NJPW Reviews

NJPW New Year Dash in Korakuen Review

Korakuen Hall
Tokyo Japan
Super No Vacancy:  1850 fans

I am way too excited for this event and more than likely it won’t live up to my crazy and bizarre expectations but this is going to be so fun and who knows who will pop up to wrestle. Could we see Haku? Or even Shiro Koshinaka? Who knows. What I know is for certain is nothing, because the card wasn’t announced beforehand. This is becoming a regular thing — me reviewing these less important New Japan shows, but I love doing it and I hope you enjoy my writing.

Yohei Komatsu, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, Tiger Mask & Cheeseburger vs. Sho Tanaka, Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Rysuke Taguchi & Shiro Koshinaka**1/2

God Bless Gedo, God Bless everyone behind the scenes in New Japan. This is the weirdest but most intriguing match since any one of the matches from Tenryu’s retirement show. Matt Striker points out that Cheeseburger is getting a chant when it was clearly Fuji-wa-ra – Fuji-wa-ra… Some things just don’t change. So far in 2016, Fujiwara is #1 on my WON most outstanding wrestler. Fujiwara is still very entertaining and can still go at age 68.  The crowd is solidly behind Cheeseburger as he faces off against Nakanishi. Epitome of a hoot this match was, as Taguchi pinned Tanaka with under hook face-buster.

Ricochet & Matt Sydal vs. David Finlay Jr. & Jay White***

This has serious potential to be very good, with beautiful technical work by all four men. Team Dragon Gate control early but the young lions fire back with all their signature offense including a beautiful German from Finlay on Sydal. The crowd is very receptive,  as they are into all four dudes. It’s great to see that reaction because they’re all working very hard. Tandem shooting star presses finish the young lions off. Very good match but too short to reach anything great.

Juice Robinson vs. Jay Lethal**3/4

This could die a slow death since the fans have no clue who Lethal is and Juice is Juice. Kevin Kelly teased that 2016 could be the year of Juice, which could be true with the rumblings of a mass exodus in New Japan. Very good wrestling, but Juice dropped Lethal on the top of his head with a suplex. Korakuen is more receptive than I thought, and Lethal is getting some minor heat. They seem like they’re rushing through the match. Juice is being more serious, and as unpopular as this may be, I’m quite into Robinson. Juice gave Truth the absolute worst airplane spin I’ve ever seen, which allows Lethal to hit the Lethal Injection for the win. Very fun singles match that I would like to see more of in NJPW. If you had told me 6 months ago that CJ Parker and Jay Lethal would wrestle a singles match in Japan, I would have laughed at you.

King Haku, Tama Tonga, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows & Yujiro vs. Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Kushida***

Is there any good reason that KUSHIDA is working this match? After his showcase versus Omega last night, he should be much higher on the card. Kevin Kelly notes that Haku last competed in Japan 15 years ago which is false, as he worked for New Japan in 2004. Haku still has it though, as he throws wicked elbows. Kojima is awesome which I feel like I say every review. Makabe is really good at his signature stuff, but Haku tags in and beats the holy hell out of Makabe and then drops a huge elbow on Honma! Honma gets demolished with a Bullet Club train in the corner and then Haku hits a pile-driver. Haku is impressing the hell out of me. I really enjoyed this match but Honma was pinned by Anderson following the Magic Killer, so it seems like we’re getting a rematch for the IWGP Tag Titles pretty soon.

EVIL, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs. Mascara Dorada, Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi***1/2

CROWD IS HOT FOR NAITO VS TANA, PLEASE LET THESE TWO GO AT IT. Ok… I calmed down but I still want the two to feud,  as they work very well with each other. Instead of wrestling, Naito tags in EVIL to the crowd’s dismay,  as Naito jumps Tanahashi when he had his back turned. Really great match with lots of Ingobernable’s gimmicks but it didn’t take away from the match at all. Elgin was much more over in the smaller venue as he hit all of his stuff and went back and forth with EVIL as they have a history in ROH. Excellent match, Dorada was pinned by BUSHI with the jumping code-breaker. Post-match, LOS INGOBERNABLES destroyed everyone, unmasked Dorada, and EVIL STO’d Tanahashi. Kushida attempts to make the save but gets misted and BUSHI lays down a challenge to Kushida for the belt at New Beginning.

AJ Styles & Kenny Omega vs. YOSHI-HASHI & Shinsuke Nakamura***3/4

“Behind Lucha Underground’s Drago, Nakamura is my favorite wrestler”

Matt Striker, with the stupidest commentary line of the night.

Nakamura and Styles have incredible chemistry and mesh very well together, Yoshi and Kenny tag in. The match was great for the first half, however I got distracted in the middle of it. My prediction of Omega pinning Shinsuke came true though, as he looks poised to take the belt off of Nakamura before his inevitable departure for WWE. Post match Omega hits the One Winged Angel on Styles! Bullet Club comes down and The Bucks join Omega and Superkick AJ! Shortly after the entire Bullet Club turns on AJ! WOW! That was awesome. That was more than likely AJ’s last appearance in New Japan. Omega follows the beat-down of Styles up by laying down the challenge to Nakamura, which sets up the IC Title match between Omega and Nakamura for New Beginning. AJ Styles recovers and manages to get to his feet, and is sent off with a thundering ovation from the Korakuen crowd.

Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Trent Barreta & Kazuchika Okada vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Bobby Fish, Katsyouri Shibata & Hirooki Goto****

Possibly the best 8-man in New Japan in recent memory, besides the commentary everything about this was perfect. It set up Goto vs Okada, Ishii and Shibata feud is just heating up and I love it. Goto isn’t as over as he should be but Post-match he challenged Okada for the strap. But back to the match, just a crisp match with everyone involved working their absolute hardest which I can respect. Shibata and Ishii’s interactions are hot fire and can’t wait for the 2nd match in this series of matches between the two. Goto made Berreta submit with a whacky Lucha submission, Rumour is Rocky might be headed to NXT so this might be one of  RPG Vice’s final NJPW appearances.

Bad Luck Fale, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Toru Yano, Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe***1/2

Mark Briscoe is one hell of a wrestler just to begin. Yano’s gimmick of and I quote ‘BREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK BREAK BREAK BREEEEEEEEEEEEEAK’ I love it. Much more of a slower pace and BC are getting the heat on Yano, who is definitely the most over babyface. I love the Bucks but not in New Japan, the humor they use is quite terrible but when their in North America their mega over just because of the work the two brothers put out. I don’t want to say anything bad about Fale since he lives just over the pond in New Zealand, Your a good dude Fale. Mark is legit so good, in two nights he has gotten himself over in front of the Japanese audience.. kudos. Matt flips out of the doomsday and the Bucks superkick both Briscoes and run wild with all kinds of offence. Nick signals for the Meltzer Driver but Yano breaks it up allowing Jay to hit the Jay Driller and Mark to hit the Froggy-bow and pin Matt.Good match but I don’t think it should of main-evented, that said It had some very good moments. Briscoes and Yano do a hilarious post-match promo that I enjoyed.

Excellent show, My 2nd favorite show of the year so far, I know bad joke. But I hope New Japan keeps up the pace they are going and continue with all these great story-lines and matches because I AM FIRED UP FOR SOME PURORESU. Thank you for viewing my coverage of NJPW New Years Dash 2016


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