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RADICAN’S NJPW WRESTLING DONTAKU 2019: NIGHT 2 REPORT
MAY 4, 2019
FUKUOKA CONVENTION CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
BY SEAN RADICAN, TORCH COLUMNIST
Commentary: Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero, Gino Gambino, and Chris Charlton
(1) Ren Narita & Shota Umino beat Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji in 8:00.
It was announced the Best of the Super Juniors blocks would be revealed this coming Tuesday.
(2) Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado & Taka Michinoku beat Jeff Cobb & YOSHI-HASHI & Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi & Toa Henare in 11:00.
(3) Jushin Liger & Toru Yano & Togi Makabe beat Bullet Club (Tama Tonga Tanga Loa & Jado) in 8:00.
(4) Juice Robinson & Tomoaki Honma & Mikey Nicholls beat Bullet Club (Jay White & Chase Owens & Hikuleo) in 12:00.
After the match, Juice Robinson was heading up the ramp and the same video played with the new wrestler holding a knife that will debut on June 5 at the finals of BOSJ. The video concluded by saying “Times Up.”
The “X” was revealed. It is El Phantasmo, who will be in Bullet Club. He came out with a light up jacket and glasses remixed version of Bullet Club’s music. Kevin Kelly mentioned that El Phantasmo had made a name for himself in RPW in the U.K. Kelly mentioned that Kyle O’Reilly had trained El Phantasmo. He will be in the BOSJ tournament. Out next was his partner, Taiji Ishimori.
RADICAN’S BIG MATCH RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(5) TAIJI ISHIMORI & EL PHANTASMO vs. IWGP JR. HVT. CHAMPION DRAGON LEE & WILL OSPREAY
The announcers mentioned that Ospreay and Phantasmo are friends from England. Ospreay looked surprised coming out that he was in Bullet Club. Ospreay offered a handshake, but Phantasmo teased the too sweet and then kicked Ospreay in the gut. They went at it right away hot and heavy. Ospreay went for a rana, but Phantasmo cartwheeled to his feet. Phantasmo eventually nailed Ospreay with a dropkick off the ropes. Phantasmo walked the ropes while holding onto Ospreay. He booted Lee down to the apron and jumped down to the middle rope all while Holding Ospreay’s hand before wiping him out. WOW! Phantasmo is set to take on David Starr in a Ladder match in RPW later this week. Phantasmo hung Ospreay upside down on the corner and then stepped on his groin. Ospreay finally caught Ishimori with a handspring kick and the fans fired up. He tagged in Lee, who went at it with Ishimori. Lee got his blind wheelbarrow pinning combination for a two count. They traded blows in the middle of the ring. Both men hitting jumping knees. Ishimori finally wiped out Lee with a big lariat and both men were down.
Phantasmo got the tag from Ishimori. Lee caught him with a snap German. He tagged in Ospreay, who hit a big running elbow in the corner and then a big running dropkick. Ospreay hit a springboard lariat, but Phantasmo kicked out at two. Ospreay went for the Stormbreaker, but Phantasmo got out of it and nearly rolled Ospreay up for the win with a pinning combination while holding the ropes. Ospreay countered Phantasmo and hit a stunner and the fans fired up. Phantasmo sent Ospreay to the mat. Lee tried to stop him, but Phantasmo kicked him to the floor. Phantasmo then walked to the middle of the top rope and hit a moonsault to the floor. WOW! The fans applauded as a replay of Phantasmo’s spectacular maneuver aired. Phantasmo tossed Ospreay to Ishimori for a Code Breaker and then came off the top with a moonsault on Ospreay, but the pin got broken up. Phantasmo and Ospreay went back and forth. Ospreay caught Phantasmo with a spanish fly, but he kicked out at two. Ospreay hit the Robinson special. He set up for the Os-Cutter, but Phantasmo nailed him with a superkick. He then hit a big spinning neckbreaker out of the torture rac position. He then won the match with a no hands Gotch. WOW!
WINNERS: El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori in 10:00. (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a great debut for Phantasmo. The crowd didn’t react much at first, but he won them over with his spectacular rope walking maneuvers. He enters the company with a great built in story with Ospreay.)
(6) IWGP JR. HVT. TAG TEAM CHAMPION SHO & YOH & IWGP IC CHAMPION KOTA IBUSHI vs. L.I.J. (TETSUYA NAITO & SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI)
The fans really fired up with Ibushi and Naito starting the match. Naito still hasn’t said when he will challenge for the IWGP IC Championship. Naito had teased doing the match on this show the previous night, but they won’t be doing it on this show. They had a fast back and forth exchange and came to a stalemate. Naito hit his pose on the mat as Ibushi looked at him. The pace picked up and SHO and YOH stood tall after nailing Naito with a double dropkick. Shingo ran in and helped BUSHI. They wiped out SHO. Shingo then went to the floor and whipped YOH into the guardrail. SHO got worked over by Naito as the five minute mark passed. Shingo blocked a boot out of the corner from SHO and nailed him with a clothesline. He nearly slipped going up top, but connected with a back elbow. Shingo and SHO began trading bombs in the middle of the ring. They really tagged each other and the fans fired up. SHO hit a big elbow and a lariat, but Shingo didn’t go down. BUSHI then caught SHO with a kick to the back from the apron. SHO hit a spear on BUSHI a short time later. He blocked a suplex from Shingo and hit one of his own and the fans applauded.
SHO made the tag to Ibushi who ran wild. He hit a slingshot splash onto Naito and Shingo. He traded blows with Shingo in the middle of the ring a short time later. The pace picked up and Ibushi told Shingo to bring it. Shingo hit some big elbows. They continued to go back and forth until Shingo caught Ibushi with a pop up DVD. WOW! Shingo tagged in Naito. He went to work on Ibushi and hit a neck breaker with Ibushi draped over the ropes. Ibushi then hit a beautiful top rope frankensteiner. Naito set up for Gloria, but Ibushi blocked it. He went for it again and connected, but SHO and YOH dove in to make the save! The fans fired up and Rocky Romero said Naito was out here to prove a point. He went for Destino, but Ibushi got out of it and wiped him out with a clothesline.
YOH got the tag and wiped out Naito. SHO and YOH went to town on Naito, but he countered a double team attempt and shoved SHO into YOH. YOH blocked a swinging DDT and hit a falcon arrow on Naito for a two count. The action broke down and Shingo nailed YOH with a pumping bomber. SHO then hit a big lariat on Shingo. BUSHI then wiped him out with a dropkick. The action really picked up and YOH took Destino from Naito and it was good for the win. What a match.
After the match, Naito got on the mic. He said they didn’t change the match tonight to an IC title match. He said he was sorry that didn’t happen to Ibushi. He said in that case, he will challenge him for June 9 at Osaka Jo Hall at Dominion. WOW! He asked Ibushi what the answer. Yes or no. The fans fired up and Ibushi went back towards the ring. He grabbed the mic and said the answer is yes in Spanish. He said June 9 it’s on. Let’s do it at Dominion! Ibushi held his title up for Naito as Naito hit his pose. That’s a huge match!
WINNERS: Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi & BUSHI in 14:00. (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: Great match and a tremendous post-match angle to set up a huge match for Dominion between Ibushi and Naito.)
Hiroshi Tanahashi’s music played and Kevin Kelly acted surprise. We haven’t seen Tanahashi in NJPW since he was injured at G1 Supercard. The fans fired up and Chris Charlton said he had just been discharged from the hospital last week. The ring announcer said Tanahashi has a special greeting for the fans tonight. He said he had an operation on his left elbow. He said he came out of his support yesterday. He said he really wanted to be able to wrestle. He said last year on May 4 in Fukuoka, he started his climb towards G1 Climax. He said he then went to the heights of winning the title in the dome. He said he came down the otherside of the mountain and lost the title. He said he had gone all the way down and went down to the mat. The fans applauded. He said right now he’s on the ground, but on June 5 the ace is coming back at the BOSJ finals. Tanahashi climbed the turnbuckles and says he’s going to get higher and higher as he looks to be IWGP Champion once again. TANAHASHI is coming back with a purpose!
Jay White cam down to the ring with Gedo. White grabbed the mic and smiled while talking to Gedo. The fans booed when White addressed Tanahashi. He asked Tanahashi if he thinks he deserves the IWGP Hvt. Championship. He said the line starts behind him and he is in the back of the line even behind Goto. White said he’s the real champion and he’s next in line. Gedo then distracted Tanahashi and White jumped him from behind. White went after Tanahashi’s injured arm. The fans booed. Gedo slid a pair of chairs into the ring. White stomped away as Gedo screamed for him to send Tanahashi back to the hospital. The Young Lions dove in and grabbed White. White beat them up. White grabbed the mic and said that he’s next. The fans booed with Tanahashi down on the floor. The fans fired up and chanted for Tanahashi.
(7) TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. EVIL
The bell rang and they began exchanging shoulder tackles right away. The fans fired up and both men went face to face before exchanging forearms. They continued to exchange as the fans fired up. They went to elbows and the fans continued to fire up. EVIL looked like he was rocked, but he fired back. EVIL finally took Ishii down with a shoulder tackle as he came off the ropes. Ishii got sent head-first into the ringpost on the floor a short time later. EVIL went back to work on Ishii inside the ring and went after his leg. EVIL continued to go after Ishii’s legs and he went for the Scorpion Deathlock. The announcers talked about how EVIL won with the same maneuver in a tag match on the previous night via ref stoppage over Ishii. Ishii blocked the hold and mounted a comeback, but paused and favored his leg before going back on the attack. Ishii went on the attack. They battled up top and Ishii finally hit a delayed vertical superplex for a two count. EVIL mounted a comeback and hit a suplex on Ishii into the turnbuckles and Ishii went to the floor. EVIL followed him to the floor. They battled on the floor and EVIL eventually put a chair around Ishii’s head and then swung for the fences with the other chair.
Both men battled up top and this time EVIL hit a big superplex. Ishii favored his back and EVIL made the cover for a near fall. EVIL went for the Scorpion Deathlock again and this time he got it. Ishii struggled, but eventually got to the ropes. They went back and forth and Ishii hit a backdrop suplex that left both men down as the 15 minute mark passed. They traded blows and EVIL went for a misdirection attack off the ropes, but Ishii nailed him with a clothesline. Ishii then applied the Scorpion Deathlock in the middle of the ring. That’s his mentor, Riki Choshu’s, signature hold. Ishii really sat back on the hold, but EVIL managed to get to the ropes. They traded bombs again and EVIL went for a headbut, but Ishii cut him off with a big elbow that dropped him. Ishii followed up with the sliding lariat, but EVIL kicked out at two! Ishii set up for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but EVIL kneed his way out of it. Ishii no-sold a German and they went back and forth and EVIL decked Ishii with a headbutt/lariat combination. EVIL got a running start and hit a huge clothesline on Ishii for a near fall and the fans applauded.
EVIL signaled for the end. Ishii slipped out of Everything is Evil twice and hit a German, but EVIL got right up! Ishii hit a big lariat and EVIL kicked out at one!. They eventually hit clotheslines at the same time and staggered backwards before going down. WHAT AN EXCHANGE! The twenty minute mark passed with both men down on the mat. The fans really fired up as both men pulled themselves to their feet. They ran at each other and hit clotheslines at the same time. Neither man went down and they collided again. This time Ishii went to a knee. EVIL went off the ropes, but Ishii no-sold a clothesline and hit a pair of headbutts and EVIL went to a knee! They went back and forth trading counters and EVIL hit a half and half suplex. EVIL went for Everything is Evil multiple times and he even went for Ishii’s Vertical Drop Brainbuster. They traded counters again and Ishii went for Everything is Evil, but Evil got out of it. Ishii hit an enzuguri to end a big exchange. He got up and hit a big clothesline for a near fall. Ishii then hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster and it was good for the win. What a match!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii in 23:00. (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a brilliant match. EVIL worked over Ishii’s back the entire match to set up the Scorpion Deathlock while also working over his legs and Ishii wouldn’t tap out. EVIL then tried to hit Everything is Evil, but Ishii kept countering it. They put together some unbelievable counter exchanges down the stretch before Ishii got the win. I can’t wait to see more from these two. This was so good.)
A video package aired for the Okada vs. SANADA main event for the IWGP Hvt. Championship. It showed Okada beating SANADA in the finals of the NJ Cup earlier this year ahead of G1 Supercard. Okada had promised SANADA after he beat him that if he beat Jay White at G1 Supercard, he would grant him the first shot at his title. SANADA came out wearing a new jacket with skulls on the shoulders. He also wasn’t wearing his usual mohawk.
(8) IWGP HVT. CHAMPION KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. SANADA
Kevin Kelly pointed out their last three matches have gone from 20 minutes to 30 minutes to 33 minutes at the NJ Cup most recently. Kelly asked how long this match would go. The fans were red hot after the opening bell rang. The announcers talked about Okada taking a path to wrestling through Mexico. SANADA also took a path to wrestling training under Keiji Mutoh and also training in Mexico. They took different paths, but are similar athletically on the mat. The announcers mentioned that Okada is 5-0 against SANADA, but they focused on SANADA going from lasting 15 minutes against Okada in their first match to lasting 33 against Okada most recently. Romero said SANADA needed to figure out the last piece of the puzzle to beat Okada. The pace picked up at the five minute mark and they traded pinfall attempts back and forth before coming to a stalemate. The announcers said that even thought Okada is 5-0 against SANADA, they are matched up equally all things considered. Okada got the upper hand and hit a sliding dropkick. Okada took his time and worked over SANADA with a chinlock on the mat. SANADA fired back and hit a basement dropkick. Okada sold his leg on the mat.
SANADA began setting up for the paradise lock, but Okada shoved him off. They went back and forth and SANADA went for the paradise lock, but Okada shoved him off. SANADA hit another kick to Okada’s leg and then locked in the paradise lock. The fans fired up as SANADA egged them on. SANADA really got the crowd fired up. He then freed Okada by nailing him with a dropkick for a two count. SANADA worked over Okada for several minutes. SANADA missed a standing moonsault and Okada hit a diving uppercut and both men were down. They went to a fast exchange off the ropes and Okada took SANADA down with an elbow. Okada hit a DDT, but it was only good for a two count. SANADA went to the floor, but Okada fired back on the floor and booted him over the guardrail after countering a whip. Okada then hit his signature splash over the guardrail.
Okada came up clutching his knee after connecting with the splash. Okada walked SANADA back to ringside and tossed him into the ring. He favored his leg as he got into the ring. Okada hit a slam and went up top. SANADA ran at him and SANADA jumped over him. They went back and forth and SANADA hit his signature dropkick. He immediately hit a slingshot splash to the floor and the fans fired up. The announcers mentioned that this was the second time Okada had gone high risk and it didn’t pay off. SANADA went for the Skull End, but Okada shook him off and caught him with a flap jack and both men were down. They went back and forth. Okada went for a dropkick, but SANADA held onto the ropes. He went for a German, but SANADA landed on his feet. SANADA finally hit his signature float over springboard dropkick to win the exchange. Romero remarked on the pacing of the match from slow to fast. Okada caught SANADA charging in the corner and hit his signature neck breaker. The announcers said it was a game of chess and Romero said Okada had the advantage in that kind of battle. Okada hit an elbow off the top and signaled for The Rainmaker. He set up for The Rainmaker, but SANADA grabbed a pinning combination. They traded pinning combinations back and forth for several two counts. SAANDA got a Japanese clutch for a near fall, but Okada kicked out at the last second and grabbed a cobra clutch on the mat.
The fans fired up and chanted for both men. Okada let go of the hold, but SANADA hit a dropkick. He then connected with a dropkick after missing the first time. SANADA blocked a tombstone attempt adn got the Skull End. He tried to sit back, but Okada rolled through and hit a tombstone! He set up for The Rainmaker, but SANADA blocked it and floated over into the Skull End at the 25 minute mark. Okada went down to the mat and then raised up to his feet, but SANADA countered him and hit Total Anarchy. Both men were down as the fans chanted for SANADA. SANADA hit a tiger suplex, but Okada kicked out at the last second. He set up for the Muta Moonsault, but Okada got out of the way. He landed on his feet, but then sold his knee. They went back and forth and Okada hit a spinning Rainmaker. He then went for the traditional Rainmaker, but SANADA countered it. SANADA floated over and then used the ropes to float over again when Okada blocked his first attempt to get the Skull End. He spun Okada around and then went down to the mat with the Skull End with the hooks in. Okada fired up out of the hold, but SANADA grabbed it again and used his other arm to hook it in.
It looked like Okada was going to tap, but he didn’t. He sat up out of the hold. SANADA still had the hook in. SANADA tried to stop Okada and he did. He then applied the Skull End in the middle of the ring! The ref checked Okada’s arm at the 30 minute mark. It dropped twice, but SANADA let go of the hold. He then went up top and hit the Muta Moonsault to Okada’s back. He then rolled Okada over and went for the Muta Moonsault again, but Okada got his knees up! The fans chanted for both men as they were both down in the middle of the ring. Both men began trading forearms from their knees. Okada yelled SANADA and then nailed him with a forearm. SANADA fired back with one of his own. They got to their feet and continued to trade at a slow place. The pace picked up and the fans fired up with each blow. Charlton mentioned that their match had now gone longer than their previous match in the NJ Cup. SANADA hit a big uppercut and Okada went down to his knees. They went back and forth and the pace quickened. Okada hit a shotgun dropkick, but he didn’t hit it flush. The 35 minute mark passed and Okada charged at SANADA and ate an elbow. SANADA floated over Okada and went for Skull End, but Okada countered and got a Skull End of his own. Okada went for the tombstone, and SANADA got out of it. Both men went for a Tombstone. SANADA got Okada up, but Okada continued to fight with his legs. SANADA couldn’t get his head under his legs and Okada countered and went for a tombstone. WOW!
SANADA got out of it and got the Skull End. SANADA tried to sit down, but Okada rolled out of it. He went for two Rainmakers and SANADA ducked them both and hit a Rainmaker of his own for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? SANADA tried to float over and get Skull End, but Okada blocked it. SANADA counterd a Rainmaker, but Okada got the Tombstone out of the corner and then hit The Rainmaker for the win. That was incredible.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada at 38:03 to retain the IWGP Hvt. Championship. (*****)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a perfect match in so many ways with SANADA trying to figure out a way to solve the puzzle of Okada. The pacing of the match up and down was like a rollercoaster ride. Down the stretch, SANADA couldn’t put Okada away with a moonsault and Okada struggled to hit the tombstone/Rainmaker combination until the very end. I’m guessing at some point, they go an hour.)
After the match, Okada offered a handshake. SANADA teased backing away from a handshake, but offered a fist bump. He then asked Okada for one more match. Okada was presented with a card that said winner and confetti came down into the ring. Okada looked surprised and then played into the moment by waving to the crowd. Okada had the belt put around his waist by Red Shoes.
Okada got on the mic to cut a promo. He said he was surprised by the gold streamers. He said let’s recover and try again. He talked about SANADA and said he had heard him called his rival of his at the signing ceremony and he was happy to hear that. He said SANADA is his rival. He said their rivalry is just beginning. He asked the fans how the show had been. He said it would be his era and not SANADA’s going forward. He said he would give his best to make everybody love professional wrestling. He said he’s going to make it rain and the lights went out.
Music played with black balloons. A man was showed putting on black makeup. It’s Chris Jericho. Jericho was shown under a light with a black jacket on with spikes. Jericho said he’s the painmaker. He said on June 9 at Dominion in Osaka, he will challenge for the IWGP Hvt. Championship and he said he’s going to win. He then screamed he’s going to win over and over before making the shhh sound and pointing to his lips. Okada was shown smiling in the ring. Okada said, “Let’s do it.” Okada said he’s going to win over and over. He said he is going to make it rain here in Fukuoka to conclude his promo.
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/sr_torch.