Yuji Nagata, Tomoyuki Oka, Ren Narita, Tetsuhiro Yagi, & Shota Umino vs Jyushin 'Thunder' Liger, Tiger Mask, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Hiroyoshi Tenzan - 6.5/10
Old man Nagata brought the cubs for a field trip and they stumbled upon five legends, talk about one-sided match. The match saw a lot of team work, or better said, gang work, by the Young Lions, who never had a chance to win, but did get some offense in when they would all gang up on someone. Finish saw KUSHIDA and Umino fight, KUSHIDA has the Kimura, Umino reversed it for a great near fall, but then KUSHIDA breaks the pin reversing into an armbar for the win. Great match.
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, & Toru Yano) vs Toa Henare, Juice Robinson, & David Finlay - 6.5/10
Back and forward match, Henare got a lot of time in with Ishii and Goto. Robinson got a good chance to shine vesus the NEVER champ. Finish saw Goto pin Henare after the GTR. Nothing special really.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 3-Way Match
Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) vs Roppongi 3K w/Rocky Romero - 8/10
I really don't like the BUSHI masks where he hangs heads from it. For some reason Suzuki-Gun is starting the match from outside the ring and for a second it looked like the ref told them to wait there, and BUSHI is under the apron. Is this some weird way to do Lucha rules?
After a quick stiff face-off between Hiromu and YOH, match focused on SZKG an LIJ working over SHO's injured back, which he has been taking care off for the last month or so since winning the championships. Obviously with the two teams trying to get their hands on the injured SHO, LIJ and SZKG kept getting in each other's way. The babyface in peril SHO got worked on so that at the end he was having trouble pulling off a suplex, but in a desperation move, he forced himself to do one to get YOH the hot tag. The match continued like this with RPG fighting off both teams while LIJ and SZKG keep stealing each other's tags.
Finish saw LIJ try to cheat by hitting the Green Mist on SHO, but Kanemaru jumps in hitting the Whisky Mist on BUSHI, low blows Hiromu, and Desperado rolls up the blind SHO to win the championships! Proud of my boys! The match was great, but I definitely want to see all these teams fight off on one-on-one situations instead.
"Cold Skull" SANADA vs "Headhunter" YOSHI-HASHI - 8.5/10
This is a match between a guy with zero charisma trying to be really charismatic, and a guy with TONS of charisma hiding it all because of the Cold Skull nickname. This match was similar to the Naito one with YOSHI-HASHI getting his ass kicked a lot, and some YOSHI offense with both SANADA and the fans pretending YOSHI has a chance at winning in life. Match had a lot of reversals and counters, and as the match came close to the end, YOSHI-HASHI got some great near falls that actually got the fans to make some noise, but at the end, after valiantly fighting off YOSHI's submission, SANADA locked in the Skull End until he choked out YOSHI, he then hit the Moonsault to seal the deal. Both men wrestled like babyfaces here. Another good match.
Tetsuya Naito vs Taichi w/Miho Abe & Taka Michinoku - 7/10
Taichi attacked Naito with the mic before the bell rang and dragged him to the ramp where he dropped him with a powerbomb, and so Taichi had the upper hand for a bit before Naito just woke up and get back in the match. Both men would go back and forward most of the match, with Taichi getting small cheats here and there for near falls, but at the end, it was Naito that would out-heel Taichi when he pushes the ref into Taka, low blows Taichi, and straight up breaks the mic over Taichi's head, followed by Destino for the win. Naito was booed andTaichi had "Let's Go Taichi" chants tonight.
Taichi for what it's worth wrestled a good match here, cheats and all, this was going to be a big test for him and he managed to hit a second gear we don't usually get out of him, and have a good match. I still believe that Taichi should tweek his gimmick a bit to separate him from his Jr Heavyweight persona that lasted so long.
Post-match - Taka grabs the mic and cuts a promo on Naito telling him that the New Japan Cup belongs to Zack Sabre Jr and Naito will fall to him. I was incredibly worried that Taka was gonna challenge Naito and go heavyweight too.
Rey Mysterio Promo - Just promoting the match vs Liger, but it's interesting that they showed this on the day he was supposed to get his arm checked.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Togi Makabe vs Minoru Suzuki (C) - 7.5/10
Fuck yeah! We got Makabe's song tonight! A Japanese version at least. This is gonna be another big test, this time for Makabe, who let's face it, he is getting older and his forearms softer, to the point that I swear Suzuki talked shit to him until Makabe started getting stiffer. Match saw Suzuki work on Makabe's leg after hitting it with a chair against the ring post, which came about when Suzuki straight up knocked Red Shoes off his feet to no DQ. After a while, they just went back and forward again, Suzuki really trying to get the stiff out of Makabe, but with no avail. It also seemed like they had completely ignored the leg until Makabe went for the King Kong Drop and landed on his knee, at which point he is hurting and easy pickings for Suzuki's newly developed love for breaking legs. Suzuki won after hitting the Gotch Style Piledriver, which at the end didn't really require to break any legs.
I both liked and hated this match. The plan of the match itself was a good one and it was well executed, but like I mentioned, sometimes when trying to do forearm exchanges, there was a big difference in execution that it made it seem like Makabe was going soft compared to how Suzuki delivers his, so in all those cases, they would get me out of the match. Match was incredibility fun after the failed King Kong Drop.
Post-match - Suzuki cuts a promo putting over Suzuki-Gun and the newly captured championships. Suzuki-Gun ichiban!
Kazuchika Okada vs "Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay - 9.5/10
Gedo has been on commentary all show, so he's not with Okada tonight. Ospreay had chants at the start of the match and it really caught him by surprise.
Match started strictly babyface vs babyface, technical and respectful, but then Okada got cocky, Ospreay decided to get even cockier, and all hell broke loose. What else could you expect from the two cockiest guys in NJPW? Anyway, Okada worked the neck/head area, while Ospreay just went for the greatest hits. The clash of styles allowed for some really cool alternate versions of the usual Okada spots since we know had a high flyer doing the counters, like we're not used to seeing Okada take a Spanish Fly.
There was an incredibly close near fall at 2.999 that even the ring announcer got up ready to make the announcement. Red Shoes was screaming at Ospreay to pin him again, but Ospreay trying to go for the Os Cutter got dropkicked in the middle of the air and after that, it was Okada hitting his finishers into the pin. Okada won via Rainmaker.
Post-match - Okada and Ospreay embrace before Ospreay leaves. Okada cuts his usual 3 point promo. He puts over Ospreay, he says that he has beaten everyone (he mentions Tanahashi, Naito, and Kenny), and lastly, he said something to Gedo where he talked so fast that even if I knew what he said, I wouldn't have gotten it.
A really good show that got somewhat better as the show progressed. Arguably little consequences on this show aside from jr tag titles, but I think there are some things that could be build from here on. From now on, all build will be the New Japan Cup and the US shows.