NJPW held their final event of 2021 today in Korakuen Hall, night four of Road to Tokyo Dome. Below are results and a report.
El Phantasmo defeated Ryusuke Taguchi and Tiger Mask
This was a fine opener.
Prior to the match, Taiji Ishimori and ELP brought a present to the ring. After teasing giving away the gift, ELP stomped the box. Something something bah humbug.
The match’s opening sequence left ELP and Taguchi alone in the ring. After going back and forth, trading pin attempts, TM attempted to clean up the scraps. Instead, the action developed into a proper triangle, involving all three at once.
TM landed a tiger suplex from the top rope on ELP before trying for a driver on Taguchi to close the match. Taguchi reversed into a pin attempt; ELP jumped on top of Taguchi, pinning both men in the process. Neither TM nor Taguchi kicked out, leaving ELP with a pinfall victory over both men.
After the match, Ishimori and ELP attempted a beatdown, but Robbie Eagles ran out to make the save.
Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan, and Jeff Cobb (United Empire) defeated Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
This was quite enjoyable for what it was.
This match opened with an outside brawl. In the ring, Henare and Tenzan traded blows. Kojima and co gained early advantage, going as far as a triple submission spot on UE.
Eventually, the fun came to an end. UE isolated Nagata, allowing Cobb to land Tour of the Islands. He then pinned Nagata in the center of the ring.
Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, and KENTA (Bullet Club) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, and Tomoaki Honma
This was to the point. It got over KENTA and Tanahashi a little more, without overstaying its welcome.
The match opened with BC jumping Tanahashi, leading to a passionate exchange between him and KENTA. As things cooled down, Fale and Owens traded tags against Makabe and Honma. Owens hit Honma with a C trigger into a Fale choke lariat slam, leading to the pin.
After the match, Bullet Club attempted a beatdown, but Tanahashi got the better of his attackers.
KOPW 2021 Match | End of Year Party Rules: Toru Yano (c) defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru
This match was exactly what it sounds like—Yano and Kanemaru sharing some drinks and goofing around in the ring.
In an end of year party rules match, each wrestler must drink every two minutes. The fans voted for the liquor of choice, opting for whiskey.
The pair stalled in the opening, ensuring they would have at least one shot. They traded quick pin attempts before having another. Before the third, the pair took turns trying to whip each other into an exposed buckle. Yano struggled to down his third, and Kanemaru tried blocking it, leading to a near count-out. The fourth came after rolling around on the mat for a while; like the last, Yano struggled in getting this one down, almost ending in a count-out.
Kanemaru filled his mouth with whiskey, which he attempted to spit into Yano’s face; instead, Yano landed a low blow, forcing Kanemaru to spit it into the eyes of the referee. Yano landed a powerbomb, resulting in the pinfall.
YOH, YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto, and Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS) defeated SHO, Dick Togo, Yujiro Takahashi, and EVIL (House of Torture)
This match opened with an outside brawl. In the ring, YOH got the best of SHO, which continued as the rest of CHAOS became involved. This didn’t last long, however, as HoT used chairs and exposed buckles to gain control.
Eventually, YH got the hot tag, allowing Ishii to run through HoT, but again, HoT used underhanded tactics to regain the lead. This played out again with Goto.
Finally, things began to click for the CHAOS squad. They led a rally that was punctuated with a GYR on Togo, leading to the pin.
After the match, HoT attempted a beatdown, but CHAOS still stood tall as the fog cleared.
Zack Sabre Jr, Taichi and El Desperado (Suzuki-gun) defeated SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, and Hiromu Takahashi (Los Ingobernables de Japon)
This was better than what I expected it to be. Like every other match so far, it was concise and added to the upcoming Dome shows. Good stuff.
The match opened with Desperado and Hiromu trading blows, picking up right where they left off last night. Things continued to escalate between the junior champ and his future challenger until ZSJ tagged into the match.
Suzuki-gun worked over Hiromu, making him desperate for a tag. When the tag came, Naito failed to get anything started for LIJ, instead trading with Taichi before tagging SANADA into the match. ZSJ and SANADA had on the mat that ended when ZSJ bridged into a pin that SANADA couldn’t escape.
Robbie Eagles and Kazuchika Okada (CHAOS) defeated BUSHI and Shingo Takagi (Los Ingobernables de Japon)
This was good, especially in the context of the prior matches on the tour.
Okada and Shingo opened the match, and, unlike their other matches on this tour, Shingo ended the sequence with an advantage. After a quick exchange between BUSHI and Okada, Shingo and Okada went at it again, and this time, Okada emerged with a slight edge.
BUSHI and Eagles had a back and forth exchange that ended in a double tag after both proved to be on equal footing. Okada increased his lead over Shingo with an air raid crash neckbreaker into a prolonged Money Clip. Shingo took favor back after a superplex leading to a grounded clothesline.
BUSHI tagged in, gaining some ground before Eagles hit the ring. Okada locked in a money clip before an elbow drop prompted Shingo to involve himself. Okada tried hitting Shingo with a Rain Maker but had to settle with a discus lariat, sans wristlock. Okada then hit BUSHI with a piledriver and a Rainmaker, leading to the pin.
After the match, the lights cut out, leading to a Will Ospreay promo on the big screen. He basically said he was the real champion, and he would prove that come January 5th. Once Ospreay was done, Okada cut a promo, before a show-closing promo from Shingo that ended with confetti.