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By Matthew Macklin on 2019-06-09 08:25:00

NJPW Dominion, Osaka-Jo Hall, June 9th:

Jon Moxley defeated Shota Umino.  Umino began this with a dive out of the ring onto Moxley and a missile dropkick. Moxley soon cut him off with a lariat and wore him out with strikes, and then used a Regal Stretch. Umino made a very brief comeback before Moxley dropped him with the double arm DDT.  After the match Moxley grabbed a mic and said he wants in the G1 and then helped Umino out of the ring and to the back.

Shingo Takagi defeated Satoshi Kojima.  Shingo asked to test himself against a heavyweight and he got his wish. Shingo has to work for this win and they told the story of the differences in weight class here for Shingo.  They traded forearms on the floor early. Shingo hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron, and Kojima hit a DDT on the apron. Kojima hit a Koji Cutter and another from the apron, then a Brainbuster for near falls. Shingo fought his way into the match and hit the Pumping Bomber, but Kojima stayed on his feet. They ran at each other with lariats, but Kojima won it out. Shingo hit Made in Japan and followed up with Pumping Bomber, this time bringing Kojima down. He then hit Last of the Dragon to score a huge win. After the match, Shingo also took the mic and asked to be in G1 as he wants to test himself against more heavyweights. 

YOSHI-HASHI defeated Zack Sabre Jr & Minoru Suzuki.  Suzuki dropped YOSHI with a stiff forearm early on, and YOSHI was so out of it that Liger had to kick him to waken him up. Liger & Suzuki went at it with strikes, with Liger nailing a big suplex to win that battle. We had Octopus holds from Suzuki-Gun.  YOSHI & ZSJ had a back and forth, ending when YOSHI pinned him with a flash pin. So it looks like he will be getting a shot at the British Heavyweight Championship.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Chase Owens, Jay White & Taiji Ishimori.  Not much of a match here. Taguchi was worked over by the Bullet Club side. Tanahashi struggled to get any momentum going, as they continue to tell the story of his slow comeback from injury. Chase Owens looked very good and was a real ring general in a lot of ways.  The finish saw Tanahashi hit a sloppy version of a Slingblade and pin Owens. Tanahashi doesn’t look ready to be back in the ring and the commentary explained that he is doubting himself heading into G1.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Taichi.  Good match here as Ishii takes back the NEVER title for the first time in four years, beginning his fifth reign. Ishii tossed all of Taichi’s weapons away and challenged him to a straight match. He wanted Taichi to fight, and he got that when he was dropped with a hard slap and a boot. Taichi hit many different kicks as he dominated the match. Ishii struggled to make comeback and was always cut off with a boot. Taichi tried to use low blows after a ref bump, but Ishii blocked them. He eventually had enough and no sold a kick from Taichi, and unloaded with lariats and a powerbomb. Ishii the dropped him with a Brainbuster to get the win and hopefully kick some life into this division. 

IWGP Tag Team Championship: Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa defeated EVIL & SANADA.  GOD took control when Jado struck EVIL with the kendo stick. GOD worked him over for what felt like a long time, until SANAD got the tag and picked up the pace. The trapped Loa in the paradise lock and took out Jado with a cross body. The ref went down eventually and it led to Jado getting involved again, using the kendo stick. BUSHI made an appearance to mist Jado and even the odds. EVIL & SANADA went for Magic Killer, but Tonga snuck out and rolled up EVIL with a handful of tights to retain. This was the right result.  

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay defeated Dragon Lee.  This was incredible. This match had some of the wildest, jaw dropping spots I’ve ever seen. The craziest of which saw Lee hit a suicide dive as Ospreay sat on the guard rail, with them both crashing over the announce desks. Ospreay hit a corkscrew moonsault to the floor. Lee went for a rana off the apron, but Ospreay landed on his feet, which was nuts. There was an amazing exchange in the ring as Ospreay landed on his feet out of a German suplex, Lee hit a knee and a reverse rana, then Ospreay hit a Spanish Fly, all at lightning speed. Lee hit a double stomp onto the apron, as Ospreay hung from the buckles.  Dragon Lee countered lots of things with big knee strikes. He countered a powerbomb into a Destroyer and nailed another knee for the near fall of the match. Ospreay then landed a series of kicks, the hidden blade, a top rope OsCutter and Stormbreaker to capture the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship. This was spectacular. After the match, Ospreay challenged Robbie Eagles to be his first challenger at Southern Showdown in Australia in a few weeks. 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito defeated Kota Ibushi.  This was one of the scariest matches I have ever witnessed, with Ibushi coming very close to being paralyzed, or even killed at one point. There was a lot of back and forth, with neither man gaining any real advantage. Naito spat at Ibushi, and turned the crowd against him. The match took a scary turn when Naito German suplexed Ibushi from the apron, with Ibushi cracking his head in the edge of the ring on his way down. When he landed there was a moment when everyone at ringside thought he was done. So of course, they got back in the ring, and Naito hit a reverse rana from the top rope, because why not? Ibushi looked concussed at this point, or his selling was amazing. Ibushi got back into the match with hard palm strikes and a stiff lariat. Naito hit Destino for a near fall. Ibushi was able to hit a big last ride for a near fall. From here it was one big move after another, all resulting in near falls. Naito hit a reverse rana and countered the Kamagoye into a spike DDT. He dropped Ibushi on his head with a Piledriver, again a kick out. Naito again hit Destino for the pin and to regain the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.  Not the right result in my opinion. Ibushi was cut off before he gained any momentum, and Naito wins back a belt that he doesn’t need. The story is that Naito wants to hold the IC and heavyweight titles at the same time. This match was just a bunch of dangerous spots, and if they keep it up, one of them will be seriously hurt.  Ibushi only just got lucky today. 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada defeated Chris Jericho.  This was one of the worst IWGP title matches I can remember in quite some time, and the worst main event match Okada has ever had. It was an okay match, but very short of the standard you expect from a main event on a major NJPW show. 

Jericho DDT’d Okada on the announce table. Okada went for a cross body over the guardrail, but Jericho caught him with an attempt at a Codebreaker. Jericho was his usual out of control, wild heel, and was getting into it with the ref. This allowed Okada to hit some dropkicks and get back into the match. There were some nice exchanges, with Jericho cutting off some of Okada’s big moves and hitting the lionsault, and locking him into the Walls of Jericho, which Okada battled out of. They both hit Codebreakers for near falls. Okada was starting to build towards the Rainmaker, but after a series of reversals, Okada caught Jericho in a pin and got the three. This felt like they had barely left third gear when it ended. 

After the match Jericho blasted Okada with a chair, hit him with the Judas Effect Elbow and then ran Okada into the ring-post with a chair around his neck. Hiroshi Tanahashi, who was on commentary, stood up and got into a pullapart brawl with Jericho to end the show. 

As the show went off the air, the crowd booed loudly, which is something I have never seen before to end a major NJPW show. 

A newsworthy show, with Jon Moxley, Shingo Takagi, KENTA and Will Ospreay (in his backstage interview) all saying they want a spot in the G1 Climax. If that all happens, we could have the greatest G1 lineup in years. 


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