Taiji Ishimori vs. Yuya Uemura - 6.5/10
Good opener, Uemura looked fantastic and it gave Ishimori a solid win, prepping him for later tonight. Ishimori won with the LeBell Lock.
Ryusuke Taguchi, Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) & Gabriel Kidd - 6/10
Honma and Tsuji were supposed to be int this match, but were taking out for precaution. This as ok, nothing special, Kidd and Makabe definitely worked the match based on the little angle that Kidd pulled in the 20th's post-match promos. I don't know who's idea this was, but it really feels Kidd went out on his own making his little thing with Makabe, which is pretty ballsy for a Young Lion, but not surprising for a Gaijin. Makabe did kill him at the end with a German Bridge for the win. The rest were there, Taguchi and Yano did comedy, Ishii and Kojima did chops.
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, SHO & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) - 5/10
This felt like all random and filler like, none of these pairings have anything going on for them, it's not even Shingo building something with either of the CHAOS guys, or anything. The wrestling was ok, I enjoyed SANADA vs SHO.
Summer Struggle in Jingu Stadium - NJPW is doing an outdoor show, first since forever.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Master Wato & Yuji Nagata vs. Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr.) - 7/10
This had a little bit of everything! Tekkers vs Aces kept their feud going, we got some good Ibushi vs Sabre. DOUKI and Kanemaru vs Wato, in what I thought was one of the better performances he's had since his debut, and more and more Suzuki vs Nagata, building to their match somewhere at Summer Struggle. Talking about DOUKI, he finished with Ibushi is a decent exchange, he looked good, but Ibushi won with the Kamigoye on him. Productive action-packed match.
Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada - 6.5/10
This was like the first or second match of a G1 card, were the match is not badly wrestled or anything, there is some sort of story and progression, but it's just not exciting or dramatic. I'm gonna go ahead and say that this match needed a whole lot more interference to at least stack up something against Okada.
Yujiro was perfectly ok, he did his thing, but it wasn't what this match needed. Yujiro needed to stepped up his game in a way that showed that he knew he was inferior, but also going all out. Unfortunately, Yujiro worked at the same pace he does, had the same casual expressions in his face, nothing special out of him, and that made Okada selling feel like stalling more than drama. Okada won with the Cobra Clutch.
NEVER Openweight Title Match
Shingo Takagi (c) vs. El Desperado - 8/10
Great stuff, but it didn't leave to my expectations, I was soooo hyped for this, more than Shingo's matches vs Goto or SHO. I kinda hoped for more Strong Style out of Despy, a pissed off Despy like those matches with BUSHI and Dragon Lee from two years ago, but instead, we got a slightly more methodical Desperado, going after Shingo's leg, who sold it beautifully. After a while, the match was a lot of Stretch Mufflers and Shingo coming back with Pumping Bombers until he landed The Last of the Dragons for the win.
IWGP Heavyweight Title / IWGP Intercontinental Title Match
EVIL (w/Dick Togo) (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi - 8.5/10
This was really really good, but it suffered from the same thing as the EVIL vs Naito match, where at the very end, when it's obvious that EVIL has this won, he took for-fucking-ever to pin him and get it over with. The explosive EVIL we've seen in the past, hitting the EIE out of nowhere and winning is completely missing right now and that is hurting the matches.
The match seemed to start off strong, but EVIL went into offense and it slowed down somewhat, but as it went on, Hiromu came back and made this awesome. Heading into the last 10 minutes or so of the match, Hiromu went finisher crazy, hit locked in the D, hit the Time Bomb I & II, and even hit an Everything Is EVIL, but he couldn't seal the deal, getting a HUUUGE near fall with the Time Bomb right before Togo interfered and all momentum was sucked out of the venue before the EIE to end the match.
Nonetheless, Hiromu Takahashi is going to be a World Champion one day, probably soon.
Post-match - Great. Ishimori attacked Hiromu to set up a new feud, when he went for a belt shot, Naito came down for the save. Naito got face to face with EVIL and cut a short, but awesome promo. Naito looked serious, pissed, and told EVIL that the rental was over and it's time to hand-in those titles back.
This was an ok show, it really was all about the last two matches. This show was definitely fighting uphill, it had little build up and one of the big marquee matches had Yujiro Takahashi involved, so in a way, I think it performed as good as it could.