SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S NEW JAPAN “POWER STRUGGLE 2015″ REPORT
NOVEMBER 7, 2015
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
(1) Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV & Ryusuke Taguchi & Mascara Dorada vs. Yohei Komatsu & Sho Tanaka & David Finlay Jr. & Jay White. White mocked Taguchi and attacked him with his rear end during the early going. White got cut off and got worked over. He finally caught Dorada with a dropkick and tagged in Tanaka, who eventually took down Dorada with a hurricanrana. Both men eventually tagged out at the same time to Finlay and Tiger Mask. The action broke down and Tiger Mask got isolated and took the Finlay roll from Finlay, but Mascara broke up the pin by pushing white into them. There was chaos all over and multiple dives. Tiger Mask ended up alone in the ring with Finlay. He nailed him with an avalanche double arm suplex off the top.
After the match, Liger got on the mic and cut a promo on Tiger Mask. He indicated he wanted a shot at the NWA Jr. Hvt. Championship. Mask got on the mic and it appeared he accepted his challenge.
WINNERS: Jushin Liger & NWA Jr. Hvt. Champion Tiger Mask IV & Ryusuke Taguchi & Mascara Dorada – This was the usual fun match between these two teams.
(2) Bullet Club (IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga & Cody Hall) vs. Togi Makabe & Capt. New Japan & Juice Robinson. Bullet Club jumped their opponents during the ring introductions. Robinson ran wild on Tonga inside the ring and wiped him out with a leg lariat. He went up top, but Gallows crotched him. The ref was distracted and Bullet Club cleared the apron. Gallows choked Makabe with his own chain on the outside a short time later. Robinson ended up getting isolated inside the ring and Bullet Club worked him over. Robinson finally fired back and tagged in Makabe, who ran wild. The fans fired up and chanted for Makabe as he worked over Gallows. Gallows fired back and hit Gallows’s Pole, but had to tag out to Tonga instead of making the cover. The action broke down and Captain New Japan missed a double shoulder tackle on Gallows and Hall. He then took a flurry of moves in the corner. Hall elevated Tonga into a big splash on Captain New Japan, but Makabe made the save. Makabe ran into the ring and wiped out Tonga and then sent Gallows to the floor. Robinson pulled the ropes on Hall and nailed him with a slingshot plancha. Captain New Japan went for a diving headbutt on Tonga, but he got out of the way. Captain New Japan surprised Tonga with a rollup, but Tonga fired back after kicking out with a Superman punch and a double arm DDT (Bang, Bang!) for the win.
Makabe ran into the ring with his chain after the match and Bullet Club bailed to the floor. There seemed to be a brief tease of something between Makabe and Gallows at some point down the line.
WINNERS: Cody Hall & Tama Tonga & Doc Gallows – This was fine for what it was. They kept things short and sweet.
A video package aired for EVIL and Tetsuya Naito. They showed Watanabe’s transformation from 2011 up until present day, which included footage of his ROH stint. They announced Watanabe as the King of Darkness EVIL. They showed him taking out Goto with a big STO at “King of Pro Wrestling 2015.”
EVIL made his entrance looking like one of Undertaker’s druids.
(3) Hirooki Goto vs. EVIL. EVIL jumped Goto as he was getting into the ring during his entrance. EVIL went under the ring and Goto looked for him, which allowed EVIL to attack him from behind with a dropkick. EVIL worked over Goto with a chair and went into the ring and played with his beard while Goto struggled to make his way back into the ring. Goto eventually beat the count and EVIL countered a clothesline attempt from him into a nice swinging neck breaker. EVIL worked over Goto methodically while making menacing faces. Goto blocked a clothesline and fired back on EVIL with some big kicks to the chest. He eventually capped a big sequence with a Saito suplex. EVIL Countered a suplex attempt from Goto and hit a fisherman’s buster. They went back and forth and Goto ended a big exchange when he caught EVIL with a big lariat. EVIL went for his STO, but Goto blocked it and hit a spinning lariat. Goto hit a big neck breaker over his knee on EVIL. He then tied him up in a nasty double arm submission. Naito slowly made his way down to the ring and nailed Goto with a dropkick. Naito shoved the ref and Goto fired back on him and went for a kick. Naito blocked it and hit a low blow followed by Destino.
At that point the ref called for a DQ and the fans booed. Holy s—! A DQ?!
Several people tried to run down to the ring to make the save, as Naito and EVIL put a beating on Goto after the match. Shibata finally ran into the ring and Naito and EVIL bailed. The fans gasped when Shibata sat down inside the ring and invited them to come back into the ring. Naito got his hat and headed for the back. I’d love to see Shibata & Goto vs. EVIL & Naito. Naito strutted to the back and then shoved the cameraman over. It looked like Naito was going to run right through my TV screen, which was pretty cool.
WINNER: Hirooki Goto via DQ – This was good while it lasted and the crowd loved the post-match angle. It looks like we’re going to have a tag match on our hands in the near future. (1:00)
(4) Bullet Club (Matt & Nick Jackson & IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion Kenny Omega & Chase Owens) vs. Time Splitters (KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley & IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Champions ReDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) in a Super Jr. Tag Tournament 2015 Special 8-Man Tag match. The action was fast-paced during the early going. The ring cleared and Omega’s partners banged the Terminator them on the mat before he wiped out ReDragon with a big flip dive to the floor. LOL. Shelley ended up getting isolated and Bullet Club began working him over. Bullet Club formed a chain to help Omega get leverage on an abdominal stretch on Shelley. The ref finally caught them and broke the chain of leverage. O’Reilly finally got the hot tag rom Shelley and went to work on Nick with the help of Fish. Fish and O’Reilly then worked together to take out Owens. Matt fired back on O’Reilly, but KUSHIDA made a blind tag and wiped out Matt. Omega cut him off, but KUSHIDA fired back on Omega and Nick with a handspring double elbow.
KUSHIDA ended up alone in the ring with Matt and he went after his arm. Matt fired back and grabbed KUSHIDA in the tombstone position. Omega did the same to Shelley, but the double IndyTaker got broken up. Omega powerbombed KUSHIDA into Matt’s knees, but they only got a 2 count. Everyone ended up going back and forth in the ring. The Young Bucks threw a superkick party. The action continued at a rapid pace as both teams went back and forth and the fans fired up. KUSHIDA got Owens in the hover board lock. He went for the ropes, but KUSHIDA rolled over and got it in again. Omega tried to make the save, but O’Reilly caught him in an arm bar using the ropes for leverage. Owens eventually had to tap.
Omega got the Jr. Hvt. Title after the match and held it in KUSHIDA’s face, so it looks like they are going to be set for a program at Wrestle Kingdom perhaps. Omega told the cameras he would be the champion until he decided to move up to heavyweight.
WINNERS: KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley & Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish
Star rating: (***) – This was really enjoyable while it lasted, but they kept it short much like the other matches on the card.
(5) Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. RPG Vice (Rocky Romero & Beretta) in the 2015 Super Jr. Tag Tournament Final. Sydal go the better of Beretta and went to work on his leg. Ricochet tagged in and continued to work over Trent’s knee. Beretta finally made the hot tag to Romero, who ran wild as the fans fired up. Romero nailed Sydal with a big kick to the mid-section. Sydal took a beating until making the tag to Ricochet, who fired the crowd up with a flurry of offense on RPG Vice. Sydal and Ricochet hit a double standing SSP on Romero, but he managed to kick out. Holy s—t! Beretta and Romero fired back on Ricochet and caught him with a double jumping knee. Ricochet countered the forever clotheslines from Romero and rolled through into a huge DDT and everyone was down after a big sequence. Romero ended up connecting with the forever clotheslines on Sydal, but Sydal spun him around right into an enzuguri from the apron from Ricochet. Sydal went for a super hurricanrana, but Romero slipped out from under him and he crotched himself. Romero then nailed Ricochet with a huge dive through the ropes. Beretta then hit a big running knee on Sydal for a near fall. They had Sydal set up for the strong zero, but Ricochet blocked it by spearing Romero. Sydal then hit a code red on Trent for a near fall. Ricochet wiped out Trent in the corner and then hit a double jump SSP to the floor to take out Romero. Holy s—t! Sydal went for a SSP off the top on Trent, but he got his knees up.
The fans fired up as Beretta went after Sydal. They went back and forth and Beretta hit the dude buster on Sydal, but Ricochet ran in from nowhere to make the save. Ricochet ended up trading blows with Romero in the middle of the ring. Ricochet hit a superman punch and went for the benadriller, but Trent broke it up. Sydal wiped out Trent with a reverse hurricanrana. Ricochet wiped out Romero. Ricochet and Trent then hit stereo SSP off the top on RPG Vice for the win. Wow!
Sydal and Ricochet were presented with big trophies for winning the Super Jr. Tag Tournament after the match.
Sydal got on the mic and spoke in Japanese after the match. He then said they were the newest and most dangerous team. Ricochet said they were coming for ReDRagon. He said they wanted a match for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Championships. Romero grabbed the mic and said last week they beat ReDRagon. He said they deserve the next title shot. The Young Bucks ran down to the ring and Nick said they’re the former champions and deserve a title shot. Fish said the titles are what matters in this business. Fish said they’re still holding the belts and ReDRagon had beaten them all before. Fish told Sydal and Ricochet they could have a shot whenever they want. It looks like we’re going to get a four-way match for the titles at WK 10.
WINNERS: Matt Sydal & Ricochet to win the 2015 Super Jr. Tag Tournament.
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was a fantastic back and forth match. They pulled off some great counter sequences, but Ricochet’s double jump SSP to the floor was the highlight of the match. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing Ricochet and Sydal tag together forever.
(6) Chaos (Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Bullet Club (A.J. Styles & Bad Luck Fale). Fale went after Yano and he ducked through the ropes and screamed for a break and wouldn’t stop. Styles went after him and Yano backed right into Fale. Yano ducked Fale and slapped him on the back of the head before tagging in HASHI. Styles also tagged in. HASHI eventually took Styles down with a hurricanrana. Fale then wiped him out with the ref distracted and Styles went on the attack. HASHI took a beating for a long period of time as Styles and Fale tagged in and out to work him over. Styles caught HASHI with his signature dropkick and then threw a crotch chop towards the crowd when they applauded. Fale went for the grenade, but HASHI countered it into a lung blower. He then tagged Yano, who pulled on Fale’s ears.
Yano took off the turnbuckle pad in the corner and baited Fale into charging into it. Yano went to hit his pose and Styles tried to jump him from behind, but he ducked and Styles flew over the top to the floor. Fale fired back on Yano and nailed him with a suplex. HASHI and Styles both tagged in and HASHI got the upper hand on Styles. Styles fired back and nailed HASHI with a springboard forearm. He set up for the Styles clash, but HASHI countered it. Fale then wiped him out and went for the bad luck fall, but Yano broke it up. Yano pulled the ropes on Fale and he fell to the floor. HASHI wiped out Styles with a big lariat for a near fall inside the ring. HASHI signaled for the finish, but Styles fired back and hit a Pele kick and bloody Sunday. He then finished off HASHI for the win.
WINNERS: A.J. Styles & Bad Luck Fale – This was fine for what it was and a good way for the fans to ease back into the card after intermission.
A video package for Honma vs. Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Title aired. It showed Honma getting his elusive G1 victory over Ishii in August. They showed Honma challenging Ishii for the title at Power Struggle. Honma concluded the promo saying kokeshi is happy!
(7) NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tomoaki Honma. They began the match trading bombs. Honma took Ishii down with a shoulder tackle, but missed a kokeshi off the ropes. Ishii got the upper hand and obliterated Honma with a bring forearm in the corner. Ishii went to work on Honma and grabbed a single leg crab. The fans fired up and tried to rally behind Honma. Honma mounted a comeback and went for another kokeshi off the ropes, but Ishii got out of the way again. Both men went for a suplex and Honma leveraged Ishii into positon finally after they went back and forth and hit a suplex that left both men down on the mat. Honma went for a kokeshi off the ropes for a third time and connected. Honma nailed Ishii with some big slaps and Ishii fired back with some chops before grounding him with a headbutt. Ishii won another strike battle, but the fans tried to rally behind Honma once again. Ishii hit a delayed vertical suplex off the top a short time later, but it was only good for a 2 count. They went at it again a short time later after Honma no-sold a big clothesline. Honma eventually hit a big DDT to end the sequence and both men were down once again. They battled near the table and eventually Honma hit a leaping kokeshi that sent Ishii off the apron and into the guardrail. Honma went up top and hit a diving kokeshi to the floor! Holy s—t! That’s nuts!
Both men were down on the outside and Ishii moaned on the floor in pain. Honma tossed Ishii into the ring and fired up. Ishii tried to fire up, but Honma decked him with a huge slap to the face. Honma told Ishii to get up as the ref checked on him. Honma followed up with a big lariat a short time later, but he only got a 2 count. The fans chanted for Honma as he went back on the attack. Honma went for his jumping piledriver, but Ishii fought out of it and hit a Saito suplex. Honma no-sold it and hit two diving kokeshi’s off the ropes for a 2 count. Holy s—t! This is amazing. Honma hit a big brainbuster, but Ishii got up and no-sold it. Ishii punched away a lariat attempt and connected with a short headbutt and both men were down on the mat. This is mental! The fans fired up and chanted for Honma. They began exchanging headbutts from their knees. They yelled at it other and continued to exchange headbutts. This is brutal. Honma went for a leaping kokeshi off the turnbuckles, but Ishii got out of the way. Ishii then hit a big powerbomb and folded on top of Honma for a near fall. Ishii followed up with a sliding lariat for a near fall. Honma blocked a suplex and struggled to get Ishii into the suplex positon, so he dropped him and nailed him with a diving kokeshi. Honma hit a kokeshi on the mat and then a kokeshi off the second turnbuckle as Ishii came at him for a near fall. Holy s—t! This match is nuts.
Honma tried to lift Ishii for a piledriver, but Ishii fought out of it. Honma hit two more leaping kokeshi’s. He then went up top and the fans went mental. He leapt off the top for his signature kokeshi, but Ishii rolled out of the way at the last second. OH MY GOD! Honma hit a lariat, but Ishii wouldn’t go down. Ishii caught him with a leg lariat off the ropes a short time later and then a sliding clothesline for a near fall. Holy crap! Honma countered clothesline and caught Ishii in a crazy pinning combination for a near fall. It wasn’t long before they were at it again trading bombs in the middle of the ring. Honma went for a leaping kokeshi off the ropes, but Ishii nailed him with a huge right and followed up with a giant clothesline for a near fall and the fans went crazy. Wow, wow, wow! Ishii then lifted Honma up and hit a brainbuster for the win. That was mental.
Ishii left the ring and Honma looked devastated as he was helped to the back after the match with some help from an attendant.
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii to retain the NEVER Openweight Title
Star rating: (****3/4) – This is an absolute must-see match. Once again, these two had an incredible back and forth war. Honma was able to beat Ishii during the G1 this year to finally get his first win in the tournament ever, but he fell just short in their rematch with the NEVER Openweight Championship on the line. The fighting spirit spots and the crowd heat behind Honma was insane here. Ishii is just a beast in this type of match and these two have developed quite the rivalry this year.
(8) G1 Climax 25 Winner Hiroshi Tanahashi & Katsuyori Shibata vs. IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada & Kazushi Sakuraba (w/Gedo). The fans were hot, as Okada and Tanahashi started the match. Okada offered a clean break and slapped Tanahashi’s chest and Tanahashi slapped him across the face. Tanahashi blocked a kick from Okada and slapped him across the face again. Okada fired back out of the corner a short time later and caught him with a running kick. Tanahashi baited Okada into chasing him in and out of the ring before cutting him off with some boots to the back. Shibata and Tanahashi went for a double team, but Okada held onto the ropes and tagged in Sakuraba, who went at it with Shibata. Sakuraba got Shibata in a triangle and transitioned to a straight arm bar from his back. Shibata tried to pull out of it, but began fading in a modified triangle. Shibata rolled his eyes back, but managed to fire up and got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Okada got the tag and continued to work over Shibata. He put the boots to Shibata in the corner. Shibata fired up and absorbed several punches. He went to bounce off the ropes, but Sakuraba grabbed him in a choke and Okada booted him to the floor. Okada and Tanahashi ended up going at it on the floor and Okada whipped him into the guardrail before booting him into the crowd. Sakuraba nailed Shibata with a series of kicks to the chest and he tried to fire up, but Sakuraba dropped him with a huge kick to the chest. Shibata finally wiped out Okada and tagged in Tanahashi. Tanahashi immediately went to work on Okada and both men went back and forth before Tanahashi wiped him out with a flying forearm.
Okada fired back and caught Tanahashi with his signature flapjack. Okada hit a DDT and kipped up. He measured Tanahashi and connected with a diving forearm that was good for a 2 count. Both men went back and forth and Tanahashi caught Okada with a dragon screw. Okada then fired right back with his signature dropkick. Shibata tried to run in, but Okada nailed him with a dropkick as well. Okada connected with his elbow off the top and signaled for the rainmaker. Tanahashi ducked the rainmaker, but Okada caught him coming off the ropes and went for it again. Tanahashi then managed to counter it into a sling blade and both men were down. Sakuraba entered the ring and kicked away at Tanahashi’s legs, but Tanahashi leveraged him into a German suplex. Shibata and Sakuraba then went back and forth and Sakuraba managed to grab a guillotine choke, but Sakuraba powered out of it and nailed him with a huge kick to the chest. The fans fired up and chanted for Shibata. Sakuraba grabbed a tight sleeper and Shibata teased fading. Okada held Tanahashi back from making the save. Shibata reached for the ropes, but suddenly broke the hold with a Saito suplex making Okada enter the ring to make the save. Holy crap! Okada was sent out of the ring and Sakuraba was isolated on the inside. Shibata wiped out Sakuraba and set him up for the high fly flow. Tanahashi connected and nailed Sakuraba with a penalty kick. Sakuraba must have been knocked silly because he weakly tried to kick out. What a war!
Okada walked right by Tanahashi after the match and headed to the back. Tanahashi grabbed the mic. Whatever he said caused Okada to come back down to the ring. Okada smiled at Tanahashi’s words and kicked over his briefcase. Tanahashi then jumped Okada and put the boots to him before several young lions separated them. They had a pull-apart brawl and Okada tried to leave, but Tanahashi followed him to the floor and nailed him several times with the briefcase! Okada then shouted into the mic before going back after Tanahashi. The young lions and officials tried to separate them and Tanahashi nailed Okada with a huge running dropkick as he was being held back. The fans fired up and chanted for Okada as Tanahashi was dragged away from him. Tanahashi broke free and Okada blocked a kick and went for a tombstone on the floor, but they were separated! Gedo finally dragged Okada away and they headed to the back. Suddenly Tanahashi sprinted to the back to end the segment.
WINNERS: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Katsuyori Shibata
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a really good tag match with some good exchanges between Tanahashi and Okada. Shibata was the star of the match going at it with Sakuraba as they engaged in some fantastic exchanges. This was a really good match from a storytelling standpoint. The post-match brawl was well-done and it seems that Okada has gotten into Tanahashi’s head going into WK 10.
They went to a video package for the Nakamura-Anderson main event. They showed Anderson vowing to beat Nakamura for the IC Championship. The video package said this match was part of the road to WK 10 at the Tokyo Dome.
Karl Anderson was accompanied by several members of Bullet Club to the ring for the main event. Nakamura then made his way out before they did the formal introductions.
(9) IWGP IC Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson. Anderson backed Nakamura into the ropes and offered a clean break during the early going. They repeated the spot and once again Anderson backed away from Nakamura without taking a cheap shot at him. Nakamura did hit signature rope break and Anderson backed him up and slapped him lightly on the face. They quickly exchanged blows and the pace picked up big time. They had a lightning fast back and forth sequence and came to a stalemate and the fans applauded. The ref got distracted and Gallows got up on the apron as Nakamura was setting up for a running knee strike. He tossed Nakamura into the guardrail from the apron and the fans booed. Nakamura was down on the outside selling his throat. Anderson ended up slapping Nakamura’s neck over the top rope and he dropkicked him off the apron and into the guardrail. Bullet Club distracted the ref again and Anderson hit a huge apron bomb. Anderson tossed Nakamura back into the ring and began working him over. Anderson got a bunch of 2 counts making deep covers, but he couldn’t keep Nakamura’s shoulders down. Nakamura finally mounted a comeback and went for the vibration boot in the corner. Anderson blocked it, but Nakamura caught him with his signature running knee in the corner a short time later for a 2 count. They went to a strike exchange and Anderson wobbled Nakamura before grounding him with a neck breaker.
Anderson went back to work on Nakamura and hit a huge running Liger bomb for a near fall. The fans applauded after Nakamura kicked out. Nakamura fired back and Anderson ducked a kick, but Nakamura caught him with his other leg. Nakamura then locked in a rear naked choke. Nakamura hit a reverse powerslam and the fans fired up. Nakamura went for the Boma ye, but Anderson popped up and nailed him with a spinebuster. Anderson and Nakamura were down and they got up and exchanged blows. The fans fired up as they continued to go back and forth. Nakamura caught Anderson with a big elbow and followed up with an axe kick. He followed up with the Boma ye, but Anderson kicked out at 2. Nakamura set up for another Boma ye, but Anderson got out of the way. Nakamura jumped up to the second turnbuckle, but Anderson caught him with the gun stun and both men were down. Anderson got Nakamura up on his shoulders on the turnbuckles and hit a huge TKO for a near fall. He signaled for the finish, but Nakamura blocked the gun stun and hit a big falcon arrow that left both men down. Anderson flipped himself into the ring a short time later and hit a huge clothesline for a near fall. He then hit a big jumping piledriver, but Nakamura kicked out once again. Holy s—t! Anderson went for a gun stun, but Nakamura countered it into a flying arm bar. Anderson tried to hold his hands together and eventually rolled on top of Nakamura for a near fall. Nakamura hit a Boma ye to the back of Anderson’s head. They went back and forth and Nakamura hit another Boma ye to the front of Anderson’s head that was good for the pin.
Nakamura recovered after the match and A.J. Styles got right in his face. They went head-to-head. Styles backed away and pointed his gun at Nakamura and pretended to shoot at him. Nakamura caught the bullet. Styles took the IC Championship away from the ref and handed it to Nakamura. He told Nakamura he was taking it from him. Nakamura smiled and held up the championship. It looks like we have a co-main event at the Tokyo Dome on Jan. 4.
Nakamura cut a show closing promo and mentioned Styles and the Tokyo Dome before hitting his catchphrase. Confetti shot into the ring and covered Nakamura before he walked to the back.
Nakamura was shown with Chaos backstage celebrating with beers. Romero told him from the LA Dojo to the Tokyo Dome as the IWGP IC Champion, he’s the man. That was an awesome line. Chaos then left and Nakamura began fielding questions.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the IWGP IC Championship
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was excellent down the stretch. I wasn’t a big fan of the Bullet Club interference at the beginning of the match to give Anderson the upper hand. The match was good for the first half and then the second half really picked up with some good near falls and big counter exchanges. The post-match angle was nicely done as well between Styles and Nakamura.
Overall Thoughts: (8.0) – This was a show that had some lulls in it, but overall it delivered a lot of satisfying action and did a good job of building the big matches for Wrestle Kingdom 10. The highlights of the show were the Jr Tag Team Tournament final and Ishii defending the NEVER Openweight Championship against Honma with several strong matches supporting it.
This card felt bloated in many ways during the first half of the show. Things finally picked up with a tremendous final match in the Jr. Tag Team Tournament, as Sydal & Ricochet beat RPG Vice in a really fun fast-paced match. I wasn’t a big fan of the post-match angle where it went from Sydal & Ricochet challenging ReDRagon for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Titles at WK 10 to a Four-way match. I’d much rather see a straight up Jr. Hvt. Tag match at the Tokyo Dome as opposed to another Four-way. The match gets a big thumbs up, but the post-match angle gets a thumbs down.
The must-see match on the show was Ishii defending the NEVER Openweight Title against Honma in an incredible rematch from G1. Honma wasn’t able to get the job done this time, but the match was designed in a way to make you believe he was going to take the belt from Ishii. They had a fantastic hard-hitting match that had the crowd going crazy by the end. It wasn’t as good as their match at G1, but it was close.
The show closed with a very good tag match with Okada & Sakuraba taking on Tanahashi & Shibata to set up Okada-Tanahashi at WK 10. Shibata was fantastic in this match with his selling and fiery comebacks. Okada seemed to be doing a good job of getting in Tanahashi’s head during the match and after when he kicked over Tanahashi’s G1 briefcase, which lead to a big pull-apart brawl. I really enjoyed the entire presentation of the match and the post-match angle.
The main event between Anderson and Nakamura was very good. The second half of the match was especially strong as they built to some good near falls and the crowd really got into the match. The post-match angle with Styles stepping up to challenge Nakamura for the IWGP IC Championship gives WK 10 a big one-two punch on the top of the card.
Overall, this show did a really good job of building towards WK 10. NJPW can put on some really killer shows and although this wasn’t a blow the doors off show, it was really good. The show built up several matches for WK 10 and it doesn’t get much better than watching Honma and Ishii go at it full bore in the ring in 2015. What a feud they’ve had this year! I definitely recommend watching this event on NJPW World.