NJPW's Road to Dominion tour began today with a show in Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
The IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships were on the line in the main event as Guerrillas of Destiny defended against Dangerous Tekkers.
Kazuchika Okada returned to action in the semi-main event after missing the Road to Wrestle Grand Slam events.
Below are results and a report on today's show.
Recommended matches --
- Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa
- Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI
Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated YOH, SHO & Yuya Uemura (11:36)
This was a good opener. Suzuki did some cool spots and Uemura and YOH were given the opportunity to shine. SHO's role was to sell.
YOH, SHO and Uemura fought off a sneak attack by Suzuki-gun at the opening bell. Suzuki-gun tried a second time and succeeded. SHO was cut off and worked over.
Suzuki got SHO in a heel hook. Uemura tried to make the save, but Suzuki put him in a heel hook as well, while still keeping the hold on SHO.
SHO came back with a double spear to Desperado and Kanemaru. YOH got a hot tag and had an extended exchange with Desperado. YOH hit a Pele kick into a double down. YOH tagged Uemura. Uemura and SHO doubled up on Desperado.
Desperado blocked an overhook suplex and hit Uemura with a spinebuster. YOH saved as Desperado tried Pinche Loco on Uemura. Uemura cradled Desperado for a two count.
Desperado used the threat of a ref bump to hit a right hand to Uemura. He followed with Pinche Loco and got the pin.
EVIL, Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo (w/Dick Togo) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi (12:38)
This was kind of a mess. Not enough comedy to be a good comedy match, not enough good wrestling to be a good wrestling match.
Hontai briefly got the advantage on Owens. Honma tagged in and was quickly cut off and worked over. Taguchi got a tag and ran wild with hip attacks.
Tanahashi and EVIL tagged in for the first real wrestling of the match. Togo tripped Tana from the floor. Tana hit two twist and shouts. He went for a third, but EVIL turned it into a fisherman buster.
Tiger and Ishimori got tags. Tiger hit a Tiger superplex for a near fall. ELP jumped in for an airplane spin neckbreaker, then Ishimori followed with a Bloody Cross to pin Tiger.
Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan defeated Kota Ibushi & Yota Tsuji (12:31)
Cobb went after Ibushi before the opening bell and the match started off hot. They did a couple of teases of signature spots, then Cobb rolled outside to slow the pace. O-Khan and Tsuji got tags.
O-Khan quickly cut Tsuji off with a back elbow and a slam. O-Khan hit Mongolian chops and a double palm strike to the chest. Cobb tagged in for an impressive throw. O-Khan tagged back in and sat on Tsuji's neck in the corner. Ibushi tried to save Tsuji, but he was sent outside.
Cobb came back in for a delayed vertical suplex and a near fall. Tsuji hit a dropkick to Cobb for a hope spot. A second dropkick allowed him to tag Ibushi.
Ibushi hit a springboard dropkick and a plancha to Cobb. He nailed O-Khan with a back elbow on the outside, then peppered Cobb with kicks inside. Ibushi hit a standing moonsault for a two count.
Ibushi called for Kamigoye. O-Khan saved Cobb, then Cobb hit a pop-up powerslam for a near fall. Cobb called for the Cobbgoye. Ibushi blocked, but Cobb hit a lariat. O-Khan tagged in. He used a standing choke. Ibushi came back with a flying mid kick.
Tsuji tagged in to meet his doom. He hit a series of strikes to O-Khan. O-Khan fired back with a chop. Tsuji hit a tackle and a splash for a near fall. Tsuji went for a crab, but O-Khan blocked and used a triangle. Tsuji slid out and hit a spear.
Cobb saved O-Khan. Cobb and O-Khan doubled up on Tsuji. O-Khan hit a facebuster for a two count as Ibushi saved. Tsuji used two quick cradles for near falls. He went for a third, but O-Khan caught him in the claw and hit the Eliminator for the pin.
Ibushi and Cobb stared each other down after the match, but there was no big angle here.
***** Intermission *****
Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI (14:31)
This looked like it would be the best match on the show on paper. Had they been in the main event spot and given ten more minutes, they really could have done something special. Still, this was very good.
Shingo and Okada began. Shingo hit a chop. Okada took Shingo down with a snapmare, then sent him rolling outside after a sliding dropkick. They clearly didn't want to give away too much this early.
YH and BUSHI tagged in. BUSHI hit a rana and a dropkick and YH was cut off quickly. LIJ traded tags as they worked on YH. Okada, Ishii and Goto saved for YH and helped him cut Naito off. YH and Naito traded chops. Ishii tagged in and backed Naito into the corner. Naito hit a series of forearms. Ishii no-sold, then hit a brutal series of chops and forearms.
Naito and Ishii traded forearms in the center of the ring. SANADA and Goto jumped in. Naito used the distraction to hit Ishii with a neckbreaker and a dropkick for a double down.
Okada and Shingo got tags. Shingo hit a vertical suplex for a two count. Okada sold that big. Okada ducked a lariat and hit a running back elbow. He hit a back elbow in the corner and a DDT for a near fall.
Shingo blocked the air raid crash neckbreaker. They traded strikes. Okada missed a dropkick. Shingo missed a sliding lariat. Shingo ran off the ropes into an Okada dropkick. This was more what would you expect from a tag preview of a big singles match. Good stuff.
BUSHI and Goto tagged in. Ishii and YH cleared the LIJ apron and they went 3-on-1 against BUSHI. BUSHI blocked an ushigoroshi attempt and hit a backstabber to Goto. SANADA got a tag. Shingo, Naito and SANADA went 3-on-1 against Goto. SANADA hit a TKO for a near fall as Okada made the save.
SANADA rolled through off a missed moonsault. Everyone jumped in for a big move. Naito took a flip bump for a YH lariat.
YH hit a headhunter to SANADA, then Goto cradled SANADA for the flash pin.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. (w/Miho Abe & DOUKI) defeated Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (w/Jado) to win the titles (26:08)
This was absolute madness. It was probably the best match these two teams have had this year. Technically it was far from a masterpiece, but it was a wild brawl between two teams who hate each other.
Jado and DOUKI made a big show of going to the back before the match began, virtually assuring their involvement later.
Tonga and Loa tried a double team on Taichi at the outset, but he fought them off. With that plan failing, then went after Miho Abe on the floor. Taichi went to fight for his wife's honor. Tama grabbed her and forced her to watch as Loa attacked Taichi. Sabre tried to save, but got sent into the barricade.
Taichi made it back in after a countout tease. He came back with an axe bomber to Tama. Loa and Sabre tagged in. Sabre used an octopus hold. Loa reached the ropes to force a break. Sabre hit a wild tornado DDT and tagged Taichi.
Taichi hammered away at Loa with kicks. He dared Loa to strike with him, so Loa dropped him with a heavy forearm. They continued to trade. Both hit gamengiri kicks. Sabre used a neck crank on an interfering Tonga. Loa tackled Sabre. Taichi hit a backdrop suplex to Loa for a double down. Loa used an OJK. Taichi fought for a rope break. Taichi hit a rolling elbow.
Tama and Sabre got tags. Sabre used Barry from Eastenders. Jado ran in and took the ref. Gedo ran in with brass knuckles. DOUKI ran in and slipped while trying a springboard attack to Gedo. DOUKI dragged Jado to the back. Loa saved for Tama.
G.O.D. hit a Tongan Twist to Sabre for a near fall. Tama hit an assisted gun Stun for a near fall with Taichi saving Sabre. G.O.D. hit Taichi with a Magic Killer. Loa hit a diving headbutt to Sabre. Tonga hit a frog splash for a near fall.
G.O.D. tried a super powerbomb on Sabre, but he hit a rana out of it. Taichi hit a double axe bomber to G.O.D., then revived Sabre. Sabre hit a PK to Tonga for a two count. Taichi and Sabre went for Zack Mephisto, but Loa saved. Loa got hit with Zack Mephisto.
Tonga hit a low blow to Taichi and rolled Sabre up for a two count. Sabre blocked a Gun Stun and applied a choke to Tonga. Taichi jumped in for a gamengiri.
Sabre and Taichi hit a Tensho Zack Driver to Tonga, then Sabre covered for the pin.
Sabre and Taichi cut short promos after the match, then Miho Abe celebrated with the titles to close the show.
Here is the lineup for tomorrow's show:
NJPW Road to Dominion, Wednesday, June 2, 5:30 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --
- NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI
- Kota Ibushi & Master Wato vs. Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan
- Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Jado
- YOH, SHO & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura vs. EVIL, Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo