NJPW New Year Dash Match Ratings By Sean Ross Sapp

See our Wrestle Kingdom 12 match ratings at this link.

Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata defeated Tomoyuki Oka, Ren Narita, Tetsuhiro Yagi & Syota Umino

EC3 vs. Matt Cardona Set For 'Free The Narrative' Event Over Memorial Day Weekend
  • I likely won't rate many of these in these features, but you know what you get out of them -- especially the openers.
  • The Young boys attack early on.
  • I was surprised Kojima didn't win the New Japan Rumble.

Suzuki-Gun defeated Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Hirai Kawato, Tiger Mask IV, Henare & Togi Makabe

  • Some of Suzuki-Gun has trouble fitting the bill for me, and I am so far beyond done watching Iizuka.
  • Jushin Thunder Liger is incredibly over still, and honestly I hope we get a Chris Jericho vs. Liger match at some point. Jericho's last NJPW match before this week was as Super Liger.
  • Suzuki Gun getting the win was the right move, and of course Iizuka busts out those dumbass fingers.

Jay White defeated Katsuya Kitamura

  • Jay White is totally void of heat after Wrestle Kingdom in my view. The crowd was still into the match, so that's not completely true in the grand scheme, but I had no interest in the match.
  • Humans don't look like Kitamura, and the shift in physiques over the past 12-13 years really make me uncomfortable watching him sometimes.
  • White works over the leg. He looks a lot better in this match than he did at Wrestle Kingdom in my opinion. I don't think that's his fault. The WK decision is an odd one to justify. 
  • White still using the Blade Runner as a finish. Sure.

The Elite defeated Roppongi 3K & Cheeseburger

  • The Elite marketing and owning their own branch and stable is brilliant. Savvy. 
  • Matt Jackson and Kenny Omega are making Nick Jackson do most of the work because they're hurt.
  • Hilarious exchange by Yoh and Matt Jackson, who both had their backs beat on the night before. Matt is hurt by even running ropes, and they come to a mutual understanding and tag out.
  • ....To Kenny Omega and Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger gets some good offense because Omega is so hurt, he can't even do body contact on pins. It was great of commentary to put this over.
  • Cheeseburger and Roppongi didn't really have a chance, but the injuries made it seem more believable.
  • This is a fun comedy match, and there was a reason for it to go as long as it did, which was smart. 
  • The Elite win with Fatality.

Bullet Club (Cody, Marty Scurll, Yujiro Takahashi, Chase Owens & Leo Tonga) w/Brandi Rhodes defeated Kota Ibushi, Kushida & Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson)

  • Brandi Rhodes has turned into an excellent manager with great purpose. I don't know how much she'll do in the ring at this stage, but her willingness to improve, learn several areas of wrestling and jump all in on her roles is admirable.
  • Leo Tonga has improved very quickly. He's really agile for a guy his size.
  • I just love watching KUSHIDA work, especially with Marty Scurll.
  • Brandi has joined commentary. She later interferes and causes a distraction. Cody finishes Finlay with an Indian Deathlock.
  • Bullet Club attack the babyfaces after the match. A fun match.
  • Before Bullet Club can get to Ibushi, Kenny Omega makes the save to a huge pop. 
  • Omega offers Switchblade a spot in Bullet Club to help repair the rift in the group. White accepts, then hits his finish on Omega! He wants the U.S. title.
  • Well, that's a way to get some heat back on him.
  • Really interesting to see how Bullet Club hashes out. 

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions
Bullet Club (Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale) defeated CHAOS (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano)

  • This is a comedy spot and bad wrestling for the most part early. There was far too much Yano and Loa for me in this. 
  • Ishii and Loa do a good job at getting a reaction from a shoulder block spot.
  • I would imagine this incarnation of Bullet Club plus Loa ends up as their own. It'd just be so reminiscent of NWO. They just already seem so detached. 
  • Not sure why Tonga is surprised Beretta kicked out of a Veleno. He kicks out of everything. At least he sells like crazy when he does it. 
  • Tomohiro Ishii German suplexes Fale. Tonga gets a great belly to belly superplex too. Gun Stun on Beretta for the win and the title change. 

Suzuki-Gun defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin & War Machine

  • This could be the last time we see War Machine in NJPW in a while.
  • Very surprised Davey Boy Smith Jr. didn't get the Elgin role, but maybe he will after the stir that Elgin caused. 
  • Suzuki was really targeting Hiroshi Tanahashi. He would drag Tanahashi out of the ring with a heel.
  • Sabre and Elgin have a great series of counters and reversals that ends in a Blue Thunder Bomb.
  • Hanson has modified a simple side slam to make it his own.
  • Killer Bomb finishes off Hanson in New Japan. 
  • Suzuki has attacked Tanahashi's knee for several minutes, including with a chair. I'm hopeful this leads to a match, not a vacation. They're keeping Suzuki very strong, and with the constant injuries to Tanahashi, you always have to wonder when or if he drops his title.

LIJ defeated CHAOS

  • CHAOS all beat down Takahashi, but they should beat down Okada for daring to wear those pants two nights in a row. 
  • The Naito/Okada interactions here are just awesome.
  • YOSHI-HASHI looks way happier to be here than he did in the New Japan Rumble last night. 
  • The break down at the end of this match has a great pace, and you really see how much good, over talent there is between these two. 
  • Okada eats a three person drop kick. Thankfully they all connected, right?
  • Naito wins over YOSHI-HASHI with Destino. Really fun match.
  • Bushi gets Ospreay with a flying Codebreaker after the match. Time Bomb from Hiromu too. 
  • Chris Jericho attacks Tetsuya Naito after the match, and it's broken up! It looks like he's hanging around for a while.
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