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NJPW Road to Wrestling Dontaku results: Jushin Liger 30th anniversary match

This morning’s Road to Wrestling Dontaku event celebrated the 30th anniversary of Jushin Thunder Liger’s career.

While Keiichi Yamada made his wrestling debut in 1984, it was exactly 30 years ago today on April 24, 1989 that the Jushin Thunder Liger character made its debut, which was based on a popular anime running in Japan at the time.

Here are results from today’s show at Korakuen Hall.

Satoshi Kojima, Shota Umino and Ren Narita defeated Yuji Nagata, Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura

Story of the match was that Umino would constantly target Nagata, who would have none of it. This was a good opener, the young lions always show a lot of fire and that gets people into the matches.

Interestingly, it was a young lion that got the win this time around, and not even with a Boston crab. Narita and Uemura traded some good looking offense right before Narita pinned Uemura with a overhead suplex into a bridge.

Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi and Taka Michinoku defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Tomoaki Honma and Rocky Romero

Sabre and YOSHI-HASHI worked a lot of the match, with Sabre focusing on YH’s taped up shoulder. Taichi was tagged in after Taka and Rocky wrestled for a bit. Rocky got some near falls, but Taichi cut hm off with a big boot and hit the last ride powerbomb for the win.

Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi and Tiger Mask

Suzuki took Liger into the crowd, much like other days and hit him with a number of chairs. Liger recovers and grabs a chair, fending himself from Suzuki as Desperado and Kanemaru keep Taguchi and Tiger Mask at bay.

In the ring, Liger stomped on Suzuki but he quickly takes Liger down and mounts him, punching him into oblivion. Desperado tries to intervene but Suzuki is incensed, shoving him down too. Liger cuts him off with a koppo kick as Tiger Mask and Kanemaru go at it. Suzuki chokes Liger out of the ring as Kanemaru sprays Tiger Mask with whiskey, takes off his mask and rolls him up for the win.

After the match, Suzuki continued to destroy Liger on the outside with more chair shots as young lions come in. Liger took a mic and says they fight in the ring, this is sacred ground.

Suzuki grabs a chair and enters the ring, but Liger grabs a chair of his own. They eventually throw down the chairs and go after one another, but are seperated quickly. Liger repeats what he says, saying if Suzuki can’t get it done in the ring he should leave New Japan. Suzuki responds by laying out Umino and Tsuji on the outside, then finally made his exit. This was all pretty cool but it doesn't feel like the end of their feud.

Juice Robinson, Dragon Lee and Mikey Nicholls defeated Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale and Taiji Ishimori

This was your run of the mill six man tag on a Road To undercard. Not bad, but not a ton to it either. The crowd was pretty hot for everything they did, so that was a plus. Nicholls and Owens had some good chemistry with one another towards the end, with Nicholls planting Owens with the Mikey Bomb for the win.

Hirooki Goto, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano and Toa Henare defeated Jay White, Guerillas of Destiny and Hikuleo

Another good tag match. White and Goto faced off here and were the highligt of the match Hikuleo and Henare also worked together, with Hikuleo looking more comfortable in the ring. Jado came in for the distraction as Yano and Hikuleo were in the ring, but it backfired as Yano low blowed Hikuleo then rolled him up.

Yano escaped after the match with all of Bullet Club’s belts, including the NEVER six man tag team titles.

Tetsuya Naito, EVIL and BUSHI defeated Kota Ibushi, Tomohiro Ishii and YOH

Good tag match. The two big feuds highlighted during this match were Ibushi and Naito, who brawled around the ringsider area early, and EVIL & Ishii, who kept it in the ring. YOH kicked out of Darkness Falls, and when EVIL went for his STO Ishii came in and broke it up.

After everyone came in, YOH went for a dragon suplex but EVIL broke it and took him to the corner. BUSHI assisted him in laying out YOH with a lariat as BUSHI wiped out Ishii on the outside. EVIL applied the scorpion deathlock/sharpshooter, which looks to be his submission going forward, then got the submission win.

Naito and Ibushi exchanged words after the match.

SANADA and Shingo Takagi defeated Kazuchika Okada and SHO

I dont think this was as good as the main event from yesterday, but this was still a pretty good main event. It helps that the crowd was hot for everything all night, and things did pick up towards the end.

After some mat wrestling, SANADA takes out Okada as he and Shingo focus on SHO, who gets thrown into the barricade. After being worked on, SHO makes the hot tag to Okada who goes wild on Shingo.

Okada tags back in SHO as he and SHINGO exchange strikes. SHO tries for a lariat, but Shingo is unphased. After some maneuvering, SHO hits two for a nearfall. SHO hits a back cracker and goes for an armbreaker but it is broken up. SHO continues to mount offense, but is quickly taken out by a lariat.

SANADA comes in as SHO gets the upper hand, but SANADA escapes the shock arrow and applies the cold skull. Okada breaks it up, but SANADA countered by taking out Okada, hit SHO with a tombstone then submited SHO with the cold skull. A fun main event.

Shingo says some words after the match, but the crowd desperately wants SANADA to say something to close out the show. He re-enters the ring, takes the mic and says that tombstone was a special gift to Okada. He says he has a bit of good news, that Korakuen Hall is the best place in Tokyo, and that he will see them next time.