Tonight's show features a match from May 3, 2015 in the Fukuoka Kokusai Center, our first look at the NJPW Dominon event.
This is Jim Ross’ first show and he obviously has a different style than Mauro Ranallo in that he focuses on the match and does that very well. It also changes Josh Barnett’s role as he goes into more into the history and storylines since he is more well versed in the product, calling these shows from the beginning. It adds a new dynamic to the show and makes it feel fresh, while at the same time they both compliment each other very well in what they do and they excel at it.
Yoshi-Hashi and Kazuchika Okada vs. IWGP Champion AJ Styles & Yujiro Takahashi
The match itself was fine. It’s goal is to set up a future match between AJ and Okada for the IWGP title at Dominon on July 5. They have terrific chemistry with one another, and Yoshi-Hashi is still pretty underrated by New Japan standards. Yujiro’s going to be Yujiro no matter what. He’s okay, but a step below a lot of what New Japan has to offer. Okada got the win with the rainmaker over Yujiro.
Styles calls himself the man in a post match interview and says if you want to beat him, try. He’s better than the rest of the world. You want some, come get some. Okada promises he’ll take his title and become a fantastic champion. Gedo says he has two months to live.
Goto interview time. He says it’s not really about the belt, but rather the provocation from Nakamura that has him clamoring for a chance to face Nakamura (throughout their feud Nakamura imitated looking through binoculars looking for Goto as he pretended not to see hi). They mentioned that Nakamura had beaten Goto for the title back in 2012. Goto says that he completely redesigned the title and has made it as his own.
Hirooki Goto vs. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
This is one of those feuds from last year that really dragged on to the point of overkill. I believe they faced off at least four times in 2015, and I’m not sure which one we’re on. Actually this is probably their first or second match, as this is the one where Goto regains the Intercontinental title. Again, this is not to say they had a bad match. They didn’t. They struck hard, had a great back and forth contest, and the last few minutes were pretty exciting.
Goto was due for a big win for a while and they paid it off here, which is good as Goto is booked as someone who is always near the top, but doesn’t score the big win. He did here, and the crowd was into him regaining the title. Again, both Ross and Barnett were great here in calling the match and you can tell they gel well pretty much instantly.
Both Nakamura and Goto made comments after the match. Goto drank beers, Nakamura obviously didn’t like the fact that he lost. Goto, in his reflective interview, says that he was always behind Nakamura, but is now glad he has not only caught up to him, but now with the win, surpassed him.