New Japan rev up along the road to WrestleKingdom 14, but who could be joining them along for the ride?
Volador Jr, Titan, TJP and Clark Connors defeated Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi and Yuya Uemura via pinfall
In the first of many lower card multi-man tags, seven men who took part in this year’s Super Junior Tag League alongside Jushin Thunder Liger opened the show in a passable eight-man tag. Titan, Volador and Tiger Mask impressed but TJP picked up the winning, pinning Uemura off of his detonation kick.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori defeated Robbie Eagles and Rocky Romero in a non-title match via pinfall
This was a very good match considering it went under ten minutes. They made the most of the time they had, with the two representing Bullet Club picking up the win following Ishimori’s Bloody Cross and ELP’s CRII on Rocky Romero.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, EVIL and Shingo Takagi) defeated Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki) via pinfall
In a passable six-man tag, the headline came from the result as SANADA pinned the RevPro British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr. after coming out on top following a series of cradles.
Post-match, an enraged Sabre Jr. locked a kimura on the referee and a young lion, whilst Shingo and Suzuki brawled into the crowd. Archer then challenged David Finlay to face him in San Jose this coming Saturday.
Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI via pinfall
In a preview of the WrestleKingdom 14 heavyweight title match-up, ‘Ace picked up the win for his team after dropping YOSHI-HASHI with a slingblade and a High Fly Flow for the win. Tanahashi worked incredibly hard in this match.
Post-match, a video appeared as Ibushi and Tanahashi celebrated their victory. The video showed a series of Tanahashi career highlights, then cut to Chris Jericho beating up a gang of Tanahashi fans and cosplayers. Jericho then challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi to a match on January 5th at WrestleKingdom. He said it will be a classic, but it will also be Tanahashi’s last match.
Hiroshi Tanahashi accepted the challenge.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Taichi via pinfall
This was a highly physical contest which bubbled over nicely. What began as a brawl all around ringside turned into a great, hard-hitting contest. Naito picked up the victory after dropping Taichi with Destino. This means he will go on to face the IWGP Intercontinental Champion on January 4th.
Super Junior Tag League Finals: Roppongi 3K (SHO and YOH) defeated Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) via pinfall to win the tournament
Roppongi 3K won the Junior Tag League for an unprecedented third time on the spin, in what was their best performance of the tournament. These two, together or apart, are the future of the junior heavyweight division.
SHO and YOH secured the trio of tournament triumphs when they hit Despy with the 3K. Post-match, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori attacked 3K with a low blow and a doomsday title belt shot. They then stole the Super Junior Tag Team trophies. These two will face off for the gold at WrestleKingdom 14.
NEVER Openweight Title: Champion KENTA defeated Tomohiro Iishi via pinfall to retain the title
This was predictably a hard-hitting affair. However, considering the last time these two faced-off KENTA ended up in the hospital some of the shots to the face were a bit much. KENTA kept hitting Shibata-style offence KENTA picked up the win with two vicious Go 2 Sleeps, one with the knee exposed.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Champion Will Ospreay defeated BUSHI via pinfall to retain the title
This was outstanding, as most Will Ospreay matches have been in 2019. No discredit to BUSHI however, who was excellent in this match-up. The crowd were all into this as both men went balls to the wall. A rather unique spot took place where Will Ospreay countered BUSHI’s mist by planting a kiss on him, sucking the mist from his mouth and spraying it back at BUSHI. Ospreay retained the gold with his three-pronged attack of Hidden Blade, top rope Oscutter and Stormbreaker.
Will Ospreay then got on the mic post-match and ran down the list of people he’s beaten. He asked for a challenger. He said until someone steps up, he’ll be the forever champion. However, as he was about to leave the lights went out and a Time Bomb video played. It said the Time Bomb will explode in 62 days, on January 4th. Then, cartoon cats appeared with a countdown. When it counted down, Hiromu Takahashi’s name flashed on the screen.
Hiromu Takahashi returns to challenge Will Ospreay
This was unreal, a proper cathartic moment for all wrestling fans. Takahashi appeared on the ramp with Daryl and El Hijo del Daryl in tow and ripped off his neck brace. He ran himself into the barricade, then he himself onto the ramp. Hiromu then made his way into the ring and thanked the crowd for waiting for him for so long and said he’s back to make the junior heavyweight division more fun.
He mocked the idea of working a safer style or not being able to wrestle again and says he is the only one who can beat Ospreay. Takahashi then throws himself into the turnbuckles and does a neck bridge in the ring. Ospreay holds the mic for Hiromu and he says in English that Ospreay is the strongest junior, but now Hiromu is back and he challenges Ospreay at WrestleKingdom. The two stared down and hugged. Hiromu took his stuffed animals back, then grabbed a mic and said “Ospreay.. Thank you. Meow.”
IWGP Intercontinental Title: Champion Jay White defeated Hirooki Goto via pinfall to retain the title
This was a great main event, with the standard Bullet Club overbooking gimmickery at the end to ensure Jay White keeps the gold. These two went back and forth, with Jay White continuing to show why he is one of the most genuinely dislikable bad guys in wrestling today. We even had some more Shibata and KENTA interaction, when KENTA attacked Shibata at ringside after he put a stop to Gedo’s interference; surely this must lead to a match and Katsuyori Shibata is cleared?
Jay White hit Blade Runner on Goto and KENTA revived the referee so he could make the three count.
Post-match, White said he won like he said he would and Goto is the disappointment we all knew he was. He continues, saying he’s on his way to being a double champion at Tokyo Dome. He calls out Ibushi and Okada but Tetsuya Naito comes out and says being a double champion sounds like something he said once. Ibushi then entered and said he has the same double championship plans, but he’s not the only one.
White then begged for Okada to come down the ring, which the champion obliged. Okada suggested asking the people to vote for what they want to see at Tokyo Dome.
After Okada and Ibushi left, Jay White says he’s not fighting Tetsuya Naito at WrestleKingdom 14, demanding his confetti party to end the night and to be declared the soon-to-be first-ever double champion. He got his wish as Naito headed up the ramp.