RADICAN’S NJPW DOMINION 2018 big match spotlight – IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

RADICAN’S NJPW “DOMINION 2018” BIG MATCH SPOTLIGHT
IWGP JR. HVT. CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY vs. BOSJ 25 CHAMPION HIROMU TAKAHASHI
JUNE 9, 2018
OSAKA-JO HALL
OSAKA, JAPAN
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM

NJPW “DOMINION 2018” BIG MATCH SPOTLIGHT: IWGP JR. HVT. CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY vs. BOSJ 25 CHAMPION HIROMU TAKAHASHI

Commentators: Kevin Kelly and Don Callis

Best of the Super Juniors 25 winner Hiromu Takahashi defeated Will Ospreay in a shade over 20 minutes to become the new IWGP Jr. Hvt. Championship. Takahashi’s win comes on the heels of his successful run through the BOSJ tournament last week. The match started hot with both men going right at it and the match spilled to the floor where Ospreay hit a crazy running flip dive off the entrance ramp to the floor.

The match hit a lull, but really picked up with a hot stretch that saw Takahashi target Ospreay’s neck over and over with a variety of attacks. Ospreay blocked a sunset bomb early in the match, but Takahashi managed to hit one late. Ospreay kept going for the storm breaker over and over during the match, but Takahashi always had a counter. Takahashi began countering Ospreay with the triangle and at one point Ospreay lifted him up and twisted him before dumping him head-first into the mat. Later, Takahashi countered Ospreay and got the triangle again, but this time Takahashi let go of it and hit a butterfly DDT. A short time later Takahashi finished off Ospreay with the time bomb.

PLAY BY PLAY

Hiromu Takahashi was out with the BOSJ 25 trophy in hand. Now that he’s getting a serious push he seems to have ditched Daryl. Ospreay got into the ring and Takahashi held up his trophy in his face. Ospreay charged right at Takahashi with a flying kick. They began exchanging blows and Ospreay charged at Takahashi in the corner, but Takahashi countered it into a suplex into the turnbuckles. They ended up on the ramp and Ospreay got a running start and hit an insane running flip dive off the ramp to the floor on Takahashi. Ospreay then went and pulled up the padding on the floor near the ring. He went for a storm breaker, but Takahashi blocked it. Ospreay ended up tossing Takahashi back into the ring as the ref’s count came close to 20. Ospreay’s shoulders were heavily taped up to his neck area. Ospreay got a bridging arm submission and he leaned back into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Takahashi went to the floor and Ospreay tossed him into the guardrail a short time later. Ospreay continued to work over Hiromu’s arm back inside the ring. Takahashi finally fired back and took Ospreay down with a headscissors takedown. Takahashi followed up with a big dropkick from the apron to the floor that sent Ospreay flying into the barricade. Takahashi hit some chops in the corner and Ospreay fired up, so Takahashi raked his eyes. Ospreay fired back a short time later and hit a 619 variation over the top rope from the apron.

Ospreay went for the Robinson special, but Takahashi got out of the way. Takahashi then got a neck crank using his legs and he flipped backwards over the ropes and held onto it. Ospreay fought him off and hit a space flying tiger driver. Ospreay set up for the Os-cutter inside the ring, but Takahashi turned it into a German and both men were down. The announcers hammered home how Takahashi was going after Ospreay’s neck. Both men began exchanging blows from their knees. They got to their feet and continued to trade shots. They continued to trade, but neither man would go down. The pace picked up and they went back and forth with rapid counters. Takahashi got up and eventually hit a German, but Ospreay got right back up. They had some insane counter sequences ending with Takahashi countering the storm breaker into a code red. WOW! That was an insane sequence!! Masahiro Chono was shown with the Japanese announce team at ringside. They ended up going to the apron and traded blows. Ospreay slipped off Takahashi’s shoulders and hit a kick to the back of his head. Ospreay went up top and dragged Takahashi up over the ropes into a superplex! Ospreay held on and draped Takahashi over the top rope. He then went up top and hit the burning star press! Ospreay went up top again and hit a corkscrew SSP for a near fall. The fans applauded as the match hit the 15 minute mark.

Ospreay set up for the storm breaker again, but Takahashi managed to wriggle over to the counter. He hit a destroyer out of the corner and Ospreay was out on his feet. Takahashi then locked in a triangle. Ospreay slammed Takahashi down to the mat, but he held on and applied the hold again. Ospreay tried to slam Takahashi again with one arm and this time he really lifted him up and twisted him around and it looked like he dumped Takahashi right on the back of his head! Ospreay followed up with the Robinson special. He went for the Os-cutter, but Takahashi blocked him by pushing him off the ropes. Takahashi then hit a sunset bomb, which he could do earlier in the match! Takahashi followed up with a big spinning slam and got a near fall! WOW! Ospreay slipped out of the timebomb a short time later. Ospreay blocked an attack from Takahashi and wiped him out with a flurry of strikes. Ospreay went for the storm breaker again, but Takahashi turned it into a triangle. Ospreay tried to stand up out of it, but Takahashi let go and hit a butterfly piledriver. He hit a Blu-ray into the turnbuckles. He followed up with the time bomb for the win. WOW!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi at 20:19 to become the new IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion

Star rating: (****¼)

Radican’s Analysis: The match started fast and then settled down. It really heated up mid-match with a great sequence of counters that ended with Ospreay going for the storm breaker only for Takahashi to counter it into into a code red. Takahashi’s work on Ospreay’s neck throughout the match paid off down the stretch. He hit a sunset bomb to the floor late in the match and it wasn’t long before he finished Ospreay off with the time bomb.

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Contact Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow Sean on twitter HERE. Follow and like Radican’s Wrestling Community Facebook.com HERE

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