NJPW continued their Wrestling Dontaku tour today in Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.
The show was well-paced and easy to watch, but featured little in the way of must-see matches.
The undercard saw the continuation of some feuds, the highlight being the 10-man tag.
In a late switch, Rocky Romero’s spot in the 10-man was taken by Kota Ibushi. Ibushi’s team faced off against Tetsuya Naito’s LIJ squad. The issues between Ibushi/Naito, which have produced a series of classic matches, look to be continuing.
Naito challenged Ibushi at the conclusion of Saturday’s show, which led to the change in today’s card. Ibushi will be slotted in tags against Naito for the remainder of the tour as well.
Full results and match recaps are below:
TOMOAKI HONMA, YUJI NAGATA & SATOSHI KOJIMA DEFEATED REN NARITA, YOTA TSUJI & YUYA UEMURA
The Young Lion team worked over Honma at the outset. Nagata tagged in and reversed his team’s fortunes. Kojima saw some action and used a half crab on Uemura, but Tsuji broke it up with chops.
Honma tagged back in and hit a kokeshi. Nagata used a full crab on Uemura, who reached the ropes. Uemura hit a dropkick, and Narita tagged in. I’ve been impressed with Narita on this tour. He hit a belly-to-belly on Nagata for a near fall. Nagata hit his own belly-to-belly and tagged Kojima.
Kojima hit machine gun chops on Narita. He went for his top rope elbow, but Tsuji cut him off. Tsuji, Narita and Uemura hit a triple dropkick on Kojima, which was awesome. It got a nice reaction.
Tsuji used a full crab on Kojima, but Honma broke it up. Tsuji hit Honma with a spear, but Kojima recovered and hit a Koji Cutter for a near fall. He followed with a lariat for the pin. A good opener.
MINORU SUZUKI, YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & EL DESPERADO DEFEATED JUSHIN LIGER, TIGER MASK IV & SHOTA UMINO
They continued the storyline that kicked off on Saturday, with Suzuki going after Liger. Suzuki-gun jumped their opponents right as the bell sounded, and they focused their assault on Liger.
The match spilled into the crowd, and Suzuki rearranged the chairs in the first few rows, dropping them on Liger. Suzuki also used a triangle over the ropes. Desperado and Kanemaru went for Liger’s mask, but he managed to keep it on.
Liger finally made a tag to Tiger Mask. Tiger ran wild with kicks and knee strikes. He hit Kanemaru with a Tiger Driver, but could not follow up with a cover. Umino and Suzuki tagged in. Umino hit a missile dropkick.
Umino went for a fisherman buster, but Suzuki blocked it. Suzuki locked on a choke, but Liger broke it up. Liger and Suzuki traded strikes, with Suzuki getting the better of the exchange.
Umino picked up a series of near falls off a cradle, a roll-up, and a backslide. Suzuki recovered and hit the Gotch piledriver for the pin.
The match was good, all action. Although the real highlight here was the continuation of the Liger vs. Suzuki issue.
ZACK SABRE JR., TAICHI & TAKA MICHINOKU DEFEATED YOSHI-HASHI, ROCKY ROMERO & TOA HENARE
Aside from the opener, this was the only match on the show without a clear storyline purpose.
Romero started off for his team, and he had his working boots on. Suzuki-gun used some underhanded tactics and turned the match into a brawl. Taichi went after Henare with a chair in the crowd.
Suzuki-gun worked Romero over. YOSHI-HASHI and Sabre got tags, and they had a nice exchange. Sabre gave YOSHI-HASHI a good bit of offense before taking over and working on the left arm.
Henare and Taichi tagged in. Henare hit a spear. Henare missed a charge into the corner. Taichi took his pants off and hit a buzzsaw kick for a two count. Taichi hit a lariat, then used a stretch plum on Henare for the submission.
SANADA, EVIL, TETSUYA NAITO, BUSHI & SHINGO TAKAGI DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA, TOMOHIRO ISHII, KOTA IBUSHI, SHO & YOH
A crazy match. Great stuff. If you watch one match from this show, make it this one.
EVIL and Ishii started off. They teased their finishers and countered out of them. Okada and SANADA did the same. SHO, YOH, Shingo and BUSHI also did a series of teases and counters of their trademark spots.
Ibushi and Naito entered, and they went about a thousand miles an hour. Ibushi went for a standing moonsault, but Naito got his knees up. YOH ran wild with dragon screws. BUSHI hit a codebreaker. YOH hit a falcon arrow.
The chaos continued as everyone jumped in for a big move.
The finish saw SANADA use a giant swing into the Skull End on YOH, who tapped out.
After the bell, EVIL and Ishii went at it again. Ishii nailed EVIL with a headbutt from the apron.
BAD LUCK FALE & CHASE OWENS DEFEATED JUICE ROBINSON & MIKEY NICHOLLS
This was quick. They tried to tell a story, but the crowd wasn’t that into it. This was the weakest match on the show to this point.
Owens used a backbreaker to break a Juice headlock, while Fale took Nicholls to the floor. Juice hit a full nelson slam into a double down. Fale and Nicholls tagged in. Nicholls dropped Fale with two lariats.
Fale hit a shoulder tackle, then tagged Owens. Owens hit a series of strikes. He used a running knee for a near fall. Juice and Fale jumped in. Juice tried to slam Fale, but he failed. He did connect with a cannonball.
Nicholls hit a sliding lariat and a Mikey Bomb on Owens, but Fale broke up the pinfall. The ref took a bump. Fale hit Nicholls with a Grenade, and Owens used a package piledriver on Nicholls for the pin.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: TOGI MAKABE, TORU YANO & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI DEFEATED TAMA TONGA, TANGA LOA & HIKULEO TO RETAIN THE TITLES
I have probably missed at least one ref bump and two weapons shots in recapping the action here. This was very silly.
Bullet Club jumped the champs before the bell, and they brawled all around the arena. The crowd was quiet for this. Tonga and Loa doubled up on Yano in the ring, and the crowd started to get into it.
Yano started making a comeback. He untied a turnbuckle pad. Jado cut him off with a kendo stick shot from the floor. Hikuleo sent Yano into the exposed buckle. The challengers continued working over Yano for several minutes.
Yano finally got free and made a tag to Taguchi. Taguchi ran wild with hip attacks. Makabe made a tag, then hit 10 punches in the corner on Tonga. He followed with a northern lights suplex for a two count.
Hikuleo and Loa jumped in to save Tonga. They tripled up on Makabe. Tonga hit a splash. Loa made a cover, but he was not the legal man. Referee Red Shoes made the correct call.
While Hikuleo took the ref, Jado jumped in. He swung the kendo stick, but accidentally hit Tonga. Makabe hit the King Kong knee drop for a near fall.
There were more shenanigans. Hikuleo took the ref again, and Loa jumped in with the kendo stick and hit Makabe. Yano used a chair on Hikuleo from the floor, and Makabe covered for a near fall.
Makabe followed with another knee drop off the top on Hikuleo and picked up the win.
After the match, Makabe laid out Tonga and Loa, while Yano ran off with all of the Guerrillas of Destiny’s titles.
TAIJI ISHIMORI & JAY WHITE DEFEATED HIROOKI GOTO & DRAGON LEE
Ishimori and Lee have fantastic chemistry. They face off on May 3 for Lee’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight title, and I cannot wait for that match.
Ishimori and Lee started off here, and they had a brief, electric sequence. White and Goto tagged in. White used a side headlock, then dumped Goto over the top rope with a Saito suplex. Goto and Lee ended up whipped into the barricade. Ishimori went for Lee’s mask.
They teased a countout with Goto on the floor. He made it back in at 19, but White immediately sent him back to the floor. White sent Goto into the ring frame and the barricade, targeting his back.
Ishimori tagged in and continued to work on Goto’s back. White tagged back in for more chinlocks. Goto made his own comeback, hitting a double sledge on White and a lariat on Ishimori.
Lee got a tag. He ran wild with dropkicks, hitting White once, and Ishimori three times. Ishimori countered a Desnucado, sitting down for a near fall. The two traded strikes. Ishimori hit La Mistica, then a standing Spanish Fly into a double down.
Goto asked for a tag, but Lee refused, wanting to continue fighting Ishimori. Lee hit a snap German suplex, a poison rana, and a lariat into another double down. This time, both men tagged out.
Goto hit White with a mid kick. He followed with a lariat in the corner, a wheel kick, and a Saito suplex for a two count. Goto went for an ushigoroshi, but White countered with his own Saito suplex.
White used a DVD for a two count. He hit a lariat and went for a Kiwi Krusher, but Lee saved Goto. Ishimori entered to go after Lee. Goto hit a lariat on White, and all four men were down.
Goto and White teased their finishers. White hit a flatliner and followed up with a suplex. Goto blocked a Blade Runner, hit a headbutt, then used an inverted GTR for a near fall.
Goto went for another GTR, but Gedo jumped on the apron for a distraction. White went for the Blade Runner, but Goto hit him with an ushigoroshi. Ishimori jumped in and also ate an ushigoroshi. Lee hit a suicide dive.
Goto went for an ushigoroshi on Gedo, but White hit a low blow, then hit the Blade Runner for the pin. The screwy finish didn’t help things, but this was a good main event.