Captain New Japan & Juice Robinson vs. Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi
This did not last long at all. Fale pinned Captain New Japan quickly with the grenade in under 3 minutes. I don't know why Yoshitatsu let this guy in his Bullet Club Hunter club, he's worthless in every way.
Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi & Jay White & David Finlay vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Yoshi-Hashi & Will Ospreay & Gedo
Fun little match. Usual good eight man match you’d see on the first half of any New Japan show. Ospreay’s offense is so dynamic. He had a great dynamic with Finlay as they did some fun spots together. He did the Sasuke special at one point during the match, taking everyone out in the process. He ended up getting the win for his team after a springboard diamond cutter.
Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta vs. IWGP Junior Tag Champs Matt Sydal & Ricochet
Really good match. I think they’ve had better, but this built up nicely and had some good near falls toward the end. RPG Vice had the heat early. Ricochet did this great move where he caught Baretta in mid air while he was executing a tornado DDT, countered into a northern lights suplex, floated over then gave him a brainbuster. Sydal gave Baretta a reverse rana, then aided Ricochet in laying out Romero with a double Benadryller. They followed with the stereo shooting star presses and pinned RPG Vice to regain the junior titles.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin & Yoshitatsu vs. NEVER Six-Man Tag Champ Kenny Omega & Young Bucks for Never
Good match, though like the previous match, their last bout was a bit better. Unlike their previous match, where they had crazy spots just about everywhere, they mostly kept this in the ring for most of the match. Elgin made a great comeback for his team. Tanahashi and Omega were in there when Omega went to use the hairspray but it hit Tiger Hattori instead. Elite acted like they were helping him, but then Omega low blowed him because he’s mean.
That’s when the weapons were brought out. Elgin powerbombed Matt Jackson into a ladder, but Omega came back and with the help of the Bucks, powerbombed Elgin through a table on the floor. They gave Yoshitatsu the triple kick, then Omega pinned Yoshitatsu with the One Winged Angel to win the titles.
Tanahashi cut a promo after the match, asking Kenny Omega for a rematch, saying he is the next Intercontinental champion. Kenny said no, but then took out the ladder and said if he wanted a ladder match, then he would say yes. They both climbed to the top of the ladder and shook hands, so it’s on.
Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa for IWGP tag team titles
Okay match, mostly picked up toward the end. Guerrillas of Destiny just lack something here. Makabe and Honma are great singles guys, and have had great matches but this program just doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. Tama Tonga and Makabe had some great back and forth that got the crowd into the bout. Tonga and Tanga took out Makabe on the outside as they cornered Honma. He tried to fight his way out of losing, but didn’t work as the brothers laid out Honma with their finish to retain the titles.
This year’s Best of the Super Junior lineups:
- A Block: Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Kyle O'Reilly, Matt Sydal, Rocky Romero, Gedo, Bushi, Matt Jackson
- B Block: Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Nick Jackson, Will Ospreay, Trent Beretta, Bobby Fish, Ricochet, Volador Jr.
No real surprises other than Volador Jr. He and Will Ospreay make the B block far more interesting. I’d really like to see how their singles match goes down.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Yuji Nagata for Never title
Good match. Started off slow with some mat wrestling, then picked up from there. They had a better G1 match, but this was good stuff while it lasted. Shibata went for the penalty kick but Nagata grabbed him and gave him a big boot and backdrop driver. Shibata mounted a comeback but Nagata put him down on the ground, gave him a penalty kick and pinned him with the backdrop driver to win the title. Shinpei Nogami, the biggest fan of Yuji Nagata you’ll ever see, freaked out after the match and kept screaming “JUSTICE!”
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Kushida vs. Jushin Liger
Really good match. Different than most junior heavyweight matches. Kushida is one of th best all around workers in wrestling today just by how he’s able to adjust to any style and have a great match no matter what.
This was a more traditional match, working on body parts and applying submissions. Liger worked on Kushida’s leg early in the bout and kept working on it throughout. Liger can’t fly like he did back in the day but as far as technical wrestling goes he’s really good. Liger hit the shotei once, then went for it again but Kushida blocked it and countered with the hoverboard lock. Liger took a while, but eventually submitted.
Kushida grabbed a mic and said that he’d like to see Liger wrestle for many years to come. Liger said if the champion thinks so, he might have to challenge again down the line.
Hirooki Goto vs. Evil
Another good match. Kinda short, but it was explosive as they went at right away. A lot of brawling, and a lot of back and forth stiff shots. Goto kicked out of a fireman’s carry into a spinebuster, but then Evil gave him the STO and pinned him clean in the middle, just like that. Pretty surprising.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Sanada
Really good match. Another match that had some good back and forth early. Sanada’s really good, definitely upper midcard/main event kind of character. Okada did the rainmaker pose but Sanada came back and put him in the Skull End submission. He missed the moonsault. Okada went to go for the rainmaker but Sanada kept dodging and trying for the Skull End. Sanada got him back down to the floor but Okada transitioned back to the tombstone, laid out Sanada with that then pinned him with the rainmaker. That’d probably put him in line for a rematch against Naito soon.
IWGP Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Awesome match, especially in the last ten minutes or so. Sure enough, Okada was out there with Ishii to second him, along with Gedo. They had a straightforward match for a while, pretty solid back and forth offering until Evil interfered, hitting Ishii with a steel chair. Ishii was working on Naito’s leg and had an ankle lock in as Chaos warded off Los Ingobernables.
Eventually they got free, but Ishii held his own until Okada made the save. Ishii hit the sliding D and went for a brainbuster but Naito countered with a DDT. Ishii countered the Destino and laid him out with an inverted brainbuster (that’s a new one!) for a nearfall. Finally, Ishii whipped Naito across the ropes but he came back with a forearm, then pinned him with Destino to retain the title.
Okada took shirt off and stared down Naito after the match. He didn’t respond at first, but eventually they had a staredown as Okada left. After all the ceremonies, Naito cut a promo asking Kidani to see the pop he’s getting in front of his crowd, and that he knows Okada wants a title shot but he has to “tranquillo”.
- This was a really good show. Everything was good for the most part, with the IWGP and Jr. title matches being really exceptional.