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Hawke’s NJPW New Year Dash!! 2019 Review

January 12, 2019 | Posted by TJ Hawke
NJPW Will Ospreay
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Hawke’s NJPW New Year Dash!! 2019 Review  

Tokyo, Japan
January 5, 2019

Commentators: Kevin Kelly, The Chris, Rocky Romero


Select Wrestle Kingdom Reviews (and somehow a match from a WWE house show on that date was better than all of them)
Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito
Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay
Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Cody Rhodes vs. Juice Robinson


CHAOS (Rocky Romero, SHO & YOH) vs. Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer & Takashi Iizuka)

While this Suzuki-gun unit is pretty boring in just about everything they do, this match did at least contain the very fun trios team of Roppongi 3K. Sho, Yoh, and Rocky have great chemistry, bring a lot of fun energy to matches, and they should stay together forever and ever. And there work here made this not completely useless! [Yoh won after a fruit roll-up on Iizuka.] (**3/4)


BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma

This was a pretty miserable match to consume. Perhaps a singles match between Owens and Henare could have worked here (as there sequences clearly had the most energy), but nothing else about this match connected in the slightest. [Henare ate the pinfall obviously.] (1/2*)


Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson

This was fine until the garbage finish. The storyline seems to be that Chuck Taylor has become “unhinged” and is just ending matches by getting disqualified for hitting people chairs? Okay? The only logical direction is that they are doing this to write out Chuck Taylor so Trent? can go at it on his own or maybe building to a Trent? vs. Chuck US Championship match? I don’t know. Some classic “WAIT & SEE!” shit from NJPW right here. (**1/4)


CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Will Ospreay) vs. Jeff Cobb, KUSHIDA & Yuji Nagata

Now, this was the good stuff and the exact kind of match that New Year Dash!! should be filled with every year. Everyone worked hard, everyone had a character motivation, intriguing things were set up for the midcard, and the crowd was totally into it.

Nagata seemed to have some new life in him after his great performance the night before. He and Cobb seem to be forming a team. KUSHIDA wanted to make a statement after dropping a belt the night before. Ospreay was continuing on his warpath of injuring folks. Ishii was pissed off about dropping the European Championship and was quick to anger at Nagata’s provocations. Goto was indignant that he got left off the main card of WK and working to prove a point.

Cobb vs. Goto was set up. Ishii vs. Nagata was set up. A Cobb and Nagata team was set up. Ospreay defenses were teased. Ospreay continued his KO gimmick to knocking out KUSHIDA for the win. ALL GOOD THINGS! YAY NJPW! (***1/2)


BULLET CLUB (Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Toru Yano

This was for the Bullet Club’s NEVER Openweight Trios Championship.

This was some straight-up garbage. Nobody tried at all despite a whole-ass Wrestle Kingdom match was used to set up this match.

The reason for the lack of effort became clear when the ending came. Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi showed up to help the BC win and establish that they are officially on the side of Tama Tonga.

Awful. Awful. Awful. No one cares. Bullet Club has always been the worst but at least they used to have some good talents in there that people cared about. (DUD)


Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr.)

A lot of this match was the typical shitty Suzuki-gun brawl that leaves you wanting less every single time. There were a couple of exchanges down the stretch that redeemed it slightly.

MiSu and Sanada had a shockingly strong sequence, as both guys brought out something new from each other. Zack and EVIL followed it up with a nearly-as-good sequence that made you want a title match between the two.

The end was a buzzkill though as Taichi pinned Naito to set up an IC title made in hell. Taichi did genuinely do a great job in this tag of conveying a sense of wanting to prove himself due to deep insecurity. (**)


BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Gedo & Jay White) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) & Hiroshi Tanahashi

It was real hard to care about this one. It just felt like a slow-motion brawl despite all the personal animosity going on with all these fellas. It needed a strong closing sequence to redeem this only slightly, but White and YOSHI proved not up to the task. [White pinned YOSHI to win.] (*)


My list of Five Star Matches.

My reviews of every G1 Climax Final.

The final score: review Very Bad
The 411
This was a very weak NYD from the King of Sport. While this annual show has always had a inflated reputation, it still can and should be an excellent moment for NJPW to do a couple of big angles and deliver some strong and energetic matches. No interesting angles happened, and only one match even attempted to not be a shitty brawl so as to avoid actually having to work hard. Pass on this one.