NJPW: Power Struggle Review

One of the last major stops before WrestleKingdom has a chance to shed some light on the plans for January 4th.  With that said this has all the makings of another really good New Japan show especially after WWE’s disappointing Crown Jewel show. Ladies & Gentleman, this is Power Struggle:

Match 1: Ryusuke Taguchi, Chris Sabin, ACH & Toa Henare vs Soberano Jr, Volador Junior, Tiger Mask & Jyushin Thunder Liger

This was your standard multi-man opener. Fine for what it was but nothing to write home about.  Taguchi pins Soberano after a Double team Dodon.

Winners: Ryusuke Taguchi, Chris Sabin, ACH & Toa Henare Rating: 4 out of 10

Match 2: KUSHIDA, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs Bullet Club Firing Squad Cut Throat Era (Robbie Eagles, Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga)

Bullet Club is stealing Suzuki Gun’s gimmick of jumping their opponents before the bell.  Whenever the good guys looked like they were gonna get momentum Jado would interfere with his kendo stick, this allowed the heels to keep control and continue to get heat as they cheat their way to victory.  Tonga pins KUSHIDA with the Gun Stun for the win.

Winners: Bullet Club Firing Squad Cut Throat Era Rating: 4 out of 10

Match 3: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Beretta) vs Bullet Club (Jay White & Bad Luck Fale)

This only went four minutes and most of it was Okada and White trying to tear each other apart.  This has escalated into a real grudge feud and whatever blowoff match they have will be violent.  Greg was left to overcome Bad Luck Fale and reversed the Bad Luck Fall to get the surprise win on the big man.

Winner: CHAOS Rating: 5 out of 10

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Post Match: Everyone brawls as Okada and White continue their search for blood  White makes the challenge to Okada for a one on one match, so we know what Okada is doing this WK season.

Match 4: Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay vs Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)

The main focus of this was on the growing feud between Omega and Tanahashi who have been exchanging some not so pleasant words in the build to their dome main event.  On top of the story, we got some great action as both teams kept a high intensity throughout until Finlay was caught with the Golden Trigger and Ibushi got the pin.

Winners: Golden Lovers Rating: 6 out of 10

Match 5: Super Jr Tag League Final- Suzuki Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) vs LIJ (Shingo Takagi & BUSHI) vs Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh)

This is the kind of match we were all expecting from the rather mundane tag league.  A face in peril spot with Yoh before we kicked into high gear and everybody went balls to the wall.  Sho and Shingo had a junior hoss battle again and all three teams had periods of double team domination in search of the win.  Roppongi 3K finally get retribution as Sho pins El Desperado as they manage to beat the team that screwed them out of the titles not once but twice.

Courtesy of NJPW1972

Winners: Roppongi 3K Rating: 8 out of 10

Match 6: NEVER Openweight Championship: Taichi (c) vs Hirooki Goto

So this was the same match as these two have already had just with much less of Taichi standing around doing nothing.  Taichi would beat down Goto to allow Goto to showcase the way of the samurai and make his comeback.  Nothing exciting and nothing worth watching but hey Goto is NEVER champ again, so that’s…..something

Winner: Hirooki Goto Rating: 3 out of 10

Match 7: RevPro British Heavyweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs Minoru Suzuki

GOOD LORD THIS MATCH.  This is everything you have come to expect from these two, it was brutal, it was hard-hitting, and most of all it was exciting as hell.  No Suzuki Gun BS, no rest holds just VIOLENCE.  Absolutely perfect match from these two as Ishii retains.

Courtesy of NJPW1972

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii Rating: 9 out of 10

Match 8: Tetsuya Naito vs Zack Sabre Jr

This was reminiscent of New Japan cup ZSJ when he was a dangerous predator who would bend his opponent’s body in any way he desired. While Naito may not be the “stardust genius” anymore he is still a genius as he changed tactic from his two defeats to ZSJ and instead focused on Zack’s neck.  This gave Naito a point of attack and threw Zack off his game plan.  A beautiful moment that needs to be highlighted, Zack went for a bridging cover but his neck gave out and he couldn’t get the win.  Naito’s neck work comes into the finish as he hits the Destino for the win.  2017 has not been Naito’s year but with this win, he puts at least one demon behind him as his eyes are firmly set on one man come WK time.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito Rating: 8 out of 10

Match 9: IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs EVIL

This was more of the same stuff from Jericho. An attitude era Stone Cold kind of brawl.  They would build to some big spots and even got people to believe EVIL might win to their credit ut if you came here looking for Puroresu or a New Japan Epic main event then this isn’t for you.  EVIL looks good in defeat for throwing it all at Jericho but ultimately Jericho retains to set up Naito vs Jericho at the Dome

Winner: Chris Jericho Rating: 7 out of 10

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Post Match: Jericho keeps the walls of Jericho locked in until Naito comes out to make the save.  Naito officially makes the challenge as he promises to beat Jericho and take back the title.

This was a stellar show and if there were any lapsed WWE fans checking this out after Crown Jewel then I think this might convince them to stay.  Some great matches but a lot of building to the dome as the card has begun to take shape.