It’s King of Pro Wrestling, New Japan’s last big show to feature an IWGP Title match until Wrestle Kingdom as EVIL takes on Okada. Now I’ve had to spread my time a lot thinner lately so for this, I’ll only be focusing on the big matches of the show. I did skim through the rest of the matches which all seemed pretty fun and noted a couple of highlights, so lets jump right into it.
-Yano beats Suzuki in their tag match by countout, steals Suzuki’s belt.
-Hiromu’s uses Daryl startle Fale so that BUSHI can hit him with mist and roll him up for a 3 count.
IWGP JR. Tag Title Match – Funky Future (Ricochet/Taguchi) vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yo)
Sho & Yo return from excursion and manage to get the Jr tag titles straight away. really solid match up overall too. Roppongi 3K get a fair amount of control which I can’t say was anything special but definitely helped the team look like a viable threat leading to their victory. Definitely picks up nicely in it’s latter minutes, delivering some good action and nearfalls before 3K hits their flapjack/complete shot combo to win the belts! definitely a good return to match for them.
Winners: Roppongi 3K (via 3K) ***1/2
IWGP Tag Team Title 3 Way Tornado Elimination Match – GoD vs. War Machine vs. KES
Fun match-up. Obviously pretty chaotic at times and they keep the action constant throughout, including the use of some weapons. In the end GoD get eliminated by KES, they get pissed and beat up Rowe with a trash can giving KES the advantage and they give Hanson a Killer bomb through a table to get the win. Crowd weren’t all that receptive but we do keep saying the same teams in the same matches, so it can be hard to care. Still I enjoyed the match overall though.
Winners: KES (via Killer Bomb through a table) ***1/2
IWGP Jr. Title Match – KUSHIDA (c) vs. Will Ospreay
Incredible match here. Prefer their previous encounter but this was still superb with lots of awesome action an couple of cool but weird looking things, like the Back To the Future off the top reversed into a cutter. In the end Ospreay manages to get the big victory and wins the belt. Just awesome stuff really.
Winner: Ospreay (via Oscutter) ****1/2
-After the match Hiromu comes out to make the challenge but he gets interrupted before he can speak by Marty Scurll who snaps his fingers and proceeds to challenge Ospreay himself.
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Another great match from these two this year. Naito gets a small bit of control early on working Ishii’s leg, but it quickly turns into big back and forth battle full of great action. Naito’s spot at Wrestle Kingdom was one the line, so Ishii’s chances of win seemed very slim to non-existent, but he still managed have a couple of close calls, so the drama was still there. Don’t think they did much to make it stand-out among their other matches, but it was still really great stuff all in all
Winner: Naito (via Destino) ****1/4
IWGP Title Match – EVIL vs. Kazuchika Okada (c)
EVIL has a huge entrance involving I’m being dragged whilst sat on a throne, pretty damn cool. Great main event, but I much preferred their G1 match. I feel liked this lacked some of the drama since it’s hard to see EVIL winning with Okada having such a GOAT title win. So while I can’t say my investment was fully there, both still put in a tremendous amount of work and it was really good.
Winner: Okada (via Rainmaker) ****
Some great matches once again delivered by New Japan. Jr. Title match was definitely the match of the night, but it’s probably all worth checking out.