The Semi-Finals are here. The respective winners will meet in the finals on July 11th, with that winner challenging Tetsuya Naito for both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. The rest of the card tonight is tag matches which will help flesh out the Dominion event.
Suzuki-Gun )Minoru Suzuki, TAICHI, Zack Sabre Jr., & El Desperado) b. Yuji Nagata, Gabriel Kidd, and IWGP Tag Champions Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi when Desperado pinned Kidd with a Piche Loco – The heels for once did not attack before the bell, but it didn’t take long for the match to spill to the floor. Suzuki tortured Tanahashi in the ring while everybody else battled outside. Ibushi got the hot tag and briefly ran wild until he and Sabre battled to a double down. Suzuki and Nagata got the respective double-tag and brawled around the ring. Kidd then tagged in and got some offence on Desperado. A multi-man brawl broke out when Kidd tried a Boston Crab. During that time, Desperado hit Kidd with Pinche Loco and got the pin. Taicho didn’t even get to rip his own pants off.
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, & Sho) b. Los Ingobernables De Japon (IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, NEVER Openweight Champion Shingo Takagi, & BUSHI) when Sho pinned Bushi with a Shock Arrow – Takagi and Sho started out for their respective teams. Things went well until the heels rushed in and knocked the babyfaces to the floor. This allowed them to get the heat on Ishii. Goto got the hot tag and went at it with Naito. Then it was back to Sho and Takagi, who fought to a double down. Bushi got the tag before Sho could get his. The obligatory “Everybody hit their big moves” sequence ensued, and in the end, Sho pinned Bushi with the Shock Arrow.
After the match, Takagi got in the ring with both of his belts, The NEVER Openweight singles, and Six-Man Tag titles. It looks like he was asking Sho when belt he would want to fight him for. Sho grabbed the single’s title. They had a brief brawl before leaving the ring.
A vignette aired for Master Wato. He came to the ring and said something into the mic before Douki attacked from behind and laid him out with a pipe.
EVIL p. SANADA with Everything Is Evil – This is a battle of LIJ members. Sanada offered a handshake, which Evil accepted. But, of course, both men are heels so they immediately went for cheap shots. The match spilled outside where Evil used his chair attacks. Back in the ring, Sanada fought back and the two traded dueling strikes. Both got near falls with their respective big moves. Evil esca[ed a Skull End several times. When the referee got knocked to the floor, Evil his Sanada with a low blow. He then shattered a chair him and stomped another low blow for good measure. He then got the referee back in the ring and hit Everything Is Evil for an easy three-count
Kazuchika Okada s.IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi with a Cobra Clutch – This has been a match I had hoped to see because Takahashi has always been my prediction to win. Both men did Okada’s mocking clean break in the ropes, but everything Takahashi tried failed against Okada for the first few minutes. Strikes, takedowns, even an attempt to brawl on the outside. ended with Okada hitting a neckbreaker on the floor. It wasn’t until Takahashi hit a series of dropkicks that knocked Okada to the floor and then into the barrier that Takahashi got the upper hand. Takahashi got some near falls, including one with a Falcon Arrow, but couldn’t get the pin. Okada made his comeback and hit most of his signature moves, including dropkicking Takahashi from the turnbuckle to the floor. He was in control until he missed a Dropkick. Takahashi took over and returned the favor by dropkicking Okada to the floor in a similar fashion. Takahashi then sunset flipped him from the apron to the floor, which is always a scary-looking bump. Back in the ring, Okada kicked out of a pin and finally hit the dropkick, He followed up with a Tombstone and the Cobra Clutch. Takahashi escaped by hitting a DVD to the turnbuckle. Okada escaped a Time Bomb attempt and tried a comeback. Takahashi then hit Okada with a Rainmaker, Okada’s own move, for another two-count. Immediately after Okada kicked out, Takahashi hit a Time Bomb. Both men did a lot of reversals and counters that saw Okada hit another Dropkick and Takahashi responding with a huge lariat. Takahashi tried another Time Bomb, only for Okada to reverse into a spinning Tombstone. Okada again used a Cobra Clutch. When Takahashi tried to escape, Okada hit a Rainmaker and locked in the Cobra Clutch for the third time. Still, Takahashi would not submit, so Okada responded with two more Rainmakers and a fourth Cobra Clutch. That was enough to finally put Takahashi down. I was wrong in my prediction for Takahashi to win, but that was a darn fine match, and Takahashi still looked great in defeat because he went toe to toe with the best wrestler in the company.
After the match, Okada cut a promo clearly giving props to Takahashi. He then said he will beat Evil and go on to beat Naito.