By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “New Japan Road”
July 4, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
Streamed live on New Japan World
This was the second show of three consecutive nights at Korakuen Hall. Once again, there was Japanese-only commentary. I’ll reiterate this from Sunday’s show: Hiromu Takahashi (fever) and Tomohiro Ishii (knee injury) are back in action after missing the AEW/NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view.
1. Minoru Suzuki defeated Kosei Fujita at 8:21. Suzuki immediately grounded him with a violent-looking chokehold, then a keylock, twisting Fujita’s arm. Fujita hit a dropkick at 5:30. Suzuki hit a headbutt. Fujita hit a belly-to-belly suplex, and he was fired up. They traded rollups on the mat, and Minoru applied a Divorce Court armbreaker, and he turned it into a Fujiwara Armbar; Fujita tapped out.
2. Satoshi Kojima defeated Taka Michinoku at 7:02. Kojima walked to the ring with a title belt. Taka attacked before the bell and they immediately brawled to the floor. In the ring, Taka tied up Kojima on the mat. Kojima hit his never-ending chops in the corner at 3:30. Taka hit a knee strike to the chest for a nearfall. Kojima hit a stunner. Taka hit a Mafia Kick and applied a Fujiwara Armbar. Kojima hit a hard clothesline and scored the pin. Basic match. Kojima got on the mic and talked, clearly saying something about that title belt he has with him.
3. Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Ryohei Oiwa at 10:49. Oiwa is the best of the current Young Lions, and he opened by trading forearm shots with Honma. Makabe and Honma took turns beating down Oiwa. Honma hit a Facewash running boot to the cheek. Tenzan made the hot tag at 5:00 and hit his Mongolian Chops on Honma.
Honma and Tenzan traded headbutts, and Honma hit his Kokeshi falling headbutt at 7:00. Oiwa re-entered and brawled with Togi, and he hit his dropkick and his gut-wrench suplex on Togi for a nearfall. Oiwa applied a Boston Crab, but Makabe reached the ropes. Makabe nailed a hard clothesline for a nearfall. He applied his own Boston Crab, dragged Oiwa to the center of the ring, and Oiwa tapped out.
4. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and Taichi defeated Clark Connors, Yujita Nagata, and The DKC at 11:22. Kanemaru and DKC opened. Connors entered and traded offense with Desperado, with Connors nailing several chops. All six brawled on the floor. Back in the ring, the heels worked over Connors. Connors nailed his Monty Brown Pounce on Desperado at 6:30, and made the hot tag to Nagata, who entered the match for the first time.
Yuji hit a belly-to-belly overhead release suplex. Taichi took conrol and beat down Yuji. DKC entered and brawled with Taichi. DKC hit a missile dropkick, then a top-rope clothesline fora nearfall at 10:00. Taichi caught him with a spin kick to the jaw for a nearfall. However, Taichi nailed a Saito Suplex, dumping DKC on his head or upper neck, to score the pin. Solid.
5. Yoshi-Hoshi, Hirooki Goto, and Toru Yano defeated EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, and Dick Togo (w/Sho) at 9:48. A day ago, Yujiro scored a pin on Yoshi-Hoshi, which surprised me, so let’s see how that plays out with a storyline moving forward. All six brawled on the floor, with Togo and Yano once again brawling over to a large dog kennel. I am not looking forward to the payoff of that angle. In the ring, Yujiro beat down Goto and the heels stayed in control. Yano finally entered at 5:30 and immediately removed a ring pad.
Yoshi-Hoshi hit a fisherman’s suplex. Yujiro taunted Yoshi. Yano hit low blows on two guys. Goto hit his neckbreaker over his knee on Yujiro, and Yoshi-Hoshi made the cover to pin Yujiro. Rare 50-50 booking in New Japan. Bland match.
6. Sanada, Tetsuya Naito, Bushi, Shingo Takagi, and Hiromu Takahashi defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato, Tomohiro Ishii, Kazuchika Okada, and Alex Zayne at 15:52. Repeating this from a day ago: no wrap or tape on Ishii’s legs, and he seems fine, so hopefully that injury was minor. Ishii and Sanada started, and Ishii hit a big shoulder tackle. Naito entered at 2:30 and brawled with Okada. Okada hit a DDT. Wato & Taguchi did some team moves on Naito. Shingo entred and beat up Taguchi. Bushi hit a second-rope missile dropkick on Taguchi at 7:00. Taguchi hit his flying butt attack on Bushi.
Zayne entered for the first time and traded quick offense with Hiromu. He hit his flipping legdrop on Hiromu’s head. Zayne hit his forward roll-into-a-huracanrana out of the corner. Zayne then nailed his flip dive over the ropes to the floor at 9:00. In the ring, Zayne hit a spinning face plant for a nearfall. Hiromu hit a Flatliner faceplant, and they were both down. Wow, these two have great chemistry.
Wato tagged in, as did Shingo. Wato hit a huraanrana at 12:00. Shingo hit a sliding clothesline for a nearfall. Ishii re-entered the ring and traded quick reversals with Sanada. Wato hit an impressive German Suplex with a bridge on Shingo for a nearfall. Wato hit a crucifix takedown for a nearfall. Shingo fired back with a Death Valley Driver then his Pumping Bomber clothesline for a believable nearfall. Shingo then hit his Made In Japan pump handle sit-out powerbomb for the pin on Wato. This match started slow but really picked up when Zayne entered and it was a great finishing segment.
7. Kenta and Taiji Ishimori defeated Kushida and Hiroshi Tanahashi at 20:51. Kushida and Ishimori started with mat reversals. Kenta and Tanahashi entered at 3:00 but Kenta stalled. The crowd was hot. Kenta has a compression sleeve on his left arm and his shoulder is taped. Tanahashi hit a second-rope crossbody block at 6:00. All four brawled to the floor, with Kenta and Tanahashi still brawling while Kushida and Ishimori squared off. Back in the ring, the heels worked over Kushida’s left arm. Kushia finally made the hot tag at 10:00 to Tanahashi.
They once again brawled to the floor. In the ring, Kenta tied Tanahashi with a head-scissors lock around his head, and the heels stayed in control. Kenta hit several Mafia Kicks and a dragon screw leg whip at 15:30. Kenta got a crutch from under the ring, but Tanahashi hit a Sling Blade clothesline, and both men were down. Kushida made the hot tag and hit a crossbody block on Ishimori, then a stomp to his gut for a nearfall.
Kushida went for a Divorce Court armbreaker, but Ishimori tried to block it from being locked on. Ishimori hit a lung blower to Kushida’s chest, and they were both down at 19:30. Ishimori applied the Bone Lock submission hold, and Kushida tapped out. I didn’t expect that. Good match, but not as good as the six-man tag a night earlier. Tanahashi and Kenta brawled to the back. Ishimori spoke on the mic, while Kushida was lying on the mats on the floor.
Final Thoughts: A solid show but nothing was really stand-out; no must-see matches. I’ll give the 10-man tag best match, ahead of the main event. I love seeing the Young Lions mix it up with the top-tier of the New Japan roster, even if it is a one-sided beatdown like this Suzuki-Fujita matchup. New Japan has another show in Korakuen Hall on Tuesday, as we march toward the 28-man G1 Climax tournament.
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