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Hamilton’s New Japan Road to Dominion – Night Two 06.02.2021 Review

June 2, 2021 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
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Hamilton’s New Japan Road to Dominion – Night Two 06.02.2021 Review  

Quick Results
Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, EVIL & Chase Owens pinned Yuya Uemura, Yota Tsuji, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma in 11:47 (***)
YOH, SHO & Ryusuke Taguchi submitted DOUKI, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru in 10:58 (***)
Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & Minoru Suzuki submitted Gedo, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa in 2:24 (*)
Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb pinned Master Wato & Kota Ibushi in 9:07 (***)
YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto submitted BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA in 31:13 to retain the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship (****)

— If you’re on Twitter, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling – and check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family.

We’re back at Korakuen Hall for the second half of the Road to Dominion – a show that still only has three matches announced for this coming Monday in Osaka.

Bullet Club (EVIL, Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
An unusual sight this, seeing Tanahashi in the opener… which makes me ponder, is he going to be a makeshift IWGP challenger after Dominion? It fits one of the patterns…

Speaking of patterns, Uemura demanded to start against EVIL, going in with a side headlock early before the resulting shoulder tackles led to EVIL just charging him down. Uemrua had more luck with forearms, until Taiji Ishimori kicked him in the ropes… so Yota Tsuji gets his own back, kicking EVIL before the Young Lions charged him down.

Honma gets the tag in and throws some chops, only to get his eyes raked as EVIL proceeded to push ahead, slamming him ahead of a back senton for a two-count. Chase Owens is in next, chopping Honma into the corner, only to get caught with a back elbow as Tsuji got tagged in.

A shoulder tackle from Tsuji takes down Owens, ahead of a running flip senton… but the Mount Tsuji splash gets countered as Owens got his knees up. On the outside, Dick Togo threw some cheapshots at Tanahashi, as Tsuji then got tossed outside for more of the same. Back inside, Tsuji takes a whole lotta back rakes, before Owens slapped him. Tsuji slapped back, then reversed a suplex and made the tag out to Tanahashi.

Jumping forearms from Tanahashi cleared the apron, as he then went to work on Owens with body blows. A baseball slide took Togo into the guard rails, as a Dragon screw spun Chase down to the mat for a Texas Cloverleaf, with Honma throwing in some Kokeshi to Chase, before playing guard dog. EVIL manages to break it up regardless though, as Ishimori then got the tag in… only to handspring into a counter, with Tanahashi landing a Twist and Shout neckbreaker. Uemura gets the tag in and charged down Ishimori, leading to a back suplex that gets a two-count, before ELP’s interference ended with him getting tossed outside.

Uemura tries his luck with roll-ups before a Boston crab was kicked out of by Ishimori… who responded with a series of strikes en route to the Bloody Cross for the win. A relatively sprightly opener, with refreshingly little in the way of the seemingly-mandated brawling stuff outside the ring. ***

Oh, nevermind, they shoved Honma into the guard rails afterwards, just so they could charge down the ring announcer.

Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI)
We’re still getting Desperado vs. YOH on Monday, but they’ve at least rejigged the warm-up tag…

We’ve a jump start as tempers flared before the bell, with Desperado and YOH going at it. Some t-shirt choking from Desperado had YOH down, but he replies with a back body drop before bringing SHO into play. Dropkicks cleared the way, as SHO was left to kick away on Desperado, taking him into the ropes.

Desperado tries for a spinebuster, but instead had Kanemaru trip up SHO and pull him outside, then into the guard rails as all hell broke loose on the floor. Using the timekeeper’s bell hammer, Desperado tried to gouge out YOH’s eye, before things calmed down.

Back inside, DOUKI gets a two-count on SHO from a suplex, before Kanemaru elbowed away on SHO to take him into the corner. A running boot keeps SHO on the back foot, but SHO got free and made the tag to Taguchi, whose parade of Hip Attacks was delayed by an eye rake from Desperado. The hip attacks take Taguchi to the outside, before a springboard hip attack clobbered Kanemaru for a near-fall.

The Three Amigos follow from Taguchi, then an ankle lock, but Kanemaru fought free, only to take another hip attack anyways. Kanemaru ducks a Bummer-Ye and lands a low dropkick instead, before tags got us back to YOH and Desperado, with the former hitting a neckbreaker for a two-count. The Suzuki-gun lads flood the ring as YOH ends up taking a dropkick-assisted side suplex, then a springboard stomp before… THE DOUKI CHOKEY!

A brief Parade of Moves breaks that up, leaving Desperado as the lone man standing ahead of an attempted Guitarra del Angel on YOH… who slips out and hits a dropkick instead. DOUKI’s still the legal man though, and tries to hit Suplex de la Luna on YOH, who countered with a roll through into a Calf Slicer, rolling DOUKI back into the middle of the ring for the eventual submission. This was another solid undercard tag, which just about heated up YOH vs. Desperado enough after their month off. ***

Bullet Club (Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) & Gedo) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & Minoru Suzuki)
We were so close to a re-run! Gedo’s in for Jado, who was pulled off the card due to an undisclosed injury. Gedo looked like a broken man without Jay White…

For those wondering, there was no Miho Abe with Taichi today, and we open with a jump start as Tama Tonga knocked Taichi outside during the ring introductions. After a minute of stuff on the outside, Sabre’s rolled into the ring and gets triple-teamed. The tables turn with Taichi and Suzuki making the save, with Taichi’s leaping enziguiri leading to Gedo getting pulled in the Clarky Cat levering armbar… and that’s a mighty quick submission. The follow-up tag being wrapped up in under three minutes is going to set a LOT of tongues wagging. Or it could just be an innocent thing like not having people working injured… *

Post-match, Sabre and Taichi called themselves the “best tag team in the world… Japan for now…” before calling out potential challengers. They’d issued a call to any team, anywhere after winning yesterday, but that call-out remained unanswered here.

United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs. Kota Ibushi & Master Wato
Ahead of Cobb vs. Ibushi on Monday, who can land the final blow?

We’ve another jump start, with O-Khan landing some Mongolian chops early on before he got caught with a diving leg lariat from Ibushi. Master Wato tags in to hit some elbows, but O-Khan hits a face claw and almost an Eye of the Hurricane to take him down into the ropes. Cobb tags in to hit a short clothesline to the kneeling Wato, before he hurled him into the corner for an easy two-count. Yup, Wato’s a tackling dummy today.

A gutwrench suplex throws Wato across the ring, with O-Khan keeping the theme going until Wato slipped out for a leaping neckbreaker. Finally, a tag brings in Ibushi, who kicked through Cobb ahead of a standing moonsault for a two-count, before countering out of an attempt at a Cobbi-goye with some headscissors.

Cobb caught Ibushi’s leaping back elbow into the corner, turning it into a back suplex for a two-count, before a pop-up Fireman’s carry was just about saved, with Cobb throwing Ibushi down to the mat. O-Khan’s back, sandwiching Ibushi in the corner with a clothesline as a set-up for the Tree of Woe and baseball slide, but Ibushi escaped and made the tag out to Wato.

This time, Wato had more luck with a springboard uppercut, taking down O-Khan for a two-count. An attempted buzzsaw kick is ducked, as Wato’s attempt at a roll-through knee bar was broken up by Cobb, who ragdolls him into a spinebuster… Cobb holds Ibushi in the corner as O-Khan then nonchalantly picked up Wato for an Eliminator, and just like that, it’s over. Another solid match, but with little interaction between Cobb and Ibushi as this was another “United Empire kills Master Wato” outing. ***

Post-match, Cobb and Ibushi finally get into it, with Cobb squashing Ibushi in the corner as they scrapped on the mat. Master Wato just walked to the back, rather than help in the increasingly-testy pull-apart.

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI) vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (c)
This was the fifth defence of the CHAOS’ teams’ reign, which started almost ten months ago when LIJ were forced to vacate the belts following EVIL’s defection to Bullet Club. I almost left in the “defecation” typo, which would have still been almost right in the eyes of some…

Goto and SANADA start us off, locking up before headlocks and headscissors led to a stalemate. Ishii tags in, but Tetsuya Naito wanted no part of him, so instead we get BUSHI after those two dicked around with tags. Naito tries to cheapshot Ishii, but just got taken into the corner for some chops before SANADA and BUSHI made a save.

YOSHI-HASHI comes into help, as does Goto, with BUSHI taking a trio of kicks before they drummed on his back. Goto’s in to hit a back elbow for a two-count on BUSHI, before YOSHI-HASHI came in to chop BUSHI into the corner ahead of a suplex that landed for a two-count. Interference from Naito leads to YOSHI-HASHI getting hung up in the ropes as the challengers turned the tables, which allowed Naito to chuck Ishii into the guard railings.

A cravat as Ishii was draped over the open gate followed, while BUSHI worked over YOSHI-HASHI’s wrist. Naito tags in to hit a double sledge to the arm… then SANADA… who wrenched the arm some more as my feed dropped out. It recovers with BUSHI landing a neckbreaker on YOSHI-HASHI for a two-count, before Naito took YOSHI-HASHI into the corner for a Combinacion Cabron.

That got Naito a bunch of two-counts, so he goes back to YOSHI-HASHI’s arm, before YOSHI-HASHI countered a suplex and eventually took Naito down with a running Head Hunter neckbreaker. Ishii’s in, but has to deal with the rest of LIJ, side-stepping SANADA and throwing him into Naito before finally hitting a backdrop driver on the former double-champion.

Ishii goes for a suplex, before the pair began to trade elbows instead, with Ishii pushing ahead, knocking Naito into the corner. Naito retaliates with a back elbow and a low dropkick, before SANADA came in and found himself caught in a German suplex. Goto tags in to keep the champions fresh, chasing BUSHI off the apron before clotheslining SANADA… but BUSHI hits the ring anyway and got himself hiptossed onto SANADA for good measure.

A spinning heel kick and a bulldog get Goto a two-count on SANADA, who came back with an atomic drop before tying up Goto into a Paradise Lock. A low dropkick breaks it up, but SANADA runs into a sleeperhold before the Goto-Nishiki roll-up nearly got the win. YOSHI-HASHI is back to help out with a Head Hunter/side Russian legsweep as a second Goto-Nishiki gets a near-fall, with LIJ barely breaking up the cover in time.

From there, Goto hauls up SANADA for an ushigoroshi, but SANADA slips free and looked for a Japanese leg clutch… Goto breaks it up with a shot to the kidneys, only to get met with a TKO as the match looked to be hitting its final stretches. BUSHI and YOSHI-HASHI tag in and immediately fire away with right hands on each other, with BUSHI’s overhead kick and missile dropkick knocking YOSHI-HASHI to the outside.

Ishii tries to make a save, but BUSHI gets rid of him ahead of a tope suicida to YOSHI-HASHI on the outside. Back inside, a DDT from BUSHI planted YOSHI-HASHI for a two-count, before YOSHI-HASHI’s rear spin kick led to CHAOS hitting the ring as BUSHI got cornered. Another crack at the Head Hunter/side Russian legsweep’s stopped as Naito pulls out YOSHI-HASHI , before Ishii’s see-saw’d into a low dropkick.

A BUSHI screw on YOSHI-HASHI gets a two-count, before BUSHI headed up… but the MX misses, as a Parade of Moves broke out… culminating in YOSHI-HASHI trapping BUSHI in a Butterfly lock, before he rolled BUSHI back into the middle of the ring for a sitout powerbomb. It’s good for a near fall, before BUSHI’s roll-up out of a kumagaroshi almost nicked it. Another Parade of Moves breaks out, eventually clearing the ring in time for BUSHI to head up for an MX… but Goto dove in just in time to save YOSHI-HASHI and the titles.

SANADA takes Goto outside for a plancha as the tempo continued to rise, while BUSHI headed back up top for another crack at the MX. YOSHI-HASHI clotheslines him away in mid-air, while SANADA got pulled off the apron by Goto as the champions looked to get the match over the line… but an attempt at a Magic Killer on BUSHI is broken up, as were dualling ushigoroshi from Goto and Ishii. Yet another Parade of Moves ensues, leading to a BUSHI Roll on YOSHI-HASHI for the nearest of near-falls, before YOSHI-HASHI’s lariat got us past the half-hour mark.

From there, YOSHI-HASHI goes for Karma, but BUSHI escaped, looking for a Codebreaker… only for that to get countered into a Butterfly lock. YOSHI-HASHI drags BUSHI back into the middle of the ring, while Naito’s attempt to break it up was stopped by Ishii as BUSHI was left with no choice but to tap out. The CHAOS team make their record fifth defence of the titles, in a match that was just about starting to outstay its welcome before YOSHI-HASHI vanquished LIJ in the end. ****

…and that’s it for the Road to Dominion. The big show heads to Osaka-Jo Hall on Monday (June 7) for not-at-all-confusing Dominion 6.6 in Osaka-Jo Hall. On June 7. Remember that, just so you’re not getting up early on Sunday morning for no reason!

The final score: review Good
The 411
As a go-home show for Dominion, this was fine - not much stood out, bar the main event, but at the same time the in-ring stuff was heading back towards the sort of levels you expected in pre-pandemic times. We’re still curiously left without a full card, or anything obvious to fill out the gaps, save for the carrot of the open challengers for the tag titles, so I’d not be shocked if Dominion were the three announced singles matches and some Fire Pro Randomiser undercard tags to round it out.