By Bryan Rose, WrestlingObserver.com
Sho Tanaka, Jay White and Yohei Komatsu vs. Roppongi Vice and Gedo
Latter team mostly did comedy to start things off. At one point, all the young lions put the heels in a triple boston crab. Beretta then pins White out of nowhere, didn’t even catch the finish. This felt anticlimactic and not much was done here.
Yujiro Takahashi and Cody Hall vs. Satoshi Kojima and Captain New Japan
Mostly just back and forth to start. Hall wipes out Kojima with a discus lariat and goes for the Razor’s edge but Kojima powers out of it. He motions for the lariat but gets distracted when Captain New Japan wants to be tagged in. Hall blindsides him with a big boot but Kojima comes back with a DDT and tags in Captain New Japan. Yujiro is tagged in, and although CNJ gets a couple of near falls he ends up taking the Tokyo Pimps and is pinned.
Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask and Mascara Dorada vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Kushida, and Ryusuke Taguchi
Standard NJPW six man with Tiger Mask & Kushida, Nakanishi and Nagata, and Taguchi and Dorada pairing off. Nakanishi and Nagata were in there together a while and Nakanishi looked super sluggish. Another anti-climactic finish as Dorada is pinned out of nowhere with a leg clutch roll by Kushida. Maybe that’s planting seeds for something in the future? Seems like out of all the junior heavyweights in New Japan, they’d have the best chemistry with one another. It was a fine prelim match.
NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Steve Anthony vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
Bruce Tharpe introduced the champion as he held a pole with Liger’s mask on it. Started off with some mat wrestling by Liger, keeping Anthony on the ground. Tharpe grabbed Liger’s leg at one point, allowing Anthony to blindside him. He busts out a springboard lionsault for a near fall. Liger launches a comeback. Anthony comes back and he's a big dropkick from the outside that causes him to bounce his head against the ring post. Not fun. Ref bump causes Liger to hit the palm strike and a brainbuster for the visual pin, but Tharpe runs in and low blows Liger. Anthony comes back and hits a reverse cutter from the fireman’s carry position for the win. Pretty good match, I wouldn’t mind seeing more from Anthony here as he looked pretty solid and fit in well.
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Big Daddy Yum Yum
Yum Yum did not look good at all and was pretty clumsy at times, but he has a weird charisma here that I just can’t help but admire. I don’t even know what it is. Tenzan busted out the mongolian chops early and Yum Yum’s selling can be best described as over animated. Tenzan took a scary looking bump when Yum Yum slingshotted him into the ropes and ended up falling to the floor. Yum Yum hit Tenzan with a double arm DDT that somehow made him look like Tenzan spinebustered him. That was weird. Tenzan goes to the top rope but Tharpe distracts him. He mongolian chops him out to the floor as he locks in the Anaconda vise, then the anaconda buster. Tenzan eventually has him tapping out to retain the title. Pretty bad. *
Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows and Kenny Omega vs. Tomoaki Honma, Tetsuya Naito and Alex Shelley
Anderson kept yelling for Maria all during the match and mugging the camera for her. They’re still doing the thing where Doc is yelling at him to cut that crap out. Anderson isolates Shelley as the heels work all over him. He finally makes the hot tag to Honma who runs wild until he’s caught by Anderson. Shelly runs in to break a Magic Killer finisher and takes out Shelley. Honma tries for a top rope kokeshi, but misses. Anderson comes back with a stun gun and he and Gallows hit the Magic Killer for the win. Usual solid NJPW six man formula tag.
Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi Hashi vs. Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga
Another standard tag match, but an enjoyable one. Good chunk of the match was Yoshi Hashi being worked on by the heels, then Okada getting worked on as well. For the kind of push that he gets, Tama Tonga is pretty underrated as he was pretty good here. Fale has Okada in his clutches, but Yoshi Hashi hits a lariat which allows Okada to hit the rainmaker on Tonga for the win.
Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinsuke Nakamura and Toru Yano vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata and Hirooki Goto
The pairing for this six man is simple enough- Tanahashi/Yano, Shibata/Sakuraba and Nakamura/Goto. Tanahashi takes care of Yano early, but gets taken out on the outside and just barely makes it back to the ring by 19. After Yano and Nakamura work on him some more, he breaks free with a dragon screw and tags in Goto. Eventually it all turns into a melee with everyone taking each other out, leaving Tanahashi and Yano. Tanahashi hits the slingblade and tries the high fly flow but Yano gets the knees up. Tanahashi kicks out of one cradle, but Yano catches him in another and pins Tanahashi. Pretty good match.
NEVER Openweight Championship: Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Of course, we start off with tests of power by bumping into one another. Lots of chops, punches, and headbutts are traded. Makabe goes for some actual pro wrestling moves, including a powerslam and a northern lights suplex. The crowd wasn’t into the match all that much at first, but it started to pick up after Makabe started to return some offense, including a number of lariats. Ishii hits a lariat but Makabe kicks out at one. He tries for the spider German and gets it, but misses the king kong knee drop. Makabe fires back with a dropkick then headbutts Makabe to the floor and follows with a sliding D for a nearfall.
Ishii’s on him until Makabe fires back with a vicious looking dragon suplex. Makabe lays him out with a few clotheslines but the fighting spirit comes back and he kicks out at one. But Makabe fires back with the king kong knee drop, and Makabe has regained the NEVER championship. A great match, but Ishii has had better matches this year. Not a match of the year candidate but a great main event.
Makabe cuts a post match promo and makes his exit as the show ends. A pretty solid shows. The NWA Jr. title match was good, the co-main was fun and the main event met expectations. Everything else was a standard New Japan house show.