Mike Reviews: New Japan Pro Wrestling Dominion in Osaka – 09/06/2019

Hello You!

This one worked out well for me due to it happening 8am UK time, so I decided to do a write up for it. The main event on this one is Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Chris Jericho, but there’s also a match scheduled between Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito, which is a big rematch from the MSG Show over WrestleMania weekend, and that’s even before we get to a match between Will Ospreay and Dragon Lee, which should be all kind of awesome.

So please join me as we take a journey to Osaka for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s presentation of Dominion!

The event is emanating from Osaka-Jo Hall, in Osaka, Japan

Calling the action are Kevin Kelley, Don Callis and Chris Charlton

You’d have to guess that the chances of Moxley doing the job to a Young Lion in only his second match in the company would be slim, but maybe they’ll throw us a curve ball? Moxley has retained the coming out of the crowd entrance, but is now wearing biker trunks and ankle boots, which is more in line with what he used to wear on the Indies before going to WWE. I like everything but the boots, which I think make him look like a trainee.

Umino hits a dive right way and then follows with a dropkick from the top back inside. However, Moxley ends that rally rather quickly with a clothesline, followed by some punches and elbows from the mount. Moxley works Umino over, going to the STF. Umino kind of looks like Keiji Mutoh and Naomichi Marufuji had a child actually. Maybe they did? I certainly buy that Mutoh is awesome enough to defy science and bear a child.

Umino manages to fire off a German Suplex on Moxley, but the Fisherman’s Suplex is blocked and Moxley gets the Sex Plex for two. Moxley hits the Double Arm DDT next though and there’s no kicking out of that one.

WINNER: JON MOXLEY
RATING: *1/2

Pretty much just an energetic squash, but it made Moxley look good and Umino got to hit a few moves before getting creamed, so I was happy enough with it.

Moxley grabs a mic and cuts a promo following the match, where he declares that he wants to be in the G1 Climax this year. He then goes back in to help Umino up and then helps him to the back

I’m interested to see where they go with this. You’d think that Shingo would probably win to reheat him following the loss to Ospreay at the BOSJ Final, but New Japan tends to usually make Junior Heavyweights defer to Heavyweights in matches like this. The exception would be if Shingo is supposed to be a Heavyweight following this, in which case they might have him win to establish him in the division.

As always when I watch these New Japan events in the morning, I’ve had some toast for breakfast to show my support for the leader of the #BreadClub. If you don’t follow Kojima on Twitter by the way you really should, he’s a really funny Tweeter.

Shingo and Kojima take turns knocking each other down with shoulder blocks, which leads to Kojima sending Shingo outside and following with a dive. Both men trade forearm strikes on the outside and almost get counted out before realising what is happening and then rolling back in at 19.

Shingo controls things back inside, but misses a charge in the corner and gets chopped to heck and back in response. Kojima gets the forearm in the corner, but Shingo stops him from going up top for the elbow and then tries for a DVD on the apron. Kojima fights him off and goes for a Koji Cutter, but Shingo manages to block that and then finally gets the DVD out there.

Kojima doesn’t stay down however and replies with a DDT on the apron before taking it inside for a Koji Cutter, which gets a count of two from the ref. Koji Cutter off the top follows next, but Shingo manages to kick out again. Man, that would have been a guaranteed finish back in Kojima’s heyday. Shingo punches Kojima in the face and then follows with a lariat for a double down.

Shingo hits a nice vertical suplex, to polite applause from the crowd, and then goes for a lariat but Kojima blocks it and gets one of his own. Kojima gets a peach of a brain buster, but Shingo is able to kick out at two. Shingo falls down when Kojima tries to Irish Whip him, but when Kojima goes over to pick him up Shingo is able to catch him with a DDT.

Kojima no sells a lariat and gets one of his own when Shingo tries it again. That was amazing. Shingo finally gets a lariat, for a paltry count of one, which leads to both men trading strikes. Shingo gets the Wonderwhirl, but Kojima is out at two. Shingo floors Kojima with a lariat however and gets an Argentine Backbreaker Slam for the win.

WINNER: SHINGO
RATING: ***1/4

That was a very enjoyable battle that made Shingo look good by giving him a big clean win over a Heavyweight, whilst also allowing Kojima to look good in defeat.

Shingo gets promo time post-match, where he declares that also wants to be in the G1 Climax this year. I’m all for that!

Chris Charlton actually gets our first Monty Python reference of the night as Suzuki-gun enter. Suzuki Vs Liger in a legends feud is pretty cool actually. I’m going to miss Liger when he retires next year, but at least he’s retiring when he can still work to a good standard as opposed to someone like Undertaker or Triple H, who will both probably keep going until they literally are physically incapable, destroying their legacies with every bout.

Suzuki-gun jump Liger and YOSHI to start, which leads to Suzuki hitting Liger with a guardrail on the outside of the ring. Zack goes after YOSHI inside, putting him in the usual array of painful submission holds, and as always it’s fantastic. Suzki-gun work over YOSHI with double submission moves whilst the ref tries to stop Liger getting in to help him. Getting battered by Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr is probably the best use of YOSHI-HASHI these days if I’m being honest. Liger eventually gets so kick of seeing his partner getting whomped that he walks in and stomps him to wake him up in a funny bit.

It seems to work as YOSHI hits Suzuki with a chop and an enziguiri before making the hot tag to Liger, who runs wild with Shotei’s. Liger and Suzuki trade slaps, which ends with Suzuki head butting Liger and going to a cross arm breaker, but Liger is able to make the ropes. Suzuki goes for a sleeper hold and then tries for the Gotch, but Liger is able to block it and manages to deliver a brain buster.

Tags for YOSHI and Zack follow, which sees YOSHI hit the Headhunter, followed by a running chop and dropkick for two. Zack replies by going to an arm bar, but Liger breaks it up, only to get put in the Octopus Hold, with Zack putting YOSHI in one as well. Suzuki and Liger take it outside, whilst YOSHI goes for Karma on Zack inside. Zack fights it off, but ends up getting rolled up in a modified La Magistral to give YOSHI and Liger the win.

WINNERS: YOSHI-HASHI AND JYUSHIN LIGER
RATING: ***1/4

The pinning hold looked a little sloppy at the end, but the match itself was solid with both teams working the traditional tag formula well

YOSHI taunts with the British Title post-match to establish himself as a possible challenger for Zack

I like Chase Owen’s actually and kind of wish they’d do more with him, especially as The Elite leaving left room for other guys in The Bullet Club to get elevated. I must say that I’m digging White’s new “Evil Jesus” look as well, as the beard helps make him look a bit more intimidating. Also, beards are just cool in general let’s be honest.

What will Taguchi’s gimmick be once this Rugby World Cup finally ends? Maybe he could become the Mike Atherton of New Japan and start doing a cricket gimmick? He could have his own umpire and everything! Idea’s like that are probably why Gedo and Jado have never returned my calls…

Juice and Owens got at it to start, with Juice winning the technical battle and Owens getting a cheap shot punch in response like the good heel he is. Juice fights back though, which leads to Owens bailing and tagging in Bone Soldier Ishimori. Ishimori and Taguchi go next, with Taguchi missing a the arse attack, which leads to everyone brawling outside the ring. Well, that didn’t take long!

Once the brawl segment is over, The Bullet Club cut Taguchi off and start working him over, with White ramming him between the railing and apron, which is still such a simple yet awesome spot. Taguchi manages a desperation arse attack to White though, which allows him to tag in Tanahashi. Tana and White pick up where they left off at the BOSJ Final, with Tana getting the Dragon Screw before heading up to the second rope for the somersault senton for two.

White replies with a Saito Suplex, which leads to the heels working Tana over 3 on 1. White follows that up with a spinning suplex for two. Tana slips out of the Blade Runner, but Owens drags White into his corner so he can tag in and then knees Tana in the face for two. Pepsi Twist would appear to set up the package piledriver for Owens, but Tana manages to block it, only to get cheap shotted by White. Juice saves Tana however, which allows him to deliver some sort of modified DDT move to Owens for the three.

WINNERS: TAGUCHI JAPAN
RATING: **1/2

I think Tanahashi will have to work on that new move as it didn’t look that great. Hopefully with better execution it could get over as one of his regular moves

Hopefully Ishii can end our national nightmare here and get this belt off Taichi. Taichi goes all Larry Z to start by stalling outside the ring, which causes Ishii to lie on the mat as a way to try and entice him in. I wonder what Toshiaki Kawada makes of Taichi these days seeing as he started out as a Dangerous K protégé?

Ishii no sells all of Taichi’s stomps and then floors him with one forearm smash in a funny moment. Ishii unloads with some chops in the corner and then throws away Taichi’s gimmicks in a way to try and get Taichi to just fight him straight up. Both men trade strikes, a battle that Taichi actually manages to win with a slap, as the story seems to be that Ishii is one of the few guys in New Japan who can actually make Taichi come out and fight. I like that as a story actually.

Ishii fights back with some head butts and then delivers a power slam for a double down. Taichi replies with an enziguri and rips off his pleather’s, before getting yet another enziguri for another double down. Big Saito Suplex gets two for Taichi, as Ishii has been on the defensive quite a bit in this one. As I type that, Ishii hits his own Saito and both men are down again. There’s been quite a lot of lying around in this one it must be said, and it’s hardly been a Misawa Vs Kobashi 30+ minute epic.

Ishii gets a reverse German Suplex, which causes Taichi to throw the ref in to him. Taichi tries a field goal kick to the nads, but Ishii sees it coming and blocks it before getting a pair of lariats for two. Taichi dodges the sliding lariat and gets one of his own for two. Tight, tight near fall there, very well done. Taichi gets another lariat and goes to the Stretch Plum, an ode to his mentor no doubt. He needs to go full Kawada though and let go of it to go for a pin. In fact Taichi does let go of it, but hits a kick instead and goes for the Kryptonite Krunch. Ishii gets out of that, but takes a kick to the face and a Last Ride for two.

Ishii gets an enziguiri of his own and then peppers Taichi with forearm strikes. Ishii no sells an enziguiri and hits a lariat for two. Taichi slips out of a brain buster and fires off some forearms of his own, but Ishii hits a powerbomb and a sliding lariat in reply for two. Vertical drop brain buster comes next however, and that’s enough for Ishii to pick up the win and the Title for the fifth time.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: TOMOHIRO ISHII
RATING: ***

Good for a Taichi match, average for an Ishii one. Still, I enjoyed it for what it was, but they made the right decision to take the belt off Taichi. He’s fine as a mid-card heel working Suzuki-gun tag matches, they don’t need to put belts on him.

Gedo is definitely aging more gracefully than Jado is that’s for sure. SANADA is starting to look like a wizard who has decided to try out the new hair salon he heard about located roughly 5 miles east of the Gate of Garash. We get boo-yay to start, with both SANDA and Tama trying to gain approval from the crowd, which SANADA wins handidly. This leads to a quick sequence between the two that ends in a stalemate.

EVIL and Loa go next, doing the old no sell shoulder block routine, which ends with EVIL sending both of G.O.D into each other before finally managing to take Loa down. EVIL stays on top of things with some chops, but a cane shot from Jado leads to a brawl outside the ring. Seeing Jado barely being able to move and hitting people with canes made me think he watched some classic late 80’s WWF and happened to catch a Demolition match which inspired his whole gimmick from then on.

EVIL gets worked over now in the G.O.D corner, even taking a double dropkick for his troubles. EVIL eventually manages to catch Loa with a super kick and makes the tag to SANADA, who runs wild on G.O.D, locking Loa in the Paradise Lock and then hitting Tama with a dropkick. Dives to Tama and Jado follow, whilst Loa is still tied up in the Paradise Lock, which allows SANADA to hit him with a seated dropkick for two.

SANADA goes for a rana but Loa catches him and drops him with a powerbomb for two. Tama comes in with a Stinger Splash on SANADA, before asking the fans to cheer SANADA, only to get upset when they do. SANADA hits a springboard missile dropkick and tags in EVIL, who sets Tama up for a superplex. EVIL successfully delivers the move and then adds a Scorpion Deathlock following a standing moonsault from SANADA. Loa breaks that up, but gets double teamed in response, as does Tama. EVIL and SANADA really are a great team. Magic Killer is broken up by Loa, which earns him Skull end from SANADA, whilst EVIL goes back to the Deathlock on Tama.

Jado pulls the referee out of the ring however and hits both challengers with his Singapore Cane. However, BUSHI makes himself useful for a change by running out and spitting mist in Jado’s face to stop that. He took his sweet time though. EVIL and SANADA go for the Magic Killer on Tama, but he manages to flip out of it and pins EVIL with a school boy and a strategic grab of the tights to retain.

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: G.O.D
RATING: ***

Not a blow away match but it was fun and told a good story. I liked how they made you think the belts were changing only for Tama to heel his way out of it at the last second. I’m quite the fan of both teams actually. G.O.D aren’t top level workers or anything, but they’re a good team who understand their gimmick and it often leads to good matches when they follow the tag formula. And as for EVIL and SANADA, there are well on their way to being this generations Tenzan and Kojima.

In a nice surprise, Katsuyori Shibata joins us to introduce KENTA. If he can actually stay healthy then that’s a good acquisition for New Japan. Sadly part of me thinks he’s going to be the Darren Anderton of wrestling going forward, someone with real promise who could be as good as anyone on their day, but just had too many injuries until it ruined him as a player. KENTA says he’ll also be in the G1. That’s going to be interesting.

So yeah, doing accurate play by play on this might be a tad difficult, but I’ll do my best. Both men flip all over the shop in the opening stages, which leads to both men missing dropkicks and facing off in a Central American stand-off. Ospreay sends Lee outside and follows with a dive, as these guys aren’t going to wait around to start bringing the action. Both men fight outside, with Ospreay sending Lee back inside for the polite golf clap from the Japanese fans. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved that about Japanese crowds. The crowd on WCW/nWo World Tour would do it actually.

Ospreay works over Lee for a bit back inside, but gets caught on a springboard attempt with an STO from Lee. Both men dodge each other’s attacks in the corner, which eventually leads to Lee getting a dropkick followed by a suplex for two. Ospreay replies with an incredible handspring spin kick before getting the Phenomenal Forearm for two. Lee rolls outside following that, so Ospreay goes for the Space Flying Tiger Drop, but Lee dodges it and then sets Ospreay up on the guardrail before following with a dive into the commentary area. HOLY GUACAMOLE!!!

Thankfully they didn’t land on Kazuo Yamazaki, or he’d wreck both their ships right now. Lee puts Ospreay back inside (More polite applause) and goes for a Dragon Suplex but has to settle on a straightjacket suplex when Ospreay fights that off. Lee sets Ospreay in the Tree of Woe, but he bridges up and the two trade strikes on the top rope. Ospreay kicks Lee to the outside and then follows with a Sky Twister Press, as his quest to seemingly destroy his body into retirement quicker than Dynamite Kid did continues uninterrupted.

Saving Grace gets two for Ospreay back inside and he goes for the Storm Breaker, but Lee is able to counter it into a swinging DDT, but his follow up move attempt gets turned into a cutter from Ospreay for a double down. All of that was just nuts and I loved it! Both men trade shots from their knees, as this is getting all nice and epic now, which ends with Ospreay kicking Lee in the face, which leads to another mad sequence of counters that ends with Ospreay getting the C4 for two.

Ospreay heads up top, but Lee kciks him onto the apron and then rana’s him off, only for Ospreay to somehow land on his feet. That’s bloody brilliant! Ospreay powerbombs Lee onto the apron and then follows with a Shooting Star Press back inside for two. Ospreay hits the Robinson Special and goes for the Os Cutter, but Lee knee strikes him out of the air in a great spot for the double down. It’s funny, I watched RVD Vs Jerry Lynn again recently and their stuff still looked smooth, but it’s not even a patch on this, and that’s kind of scary as RVD Vs Lynn was the most cutting of cutting edge when it happened.

Case in point, Lee hangs Ospreay in the Tree of Woe outside the ring and follows with a double stomp, which is a move I don’t think anyone would have even considered doing 20 years ago, but these two guys are athletic and talented enough to pull it off. They tease the count out, but Ospreay makes it in at 19, only to get kneed in the face by Lee. Ospreay fights off Lee’s finisher, but Lee turns his Liger Bomb attempt into a Canadian Destroyer and follows with a knee strike for two. I’m getting exhausted watching this, what a match!

Ospreay blocks another knee strike, only for Lee to just go for it again and get it because he won’t allow himself to be denied, but Ospreay again flips out of Lee’s finisher and hits a pair of kicks followed by a back elbow smash to the head and the Os Cutter, followed by the Storm Breaker for the pin and the Title.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: OSPREAY
RATING: ****1/2

Well, that was pretty gosh darn awesome if you don’t mind me saying so! I’m surprised Ospreay won as I thought we’d get more of Lee as Champion, but let’s face it you couldn’t lose with the winner here as both men are deserving of the belt and the match made them both look good.

Ospreay goes over to Kelly post-match and challenges Robbie Eagles to a Title match in Australia.

I have to say, that belt looks good on Ibushi. I wonder what sort of match they’ll go for following that last one? We get a quick counter sequence, which ends with Ibushi catching Naito with a kick. Naito replies with a dropkick, which actually earns him some boo’s from the Osaka crowd, who have always been tough on him following his failed push in 2013. Naito then eggs them on by leaving a hold on Ibushi well past the point he should have let go when in the ropes, followed by some spit and stomps.

Naito continues to work over Ibushi and the goes to the eyes when Ibushi tries to fight back. Ibushi manages to counter a dropkick to the legs with a jumping double stomp, before snapping off a rana to send Naito outside. Ibushi follows with a dive, seemingly catching Naito right in the face with his knee, although the replay shows that it wasn’t completely on the button thankfully. Still, that looked unpleasant. Naito manages to fire off a Tornado DDT back inside and both guys are out for the double down.

Naito gets a running front dropkick and makes a cover, but Ibushi is out at two. Naito goes for a rana from the top, but Ibushi fights him off and then kicks him out onto the apron. Ibushi tries to get one of the craziest moves in wrestling by German Suplexing Naito in from the apron, but Naito fights him off and the two end up fighting on the apron. Naito tries to German Suplex Ibushi off the apron to the floor and Ibushi fights it for all he’s worth, but eventually he delivers it and Ibushi hits the apron on the way down. Ohhhhh, that was horrendous!

Ibushi pulls himself back in at 19, but I’d be wary of keeping this going much longer. Naito hits a reverse rana from the rope back inside, but Ibushi manages to kick out at two. Either Ibushi is a great seller or he’s out on his feet. Things get even scarier, as Ibushi counters The Destino and drops Naito with a scary looking Tombstone for a double down. They tease a double KO, but eventually pull themselves up and start trading strikes. Ibushi at least seems to have his wits about him now, so the match has become less uncomfortable.

Naito drops Ibushi with a head butt, but Ibushi fires back with a palm strike before turning Naito inside out with a lariat. Ibushi goes for the Bom Ba Ye, but Naito blocks it and then hits The Destino for a near fall. Ibushi replies with the Go To Sleep and follows with the sit out Last Ride powerbomb for two. Ibushi goes for the knee strike finish, but Naito counters it by leaping up into a DDT, as both men are getting up slower and slower here. Naito gets a Destino out of the corner, but Ibushi kicks out again and then counters another Destino, but Naito counters his counter with a reverse rana and an Emerald Frosion for two. Another Destino ends it however and we have a new Champ.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: TETSUYA NAITO
RATING: ****

The German off the apron and the scary Tombstone spot that followed mean I can’t in good conscience go any higher, because I don’t think that sort of reckless behaviour should be encouraged. Say what you want about the lads in the previous match, but they didn’t do anything close to as dangerous and they still had a fantastic match. This was a great war with Naito having to wear Ibushi down with big moves before he could finally put him away, but they went OTT in some places. Less is more sometimes you know?

Part of me thinks Jericho could win here, so then he could be IWGP and AEW Champion at the same time, but then it could get difficult with arranging him to lose one or both of those belts (Unless New Japan and AEW agree to work together of course…)

Jericho starts yelling at the fans the minute the bell rings, in case any of them were unclear that he was supposed to be the heel I guess. Okada gives a clean break, and gets a thumb to the eye in response, which leads to Jericho knocking Okada down. Jericho bails to avoid a dropkick, which leads to Okada chasing Jericho around the ring and then catching him with a big boot back inside. Okada tries a dropkick from the top rope, but Jericho counters it and locks in the Walls of Jericho. Okada manages to make the ropes and rolls outside, only for Jericho to send him into the timekeepers’ area and DDT Okada onto a table. Jericho is a pretty convincing dangerous wild man actually, he plays the part well.

Jericho brings a table out from under the ring and sets it up ringside, but Okada fights off an attempt to powerbomb him through it. Jericho knocks him down again however and then grabs a camera to film the crowd and insult Okada further. Back inside, Jericho gets a nice cross body from the top rope for two. Back suplex and cocky cover follow, but the ref doesn’t even count, which earns himself a pie face. Okada no sells some slaps and fires off some forearms, only to then run into a dropkick from Jericho, who then gurns for the crowd as Okada sells.

Good heel stuff from Jericho thus far and Okada has made a good stoic babyface fighting from underneath. Jericho hits a nice hanging vertical suplex for two and then starts bringing the choppage. Okada gets a desperation flapjack to buy himself some time and then nips up to make a comeback. Okada bumps Jericho around and gets a DDT, which leads to Jericho rolling outside so he can’t be pinned. Okada sends Jericho over the guardrail and follows with a cross body into the crowd, only for Jericho to counter it into the Code Breaker! They didn’t quite land that the way they wanted, but it was still a cool idea for a counter.

Jericho hammers away on Okada back inside as some of the crowd actually chants for him. Jericho tries for the Tombstone, but Okada counters it, only for Jericho to counter that counter and to go back to the Walls of Jericho. Okada manages to make the ropes however, which causes Jericho to yell at ref, only to then turn around in a lovely Okada dropkick. This has been a very American styled match when it comes to structure, but it’s been entertaining and has told a good story. Okada catches Jericho coming down from the top rope with a dropkick and hits the Tombstone, but Jericho counters the Rainmaker into a Tiger Bomb for two.

The fans chant for Jericho again, as his performance has won them over here, and it has been very good in all honesty so he deserves it. Jericho stops Okada going up and then delivers the springboard dropkick whilst Okada stands on the apron. Jericho tries to suplex Okada back in, but Okada fights him off and then follows with an elbow from the top and THE RAINMAKER POSE!!! Jericho manages to counter the move yet again though and hits an enziguiri for the double down.

Both men trade strikes from their knees as the announcer states that we have reached the 20 minute mark. Jericho dodges an Okada dropkick and follows with the Lionsault for two. Okada replies with the running front dropkick and then delivers some stiff stomps in the corner, as this is getting good and intense now. Jericho nails the Codebreaker out of nowhere, but he makes a slight delay in making the cover due to all the punishment he’s taken and that allows Okada to kick out. I love stuff like that.

Jericho undoes the turnbuckle pad and tries to get Snake Eyes into it, but Okada slips out and delivers a German Suplex. Jericho ducks the Rainmaker and goes for one of his own, but Okada ducks it and hits his own Codebreaker for two. Spinning Tombstone would appear to set up the Rainmaker, but Jericho dodges it yet again and goes back to the Walls of Jericho. The fans are now back chanting for Okada, showing that Osaka fan are, at best, a fickle bunch. Jericho pills Okada away from the ropes and goes to the Old School Lion Tamer, but Okada manages to wriggle his way out and then finally counters.

Okada goes into the exposed turnbuckle, which leads to Jericho trying the Judas Effect, but Okada dodges it and then manages to counter the Codebreaker into a pin counter to pick up the three and retain the Title.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: KAZUCHIKA OKADA
RATING: ****

I really enjoyed that, as Jericho can definitely still go. He’s not going to be trading wrist locks in the opening match these days, but he does epic main event style better than most right now and he had the perfect babyface foil here in the form of Okada, who showed once again he is probably the most versatile main event performer in the wrestling industry.

Jericho is a sore loser following the bout and assaults Okada with a steel chair to hopefully set up more matches between the two men. Jericho tries to powerbomb Okada through a table, but Hiroshi Tanahashi makes the save, which would seem to point to Jericho’s next feud. I still think it’s awesome that Tanahashi and Okada are actually kind of friends now, as I never thought we’d see that during their epic feud over the years. In a funny moment the fans boo because they realise this means they won’t get a show closing speech from the Champion.

In Conclusion

Three strong matches made the show an easy thumbs up, but even the stuff on the undercard was solid for the most part. What I like about New Japan shows is that they build really well, with each match designed to build upon the one that came before it. The result is that the four hour run time doesn’t tend to burn you out because the show builds gradually from quicker matches with the Young Lions to epic matches with the main eventers.

Moxley, KENTA and Shingo all in the G1 Climax should make for some interesting matches. I just hope that KENTA is physically up to working that gruelling G1 schedule because he had injury problems all the way through his WWE run. If he can still be the KENTA of old then there’s every reason to be very excited for his matches in the tournament. Maybe they’ll keep him out of the tag matches on the tour and just have him work the tournament? It’ll be intriguing to see who Moxley teams up in the tag matches on the tour actually, seeing as he is currently unaffiliated but I can’t see him tagging with Tanahashi/Juice/Taguchi crew. Maybe he’ll be tagging with Umino because he helped him up after their match?

The fact remains that I’m intrigued to see what happens next and I really enjoyed this a wrestling show. It was the perfect tonic to WWE’s Bloody Money III event in fact, so check it out if you have New Japan World.

Oh, and I think this lad just got served by Y2J. Good on ya Gaz for repping the J-Man 😉