TJP, Volador Jr, Titan, & Clark Connors vs Jyushin 'Thunder' Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Yuya Uemura - 6/10
The usual opener with everyone getting a chance to show off a bit. Last two where TJP and Yuya with the latter having a great showing against the other team until TJP put him down with the Detonation Kick. Everyone celebrated together at the end, this was more of a Super Jr Tag League closing celebration than a match.
CHAOS (Rocky Romero & Robbie Eagles) vs Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) - 6.5/10
Good match, it was a lot of what we saw ELP and Ishimori do during the tournament when they worked over Robbie. The big highlight of the match arguably being when ELP did the rope walk with Rocky on his shoulders. ELP got the win over Romero with the CRII.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, EVIL, & Shingo Takagi) - 6.5/10
Shingo and Suzuki paired up to continue their little thing they're working on. It was awesome. EVIL and Archer also worked together, which wouldn't be a bad feud post Wrestle Kingdom for both men. SANADA and Sabre were just there for the finish really when SANADA pinned Sabre after a ton of pin reversals. I suspect that they're working towards another RevPro title match, which wouldn't be that bad of an idea for him to do until he can chase the IWGP one again.
Post-match - Shingo and Suzuki once again brawled into the crowd. Sabre put the ref and Tsuji on Kimiuras while SANADA just casually watched on while he figured out who he would throw his t-shirt to. Chaotic post-match.
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) vs Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi - 6/10
Osaka was behind Ibushi and Tana from the start, so Okada and YH worked a heeler side than usual, working over Tanahashi behind the ref's back and talking shit to Ibushi.
Match was ok, nothing special, it was a lot of Tanahashi being worked on and Tanahashi then killing YH. The stuff with Okada and Ibushi tells the story that Ibushi's kicks are devastating for Okada, so every time we saw Okada take a kick, he would sell it hard, and so the wrestling would kinda stall. The last few minutes were heated when YH had some near falls on Tanahashi, but we all know YH ain't winning, so it was just a matter of time before Tana got the win with the HFF.
I had seen it before, but I just can't unsee it anymore. YH with that hair do, looks like a smaller weaker version of Okada. Like if Okada wasn't as great as he is, they'd be the comedic relief henchmen in a movie.
Post-match - After the official staredown between Okada and Ibushi, the lights went off and we got a video of Tanahashi being mocked on the screen with someone taking them out. At the end, it was Chris Jericho, who magically took over the tron. Jericho challenged Tanahashi for the January 5th WK show. Real question is, does he drop the AEW title before Jan 5th, or does Tanahashi take the pin at WK?
After the video, Tanahashi took the mic and accepted.
Tetsuya Naito vs Taichi w/Miho Abe - 8/10
Be it Suzuki, Ibushi, Ishii, Tanahashi, or Okada, I can't remember the last time I saw Naito come in to a match and look like he's taking it serious. They went straight for the Frye/Takayama spot. They brawled into the crowd and took out a lady that didn't get out of the way fast enough. Even Miho Abe was out there helping the Young Lions getting people out of their way.
The story from there on was that Naito concussed himself with a bad landing when Taichi reversed a Frankensteiner into a powerbomb, so Taichi went after Naito's head. Naito could have sold it longer in my opinion, but Naito started hitting his own big moves and started chasing Destino, and well, I guess at this point of the card, they really can't go for the 30 minute match, so they have to move into the finish quicker. There was a good near fall with Taichi hitting the Last Ride Powerbomb, at this point I felt there was a big chance Naito could lose, but he quickly recovered, hit a Destino, his new Valentia driver, a Black Mephisto, and a second Destino for the win. This was a really good match given the time and position of the card, with more time, they would have had more time in between near falls and comebacks.
Super Jr. Tag League 2019 Finals
Roppongi 3K vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) - 8.5/10
SZKG jumped R3K on the ramp and thus started the brawl. Despy quickly took out SHO with a Backplex onto the ramp, playing into SHO's injured back. Then, for a long while, they just worked over YOH, who was alone in the ring for the longest time. SHO made his hot tag and comeback, but once again got taken out via chair to the back, but he overcame the pain, held the battle until YOH could come back. SHO kicked out of one Guitarra del Angel and blocked the Pinche Loco, came back once again, hit 3K along with YOH, and picked up the win. Good match, it was a lot of selling by R3K, and Desperado was a beast.
Post-match - R3K got awarded their trophies, they cried and made it seem emotional. Suddenly, behind their backs, ELP and Ishimori attacked them with the title belts. Those were some weak ass belt shots, but the point was made. BC also stole the trophies.
NEVER Openweight Championship Match
Tomohiro Ishii vs KENTA (C) - 9/10
It's been an incredible journey seeing how KENTA's hair has gone from black to Silver in the last months. He's also been an incredible heel, we knew this from his NOAH days, but him joining BC was an extra layer of cockiness.
This was the slap-fest we all expected. They've had a pretty heated build up to tonight's match, and they delivered in the intensity. First half o the match was mostly striking and trading momentum, but later on, they started chasing their finishers and hitting bigger moves. Ishii came close with a Superplex, so KENTA went all submission specialist on him for some near submission teases. Ishii kinda survived two Basaiku Knee, but was pretty beaten after them, but a pissed off Ishii can still hide the pain and force himself to wake up.
After a long battle and tons of finisher counters, KENTA finally landed one GTS, followed by a second one with the kneepad down to finally put down Ishii. Great match, this is what these two probably wanted for the first match and I'm glad they got the chance to do it. It was a hell of a battle, stiff as fuck.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match
BUSHI vs "The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay (C) - 9.25/10
This was a spring, Ospreay went for BUSHI from the get go and they didn't really slow down at all. They did the best possible work to pretend that BUSHI had a chance, and while sometimes matches are good enough to make you wonder at the end, this was just not happening and we all knew it. Because of that the crowd was kinda down except for big spots. BUSHI kinda worked on Ospreay's head, but this was all Ospreay looking good.
There was a really cool spot with Ospreay blocking the Green Mist, kissing BUSHI and stealing the Mist from BUSHI's mouth, and hitting BUSHI with it. This was followed by Ospreay accidentally hitting the Os Cutter on Red Shoes. This woke up the crowd. Marty Asami had to come out after BUSHI hit some more Green Mist and a Canadian Destroyer on Ospreay. BUSHI had some great counters and near falls towards the end, even hitting two MXs, but still fell to the Hidden Blade, Top Rope Os Cutter, and Stormbreaker combo. This was probably BUSHI's best match of the year.
Post-match - Ospreay asks for a microphone. Crowd goes wild that Ospreay is learning Japanese. He asks the back for more contenders. He lists down all the ones he's put down throughout the year saying there is no one left. Out comes TITAN!!!
Just kidding. The lights go out, we get a video of Hiromu Takahashi's Time Bomb timer, which makes it seem like it's just a 'coming back soon' video, but then the real bomb goes out and out comes Hiromu, crowd is going wild.
Hiromu comes out with his two cats. Tears off the neckbrace, runs around the ring, makes Milano Collection AT cry, takes some bumps, and finally gets in the ring. Hiromu takes the mic and says that he's back, thanks the crowd for waiting for him, answers the question whether he can still go by taking some bumps, makes a bridge on his neck, and officially challenges Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom. Hiromu is a superstar.
I had been spoiled and I still marked out at Hiromu's return. I feel bad for White and Goto following this return.
Backstage, Hiromu hinted having a new move, while Ospreay said that Hiromu was the best man to fight because Hiromu took the title before, broke his neck, and still retained the title. Ospreay said that while Hiromu has been away, Ospreay is now on another level than before and that Hiromu has no chance.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match
Hirooki Goto vs "Switchblade" Jay White (C) w/Gedo - 9/10
White came out with the chair be broke on Goto's back in the big beatdown from the last show. Shibata is on commentary.
The match wasn't much for a while, White using his heel tactics and working over Goto for a long while, with the only relevant thing being when he talked trash to Shibata and got him to stand up from the table. Goto made his comeback and he had his run before White would get heat again, and the proceed to start going back and forward for the remainder of the match. To think that at this point in their careers, Goto is more damaged than BUSHI, because at least I popped for BUSHI's near falls versus Ospreay.
Highlight of the match was Gedo taking out Marty Asami when Goto hit the GTR (to awesome shouting by the announcers), causing Shibata to take out Gedo. This led to KENTA coming out and taking out SHIBATA! KENTA hit the GTS on Goto, then kicked Shibata who took an apron bump, then took a guardrail bump and two kicks. White then hit Blade Runner on Goto and retained. This review may make it sound like this match was bad, but it was a perfectly fought match by two great competitors, the head was on and the spots great, but I just wasn't into Goto tonight.
You can't tell me they're not building to Shibata vs KENTA in the future.
Post-match - White tried to cut a promo, but Osaka kept booing him. White said that he did what he said he'd do and then put himself over as selling out MSG, that he's the Real Rock N Rolla, and soon to be the first dual IC and IWGP Heavyweight Champion. He officially said that on Jan 5th, he's facing the winner of Okada vs Ibushi, so as expected, we now have that little tournament for WK. White called out Ibushi and Okada, but out came TITAN!!!
Just kidding, Naito came out. Serious Naito, he knows this is his last chance. White was talking trash and Naito took the mic from him to say it will still be him to hold both championships, but he's going to need his IC title back.
Ibushi came down to the ring, he pretty much said the same thing, he'll win on Jan 4th, and called out Okada, who came out to tell these men that they're delusional because they all think they can even beat him for the title at all. He started really good, making it seem like he was untouchable and that the IWGP title was untouchable, but then he started doing this vote thing and talked trash to Naito and just killed it. White told everyone to leave because he wanted his confetti.
One of these four men will be dual champion by January 6th. It's Ibushi's year no doubt, but it may also be the last chance for Naito to have something, and being dual champion was his idea and taking that away from him will really kill him to Goto levels.
Good show, really angle-heavy setting up a lot of Wrestle Kingdom matches for both nights. The wrestling was great as always, but Power Struggle is usually focused on the secondary titles or feuds, so it's never expected to be out of this world.
My big takeaway from this show is that after Honma, Shibata taking bumps, and Hiromu running around, I now know that if I'm ever seriously injured, i'm asking to get taken to Japan for recovery. Like seriously.