1/6 NJPW NEW YEAR DASH RESULTS: Radican’s results and analysis of LIJ vs. Ibushi & Tanahashi & Wato & Sho & Romero, Bullet Club vs. Chaos 10 Man Tag

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @SR_Torch)


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

NEW JAPAN NEW YEAR DASH REPORT
JANUARY 6, 2021
TOKYO, JAPAN AT THE TOKYO DOME CITY HALL
AIRED LIVE ON NEW JAPAN WORLD STREAMING

Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton

The announcer ran down the card, which is always a mystery until the show begins.

(1) YUJI NAGATA vs. GABRIEL KIDD

Kidd got in a lot of offense and worked a single leg crab at one point. Kidd, a Young Lion out of NJPW’s L.A. Dojo under Katsuyori Shibata, was impressive here. Nagata won with a crossface, but the announcers noted that Kidd surprised Nagata with the challenge he gave him in this match.

WINNER: Yuji Nagata at 7:59. (**½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a very good showing from Kidd against a veteran wrestler. The venue tonight is fantastic and looks a lot like The Hammerstein Ballroom in terms of the layout.)

(2) SUZUKI GUN (DOUKI & MINORU SUZUKI) vs. YUYA UEMURA & TIGER MASK

This was a showcase for Uemura, who looked strong from start to finish. He knocked Suzuki off the apron and into the guardrail during the early going. Suzuki worked a Boston Crab submission on Uemura late in the match, but Tiger Mask broke it up. Suzuki eventually got the choke on Uemura and then hit the Gotch Style Piledriver for the win. This was a really nice showcase for Uemura. The announcers noted that Suzuki used his finisher to beat Uemura, which was a sign of respect instead of trying to submit him.

WINNERS: Minoru Suzuki & Douki at 10:45. (**3/4)

(Radican’s Analysis: It is always fun to see Suzuki get angry and to see a Young Lion like Yuta Uemura get under his skin bodes well for Uemura’s future. This was another fun match that showcased the upside of a Young Lion.)

(3) THE EMPIRE (WILL OSPREAY & GREAT-O-KHAN & JEFF COBB W/BEA PRIESTLEY) vs. SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN & YOTA TSUJI

Before the match the announcers said The Empire had a chip on their shoulders after losing their matches at Wrestle Kingdom. The Young Lion, Tsuji, got in Jeff Cobb’s face before the match started. The Empire ended up jumping their opponents to start the match. The Empire rotated in and out of the ring as they worked over Tenzan in the ring and their other two opponents on the floor. Tenzan eventually cut off Ospreay with a rolling kick and the fans fired up. Kojima got the tag and ran wild. He hit his signature machine gun chops on Ospreay in the corner.

They built up to an exchange between Cobb and Tsuji that was fantastic. Tsuji sent Cobb into the corner with a shoulder tackle. He then hit another running shoulder tackle on Cobb and a splash for a two count. They traded counters and Cobb eventually hit the Oklahoma Stampede on Tsuji, but Kojima made the save. The Empire cleared the ring. Cobb and O-Khan lifted up Tsuji and Ospreay hit an Os-Cutter out of the corner for the win.

The Empire laid out Tenzan after the match when he got into the ring. Kojima then laid on top of Tenzan to protect him and they put the boots to him. Cobb and O-Khan lifted up Kojima for a Hidden Blade.

Ospreay got on the mic and asked if people think they’re weak. He says they look pretty strong right now. Ospreay said if you think he was angry before Wrestle Kingdom, but now he’s really pissed off. He said he won’t be defined by what happened at Wrestle Kingdom. He said they would be united going forward and they would take over in 2021. He said they are The United Empire.

Tenzan was stretchered out of the ring after the attack.

WINNERS: Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan at 9:44. (***)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a very good reset for The Empire after they lost all of their matches at Wrestle Kingdom. They are now known as The United Empire. Tsuji got a nice spotlight segment against Cobb during the match, but ultimately this was a great way to get the heat back on Ospreay and his crew.)

(4) BULLET CLUB (ELP & TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA & TAIJI ISHIMORI W/JADO) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (EL DESPERADO & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & ZACK SABRE JR. & TAICHI W/DOUKI)

Tonga got isolated early. He escaped and then Desperado got isolated for a long period of time. Jado interfered liberally during the match. Desperado finally managed to tag in Sabre, who ran wild on Loa. It should be noted that GOD was wearing their house show gear for this match. Loa had on a long sleeve t-shirt and tonga had on a traditional t-shirt. Sabre got a guillotine choke on Loa. Loa tried to run Sabre into the turnbuckles several times, but he wouldn’t let go of the hold.

Sabre ended up turning the hold into a triangle. Bullet Club tried to make the save, but Suzuki-Gun got all of them in submissions inside the ring.

Loa finally managed to shake Sabre off. He caught Sabre by surprise a short time later with a spear. The action eventually broke down and everyone hit big moves. ELP sent sabre to the floor. Kanemaru tried to hit him with the whisky bottle, but ELP ducked it. Both men threw the ref at each other. Ishimori hit Kanamaru from the outside and ELP then hit a superkick and it was good for the win.

WINNERS: ELP & Taiji Ishimori & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa at 11:35. (**)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was the typical Bullet Club match with lots of outside interference and cheating. It also looks like ELP is using a loaded boot to establish a superkick as a new finish.)

After the match, ELP and Ishimori held up the jr. tag titles. They fled the ring once Sabre and Taichi recovered. It looks like we have new challengers for the jr. tag titles. GOD also taunted Sabre and Taichi after the match, so we will likely get a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom for the hvt. Tag titles.

Kanemaru complained about the impact from ELP’s superkick, which hinted that ELP has a loaded boot. The announcers also talked about how GOD had Taichi’s iron fingers.

(5) BULLET CLUB (CHASE OWENS & BAD LUCK FALE & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & EVIL & JAY WHITE W/GEDO & DICK TOGO) vs. CHAOS (KAZUCHIKA OKADA & YOSHI-HASHI & TORU YANO & TOMORHIRO ISHII & HIROOKI GOTO)

White came out with Bullet Club, but he didn’t hit his signature pose when he was announced. White’s back was shown and he has a ton of tape on his back. This match is going to be mostly about what’s going on with Jay White after his promo. Is he really done or was his promo part of a bigger plan. Chaos dragged Togo into the ring and beat him down during the early going much to the delight of the crowd.

Togo distracted Okada from the outside and Evil clotheslined him over the top to the floor. Evil hit his home run swing spot on Okada on the floor. White tagged in and got a small round of applause. He went after Okada, but quickly tagged out to Owens. White tagged back in and slapped Okada across the head. He also mocked him by patting his head. White then raked Okada’s eyes before he could fire up.

Bullet Club cleared the apron and continued to take turns nailing Okada with some big shots in the corner. Evil capped the sequence with a fisherman buster for a two count. The fans tried to fire up behind Okada. White and Ishii went at it a short time later. Chaos cleared the ring and took turns running the train on White in the corner. Gedo got up on the apron and White was able to capitalize. A short time later he hit a DDT on Ishii and both men were down.

Yano ran into the ring and the action broke down. White took a combination of moves, but Evil broke up the pin.

The fans really fired up with the pace increasing. White set up for Blade Runner, but Ishii countered it and hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the win.

After the match, Owens indicated he wanted a shot at the KOPW title. White was quickly carried to the back. Evil jawed a bit with Okada before leaving with Bullet Club.

WINNERS: Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi & Toru Yano at 13:47. (***¼)

(Radican’s Analysis: The action was good throughout, but really picked up nicely down the stretch. Ishii winning with his finish out of nowhere was a bit of surprise. White being carried to the back was a bit of a surprise as well, as it seemed like this would be the spot on the show where White’s true future with NJPW was revealed.)

(6) LIJ (TETSUYA NAITO & SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI & SANADA & HIROMU TAKAHASHI) vs. ROCKY ROMERO & SHO & KOTA IBUSHI & MASTER WATO & HIROSHI TANAHASHI

Sho and Takahashi kicked things off. The announcers mentioned Sho as a possible upcoming challenger to Takahashi for the jr. hvt. title. The action broke down and both teams brawled on the floor. Romero and Takagi went at it a short time later. Takagi worked over Romero with several elbows to the head on the mat. Takagi made the cover, but only got a two count. Romero took a beating for a long period of time. Romero finally mounted a comeback and tagged in Sanada.

Sanada went at it with Ibushi and the fans fired up. Ibushi took down Sanada with a dropkick. Sanada ducked a kick from the seated position, but Ibushi immediately hit a standing moonsault. Sanada fired back and tied up Ibushi in the Paradise Lock. Charlton talked about how Sanada stayed loyal to his own style while beating Evil at Wrestle Kingdom.

Sanada dropkicked Ibushi to free him from the Paradise Lock. Both men went back and forth. Ibushi briefly countered Sanada and went for a Skull End. Sanada fired back and eventually decked Ibushi with a springboard missile dropkick.

Both men tagged out and Tanahashi and Shingo went at it. Shingo got the upper hand and nailed Tanahashi with a big clothesline in the corner. They went back and forth, but Shingo decked Tanahashi with a discus clothesline. Takagi tagged in Bushi, who continued to work over Tanahashi. Wato tagged in and he went at it with Bushi.

The action broke down and Wato took a combination of moves, but the pin got broken up. Bushi ended up alone in the ring with Wato. Bushi went up top for MX and connected and it was good for the win.

After the match, Takagi challenged Tanahashi for a NEVER Openweight Championship match. Takahashi held up the IWGP Jr. Hvt. title and showed it to Sho. Ibushi then held up the IWGP IC and IWGP Hvt. Championships as Sanada stared at them.

WINNERS: Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito & Sanada & Shingo Takagi at 13:47. (**½)

(Radican’s Analysis: Nothing too exciting to end the show. A paint by the numbers NJPW multi-man tag)

Bushi cut a promo after the match. He said the only people without plans were he and Naito. He said he wanted to fight Master Wato. He said no matter how many times they fight, the result would always be the same because Wato won’t be him. Bushi said all the focus will be on LIJ in 2021.

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a disappointing show by New Year Dash standards. Usually NJPW runs some big angles or there’s a surprise, but instead this was more of a maintenance show to introduce the challengers to the majority of the NJPW titleholders. It was disappointing that there wasn’t more of a storyline development with Jay White.)

Contact Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch

 

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