NJPW's Wrestling Dontaku event takes place tonight in Fukuoka with three titles on the line.
In the main event, Kazuchika Okada will defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Bad Luck Fale, who destroyed him mercilessly following a tough title defense against Katsuyori Shibata at Sakura Genesis. In the buildup to this match, Fale has been using Okada's tombstone to his advantage, even pinning Okada once with the maneuver in a tag match. It will be interesting to see if Fale's new move plays a role tonight.
In the co-main event, Kenny Omega will take on Tomohiro Ishii. It seems based on positioning, whoever wins this match may challenge the winner of the main event in the future.
The other title matches include War Machine defending the IWGP Tag Team titles against Tencozy and Guerrillas of Destiny in a three-way bout. The NEVER Six-Man titles are also on the line as champions Taguchi Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi) defend against Los Ingobernable members EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI.
The card rounds off with Cody taking on David Finlay, a six-man tag match featuring Tiger Mask, Tiger Mask W & Togi Makabe taking on Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata, and other assorted six-man and regular tag team matches.
Announcements for this year's Best of the Super Juniors tournament are also expected.
Our live coverage begins at 4 a.m. ET/1 a.m. PT. There will be English commentary for the show on NJPW World.
Yoshitatsu and Hirai Kawato defeated Katsuya Kitamura and Takayuki Oka
This was an okay opener. Yoshitatsu worked a lot of the match. When Oka and Kawato were in it was pretty good. Oka has the makings of a future star and Kitamura will probably be one too due to his immense size. After some back and forth, Yoshitatsu grapevined Kitamura’s legs and rolled him on his stomach for a submission win.
YOSHI-HASHI and Will Ospreay defeated Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens
Perfectly fine match that the crowd was into. Owens and YOSHI-HASHI worked a lot of the match. Ospreay came in to do his great Fosbury flop. Owens went for the package piledriver but YOSHI-HASHI escaped and locked in Karma for the submission.
Tiger Mask, Tiger Mask W and Togi Makabe defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi
This was pretty good. Tiger Mask W looked great and the finishing moments where both Tiger Masks did dives to the floor was cool too. Togi Makabe took out Nakanishi then pinned him with the King Kong knee drop.
Hirooki Goto, Roppongi Vice, Jado and Toru Yano defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, Taka Michinoku, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki
I liked this match as it was one of those matches where everyone battled one another, keeping the action hot throughout. A lot of typical Suzuki-gun stuff with the brawling around the ring, Taichi using the bell hammer, etc. Goto picked up the win for his team with the GTR on Taka Michinoku.
Suzuki came into the ring after the match and had a pull apart brawl. After everyone was separated, Suzuki cut a promo, saying don’t let your Chaos stablemates hold you back. They got in another fight before eventually bailing.
Cody defeated David Finlay
Cody waffled Finlay with an Alabama Slam on the mat early. Mostly solid back and forth, nothing too fancy but was perfectly alright. Finlay went for an uppercut off the top rope but Cody grabbed him and transitioned into the Crossroads for the win.
Cody takes the mic after the match, telling New Japan to bring him someone bigger, someone stronger. They will find out what everyone already knows in their bones and in their soul -- the worst nightmare happens when your eyes are open, and it’s me.
Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi defeated KUSHIDA and Juice Robinson
This was pretty good, the action was hot and there’s a big story here based on how the situation between KUSHIDA and Hiromu Takahashi is unfolding. KUSHIDA became a wildman the minute he and Hiromu interacted, brawling all over the arena. Naito came him and gave him a bodyslam on a raised platform in the crowd. KUSHIDA looked great in this match, came off as super aggressive following the big loss last month. He wiped both of his opponents out with a big tope con hilo. Naito throws Juice into the barricade and helps Takahashi lay out KUSHIDA, allowing Takahashi to pick up the win over KUSHIDA after laying him out with the time bomb.
Here are the brackets for this year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament:
Jushin Thunder Liger
War Machine defeated Guerillas of Destiny and Tencozy to retain the IWGP tag team titles
This was good as action was frequent throughout, crowd was hot and everyone worked well together. War Machine is one of the hardest working teams out there which is pretty amazing given their size. A lot of spots between all three teams. Tenzan went for a moonsault but Rowe grabbed him and Hanson landed with Fallout, giving them the win.
War Machine bowed to the fans after the match, but Guerillas of Destiny used this as an opportune time to jump them after the match with the belts, Tama Tonga saying “This is ours”, so they’re staying the course with this feud..
EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi to win the NEVER Six Man titles
There was one point of the match where Taguchi was isolated on the top rope as all of LIJ were staring at him. He tried to make his way by them but got destroyed. All three of the faces eventually managed stereo ankle locks. Tanahashi hit the sling blade and went for the high fly flow but EVIL got the knees up.
Taguchi gains the advantage for his team and secures another ankle lock. BUSHI taps, but the referee it out of the ring recovering from a bump. Taguchi releases the hold but BUSHI mists him in response. He lays him out with the MX but Taguchi’s teammates break it up. SANADA and EVIL lay them both out and BUSHI hits the MX for the second time to win the titles. Really great match with lots of good tandem work and some pretty fun spots.
Kenny Omega defeated Tomohiro Ishii
A completely tremendous match, easily the best thing on the show and a true testament to both men’s skills. They kept a high pace for the majority of the match and never felt like it was dull.
They start off hot early, hitting Omega at one point in the match hit a big time crossbody off the top rope and through the barricade. They go back into the ring and trade one hot move after another. Omega tries for the One Winged Angel but Ishii blocks and hits a lariat, then hits another but Omega kicks out. Ishii hits his version of the One Winged Angel except hit turns into a neckbreaker on the knee.
Omega fires back with a reverse rana and a giant lariat, still a part of this match. He hits the v-trigger then goes for the One Winged Angel but Ishii counters with a reverse rana. Yep, you read that right. He hits a lariat after that but doesn’t get it.
They go into a forearm battle, with Ishii losing after Omega switches to a knee under the chin. A second brings Ishii down. Omega follows with a brainbuster than lands the One Winged Angel for the win.
Kazuchika Okada defeated Bad Luck Fale to retain the IWGP Heavyweight title
Great main event with some really great callbacks to other matches on this tour. They made Fale look like a super strong challenger, dominating Okada throughout. The story with the tombstone played well here too because not only did he manage to land one of his own on Fale, he also kicked out Fale’s tombstone too.
Okada tries to gain an advantage early but Fale easily dominates. He takes him to the outside where he teases a Bad Luck Fall, but Okada escapes. Fale instead manages to ram Okada's back to the ring post. Fale works him over for a while until Okada comes back with a DDT, then takes Fale to the outside where he flies over the guardrail, taking down Fale with a crossbody.
He tries for a bodyslam, or even his tombstone, but Fale manages to overpower him each time he tries to execute. Fale tries to charge him in a corner but Okada instead dropkicks him in the opposite corner. Okada hits the elbow and tries for a rainmaker but Fale counters with a bear hug. He hits the grenade but Okada kicks out. Fale tries for the tombstone but Okada escapes, then manages to land a dropkick. He tries once again for a tombstone...and it connects! He tries for the rainmaker but Fale immediately comes back with a clothesline of his own and follows that with a spear.
Fale goes for the Bad Luck Fall but Okada escapes, so instead he follows with the grenade then lands the tombstone he’s been delivering to Okada on the tour, but Okada kicks out of it. He follows with another Bad Luck Fall attempt, but Okada escapes and manages to hit a rainmaker, then two, then pins Fale with a third.
The rest of Bullet Club, including Kenny Omega, come out after the match to tend to Fale. After a short ceremony, Okada takes a mic and calls out Omega, who was helping Fale to the back. He comes to the ring and they have a staredown. Omega then makes his exit but not before making comments to the camera about Okada not being the champion people want.
Gedo takes the mic from here and cuts a promo to close out the show. Kevin Kelly mentioned that the next IWGP title match would most likely be at Dominion.