By John Moore
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s New Year Dash
Available for streaming with English Commentary on New Japan World
The show opened up with the ring announcer announcing the card to the crowd. Kevin Kelly, Matt Striker, and Yoshi Tatsu checked in on commentary. Yoshi said something, but the audio overdub blocked out his voice. Striker told Yoshi to stop dancing. The wrestlers made their entrance. Jushin Thunder Liger and Cheeseburger got the biggest pops.
1. Sho Tanaka, Manabu Nakanishi, Ryusuke Tagichi, Yuji Nagata, & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Cheeseburger, Tiger Mask, Yohei Komatsu, Fujiwara & Jushin Thunder Liger. Matt Striker called this a mix of legends and young boys while also acknowledging that the crowd was really into Cheeseburger. Fujiwara grounded Sho Tanaka with his legendary armbar that we all know and love. Tanaka came right back with a slap to the chest to challenge the legend. Fujiwara came back with strong strikes leading to the armbar again. Tanaka escaped, only to get stuck in the Fujiwara armbar again.
Jushin Thunder Liger made his entrance and singled out Shiro Koshinaka with a point to start the encounter of the legendary Junior Heavyweights. Both wrestlers looked even until Shiro grounded Liger with a hip attack. Liger responded with a clothesline and tagged in his buddy Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger of course couldn’t body slam Shiro. Nakanishi tagged in and hand no problem lifting Burger with one hand. Burger tried another bodyslam only to eat it into a crossbody. The crowd chanted the name of Cheeseburger.
Burger tried to go all Goku on Nakanishi with the punches, but Nakanishi sold it like Broly would, none. The Funky Weapon Taguchi tried to take advantage of his team dominating but Cheeseburger was resilient. Burger went extreme with the forearms on Nagata, but of course to no avail. Tiger Mask finally tagged in and got a rally on Nagata. Tanaka broke up the pin. Yoshi Tatsu and Matt Striker go into the history of Tiger Mask.
Moore Asides: To give a clearer picture of what Striker and Tatsu are trying to explain, Tiger Mask was a character from a manga/anime. He was a bad guy at first but turned good once he started to fight to raise money for the orphanage. If you played the Tekken series on PlayStation, you would know that the Jaguar-Mask King is the exact replica of the Tiger Mask story.
Fujiwara tagged in and took down the entire opposing team with headbutts. Tanaka ate a slap. Cheeseburger tried to congratulate Fujiwara but ate a slap himself and also took a headbutt from his teammate in a comical way. Nagata tried to take advantage of the in-fighting, but was met with the fujiwara armbar. Young Boy Komatsu tagged in to face the Funky Weapon. Striker called Yoshi Tatsu a “young boy commentator”. Komatsu got his advantage from a hurricanrana. Tiger Mask was in and hit the tiger bomb on Tagichi.
Liger came in with a clothesline. Burger tried to get a move in but ran into Tagichi’s hip. Fortunately for his team, Komatsu picked up the slack and a bridged pin attempt. Komatsu ran into Koshinaka’s hip attack just like most of his teammates afterward. Cheeseburger actually dodged it. And hyped the crowd up again. He ate a hip attack eventually. Koshinaka and Taguchi got a double hip attack on Komatsu.. Ryusuke Taguchi picked up the win for his team.
Manabu Nakanishi, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shiro Koshinaka, Sho Tanaka and Yuji Nagata defeated Cheeseburger, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Yohei Komatsu and Yoshiaki Fujiwara via pinfall.
Striker noted the legends in the ring while the commentators were drowned out by the overdub music. Kevin Kelly said that there might be some surprises later on due to this being the day after Wrestle Kingdom. Striker and Kelly had more awkward exchanges with Tatsu…
John’s Thoughts: This was a cool legends match that wasn’t meant to be too big. For those who know the older guys, we got to see them do their signature spots especially the great Fujiwara. The premise behind the match was to get some of the young boys over, but the one that got the most push from this is Cheeseburger who is his having a Michael Elgin run of his own in Japan by being the huge local favorite.
Kevin Kelly and Yoshi Tatsu take the babyface side in saying that the Young Bucks’ victory was a bit tainted. Striker acted like an obligated contrarian. Two more young boys made their way to the ring. It was Jay White and Dave Finlay Jr, son of WWE’s Finlay, the guy who loves to fight. Matt Sydal and Ricochet were their veteran opponents that Striker called two of the best athletes in the world…
2. Matt Sydal and Ricochet vs. David Finlay Jr and Jay White. Finlay Jr. started off against Sydal. The match subtitle typo’d David Finlay’s name as “Devid”. The two wrestlers had a chain wrestling sequence on the ground and stood even with Finlay. The crowd was quick to ask for Ricochet to tag in which Sydal obliged. Ricochet missed a flying crescent kick but ended up being the video game character that he is and used his agility to get a dropkick out of flashy moves.
Sydal tagged in and slowed things down with strong roundhouses on the young boy Jay White. After a flurry, Ricochet tagged back in and got a Kinniku submission move. White tried to come back with chops, but Ricochet turned the tables with a uppercut. White shook up Ricochet with a drop kick to tag in Finlay. Sydal tagged in on his side. Finlay got a flying shoryuken on Sydal and planted him with a backbreaker/dropkick combo with his partner.
Finlay had an impressive show of strength with a German Suplex. Sydal countered with a spinning wheel kick to tag the fresher Ricochet in. Finlay fought them off with European Uppercuts, until he ran into the boot of Ricochet. Ricochet and Sydal almost got the win with Stereo Standing Shooting Stars until White broke up the pin. White and Finlay were eventually set in the position for Sydal and Ricochet’s stereo full on Shooting Stars for the victory.
Matt Sydal and Ricochet defeated David Finlay Jr and Jay White via pinfall in 6:47.
Sydal and Ricochet picked up their fallen opponents and gave them handshakes for a good match. Sydal then jawed at the camera saying that they were coming after the belts.
John’s Thoughts: Ricochet and Dave Finlay Jr got the spotlight in this match. Ricochet got to do some of the fun Ricochet things that only Ricochet can do. Finlay got to show some power and stiff strikes. Of course, Finlay has the Finlay name. This was a good enhancement win for Ricochet and Sydal as they try to build up their case to go after the Young Bucks and the Junior Tag Team Titles.
Out next was Juice Robinson, known to most of you as the NXT Heel Hippie, CJ Parker. Striker noted how Juice was trained by Truth Martini which was fitting due to his opponent being ROH World Champion Jay Lethal accompanied by Truth Martini.
3. Juice Robinson vs. Jay Lethal (w/Truth Martini). Jay grounded Juice with a headlock which Juice countered into a pin. Jay tried a pin but Juice bridged out. Jay was nailed with a shoulder block. Lethal went high risk but got nailed by a Belly to Belly from Juice. Kelly said Lethal might be a bit shaken up from facing Michael Elgin earlier. Juice was tripped to the outside by Truth Martini. Lethal got the suicide dive on Juice while he was distracted.
Truth went in the ring and did a spinarooni as Lethal demanded the ref count out Juice. Juice beat the 20 count but was met by boots from the ROH champ. Juice tried to end Lethal’s onslaught with a chop battle which turned to a boot battle that he won with a pump crescent kick. The kick took some out of Juice as they both were grounded. Juice showed a bit of swagger with some right arms and topped it off with a strong left. Juice got the Cannonball on Lethal. He earned a nearfall after a high risk crossbody.
Lethal blocked a side suplex but got tangled in the fireman carry from Juice. Truth Martini came in and threated to hit Juice with the book of truth and got placed in the carry himself. Truth Marty was dizzied with the airplane spin and took a spill to the outside. Lethal hit a springboard cutter to shake up Juice and topped it off with the Lethal Injection to pick up the win.
Jay Lethal defeated Juice Robinson via pinfall in 7:11.
Kevin Kelly went over how the Lethal Injection has led Lethal to holding both the ROH World and Television titles and how he calls himself the greatest wrestler in pro wrestling today…
John’s Thoughts: This was yet another young boy spotlight match, but the young boy in this match was a bit more seasoned than most and put on a good showing against the ROH Champion. He’s still that solid Heath Slater like jobber though which is the role he played on his way out of WWE. The guy is solid in the ring and hopefully he changes up his look so he isn’t just NXT Hippie CJ Parker. He doesn’t even have to cut the hair, just unleash the dreads.
Next we got an ten man tag with Bullet Club against GBH, Tencozy, and KUSHIDA. Haku joined his son Tama as a member of Bullet Club…
4. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Tama Tonga, Takahashi, and Haku (w/Amber Gallows) vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Tomoaki Honma, and Togi Makabe. Bullet Club didn’t let the babyfaces finish their entrances and started the attack. Tonga and Takahashi had Tencozy in the ring isolated. Tencozy came right back and isolated Takahashi. Kojima went one on one with Takahashi in the ring. Tama Tonga ended his chop rally by attack Kojima from behind. Karl Anderson picked up the scraps of Kojima and started a chop rally of his own. Kojima went for a forearm rally, but ate an uppercut.
Haku tagged in and chopped Kojima. Haku took a few strikes from Kojima but no-sold the strikes. Tama Tonga tagged in and hit a double headbutt with his father on Kojima. Tonga mounted a ground and pound attack on Kojima. Doc Gallows tagged in and picked up where Tonga left off. Tenzan made sure the pin was broken. Kojima saw a glimpse of hope after DDT-ing Takahashi, but the Bullet Club knocked the babyfaces off the apron.
KUSHIDA made it to the apron and got tagged in. He took out Takahashi with a dropkick and kept the rest of the Bullet Club ad bay. KUSHIDA got the hoverboard lock (Kimura w/ Bodyscissors) on Takahashi. Takahashi fought out. Makabe tagged in and Gallows tagged in. Makabe won the battle of the big men and got the ten count punches on Gallows. Gallows grounded Makabe with is finisher, the Gallows pole, and tagged in Haku. Haku got some rapid punches on the Tag champ. Haku tried to no-sell a clothesline, but was shaken up which allowed Honma to tag in.
Haku quickly dominated and elbow dropped Honma. The Bullet Club took turns hitting Honma with power moves. Haku planted Honma with a pile driver. Gallows and Anderson tried to get a combo move, but Makabe broke it up. Anderson came out of nowhere and hit Makabe with his Gun Stun cutter. Honma blocked two Gun Stuns but not a third. The former tag champs hit the Magic Killer to earn the victory in this grudge match.
Bullet Club defeated KUSHIDA, Honma, Makabe, Tenzan, and Kojima via pinfall in 11:30.
John’s Thoughts: This was a solid match for both teams and ultimately good to get some heat back on Bullet Club. It was also cool to see Bullet Club pick up the win without outside interference which we got too much of during Wrestle Kingdom, only typical tag team interference. Haku got a chance to shine here as the honorary legend of this match.
Gallows said that the Bullet Club was the best mother—-in’ tag team in the world. Anderson grabbed Kelly’s headset and said he can’t remember a night after Wrestle Kingdom where he isn’t f—in’ hungover and that’s why they are the best tag team in the world…
Striker noted that Naito’s heel turn was caused by him feeling discriminated in Mexico/America. That’s why now he holds his eye open with his hands, which I will also confirm is almost as bad as the middle finger in Asian culture due to the racism of foreigners to Asians mostly in the 70s. Random Asian Immigration fact! Naito was joined by Los Ingobernables, the heel CMLL stable.
5. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, and Mascara Dorada vs. BUSHI, EVIL and Naito. Tanahashi led the babyface team and of course received most of the cheers. Striker said something annoying. Kelly brought up Tanahashi and Elgin possibly being a big Tag Team to watch in 2016. Dorada started off against BUSHI. BUSHI slithered out of the ring to avoid Dorada. Naito tagged in and Tanahashi tagged in return. Naito didn’t want any of it and tagged in EVIL.
EVIL drew Tanahashi’s attention to allow Naito to blindside Tanahashi. Tanahashi fought through the distraction and systematically took out all three heels. BUSHI got a knee to the kidneys to give EVIL an advantage. EVIL took the action to the outside. and worked on Tanahashi with a chair. The heels took out all three faces on the outside and sent a weak Hiroshi back in the ring. Bushi choked Tanahashi with a jacket.
Elgin tried to get the crowd to rally Tanahashi as Naito tried to pick up the scraps. EVIL tagged in and hit Tanahashi with a running senton. Michael Elgin broke up the pin attempt. Tanahashi grounded EVIL with an elbow and tagged in Michael Elgin. Elgin lifted EVIL into rolling Germans. EVIL tried to cheat with the eye rake, but Elgin powered back. Elgin deadlifted EVIL into a bridged pin that BUSHI broke up. Elgin Gorilla Pressed BUSHI with one arm that drew cheers from the crowd. Tanahashi took out Naito.
A shaken up Tanahashi was thrown by his tag partner onto BUSHI in a fun spot. Naito and EVIL evened things up a bit. Elgin lifted EVIL and Naito simultaneously. He fallaway slammed both of them. For some reason, Striker couldn’t tell that the crowd was chanting Elgin to draw out another awkward exchange with Tatsu. Elgin ran into the boot of EVIL but no-sold it. The two big men had a test of clothesline strength until EVIL got the German Suplex on his end. Dorada and BUSHI tagged in and they had a Lucha exchange that Dorada won.
Dorada nailed BUSHI with a tope suicida to get a Dorada chant going. Dorada went for a moonsault on BUSHI but right into the feet of BUSHI. Bushi came back with a hurricanrana. Elgin broke up the pin attempt. Bushi went high risk but ate a dropkick from Dorada. Dorada went for the airplane spin but took a mist to the eyes. BUSHI nailed Dorada with the codebreaker to pick up the win for his team.
Los Ingobernables defeated Tanahashi, Mascara Dorada, and Michael Elgin via pinfall.
John’s Thoughts: This was the best match of the night so far and interestingly didn’t have as much of Tanahashi as you’d expect. Michael Elgin continues his run of being a huge fan favorite in Japan. In Asian culture, if you make the effort to learn, accept, and respect the culture, we will usually accept you as one of our own. This is similar to how Prince Devitt and “Lionheart” Chris Jericho are extremely accepted well in Japan. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s teamed up with their version of John Cena to draw him even more of a pop.
Naito punted Elgin in the balls and the heels continued to attack the babyfaces afterwards. Dorada’s mask was ripped off and the young boys ran in to hand Dorada a towel. KUSHIDA ran in for the save and dominated a bit but took the mist from BUSHI. BUSHI cut a promo in Japanese over the fallen KUSHIDA. Yoshi Tatsu said that BUSHI said that he was coming after the Junior Heavyweight Title. Yoshi then said he couldn’t understand the next Japanese sentence, huh?
John’s Thoughts: It looks like we’ll end up getting a solid Junior Heavyweight Title program after this match with Los Ingobernables getting heat over top babyfaces in this match. KUSHIDA also has a good opponent in BUSHI and possibly Naito down the road to carry him as he moves away from Kenny Omega. Also, what was up with Yoshi saying that he couldn’t understand BUSHI’s Japanese? You had one job Yoshi Tatsu! One Job!
AJ Styles and Kenny Omega came out next for their match representing the Bullet Club. Shinsuke Nakamura and YOSHI-HASHI were representing CHAOS. Nakamura sported the Intercontinental Championship that he retained the night prior while YOSHI was in his usual Monkey King attire. Striker said that Drago (from Lucha Underground) and Shinsuke Nakamura are his two favorite wrestlers in the world.
6. AJ Styles and Kenny Omega vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and YOSHI-HASHI. Striker and Yoshi Tatsu made me facepalm with their commentary in the first couple of seconds. Shinsuke Nakamura started off the match against AJ to draw the pop from the crowd. Both wrestlers chain wrestled in a stalemate. Nakamura showed a bit of swag by using his head to prop AJ on the ropes. AJ brought up the pace to lead the two top performers at another stalemate. AJ and Shinsuke tagged in their tag partners to let them show what they can do.
Kenny Omega dominated early by dragging YOSHI by the hair. He kept YOSHI down with aggressive strikes to the back of YOSHI. YOSHI knocked AJ off the apron and had a little advantage with chops. YOSHI dropkicked Omega while he was drapped on the ropes. Omega got a nearfall after a leg lariat bulldog. AJ tagged in and isolated YOSHI at his corner. The Gaijin played the isolation game. Omega raked YOSHI’s eyes on the top rope during the isolation sequence. AJ and Omega actually worked an awesome heel isolation game.
YOSHI escaped the Styles Clash with a backdrop. Kenny Omega knocked Nakamura off the apron. YOSHI kept AJ at bay with a neckbreaker and managed to tag in the King of Strong Style who worked in those strong style roundhouses. Nakamura hit AJ with his signature knee to the gut to get a nearfall. AJ won the next striking exchange with an enziguri. Kenny Omega tagged in to take advantage. Nakamura kicked Omega with a double spinning wheel kick. Omega recovered, but YOSHI set up Ken with a blockbuster to get hit with Nakamura’s Boma Ye.
AJ Broke up the pin. Shinsuke went for another Boma Ye, but Omega countered. Nakamura blocked the springboard moonsault, but not the strong clothesline. Omega got a good nearfall after a deadlift gutwrench powerbomb. Nakamura blocked the One-Winged Angel (named after “One Wing Angel Sephiroth”). YOSHI tried to help Shinsuke but accidently tagged him with a clothesline. AJ Styles took out YOSHI with the Bloody Sunday. Omega hit Nakamura with two consecutive Boma Ye’s but Nakamura kicked out at less than one.
Nakamura grounded Omega with a reverse suplex. AJ Styles blocked Nakamura’s Boma Ye on Omega with a springboard clothesline and told Omega to finish Nakamura. Nakamura escaped a half nelson but ate a Pele Kick from AJ as well as a reverse hurricanrana from Omega. Kenny Omega lifted Shinsuke Nakamura and planted him with the One Winged Angel for the victory.
AJ Styles and Kenny Omega defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and YOSHI-HASHI via pinfall in 11:59.
Kenny Omega sat in the middle of the ring with a sadistic sigh of joy in his face. AJ picked up his partner and they stood tall in victory. Kevin Kelly sold this as a huge pin for Omega. In the middle of AJ’s turnbuckle celebration, Kenny Omega snuck up on him with the electric chair into the One Winged Angel with his face growing more and more into the sadism. The Young Bucks ran in to hold Omega back as the rest of the Bullet Club went to check on AJ. once the Bullet Club calmed things down. Omega and the Bucks hit AJ with a triple superkick. Karl Anderson and Gallows showed being conflicted over the matter but ultimately joined the rest of Bullet Club in putting the boots to AJ. Cody Hall was there too.
Kenny Omega grabbed the mic and had an evil laugh. He said that AJ, the crowd, and the TV audience shouldn’t be surprise. He told AJ that “we” [the bullet club] Made AJ a star, while Omega starved and struggled as a Junior. He said everyone called AJ a leader, a boss. But now he is fired. Omega called this AJ’s severance package. Omega said he is no longer a Junior and will not face KUSHIDA. Shin-su-ke Nakamura was his next target, which drew awes from the crowd. Omega said that he was coming for his title because the Bullet Club rules the world, because Bullet Club is 4-4-4 Life except AJ Styles. The Bullet Club stood tall with Kenny Omega as their new leader.
John’s Thoughts: That was a well written piece of business there, and a smart way to write AJ out of the Bullet Club. All signs point to AJ leaving, but this can also be a good set up for AJ as a babyface as well. With Nakamura already announcing his departure, AJ can easily slide into that role of perennial IC champ if NJPW wanted to. At the same time, Kenny Omega has a chance to shine as a full on heel leader. Gallows and Anderson being conflicted a bit could also write them out as well if they are leaving. Omega looks to be in line for an IC Title shot and this was a good start to get him there.
Kenny Omega and the Bucks went back in the ring to continue the beatdown. The Bucks superkicked AJ’s gut while Omega planted AJ with the Styles Clash. Kenny Omega’s imitation version of Nobuo Uematsu’s One-Winged Angel played as he left AJ lying. I can totally see Omega going full Silver haired, Trenchcoat, and Black wing at next year’s Wrestle Kingdom.
The crowd naturally started an AJ Styles Chant as the young boys helped him to his feet. A good shot showed the faces of some worried women in the crowd. AJ fought off the boys to the ropes and stood up on his own volition. After staggering a bit, AJ returned respect to the crowd by giving them proper bows and he stood in the middle of the ring, full of emotion. AJ was then helped to the back by the young boys. Striker and Kelly left AJ’s future up in the air while also wondering who was the leader of Bullet Club, Kenny Omega or the co-founding father Karl Anderson?..
Fish and O’Reilly came out to the ring leading their team with Goto and Shibata. The opposing team of RPG Vice, Okada, and Ishii came out to Okada’s Rainmaker music…
7. reDRagon (Bobby Fish/Kyle O’Reilly), Hirooki Goto, and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero and Trent?), Okada, and Tomohiro Ishii. Trent Beretta started off the match against Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly didn’t allow Trent to get anything and landed a cross-armbreaker with theatrics. Bobby Fish tagged in as reDRagon teamed up with a double roundhouse. Rocky Romero tagged in and wanted to continue his clothesline train from the night before, but Fish dodged and kicked Romero.
Fish was distracted by Beretta which allowed Romero to get his signature clothesline rally. Fish dodged the last clothesline, so Trent picked up the last one for him. Madness ensued with the tag teams taking each other out. Rocky Romero had Bobby Fish in a headlock inside of the ring. Okada tagged in which drew cheers. He got a nearfall after a springboard swanton. Bobby Fish escaped a headlock by biting his way out, but Okada dragged him to his corner so Ishii can isolate him from his team.
Ishii dominated with his powerful strikes. Bobby Fish thought he came back with a thrust kick, but Ishii fought back with a power slam. Fish managed to turn the tables with a Samoan Drop on Ishii. Shibata tagged in and continued his war against Ishii. Of course they pummeled each other with that NEVER openweight strong style. Shibata no sold a vertical suplex and hit Ishii with a German Suplex. Ishii and Shibatta took each other’s stiff punches as they tried to fight manliness with manliness. Shibata was grounded with a short arm clothesline which took the wind out of him as well.
Hirooki Goto and Okada tagged in as we now got the battle of the top two superstars in this match. Okada dominated completely and kipped up after a DDT. RPG followed up with their combo moves with Okada topping the combo with a low rising uppercut. Okada went for the tombstone, but Goto escaped. Goto caught Okada with a spinning heel kick, leading up to a cross armbreaker. Goto held on like a vice, until Romero from RPG vice broke it up.
Okada hit one of his sweet dropkicks to draw O-ka-da chants from the crowd. Beretta tagged in and planted Goto with a missile dropkick. Shibata broke up the pin attempt after Trent hit the tornado DDT. RPG Vice hit stereo tiger knees and a footstomp. O’Reilly broke up this pin. reDRagon then hit their signature combos on Rocky Romero. They almost finished their combo on Trent, until Ishii came in. Ishii ate up O’Reilly’s moves like a sponge, until the other striking sponge Shibata came in to take Ishii out.
Goto had a little rally of his own. Goto had Trent locked in an armbar and picked up the submission win.
reDRagon, Goto, and Shibata defeated RPG Vice, Okada, and Tomohiro Ishii via submission in 13:35.
John’s Thoughts: This was a fun showcase for a handful of the top talent in New Japan. RPG Vice eats a lot of losses and come out just fine because they can put on a solid match whenever, the same can be said about reDRagon, but they just win a lot more. This is also a New Japan booking pattern, but a solid one as the World Champion will lose a match, yet protected since he didn’t take the pin or cost his team the match. Goto and Shibata also gain a little bit of steam here.
Goto stood in the ring for a promo where he calls out Okada. Okada stood to listen. Yoshi Tatsu told us that Goto said he was taking the World Title, which we could have guessed. Okada and Gedo didn’t look impressed. Okada entered the ring once Goto left for a promo of his own. He said something about the G1. Yoshi Tatsu said he was confused as to what Okada said (oh gawd, You have one job!). I don’t know Japanese at all, but I’ll translate it better out of context than Yoshi Tatsu, I think Okada said that he’s going to take Goto up on that challenge if Goto can prove himself, but it will all be for naught on Goto’s end due to Okada being the ace of New Japan.
<b><u>John’s Thoughts:</u></b> Ughhh… What is Yoshi Tatsu here for if he can’t translate his native language? And I’m not blaming him as much as I question why New Japan put him his this position. Gedo couldn’t take this task? How bout Smackdown’s No. 1 Announcer Sho Funaki? AAA in 2014’s TripleMania had Vampiro and Hugo Savinovich do commentary and translations and they did it extremely fluid, albeit with terrible sound mixing. New Japan can’t pull out the same? As for the promo, It looked good from what I could guess, but Goto hasn’t quite clicked for me yet as a consistent top performer.
The NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team match was up next. It’s essentially New Japan’s new Trios Titles…
8. Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, and Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson (w/Cody Hall) in a trios match for the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Championship. Matt Jackson started against Mark Briscoe. Matt told everyone to suck it. Mark did his redneck kung fu crane kick. Kevin Kelly brought up a supposed legit IQ test to rank the intelligence of ROH Stars. Bryan Danielson was first place, Nigel McGuiness was second, Mark Briscoe was Third.
The Briscoes worked over Nick Jackson in tandem. Jay tried to earn a pin after a follow through forearm. Yano tagged in to face Bad Luck Fale. Yano used the ropes to hide from Fale with the crowd behind him. He tried to use the same exposed turnbuckle trick from Wrestle Kingdom but was thwarted. Yano managed to yank the turnbuckle cover off later on but Fale was ready. Yano dodged Fale’s clothesline during his RVD pose.
Fale caught Yano during the 2nd RVD pose. The Bucks kicked Yano as he hid on the ropes again. Fale worked on Yano on the outside. Yano was brought back in and Fale squished him. with his feet. The crowd liked some of the obnoxious antics of the Bucks. Fale tagged in and was all business with a methodical plan of attack. Yano managed to dodge Fale into the exposed turnbuckle and take advantage of the showboating from the Bucks.
After some rallying from the crowd, Jay Briscoe was able to tag in to fight against Nick Jackson. Mark eventually tagged in as he and Jay punished Nick with headbutts. Matt hit Mark with a superkick to send him outside. Jay Briscoe was held by Cody Hall, but Jay dodged to allow Nick to accidently nail him with the apron running knee. Mark Briscoe took out Matt with a dropkick to the outside and Nick with a blockbuster. Mark almost got the win with a powerbomb combo, but Fale broke the pin. The Briscoes barely hit the doomsday device on Matt.
The Bucks hit rapid superkicks on the Briscoes. Jay Briscoe kicked out at two after a combo Swanton from the Bucks. The Bucks went for the Meltzer Driver, but Yano tripped Nick. Jay hit Nick with the Jay Driller. Mark followed up with the Froogy Bow for the victory to retain the six-man titles.
The Briscoes and Toru Yano defeated The Bullet Club via pinfall in 11:17.
Jay Briscoe grabbed a mic for a promo after the match. The mic crapped out on him as he was getting heated up. Once it worked, he said, dem boys have arrived. Jay said they came on their first damn show and won the first ever six-man titles. He then gave it to Mark who called themselves baddest damn tag team on the planet, but this was a six-man title. They couldn’t do it without the main man, Yano-san. Yano told some Japanese jokes. He ended with is RVD point. Yoshi finally translated something and said that what Yano said was he couldn’t understand what the Briscoes said because they were speaking English. This ended the show as Kevin Kelly, Matt Striker, and Yoshi Tatsu signed out.
John’s Thoughts: Cool main event match to send the crowd home happy as well as establishing these new Trios championships that they invented yesterday. The Briscoes were the Briscoes and Yano is sorta like the Santino/Eric Young of the group in that he has this adorable charm to him once he starts rolling with the comedy. Kevin Kelly’s ROH knowledge helped here as bringing Jay’s singles success up adds in-ring creditability to the team.
I sometimes get tired of the Young Bucks antics, but I do understand that’s the heat they are going for, and they do a good job of walking that fine line of obnoxious to overboard without going overboard. They haven’t gotten to Pauly Shore levels of annoying which is how the BroMans drew apathy from me and a lot of wrestling viewers. The Bullet Club loses nothing in this loss and can just rescramble and recoup.
This is totally a recommended show. Wrestle Kingdom was way better, mostly due to the importance of the matches, but this show was more of a starting point to the new “season” of New Japan Pro Wrestling. It’s a good show to get you started at the ground floor if you’re looking at following the promotion from here on out, so you don’t feel late to the party come January 4, 2017. The highlight of this show was the AJ Styles angle and the ascension of Kenny Omega so there’s that intrigue at least. There wasn’t a bad moment in this show, the only thing that would have made it better was if we had replacements for Matt Striker and Yoshi Tatsu.