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NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018 Night 2 Results & Review

NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018 Night 2 Results & Review

New Japan Pro Wrestling wraps up its Wrestling Dontaku 2018 tour in Fukuoka with the latest, and possibly final, chapter in one of the greatest rivalries of all time between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada. Will Ospreay continues his quest to become the new ace of juniors against KUSHIDA, and the BULLET CLUB explodes in a huge 10-man tag match.

NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
WRESTLING DONTAKU 2018 – NIGHT 2
MAY 4TH, 2018
FUKUOKA CONVENTION CENTER

Watch: NJPW World

RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER & TIGER MASK DEF. REN NARITA, SHOTA UMINO & YUYA UEMURA

This is my first look at Uemura, and he is built. The announcers put him over as well, so that’s a good sign. This is your typical young lion match, with grumpy Tiger Mask kicking the crap out of Uemura and Liger trash-talking the lions. Taguchi got the win with the ankle lock, getting ready for his upcoming Best of the Super Juniors run. **¾

BULLET CLUB (CHASE OWENS & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI) DEF. TOMOYUKI OKA & YUJI NAGATA

While the other members of BULLET CLUB prepare for the civil war later tonight, Yujiro and Chase are taking care of business on the undercard. There wasn’t much to this one. Nagata did his armbar, but Yujiro broke it up. Oka begged for the tag, but Chase put him down with the package piledriver. Chase has really grown on me this year, and it’s good to see him score a pin here. **½

ROPPONGI 3K (ROCKY ROMERO, SHO & YOH) DEF. SUZUKI-GUN (TAICHI, TAKA MICHINOKU & TAKASHI IIZUKA)

This wasn’t as torturous as their earlier encounters, but this was forgettable at best. In a bit of a surprise considering they faced a team with two heavyweights, Sho and Yoh hit the 3K on TAKA and got the win. A nice win setting Sho and Yoh up for BOSJ and an eventual Jr. Tag Title shot. Nothing to see here.

CHAOS (TOMOHIRO ISHII & TORU YANO) DEF. TOA HENARE & TOGI MAKABE

This was fine, but if you’ve seen this match once on this tour, you won’t have seen anything new here. Henare did get some very close nearfalls, making me think he’d sneak in an end-of-the-tour upset. But instead, Ishii dropped him with a brainbuster and got the win. Ishii and Yano collect another win as New Japan keeps them on the burner for a heavyweight tag title shot at some point. **½

CHAOS (HIROOKI GOTO, JAY WHITE & YOSHI-HASHI) DEF. DAVID FINLAY, JUICE ROBINSON & MICHAEL ELGIN

Another fine tag match. Elgin looked very good here, motivated by a semblance of a push. Jay White kept going after Finlay on the apron, continuing their feud to the grave. It came down to Finlay and Yoshi-Hashi, and after avoiding the Prima Nocta, Yoshi hit Finlay with Karma to score the win for Chaos. After the match, Taichi came out, beat down Elgin, and kidnapped Goto to the back. Instead of going to help his stablemate, White figured Goto could handle himself and took Yoshi-Hashi to the back on the other side. White wasn’t done yet though as he tried to lay out Juice, but Juice ran him off instead. White said that he was in Juice’s head. So, Jay White vs. Juice Robinson and either Elgin or Taichi vs. Goto seem to be the directions for Dominion. **¾

LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (TETSUYA NAITO, EVIL, SANADA, HIROMU TAKAHASHI, BUSHI) DEF. SUZUKI-GUN (MINORU SUZUKI, DAVEY BOY SMITH JR., LANCE ARCHER, YOSHINOBU KANEMARU, EL DESPERADO)

This was a hot little tag match here. Naito is still sans-Intercontinental Title. Suzukigun got the jump early, culminating in Archer chokeslamming Hiromu from the ring to his partners on the floor. They worked over Bushi before Hiromu got the hot tag in. Hiromu came in a house of fire on Kanemaru and Despy, but the SZG heavyweights came in and put him down with a set of tag and trios moves. It all broke down, leading to Naito getting tagged in and left with Kanemaru. A quick Destino got LIJ the win here. ***

After the match, Naito heads to the back before he’s attacked by an LIJ fan. Once in the ring, we find out it’s CHRIS JERICHO! He grabs a ring bell and hits Naito over the head with it, covering Naito in the crimson mask. This is going to be interesting to see where this match happens. You always want to stack up Dominion. However, with the rumors that New Japan is disappointed with the pre-sales for the Cow Palace show, do you save this match for then? What do you do with the IC Title at Dominion? It’s gonna be fun to see where this goes, and when it goes down.

BULLET CLUB (KENNY OMEGA, TAMA TONGA, TANGA LOA, BAD LUCK FALE) & KOTA IBUSHI DEF. BULLET CLUB (CODY, HANGMAN PAGE, NICK JACKSON, MATT JACKSON, MARTY SCURLL)

On the eve of the BULLET CLUB’s five-year anniversary, BULLET CLUB explodes here as Team Cody takes on Team Kenny. This was played much more for comedy than I originally thought it would be, centering around Marty’s need to bodyslam Fale. The Bucks and the Tongans showed no real ill will toward each other after the Six-Man titles changed hands last night. The Bucks and Omega never fought, but they had no chance to make up with Cody involving himself. The finish came when Marty finally got Fale up for the bodyslam, only to collapse and get pinned. Afterwards, Kenny chased Cody to the back, leaving the other BC members in the ring. After talking it out, everyone threw up the Too Sweet in celebration of five years. It looks like BULLET CLUB…is fine. ***½

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
WILL OSPREAY DEF. KUSHIDA

An unbelievable display of heart and passion from both men. Ospreay and KUSHIDA came in to this match, both taped up around the neck. Ospreay’s selling in this match was incredible, which may be due to him actually being in a lot of pain. He’s wrestled an insane schedule as of late, doing the entire Dontaku tour after doing Wrestlemania Weekend, which was after his match with Marty Scurll at Sakura Genesis where he brained himself on the apron. But that is who Will Ospreay is, for better or worse. He will sacrifice the long-term vision for the short-term gain, he will give 100% when he could coast. In short, he will fight.

And fight he did. KUSHIDA was vicious here, not out of malice, but out of his desire to be champion and the ace of juniors again. He went after Ospreay’s arm and neck relentlessly, drawing boos out of the crowd at points. Don Callis and Kevin Kelly were great on commentary, at points begging Ospreay to stay down for his own good. But this is Will Ospreay. And Will Ospreay will fight. KUSHIDA went for the small package driver off the second rope, which beat Ospreay in the Best of the Super Juniors final last year, but Ospreay got out and hit a springboard cutter off the top. He followed it with the finisher he debuted on this tour, a spinning neckbreaker he calls the Storm Breaker, to retain the title. As you would expect from these guys, top notch stuff here. ****½

Ospreay’s celebration was cut short, as we got another promo for the return of BONE SOLDIER. The return came sooner than we expected, as Tama Tonga came out. He distracted Ospreay while Boner came in from behind to beat up Ospreay. Tama got on the mic and revealed that Bone Soldier is actually the debuting Taiji Ishimori! Tama gives Ishimori the Gary Strydom treatment, reveling over his abs before too-sweeting him and leaving. Another absolute stud to add to the already loaded New Japan Junior division.

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
KAZUCHIKA OKADA DEF. HIROSHI TANAHASHI

We’ve all seen this story. The story of the former great who fights back against Father Time to return to the top of the mountain. We’ve seen it in film, where guys like Rocky Balboa return to the ring to take down an unstoppable Russian juggernaut. We’ve seen it real life, where George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7lf_T98kxU at the age of 45 to win boxing’s heavyweight title. It’s a wonderful story, to know that if you work hard, you can succeed at any age. But Father Time is undefeated. And sometimes, you don’t get the storybook ending.

Hiroshi Tanahashi has been in a state of denial since losing to Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 10. He still calls himself the Ace of New Japan. He got a new theme song which literally has the crowd chant “Go Ace”. And for that time, people played along. They chanted Go Ace, they still cheered him, they still loved Tanahashi. But deep down, they all knew the truth. Everyone knew that Okada was the man, but no one really had the heart to tell Tanahashi that. They still let Tanahashi believe he was the man.

With an emphatic kickout of a High Fly Flow (exactly at the 30:00 mark, to avenge last year’s draw in the G1) and one Rainmaker, Okada shut the door. He removed all doubt. He forced Tanahashi to accept the reality. And the reality is that Kazuchika Okada is the man, the ace, and now, the greatest IWGP Heavyweight Champion of all time. The crowd wanted Tanahashi to do it again. And Tanahashi fought hard. He survived the Tombstone on the floor. He gave Okada everything he could handle. He even broke Okada’s wrist hold for the first time . But not even the Ace can’t fight Father Time. ****½

After the match, Okada counted down all the defenses he has made in his record-breaking reign as champion. There was one he couldn’t get past though. The 60-minute draw in Osaka-jo Hall. Okada called out Kenny Omega! Okada challenged Omega to a title match with no time limit. Omega raised the stakes by wanting a best of 3 falls match. Okada accepted, and Okada/Omega IV is on for Dominion.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The top two matches, and their post matches, were absolutely fantastic. The BULLET CLUB 10-man was surprisingly lighthearted and fun, and the undercard flew by. An easy watch, and a fun one too.


About The Author

Suit Williams

Writer. Lover. Man of interest.

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