The most insane, awesome night of wrestling in the whole year was this Thursday in the Tokyo Dome.
Tthe main event saw Kazuchika Okada defending the his IWGP heavyweight title against the winner of the G1 Climax Tetsuya Naito. The other main event was Kenny Omega Vs Chris Jericho, Jericho returning to a NJPW ring after almost 20 years. Not only that but the stacked card featured no less than 6 other title matches as well.
The Young Bucks opened the show challenging Roppongi 3K for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag titles. Roppongi 3K had won the title in there first match in NJPW. Then they defended the title in the 2017 Super Jr. Tag tournament to become the first team to win the tournament as reigning champions. The match had the most amazing in ring work backed up by solid storytelling as one member of both sides suffered back injuries which the opposite team worked on. The Young Bucks won the match with Nick making Yoh tap to the sharpshooter to win there 7th title.
Next up we had the Never openweight 6 man tag team gauntlet championship match. Micheal Elgin and War Machine kicked off the match against Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi and Takashi Iizuka. War Machine are awesome dudes who are deceptively athletic. Hanson went for a moonsault but missed. The heel team’s Iizuka used the iron glove while Zack Sabre Jr. Made Rowe tap. Next up Berretta, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii came out and scored a quick fall with Yano hitting a low blow and turning it into a pin to eliminate their opponents. Next out was the team of Juice Robinson, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi. Yano again got the fall by rolling up Taguchi. The champions Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa and Bad Luck Fale of Bullet Club came out to the ring for the final fall of the match. After some excellent to and fro action and several nearfalls, Berretta hit the Dude Buster for the pin and the win to see the second title change of two matches so far.
Next up we had Cody going up against Kota Ibushi to end there fued. This was an excellent match during which Cody showed just how good an in ring worker he is by going toe to toe with the outstanding Kota Ibushi. The CrossRhodes to off the apron to the floor was a particular highlight. From this point on the Cocky Heel Cody was in full effect, before Kota Ibushi mounted a comeback after countering the CrossRhodes. Kota Ibushi scored the pinfall victory with Pheonix Splash off the top rope.
Next was the IWGP Tag Team championship match between Killer Elite Squad and Evil and Sanada. This match was again really good in ring work from both teams. Killer Elite Squad dominated the match by isolating first Evil, then Sanada, then Evil again. The end came when Sanada hit a moonsault for the pin and the win.
Then we had the NEVER openweight hair vs hair match between Minoru Suzuki and Hirooki Goto.
There was to be no interference and Goto was going to get his one on one title match that he so wanted. This was as hard hitting a match as I have ever seen. Suzuki was brutal in offense but Goto survived and managed to hit the revolution on Suzuki for the pinfall win to take the championship. After the match Suzuki sat in the middle of the ring and shaved his hair off.
Then we had the match that I was most excited for. The flippy stuff match. The Villain Marty Scurll defended his IWGP Junior Heavyweight title against Kushida, Will Ospreay and Hiromu Takahashi in a fatal 4 way match. The match got into the higher gear when Will Ospreay dove off the lighting rig onto the other 3 competitors.The match ended when Will Ospreay finally managed to hti Marty Scurll with the Oscutter for the 3 count to become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion.
Hiroshi Tanahashi defended his IWGP Intercontinental championship against the “Switchblade” Jay White. White dominated for much of the match demanding Tanahashi to “show the ace”. Tanahashi managed to make a comeback and won the match with a High Fly Flow frog splash for the pin to become the first man tonight to defend his title.
Now it was time for Alpha Vs Omega. Kenny Omega putting his IWGP US championship against Chris Jericho in Jericho’s first match back in NJPW for over two decades. Omega repeatedly locked in the Walls of Jericho, but Omega managed to stay in it. Outside the ring Jericho swept everyone aside, even shoving ref Red Shoes and locking his son in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho sent Omega into a chair set up in the corner a couple of times, making Omega bleed. Then came the spot of the night. Like Omega had been fighting out of the Walls of Jericho by reaching the ropes, Omega caught Jericho with two running V-Triggers followed by the one winged angel and the pin, but Jericho this time grabbed the bottom rope to break the pin. Omega finished the match by hitting the one winged angel on a chair for the pinfall win.
The main event saw the culmination of a 4 year arc that saw the unpopular Naito, establish himself in Mexico and returning with the fans behind him this time in the same match that people had voted off the main event 4 years ago against Okada. This was a ridiculously good match of back and forth action as neither man could maintain control for long. Late in the match Okada hit the rainmaker but Naito kicked out of it. The match finished with Okada hitting the spinning piledriver to get the pinfall win and retain his title in another early match of the year candidate.