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Csonka’s NJPW Dominion Review 6.11.17

June 11, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW Dominion Review 6.11.17  

Csonka’s NJPW Dominion Review 6.11.17

OFFICIAL RESULTS
Pre-Show Match: David Finlay, Tomoyuki Oka, & Syota Unimo defeated Tetsuhiro Yagi, Hirai Kawato, & Katsuya Kitamura @ 7:44 via pin [**½]
– Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Tiger Mask W, Togi Makabe, Tiger Mask IV & Yuji Nagata @ 7:14 via pin [***]
IWGP Never Openweight Six Man Title Gauntlet Match: Champions LIJ (BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA) retained at 24:02 [***½]
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match: The Young Bucks defeated Champions Roppongi Vice (Trent & Rocky) @ 14:30 via submission [****]
IWGP Tag Team Title Match: The Guerrillas of Destiny defeated Champions War Machine @ 10:55 via pin [***¾]
– Cody defeated Michael Elgin @ 11:59 via pin [***]
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: KUSHIDA defeated Champion Hiromu Takahashi @ 19:17 via submission [****½]
IWGP NEVER Openweight Title Lumberjack Death Match: Champion Minoru Suzuki defeated Hirooki Goto @ 15:55 via pin [***]
IWGP IC Title Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Champion Tetsuya Naito @ 26:10 via pin [****¾]
IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega fought to a draw @ 60:00 [*****]


11,756 fans (sold out) for Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall. Up from 9,925 last year.

Pre-Show Match: David Finlay, Tomoyuki Oka, & Syota Unimo vs. Tetsuhiro Yagi, Hirai Kawato, & Katsuya Kitamura: David Finlay is the older cousin in this opener, forced to sit at the kid’s table at Thanksgiving. Yagi and Unimo start things off, and largely beat the hell out of each other. Kawato and Finlay in next, Kawato keeps up his usual intensity, and scores with a missile dropkick. Finlay cuts him off, hitting a diving uppercut and tags Oka in. Oka grounds Kawato, works a neck crank and then tags Umino in, as they keep the heat. Kitamura finally gets the hot tag, he and Oka repeatedly run into each other, two bulls just battling it out. Kitamura then lights up Oka with chops, and follows with a gut wrench suplex and then lays the boots to him. Oka fights back, hitting a desperation spinebuster and Finlay tags in. He runs into a backdrop by Kitamura, who then tags out to Yagi; the dropkick follows, it breaks down as Yagi and Kawato work over Finlay, Kitamura joins in and Yagi locks in the crab, but as everyone brawls Yagi gets hit and it gets broken up. Finlay hits the stunner and puts Yagi away. David Finlay, Tomoyuki Oka, & Syota Unimo defeated Tetsuhiro Yagi, Hirai Kawato, & Katsuya Kitamura @ 7:44 via pin [**½] This was a perfectly solid pre-show match.

Tiger Mask W, Togi Makabe, Tiger Mask IV & Yuji Nagata vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan: Nagata and Nakanishi kick things off, fresh off of hanging out backstage and watching their young lion apprentices do battle. They brawled back and forth, with Nagata escaping the rack, The Tiger Masks are in and they work over Nakanishi. Nakanishi quickly fights off Tiger Mask IV, Liger tags in and hits the tilt a whirl back breaker, and then the Romero special; Tiger Mask W makes the save to the displeasure of the crowd. Kojima in, Tiger Mask hits the tiger driver and tags in Tiger Mask W. he hits the dropkick, but Kojima lights him up with machinegun chops in the corner and then heads up top but Tiger Mask W cuts him off. Kojima knocks him to the mat, but Tiger Mask W hits a PELE kick. He then works rapid-fire strikes on Kojima, covering for 2 Kojima cuts him off, hitting the Koji cutter and tags in Tenzan; Tiger Mask W hits the double PELE to them and tags in Nagata. Tenzan connects with Mongolian chops, but Nagata hits an XPLODER and both men are down. Makabe and Nakanishi tag in, after a brief stutter step/miscommunication, Nakanishi hits a spear and it breaks down. It breaks down, Makabe hits the lariat and king kong knee drop for the win. Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Tiger Mask W, Togi Makabe, Tiger Mask IV & Yuji Nagata @ 7:14 via pin [***] If you include his finish, Makabe took two bumps in that match. It’s sort of a running joke about how few bumps he can take these days; the over/under is traditionally set at 1.5, so we were over tonight. This was a good tag match, with everyone getting some time to shine, smooth work and a good overall layout. I enjoyed it and felt it was a strong way to kick off the official part of the show. Tiger Mask W did nothing of note.

IWGP Never Openweight Six Man Title Gauntlet Match: Champions LIJ (BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA) vs. Taguchi Japan (Ricochet, Juice Robinson, & Ryusuke Taguchi) vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Zack Sabre Jr) vs. CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page): Bullet Club vs. CHAOS to begin. Page tried to man up to Ishii and laid in strikes, but Ishii sent him to the floor. Ishii then head butted Fale to the floor. Yujiro and HASHI in now, they worked back and forth with Yujiro grabbing HASHI by his head of cabbage. Fale then ran in and cleared out all of CHAOS, and then brawled into the crowd with Ishii. HASHI was then isolated, Page & Yujiro worked quick tags and maintained control. Yano and Ishii made a save, but it was short lived as Fale sent them back to the floor. HASHI fought off pimp juice, hit a neck breaker and looked for the tag and Yano is in and unties the buckle, running Yujiro into it. Bullet Club then triple teams Yano, but Ishii makes the save. HASHI back in, Ishii tosses Fale to the floor and Bullet Club rams Ishii and HASHI into each other. Low blow by Yano and he rolls up Yujiro for the pin. Suzuki-gun is our third trio. This is a continuation of a feud with CHAOS that has been going on since January. The ref stops Kanemaru from using the bottle of whiskey, Sabre stops Yano’s low blow attempt and hits the European clutch for the pin. Taguchi Japan is out fourth trio. Taguchi Japan hit ass attacks to begin, clearing the ring. They then send Sabre to the exposed buckle and work him over. Juice then hits the cannonball, but Taichi is back in and Kanemaru joins him; they corner Taguchi and then beat him down. Taguchi hits a desperation ass attack on Sabre, gets the tag and Ricochet hits a running shooting star press followed by a running senton by Juice. Taichi hits Juice with the bell hammer, shoots him to the exposed buckle and it breaks down. Juice survives the buzz saw kick, but Taichi pulls the ref in the way to counter pulp friction; Kanemaru accidentally mists Taichi and Juice puts away Taichi with pulp friction. Suzuki-gun attack post bell, with Sabre locking in the octopus hold on Juice for a long time. The final trio are the champions LIJ. We get the LIJ floor brawl to begin, including EVIL chair spots and BUSHI choking out someone with his shirt. EVIL & SANADA take the heat on Juice, but Juice fights back, hitting a leg lariat on SANADA. Ricochet gets the hot tag, runs wild with a missile dropkick, kicks a 619 on BUSHI. It’s a kick buffet for LIJ as Ricochet runs wild with ease. He then takes SANADA up top, but EVIL cuts him off and makes the save. Taguchi back in and hits ass attacks, it breaks down and we get a tower of doom spot, with Ricochet sorta catching SANADA in a powerbomb at the end. SANADA and Ricochet then work a fun back and forth stretch, leading to Taguchi and BUSHI battling, and BUSHI hits the backstabber for 2. Taguchi Japan runs wild, Dodon on BUSHI, but EVIL & SANADA make the save. Taguchi locks in the ankle lock, BUSHI escapes but Taguchi locks it back on. SANADA in, skull end on Taguchi and EVIL cuts off Juice. Ricochet I shoved off the top and to the floor. BUSHI hits MX on Taguchi and the champions retain. Champions LIJ (BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA) retained at 24:02 [***½] I absolutely love that they didn’t change the titles here, there was no need to, and they need stability more than anything. I also dug the booking of Sabre, getting the quick win and then torturing Juice once they were eliminated. It was a long match, but I felt that they kept the crowd engaged, it had good action throughout and gave enough near falls to create some quality drama. This was very good overall.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match: Champions Roppongi Vice (Trent & Rocky) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt): Trent and Matt to begin, Rocky eats an early superkick, sending him to the floor. That allows the Bucks to work some double teams. Trent fights back, sending the Bucks to the floor and following with a tope. The Bucks cut him off, and then work over Rocky, hitting an apron bomb and slamming him to the posts, and then hitting a double team apron bomb. Trent fires up and tries to fight off the Bucks on his own, but the Bucks quickly cut him off, working some slick double teams. Trent survives, as the Bucks mocking yell out “where’s Rocky?” Trent keeps fighting, sends Matt to the floor. Rocky is still down, but Trent hits a tornado DDT and looks for the tag as Rocky is alive. Matt snags Rocky off the apron and walks him up the ramp and powerbombs him there. The Bucks continue to work double teams on Trent, hitting an assisted senton on he floor; the assisted 450 in the ring also connects, but Trent kicks out at 2! Trent then fights of more bang for your buck. Trent then hits the super German on Matt, the running knee strike and piledriver for 2! Ricky Morton is jealous of Trent’s babyface comeback here. Trent’s selling of desperation and disappointment have really put this over the top. Rocky is back, they hit strong zero but Nick makes the save with a swanton. Rocky finally gets the tag, hits a series of kicks followed by the forever clotheslines. The double RANA and more clotheslines follow by Rocky. Matt counters sliced bread with a back breaker, but Trent makes the save. He and Nick battle on the apron, with Nick hitting the German on the apron. Matt locks in the sharp shooter again, Rocky fights but Nick hits a slingshot x-factor, but Rocky with s GREAT fire up spot to get the ropes. Trent cuts off more bang for your buck, Romero rolls up Matt for a close 2.The Indy taker connects on Rocky and then back to the sharp shooter, Trent gets cut off and Rocky has to tap. The Young Bucks defeated Champions Roppongi Vice (Trent & Rocky) @ 14:30 via submission [****] This was a great match, with great call back spots to the WK11 outing, Trent being the ultimate babyface surviving by himself forever, and RPG Vice almost overcoming. This was also a nice change of pace for the Bucks, mixing in their usual stuff, but working a composed and focused gameplan, destroying Rocky and constantly working his back, leading to the finish.

IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Champions War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs. The Guerrillas of Destiny (Tonga & Loa): The Guerrillas attack at the bell, working over Rowe with double teams. The challengers isolate Rowe, but he fights back with a uranage and gets the tag to Hanson. Hanson works over Loa, stacks Tonga on top of him and beats on both. The Guerrillas cut hi off with double teams, and then connect with head butts. They then isolate Hanson in their corner; Tonga hits a corner splash and mocks Rowe. Hanson fires back with a lariat turning Tonga inside out. Rowe gets the tag, hits the XPLODER on Loa, who pops up and hits a German, but Rowe pops up and hits a running knee strike and a dead lift German. Tonga takes him out, Hanson returns and hits the forever clotheslines. Loa cuts off Rowe with a spear as Tonga takes out Hanson. Rowe and Tonga trade strikes center ring, but Loa hits a blue thunder bomb, The Guerrillas up top and Loa hits a head butt, frog splash by Tonga but Rowe kicks out. Hanson back in, and they hit the decapitation on Tonga, but he kicks out at 2. Loa cuts off Hanson, stopping fall out, and Tonga hits the DDT for 2. The Guerrillas stalk Rowe, but Hanson takes Loa to the floor. Powerbomb by Rowe and a top rope splash by Hanson and a dive on Loa follows, but Tonga somehow kicks out! Tonga counters the pop up powerbomb with a gun stun, and we get a ref bump. Tonga gets a chair, misses and Rowe has the chair. He drops it, but Loa hits him with another chair. Guerrilla warfare puts Rowe away and we have new champions. The Guerrillas of Destiny defeated Champions War Machine @ 10:55 via pin [***¾] They were on their way to having a great sprint there, but I feel that the finish (ref bump and chairs) took away from the great work they put in. Overall this was a very good tag match, with big dudes killing each other in joyous fashion.

Michael Elgin vs. Cody: Cody attacks at the bell, but Elgin quickly fights back and hits a cartwheel to mock Cody. Cody hits an uppercut and suplex, but Elgin pops up and hits a delayed vertical suplex. They brawl to the floor, but Elgin brings him back in and teases the Elgin bomb. Chops follow by Elgin, but Cody fights back, hitting an Alabama slam. He then lays the boots to Elgin, rights follow and then works him over in the corner. Chops follow, but large Michael is pissed and drops the straps, daring Cody to chop him more. Cody attacks the knee, and then looks to ground Elgin. Cody hits a right from the apron and hits a springboard dropkick. Elgin gets pissed, hitting a big uranage. He fights to his feet, slams Cody and hits the slingshot splash. Elgin taunts Cody a bit, and then hits rolling Germans. Cody grabs the ropes, but Elgin hits a third German and then the falcon arrow (HE DID THE DEAL) for a near fall. Corner clotheslines follow from Elgin, but Cody cuts him off and hits a moonsault press. Elgin counters the disaster kick, and hits a sitout powerbomb, covering for 2. They trade strikes center ring, Cody then locks in the American nightmare leg lock. Elgin fights and crawls, getting the ropes. Cody hits Elgin with the disaster kick, and the hangman’s DDT for a near fall. Cody looks for cross Rhodes, Elgin escapes and hits a huge lariat. Cody to the apron, Elgin to the corner and dead lifts Cody into a superplex attempt, but Cody floats over and hits cross Rhodes and picks up the win. Cody defeated Michael Elgin @ 11:59 via pin [***] Good match overall, perfect for its place on the card. Easily one of Cody’s best singles efforts in NJPW, they’ve been limited, but I enjoyed this.

– Post match, Cody warns Daniels that he’s coming for the ROH Title, and even calls out Okada.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA: Takahashi gets a pop out of the floor, Rey Mysterio style entrance. They riff off of their last match, going hot and heavy right away. They light up each other with strikes, KUSHIDA then lays in kicks and they brawl to the corner. Takahashi follows with forearm strikes, but KUSHIDA sends him to the floor, and follows as the brawl continues. Back in the ring, they punish each other with chops, just trying to destroy each other. Takahashi sends a rushing KUSHIDA into the buckles with an overhead toss. The basement dropkick follows, and Takahashi covers for 2. KUSHIDA then works a sleeper, grounding KUSHIDA and looking to choke him out. Takahashi then hits a pop up powerbomb and falcon arrow (HE DID THE DEAL) for a near fall. Takahashi dares KUSHIDA to fight back, and then cuts him off by raking the eyes. KUSHIDA counters the sunset bomb into an arm bar on the apron. KUSHIDA then slams him to the barricade, grabs chairs and sets Takahashi in one behind the barricade and then air Sabu off the other into a dropkick that sends Takahashi into the crowd. Back in and KUSHIDA starts kicking the hell out of Takahashi’s arm. Takahashi countered the back handspring, planting KUSHIDA with a German. Takahashi hits the not quite the time bomb (DVD into the side slam), covering for 2. Takahashi takes KUSHIDA up top but KUSHIDA slips out and hits the rolling kick; KUSHIDA follows him up and locks in the kimura, and then hits the Spanish fly back into the ring, and into the hover board lock. Takahashi counters back to the future, KUSHIDA again looks for the hover board lock. Takahashi fights it off, but eats a PELE; Takahashi rebounds off the ropes, decapitating KUSHIDA with a lariat. Takahashi pulls KUSHIDA to the apron, they trade strikes, and Takahashi blocks the KUSHIDA sunset bomb. Takahashi then bounces KUSHIDA’s head off the floor with the sunset bomb! Takahashi rolls KUSHIDA back in, Takahashi hits the DVD to the corner, but KUSHIDA turns the time bomb into a cradle for 2 Takahashi sets KUSHIDA up, follows him up and KUSHIDA hits BACK TO THE FUTURE off the ropes, but both men are down. They make it back to their feet, but then collapse to their knees, trading strikes. Both men are spent, laying in big strikes with what little they have left. THROAT PUNCHES NOW! Fucks sake. KUSHIDA then works Bryan Danielson style stomps to the jeers of the crowd. KUSHIDA just stomps the fuck out of Takahashi, locks in the hover board lock and then bends Takahashi’s wrist in a way it should not go; Takahashi has to tap. KUSHIDA defeated Champion Hiromu Takahashi @ 19:17 via submission [****½] I know that some will absolutely hate that Takahashi lost, but the match was absolutely excellent. It not only culminated the comeback story of KUSHIDA, but it showed that he’s a different man now, going to lengths that he wouldn’t have gone to previously; Takahashi broke him mentally, KUSHIDA had to give it everything he had, and also had to do things he previously wouldn’t have. Not so much breaking the rules, but being far more aggressive and violent than ever in order to get the job done, which the crowd wasn’t completely behind, showing their dissatisfaction by booing him. I loved this, these two are so, so good. The work had a tremendous sense of urgency, with both men making everything they did feel extremely important.

– BUSHI arrived and misted him, and laid out the challenge for a title shot.

IWGP NEVER Openweight Title Lumberjack Death Match: Champion Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto: The Suzuki-gun (TAKA, Desperado, Kanemaru, & Sabre) & CHAOS (Jado, Ishii, HASHI, & Yano) members will be the lumberjacks. They work a slow beginning; Suzuki then starts to pull the hair and works some cheap shots in the ropes. They trade chops, and Goto hits the shoulder block. Suzuki rolls to the floor, and CHAOS rolls him right back in. Suzuki fires up with kicks, Goto the floor and rolled right back in. They again light into each other with chops, but Suzuki sends Goto the apron and works the arm bar in the ropes. Suzuki-gun then mauls Goto on the floor after taking out CHAOS. Suzuki hits a running boot on the ramp, leading to the usual Suzuki-gun brawl on the floor. CHAOS finally fights back, trying to help Goto as Suzuki rolls back into the ring. Goto gets rolled back in, and Suzuki immediately works an arm bar, but Goto makes the ropes. Suzuki lays in kicks, and continues to work the arm. Suzuki looks extra pissed, which is not good for Goto, who gets tossed to the floor for another beat down. Suzuki then kicks the barricade and talks shit to Liger, who throws a chair at him! OLD MAN LIGER IS PISSED, Chono and Millano have to hold Liger back. Back in the ring, Suzuki goes back to the kicks, but Goto cuts him off with a lariat. The battle continues on the floor, as Goto blocks a PK, leading to them trading strikes. Suzuki loves this and dares Goto to keep hitting him. Suzuki lays in hard forearm strikes, but Goto hits Ushigoroshi and Suzuki is down. Suzuki looks for the arm bar, and we get a ref bump and everyone brawls in the ring. Suzuki-gun looks to take the advantage, but HASHI fires up and clears the ring and wipes out the pile with a big tope. Suzuki with head butts, and locks in the sleeper and then a hanging guillotine, and then back to the sleeper. Goto hits the GTR, and hits another, covering for 2 as Taichi pulls out the ref. The crowd is going nuts as Goto almost had the win. Goto follows with strikes, Taichi in with a chair shot, and then another to the head, breaking the chair. Suzuki-gun holds off CHAOS, dropkick by Suzuki and then the Gotch piledriver puts Goto away. Champion Minoru Suzuki defeated Hirooki Goto @ 15:55 via pin [***] The “Lumberjack Death Match” was just an excuse to allow the usual Suzuki-gun stuff “legally” and to allow Goto some help. It was a good, hard-hitting match with a ton of heat, but with all of the Suzuki-gun stuff, felt repetitive, we’ve been there and done that.

– Post match, HASHI clears Suzuki from the ring. Suzuki is pissed and challenges HASHI to a match.

IWGP IC Title Match: Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi: Naito carries what is left of the IC Title to the ring. Tanahashi attacks Naito as he circles the ring, and takes the fight to him right away as they brawl at ringside. As they look to go back in the ring, Tanahashi dropkicks Naito from the apron into the barricade. They’re back in now, Tanahashi lays in rights but Naito battles back. They trade again; Naito goes after the arm and follows with a dropkick, sending Tanahashi to the floor. Naito follows, and again works over the arm. Naito back in the ring, teasing a countout on Tanahashi, but he makes it back in. Naito grounds Tanahashi, working an arm lock center ring. Tanahashi makes the ropes, but Naito won’t break and hangs on for some extra time. Tanahashi tries to fight back with lefts, but Naito lays in some kicks. He then slaps Tanahashi, but Tanahashi fires up and folds him in half with a German, and then mounted lefts. The crowd doesn’t like that as Tanahashi spits on Naito. They then trade forearms, Naito slaps Tanahashi and spits on him for payback. Tanahashi hits the dragon screw leg whip, but Naito stuns the arm of Tanahashi off the ropes. Naito up top, hits the missile dropkick, and again attacks the arm, working it over in the ropes. Naito sets Tanahashi up top, follows him up but Tanahashi slips out and tries for a German and Naito fights that off, attacking the arm. Tanahashi cuts off the corner dropkick combo, and hits the dragon screw leg whip. They roll to the floor, and Naito hits another dragon screw leg whip. Tanahashi up top and hits the high fly flow cross body to the floor! BIG MATCH TANA MAGGLE! Back in they go, Naito fights as Tanahashi looks for the cloverleaf, but Naito gets the ropes. Tanahashi keeps attacking the knee of Naito, but Naito goes back to the arm and hits the basement dropkick to the shoulder. Naito then hits the corner dropkick combo, and rolls into an arm bar, bending Tanahashi in half. Naito follows with gloria, dropping Tanahashi on the bad arm and shoulder. Tanahashi fights off destino, and hits a catatonic. Tanahashi up top again, but Naito cuts him off and lays in rights and then follows him up. Naito hammerlocks the arm, lays in elbows and then hits the RANA, but Tanahashi rolls through into a sunset flip, and that gets 2. Tanahashi cuts off the tornado DDT, hits rolling neck breakers, but then misses the high fly flow. Tanahashi fights off destino, Naito slaps him repeatedly and Tanahashi slaps him back. Naito fires up, slapping him more, but Tanahashi hits a straightjacket German for a great near fall. Naito fights off the dragon suplex, and hits the tornado DDT. Naito then plants Tanahashi with a German, goes to the corner and hits a tornado destino out of the corner, but Tanahashi kicks out at 2. Tanahashi counters destino and hits a dragon suplex. Sling blade follows! Tanahashi up top, HIGH FLY FLOW HITS but Naito kicks out! Tanahashi now locks in the cloverleaf, keeps Naito center ring as the crowd is really into this now. Naito fights, Tanahashi sits down deep and Naito is almost bent in half; he finally taps. Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Champion Tetsuya Naito @ 26:10 via pin [****¾] This was so excellent, it was laid out paced and structure perfectly to build to the finish. Tanahashi, even with one arm, is still one of the best big match performers in all of wrestling. And when you have such a strong performer with such a larger than life personality as he had here in Naito, you get greatness. This was so damn great, on par with their WK 11 match, just excellent. The desperation of Tanahashi to prove that he’s still the ace, still the hero and still worthy of being a champion, juxtaposed against the brash and cocky Naito plays so well. Naito loses nothing in loss, Tanahashi gets revenge for the dome loss, rescues the IC Title from destruction and it also frees up Naito as a front-runner for the G1, which I love; Naito winning G1 sounds awesome. Hopefully Tanahashi melts down what’s left of that belt and makes himself a cybernetic arm.

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega: The Young Bucks are at ringside with Omega. Omega looks to be in great shape, he recently said he feels great with the extra time off, and that he felt he was in the best shape he’s been in, in a long time. Slow start, with Okada looking to ground Omega early. Omega starts to fight back, shoving Okada around and then they pick up the pace, working takedowns, and working to the ropes. Okada looks to pick up the pace, but Omega counters the slingshot senton. They both tease their finish, and Okada hits the dropkick, and starts to favor his knee. Okada slows things back down, working the chinlock. Omega hits the snap RANA, teases the rise of the terminator but Okada cuts him off with the bog boot. Okada wipes him out with the tope, but lands on the left knee and clutches it right away. Back in they go, and Omega attacks the knee right away. Omega then hits a springboard dropkick, taking out the knee and continuing his attack, locking in the figure four. Okada fights through the pain, and works to turn the hold but Omega keeps control. Omega stops Okada from grabbing the ropes, but he finally does and Omega takes him to the floor, slamming the knee off of the apron. Omega then slams Okada knee first onto a ringside table. They tease the countout, but Okada makes it back in. Omega lays in chops, and then goes back to the knee. Omega then lays in kicks to the face, Okada fires up an lays in uppercuts. Okada hits a sliding dropkick, but can’t follow up. Omega charges, but runs into a flapjack. Okada tries to pick up the pace, but Omega is too fast; Okada hits a victory roll into red ink. Omega tries to power out, and crawls to the ropes for the break. They brawl to the floor, Okada shoves Omega over the barricade and hits a running cross body, wiping out Omega. But again, he can’t follow up due to the knee. Okada drags Omega back into the ring, heads up top and Omega avoids, they tease tombstones, but Omega gets a roll up for 2. Okada hits the neck breaker over the good knee. Okada then misses the top rope elbow drop, allowing Omega to hit a pump handle neck breaker and sends Okada back to the floor. Omega then hits a top rope asai moonsault to wipe out Okada. Back in they go, and Omega up top and hits a missile dropkick to the back of Okada’s head, covering for 2. Omega follows with a powerbomb for a good near fall. Omega then looks for the dragon suplex, teases the one winged angel, but Okada escapes. Okada counters the moonsault with knees, hits an uppercut but is down again. They trade strikes center ring, just lighting each other up. Omega now follows with chops, and Okada crumbles to the mat. Omega charges, to the apron and looks to go up top. Okada follows, Omega teases a powerbomb but Okada fights. Omega positions him backup top and looks for a top rope dragon suplex. Okada fights, shakes Omega to the mat but Omega is up again but Okada sends him to the mat again. Omega lays in more chops, they go to the apron and Okada hits a DVD on the apron and both men roll to the floor. Okada musters up some energy, hits a shotgun dropkick, sending Omega to the barricade. Okada now grabs a table, sets it up as he’s getting desperate. Back in they go, Okada lays in uppercuts. Omega fights back, teasing a powerbomb to the floor but Okada fights out. Okada tries to backdrop him through the table, goes for a springboard but Okada cuts him off with a dropkick and heads up top. The elbow drop connects, but Okada doesn’t go for the pin. Omega fights off the rainmaker, lays in elbow strikes and sets Okada up top. He follows, they battle up top and Omega hits the superplex! Omega covers, but Okada kicks out. Omega now starts to focus on the head and neck, hoping to finally hit the one winged angel. Omega then hits V trigger, one winged angel countered, rain maker countered and Okada blocks the knee and head drops Omega with a German, hits another and RAINMAKER connects, but Omega survives for a great near fall. Okada looks devastated that he didn’t finish Omega. Omega then counters the dropkick with a sitout powerbomb! Omega lays in chops, avoids the rainmaker and hits the snapdragon suplex! Okada hits a dropkick, sending Omega to the floor. Okada lays Omega on the table, and heads up top, HITTING THE TOP ROP ELBOW DROP, BUT THE TABLE DIDN’T FULLY BREAK! I AM THE TABLE! Both men are down as the count starts, they make it back in and Okada hits a missile dropkick, but Omega kicks out at 2. Okada follows with basement dropkicks, just brutalizing Omega, covering for 2 as Omega had a hand under the ropes. Omega tries to fight back, but Okada is just walking him down. He grabs the wrist, RAINMAKER! Okada holds on, but Omega grabs the ropes, but Okada hits another RAINMAKER! Okada stalks Omega, but here comes Bullet Club, and Cody teases throwing in the towel for Omega. He and the Bucks argue, Omega comes back with the V trigger and reverse RANA off of the distraction. Bullet Club tries to rally Omega, but Okada cuts off the V Trigger with a dropkick, another knee strike and Omega covers for 2. V TRIGGER again, ONE WINGED ANGEL countered, huge fucking knee strike from Omega! THE ONE WINGED ANGEL FINALLY CONNECTES!!!!!!!!! But Okada gets a foot on the ropes at the very last minute. Omega looks for V trigger, but Okada grabs the hand and hits a RAINMAKER! They struggle to their feet, trade strikes center ring, Omega drops Okada, snapdragon suplex but as Omega fires up for a V trigger, he runs into a dropkick. Okada with strikes now, but Omega hits a knee strike and another, the cover gets 2 again! This crowd is so into this, Omega then hits a V trigger to the back of Okada’s head. Okada counters the one winged angel into a tombstone! Okada is officially fired the fuck up, drags Omega up but Omega collapses as Okada wound up for the rainmaker. Omega looks dead. Okada looks for another tombstone, but Omega keeps fighting it off. Omega with strikes now, and crushes Okada with a knee strike. We’re in the final five minutes, and Omega hits another running knee strike. Omega hits another nee strike, picks Okada up and Okada hits a desperation dropkick. He then follows with a tombstone, but is slow to cover, as both are exhausted. Okada then hits a bridging German, but Omega survives. Omega gets a small package, but Okada dropkicks him to the corner. They struggle to their feet, but Omega grabs the ropes to stop the rainmaker. Snapdragon by Omega, dropkick by Okada and then the rainmaker destroys Omega! Both are down, Okada crawls for the cover, but time expires… Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega fought to a draw @ 60:00 [*****] There are parts of this that I loved more than the WK match, which was of course excellent. The pacing was excellent, and I didn’t even realize we were so deep time wise until they gave us the five-minute warning. The selling was largely great from both guys, but they invested early on the knee work on Okada, and then both dropped it; Callis on commentary even questioned, repeatedly why Omega wasn’t going back to it, it didn’t make sense, and in the overall scheme of things is a small gripe. But I do feel that they made up for it as they went deeper and deeper, creating some great drama and near falls. I honestly forgot about it until I was looking back over the review, they had me so locked in on the drama that it didn’t hurt a thing for me. The throw in the towel tease was very well done, Cody’s a dick and wants a title shot so it’s believable, but it also allowed for a small break, a tremendous near fall and the ability for both to reset for the insane closing stretch. The closing stretch was scintillating, Omega’s selling of exhaustion was absolutely tremendous. I do wish that the closing scene would have been Omega hitting his finish and crawling for the win, as it would have been a more dramatic finish in my eyes. I have to think that Omega didn’t win because he didn’t commit long term with the company, which has been rumored. One hour draws are so hard to pull off, but I feel that they delivered a more than worthy sequel to WK. And due to that, I expect the same divided set of thoughts, because while we all love wrestling, we all see it in a completely different way.

– At the post event presser, Cody arrived and ran down Okada. Cody said Okada was afraid of facing a “god damn super star” like him. He challenged him for a title match at Long Beach in July and then spit beer on him. No thanks.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

9.5
The final score: review Amazing
The 411
This was a totally excellent show, on par with WrestleKingdom 11 (in my opinion) with Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA, Naito vs. Tanahashi & Okada vs. Omega all delivering huge again. I wish the tag titles didn’t go back to where they had been already, NJPW still needs to learn how to properly book a tag division. Still, I loved the show…
legend
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