New Japan put on another card today, this time it was New Japan Road and featured a main event of Gedo & Okada taking on Tiger Mask IV and Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi under the mask). This card was a lot of fun and I don’t think it was intended to be anything other than that.
The opening match wasn’t one I would rush to New Japan World to watch but it certainly wasn’t the worst match in the World. I can’t recall many stand out moments throughout the bout other than the ending which saw Takahashi hit the Pimp Juice on Oka to get the win.
The eight-man tag match was fun and in typical Suzuki-gun fashion saw the action spill everywhere. RPG Vice and El Desperado/Kanemaru have a IWGP Junior Tag Team Title match coming up so used this one to build some heat ahead of that bout. The ending come when YOSHI-HASHI got TAKA to tap to the Butterfly Lock and team CHAOS got the win.
I felt for Omega in the next one as it seemed he had been given the Bullet Club B team to work with, but in typical Omega fashion he made the best of a bad situation. He was bumping all over the place which is always joyous to watch but the rest of the match didn’t stick out to me much. The ending came when Omega hit Nakanishi with the V Trigger, Tonga hit him with the Gun Stun and then got the three count.
The tag match with Davey Boy Smith Jr & Suzuki taking on Shibata and Finlay was such beautiful violence that I could watch on repeat all day long. Shibata and Suzuki have been drawn to face each other in the first round of the New Japan Cup and if this match was anything to base that on, we are in for something special. I kinda felt a little for Davey and Finlay who were largely irrelevant in this one with the crowd just wanting to see two of the very best in New Japan tear each other apart. Davey hit Finaly with a sit out powerbomb to get the win!
The main event saw Kota Ibushi take on the Tiger Mask W character and I for one could not wait to see him and Okada face off. Okada was heel in this one and he played it perfectly. Okada and Ibushi was everything I had wanted and more and I really hope we get to see Ibushi more in New Japan. Both Gedo and Okada tried but failed to unmask Tiger Mask but failed. The end came when Tiger Mask W (Ibushi) landed a triangle moonsault on Okada to the outside, Tiger Mask IV hit a tiger suplex on Gedo and got the three count. This was a perfect main event and a great end to a really fun show.
New Japan Road Full Results
Yujiro Takahashi defeated Tomoyuki Oka
RPG Vice, Jado, & YOSHI-HASHI defeated TAKA Michinoku, Taichi, El Desperado, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa defeated Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, & Hirooki Goto defeated Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tomoaki Honma, & Togi Makabe
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Minoru Suzuki defeated Katsuyori Shibata & David Finlay
KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson, Michael Elgin, & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Hiromu Takahashi, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI, & Tetsuya Naito
Tiger Mask W & Tiger Mask IV defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo