Wrestling Review: NJPW Sengoku Lord in Nagoya (2020)

Everything has turned upside down for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) in the last few months, and the wild ride continues at Sengoku Lord on Nagoya. In the main event, dual IGWP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Champion EVIL will face former stablemate and now bitter rival Hiromu Takahashi with both of EVIL’s title gold on the line. Hiromu, the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion will be looking to make history if he is to become the first ever man to hold the Junior gold, and even just one of the other titles, let alone both. Also on the show, dominant NEVER Openweight Champion, Shingo Takagi, will defend against the mysterious and dangerous El Desperado, while Kazuchika Okada will face off with Yujiro Takahashi in a special singles match. All of this and many more tag team contests at NJPW Sengoku Lord in Nagoya.

+ EVIL (c, c) vs Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships): I’ve all aboard the EVIL train for a long time, so seeing him in this dominant position brings a warmth to even my cold dead heart. Hiromu going toe to toe with the double champ, whether it was a win, loss or draw for the Junior champ, is a huge accomplishment. I have to say the end of the match was a bit of a letdown, after the maximum hype in the final stretch, and the post match didn’t really spark anything in me, personally. Nonetheless, the match was good
+ Shingo Takagi (c) vs El Desperado (NEVER Openweight Championship): I loved this. It’s no secret I’m a sucker for both guys, especially when Despy gets to be the massive jerk we all know he is. Shingo is an absolute beast so he was at his best throwing lariats to decapitate the smaller Desperado, but it was the underhanded tactics that I expected and loved to see from Despy that made it great. I really enjoyed this match, and win or lose, Shingo’s reign (so far as an including this match) has been fantastic
+ Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Master Wato, Yuji Nagata, & Golden☆Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi) vs Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Zack Sabre Jr.): I will never in my life tire of Nagata/Suzuki, and Sabre/Kota is always great. I’m still not entirely on board with Wato, but DOUKI and Kanemaru are dickish enough to get him some support from the crowd

Kazuchika Okada vs Yujiro Takahashi: this was hot garbage, and that blame falls equally on both men. Yujiro is not made for these sorts of matches, and Okada has not had a blow away match in quite some time. Even the crowd was mostly quiet for this.
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, SHO, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito): I don’t remember BUSHI’s mask having a zip for a mouth, and he looked like a gimp. I don’t know how I feel about that. SHO looked great here, but like every other prelim tag match, this was a whole lot of nothing
Ryusuke Taguchi, Satoshi Kojima, & Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) vs Gabriel Kidd, Yota Tsuji, & CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano): Gabriel Kidd improves in leaps and bounds every single time he gets in the ring, and his stretch here against Makabe proves it. Truthfully outside of that, and some good moments of Taguchi’s ass attacks, this was pretty forgettable
Yuya Uemura vs Taiji Ishimori: this was good, but exactly what you’d expect. Uemura is getting really good, and Ishimori is always great. If there is one positive to this god forsaken pandemic it’s that these younger guys are getting a real chance to shine

Should you watch this event: This was was clearly built around three matches in particular, and only two of those really lived up to the hype. Shingo/Despy was easily the match of the night, but EVIL/Hiromu had more than enough to recommend it. Don’t bother with the rest, unless you really care.


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