NJPW Dominion 6.12 In Osaka-Jo Hall 2022
June 12, 2022
Osaka-Jo Hall, Osaka, Japan
Six Or Nine (Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi) & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (w/Manabu Nakanishi) vs. United Empire (Aaron Henare, Francesco Akira & TJP) (w/Great-O-Khan & Jessie Vargas) - 6.5/10
Boxer Jesse Vargas is in the UE's corner. I don't know how big his name is in Japan, but it's cool to see the UE get this type of people behind them.
For a match with Tenzan involved, I thought that he and Henare had a really good pair up, but having said that, this could had been a great of a Jr. tag team title banger that for some reason they're saving for the 6.20 Korakuen Hall show. Match mostly saw UE and 6||9 pair up for most of the match until Henare and Tenzan came in, with the latter tapping out to Henare's new Half-Nelson submission.
BULLET CLUB (Ace Austin, El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito) - 6/10
Good match once Hiromu got the hot tag, but ELP getting heat with shitty back rakes was just boring and tiredsome. Naito didn't do shit, and BUSHI just went in for the pin at the hands of ELP. Ace Austin looked great, but unfortunately for him, he's a magician gimmick, and it'll be quickly overplayed.
Post-match - That idiot ELP spoiled that he's entering the G1 Climax, which will be announced until later in the show.
Toru Yano vs. Doc Gallows - 3/10
The usual YTR cat and mouse match with a Gallows that tried to look tough until he lost to a roll up. I usually love me some Yano matches, but Impact Wrestling hoss fights aside, there is not a single Gallows match that will ever get me excited.
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Match
House Of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) (c) (w/Dick Togo) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr.) - 7.5/10
Even with a HoT win, this was pretty good. HoT jumped SZKG during the entrances and from there on, it just became a brawl, and it wasn't just HoT cheating to take control, this was SZKG straight up beating up Hot for most of the match, especially Kanemaru who was just kicking ass left to right, mostly going after SHO. As they got near the end, Sabre and Despy did great taking out EVIL, but at the end, after Kanemaru took out Togo, SHO landed a couple of kicks with the loaded shin protector and got the pin.
Post-match - Backstage, to the surprise of not a single thinking person in the world, Sabre called out Danielson for Forbidden Door.
IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens) (c) vs. United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) (w/Aaron Henare & Jessie Vargas) - 7.5/10
The match wasn't great, but I kept catching myself thinking of how weird it was that Owens was getting so much offense on Cobb and O-Khan, and what other proof you need that Owens and Fale were just not a good idea to have win the titles, only to lose them back again. Match did see O-Khan as the superbabyface he is and make a strong comeback that led to the finish when Cobb came in to take out Fale and Owens.
Post-match - After what the United Empire has cost and done to Roppongi Vice in the last couple of weeks over at AEW, Rocky Romero jumped O-Khan and Cobb, he had some offense, but two men were just too much for him and got downed with an Eliminator. They posed over Romero and hinted they're willing to put the titles on the line against Roppongi Vice.
G1 Climax 32 Announcement - They announced that this year's field has increased to 28 men and it will be a 7-man 4 block system, like it was a long time ago. Entrants this year are:
Okada, Tama Tonga, Tanahashi, Tom Lawlor, Jonah, Yoshi-Hashi, Goto, Yano, Ishii, Cobb, O-Khan, Ospreay, Henare, Shingo, Naito, SANADA, Jay White, EVIL, Kenta, Yujiro, Fale, Owens, Juice Robinson, Taichi, Sabre Jr, Lance Archer, Finlay, and (groan) ELP. Biggest reactions went to Archer, ELP, Kenta, and Finlay in that order, so mostly the surprise effect, not the hype to see ELP backrake on a daily basis.
Interim AEW World Championship Eliminator Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto - 8/10
The match was good, I think some people will think it was underwhelming because it was shorter and it wasn't the Tanahashi slow dramatic build, but I personally liked that they went straight for the second half of the match, they went short, but somewhat hard, and while it was somewhat impossible to think that Goto could win, we did get a couple of good nearfalls from him. Tanahashi won with a HFF at the end.
It's officially Moxley vs Tanahashi for the interim AEW World Championship at Forbidden Door, and I couldn't care less to be honest.
NJPW King Of Pro-Wrestling Championship 10 Minute Unlimited Pinfall Scramble Match
Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe) - 8.5/10
This was freaking great, the format of this match should stay as the official stipulation of the KOPW trophy. This is the match that I kept my hopes up for this concept of a title. Stipulation was that they have 10 minutes to score the most amount of pin seconds, so you can legitimately score a 4-count pin and the idea of pins is that you HAVE to kick out at 1, making it way more tasking than a normal match. It also makes submissions useless, unless you need to eat up some time, so there are so many places to go with this stipulation.
With the short amount of time, these two went straight for the strike exchange and from the start, you could see that they were starting to build up the Ax Bomber vs Pumping Bomber battle that came about later in the match. It all eventually led to Shingo having a 5 point lead, but out of nowhere, Taichi scored a 4 count and when he went for the tie, Shingo kicked out and the time run out, ending with an 11-10 score for Shingo's retain.
NEVER Openweight Championship Match
Tama Tonga (c) (w/Jado) vs. Karl Anderson (w/Doc Gallows) - 8.5/10
I'd need to go back and check out Tama Tonga's last G1, but I'd argue that this was the best match that both Tama and Anderson have had since 2012 or so, Anderson specially looked like the guy that once fought and challenged people of the level of Okada and Tanahashi.
Match from the start was a race to hit the first Gun Stun, which made it good, but it also had Gallows out there interfering. It wasn't HoT bad and it did help Tama Tonga burn up all that babyface fire he's been building since the turn. Match eventually ended when Tama Tonga hit the Gun Stun on Gallows, but turned around to one from Anderson and the pin.
With Anderson getting the title, this will be the first time that the NEVER champion is not in the G1, assuming he keeps the title until then.
Vacant IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match
SANADA vs. Will Ospreay (w/Aaron Henare) - 8.75/10
Good solid match built around Ospreay going for SANADA's recently recovered eye, which gave SANADA problems, but never enough to actually be a big point in the story. Other than that, it was mostly a back and forth match where I thought Ospreay looked somewhat more dominant than SANADA. Match did have great action and a couple of strong near falls towards the end before Ospreay dropped SANADA with the Hidden Blade and Stormbreaker.
Worth mentioning that because Robinson was the champion and homeboy didn't make it to Japan, the actual title wasn't present for Ospreay to get crowned.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Jay White (w/Gedo) - 9/10
Part of the build up to this match had White bring up that he has a really strong record against Okada, and I guess this really cements that idea, as once again, White has taken down Okada and this time around, it was with the title on the line.
Match saw White be really dominant early on, getting more and more cocky until Okada had enough. They started going back and forth, Okada regained ground and leveled things out, but as they headed to last 20 or so minutes, White hurt Okada's lower abdomen, and it became a BIG problem for Okada to deal with the pain and take on White. Eventually, things came close as both guys chased their finish, but it ended up being White, who landed the Bladerunner first and got the pin. Great match.
Post-match - The Bullet Club joined White in the ring for the big ending speech. White tried to get the crowd to cheer and they did make some noise, but didn't all out break into a chant, I guess given that he's a big heel, even for Osaka. I really do hope that White eventually forces the crowd to chant, and then have the crowd instead start chanting for a babyface.
Backstage, Jay White may as well have cut the Promo of the Year 2022.
Top to bottom, a really good show. The first half was a lot of tag matches, and some will argue that they were "Road to" matches, but I thought they were still go final showcases for the wrestlers that came by for the BOSJ. Eitherway, second half delivered and really put the show up there for the year.
NJPW, RevPro, CMLL, DDT, etc
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