New Japan Road Day 2, is well, quite a bit weaker on paper. You know you’re in for a weird show when the NEVER 6 Man titles are the semi-main match.
Nakanishi is one day away from retirement, but at least we get Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event. Maybe the Golden Aces can salvage a perceptibly weak card? Maybe it will punch above it’s weight class?
Let’s find out!
This kinda pushed Yuya’s story forward with Tiger Mask, but it was an odd watch. Kidd is still the worst of all the Young Lions and Tiger Mask didn’t seem to be very crisp; but it wasn’t bad for a Young Lion match. After tapping him out, Tiger Mask lifted Yuya and gave him a congratulatory chop and bow. One of those, “Good job kid” kind of moments.
This is definitely a hangover match. I mean that purely on the basis that no one in these matches has any connection; they’re just on the tour and need something to do. Perhaps a leftovers match makes sense. Apparently we didn’t finish our spaghetti and we’ve still got some left for tonight.
Either way, this is okay. Roppongi 3k will always have issues with Despy and Kanemaru, but who really cares. Finlay and Juice might have some claim to challenging for the tag titles if the Golden Aces win, so there’s that. Suzuki and Taichi send their regards. Finlay picks up the win, so this should be hinting towards keeping them looking strong so they can challenge for the Heavyweight Tag belts later on.
Oh wow, YOSHI-HASHI and Tomoaki Honma, talk about riveting…nah, this is a bit lame. Henare goes after Ishii, as he tends to like to do; while he shows great fire, he doesn’t really match up. Henare’s determination to move out of the lower card makes spots of this entertaining, but YOSHI-HASHI and Honma are a hard sell. Plus, those two finish the match; HASHI gets the win, cause I guess he gets one. Ugh…just…thankfully it’s over.
So judging from the Bullet Club lineup and the little winning streak the Third Generation have been on; first blush is that Gedo or Jado will eat the pin. We definitely aren’t seeing Bullet Club’s A Squad against pretty solid veterans. Yup, Nakanishi submitted Gedo. Aside from the predictability of the match; it was fun since the veterans have a few connections to the Bullet Club members in the match. All the veterans pulled off signature moves, entertaining spots; and it was just a nice moment wrapped inside a wrestling match.
Okay, the predictability has finally subsided, and we get a 6 man with some of the biggest names in New Japan at the moment. With Ospreay officially moving up to Heavyweight after his match in RevPro with ZSJ; Naito has more at stake then one might’ve thought.
This was a fun match. Hiromu and Ospreay had a few moments, that will now be fleeting since there is a weight class difference. Naito even started against Ospreay and they had some fun messing with each other. Did anything really important happen? No, not at all. But it was entertaining; and we get a few more playful jabs between Hiromu and Naito before their Anniversary Show match.
After the match Hiromu tries a quick attack; but no one lands a strike and they just taunt one another. They have a brotherly rivalry, and you can see the competitive fire mixed well with the personal respect. It will be one hell of a match.
Early comedy makes for an interesting match. Yano says he lost the titles he stole, but they all powder and find the belts under the ring. They try to claim themselves the next champions and leave, but Red Shoes gets sick of their crap. After standing outside the ring, trying to decide a legal member, Taguchi just slides in at 19, and LIJ looms over him, giving him the ass beating he deserves.
Takagi is the official starter for LIJ, and that’s perfect. Lest we forget, Shingo Takagi is the current Dragon Gate Open the Owari Gate Champion. Which is their comedy title. So Shingo has plenty of experience playing towards comedy aspects while basically being the straight man in the match.
This was not close to an epic ringwork encounter. The comedy that Yano and Cabana brought was great; when juxtaposed with Shingo and EVIL. Shingo grabbed Red Shoes nicely during the finish of the match to keep him in the corner. BUSHI tried to use the belt, failed, then Taguchi tried to use the belt to block BUSHI’s mist; but he just waited, and blew the mist after the belt was lowered. Amusing for what it was.
Well this match should’ve happened during The New Beginning tour, but Kota Ibushi got sick so they had to pivot title matches. Tanahashi had tag team success early in his career, first with Yutaka Yoshie and then with Shinsuke Nakamura. But he’s been the singles ace for so long; should be interesting to see if the Golden Aces can figure it out.
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