NJPW: Wrestling Dontaku 2015

dontaku15

NJPW: Wrestling Dontaku
May 3, 2015
Fukuoka, Japan
Fukuoka Convention Center

The current IWGP champs are as follows:
IWGP Heavyweight Champion: AJ Styles (2/11/2015)
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion: Kenny Omega (1/4/2015)
IWGP Tag Team Champions: Michael Bennett & Matt Taven (4/5/2015)
IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks (2/11/2015)
IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura (9/21/2014)
NEVER Openweight Champion: Togi Makabe (4/29/2015)

  • Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Mascara Dorada vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Captain New Japan, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi

Ahh, another meaningless multi-man opener with no consequences. Liger gets the better of Taguchi to start. KUSHIDA and Dorada are next. They run the ropes and then KUSHIDA tries for a cross armbreaker. Dorada delivers a missile dropkick and tags out to Tiger Mask. He unloads on KUSHIDA with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by a Tiger Driver for two. Liger tags in and applies the surfboard – BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT LIGER DOES. Everybody freaks out on both sides. Tag to Nagata, he kicks KUSHIDA a little bit before getting caught with a handspring elbow. HOT TAG TO NAKANISHI, he gives everybody Polish hammers for some reason. Nagata gets the crap chopped out of him. Elbow strikes are exchanged. That changes to slaps. Nagata finally goes down. LARIAT to Nagata! Cover, 1-2-NO! He lifts Nagata up in the TORTURE RACK and no-sells Liger and Tiger Mask trying to break it up. Liger even calls in Dorada to help out since he’s just standing there in the corner like a loon. Nakanishi grows weary of their kicks and throws Nagata on top of them. Nagata fires back with a desperate Exploder and finds nobody left in his corner to tag. Nakanishi’s team takes turns avalanching Nagata in the corner and then he gets whipped into a Polish hammer. Flying headbutt from Captain New Japan gets 1-2-NO! Liger comes in and palm strikes CNJ away. Taguchi takes Liger to the floor for a dive. Tiger Mask wipes out Taguchi with a tope suicida. KUSHIDA gives Tiger Mask a pescado. With enough people outside now, Dorada shows what he can do with a somersault plancha. Like a champ, Nakanishi pescados (sort of) on everyone. In the ring though, Nagata fights off a double-team from CNJ and Taguchi and lands an Exploder on CNJ for the three-count. (8:30) Incredibly harmless match that wasn’t actually all that bad. It just doesn’t seem to mean anything in the grand scheme of things. **

  • Tetsuya Naito & Sho Tanaka vs. Kota Ibushi & Yohei Komatsu

Tanaka looks READY for Ibushi. Headlocks, wristlocks, shoulderblocks, and dropkicks to start. I should mention that Tanaka has one of his shoulders bandaged. They switch out and let Naito and Komatsu go. Komatsu gives Naito a weak chop, which triggers a CHOPFEST. Komatsu bitches out first, but fires back on Naito with a headscissors. Naito levels Komatsu with a backdrop and starts dishing out forearms to the back. This becomes Naito and Tanaka’s concentration for a bit. Komatsu kicks away a submission and unloads on Naito with forearms, but then Naito slaps him silly. Nevertheless, Komatsu grows a pair and delivers a couple running elbows. Tag to Ibushi, he explodes into the ring with a springboard dropkick. Nasty roundhouse kick to the face sets up a standing SSP from Ibushi for two. Flying moonsault hits knees and Naito knocks him down for a running senton splash. Elbow strikes are traded as are head kicks. Ibushi lands the Pele Kick and the black trunk boys are back in the ring. They knock each other down with forearm smashes, but Komatsu gets the better of that exchange. Boston Crab is applied, but Tanaka reaches the ropes. While Ibushi is knocked to the floor, Naito leaps off Tanaka’s back when he’s down on all fours to nail Komatsu in the corner. Now Tanaka looks for the Boston Crab on Komatsu. He nearly gets the tapout when Ibushi reemerges and kicks the crap out of Tanaka. Komatsu tries to get the quick win on Tanaka, but never quite gets the three-count. Instead, he catches Tanaka in the ROLLING HALF CRAB. He has to pull Tanaka back to the middle of the ring a few times, but eventually gets the tapout. (11:55) This was pretty interesting with more focus on the young lions than the bigger stars. I’m sure this will somehow have some effect in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Ibushi and Naito exchange looks. Not sure where that one is heading. **½

  • Bad Luck Fale, Cody Hall & Tama Tonga vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma

Tenzan is still the NWA world champ, by the way. Big brawl to start which leads to Tama getting owned by TENCOZY. When Tenzan goes for the knee drop bulldog on Tama, Bad Luck Fale punches him down to the floor. They end up in the crowd where Bad Luck Fale chokes Tenzan with somebody’s umbrella. Back inside, the Bullet Club cut the ring in half on Tenzan. The heat segment doesn’t go too long as Tenzan NO-SELLS Tama’s Mongolian chops and fires back with a spinning heel kick. Tag to Kojima, he is all over Tama with the chops in the corner. Running clothesline and the flying elbow gets 1-2-NO! Tama ducks the discus lariat and hits Kojima with a dropkick. He tags out to Bad Luck Fale. He misses an avalanche and receives a COZY CUTTER. Tag to Honma, you better believe there’s a KOKESHI. Unfortunately, he misses. Tencozy gets knocked off the apron as the Bullet Club avalanche Honma a bunch. Hall hits his Discus Lariat for 1-2-NO! Kojima saves Honma from the Razor’s Edge. Tama is taken out with the 3D. Hall receives the COZY LARIAT. That’s all they need for Honma to land the KOKESHI on Hall for the three-count. (8:59) This is like the nWo B-team matches. It’s low enough down the card where it doesn’t hurt the credibility of the heel group and gives the babyfaces a chance to say they got one over on those Bullet Club jerks. I always enjoy Tencozy and Honma. **½

  • IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions RPG Vice vs. The Young Bucks vs. reDRagon

Young Bucks wear their “suck it” t-shirts out to the ring. Looks like Liger is joining us for commentary. That might be interesting except I have no idea what he’s saying. We have Nick Jackson against Kyle O’Reilly to start. Baretta quickly blind tags O’Reilly and we get more of the same with running the ropes and crotch chops. Nick wants none of Romero and tags out to Bobby Fish. Fish is all over Romero with headlocks, but then Romero channels the spirit of Moe from the Three Stooges and pokes him in the eyes. Romero wants to tag out, but the Young Bucks hit the floor and Baretta is nowhere to be found. In comes O’Reilly, he gets kicked in the head. Back to Fish, he gets a kick in the chest and Baretta moonsaults him for two. The Young Bucks are in, but Matt takes a drop toehold into his brother’s balls. Romero draws O’Reilly into trying a tope suicida and hits nobody. Fish takes a ride out to the floor. Baretta looks for a tope suicida for Fish, but the Young Bucks stop him with a double superkick on the apron. O’Reilly takes out the Young Bucks while Fish covers Baretta for two. Fish and O’Reilly concentrate on Baretta for a while primarily working on the ribs. Baretta eventually finds his corner, but O’Reilly pulls Romero down to the floor just in the nick of time to prevent the tag. Young Bucks take control and do their thing on reDRagon. Nick hits Matt with a knee strike up in the corner by mistake. Whoops. Romero comes in like a HOUSE OF FIRE and the Young Bucks endure more brotherly miscommunication. Romero hits a missile dropkick while Baretta connects with a running knee on Nick for 1-2-NO! Out goes the Young Bucks. As for Baretta, Fish holds him in a wheelbarrow for O’Reilly to deliver a double underhook DDT. He then kicks Baretta back into a wheelbarrow suplex from Fish. That takes him out for a bit. Romero receives the Demolition Decapitation with the knee drop instead of the elbow. Cover, 1-2-NO! Over in the corner, O’Reilly grabs a cross armbreaker over the ropes. After that’s broken up, Matt wants to dive on a pile of dudes. Instead, Baretta climbs up and brings him down on top of them with a superplex. Back in, everybody starts kicking one another. Matt Jackson buckle bombs O’Reilly onto Fish and Romero while Nick gives O’Reilly an enziguri kick from the apron. MORE BANG FROM YOUR BUCK on Romero fails. Baretta brings Matt down from the top with a pop-up superplex. RPG Vice go for their finish on Matt, but Nick saves the day with superkick to a flying Romero! Nick then superkicks Baretta back over as Matt sunset flip powerbombs him down for 1-2-NO! Nick and O’Reilly exchange some strikes until O’Reilly gets sent out to the floor into Matt’s arms for the INDYTAKER on the floor! Back inside, the Young Bucks finally deliver MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK to Baretta for the three-count. (17:17) Ladies and gentlemen, the belts go right back to the Young Bucks for the third time. The comedy in the beginning minutes was pretty well done. Nothing too over the top. The crotch chops really get on my nerves though. Just stop it already. Apart from that, it was your standard albeit exciting all-over-the-place match from these three teams. ***¼

  • IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega (w/the Young Bucks) vs. Alex Shelley

We are now five matches deep and we’ve finally come to our first singles match. When Shelley is offered a handshake, he gives Omega the bird. And why not. We get some wristlockage to start from these two. As they start running the ropes, Shelley sends Omega on the run with an inverted atomic drop and a dropkick. Matt Jackson tries to trip up Shelley, so Shelley steps on his hands. Omega grabs his trash can because he’s the Cleaner of New Japan. Shelley makes him pay with a baseball slide, but then gets the trash can thrown back in his face when Shelley tries a tope suicida. Back inside, Omega wears down Shelley with a rear chinlock and hits a nice backbreaker. Shelley tries to fight out of the corner, but kicks back rather violently by Omega. Matt slides Omega the trash can lid, but it’s just a misdirection play to get the ref to take care of the lid. Omega then punts the actual trash can into Shelley’s face. AOI SHOUDOU on Shelley gets 1-2-NO! To the floor, Omega whacks the trash can with a broomstick with Shelley inside. More play with the trash can. Omega wants to powerbomb him with the trash can sitting in a chair, but Shelley avoids that and yanks Omega down on the weapon instead. Slingshot DDT off the apron to the floor connects! Omega is a lot of trouble here. The Young Bucks help roll Omega back inside the ring. As he’s doubled over, Shelley delivers a flying double stomp to the neck! Cover, 1-2-NO! Omega comes back and tries to get fancy by squatting low while he’s got Shelley in a suplex, but Shelley knees him away and hits another DDT to do more damage to the neck. Flying splash by Shelley hits knees. Doctorbomb by Omega gets two. Croyt’s Wrath fails as Shelley explodes on Omega with a release Dragon Suplex. Enziguri and a superkick leads to AUTOMATIC MIDNIGHT by Shelley for 1-2-NO! The Young Bucks pull the referee out. In comes KUSHIDA and Ryusuke Taguchi to help out Shelley. They lay waste to the Young Bucks. SHIRANUI to Omega! Cover, 1-2-NO! Omega catches Shelley REAL good with a big knee strike, which stuns Shelley for the ONE-WINGED ANGEL for the win. (16:08) Good match, but definitely nothing spectacular. Afterwards, Omega gets on the mic and announces his decision to NOT appear in the Best of the Super Juniors and win the tournament and challenge himself to a title match. Gee, thanks bro. Omega is a pretty weird guy. ***

  • Matt Taven, Michael Bennett & Maria Kanellis vs. Karl Anderson, Doc & Amber Gallows

Amber is here clearly to take care of Maria and keep her away from Karl. The camera guy stares at Maria’s wonderful backside longer than would be acceptable for even the most zealous perverts. Anderson IMMEDIATELY starts a Maria chant right at the bell. Taven and Bennett deliver the Double Dropkick to start on Doc. Doc catches Taven trying a floatover in the corner and scares Maria off the apron. Tag to Karl, he runs out to the floor and chases Maria around and nearly gets his hands on her when Bennett clocks him in the face. Time for Maria and Amber to do battle. Maria wonders into the Bullet Club, which makes you wonder if she is aware of her surroundings. Maria “superkicks” Amber away and runs over for a tag to Taven, who then runs into a superkick from Gallows. Taven plays face in peril for a while. When he is able to make a tag, it’s to Maria. By the way, Karl Anderson is the legal man for the BC. There’s some more Maria and Amber stuff happening. Maria delivers a flying body press for two. Back to the men, Taven takes Anderson to the floor for a plancha and nearly ends up on the commentary tables. Bennett saves his wife from Doc only for Anderson to sneak in and catch Bennett with a GUN STUN. Taven flies down into a GUN STUN as well. That should pretty much wrap things up, but there’s still Maria. He gets his hands on her, but then she kicks him in the balls. Amber tries a suplex, but Maria counters with an inside cradle for the three-count. (8:11) It looks like Karl Anderson has finally given up on Maria as he and Gallows give her the MAGIC KILLER. And I mean, why not? A kick in the balls is a deal breaker. Call me picky, but there’s some things I just won’t stand for! That was pretty dumb and this type of sports entertainment isn’t what New Japan excels at. *½

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazushi Sakuraba

YES. We get a showdown between Makabe and Ishii to start. These two shoulderblock each other down until they end up back in their own corners. Shibata wants Sakuraba. They do a little MMA stuff, but nothing too crazy. Now onto Tanahashi and Yano. Poor Yano cowers in the ropes every time Tanahashi gets a hold of him – and sometimes when he doesn’t. Shibata kicks Yano from the apron. Meanwhile, Tanahashi backs into a chokehold from Sakuraba. Shibata tries the same on Yano, but Ishii nails Makabe and runs down Shibata. Time for some brawling outside the ring. During the madness, Yano pulls off one of the corner pads. Back inside, Ishii takes control and works over Tanahashi with a nice suplex. Tag to Sakuraba, he wants to slap a kimura lock on Tanahashi until Shibata kicks him in the face. Yano tags in, but he’s quickly taken down with a dragon screw. Back to Makabe and Ishii. Makabe hits a powerslam and has plenty of lariats for Ishii. Northern Lights suplex with a bridge gets two. Ishii fires back with a powerslam and abuses Makabe in the corner. Now they get into a clothesline battle. Makabe wins! We get more of Shibata and Sakuraba. Shibata elbows him down in the corner for the Sabin hesitation dropkick. Kimura locks and knee strikes are exchanged, but Shibata connects with a Death Valley Driver. Now back to Yano and Tanahashi. Yano rolls through a crossbody block out of the corner for 1-2-NO! Tanahashi then misses a corner charge into the EXPOSED CORNER. Roll up by Yano, 1-2-NO! Yano goes to throw out Tanahashi, but he skins the cat back inside and hits the Sling Blade. Time for the HIGH FLY FLOW, but Yano brings up the knees and cradles him up. Tanahashi rolls him over though for the 1-2-NO! Yano then slaps him across the face and runs for the ropes, but Tanahashi pulls him down by his hair and cradles him up for the three-count. (15:52) It looked like the finish might be leading something, but turned out pretty weak. Apparently, Yano had been doing the same thing to Tanahashi lately, but I still don’t feel it’s an ending that makes either guy look all that great. Anyways, all the feuds in this match got some time and I like that aspect. I just felt a little disappointed though. The crowd didn’t seem that much into anything here either. **½

  • Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI (w/Gedo) vs. AJ Styles & Yujiro Takahashi

I’m getting a little exhausted of all the tags here. I love tag team wrestling, but give me singles matches too. There’s only TWO on a NINE MATCH show. They pair off into their respective feuds to start. Naturally, Yoshi is *your* face in peril here. Takahashi does a pretty decent job of abusing the poor guy. AJ never really gets vicious with him quite like Takahashi does. Oddly enough, one of Yoshi’s comeback moves is the suplex into a neckbreaker – one of AJ’s signature moves. AJ even calls him out on it. Tag to Okada, he dropkicks AJ off the top turnbuckle and DDTs Takahashi. Flapjack to Takahashi gets two. He sees the Flying Elbow coming and runs towards the corner. Okada leaps over Takahashi, but gets pulled into the Ero Neckbreaker. Tag to AJ, he gives Okada a suplex into the corner. Styles Clash gets countered by Okada to the Reverse Neckbreaker! When he can’t get the Tombstone, AJ hits Okada with the Pele Kick. As Styles hits the ropes, Okada leaps up and lands the Best Dropkick in the Business. Tag to Yoshi, he hits AJ with the running blockbuster. As Okada knocks Takahashi off the apron, AJ gets double-teamed. Buff Blockbuster by Yoshi gets 1-2-NO! Styles stops Okada from using the STYLES CLASH and dumps him out to the floor for Takahashi. From there, AJ delivers the back suplex into a facebuster on Yoshi for two. Now Yoshi receives a double-team suplex. In comes Okada to boot AJ away. Yoshi wins a clothesline battle with Takahashi, but then gets the springboard forearm smash from AJ. Over in the corner, Yoshi knocks AJ down for the SWANTON BOMB, but AJ moves at the last second. BLOODY SUNDAY to Yoshi! STYLES CLASH! It’s all over. (13:21) After the match, AJ holds the belt over Okada. They both try their finishers, but nobody connects. Styles left the belt behind as he and Takahashi bail out. Okada holds the belt up to set up the Dominion PPV on July 5 as I’m sure Okada will get another title shot. This was a pretty good tag. One you might expect for a go-home TV main event to set up a PPV. ***¼

  • IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto

Feeling out process to start. Nakamura dominates on the mat in one part. On another, Goto controls with a headlock. When they get into a test of strength, Nakamura tries to embarrass Goto by sticking his over his own arm and kicking Goto in the head. Well, that just pisses off Goto. He unloads with forearm smashes and Nakamura takes a powder. He continues to play his little mind games with Goto – acting like he can’t see Goto. Anyways, Goto gets his hands on Nakamura and posts him real good. We get a little guardrail action here. Back inside, Nakamura wears down Goto with a chinlock and does that wacky foot choke in the corner. Knee strike in the corner misses and Goto unleashes the Marufuji clothesline. The spinning heel kick in the corner sets up the backdrop driver for 1-2-NO! Elbows are traded, but Nakamura wins that exchange with a spinning heel kick. Nakamura delivers a couple knees to the shoulder and guillotine chokes Goto before giving him a gourdbuster. Boma Ye gets ducked, but a knee strike in the corner does not. That gets two for Nakamura. Goto catches Nakamura up top with a spinning heel kick. Nakamura flips out of a suplex and applies a Sleeperhold, but Goto counters with GO TO HEAVEN for 1-2-NO! Reverse Ushikoroshi stuns Nakamura as well as the standard Ushikoroshi. He looks for the end with the SHOUTEN, but Nakamura knees him away and hits the backcracker. Reverse Powerslam by Nakamura, but then Goto sees the Boma Ye coming and connects with a LARIAT. They stand up throwing elbows. Nakamura boots Goto to the apron. They make their way over to the corner where Goto looks to bring back the KAITEN, but Nakamura backdrops him down and hits the BOMA YE from the second rope! Another BOMA YE, but Goto kicks out at two! Goto sidesteps a third Boma Ye and headbutts away a palm strike! Another headbutt knocks Nakamura silly. Nakamura leaps up with a headbutt, but then Goto lariats him down for 1-2-NO! Goto then delivers a SUPER USHIKOROSHI~! That should do it. Goto covers, 1-2-NO! SHOUTEN to Nakamura! Cover, 1-2-3! (19:49) Kudos to Goto for finally regaining the IC title from Nakamura after three years. Pretty sweet battle, but I don’t think this ever got to a battle of epic proportions. The finishing stretch is normally just how many times will it take for Nakamura to hit you with the Boma Ye to win. This one differed in that he never really let Nakamura get to that level before he hit him with just about everything he had and secured the belt. I’m sure the kayfabe story here is that Nakamura underestimated him a little bit – especially since Ibushi beat Goto for the New Japan Cup and Nakamura has defeated Ibushi several times. ***¾

Final Thoughts: Not an outstanding show, but a show that serves as a conduit to bigger showdowns in the future, which might explain all the multi-man matches here. It’ll be interesting to see if they don’t just put the IC belt back on Nakamura in about 100 days. Overall, the show was pretty fun, but not one I would call must-see. Even a fairly average New Japan show is still better than most WWE PPVs though, so yeah. I’ll give Wrestling Dontaku 2015 a strong thumbs in the middle.

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Posted on May 4, 2015, in NJPW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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