By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling New Year Dash 2019
Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
Broadcast live on New Japan World
The English broadcast team was Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton (Rocky Romero joined them later).
1. Sho, Yoh, and Rocky Romero defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Lance Archer, and Takashi Iizuka. Yoh pinned Izuka. Smith powerslammed one of the young lions in front of the broadcast team after the match. Charlton could be seen grinning as Archer roughed up a couple of other young lions.
2. Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens over Tomoaki Honma and Toa Henare. Kelly asked Owens before the match if he had any regrets over what happened with Hangman Page at Wrestle Kingdom. Owens said forget Page and added something about it being a new year. Owens performed a package piledriver on Henare and pinned him to win the match.
3. Juice Robinson and David Finlay defeated Chuckie T and Baretta by DQ. Romero joined the broadcast team. Finlay was getting the better of Baretta when Chuckie hit him with a chair for the DQ. When one of the broadcast team members asked why, Kelly said it’s because Chuckie has lost his mind. Robinson bickered with Baretta afterward, and then Chuckie threw a chair at his head. Baretta didn’t seem pleased with Chuckie afterward. Kelly said Baretta “has to manage this.” Chuckie teased leaving, then returned to the ring and piledrove Finlay onto a chair.
4. Will Ospreay, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hirooki Goto defeated Jeff Cobb, Kushida, and Yuji Nagata. The broadcast team noted that Kota Ibushi suffered a concussion during his match with Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom. There was a fun sequence with Ospreay and Ishii working over Kushida that led to a near fall. Moments later, Ospreay performed a Storm Breaker on Kushida and pinned him. Kelly noted that Ospreay thought about performing the elbow move that concussed Kushida, so they are trying to get that over as being a dangerous move. Ospreay and Kushida fist bumped afterward.
5. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Taiji Ishimori (w/Jado) defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, and Toru Yano to retain the Never Openweight Six-Man Tag Titles. Kelly noted that Tonga is now “The Good Guy” rather than the “Bad Boy”. Kelly also said this was the only match he could prepare for, as he previously said they were handed the show lineup right before the were announced to the crowd. Tonga passed on a chance to run Yano into an exposed turnbuckle. His teammates scolded him by saying they were trying to win. Late in the match, Owens and Takahashi attacked Makabe while the ref was out, allowing Loa to get the pin for his team. Owens and Takahashi rejoined Bullet Club afterward. Tonga told fans he’s a good guy and that he loves them. Funny.
6. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, El Desperado, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru (w/Taka Michinoku) defeated Tetsuya Naito, Evil, Sanada, Shingo Takagi, and Bushi. Late in the match, Taichi hit Naito with a belt while the referee was distracted by Michinoku. Taichi followed up with Black Mephisto and scored the pin. After the match, Suzuki and Sabre worked over Evil and Sanada and left them lying. Taichi cut a promo telling Naito to hand the belt over to him. The Suzuki-gun members stood tall over Los Ingobernables.
7. Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, and Gedo defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, and Yoshi-Hashi. Yoshi-Hashi picked up a late near fall on White, who came back with a Bladerunner for the win. White glared at Tanahashi through the afterward. White took the mic and said he’s better than Tanahashi and will prove it to him. White said it’s the Switchblade Era and it’s his belt. “Old man, you wanna prove me wrong?” White asked. “You can barely f—ing walk.” Tanahashi entered the ring and approached White only to have Gedo hit him from behind. White worked over Tanahashi until Okada ran in and fought with the three heels before he was outnumbered. White gave Tanahashi a Bladerunner and left him lying. White said he beat Okada last night (at Wrestle Kingdom) and he’ll beat Tanahashi and become the new IWPG Heavyweight Champion. White posed with the championship before placing it on the fallen Tanahashi.
Powell’s POV: A decent at best show that lacked the big angle that one would hope to see on the annual Dash event. They set the course for some new programs and continued to position White strongly as the major heel threat to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Perhaps the biggest story of the night is that none of the Elite members, including Kenny Omega, worked the show. Overall, it was a flat follow-up to the strong Wrestle Kingdom 13 event. That said, it is available to watch for free on the New Japan World streaming site.
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