There’s just something about Korakuen Hall that brings out the best in everyone, and New Japan will run tonight and tomorrow’s shows from this venue. We can expect a lot of chaos from Suzuki-Gun members in action, as they take on both Bullet Club & The United Empire on the undercard.
Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki) vs. Bullet Club (Jado, Taiji Ishimori, & KENTA)
We haven’t seen El Desperado since his defeat at the hands of Kota Ibushi at 49th Anniversary, but tonight the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion is back. He joins DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki to take on BULLET CLUB, including a potential challenger in Taiji Ishimori. Suzuki & KENTA also still have issues after their New Japan Cup clash.
As expected with BULLET CLUB taking on Suzuki-Gun, this one started with a brawl. Suzuki went after KENTA, Desperado after Ishimori, and DOUKI was stuck with Jado. Desperado & Ishimori stuck around in the ring, with Desperado catching a handspring kick into a back suplex attempt, before hitting a low dropkick and tagging in DOUKI. Jado whacked DOUKI with his kendo stick, and Ishiomri took advantage with some strikes in the ring.
Jado got a tag and Suzuki wanted in, which just distracted the referee and let DOUKI get choked. KENTA tagged in, and would nail DOUKI with a DDT. Suzuki finally got a tag and nailed KENTA with a PK, only for KENTA to fire back with kicks of his own. They’d slug it out in the middle of the ring, with Suzuki winning out and tagging Desperado.
KENTA hit him with a powerslam and tagged Jado. BULLET CLUB swarmed Desperado to give Jado a chance, and he’d get a crossface attempt only for him to be countered into Numero Dos and tap out.
A solid if generic brawl. There was some good stuff between KENTA & Suzuki, as well as Desperado & Ishimori, but nothing truly stood out. Match Rating: 2/5 (**)
Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. The United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, Will Ospreay)
Last night in an instant classic, Will Ospreay was able to push past Zack Sabre Jr to advance to the quarter finals of the New Japan Cup. Tonight, he teams with The United Empire to get more damage on his rival and his Suzuki-Gun teammates. Ospreay is not 100% coming into this one, suffering a potentially broken nose during his match with ZSJ.
This one much like the match before started with a brawl, as Ospreay & ZSJ picked up where they left off yesterday. Taichi & O-Khan took the ring, and Taichi looked to choke the life out of anyone who got in his way, only to have the Iron Claw applied. Kanemaru helped to save Taichi, who even went after Bea Priestley at ringside.
Her distraction let O-Khan hit some Mongolion Chops, before he’d be nailed with some of Taichi’s deadly kicks. ZSJ & Ospreay got tags, and action picked up quickly as they effortlessly countered everything the other had, their chemistry on full showcase. Ospreay would have his nose and arm attacked, before he swatted ZSJ away like a fly. Cobb tagged in and was able to outpower ZSJ, but ended up with ZSJ on his back with a sleeper hold.
He’d tag in Kanemaru, who nearly jumped right into a Tour Of The Islands, needing Taichi to save him. Kanemaru would hit a big swinging DDT on Cobb, but UE broke it up. He’d look for the diving DDT, but get caught and thrown into the Spin-Cycle. Kanemaru managed to counter an attempt at the Tour of The Islands, only to fall to the next attempt.
Another fun brawl of a match. Cobb ragdolling Kanemaru was fun, and anything with ZSJ & Ospreay is fantastic, even when they’re just running a basic sequence. Nothing notable once again, but nothing bad either. Match Rating: 2.25/5 (** 1/4)
Yuji Nagata, Hirooki Goto, Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & SANADA)
Last night, SANADA was able to take out Yuji Nagata to keep his hopes of winning the 2021 New Japan Cup alive. Tonight, he joins BUSHI and Shingo to take on Nagata one more time, who has Goto & Taguchi backing him up.
Goto & Shingo would start this one up, but Shingo got quick aid from BUSHI and SANADA in taking Goto down. They’d start to work over the arm of Goto, with someone wrenching it while another came off the top rope with an axe handle. Goto wouldn’t just lay down and take this however, coming back at Shingo with a lariat and Ushigoroshi, and tagging in Nagata.
Nagata would nail a running big boot and Exploder Suplex on Shingo, before taking a sliding lariat for himself. SANADA & Taguchi got tags, and Taguchi would almost roll SANADA up with a cradle for the win. He’d dodge a dropkick and apply a European Clutch for a two count, before SANADA hit a atomic drop and showed Taguchi how that hold is meant to be done, nabbing the win in the process.
If this one had a chance to go a bit longer it had some great potential. The action between Nagata & Shingo was great, as we SANADA & Taguchi, but just as it got going it ended in a flash. Match Rating: 2.25/5 (** 1/4)
Can SANADA keep winning as he faces Will Ospreay next? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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