NJPW returns to Osaka today as Power Struggle takes place at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.
The event will be headlined by Jay White and Hirooki Goto facing off for White's IWGP Intercontinental Championship. In the semi-main, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay defends his title against BUSHI.
KENTA will make his second defense of the NEVER Openweight Championship against Tomohiro Ishii.
The 2019 Super Jr. Tag Lague will also conclude, with Roppongi 3K facing Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado in the final.
Tetsuya Naito and Taichi will face off for the right to challenge the IWGP Intercontinental Champion on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome.
Here is the rest of the card: YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi, EVIL, SANADA & Shingo Takagi vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer, Rocky Romero & Robbie Eagles vs. Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo, and Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Yuya Uemura vs. Volador Jr., Titan, TJP & Clark Connors.
Our live coverage begins at 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.
VOLADOR JR., TITAN, TJP & CLARK CONNORS DEFEATED JUSHIN LIGER, TIGER MASK, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & YUYA UEMURA (5:43)
If you missed some of this tour, I urge you to go back and watch all of Titan's matches. He was the star performer.
As for this match, there wasn't a lot to it. Everyone got in and did a couple of spots, and that was about it.
Liger and Connors started with some grappling, then traded strikes to a stalemate. Volador and Tiger had a brief but crazy exchange which saw Volador launched over the top rope, but he managed to land on his feet.
Taguchi and Titan traded spots. Uemura and TJP jumped in and did the same. This quickly broke down. Uemura hit a series of armdrags and hip tosses. Volador and Titan hit tope suicidas. TJP hit Uemura with a Detonation Kick and pinned him.
EL PHANTASMO & TAIJI ISHIMORI DEFEATED ROBBIE EAGLES & ROCKY ROMERO (8:42)
This was a very good undercard tag match given the limited time they had.
Eagles and Ishimori locked up and Ishimori did not break cleanly, hitting a strike in the ropes. Eagles hit a hurricanrana, then hit an interfering ELP with a wheel kick. All four jumped in and Romero and Eagles hit some tandem offense, sending ELP to the floor.
Eagles went for a springboard attack, but ELP pulled him to the floor, then used strikes against the barricade. Back inside, ELP and Ishimori stomped on Eagles' crotch as he was tied to the tree of woe.
ELP did his rope-walk spot. Romero climbed to the top rope to cut him off, but ELP grabbed him and walked the top rope with Romero on his shoulders. The crowd loved that spot. ELP hit an attitude adjustment on Romero off the ropes.
Eagles came back with hurricanranas on ELP and Ishimori. Rocky got a tag and hit flying headscissors on both as well. Romero hit a double lariat. He draped ELP across the top rope and hit a springboard dropkick for a two count.
Romero used Eagles as a base to hit a swinging DDT on Ishimori, who rolled outside. Eagles hit a flip dive through the second rope to Ishimori, while Romero used a standing sliced bread for a near fall on ELP.
ELP used his airplane spin neckbreaker for a two count on Romero as Eagles made the save. Ishimori jumped in and hit Eagles with a lungblower, then hit a Bloody Cross on Romero. ELP followed with a CRII on Romero for the pin.
SANADA, EVIL & SHINGO TAKAGI DEFEATED ZACK SABRE JR., LANCE ARCHER & MINORU SUZUKI (9:07)
The match itself wasn't much at all, but the finish and the post-match were newsworthy.
Suzuki-gun tried a jumpstart attack, but it didn't take. EVIL and Archer ended up the legal men. EVIL tried a suplex on Archer, but Archer blocked. Archer knocked EVIL down with a forearm shot and Suzuki tagged in. Suzuki also hit a forearm.
Sabre got a tag and used a neck twist. Archer tagged back in to continue working over EVIL. He hit a series of strikes in the corner. Archer taunted the crowd, allowing EVIL to come back with a fisherman buster.
Suzuki and Shingo tagged in. Shingo hit a vertical suplex for a one count. They traded stiff forearm strikes. Shingo hit another suplex and both tagged out.
SANADA and Sabre entered. SANADA tried for a TKO but Sabre turned it into a Cobra Twist. Sabre avoided the Paradise Lock and the Skull End. Suzuki and Shingo brawled on the outside, as did Archer and EVIL.
Sabre and SANADA traded a series of cradles, ending with SANADA getting a flash pin.
After the match, Sabre slapped a kimura on the referee and Yota Tsuji. Shingo and Suzuki continued brawling into the crowd with chairs and pieces of the barricade.
Archer challenged David Finlay to face him in San Jose on Saturday. They put over strongly on commentary that SANADA had pinned the RevPro British Heavyweight Champion. Suzuki and Shingo seems to be a direction as well.
KOTA IBUSHI & HIROSHI TANAHASHI DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA & YOSHI-HASHI (10:51)
Tanahashi worked his ass off. This really picked up towards the end, but the most notable thing was the post-match Jericho video.
Okada and Ibushi locked up. Okada broke cleanly against the ropes. Okada blocked a kick. Ibushi hit a dropkick. Okada rolled outside. Ibushi hit a backflip in the center of the ring just to show off.
Tana and YH tagged in. Both ducked right hands. YH hit some chops. Tana countered with a slap. Tana hit a back elbow, then a second rope crossbody. YH used a trip takedown and they rolled outside. YH hit some chops on the floor, then returned the action to the ring.
Okada got a tag and dumped Tana over the top rope to the floor. YH continued hitting chops on the floor. Okada hit a slingshot senton. YH tagged in and hit a dropkick to Tana's back as he was draped in the ropes. YH hit a slingshot into a DDT by Okada as the two continued working over Tana.
Tana came back on Okada. He ducked a series of right hands and hit a dragon screw. Ibushi tagged in and kicked Okada. Ibushi hit a series of quick strikes, then a standing moonsault for a two count.
Okada hit a flapjack and tagged out. YH hit a back elbow on Ibushi. Ibushi countered with a dropkick. Tana got a tag and hit a back elbow and a somersault senton for a two count. Tana hit a series of dragon screws and tried a cloverleaf, but Okada saved for YH.
Okada hit a double dropkick to Tana and Ibushi. YH hit a lariat on Tana, then hit a kamigoroshi for a near fall. YH went for Kharma, but Tana reversed it into Twist and Shout. This was a great exchange.
YH hit a thrust kick. Tana hit slingblade, then used a High Fly Flow for the pin.
As Tana and Ibushi celebrated, the lights went out. A video played showing a series of Tanahashi career highlights, then cut to Jericho beating up a gang. Jericho challenged Tana to a match on January 5. He said it will be a classic match, but also Tana's last match. Tanahashi accepted the challenge.
TETSUYA NAITO DEFEATED TAICHI (12:56)
They had a very physical match and the layout was fantastic. Naito still has a chance to be a double champion as he'll now face the IWGP Intercontinental Champion on January 4.
They attacked each other before the opening bell trading strikes. Naito shoved the referee down, which was not a DQ. They brawled outside. Naito sent Taichi into the barricade, then choked him with a camera cable. Taichi threw Naito into a row of seats in the audience, wiping out at least one fan. That was dangerous as hell.
Back at ringside, Taichi posted Naito. In the ring, Taichi hit a kick. Naito came back with a trip takedown and a dropkick to the back. Naito hit an inverted atomic drop, then a dropkick in the corner.
Naito tried a top rope Frankensteiner, but Taichi turned it into a super powerbomb for a near fall. Taichi teased a Last Ride, but Naito sold like a dead fish and Taichi couldn't lift him. Taichi dared Naito to hit him. Naito hit some strikes, then spit on Taichi.
Naito hit a poison rana, then hit Gloria. Naito went for Destino, but Taichi blocked it. Taichi hit a kick, then hit a backdrop suplex. Taichi ducked a flying forearm, then hit a Kawada backdrop for a two count.
They traded enziguris. Taichi hit an Axe Bomber, then connected on a Last Ride for a near fall. Taichi took his pants off.
Naito hit a dragon suplex and a wheel kick. Naito hit Destino, but Taichi kicked out. Naito hit a Northern Lights Bomb, spiking Taichi right on his head, but only got a two count. Naito tried a second Destino. Taichi blocked. Taichi tried Black Mephisto, but Naito blocked.
Naito hit a Black Mephisto, then used a second Destino for the pin.
SUPER JR. TAG LEAGUE FINAL: SHO & YOH DEFEATED EL DESPERADO & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU (14:13)
This was SHO and YOH's best match of this tournament. YOH is such a fantastic worker.
Desperado and Kanemaru attacked Roppongi as they made their entrance. SHO took a back suplex on the ramp which left YOH to fight 2-on-1. YOH hit double dragon screws and a pescado. YOH went for a springboard attack but the numbers got to him. Desperado pulled him off the apron and sent him into the barricade.
Kanemaru hit a leg slice on YOH on the barricade. Desperado whipped SHO into the barricade. They teased a countout, but YOH made it back in at 19. Kanemaru hit a snap suplex for a two count.
Kanemaru hit a drive-by on YOH on the apron. SHO again got sent into the barricade. Kanemaru and Desperado used quick tags in continuing to work over YOH. YOH came back with his combination DDT/flatliner, then finally tagged SHO.
SHO hit Kanemaru with a flurry of kicks. SHO tried a deadlift German but his back gave out. Kanemaru took the referee allowing Desperado to hit SHO with a chair from the floor. Desperado hit a spear. Suzuki-gun hit their tandem dropkick/sidewalk slam.
Desperado locked on Numero Dos. Kanemaru spit whiskey in SHO's eyes. They did a long submission tease, but YOH was able to make the save.
Kanemaru and YOH fought to the floor. SHO hit Desperado with a backdrop. Desperado hit a chop, then hit the ropes, but YOH jumped in and Roppongi hit stereo knee strikes.
SHO hit a deadlift German on Desperado, then a power breaker SHO covered but Kanemaru broke up the pin.
Kanemaru tried Deep Impact on SHO but SHO avoided it, then Roppongi hit him with a 3K. They tried a 3K on Desperado, but Desperado blocked. He threw YOH outside, then hit a Guitarra de Angel on SHO for a near fall.
Desperado went for Pinche Loco. SHO blocked, then fired up with forearm strikes. Desperado raked the eyes and hit a right hand. SHO hit a lariat and Desperado took a flip bump.
SHO called for Shock Arrow. Desperado reversed and hit a headbutt. YOH jumped in and Roppongi hit a 3K. SHO got the pin.
ELP and Ishimori ran down and attacked Roppongi 3K after the match. ELP hit a low blow on SHO, then a Doomsday Device belt shot. Bullet Club stole the Super Jr. Tag League trophies from Roppongi and left with them. These teams will face off at Wrestle Kingdom.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: KENTA DEFEATED TOMOHIRO ISHII TO RETAIN THE TITLE (20:12)
They traded slaps to the face. Ishii hit a shoulder block, then hit some punches from mount position. KENTA hit an eye poke and some punches from mount. KENTA hit some hard slaps to the face in the corner.
Considering one of these men was concussed in their last high-profile match and hospitalized after, these slaps seemed extremely ill-advised. Their other strikes were safe-ish, but KENTA's slaps in particular were really bad.
Ishii came back with chops in the corner. Some hit the chest, some to the throat. Ishii hit a combination of jabs and chops, then hit a powerslam out of the corner for a near fall. KENTA came back with a knee lift and a draping DDT for a two count.
KENTA hit a running boot in the corner, then a Shibata dropkick. KENTA hit a double stomp off the top rope for a two count. KENTA used a DDT for a two count. KENTA mocked the fans chants for Ishii. Ishii responded with more chops in the corner. KENTA was bleeding from the mouth after this sequence.
Ishii hit a delayed superplex for a near fall. Ishii hit a pair of German suplexes. He tried for a sliding lariat but KENTA caught his arm and applied Game Over. Ishii refused to tap. KENTA transitioned to a triangle choke, then slipped back to Game Over. Ishii forced a rope break.
KENTA hit a running knee, kicked off a lariat attempt, then hit a German. Ishii caught a PK, but KENTA hit a kick with his other leg. KENTA hit a busaiku knee, but Ishii no-sold it. KENTA hit another knee for a two count.
KENTA went for a Go To Sleep. Ishii escaped and hit a lariat. KENTA hit a slap to the back of Ishii's head. KENTA hit a series of strikes, but Ishii walked right through them and hit a very hard forearm shot.
Ishii hit three clotheslines. He hit a powerbomb and used a jackknife cover for a near fall. Ishii hit a sliding lariat for another two count.
Ishii went for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster. KENTA slid out the back and got a choke. Ishii escaped the choke. Ishii hit a lariat, but KENTA answered with a falcon arrow into a double down.
They traded clotheslines. KENTA hit a big PK. Both avoided the other's finisher. They continued jockeying for position, and KENTA pulled Ishii into a cradle for a two count. KENTA hit another busaiku knee.
They traded slaps. Ishii looked to be bleeding from the mouth. KENTA hit a GTS. He pulled his knee pad down, then hit a second GTS for the pin.
Way too many hard slaps to the head and face for my liking, but otherwise a good match.
IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: WILL OSPREAY DEFEATED BUSHI TO RETAIN THE TITLE (16:20)
Ospreay went after BUSHI before the bell. He threw him to the floor, then hit a plancha. Back inside, BUSHI hit a headscissors. Ospreay rolled outside, and BUSHI hit another tejara over the top to the floor.
Ospreay tried a springboard attack off the barricade, but BUSHI kicked him out of the air. BUSHI then hit a backstabber on the barricade. In the ring, BUSHI choked Ospreay with his t-shirt, then used an STF.
Ospreay went for a pop-up cutter, but forgot the cutter, so BUSHI just went splat on the mat. Ospreay hit a backflip kick, then used Pip Pip Cheerio for a two count. Ospreay teased Storm Breaker, but BUSHI escaped. Ospreay hit an enziguri. He teased a Space Flying Tiger Drop, but BUSHI cut him off and hit a draping DDT on the apron.
BUSHI hit a second rope dropkick, then used a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Ospreay avoided an MX. They climbed to the second rope. BUSHI went for a tejara off the second, but Ospreay landed on his feet. Ospreay hit a suplex, then a Sasuke Special.
Back inside, Ospreay hit a Robinson Special. He went for an Oscutter, but BUSHI blocked, then threw Ospreay into Red Shoes the referee, who took a bump.
Ospreay blocked BUSHI's black mist, kissed him to steal the mist from his mouth, then spit the mist on BUSHI. Red Shoes revived. Ospreay went for an Oscutter, but BUSHI threw Red Shoes in the way and Red Shoes took the Oscutter.
Ospreay hit a coast-to-coast. He went for a shooting star, but BUSHI got his knees up. BUSHI sprayed black mist and another referee ran down. BUSHI hit a Canadian Destroyer, but only got a two count.
BUSHI went for an MX, but Ospreay hit a high kick and knocked him out of the air. Ospreay hit a hook kick. BUSHI avoided a Hidden Blade, then hit a hurricanrana for a two count. BUSHI hit a rewind kick. Ospreay countered with a standing Spanish Fly for a near fall.
Ospreay went for Storm Breaker. BUSHI escaped and used a backslide, then used a BUSHI roll for a near fall. BUSHI hit a pop-up codebreaker. BUSHI hit an MX for a near fall. The place was going nuts at this point.
BUSHI tried a top rope MX, but jumped right into an Oscutter for a near fall. Ospreay hit Hidden Blade, then used a springboard top rope Oscutter. He maintained neck control on the landing, then hit Storm Breaker for the pin. Tremendous match.
After the match, Ospreay ran down the list of people he's beaten. He asked for a challenger. He said until someone steps up, he'll be the forever champion.
Ospreay went to leave. The lights went out. A Time Bomb video played. It said the Time Bomb will explode in 62 days, on January 4. Dancing cartoon cats played on the screen with a countdown clock. At 1, Hiromu Takahashi's name appeared on the screen.
HIROMU TAKAHASHI RETURNS
Hiromu came out with a neck brace. He threw off the brace and ran to ringside. He gave the announcers stuffed cats. He ran himself into the barricade, then ran back to the stage and threw himself down.
Hiromu walked back to the ring. He posed on the ropes, then cut a promo. He thanked the crowd for waiting for him for so long. He said he's back to make the junior heavyweight division more fun.
He mocked the idea of not being able to go any more or having to work a safer style. He said he's the only one who can beat Ospreay. He then threw himself all over the ring taking bumps. He bridged and called for the mic.
Still in the bridge, he spoke to Ospreay in English. He said Ospreay is the strongest junior, but now Hiromu is back and he challenges Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom. They had a staredown, then hugged. Hiromu took his stuffed animals back, then grabbed a mic and said "Ospreay.. Thank you. Meow."
A fantastic angle and it's great that Hiromu is back healthy.
IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: JAY WHITE DEFEATED HIROOKI GOTO TO RETAIN THE TITLE (27:40)
White did his typical stalling at the outset. They rolled outside. White suplexed Goto into the barricade right in front of the announce table where Katsuyori Shibata was doing commentary. Shibata stood up and took his headset off, but White begged off.
After a countout tease. White stomped on Goto's taped-up back. White used a single-leg crab. Goto forced a break. White took the referee while Gedo exposed the turnbuckle in the blue corner. White sent Goto into the buckle and covered for a two count.
White hit a vertical suplex for a two count. White used a chinlock. White hit forearm strikes to Goto's neck. After dozens of forearms, Goto dropped White with one shot. Goto hit a hip toss. White dumped Goto over the top rope with a suplex.
On the floor, Goto sent White into the barricade, then clotheslined him over it. Goto again sent White into the barricade around two other sides of the ring. Back inside, Goto hit a wheel kick in the corner, then used a Saito suplex for a near fall.
Goto went for an ushigoroshi, but White blocked and used a thumb to the eye. White hit a DDT. White used a DVD for a two count. They did a cool series of misdirection spots, ending with White hitting a flatliner. They traded suplexes. Goto hit a lariat at the 15 minute mark.
They traded strikes, with Goto getting the better of it. Goto teased an ushigoroshi, but White answered with a series of strikes to the gut. White hit two lariats but Goto didn't go down. Goto hit one lariat and White went down. White baited Goto to the ropes, then dumped him to the floor with a suplex over the top.
Back in the ring, White hit a uranage. Gedo called for the Kiwi Krusher and White hit it for a near fall. Goto used a hair pull to slam White into his knee. White hit a Saito suplex out of the corner at the 20 minute mark.
They climbed the ropes. White hit a top rope superplex. Goto answered with an ushigoroshi. White flipped out of a GTR attempt. Goto used an ushigoroshi position to transition into a GTR attempt. White blocked.
Both pulled each other's hair. Gedo jumped on the apron and took the ref. White hit a low blow, then used a sleeper suplex. Goto responded with a headbutt, another headbutt, then an inverted GTR.
Goto hit Shouten Kai for a near fall. Gedo jumped on the apron and ate a forearm from Goto. They teased and reversed out of finish attempts. Goto hit a GTW for a near fall. Goto hit a GTR, but Gedo pulled the referee out of the ring.
Gedo jumped in the ring. Shibata jumped up from commentary and hit Gedo with right hands. KENTA ran down and hit Goto with a big boot. Shibata jumped on the apron and KENTA kicked him off the apron. KENTA revived the referee, then sent Shibata into the barricade. KENTA hit Shibata with kicks.
In the ring, White hit Goto with the Blade Runner for the pin. The Shibata involvement was super-heated, but this was one of the weaker NJPW main events of the year.
White cut a promo. He said he won like he said he would and Goto is the disappointment we all knew he was. He said he's on his way to being a double champion at Tokyo Dome.
White called out Okada and Ibushi. Instead, Tetsuya Naito came out. Naito entered the ring and said being a double champion sounds like something he said once.
Ibushi entered. He said he has the same double championship plans, but he's not the only one. The crowd chanted for Okada. White begged Okada to come down to the ring.
Okada entered and played to the crowd for a bit. He suggested asking the people to vote for what they want to see at Tokyo Dome. Okada and Ibushi left.
White said he's not fighting Naito at Wrestle Kingdom and he wants his f--king confetti party to end the night. He demanded to be announced as the soon-to-be first ever double champion and demanded confetti with the announcement. He got his wish. Naito retreated to the stage, then left.
They are teasing the idea of putting it to a fan vote as to whether or not Naito gets to wrestle White for the IC title.