The tag team titles are on the line at NJPW Wrestling Hi no Kuni this morning at the Grand Messe in Kumamoto,
Current champions Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga will defend tonight against the team of Toru Yano and Togi Makabe. It was at Madison Square Garden where Yano stole the IWGP titles from the Guerillas of Destiny and has spent most of this tour keeping them from GoD’s grasp. This may the day where GoD will finally gain them back.
In the main event, Jay White will face Hirooki Goto in a special singles match. The two have been on opposite sides most of the tour, taunting one another prior to their bout. White even scored a pinfall victory over Goto after interference by Gedo.
Tag matches fill out the rest of tonight’s card, with Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Kota Ibushi and Roppongi 3K squaring off against their Wrestling Dontaku rivals SANADA, EVIL, Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI and Shingo Takagi.
Join us for live coverage starting at 2:00 a.m. EST.
TOMOAKI HONMA, REN NARITA & SHOTA UMINO DEFEATED YOTA TSUJI, YUYA UEMURA & TOA HENARE
Narita's right shoulder is still taped up, and he appears to be limited by injury. Rather than strikes, suplexes and crabs, these openers have involved a lot more working holds since Narita got hurt, and the match quality has suffered.
Honma and Henare traded chops in slow motion. The pace picked up after Uemura and Umino tagged in. Uemura hit a dropkick on Umino, and Tsuji hit a powerslam. Uemura used a crab on Umino, but Narita broke up the hold.
Umino used a spinebuster into a cover, but Uemura kicked out. Umino maintained control over Uemura's legs, and transitioned to a full crab. That was a cool spot. Uemura reached the ropes.
Umino went for a fisherman buster, but Uemura used a cradle for a nearfall. Umino hit a dropkick, then hit the fisherman buster for the pin.
While the finish was going on, Honma and Tsuji fought on the floor, and Honma ended up bleeding from the mouth.
JUSHIN LIGER, JEFF COBB, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, YOSHI-HASHI & TIGER MASK DEFEATED MINORU SUZUKI, TAICHI, EL DESPERADO, YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & TAKA MICHINOKU
This was chaotic. They continue to build towards Cobb vs. Taichi and Liger vs. Suzuki.
Suzuki-gun attacked before the bell. Taguchi's team recovered well and too the early advantage. Suzuki-gun reclaimed the edge, and went 5-on-1 against Taguchi. Taguchi was able to tag Liger, and Liger and Suzuki faced off.
Liger hit a shotei. Suzuki used a PK, and got a nearfall. They exchanged palm strikes to the chest. Suzuki dropped Liger with a forearm, then used a rear naked choke. He went for a Gotch piledriver, but Liger powered out. Suzuki hit a knee, into a double down.
Cobb and Taichi tagged in. Cobb hit a clothesline and a standing moonsault. Kanemaru and Desperado jumped in, but Cobb hit both with a double back suplex. Taichi used the distraction to recover, and used a buzzsaw kick for a two count.
TAKA tagged in, and cleared the apron. Suzuki hit Cobb with a PK, and TAKA hit a knee for a nearfall. The match broke down, leaving Cobb and TAKA the legal men. Cobb hit Tour of the Islands on TAKA and got the pin.
DRAGON LEE & WILL OSPREAY DEFEATED TAIJI ISHIMORI & HIKULEO
A short match, but quite good for what it was.
Ospreay stood on Lee's back and hit a corkscrew moonsault on Hikuleo. Hikuleo recovered and hit some suplexes and power moves on Ospreay. Ospreay hit a backflip kick, and both tagged out.
Lee and Ospreay did a series of teases and reversals. Both missed with reverse ranas, and Lee hit a vertical suplex. Ishimori tagged out. Hikuleo hit a series of chops. Lee hit a jumping knee strike. Hikuleo no-sold, and hit a vertical suplex.
Ospreay hit Pip Pip Cheerio, and picked up a nearfall. He followed with a dropkick in the corner, and teased the Storm Breaker, but Ishimori cut him off. Ishimori and Hikuleo isolated Ospreay. Hikuleo used a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall.
Lee used a rana to send Ishimori outside, then hit a dive to the floor. Inside, Hikuleo hit a lariat for a close nearfall. Ospreay recovered, hit a hook kick, a Robinson Special, and used the Oscutter to get the victory.
BAD LUCK FALE DEFEATED MIKEY NICHOLLS
I'm a little bit surprised by the result here. They have protected Nicholls to a certain degree since his debut, but I guess that's over now.
They brawled to the floor right away. Fale sent Nicholls over the barricade, and focused his attack on Nicholls's right arm. Nicholls wears a pad on that arm, and he uses it to hit his sliding lariat. They did a long countout tease, but Nicholls beat the count back inside.
Fale stomped and splashed the right arm. Nicholls blocked a Grenade, then hit a lariat. He followed with a sliding lariat for a nearfall, as he just stopped selling the right arm. Nicholls went for a Mikey Bomb. Fale fought him off.
Fale hit a Samoan drop, then hit The Grenade and got the pin.
JUICE ROBINSON DEFEATED CHASE OWENS
This was okay, but slow, and it didn't have a lot of heat. It was the weakest match of their recent trilogy.
They started by trading holds. Owens sent Juice to the floor, then hit a dropkick through the ropes. They exchanged chops, then traded right hands. Juice hit a leg lariat, then a sit-out lariat. Juice went to the top rope, and hit a crossbody for a two count.
Juice went for Pulp Friction, but Owens turned it into a cradle for a two count. Juice went for it again, but Owens escaped. Owens hit a knee strike and went for the package piledriver, but Juice turned it into a jackknife cover for a nearfall.
Owens hit a big lariat. Juice hit the Left Hand of God, then hit Pulp Friction for the pin.
TETSUYA NAITO, SHINGO TAKAGI, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA, SHO, YOH, KOTA IBUSHI & TOMOHIRO ISHII
The 10-man tags between these teams on this tour have been outstanding. I know they like to go with title matches on top whenever they can, but I don't understand why Jay White and Hirooki Goto are going on last tonight. No one can follow this match.
Okada and SANADA began. Okada broke cleanly on the ropes, but SANADA used the clean break to attempt a paradise lock. Okada didn't allow the hold to be applied, and used a submission hold of his own.
The action spilled to the floor, where LIJ gained the early advantage. Naito sent Ibushi chest-first into the barricade. Back inside, LIJ went 5-on-1 against YOH. Naito hit the combinacion de cabron, then used a submission hold. SHO broke it up.
BUSHI jumped in and sent SHO back to the floor, and LIJ continued working on YOH. YOH made a comeback, hitting BUSHI and Shingo with dragon screws. Ibushi got a tag and ran wild. He hit a snap rana, a double backflip kick, and hit EVIL with a standing moonsault for a nearfall.
Ishii tagged in and went toe-to-toe with EVIL. They traded clotheslines and shoulder blocks, with neither man budging. Ishii finally dropped EVIL with a clothesline. EVIL popped right up. EVIL went for a fisherman buster, while Ishii tried to hit a brainbuster. The sequence ended with EVIL hitting a thrust kick, followed by a fisherman buster.
Okada and SANADA got tags. Okada hit a running back elbow for a knockdown. He followed with an air raid crash. The other eight men fought on the floor. Okada went up top and hit an elbow drop. He hit the Rainmaker pose.
SANADA ducked a Rainmaker. Okada hit a dropkick. SANADA ducked another Rainmaker attempt, and used an O'Connor roll to set up Skull End. SANADA gave up the hold and went for a moonsault, but Okada hit the Woo dropkick.
Okada tagged SHO in. SHO hit a spear. He teased a deadlift German, and finally got it after a long struggle. SHO went for Shock Arrow, but Shingo jumped in for the save. Shingo and SHO traded lariats, and both hit a Pumping Bomber. SANADA recovered and hit SHO with a back suplex for a nearfall.
They did a tremendous sequence where everyone hit a big move. With the ring cleared, SANADA used Skull End on SHO for the submission victory.
IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA DEFEATED TOGI MAKABE & TORU YANO TO RETAIN THE TITLES (14:51)
Bullet Club used a jumpstart, but it backfired. Yano untied a turnbuckle pad, while Makabe hit a double clothesline. The fight went to the floor, where both teams had mixed results. Yano sent Loa into a row of chairs, while Tonga sent Makabe into the barricade.
Back inside, Loa drove Yano into the exposed buckle. Bullet Club gained the advantage, and sent both Makabe and Yano into the barricade. Back inside, Loa worked on Yano. He hit a legdrop for a two count.
Tonga got a tag and saw his first legal action of the match. The GOD hit a double suplex on Yano. They used a series of quick tags. Loa made a pinfall attempt, but Yano got a foot on the ropes, forcing a break.
GOD continued working Yano over, isolating him in their corner. Tonga sent Yano into the exposed buckle, and picked up a two count. Yano used a handful of hair to take Loa down, and tagged Makabe.
Makabe hit Tonga with a lariat, and he rolled outside. Makabe hit ten punches in the corner on Loa, then sent him to a knee with a lariat. Loa ducked another lariat and hit a German, then tagged Tonga. GOD hit Makabe with a double dropkick for a nearfall. Makabe hit a clothesline to Tonga, then tagged Yano.
Yano used a fireman's carry and a belly-to-belly. He hit the ropes, but Loa tripped him from the floor. Tonga hit the ropes, but Makabe tripped him from the floor. Yano hit an inverted atomic drop, and used a slingshot to send Tonga into the exposed buckle.
Makabe hit the ropes, right into a kendo stick shot from Jado. GOD hit Guerrilla Warfare on Makabe, but he kicked out. Loa hit a diving headbutt, and Tonga hit a frog splash. Tonga made a cover, and got a two count.
The match broke down, and all four men jumped in. Tonga took the referee. Loa teased using Makabe's chain as a weapon, but Yano nailed him with a low blow. The ref took a bump. Makabe used his chain and hit Tonga with it for a nearfall.
Makabe hit the King Kong Kneedrop, but Loa broke up his pinfall attempt. Jado jumped on the apron. Tonga used the distraction to roll up Makabe, and grabbed the pin with a handful of tights.
JAY WHITE DEFEATED HIROOKI GOTO (22:59)
A good main event. They built the match well, starting slowly, and really picking up the pace near the finish. White cut a promo after the match, promising to go after the winner of Okada vs. SANADA to get the IWGP title back.
White did a lot of stalling early. He rolled outside immediately. They locked up, and White begged off again. White rolled outside a third time. Goto finally got his hands on White, and hit a shoulder block. He hit a second, and White rolled outside again.
Goto followed White to the floor, and sent him into the barricade. Gedo cut Goto off, and White hit him with a Saito suplex on the floor. White sent Goto into the barricade and the ring frame. Back inside, referee Red Shoes refused to count due to White's nefarious tactics.
White used a crab. Goto reached the ropes. White used a slingshot to send Goto's neck into the bottom rope. White used some chops, and hit a back elbow for a two count. White used a chinlock. Goto fired back with palm strikes to the chest, and used a snap suplex.
White ducked a charge into the corner, and hit another Saito suplex. Goto ducked a clothesline and hit a mid kick. White escaped an ushigoroshi attempt, but ate another mid kick. Goto hit the ropes, but Gedo tripped him. White used the distraction to hit a big uranage.
After a double down, White hit an uppercut and a DVD for a two count. White hit a flatliner and a deadlift German for another nearfall. White caught a mid kick, and sent Goto to the floor with a suplex over the top rope.
White hit a Kiwi Krusher for a two count. White blasted Goto with knee strikes to the head and neck area. Goto recovered and hit a lariat. They got to their knees, and exchanged forearm strikes. Back on their feet, they traded again, and Goto dropped White.
After a great series of misdirection spots, Goto hit a big clothesline. Goto connected with a wheel kick in the corner, and hit an elevated neckbreaker. He made a cover, but White kicked out. Goto went to the top rope, but White cut him off. They exchanged strikes on the top rope. Goto hit a headbutt, then a code red off the top for a nearfall.
Gedo jumped on the apron for a distraction. White swung a chair, but Goto ducked it. Goto hit Gedo with an ushigoroshi, then hit one on White. Goto hit a mid kick. He went for a GTR, but White blocked the first attempt. Goto hit an inverted GTR for a two count.
Goto went for another GTR, but White escaped. White went for a Blade Runner. They did a series of GTR and Blade Runner reversals. White hit two half-and-half suplexes, then hit the Blade Runner for the pin.