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NJPW Summer Struggle results: KOPW tournament begins

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Recommended matches --

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI 
  • SANADA vs. SHO

Report --

Korakuen Hall was the venue. They announced an attendance of 626. 

They tested some sort of crowd noise system in the building that the fans were controlling with an app. I would call the experiment a minor negative. Fans were clapping anyway and drowned out the canned noise. 

Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Yuji Nagata, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura (10:39)

This was a good opener. Nagata, Tsuji and Uemura attacked before the opening bell to get the show off to a hot start. 

Uemura and Tsuji tried working over Ishii but Ishii made his own comeback and cut off Tsuji. YH, Ishii and Goto worked Tsuji over. 

Tsuji came back with a brainbuster on Goto and tagged Nagata. Nagata got a near fall off an exploder. Goto hit a misdirection lariat and a second lariat before tagging out. 

YH and Goto doubled up on Nagata. Nagata used a crossface on YH but Ishii jumped in to break it up. The match broke down. Uemura hit Goto and Ishii with a double dropkick. Tsuji hit Goto and Ishii with a double spear. 

Tsuji hit a senton on YH. Uemura then used a Boston crab but YH forced a rope break. 

YH hit a headhunter for a near fall and used a butterfly lock for the submission. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato defeated Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI (10:06)

This was excellent for a ten minute match. 

Suzuki-gun attacked before the opening bell. Wato got a bit of shine on Kanemaru with a springboard uppercut forearm but Suzuki-gun cut Tenzan off and dominated the early part of the match. 

Taichi hit Mongolian chops on Tenzan to taunt him. Tenzan came back with a mountain bomb and tagged Tanahashi. Ibushi and Tanahashi doubled up on Taichi. Ibushi hit a standing moonsault. Tanahashi hit a second rope senton for a near fall. 

Taichi kicked at Tana's left leg. Tana hit a dropkick to Taichi's right leg. Sabre dumped Tana outside. Ibushi sent Sabre outside with a rana. Kanemaru sent Ibushi to the floor. Wato sent Kanemaru outside and hit a tornillo. 

DOUKI hit a swan dive senton off the post onto all the guys. I've seen him do that before where no one caught him and he landed on his butt on the floor but thankfully he got caught here. 

Back inside, DOUKI used a triangle on Tanahashi. Tenzan broke it up. Ibushi hit a double Pele kick to Sabre and Taichi. Tana hit DOUKI with twist and shout. 

Tanahashi and Ibushi hit the Golden Blade on DOUKI. Tanahashi followed with High Fly Flow and pinned DOUKI. 

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Taichi and Sabre taunted Tanahashi and Ibushi with the IWGP Tag Team title belts after the match. Tanahashi told Sabre in English to enjoy his championship for three more days. 

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KOPW 2020 first round match: El Desperado defeated Satoshi Kojima by DQ in a no finishers allowed match (14:14)

Kojima's lariat and Desperado's Pinche Loco were illegal. 

They built the match around Kojima selling his left knee. The match was pretty dull and the finish was bad. 

Desperado feigned breaking cleanly against the ropes after locking up. They rolled outside where Desperado sent Kojima into the barricade. Desperado then went to work on the left knee. 

Kojima made a comeback. He hit something resembling a lariat but the referee ruled that it was a forearm strike. Kojima hit a DDT on the apron and a top rope elbow for a two count. 

Desperado used a stretch muffler but Kojima made it to the ropes. Kojima hit a cutter off the top rope for a close near fall. Kojima went for a lariat but stopped himself. Desperado hit a thumb to the eye. 

Kojima used a brainbuster for a near fall, then used a crucifix hold. Desperado forced a break. Kojima went back to the hold. Desperado threw the ref down. Desperado tapped but the referee was out. 

Desperado teased hitting Pinche Loco with the ref down. Kojima blocked. Desperado taunted Kojima by hitting him with lariats. Kojima finally snapped and hit a lariat for the DQ. 

KOPW 2020 first round match: Toru Yano defeated BUSHI in a two-count pinfall match (4:45)

As a change of pace comedy match this was pretty perfect. 

They did some comedy with a bottle of hand sanitizer. Each sprayed the other in the eyes with sanitizer and they traded near falls. Yano exposed a buckle and sent BUSHI into it. BUSHI sent Yano into the buckle. 

They rolled outside. Yano tried to tie BUSHI up with tape but BUSHI escaped and hit a tope suicida. BUSHI tied up Yano with the tape instead. 

BUSHI tossed Yano back inside and tried a magistral cradle. Yano reversed the cradle and got the pin with his feet still taped together. 

KOPW 2020 first round match: SANADA defeated SHO in a submission match (19:37)

SHO was fantastic in this match. The match type didn't really play to SANADA's strengths and I thought it went about five minutes too long but I'll give it a mild recommendation. 

They opened with a nice chain wrestling sequence. They did a little bit of lucha before going back to mat work. SHO tried for a cross armbreaker but SANADA slid out and rolled to the floor to reset. 

SHO tried to work the left arm but SANADA used a headscissors escape. SHO got a headscissors applied on the mat but SANADA rolled through and tried a bow and arrow. SHO escaped. SANADA hit a dragon screw and SHO rolled to the apron. 

SHO continued to work on the left arm. SANADA hit another dragon screw as he looked to be going after SHO's legs. SANADA draped SHO over the middle rope and hit a moonsault. 

SHO came back with a hammerlock and hit dropkicks to the left arm. SANADA went for a hurricanrana but SHO caught him and hit a powerbomb. SHO hit a power breaker but sold the impact of the move on his own legs. 

SANADA tried a moonsault but SHO got his knees up. SHO continued to sell his legs. SHO hit a jumping knee strike. SANADA hit a dropkick to the legs. 

SHO hit a cross-arm piledriver and rolling Germans into a cross armbreaker. Referee Red Shoes really tried to sell this a potential finish but SANADA broke the hold. He went for something or other but just dropped SHO on the mat. 

SANADA hit a moonsault and locked on a figure four. SHO fought the hold for a long time before finally tapping out. 

KOPW 2020 first round match: Kazuchika Okada defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Gedo & Jado in a handicap match (15:29)

This match looked terrible on paper and it was terrible in execution. 

Okada was distracted by Gedo on the apron and Yujiro hit a boot for the first offense of the match. Okada hit a slingshot senton for a near fall but Gedo jumped in to break up the pin. 

Yujiro did some biting and eye raking. Gedo used his belt as a weapon. Yujiro tossed Okada to the floor where Gedo and Jado got some strikes in. 

Gedo and Yujiro doubled up on Okada. Jado covered for a near fall. Okada used the cobra clutch on Jado but Gedo and Yujiro broke it up. 

Yujiro accidentally bumped Gedo off the apron. Okada hit an air raid crash on Yujiro. Jado hit Okada with a kendo stick from the floor and Yujiro covered for a two count. 

Okada used the cobra clutch on Yujiro but Gedo and Jado jumped in to break it up. Okada fought them off and went back to the hold. They broke it up a second time. Yujiro hit Miami Shine for a two count. 

Yujiro, Gedo and Jado hit a triple powerbomb off the second rope for a near fall. Jado hit a lariat for a near fall. Gedo hit a frog splash for a near fall. 

Yujiro took the referee. Gedo grabbed brass knuckles. Okada blocked and hit a back elbow. Jado entered with a kendo stick. Okada hit him with a Woo dropkick. Okada hit Yujiro with a dropkick. Okada hit a tope on Jado and Yujiro and had a rough landing. That could have been terrible. Imagine Okada getting hurt in this match. 

Gedo used a Gedo clutch for a near fall. Okada hit a tombstone and used the cobra clutch. Gedo tapped immediately. 

Okada closed the show with a promo.