NJPW: Dominion in Osaka (07.05.15)


NJPW: Dominion
July 5, 2015
Osaka, Japan
Osaka-jo Hall

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: Hirooki Goto (5/3/2015)
NEVER Openweight Champion: Togi Makabe (4/29/2015)

I’m skipping the ten-man dark match. It’s virtually the same every PPV with hardly any variation in the teams, so I’m not bothering with it.

  • IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (w/Cody Hall) vs. reDRagon vs. Roppongi Vice

The Young Bucks cause a little bit of trouble to start as Nick interferes with some cheapshots while Beretta and O’Reilly are trying to wrestle. Nick sits on Cody Hall’s shoulders and backs away thinking they can’t get to both of them. O’Reilly and Beretta work together and dropkick Cody through the ropes to cause them both to come tumbling down. Back inside, RPG Vice work over O’Reilly with a double-team sequence of kicks and a standing moonsault. Tag to Fish, he delivers a running forearm smash to Romero and Matt blind tags Fish. He throws him out to the floor and covers Romero for two. Romero comes back and abuses Matt in the corner. From there, the Young Bucks retreat and act like they’re going to walk out on this match only to bait RPG Vice way up the aisle for STEREO SUPERKICKS. They dash back to the ring to try and win via countout, which is VINTAGE YOUNG BUCKS. O’Reilly and Fish help Romero back inside at the count of nineteen. Nick does the somersault plancha through Matt’s legs onto reDRagon. Back inside, Cody cheapshots Romero and the Young Bucks deliver tandem splashes for two. Romero mounts a comeback and lunges for a tag to Beretta, but Nick yanks him to the floor. The Indytaker is coming for Romero, but he fights it off and baits Matt out to the floor. Once again, the tag to Beretta is intercepted as Nick superkicks him off the apron. Romero tags O’Reilly instead as reDRagon kick around the Young Bucks. They give Nick the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and knee drop combo for two. Beretta comes in and shines for a moment. Matt cuts off Beretta from nailing his brother with a tope suicida. However, RPG Vice end up giving him a flying knee strike doomsday device on the floor! Inside the ring, Romero hits a bunch of corner clotheslines on Nick. After a series of dropkicks, Nick falls back into a tag to Fish. When he’s taken out, O’Reilly saves the day with a clothesline to wipe out RPG Vice. Double-arm DDT kicked back into a wheelbarrow suplex on Nick by reDRagon takes him out for a little bit. When a Super Falcon Arrow from Fish on Romero gets two, he transitions over to a HEEL HOOK. While O’Reilly has Beretta in a guillotine choke, the Young Bucks save the day with STEREO 450 SPLASHES. From here, the Young Bucks take control of everything. In a really silly moment, they hand Fish over to a groggy O’Reilly and then superkick his knees so that O’Reilly gives Fish a tombstone piledriver. WHAT. MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK to Romero! Cover, 1-2-3. (14:30) Nothing necessarily wrong with it, but the Young Bucks need some new opponents ASAP. ***

  • Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi (w/Shiori) vs. Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma

This is a weird one as Naito has turned heel in CMLL as he’s joined up with the rudo stable Los Ingobernables, so he literally couldn’t care less about tagging up with the lovable sometimes head-butting goofball Honma. Takahashi attacks Honma before the bell and Naito continues to take his time getting to the ring. He misses a falling headbutt to Takahashi and gets double-teamed in the Bullet Club corner. A whole bunch of clotheslines is required to take down Bad Luck Fale. Tag to Naito, he dominates Takahashi and Bad Luck without breaking a sweat. He takes them out with a big corkscrew dive to the floor. Bad Luck finally cuts him off with a clothesline and tags in Takahashi, but Naito nails him with the flying forearm. Honma tags himself in, but misses another falling headbutt. Bad Luck knocks Honma silly with another clothesline. Takahashi delivers a Fisherman’s Buster for two. Time for TOKYO PIMPS, but Honma kicks his legs and falls on top of Takahashi. He holds Takahashi for a missile dropkick from Naito for two. Honma jumping headbutts Takahashi in the shoulder and delivers the KOKESHI for the three-count. (8:50) Naito just seems to think this whole match was a waste of his time and talents. **½

  • Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kazushi Sakuraba

It starts out friendly enough, but then they both miss kicks on each other and they crank up the violence. Sakuraba baits Shibata out to the floor and then starts unloading on him with kicks as he steps back through the ropes. There’s knees in the corner, but then Shibata slaps him back and buries a bunch of elbow smashes. Sakuraba comes back with a guillotine choke, but Shibata slams him down and smashes his face with more elbows before delivering the hesitation dropkick in the corner. There’s some disrespectful head kicks and Sakuraba is back up in Shibata’s face. YES. He knees Shibata back into the corner and throws his foot wrap thing at him. Now he unleashes the YES kicks to the chest. Shibata DARES HIM TO CONTINUE until he crumbles on the mat. Shibata gets up and charges Sakuraba, but he takes another knee to the chest and rolls out to the floor. In a move that is very unlike Sakuraba, he busts out a pescado on Shibata. Back in, Shibata charges Sakuraba and kicks him down. He looks for the SHARPSHOOTER, but Sakuraba counters into a heel hook. Nice sequence coming as Sakuraba grabs a sleeper and jumps on Shibata’s back. When Shibata starts grabbing for the ropes, Sakuraba grabs his arms and pulls back while still on his back! In order to get the break he needs, Shibata BITES THE ROPE! AWESOME. Big lariat by Shibata, but Sakuraba is on top of him for a CROSS ARMBREAKER. When he can’t hyperextend the elbow, Sakuraba manages the Triangle Choke! Shibata finds the ropes, but Sakuraba stays on the arm and looks for a KIMURA. Shibata gets to his feet and gets behind Sakuraba for a release German suplex! He lands the PK, but can’t cover. Shibata looks for the Go 2 Sleep, but Sakuraba counters with a sleeperhold. Shibata elbows him away and catches a kick only to slap Sakuraba down HARD. He applies a sleeperhold on Sakuraba! Sakuraba really wants to counter into the KIMURA, but Shibata forces him down onto the mat. When he’s in position, Shibata comes off the ropes and hits the PENALTY KICK real good. Cover, 1-2-3. (11:49) I love me some faux MMA. This was hard-hitting and intense stuff without any bull. LOVED every second of this. Shibata is LEGIT. ****¼

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

For becoming this year’s BOSJ by beating Kyle O’Reilly, KUSHIDA is getting his much deserved title match. By the way, KUSHIDA’s right knee is bandaged. They brawl out to the floor fairly quickly. Back inside, Omega blocks a springboard with a dropkick and KUSHIDA takes a powder selling the knee. Omega takes him out with a somersault plancha. As they take turns backing each other into guardrails and ring aprons, Omega has enough and drops KUSHIDA’s knees onto the apron. While he’s in huge amounts of pain, Omega rips at the bandage and plays around with it in the ring. To make things even worse, Omega drops him onto the announcers table and then takes a water break (pinky up!) in the ring. From there, the gameplan is academic: work the knee. He does a great job there. Omega makes a misstep though when he tries a moonsault out of the corner only for KUSHIDA to bring up his knees, which was a STUPID idea. Nice suplex battle as KUSHIDA fights on just one leg. KUSHIDA snaps Omega’s arm over his shoulder and delivers a springboard dropkick, which he at least sells the effect on his bad knee. A handspring kick sends Omega to the floor. Bad knee and all, KUSHIDA flies with a somersault dive on the Young Bucks and Omega. Back inside, a Flying Moonsault by KUSHIDA gets two. Omega absorbs some Rolling Elbows and the Wind-Up Punch to explode on KUSHIDA with a release Dragon Suplex. KUSHIDA fires back with the HOVERBOARD LOCK, but Omega reaches the ropes. KUSHIDA looks for a handspring elbow only to get his bad knee kicked in mid-air. There’s a fight up in the corner as Omega busts out the SUPER AOI SHOUDOU. Cover, 1-2-NO! One-Armed Batista Bomb gets 1-2-NO! KUSHIDA avoids CROYT’S WRATH and a knee strike to land the Wind-Up Punch. Dragon Suplex by KUSHIDA gets two as his knee gave out! Time for MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, but Omega moves and delivers the knee strike! Omega goes for the kill with the ONE-WINGED ANGEL, but KUSHIDA blocks and rolls Omega over into the HOVERBOARD LOCK for the tapout to regain the title! (20:44) As typical with today’s wrestling, they pick and choose when they want to sell a body part when it interrupts their cool move set. KUSHIDA did a pretty good of working around that though taking moments to at least sell the knee when necessary. I’ve enjoyed Kenny Omega’s title run here as he was a guy who was going to get what was coming to him sooner or later. ****

  • NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii

MY BOY MAKABE. After an initial lock-up, Ishii connects with a lariat that sends Makabe out to regroup or make sure he still has his lower jaw. Ishii then somersault dives on him and barely hits him. Back inside, Ishii stays on the offense with general Ishii abuse. They get into an exchange of running elbow smashes which Makabe counters with a powerslam. Ten-count corner punch and the Northern lights suplex gets two. Ishii fires back with chops and powerslams Makabe for a nearfall. More chops and lariats are traded until Ishii finally goes down. KING KONG POWERBOMB by Makabe gets 1-2-NO! These two are just knocking on each other with everything they have got. Makabe goes down and Ishii gets a two count. Ishii delivers a Powerbomb of his own for two. Up in the corner, Ishii gives Makabe a Stalling Superplex for 1-2-NO! Makabe catches Ishii with a Death Valley Bomb to do some damage on the shoulder. That will affect his elbow smashing abilities. Ishii is knocked out on his feet, but then drills Makabe with a release German suplex. Lariat by Makabe leads to a Bridging German Suplex for two. Ishii avoids the KING KONG KNEE DROP and gives Makabe a German suplex into the corner! That might be the opening Ishii needed. He pounds Makabe down for the Sliding Lariat for 1-2-NO! Running Lariat gets two as well. Makabe knees away a possible ISHII DRILLER and gives him a nasty Dragon Suplex. More lariats on Ishii sets up Mongolian chops to the shoulder. Ishii looks done for here. Spider German Suplex leads to the KING KONG KNEE DROP as Makabe covers for the win. (17:51) I would venture to say that this is the end of this feud. I mean, Makabe clearly won here. Anyways, the usual hard-hitting lariat fest between these two. ***½

Intermission time! G1 CLIMAX 25 is coming soon!

  • IWGP Tag Team Champions Matt Taven & Michael Bennett (w/Maria Kanellis) vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (w/Amber Gallows)

Big brawl to start as the Kingdom clean house on the Bullet Club and give them STEREO SOMERSAULT PLANCHAS. Back in, Gallows fights off a double-team and hits an X-Factor on Bennett. The BC beat the crap out of Bennett for a while in between Anderson locking eyes with Maria. Amber gets in some shots on Bennett just for fun. Bennett fights out of the BC corner and hits the Box Office Smash on Gallows. Hot tag to Taven, he is springing all ropes every which a way. Anderson receives a superkick into a spear. AA Spinebuster to Anderson by Bennett followed by a Lionsault from Taven for two. Anderson avoids a Photo Finish and dumps out Bennett so that the BC can dominate Taven. SWIVEL GUN STUN to Taven gets two. Anderson becomes Randy Orton for a second until he spies Maria on the apron. He chases her away into a spear from Amber. She puts Maria in the ring only for her to duck a right hand from Gallows that connects with Anderson’s face. She kicks Gallows in the balls only to be kicked out to the floor by Amber. PHOTO FINISH and running kick to Anderson gets two. The Kingdom go for the SPIKE PILEDRIVER, but Amber crotches Taven. When Maria gets up on the apron to ask if he’s okay, Doc Gallows superkicks her down or something. It’s done off camera because violence to women is NOT OKAY. Bennett heads after Gallows, but he receives a GUN STUN on the apron for his troubles. Taven fights off the BC finish, but gets launched by Gallows into the GUN STUN. The MAGIC KILLER ends Taven though as the BC regain another championship. (10:09) The Bullet Club lose a championship and then gain one right back. What’s the deal? Do they have to be this strong all the time? Not that I wanted Bennett and Taven as IWGP tag champs, but come on. **

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano

Yano can avoid Tanahashi for only so long before he’s grabbed and taken down. More hijinks as they trade small packages on each other. They both untie opposite pads off the corners, but Yano wins as he nails Tanahashi from behind. Tanahashi misses a charge into an exposed corner and gets pulled off the second rope to crash on the mat. To the floor, Tanahashi misses a crossbody block and goes flying over the guardrail. Yano throws him into some chairs and then throws a chair at him to try to get the countout victory, but of course Tanahashi makes it back at nineteen. Back inside, both guys take rides into the exposed steel corner. They do the hair pull thing on each other that’s been done to death. Tanahashi skins the cat and tries for a German suplex. Yano grabs the ropes, but the ref kicks his hands away ala Tommy Young to complete the suplex for two. Yano then shoves the ref into the ropes to crotch Tanahashi. Next thing we know, Tanahashi delivers an inverted atomic drop and they both sell their hurt crotches. Powerbomb by Yano gets two. Ref takes a bump thanks to Tanahashi and out comes a chair. Yano cracks him one good time, but Tanahashi fires back with the Sling Blade. Here comes the HIGH FLY FLOW, but Yano brings up the chair to block. OUCH. Yano catapults Tanahashi into the exposed corner and powerbombs him on the chair! Finally, the ref returns and counts two. Yano tries multiple times to get the rollup pin, but Tanahashi always kicks out. Another Sling Blade sets up the HIGH FLY FLOW and Tanahashi picks up the win. (12:32) Certainly light on the comedy, but I’ve never really cared for comedy wrestling very much unless it involves people in non-wrestling roles. Otherwise, it wasn’t too bad. **½

  • IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura already getting a rematch? Okay then. It’s mostly wristlocks and headlocks for the first several minutes. They go to the floor where Nakamura whips Goto into the guardrail a few times – obviously weakening the midsection. Back in, Nakamura kicks and slaps Goto around. Goto fires back with elbow smashes and counters a sleeperhold with a back suplex. Some stiff kicks from Goto leads to a running bulldog for two. Nakamura delivers a spinning heel kick and does the shaky boot choke in the corner. On the second try, he lands the running knee to the ribs in the corner for another nearfall. Nakamura hits a jumping kick and delivers a gourdbuster to set up some more knees to the ribs. BOMA YE is blocked, but Nakamura applies a beautiful cross armbreaker takedown before transitioning to a triangle choke. Goto makes the ropes, but Nakamura holds onto a sleeperhold and body scissors. He still can’t get him to go out. As Goto stands up, Nakamura delivers a backcracker and then the reverse powerslam. BOMA YE TIME, but Goto knows it’s coming and blasts Nakamura with a lariat. Go To Heaven on Nakamura gets two. Neckbreaker out of the corner leads to the SHOUTEN, but Nakamura knees him away. After a battle up top, Nakamura powerbombs him down and hits the BOMA YE! He’s too spent to cover though. They trade elbow strikes in the middle of the ring. Nakamura stops all that with a knee to the gut and hits a sliding BOMA YE for 1-2-NO! He wants a third Boma Ye, but Goto catches the knee and lifts him up for the Ushikoroshi! Ura Shouten! Cover, 1-2-NO! Nakamura tries to stop him, but the SHOUTEN is inevitable. Goto pins Nakamura and retains the IC title. (22:11) Not that different from the last match they had back at Wrestling Dontaku. Still really good work from these two. ***½

  • IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles (w/the Bullet Club) vs. Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo)

Wristlocks and headlocks to start. AJ ducks out when there’s a chance at eating the Best Dropkick in the Business. Back inside, Okada catches AJ with a backdrop and sliding kicks him in the face. There’s a hilo by Okada and the Bullet Club get restless on the apron. When the distraction for AJ doesn’t work, Amber Gallows is the backup plan as she grabs Okada’s foot as he comes off the ropes. Styles hits the jumping clothesline in the corner and delivers the knee drop as well. He cuts off Okada with a backbreaker and kicks him out to the floor for the Bullet Club to pounce on him. Lots of crotch chopping and too sweet action here. Back inside, AJ hits his Best Dropkick in the Business and Okada bails out for another mugging. Red Shoes finally catches on and sends the whole BC to the back. In the ring, Okada fights out of a chinlock, but goes down to an enziguri kick. Okada hits a DDT and kips up. He wants to dropkick AJ off the top rope, but settles for a flapjack instead. Styles knows the Flying Elbow is coming, so he rolls away and gives Okada the Quebrada DDT. Okada does however crotch Styles up top and takes him to the floor with the standing dropkick. They do some brawling into the crowd. Back in, AJ lands the wheelbarrow facebuster for two. Springboard forearm smash by AJ is met with a dropkick. Flying Elbow connects and Okada wants the RAINMAKER. AJ elbows him away and delivers a snap suplex into the corner. Springboard forearm smash connects! It could be Styles Clash time, but Okada counters to the Reverse Neckbreaker. When neither man can hit the Tombstone, they trade elbow smashes. Styles stands strong longer than Okada and gets his head stomped. He connects with the Best Dropkick in the Business to set up the Tombstone reversals. Styles wins that battle and delivers a Springboard 450 Splash for 1-2-NO! AJ wants the Super Styles Clash, but Okada lifts him up on his shoulders and dumps Styles on the apron with Heavy Rain! Missile dropkick to AJ! Tombstone! Styles ducks the RAINMAKER though and delivers a Pele Kick. We get an exchange of possible finishers between these two that’s just super exciting. Okada hits Styles with not one but TWO RAINMAKERS to win the IWGP heavyweight title for the third time. (26:18) So many cool counters as these two should know each other pretty darn well by now. Great match from bell to bell. ****½

Final Thoughts: Mucho recommended if you love the New Japan world. Having not seen Wrestle Kingdom 9 yet (because I’m not the biggest puro mark in the world), I can’t flat out call this the best PPV of the year, but of what I have seen this is the best PPV of the year. Thumbs up for Dominion 7.5 as if there was any doubt.

Posted on July 6, 2015, in NJPW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Dude, you underrated every match.

  2. You think so? You don’t think New Japan is starting to feel a little stale right now? We need some new matchups.

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