NJPW Kizuna Road 2019: Day 3
By Big Red Machine
From June 16, 2019
YOTA TSUJI vs. YUYA UEMURA - 6.25/10
Solid Young Lions match.
TOMOHIRO ISHII, REN NARITA, & TOMOAKI HONMA vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, DOUKI, & Taichi) - 4.5/10
Suzuki-Gun jump the bell on their opponents. The babyfaces quickly took over for some shine but they got cut off and the usual Suzuki-Gun bullsh*t happened. There was some decent stuff in here but it really just felt like a pointless match that I've seen a million times before. Tachi pins the young-boy and does a thing with Ishii after the match, because apparently we need more of Taichi in the title picture.
JUICE ROBINSON, MIKEY NICHOLLS, & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI vs. BULLET CLUB (Jado & the Guerrillas of Destiny) - 4.5/10
The heels jump the bell on the babyfaces, then we go to the outside for the usual bullsh*t. Sound familiar? This was the same as the other match, but with Taguchi butt spots I've also seen a million times before.
LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON vs. TIGER MASK IV, JUSHIN "THUNDER" LIGER, KOTA IBUSHI, SHOTA UMINO, & YUJI NAGATA - 6/10
Decent action. Shingo pins young-boy Umino, because G-d forbid he pin someone with some actual cache like Nagata before beating into his first G1.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI, TOGI MAKABE, & TORU YANO vs. BULLET CLUB (Jay White, Chase Owens, & Yujiro Takahashi) - 6.5/10
Yet another match where everyone spills to the outside and heels proceed to cheat while the referee makes no move to count anyone out. At least this didn't feel like something I'd seen a million times before. Owens rolls Makabe up and pulls the tights for illegal leverage to get the pin in order to post-facto justify this shot at the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Titles that he, Yujiro, & El Phantasmo have randomly been booked in against Makabe, Taguchi, & Yano tomorrow night.
SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. TOA HENARE & CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada) - 4.5/10
Some good work between Zack and YOSHI-HASHI soon turns into the usual Suzuki-Gun bullsh8t on the outside, because G-d forbid we go one match without brawling on the outside with no count-out, Suzuki using weapons right in front of the referee without getting DQed, and the Count-Out Tease That No One Ever Buys. Now Archer has forced Red Shoes into a ball in the corner and is pushing on his head with his knee. Somehow this is not a DQ. Kicking Red Shoes in the stomach is also not a DQ. Ditto for punching Red Shoes in the stomach. And this company has the gall to claim to be "king of sport."
We then got a spot where Okada was in the ropes and Red Shoes counted... and Suzuki actually let go of the hold. WHY? He's clearly not going to DQ you, and if he does you clearly don't care because if you did you wouldn't have struck the referee multiple times and used a chair right in front of him!
The new announcer called Suzuki "the murder grandpa." I'm pretty sure I hate this, but there is a little part of me that also loves it. This wound up being every f*cking Suzuki-Gun tag you've ever seen. The heat in these matches is so damn boring because you know exactly how it's going to go.
IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Roppongi 3K(c) vs. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) - 8/10
Yoh got busted open early on in an odd place. They had a very exciting match with some great babyface in peril stuff. Red Shoes, who had actually been doing a good job in this match, allowed himself to be completely manhandled by Ishimori so as to not see the belt shot. There is absolutely no reason that a referee shouldn't call for a DQ when a wrestler is so clearly trying to prevent him from doing his job to the point where he is physically restraining him. After some great false finishes we finally got more cheating from Bullet Club to win the titles. How I feel about this title change is going to be dependent on what happens with Robbie Eagles in the future so I'm not going to render judgment on it now other than to say that I wish Roppongi 3K had been allowed to get more than one successful title defense in during a reign that lasted over a hundred days. Yes, BOSJ took out a month of that, but that's all the more reason to do your best to fit title defenses in during the other tours (the New Japan Cup tour in particular could have used the help on the undercard most nights).
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Failure. Bullet Club kept beating up Roppongi 3K until... Taguchi came out to make the save. Not their mentor Rocky Romero or anyone in their stable, but one of the guys who has a NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Title defense against the completely random Bullet Club trio of El Phantasmo, Yujiro Takahashi, & Chase Owens tomorrow night. At least have SOMEONE from CHAOS come out to help. Do something to make who comes out to make the save feel like it ties into personal relationships with the wrestlers involved than being determined by who the booker has chosen to book against whom at the end of the tour.
El Phantasmo then cut a promo during which he seemed to be trying to taunt the crowd but received only polite applause, so that didn't work. Then he said he would win more titles from Taguchi tomorrow, and then retain his RPW Undisputed British Cruiserweight Title against Taguchi on the final day of the tour.
This was a very dull show from New Japan. Yes, the main event was awesome, but everything else was the usual undercard tag dullness. It was like watching five episodes of WWE Main Event in order to get to see a PPV main event at the end. Completely mind-numbing.