Jyushin 'Thunder' Liger, Rysuke Taugci, & ACH vs Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero - 6.5/10
This was the usual Taguchi/Liger stuff, but it was a fun opener. People went crazy for everything Liger did. For a while there, R3K worked over Liger until ACH came in with a strong comeback. Taguchi did his shtick with Hip Attacks and at the end, hit Dodon on Rocky for the win.
Bullet Club Elite (Chase Owens & Hangman Page) vs The Addiction - 7/10
All men were pretty over, lots of respect for SCU since they're in, you know, So Cal. Page was loved for being Page, and Owens, for being the workrate and true leader of the Bullet Club, I mean, he's the one that got the 'This is Awesome chants".
Match saw SCU play babyfaces as BC cut off Kaz for a while and worked over him until Daniels came in with the hot tag, leading to Daniels pinning Owens with the Best Meltzer Ever. There was a good spot with Page going for the Shooting Star Shoulder Block, but Kaz catches him with the knees up. Overall a good showing for all men.
CHAOS (Best Friends & Hirooki Goto) vs Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin, & Flip Gordon - 7/10
The whole point of this match was building up Cobb over everyone else and especially against Goto, to the point that Cobb pretty much took over the second half of the match, first going against Goto one-on-one, and then taking on both the Best Friends, ending with Cobb pinning Taylor with the Tour of the Islands. Gordon and Sabin were kinda just there.
Post-match - Goto attacks Cobb and they have a stand off as they're pulled apart by their respective teams and refs.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, & EVIL) vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr & Killer Elite Squad) - 7.5/10
Great match that was about EVIL and Sabre, but made good use of the other 4 men involved. Both teams were pretty over here. Lots of pops when Naito got in the match. Match first saw SANADA get cut off by KES until Naito came in with the hot tag, and he then got cut off by KES, leading to both Sabre and EVIL getting in there and doing their thing. They initially went for the striking match, but as EVIL stared gaining momentum, Sabre turned to submissions and controlled EVIL, who could only use power to get out of the locks. Finish saw EVIL and Sabre exchange some big moves while EVIL is chasing the STO, but out of nowhere, Sabre uses one of his simplest bridge pins to pin EVIL, who is left inside the ring perplexed over losing to Sabre once again. Face it EVIL, Sabre has your number!
Post-match - As SZKG leave and kill young boys, EVIL really stayed looking at the mat like 10 minutes before Naito came in and consoled him.
"Switchblade" Jay White & Gedo vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA - 6.5/10
Coming in to the this match, I was really wondering who would take the pin since you have THE ACE and No. 1 contender to Kenny's title, you have Jay White who is challenging Tanahashi for that very contract, you have KUSHIDA who is in the finals of the IWGP Jr Heavyweight title match, and you have Gedo, who could, but JUST turned heel. The result was the best option if you think about it, and that is White pinning Tanahashi in a non title match.
Match started with White and Gedo working on Tanahashi for a while until KUSHIDA came in and took out Gedo, but before he could finish the job, White attacked KUSHIDA and got himself into the match to continue working over KUSHIDA. Tanahashi eventually got in again and he did his thing with White. When Tanahashi is coming close to hitting the High Fly Flow, White distracts the ref allowing Gedo to knock him out with some brass knucks, leaving Tanahashi as easy picks for White to hit the Bladerunner and pin the Ace.
Post-match - White cut a promo saying that NJPW office is scared of him and scared of two gaijins main eventing WK. I can totally see this being the case.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinal
"The Villain" Marty Scurll vs "Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay - 9/10
This was a good match, but not the best I've seen these guys do. They did however, pull off some amazing looking moves, especially a counter from Ospreay doing a whole Tornillo rotation mid-air, while holding Scurll's hand.
Match saw Ospreay start the match going 100mph, going for the quick win, as he probably knows that dragging out a match against Scurll is the worst idea for him, so he hit a quick Spanish Fly, Sasuke Special, SSP, getting several near falls. After surviving that initial flurry, Scurll started his comeback, working over Ospreay's neck. They went on with a bunch of great spots, they fought outside the ring and on top of the third rope with some scary looking moves. Finish finally came when Scurll hit a Chickenwing Suplex, a weird Package Piledriver position into a DDT/Shoulder Breaker/Sidewalk Slam??, and finished off with Graduation. Once again, Scurll has Ospreay's number, which has pretty much been their story in NJPW since the start.
We now get Scurll vs KUSHIDA at KOPW, this should be a submission fest!
IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
The Young Bucks (C) vs Guerrillas of Destiny - 9/10
Story of the match was that somewhat early, Matt Jackson took a bad landing and crunched his back, so they did the same story they've been doing all year with one Buck being injured and the other having to work for both of them, and with that come a bunch of babyface in peril spots, a hot tag, a strong comeback, and tons of near falls. At one point, to make things worse for Matt, he took an accidental table bump. Match lead into Bucks finally getting the chance to hit More Bang For Your Buck, but Matt can't make it quick enough and it gives Tama Tonga enough time to cut them off, hit a Gun Stun and another Gun Stun from a Magic Killer kind of position for the win. GoD takes the titles as it seems this BCOG vs BCE will finally kick off properly.
IWGP United States Championship Match
"The Kairi Sane Knockoff" Juice Robinson (C) vs "The American Nightmare" Cody w/Brandi Rhodes - 9/10
I liked this match, probably a lot more than a lot of people. There wasn't anything outstanding nor it was a classic, but Cody's heelish work against one of the top babyfaces of the year was a nice clash.
I think the biggest story of the match is that Juice lost the title for trying to be too good, and Cody and especially Brandi in this match really took advantage of that. From early on, we saw Juice get attacked when he tried to tend for a 'hurt' Brandi. She later on interfered again raking eyes and saving Cody from a pin. The match was arguably back and forward as every time Juice went to get control of the match, he got cut off by either Brandi or Cody, yet it still built strong as it went on, reaching its climax as they started striking each other in the middle of the ring, and as Juice finally gets the upper hand, Cody once again rakes his eyes to cut him off. Cody drops Juice with Din's Fire for a huge near fall, but as Juice hits a superplex, Cody out of nowhere hooks Juice's legs, and once again cutting off Juice's offense, Cody wins the title.
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) vs Golden Lovers - 9.5/10
This was just a crazy match, where every single pairing in this match yielded an epic face-off, some that we've seen over and over, some that felt fresher, regardless, it was hot, to the point that when Okada and Omega finally got to go face-to-face, the crowd went crazy.
There wasn't much of a story here other than keeping Omega/Okada away from each other, and consequently, Ibushi/Ishii. Once Okada and Omega got in there, they immediatly went for their finishers knowing that it's what it takes to take the other out. When Ishii and Ibushi went at it, they went back to their strike-fest from the G1 Climax. As Ibushi finally takes out Ishii, outside Omega takes out Okada, having now the opening to coming in and joining Ibushi as they hit Ishii with the Golden Trigger for the win.
Post-match - The rest of the Bullet Club come out and Omega cuts a speech saying it wasn't a clean sweep for the BC tonight as The Bucks lost the titles. He then addressed Ibushi, saying that everyone wants the rematch, his speech sounds forced as he challenges Ibushi to a match at KOPW, but suddenly, Cody comes in and interrupts them, and adds himself to the match making it the first three way match for the world title in a loong time.
Omega tried to turn this really bad news for a lot of hardcores because he made it seem that Ibushi vs Omega will happen, but in a larger bigger stage. Which kinda sells as Cody saving that match for the fans instead of putting himself in a title match. They kinda just told us to believe in them.
I've been reading left and right complains of US fans saying 'wah, we want a Dominion level show', talk about entitled. This show was great, top to bottom, fun undercard, great second half with 4 top matches, all of them with either good consequences, or great wrestling. I can't say this a must watch show, but definitely worth checking out if you're down for some good wrestling.