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New Japan: Wrestling Dontaku
May 4, 2021
Live from the Fukuoka Convention Center in Fukuoka, Japan. Kevin Kelly leads the English broadcast.
Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., and DOUKI) vs. Bullet Club (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Jado)
DOUKI quickly hits Jado with an enziguri. Quick tags are made and Suzuki-gun triple team Loa in the ring. DOUKI hits an Asai moonsault onto GoD, but Jado swings a steel pipe at his ribcage. Jado rolls DOUKI into a chinlock, combined with closed fists to the head. Bullet Club work DOUKI over, even if the ref won't let them use the pipe again. Taichi makes the allegedly hot tag and storms through Bullet Club at half speed. Taichi may still be feeling the effects from a recent ladder match and ZSJ is more spry on his hot tag. Bullet Club cuts ZSJ off and Jado goes for a sleeper, but Sabre reverses. Taichi saves Sabre from Guerrilla Warfare, but takes the move himself. Loa dropkicks DOUKI out, ZSJ blocks Guerilla Warfare and cleans the ring in order to put Jado into a muffler for the submission at 10:06. Copy and paste opener, **.
Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Master Wato
Yujiro scores first with a kick to the gut, but Tenzan answers with a standing shoulder block. Tenzan unleashes some Mongolian Chops, and tags in Wato for a roundhouse kick/elbow drop sequence. Yujiro throws Wato out so Ishimori can bash him into the rails. Bullet Club work Wato over like good heels should. Tenzan runs wild on a hot tag, throwing more forbidden Mongolian chops. Yujiro bites Tenzan's thumb but runs into an overhead hip toss. Tenzan puts Yujiro into the Anaconda Vice, but Ishimori saves. Wato tags and looks for a springboard uppercut, but Ishimori trips him up. Wato lights Ishimori up with a series of stiff kicks. Ishimori counters into a back handspring head kick. Wato takes a tandem suplex from Bullet Club, but Tenzan saves the match. Ishimori finishes Wato with the Bloody Cross at 10:36. Slightly more interesting than the opener, but still pretty formulaic, **½.
Winners: Bullet Club
The United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, and Aaron Henare) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA, and Tetsuya Naito)
The Empire initiates a brawl before the bell. O-Khan sends Naito into the ring post while Henare stomps SANADA into the buckles. SANADA retaliates by choking Henare with his t-shirt. BUSHI tags in for a neckbreaker on Henare. Naito and SANADA hit Henare with a double hip toss and Naito dropkicks the face for 2. The Empire overwhelm Naito and isolate him for the obligatory heat sequence. Naito takes a good beating but manages a swinging DDT on O-Khan. SANADA makes the hot tag and cleans house with running dropkicks and an atomic drop on Henare. SANADA puts Henare in the Paradise Lock, and this spot never gets old. Henare then rolls through SANADA's crossbody and hits an extra brutal Samoan drop. SANADA and Henare duke it out like they owe each other money, and Henare dodges a standing moonsault and hits a vertical suplex. SANADA avoids a 2 on 1 situation and hits Cobb with a hurricanrana. BUSHI sends Cobb to ringside with a low bridge and delivers a slick tope suicida. BUSHI hits Cobb with a missile dropkick and celebrates with a spinaroonie. Backstabber on Cobb gets 2. Cobb blocks a lungblower, but BUSHI hits a rewind enziguri. The match breaks down in exciting fashion. BUSHI's rana gets a close 2 on Cobb, but he answers with a Kamigoye! Tour of the Islands finishes BUSHI at 14:58! I really dug the chemistry between these two factions. The young guys in the United Empire are developing into productive members of the roster, ***¼.
Winners: The United Empire
Naito and O-Khan stand nose to nose, but will wait to settle their score some other day.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, KOPW Champion Toru Yano, and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Bullet Club (NEVER Champion Jay White, EVIL, and Dick Togo, with Gedo)
Tanahashi lost the NEVER title to White last night, so they skip the feeling out process and tear into each other. Tanahashi is a bit hobbled, but catches White with some arm drags. EVIL and Yano tag in, and constant interference keeps either of them from gaining an advantage. Everyone enters the ring for a ludicrous group hair pulling spot, and Taguchi puts everyone down with a hip attack. Somewhere, Jim Cornette is having an aneurysm. Taguchi hits EVIL with a flying hip attack. Taguchi tries to steal Everything is Evil, but the real EVIL knows how to counter his own hold and sends Taguchi into the rails. Taguchi plays face in peril as Bullet Cub cuts the ring in half. Taguchi eventually hits a desperation dragon screw on White and Tanahashi storms in on a hot tag. Gedo tries to interfere and Tanahashi makes him pay with a dragon screw. White blocks Sling Blade, but Tanahashi blocks the Cloverleaf. White counters into a Blade Buster. Tanahashi hits a desperate Sling Blade and tags in Yano, who amusingly goes right for the buckle pads to swing at Togo. EVIL takes the padding for a cheap shot on Yano, and Bullet Club covers his face in a hood for a flurry of tandem offense. Yano low blows Togo, and Tanahashi blinds him with the hood. The match breaks down and Yano rolls up Togo for the win at 12:15. Fun match, Yano's shameless cheating is growing on me, ***.
Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, and Ryusuke Taguchi
IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
Will Ospreay © (with The United Empire) vs. Shingo Takagi
A cautious start leads to a slugfest. They sprint to a stalemate. High back drop by Shingo gives him the upper hand. Ospreay gets clotheslined out and bonks his head on the ring frame on the way down. Ospreay hits an Irish whip into the rails, but Shingo answers with a drop toe hold against the steel. Shingo lets the United Empire distract him and Ospreay hits a back suplex onto the apron. Shingo wins a round of dueling tables and sets them up at ringside. They tease table bumps, only for Ospreay to hit a normal vertical suplex in the ring. Springboard forearm by Ospreay gives him the upper hand, and he goes to work on the left arm. Shingo doesn't like getting kicked in the head and fires back with a DDT. They are absolutely tearing into each other. Shingo gets stuck in a tree of woe, and Ospreay continues stiffing him like he caught him breaking into his house. Desperation dragon screw by Shingo, but Ospreay comes back with a stunner, and then the HoverBoard Lock. They trade counters until Ospreay moonsaults onto Shingo's knees. Shingo hits a Wheelbarrow Suplex for 2. Shingo flips Ospreay in comical fashion, but Ospreay blocks a German and nails an enziguri. Shingo absorbs a flip kick and nails a sliding lariat for a breather. They battle on the top rope, Ospreay hits an enziguri, and leaps up for Spanish Fly for 2! Ospreay draps Shingo on the top rope for SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Ospreay hits a normal SSP but SHINGO KICKS OUT! The crowd is really coming alive. They remember the ringside tables and jockey for a table bump until Shingo hits Made in Japan through the tables! They avoid a countout and Shingo hits a second Made in Japan in the ring, but OSPREAY KICKS OUT! Back to the top rope, Shingo blocks a super rana but flies into Ospreay's cutter! OsCutter is good, but SHINGO KICKS OUT! Ospreay misses King Blade but recovers with an enziguri. Shing blocks OsCutter and nails a GTR. Shingo sacrifices his bad left arm to hit a lariat. Shingo steals the OsCutter and hits a Pumping Bomber but OSPREAY KICKS OUT! The fans are buying these false finishes with more than 35 minutes gone. Crucifix bomb by Ospreay gets 2, and then a hook kick. Shingo blocks Stormbreaker, but eats a poison rana. Shingo pops up and hits a poison rana of his own, but Ospreay knocks him down for a breather. Shingo hulks up and hits a pop up DVD, but Ospreay defiantly stands up and hits a head kick. Standing Spanish Fly by Ospreay gets 2, and he still can't hit Stormbreaker, and settles for a knee to the head. They trade head butts while standing up and light each other up with stiff blows. Ospreay nails a Rainmaker lariat, pulls off his elbow pad, and hits Stormbreaker to win at 44:54! Holy f'n sh!t, this is the greatest professional wrestling on the planet, *****.
Winner and still IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Will Ospreay
Final Thoughts: Five star match, all around good show, and under 3 hours to boot. Go watch this now.
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