We’re just two days away from New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Dominion 2015, a show centered around the culmination of six month’s worth of storylines. What do we have on the docket for tonight? Well I hope you like six-mans, because we got a lot of them! They usually aren’t bad, but there’s such a patented formula to them they never deter from that they can get boring, and my mind wanders elsewhere. If I had to choose between this and Raw though, I would totally pick this. I would probably pick episodes from 2000 WCW Nitro to review over Raw. In other words, no complaints here!
Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly
Started out slow with a feeling out process, mostly with O’Reilley working on Tanaka. Komatsu made a great comeback that the crowd ate up big time, including transitioning into a dragon sleeper but O’Reilly came back and broke it up. Komatsu sinked in the half leg crab. In a funny spot, O’Reilly kept slapping Komatsu as Tanaka deadlifted him into a German suplex. reDragon did a double team codebreaker into a deadlift German suplex for their comeback, then win with the Chasing the Dragon on Tanaka in a very good opener. These four have good chemistry together. ***1/4
Yuji Nagata & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi & Mascara Dorada
Starts off with Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi, which the crowd liked for whatever reason. Nakanishi was slow as molasses here, as per usual. Taguchi and Tiger Mask Followed, then Dorada and Liger, with Dorada doing a huge dive on the outside taking out Liger. Didn’t last too long. Taguchi and Dorada made a comeback and wiped out Tiger Mask. Dorada was going for his screwdriver finish when Tiger Mask countered and rolled him up for the win. Any roll up in 2015 is quite the deadly finishing maneuver. **
Yuji Nagata cut a promo after the match, mostly just talking about being in the opener on Sunday at Dominion.
Nagata "Good evening. NJPW'll be holding their 1st show in Osaka-jo Hall in 21 years. I'm Nagata, in the 1st match." #njdominion #njpwworld
— E. Key Oide (@e_key_oide) July 3, 2015
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Jay White vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Cody Hall
This turned into a pretty good six man. Usual formula with everyone pairing off. Boiled down to Tama Tonga and Jay White. Tencozy took out Hall with the 3D and White got a nearfall with a missile dropkick. Tonga fired back with a TKO, then pinned him with a waistlock hold into a DDT. Tonga’s always pretty good, I wonder why he’s in the spot he’s in. He’s like the Yoshi-Hashi of Bullet Club where they’re both good, but rarely get to be in a prominent feud. Maybe they could feud with each other! ***
Kushida & Captain New Japan vs. Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi
Despite Kenny Omega stealing the Best of the Super Junior trophy on last week’s show, Kushida came to the ring with it. I guess maybe management forced Omega to give it back, or something. The lack of continuity here on this matter is weird. Basic tag match with the Bullet Club getting heat on Captain New Japan. CNJ made the hot tag and Kushida ran wild, including hooking Yujiro’s feet into a bridge and giving a German suplex to Omega for a double near fall. CNJ tagged in and ran wild, but as usual he got cut off and Yujiro pinned him with the Tokyo Pimps. Guys gotta learn not to tag him in, ever. ***
Kushida and Omega were having a staredown when suddenly who should emerge from the crowd but none other than last year’s Best of the Super Junior winner, Ricochet, wearing an Akira Tozawa t-shirt. He challenges whoever wins at Dominion to a IWGP junior heavyweight title match. Crowd popped big time for this. Seeing Ricochet back here is great, because while Prince Puma is great, Ricochet is better. This seems like a huge red flag concerning Lucha Underground’s fate, however, as he’s pretty much one of the top stars being pushed, if not THE biggest star. Bittersweet moment.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Gedo
Another formulaic tag match with everyone pairing off. Naito was the last to enter the arena and was aggressive whenever he was in the ring, including shoving the referee down at one point. Makabe and Ishii had their usual big exchange, then Tanahashi and Yano went at it. The former went for the high fly flow, but Yano got the knees up and rolled up him for the nearfall. Tanahashi then grabbed him by the hair and rolled him up for the three count. Yano was pinned and was never seen again, continuing to signal a heel turn. The usual ten man tag highlighted by a fun finish and Naito’s actions. **3/4
Makabe and Ishii exchanged words after the match, while Yano came back with a chair. Tanahashi dropkicked the chair into Yano’s face and sent him reeling as he celebrated.
Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata & Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Kazushi Sakuraba & Gedo
This was every multi-man tag you’ve ever seen from these six. Not that it was bad, because it actually got really great in the end. Yoshi-Hashi was scoring some great nearfalls, including a powerbomb into a bridge but Goto kept kicking out. Shibata tries to break it up but Goto held his own until he couldn’t no more. Goto hit his neckbreaker on the knee, Shibata hit the penalty kick then Goto followed with the Shouten Kai for the pinfall. ***
Everyone stared down their rival in the post match, with Sakuraba and Shibata exchanging slaps.
Kazuchika Okada & Michael Bennett & Matt Taven & Rocky Romero & Baretta vs. A.J. Styles & Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson & Young Bucks
Despite being a hard camera event, they made sure to get shots of Maria’s behind when she entered the ring. Amber Gallows was also here seconding the Bullet Club. This started out as the usual ten man tag but got wild at the end. Everyone paired off with their rival, and eventually it boiled down to Romero being worked on. He makes the hot tag to Taven, which brings in the two teams facing off for the titles on Sunday until Okada and AJ are tagged in. Lots of crazy action here including a double tope from the Kingdom onto various Bullet Club members. Anderson grabs Romero in the Razor’s Edge position and throws him onto the rest of the participants in the match. Anderson was stopped by Maria. Anderson was into Maria when Amber Gallows ran in and they had a catfight. Doc Gallows came in and he and Anderson were about to do the Magic Killer when the Kingdom ran in. They wen to the outside as it boiled down to Baretta vs. Young Bucks and AJ Styles. Young Bucks and AJ Styles all did 450 splashes on Baretta for a nearfall when Okada ran in. AJ wipes him out when he helps the Young Bucks do an assisted Indytaker then immediately follows that with the Styles Clash for the pinfall. Great spectacle of a match. ****
AJ cuts a promo on Okada after the match, saying he’ll always lose to the Bullet Club because they’re real.
Final Thoughts: A pretty great show with a wild main event. Also lots of interesting directions leading into the show on Sunday, with Naito’s heel turn seemingly imminent as well as the return of Ricochet. Even though all the matches we’re going to see on Sunday will be a repeat of what we’ve seen before, the show promises to be one of the biggest since WrestleKingdom with tons of great matchups. Get hyped!