It’s New Japan’s last big show of the year, headlined by Ibushi/Tanahashi for the IC Title. Decided to focus on the main matches but a few highlights outside of them were:
-Titan/Dragon lee/Young Bucks had a fun opening match with Dragon almost dying on the apron.
-Hirai Kawato continues to be a great young lion.
-Okada wins the CHAOS/LiJ multi-man doing the Naito eye pose whilst pinning Bushi
Jr. Tag League Final – Ryusuke Taguchi/ACH vs. RPG3K
Really solid tag final match. There was nice a bit of storytelling with ACH having injured ribs which 3K worked on, affecting ACH’s performance and causing his loss. Though 3K’s control weren’t the most interesting but it still served a good purpose and things pick up nicely once Taguchi has a tremendous hot tag. Good stuff overall with 3K continuing to look like a very strong team since returning from excursion.
Winners: RPG3K (via 3K) ***1/2
-After the match Young Bucks come out and make the next challenge for the Jr. belts.
NEVER Title Bullrope Match – Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Toru Yano
So this match has normal rules they just both wear a bull-rope. Anyway I thought it was alright, its mainly just Misu beating up Yano with some interference from Suzuki-gun, but Yano does get his moments to come back and I almost thought he had the match won with a roll-up at one point. But alas Suzuki ends up wrapping the rope around Yano’s neck and hitting the delayed gotch-style piledriver to retain the belt.
Winner: Minoru Suzuki (via Gotch-style Piledriver) **1/2
IWGP Jr Title Match – Marty Scurll vs. William Ospreay (c)
Really good match, which is a given considering the great chemistry these two have. Just lots of fun back and forth action throughout with Scurll winning the belt in a surprise victory with a roll-up. Don’t think they did enough to really make the match standout but it’s still really enjoyable overall.
Winner: Scurll (via roll-up) ****
-After the match Kushida comes out to challenge for the belt but Ospreay stops him and tells him to get to the back of the line. Hiromu Takahashi then comes out, puts on protective gear and makes his own challenge. Scurll then says he’ll face all four of them at the Tokyo Dome. That should be fun.
U.S Title Match – Kenny Omega (c) vs. Beretta
Awesome match here. Beretta took a battering including some sick bumps, but he kept fighting back as best he could and even hits the Dudebuster but its not enough to keep Omega down and it’s a One Winged Angel that end it all, letting Omega retain. Beretta may have lost but this match has certainly helped elevate into more of a star and I look forward to seeing what else he manages as part of the heavyweight division. Just fantastic work from both men. Loved it.
Winner: Omega (via One winged Angel) ****
-After the match Omega does some talking and then god damn Y2J comes on the screen and challenges Omega at Wrestle Kingdom!. Jericho remains the master of swerve. Should be interesting for sure.
Main Event – IWGP Intercontinental title Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (c)
Incredible main event and another match that I loved. Tanahashi works on Ibushi’s leg throughout which slows him down somewhat but he tries his best to fight through the pain to keep up. Add in a phoenix-plex tease, an almost shoot slap exchange and Ibushi trying to break Tana’s neck and you’ve got yourself a winner of a match. Tana retain in the end, but what an effort from Ibushi always managing to bring the goods. Just a superb final match to end their big shows for the year.
Winners: Tanahashi (via High Fly Flow) ****3/4
-After the match Tana has a victory celebration before being interrupted by the debut of Switchblade, who turns out to be the returning Jay White! and he challenge Tana at Wrestle Kingdom for the IC belt before laying him out with a Shellshock. Very Nice! pressure is on White now to step up and prove himself on New Japan’s biggest stage
New Japan delivers great things again delivering two fantastic main events and setting a really interesting line-up of matches for Wrestle Kingdom. New Japan’s handling on new talent has been awesome and it’s safe to say I am hyped for January 4th.
Definitely recommend checking out those final two matches too.