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Csonka’s NJPW New Year’s Dash 2018 Review

January 5, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW New Year’s Dash 2018 Review  

Csonka’s NJPW New Year’s Dash 2018 Review

– Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero defeated KES & Iizuka @ 8:50 via pin [**½]
– Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens defeated Honma & Henare @ 9:25 via pin [**½]
– Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated Chuckie T & Trent @ 10:00 via DQ [***]
– CHAOS defeated KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb, & Yuji Nagata @ 15:02 via pin [****]
Never Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Taiji Ishimori defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, and Toru Yano @ 11:30 via pin [**½]
– Suzuki-gun defeated LIJ @ 14:540 via pin [***¼]
– Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, & Gedo defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI, & Kazuchika Okada @ 15:30 via pin [***½]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can check out my top 20 matches of DECEMBER list at this link.

– You can check out my WrestleKingdom 13 review at this link.

– Kevin Kelly and the good brother Chris Charlton are on commentary.

KES & Iizuka vs. Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero: We get the usual jump start, Romero tries forever clotheslines but Archer catches the suicide dive and chokeslam him on the apron. Lots of floor brawling as Archer removes Iizuka’s mask and it’s biting time. Smith tags in, and he just destroys Romero with strikes. Smith follows with a leg drop for 2. Romero fires back and 3k rush the ring and work double teams on Smith. Archer in and Iizuka joins them for triple teams. Smith hits the super powerslam off the ropes for 2. Yoh fights off a killer bomb, Sho flies in and triple knees to Smith follow. Suicide dive by Romero, Iizuka tags in and he bites people until Yoh cradles him for the win. Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero defeated KES & Iizuka @ 8:50 via pin [**½] A solid and inoffensive way to open the show.

Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens vs. Honma & Henare: Honma and Owens to begin, Honma takes early control but Owens avoids the falling kokeshi. Yujiro tags in, as does Henare. Yujiro slaps him around, bites him but Henare hits a shoulder tackle. Owens distracts Henare, and they take the fight to the floor. Back in and Owens beats down Henare, tags in Owens, and he starts working the knee. Owens hits a falling kokeshi to mock Honma, Yujiro tags back in and covers for 2. The sliding dropkick follows and that gets 2. Henare fights back, hits a suplex, and tags in Honma. Honma takes control, lays in chops, and a bulldog and misses the falling kokeshi. Yujiro hits the fisherman’s buster for 2. Honma fights back, cuts him off, and hits the falling kokeshi. Henare and Owens tag in, Henare runs wild on both. The Samoan drop follows for 2. Owens rolls into an ankle lock, Honma makes the save, and gets cut off right away. Superkick by Owens and the package piledriver finishes Henare. Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens defeated Honma & Henare @ 9:25 via pin [**½] A big win for Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens following their split from the Elite boys.

Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Chuckie T & Trent: Finlay and Chuckie to begin. They lock up, work into counters until Finlay hits the dropkick. Chuckie spills to the floor, and then tags in Trent. Finlay knocks him to the floor, so Trent heads into the crowd and hugs his mom. Back in and double teams follow on Trent and Chuckie. They follow with planchas. Best Friends battle back, taking out Juice and isolating Finlay back in the ring. Quick tags follow, and Chuckie hits a suplex for 2. Chuckie hits the dropkick, and Trent tags in for double teams. The northern lights follows and that gets 2. Chuckie tags back in as Finlay counters with a belly to back suplex. Juice and Trent tag in and trade strikes and chops. Juice lays in jabs, but Trent hits the half and half suplex. Juice fires up and hits John Woooooooooo and the cannonball. Juice up top and hops down, they work into counters, and Trent looks for the knee, cut off, KO hot follows. Trent counters pulp friction and hits the shotgun knee. Finlay in and runs wild with uppercuts and a back breaker for 2. Chuckie in with the chair shot for the DQ. Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated Chuckie T & Trent @ 10:00 via DQ [***] This was a good match, with a nice sense of urgency. The angle played well as these two face in ROH this month, and they also continued to tease Juice vs. Trent for the title.

– Post match, Chuckie lays out Juice and then piledrives Finlay onto a chair.

KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb, & Yuji Nagata vs. Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, & Tomohiro Ishii: Ospreay & KUSHIDA to begin. They lock up, working into some back and forth but KUSHIDA looks to attack the arm right away. Ospreay counters out and follows with a dropkick. CHAOS rushes the ring; works over KUSHIDA and Ospreay hits the running shooting star pres for 2. Ishii tags in, and just beats down KUSHIDA with chops. The half crab follows, but Nagata breaks that up. Ishii hits a head butt, as the punishment on KUSHIDA follows with Goto in and just beating him down and grounding the action. It’s all Goto here, KUSHIDA tries to fight out of the corner, hits the PELE, and Ospreay & Ishii rush in, but KUSHIDA wipes them out. Tag to Nagata and he lights up Ishii with kicks, Ishii is pissed and fires back. They trade big time strikes, Nagata drops Ishii, and follows with a flurry of kicks and then mounted strikes. The arm bar follows; Ospreay makes the save but eats an XPLODER. Ishii catches Nagata with a powerslam, tags in Goto, and now Cobb tags in. He mows over Goto, lays in strikes and chops, and running uppercuts. They work into an awesome counter sequence and a double down. Ospreay & KUSHIDA back in, KUSHIDA runs wild but gets cut off by the 619 and springboard forearm. Cobb cuts off the oscutter, hits the swinging suplex and he and KUSHIDA double team Ospreay. KUSHIDA follows with a DDT, but Ospreay hits oscutter and it breaks down. Ospreay now hits storm breaker and KUSHIDA is finally done. CHAOS defeated KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb, & Yuji Nagata @ 15:02 via pin [****] This was really great, with a great sense of urgency, and setting up a few possible matches; give me Ishii vs. Nagata now!

Champions Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Taiji Ishimori vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, and Toru Yano: Makabe & Loa to begin, they hoss around until Loa hits a shoulder tackle. Makabe fires back, and tags in Yano. Tonga attacks, Yano undoes the buckle pad and gets attacked. Jado distracts Yano, allowing Ishimori to tag in and take control. Loa tags in and pummels Yano with strikes, covering for 2. He whips Yano to the exposed buckle, lays the boots to him, and Tonga tags in and lays in head butts on Yano. The suplex follows for 2. Yano finally manages to whip Tonga to the exposed buckle, Loa makes the save, and Yano cuts him off. Taguchi tags in and hits ass attacks on all. Taguchi follows with the three amigos, but Jado hits him with the kendo stick. Ishimori fights off the ankle lock, counters dodon into a cradle for 2. Ishimori follows with the back handspring kick, Loa tags in and runs into an ass attack. Makabe tags in and clears out the ring, hits a lariat on Loa, chair shot by Yano but Ishimori pulls out the ref. Yano takes out Jado, the ref has been dumped, and Makabe slams Loa, heads up top and Yujiro arrives with Owens to attack Makabe. Package piledriver by Owens and Loa hits ape shit to retain. Champions Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Taiji Ishimori defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, and Toru Yano @ 11:30 via pin [**½] The champions retain as Chase and Yujiro are back in the fold. The match was solid, and the titles staying in place made sense with GOD losing yesterday and further solidifying the Elite’s split. We’re also likely getting Ishimori vs. Taguchi, which is a fine first program for Ishimori.

LIJ (Naito, BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo) vs. Suzuki-gun (Suzuki, Sabre, Taichi, Kanemaru, & Desperado): Taichi kills Naito with a chair shot as Suzuki-gun engages in their customary pre-match attack. LIJ fights back, with Shingo and BUSHI working double teams. It breaks down as the action spills to the floor and Taichi is attacking Naito again, choking him out with a chair. Back in and Suzuki & Sabre wok double submissions on BUSHI. They isolate BUSHI, working quick tags and double teams. Despy attacks BUSHI’s mask, Kanemaru joins in and locks on the crab as the brawling on the floor continues. BUSHI fires back, hits a RANA and SANADA tag in and brawls with Suzuki. Paradise lock on Kanemaru, Suzuki fights it off and looks for an arm bar. SANADA escapes, sleeper by Suzuki, but SANADA fights off the Gotch. Sabre tags in and SANADA hits a dragon screw. EVIL tags in and lays in chops and a senton. Sabre fights back, into a cobra twist but EVIL counters out and he locks one on. Sabre escapes, attacks the arm and gets the hanging kimura until EVIL powers into a fisherman’s buster. Naito is alive, tags in and works over Taichi. The DDT follows, it breaks down and Naito hits a RANA on Taichi. Taichi fires back with lariats and gets 2. He gets the IC Title and lays out Naito. The air raid crash finishes Naito. Suzuki-gun defeated LIJ @ 14:540 via pin [***¼] This was a good match, that easily set up IC Title, heavyweight tag title, and junior tag title matches. Simple & effective.

– Suzuki-gun lay out LIJ post match and stand tall.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI, & Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, & Gedo: The faces run wild early on, working over White and HASHI taking early control until Gedo drags him to the floor. White isolates Tanahashi, while Fale beats down Okada. Back in and White works over HASHI, tags in Gedo, and he dumps him to the floor and beat him down. Back in and Gedo covers for 2 and then grounds the action. Fale tags in, continuing the heat on HASHI as he delivers body shots. Fale misses a charge, and HASHI hits an enziguri on Gedo. Tag to Okada and he runs wild on Gedo, the DDT follows and then the top rope elbow drop is cut off. Fale gets in a cheap shot, tags in and hits a backdrop for 2. Okada counters the grenade, hits a dragon screw and tags in Tanahashi. He and White trade strikes and chops, dragon screw by Tanahashi. White fights off the cloverleaf, hits a snap Saito but Tanahashi hits a desperation sling blade. HASHI tags in and hits a RANA, and then the running blockbuster for 2. White cuts him off with a uranage, looks for blade runner, but Okada makes the save. It breaks down, twist and shout by Tanahashi. Big lariat by HASHI, and a modified fisherman’s buster gets 2 on White. White uses the ref to fight off karma, hits the sleeper suplex, and blade runner finishes HASHI. Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, & Gedo defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI, & Kazuchika Okada @ 15:30 via pin [***½] This was very good, as it reintroduced YOSHI-HASHI, kept Jay White the focus, and set him up to challenge Tanahashi.

– Post match, White calls out Tanahashi for a title shot. White says Tanahashi is old and can barely walk, he’s done. Gedo, White, & Fale beat down Tanahashi but Okada makes the save until Fale hits him with the grenade. White then lays out Tanahashi with blade runner. White gloats about laying out the two top stars once again, and stands tall to close the show.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
NJPW New Year's Dash is never a great “wrestling" show, but is one that focuses on fallout from the day before, sets up future matches, and often times gives us a huge angle. One thing of note is that there were no Elite guys (Page, Scurll, Bucks, Cody, Omega) on the show, and they focused on Bullet Club and the reintroduction of Owens & Yujiro. We didn’t get “the huge angle,” but we got some good wrestling and walked away with what appears to be a lot of programs to start the year. It was a good and easy watch, and accomplished what it needed to.