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NJPW INVASION ATTACK PREVIEW

By Matthew Macklin on 2015-04-03 10:58:32

 

NJPW present Invasion Attack this Sunday at 16:00 JST Live on NJPW World from Ryogoku Sumo Hall. 

 

Invasion Attack is one of the biggest shows on the NJPW calendar and is headlined by a huge main event as Kota Ibushi challenges AJ Styles for the IWGP heavyweight championship. 

 

The show is sold out in advance which is a huge deal because none of the big three (Tanahashi, Okada & Nakamura) are in the main event proving that Styles and Ibushi are a huge draw.  Hopefully this will prove to NJPW officials that they don’t need to rely on the same big names to headline major shows.  

Yuji Nagata, Captain New Japan, KUSHIDA, Alex Shelley & Yohei Komatsu vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Ryusuke Taguchi & Sho Tanaka

Nothing much to say here, this will be the usual multiman opener with a lot of action.  Captain New Japan is in the match, so we already know who will take the fall.  

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga & Cody Hall (Bullet Club)

Honma has been picking up some wins lately in tag team matches.  Kojima & Tenzan are back on the same page after a dispute building to their NWA title match, which Tenzan won.  Cody Hall has been up and down since debuting.  He shows a lot of potential, but other times he shows how green he is and looks like he doesn’t belong in the ring with the calibre of talent associated with NJPW.   Tama Tonga got a nice win in Korakuen Hall a couple of days ago and I would like to see that built on.  The odds are that Hall will take the fall, maybe to Honma.  

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship - Nick & Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks) vs. Beretta & Rocky Romero (RPG Vice)

RPG Vice have gelled very quickly as a team, and in their debut as a team in ROH and on the Road to Invasion Attack tour they have looked like they have been teaming for years.  Beretta is vastly underrated and has improved a lot over the last few months.  This should be a great match and it is very possible that RPG Vice will walk away with the titles.  Watch out for RPG Vice’s new finisher, a Spike Sunset Driver.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship -Kenny Omega vs. Mascara Dorada

I have very high hopes for this.  Dorada is absolutely spellbinding when he starts flying around the ring.  Omega is the perfect guy to work with him and put together something very special.  This is Dorada’s first major singles match since signing full time with NJPW, so he has a lot to prove.  Omega just keeps getting better in his new Bullet Club role and I can’t see him losing the title this soon especially with the Best of the Super Juniors coming up.

IWGP Tag Team Championship - Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (Bullet Club) vs. Mike Bennett & Matt Taven w/Maria Kanellis (The Kingdom)

This is the biggest match in the careers of Bennett and Taven.  They have an opportunity at one of the most prestigious tag titles in the world and it looks like NJPW have major plans for them.  The Kingdom have improved greatly since they took part in the World Tag League last November.  They have been impressive as a team in ROH and Taven had a career performance when they faced The Briscoes in Atlanta a couple of months ago.  They looked great against ReDRagon last weekend at Supercard of Honor and face a huge test against Bullet Club, who are the most established team in NJPW right now.  I can see The Kingdom stealing the titles here setting up rematches on the ROH/NJPW tour in May.  It would also explain why Anderson & Gallows won the titles back from Goto and Shibata so soon.  We can also expect a lot of shots of Maria’s rear end as that seems to be a favourite of the NJPW camera operators.  

Togi Makabe, Hirooki Goto & Tetsuya Naito vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro ishii & YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS)

We are heading towards Ishii vs. Makabe for NEVER title and Goto vs. Nakamura for the IC title, so this match is designed to further those two feuds.  It should be a fun match with Ishii & Makabe going straight for each others throats as usual.  Naito is the odd man out here, so he might score a surprise win over someone.  YOSHI will most likely take the fall.   

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba

This is another one of those bizarre tag team matches involving Sakuraba and Yano.  Tanahashi wants to get his win back from Yano after the upset of the century in the New Japan Cup.  Since then Yano has done nothing but tease Tanahashi and piss off the man who is usually so cool.  Sakuraba & Shibata know each other extremely well, so hopefully Shibata can drag something out of him.  I’d expect Tanahashi to get the win over Yano here and put an end to that feud. Surely the great master thief can’t steal another one?

Kazuchika Okada vs. Bad Luck Fale

Okada has taken three devastating losses to Fale and has hit a slump after losing to Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom.  Top stars in New Japan are usually protected, so it is rare to have someone of Okada’s stature take so many losses in quick succession.  Of course they have helped build Fale as even more of a monster in the process.  Okada has been positioned so that when he makes his comeback and eventually regains the IWGP title, he will be even more over than he already is.  Okada has to win here.  

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles vs. Kota Ibushi

Styles and Ibushi have all the pressure in the world heading into this one as they have a sold out Sumo Hall there to see them.  NJPW, to the shock of many decided to go all the way with Ibushi and have him win the New Japan Cup.  I hoped it would happen, but I didn’t expect it too, and it was the right move to make.  Ibushi is a megastar and has everything needed to be the top star in New Japan.  This is a dream match to anyone, Styles and Ibushi are two of the absolute finest on the planet right now and expectations for this match are huge.  With the two men involved there’s no way it can’t live up to it.  The question is, will New Japan make a bold move and put the title on Ibushi? It wouldn’t shock me to see them do it and give him the sort of push Okada got in 2012.  But it is more likely that we will see Styles retain and head into the NJPW/ROH tour as champion.  I expect Ibushi to come within a whisker of winning and come out looking like a bigger star than when he went in. 


 

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