Wrestling Review: NJPW Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall (2020)

Following a shocking betrayal at the finals of the New Japan Cup, Tetsuya Naito will defend both of his IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships against former stablemate, EVIL, at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual event, Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall. Fresh of joining the Bullet Club, EVIL will certainly have the psychological advantage over the champion and his former leader, but Naito will certainly be seeking some revenge, at any cost. The IWGP Tag Team Championships will be on the line as the team of Golden☆Ace, Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi, face off against the absolute pricks from Suzuki-gun, Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr. The NEVER Openweight Championship is also going to be contested, as the ultra fast champion, heavyweight Shingo Takagi faces long time rival, the super strong junior heavyweight, SHO. These three championship fights and multiple tag team contests on NJPW Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall.

+ Tetsuya Naito (c, c) vs EVIL (IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships): holy smokes, this match was everything. As soon as you think you know what is coming next, someone goes through a table. Los Ingobernables has imploded, and the Bullet Club has a new members, but the winner of this will have a lot to bargain for. Naito had a few tricks up his sleeve, and EVIL was the slimiest Bullet Club asshole you could hope for, all the way up until a final stretch that had me screaming
+ Golden☆Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi) (c) vs Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr.) (IWGP Tag Team Championships): gosh I just don’t care for Tanahashi, but double gosh this match suckered me in. All four men absolutely worked their asses off and I found myself completely engrossed in everything that was happening. I really, really liked this match, so much more than I ever thought I would
+ Shingo Takagi (c) vs SHO (NEVER Openweight Championship): even with the main event and the story surrounding it, this was the match I was most excited for. THIS is what the NEVER division is meant to be. These two went to WAR on each other for the third time in a relatively short time period. The speed at which these two continued to slam into each other was breakneck — almost literally — and I was loving every moment of it. I’d happily watch these two fight every show forever more, and with SHO’s tag partner injured that is even more likely
+ CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto) vs Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori): this was really well done. Ishimori and Okada continued their beef from the cup, Goto is always great, and Yujiro had to be the de facto heavyweight in the Bullet Club (aside from EVIL, now) while everyone else is out of the country. I thought this was a lot of fun
+ Yota Tsuji, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi and SANADA): I liked this. Ishii had great segments with both Hiromu and BUSHI, and Tsuji is getting beefier every moment. SANADA didn’t really get involved too much, and Yano was mostly just for a few comedy spots, but overall all six guys looked good for what they did

Yuya Uremura, Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado): this was Wato’s best chance t show something special, after his not-very-good-at-all match at the New Japan Cup finals. Wato was impressive here, but it was all three Suzuki-gun boys that were the stars, my main boy Despy and Kanemaru in particular. I worry for Tenzan every time he walks to the ring
Gabriel Kidd & Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe) vs Ryusuke Taguchi, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima: I still really enjoy Nagata and Kojima. This was standard, even as far as prelim tags go, but I did get a kick out of Kidd/Nagata

> considering the EVIL twist in the NJC finals, I’m surprised CHAOS has the match against the Bullet Club and not a duo of LIJ, but I guess it makes sense that the loser of the NJC final would get the highest profile match
> I thought YOH injured himself in his tournament match on day 4 of the New Japan Cup, and it turns out I was correct. Go me

Should you watch this event: This was the best show since the start of this pandemic, and the reactions from the crowd are a big reason why. All three top matches were phenomenal and each in different ways. This was a must see show.

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