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FIRST MATCH: Yota Tsuji vs. Robbie Eagles
Yota Tsuji has been lighting up the undercard lately, which makes this match such a disappointment. Robbie Eagles continues to be in limbo between high flyer and submission specialist. Some have tried to pass it off as a “hybrid” style but it just comes off as an identity crisis. It’s a fine match, but there’s nothing essential in this match.
Need To Watch Rating: (2.0)
SECOND MATCH: Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Tomoaki Honma vs. Volador Jr., Soberano Jr. & Ren Narita
A surprisingly slow lucha match. While the pacing was glacial, the match didn’t suffer from it. Narita definitely makes a good case for an excursion in CMLL. Still not essential but a fun match nonetheless.
Need To Watch Rating: (3.9)
THIRD MATCH: ACH & Shota Umino vs. Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado)
Fun, inessential tag match. Suzuki-gun antics aplenty. ACH is has a vastly superior ass-based arsenal than Ryusuke Taguchi. NJPW needs more ACH.
Need To Watch Rating: (4.4)
FOURTH MATCH: Ryusuke Taguchi & Ayato Yoshida vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi)
Shingo Takagi might have the best lariat in NJPW at the moment. He’s fit LIJ flawlessly. Yoshida continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Need To Watch Rating: (4.5)
FIFTH MATCH: CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Rocky Romero) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku)
There’s a spectacular strike exchange in this match. Ishii and Suzuki exchange elbows to the jaw for literally minutes. TAKA and Rocky have amazing chemistry. A good place to start an abbreviated viewing of this show.
Need To Watch Rating: (5.0)
SIXTH MATCH: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare vs. Bullet Club Elite (Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens)
Really solid tag match. Owens and Takahashi get to be shameless heels, as they don’t have the usually wholesome Ibushi keeping them sportsmanlike. Tanahashi continues to ooze charisma and kick ass. Toa Henare is also in this match.
Need To Watch Rating: (4.9)
SEVENTH MATCH: Super Jr. Tag League Match: KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin (6 pts) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (8 pts)
Really stellar match to cap off block competition. KUSHIDA & Sabin are at the beginning of a beautiful friendship. SHO & YOH are a delight as always. Definitely watch the end of the match for the implications for Saturday’s Power Struggle event.
Need To Watch Rating: (9.0)
MAIN EVENT: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Chuckie T & Beretta) vs. The Firing Squad (Jay White, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Bad Luck Fale & Gedo)
CHAOS and BC OGs are a surprising extension of the Bullet Club Civil War. The Tongans turning on The Elite was logical, calculated. Gedo & Jado running off with Jay White and joining the OGs is cruel. This makes Okada the sympathetic babyface that many expected Omega & The Bucks to be (and while Omega and The Bucks WERE sympathetic babyfaces on the Jericho Cruise, that is not as much the case in New Japan). Okada gets his hands on Gedo, Jado & White in this match, and its spectacular. Power Struggle is going to be a wild show.
Need To Watch Rating: (8.5)