Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA (Los Ingobernables de Japon) defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Yuji Nagata
This was generally uneventful, with nothing special about it.
Takahashi and Taguchi opened the match with typical lockups. As Taguchi gained control over Takahashi, he traded tags with Nagata, who helped maintain their lead. Takahashi eventually earned a breather after sidestepping an aerial move. This allowed him to take the match to the outside, where he gained control for the first time.
SANADA, now legal, placed Taguchi in the paradise lock before tagging Takahashi back into the match. Taguchi immediately stuffed Takahashi’s attempt at offense, leading to a hip attack and double tag.
SANADA and Nagata traded blows before aid from Takahashi allowed SANADA to hit a TKO. Taguchi broke up the pin. Following the breakup, Nagata locked in a cross face and maintained control even after SANADA escaped.
This lasted until Nagata worked SANADA into the ropes, leading to an unexpected SANADA favored bridging pin, from which Nagata did not escape.
Dick Togo, EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club) defeated Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) & Master Wato (CHAOS)
This wasn’t great. It was structurally uninteresting and character-wise, only the interactions between SHO and his former faction mates held water.
This match opened with a brawl between the teams. In the ring, CHAOS members worked through SHO before turning their attention to their other opponents; the focused attack on SHO continued after order was restored.
The match broke down into an outside brawl again. This time, Bullet Club emerged with control. EVIL lost his team's lead after Ishii landed a backdrop and secured the tag to Goto, but Bullet Club soon recaptured momentum with underhanded tactics.
CHOAS, with a rally lead by Wato, recaptured control late into the match. Wato lost the lead after SHO, not the legal man, pushed him from the top rope. Togo then provided the distraction for Takahashi to land a cane strike followed by pimp juice. Takahashi then pinned Wato to close this one.
Another brawl broke out post-match. Bullet club stood tall in the end.
Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano defeated Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan (United Empire)
Again, this just happened.
Following some typical antics, Yano opened the match with control. This lasted through one coup attempt, but the second left Khan in a favorable position. From this point on, Honma and Yano struggled to land anything substantial.
Henare stuffed out the last babyface rally before hitting Streets of Rage, winning for his team.
Following the match, O-Khan beat up a ring boy.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe defeated Gedo & KENTA (Bullet Club) by DQ
This match had moments of excitement and did a fine job building interest in the title match at Power Struggle, even if the finish fell flat.
Makabe ran through Gedo and KENTA in their first attempt at offense, but KENTA interfered from the outside, cementing a lead for his team. Only after a hot tag did the babyfaces regain any advantage.
Tanahashi landed dragon screws on both his opponents but dealing with two men proved to be too much. The referee caught Gedo with brass knuckles, providing KENTA with an opening for a chair shot, which he missed. With Makabe’s help, Tanahashi was in control again.
As Tanahashi went to lock in the Texas Cloverleaf, KENTA hit the ring with the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship. He hit Tanahashi over the head, leading to the disqualification.
KENTA left with the belt in hand.
Jado, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (Bullet Club) defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kazuchika Okada & Satoshi Kojima
This was a Bullet Club match.
The match opened with a brawl. The action returned to the ring for a moment, but another brawl broke out almost as soon as the first ended. Okada and Tonga had an intense offensive sequence after order returned, with Tonga getting the better of Okada before the double tag.
Loa lost control to Kojima, but a shot from a cane allowed Bullet Club to maintain momentum. Tonga ran through all the opposition before Loa hit a driver on Kojima, leading to a Bullet Club victory.
DOUKI & Zack Sabre Jr. (Suzuki-gun) defeated BUSHI & Shingo Takagi (Los Ingobernables de Japon)
This was a good seller for the upcoming world title match. It played off the expected dynamics of the pairing, but that’s far from a bad thing.
ZSJ and Takagi opened the match with a sequence showcasing the pair’s equality. After the DOUKI and BUSHI tagged in, the match broke down. ZSJ and Takagi continued their fight outside of the ring. ZSJ won the battle on the outside. As the pair regained legality, Takagi got the better of ZSJ between the ropes.
ZSJ eventually took the match to the mat, working over Takagi’s arm. Even with ZSJ’s focus, Takagi was able to land big offensive blows from an unfavorable position. With a BUSHI assist, LIJ scored a near fall.
ZSJ caught BUSHI with a submission that Takagi was forced to break up. DOUKI was able to fend off Takagi long enough following a beautiful dive for ZSJ to hit the Zack driver, leading to a pinfall.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Flying Tiger (Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask) defeated El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Suzuki-gun) to win the titles
In the end, this was a feel-good match. While not perfect, it was structurally sound and entertaining bell to bell.
Together, Tiger Mask and Eagles resisted early underhandedness from the champions but could not keep up as the match spilled outside the ring. Desperado and Manemaru took turns working over the leg of Tiger Mask once action returned to the ring.
Tiger Mask finally escaped opposition control and tagged in Eagles, leading to Eagles favored offense. A rake to the eyes from Desperado initiated a two-way struggle, leading to a double tag.
Tiger Mask sold his leg, even as he climbed to the top rope and delivered a piledriver. Tiger Mask gained control of Kanemaru’s arms on the mat, forcing a breakup from Desperado. Kanemaru was able to take advantage of the separation this provided to return his attention to the leg of Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask managed to endure a significant amount of time in submission and kick out of a moonsault.
Tiger Mask landed a tiger driver from left field, allowing him to tag in Eagles.
Eagles put Kanemaru through his whole menu of moves before locking in the Ron Miller Special. Kanemaru submitted to the hold, resulting in new champions.