NJPW Reviews

NJPW Road to Invasion Attack (3/20/16) Review

We are on the Road to Invasion Attack, a card (actual Invasion Attack) that looks like it may be one of the best of the year, featuring an awesome match with Will Ospreay, Naito challenging for the world title and two brothers getting an opportunity at tag gold. But before we get there, we have to make a few stops. I was very excited to write my first review for a New Japan Pro Wrestling show, and some of the matches on this card intrigued me.

Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero) vs. Jay White & David Finlay***

Honestly, these are the two best young lions in my opinion, always a joy to watch, and this showed, plus they stacked up well against RPG Vice. This match was a very fun opener and got me very excited for the upcoming tag match at Invasion Attack; RPG Vice looked great in this, especially Trent. Can’t wait to see what happens next with both of these teams, especially the Young Lions team, as I look forward to their careers, as they are very promising in the ring. They wasted no time in the start, barely trading holds before they start hitting strikes which were nice to see as these guys can work well at a fast pace. Trent ended up hitting the Crunchy for the three count for his team.

KUSHIDA vs. Gedo**3/4

They started off this match trading some holds, and it came across as good, I really liked the Greco-Roman lock spot. Gedo was swearing every time he got hit which got a chuckle from me. A lot of it was Gedo working heel and being a dick, which was funny sometimes, but sometimes it got boring. When Kushida got in control, the pace picked up and included springboards and dives to the outside. Kushida locks in the Hoverboard Lock and gets the win.

Yuji Nagata & Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba & YOSHI-HASHI**

A lot of this match was the heavyweights trying to go after the Funky Weapon. Taguchi wanted Sakuraba to slap his butt, but he just got kicked in the butt by the Gracie Hunter and then even slapped on the butt with a chair from Yano. Most of the offense from the heavyweights happened on Taguchi’s ass, which got a little old but Yano seemed to enjoy it. Most of this match were the Heavyweights pounding on Taguchi, and they finally got the win after low blowing Nakanishi and Taguchi and then rolling up Nakanishi for a three count. Honestly, this match was pretty boring and kind of uneventful.

Katsuyori Shibata & Captain New Japan vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima**3/4

The match started off with Tenzan and Kojima double teaming Shibata, but Captain New Japan tried to stop and bring the fun, but Kojima and Tenzan stopped that. Kojima at some points just went crazy on the Captain. But once Shibata got in, he was cold, calculating and brutal. This was just an alright match, fun at some points, and I liked it. Tenzan got the win for his team with an Anaconda Cross.

Bullet Club (Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi & Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale) vs. Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe**3/4

This was a pretty fun match, and it seemed to show that Tonga is now the new leader of the Bullet Club as he got the pin with a Headshrinker DDT on Tiger Mask. It’s looking like Tonga and his brother will most likely get the win at Invasion Attack and get the titles. I love Honma, so Honma being Honma in this match, was great, and Makabe is always a monster. Fale and Takahashi brought down the match a bit, but it was still a fun one!

(NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship) The ELITE (Kenny Omega & Young Bucks) (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin & Juice Robinson****

Now this was the match that I was the most excited for, as I love all the guys in the match, including Juice, his run in NXT was pretty solid as the guy putting people over. As always, Omega’s entrance was dope, and the Bucks add to it. The crowd popped when Elgin did a “Suck it”, a cartwheel, and a lariat. He also suplexed both of the Young Bucks and then Juice hit a bunch of punches on all three men but then got Superkicked off the top rope. There was also a Terminator spot, which I always pop for same with the Dr. Wily Bomb. Some of the fun in this match came from the in-ring banter like when Nick Jackson said: “Kenny lets kill him, it’s illegal but not in a wrestling ring.” The crowd loved Elgin here, and it was great to see him be so over. A lot of his strong man spots made the crowd fall in love, like picking up both the Bucks and slamming them. Omega hit the One Winged Angel to get the win for his team. This was just a great match, with awesome spots, and you all need to see this match ASAP!

Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI***1/4

A lot of the match was spent teasing Naito vs. Okada at Invasion Attack, and it got me hyped for their upcoming matchup. Gedo also loved messing with Naito, and I found it hilarious, at one point Naito gets mad at him and takes to the ramp to choke him with his bandana. BUSHI took off his shirt and choked Goto at one point, the way he did it was pretty funny. Okada tries for a Rainmaker on Naito, but he gets an atomic drop instead delivered to him. He also threw him into the barricade. The match was pretty good, and Goto got the pin with his new finish, the GTR, on BUSHI.

(ROH World Television Championship) Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. EVIL****

EVIL is getting another shot at the ROH World Television title after losing to Lethal back in America, except this time against a fellow NJPW roster member. A lot of this match was brawling, even on the outside, which was great because Ishii is so good at it. At one point EVIL throws Ishii into the apron. EVIL also attacks Ishii with a chair too while on the outside. Ishii after about 20 minutes, hits a brainbuster for the win, and to retain the title. This was easily EVIL’s best performance here, and I would love to see more of him at this level. He went at the same level as Ishii which was impressive, and this was a main event worthy match. Just like the six man tag, I implore you to watch this, whenever you can!

Overall, this was a fun show, with the 2 title matches being pretty damn good. For a “Road to” show, this was a stacked card, and I have no problem with that. Seeing Ishii with the TV title and defending it makes me pretty damn happy, and a good old fun Young Bucks match is always great!

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