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Csonka’s NJPW Southern Showdown in Melbourne Preview

June 28, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Southern Showdown in Melbourne Robbie Eagles

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview the NJPW Southern Showdown in Melbourne event, the company’s return to Australia. The show will air at 5:30AM ET on June 29th ONLY on Fite TV and then on delay on New Japan World. The event also features some fresh names, local talent/Fale trainees, as well as Will Ospreay vs. Robbie Eagles, Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, and much more. So today I will breakdown and preview the event. 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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Toa Henare, Shota Umino, & Ren Narita vs. Mark Tui, Andrew Villalobos, & Michael Richards: NJPW stars Toa Henare, Shota Umino, & Ren Narita find themselves in a familiar spot here, opening the show. Umino & Narita are the current standouts from the young lion class, wit Umino seen as the more well rounded performer and also being considered better than Narita on hair game alone. Henare is a former young lion, promoted without excursion and still growing as a performer and doing extremely well. They face Mark Tui, the General Manager/Coach of Fale Dojo (also an experienced pro wrestler and amateur boxer) and Andrew Villalobos, who trained at the Fale Dojo (trained by Tony Kozina) in 2018. Following the three-month pro wrestling training course, he was accepted to the New Japan Dojo in Tokyo for further training. Since the completion of the Young Lion’s programmed in Tokyo, Villalobos has been wrestling in his hometown Sydney. Like Villabos, Michael Richards is a product of both the Fale Dojo and New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo systems. Richards is one of four New Zealanders to train at the revered NJPW Dojo following in the paths of Bad Luck Fale, Toa Henare, and Jay White. I see Toa Henare, Shota Umino, & Ren Narita winning here, with Henare picking up the big win. WINNERS: Toa Henare, Shota Umino, & Ren Narita

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Slex vs. Aaron Solow: Slex is a 32-yer old Australian wrestler, working since 2003, who got some press after having a great match with Okada in 2017, which has led to rumblings that NJPW may use him more in the future. Aaron Solow is a 32-yer old wrestler, working since 2008, and would rather not be known as just Bayley’s boyfriend. He was trained by “I’m gonna be a doctor for real one day “ Davey Richards, the wheelman Tony Kozina, & Lance Storm at the Storm Wrestling Academy. This should be a good match with Slex picking up the win. WINNER: Slex

Toru Yano, SHO, & YOH vs. Taiji Ishimori, Gedo, & Gino Gambino: We head back into the more traditional portion of the card as CHOAS battles Bullet Club. Yano, SHO, & YOH will be a unified force, and also be looking for some revenge as 3K just lost the Jr tag titles to Ishimori and Phantasmo. Since we’re in Australia, Gino Gambino gets to actually work as a member of Bullet Club instead of just being a homer for them on commentary, so he’s probably excited. We’ll get some Yano shenanigans, a motivated 3K, and Gedo being here to take the fall. WINNERS: Toru Yano, SHO, & YOH

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Big Tom Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens: Big Tom and HASHI are actually a really good team, but when CHAOS pairs off into teams it’s usually Ishii & Yano and then Goto & HASHI, so we don’t see it often. Big Tom has been locked in all year, while HASHI has been more locked in as of late. Chase and Yujiro are solid hands that rarely have bad matches and also work well as a team, but they are clearly the Bullet Club B Team. I expect Big Tom and HASHI to pick up the win here. WINNERS: Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI

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Rocky Romero vs. RevPro British Cruiserweight Champion El Phantasmo: This is a rematch from the BOSJ tournament, which was a great and emotionally charged win for Romero that ended Phantasmo’s undefeated run. I think that this rematch will likely be very good and possibly even great, but will lack that emotional hook that the BOSJ match in Kouraken Hall had, which is no fault of the performers, it’s just that the tournament match was a perfect storm in terms of having an emotionally charged setting. This feels like the match where Phantasmo gets his revenge and picks up the win, and while it may not hit the highs of the previous match, it’s certainly a really good addition to the card. With it being a title match now, Phantasmo retains. WINNER: El Phantasmo

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IWGP Tag Team Champions Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa vs. Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls: It’s no secret that the NJPW tag divisions are booked like shit and that the Guerrillas of Destiny are beyond stale as champions. Juice & Nicholls have a history of issues with Bullet Club and aren’t currently locked into anything in terms of a story. They work really well together as a team, and the crowds really like them. On June 25th, Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls picked up a clean win on the champions, which will get them a title shot here. In all honesty, with the way the tag division is, the fact that they are trying to solidify an Australian fan base, and that they desperately need something for Nicholls to do, I would do the title change here in order to give the show something special and unexpected. WINNER: Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay defending against Robbie Eagles: It was the first match between the two in Australia that initially got Eagles noticed by NJPW and got him his shot last year, which led to this year’s BOSJ run, Eagles is really good, and I loved his BOSJ run and teased issues with Phantasmo and Bullet Club due to how Eagles won against Ospreay in the BOSJ. With their history, the fact that it’s in Australia, and combined with the fact that Ospreay is just working on an entirely different level than anyone else right now this should not only be a banger but should steal the show with ease. Ospreay will win and retain, but the question is, can Eagles put in another career defining effort in loss, and how will that loss play into his current angle with Bullet Club. This right here is THE Reason to watch the show. WINNER: Champion Will Ospreay

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Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale: And here we come to the main event of the show, the all star tag team of Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale. Okada and Tanahashi are the definition of a super team, they are the NJPW mega powers. But for all of their star power and singles success, they have not been successful teaming up, losing several matches to Bullet Club, who they face here. Okada and Tanahashi are the big babyface stars, and biggest stars in the company, so you’d think that the big babyface win ere makes the most sense. But this is as close as it comes to a home game for Fale & White, and while they are heels, I could see them picking up the win to give them some bragging rights and continue the fact that Okada and Tanahashi maybe huge stars they aren’t a real team like Bullet Club. This feels like a complete toss up, but I think I’ll go Bullet Club. WINNERS: Bullet Club

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 31. On the show, the good brother, Jeremy Lambert, joins 411’s Larry Csonka; the guys will discuss their reactions to the news that Heyman & Bischoff will be ‘running’ WWE TV, talk about who they have more faith in, discuss the perceived lack of faith in Trip;e H and his team that they didn’t get to run one of the shows, and whether the move actually matters if Vince still has the final say in things. The show is approximately 68-minutes long.

* Intro
* Reactions to the headline “Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff Named WWE Executive Directors, Will Run WWE TV”: 1:00
* Who do you have more faith in, Heyman or Bischoff?: 23:30
* Does it show a lack of faith in Triple H and his team that they didn’t get to run one of the shows?: 38:40
* Does it matter if they still have to report and get approval from Vince McMahon?: 47:40
* WWE Rumored to Have Several NXT Call-Ups When Smackdown Moves to FOX: 51:20

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