Hello friends, it’s time for the second biggest show of the year for New Japan with maybe the most anticipated rematch in New Japan history. Let’s get right to it from Osaka-jo Hall in front of a crowd of about 12,000 people.
Hirai Kawato, Katsuya Kitamura, and Tetsuhiro Yagi vs. David Finlay, Tomoyuki Oka, and Shota Umino
Winners: Hirai Kawato, Katsuya Kitamura, and Tetsuhiro Yagi at 7:37. Finlay hits Yagi with a stunner.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Jushing Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, and Satoshi Kojima vs. Tiger Mask, Tiger Mask W, Togi Makabe, and Yuji Nagata
Winners: Tiger Mask, Tiger Mask W, Togi Makabe, and Yuji Nagata at 7:01. Makabe hits Nakanishi with the King Kong Knee Drop.
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship Gauntlet Match
Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi with Pieter and another woman, Hangman Page, and Bad Luck Fale) vs. Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, and Yoshi-Hashi)
Winners: Chaos. Yano gave a low blow to Takahashi and rolled him up at 6:01.
Chaos vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and Zack Sabre Jr.)
Winners: Suzuki-gun. Sabre managed to roll up Yano when he was trying to low blow Taichi and Kanemaru at 0:43.
Suzuki-gun vs. Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Ricochet, and Juice Robinson)
Winners: Taguchi Japan. Robinson hits Taihi with the Pulp Friction at 4:53. After the match Sabre attacks Robinson.
Taguchi Japan vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil, Sanada, and Bushi) (c)
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon at 7:02. Bushi hits the MX on Taguchi.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice (c)
Matt and Barreta start things off. Matt hits a superkick to Romero on the apron and the Bucks double team Barreta but Barreta comes back with a double clothesline. Barreta clears the Bucks with a flip dive over the top which was a throwback to Wrestle Kingdom when he missed them.
More brawling on the outside, Matt hits an apron bomb to Romero, then shove him to the ring post then a double team apron bomb. The Bucks have taken out Romero and it’s now essentially a handicap match.
Back in the ring Matt tries a sharpshooter but Barreta makes it to the ropes. Bucks hit a wheelbarrow cutter combo for 2. Barreta gets a quick advantage but goes to his corner and realizes Romero is still on the ground in pain.
Barreta hits a tornado DDT to Nick as Romero climbs to the apron. Meanwhile Matt pulls Romero off the apron and hits Romero with a powerbomb on the entrance.
The Bucks hit the Swanton with Barreta draped over the apron then the 450 splash with Barreta draped over the ropes. The Bucks go for More Bang For Your Buck but Barreta counters and gets Nick in the tree of woe position and hits an overhead belly to belly suplex on Matt into the corner and into his brother.
Barreta keeps fighting back and hits a piledriver to Matt for 2. Barreta sets up Matt for the Strong Zero just as Romero hits the apron and they nail the move but Nick hits a swanton off the top onto the pin crushing bother Barreta and his brother.
Romero is tagged in and hits the Forever Clotheslines on the Bucks then the double hurricanrana. Romero goes for the Sliced Bread but Matt counters with a backbreaker and into the sharpshooter which Barreta breaks up. Nick then gives Barreta German suplex on the apron as Matt reapplies the sharpshooter to Romero. Nick hits a moonsault to Barreta on the outside. Romero appears to pass out in the sharpshooter but with one last boost gets to the ropes.
The Bucks go for More Bang For Your Buck but Barreta breaks it up. Romero rolls up Matt for 2. Nick is tagged in, they hit Romero with the Maltzer Driver and Nick reapplies the sharpshooter and Romero taps out.
Winners and new IWPG Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks at 14:14.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
Guerrillas of Destiny vs. War Machine (c)
Match starts out with all four men brawling in the ring with the GOD getting the early advantage. Roa charges Rowe in the corner and Rowe turns it into an STF. Hanson it tagged in and stacks the Guerrillas on top of each other in the corner and hammers away on both.
The Guerrillas get the advantage back with a neckbreaker from Tama Tonga. Tonga hits a corner splash to Hanson. Tonga sends Hanson to the other corner and goes for another splash but Hanson hits a clothesline.
Both men tag out and Rowe and Roa go at it for a bit exchanging German suplexes. The Guerrillas manage to isolate Rowe and Roa hits a diving head-butt from the top and Tonga hits a top rope splash for 2.
Hanson is back in and they clear the ring and hit the Decapitation on Tama Tonga for 2. Roa is in who takes out Hanson as they go for Guerrilla Warefare but Hanson comes back in and spears Roa. Hanson goes to the top and hits a top rope splash to Tonga for 2.
War Machine tries the pop up powerslam but Tama Tonga turns it into a gun stun and in doing so the ref is taken out. Tama Tonga brings in a chair and swings at Rowe but Rowe ducks it. Rowe contemplates using the chair but tosses it outside, just as he does Tonga Roa nails Rowe with a chair. The GOD hit the Guerrilla Warfare to Rowe to win the belts.
Winners and new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: The Guerrillas of Destiny at 10:43.
Cody vs. Michael Elgin
Cody hits a suplex early on and poses to the crowd but Elgin is not phased, and hits a delayed suplex for his own. Elgin works over Cody in the corner but Cody manages to regain control with an Alabama Slam.
Cody locks in a front headlock but Elgin powers out of it but Cody keeps in control after a back body drop to Elgin. Cody hits a missile dropkick and decides to taunt Elgin and Elgin catches him with a yurinagi.
Elgin hits three German suplexes to Cody then a Falcon Arrow for 2. Elgin charges Cody in the corner but Cody hits a big boot then a moonsault to a standing Elgin. Cody goes for the Disaster Kick but Elgin dodges and hits a modified Falcon Arrow for 2.
Elgin goes for a buckle bomb but Cody counters it, takes down Elgin and locks in a trailer hitch but Elgin makes it to the ropes. Elgin rolls to the apron, Cody hits a Disaster Kick then hits a flatliner to Elgin to bring him back into the ring for 2.
Elgin escapes a Cross Roads and hits a big lariat. Cody rolls to the apron and Elgin goes for the deadlift superplex but Cody escapes and hits the Cross Roads to Elgin who is draped over the second rope for 3.
Winner: Cody at 11:53.
After the match Cody goes to the American announce team and calls out Christopher Daniels and Okada.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match
Kushida vs. Hiromu Takahashi (c)
Takahashi has a new entrance where he shoots up through the stage much like Rey Mysterio used to do.
Match starts off with Takahashi trying to hit the Time Bomb right away but Kushida escaped. The two men then start nailing each other with forearms. It’s at this point in the match that I had a thought, “Is this the best rivalry in NJPW of 2017? Might be.”
They keep nailing either other with forearms and eventually the match spills out to the floor. Back in the ring they start exchanging chops. Kushida charges Takahashi in the corner and Takahashi nails an overhead belly to belly into the corner. Takahashi takes over with a sleeper hold. Kushida escapes, hits off the ropes but Takahashi counters with a pop up powerbomb then a Falcon Arrow for 2.
Kushida is on the apron and Takahashi tries for a sunset bomb but Kushida counters with an arm bar. Kushida sends Takahashi over the guardrail. Kushida puts Takahashi in a chair, puts another chair on the otherside of the rail, then charges, jumps off the first chair and nails Takahashi in the chest with a dropkick.
Back in the ring, Kushida tries a back handspring elbow but Takahashi counters with a German suplex. Takahashi hits a modified Time Bomb for a 2. Takahashi goes up top but Kushida stops him by locking the Hoverboard Lock on the top. Kushida turns it into a Spanish Fly but maintains arm control. Takahashi manages to get out of it and nails a big lariat to Kushida.
Kushida is on the apron again and this time Takahashi does hit a sunset bomb. Back in he ring, Takahashi goes for the Time Bomb but Kushida counters with a roll up for 2. Kushida goes to the top, Takahashi tries to stop him but gets caught when Kushida hits a top rope Back to the Future and both men are down.
Both men are on their knees exchanging forearms. Kushida manages to really drill Takahashi. Kushida then stomps away on the head of Takahashi. Kushida goes for the Hoverboard Lock. Takahashi goes for the ropes but Kushida pulls him back into the middle, cranks back on the wrist as Takahashi taps out.
Winner and new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Kushida at 19:12.
After the match Takahashi holds up a finger saying he wants one more match. Kushida gets on the microphone and has the crowd do the wave. As he’s doing that Bushi comes into the ring and sprays the green mist into the eyes of Kushida.
NEVER Openweight Championship Match – Lumberjack Death Match
Hirooki Goto with Tomohiro Ishii, Jado, Toru Yano, and Yoshi-Hashi vs. Minoru Suzuki (c) with El Desperado, Taka Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and Zack Sabre Jr.
Both men exchange chops with Goto getting the better of the exchange as Suzuki rolls to the outside as Chaos tosses him back in. There’s a similar exchange where Goto has to roll to the outside and Suzuki-gun tosses Goto back in.
Suzuki gets Goto on the apron and locks in an arm bar over the ropes. Once Suzuki breaks it the Suzuki-gun pull Goto out and attach him. Suzuki rolls to the outside and hits a big boot to Goto. Both men fight out into the crowd as Suzuki tosses a piece of guardrail at Goto. Meanwhile the lumberjacks are battling each other.
Desperado rolls Goto back into the ring as Suzuki immediately puts Goto in an arm bar. Goto makes it to the ropes as Suzuki tosses Goto to the outside and all the lumberjacks attack each other again. Suzuki and Goto break away from the pack and battle in front of the announcers.
Suzuki walks over and slaps Liger who is on commentary for the Japanese team, Liger tosses a chair at Suzuki as Chono holds him back. Suzuki puts Goto back into the ring as Goto manages to regain control with a spinning heel kick and a side suplex.
Goto hits a top rope elbow drop for 2. Suzuki comes back with a clothesline, goes for a Penalty Kick but Goto blocks it and both men start to exchange forearm shots. Suzuki really gets Goto in the face with a shot but Goto smiles and starts firing back but Suzuki stops it and fires off three in a row and Goto may be out on his feet.
But Goto fires up and hits the Ushigoroshi. Goto tries a GTR but Suzuki shoves him off and into the ref. Suzuki-gun comes in and attacks Goto and Chaos comes in and attacks them. Hashi manages to clean house and hits a flip dive over the top rope wiping out all of Suzuki-gun.
Goto nails a GTR to Suzuki and right before the ref hits 3, Taichi runs down and pulls the ref out of the ring. Taichi then gets a chair and hits Goto in the back of the head with a chair then busts it over Goto’s head. Suzuki then hits the Gotch Piledriver for 3.
Winner: Minoru Suzuki at 16:00. After the match Yoshi-Hashi attacks Suzuki. Suzuki gets on the mic and calls out Hashi, Hashi then charges up the ramp and meets Suzuki-gun head on as both factions are separated.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito (c)
After Naito tosses the belt into the ring, Tanahashi runs to the outside and attacks Naito who is still wearing his suit. Tanahashi continues the attack inside the ring but Naito manages to work over the injured arm of Tanahashi tossing him to the outside. Naito manages to remove the suit before heading outside to attack Tanahashi.
Naito traps Tanahashi’s arm in the guardrail and kicks the railing then hits a tornado DDT. Tanahashi manages to get back into the ring at 19 but Naito continues to work over the arm. Tanahashi finally comes back to life and hits a German suplex then some mounted punches to Naito and finally spits on him.
Both men are up and start nailing each other with punches. Naito gets the advantage and then spits on Tanahashi. Naito hits a missile dropkick to Tanahashi. Naito goes for the legsweep slingshot dropkick in the corner but Tanahashi stops him and hits a dragon screw to take over. Tanahashi then hits a dragon screw on Naito over the ring apron.
Tanahashi then goes to the top and hits a High Fly Flow cross body to Naito on the outside. Back in the ring, Tanahashi goes for a clover leaf but Naito gets to the ropes. Naito comes back by targeting the arm of Tanahashi and hitting a dropkick to the bad arm. Naito comes back with the slingshot leg sweep dropkick and nails Tanahashi right in the arm. Naito follows up with an arm bar but Tanahashi gets to the ropes.
Naito hits a side suplex to Tanahashi for a 2, goes a Destino but Tanahashi counters with a tilt a whirl slam. Tanahashi goes up top but Naito stops him and hits a top rope hurricanrana but Tanahashi rolls through for 2. Naito goes for a DDT but Tanahashi counters with a couple rolling neckbreaks. Tanahashi goes up top but Naito rolls out of the way of the High Fly Flow.
Naito goes for Destino but Tanahashi blocks it and the two exchange slaps. Tanahashi manages to hit a German suplex for nearly a 3. Tanahashi goes for the dragon suplex but Naito grabs the arm and turns it into a tornado DDT. Naito hits Tanahashi with a German suplex then a modifies Destino from the middle rope but only a 2.
Naito tries the Destino again but Tanahashi counters with a dragon suplex then two slingblades. Tanahashi gets to the top and hits the High Fly Flow but only a 2, very close. Tanahashi then locks in the clover leaf. Naito crawls to the ropes but Tanahashi pulls him back to the center of the ring and really sits back on the hold. Naito then taps out.
Winner and new IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Hiroshi Tanahashi at 25:56.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match
Kenny Omega with the Young Bucks vs. Kazuchika Okada with Gedo (c)
Match starts with both men feeling each other out with neither man getting the advantage. Okada manages to hit a scoop slam and goes for the swanton from the apron but Omega gets his knees up. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel but Okada escapes, tries the Rain Maker but Omega escapes.
Okada finally takes over and locks in a rear chin lock, Omega escapes and hits a hurricanrana sending Okada out of the ring. Omega goes for the Rise of the Terminator but Okada slides back in and hits a big boot. Omega is on the outside and Okada hits a tope over the top but tweaks his knee on the move. Back in the ring Omega goes right after the knee with a dropkick.
Omega then hits a missile dropkick to the knee of Okada then locks in a figure four. Okada makes it to the ropes but spent an extended period of time in the hold. Omega pulls Okada to the outside and drives his knee right into the apron. Omega then drives Okada’s knee onto the announce table. Okada makes it back into the ring and Omega goes right back to the knee.
Omega sends Okada into the ropes and after a quick exchange Okada connects with a dropkick to a seated Omega. Okada follows up with a flapjack. Okada then locks and a modified STF. Omega gets to the ropes and the match spills to the outside. Okada tosses Omega over the guardrail and hits a running splash to Omega.
Okada sends Omega back into the ring and goes for a tombstone but Omega reverses it into a roll up for 2. Okada comes back with the Heavy Rain but misses the top rope elbow drop. Omega hits a pump handle backbreaker to the Champ who rolls to the outside, then a baseball slide to Okada. Omega then hits a top rope Asai moonsault.
Omega goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick to the back of the head of Okada for a 2. Omega then hits a sit out powerbomb for another 2. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel but Okada counters. Omega hits a rolling senton and goes for a moonsault but Okada gets the knees up. Both men up and are exchanging forearm shots. Omega is up top but Okada stops him, Omega slips free back to the mat and is going for the top rope dragon suplex that they id in the first match. Okada fights it off and manages to hit Omega with a Death Valley Driver to Omega on the apron.
On the outside, Okada hits a running dropkick sending Omega flying into the guardrail. Okada pulls out a table from under the ring and sets it up. Both men are back in the ring and they tease a couple table spots. Omega goes for a missile dropkick from the apron but Okada counters nailing Omega with a dropkick to the chest. Okada goes up top and nails a top rope elbow drop.
After the Rain Maker pose, Okada grabs the wrist but Omega backs Okada into a corner. Omega sets up Okada on the top, hooks the bad knee of Okada and hits a superplex for 2. Omega then hits a modified Last Shot and nails a V Trigger. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel but Okada counters. Omega tries for a V Trigger but Okada blocks it and hits two German suplexes and a Rain Maker for a very close 2.
Okada goes for a dropkick but Omega catches him in midair and hits a sit out powerbomb. Omega then hits a snap dragon suplex. Omega charges Okada in the corner but Okada snatches him and puts him on the top rope and knocks him off with a dropkick to the outside. Okada puts Omega on the table he had previously set up and hits a top rope elbow drop and the table cracked but didn’t break.
Okada rolls Omega back in and goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Okada hits three sliding dropkicks for 2 when Omega gets under the bottom rope. Okada pulls up Omega, nails him with a Rain Makers, keeps a hold of the wrist and hits another one. The ref is checking on Omega as Cody and the rest of Bullet Club come out and Cody tries to throw the towel in but the Bucks are trying to stop him.
Okada goes for another Rain Maker as Omega hits a V Trigger then a reverse rana. Omega goes for another V Trigger but runs into a dropkick. Okada goes for a Rain Maker but Omega ducks it and hits the Rain Maker knee strike, then a V Trigger and goes for the One Winged Angel but Okada flips out of it. Omega charges and nails another V Trigger. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but Okada tries to fight out of it, but Omega drops him with it and it’s 1… 2… ROPE BREAK!
Omega pulls Okada to the center of the ring, points his hand at him like a gun but Okada grabs the wrist and hits yet another Rain Maker but he can’t make the cover. Both men stagger to their feet and exchange forearm shots. Okada gets hit in the chain and drops to the mat. Omega hits a snap dragon suplex, charges Okada and runs into a dropkick.
Okada starts nailing Omega with forearm shots but Omega comes back with a knee strike, then another, covers him but only a 2. Omega hits another V Trigger smashing Okada into the corner. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel but Okada slips out of it and turns it into a tombstone. Okada goes for the Rain Maker but misses when Omega just drops, he doesn’t duck he just collapses out of exhaustion.
Okada goes for a tombstone but Omega grabs Okada’s leg, Omega then fires away on Okada dropping him to a knee. Omega is back up and nails Okada with a knee shot to the head, then another, then hits a V Trigger. Omega puts up Okada for the One Winged Angel but Okada gets out of it, and hits a dropkick to the back of Omega. Okada then nails a spinning tombstone but is too tired to make the cover.
Okada hits a bridging German suplex but only a 2. Okada picks up Omega but Omega gets a small package but only for 2. Okada is back up and hits another dropkick. Okada goes for a Rain Maker but Omega grabs the rope and fights out of it. Omega hits a snap dragon suplex but Okada comes back with a dropkick, then hits a Rain Maker, both men are down as the announcer counts down and it’s a time limit draw.
Winner: Time Limit Draw at 60:00.
Well let’s unpack this show. Let me start with the fact that there were four title changes. I’d say the big winners of the night were Bullet Club who recaptured both tag belts while LIJ has to be considered the losers, having lost the Junior Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships.
Speaking of which, I was surprised that Tanahashi won the Intercontinental Championship, either reports of his injuries are greatly exaggerated or he just doesn’t care. I wouldn’t be shocked if you see him feud with Cody next.
The Junior Heavyweight match was really good and one you should check out. I love the story they told with Kushida and how he was at his lowest then came back to win the BOSJ and beat Takahashi. Looks like they’ll have a rematch at some point but it’ll likely be Bushi challenging at the G1 Special in Long Beach.
Finally, is the Okada/Omega rematch also going to be in Long Beach? Very possible, but it could also be Cody in that spot too. In fact, I’m guessing it will since that would be very soon for a rematch. As for the match itself, I mean it goes without saying, it was an incredible match and it felt long but not like an hour long. I did really want to see a winner but I understand why they didn’t do that just yet. Obviously, it’s one to check out.
In the meantime catch me on twitter at Eddyc85 and or PIWShow and my podcast the, “Politically Incorrect Wrestling Show” on iTunes, Podbean, and Stitcher.