‘The Rainmaker’ came one step closer to being the history maker as he came up against a Brit in the form of his life inside the historic Sumo Hall at Sakura Genesis 2018.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada tied the all-time record for consecutive defenses when he got past an in-form Zack Sabre Jr, countering ZSJ’s octopus stretch into a spinning tombstone piledriver, before polishing him off with a vicious Rainmaker lariat.
Following this match Hiroshi Tanahashi, who won alongside Juice Robinson and David Finlay against YOSHI-HASHI, NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto and IWGP United States Champion Jay White when YOSHI-HASHI succumbed to Tanahashi’s High Fly Flow, made a challenge to face Okada in order to stop him from beating his record. Okada seemingly laughed off the suggestion, before accepting the challenge and saying it’s an easy path to the record-breaking twelfth title defense in a row.
Conflict within the Bullet Club continued as the two figureheads faced off again in tag team action, with Cody and Hangman Page stealing a win against the Golden Lovers, when a bloody Cody snuck a roll-up on Kota Ibushi, holding onto the tights to get the win whilst Kenny Omega was laid out at ringside. Post-match, Page and Cody beat down Ibushi, and came very close to taking Ibushi out with a chair until Kenny made the save.
This feud also had club members fighting one another as The Young Bucks got their first win as a heavyweight tag team, however it came against their B.C compatriots Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens when Matt forced Chase to tap to the Sharpshooter. There appears to be some harmony however as they shook hands following the bout.
The Tongan side of the Bullet Club still appears to be as good as it ever was, as Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale held onto their NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Titles besting the team of Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe and Michael Elgin when Tonga ducked a springboard hip attack from Taguchi, following up by dropping him with a Gun Stun.
In our third championship match, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado defeated Roppongi 3k, as well as Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. The finish came when Takahashi seemingly had the match won with Timebomb, but Kanemura pulled the referee out of the ring. With the ref down, Desperado hit everyone with one of the title belts and pinned SHO, despite him not being the legal man.
Will Ospreay made it a clean sweep for the champions as he kept his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Marty Scurll in an unreal match, where Ospreay came back from seeming unconsiousness in the Crossface Chicken Wing to rally, hitting the Oscutter for the win. However, the win may come at a cost as Ospreay took an horrific fall on the ring apron when delivering a Spanish Fly to the floor.
Post-match, he challenged KUSHIDA (who was on Japanese commentary) to a future title bout.
In more six-man tag team match, Killer Elite Squad made a huge statement by pinning the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champs when Davey Boy Smith Jr, Lance Archer and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Minoru Suzuki beat EVIL, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito when K.E.S hit EVIL with the Killer Bomb, surely enduring Smith and Archer a shot at the belts. Speaking of belts, Naito continued to enrage Suzuki post-match, teasing a possible Intercontinental Title match between the two.
Finally, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Iishi beat Takahashi Iizuka and Taichi when Yano rolled up Iizuka following a low blow and a Iishi clothesline.