Here are the results from this morning's NJPW Wrestling Toyonokuni event in Beppu, featuring two big title matches and the continuation of the feud between EVIL and Hiroshi Tanahashi:
- Jushin Thunder Liger, Hirai Kawato & Tomoyuki Oka defeated Tiger Mask, Katsuya Kitamura & Shota Umino when Oka submitted Umino with the Boston crab.
Nice opener. All of the young lions looked good, including Umino, who’s adapting to the young lion style pretty well.
- Roppongi Vice defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado after Baretta pinned Desperado following the Strong Zero.
Good back and forth match -- Baretta and Romero continually improve as a team and complement each other very well. Desperado went to use a chair but Baretta dodged it. He and Romero then laid Desperado out and followed with the Strong Zero.
- SANADA & BUSHI defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Yoshitatsu when SANADA submitted Yoshitatsu with the Skull End.
This was an okay match, though nothing was really worth noting.
- Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & David Finlay after Roa pinned Finlay with a sit-out piledriver.
This was kind of just there as a match. Tonga worked it despite his recent biceps injury.
- Hirooki Goto, Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Minoru Suzuki, Taka Michinoku & Taichi when Ospreay pinned Michinoku with the Ozcutter.
Of course, the focus was on Goto and Suzuki, who traded some good back and forth with one another. They had a typical tag match with some brawling around the stage to boot.
Suzuki and Goto traded blows after the match, signaling they may be continuing their program.
- Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defeated Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega & Chase Owens when Okada pinned Owens following the Rainmaker.
Everyone got involved and looked good here. Okada laid out Fale with the Heavy Rain, then took care of Chase Owens for the finish.
Okada immediately went for a tope to wipe out Fale following the match, but Fale grabbed him and laid him out, giving him the upper edge heading into Wrestling Dontaku.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi defeated Ricochet to retain his title
This was a really great, crazy match with tons of incredible spots. I wouldn’t say it was as good as previous Hiromu Takahashi matches in the past year, but this was by no means a disappointing match -- they lived up to expectations.
Ricochet immediately flew into action, hitting a suicide dive, a fosbury flop, and a 450 splash within the first minute of the match, perhaps a callback to the last Junior title match that lasted only a few minutes. Ricochet went for a springboard, but Takahashi caught him in mid-air and laid him out with a German suplex.
The match had lots of frenetic action from there. Takahashi slingshotted Ricochet on the top rope and tried for the sunset bomb on the floor, but Ricochet countered with a hurricanrana that sent him into the barricade. After spending some time in the ring (including dropping Takahashi with a reverse facebuster off the middle rope), Ricochet took him to the outside where he laid him out with two suplexes.
Ricochet went for a shooting star press, though Takahashi managed to get the knees up. He went to charge in the corner, but Takahashi countered and laid him out. The action picked up more from there as Takahashi went for the Time Bomb, but Ricochet countered and eventually landed the Benadryller for a near fall.
Ricochet tried to follow that with a 630, but Takahashi rolled out of the ring and hit what I can only describe as a Canadian Destroyer-like DDT. He followed with the running Death Valley Driver in the corner and pinned him with the Time Bomb.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated EVIL
This was a very good match. Tanahashi does tag matches most of the year, but he still can deliver when it comes to high profile singles bouts. I think I would have been fine without the LIJ interference, but the face prevailed in the end with a clean win so there’s not much to complain about.
Like the previous match, Tanahashi wasted no time in starting things as he took out EVIL with a tope and whipped him around the barricades. EVIL managed to do the chair on the throat routine on Tanahashi and threw him into the post for heat.
Tanahashi tried to rally a comeback, but in a clever spot EVIL grabbed one of his legs, threw it to the ref, then superkicked Tanahashi to continue the beatdown. Finally, Tanahashi laid out EVIL with a High Fly Flow to the floor. After getting back in the ring, they battled with forearms until EVIL waffled him with a lariat.
Tanahashi came back and started gaining momentum, hitting the slingblade and going for the High Fly Flow when BUSHI and SANADA decided to start interfering just because.
It eventually backfired when BUSHI sprayed SANADA on accident with the mist and Taguchi came out to clear the ring.
Tanahashi hit the dragon suplex bridge but there was no ref, as the whole time he was laid out on the outside. Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow again, but EVIL got his knees up. After a bit more of back and forth, Tanahashi laid out EVIL and hit the High Fly Flow, then another for the win.
- IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito defeated Juice Robinson to retain his title
I thought this was a very good main event. The crowd was behind Naito for this but didn’t boo Robinson at all and he managed to get over just by doing a few key spots like the spinebuster and the kick out of the Destino. He’s improved dramatically since his NXT days and this was another example of that.
Naito brawled with Robinson on the outside early into the match, eventually focusing on a leg. He took him back into the ring and started working him over. Robinson tried to mount a brief comeback with a rolling senton into the corner but Naito dodged it, sending him crashing. He next followed with a powerbomb attempt, but that failed too.
Robinson finally got some heat by countering Naito and laying him out with a kick. After battling back on the outside, Robinson grabbed a charging Naito and planted him with a spinebuster right on the apron. Naito eventually fought back, targeting Robinson’s knee, landing a running dropkick, then following that by clipping him from behind.
Naito went for a hurricanrana off the top rope, but Robinson instead powerbomed him off the ropes and followed with another powerbomb on the mat for a good near fall. He went for the Pulp Friction until Naito countered with a koppo kick. Robinson tried for another Pulp Friction, then when that didn't work he went for something else, but Naito was able to land a version of the Destino in mid-air. He followed with another, but Robinson kicked out to a huge pop.
Naito tried for a third until Robinson overpowered him and began to make a comeback. He landed a firm punch to the face and tried for the Pulp Friction again, but Naito countered with a third Destino and scored the win.
Tanahashi came out after the match to challenge. Naito ignored him coming out but then gave him a mic as he cut the promo. Once he left, Naito cut his usual promo to close out the show.
There were no match of the year contenders or anything, but this was a very good show overall. All three top matches met their expectations and we now have a few ideas for the next big PPV, which is Dominion on June 11th.