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New Japan Pro Wrestling 3-29-15 Hamamatsu: AJ Styles, Bullet Club, Invasion Attack build begins

By Bryan Rose,

Young Bucks vs. Sho Tanaka and Tiger Mask

Pretty solid tag team bout. The usual story played out with the young lions, but this was solid. Tanaka wanted to take most of the match, and he did, but eventually got worked over by the Bucks. He made a comeback, but got isolated and pinned with the Indytaker. Nothing more beyond that.

Cody Hall and Kenny Omega vs. Captain New Japan and Mascara Dorada

Hall did his dad’s old toothpick routine and flicked it at Dorada, who sold it like he got stabbed in the eye. Things were a bit hesitant first between Omega and Dorada, but the latter did a lot of impressive stuff during the match, including a big tope to the outside. Hall looked off in places, but there’s a presence there. A long way to go, though. He poses, then goes to pick up Captain New Japan but CNJ flash cradles him up for the win. People popped huge for that.

Omega and Dorada exchange some back and forth, building to their big Invasion Attack title match.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Yohei Komatsu vs. Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryuskue Taguchi

Young Lion Komatsu was in here, and sure enough he was the brunt of a lot of offense, including a big chop from Nakanishi off the top rope. He tags in Kojima who makes his comeback. Nakanishi and Nagata come back with their respective submission finishers but but Tenzan interrupts things. Eventually, it settled down to Taguchi and Komatsu. People were going wil but Komatsu’s kickouts, but eventually he fell to the dodon. good match with some good heat.

Karl Anderson, Tama Tonga and Doc Gallows, vs. Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata, and Tomoaki Honma

People were into Anderson in this match. Honma too, of course. Didn’t feel this one in the end. Everything was solid, and the ending (which was Goto and Shibata cleaning house, with Tonga eating the Penalty Kick for the win) was pretty fun. But nothing beyond that. Tomoaki Honma and Shibata had a heated exchange after, probably having something to do with Honma missing the top rope kokeshi after Goto and Shibata helped him, but Goto settled the situation before it could escalate into anything.

Timesplitters, Tetsuya Naito, Togi Makabe, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. RPG Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero), Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii and Shinsuke Nakamura

This was your standard multi man New Japan tag. Not super great, but not bad either. Tanahashi and Yano had their big back and forth that resulted in a hair pull and tag by Tanahashi. Ishii and Makabe do their back and forth. RPG Vice did stuff with the Timesplitters. Maybe because I’ve seen these kind of tag matches so often that I’m kinda bored with them, but this felt like a total by the numbers match at the end. But hey, then again the Timesplitters doing their usual stuff is pretty great. They end up isolating Shelly and pinning him with what looks like an Omori driver/dropkick combo.

Ishii and Makabe have a big pull apart after the match, so it’s obvious there are unsettled issues here.

Kazuchika Okada, Gedo and Yoshi-Hashi vs. AJ Styles, Bad Luck Fale and Yujiro Takahashi

Felt this was more of the same as the previous match, with the formulaic tag structure happening. Okada and Fale went at it but Okada escaped Fale with a dropkick, only for Styles to work him over. Gedo went after Styles, but eventually he gets laid out and pinned by the IWGP champion. More good, but not great. AJ takes the mic after the match and says that Okada will be destroyed on April 5 against Bad Luck Fale and Kota Ibushi will meet the same fate. His mic drops twice during the promo, which was pretty funny. Oops!

Overall, nothing worth seeing here. Nothing bad, nothing out of this world. Mostly just solid to good house show level stuff.