NJPW's Kizuna Road tour continued today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
The NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team titles were on the line in the main event, with Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI defending against EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi and Dick Togo.
The Young Lion singles gauntlets continued on the undercard, with Taichi taking on Yuya Uemura and Zack Sabre Jr. facing Yota Tsuji.
Below are results and a report on today's show.
Recommended matches --
- Taichi vs. Yuya Uemura
Taichi defeated Yuya Uemura (10:12)
A fantastic opener. Everything Uemura did was fantastic. Taichi sold like a million bucks for Uemura as well.
Uemura charged Taichi at the opening bell and hit a series of strikes, a dropkick and a flying forearm. Taichi rolled outside. Uemura whipped him into the barricade, then hit a diving crossbody off the apron to the floor.
Back inside, Taichi took control after a gamengiri in the corner. Taichi used an abdominal stretch, but Uemura forced a rope break. Uemura fired up with strikes. He hit the ropes, running right into a Taichi big boot. Uemura fired off a dropkick into a double down.
Uemura hit a shotgun dropkick in the corner. Uemura blocked a high kick and a backdrop suplex, then hit his own back suplex for a near fall. Uemura used a crab, but Taichi forced a rope break.
Taichi blocked a double overhook suplex. Uemura blocked an axe bomber, then hit the overhook suplex for a two count.
Uemura missed a springboard crossbody. Taichi hit an axe bomber for a near fall. He went for a Last Ride, but Uemura turned it into a victory roll for a near fall.
Taichi hit a gamengiri and a Last Ride for the pin.
Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Yota Tsuji (13:58)
I liked the opener a lot more, but this was good as well. These Young Lion gauntlets are more enjoyable then most multi-man matches on these smaller shows.
They began with a lengthy grappling battle. They traded the advantage. The story was that Tsuji was able to hold his own against the technical wrestling wizard.
After grappling, they traded strikes. Tsuji had the power edge. Sabre sold big for Tsuji's strikes. Tsuji hit a dropkick. He went for a slam, but Sabre blocked and used a neck twist and a necktie. Tsuji forced a break and hit a slam.
Tsuji got a Boston crab applied. He gave up the hold and hit a splash, then stretched Sabre's arms with a knee to the back. Sabre grabbed a flying heel hook, but Tsuji grabbed the ropes for a break.
They went back to trading strikes. Tsuji went for a backslide, but Sabre reversed into a guillotine. Tsuji turned a Peruvian necktie into a cradle for a near fall. Tsuji used a small package for another two count.
They traded cobra twists. From northern lights bomb position, Sabre caught Tsuji's neck in a figure four. The referee called for the stoppage with Tsuji trapped in the hold.
Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, YOH & SHO defeated Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, Gedo & Jado (10:04)
CHAOS attacked Bullet Club before the opening bell and they teased a quick finish. Okada got Gedo in the Money Clip right away. It probably would have been best if they had just gone home right there.
Instead, Ishimori broke it up. Yano, Gedo, Jado, ELP and Ishimori did a lot of comedy.
The match broke down and everyone hopped in for a big move. SHO and YOH hit the 3K on Gedo and YOH covered for the pin.
ELP ended up with a bloody mouth in here somehow. They did a brief staredown with SHO, YOH, Ishimori and ELP. Those four for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles is the main event tomorrow.
Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata defeated Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI (18:41)
This turned into a pretty good match by the end. I would compare it to a good house show match.
Shingo and Ibushi began with a brief exchange. Ibushi hit a flying mid kick, but they are clearly saving the big teases for Summer Struggle shows in July.
Naito and Tenzan tagged in. Tenzan briefly got the advantage, but LIJ went 4-on-1 on Tenzan and cut him off. They focused on attacking his left leg. SANADA tagged in. Tenzan hit a mountain bomb, then tagged Nagata. Nagata hit SANADA with an exploder for a two count.
Nagata caught an interfering Naito with an overhead belly-to-belly. SANADA went for the paradise lock, but Nagata blocked. SANADA hit a springboard dropkick and tagged out to Shingo. Nagata hit Shingo with an exploder, then tagged Ibushi.
Ibushi lit Shingo up with kicks, a springboard dropkick and a standing moonsault for a two count. Shingo hit a backdrop out of a last ride attempt. They traded strikes in the corner. Ibushi kicked away a lariat attempt. Ibushi hit a series of kicks. Shingo fired off a lariat, then tagged BUSHI.
Ibushi hit a double backflip kick to Shingo and BUSHI, then tagged Kojima. Kojima hit machine gun chops to BUSHI and Naito. SANADA stopped Kojima from hitting a top rope elbow. BUSHI hit Kojima with a missile dropkick.
Kojima hit the Koji Cutter on BUSHI. Ibushi jumped in for a kick. Tenzan came in for Mongolian chops. Tenzan and Kojima went for the TenCozy Cutter, but Naito saved. SANADA and Shingo jumped in. BUSHI hit a backstabber on Kojima for a two count.
While the other six brawled to the floor, BUSHI and Kojima squared off. BUSHI hit an enzuigiri. He ran off the ropes right into a Kojima lariat for the pin.
NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI defeated EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo (w/Pieter) (32:03)
Ishii was a workhorse in this match. It was an incredible performance by him. Togo was the best guy on his team by a wide margin as well. The match itself was beyond parody of all the usual Bullet Club shenanigans, ref bumps, weapon shots, low blows and the like.
Pieter made her return, accompanying Yujiro and providing her interpretive dance before the match.
EVIL, Yujiro and Togo hit the champs with their own title belts before the opening bell. A ringside brawl broke out. Ishii got whipped into the barricade. Togo and Ishii then began as the legal men. Bullet Club exposed the buckle in their corner and whipped Ishii into it. The Bullet Club trio used quick tags in working Ishii over.
EVIL sent Ishii outside and into the barricade and the ring announcer's table. EVIL hit his baseball swing chair shot to Ishii. Ishii was worked over in Bullet Club's corner, then finally came back with an enzuigiri.
Goto tagged in for a quick sequence, then YH tagged in and was cut off. Another ringside brawl broke out. This time the champs got the better of it.
YH and Goto doubled up on EVIL. Goto hit an ushigoroshi into a superkick by YH. YH then used the butterfly lock on EVIL. Ishii and Togo brawled on the floor while EVIL laid in the butterfly lock. YH then transitioned to a sleeper. EVIL grabbed the ref, who took a bump.
Togo used a chair on YH. He went to use his ligature, but Ishii intercepted him. EVIL hit YH with Darkness Falls. The referee was revived and counted, but YH kicked out. YH and EVIL teased their finishers, but both blocked. YH hit a backstabber into a double down.
Ishii tagged in. EVIL tried to use the ref as a base for a Magic Killer, but Ishii slipped out. Togo tagged in. Yujiro hit Ishii with a legdrop. Togo then hit Ishii with a senton for a near fall. Togo hit a lariat for another two count.
Togo used a crossface. Ishii fought to the bottom rope to force a break. Togo went for a Pedigree, but Ishii hit a backdrop. Goto jumped in and hit a wheel kick on Togo. Ishii hit Togo with a superplex for a near fall.
Togo blocked a Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Ishii connected on a back suplex. Ishii missed a sliding lariat. Togo turned it into a crucifix for a near fall, then transitioned back to the crossface. YH saved for Ishii.
Yujiro jumped in and bumped the referee. Yujiro kicked YH low. EVIL hit Goto with a chair. Yujiro hit YH with his pimp cane. Yujiro then used the cane on Ishii. EVIL used the chair on Ishii. It took three chair shots for Ishii to go down.
Togo hit a Pedigree on Ishii on the chair. The referee was revived, but Ishii kicked out at the last instant. EVIL and Togo hit Ishii with a Magic Killer, but Ishii kicked out of that as well.
Togo hit another Pedigree, then went to the top rope. Goto cut him off and slammed him off the top. Goto hit a GTR to Yujiro. EVIL hit a lariat to Goto. YH hit a lariat to EVIL. All six men were down at the 28 minute mark.
Togo and Ishii traded strikes. Ishii dropped Togo with a lariat. Ishii hit a stack powerbomb for a two count as Yujiro saved. Goto and YH hit the GYW on Goto. Ishii hit a sliding lariat, but Togo kicked out at the 30 minute call.
Ishii went for the Vertical Drop. Togo tried to bump the ref, but failed. Ishii blocked a low blow. Yujiro and Goto climbed in. YH and EVIL got in and distracted the ref, then bumped him. EVIL and Yujiro hit low blows to Goto and YH.
Togo choked Ishii with his ligature. Ishii fought him off and hit a lariat, then hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the pin.
They shot an angle after the match. Tenzan, Kojima and Nagata came to the ring. Nagata dropped Ishii with a forearm strike. Kojima gestured towards the titles, so those look to be the next challengers for Goto, Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI.
YH closed the show with a quick promo.
Here is the lineup for tomorrow's show:
NJPW Kizuna Road, Wednesday, June 23, 5:30 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: SHO & YOH (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo
- Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano vs. EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo, Gedo & Jado
- Kota Ibushi vs. Yuya Uemura
- Great-O-Khan vs. Yota Tsuji