NJPW Kizuna Road 2018
June 17, 2018
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Yuya Uemura vs Iota Tsuji - 7/10
Great mat based match with Tsuji working Uemura's leg viciously and Uemura working the surviving babyface and working the arm when possible. They traded control of the match on several occasions ending with both man countering each other with submissions, but neither man can make it and go into a time limit draw. Great match for the Young Lions, Uemura vs Tsuji is becoming a feud of the year contender, these guys are awesome and can't seem to put each other out. Great selling by Uemura. This may be my highest rated YL match so far.
Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka vs Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi - 6.5/10
It's like if Shota and Oka are facing their future selfs. Old timers dominated, but Young Lions gave them a fight. Shota was babyface in peril for a while, Oka came in with a hot tag on Nakanishi and did pretty good, had the crowd behind him, but unfortunately, Nakanishi was too slow for him, i mean, too strong for him and got Nagata in. Finish saw Oka and Nakanishi fight outside while Nagata tapped out Shota with a Crossface. Another great YL match.
Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori) vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ren Narita - 5/10
BC worked over Narita until Tenzan came in and did his stuff. It wasn't the worst Tenzan, but Tenzan nonetheless, so it was Narita's presence that made the match decent. Yujiro actually wrestled wonders around Tenzan to make him look good. Narita at one point kicked out of Ishimori's Facebreaker, but later submitted to Ishimori's crossface.
CHAOS (SHO, YOH, Rocky Romero, Toru Yano, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb, Toa Henare, and Ryusuke Taguchi - 6.5/0
Overall a fun match with a lot of different combinations happening. We got some good wrestling with KUSHIDA and SHO, some comedy with Taguchi, CHAOS worked over Henare for a while, Cobb showed off how strong he is, YOSHI-HASHI as a geek, and the rest just kinda did their thing. Finish saw Cobb and Romero go at it ending with Cobb pinning Romero after a Tour of the Islands. Good fun match. Glad to see Cobb get the pin.
G1 Climax Participants Announcement - No Lord Taichi, fuck this shit! New comers are Page and White. Big pops for Page, Naito, Suzuki, and Ibushi. All shows will have English commentary for those with a language barrier.
Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, Takashi Iizuka) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon - 7/10
Match is all about building up tomorrow's main event between Desperado and Takahashi, so they had their chance to do their thing. SZKG worked over Naito after a mic shot from Taichi, SANADA got the hot tag and ran shot over Kanemaru and Taichi, he also hasn't shaved that blond possum under his mouth. At the end, it was BUSHI and TAKA Michinoku going at it, with some help from LIJ to keep everyone away, BUSHI hit the MX for the win. Fun stuff.
Post-match - Takahashi cut a promo on Desperado saying he has a present for him tomorrow. Hiromu asked Naito for ask the Trophy forgiveness for breaking it and instead kicked it and broke another piece off. Hiromu was heartbroken. Naito seemed legit sorry at the end.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, & David Finlay vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, and Tomohiro Ishii) - 6.5/10
Good match, we saw White get it on with Finlay and Robinson obviously, we got some Okada vs Tanahashi, a fun Ishii vs Tanahashi pairing with Ishii being immune to Tanahashi's striking. Meat of the match was the White vs Robinson build, but towards the end, the match became Finlay vs Ishii ending with Ishii killing Finlay after a brainbuster. Everyone looked great, but Finlay really looked better than usual towards the end.
Post-match - White and Robinson got into a big brawl with White just ramming Robinson all over the railing on all sides of the ring. He came close to pillmanizing his arm, but Robinson got out of it and punched the chair off to a big pop. Robinson may have injured his hand.
NEVER Openweight Championship Match
'Unbreakable" Michael Elgin (C) vs Hirooki Goto - 9/10
Big hoss fight between these two, tons of shoulder tackles, lariats, and slams, but we also had the occasional move out of nowhere like Elgin dropping Goto with a great dropkick. While the match was more back and forward than one sided, Elgin felt on top a lot simply going by the nature of the moves, as Goto's were more desperation type moves while Elgin's were more power based, so slower and from a standing position.
At one point, Elgin rammed Goto into Red Shows and hit the Falcon Arrow, but didn't pin Goto, but it did give Taichi the chance to come out and nail both men with the mic stand for being dicks and leaving him out of this match. Taichi's punishment was equal for both, so no excuses. Jeff Cobb came out and took care of Taichi, hitting a German Suplex and attacking him all the way to the back.
Back in the match, Elgin and Goto went at it again, more striking this time and Goto with a slight upper hand over Elgin, but Goto seemed more damaged coming off from to the Taichi attack. They battled a lot until Elgin started going for his powerbomb finishes, but he couldn't put Goto down for the 3 count. They fought in the top rope that ended with Goto hitting a Code Red from the top rope. Goto started chasing the GTR, but Elgin kept getting out of it and going for Lariats and a Crucifix Bomb for a near fall. Buckle Bomb by Elgin, but Goto responds with a Lariat for a near fall. Elgin went for another, but Goto countered, landed a kick and the GTR for the win. Great match, I'm really surprised that Elgin lost the title so quickly, it really felt like this was a good time for him to have a run after all these years.
Post-match - Cobb came out to check on Elgin, but since he's out there and Goto is coming to his turf, he may as well get in Goto's face and issue a challenge for the Cow Palace. Goto accepted the challenge saying he takes on all challengers. One of the announcers mentioned that he was the pride of Japan and he had brought one of the titles back to Japan.
Good show, my highlights were the Young Lions and the main event, but everything in between was good enough to make it a good show. I do have higher expectations for tomorrow's card.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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