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NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome results: LIJ vs. Bullet Club

road to tokyo dome 12 21 2020

NJPW ran their first of three consecutive nights in Tokyo's Korakuen Hall today, kicking off the final leg of this year's Road to Tokyo Dome tour. 

Recommended matches --

  • Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI 
  • Jay White, EVIL & Dick Togo vs.Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI 

Report --

The show started with a highlight video from all the major NJPW shows in 2020. This was slick and well done. 

Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe & Satoshi Kojima defeated Yota Tsuji, Yuya Uemura & Gabriel Kidd (8:57)

This was Tiger Mask's comeback match after being sidelined for most of the year with diverticulitis. I am happy to report that his entrance music still rules. This was a nice showcase for the New Japan dads. 

Uemura and Makabe started the match with a mat wrestling clinic. Uemura shot for a double-leg takedown and got it. He tried a single-leg, but Makabe blocked. Makabe did some chain wrestling. 

Things took a turn when a frustrated Uemura threw a dropkick. Makabe answered with a slam. Both tagged out. 

Kidd and Tiger entered. Kidd landed some strikes and whipped Tiger into the buckle. Tiger answered with kicks, cutting Kidd off. Kojima tagged in and worked Kidd over. Makabe entered for more of the same. Kidd hit a dropkick and tagged Tsuji. 

Makabe hit Tsuji with a powerslam and tagged Kojima. Kojima hit his signature machine gun chops. Uemura jumped in to save Tsuji and they doubled up on Kojima. Tiger entered but was tossed outside by Kidd, as the Young Lions tripled up on Kojima. 

Tiger made it back in and hit a Tiger driver on Kidd. Kojima hit a cutter on Tsuji. Tsuji responded by hitting a spear and a brainbuster for a near fall.  

Tsuji ducked one lariat, but Kojima caught him on the rebound with a lariat and covered for the pin.

After the match, everyone left the ring to Tiger and he took a bow.  

Juice Robinson & Toa Henare defeated KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi (11:10)

This was more about teasing a singles match between Juice and KENTA at the Dome than having the best match they could. 

KENTA teased starting off with Juice but immediately tagged out, so Juice followed suit. Henare and Yujiro did some spots before rolling outside. Yujiro used his pimp cane to gain the advantage. 

KENTA and Yujiro worked Henare over. Henare finally came back with a brainbuster. Juice got a tag. Yujiro and KENTA illegally doubled up Juice and cut him off, then traded tags in working him over. 

Juice made his comeback, hit KENTA with a Left Hand of God, then followed with Pulp Friction on Yujiro for the victory. 


After the match, KENTA tried a briefcase shot on Juice. Juice blocked and tried a briefcase shot on KENTA, but KENTA rolled out of the ring. The two jawed at each other for a few moments. 

Juice left with KENTA's IWGP U.S. title shot briefcase. 


Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato defeated Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (10:27)

The babyfaces took a page out of Suzuki-gun's playbook and attacked before the opening bell. This led to a brief period of dominance for Wato, Taguchi and Tenzan. Wato hit a tornillo on Desperado. 

They did some comedy involving Suzuki and Taguchi's posterior. Suzuki-gun cut Taguchi off and worked on his left arm. 

Taguchi managed a tag to Tenzan. Suzuki and Tenzan had a nice exchange. Suzuki tried a headbutt, but sold it like he hurt his own head delivering the move to Tenzan's thick skull. 

Wato tagged in. He was cut off by Kanemaru and Desperado. The Jr. Tag champs hit some tandem offense. Kanemaru hit Deep Impact for a near fall as Tenzan made the save for his pal Wato. 

For the finish, Wato used a jackknife cradle to trap Kanemaru and pin him. 


They briefly teased Wato and Taguchi challenging for Desperado and Kanemaru's IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag titles after the match. We will be hearing more about this in the coming days. 


Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens (w/Jado)  defeated Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI (8:32)

This was more of an extended angle than a match, with G.O.D. looking to damage Taichi and Sabre before they challenge them for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag belts at Wrestle Kingdom. 

Bullet Club attacked before the opening bell, targeting Sabre. I forget because I only get to see it a couple of times a year, but Sabre can be a heck of a babyface in peril when the match calls for it. 

G.O.D. worked Sabre over. Sabre came back with a cobra twist and a neck crank on Owens. Taichi tagged in and went after everyone on the Bullet Club team by choking them, including Jado on the apron. 

Taichi hit Tama with an axe bomber. He teased a backdrop suplex but Tama blocked. Tama tried a Gun Stun on Taichi, but he blocked. Sabre caught an interfering Tanga in an octopus while Taichi used a choke on Tama. DOUKI tagged in for a double stomp on Tama and a near fall. 

Everyone jumped in as the match worked towards the finish. Taichi took his pants off. Taichi hit Tama with a high kick and DOUKI cradled him for a near fall. DOUKI hit a plancha on Owens. 

The finish was great. DOUKI went for his Daybreak slingshot DDT on Tama. Tama caught him flying in with a Gun Stun and pinned him. 


G.O.D. raised their World Tag League trophies in celebration and talked trash to Taichi and Sabre after the bell. Sabre and Taichi posed with their belts. 


Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb (w/Bea Priestley) defeated Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma (14:12)

As will likely be the case for all of the key matches before the Dome, the important stuff here came in the post-match. The action in the ring was fine, but nothing special. 

Empire attacked before the opening bell. Ospreay and Okada paired off, fighting to the floor. Ospreay whipped Okada into the barricade. O-Khan tried to go after Tanahashi's left knee. Tanahashi fought him off and got an armbar, before tagging Honma. 

Honma tried a kokeshi on O-Khan but missed. O-Khan hit some Mongolian chops. Cobb tagged in and used  some power lifts to isolate Honma in the Empire corner. Ospreay tagged in and used a face rake and a chinlock in working on Honma. 

Honma managed to come back with a vertical suplex and tagged Okada. Okada and Ospreay had a short exchange, ending with Ospreay hitting a neckbreaker. O-Khan tagged in and used a baseball slide as Okada was tied to the tree of woe. Okada hit an air raid crash neckbreaker before tagging Tana. 

Tana hit a flying forearm on O-Khan, then hit Cobb with a dropkick, knocking hm from the apron. Tana used a dragon screw on O-Khan. He teased a slingblade. O-Khan blocked and tried a German. Tana blocked the suplex. O-Khan hit a stroke, then an inverted suplex for a near fall. 

O-Khan went for the Dominator. Tanahashi turned it into a twist and shout, into a double down. Honma and Cobb got tags. Cobb and Honma traded shoulder tackles. Honma hit a bulldog and a kokeshi. Ospreay tried to intervene and got hit with a diving kokeshi. 

Tana and Okada hit a double suplex on Cobb, then lifted Honma off the ropes into a diving kokeshi for a near fall. 

Ospreay and Okada, plus Tana and O-Khan paired off on the outside. Honma tried a second rope kokeshi on Cobb, but missed. Ospreay hit Honma with a hook kick. Cobb covered, but Okada saved. 

Cobb hit a striking combination, ending it with a lariat. He followed up with a Tour of the Islands and pinned Honma. 


The Empire continued their assault after the bell. O-Khan dropped Tana knee-first on a chair supplied by Priestley. O-Khan continued hammering away at Tana's left leg with the chair until Okada saved. 

Empire teased leaving. Ospreay ran back in and hit a Hidden Blade on Okada. The Empire stood tall over the fallen Okada and Tanahashi. O-Khan cut a promo, without the benefit of a microphone, to end the segment. 


Jay White, EVIL & Dick Togo (w/Gedo) defeated Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI (17:36)

Something to keep an eye on is the dissension teases with White and EVIL. They worked well together, and their teamwork led to the victory, but they did a few subtle things to plant the seed for when one eventually turns on the other. 

White had a Hollywood Hogan tan and a new briefcase to signify his double title challenge at Wrestle Kingdom. 

White teased wanting to start the match with Naito, but tagged out to Togo right away. Naito then teased locking up with Togo, but ducked and hit White with a forearm shot as he stood on the apron. LIJ hit some tandem offense on Togo, before isolating him in their corner. 

BUSHI got a tag and a one count after a DDT. Togo raked BUSHI's face. EVIL exposed a buckle in the Bullet Club corner. BUSHI and SANADA got sent into the exposed steel. White and Naito brawled on the outside, where White sent Naito into the barricade and choked him with a camera cable. 

Back in the ring, Bullet Club took turns in working over BUSHI. BUSHI tagged SANADA, who then locked EVIL and Togo in paradise locks, breaking the holds with a double dropkick. EVIL cut SANADA off and hit a corner lariat and a fisherman's suplex for a near fall. 

EVIL teased Darkness Falls. SANADA blocked and tried Skull End. EVIL slid out and tried a German. SANADA landed on his feet out of the suplex, but Togo tripped him from the floor. EVIL and Togo tried a Magic Killer, but SANADA fought it off and hit his Magic Breaker on EVIL. 

White and Naito tagged in. Naito hit a neckbreaker and low dropkick for a quick near fall. Naito used another neckbreaker and a crucifix hold. White tried to force a rope break, but Naito refused to break on the ropes. Red Shoes had to pull Naito's legs off. 

Naito hit a series of stomps in the corner. Rather than try for a combinacion, Naito teased a top rope frankensteiner. White raked his face, then hit a DDT. White yelled at Red Shoes and twice put his hands on him, still angry about the crucifix. White hit a Blade Buster for a two count. 

White went for a Blade Runner. Naito blocked and hit an enzuigiri, then a spinebuster, into a double down at the 15 minute call. 

BUSHI tagged in. He hit a tope suicida and a swinging neckbreaker for a two count on White. BUSHI rolled White up for another two count, then hit a rewind kick. White hit a Saito suplex. 

SANADA jumped in. Togo choked SANADA. SANADA hit a TKO on Togo. EVIL hit Everything is EVIL on SANADA. White hit a Blade Runner on an interfering Naito. EVIL hit Darkness Falls on BUSHI. 

White then hit the Blade Runner on BUSHI and pinned him. 


White posed with both of Naito's titles after the match. 

EVIL cut a promo on SANADA, while Togo put a knee on SANADA's neck. 

White then took the mic and cut a promo on Naito. He said Naito got what he wanted in Ibushi, then maybe a shot at White on night two. White said Naito, Ibushi, EVIL and all of us better not forget that they still have to breathe with The Switchblade in his new era.