NJPW held their penultimate show of the year today in Korakuen Hall, the third of four consecutive nights in the building.
Below is a report and today's results.
Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Yuto Nakashima & Ryohei Oiwa
This was a fun little opener.
Early chain wrestling from Wato and Oiwa turned to striking as Nakashima and Taguchi entered the match. As the match developed, Taguchi and Wato worked to isolate Nakashima, resulting in a hot tag. Oiwa’s sequence of offense left the teams on equal footing before a double tag. After a prolonged struggle, Nakashima submitted to Wato’s Boston crab.
TAKA Michinoku, Zack Sabre Jr, & Taichi (Suzuki-Gun) defeated Kosei Fujita, YOSHI-HASHI, & Hirooki Goto
This match was an excellent tease for what is to come. Good stuff.
This match opened with a brawl that focused ZSJ and Taichi against YH and Goto. The four had an extended sequence, leaving all of them lying. As a result, TAKA and Fujita were the only viable wrestlers for some time after.
Fujita was generally in control of TAKA but slipped into a crossface. ZSJ and Taichi hit the ring to guard the submission, leading to a Suzuki-Gun victory via tap out.
Yuji Nagata & Toru Yano defeated Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Suzuki-Gun)
The Nagata/Suzuki stuff was good; the Yano/Kanemaru stuff was typical KOPW silliness.
Suzuki-Gun jumped Yano and Nagata before the match. As the action entered the ring, Suzuki found significant ground control over Yano. Yano was forced to escape by tagging in Nagata. Suzuki and Nagata had an excellent, intensive sequence leading to a double tag.
With the two KOPW contenders in ring, things became a little silly. Yano immediately slammed Kanemaru into an exposed corner. Yano grabbed a bottle, only for Kanemaru to spit a mouth full of liquor into Yano’s eyes. Kanemaru then beat Yano over the head with the bottle, leading to a disqualification favoring the Yano/Nagata pairing.
EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo, & SHO (House of Torture) defeated Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, & YOH
This match wasn’t great, but it certainly added to the Dome shows to come.
This match opened with a brawl. Things took a while to settle down, as Wrestle Kingdom opponents singled one another out. Eventually, HoT gained control of the match, allowing them to single out Ishii.
Ishii finally tagged out to YOH, leading to a passionate exchange with SHO. Tenzan and Togo traded for a while before some Togo cheating incited another brawl. In the chaos, EVIL hit Tenzan with a 6-man belt, leaving Togo with a pin and HoT with a win.
After the match, the teams fought again, and HoT was defeated in the scuffle. This led to a dramatic locking of eyes between YOH and SHO.
KENTA, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori, & El Phantasmo (Bullet Club) defeated Tiger Mask, Robbie Eagles, Tomoaki Honma, Kazuchika Okada, & Hiroshi Tanahashi
This was busy, but that’s to be expected with a 10-man tag, especially one that features Bullet Club. The most compelling work came after the bell.
The opening visual between the ten men sharing the ring was quite cool. In perhaps the biggest shock of the night, this match did not open with a brawl. Instead, the babyface squad gained control early, prompting the entire BC team to hit the ring to steal momentum. BC singled out Tanahashi, and this led to a brawl.
Tanahashi and KENTA had a sequence with a kendo stick before the junior tag champions, Eagles and TM, traded moves with the soon-to-be challengers, Ishimori and ELP. BC took control of the ring, leading to another brawl. Owens and Honma shared the ring for an extended period, even during the brawls, eventually leading to the finish after Owens hit Honma with a package piledriver.
After the match, KENTA beat Tanahashi with a chair; staff tried to keep the two teams apart, but this only aided KENTA in destroying Tanahashi. As things settled, Owens and KENTA shared some tense words, presumably about the US title.
Shingo Takagi, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) defeated Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan, & Aaron Henare (United Empire)
This match opened with a brawl. Cobb soon found himself alone in the ring, leaving SANADA and Shingo free to single out his leg; when Naito tried, Cobb sparked up, leading to another brawl. As things settled down, Naito found himself in a similar position to Cobb. UE took turns beating down Naito, and again, things picked up when Naito and Cobb shared the ring.
SANADA and O-Khan traded moves for a while. O-Khan eventually took ground control, where he spanked his opponent; soon after, SANADA tagged Shingo into the match.
Shingo and Henare reset the match flow before another brawl. Naito and Cobb both tried landing their finishers, with Naito eventually connecting with Destino. Cobb hit Henare with a pumping bomber and Made in Japan before pinning him.
Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. El Desperado & DOUKI (Suzuki-Gun) went to a time limit draw
This was very bloated, I guess in an attempt to fill out a main event caliber match or something to that effect. It fell flat.
Desperado and Hiromu opened the match with chain wrestling that turned to striking as things picked up. DOUKI tried tagging again, only for Hiromu and Desperado to fight outside the ring. Once the action in ring developed, BUSHI and Hiromu took turns choking DOUKI with his own hair.
Things spilt to the outside again, where Suzuki-Gun gained control that continued in the ring. This eventually led to a Hiromu hot tag, where he took out both of his opponents. A triangle from Hiromu forced DOUKI into the ropes.
BUSHI and DOUKI had an extended sequence that ended when the other pair hit the ring. By the end of this four-way exchange, all four were left lying. Then the Suzuki-Gun pairing locked the LIJ pairing into submissions, but both escaped.
Another tag to Hiromu led to another exchange between him and Desperado. After lariat, Hiromu had a pin on Desperado, but it was broken up. This led to the pair trying for quick pins; then, the bell rang. The teams fought to a draw.