We have finally reached this point at HTCWrestling. I’ve dived into the world of New Japan Pro Wrestling. I’ve seen bits and pieces of shows here and there. I also know the names of all the main players in the promotion. But this was my first time sitting down and watching a full show. I’m not up to date on all the storylines. But I know good wrestling when I see it, and I’ve always liked what I have seen from NJPW. Hopefully, I can make this a regular habit of mine going forward.
So I apologize in advance if I screw some things up. Conside myself a newbie to this and follow along as I also watch NJPW in full for the first time.
New Japan Rumble
-Michael Elgin is #1 while Billy Gunn is #2. I’m surprised Gunn isn’t gassed just walking to the ring.
-Gunn is quite audibly calling spots.
-#3 is Bone Soldier of Bullet Club while #4 is CHEESEBURGER! And he gets a pop in Japan? Bone Solider charges at Cheeseburger, but he ducks and Bone Solider goes over the top. I guess Bone Solider is a joke jobber. That’s what commentary is making him out to be.
-#5 is Jushin Thunder Liger. I know Cheeseburger and him are pals. Elgin tells Billy Gunn to suck in then clotheslines him over the top.
-Kobayashi is #6, who walk/runs to the ring. Him and Liger have an exchange and Kobayashi hits a fisherman’s suplex like a champ. Tiger Mask 4 is #6 and he gets a crucifix pinfall to eliminate Kobayashi.
-#7 is Manabu Nakanishi while #8 is Ryusuke Taguchi. Eeryone gangs up to pin Nakanishi to pin him. Taguchi is compared to Taylor Swift by Steve Corino.
-Tiger Mask 4 is eliminated while Yoshi Tatsu is in at #10. Well at least Tatsu isn’t doing any kind of commentary.
-#11 is Yuji Nagata. Where is Sonny Ono to take selfies with him on the way to the ring?
-Tatsu is eliminated as Hiroyoshi Tenzan comes to the ring at #12. Taguchi tries using his butt as an offensive weapon and Nagata is having one of it.
-Hiro Saito comes in at #13. Saito hits a running senton to eliminate Nagata.
-Scott Norton is the last entrant at #14. And he still looks like a built brick house.
-Saito, Norton, Cheeseburger and Tenzan gang up on Elgin. (I apparently missed Liger get eliminated.)
-Elgin says fuck that shit. He clotheslines Saito then pins him, clotheslines Norton over the top and Tenzan as well.
-Cheeseburger and Elgin are left. They have a nice exchange where Burger hits a superkick. He goes for a DDT but Elgin tosses him away. Burger goes for a rollup but Elgin rolls through and picks up Cheeseburger and hits a powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Michael Elgin
TigerMask W vs Tiger Mask Dark
-This is apparently based off of a live action cartoon series? Man I have some learning to do.
-TigerMask W tries an Irish whip but Tiger Dark catches him with a cartwheel boot. Tiger Dark then flies and takes out Tiger W.
-Tiger W hits a nice dropkick then runs to the top and hits a springboard moonsault to the outside.
-Tiger W goes for a standing moonsault in the ring but Tiger Dark gets his knees up.
-Tiger the Dark hits a Tombstone but Tiger W kicks out at two.
-Tiger W hits a nice snap German suplex and follows it up with a sitout powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: TigerMask W- Okay match. I guess if I knew the whole backstory of the show I might have been more interested.
IWGP Tag Team Junior Heavyweight Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs Roppongi Vice (Trent Berreta and Rocky Romero)
-I’m not the biggest Young Bucks fan. I think they can be really over the top at times and they just don’t click with me.
-The Bucks call out the Hardyz as they walk down the ramp.
-Beretta and Romero take out the Bucks early and send them to the outside. The Bucks leave up the ramp. Romero and Berreta give chase, but they eat Bucks superkicks. Vice gets back to the ring before the 20 count.
-Berretta eats a superkick then is dropped on the apron.
-Romero gets superkicked off his own apron as Nick pretends to ask Trent for a tag. Berreta then knocks him off the apron.
-The Bucks end up kicking each other twice by accident, then a security guard on the outside. This allows Berreta to tag in Romero.
-The Bucks duck a few Forever clotheslines. They try to backdrop Romero but he lands on his feet and clotheslines them.
-Berretta gets a Buck into a Torture Rack position. Romero comes off the top and drops a knee to the face but only gets two.
-Romero blocks a double superplex attempt, then Berretta comes up top and hits a German from the top.
-Berreta goes over the top for a corkscrew dive but the Bucks move and Berretta lands hard on the floor. Fucking ouch.
-Nick hits a 450 splash from the top as Romero is set up in the ropes but it is only good for two.
-The Bucks hit double superkicks for two. Romero ends up with a crucifix roll up as Beretta knocks the other Buck off the apron for the win.
WINNERS and NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions- Roppongi Vice: Decent match. They made you forget about Berreta for the ending sequence which was smart. Like I said, I’m not the biggest Young Bucks fan so their act doesn’t jive with me.
6 Man NEVER Openweight Championship: Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi) vs Chaos (Jado, Will Ospreay and Yoshi-Hashi) vs David Finlay, Ricochet, Satoshi Kojima (c) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Evil and Sanada)
-Takahashi of Bullet Club is like the Godfather. And my god, he has this hot women with him in a skimpy bunny costume bikini.
-Ospreay gets the hot tag and goes to work on the Bullet Club and hits a cartwheel moonsault to the outside on all three men. He then hits a shooting star and misses the next two but lands on his feet then hits a running shooting star followed by a corkscrew off the top for two.
-All six men end up in the ring as chaos ensues for a bit. Takahashi ends up hitting a DDT on Jado to eliminate Chaos. Los Ingobernables de Japon are up next.
-BC gets a sneak attack in on Sanada.
-Sanada shoves Takahashi into the ref. This allows LIJ to take out the rest of BC. LIJ then uses a chair attack on Takahashi by putting an open chair around his neck and slamming another one into it. Sanada applies a choke and Takahashi is out as BC is eliminated, leaving the Champs left.
-Both teams brawl on the outside with the Champs getting the better of it. Ricochet and Finlay hit tandem moonsaults to the outside.
-Kojima comes in and goes to the chop house. Sanada catches him after with a kick.
-Ricochet gets tossed mid air and lands into a mid-air codebreaker from Ibushi.
-Ibushi gets the mist in the eyes of Kojima. Evil hits this is evil for the win.
WINNERS and NEW Never Openweight Six Man Champions: Los Ingobernables de Japon- Another perfectly acceptable amtch. Ospreay and Ricochet were standouts. The mid-air codebreaker off the top rope was a nice spot.
Juice Robinson vs Cody
-It is amazing seeing Robinson (formerly CJ Parker) now on a big show like this.
-Steve Corino calls Cody a Rhodes.
-Juice catches Cody going to the outside then hits a belly-to belly. Juice then cannonballs into Cody.
-Cody recovers in the ring and connects on an Alabama Slam and follows it up with a springboard dropkick. He then taunts the crowd.
-Juice tries getting a comeback going. But Cody escapes a suplex and hits a chop block.
-Juice goes for a crossbody but Cody rolls through and applies a kneebar combined with an ankle lock but Juice gets to the ropes.
-Juice goes for a powerbomb, but his leg gives out. Cody attacks it then hits Cross Rhodes for the win.
WINNER: Cody- Meh. Cody is trying to make a name for himself outside the WWE and if you ask me he has been more hype then delivery. He’s a solid hand, but if anything this is proving he really is nothing more than a mid-card guy. I was more impressed with Juice Robinson. I saw nothing in him as CJ Parker in NXT and he looked better here with little offense and in defeat then he ever did in NXT.
Ring of Honor Championship: Kyle O’Reilly (c) vs Adam Cole
-They shake hands, but Cole spits in Kyle’s face.
-On the outside, Kyle gets his left arm around the post. Cole then slams a chair into the arm of Kyle.
-Kyle hits a running knee on Cole in the ring then lands some kicks.
-Kyle keeps landing kicks like he is at a soccer practice. He then connects on a knee to the face.
-Both men end up hitting double kicks, knocking each other down.
-Kyle hits a brainbuster then follows it up with an armbar. Cole reverses it into a pin then stomps Kyle’s face on the mat.
-Cole gets out of an ankle lock by kicking Kyle’s bad shoulder. He then lands four superkicks and hits the Last Cut for the win.
WINNER and NEW Ring of Honor Champion: Adam Cole- That is kind of surprising. If Cole was WWE bound, would they put the ROH Title on him again? Match was average and the two are capable of better.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) vs Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) vs Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa) (c)
-Toru Yano gets stomped by both opposing teams early. He stole the Champs tag titles.
-Yano then takes the corner pad off and tosses Honma into it. Ishii then comes in and delivers some stiff offense.
-Makabe comes in and cleans house, then hits corner clotheslines on everybody.
-There might be more f-bombs then actual moves in this match so far.
-Makabe hits a powerbomb and Honma a headbutt off the top but the pin is broken up.
-The Guerrillas get double low blowed from behind by Yano, he then scores the roll-up for the win.
WINNERS and NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano)- As someone new to NJPW, it was tough to keep up with the action and try to remember all of the names. The action was good and picked up in the last few minutes.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi
-Kushida is dressed like Marty McFly in wrestling gear.
-Takahashi takes out Kushida as he comes into the ring. Kushida comes right back with a Swanton to the outside.
-Takahashi over shoots a sunset powerbomb to the outside, but they recover nicely and still end up connecting on it.
-They check on Kushida at ringside to make sure he is good. Takahashi wastes no time laying the boots to Kushida as he gets back in the ring.
-Kushida comes back with a hip toss then springboards into position for a seated dropkick.
-Kushida can’t get the hoverboard lock applied. Takahashi hits a German suplex then rolls through and hits another one. Lets see Brock do that!
-Takahashi says fuck it and hits a jumping seated senton from the top rope and hits an elbow to the outside.
-I’m pretty sure the 20 count in NJPW is twice as fast as the normal WWE 10 count.
-Kushida blocks the sunset powerbomb this time. Kushida then catches Takahashi coming off the apron and applies an armbar.
-Kushida starts to kick the shit out of said arm, then locks in the hoverboard lock.
-Takahashi is able to stand up and escape but Kushida keeps going back to the submission.
-Both men go to the top. Takahashi flips Kushida over the top landing practically on his head, onto the mat for two.
-Takahashi is finally able to connect and get the win.
WINNER and NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Hiromu Takahashi- One hell of a match. Takahashi has a ton of charisma, and I saw him at a ROH show last year and he was just as entertaining. Great athletic showing and quick offense all around.
NEVER Openweight Championship: Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs Hirooki Goto
-Shibata applies a rear naked choke on the apron then pushes Goto off it.
-Shibata lands some kicks, Goto comes back with a karate kick to the face but Shibata answers immediately with a suplex.
-Goto lands some chest kicks but Shibata isn’t having any of that. Shibata stomps Goto in the corner then dropkicks him.
-Both men no-sell some offense until Goto pulls back Shibata and drops Shibata’s neck on his knee.
-Shibata German suplexes Goto with one of his legs locked back. Goto pops back up but Shibata hits a STO.
-Shibata applies a rear naked choke and takes it to the ground. Goto is able to roll to the ropes and get his leg on it.
-Shibata shoves the ref down. Goto lands some headbutts to the face, but Shibata hits a PK Kick.
-Both men connect on stiff shot after stiff shot. Goto then lands some headbutts and hits the GTR for the win.
WINNER and NEW Never Openweight Champion: Hirooki Goto- Japanese strong style is fucking awesome. The no-selling absolutely works here when both men show as much intensity as these two do. This match was the complete opposite of the previous match but was just as good.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
-Naito tosses Tanahashi to the floor. Tanahashi moves out of the way of a dive so Naito slides back to the middle of the ring and poses.
-Tanahashi goes to the top but Naito dropkicks his leg and he falls off.
-Naito starts to go to work on the left leg of Tanahashi.
-Naito grabs Tanahashi’s left leg and tosses it towards the ref. The ref instinctively grabs it, which allows Naito to kick the knee.
-Tanahashi misses a dropkick initially on the leg, but he comes back and targets Naito’s leg and gets it a second time.
-Tanahashi hits a dragon screw leg whip in the ropes then a slingblade on the apron. Ouch. He then connects on a beautiful crossbody off the top.
-Naito crotches Tanahashi on the top.
-Both men go to work on the others knees. Naito applies a kneebar but Tanahashi eventually reverses it into a clover leaf.
-Tanahashi hits a couple of slingblades and then a crossbody. But he misses on the frog splash.
-They exchange blows and kicks. Tanahashi hits a Dragon suplex. He hits one frog splash but Naito blocks the other one with his knees.
-Naito connects on an enziguri then a Super Destino DDT. He follows it up with another one for the win.
WINNER and STILL IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Tetsuya Naito- As you all know I’m a sucker for good match psychology. But I couldn’t get fully into this match for some reason. I actually liked the previous two better than this one. Maybe if I was fully invested in the Tanahashi story going into it I would have been more excited. But something was just missing for me in this match. Still a very good match though.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega
-Omega has an entrance video for the match similar to that of Terminator 2, when Arnold arrives naked and takes the clothes of some poor schmuck.
-Omega applies an extended headlock. Okada back suplexes but Omega keeps it in.
-Some nice offensive exchanges which ends with Omega spitting in Okada’s face and taking a break on the outside.
-Okada chases Omega on the outside and back into the ring. Okada then catches Omega with a boot.
-Omega gets tossed into the barricade. Omega tries to comeback with a suplex on the rail. But Okada positions Omega on the railing then DDT’s him on the floor.
-Okada tosses Omega over the railing, then runs from coast to coast and hits a crossbody.
-Omega gets back in control by drop kicking the ankle of Okada.
-After taking some hard shots to the back, Okada punts Omega in the face, but Omega comes right back smoothly with a hurricarrana. Omega then dives over the top swanton style to the outside.
-Back in the ring, Omega hits a missile dropkick to the back of Okada’s head.
-Okada goes to the top but Omega gets his knees up.
-Omega sends Okada to the outside and then baseball slides into Okada, sending him over the rail. Omega then goes to the top and hits a springboard moonsault from the top over the railing.
-Now Omega grabs a table and lays it on Okada. Omega then double stomps from the apron onto Okada.
-Back in the ring, Omega hits a powerbomb for two, then dead lifts Okada and hits a sit out powerbomb for two.
-Omega stops Okada’s comeback attempt and hits a fireman’s carry backdrop followed by a second rope moonsault.
-Okada dropkicks Omega off the turnbuckle to the outside. They both tease table spots on the apron. Omega connects on some chops in the ring. Omega charges at Okada, then backdrops him from the ring to the outside through the table.
-They go to the top. Omega hits a dragon suplex from the top. Okada lands right on his fucking neck.
-Okada comes back with a German suplex. Omega hits a running knee, Okada comes back with a beautiful dropkick.
-Okada blocks the One Winged Angel. He connects on the Tombstone piledriver then the rainmaker clothesline but only gets two!
-Okada goes for another Tombstone, but Omega reverses it into a package tombstone for two.
-Okada hits two rainmakers. Omega blocks another one and hits another running knee. Okada blocks the one winged angel again and hits a jumping tombstone. Okada connects on another rainmaker clothesline and gets the win.
WINNER and STILL IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Kazuchika Okada: The last 15 minutes of this match were amazing. The slow pacing in the beginning was fine, as it played into the moves later in the match with the body parts already being worn down. Kenny Omega is going to become a huge star in the wrestling business in 2017.
OVERALL: Great show. The final four matches were all ****+. My favorite thing about this show? No outside interference. No stupid backstage segments. No screwy finishes. That’s something the WWE does way too much. Watching NJPW for the first time, it definitely makes me want to continue to catch these shows in the future and I plan on making the time to do so. There was nothing bad on this show at all. This is what wrestling is suppose to be.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka