ROH/NJPW Honor Rising: Japan 2019 Day 2 Results and Review

This show was the second of two Honor Rising shows this year. Ring of Honor sent over some of their talent to compete with NJPW’s talent. The first night had three title matches, and so did this one. Let’s look at night two.

Honor Rising Day 1 Results and Review

Toa Henare & Johnathan Gresham vs. TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr.

Before the first match, TAKA Michinoku cut a promo on his team’s opponents. He didn’t or at least pretended he didn’t know who Johnathan Gresham is. Man, TAKA’s slogans and all of that are so cool. I wish he would do the English promo more often. Henare jumped his opponents to start the show. ZSJ and Gresham showed a great battle of grappling at the start. Henare got a hot tag and hit a combo of moves on ZSJ. He got a two count from a Samoan Drop. ZSJ turned a vertical Suplex attempt into a Guillotine. Henare fought out of it and landed a Clothesline after getting hit with a kick. ZSJ landed a DDT off the ropes, allowing him to tag in Michinoku. TAKA was given a Samoan Drop off the ropes, and then Johnathan Gresham was tagged in. Gresham was in a 2-on-1 situation, landing a Moonsault onto ZSJ and then a Tope Suicida onto Michinoku. Gresham did a Shooting Star Press onto TAKA but ZSJ broke up the pin. Gresham put in the Octopus Lock, making TAKA tap out. Gresham really stuck out to me in this match. We didn’t get to see much of him on day 1 because his tag match was so short.

Robbie Eagles vs. Marty Scurll

They showed the wrong image on the screen in Korakuen Hall for this match. Robbie Eagles fought Marty Scurll in this bout. Right out the gates both of these guys traded blows. Eagles did a Huricanrana and then was given a clothesline by Scurll. Eagles got thrown out of the ring and hit a Springboard Dropkick when getting back in. Later on, Eagles tried for a 450 Splash but Scurll avoided it. They traded roll-up pin attempts after. Scurll did a Small Package Piledriver, but Eagles kicked out at two. He attempted to follow it up with a Crossface Chickenwing but had to settle with a German Suplex. On the top rope, Eagles hit a Huricanrana. This was impressive cause when I said they were on the top rope, I meant they were both standing on the top rope with no support for balance except each other. Scurll took some kicks and then spat at Eagles. The crowd booed when Eagles avoided his fingers getting snapped. When Eagles went off the ropes he was hit with a strike and then given a Crossface Chickenwing to end the match. I thought the finish was a little abrupt but the match was still good. The top rope spot was impressive.

Cheeseburger & Delirious vs. Colt Cabana & Toru Yano

It’s time for a comedy match. Cheeseburger and Delirious faced Colt Cabana and Toru Yano. Cabana teamed with Cheeseburger and Delirious last night for 6-man titles but lost, which caused some beef within the trio. Cabana helped promote Yano’s curry line during his entrance. Cheeseburger teased leaving the match when the crowd was chanting against him. Yano wasn’t as successful with undoing the turnbuckles tonight. Instead, Cabana brought in a long corner pad that NJPW usually uses. Delirious hit Yano with it. When Cheeseburger was trying for a Sunset Flip, Cabana gave Yano another corner pad, letting him hit Cheeseburger in the head with it. Cheeseburger gave Cabana his palm strike, but he kicked out. When the ref wasn’t looking, Delirious took a play out of Yano’s book and gave Cabana a low blow for a two count. Cabana gave Delirious a Chicago Skyline to win the match.

Dalton Castle & Jeff Cobb vs. Hirooki Goto & Will Ospreay

The next match combined both of yesterdays singles matches that were for titles. Cobb got a hot tag late in this match. He was striking Goto when Ospreay came in and was given a huge belly-to-belly German Suplex. Cobb did a Samoa Drop and then a Standing Moonsault onto Goto for a two count. Ospreay tagged in and prevented Castle from coming in. After Ospreay did a Springboard Forearm, he did a flippy move off of Goto’s back. After other tag members came in and out of the ring, Ospreay did a Robinson Special. He tried for an Os-Cutter but it was reversed into a slap. Cobb tried for a Tour of the Islands but Ospreay escaped. Goto and Ospreay both gave him strikes, and then Ospreay did his elbow strike which is still terrifying. Ospreay lifted Cobb in impressive fashion for a Storm Breaker to end the match. Ospreay never ceases to amaze. Simple as that. Also, Cobb is quite the competitor as well.

Vinny Marseglia & Matt Taven vs. Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito

The next match was The Kingdom versus Los Ingobernables. Colt Cabana joined the English commentary team at this point. The Kingdom jumped their opponents before the bell. In this match Takagi avoided a Swanton Bomb and then gave Marseglia a Back Bodydrop and a Shoulder Tackle, finally allowing him to tag in Naito. He gave Taven a dropkick and then spat at him. Naito was given a backbreaker by Marseglia but kicked out at two. Takagi and Naito teamed up at the end, letting Naito hit the Destino to win the match. I thought the teamwork from LIJ at the end was good, but overall I wasn’t a huge fan of this.

TK O’Ryan vs. Jay Lethal (ROH World Championship Match)

The first championship match was for the ROH World Title. It’s odd that the biggest title was the first defence on the show. Lethal caught O’Ryan off guard, diving to the outside before the bell. Jay did a Suplex on the floor. They got in the ring eventually and the match started. I liked a spot where Lethal had a Figure Four in, and when O’Ryan would lie down he would get counted for a pin, and have to sit up. When Lethal tried for it again, O’Ryan tried for a roll-up. Lethal tried for a Lethal Injection but O’Ryan stopped it. O’Ryan nearly almost won the match with a roll-up but the ref stopped counting before three. Lethal did his own roll-up and then went off the ropes to hit a Lethal Injection to retain the belt. After the match, Matt Taven attacked Jay Lethal. That’s the matchup set for Ring of Honor’s anniversary show. I thought this match was good. I haven’t seen a ton of O’Ryan but he worked well with Lethal.

Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa w/ Jado vs. SANADA & EVIL (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match)

The next championship match was for the IWGP Heavyweight tag belts. The team’s last defence was at the second night of New Beginning in Sapporo against Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. For anyone who hasn’t watched recently, Tama Tonga isn’t a good guy anymore. During the match, SANADA took out Jado with a Crossbody while Tonga Loa was in a Paradise Lock. There was some weird spot where Tonga dodged a dropkick from SANADA but also awkwardly brushed into him. It didn’t look like it was meant to be done the way it was. EVIL almost got a hot tag but was stopped by Tonga, who pushed him off the apron. Minutes after EVIL got tagged in he found himself on the top rope with Loa. Loa landed a Superplex for a two count. SANADA leapfrogged over Tonga twice and then did a dropkick.

After many reversals, Tonga hit the Tonga Twist. SANADA did a Dropkick on Loa and then EVIL clotheslined him out of the ring. They called for the Magic Killer but Tonga escaped it, giving EVIL a DDT. Tonga tried for a Gun Stun but SANADA caught it and turned it into a Skull End. Tonga wasn’t tapping, so he let go of the hold. SANADA tried for a Moonsault off the top but Tonga escaped. The English team was criticizing SANADA for letting go of the hold. They tried again for a Magic Killer but Tonga escaped, shoving SANADA into the referee. Jado came in and tried using a kendo stick. He didn’t use it, and almost got hit with a Magic Killer but Loa came in to stop it. Loa and Tonga hit a double team move on EVIL. SANADA went off the top and was hit with a Gun Stun. The team landed a Super Powerbomb while EVIL was being held back by Jado. The pinfall after made them win the match and crowned them as the new champions.

The finishing combination of this match was amazing. I’m really enjoying Jado as a manager for this team. He has a purpose every time he is out there. It’s also good that at least one title changed hands on this tour since there were six title matches. It would be too predictable if everyone retained.

David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Mark Briscoe & Jay Briscoe (ROH World Tag Team Championship Match)

The main event for this show was the team of Lifeblood challenging The Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Titles. Early in the match, Mark did an Elbow Drop off the apron onto the floor. Later on Mark also did a Moonsault off the top onto both of his opponents. Robinson ran into both Briscoes and then gave Mark a Juicebox after spinning around. Off the ropes, Jay did a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Lifeblood did dual summersault dives off the apron onto the floor. They also did cannonballs into the barricades. On the top rope, Finlay was given a Superplex and then an Elbow Drop for a two count. They tried for a Doomsday Device but Finlay escaped. Finlay hit a Spear on one Briscoe and a backbreaker on another. The team landed their own Doomsday Device, but Jay kicked out. Finlay was held down while being hit with a Froggy-Bow to end the match. The Briscoes retain.

I wasn’t as interested in this match compared to the one before. Although that could be because I’m more invested in the teams in the match before. Finlay was being checked out after the match with something happening to his elbow. I’m unsure about whether that’s a real injury or not. If it is real then I hope he is okay. After the match, The Briscoes cut a promo. They talked about how the Guerillas of Destiny won the IWGP tag belts in the match before. They challenged Loa and Tonga in a title versus title match on the April 6th show at Madison Square Garden. The team came out and took the challenge. This was a good way to finish the show since the MSG show is a big one between these two promotions, and it’s worth having an angle on this show about it.

This show was pretty good. My favourite match was probably the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title match. These were two fun shows to watch this weekend as NJPW takes a week or so off before their anniversary show.

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ROH/NJPW Honor Rising: Japan 2019 Day 1 Results and Review

Finishing off the February calendar for NJPW is their two collaborative shows with Ring of Honor, called Honor Rising. Live from Korakuen Hall, let’s look at the first night of the tour, including three championship matches.

Ren Narita vs. Marty Scurll

Tonight’s show took place in a ring that had Ring of Honor turnbuckles and aprons. Chris Charlton was on the English commentary team with Kevin Kelly. I think the last time he was at the desk was Wrestle Kingdom or New Year Dash. In what is a pretty big way to start the show, Young Lion Ren Narita fought Marty Scurll. Late in the match, Scurll did a Powerbomb into a Boston Crab, but Narita escaped. As you could expect, Scurll won the match. Scurll finally ended the match with a Crossface Chickenwing. Honestly, this went way longer than I expected.

Shota Umino vs. Zack Sabre Jr. w/ TAKA Michinoku

Before the next match, TAKA Michinoku cut a promo fully in English. I don’t often hear what he says in his pre-match promos, but this one sounded pretty cool. When Michinoku called the “Young Boy” Umino to “come over ever,” he kicked Michinoku right in the gut. Umino put ZSJ in an Armbar during this match but put his leg on a rope to escape. This crowd was very enthusiastic tonight. ZSJ put in a Guillotine but Umino lifted him for a slam and escaped. Umino went to the top rope and landed a Missile Dropkick for a two count. ZSJ won the match with a Fisherman Suplex into a leg move that made Umino tap. This match made Umino look very strong. ZSJ tried hurting Umino more after the bell.

Johnathan Greshman & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Robbie Eagles & Taiji Ishimori

This next tag match helped promote the upcoming title match between Ishimori and Liger. This was a debut match under NJPW for Johnathan Gresham. When Ishimori and Liger got in the ring, Liger did a roll-up to win the match in very short time. This caught my off guard and very much annoyed Ishimori. Hey, if I put facepaint on for a five-minute match I’d be mad too. This was a fun little way to promote their upcoming match. I hope we get to see more of Gresham on the second night.

Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Tonga Loa, Tama Tonga, Mark Briscoe & Jay Briscoe w/ Jado & Hikuleo

In the biggest match of the evening (in size), The Guerillas of Destiny teamed with The Briscoes to face Lifeblood and the team of Henare and Honma. Hikuleo returned to be at ringside for this match. Late into this match with it was Mark and Juice who got hot tags. They exchanged punches, and then Juice reversed a Irish Whip into a Spinebuster. Finlay and Jay got into the ring, making it a two on two situation. Lifeblood did double clotheslines and then put each Briscoe in a corner. Finlay was thrown out of the ring and then Robinson was given a double team neckbreaker. The pin attempt that followed it was broken up. The Briscoes tried for a Doomsday Device but Juice escaped. He got Loa to run into Mark instead of attacking him. Robinson tried for a Pulp Friction but Mark escaped. He rolled to the ropes where Jado accidentally hit him with a kendo stick instead of Juice. Robinson scored a pinfall to end the match. Hikuleo, Loa and Tonga beat up The Briscoes afterwards.

Cheeseburger, Delirious & Colt Cabana vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship Match)

The first of three title matches on this show was for the NEVER Openweight 6-man title belts. The challenging team was ROH’s Cheeseburger, Delirious and Colt Cabana. Toru Yano has been promoting his line of curry instead of his DVDs recently, and I seriously want to give them a try. The trio was wearing Taguchi Japan jerseys, all with custom names and numbers on them. The match started with Yano and Delirious. Yano was terrified of him. Cabana said some Japanese lines during the match which got a pop from the crowd. Yano did his unbuckling of the corners spot, but struggled since ROH’s turnbuckles had more tying involved and only undid the top of the three. Cabana and Yano battled with two turnbuckle pads. As the ref was distracted with Cabana, Delirious was given a hip attack from Taguchi, a low blow from Yano and a chop from Makabe to end the match. This was a decent comedy match. It felt weird that this was for the titles though since this team was an impromptu one.

Dalton Castle w/ The Boys vs. Will Ospreay (NEVER Openweight Championship Match)

It took a little time before the next match because people had to put turnbuckles back on.  The next match was Will Ospreay defending his NEVER Openweight Championship for the first time since he won it at Wrestle Kingdom in January. Jushin Thunder Liger joined the Japanese commentary team. The fight went outside the ring early on with Ospreay hitting a barricade hard. Ospreay did a Space Tiger Drop later on. There was a move during the ring where Ospreay went off the ropes and was supposed to land on Castle but sort of went right over him. Ospreay got a close count after a Spanish Fly. Ospreay tried for his elbow attack but Castle avoided it. Castle did an impressive Powerbomb for a two count. Ospreay did a Superkick and then his Hidden Blade elbow strike (which looks terrifying), and then a Storm Breaker to win the match. After the match, they shook hands. That elbow move looks so convincing, it’s really terrifying.

Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb (ROH World Television Championship Match)

The third and final championship match was Hirooki Goto versus Jeff Cobb for the ROH World TV Title. Goto got some boos from the crowd during this match when he slammed a Young Lion onto Cobb. In the ring Goto did a kick in the corner and then went to the top rope for an Elbow Drop, but Cobb avoided it. Cobb caught Goto and did an impressive Belly-to-Belly German Suplex. He followed that up with a Standing Moonsault, which gave him a two count. Minutes later, Goto started to mount a comeback, landing a great clothesline at one point which flipped him around. Goto went for a pin attempt after a kick to the chest, but Cobb kicked out. Goto landed a reverse GTR for a two count. He tried for another GTR but Cobb escaped and landed a kick. With Goto going off the ropes, Cobb landed a Tour of the Islands to win the match and retain his belt.

Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia vs. Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jay Lethal

The main event of the show was The Kingdom versus a Okada, Tanahashi and Jay Lethal. As Vinny Marseglia was coming to the ring he let a balloon fly to the ceiling of Korakuen Hall. This match previews tomorrow’s ROH World Title match between Jay Lethal and TK O’Ryan, though the illusion of the match was kind of ruined when Kevin Kelly mentioned that Matt Taven is facing Lethal for the belt farther down the line. Lethal did a dive to outside the ring onto Taven, and then dragged him back into the ring for Okada, who landed a reverse neck breaker. Kingdom tried for a Rockstar Supernova, but Okada and Tanahashi came in to save it. They both did dropkicks while Lethal did a Huricanrana to escape his move. Lethal gave Marseglia a Lethal Injection to win the match. After the match, Taven got some extra shots in on Lethal. After the match Lethal cut a promo on The Kingdom. The match was somewhat short, but I enjoyed it.

This show, in general, had a lot of good matches. ZSJ versus Shota Umino was great, especially for a Young Lion match. I really enjoyed Cobb versus Goto and Castle versus Ospreay. I look forward to tomorrow’s second and final show.

NJPW New Japan Road “Takashi Iizuka Retirement Match” Results and Review

In a special show, NJPW said goodbye to Takashi Iizuka, giving him a retirement match at Korakuen Hall. Along with the match was a full card of other contests. Let’s look at the event.

Yuya Uemura & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Robby Eagles & Taiji Ishimori

The show started with a video package showing the past between Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Takashi Iizuka. The first match on the show was Yuya Uemura and Jushin Liger versus Robby Eagles and Taiji Ishimori. Liger got a hot tag in this match, doing a combo of moves on Ishimori which culminated with a Romero Special. Later on, Uemura gave Eagles a Boston Crab, but he eventually made it to the ropes. Eagles did a great looking 450 Splash onto Uemura to end the match while Ishimori beat up Liger outside the ring. After the bell Ishimori continued to fight, taking Liger into the seats. I’ll admit I haven’t seen a ton of Eagles, but he seems pretty good.

Yota Tsuji, Ren Narita, Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Toa Henare, Tiger Mask, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe

The next match was a big matchup between Young Lions and veterans. Satoshi Kojima was on a roll against Tomoaki Honma, doing an elbow drop off the top for a two count. He landed a Cutter but then got a Brainbuster reversed. Honma landed a Kokeshi after Makabe and Tsuji ran in to help their teams. Toa Henare and Tsuji were the next entrants in the match. Tsuji put on a Boston Crab, but it was undone by Tiger Mask who kicked him a few times. Henare and Tsuji traded strikes, ending with Henare landing a headbutt. Henare did a Clothesline and then a Rock Bottom to win the match.

YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shota Umino & Yuji Nagata

Tomohiro Ishii had his first match since New Years Dash on this show. Throughout this match, Nagata and Ishii would trade strikes. Umino fought really well in this match. YOSHI-HASHI won the match with the Butterfly Lock. Ishii and Nagata continued fighting after the bell but were separated.

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. SHO & YOH

The next match was El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru versus RPG3K. Kanemaru did a nice move where he hung up SHO on a barricade and then gave him a curb stomp, jumping off the same barricade. Kanemaru and Desperado brought the fight into the floor seating. Desperado threw SHO into a table at ringside. This brawl outside the ring is what gave the Suzuki-gun team the advantage for a while. SHO was hit with a Deep Impact from Kanemaru, but YOH broke it up. Kanemaru tried for a Moonsault but SHO escaped. SHO landed a German Suplex and then a double team combo of moves with YOH. Desperado stopped a big move that they were planning for until he was dropkicked out of the ring and then given a Crossbody. Kanemaru missed a Satori Surprise on SHO and then was given a lariat. Kanemaru escaped a Powerbomb but was given a 3K when going off the ropes to end the match. This was definitely one of my favourite matches on the show. After the match, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI faced off with RPG3K. YOH said that they will go after the belts on the Anniversary show. Looks like that will be the next IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title match. The two teams brawled after that. The Los Ingobernables duo got the better part of the fight, with both of them cutting a promo afterwards. I forgot that this is one of the last shows where NJPW has the chance to shoot angles for the Anniversary show.

TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Hirooki Goto

TAKA Michinoku and ZSJ fought Taguchi and Goto in the next match. Early in the match, there was some comedy that revolved around Taguchi. He was struck by his own teammate, and then, later on, he was given some uppercuts to his behind. Goto gave ZSJ a slam onto TAKA at one point. When Taguchi got a hot tag he did his hip attack to Michinoku. They retried their double team spot that messed up earlier and succeeded. Taguchi did a roll-up which got double reversed, giving him the win. It’s nice to see Taguchi rebound after he failed at chasing Ishimori’s belt. I liked the comedy in the match. English commentator Kevin Kelly did a good job at portraying how the team had trouble at the start but eventually got it figured out.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs. Will Ospreay & Hiroshi Tanahashi

Hiroshi Tanahashi made his first in-ring appearance after losing his title in this match. In this match, Archer did a shoulder tackle on Ospreay which he sold amazingly. As ZSJ was trying for a tag he was nearly caught in a Chokeslam but found his way out. Tanahashi got the hot tag on Archer. His momentum was stopped when given a Black Hole Slam. DBS Jr. did a leg drop for a two count. Tanahashi reversed a Vertical Suplex into a Twist and Shout.

Ospreay got tagged back in and did a top rope 619. He did a forearm strike off the top rope. Ospreay was selling one of his legs heavily. He tried for a Hammerlock move on DBS but he escaped. Smith landed a German Suplex and then Hammerlock German Suplex, but Ospreay escaped it and did a Robinson Special. He tried for a Os-Cutter but it got reversed. When going off the ropes he was given a double team slam, but kicked out at two. DBS gave Ospreay a Powerslam off the second rope but Tanahashi broke it up. They tried for a Killer Bomb but it was escaped by Ospreay. Tanahashi landed a Swingblade on Archer and Ospreay gave DBS a Spanish Fly. Ospreay hit an Os-Cutter off the second rope to end the match. Ospreay was heavily carrying the matchup for his team. Nonetheless, a fun bout.

Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka vs. Toru Yano, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Kazuchika Okada

Before the main event, veteran commentator Shinpei Nogami made a special appearance to call this match. Takashi Iizuka made his walk through the crowd one last time. When he made it to ringside he ripped off the tops of Nogami, leaving him just in a tie. Taichi and Minoru Suzuki made their entrances under Iizuka’s music. Suzuki-gun did their world famous jump start to the match. Tenzan was beat up by Iizuka with chairs and did a near count out spot. Iizuka got his mask taken off and bit Tenzan when in the ring. While Taichi tried to undo a corner pad (and failed at it because he took too long), Yano hit Taichi from behind with a corner pad of his own. Yano tore off Taichi’s long pants. Suzuki attempted to give Okada a Gotch Style Piledriver but Okada reversed it into a Backbody Drop. Iizuka got a hot tag onto Okada and bit him in the head. He bit his boot as well. Okada gave him a Neckbreaker after he tried using a chain. Okada went to the top rope and gave him and Elbow Drop and then called for a Rainmaker. Iizuka escaped the Rainmaker and then dodged a dropkick. After a good combo, Okada did two dropkicks and then tried for another Rainmaker but it was reversed into a leg lock by Iizuka. The crowd was very behind Iizuka. Okada picked up Iizuka and did a Death Valley Driver.

Tenzan got tagged in. Tenzan found himself in a sleeper hold but escaped because Taichi broke it up. While the ref was distracted by Taichi, Iizuka brought out his iron glove. Tenzan pleaded him to not use it. Iizuka fought his own hand, trying to fight it. He eventually tried but missed Tenzan. Goto hit him with a low blow, and then Okada did a Tombstone Piledriver. Tenzan went to the top rope for a headbutt and then put a shirt on Iizuka from when they were a tag team. With the shirt was on him, Tenzan did a Moonsault off the top to end the match.

Tenzan cried on Iizuka as his music played. When Iizuka got up, Tenzan tried to bring Iizuka back to his old self. The crowd chanted his name too. Iizuka finally found the power to shake Tenzan’s hand. When Tenzan tried to hug him however, he was bit, and the old Iizuka was back. He grabbed a chair and hit Tenzan with it. Iizuka got to use his iron glove on Tenzan. All of Suzuki-gun came out to be with him. Iizuka started to leave through the crowd. Minoru Suzuki did a ten bell count, and Iizuka’s iron glove was left in the middle of the ring. Taichi was in the ring alone and picked up the iron glove. He teased that he would put it on, but then just left with it. Afterwards the crowd chanted for Iizuka in hopes that he would come back out (presumably). I didn’t follow Iizuka’s career or even have much knowledge about his past, but this felt like a great sendoff for him. I enjoyed this match and this show was pretty good overall.

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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.