New Japan is back in Sapporo with one of Britain’s biggest titles on the line between two of it’s brightest stars
Toa Henare Defeated Yota Tsuji via pinfall
This was your standard opener, nothing to write home about but passable. Tsuji hit a spear for a near fall but Henare answered with a lariat, then hit a rugby tackle for a near fall of his own. Henare then used Toa Bottom to get the win.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask Defeated Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Yuya Uemura via pinfall
This was a run-out for the New Japan dads, nothing more nothing less. Tiger droped Uemura with a high kick, then hit a tiger suplex off the top but Makabe made the save. Tiger then used a tiger suplex to pick up the pin.
Nakanishi cut a promo after the match, saying this is his last time in Sapporo and thanked the fans, before bowing to all four sides of the arena.
El Phantasmo Defeated Gabriel Kidd via pinfall
As a fan of BritWres, seeing Gabriel Kidd on a New Japan is insane, delighted for the lad. Commentary pointed out that he wrestled ELP on this date two years ago in England. This was good.
Kidd came close with the Boston crab but ELP forced a rope break, then hit an enziguri. ELP went for a crab, but Kidd reversed into a roll-up for a near fall. ELP then hit a chop and a frog splash for the win.
ELP hit a CR2 post-match.
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Iishi & Robbie Eagles) Defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (SHINGO Takagi, EVIL & BUSHI) via submission
This was all action and I loved it.
Ishii accidentally took a bump on his head off an EVIL lariat and tagged out. He could have possibly been selling, but the referee and Goto didn’t act like it. Iishi did get back into the match, and alongside Goto helped Eagles pick up the win after targeting BUSHI’s knee with a dropkick and a 450, locking in the Ron Miller special for the submission victory.
Jon Moxley, Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) & Ryusuke Taguchi Defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI via submission
A fantastic brawl which was a lot of fun. Moxley was entering through the crowd and Suzuki went up into the stands after him and the fight was on. It came down to DOUKI and Taguchi, which led to a Bomaye for a near fall, then an ankle lock in which DOUKI tapped out.
The brawl continued after the match, and Moxley and Suzuki fought all the way to the back.
They announced a seven date tour of Hokkaido for July.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi Defeated Bullet Club KENTA, Jay White & Taiji Ishimori via submission
This was another good tag match. Ishimori used a cradle for a near fall on SANADA and hit a jumping knee strike. However,SANADA cought Ishimori coming in and locked on Skull End, forcing Ishimori to tap out.
RPW British Heavyweight Title: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. Defeated Will Ospreay via stoppage to retain the title
This was a great match, an absolute clinic. It was all about Ospreay trying to fly so ZSJ tried to keep it in a phone booth, working his arm. These two ramped up the action nicely, leading to Sabre escaping a Storm Breaker and locking on an octopus. Ospreay reversed into Storm Breaker position. Sabre escaped and used the octopus to hook on a ground cobra. Ospreay didn’t respond, so Red Shoes stopped the match.
Kazuchika Okada Defeated Taichi via pinfall
This was a great coming out party for Taichi, Okada made him look like a big deal. Taichi deserves credit too as he got the crowd to believe he could win. He didn’t though.
Taichi worked over Okada’s neck with the usual Okada big offence. Taichi went for Black Mephisto but Okada slid out and hit a spinning Rainmaker. Taichi ducked a second Rainmaker, then Okada blocked a Black Mephisto. Okada teased a tombstone but Taichi blocked and hit a high kick. Okada caught a second kick and hit a spinning tombstone, then hit the Rainmaker for the pin.