Sanada throws elbows.
Ishii ducks the elbow but Sanada ducks a forearm to waistlock Ishii. Ishii swings elbows but Sanada ducks then trips Ishii. Sanada wants Paradise but Ishii kicks Sanada away. Sanada gets up but Ishii trips him! Ishii tries to steal Paradise but Sanada kicks him away! Fans applaud the exchange as the two stare down. Fans rally again, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up again, Sanada waistlocks and shoves but Ishii holds ropes. Ishii runs in but into another waistlock. Ishii switches and shoves Sanada but Sanada holds ropes. Sanada runs in but Ishii avoids the basement dropkick. Sanada avoids the Penalty Kick and dropkicks!
Ishii stays up but runs into a forearm! Sanada runs, but Ishii runs him over! Fans fire up and the Stone Pitbull drags up Cold Skull. Ishii bumps Sanada off buckles and tags in Okada. Okada CLUBS Sanada, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron. Slingshot senton! Fans applaud and Okada drags Sanada up. Okada CLUBS Sanada again, and again, then whips him to ropes. Sanada reverses and Bushi hits Okada at the ropes! Okada’s team protests but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s leg out! Fans rally up while both men are down. Sanada tags Naito and he kicks and CLUBS away on Okada.
Naito whips Okada corner to corner, runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep and swinging dropkick! Combinacion Cabron! Naito strikes his pose and fans applaud. Naito drags Okada up, turns him around, but Okada fights off the neckbreaker. Okada kicks low to DDT! Fans rally up again as Okada drags Naito up. Tag to Taguchi and Wato comes in to knock down Hiromu. Taguchi CLUBS Naito, drags him up and gives him a point blank hip attack. Six or Nine double whip Naito to double drop toehold! And roll to double basement dropkick! Taguchi sees Bushi coming, Six or Nine double back elbow, double uppercut and DOUBLE SOBAT!
The ref reprimands but Six or Nine go back after Naito. They double whip him corner to corner, Taguchi CORNER HIPS! Taguchi then sets up for WATO IN MOTION! Wato sets up for HIP IN- NO, Naito dodges and Taguchi hits buckles! Hiromu uses Wato as a step, TIMEBOMB IN MOTION! Naito then kicks Wato and throws him out while Hiromu keeps after Taguchi. Hiromu and Naito double whip Taguchi but he ducks the clothesline. Taguchi jumps, but into a DOUBLE ATOMIC DROP! Naito then gets a boost from Hiromu to TORNADO DDT! Hiromu takes out Zayne and Ishii while fans fire up.
LIJ goes after Okada and the rest while Naito SPANKS Taguchi! And again! And again! Naito drags Taguchi up and tags in Takagi. LIJ mugs Taguchi with a DOUBLE SPANK! And a DOUBLE SPANK again! Takagi then reels Taguchi in for a BIG atomic drop! Taguchi staggers about, but Takagi throws knees against the ropes. The ref reprimands and Takagi lets off. Fans rally up for “TA-KA-GI!” “TA-GU-CHI!” while Taguchi flops over. Takagi brings Taguchi up and whips him to ropes, to KNEE him hard against them! Takagi reels Taguchi in to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Taguchi is still in this and fans rally as Takagi drags him up.
Takagi YANKS and wrenches an arm, then tags in Bushi. LIJ go after Taguchi’s ass again with more spanks! Taguchi writhes but Bushi keeps him from his team. Bushi bumps Taguchi off buckles, stomps and CHOPS him, then brings him around to kick. Bushi goes up and missile dropkicks! BUSHIROONI! Fans rally up and Bushi stands on Taguchi’s face. Taguchi flails and Bushi covers, ROPEBREAK! Naito swats the foot away, Bushi covers again, TWO! Bushi CLUBS Taguchi down before he can get to his corner, and he stomps Taguchi’s ass! Bushi FISHERMAN- NO, Taguchi slips out! But Bushi kicks low!
Bushi runs, Taguchi jumps, but into another atomic drop! Bushi SPANKS Taguchi again! Bushi whips but Taguchi reverses to HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up while both men are down! They crawl for their corners, hot tags to Zayne and Hiromu! The Sauce rallies on LIJ, fires off elbows on Hiromu, then SOBATS! Zayne runs for the SOMERSAULT AX KICK! Direct hit and Hiromu flounders to a corner! Fans fire up and Zayne runs in corner to corner to back elbow! Zayne puts Hiromu up top but Naito runs in! Zayne sends Naito into Hiromu! Zayne then uses Naito as a boost to DRAGON RANA Hiromu off the top!
Fans fire up more and Zayne rolls Naito up to EDDY GORDO KICK! Fans rally and Zayne sees Hiromu regrouping with Sanada and Bushi. The ref is reprimanding those three and Zayne wants the ref to move. The ref doesn’t hear him so Zayne shrugs and builds speed! Zayne FLIES over the ref to wipe out LIJ! Fans are fired up and Zayne fetches Hiromu. Zayne puts Hiromu in, stalks him, then brings him up. Zayne wrenches and scoops, BAJA BLAST! Cover, TWO! Okada DECKS Takagi and has Zayne carry on. Fans rally up, “HI-RO-MU!” “AL-EX ZAYNE!” Zayne drags Hiromu up, wraps him up, but Hiromu fights the straitjacket.
Hiromu swings but into a spin. Hiromu catches Zayne’s clothesline and spins, then jumps up, but Zayne blocks the rana takedown! Zayne throws Hiromu away, but Hiromu wheelbarrows to COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hiromu and Zayne stir, crawl for their corners, and Zayne hot tags Wato! The Way of the Grandmaster fires up as he brings Hiromu up. Hiromu fights the waistlock and elbows free. Hiromu blocks the kick, and the punch, but not the ELBOW! Wato runs, but into an elbow! Hiromu runs, into a dropkick! Wato fires up and fans fire up with him! Wato BUZZS- NO, Hiromu blocks the kick to a DRAGON SCREW!
Fans rally and Hiromu crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Takagi, and the Dragon says here it comes! Takagi runs in at Wato, blocks the boot and clotheslines! Takagi suplexes, Wato fights it, but Takagi turns it into a swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Okada breaks it! Okada coaches Wato and fans rally up. Takagi brings Wato up to throw elbows! Takagi then runs to SLID- NO, Wato dodges to BOOT and whip! Takagi reverses, but Wato RANAS! Taguchi knocks Naito and Bushi down, then Zayne and Wato double whip Takagi. Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Takagi does the same to Zayne, but Taguchi HIP ATTACKS!
Taguchi, Zayne and Wato coordinate, HIP AND DOUBLE KICK COMBO! Taguchi stands Takagi up for Wato’s FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, Hiromu breaks it! Taguchi throws Hiromu out and fans rally up. Wato goes back to a corner while Takagi snarls. Wato goes after Takagi, but he can’t scoop Takagi! But Takagi can scoop Wato! Wato fights free, CLUBS Takagi, but Takagi just shrugs. Wato runs, but into Takagi’s ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up and Takagi brings Wato up, to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Wato survives but Takagi points to the camera. There’s still more! “OI! OI! OI!”
Fans rally up and Takagi brings Wato up again. Pump handle but then Okada gets in. Takagi BOOTS Okada, JABS, but Okada FLAPJACKS Takagi! Naito runs in but into an uppercut. Okada whips but Naito avoids the dropkick to basement dropkick! Ishii runs in to run Naito over! Sanada fireman’s carries Ishii, to throw him into the dragon sleeper! Ishii slips out to suplex but Sanada slips out to ROCK Ishii! Sanada spins but into Ishii’s SUPLEX! Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS Ishii! Wato dodges to SCREW HIGH KICK! Wato waistlocks and HIGH ANGLE GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Wato is shocked but the fans fire up! Wato brings Takagi up, wrenches and hooks him, but Takagi fights the Mouse Trap. Takagi fireman’s carries but Wato CRUCIFIX DRIVERS! Cover, TWO! BUZZ- NO, Takagi ducks the kick! Takagi waistlocks but Wato elbows free and SOBATS! Front kick and SUPER- NO, Takagi blocks and shoves Wato, to pop-up DEATH VALLEY! Then Takagi runs to PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives and fans fire up! Bushi DIVES to take out Zayne! Takagi fires up and drags Wato back up. Pump handle and lift, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
The Dragon slays the Grandmaster, but he shows his respect with a pat on the chest. Wait, Taguchi tries to Iron Claw and maybe even Stink Face Hiromu! And Ishii stares down with Sanada. But with LIJ victorious, will their heavyweights take over the G1 Climax? Or will the Stone Pitbull have something to say about all that?
KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA!
Speaking of that winning combination, the Time Splitter and the Once in a Century Talent are sticking together in a rematch with the Bone Soldier & Fang Revived! Will it only take a pair of Aces to win again? Or can the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion turn things around before the end of the New Japan Road?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles, and again fans are impressed. Taiji shows off his, too, though, to see who is better. The teams sort out and Kushida starts against Taiji for one more preview of their title match. They circle and fans rally. They tie up, Kushida goes low but Taiji uses that to waistlock. Kushida rolls and brings Taiji down then floats. Taiji resists the lateral press but Kushida goes after his legs. Kushida digs a knee in, throws down a palm strike, then tries for a press. Taiji moves around, gets Kushida’s arm but Kushida headscissors to counter. Kushida pushes up to put on the pressure, but Taiji moves around.
Taiji ties up Kushida’s legs then headstands to pop free. Fans applaud the opening exchange as the two reset. They feel out a knuckle lock, then Kushida KICKS a leg! And again! Kushida keeps his leg guard up as Taiji moves around. Kushida goes after a leg but Taiji pushes him away. Kushida jumps on to body scissor, then he knuckle locks and wrenches an arm. Kushida wrenches, full nelsons, spins Taiji and hammerlocks to then flying-mare! Kushida chinlocks but Taiji slips out to wrench and cover, ONE! Fans applaud as the two stand off again. Taiji backs away to his corner and Kenta tags in.
Kushida goes to his corner and he tags Tanahashi in. Fans rally “LET’S GO, ACE!” as Tanahashi and Kenta circle. Kenta starts up his own clap rhythm and fans follow along. The clapping duels between them, but the “LET’S GO, ACE!” wins out. Kenta is annoyed so he steps out to the apron. Fans clap for Kenta to try and get him back into this. Kenta steps back in slowly, but Tanahashi starts up “LET’S GO, ACE” again. Kenta tries even harder to get his clapping going, the dueling continues, and Tanahashi dares Kenta to come at him. They circle, but then Kenta uses ropes as defense. Tanahashi backs away and Kenta returns.
Kenta and Tanahashi finally approach, but Kenta again backs away to ropes. Tanahashi decides to join Kenta in the ropes. Tanahashi tells Kenta to get serious, and the two return to center. They approach and Kenta kicks low! Kenta headlocks and grinds Tanahashi down. Tanahashi pries the headlock open and turns it around onto Kenta! Fans applaud and now Kenta endures. Kenta powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Tanahashi grinds the headlock but Kenta pulls hair! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi pulls Kenta’s hair! They both end up in a corner and Red Shoes counts. Tanahashi lets go to throw body shots!
Tanahashi whips corner to corner, Kenta reverses to uppercut! Kenta whips Tanahashi corner to corner now, but runs into an elbow! Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! Fans rally as Tanahashi air guitars. Tanahashi brings Kenta over, tag to Kushida, and Tanahashi feeds Kenta to Kushida’s HOTSHOT! Kushida drags Kenta up, wrenches the arm and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! Things speed up but Kenta CLOBBERS Kushida and DECKS Tanahashi! Taiji gets in to throw Kushida out while Kenta whips Tanahashi hard into railing! Tanahashi drops in a heap while Taiji throws hands on Kushida.
Kushida hits Taiji back while Kenta rains down fists on Tanahashi! Taiji rakes Kushida’s eyes while Kenta stomps Tanahashi. Taiji puts Kushida in, CHOKES him, but Red Shoes reprimands. Kenta gets in to claw Kushida’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kenta drags Kushida away to whip hard into the corner. Tag to Taiji, and they both dig their boots into Kushida. Red Shoes counts and they let off. Fans rally for “KU-SHI-DA!” as Taiji drags Kushida up. Taiji wrenches an arm, CLUBS it, then CLUBS it again. Taiji YANKS the arm, wrenches again, then snapmares Kushida to WRING the arm out!
Kushida writhes but Taiji smirks. Kushida CHOPS Taiji, but Taiji eggs him on. Kushida CHOPS again, but Taiji CHOPS back. Taiji CHOPS Kushida at the ropes, Kenta HOTSHOTS the arm! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji says it is in return for what they did to Kenta. Taiji stands on Kushida’s hand then stomps Kushida’s head! Tag to Kenta, he drags Kushida back from Tanahashi. Kenta stomps the bad arm, then snapmares Kushida for a KICK! Kenta stares Tanahashi down then covers, ONE! Fans rally, Kenta tells them to shut up. Kushida throws body shots and forearms but Kenta knees low. Kenta whips, Kushida handsprings to BACK ELBOW!
Fans fire up and Kushida rolls, hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi drags Kenta up to fire off fast hands! Taiji gets in to CLUB Tanahashi! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi SHOTEIS Taiji down! Taiji bails out and Tanahashi whips Kenta to a corner. Tanahashi runs in to SHOTGUN! And then HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Fans fire up and Tanahashi waits on Kenta to rise. Tanahashi runs, but Kenta sends Tanahashi out! Tanahashi skins the cat, but he has to BOOT Taiji away. Kenta SHOTGUNS Tanahashi down! Fans rally up while Taiji stomps Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Kushida into railing and stomps him down!
Taiji drags Tanahashi up while Kenta DDTs Kushida to the floor! Taiji rakes Tanahashi’s eyes, then he goes after Kushida with haymakers. Kenta kicks Tanahashi while he’s down, puts him in the ring, then covers, TWO! Kenta wraps on a headscissor squeeze! Fans rally while Tanahashi endures, and he reaches out with a leg. Kenta squeezes tighter but Tanahashi gets the ROPEBREAK! Taiji swats the foot away but Red Shoes saw that. Red Shoes wants Kenta to let go but Kenta thrashes around. Red Shoes makes Kenta let go, and he drags Tanahashi over. Kenta whips Tanahashi into bare buckles!
Kenta CLAWS at Tanahashi’s shoulders! Kenta tags Taiji and Taiji hops up onto the top rope. Fans rally as Kenta stands Tanahashi up. Taiji jumps, to CLAW Tanahashi’s back! Tanahashi grits his teeth while he drops to the mat. Fans rally up and Taiji drags Tanahashi back up. Taiji reels Tanahashi in, to CLAW his back again! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji smirks. Taiji drags Tanahashi up to wrench and whip into the bare buckles again! Tanahashi clutches that shoulder as he falls over but the fans still rally behind him. Taiji drags Tanahashi up but Tanahashi fires off body shots. Taiji KNEES low and CLAWS Tanahashi’s back again.
Tag to Kenta, he CLAWS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi CLAWS Kenta back! Fans rally, but Kenta DECKS Kushida to deny the tag! Kenta throws haymakers but Tanahashi fires up! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he powers up. Kenta runs, BOOTS, but Tanahashi stays up! Kenta BOOTS again but Tanahashi kicks, into a DRAGON SCREW! Kenta has the bad leg, turns Tanahashi over, STF! Tanahashi endures and fans rally, but Kushida barrels in to break the hold! Taiji throws Kushida out, then goes out after him while Kenta keeps on Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Tanahashi into Red Shoes! Then he DDTs Tanahashi down!
Taiji whips Kushida into railing while Kenta searches under the ring. Kenta brings out a crutch! Kenta aims at Tanahashi, wanting revenge for being put on the shelf. But Tanahashi dodges the crutch to hit a SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up while both men are down! Taiji hides the crutch while Red Shoes returns. Fans rally, both men stir, and they head for their corners! Hot tags to Taiji and Kushida! Kushida climbs up to FLYING AX HANDLE! And KICK and KICK and KICK the arm! Kushida whips, Taiji reverses, but Kushida FLYING FOREARMS! Taiji gets up but Kushida wheelbarrows and victory rolls, STOMP 182! Cover, TWO!
Kushida rains down palm strikes on Taiji! Kushida then gets an arm, wrenches and ELBOW BREAKERS! PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kushida whips and hip tosses into the ARMBAR Tanahashi intercepts Kenta for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Fans rally while Bullet Club endures double submissions! Taiji fights around, rolls and gets the ROPEBREAK! Kushida and Tanahashi let Taiji and Kenta go, and Tanahashi kicks Kenta out. Kushida drags Taiji up as the fans rally. Kushida hammerlocks but Taiji fights free. Taiji ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida dropkicks the bad arm! Kushida keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl, but Taiji blocks!
Taiji powers up to CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi was late but Kushida survives on his own. Kenta attacks Tanahashi and throws him back out. Fans rally up for “KU-SHI-DA!” while Kenta fires off haymakers on Tanahashi. Kenta throws Tanahashi at the stage, and then brings him backstage! Taiji has Kushida all alone and says BANG! Taiji drags Kushida up, half hatch, but the bad arm holds him back! Kushida KICKS the arm, but Taiji hits MYSTICO! And BONE LOCK!! Kushida endures, flails, fans rally, but Taiji pulls back! KUSHIDA TAPS, TAIJI WINS!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori & Kenta, by submission
The Bone Solder just made the Time Splitter tap out! Kenta and Tanahashi still brawl, clearly wanting to start their G1 battle now! But with Kushida losing momentum, is this a sign he’s not quite up to speed yet? As for Taiji, he gets the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back on, and gets the mic.
“I won! HAH! Kushida! I said I would put you to the test, and you failed. You want to challenge me? You’ve got to be kidding me. You thought you could just show up and beat me? Don’t take me so lightly, bastard. Let me say this: You’re a long way from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship!” Taiji asks what Kushida has to say about that. Nothing? Then go home! Kushida does head backstage, clearly upset with himself more than anything. Taiji says we don’t know who is really challenging for the belt now.
“But I will defend this belt all over and prove that I am the definitive Junior Heavyweight Champion. In the end, the most important, most important, MOST IMPORTANT thing…! Oi, look at me. I’ll show you greatness and strength. It’s Reborn!” The Bone Soldier shoots down the Time Splitter, but will time only tell if Kushida can get back to the title?
Another good event for NJPW with just one more to go tomorrow. Chaos winning against House of Torture this time could just be to even out the math going into their NEVER Openweight Six Man title match. It’s still hard to tell how much NJPW puts into their go-home math, so maybe Chaos’ Goto, Hashi & Yoh still win those titles off Evil, Yujiro & Sho like I predicted yesterday. The 10 Man Tag was a lot of fun, and it seems Zayne has good chemistry with Taguchi and Wato if they ever wanted to be NEVER Openweight Six Man champions. But LIJ wins again to show they’re all going into the G1 Climax with great momentum.
The tag match main event was great stuff, but I had a feeling it would even out between Kushida and Taiji. The G1 takes center stage so it’s going to be some time before the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match happens. Both guys will be 100% rested by then so there won’t be any doubts or excuses (in kayfabe) as to who wins and loses that match.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Road Results & Report! (7/3/22)
Kushida is back!
The Time Splitter has returned home!
Kushida returns to NJPW and he wants the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back! But will he get back on track on this New Japan Road?
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Ryohei Oiwa & Tiger Mask; Honma & Makabe win.
- Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Kosei Fujita VS Suzuki-Gun; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan VS Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI; Henare & Khan win.
- Six Man Tag: Clack Connors, Yuji Nagata & The DKC VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Taichi & TAKA Michinoku; Okada & Ishii win.
- Six Man Tag: KUSHIDA, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Alex Zayne VS Bullet Club; Kushida, Tanahashi & Zayne win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Chaos VS The House of Torture!
#BISHAMON, Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, may not be IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, but they could go after the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team titles again. Will they and Toru Yano tear down the house? Or will Evil, Yujiro & Dick Togo deny Chaos their chance at the championships?
As Chaos enters, Yano brings out the dog cage! He takes The Spoiler on 1v1 later down the New Japan Road, this is just a nice reminder of that. Yano gets impatient during the check, but the House of Torture Too Sweets, then attacks! Dick goes after Yano, Yujiro goes after Hashi, and Evil is after Goto! The House of Torture throws Chaos out of the ring and Dick DECKS Yano! The bell rings to get this on record as the House of Torture beats down Chaos. Evil puts Goto in and has him in a corner to stomp away. Evil drags Goto up, wrenches and whips him corner to corner, but Goto rebounds to ram shoulders!
Neither man falls but Goto eggs Evil on. Evil fakes the run to rake Goto’s eyes! The ref reprimands, but Evil runs, only for Bishamon to run him over! And then SAMADHI, the hip toss senton! Yujiro runs in but Hashi throws him down on Evil! Dick runs in but Goto CLUBS him and adds him to the pile! Hashi jumps on top! Yano gets in and he jumps on top! Goto then jumps on the very top! Fans cheer, but the ref says this doesn’t count as a cover. Goto is upset and Chaos lets off the pile, to DRUM away! BIG finish! Fans fire up and the House of Torture flops out of the ring. Goto goes out after Evil, but Evil RAMS him right into the timekeeper’s area!
Dick goes after Yano and Yujiro after Hashi again! Dick whips Yano hard into railing! Evil CHOKES Goto with a chair! Yujiro mule kicks Hashi and Evil drags Goto up to put him in. Dick dribbles Goto off the CHAIR, then scurries away. The ref returns to count Evil’s cover, TWO! Evil tags Yujiro while fans rally up. Yujiro drags Goto up, bumps him off buckles then stomps and throws forearms. Yujiro CHOPS, and CHOPS, then brings Goto around to snapmare. Yujiro CLOBBERS Goto, then rains down fists! Yujiro chokes Goto, trying to hide it as a cover, but the ref reprimands. Fans rally up while Yujiro drags Goto up.
Yujiro brings Goto over and he bumps Goto off Dick’s knee. Tag to Dick and Dick CLUBS Goto down. Evil points out Yano and the ref stops him. Dick rakes Goto’s eyes then DECKS Hashi! But Goto kicks Dick back! Evil rakes eyes now! The House mugs Goto but the ref reprimands. Dick snapmares and fist drops! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Yano rallies them for Goto. Dick tells Yano to shut up, then he DECKS Goto! Goto growls and rises, Dick throws more haymakers! Goto just fires up! Dick kicks and whips but Goto comes back to run Dick over! Fans fire up while both men are down, and Goto crawls to hot tag Yano!
Yano unties a corner buckle pad! Yano dodges Dick, then throws the pad at him! Now Yano says Dick is the one bending the rules. The ref reprimands but Dick tosses the pad back to Yano! Now Yano is in trouble! Dick shoves Yano into the ref! The ref goes down, Dick runs the ropes, but Yano SMACKS him with the pad! Fans fire up and Yano drags Dick up to toss outside. Yano drags Dick over to the dog cage! A preview of their match as Yano RAMS Dick into the side! Yano opens the door and he drags Dick up. Yujiro goes after Goto while Dick LOW BLOWS Yano! And rakes eyes! Dick punches Yano back to the ring.
Dick drags Yano up, whips him to ropes, but Yano holds ropes to taunt Dick. Dick rushes in but Yano dodges to SLAP him! Fans fire up as Yano dodges again. Dick pokes Yano in the eye! Dick headlock punches Yano, then tags in Yujiro. Yujiro throws knees then puts Yano on the ropes. Evil holds Yano in place for Yujiro’s BOOT! Yujiro whips but Yano reverses to throw Yujiro down! Fans rally up, both men crawl, hot tag to Hashi! The Head Hunter CLOBBERS Yujiro, DECKS Evil, but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro runs, Hashi dodges, BLOCKBUSTER! Hashi runs in at Yujiro to CHOP him on the ropes!
Hashi suplexes to hang Yujiro out to dry. Hashi runs to dropkick Yujiro down! And then basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Hashi now and he drags Yujiro up. Yujiro fights the fisherman suplex and BITES Hashi’s hand! But Hashi CLUBS Yujiro’s nose! Yujiro blocks Hashi’s kick to TWIST Hashi’s nose! Yuijro throws Hashi down, runs and SLIDING BOOTS! Evil and Dick DECK Goto and Yano! The House double whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Yano’s special becomes a substitute for the Bullet Club Special! Dick runs in to back elbow! Yujiro runs in to BOOT! And Evil tops it off with a clothesline! Evil then reels Hashi in, FISHERMAN BUSTER!
Yujiro basement BOOTS! Cover, but Yano breaks it! The House throw Yano and Goto back out, and Yujiro powers up. Yujiro drags Hashi up, but Hashi blocks the Incolle Slam. Yujiro kicks but Hashi blocks to spin and CHOP him! Yujiro kicks low and whips, but Hsahi reverses to wrangle Yujiro into the BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Fans rally while Yujiro endures. Evil gets in with a chair! this is just to distract the ref while Dick gets his Spoiler Choker! But Goto CLOBBERS Dick! Evil shoves the ref down but Goto clotheslines Evil into the bare buckles! Goto calls to Hashi and Hashi drags Yujiro up, feed to the fireman’s carry, FIERCE FLASH!
Fans fire up after the Superkick Ushigoroshi combo, and now Bishamon prepares Yujiro for the finish, but SHO shows up! He isn’t in the match with Yoh away, but he has his wrench! The ref tells Sho to back away, but then Yujiro and Evil DOUBLE LOW BLOW Goto and Hashi! They dump Goto out and Yujiro hits BIG JUICE!! Cover, the House wins!
Winners: The House of Torture, by pinfall
The Murder Machine is the ace in the hole for his team! The NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions stand tall, but Direct Drive will be back for their title match! Will Yoh make all the difference against these dark and dastardly deviants?
As for Dick, he drags Yano to the dog cage! Dick throws Yano in and slams the door closed! Will the Spoiler treat Yano like an animal and lock him up on July 5th?
Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Taichi & TAKA Michinoku!
The Rainmaker could not take back the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, and the Stone Pitbull was in no shape to fight for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship. Will Okada & Ishii get going again before the G1 Climax begins? Or will the Holy Emperor & The Blue Playmaker only add to their woes?
The teams sort out and Taichi shows off the dancing pecs. Red Shoes applauds, they are impressive. Ishii steps up and eggs on Taichi. Taichi decides to step out, so Taka starts. Taka fires off on Ishii at the bell, runs and rams Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t budge! Taka runs again, rams Ishii again, but again Ishii doesn’t budge. Taka fakes Ishii out to poke him in the eye! Taka then runs, rams Ishii, and he finally staggers! Taka shin kicks Ishii then runs, but Ishii runs him over! Fans fire up, Ishii puts Taka in the corner and CHOPS! And CHOPS! And then tags Okada. Okada brings Taka up and fans fire up as he CLUBS Taka down.
Okada brings Taka up to CLUB him again. Okada scoops Taka, SLAMS him, then goes to the apron to slingshot senton! Fans fire up while Okada stays between Taka and Taichi. Cover, TWO! Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” but he tags in Ishii. They double whip Taka to double elbow him down! Ishii glares at Taichi then talks trash on Taka. Taka gets up to throw body shots but Ishii doesn’t flinch. Taka keeps trying but Ishii leans into the punches. Ishii backs Taka down into the corner but Taka rakes eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but then Okada rakes Taka’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands Okada, and Ishii CHOPS Taka again!
Ishii CHOPS Taka off his feet, but stands him up to CHOP again! And again! And again! The Stone Pitbull isn’t letting up, but then Taichi talks trash. Ishii tells him to shut up, then tags Okada. Okada drags Taka up to CLUB him again, then ROCK him with a forearm! Okada ROCKS Taka again, fires off against the ropes, then runs. Taka goes the other direction, then redirects again, to BOOT Okada down! Fans fire up and Taka tags Taichi! Taichi brings Okada up to CHOKE him! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi lets off at 4, then he stands Okada up, to CHOKE him again! Red Shoes counts again, Taichi lets off and taunts Ishii.
Red Shoes keeps Ishii back , and Taichi CHOKES Okada while Red Shoes is distracted! Taichi lets off as Red Shoes returns, and he bumps Okada off the buckles. Taka tags in, kicks and snapmares Okada, then digs knuckles into Okada’s forehead! Red Shoes reprimands, Taka pushes Okada down to scrape soles off his face! And again! Taka clamps on a chinlock while fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” Okada endures, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Taka stands Okada up to ROCK him to the corner! Taichi holds Okada so Taka can HELL STAB! Tag to Taichi and he gives toying kicks. Fans rally up again as Taichi stands Okada up.
Okada throws a forearm but Taichi CHOKES him to the corner. Taichi whips and follows Okada corner to corner to clothesline! Taichi pushes Okada down, covers, but Red Shoes sees the choke inside it! Red Shoes reprimands and Taichi complains. Taichi covers again, but it’s still a choke! Red Shoes reprimands but Taichi says that’s not a choke, THIS is a choke! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Taichi lets off at 4, then he CHOKES Ishii! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi lets go, but Okada fires off forearms! Taichi CHOKES Okada, whips but Okada reverses. Taichi avoids the back drop to choke and shove Okada down!
Taichi runs but Okada gets up to BOOT him down! Fans fire up and Okada sputters as he crawls, hot tag to Ishii! Ishii runs, blocks a boot and ROCKS Taichi! Taka gets in, Ishii blocks this boot, then he throws the kick into Taichi! Ishii swings but Taka dodges so Ishii ROCKS Taichi! Taka runs back in but Ishii sends him into Taichi! Ishii whips to to ROCK Taka, then he dodges Taichi and Taichi BOOTS Taka! Ishii then runs to run Taichi over, and fans fire up again! Ishii shakes out his bad leg but comes back after Taichi. Ishii drags Taichi up, but Taichi kicks low. Taichi KICKS the bad leg but Ishii ROCKS Taichi.
Ishii whips, Taichi reverses and HOOK KICKS Ishii down! Fans rally up while both men are down, and Taichi rises first. Taichi drags Ishii up, fires off Kowata Kicks, but Ishii is just annoyed. So Taichi kicks, snapmares and KICKS! Ishii gets up and glares at Taichi. Ishii CHOPS Taichi, but Taichi doesn’t flinch! Ishii CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS but Taichi eggs him on. Taichi KICKS, Ishii CHOPS, Taichi SOBATS, then Taichi dodges Ishii’s clothesline! DANGEROUS- NO, Ishii fights the saido! Ishii dodges Taichi to GERMAN- NO, Taichi resists the suplex to PELE! Both men are down and fans fire up again!
Taichi tags in Taka and he stomps Ishii. Taka whips Ishii to a corner, runs in and SHINING WIZARDS! Taka wrenches, whips and runs, but Ishii runs him over! Fans fire up again as Ishii crawls for his corner, hot tag to Okada! Okada fires up and he fires off on Taka. Okada whips, Taka reverses but Okada CLOBBERS him! Taka flounders but Okada is after him. Okada whips corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” and he waits on Taka. Taka rises, Okada Alabama Lifts but Taka CLUBS Okada down. Okada fires forearms back, then ROCKS Taka! Taka CALF KICKS! Taka SUPERKICKS! Cover, TWO!
Taka SHINING WIZARDS! Cover, TWO! But into the JUST FACELOCK! Taichi BOOTS Ishii and BUZZSAWS Okada! Taka pulls way back on the hold! But Ishii barrels in to break it! Okada is free but Taichi choke grips Ishii. Ishii fights the choke slam, but Taichi dodges the haymaker. Ishii deflects the boot and gets around Taichi to GERMAN SUPLEX! Taka runs in to BOOT Ishii but Ishii rebounds to run Taka over! Fans fire up and Ishii leaves it to Okada. Okada fires up and he drags Taka up. But Taka pokes him in the eye! Taka runs, into the DROPKICK! And then MONEY CLIP!! Taka flails, but he taps, Chaos wins!
Winners: Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii, by submission
The Rainmaker puts this one away, and now he and the Stone Pitbull can roll into the G1! Will Okada and Ishii each take their blocks in the biggest Climax ever? Or will Taichi ruin Ishii’s run right out the gate?
Six Man Tag: KUSHIDA, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Alex Zayne VS Bullet Club!
Just when it seemed there was no one left to challenge the Bone Soldier, the Time Splitter returned! And now, the Ace of the Juniors, the Ace of the Universe, and The Sauce go up against Taiji Ishimori, Kenta and Gedo to really heat things up! Will Kushida, Tanahashi & Zayne blaze a trail on this New Japan Road? Or will the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, the Fang Revived and the Blacksmith keep things just Too Sweet?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans applaud. The teams sort out and fans rally for “KU-SHI-DA!” Bullet Club Too Sweets, and Taiji starts against Kushida in a title match preview. Fans fire up with the bell and the two circle. Fans rally up more and Taiji gets distracted, but he avoids Kushida as he gets in close. They feel out a grapple, go around, switch around, Taiji facelocks but Kushida slips out and floats around. Cover, ONE, and Taiji gets away. Fans applaud but the exchange keeps going as Kushida shoots in with his legs. Taiji holds off the toehold and gets a leg, but Kushida fights off a lateral press.
Taiji wants an arm, Kushida rolls with it but Taiji headscissors! Taiji puts on the pressure and Gedo thinks Kushida is done already. But Kushida rolls and ties up Taiji’s legs! Kushida has the deathlock but he also wants an arm. Kushida brings Taiji into the BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Taiji pops out to a cover, ONE! Kushida sweeps legs and covers, ONE! Fans applaud as the exchange stops with a standoff. Fans rally for “KU-SHI-DA!” as he and Taiji circle again, but Taiji backs off to tag Gedo. Kushida tags in Zayne and fans rally for The Sauce. Zayne says he’s hungry as he circles with Gedo. They tie up, and Zayne powers Gedo to ropes.
Red Shoes counts, but then Gedo pulls hair! Zayne pulls Gedo’s beard! Fans fire up as Zayne headlocks but Gedo powers out. Zayne handsprings over and twirls his hair. Things speed up more, Zayne duck sand dodges to IMPLODER STOMP Gedo! Then RUNNING MARIPOSA! Fans fire up and Gedo bails out. Zayne builds speed but Kenta and Taiji intercept with kicks! They throw hands, double whip, but Zayne dodges and DOUBLE RANAS! Fans fire up while Taiji and Kenta bail out. Kushida and Tanahashi get in, TRIPLE- Well, no, Bullet Club all move aside to deny the Planchas, then they all trip up Tanahashi, Kushida and Zayne!
Gedo POSTS Zayne while Taiji rakes Kushida’s eyes and Kenta CLAWS Tanahashi’s face! Taiji keeps after Kushida in front of the fans while Kenta stomps Tanahashi. Red Shoes reprimands Bullet Club but Gedo puts Zayne back in. Kenta sends Tanahashi into railing while Gedo BITES Zayne! Seems Gedo is trying to eat Zayne first! Gedo says Zayne tastes bad but then stalks him to a corner. Gedo drags Zayne up while Zayne defends that he is delicious. Gedo says that’s BS, and then he bumps Zayne off the boots of Taiji and Kenta! Zayne staggers, Gedo tags Taiji, and Taiji looms over Zayne. Zayne sits up but Taiji ROCKS him with a right!
Taiji puts Zayne on ropes, and BITES him! Kenta digs his boots in, Taiji claws at Zayne’s face, but Red Shoes reprimands. Bullet Club lets off and fans rally for “AL-EX ZAYNE!” Taiji drags Zayne up, cravats and neck wrenches, then whips him into the exposed buckles! The Bullet Club Special comes into play! Gedo taunts Zayne while Red Shoes reprimands. Taiji tags Kenta and Kenta stomps Zayne. Zayne sits up and Kenta KICKS him! Kenta digs his boots in at the corner, but lets off as Red Shoes reprimands. Fans rally, Kenta bumps Zayne off bare buckles! Taiji tags back in, he drags Zayne around to wrangle into a chinlock. Red Shoes fixes the buckle pad but Taiji is clawing Zayne’s face! Red Shoes counts and Taiji lets off.
Taiji holds Zayne’s arm to keep it from reaching out to Tanahashi and Kushida. Taiji stomps Zayne, wrenches an arm, CLUBS an arm, and Gedo exposes the buckle again. Zayne throws body shots but Taiji throws body shots back. Taiji whips and Zayne hits bare steel! Tag to Kenta and Kenta drags Zayne up to whip him in again! Fans rally while Bullet Club taunts Zayne’s pain. Kenta kicks Zayne and taunts him. Zayne snarls and gets up as Kenta gives toying kicks. Kenta swings but Zayne ROCKS him with counter punches! Zayne then blocks to DISCUS LARIAT! Fans fire up for The Sauce while he and Kenta are down!
Zayne and Kenta crawl, but Kenta grabs Zayne’s leg! Zayne EDDY GORDO KICKS! Hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace fires off on Kenta, whips him to ropes, but Kenta reverses. Tanahashi CLOBBERS Kenta with forearms! Tanahashi BLASTS the Bullet Club corner, then he fires off on Kenta! Fans fire up, Tanahashi scoops and SLAMS! Kenta is in the drop zone, Tanahashi goes up, SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, “LET’S GO, ACE!” and Tanahashi runs, but into a BOOT! Tanahashi tries again, Kenta BOOTS again! Kenta runs but into an elbow! Tanahashi runs, into a POWERSLAM! Kenta says it’s bed time!
Kenta fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free! Tanahashi runs in but into another fireman’s carry! GO TO- TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up while both men are down! They crawl to their corners, hot tags to Taiji and Kushida! Kushida hits a FLYING AX HANDLE! Kushida KICKS and KICKS and KICKS, then whips. Taiji reverses but Kushida CROSSBODIES! Then PELE! Gedo gets on the apron but Kushida handspring kicks him down! Kushida brings Taiji up, wrenches the arm and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! Kushida then takes aim, but Taiji avoids the Penalty Kick! The forearms start flying and the fans rally as they go back and forth!
The forearms are fast and furious but Taiji gets the edge! Taiji whips, Kushida reverses but Taiji handsprings, NEURALIZER! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Hot tag to Gedo, he and Kenta both take out Zayne and Tanahashi! They mug Kushida in a corner, whip corner to corner, then Gedo runs in to back elbow. Kenta clotheslines, then Taiji runs in, but Kushida TOSSES him! Kenta and Gedo mug Kushida, double whip, but get DOUBLE HANDSPRING BACK ELBOWS! Tanahashi and Zayne get in, they coordinate, Tanahashi PLANCHAS Kenta while Zayne MOONSAULTS onto Taiji!
Kushida aims at Gedo but Gedo dodges to poke Kushida in the eye! Gedo mule kicks then hooks Kushida, but Kushida trips Gedo to PENALTY KICK the arm! Whip and hip toss, then handspring basement dropkick! Fans fire up as Kushida drags Gedo up and has the arm, HAMMERLOCK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, Kushida and team win!
Winners: Kushida, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Alex Zayne, by pinfall
The Blacksmith couldn’t escape, and the Time Splitter has his first win back home! Is this a sign that Taiji’s future isn’t so bright? As for Kushida, he gets the mic to say, “I am so happy to be back wrestling in a NJPW ring. Thank you.” Fans and teammates applaud, because they love having him back. Kushida says that three years ago, he left here to go to the WWE. “I left with a dream, and maybe, unfortunately, I have dreams left unfulfilled. But now I have another chance to make dreams come true. For that, I am grateful.” Fans applaud again, because again, they are just as grateful.
Kushida tells Zayne that for them to wrestle together like this, “and for it all to come full circle, it’s almost poetic. Thank you.” Zayne thanks Kushida back with a bow. And of course, to Hiroshi Tanahashi, “I know it’s tough around here. I know people will be talking. You brought me in from SMASH, then I left, and now I’m back. I’m sorry for the trouble I caused. Let’s move on together.” Fans applaud while Kushida bows in an apology. Tanahashi shakes his hand, and the Aces are on good terms. Fans applaud for “KU-SHI-DA!” “LET’S GO, ACE!”
Tanahashi raises Kushida’s hand in victory, but wait! Zayne wants to say something. “Thanks for the meal.” Fans applaud and Kushida smiles as he thumbs up and fist bumps with Zayne. The winners hug and celebrate, will there be plenty to feast on as NJPW hits the prime of summertime?
A pretty good event to add a little bit more to New Japan Road and the time before G1 Climax 32. I skipped a lot again but it seems a lot had to be changed because of some positive COVID tests. Tiger Mask stepped in after just winning the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship. This move was last minute, but maybe Tiger Mask could be a bridge for a NJPW VS AJPW show like we saw in NJPW VS Noah earlier this year at WrestleKingdom. A shame Taguchi & Jado couldn’t make the show but this was a great moment for United Empire to win just for the hell of it. Maybe Henare gets going in some title scene in the wake of Khan & Cobb losing the tag titles to FTR.
LIJ’s heavyweights get another good win as a trio before the G1, I hope each of them gets a great showing. Yoh had to sit out of the 8 Man because of his own COVID concerns, but we still got a decent Six Man out of Goto, Hashi, Yano and the House. The House of Torture standing tall thanks to, no surprise, a distraction could mean they lose those NEVER Openweight Six Man titles. And I would love if losing those belts, and Dick being put in a dog cage, points them out as a weak branch of the Bullet Club, and we finally get some Bullet Club Civil War where Jay White finally purges House of Torture from the group.
We got a good match out of Okada & Ishii VS Taichi & Taka. Taka had to sub in for Douki but he pretty much filled the same role in taking the loss to Okada in the tag match. The Rainmaker of course has momentum going into the G1, Taichi VS Ishii is going to be really good for the B Block, and the possibilities are still endless for how the four blocks fill out. The main event Six Man was a lot of fun, and it was great to see Kushida back in NJPW. Of course Kushida’s team wins, and it is good to see he didn’t insult WWE in his promo. He was more apologetic for leaving, but it isn’t really his fault for thinking WWE would actually know what to do with him. HHH did, but Vince took over NXT and screwed everything up like always.
But Kushida is back, and there’s a good chance he’ll get that Junior Heavyweight Championship back and really freshen up some things in the division since it has changed just a bit in the three years he was away.
My Score: 8.4/10
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