After YOH was in the match for around 8 minutes, SHO was tagged in and he did an excellent job selling his back throughout the rest of the match. Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI VS Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi; Ibushi & Tanahashi win. Roppongi 3K def. The road to Wrestle Kingdom officially began after the trophies were presented, as ELP and Ishimori came out and attacked R3K. Early on in the match, we saw a great callback to the Best Of Super Juniors match these two had with a draping DDT onto the apron, aggravating the neck injury that has plagued Will ever since Sakura Genesis 2018 where he landed awkwardly on the apron attempting a Spanish Fly. The crowd legitimately hates the heel. While I agree with John in that this match was a letdown, I love the nuances of the Jay White character. Will Ospreay retained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship by hitting the Hidden Blade, Super OsCutter and Stormbreaker in a row. Overall, a fun and entertaining match that delivered exactly how it was supposed to. Ospreay attacking BUSHI at the bell was a nice touch, something he doesn’t really do ever but made it clear how upset he was with BUSHI for costing the Birds of Prey their shot at winning Super Junior Tag League two days earlier. So here the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions found themselves battling the unique CHAOS team of Robbie Eagles and Rocky Romero in a non-title match, and perhaps unsurprisingly they came out on top. These two have excellent chemistry and delivered in a big spot. Be consistent, folks! John echoed my thoughts on the other combatants; Titan and Volador Jr were excellent and definitely surpassed expectations. We saw the continuing story of Shingo and Suzuki, who had a fantastic spot, exchanging forearms in the middle of the ring and continued by brawling outside the ring throughout the match. Outside of two brief moments of bad facials from SHO, everything about this match worked. The match was a fine battle but again the crowd has not really into it. ***. KENTA then fought off Shibata and White hit the Bladerunner to win the match. As we moved forward in the match, the crowd got absolutely molten hot for these two, including going absolutely crazy for BUSHI’s nearfall after hitting the MX on Ospreay. This was the second match on the card and it showed. So it at least started and ended well, even if everything in between was not much to write home about. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi def. Location: Osaka, Japan. The most intriguing thing about this match was TJP getting the win here. So it at least started and ended well, even if everything in between was not much to write home about. This set the tone for an absolutely fantastic match. Uemura was shot out of a cannon for the opener. The main event was atrocious in just about any way imaginable. They’ve had a couple of really substandard matches in the past but here they generated something that was both fun and creative. He seemed a step ahead of Ishii constantly, including when he dodged two lariats and then absolutely spiked him on his head with a German suplex, but Ishii finally fought back by no-selling the Kobashi spinning chop (!) The match kicked off with a big mood where KENTA went to bail but Ishii went on the chase and brought KENTA right back inside. Tanahashi having a hot finish made sense for the post-match Jericho video. Is Shibata able to compete? Huge Return Coming On AEW Dynamite Tonight? Jay White (c) def. Tyler: Not only did Ospreay bring out the sword for this match, but he got the action started fast, coming out guns blazing and attacking BUSHI right at the start. New Japan has been doing great with the moments. BUSHI, however, wears a mask so it makes sense that he wasn’t completely blinded, and he managed to pull pour Red Shoes into the path of the Oscutter right after, laying him out again. Tetsuya Naito vs Taichi Overall, this was a really good opener. This match was a mixed bag for me. Even though the intro video package went on a little too long for my taste, Naoru and Daryl were massively over with the crowd and Hiromu is now the best troll in wrestling after intentionally throwing himself into the guard rail and turnbuckle to only spider up like Bray Wyatt in challenging Ospreay. They had yet another strong strike exchange before KENTA finally dropped him with a huge Go 2 Sleep, and then rather than going for the pin he decided to make a statement by pulling down his knee pad and delivering a second one for the emphatic victory. EVIL too got in on the action with Suzuki. : Like the opener, this was another short but fun multi-man tag, with the Shingo-Suzuki strike exchange as the clear highlight. Archer is too primped and pretty for this unhinged gimmick he’s been running with. As we moved forward in the match, the crowd got absolutely molten hot for these two, including going absolutely crazy for BUSHI’s nearfall after hitting the MX on Ospreay.