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NJPW Summer Struggle night one results: LIJ vs. Bullet Club

summer struggle night one

Recommended matches --

  • Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Gabriel Kidd 

Report --

Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Gabriel Kidd (9:14)

Kidd and Makabe were the focus of this match and they look to be building to a singles match between them at some point on this tour. 

This gets a recommendation based on an amazing sequence between Ishii and Taguchi. After an opening volley between Kidd and Makabe, Taguchi tagged in and demanded Ishii tag in as well. They proceeded to have a comedy exchange where Ishii targeted Taguchi's butt while Taguchi went after Ishii's neck. Trust me, it was incredible. 

Kidd and Makabe had another intense exchange of power moves. Kojima tagged in and went for a  top rope elbow but Ishii saved for Kidd. 

The match broke down from there before Kojima hit Kidd with a lariat for the pin. 

Shingo Takagi & SANADA defeated Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (9:00)

Shingo and SANADA just beat poor YH to death here. Goto and Shingo was teased as a NEVER title program but not strongly. 

Shingo and YH opened up with an exchange of strikes. SANADA jumped in for the illegal double team and SANADA and Shingo cut YH off in their corner. YH came back with a low dropkick to Shingo's left knee which he was still selling from last night. 

Shingo made a comeback on YH. SANADA and Shingo hit some cool tandem offense. The finish saw Shingo use a lariat for a near fall, then hit Made in Japan for the pin. 

Minoru Suzuki & DOUKI defeated Yuji Nagata & Yuya Uemura (11:15)

Suzuki and Nagata went after each other before the bell rang, then just decided to have their own match on the floor while DOUKI and Uemura worked in the ring. The match on the floor was much better. 

Suzuki and Nagata pounded on each other with strikes and sent each other into the barricade. Uemura took a nasty bump over the top and hit his back on the apron on the way to the floor. All four brawled around ringside. DOUKI used his steel pipe on Uemura. 

Suzuki and Nagata had another striking exchange in the ring. Suzuki and DOUKI cut Uemura off. Nagata saved and Uemura hit Suzuki with a dropkick and a double underhook suplex for a near fall. Uemura escaped a kimura by using a small package for another near fall. 

The finish saw Suzuki hit a big boot and a Gotch-style piledriver for the pin. 

Suzuki and Nagata then brawled to the back. 

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There was an intermission as they cleaned the ring. 

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Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato (13:35)

A brawl broke out at the opening bell. Tanahashi and Taichi were left the legal men as everyone else fought to the floor. Tanahashi got the better of the exchange. Wato tagged in and hit a weak hook kick before being cut off. 

On the floor, meanwhile, Taichi attacked Tanahashi with a hammer. He jammed the hammer up Tanahashi's nose and raked it across his forehead. Sabre joined in on the attack. 

Wato finally managed a tag to Ibushi. Ibushi hit a double backflip kick on Desperado and Kanemaru. Sabre tagged in for a striking battle that ended with Ibushi hitting a high kick into a double down. 

Tenzan tagged in for the closing sequence. Sabre sold like crazy for him. Wato hit a springboard elbow and Tenzan covered for a near fall. 

Everyone jumped in for a big move. Suzuki-gun went four on one against Tenzan. Desperado hit a low blow and Kanemaru hit Tenzan with a whiskey bottle before Sabre slapped an armbar with a headscissors on Tenzan for the submission. 

Sabre and Taichi left Tanahashi and Taichi laying after the match to further their program. They don't really have any challengers ready for Taichi and Sabre's tag titles so I would expect they will run that match back. 

Kazuchika Okada & SHO defeated Yujiro Takahashi & Gedo (10:27)

I know that circumstances and travel bans have forced NJPW's hand but this is such a waste of Okada. Yujiro is beyond limited and Gedo is a manager and here they are working a semi-main with Okada. 

Okada and Yujiro started out. SHO tagged in and got cut off. They brawled outside where Okada tried to save SHO and got posted instead. Yujiro hammered Okada with punches from the mount. 

Gedo and Yujiro isolated SHO in their corner and worked him over. SHO hit a double spear and made the big hot tag to Okada. Okada went for a flapjack but Yujiro hit a hot shot and dropped him on the top rope. Gedo and Yujiro doubled up on Okada. Gedo hit a superkick for a near fall. 

Yujiro took the ref. Gedo grabbed brass knuckles. SHO made the save. Okada then hit a dropkick and used the cobra clutch for the submission. 

EVIL, Taiji Ishimori & Dick Togo defeated Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI (13:01)

They had an entertaining main event brawl but nothing you need to go out of your way to see. 

LIJ used some misdirection and attacked at the opening bell. BUSHI choked Ishimori with his shirt and used a chinlock. Hiromu tagged in and got cut off. Ishimori hit some hard shots to the neck. 

EVIL tagged in and worked on Hiromu's left shoulder which was all taped up. Hiromu got sent into an exposed turnbuckle. Hiromu got a couple of hope spots working with Togo before hitting a superkick and tagging Naito. 

Naito demanded that EVIL tag in. EVIL obliged. They traded shots before Naito hit a neckbreaker, a dropkick and another neckbreaker. EVIL used a scorpion deathlock while Ishimori put Hiromu in the Yes Lock. They teased a submission but BUSHI saved. Ishimori tagged in. Naito hit an inverted atomic drop and a dropkick into a double down. 

BUSHI tagged in for the closing sequence. He hit a missile dropkick on Ishimori and a suicide dive on both EVIL and Togo before using a spinning neckbreaker for a near fall. 

BUSHI went up top for the MX but EVIL shoved him off. Ishimori hit a lungblower but Naito saved. EVIL dropped Naito with Darkness Falls. Ishimori then hit the Bloody Cross for the pin. 

After the match, Ishimori hit another Bloody Cross on Hiromu. Bullet Club posed over the fallen LIJ and Ishimori cut a promo on Hiromu to close the show.