NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome, December 16 – Review

Road to Tokyo Dome, Korakuen Hall, December 16:

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Yuji Nagata, Ryusuke Taguchi & Yoshitatsu defeated Henare, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask IV

Nagata & Nakanishi meet tomorrow, so that was previewed here. They tore into each other from the bell and had a spirited exchange. Henare showed lots of fire, especially in the ring with Taguchi, who gave him a lot. Taguchi made Henare submit to the ankle lock.  After the match Nagata & Nakanishi had to be pulled apart. Yoshitatsu will be heading to CMLL in February. He was terrible again here.

Tomohiro Ishii defeated Chase Owens

This was a great display from Owens.  He dominated most of the match and looked like he might even beat Ishii. Owens has continued to improve over the last couple of years and this was one of his best showings in NJPW. Ishii fired back, but Owens would cut him off time and time again. Ishii won after a head butt, a couple of lariats and a Brainbuster.

EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI defeated David Finlay, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

This was a really good, hard hitting tag match, that was fought at a really fast pace. There was no down time in this one. SANADA & Kojima were great together. Finlay really stood out for his team. He and EVIL had a good back and forth battle. An LIJ triple team attack ending in a lariat from EVIL saw a great near fall on Finlay. Finlay made a comeback, but was misted by BUSHI. This allowed EVIL to hit the STO.

Juice Robinson, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma defeated Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & BONE SOLDIER

This was a decent tag match. We saw a preview of GOD vs GBH. Tonga & Robinson had an awesome sequence of misdirection rope running that ended in a Gun Stun from Tonga. Toru Yano returned to NJPW and distracted GOD, allowing Honma to unload on Tonga with some Kokeshi’s. Robinson then hit an Unprettier on Tonga, and scored a huge win aged of his match with Cody Rhodes at Wrestle Kingdom.

After the match Yano low blowed everyone involved in the IWGP Tag title match at WK and said he wants a title shot at WK alongside Tomohiro Ishii. So the card may very well be reshuffled to make that match a three way for the titles.

Hirooki Goto & Jado defeated Jushin Thunder Liger & Katsuyori Shibata

Obviously this revolved around Shibata vs Goto. They felt each other out to begin with and by the end of the match they were dropping each other with German suplexes. One funny moment saw Jado interrupt Shibata forearming Goto. Shibata gave him a death stare and almost murdered him with a kick. Goto got the upper hand on Shibata before Goto finished Liger with the GTR.

Yujiro Takahashi, Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale defeated Gedo, YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada

This was what you’d expect. Omega & Okada had some excellent exchanges, while the rest was nothing out of the ordinary. Watching Omega wrestle these matches in a t-shirt can be very off putting.  Fale almost crushed Gedo with a splash, which got a big reaction from the crowd.  The finish saw Omega drop Okada with a V-Trigger knee before Yujiro pinned Gedo after a DDT.

Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito defeated KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi

This was Hiromu’s (formerly Kamaitachi) return to NJPW and he stole the show here. This was a killer performance from him. From the bell he straight away hit KUSHIDA with a sunset bomb to the floor, then leaped over the railing, dropkicking Tanahashi into the ring post. Tanahashi has his knee worked over by LIJ, until KUSHIDA got back in the match. This match was awesome. It was back and forth with some amazing stuff from all four guys. Hiromu & KUSHIDA showed that they have chemistry and could very well steal the show on January 4th. Tanahashi went for Naito’s knee later in the match. Hiromu even got the better of Tanahashi late on with a big German suplex. The finish saw Hiromu pin KUSHIDA with the Time Bomb while Naito posed in the ring. This was one hell of a reintroduction for Hiromu Takahashi. This match is worth seeking out.

This show is available now at NJPWWorld.com.

NJPW are back again in the morning at 18.30 JST (3.30AM Est/9.30AM UK) again from Korakuen Hall with the last stop before Wrestle Kingdom 11.

 

Jushin Thunder Liger & Henare vs Ryusuke Taguchi & Yoshitatsu

 

Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo vs Yujiro Takahashi & BONE SOLDIER

 

Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Juice Robinson vs Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens

 

Yuji Nagata vs Manabu Nakanishi

 

Katsuyori Shibata & Tiger Mask IV vs Hirooki Goto & Jado

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, KUSHIDA & David Finlay vs Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi

 

Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI vs Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale

 

Not a boxer but a pro wrestling fan. If there’s a ring I’ll watch it, so naturally I have a lot of opinions (complaints).