Event Date: June 11, 2017
aired live on NJPW World
Commentary: Kazuki Kusanagi, Milano Collection AT, Shinpei Nogami, Norihiro Akahoshi, Yuhei Onishi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Masahiro Chono
English Commentary: Kevin Kelly, Don Callis
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki, Makoto Abe
Tetsuhiro Yagi & Katsuya Kitamura & Hirai Kawato vs Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka & David Finlay
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Kazuki Kusanagi, Milano Collection AT)
Result: David Finlay pins Tetsuhiro Yagi after Prima Nocta (stunner)
This was a fine opener. The young lions were aggressive as usual, and they were all in and out of the ring very quickly to start the match. Oka and Kitamura were the first two to really spend any significant time in the ring together, and the match started to take shape around them. Finlay eventually got the tag and it was noticeable how he took his time while the other men in the match were very quick all the time. Finlay got beat up a bit, but he was eventually able to regain control towards the end of the match.
A video package introducing all the matches on the show.
Jushin Thunder Liger & Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tiger Mask & Tiger Mask W & Yuji Nagata & Togi Makabe
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary; Shinpei Nogami, Milano Collection AT, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: Togi Makabe pins Manabu Nakanishi after a King King Knee Drop (diving knee drop)
This was a fun match. It was kind of a showcase for everyone with all of the wrestlers getting a chance to at least hit a big move or two. Nakanishi and Makabe was one of the few sustained pairings, and Tiger Mask W seemed to get a lot of ring time as well. I liked this match for what it was, and entertaining warmup for the show.
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Title Gauntlet Match
Yujiro Takahashi w/ Tokyo Latiina & Hangman Page & Bad Luck Fale vs YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. vs Ricochet & Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi vs BUSHI & EVIL & SANADA (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Champs)
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary: Yuhei Onishi, Milano Collection AT, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: Los Ingobernables De Japon retain the titles
Fall 1: Toru Yano pins Yujiro Takahashi with a schoolboy (6:01)
Fall 2: Zack Sabre Jr. pins Toru Yano with a European Clutch (0:43)
Fall 3: Juice Robinson pins Taichi after Pulp Friction (4:53)
Fall 4: BUSHI pins Ryusuke Taguchi after MX (7:02)
I liked this one. The rules were the same as Tag Team Turmoil in WWE, two teams start then the next team comes out when one is beaten until all teams have participated. All but the second fall were competitive and went on for a decent amount of time, and the final segment of the match was very good. There was some good teamwork by both of the final teams, and both teams teased a believable win in the end.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Title Match
The Young Bucks (ROH Tag Champs) vs Roppongi Vice (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Champs)
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Kazuki Kusanagi, Milano Collection AT, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: Nick Jackson forces Rocky Romero to submit to a sharpshooter
Very good match. The Bucks took Rocky Romero out early in the match hitting him with multiple moves outside the ring. Barreta was isolated for a very long time but managed to withstand the onslaught and even had some offense at times. Romero eventually got back into the match after a few setbacks, but by then both members of RPG Vice were in bad shape. They still managed to put up a fanstastic fight all the way until the end. I liked the flow of this match and the clear and effective game plan of the Young Bucks.
IWGP Tag Title Match
Guerrillas of Destiny vs War Machine (IWGP Tag Champs)
(referee: Tiger Hattori; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Shinpei Nogami, Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: Tama Tonga pins Raymond Rowe after Guerrilla Warfare and G.O.D. become the new IWGP Tag Champs
A good match. This match felt slower when compared to the previous match, but the power and agility displayed by all four men in this match was impressive. Tanga Roa really stood out to me in this one. He always seemed to have an answer for everything War Machine tried to do. The last segment of the match involved some foreign object shenanigans which the crowd didn’t like very much, but it left the door wide open for a rematch sometime in the future. The cheap shots at the end didn’t detract form the match though, if anything it built interest in the next time these teams face each other.
Cody vs Michael Elgin
(referee: Tiger Hattori; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Kazuki Kusanagi, Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: Cody wins via pinfall after Cross Rhodes
Good match. Cody always felt like he was in control in this match, even when he was getting overpowered by Elgin. His personality and arrogance was able to draw Elgin out of his game a little, and that might have been the difference here. The match itself didn’t feel particularly important, but it was very entertaining.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match
KUSHIDA (ROH TV Champ) vs Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Shinpei Nogami, Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Masahiro Chono, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: KUSHIDA wins via submission with the Hoverboard Lock and becomes the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ
Fantastic match! This one felt like not only a title match, but a very serious grudge match. KUSHIDA and Takahashi started very quickly, hitting each other with repeated strikes. The match naturally had to slow down a little from such a fast start, and in that time both men started working towards their finishers. KUSHIDA has a great game plan, going for the Hoverboard Lock repeatedly. The match came a little full circle towards the end when both men were exhausted and starting throwing strikes again. This was an extremely exciting match with a great story.
After the match, KUSHIDA gets on the mic and gets the crowd to do the wave. As he does, BUSHI enters the ring and hits KUSHIDA with the green mist. BUSHI walks away as KUSHIDA is helped from the ring.
NEVER Openweight Title Lumberjack Death Match
Hirooki Goto w/ YOSHI-HASHI, Jado, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii vs Minoru Suzuki (NEVER Openweight Champ) w/ TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr.
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; commentary: Yuhei Onishi, Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Masahiro Chono, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: Minoru Suzuki wins via pinfall after a Gotch piledriver and retains the title
Good match. There were obviously a lot of shenanigans going on with all of the lumberjacks at ringside, and it got even more crazy when Taichi appeared late in the match to break up a pinfall attempt and cause even more havoc by taking a chair to Goto’s head. Some of the most interesting moments were when Suzuki angered Liger at the announce table and Liger had to be held back, and when YOSHI-HASHI nearly single-handedly dealt with Suzuki Gun. Besides YOSHI-HASHI’s actions, I think the most interesting thing to come out of this match is the feeling of dominance displayed by Suzuki Gun. It was pretty cool seeing them all together.
IWGP Intercontinental Title Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito (IWGP IC Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary: Shinpei Nogami, Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Masahiro Chono, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi wins via submission with a Texas Cloverleaf and becomes the new IWGP IC Champ
Great match. Tanahashi went after Naito before the opening bell, not allowing Naito to dictate the pace of the match like he usually does. Tanahashi’s injured arm became a serious factor in the match, helping to add some great tension as the match went along. Watching this match, it felt like the months of Naito disrespecting the IC Title drove Tanahashi to be more aggressive than he’s been in a long time. It made for a very good and rather surprising match.
IWGP Heavyweight Title Match
Kenny Omega w/ The Young Bucks vs Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champ) w/ Gedo
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki; commentary: Yuhei Onishi, Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Masahiro Chono, Norihiro Akahoshi)
Result: the match ends in a time limit draw
Fantastic match. I don’t know if it outdid their match at Wrestle Kingdom, but it certainly came close. It was a very long match, but it didn’t feel too long. It was paced incredibly well, building and progressing in the best way. As it went along, it really felt like these guys could go all night if they needed to, and they would both be willing to do just that. With the buildup to this match Okada and Omega had a ton to live up to, but neither man seemed concerned about that. They just went out there and showed everyone why they are two of the best in the world.
This was a really great show. All the matches were good and there was a great variety of styles. It was an extremely long show, but I never got bored and it never felt like the show lagged.
Match of the Night
Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada
I think everyone knew this would be the match of the night before it even happened. Those kinds of expectations can often hurt a match, but I don’t think they did here. I would say that the Jr. Heavyweight Title match was a very close second for me, partly because I was really invested in hoping that KUSHIDA would win, and also because the action was just that good. It was a different style and pace than the main event, and that’s part of why I like it so much. Okada versus Omega is a showcase of in-ring storytelling though, and it is easily the best match of tonight’s show.