NJPW New Year Dash 2019 Results and Review

After such a big show yesterday at the Tokyo Dome, New Japan goes to the more intimate environment of Korakuen Hall for New Year Dash, the promotion’s RAW after Wrestlemania. We aren’t looking for a match of the year, but some stories are set to be told. I’m no Korakuen expert, but the venue looks extra packed since there is no projector on the wall. I could be wrong though. I’ve heard how much of a hot ticket this show is, which only makes sense since you can only put so many of those 30 something thousand from the Tokyo Dome into this small building.

Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. (Great Bash Heel) & Takashi Iizuka vs. Rocky Romero, SHO & YOH (RPG3K)

The first fight of the evening was RPG3K versus Suzuki-gun members. Right off the bat, the heels took RPG3K to outside the ring. Rocky started off against Archer in the ring. He got him outside the ring but when going for a dive was caught and thrown down. When Archer tagged in Iizuka he took off his mask, which made him go around and bit everyone. Of course, the ref had no real authority over this. Later on, Rocky was getting pummeled by Smith Jr., until he made a hot tag after doing the BUSHI kick. Both SHO and YOH came in to fight Smith Jr. The three members of Suzuki-gun got rid of SHO and then singled out YOH. YOH was Powerslammed off the second rope, but SHO broke it up. YOH escaped a Killer Bomb with the help of SHO once again. Smith Jr. was given triple stereo knees and then reversed a move into a Double Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Iizuka was tagged in once again, biting everyone. While trying to bite SHO he reversed it into a roll-up to win the match. They ran to the back to avoid possible death from their opponents. Smith Jr. beat up a ringside member, Powerslamming him onto the floor. The commentary team told us about how in their first meeting they also won via fluke, so this is a good way to continue the trend.

Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter & Chase Owens vs. Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma

It was a surprise to me that we were getting a two on two match here. Although I guess it is three guys who are pretty fresh since they weren’t fighting last night. Early on Honma tried for a Kokeshi but Owens rolled out of the ring. When Henare and Takahashi were in, Henare was the most dominant wrestler. Honma got the hot tag late in the bout against Takahashi. He tried for a Kokeshi after a combo, but Yujiro dodged it. Takahashi hit a Fisherman Buster for a close count. On the second attempt, he finally landed the Kokeshi. Owens and Henare were tagged in next. Henare hit a Shoulder Tackle and then lifted Owens for a Samoan Drop, not before hitting Yujiro with him. Owens gave Small Package Piledriver for the win after giving him a mini-Superkick, countering a roll-up. Not a bad match, with some really good wrestling from Owens at the end.

Chuckie T & Berreta (Best Friends) vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson (FinJuice)

This match was Juice’s first match after winning the US Heavyweight Championship. He seemed eccentric in his entrance. Early on in the match Berreta went into the stands and hugged his mother. Heading back to the ring the self-proclaimed “Best Friends” had some pushing and shoving before Berreta got back in the ring. Both members of FinJuice did a Crossbody to the outside. Finlay got hung on the guardrail at ringside, letting Berreta do a double stomp off the apron. When it was Juice and Berreta in the ring, Juice escaped a Dude-Buster but got hit with a kick to the head. He couldn’t connect with the Pulp Friction and got hit with a Shotgun Knee for all his troubles. Finlay got the tag against Berreta. Finlay hit a backbreaker for a close count. Chuckie T came in with a chair against Finlay to throw away the match. The storyline that Kevin Kelly was pushing was that Chuckie T has lost his mind. Juice came in to attack Chuckie T. Once Juice got hit with a chair as well, Berreta was shouting at Chuck, trying to figure out what happened. As they were leaving Chuck went back in and did a Piledriver to Finlay on a chair.

KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata vs. Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii

This next match is Ospreay’s first one after becoming the new NEVER Openweight Champion. There was a good spot late in this match where Nagata and Ishii were trading blows. Those two battled it out in the ring where everyone else stayed at ringside. When Cobb got tagged in he had a great combo of moves with Goto. They both clotheslined each other to set up for another hot tag. KUSHIDA and Ospreay came in next. KUSHIDA landed a dropkick after some counters and took out both of Ospreay’s teammates. Will hit a Springboard Forearm. He tried for the Os-Cutter, but Cobb came in to catch him and take him down. KUSHIDA got suplexed onto Will by Cobb for a two count. That spot was very cool. After numerous reversals, KUSHIDA gave Ospreay a DDT. A Back To The Future was reversed by Ospreay, and he did a flippy move off of Ishii’s back. Ospreay gave KUSHIDA a Storm Breaker to end the match. This match was some real fun. Just wild stuff being done by KUSHIDA and Will, with the help of everyone else. Nagata and Ishii slapped each other after the belt, making others pull them apart. A similar thing happened with Goto and Cobb.

Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (Geurillas of Destiny) Taichi Ishimori w/ Jado (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championship Match)

The only title match on this card was Taguchi Japan challenging three Bullet Club members for their 6-man belts. They won the opportunity on the pre-show of Wrestle Kingdom last night. Just like last night, Yano got distracted because he would wait for Taguchi to call a play. Yano untied a corner pad while in there with Tama Tonga. GoD claims that they are no longer cheats. Tonga proved this by putting Yano into a normal corner instead of the corner with the exposed buckles. When Taguchi was tagged in he tried for a Three Amigos, getting two of the three suplexes. Jado hit Taguchi with a kendo stick when he went on the ropes. I guess Jado doesn’t share the same philosophy as GoD. As the ref was counting a pin on Tonga Loa, Ishimori dragged the ref out. Jado came into the ring to try to hit Makabe with a kendo stick, but Yano came behind and gave him a low blow. Makabe fought off both GoD members, bringing it back to just him and Tanga Loa. He slammed Loa and then went to the top rope, but Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens came out. Takahashi pushed him off the ropes, and Owens gave him a Small Package Piledriver. Loa hit his finishing move to let the team retain. I love this gimmick. That the Guerillas of Destiny don’t cheat, but their buddies do. All of the guys too sweeted after the match, so I guess all is good with them. Though really, it shows that Bullet Club is really bad at cheating. Jado couldn’t give them an advantage, so two more were needed.

El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. w/ Taka Michinoku & Minoru Suzuki vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, SANADA, EVIL & Tetsuya Naito

In a 10-man match, Suzuki-gun faced Los Ingobernables de Japon. There was lots of gold carried into the ring, as all LOS members have belts. As Naito was still getting ready for the match, Taichi clubbed him in the head with a chair. The camera shot was perfect so that you didn’t see this coming. Right off the bat, this match turned into chaos. Taichi and Naito started the match. Naito was really selling the chair shot. Naito was thrown into a press table, and Suzuki took SANADA into the hallway of Korakuen. Naito somehow got the hot tag later against Taichi, despite being beaten to a pulp. Taichi hit Naito with his IC title while the ref was distracted, and then hit his finishing move to win the match. It looks like that will be the next program for Naito. After the match, Taichi called out Naito and threw his belt. I liked this segment. It’s obvious that Taichi won’t actually become champ, but it’s a fun angle to do in the meantime.

Gedo, Bad Luck Fale & Jay White vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi

In the main event, we got the return of YOSHI-HASHI. Along with that, we also saw the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Early on Gedo took a chair to Yoshi. He was in no way given a slow return. Okada was given a hot tag and had a face-off with Gedo. Okada fought off Bad Luck Fale before tagging in Tanahashi against Jay White. White gave Tanahashi a Snap Side-Suplex but got hit with a Swingblade after talking to the crowd. YOSHI-HASHI got the tag against White, hitting a Huricanrana. Moments later White hit a Rock Bottom and then called for the Blade Runner. Okada came in to stop it. White tried again for a Blade Runner but it got reversed into a Twist & Shout. YOSHI-HASHI came back in to do a clothesline and a suplex for a two count. He picked up White again and tried for a move but White escaped by hurting the ref. YOSHI-HASHI did a Superkick but got his move reversed into a German Suplex. White hit the Blade Runner to win the match. Welcome back, YOSHI-HASHI. After the match, White called out Tanahashi. This made him come back to the ring. He got jumped but the Bullet Club once he was in the ring. Okada came in to try to save Tanahashi but got hit with a Grenade from Bad Luck Fale. White did his Blade Runner move to Tanahashi. As the show was ending he hoisted the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Pretty good promo from White.

In general, this show was short and sweet. No huge surprises on the show, but I left satisfied. It’s obvious based off who was left off this show that a lot of people are either gone or still in question. We got two solid angles set up from this show, with other smaller ones also being showcased. New Japan returns on the 11th for the first televised event of the NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania tour.

Wrestle Kingdom 13 Results and Review

It is time to look at one of the biggest days of the year on the wrestling calendar: Wrestle Kingdom! This show will be an interesting one as it might be the last time we see such a stacked card, as a ton of talent will be soon leaving for new promotion “All Elite Wrestling.” What this card will be like a year from now will likely be wildly different.

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Title #1 Contender’s Match Gauntlet

1st Pairing: Yujiro Takahashi, Adam Page & Marty Scurll vs. Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb & David Finlay w/ Chase Owens

Starting off the pre-show match, which is replacing the New Japan Rumble this year, was a gauntlet match to find the new NEVER Openweight 6-man title #1 contenders. Starting the match was Yujiro Takahashi, Adam Page and Marty Scurll versus Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb and David Finlay. I’ve seen some people mention how this match seems to be a way to just pack as many dudes on this show as possible. Finlay tried for a Generation Finlay but got stopped by Chase Owens who was at ringside. Owens held onto Finlay for a kick, but Finlay dodged and it was Page who kicked Owens. Page was angry so he pushed Yujiro unintentionally into a roll-up that cost them the match. Not the most elaborate spot, but hey, it’s the pre-show.

2nd Pairing: Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb & David Finlay vs. Chuckie T, Beretta & Hirooki Goto

Goto got the jump on the already warm team. Chuckie did a dive over all three ropes onto Finlay and Cobb, and then Beretta followed it up with a Springboard Moonsault. The two veterans Nagata and Goto fought in the ring. Cobb did an amazing combo off Tour of the Island and a Standing Moonsault onto Goto. Chuckie T tried for a Moonsault that Finlay dodged, and then David landed the second roll-up in the match.

3rd Pairing: Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb & David Finlay vs. Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Minoru Suzuki

A loud “Kaze Ni Nare” echoed through the Tokyo Dome as Suzuki and his trio hit before the bell. Suzuki apparently was attacking Nagata with a chair while Cobb and Smith fought in the ring. The Killer Elite Squad hit a Killer Bomb to get rid of the long-standing team in this match, in quick time.

4th Pairing: Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Minoru Suzuki vs. Togi Makabe, Ryusuke Taguchi & Toru Yano

The final pairing of the matchup was the Killer Elite Squad and Suzuki versus Togi Makabe, Ryusuke Taguchi and Toru Yano. In the ring, Makabe and Suzuki traded blows, with it ending with a clothesline. Yano and Smith got the hot tag. Yano didn’t fight because he waited for Taguchi to give him a play call with arm signs. Yano removed a turnbuckle, but then got hit with two double team moves. Archer held down the ref and pleaded him to count to three. Taguchi came in to break up the pin and then everyone else in the match followed. Suzuki tried for a Gotch Style Piledriver but Taguchi broke it up with his hip attacks. Yano escaped a double team move and then stopped himself from doing double low blows. As Makabe was fighting KES, Yano hit his low blows from behind and then hit a roll-up for the win. It’s wild to think that Minoru Suzuki is on the pre-show of this card. It was lame that there were three roll-up spots in this match, but like I said before it’s not the end of the world since it’s the pre-show. Personally, I would want Suzuki in the title picture, but maybe they have something else for him. Did I like this match more than the New Japan Rumble? Not really, because the Rumble felt like a more fun way to start the show. While the Jeff Cobb impressed me the most out of everyone in this match. He’s the right mix of agile and strong.

Before the pre-show ended they showed the 2019 schedule for big shows. This included an announcement of the G1 at the American Airlines Center on July 6th and a show at the Copper Box Arena on August 31st. The biggest announcement of all was that Wrestle Kingdom will be a two-day event in 2020, on the 4th and 5th of January.

Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi (NEVER Openweight Championship Match)

What started off the main card was Will Ospreay challenging for Kota Ibushi’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Like Don Callis said at the start, this match was too quick to call. Ospreay countered a Moonsault the outside with a kick, and then landed a dive of his own. Ospreay landed a great move on the ropes called the “Cheeky Nandos Kick.” There was an amazing spot where both fighters countered each other for a long time before Ospreay landed a Spanish Fly. Ibushi got a close count with the Last Ride Powerbomb. On the ground, Ibushi and Ospreay traded slaps. Ospreay put Ibushi on the top rope as Ibushi’s head snapped forward and hit the ring post. Ibushi landed a Double Stomp on Will’s back on the top rope. Ibushi was bleeding at this point, which might have been from the post. Ibushi Deadlift Suplexed Ospreay off the second rope, but Will landed on his feet. Ibushi hit a Bridged German Suplex for a two count. Will got hit with a Piledriver for another close count. As Ibushi was getting up, Will nearly took his head off with an Running Elbow. Ospreay hit a Storm Breaker for the win.

Will Ospreay is the new NEVER Openweight Champion. It looked like Ibushi got knocked out from the elbow, as he was stretchered off. If that’s the case, they shouldn’t have done another move afterwards. Besides that, the match was good. In the replays, you could see Ibushi got hit hard with the elbow. The match was good before that, but to me, that didn’t seem safe at all.

SHO & YOH (RPG3K) vs. BUSHI & Shingo Takagi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado (IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship Match)

The next match was the first of two three-way matches this evening. SHO did a double German Suplex early on. BUSHI did a great dive to the outside onto YOH. Takagi hit SHO with a Last of The Dragon for the win, which looked like death. This match was very short but not bad.

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii (RevPro British Heavyweight Championship Match)

Now, this match is an interesting one because it’s for the RevPro title, and we don’t usually see defences of that belt in NJPW. Never have we seen it in the Tokyo Dome. They even brought in a RevPro referee to sanction this bout! Ishii hit a Superplex but ZSJ no-sold it into a move where he stomped on Ishii’s arm. There was a great chain of moves between these two that ended with Ishii being put in a standing submission move. ZSJ turned it into a powerbomb. ZSJ himself got Powerbombed minutes later. As usual, ZSJ put in a submission move that I can’t name and became the new champion. This was a good match, I like how these two made the crowd really get behind all of the submission moves. With the win, Zack was given the new RevPro title, as the old one was retired after this match.

Matt Jackson & Nick Jackon (The Young Bucks) vs. SANADA & EVIL vs. Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga (Guerillas of Destiny) w/ Jado & Bad Luck Fale (IWGP Tag Team Championship Match)

The next match was the second of the two three-way tag title matches. Nick and Tonga started the fight, with Loa offering a handshake. Nick didn’t buy the handshake and tagged in Matt instead. Loa shook EVIL’s hand, but also tagged himself out. After that, the match lost all order, with EVIL slamming mat on the ramp. EVIL then ran all the way down the ramp for a fast clothesline. GoD tried for stereo Frogsplashes but the Bucks stopped the second one from happening. The Bucks did a great combo of moves, with most of them targeted on the legal man, EVIL. SANADA got a hot tag, attacking everyone, including four Crossbodies to outside the ring. Loa got hit with a top rope Huricanrana, then both of the Bucks did a Superkick onto SANADA, who was coming off the ropes. A Meltzer Driver was ended by a Stun Gun by Tonga. SANADA and EVIL hit a Magic Killer, and then SANADA hit a Moonsault off the top rope to win the match. SANADA and EVIL are the new champions. They clanked their belts and their Tag League trophies after the bout.

Out of the two three-way matches, this one was way better. I thought that the finish for this bout was really clever. It was predictable that The Bucks wouldn’t win this one, but it’s nice that SANADA and EVIL are the champs.

Juice Robinson vs. Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes (IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Match)

For this next bout, Brandi Rhodes was at ringside and had lots of involvement in the match. Both guys blocked their finishers from happening on the apron, and then Cody pushed Juice into a ring post. As the ref was distracted, Brandi landed a Spear and beat up Juice. The referee kicked out Brandi because he saw the last few punches she landed. She shoved a ringside member on the way out. As this was happening Cody hit a Cross Rhodes for a two count. Minutes later Juice hit a Cross Rhodes of his own for a close pin attempt. Cody stole Juice’s move, Pulp Friction for an even closer count. Juice got on a roll and did a Forearm and Pulp Friction. Instead of going for a pinfall he picked him up for another Pulp Friction. This gave Juice the win, to make him the new IWGP US Heavyweight Champion. This was a very short match, but was the expected outcome. It was a good match, but I was hoping would be a little quicker.

Taiji Ishimori vs. KUSHIDA (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match)

Before this match, KUSHIDA had a special entrance, with a small, child-size KUSHIDA being turned into the real one with the help of Ryusuke Taguchi as the doctor from Back to the Future. Both of these guys were doing some great stuff. Ishimori did some German Suplex that I have never seen before, sliding out of the ring while throwing KUSHIDA. Frequently KUSHIDA would reverse moves into submissions. KUSHIDA hit a Small Package Suplex and then a punch that took down Taiji. Off the ropes, Taiji gave KUSHIDA double knees. Ishimori ended the bout with a Bloody Cross. Ishimori is the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. I didn’t know who would win this one, but I guess it makes sense that they want to boost Ishimori by giving him a belt.

Jay White w/ Gedo vs. Kazuchika Okada

The video package leading up to this next match was very well done. The old Okada is finally back, as he came out to his old theme, has blonde hair, and is wearing shorts again. Shorts! Finally! Early on in the bout, Okada showed off his amazing vertical when delivering a dropkick to Jay White, who was sitting on the top rope. Gedo tried jumping Okada but got beaten up instead. Okada did a Crossbody to both White and Gedo over a guardrail. Okada landed a picture perfect Elbow Drop off of the top rope and then called for the Rainmaker. He did not get the move, with White landing a DDT and a German Suplex instead. White also hit a Rock Bottom for a two count. He tried for the Blade Runner but Okada escaped. Instead, he hit a clothesline. Gedo put a chair on the ring mat for White and then distracted the ref. Okada dodged a chair shot and then pushed White into Gedo. He landed two Dropkicks but couldn’t connect on the rainmaker. White hit another German Suplex, then hit a Kiwi Crusher for a close count. He tried again for a Blade Runner but it did not work. Okada got a Tombstone Piledriver, which put them both down. A chain of reversed moves ended with Okada landing a dropkick and calling for the Rainmaker. Both guys reversed many moves, including finishers, with Okada landing a Clothesline. He tried for the Rainmaker but White finally landed the Blade Runner to win the match.

I was very surprised that Okada wouldn’t win this match because it felt like this would be Okada’s return back to his old self. I was hoping it would be that way, but it wasn’t. But despite this, it was still an amazing match. The ending combo was a work of art, especially when you take into account that this was all thought through.

Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho (IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match) (No DQ Match)

This is probably the match that I was the most excited for. This match is a No Disqualification match with the IC title on the line. Before Jericho entered the ring Naito jumped him, which I saw coming since they announced Jericho while he was walking down the ramp. The brawl immediately went around the arena. Jericho got his head bashed on a table, then brought to the ramp for a Piledriver. The piledriver looked either deadly or good. Back in the ring, Naito took off a corner pad. Jericho was thrown outside the ring, and as Naito came to the ropes he got hit with a Kendo Stick. He continued to use it for the new couple of minutes. Jericho did a Dropkick to Naito who was on the apron, which Naito sold incredibly, landing on his head. Jericho picked up a camera but didn’t really use it. Over to a commentary table, Jericho did a DDT which did not make the table break. It looked truly brutal. Jericho did a Crossbody off the top rope for a two count.

Naito started to finally get offense after being down for a while. Naito’s corner kicks got reversed into a Walls of Jericho. Once Naito got out a Codebreaker was reversed into a Swinging DDT. He followed it up with a Gloria for a two count. A Destino got reversed into another Walls of Jericho. Naito escaped the move by hitting Jericho with the kendo stick over and over. Naito threw Jericho off the ropes and swung the kendo stick at him like a baseball bat. He tried to do it again but Jericho avoided it and hit a Codebreaker. Jericho went under the ring to get out numerous chairs. Jericho tried for a Powerbomb but Naito turned it into a DDT into the pile of chairs. Naito did a Codebreak of his own but couldn’t win the match with it. Naito went to the second rope but was slowed down by Jericho, who threw a chair at him. Naito did a German Suplex and then tried for a Destino but Jericho dodged it, shoved the ref and then kicked Naito in the crotch and did a Codebreaker for a two count. I mean, it’s no DQ, but okay. Jericho then took the IC title into the ring and was going to hit him with the belt. Naito put Jericho into the corner with an exposed turnbuckle and hit a Destino, but Jericho kicked out! Naito hit him with the belt, threw the belt off into the distance, and then hit Destino for the win. After the match, Jericho angrily left.

This match was, as I expected, lots of fun. I thought that Naito had a high chance of winning the match coming in, but didn’t know. I love the storytelling of Naito still having a disdain for the belt, as he threw it far out of sight after using it on Jericho. I would say that they used the No DQ rules to their full potential, but they didn’t since Jericho still felt the need to shield the ref’s eyes from a move that was fully allowed.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega (IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match)

Finally, it’s time to discuss the main event. Kenny Omega’s entrance was great, especially with the attire he was wearing. As the two were getting close at the start, Tanahashi slapped Omega. Omega gave him a light slap on the ropes, which Tanahashi followed with an even harder slap than before. Tanahashi early on almost got caught in a One Winged Angel as he was on Omega’s shoulders. Both guys traded hard slaps again when in a leg move on the ground. Early on both of these guys were hitting each other hard. Outside the ring, Tanahashi was thrown into a guardrail but came back with a Dropkick. Omega picked up Tanahashi and slammed him onto the edge of a commentary table, making him plummet to the floor. Kenny went on the guardrail and did a Moonsault. He picked up Milano Collection A.T., who went down when Tanahashi first went through the table. Kenny raised his arm. Omega brought out a table and put it at ringside. Back in the ring now, the two wrestlers were trading blows once again. Tanahashi did a Summersault Senton that looked good. Later on, Omega did a dive over the ropes onto Tanahashi, absolutely slapping onto the ramp. Kenny gave Tanahashi a V-Trigger in the ring. When he went to the middle rope for a move Tanahashi grabbed onto his right leg and did a Dragon Screw. Tanahashi landed a Twist & Shout and then did a Boston Crab. Tanahashi gave up the move and did a Styles Clash. Off the top rope, he tried for a High Fly Flow, but Kenny put his knees up. A V-Trigger was dodged in the corner, making Omega smash his leg into the corner. Through the ropes this time, Tanahashi delivered another Dragon Screw.

Tanahashi put Omega on the table that has been on the outside for some time now. He tried for a High Fly Flow off the top rope and through the table, but Omega got out of the way. Omega did a double stomp off the top rope to Tanahashi, who was draped on the ropes. A kickout came three times, after each powerbomb that followed the move before. After a combo of moves, Kenny hit a Swingblade and a High Fly Flow of his own. Kenny hit a V-Trigger which made both of them fall onto all fours. Kenny hit another V-Trigger, then tried for a One Winged Angel but Tanahashi turned it into a Reverse Huricanrana. After a close count, Tanahashi hit two High Fly Flow’s for a very close pin attempt. A very tired Tanahashi went to the top rope but was hit with a V-Trigger while getting up. Omega did a German Superplex off the top rope, with Tanahashi landing on his stomach. Yet another V-Trigger was hit. Kenny tried ending it all with the One Winged Angel, but Tanahashi escaped once again. He hit a Swingblade and then went to the top rope for a final High Fly Flow, to win the match.

This match, and the whole show, in general, was amazing. I always worry with shows this long that they will drag, but I didn’t sense that at all with this show. Would I consider this match the as good as the years before? Probably not, but it was still very good. In my heart, I still consider Okada vs. Omega 1 as the best Wrestle Kingdom match that I’ve seen.

NJPW World Tag League 2018 Day 2 Results and Review

Show: NJPW World Tag League Day 2

When: 11/18/18

Where: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

After an explosive first day in Kanagawa, New Japan heads back to the famous Korakuen Hall for day 2 of the World Tag League. Chris Charlton and Don Callis were on commentary alongside the usual Kevin Kelly.

Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay

The first undercard match was Robinson and Finlay versus Young Lions Uemura and Tsuji. Robinson and Finlay are coming off a win from Saturday with Tsuji and Uemura losing to Cobb and Elgin in a non-Tag League match. Uemura got a hot tag on Finlay late in the match after Robinson was taken out by a Back Body Drop from Tsuji. The Young Lion duo did the Two Man Boston Crab, a spot that was done on FinJuice the night before but by a different duo. Robinson head butted both Young Lions in an attempt to get them off of Finlay but they endured. They let go after a Double Dropkick. Finlay finished the match with a Brainbuster.

Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (Guerrillas of Destiny) w/ Jado

Honma, who is still on his comeback tour teamed with Young Lion Ren Narita in the next match. Jado came out with the Guerrillas of Destiny and an airhorn. GoD jumped their opponents early. Early on Honma tried for a Kokeshi onto Tama Tonga, but when going off the ropes Jado hit him with a kendo stick. After Honma was beaten up by Loa he acted unconscious in the ring. Tama Tonga tried to do his own Kokeshi but Honma dodged it. This got a big pop from the crowd. Honma didn’t land his Kokeshi when he tried, but got a DDT then gave Narita a hot tag onto Loa. When Loa was put in a Boston Crab Honma took out Jado, but Tama Tonga broke it up. Tonga got taken out then was given a Kokeshi from Honma. Back with Loa in the ring Narita did a bridging pin after failing to land a suplex. Narita went off the ropes and got hit with a Clothesline for a two count. Loa landed his finisher to end the match. Narita looked great in this match. He really stuck out as the star in the matchup. I thought that maybe he could have gotten more time since Honma is obviously still getting back to 100%. I know it’s in their gimmick, but I wished that Loa had a less profane name for his finisher.

Shota Umino, Ayato Yoshida, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe vs. Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

The entrances came in an odd order for this next match with teams taking turns with their entrances. Umino got a hot tag late in the match onto Henare. He delivered a great looking Missile Dropkick, with the pin after it being broken up by Kojima. After a scramble involving most wrestlers Henare gave Umino a Samoan Drop and a Rock Bottom for the win. I really liked the exchange between Henare and Umino in this match. The rest didn’t really appeal to me.

Yujiro Takahashi, Hangman Page & Kota Ibushi vs. Beretta & Chuckie T (Best Friends) & Hirooki Goto

This next match was a rematch from yesterday in a sense. On Saturday, Beretta and Chuckie T defeated Takahashi and Page in what I considered an upset. Page got a great combo of moves when tagged in against Beretta. Page took out both teammates of Beretta, then took him outside the ring and landed a dive. After both wrestlers were in the ring for a long time Ibushi and Goto both got hot tags. Chuckie T landed a Pop-Up Powerbomb on Ibushi for a two count and tried for the top rope but got a kick instead. Takahashi tagged in and got hit with a Soul Food. Best Friends did Stereo Crossbodies to the outside. After a crazy combo from many wrestlers involved, Page gave Chuckie T a Buckshot Lariat, then Takahashi did a DDT for the win. Looked like a night off for Goto. After the match Goto asks Ibushi if he wants a title shot. Goto says he’s done asking Ibushi if he wasn’t to fight him. This made Ibushi say he wants the fight, making Goto say it’s going to happen. So there’s the next defense for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs. RPG3K (SHO & YOH) & Kazuchika Okada

The final preliminary match was RPG3K and Okada versus a trio of LIJ members. This match was essentially a boiled down version of the main event from night one. Naito and Okada started this match. Not long into the match LIJ started to throw members into the barricades at ringside. SHO hit hard, almost going into the crowd. SHO and Takagi had a great exchange in the ring. When BUSHI got tagged in he hit a Dropkick off the top rope and then his patented Bushirooni. RPG3K did a Double Suplex onto Takagi and then tagged in Okada to work on BUSHI. He exchanged blows with Naito after he broke up his pinfall. BUSHI and Okada took the match home with Okada following up a Dropkick with the Rainmaker for the win. Maybe I’m crazy, but it felt like I hadn’t seen a Rainmaker in a while. I was hoping to see more teamwork between RPG3K, but only really got one spot out of it.

Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) (0-0) vs. Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (0-0) (World Tag League Match)

After quite the extensive undercard we finally began with the Tag League matches. KES faced Iizuka and their own group’s leader, Minoru Suzuki. Iizuka entered through the crowd without anyone from Suzuki Gun walking him out. When Suzuki-gun faces themselves you can bet that they’ll be starting with a brawl around the venue. After a lengthy fight outside the ring the match finally began. Suzuki’s strong style was tested as many times KES would no-sell his shots. After Suzuki was gotten rid of, KES hit a Killer Bomb on Iizuka for the win. The way I perceived the match is that Iizuka’s dirty tactics didn’t work and because of this actually distracted and detrimented him. After the match Suzuki shook hands with KES.

Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (0-0) vs. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii (0-0) (World Tag League Match)

The next match was Suzuki-gun versus CHAOS. After maybe 8 minutes of the match Yano got a tag to fight Taichi. Yano undid two corner pads. When turning around from undoing the second one, Taichi hit him with the first one. Taichi ran into an exposed corner then got his long pants ripped off by Yano. A roll-up pin only gave Yano a two count. Yano’s corners worked against his team as Ishii ran into one once he got tagged in. After Ishii was thrown in the corner once again, ZSJ put him in a submission move that Ishii escaped. Yano came in and gave both of his opponents a Fireman’s Carry and another move for each. He gave ZSJ an Inverted Atomic drop after running him into a corner, then Ishii hit a German Suplex for a two count. Taichi took care of Yano while ZSJ did a Penalty Kick and then a roll-up for a two count. Yano hit a clothesline for a close count. The crowd was unglued at this point. ZSJ turned a Vertical Drop Brainbuster into a Triangle Choke. While the ref was looking at Ishii, Taichi hit Yano with a mic-stand. Ishii passed out, ending the match. The match was enjoyable but the ref spot was lazy. The ref was looking for a tap from Ishii, but was also shielding his eyes for no reason? They weren’t even trying with the finish. ZSJ raised Yano’s RPW Championship after the match.

SANADA & EVIL (0-0) vs. Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb (0-0) (World Tag League Match)

The main event of the second night was SANADA and EVIL facing Michael Elgin and Jeff Cobb. Cobb and SANADA started the match. Cobb and Elgin repeated their spot from Night one where they took turns holding someone upside down. Cobb did an impressive Standing Moonsault but got hit by EVIL’s knees on the way down. When Elgin got tagged in at one point he gave both opponents a Spinning Forearm and then dove to the outside where EVIL was. Elgin tried for a German Suplex but SANADA escaped. SANADA went off the ropes but got Superkicked then hit with the German Suplex upon second attempt. While Cobb was being held back by EVIL, SANADA tried to end the match with with a Skulls End, but Cobb eventually stopped it. Later on SANADA let go of a Skulls Ends to let EVIL do a Magic Killer with him. After Elgin and SANADA were in the ring for the longest time Cobb and EVIL got tagged in. Cobb gave EVIL a Tour of The Islands for a pin that was broken up by SANADA. With SANADA now outside of the ring, Elgin gave EVIL a Superplex, and Cobb did a Standing Moonsault for a kickout. I genuinely believed that would be the finish. After Cobb dodged an Everything Is EVIL, EVIL escaped another Tour of The Islands, did another Magic Killer with SANADA. EVIL landed his Everything is EVIL move to finish the match.

I felt that A Tour of The Islands and the Magic Killer were both done one too many times. While this match entertained by I thought Cobb and Elgin both hitting high spots only to get a clean kickout made them look very weak. This ended the show.

Day 3 (Tuesday):

Note: The whole show won’t be shown as only some matches will be uploaded to NJPWWorld afterwards.

  1. Yuya Uemura & Ayato Yoshida vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page
  2. Ren Narita & Shota Umina vs. Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.
  3. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yota Tsuji & Tomoaki Honma
  4. Toa Henare & Togi Makabe (0-1) vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata (1-0) (World Tag League Match)
  5. Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin (0-1) vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) (1-0) (World Tag League Match)
  6. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii (0-1) vs. Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (0-1) (World Tag League Match)
  7. David Finlay & Juice Robinson (1-0) vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga) (1-0) (World Tag League Match)
  8. RPG3K (SHO & YOH), Best Friends (Chuckie T & Beretta) & Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, SANADA, EVIL & Tetsuya Naito

NJPW World Tag League 2018 Day 1 Results and Review

Show: NJPW World Tag League 2018 Day 1

When: 11/17/18

Where: Chichibunomiya Memorial Gymnasium, Kanagawa, Japan

Before New Japan begins their Road To The Tokyo Dome, they have one last tournament: The World Tag League. Today was the first day of the round robin tournament. Let’s look at the show.

Yoya Uemura & Yota Tsuji vs. Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb

The opening match was two Young Lions versus the big man team of Elgin and Cobb. Elgin and Cobb are working as a team in the tournament, but do not fight in the pool until tomorrow. Tsuji started with Cobb and seemed over confident against him. He got overpowered by Cobb. Tsuji tagged in Uemura and Elgin got tagged in as well. Uemura landed a good dropkick in the corner. Cobb and Elgin did a double team spot where both guys took turns holding Uemura upside down. Cobb hit a Standing Moonsault for a two count. Tsuji and Cobb got hot tags with Tsuji and Uemura doing a Boston Crab with each one taking a leg. After Tsuji landed a Sunset Flip pin on Cobb the fun and games was over for him. The big man duo did a double clothesline, a move for a close count and A Tour of The Islands from Cobb for the win. It was a nice little start to the card with the Young Lions getting a decent amount of offense in.

Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi

Before the next match Taichi sadly did not have a song to sing on his way to the ring. After Narita had a good opening battle with ZSJ he was sent into the seats by Taichi while ZSJ went after Honma. Honma was put in an armbar by ZSJ but he luckily made it to the ropes. Taichi got tagged in and got hit with a flying headbutt. Taichi Superkicked Narita for the win while ZSJ had Honma on the top rope with a submission. I’m happy to see ZSJ on this tour because he has the potential to deliver some amazing matches. Not all of the teams are dream teams, but some are definitely worth looking out for.

Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Takashi Iizuka

In the next match Suzuki-gun were pitted against each other. Kanemaru, Smith Jr. and Archer faced Suzuki, Desperado and Iizuka. Both teams brawled early, with Suzuki and Archer going deep into the crowd. Iizuka and Archer were the first two to formally start the match. When Suzuki got in the ring he landed a Gotch Style Piledriver on Kanemaru for the win. This match felt a little too short. They could have went maybe five more minutes, especially since it’s a six-man not a normal tag team.

World Tag League Matches

Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida (0-0) vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay (0-0)

After three preliminaries we began the World Tag League portion of the card. Robinson was dressed as the Macho Man Randy Savage. Juice came off the top early on and got caught by Umino to get Belly-to-belly Suplexed. He landed a Missile Dropkick off the top with the help of Yoshida. Umino put Finlay in the Boston Crab but was taken out of it by Robinson. Umino was on a roll but got stopped by both Juice and Finlay. Robinson did a Left Hand of God with Finlay hitting a Stunner to win the match.

Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata (0-0) vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (0-0)

The next tournament match was not a match of young prospects. Nakanishi and Nagata fought Kojima and Tenzan. Tenzan was on a roll late in the match and hit a Brainbuster for a two count. Tenzan did a Anaconda Vice on Nakanishi but Nagata came in to break it up. Nagata got tagged in on Tenzan and was landing kicks. Kojima replaced Tenzan and did a million chops in the corner. Kojima landed a Cutter and then a Brainbuster for a close count. Kojima was on a roll but caught himself in an Armbar of Nagata that Tenzan separated. Nakanishi did a Spear to Kojima then Nagata did an knee in the corner and an Exploder Suplex for the win. This was the sort of match that had me bored at the start, but had a real good finishing few minutes.

Best Friends (Chuckie T & Beretta) v (0-0) vs. Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi (0-0)

Before this match began Don Callis showed up to the English commentary table. Chuckie T looked explosive at the start versus Takahashi. Everyone in this match seemed so energetic. I liked a spot where Beretta got thrown into a corner but used the momentum to land a clothesline. Chuckie T tried for a Moonsault but Page dodged it. Takahashi landed a move after a Hotshot Lariat from Page onto Beretta, but Chuckie broke it up. After Chuckie T was thrown into the barricades Beretta became disadvantaged. Beretta was hard to put away. He survived a Powerbomb which lended Chuckie T time to get back into the match. Beretta landed a Piledriver with Chuckie T going off of the top rope as well to give them the win. This win came as a surprise to me because Page and Takahashi seemed like the ones that would be more likely to be put over. Also I assumed the Powerbomb would be the finishing spot.

Toa Henare & Togi Makabe (0-0) vs. Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga w/ Jado (0-0)

The Guerillas of Destiny were accompanied by Jado in this match. Jado threatened the commentary table with a kendo stick before the match. The crowd was hot for Makabe. Loa and Makabe started the fight off. Jado tried playing as a distraction at one point but got punched off the apron by Makabe. When Henare and Makabe were on a roll Henare hit a Shoulder Tackle off the ropes for a two count. After that Henare and Loa had a great combination of reversals that ended with Loa hitting a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count, which was broken up by Makabe. Loa gave Henare a variation of a Piledriver for the win. Jado interfered with the kendo stick many times when the referee did not see. This was one of the best matches of the night. Makabe seemed to get more ring time that Henare. After the match Don Callis commented on Jado saying “how many gimmicks is this guy carrying?”

Main Event

Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, SANADA, EVIL & Tetsuya Natio vs. RPG3K (Sho & Yoh), Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada

The main event of the evening does not apply to the tag league. It was a classic CHAOS versus Los Ingobernables de Japon matchup. It wasn’t long into the match that everyone brawled in many directions through the crowd. Yano got stuck in a Paradise Lock by Sanada. When Okada got tagged in he did a good combination with Sanada. YOH got the hot tag on BUSHI next. RPG3K tried for the 3K but BUSHI escaped it. Naito got tagged in and went to work on YOH with the help of EVIL and Sanada. He attempted a Destino but Yano came in to stop it which started a flurry of people coming in and out of the ring. Naito hit a Destino on YOH to end the match. It surprised me that YOH was given so much time. This felt a little short for a main event, but was a good way to wrap up the show nonetheless. To close the show Los Ingobernables spoke to the crowd.

Tomorrow:

    1. David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji
    2. Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga
    3. Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe vs. Shota Umino, Ayato Yoshida, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata
    4. Chuckie T, Beretta & Hirooki Goto vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Hangman Page & Kota Ibushi
    5. RPG3K (SHO & YOH) & Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito
    6. Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (0-0) vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer (0-0) (Tag League Match)
    7. Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (0-0) vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer (0-0) (Tag League Match)
    8. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii (0-0) vs. Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. (0-0) (Tag League Match)
    9. Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin (0-0) vs. SANADA & EVIL (0-0) (Tag League Match)