NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall (6.9.19) review

NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall (6.9.19) review

NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall

 

June 9 2019

 

We’re in Osaka, Japan for New Japan’s second largest show of the year. Dominion being a stand-alone badass event with a stacked card makes it one of my favourite New Japan events. It’s all killer, no filler baby!

 

NJPW1Dom

 

Commentary comes from Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton and Don Callis. What a team!

 

Shota Umino vs. Jon Moxley

NJPW1Mox

This is only Moxley’s second New Japan date after debuting against Juice Robinson in BOSJ, where he won the US strap. This is short with Mox dominating throughout and planting Umino with the Dirty Deeds for the win. No Death Rider, his higher tier finish.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

Post Match: Mox wants in the G1.

 

Shingo Takagi vs. Satoshi Kojima

I am fired up for this! Shingo is targeting heavyweights to prepare for the future. Kojima won’t be just steamrollered though and he’s out here to prove he can still hang. Probably wondering if he can sneak into G1 this year. There’s a lot of clubberin’ here. Shingo’s big chops are harder than Kojima’s big chops. It’s proof that, even though Shingo is relatively small, he’s not *that* small. He has a future here as a heavy. Not a present though. Kojima literally takes the Pumping Bomber and stands there.

NJPW1Kojima

The no sell on the Pumping Bomber is fantastic stuff. As is Kojima leaning into Shingo’s second attempt at it and knocking him over. Shingo doesn’t sweat it and fires up to hit Last of the Dragon for the win.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Post Match: Shingo wants in the G1! Wow.

 

Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr vs. Jushin Liger & YOSHI-HASHI

Liger may be a junior but he’s had issues with Suzuki before. Suzuki batters YOSHI-HASHI here. One elbow and he’s dead. It’s a stark reminder of how inferior Tacos is.

NJPW1Suzuki

Zack wrestles circles around YOSHI-HASHI too only for Tacos to get a cheeky roll up for the win. Therefore lining himself up for a Rev Pro title shot. Please don’t do it at the Copper Box.

Final Rating: ***

 

Jay White, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi

NJPW1Tana

Jay White is looking very evil with his beard. Tanahashi looks like an angel. So no change there.

NJPW1evilJay

Jay still seems a little obsessed with Tana despite having beaten him several times. Juice would probably be a better long term feud for him. Tanahashi isolates Chase and that’ll do it. Tana using some weird Final Cut variant as a finish.

Final Rating: **3/4

 

NEVER Openweight Championship

Taichi (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii

NJPW1Miho

Taichi’s openly stalling and cowardice ends up Ishii flattening him with on elbow. I am cackling. Ishii is my favourite wrestler and it’s not because he’s tough, it’s because he pretends to be tough and shows weakness at vital moments in matches. It’s basically how I go through life. Pretending to be all confident and shit but then occasionally suffering from a mental collapse when I take a forearm to the jaw. Metaphorical forearm that is.

 

Ishii manages to pull off his standard work against a bigger guy here as Taichi does have a few meaty moves for Ishii to land on his head from. Taichi is where the match falls apart. His bumps don’t look right and he struggles to take Ishii’s moves. He looks far superior on offence. Far superior!

NJPW1Ishii

He’s also good at kickouts but the bumps aren’t good. Brainbuster finishes for Ishii. This was Good Shit.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

IWGP Tag Team Championship

Guerrillas of Destiny (c) vs. EVIL & SANADA

NJPW1Ironman

This rumbles on for fucking ever. We go past the twenty minute mark and I have literally no takes on yet another match. Jado comes in near the end and stands there, like a moron, waiting for the BUSHI run in. Then Tama wins with a roll up and a “handful of tights”. Fucking horrible shit. Awful fucking match. Reset this division for fuck’s sake.

Final Rating: *

 

Katsuyori Shibata time! He’s here.

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njpw1KENTA

njpw1KENTAG!

KENTA is in G1! Holy shit.

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

Dragon Lee (c) vs. Will Ospreay

This is ridiculous. You knew that anyway right? They do that dueling dropkicks thing and Ospreay stops to pause and Dragon Lee just blasts him in the face with a dropkick. Indie stand offs are for nerds! There’s so much talent here that it’s almost a ‘can’t miss’ situation. Dragon Lee is death defying but he’s also picked up the Japanese hard-hitting style and Ospreay is very similar in that regard. It’s a match that would be a hit in the UK, Mexico or Japan. They’re both really good at doing spectacular stuff but also letting the match build and hitting the counters when they need to.

This is fucking insane. Insane. These guys are both nuts for even attempting this. The counters they pull out here are ridiculous too. Some of the sequences are just breathtaking.

NJPW1DragonLee

The flip off the apron to counter the rana over the ropes is unreal. Then there’s a dropkick to block the Oscutter. This is amazing stuff. It’s so hard to execute. I am freaking out! By the time Will hits the Hidden Blade I am so invested in this. Stormbreaker finishes.

NJPW1Ospreay

Final Rating: *****

 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship

Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito

I am still buzzing from the last match. I need Naito’s timewasting bullshit to give me time to recover. Ibushi looks insanely jacked here. Naito is hated, genuinely, in Osaka, which is one of the main reasons why he turned heel in the first place. They hated him as a fired up young babyface. They do some legitimately hard moves here but it pales in comparison to the previous match. Naito probably knows this and drives the contest with his personality and character. Ibushi flips on him a lot.

NJPW1fans

The fans are divided in their loyalties. The match features a lot of teases that would involve a broken neck. Given their past matches I’m genuinely concerned for their collective safety. The German on the apron where Kota lands on his head is sickening. Truly sickening.

Then Naito eats a jumping Tombstone and someone is going to die here today. This is disgusting. They somehow get back up and start smashing each other with forearms, which is incredible fighting spirit but at least they’re not dropping each other on their heads. Both guys seem, miraculously, to be ok and they head into the stretch with big bombs and near falls. The Kamigoye counter into the DDT for example is insane stuff and there’s Kota taking head drops after that damn apron spot. Fuck.

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The final Destino is merciful. This match had to end. My god. A war. I’m speechless.

Final Rating: *****

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My take here: this was too dangerous but so was Misawa vs. Kawada and that is probably the greatest match of all time. Pro wrestling is about pushing boundaries. But honestly, that was probably too much. Hopefully neither man is badly injured but they went out there to die for their art and that’s what happened.

 

IWGP Championship

Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho matches are something I never look forward to but he seems to consistently deliver on. In NJPW anyway.

NJPW1Jericho

There’s a lot of ambition here but the execution is quite patchy. Jericho’s best years are way behind him and he’s best focused on a brawling Attitude Era style main event. There are elements of that here but Okada’s ambitions outweigh that and that’s the problem. He’s not smart enough to know to work to Jericho’s strengths, not his. Omega made the same mistake at Double or Nothing. Jericho is far less exposed here as this match is far less ambitious but he’s still struggling to keep up in a young man’s world. And because it’s New Japan they just have to go 30 minutes. The finish, a weird counter into a pin, is dreadful.

Final Rating: ***

 

Post Match: Jericho hits his shit elbow and attacks Okada with a chair. Tanahashi saves and that sets up what is hopefully Jericho’s last match in New Japan.

 

Summary:

What an incredible show. Two massive matches to lead into the main event. I’m aware I may catch some flak for going five on Naito vs. Ibushi in what was a divisive match. The surprises here worked too. The arrival of KENTA and the G1 challenges. I had a lovely time.

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