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NJPW Summer Struggle (Night 7) Recap & Review

Night 7
Event Date: August 8, 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, Haruo Murata, Togi Makabe (5, 6)
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 Taiji Ishimori
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Taiji Ishimori wins vis submission with the Yes Lock
Time: 8:13

Match Thoughts
This was a very good opener. Uemura rushed at Ishimori right at the opening bell, and Uemura got a good flurry of offense against the challenger for the Jr. Heavyweight Title. Ishimori of course came back pretty quickly and dominated Uemura for a while, but Uemura pushed back towards the end of the match. I wouldn’t say Ishimori ever struggled in this match, but he did take a lot of damage, and he did have a bit of trouble putting Uemura away in the end.


Match 2
Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji vs Gedo & Yujiro Takahashi w/ Jado
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Yujiro Takahashi pins Gabriel Kidd after Pimp Juice
Time: 7:51

Match Thoughts
Good match, but Kidd and Tsuji just weren’t equipped to handle Bullet Club’s rampant cheating. Plus, Kidd and Tsuji got into a minor shoving match before the bell when they were trying to decide who would start, so the young lions never stood a chance tonight. This was a dominant performance from Bullet Club.


Match 3
Yuji Nagata & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champ) & Taichi (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Taichi submits Tomoaki Honma with the Holy Cross
Time: 10:34

Match Thoughts
Good match. Suzuki Gun were looking to vent some anger and frustration after being knocked out of the 6-Man title tournament last night, and they tended to dominate this match. Kanemaru, ZSJ, and Taichi met some resistance, but they didn’t have too many problems dealing with their opponents tonight.


The schedule for the 30th G1 Climax is revealed.

The ring is cleaned and sanitized during a brief intermission.


Match 4
Douki & El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki vs Ryusuke Taguchi & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Satoshi Kojima pins Douki after a lariat
Time: 9:37

Match Thoughts
Good match. This surprised me a little. I was expecting Suzuki Gun to more or less destroy their opponents tonight, but that didn’t happen. Despite a brawling start from Suzuki Gun, the match was fought fairly evenly. The momentum went back and forth a little, and Kojima managed to isolate Douki late in the match with gave Kojima’s team a huge advantage. This was fun.


Ring Area
After the match Kojima gets on the mic and says that he wants to be part of the KOPW 2020 tournament. El Desperado responds from ringside, and it looks like the two of them will face each other as part of KOPW 2020.


Match 5
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Title Tournament Semifinal Match
BUSHI & SANADA & Shingo Takagi (NEVER Openweight Champ) vs SHO (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Toru Yano wins by Count Out after tying BUSHI’s mask to the barricade at ringside, Toru Yano, SHO, and Kazuchia Okada advance to the finals
Time: 13:07

Match Thoughts
Very good match. LIJ is absolutely the better team in this match when it comes to teamwork, but the Chaos team is unpredictable in their methods. The biggest wild card is always going to be Toru Yano, and his antics proved to be a difference maker tonight. Not all of Yano’s tricks worked, but the ones that did worked at the best possible times. To get to that point though, SHO and Okada had two great individual performances against members of LIJ. This was a lot of fun.


Match 6
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Title Tournament Semifinal Match
YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto vs Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: YOSHI-HASHI pins Master Wato after Karma, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hirooki Goto advance to the finals
Time: 17:11

Match Thoughts
Great match. Tanahashi and Ibushi were on the same page for the first time in a long time, and Master Wato contributed greatly to his team’s efforts tonight. The Chaos team of YOSHI-HASHI, Ishii, and Goto were working extremely well together tonight as well though, and that led to a great battle. Tanahashi wanted to start the match tonight just like last night, but unlike last night, there was no pushback or hesitation from Ibushi and Wato. Tanahashi did well, and his knees weren’t really an issue (mostly because they weren’t a focus of his opponents). Ibushi did great as always, and he had a very fun exchange with Ishii in the middle of the match. And Wato was impressive as he battled YOSHI-HASHI towards the end of the match. YOSHI-HASHI really stood out tonight though, and it felt like a lot of emphasis was put on him as the match neared its finish. I enjoyed this match, and it set up an interesting final for the 6-Man tournament.


Ring Area
After the match, Tanahashi and Ibushi have words with the Chaos team. Most of the words seem friendly enough, but Tomohiro Ishii seems to have some problems. Ishii looks like he’s arguing with Tanahashi, then he starts to argue with Ibushi. Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI, and Goto look like they’re trying to diffuse the situation, but Ishii throws a couple of chops Ibushi’s way. Ibushi gets in Ishii’s face, but Tanahashi and Ibushi leave together before any sort of scuffle can break out.


Show Impressions
This was a fun show. The final two matches were the only ones that really mattered, but everything was entertaining. I’m looking forward to the finals of the tournament.

Match of the Night
Master Wato & Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii & Horooki Goto
This match had the best action, and it felt like it meant the most to the people competing in it. Seeing Tanahashi and Ibushi working together again felt good, and this match seemed to be a way to solidify their newfound bond. They were both supportive of Wato as well which was nice to see. And on the other side, seeing YOSHI-HASHI fight to earn a shot at winning his first title in NJPW was fun as well.


Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/249886?showResult=1



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