New Japan Pro Wrestling
“New Japan Road 2015”
February 27
Okinawa Prefectural Onoyama Park Gymnasium
Okinawa, Japan

New Japan Road is here! What’s on the card? Well, there’s Komatsu and Tanaka going at it in their best of 3,000 series. Outside of that, there’s a bunch of tag team and six man matches. Not the most robust card of all time but I think we’ll see a direction in where things are going for the next week or so as we head into the New Japan Cup tournament, which actually starts next Thursday on the 5th.

Sho Tanaka vs. Yohei Komatsu: The latter seems to be working with a shoulder injury as he has it taped up, and I don’t think it’s something recent. It must really suck to be already working hurt at that age, but I guess that’s the business. They had their usual good back and forth paced match. Crowd was into it at points. Komatsu had Tanaka in the boston crab, but he manages to get to the ropes. Tanaka catches him in a spinebuster and goes for his own crab, but he manages to get to the ropes as well. Komatsu SLAPS THE SHIT out of Tanaka but he grabs Komatsu’s leg and manages to get a cool transition into a half crab. He grabs both legs this time, securing a submission win. Good stuff again between these two. ***1/4

Kushida & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Gedo & Jado: Gedo did not want to start off with Nakanishi. He wanted to start off with Kushida, but with some sly maneuvering the bell rang with Nakanishi and Gedo in the middle. Gedo tried to tag to Jado, but he wasn’t having it. Nakanishi, of course, overpowered him. Their seconds come in and do their thing, including Jado recovering instead of doing the usual Flair flop. Story of the match, though, is that both Gedo and Jado want nothing to do with Nakanishi, so most of the match was getting heat on Kushida. He comes back with the springboard elbow and tags in Nakanishi who beats up both of them. Jado actually gets the heat on him for a bit but Kushida comes back and hits a huge plancha on Gedo. Nakanishi hits the torture rack on Jado and secures it. **3/4

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Jushin Liger vs. Satoshi Kojima & Tiger Mask: A battle of usual tag team partners! Tiger Mask and Jushin Liger start things off. Tenzan and Kojima then came in, and the crowd seemed pretty interested in seeing these two square off. Tenzan got the better of Kojima with the mongolian chops. They get the heat on Tiger Mask until Tenzan misses a headbutt, leading to a hot tag to Kojima who runs wild on his tag team partner. Kojima goes for the lariat but Tenzan lays him out with the spinning heel kick. Everyone at this point runs in and lays each other out. It turns into Liger & Tiger Mask, the latter of whom picks up the win with a rollup. Interesting match with some good action. ***

Yuji Nagata & Captain New Japan vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto: Captain New Japan and Shibata started things off. But a clean break turns into a huge slap by Shibata on Nagata (who was simply standing on the apron minding his own business). Nagata comes in and now it’s a fight! CNJ is tagged in and this is where he starts getting worked over by the former tag team champions. CNJ comes back and tags in Nagata, who kicks Goto’s chest in. Goto catches his leg and hits a big lariat, taking him out and tagging in Shibata. Captain New Japan misses a headbutt which leads to Goto and Shibata taking him out. CNJ surprises Shibata with a rollup and a uranage, but CNJ kicks out each time. Goto comes back, and they take him out with the neckbreaker/penalty kick combo for the victory. ***

Tetsuya Naito & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi: YH and Taguchi go at it, and they end up brawling into the crowd, with Okada and Naito following. Yoshi Hashi works over Taguchi until he manages to tag Naito, who goes wild on YH until he’s finally able to tag in Okada. Taguchi comes back in and uses his butt offense. Okada is in and he tries to hit the rainmaker on Taguchi but he counters with an ankle lock that Okada is able to escape from. Okada eventually does the Rainmaker pose and strikes Taguchi with the Rainmaker for the pinfall. **1/2

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano: Yano and Tanahashi started, then Makabe (returning after a bout of a flu) and Ishii followed Nakamura and Honma. They all end up brawling into the crowd. Hmm…ok, I know most of these six mans and tags have a pattern, but this is like the SAME EXACT sequence from the last bout. It’s weird. Honma becomes the guy they get the heat on. Honma tries to back a comeback with Ishii but he dodges a Kokeshi. Honma gets him with a huge deadlift suplex. Makabe comes in and bodyslams everyone. Tanahashi comes in and takes out Yano with the dragon screw. Even while getting eaten up Yano found a way to undo the turnbuckle, or at least loosen it a bit. Nakamura comes in, and it becomes a back and forth affair. Honma tags in and hits the Kokeshi headbutt but Nakamura comes back and motions for the Boma Ye but Honma comes back with a torpedo Kokeshi. He tries for one off the top rope, but it misses. Ishii helps Nakamura set up the boma ye, but Tanahashi breaks it up. Nakamura’s teammates subdue their opponents long enough, however, for Nakamura to hit another Boma Ye and pins Honma to win. ***1/4

Final Thoughts:

A solid show with nothing memorable. We did get some buildup for the opening rounds and the NWA title matches soon to come, at least. I guess you can say it’s merely a first stop on the latest tour for New Japan heading into the New Japan Cup tournament.