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NJPW Dominion live results: Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL

Recommended matches --

  • Shingo Takagi vs. SHO
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi

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Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Gabriel Kidd (9:26)

This was a good opener with solid work from all six guys. 

Kidd and Taguchi opened with a brief chain wrestling battle. Honma and Kojima tagged in. Honma missed a kokeshi. They traded dozens of chops which got the crowd clapping along. Kojima hit a top rope elbow for a near fall. 

Taguchi missed a kokeshi on Honma. Honma hit a kokeshi. Makabe went one-on-two against Taguchi and Kojima. Makabe hit a northern lights suplex for a near fall. Nagata hit an exploder on Makabe. Makabe hit a lariat. 

Kidd and Nagata ended up the legal men. Kidd used a tackle for a one count. Nagata tried a Nagata Lock but Makabe and Honma broke it up. Kidd hit a dropkick on Nagata for a near fall. 

The finish saw Nagata hit a mid kick and an exploder for a near fall, followed up with a Nagata Lock for the submission. 

SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI defeated Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Yota Tsuji (10:16)

Business picked up once Ishii and Hiromu tagged in but the rest of this match was nothing special. 

Yano and SANADA began with some comedy spots. SANADA used a rolling cradle to make Yano dizzy. BUSHI and SANADA then worked over Tsuji. 

The tide turned once Ishii tagged in. Ishii no-sold a missile dropkick from BUSHI. Yano used a slingshot to send SANADA into an exposed buckle. 

Hiromu and Ishii went one-on-one. Hiromu hit a shotgun dropkick. Ishii hit a backdrop suplex before tagging out. LIJ hit tandem dropkicks on Tsuji. Hiromu went for Time Bomb on Tsuji but Tsuji blocked and used a cradle for a near fall. Tsuji hit a nice dropkick that had Jushin Liger comparing him to Bruiser Brody on commentary. 

Hiromu hit Tsuji with a superkick for a two count. Hiromu then locked on a Boston crab and Tsuji tapped. 

El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Master Wato & Yuya Uemura (9:46)

This was fun. The aim was to continue to establish Wato and to set up his next feud with Kanemaru. 

The good guys employed a Suzuki-gun tactic and attacked before the bell. Tenzan and DOUKI ended up the legal men. Wato jumped in for a dropkick. Kanemaru tripped Tenzan from the floor allowing Suzuki-gun to take over. 

They brawled on the outside where Kaneamru and Wato paired off. Kanemaru hit a stomp on the barricade where he usually hits a leg slice, then DDT'ed Wato on the floor. 

Suzuki-gun continued working on Tenzan in the ring. He managed a tag to Wato who hit a tornillo to the floor and a springboard uppercut forearm. Kanemaru cut Wato off. Desperado tagged in and Wato hit him with a jumping kick before tagging out. 

Uemura hit a beautiful dropkick on Desperado. Wato hit Desperado with a shining wizard and a standing moonsault. Uemura covered but Suzuki-gun broke it up as the match broke down. 

Uemura fought for a double underhook suplex on Desperado. Desperado blocked. Uemura used a victory roll for a near fall. 

The finish saw Desperado pull the referee into the path of a running Uemura. Desperado used the distraction to hit a right hand and Pinche Loco for the pin. 

Suzuki-gun beat down Wato and Tenzan after the match. Kanemaru and Wato looks to be a singles match in the near future. 

Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori defeated Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto (9:43)

This was more of a prolonged angle than a match. 

Okada came out all fired up to get his hands on the guys that cost him the New Japan Cup last night. He also had his neck taped up. 

Yujiro and Ishimori targeted the neck and worked it over for the first several minutes. Okada finally hit a flapjack and managed a tag to Goto. The flapjack was really the only meaningful Okada offense in the entire match.

Okada hit a dropkick to Ishimori and rolled outside. Gedo ran down and assaulted Okada on the outside. Goto hit an ushigoroshi on Yujiro. He went for a GTR but Ishimori saved. 

Ishimori hit a bloody Cross on Goto and Yujiro followed up with Pimp Juice for the pin. 

After the match, Yujiro left Okada laying after a Pimp Juice in the ring. 

I certainly didn't have Okada vs. Yujiro on my radar this year but here we are. 

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We got an intermission while the ring was disinfected. 

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NEVER Openweight Championship match: Shingo Takagi defeated SHO to retain the title (20:08)

This was a great, great match. Shingo's selling was amazing as the story of the match was SHO working on his right arm. SHO more than held up his end. 

They opened by trading shoulder tackles to establish that they were equal in the power department. SHO briefly got a cross armbreaker before Shingo forced a break. They brawled outside where Shingo established the advantage. 

Back inside, they traded strikes. Shingo blocked one spear but SHO hit a second. SHO hit a German into a bridge for a near fall. SHO attacked Shingo's right arm. Shingo answered by firing off punches with his left hand and a left arm lariat. The attention to detail here was incredible. 

They traded corner clotheslines. SHO took a back suplex but stumbled to his feet and hit a wheelbarrow German right away. They traded lariats. SHO hit a superkick into a double down at the ten minute mark. 

SHO hit a jumping knee. Shingo hit a clothesline, a sliding lariat and noshigami for a near fall. SHO hit a backstabber and a powerbomb. SHO hit a power breaker. SHO hit a lariat but Shingo kicked out at one. 

SHO hit a deadlift German into a bridge for a two count. He called for Shock Arrow but Shingo hit a backdrop on his way out of the move. SHO hit a seeries of strikes in the ropes. The referee tried to intervene but SHO threw him down. 

Shingo teased Made in Japan but SHO blocked. Shingo hit a double knee gutbuster instead, then hit Made in Japan for a near fall. Shingo hit a pumping bomber but still sold his right arm. SHO kicked out at one. 

Shingo went for Made in Japan again. SHO blocked and got an armbar. SHO gave up the armbar and hit a piledriver for a two count. 

SHO called for Shock Arrow. Instead he first punted Shingo's right arm again. SHO used an armbar. Shingo got a near fall after turning him over. SHO maintained the hold, then slipped to a triangle choke. The ref dropped Shingo's arm twice but Shingo powered out and hit a DVD. 

Shingo hit a GTR with SHO draped over the second rope. Shingo then hit  Last of the Dragon for the pin. 

Desperado attacked Shingo in the aisle after the match, so that looks to be the next NEVER title program. 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: Zack Sabre, Jr. & Taichi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi to win the titles (28:44)

I'd be surprised to see a better tag match all year than this one, even with the stacked tag division AEW has. 

Ibushi and Tanahashi attacked before the opening bell and established the early edge. Tanahashi and Ibushi hit stereo planchas. Taichi was out of position on Ibushi's but had to sell it anyway. 

Tana hit a somersault senton. Ibushi hit a standing moonsault. Ibushi got caught in a flying triangle by Sabre. Ibushi managed a tag to Tanahashi who hit dragon screws on both Sabre and Taichi. 

Sabre cut Tanahashi off with a kick to the back from the apron and Taichi and Sabre spent the next several minutes working Tanahashi over. Tanahashi came back with an inverted dragon screw on Sabre before he tagged out. 

Ibushi hit Sabre with a springboard dropkick. He fought off an interfering Taichi and used a  powerslam and a moonsault on Sabre for a two count. Sabre managed to tag out.

Taichi and Ibushi traded hard kicks at the fifteen minute mark. Tanahashi and Sabre jumped in. Taichi locked Ibushi in a guillotine. Sabre locked Tana in a triangle. Tana reversed into a cloverleaf before Sabre escaped and rolled outside. Tana made the save for Ibushi. 

Tana and Ibushi hit a double slingblade on Sabre. Ibushi hit Taichi with a last ride for a two count. Ibushi hit Taichi with a Kamigoye. He went for a second Kamigoye but Sabre jumped in and took his back with a rear naked choke and body scissors. 

Sabre held Ibushi while Taichi hit a high kick. Taichi hit a last ride. Sabre cut off an interfering Tanahashi but Ibushi kicked out just before the twenty minute mark. 

Taichi ripped his pants off. Taichi blocked a lawn dart attempt by Ibushi. Ibushi hit a high kick and tagged a fired up Tanahashi. Taichi blocked a first slingblade but Tana hit it on the second try. Taichi blocked another slingblade attempt and hit a jumping high kick. 

Sabre tagged in. Tana caught a PK and no-sold some slaps before hitting his own slap. Sabre blocked a slingblade and went for a backslide. Tana blocked and hit twist and shout and a slingblade for a near fall as Taichi broke up the pin. 

Tanahashi hit a High Fly Flow to a standing Sabre. Taichi hit Tana with a high kick. Ibushi hit a high kick to Taichi. Sabre hit Ibushi with a Zack Driver. All four men were down as the 25 minute mark approached. 

Tana went for High Fly Flow. Sabre got his knees up and cradled Tana. Ibushi broke up the pin. Sabre took the ref. Taichi jumped in with the iron glove and hit Ibushi. Tana ducked a shot with the glove but ate a backdrop suplex. 

Taichi held Tana up while Sabre hit four dragon screws to each leg. Tanahashi's selling here was probably the best selling I've ever seen. You felt what he felt inside. 

Taichi then hit a jumping high kick into a Zack Driver by Sabre. Sabre then covered for the pin. 

The beating continued after the match and Ibushi and Tanahashi were left laying in a heap in the center of the ring. Let's run this back, please. 

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We had another cleaning intermission before the main event. 

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We then had a strong video package to set up the main event.

They showed footage of EVIL turning on Naito, then EVIL debuting as Naito's partner in 2015. They had more footage of them together through the years, then ended the video with EVIL stomping on Naito's LIJ hat yesterday. 

EVIL entered first for the main event. He changed up his look a little bit. He had his hair down instead of pulled back and some new entrance gear. He had some new music as well. 

He has also ditched the eye makeup. He still wears a singlet on top but has new black and white boots. He wore pleather tights with a skirt over them and knee pads on the outside. This look needs some work. 

EVIL came to the ring with Bullet Club. Naito entered alone. 

Referee Red Shoes Unno ejected Bullet Club before the match.

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IWGP Heavyweight Championship & IWGP Intercontinental Championship double title match: EVIL defeated Tetsuya Naito to win the titles (38:00)

This went way, way, way, way, way too long but was also more of an extended angle than a match that was there to steal the show. 

EVIL tried to stall at the opening bell but Naito would not allow that. Naito went to the outside and brought EVIL back in. EVIL turned the tide on the outside, whipping Naito into the barricade. EVIL exposed a buckle. 

Japanese commentator Milano Collection A.T. has long been an EVIL supporter and has held up one of his light-up souvenir sickles during EVIL's entrance. EVIL grabbed the sickle and snapped it in half. Milano jumped the rail to confront EVIL and EVIL whipped him into the barricade for great, easy heat. 

EVIL set up a table on the floor. Naito avoided a Darkness Falls into the table. EVIL worked on Naito's legs, wrenching them over the barricade. Back inside, EVIL sent Naito into the exposed buckle repeatedly. EVIL targeted Naito's legs again with stomps. 

Naito fired back with some hard overhand chops. Naito sold like his left knee went out after sliding out of a suplex but then hit a one-legged dropkick with his right leg. Naito hit a combinacion in the corner and used a neckbreaker for a two count. Naito used a crucifix hold. EVIL reached the ropes to force a break at the fifteen minute mark. 

EVIL used a hair pull to take Naito down. Naito hit an inverted atomic drop and a back elbow. Naito missed an enzuigiri. EVIL went back to work on the legs, driving them into the mat. 

EVIL teased a back suplex off the apron through the table. Naito blocked and hit a neckbreaker on the apron. Naito teased a piledriver off the apron but EVIL blocked and drove Naito left knee-first through the table at the twenty minute mark. Naito's back was sliced up from the table. 

EVIL put a chair around Naito's left leg and threatened to Pillman-ize it. Red Shoes jumped in between them with a piece of the broken table and forced EVIL to back off. For a company that usually makes its refs look weak this was an odd time to reverse that trend. 

They did a countout tease but Naito made it in at 19. EVIL used a scorpion deathlock. Naito stayed in the hold forever. Red Shoes tried to sell this as a near finish and the crowd seemed into it. Naito finally forced a break. 

EVIL hit a lariat for a near fall just past the 25 minute mark. EVIL hit Darkness Falls. Naito kicked out at the last possible second. Naito hit an inverted Destino which I believe he's calling Esperanza into a double down. 

They traded strikes. EVIL gouged Naito's eyes. Naito hit a swing DDT and the crowd came alive. Naito hit a rolling bicycle kick and Valentia for a near fall at 30 minutes. Naito sent EVIL into the exposed buckle. 

Naito hit a top rope frankensteiner. Naito hit Destino but EVIL kicked out. Naito rang up the arm and went for a second Destino but EVIL blocked. EVIL hit a knee lift and threw Naito into Red Shoes who took a bump and rolled outside. 

Jado did a walk-in with a kendo stick. Ishimori ran past Jado in the aisle and hit a springboard senton on Naito. Jado finally got in the ring with a kendo stick. Hiromu ran in and made the save. He hit Jado with a superkick and launched Ishimori into the buckle with a release German. 

 EVIL played possum in the corner with a chair. He drilled Naito in the ribs and then hit a chair shot to the head. The chair looked to be gimmicked as the seat popped right off as it hit Naito's head. 

Naito blocked Everything is EVIL and hit an enzuigiri. Naito hit a top rope tornado DDT for a near fall. Naito hit Valentia. He went for Destino but EVIL grabbed the ref and hit a low blow on Naito. 

A fake BUSHI ran in while EVIL took the ref and choked Naito out with a hand grip. Fake BUSHI took the ref and EVIL stomped Naito low. 

EVIL then hit Everything is EVIL and pinned Naito. 

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Fake BUSHI unmasked as Dick Togo and he and EVIL stomped Naito. Hiromu ran in for the save.

Hiromu cut a promo on EVIL. EVIL blew him off and left with Togo. Hiromu had a meltdown in the ring before running to the back as the show ended. 

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I'm all for making a new top guy but I also feel that what makes the IWGP Championship the most prestigious in wrestling is that so few people get to hold it.  

EVIL as IWGP Champion wouldn't stick out so much if someone like Tomohiro Ishii ,who forces his way into a title match every 18 months or so simply by virtue of his work, had ever held the title. 

This is just the first chapter in the story and I'm willing to see how it plays out. I'm also aware of the challenges the company is facing without access to foreign talent right now. EVIL is very good. But can he rise to the level of his push? We shall see.