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By Matthew Macklin on 2015-06-29 15:06:28

NJPW Road to Dominion Results from Korakuen Hall on June 28th:


Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Jay White.  This was so good.   Jay White looked fantastic and this was definitely the best match he has ever had.  You never know what you are gonna get with Taguchi, whether it be completly ridiculous or relatively serious, but thankfully there wasn’t too much “funky weapon” nonsense, aside from several ass attacks.  White even got in one of his own.  White looked like he had Taguchi beat several times when he seemingly countered everything Taguchi did into some sort of pin.  The best part was when he trapped Taguchi in a Boston crab, then transitioned into a single leg crab, then into a cross-face, then into a rings of saturn with Taguchi eventually getting to the ropes.  Taguchi finally won when he made White submit to an ankle lock.  White looked like a star here, and if he continues to progress at the rate he has, he will be a huge star in NJPW in the future.  

Tiger Mask IV defeated Sho Tanaka.  Tanaka was extremely aggressive in this one and went after Tiger right from the bell, even at one point tossing the referee out of the way to go after Tiger on the floor.  Tiger eventually got sick of this and started to beat down Tanaka with slaps and stiff kicks, but Tanaka kept coming back for more.  Sometimes Tiger Mask can be very dull and can be very unmemorable, but I love this side of him, the grumpy veteran taking it to the plucky upstart.  Tanaka got in a few near falls until Tiger got the win after a double a butterfly suplex from the top and a cross-face chickenwing for the submission win.  After the match Tiger Mask raised the hand of Tanaka.  

Jushin Thunder Liger defeated David Finlay.  These young lion vs. veteran matches are so great because of their simplicity.  This was a big match for Finlay and he looked to be having the time of his life in the ring with Liger.  Liger dominated the majority of the match, but Finlay got in several of his uppercuts, which are serious business.  Liger won via submission with a Fujiwara Armbar. Finlay is only beginning his journey in NJPW and it will be fun to follow his growth over the next several months.

Mascara Dorada defeated Yohei Komatsu.  We got to see a very different side of Komatsu here as he was forced to adapt to the lucha style of Dorada, and he looked very comfortable doing it.  Komatsu to me is the most polished of all the young lions and it was great to see him outside of his comfort zone.  He was forced to fly around the ring and keep up with the lightning speed of Dorada.  Komatsu kicked out of a senton bomb, but Dorada followed it up with a Dorada Screwdriver to get the win.  

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Captain New Japan & Yuji Nagata.  This was exactly what you’d expect.  The best part was Kojima vs. Nagata, two of New Japan’s most vastly underutilised veterans.  The crowd heavily boo’d Tenzan when he broke up a Nagata Lock which was pretty funny. Tenzan made Captain tap out with an Anaconda Vise.  

Tetsuya Naito, KUSHIDA & Manabu Nakanishi defeated Tama Tonga, Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club).  If this is anything to go by, KUSHIDA vs Omega is gonna be awesome on Sunday. Omega had some fantastic counters to KUSHIDA's Hoverboard lock. The same cannot be said for the exchanges between Fale & Nakanishi in the match. It wasn't pretty. But the story of the match was Naito. He is just back from a tour of CMLL in Mexico, where he was a heel. Here he was very distant from his partners, spending the first part of the match standing on the floor. He got the win on Tonga with a roll up and didn't do his usual routine of pandering to the crowd. After the match he wouldn't let the ref raise his hand, so we'll see where it goes. Naito has needed a fresh coat of paint for a while.

Kazuchika Okada, Rocky Romero & Beretta (CHAOS) defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (Bullet Club).  This was great, and really made me want to see a tag match between RPG Vice and Gallows & Anderson. The two work really well as a big heel tag team vs. the smaller babyface tag team. They were the highlight of this and did some great stuff together. Okada got the pin on Takahashi after a beautiful dropkick, an elbow drop and a Rainmaker. After the match Romero said RPG Vice would be the next IWGP junior tag champions and Okada would be the next IWGP heavyweight champion. Romero then did some Rainmaker poses, which are always hilarious.

Special Elimination Match: Shinsuke Nakamura, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano defeated Tomoaki Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Togi Makabe & Katsuyori Shibata.   This match has happened a million times in the last few months, but this time we get it under elimination rules. Eliminations can happen via pinfall, submission, DQ, countout or over the top rope.  The first part of the match was all about Makabe & Ishii, who went to war with each other, hitting each other with bombs until they eventually eliminated each other from the match when they beat each other off the apron after going over the top rope. Next up Tanahashi avoided elimination when he skinned the cat, but when Yano hilariously tried the same thing, he was drop kicked from the ring by Tanahashi. Yano is the best comedy performer in pro wrestling. A Yano distraction then allowed Sakuraba to roll up Tanahashi. I'm not the biggest Sakuraba fan, but I'm looking forward to his match with Shibata on Sunday, and the exchange between them here made me look forward to it even more. They took each other out of the match when they fell off the apron as Sakuraba had Shibata in a triangle choke. Nakamura and Goto then fought until Nakamura knocked Goto off the top turnbuckle and to the floor. At this point we are down to Honma vs Nakamura & YOSHI-HASHI. There was an awesome couple of minutes between Honma and HASHI as the crowd went nuts for everything Honma did. He got the pin with a top rope Kokeshi. The last fall of this was awesome between Honma & Nakamura, with Honma coming a whisker away from winning with a piledriver. He then missed a Kokeshi and Nakamura came off the top with a Boma Ye followed by a sliding Boma Ye to score the win. It was an awesome main event and a great preview of Dominion on Sunday

The four young lion vs. junior veteran singles matches were something a bit different, and were a lot of fun.  The Bullet Club vs CHAOS six man tag was great and the main event was awesome. 

The show is available on demand on NJPW World.  The next show live on NJPW World is another Korakuen Hall show on the Road to Dominion on July 3rd and Dominion is on July 5th.


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