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NJPW SENGOKU LORD in NAGOYA Recap & Review

NJPW SENGOKU LORD in NAGOYA
Event Date: July 25, 2020 (18:00 JST)
aired live on NJPW World
#njsengoku

City: Naka, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Venue: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium (Dolphin’s Arena)
Attendance: 2,200

Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Hiroki Mikami (1, 3. 5), Shunpei Terakawa (2, 7), Yuichi Tabata (4, 6), Daisuke-Han (7)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 3), Makoto Abe (4 – 7)

 

Ring Area
Makoto Abe announces tonight’s matches.

Video
The opening video shows us the buildup to tonight’s big matches.

 

Match 1
Yuya Uemura vs Taiji Ishimori
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Taiji Ishimori wins via submission with the Yes Lock
Time: 8:02

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. Ishimori beat up Uemura a lot, and Uemura only got a little offense late in the match. Ishimori also seemed quite indecisive about how he wanted to get into the finish of the match. For that reason the finish was a little odd, but everything else was a fine, straightforward young lion opening match.

 

Match 2
Gabriel Kidd & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Ryusuke Taguchi & Satoshi Kojima & Togi Makabe
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Togi Makabe pins Gabriel Kidd with a bridging German suplex
Time: 10:25

Match Thoughts
Good match. Gabriel Kidd wanted to fight Togi Makabe really, really badly. Kidd shoved Makabe prior to the match, and the two of them ended up starting and finishing the match against each other. They had a good fight, even though Makabe of course often got the better of Kidd most of the time. Kidd showed a lot of bravery but maybe a not a lot of brains when he started slapping Makabe in one of the brief instances when Kidd had an advantage. Other than Makabe and Kidd, everyone else had a pretty easy night. Taguchi and Yano brought some comedy to the ring as always (and Taguchi’s Funky Weapon worked way more often than I’m used to seeing), and Ishii and Kojima had a nice yet short fight. This was a solid tag match.

 

Match 3
BUSHI (NEVER 6-Man Champ) & SANADA & Tetsuya Naito vs SHO (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: SANADA submits SHO with Skull End
Time: 10:31

Match Thoughts
Very good match. LIJ’s teamwork was strong tonight, and they made this match look easy. Mostly. SHO seemed to give LIJ the most resistance, and SHO’s time in the ring against SANADA towards the end of the match was super fun. I’d love to see the two of them go one on one at some point. I think LIJ needed a good win after the past few weeks, and even though this match didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, it probably felt good for them regardless.

 

Ring Area
Reminding everyone that, yes, Los Ingobernables de Japon are bad guys, Tetsuya Naito was a huge jerk to referee Kenta Sato after the match. Naito faked an injury after the match, and when Sato went to check on him, Naito grabbed him and shoved him out of the ring. Naito then told Sato to get back into the ring to raise SANADA’s hand. Slowly and cautiously, Sato got back into the ring and proclaimed LIJ the winners of the match. Naito then put Sato in a wrist lock, and SANADA kicked Sato in the gut. Naito and SANADA both smiled before walking away.

Video
For the first time in 21 years, and the second time in history, NJPW will put on a show at Jingu Stadium! On August 29, 2020, NJPW presents SUMMER STRUGGLE in JINGU!

 

Match 4
Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Yuji Nagata & Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. (IWGP Tag Champ) & Taichi (IWGP Tag Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kota Ibushi pins Douki after Kamigoye
Time: 12:55

Match Thoughts
Good match. This was a chaos for pretty much the whole match. That’s not too surprising considering how all of these guys have been acting towards each other lately, and that’s not a bad thing either. The match was fun, and Tanahashi’s team finally seemed to get some momentum on their side after basically being beaten up every time any combination of these teams fight. Tanahashi was probably also happy that his knees weren’t targeted as ruthlessly as they have been lately. I liked the match, and I really liked the fact that Nagata and Suzuki again seemed to care less about the match than they cared about just beating each other up. Once again, Nagata and Suzuki continued to brawl after the bell.

 

Match 5
Yujiro Takahashi vs Kazuchika Okada
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada wins via submission with a modified Cobra Clutch
Time: 13:43

Match Thoughts
Good match. This really went about like I expected it would. I don’t think anyone thought Takahashi stood a chance on his own, so it was a surprise to no one when Gedo came out and helped Takahashi. Takahashi got some offense from that and in a few other spots, but Okada never really seemed to be in too much trouble. More than anything, I think this match was supposed to be a bit of revenge and catharsis for Yujiro Takahashi being a gigantic annoyance and playing a major role in Okada losing the New Japan Cup. Now that Yujiro is out of the way, Okada can focus on other things.

 

Match 6
NEVER Openweight Title Match
El Desperado vs Shingo Takagi (NEVER 6-Man & Openweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Shingo Takagi wins via pinfall after Last of the Dragon and is successful in his 3rd title defense
Time: 17:03

Match Thoughts
Very good match. El Desperado continued what he started during the New Japan Road tag preview match by going after Shingo’s leg early in this title match. Shingo was angry at Desperado for stealing his title belt, so Desperado had to survive an early onslaught from Shingo. After that, the fight went to the floor where Desperado used the barricade and ring post to assist his attack on Shingo’s leg. That hobbled Shingo a bit, and it allowed Desperado to get in a lot of good near falls and submission attempts with his Numero Dos stretch muffler. Desperado did better than I thought he might, and this match was quite entertaining. I never really thought Shingo was going to lose, but I never really thought EVIL was going to beat Naito either. So, strange things can happen, and that put the smallest seed of doubt in my mind. Still, the finish was definitive, and it was a good step forward for Shingo. It also elevated El Desperado a bit, at least in my eyes.

As a side note, I enjoyed the fact that after the match when Shingo Takagi walked up the ramp, he didn’t turn around to face the crowd. He turned around to face the crowd after his win at Dominion, and that’s when he was attacked from behind by El Desperado. This time there was no chance of a surprise (although, sure, he probably didn’t turn around tonight because his leg was hurting too much, but still, I thought it was a nice touch).

 

Match 7
IWGP IC & Heavyweight Double Title Match
Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ) vs EVIL (NEVER 6-Man, IWGP IC & Heavyweight Champ) w/ Dick Togo
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: EVIL wins after EVIL and is successful in his first double-title defense
Time: 33:57

Match Thoughts
Great match! Before the bell it looked like both men might be a bit cautious to start, but Hiromu exploded into action as soon as the bell rang. Hiromu threw himself at EVIL, and that worked to both his advantage and disadvantage throughout the match. Dick Togo certainly played a big role in the match as well, though Hiromu was able to neutralize him for a long time in the middle part of the match. For a long time, Hiromu would get a burst of offense, then EVIL would slow things down. That was becoming a pattern, but the ending got extremely tense. EVIL began to throw Hiromu around with multiple German suplexes, and Togo started to try to get involved more after Hiromu started to mount another comeback. There were some referee shenanigans, a lot of cheating, and a fantastic burst of offense from Hiromu as the match felt like it was getting closer and closer to the finish. They hooked me hard with this one. I liked it very very much.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Taiji Ishimori comes down to the ring and attacks Hiromu. Ishimori is about to hit Hiromu with the Jr. Heavyweight Title belt when Naito runs down to the ring. Ishimori rolls out of the ring, and Naito gets face to face with EVIL. Naito challenges EVIL to a title rematch, but EVIL doesn’t seem to worried about it. Naito helps Hiromu to the back while EVIL celebrates with Dick Togo and Taiji Ishimori.

 

Show Impressions
This was a good show. The final two matches were definitely the best, but everything else was good as well. NJPW is kind of spoiling us with two big shows so close together (this and Dominion), but now they’re going to have a little more time to build to the next big show during the Summer Struggle tour.

Match of the Night
Hiromu Takahashi vs EVIL
This is way out in front as my favorite match of the night. I didn’t necessarily like Hiromu’s chances of winning going into the match, but by the end, I believed that he could do it. I believed that he HAD done it a couple times, but EVIL and Togo snatched it away at the very last second both times. EVIL continues to be a supremely hateable bad guy.

 

Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/249110?showResult=1

 

 

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