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Csonka’s NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 5.03.15 Review

May 3, 2015 | Posted by Larry Csonka
8.3
The 411 Rating
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Csonka’s NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 5.03.15 Review  

Introduction
As a reminder, this will not be another traditional recap, but instead it will be a mash up of the Rs, Instant Analysis and my usual Twitter ramblings I would do during the shows; completely uncensored and as the ideas flow unfiltered to the old keyboard. Remember, this is a review; and I am here to review the show. As always, I encourage discussion and even disagreement, just do so in a respectful manner. I will be doing the review for Raw and most PPVs and iPPVs going forward.

 photo Hirooki Goto_zpsjszhhre8.png

NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 5.03.15

OFFICIAL RESULTS
* Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask & Mascara Dorada defeated Manabu Nakanishi, Captain New Japan, Ryusuke Taguchi & Kushida via pin [***¼]
* Kota Ibushi & Yohei Komatsu defeated Tetsuya Naito & Sho Tanaka via submission [***]
* Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma defeated Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Cody Hall via pin [**]
* IWGP Jr Tag Team Title Match: The Young Bucks defeated Champions Roppongi Vice and reDRagon to become the new champions via pin [***¾]
* IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kenny Omega defeated Alex Shelley via pin [***]
* Michael Bennett, Matt Taven & Maria Kanellis defeated Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows & Amber O’Neal via pin [Drizzling Shits]
* Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Katsuyori Shibata defeated Toru Yano, Kazushi Sakuraba & Tomohiro Ishii via pin [**½]
* AJ Styles & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI via pin [***]
* IWGP IC Title Match: Hirooki Goto defeated Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to become the new champion via pin [****]


Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask & Mascara Dorada defeated Manabu Nakanishi, Captain New Japan, Ryusuke Taguchi & Kushida: This was a really nice way to open the show. Everyone was working hard, they kept a great pace, KUSHIDA and Dorada continue to work well in these matches, which has to be (HAS TO BE!) a tease for this year’s super juniors tournament. It just all worked well together as it felt that they all went out there and decided, “yeah, we’re going to kick this bitch off the right way tonight”. You always need a strong and entertaining opener, and this accomplished that. Nagata got the pin for his team on the Captain.

Kota Ibushi & Yohei Komatsu defeated Tetsuya Naito & Sho Tanaka: We’re off to a good start with back to back good matches, although I enjoyed the opener a little bit more than this. Komatsu and Tanaka continue to work hard and are growing as performers. This was another one of those tags (established talent and young lion teaming) that is designed to give the young lions exposure and time to shine, and they got that here including the fact that they were involved in the finish instead of relying on the established guys getting a win that they did not need. Komatsu made Tanaka submit to the single leg crab, and then post match Ibushi wanted nothing to do with Naito’s handshake. Foreshadowing. Good work all around here.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma defeated Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Cody Hall: This was not at the level of the previous two matches, but was fine. For the most part is was there, a little disjointed at times but certainly not bad. Tonga sold for his team most of the time, but Hall ate a lariat from Kojima and then the KOKESHI from Honma and that was that. Moving along…

The Young Bucks defeated Champions Roppongi Vice & reDRagon to become the new champions: This was a really fun match, but never quite got great, but it was heading there. They mixed in some comedy and the big spots included Trent doing a suplerplex on Matt to the floor onto pile, and then the Bucks hitting the INDYTAKER on the floor. The crowd was in and out of the match, which hurt it a bit, but that’s likely due to the nature of the way the juniors are booked and the fact that it’s pretty much variations on the same guys. They protected reDRagon here, which seems to be the next feud but they seriously need to elevate some young lions and or bring in more guys and get the booking solidified for the juniors. The match was really good, as you’d expect from all involved.

Champion Kenny Omega defeated Alex Shelley: This was a good match overall, but was held back by all of the shenanigans from the Bucks and KUSHIDA. You got the usual wackiness from Kenny Omega that you come to expect from his matches, but the work was good and Shelley was on point. I know that it’s the Bullet Club’s shtick and all, but the bullshit with pulling out the ref and such and then KUSHIDA’s involvement really held things back for me. It protects Shelley as he had things won when the ref was pulled out and all, but it’s not what I am looking for from New Japan. This was an example of the overbooking taking what could have been a very good match and only allowing it to be good.

Michael Bennett, Matt Taven & Maria Kanellis defeated Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows & Amber O’Neal: I hated every portion of this match and it is exactly what I do not want from New Japan. I had been entertained by Anderson’s Maria infatuation going into this, but this played to the lowest common denominator like a bad Raw angle and the crowd laughed at it; they were not into it at all. It was a giant game of grab ass, with Maria pinning Amber. She then ate the Magic Killer from Gallows and Anderson. This was the opposite of good and easily the worst thing on the show.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Katsuyori Shibata defeated Toru Yano, Kazushi Sakuraba & Tomohiro Ishii: This was one of those matches that was designed to set the table for future singles matches (Tanahashi vs. Yano, Shibata vs. Sakuraba and Makabe vs. Ishii). They all got their stuff in and it was perfectly fine, as Tanahashi got some revenge on Yano with a hair pull into the cradle (which Yano has done to him several times in the past few months). It as fine for what it was, and while I don’t feel it’s ideal, I do appreciate the fact that New Japan has no issue with dropping Tanahashi down at times and having him lose to get him out of the top spot for a while. Other companies should take note.

AJ Styles & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI: This was another good tag team match, and an overall fine semi-main event to help set the stage for Styles vs. Okada. On the recent shows, Okada & YOSHI-HASHI (sometimes with others) has been in tag team action against Bullet Club as a way to build to this match, and Okada’s overall journey to recover from losing the title and then the losses to Fale. Okada is now back on track and was looking to get the upper hand here. Again, this was a good match and while he took the fall, YOSHI-HASHI worked really hard and came off well here in the semi-main event. Styles win with the Clash, they did a post match angle and Okada stood tall with the belt to send the champion a message. This was another good match, the theme of the show for the most part.

Hirooki Goto defeated Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to become the new champion: While not a match of the year candidate, this was a really good main event and easily the best thing on the show. They worked a very pleasant pacing overall, and a physical style that worked well. This wasn’t that crazy Ishii vs. Makabe shit from the other day (and that’s a good thing) but it had a nice fight feel to it. The beat part of things is that they worked the story so that you could feel that Goto not only had a chance to win, but was gaining confidence on the dominant champion. Goto finally scored with the Shouten Kai to become the 11th IWGP IC Champion. At first I was torn about the outcome, Nakamura is an excellent IC Champion and does so much for the belt; but you have to move on eventually. He has worked so hard to establish that title that it can survive without him, and now frees us up for some interesting things. A possible G1 win for Nakamura, a feud with Okada and down the line, you revisit the Ibushi feud (maybe he gets a long run with the IC Title to prepare him). Also Goto finally needed to win something of substance, and this fits the bill. Overall this was a very good main event to close out the show.

* End scene.

* Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyye Felicia.”

8.3
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The worst thing on the show was that Bullet Club vs. Kingdom six-person match, I could have done without that and without it, this an even stronger event; but it exists and that is unfortunate. Overall (outside of that one match) this is a strong wrestling show from top to bottom. Goto winning the IC Title makes sense, and it was done very well and sets the stage for Nakamura’s ascension. I still have concerns over the booking of the juniors (tag and singles) and the lack of depth there. We’re getting good outings, but part of the reason for lack of response is not simply a historic thing, it’s the booking, lack of fresh faces involved and hot potatoing of the titles. But with that being said, I still enjoyed the show a lot and felt that it delivered.
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