Hello friends, and happy January 4th. Before we begin, let me just mention, Masahito Kakihara, won the New Japan Rumble. OK now let’s get down to business.
Today’s show is from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi 3K (c) with Rocky Romero
3K get the early advantage and nail double tope con hilo’s to the Bucks. But Yo ended up hurting his back on the move and Nick Jackson capitalizes with a German suplex on the apron. The Bucks then attack Rocky Romero and take him out with a running powerbomb on the entrance ramp.
The Bucks isolate Yo and as Matt goes after Yo, Yo ducks and Matt is sent over the top and crashes to the outside. Matt sells the back and now both teams have someone with a hurt back. Nick comes in to prevent the hot tag and nails Yo with a backbreaker.
Matt takes Yo out to the entrance ramp to attempt to powerbomb him, but Yo reverses and hits a back body drop to Matt’s already injured back. Nick dives to the outside but he collides with Matt. Yo finally gets the hot tag to Sho.
Sho comes in and cleans house, nails two German suplexes to Matt, Matt reaches out for the tag to Nick and as Matt clings to Nick, Sho manages to German suplex both men at once. Nick counters the 3K with a DDT and now all four men are down.
Matt and Yo are in and Matt goes after the back of Yo with the buckle bomb into the roundhouse kick combo. Matt then drapes Yo over the middle rope, face down, as Nick hits the swanton bomb but only a 2. Matt then applies the sharpshooter but Yo makes it to the ropes.
Matt tries to hit more bang for your Buck but can’t get Yo up, so Nick helps him but during that, Sho comes back and breaks the move up. Roppongi 3K then have double single leg crabs on both Bucks. Nick holds Matt’s hand to keep from tapping out. Nick breaks the move which also breaks up the other submission hold.
Nick and Sho then take turns hitting roundhouse kicks to the backs of Yo and Matt. Nick super kicks Sho to the outside then hits a corkscrew dive taking out Sho. Matt super kicks Yo, then the Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver. Nick locks in a sharpshooter and Yo taps out.
Winners and new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks at 18:49. A fun opener with some good spots involving the backs of Yo and Matt.
NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Title Gauntlet Match
Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, and Iizuka with Taka, Kanemura, and El Desperado vs. Michael Elgin and War Machine
Winners: Suzuki-gun. Rowe passed out in a triangle choke from Sabre.
Suzuki-gun vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Beretta, and Toru Yano
Winners: Chaos. Yano low blows Taichi and rolls him up.
Chaos vs. Togi Makabe, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Juice Robinson
Winners: Chaos. Yano rolls up Taguchi as Taguchi goes for the Funky Weapon.
Chaos vs. Guerillas of Destiny and Bad Luck Fale (c)
Winners and new NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions: Chaos at 17:03. Beretta hits the Dudebuster to Tama Tonga.
Cody with Brandi Rhodes vs. Kota Ibushi
Kevin Kelly says that this match is basically an unofficial number one contender’s match for whichever championship the winner wants to go after.
Early on, Ibushi knocks Cody out of the ring, then dives over the top but accidentally hits Brandi as well. Kota picks up Brandi to get her to help but Cody decks Kota and it was revealed that it was a swerve as Cody and Brandi start laughing.
Back in the ring, Cody hits a Disaster Kick for a 2. On the outside, Brandi grabs a chair and slides it to Cody, Brandi distracts the ref as Cody nails Ibushi with the edge of the chair on the back of his neck. Cody misses with a second chair shot and Ibushi takes control with a Triangle Moonsault.
Ibushi tries to suplex Cody back into the ring but Brandi grabs the foot of Ibushi. This allows Cody to his the Cross Roads on the apron crashing to the floor, that looked really awesome. Cody tries to win by countout but Ibushi just makes it back before 20.
Cody tries for another Cross Roads but Ibushi counters by lawn darting Cody into the corner pad. Both men are up and exchanging strikes but Ibushi gets the better of him then nails the Last Ride Bomb for 2. Ibushi goes for the Kamigoye but Cody ducks it and hits a lariat for 2.
Cody yells something to Ibushi about Omega, then goes for a Disaster Kick but Ibushi ducks it, Ibushi tries the Kamigoye but Cody nails a head-butt to the gut. Ibushi comes back with a German, nails a Kamigoye, then a Phoenix Splash for 3.
Winner: Kota Ibushi at 15:08. A very good match, maybe Cody’s best since leaving WWE.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil and Sanada) vs. The Killer Elite Squad (c)
KES jumps LIJ before the match and get an early advantage with a Killer Bomb. Sanada is tossed to the outside and Evil is isolated inside. KES beat on Evil who appears unresponsive.
KES get to the outside and continue to attack Sanada as well as some of the Young Boys. Archer then choke slams Evil to the outside onto Sanada, and two Young Boys.
Evil is still on the outside and KES continue their dominance of the match by punishing Sanada. Archer hits a big choke slam and Sanada manges to kick out at 2. Sanada counters a charging Archer with a hurricanrana and makes the tag to Evil.
Evil fights off both men and covers Archer after a lariat for 2. Evil goes up top but Smith stops him. Archer then climbs up top and hits a big overhead throw to Evil, more of a Spanish fly except Archer didn’t flip.
Sanada is tagged in but is quickly double teamed. KES hit Sanada with a Hart Attack, then a Killer Bomb but Sanada kicked out. KES goes for another Killer Bomb but Evil breaks it up. Evil hits the STO to Archer but Smith runs in to break it up. LIJ then hit Smith with a Magic Killer for 2. Sanada follows up with a moonsault to Smith for the 3.
Winners and new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Los Ingobernables de Japon at 14:14. Good match that told a really great story and a great comeback victory for LIJ.
NEVER Openweight Championship Hair vs. Hair No DQ Match
Hirooki Goto vs. Minoru Suzuki (c)
Early on Suzuki locks in a rear naked choke to Goto while sitting on the top rope. Goto looks like he’s out as a doctor comes in to check on Goto. Suzuki tosses him out. The ref keeps checking on Goto, he doesn’t want to stop the match but Goto isn’t responding.
Suzuki tosses Goto out of the ring and hammers away on Goto. Suzuki nails Goto with a chair over the back. Suzuki is back in the ring as the referee and doctor continue to check on Goto.
Goto rolls back in and Suzuki continues the attack. Goto comes back with some weak slaps to the chest but Suzuki burshes them off. Suzuki goes for a Penalty Kick but Goto catches the foot. Goto fights back with a bulldog then side suplex for 2.
Suzuki then locks in a sleeper again, breaks it and tries for the Gotch-style piled river but Goto blocks it. Goto comes back with the Ushigoroshi. Taka, Desperado, and Kanemura come in but the Young Lions stop them. Taichi gets on the apron with a chair but Kojima stops him. But the distraction allows Suzuki to take back control.
Suzuki unloads with slaps to the face, and I mean unloads. Suzuki slaps on the sleeper as Goto bleeds from the mouth. Goto releases the hold as the ref was about to drop Goto’s arm for the third time. Suzuki tries the Gotch-style pile driver but again Goto counters.
Goto gets Suzuki on the top rope. Suzuki stops Goto’s momentum with a head-butt to the skull of Goto. Suzuki then locks in a front head lock to Goto. Goto powers out of it and hits a top rope Ushigoroshi.
Goto goes for a GTR but Suzuki stops it. Goto nails Suzuki with a head-butt to the chest then a reverse GTR dropping Suzuki’s face on his knee. Goto follows up with a regualr GTR for the win.
Winner and new NEVER Openweight Champion: Hirooki Goto at 18:04.
After the match Suzuki-gun try to take Suzuki to the back. Suzuki shoves off the other Suzuki-gun members and goes back to the ring. There’s a mat and chair set up. Suzuki grabs another chair, nails the chair already in the ring, grabs the electric razor and shaves off his iconic hair.
Quick break in the show and if you didn’t know NJPW comes back to Los Angeles on March 25. They’re running a slightly bigger building than last year. I’m not saying book the Staples Center, but go for a 7,000-10,000 seat venue.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match
Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida vs. Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll (c)
Early on it’s a lot of near falls and crazy spots. On the outside Ospreay climbs a scaffold pole and hits a big moonsault onto his three other opponents.
Ospreay and Kushida are the only ones in the ring until Scurll comes in and cleans house. Scurll tries the chicken wing but Takahashi comes in and Kushida gets the Hoverboard Lock to him. Scurll breaks his hold in order to break Kushida’s submission.
All four men battle each other from their knees but it’s Scurll and Ospreay who are the last men standing. Ospreay goes for an OsCutter but Scurll catches him with a chicken wing but it’s quickly broken up.
Ospreay goes for a shooting star press to Takahashi but Scurll runs in and hits a European uppercut as Ospreay is coming down. Scrull then hits Ospreay with an OsCutter for 2.
On the outside Scurll grabs some tape and tapes Takahashi to the guardrail. With the other hand, Scrull breaks his fingers. Kushida and Ospreay battle on the top rope and Scurll catches them, goes for a double finger break but Kushida grabs Scurll’s hand and breaks his fingers.
Scurll goes back outside and grabs powder and tosses it into Kushida’s face but Kushida counters with the Back to the Future. Ospreay breaks the cover and Takahashi comes back in and takes out Ospreay. Takahashi nails a Time Bomb to Scurll but only a 2.
Ospreay comes in and he and Scrull take out Takahashi and Kushida with a flurry of super kicks. Scurll and Ospreay attempt to work together but Takahashi counters their tandem move, looked to be going for an elevated OsCutter.
Three of the men find themselves on the outside as Ospreay takes them out with a shooting star press. Ospreay brings back Takahashi into the ring, hits a reverse 450 but Takahashi kicks out. Takahashi nails Ospreay with the Time Bomb but Scrull pulls the ref out. Scurll brings in the umbrealla, nails Takahashi then Kushida. Ospreay ducks it then hits Scrull with the OsCutter for the win.
Winner and new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Will Ospreay at 21:18. Obviously a great match with an appropriate finish.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match
Switchblade Jay White vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c)
Early on White is on the outside and Tanahashi goes for a tope but Tanahashi misses and crashes to the mat on his bad leg. White immediately targets the bad knee.
White continues to work on the knee with an Indian Death Lock. Tanahashi manages to take back momentum with a dragon screw, then a flipping senton bomb for 2. Tananashi then hits two more dragon screws, one over the middle rope.
Tanahashi then hits a High Fly Flow cross body to the outside. Back in the ring White comes back with a German suplex. Tanahashi rolls to the apron as White, standing on the floor hits a brain buster, dropping Tanahashi’s head on the apron.
White grabs Tanahashi by the throat and screams, “Show me the Ace” Tanahashi comes back but White quickly stops the momentum with a series of suplexes then a DVD for 2.
Tanahashi blocks a missile drop kick then hits the Twist and Shout. Tanahashi goes up top but takes too long and White catches him but Tanahashi fights him off and hits a top rope Twist and Shout. Tanahashi hits two sling blades but only a 2.
Tanahashi then hits a High Fly Flow cross body and goes for the High Fly Flow splash but White rolls out of the way. White then lays in several elbow shots to the neck then hits the Kiwi Crusher but only 2.
White goes for the Blade Runner but Tanahashi counters with a bridging full nelson suplex for 2. Tanahashi goes up top who nails the High Fly Flow cross body to the side of White then nails the High Fly Flow splash for 3.
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi at 19:43. Very good match but I’m surprised Tanahashi, who many believe needs bicep surgery, retained.
IWGP United States Championship No DQ Match
Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (c) with the Young Bucks
Jericho came out to, “Judas” by Fozzy with his scarf and light up jacket he wore in WWE. Omega came out dressed as an Egyption god which I’m told is inspired by a character from the game Destiny.
Jericho attacks Omega as Omega was hugging the Bucks but the Young Boys break up the fight. Omega sends the Bucks out of the ring, the bell rings and the two men go after each other.
Omega gets the early advantage but Jericho gets him right in the eye to take over. Omega tries a hurricanrana but Jericho grabs the legs and locks in the Walls of Jericho but Omega makes it to the ropes. Red Shoes asks Jericho to break it but Jericho told him it’s No DQ, so Omega is forced to break free.
Omega pulls Jericho to the outside and sends him over the guardrail. Omega dives to the outside but Jericho moves and Omega crashes through a table, monitors and all.
Jericho shoves down Red Shoes then locks the Lion Tamer on a Young Boy but Omega comes back with a big boot. Omega then slams Jericho with a monitor. Omega sends Jerichi into the ring, Omega goes for a springboard but Jericho counters by hopping onto the second rope then dropping kicking Omega in mid air right in the knee.
Omega is taken to the outside as Jericho starts yelling at Chono as he sets up a table. Jericho tries a power bomb but Omega punches away on Jericho but Jericho still drops Omega onto the mat. Jericho then pulls out steel chairs and tosses them into the ring. Jericho grabs a camera and starts to take photos of Omega, then tosses him back into the ring and covers him for a 2.
Jericho wedges a chair into the corner. Jericho sends Omega but Omega counters it but Jericho comes back with a dropkick for 2. Jericho then hits a Lionsault for 2. Omega comes back with a snap hurricanrana then clotheslines Jericho over the top rope.
Omega then hits Jericho with the Rise of the Terminator. Omega rolls Jericho back in and hits a Kotaru Krusher for 2. Jeriho catches Omega’s leg again and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Omega manages to crawl to the corner and reaches down to grab the cold spray. Omega blinds Jericho with the cold spray. Omega walks to Jericho but Jericho pulls Omega right into the chair he had previously set up.
Jericho gets a towel to clean off his face. Jerichi then slams Omega’s head into the chair three more times, with the third time being one that bent the chair. Omega is busted open for the second time at the hands of Jericho.
Omega fies back with a knee strike then a snap dragon suplex, then another. Omega goes for a One Winged Angel but Jericho fights out of it but Omega nails a third snap suplex. As Omega pulls Jericho back, Jericho had grabbed the chair and waffles Omega with it.
Jericho then nails Omega with the chair right in the back several more times. Jericho goes up top holding a chair, Omega then drop kicks the chair into Jericho’s face, then hits a V Trigger to Jericho who crashes through the table he set up on the outside.
Omega pulls Jericho back in and nails a big V Trigger then a double underhook power bomb for 2. Omega drills Jericho with another V Trigger. Omega hoists up Jericho for the One Winged Angel but Jericho rolls through and again locks in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho then transitions the Walls into the Lion Tamer. Omega manages to get to the ropes and gets free.
Jericho goes for a Code Breaker but Omega blocks it then hits two V Triggers followed by the One Winged Angel but Jericho grabs the bottom rope. Omega pulls Jericho by the rope, and Omega goes up top but Jericho crotches him on the top. Jericho goes for a top rope hurricanrana but Omega slips out and drops Jericho head fist right into the turnbuckle.
Omega hits the rolling senton to Jericho but when going for the moonsault Jericho stops him and nails a Code Breaker for 2. Jericho puts a chair over Omega and goes for the Lionsault but Omega tosses the chair at Jericho and as Jericho is still standing on the middle rope, Omega applies the One Winged Angel dropping Jerichio onto the chair for 3.
Winner: Kenny Omega at 34:36. And people thought Jericho and Omega would be a solid match but more of a spectacle. It was, to this point, the best match of the show. Jericho was a perfect heel and it told a great story.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) with Gedo
A lot of back and forth stuff early on but nothing too noteworthy. Kevin Kelly then talks about odds makers putting the over/under for the match at 5 and some at 6 stars from Meltzer. I can’t tell you how much I hate when they talk about star ratings during a match.
Okada gets things going by dropkicking Naito off the top rope then sends Naito over the guardrail. Naito halts Okada’s momentum with a neck breaker over the top bar of the rail.
Back in the ringNaito keeps working on the neck. Naito hits a neck breaker over his knee then boots Okada in the back. Naito follows up with that slingshot dropkick in the corner for 2.
Okada takes bak momentum with a spike DDT. Okada hits Naito with a back elbow and Naito is sent to the outside. Okada then hits Naito with the running big boot to the face. Okada follows up with a draping DDT with Naito’s feet over the rail and is head spiking ot the floor.
Back in the ring Naito comes back with another reverse neck breaker over the knee, but only a 2. Okada takes back momentum with a flapjack. Okada follows up with the Heavy Rain neck breaker. Okada goes up top and hits the rope elbow and strikes the Rain Maker pose.
Naito easily fights out of the Rain Maker and goes for the satellite DDT but Okada counters with a cobra clutch. Naito makes it to the ropes and manages to get Okada to the apron. Naito sweeps the leg sending Okada crashing to the apron then pulls Okada back in with another neck breaker. Naito then hits a top rope reverse hurricanrana for 2.
Naito goes up top and misses with a stardust press. Both men are up exchanging forearm shots and Naito gets the better of Okada but Okada fires back with a dropkick. Naito comes back at Okada with a flying forearm. Neither man can sustain momentum for very long.
Both men are on the top rope until Okada knocks Naito off. Okada then goes for a senton bomb but misses. Naito goes up top and Okada pulls him off into a German suplex, then goes for the Rain Maker, Naito ducks but not the second attempt but Naito kicks out.
Okada goes back to the cobra clutch but Naito escapes it and turns it into a Destino but can’t make the cover. Both men are on their knees exchanging forearms. Naito then spits then slaps Okada right in the face, hard.
Naito charges Okada in the corner and Okada counters him with a Heavy Rain but Naito counters that with some bizarre neck breaker, looked nice, but only a 2.
Naito tries for a Destino but Okada counters with a Rain Maker, maintains the wrist control, goes for another, Naito ducks and hits the Destino but only a 2.
Naito goes for another Destino but Okada fights out of it. Okada then hits a tombstone, goes for a Rain Maker but Naito ducks it and hits a Destino. Naito tries another Destino but Okada stops it with a jumping tombstone then a big Rain Maker for 3.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada at 36:30. A great match as expected but man oh man, I don’t know about that result. Far be it for me to question Gedo who booked an incredible promotion through 2017 but I thought that was a great time to pull the trigger on Naito. Hard to say where they go from here, guess we’ll find out tomorrow at New Year’s Dash. Will is be Ibushi or will he go after the Intercontinental Championship? Did Jericho sign an extension? Will they do a rematch? There’s a few possibilities but I think I would have gone with Naito.
Some final thoughts. I actually thought Jericho and Omega had the best match on the card. I think Jericho and Cody have shown the new way to get heat in 2018 is to go back to the old ways of being a heel. Sure, we all love the cool heels like Omega and Naito, but can’t we hate anyone nowadays for reasons other than, “go away heat”? The under card was really fun and I enjoyed the juniors matches a lot as well as the Suzuki/Goto and tag match. I liked Tanahashi/White but I wanted to love it but couldn’t. As for the main event, like I said, potentially missed their shot to switch the title. Guess we’ll see what’s next. But overall a great show. Not as good as last years but will definitely have more viewers so that’s good.
I’ll be back tomorrow with New Year’s Dash results, although due to prior commitments they wont be nearly as detailed as today’s. In the mean time check me out on Twitter at Eddyc85 and or PIWShow and rate/review/subscribe to my podcast, “Politically Incorrect Wrestling Show” on iTunes, Stitcher, and Podbean. Will be having a NJPW show coming out this weekend so check that out. Until next time, thanks for reading.