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NJPW Road to Wrestling Dontaku results: Jay White vs. David Finlay

Two big singles matches made Road to Wrestling Dontaku a memorable show.

This morning’s show at Korakuen Hall had a big main event, where Jay White finally delivered in a big way, squaring off against David Finlay who proved he can hang at a main event level. Meanwhile, Henare and Tomohiro Ishii had a hell of a brawl, made great by the heat throughout the entire match. If you need to watch only two matches from this card, those are your best choices though there was a ton of great build towards the Wrestling Dontaku shows next weekend.

Here are results from this morning’s card:

Yuji Nagata, Jushin Thunder Liger and Tomoyuki Oka defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ren Narita and Shota Umino

Umino was eager to get in and showed a lot of fire throughout the match. Nagata locked Umino in an armbar, but his team broke it up. Umino struck Nagata with some hard slaps, but Nagata took him down, landed an exploder and sunk in the Nagata lock for the submission victory in a solid opener.

Taichi, Taka Michinoku and Takashi Iizuka defeated SHO, YOH and Rocky Romero by DQ

This is the third time these three are facing one another on the tour. Last time, Iizuka caused a DQ by using the iron fingers of death. This played to the finish of tonight’s bout as Iizuka was looking to use them again on SHO, but he escaped. He went to use it again, but this time SHO’s teammates kept him at bay.

It still ended in a DQ, unfortunately. Taichi was about to use the microphone stand as a weapon. SHO got in a tug of war with him, and Taichi let it go. It struck the referee on accident, and since SHO was holding it he was disqualified. This isn’t a particularly interesting feud on this tour.

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin and KUSHIDA defeated Will Ospreay, Toru Yano and YOSHI-HASHI

KUSHIDA and Ospreay started things out with a opening stretch that you gotta see, it was amazing. Basic, solid back and forth match that was pretty solid overall. Makabe picked up the win with the King Kong Knee drop on Yano.

Tomohiro Ishii defeated Henare

This was great. Ishii can get anyone into a match and knows how to make his opponents look great. Henare has a ton of potential Still green in some areas, but knows what kind of style he wants to do and demonstrated it here with Ishii, who was more than up to the task.

Things start off pretty basic. Some test of power spots. Ishii caught him in a Boston crab, but Henare escaped. Henare fired back with a shoulder tackle, then another off the top rope. Ishii cut him off, lands a number of forearms and plants Henare with a German.

Ishii hit a belly to back suplex, but as he was going for something else Henare trapped him in a pop-up Samoan drop. Henare got the better of Ishii in a slap battle and hit a spear for a great near fall. Ishii fought back, but ate another lariat by Henare. 

Ishii rebounded and hit the sliding D, but Henare kicked out. He went for the brainbuster, but Henare turned it into a cradle. Henare went for a uranage but Ishii blasted him with a lariat that turned him inside out. He followed that with the brainbuster for the win.

Minoru Suzuki, Killer Elite Squad, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Desperado defeated Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi

Suzuki-gun had new music tonight as they came to the ring. It was fine.

LIJ jumped Suzuki-gun at the bell, but the tides soon turned as everyone brawled out of the ring, including Suzuki and Naito who battled into the crowd. Heels worked over BUSHI for a bit before tagging in SANADA, who cleared house. 

Eventually it went to Naito and Suzuki, the latter working on the former’s bad leg which will very likely play a big part in their Intercontinental title match. It became a melee from here. BUSHI tried to take out Suzuki but it was of little use. He then grabbed Takahashi and planted him with the Gotch piledriver for the win.

Suzuki said some words after the match, all while resting his foot on Naito’s body. He made his exit, but Naito got on the mic and said some words to Suzuki, which he didn’t like.

Another video for the return of Bone Soldier. You’re all so excited, I’m sure.

Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto and Gedo defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi and Juice Robinson

Tanahashi and Okada went it at it. Story seems to be that heading into their match at Wrestling Dontaku, Okada is dominating Tanahashi, as he did so early on in the bout as well as after.  After Goto and Juice went at it, Taguchi and Gedo were in the ring. Taguchi dominated until Okada broke things up and worked over Taguchi.

Taguchi’s teammates came to the ring to break things up, but Okada preserved and hit the elbow. Tanahashi tried to interfere, but Okada took him out with a dropkick. Okada looked like he was about to finish Taguchi, but instead leapt out of the ring and tombstoned Tanahashi. Back in the ring, Taguchi tried to outcounter Okada, but instead Okada caught him on the floor with the cobra clutch. Taguchi tapped soon after, ending a relatively fun bout.

Okada grabbed Tanahashi after the match like he was going to tombstone him on the outside again, but referees and other personnel stopped it before it could happen. 

Jay White defeated David Finlay to retain the IWGP United States title

Great main event. The question here was if Finlay would bring it at this level, and the answer is a resounding yes -- he was a great babyface here and people bought into him quickly, especially when he sold. White felt more in his element here than in recent high profile matches and it resulted in a great, heated match.

Very fast paced back and forth to start things off. Finlay got the advantage and took him into the crowd, where he threw White into nearby chairs. White cut him off and hit a neckbreaker off the middle rope. 

White wore down Finlay with submissions, including the Muta lock. Finlay took White and clotheslined him to the floor. More fast action follows inside the ring. White blasts Finlay with a German suplex and connected with a brainbuster. White, in a callback to their Young Lion days, put Finlay in a in a Boston crab then transitioned into the liontamer position before Finlay escaped.

White backdropped Finlay out of the ring and onto the floor, then followed with a snap back suplex. Back in the ring, Finaly dodged a turnbuckle shot and does it to White instead. He clobbered White in the back of the head with a lariat and hit a spear for a nearfall.

Finlay went for the stunner, but White spit at him instead, which Finlay didn’t like and retaliated with a STO. At this point, he introduced a table into the match . Both men fight on the apron as Finaly finally connected with a death valley driver. White somehow finds the wherewithal to grab Finlay and powerbombed him onto the table, which didn’t break, because this is Japan.

The two struggled to their feet as they exchanged blows. White went for the bladerunner, but White connected with a lumbar check and a last shot. Finlay lifted White up for something, but he countered and hit the bladerunner for the win.

After the match, White said that it was a valiant effort on Finlay’s part and that he deserved to be in main events. But he doesn’t deserve to be in the ring with him and tells the attendants to take him out in not so nice terms. He asks who is next, as he doesn’t know. He’ll keep an eye on the match between Okada and Tanahashi. He finished by saying either way, they will bleed with the Switchblade.