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NJPW New Year Dash!! – Recap & Review

NJPW New Year Dash!!
Event Date: January 5, 2018 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 1,737

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Cyrus
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki, Makoto Abe


Ring Area
Kimihiko Ozaki announces the card for tonight’s match to start the show.


Match 1
Ren Narita & Tetsuhiro Yagi & Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka vs Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Satoshi Kojima pins Shota Umino after a lariat
Time: 7:09

Match Thoughts
This was a good opener. The young lions rushed the legends before the bell which set them up to dominate the first part of the match. Once things settled down and everyone started tagging in and out, the legends team easily dominated. The final segment of the match had the young lions once again try to use their speed to gang up on one of the legends. This was fun and fast-paced, and everyone had a good showing.


Match 2
TAKA Michinoku & El Desperado & Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Iizuka vs Hirai Kawato & Henare & Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: El Desperado pins Hirai Kawato after Pinche Loco
Time: 8:49

Match Thoughts
This was pretty fun. It was a rather typical Suzuki Gun match, meaning it started with a brawl at ringside and ended with another brawl in and around the ring. In the middle parts of the match, the good guys started to mount some offense, but Suzuki Gun never seemed to be very far out of control of the match. They once again showed great teamwork among the chaos they create.


Match 3
Katsuya Kitamura vs Jay White
(referee: Tiger Hattori; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jay White wins via pinfall with Blade Runner
Time: 7:31

Match Thoughts
Good match. White couldn’t match Kitamura’s power, so he used his brain (and some dirty tactics) to try to cut Kitamura down. This led to a bit of back and forth with both men getting some nice sustained offense. Kitamura’s strength was impressive, and I think they did well to build up to his chop throughout the match. I really like how Jay White handles himself though. He’s nonchalant yet calculating, and he’s not averse to taking an easy win if he can get it.


Match 4
Cheeseburger & Roppongi 3K w/ Rocky Romero vs Young Bucks (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Champs) & Kenny Omega (IWGP US Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Tiger Hattori; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Nick Jackson pins Cheeseburger after an Indytaker
Time: 11:19

Match Thoughts
This was fun. It was almost totally a comedy match with the Bucks and Omega all wrestling hurt and selling their injuries in goofy ways. Yoh was also nursing an injured back, but his antics weren’t always as obvious or as constant as all of his opponents. Cheeseburger had a lot of crowd support and had a few nice sequences where he was basically taking on The Elite all by himself. I didn’t love this match, but I liked it, and I think it was a great follow-up to the rather brutal matches nearly everyone had last night.


Match 5
Leo Tonga & Marty Scurll & Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi & Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes vs Ryusuke Taguchi & KUSHIDA & David Finlay & Juice Robinson & Kota Ibushi
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Makoto Abe; guest commentary: Brandi Rhodes)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Cody forces David Finlay to submit to the American Nightmare
Time: 13:20

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Neither team in this one outworked the other, which I love. Both teams had good teamwork and had sustained periods of offense. Everyone kind of took turns getting into the ring, and the match only broke down a few times. This let everyone have a few nice moments and contribute to the match. No one necessarily stood out as the star, though Cody and Kota Ibushi both waited until near the end of the match to really get into it.


Ring Area
After the match, Cody leads the Bullet Club in attacking Ibushi. Cody goes for a chair, but before he can use it on Ibushi, Kenny Omega runs out to the ring. Omega stops Cody from hitting Ibushi, and Omega and Cody begin arguing with each other. After some heated words and shoving, Omega reminds Cody that Omega is the leader of Bullet Club.

Omega gets on the mic and says he’s sick of the infighting within the Bullet Club. There needs to be no more fighting if Bullet Club will be number one. Omega knows what they need. They need Jay White.

Jay White comes out and enters the ring. Omega says White reminds him of himself from a few years ago. Omega offers White a Bullet Club shirt. White looks at the shirt for a while before putting it on. White and Omega hug, but afterward, White hits Omega with Blade Runner. White leaves and tosses the Bullet Club shirt away as Omega struggles to get back to his feet.


Match 6
NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Title Match
Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale vs Beretta & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champs)
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Makoto Abe, Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tama Tonga pins Beretta after a Gun Stun, Bullet Club becomes the 16th NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champs (2nd time with this team, 2nd reign for Tanga Loa, 3rd reign for Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale)
Time: 14:40

Match Thoughts
Good match. It started kind of lighthearted with Beretta and Yano taking turns in the ring against Bullet Club, but it got more serious once Ishii was tagged in. From there it was a decent match. Not the most fast-paced of matches, but there were some good moments. I really liked the last segments of the match when it was mostly Beretta versus Tama Tonga. They had a great final sequence to end the match.


Match 7
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki w/ TAKA Michinoku, Taichi, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs War Machine & Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi (IWGP IC Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Davey Boy Smith Jr. pins Hanson after a Killer Bomb
Time: 11:36

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. The best stuff happened when War Machine was in the ring facing everyone, but the focus of the match seemed to be Suzuki repeatedly going after Tanahashi’s leg. Tanahashi barely fought in the match. He was hurt at ringside for most of the math, then Suzuki attacked him and dragged him to the floor when Tanahashi finally did get in the ring late in the match. Suzuki spent the rest of the match stretching and tearing at Tanahashi’s leg and knee.


Ring Area
After the match, Suzuki drags Tanahashi into the ring. Tanahashi can’t stand on his injured leg, and the entirety of Suzuki Gun surrounds him. Minoru Suzuki gets on the mic and tells Tanahashi that Suzuki is coming for the Intercontinental Title. Suzuki leads his team away from the ring, kicking a young lion on the way out.


Match 8
Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI & SANADA (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champ) & EVIL (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champ) & Tetsuya Naito vs Gedo & Will Ospreay (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ) & YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Champ) & Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tetsuya Naito pins YOSHI-HASHI after Destino
Time: 13:50

Match Thoughts
Good match. This one might have had the best build of the night. It started off with a lot of nice individual efforts as both teams took turns having guys tag in and out. Then it moved on to an extended sequence with Okada versus Naito. It was very fast-paced, with Naito tending to get the better of the slightly injured Okada. Then the match broke down and Los Ingobernables de Japon did what they do best; isolate and destroy. This was a fun match and a good main event for the night after Wrestle Kingdom.


Ring Area
After the match, Los Ingobernables continue to attack Chaos. Chaos is cleared from the ring and Naito gets on the mic. He says he lost last night at Tokyo Dome, but in 2018, Los Ingobernables de Japon will continue to evolve. The five members gold their fists up in the center of the ring, then Naito is left alone to play to the crowd.

Suddenly, Chris Jericho rushes into the ring and attacks Naito. The Young Lions pull Jericho away, but Naito then rushes Jericho. LIJ tries to help break up the brawl, as do Jado, Rocky Romero, and Roppongi 3K. Jericho is eventually forced away from the ring. Naito grabs a chair from ringside and fakes throwing it at Jericho before sitting down and inviting Jericho to come back to the ring. Jericho laughs as he is pushed away from the ring area.


Show Impressions
Good show. Even though there weren’t a lot of big surprises, there were enough story moments to make things interesting going forward. I think this show did a very good job of wrapping up some of the bigger feuds and feeding us just enough to get us excited about a few of the big feuds to come, Jericho versus Naito being at the top of my personal list.

The matches were about what was expected. Lots of people were slightly hurt after last night, but the huge multi-man matches allowed everyone to do a little yet still put together a fun show.

I like that the situation with Omega and Cody is being brought up again, and I liked the fake out with Jay White refusing to join Bullet Club. So often we see people just accept the offer to join, but it’s interesting to see someone refuse when we don’t really know why. It will be fun to find out White’s reason. Also, I had been thinking that White reminded me of Omega from a few years ago, at least with where he is in his career, and hearing Omega say the exact same thing I was thinking was pretty cool.

I also liked seeing Suzuki Gun in full force wreaking havoc, and I liked seeing LIJ do the same in their own way.

Match of the Night
Main Event 10 Man Tag
I think the breakdown at the end put this over the top for me. The match seemed to have the most energy and the most interest. That’s not surprising considering half the wrestlers are champs right now.



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