Kumamoto is greeted with five Bullet Club matches on an eight match card. Three singles matches as Bad Luck Fale takes on Mikey Nicholls, Chase Owens faces off against Juice Robinson and the main event sees Jay White versus Hirooki Goto. The IWGP Tag Team Championships are also on the line as the Guerrillas of Destiny are challenged by Togi Makabe and Toru Yano. Let’s get started!
Tomoaki Honma, Shota Umino & Ren Narita def. Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura @ 11:00 via Umino Bridging Fisherman’s Suplex on Uemura – *3/4
Narita and Uemura start off trading holds on the mat. Narita backs Uemura to the ropes, sweeps the leg and they tag out. Umino and Tsuji lock up and drive to the ropes. Tsuji unloads an overhand and cuts Umino off in a headlock. Umino sends him off but Tsuji is quick back with a shoulder. He clears Narita off the apron and charges at Umino who takes him down with an elbow followed by a low dropkick. Umino takes Tsuji to his corner and tags in Honma who gives an elbow of his own before bringing in Narita. He stares a hole into Uemura while appling a sleeper on Tsuji. Narita tags Honma back in and he hits a kokeshi. He brings Tsuji back to his feet and Tsuji fires a forearm before dropping Honma with a dropkick.
Tsuji gets the tag to Henare, who flurries on Honma and cuts off Narita on his run in. Honma tries to knee his way free of a suplex but Henare muscles him up for the slam. They trade chops, Henare lands a double overhand and Honma return with a kokeshi rocket. They tag out to Umino and Uemura. Uemura drops Umino with a dropkick but his Boston Crab attempt is blocked so his team comes in to help by running a train on Umino in the corner. He unloads forearms in the corner, Narita cuts him off and allows Umino time to regroup with a Boston Crab. Uemura gets to the ropes and cradles his way through a fisherman’s buster but Umino is quick to escape, land a dropkick and finish Uemura with a bridging fisherman.
Jeff Cobb, YOSHI-HASHI, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku @ 12:42 via Cobb Tour of the Islands on TAKA – **1/2
Taichi kicks the step ladder off the apron as Cobb makes his entrance. Suzuki-Gun jump before the bell and a brawl breaks out. Kanemaru and Desperado focus on Tiger in the ring but he’s able to take on the numbers and tags in Y-H. He too flurries on Desperado before tagging in Taguchi. The coach sends everyone around to run a train on Desperado. Tiger gets sent into Taguchi’s butt and when Taguchi turns, all he sees is Suzuki-Gun. He removes his helmet and looks to take them on but is quickly taken down by Suzuki and another brawl breaks out. Taichi attacks Cobb with a chair and this time Kanemaru and Desperado turn their focus on Taguchi.
Taichi comes in raising the NEVER and ROH TV titles over his head before dumping them outside and stomping Cobb. Suzuki-Gun use the number on Taguchi, the crowd rally for his comeback and he manages to take Suzuki down with a hip attack. Liger is tagged in and he unloads on Suzuki. He takes Suzuki to the top but Suzuki headbutts his way free. He charges at Liger and gets caught with a suplex. Suzuki regroups quickly, delivers a PK and lays in the boots. Liger fires up with the crowd behind them and the two trade overhands. Suzuki groups Liger with a forearm, applies a sleeper and looks for the Gotch but Liger backdrops out. Cobb and Taichi are tagged in, Cobb flurries with corner strikes and a standing moonsault but Suzuki-Gun are quick to break the pin.
Cobb lands a double pumphandle suplex on Kanemaru and Desperado, Taichi kicks his way free of a suplex and follows with another. Cobb ducks a third but gets taken down with a forth and Suzuki-Gun run a train on him in the corner. Taichi poses with the NEVER title, Taguchi runs in with a flurry of hip attacks, Suzuki boots his attack, Liger dumps Suzuki, Tiger follows with a dive. Cobb finishes TAKA with a swinging backdrop followed by a Tour of the Islands. Taichi and Cobb meet forehead to forehead and Liger and Suzuki come at each other with chairs but are pulled apart by young lions.
Will Ospreay & Dragon Lee def. Hikuleo & Taiji Ishimori @ 10:06 via Ospreay Oscutter on Hikuleo – **1/2
Bullet Club jump before the bell and isolate Ospreay. He dumps Ishimori over and Lee is back in to help take down Hikuleo. Ospreay flips off Lee’s back, Ishimori breaks up their flurry and takes Lee outside while Hikuleo lays in the stomps on Ospreay. Hikuleo lands a big suplex and tags out to Ishimori who clears Lee off the apron before focusing on Ospreay. Ospreay is able to avoid taking damage from Ishimori and drops him with a handspring enziguri. He tags in Lee who flurries with dropkicks and hits Shibata’s pose. Ishimori slides out of a suplex and the two trade forearms. It breaks into a battle of knees, boots and poison ranas before Hikuleo gets the tag. Lee tries a flurry of strikes but Hikuleo is unphased. He chops Lee to the mat and asks for more. He slides out of a Hikuleo suplex but is taken right back down with a boot. Hikuleo looks for a powrbomb, Lee ranas out and sends Hikuleo into the boots of Ospreay. Ospreay gets the tag, lands a springboard forearm, corner dropkick, looks for Stormbreak but Ishimori breaks it up. Hikuleo gets a huge swinging neckbreaker, Lee breaks the count and flurries on Ishimori. Hikuleo turns Ospreay inside out with a lariat, Ospreay flips through the flatliner, lands the Robinson Special and wins with an Oscutter.
Bad Luck Fale def. Mikey Nicholls @ 7:24 via Grenade – **
Fale piefaces Nicholls, Nicholls ducks a punch and sends Fale over the top. He follows Fale out but Fale regroups quickly and sends Nicholls over the rails. Nicholls makes his way back in at 19 but Fale is there to continue the attack. He stands on Nicholls arm, sends him to the corner and continues to target. Nicholls wants to fight back but is taken down by a Fale clubbing forearm and a series of arm wringers. Fale splashes on the arm and takes Nicholls down in the corner. He charges in for a splash but Nicholls sidesteps and fires a lariat. The lariat doesn’t put Fale down and he’s quick to shoulder Nicholls back down. They charge at each other with lariats, Fale catches him in position for a grenade but Nicholls fights free and puts Fale down with a sliding lariat. He looks for a DVD but Fale escapes and responds with a Samoan Drop, running splash and wins the match with the grenade.
Juice Robinson def. Chase Owens @ 8:43 via Pulp Friction – *3/4
Owens avoids the lock up, ducks under and takes Juice down with a headlock. Juice tries to headscissors his way free but Owens is quick to get the armdrag and secure the headlock. The takes the arm and slaps Juice across the head. Juice backs him to the ropes and delivers a chop. Owens gouges the eyes, lands a kick and forearm, takes Juice to the corner, Juice floats through and takes him over with a backdrop. Owens pleads but Juice takes him down with a series of shoulder tackles. Owens avoids a third, sends Juice out and follows with a dropkick. He sends Juice back in, connects with a short flatliner and corner forearm. Juice ducks a knee, lands a boot and they both look for lariats. They trade forearms for punches and Juice takes him down with a leg lariat followed by a lariat. Juice climbs to the top, hits the crossbody but Owens is out at two. He sets up for Pulp Friction, Owens escapes and sets up for a package piledriver. Juice escapes, Owens looks Pulp Friction, Juice escapes but is taken out with a knee. Juice again escapes the package piledriver, they trade pin attempts before Owens charges in with a big lariat. Juice connects with a Left Hand of God out of nowhere and finishes with Pulp Friction. Thumbs up from Liger at commentary.
Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI def. Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi, Tomohiro Ishii, YOH & SHO @ 16:40 via SANADA Skull End on SHO – ***1/4
The crowd chant for Okada so he backs his team to the corner. They do the same for SANADA so the two start off the match. They lock up, Okada takes SANADA to the ropes. He gives a clean break, SANADA takes the leg and looks Paradise Lock but Okada boots him off and applies a goofy hold of his own. YOH tags in and hit a flying forearm on SANADA. Shingo cuts him off but SHO is quick to help out and they double Shingo until he bails. EVIL trips SHO and Shingo pulls him out. Naito lands a low dropkick on YOH and a brawl breaks out. Back in the ring, BUSHI lands a series of overhands on YOH followed by a dropkick and tags in Naito. Naito boots YOH to the corner and spits on him before sending him to the opposite corner for a slingshot dropkick.
SHO breaks up the double armbar but BUSHI quickly dumps him out. Naito tags in Shingo and both he and BUSHI double YOH. YOH manages to land a dragon screw on both and tags Ibushi. Springboard dropkick on Shingo, rana to Naito and double overhead kick to EVIL and SANADA. A flurry of strikes followed by a standing moonsault on EVIL and Ishii gets the tag. EVIL and Ishii trade shoulders and duck lariats until EVIL is grounded with a shoulder. He’s taken to the corner, they block more lariats, both attempt a suplex but it’s EVIL who succeeds with a fisherman. Okada and SANADA are brought in. They trade forearms until an Okada running back elbow. SANADA avoids the corner back elbow but gets caught in the reverse neckbreaker. Ibushi and Ishii clear the apron and Okada climbs to the tops where he lands the elbow drop.
Okada hits the Rainmaker pose, SANADA escapes but is taken down with a dropkick. Okada again looks for the rainmaker but SANADA transitions into Skull End. YOH breaks iot up, SANADA looks for the moonsault, Okada avoids and follows with a John Woo. He tags out to SHO who attempts a deadlift German on SANADA but can’t. He hits a spear and tries the deadlift German again, this time succeeding. Shingo breaks up Shock Arrow and the two charge at each other with lariats. Shingo comes out on top of the exchange and SANADA follows with a backdrop suplex. YOH breaks the count. EVIL comes in with a suplex on Ishii, Naito a dropkick on Ibushi, BUSHI dives on YOH and SANADA spins SHO around in the Dragon Sleeper before dropping him in Skull End for the win.
IWGP Tag Team Championship
Guerrillas of Destiny (c) def. Most Violent Players @ 14:50 via Tama Schoolboy on Makabe – **
Yano comes out with G.O.D.’s tag titles. G.O.D. jump before he bell and isolate Yano. Makabe is quickly back in and lands a double lariat while Yano is untying the buckle. Yano sends Loa into the exposed buckle and Makabe sets Tama up for a piledriver on the outside. Yano assists the piledriver from the apron for a hijack piledriver. They go into the crowd before Yano brings Loa back in. Loa drives Yano into the exposed buckle and Tama comes in with the Stinger Splash. They take Yano to the floor and drive him to the rails. Back in the ring for a Loa legdrop and G.O.D. double team suplex. Tama sends Yano into the exposed buckle and knocks Makabe off the apron.
G.O.D. lay the boots to Yano and give him a double headbutt. Back into the exposed buckle and the crowd begin to rally. Double back elbow, boots in the corner, back into the buckle. Yano pulls Loa down by the hair and tags in Makabe. Tama tries to cut off the flurry, instead Makabe lays in corner lariats and punches. Loa blocks the northern lights and they charge at each other with lariats. Loa ducks a lariat and turns it into a German. Tama comes in and they double dropkick Makabe. The crowd rally for Makabe. He takes shits and asks for more. Tama ducks one lariat but can’t avoid the second. Makabe tags in Yano who sends Tama to the exposed buckle, surprises Tama with an amature takedown followed by a belly-to-belly.
Loa trips Yano, Makabe trips Tama and Jado cuts off Makabe with the cane. G.O.D. double team Tongan Twist followed by a top rope diving headbutt from Loa and top rope splash from Tama. They set up for the super powerbomb but Yano cuts it off. Loa wraps Makabe’s chain around his arm, Yano comes in with a low blow and Yano spears Tama. Makabe wraps his arm with the chain for a lariat, follows with a King Kong Knee Drop but the pin is broken by Loa. Jado hops up on the apron to distract Makabe and Tama rolls him up for the win.
Jay White def. Hirooki Goto @ 22:59 via Blade Runner – ***1/4
The crowd chants of Goto so White bails to the outside. He comes back in and they lock up. White takes Goto to the ropes and gives a clean break. Goto lands a boot, sends White to the ropes, White hanfs on a bails. Goto goes for the chase and catches White back in the ring with a hip toss followed by a shoulder. He follows White back outside and drives him into the rails. Gedo causes a distraction allowing White to sneak up from behind Goto for a Saito suplex to the floor. Goto breaks the count but White ia quick to dump him back out and follows by driving him into the rails and apron. He brings Goto back in for a single crab, transitions to double and drive Goto throat first into the ropes. Two chops and a back elbow bring Goto back down and White applies a sleeper, transitions it into a chinlock.
Goto elbows his way free and White slaps him on back of the head. Goto powers up to land a suplex but White avoids a corner elbow and drops Goto with a suplex of his own. White stomps on Goto’s head and the crowd begin to rally. Goto ducks White and lands a midkick, takes him to the corner for forearms, another midkick and Saito suplex. White hammers out of an Ushigoroshi, slides out of a second, grabs the tights but Goto kicks his way free. White avoids Goto’s running lariat twice and eats a boot the third time he ducks the attack. Gedo hits Goto from the apron on the forth attempt and White is quick to follow with a DVD. Goto again looks for the running lariat but gets caught with a flatliner + German suplex combo. Goto knees free of the Kiki Crusher, White slides out of the Ushgorishi and Goto finally lands the lariat.
Goto catches White’s boot, White does the same and sends Goto over the top to the apron. White quickly bring Goto in for the Kiwi Crusher for two. He sets up for Blade Runner but Goto fights it. White drills him on the top of the head with knees, Goto fires off a lariat that takes White down. They trade forearms to their knees, make it to their feet and continue. Goto wins the exchange and gives another shot for good measure. He is cut off the second time with a shot from White and both duck a series of lariats before Goto finally manages to connect and drops White. Goto flurries with a corner spin kick followed by a neckbreaker off the second. He climbs to the top but White cuts him off with forearms and an eye gouge.
White joins him on top and looks for a suplex. Goto tries fighting it off for an Ushigoroshi but White fights back. They trade forearms on the top rope, Goto lands a headbutt and drives White off the top with Kaiten. Gedo causes a distraction on the follow up and White charges at Goto with a chair. Goto ducks the attack, drops White on his knee, gives Gedo an Ushigoroshi and one to White for good measure. He sets up for GTR but White hammers free. Goto unloads a headbutt followed by reverse GTR for two. He sets up for GTR but White breaks free, looks Blade Runner, Goto escapes and turns a fireman’s carry into position for GTR. White escapes that, looks for Blade Runner, Goto back into GTR position, and White hits a sleeper suplex. Goto powers up, White hits another sleeper suplex and finishes Goto with Blade Runner.
White calls Goto an embarrassment and says this is still the Cutthroat Era. Backstage he announces that he will challenge the winner of Okada/SANADA on Saturday.
By no means was this up to the New Japan standards but looking to the card that was to be expected. The Kumamoto crowd was dead for the majority of the show which isn’t a surprise given the card they received. Five Bullet Club matches is overkill for a single show. The LIJ vs Chaos + Ibushi tag delivered once again and while not at the standard you expect, the main event was still good. Any time Goto hits the Kaiten I’ll be recommending the match. He hit the Kaiten, watch the match.
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