This is a stream of consciousness blog covering New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Dominion show.
Osaka-Jo Hall – 6/11
Commentary by Kevin Kelly & Don Callis
Dominion is one of the major shows for New Japan. It would roughly translate to their SummerSlam, so it’s a big deal.
David Finlay, Shota Umino, & Tomoyuki Oka b. Katsuya Kitamura, Hirai Kawato, & Tetsuhiro Yagi when Finlay pinned Yagi with a Cutter. This was a pre-show showcase for the current Young Lions. Finlay was the only one no longer classified as a Young Lion. However, Umino, Kawato, Kitamura and Oka are all incredibly impressive. This was a perfectly fine opening match
Tiger Mask IV, Tiger Mask W, Yuji Nagata, & Togi Makabe b. Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima, & Hiroyoshi Tenzan when Makabe pinned Nakanishi with the King Kong Kneedrop. A battle of veterans who all happen to be babyfaces. Nothing great, but nothing bad either.
NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Los Ingobernables De Japon (EVIL, SANADA, & BUSHI) b. Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson, & Ricochet), CHAOS (Yoshi-Hashi, Toru Yano, & Tomohiro Ishii), Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale, & Hangman Page), & Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Zack Sabre Jr.) to retain the titles. The match format had two teams starting out. When one team was defeated, the next team would take their place. This would continue until only one team remained.
First Match: CHAOS b. Bullet Club when Yano pinned Page with a low-blow. The heels beat up Yano and Ishii outside the ring, enabling them to team up on Hashi. Yano tagged in and undid the turnbuckle pad. Both Page and Takahashi were whipped into the exposed buckle. Ishii clotheslined Fale out of the ring, leaving Yano to steal the win with a low blow on Page.
Second Match: Suzuki-Gun b. CHAOS when Sabre pinned Yano with a European Clutch. Very quick match. Yano tried the low blow finish again, but Sabre reversed it into his European Clutch.
Third Match: Taguchi Japan b. Suzuki-Gun The babyfaces kicked it off with a triple hip attack. They hit Sabre with several corner splashes until Taichi and Kanemaru tossed out Ricochet and Juice. Heat on Taguchi until Juice got the hot tag. Taichi hit Juice with the bell hammer. Kanemaru went to spray whiskey in juice’s face, but Juice ducked and Taichi got sprayed. Juice hit Pulp Friction to get the win.
The heels attacked Juice after the match while the champions made their way to the ring.
Fourth Match: LIJ b. Taguchi Japan when Bushi pinned Taguchi with an MX. The heels stomped Juice right off the bat. Evil took out Taguchi with a chair while Bushi choked out Juice with a shirt. Hot tag to Ricochet, who ran wild. Tower Of Doom spot and Sanada fall on Ricochet. Taguchi tagged in and hit the Dodon on Bushi, but the pin was broken up. Sanada broke up a submission on Bushi with the Skull End Dragon Sleeper. A missle rope MX later, and it was all over.
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) b. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Beretta) to win the titles when Nick Jackson submitted Romero with a Sharpshooter. These two teams have wrestled each other so many times, but the matches are always great. This was no exception. The action spilled to the outside early. Romero was powerbombed twice on the apron, and had his lower back rammed into the ring post. This lead to the heat on Beretta. The Bucks worked over Beretta for several minutes as Romero laid on the outside. Finally Romero got the hot tag. The Bucks repeatedly put Romero in Sharpshooters. I think it was five total Sharphooter attempts. The final one came after an Indytaker.
The Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) b. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions War Machine (Raymond Rowe & Hanson) to win the titles when Tonga pinned Rowe after Guerrilla Warfare. Back and forth hossfight action. Four big mean scary dudes throwing each other around. Tonga kicked out of Decapitation. The Guerrillas went for Guerrilla Warfare on Rowe but Hanson broke it up. Hanson splashed Tonga from the top, and hit a dive on Roa. Ref bump. Tonga missed a chairshot on Rowe. Rowe grabbed the chair and was tempted to use it. As soon as he dropped it, he was levelled by another chair from Roa. The Guerrillas finished off Rowe with Guerrilla Warfare.
Cody p. Michael Elgin with Crossroads. This match came about because Cody wanted to wrestle somebody “bigger and stronger” after beating David Finlay a few months back. Well, I am pretty sure Michael Elgin is bigger and stronger than David Finlay. Shine early on Elgin, as he shrugged off Cody’s offense. Cody finally got the upper hand with an Alabama Slam. Elgin made a comeback with German Suplexes. Cody grounded Elgin with a leglock. After getting out of a Superplex, Cody hit the Crossroads to get the clean pin.
KUSHIDA s. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi with The Hoverboard Lock to win the title. These two tore into each other out of the gate, as you’d expect heated rivals to do. KUSHIDA hit a springboard dropkick onto Takahashi on the floor. Takahashi hit a Time Bomb for a two count. Takahashi went to the top, but Kushida met him and got him in the Hoverboard Lock. Kushida jumped off the ropes with Hiromu still in the armlock and slammed him to the mat. OWWW! Takahashi landed the Sunset Flip to the floor. BIGGER OWWW! Kushida with a top rope Back To The Future. Back and forth strikes. The crowd booed Kushida as he laid in stomps. Kushida went for like his third Hoverboard Lock, this time finally getting the submission. WHAT A MATCH! Okada and Omega are going to have to have another Match Of The Year Candidate just to get Match Of The Night.
NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki p. Hirooki Goto with a Gotch Piledriver to retain the title. I will never grow tired of this feud. Both these guys have awesome theme music, so hearing them back to back will never get old. Goto came to the ring accompanied by fellow CHAOS members Toru Yano, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii, and Jado. Suzuki walked out with Taka Michinoku, El Desperado, Zack Sabre Jr., and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Suzuki dared Goto to chop him, and when Goto did, he just looked down at his chest, and back at Goto like “What was that? A Mosquito?” As you’d expect, there was a lot of brawling outside the ring between the factions. Suzuki slapped Liger, who was doing color commentary, which got a huge reaction from the crowd. Goto landed a top rope elbow for a two count. Suzuki went for a Penalty Kick, but Goto caught him and clotheslined his way out of it. Dueling strikes, which Suzuki got the better of. Suzuki bounced off the ropes and was met with an Ushigoroshi. The ref got bumped, and the chaos (no pun intended) started. Everybody hit the ring and got thrown to the outside. Hashi added an exclamation point by hitting a dive on the whole crowd. Goto hit the GTR, and likely would’ve gotten the pin, but Taichi ran out and pulled the ref out to stop the count. Taichi followed it up with chairshots to the head. A dropkick and Gotch Piledriver by Suzuki got the win.
After the match Yoshi-Hashi hit the ring and got in Suzuki’s face. Believe it or not he actually knocked Suzuki out of the ring. Suzuki took the mic and cut a promo on the ring ramp, presumably taunting Hashi.
They have two and a half hours left for the main events.
Hiroshi Tanahashi p. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito with a High Fly Flow to capture the title. the IC Belt was clearly damaged, part of the main plate was ripped. Tanahashi attacked Naito before he could get his suit off. Like Takahashi and Kushida, these two just tore into each other. Naito of course targeted the arm of Tanahashi, because Tanahashi is still recovering from a torn bicep. Naito hit a Tornado DDT on the ramp, which lead to a near countout. Naito continued to work on the arm. Tanahashi started his comeback, nailing several punches, which the crowd did not like. High Fly Flow to the outside. Naito regained control and kept Tanahashi grounded. Tanahashi reversed a top rope hurricanrana into a sunset flip for a near fall. A High Fly Flow missed. Dueling stiff slaps. Naito hit a second rope Destino, but Tanahashi kicked out. A second Destino was reversed into a Dragon Suplex, and Tanahashi started his comeback. Naito kicked out of a High Fly Flow. Tanahashi then locked in the Texas Cloverleaf to get the surprising submission victory. I think that’s the first time at least in a very long time that Tanahashi has gotten a submission victory. Another amazing match!
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada d. Kenny Omega. The Young Bucks accompanied Omega to the ring. Feel out process early on quickly lead to both men trying to hit their finishers. Okada hit a dive to the outside on Omega. Kenny started targeting Okada’s leg. He dropped Okada’s knee on an announce table for a near countout. Okada took control and hit his bodypress on the outside. Kenny dodged a top rope elbow, and started his comeback. Missile Dropkick to the back of Okada landed a two count. Omega continued to stalk Okada. They teased a top rope Dragon Suplex. Okada hit a DVD on the apron (I’ve lost count on the number of bumps on the apron). Okada set up a table at ringside. Kenny went for a springboard dropkick, but Okada countered with his Too Awesome Dropkick. Okada hit a top rope elbow, then signaled for the Rainmaker. Omega countered and hit a superplex for a near fall. Okada hit two German Suplexes and a Rainmaker, but Omega kicked out. Omega reversed Okada’s Too Awesome Dropkick into a Powerbomb. WOW! Okada dropkicked Omega to the outside, then set Omega up on the table. Elbow off th top rope to the outside on Omega. DOUBLE OWW! A missile dropkick scored a two count for Okada. Okada then hit two straight Rainmakers. Cody Rhodes and the rest of Bullet Clube came to ringside, apparently Cody was trying to throw in the towel. How that would end the match is beyond me. It doesn’t matter because it was probably a ruse. Omega rallied and hit a reverse hurricanrana. Omega went for the V-Trigger, but was met with another Too Awesome Dropkick. Omega hit the One Winged Angel, but Okada got his foot on the ropes. Okada hit Rainmaker #4. Another Dragon Suplex on Okada. Another dropkick by Okada. We may be looking at a time limit draw. Omega with a V-Trigger to the back. An attempt at The One Winged Angel was reversed into a Tombstone. Okada went for Rainmaker #5, but Omega collapsed and avoided it. Spinning Tombstone Piledriver by Okada (Zangief Flashbacks) followed by a German Suplex. Okada hit Rainmaker #5, but was too exhausted to make the pin. 60 minute time limit draw. I couldn’t possibly have done justice to this match. Arguably better than the Tokyo Dome Match, and that’s saying something.
I think we have our LA Main Event.
After the match Gedo cut a promo that looked to be asking Okada for comments. Okada looked like he had ony one thing to say (usually he has three), but I have no idea what he said. Liger rallied the fans to cheer for Okada as the confetti fell.
Thank you for reading my running commentary. This was an amazing show that’s worth the cost of the New Japan Network many times over.