NJPW New Year Dash 2017

NJPW New Year Dash 2017

By Big Red Machine
From January 05, 2017

NJPW New Year Dash 2017


BILLY GUNN & YOSHI-HASHI vs. BULLET CLUB (Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi)- 4.25/10

BULLET CLUB (Adam Cole & the Young Bucks) vs. CHAOS (Roppongi Vice & YOSHI-HASHI)- 7.25/10

Great match, but that doesn't stop me from being angry about Adam Cole's first night as te ROH World Champion ending with him doing a job to the second guy from the bottom on the CHAOS totem pole.

BULLET CLUB (Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale, Bone Soldier, & the Guerrillas of Destiny) vs. Cheeseburger & Team 2000 (Scott Norton, Hiro Saito, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, & Satoshi Kojima)- 6/10

The last time we saw Kenny Omega he had just put in a tremendous effort, only to come up short in a truly epic main-event on the biggest show of the year. Now, less than twenty-four hours later, he starts of this by as a goofball being made to look silly by a fifty-five year-old Scott Norton. It's times like this when I find myself moving more and more into the Les Thatcher/Jim Cornette camp.

The match turned into a loosely-connected bunch of stuff. The fact that Bone Solider to the pin here instead of either Cheeseburger or one of the old guys absolutely offends me.

MICHAEL ELGIN & KUSHIDA vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito)- 6.75/10

A fine match with a finish that was jarringly... American. First Naito just attacked the referee (but there was no DQ for that because for some reason nothing is a DQ in Japan despite the referees telling the wrestlers not to do things). Then he used low blows on both babyfaces. Then DRAGON LEE RAN IN and attacked Los Ingobernables to even things back up so that Elgin could hit his finisher and pin Naito.

TOGI MAKABE, TOMOAKI HONMA, JUICE ROBINSON, YUJI NAGATA, & KATSUYORI SHIBATA vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiri Ishii, Toru Yano, Will Ospreay, & Kazuchika Okada)- 7/10

This was a very fun match. The most interesting news to come out of this, to me, is that they seem to be hinting at Shiabta vs. Will Ospreay. That seems like an interesting clash of styles. The finish, though... just when you thought they might actually really try with Goto this time, they had get pinned by JUICE F*CKING ROBINSON. Yes, I know that Shibata hit him with the PK first, but Robinson still got to hit his move (poorly) before getting the pin.

Eh. I guess it doesn't matter that much because the only thing people will remember about this match next week is the...

They lay waste to everyone! Including Minoru Suzuki himself choking out Okada and nailing him with a piledriver because no one is more bad-ass than Minoru f*cking Suzuki. Chuck Norris tried to roundhouse kick Minoru Suzuki once, but Suzuki blocked it and then choked Chuck out. Now Suzuki is challenging Okada to a title match! SOOOO AWESOME!

As you can tell, I'm excited. Not just for Okada vs. Suzuki, but because this segment also made it clear that K.E.S. are headed for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles, which should mean that Yano and Ishii, two of my least favorite wrestlers, will be dropping the belts soon. But I'm not as excited as I should be, and the reason for that is because I know that this means that I'll have to watch Yano and Iizuka face off and the undercard of every f*cking show from now to eternity, and that might well be too high a price to pay, even for Okada vs. Suzuki.
But aside from that, this was an AWESOME angle and extremely newsworthy which people went nuts for. This is a new year and this segment put the exclamation point on that. What a perfect way to end the show.

Wait... there's more?

Los Ingobernables de Japon(c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi, & Ryusuke Taguchi- 5.75/10

F*cking Gedo. Three f*ckers who have never teamed together- one of whom is BARELY MOBILE- get a shot at the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Titles, and of course they beat what was the hottest faction heel faction in the company up until the end of the last match, just one day after said heels won the belts. These belts have been around for just over a year now, and they mean as little now as they did when Yano and the Briscoes won them to become the inaugural champions 367 days ago... and sh*t like this is exactly why.

This makeshift group have just become the tenth champions. Between the previous nine there have been a grand total of FIVE successful title defenses. Only one team (Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks) have successfully defended the titles more than once, and one of those defenses was on an ROH show, so it never would have happened if those guys didn't also work for ROH. Almost every single team that has gotten a title shot hasn't done anything to earn it and no champions have ever been given the time or focus to make them feel important.

And the most infuriating part of this is that the guys who just lost the belts were in the PERFECT position to be the ones to do that. You've got three very good wrestlers in a popular stable who, due to the ridiculous overabundance of talent in New Japan, essentially shut out of the title pictures in their divisions for the foreseeable future. So while the rest of the roster is worried about fighting off Suzuki-Gun or Naito and Hiromu Takahashi are defending their belts against the top wrestlers in their divisions in the world, and while the Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles are being defended in their random spotfests, why not let these three guys run with these belts on the undercard? Let them defend the belts against the YOSHI-HASHI-led dregs of CHAOS roster or the Bullet Club C and D teams, or some combination from the Nagata/Nakanishi/Tenzan/Kojima Grumpy Old Men faction, or even the former champs of Kojima, Ricochet, and Finlay who seemed to be solidifying nicely. Let them hold the belts for long enough to make them MEAN something.

We're two New Japan shows into the year, and already I think we've seen what might well turn out to be the two worst booking decisions of the year (Delirious deciding have Kyle drop the ROH World Title back to Cole last night, and now this turd from Gedo). A frustrating ending to a completely baffling show that will likely only be remembered for the only good thing on it, the fantastic Suzuki-Gun angle.

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