The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship is on the line in Ryogoku in the main event of NJPW Hyper Battle '22.
Kazuchika Okada defends the title against 2022 New Japan Cup winner Zack Sabre Jr. in the headliner.
In the semi-main, El Desperado defends the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against SHO.
In another title bout, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI defend the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles against United Empire's Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb.
EVIL will defend the NEVER Openweight Championship against Hiromu Takahashi in a rare heavyweight vs. junior heavyweight battle.
Toru Yano defends the provisional KOPW 2022 trophy against Taichi.
In the night's first title bout, Ryusuke Taguchi and Master Wato defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles against Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo.
Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi will face Will Ospreay and Aaron Henare in a tag team bout.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Jado take on Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, and Gedo in the opening contest.
Our live coverage begins at 4 a.m. Eastern time.
Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jado defeated Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Gedo & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)
The Japanese crowd seems to care deeply about this GoD story; it does nothing for me, however.
This match opened with a brawl. Gedo and Jado eventually found themselves in the ring where Bullet Club gained the advantage. The Bullet Club squad worked to isolate Jado from his partners, which led into a Tama hot tag. Tama and Loa overtook their opponents with tandem offence.
Fale stuffed a gun stun, opening the match up for some Owens offence. Owens forced Tama to tag out to Tanahashi, revisiting the borderline rivalry between the pair. Tanahashi led a short sequence, but Owens landed a C trigger for a match reset.
Jado and Gedo shared a moment in the ring before the entire babyface quartet beat Gedo down. A green killer from Jado resulted in a near fall. Jado locked Gedo in the Crossface of Jado; as the Bullet Club hit the ring in an attempt to break up the hold, the other babyfaces locked them into cross faces. Gedo tapped out as the heels were met with checkmate.
After the match, Tanahashi awarded Jado, Tama, and Loa with NJPW Main Unit T-Shirts.
Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) defeated Aaron Henare & Will Ospreay (United Empire)
This was good. The seamless sequences of singles offence flowed nicely into the tag team segments.
On his way to the ring, Ospreay tweeted a video. The video was of Jon Moxley’s wife, Renee Paquette, saying she was excited about Will Ospreay from a podcast setting,
This match opened with a brawl, and from the fog, UE emerged with an early lead. Once Shingo finally got the tag, Naito and Ospreay had an entertaining back and forth exchange. Both men traded offence for some time before Naito tagged back into Shingo. Shingo and Ospreay continued the pattern with a mesmerizing back and forth sequence.
Henare tried taking the fight to Shingo after a tag, but this prompted a battle between all competitors. After another compelling series of moves, Shingo landed a pumping bomber on Henare. After the kickout, Naito kept Ospreay at bay long enough for Shingo to land Made in Japan. With Ospreay held off, Shingo secured the pin and won the match for LIJ.
After the match, Shingo seemingly challenged Ospreay to a match for the British Heavyweight Championship.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi (Six Or Nine) (c) defeated El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori (Bullet Club's Cutest Tag Team)
This was a borderline stupid match with little redeemable about it.
The feeling-out process that opened the match saw all four men getting in light offence. The champions gained a strong lead with tandem offence as the match developed. Six Or Nine lost their advantage when the Bullet Club reversed a rump bump, sending Wato face-first into Taguchi's rear.
ELP and Ishimori singled out Taguchi, spending nearly as much time taunting him as they spent connecting with offence. Taguchi reversed a mocking hip attack attempt from ELP, but Wato fell into the same hole once he tagged in.
After making team Six Or Nine imitate the position they're named after, ELP and Ishimori fell to a double DDT from Wato. Taguchi connected with a ton of hip attacks and a superplex for a near fall over ELP. This led to a double team sequence from the champions.
Bullet Club answered with a double team sequence of their own. Taguchi was forced to save Wato after a moonsault into a facebuster, UFO, and Thunderkiss '86. This bought Wato enough time to escape sudden death tag into Taguchi.
Taguchi and ELP traded quick pin attempts but couldn't close things out. ELP wasn't ready to give up, however; as he tried for another pin, Taguchi dropped his pants and planted his cheeks on the face of ELP. This turned into a pin, leading to Six Or Nine retaining the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championships.
King Of Pro-Wrestling Championship | No Rope, Ringout Match: Taichi defeated Toru Yano (c)
I think this was fine for what it was.
These rules were set up to resemble a sumo match. The match is won by throwing your opponent from the ring to the floor. Unlike sumo, pro wrestling moves were seemingly allowed.
Before the match could start, the ring crew had to remove the ropes, turnbuckles, and pads. For some reason, the wrestler's entrances were before the ring breakdown, so they just sat there watching the ring crew take apart the ring.
After Taichi tried rushing Yano down early, both men traded strikes. Yano tried throwing Taichi to the floor, Taichi blocked the move to regain footing. With the referee's back turned, Yano landed a low blow, but this didn't lead to much.
Yano tried knocking off Taichi by throwing the referee into him, but, instead, the referee was sent crashing to the floor. This led to a sumo-esque grappling battle. Taichi then used his weight to deliver a katasukashi throw, sending Yano crashing to the floor. Taichi is the KOPW champion.
After the match, Taichi claimed he would make the KOPW a main event prize. Taichi called out Shingo Takagi, daring him to challenge for the KOPW trophy.
A video package played detailing the return of New Japan's legendary summer tournament. Beginning on July 16 and ending on August 18, the G1 Climax is back to its regular schedule.
SANADA Vacates IWGP United States Championship
Before the NEVER Openweight Championship match could begin, SANADA walked to the ring. He announced that, due to his broken orbital bone, he would need to vacate the IWGP United States title. SANADA tried passing the belt to the former champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Will Ospreay hit the ring and demanded SANADA give the belt. This prompted Tanahashi to walk to the ring and challenge Ospreay to a match for the now vacant belt. The match should happen on May 1, at Wrestling Dontaku.
NEVER Openweight Championship: EVIL (c) defeated Hiromu Takahashi
This was an over-busy mess.
The match opened with a lot of teasing. EVIL tried slowing things down by rolling to the outside, but Hiromu took this as an opportunity to get in Dick Togo's head. Hiromu landed a dropkick into the barricade, but Togo's presence allowed EVIL to steal the lead.
On the outside, EVIL slammed Hiromu into the barricade and landed a big chair shot. Back inside, EVIL whipped Hiromu into an exposed turnbuckle before allowing Togo to land some shots.
Hiromu eventually landed a rana to create some separation. Hiromu followed up, landing a DVD into the corner to take control of the match. Hiromu then powerbombed EVIL into Togo, setting EVIL up for further offence. Hiromu tried for a dropkick, but EVIL pulled a ring boy into his path. EVIL retook the advantage after this opening with a suplex to the floor.
On the inside, darkness falls yielded an EVIL near fall. Hiromu tried to answer with a thrust kick, but Togo grabbed Hiromu as the referee was occupied by EVIL. Hiromu threw EVIL into Togo and pinned EVIL, but the referee was distracted. A referee bump followed, leading to a HoT style beatdown.
EVIL tried for a magic killer with Togo, but Hiromu reversed, using Togo's body to deliver a magic killer of his own. Hiromu dropped Togo with Everything is Evil and EVIL with a timebomb for a near fall. With the end in sight, EVIL tried buying time by knocking down the official again. Hiromu answered with a low blow.
Both men tried for Everything is Evil but couldn't connect. EVIL threw Hiromu into the exposed corner and caught him on the rebound with Everything is Evil. EVIL pinned Hiromu to retain the title.
After the match, Tama Tonga walked to the ring. Before he could do anything, Yujiro Takahashi hit the ring for a HoT beatdown. Tonga Loa made the save, and GoD dropped EVIL with a gun stun. Tama grabbed a microphone and told EVIL he would get his revenge.
IWGP Tag Team Championships: Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb (United Empire) defeated Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (Bishamon) (c)
UE tried to steal an early lead by jumping the champions during a handshake; Bishamon was ready, stopping the assault before it could begin.
Bishamon had a short lead, but O-Khan and Cobb to the fight to the outside, where they found great success. UE isolated YH from his corner to cement their edge.
After a long struggle, Goto received the hot tag. Cobb and O-Khan worked together to overwhelm Goto, but Goto persisted still. A reverse GTR scored Goto a near fall over O-Khan. As Goto looked to end the match with a traditional GTR, Cobb came from left field to deliver a tremendous lariat.
Cobb tried for a standing moonsault, but Goto dodged before tagging back to YH. YH focused Cobb's knee but couldn't gain a substantial footing. Cobb and O-Khan delivered a double team submission into an elbow drop moonsault combination. After Goto broke up the pin, Bishamon caught Cobb with a ushigoroshi.
YH tried striking down Cobb, but Cobb stood his ground before dropping YH with a spinning drop. YH blocked the Tour of the Islands and landed a fast destroyer in response. Goto hit the ring and helped YH deliver Shoto, but O-Khan was in place to break up the pin.
Cobb fought back into the match with O-Khan's aid. An imperial drop to Goto left YH alone. Cobb connected with Tour of the Islands and pinned YH to win the IWGP Tag Team Championships.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) defeated SHO
This style of match does nothing for me, no matter how ambitious the plotting is.
Before the match could begin, SHO jumped Desperado. After slamming Desperado into the post and barricade, SHO tried to use a chair, but the referee stopped him. This gave Desperado enough breathing room to fight back, throwing SHO into another barricade and covering him with a mysterious liquid.
Desperado's lead lasted into the ring, but a referee bump opened the door for a nasty chair shot from SHO, but even after the referee was standing, SHO continued to beat the champion with a chair. SHO launched Desperado into the barricade, nearly forcing a referee stoppage.
Once Desperado escaped SHO's double wristlock, Desperado connected with a fast back suplex for a match reset. A beautiful tope con hilo to the outside left Desperado with a strong lead.
A splash left Desperado with a near fall, but SHO answered with a quick armbar; Desperado escaped with the ropes but was back on the defensive. SHO continued to attack the arm, leaving Desperado desperate; a referee bump and low blow only furthered this desperation.
SHO wasted time grabbing his wrench, letting Desperado connect with a driver to reset the match. Desperado tried for Pinche Loco, but SHO reversed into a driver of his own. After SHO's driver, SHO locked in snake bite, which forced Desperado back into the ropes.
Desperado survived a shock arrow attempt and a low blow, delivering a pair of forearms into Pinche Loco. Desperado pinned SHO and retained his belt.
After the match, Taiji Ishimori walked to the ring and challenged Desperado for the Junior Championship. Before Ishimori could respond, the lights cut off, and former AJPW Jr Heavyweight Champion Francesco Akira appeared in the ring wearing a United Empire shirt. He declared he'd be in BOSJ and walked away. Desperado then accepted Ishimori's challenge.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) defeated Zack Sabre Jr.
ZSJ's single-mindedness contributed a significant amount to the final product. Okada's offensive sequences came at the perfect time to break up ground control segments. The balance of groundwork to standing offence felt on point. This was a great match.
This match opened with a battle on the ground. Okada held his own in the scramble, but ZSJ was clearly comfortable at all times. Early on, Okada showed an edge while standing, landing a handful of uncontested strikes.
ZSJ caught Okada in an armbar that split to the floor. Back in the ring, ZSJ continued to focus the arm. A sudden flapjack from Okada gave him a moment to breathe, opening ZSJ to an extended offensive sequence.
ZSJ and Okada began to trade strikes. Okada seemingly won out, loading ZSJ into an air raid crash neckbreaker; ZSJ transformed his disadvantageous position into an octopus hold. Okada hit the neckbreaker regardless, but only after suffering more arm damage.
Okada tried for the money clip, but ZSJ answered with a cobra twist. Perhaps in a game of one-upmanship, Okada tried for a twist of his own that forced ZSJ into the ropes.
ZSJ avoided a pair of Okada dropkicks and locked in a triangle. Okada powered out, delivering a powerbomb; ZSJ held on, locking in another armbar. Okada panicked, barely escaping before a ZSJ dropkick furthered his lead.
Okada finally landed a partial dropkick, but ZSJ maintained his focus. After locking in another arm based submission, ZSJ forced a desperate Okada into the ropes.
Okada blocked a penalty kick on the outside before dropping ZSJ with a piledriver to the floor. A second pile driver on the inside and spinning rain maker spelt out defeat for ZSJ, but ZSJ was quick to respond with a Zack driver; Okada kicked out at the last possible moment.
A late strike fight started in the centre of the ring. The strikes evolved into bigger and bigger moves until a penalty kick left ZSJ in position to close. ZSJ locked in a deep armbar but Okada found the ropes once more.
Okada stuffed the second Zack driver attempt, transitioning into a pin attempt. Once ZSJ kicked out, Okada landed a huge dropkick. ZSJ answered with a deep choke. Okada escaped and launched an intense back and forth. Okada was the first to land something substantial, connecting with a landslide which he followed with a rainmaker to close the match and retain his championship.
After the match, Okada challenged Tetsuya Naito. After beating Naito with the belt on the line and losing to Naito in the cup, Okada wanted a rubber match. Naito walked to the ring and accepted the challenge. The bout is set for May 1, Wrestling Dontaku.