Bobby Fish & Volador Jr. & Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Trent Baretta & Will Ospreay
Pretty solid opener. Volador and Ospreay showed fantastic chemistry for about a minute before tagging out - that should be one hell of a match when the time comes. As for this match, it was your usual six man tag. Kojima and Ishii battled for a while. Fish did too, as he beat Ishii for the ROH TV title a few weeks ago on the ROH PPV. Volador and Baretta battled for a bit before Volador got the win with a standing hurricanrana off the top rope.
Yuji Nagata & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Juice Robinson & Jay White
Solid match. Pretty much your atypical New Japan six man. Shibata and Nagata were the focus since there’s a title rematch at Dominion. White came in, got in a crossface, then was pinned pretty quickly with the back drop suplex hold.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yoshitatsu & Captain New Japan & Ricochet vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens
Again, your typical multi man New Japan match. Omega and Tanahashi were the focus and worked well. Since Captain New Japan was here, you should know by now he was the one pinned, this time after a lariat and a grenade by Bad Luck Fale.
Bullet Club laid out everyone after the match. Omega brought in a ladder and with assistance, smashed Tanahashi’s arm several times through the ladder with a chair before finally leaving, but not before threatening to rip off a fan’s Tanahashi bear’s arm. Tanahashi had to be stretchered out once Bullet Club left.
Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Evil
Good match. Naito took his sweet time getting to the ring, and eventually had Milano Collection AT open the ring ropes for him, then spent even more time stalling before finally getting in. Focus, of course, was him and Okada. The real highlight was the ending stretch between Yoshi-Hashi and Sanada. Yoshi-Hashi is super underrated; here’s hoping he gets a G1 spot this year and not Yujiro. After a bunch of near falls, he fell to the Skull End submission.
David Finlay vs. Rocky Romero
Finlay ran roughshod the minute he was introduced in the ring, tearing apart Romero. He looked fantastic here, the best he’s probably ever been in New Japan. Romero gained control and turned into a really good back and forth match. Finlay showed a lot here, and Romero is always consistently great. Romero won the first match of the tournament with a running knee strike.
Gedo vs. Bushi
Solid match. Gedo was over early, even though a lot of people in the crowd were wearing Bushi masks. As far as an all around performer goes, Bushi is improving big time. He’s probably one of the favorites to win the whole thing early. They had some great near falls that people bought as they really wanted Gedo to win. There was a ref bump toward the end but he recovered just in time for Gedo to lock in the Gedo clutch and secured the win.
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Matt Sydal
Taguchi came out wearing a Big Bird balloon for a hat while playing a kazoo. No, I don’t have the faintest idea why. Really good match. Taguchi didn’t do his comedy match routine and Sydal was on point. One crazy spot was Taguchi kneeling on the apron, and Sydal on the floor leaped and hurricanrana’d him off the apron to the floor. Taguchi blocked a shooting star press with his knees and hit two dodons for the win.
Kushida vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Kushida spent the early part of the match working on O’Reilly’s arm. O’Reilly returned the favor, taking Kushida’s knee by smashing it on a chair. O’Reilly ran off the apron and went to attack Kushida but in midair Kushida turned it into an armbar. That was amazing! This was easily the best match of the night, not to the level of their match last year but it was in the ballpark. Excellent body part work by both as they kept going for submissions. O’Reilly finally caught Kushida in a standing armbar. Kushida tried to escape, but O’Reilly got to the ground and Kushida had to tap. O’Reilly gained a measure of revenge by picking up a win over the guy that beat him in the finals of last year’s tournament.
Kushida didn’t shake hands with O’Reilly and went to the floor. O’Reilly said he’d win Best of the Super Juniors and bowed to everyone as his music played to close out the show.
Really fun opening day. Totally check out the main event, though all of this morning’s card was fun to watch.