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NJPW Road to Dominion Recap & Review

June 9, 2017
published on NJPW World
(aired live)

City: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 1,557
Series: Dominion

Commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Kazuki Kusanagi, Shinpei Nogami, Yuhei Onishi, Togi Makabe
English Commentary: Kevin Kelly, Don Callis
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki, Makoto Abe

 

Match 1
Tetsuhiro Yagi & Shota Umino vs TAKA Michinoku & El Desperado
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Kazuki Kusanagi)

Show/Hide Results

Result: El Desperado forces Tetsuhiro Yagi to submit to a stretch muffler
Time: 5:01

Match Thoughts
This was a fine warm-up match. The young boys started quickly, but Suzuki Gun quickly took control. From there it was a fairly one-sided beating with Umino and Yagi getting a few strikes in here and there.

 

Match 2
Katsuya Kitamura & Jushin Thunder Liger & Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tomoyuki Oka & Hirai Kawato & Tiger Mask & Yuji Nagata & Togi Makabe
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Shinpei Nogami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Yuji Nagata pins Katsuya Kitamura with a bridging Saito suplex
Time: 9:19

Match Thoughts
This was fun. A lot of emphasis was put on the young boys in the match, but everyone had a moment or two in the ring. There was one big breakdown where everyone got involved all at once which led to the finish. This definitely felt like a showcase for the legends in the ring while still being a training exercise for the rookies.

 

Match 3
Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page vs Gedo & Tomohiro Ishii
(referee: Tiger Hattori; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Yuhei Onishi)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Yujiro Takahashi pins Gedo after Pimp Juice (kneeling snap DDT)
Time: 8:11

Match Thoughts
Good match. Page and Takahashi worked better as a team, but Ishii was easily the most dominant man in this match. There were a lot of hard hits in this one (mostly when Ishii was in the ring), and it built up to a nice finish.

 

Match 4
Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Roa & Tama Tonga & Cody vs David Finlay & Michael Elgin & War Machine (IWGP Tag Champs)
(referee: Tiger Hattori; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Kazuki Kusanagi)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Cody pins David Finlay after Cross Rhodes
Time: 10:30

Match Thoughts
Good match. This one broke down almost immediately with fighting taking place all around the ring. Going into Dominion, the focus seemed to mainly be on Cody and Elgin, and to a lesser extent War Machine and the Guerrillas of Destiny. War Machine and G.O.D. eventually fought all the way to the backstage area, leaving Fale, Cody, Elgin, and Finlay to finish the match. I think this was a pretty good buildup for Dominion and a nice end to the first part of the show.

 

– Intermission –

 

Match 5
Jado & YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano & Hirooki Goto vs Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. (RPW British Heavyweight Champ, Evolve Champ, PWG World Champ) & Minoru Suzuki (NEVER Openweight Champ) w/ El Desperado, TAKA Michinoku
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Yuhei Onishi, Togi Makabe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Zack Sabre Jr. forces Jado to submit to a Jim Breaks Armbar
Time: 10:40

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. This was all about Suzuki Gun doing whatever they could to dominate the match. With six of them, it wasn’t too difficult for them to stay in control. There was a lot of cheating and a lot of fighting outside the ring. I think it works for the buildup to the NEVER Openweight Title match between Suzuki and Goto.

 

Match 6
KUSHIDA (ROH TV Champ) & Ricochet & Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ) & BUSHI & EVIL & SANADA (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Champs) & Tetsuya Naito (IWGP IC Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Shinpei Nogami, Togi Makabe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi pins SANADA with a ground cobra twist
Time: 15:21

Match Thoughts
Very good match. It started with Naito facing off against Tanahashi prior to their IC Title match at Dominion. Tanahashi came into the match with an injured arm, and he was quickly sidelined by LIJ. Tanahashi tagged out and tried to recover at ringside while the rest of his team carried on. The focus shifted to KUSHIDA and Takahashi in a very nice sequence before the match started breaking down. This tag match did very well to build up both the IC and Jr. Heavyweight title matches, and it was a very nice and exciting match on its own.

 

Match 7
The Young Bucks (ROH Tag Champs) & Kenny Omega vs Roppongi Vice (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Champs) & Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champ) w/ Gedo
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary: Kazuo Yamazaki, Yuhei Onishi, Togi Makabe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Nick Jackson pins Rocky Romero after a One Winged Angel from Omega
Time: 20:12

Match Thoughts
A good match, though there was a lot of comedy. The first half of the match consisted almost entirely of Bullet Club shenanigans. It was pretty fun, but it also made the match feel like it dragged a little to me. It eventually settled into a more serious match, and when it did it was very good. Omega looked good going into his title rematch. He might have looked even better than Okada here. Though, I imagine Okada is mostly saving himself for the big match in Osaka.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Omega calls Okada back into the ring to shake hands. As Okada thinks about shaking hands, The Young Bucks hit Okada with a pair of superkicks. The Bucks set up a table at ringside. Omega sets Okada up for a One Winged Angel from the apron, but he decides not to do it. Instead, Omega gets on the mic and tells Okada that he doesn’t want to beat Okada with an injury.

 

Show Impressions
As a lead-in for Dominion, I think this was a good show. None of the tag matches felt particularly important, but they all did a good job of reminding everyone of the upcoming title matches and building a bit of interest. If I had just seen this show, I would probably be most excited to see KUSHIDA versus Hiromu Takahashi. I think they had the best interaction out of all of the upcoming title matches.

Match of the Night
Taguchi Japan vs Los Ingobernables De Japon
The main event was pretty fun, but the ten man tag as a more serious match. Because of that, I preferred the action in the tenman.

 

 

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