By Jason Powell
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New Japan Pro Wrestling New Year Dash 2018
Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
Broadcast live on New Japan World.
Kevin Kelly and Don Callis served as the English broadcast team…
1. Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, and Manabu Nakanishi defeated Ren Narita, Shota Umino, Tetsuhiro Yagi, and Tomoyuki Oka. Kojima caught Umino with a lariat and pinned him.
2. Taka Michinoku, El Desperado, Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Togi Makabe, Henare, and Hirai Kawato. Kawato took finishers from his four opponents and was pinned by El Desperado.
3. “Switchblade” Jay White defeated Katsuya Kitamura. Obviously, a bounce back win for White after he lost the Hiroshi Tanahashi in the Intercontinental Title match at Wrestle Kingdom 12. He dominated the match and won with his Bladerunner finisher.
4. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks beat Roppongi 3K (w/Rocky Romero) and Cheeseburger. Matt Jackson of the Bucks and Yoh of 3K were still selling back pain. Omega had his head bandaged and ribs wrapped. Callis put over Chris Jericho by saying he’d never seen Omega pushed like he was at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Nick Jackson sold knee pain early on. He went to his corner for a tag and both of his injured partners dropped off the mat. Matt tagged in a short time later and had his back heavily bandaged. Yoh joined him and both men comically sold back pain. Cheeseburger got his usual crowd pleasing offensive run before The Elite took him out with an Indytaker.
5. Cody, Marty Scurll, Chase Owens, Leo Tonga, and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Kota Ibushi, Kushida, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, and Ryusuke Taguchi. Brandi sat in on commentary and played dumb when she was accused of manipulating Ibushi by acting injured at WK12. Ibushi got the better of Cody when they were in the ring together with a near fall off a standing shooting star press. There was a fun stretch with the Bullet Club members taking turns being whipped by Scurll into the corner where they performed moves on Finlay. Tonga was too big to whip, so Scurll got on his shoulders and they both rammed Finlay. Finlay hit a uranage backbreaker on Cody. Brandi went to ringside and stood on the apron, which distracted Finlay long enough for Cody to apply the Indian Death Lock for the win.
After the match, the Bullet Club members worked over Ibushi. Cody prepared to hit Ibushi with a chair, but Kenny Omega ran out and stopped him. Omega and Cody pushed and shoved one another. They jawed back and forth. Cody left the ring while Kelly and Callis agreed that Omega let Cody know that he is the Bullet Club leader. Omega took a mic and said he’s sick of the infighting and the members talking behind everyone’s back. He said Bullet Club needs to be a team again. Omega said the thing they need is “Switchblade” Jay White, who came out. Omega told White he reminds him of himself in 2015. Omega gave White a Bullet Club shirt, which he eventually put on. White went for a “too sweet” hand gesture, but Omega waved that off and they hugged. However, White gave Omega a Bladerunner and then went to ringside and threw down the t-shirt.
6. Tama Tonga, Tonga Roa, and Bad Luck Fale defeated Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, and Beretta to win the Never Openweight Tag Titles. Tama Tonga pinned Beretta. The broadcast team noted that the gauntlet match that Ishii, Yano, and Beretta worked the night before at WK12 didn’t help. Kelly added that the matches for this event were put together on the day of the show and the champions didn’t have much time to prepare for their challengers. So the Bullet Club regained the titles they won in December and then lost the night before at WK12.
7. Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki, and Zack Sabre, Jr. defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, War Machine, and Michael Elgin. Suzuki’s head was shaved bald per the stipulations of his WK12 match. He shaved some off at that event, but was bald for this match. Smith and Archer performed their Killer Bomb finisher on Hanson of War Machine, allowing Smith to pin him for the win. The rumors of War Machine heading to WWE/NXT help explains their losses on back to back nights. After the match, Suzuki attacked Tanahashi and targeted his right knee. Suzuki cut a promo while standing over Tanahashi while holding onto his Intercontinental Title, which he eventually left in the ring. Tanahashi had to be helped to the back.
8. Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, Evil, Sanada, and Bushi defeated Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, Gedo, Hirooki Goto, and Yoshi-Hashi. Naito won a good match with his Destino finisher on Yoshi-Hashi. Los Ingobernables worked over their Chaos opponents after the match. Sanada put Okada in his finisher while Kelly said he was sending a huge message to the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Los Ingobernables eventually cleared the Chaos crew from the ring. Naito delivered a promo in Japanese. They all put their fists together and then Takahashi, Evil, Sanada, and Bushi left the ring.
With Naito alone in the ring, Chris Jericho showed up and attacked him from behind. The young boys entered the ring and pulled off Jericho. Naito recovered and his stable mates returned to ringside. Naito went after Jericho briefly and then laid down in the ring. Jericho broke free and attacked Naito on the mat. Jericho threw a fit at ringside, dropped and f-bomb, and threw a table before he was escorted up the aisle. Naito grabbed a chair and teased tossing it, but instead sat down on the chair with his back turned to Jericho, who flashed a grin from the aisle.
Kelly hyped their next event as “The New Beginning” for January 27 in Sapporo, Japan.