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New Japan Road Recap & Review – Night 2

NJPW – New Japan Road
Event Date: February 21, 2020 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 1,500
Tour: New Japan Road

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton
Commentary (Japanese): Shigeki Kiyono, Milano Colelction AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi (7)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 4), Makoto Abe (5 – 7)


The opening video previews tonight’s title matches for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Titles and the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles.


Match 1
Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji vs Gabriel Kidd & Tiger Mask
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tiger Mask submits Yuya Uemura with a cross armbreaker
Time: 8:23

Match Thoughts
This was a fine opener. Kidd wanted to start the match, and he had a good sequence with Tsuji. Eventually Kidd started to get dominated, but then Liger and Uemura entered the match. Uemura showed heart, but Tiger shut him down pretty well tonight.


Match 2
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado & Taichi & Minoru Suzuki vs Roppongi 3K (Jr. Heavyweight Tag Champs) & David Finlay & Juice Robinson
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: David Finlay pins Yoshinobu Kanemaru after the Acid Drop
Time: 10:27

Match Thoughts
Good match. Suzuki Gun, of course, started with a brawl. Minoru Suzuki singled out Juice Robinson during the brawl, and their back-and-forth carried on throughout the entire match. They eventually faced each other in the ring where Suzuki mostly got the better of Juice, but that led to a bit of a match breakdown as the match neared its end. This was fun.


Match 3
YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: YOSHI-HASHI submits Tomoaki Honma with a butterfly lock
Time: 11:49

Match Thoughts
Good match. Henare wanted Ishii, but the match ended up having everyone interact pretty evenly. This was an entertaining if somewhat unremarkable match.


Match 4
Jado & Gedo & Bad Luck Fale & Jay White vs Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Manabu Nakanishi submits Gedo with an Argentine backbreaker rack
Time: 12:42

Match Thoughts
Yet again, Nakanishi has another very fun multi-man tag match on his road to retirement. Jay White led the charge to try to embarrass Nakanishi, but even though Bullet Club got in some good shots, Nakanishi’s team of legends ended up dominating the match in an entertaining fashion.


Match 5
Rocky Romero & Will Ospreay (RPW British Heavyweight Champ) & Kazuchika Okada vs Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ) & SANADA & Tetsuya Naito (IWGP IC & Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiromu Takahashi pins Rocky Romero after the Time Bomb
Time: 12:24

Match Thoughts
Good match. There were some great pairings in this match (including Romero vs Takahashi and Ospreay vs everyone), but there was an undercurrent of tension between Naito and Takahashi. Takahashi was giving Naito some hard tags, and they were giving each other odd looks, but they still worked together as well as ever. I liked how this match put out the ideas that Ospreay could challenge Naito one day, and Romero could challenge Takahashi, but the focus was still largely on the upcoming one-on-one match between Takahashi and Naito.


Ring Area
After the match, Hiromu Takahashi initiates a short sequence where Takahashi and Naito try to attack each other but never connect. They finish by saluting each other, but they leave the ring separately.


Match 6
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Title Match
Ryusuke Taguchi & Colt Cabana & Toru Yano vs BUSHI & EVIL (NEVER 6-Man Tag Champs) & Shingo Takagi (NEVER Openweight & NEVER 6-Man Tag Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: BUSHI pins Ryusuke Taguchi with the BUSHI Roll after the black mist, and LIJ defends their titles for the 2nd time
Time: 14:14

Match Thoughts
Very good match. It started out very much a comedy act with Yano leading his team in frustrating LIJ. Yano had stolen the title belts during LIJ’s previous title defense, and he didn’t show up with the belts tonight. Where were the titles? That was a question that was answered partway through the match after a lot of entertaining shenanigans. After the fight really got started, LIJ looked dominant even though Yano’s team did get in a few nice moments of offense as well. This wasn’t super competitive, but it was a lot of fun.


Match 7
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
Golden Aces vs Guerrillas of Destiny (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champs) w/ Jado
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi pins Tama Tonga after the High Fly Flow, and the Golden Aces become the 86th IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champs
Time: 20:10

Match Thoughts
Very good match. GOD were dominant for a large part of the match, but they seemed to want to make an example out of Tanahashi and Ibushi. With some help from Jado, GOD looked like they were going to win at one point, but they chose to not go for a pinfall right away. That allowed Ibushi enough time to recover after taking a substantial beating, and Ibushi supported Tanahashi as he made a comeback near the end of the match. Tanahashi was the star of this match, but all four men looked good.


Ring Area
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi celebrate as they close out the show, but Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr. attack them. They put Ibushi down quickly, then they both focus on Tanahashi’s knee. Taichi ends the attack with Black Mephisto on Tanahashi. ZSJ talks about Taichi and himself saving the tag division, then Taichi says pretty much the same thing in Japanese.


Show Impressions
This was a good show. Last night’s Korakuen Hall show was better, but this was still entertaining from beginning to end.

Match of the Night
Golden Aces vs Guerrillas of Destiny
This was easily the best match of the night, though I liked everything I saw tonight.


Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/228336?showResult=1



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