NJPW Kizuna Road 2018
June 18, 2018
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Yuya Uemura vs Iota Tsuji - 7/10
A lot more strikes than yesterday, but we once again saw these guys working limbs with Tsuji going for the leg. Tsuji's offense looks great, looks painful, or maybe Uemura is just really good at selling and bending. In this match, we didn't really get to see Uemura work over Tsuji's arm, rather just some small comebacks, but Tsuji still can't put Uermura down. Greatest feud in wrestling continues.
Re Narita & Shota Umino vs Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori) - 6/10
Narita pissed off the BC guys at the start of the match, and for the most of the match, he got his ass handed to him via Ishimori. Umino came in against Yujiro, they traded near falls and at the end Yujiro won with the Pimp Juice. Ok match, it was more of a squash really.
Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tomoyuki Oka - 4.5/10
I just had to sit through Nakanishi vs Tenzan. Oka vs Nagata was good, Oka vs Nakanishi was decent, everything else sucked. It's the old timers, what can we say? Nagata pinned Oka with a backdrop for the win.
CHAOS (SHO, YOH, Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI) w/Rocky Romero vs Toa Henare, David Finlay, Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe) - 5/10
Lots of comedy, lots of butt stuff, lots of spots with all 4 men of a team working over one guy from the other team. Last two in the ring were Henare and YOSHi, they traded some near falls before YOSHI locked in the Butterfly Lock for the win. Ok match, nothing to it, just enjoyable.
G1 Climax Block Announcements - The crowd's realization of some of the pairings as they were coming up was great. Especially for Okada, White, EVIL, Naito, Suzuki (big one), and obviously Kenny vs Ibushi.
Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Takashi Iizuka, & TAKA Michinoku) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon - 6.5/10
Good guy Naito fist bumped a shy kid during his entrance. Naito is awesome. Match was the usual cheating by SZKG, they worked over SANADA for a while after Iizuka cut him off with a chair. Fan favorite Taichi had a little pairing with EVIL. Decision was between TAKA and BUSHI when BUSHI landed the MX after almost tapping out to TAKA's arm submission. Naito didn't even take off his shirt. Overall a good match.
Post-match - During their celebration, SANADA and Naito had a little thing since now it's official that they're fighting in the Block B. SANADA didn't fist bump Naito.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb, Michael Elgin, & Juice Robinson vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, Jay White, Gedo) -
This match is building Goto vs Cobb, White vs Robinson, and I guess, it can now build Okada vs Tanahashi towards the G1.
Match saw CHAOS work over Tanahashi for a while, he had a small run with Okada and then got cut off by the whole team. Tanahashi made a comeback vs Ishii and made the hot tag to Elgin. Him and Ishii fought for a while too, lot of striking. We got some more Elgin vs Goto, and best of all, we saw Cobb manhandle Okada before turning towards Goto. At the end, everyone hit their finishers before KUSHIDA took out Gedo with the KUSHIDA Lock. Really cool match
Post-match - Goto and Cobb brawled to the back, in the ring, White took out KUSHIDA, Elgin, and Tanahashi by himself, and the proceeded to attack Robison outside, ramming him to the barricades. Robinson eventually made a comeback and took out White with a lariat, when he went for the Pulp Friction, White hit him with a low blow and once again proceeded to attack him until Juice was unconscious. White attacked all the Young Lions with a chair and Pillmanized Juice's hand. Kinda long, but a good angle going towards their title match.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match
El Desperado vs Hiromu Takahashi (C) - 9.5/10
Hell of a match, I initially was liking their BOSJ match more, but as it went on, I really got behind this one a lot. Story of the match was that Desperado was still considerably stronger than Hiromu, but Hiromu fought on to show that he had grown since their last match and that he wasn't going to give up.
Match started with some throwbacks to their past match, and it started with Desperado on top as they brawled around the arena and Desperado used the 'gifts' that Hiromu had brought him. As the match went on, Hiromu started making more and more comebacks until he was the one on top. As HIromu gained more control, Despy got annoyed and resorted to cheating, first with a chair that Kanemaru brought him, later with low blows as he the ref had gone down. In both cases, Hiromu would turn it around and hit a Dynamite Plunge or lock in the D for near falls. Finish saw Hiromu pin Despy after a Dynamite Plunger.
There was a point in the match where Hiromu pulled Desperado's mask off, who since had braids, couldn't rely on his hair to cover his face, so he straight up just ignored trying to hide his face, grabbed his mask back and put it on. I'm hoping this was a botch or something because it didn't lead to anything, Desperado's reaction was kinda within his character, but completely out of character for 99% of the luchadors I've ever seen. After a stunt like this, I wouldn't book a mask vs mask match anymore since now everyone had a straight look at his face.
A good first defense for Takahashi, he defeated the guy that had been a pain in the ass for the last months.
Post-match - Takahashi cuts a promo saying eh finally defeated Desperado and hopes they 'make love' again somewhere. Takahashi thanks chairman for keeping his promise to treat the Jr Heavyweight championship like the real heavyweight championship by getting the video of all the champions. Backstage Takahashi cut a promo challenging Dragon Lee to a title match, and then Mr. Belt cut a promo saying that Takahashi took too long to get him back, and then blamed Hiromu for Mr. Trophy's injuries.
This was really a one match show, while the Uemura vs Tsuji rivalry keeps delivering and the CHAOS vs Taguchi Japan was really fun, none of it was really worth calling home about. Having said that, this was a really easy watch, didn't feel like it dragged or that it was too long.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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