NJPW “Wrestling Dontaku” results (5/4): Vetter’s review of Jon Moxley vs. Ren Narita for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, Nic Nemeth vs. David Finlay for the IWGP Global Championship

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

New Japan Pro Wrestling “Wrestling Dontaku”
May 4, 2024 in Fukuoka, Japan at Fukuoka Convention Center
Streamed live on New Japan World

This lineup was shuffled in the past 24 hours to include David Finlay vs. Nic Nemeth after their brawl to conclude Friday’s show. Chris Charlton provided solo commentary as the show began; he said Jeff Cobb would join him later. Charlton added they had a huge walk-up crowd due to adding the Nemeth-Finlay match. This is a small arena and the crowd is maybe 2,000.

1. Togi Makabe and Katsuya Murashima defeated Jet Wei and Naoki Sakurajima in a Frontier Zone match at 7:07. Jet is younger with a full head of hair, while Naoki appears a bit older and he’s bald with a goatee. Naoki and Murashima opened. Jet grounded Murashima, as Charlton explained Jet routinely competes in China and Taiwan. Naoki tied Murashima in an abdominal stretch. Togi entered at 4:00. He tossed Jet off the top rope to the mat. Togi nailed a top-rope kneedrop to the forehead to pin Jet Wei. Basic.

2. “The Mighty Don’t Kneel” Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste defeated Tiger Mask and Shoma Kato at 8:10. Haste opened and TMDK beat up the Young Lion. Haste hit a senton for a nearfall at 2:30. Tiger Mask got in at 5:00 and hit some quick kicks on Haste, and TM applied a Rings of Saturn on the mat, but Shane’s feet reached the ropes. Kato applied a Boston Crab. Nicholls applied his own Boston Crab. TMDK hit a team neckbreaker on Tiger Mask, then a team powerbomb on Shoma, with Nicholls scoring the pin on Kato. Solid.

3. “United Empire” Great-O-Khan and Francesco Akira defeated Yuya Uemura and Douki at 7:53. Douki and Akira opened, and Francesco hit a dropkick. Yuya entered and hit some chops on Akira. Akira hit a doublestomp on Yuya’s chest. O-Khan tagged in at 3:00 and battled Yuya, and he hit his Mongolian Chops. Akira and Douki tagged back in at 6:30 and they traded forearm strikes, and Douki tied him in the Douki Chokey/triangle choke. They rolled around on the mat, when Akira suddenly mouse-trapped both of Douki’s arms, rolled him up, and got the clean pin. Uemura and O-Khan glared at each other some more.

4. “The Mighty Don’t Kneel” Zack Sabre Jr. and Kosei Fujita defeated “United Empire” Jeff Cobb and Callum Newman at 9:25. Kosei and Cobb opened with Fujita hitting a series of forearm strikes. Newman entered, ran the ropes, and hit his Mafia Kick on Fujita at 1:30. Kosei hit some dropkicks. Sabre tagged in and he immediately tied Newman’s arms in a straitjacket hold around his own throat, but Callum’s foot reached the ropes. Cobb tagged in and whipped Sabre into a corner at 3:30, and Zack again sold a rib injury he was suffering from on Friday. Cobb hit a closed-fist punch to the ribs and Sabre collapsed, then he tagged out.

Fujita hit a springboard dropkick for a nearfall. Cobb hit a running crossbody block. Newman re-entered and hit a dropkick into the corner, then a snap suplex and a penalty kick for a nearfall at 6:00, but Callum was selling a neck injury. Fujjita hit a German Suplex, dumping Callum on that injured neck! Sabre tagged back in and snapped Newman’s neck between his ankles. Newman got a rollup for a believable nearfall at 7:30! Sabre applied a front guillotine choke and he turned it into a triangle choke, but Newman powered out. Sabre ducked a spin kick to the head, and he nailed a Michinoku Driver to pin Newman. He kept selling the rib injury after the bell.

5. Shota Umino, El Desperado, El Phantasmo, and Hikuleo (w/Jado) defeated “House of Torture” EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and Sho (w/Dick Togo) at 7:33. The HoT attacked before the bell and all eight brawled. Desperado and former teammate Kanemaru traded offense in the ring as the others were on the floor. EVIL stretched Desperado and grabbed teammates’ arms for added leverage. Those two tugged on each other’s hair, and Desperado hit a spinebuster at 3:30. Hikuleo tagged in and hit a Mafia Kick on Yujiro, a snake-eyes on Kanemaru, then a Mafia Kick on Kanemaru. ELP hit a springboard Swanton Bomb and a Lionsault on EVIL.

Togo hit his knife-edge chop to Shota’s groin at 6:00. Yujiro grabbed his cane but Shota hit a dropkick before he could use it. Desperado kicked the ropes to crotch Togo, then Desperado hit a flip dive through the ropes onto the heels. ELP hit an impressive top-rope moonsault onto everyone on the floor. In the ring, Shota hit a swinging face plant on Yujiro, then a Hidden Blade to the back of his head, then a Death Rider double-arm DDT for the pin. Good action and not as much of the usual HoT chicanery.

* A reminder that Sanada has a health issue and has been removed from this show. Charlton remarked that Cobb is running late to join him…

5. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Boltin Oleg defeated “Just 5 Guys” Taichi and Taka Michinoku at 8:57. Oleg and Tanahashi wore their six-man tag belts. Charlton pointed the belts out and wondered who will be the next challengers. Taichi and Tanahashi took turns flexing and showing off their abdomens. Oleg and Taka opened and this is a massive size difference, and Boltin dropped him with a shoulder tackle. Boltin tossed him around in his arms and hit his gut-wrench suplex. Taichi entered and hit some spin kicks to Oleg’s thighs. J5G worked over Oleg in their corner, with Taka hitting a basement dropkick to Boltin’s back at 3:30.

Taichi applied a half-crab, but Oleg reached the ropes. Oleg hit a shotgun dropkick on Taichi, and he made the hot tag to Tanahashi at 6:30. Hiroshi hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip on Taka a bodyslam, and his second-rope summersault senton for a nearfall. Taka hit a superkick for a nearfall. He tied up Tanahashi on the mat and cranked back on his head. Oleg entered and hit another gut-wrench suplex on Taka. Tanahashi hit a Sling Blade clothesline on Taka, then the High Fly Flow for the pin.

* I believe David Finlay was slated to be in the next match and was removed so he could face Nic Nemeth later…

6. “Los Ingobernobles de Japon” Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Yota Tsuji, and Tetsuya Naito defeated “Bullet Club War Dogs” Drilla Moloney, Clark Connors, Taiji Ishimori, and Gedo at 10:02. LIJ attacked and they all brawled. Yota bodyslammed Connors. Gedo dragged Yota to the floor and slammed him back-first into the guardrail at 1:30. The heels kept Yota in their corner. Hiromu entered and hit a headscissors takedown on Ishimori at 6:00. Ishimori fired back with a handspring-back-spin kick on Takahashi, and they were both down. Naito tagged in for the first time at 8:00 and he traded forearm strikes with Drilla. Bushi nailed a dive through the ropes. Naito hit a tornado DDT on Drilla, then a Destino for the pin. Okay match; they didn’t go all out.

* Jeff Cobb showed up to do commentary!

7. “Bullet Club War Dogs” Chase Owens and Kenta defeated “Bishamon” Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles at 12:43. Chase and Goto opened, and Chase hit a senton at 1:30. Yoshi-Hashi entered and hit a delayed vertical suplex on Kenta at 4:30. Goto hit a back suplex on Chase. Chase set up for a package piledriver but Goto escaped. Yoshi-Hashi hit a Headhunter neckbreaker on Chase at 9:00. Goto hit a neckbreaker over his knee on Kenta, and they were all down. Kenta hit a chairshot to Goto’s back as the ref was out of position, and the heels beat down Goto. Goto hit a double clothesline at 11:30. Bishamon set up for Shoto, but Owens escaped and hit a low blow on Goto. Owens got a jackknife cover for the pin. New champions! I don’t care about either of these teams so I’m indifferent.

Haste & Nicholls ran to the ring, holding their NJ Strong titles! It’s clear they want a shot at Kenta/Owens’ belts, too. ELP and Hikuleo also came to the ring and it’s clear they want title shots, too.

8. Shingo Takagi defeated Gabe Kidd to retain the NEVER Openweight Title at 21:23. This could be the main event. (Yes, I get that the title match still needs to be in the main event but this is the match fans are looking forward to!) They charged at each other at the bell and immediately traded forearm strikes. Shingo backed him into a corner and hit a series of chops. They brawled to the floor, where Gabe whipped Shingo into a guardrail. They slammed chairs into each other, and Shingo was suplexed on the floor. In the ring, Gabe was in charge. Gabe was arguing with Desperado, who was at ringside. Shingo hit a chop that dropped Gabe at 6:00. They traded chops and these were LOUD and it kept going and going.

Gabe bit the forehead. Shingo hit a suplex for a nearfall at 9:00. Shingo now bit Gabe’s head. Gabe hit a suplex and they were both down. They traded Saito Suplexes. Gabe nailed a brainbuster for a nearfall at 12:00; he pulled up Shingo but I think Shingo would have kicked out anyway. Gabe nailed a top-rope superplex. Shingo nailed the Made in Japan inside powerbomb for a nearfall at 13:30. They hit simultaneous clotheslines. Shingo hit some knife-edge chops to the throat. Gabe hit some short-arm clotheslines. (The 10-minute call was early; the 15-minute call was late.) Kidd hit a clothesline but only got a one-count and the crowd popped at the quick Shingo kickout.

Shingo nailed a Pumping Bomber clothesline. Kidd hit a piledriver but Shingo popped up and hit a forearm strike, and they were both down. Charlton was losing his mind on commentary. They traded forearm strikes while on their knees. They got to their feet and Shingo dropped him with a forearm at 18:00. Kidd hit a slap to the face and a second piledriver! However, he was groggy and was slow to make a cover and only got a nearfall. (Our 20-minute call is now really early!) Shingo hit a sliding clothesline but Gabe popped to his feet. Shingo hit a Pumping Bomber clothesline then an Ospreay-style vertical Tiger Driver for a believable nearfall at 21:00. Shingo nailed the Last of the Dragon for the pin. “What. A. Match. Let me rephrase that. What a fight,” Cobb said.

9. David Finlay (w/Gedo) defeated Nic Nemeth to win the Global Title at 17:01. Finlay came out first but he stayed on top of the ramp to brawl with Nemeth. They worked their way to ringside and kept brawling on the floor. They got in the ring and the ref called for the bell to begin at 1:30, and Nemeth was in charge. Finlay mounted Nemeth and hit some punches to the face, and he shoved the ref to the mat at 3:00. They rolled to the floor, where Finlay slammed Nic into the guardrail. Now back in the ring, Finlay was in charge of the offense. He easily tossed Nemeth across the ring and he posed on the ropes. Nemeth hit an Angle Slam at 6:00 and they were both down. Nic hit his series of elbow drops to the chest. He hit a top-rope elbow drop for a nearfall at 8:30.

They went to the floor, where Finlay tossed Nic head-first into the ring post! However, David charged at Nic, but Nic moved and Finlay crashed through a guardrail at 10:00. Nemeth rolled back in to avoid being counted out. Finlay hit some European Uppercuts as Nic hit some punches. Finlay nailed a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall at 12:30. Nic jumped on his back and applied a sleeper, but Finlay climbed the ropes and fell backward to the mat to escape at 14:00. Nic went for Danger Zone but Finlay was able to hold onto the ropes. Nemeth hit a superkick for a nearfall at 16:00. Finlay hit a powerbomb for a nearfall. He hit a second one, then an Overkill pop-up kneestrike to the sternum for the pin! New champion! Again, official (bell-to-bell) time is closer to 15:25.

* A video package aired of Ren Narita attacking Jon Moxley at Windy City Riot, moments after Moxley had won the IWGP World Title.

10. Jon Moxley (w/Shota Umino) defeated Ren Narita (w/House of Torture) to retain the IWGP Title at 27:27. Ren came out first; as Moxley approached the ring, the House of Torture attacked him, so Shota helped fend them off. Sho and Kanemaru handcuffed Shota’s arms behind his back and stomped on him! Sho hit an unprotected chairshot over Shota’s head.  The bell rang at 2:10 to officially begin. Moxley whipped Ren into guardrails then they brawled up an aisle and into the crowd. We saw Shota being carried to the back by some Young Lions. Ren hit a leaping knee off the apron to the floor on Moxley at 4:30, then he whipped Jon into the guardrail.

They got into the ring, where Moxley peeled up Narita’s shirt and repeatedly chopped him. Ren hit a brainbuster for a nearfall. Charlton said the roster is upset that Don Callis was able to get a title shot for Powerhouse Hobbs and they may not be inclined to come out and help save Moxley. (I don’t follow that logic but okay.) Back to the floor, where Ren whipped Moxley into rows of empty chairs. In the ring, Moxley hit a Stomp at 10:30. Moxley dove through the ropes and barreled onto Narita. Two tables were set up side-by-side on the floor, and Moxley hit a uranage off the apron, slamming Narita through them at 14:00, and they exploded and shattered.

Back in the ring, Ren hit a running knee. Moxley hit a clothesline and they were both down. Moxley hit a release suplex for a nearfall. Jon held Ren’s wrists and repeatedly stomped on his face at 17:00. (The 15-minute call was heard for official time.) Ren grabbed his push-up bar; he shoved the ref, but Moxley applied a sleeper. Narita pushed Moxley back into the corner, slamming the referee, and the ref was down. Sho and Kanemaru jumped in the ring, but Desperado ran into the ring and cracked the table shards over Sho’s head. Desperado dragged both guys to the back, so it’s one-on-one. Narita hit Moxley in the head with the push-up bar.

Narita rolled the ref into the ring and got a nearfall at 20:00. Moxley hit a stunner. They got up and traded forearm strikes. Narita applied a rear-naked choke and he switched to a Cobra Twist. Narita hit a German Suplex for a nearfall, then a Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. Moxley hit a second-rope superplex and he got a nearfall at 24:00. He hit elbow strikes to the side of the head, then he tied up Ren and cranked back on the head. The lights went out! When they came back on, EVIL and Dick Togo were in the ring, and they stomped on Moxley. They hit a Magic Killer team slam on Moxley at 25:30. Togo choked Moxley with his wire.

Shota Umino ran back to the ring! He brawled with EVIL and Togo, and he hit a DDT on EVIL on the ring apron. Umino whipped Narita at Moxley, and Jon hit a DDT. The ref rolled back into the ring. Moxley spiked him with a Death Rider DDT for the pin. I never thought the title was in danger here, an the House of Torture interference was entirely expected to make it feel close. Again, official bell-to-bell time is closer to 25:15. EVIL glared at Moxley before turning and leaving the arena. Is he next?

* Moxley posed in the ring. Shota was in the ring too. Jeff Cobb pointed out that Shota was staring at Moxley and his belt. Moxley finally grabbed the mic. “I promise you, no matter what the odds are, stacked against me, I will fight until my dying breath,” he said. Yep, just one long sentence from him. The confetti cannon then went off and covered Moxley in gold streamers. It was confirmed that Moxley vs. Umino will be in California next week. Cobb pointed out that Shota seemed to want to shake Moxley’s hand, but Jon didn’t respond.

Final Thoughts: A very good show. As expected Shingo-Kidd was a wild ride and a heckuva brawl, and I’ll go with that for best match. I’ll narrowly go with Finlay-Nemeth for second ahead of the main event, largely because I could see either man winning it, and that match didn’t have the outside interference of Moxley-Narita. The undercard was fine. I didn’t want Kenta and Owens to win the belts again, but at least a feud with Nicholls and Haste would be a fresh matchup.


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