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New Japan - Dominion
June 7, 2021
From Osaka-Jo Hall in Osaka, Japan. Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero, and Chris Charleton are our English commentators.
Hiromu Takahashi comes to the ring to talk. He'll be back from injury soon and puts Junior Heavyweight Champion El Desperado on notice. It's a little hard to take him seriously while he clutches some stuffed cats, but that's also what's charming about him. At least it's not a living spooky doll, I suppose.
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Chase Owens, EVIL, Taiji Ishimori, and Yujiro Takahashi, with Dick Togo) vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, SHO, YOSHI-HASHI) and Hiroshi Tanahashi
Owens insists on starting against Tanahashi. He throws away the air guitar and takes it to the Ace. Tanahashi hits a crossbody and reclaims his lost air guitar. Owens gets overwhelmed by Tanahashi and SHO's double teaming and posing. Yujiro tags in and squares off against YOSHI. Goto hip tosses YOSHI onto Yujiro, and then leap frogs his partner to stop EVIL from interfering. Bullet Club clear the ring and then trap YOSHI in their corner. Phantasmo amusingly orders Owens to hold YOSHI in place for a coast to coast back rake! Hot tag to a hungry Ishii, who tears into EVIL. Fisherman Buster by EVIL gets 2. Ishimori, but takes Ishii's vertical suplex. SHO helps with stiff shots on Ishimori, but his dead lift German is blocked. SHO slams him into an armbar, but Phantasmo saves the match. The match breaks down. Togo leaps up to choke with a cable, and Ishimori plants SHO to win at 11:53. Routinely solid opener, some might balk at that finish, but not me, **¾.
Winners: Bullet Club
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, and SANADA) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, and DOUKI)
Suzuki-gun's shenanigans backfire early and there's a standoff. DOUKI and BUSHI properly square off as the legal men. It doesn't last, and both teams brawl with weapons at ringside. Suzuki-gun restart the match by working over BUSHI in their corner. Naito gets the hot tag and cleans house with the same effort that I used to give to my 4 hour retail shifts. SANADA blind tags and hits Taichi with a dropkick to the head. Suzuki-gun right the ship and triple team SANADA. Naito returns to hit an atomic drop while BUSHI clears with a dive. DOUKI hits a dive of his own onto BUSHI. SANADA and ZSJ are left alone to block each other's finishers, until SANADA reverses a pinning predicament to win at 11:33. As the Japanese might say this was matomona firā, **¼.
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon
Suzuki-gun consider starting more trouble, but Hiromu Takahashi backs up LiJ, so they wait to fight another day.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
El Desperado © vs. YOH
They lock up, YOH ties Desperado in the ropes, teases chops, but pats him instead. Desperado returns the favor, except he rakes the face. YOH reverses a wristlock and hits an armdrag into an armbar. Desperado uses the ref as a shield, and misses a dropkick targeted at YOH's bad knee. YOH dropkicks Desperado out, but his slingshot plancha is blocked. Desperado hits some Irish whips into the rails and retrieves a chair to inflict more damage. Desperado goes to work on YOH's surgically repaired knee. YOH hits a desperation running elbow to buy some time. Swinging neckbreaker by YOH gets 2, and he follows with an inverted dragon screw leg sweep! YOH pretzels Desperado's legs in a seated position, not sure what this is called, but it sure looks brutal. Desperado gets the ropes, but YOH stays on the attack with a dropkick to the knee. Spinebuster by Desperado, immediately followed by a stretch muffler. YOH gets the ropes but is hobbled, and Desperado hits a pair of suplexes for 2. YOH recovers for a shotgun dropkick into the barricade. Slingshot plancha by YOH, followed by a tope con hilo! Desperado survives some power moves, and targets the bad knee yet again with a dragon screw. They slug it out and trade shots to their injured knees. Desperado hits some spinning powerbombs but YOH kicks out! YOH blocks another stretch muffler and applies a leg lock! Desperado gets a hard earned rope break, YOH hits a hard Dragon suplex for 2. Desperado throws a head butt, YOH blocks a Tiger Driver. Thrust kick by YOH, superkick by Desperado! The double underhook powerbomb finishes at 23:39! Good match that was built around double knee injuries, ***¼.
Winner and still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: El Desperado
Chase Owen and Taiji Ishimori rush the ring. Owens wants to get ahead of the dumb incels watching New Japan World and reveals he and Ishimori are coming for R3K's gold. Ishimori complains that YOH jumped him in line and wants his shot at Desperado's title. Bullet Club will be happy to take all the belts.
Jeff Cobb vs. Kota Ibushi
Ibushi scores first with a dropkick, Cobb blocks a series of strikes. They trade forearms until Cobb delivers a brutal double leg takedown. Cobb hits Ibushi's ribs with knee lifts and slams him into the ring post. Ibushi finds an opening for a standing moonsault, but Cobb blocks and continues his assault. Ibushi looks finished, but manages to block a standing moonsault. Cobb misses a head of steam, and Ibushi lights him up and finally connects with a standing moonsault. Cobb answers with a back suplex and his own standing moonsault. Ibushi's slingshot plancha is blocked, so he hits an Asai moonsault instead! Ibushi's Bomaye only gets 2. Cobb answers with a hard back suplex for 2. Cobb follows with a wild F5 variation for a hot nearfall. Tour of the Islands is blocked, and Cobb eats Kamigoye, but kicks out! Cobb blocks a rana and nails a “Cobbigoye.” Ibushi kicks out. Ibushi slams his boot into Cobb's chest and finishes with a second Kamigoye at 19:53. Good match anchored by Ibushi's come-from-behind victory and some compelling nearfalls, ***½.
Winner: Kota Ibushi
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship:
Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada
The championship is vacant after Will Ospreay went down with an unfortunate injury in his five star title defense against Shingo last month. They start with some chain wrestling, and Shingo is able to damage the arm. Okada works a headlock, but Shingo escapes for a shoulder block. They quicken the pace and sprint to a stalemate. Okada gradually gains some momentum, but Shingo blocks his senton and clotheslines him to the floor. Shingo goes to work on Okada's lower back. Okada takes a prolonged beating, but hits a running elbow to buy some time. Okada rallies and hits a DDT for a routine 2 count. Okada hits a draping DDT off of the barricade! Back to the ring, Okada nails a suplex and locks on the Money Clip! Shingo escapes and hits a Gory bomb. Shingo knocks Okada into the buckles, takes a moment to absorb the moment, and locks on a torture rack into a gutbuster! Okada explodes with a shotgun dropkick and reapplies the Money Clip too close to the ropes. Okada swats away a dropkick and uses the Money Clip to set up a brutal Tombstone Piledriver, and back to the Money Clip. Shingo escapes and manages to hit Made in Japan at ringside! Okada is nearly counted out but rolls in at 19. Shingo hits a top rope DVD but Okada kicks out! Shingo hits some unfortunately phone looking elbow shots, and runs into a beautiful Okada dropkick. Tombstone piledriver by Okada, but Shingo pops up for a brutal lariat. They slug it out back to their feet. Shingo stumbles into a DVD, Okada blocks the Bomber for a pair of Rainmakers! Shingo answers with a lariat and they both collapse. Pumping Bomber by Shingo but OKADA KICKS OUT! Shingo counters into a brutal Dragon Suplex and follows with sliding elbow. Last of the Dragon finishes at 35:58 and SHINGO IS THE CHAMPION! This was like the epitome of what New Japan's main event style is all about, ****½.
Winner and NEW IWGP World Heavyweight Champion: Shingo Takagi
Final Thoughts: At five matches, this felt more like a Takeover special than a marathon New Japan supercard, and I mean that in a good way. Go check this out.
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