NJPW Road to Dominion 2017
By Big Red Machine
From June 09, 2017
SHOTA UMINO & TETSUHIRO YAGI vs. SUZUKI-GUN (El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku) - 4/10
Once again the young-boys jump Suzuki-Gun before the bell. Is there a mutiny against Suzuki going on in the dojo?
TIGER MASK IV, HIRAI KAWATO, TOMOYUKI OKA, TOGI MAKABE, & YUJI NAGATA vs. JUSHIN "THUNDER" LIGER, MANABU NAKANISHI, KATSUYA KITAMIYA, HIROYOSHI TENZAN, & SATOSHI KOJIMA - 4/10
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo) vs. BULLET CLUB (Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi) - 4.5/10
WAR MACHINE, MICHAEL ELGIN, & DAVID FINLAY JR. vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, the Guerrillas of Destiny, & Cody Rhodes) - 6.25/10
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, & Jado) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr., & Taichi) - 6.75/10
Oh dear Lord that armbar off the apron. YOSHI-HASHI is lucky his arm is still attached to his body. The rest of Suzuki-Gun also engages in arm-work against the various babyfaces and Zack Sabre Jr. uses an armlock of some sort to defeat Jado.
LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, KUSHIDA, JUICE ROBINSON, & RICOCHET - 8/10
Tanahashi's arm is in a big compression sleeve. Naito goes right after it and we get a major tease of Tanahashi not being able to continue, even having him roll in to break the referee's count just to be able to roll back outside again. They did a great job of protecting Tanahashi's injury for most of this match, but rather than having him just stand on the apron waiting for a tag the whole time they actually incorporated it into the story of the match and used it to build up to Dominion by having Naito work on the arm a bit on the outside to essentially take Tanahashi out, putting the babyfaces down a man, until he got to make his big comeback for the finish.
Kevin Kelly made his best attempt to keep kayfabe while essentially saying that the smarks in Osaka used to HATE Naito when he was a babyface and now they love him because he turned heel. F*cking smarks ruining everything.
They did a spot where the babyfaces (sans the injured Tanahashi) were all running around taking turns hitting BUSHI with clotheslines in the corner and KUSHIDA and Taguchi had a miscommunication and almost bumped into each other. They quickly apologized and moved on with the match. Compare this to Rocky Romero, who has spent more time working with both his current partner Trent Beretta, and his former partner Alex Koslov than Taguchi has teaming with KUSHIDA and yet every time this happens with Rocky he starts to shove his tag team partner and almost gets into a fight with him. That's why I can't stand Rocky Romero and look word to the heels beating the sh*t out of him in the next match.
The match was awesome, with lots of great combination offense, and lots of great stuff particularly from Naito, Hiromu, Sanada, and KUSHIDA as well as Tanahashi when his time came. Everyone else definitely played their roles, though, and all contributed to making this match awesome. I can't wait for Tanahashi vs. Naito on Sunday!
BULLET CLUB ELITE (Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks) vs. CHAOS (Roppongi Vice & Kazuchika Okada) (w/Gedo) - 7.75/10
Whichever Jackson brother that is (I've still made no effort to learn which one has which color hair) needs to stop doing that tripping over the ropes spot in every match. It's less funny when you can always see it coming. Also, why was no one counted out? This was a great match that would have been even better without the comedy. Also, maybe I'll be proven wrong tomorrow, but the Cody run-in feels like it telegraphs Cody beating Elgin and Okada beating Omega on Sunday.
A great show from New Japan, which definitely achieved its goal of getting me psyched up for Sunday's big show.