wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s NJPW Dominion 2019 Preview

June 8, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Dominion 2019

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview tonight’s NJPW Dominion 2019 event. Dominion is the next big event on the NJPW calendar, sandwiched between the BOTSJ finals and the beginning of the G1. On tap for today are some big matches, including Kazuchika Okada vs. Chris Jericho, Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito, Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee, and more. Feel free to make your picks in the comment section. Thanks for reading! It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

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IWGP US Champion Jon Moxley vs. Shota Umino: Following his US Title win at the BOSJ final event, Jon Moxley finds himself on the Dominion card, and while that is great news for him, it’s bad, really bad news for young lion standout Shota Umino. Umino is really great and continues to improve, but he’s here to be destroyed after Moxley’s debut match was designed for him to have a great outing. This is designed for destruction as the death rider comes for Umino and his beautiful Tanahashi-like hair. WINNER: Jon Moxley

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Shingo vs. Satoshi Kojima: Following is BOSJ final loss to Will Ospreay, a disappointed Shingo demanded a spot on the Dominion card and against a heavyweight in order to get back on track and prove his worth. He got his wish, drawing New Japan dad Satoshi Kojima. This is the perfect style of rebound match for Shingo. Kojima still has enough of a name that a win will mean something and also still has enough go in his game to make for a good and fun match. Kojima will have his moments here, but he will fall to the dragon as he starts his redemption tour. WINNER: Shingo

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Jushin Liger & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Zack Sabre Jr & Minoru Suzuki: This is all about building to two upcoming singles matches as the slow burn to Liger vs. Suzuki continues, while they are setting up Sabre vs. HASHI, likely for the big UK show in August. The Liger vs. Suzuki stuff has been sensation also far, but for as good as ZSJ is, a match with HASHI holds almost no interest for me. Suzuki-gun has largely dominated the tag matches, and if HASHI is to be a contender, a win here in this tag match would go a long way in setting that up. WINNERS: Jushin Liger & YOSHI-HASHI

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Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson, and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White, Chase Owens, and Taiji Ishimori: Bullet Club comes into this match with all of the momentum, following White & Ishimori winning matches at the BOSJ final event. Juice & Tanahashi took rough losses, and will be fired up and looking for revenge here. If I had to guess, Tanahashi or Juice should pick up the win here following their recent losses, pinning Chase Owens. WINNERS: Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson, and Hiroshi Tanahashi

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IWGP Tag Team Champions The Guerrillas of Destiny vs. EVIL & SANADA: Following a successful ROH War of the Worlds tour where they went undefeated, and another big win at the BOSJ finals, EVIL & SANADA challenged The Guerrillas of Destiny in an effort to get their tag team titles back. LIJ won the tiles at WrestleKingdom, but lost them six-weeks later at Honor Rising. Following that loss, EVIL & SANADA focused on singles action and the New Japan Cup. And while they did well, an SANADA even got another title shot, their singles runs didn’t pan out, so ahead of the G1, they reunite and look to get gold again. The Guerrillas of Destiny are much better characters than actual wrestlers; they are spectacular assholes, especially Tama Tonga. The Guerrillas just feel stale as champions, and while some will see EVIL & SANADA as tag champions a downgrade of sorts, I disagree because the tag division is the shits, and we need LIJ to try and save us. WINNERS: EVIL & SANADA

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IWGP Junior Champion Dragon Lee vs. BOSJ 26 Winner Will Ospreay: Dragon Lee comes into the match as the champion, putting in a good BOSJ run, but now must come face to face with the BOSJ winner and man coming off of an all time BOSJ run, big match Willie, Will Ospreay. Ospreay making the finals wasn’t a surprise, neither was him having such a great tournament, but beating the undefeated Shingo was where the surprise came in for many. With Ospreay moving to Japan and looking to be even more committed to NJPW than ever, combined with the win over Shingo, it seems like Ospreay winning the title back here is the play for the dragon slayer. Lee’s run was set to go through Dominion and he’s scheduled for ROH Best in the World in a match he looks set to lose. The match certainly has banger potential, and could even steal the show, which should shock no one if it does. I see Ospreay winning, and he’ll have challengers in Ishimori & Shingo waiting on his as they beat Lee during the BOSJ, plus matches with Eagles & Phantasmo who beat Ospreay in the BOSJ. The big question is, will we see the return of Hiromu post match to set up another challenger? I AM HYPE. WINNER: Will Ospreay

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NEVER Openweight Champion Taichi vs. Big Tom Ishii: The extremely inconsistent Taichi recently defeated Jeff Cobb to win the NEVER title, and then got a bit too big for his britches by taking shit to Big Tom after Big Tom successfully defeated EVIL in an excellent match at Dontaku. These two had a legit great match during the New Japan Cup tournament, Ishii was his usual great self, and Taichi really toned down the shenanigans and was working his ass off and he delivered. The home stretch, with some great near falls, really put it over the top as the crowd was completely invested. While he lost, Taichi came off great and delivered the type of performance I want from him more often. Hopefully they can recreate that here. WINNER: BIG TOM ISHII

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IWGP IC Champion Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito: Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito have faced off two times in 2019, once during the NJ Cup and then the rematch at G1 Supercard. Ibushi won both matches, which were match of the year contending bangers, and completed his rise to IC Champion; his goal to please his Gods in Nakamura & Tanahashi. Naito was the IC Champion, and was looking to challenge for the IWGP Title as IC Champion, with his goal being to hold both titles at the same time, which would have been a NJPW first. There are two ways to look at this, either Ibushi has Naito’s number, or Naito was so focused on his dream that he overlooked Ibushi. Either way, he lost both times in amazing efforts. As far as the match goes, I have the feeling that we’re in for another absolute banger here, as when these two guys meet in the ring, it’s absolute magic. But “who wins?” is the big question here. An Ibushi win cements his title win as legit, and firmly sets him as a main event guy ahead the of G1, where he will look to make it to the finals again. A Naito win gets him back on track ahead of the G1, while a loss sets him up for the big redemption arc and possible G1 win and WrestleKingdom rematch with Okada. In all honesty, I can see it going either way, it just depends on the booking path they choose to take. But since the goal of the column is to make predictions, I will go with Kota Ibushi here. WINNER: Kota Ibushi

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IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Chris Jericho: Chris Jericho announced his return to NJPW via video package, revealing that he was returning to a NJPW ring at this show to fight for the IWGP championship. Right away there were the obvious, and rightfully so, criticisms of Jericho walking back in and getting an IWGP Title shot coming off of a loss at WrestleKingdom. I get it, I understand it, and don’t totally disagree with these criticisms on the booking of it. But I completely understand why they are doing it. First of all, you don’t want to burn through another NJPW main roster challenge, and put them in a position like SANADA is in. Secondly, Jericho vs. Omega is a pretty big dream match, and while Jericho has been still been performing at a high level, you need to pull the trigger while you have the chance. Next, Dominion is the second biggest NJPW show of the year, and you want a marquee match to headline it like Okada vs. Omega did, and this fits the bill. And finally, Chris Jericho isn’t working highflying or grappling classics anymore. He’s working Brody like brawls, which is completely out of Okada’s comfort zone, and should and likely will lead to a very different style of match from Okada; that’s something I am really looking forward to seeing. Now everyone assumes, and I get why, that Okada walks away with the win, no questions asked and while I think that is the likely scenario, there is a case to be made for Jericho’s potential to win here. First of all, it would be something that comes across as a true surprise. Second, it would free up the G1 without the champion being involved (Jericho isn’t working a G1) and in theory that adds more drama to the Okada matches in terms of who can and may beat him. Thirdly, it may also be another indication that NJPW will be looking to work with AEW in the future instead of ROH. I may have just talked my way into a big conspiracy theory/piece of fantasy booking here, ad if so, that’s cool and I’ll run with it. I think I just worked myself into a SHOOT.WINNER: Chris Jericho

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 26. On the show, the good brother, Jeremy Lambert, joins 411’s Larry Csonka; the guys will discuss Jon Moxley’s IWGP US Title win and the whole NJPW BOSJ final event. From there, a preview of Sunday’s NJPW Dominion event and dive into an exploration of AEW & NJPW working together. The show is approximately 112-minutes long.

* Intro
* NJPW BOSJ Finals Review: 3:45
* NJPW Dominion Preview: 45:50
* Exploring an AEW & NJPW Working Relationship: 118:50

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the above player on Transistor, or on the following platforms:

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play


– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.