Recommended matches --
- Minoru Suzuki vs. Yuji Nagata
Korakuen Hall was the venue again today.
Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano defeated Satoshi Kojima, Ryusuke Taguchi, Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji (9:59)
This was a fun little opener with a lot of comedy and some cool spots for the young guys.
Ishii and Kidd began, trading strikes and shoulder tackles. Kidd hit a double shotgun dropkick on Ishii and Goto. Taguchi tagged in and did some comedy spots with Goto. Goto hit a wheel kick in the corner and Taguchi sold his butt.
YH and Kojima got tags. Kojima hit machine gun chops and a top rope elbow. YH hit a headhunter and tagged Yano. Yano exposed a buckle but got sent into it himself. Kojima hit a cutter and tagged Tsuji.
Ishii and Goto jumped in and teased stereo ushigoroshis on Kidd and Tsuji. Kidd and Tsuji slipped out and hit dropkicks in an awesome spot. Tsuji hit a senton and a spear for two near falls.
The finish saw Yano shove the ref away, hit a low blow on Tsuji and schoolboy him for the pin.
Shingo Takagi & SANADA defeated Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (10:59)
This was a good brawl. Honma looked much better than usual.
They fought on the outside early with Shingo using a choke around the post to get the advantage on Honma. SANADA and Shingo then worked Honma over with chops and chinlocks. Honma missed a kokeshi before hitting a suplex on Shingo and making a tag.
Makabe hit ten punches in the corner and a northern lights suplex on Shingo for a near fall. Honma and SANADA got tags and Honma hit SANADA and Shingo with a double DDT for a near fall on SANADA.
Makabe tried a double lariat on Shingo and SANADA but they blocked. Honma entered and Makabe and Honma double suplexed SANADA and Shingo. Honma hit a diving kokeshi on SANADA for a two count.
Shingo and Makabe brawled to the floor. Honma missed a kokeshi off the second rope. Shingo missed a pumping bomber but hit a lariat. Shingo hit Honma with a brainbuster. SANADA hit a dropkick but Makabe broke up the pin. Shingo and Makabe brawled to the floor again.
The finish saw SANADA go for Skull End. Honma turned it into a small package for a near fall. SANADA got Skull End applied on the second attempt and Honma tapped out.
Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Master Wato & Yuya Uemura (14:12)
This was similar to the match they've done every night on this tour. It was built on Tanahashi selling most of the way.
Suzuki-gun attacked before the opening bell and spent the first several minutes working over Tanahashi. Taichi used a neckbreaker and some eye gouging to maintain the advantage. Uemura jumped in with a dropkick to make the save and Tana and Taichi made tags.
Sabre and Ibushi tagged in. Sabre tried to trade strikes with Ibushi but Ibushi hammered him with kicks and got the edge. Sabre locked on a triangle. Ibushi slid out and hit a high kick into a double down.
Wato and Kanemaru got tags. Wato hit a hurricanrana on an interfering DOUKI. Wato hit an impressive tornillo onto DOUKI and Kanemaru. Wato hit a springboard uppercut for a near fall.
Uemura and Desperado tagged in. Uemura, Tenzan and Ibushi went 3-on-1 against Desperado. Uemura hit a double underhook suplex for a near fall. Desperado hit a spinebuster and used a stretch muffler but Tana broke it up.
Sabre hit Tana with a Zack Driver. Ibushi hit a double Pele kick on Taichi and Sabre and a dropkick to Desperado. Uemura hit a suplex on Desperado for a two count.
The finish saw Desperado shove the ref. He then hit a straight right on Uemura and hit Pinche Loco for the pin.
They did an angle after the match where Sabre and Taichi talked trash to Ibushi while Tsuji held an ice pack on Tanahashi's neck. Ibushi left on his own without tending to Tana as if Sabre and Taichi had convinced him that Tanahashi was holding him back.
There was a cleaning and disinfecting intermission.
Kazuchika Okada & SHO defeated Yujiro Takahashi & Gedo (w/ Jado) (10:40)
This Yujiro/Gedo team is really awful. At least they kept this relatively short. Okada didn't do much at all in this match.
Okada avoided a double team and got some offense on Yujiro. Okada hit a slingshot senton for an early near fall before tagging out. Jado used a kendo stick shot from the floor on SHO. From there, Gedo used a hammer to attack SHO on the floor and Bullet Club gained control of the match.
Yujiro raked Okada's eyes and posted him on the floor. Gedo exposed a buckle and he and Yujiro took turns sending SHO into it. SHO finally came back with a vertical suplex and tagged Okada.
Yujiro hit a hot shot and dropped Okada across the top rope. Yujiro hit a fisherman buster but Okada blocked a Miami Shine. Yujiro hit a lariat. SHO and Gedo got tags. SHO hit a series of kicks for a near fall.
SHO went for a power breaker but Gedo blocked with a thumb to the eye. SHO hit a spear for a two count. SHO got a kimura at the 10 minute mark but Yujiro broke it up.
The finish saw Jado climb onto the apron to take the ref. Gedo grabbed brass knuckles. Toru Yano ran in and hit a low blow on Gedo. SHO then hit a backstabber. SHO ducked a kendo stick shot from Jado and used a cross armbreaker on Gedo for the submission.
EVIL & Taiji Ishimori (w/ "The Spoiler" Dick Togo) defeated Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI (9:54)
Naito got his hands on EVIL early. He took the fight to the floor and sent EVIL into the barricade. BUSHI hit a neckbreaker on EVIL for a two count. There were some clunky spots when BUSHI and EVIL were in together.
Togo interfered liberally, tripping BUSHI from the floor. He sent BUSHI into the barricade and choked him on the floor. EVIL covered but Red Shoes refused to count the pin due to the interference. The pace slowed to a crawl as Ishimori and EVIL worked on BUSHI.
Naito got a tag and hit EVIL with kicks. Naito hit a series of short elbow strikes. EVIL used a hair pull and hit a mid kick. Naito blocked a fisherman buster, hit an enzuigiri and used a crucifix hold but Ishimori broke it up.
BUSHI got a tag and hit a missile dropkick on EVIL. He followed with a suicide dive to Ishimori. Naito tried to interfere but Togo pulled him to the floor and choked him. BUSHI tried a neckbreaker on EVIL but Ishimori intercepted him with a springboard seated senton.
The finish saw EVIL hit a lariat for a near fall. He then put the scorpion deathlock on and BUSHI tapped out.
Naito grabbed EVIL by the hair after the bell. Togo pulled Naito to the floor and hit some right hands. Bullet Club then celebrated in the ring. EVIL posed with both of his belts over a fallen Naito on the floor.
Minoru Suzuki defeated Yuji Nagata (20:36)
This was not quite as good as their New Japan Cup match but this was another epic battle and a great main event.
They opened with a striking battle in the ring. Nagata then barred Suzuki's left arm. Suzuki escaped and used a kneebar in the ropes before pulling Nagata outside. Each sent the other into the barricade. Suzuki wrenched Nagata's right leg over the barricade.
Suzuki grabbed a chair but Red Shoes took it away. Suzuki continued attacking the right leg on the floor. They teased a countout but Nagata made it back in. Nagata caught a kick and hammered on Suzuki's right leg with elbow strikes.
Nagata hit some heavy kicks to the chest. He hit a running high kick in the corner but only got a one count off of it. They traded forearm strikes. Suzuki went for a rear naked choke but Nagata slid out and hit more forearms.
They had a great striking exchange in the center of the ring. The crowd really got into this. Both teased going down from the hard shots but kept coming back for more. They both dropped to the mat at the same time.
On their knees on the mat they traded headbutts like charging rams. They climbed to their feet and exchanged more headbutts. Suzuki went down first. All of these headbutts were safe. They traded more forearms.
Suzuki tried a misdirection spot to set up a choke attempt. Nagata blocked and tried an exploder. Suzuki blocked the first attempt but Nagata got the exploder on his second try. Suzuki sold a mid kick to the gut bigger than I've ever seen Suzuki sell anything.
Nagata tried another exploder but Suzuki blocked. Nagata hit a knee to the midsection and tried for a backdrop suplex but Suzuki blocked with a side headlock. Suzuki hit a series of headbutts to escape the suplex grip.
They traded more forearm strikes. Suzuki put his hands behind his back and dared Nagata to hit him. They continued trading. They switched from forearm strikes to slaps.
Nagata finally dropped after he couldn't take anymore strikes. Suzuki hit the Gotch-style piledriver and covered for the pin.
Suzuki taunted Nagata and the Korakuen crowd as he closed the show with a promo.