Dominion doesn’t get the same respect as WrestleKingdom but New Japan’s biggest event of the summer is always one of the best shows of the year. With Jericho in the main event, the rest of the card is going to need to deliver if this one wants to live up to its reputation:
Jon Moxley vs Shota Umino
Umino very intelligently hits a tope before the bell to get the jump on Moxley. Umino is fired up and in survival mode, so Mox kills him with a lariat. What followed was a very gritty beat down on Umino with a brief hope spot before Moxley put him away with the Death Rider.
Winner: Jon Moxley Rating: 4 out of 10
Post-match Moxley declares his intention to be in the G1 Climax
Satoshi Kojima vs Shingo Takagi
This was just two strong dudes beating the crap out of each other and that’s all it needed to be. I do question having Kojima kick out of a Pumping Bomber at 1 when that move has devastated all the Juniors. Takagi wins with the Last Of The Dragon.
Winner: Shingo Takagi Rating: 5 out of 10
Post-match Takagi asks to be in the G1 Climax.
Suzuki Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr) vs YOSHI-HASHI & Jyushin Liger
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Suzuki Gun attack before the bell, Liger’s partner sells for a heat segment. Hot tag to Liger. Suzuki and Liger continued what they’ve had going here and ZSJ and HASHI are building to something. HASHI rolls up ZSJ for the surprise win.
Winners: YOSHI-HASHI & Jyushin Liger Rating: 4 out of 10
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Juice Robinson vs Bullet Club (Jay White, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori)
This happened. A back and forth multi-person match with some really sloppy spots from Tanahashi. Tanahashi pins Owens after dropping him and completely missing on the finish.
Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Juice Robinson Rating: 3 out of 10
NEVER Openweight Championship: Taichi (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii
Someone’s been watching their Gargano tapes these two spend most of the opening stretch talking. Once the talking was over this match was fantastic. Taichi wrestled Ishii’s style of fast paced, hard hitting action and these two absolutely killed it. Ishii wins with the brainbuster.
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii Rating: 8 out of 10
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: G.O.D (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs EVIL & SANADA
Been here done this, tag division sucks, no one cares, matches are fine. G.O.D won they’ll probably face EVIL and SANADA again soon, they might not win that time. Maybe they will NJPW doesn’t care and neither do I.
Winners: G.O.D Rating: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Katsuyori Shibata is here. We miss you Big Shibs. But he’s followed by a debuting KENTA who also wants to be in G1!
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Dragon Lee (c) vs Will Ospreay
One only has to look at some of my older reviews for the site to know that this sort of match used to be my Jam. Fast paced movez with no attempt at storytelling and inconsistent selling. I don’t enjoy these as much as I used to but admittedly some of the moves do look cool. Ospreay beats Lee with the Storm Breaker to take his spot at the top of the division once more.
Winner: Will Ospreay Rating: 5 out of 10
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito
Naito and Ibushi are very hit or miss with me. I loved the MSG match but didn’t like the NJ Cup one nearly as much. This was in a similar ballpark to the Cup match. It’s just two guys very slowly setting up the next dangerous spot with little substance in between. Naito wins with the Destino after almost killing Ibushi.
Winner: Tetsuya Naito Rating: 4 out of 10
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is a man who has reinvented himself and found a formula that works. He doesn’t wrestle enough for this formula to be overexposed either so I enjoy his attempts to mix the Brawling attitude era style with the NJPW main event style. That said this wasn’t a great match and Jericho needs to have shorter matches to continue playing to his strengths. Okada winning with a roll-up was a nice change.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada Rating: 6 out of 10
Post-match Jericho attacked Okada until Tanahashi made the save. So I guess we’re doing Ace v GOAT at Wrestle Kingdom.
This show peaked somewhere in the middle with Ishii vs Taichi. The last few matches ranged from average at best to good but the first half of the show had the fun Kojima vs Shingo match and Ishii vs Taichi.