Recommended matches --
- Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & SHO vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & DOUKI
- YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto vs. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Ryusuke Taguchi
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi & Master Wato (w/Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Korakuen Hall was again the venue for today's show.
Yuji Nagata defeated Yuya Uemura (8:08)
This was a mixed bag. They began with some nice mat work but their striking exchanges were not nearly as crisp as usual. Nagata missed a kick by a mile but Uemura sold it anyway. Uemura took a cartoonish bump off a forearm strike.
Uemura hit his double underhook suplex for a near fall then transitioned to an armbar. Nagata reached the ropes. Nagata hit two kicks, an exploder, then used the Nagata Lock II for the submission.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji (8:52)
Kidd is kind of being portrayed as a powerhouse but he's much more than that. He's super athletic and I hope he doesn't get stuck in that role.
Tenzan and Kojima did a spot where Tsuji ducked out of the way and Tenzan hit Kojima with a lariat. Kojima got up and shoved Tenzan. They hit Tsuji with a double big boot and shook hands after, so it didn't lead to anything.
Tenzan worked over Tsuji with chops and a brainbuster. Tsuji hit a dropkick and tagged Kidd. Kidd did some power spots with Tenzan. Kojima tried to hit machine gun chops on Tsuji but Kidd jumped in and Tsuji and Kidd hit machine gun chops on Kojima instead.
Tsuji used a crab on Kojima but Kojima powered out. Kidd interfered and Kojima and Tenzan hit a TenCozy Cutter. Tsuji hit a spear and a vertical suplex for a near fall.
For the finish, Tsuji tried a lariat off the ropes but Kojima hit him with a lariat first and pinned him.
Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & SHO defeated Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & DOUKI (9:17)
This was the best match on the show to this point. Another positive is that it got Okada away from Yujiro Takahashi for a night.
Yano started off with Desperado and did some comedy. Suzuki-gun turned it into a brawl around ringside. Okada and Suzuki paired off in the brawl. Suzuki and Yano did some comedy. Yano then tagged Okada and Okada and Suzuki had a real exchange.
Okada hit a running back elbow and another back elbow in the corner for a near fall. Suzuki hit a PK for a near fall. They traded strikes. Suzuki tried a misdirection spot but Okada caught him and hit an air raid crash.
DOUKI and SHO tagged in for an extended closing sequence. SHO ducked a lariat and hit a spear. DOUKI used a triangle but Yano broke it up. Suzuki took Yano out. Okada jumped in and hit Suzuki with a dropkick.
SHO used a backstabber to set up a cross armbreaker. He got it applied and DOUKI tapped immediately.
Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI defeated EVIL, Dick Togo, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo (w/ Jado) (13:26)
There were some clunky spots in this one, especially between Naito and EVIL which doesn't bode well for their next singles match.
Bullet Club attacked LIJ before the bell. Shingo was left in the ring with Togo and Ishimori. He made his own comeback and hit corner clotheslines on both. BUSHI tagged in and was cut off by Togo. Bullet Club exposed a turnbuckle.
BUSHI got worked over for several minutes. Gedo sent BUSHI's left arm into the exposed buckle. BUSHI came back with a hurricanrana and it was Naito and EVIL time.
Naito hit his trademark leg sweep and combinacion in the corner. They traded forearm shots. Naito teased ringing up the arm for Destino but EVIL blocked with a hair pull. EVIL sent Naito near the exposed buckle. Naito tripped on his way in and didn't quite make it to the buckle.
Ishimori tagged in. Shingo jumped in to aid Naito with an illegal double team. Naito tagged SANADA who tried a paradise lock but Ishimori blocked. Ishimori hit a handspring Pele kick and tagged out.
Gedo got hit with SANADA's leapfrog dropkick and a plancha. Everyone jumped in for a big move. Togo tripped in taking out SANADA. I wonder if the ring was slick after the cleaning intermission.
SANADA ran into a kendo stick shot from Jado. Jado took the ref and Gedo grabbed brass knuckles. SANADA crotched Gedo on the top rope and took Jado off the apron with a dropkick. SANADA then used Skull End to submit Gedo.
LIJ posed and did their fist bump after the match.
NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team title tournament match: YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto defeated Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Ryusuke Taguchi (11:53)
This was a very good match. They kept it relatively short and everyone looked good.
Honma and Ishii started off. They traded chops. Ishii sold big for Honma. Honma backed Ishii into his corner. Ishii tried to fight out but ended up in a fist fight with Honma and Makabe. That was awesome.
Both teams did 3-on-1 spots. They ended up with Makabe being cut off in the opposing corner. Makabe tagged Goto. Taguchi and Goto did a series of misdirection spots ending with Goto hitting a clothesline. YH tagged in and got hit with a hip attack.
Honma got a tag and hit YH with a bulldog. Ishii jumped in to save. Ishii, Makabe, Taguchi and Goto brawled to the floor. Things got chaotic from here.
YH hit Honma with a lariat for a near fall. Makabe hit YH with a lariat. Makabe hit Ishii with a powerslam. Makabe hit Goto and YH with a double lariat. Taguchi hit a hip attack to YH. Honma hit a kokeshi and made a cover but Ishii jumped in and broke it up.
Honma hit a hard headbutt. Honma hit two diving kokeshis for near falls. He teased a top rope kokeshi but Goto cut him off. Goto and Ishii hit simultaneous headbutts to Honma. Goto and YH hit an elevated GTR on Honma. YH then used the butterfly lock for the submission.
NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team title tournament match: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi & Master Wato (w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan) defeated Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (16:54)
This was fairly slow but it paid off the Ibushi/Tanahashi angle so it's worth a watch.
Tanahashi insisted on starting for his team. He was immediately cut off and had his left knee worked over. Tana sold, sold, sold and sold some more.
Sabre and Taichi held Tanahashi up in front of Ibushi and again tried tempting him to attack. Ibushi grabbed Tana's wrists like he was about to give him a Kamigoye but he attacked Sabre and Taichi instead.
Sabre used an octopus on Ibushi. Ibushi powered out. They traded kicks. Ibushi went for a last ride but Sabre caught him in a guillotine. Sabre switched to a triangle. Ibushi broke the hold with a powerbomb.
Master Wato and Kanemaru tagged in. Wato hit a springboard uppercut forearm for a near fall. Kanemaru blocked some kicks and hit a dropkick. Kanemaru teased an inverted DDT but Wato blocked and hit a combination of kicks.
Tanahashi tagged in. He hit Kanemaru with a dragon screw and a slingblade. Tanahashi and Ibushi started working well together and hit Kanemaru with the Golden Blade. Wato hit a tornillo on Sabre to take him out.
Tanahashi went for High Fly Flow but Kanemaru got his knees up. Taichi tagged in and hit an axe bomber for a near fall. He hit a last ride and stacked Tana up on the cover but Wato and Ibushi saved.
Taichi held Tanahashi up while Sabre hit him with a series of dragon screws. Taichi took his pants off and hit a thrust kick.
Taichi went for Black Mephisto with an assist from Sabre. I think the announcers called this Zack Mephisto. Ibushi jumped in for the save and hit a high kick. Tanahashi trapped Taichi in a double leg nelson position and stacked him up for the flash pin.
Sabre used a heel hook on Tanahashi right after the closing bell. Taichi sent Ibushi outside after a high kick, so Suzuki-gun got their heat back.
Sabre and Taichi taunted Ibushi after the match. They again tried to tempt him to turn on Tanahashi but he refused.
Ibushi helped Tanahashi to his feet and walked him to the back, so Golden Ace are back on the same page.