Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho, Kota Ibushi defends the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito and much more from Osaka-jo Hall in Japan.
Shota Umino vs. Jon Moxley: Umino thought he would get the better of Moxley by attacking before the bell rings but that didn’t last long in his favor. This was a quick one with Moxley doing the typical taking liberties with a Young Lion. Moxley wins the match with a double arm hooked DDT. After the match, Moxley demands to be entered in the G1 Climax Tournament.
Shingo Takagi vs. Satoshi Kojima: Takagi is coming off a loss in the Finals of the Best of the Super Juniors Tournament, his only loss after 97 victories in New Japan. Takagi believes that he suffered the defeat because his opponent Will Ospreay has more experience with heavyweights so Shingo would like the same treatment. There was a great spot where both men were throwing heavy blows back and forth and almost loss via double count out. Shingo hit a vicious Death Valley Driver on the apron but the veteran Kojima sweeps Shingo’s leg then planting him with a DDT. Back in the ring, Shingo is the dominant one on offense. Kojima fights back ending the offense with a Brainbuster. Later on, Shingo tried dropping Kojima with two Pumping Bomber lariats but Kojima wouldn’t budge. Kojima answers back with a lariat of his own. We’re back to battling in the middle of the ring. Shingo hits Last of the Dragon which leads to another Pumping Bomber for the win. After the match, Shingo also demands to be entered into the G1 Climax.
Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jushin Thunder Liger and YOSHI HASHI: The beginning Suzuki and ZSJ work YOSHI HASHI over heavy. When YOSHI HASHI finally gets the tag to Liger we finally get Suzuki Liger exchanges. Suzuki handled most of the offense but Liger capped off the exchange with a Brainbuster. ZSJ and YOSHI HASHI are tagged in respectively. ZSJ does the smart thing and works the arm of YOSHI HASHI which is less than 100%. Liger comes back in but is cut off by Suzuki. They brawl on the outside while in the ring ZSJ tries to submit YOSHI HASHI who turns his moves into an arm trapped pin and gets the three! ZSJ and Suzuki are pissed!
BULLET CLUB (Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, Chase Owens) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Juice Robinson: Since suffering a loss to Jon Moxley and thus losing the IWGP US Title Juice Robinson is showing a different attitude. Tanahashi is fighting Father Time and Taguchi is, well, Taguchi. Tanahashi doesn’t look too banged up when he gets tagged in. He starts off hot but then gets triple teamed by BC. Because Tanahashi’s left arm being less than 100% we see the worst Slingblade in the history of wrestling. Chase Owens takes over his team and has a great showing. Tanahashi fights out of Chase’s Package Piledriver and hits a really sketchy Dragon Swing for the win.
Taichi (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the Never Openweight Championship: Taichi isn’t too eager to start the match so Ishii just lays in the ring. Taichi reenters and begins striking Ishii which is just making Ishii mad. A striking battle begins later and I’ve never seen this side of Taichi! Give me more of this, please. Ishii continues to land heavy strikes but Taichi isn’t backing down. Taichi is winning this match so far thanks to the use of his kicks. Both men trade Saito Suplexes and are both down. Taichi continues his kick onslaught but this time Ishii is standing firm. The referee is down while Ishii has taken over. Both men continue to go back and forth. Taichi hit a vicious Axe Bomber and then locks in a Dragon Sleeper and Ishii is almost out. Somehow Ishii kicks out of a Last Ride powerbomb. What will take for someone to lose? More back and forth. Tomohiro Ishii rounds off a sick Vertical Drop Brainbuster and wins his fifth Never Openweight Championship. Excellent match. What a showing for Taichi.
Guerrillas of Destiny (c) vs. SANADA and EVIL for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: It looks like the faster men of their teams (Sanada and Tama) work each other while their stronger counterparts work each other. The pace is super slow with GOD cutting off EVIL from his partner. Sanada finally comes in, puts Tanga Loa in the Paradise Lock, and takes out Tama Tonga and Jado who’s on the outside. When one team gets the upper hand with tandem offense it’s only for a brief moment until they’re stuck in the same predicament. While GOD where simultaneously trapped in submissions, Jado disposes the referee and gets in the ring. Before Jado could strike EVIL with the kendo stick he is stopped by fellow LIJ member Bushi who mists Jado in the face. EVIL and Sanada look to land Magic Killer but Tama Tonga turns EVIL over for a schoolboy pin with a handful of tights for the win.
Katsuyori Shibata is here! He’s here with KENTA! Holy. KENTA is entering the G1!
Dragon Lee (c) vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: If you think I’m going to be able to keep up with this match and type it out you’re nuts. Ospreay starts off as the main aggressor mixing in his high flying and submission maneuvers. Ospreay goes for the Sasuke Special but Lee moves. Osprey lands on his feet! Lee hits Ospreay with a knee strike then sits him on the barricade. Dragon Lee goes back in the ring then comes flying out with tope suicida taking out almost the entire Japanese commentary section! Back in the ring both men battle on the top corner in a seated position. Dragon Lee wipes out then Ospreay lands a beautiful corkscrew moonsault. Now Ospreay is in control. That is until Dragon Lee fought out of the Stormbreaker setup and lands a Tornado DDT. We’re back to a strike battle till Ospreay hit a sick hook kick. Here they go do the flippy stuff! Lee goes for that over the rope rana to the outside but Ospreay lands on his feet! Dragon Lee thinks he hit the move and the crowd and commentary are going crazy! Dragon Lee runs after Ospreay and gets planted with a popup apron powerbomb. More back and forth featuring a sick double stomp tree of woe to the outside. Dragon Lee wiped out on the landing but is okay. Ospreay kicks out of the destroyer into a running knee strike. Before Lee could hit another move Ospreay catches him with a Hidden Blade. Ospreay comes off the top and hits an Os Cutter then Stormbreaker for the win to become the NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. After the match, Will Ospreay grants Robbie Eagles a title shot at NJPW Southern Showdown in Melbourne, Australia.
I loved this match because it was the high spot match you’d expect with a lot of hard hitting from both men mixed in. Good stuff.
Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship: The match starts off fast paced but Naito is able to ground things. The crowd is really anti-Naito but we are in Osaka after all. After the combinacion Cabron Ibushi looks to be in serious trouble. Naito is getting too cocky, you should never want to stand and strike with Ibushi. Now that Ibushi has control he hits a corkscrew pescato to the outside. In the ring, the action is at a fast pace. Now the crowd is behind Naito! Both men battle in the corner on the top rope with Ibushi winning the exchange. Ibushi attempts the German suplex back in the ring but Naito fights out. We got a battle on the apron. Naito hits a German suplex and the way Ibushi head bounced off the apron and his neck bent are one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen. Ibushi is out of it. Ibushi blocks Destino and hits a cradle tombstone Piledriver. Here comes the slugfest. Both men are hitting strikes with brutal force. Ibushi goes for Bomaye, Naito ducks hit the snapdragon Suplex and Destino for two! Destino countered into Go 2 Sleep! Last Ride from Ibushi for two! Wow. Ibushi kicks out of a reversed Tornado DDT, and blocks another Destino! This time Naito turns that into a poison rana counter and hits Valentia for two. Ibushi has a skull and neck made of steel apparently. However, it’s not enough because Naito hits another Destino and finally gets the win. What a match.
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Chris Jericho for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship: The match started with a back and forth pace but Jericho took the match to the outside. Jericho brings out those heavy duty Japanese tables before brawling with Okada on the outside. Back in the ring, Jericho takes over the match. Jericho is staying on Okada not letting him get vertical. Okada finds an opening with a Flapjack. The Champ is fired up. We are back on the outside of the ring where Okada attempts his running crossbody over the railing but Jericho counters it with a Code Breaker. Okada gets back in the ring at the count of sixteen and Jericho takes over. Both men battle to hit the Tombstone but it ends with Jericho sliding into the Walls of Jericho. Okada gets to the rope to break the hold. Jericho spends too much time yelling at Red Shoes the referee that he takes his eyes off Okada who hits him with a dropkick. Okada hits a second dropkick then a Tombstone. This doesn’t put Jericho away who still kicks out of an over the knee Air Raid Crash. They battle on the apron where Jericho his patented springboard dropkick. On the top rope, Jericho attempts a Superplex that Okada fights out of. Okada leaps off the top and hits an elbow. Okada attempts the Rainmaker but Jericho ducks and hits an enziguiri. Jericho and Okada trade forearm shots from their knees then at a vertical base. Jericho avoids a dropkick then hits a Lionsault for two. Jericho once again loses focus and pays for it getting hit with a shotgun dropkick. Okada is pissed. Okada runs in and gets hit with a Code Breaker for two. Jericho takes off the protective padding for the turnbuckle and tries to lawn dart into them. Okada fights out and hits Jericho with a German suplex. Back standing and Jericho attempt a Rainmaker but Okada ducks and hits Jericho with a Code Breaker for two. Okada hits a spinning Tombstone but Jericho ducks a Rainmaker and locks on the Walls of Jericho. He then changes the move into the classic Liontamer. Okada fights out and at the 25-minute mark, we are back to square one. Jericho looks to hit Judas Effect but Okada ducks. Jericho ducks a Rainmaker and attempts a Code Breaker but its blocked by Okada. Jericho slides over the back of Okada but Okada traps his legs and shoulders to the mat to pick up the win. Really good match. It definitely exceeded my expectations.
After the match, Jericho assaults Okada with a steel chair. It looks like he is going to powerbomb Okada through the table but is stopped by Hiroshi Tanahashi who was on commentary. “The Painmaker never loses. The Painmaker always wins! I am the greatest of all time. Even in this bullshit country of Japan!” Wow, harsh words from Jericho. Tanahashi tends to Okada, helping him to his feet and to the backstage area. The show closes with no post-match speech from the winner and the crowd is pissed.
I really enjoyed this year’s Dominion. Go out of your way to see Taichi/Ishii, Dragon Lee/Ospreay, Ibushi/Naito, and yes, Okada Jericho. All fantastic wrestling matches.
If you did watch NJPW Dominion what did you think of the show? Drop a comment below.