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By Matthew Macklin on 2018-04-14 19:09:00

Road to Wrestling Dontaku, April 14, Korakuen Hall:

Ren Narita defeated Yota Tsuji.  When another new young lion, with Tsuji making his Korakuen debut. Just like Uemura yesterday, this was an impressive outing. Narita went after the left leg of Tsuji. Tsuji fought his way into the contest and towards the end delivered two incredibly stiff slaps. Narita got pissed and nailed him with a dropkick and locked in a Boston Crab for the submission win. 

Yuji Nagata defeated Shota Umino.    This was really good, and a huge stepping stone for Umino.  He was quick out of the blocks, but Nagata shut him down and toyed with him, almost trying to bring out the fire in the young lion. It worked as Umino fired back into the match with two missile dropkicks and a German suplex. Nagata hit an exploder, but Umino fired up and got back to his feet only to be met with a kick and to be locked into a crossface for the submission win. Great showing from Umino.

Tomoyuki Oka, Manabu Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Tetsuhiro Yagi, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroyoshi Tenzan.   The young lions started hot and tore into each other. Team Tenzan started to work over Taguchi, until the coach got back into hit with a hip attack on Tiger. Nakanishi and Tenzan had a pretty ugly collision, which set up tags to Oka & Yagi, who finished the match.  Oka got near falls with a belly to belly and a spine buster, before he made Yagi submit to a Lion Tamer.  It's not very often that young lions get a win in matches involving veterans, so NJPW must have big plans for Oka. 

Taichi, TAKA Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka defeated SHO, YOH & Rocky Romero.  Romero was worn down by Iizuka as the big man bit and clawed at him. YOH was the recipient of the hot tag and looked good on TAKA until he was cut off by Iizuka and his iron fingers. Romero was also taken out with the foreign object, which left SHO on his own.  He was squashed by all three guys and finished with a super kick from Taichi. This was a really strong win for the Suzuki-Gun team, particularly Taichi. 

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defeated Toa Henare & Togi Makabe.   This was another great entry into the Ishii vs Henare feud.  Henare was worked over by the CHAOS team after Yano exposed a buckle.  Henare fought his way back in and Makabe took control over Yano with his usual flurry of lariats and right hands. It wasn't before long until we were back to Ishii vs Henare. Ishii blasted him with chops to the throat and locked on a gnarly Boston Crab until Makabe broke it up. They traded strikes and Ishii drilled him with the same lariat as yesterday and went for the Brainbuster, but this time Henare countered into a small package for a near fall that I completely bought. Henare hit a spear for another great false finish, but fell to a Brainbuster. After the match Ishii blasted Henare with another lariat.  This feud has been great, and I really hope we get a singles match at some point. 

Michael Elgin, KUSHIDA, Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto & Jay White.   Ospreay & KUSHIDA had a breathtaking exchange that ended with a KUSHIDA DDT. This hurt the already injured neck of Ospreay, which became the story of the match. His selling was great as the KUSHIDA led team worked him over. Ospreay made a spectacular comeback to get the tag. We got a taste of White vs Finlay and Goto vs Juice. The match turned chaotic with everyone hitting the ring, nailing big moves. It left Elgin to pin YOSHI after an Elgin Bomb.  

After the match, White jumped Finlay and dropped him with Bladerunner. They meet for the US title on 4/23.

Special Elimination Match: El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr & Minoru Suzuki defeated Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito .  This started with a wild brawl, with Suzuki and Naito dragging each over all over the building, and it took forever to settle down. KES went back and forth with EVIL & SANADA in the ring. The first elimination came when Kanemaru caught BUSHI with a low blow and a small package. He almost caught Naito with the same combo, but SANADA made the save. Naito turned it around and took Kanemaru out of the match after a low blow. We then had Naito & Suzuki fight to the apron. They teased finishers and both ended up on the floor out of the match. Suzuki lost it and turned into a maniac, breaking chairs over the back of anyone that was nearby. 

Next we saw Smith taken out after SANADA dragon screwed him off the apron. Archer blasted SANADA with a pounce and took him out. This left Hiromu against Archer and Desperado. Hiromu miraculously managed to take the seven footer out after targeting his knee. We had an excellent sequence of near falls between Hiromu & Desperado, which ended with Kanemaru interference allowing Desperado to trap Hiromu in a cradle to score the win.  This was great. 

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