— The following results are from Ethan Renner at f4wonline.com:
PRE-SHOW NEVER OPENWEIGHT SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP GAUNTLET MATCH: EVIL, SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI DEFEATED RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, TOGI MAKABE & TORU YANO, BAD LUCK FALE, CHASE OWENS & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI, EL DESPERADO, TAICHI & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU, TOMOHIRO ISHII, YOSHI-HASHI & ROBBIE EAGLES TO WIN THE TITLES (23:23)
First fall: Ishii, YH & Eagles defeated Fale, Owens & Takahashi (3:40)
Fale hit a tackle and a Grenade on Eagles for a quick near fall in the opening seconds. Ishii dropped Owens with a forearm. Yujiro took down Ishii with an inverted DDT. Bullet Club went 3-on-1 on Ishii. Owens hit a running knee for a two count.
Owens tried a package piledriver on Ishii, but Eagles saved and hit a standing sliced bread, then a plancha on Fale. Owens and Ishii exchanged lariats. Owens hit a knee strike. YH cut him off with a thrust kick. Ishii hit Owens with the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the first elimination.
Second fall: Ishii, YH & Eagles defeated Desperado, Taichi & Kanemaru (3:54)
Taichi hit an axe bomber on Ishii for a near fall. Desperado hit Ishii with a spear. YH hit a thrust kick on Desperado. Taichi took his trousers off. Ishii and Taichi traded strikes. Taichi landed a high kick. Ishii hit a lariat.
Eagles and Desperado tagged in. Eagles hit a springboard dropkick to the knee. Desperado and Kanemaru doubled up on Eagles. Kanemaru used an inverted DDT for a two count.
Kanemaru missed with Deep Impact. Eagles and Kanemaru did a series of standing switches. Eagles used a cradle for the pin on Kanemaru.
Third fall: EVIL, Shingo & BUSHI defeated Ishii, YH & Eagles (5:54)
BUSHI hit Eagles with a missile dropkick. EVIL tagged in and tried to rally the crowd. EVIL hit his bronco buster for a near fall on Eagles. Shingo tagged in and traded chops with Eagles. Shingo tried a pop-up DVD, but Eagles blocked and hit Turbo Backpack into a double down.
YH tagged in and hit a headhunter on Shingo, then a running chop, followed by a draping dropkick to the back for a two count. YH and Shingo traded hard lariats.
EVIL and Ishii got tags. They traded forearms and tackles. Just all action here as LIJ tripled up on Ishii. EVIL hit a spear for a near fall. YH made the save. BUSHI hit a suicide dive to Eagles. EVIL tried Darkness Falls, but Ishii blocked.
The finish was botched. EVIL hit Darkness Falls. Ishii kicked out late at 3. The ref called it as a shoot and called for the bell. EVIL hit an STO on Ishii after the bell.
Fourth Fall: EVIL, Shingo & BUSHI defeated Yano, Taguchi & Makabe (6:08)
Yano used a quick schoolboy for a two count before the bell. Yano exposed a buckle and sent Shingo in and used another schoolboy for another two count.
BUSHI tagged in and choked Yano with his shirt. Makabe got a tag. He tried ten punches in the corner on BUSHI but EVIL blocked. Makabe sent EVIL into the buckle and hit the ten punches on BUSHI. Makabe hit a northern lights suplex for a two count.
BUSHI hit Makabe with an enziguri and a DDT. Shingo got a tag and traded forearms with Makabe. Makabe ducked a Pumping Bomber and hit a lariat.
Taguchi tagged in and tried a hip attack, but Shingo blocked. Taguchi hit three amigos. He called for a Bomaye. Shingo blocked with a dropkick. Everyone jumped in. Makabe hit a double lariat.
Shingo and Taguchi were still legal. Taguchi hit a Bomaye and a Dodon for a near fall. Taguchi grabbed an ankle lock. Shingo flipped out. BUSHI spit black mist at Taguchi from the apron. Shingo hit Made in Japan for the pin.
This was frenetic and all action.
RYU LEE & HIROMU TAKAHASHI DEFEATED JUSHIN LIGER & NAOKI SANO (W/YOSHIAKI FUJIWARA) (12:17)
Liger and Hiromu locked up. Hiromu broke cleanly against the ropes. They tied up again, this time Liger with the clean break. Liger stretched Hiromu with a surfboard, then locked on the Romero Special, before giving up the hold.
Hiromu feigned tagging out. Liger turned his back, and Lee and Hiromu kicked Sano off the apron and double-teamed Liger. Lee tagged in and hit a one-legged dropkick for a two count. Hiromu tagged in and used a double sledge and a Fujiwara armbar on Liger’s right arm.
Liger fired up with shotei palm strikes, then hit tilt-a-whirl backbreakers on both Hiromu and Lee. Sano got a tag and hit a missile dropkick, then hit a double dropkick on both Lee and Hiromu.
Lee and Sano traded strikes. Lee hit a pump knee strike. Sano hit a lariat. Hiromu and Liger tagged back in and exchanged forearm shots. Hiromu scored a knockdown and taunted Liger. Hiromu hit strikes in the corner from the second rope, but Liger powerbombed him off.
Liger teased a Liger bomb, but Lee saved. Hiromu, Liger and Sano rolled to the floor. Lee tried a tope con giro, but hit Hiromu by mistake. Back inside, Liger hit a powerbomb for a two count.
Hiromu hit a German, but Liger no-sold it, then hit a shotei and a brainbuster. He covered, but Lee broke up the pin. Sano jumped in. Lee kicked him to the floor, then took him out with a suicide dive. In the ring, Hiromu hit a falcon arrow for a two count.
Lee and Hiromu double-teamed Liger with kicks and knee strikes. Hiromu covered for a two count. Hiromu hit a DVD into the turnbuckle pad. He teased Time Bomb, but Liger rolled him up for a near fall.
Liger tried a shotei. Hiromu ducked it, hit a lariat, then hit Time Bomb for the pin.
My video feed froze as Hiromu was standing over a fallen Liger after the bell.
I missed what was surely the best and most emotional part of the entire presentation. As a match, this was good but nothing special. With the post-match, I’m sure it was much more than that. Go back and watch the replay on NJPW World later to confirm.
IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: SHO & YOH DEFEATED EL PHANTASMO & TAIJI ISHIMORI TO WIN THE TITLES (14:09)
SHO and YOH hit stereo topes at the opening bell. While Ishimori recovered on the floor, SHO and YOH hit ELP with strikes. ELP then bailed to the floor to regroup with Ishimori.
Back inside, ELP used a distraction from Ishimori to hit a dropkick to SHO. All four men brawled on the floor. Ishimori and ELP took over from there. Ishimori hit a siding German and used a neck crank.
ELP and Ishimori used their comedy back rake offense. ELP hit a quebrada back rake. ELP then hit a springboard moonsault-quebrada-suicide dive-frog splash combination for a two count on SHO.
Ishimori and ELP used their tandem crotch stand on SHO. YOH jumped in and hit some strikes, but soon found himself tied to the tree of woe as well for a double crotch stand. SHO ducked a springboard attack and hit a spear.
YOH got a hot tag and hit dropkicks to both ELP and Ishimori, then a flying forearm to Ishimori. ELP cut him off with a thrust kick. YOH came back immediately, sending Ishimori up and over, then hitting a pescado to both.
In the ring, Ishimori hit a handspring kick. ELP and SHO tagged in. SHO hit two rolling Germans on ELP, then a double German to both opponents. ELP used an inside cradle for a surprise near fall. Ishimori hit a jumping knee into an airplane spin neckbreaker from ELP for a two count.
Ishimori hit a codebreaker to SHO, and ELP hit a best moonsault ever for a two count. Ishimori and ELP went for a 3K. SHO turned it into a destroyer on ELP. Ishimori and YOH got clotheslined to the floor. SHO hit ELP with a superkick.
SHO went for Shock Arrow. ELP reversed, rolled through, then hit a Styles Clash for a near fall.
Ishimori took the referee. ELP grabbed a title belt. Rocky Romero saved for SHO. ELP tried a low blow to SHO, but SHO was wearing a cup. SHO and YOH hit a 3K on Ishimori. SHO hit Shock Arrow on ELP into a dragon suplex from YOH.
YOH hit a double stomp to ELP while SHO held him in Shock Arrow position. SHO then hit Shock Arrow for the pin and the title change. ELP and Ishimori are so fantastic that their reliance on haha is a little off-putting for me. That aside, this was very good.
RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: ZACK SABRE JR. DEFEATED SANADA TO RETAIN THE TITLE (12:33)
This was a great change of pace and different from anything else we’re likely to see this weekend. Well done.
They started with some mat work, obviously. They traded a series of cradles. They traded a cross-arm choke and a variety of escapes and counters reversing the hold. Sabre kicked SANADA off, then rolled to the floor to reset.
They traded cobra twists. SANADA used a rolling cradle for a two count. He went for a standing moonsault, but Sabre moved ever so slightly, then trapped SANADA on the landing. Sabre trapped the left arm. He used an armbar, but SANADA forced a rope break.
SANADA hit a dropkick to the right leg. Sabre tried a PK. SANADA caught it, then wrenched again on the right leg. SANADA hit a plancha as Sabre rolled out to the floor.
SANADA tried a dragon screw, but Sabre blocked and went for a Zack Driver. SANADA blocked, but Sabre kicked at his arm and set up an octopus. SANADA escaped and used Skull End to set up a moonsault attempt. SANADA missed the moonsault. Sabre hit a huge running PK.
They traded uppercuts. SANADA missed a springboard attack. They traded a series of cradles for near falls. SANADA hit a moonsault into Skull End. Sabre slid out into a European clutch for a near fall.
SANADA grabbed Skull End out of the near fall. Sabre reversed into a cobra twist. SANADA pulled away and tried for Skull End again. They traded clutch attempts, with Sabre ending up on top in a European clutch for the pin.
IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: JON MOXLEY DEFEATED JUICE ROBINSON TO RETAIN THE TITLE (12:49)
This was not at the level of their previous matches. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, but it was similar to matches we’ve already seen them have without the same intensity. The post-match, though, was unbelievable.
Juice hit a plancha as Mox was making his entrance. Juice then dropped Moxley on the barricade, then hit a slam on the floor. Moxley posted Juice, then went under the ring for some plunder.
Moxley set up a chair. He teased an x-plex on the chair, but Juice escaped and hit a drop toehold on the chair. Moxley sat in the chair and Juice hit a cannonball on the floor. They climbed inside the ring. Moxley whipped Juice up and over the top rope, then used a chair on the floor.
In the ring, Moxley used a series of short punches to the head, perhaps designed to open Juice up the hard way. Moxley hit a backbreaker, then used a sliding lariat to pick up a near fall. They traded chops. Moxley bit Juice on the right eyebrow. Juice hit a spinebuster and a leg lariat.
Juice hit Juice Box, then stacked Moxley up on a powerbomb for a two count. Juice hit jabs. Moxley ducked the Left Hand of God and used a figure four. Juice reached the bottom rope for a break. Moxley posted Juice’s left leg, then used a figure four around the post.
Moxley placed a chair around Juice’s neck and teased a baseball swing with another chair. Juice blocked and hit a Left Hand of God into the chair. Back inside, Juice hit a superplex, maintained hold of the neck on landing, then hit a jackhammer for a two count.
Juice tried Pulp Friction, but Moxley blocked and hit a German. Juice hit a German. Moxley hit a pair of lariats. Moxley went for Death Rider. Juice blocked, then used a roll-up for a near fall. Juice hit a lariat into a double down.
They traded strikes while standing. They exchanged headbutts. Moxley hit a Regal knee. Juice answered with two Left Hand of Gods. Juice went for Pulp Friction. Moxley reversed into a Death Rider. Moxley then hit a second Death Rider for the pin.
As Moxley had his hand raised, Kaze Ni Nare hit.
Minoru Suzuki appeared on the stage wearing a track suit. On the way to the ring, Suzuki took the track suit off. He climbed inside and squared up to Moxley. They traded blows. Suzuki grabbed a rear naked choke, then hit the Gotch-style Piledriver.
Suzuki cut a promo. He asked Moxley who he thinks he’s picking a fight with. He said he’s the king of pro wrestling and if Moxley wants a fight, Suzuki will end up as the king of the United States.
Suzuki left. Moxley came to, then attacked Yota Tsuji as he checked on Moxley, thinking he was still in with Suzuki.
I give this angle one thousand stars.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: HIROOKI GOTO DEFEATED KENTA TO WIN THE TITLE (16:12)
Goto went after KENTA before the opening bell. He used strikes and had great intensity, but probably blew himself up, as he went to a chinlock in the middle of this brawl. KENTA responded with a running boot, aand the action spilled to the outside. KENTA hit a stiff kick, then a DDT on the ramp. Goto beat the count back inside at 19.
KENTA used a knee lift. He did some crowd work, then hit a couple of kicks. After some more crowd work, KENTA used a chinlock, then another knee lift. Goto ame back with some hard elbows, one of which dropped KENTA. KENTA sold it like a flash knockout. Goto used a side suplex for a two count.
KENTA dropped Goto’s throat across the top rope, then used a clothesline off the top for a two count. Goto used a misdirection spot and hit an ushigoroshi. KENTA used Game Over. Goto forced a break.
KENTA hit a Shibata dropkick in the corner, then used a double stomp off the top rope for a near fall. Goto blocked a knee. KENTA hit a busaiku knee for a near fall.
KENTA went for Go 2 Sleep. Goto blocked and hit a headbutt. Each no-sold some big strikes. Goto hit a spinning lariat for a two count.
KENTA caught a mid kick and hit hard palm strikes to the face. Goto responded with slaps to the face. Goto went for an ushigoroshi, but hit a GTW instead. Goto then hit a GTR for the pin.
This didn’t do anything for me. Goto has his good days and bad days. KENTA gets a lot of heat at times, but he usually has to beg the crowd for it. I think a fun sprint would have been better than the long epic they were going for.
JAY WHITE DEFEATED KOTA IBUSHI (24:59)
Ibushi avoided a Gedo distraction and hit White with some strikes. White came back and knocked Ibushi off the apron. Ibushi crashed into the barricade and slid down between the ring platform and the floor. That could have been really bad. I’m sure the platform serves a purpose but every year someone almost dies or breaks their neck on it.
White sent Ibushi into the barricade, and Ibushi just threw himself chest-first into the railing with abandon. In the ring, White used a chinlock. Ibushi responded with a snap rana and a plancha.
Ibushi hit a springboard dropkick, a powerslam, then a second rope moonsault for a two count. White may have been selling, or he may have broken a rib on Ibushi’s landing.
White hit a DDT, then used a DVD for a two count. White hit a series of uppercut forearms. Ibushi responded with a bastard driver. They traded a series of hard strikes. Ibushi went into his no-sell mode and dropped White with a huge lariat.
White hit a complete shot, followed by a deadlift German. White hit a Blade Buster, then used the Kiwi Krusher for a near fall. They fought on the top rope. White teased a superplex, but dropped Ibushi chest-first on the top rope. White hit a top rope uranage for a two count.
White hit a sleeper suplex. Ibushi responded with a V-Trigger. Ibushi teased a Bomaye, but faked it, grabbed a waistlock, then hit a bridging German for a two count. Ibushi then hit the Bomaye for a near fall.
Ibushi teased Kamigoye. White teased a Blade Runner. Ibushi hit a lariat. White threw Ibushi into the referee, who took a bump and flew to the floor.
Gedo jumped in with a chair. He used the chair on Ibushi, but Ibushi no-sold it. Gedo hit some kicks, but Ibushi no-sold those as well, then sent Gedo outside with a palm strike.
Ibushi hit a huge Kamigoye to White, then used a sit-out Last Ride. With no ref, there was no pin.
The ref was revived. Ibushi hit another Kamigoye. Gedo pulled the ref out of the ring and jumped in with brass knuckles. White threw a chair into Ibushi’s face. Gedo then hit Ibushi with the knuckles.
Gedo revived the referee. White used a straightjacket Bloody Sunday DDT, then hit Blade Runner for the pin.
White hit Ibushi with a second Blade Runner after the bell.
I liked this match. I thought it was better than White vs. Naito last night, but I didn’t seem to like that one as much as a lot of people did.
They played a video of Tanahashi dressed as the Painmaker, mocking Jericho’s video challenge. I would imagine if you are someone who indulges in herbal cigarettes that this video might have really messed you up. It was wacky.
Jericho was announced as the AEW champ and wore the AEW belt to the ring.
CHRIS JERICHO DEFEATED HIROSHI TANAHASHI (22:24)
They traded some holds and taunts at the outset. Tana mocked Jericho’s cocky pin taunt. Jericho hit a springboard dropkick and the action spilled outside. Jericho sent Jericho into the barricade, then up and over.
Jericho hit a DDT on the English announce table. He did a great job of protecting Tanahashi’s head and neck on what could have been a bad fall to the floor off the table. Jericho continued the assault in the ring with a knee drop off the top.
Jericho played air guitar on the top rope, then missed a High Fly Flow, allowing Tanahashi to really start cooking. Tana hit a slingblade. Jericho dodged a charge into the corner, and Tana accidentally took out referee Red Shoes.
Jericho hit a low blow and used his weight belt as a weapon. Tana responded with his own low blow. Jericho tried a bulldog, but Tana sent him feet-first into the buckle, then hit a somersault senton for a two count.
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Jericho hit a back elbow. He teased a lionsault, but got pushed off the ropes to the floor. Tana hit a High Fly Flow to a standing Jericho on the floor. Jericho tried to climb back inside. Tana hit a dragon screw and two dropkicks to Jericho’s legs in the ropes.
Jericho ducked a slingblade and tried a codebreaker. Tana blocked and hit a dragon screw then an inverted dragon screw. Tana went for High Fly Flow at the 15 minute mark, but Jericho got his knees up. Jericho hit a lionsault for a two count.
Jericho tried Judas Effect, but Tana blocked and hit a straightjacket German into a bridge for a near fall.
Tana hit the ropes, but ran right into a Liontamer. After a long tease, Tana fought out of the hold, then hit a GTR. Tanahashi went up top for a High Fly Flow, but jumped right into a codebreaker. Jericho covered, but only got a two count.
Tanahashi hit a codebreaker but Jericho kicked out. Tanahashi tried a slingblade, but Jericho blocked and tried a Liontamer. Tana blocked and used an inside cradle for a two count.
Tana hit Twist and Shout, then a slingblade. He covered for a two count.
Tana went up top and hit a High Fly Flow. Jericho rolled through on the landing and slapped on the Liontamer. Jericho was bleeding from the mouth. Jericho switched to the high angle version of the hold, and Tanahashi tapped out.
A very good match with not as much brawling on the outside as I expected.
DOUBLE GOLD DASH – IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT & IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: TETSUYA NAITO DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA TO WIN THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE & RETAIN THE IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE (35:39)
They went two and a half minutes before they touched, milking the crowd, teasing apprehension.
They locked up. Okada broke cleanly against the ropes. A lightning-quick sequence of ducking clotheslines and drop-downs ended with a back elbow from Okada. Okada hit a DDT for a two count.
Okada hit a scoop slam and a slingshot senton. Okada used a chinlock. You could sense Okada reading the room, deciding how to build the match, perhaps.
Okada hit a sliding kick. Naito answered with an arm drag, then a basement dropkick. Naito hit combinacion cabron in the corner. Naito blocked a kick, sweeped the leg, then hit a neckbreaker off the apron to the floor.
Back in the ring, Naito hit another neckbreaker, then used a crucifix hold. Okada reached the ropes for a break, but Naito was slow to break on the count from Red Shoes. Naito hit back elbow strikes to the neck in the corner, followed by elbows to the back.
Naito used a kravate. Okada came back with a running boot, then kipped up. Naito hit the ropes, but Okada hit a flapjack. Naito blocked a big boot, then blocked an air raid crash. Okada rolled through, reset his grip, then hit the air raid crash.
Okada hit a slam and a top rope elbow, then hit his Rainmaker pose. Naito blocked a Rainmaker with a series of back elbows to the neck. Okada ducked an elbow, hit the ropes, then ran into a pop-up spinebuster from Naito. Naito hit a top rope frankensteiner.
Naito teased Gloria, but Okada fought it off. Naito hit a big right hand. Okada answered with a Woo dropkick. Naito got a boot up on a charge into the corner. Okada dropkicked Naito off the top rope to the floor.
On the outside, Okada dropped Naito’s knees on the floor. Naito sold his left knee. Okada cleared off an announce table. He hit a chop block against the fence, then dropped Naito’s left knee on the table. Naito beat the count back inside at 19.
Okada hit a missile dropkick for a near fall. Okada hit a German. Naito ducked a Rainmaker, then hit a tornado DDT. Naito hit Gloria, then placed Okada on the second rope. Naito climbed to the top rope, then hit a poison rana for a near fall.
Naito hit an enziguri. Okada blocked a flying forearm. Naito ducked a Rainmaker. Okada blocked Destino. Naito hit a flying forearm. Okada escaped a Destino. Naito hit a rolling capo kick. Okada hit a dropkick, Naito no-sold it. Naito hit Destino for a near fall.
Naito missed on another Destino attempt. He ducked a Rainmaker, but Okada nailed him with a dropkick. They traded strikes from their knees. Both men were smiling as they exchanged shots.
They climbed to their feet. Naito spit on Okada. They continued to trade forearms. Naito ducked a Rainmaker and hit a slap to the face. Okada escaped Valentia and hit a spinning Rainmaker.
Naito ducked another Rainmaker and tried Gloria, but Okada turned it into a tombstone. Okada hit a Rainmaker. 1-2– Naito kicked out.
Okada called for a sit-out tombstone. Naito slid out the back, but collapsed to the mat. Naito again spit in Okada’s face. Okada drove Naito’s knees into the mat. The crowd booed Okada.
Okada hit another Rainmaker, and kept control of Naito’s wrist. Okada hit another Rainmaker. He went for a third in a row. Naito ducked, then hit Destino. Naito sold his knee on landing. Naito covered, but the split second selling his knee cost him, as Okada kicked out at two.
Naito hit a scoop slam. He went to the top. Naito hit a Stardust Press. Okada kicked out.
Naito went for Destino. Okada blocked. Naito hit Valentia. Naito then hit Destino, covered, and got the pin.
Another superb main event. This was the best Naito match in a long time. Years, in fact, if you don’t count the daredevil stunt shows with Ibushi last year.
Naito cut a promo. He said winning in the main event in the Tokyo Dome feels good. As Okada was helped to the back, Naito said maybe let’s do this again. Okada raised his fist, then walked to the back under his own power.
Naito was presented both titles, and posed as music played. He then addressed the crowd.
He said to everyone there and everyone watching around the world, he’s flipped the script. He said he’ll never forget this weekend, and he’ll step into the future with two belts.
He said for the first time in the Tokyo Dome, he listed off the members of LIJ. As he was finishing his speech with the LIJ chant, KENTA jumped into the ring.
KENTA hit a forearm strike, a PK, then hit a Go 2 Sleep. KENTA picked up both belts, then sat cross-legged, Shibata-style, on Naito’s chest.
BUSHI ran down and KENTA bailed. BUSHI helped Naito to the back, closing the show.
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