Recommended matches --
- Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI
- Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Tokyo's Korakuen Hall was the venue for today's tour opener.
Yuya Uemura defeated Yota Tsuji (9:09)
The story of this match was Uemura working on Tsuji's arms to soften them up for his double overhook suplex. It was psychologically and technically sound.
They did a lot of mat work as Uemura used a variety of holds on Tsuji's arms. Tsuji came back with an abdominal stretch and a full crab, but Uemura forced a break.
A striking battle led to a battle for a brainbuster. Uemura escaped and hit a dropkick, then used a short arm scissors. After another strike exchange, Tsuji hit a slam for a near fall.
Uemura hit a deep arm drag and maintained hold of the arms on Tsuji's landing. Uemura then hit the double overhook suplex for the pin.
Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan (w/Bea Priestley) defeated Kazuchika Okada & Gabriel Kidd (10:17)
Ospreay, O-Khan and Priestley's group is called The Empire. This was a solid next step in establishing the group and showing a totally different Ospreay in the ring.
Empire attacked Okada and Kidd before the bell and before Okada had his entrance gear off. O-Khan tossed Okada to the floor and Ospreay went to work on Kidd in the ring.
Ospreay wrestled as a total chickensh*t heel. Priestley interfered from the floor, tripping Kidd and pulling him outside. Priestley hit a PK on Kidd on the floor. Ospreay and O-Khan worked Kidd over in their corner. Priestley continued to interfere as Okada took the referee.
Kidd managed to hit Ospreay with a dropkick and tagged Okada. Okada hit Ospreay with a running back elbow, a corner back elbow and a DDT. Ospreay escaped an air raid crash and tagged out.
O-Khan tied Okada to the tree of woe and hit a sliding dropkick in the corner. Okada ducked a lariat and hit an air raid crash. O-Khan hit Mongolian chops. Okada hit a trademark dropkick.
Kidd tagged in for the closing stretch. Kidd hit a dropkick for a near fall. Kidd tried a butterfly suplex but O-Khan escaped and hit an inverted suplex. Okada jumped in but O-Khan put him in the iron claw. Ospreay hit Okada with a springboard forearm.
O-Khan hit Kidd with the claw slam, they're calling it The Eliminator, and pinned Kidd.
Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI defeated Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (12:51)
This was an excellent match, all action.
Shingo and Suzuki are facing off at Power Struggle and BUSHI and Hiromu will be going for Desperado and Kanemaru's IWGP Jr. Tag titles at some point soon, so that was the backstory here.
Suzuki-gun turned this into a brawl right away. Suzuki went after Shingo's right arm, just as he did when they last faced off.
Suzuki-gun cut BUSHI off. Kanemaru and Desperado worked him over in the ring while Suzuki went after Shingo and Hiromu on the floor. BUSHI sold his lower back and that was the focus of Kanemaru and Desperado's attacks.
Hiromu got a tag and ran crazy. He hit a shotgun dropkick on both Kanemaru and Desperado in the ring, then hit another off the apron to the floor. Desperado hit Hiromu with a spinebuster and a misdirection spear. Hiromu launched Desperado into the buckle with a German.
Suzuki and Shingo tagged in and traded shots. Shingo missed a Pumping Bomber. Suzuki missed a PK. Suzuki went for a Gotch piledriver but Shingo hit him with a DVD. Suzuki no-sold it but missed a PK. They continued throwing bombs.
Suzuki backed Shingo into the corner with a choke and tagged out. Suzuki-gun tripled up on Shingo. Shingo blocked Deep Impact from Kanemaru and hit a throw.
Kanemaru cradled Shingo for two. Shingo hit a lariat and his teammates jumped in to triple team Kanemaru. Everyone jumped in as Shingo hit Kanemaru with a sliding lariat. BUSHI hit a wild rana over the top to the floor on Desperado.
Shingo hit Kanemaru with a pop-up DVD and a Pumping Bomber for the decisive win.
Shingo and Suzuki had a pull-apart, then brawled to the back after the match.
Hiromu then cut a promo and challenged Desperado and Kanemaru to put up the Jr. Tag titles against him and BUSHI. Hiromu and Desperado went back and forth on the mic, then had their own pull-apart.
Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma defeated Jay White, KENTA & Gedo (10:36)
This was nothing special.
Ibushi had his contract with him but doesn't have a briefcase yet.
White teased starting off with Ibushi but begged off. KENTA teased getting in with Tanahashi. He also stalled, then begged off. Honma and Gedo started the match and Goto immediately raked Honma's eyes.
Honma missed a kokeshi. White pulled Honma to the floor to give Bullet Club the advantage. Bullet Club used quick tags in working Honma over. Honma came back with a suplex on KENTA.
Tana got in with KENTA and hit a somersault senton for a two count. KENTA hit a swing DDT over the top rope and a tope rope clothesline for a near fall. Tanahashi hit a slingblade into a double down.
White and Ibushi finally got in together. Ibushi hit White with a series of strikes. White hit a dragon screw and a DDT before tagging out.
It was Gedo and Ibushi in for the closing sequence. Gedo went for brass knuckles. KENTA jumped in with his briefcase but Tana disposed of him. White tried a Blade Runner on Ibushi but Honma saved and hit him with a kokeshi.
Honma hit Gedo with a kokeshi, then Ibushi hit Gedo with Kamigoye for the pin.
KENTA hammered Tanahashi after the match and left him laying on the floor. White and Ibushi jawed at each other.
The babyface team posed together in the ring to end the segment.
Tetsuya Naito & SANADA defeated EVIL & Dick Togo (11:58)
EVIL and Naito began with a good brawling sequence. Naito hit a rana to give his team the edge. SANADA tagged in and continued to pound away at EVIL's neck. Naito and SANADA did some double team spots on EVIL.
Togo interfered from the apron and pulled Naito to the floor which shifted the momentum. All four brawled around the arena with Bullet Club in control. Back inside, Togo exposed a buckle. EVIL and Togo sent Naito into the buckle and worked him over extensively.
EVIL hit a senton on Naito for a two count. Naito hit a Manhattan drop and a one-legged dropkick to EVIL's leg before tagging out.
SANADA put Togo in the paradise lock and hit a plancha to EVIL. EVIL avoided a TKO. EVIL hit a sidewalk slam and tagged out.
Togo used a cradle and a crossface on SANADA for near finishes. SANADA avoided a whip into the exposed buckle. EVIL threw a chair in the ring and took the ref. Togo hit SANADA with the chair. Togo teased a Pedigree on the chair. Instead, SANADA hit a backdrop.
Naito pulled EVIL to the floor and threw him up and over the barricade. Naito jumped in to double up on Togo. SANADA hit a TKO for a near fall.
SANADA grabbed Skull End and Togo immediately tapped out.
This was a strong win for LIJ.
Naito used a crucifix on EVIL on the floor after the match. Uemura and Tsuji had to pull Naito off EVIL.
NEVER 6-Man Tag Team Championship match: Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI to retain the titles (32:25)
This was awesome. It was way better than it looked like it would be on paper. YH and DOUKI were the workhorses of the match. They tore the house down.
DOUKI pinned YH in a tag at the G1 Finals, so they started off together here. They began with an intense forearm exchange. Suzuki-gun tried to jump in to illegally team up against YH but Goto and Ishii saved. Goto, Ishii and YH did some six-man spots.
Suzuki-gun eventually got the upper hand using underhanded tactics. They brawled around ringside. Ishii and Taichi, Sabre and Goto, DOUKI and YH paired off. DOUKI choked YH with a pipe. Taichi choked Ishii with a camera cable.
Back inside, Suzuki-gun worked YH over in the blue corner. They focused their attack on YH's left arm. YH came back with a vertical suplex on Sabre and tagged out.
Goto hit some signature spots on Sabre, connecting with a wheel kick and a bulldog. Sabre ducked a misdirection lariat and applied an octopus hold. Goto slid out, caught a penalty kick, then hit an ushigoroshi into a double down.
Ishii and Taichi tagged in. Ishii got cut off when Taichi kicked at his taped right knee. YH saved for Ishii initially. Ishii was quickly cut off again as Sabre and Taichi teased a tandem dragon screw to the bad knee. Goto saved with a double lariat.
There was pure carnage in the ring as everyone was down.
The champions recovered first. Ishii and Taichi remained the legal men while the others brawled to the outside. Taichi used the aid of a DOUKI pipe shot from the floor to land a high kick on Ishii. Sabre entered for the tandem dragon screw. Taichi hit a buzzsaw kick for a near fall.
Taichi hit a last ride. Ishii kicked at two, but Taichi used the kick out to transition to a deep single-leg crab. Goto made the save. Taichi removed his trousers. Ishii blocked a high kick and hit a headbutt into another double down.
YH got a tag and blistered Taichi with chops. Taichi hit a jumping high kick in the corner. DOUKI demanded a tag, and against his better judgment, Taichi obliged.
IT was back to DOUKI and YH. Everyone jumped in, then rolled to the floor to set up DOUKI's senton off the post. Tsuji, Kidd and Uemura joined the pack of guys to make sure DOUKI landed on people rather than on his butt on the floor as he always seems to when he tries this. DOUKI hit it.
Back in, DOUKI hit his inverted vertebreaker for a near fall. Suzuki-gun tripled up on YH. DOUKI hit his Daybreak slingshot DDT but YH kicked out.
DOUKI used a triangle choke. Taichi hit him with a buzzsaw while still in the hold for good measure. Goto and Ishii jumped in and got put in octopus holds as they really tried to sell this as a near finish. YH finally got a foot on the bottom strand to force a break.
DOUKI teased Suplex de la Luna. Goto entered and hit an ushigoroshi. Ishii hit a sliding lariat. YH hit a meteora for two as Sabre and Taichi saved for DOUKI.
YH hit a lariat for another two count. YH went for Kharma but Sabre saved. Taichi hit YH with a backdrop suplex. DOUKI covered for a two count. DOUKI removed his shirt.
DOUKI hit a lariat and a springboard double stomp for another near fall at the 27 minute mark.
DOUKI hit Suplex de la Luna. Goto saved for YH and hit DOUKI with a GTW. Taichi took out Goto. Ishii took out Taichi with a lariat. Sabre hit Ishii with a PK. All six guys were down in the ring.
DOUKI ducked a lariat and hit a dropkick. YH rolled through on a DDT attempt and locked on the butterfly lock. YH transitioned to a kimura, then a sleeper. DOUKI escaped and used two rolling cradles for near falls.
YH and Goto hit a GYW and a GYR on DOUKI. Ishii caught an interfering Sabre with a lariat.
YH then hoisted DOUKI for Kharma and got the pin.
They did an angle after the match where YH grabbed Sabre and Taichi's IWGP Heavyweight Tag belts and issued a challenge, though it wasn't clear whether Goto or Ishii would be his partner.
Sabre loudly refused and taunted YH as Suzuki-gun exited.
YH closed with a short promo as Ishii hopped to the back on one leg.