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NJPW Summer Struggle results: NEVER Six-Man tournament begins

njpw summer struggle night five

Recommended matches --

  • Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & DOUKI 

Report --

The announced attendance at Korakuen Hall was 698. There were social distancing measures in place but the building looked more full than that. 

Yuji Nagata defeated Gabriel Kidd (8:12)

This was your basic NJPW technical opener. Kidd was already good when he got here and he's even better now. 

They locked up twice and broke cleanly both times. After a knuckle lock, Kidd hit a chop on the break. Kidd hit a shoulder block. Nagata fired up and dropped Kidd with one strike. 

Nagata used a series of kicks and attacked Kidd's left arm to soften him up for a Nagata Lock. Kidd hit a series of strikes but Nagata again dropped him with one strike. Kidd hit a dropkick but sold his left arm on landing. 

Kidd tried a crab but Nagata reached the ropes. They traded strikes. Kidd hit the ropes but ran right into a knee lift. Nagata hit a high kick for a near fall. 

For the finish, Nagata hit an exploder and used a Nagata Lock II for the submission. 

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Yota Tsuji (9:55)

Taguchi and Wato kicked things off. They did some mat wrestling before taking to the air. They did a really spectacular sequence of flips and leapfrogs. Wato sent Taguchi outside and teased a dive but held up as Taguchi moved out of the way. 

Tenzan and Tsuji tagged in for something completely different. They traded power spots. Tenzan cut Tsuji off and he and Wato worked Tsuji over. 

Tsuji came back with a spear and tagged Taguchi who ran wild with hip attacks. Taguchi tried three amigos but Tenzan blocked the third amigo and hit a vertical suplex. Wato tagged in and Taguchi hit a hip attack before tagging out. 

Tsuji got a near fall on Wato off a slam/senton/splash combination. Tsuji tried for a crab but Wato got to the ropes. Tenzan and Wato doubled up on Tsuji but Taguchi saved. Tsuji hit Wato with a dropkick for another near fall. 

Wato hit two roundhouse kicks and his RPP spiral tap for the pin. 

Master Wato is making this awful gimmick work for him with his spectacular moves. I actually want to see Wato and Taguchi in a singles match now as they could tear the house down. 

Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma (9:13)

This was good and didn't overstay its welcome. 

Makabe and Goto started off and traded some hard strikes. Goto hit a hip toss before both tagged out. Honma and YH tagged in. Honma missed a kokeshi. Honma's partners jumped in but were quickly taken care of by Goto and Ishii. 

Honma was cut off in the blue corner. Ishii hit him with some chops. Honma fired back with some forearms but Ishii dropped him with one strike. Honma hit a double sledge to the chest and then hit a kokeshi on Ishii. 

Kojima tagged in and hit machine gun chops on Ishii. Kojima teased a top rope elbow but Ishii popped up before he could attempt it. They traded rolling elbows. Ishii hit a vertical suplex and some hard kicks. They traded hard chops. Kojima hit a cutter and both tagged out. 

Makabe and Goto tagged in. Makabe cleared the opposing apron, then hit ten punches in the corner and a northern lights suplex. Goto tried a misdirection lariat but Makabe blocked and hit a lariat. Everyone jumped in as the match broke down. 

The finish was unique and pretty intricate for this undercard tag match. Makabe blocked a GTR from Goto. Goto then used a sleeper hold to set up a rolling cradle on Makabe for the pin. 

***** Intermission *****

Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi & Yuya Uemura (9:28)

Tanahashi appeared ready to start off for his team but Uemura insisted on starting. While they argued, Suzuki-gun attacked. Uemura ended up the legal man and hit a flying forearm on Kanemaru. 

Then Tanahashi tagged in and was immediately cut off. Sabre and Taichi worked over his left leg. Tana finally managed a tag to Ibushi. Taichi and Ibushi had a nice exchange. Ibushi hit a standing moonsault. They traded high kicks. 

Uemura and Kanemaru got tags. Uemura used a crab but Kanemaru got to the ropes. Sabre jumped in for a double team. Kanemaru hit a dropkick for a near fall as Tana and Ibushi saved. There was a botch as Sabre tried to dropkick Tanahashi's leg but he missed entirely. 

Taichi took Tanahashi out with a buzzsaw. Kanemaru hit an inverted DDT for a near fall and then pinned Uemura with Deep Impact. 

**********

They continued to build intrigue with Ibushi and Tanahashi after the match. 

Sabre and Taichi kicked at the fallen Tanahashi after the bell. Ibushi was on the outside lost in thought. He finally climbed in for the late save but he got kicked down. 

Taichi and Sabre held Tanahashi up and dared Ibushi to kick him. Ibushi acted like he was giving this some thought but he waited too long so Sabre and Taichi threw him out of the ring. 

Ibushi walked to the back on his own while Tanahashi was helped to the back. 

**********

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championship Tournament match: Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & SHO defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Gedo & Jado (12:04)

Okada broke cleanly after locking up with Yujiro. Gedo and Jado jumped in for a triple team and cut Okada off. Jado used a kendo stick on the floor. Gedo whipped Okada with a belt. Bullet Club exposed a turnbuckle and sent Okada into it. 

Okada came back with a Woo dropkick on Yujiro. Gedo and Yano tagged in for some comedy spots. Yano sent Gedo into an exposed buckle. SHO tagged in and hit a series of kicks. Gedo used a thumb to the eye. Jado hit SHO with a kendo stick from the floor. 

Yujiro and Jado hit SHO with a back suplex. Jado covered for a two count. Jado hit a draping DDT for a near fall as Okada made the save. Okada and Yujiro brawled to the outside. 

Gedo took the ref. Jado hit SHO with the kendo stick but SHO no-sold it. Yano pulled Gedo to the floor. Okada and Yujiro jumped in. Okada hit a dropkick on Yujiro. 

SHO hit Jado with a spear for a near fall and locked on a kimura for the submission. 

This match was no good and the Yujiro/Okada program continues to be the worst thing Okada has been involved in for many years. 

**********

Okada cut a promo after the match. He challenged Yujiro to a first round match in the KOPW tournament and said it could be a 3-on-1 handicap match with Gedo and Jado if he wants. 

**********

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championship Tournament match: Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI defeated Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & DOUKI (13:43)

This was the best match on the show, although the bar was set fairly low.

Suzuki-gun attacked while LIJ still had their entrance gear on. Suzuki locked a nasty heel hook on BUSHI in the ropes. Shingo and Suzuki paired off and brawled on the floor. That's probably your next NEVER title program. 

DOUKI took the ref while Desperado choked BUSHI with a shirt. Suzuki-gun isolated BUSHI in their corner and worked him over. Suzuki used an ankle lock, a modified cloverleaf and a straight armbar before Shingo made the save for BUSHI. Suzuki took Shingo outside and rammed him into the barricade. 

BUSHI hit a combination bulldog/dropkick on Desperado and DOUKI and tagged out. Shingo knocked Suzuki off the apron and beat up Desperado and DOUKI by himself. Suzuki's facial expressions after being knocked off the apron were amazing. 

Desperado hit Shingo with a spinebuster and tagged Suzuki. Suzuki and Shingo proceeded to slap each other to death and trade forearm strikes. Suzuki hit a running high kick in the corner. Shingo blocked one PK but Suzuki hit a second. 

Suzuki and Shingo traded strikes. Suzuki went for a choke but Shingo blocked and hit a vertical suplex into a double down. SANADA tagged in and Suzuki caught him with a knee lift before tagging out. 

DOUKI hit SANADA with a lariat for a two count. SANADA blocked a suplex de la luna. Desperado jumped in for a spinebuster. DOUKI hit a springboard double stomp for a near fall. SANADA blocked another suplex attempt and his teammates jumped in for a 3-on-1. 

SANADA used a dragon sleeper but Suzuki broke it up and grabbed a choke. Shingo jumped in and broke up the choke. Suzuki and Shingo traded strikes. Shingo avoided the Gotch-style piledriver. Suzuki avoided a sliding lariat. Shingo hit a pumping bomber. 

DOUKI cradled SANADA for a near fall. DOUKI avoided a TKO and used a hip toss into a cradle for another near fall. 

SANADA used a moonsault to set up Skull End and DOUKI tapped out. 

**********

Shingo and Suzuki continued fighting after the bell. Shingo jumped in the ring. Suzuki grabbed Shingo's NEVER Openweight title and dared him to come get it. Suzuki backed down but it was clear that this is not over between the two of them.