NJPW Kizuna Road 17/06/2019 Review

Kizuna Road continues on as another Korakuen Show played out in front of a lively audience. It featured a defence of the Never Openweight Six Man Tag Titles and a madcap 5 on 5 elimination match between Chaos and Suzuki Gun. Plus the undercard saw the return of Hiroyoshi Tenzan in another 5 man tag match. But were all these tag matches fun or dull? Let’s get into it.

Tenzan is back to hurt people
Yota Tsuji defeated Yuya Uemura via Pinning Suplex Hold

Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare defeated Shota Umino & Yuji Nagata via Toa Bottom to Umino

Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA defeated Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Jyushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask via Skull End to Tiger Mask

Jay White, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Taiji Ishimori defeated Ren Narita, Mikey Nicholls, Juice Robinson & Hiroshi Tanahashi via Yes Lock to Narita

Yano meets his own turnbuckle pad 

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Championship: Togi Makabe, Ryusuke Taguchi & Toru Yano defeat Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi & El Phantasmo via School Boy Roll Up to Owens

So, this was what you’d expect from the people in the ring. It started with (new Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Champ) Phantasmo and Taguchi trading but soon descended into a Bullet Club bullying Yano. The BC boys mocked Yano and Taguchi as they hit them with a bunch of their own moves with Coach Yujiro calling the play. It wouldn’t last as an eventual hot tag was made and Makabe got a chance to play. He hit his usual spots too but once again we got a rush of chaos resulting in Makabe and Yano knocking Chase Owens into a School Boy. The Bullet Club complain about cheating and ELP once again promises Taguchi is not getting his title.

It was fun enough but once again we see a title scene that seems stagnant. The Six Man Titles are a borderline joke at this point based on how little they actually mean.  This was for the most part a mix of comedy and heel tactics that worked well enough but still didn’t blow the roof off the place. There were some nice mix ups like Yujiro out-cheating Yano and the Bullet Club mockery but other than that it was just another run of the mill match, watchable enough but it won’t set the world on fire.

Lance Archer bullies both 3K members

SHO, YOH, Tomohiro Ishii, Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki via Surviving the elimination match.

Elimination Order: Suzuki DQ – Kanemaru Over Top Rope- Okada OTR- YOH OTR – SHO EBD Claw- Archer OTR- Ishii OTR – Taichi OTR unseen by referee – Taichi OTR again – ZSJ OTR

Chaos reigned here, figuratively and literally as the faction stood tall at the end of the match. This match went everywhere with Suzuki Gun pushing the rules to the limit multiple times. It got so over the top at one point that the ref flat out DQ’ed Suzuki for assaulting him after refusing to break a submission. The match also saw DOUKI get involved multiple time to save his teammate from being eliminated and to just flat out hurt some people.

The main star though has to be YOSHI-HASHI who came from being attacked mercilessly by the whole of Suzuki Gun to winning the match and withstanding further assaults from Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr. He won the match by eliminating the pair by throwing Taichi out twice and fighting off ZSJ’s submissions to throw him out too. The other big star (literally) was Lance Archer. The man looked like a total monster as he threw Okada out of the match and destroyed both members of Roppongi 3K. He threw YOH out and got rid of SHO with his new Everybody Dies Claw move.

That’s just a few of the highlights and honestly, it was a fun half hour of spots, destruction and brutality that topped off a show. It was an enjoyable watch that just gave a dose of hyperactive chaos to the show and main event spot whilst making more of a star out of YOSHI-HASHI.

Yoshi Hashi is kicked about by Suzuki Gun

So there you have it, another day of Kizuna Road reviewed. The upper card matches offered something to chew on, even if it was just the Six Man Tag Titles. The main event was a stand out spectacle on a card that offered a bit of everything. It was nice to see Tenzan back too after recovering from an injury even if he was on the losing team. The tour is chugging along on the way to Southern Showdown and the G1 Climax Tournament. We saw some seeds sown tonight as Taichi went after Ishii again and Archer went after Okada. Hopefully the rest of the tour does the same thing.

(All images courtesy of njpw1972.com)

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