NJPW brings Dominion to Osaka-Jo Hall, with six title matches and an AEW interim World title eliminator match today.
In the main event, Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP World Heavyweight title against Jay White. White is 3-1 over Okada in career singles bouts, but Okada's one win came for the IWGP Heavyweight title in Madison Square Garden in 2019.
Hiroshi Tanahashi will face Hirooki Goto in the AEW interim World title eliminator, with the winner advancing to face Jon Moxley for the interim title at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door on June 26.
SANADA faces Will Ospreay for the vacant IWGP United States title, Tama Tonga defends the NEVER title against Karl Anderson, plus Shingo Takagi defends the KOPW 2022 against Taichi in the night's other singles title bouts.
Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens defend the IWGP Heavyweight Tag titles against Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb, and House of Torture defend the NEVER Six-Man titles against Suzuki-gun in the night's other title matches.
Toru Yano vs. Doc Gallows, an LIJ vs. Bullet Club trios match, and a Hontai vs. United Empire six-man round out the undercard.
Our live coverage begins at 1 a.m. Eastern time.
Aaron Henare, Francesco Akira & TJP (United Empire) defeated Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
This was a pretty nothing match. Whatever. There are worse ways to start a show.
Boxer Jessie Vargas and former wrestler Manabu Nakanishi were here for some reason.
Wato, Tenzan, and Taguchi gained an early advantage by isolating TJP. Once Akira tagged in, UE was able to take control. Taguchi turned things back around with a hip attack and hot-tag to Wato, who had a strong stent of offense against UE.
UE retook the lead by rushing the ring, leading to a near fall after a TJP splash. An interruption to Akira led to a double tag. With help from his partners, Tenzan overwhelmed Henare, landing a brainbuster for a near fall. After the kick-out, Henare fought back in the match, landing a spinebuster for a near fall of his own. Henare then locked Tenzan in a full Nelson, leading to the submission victory.
Ace Austin, El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori (Bullet Club) defeated BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon)
This felt like a mid-tour showcase tag.
This match opened with a brawl. Bullet Club won out early, isolating Naito. Instead of taking advantage of their situation, the Bullet Club team hit Naito with some cheesy heel offense, mostly back rakes.
Hiromu tagged in and led a back and forth sequence with Ishimori. A double tag left ELP and BUSHI in the ring for a sequence of their own. After a quick scuffle between teams, ELP hit BUSHI with CR2 to win the match.
Toru Yano defeated Doc Gallows
This was an awful match.
Yano tried opening the match by spraying Doc with his disinfectant; instead, Doc beat down Yano and poured the liquid across his face. Doc then led the match to the floor, where he continued his assault.
Back in the ring, Yano dodged a clothesline, sending Doc into an exposed buckle. Yano followed up with a beard yank but was met with a big boot and a choke bomb; Yano kicked out. Doc tried to close, but Yano grabbed the referee, hit Doc with a low blow, and rolled Doc up for a sudden win.
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi (House of Torture) (c) defeated El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. (Suzuki-gun)
This was a by-the-numbers HoT match—quite a bit of cheating, a Togo interference, the works.
This match opened with House of Torture rushing Suzuki-gun before they entered the ring. After a couple of minutes of chaos, HoT emerged with control. HoT used underhanded tactics to stay ahead while keeping Kanemaru away from his partners.
Suzuki-gun rushed the ring to save Kanemaru, helping him secure the figure four leglock on SHO. The match eventually broke down into another brawl. Once things calmed down, Kanemaru hit a SHO with a moonsault, leading to a near fall.
A distraction from Dick Togo let show land a kick with a loaded boot. SHO then dropped Kanemaru with shock arrow, winning the match and retaining the titles.
IWGP Tag Team Championships: Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb (United Empire) defeated Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (c) (Bullet Club)
This was fine. I'm quite excited for Cobb and O-Khan vs. FTR, assuming that's what we're getting at Forbidden Door.
Owens and O-Khan opened the match with an intriguing wrestling sequence. Owens gained the lead with some help from Fale, resulting in an extended period of Bullet Club control.
Once Cobb tagged in, he ended the Bullet Club advance, but only after a struggle. Cobb tried suplexing Fale but couldn't hit the move. Instead, Fale dropped Cobb with a tackle and passed control back to Owens.
Bullet Club maintained their newfound control by double-teaming Cobb. Cobb kicked out of jewel heist just as O-Khan hit the ring to attempt the save. Cobb blocked the follow-up C Trigger and tried for tour of the islands; Chase escaped.
After having a moment to breathe, Chase hit two C Triggers. Fale then hoisted Cobb up for a double team sequence, but O-Khan prevented the finishing rocket launcher elbow drop.
O-Khan met Owens on the top rope, delivering a perfect belly-to-belly suplex. Cobb followed up, hitting Owens with tour of the islands, winning the match and the belt.
After the match, Rocky Romero hit the ring and tried beating down O-Khan and Cobb. O-Khan and Cobb destroyed Rocky before posing on his corpse.
G1 Climax Announcement
A video package played announcing the lineup for G1 Climax.
The lineup is Kazuchika Okada, Tama Tonga, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tom Lawlor, Jonah, YOSHI-Hashi, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan, Will Ospreay, Aaron Henare, Shingo Takagi, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, EVIL, KENTA, Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Juice Robinson, TAICHI, Zack Sabre Jr., Lance Archer, David Finlay, and El Phantasmo
Interim AEW World Title Eliminator: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Hirooki Goto
This was a great, de-limited match that served its purpose while not wasting your time. Good stuff.
The match opened with a back and forth before spilling to the floor. Once outside, Goto slammed Tanahashi into the barricade, establishing control that carried over back inside of the ropes.
After surviving a bulldog and a period of ground control, Tanahashi began to turn things around. After a bit of a struggle, Tanahashi connected with a dragonscrew, setting up his offensive path for the rest of the match.
Goto stuffed the sling blade, answering with a ushigoroshi. Goto tried for a second ushigoroshi, but Tanahashi reversed, this time landing the sling blade. Goto withstood the pressure, connecting with an elbow strike to bring Tanahashi back to the mat.
Goto tried for the GTR, but, again, Tanahashi answered with a sling blade once escaping. After Goto kicked out, Tanahashi landed a crossbody and a high fly flow to win the match. Tanahashi moves on to face Jon Moxley at Forbidden Door for the Interim AEW Championship.
NJPW King Of Pro-Wrestling Title 10 Minute Unlimited Pinfall Scramble Match: Shingo Takagi (c) defeated Taichi
I'm a sucker for cumulative fall matches. They're such an easy way to pack a match with drama. This was fun.
This match for the KOPW title featured a ten-minute timer and a score counter. Every second you pin your opponent results in a point. The person with the most points at the end of the match wins.
After an opening strike exchange, the men traded quick rollups, leaving Shingo with a one-point lead. Shingo followed up with some groundwork and another pin, advancing to a three-point lead. Shingo continued his control through the match's first half, running up a five-point lead.
The match slowed down for a moment, allowing Taichi to land a high kick and score two more points. Shingo tried answering with a pumping bomber, but instead, Taichi landed a big suplex, narrowing Shingo's lead to a single point.
Taichi ripped his pants off, giving Shingo time to slow his lead. Shingo reversed Black Mephisto and backslid Taichi for a three count. With a minute left, Shingo hit a pumping bomber; Taichi kicked out at one, but he was still down a full five points.
With around ten seconds left, Taichi sparked up. After tying Shingo up for a quick three points with a clinch pin, Taichi covered Shingo for an additional point. Just as Taichi was catching up, the clock ran out of time, meaning Shingo retained with a final score of 11-10.
NEVER Openweight Championship: Karl Anderson defeated Tama Tonga (c)
The first 8 seconds of this match were fun; the rest was kind of boring.
Tama started the match with a sudden dropkick before taking the match to the outside. The fight worked its way up the entrance ramp, where a struggle ensued, ending with Anderson being slammed into a barricade. As Tama made his way back in the ring, Anderson caught him with a gun stun into the top rope. Tama then distracted the referee, allowing Doc Gallows to choke slam Tama into the apron.
Anderson maintained his control with strikes and groundwork. Tama eventually hit a crossbody to act as a reset. Once the pair exchanged strikes, Tama landed a lariat, a splash, and a spinebuster.
Anderson took control back with a head kick and a powerbomb in quick succession. Tama didn't let Anderson get too far, landing a Tangan Twist to reset the match once more.
Anderson tried for a gun stun, but Tama blocked it twice. Tama tried for his own gun stun, but Anderson stuffed it. Anderson landed the Bernard driver, but Tama kicked out. Anderson tried for another gun stun, but, again, Tama blocked it. Tama then landed supreme flow for a near fall of his own.
Anderson distracted the referee again. Doc hit the ring and ate a gun stun from Tama. With Tama distracted, Anderson dropped him with a gun stun of his own, pinned him, and won the NEVER championship for the Bullet Club.
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay defeated SANADA
This was an action-dense little match for a belt in another building.
The match opened with a prolonged athletic sequence where neither man could gain a significant upper hand. Ospreay was the first to take control, slowing the match down for some work on the mat. Once standing, SANADA answered with light offense before tying Ospreay in the paradise lock.
Ospreay sent SANADA to the floor, buying a breather before hitting an immaculate dive. Back inside, Ospreay tried for the OsCutter, but SANADA avoided the finisher. After a back and forth, Ospreay landed a high kick before attempting the OsCutter again; this time, it landed.
Once SANADA kicked out of the OsCutter, he reversed Strom Breaker into an offensive sequence of his own. SANADA landed a tiger suplex before trying for a moonsault, but Ospreay blocked the move with his knees. Ospreay hit a pair of hidden blades and a Storm Breaker to win the previously vacant IWGP United States Championship.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Jay White(c) defeated Kazuchika Okada
White's control segments were very compelling, but something about this match felt off. Regardless, I'm excited to see a White reign, especially with Forbidden Door right around the corner.
The feeling-out process saw Okada gain light control, sending White to the floor. Okada tried for a dive, but a strike from Gedo prevented this from happening. Another Gedo distraction allowed White to drop Okada with a DDT, establishing a lead for the challenger.
After choking Okada with the ring apron, White controlled the match on the mat. Once back to his feet, Okada dropped White with a forearm. White tried to cut off Okada's bounceback but was met with a boot. A DDT scored Okada a near fall as he began to move towards his signature offense.
White rolled to the floor again. This time, Okada slammed White into the barricade and dropped him with a boot. Gedo then hit Okada, only to get beat down for his troubles. Okada followed up, taking out White and Gedo with a crossbody over the barricade.
Okada tried for a piledriver to the floor, but White blocked the move before driving Okada into the barricade. White then threw Okada into the barricade again, this time with a suplex. Back in the ring, White landed a brainbuster for a near fall.
White continued with uncontested offense for a while. After landing a facebuster, German suplex, and a Saito suplex to the floor, White took the fight back to the floor. White's offense escalated even more with a uranage, but Okada blocked White's attempt at a superplex.
Now in position, Okada lept from the top rope, delivering a dropkick to reset the match in his favor. Okada followed up with a top rope elbow drop before trying for the Rainmaker; White reversed into a dragonscrew and TTO. White was back in control. As Okada slipped free from the first hold, White transitioned into the Texas Cloverleaf, all the while eyeing down Hiroshi Tanahashi at ringside.
White tried taunting Okada with a series of slaps. Okada answered with a sudden dropkick before turning to the money clip. To escape the hold, White shoved Okada into the referee. Gedo slid White a chair, but Okada pushed it to the floor and locked the money clip back in. Gedo distracted the referee again, allowing White to escape via a low blow.
Okada maintained his control after a strike exchange, but White blocked the rainmaker attempt with a shot to the ribs. White followed up with a Regal-plex, bloody Sunday, and series of clotheslines, but Okada slipped free from Bladerunner. Okada landed a short-arm clothesline, tombstone, spinning rainmaker, drop kick, and backslide in an electric sequence, but White held on long enough to land Bladerunner before Okada could connect with rainmaker propper. White pinned Okada, winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
After his title win, White celebrated in the ring with the rest of Bullet Club. White then cut a show-closing promo, demanding the crowd to cheer. A lot of people in attendance listened to the new champion, audibly cheering for the first time in a long time. White bragged about selling out MSG and the United Center, insulted Tanahashi, and declared this the Switchblade Era.