Night twelve of the Road to Wrestling Dontaku tour took place today in Hiroshima at Sun Plaza Hall.
Two unique singles matches topped the card, as Tetsuya Naito took on Great-O-Khan in the main event, while SANADA faced Aaron Henare in the semi-main.
The Los Ingobernables de Japon vs. United Empire theme continued on the undercard, with Shingo Takagi and BUSHI teaming against IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay and Jeff Cobb.
The tour continues with two nights of Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni on Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. Eastern time and Thursday at 2 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World.
Here are full results and a report on today's show:
Recommended matches --
- Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb vs. Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Tiger Mask, SHO & YOH (7:09)
This didn't get enough time to be anything special, but the work was solid.
Suzuki-gun attacked as the babyfaces made their ring entrance. A brawl around ringside ensued. Suzuki and SHO began as the legal men. Suzuki used a heel hook, but SHO made the ropes. Suzuki hit a PK for a two count.
SHO came back with a vertical suplex. YOH and Desperado got tags and had a nice exchange. YOH hit a neckbreaker, but missed a superkick. Desperado hit a spinebuster and tagged Kanemaru. YOH managed a tag to Tiger.
Tiger hit a high cross for a near fall. Kanemaru blocked a Tiger Driver. Tiger used a crucifix for a near fall. Tiger hit the Driver, but Suzuki broke up the pin.
Tiger went for a Tiger suplex, but Kanemaru blocked, then sent SHO into Tiger. Kanemaru caught Tiger in a jackknife cover and scored the flash pin.
Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI defeated Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Jado by DQ (6:53)
This was more of an angle to set up the Loa vs. Sabre and Tonga vs. Taichi matches at Wrestling Dontaku next week. It was good when Loa and Sabre were in together.
Sabre caught Loa in a guillotine at the opening bell, but Loa powered him into the corner to break the hold. Loa used some powerful strikes. Sabre caught him in a cobra twist. Loa powered out. Loa powered out of another guillotine and hit a powerslam.
Taichi and Tama got tags. Taichi hit some Kawada kicks. Jado tried to interfere, but his immobility interfered with his interference. Taichi tossed him aside and he took an awkward tumble. Tama hit a Tongan Twist to Taichi.
Bullet Club triple-teamed Taichi. DOUKI and Jado were in for some spots together. DOUKI hit a springboard hurricanrana to Tama. He went for a suicide dive, but Tama nailed him with a ladder. DOUKI took a nasty bump.
Tama bumped the ref. Taichi used a dragon sleeper on Jado. Jado tapped, but the ref didn't see it. Tama then laid waste to the Suzuki-gun side with the ladder. The ref was revived and called for the DQ.
Loa taunted Sabre on the mic after the match. Jado hit DOUKI with a kendo stick.
EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Taiji Ishimori, Gedo & Dick Togo defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato (12:17)
This was about what you would expect from a bad Bullet Club tag match with Yano on the other side.
The good guys began with some comedy spots against EVIL. Tenzan tagged in and hit a brainbuster, tagged Wato, then hit an elbow drop. Wato covered for two. Togo jumped in. Wato nailed Togo with strikes.
Yano took the referee. Togo exposed a buckle and Wato was whipped into it. All ten guys brawled to the floor, with Bullet Club firmly in control of the match.
EVIL worked over Wato in the ring, then Bullet Club used quick tags to continue the assault. Wato came back with a dreamcast to Ishimori. Taguchi tagged in for a series of hip attacks. Ishimori blocked a bumaye with a cradle, then hit a rolling kick for a double down.
Tana and Yujiro got tags. Tana was the proverbial house of fire, hitting dropkick and a somersault senton. He hit a dragon screw to Gedo for good measure. Yujiro bit Tana's hand and blocked a slingblade attempt with a lariat.
Togo tagged in and lit Tana up with strikes. Tana hit a crossbody and tagged Yano. Yano exposed a buckle and produced a hood. EVIL hit Yano with a corner pad. EVIL took the ref. Togo put the hood on Yano and rolled him up for two.
Togo tried to choke Yano with his ligature. Yano hit a low blow. The ref got bumped. EVIL hit Everything is EVIL, then put Togo on top of Yano. Togo got the pin.
EVIL choked Yano with the ligature after the match and had to be torn away by the ring attendants.
***** Intermission *****
Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb defeated Shingo Takagi & BUSHI (13:23)
This was excellent.
Ospreay and Shingo started off with a hot exchange. They traded strikes. Shingo hit a hip toss on Ospreay onto Cobb. BUSHI tagged in and hit Ospreay with chops. BUSHI went after Ospreay's knees with a dropkick.
Cobb got a blind tag. Cobb and Ospreay hit some tandem offense on Shingo on the apron. Cobb went after BUSHI on the outside, while Shingo and Ospreay paired off. Cobb cut BUSHI off with some power moves. Cobb and Ospreay used quick tags and worked on BUSHI.
Ospreay hit a springboard double stomp to a draping BUSHI. Cobb hit a running vertical suplex for a near fall. BUSHI came back with a low dropkick to Cobb and a combination bulldog/dropkick.
Shingo tagged in for some power spots with Cobb. Shingo hit a vertical suplex. Cobb hit an overhead belly-to-belly. Ospreay tagged in and tied Shingo to the tree of woe for a Shibata dropkick. Ospreay hit a bloody sunday. Shingo countered with a pop-up death valley driver.
Shingo missed a sliding lariat. A crazy sequence ended with Ospreay taking a flip bump off a lariat after missing on a Stormbreaker attempt.
BUSHI tagged in and hit Ospreay with a tope suicida and a DDT. Ospreay hit a handspring kick. Shingo and BUSHI hit tandem offense. BUSHI hit a back stabber for a two count. All four jumped in as the match worked towards the finish. Ospreay hit two Oscutters to Shingo.
BUSHI avoided a Stormbreaker and a Tour of the Islands. Ospreay hit a pop-up powerbomb, but Shingo saved for BUSHI. Cobb hit the Tour of the Islands on Shingo.
Ospreay hit the Chelsea Grin and the Stormbreaker on BUSHI for the pin.
SANADA defeated Aaron Henare (w/Will Ospreay) (23:28)
The last five minutes of this were excellent, but there were long stretches early on where this was quite dull. Henare is still learning how to have long singles matches and I don't see SANADA as a guy who can carry just anyone.
Henare attacked as SANADA made his ring entrance. Henare sent SANADA into the barricade. Back inside, Henare focused on attacking the left leg. Henare used a heel hook. SANADA rolled to the ropes to force a break.
SANADA came back with a dropkick to Henare's left leg. SANADA hit a leapfrog dropkick and a plancha. Ospreay teased getting involved on the outside, but held back. Back in, SANADA missed a springboard attack. Henare hit some stiff mid kicks at the ten minute mark. Henare missed a mid kick, but connected on a blue thunder bomb for a two count.
SANADA blocked a tackle. Henare escaped a TKO attempt. SANADA took his Ray Stevens bump over the corner pad and hit a springboard dropkick. SANADA hit a back suplex for a two count. He followed with a magic screw for another near fall.
SANADA missed a moonsault press, but that led to nothing. SANADA used a spinning Skull End. Henare reversed into his own submission hold, but SANADA forced a rope break. SANADA fought off a superplex attempt.
Henare rolled through on a crossbody attempt and hit a fall away slam. Henare hit a rugby tackle for a two count. SANADA fought out of a Streets of Rage attempt. Henare reversed Skull End into his own Skull End. SANADA fought out of another finisher attempt and used Skull End to set up an O'Connor roll, then used that to set up Skull End again.
Here's the logic flaw in every SANADA match. In most cases he is about to win with Skull End, then gives up the hold to try a moonsault. He did it again here. He had Skull End, they did a long submission tease, then he gave up the hold and missed the moonsault.
They traded strikes. Henare hit a headbutt and tried Streets of Rage. SANADA escaped and hit a Tiger Suplex. Henare kicked out at one.
SANADA hit a TKO, then hit two moonsaults for the pin.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Great-O-Khan (w/Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb) (27:05)
I don't think this was as good as their last singles match. I saw that one as a one-man show, with Naito carrying O-Khan. Naito was not as good here, so the match was not as good.
They teased locking up for so long that it became comedy. They finally tied up. O-Khan broke cleanly against the ropes. O-Khan went to the mat and dared Naito to grapple with him. They had a lengthy sequence on the ground. O-Khan was firmly in control of the grappling.
Naito came back with an enzuigiri, then used O-Khan's hair as he set up a camel clutch. O-Khan rolled outside. Naito again used the hair on the floor. O-Khan sent Naito into the barricade, then hit a throw on the floor.
O-Khan again used the barricade. Naito got hung up on the barricade and went into complete SummerSlam 2005 Shawn Michaels mode as he sold a near-countout. Back in, O-Khan sat on Naito's head on the turnbuckle.
Naito came back with an inverted atomic drop and a neckbreaker. Naito hit a basement dropkick and combinacion cabron for a near fall. Naito used a crucifix hold, but O-Khan forced a break. O-Khan blocked a Destino and hit a throw.
O-Khan hit Mongolian chops before hanging Naito up in the corner. He hit a sliding dropkick with Naito tied to the tree of woe. O-Khan covered for a near fall. Naito hit a one-legged dropkick and a draping neckbreaker.
Naito hit a top rope frankensteiner for a two count. O-Khan hit a couple of throws. O-Khan hit a reverse suplex for a two count. Naito answered with a tornado DDT. Naito began going after O-Khan's neck with elbows to set up for Destino at the 20 minute call.
Naito hit Esperanza for a near fall. Naito hit Destino, but O-Khan kicked out. Naito hit an enzuigiri. O-Khan came back with a lariat. Naito fired off some strikes. O-Khan tried to answer, but his strikes were clearly weaker.
O-Khan blocked a flying forearm and hit a slam. O-Khan fired up and hit a pump kick for a two count. O-Khan used a standing head and arm choke, but gave up the hold and hit a back breaker. He went back to the choke at the 25 minute mark. O-Khan hit a TTD, but Naito kicked out.
O-Khan went for the Eliminator, but Naito reversed into a Destino. O-Khan kicked out.
Naito hit a third Destino for the pin.
Naito closed the show with a promo.
Here are the lineups for the next events:
NJPW Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni night one, Wednesday, April 28, 5:30 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: SHO & YOH (c) vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Creation of darkness blindfold match for the provisional KOPW 2021: Toru Yano (c) vs. EVIL
- Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo
- Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Jado
- Tiger Mask & Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
NJPW Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni night two, Thursday, April 29, 2 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --
- Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare
- Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito vs. Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan
- Toru Yano, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs. EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Taiji Ishimori & Dick Togo
- Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Jado
- Tiger Mask, SHO & YOH vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- SANADA & BUSHI vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura