Opening Video - Good, brought up the history and hyped tonight's matches.
Don Callis, Kevin Kelly, and Colt Cabana are on commentary on the English table. Nogami is on the Japanese table.
Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, Ren Narita, Shota Umino, & Ayato Yoshida vs Bullet Club (Guerrillas of Destiny, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, & Hikuleo) - 5/10
Bad Luck's new "General" gimmick looks awesome, he looks like the stereotype of a military dictator, and with the return of Hikuleo, Bullet Club is starting to look imposing, maybe not in a workrate way, but surely in a sizing way.
Most of the match was Bullet Club working over Narita, who actually started the match for his side. Makabe got the hot tag, and finally, Yoshida came in to have a small run before taking the Package Piledriver and losing to Chase. Most relevant here is that Chase has been getting wins as of late, and I don't expect that he will defeat Juice Robinson at the New Japan Cup, but at least he's being built as a threat to him. Match was an ok showcase for the young lions, and that's about it.
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) vs Yuji Nagata & Toa Henare - 7/10
Nagata vs Ishii was awesome. Henare vs YH was good, Henare actually looked better than YH at least when it came to the striking game. We didn't get much Henare vs Ishii this time around. The match itself was great, a lot of striking from everyone. YH got the win with something like a Fisherman Brainbuster, it's new, so he may get some wins at the cup with it.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, TAKA Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Taichi) vs Satoshi Kojima, Tiger Mask, Dragon Lee, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Tomoaki Honma - 5.5/10
Dragon Lee came out wearing an awesome cape. Taichi, when he unrobed, revealed that he is now in possession of Iizuka's iron claw, and with Nogami on commentary, I think we got a feud coming.
Desperado worked against Dragon Lee and Tiger Mask, at one point going for Tiger's mask. The meat of the match here was to build Taichi vs Honma and Suzuki vs Kojima, both first round matches for the New Japan Cup. One will be a great match, the other, given what we saw, will be terrible. You can imagine which is which. Finishing sequence was great, Taguchi got the win over TAKA with Dodon. Taguchi is also going to the New Japan Cup, so his win helps him.
Post-match - Suzuki and Kojima brawled. Honma and Taichi faced off.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
Roppongi 3K w/Rocky Romero vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi & BUSHI) (C) - 8.5/10
BUSHI came out, literally with three things on top of his mask. He had the Native American head-dress, a wolf's mask, AND the outside mask he takes off. He's going to end up hurting his neck on the way to the ring one day.
This match was a weird dynamic. R3K worked a more vicious, heeler style tonight, yet SHO still worked the babyface in peril spot, and by the end of the match, they were the babyfaces dealing with BUSHI's dirty tactics. SHO and Takagi went at it the most, being pushed as a battle of each team's powerhouses, and just by watching this, unless Hiromu comes back soon, I think Shingo vs SHO will be our Best of the Super Juniors finals this year.
There was a huge near fall when LIJ hit Rebellion on SHO after the green mist, but YOH broke up the pin. Finish saw BUSHI go for MX, but SHO blocked it and YOH came in out of nowhere to hit 3K for the win. Awesome match. Doesn't happen often, but YOH was the MVP of the match. Don Callis had a Unibomber reference in this match.
Kota Ibushi joined commentary at this point.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match
Jyushin "Thunder' Liger vs "Bone Soldier" Taiji Ishimori (C) - 7.5/10
Half of Bone Soldier's mask is actually a tribute to Liger, or at least looks like a villain of Liger. This was a grounded match that did everything to make Liger look like he had a chance at winning, from being a more submission based match, to Liger hitting a Brainbuster on the concrete, to working with the quick pin from the Honor Rising show. Unfortunately, as close as he got after a Shotei and Liger Bomb, Ishimori was yougner and faster and eventually locked in the Crossface to submit Liger.
Post-match - Ishimori called out someone from ROH for the MSG show, but instead, Dragon Lee came out. Lee cut a promo in Spanish saying that not only NJPW and ROH have great wrestlers, but that CMLL has the best luchadors and that he has always wanted the Jr title around his waist, and thus made the challenge for G1 Supercard. Ishimori, also talking in Spanish, accepted the challenge. This is going to be fucking awesome!
G1 Climax 29 Calendar Reveal - They ran down the G1 Climax 29 calendar. Usual stuff, only notable thing was that the opening day is in the US.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, & Hirooki Goto vs Los Ingobernables de Japon - 8.5/10
These are 6 of maybe the Top 10 guys in the heavyweight roster, no matter what pairing we got, it was awesome. Everyone fought everyone at one point, so it's hard to really pin point everything, but for the most part, LIJ worked over Tanahashi's leg and that's about as far it went on someone getting worked on. Finish finally came with a unique pin from Goto on SANADA, the pin was like a Sharpshooter being pushed into your face, pinning the shoulders, I honestly don't think you can kick out of it unless the opponent straight up jumps off.
Post-match - Goto got on the mic and said he would win the New Japan Cup. Then Tanahashi took the mic from him and said he would win. Then Okada. All three men debated in the ring who would win the Cup. On the other side, Naito and Ibushi said some things to each other.
IWGP World Heavyweight Champion "Switchblade" Jay White vs NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay - 10/10
Awesome match, the finish caught me a bit off guard because the Os Cutter counter got a weird camera angle and I got distracted. If you compare it to their ROH match from years back, you can really see how much both men have grown.
Story here was that White was his typical cocky self, pretty much showing off how he's a legit heavyweight while Ospreay is still on the limit line between the Juniors and the Heavyweights; however, as the match went on, Ospreay showed that he belonged. Jay White worked over Ospreay's ribs ALL match, it all started from spot where White swung Ospreay ribs first into the ring post, and from there on, he was like a sharpshooter, perfectly connecting everything into Ospreay's mid section, while Ospreay sold it spot on. Towards the end, both men started chasing their finishers, but Ospreay was way too hurt to get the Stormbreaker up, so he started to rely on the Hidden Blade again and again, but once he had a chance to go for Os Cutter, White turned it into a Blade Runner, and after a second, White pinned Will.
Post-match - Awesome! Perfect set up for the New Japan Cup. White went to take out Ospreay with a chair, but Ibushi made the save. Then all of Bullet Club came out to attack Ibushi until Okada, Tanahashi, and Goto came out for the save and ran off the Bullet Club, but not before we got the GOLDEN image of White facing off against all four men.
After White and co left, the babyfaces all debated who was going to win the New Japan Cup.
This was a really good show. We got two weak matches in the openers, but even so, they were not that terrible to bring down the show at all. Most definitely a show to catch, right before we get into the 32-men New Japan Cup and the incoming Spring calendar.