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By Matthew Macklin on 2017-04-10 17:49:00

Sakura Genesis, Ryogoku Sumo Hall, April 9:

Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Tiger Mask IV, Tiger Mask W, Yuji Nagata & Togi Makabe.  Good opener here. Nagata was worked over after Yujiro attacked him with a cane. Tiger W looked amazing when he got a chance to pick up the pace. The focus here was on GOD, as they are in line for an IWGP Tag Championship shot. Tonga finished off Tiger IV after a Gun Stun.  GOD continue to impress and get better.

YOSHI-HASHI, Beretta & Rocky Romero defeated TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki.  This match had a lot of energy and saw the usual wild brawling we get from Suzuki-Gun. The story of the match was YOSHI vs Suzuki, as Suzuki got the upper hand for most of the match until YOSHI fired up and got his own back towards the end. RPG Vice, particularly Beretta, looked good as the babyface tag team.  YOSHI got the pin on TAKA after hitting Karma to a big pop from the Sumo Hall crowd.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Jado & Gedo.   I had very low expectations for this, but it turned out to be a very entertaining match. This wasn't a traditional tag. It started with Jado & Gedo going for crossfaces, and from there it was non stop. It had a lot of distractions to hide Jado's very obvious weaknesses. Lots of really good false finishes towards the end of this. Gedo blocked a diving DDT with a low blow. We had El Desperado & RPG Vice interfere. Jado had a submission win, but the referee was distracted. Suzuki-Gun threw everything at the two veterans and eventually won after a Kanemaru moonsault and diving DDT.

Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale defeated Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano: This was a decent tag match. We had some comedy from Omega, Yano & Tiger Hattori involving hair pulling and turnbuckle pads. Fale was having none of Yano's messing around. Omega sold well for Ishii, throwing himself around as Ishii launched himself at him. A low blow from Yano to Omega almost allowed Ishii to get the win, but Omega hit a series of V-Trigger's and the One Winged Angel, to score the win over Ishii.

Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, BUSHI & EVIL: This was a monumental upset and the biggest win in the career of Juice Robinson as he scored a clean win over the IWGP Intercontinental champion. As always with LIJ tags, this was non stop from bell to bell and impossible to recap. Ricochet's involvement here was minimal due to a neck injury that has taken him off shows this coming weekend in the UK.  It didn't stop him pulling out some mesmerising sequences. Great storytelling here as Juice blocked the Naito low blow that he has fallen to on many occasions. Juice dropped Naito on his head with a lariat and took an amazing bump as Juice hit Pulp Friction. Naito went out of his way to make Juice look good here. After the match Juice challenged Juice to a title match to a huge pop. This is huge. To get to this level in NJPW so quickly says a lot about the talent of Juice and how hard he has worked. This was awesome.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) defeated Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan.  This was an awesome tag title match. This was a full on, hard hitting war between four huge men and two great tag teams. War Machine looked like absolute stars in this one. The hit so many big tag combos, but couldn't put the veterans away. Tenzan & Kojima hit all their signature stuff, but as the match went on, the Sumo Hall crowd got more and more behind War Machine. The moment of the match saw Kojima pop up after Rowe's knee strike and hit a Lariat.  The finish saw War Machine hit Fallout on Kojima to score the biggest win of their careers, defeating NJPW's most legendary tag team to win Japan's top tag title. War Machine could be a major deal in Japan if they are given the opportunity.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto defeated Zack Sabre Jr.   This was arguably the biggest match of Sabre's career, as he challenged for gold, third from the top on a major NJPW Sumo Hall card. Sabre made an amazing account for himself here with this showing. He stands out from the crowd in NJPW and has a move set that is completely unique. He bent and twisted at Goto in ways that almost horrified the crowd at times. Goto would use his power to fight off Sabre at times, but Sabre would latch on like a monkey and it looked like he had the match won. He beautifully caught an elbow drop and locked on an armbar. Goto turned on octopus into Ushigoroshi. Goto fought off interference from Minoru Suzuki and finally hit two versions of the GTR to retain. After the match Suzuki again attacked Goto and had to be pulled away. Suzuki will be Goto's next title challenger.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi defeat KUSHIDA.  This did not last long. Before the bell KUSHIDA hit Hiromu with a somersault dive during his entrance. Very quickly thereafter, Hiromu hit a sunset bomb to the floor. Back in the ring, it didn't take long for Hiromu to hit the Time Bomb and retain. Just like that, Hiromu dusted off KUSHIDA and made a major statement. No one seen this coming. This did a lot to establish Hiromu as the man in the junior heavyweight division. After the match Ricochet appeared and challenged the champion to a title match.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada defeated Katsuyori Shibata
I don't even know what to say about this. This was one of the most disgustingly physical matches I have ever seen, to the point where it became hard to watch. These guys beat the holy hell out of one another and delivered an all time classic main event. It took Shibata a long time to get here, so you had to know he was going to make plenty of noise. They toyed with each other and worked over various limbs as the match built.  Shibata would fire up and shrug off whatever Okada hit him with. Later, Okada would fire up in a similar Shibata-like fashion and hit a corner dropkick, which saw the crowd turn on him. Okada showed a fire and aggression that we have never seen from him before. He knew he had to dig deep and beat Shibata at his own game.  They traded sickening slaps. Shibata no sold a Rainmaker and hit a headbutt so hard that it put him into hospital for surgery. Just think about that for a minute. That's the sort of animal Shibata is.  Shibata grabbed the wrist of Okada and kicked and kicked and kicked at they chest. They took turned dropping one another on their head with German suplexes. Shibata again stayed on his feet after a Rainmaker and almost put Okada down with a sleeper.  The finish saw Okada hit one final Rainmaker and finally keep Shibata down. After the match Shibata stumbled to the back, barely able to move his legs enough to get there. He is a warrior, but is paying the price for it after undergoing surgery.  This was a classic, but the exposed headbutts really need to be a thing of the past.

This was an excellent show and is available now at with English commentary.


NJPW have announced the matches for the major shows on the Wrestling Dontaku tour, with some big title matches taking place over the final three nights.

Hiroshima Green Arena Small Arena

1. Jushin Thunder Liger, Hirai Kawato & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Tiger Mask, Katsuya Kitamura & Shota Umino
2. Takashi Iizuka, El Desperado & TAKA Michinokuvs. Toru Yano, Will Ospreay & Jado
3. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & David Finlay vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens
4. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi (c) vs. Rocky Romero & Beretta
5. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI vs. Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi, Ricochet & Yoshitatsu
6. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi
7. NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki

Beppu Baycon Plaza

1. Jushin Thunder Liger, Hirai Kawato & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Tiger Mask, Katsuya Kitamura & Shota Umino
2. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & El Desperado vs. Rocky Romero, Beretta & Jado
3. SANADA & BUSHI vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Yoshitatsu
4. Hiroyoshi Tanzan, Satoshi Kojima & David Finlay vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Yujiro Takahashi
5. Minoru Suzki, Takashi Iizuka & TAKA Michinoku  vs. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Will Ospreay
6. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega & Chase Owens
7. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Ricochet
8. Special Singles Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. EVIL
9. IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Juice Robinson

NJPW "WRESTLING DONTAKU 2017", 03.05.2017
Fukuoka Kokousai Center

0. Katsuya Kitamura & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Yoshitatsu & Hirai Kawato
1. YOSHI-HASHI & Will Ospreay vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens
2. Togi Makabe, Tiger Mask W & Tiger Mask vs. Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Thunder Liger
3. Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Jado, Rocky Romero & Beretta vs. Minori Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & El Desperado
4. Cody vs. David Finlay
5. Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Juice Robinson & KUSHIDA
6. IWGP Tag Team Championship , 3 Way Match: Raymond Rowe & Hanson (c) vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa
7. NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Ricochet (c) vs. SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI
8. Special Singles Match: Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii
9. IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Bad Luck Fale

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