SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S NJPW DOMINION PPV REPORT
JULY 12, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
(1) Satoshi Kojia & Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Gabriel Kidd & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe at 9:25. Paint by the numbers opener with Nagata getting submitting Kidd.
(2) LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi & Sanada) beat Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yota Tsuji at 10:15. Takahashi submitted Tsuji with a Boston Crab.
(2) El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Douki defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Yuya Uemura & Master Wato at 9:45. It looks like Wato will feud with Kanemaru next. He didn’t do much of anything of note in this match. Desperado got the pin on Uemura with the Pinche Loco.
(4) Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi) beat Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto) at 9:45. Gedo attacked Okada at one point during the match. Takahashi ended up pinning Goto after hitting Pimp Juice.
(5) NEVER Openweight Champion Shingo Takagi beat Sho at 20:10. Shingo dominated early. He blocked a spear and hit a DDT. Sho then ducked a sliding lariat and hit a spear and the fans fired up. Shingo eventually fired back and ended a big exchange with a short right and then a big lariat. They went to a crazy exchange a short time later where Sho hit a lariat and Shingo got up and hit a lariat. Shingo stayed on his knees after and Sho got up and hit another lariat and both men were down! Both men got to their knees and began trading bombs a short time later before getting to their feet and continuing to trade.
Shingo eventually no sold a jumping knee and hit a clothesline. Sho hit a back stabbed but ended up hurting his legs in the process. He then wiped out Shingo with a big clothesline, but Shingo kicked out at one. Shingo mounted a comeback and hit a double knee gut buster. He then hit Made in Japan for a near fall. He then hit a Pumping Bomber, but Sho kicked out at one!. Sho, who had done some work on Shingo’s arm earlier, grabbed an a bar. Shingo tried to escape. Sho then hit a cross armed piledriver for a near fall.
Sho grabbed another arm submission. Shingo rolled on top of him for a two count, but Sho kicked out and held onto the submission. He turned it into a triangle on the ground. Shingo then got up and hit a big DVD to get out of it. Sho stood up and the fans applauded, but then he fell down to the mat. Shingo eventually hit another Made in Japan for the win. (****1/2)
El Desperado attacked Shingo after the match as he made his way to the back and then left with the Never Openweight Championship.
(6) Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi) beat IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi) to become the new IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions at 28:45. Tanahashi went after Taichi before the opening bell and John teams brawled. Ibushi got cut off, but he eventually mounted a comeback and tagged in Tanahashi who hit a dragon screw on both of his opponents. Tanahashi got cut off, but eventually mounted a comeback and made the hot tag to Ibushi. Ibushi got cut off and Suzuki-Gun got a double submission. Ibushi and Tanahashi eventually escaped and hit a double Slingblade on Sabre.
Ibushi got isolated and took a buzzsaw kick, but he managed to kick out at the last second and the fans fired up. Ibushi blocked an attack from Taichi and hit a kick to his head and both men were down. Tanahashi got the tag and hit a Slingblade on Taichi. The pace picked up with everyone in the ring and the fans went nuts it ended when Sabre countered a jumping knee into the Zack Driver.
Sabre distracted the ref and Tanahashi managed to duck an iron fingers shot from Taichi only to eat a backdrop driver. Taichi held Tanahashi up and Sabre nailed both of his legs with dragon screws and inverted dragon screws over and over with Ibushi wiped out. They eventually hit the Holy Zack Driver on Tanahashi for the win. (****1/2)
Taichi brought Ibushi into the ring and he hit a stuffed Black Mephisto on him with Sabre.
(7) IWGP IC CHAMPION AND IWGP HVT. CHAMPION TETSUYA NAITO vs. EVIL
Evil was out first for the main event with a new presentation. He had new music and a new look. He wore his hair down and had black themed entrance gear. He had no robe or sith like he did before joining Bullet Club. Evil was also accompanied by Bullet Club to the ring. Tetsuya Naito was out next. He came out dragging the IWGP IC Championship and the IWGP Hvt. Championship down the entrance ramp.
ALl of the members of Bullet Club got into the ring and did the low Too Sweet with Evil and the audience response was mixed with clapping and booing. Red Shoes told Bullet Club they had to go and the fans fired up. Naito came out with no backup.
Evil went right to the floor and stalled after the ref called for the bell. Naito caught Evil by surprise with a dropkick through the ropes. He then sent him into the guardrail several times. Natio tossed Evil inside of the ring. Evil eventually turned the tables on Naito and the action went back to ringside. Evil set up a table on the floor. Evil took his own toy from commentator Milano Collection AT. Milano went after Evil, but Evil whipped him into the guardrail. Evil went to work on Naito’s leg by wrapping it around the guardrail. Milano was shown recovering on the outside. Evil undid one of the turnbuckle pads and the fans fired up as Naito recovered on the floor. Evil worked over Naito’s leg for a long period of time. He began taunting Naito with slaps. Evil went to bounce off the ropes, but Naito surprised him with a dropkick.
Naito went to work on Evil, but Evil cut him off and went back on the attack. He hit several light slaps to Naito’s face and the fans tried to rally behind Naito. Naito held onto Evil’s hand and pulled him into several hard elbows. Evil ducked a kicked attempt from Naito, who sold his leg. Evil then went back after Naito’s leg. They went at it on the apron and Naito managed to slam Evil. He then set up the table between the guardrail and the ring. They went back and forth as both men tried to put each other through the table. Evil finally lifted Naito up and drove him knee first through the table. Evil wrapped a chair around Naito’s leg and went to slam it with another chair, but Red Shoes held up a piece of table in his path and shook his head at Evil. Naito struggled, but managed to just beat the 20 count on the floor. Evil locked in a sharpshooter in the middle of the ring and the fans tried to rally behind Naito. Naito struggled, but managed to get to the ropes.
Evil hit a big clothesline off the ropes a short time later for a two count. Naito fired back and hit a blockbuster variation and the fans fired up with both men down.
Both men traded from their knees and continued to trade on their feet. Evil went after Naito’s leg and then after his eye. Naito countered Evil and hit a Tornado DDT off the ropes. Naito caught Evil with a rolling kick and hit Gloria for a two count and the fans fired up. Naito drove Evil into the exposed turnbuckles in the corner that Evil had exposed earlier in the match. He followed up with a super hurricanrana and the fans fired up. Naito hit a Destino, but Evil kicked out at two. The fans applauded and Naito set up for another Destino, but Evil blocked it. He eventually sent Naito right into Red Shoes in the corner. Jado immediately began walking down to the ring. Taiji Ishimori ran past him and hit Naito with a Dime Drop. Jado took forever to get into the ring, but he was about to hit Naito with his kendo stick when Hiromu Takahashi made the save and cleared the ring.
Takahashi brawled to the back with Ishimori and Jado. Naito went to pick up Evill, but he nailed him with a chair to the gut. He then broke the seat of the chair over Naito’s head. Naito countered EIE and hit an enzuguri. Naito then hit an inverted swinging DDT out of the corner. Red Shoes recovered and made the count, but Evil kicked out at two. Naito went on the attack and set up for another Destino, but Evil grabbed the ref and hit a low blow. Bushi came down to the ring and clapped at Naito. He acted like he was going to help Naito, but then he nailed him with a punch and took out a wire to choke him with the ref distracted.
Red Shoes went after Bushi and Evil spread Naito’s legs apart and kicked him right in the nuts. Evil lifted Naito and measured him before hitting EIE for the win. WOW!
WINNER: EVIL at 38:01 to become the new IWGP IC Champion and IWGP Hvt. Champion. (****1/4)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a tremendous match to establish Evil as a centerpiece heel on the NJPW roster. He’s in Bullet Club and he had a lot of help to beat Naito. The match was designed to show that Evil likely would have lost without Bushi’s help and resorting to cheap tactics.)
-Evil got on the mic after the match and the fans booed. Bushi took off his mask and it was Dick Togo. Both men then began stomping away on Naito. They left when Hiromu Takahashi ran down to make the save. Takahashi got on the mic after Naito was taken away. Takahashi appeared to challenge Evil. Evil got on the mic and snorted at his challenge. Perhaps that was challenge accepted? Takahashi yelled like a maniac as Evil stood with Bullet Club at the top of the entrance ramp. Takahashi then ran to the back.
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