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NJPW Road to Dontaku results: Two titles on the line

The first of three big events for New Japan Pro Wrestling took place this morning at Road to Wrestling Dontaku, with two titles on the line. Here are the results from Hiroshima:

- Tomoyuki Oka, Hirai Kawato & Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Katsuya Kitamura, Shota Umino & Tiger Mask when Oka submitted Umino with a Boston crab.

Solid opener -- Umino is still very green but throws a good dropkick. He also sold well in the end.

- Will Ospreay & Toru Yano defeated TAKA Michinoku & El Desperado when Ospreay pinned Michinoku with the Ozcutter.

This was a short, simple match. Yano did his comedy, which led to an Ospreay hot tag, with him getting business done rather quickly.

- Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & David Finlay defeated Guerrillas of Destiny & Chase Owens when Tenzan submitted Owens with the Anaconda Vise.

Another short match, though it was decent for what it was.

- Roppongi Vice defeated Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag titles

Good match. There were some nice callbacks from their various tag matches during it and the action was pretty strong overall.

They brawled around the ring early. Desperado, who decided to interfere freely, was taken out as Baretta wiped out the heels with a tope con hilo. After some back and forth, Taichi got the ring bell hammer, which he’s taken a liking to lately, and tied it to his boot, then struck Baretta with it. Kanemaru followed with a moonsault, but Baretta kicked out.

After teasing some back and forth on the turnbuckle, Baretta managed to lead a Tower of Doom spot, sending everyone crashing to the mat. Baretta kicked out of a tornado DDT by Kanemaru.

He went to finish him off with his DDT, but Romero came back with a super hurricanrana off the top rope and followed that with a suicide dive, taking out Taichi. They followed with the Strong Zero as Baretta pinned Kanemaru to win the titles.

Romero said no one wanted Suzuki-gun, Taichi or Kanemaru in New Japan anymore. He called out the Young Bucks after the match, so that is likely the next title program. Taichi wasn’t happy and nearly threw a table at the new champs as the heels made their exit.

- Ryusuke Taguchi, Yoshitatsu, Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ricochet defeated SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi when Robinson pinned SANADA with the Pulp Friction.

This was a pretty good match, with lots of action throughout. The heels all ganged up on Taguchi at one point while he was posing. Ricochet looked amazing during the time he was in, just drilling everyone with perfect shots. He makes it look so easy when it absolutely isn’t. Robinson and SANADA had some really good back and forth before the eventual finish.

- Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Kenny Omega defeated Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii when Fale pinned YOSHI-HASHI with a tombstone.

They had a slower-paced match than the previous one. It was still alright, though nothing to write home about. Fale and the rest of the heels laid waste to the faces after the match, giving them the clear advantage heading into Dontaku.

- Minoru Suzuki defeated Hirooki Goto to win the NEVER Openweight Championship

This was a really good match, not a match of the year contender or anything but a good title match and a great main event for this type of New Japan card. It’s very apparent they learned nothing from Shibata’s injuries last month as there were A LOT of shots to the head from both guys, both with forearms and a chair shot late into the match.

I can’t really defend it -- it’s New Japan, things are different there when these kinds of situations occur and that’s unfortunately just how it goes.

Suzuki and Goto brawled early, going outside of the barricade and going into the crowd. As Suzuki left, Desperado once again got involved, continuing Suzuki’s work. It was a pretty solid match for the first part but not really anything that interesting. It started to heat up once they both exchanged some forearms in the corner. 

Suzuki started working over one of Goto’s hands as this soon became a tougher, rough contest between the two, landing big shots against one another. Goto went for the ushigiroshi twice but Suzuki was able to counter both times before wrenching in a sleeper. Goto eventually did land the ushigiroshi, laying Suzuki out.

Goto went for the GTR until Suzuki countered, eventually laying Goto out with a great looking dropkick. Suzuki distracted the ref long enough for Desperado to come back in with a steel chair and whack Goto square in the head with it. It might have been gimmicked, not really sure, but why would you want to do that anyway after all this turmoil in the last month with Shibata?

Goto tried to fight back but left himself open to major blows to the head and face. Suzuki put him in the sleeper, then pinned Goto with the Gotch piledriver to win the NEVER title.

Suzuki cut a promo, then celebrated with confetti as Desperado held the Suzuki-gun flag to close out the show.

Check the two title matches out as they’re both really good. Taguchi Japan vs. Los Ingobernables tag was also really good. This wasn't a bad show at all overall.