Tokyo's Korakuen Hall was the site of today's New Japan Road event.
Hiroshi Tanahashi teamed with Tomoaki Honma & YOSHI-HASHI in an effort to take the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team titles from Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe in the semi-main event. This was the third in a series of four matches commemorating Tana's 20th anniversary in NJPW.
The main event previewed the top two matches at next Monday's King of Pro Wrestling event, as Kazuchika Okada & Kota Ibushi took on SANADA & EVIL in tag team action.
Ibushi will defend his right to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom against EVIL next week, while Okada will defend said championship against SANADA.
Here are full results and match recaps from today's show:
HIROYOSHI TENZAN, SATOSHI KOJIMA & YUYA UEMURA DEFEATED YUJI NAGATA, MANABU NAKANISHI & YOTA TSUJI
This was a fun opener, especially considering the advanced age of four of the competitors.
Tenzan and Nagata began. Tenzan hit some Mongolian chops. Uemura and Tsuji tagged in. Uemura was a house of fire, quickly dispatching of Tsuji. Nakanishi tagged in and hit Uemura with a headbutt, then his team took over.
Nagata got a tag and continued working over Uemura. Tsuji tagged in, looking to redeem himself. He hit Uemura with three slams, then used a lateral press for a two count.
Uemura came back with a spear before Nagata and Kojima tagged in. Kojima hit some machine gun chops. Nagata cut him off before he could hit a top rope elbow. Kojima hit a Koji Cutter. He went for a finishing lariat, but Nagata caught him in an exploder suplex and tagged Nakanishi.
Nakanishi fired up the crowd and hit a weak lariat for a two count. He got the Argentinian backbreaker on Kojima, but Tenzan broke it up. Tenzan and Kojima tried to double up on Nakanishi, but he hit them with a double suplex instead.
Tsuji got a tag. He hit Tenzan with forearms and a dropkick, then hit a slam for a two count. Nagata and Nakanishi jumped in for a triple team on Tenzan. Tsuji hit a spear, then used a full crab on Tenzan, but Kojima quickly broke it up.
Tsuji went nuts with chops on both Tenzan and Kojima. He hit the ropes, but ran right into a TenKoji Cutter. Tenzan then used an Anaconda Vice on Tsuji for the submission victory.
SHINGO TAKAGI DEFEATED TOA HENARE
As you might expect, they didn't get a lot of time, but they had an excellent match. Shingo's matches have a different feeling to them, as his intensity is nearly unmatched. Henare rose to the occasion and more than held up his end of the bout. Good stuff.
Henare came out of the gate quickly. He aggressively went after Shingo, with him sending Shingo to the floor with a shoulder block. Shingo fired back quickly. He sent Henare over the top rope, then hit his own shoulder block on the floor.
Back inside, Shingo used a series of short kicks to the head, then a double sledge to the chest. Henare ducked a Pumping Bomber, then hit a diving shoulder tackle. Henare followed up with a corner clothesline, then hit a vertical suplex.
Henare hit a diving chop for a near fall. Shingo came back with jabs, a lariat, and a throw. Henare blocked Noshigami, then hit a headbutt to the chest. Henare hit a big rugby tackle out of the corner, earning a two count.
Shingo blocked a uranage attempt, then hit Noshigami for a two count. Henare no-sold a lariat. Shingo hit a series of short elbows, but Henare fired up and hit a big series of strikes.
Shingo came back with a lariat, then hit a Pumping Bomber. He covered, but only got a two count. Shingo then hit Made in Japan for the pin.
MINORU SUZUKI & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU DEFEATED JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER & TIGER MASK BY DQ
Suzuki and Kanemaru attacked Liger and Tiger as they were climbing into the ring. Suzuki attacked Liger with chairs, then choked him with an umbrella. Back inside, Suzuki and Kanemaru went for their opponents' masks, but stopped before they would have been disqualified.
Suzuki hit Liger with a stiff forearm shot. Liger went down. Kanemaru tagged in and hit some stomps. Liger fired up and went after Suzuki on the apron, but Suzuki slapped on an armbar over the ropes. Kanemaru hit Liger with a drive-by kick on the apron.
Suzuki used a kimura on Liger. He hooked Liger's left arm over the ropes, then attacked it with kicks. Liger blocked a PK, then hit some Shotei palm strikes. Suzuki tried a misdirection spot to set up a rear naked choke, but Liger cut him off, then hit a brainbuster.
Tiger and Kanemaru tagged in. Tiger used a rolling kneebar, which Kanemaru sold in a big way. Kanemaru forced a rope break. Tiger hit a tombstone, then went to the top rope. He missed on a diving headbutt attempt.
Kanemaru hit a lariat, then hit a perfect top rope moonsault for a two count. Tiger fought off a Deep Impact attempt, then hit a Tiger Driver. Both tagged out.
Liger and Suzuki exchanged palm strikes to the chest. They fought to the floor, where Suzuki sent Liger into the barricade, then used a chair. Suzuki brought two chairs into the ring. He took one, and Liger took the other.
Suzuki shoved the referee down, and Liger and Suzuki had a chair fight. Liger snapped, then hit the ref with the chair for the DQ.
Suzuki grabbed a microphone and taunted Liger. They did several pull-aparts. Thanks to Chris Charlton and Google Translate, I was able to deduce that Liger and Suzuki promised to fight to the death next week, and Suzuki called Liger by his shoot name. I really need to learn Japanese.
Suzuki and Liger is the feud of the year. Change my mind.
HIROOKI GOTO, SHO, YOH & TOMOHIRO ISHII DEFEATED YUJIRO TAKAHASHI, TAIJI ISHIMORI, GEDO & JADO
Ishii and Yujiro began. Ishii hit some big forearm shots. The CHAOS team was able to fight off Bullet Club's first attempt at a group attack, but they fell victim to the second. This became a brawl around the arena, but couldn't touch the heat of the last match.
Jado ended up the legal man, and he started working over Ishii with eye rakes. Gedo tagged in and choked Ishii in the blue corner. Ishimori tagged in. He tried a backflip kick, but Ishii caught him with a suplex, then tagged YOH.
YOH hit a flying forearm on Ishimori. Gedo jumped in, and so did SHO. SHO and YOH hit stereo dropkicks on Gedo. YOH then used a falcon arrow on Ishimori for a two count.
YOH teased a dragon suplex, but Ishimori blocked. YOH hit Jado with a baseball slide. YOH ducked under a series of attempted strikes from Ishimori, but ran into a kendo stick shot from Jado.
Yujiro and Goto tagged in. Goto hit a wheel kick in the corner, then hit a suplex for a two count. Goto teased an Ushigoroshi, but Yujiro blocked it. Yujiro hit a basement dropkick, then tagged Gedo. Gedo hit a jawbreaker, then used a superkick for a near fall.
The match broke down here. Gedo grabbed brass knuckles. YOH fought him off. Goto fought off a kendo stick shot from Jado. Yujiro hit Ishii with an inverted DDT. SHO and YOH hit stereo planchas. Gedo used a schoolboy for a two count on Goto.
Goto hit Gedo with an Ushigoroshi, then hit a GTR for the pin. This match was kind of a mess.
Goto cut a promo on Jay White after the match.
TETSUYA NAITO & BUSHI DEFEATED TAICHI & DOUKI
Boy did this show start to drag after the Suzuki and Liger angle.
Naito and DOUKI began. Naito got hit with a kamaguri by Taichi from the apron. From there, DOUKI and Taichi turned the match into a brawl around ringside. DOUKI and Taichi established the advantage, then went to work on Naito.
DOUKI and Taichi used a series of tags, working over Naito in a dull manner. The crowd doesn't buy DOUKI as a threat, and Taichi was not having a good night. Naito came back with an enzuigiri, then hit Taichi with a low dropkick.
BUSHI got a tag. He hit Taichi with a missile dropkick, then used a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Taichi cut him off with a kamaguri in the corner, then tagged DOUKI. DOUKI connected on a springboard DDT for a two count.
DOUKI called for Suplex de la Luna. BUSHI blocked it, then rolled into a cradle for a two count. Naito and BUSHI doubled up on Taichi. Naito sent Taichi outside after a dropkick.
DOUKI and BUSHI were still legal. DOUKI used a rolling cradle for a near fall. BUSHI hit a codebreaker, then hit the MX for the pin.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, TORU YANO & TOGI MAKABE DEFEATED HIROSHI TANAHASHI, YOSHI-HASHI & TOMOAKI HONMA TO RETAIN THE TITLES
Tana and Taguchi began with a nice mat wrestling exchange. YH and Yano got tags. Yano tried to untie a corner pad, but YH cut him off. Makabe and Honma tagged in. The former GBH teammates got a nice reaction. Honma ducked a lariat, then dropped Makabe with a shoulder tackle.
Honma hit Makabe with chops. Taguchi and Yano jumped in, but Tana slammed both of them. Tana and Honma missed on kokeshi attempts. Taguchi missed a kokeshi on Honma. Yano untied a corner pad, and Makabe sent Honma into the exposed buckle.
Yano tagged in. He sent Honma and Tana into the exposed buckle. Taguchi got a tag and hit Honma with a series of hip attacks. Makabe tried a brainbuster on Honma. Honma reversed into what was supposed to be a brainbuster, but it was really sloppy and dangerous.
YH got a tag. He dropped Makabe with a shoulder block. Makabe cut him off with a lariat, then tried for ten punches in the corner. YH hit a powerbomb out of the corner. Makabe popped up, then hit a lariat.
Tana and Taguchi tagged in. Tana blocked a hip attack. He teased slingblade, but Taguchi hit him with a hip attack, then went for three amigos. Tana blocked the third amigo, then hit Twist and Shout. Tana hit a slingblade.
Tana went to the top rope. Makabe and Yano grabbed his ankles. Honma and YH fought them off, but the distraction was useful. Tana missed a High Fly Flow. Taguchi missed a Bomaye. Tana tagged Honma.
Honma hit a bulldog, but he missed another kokeshi attempt. Taguchi hit a series of thumbs to the eye, then tagged Yano. Yano ran into the exposed buckle. Honma missed a kokeshi. Tana hit Yano with a dropkick, and Honma finally hit a kokeshi. Tana and Honma then hit stereo kokeshis.
YH hit Yano with a meteora, and Honma used that to get a near fall. Honma hit a diving kokeshi off the second. Taguchi hit him with a hip attack. YH took out Taguchi with a lariat. YH and Tana ducked a Makabe double lariat.
Yano hit low blows on Tana, YH, and Honma. Taguchi hit a hip attack to Honma, and Yano used a schoolboy on Honma for the pin to retain the titles.
Other than the fans holding up placards for Tanahashi as he entered, there was nothing special at all about this anniversary show for The Ace.
SANADA & EVIL DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA & KOTA IBUSHI
Ibushi and EVIL started off. They had an intense staredown. EVIL hit a shoulder tackle, but Ibushi kipped up out of it. Ibushi hit a dropkick, then tagged Okada. Okada demanded that SANADA tag in, and he obliged. SANADA and Okada did some crowd work. Red Shoes played along, and this seemed to be a pro-SANADA crowd.
Okada missed a series of dropkick attempts. The story heading into their match next week is that Okada can't hit his dropkick on SANADA. SANADA hit a dropkick. EVIL and SANADA took control as the match spilled to the outside. EVIL and Ibushi fought in the crowd.
Back in the ring, SANADA scored a near fall off his attack on the floor. EVIL got a tag, then hit a seated senton on Okada in the corner. SANADA tagged back in to hit a series of short elbows. He then used a back elbow for a two count before working a chinlock.
Okada came back with a flapjack, then tagged Ibushi. EVIL tagged in as well. Ibushi ran wild, hitting a back elbow, a mid kick, and connecting with a standing moonsault for a two count. EVIL hit his ref-assisted mid kick, then tagged out.
SANADA locked Ibushi in the Paradise Lock, then broke it with a dropkick. SANADA covered, but Ibushi kicked out at two. Ibushi hit a frankensteiner, then tagged Okada. Okada hit a running back elbow.
Okada and SANADA exchanged forearm strikes. SANADA hit a basement dropkick, then blocked a dropkick attempt in the corner. Okada countered with an air raid crash, a slam, and a top rope elbow.
Okada hit his Rainmaker pose. EVIL jumped in and hit him with a German. Ibushi hit EVIL with a backflip kick. SANADA hit Ibushi with a springboard dropkick. Okada went for a tombstone, but SANADA reversed it into Skull End. Ibushi broke up the hold.
SANADA hit a backbreaker. He went for a moonsault press, but Okada rolled out of the way. SANADA landed on his feet. He teased a TKO, then tried for Skull End. Okada ducked out, and SANADA ducked a Rainmaker. Okada hit the ropes, then finally hit a dropkick. Both tagged out.
Ibushi and EVIL traded strikes. EVIL tried a misdirection lariat, but Ibushi countered with a powerslam, then hit a moonsault for a two count.
Ibushi tried for a Last Ride. EVIL blocked it. Ibushi hit a German into a bridge for a near fall. Ibushi went for a Bomaye. EVIL blocked it with a lariat, then hit Darkness Falls. Okada broke up the pin. SANADA jumped in and threw Okada outside.
EVIL tried Everything is EVIL, but Ibushi blocked it. EVIL hit a rolling elbow. He tried a lariat, but Ibushi countered with a high kick for a two count. EVIL escaped a Kamigoye. SANADA hit Ibushi with a dropkick. Okada sent SANADA outside.
Okada and Ibushi missed a double dropkick on EVIL. EVIL hit Everything is EVIL on Okada. Ibushi hit EVIL with a Bomaye. Ibushi went for a Kamigoye on EVIL. SANADA saved, then hit Ibushi with a TKO.
EVIL hit Everything is EVIL on Ibushi, then used a jackknife cover for the pin. This was a heck of a main event tag match.