IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Match
LIJ (c) defeated Roppongi 3K
Roppongi have turned into one of my favorite in-ring teams. I loved the LIJ kick/sidewinder suplex. I didn't love Sho getting dragged around the ring forever with a turdy Irish whip. Don Callis explaining the difference in wrestling boots and amateur shoes is great. A Last Ride lungblower was a highlight of this one. Crappy ending that took away from the match.
Juice Robinson & Finlay defeated Jay White & YOSHI-HASHI
I don't particularly care about Yoshi-Hashi, but Kelly and Callis do a great job explaining what he might need, how he might not be in the G1, etc. I don't know that I've seen a Jay White match yet that I couldn't miss. Juice wins with his finish. This at least adds some intrigue to the U.S. title situation. Finlay is happy for Juice.
Suzuki-Gun defeated Chaos
In a night of some special matches, this one wasn't really special to me. I love the Suzuki/Ishii interactions, and even some of the comic relief that Yano adds.
NEVER Openweight Championship
Michael Elgin defeated Taichi and Hirooki Goto (c)
New Japan triple threat matches feel different. Elgin does an awesome tope con hilo that I'm not sure he has the opportunity to do in regular singles matches too often. This is a really fun dynamic despite the Tower of Doom. Elgin is stealing the show, and I like the use of the Queen suplex. Taichi hits both men with a mic stand, but can't win. Powerbomb party for Elgin, who wins. This was very good.
IWGP Tag Team Championships
Young Bucks defeated LIJ (c) to win the titles
The Young Bucks are an infusion into this division that it needed. I can't pretend I've had a ton of interest in this division until they came along, and Sanada got involved. To me, the Heavyweight division got the hype that the junior division deserved, and I think they should be combined. As opposed to the back injury story, Nick kicks the post and we have that aspect, which is great.
Nick's injury prevents a Meltzer Driver, and Matt gets hit with their own Indytaker. They end up winning with More Bang For Your Buck. The Young Bucks have developed into some of the greatest storytellers in wrestling -- both in the ring and outside of it.
Bullet Club defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Rey Mysterio & Hiroshi Tanahashi
It's weird to think that Hiroshi Tanahashi is an afterthought in any match, but he is here. There's really good work here, and Rey Mysterio worked really well with Scurll. I expected miscommunication between Cody & Scurll or Liger & Mysterio, but we didn't get that. Considering the new BTE that dropped this weekend, I'm even more interested in the winding road Bullet Club faces.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title
Hiromu Takahashi defeated Will Ospreay (c)
So the action here is insane. I can hardly begin to break down how fast paced and hard hitting this is. They dropped each other on their heads a couple of times and somehow didn't look dangerous in doing so. This crowd was going wild for Takahashi. He throws one of the rare shotgun dropkicks I like. The velocity and power of every move was at 100. They sounded like they were destroying each other, but if they were, there's no way they could have lasted this long.
IWGP Intercontinental Title
Chris Jericho defeated Tetsuya Naito (c) to win the championship
- Jericho attacks Naito outside the ring, then powerbombs him through a table at ringside. A DDT from Jericho on the outside hits, too, but this hardly tells the story of this beating. He really kicks Naito's ass and busts him open before the match starts.
- Jericho is getting over as a babyface with the crowd, and even getting "Jericho" and "Y2J" chants.
- Double underhook backbreaker, Lionsault and Lion Tamer on Naito.
- Naito snaps and spears Jericho twice, going on his offense. He was getting booed before his offensive burst.
- Jericho's audible sell when he hits the barricade was pretty entertaining.
- Naito hits Jericho with a shard of the table. Naito is cut under his eye. He piledrives Jericho on a table that doesn't give.
- Naito starts to heel THEN the crowd gets behind him.
- Jericho counters the top rope rana into the Lion Tamer. The audience is eating this up. Jericho's 2018 in NJPW has been special.
- Jericho looks kind of goofy waiting on Naito to jump off of the turnbuckles, but eats a Tornado DDT.
- Naito working out of the Walls of Jericho has the crowd on his side. This has been a roller coaster for them.
- Jericho saves a Destino botch with a pin, but they can't get on the same page and beat the shit out of each other. Finally Destino hits, and all said, if you didn't know it was all a botch, you wouldn't know.
- NJPW production completely misses Jericho get a 2 count off of a great Codebreaker.
- Gloria hits HARD after knees up on the Lionsault. This match is taking me on a ride, brothers.
- Jericho avoids Destino by pushing the ref, kicks Naito in the balls and pins him with a codebreaker.
- This match was amazing. What Chris Jericho has done in New Japan in 2018 is amazing.
- He attacks Naito after the match and hits him with the title.
- Evll makes the save.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
2 Out of 3 Falls
Kenny Omega (w/ Kota IbushI) defeated Kazuchika Okada (c) (w/ Gedo) to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
- Kenny Omega has Kota Ibushi as his second instead of The Young Bucks.
- An incredible series of counters leaves both guys tumbling to the outside of the ring for a sell spot. Before that, the two had kind of played mind games for a few minutes prior.
- Omega with an awesome V Trigger as Okada goes for his body press over the railing.
- Okada's 2018 pants may be worse than Mickie James' flappy pants.
- I'm going into this match EXPECTING over an hour, kind of like I expected five rounds out of Showtime Pettis and Ben Henderson in the UFC. Much like the latter, the two could surprise me.
- Omega springboards all the way over the barricade and gets a body press.
- Red Shoes is still a terrible ref.
- Okada gets a Tombstone on the apron and launches Omega ringside with a sliding dropkick. I mention this about Omega all the time but now Okada is in that territory -- he does something a little different every time he has a big match. Usually on the offensive end instead of selling, but it's still a great touch.
- As good as Okada's standing dropkick is, his missile dropkick might be better.
- Omega gains his burst of offense, but can't hit the One Winged Angel. He transitions into the V Trigger and a German suplex that the crowd bought as a finish. They are cookin' with fire right now.
- Two huge dropkicks from Okada hit. He scored the ol' Bulldog Summerslam pin on Omega to gain the first fall.
- There's a two minute break between falls and Okada dropkicks Omega outside of the ring.
- A draping DDT hits for Okada on the floor outside. After several minutes, Omega works his way back in with a loud chop that serves to anger Okada
- Omega gets a table and places it on Okada at ringside before hitting a Coup de Grace on it.
- 40 minutes in, it feels like it's been 20 minutes.
- Okada gets an amplified Attitude Adjustment that is more of a fireman's carry into a vertical suplex finish.
- Kenny Omega catches Okada going to the top rope in time to catch him with a cross legged brainbuster off the top. These two still look fresh in their moves and mannerisms.
- Omega even sells his ribs while running the ropes and doing a running tornado DDT.
- A German suplex off the apron, through the table is teased, but Okada holds onto the ropes, so Omega switches to a Dragon-style. That doesn't work, and a One Winged Angel is teased. What a ride. Eventually Omega has to settle for a spiked rana at ringside that he tries to get a countout on.
- Okada makes it in at 19 and Tombstones Omega out of a One Winged Angel attempt. Omega counters the Rainmaker with a spiked uranage. Commentary has been on point throughout this show.
- 50 minutes in is the first time the two look weathered. I'm not keen on Okada no-selling a snapdragon suplex.
- Omega catches Okada in the air with a huge powerbomb and V-Trigger, then a double underhook piledriver for the near fall. Okada almost scores the Bulldog pin again, which is now over.
- About 53 minutes in, we get the second fall with a One Winged Angel. Kazuchka Okada has never kicked out of that move.
- As soon as the third fall lands, Omega goes after Okada, but eats a Rainmaker! There's a happy accident where Omega's foot swings around and kicks Okada, and Okada sells it. That was an incredible spot.
- Omega hits a Styles Clash to a great reaction, but Okada gets in the ropes. There's a big "AJ Styles" chant. Omega follows with one of the god damndest V-Triggers ever. Omega collapses on a One Winged Angel attempt.
- Kenny Omega gets 2 on a Dudebuster and misses Ibushi's finish, the Phoenix Splash!
- A series of V-Triggers from Omega. Nobody makes those sound and look more vicious than him.
- I don't necessarily like that Okada doesn't try to pin when his opponent's shoulders are on the mat and there has been "exhaustion" played up. That's my only qualm with the match. Given his percentage of success with the Rainmaker in storyline, it doesn't stand out so much.
- Okada can't hit the Rainmaker with enough, and collapses as he hits Omega.
- An hour and five minutes in, they're trading strikes with not much on them. Shortly after, a good Rainmaker lands, and he retains wrist control. A second lands, and he's flat out fold pinned. For some reason, Red Shoes points at Okada to pin Omega. Probably because he's not that good.
- A third Rainmaker is turned into a German suplex for Omega, and he holds onto the waist. Even though Okada goes for a Rainmaker, Omega wins the series and gets another suplex and spike rana. They're having to go to the well a few times each on some of these moves, but they're almost 70 minutes deep.
- Dropkick lands, Okada picks up a flattened opponent again. He's rewarded with a One WInged Angel that is dangerously close to being botched, but these two are so good that they make it look awesome and end up in the ropes.
- A V-Trigger so hard it almost takes out the camera man. KENNY OMEGA WINS THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH THE ONE WINGED ANGEL!!!!!!
- Unbelievable 70 minute match.
- I thought Okada was going to hit the two year mark, but when that finish unfolded, you could tell that it was the right move.
- The Young Bucks come out and embrace Ibushi and Omega.