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NJPW Summer Struggle (Night 6) Recap & Review

NJPW Summer Struggle 2020
Night 6
Event Date: August 7, 2020 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Bukyo, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 698
Series: Summer Struggle 2020

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Daisuke Takahashi
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 3), Makoto Abe (4 – 6)


The opening video hypes up the SUMMER STRUGGLE tour and previews the upcoming double title match between EVIL and Tetsuya Naito, and the Jr. Heavyweight Title match between Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori. It also highlights Kazuchika Okada’s recent announcement about the KOPW 2020 championship which will be decided later in August in a series of matches with stipulations voted on by fans. And finally the video shoes the brackets for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Title tournament.


Match 1
Yuya Uemura vs Yuji Nagata
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Yuji Nagata wins via submission with the Nagata Lock II
Time: 8:06

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Nagata continues his run of strong performances, and Yuya Uemura gave him a really good fight. Uemura was very aggressive, but Nagata never stayed down for long. Nagata didn’t have much trouble tonight, but this was still a good match for Uemura.


Match 2
Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji vs Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Satoshi Kojima pins Yota Tsuji after a lariat
Time: 8:52

Match Thoughts
Very good match. It’s a pretty daunting task for two young lions to take on Tencozy, but Kidd and Tsuji gave a great effort. And really, if the match were scored on points then the young lions would have probably won. Kidd and Tsuji managed to isolate Kojima for a very long time, and they dominated most of the match. Of course, they’re young lions so you know how things will end, but it was fun seeing Kidd and Tsuji do so well.


Match 3
Douki & El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki vs SHO (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: SHO submits Douki with a cross arm breaker
Time: 9:16

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Suzuki Gun was looking to release some anger after their loss in the 6-Man tournament last night, but the Chaos team was too strong for them tonight. Yano, Okada, and SHO took turns in the ring (in that order), and they controlled the match. Suzuki Gun’s usual ringside brawling was kept to a minimum, and Chaos came out on top of nearly every exchange. Chaos is still in the 6-Man tournament, and this was a nice way to keep their momentum heading into the next round.


The ring is cleaned and sanitized during a brief intermission.


Match 4
BUSHI & SANADA & Shingo Takagi (NEVER Openweight Champ) & Tetsuya Naito vs Gedo & Taiji Ishimori & Dick Togo & EVIL (IWGP IC & Heavyweight Champ) w/ Jado
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: SANADA submits Gedo with Skull End
Time: 13:26

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Bullet Club dominated the early part of the match by isolating BUSHI with good teamwork and effective cheating. BUSHI struggled to get a tag for a long time, but once he did the match opened up considerably. The action transitioned into a series of one on one encounters, and we were able to get a preview of EVIL versus Naito for a while. After a massive breakdown, SANADA and Gedo finished the match against each other in a fun sequence. The main idea here was definitely Naito versus EVIL, but it also maintained the momentum of LIJ in the 6-Man tournament. This was well done.


Match 5
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Title Tournament Quarter Final Match
YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto vs Ryusuke Taguchi & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: YOSHI-HASHI submits Tomoaki Honma with the butterfly lock, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, & Hirooki Goto advance to the semifinals
Time: 11:53

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This was evenly fought overall, though the momentum did shift back and forth fairly heavily. YOSHI-HASHI spent a lot of time legal in the match for his team. Some of YOSHI-HASHI’s time was spent being isolated and dominated, but an almost equal amount was YOSHI-HASHI getting support from his teammates and doing well. I think YOSHI-HASHI was the focal point of the match, and it was his struggle that more or less determined the outcome of the match.


Match 6
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Title Tournament Quarter Final Match
Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champ) & Taichi (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi pins Taichi with a sunset flip (after a kick to the head to Taichi from Kota Ibushi), Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, and Master Wato advance to the semifinals
Time: 16:53

Match Thoughts
Very good match. The story here is the same as it’s been for weeks: Dangerous Tekkers are attempting to exploit the weakness of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s knees, and they’re trying to tear Ibushi and Tanahashi apart. But even though we’ve seen this story at pretty much every show over the past couple of months, it’s still entertaining every time. Kanemaru and Wato had some exchanges here and there, but the main focus was on Tanahashi trying to prove himself, Taichi and ZSJ dominating him, and Ibushi struggling mentally with his partnership. It seems like Taichi and ZSJ might have pushed to far in trying to turn Ibushi against Tanahashi tonight though, and it’s very possible that the Golden Aces are getting back on track. I liked how the finish came together, but my favorite part of the match was probably seeing Ibushi beat up ZSJ for a couple of minutes late in the match. It was all good though, and it made for a very good main event.


Ring Area
After the match, Suzuki Gun attacks. They clear the ring, then they look down at Ibushi, Tanahashi, and Wato at ringside. Dangerous Tekkers again try to sway Ibushi away from Tanahashi, but Ibushi helps Tanahashi get to his feet and helps him walk backstage.


Show Impressions
This was a good show. It had a nice build to it, and the tournament matches were fun. Nothing really of note happened, but the action was good.

Match of the Night
Master Wato & Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi
I think the LIJ versus Bullet Club match was about even with this one, but the story element of the main event won the night for me.


Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/249885?showResult=1



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